Monday Night Raw – August 5, 2013: Don’t Touch The Beard!

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 5, 2013
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re back live this week after last week’s not so great taped show. No matches have been announced for tonight that I can remember but there will be Daniel Bryan’s corporate makeover. We’re rapidly approaching Summerslam and there are only three matches announced. Odds are we’ll get a lot of stuff added on tonight and Friday so let’s get to it.

Here’s Stephanie to open the show. She talks about Bryan’s corporate makeover and gives us a video of him being fitted in a suit and having his hair cleaned up. Back in the arena and the fans chant NO. Here’s the improved Bryan in a suit with a ponytail and a beard. He isn’t sure how the fans like it but he doesn’t think this is what the company wants. They clearly want someone in cargo shorts and a yellow t-shirt who will sell a bunch of stuff the people don’t need.

Bryan talks about how Cena has been on the top of the mountain for ten years now because he’s an entertainer, but Bryan is a wrestler. If Cena was fired he’d go back to his mansion and cars and would never have to wrestle again. If Bryan were to be fired tomorrow, he’d be in every armory and gym because that’s what he loves to do. The fans cheer and Bryan thinks they love wrestling too. Bryan says he’ll dress up for now but at Summerslam, he’s going to make John Cena tap out like everyone wants him to do.

This brings out Vince who says he appreciates Stephanie’s efforts and thinks Bryan has given it the old college try but it’s not perfect. Vince talks about how he doesn’t want Bryan or Cena to be champion because we’ve never had a dwarf as champion. Bryan is so unkempt that he looks like a miniature Mick Foley but maybe we can work something out. There’s one final thing that needs to go though: the beard. Vince calls for the barber’s chair but Bryan says no. The boss talks about how Bryan will do this if he wants to be WWE Champion and this is the first step.

Bryan gets out of the ring and takes off the suit jacket but Vince says we need a barber. The barber is going to be….Wade Barrett? Wade gets ready to shave him but Bryan jumps him and shaves off Wade’s beard (or at least half of it) before sending Barrett into the crowd. Bryan says he won’t change for Vince because he’s going to be who he is and then be WWE champion. He takes off the shirt to reveal a t-shirt saying The Beard Is Here with an arrow pointing up. Vince is ticked.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam

Miz is on commentary. Non-title again and Ricardo is back, a week earlier than the reported return date. Del Rio attacks to start but Van Dam fires back with forearms to the jaw. A standing moonsault gets two and Del Rio rolls to the floor, only to have Rob hit a moonsault off the apron as we take a break.

Back with Van Dam blocking a shot into the buckle and kicking Del Rio down.

Rolling Thunder misses and Alberto’s low superkick gets two. Alberto misses his running enziguri in the corner and Van Dam kicks him down before. Rolling Thunder connects for two but the split legged moonsault hits knees. Ricardo puts the bucket in the corner but it’s Alberto being sent face first into it, giving Van Dam a rollup for the pin at 6:14. Not long enough shown to rate but did we really need this loss?

Post match Del Rio superkicks Ricardo and hits him with the bucket before crushing him between the steps and the post.

Here’s Cody Rhodes in the ring to talk about Sandow jumping him from behind last week. He has a present for Sandow in a box but first, we look at their issues over the past few weeks. Back in the arena and Cody opens the box: the crushed briefcase, complete with seaweed hanging off the side. Here’s Damien himself to say put the case down and walk away. Cody puts it down but charges at Sandow and the fight is on. Cody kicks him to the floor and opens the case to reveal the actual contract. Rhodes puts it back in the case and throws it back at Sandow who doesn’t pick it up.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry

They stare each other down and Ryback grabs a headlock to start. Henry runs him over with a shoulder but Ryback goes after Henry’s knee. Mark comes back and knocks Ryback to the floor…..and Ryback walks out at 1:46. Thanks for this one guys.

The Bellas are arguing over who looked better on Total Divas. Eva Marie comes up to laugh about how they made Natalya look stupid last week. Natalya comes up and slaps a Bella, likely setting up a match later.

Here’s Cena with something to say. Cena says he’s used to being a target but most of the time the people are just mad at him. Every once in awhile though he has to face a true fan favorite, which means the people have to choose. He’s been listening to the people and it’s obvious the fans Daniel Bryan. Cena heard what the people said and he doesn’t blame them.

