Here’s a rundown of the Nov. 18 edition of Monday Night Raw:
The final edition of Raw before the 2013 Survivor Series came to us live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Because the show emanated from Nashville, WWE decided to coin the show “Raw Country.” Why they would do this on the final episode of Raw before Survivor Series is beyond me.
But, you know. Ratings!
We started the show with three big announcements. First, that country music act Florida Georgia Line would put on a live performance. I know nothing about country music so this did not get me excited at all.
The second one was that for the second week in a row, Curtis Axel would be defending his Intercontinental Championship, this week, against Big E Langston.
The last was that the match that was teased at the end of Raw last week (The Shield and The Wyatt Family versus CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Goldust and The Usos) would happen for free on Raw. Not at Survivor Series.
How that makes sense is also beyond me. It’s not like Survivor Series is such a stacked card at this point.
The Authority were the first ones through the curtain Monday as they made their return from vacation last week.
WWE made it seem as if last week’s show was complete chaos because Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were absent — all because a couple of people got attacked. I guess that doesn’t happen on any other shows in wrestling. My mistake. I forgot that this was sports entertainment.
Triple H said that it was good to be back and that last week’s chaotic show proved just how vital he and his wife are to maintaining order on Raw.
Mind you, the Authority went on vacation and apparently left no one to run things while they were gone.
Triple H went on to say that he and his wife could not have been more disappointed about how last week went and that Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero will be dealt with later on.
Stephanie McMahon said that the couple was well rested and they are back. Before she got much more out, WWE Champion Randy Orton decided to interrupt the proceedings.
Orton walked to the ring with a purpose, as he looked none too happy about the power couple’s absence last week.
Orton grabbed a microphone and said that Triple H and McMahon shouldn’t blame anybody for how last week went because he blamed the both of them.
Orton went to say that they didn’t leave anyone in charge while they were away, they were the ones that didn’t tell The Shield to watch his back and they were the ones that gave Big Show a title shot at Survivor Series that he didn’t even deserve.
Orton then said that since he is the face of the WWE, he is the most valuable asset and should be protected.
McMahon told Orton that he was probably right when he cut her off and said that he was definitely right. Triple H stood up for his wife and asked Orton whom he was talking to. Orton told him that he was the face of the company.
Triple H responded by saying, “You are the face of our company,” referring to himself and McMahon. McMahon admitted that there was some confusion last week, but was interrupted by a very soft, “Excuse me.”
Out came Smackdown general manager Guerrero alongside Maddox. Maddox said that he’s a man that likes to take responsibility for his actions and that last week was all Guerrero’s fault.
Triple H said that it doesn’t matter whose fault it was because they would have to pay for it. McMahon then did what no one asked her to do, put Maddox and Guerrero and separate matches.
She put Guerrero in a one-on-one match with WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. Triple H then put Maddox in a match against Orton. Triple H also made it no disqualifications to make it fair for Maddox.
Maddox’s match was first, but he attempted to walk backstage get out of dodge. But the director of operations (What does that even mean?) stopped him dead in his tracks.
Match 1 – Randy Orton vs. Brad Maddox
Orton began to slowly walk toward Maddox, but Maddox immediately jumped out of the ring. He reluctantly got back in only jump back out.
Maddox ran to the announcer’s table and grabbed a microphone. He pleaded with Orton, telling him he did not have to take part in the match.
Maddox attempted to run away through the crowd, but Orton quickly caught him. Orton began to drag Maddox back to the ring, but Maddox hit Orton with the microphone and put him flat on his back.
Maddox followed that up by pushing Orton into the ring post. Orton rolled back into the ring when Maddox hit him with a DDT.
Maddox went for a cover, but Orton kicked out after two. Orton then sat up like the Undertaker and gave a death stare to Maddox.
Orton quickly grabbed Maddox and tossed him out of the ring and then over the announce table.
Orton then tossed Maddox into the steel steps and the ring post. He then put Maddox on the barricade and hit his patented DDT on the outside of the ring.
Orton grabbed the microphone and tossed it into the ring and followed that up by tossing Maddox back in.
Orton then mounted Maddox, pinned his arms down and repeatedly hit Maddox in the head with the microphone, which prompted the official to stop the match.
Winners via stoppage: Randy Orton
Match 2 – Curtis Axel (c) vs. Big E Langston – Intercontinental Championship
Big E Langston began the match by using his power advantage on Axel. Axel landed a couple of shot to Langston, but the big man cut him off very quickly with his power.
