WWE RAW Results & Recap (9/16/2013); Triple H Vacates the WWE Title & The Locker Room Fights Back

Credit – PWTorch

WWE Raw TV Results
September 16, 2013 – Episode #1,059
Live in Cleveland, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

WWE Raw opened with a video package recapping the low (Paul Heyman “pinning” C.M. Punk) and high (Daniel Bryan capturing the WWE Title) last night at Night of Champions.

Live in the arena, Justin Roberts introduced the new WWE champion Daniel Bryan to a very loud reception. Bryan walked out on-stage with his new WWE Title belt and led the crowd in “Yes!” chants before entering the ring with a big smile on his face.

In the ring, Bryan clutched the title belt and held it up for the crowd. The side-panel “logo” on the title belt is “Yes!” written out in block letters on top of each other. Bryan waited out a loud, lengthy “Daniel Bryan” chant before addressing the crowd.

“You guys are awesome,” Bryan opened. Bryan said there are a lot of things he would like to say right now, but he thinks what says it best is… Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Suddenly, Triple H’s music interrupted. As Hunter marched to the ring with a frown on his face, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL set the stage for Hunter’s presence. Hunter angrily took the mic and said he wants to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room – the fast-count in the title match last night. Hunter said Bryan’s victory is tainted at this moment. So, he wants to bring out referee Scott Armstrong right now.

Pause for “No!” chants before Armstrong walked out to the ring hanging his head after being called out by the principal. Once Armstrong arrived in the ring, Hunter went to the footage from last night’s title match. But, first, he would like to review Armstrong’s normal cadence. After a replay of Armstrong’s normal count during Bryan vs. Orton last night, Hunter went to the “finish” of the main event. The footage showed Armstrong with a hitch in his arm on the two before the three. Hunter wanted another look as the crowd chanted, “Yes!” for the visual of Bryan winning.

Hunter then went to a side-by-side of the fast-count compared to the normal cadence. Hunter told Scott that it was an incredibly fast count, then asked Armstrong to explain himself. “It was a fast count. I don’t know,” Armstrong mumbled. “I made a mistake.” Hunter told Scott that he is a senior official of WWE. He said that kind of fast-count doesn’t just happen. “I made a mistake,” Scott answered. Hunter said he’s known Scott for 15 years and he’s never known Scott to make a mistake like that. And if he ever did anything, he always admitted to it. “Tell me the truth!” Hunter told him.

Scott breathed, then eyeballed Bryan. Armstrong suggested with a nod that he was working with Bryan, who denied it. Armstrong left the ring as Bryan shouted that he had nothing to do with this. Hunter said he cannot believe that Bryan would conspire to win the WWE Title as Bryan adamantly denied the accusation.

Hunter said he is holding the title vacant, not giving it back to Randy Orton. Hunter then told Bryan to give him back the WWE Title as the crowd shouted, “No!” Hunter told Bryan that he has disgraced himself and “Shawn,” who Hunter said he thought would have taught him better. Hunter told Bryan to give him back the title or he will take it from him.

Suddenly, Randy Orton’s music played. Out came the former WWE champion. Hunter told Orton to calm down because he has this under control. Hunter shouted at his kids that there will not be any fighting because he has this. Hunter told Bryan to be reasonable because he is no longer WWE champion. “The title is held up. There is no champion. I will get to the bottom of this,” Hunter said.

[Q2] Bryan surveyed the title belt as the crowd shrieked and told him not to do it. Bryan took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and looked toward the arena, which was hot with a “No!” chant. Bryan then got in Hunter’s face and shouted, “No!,” so Orton grabbed Bryan and gave him an RKO as Hunter yanked the toy away from his student. Hunter then left the ring with possession of his title belt toy as Orton stood over his fallen classmate. “Randy Sucks!” chant from the crowd as Orton continued to stand over Bryan before Raw faded to commercial.

[Commercial Break at 8:16]

Back live, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were backstage. Hunter said he can’t believe Bryan was the problem all along, not Armstrong. Randy Orton then jumped in and demanded his title belt back. Stephanie shouted in Orton’s face that he better get in line because he doesn’t deserve the title after losing to Bryan last night, fast-count or not. Stephanie shouted in Orton’s face that he better find the sick, maniacal Randy Orton that DDT’ed her after handcuffing Hunter years ago. Stephanie growled that they’ll find a new Face of WWE if he can’t step it up. Steph stormed off, then Hunter glared at Orton on the way out.

