Tonight is six away from Payback for many wrestlers, but an even bigger night for one World Heavyweight Champion! “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler returns after a month of being out-of-action, and we now know that he is cleared to wrestle too! I suspect that Alberto Del Rio will get his long-awaited rematch for the Title at this Sunday’s Pay-Per-View.
Also, Triple H is “supposed” to take on Curtis Axel. Will “The Game” be allowed to and/or just get his hands on Paul Heyman’s “guy?” And, what will Chris Jericho have in store to get under theirs and C.M. Punk’s skin leading to his match with the “Straight-Edge Superstar?”
Can The Usos continue their newly-fresh push with another win? (I hope so!) How will “The Shield” exercise their dominance, plus how can Ryback antagonize WWE Champion John Cena one more time? Does Daniel Bryan still think he is the “weak link,” or will last week’s performances “amp” him up?
Lastly, my usual Pay-Per-View picks will follow this report, so for those and to find out what went down in Richmond, Virginia, read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for June 10th, 2013 – “The Equal Link With Retaliation Ahead”
Introduction Segment: Recap & Welcoming
A montage of Triple H’s recent pitfalls – between his concussion after Extreme Rules and his family pulling him from wrestling Curtis Axel – is played. We go live to the arena, where Michael Cole introduces us. No time is wasted as Motorhead’s “The Game” blares the speakers and Triple H appears in his wrestling gear on stage.
Match #1: Single – Triple H VS. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
HHH is anxious to go at Axel right away and does so, kicking and punching away at him in the corner until Charles Robinson, the referee, manages to break them up. Suplex by “The Game,” but as he goes for a potential submission, Mr. McMahon struts out and whispers something to ring announcer Justin Roberts. It is announced that Triple H is dq’ed, so Curtis Axel gets the sudden victory!
Winner via Disqualification: Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, Axel and Heyman gloat, but HHH uses his Chief Operating Officer powers to restart the bout!
Match #2: Single – Triple H VS. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
Much like the one above, it doesn’t get very far as Mr. McMahon walks back out and asks Roberts to announce that “The Game” has forfeited.
Winner via Forfeit: Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, again HHH uses his power and restarts the match, this time making it a “60-Minute Ironman.”
Match #3: 60-Minute Ironman (Single) – Triple H VS. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
Right away, Mr. McMahon stops the contest, ordering Curtis to the back since he’s already won twice, and taking the ring bell and microphone away from ringside!
Later tonight, Ryback will go face-to-face with WWE Champion John Cena, but up next, Kane will take on United States Champion Dean Ambrose. (This should be an awesome match!)
Segment #1: Backstage Promo
Triple H is irate, calling what Mr. McMahon did embarrassing and “crossing the line” during his match. Stephanie begs him to calm down, think about his family, and not hurt Vince. “The Game” settles and agrees not to do anything drastic, but requests his wife to talk to their father/father-in-law, so he doesn’t say anything that Vince will not like.
Match #4: Single – Kane VS. United States Champion Dean Ambrose (Non-Title)
With no bell, the referee just mimes the call for the start. Ambrose ducks a punch and slugs it out with Kane in the corner, but Kane comes right back with a big boot off the ropes. He nails a low front dropkick, but gets Ambrose’s shoulder rammed into him against the turnbuckle. Kane reverses an Irish Whip into a backbreaker, then begins to work him over with moderate hits. Kane sends Dean through the ropes to the floor, and uppercuts a flying Ambrose off the steps.
Back live, Ambrose is now in control with a Dragon Sleeper, and hammers away against the ropes. He runs across the ring back to Kane with a front dropkick and gets two! Ambrose clamps on a bow-and-arrow submission, but Kane is able to roll over and break out.
Dean attempts a Tornado DDT out of the corner, but is tossed to his stomach by Kane. He catches Ambrose off a run with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for a close fall! He picks up Ambrose and delivers a sidewalk slam for another near two, then climbs the turnbuckle. Dean cuts him off and attempts a suplex, but Kane shoves him down and dives with a clothesline!
