'WWE RAW' Sept. 16: Daniel Bryan's WWE Championship in jeopardy

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WWE's "Night of Champions" ended on an awkward high note. Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship --- again -- but it wasn't without some controversy. The referee's count was very fast, but it wasn't acknowledged by anyone.

The big news: Fast forward one night, and "WWE RAW" kicks off with Bryan heading to the ring with the title, as the crowd screams "Yes!" Daniel doesn't get much celebrating time before Triple H comes out. He points out the obvious fast count before making the referee, Scott Armstrong, head to the ring to explain himself. 

Armstrong plays it off as some sort of conspiracy that he cooked up with Bryan, who says he played no part in it. Triple H strips Bryan of the title, leaving it vacant. If WWE wants fans to ever buy Daniel Bryan as a legitimate champion, having him only hold the title less than a day isn't going to do it, and this is the second time it's happened.

Later in the show, Triple H fires Armstrong without letting him defend himself. He says quite a few times that he'll "take care of" the referee with a pretty good severance package. In the real world, they call that hush money. It's obvious that Triple H set this whole thing up to screw Bryan.

Randy Orton expected he'd just get the title back, but that's not the case. Backstage Stephanie McMahon yells at him, saying he's changed. The "face of the WWE" they wanted was the "sick bastard" Orton used to be. She even mentions how that particular version of Orton handcuffed her husband to the ring and attacked her. Why would she want that guy back?

Orton brings the crazy version of himself back to life during a match with The Miz. He's relentless in destroying Miz in front of his hometown crowd, but Miz still gets in some good offnese of his own, in front of his parents, no less. The match ends with a double count out, but that doesn't stop Orton from punishing Miz. It might have been a little more believable if Miz's dad wasn't stone-faced the entire time. He ends the beating by putting Miz's head in a folding chair and smashing it. So that'll send him away for a while. 

Elsewhere, the extended McMahon family also continues their attack on the Rhodes family. First Cody got fired, then they let Goldust fight for his little brother's job and he lost. Now, Stephanie has brought "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, their father, to "RAW."

Before she gets to her bit, Dusty delivers a heck of a promo about being a father. He's been in the wrestling business for a very long time and the younger guys in the company could learn a few things from how he conducts himself on that microphone.

Stephanie gives Dusty the opportunity to choose which of his sons, Cody or Goldust, should be hired back by WWE. He can't choose a favorite and tells Stephanie to "go straight to hell." Oh Dusty, why? She calls out The Shield and Big Show to allow Dusty to pick which one will beat him up.

Naturally, The Shield is loving it. They're bad guys, this is what bad guys do. Big Show cries, though. This is the third week in a row of a wrestler crying on "RAW," and Big Show has been that guy twice. Dusty again won't make a decision, so Big Show makes it for him. When he sees The Shield ready to go after Dusty with steel chairs, he nails the knockout punch. That must be the lesser of two evils?

The one big story in the company that doesn't revolve around the McMahons is CM Punk's war against his former friend, Paul Heyman. Punk finally got his hands on Heyman at "Night of Champions," before Ryback made the save, revealing he was aligned with Paul.

Now, Heyman shows up on "RAW" in a wheelchair with Ryback to proclaim himself the best in the world, after getting the win over CM Punk. Paul doesn't have much to say, other than putting over Ryback as the only reason he will continue to be around annoying people and going after Punk. No Punk in sight though, which must be a letdown for the live crowd.

The main event of the evening shifts back to Daniel Bryan's trials and tribulations, as he's been placed in a match against The Shield's Roman Reigns. Bryan has the support of the audience and the boys in the back, but The Shield has the people in charge backing them, so fairness is out the window.

Orton and The Shield are at ringside, so you can see how this is all going to end. Orton attacks Bryan as he's about to beat Reigns, causing a disqualification. Then, the attack begins. The crowd chants for CM Punk to make the save, but they're out of luck. The rest of the locker room hits the ring, though, to fight back against The Shield, as Orton runs away. It's being sold as the wrestlers having "had enough" of the McMahon insanity. The show ends with the locker room carrying Bryan around the ring on their shoulders. The good guys end up with a victory, if even for one night, sending the crowd home happy. At least they're not crying like Big Show.

Matches:
  • Dolph Ziggler beat Dean Ambrose
  • Fandango beat R-Truth
  • Brie Bella, Naomi, Cameron beat Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana
  • Rob Van Dam beat Damien Sandow
  • Randy Orton and The Miz draw in a double count out
  • The Usos beat The Real Americans and Tons of Funk to become #1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship
  • Daniel Bryan beat Roman Reigns by DQ
Photo/Video credit: WWE
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