Back in the arena, U.S. champion Dean Ambrose was standing by in the ring. Dolph Ziggler’s music then played to bring out the hometown star. Big reaction for Ziggler, who played to the crowd as Cole noted Ziggler can earn a future U.S. Title shot if he wins this re-match from Night of Champions last night.

1 — U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER — non-title match

As the bell sounded, Cole noted that Ziggler admitted on the App that he hasn’t won many matches lately, which he blamed on Hunter getting in his head. The crowd was loud with a “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant as the announcers debated Bryan and Armstrong allegedly in cahoots on the fast-count last night. Back to the match, where Ambrose sent Ziggler flying over the top rope to the outside. Ziggler in trouble heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:24]

Back from break, Ambrose was controlling the action in the ring. Ambrose took Ziggler up top and raked his bake with a dramatic scratch before executing a superplex for a two count.

[Q3] Ziggler fought back with headbutts, but Ambrose cut him off. Ambrose landed some body shots, but Ziggler came back with a big DDT that planted Ambrose face-first into the mat. Ziggler followed with a leaping dropkick into a corner splash. Ziggler followed with ten big punches that fired up the crowd into a running clothesline. Ziggler then looked to the crowd to set up for and deliver ten big elbow drops to the chest – with a shout-out to Jerry Lawler – for a two count.

Ziggler’s showing off out of the way, Ambrose came back with punch strikes to the face. Ambrose followed with a stomp to the face for good measure. Ambrose then mocked Ziggler’s new signature pose before lifting him up for a potential finisher, but Ziggler flung him away and nailed Zig-Zag for the pin and the win.

Afterward, Ziggler celebrated with the crowd before Justin Roberts announced that Ambrose is still U.S. champion. In the ring, Ambrose sold trying to figure out which city he was in as he received his title belt.

WINNER: Ziggler at 11:53; Ziggler earns a future U.S. Title shot. Good win for Ziggler to get back on track. This was more about Ziggler winning than Ambrose losing, which was good.

Raw GM Office: Big Show was standing by with Raw GM Brad Maddox. Brad tried to make conversation about the McMahons being here “any minute.” Show was not impressed. More awkward standing around before Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:36]

Raw GM: Stephanie, Triple H, Big Show, and Maddox were now in the office. Brad told Stephanie that Dusty Rhodes is here, then sped off. Stephanie then addressed Show, asking how it felt to be suspended without pay. Steph reminded Show that he is broke, so Show will sit down in this chair and watch the show without getting into trouble. Unless she calls for him.

Announcers: Cole said the McMahons continue to humiliate Big Show. Meanwhile, they’ve booked Daniel Bryan in a match against Roman Reigns tonight. The announcers then transitioned to a look at the C.M. Punk vs. Paul Heyman business at Night of Champions when Ryback helped Heyman win.

Tonight: Ryback speaks. Did Paul Heyman know that Ryback was going to help him last night? Answers and more later tonight.

In-ring: Fandango’s music played to bring out Summer Rae on-stage paving the way for Fandango. FandangoRae slowly danced down to the ring as the announcers tried to make conversation. Cole eventually noted that Fandango is in action next.

[Commercial Break at 8:43]

[Q4] Back on Raw, R-Truth’s music played to bring out Truth as Fandango’s opponent. Or his dance partner. Cole clarified that it’s Fandango vs. Truth before WWE re-replayed the Smackdown Dance-Off on Friday’s Smackdown.

2 — FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae) vs. R-TRUTH

Fandango did a dance move, so Truth danced, then Truth popped Fandango in the mouth. Truth then chucked Fandango over the top rope to the outside as the announcers debated bad judging in boxing and dancing. Eventually, Fandango came off the top rope with his leg drop finisher. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Fandango at 3:28. A rare victory for Fandango as of late.

Backstage: Dusty Rhodes was shown standing in the hallway surrounded by babyfaces. An awkward-looking conversation involving Natalya & Hornswoggle, the Prime Time Players, and Ricardo Rodriguez ensued as Cole voiced-over that Dusty is up next.

DVD Plug: Triple H’s new documentary. Included was footage from his early years.

[Commercial Break at 8:53]

Raw returned three minutes before the top of the hour with Dusty Rhodes’s music playing to bring out the WWE Hall of Famer to a solid reaction. Justin Roberts gave Dusty the formal ring intro as Dusty walked to the ring with a concerned and determined look on his face. As Dusty entered the ring, the announcers discussed the long history between the McMahon and Rhodes Families.

