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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/3: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Bryan vs. Orton main event, Tag Title steel cage match, no Cena, no Punk, more

Feb 3, 2014 - 10:10:08 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
February 3, 2014 - Episode #1,079
Live in Omaha, Nebraska
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor


WWE Raw started with a shot of the arena, Michael Cole welcoming the audience to Raw, and Randy Orton's music playing. The WWE World Hvt. champion came out on-stage displaying both the WWE Title and World Title and made his way to the ring as Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were shown on-camera from ringside. Cole said Orton is not in a good mood tonight. Lawler said he thinks Orton is losing his title in the Elimination Chamber in three weeks, then JBL echoed the point that Orton has slim odds of retaining.

In the ring, Orton talked about The Authority making things unfair for him. Orton spoke over "C-M Punk" chants, then claimed he became WWE World champ through hard work. He asked the crowd how many times he has to beat John Cena and Daniel Bryan before he finally gets recognized as World champ. Orton said he has bad news for the crowd that he will be victorious at the Elimination Chamber, then again at WrestleMania.

Orton sent a message to Batista that he's just a jacked-up, musclehead who can't beat him at Mania. Orton angrily said he's the best of this generation or any other generation.

Triple H's music interrupted to bring out Hunter and Stephanie McMahon on-stage. Stephanie said (over Punk chants) that Orton has a history of over-analyzing things and being paranoid. He asked Orton if he's really going to let all of this get to him. Hunter then said Orton says the same thing every week about not getting the recognition he deserves. He said perhaps they should consider putting their faith in someone else.

Stephanie then gave Orton a mission: he will face each Chamber opponent in singles matches on the way to the Chamber PPV. Stephanie said Orton will start with this man - who they can't believe they would consider as the new Face of WWE - Daniel Bryan. The crowd popped and did "Yes!" chants. Triple H joined in from the stage, annoying and angering Orton in the ring. The segment then wrapped up.

[ JC's Reax: Interesting look at the first segment out of the gate following Rumble Week chaos, Punk leaving WWE, and Creative meetings at WWE HQ - WWE went heavy on the possibility of Orton losing the WWE World Title at the Chamber PPV, which would change the Mania plan of Orton vs. Batista. The on-air, representative management team of WWE also tried to make it seem like they're "listening to the fans" by endorsing Bryan as the potential Face of WWE, but - as JBL said later in the show - it was merely to motivate their hand-picked star, Orton, to do better as WWE champ. ]

After a quick intro promo segment, WWE went to the announcers for a discussion of the New Age Outlaws as new WWE tag champs eight days ago at the Royal Rumble. Tonight, the second re-match of the Outlaws vs. Rhodes Bros. will be in a Steel Cage match. Cole said one of the stipulations is you cannot escape the cage; the only way to win is through pinfall or submission.

The Shield's music then played to bring out the trio for an opening six-man tag match. Cole noted they are not happy because they believe they should be in the WWE World Title Chamber match. Cole noted it's Shield vs. The Wyatts at the Chamber PPV, then WWE went to footage from Smackdown of how the match was set up. Cole said the trio is in action next.

[Commercial Break at 8:11]

Back from break, Rey Mysterio's music was playing and Mysterio was on-stage. Mysterio went side-to-side on the stage playing to the crowd before WWE cut to a ringside shot of Big E. Langston and Kofi Kingston awaiting their tag partner.

[Q2]

1 -- THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) vs. REY MYSTERIO & IC champion BIG E. LANGSTON & KOFI KINGSTON -- six-man tag match

The match started with Shield dominating as Cole discussed Ambrose's U.S. Title reign length. JBL then wondered aloud when Ambrose will defend the U.S. Title. (His last televised title defense was in October - over three months ago.) Cole told JBL to get his "buddies," The Authority, to book some title defenses for Ambrose. JBL responded that they're not his buddies.

