Stephanie McMahon starts the show off by saying her father doesn’t think Daniel Bryan is championship material, and she has a solution. Stephanie says she asked Bryan to participate in a makeover, then she shows a video of Bryan being pampered and groomed. She introduces the ‘new’ Bryan to the crowd, and he comes out in a suit and Stephanie says he looks sharp. Bryan says the fans must like his look, then they boo and he thanks Stephanie for her time and effort, but he doesn’t think the company wants this. Bryan says he thinks WWE wants a guy who’s jacked and wear cargo shorts, and he says John Cena doesn’t think he can win because he doesn’t look like a champion. He says someone like him couldn’t possibly beat Cena, but he says he can win because Cena is an entertainer while he is a wrestler.
Vince says he is starting to warm up to Bryan, and he thinks he could be champion because they’ve never had a troll built like a toothpick as champion. Vince makes fun of him and calls him a miniature Mick Foley, but he says he might not want him as champion, but he thinks they can work something out. He says they need to do one more thing, then Vince looks at his beard and says he needs to shave it now, and he waves a crew down with a barber’s chair. Vince tells him it won’t hurt, and if he wants to be WWE Champion bad enough, he will go through with this right now. Vince tells him to ignore the fans and listen to him, then he tells him to get in the chair, and they need someone who is well groomed, like Wade Barrett.
Wade comes out with some clippers and a grooming kit, and Vince says he’ll do this because he wants to be WWE Champion more than anything. Bryan asks Wade to leave part of it, then he headbutts Wade and shaves half of his beard, to which Wade obviously flips out. Bryan hits him again and shaves some more, then he shoves Wade in the chair and runs up the ramp. Bryan says if Vince wants him to change, he says no, and he likes who he is. Bryan says he is staying the same and he will be WWE Champion, then he takes off his dress shirt and says ‘the beard is here,’ which it also says on his shirt.
Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto whips RVD into the corner but RVD takes him down with a monkey flip, then he drops him with a thrust kick and a standing moonsault for two. Alberto kicks him and goes for a leg lariat, but RVD avoids it and kicks Alberto outside, and takes him down with a slingshot dive as we go to a break. We get back to see RVD hit a few elbows, then he goes for Rolling Thunder but Alberto rolls away and superkicks him for a near fall. Alberto goes for a step up enziguiri but RVD ducks, then he hits a springboard thrust kick and Rolling Thunder before setting up a split legged moonsault. Alberto gets his knees up and Ricardo wedges his bucket in the turnbuckles, but RVD reverses a whip and sends Alberto into it headfirst, then makes the cover. Alberto looks pissed as he gets up, then Ricardo tries to reason with him but Alberto superkicks him and beats him with the bucket before throwing him outside. Alberto hits him a few more times on the floor, then he wedges Ricardo’s head in the steps and dropkicks it before taunting the fans with his title.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Cody Rhodes comes to the ring and says true friends stab you in the front, so Damien Sandow was never his friend, and he’ll remind them all why. After a highlight clip, Cody says he spared no expense and he got the briefcase back, then he pulls it out of a box and tells Sandow to come and get it. Sandow walks out and demands he put the case down and leave, then Cody leaves as Sandow gets in the ring, but Cody runs back in and attacks him. Cody hits him a few times and rolls him out of the ring, then Cody opens the case and keeps the contract, then throws the case at Sandow on the ramp.
Mark Henry vs Ryback
Henry drops Ryback with a shoulder tackle, but Ryback knocks him down and hits him in the back a few times before he hits the ropes. Henry takes him down with a shoulder block, then he goes for a powerslam but Ryback counters and rolls outside, getting himself intentionally counted out.
Winner: Mark Henry (via Countout)
The Bella Twins are shown getting ready and talking about Total Divas, then they say the ratings are high because of them, and they talk about who looks better. Eva Marie walks in and talks about how they beat Natalya last week, then Natalya walks in and they say it’s like a slap in the face. Natalya says she will show Brie a slap in the face, then she hauls off and smacks her, walking away as Eva Marie and Nikki check on Brie.