Once in the ring, a slimmed-down Dusty Rhodes stood in the ring and acknowledged cheers before thanking the crowd. Dusty said he’s not here as the American Dream tonight, but as Virgil Runnels. Dusty – or Virgil – said he wants the McMahons to understand that he’s been down that road before not knowing where the money is going to come from to pay the bills, but you reach down and find a way to do it for the love of your sons.

[Q5 — second hour] Dusty continued in preacher mode that this is not about him, but about his son, Cody Rhodes. Dusty said it wasn’t as part of the Fight, but on a whim because Triple H thinks he knows what’s good for business. Dusty paused and continued the sermon that Goldust came to the plate and swung a mighty swing at Randy Orton. He said that God’s greatest gift to each person in the audience is a child and the Rhodes Family exists to be the best.

Dusty then got down to the business of a business proposition from Stephanie McMahon – or Stephanie Levesque. Dusty told Stephanie to drag her long legs down to the ring and get with it. Steph’s music played to bring out Stephanie with a big smile and over-the-top applause for Dusty.

Stephanie entered the ring and shook Dusty’s hand, noting that was so beautiful. Stephanie told “Virgil” that that was remarkable. Stephanie said her husband’s decision to fire Cody has been weighing on them. She then handed over a piece of paper to Dusty for Cody and his new bride. It was a gift card for Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Dusty flipped it away, then told Stephanie to get to it.

Stephanie said she is the daughter of a genius – the genius behind this “sports entertainment phenomenon.” Steph said what her family has decided is to give Cody his job back. Dusty thought this was done, but Steph said they could give the job to Goldust. Stephanie told Dusty that he can make the decision since there’s only one spot on the roster. Dusty snapped at Stephanie not to take him down this path, then Steph “killed Dusty with kindness” that he can make it right for his do-good son, Cody, or make it right for his bad son, Goldust.

Dusty replied by asking Stephanie if she does this favoritism routine for her children. Stephanie replied that it’s typical Dusty thinking it’s all about himself and it’s all about his decision-making. Dusty then got in Steph’s face and emphatically told her that she can go straight to hell. Dusty started to leave, but Shield’s music played. Shield surrounded the ring as Stephanie stood in the ring opposite Dusty.

With Shield on the ring apron, Stephanie said this hardly seems fair. She then called out for Big Show to come down to the ring. After a pause, Show’s music played. Out came the big guy pointing to himself trying to figure out why he was summoned to the ring. As Dusty covered his mouth in the ring, Show entered the ring and waited for further instructions. Stephanie told “Dream” that since Dusty cannot make the decision on Cody or Goldust getting a job, he gets to decide whether to be dismantled by Shield or knocked out by Big Show.

Dusty had no answer, so Stephanie made the decision for Big Show to knock out Dusty. Stephanie reasoned that Dusty brought this upon himself because he she was offering Dusty’s sons a job. Show refused to follow through, so Stephanie told Shield to get Dusty, but Show stepped in the way. Show yelled at The Shield not to do anything to Dusty, but Roman Reigns brought chairs into the ring to add fuel to the fire.

Show calmed everyone down, then hugged Dusty as Stephanie encouraged Show to do it. As Shield threatened to strike with chairs, Show cried and made a fist before punching Dusty in the face. As Steph smiled in the background, Dusty fell into Show’s arms and Show helped him to the mat while crying. Steph and Shield left the ring before a medic entered the ring to check on Dusty, who was unresponsive. Dusty was eventually fit for a neckbrace as Show leaned against the ring apron selling frustration and sadness. Raw quietly cut to break.

[ JC’s Reax: Any advancement in the story was washed away by the use of real names to make it seem like they’re “shooting.” Everything that happens on the TV show is supposed to be presented as real from 8:00 to 11:05 p.m. EST, so trying to make this seem “more real” by using real names just confuses the audience and is more trouble than its worth. Plus, there was another round of Big Show crying instead of being presented like a big star who the audience should want to pay to see in action. ]

[Q6] [Commercial Break at 9:15]

Back on Raw, Cole recapped a “disturbing scene” of Big Show being forced to KO Punch Dusty Rhodes.

