Monday Night Raw – July 1, 2013: Forget The Last Two Weeks

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 1, 2013
Location: Gateway Arena, Sioux City, Iowa
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re getting closer to Money in the Bank and we have the participants in the ladder matches already set. Other than that the world title scenes are ready with Ziggler challenging Del Rio and Cena defending against Henry. The card is looking good for the PPV and the TV leading up to it has been solid. Hopefully that keeps up tonight so let’s get to it.

Vickie opens us up, saying that we’ve got Cena vs. Del Rio later tonight. She sucks up to the McMahons a bit just to be safe.

Theme song.

Here’s Daniel Bryan to open things up but the crowd seems pretty stoic for him. There’s a ladder and the red briefcase over the ring. Bryan says last week the answer was clear: NO he is not the weak link. The new question is can Daniel Bryan ride the wave of momentum and win the MITB match at the PPV? The answer is of course YES. He wants to follow in the footsteps of Sammartino, Hogan, Austin and The Rock. Bryan says he won MITB two years ago and he’ll do it again this year.

This brings out Sheamus to remind Bryan that he lost the world title at Wrestlemania in just 18 seconds. Sheamus says it’s been too long since he’s had a title around his waist so he’ll win one after getting the briefcase. Bryan wants to know if Sheamus will kick himself in the face if Bryan calls 1-800-Fella. This brings out Orton (no music) to say he’s starving for a title so he’ll be taking the WWE Title.

This brings out Kane who says he’ll do anything to be WWE Champion, including going after one of his friends. Bryan makes fun of Kane for not being able to beat Orton but Kane seems to blame Daniel for the loss. Bryan and Kane get in their usual argument but Christian comes out to break it up. He says he’s had more experience than anyone in ladder matches and he wants one more match. Christian isn’t the biggest, strongest, scariest or hairiest guy in this match, but he’s the best.

Cue CM Punk to almost no reaction whatsoever. He said he wasn’t going to do what everyone else was doing but then he heard the word best. Punk respects Christian but says he’s going to win his third MITB ladder match in two weeks. He doesn’t care if no one likes him because everyone in this match is a jerk. RVD must be watching somewhere and Punk can beat him too. Bryan yells at Punk but Orton gets in Bryan’s face, only to be cut off by Kane. Daniel gets on Kane for fighting his battles, allowing Orton to RKO Kane.

Tonight we’re going to look back at some great champions in wrestling history, starting with Buddy Rogers, the original WWWF Champion. We also look at Lou Thesz as the former World Heavyweight Champion. For those of you unfamiliar, the current World Heavyweight Title has nothing to do with the titles Thesz held as its history starts in 2002.

The Wyatt Family is still coming.

Shield vs. Christian/Usos

This is a rematch from Friday where Shield lost their second ever six man tag. Rollins starts with Jimmy before it’s off to Jey for two off a back elbow. Rollins comes back with some forearms to the back and brings in Ambrose. Jey takes him into the corner for a tag off to Christian who sends Dean to the floor. The Usos dive on the tag champions and Christian takes out the US Champion as we take a break.

Back with Jey in trouble in the corner as we get a clip from the WWE App. Rollins steps on Jey before it’s back to Dean for a quick suplex. Reigns powers Jey down for two before it’s back to Ambrose for some mocking of Captain Charisma. Jey comes back with a superkick to knock Dean down but Rollins breaks up the hot tag. A clothesline puts Seth down and now it’s off to Christian who cleans house.

A middle rope dropkick gets two on Rollins but an Ambrose distraction lets Seth hit a quick enziguri. Dean comes in but walks into the reverse DDT for two. Everything breaks down until it’s only Christian vs. Ambrose. The Killswitch is broken up but Rollins breaks up the sunset flip out of the corner, giving Dean a rollup pin at 9:36.

Rating: C. This was the only logical way to end the match as you need to give Shield their momentum back before the PPV title defenses. They’re pretty much past the six man tag phase of their run now so the loss didn’t hurt them all that much. This was fine stuff here but it was nothing special.

Kane is mad at Bryan but Daniel makes up for it by getting Kane a rematch with Orton. Bryan will be guest referee.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Jinder Mahal

Ziggler easily takes him down to start but misses a dropkick, allowing Mahal to get a running knee to the head for two. Ziggler avoids a charge in the corner as the fans chant for JBL. A dropkick gets two for Dolph as the fans chant for Jerry. The Zig Zag is good for the pin at 2:23.

Post match the Band goes after Ziggler but he takes them down with ease.

More great champion clips: Bruno Sammartino and Harley Race.

Vickie is complaining about things in the back when HHH comes in. HHH praises her for doing what the fans want but she’s stressed because the other McMahons are telling her what to do. The solution? Listen to them and then ignore it.

We get a career retrospective on Mark Henry.

