The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com five years ago this week…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 7, 2013
PITTSBURGH, PA. AT CONSOL ENERGY CENTER
LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-The show opened with a video package on the finish of the Battleground PPV main event with Daniel Bryan having Randy Orton locked down in the Yes Lock with Big Show’s interference. They showed Big Show winding up and swinging, but did not show the contact of the KO punch. See, PPV buys did get something exclusive for their money.
-Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera showed a wide angle of the crowd. It was quiet and low key with pyro. Justin Roberts introduced Stephanie McMahon as “a primary owner of WWE.” Cole, alongside Jerry Lawler and JBL, was shown at ringside stating that Stephanie and Triple H had to leave the arena before the show began last night.
(WK Reax: I don’t care what storyline you’re trying to tell, when you tell your viewers that the owners of the company didn’t bother to stick around to watch a show you just paid $55 for, you feel like a real sucker. Imagine the NFL showing Jerry Jones walking out before yesterday’s Cowboys-Bronco’s game or drawing attention to it. They’d certainly explain what was so important that he left a huge early season game.)
Lawler said he expects Stephanie to have a meltdown. JBL said he thinks Big Show’s reckoning is about to happen. Stephanie said the last night at Battleground the main event “wasn’t just compromised, it was ruined.” She said she knows the fans are angry. She said she is angry, and Bryan and Orton are livid. Steph said it is the fault of one man, and he must answer to everyone. After a pause of a few seconds, Big Show’s music played.
(WK Reax: There was just an awkwardness to that opening two minutes of TV. It felt like a funeral or a wake. Even Stephanie seemed to be a little on edge in a different way than usual.)
Big Show entered the ring and tried to talk to Stephanie, but she fired at him: “Shut up!” She said he’s been under pressure lately but his actions last night were inexcusable. She asked what he had to say for himself. Show shrugged and said, “Sorry.” She mocked him and said he couldn’t say that with any conviction. She called him “a sorry pathetic excuse of life.” She said her husband has bailed him out more times than she can remember. She said they bought his mortgage. She said he’s broke because he can’t manage his finances, his career, or even himself.
She said it’s time for him to man up and take responsibility for his actions. He said flatly: “Man up. Okay. Can I go now?” Steph poked him in the chest and said he can’t go now. She sternly said she doesn’t just own his home, she owns him. She said he doesn’t have the right to free will and cannot do anything unless she or her husband personally approves it. She told him to beg the fans for forgiveness, on his hands and knees. He looked down at her and smiled and shook his head no. She said Show doesn’t have a heart or a soul. He laughed and said he’s not begging. He said he knocked out Orton because he couldn’t take it anymore. He said he knocked out Bryan “because you told me to.” She said that’s typical of him to try to twist things around. She said they weren’t even there last night.
Show said Brad Maddox works for her and her “son of a bitch husband.” She slapped him six times, then fire him. Big Show stared down Steph, dropped the mic, and walked out. He yelled at the crowd a few times, “I’m fired!”
(WK Reax: I’m not sure Stephanie trying to blame Big Show for “ruining the main event” is going to temper the frustrations paying customers had at the ending of last night’s show. It’s the right thing to say storyline-wise, but it doesn’t change at all the fact that a lot of viewers – nearly all, actually – realize that WWE is in control of such things and their booking “ruined the main event.”] [c]
-WWE Fact: Last night Battleground had more social activity than every show on ABC, CBS, HBO, TNT, FOX, and ESPN.
(WK Reax: Boy, if that doesn’t show that social media scores can be a good thing or a bad thing, and sometimes a potentially very bad thing.)
-A clip aired of Stephanie firing Big Show. Lawler said that was tough to take.