Axel rolled out of the ring to slow the early onslaught from Langston. Langston gave chase, which prompted Axel to jump back into the ring.
Axel cowered in a corner until he saw an opening to attack Langston. His attack didn’t last long as Langston continued to overpower Axel.
Axel managed to create some separation from Langston and took firm control of the match as the telecast went into commercial break.
After the commercial break, Axel remained in control of the stronger Langston. Langston eventually used his power to gain some temporary momentum, but was quickly cut off via a drop kick from Axel.
Langston found a way to power Axel off of him once again and landed a big splash. Langston covered Axel, but came away with only a count of two.
Langston then attempted to hit the big ending, but Axel wiggled out of it. Axel then attempted his neck breaker-finishing move, but Langston shook him off and landed big clothesline.
Langston then pulled down the straps to hoist Axel up for the big ending. Langston hit it and won his first Intercontinental Championship.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston
After the match, Orton was backstage watching Langston celebrate on the monitor with The Shield.
Orton wanted assurance from the trio on whether they would have his back when he faces Big Show at Survivor Series.
Roman Reins said that if that’s what the Authority wants, then that’s what they’ll get. Reins then told Orton that if they have his back, he better have theirs.
After the break, all of the Divas except AJ Lee and Tamina were in the ring in the ring dressed in their best country music outfits to play a game of musical chairs.
After the first round, Natalya was the one Diva left without a chair. Alicia Fox was the next to go. After Fox’s elimination, the Divas began pushing and shoving with each other while the music was playing.
Instead of normal elimination, blows were exchanged and an all out brawl ensued. After the smoke cleared, the Total Divas were left standing in the ring. The time-wasting segment ended with a convenient plug for … Total Divas Sunday at 10 p.m. on the E! Network.
Match 3 – Big Show vs. Ryback
Big Show and Ryback began the match with a couple of collar-elbow tie-ups. Big Show shoved Ryback down after the second.
Ryback backed into a corner, but had no time to rest as Big Show followed him into it and began to deliver a series of body shots.
Big Show then began to flat out dominate the match until Ryback rolled out of the ring to collect himself. Ryback eventually climbed back into the ring and landed some body shots of his own to Big Show.
Big Show quickly halted Ryback’s momentum with shoulder block and some big slaps across the chest.
Ryback was finally able to get Big Show off his feet by taking out his knee. With Big Show grounded, Ryback began to work over the giant.
Big Show eventually fought off Ryback with a back body drop that left both men lying on the mat. Big Show suddenly gained a head of steam with a couple of clotheslines, but was cut off by Ryback via a spine buster.
Ryback went to the corner to set up for the meat hook clothesline, but was caught by the big hand of Big Show wrapped around his throat. Ryback still managed to fight off Big Show and land the meat hook clothesline.
Ryback then picked up Big Show for the shell shock and hit it. Ryback went for a cover, but Big Show kicked out.
Ryback took time to pull down his straps as he attempted to get Big Show up once again for the shell shock. Big Show shoved him into the ropes. When Ryback bounced back, he was met by a knockout punch from Big Show.
Big Show slowly pinned Ryback for the victory.
Winner: Big Show
Before Big Show could celebrate his victory, Orton jumped into the ring and tried to attack him, but Big Show hit him with a spear.
Orton immediately rolled out of the ring to avoid further damage from his challenger at Survivor Series.
We then cut to Zack Ryder, who was backstage talking to the Florida Georgia Line. Their conversation was cut short by 3MB who were decked out in rhinestone cowboy outfits.
Florida Georgia Line couldn’t seem to guess whom they were, but 3MB let them know by singing a little tune for them.
After the commercial break, Orton was in the trainer’s room for the second week in a row. And once again, he was wondering where The Shield was when Big Show speared him.
The Real Americans were in the ring, as Zeb Coulter had a microphone in hand. A little side note, there was section of the crowd that signs that read “Cesaro Section.” The signs looked pretty official, which leads me to believe that WWE handed them out.
Match 4 – The Real Americans vs. Kofi Kingston & The Miz
Antonio Cesaro and the Miz started things off with some chain wrestling. The Miz was getting the better of the exchange until Cesaro landed a big elbow to his jaw.
The Miz recovered quickly, however, and gained control of the match. His momentum ended when Cesaro caught him out of mid air and hit him with a back breaker.
Jack Swagger was tagged and kept the momentum going for the Real Americans. The tag team landed a double team move and began to cut off the Miz from Kingston.
The Miz finally managed to land some offense when Kingston tagged himself in and began cleaning house.
