Here’s a rundown of the Oct. 21 edition of Monday Night Raw:
This edition of Raw came to us live from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
We started this week’s show with WWE COO Triple H, who walked out with his wife Stephanie McMahon by his side.
McMahon grabbed the microphone first and called the fans pathetic. She then promoted Hell in a Cell to those same pathetic fans by telling what they could expect on the show.
When she got to the WWE Championship match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, she guaranteed that there would be a new champion crowned at the end of the match.
Triple H then hopped on the microphone and reminded the fans that they chose Shawn Michaels to be the special guest referee during the match because they trust him. As a matter of fact, he trusts him, too.
He said that he trusts Michaels because he respects him more than anyone in the WWE.
Out of nowhere Big Show popped up on the big screen “via satellite.” Big Show said that Triple H and McMahon shouldn’t use the word respect because they don’t know the meaning of it.
While Big Show was talking, McMahon walked over to a production person as if she was asking him how in the world Big Show got up on the big screen. After all, he is fired. Remember?
Big Show said that Triple H and McMahon don’t treat people with respect. They treat people with distain. Triple H said that the only person he treats with distain was Big Show because he deserved it.
McMahon was still walking around the ring screaming at production people to do something about Big Show.
Big Show then asked Triple H why was he so angry. He asked him was it the fact that he was suing him for the money that is left on his contract? Or was it because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.
Big Show then said that considering that Triple H sleeps next to McMahon, any side of the bed is wrong.
McMahon got back on the microphone and made sure that Big Show was taken off the big screen.
Triple H then said that the once great career of Big Show ends with a whimper of being taken off the big screen.
Triple H quickly turns the page and said, “On with the show!” He introduced Dean Ambrose for the first match, but out came his opponent Bryan instead.
Bryan bounced around the ring and did his yes chant while McMahon and Triple H scowled at him from inside the ring as the telecast went into commercial break.
Match 1 – Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose
Bryan and Ambrose began the match with some classic chain wrestling before Ambrose picked up the pace with some chops.
Bryan quickly turned the tables and hit some chops of his own. He added some kicks for good measure. Bryan maintained control of Ambrose with some more kicks and some submission holds.
Bryan went for another drop kick, but Ambrose managed to avoid it by hanging on to the ropes. He took over the match from there.
Bryan fought off Ambrose thanks to a botched move and some more kicks. He then went for a diving head butt, but Ambrose slid out of the ring. Once out of the ring, Ambrose hit Bryan with a clothesline before the telecast took another commercial break.
After the break, Ambrose was in complete control of the match. Bryan eventually countered Ambrose’s attack into a surfboard. Ambrose escaped the submission by poking Bryan in the eye.
Bryan didn’t let the bad eye effect him too much as he continued to fight back against Ambrose. Ambrose kept the pressure on Bryan by took back control of the match.
Bryan fought back again by hitting a running elbow and a corner drop kick. Bryan went for a pin, but Ambrose kicked out after two.
Bryan then went for a tornado DD from the top rope, but Ambrose countered by tossing him across the ring. He then put Bryan in a spine buster.
Bryan eventually tossed Ambrose out of the ring, which had Ambrose take an awkward landing. He looked like he hurt his knee.
Bryan didn’t care about that because he went right after Ambrose with a suicide dive. Bryan then got him back inside the ring for a missile drop kick.
Bryan began hitting his kicks to the chest, but Ambrose ducked under the final one. Ambrose tried to mount some offense, but Bryan slapped on the yes lock. Ambrose wasted little time tapping out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
After the break, “The Best in the World” CM Punk graced us with his presence with a microphone in hand.
CM Punk stayed on top of the stage and talked about his match against Ryback and Paul Heyman inside the Hell in a Cell.
He said that Hell in a Cell ends and defines careers, and that he knows his legacy will be defined by what he does to Heyman once he gets his hands on him.
CM Punk also said that Ryback would not be able to help him Sunday. That’s because he’s going to be locked in the cell with someone who will do whatever it takes to do bodily harm to Heyman.
