Tonight’s WWE RAW kicks off with Daniel Bryan coming to the ring. Fans chant “yes” as Michael Cole welcomes us to RAW. We see footage from last week where Bryan avoided having his beard shaved by Wade Barrett. We also see footage from SmackDown where Bryan defeated Barrett. Barrett has requested a rematch and here we go.
Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
Barrett waits as Bryan makes his entrance. Justin Roberts brings out RAW General Manager Brad Maddox and says he will be the special referee for this match.
[adinserter block=”1″]The bell rings and they go at it. Bryan with a dropkick early on. Barrett comes back and tosses Bryan out of the ring. Bryan comes back in and takes Barrett down by whipping his leg. More work on the leg by Bryan. Bryan runs the ropes and leaps out onto Barrett. Bryan comes from the apron but Barrett moves and drops Bryan on the floor with a big boot. Barrett sends Bryan into the barrier and brings him back into the ring for more offense in the corner. Barrett sends Bryan back to the floor and Maddox counts. Barrett follows and sends Bryan into the steel steps. They come back in and trade shots. Barrett takes Bryan to the mat.
Bryan comes back and hits a suicide dive out on the floor. Bryan brings it back in the ring for a missile dropkick. Bryan with a bunch of kicks to the chest. Barrett ducks the kick to the head and rolls Bryan up for the win after Maddox does a very fast count.
Winner: Wade Barrett
After the match, Bryan stares down Maddox in the ring. Bryan backs Maddox into the corner and goes at him but Maddox drops and rolls out of the ring. Maddox heads up the ramp as Bryan looks on. Bryan gets a “no” chant going as we go to replays.
Still to come, Bryan and John Cena will be on Miz TV. Also, CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman. As they head to a commercial they show Randy Orton and Damien Sandow. They have a match next.
Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow
Back from the break and Cody Rhodes is on commentary. Out first comes Damien Sandow with his new and improved briefcase. Out next comes Randy Orton.
They go at it and Sandow drops Orton with a headlock first. Sandow with a headlock now. They run the ropes and Orton drops Sandow with a back elbow. Orton works over Sandow in the corner now. More back and forth action. Orton takes Sandow down with a headlock now. Orton tosses Sandow to the apron but he hangs on. Orton dropkicks him out to the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sandow drops Orton for a 2 count. Sandow with shoulder thrusts in the corner. Orton ends up on the floor again. Sandow follows and brings him back in for a pin attempt. Orton finally makes a comeback and nails the powerslam, then the draping DDT from the second rope. Cody ends up arguing with and distracting Sandow. Orton nails a RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
We see RVD backstage getting ready. There will be a 20-man battle royal tonight to see who faces United States Champion Dean Ambrose at Summerslam. We see The Shield backstage. They cut a promo on the “old guard” still running around. They are the new generation – hungrier and better. Ambrose talk about the bottle royal and we go to commercial.
[adinserter block=”2″]Back from the break and we get Brock Lesnar’s message to CM Punk that aired on SmackDown. Brock says his match with Punk is personal because he never liked Punk. Punk says he’s the best in the world, but Brock sees a joke. The only reason he didn’t take Punk out was for Paul. The corporate idiots are calling this The Best vs The Beast, but I’m the best. Punk thinks because he tapes his hands and takes beginner MMA classes. They think there’s jealousy, but there’s no jealousy of Punk. Brock was WWE Champ when Punk was wrestling in front of 100 people in high school gyms. Punk did hold the WWE Title for 434 days, that’s big for someone like Punk, but Punk’s never faced anyone like Brock. Size does matter. Punk will learn what it is to truly be victimized by Brock. Josh Mathews is backstage with Punk now. Punk talks about Heyman and their match. Punk predicts he will see Lesnar tonight.
The Great Khali and Natalya vs. Big E. Langston and AJ Lee
Back from the break and out comes WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee and Big E Langston. We get a side video of Big E trashing Dolph Ziggler earlier.