1 – DAMIEN SANDOW vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Sandow’s early chinlock showed way too much light. Ziggler could reach his hands into the opening by his chin and move his head around. The rest of his body language was good and intense, though. Lawler said he can’t believe Big Show kept his composure. JBL claimed Big Show acted alone and he wasn’t buying the conspiracy theory. He later said you do what your boss tell you. Cole called him out on that. JBL said he was inferring things he didn’t say. Sandow knocked Ziggler to the floor at 3:00 before they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break Sandow threw Ziggler into the ringpost at ringside. Lawler said this is the least impressive showing they’ve seen from Ziggler, but that’s because of the aggressiveness of Sandow. When Ziggler rallied at 11:00, Sandow knocked him off the top rope. Ziggler, though, came back with a Fameasser out of nowhere for the win.
WINNER: Ziggler in 12:00.
-Backstage Stephanie paced behind Maddox and chewed him out, saying they trusted him to do a good job, but it was a mess. He said first the Rhodes Brothers won, there was a blackout, Scott Armstrong was reinstated, and Big Show ruined the main event. She blamed him for everything. She said he’s lucky he’s not facing the same fate as Big Show. She asked if he made the arrangements they talked about. He said yes. She said he has to publicly apologize and tell the WWE Universe how he will make it up to them.
-They showed a clip of Bruno Sammartino making an appearance on stage in front of his hometown Pittsburgh fans. It aired live on the WWE App. Cole said he just turned 78 years old, and Lawler led the crowd in singing happy birthday to him. Cole said, “In my mind, the greatest of all time, not counting Triple H, of course.” Okay, he didn’t say the Triple H part.
(2) ROSA MENDES & AKSANA & ALICIA FOX vs. NATALYA & JO JO & EVA MARIE
Rosa has blonde hair now. It was pretty clunky when Natalya wasn’t in there, and passable when she was. Natala made Fox tapout to the Sharpshooter at 3:00.
WINNERS: Natalya & Jo Jo & Marie in 3:00.
-Maddox walked onto the stage and apologized for what happened at Battleground. He said to assure that Bryan vs. Orton has a definitive ending, the rematch will be held inside Hell in a Cell. And to ensure there are no further controversies, there will be a special guest referee. He said he will introduce three Hall of Fame candidates later. He said he won’t decide who the referee is, the fans will. The crowd cheered a little. Booker T walked out and said he would be a good referee who would do what’s right for the fans and business. He asked for their vote.
-Lawler said he is leery of someone who says they’re going to do what’s right for business. Lawler said there is no better time to download the app. They showed the tutorial on the screen how to do it. It was a brief version. Lawler said, “Don’t get mad at us. We know most of you know how to install an app.”
(3) LOS MATADORES (w/El Torito) vs. 3MB (Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal w/Health Slater)
Lawler called El Torito “El Dorito.” JBL corrected him. Cole said Triple H invited Vickie Guerrero to Raw tonight, and that news broke on Tout. He said Zeb just sent out a Tweet asking why Los Matadores are even in WWE. Cole said El Torito looks like a mini Giant Gonzalez to him. After the match Torito sent Slater flying out of the ring with a body scissors off the ropes.
WINNERS: Matadores in 2:00.
-They showed Ryback, Curtis Axel, and Paul Heyman heading toward the entrance tunnel. [c]
-They showed the exterior of the arena, and then a clip of Steph firing Big Show.
-Ryback’s music played as Heyman stood in the ring with Axel and Ryback. Heyman bragged about beating Punk with both arms tied behind his back. Heyman showed a clip of what happened at the PPV and then just shook his head at what Punk did. This went on an awkwardly long time. Eventually he began to speak, but then Punk’s music interrupted him.
Punk walked onto the stage pretending to have sore balls. Then he strutted and smiled on the stage. He said he hit Ryback in the (bleeps) because he wanted to see if he actually had any. Heyman said he’ll never have a chance to do that again. Punk said he will do it again, and by it he means beat Ryback. He said that’s what you get when you’re a bully and you pick on somebody who’s smarter than you.