Kane measures for the chokelsam, but Ambrose rolls out, which allows Tag-=Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to assault Kane, causing a DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Kane
Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan run out to make the save, and all three members of The Shield retreat through the crowd.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan are arguing about Orton RKO-ing Daniel from Smackdown (read that fine report on this fine website!). Kane yells at them to stop, but the only person who does is Supervising Managing Vickie Guerrero.
She announces that Bryan and Orton will team up to face The Shield for the Tag-Team Titles at Payback. Neither of them want it, but Guerrero insinuates it will happen. Meanwhile, Kane is upset and says it doesn’t make sense, until Vickie walks in, saying” Kane, I didn’t forget about you!” She gives him a U.S. Championship match with Dean Ambrose. Kane is happy again, saying that he always did like Vickie and gives her a hug!
The Miz makes his entrance for his next bout, and there is huge news on the Triple-Threat match for the Intercontinental Championship after the break.
Match #5: Single – The Miz VS. Cody Rhodes
(Note: Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett is on commentary). It is announced that the planned Triple-Threat is just a single, with The Miz challenging Barrett. Miz starts off fast with a big boot and runs at Cody in the corner with a clothesline. He goes for an Axe Handle off the top rope, but Rhodes ducks and chops him by the leg. Cody works over Miz’s leg, then clamps on a deathlock-type bend. He goes for a kneedrop, but Miz rolls through, right into the Figure-4 Leglock to force Rhodes to tap!
Winner via Submission: The Miz
Post-match, Paul Heyman is out and announces that Vickie Guerrero has authorized him to change the I.C. Title bout at Payback. Of course, he picks his new man, Curtis Axel to be the third wrestler in the match. Axel proclaims, that “the ‘perfect’ ending to the match this Sunday will be me, ‘Curtis Axel: the new Inter-contin-ental Champion.'”
Segment #3: Video Promo
Mark Henry’s destructive path in WWE is aired with a highlight package, as “The World’s Strongest Man” will return next week.
Segment #4: Office Promo
Stephanie McMahon berates her father for what he did to “Paul” earlier tonight. Vince says that it is about business, and business comes first. He says to keep HHH away from him and goes to run the show.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Chris Jericho is out and talks about his career, facing some of the greats of this business. He lists Eddie Guerrero (late-great), Steve Austin, Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, and Randy Orton. However, Jericho says that C.M. Punk is the only one who takes him to his limits night after night, and makes him a better performer.
He says that Punk is “so damn good is because he actually ‘believes.’ He believes that he is the ‘best in the world.’ It’s the same way that I believe that ‘I am the best in the world at what I do.'”
“Y2J” proclaims that they are both evenly matched, because they have the same mindset, came into the business the same way, have the same “chip on our shoulder,” and accepts nothing less than the best. Jericho declares that Punk will get his best, because he needs to and has to beat him at Payback. Before he can finish his patented, “never, eeeeeever be the same” quote, “Here To Show The World” blasts over the speakers!
World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler walks out with his friends, A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston. He says this is an appropriate time, since Jericho is talking about the best performers in the world. Dolph claims that even before the name plate was put on put on his championship, he was threatened to have it taken away because of his concussion injury.
He speculates that “no one wanted me to ever have this, so I came out here every single night, and I stole the show, and I earned this.” Ziggler says that he is he best at everything, from being on the mike, to wrestling, to out on the street, and he will prove that this Sunday at Payback, he is just getting started!
Jericho cuts him off and tells Dolph to not look too far ahead. First, Jericho challenges him to a “tune-up” match, to build up again following a month of “ring-rust.” The World Heavyweight Champion accepts, BUT …. puts in Big E. Langston instead. He will wait for Payback.
All three approach the ring, and this bout will take place next!
Match #6: Single – Chris Jericho VS. Big E. Langston (with World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and A.J. Lee)
In progress, Big E. hammers Jericho on the outside with a clubbing arm, then rolls him back in the ring. Cole says that Jericho may have “tweaked” his knee during the break. (Uh-oh!) Jericho holds onto the ropes out of an Irish Whip, then throws Langston over the top. He follows up with a running front dropkick, but gets run into the steel steps.
