Here’s a rundown of the September 23 edition of Monday Night Raw:
This edition of Raw came to us live from All State Arena in Chicago.
The telecast started with a video tribute to wrestling legend Angelo Savoldi, who passed away Friday at the age of 99.
After the video tribute the show started with members of the locker room that helped Daniel Bryan last week standing at the top of the stage.
Triple H walked out on into the arena with his wife Stephanie McMahon in tow and walked to the ring. The Shield stood in front of the ring guarding the couple.
Triple H said that he wasn’t going to fire any of the men who helped Bryan last week. Instead, the couple had another thing to say.
Stephanie McMahon then stepped up and said, “Thank you.”
She thanked them for taking matters into their own hands and stepping up to the plate. Triple H then said that he knows that it had nothing to with Bryan and they were simply standing up for what they believed in.
Rob Van Dam stepped behind a microphone that was propped up on the stage and said that the superstars were indeed fighting for Bryan.
Van Dam said that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have screwed Bryan over numerous times and that they would do the same to them.
Triple H questioned the logic in the superstars fighting for Bryan and said that they should fight for themselves.
Stephanie McMahon then said the reason why none of them have had championship opportunities as of late, specifically Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Zack Ryder, is because of The Shield.
Triple H said he could understand why they would be frustrated at The Shield because they have run rough shot over the company since they arrived.
He said they came to Bryan’s rescue not because of Bryan, but because of their dislike for The Shield.
Triple H then gave all of them a shot at taking out The Shield by way of an elimination handicap match against them.
Triple H said that the 10 men would become 11 because Bryan would also join them in an 11-on-3 handicap.
Stephanie McMahon then thanked the WWE Universe and gave them the opportunity to choose who would face Randy Orton via the WWE App, which the fans booed by the way.
Match 1 – Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
This was an entertaining television match that saw Del Rio dictate the pace for the most part.
Kingston was able to hit his usual high spots, including the move where he fakes jumping through the ropes, which is still mind boggling to look at.
As usual, Del Rio did most of his damage to Kingston’s arm to set up the cross arm breaker.
Despite the injured arm, Kingston put up as good a fight as he could and even hit the S.O.S. But Del Rio kicked out after a count of two.
Kingston hit the boom drop and attempted the trouble in paradise, but Del Rio countered it into a German suplex.
Kingston managed to hit a weird-looking DDT and got a near fall. He then went to the top rope, but was thwarted by Del Rio.
Del Rio then zeroed in on Kingston’s arm by throwing him into the ring post. Del Rio finished Kingston off with the cross arm breaker for the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
After the break, Renee Young interviewed The Miz backstage. She asked him about him being attacked by Orton in his hometown of Cleveland and in front of his parents.
Before The Miz could get out a word Triple H interrupted the interview and said he couldn’t blame The Miz for wanting to get his hands on Orton, but as COO of the WWE he has to look out for his well-being and can not allow The Miz to compete against Orton just yet.
Triple H offered The Miz a bit of a consolation in the form of Miz TV with Big Show being his special guest.
Match 2 – The Wyatt Family (Erick Roman & Luke Harper) vs. The Primetime Players
I’m beginning to sense a running theme on the show in the form of everyone participating in the 11-on-3 handicap match having very tough matches during the show and not being in the best of shape by the end of the night.
The Wyatt Family made it very tough for Darren Young during the match as they isolated him away from his partner Titus O’Neil.
After literally beating the lights out of Young (the arena lights mistakenly went off during the match), he finally fought his way to his partner for the hot tag.
Once in the ring, O’Neil cleaned house, but a met a vicious clothesline from Harper that brought John Bradshaw Layfield out of his seat and gave the Wyatt Family the win.
Winner: The Wyatt Family
After the match, the leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, got out of his rocking chair, jumped in the ring and started laying the boots to the Primetime Players.
After some commercials, we are treated to another installment of Miz TV.
The Miz was not his usually jolly self as he came out with a stoic look on his face despite his ridiculous looking suit. Anyway, he took the microphone and said that he’s “banged up and pissed off.”
He then said that Orton can knock him down, but he won’t be able to keep him down and their issue isn’t over by a long shot. The Miz ended his rant and brought out his guest, Big Show.
The Miz said that he had the utmost respect for Big Show, but asked him why he knocked out Dusty Rhodes last week. Big Show gave no answer.
The Miz went to say that he understood Big Show’s situation because if he didn’t do what Stephanie McMahon told him to do then she would have sent The Shield in to finish off Rhodes.
The Miz then said that the McMahons are trying to break him and since he is a leader in the locker room, the locker room can’t afford for him to be broken.
Because if Big Show is broken, then that means Triple H and Stephanie McMahon could break everyone. The Miz then told Big Show that it is time for him to step up.
Before The Miz could instill any more motivation into Big Show, Stephanie McMahon decided to interrupt another segment.
