Monday Night Raw – May 20, 2013: What’s In A Name? Not Much Unless It’s HHH.

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 20, 2013
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Extreme Rules and we have some major developments. First and foremost, Shield has possession of the US and Tag Team Titles, giving them their first gold and making them look even more dominant than they did before. Cena vs. Ryback went to a no contest after Ryback knocked Cena through the set and neither guy could continue. Also to the shock of no one, Lesnar was made to look like he survived his match against HHH instead of destroying the Game. Tonight we should be able to find out where things are going until Payback. Let’s get to it.

We open with an ambulance driving into the arena with its sirens blaring. Inside of the ambulance is Ryback, now with a Ryback Rules vest. Ryback says that last night he had a no decision in the last man standing match which is unfair. We get a clip of Cena refusing to be placed inside an ambulance, but next time he won’t be able to do that because the rematch at Payback is an ambulance match. Ryback goes on a rant about how the fans have no self discipline and that he’ll win the title next month. This only took like three minutes which was a nice surprise.

Tonight we find out who Paul Heyman’s newest client is.

Wade Barrett/Fandango vs. The Miz/Chris Jericho

Barrett has new music and I guess is still feuding with Miz because he has to feud with someone. Jericho and Barrett start things off with the Englishman being taken down by a dropkick. Chris charges into an elbow to the face and it’s off to Fandango with a clothesline. As Jericho fights back, we get a clip of Road Dogg talking to Kaitlyn on the WWE App. Seriously, WHY DO WE NEED TO SEE THAT? Fandango and Barrett have a small disagreement and we take a break.

Back with Miz fighting out of a chinlock before hitting a hard boot to the head. Miz loads up the figure four but Fandango grabs a mic to say his own name. There’s his music and it’s time to dance. Barrett yells at Fandango as Jericho gets rolling with a top rope shot to the head. A bulldog sets up the Lionsault for no cover. The Codebreaker takes Barrett down again and it’s off to Miz for the figure four and the submission at 8:20.

Rating: N/A. It was long enough to rate but most of that was in a commercial or spent with Fandango dancing. There’s nothing to see here (almost literally) other than Summer’s legs, but at least Barrett was beaten in just a few minutes again right? That’s the important thing at the end of the day.

Post match Jericho and Miz chase Fandango off. Jericho takes Summer’s hand and dips her back before laughing at her and walking off.

Here’s Vickie to tell us that we can vote for who Swagger faces on the WWE App: Great Khali, R-Truth or Randy Orton.

Bryan is ticked off in the back when Kane comes in. Daniel realizes that neither of them are the Tag Team Champions anymore but Kane says calm down. That’s from the guy that said embrace the hate so Bryan doesn’t care. He says he feels naked without his title, but Kane thinks it’s because Bryan isn’t wearing a shirt or pants. They get a rematch with Shield but they have to show no weakness. Bryan thinks that’s an insult to him and an argument nearly breaks out. Kofi pops in to break it up.

Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neil

Before the match, we get a clip from last night of Mark Henry saying he’s going home. They lock up to start with Sheamus shoving Titus down. A shoulder block puts Sheamus down as well though as Titus shows off some power. Sheamus throws him to the apron for the ten forearms before sending Darren Young into the barricade. The distraction lets Titus take Sheamus’ head off with a clothesline and we head back inside.

A standing fallaway slam puts Sheamus down for two and it’s off to a chinlock. Sheamus fights up and tries White Noise, only to be sent to the floor. He loads up the slingshot shoulder but Darren Young trips him up, giving Titus two. Titus misses a charge in the corner and now White Noise connects. The Brogue Kick finishes O’Neil at 6:29.

Rating: C. This is the kind of stuff they need to do more often. Instead of having Sheamus beat up one of the Rhodes Scholars for the 95th time, you can give Titus a chance to show what he can do while not wasting someone like Cody or Damien. This way we get a fresh match which was a lot better than I was expecting.

Here’s Heyman to unveil his newest client. Heyman says that the fans are powerless with their booing because last night Brock Lesnar beat HHH inside a cage. HHH will go down in history as a loser to Lesnar so neither of them are here tonight, only it’s Lesnar enjoying the victory. However, it’s now time to do something new. This is something that is going to make the fans set their DVRs and remember this moment fifteen years from now. The newest Paul Heyman guy is Michael McGillicutty, now known as Curtis Axel.

Heyman talks about how this is the same as Brock Lesnar debuting in 2002 and CM Punk being a Paul Heyman guy. He talks about Axel being a third generation guy and being held back by politics so why isn’t he a main event superstar? His name is Curtis after his father and Axel after his grandfather, Larry the Ax Hennig. Heyman introduces him to the crowd but here’s HHH with a rebuttal.