In the ring, Big E. rams his shoulder into Jericho’s gut a few times in the corner, then kicks away at him. He runs Jericho in the opposite corner, but “Y2J” moves and rolls up Langston in for a close near fall!
He comes back off the ropes with a flying forearm and running enziguri. He nails another low front dropkick for two, then goes for a crossbody, but is caught in three backbreakers! Jericho gets the boots up in the corner, then ascends and dives off the turnbuckle with a crossbody! 1 – 2 – Langston kicks out! Ziggler distracts Jericho, which allows Big E. to run over Chris, and gears him up for his finisher.
On the outside, Alberto Del Rio attacks Dolph, allowing Jericho to take advantage with the Codebreaker and 1 – 2 – 3 over Langston!
Winner via Pin Fall: Chris Jericho
Post-match, Jericho celebrates with some Armed Forces Fans at ringside, as well as Jerry “The King” Lawler. Ziggler and A.J. yells at a happy Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez, while Big E. collects himself in the middle of the ring.
Later tonight, Randy Orton will take on Roman Reigns, and Daniel Bryan will face Seth Rollins (this should be the main-event!)
Match #7: Single – Sin Cara VS. Antonio Cesaro
(Note: Zeb Colter is on commentary.) Lock up and fireman’s carry slam from Antonio, then he rubs Cara’s face into the mat. He stomps away, but is countered with a springboard armdrag and hurricanrana. Sin tries another top rope move, but is split across the rope. Cesaro holds his foot against Sin’s face and jumps on it.
He picks him up and turns him around with a gutwrench suplex, then clamps on a grounding rear chinlock. Antonio gets a one-count after a huge power/fall-away slam, then pounds away and double-stomps Cara’s chest.
Cara begins to comeback after a boot-to-the-face in the corner, some rapid chops, and a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. He sunset-flip powerbombs Cesaro for a near fall, then kicks him in the face from the apron! Cesaro catches him off the top with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then spins him around in a chinlock position. Cesaro finishes off Cara with “The Neutralizer” Cradle Faceplant.
Winner via Pin Fall: Antonio Cesaro
Segment #6: Video Promo
The same (second) creepy film introducing the Wyatt Family airs. (These guys are awesome on NXT, and will make an intriguing impact on Raw/Smackdown.)
Segment #7: Office Promo
In a cheap-plug for the restaurant Hardees, Vickie Guerrero is chowing down on a burger. Brad Maddox convinces her to stop when Mr. McMahon walks in and is displeased with her decision to have Ryback and WWE Champion John Cena face off tonight, since one of them may get hurt and place their pay-per-view match in danger.
Maddox suggests that the lumberjacks for the bout come on down, to keep Ryback and Cena apart, and therefore injury free. Vince likes it, and tells Vickie to share some of her burger with Brad.
Match #8: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton (with Daniel Bryan) VS. The Shield’s Tag-Team Champion Roman Reigns (with “The Shield” partner and Tag-Team Champion Seth Rollins) (Non-Title)
Orton and Bryan make their entrance before the break. Elbow/collar tie-up begins and Roman takes control. He pummels away with big punches at Orton in the corner, but Randy reverses and does the same. H
e puts Reigns down with a high, beautiful dropkick for two! Orton measures up Roman and jumps down with a kneedrop, then punches him on the outside. “The Viper” brings him down against the barricade with a backdrop and receives a near fall back in the ring.
Reigns rolls out of the way of another knee drop, then chokes him with his boot on the canvas. The Tag Champion is dominating, slowly taking Orton apart. He ducks a clothesline, but gets take down with a Lou Thesz press! Randy gives him the ole 10-punch against the corner then headbutts him. He drags him back against the other corner, but Reigns uses his strength to hammer Orton to the floor!