John Cena comes to the ring and says he’s used to being a target, and Daniel Bryan wants to talk about what he looks like, but he’s heard it all before. Cena says he’s not the first or the last, but he’s not changing for anyone because this is who he is, and this is who he’ll always be. He says Bryan wants to glorify wrestling in gyms, but that’s who he wants to be because he comfortable with it, and Bryan was right about one thing. Cena says he wouldn’t wrestle anywhere but WWE because he won’t tarnish his championship, then he makes mention of Bryan saying he can’t wrestle. Cena says they chant it at him, but he’s an eleven-time champion that’s wrestled the very best, and none of it happens by luck. Cena acknowledges the ‘boring’ chants and says they must want to see the fight right now, and Bryan doesn’t see the great opportunity that is in front of him.
Cena says Bryan will earn it if he wins, but if he loses he has to live with it, and Cena’s been saying the same thing for months, and that is the champ is here. Randy Orton cuts him off and walks to the ring and says Cena is aware of the target on his back, but not of the one staring at him. Orton says it doesn’t matter who wins at Summerslam, because he has a contract that guarantees he’ll be champion, and it can happen at anytime. He says he is making a point and holds up his briefcase, then he says the champ is here as The Shield comes through the crowd and surrounds the ring. Cena and Orton get ready to defend themselves, then Daniel Bryan runs out to even things up and Brad Maddox tells them all to calm down. He says they can’t get along so they’ll have a six man tag match, with The Shield facing the three of them in tonight’s main event.
Tons of Funk (w/ The Funkadactyls) vs The Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt)
Harper hits Tensai a few times but Tensai hits a shoulder block, then Tensai gets up and knocks him down but Harper comes back with a big boot. Rowan tags in and punches Tensai in the corner, then he goes for a running splash but Tensai avoids it and knocks him down on the mat. Harper jumps in and hits Tensai from behind, then Rowan isolates Brodus in the corner and follows up a clothesline by Harper with a running splash on Tensai for the win.
Winner: The Wyatt Family
Bray gets in the ring and drops Brodus with Sister Abigail, then he says he is different because he’s not a demon, but a man of many truths. Bray says he’s the Eater of Worlds, then he tells Kane to follow the buzzards and looks towards the rafters as the lights go out. They get cut off by Kane’s pyro, and Kane apears on the Titantron and says he can’t follow buzzards if he tore the wings off, and he says he knows why they’re here. Kane says he sees through the words and he tortures people, but he doesn’t share the same views as Bray and he hurts people for amusement. He says there’s no one better at doing the devil’s work than him, and he says no one can save Bray from him at Summerslam when he’s in a ring of fire. Kane sets his pyro off on the turnbuckles, but Bray just laughs and takes it all in as the picture cuts out and the segment ends.
Josh Mathews asks CM Punk for his thoughts on wrestling Curtis Axel, but Punk says he wants to talk about Axel’s father instead. He says Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan were great together, but Perfect still had his own thoughts and Axel is brainwashed by Paul Heyman. Punk says Heyman gets Axel into fights he doesn’t need, and he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore because he’s looking forward to Summerslam. He says it’s the best versus the beast when he faces Brock Lesnar, and not only will he beat Brock, but he takes everything away from Heyman.
Kaitlyn vs Layla
Layla mocks Kaitlyn and tells her to cry, but Kaitlyn tackles her and hits some mounted punches before she gets a near fall pin attempt. Kaitlyn punches her in the back so Layla ducks under the ropes, then she cheap shots Kaitlyn behind the ref’s back and hits a DDT for two. Layla hits her in the back and throws her into the turnbuckles, then she chokes her using a headscissors over the ropes before slamming her face on the mat. Layla hits the ropes but Kaitlyn counters with a backbreaker, then she hits a few clotheslines and a shoulder tackle before she hits a Gutbuster. AJ Lee comes out and skips around the ring to distract her, and Kaitlyn goes for a spear but Layla ducks, so Kaitlyn pulls her away from the ropes. AJ jumps on the apron and Kaitlyn runs her off, but Layla gets up and hits the Bombshell for the win.
We see CM Punk walking backstage. CM Punk and Curtis Axel is next.
CM Punk vs IC Champion Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman)
CM Punk sees Paul and goes after him but Curtis is right after Punk. Punk is more intent to get to heyman. They are brawling outside the ring. CM Punk throws Curtis in the ring and the ref finally rings the bell. Curtis is all over punk with punches and slaps. Punk finally gets the upper hand back and throws Curtis out of the ring. Punk hits a suicide Dive to the outside. Punk is on fire. We go to commercial.