He also heard what Daniel Bryan said earlier and it made Daniel Bryan sound ignorant. Daniel Bryan said the same things that The Rock and CM Punk and everyone else who doesn’t like the color of Cena’s shirt or the kind of cereal he eats. Cena was back a day after breaking his neck and his elbow looks like a football but he’s here because he loves it.

Bryan talked about wrestling in armories and gyms because that’s where he’s most comfortable. Daniel was right that if Cena was fired tomorrow he’d never wrestle again because he wouldn’t settle for anything but the best and he wouldn’t tarnish the WWE by going elsewhere. Cena has heard people tell him he can’t wrestle for years and he knows what it sounds like. He’s been WWE Champion 11 times and that’s too many times to be lucky. Cena thinks the fans want to see Bryan vs. Cena right now and there’s the YES chant.

This is a huge match for Bryan and if he wins, he’s earned the WWE Championship, but if he loses he has to admit that he’s not good enough. Bryan is on fire but Cena has been mowing people down since January. At Summerslam the people can cheer for whomever they want, but Cena is walking out champion. Excellent stuff here that sets up the dynamic of the match perfectly.

Cena drops the mic but here’s Orton. He talks about how Cena is always aware of the target on his back but he never remembers the target in front of his face. The briefcase is what matters because it means Orton will be WWE Champion. It could happen at Summerslam, it could happen the night after, or it could happen at Wrestlemania. All it means is that the champ is here, not with Cena.

Cue Shield of all people as things get even more interesting. They surround the stars but here’s Bryan (still in the ponytail) for the save. Shield runs off now that the odds are even but it’s GM time, with Maddox making the six man main event. When did Maddox shrink and become a bald black man?

Wyatt Family vs. Tons of Funk

Harper starts with Tensai and shouts yeah a lot. A big boot puts Tensai down and it’s off to Rowan for forearms in the corner but he runs into an elbow. Tensai puts him down with a clothesline and everything breaks down with Rowan running Brodus down. Harper’s discus lariat sets up a splash from Rowan to pin Tensai at 1:20.

Post match Bray gets in and hits Sister Abigail on Brodus before grabbing a mic. He says Kane isn’t a monster but rather an illusion. The demon is a lie but he himself is much different. He’s the man of 1000 truths and the eater of worlds. He is forever and follow the buzzards. Wyatt kneels over Brodus but Kane’s pyro lights up the arena.

On screen, Kane says that when you pull the wings off a buzzard, they’re impossible to follow. He sees through Bray’s words and sees that Bray is here to maim everyone in his path. Kane likes that and does them as well, but he does them for amusement, not to spread a message. Bray will find out why Kane is the devil’s favorite demon at Summerslam. Not the Family nor anyone else can save Wyatt from the ring of fire. Fire shoots out of the posts and Bray drops to his knees in laughter.

Punk is in the back and wants to talk about Curtis Axel’s dad Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan. The difference between those two and Axel/Heyman is Perfect had his own thoughts when he was on screen with Heenan. The younger version having Heyman as his guide is going to earn him a beating tonight. After that, Punk is going to take the Beast’s manhood away, just like he promised.

Kaitlyn vs. Layla

Thankfully Layla hasn’t dropped the shorts. Layla says she turned on Kaitlyn for the attention and she’s coming for all the regular divas and the Total Divas. Kaitlyn takes her down to start and pounds away so Layla runs to the ropes. The referee pulls Kaitlyn away, allowing Layla to take over with a DDT. Layla chokes away in the corner and slams Kaitlyn face first into the mat. She charges into a backbreaker though and Kailtyn starts her comeback. The gutbuster puts Kaitlyn down but here’s AJ to distract Kaitlyn from the spear. Layla bails to the apron but an AJ distraction lets Layla kick Kaitlyn in the head for the pin at 2:59.

Kaitlyn and Layla skip around the ring post match. Apparently that kick is called the Bombshell.

We recap Cody and Sandow’s issues from earlier. Cody vs. Sandow is official for Summerslam.

