Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, July 8th, 2013 (USA Network)
Location: The 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, MD
Results by Anthony Cassano
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
This week’s edition of WWE RAW opens up with a vignette for The Wyatt Family, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt, who will debut tonight. Obey, danger. They’re coming. From there, we head to the usual video opening.
Vickie Guerrero In-Ring Segment
We head to the ring and Vickie Guerrero is waiting with Brad Maddox. Vickie welcomes everyone to RAW. They’re standing in front of a ladder. Vickie talks about what the ladder represents, and brings up such names as Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon and Triple H. She says this ladder represents her career with WWE. If she falls, she’s blaming it on all of the fans. Vickie climbs to the top of the ladder and talks about how tough her job has been. Jerry Lawler interupts Vickie from the announce table. Lawler notes that the McMahon family are considering all opinions tonight, including those of the fans. He says fans can get on the WWE App and vote on Vickie’s future. Vickie then starts kissing the fans asses and saying they are all like her family. Vickie also reveals that John Cena and Mark Henry will meet face-to-face in the ring tonight. Additionally, Christian vs. Kane, Randy Orton vs. CM Punk and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan will take place tonight.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is out first, to a nice reaction from the fans in Baltimore. Sheamus is out next, but not before another promo airs for Rob Van Dam’s return at the upcoming Money In The Bank pay-per-view. Back from commercial and Sheamus is in the ring. The two lock-up and Sheamus over-powers Bryan early on. Sheamus takes him down with a headlock. Sheamus knocks Bryan down a few more times with power-shoulderblocks. Bryan getting some offense in now. Bryan working over the arm of Sheamus. Sheamus fighting back now. Sheamus takes Bryan down and is now working over Bryan’s arm. Sheamus catches Bryan a few moments later with the Irish Curse for a nearfall. Sheamus ends up outside the ring on the floor. Bryan leaps out from the apron but Sheamus catches him and drops him face-first into the ringside barrier. Both men are down as we head to another mid-match commercial. We return from commercial and Bryan is fighting out of a headlock. Sheamus catches Bryan running off the ropes with the Irish Curse for a nearfall. Sheamus attempts a Brogue Kick, but Bryan avoids it and Sheamus goes flying over the top and onto the floor for his efforts. Bryan landing multiple kicks to the chest of Sheamus. Bryan and Sheamus on the top rope in the corner. Bryan looking for a hurricanrana but Sheamus avoids it. Sheamus goes for White Noise but Bryan avoids it. Bryan lands a big kick for another nearfall. Sheamus locks in the Cloverleaf submission but Bryan counters it with a roll-up for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
After The Match
Following the match, Bryan and Sheamus meet face-to-face in the middle of the ring and both look up at the Money In The Bank briefcase. They shake hands and Sheamus heads to the back.
Wyatt Family Video Segment
We see a video segment of a WWE camera crew out “in the sticks” looking for The Wyatt Family. Someone informs them that it’s about two miles up the road. On that note, we head to commercial.
We return from commercial and we see a recap of what happened on SmackDown with AJ Lee and Kaitlyn. From there, Big E. Langston is backstage with AJ live at RAW. Dolph Ziggler comes in and asks Langston to give them a minute alone. Ziggler brings up the fact that she was not at ringside with him at RAW or SmackDown last week. AJ smooths things over, but Ziggler is only interested in winning the World Heavyweight Championship back from Alberto Del Rio.
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Brodus Clay & Tensai (Non-Title)
We return live to the arena after the video and backstage segments. Out comes WWE Tag-Team Champions and members of The Shield, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. We head to commercial. Tons Of Funk will be the opponents to Rollins and Reigns. Tons Of Funk isolate Rollins early on. Rollins and Reigns regain control of the offense. The two are now isolating Brodus Clay and working him over. Reigns tries to power-lift Brodus, but Brodus manages to slide out the back door. Both guys make the tag to their respective partners. Tensai comes in and cleans house to fire up the crowd. Rollins eventually cuts him off with a facebuster to regain the offensive control of the contest. Rollins kicks Brodus off the ring apron, and was looking for a top-rope high spot, but Tensai blocked it and nailed a Sky-High Bomb for a nearfall. Reigns tags in and hits a big spear on Tensai for the 1-2-3.
