Monday Night Raw – July 22, 2013: A Night Of Wrestling

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 22, 2013
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

We’re coming off an awesome Raw last week so there are good hopes for another solid show tonight. The main stories tonight will be Punk vs. Heyman/Lesnar and Cena vs. Bryan as we head towards Summerslam. The key different with these stories is the people have been clamoring for them for months now and we’re FINALLY getting to see them. It’s not some idea that is being shoved down our throats but rather something logical and story driven which is the right idea. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with the contract signing between Cena and Bryan with Maddox as the moderator. Brad wants to know why Cena picked Bryan and Cena says it was because of Maddox. Maddox wanted to listen to the fans and they were all chanting YES. Brad suggests that Cena picked Maddox because it’s an easy win, but here’s Bryan to defend himself. Cena goes into a rant about how it isn’t size that makes a competitor and he picked Bryan as the challenger because he deserved it. If size is what makes a champion, Maddox can hand the title to Great Khali, but Cena has names like HBK, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.

Cena says Bryan is giving him a chance to compete, because Cena is going to fight back. Bryan might be the best right now, but at Summerslam the best isn’t going to be good enough and Cena signs. Bryan signs and starts to talk but Maddox cuts him off. Bryan cuts Maddox off and says Brad doesn’t get to talk when Bryan wants to. Maddox asks Bryan if he deserves this because not everyone thinks he does. Tonight Bryan gets to prove himself in a few matches against opponents to be named.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus

Non-title again and Sheamus has a BIG bruise on his thigh from MITB. Del Rio kicks him in the bruised leg but Sheamus sends him into the corner for a quick shoulder into the ribs. A neckbreaker gets two on Del Rio but he superkicks Sheamus out of the corner to take over. Sheamus comes back with forearms out of the corner and a snap suplex for two more. Del Rio kicks the leg out again and stomps away as this is still a basic match so far.

The armbreaker across the top rope cranks on Sheamus’ arm but he punches Del Rio to the floor as we take a break. Back with Del Rio getting two off a German suplex and Sheamus winning a slugout. He hits a series of ax handles to the head and a knee lift for two. Del Rio hits the Backstabber for two and a hard kick to the back keeps Sheamus down.

Alberto misses a charge and gets caught in the ten forearms to the chest followed by the Irish Curse for two. The champion comes back with a running enziguri to knock Sheamus off the top and a superkick to the bad leg. The armbreaker is easily countered but Sheamus’ leg buckles as he goes for White Noise, giving Del Rio the pin at 13:23.

Rating: C+. I liked this more than I thought I would due to the psychology. Del Rio working over the arm here would have been idiotic but thankfully he went after the bad leg up until the end and that leg work played into the finish. That’s what I mean when I talk about building on a story and it worked fine here. Also Del Rio actually won a match against a big opponent!

Booker T and Teddy Long bicker over who was more surprised by Vickie being named permanent GM of Smackdown. Teddy suggests that Booker left him holding the bag but Booker says he was out with an injury. Long also suggests that Booker should have been fired if Teddy was getting the job full time.

Christian vs. Titus O’Neal

Christian pops him in the jaw with a right hand but gets caught by a shoulder block. The Canadian’s middle rope cross body is caught in a backbreaker to send him to the floor. Titus picks him up on his shoulder and walks Christian back in the ring for two in an impressive power display. Off to an abdominal stretch for a few moments but Christian fights back with some hard right hands. A jumping back elbow off the middle rope looks to set up the Killswitch but Christian has to dropkick Young to the floor. Titus gets two off a big boot but Christian escapes a slam into the Killswitch for the pin at 4:38.

Rating: C. Titus looked much better here than he has before but unfortunately he appears to be stuck int his jobber role because of being part of a team. It doesn’t help that he’s in his late 30s and got into the sport pretty late in life. Still though, nice performance here and there’s definitely some potential in the guy.

After a clip of him destroying Jericho, Ryback says he enjoys attacking people because he hates average. It seems that we’re dropping the whiner gimmick.