Kingston eventually went to the top rope and attempted a cross body, but was caught out of the air by Swagger. Swagger proceeded to plant Kingston hard into the mat and came away with a near fall.
Swagger then ran Kingston for what looked like a clothesline, but Kingston did some acrobatic counter into a DDT.
Kingston went to tag in the Miz, but the Miz jumped off the apron to finally (and I mean finally) turn back into a heel.
Swagger quickly grabbed Kingston by the ankles and locked in the patriot lock. Kingston had no choice but to tap out.
Winners: The Real Americans
The Miz turned heel after almost a year of being a face. He should have never been a face. He was absolutely terrible as a face, which is not all his fault. He’s simply not the likeable. So, he’s better off as a heel.
After that much-needed turn of events, Guerrero was walking backstage and knocked on the trainer’s room door. After she knocked on the door she yelled, “Someone help me!” and fell to the ground as if someone had assaulted her.
The trainer came running out of the room and saw Guerrero “unconscious” on the ground and gave her medical attention.
After the break, the paramedics were now involved as Guerrero was being stretchered out of the building. McMahon stopped the stretcher and told the medical staff to take her straight to the hospital.
Guerrero slyly sat up and smiled.
McMahon then said that they needed to take her to the hospital after they wheel her to the ring for her match. McMahon even said, “Just wheel her out.”
Guerrero begged and pleaded not to be taken to the ring, but was against her will.
Match 5 – Vickie Guerrero vs. AJ Lee
Just as McMahon said, Guerrero was wheeled out on a stretcher to the ring. John Bradshaw Layfield said, “I’ve never seen anybody get stretchered to the ring.”
Once AJ Lee skipped into the ring, the EMTs literally dumped Guerrero into it. Upon seeing AJ Lee on the other side of the ring, Guerrero fainted.
Guerrero woke up and asked the official for some water. After a couple swigs of water, Guerrero handed the bottle of water back to the official, who officially started the match.
Guerrero immediately tried to run out of the arena, but was cut off at the pass by Tamina Snuka.
Guerrero then used Snuka’s hand to fan herself and pushed her away as she began to run some more. AJ Lee skipped after her and tossed her back into the ring.
Guerrero pretended to have another hot flash and even sought help from AJ Lee to fan her off. AJ Lee quickly turned against her and locked her in the black widow for the quick win.
Winner: AJ Lee
Guerrero fainted again after the match.
Then it was announced that there would be a 7-on-7 Survivor Series match between all of the Divas going against the Total Divas.
Triple H then had Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler in his office and told them they were going to resolve some issues.
He told them they were going to have a Broadway Brawl. What that meant? Triple H admitted he didn’t even know, but said they were going to be entertaining.
Match 6 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow – Broadway Brawl
The ring was set up with a bunch of musical instruments, including a drum set and a cello. Sandow jumped on Ziggler as soon as the bell rang with some knees to the gut.
He then tossed Ziggler out of the ring and attempted to hit Ziggler with an electric guitar, but Ziggler ducked out of the way.
Ziggler used the steel steps to catapult himself into Sandow. Both competitors made their back into the ring where Sandow hit Ziggler with a microphone stand.
The two combatants engaged in some back-and-forth action before Ziggler landed a drop kick that sent Sandow out of the ring.
Ziggler then climbed to the top rope, but was shoved into a keyboard by Sandow as the telecast went into a commercial break. After the break, Sandow was still in control of Ziggler.
Ziggler momentarily fought off Sandow, but Sandow used another guitar to slow down Ziggler. Ziggler managed to hit his big DDT to halt Sandow’s momentum.
Ziggler then hit Sandow with a fiddle right across his back. He followed that up with the famasser.
Ziggler attempted to hit the zig zag, but Sandow shook him off. Sandow then rammed Ziggler’s into a steel chair that was propped up in the corner. Sandow went for a cover, but Ziggler kicked out. Sandow then tossed Ziggler into the cello. Sandow followed that up with another shot with a guitar and covered Ziggler, but only gained a near fall.
Sandow grabbed another electrical guitar and charged at Ziggler in the corner, but Ziggler ducked out of the way, sending Sandow into the ring post. Ziggler rolled up Sandow for a cover, but Sandow kicked out.
Ziggler then hit turned around and hit Sandow with a piece of the drum set, which got a big pop from the crowd in Nashville.
Ziggler followed that up by hitting Sandow with an even bigger piece of the drum set, which wrapped around Sandow’s arms.
