Monday Night Raw
Date: September 2, 2013
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

We’re closing in on Night of Champions with the main story still being Bryan vs. the Corporation. The interesting turn of events on Smackdown was Big Show getting very close to helping Bryan without actually doing so, by standing over Bryan to prevent Shield from attacking him. It only lasted for a few moments though as HHH made him leave to humiliate Show again, but the fuse is about to run out. Let’s get to it.

We open with Shield in their now usual spot between the ring and the stage and HHH in the ring. The Game introduces Orton for his opening address. Orton talks about how it’s his job to protect this company and he won’t let its image be tarnished. If you disrespect Orton, you’re disrespecting the WWE. The fans disagree with this theory and let the champion know about it. Last week Daniel Bryan defaced Orton’s new car so on Smackdown, Orton defaced Bryan by spray painting him.

Orton plays the audience’s favorite game by asking questions and then answering them himself. Does Bryan deserve a title shot? NO. Would Bryan have a chance against Randy Orton? NO. Will Bryan ever be an A-list player? NO. Should Bryan give up his title shot at Night of Champions? YES! HHH says that it’s his job to give the fans what they want every week. Over the last few weeks, HHH has been starting to worry about the health and well being of Daniel Bryan.

That’s a problem and the fans are making it even worse with their YES chants. Those chants are making Daniel Bryan confuse popularity with what is best for business. A few years ago there was a superstar named Doink the Clown. Doink was wildly popular but the idea of Doink being WWE Champion would have been bad for business. Daniel Bryan will never be WWE Champion, but maybe HHH can bring back the Cruiserweight or European Titles as realistic goals for Bryan.

Cue Bryan to the arena to say that HHH and Orton have made some great points. Bryan is thrilled to be compared to Doink the Clown but he doesn’t think Doink ever got chants like the ones he’s getting. The only clowns are standing in the ring right now because they think he’s actually giving up his title shot. HHH already gave up his manhood when he cut his hair and became a sellout and Orton gave up being in the WWE Title picture until someone gave him the title on a silver platter.

Bryan says he won’t give up his title shot and Orton wants to know why Bryan would be willing to take so many beatings. Bryan talks about how he’s used to being told he can’t do things but he’s proven everything wrong. That’s something Orton can never understand because he was handed everything. Daniel doesn’t think he can beat Orton for the WWE Championship because he knows he can.

Orton and HHH know it too because they keep putting him in handicap matches and gauntlet matches instead of letting them go one on one. Orton may have the genetics of a champion but he doesn’t have the heart of a champion. HHH wants to know why Bryan is so angry all the time. The anger should be directed at Big Show for never helping him when he has an iron clad contract. Therefore tonight it’s Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan.

HHH and Orton are in the back and seem very pleased with their decisions tonight. They run into Cody Rhodes who thinks the main event tonight will be great as long as no one gets involved. HHH wants to know why people would get involved. Cody asks Orton why he doesn’t want to face Daniel Bryan because that would be best for business. HHH doesn’t like Cody’s input and gives him a match with Randy Orton as a wedding present. If Cody loses he’s out of a job.

Fandango vs. The Miz

A hiptoss puts Fandango down but he rolls to the floor to escape the Figure Four. Miz sends Fandango into the barricade and does a quick dance with Summer before heading back inside. Fandango gets in a few shots to take over but a kick to the chest gets two for Miz. We hit the chinlock and take a break. Back with Fandango in control despite apparently having a broken nose.

Fandango goes to the middle rope but gets taken down by a dragon screw legwhip. The Figure Four is countered again and Miz misses the corner clothesline. A slingshot legdrop puts Miz down but it hurts Fandango’s leg again. Not that it matters as Miz puts on the Figure Four from the mat for the submission at 8:15.

Result: The Miz b. Fandango – Figure Four (8:15)

Booker T gives Daniel Bryan a pep talk but thinks maybe Bryan should give up his title match. Bryan: “Tell me you didn’t just say that.” It’s about Bryan’s life, not the title. Booker warns that HHH and company could ruin his life.

We recap Heyman/Axel vs. Punk from last week.