Kofi broke free of Rollins and tagged in Mysterio, who ripped off high-flying offense on Rollins. But, Rollins caught Rey in the air, backed up to tag in Reigns, and Reigns nailed a running clothesline on Rey as he sat on Rollins's shoulders. Reigns in control heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:20]

Back from break, Reigns was now working on Rey. Shield continued to wear down Rey, but they couldn't put him away. Langston then took a hot tag and "wowed" the announcers with power moves on Rollins. The action broke down with bodies flying in and out of the ring. Reigns then dropped Langston with a Superman Punch before measuring Langston for a spear, but Ambrose tagged himself in. The crowd recognized the Reigns-Ambrose issue, then Ambrose dropped Langston with his facebuster finisher. It was good for the win. "Dean Ambrose pinned the Intercontinental champion," Cole noted.

WINNERS: Shield at 11:30. If tonight is a reset show, then it feels like WWE is re-focusing on a potential unification match between Ambrose and Langston, who continues to take losses.

Post-match: Reigns entered the ring for a discussion with Ambrose, but Rollins stepped in as peacemaker. Suddenly, the Wyatts theme blasted. On-camera, Bray Wyatt said he gets The Shield and knows their blueprint. Bray said they're pawns. And they keep moving forward until they ultimately sacrifice themselves for their king. He said he will build his empire near where his enemies drown. Luke Harper then spoke up. Harper said what they fail to realize is that "he" has always been their king. In the ring, Shield welcomed them to come fight. Erick Rowan then flashed his sheep mask into the middle of the camera shot before the Wyatt theme cut out.

Still to come: Orton vs. Bryan in a non-title match.

[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:30]

- Back from break, Cole hyped Daniel Bryan's tie-in with his hometown Seattle Seahawks following their Super Bowl victory last night.

- WWE then cut to Wade Barrett standing on his podium above the stage area. Barrett said last night's Super Bowl was the most-watched television event in U.S. history. But, for the 111 million watching, he has some bad news. See, every one them of ate so much junk food that they won't even survive until next year's game.

Suddenly, Jerry Lawler stood up at the announce table to shout at Barrett that he has some bad news for him. Hopefully Barrett won't be around next week. Lawler's music then played as Cole congratulated Lawler on his comment (an empty threat?).

- Back to the announcers, who hyped the WWE Network and Cole showed the audience how to download the WWE App on an Android device. Cole then proceeded to tell the audience how much the monthly PPVs add up to per year - assuredly prompting folks to wonder if WWE has been screwing them for years and years - in order to contrast the $9.99-per-month Network subscription price that includes the currently-priced $55 monthly PPVs. Cole then fed to a clip from WWE's "Countdown" show on the Network.

- In-ring: Christian was introduced to the ring for his Raw TV return match to little fanfare. Cole hyped Christian winning a Chamber qualifying match last Friday on Smackdown, then noted Christian's in singles action next.

[Commercial Break at 8:38]

2 -- CHRISTIAN vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter)

Swagger controlled early on as Zeb tried to "motivate" him from ringside. Meanwhile, Cesaro stood ringside with arms folded. The crowd sensed the need to rally Christian, which produced a "Let's Go Christian" chant. Swagger then went for a corner move, but Christian blocked with boots to the face. Zeb sold frustration ringside, then Christian made a comeback. But, Swagger cut him off with a knee to the gut. Swagger tried to follow with a gutwrench suplex, but Christian spun out into a slam for a nearfall.

[Q4] Christian went to the top rope for a cross-body splash, but Swagger caught him in mid-air and flowed into the Patriot Lock, but Christian blocked. Christian then blocked a Swagger Bomb and jumped over Swagger with a sunset flip for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Cesaro stood ringside with arms folded and his head shaking. Zeb then entered the ring to confront Swagger, who sold frustration over another loss as blood came from his mouth. Christian celebrated on the way out as Swagger and Colter continued their conversation.

WINNER: Christian at 5:58. WWE very quickly moved on from this match...