Here’s Mark Henry with something to say. He’s proud of the effort he put into his match with Cena, but he’s not proud of the beating Shield gave him last week. If they want to fight him, he’s right here. Cue Shield to easily destroy Henry until the Usos come out for the save and to send Shield running.

Cena comes up to see Bryan in the back and offer his support in the three matches tonight. Bryan appreciates it but politely declines. Tonight is Bryan’s chance to prove himself and he’s going to win on his own. If Cena comes out there at all, it proves that Cena didn’t mean a thing he said earlier tonight.

Darren Young vs. Dolph Ziggler

The fans chant for Ziggler who gets a quick rollup for no cover. A dropkick gets two on Young but he drops Ziggler with a hot shot to take over. Off to a chinlock on Dolph as this appears to be one of those short matches that needs a rest hold for some reason. Ziggler escapes with a jawbreaker and hits a splash in the corner followed by a hard clothesline for two. Dolph gets caught on Young’s shoulders and driven face first into the mat for a close two, but Young spends too much time talking trash and gets caught in the Zig Zag for the pin at 4:30.

Rating: D. Did we really need a chinlock in a match that didn’t even make it five minutes? Young continues to be as generic as any guy you could pick up off the street, which makes me wonder why that team is still together. Either way this wasn’t interesting at all and it never felt like Ziggler was in jeopardy. With Titus’ match, there was a chance of Christian losing which made it more interesting.

Post match Langston runs out to beat down Dolph but Ziggler beats him to the punch and sends him to the floor.

Here’s a walk through of how to download the WWE App for the idiots in the audience.

It’s time for MizTV with the cast of the Total Divas as the guests. We get a clip of the show with one of the Divas DOING HER HAIR! Miz introduces the cast and then turns it over to Lawler to emcee this nonsense. Eve Marie, one of the new chicks, doesn’t like how Lawler is looking at her and slaps him to make a name for herself. And that’s it.

HHH tells Maddox that he doesn’t care what Vince thinks because Bryan might be the future of the WWE. He didn’t stop Maddox’s decisions earlier because Bryan can overcome anything thrown at him. Maddox needs to pick which train he’s on because one is the future and the other is a dead end. HHH leaves and Stephanie pops in with an idea which we’ll hear about later.

Video on the Wyatt Family so far.

Fandango vs. Cody Rhodes

Sandow is on commentary. Feeling out process to start with Fandango hitting a shoulder block and dancing a lot. He dances a bit too much and gets caught by a dropkick to send him into the corner. Cody charges into a boot in the corner for one and it’s off to a cravate. Fandango pulls at Cody’s mouth and it’s right back to the cravate. Cody comes back with a right hand and a kick to the low abdomen before loading up a moonsault press which barely connected at all. Sandow tries to interfere but Cody sidesteps a charging Fandango to send him into Damien. The Disaster Kick sets up Cross Rhodes for the pin at 3:17.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much to see but it was nice to see Cody getting a win again. The guy had so much potential a few years ago and it stopped dead for well over a year. Sandow vs. Rhodes is a good way to get Cody back on track and the fans are going to be into it when it happens if it’s done right.

Here’s a limping Punk to talk about Lesnar’s attack last week. Punk says last week he felt Lesnar’s power and took Lesnar’s best shot. He felt the power of Lesnar and has an injured ankle and staples in his head, but he’s still standing here today. Lesnar is a beast who has dominated people like HHH and John Cena because of one thing: fear. It’s not his power or his speed but the fear that Lesnar puts into people that make him so dominant. Punk isn’t afraid of Lesnar’s power, he’s not afraid of Lesnar’s size and he’s not afraid of Brock Lesnar at all.

This brings Punk to Paul Heyman. Punk talks about being a relentless man who is going to keep fighting until Lesnar is left laying like Punk was last week. This is Punk’s ring and he has proven it against John Cena, the Rock and Undertaker. There will not be another beatdown from Lesnar and Punk is going to get his hands on Heyman to make him pay. Brock Lesnar is a monster who was put on this earth to be slayed at CM Punk’s hands and Punk wants to do it at Summerslam in the Best vs. the Beast.

