It’s the final RAW before Battleground tonight. The WWE needs to do a good job of making Battleground seem more important than they are. At this point, it feels like a sequel to Night of Champions, which was probably the worst PPV of the year.
The Rhodes Family will be on RAW tonight, which leads me to believe there will be some match at Battleground to give them a shot to get their jobs back.
CM Punk Knows WWE Booking
RAW, for a change, started with CM Punk. He said the show thrives on unpredictability. Punk said last week in his hometown, however, it was predictable that he was going to get beat up. And it was predictable what would happen when he tried to beat up Paul Heyman: He was going to get beat up. But he knows how this story ends: He puts Curtis Axel to sleep, shows Ryback what really happens to bullies, and he finally gets his hands on Paul Heyman. Punk said he doesn’t know when this story ends, but he would love for it to end tonight. Punk said the record books may say Paul Heyman defeated CM Punk, but everyone will know that Punk put Paul Heyman out of his misery.
Brad Maddox came out and told Punk to calm down. Punk said him trying to get his hands on Ryback and Paul Heyman is not what is best for business. Maddox said he can put him in a fight tonight if he wants it. Punk started talking but Big E Langston’s music hit. Langston said if he wants aggression, he is his man. Langston attacked Punk, but Punk moved out of the way of Langston’s second charge and he went into the ringpost. Brad Maddox called for a ref to start the match.
Back from break, Langston charged at Punk but Punk moved and Langston went into the post on the outside. Punk hit a crossbody off the top for two. Punk charged at Langston but Langston slammed Punk down with one arm. Big E hit a splash for two. Big E applied a half crab. Punk fought out and hit some kicks but Big E took him down again. Big E then hit a belly to belly. Punk was able to counter out of a backdrop and land a kick to the head. Punk went for a GTS but couldn’t lift Big E, who hit a clothesline for two. Big E went for another splash but Punk moved out of the way. Punk started his comebacks with some kicks followed by a swinging neckbreaker. He hit the high knee and clothesline, followed by the Elbow Drop off the top. Punk hit the GTS to pick up the win.
How Much Longer Will Fandango Be A Thing?
Fandango vs Kofi Kingston. Kofi started with his elbow to the face followed by a hurricarrana. Fandango hit a couple of clotheslines followed by a suplex for two. Kofi came back with an armdrop. Kofi hit a couple clotheslines but Fandango eventually dropped him on the turnbuckle. Fandango went to the top, but came down and charged at Kofi. Kofi moved, and connected on Trouble in Paradise for the win.
After the match, Bray Wyatt came out and said that the nightmare he thought was a dream was real, and that one by one, everyone must fall down. And then the promo ended.
Backstage, Randy Orton told Brie Bella there was a good chance her fiancée Daniel Bryan might not be able to walk down the aisle after Sunday.
Paul Heyman was interviewed backstage. Heyman said he has a huge night planned tonight, and said if CM Punk had the man hood to make a move on him tonight to go ahead and try.
Los Matadores vs 3MB. They are called Fernando and Diego. And they have a midget dressed as a bull with them. Oh my. They dominated the majority of the match and won with a double backdrop. Words cannot explain this.
Mr. and Mrs. Burials
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out. He invited the Rhodes Family out and guaranteed their safety. Stephanie welcomed then. Triple H asked why the angry look on all of their faces. Triple H said they should be lucky to have so many opportunities to have got their jobs back. Triple H said they all failed. He asked Dusty if he was still bitter about not being able to make it outside of Florida on a national level. Stephanie said that Dusty has the most important job in the WWE, helping train the WWE’s young talent. Steph said they would like to have Cody back, and give Goldust a job. She said that if they can beat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins this Sunday, they can have their jobs back. But if they lose, they can never work for the WWE again and their father is fired.
Dusty said as long as he is in his boys corner, it’s good. Stephanie agreed. She said that Dusty looked like he was looking for a fight and to be careful because he just might get it. As the Rhodes Family was leaving the ring, The Shield attacked. Reigns speared Goldust then took out Cody. Dusty grabbed a chair but was taken out coming into the ring. The Shield hit the triple powerbomb on Cody.