WWE cut to a backstage shot of medics frantically wheeling Dusty down the hallway to a waiting ambulance as Big Show followed. Prime Time Players, Zack Ryder, Booker T, and RVD were close behind calling for someone to call Cody and Goldust. Show then hopped in the ambulance with Dusty and the vehicle sped off for the nearest medical facility.

3 — LAYLA & AKSANA & ALICIA FOX vs. BRIE BELLA & CAMERON & NAOMI — six-Divas tag match

After Dusty was taken away in the ambulance, WWE cut to the ring for the Divas tag match. Everyone was already in the ring with one side apparently being “Total Divas” heels & faces while the other side was non-Total Divas heels & faces. Confused? Divas champion A.J. Lee and Natalya were on commentary representing the teams. Eventually, Brie pinned Aksana to give “Total Divas” a victory. Ringside, Natalya stood up and walked over to A.J. for a staredown over the Divas Title.

WINNERS: Team Total Divas at 2:58. The Total Divas vs. non-Total Divas non-sense continues to be window dressing for the real feud of A.J. vs. Natalya. Natalya doesn’t have much ground to stand on after tapping to A.J. last night at the PPV, but WWE has clearly made this the top Divas singles feud.

Backstage: Hometown star The Miz was shown talking to Raw GM Brad Maddox in the hallway. Maddox indicated with his hand that he’ll think about what Miz proposed to him.

[Commercial Break at 9:24]

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown on-camera. Cole solemnly talked about Dusty Rhodes being knocked out by Big Show and said they hope to have an update on Dusty’s medical condition before they go off the air.

In-ring: Damien Sandow was in the ring. WWE went back to two months ago when Sandow won the World Title MITB briefcase by shoving Cody Rhodes off the ladder at the MITB PPV. Back in the ring, Ricardo Rodriguez walked out on-stage to introduce Rob Van Dam. As RVD made his entrance, Cole noted RVD nearly won the World Title from Alberto Del Rio last night, but Del Rio got himself DQ’ed.

[Q7]

4 — ROB VAN DAM (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. DAMIEN SANDOW

As the match started, Cole tried to direct viewers to WWE’s financial investment, Tout, to see footage of Big Show reacting to Dusty Rhodes being loaded in an ambulance. RVD went for Rolling Thunder early on, but Sandow got his knees up to block. RVD came back with a thrust kick, then climbed to the top rope and nailed a Five-Star Frogsplash. RVD covered and it was good for the win.

WINNER: RVD at 2:40. Basic deal getting RVD back on-track ahead of a likely World Title re-match with Del Rio.

Post-match, Sandow’s music randomly played after the finish, then WWE stopped Sandow’s music and played RVD’s music. RVD then celebrated on the way out with Ricardo. On commentary, Cole relayed news that Miz has a “huge opportunity” later tonight. Damien Sandow interrupted by proclaiming himself still the MITB briefcase holder and future World champion. Sandow’s music then played. Cole continued that Miz has a match against the former WWE champion Randy Orton tonight.

Still to come: Bryan vs. Reigns and Orton vs. Miz.

[Commercial Break at 9:35]

Exterior Shot: Raw is in Cleveland at the Q. Cole ribbed Lawler about the Cleveland Browns, who Lawler said are represented on the front row tonight.

WWE cut backstage to Triple H standing by in his office showing deep thoughts. Referee Scott Armstrong walked in to talk to Hunter, who did all the talking. Hunter said he had to hold up the WWE Title tonight, which is a problem. “Scott, WWE officials have to have integrity,” he said. Hunter said Scott has been a loyal employee for 20 years (is Hunter talking to Scott or Jim Ross?), so he’s going to offer him a good severance package. “Scott, I gotta let you go,” Hunter said. Scott tried to reason with Hunter, who told him that he will take care of him. “I’m going to take care of you,” he said. Scott walked off and Hunter sold concern over his decision.

[ Overall, more evidence pointing to the storyline direction of Hunter telling Scott to fast-count for Bryan if the opportunity presented itself so that they could pin a conspiracy on Bryan, light a fire under Orton, and then pretend to “fire” Scott to “restore order.” ]

In-ring: Randy Orton was introduced for the next match. Orton stormed down to the ring with the fasted pace for his ring entrance in years. The Miz was then introduced in his hometown. Miz came down to ringside to acknowledge his parents on the front row. Big sympathy for Miz, which turned into big heat on Orton, who jumped Miz from behind in front of his parents. Orton bashed Miz around ringside before Raw cut to break prior to the match starting.

