By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Randy Orton Interrupted Shawn Michaels
Michaels' promo started out a bit too formulaic for my liking, but he did a good job of reminding viewers of his past history with Daniel Bryan, Triple H and Orton. Speaking of Orton, he was able to garner a significant amount of heat from the live crowd, which was a tough task considering the show emanated from his hometown. The teasing of the finishers from both men at the end was a nice nice and previewed the chaos that might ensue at Hell in a Cell.
Randy Orton def. The Miz
I have enjoyed the mini-feud between Orton and Miz in the last month, and having Miz attack Orton in his hometown was solid storytelling. The match was good for what it was, but it needed more time in order to be more memorable. I was glad to see Miz lose via a distraction from The Wyatt Family as opposed to taking a clean loss to Orton. It helps further the feud between Miz and Wyatt while also hiding the leg injury Wyatt sustained over the weekend.
Fandango def. Santino Marella
Wasn't this the same match we received a few short weeks ago? If anything, their match was shorter this time around. It is a shame, too, seeing how they had a fun, comedic match on NXT just recently. This win didn't nothing to help Fandango and simply served as filler.
Los Matadores def. 3MB
For those keeping track at home, of the five matches Los Matadores have had thus far, four of them been against 3MB, and three of those matches have occurred on Raw. It is absolutely ridiculous that the two tandems faced off yet again this week, but it is worth noting that it was a different combination of Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre this time around. Regardless, I guess it is unsurprising given the fact that there aren't many other heel jobber tag teams in WWE right now. I assume they will be feuding with The Real Americans sooner rather than later, but after that is over, where do they go from there?
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Addressed Big Show's Attack
These two have been acting like faces at various points over the last month, so it is good to see them back to being full-fledged heels. Stephanie has been playing her part well for the most part, but HHH needed a tweak in his character, so I am excited to see his newfound aggressive person return going forward.
Ryback def. R-Truth in a Beat The Clock Challenge Match
The Beat the Clock Challenge stipulation added an intriguing twist on what would have otherwise been a boring bout. Truth outsmarted Ryback early on by wasting time and escaping to ringside and looking good in defeat. The match wasn't too short nor did it overstay its welcome, so this match was actually better than expected.
The Real Americans def. Tons of Funk
Featuring The Real Americans on the Columbus Day edition of Raw was very fitting, even if the match didn't serve much of a purpose. Nonetheless, it is always a joy to watch The Real Americans in the ring, as they have such great chemistry together as a team. Of course, the sole highlight of the contest (or the post-match I should say) was Antonio Cesaro swinging Tensai, which never gets any less impressive. By the way, Zeb Colter's pre-match comments appear to be planting the seeds for a feud between The Real Americans and Tons of Funk, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
Tamina Snuka def. Brie Bella
From a storyline standpoint, this match made sense, but it was essentially a lose-lose situation. Tamina shouldn't be losing matches so soon after returning, and Brie needs wins if the plan is for her to contend for the Divas Championship again at Hell in a Cell. Tamina dominating Brie helped establish her credibility, but how will Brie be put back in contention for the title after this?
CM Punk def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in a Beat The Clock Challenge Match (Non-title)
I was originally skeptical of the Intercontinental Champion losing in a mere five minute match, but Axel scored a surprising amount of offense against Punk throughout, so it wasn't a complete squash. It was pretty predictable from the start who would win, but there was still a sense of suspense towards the end. Punk challenging Ryback and Paul Heyman to a Handicap Hell in a Cell match is interesting and I assume it will serve as the pay-off to the feud. Furthermore, bonus points go to Punk for doing Ryback's old "Feed Me More" mannerisms with the crowd chanting "CM Punk" instead (if that was the intention is beyond me).
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Daniel Bryan by Count-out (Non-title)
These two don't face off in one-on-one action too often, this match felt relatively fresh. They worked a well wrestled match that featured some entertaining action. They received good time aside from the commercial break, but there wasn't much drama towards the end. Orton going after Brie Bella was interesting, but it ultimately fell flat after it was revealed he didn't do anything at all. Perhaps Brie could be conspiring with Bryan, but that would be stupendously stupid considering Brie and Bryan are an item in real life. I guess stranger things have happened in wrestling, though.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust def. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to Win the WWE Tag Team Championships
It was a tough task for them to follow up their amazing match at Battleground, but this was still an excellent effort from both teams. The no disqualification stipulation certainly enhanced the electric atmosphere and ensured fans that there wouldn't be a screwy finish. Big Show's interference could be seen coming from a mile away, but it was still well done in the sense that the crowd popped big for him. The Rhodes brothers capturing the tag titles made for a very special moment and it is incredibly cool to see them holding the tag titles together. When was the last time the tag straps were defended in the main event of Raw? That alone make the titles feel prestigious.
This was most definitely one of the best shows we have had in a good while. It wasn't fantastic by any means, but it was still very good with the positives outweighing the negatives. From the tag title change to announcement of a Hell in a Cell match at the next pay-per-view, this was a semi-newsworthy show. There was a handful of filler, but there was also enough enjoyable content to this viewer looking forward not only to next week's episode, but to the Hell in a Cell event as well.