Randy Orton vs. Kane

Bryan is guest referee. This is also a rematch from Smackdownw here Bryan threw Kane into the RKO to give Orton the win. Orton pounds away in the corner to start but walks into an uppercut to put him down. Kane fires off some knees in the corner and the low dropkick gets two. Off to a nerve hold by the masked man but Orton fights up and takes Kane down with the Thesz Press. A knee drop gets two for Randy but Kane comes back with a quick suplex. After a quick break on the floor, Kane misses a charge into the corner and Orton pounds away again. Bryan pulls Orton off but Randy shoves him away for the DQ at 4:47.

Actually scratch that as Kane demands and receives a restart. Orton hits a dropkick to knock him to the floor as we take a break. Back with Kane holding Orton in a neck crank before hitting some clotheslines in the corners. A side slam sets up the top rope clothesline but Orton dropkicks Kane out of the air. The snap powerslam puts Kane down but he breaks up the Elevated DDT. The chokeslam is countered into the backbreaker from Orton and THAT sets up the DDT. Orton loads up the RKO but Bryan breaks it up, allowing Kane to hit a big boot for the pin via a fast count at 12:20 total.

Rating: D+. This didn’t do much for me at all and it was a far cry from their match on Friday. The Bryan stuff is story development but when the blowoff match is going to be in a seven man match it’s kind of hard to care about it here. Kane getting a win here is fine as it doesn’t make Orton look bad and gives him some momentum heading into the PPV.

Kane grabs Bryan by the throat but lets him go and leaves. Bryan eats an RKO.

Punk says he’s beating the Primetime Players alone tonight. He trusts Heyman but not Axel. Heyman says Punk trusts him so trust his judgment.

Bob Backlund and Dusty Rhodes were great champions.

Fandango vs. Sheamus

Fandango dances aaround a lot to start so Sheamus does a little jig of his own. A quick clothesline puts Fandango down and Sheamus takes it to the floor with ease. Fandango is whipped into the steps but comes back with an enziguri in the ring for two. Off to a chinlock on Sheamus before he sends Fandango into the corner for some shoulder blocks. The ten forearms send Fandango to the aisle and he walks out for the countout at 6:16.

Rating: D. Well this sucked. The crowd is sucking the life out of this show and it’s very difficult to get into things at all. Fandango needed a win here to make himself look good after being gone for about a month but instead he loses while looking like any other given heel. Nothing to see here, as has been the case with a lot of stuff tonight.

Ryback vs. The Miz

Jericho is on commentary. Ryback pounds Miz down to start as Jericho talks about how Ryback is a whining complainer. The fans think this is boring as Ryback drops knees on Miz’s back. Some left hands have no effect on Ryback but even more have a bit of impact. Miz goes after Ryback’s bad leg and hits a big boot to take Ryback down. The corner clothesline hits and there’s a jawbreaker to the bad leg. Miz looks for the Figure Four but Ryback gets the ropes, so instead Miz pounds on the knee in the corner…..and Ryback says stop the match at 5:14.

Rating: D. Are the writers REALLY this stupid? I mean, do they want us to be interested in Ryback or do they just tear characters down like this for their own amusement? A year ago Ryback was a rising star and now he’s just this. This is the same Ryback who had a war with Cena a few weeks ago and now he can’t even survive five minutes against THE MIZ?

Post match Jericho hits a Codebreaker on Ryback.

Hogan and Flair were great champions as well.

Here’s Mark Henry with something to say. He didn’t get the name the World’s Strongest Man out of a Crackerjack box but rather he earned it. Henry was in the Olympics in 1992 and 1996 before entering the WWE 17 years ago. Since then he’s found out that there’s jealous, politics and accidental injuries in the WWE. In all those years, he’s never been given a legitimate shot at the WWE Championship. After all those years of pretending he liked the boys and doing the right things for the business he’s no further than where he started.

He deserves to be WWE Champion after all the time he’s given to this organization and all the fans. Henry has earned the right to be WWE Champion because the people hang on every word he says like a bunch of puppets. No one is going to keep him down at Money in the Bank and he’s going to do the right thing for himself. After he beats Cena, everyone is going to say he earned the title because he’s going to beat Cena up.

Vince comes in to see Vickie and Brad because he’s not happy with Daniel Bryan being out there. He does however like the main event of champion vs. champion. The other family members like it but Vince doesn’t like the money being thrown away. A match like that should be on PPV. It’s not good business, and the two of them need to remember there’s a long list of people who were fired for not listening to Vince.

Curtis Axel/CM Punk vs. Prime Time Players

Axel starts with Young as Heyman is already bragging. An armdrag puts Young down but Curtis won’t tag Punk. Off to Titus but Axel still won’t tag. The first decent chant of the night is for CM Punk but Axel silences them cold with a dropkick to take Titus down. The fans still want Punk but Curtis just looks at him and gets clotheslined down by O’Neil.

Titus suplexes Young onto Axel for two before putting Axel in an abdominal stretch. Axel finally gets up a boot in the corner and the double tag brings in Punk to face Young. The springboard cross body puts Darren down and the running knee in the corner sets up the Macho Elbow. There’s the GTS to Young but Axel tags himself in and steals the pin at 6:13.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t bad but it was storytelling instead of a match. We’re slowly building to Punk turning his back on Heyman once and for all to set up the showdown with Lesnar at Summerslam and putting Axel over at the same time is a fine way of going about accomplishing that goal. Not terrible here but it was all about the story instead of the wrestling.