CM Punk hits a round house kick and out of no where Curtis hits a clothesline. Curtis yells I am the best in the world and your nothing and then slaps him in the head. Curtis goes for a quick cover 1-2 kickout. He puts Punk in a headlock. Here comes Paul Heyman back to the ring. Punk sees Heyman and Tries to go after him and Curtis grabs Punks leg and hits a huge clothesline. 1-2 kickout by Punk. Punk hits a flying crossbody on Curtis and then looks at heyman again. He goes to the outside and chases him but Curtis cuts him off with another huge clothesline. Axel goes for a pin 1-2 kickout. He is punching Punk and rubbing his forearm in his face. Axel is missing some big moves and gives Punk a chance to come back. Punk hits the high Knee and clothesline and he goes to the top rope but Axel knocks him down. CM Punk grabs Heyman and drags him in the ring causing a disqualification.
Winner: No Contest
Here comes Brock Lesnar, Punk throws Heyman out of the ring and is standing his ground in the Ring. Before Punk can attack Brock Axel grabs him out of the ring and Punk hits the GTS on Axel. Punk goes to hit Brock with a chair and Brock grabs it and throws it. Punk starts punching him but Lesnar gets him on his shoulders. Punk gets down and sends him head first in the ring post. A kick to the face and then a huge clothesline from the top of the announce table from Punk, Brock Lesnar is finally on the ground. Brock gets up and hits a huge Body to Body Suplex. Lesnar gets Punk in the ring and sets him up for the F5 but Punk gets out and then hits Lesnar with the chair. Punk sees Heyman and Heyman is on his knees and he goes to hit Heyman but Lesnar grabs him and hits a F5 on CM Punk. Heyman yells “Brock hurt him!”. Lesnar gets the chair and attacks Punk with it. Heyman walks over and raises Brock Lesnar’s hand as his music plays with Punk laying at their feet.
We come back from commercial and Brock Lesnar, Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman are backstage and Lesnar says That’s the Best? I am the BEAST and the Best in the World. Paul say something stupid. He tells the girl to take that microphone and deliver a message to CM Punk. I wamt you to tell him that he may not make it to Summerslam. Next week on Raw. I am going to walk out to the ring and go one on one with CM Punk.
Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi is much skinnier and is in long tights now. Fandango takes over quickly to start and takes Kofi down as the announcers talk about ballet. A quick chinlock sets up a dropkick to Kofi but a middle rope knee drop misses. Kofi comes back with a dropkick and the Boom Drop but Fandango bails from Trouble in Paradise. Fandango gets in a kick of his own but misses the legdrop, allowing Kofi to get two off a cross body. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise and gets the pinfall.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
We see Triple H backstage on his cell phone and here comes Stephanie McMahon. She is crying and says Vince bit her head off. He says calm down, your dad has lost it. Bottom line no one wants to say it but he has completely Lost it. He doesn’t care if he throws away Summerslam and I am tired of it. I will not watch this ship go down because of him. I don’t know what he is going to do Steph but I am going to stop him..watch me I will stop him.
The Real Americans vs. The Uso’s
Jimmy and Jack Swagger start the match off. Cesaro gets tagged in and hits a huge uppercut to start off. Swagger tags back in and is all over Jimmy Uso with Punches. Jimmy tries to come back but Swagger cuts him off with a take down. Swagger hits the Swagger bomb and Here comes Cesaro. They are doing some good Double Teaming to keep Jimmy away from Jay. Jimmy hits a huge kick to the face on Swagger and he tags in. Jay and Cesaro are the legal Men. Jay hits the face buster in the corner on Cesaro 1-2 and Swagger interupts the count. Jimmy flys out to Swagger on the outside. Cesaro jumps off the top rope and Jay hits a superkick 1-2 kickout. Swagger throws Jimmy into the ring post head first. Cesaro throws Jay to swagger and he punches him, Cesaro pulls him back and hits the Neutralizer for the win.
