This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw saw Triple H make a quick return after Big Show knocked him out last week and the return of a WWE Hall of Fame legend to talk to the crowd. Here is this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw recap.

The Breakdown

WWE Monday Night Raw opened with the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels coming down to the ring. Any show that can start with an appearance by HBK gets bonus points in my book. Well, he is here to tell the crowd that he promises that he will call the Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan WWE title match right down the middle. He then pinkie swears even though he hates Orton.

WWE Monday Night RawThat brings out Randy Orton. The Viper goes through a list of bad things that will happen to HBK if he doesn’t referee the match fair. That causes HBK to snap to attention and admit he wasn’t listening to anything Orton was saying. He then said he realizes that Orton is trying to intimidate him and that it won’t work. Orton tries to hit Shawn with the RKO and Shawn ducks it and tries Sweet Chin Music, which Orton also ducks, escaping.

As Orton is leaving, The Miz attacks him and beats him down. This leads to the first match, which is Orton vs. The Miz. This is a payback match for when Orton beat up Miz in front of his mommy and daddy. Things don’t go well when the lights go out and The Wyatt Family appears at the top of the stage. Orton uses the distraction to hit the RKO for the win. After the match, Bray Wyatt tells The Miz he has targeted him because Miz cares too much about red carpets and the fame.

WWE Monday Night RawAfter that was a quick match where Fandango beat Santino Marella after Summer Rae caused the distraction. This was pretty much a crap match.

Next, we head to the back where Paul Heyman is trying to convince Brad Maddox that he should be allowed to make the Hell in a Cell match against CM Punk a handicap match with Ryback and Curtis Axel. Maddox agrees to have two “Beat the Clock” matches on “WWE Monday Night Raw” and whoever wins their matches faster gets to choose the stipulation.

Los Matadores and their little friend Torito came out next for the “kid friendly” match of the show and beat 3MB.

WWE Monday Night RawTriple H and Stephanie McMahon came to the ring next. They are now called “The Authority” and Stephanie rambled off a bunch of crap about being too nice to The Big Show. Then Triple H said he would be the bad guy if that is how the crowd wanted to view him and would do really bad things to people. He then said anyone who even thought of chanting “YES” would be dealt with.

That brought out Daniel Bryan who led the crowd in a “YES” chant, so Alberto Del Rio ran out and attacked him from behind, beating him down. Stephanie McMahon said that the two would fight tonight.

The first “Beat the Clock” match was next and Ryback fought R-Truth. For a lot of the match, R-Truth ran around outside and stalled, which was used to make the match last longer to help CM Punk. Ryback finally won in 5:44.

WWE Monday Night RawIn the back, Stephanie McMahon found the Bella Twins and booked Brie Bella in a match with Tamina Snuka. Stephanie said that Nikki can’t come to ringside with her sister but Tamina gets AJ Lee at ringside with her.

Next up, The Real Americans beat Tons of Funk. Once again, Antonio Cesaro was amazing, both hitting the Nuetralizer on Brodus Clay and a four-rotation Big Swing on Tensai after the match. The guy is a beast.

Tamina Snuka beat Brie Bella in the next match. After the match, Tamina and AJ Lee beat down Brie.

WWE Monday Night RawIn the second “Beat the Clock” match, CM Punk battled Curtis Axel. The match ended funny. All Axel had to do was last longer than 5:44, but he seemed like he wanted to win faster than Ryback did and that cost him the match, which Punk won with 11 seconds to spare. Punk made the stipulation for the PPV match a handicap match – Ryback and Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk in the Hell in a Cell structure.

WWE Monday Night RawThe next match saw Daniel Bryan battle Alberto Del Rio. This was a great match that got a lot of time. The end came when Randy Orton showed up on the Titan Tron and said he was going to check on Brie Bella. He went into the trainer’s room and closed the door and Brie screamed. Alberto tried for the sneaky win, but Bryan reversed out of it, kicked him in the head and then Bryan left the match to check on Brie, losing by countout.

When Bryan reached the trainer’s room, Randy Orton jumped him from behind and tossed him into some equipment. It was kind of a lame beat down that ended quickly.

WWE Monday Night RawThe WWE Monday Night Raw main event saw The Shield defend their tag team titles against Goldust and Cody Rhodes. Triple H made it a no disqualification match so Dean Ambrose could help his partners. This main event was a fantastic television match, one of the best free TV matches of the year. Goldust has come back to life and he looked better than he has in years. Even with Ambrose interfering, the Rhodes boys fought hard and kept it even.

WWE Monday Night RawThe end came when they were out on the floor. Roman Reigns speared Goldust through the barricade and into the time keeper’s table. That is when Big Show ran in from the crowd. He hit Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins with his knockout punch. He then turned to the ring where Roman Reigns was. Cody went for the Beautiful Disaster, but Reigns ducked and went right into Big Show’s knockout punch. Rhodes covered for the three count and the Rhodes brothers are the new tag team champions.

WWE Monday Night RawTriple H ran out at the end and pushed Rhodes out of the ring before taking his jacket off and staring down Big Show who escaped through the crowd. Triple H stood in the ring, furious, while the Big Show led the crowd in a “YES” chant and the Rhodes brothers celebrated with their new titles.

The Analysis

WWE Monday Night RawWow. For the second week in a row, WWE Monday Night Raw ended on a high note. The booking for awhile was starting to turn me off of the product, but the last month has really started turning things around. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are doing a good job as the evil bosses, but they are finally allowing the good guys to fight back and that makes this entire battle more interesting.

Plus, the matches this week were better than last week with both the main event and the Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio matches great and the two “Beat the Clock” matches fun as well. Add in an appearance by Shawn Michaels and this episode of WWE Monday Night Raw is an easy show to recommend.