Video Replay: Brock Lesnar destroyed Cody Rhodes and Goldust during the Tag Title match. As a result, it's Rhodes Bros. challenging the New Age Outlaws for the Tag Titles in a steel cage tonight.

The cage was shown lowered half-way down, then the Outlaws's music played to bring out Road Dogg and Billy Gunn. Dogg cut the music, then talked to the crowd on the way to the ring. Dogg checked with the referee for a cue, then entered the ring and did the standard NAO ring announcement as Gunn entered the ring on-delay. Dogg then handed off the mic to Gunn, who took his time delivering his one-line conclusion.

Rhodes Bros. were then introduced to the ring. Goldust and Cody Rhodes stood their ground in the ring as the Outlaws paced ringside leading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:53]

Next Week: Betty White guest stars on Raw. Jerry Lawler said he spent two hours watching the "Golden Girls" last night.

Back to ringside, production folks were shown scurrying around the cage as Justin Roberts handled formal ring introductions for the Tag Title match.

3 -- WWE tag champions NEW AGE OUTLAWS (ROAD DOGG & BILLY GUNN) vs. RHODES BROS. (GOLDUST & CODY RHODES) -- WWE Tag Title match -- steel cage match -- pinfall or submission only

Standard tag team match inside the cage, not Texas Tornado style. Dogg and Gunn got frustrated early on, then tried to re-group. But, Goldust took control of Gunn and tagged in Cody. Cody, sporting a taped left elbow, lost control against Gunn.

[Q5 -- second hour] The crowd became uninterested in the proceedings and picked up a "C-M Punk" chant that was ignored by the announcers. Meanwhile, the announcers listed some other tag teams in the division. Goldust and Dogg tagged in to battle each other, then Goldust crashed into the steel cage. As Goldust writhed in pain, Cole sent the show to break, sat quietly for three seconds, and a "We Want Punk" chant was heard going to break. (Storyline explanation would be the Outlaws turned on Punk a few weeks ago and kinda sorta turned heel.)

[Commercial Break at 9:05. Back from break, USA Network aired a P.S.A. from top heel Alberto Del Rio on not standing for bullying or hate, which is his character. Unbelievable.]

Back from break, Dogg and Goldust battled center-ring. Goldust delivered a spinebuster. then tagged in Cody, who ran over Gunn, who also tagged in. Cody snapped off a powerslam, then scored a close nearfall on Gunn. The crowd booed and Lawler said he thought it was a three for Cody, who checked with ref Mike Chioda on his count.

Cody then climbed the cage to tease a high-flying move, knocked down Dogg, stood atop the cage, balanced himself, and delivered a moonsault that knocked down Dogg. But, Cody recovered to his feet in a hunched-over position, allowing Gunn to smash Cody with the Fameasser out of nowhere. Gunn, the legal man, covered Cody for the pin and the win.

Post-match: The Outlaws dragged themselves out of the cage as Goldust checked on Cody in the ring. After a replay of the moonsault and finish, WWE returned to a celebratory camera shot of the Outlaws and a dejected shot of the Rhodes Bros. Another replay of the moonsault, then Cody was shown wincing in pain in the cage.

WINNERS: Outlaws at 16:10 to retain the WWE Tag Titles. Tough part of this was the Outlaws sorta turned a few weeks ago, but they're still presented as a sorta cool nostalgia act, so the match produced sorta reaction. The moonsault and finish worked, but the first-half of the match didn't work. Plus, it points to Cody vs. Goldust in a future feud since they didn't get the job done in the Tag Title division. WWE is just a year or two late on so many things right now - Lesnar vs. Taker possible WM match, Betty White guest-starring on Raw, and possible Cody vs. Goldust feud to name a few.

[Q6] Still to come: Rumble winner Batista talks about who he wants to face at WrestleMania. Also, Orton vs. Bryan.

[Commercial Break at 9:16]

Still to come: The Wyatts in six-man tag action. Dolph Ziggler's post-Smackdown rant produced a slot with R-Truth and Xavier Woods opposite the Wyatts tonight.