Winner: The Real Americans
Michael Cole hypes the main event tonight, The Shield vs Cena, Bryan and Orton. They announce that Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston will face next.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E. Langston
Ziggler hits a quick dropkick for one and gets out of a gorilla press, only to be knocked off the apron and out to the floor. Back in and Langston puts on an abdominal stretch for a big. Big E. misses a charge into the post and Ziggler snaps off a quick Stinger Splash and a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler tries to speed things up but gets caught in a drop into a backbreaker to put him down. Langston misses a splash and Dolph mostly misses a Fameasser for two. Kaitlyn comes out to go after AJ because that feud hasn’t gone on long enough. The girls get in the ring and Big E. runs Dolph over with a huge clothesline and hits the Big Ending for the win.
Winner: Big E. Langston
They interview some random girls from the show Summer Camp that airs after Raw on the USA network.
The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and WWE Champion John Cena
Orton starts off with Rollins in the middle of the ring and they are kicking and punching each other. Orton hits a Suplex and goes for a cover but only a 1 count. Here comes Daniel Bryan. He is flying all over the ring and hits a suicide dive on Ambrose. Daniel starts to go after Reigns and Ambrose Drop kicks him. They have now grounded Bryan and dominating him. Bryan tries to come back but The Shield cuts him off. Cena is in the corner trying to get the crowd to help him. Bryan hits a kick to the face out of nowhere. He is crawling to the corner but Rollins gets tagged in before he can. Bryan tags in Cena but the ref didn’t see. Daniel is shoved into Orton but then he gets rollins in the Yes Lock. The Shield break it up. Cena is trying to get order as the Ref calls for the bell.
Winners: Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and John Cena (via DQ)
3 Things that I Liked:
- The Shield. Finally getting some big name competition again. Will we see this continue through Summerslam or will they get three names that’s not worthy of sharing the ring with them. If they can’t get them better competition than the WWE needs to just split them up. The Shield is so much better than The Usos and Mark Henry. They need a major match at Summerslam thus furthering
- Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. Is this the Main Event, ohh no there’s a WWE title match between Bryan and Cena. Well WWE or should I say Punk and Heyman with a little help from Lesnar is building this match up like it is. Am I mad? Heck no! I love this. I am a huge Punk mark and I find myself entertained even with Lesnar doing most of the offense in this feud. I cannot wait for Summerslam and this is a huge reason why.
- Kofi Kingston returns! I am happy to see Kofi back, now the midcard champions Dean Ambrose and Curtis Axel can have someone to feud with. I’ll go on record and say that Kofi will never beat either of these two men for the titles but at least it gives the champions someone to face. Kofi is the master of the midcard and he has his hands full in his return.
3 Things that I Hated:
- Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. What is the purpose of having Del Rio destroy Ricardo? I get that Del Rio is a heel and the only thing people liked about Del Rio being a face was Ricardo. But how good of a heel are you if the only way that he can get hated on is by beating up his former ring announcer. Not a very good one! But you….you already knew that. **insert Del Rio wink**
- Daniel Bryan’s corporate makeover. What was the point of this, I’m sure everyone knew that they weren’t going to go through with this. Daniel Bryan’s beard may be unruly but it’s still something new and it’s a permanent fixture of Daniel Bryan’s look. His new shirt is supposed to be a top seller as well so Vince wouldn’t want to change anything like that. Vince does what’s good for business and at the moment that’s keeping the beard!
- The Real Americans. I really wish they would somehow either turn Face or stay heel and challenge for the Tag Team titles. The Shield and the Real Americans would have some stellar matches. The Shield could use this competition and it gives Jack Swagger and Cesaro something to do instead of having random matches with whoever they want to pair up that night. They could have some great series of matches and these two teams could slowly build the tag team division back. But I wouldn’t count on it.
Segment of the Night: Cody Rhodes unveiling Damien Sandow’s new Money in the Bank briefcase.
Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel
Overall Grade: B +
This concludes my live coverage of tonight’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw. As always I want to hear your thoughts on Raw! What did you like or hate? What was your match and segment of the night? What would you grade tonight’s Raw as? Use the comments section below…
Brandon Sampson currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling and does the weekly Monday Night Raw recap and reaction. Brandon can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CamelClutchBlogBrandon and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CCB_Brandon
[amazon_link id=”B00DBPBOYM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Legends Of The Mid-South Wrestling[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00DBPBQB8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: Summerslam 2013 DVD[/amazon_link]