WWE Raw Review: Trouble In Paradise For Daniel Bryan?

WWE-Raw-logo Last week, we saw a new corporate culture emerge on the WWE's flagship broadcast Monday Night Raw. This new regime of the COO and the McMahons made clear their new chosen son, Randy Orton, and their opinion on the People's champion Daniel Bryan. Triple H gave the reasoning for the boardroom takeover of the WWE title as it being better for business. Is it really? That question became more pronounced on this weeks edition from Phoenix, Arizona. The show begins with Triple H coming out recapping the last week of WWE surprisingly glossing over Smackdown. He says that he had no problem with Daniel Bryan until he insulted his wife last week. Now it's personal. Triple H gloats by saying, Randy Orton has been good for business. He says ratings are up, social media buzz is at an all-time high and business is booming. He then brings out the champion. Orton comes out and Triple H congratulate him for breathing new life into the company . It presents them with a new Cadillac Escalade. (The car got its own theme music.) After a little bit of a lovefest from Randy, Daniel Bryan comes out and looks over Randy's new ride saying the Viper earned his new toy. Bryan says that it's a pretty car for a pretty guy. And that he's glad that Hunter finally showed his true colors He says that Hunter has a narrow minded view just like his father-in-law. Daniel continues by saying that at Night of Champions that he will rearrange the new face of the WWE, Randy Orton. He says he will be the face of company and the new WWE champion. Randy Orton comes to the defense of his new corporate playmate. Hunter tells keep wishing on a star Jimmy Cricket because it makes a difference who you are Daniel. (Maybe they should have used that line last week in Anaheim) But he's all about opportunity, so Triple H books Daniel Bryan in a common match with the Shield who stands guard at ringside. Good opening segment, maybe it went on a little too long. Daniel Bryan is to be finding himself in this new role. Still not sold on the Shield being the corporate lapdogs for the new regime. We then see the latest from Paul Heyman and CM Punk. They announce that fans will get to choose the stipulation with CM Punk versus Curtis Axel. The choices are Paul Heyman is banned from ringside, Heyman as special guest referee and if Punk wins the match with Axel, then he gets Heyman in the ring. I wonder what they'd pick? Coming back from commercial, Damien Sandow is an ringside to check out his nemesis Cody Rhodes goes against Fandango. The match starts out normally with the feeling out process. Then, Fandango's music hits again with the Miz (complete in Fandango gear) Rosa Mendes coming out of the stage goofily dancing. This distracts the dancing superstar enough to get the victory. Sandow comes in the ring to attack Rhodes and the Miz comes in to attack Fandango. Brad Maddox comes out and stopped the proceedings booking a tag match at that very moment between the four. The second match saw Fandango leave Sandow high and dry causing Rhodes and the Miz to take advantage getting the victory. Interesting to see Rhodes pick up two victories and the appearance of Rosa Mendes. I was wondering what they were going to do with her considering the new package of her former tag team Primo and Epico as the new Los Matadores. Josh Matthews is in backstage area with Christian and asks what he thinks of the new corporate system. Christian says it's tough because he still has the wounds of the first McMahon Helmsley era. He says that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. This brings in the face of the WWE, Randy Orton, who says it seems like Christian isn't happy with the changes around here. And with the care of all that tonight with one more match. He says the result will be the same as SummerSlam with him being the victor and Christian losing (I get what they're doing making his new force for the heroes to battle against. But they have to be careful if they make them to insurmountable then the fans may stop caring) After touting their social media, we find Paul Heyman freaking out at the fact that CM Punk is politicking the fans to pick the stipulation based with Heyman getting in the ring. Axel tells Paul that Punk has to win the match and he can't out wrestle him. Curtis asks Heyman if he trusts him and Paul reacts by saying like his life depended on it. Great stuff. Heyman is really a master at delivering lines. He finds little nuances in everything and gets the most out of every word We see another video package for the masked matadors. Next up is Curtis Axel versus CM Punk. They announce the stipulation is Heyman has to get in the ring with Punk if he wins. (Surprise€ Surprise). Heyman does a great thing here as the match is going on. He did not come out with Axel because he did not know the stipulation. Instead, he stood At the top of the ramp getting closer during the match if Axel had the advantage and farther away if CM Punk gained momentum. It's those little things that matter. In the end, Punk wins with the GTS but a very strong looking Axel. Heyman tries to escape few times but is brought back by security is thrown in the ring. Just as CM Punk looks to be ready to exact his revenge on Heyman, Axel returns low blowing CM Punk. Then Axel grabs handcuffs from from Heyman's pocket making the straight edge superstar unable to throw punch. But he does kick Axel and gets a few on Heyman before he is taken down by a steel chair. Heyman's new protégé goes underneath the ring and grabs a Singapore cane. He then handed his stick to Heyman, who proceeds to batter