(Side note: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are in almost every speaking segment these days.)
She told The Miz the things he was saying was false and borderline slander. The Miz was not deterred and told her to shove her legal terms straight up her rear end.
Stephanie McMahon went into full burial mode by saying that The Miz knows he’s not a major player in the company anymore and that there’s nothing worse than someone who has peaked too early.
She then called him a utility player. If the WWE needs someone to make an appearance on a radio show early in the morning, the company calls The Miz. When there’s an appearance in some far corner of the planet, they call The Miz.
She then said that the WWE has given him chances, including last week. But he failed everyone, including himself because Orton beat the crap out of him.
After running him into the ground, Stephanie McMahon ordered Big Show to knock The Miz out. Big Show showed little hesitation as he did so without crying this time.
Upon doing the deed, Big Show immediately left the ring in seeming disgust.
Match 3 – Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
Van Dam was chosen by the fans via the WWE App with 57 percent of the vote.
Van Dam started the match off with fast pace, which frustrated Orton and forced him to leave the ring multiple times to regain his composure.
Before the commercial break, Orton finally gained some momentum on Van Dam and slowed the pace to his liking.
During the commercial break, Orton was dropped awkwardly on his shoulder. Orton has a history of shoulder injuries. The fall didn’t seem too serious though as he went through the match without favoring it too much.
He felt good enough to hit his DDT through the ropes and attempt an RKO, but Van Dam countered it into a spinning kick to his face.
Van Dam managed to land another big kick to Orton, which set up for a five-star frog splash.
Orton moved out of the way, however, but didn’t move out of harm’s way as Van Dam still caught him with a move from the top rope.
Van Dam went back up to the rope for a five-star frog splash, but Orton knocked Van Dam off the top rope. Orton then kicked Van Dam off the turnbuckle to the outside of the ring where he went to work on his opponent.
Orton did too much work on the outside as the official counted both of them out.
Orton kept the beating going on Van Dam as he hit him with a back body drop to the top of the barricade and threw him into the steel steps.
Orton still wasn’t finished as he landed a series of punches to a defenseless Van Dam. He then threw Van Dam into another set of steel steps.
Orton then threw Van Dam over the announce table and dragged him back into the ring. Orton then sat Van Dam on the top rope and hit his patented DDT, leaving Van Dam motionless.
After the break, we cut backstage to the Bella Twins who were met by Orton. Orton asked them if they had seen what he did to Van Dam.
Brie Bella said that they were getting ready for their match.
Orton then said that what he did to Van Dam was only a fraction of what he was going to do to her boyfriend Bryan.
It’s the first time that Bryan and Brie Bella have been talked about as a couple on Raw that I can remember.
Orton also told her that if she was looking to upgrade to a real man, he was available. Brie Bella stuck up for her man and said that she has a real man and real champion already.
AJ Lee then decided to stop by Stephanie McMahon’s office. Stephanie McMahon handed Lee a copy of Triple H’s new DVD so that she can see what a real wedding looks like.
Lee then said she was not happy being in a tag team match against the Total Divas and said it was no way to treat a Divas Champion.
Stephanie McMahon turns on full burial mode again and purposely towers over Lee and told her that she would compete in the match or she wouldn’t champion much longer.
Match 4 – Fandango vs. Santino Marella
Before the two locked up, Fandango and Santino took part in a short dance-off. Fandango held court for the majority of the match until Santino mounted a comeback.
Santino set up to go for the cobra, but was distracted by Summer Rae. Fandango took advantage and hit Santino from behind.
He then hit Santino with his big leg drop to pick up the win.
After the break, the Chicago fans finally got what they came for, and that was Chicago’s own CM Punk who was sporting a Duncan Keith Blackhawks jersey.
CM Punk said he hadn’t smiled in more than a week, but smiled when he came out in front of his hometown.
He said the reason why he hadn’t smiled is because he has been letting everyone down as of late, especially at Night of Champions last week.
He said he’s lost a bunch of matches before, but his lost to Paul Heyman at Night of Champions really got him down. He said it got him so down that he doesn’t deserve to say he’s from Chicago anymore.
But coming out to a big ovation reminded him that he could come back, like the Blackhawks did against the Red Wings during the NHL playoffs.
Heyman interrupted CM Punk’s rally the troops speech by rolling out in a scooter this week (upgrading from a wheel chair) and singing that he was the best in the world.
CM Punk said that Heyman showed up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Because he had 18.000 people that would bail him out of jail after he’s done getting his hands on Heyman.
Heyman said he doesn’t need a reminder of the beating he took at Night of Champions as he has been going through physical therapy since and recently relapsed, which is the reason why he was confined to a scooter.
Heyman then said it wasn’t CM Punk’s fault that he’s been losing lately. It’s geography’s fault. He said that since CM Punk is from a second-rate city he has no other options but to be the second-best in the world.