AJ slaps Khali to start the match. Natalya comes in and lays her out. Natalya slams AJ back into the corner and stomps on her. Natalya gets countered and shoved into the corner. AJ with a spin kick for a 2 count. We see Ziggler and Kaitlyn watching backstage. AJ works on Natalya in the corner now. AJ takes Natalya to the mat. AJ slams Natalya back down by her hair and covers for a 2 count. Natalya tries for a comeback but AJ kicks her in the gut and then hits a dropkick for 2. AJ yells at Hornswoggle and tries to kick him. AJ takes her down for a Sharpshooter and locks it in. AJ taps but the referee doesn’t count it or something. Natalya goes to the referee to raise her hand but there’s definitely some miscommunication here. Natalya applies the Sharpshooter again and AJ taps out for the win.
Winners: The Great Khali and Natalya
After the bell, the celebration ends when Big E attacks Khali from behind. Big E tosses Hornswoggle across the ring and kicks him out. Big E turns around to a big overhead chop from Khali. Khali and Natalya dance with Hornswoggle to end the segment.
Vince McMahon is backstage walking. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and here comes Vince McMahon to talk about the Bryan vs. Barrett match earlier tonight. Vince calls out Brad Maddox. Maddox admits to being a little excited and may have accidentally did a fast count. Vince says everyone makes mistakes. Maddox asks for a second chance. Maddox promises to call it down the middle this time. Vince makes some fun of Bryan. Vince goes to announce that Maddox will special referee SummerSlam but out comes Triple H.
Triple H says he isn’t here to air any dirty laundry. Fans chant for Triple H and Vince tells them to quit feeding his ego. Triple H agrees that we need someone impartial to take control of the WWE Title match and call it right down the line. Triple H doesn’t agree that it should be Brad Maddox. Triple H says it sounds like Vince was referring to him. He drops the mic and nails Maddox with a Pedigree. Vince gets pissed and storms out of the ring. He stares back at Triple H. Cole announces that Triple H will be the special referee for the SummerSlam main event.
Still to come, MizTV and Punk vs. Heyman. Back to commercial.
Kane vs. Titus O’Neil (w/ Darren Young)
Kane out to the ring. O’Neil in the ring waiting. The Wyatt Family video, showing the attacks on Kane with Bray talking and laughing over it all. Then Kane comes back last week to challenge Bray to a Ring of Fire Match. Both laugh at the end.
Kane is on O’Neil, running the ropes into Kane’s back elbow. Kane takes O’Neil down, drop kick on a sitting O’Neil for two. Blows on O’Neil in a corner. O’Neil comes back with blows. O’Neil runs into a big boot (badly). O’Neil whipped, takes a clothesline from Kane, then whipped and takes another. Sidewalk slam. Kane sets up, Young tries to distract, and hits his chokeslam.
The Wyatt Family’s entrance music, We’re Coming! Bray has that smirk lightly on his lips as he heads out. The chair is set out. Bray sits and smiles, then blows out the lamp. The lights come up, Rowan and Harper in the ring, but Kane isn’t. Bray gets up, spins around, his bum to the apron. Kane is on the stage! Kane calls fire from all four. Rowan and Harper tweak out, but Bray smiles and laughs, though knocked to his knees. The fire ends and Bray is still laughing.
This leads to another commercial.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
We go to the ring and out comes World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio without Ricardo Rodriguez. We see footage of the beatdown last week. Out next comes Kofi Kingston. Dropkick by Kingston. Kingston punching away at Del Rio in the corner. Clothesline to Del Rio. Irish whip reversed by Del Rio. Kingston the tree of woe and Del Rio stomps away at Kingston. Del Rio hooks Kingston up and an inverted superplex. Del Rio swats Kingston’s dropkick away. Kingston with a series of clotheslines and a dropkick. Kingston hits the Boom Drop. Del Rio counters Trouble In Paradise and hits the backbreaker. SOS by Kingston to Del Rio. Del Rio counters the Trouble In Paradise a second time, Kingston chasing Del Rio around the outside back into the ring. Springboard off the ropes countered by Del Rio and Del Rio locks in the cross armbreaker for the submission
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
We see Mark Henry backstage getting ready for the battle royal. Back to commercial.