Ziggler then picked up an acoustic guitar, did the Jeff Jarrett strut and hit Sandow over the head with it. Ziggler covered Sandow and gained the victory.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
After the match, the Authority was in their office when Orton interrupted them. Orton wanted to know whether or not he had their confidence to beat Big Show at Survivor Series. McMahon said that they needed to think about it.
We then got a glimpse of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena with his arm in a sling talking to Florida Georgia Line.
After seeing Cena backstage, we then got Cena in the ring. Cena grabbed a microphone and thanked the fans in Nashville for the warm reception because he needed it.
Cena said the energy from the audience is what pushed him come back as quick as he could from surgery. But after last week, he questioned whether or not he came back too soon and if he should be the World champion.
But every time he sees the crowd he says yes to tall of those questions.
He said that the injury will not keep him from going to Survivor Series and retaining his world title.
Del Rio decided to make an appearance as he gave Cena a round of applause. He sarcastically commended Cena for his spirit and iron will.
Del Rio then asked Cena if he could hold the title belt above his head with injured left arm. Cena didn’t do it and told Del Rio the only thing he needed to worry about is that he would be ready come Sunday.
Del Rio told him that he know he’ll be ready to humiliated in front of his family in Boston. Del Rio then dropped his scarf and entered the ring.
Del Rio said that he was going to take advantage of Cena’s arm being in the sling. Cena said he was right and took the sling off his arm and began attacking Del Rio.
Del Rio escaped an attitude adjustment and ran up the ramp as he couldn’t believe Cena’s arm wasn’t really hurt.
Match 7 – The Rhinestone Cowboys (3MB, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal) vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods
Maybe I missed something, but I had no idea Xavier Woods was brought up to the main roster. Good for him. You know, he and R-Truth won the TNA tag titles for Adam “Pacman” Jones at Bound For Glory a couple years back. Yup, that actually happened.
As for the match, R-Truth started the match against Mahal and got in a little bit of offense before he tagged in Weathers, I mean Woods.
Woods quickened the pace quite a bit and gained some offense on Mahal before being cut off by McIntyre. Woods managed to get to his corner eventually and allowed R-Truth to enter the match and take control.
After cleaning house, R-Truth tagged in Woods who landed his finish onto McIntyre to pick up a win in his Raw debut.
Winners: R-Truth and Xavier Woods
R-Truth and Woods engaged in some country dancing after the match.
Orton apparently waited in the principal’s office to receive word on whether or not the Authority has confidence him. McMahon said that they absolutely do have confidence in him.
Triple H then said that is why there will be no help for him at Survivor Series when he faces Big Show.
After the commercial break, Florida Georgia Line performed. The essentially took the place of a Santino-Los Matadores match.
Match 8 – Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Goldust & the Usos vs. The Shield & The Wyatt Family
During the entrances, it was announced that Rhodes, Goldust the Usos and a mystery partner would take on the Real Americans and the Shield at Survivor Series.
The action in this was as good as you would expect from these 12 wrestlers. There was good storytelling as well where the Shield gained control of Rhodes, but refused to tag in any members of the Wyatt Family, only each other.
Once Luke Harper finally tagged himself into the match, he and Seth Rollins almost got into it. Their bickering allowed Rhodes to make it to his corner and tag in Bryan, who cleaned house.
Bryan was taking people out left and right until Harper caught him and put him in a power bomb. Harper tagged in Bray Wyatt, who maintained control of the match.
Wyatt even tagged in Reins to keep the offense going on Bryan. That opened the floodgates as the Shield and the Wyatts began to tag each other into the match.
Bryan eventually gained an opportunity to tag in one of his partners, but all of their opponents jumped into the ring and knocked them off the apron.
Bryan was finally able to make it to his corner and tag in CM Punk who jumped into the match on fire.
Thing eventually broke down, as they usually do during these types of matches, a flurry of finishing moves were landed. The Usos did dueling suicide dives, Reins hit a spear, Rhodes hit cross Rhodes, Rollins landed a turnbuckle power bomb, CM Punk and Bryan executed the old Hart attack and CM Punk ended the proceedings with a GTS to Ambrose for the win.
Winner: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Goldust & the Usos
I’m telling you, these guys tear the house down every single week in the main event. I mean every single week. The Shield, the Usos, CM Punk, Bryan, Wyatts, Rhodes and Goldust, they all put on an absolute show in that ring.
After the match, the Real Americans hit the ring and helped the Wyatts beat on Bryan and CM Punk.
Out of nowhere, Rey Mysterio comes out clears the ring. CM Punk and Bryan land their finishers again and that’s the show. I guess that solves the mystery partner issue.