CM Punk added that he will not be using wrestling holds or try to score pin falls. He said that he would put Ryback to sleep and then torment Heyman.
He wrapped up his promo by saying that three men will walk inside of the Hell in a Cell Sunday, but only one man will walk out under his own power and that will be him.
Triple H and McMahon were then backstage talking to Vicki Guerrero as they placed her in charge of Raw. The couple then walked into their office where Michaels was already there awaiting them.
Michaels and Triple H embraced like good chums would. Before Michaels and Triple H could exchange pleasantries, McMahon was shouting on the phone to someone. Triple H then informed Michaels that there was a lot going on.
Michaels seemed to understand, but then asked Triple H if he seriously thought that Bryan couldn’t be WWE Champion.
Triple H said that he believes that Bryan could win the match, but asked Michaels if he should really be the face of the company.
Michaels he agreed with some of what Triple H was saying, but said once upon a time they asked those same questions about the both of them.
McMahon busted into the conversation again as she was trying to figure out how Big Show got up on the big screen. Michaels told her that he and Triple H used to do it to Vince McMahon all the time and that she used to love it.
She told Michaels that they were funny. Big Show is supposed to be fired. She then said that things have changed quite a bit around the WWE.
Michaels said he’s noticed, but it’s a shame. But one of them hasn’t had to grow up so if they didn’t mind, he was going to go have some fun.
Match 2 – Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella
Santino, The Great Khali and Hornswoggle walked out in Elvis costumes because they were in Memphis.
Slater and Santino engaged in some antics before actually wrestling each other, including just swinging wildly at each other.
The eventually worked an actual match that saw Slater maintain most of the offense. Santino got some of his offense in and even whipped out the cobra, which had Elvis-like sideburns, but Slater thwarted him before he could use it.
Slater went to the top rope, but jumped right into the Elvis cobra to end the match.
Winner: Santino Marella
After the match, Santino jumped on the microphone and introduced Jerry “The King” Lawler to his hometown of Memphis.
Santino invited Lawler to get on top of the announcer table with him for a rather silly moment between the two.
Match 3 – Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Orton and Ziggler started the match with a long collar-elbow tie up. Once they were separated by the official, Orton ducked out of the ring.
Orton got back in the ring and immediately began to dish out punishment to Ziggler. Ziggler fought off Orton with punches outside of the ring before Orton took back control of the match.
Orton’s momentum didn’t last long, however, as Ziggler aggressively fought his way back into the match.
Orton used a back breaker to slow down Ziggler’s run of offense and grounded him with a submission.
Ziggler got back into the match once again with a flurry of offense that ended with a famasser. He covered Orton only to get a count of two.
Ziggler then went for a splash in the corner, but Orton caught him and suplexed him. Orton then hit Ziggler with his patented DDT.
Orton set up for the RKO, but Ziggler hit a drop kick out of nowhere. Ziggler went for a pin, but Orton kicked out again.
Ziggler tried to hit Orton with the zig zag, but Orton held on to the ropes. After being shaken off by Orton, Ziggler turned around only to be hit with and RKO to end the match.
Winner: Randy Orton
WWE showed yet another video documenting the journey of John Cena coming back from injury.
Match 4 – AJ Lee & Tamina vs. The Bella Twins
Tamina worked the early going of the match and held court throughout her time in the ring.
The Bellas eventually fought their way back and hit Lee with the facebuster to pick up the win.
Winner: The Bella Twins
After the break, Renee Young was backstage as she interviewed Heyman while he, Ryback and Curtis Axel were on their way somewhere.
She asked him about the Hell in a Cell match he would take part in Sunday. Heyman sarcastically talked about CM Punk wanting to execute him at Hell in a Cell.
He then lost complete control talking about some crazy stuff and quickly quieted down to say that he was in control of CM Punk because he has been in control of him all of these years.
Heyman then said that he controls his monster Ryback and CM Punk won’t be able to get by the monster to get his hands on him.