Winners: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
Second Wyatt Family Video Segment
We return from commercial after the Rollins/Reigns vs. Clay/Tensai match and we see another Wyatt Family video. Another “earlier this week” video when a “reporter” and “WWE camera crew” arrived in the sticks airs. This time we see the camera crew arriving to an old Southern plantation-style looking home. The video showed footage of Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan cutting lumber, then Luke Harper suddenly appears in the camera shot. He tells the reporter “Follow me…”
John Cena & Mark Henry In-Ring Segment
John Cena comes out and talks about how hype the crowd is this week. He calls Mark Henry out and Henry makes his way to the ring. Henry says Cena has the same look on his face that he had last week – the look of fear. Cena claims he isn’t afraid. Henry says he should be. Henry says he’s starved and only one thing can cure his hunger. Cena questions out loud if that one thing is a Snickers candy bar. Henry doesn’t find that funny. Henry refers to Cena as a puppet, which he says is the same as the fans. Henry says the WWE Title will validate his career. Beating Cena will make him a first-ballot Hall Of Famer. Henry says he’s even sold out his family for this. Cena says he better win on Sunday then. Cena says Henry has lied to everyone – all for leather and gold. Cena says Henry will lose the respect of everyone and will have wasted 17 years of hard work in his career if he loses on Sunday. Henry says he doesn’t care what Cena or the fans think. He threatens Cena for interupting him. Cena drops the belt and takes off his shirt, preparing to fight following Henry’s aforementioned verbal threat. Henry says he doesn’t want to fight for free. He says he took a 50 percent pay cut before and doesn’t want to lose anymore money. Having said that, however, Henry changes his mind and suddenly clotheslines Cena. Cena comes right back and tries to hit an Attitude Adjustment, but Henry is too heavy for Cena to pull it off. Henry then hits Cena with a World’s Strongest Slam to leave him laying and end the segment.
Josh Matthews is backstage with Randy Orton. Orton talks about winning Money In The Bank this coming Sunday and says that if Cena can retain on Sunday, and ends up in a bad state like he just was in the previous segment on RAW, Orton says he will not hesitate to cash in the briefcase and take the WWE Championship from him.
Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman In-Ring Segment
Back from commercial, The Miz has joined Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and JBL on commentary for the next match. Chris Jericho’s pyro explodes and out comes Y2J. Out next is Curtis Axel with Paul Heyman, who is wearing sunglasses to hide the black eye he suffered on SmackDown. Heyman spoke as he reached the half-way point to the ring. Heyman says he is not here tonight as a martyr for CM Punk, but to bask in the glow of perfection provided by Curtis Axel. Axel talked next about Jericho wearing a jacket covered in Christmas lights. He says his I-C Title belt glowing proves he’s arrived. As he kept walking to the ring, Axel noted that Jericho nor Miz will stand in the way of…perfection.
Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel (Non-Title)
Axel clotheslines Jericho outside the ring and onto the floor early on. Axel and Jericho fight things out on the floor a bit before returning to the ring, where Axel hit a nice neckbreaker for a nearfall. Axel stands over a laid out Jericho gloating as we head to a mid-match commercial …
** Due to circumstances beyond our control, the following coverage is from pwtorch.com **
Back from break, Axel was trying to grind Jericho’s mouth into bread crumbs. Axel then tried a second-rope fist drop, but Jericho moved and started to build momentum, freaking out Heyman. Jericho then wanted the Walls of Jericho, but Axel shoved Jericho away. Jericho responded with a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge for a two count. On commentary, The Miz noted all of the Hall of Famers who have held the IC Title, including Axel’s dad, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig.
Axel came back with a swinging neckbreaker, but Jericho kicked out of a pin attempt. Axel tried to follow with a dropkick off the ropes, but Jericho avoided, then hit the Lionsault for a nearfall. Jericho couldn’t follow with a Codebreaker, though, and Axel snapped off the Perfectplex for a close two count. Ringside, Heyman freaked out over Jericho escaping the Perfect finisher. Axel freaked out by slapping around Jericho, prompting Lawler to tell Axel to stay focused.
At 10:00, Axel lifted up Jericho for a neckbreaker, but Jericho blocked and slapped on the Walls of Jericho, popping the crowd. But, Axel crawled to the bottom rope for a break. Jericho then shoved Axel off the ring apron into the announce table, drawing a smile from Miz.
