Monday Night Raw – August 12, 2013: The HHH Jokes Write Themselves

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Sleeptrain Arena, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final show before Summerslam and things are finally in focus. The main story tonight is Punk getting a one on one shot with Heyman. As Punk said at Chicago Comic Con over the weekend, he’d be stupid to think Axel or Lesnar won’t get involved. Other than that we have a little bit of storytelling to go before we get to Sunday so let’s get to it.

No intro this week in a change of pace.

Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett

Brad Maddox is guest referee for no apparent reason. A quick dropkick puts Barrett down and Daniel goes after the leg. Bryan hooks a quick dragon screw leg whip before cannonballing down ion the legs a few times. Barrett is sent to the floor with a baseball slide but Bryan misses the running knee off the apron and gets caught with a big boot to the face. Back in and Bryan is knocked to the floor with ease and sent into the steps.

Back in the sequel sees Barrett have a chinlock quickly broken. Bryan speeds things up and hits the running clothesline before knocking Barrett to the floor again. There’s the FLYING GOAT followed by a missile dropkick. The hard kicks to the chest have Wade in trouble but he ducks a big one and rolls Bryan up for a fast count at 5:24.

Rating: C-. So we built up Bryan for MONTHS, only to have him lose via a fast count to WADE BARRETT six days before Summerslam? This seems like more WWE overbooking which continues to drive me crazy. We flat out do not need this addition to the Cena vs. Bryan match but I’m sure it’ll wind up being focused on the McMahons because that’s what matters at the end of the day.

Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow

Sandow ties his case to the post so Cody, on commentary here, can’t steal it. Damien grabs a quick headlock to start but gets dropped by an elbow to the jaw. Orton pounds down right hands in the corner and gets two off a snap suplex. A clothesline gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Nothing to see so far here. Damien comes back with a belly to back suplex but gets dropkicked off the apron as we take a break.

Back with Sandow escaping a superplex but charging into a boot in the corner. Orton goes back up top and positions himself so Sandow can shoves him out to the floor. Back in and we hit the chinlock followed by a knee to Orton’s ribs for two. There’s the Wind-Up Elbow for two more and we’re back in the chinlock.

Orton finally suplexes out of it and hits his clotheslines but Sandow avoids the powerslam and hits a running flip neckbreaker for a near fall. Orton sends him to the apron and hits the Elevated DDT but Sandow bails from the RKO. Damien sends him into the post for two and Cody goes after the briefcase, allowing for the RKO to connect for the pin at 13:45.

Rating: D+. STOP PUTTING THEM AGAINST EACH OTHER! My goodness this gets annoying to sit through as we have to wait for nearly 14 minutes until Sandow loses like he always does. Then a few months from now we’re supposed to buy him as a world champion because that’s what MITB does. The match wasn’t bad but it was just a waiting game until Sandow lost and there was never any doubt as to that being the finish. That’s why I can’t stand watching Damien matches: we’re just waiting for him to lose and there’s no point in watching anything else in the match.

There’s a battle royal for a US Title shot on Sunday.

Shield says they’re awesome and Ambrose will beat the winner of the battle royal on Sunday. He says he’s the best in the world and Cena just has a trophy. PLEASE let that be foreshadowing.

Video on Brock vs. Punk, the same one from Smackdown.

Punk says no one is afraid of Paul Heyman but Heyman is doing this for a reason. Paul hasn’t lost his mind or grown a set because it’s all a big chess game. The best is the best.

Natalya/Great Khali vs. Big E. Langston/AJ Lee

In an inset interview, Langston says no one has Dolph’s back now other than Kaitlyn and that’s not enough. The guys start but AJ wants to fight Khali. She slaps the big man but Natalya comes in to take over. Natalya drives AJ into the corner but gets rammed face first into the buckle to stop her cold. AJ hooks a cravate to no effect but a dropkick gets two. She shouts at Hornswoggle a lot but gets caught in the Sharpshooter as a result. Natalya starts letting go and AJ taps….but the referee doesn’t ring the bell. Natalya puts it on again and AJ taps at 3:45.

Rating: D. So horribly botched ending aside, this wasn’t much to see at all. The Khali/Horny/Natalya joke is done and wasn’t funny in the first place. I don’t get the point in having AJ tap here other than to set up a feud with Natalya for the title, even though her feud with Kaitlyn isn’t done yet.

