Monday Night Raw
Date: July 29, 2013
Location: Laredo Energy Arena, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
This is a rare taped episode of the show as the main guys are off in Australia at the moment for an international tour. We’re only a few weeks away from Summerslam and the main event matches are set, so most of the next few weeks will be about firming things up for the big show. We also have Cena vs. Ryback in a tables match and Bryan vs. Kane in a double main event. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Bryan running the gauntlet last week and Cena saving him from Ryback to close the show.
Here are Vince and Maddox to open the show. Brad apologizes for allowing Cena to pick his Summerslam opponent. Vince talks about Brad calling Bryan a psychologically disturbed troll who doesn’t have the aura of being a WWE Champion. Before Maddox can say how he REALLY feels about Bryan, here’s Goat face himself. Daniel says the words might have come out of Maddox’s mouth but they were dictated by Vince. McMahon says Bryan interrupted him and that’s disrespectful.
Bryan says that he’s worked hard for Vince over the years and hasn’t gotten a bit of respect in return. The fans keep chanting and Vince can’t get them to shut up. McMahon asks if Bryan respects Cena and Bryan says he does, but Vince thinks Cena is lying. Vince calls Cena a master manipulator and says Bryan is falling for the whole thing. Bryan is lacking the ruthless aggression to launch him to the top, but Cena doesn’t have it anymore either.
Vince says Cena walks around like he owns the place and Vince can’t stand it. He doesn’t want Cena to win at Summerslam either, but rather that both spontaneously combust, making Vince the winner at Summerslam. Bryan says it doesn’t matter what Vince thinks but rather what the people think. The people want a new champion named Daniel Bryan and a HUGE YES chant strikes up as Bryan leaves.
Mark Henry/Usos vs. Shield
Ambrose starts with Henry but Dean is easily thrown around. Rolins gets the same treatment so here’s Reigns to try his luck. Mark offers a test of strength but kicks Roman in the ribs to take over instead. Henry takes him into the corner and it’s off to Jey for some speed. Reigns easily takes him down and it’s time to start the Shield attack in the corner. Jey escapes and makes the hot tag to Jimmy who cleans a few rooms of the house before tagging in Henry.
A running elbow misses Ambrose and Dean goes crazy on the big man. Henry easily blocks a double suplex and sends Shield to the floor for a double suicide dive by the brothers. Back from a break with Roman holding Jey in an armbar. Ambrose comes in to work on Jey as well but a jawbreaker gets Jey out of trouble. Dean misses a charge into the post but Rollins breaks up the hot tag.
As usual the hot tag comes a few seconds later with Henry cleaning house. Ambrose gets tossed around but Reigns spears Mark down to stop him cold. Jimmy tags himself in and gets two off a high cross body to Dean. A Samoan drop looks to set up the Superfly Splash but Ambrose gets the knees up. Bulldog driver to Jimmy is good for the pin at 12:22.
Rating: C-. This was pretty pedestrian stuff but it picked up a bit at the end. I’m guessing the Usos were a transition from one feud to another for Shield which is fine. If nothing else we got a good match out of them at MITB. Anyway nothing to see here but they kept Henry strong which is the right idea.
Henry clears the ring post match.
We get a clip of Ryback bullying a backstage guy at catering. He keeps talking trash and throws the guy through a table. THIS is how you get him over as a heel.
Video on the Wyatts.
Kane wants the Wyatts but Maddox says they’re not here yet. If Kane wants to send a message to them, go beat Daniel Bryan.
Rob Van Dam vs. Fandango
Feeling out process to start until Van Dam kicks Fandango out to the floor. A moonsault from the apron takes the dancer our and the fans LOVE them some Van Dam. Fandango snaps the neck across the top rope to take over and it’s off to the chinlock. A kick to Van Dam’s head gets two but Rob comes back with more kicks of his own and Rolling Thunder gets two. Van Dam hits the springboard kick to the face and loads up the Five Star but Fandango bails for the countout at 4:09.
Rating: D. We really need to protect Fandango from a former world champion? The match was nothing but Van Dam’s return continues to get a strong reaction for not much substance. I don’t get the point in protecting the dancer though given that there’s nothing to him at the moment anyway.
AJ freaks out about fighting Kaitlyn again because Langston doesn’t help her. She accuses Big E. of liking him and Langston feels uncomfortable but AJ laughs and skips off.
Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee
Non-title. AJ takes over to start and has that insane look on her face the entire time. Katilyn throws her off and loads up the spear but a running knee to the head puts her back down. An armbar doesn’t get AJ anywhere as Kaitlyn comes back with a backbreaker. AJ comes back with another armbar as we hear about Tweets from Vickie. Kaitlyn fights up and hits the spear out of nowhere for the pin at 4:51.
Rating: D. You remember those matches between these two that had a ton of heat and were awesome? This is the total opposite at it was just there to fill in a few minutes and set up yet another rematch. They took out all the good parts of this feud and turned it into the same exact thing that plagued the division for years.
Post match AJ freaks out and here’s Ziggler to stir the pot. He suggests AJ sleep with Langston later because Ziggler wants Big E. RIGHT NOW.
Big E. Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler
I would have thought this was a Summerslam match. Langston runs Ziggler over to start and talks a lot of trash. He throws Dolph around even more and throws on a bearhug to work on the ribs a bit as a good power man would. We hit the chinlock with a knee in Ziggler’s back as the fans aren’t all that interested so far. Langston talks even more trash about how it’s his time (isn’t that infringing on Cena’s gimmick?) before missing a charge into the post. Ziggler dropkicks him to the floor but AJ runs in for the DQ at 5:29.
Rating: D+. ANOTHER dull match tonight with the ending being as obvious as you could ask it to be. I’m guessing the guys are tired from the accelerated schedule but this show has almost no energy tonight at all. This match screamed Summerslam rematch to me which is probably the right idea.
Langston takes a Zig Zag post match.
Bryan comes in to see Cena and asks if what Vince said is true. Cena says Vince is trying to sell tickets and wants to know if Bryan is calling him a liar. Bryan says nothing and Cena leaves.
Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
Non-title again. Del Rio takes Christian to the mat with a headlock before they both what looked to be a jumping clothesline from Christian. Del Rio stomps him down in the corner and hits a snap suplex for two. Christian sends him into the middle rope and hits the uppercut, only to charge into a superkick to the ribs. Del Rio charges into the corner but gets backdropped to the floor. Christian charges at Del Rio but hits the steps, allowing Del Rio to hit a running dropkick to send the arm into the steps.
Back with Del Rio stomping on the arm and jumping from the second rope for another shot. Christian is put in the Tree of Woe but manages to fight out of the reverse superplex. A middle rope missile dropkick puts the champion down but Christian misses a charge and sends the bad arm into the post again. Del Rio pounds away for another two count and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets the same. Alberto misses a middle rope backsplash but runs away from a spear. Back in and the low superkick gets two but the armbreaker is countered into a rollup for the pin for Christian at 13:46.
Rating: C+. The match wasn’t bad but it’s in the middle of a very boring show. Here’s the flaw with Del Rio: a win here doesn’t mean much for Christian as Del Rio already lost ten days ago to Orton, so it’s not like him losing is a huge surprise. Christian getting the title shot would be fine, but it’s not like he’s got a chance at the title or anything.
We recap Bryan’s gauntlet match last week.
Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett
Before the match we get a recap of Cody stealing Sandow’s briefcase and throwing it in the Gulf of Mexico. Cody attacks to start but gets sent to the floor. Barrett rams him into the barricade and gets two off a backbreaker. Wade sends Cody chest first into the corner and hits a slingshot backbreaker for two more. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Cody starts his comeback. He mostly misses the moonsault press but hits a running knee to the jaw for two. The Disaster Kick misses but Barrett’s pumphandle is countered into Cross Rhodes for the pin at 4:26.
Rating: D+. Notice something here: Cody is winning matches and his push is starting to work. Seriously, the solution to getting someone over is to have them win matches. I know that’s completely against WWE’s booking philosophy lately, but it’s true: if you have someone win matches, they’re more likely to get over.
Post match here’s Sandow to talk about how he was the intellect of the Rhodes Scholars. “I saves the unwashed masses and you grew a mustache.” Sandow says he’s from a family of scholars and Cody is from a family of clowns and he doesn’t associate with carny folk.
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
Kane kicks him down to start but gets caught in a half crab to stop the momentum. The big man easily kicks him off and kicks a charging Bryan’s head off. A suplex gets two for Kane and it’s off to a neck crank. The low dropkick gets two more as the fans try to wake up a bit. Back to the crank but Bryan fights up with strikes. The running clothesline can’t drop Kane but Bryan escapes the chokeslam. He sends Kane to the floor for the knee off the apron as we take a break.