On the outside, Axel and Miz stared each other down momentarily, then Miz stood up to give Axel a better look at him. Miz removed his jacket, then tie as the ref counted in the background. Heyman shouted at Axel to get back in the ring, and barely made it back in before ten. Jericho then capitalized with the Codebreaker and quickly pinned Axel for the win.
After the bell, Heyman sold magnificently by standing still with his one good eye popping through his sunglasses to sell disbelief. Meanwhile, Miz sold feeling good about his chances to beat Axel on Sunday. Heyman then dragged Axel away from ringside to recover before Sunday.
WINNER: Jericho at 11:22.
Earlier Tonight: Sheamus and Daniel Bryan went toe-to-toe in a singles battle. WWE replayed Bryan defeating Sheamus, then Cole plugged tonight’s main event of Orton vs. Punk in a singles battle. Also still to come: Christian vs. Kane.
RVD Vignette: WWE flashed back to September 2003 when RVD and Christian battled in one of the best Raw TV matches of the last decade.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL hyped Rob Van Dam’s return on Sunday before previewing the World Title MITB ladder match from the Smackdown brand.
Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes for an interview. Josh asked if they are concerned about their friendship being affected by being in the World Title contract match on Sunday. Damien offered his thoughts, then spoke for Rhodes, selling tension. Suddenly, Zeb Colter interrupted with Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger. Zeb said if they don’t do something right now about their country, their money will eventually mean nothing. Suddenly, Wade Barrett interrupted and said he will win on Sunday. Zeb said he doesn’t understand what language he just spoke.
Suddenly, Fandango interrupted to a reaction from the live crowd. Fandango tried to say his name, but everyone interrupted him after “Fahn.” He tried again, so Barrett smashed him in the mouth, which prompted the crowd to laugh at Fandango’s tough break. Rhodes Scholars had a good laugh as Fandango sold on the floor, then Swagger and Cesaro got everyone serious again.
Wyatt Vignette: Inside the plantation home, the invisible “WWE reporter” found something he/she wasn’t supposed to find as Luke Harper led the camera down some hallways. The reporter then found Bray Wyatt holding a lantern. Wyatt said he’s been waiting and Raw abruptly cut to break.
Back from break, Sin Cara was entering the ring. After a pause, Alberto Del Rio’s music played to bring out the World Hvt. champion looking minimized without a suspended Ricardo Rodriguez by his side. A graphic focused on Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler (with A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston) on Sunday, then WWE replayed footage from Smackdown two weeks ago when Ziggler took out Ricardo for his storyline write-off.
World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SIN CARA — non-title match
Once the bell sounded, WWE put on Sin Cara’s mood lighting, which put Del Rio in mid-card territory. Kayfabe, isn’t Del Rio a big-enough deal as World champ where he can veto the “homefield advantage” for Sin Cara? Del Rio and Sin Cara battled for a bit, then Del Rio broke the silence in the arena by popping Sin Cara with a loud-sounding kick to the head. Del Rio covered Sin Cara for a nearfall, then began working on Cara’s head. Another kick to the head, but Cara kicked out of a pin attempt.
Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler’s ring music broke the arena silence. Ziggler slowly walked out on-stage and began talking as Del Rio continued to wrestle Cara. Ziggler then warmed up his vocals to give Del Rio a Ricardo-style ring introduction. Ziggler kind of lost the crowd as the Del Rio vs. Cara match continued with the crowd’s attention split. Ziggler tried to transition to a serious face promo about getting revenge on Sunday, but it fell flat with the match still going.
Del Rio then left the ring and smashed Ziggler on the entrance ramp. Del Rio beat down Ziggler, who showed no fight. Suddenly, Sin Cara came flying onto Del Rio with a big splash on the outside. Cole noted the ref has lost control of the match as Ziggler backed away up the entrance ramp. Suddenly, Dolph’s music played and the match just kind of ended with Del Rio selling disgust with Ziggler ringside.
WINNER: ????? at 5:34. WWE booked Ziggler to have perhaps the worst babyface moment of the year attempting to mock Del Rio’s ring intro a la The Miz, then trying a serious babyface promo in the middle of a match, then getting beat down by Del Rio and showing no return fight, and backing up the entrance ramp to avoid Del Rio only after Sin Cara surprised Del Rio with a top-rope move. Nevermind on Ziggler being a good fit in the babyface role, at least not in this program.