In-ring: Zack Ryder was in the ring sporting new brown hair. Ominous music then played to bring out Titus O'Neil, who turned heel on Darren Young Friday on Smackdown. A replay of Titus's attack on D-Young produced a smile from O'Neil before the bell sounded.

4 -- ZACK RYDER vs. TITUS O'NEIL

O'Neil knocked Ryder to the floor early on, then smashed Ryder into the guardrail. Suddenly, The Miz walked down to ringside in a suit. Miz grabbed a headset and complained about these two being in a match while he sits in the back. Speaking of WWE being a year or two late, Miz ranted on Ryder's Internet show. Miz then slammed down the headset and stomped off. Cole told Miz to take up his problem with Raw GM Brad Maddox.

In the ring, O'Neil worked on Ryder while the chant picked up a brief "C-M Punk" chant. Ryder avoided a corner attack, then executed a Broski Boot as the announcers ignored Ryder's offense. Ryder tried a top-rope move, but O'Neil intercepted with a backbreaker. Corner splash, then Titus delivered Clash of the Titus, which drew the announcers's attention back to the match. Titus covered Ryder for the pin and the win.

WINNER: O'Neil at 2:45. One chance to make a first impression as a heel and Titus didn't really stand out. The show is just not clicking so far tonight.

Still to come: Orton vs. Bryan in a non-title match.

[Commercial Break at 9:25]

Back from break, Fandango and Summer Rae were on the way to the ring. Now for something different, Cole said they are ready for a "competition" up next. Cole then transitioned to WWE celebrating Black History Month in February. Cole fed to a video package on Ernie Ladd being the original two-sport star. The video mixed up the Southwestern Conference (SWC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) discussing Ladd's college football background, then went through Ladd's pro wrestling and football accomplishments.

Back in the ring, Fandango and Summer Rae wrapped up their dance intro before Santino was introduced for his TV return. Santino marched down to the ring with a mic in-hand. Santino mocked Fandango, then noted he does not want to have a dance-off with him tonight. Santino looked into the audience for a contestant to fill in for him, then brought out NXT's Emma from the crowd.

Fandango's music played for Summer Rae to dance. Summer Rae did her usual pretentious dance, then funky music played for Emma to do some weird dance moves that the crowd didn't know what to do with. Santino polled the crowd on who won. Boos for Rae. Santino then led the crowd in cheering for Emma as the winner.

Announcers: Cole and Co. fed to another WWE Network plug. This plug was for WWE Legends House.

In-ring: Sheamus was introduced for the next match. Cole dryly said: "He loves to fight." Cole had nothing else to add to describe Sheamus, then sent Raw to break.

[Commercial Break at 9:38]

Back from break, Curtis Axel was introduced to the ring along with Ryback. The crowd picked up "Goldberg" chants to taunt Ryback, who took his position ringside.

5 -- SHEAMUS vs. CURTIS AXEL (w/Ryback)

The crowd moved from being more interested in the non-participant to a non-roster member with "C-M Punk" chants. Sheamus beat up Axel early on, then trapped him on the ring apron to deliver his trademark forearm strikes. Mid-strikes, WWE cut to a shot of Ryback walking around ringside. Axel recovered on the floor, so Sheamus bashed him into the announce table.

[Q8] Back in the ring, Sheamus took a big knee right to the shoulder. Axel capitalized by posting Sheamus's bad shoulder into the ringpost. Sheamus continued to sell the effects of a left shoulder injury as Axel worked him over. The announcers used the injury situation to stress that Sheamus needs to be full strength when he enters the Elimination Chamber match in three weeks.

Sheamus tried to make a comeback, but Axel cut him off. So, Sheamus responded with a rolling bodyslam. Sheamus then measured Axel for a Brogue Kick, which he connected with. Sheamus covered for the win. Afterward, Ryback thought about entering the ring, but thought better of it.