Back with Bryan escaping a chinlock and firing off some kicks in the corner. A dropkick gets two and Bryan fires off the running dropkicks in the corner. Kane comes back with the side slam for two and there’s the top rope clothesline. Bryan escapes the chokeslam and fires off more kicks, only to have Kane grab another chokeslam. Bryan rolls him up into a small package for the pin, like he did to Cesaro last week, at 12:46.
Rating: C. Not bad again here but not much to see. I’m kind of glad this happened on Raw instead of at a big PPV which is what everyone was thinking would happen. That would have been a little too by the book for me which would have hurt the match. Either way, at least Bryan gets another win.
Post match Kane chokeslams Bryan anyway but here come the Wyatts. Kane is surrounded by the monsters but he hits the floor to go right after Bray. The numbers catch up to him though as Wyatt looks on. Harper’s discus lariat puts Kane down and here’s Wyatt in the ring. Sister Abigail lays Kane out and Bray grabs the mic. He’s heard that Kane calls himself the devil’s favorite demon. Kane isn’t a demon though and he needs to watch who he says those things in front of. Follow the buzzards.
Natalya vs. Brie Bella
Natalya hits a quick snap suplex for two but Brie grabs her in a chinlock. That goes nowhere and a slam puts Brie down. Brie charges into a boot in the corner and a discus lariat puts Brie down for two. Natalya loads up a Boston crab but here’s Nikki with a duck call. The distraction lets Brie get the pin at 4:18.
Rating: D-. Next. That is all.
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth
Non-title again. Before the match Heyman talks about how aweoms Axel is like only he can. Axel pounds way but Truth hits the release front suplex. The ax kick misses and Axel stays on Truth. The cutter into the neckbreaker looks to end things but here’s Punk to throw the match out at about 2:45.
Post match Heyman runs away as the other guys fight.
Vince tells HHH he’s using reverse psychology on Bryan because he wants someone like HHH to beat Cena. Vince makes jokes about HHH’s age but Stephanie comes in to cool things down. She recommends a corporate makeover. Oh joy.
Ryback vs. John Cena
Tables match. This has been the house show main event for months. Ryback pounds on him to start but Cena clotheslines him out to the floor. The first table is pulled out but Ryback gets in a quick shot to stop Cena. He tries to ram the table into Cena against the post but John moves out of the way. We take a really abrupt break and come back with Ryback in control. Cena escapes the powerbomb on the floor but Ryback rams him into the post to keep momentum.
Ryback sets up the steps and bridges a table between them and the ring. Cena gets in a shot and tries to put Ryback through the table but gets caught in a snap suplex on the floor. Back in and Cena grabs a quick STF but Ryback pulls himself into the ropes, literally forcing a break. Cena throws a table out to the floor but Ryback hides under the ring. He pops out the other side and spears Cena down before setting up an identicle table to steps bridge. One of them is shoved over but Cena can’t get the AA.
Instead Ryback pounds Cena down and tries a gorilla press but Cena slides to the other side of the table. Ryback crushes the table with the steps so Cena picks up a set of his own. They throw the steps at each other and amazingly enough they bounce off each other. Back inside and the ProtoBomb onto the steps puts Ryback down. There’s the Shuffle but Ryback stops him from setting up a table with the over the shoulder Stunner. The table is set up in the corner and the Meat Hook puts Cena down. Ryback loads up another but Cena catches him in the AA through the table for the win at 16:30.
Rating: C+. Match of the night here but that’s not saying much at all. The good thing about having the same match so many times on house shows is you can have a good version of it by muscle memory alone, so the result here was pretty good. A ticked off and violent Ryback works as a villain (assuming he actually wins something one day) so the result was pretty good.
Post match here’s Bryan to take the belt but Cena snatches it back, saying Bryan has to earn this. A YES chant ends the show.
Overall Rating: D. This show never once got interesting. I’m guessing it’s due to the show being taped, but there was nothing on here to get fired up about at all. It’s like they threw three hours of TV out there and hoped people would get into it at some point. This was very dull and felt like it was eight hours long instead of three.
Shield b. Mark Henry/Usos – Bulldog Driver to Jimmy
Rob Van Dam b. Fandango via countout
Kaitly b. AJ Lee – Spear
Dolph Ziggler b. Big E. Langston via DQ when AJ interfered
Daniel Bryan b. Kane – Small Package
Brie Bella b. Natayla – Rollup
John Cena b. Ryback – AA through a table
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