Post match Langston goes after Horny but gets chopped down by Khali.

Here’s Vince McMahon to talk about what happened with Bryan vs. Barrett. He calls out Brad and asks him why he appointed himself guest referee. Brad says Bryan’s matches tend to get out of hands, so the fans would appreciate a referee capable of keeping things calm. The fast count wasn’t intentional and Maddox wants to be guest referee for Cena vs. Bryan at Summerslam. Vince asks if Brad would call it right down the line and Brad says of course he was. McMahon brings up all of insulting names you could call Bryan but Brad swears he won’t do it. Brad crosses his heart that he won’t cheat but here’s HHH to interrupt.

HHH thinks there should be a guest referee on Sunday to keep things calm and sane. However, it shouldn’t be Brad Maddox. The guest referee should of course be HHH himself. There’s a Pedigree to Maddox and Vince leaves before he has to get one himself. What this adds to the main event on Sunday isn’t clear but I’m sure Vince and HHH can explain it to us.

Video on Kane vs. Bray Wyatt so far.

Kane vs. Titus O’Neil

Kane slugs him down to start and takes Titus into the corner for more punishment. A side slam puts O’Neil down and the chokeslam is good for the pin at 1:51. Total squash.

Post match here are the Wyatts but when the lights come back on, Kane is on the stage. He lights the corners up and Bray drops to his knees and smiles.

The Bellas look at a clip of Eva Marie (from Total Divas) making fun of Natalya. They talk about how awesome they are when Natalya comes up. She challenges Brie to a match at Summerslam and here’s Eva Marie to respond to an insult. The Funkadactyls come in and we have a six Diva tag on Sunday. Joy.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

Kofi takes over to start and pounds down right hands in the corner for two. He loads up the spinning cross body out of the corner but Del Rio knocks him into the Tree of Woe. The reverse superplex is good for two for Alberto and it’s off to a hard chinlock. Kofi comes back with a horrible looking dropkick and the Boom Drop but Trouble in Paradise misses.

Del Rio gets two off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but gets caught in the SOS for two more. Another spin kick misses and Del Rio rolls to the floor, only to be cradled for two back inside. In an AWESOME counter, Del Rio catches the springboard cross body in a gutbuster. The cross armbreaker is good for the submission from Kofi at 6:10.

Rating: C+. This took awhile to get going but it picked WAY up at the end. Del Rio badly needed this win but at the same time his stock is way down after the losses last week. At least he beat Kofi, who is now 1-2 after his return from a few weeks ago. I’m sure he’ll be IC Champion in a few weeks.

Christian looks at a video of his career and says he’ll win on Sunday.

Colter and the Real Americans say they want to see California split off from America to make the country a better place.

Real Americans vs. Usos

Jey starts with Cesaro and the Usos look like they have taped up feet. Off to Swagger for a high/low for two on Jey before driving him into the corner. The Vader Bomb crushes Jey and Cesaro jumps over Jack’s shoulders for a double stomp, getting two. Jey comes back with some uppercuts but Swagger gets the tag before a sunset flip can cover Cesaro. Jack takes him down with a double chicken wing and it’s back to Cesaro.

There’s the standing chinlock but Jey takes him into the corner to break it up. Double tag brings in Jimmy to face Swagger as everything breaks down. The Usos hit stereo over the top rope dives to take the Real Americans out but Cesaro tries to break up the Superfly. The distraction is broken up and Jey makes a blind tag so he can roll up Swagger for the pin at 4:55.

Rating: C. Nice match here with the Usos continuing to look awesome. I’m still not sure why the Usos never got a title shot as they would be good transitional champions before dropping them to some strong team, ala Strike Force back in 1988. The match was entertaining though and that’s all it needed to be.

It’s time for MizTV with Cena and Bryan. Miz brings both guys down and Cena gets right to the point: he’s the WWE Champion and Bryan wants to be. Cena respects him and Bryan is going to put up a heck of a fight on Sunday. Miz tries to stir the pot by saying Cena is implying Bryan loses Sunday, but Bryan will have none of it. He goes after Cena for saying Bryan is going to lose and points out the fans booing Cena a lot of the time. Bryan talks about Cena being more style than substance and not being in this business for the wrestling.

