WWE Raw Review: Has The American Dream Brought Hard Times To The Corporate Regime?

Things were certainly on a high in Detroit for Daniel Bryan at Night of Champions. The bearded wonder captured his...

Paul Jordan

Contributor

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Things were certainly on a high in Detroit for Daniel Bryan at Night of Champions. The bearded wonder captured his second WWE championship with no real interference from the corporate regime. However, how long would that high last as they rolled into Cleveland and Monday Night Raw? Unfortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to find out.

The show opens with the new WWE champion Daniel Bryan coming out and celebrating with the crowd. Bryan says thank you to all his supporters and leads them in a yes chant before the COO makes his way to the ring.

Triple H says that he would love to come down and say you proved him wrong. However, there was a dispute with the count of referee Scott Armstrong. He brings the referee to the ring to get to the bottom of the situation. Hunter asks Armstrong if he gave a fast count and he says he doesn’t know. Triple H plays a video of the offending count the night before and asks the referee for the truth. He showed the clip multiple times. Armstrong then proceeds to tell Daniel Bryan, he has them, implying that Bryan was in on the whole thing. The head referee is told to go and meet with Triple H later. The COO then tells the current WWE champion he has to give up the title until further investigation can happen, putting the title in abeyance.

(Apparently, someone loves their thesaurus this week as this was used more times than I can count. Why does WWE feel the need to use such language. Why can’t they just say the title is being held up until further notice. If announcers have to explain it every time, maybe the word should be replaced by plain language. )

Daniel says no, of course, Triple H says if Daniel doesn’t give the title to him.the COO threatens to take it from him. Hunter says he thought Shawn Michaels would’ve taught him better. As the two look to face-off, Randy Orton comes down and wants his title. Triple H says he has it. Randy comes in leveling Daniel Bryan when he wasn’t looking. Triple H grabs the title belt and leaves. Orton stands over Daniel Bryan ending the segment.

(A lot of things to talk about here. First thing, they took a page out of the WCW playbook doing what Eric Bischoff and the New World Order used to do. It’s obvious that Hunter had something to do with this considering his Scott Armstrong conversation later in the night. Armstrong gets fired, but Triple H says he will take care of his old friend with a severance package. It definitely felt like Armstrong was perplexed by Hunter doing this… the referee definitely feels like a scapegoat for them not to acknowledge Daniel Bryan as champion. Interestingly enough, bringing up Shawn Michaels has me interested in the future. It should be quite interesting to see the two founding members of DX facing off over what’s good for business.)

I don’t really have problems with the segment as it was well done by all. I just have a problem with them constantly yanking the rug off underneath him and making him battle from the bottom again. Austin battled as WWE champion as the underdog. Why couldn’t Bryan? Eventually, if you keep doing this you will be playing with fire for the future of the character. People are behind him now. But do this over and over again and you may lose the interest of fans. With the known secret he will get screwed soon enough.

We come back and we see Hunter talking with Stephanie as Orton comes in demanding his WWE title back. Stephanie stops him and says he deserved to lose. She wonders where the Randy Orton was from back in 2009 that handcuffed Hunter and gave her the DDT. They want that Randy Orton. They tell him find that guy. And maybe he’ll be the face of WWE again.

(So you want a guy who had a complete disregard for authority, who provided bodily harm to your employees, your father and other superstars family members? I get what they mean they want him to have the killer instinct. It just came off a little strange.)

The action begins this week with the customary pay-per-view rematch as Dolph Ziggler battles Dean Ambrose in a non-title match. This is much better than the night before at the pay-per-view. The two seem to really find the chemistry that they were sorely lacking in Detroit. Dolph is a madman when it comes to the crazy bumps taking one over the top rope from the corner. He needs to be careful. Ziggler is going to really hurt himself one of these days. Dolph gets his redemption from the night before executing a pretty cool counter on Ambrose hitting the Zigzag for the win.

Big Show is backstage with Brad Maddox as they wait on Stephanie McMahon. We come back from commercial the Raw general manager confirms the main event of Daniel Bryan versus Roman Reigns with Hunter and Stephanie reprimands the Giant reminding him of his financial woes. The Senior VP of Creative tells the world’s largest athlete to stay back in her office until she calls for him. Big Show agrees.

Fandango wins against R-Truth with the top rope leg drop. I find it really interesting that they brought up that he hasn’t won a dance contest yet. Getting a hint that the dancing gimmick may be going away soon enough.

We see Dusty Rhodes backstage for Stephanie’s business proposal tonight talking with Booker T, Natalya, Primetime Players and others.

We see a recap of the last few weeks with Cody and Goldust. Then a very serious American Dream makes his way to the ring. He says he’s not here as Dusty Rhodes he is here as Virgil Runnels. He does a great promo saying how being a parent the greatest thing you’ll ever do. The Hall of Famer goes on to say as a father you do whatever you can to provide for your children. Dusty talks about Cody getting fired and wonders if it was right for business. Rhodes says he wasn’t the one to call this meeting and he wants to get it done.