We get hype for Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio at SummerSlam. They air a music video looking at Christian’s career. Christian is backstage with Renee Young now. Christian says at SummerSlam, he will become the World Heavyweight Champion for a third time and prove what he’s been saying is true – all he needs is one… more… match. Del Rio walks up and laughs at Christian. He says something in Spanish and walks off.
The Real Americans vs. The Usos
We go to the ring and out comes Zeb Colter with The Real Americans. Colter cuts a promo on California as they walk to the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out come The Usos. Cesaro misses a kick and Uso goes to work on him. Cesaro moves from the corner and finally hits the big boot for a pin attempt. Swagger tags in for some double teaming on Uso. 2 count by Swagger. Cesaro gets some cheap shots in while the referee is distracted. Swagger nails a Swagger Bomb and in comes Cesaro for some more double teaming. 2 count by Cesaro. Cesaro and Uso trade shots now. Cesaro stops a tag and in comes Swagger. Swagger keeps Uso on the mat now.
Swagger and Jey Uso tag in next. They go at it. Uso hits a Samoan Drop. Uso hits the splash in the corner and goes for a pin but Cesaro pulls Swagger out of the ring to break the pin. The Usos nail suicide dives to the floor. Colter distracts the referee which allows The Usos to hit a double team move for the win.
Winners: The Usos
Still to come, Miz TV. Back to commercial.
[adinserter block=”2″]Miz welcomes everyone to MizTV and introduces his guests tonight. Daniel Bryan and John Cena. Bryan thinks it’s great someone finally stood up to McMahon when Triple H was named special referee and now he and Cena can have the kind of match everyone deserves. Cena says Triple H is a competitor and knows what it’s like to defend the WWE Title at Summerslam and can’t think of anyone better to call it right down the middle. Miz asks Cena what his real issues with Bryan are. Cena says there is no underlying theme. The issue is the WWE Championship. Bryan wants to be champion and he is champion. He chose Bryan because he deserves the opportunity and will put up one hell of a fight. Miz says it’s obvious Cena doesn’t respect him and only hand picked Bryan to give himself an easy win. Bryan tells Miz if he doesn’t shut up he’s going to punch Miz in the face. Bryan says he doesn’t get that Cena thinks all Bryan can do is put up one hell of a fight and says last week Cena came out and made some explosive remarks and got the WWE Universe on their feet. But he saw the red light turn on and grabbed the spotlight. It’s because of Cena and people like Cena who are in it for the fame and the glory. Not for the wrestling. Bryan says his shirt is a parody of Cena because he thinks Cena is a parody of wrestling and he doesn’t want to be a parody. He wants to be WWE Champion for one reason. To prove that when he steps foot in the ring there is nobody better than Daniel Bryan. Cena says he’s not a parody. The reason he’s out here is for the same reason Bryan is out here. For the people. And he thought Bryan would understand. The people believe in him and when someone believes in you it empowers you. That’s what WWE is, it’s about grabbing the spotlight and people choosing their favourites. It’s not about the t-shirt. It’s about the message it represents. Cena says parody is a joke, something funny. Cena says he doesn’t know how smart Bryan is but he’s not deaf and can hear it. He’s shown up for the past 12 years and bust his ass not for people who don’t respect him but for the 12 year old in the front row or the Make-A-Wish kids. He tells Bryan he should be proud of all he’s accomplished but Cena’s pround of what he’s become. For 12 years he’s wrestled everywhere. They’ve cheered and booed and he’s stood in hostile environments but the difference between him and Bryan is not parody it’s that Cena’s done it while holding the WWE Championship. He runs down a list of opponents he’s beaten. Bryan says Cena talks about those people like they’re better than Bryan and Cena says Bryan doesn’t belong in that class. Respect is earned. If Bryan is good enough to hold the WWE Championship Sunday then he’ll have earned Cena’s respect. Bryan says Cena is not treating this like he treated past matches because he respected those other opponents and doesn’t understand Bryan’s hunger to hold the WWE Championship just once. For Cena it’s just another Summerslam, for Bryan it’s the biggest match of his life. Bryan says there’s a custom he learned in Japan to fire someone up. They take their hand and hard as they can they slap him in the face and he wishes so bad he could do that to Cena right now but he can’t. Because Cena’s not a wrestler and he doesn’t deserve it. Cena taunts Bryan then slaps him. Triple H then comes out. Triple H gets in between Cena and Bryan but here comes Randy Orton to the stage. Orton stares down at the ring as his music plays.
