Monday Night Raw
Date: August 26, 2013
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re in a good place in WWE right now with the big story on top and a lot of other good things going on underneath. Tonight needs to be the night that Bryan makes his first stab at the new Corporation after being laid out to end the last three shows. He’s still on fire, but people are only going to cheer a perennial loser for so long. It should also be interesting to see how many people watch this show with Cena not being there. Let’s get to it.

We open with Shield standing at ringside and looking up at the stage. HHH comes out to a face pop and talks about how this is the beginning of a new era. We get a clip from the end of Summerslam with Orton winning the title thanks to the Game. HHH says that was just business before we see a clip of the end of last week’s show. Now that was personal because Bryan insulted Stephanie and the rest of HHH’s family. HHH however is willing to be a bigger man due to the ratings and social media scores being up. In short, business is booming and it’s due to the new face of the WWE: Randy Orton.

Cue Orton to the ring for praise from HHH for bringing new life to the title. HHH has a gift for the new champion: a Cadillac Escalade. Oh I think we all know where this is going. Orton goes to look at the car but here’s Bryan before he gets too far. Bryan says that’s a sweet ride and way nicer than his Honda Fit. It’s well deserved too because Orton worked so hard for the WWE Championship. Bryan thanks all of the fans because he isn’t the biggest or the strongest or the prettiest (“That would be Twinkle Toes Orton”).

They’ve all supported him through everything and he’s grateful, but he also has to thank John Cena for giving him the chance at Summerslam. Lastly Bryan wants to thank HHH for ending the charade and showing his true colors at Summerslam. His view of what was best for business is as narrow minded as Vince McMahon’s. The rebel in the leather jacket is now another corporate suit who thumbs his nose at all the fans. Orton says think about who you’re talking to so Bryan says let’s hear it for the face of the WWE. At Night of Champions, the face is going to be rearranged, just like HHH’s vision for the future of the company.

HHH says that’s a cute fantasy and, I kid you not, sings When You Wish Upon a Star. Unfortunately for Bryan it doesn’t work that way in the real world. In the real world, Orton is an A+ and Bryan is just a B. As for tonight, Bryan can face Seth Rollins. If he beats Seth, then he can face Dean Ambrose. If he beats Dean, he can also face Roman Reigns. I can totally dig Shield as the personal enforcers of the new regime.

We look at the brawl last week between Axel and Punk. They fight for the Intercontinental Title tonight.

We look at the brawl last week between Axel and Punk. They fight for the Intercontinental Title tonight, but the fans get to pick the stipulations. You can pick Heyman as guest referee, Heyman banned from ringside or Punk gets to face Heyman if he wins. There’s no mention of this being a title match, despite it being called that on Smackdown.

Cody Rhodes vs. Fandango

Sandow is on commentary. Fandango tries to take him down to start but gets caught by a running elbow to the face. A front suplex puts Fandango on the apron but he kicks Cody in the face. Cue Fandango’s music with Miz and some girl dancing, allowing Cody to roll up Fandango for the pin at 1:08.

Result: Cody Rhodes b. Fandango – Rollup (1:08)

Sandow jumps Cody and Miz comes out for a brawl until Brad Maddox turns into a 60 year old bald black man and makes a tag match.

Damien Sandow/Fandango vs. The Miz/Cody Rhodes

Back with Sandow getting two on Cody before bringing in Fandango for some gyrating shots. Apparently Miz’s dance partner was Rosa Mendes. Back to Sandow for the Russian legsweep and the Wind-Up elbow for two. Cody finally gets in a shot and brings in Miz off the hot tag. Miz cleans house as Fandango walks out. Cody trips up Sandow, allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin on Sandow at 2:56.

Result: The Miz/Cody Rhodes b. Damien Sandow/Fandango – Skull Crushing Finale to Sandow (2:56)

Matadores vignette. It’s so cheesy it might work.

Josh Matthews asks Christian about the HHH era. Christian says he survived the McMahon-Helmsley Era and is a bit hesitant to answer that question. Randy Orton pops in and says he’s going to beat Orton tonight. Christian says HHH likes to play with hammers and apparently he’s found a new tool.

If you get some App, you can see what Heyman thinks about the stipulations the fans can pick.

Punk wants to get his hands on Heyman and suggests the fans vote for choice #3.

Heyman doesn’t like the idea of there being a vote. If they’re going to show a segment with Heyman complaining, what was the point of the video on the App? Axel says Heyman shouldn’t be worried because Punk can’t outwrestle him. It’s better than perfect.

