Monday Night Raw – July 8, 2013: Follow The Buzzards To An Excellent Show

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 8, 2013
Location: 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

This is a pretty stacked show tonight. First and foremost, THEY’RE HERE! Tonight is the debut of the Wyatt Family who have been sending creepy messages to the company for months now. Other than that we have the job performance evaluation of Vickie Guerrero, meaning all of the bosses of the company will be in one place at the same time. Let’s get to it.

We open with a Wyatt Family vignette, saying we’re coming.

Opening sequence.

Vickie and Brad are in the ring with a ladder and a referee to open the show. She talks about how important the ladder has been to the WWE’s history with people like Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon and HHH. To her it represents her climbing up the corporate ladder over her career. If she falls, she’s holding the fans responsible. Vickie goes up top of the ladder and compares WWE to companies like IBM and GE. She’s done everything on her own for years and has done her best to entertain the people. From the top of the ladder to the bottom of her heart, everything she’s done has been for the people.

Jerry Lawler of all people cuts her off and says EXCUSE ME? Lawler has received word that in preparation of the job evaluation tonight, the McMahons and HHH are taking in all factors, including the WWE Universe. There’s a poll on the WWE App where you can give her a pass or fail grade as managing supervisor.

Vickie says she considers the WWE Universe like her family, meaning they have good and bad days. At the end of the day though, they’ll have her back right? What sounds like Vince’s voice is heard saying “Please don’t fall Vickie.” but it sounded like something we weren’t supposed to hear. Tonight it’s Cena vs. Henry face to face, along with Christian vs. Kane, Punk vs. Orton and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan. Dang this is a packed show. Sheamus vs. Bryan is RIGHT NOW.

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

Sheamus grabs a headlock to start before taking Bryan down with a shoulder block. They hit the ropes with Bryan nipping up and knocking Sheamus down with a clothesline for two. Bryan fires off the kicks to the chest but Sheamus comes back with the Irish Curse for two. They fall out to the floor with Bryan trying the running knee to the face but being caught in mid air and dropped into the barricade.

We take a break and come back with Bryan backflipping over Sheamus in the corner but charging into another Irish Curse for two. A back elbow gets two more for Sheamus and the rolling senton puts Bryan down again. The Brogue Kick misses though and Sheamus tumbles to the floor, setting up the FLYING GOAT to put both guys down again. Back in and the missile dropkick gets two for Bryan but he kicks Sheamus to the apron, allowing Sheamus to hit the ten forearms.

Sheamus gets crotched while loading up the top rope shoulder but blocks a top rope hurricanrana, allowing him to hit the shoulder for two. Bryan avoids a charge in the corner and hits a big kick to Sheamus’ head for two, but the following Swan Dive misses and both guys are down. Back up and Bryan fires off more kicks followed by a crucifix for two. Bryan tries to transition into the NO Lock but Sheamus counters into the Cloverleaf, which Bryan counters into a small package for the pin at 14:10.

Rating: B. This right here is a great example of why I hated the Sandow feud. Sheamus can have some AWESOME matches when he isn’t toying with someone five levels below him. Bryan’s rocket push continues as Sheamus is someone that almost never loses a match anywhere. When’s the last time he was pinned clean? December against Big Show I believe? Great match here.

They shake hands post match.

WWE has sent someone to the bayou to find the Wyatt Family compound.

AJ tells Langston to be worried about Kaitlyn but Langston laughs it off. Ziggler pops in and wants to talk to her in private. He wants to know why she’s never out there for his matches anymore and is following Kaitlyn for some reason. AJ says she’ll do anything to be the power couple they’re destined to be but Ziggler doesn’t seem sure. AJ seems to offer sex but Ziggler wants the world title instead. Everything seems ok though.

We get the same career retrospective on Mark Henry that we got last week.

We look at RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero from Raw in 2002.

Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Tons of Funk

Brodus slams Rollins down to start before bringing in Tensai for a double chop. A delayed butterfly suplex gets two on Rollins before it’s back to Brodus who misses a cross body. Off to Reigns who takes Brodus’ head off with a clothesline for two. We get a McGuire Twins reference from JBL (they were a tag team who weighed a combined 1500lbs or so) as Reigns puts on a chinlock.

Roman pounds on Brodus as the match continues to go longer than it should. Reigns tries a Samoan Drop but Brodus slips down the back into a rollup for two. Brodus hits a belly to back suplex to escape and makes the tag off to Tensai. The bald one cleans house and hits the rolling senton in the corner followed by the Baldo Bomb for two on Rollins. Seth ducks under a charge and Rollins spears Tensai down for the pin at 6:35.

Rating: D+. This started very slow but the hot tag to Tensai picked things way up. The JBL commentary with old references was very entertaining but it went over the heads of most of the fans which is a shame. Other than that though there wasn’t much of note here, as there was no way Shield was losing six days before a title defense.

The reporter has found Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (the guy in the mask) and seems to be kidnapped by Harper.

Here’s Cena for the showdown with Henry. He sucks up to the crowd by saying it sounds like Money in the Bank is tonight. Cena is here to face Mark Henry but there’s no Henry. Cue the big guy who says that he’s starving for something. Cena makes a Snickers joke but Henry says he’s not going to respond to something like that. Instead he’s going to chill because he’s a different man now.

He’s known who Cena is for years and he’s a puppet. That title will validate Henry’s career and will make him a first ballot Hall of Famer. He’d sell out his mama to have that title. Cena says Henry better win on Sunday then because he sees a desperate man in Henry. If Henry doesn’t win it, he loses everyone’s respect and seventeen years will have been wasted. Henry cracks up because he doesn’t care what the people think. People love Cena or they hate him but Henry doesn’t care.

There are lines that Cena won’t cross because of who he is, but Cena takes the hat and shirt off and draws a line with his foot. Henry says not for free, because he’ll get Cena on Sunday, but then he takes his shirt off anyway. Mark goes towards Cena but stops and says he’ll see Cena Sunday. Henry charges again and runs over Cena but John tries an AA. The weight is too much though and he lands on the champ’s head, knocking him out. Henry picks him up and hits the World’s Strongest Slam before posing with the title.

Orton says he’ll win the MITB contract on Sunday and would have no problem cashing in on Cena if he was laid out like he was moments ago.

Miz is on commentary for the next match.

 

Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho

 

Non title here. Heyman has sunglasses due to a bad black eye at the hands of Alberto Del Rio on Smackdown. Axel says that Jericho wears a jacket with Christmas lights on it but neither he nor Miz is standing in the way of perfection. Jericho quickly dropkicks him to the floor and hits a baseball slide to take the champion down. Back in and Axel kicks Jericho down as we take a break.

 

Back with Jericho fighting back but not being able to hook the Walls. A northern lights suplex gets two for Chris and a high cross body gets the same. Axel comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for two but Jericho bulldogs him down and gets two off the Lionsault. The Codebreaker is countered into a PerfectPlex for a VERY close two as Heyman is beside himself.

 

Jericho hooks the Walls (BIG pop for that) but Axel quickly makes it to the rope. Axel is knocked off the apron and into the announce table, drawing Miz to his feet. Heyman gets his client back inside before the countout but he walks into the Codebreaker for the pin at 10:14, his first loss as a Heyman Guy.

 

Rating: C+. Good match here and at least the ending wasn’t clean. I don’t like having the champion lose here after the bad luck the champions have had over the previous few months but that’s life in the WWE anymore. The match was good though and having Axel rub elbows with top level guys is going to do nothing but good for him.

 

We look at RVD winning the IC Title on Raw from Christian in 2003.

 

Sandow keeps cutting Rhodes off from talking about MITB. Colter, Cesaro and Swagger come in to say the country is in trouble. They don’t seem pleased with Sandow but Colter says the son of an American Dream should know better. Barrett comes in and says he’s winning but Colter says Barrett doesn’t speak English. Fandango comes in but everyone cuts off the catchphraase in a funny bit. He goes to say it anyway so Barrett drops him with a Bull Hammer.