Heyman pops up on screen and talks about the tagline of Best vs. Beast. Punk cuts him off and asks if Heyman is really on satellite, because if he’s really back there then Punk is going to go backstage, drag him out here and destroy Heyman in front of the people of Austin. Heyman talks to Brock off screen and makes fun of Texas before asking Punk if he’s a coward or a fool. Punk says he’ll answer that at Summerslam and wants to know where Heyman is right now so he can take him out tonight. Heyman accepts the challenge for Summerslam and says the Best is the Beast, and Punk will learn that at Summerslam.

Wade Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam

Barrett takes over to start with a knee lift and a big boot to the face to send Van Dam into the ropes for two. The announcers make stupid jokes about Barrett’s nose as Barrett gets two more off a chinlock. Wade charges into a foot in the corner followed by a top rope kick to set up Rolling Thunder. A top rope front flip gets two for RVD and the Five Star is good for the pin at 4:15.

Rating: C-. This was just a step above a squash with Barrett getting in some decent offense before taking the loss. I don’t remember anyone falling as far as Barrett has while holding a title as long as he did. He hasn’t won anything close to a big match in months and is nothing but a jobber to the stars at this point.

Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger

This is the first of an undetermined amount of matches for Bryan. Colter says that Stephen F. Austin isn’t the father of this country as he didn’t fight for the right to allow people to chant YES. Bryan isn’t a Real American because he took a handout last week from John Cena and tonight he gets to face a Real American in Swagger. Bryan gets a quick rollup for one but Swagger takes out his leg to put him down.

Swagger pounds on him in the corner but walks into a dropkick to send him to the floor. The FLYING GOAT is countered with a forearm to the face and Swagger drops the Vader Bomb for two. He loads up the Patriot Lock but gets caught in the YES Lock for the first submission at 2:57.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan

This is joined in progress after a break with Cesaro holding Bryan in an armbar. Lawler tells us we need to download the App so we can see action like he’s showing us right now. Cesaro whips Bryan into the corner for two and puts on the standing chinlock. Bryan takes him down and hits the double leg stomp out of the surfboard. Cesaro comes back with a pure power suplex and another hard chinlock but Bryan easily fights up and hits the running clothesline followed by the kicks to the chest. A running dropkick in the corner gets two on Cesaro but Swagger shoves Bryan off the top into the uppercut for two.

Back from a break with Cesaro getting two off the gutwrench suplex. A kind of Death Valley Driver gets two but Bryan comes back with a hard kick to the head for two of his own. Cesaro takes him to the corner for a superplex but gets forearmed and kneed down, only to have Cesaro come back with a top rope superplex attempt. Bryan slips through his legs and gets Cesaro in the Tree of Woe for a bunch of kicks, capped off by the delayed running dropkick to the face.

A belly to back superplex is countered into a crossbody to give Antonio two as this is getting really good. Back up and Cesaro DESTROYS Bryan with about 25 uppercuts in a row followed by a huge clothesline for two. Bryan backdrops out of the Neutralizer and starts firing off forearms before putting on a leg lock and pounding away with driving forearms to the face. Cesaro is sent to the floor and the FLYING GOAT takes out the Real Americans. Back in and Cesaro tries to throw Bryan in the air for the uppercut but Bryan comes down into a small package for the pin at approximately 15:00 shown.

Rating: A-. Someone explain to me why Cesaro isn’t one of the three top heels in this company right now. He could EASILY being in Del Rio’s spot and blowing away everything he does. Both guys looked great here and this is probably a match of the year candidate. Great stuff and I want more Cesaro right now.

Maddox is in the back with Alex Riley next to him of all people. Bryan has a third opponent after the break.

Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback

Bryan goes right for Ryback’s bad leg but Ryback easily knocks him down. Ryback shouts that Bryan is a little man in a big man’s world and chokes him him with a boot. The stupid fans chant that Ryback can’t wrestle so Ryback suplexes Bryan down for two. We hit a quick chinlock with Ryback shouting that this is too easy. Ryback’s Thesz press is countered into a wicked looking half crab but he’s right in front of the ropes. A splash gets two for Ryback but the Meathook is blocked by a knee to the chest.

Bryan hits some corner dropkicks but Ryback clotheslines him down for two. Ryback heads to the floor to set up a table but Bryan comes flying through the ropes to send Ryback into the announce table with a thud. Ryback sends him into the steps and gets back in, only to have Bryan fire off the kicks. The YES Lock is countered by a throw but Bryan drop toeholds him into the buckle. A missile dropkick gets two and there’s the YES Lock but Ryback finally makes the ropes. Ryback heads to the floor but catches Bryan coming off the apron in a powerbomb. Another powerbomb through the table is good for a DQ at 9:10.

Rating: B-. This was a great David vs. Goliath match and I like that they didn’t make Ryback lose clan here. Bryan beating the Real Americans is fine but having him win against a fresh monster after nearly half an hour in the ring is too much of a stretch. This worked very well though as Ryback can still be a monster when he isn’t a whiny jerk.

Post match Ryback loads up another powerbomb but Cena comes out to make the save. He chases Ryback off and challenges him to a tables match next week.

In the back Maddox makes the tables match official but Vince comes in to make Bryan vs. Kane next week.

Overall Rating: B+. This show took awhile to get going but the final forty minutes is a Daniel Bryan showcase with some AWESOME wrestling that made him look like a monster against Cena. You couple that with an excellent Heyman/Punk segment and some short matches that didn’t overstay their welcome and this was a very solid show. I can’t wait for Summerslam and the show is going to rock.

Results

Alberto Del Rio b. Sheamus – Cradle

Christian b. Titus O’Neal – Killswitch

Dolph Ziggler b. Darren Young – Zig Zag

Cody Rhodes b. Fandango – Cross Rhodes

Daniel Bryan b. Jack Swagger – YES Lock

Daniel Bryan b. Antonio Cesaro – Small Package

Daniel Bryan b. Ryback via DQ when Ryback powerbombed Bryan through a table

 

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15 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    Love the Vince/Bryan slow build.

  2. What? says:

    I just want to say that Antonio Cesaro isnt a top heel because he has the charisma of a blank wall. Daniel Bryan momentum made Cesaro get a reaction, generally people dont care for Cesaro and they have a reason to do it.

    What? Reply:

    to not do it…*

    Not M.R. Reply:

    No Charisma? Are you stupid?…your name is stupid

    Remy Reply:

    His name is fine and he has a point.

  3. Jay H says:

    Daniel Bryan was definitely the MVP again tonight and I have a feeling he will win at Summerslam. I think the Match with him & Cena could be a MOTY candidate as well. Some other pretty good Matches as well and the Punk/Heyman stuff was good again.

    Not M.R. Reply:

    I disagree. Maybe Match of the Night but not Match of the Year

  4. james gracie says:

    Daniel Bryan is on fire right now. He is getting ‘Austin’ like reactions in every arena. This can easily be their biggest star real soon. With that said I’m very nervous the WWE might go the obvious route and have Bryan win then have Orton immediately cash in right after his match

    M.R. Reply:

    You clearly don’t know what an Austin reaction was like.

    Al Reply:

    They might not be Austin level, but Bryan is getting the biggest reaction on raw lately.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Which are nowhere near what AUstin got.

    Not M.R. Reply:

    A B+ KB? Are you not watching? This show dragged. The only good thing was Daniel Bryan. Maybe you should retire for reviewing wrestling shows.

  5. Not M.R. says:

    Again this show was alright, nothing great. I’m getting tired of people over rating things. It’s annoying and it’s just plain stupid

    M.R. Reply:

    Oh. You got me.

  6. Bryan and Cesaro had better matches together in Ring of Honor but I enjoyed what they did out there and glad it got some time.