[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:45]

Back from break, Miz was selling a shoulder injury as the ref checked him to see if he wanted to wrestle this match. Miz showed fire in his eyes that he wanted to fight tonight in his hometown, so the ref called for the bell.

5 — RANDY ORTON vs. THE MIZ

Miz used one good arm to charge at Orton, getting a reaction, but Orton quickly tackled him and drove him to the corner. The back-and-forth fight spilled out to the floor, where a fired-up Miz threw Orton into the guardrail over and over. Miz stood in front of his parents still selling the effects of the shoulder attack, then Orton rammed him into the guardrail. The bell sounded, either for a double count-out or Double DQ.

Post-match, Orton and Miz continued to trade control of the fight as Miz’s parents stood right in the middle of the action. Orton then draped Miz across the guardrail as Miz’s dad refused to back down from Orton trying to intimidate him. Miz’s mom started crying as Orton draped Miz across the guardrail before implant DDT’ing Miz into the padding. Miz sold being unconscious as Orton lifted Miz up and dragged him back into the ring.

Orton wasn’t done, as he grabbed a chair from ringside and walked toward Miz’s parents. Orton eyeballed Miz’s dad, then slowly walked back into the ring as Cole blamed Stephanie McMahon for creating this. Orton then slid into the ring and whispered something down to Miz while covering his mouth. Orton proceeded to place Miz’s head inside the chair before looking toward Miz’s parents.

Orton teased stepping on Miz’s head inside the chair, but then backed up to the corner. Orton measured Miz for a running knee drop and connected. Miz’s mom sold tears as Orton surveyed the crowd with sinister eyes. Medics and refs then entered the ring to check on Miz and keep Orton away from Miz. After a replay of Orton’s attack, Cole screamed about Hunter and Stephanie apparently wanting a crazed lunatic to be the face of WWE.

WINNER: No Contest at 1:36. Probably the best thing Miz has been involved in this year with strong emotions in the arena. Orton is back on-track as a killer heel as opposed to the evil principal’s favorite student and they actually got sympathy on Miz. Whether they can get sympathy on Miz in a city other this hometown is a different story, but this made Miz relevant for the first time in a while.

[Commercial Break at 9:56]

Raw returned one minute before the top of the hour with Ryback’s music playing. On commentary, Cole said they hope to get medical updates on Dusty Rhodes and The Miz by the end of the night. On-stage, Ryback and Curtis Axel wheeled out Paul Heyman in a wheelchair. On-stage, Heyman – now clean-shaven and (presumably) showered – introduced himself and claimed to be the Best in the World.

[Q9 — third hour] Heyman said he gets why they would boo him because envy is one of the seven deadly sins. And they know how many heathens there are here in Cleveland. Heyman said it most be so difficult for them to compare their insignificant accomplishments to the things he has achieved in his lifetime. Like, for example, there is not one of them that can make this statement: “I pinned C-M-Punk.” Heyman said he can say it over and over again, and it will be the truth.

Heyman waited out boos before noting that the first time he locked up with C.M. Punk, he got the victory. And even more significantly, the loser of the match was the crowd’s hero, C.M. Punk. Heyman said he would like to take credit for a master plan. Pause for a “Goldberg” chant. Heyman quickly talked over the chant that there was no master plan because Punk delivered a vicious beating that relegated him to a wheelchair, and it is a miracle that he is not some vegetable rotting away in a nursing home right now. Of note, Curtis Axel disappeared in the background at some point.

Heyman continued that he is here tonight because of one man. This man took the initiative to change history. And he will continue to torment C.M. Punk and each and every fan because of the actions of this “big, beautiful man right here,” Ryback. Heyman said he owes his life to Ryback.

Ryback took the mic and smiled before noting he cannot stand a bully. He said Punk bullied Heyman last night and Heyman did not deserve to be beaten up like that. “Punk, I don’t like you,” Ryback said, speaking into a camera. Ryback said he is here to stop Punk. Ryback then knelt down next to Heyman to note that Heyman never has to worry again.

Heyman mouthed, “Thank you,” before leaning over and kissing Ryback on the cheek. Heyman continued to smile toward the man who saved him before Ryback wheeled Heyman away from the stage. “This is one of the strangest nights that I can ever remember,” Cole said on commentary. JBL added, “Yes it is.” Lawler asked if Heyman just kissed Ryback as Heyman continued to smile like a schoolboy.