WINNER: Sheamus at 7:05. A needed singles win for Sheamus coming back from injury and going into the Chamber.

Announcers: Cole and JBL shouted out to Australians watching Raw live tonight on Tuesday afternoon.

Backstage: Batista was shown walking down the hallway. The camera focused on his face hidden by big sunglasses.

On the way to break, WWE ran a video package on Shawn Michaels's upcoming DVD release.

[Commercial Break at 9:52]

Batista Promo Segment

Raw returned five minutes before the top of the hour with Batista's music playing to a mix of cheers and boos. Batista walked out on-stage dressed in shades, a blue shirt, blue jean jacket, and blue jeans. Batista found a pro-Batista sign in the crowd to pose next to, then removed his jacket and entered the ring as the WM30 sign was visible in the background.

Mainly boos once Batista's music stopped. Before he could even speak, Mr. Friendly P.S.A. Guy Alberto Del Rio's music interrupted. Del Rio walked out on-stage and tried to redirect anti-Batista feelings toward anti-Del Rio feelings. Del Rio marched to the ring wanting to talk about their unfinished business. Batista looked down at the ground, then told Del Rio that he doesn't know what his deal is. He said he doesn't have an issue with him.

Del Rio replied that he will tell Batista when they're done. While Batista was sitting on his couch for the last four years waiting for his movie agent to call him, he was here winning titles. He said being famous doesn't make you a champion; having cajones does. Del Rio got some cheers. He called Batista a "nasty perro" who is afraid of him. Del Rio vowed to hurt Batista until he says, "Please, Mr. Del Rio, don't hurt me."

[Q9 -- third hour] Batista laughed and cut off Del Rio, saying he doesn't know what his deal is. So, Del Rio punched Batista in the face. Batista fell to the mat and Del Rio put the boots to Batista. But, Batista came back with a kick to the gut and teased the Batistabomb, but Del Rio scampered out of the ring. Batista angrily called out Del Rio to get back in the ring, but Del Rio smiled and stood on-stage. Batista's music played to end the segment. WWE stayed with Batista pacing the ring for a while, enough to get a "Boo-Batista" sign a lot of TV time in the background. Batista eventually shouted toward Del Rio: "You want it? You got it." Apparently there was a match challenge in there.

[ JC's Reax: Del Rio has perhaps the most important role of the next month or two trying to get fans to rally behind Batista and cheer the Rumble winner if the WM30 main event remains Orton vs. Batista. ]

Ringside: Cole and Co. hyped Orton's gauntlet series having to go through all of the Chamber opponents before the PPV. First up is Daniel Bryan tonight.

In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced first for a six-man tag match. Cole noted Ziggler was "very emotional" on WWE's website after losing his Chamber qualifying match on Smackdown. R-Truth and Xavier Woods then danced down to the ring as Ziggler's tag partners. Truth and Woods continued to dance in the ring as Ziggler went through an internal debate of how to react.

[Commercial Break at 10:04]

Next Week: Mark Henry returns from injury.

In-ring: The Wyatts announced their arrival as the face trio waited in the ring.

6 -- THE WYATTS (BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & R-TRUTH & XAVIER WOODS -- six-man tag match

The Wyatts controlled early on, wearing down both Woods and Truth. The crowd picked up a "We Want Ziggler" chant as Ziggler paced the ring apron. Truth then caught Harper with a kick to the face, giving him an opening to tag in Ziggler. Ziggler ran over Harper, but the Wyatts broke up pin attempts. The announcers said Ziggler probably would have won this match if it were a singles match.

Ziggler was knocked down to center-ring in the chaos of the match, then Bray tagged in, stalked Ziggler, and gripped him for Sister Abigail. It was good for the pin and the win.

Post-match: The Shield appeared on the Titantron. Dean Ambrose mockingly said they are so scared. He told Bray to take his crap somewhere else, then Seth Rollins called Bray a figment of his own imagination. Rollins said Bray and his family can't hang with The Shield, then Roman Reigns said play time is over at the Chamber PPV. "Believe that. And, believe in The Shield," Reigns said in a show of unity. Back in the ring, Bray laughed to himself and welcomed the war, then repeated himself. He sounded like Ultimate Warrior delivering the final two lines.