his old compatriot while screaming at him saying he loved him. Axel holds him while he is tied up in the ropes and Heyman takes a couple more swings. Punk gets violently tossed to the outside and Paul continues beating him with the clearly destroyed stick. Finally, it is broken up as we come back from commercial and see the wounds of war on CM Punk's back. Great stuff all the way around. Heyman says later that it may feel like man and we will have a two on one handicap match at Night of Champions. This is really how you build a great angle and how you build a babyface/heel dynamic with one-upmanship. Keep this in mind for later with Daniel Bryan Then we get to our Total Dvas segment of the night which saw Brie Bella with sister Nikki and Eva Marie at ringside, versus Natalya with Cameron and Naomi backing her up. Jo Jo was the ring announcer for the match that was not that great Natalya even had a botch which is unusual. In the end the outside help was to be a distraction leading to the Bellas getting the win. What came next was quite interesting as the Divas champion AJ drops a cherry bomb not quite a pipe bomb on the girls saying that he helped save the division and that they get their fifteen minutes of fame. That she has worked hard breaking down walls and glass ceilings to get where she she is at. She brings up all the drama in storylines from the WWE's reality series. Good delivery. She says that no women in the division can touch her and that this is is reality. Really great stuff. This definitely means Kaitlyn stuff is on the back burner . It'll be interesting to see how they follow this up going forward. We then move on to Alberto del Rio versus Rob Van Dam if RVD wins he gets a title shot at Night of Champions. In all honesty, the match was nothing to write home about. In fact, RVD looked the weakest he has his return. The fact that Ricardo Rodriguez had to distract Alberto who did not cheat at all during the match doesn't help Rob in the slightest. But it is now set for the pay-per-view. So hopefully, they can put something better together . Ryback bullied Josh Matthews backstage after being asked about his recent behavior. Randy Orton and Christian was up next. Good match. It ends with Randy Orton getting one up with a thumb to the eye and an RKO. But before the Viper can celebrate Daniel Bryan pops up on the Tron and standing in front of Randy Orton's new Escalade. He says that it's a pretty car for a pretty man but at Night of Champions will he be the new WWE champion he backs away to reveal yes spray-painted in orange on the hood. He goes around the car showing that the whole car has been spray-painted with yes. At least Daniel Bryan got some sort of revenge from last week. However, it was short lived. The next segment, Randy Orton with Triple H and Brad Maddox looking over the damage of the car. Maddox says that the locker room is laughing about this. The COO says that Daniel Bryan destroyed the property he gave Randy Orton. He wants that every superstar on the stage during the main event to see what happens when everybody laughs at him. Orton adds that Bryan will pay for this. They show the awesome video package with Bray Wyatt explaining the tale of Sister Abigail. Really need to go check that out if you haven't. Titus O'Neill defeats Jack Swagger with a little help from Darren Young. It's interesting to see the winning streak continue. Moving on to the main event, René Young attempt to get word from the superstars as the match is ready to begin, but no one will talk against the new regime. The match itself was pretty solid for the first contest as Bryan had a good match with Seth Rollins. While it was nowhere near the match they had on Raw two months ago or the stuff from ROH on HDNet back in 2009 it was still awesome. Rollins needs to watch taking those crazy bumps. Some of those look scary. Daniel Bryan gets the victory with an amazing off the top rope German Suplex. The next two falls were just disqualifications as the Shield takes over on Daniel Bryan destroying him completely. Per Triple H's order the roster watches on unable to help. Randy Orton comes down to pick up the pieces delivering RKO as the corporate regime heads up the ramp as the superstars look on. The show thing goes off the air. Two things here. First off, the reason why Stone Cold versus Vince worked so well was there was a sense of can you top this. They realistically did two weeks worth of material in one. Bryan getting the better of the corporate regime should be the end of it. Instead, it is just shown that no matter what he does cannot beat them. Austin always found a way no matter situation to get the better of the crew. All this does is make Bryan the new Kofi Kingston back in 2009. Secondly, the Big Show looks like he's going to blow wanting to help out Bryan. Why doesn't he? Big Show is supposed to have that ironclad contract right? Doesn't that mean that he can do whatever and not get fired? Plotholes€ Potholes. I imagine there going to bring this up next week. It really does surprise me that on a show that had that awesome Punk - Heyman dynamic that they keep Daniel Bryan that weak as a babyface. Definitely a really good show though. If you have time check out the opening segment, the divas segment with AJ and the and the Seth Rollins-Daniel Bryan match
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Paul Jordan is a handycapable source for all things entertainment. Whether he is watching the guys who go bump in the night with the world of professional wrestling or the latest small or big screen feature you will receive the blunt and honest truth on everything