Stephanie comes out and says she was touched by his words and offers him a wedding gift for Cody and his new bride. A Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card. Stephanie said the decision to fire Cody was weighing on them heavily. So she offers Dusty a choice; Cody could get his job back with the company or Dustin/Goldust could get a job. Dusty refuses, saying he will not choose favorites between his children. Stephanie says he is selfish for not being decisive. Rhodes tells her to go to hell. McMahon says she is sorry he feels that way.

The Shield comes down to surround the ring. Stephanie says this doesn’t seem fair and brings out Big Show. She says Dusty had the choice either he can destroyed by the Shield or punched by the Big Show. Show says he won’t do it and the Hounds of Justice begin to circle the Hall of Famer. The Giant looks to come to the aid of the American Dream. Seeing this, Roman Reigns goes and gets steel chairs and look to attack Rhodes. A very despondent crying Big Show looks at Dusty and has to nail him with the KO punch or watch his friend get beat down. Big Show nails the KO punch with Stephanie, barking orders in the background. Show cradles Dusty after the punch stays with him as medical attention is needed.

(Great segment. Based solely on the promo from Dusty Rhodes. Everything else felt like a rehash. I understand the logic of Rhodes in the segment. Although wasn’t the whole point of this thing to get Cody his job back? Even if Dustin was offered a job wasn’t just trying to get his brother back in as well. It was a little flawed logic wise, but it was still good nonetheless.)

We see backstage and Rhodes is being loaded into an ambulance with everybody looking on. Big Show gets in the back and goes to the hospital with the Hall of Famer. We later learn that Dusty has regained consciousness and is being kept overnight for observation.

Next up, our divas segment of the week as we have another six man tag as the total divas cast battles the other ladies with AJ and Natalya on commentary. Natalya’s headset didn’t work with the announcers claiming AJ did it. I don’t know what to do about the announcers and AJ but they all go heel when she shows up. Rainbow Brite Bella wins the match and there seems to be dissension within the ladies again.

It looks like Natalya will get a rematch at the next pay-per-view.

Brad Maddox is seen backstage with the Miz.

RVD beats Damien Sandow with the Five-Star Frog Splash. Damien Sandow announces he is still the Money in the Bank contract holder.

We hear during the end of this match, not only the wrong music being played but that the Miz will battle Randy Orton.

We go to the next match, The Miz enjoys hometown reaction the Cleveland area and his mom and dad are in the audience. While the Miz is with his family, the Viper strikes throwing the Miz in the steps before the match begins. Orton destroys him on the floor. After a commercial break, we see the Miz favoring his shoulder wanting the match to begin. The awesome one battles Orton as best he could until Randy got the advantage on the outside of the ring sending him into the ring post. the Viper does this infamous DDT on the arena floor. Randy grabs a chair from ringside and proceeds to bring the Miz in the ring and put the chair around his neck. He looks like he may do a kick to the head instead dropping a knee drop to the back of the head.(Later it was given that the Miz suffered a damaged thorax.

We hear from Paul Heyman in a wheelchair and Ryback. Heyman gloats about being CM Punk saying he suffered major damage and that Ryback stood up when other Paul Heyman guys wouldn’t. Ryback says CM Punk was a bully and he hates bullies..Ryback said he would not be going anywhere. Heyman is so appreciative of Ryback that he kisses him on the cheek.

It definitely seems like Curtis Axel is on the outs with his mentor following last night to create a good dichotomy in the group. it will be interesting to see where this goes.

The Usos earn a tag title shot in a three-way elimination match against Tons of Funk and The Real Americans.Great ending sequence with the real Americans and Jimmy and Jey. To be fair. I’ve seen it done a little bit more smoothly in ROH by Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander against Haas and Benjamin, but it’s good.

We see a video package the matadors once again and a reading challenge. We come back and hear from Bray Wyatt saying that that patience is a virtue. He says people don’t understand what it is wanting more and more not realizing there is life beyond their four walls. Bray says that when animals are sick you put them down. And promises Sister Abigail that he will put them all down.

Daniel Bryan is backstage getting cheered by the boys even getting a hug from his girlfriend Brie Bella.

And finally in the main event, Daniel Bryan defeats Roman Reigns by DQ . Reigns looked really good throughout the match. Randy Orton and the Shield attack Bryan attempting to put his head in a chair. However, the babyface locker room empties out and comes to the rescue. They dispatch Orton and crew then celebrate with Bryan as we go off the air.

So it seems like Dusty Rhodes was the catalyst for this revolution between the roster and management. How will the repercussions affect those talents going forward? How will we decide a new WWE champion? There are definitely some questions that need to be answered. Overall, it wasn’t a bad show. It flowed rather well and had some really interesting talking segments in a couple of good matches. If you have time I would check out the opening segment Ambrose versus Dolph, Dusty Segment, Paul Heyman’s promo, Bray Wyatt promo and the main event. Until next week.