Still to come: Vickie Guerrero’s job evaluation.
Ringside: Super Bowl champion Ray Rice was shown sitting on the front row behind the announcers. After Rice got some camera time, WWE cut to footage from the Cena-Henry confrontation earlier tonight.
Vickie Guerrero Job Evaluation
In-ring: Vickie Guerrero was shown sitting on a stool while Brad Maddox stood next to her. Vickie sold concern as she waited for the McMahons to come out. Mr. McMahon’s music then played to bring out McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H. Once in the ring, Vince tried to fire up the crowd as Vickie breathed deeply to sell concern over this job evaluation.
After the McMahons sat down at a table opposite Brickie, Stephanie McMahon stood up and introduced the segment. She gave Vickie the floor to speak. Steph reprimanded Vickie for leaving her stool, then Vickie tried to play nice with the crowd, which booed her. Vickie said she would like to humbly state for the record that she always took pride in producing high-quality programming and entertainment. She noted she replaced the mentally-unstable A.J. Lee and she brought back the likes of Rob Van Dam and The Rock under her administration. Vickie said she would even say that she inspired The Undertaker to return to WrestleMania, which Steph didn’t buy.
Stephanie noted that Vickie omitted Brock Lesnar, who took out her father and her husband. She then asked Vickie if bringing back Brock Lesnar was a good idea. Vickie said she did what Mr. McMahon taught her – doing the right thing for business. She said she had no idea that Brock would attack McMahon and Triple H.
Mr. McMahon then stood up and soaked in some cheers before speaking. McMahon told Vickie that she has no reason to apologize because he thinks that bringing Brock Lesnar back was a “stroke of genius.” McMahon said he believes – just like everyone believes – that Vickie is highly entertaining, which drew boos. McMahon said she has made boneheaded decisions, but it was in an attempt to create highly-entertaining family programming.
Triple H spoke up that that he knows Vickie can be “at times unintentionally entertaining,” but she’s terrible at her job. “No, you’re rotten,” he said. Hunter then brought it back to a few weeks ago when Vickie botched a video game reveal and booed her out of the building. Hunter said he knows McMahon thinks it’s entertaining, but if they put on what McMahon thinks is entertaining, the “Golden Girls” would still be on TV.
Hunter returned to Vickie, noting she has the most annoying voice in the history of television. McMahon spoke up that Vickie does have a “unique voice,” but he believes she has qualifications that no one else does. McMahon said Vickie has broken through that glass ceiling of male-dominated corporate structure. Unlike some other short-sighted individuals, he believes Vickie should be named permanent GM.
Triple H spoke up next that if he could speak for the short-sighted side of the table, he would like to note that McMahon can do whatever he wants to do, which is the whole point of this anyways, right? To put a spineless puppet in a position of “power” to do whatever McMahon wants him to do. Hunter said they could argue this all night, but they should let Stephanie decide this since she called this meeting.
McMahon leaned down to make sure “daddy’s little girl” does the right thing. Hunter said he, too, does not have a problem with his wife, mother of his children, and the woman who will have to put up with him after this making the right decision. Stephanie had enough and stood up to note that this will not drive a wedge in her family. So, the WWE App Vote will decide.
To the polls… 75 percent Fail to 25 percent Pass. The arena crowd popped as Triple H chuckled to himself, McMahon sat down in his chair upset, and Vickie sold with tears. Vickie tried to “kick out” of her “Gut Check” that she is not a spineless puppet and the fans will come to respect her. Vickie said she will not have some personality contest decide her future. Vickie finished kicking out, then Stephanie said she has two words for you. Vince told her not to do it. “You’re…..fired!” Stephanie told Vickie, who sold having a health event. Vickie slumped down to the mat clutching her stomach as Brad Maddox tried to console her. Vickie then fell down to the mat before throwing a fit as the crowd sang the “Na na na goodbye” song. Even Mr. McMahon sold being afraid of Vickie’s mental state. The crowd chanted, “No more Vickie” as Vickie crawled onto the table and tried to get the McMahons to listen to her. “Who do you think you are?!” Vickie shouted.