CM Punk then asked that when he jumped out of the ring and went after Heyman, how fast was his goons going to get to him. CM Punk then threatened to rip Heyman’s face off.
Heyman piled on by saying that not only did he beat CM Punk, he beat him with two hands tied behind his back.
Heyman then told the crowd goodnight and attempted to leave, but with one problem: his scooter apparently malfunctioned and he could not move.
Upon realizing that he wasn’t going anywhere, Heyman had a look of terror on his face.
Five seconds later, CM Punk made a dash toward Heyman. As soon as CM Punk got to Heyman, however, Curtis Axel and Ryback came from each side of the ramp and attacked CM Punk.
After taking a bit of a beating, CM Punk turned the tables by throwing Axel into the electronic signage on the stage. He then jumped off the stage onto Ryback and began landing a flurry of punches.
Axel and Ryback managed to gain the upper hand on CM Punk again as Ryback put a beat down on him on the side of the stage. Ryback then tossed CM Punk through a wooden table next to the stage.
Seeing that CM Punk was taken care of, Heyman stood up out of his scooter and handed a microphone to Ryback, who said that what happened to CM Punk was what happened to bullies.
Match 5 – Total Divas (Bella Twins, Cameron & Natalya) vs. AJ Lee, Alicia Fox, Layla & Aksana
Not much to speak of during this match besides Brie Bella pinning Lee.
Winner: Total Divas
After the match, The Shield were in a dark area backstage with a camera. Dean Ambrose said that it didn’t matter that they were being put in an 11-on-3 handicap match because when they succeed at everything they do.
After the break, Bryan took to the ring to a rousing ovation from the fans in Chicago. He grabbed the microphone and said that he didn’t need a fast count from Scott Armstrong at Night of Champions.
He said that you don’t need a fast count when the man has already been knocked out. He then said the real conspiracy is that Triple H gave Armstrong a lot of money in a severance package.
Bryan went on to say that he doesn’t know what happened at pay-per-view nor does he care.
He said it doesn’t matter which Orton shows up at Battleground (I still hate that name) because he will take back what is rightfully his, the WWE title.
The Shield then came down through the crowd to handle Bryan. But before they could get in the ring, Cody Rhodes and Goldust (in a hoodie and face paint) jumped on The Shield from the crowd.
A host of security guards constrained the two supposed trespassers and dragged them out of the building. Easily the best segment of the night so far.
Match 6 – The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, The Usos, Kofi Kingston, Primetime Players, Zack Ryder R-Truth, Justin Gabriel, Dolph Ziggler
The Shield got beat on for a little bit until they isolated Ziggler. After working on Ziggler for a little, Van Dam made his way into the ring and mounted some offense.
Out of nowhere, Ambrose hit his modified DDT and eliminated Van Dam.
Next into the ring was Kingston who worked against Ambrose. Kingston’s arm was heavily bandaged as a result of his match with Del Rio earlier.
It didn’t take long for Ambrose to hit his DDT and eliminate Kingston.
O’Neil stepped into the ring next and began to overpower Ambrose. To counter that, Ambrose tagged in The Shield’s powerhouse in Roman Reins.
Like Ambrose did with Van Dam and Kingston, Reins made quick work of O’Neil. Gabriel was next, but was met by a spear from Reins almost as soon as he got in the ring and was eliminated.
The same went for Ryder as Reins also eliminated him with a spear.
The next guy in after Ryder was Bryan as he began laying in some serious kicks to Reins.
Bryan then picked up the pace and took the entire trio on his own. Bryan then tagged in an Uso brother who hit a super kick. He then turned to his brother who hit a big splash from the top rope to eliminate Reins. At this point, it was 6-on-2.
After a commercial break, Young is in the ring getting beat on by two-thirds of The Shield.
Young mounted some offense, but a blind tag allowed Seth Rollins to hit him with a flying knee to the head. Rollins went for the cover and eliminated Young.
Ziggler jumped into the to take on The Shield and was quickly grounded. All of a sudden, Ziggler hit Ambrose with the zig zag and eliminated him, leaving only Rollins to fight against five men.
Rollins quickly jumped on Ziggler and gained the upper hand. Ziggler mounted enough offense to tag in R-Truth, who kept the momentum going on Rollins.
Rollins showed resolve, however, as he stomped R-Trurth’s head to the ground and eliminated him. The remaining four members surrounded the ring a la The Shield and swarmed Rollins all at once.
Ambrose jumped back into the ring, but was met by Ziggler. Reins came back as well, but the Usos hit him with a double super kick and a suicide dive.
Rollins hit Bryan from behind, but Bryan recovered in time to hit a diving head butt. He followed that up with a flying knee to Rollins to win the match for the WWE superstars.
Winners: Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, The Usos
For the second week in a row, Bryan actually got to stand tall at the end of a Raw.