Curtis Axel vs R-Truth. Axel started with an armdrag and mocked Truth, but Truth came back with a kick to the face. Truth kicked the legs out from under Axel a couple of times then hit some rope punches in the corner. Axel shoved Truth off and landed some punches then a dropkick for two. Axel stopped a dropkick attempt from Truth. CM Punk’s music played and it distracted Axel, allowing R-Truth to hit the Lie Detector and pick up the win.
Brie Bella defeated Alicia Fox. She’s also fighting AJ at Battleground for the Divas Title.
Backstage, Paul Heyman told Curtis Axel not to worry about CM Punk. Ryback came in and said they should just go out to the ring and let CM Punk come out there. Paul Heyman told Ryback to go get some food. Paul Heyman said he has so much to thank Ryback for, and said he would go out to the ring later and propose to Ryback.
Big Show was interviewed backstage. He said his financial situation is being held over his head. He’s being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. He’s trying to choose between the lesser of two evils. He can’t even look Dusty Rhodes in the eyes anymore. Show then snapped and said he was going to find Triple H and knock him out.
R-Truth was asking for an IC Title shot backstage. Big Show came storming in and grabbed Brad Maddox, holding him up in the air against the wall. He said he wasn’t leaving until Maddox brought back Triple H.
Zack Ryder, In A Competitive Match?
Alberto del Rio vs Zack Ryder. Ryder moved out of the way of a Del Rio charge then hit a faceplant. Ryder tossed Del Rio to the outside but Del Rio moved out of the way of a diving crossbody. Del Rio threw Ryder into the barricade and landed some kicks. Del Rio hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by a kick to the back. Ryder escaped a camel clutch and hit a missile dropkick off the second rope. Ryder tossed Del Rio into the corner and hit the Broski Boot for two. Del Rio countered the Rough Ryder and hit a German suplex for two. Del Rio dropped Ryder’s arm on the ropes then applied the cross armbreaker for the win.
He’s A Big Phony Faker!
Ryback and Paul Heyman came out. He said not only was he man enough to beat CM Punk, but he is also an expert in political science. He said you can’t beat the rebels on your own home ground. Heyman showed the clip from last Monday. Heyman said he wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Ryback. Ryback said he can’t stand bullies, and to see CM Punk take all the knowledge Heyman gave him and hurl it back in his face, he couldn’t let it stand. Ryback called Heyman a genius and said there is nothing he wouldn’t do for him. Heyman said he is glad Ryback feels that way and said he wants something much more meaningful for them. Heyman says he feels more free and liberated ever since Ryback saved him. Heyman said this needed an official committment. Heyman said he wanted to make an honest man out of Ryback. Heyman got down on one knee and asked Ryback if he would become a Paul Heyman.
Before Ryback could answer, CM Punk’s music hit. He eventually came through the crowd, but slipped over the barricade and hurt his knee. He sold the injury and couldn’t make his way into the ring. The doctor went to check on Punk as Heyman walked to the apron. Punk then shoved the doctor away and grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring. Punk hit the legs of Heyman then went after Ryback. Ryback blocked the shot but Punk kicked him and hit Ryback with the kendo stick. Curtis Axel came out and ate a couple kendo sticks shot, then a GTS to finish him off.
More Six Man Tag Goodness
The Shield vs Dolph Ziggler and The Usos. Dolph and Dean started. Ambrose dragged Ziggler’s face across the ropes, but Dolph came back with a dropkick. Seth Rollins came in but he ate a hip toss. The Usos each took their turns on Rollins resulting in Rollins eating a crossbody. Rollins escaped an armbar with a jawbreaker and The Shield took control. Jey Uso eventually tagged in Jimmy and the faces cleared the ring. The Usos hit dueling dives into commercial.
Back from break The Shield had control. Jimmy hit a suplex on Rollins but Dean Ambrose came in to prevent a tag. The Shield took their turns working over Jimmy. He eventually hit a kick to the face of Roman Reigns then pulled the rope down on him. Roman tried stopping him but Jimmy hit another kick. Rollins knocked Jey off the apron, but Jimmy backdropped him then tagged in Ziggler. Ziggler came in and went to work. He hit a dropkick on Rollins then a fameasser on Ambrose. All hell broke loose with everyone in the ring. Roman Reigns eventually made a blind tag. Ziggler hit the ZigZag on Rollins but Reigns came in and hit the Spear to pick up the win.