WINNERS: Wyatts at 5:03. WWE continues building up the Wyatts leading into their clash with The Shield at the Chamber PPV. Meanwhile, there's Ziggler.

[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:16]

Vignette: Alexander Rusev is a foreign villain. He has an evil, foreign valet. Rusev's Reign begins soon.

7 -- NAOMI (w/Cameron) vs. AKSANA (w/Alicia Fox)

Back in the ring, Cameron and Naomi were prepared for Divas action. But, Divas champion A.J. Lee's music interrupted. A.J. and Tamina came to ringside for A.J. to commentate while Tamina ensured A.J.'s safety on commentary. The match started with Aksana dominating Naomi as A.J. offered some insults and then excuses for recent match losses. Naomi then made her comeback, celebrated before winning, and took a knee to the face. Naomi responded moments later with a top-rope move for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Fox tried to attack Naomi, but Cameron made the save. Cameron then stood tall in the ring as Naomi sold an eye injury from the knee to the face. A.J. was unimpressed ringside.

WINNER: Naomi at 4:56.

Still to come: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan in the main event.

[Commercial Break at 10:27]

[Q11] Network Hype Video: WWE has added a line about where the Network can be found - "Exclusively at WWE.com."

Next Week: Betty White guest-stars on Raw.

In-ring: Daniel Bryan made his first appearance of the show "Yes!ing" down to the ring for the main event. Bryan got the whole crowd doing the "Yes!" chant once in the ring. And, one more time after Justin Roberts introduced him to the crowd. Randy Orton's music then played to bring out the WWE World Hvt. champion. Orton very slowly made his way to the ring as Bryan stood his ground in the ring. Raw cut to break with Orton posing in the ring.

[Commercial Break at 10:36. The Radio Shack Super Bowl commercial featuring Hulk Hogan aired.]

This Friday: Christian gets...One More Match. It's Orton vs. Christian on Smackdown.

8 -- WWE World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title match -- Orton's pre-Chamber Gauntlet Series Match #1

The bell sounded 20 minutes before the top of the hour. Orton and Bryan locked up, then Orton rolled out of the ring and waved off the crowd as they chanted Bryan's name. Back in the ring, Orton and Bryan battled for control as Cole noted Orton has never won an Elimination Chamber, continuing to tease the idea of a title change in the Chamber PPV. Meanwhile, the crowd picked up a Punk chant, then transitioned to a Daniel Bryan chant.

Orton took control and did his trademark pose to answer the various crowd chants. This gave Bryan an opening to deliver sustained offense to Orton, then stomp him in the corner. Bryan then wrapped Orton's leg around the ringpost, trying to soften up Orton's leg and knee. "Yes!" chants from the crowd as Bryan followed up in the ring.

[Q12] Bryan continued to attack Orton as the announcers went through the history of Bryan being screwed out of the WWE Title last year. Orton then bit Bryan's leg to break free and survive the attack. Bryan resumed his attack on Orton's leg, so Orton rolled to the floor, where Bryan kicked him over and over in the leg. Bryan then chucked Orton over the announce table almost into JBL's lap. Apparently Cole got the worst of it, as his headset was knocked out.

Back in the ring, Bryan continued to run over Orton in the ring. Bryan snapped off a top-rope huracanrana, but Orton kicked out of a pin. Bryan then went back to the legs, stretching him with a surfboard that he turned into a leg stomp. Bryan started to get a crazy look, then kicked Orton over and over. It became rhythmic, drawing "Yes!" chants with each kick. Bryan then sat down on a half-crab trying to get a submission win as the announcers wondered how much longer Orton can survive. Orton then crawled toward the bottom rope for a break to save the match.