Big E Langston walked up to the three men and asked them, “Who was the marginal talent now?” He asked that question because Heyman called him one last week on Smackdown!.
Ryback asked him where was his manners. Axel piled on by calling Langston a rookie and asked him if he knew how to say excuse me. Heyman then told Axel to show Langston how veterans have respect in the locker room. Langston accepted the challenge.
WWE then showed footage of Bryan back when he was just getting his start in the wrestling business back in the late 1990s, when he attended the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy. It was a pretty cool video package.
The Wyatt Family decided to show up after the video as they were going to take part in a tag team match.
Match 5 – The Wyatt Family vs. Kofi Kingston & The Miz
Erick Rowan and the Miz started off the match as Rowan used his power to control the Miz.
Rowan tagged out in favor of his partner Luke Harper and he kept up the momentum. After being beaten on for a couple of minutes, the Miz finally mustered enough energy to make it to his corner to tag in Kingston.
Kingston entered the ring and began taking out the Wyatts. In the midst of the barrage, Kingston tried to pin Harper, but once he saw Rowan get on the ring apron, he decided to deliver the trouble in paradise to him.
As soon as Kingston turned around, Harper hit him with a big clothesline that allowed him to pick up the win for the Wyatts.
Winner: The Wyatt Family
The Wyatts weren’t done after the match as Harper began beating on Kingston. The Miz tried to lend a helping hand, but the Wyatts took advantage of the numbers game.
Harper then launched Kingston out of the ring, leaving the Miz alone with the Wyatts. Bray Wyatt grabbed a microphone and gave another cryptic promo to him.
Match 6 – Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston
As soon as Langston stepped into the ring he went right after Axel. Ryback was still in the ring and helped Axel fight off Langston. Since the match never officially began no one was disqualified.
Axel and Ryback continued to try to put the boots to Langston. Langston kept fighting, however, as he spilled both of the men out of the ring. Langston kept fighting the duo off until Heyman decided to hit him with a kendo stick that had no effect what so ever.
Once Langston turned his attention to Heyman, Ryback knocked him down with a clothesline. That’s when CM Punk showed up with a kendo stick of his own and began whaling away on Axel and Ryback. Heyman bailed as quickly as possible.
“Excuse me!” then bellowed over the microphone as Guerrero came out to announce the obvious: the match was going to be re-started as a tag team match.
Match 7 – CM Punk & Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback
CM Punk and Langston started the match by using some double-team moves to gain control of the match.
Ryback got in the match and used his power advantage over CM Punk to shift the momentum back his team’s side.
Ryback and Axel then began to cut the ring off from CM Punk. CM Punk finally got to his corner to tag in Langston. He commenced to clean house.
Langston did enough damage to hit Axel with the big ending to pick up the victory.
Winner: Big E Langston
After the match, CM Punk chased Heyman into the crowd where he took off as fast as Usain Bolt.
We are then treated to a WWE merchandise promo from R-Truth. Twenty percent off stuff in WWE shop tonight courtesy of R-Truth, I guess.
Match 8 – The Real Americans vs. Tons of Funk
Jack Swagger and Sweet T started the match as Sweet T tossed around Swagger in the early going. Antonio Cesaro came into the ring and immediately took the big man off his feet with a clothesline.
Swagger and Cesaro targeted Sweet T’s legs in an effort to take control of the match. Broadus Clay eventually tagged in, but walked into a Cesaro swing.
Once Cesaro dropped him, Swagger slapped on the patriot lock and forced Clay to tap out.
Winners: The Real Americans
After the match, Zeb Coulter showed everyone how he was going to combat Los Matadores’ bull El Torito — by pulling out a whip.
After the break, it was announced that Axel would defend his Intercontinental Championship during the Hell in a Cell pre-show. WWE then showed another video package about Cena.
Match 9 – The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reins) vs. The Usos – No. 1 contender’s match for the WWE Tag Team Championships
The Rhodes brothers were on commentary for the match.
One of the Usos and Seth Rollins started the match at a break-neck pace. Once Rollins was disposed of, the Usos began working on Roman Reins.