Christian vs. Heath Slater

Christian sends him into 619 position but can’t uppercut Slater because of the other Band members. Slater takes over with some forearms to the chest and it’s off to the chinlock. Slater jumps off the middle rope and lands on Christian’s boot and a flapjack sets up a middle rope dropkick for two for Christian. Slater is knocked to the apron and backdropped back inside so the sunset flip out of the corner can get two. Slater stops to dance but gets caught by the spear for the pin at 3:15.

Rating: C-. This was a better match than I was expecting but it still was nothing great. Christian looked good and gets a win before the PPV, unlike Del Rio earlier. That being said, it would appear that Del Rio wins at Summerslam because that’s what WWE does. Why they think losing all the matches until winning the blowoff makes things ok I’m not sure, but that’s the status quo.

CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel

Non-title of course. Punk charges up the ramp before the bell and the brawl starts near the stage. Punk keeps trying to get to Heyman who has gone backstage. They head to the ring with Punk in control and the bell rings. Axel takes over with some chops but Punk takes him down into an Indian Deathlock of all things. Before he falls down with the hold, Punk spits in the air and tries to slap it away ala Mr. Perfect and the gum. Axel rolls to the floor and gets caught with the suicide dive as we take a break.

Back with Axel cranking on an armbar and elbowing Punk in the face for two. A middle rope elbow sets up another chinlock from Axel as Heyman comes back to ringside. Punk finally rolls out of the hold and crawls over at Heyman, only to be clotheslined down for two. Punk comes back with a spinning cross body out of the corner but a Heyman distraction lets Curtis take over. CM comes back with a kick to the head and the running knee in the corner but Curtis breaks up the Macho Elbow. The McGillicutter gets two but Punk kicks Axel in the head again. Not that it matters as he goes after Heyman, drawing a DQ at 10:22.

Rating: C+. I was digging this match until the end but the ending kind of sucked. To be fair though they didn’t have Axel do another job which is the right idea. Punk vs. Lesnar is going to be golden and the hatred that Punk has for Heyman is selling this feud as perfectly as you could ask it to. Decent match here with Axel getting to look good.

Post match here’s Lesnar but Axel pulls Punk to the floor. Punk takes him down with a GTS and grabs a chair but brock takes it away. Punk fires off forearms and kicks to the head to stagger Brock and a flying forearm off the table takes Brock down. Not that it matters as Lesnar casually grabs him and throws him down with a belly to belly. They head inside but Punk escapes the F5 and hits Brock in the back with the chair. Heyman is in the ring and drops to his knees in terror but Lesnar takes the chair away from Punk and lays him out with the F5. Brock nails Punk in the back with the chair for good measure.

After a break Lesnar wants to know if that’s the best the world has to offer. Heyman says next week, he’s going to the ring and giving Punk a chance at a man vs. man fight.

Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston

Kofi is much skinnier and is in long tights now. Fandango takes over quickly to start and takes Kofi down as the announcers talk about ballet. A quick chinlock sets up a dropkick to Kofi but a middle rope knee drop misses. Kofi comes back with a dropkick and the Boom Drop but Fandango bails from Trouble in Paradise. Fandango gets in a kick of his own but misses the legdrop, allowing Kofi to get two off a cross body. Trouble in Paradise is good for the pin at 3:43.

Rating: D+. I hope that was just ring rust from Kofi as he didn’t look very good out there at all. The fans didn’t seem to care about him at all and the tights aren’t working for him. Fandango has fallen since that concussion and it’s a shame to see the booking go this way for him. Kofi didn’t look all that good though and hopefully he gets better.

HHH is in the office when Stephanie comes in crying. Vince hated the segment and HHH goes NUTS, ranting and raving about how Vince is no longer a creative genius and goes on his own whims. HHH isn’t going to stand by and watch the ship go down and he’s going to do something about Vince.

Real Americans vs. Usos

Colter resorts to making fun of cheese and the Green Bay Packers to get heat. Jey runs over Swagger for two to start but gets caught in the powerslam/belly to belly for two. Off to Cesaro for a double stomp for two more before Jack comes in with a shoulder to the leg. Swagger finally misses the Vader Bomb and it’s hot tag to Jimmy. Everything breaks down and Jimmy hits a big dive to take Swagger out. Cesaro jumps into part of a superkick but gets out at two. A Colter distraction lets Cesaro hit a quick Neturalizer for the pin on Jimmy at 3:52.