Vignette: Los Matadores are coming.

[Commercial Break at 10:07]

Moments Ago: Heyman planted a kiss on Ryback’s cheek after Heyman convinced himself that Ryback saved his life.

6 — REAL AMERICANS (ANTONIO CESARO & JACK SWAGGER w/Zeb Colter) vs. THE USOS vs. TONS OF FUNK (BRODUS CLAY & TENSAI) — three-team elimination match — #1 contender match to Tag Titles

Back in the arena, this tag division match started up. As the match started, Lawler ran down the line-up of Cleveland Browns players in attendance behind the announce both. Lawler noted they are guests of The Usos, then Cole provided an update on Dusty Rhodes that he is now “conscious” after being KO’ed by Big Show. After both teams got some in-ring time, Cesaro rolled up an unsuspecting Tensai from behind for the first elimination.

[Q10] The Real Americans vs. The Usos portion of the match started with Cesaro dropkicking Uso out of the ring. Cesaro led the crowd in a “We The People” chant before Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:17]

Back from break, Jack Swagger was working on the Ultimate Uso via close-up camera shot. The crowd was making noise, which Lawler explained was because Cesaro just did the Big Swing during the break. It was on the App, only. The crowd then picked up a “JBL” chant, which JBL sheepishly acknowledged. Next was a “Jerry, Jerry” chant as the Real Americans continued to work on Uso. Next was a “Randy Savage” chant.

At 11:00, a hot tag was made to Uso, who cleaned house. Uso knocked Cesaro out of the ring before delivering a flying butt bump corner splash to Swagger. Real Americans found themselves on the outside, then The Usos went flying over the top rope with a double splash, angering Zeb on the other side of the ring.

Back in the ring, Swagger ducked a sidekick shot and slapped on the Patriot Lock, which was effective last night on the PPV pre-show. Uso fought and fought, then kicked free. Swagger then ran right into a sidekick to the jaw. Chaos broke out on the top turnbuckle, then Uso came flying off the top with a Superfly Splash to Swagger for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Usos at 13:13. Hot finish, thanks in-part to random chants and a good finishing sequence. The crowd seems to be delirious at this point after so many weird segments tonight, which added to the energy of the match.

Announcers: Michael Cole relayed an update on The Miz that he did not suffer a broken neck. Instead, he has a “damaged thorax” following Orton’s attack. Lawler’s medical update was on Dusty Rhodes, who is conscious and recovering in a medical facility.

Still to come: Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns in the main event.

Earlier Today: WWE had a reading program in Detroit as part of a partnership with Walmart. Babyfaces Brodus Clay and Hornswoggle represented WWE at the event.

[Commercial Break at 10:27]

[Q11] Vignette: Coming back from Raw, Bray Wyatt spoke in a pre-taped video about patience being a virtue. Bray said that in his estimation, it’s a lost art. He said everyone wants everything now. Beyond their precious city walls, there is another world. And it’s full of animals. “My world,” Bray said. “And in my world, when one of my animals is sick or hurt, we don’t let them fumble around in agony. We put ’em down.” Bray called out to the memory of Sister Abigail not to worry about a thing because he’s going to put them all down.

Announcers: Cole and Co. reacted to another strange moment on the show tonight. Cole then fed to a video package from earlier tonight when Stephanie McMahon set up Dusty Rhodes for a KO Punch from Big Show. Cole then relayed a tweet from Cody Rhodes, who Cole said simply tweeted: “Cowards,” referring to the McMahons.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown walking down the hallway. Babyfaces patted Bryan on the back to encourage him before the main event, then WWE pulled a Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky by having Bryan acknowledge his off-TV girlfriend, Brie Bella, as Nikki stood in the background. Bryan hugged Brie, then kept walking before Raw cut to break.

[ JC’s Reax: Is Bryan preparing to run a 20-man gauntlet? Seemed a bit over-the-top for a basic singles main event. But, WWE has booked Bryan like a helpless babyface, at times, who has lucked into his success, so it’s fitting in a weird way. ]

[Commercial Break at 10:35]

DVD plug: Triple H. He has a DVD. And Bobby Heenan hyping him. Adjectives used to describe Hunter included Superstar, Champion, Leader, and Father.