Big Show was waiting in Triple H’s office. The police showed up. Stephanie McMahon showed up and said that he has been going through a rough time having to knock out Daniel Bryan, Miz and Dusty Rhodes. Steph said they missed a mortgage payment as well and she can vouch for Big Show. Steph then told Big Show she talked to his wife, and he hasn’t been measuring up to her standards either. Show then got angry and punched the Triple H poster on the wall.
Rob Van Dam was interviewed backstage. He said when it is hardcore, anything goes. And in any language, hardcore translates to Rob Van Dam.
Santino again beat Antonio Cesaro. Highlight of the match was the Cesaro swing on Santino. 26 times!
Need The Build For Total Divas. Oh I Mean Battleground!
Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan came out for the face-to-face. Orton said when Triple H stripped Bryan of the Title, he was mad he didn’t give it to him. But Orton didn’t mind now. Because now he is the Viper that has reached his full potential. Orton said he is genetically superior to Bryan. Bryan said Orton was a little monotone. Bryan said HHH had to motivate Orton because he couldn’t reach his full potential without it, and he has never needed anyone’s motivation to reach his full potential. And he reaches his full potential this Sunday by winning the WWE Championship. The crowd chanted YES. Orton asked Bryan what would motivate Brie Bella to settle for Bryan. He said one day she will realize she settled for a barnyard animal. Bryan snapped and attacked Orton. They brawled to the outside where Orton eventually tossed Bryan into the steps, then the ringposts multiple times. Orton dropped Bryan on the barricade and went for the DDT off the apron. Brie Bella came down and begged him to stop, but Orton did it anyways. Orton slammed Bryan on the announce table then hit the RKO through the table.
What I Liked
CM Punk/Ryback/Paul Heyman: I liked everything about the build to this match Sunday. I was glad to see it start the show, as it was a good break from the norm of starting with a Triple H promo or something with Randy Orton or Daniel Bryan. The second segment between these two was great. Paul Heyman can do such a great job turning some of the weirdest stuff into gold. He did it with Ryback. Punk did a good job of selling the injury as well. This was the best sold match for Sunday.
Rhodes/McMahon Segment: It was short but it was effective. I may have liked to see another week or so build for this one, but considering the Rhodes family is unemployed at the moment it makes sense. Despite one week build, there should be a lot of heat for this match given the circumstances surrounding it.
Six Man Tag: At this point, I’m convinced you could throw The Shield out there with almost anybody and they can have a great match with them. There’s nothing else to say about it.
What I Didn’t Like
WWE Title Build: They gave this the main event segment, but it barely got ten minutes. And I don’t like the addition of Brie Bella to the mix. This is all for the second season of Total Divas, and if they do too much of it they might kill any heat left for this feud. They needed a little more from this one to sell Battleground, and I didn’t like the job they did.
Big Show Too Far: Once again, I liked the beginning of the Big Show stuff with it looking like he was about to snap. But then Stephanie McMahon came in and had to ruin it. The shots she is taking at Big Show won’t lead to the payoff you would like to see, which is Stephanie getting KO’d. At this point I don’t know what a possible good payoff would be.
Los Matadores: I’m sorry, but this is bound to fail in a similar fashion that Fandango is. It’ll be good for a laugh or cheap pop for a month, then it will fizzle out and no one will care.
The Wyatts Direction: At this point I don’t know what the WWE has planned. I actually can’t wait for Kane to come back so that feud can get going again.
Once again, this show was a mixed bag full of everything from the WWE. I think the fact that the WWE didn’t do a good job selling the WWE or World Title matches tonight will hurt in the end, so I have to give the show a slightly lower rating. I’m giving it a 4.
Don’t forget to listen to the HTCPulsecast Battleground Preview show this Thursday at a special start time of 7pm EST.
I will also be live at Battleground this Sunday, so make sure to follow my Twitter feed below for in person updates.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka
Tags: alberto del rio, Battleground, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dusty Rhodes, goldust, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Raw, Rob Van Dam, ryback, The Shield, triple h, WWE, wwe championship