Heyman turned to Ryback and said he’s bullying Punk and he should do something about it. Ryback said, “First of all, Punk, if you had any balls I’d have hit you in them a long time ago.” Ryback challenged Punk to a fight right now. Truth’s music played and he walked onto the stage. Punk and Truth quickly decided to walk to the ring to face Axel and Ryback. Suddenly it became an official match.
(4) C.M. PUNK & R-TRUTH vs. CURTIS AXEL & RYBACK (w/Paul Heyman)
Ryback bailed out and tagged in Axel once it was clear Punk was starting. Axel applied an early headlock and looked quite pleased with himself.
(WK Reax: I still think Axel’s character is going to click when he decides to be the crazy sidekick character out of TV shows who’s just not all there in the head and takes sadistic pleasure in beating on people, isn’t the brightest strategist, but is just mentally unstable enough to make up for it.)
They cut to a break very early in the match. [c]
The heels isolated and beat up Truth for six minutes after the break. Truth sent Ryback head-first into the top turnbuckle and then kicked Ryback down. He took a minute to recover, but eventually hot-tagged in Punk who went to work on both heels in a flurry of offense. Punk hit the top rope flying elbow drop onto Axel, knocked Ryback off the apron, and then gave Axel the Go To Sleep. Ryback interfered, but Punk kicked him out of the ring. Punk then tagged in Truth so he could make up for losing to Axel last night. Truth finished Axel with his axe kick.
WINNER: Punk & Truth in 12:00.
-They went to the announcers who said the next referee candidate would be revealed next. [c]
-Roberts introduced Bob Backlund next. He didn’t get much of a crowd response, but this crowd was pretty timid all night. Backlund said he doesn’t like to use language like “Hell” so he doesn’t like saying the name of the PPV. He said he’s been a good guys in the business and he’s been bad, and he doesn’t care who wins or loses, he’ll do the best job and make the decision that is best for the match. He said if things get out of control, he will put that person in the cross-face chicken wing. He then told the fans to stand up straight when he addresses them. He was as odd and crazy as ever.
-They went to the announcers were shaking their heads in amazement. Lawler said he’d love to see Backlund referee that match.
(5) RANDY ORTON vs. KOFI KINGSTON
The announcers argued over whether Orton knew Big Show was instructed to knockout Daniel Bryan. They cut to an early break. [c]
After the break Orton was in the obligatory mid-match chinlock. JBL said this is two PPVs in a row that Orton was cheated out of the title. Cole was exasperated and said it’s actually three times in a row Bryan was cheated out of the title. Kofi made a comeback around 9:00, but Orton turned a springboard body block into a powerslam – and boy did that look close to a bad landing on Kofi’s head based on the awkward timing of Kofi floating so long in the hair. Lawler even noted that Orton “scraped Kofi head against the mat before he slammed him.”
Orton set up the DDT off the middle rope at 12:00, but Kofi backdropped out of it. Orton avoided a sidekick at ringside and then clotheslined him. Orton then DDT’d Kofi onto the mat at ringside off the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Orton finished him with an RKO.
WINNER: Orton in 13:00.
-As Orton celebrated his win, Daniel Bryan ran to the ring and attacked Orton. The crowd exploded for the first time all night. He knocked Orton to the floor and then dove through the ropes at him. Bryan knocked Orton over the announce desk and punched away at him behind the desk. A bunch of referees and producers ran out to pry Bryan off of Orton. Bryan broke free and chased Orton to the back. All of the cameras backstage were too busy filming people on their cells phones and catering so none were available to film Bryan’s pursuit of Orton so they cut to a break instead.
-Vickie chewed out some guy backstage for taking a vacation without asking her. Alberto Del Rio walked up and asked what she was doing there. She said she was invited by Triple H to make a special announcement tonight. He asked if she would name him the new Face of WWE since he is the only champion they have (not counting the IC and US champions). He said he was going to ask her for the night off after destroying RVD last night, but he now realizes the people need to see their champion, so he trusts she can pick an ideal opponent for him. He then kissed up to her and said he believes she is the most beautiful, talent G.M. in Raw history. He called her sexy. She loved the compliments. He gave her a romantic kiss on her cheek. After he walked away, she sniffed the scarf and her expression changed. She dropped the scarf on the floor. JBL said Alberto might have made a mistake.
