And an Academy Award winning performance.
Monday Night Raw
Date: June 17, 2013
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids Arena
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re past Payback now and moving towards July’s Money in the Bank. Cena has retained his title but we had a very interesting development: the ultra rare double turn for Del Rio and Ziggler as Alberto won the World Heavyweight Championship by doing some very bad things to Ziggler’s injured head. It should be interesting to see where things go over the summer. Let’s get to it.
We open with the usual package of still photos from Payback last night, complete with the voiceover dude.
Here’s Del Rio to open things up. He asks us how his weekend was before telling us that his was excellent. Del Rio isn’t pleased that the fans were cheering for Ziggler after he won the title back last night in controversial fashion. The fans chant for Ziggler again and Del Rio yells at them for chanting USA the night before.
He says this is what America is all about: pigs and cowards. Del Rio says he’s spent the last five months fighting for us and he’s gotten nothing (other than the world title) but last night he fought for himself and won the world title. He’s willing to give the people a second chance though so we have another chance to show him the respect that he deserves.
Cue Punk to an ERUPTION. He says it’s been awhile since he beat Del Rio for the world title at Survivor Series 2011. Punk doesn’t like hearing Del Rio call himself the best so Alberto holds up the belt. Punk challenges him to a title match but Heyman says that Punk doesn’t fight for free. That’s not cool with Punk though because he wants to fight no matter what.
Yeah Punk is banged up but when Del Rio was stealing the title, Punk was stealing the show. Punk still wants a match tonight but Del Rio says Punk doesn’t want any of him. With that not being an option, Punk offers to fight Ricardo but here are Vickie and Maddox for an interruption. She says it’s Del Rio vs. Punk tonight but makes no mention of the title being on the line.
Punk says that he respects Paul Heyman but he isn’t a client. From now on, Punk doesn’t want Heyman out there for his matches. Punk respects him but he doesn’t want him there.
Intercontinental Title: Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett
Before Axel’s entrance, Vickie interferes and makes it Barrett vs…….CHRISTIAN!
Wade Barrett vs. Christian
Christian takes it to the floor to start and hits a BIG dive to take out Barrett. Back in and Barrett hooks a chinlock, only to have Christian fight up and hit a tornado DDT for two. Wade kicks him in the ribs for two but Christian avoids a charge in the corner. The Killswitch ends Barrett in 3:10.
Rating: C-. That’s a nice return for Christian but the guy isn’t going to be a huge star like people think he’s going to be. Barrett’s slide continues and I’m thinking his time of mattering in WWE whatsoever is almost done. There’s just nothing here for him as he hasn’t done anything of note in forever.
You can pick No DQ, 2/3 falls or no countout for Bryan vs. Orton later on.
The Wyatt Family is coming.
Sheamus vs. Rhodes Scholars
For those of you not happy with Sheamus beating one of them at once, now he gets to beat both of them AT THE SAME TIME! The Scholars don’t have to tag so they manage to stomp Sheamus down and hit a double snap suplex for two. A kick to the face sets up the Wind-Up Elbow for two on Sheamus. Cody slaps Sheamus in the face and the one on two beatdown begins. Rhodes is sent to the floor and Sheamus hits the Regal Roll on Sandow. The ten forearms crush Cody and White Noise crushes the crushed remains of Cody Rhodes even further. Sheamus loads up the Brogue Kick but gets rolled up by Sandow for the pin at 3:38.
Rating: D-. I love Sheamus but DEAR GOD LET THIS FREAKING FEUD END ALREADY. Scratch that. This isn’t a feud. This is Sheamus swatting away flies for an extended period of time. It’s not fun, it’s not interesting, and the matches aren’t any good. Is there NOTHING else that Sheamus could be doing at all? NOTHING?
Mark Henry might retire later tonight.
RVD is back at MITB.
HHH is in the back with Vickie and Brad. Vickie sucks up to him but HHH wants to know what the main event was going to be if Punk didn’t question him. He also wants to know why Christian has been medically cleared for a month and a half and not been back until tonight. Also, why didn’t he hear about either Brad or Vickie when he was negotiating for RVD’s return? As for Shield, if they get involved then play tough with them. HHH thinks it’s a stroke of genius to put 3MB on the show tonight as well. HHH’s questions were HILARIOUS.
Yeah I just said that. Why do you ask?