Bryan says his shirt is a parody of Cena’s because Cena is a parody of wrestling. He doesn’t want to be a parody though but rather to be WWE Champion because it means he’s the best in the world. Cena takes off his shirt and is ready to go but stops himself. Cena says he’s out here for the same reason Bryan is out here: because they believe in Daniel Bryan. Bryan wants to be out here and prove that he believes in the fans as much as they believe in him.

That’s what WWE is about: picking your favorite wrestler and cheering them all the way to the end. Saying these are just shirts is like saying the American flag is just a cloth; it’s about what it means. Cena is loyal to the fans no matter what and he is not a parody. People have come here before and said Cena needs to go and Five Moves of Doom and all that jazz. Bryan may not be smart but he’s not deaf. Cena has shown up every day for the last twelve years and he’s out here every night for the fans and for the Make-A-Wish kids who say Never Give Up because Cena wears it on a t-shirt.

He’s proud of what he’s become: a man who has wrestled around the world for twelve years and has fought the biggest names in wrestling while holding the WWE Championship. So please think of him as a joke on Sunday because he’s beaten everyone who has thought of him like that: everyone from HHH to HBK to Orton to CM Punk to Rock. Bryan says he talks about those guys like they’re better than he is. Cena says Bryan is on his way but doesn’t belong there yet. If Bryan wants respect, earn it on Sunday. Bryan says that sums it up: Cena doesn’t respect him and isn’t treating him like a serious threat.

This is just another big title match for Cena but this is the biggest match of Bryan’s life. Bryan talks about a custom he learned in Japan: to fire someone up for a match they slap the other competitor in the face. He wishes he could do that to Cena but he can’t because Cena isn’t a wrestler and doesn’t deserve it. Cena says go ahead and slap him but slaps Bryan first. He says to slap him….but here’s HHH to kill the segment dead. Before he says anything, here’s Orton as well to hold up the case to end it. Great segment, stupid overbooking.

It’s time for a dance off between R-Truth and Fandango. Both guys dance and Fandango jumps Truth, only to be knocked to the floor where he pronounces his name. No match.

Heyman is getting ready but is having second thoughts about having the match.

Battle Royal

Rob Van Dam, Brodus Clay, Tensai, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Ryback, Titus O’Neil, Jey Uso, Darren Young, Jimmy Uso, Antonio Cesaro, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston, Great Khali, Jack Swagger, R-Truth, Wade Barrett, Mark Henry, Fandango

The winner gets a shot at Dean Ambrose and the US Title on Sunday’s preshow. I can’t tell who all is in there but Ryback throws out Gabriel and Young before running over Tensai for an elimination. Jimmy Uso is tossed by the Band as things slow down a lot. The fans chant for Sexual Chocolate as we have a lot of standing around doing nothing. Kofi nearly puts Mahal out as the match is dragging a lot. There’s almost nothing talk about in battle royals given how little happens most of the time.

R-Truth puts on Fandango but he comes back in and dumps R-Truth. Van Dam throws Fandango out and the ring is still way too full as we take a break. Back with far fewer people in the ring. The Real Americans put out Jey Uso before working on Mark Henry. We still have Kofi, Barrett, Ryback, Titus, RVD, the Real Americans and Henry. Van Dam clotheslines Titus out and we’re down to seven. Kofi is sent to the apron by Swagger but uses Cesaro to pull himself back in with a cool spot. Think of it as skinning the Cesaro. Not that it matters as Jack puts him out immediately thereafter.

RVD runs over the Real Americans with kick after kick but Ryback hits the Meat Hook to knock Rob out cold. The Real Americans pick up Henry but he shoves them away and knocks both guys out to get us to four. Henry picks up the pace and throws Barrett out. Rob is down but not out in the corner so the bulls go at it. Henry gets Ryback onto the apron where a kick from Ryback and a charge from Henry puts him out. Down to two and the fans go NUTS. Rob is crushed into the corner but comes back with a grea tkick. He goes up top but gets crotched to the apron, only to low bridge Henry out to win at 13:27.