Rating: D+. This was ok but I’m having a bit of trouble buying the Real Americans as a threat after all those matches they lost. The Usos are the latest team to get going for a few weeks and then fall back into jobber status a few weeks later. That’s WWE booking for you because Heaven forbid anyone get hot when it’s not for a title.

Big E. Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler hits a quick dropkick for one and gets out of a gorilla press, only to be knocked off the apron and out to the floor. Back in and Langston puts on an abdominal stretch for a big. Big E. misses a charge into the post and Ziggler snaps off a quick Stinger Splash and a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler tries to speed things up but gets caught in a drop into a backbreaker to put him down. Langston misses a splash and Dolph mostly misses a Fameasser for two. Kaitlyn comes out to go after AJ because that feud hasn’t gone on long enough. The girls get in the ring and Big E. runs Dolph over. Big Ending and we’re done at 4:14.

Rating: D+. The crowd didn’t care here and I don’t think they’ll care much more about the tag match this sets up for Summerslam. Why Ziggler would want to team with Kaitlyn after this I’m not sure as she just cost him a match but that’s WWE logic for you. Not much to see here but Langston clearly has a ton of potential.

John Cena/Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton vs. Shield

The bell rings at 10:59 so don’t expect much from this one. Orton starts with Rollins and it’s Seth in early trouble. A suplex puts him down and it’s off to Bryan with a middle rope dropkick but Ambrose gets the tag. That’s cool with Bryan as he runs Dean over with a clothesline and sends him to the floor for the FLYING GOAT.

Reigns gets in a shot on the floor to take over and it’s Bryan as your face in peril. Rollins hooks a chinlock before it’s off to Roman for some power. A double gutbuster gets two on Bryan but he charges over for the tag to Cena….but the referee doesn’t see it. Everything breaks down anyway and Bryan gets the YES Lock on Rollins, drawing in the other Shield members for the DQ at 5:26.

Rating: C-. This was what you would have expected. The match didn’t have time to go anywhere and was just there to set up the post match stuff. I’m not a fan of endings like that because there are saves made all the time that don’t draw DQ’s. This was crippled by a lack of time which is a shame.

Post match Orton lays out Bryan with an RKO but has to help Cena clear the ring. Shield runs and there’s an RKO to Cena. Orton GETS THE BRIEFCASE but Shield comes down and beats up Cena and Bryan even more. Orton walks away in a heelish move and Bryan takes a TripleBomb to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This was a moving day towards Summerslam as we added a match and enhanced a lot of the others. The matches were good enough tonight but this was all about the promos and storytelling which often make for better episodes. Bryan vs. Cena is going to be AWESOME with both guys trying to prove the other wrong and the promos showed that. Punk vs. Lesnar looks good with Punk trying to slay the monster and the physical side has a chance. Good but not great show tonight.

Results

Rob Van Dam b. Alberto Del Rio – Rolling Cradle

Mark Henry b. Ryback via countout

Wyatt Family b. Tons of Funk – Splash to Clay

Layla b. Kaitlyn – Bombshell Kick

Christian b. Heath Slater – Spear

Kofi Kingston b. Fandango – Trouble in Paradise

Real Americans b. Usos – Neutralizer to Jimmy Uso

Big E. Langston b. Dolph Ziggler – Big Ending

Randy Orton/John Cena/Daniel Bryan b. Shield via DQ when Ambrose and Reigns wouldn’t leave the ring

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $5 at:

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16 comments

  1. wwefan2013 says:

    Another RAW with shitty matches and just because there is “angle advancement” this poor episode got a solid rating. Only good one was Punk/Brock and Kane.

    What does Impact need to do to get even a B these days? 5 A+ matches and a huge segments.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Not have a bunch of segments focusing on bikers that aren’t intimidating and the same group of people who have been fighting them for going on a year and a half while also having an idiot blonde running around while we wait for the heel turn that no one cares about would be a good place to start.

    wwefan2013 Reply:

    How about addressing how the ending made little to no sense tonight. Why would Shield help Cena?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    They see MITB as an injustice and want Orton to earn the title instead of winning it when Cena is defenseless perhaps?

    wwefan2013 Reply:

    So Ziggler is okay to do this?

