10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 9.2.13 (Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Triple H, The Big Show)

Raw (Hartford 2013)

1. Some people might complain about how Raw is opening up every week now with Triple H and Randy Orton but think about it a little bit. Triple H has been a babyface for a VERY long time & maybe even the entire time some young WWE fans have been watching. Randy Orton likewise has been a top babyface since 2010. That’s a long time in the world of the WWE where he is featured on numerous shows every week. I can see why WWE feels the need to really strongly establish these “new” personas for Triple H and Orton because there are some fans who really haven’t seen them in roles like this or have forgotten. THIS (HHH/Orton/McMahons/The Shield) is the new “big bad guy” in the WWE & cementing them as such is what’s important. I also love how the angle continued fluidly onto SmackDown. It’s been so long since the big storyline had chapters added to it during SmackDown that it is damn refreshing. That being said, I don’t want to see them open the show the same way every week for much longer but I get what they’re doing right now. OH! And did you know our newest Wallpaper Of The Week is designed for this very same group?! Yup, check out “The New CORPORATION For A New Era” Wallpaper now!

2. So Fandango was able to wrestle almost his entire match with The Miz with a legitimately broken nose but Sin Cara couldn’t even rush a finish for his dislocated fingers & decided to break character and call the match off. That’s the perfect example of what gets you respect in the locker room & what will eventually cause you to be “future endeavored”. This was a decent mid-card match where Fandango was able to display attributes we haven’t seen before. I’d like to see him get away from this feud with The Miz & even though he lost cleanly tonight, I expect a secondary title run & a refocus on Fandango’s character soon. Maybe once Kofi Kingston wins the IC title for the 40th time from Curtis Axel, Fandango could be the next heel to try to get over with the belt.

3. We’re getting a Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose feud for the US Championship?

Ambrose vs Ziggler Meme

4. They’re doing a good job of keeping Dolph Ziggler involved in the main event storyline without actually being involved in the same segments as the new Corporation or Daniel Bryan. He doesn’t have to play the sap that The Big Show does but he’s still being beaten down by people associated with Triple H. This way, when the time comes for him to step up, he’ll have plenty of momentum and history to be inserted right into the main event. I’m also really glad he was moved away from Big E Langston and AJ Lee fairly quickly. They’re obviously nowhere near the top-tier of the card & while Ziggler may not be wrestling for the World Championship, this angle keeps his name in the right mix.

5. Wow, Stephanie McMahon is allowed to get really personal, really quickly and it works. It works for her character because we’ve seen her “mean streak” in the past but she still has the ability to paint a picture of herself as “daddy’s little girl” growing up in the crazy land of the WWE. The way she’s portraying this new character though is spot on and the delivery of some of the things she says is just gut-wrenching. It’s different from her “Billion Dollar Princess”, “McMahon-Helmsley” or “SmackDown GM” eras of her career and she’s blending her personal history with her professional history terrifically.

6. I’m really looking for Cody Rhodes to shine in this match with Randy Orton, especially since it seems like he’s going to get some time off for his wedding and honeymoon. I AM glad that it looks like they are finally taking a serious approach to his push after the momentum he gained after Money In The Bank. On a side note, what is it about Triple H making “career-ending matches”? Didn’t he do the same thing to Mick Foley during the “McMahon-Helmsley Era” that ended up with The Rock leading the entire roster on a walkout? The seriousness of the announcers and the backstage shot of the locker room watching the match is truly selling this match as being as big. Honestly, this could have been on a PPV if it were to take place a few months from now but Rhodes would have needed a few more big wins before that would happen. Everything about this match worked well though. Cody’s hope spots & ESPECIALLY his CrossRhodes finisher really got the crowd strongly behind him while Orton playing to the crowd as he always did as a babyface was a nice touch. Cody was pinned cleanly but it was that “one mistake” loss that we’ve seen a lot of babyfaces come back from. Like I said about Ziggler earlier, Rhodes is only going to benefit from this match & being involved with the main event storyline. Once he comes back, he’ll be inserted right in the upper-midcard with maybe even some main events. Either way, they’re finally doing something important with Cody Rhodes.

7. “A biblical ass-beating this Sunday.” – CM Punk. One of the best lines from Raw in 2013. That promo was simple, intense and sold a good amount of PPVs. It’s what Punk does best.

8. That was far and away the best promo Cody Rhodes has ever delivered and he delivered it as he was walking out of the door and off of TV for who knows how long. The passion, intensity and emotion he displayed when talking about his father & brother was fantastic and God I hope we get to see more of THIS Cody Rhodes sooner rather than later.

9. The gimmick of having the roster stand on the stage for Daniel Bryan’s matches seemed a little cheesy & over-the-top when they first started this storyline but now I think it’s really starting to resonate with the audience. It’s a gimmick they’ve done before but it was never a regular/weekly thing. I like that it’s just a simple display of Triple H’s power.

10. The Big Show was a bit over-dramatic here throughout this entire “match”. I know acting was never Show’s strong point but did he really need to be crying throughout this whole segment? I’m sorry but if it came down to being able to support my family, I would hope any one of my good friends would understand that I had to punch them in the face to keep my job. He didn’t have to injure him. He didn’t have to hurt him to the point that he needed help out of the ring. And he didn’t have to humiliate him. He punched him once & was able to keep his job. If nothing else, they should have focused more on the fact that Triple H & Stephanie can get The Big Show to do whatever they want him to do, whenever they want him to do something. All in all, the closing segment didn’t do as much for me as the last few weeks. Now that we’ve seen the new Corporation establish themselves, it’s time to see that Daniel Bryan can overcome the numbers game & become a viable threat to Randy Orton’s title at Night Of Champions. Next week is the go-home show & no matter how over Daniel Bryan is, fans need to buy into the idea that he’s going to win the belt at the pay-per-view, both figuratively and literally.

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