WWE Monday Night Raw saw the promised return of Dusty Rhodes and his son as well as the final confrontation between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan before this weekend’s Breakdown pay-per-view.

The Breakdown

WWE Monday Night RawThis week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw opened with CM Punk coming out to the ring. He cut a big promo on what he planned on doing to both Paul Heyman and Ryback before general manager Brad Maddox came out and Big E. Langston followed. After Big E attacked Punk, Maddox called out a referee and the match was underway. Punk won the match with the GTS.

Fandango came out next and battled Kofi Kingston. Both men were wearing pink as the WWE has started celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The middle ring rope is pink as well. Kofi beat Fandango with the Trouble in Paradise and it looks like Fandango has become a glorified jobber with a fancy entrance.

The Wyatt Family came out after the match ended, but never hit the ring and Bray Wyatt just cut a promo. That was kind of meaningless.

WWE Monday Night RawIn the back, Brie and Nikki Bella talked about Brie’s upcoming Diva’s title match with AJ Lee at Battleground. Randy Orton came up to them and mentioned how Brie was marrying Daniel Bryan and after Battleground, Bryan wouldn’t be able to walk down the aisle anymore.

Los Matadores made their debut next. This is Primo and Epico in a new gimmick. They also have a midget as a bull mascot. Los Matadores beat 3MB in their debut match and that midget is pretty entertaining.

Next up is the Rhodes family segment. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon come to the ring together and call out the Rhodes family. Dusty Rhodes, Cody Rhodes and Goldust all come out. Triple H insults both Rhodes’ boys and then offers them a chance to get their jobs back. If Cody Rhodes and Goldust beat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at Battleground, they get their jobs back. If they lose, Dusty Rhodes loses his job as a development trainer. Dusty said they agree as long as he is at ringside with them.

WWE Monday Night RawAfter Triple H and Stephanie leave, The Shield attack and beat down all three men.

R-Truth got a match with Curtis Axel next. The end came when CM Punk’s music hit and Axel was distracted long enough for R-Truth to hit the Pay Dirt for the win.

After a video promo of Daniel Bryan proposing to Brie Bella, the Diva beat Alicia Fox in a singles match.

Big Show was interviewed backstage. He went through all that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H made him do and he finally lost control. He said he was going to knock out Triple H.

Alberto Del Rio beat Zack Ryder in a surprisingly competitive match.

WWE Monday Night RawPaul Heyman and Ryback came out to the ring next. After a long promo where it sounded like Heyman was going to propose to Ryback, Heyman dropped to one knee and asked Ryback if he would become a “Paul Heyman guy.” Before he could answer, CM Punk’s music started playing. Punk came through the crowd but looked like he tweaked his knee. When Heyman came over the check on him, Punk pulled out a kendo stick and beat down Heyman, Ryback and Curtis Axel, who ran out for the save.

WWE Monday Night RawThe next match was a six-man match between The Shield against Dolph Ziggler and The Usos. The Usos looked great in this match, but The Shield won when Roman Raigns hit the spear on Ziggler for the win.

Big Show backstage was waiting for Triple H in his office when the police showed up. They said they heard he made threats towards a WWE employee and were arresting him. That is when Stephanie showed up. She vouched for Big Show and asked for him not to be arrested. She then said that she talked to Big Show’s wife and heard he isn’t measuring up at home either. When everyone left, Big Show punched a hole into a poster of Triple H and into the wall.

Santino Marella fought Antonio Cesaro next and won with a surprise small package.

WWE Monday Night RawAfter that, Rob Van Dam was backstage and they showed his Top 10 most hardcore moments from YouTube to lead to his hardcore match with Alberto Del Rio this Sunday.

The end of this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw came with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton in a face off in the ring. Orton cut his basic promo about being better than Bryan and then said that he was glad Triple H held up the title because it motivated him. Bryan came back with a great promo about how Triple H knows that Orton has to be motivated because he isn’t good enough without motivation, where Bryan never needed motivated.

Orton than came back and said that he knows something must be wrong with Brie Bella to be marrying Bryan. He then said one day she would wake up and realize she was sleeping with nothing more than a barnyard animal. That caused Bryan to attack. Orton finally got the upper hand and Brie ran in to beg Orton to stop. Orton hit the hangman DDT from the ring apron to the floor and then the RKO through the announcer’s table in front of Brie to end the show.

The Analysis

This was a strong WWE Monday Night Raw to head into Battleground this weekend. The biggest storyline was Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan and the big confrontation and fight at the end led into their big title match this weekend perfectly. I also liked how they brought Brie Bella into this if, for no other reason, to give Orton something to really sink his teeth into as a villain.

WWE Monday Night RawThe second big story this week was surrounding the Rhodes family. You know, there might not be anyone better than The American Dream on the mic, and while his “I’ll be your huckleberry” line was cheesy, seeing him face off with Triple H was great. This progressed well into Battleground as well, with the tag team match (which is much better than the six man match they were predicting with Dusty Rhodes in the ring).

CM Punk vs. Ryback went well and it was nice to see Punk both open the show and play mind games with Heyman and his guys. While I could have done without the Paul Heyman proposal, the beat down with the kendo stick was a nice way to bring their entire battle to a head. Punk vs. Ryback may not be the match I want to see at Battleground, but the build to Punk eventually getting his hands on Heyman is going nice.

While I have hated most of the Big Show storyline over the past few weeks, things are finally starting to move. I thought his decision to knock out Triple H was a little abrupt, though. I am glad they are moving the story forward and when Big Show finally knocks out Triple H, the place should go nuts.

Overall, this was a great send off show for Battleground.