    LSN Reply:

    You consider the five matches on Impact to all be A+ matches? I’m making the assmption, egregious possiby, that you’re referring to Thursday. Let’s see:

    Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode: Misawa couldn’t have gotten an A+ match out of Hernandez from Dave Meltzer at his best. This match, like most of his, wasn’t good, with a bad ending.

    Jay Bradley vs. Joseph Park: A jobber in the BFG series against a comedy character. Those are always top notch matches.

    Sabin vs. Manik: Not sure what KB gave it, and it was good, but an A+? There was little psychology in the entire match, and the winner was never in doubt. Good action, but an A+? I’d go more B-, B possibly, using KB’s scale. \

    ODB vs. Gail Kim: ODB is sill terrible in the ring, it was only 5-7 minutes long, and it ended in a double countout. This was closer to an F then an A.

    Aries vs. Styles: This was excellent, I’d have gone B+ to A- on KB’s scale. I didn’t like the ending whatsoever, but the action between the two was simply phenomenal.

    And do I need to explain what an A+ would indicate? Essentially, a perfect match, WWEFan13. I thought this show was more around a C or C+, but it is KBs reviews, not mine or yours.

    I hate what they’re doing with the WHC scene, with no interaction between Christian and Del Rio tonight after Del Rio jumped him Friday, but the beatdown on Ricardo was a fantastic heat-generating follow-up. Still, it’s the World Champion losing again. The Divas match was beyond awful, and I wasn’t a fan of bringing back Orton to Raw necessarily, as having him flaunt the briefcase makes a cash-in at Summerslam less likely, in essence.

    But this show is about the build to Summerslam, and it accomplished that. They made it personal between Bryan and Cena, and Punk’s obsession w Heyman keeps costing him physically. They’re setting up Rhodes and Sandow, and furthered that, albeit cheesily. And while I thought Kaitlyn and AJ rolling around in the ring during a MATCH should have been enough to get it thrown out, they’re doing something w Kaitlyn’s character, and building towwards perhaps Langston vs. Ziggler in a cage, or at least AJ banned.

    And while I’m not a fan of the “Ring of Fire” or likely an Inferno Match announced between Bray and Kane, the promo work was awesome, and again, the key word is building.

    What did TNA do on Thursday to build towards their Hardcore Justice special. Not a whole lot. It was a good stand-alone show, but that’s it.

  2. Macios says:

    Here’s a question I wanted to ask just didn’t in the forums, in the “ring of fire” match which right now I’m assuming it’ll be a plain inferno match, is there any chance Wyatt allows himself to get burned in a physco twist?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    There’s a chance of it but I doubt they’d go there.

    M.R. Reply:

    How would they pull that off?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Probably with a lot of corny lines. I hope they go there though to enhance Bray’s character.

  3. Jay H says:

    Not a bad RAW tonight,it picked up after the 1st Hour. the Punk/Lesnar brawl was awesome and Cena/Bryan is going be an amazing Match. You forgot to mention Brock telling Heyman to say something stupid.

  4. klunderbunker says:

    …huh?

  5. Killjoy says:

    I haven’t seen Raw in weeks but judging from this they have booked Orton, Cena and Bryan like absolute titans and have made Cody and Sandow’s feud look about as the one Edge and Christian had in 2001. The rest sounds like shit though. Some things just never change. I’m just glad the guys on top are showing why they are on top.

  6. chris says:

    It was a good show, nicely building towards summer slam.

    I’m actually starting to feel bad for Cena. Getting a boring chant during his speech. He was clearly into it, to bad the crowd wasn’t.

    I’m really digging the Bray Wyatt character. His dark imagery and Manson like persona is really working.

    Really looking forward to summer slam as whole. I haven’t been this pumped to see more than one match on a pay per view in a long time.

  7. chris says:

    I will point out that although I know Cena was trying to tow the company line with his love for the wwe. It felt like he was saying he was above everyone who wrestlers in gyms and armories.

    M.R. Reply:

    He is above them.