The Usos were rolling until Rollins ducked a cross body from one of them. The Uso brother went flying right into the middle rope.
The Shield slowly gained control of the match by way of Reins knocking one of the Uso brothers off the ring apron face-first into the announce table.
The Usos eventually fended off The Shield in time to make a timely hot tag and quicken the pace of the match.
A huge clothesline out of the corner from Reins halted the Uso’s momentum. Reins went for a cover, but the other Uso broke it up.
One of the Usos eventually attempted a splash from the top rope, but Reins blocked it by putting his knees up.
Meanwhile, Ambrose was talking trash to the Rhodes brothers when the finally heard enough and jumped him. Next thing you know, all three teams were brawling outside of the ring and the referee stopped the match.
The brawl continued inside of the as the Usos and the Rhodes brothers disposed of The Shield. The Rhodes brothers and the Usos were left standing in the ring as they stared each other down.
After the break, it was announced that the Rhodes brothers would defend their tag team titles in a triple threat match at Hell in a Cell against The Shield and the Usos.
It was now time for the contract signing for the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell. After all of the participating parties were in the ring, Orton was given the first opportunity to speak his mind.
Orton started his spiel by giving Bryan credit for getting up every time he’s knocked down. He then said that he wouldn’t be getting back up after Hell in a Cell.
Orton then talked about surviving the Undertaker and beating Cena and Sheamus inside Hell in a Cell. Because of all of that, he told Bryan that he had no idea what he’s getting himself into. He ended his speech by saying that Bryan’s first Hell in a Cell will be his last.
Orton dropped the microphone, picked up a pen and signed the contract. Bryan grabbed the microphone and said that Orton has pushed him to his limits every time they stepped inside of the ring. But the both of them know that if it weren’t for so many outside distractions, including Triple H, he would already be the WWE champion.
He also said that he is more than capable of smashing in his face that Triple H and McMahon covet so much.
He then thanked Orton for pushing him beyond just a B+ player, exposing himself for merely a corporate patsy and exposing Triple H and McMahon as the villains they really are.
Bryan followed all of that up by putting his name on the dotted line as well. Triple H grabbed the microphone and told Bryan that he’s seen guys like him come and go a million times — guys like Chris Jericho, Edge and Rob Van Dam.
Triple H then said that they were all very talented and top guys, but they weren’t the one (neither was Triple H for that matter). He then said that if any of them were the face of the WWE back in the day, they’d all be working for Ted Turner right now (Ouch).
He then said that if Bryan thinks he’s been playing in the big leagues now, when he steps inside that Hell in a Cell, he ‘s going to prove to the world that he’s nothing more than a B+ player.
Bryan then challenged Triple H to take off the corporate suit and put on some wrestling gear so he can show him personally how good he is. Triple H responded by saying that if he was going to get back into the ring, it would be to fight a star, not Bryan. It would be a waste of time. He then said that Michaels should have never wasted his time training him.
Michaels took offense to that last statement and said he didn’t waste his time training Bryan. He then asked Triple H what happened to him. He wanted to know what happened to the guy who drove the tank into WCW.
He then said that all he cares about is making sure that there’s a new WWE Champion next week. Orton then jumped on the microphone and said that he knows that Michaels has an agenda against him.
Triple H grabbed the microphone and said that at the end of the day, Michaels will do what’s right. Michaels agreed by saying he will do what’s right for the business he and the fans love.
Michaels then asked Triple H what he had against Bryan. He asked was it because he’s smaller than Triple H. Or that he had a “insanely grotesque” beard. Michaels said he had one a couple of months and kind of like it.
Or is it because after everything Triple H threw at him, Bryan proved him wrong.
Out of nowhere, Big Show drives a semi truck into the arena for no real reason other than to copy something that’s already been done.
Big Show got out of the truck and told Orton to turn around. Orton did and was met by a running knee from Bryan. Bryan walked over to the truck to celebrate with Big Show to end the program.