Back to the Bayou where Harper takes the cameraman inside, telling him not to stray. The compound is very dark but we find Bray Wyatt himself, who says he’s been waiting for us. Creepy stuff man.

Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio

The colored lights are back which don’t fit for a match with the World Heavyweight Champion involved. Del Rio takes him into the corner to start but misses a charge, allowing Cara to get two off a kick to the face. Cara goes up but gets caught with a running enziguri for two. Del Rio hits another running enziguri in the corner for two more and it’s off to an armbar by the champion.

Cue Ziggler (and the regular lighting) and Cara gets two off a rollup. Ziggy says that he’s sorry for what he did to Ricardo but he’s going to introduce Del Rio the way he should be introduced. The match keeps going as Ziggler makes small genitals jokes. Cara gets two off a slingshot senton but walks into a German suplex. A LOUD superkick puts Cara down but Del Rio finally goes after Ziggler for the brawl. Sin Cara hits a big dive to take Alberto out as the match ends at about 5:00.

Rating: D+. Most of that is for how loud Del Rio’s kicks were. I don’t see why they couldn’t have Del Rio get the win here as it’s not like Sin Cara is doing anything right now. Ziggler is still lacking that big moment to solidify his face turn but he’s getting closer. The announcing wasn’t funny but then again most things in WWE aren’t anymore.

It’s time for the job evaluation. The trio of judges sit in front of Vickie as she pleads her case for why she should stay. She talks about getting rid of crazy AJ and takes credit for RVD, Rock and Undertaker all returning. Stephanie says Vickie had nothing to do with those returns so Vickie talks about Brock, before apologizing for Lesnar attacking Vince and HHH.

Vince stands up and says bringing Lesnar back was a genius move. He believes that Vickie is highly entertaining but she’s made some boneheaded decisions in the name of good entertainment. HHH says Vickie can be unintentionally entertaining but she’s terrible at her job. For instance a few weeks ago she was promoting the WWE video game but the people were booing her out of the building. Vince might think it’s entertaining, but Vince’s thoughts on entertainment aren’t all that modern. “It’s why the Golden Girls aren’t on TV anymore.”

HHH sucks up to the fans and says they want and deserve better than Vickie Guerrero. He does give her one point: she has the most annoying voice in the history of broadcast television. Vince praises her for breaking through the male dominated glass ceiling and thinks she should be permanent GM. HHH speaks up again and says the whole point of this is Vince is going to do what he wants, including putting a spineless puppet like Vickie in power.

HHH says Stephanie should get to decide Vickie’s fate and Vince agrees. Both guys suck up to her (“Daddy’s little girl!” “The mother of my children and the woman that has to go home for me after this.”) but Stephanie says the answer will be decided by the WWE App vote. The results say Vickie failed by a margin of 75% to 25%, meaning Vickie is fired. Vickie rants about how you can’t trust the people and how she’s not a spineless puppet. Stephanie fires her and Vickie goes into evil mode.

She falls to her face and screams a lot as the fans chant NO MORE VICKIE. Vickie crawls onto the table and shouts that the McMahons need her in charge. Vince stays in the ring and asks the people if they’re happy. He blames the fans for failing and throwing away the most entertaining GM in Raw history. We need a new GM and that will be…..Brad Maddox. Oh joy. Maddox is shocked and stands still in the ring as Vince helps Vickie out.

Post break Vickie is crying and Vince says he’ll make it right somehow. Maddox comes up and thanks Vince for the opportunity but Vince won’t shake his hand. Vince asks Brad how long he’ll hold his hand out for but Vickie goes after Brad and says get out of his life. The new GM runs off. Vince: “You ruined my jacket!”