Curtis Axel vs. CM Punk

It’s non-title despite Axel challenging him for a title match on Smackdown and Punk saying “I accept.” The third option of Heyman having to face Punk if Axel loses wins with 81% of the vote. Punk goes right after Axel and grabs a headlock but can’t hit the GTS. Axel bails to the floor so Punk charges up the ramp at Heyman, allowing Curtis to get in a cheap shot. Back in and Punk escapes a chinlock and gets two off the knee in the corner. Axel rolls to the floor before the Macho Elbow can be launched but Punk hits the suicide dive as we take a break.

Back with Axel hitting a clothesline to the back of the head for two as Heyman is looking more confident. Punk comes back with kicks to the legs and back followed by a middle rope cross body for two. Axel snaps off a slingshot belly to back suplex for two followed by a snap Saito suplex for the same. Punk grabs a neckbreaker and the Macho Elbow gets two. The GTS is countered into a McGillicutter for another two count but the second attempt at the GTS is good for the pin at 10:52.

Result: CM Punk b. Curtis Axel – GTS (10:52)

Post match Heyman won’t get in the ring until referees and security drag him to the gallows. Heyman blames Brock for the whole thing as Punk throws him inside. Naturally Axel makes the save with a low blow before Heyman gets killed. Heyman pulls out handcuffs to bind Punk’s hands behind his back, allowing Heyman to slap Punk around. He shouts at Punk to fight him so Punk gets up and kicks Axel in the head. Punk kicks Heyman down and gets in some shots to the back but Curtis comes in with a chair for the save.

Now Curtis brings in a kendo stick for Heyman to use. Punk: “MAKE IT COUNT!” Heyman shouts that he fathered Punk and that Punk was everything to him as he beats Punk down with the stick. Axel throws Punk onto the announce table and shouts that Punk deserves this before Heyman pounds away with the stick even more. Heyman shouts that he loved Punk and Punk broke his heart. Heyman is distraught as the fans chant something that sounds like boring. Screw them if that’s what they were chanting because the emotion here was great.

Natalya vs. Brie Bella

JoJo from Total Divas is the ring announcer and we have the rest of the cast at ringside. Brie gets in a few shots, only to be quickly caught in a Sharpshooter. Nikki and Eva Marie distract the referee, triggering a big brawl. Brie hits a quick X Factor for the pin at 1:40.

Result: Brie Bella b. Natalya – Bella Buster (1:40)

Post match AJ comes out to make fun of Total Divas before calling the girls interchangeable and useless. They’re on reality TV because they aren’t good enough to be actresses or talented enough to be champions. AJ goes on about how the girls from the show are worthless and aren’t even worthy of lacing up her Chuck Taylors and that is reality. If you’ve watched Total Divas, it’s almost impossible to cheer any of the cast members as they’re anywhere between evil, stupid, liars, money hungry or the pond scum of the earth.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam

Ricardo has an RVD shirt on as the announcers talk about Edward Snowden for some reason. Apparently Del Rio’s thing now is to have Mexican flags in the corners of the ring. RVD kicks him to the floor and we take an early break.  Back with Del Rio working on the ribs and getting two off a German suplex. The champion goes to the middle rope but jumps into a kick to the face, setting up Rolling Thunder for two.

The split legged moonsault gets two more and there’s the springboard kick to the chest. Rob gets crotched on top to break up the Five Star, allowing Del Rio to hit the enziguri for two. Ricardo gets on the announce table to cheer, distracting Del Rio long enough to allow Rob to get a quick rollup for the pin at 8:30.

Result: Rob Van Dam b. Alberto Del Rio – Rollup (8:30)

We see Cena saying he has to have surgery last week and get some shots of his arm after the operation.

Ryback doesn’t like being called a bully so he grabs Josh Matthews by the face and shoves him to the ground. He says he found a way to shut Josh up.

We look at the Punk/Heyman/Axel stuff for the third time tonight.

Heyman, with blood red eyes, says Punk is like a petulant child who has to be beaten over and over until he learns his lesson. Paul says he feels like a man and now his prodigal son will learn to never come up against him.

Christian vs. Randy Orton

Non-title again. Christian grabs a quick rollup for two but gets taken down by a shoulder block. A quick attempt at the Elevated DDT is countered with a backdrop to the floor followed by the baseball slide. Back in and a reverse DDT puts Orton down, only to have him dropkick Christian off the top. Orton pounds on Christian before draping him over the top rope.