HHH looks at Axel and Heyman while talking about the Kool-Aid that Heyman has whipped up. He tells Axel to let the adults talk and says that he isn’t embarrassed. HHH talks about going to war with Lesnar and how Brock limped away from their fight. It would make HHH really happy to beat up Paul Heyman right now but Axel steps between them. Axel says the game around here has changed and if HHH wants to talk to Heyman, he has to talk to Axel first. HHH slaps him in the face and says it’s Curtis vs. HHH later tonight.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E. Langston

Del Rio sends Langston shoulder first into the post and tries for a quick cross armbreaker, only to have Big E. lift him up and slam him down. The hold isn’t broken though and Big E. makes it to the ropes. Del Rio gets it on again from the apron but Langston lifts him up and slams him into the post in an impressive power display.

Back in and Langston bends Del Rio’s back over his knee, only to get caught in a tornado DDT. Del Rio hits the low superkick for two but is sent to the floor when loading up the armbreaker. Back in and the enziguri puts Langston down, only to have AJ throw in the bucket. The distraction lets Langston poke Alberto in the eye and hit the Big Ending for the pin at 4:37.

Rating: D+. And the stupid booking continues. Del Rio wins the #1 contenders match last night and gets pinned in less than five minutes here. How this makes me want to see Ziggler vs. Del Rio again is beyond me, but I’m sure I’m just not smart enough to get it. It’s good for Langston but there was zero need for Del Rio to lose here.

AJ Lee vs. Layla

The Bellas are watching in the back as AJ takes Layla down. Apparently AJ is a rat in stupid looking shorts. Layla kicks AJ down and makes fun of the skipping. A low dropkick puts AJ down but after AJ hides in the corner, she comes out with the Black Widow for the tap out at 1:43.

Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder

This is joined in progress after a bell although it doesn’t seem like we’ve missed much. Rhodes goes after the arm to start as we see Ryback watching in the back for no apparent reason. The release suplex gets two on Ryder but Zack hits his knees in the corner and a middle rope dropkick. Ryder’s Broski Boot gets two but he gets caught by the Disaster Kick for the pin at 2:37.

Post match here’s Ryback to destroy Ryder because he can. He hits a nice powerbomb which could be a new finisher for him. Ryder gets Shell Shocked and thrown into the ambulance for good measure.

Kofi Kingston/HELL NO vs. Shield

Before the match, Shield brags about all the victories they’ve accumulated and how their new titles are proof of how amazing they are. The opening bell is after a break of course. Kofi and Dean get things going with Ambrose taking him down, only to be slapped in the face. A monkey flip and armdrag take Dean down and ew hit a quick armbar. Off to Bryan for some knee drops and a hammerlock. Tag off to Rollins who gets caught in a surfboard position, only to have Bryan stomp down on the legs.

Kane gets the tag and a near fall off the low dropkick. Back to Kofi for an armbar but Seth drives him into the corner for the tag off to Reigns. He powers Kofi down in a kind of suplex for two and it’s back to Ambrose for a dropkick and the same result. The Shield keeps tagging quickly as it’s back to Rollins who drops Kofi again, only to be caught in a headscissors.

Kofi makes the hot tag to Bryan who moonsaults out of the corner and hits a running clothesline. Bryan goes up but gets crotched down, but he still manages to block a superplex by Ambrose. The missile dropkick puts Dean down for two and it’s off to the NO Lock. Ambrose gets to the rope very quickly and heads to the floor as we take a break.

Back with the tag off to Dean to continue the beating on Kofi, only for Kingston to fight out and make the tag to Bryan. Ambrose is put in the Tree of Woe and kicked in the ribs, followed by a baseball slide for good measure. Back to Rollins for a buckle bomb in the corner but Bryan is out at two again. Reigns comes back in and runs over Bryan with a clothesline before it’s back to Ambrose for some stomps to the ribs. Dean talks a lot of trash to Bryan but gets punched in the face for his efforts.

Reigns breaks up a tag attempt, only to be kicked away, allowing for the hot tag to Kane. The side slam gets two on Roman as everything breaks down. Kofi and Bryan hit stereo suicide dives on Dean and Seth before Kane hits a running DDT for tow on Reigns. Ambrose suplexes Bryan down on the floor and Seth puts Kofi into the post. Dean tries to jump on Kane but gets caught by an uppercut. Seth breaks up the chokeslam on Reigns with the top rope knee, allowing Roman to spear Kane down for the pin at 22:55.

Rating: B. Good long tag match here which did exactly what it was supposed to do: keep the Shield looking strong heading into the rematches. Seeing them with the gold around them is a great sight as it shows even more how dominant they are. The fact that champions are actually winning is a good sign as well.