Kane vs. Christian

Kane shoves Christian around to start and hits a hard whip into the corner. The Canadian escapes a powerslam and snaps Kane’s neck over the top rope. A middle rope dropkick gets two as the commentators rattle off MITB stats. They head to the floor for a big dive off the top from Christian as we take a break. Back with Christian hitting a tornado DDT out of the corner for two. An uppercut puts Christian down but the top rope clothesline misses. Christian charges into the chokeslam out of nowhere for the pin at 7:42.

Rating: D+. Screw the reason because THEY’RE HERE.

Wyatt pops up on the screen and says that he has brothers, not followers. It’s time for the people to stand up and realize what’s going on. He’s seen it all in his dreams his thoughts and he understands that this is the end instead of the beginning. He lights a lantern and says we’re here before blowing the light out.

Back in the arena the lights are out and the Family’s music starts playing. Wyatt walks out with a lantern and sits down in what is presumably his rocking chair. The lights come up and Harper/Rowan (not yet named) are attacking Kane. They’re big guys who can look Kane in the eye and pound him down. They get him to the floor and send him into the steps before crushing Kane’s head between the steel. Wyatt gets in Kane’s face and says what sounded like down with the machine. The fans chant Husky Harris because they have to think they’re smart.

Vickie carries out her box of stuff but runs into Ryback. He puts the box on the floor and hugs her, saying it’s going to be ok.

The Bellas are on commentary for the next match.

AJ Lee/Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn/Layla

Layla starts by throwing kicks at Alicia as the Bellas insult AJ. A quick rollup gets two for Layla as the Bellas basically bury the entire Divas division. Kaitlyn goes after AJ and they head to the floor where Kaitlyn hits a SWEET spear to knock AJ out cold. The match is stopped at about 2:00.

Punk wants to know if he’s best in the world because he held the title for 434 days or did he hold the title for 434 days because he’s the best in the world.

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

Feeling out process to start as the fans are split down the middle. Orton runs him over with a shoulder block and a sweet dropkick takes Punk down. Punk comes back with a suplex for two as the dueling chants begin again. The Elevated DDT is countered by a kick to the head to send Orton to the floor. The suicide dive takes Orton down again as we take a break.

Back with Orton holding a chinlock and taking Punk down with a t-bone suplex before he can make a comeback. We hit the chinlock again but Punk fights up and hits a quick dropkick to put Orton down. Orton comes back with his clotheslines but Punk avoids the powerslam and gets two off a rollup. A neckbreaker puts Randy down again and there’s the running knee in the corner. The Macho Elbow connects for no cover but it’s GTS time. Orton shoves Punk through the ropes for the Elevated DDT but can’t follow up with a cover.

Orton loads up the RKO but Punk blocks, only to be caught in the snap powerslam for two. Punk escapes ten punches in the corner and hits another running knee to the chest but Orton escapes the GTS. The RKO is blocked by a high kick to the head and it’s a GTS for the clean pin at 13:41.

Rating: B-. Another good match to close out the show here with Punk looking strong. Orton doesn’t lose a thing by getting pinned here as it’s all about climbing on Sunday. This was your usual battle of the superstars formula and it worked as well as you would have expected it to. These two always have solid chemistry together.

Post match Bryan runs out and beats up Punk before hitting Orton with a ladder. He climbs up and grabs the case to end the show.

Overall Rating: B+. I had a blast with this show tonight and it absolutely flew by. We had good to great matches all night, the AMAZING Wyatt Family debut, a solid build to the PPV on Sunday, that wicked spear from Kaitlyn, the reaction from Maddox when he was named GM, the funny Fandango segment and Layla in some of the smallest shorts in recorded history. WWE is on a roll right now and this was one of the best shows they’ve had in a long time. I’m fired up for MITB and I never came close to that for Payback or Extreme Rules.