-Roberts introduced the final candidate to be special referee: Shawn Michaels. Michaels said the fans are aware that Triple H is his closest personal friend. He said the key word in that phrase is “personal.” He said they are talking business tonight. He told the fans he trained Daniel Bryan. He said he wouldn’t let that sway him, nor would he let his friendship with Triple H sway him. He said when it comes to Orton, they don’t like each other, so he won’t let that sway him. He told the fans to download the WWE App and vote for “ol’ H-B-Shizzle.” (Road Dogg is apparently scripting his promos.) The crowd chanted “H-B-Shizzle.” Michaels said they’d get that trending. He said he doesn’t care if it’s best for business, he’ll do what’s best for the fans.
(WK Reax: That was the surprise a despondent or dismayed WWE audience needed tonight, in the arena and on TV. Once again, when WWE is in trouble, they can always count on HBK to be one phone call away. The downside is that Michaels has apparently watched the abhorrent stuff Triple H has been doing, and he didn’t really have anything to say about what has been going on with his “closest personal friend.” It’s not that it makes him a co-conspirator or anything, but HBK’s first appearance would have been better if it was a more serious confrontation of Triple H for what has happened to him since he gained power in the front office. That seems like it’s be a more natural first return appearance by Michaels.) [c]
-The announcers commented on still-shots of the end of last night’s PPV main event. A clip aired of Steph firing Big Show.
-They went to the announcers who said Maddox made a “huge announcements” that fans could pick the referee for the HIAC title rematch.
-Vickie revealed that Ricardo Rodrigues would be his opponent. After Ricardo’s ring entrance, Vickie announced that Del Rio’s opponent at Hell in a Cell in three weeks would be John Cena.
(6) ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. RICARDO RODRIGUES
Ricardo was so surprised and upset by that news, Ricardo schoolboyed him from behind for a sudden leverage three count.
-Afterward Ricardo stood on the announce table and celebrated, but Del Rio charged at him and locked his legs out from under him. Ricardo kicked him in the face and then threw him into the ringside steps. The crowd chanted “RVD! RVD!” Del Rio put Ricardo’s arm in the chair and stomped on it, just as he did RVD’s before beating him at the PPV. [c]
-After a recap of the previous segment, the announcers hyped the Del Rio vs. Cena match. Cole said Cena Tweeted during the break, “That Champ is back!”
-Fandango’s ring entrance took place with Summer Rae.
(7) FANDANGO vs. ZACK RYDER
Ryder got in a little offense late in the match, but Fandango won with his top rope legdrop in what amounted to a virtual squash.
WINNER: Fandango in 3:00.
-Lawler revealed results of the poll. Michaels won easily with 61 percent, followed by Backlund at 32 percent, and Booker T in last place at 7 percent. Cole said that’s who he voted for, so he made a different just like the WWE fans. He called them “fans.” Isn’t that still a no-no? It’s the WWE Universe. [c]
(8) GREAT KHALI & SANTINO (w/Hornswoggle) vs. THE REAL AMERICANS (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro w/Zeb Colter)
Santino took a beating early, then tagged in Khali who did his chops on Cesaro. Cesaro came back with the giant swing for the win.
WINNERS: Real Americans in 3:00.
-Afterward Cesaro gave Hornswoggle the Cesaro Swing. Santino made the save, but not before he had trouble timing it right without bumping into Hornswoggle. Lawler said Hornswoggle might be a few inches taller after that swing. He stood up and stumbled, then he was so dizzy he took a swing at Santino.
-Cole threw to Titus O’Neil speaking about losing his grandmother to breast cancer when he was 17.