A knee lift puts Christian on the floor before we hit the chinlock for a bit. Christian tries a comeback but gets taken down by a headbutt and it’s back to the chinlock. Christian fights up again and they slug it out with Orton running into an elbow in the corner. In a scary looking spot, Christian goes to the middle rope for a tornado DDT but gets shoved down, bouncing off the apron on the way to the floor.

Back with Orton holding a chinlock before hitting a nice superplex for no cover. Christian grabs a quick small package for two but gets taken down by Orton’s clotheslines. The RKO doesn’t work and Christian gets a quick high cross body for two. Christian’s middle rope dropkick is countered into a jackknife cover for two, only to have Christian counter into a sunset flip for the same.

The Elevated DDT is countered again but Christian can’t hook the Killswitch. A tornado DDT gets two but Orton comes back with the Elevated DDT for two. The RKO doesn’t work and the spear connects for a very close two. The Killswitch is countered and Orton gets in a thumb to the eye, setting up the RKO for the pin at 15:20.

Result: Randy Orton b. Christian – RKO (15:20)

Post match Bryan pops up on screen and says that was an A+ match. He says that was such a nice car that HHH gave Orton earlier, but when Orton loses at Night of Champions, will Bryan be the new face of the WWE? Bryan steps to the side to show the word YES spraypainted all over the car. Cole: “Now it’s a YESCalade!”

Titus O’Neil vs. Jack Swagger

Colter says if Mrs. Young and Mrs. O’Neil had been responsible, we wouldn’t be looking at an inferior tag team. Swagger takes him into the corner to start and pounds away before taking Titus down with a knee to the ribs. A DDT on the leg keeps Titus down but O’Neil comes back with a bunch of shoulder blocks and a fallaway slam. A chop block sets up the Patriot Lock but Titus quickly kicks him off. Jack’s rollup in the corner with feet on the ropes is broken up by Young, allowing Titus to hit a release spinebuster for the pin at 3:18.

Result: Titus O’Neil b. Jack Swagger – Release spinebuster (3:18)

We get a video from with the Wyatt Family talking about Sister Abigail, who apparently inspired Bray Wyatt to become what he is today.

We recap the car stuff tonight.

Punk has refused medical attention and comes in to see Brad Maddox. He DEMANDS a match with Paul Heyman but Maddox makes it a handicap elimination match against Heyman and Axel at Night of Champions. If Heyman tries to get out of it, he’s gone. Punk says if Heyman does get out of this, we’ll never see Maddox again.

Daniel Bryan vs. Shield

Under gauntlet rules with Rollins getting the first crack at Goatman. The roster is on the stage to watch and Big Show has nothing to say about his match last week. Ziggler doesn’t say anything either and Miz stops himself before going too far with the criticism. Bryan fires off kicks to start and hooks a surfboard while also cranking on the neck. More kicks to the chest have Rollins in trouble and a Cactus Clothesline puts both guys on the floor. Ambrose and Reigns close in on Bryan, allowing Rollins to drive Bryan into the barricade for control.

Rollins stomps away but Bryan fires off right hands out of the corner. Bryan moonsaults over him to set up the running clothesline and more kicks to the chest. Rollins ducks the big one to the chest and rolls to the apron for a Stunner on the top rope. Bryan ducks the springboard knee and catches Seth in a half crab but he’s too close to the ropes. Rollins rolls to the floor and the FLYING GOAT sends him over the announce table as we take a break.

Back with Rollins holding a chinlock before hitting a running forearm in the corner. He slaps Bryan in the face a few times and tells Bryan to stay down while doing the finger point. Seth goes to the other corner but Bryan charges at him with the running dropkick. Bryan comes back with the kicks and sits on a sunset flip for two. They trade some nice near falls but Seth takes his head off with a jumping enziguri.

An inverted Impaler gets two and Seth loads up a superplex, only to get crotched on the top. Bryan busts out a release German superplex with Rollins landing on his face. The running knee to the head (missed by the camera) gets the pin at 12:00. Ambrose immediately runs in to start pounding away but the YES Lock has Dean in trouble, only to have Reigns make the save at 12:30. Reigns’ match starts but Bryan catches him in a YES Lock right off the bat, only to have Ambrose and Rollins come in for the no contest at about 13:00 total.

Result: Daniel Bryan vs. the Shield went to a no contest (13:00)

Post match Shield destroys Bryan with the Triple Bomb as HHH comes out to make sure no one helps Daniel. Cue Orton for the RKO to end the show. This would be four straight shows where our final image is Daniel Bryan laid out.

This concludes our live coverage of Monday Night Raw.  Make sure to join us Thursday for Impact at 9pm EST.



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