Punk walks out on Axel and Heyman post match.

Austin and Sting are great champions.

Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn

Both girls get quick rollups for two before Fox pounds on Kaitlyn for a bit. Kaitlyn fights up and spears Alicia down for the pin at 1:52. Nothing to see here.

Post match AJ comes out and has some pictures exposing what kind of trash Kaitlyn used to be. The shot is of a 400lb woman with Kaitlyn’s face superimposed on her body.

Stephanie yells at Vickie but Vickie snaps a bit and says she’s being overloaded. Stephanie sympathizes until Vickie says HHH and Vince are a bit crazy. Next week Vickie gets a job evaluation in the ring.

Cody Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro

Before the match Colter talks about how sad it is that the government and Surprise Court is giving the country away. He brings Swagger back and says that we need to pick a side in the company revolution. Cesaro takes over with a quick gutwrench suplex but Cody comes back with a string of rollups. Rhodes is sent to the floor and JBL gets in a good line with “Cesaro knows five languages and now that he’s with Colter he’s learning Dutch.” Cody tries a backslide but gets countered into the Neutralizer for the pin at 2:20.

HHH and Booker T were great champions.

Eva Marie and JoJo, the new Divas for the reality show, are mocked by the Bellas. The Funkadactyls and Natalya come up to protest as this commercial continues.

The Wyatt Family arrives next week.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena

Ricardo is missing due to an injury suffered going through a table on Smackdown. They trade headlocks to start until Del Rio shoots Cena off for a standoff. Del Rio escapes an AA attempt and takes a breather on the floor, only to walk into a snap suplex for two. Cena bulldogs Del Rio down but misses a charge into the post. Del Rio misses a charge at Cena and falls to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Alberto holding a chinlock before going up top, only to dive into a dropkick from Cena. The shoulder block misses though and Cena falls out to the floor again. Back in again and Cena initiates his finishing sequence, only to have the AA countered into a German suplex for two. Del Rio’s low superkick is countered into a belly to belly for two but he comes back with the enziguri to knock Cena off the top. Del Rio puts him in the Tree of Woe but misses a charge of his own, going shoulder first into the post.

Cena gets two off a top rope cross body as the fans are FINALLY into this show, over three hours after it started. The AA is countered into the armbreaker which is countered into the STF but here’s Henry to distract Cena. He circles the ring, allowing Del Rio to roll up Cena for two. The low superkick gets two for Alberto but here’s Ziggler on the top rope, allowing Cena to hit the AA for the pin at 15:56.

Rating: C+. This was good but you knew the double distractions were coming from the moment we went to a break. At the end of the day, these matches just don’t mean a thing no matter how clever the writers think they are. Also, Del Rio isn’t going to be a good opponent for Cena due to one simple reason: Cena isn’t going to tap out, so the armbreaker is worthless.

Post match Henry picks up the WWE Title and gets in the ring before throwing the belt down. Cena goes to pick it up but has to back away from Henry. Mark walks away to end the show.

One more Wyatt Faimly promo for the road.

Overall Rating: D+. This show was the opposite of the awesome that was the last two weeks of Raw. This was a bunch of far too long and far too repetitive segments with the McMahons and Vickie, setting up a segment that most people don’t care about in the slightest. On top of that we had the worst crowd I can remember in years dragging things down even further. Finally we had the focus on the title tonight which is fine, but these champion vs. champion matches don’t mean a thing given how often we see them anymore.

Results

Shield b. Usos/Christian – Rollup to Christian

Dolph Ziggler b. Jinder Mahal – Zig Zag

Kane b. Randy Orton – Big Boot

Sheamus b. Fandango via countout

The Miz b. Ryback via surrender

CM Punk/Curtis Axel b. Prime Time Players – GTS to Young

Kaitlyn b. Alicia Fox – Spear

Antonio Cesaro b. Cody Rhodes – Neutralizer

John Cena b. Alberto Del Rio – Attitude Adjustment

 

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7 comments

  1. Dave says:

    Think this should of gotten D-

  2. M.R. says:

    Great promo from Henry had it not been for stupid wrestling fans getting in the way.

  3. Jordan says:

    So boring tonight. I can’t get over how stupid having the Shield on the MITB pre-show is either.

  4. Jay H says:

    MITB is already stacked enough so im ok with Rollins/Reigns being on the Pre-Show this time. RAW was ok but not quite as good as the past couple weeks.

  5. MikeCheyne says:

    Some of the stuff would benefit from just some minor tweaks:

    -Put Fandango in a match with a face jobber so he can get a more or less clean win.

    -Have Ryback stop his match like instantly to “save” his leg. Then, when Miz turns his back, Ryback just beats the shit out of him. It makes him look like a calculating fiend instead of a whiner, and by having Fandango win, we don’t have two matches on one show where the heel walks out on a match.

  6. Remy says:

    This Iowa crowd further proves my theory that Midwestern wrestling crowds tend to suck.

    Thriller Reply:

    Chicago and St. Louis say hi