This is just my own personal review of the show, do not take my personal opinions to heart (as hard as that can be for some). If you fancy it you can also follow me on Twitter, my handle is @a_wrestling_fan. Enjoy!
Triple H kicked things off by reminding us of his actions towards Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam and on last week's Raw, explaining that what he did at SS was for "business" but the beat down he orchestrated on the former champ last Monday was "personal" after the way he'd spoken about his family. 'The Game' then claimed that the ratings and social media scoring were through the roof last week due to their new WWE Champion that he brought out, Randy Orton.
The COO rewarded Orton for grabbing the brass ring and running with it (in his words) by gifting him a brand new Cadillac payed for out of his own pocket. Daniel Bryan then also came out and first thanked all the fans for supporting him, John Cena for giving him the title match at SummerSlam and finally Triple H for revealing his true self when he Pedigreed him at the aforementioned event. He also added that he'll most certainly be recapturing the WWE Title come Night of Champions.
Trips retorted by claiming that in the real world dreams don't always come true and then booked Bryan in a Gauntlet Match against The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) who'd also been guarding the ring during the enjoyable opening segment.
Cody Rhodes pinned Fandango in a brief and unremarkable encounter that existed only to lead on to another match up afterwards. Rhodes caught Fandango in a roll up for the one-two-three after the ballroom dancer was distracted by The Miz reenacting/mocking his entrance.
Damien Sandow (who'd provided guest commentary) took this chance to attack his rival Rhodes along with Fandango, so Miz saved Cody from the double team attack and helped send them packing. Raw GM Brad Maddox then predictably booked all four men in a tag team match, amusingly even mentioning that fans should see what's coming here.
Cody Rhodes and The Miz bested Damien Sandow and Fandango in an average to fair tag bout. The wrestlers did fine, but you wouldn't miss a great deal by fast forwarding through this one. Miz gave the only real worthwhile performance, and also gained the win with a Skull Crushing Finale on Sandow after Fandango had abandoned his partner and walked up the ramp.
CM Punk defeated Curtis Axel in a stellar back and fourth contest. As usual these two delivered top displays in the ring, never putting a foot wrong. As per the stipulation (as voted for online by the fans) Paul Heyman had to then enter the ring with Punk, at first he tried to run away but he was then dragged into the ring by officials much to Punk's delight.
But as the victor was about to get his hands on his former mentor, Axel popped up with a low blow and handcuffed him. Punk made a brief comeback and got in a few kicks on Heyman and the IC Champion but once again Curtis came to the rescue of his manager and cracked him with a steel chair. Heyman then received a kendo stick and began viciously beating on Punk in and outside the ring to end the dramatic segment, screaming that he once loved him and he broke his heart.
Brie Bella beat Natalya in a forgettable outing. Natalya did the best she could but unfortunately some sloppiness and instructions clearly being told by Brie spoilt it a bit. Much like their last match their fellow Total Divas counterparts tangled outside the ring.
Divas Champion AJ Lee then addressed the divas and their 'reality' show, receiving support from the fans for putting down the show that's been rammed down our throats every week, thereby encouraging more Bellas in the ring unfortunately. She added that all they were to her were "cheap, interchangeable, expendable, useless women," which for all of them bar Natalya, I agree with. She went on to claim that she'd done more in a year than all of them in their collective careers, which again is true for most of them. It was the strongest promo AJ's ever given, and I agreed with every single word of it. It was funny to see the sour reactions from the rest of the female talent too.
Rob Van Dam pinned Alberto Del Rio in a passable, if a bit of a disappointing affair. I was personally expecting a bit more here from these two talents. Don't get me wrong it wasn't bad but there were a few botched moments and I never really got into it like I did with the far superior bouts the World Champion has had with Christian recently. I can see Ricardo Rodriguez turning on RVD come Night of Champions in the title match which Van Dam earned with the win here.
During an interview Ryback grabbed Josh Matthews by the head and chucked him to the ground after being questioned about his bullying antics backstage as of late.
Randy Orton beat Christian in an entertaining effort. Much like the brilliant series they had back in 2011 both men worked very well together. Granted there were a few off moments, but the tight wrestling and effective near falls more than made up for it. Orton gained the win after poking Christian in the eye unknown to the referee, then struck with an RKO. Afterwards Bryan appeared on the big screen and sarcastically congratulated him on the win, then revealed that he'd spray painted 'Yes' all over his brand new Cadillac.
Triple H ordered Brad Maddox to bring out every WWE wrestler to the stage and watch Bryan's match later on as a lesson, and if any of them interfere they're immediately fired.
Titus O'Neil bested Jack Swagger in a fair but unmemorable bout. It was watchable, but there was nothing remarkable about it. It felt more like filler than anything, although I understand utilising Darren Young with his current popularity.
Backstage a furious Punk demanded a match with Heyman from Brad Maddox. So the GM booked him in an elimination handicap one against Heyman and Axel at Night of Champions, and if Heyman tries to get out of it he'll never be seen again.
Before the main event Renee Young tried to interview Big Show, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz on the Handicap Match they were about to witness and the current situation with Triple H, but they refused to answer in fear of loosing their jobs.
Daniel Bryan won the Gauntlet Match versus The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose). Daniel Bryan first defeated Seth Rollins in a superb contest. It was gripping stuff from the opening bell, and the best one on one match Rollins has had on the main roster. Both men deserve credit for top efforts here.
Bryan went on to win via disqualification versus Rollins and Ambrose after each of them would break up his Yes Lock attempts on the other Shield member. The trio continued to assault Bryan after, spearing him and then triple powerbombing him with the nod from Triple H. The COO looked on at the wrestlers on the stage, checking if anyone wanted to say something, but no one did. Orton also came out and RKO'd Bryan for good measure. Big Show looked desperate to do something but refused to, which struck me as odd considering he has an iron clad contract anyway, he couldn't have gotten fired?
Overall it was an enjoyable Raw, with a few solid and above average bouts for TV and significant progress in the bigger storylines. Plus that tremendous (and truthful) promo from AJ. Admittedly it wasn't as strong as last week's show, but that was pretty exceptional. my highlights were CM Punk versus Axel, Christian versus Orton, AJ Lee's speech and the lively Gauntlet Match.