Results

Daniel Bryan b. Sheamus – Small Package

Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins b. Tons of Funk – Spear to Tensai

Chris Jericho b. Curtis Axel – Codebreaker

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara went to a no contest

Kane b. Christian – Chokeslam

Alicia Fox/AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn/Layla went to a no contest

CM Punk b. Randy Orton – GTS

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of Starrcade from Amazon for just $4 at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D2UKOG0

18 comments

  1. Jordan says:

    MITB is gonna be awesome. I’m sure plenty of people have already complained about The Wyatt Family attacking Kane but I think it’s perfect and it’ll be a great angle.

  2. Jay H says:

    I can’t wait to be at MITB on Sunday. Why do smarks have to ruin things? We know he use to be Husky Harris but we’ll chant his former name anyway because we know more than anyone. Anyway Awesome Debut and good RAW tonight.

  3. chris says:

    Gotta admit the Husky Harris chant cracked me up. Wyatt didn’t sell it in the slightest, which was awesome.

    M.R. Reply:

    Why does that not surprise me…

    The steel steps move the Wyatts performed looked incredibly silly. The giant gap isn’t exactly hard to see.

    Remy Reply:

    Agreed. It’s funny as a one-time thing.

  4. deanerandterry says:

    Awesome way to debut the Wyatt family, just awesome. I hope they can break free of the Husky Harris chants but at least Bray didn’t react to it (I think Husky is Bray, haven’t seen NXT) that’s the kind of thing that can kill a gimmick and it would be a shame for this gimmick to get killed.

    M.R. Reply:

    I doubt the Husky chants will stop, wrestling fans have a tendency to be stupid. Ask Ryback.

    deanerandterry Reply:

    depth to break the Goldberg chant. In time Bray might be able to depending on his work. If he doesn’t he’s screwed. Sometimes a furst impression is everything.

    deanerandterry Reply:

    Ryback doesn’t have enough depth to break the Goldberg chant. Bry might be able to depending on his work. If he doesn’t though he’s screwed.

    M.R. Reply:

    What does that even mean? Why should he need depth to break the chant of a bunch of idiots? Why is the chant there to begin with? It’s because they’re both bald with goatees and wrestling fans aren’t smart enough to grasp onto anything other than blatant physical features.

  5. deanerandterry says:

    It’s because Ryback was too much like Goldberg. If a 6’7″ guy with Blond hair and and a blond handle bar face came on the TV they would chant “Hogan”. You blame the fans when they shouldn’t have had the gimmick in the first place. They made Ryback too much like Goldberg, it was obvious and the fans called the WWE out for it.

    I don’t agree with that thinking, I don’t like that thinking but that’s the way it is. Bray will always have the Husky Harris stink, Ryback will always have the Goldberg stink because unfortunately that’s how fans are these days.

    M.R. Reply:

    List the similarities between Ryback and Goldberg, aside from the bald head and goatee I’ve already mentioned.

    deanerandterry Reply:

    1) They both had a bulldozer type wrestling style. They went in, destroyed the opposition with brute power and left.

    2) Both had long win streaks.

    3) Both initially got over destroying lower card guys and jobbers.

    4) Both had a simple catchphrase that caught on (Feed me more, you`re next).

    5) Physical features as you already mentioned.

    6) Most of all (and I mean most of all), both were extremely 1 dimensional characters. They lived and died on their win streak and when the unstoppable aura the possessed disappeared they could never recover. Hopefully Ryback recovers, his look alone gives him an edge that others don`t possess but honestly I think he`s done.

    M.R. Reply:

    Not even worth responding to, as the same could be said to 99% of debuting characters.

  6. deanerandterry says:

    The difference is Goldberg and Ryback never showed anything different, they were 1 note characters. Once the win streak or dominance ends you got to compensate that for something else. If you don`t people get bored and stop caring.

    P.S. The only reason you`re not responding is because you know I`m right.

    M.R. Reply:

    You’re free to think whatever your simple mind can think up.

  7. deanerandterry says:

    You went straight to not responding after I told you the similarities, then went for name calling. If my mind is so simple and you are oh so smart why not prove it.

  8. chris says:

    He can’t prove it. Also I don’t see why this is such an issue. The fans chanted an old name he used to have. So what?