Rating: C. This was more entertaining than mots battle royals but it still wasn’t all that great. Van Dam and Henry were the only real options in there so it was nice that the two of them were the last guys out there. Putting Ambrose over Van Dam on Sunday is a good rub for the champion, which is what Rob should be around for anymore. Nice stuff here in the real main event.

Post match Henry respects Van Dam….but here comes Shield. They surround the ring as Henry gets back in. Cue the returning Big Show to make the save. The camera cuts away from Rollins who clearly mouths “Oh Sh…..”. Shield bails, presumably setting up a tag match with the big guys vs. Show/Henry on Sunday.

Here’s Heyman for his fight with Punk. Heyman is in a shirt, vest and gloves. He’s in pants too if for some reason you thought of him naked from the waist down. Heyman says Punk’s fans are calling for their hero. He doesn’t blame Punk for what happened but rather all of the fans. Punk used to live for Heyman’s blessing but now he lives for the fans. Heyman admits this is a trap but he had a co-conspirator. He brings out Brock and shows him a video package of Lesnar’s history with Punk.

Here’s Heyman’s trap: he’ll fight Punk right here and now but it’s 2-1 instead of one on one. All Punk has to do is play the hero, which is the stupidest thing he could do. Punk has an option: either play the hero tonight or disappoint everyone in the arena here tonight. Cue Punk but instead he comes from behind and blasts Lesnar in the face with a TV camera. A HARD shot to the back has Lesnar in trouble and Heyman is panicking.

Punk hits a suicide dive to put Lesnar down before grabbing a chair. Punk appears to be limping a bit. A series of chair shots puts Lesnar down and it’s just Punk vs. Paul now. Heyman: “OH MY GOD!” Punk chases Lesnar to the back but has to stop an invading Curtis Axel. Punk rams him into the video screen and hits the GTS on the stage before staring down at Lesnar to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a back and forth show all night. The earlier stuff really bored me but later on things picked WAY up as we started focusing on Sunday. HHH being added to the main event does NOTHING for me but it’s all about Vince vs. HHH at the end of the day so what are you supposed to expect? If you cut an hour or so off this show, it’s WAY better but that’s how WWE works today. Good stuff here, but I could easily see if different people see it completely differently.

Results

Wade Barrett b. Daniel Bryan – Rollup

Randy Orton b. Damien Sandow – RKO

Great Khali/Natalya b. AJ Lee/Big E. Langston – Sharpshooter to AJ

Kane b. Titus O’Neil – Chokeslam

Usos b. Real Americans – Rollup to Swagger

Rob Van Dam won a battle royal last eliminating Mark Henry

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13 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    You already know how I feel about Triple H, so I’ll just calmly point out he pulled the same shit at Summerslam two years ago.

    And also, Seth Rollins is BLATANTLY the weak link in that faction.

    chris Reply:

    What makes you say that?

    M.R. Reply:

    It’s displayed weekly, and was especially evident in that backstage promo. Completely generic, uncomfortable talking and that wasn’t even out in front of the crowd. Not saying he won’t grow and potentially be good, but the other two are much more polished.

    chris Reply:

    I like Ambrose the best out of the three right now. Rollins is the one I see a lot of potential in. Given the chance to cut more promo’s I think he’ll get it.

    M.R. Reply:

    Rollins doesn’t show any signs of the it factor, I see no reason to believe he’ll be a star someday. Reigns is the one that’s going to get the ball.

  2. Jay H says:

    Well im probably one of the few here that is ok with HHH being the Referee. That being said Summerslam is going to a very good PPV I think and tonight was a pretty solid Go-Home for it.

    chris Reply:

    Just seems like an unnecessary addition. Just like last time he was guest ref at summerslam.

  3. Macios says:

    I had to stop watching RAW temporary just cause I was fed up with how it went. That’s the problem with three hours there’s a lot of useless crap in it and on days where most of that is in the front end it’s hard to last.

  4. M.R. says:

    If Raw were still two hours the product would be great right now.

    Logic Reply:

    The product right now is already is great. What are you talking about?

    M.R. Reply:

    I find the majority of the show mediocre.

  5. Jay H says:

    Its been the best its been overall again in awhile.

  6. Jordan says:

    Summerslam will be a good show, but they are making it way too obvious that Orton will cash in.