Still to come, Punk vs. Heyman. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Fandango is making his entrance with Summer Rae. Out next comes R-Truth. They end up having a dance-off before the bell. Fandango attacks Truth while he’s dancing. They brawl and Fandango escapes the ring to leave the match.
Winner: No Contest
We see Ryback backstage getting ready for the battle royal. Back to commercial.
20 Man #1 Contender’s Battle Royal (United States Championship)
Ryback and Tensai exchange punches in the center of the ring. Ryback clotheslines Tensai over the top rope to the floor. Ryback and Cesaro work over Jey Uso. Titus and Cesaro exchange European uppercuts. Slater and McIntyre work over Jimmy Uso and Jinder joins in to eliminate him. Henry has Kofi in the corner while Truth goes after Swagger. Cesaro stops Truth. Clay punches Slater and Henry works over Barrett. Cesaro hits Khali from behind to stop his attack on Swagger. Titus punches Henry and kicks him. Ryback and Van Dam battle in the ropes. McIntyre tries to eliminate Kofi but Kofi escapes and Drew holds on to the ropes and stays on the apron. Kofi punches Ryback and then Swagger and Cesaro look at who to attack. Barrett punches Khali and Khali sends Barrett into the turnbuckles and he chops Wade. Slater does some ring post dancing while waiting for his time to return to the ring. Slater kicks Barrett from the apron and he returns to the ring. Truth eliminates Fandango and then Truth shimmies for him. Fandango eliminates Truth and then Van Dam sends Fandango back over the top rope. Heads to another commercial.
We get back from a break to see Titus try to throw RVD out, but RVD blocks it and clotheslines him outside before he goes after Wade in the corner. Kofi tries to eliminate Swagger and Cesaro, then Swagger throws him outside but Kofi somersaults over Cesaro and uses him to essentially kip back up. Kofi sends Swagger back and gets back in, but Swagger grabs him and finally eliminates him before they team up on Mark Henry in the corner. They lift him up but Henry elbows them and shoves them over the ropes, then he clotheslines Wade and throws him headfirst over the ropes.
Ryback gets in his face and chokes him, but Henry hits him and tries to throw him out, only to have Ryback land on the apron. RVD surprises him with a kick but he hangs on, then Henry splashes him to eliminate him and RVD faces off with Henry before putting him in a sleeper. Henry slams him into the turnbuckles and RVD lands on the apron, then Henry charges him but RVD pulls the ropes down and eliminates Henry to win. Henry gets back in the ring and gives RVD as a sign of respect, then he turns to leave but stays as The Shield makes their way through the crowd. They surround the ring and get ready to attack, but Big Show makes his return and The Shield backs away as he makes his way into the ring.
Winner and NEW #1 Contender: Rob Van Dam
The Shield surround three sides of the ring. Big Show’s music plays and Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns freeze on the apron. Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns retreat to the floor and then into the crowd as Show enters the ring. Still to come, Punk vs. Heyman. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Paul Heyman for the main event. Heyman is not dressed to wrestle. Heyman says this is all a conspiracy and introduces his co-conspirator – Brock Lesnar. Lesnar comes out and Heyman shows us a video package of Lesnar beating up on Punk.