At 11:00, Bryan left the ring to follow up, but Orton desperately lifted him in the air and dropped him back-first across the guardrail. Orton then rolled Bryan back into the ring for a two count. Orton began a methodical attack on Bryan, then ripped off right hand strikes. But, Bryan flipped it with Yes! kicks in the corner. Bryan back-flipped over Orton, but then ran into a snap powerslam. Both men sold the effects of the match heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:53]

Back from break, Bryan had the crowd going with "Yes!" kicks on Orton. But, Orton blocked a big wind-up kick with a t-bone suplex. Bryan sold a right shoulder injury on the landing, then Orton stalked Bryan and shoved him down to the floor. On the outside, Orton posted Bryan shoulder-first, then rolled him back into the ring for a nearfall.

[Q13 -- over-run] Orton continued the attack and Bryan continued to shout in pain. The crowd tried to rally behind Bryan with a chant, which Orton responded to by doing his trademark pose. Orton then took Bryan to the top turnbuckle as Cole reset the show. Orton wanted a superplex, but Bryan blocked. Bryan and Orton battled each other, then Bryan headbutted Orton to the mat. Bryan followed with a missile dropkick, but landed on his bad shoulder.

At 22:00, the two men came to their feet and started trading bombs. Orton got the best of the exchange, but walked into a Yes! Lock. Bryan struggled to apply, then applied it, but Orton reached the bottom rope with his foot to get a break. Bryan sold re-injuring his shoulder trying the submission hold, but dug deep to deliver trademark Flyin' Bryan offense. But, Orton cut off a third corner charge with a big dropkick.

Both men on the mat at 24:30. Orton then wanted a second-rope DDT, and he connected. Cole said that has to be it. Orton then stalked Bryan for the RKO. But, Bryan kicked Orton in the face. Bryan then sprung to the top rope and delivered a flying headbutt for a close two count. Bryan started shaking and convulsing to fire himself up and block the pain. Bryan delivered repeated Yes! kicks, then a standing kick to the mouth.

Suddenly, Kane walked down to ringside 26 minutes into the match. Bryan kicked Kane off the ring apron, then dumped Orton to the outside. Bryan followed with a diving headbutt to both men. Cole said he doesn't know why Kane came down here. Bryan then sent Kane into the steel steps with a drop toe hold. Back in the ring, Bryan avoided an RKO as the crowd shrieked for Bryan to turn around. Bryan then caught Orton with a running knee out of the corner. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Bryan at 26:57. It felt like a really good 15-minute match stretched out to a decent 27-minute match necessitated by the three-hour Raw format. And, Bryan finally gets his clean win over Orton, but without the title on the line, to solidify Bryan as a winner in the eyes of the audience. Overall, more of WWE trying to make it seem like Orton is in jeopardy and if you buy the Chamber PPV, you'll see a title change.

Post-match: The crowd popped for Bryan's victory as Cole and Lawler wondered aloud if they could be looking at the new Face of WWE. Bryan celebrated in the ring, then used his one good arm to lead "Yes!" chants in the ring.

Suddenly, Orton decided he wasn't done. Orton and Kane led a two-on-one attack as the crowd called for some help. Kane then clutched Bryan and delivered a chokeslam center-ring. No "hug it out" here. Kane then went for his pyro, did the dramatic hands-drop, and there was no pyro. It blasted a second or two late, creating an unintentional comedic moment. As Kane's music played and red lights washed out the screen, Orton stood tall in the ring as Raw signed off nine minutes past the top of the hour.

No John Cena tonight. Also, no acknowledgement of C.M. Punk, as predicted on Thursday's Livecast.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Flat show and flat ending randomly focusing on Kane in his mis-cast suit & tie role. One of those in-between PPV editions of Raw that didn't seem to have a sense of urgency, nor a sense of purpose beyond teasing Orton's title in jeopardy. The roster was really thin tonight, especially without Cena and Punk.

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff .

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com .


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ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
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PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
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James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

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PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

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