Bryan doesn’t want to hear it from Kane that he told Bryan so. Kane thinks HELL NO should reunite but Bryan only wants to think about Team DB, Team Daniel Bryan. Kane: “Well that’s good because you’re acting like a D.B.” They both say they want to win the WWE Championship and they don’t know if the team is done or not. Kane wishes him good luck tonight, which Bryan interprets as Kane saying he’s the weak link.
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
Before the match we hear Orton saying that Bryan is the weak link in the team and is the reason they lost the title match last night. The match is going to be No DQ with 54% of the vote. Bryan goes after the arm to start but Orton reverses into a hammerlock of his own. Daniel fights up and kicks away at the legs before hitting the double knee stomp out of the surfboard. Orton comes back to stomp Bryan down into the corner and puts Daniel down off the slingshot suplex.
Bryan counters the Thesz Press into a half crab but Orton grabs the ropes. More kicks in the corner put Orton down again but he comes back with a clothesline and a chinlock. Back up and Orton pounds away in the corner but Bryan comes back with the moonsault out of the corner and a running clothesline. A pair of running dropkicks in the corner get two for Daniel but Orton avoids the FLYING GOAT. Orton pulls out a kendo stick to pound on Bryan for two back in the ring and we take a break.
Back with Bryan blocking a superplex and hitting the missile dropkick for no cover. Orton comes back with the powerslam and Bryan goes to the apron for the Elevated DDT, only to have Bryan fight out and go for the NO Lock. Orton counters into a slingshot to send Bryan to the apron and a kick to the ribs puts him on the floor. It appeared to be a low blow so here’s a trainer to check on Bryan. Back in and Bryan pounds away before they head to the floor again. Orton belly to back suplexes Daniel onto the barricade so the referee checks again…..and the match at 15:00.
Rating: C+. Uh…..WHAT? That’s either the start of an angle or a legit injury when Bryan went into the barricade earlier. Bryan seemed fine but if a doctor saw something in him that we didn’t then the match should have been stopped. Either way, it was getting good until the sudden ending but never hit a high level.
Post match Orton helps Bryan up and nothing else happens, making me think it was a legit stoppage.
Here’s AJ to brag about winning the Divas Title by crushing Kaitlyn’s spirit. AJ says that she’s the hero of the story because she’s a woman that knows how to get what she wants. There isn’t a woman in the audience or locker room who is as strong, brilliant or courageous as she is. AJ issues an open challenge to the locker room and gets…….STEPHANIE MCMAHON???
Stephanie compliments AJ on her victory but thinks what AJ was saying was degrading to women. It’s time for AJ to start acting like a champion, about 23 hours since she won the title. AJ: “Instead of acting like a superstar, maybe I should marry one.” Stephanie says no one does crazy like the McMahons but AJ says she’s the younger version of Stephanie, just without a fancy pantsuit. Cue an army of Divas but Stephanie cuts off Kaitlyn, threatening her with punishment for ever interrupting her again. The fans tell Kaitlyn that she tapped off while Kaitlyn yells at AJ. The beatdown is on but Langston saves a screaming AJ.
US Title: Kane vs. Dean Ambrose
This is a rematch from last night with Dean defending. Kane hits some quick uppercuts and a powerslam for two. Apparently Bryan might have some nerve damage but is still being checked. Kane fires off some clotheslines in the corner and gets two off the side slam. Not that it matters as here’s Reigns for the DQ at 1:35.
Shield beats Kane down post match with the TripleBomb.
Mark Henry is here.
Vickie yells at Shield in the back but Vince comes in and compliments their ruthless aggression, meaning Vince vs. HHH MUST CONTINUE!!!
We’re now getting regular commercials for the WWE App. My girlfriend downloaded it the other day for fun and it’s nothing. It’s a string of videos and access to a social media thing where you can hashtag your city. There’s also a breaking news section with nothing in it that we could see.
Here’s Zeb Colter to say that he’s bringing Antonio Cesaro to his team. In other words, he’s now a jobber to the stars with a manager. Cole immediately buries the idea on commentary.
Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal
Cesaro pounds him down and hits the gutwrench suplex as the announcers ignore the match to bicker. A delayed backdrop gets two on Regal and Cesaro hooks a swinging chinlock of all things. The Neutralizer ends Regal at 2:43.
Cesaro drapes a Don’t Treat On Me flag over Regal as Cole is literally laughing at this.