Dolph Ziggler vs. ???

Ziggler is here for a match but Dean Ambrose jumps him from behind and sends Ziggler into the post. Ambrose says Dolph needs to show more respect. Here’s Dolph’s opponent.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback

Ziggler says he can go but walks right into an overhead belly to belly. Ryback pounds away at the back of his head and tosses Ziggler around by the hair. Dolph is stomped down as the idiot fans tell Ryback that he can’t wrestle. The Meat Hook is blocked by a dropkick followed by a Stinger Splash and right hands in the corner. Not that they matter though as the Meat Hook takes Dolph down and Shell Shock is good for the pin at 3:06.

Result: Ryback b. Dolph Ziggler – Shell Shock (3:06)

Brad Maddox tells Stephanie and HHH that Big Show isn’t willing to fight Bryan tonight. Stephanie will deal with this in public.

Here’s Stephanie to deal with Big Show. She talks about how Big Show helped her grow up backstage as a kid and how much she respects him. Big Show comes out and is told sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to. She reminds him that he’s broke due to handing out too much money and some bad investments.

The iron clad contract doesn’t work if he doesn’t perform and his career can’t go on much longer due to getting older. How many other jobs are there for people his size? Stephanie says that the reality for Big Show is he won’t live that long because of his size, so he needs to take care of his family while he can. I have no idea what to say to that. Stephanie hugs him and Big Show is about to cry.

Edge will be back next week for one night only. Cool.

Big Show broke a lot of stuff during the break.

Here’s how to download the WWE App because the WWE thinks you’re stupid.

3MB vs. Prime Time Players

It’s Slater and Mahal for 3MB tonight. Slater starts with Titus and is quickly launched into the corner. Titus stomps him down and blows the whistle at the same time (Cole: “Whistle while you work!”) before it’s off to Young. Mahal comes in and gets caught in an atomic drop for two. The announcers of course ignore the match to talk about Big Show and his contract.

Young gets taken down and triple teamed by the Band with Slater getting two off a neckbreaker. Mahal comes in to drop a bunch of knees to the chest but Slater charges into an overhead belly to belly suplex. The hot tag brings in Titus who gets two off a big boot to Mahal. Everything breaks down and the Clash of the Titus gets the pin on Mahal at 5:28.

Brad Maddox is on the phone when Heyman comes in and says get off. Heyman isn’t pleased with the idea of having to face Punk at Night of Champions because he’ll disappear if Punk gets his hands on him. He wants an explanation but here’s HHH to say he approved that match. Heyman’s tone changes as he asks why HHH made the match. HHH talks about how it’s what the fans want and maybe Heyman can weasel his way out of it.

Bray Wyatt talks about the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun and melting his wax wings. Kane tried to get too close to the Wyatt Family and it was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. Kane made his bed and now he’s burning in it.

Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

If Cody loses he’s gone. Orton pounds away in the corner to start and takes him down with a clothesline. Rhodes is draped over the top rope and sent out to the floor, but he sends Randy into the steps for a breather. Cody cranks on the arm and gets two off a dropkick before pounding away in the corner. Orton gets choked on the ropes but comes back with a poke to the eye for two. More right hands have Randy in control but Cody comes back with a release front suplex and right hands of his own in the corner. Orton hits the backbreaker out of said corner to send Cody to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Orton throwing Cody back inside for two but Cody comes back with an elbow to the jaw and an uppercut to put Rhodes down. A springboard missile dropkick gets a close two and the Disaster Kick gets the same. Orton sidesteps the moonsault press and puts Cody down with the Elevated DDT. The RKO is countered into the Cross Rhodes out of nowhere for a VERY close two. I thought that was it. The fans are WAY into Cody here but Orton snaps his throat across the top rope. Back in and Rhodes gets two off a rollup but another Disaster Kick misses and the RKO connects for the pin at 17:36.

Result: Randy Orton b. Cody Rhodes – RKO (13:35)

HHH comes out to praise Cody but fires him anyway.  The fans chant for Cody as he limps to the back.