Heyman says he’s willing to fight Punk tonight, only if it’s a handicap match with Lesnar by his side. Heyman demands an answer. Punk’s music hits but he comes from behind and grabs a camera from the cameraman on the apron. Punk hits Lesnar with the camera and sends him to the floor. Punk flies out with a suicide dive and nails some chairshots to the back. Punk chases Heyman up the ramp. Heyman runs to the back but Curtis Axel brawls with Punk on the ramp. Punk drops Axel with a GTS on the stage. RAW goes off the air with Punk looking at Lesnar, who is still down at ringside.
3 Things that I Liked:
- 20 Man Battle Royal. I loved this!! I’m so glad they gave the US title a little bit of the spotlight on Raw tonight. It was an easy way to get a US title match at Summerslam and it was an easy way to give a lot of wrestlers some air time. They need to add some prestige to these mid-card titles. If they can keep this up then maybe the US title will be on the road to recovery.
- Damien Sandow’s new briefcase. To quote Cody Rhodes, “does it look like chocolate?” and JBL’s quote “I like chocolate!”. I do too. Since its inception there has been 14 winners and this briefcase can help Sandow separate himself from this group. Yes just by changing the look of the briefcase. This new briefcase is a great idea and I can’t wait until he trades this new briefcase in for the World Heavyweight Championship. Sandow’s briefcase is chocolate, Intellectual Chocolate.
- Guest Referee. I like the move for Triple H to announce that he’ll be the Guest Referee for the WWE Championship match at Summerslam. I feel like this wasn’t needed but it adds an extra wrinkle to what regardless was going to be a great match. It will be fun to see what role Triple H will have in the match. Will he screw anyone; will he make sure that Randy Orton can cash in after the match? I can’t see Triple H aligning with Randy Orton but this makes it the most likely choice. The WWE always goes against the grain and throws that curveball. No one is predicting Triple H to turn heel and align with Orton or screw Bryan. All in all it will be fun to watch. I’m anxious to see what happens, as most of you probably are.
3 Things that I Hated:
- Miz TV. I am sooooo over Miz being a face, and I was over Miz TV even when he was a heel. Bring back Jericho and have him do the Highlight Reel. Bring back Piper and do Piper’s Pit. Heck, The Abraham Washington Show is better than Miz TV. I get the point of giving the main feuds more mic time by using a show within Raw for the format. But this is dull, the Miz is dull and I feel dull every time I have to write about his stupid show. And stop calling it controversial, it’s not…it just sucks!
- Mixed Tag Team Match. What exactly happened here? Did the referee botch the end of the match? We didn’t even see Big E wrestle any, so how does this further there Summerslam match? This was painful to watch and we shouldn’t have to deal with this stupid crap anymore. Get The Great Khali off TV as well as that referee.
- Kofi Kingston. Why have him lose a week removed from his return? It is my match of the night and he did look great against the World Heavyweight Champion. Del Rio had to win but if he had to win they’re countless jobbers in the back for him to face. Kingston could have had a great match with someone else and win. He needs some momentum if they have any plans for him whatsoever. But maybe this was the WWE’s way of saying we don’t have any plans for Kingston he’s just kind of there. Pointless matches with no real progress, I certainly hope this isn’t true.
Segment of the Night: TIE! “Unless Andre the Giant’s ghost is in the battle royal, I’m not losing at Summerslam!” The Shield’s backstage promo!! Absolute GOLD! and “I’d slap you but the truth is you’re not a wrestler and you don’t deserve it” Daniel Bryan-John Cena in ring promo.
Match of the Night: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Overall Grade: A
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. Like him Facebook.com/CamelClutchBlogBrandon and follow him Twitter.com/CCB_Brandon
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