We recap the HHH/Axel/Heyman stuff from earlier.

Kaitlyn gets a phone number from the secret admirer but there’s no voicemail on it. Natalya offers to have Khali go sneak around but Kaitlyn says no. Cody walks by with a phone and Natalya steals it, thinking he’s the admirer. Apparently it’s not him as he’s posting pictures of himself on the internet. Didn’t we already eliminate Cody recently?

HHH says he can compete tonight despite the doctor saying he can’t.

Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton

Lawler announces the result and Orton wins with only 72% of the vote. I was expecting a lot higher. Swagger quickly takes him to the mat with a top wristlock but Orton fights up and dropkicks him out to the floor. A clothesline keeps Swagger down and Orton pounds away at his head back inside. Jack fires back with some shoulders in the corner but Randy kicks him in the robs and hits a Thesz Press.

Swagger takes the knee out with a chop block and hits a DDT on the leg before putting on a standing leg lock. Orton fights up and sends Swagger out to the floor, only to have the Elevated DDT broke up with a drive into the barricade. Back in and it’s the same leg lock, only to have Orton punch his way out. He heads up top but gets shoved to the floor as we take a break. Back with Orton escaping the leg lock again and sending a charging Swagger shoulder first into the post.

Orton superplexes Swagger down for two and blocks the Vader Bomb with a kick to the ribs. The powerslam sets up the Elevated DDT, but Jack escapes and hits a high angle belly to belly for two. There’s the Patriot Lock but Orton easily rolls out and hits the backbreaker for two. Now the Elevated DDT connects but the RKO is countered into the Patriot Lock. Orton finally breaks the hold and hits the RKO for the pin at 16:12.

Rating: C+. This got better towards the end but it was more long than good. The problem at the end of the day is Orton isn’t tapping out to the ankle lock so we were just waiting for him to hit the RKO to end this. It’s a decent match, but man alive they could have cut five minutes out of this with ease.

We look at Ryback’s promo earlier in the night, as well as him throwing Ryder in the ambulance.

Curtis Axel vs. Triple H

Feeling out process to start with HHH shoving Axel into the corner and clotheslining him down. HHH throws him to the floor and Curtis is looking like a jobber so far. Back in and Axel gets in some shots in the corner, stomping the Game down. A dropkick gets one on HHH and an elbow to the face keeps HHH down. Curtis is working on the jaw that was hit by the sledgehammer last night. A middle rope elbow gets two and we hit the chinlock. HHH fights up and hits some shoulder blocks in the corner to take over.

The facebuster sets up the spinebuster but instead of the Pedigree, HHH clotheslines him to the floor. Another clothesline puts Curtis down and HHH throws him back in….before not getting back in himself. HHH shakes his head and sits down at the timekeeper’s table, saying that he needs water. Earlier tonight the doctors told him he couldn’t compete because of what happened last night. HHH tries to get up but the doctor comes out and says the match is over at roughly 7:30.

Rating: D+. Erg. Yet again, it’s all about HHH. It couldn’t be something that Axel did to him, but rather HHH overdoing it because THAT’S WHAT HE DOES. Axel looked like a complete afterthought here other than some decent stuff in the beginning. At least HHH didn’t crush him. That’s something…..right?

Overall Rating: C+. There was some good stuff on here including a very good six man tag. However, a lot of the stuff made you want to ram your head into a wall as you wonder what WWE is possibly thinking. I don’t know why they can’t just have Ryback vs. Cena in a wrestling match, but hey at least we can have one of the all time lame gimmicks of the ambulance match.

For fun tonight, I clocked the amount of time spent on recaps and commercials, not counting stuff done during the actual show (such as WWE App nonsense). In total, over a full hour was spent hyping something or recapping stuff from earlier in the show. I understand the commercials, but do we really need to spend almost ten minutes watching stuff we already saw? Good stuff for the most part but there was too much bad mixed in bringing it down.

Results

Chris Jericho/The Miz vs. Fandango/Wade Barrett – Figure four to Barrett

Sheamus b. Titus O’Neil – Brogue Kick

Big E. Langston b. Albeto Del Rio – Big Ending

AJ Lee b. Layla – Black Widow

Shield b. HELL NO/Kofi Kingston – Spear to Kane

Randy Orton b. Jack Swagger – RKO

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3RZIR8

 

19 comments

  1. Reid says:

    You might wanna repost this. The Overall Rating’s in the wrong spot.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah I fixed it since.