-They showed Miz heading to the entrance tunnel. Miz TV was next. [c]
-Miz TV: Miz introduced the Wyatt Family. Their video aired, and then Wyatt walked out with the lantern. When the lights came on, Rowan and Harper were standing behind him. He quickly jumped to ringside, but was stuck between them and Wyatt. He charged at Wyatt and kicked him, then retreated to the save. Wyatt leaned backwards and laughed at him with his head completely upside down. Lawler wondered what he was laughing at. A small but audible “Husky Harris” chant broke out among the very quiet crowd.
-Maddox asked Stephanie if he acquitted himself as G.M. tonight. Steph said he has a long way to go to do that. In walked Triple H. They kissed and hugged. She said it’s about time he got there. Hunter said it’s been a hell of a day and a lot of work cleaning up somebody’s mess from last night. He asked if the moron screwed up anything today. Hunter told Maddox to stay in the back because he’s going out there to personally make sure that what happens is best for business. Steph asked Maddox, “You got that?” He said, “Yes, ma’am.”
-The Shield made their ring entrance through the crowd. [c]
-Cole announced that R-Truth would face Axel for the IC Title on Friday’s Smackdown, earning it after pinning Axel earlier tonight.
-Triple H made his entrance and sat at ringside. The announcers wondered why he decided to come to ringside.
(8) THE SHIELD (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. GOLDUST & CODY RHODES & DANIEL BRYAN
Goldust started against Rollins. Rollins trash-talkedhim enough, so Goldust blew in his face. Cody tagged in at 1:00 and got in some offense before the Shield took over. Ambrose knocked Cody of the top rope and he sold a shoulder injury as they cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
After the break, the Shield continued to beat on Cody. At 9:00 Cody hot-tagged Bryan who got a very nice pop, but nothing near what he was getting two months ago. Bryan gave Rollins a released overhead suplex onto his head, then a running dropkick into the corner. Bryan gave Rollins a head scissors off the top rope, and when he went for the cover, Reigns broke it up. Goldust ran in and chaos broke out. Reigns took Goldust down. Cody entered and kicked Reigns in the face, then clotheslined him to the floor. Triple H stood up and watched the chaos.
Rollins back suplexed Bryan, but Bryan landed on his feet, kicked him, and applied the Yes Lock. Rollins was about to tap when Ambrose entered with a chair. Bryan cut him off, but the ref called for the DQ. As the ring announcer was about to declare the babyface trio the winners via DQ, Hunter said he wasn’t going to let another night end indecisively. He called for a no DQ rule in effect for the restart.
Bryan cleared the ring and then dove onto Ambrose and Reigns at ringside. As he celebrated with “Yes!” chants, Orton clotheslined him out of nowhere at ringside. Rollins then covered Bryan for the win. Cole said that all worked out rather conveniently. JBL groaned at Cole’s suggestion of a conspiracy theory.
WINNERS: The Shield in 12:00.
-The Shield triple-teamed Goldust afterward. Big Show’s music played and he walked out. There had been a small “Big Show” chant a minute earlier. Show walked to the ring. Triple H stood behind The Shield who held their ground in the ring. Show entered he ring, but The Shield swarmed him. He tossed them all off of him, then looked at Triple H. The Shield got up, though, and took Show down. Triple H ordered them to keep administering the beatdown and “finish him!”
The Shield was setting up the big powerbomb, but he broke free and ended up face-to-face with Hunter. He gave Hunter the KO punch. Hunter went down like he was shot. The crowd cheered and Show walked out of the ring. Bryan entered the ring as Show’s music played. He fixed Hunter’s tie and then chanted “Yes! Yes!” as the show ended.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (10-4-13): Kofi vs. Big E, The Shield & Orton vs. Big Show, RVD vs. Fandango, Ryback vs. R-Truth, plus Alberto, Brie Bella, 3MB, Triple H