Here’s Cena for a chat. He loves being booed by the fans because they can cheer anyone they want. Some people love Punk and boo him all night and that’s perfectly fine with him. He goes to war every time he defends the title and after putting Ryback in an ambulance last night, he gets to say the champ is here. For everyone who never left his side, thank you. He can take any challenge that anyone puts in front of him and can’t wait for Money in the Bank.
Cena doesn’t care who challenges him that night because he’ll be ready. He knows he won’t have the title forever but the next person to hold it will earn it because the champ is here. The fans seemed receptive to Cena tonight….and here’s Mark Henry. He leaves a pair of boots on the stage and tells Cena he can put his guard down. Henry has watched Cena rise through the WWE and thinks Cena is doing a great job. The fans chant Sexual Chocolate as Henry says if you don’t remember the moment, at least you’ll remember his salmon colored coat.
Henry is proud of all of his success in the business as a former ECW Champion and World Heavyweight Champion. However, due to all of his injuries, he’s going to have to retire. The fans chant one more match and Cena hands Henry the title. Henry holds up the belt but hands it back to Cena because he never earned it. Henry talks about his family and says they’re going to get sick of them because he’s coming home. Cena shakes his hand….AND GETS A WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM? Henry shouts that he has a lot left in the tank and says that the title will be his.
Post break Henry says all the people are puppets and everyone bought it.
Heath Slater vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho pounds him down with ease but Jinder Mahal breaks up the Lionsault to give Slater two. If my memory is right, Slater beat Jericho back in the first season of NXT. Not that it matters as the Codebreaker ends Slater at 2:20. Nothing to see here.
Post match Jericho beats up the rest of the Band because he can.
Paul Heyman doesn’t want to answer any questions about CM Punk. He says that he knows when to give his friends space and thinks we should be talking about the Intercontinental Champion. New catchphrase for Axel: he was born to be better than perfect. I think I like that one.
Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel
Miz is on commentary. This is Axel’s third match against Sin Cara in less than six months. A quick backbreaker puts Cara down and a shoulder block puts him down again. There’s a quick belly to back suplex for two but Cara comes back with a DDT. Cara’s Swanton hits knees and a spinning DDT ends Cara at 2:40. Total squash.
Vince approves Henry vs. Cena for MITB when Stephanie and HHH come in. Trips gets on Vickie for not listening to him and glares at Vince.
Heyman sucks up to Punk and says he’ll be cheering for Punk tonight.
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk
Non-title and Del Rio runs to the floor twice in the first minute. Punk finally goes to the floor but gets stomped down on the way back in. Del Rio kicks him in the head and pounds him to the floor, only to have Punk whip him into the barricade to take over again. Punk takes too long to shout at Ricardo on the way back in though, allowing Del Rio to snap Punk’s arm over the top rope as we take a break.
Back with Del Rio kicking Punk in the head as we hear that Bryan will be ready to go on Friday. Alberto goes up for an ax handle but gets punched in the ribs on the way down. Del Rio gets in another kick to the arm to send Punk into the ropes for the Backstabber for two. The low superkick is countered into a rollup for two and now the low superkick connects for two for the champion. The cross armbreaker is countered into the GTS but Del Rio rolls to the outside. Alberto walks out for the countout at 11:30.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t much but it worked well enough all things considered. This was really just a backdrop for the post match stuff which we’ll go to now because it’s more interesting than this match.
Post match Ziggler runs out and DESTROYS Del Rio to a mammoth face reaction.
Punk is still standing in the ring and LESNAR! He picks up a mic but says nothing. Instead he picks up Punk and lays him out with a massive F5 to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I was digging tonight’s show as it had a certain edge to it. Stuff was set up for Money in the Bank, we got some decent action, we had a return, and we had some humorous lines from HHH to Vickie. The main story continues to be Vince vs. HHH which is still a stupid power control angle that has been done so many times and I have no idea why they think this is the best way to go. I was digging the show tonight for the first time in a long time though which is a great sign coming off a solid PPV.
Christian b. Wade Barrett – Killswitch
Rhodes Scholars b. Sheamus – Rollup
Randy Orton b. Daniel Bryan via referee stoppage
Kane b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Shield interfered
Antonio Cesaro b. William Regal – Neutralizer
Chris Jericho b. 3MB – Codebreaker
Curtis Axel b. Sin Cara – Spinning DDT
CM Punk b. Alberto Del Rio via countout
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