Here’s CM Punk with a kendo stick and something to say. He says “I promise” which are words that don’t mean much to a lot of people around here. Punk says he’s tired of empty threats and that he’s having trouble of trying to come up with what to say next. Right now he doesn’t want to wrestle because he wants to fight. He wants to fight Paul Heyman and if he has to go through Curtis Axel to do so then that’s fine with him.

After what happened last week, even he doesn’t want to fight himself right now. Punk guarantees that in 13 days, he’s going to get what he wants. Heyman has been talking about Punk breaking his heart, but at Night of Champions Punk is going to break Heyman’s face. He promises.

We look at Heyman’s attack on Punk last week again.

Big Show comes in to apologize to Bryan for the match tonight but Bryan understands and says he’ll win.

We recap AJ’s promo from last week on the Total Divas. It’s going to be interesting to see who is supposed to be cheered in this story.

Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella

The winner gets AJ at Night of Champions. AJ comes out for commentary and Natalya gets a quick rollup for two on Naomi. Brie hits her X-Factor for two on Naomi as well as AJ talks about how worthless the Total Divas are. Naomi tries a sunset flip on Brie but Natalya sends the Bella to the floor. The Sharpshooter is countered into a small package for two but Natalya catches Brie coming off the top with a cross body. Naomi hits the Rear View on Natalya but AJ comes in for the DQ at 1:48. Fourway for the title I guess.

Result: Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella went to a no contest when AJ Lee interfered (1:48)

The Total Divas beat AJ down post match.

Los Matadores are still coming.

Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam

Since RVD hasn’t beaten Sandow enough times already. Sandow pounds away in the corner and hooks a quick chinlock. More stomping ensues until Van Dam comes back with some kicks to the face. Cue Del Rio for a distraction, allowing Damien to knock Rob to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Rob fighting out of a chinlock, only to be put right back in the same hold. Rob fights up again but gets caught in an Edge-O-Matic for two. The Russian legsweep and Wind-Up Elbow get the same and it’s off to a double chicken wing. Rob fights up again and kicks Sandow down before getting two off Rolling Thunder. Damien gets snapped across the top rope and the Five Star gets the pin at 10:06. Del Rio never did anything.

Result: Rob Van Dam b. Damien Sandow – Five Star Frog Splash (10:06)

Stephanie makes the obvious fatal fourway for the title shot at the PPV.

We recap tonight’s show.

Cody is escorted from the building by security and admits that Orton was the better man. He rants about how much the McMahons have hated the Rhodes over the years and walks away.

The roster comes out to watch the main event again.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show

Big Show doesn’t want to do this so Bryan goes after him, only to be shoved down. Bryan comes right back at him again with Big Show shouting don’t make him do this. Show throws him to the floor with Big Show saying calm down. Bryan comes back in again and takes Show down with some kicks, only to have Big Show LAUNCH him off in a kickout. The running dropkick in the corner has Big Show staggered but Bryan charges into a superkick. There are the chops to Bryan’s chest and a hard slam for good measure.

Show tells Daniel to stop fighting but Bryan keeps coming at him. Bryan dropkicks the knee out and fires off the kicks. A short DDT gets two but Big Show powers out again. Bryan goes up but dives into a shoulder to the ribs. Show loads up the WMD but starts to walk away. This draws out HHH and the Shield with the Game saying get back in the ring right now. Show keeps going as Shield gets in and beats Bryan down for the DQ at 5:56.

Result: Daniel Bryan b. Big Show via DQ when Shield interfered (5:56)

Post match Big Show is about to cry again when HHH says knock Bryan out. Show loads up the punch but rolls to the floor instead. Stephanie meets him in the aisle and says think about his family which sends Big Show back inside. HHH tells him to knock Bryan out again and after showing off his Knucklehead level acting chops, Big Show knocks Bryan out. This would be the sixth consecutive show ending with Daniel Bryan laid out since he won the WWE Championship. Show leaves but here’s Orton to stand over Bryan to end the show.

This concludes our live coverage of Monday Night Raw.  Make sure to join us Thursday night for Impact Wrestling at 9PM EST.

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