In-ring: Roman Reigns was standing by in the ring back from break. Lawler described this as a “punishment match” for Daniel Bryan, whose music played next. Out came Bryan sans WWE Title belt. Bryan angrily marched into the ring, then prepared to face Reigns. Suddenly, Randy Orton’s music played. Orton, still in his wrestling gear, strutted out to ringside for a closer look at the main event as Cole noted Bryan is facing four men in this situation. Well, they’re one-fifth of a way to a 20-man gauntlet here.

7 — DANIEL BRYAN vs. ROMAN REIGNS (w/The Shield and Randy Orton)

The bell sounded and Shield talked strategy with Randy Orton ringside. Meanwhile, Reigns and Bryan locked up in the ring. Bryan quickly took out his anger on Reigns with rapid-fire kicks targeting the leg. Back to ringside, Orton was shown sitting down in an office chair casually watching the match.

[Q12] Reigns reared back and smashed Bryan in the back of the neck, giving Reigns control of the match. Ringside, Orton continued to sit casually in the chair enjoying watching Bryan take a beating. Reigns slowed down the pace, which allowed WWE to cut to a split-screen replay from last night’s PPV where Armstrong fast-counted in Bryan’s favor. They basically replayed Triple H’s video review from the opening segment. Cole and JBL continued to argue about whether or not Bryan was involved in Armstrong’s fast-count, then Bryan put the focus on the match by delivering a big dropkick to Reigns.

On the outside, Bryan went for a trademark flying splash and appeared to connect, but Reigns caught Bryan in mid-air and smashed Bryan into the side of the ring apron, changing the tone of the sequence. Reigns pounded Bryan to the mat, then Raw cut to break with Bryan in trouble.

[Commercial Break at 10:50]

Back from break 7 minutes before the top of the hour, Bryan was in trouble in the ring. Bryan suddenly rolled up Reigns for a nearfall, causing Orton to sell concern ringside. Reigns came right back with power offense, then slowed down the pace to wear down Bryan. The crowd rallied behind Bryan with a “Daniel Bryan” chant, then Bryan flipped over Reigns and entered Daniel Bryan Comeback Mode. Bryan started to feel it as the crowd did “Yes!” chants. Bryan then punted Reigns in the chest three, four, five, six, seven times. He wanted the big roundhouse kick to complete the sequence, but Reigns ducked and Samoan-Dropped Bryan for a nearfall.

Reigns followed with big right hand strikes to Bryan’s face before declaring himself an A-Plus player. Reigns called for a single powerbomb, but Bryan flipped over Reigns into a pinfall for a close two count. Bryan then popped Reigns in the head with a standing kick for another nearfall. Reigns rolled to the corner to get help from Seth Rollins, so Bryan came flying through the ropes with an emphatic dropkick to Rollins that sent Rollins crashing into the announce table.

[Q13 — over-run] Back in the ring, Bryan fought off Dean Ambrose, then slapped on the Yes! Lock to Reigns. But, Orton hit the ring to attack Bryan, causing a DQ.

WINNER: Bryan via DQ at 18:18.

Post-match, Bryan teased the Yes! Lock on Orton, but The Shield jumped Bryan and took him out. The four heels put a beating on Bryan before Orton brought a chair into the ring. When Orton put Bryan’s head inside the chair, that’s when the locker room decided it was time to make the save. The Usos, Players, Justin Gabriel, Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, RVD, and Truth were part of the crew that hit the ring, which seemed like a who’s who of WWE Superstars. Cole said the locker room has said enough is enough.

As a brawl broke out, Reigns destroyed Kofi with a spear. But, the numbers eventually caught up to Shield, who took finishers from the babyfaces. Bryan finished off Reigns with a big knee, then Shield regrouped on the outside. The Players then put Bryan on their shoulders and led the crowd in a loud “Yes!” chant. Cole said the locker room has had enough, deciding to rally around Daniel Bryan.

WWE went to a replay of the babyfaces in the locker room making the save before going back to a live shot of Bryan continuing to celebrate with the faces and the crowd going wild with “Yes!” chants. Cole said the locker room finally got some payback and they’re finally standing tall. Raw signed off five minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A lot to process from this show. In the end, WWE needed to show members of the emasculated roster showing some gumption and not caring about the consequences of doing what’s right, especially in response to Dusty Rhodes and The Miz being taken out. As for the status of WWE Title, it was curious that WWE did not do more to address what’s next to determine a champion, but, as Night of Champions reinforced last night, titles are secondary to the McMahon Family Power Trip angle right now.