Mr. McMahon was the last McMahon in the ring. He said the crowd just broke Vickie’s heart, then told them not to turn into animals. McMahon said Vickie didn’t fail, but “each and every one of you!” McMahon entered Heel Mode by saying the crowd failed and has no idea what the right decision would be. McMahon said he will make the right decision because they need a new GM of Raw. And the people deserve this. “Brad Maddox,” McMahon said, stunning Brad. And, Vickie threw another fit.
Grandfather McMahon tried to calm down Vickie as Brad sold a lot of thoughts colliding in his head at the same time. Cole sold shock on commentary as Brad continued to process what just happened. “What qualifications does Brad Maddox have to run this show?” Cole asked. JBL welcomed everyone to the Titanic and McMahon helped Vickie away from ringside while Vickie cried into McMahon’s coat. Everyone headed up the entrance ramp as Brad continued to sell inner conflict to conclude the 15-minute segment.
Back from break, WWE ran another vignette on Rob Van Dam, this one going back to October 2002 with Jim Ross painting a beautiful picture on commentary.
** We resume our regular coverage after this point **
Backstage, Vince McMahon is consoling Vickie Guerrero, who said she loves her job. Vince said he will make it right. Brad Maddox comes by and says he’s sorry about what happened to Vickie. He extends his hand and thanks Vince and says it’s a decision he won’t regret. While we will all miss Vickie, he’s very happy to be the new GM of Raw and will pick up right where Vickie left off. Vince asks him how long will he hold his hand for but like he said, he gave them what they deserved. Vickie is fuming, slams Maddox and then attacks him repeatedly.
Kane vs. Christian
Neither the audience nor the commentators seem to be into this match. Kane beats up Christian before the latter mounts a comeback. Splash by Christian on the outside which lays out both guys as we cut to commercial. Back from break, Christian hit a Tornado DDT off the second rope but only got a two. He then set up for the Killswitch but Kane shoved Christian into the ropes for a big boot and followed it up with a chokeslam for the 1-2-3. WINNER: Kane.
As Kane stood in the ring, the Wyatt family appeared on the Titan Tron. Bray Wyatt was rocking back and forth in his chair and said he has no followers, just brothers and sisters for the cause. Wyatt said people buy & sell fear and crave war. He said he thinks it’s time for the masses to wake up and see the world deteriorating. Wyatt said this is not the beginning, but the end. Wyatt walked through a door, then lit a match. WE ARE HERE and the crowd popped.
Back in the ring live, the lights are out. The Wyatts’s music hits and we see Bray Wyatt walking through the crowd holding a lantern. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan follow him in the darkness. They head down to the ring and Harper and Rowan beat down Kane, who tries to fight back. The duo dragged him out of the ring and ran him into the ringpost. At the top of the stage area, Bray Wyatt rocked back and forth in his rocking chair. Harper then placed Kane’s head against one set of ring steps before the two big men jammed another ring step into Kane’s throat. Bray Wyatt finally walked over to Kane and knelt down next to him, looked up at the ceiling and laughed.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero is crying and leaving with all her stuff in a box. Ryback finds her and put down Vickie’s box and hugged her and said that she deserves better. Ryback then gave Vickie back her box and Vickie started crying again.
AJ Lee & Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn & Layla
The Bella twins are at ringside for commentary. Kaitlyn tried to attack AJ before the match even started so this caused AJ to stand on the floor. AJ is tagged in and Kaitlyn destroys her with a spear out onto the floor before they are broken up. WINNER: ?
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviews CM Punk. Mathews says that Orton doesn’t feel as if Punk is the best in the world. Punk dismisses that and says the facts speak for themselves as he held the title longer than anyone else and at Money in the Bank, he will once again prove that he is the best.
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
They lock up and go into the corner before a breakup. Back and forth action and the audience follows suit with chants for both men. Orton with a drop kick and some stomps but Punk fights back and mails a suicide dive to the outside which takes both men out as we head to our final commercial of the night. Back from commercial, the two continue their back and forth action. Orton counters the GTS, then Punk counters an RKO before Orton fights off yet another GTS attempt. Orton sets up for another RKO but Punk kicks him in the throat and ends up finally hitting the GTS for the 1-2-3.
After the match, Daniel Bryan comes out and attacks Punk, throwing him into the steel post. He grabs a ladder from underneath the ring brings it in and rams it into Orton. Bryan then walks up the ladder and grabs the briefcase which is hanging above the ring.
Credit: Anthony Cassano