Two major developments unfolded on Monday's episode of WWE RAW.
The first was a big one in many ways - Paul Heyman revealed a new client, Michael McGillicutty, now known as Curtis Axel (Curtis after his father "Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, Axel after his grandfather Larry "The Axe" Hennig). Though many fans complained about it not being a bigger name (RVD was speculated throughout the day), this is a great move and an even greater opportunity for a superstar to not only have instant credibility being aligned with Paul Heyman (arguably the greatest mouthpiece in pro wrestling history), but also a spotlight for the next few weeks to prove himself. This is a win win situation and it's nice to see Paul Heyman with someone who doesn't necessarily linearly connect with his past and also currently isn't an established name.
The second development happened at the end of the show in a match between Axel and Triple H. Midway through, Triple H acted on wobbly legs and looked like he was going to faint, sitting down and getting water. The commentators repeatedly noted the sledgehammer shot he took the night before at Extreme Rules from Brock Lesnar. The scene reminded me of the Shawn Michaels collapse after an Owen Hart enzuigiri on RAW in late 1995.
I didn't mind the scene - Triple H showed weakness and played it well. It left questions and the WWE Universe will want answers and will tune in to get them. The only issue I had with it was that it took the entire focus away from Axel, who was making his debut as a new character, and looking to make a first impression. Hopefully Paul Heyman can bring it back to Axel and we can reinvest next week.
- There was an excellent 6 man tag on RAW involving Team Hell No / Kofi Kingston vs The Shield (who won). Great action, match was long and interesting.
- Chris Jericho / The Miz beat Wade Barrett / Fandango
- Sheamus beat Titus ONeil. I was pleasantly surprised by how much offence TONeil had in this match, much more than I expected. It looked like Titus mouthed an expletive visibly on camera at some point. Mick Foley Tweeted about it.
Big E Langston beat Alberto Del Rio. Surprising, but welcome.
- AJ beat Layla by submission. Emphasis continues to be placed on AJ's new finisher, the Black Widow.
- Cody Rhodes beats Zack Ryder, who then gets decimated by Ryback, who earlier in the night, cut a promo atop an Ambulance which stayed there until Ryback placed Ryder in the back of it and carted him away. Pulverizing Zack Ryder these days doesn't seem like a great accomplishment, simply because he hasn't done much on WWE TV lately. Ryback challenged John Cena to an Ambulance match at WWE Payback.
- Randy Orton beat jack Swagger. 18% of the WWE Universe voted for Great Khali to face Swagger. Shame on you.
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