  2. Stormy says:

    I don’t understand why you act like Triple H not losing perfectly clean to a guy who has not been on RAW in years (working under a new name) is such a travesty. HHH is thirty times the star Curtis Axel is and 324928375 times the name Michael McGilicutty was. To be fair the match deserved to be a 30 second squash.

    Triple H was deemed unfit to continue and the match stopped. It was a back and forth contest with Axel getting some offense in (to the head I might add) and HHH (who was hit in the head with a sledgehammer last night) untimately pushing himself too far.

    Oh, and the story should be about Triple H, as he’s a legend who is nearing retirement. The same thing happened with Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    And heaven forbid he put more than one newer guy over every year.

    No, instead what people have clearly been BEGGING for is more HHH. All those people being tired of HHH vs. Lesnar? They must have been tired of Brock, because it can’t be HHH we’re tired of, right?

    Stormy Reply:

    To be fair, I was more tired of Lesnar then HHH. Lesnar has come back, had a good match with Cena, and 2 OK ones with HHH and a good one with him. He also needs to stop doing the same submission hold 1098u52345 times a match.

    actually, they were tired of HHH/Lesnar. Now they have a re-debuting Superstar being able to brag about taking out a fucking legend on his first night (or first night back depending on your stance on the whole McGillicutty thing). Eventually Lesnar will fight someone else (maybe he’ll be pissed at Axel for taking the credit for taking out HHH and fight him?).

    To me they just put Axel over more then if they had him pinned a weakened HHH (which is what HHH is after the beating he took last night). Axel PUT HIM OUT OF ACTION. Sure he didn’t come into it 100% but Axel took him out, not Lesnar.

    Little Jerry Lawler Reply:

    You can sure put a spin on anything, can you?

  3. M.R. says:

    How long until we get to start calling him The Curt?

  4. Jordan says:

    Not a huge fan of the name Curtis Axel but anything is better than Michael freaking McGillicutty. Tonight was all about HHH but they wouldn’t have repackaged Hennig if they weren’t going to push him. He is a very solid worker in the ring but he was always awkward on the mic so putting him with Heyman is perfect with Punk and Lesnar temporarily gone.

  5. KB – i read your stuff religiously, I’ve gone back and read all of your archives. But I am hoping you can add more colour on your thoughts and takes on the proceeding. A lot of the text here is a runbook on how the events transpire, which is great but a lot of us who come on here have already watched the entire (or pieces) of the show, also given that this is a review which is subjective take on the happening it would be nice to get more of your indulgence.

    This is not supposed to be a knock, actually the opposite. Your “I want to talk a little bit about” is such an incredible piece of wrestling literature that I would (and perhaps others) would like to see more in-depth views on proceedings rather than a summarized recap of the action per say.

    But most of all, thank you for doing this!

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah I get that statement a lot. The older stuff is where I can do that, but for the most part I only have time for the recaps on the live shows. If there’s something big I try to put something more up in another post the next day. I like doing the analysis stuff a lot better but unfortunately I can’t fit in a lot of that stuff with how fast Raw moves.

  6. Jay H says:

    Im fine with HHH not having to get pinned to put Axel over. If Hennig had been beaten in 30 seconds I could see the argument from you KB. Putting him with Heyman should help him get over. The Cena/Ryback Rematch I figured would be another Gimmick Match and thats fine. I think they know Ryback can’t go for 30 minutes in a regular Match like Cena can and has.

    M.R. Reply:

    The fact that Triple H is the main focus of Raw is the big fucking problem.

    matt Reply:

    THIS.

    Jay H Reply:

    And now he will probably be taken off after tonight.

  7. Eric says:

    I do find it funny that a 3rd generation superstar’s ring name is a first name based on his dad and last name based on his grandfather. That’s never been done before. That said, it’s a horrible name and I’m not one to usually criticize names. The reason for that is that most names sound like something a parent would actually name a child. Michael McGillicutty sounds liike Mrs. McGillicutty would name her child that Curtis Axel sounds like the much lamer cousin of Vin Diesel. I like the guy but that’s pretty bad.

    M.R. Reply:

    I’m hoping the ‘never been done before’ was sarcasm.

    Eric Reply:

    Obviously.

  8. Not Not Jay says:

    Yo my name is Jay and I’m here to SAY
    That for WWE RAW I’m totally GAY

    I watch WWE every Monday NIGHT
    You talk bad about me I’ll wanna FIGHT

    I wish RAW was on Every DAY
    KB gave this show a C, I’d give it an A

    Scott Hall used to be known as RAZOR
    I really hate the frickin’ Blue JAY-ZER

    I must leave so I’ll call a TAXI
    WWE is the best company in the entire GALAXY

    M.R. Reply:

    There should really be an age limit to enter the site.