Back live, Reigns has Orton locked in the grounding rear chinlock, but “The Viper” battles out, until he is flapjacked on the top rope. Roman follows up with a flying forearm for two! Reigns wears Randy down again with another rear chinlock, and Daniel is slapping the mat to give Orton/the fans momentum.
Orton hits a spinning backdrop, then a couple clotheslines and powerslam! He gets out of a Samoan Drop attempt and puts Reigns to the mat with a backbreaker! Reigns rolls to the apron, but that sets up Orton to faceplant him with the slingshot DDT.
“The Viper” is zoning in, but Rollins takes out Bryan and goes for Orton. He is taken to the outside, and Bryan comes back in, flying through the ropes onto both Reigns and Rollins with a suicide dive. Referee Charles Robinson, has ruled this a “no contest” due to the double-interference.
Winner: No Contest via Interference On Both Parties
However, we’re not done, as the above match smoothly transitioned into the next contest!
Match #9: Single – Daniel Bryan (with “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. “The Shield’s” Tag-Team Champion Seth Rollins (with “The Shield” partner and Tag-Team Champion Roman Reigns) (Non-Title)
Rollins is all over Bryan quickly with punches, but Daniel comes back, vaulting over Seth and hitting a running forearm! Bryan gives the Tag Champ his patented vicious kicks and a knee-to-the-gut. Bryan pounds away on Rollins with elbows to his chest, in a hammer-lock form, and gets a quick two! Daniel attempts a surfboard, but Rollins manages to crawl to the ropes.
He is dropkicked to the outside and baseball-slide-dropkicked to the barricade. Bryan jumps off the apron with a knee, and Orton walks over to block Reigns from getting involved. Rollins returns, shoving Bryan into the corner, and slamming his head into the second turnbuckle. 1 – 2 – Bryan kicks out!
Rollins now mimics Bryan, clamping on a surfboard stretch of his own! Bryan gets out of it though, and locks in one of his own, complete with dragon sleeper! Rollins’ body is contorted, but he still gets out of the hold!
Back live, Rollins has Bryan grappled in a grounding rear chinlock, which Daniel axe-handles his way out of. He is quickly taken down again with a forearm and locked in the grounding rear chinlock. They are both back to their feet and slug it out evenly, until Rollins is caught in a half-crab out of a jumping kick! Rollins does not tap, but is run over with two running dropkicks in the corner! 1 – 2 – Seth kicks out!
Bryan nails a few more kicks, but Rollins ducks one and does hit Daniel in the back-of-the-head with the roundhouse kick. 1 – 2 – Bryan still kicks out! Bryan ducks a kick but they both reverse waistlocks. Rollins German-Suplex Daniel, but Bryan lands on his feet and jumps on Rollins in a hurricanrana position. Rollins holds on and hurls Bryan with a powerbomb into the turnbuckle!
Rollins runs into him with a splash, but Bryan tosses him over the ropes. He goes for another potential suicide dive, but Rollins cuts him off. They both roll through in the ring, and Bryan gets a close near fall following a kick to the back-of-the-head. Rollins crotches Bryan on the top rope and punches, Daniel slides out and does the same! He brings Seth down with a backdrop, but during it, Rollins turns it around into a crossbody!
(Loud “this is awesome” chants ring out). As both men struggle to their feet, Reigns is on the outside, preying on Bryan. He can’t get far, as Orton puts a stop to it, just as Daniel catches Rollins after a missed splash in a small package for the hard-fought and well-earned victory!
Winner via Pin Fall: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Seth tries to attack Bryan again, but Orton RKO’s him, and Randy and Daniel stand tall.
Up next, Divas Champion Kaitlyn will get to know who her “secret admirer” is.
Segment #8: Video Promo
WWE’s involvement with the Special Olympics is shown via footage with The Big Show, The Bella Twins, Mark Henry, and Sergeant Slaughter. (Very nice and very sincere.)
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Divas Champion Kaitlyn is in the ring and asks her secret admirer to come on out. It’s Big E. Langston! The protector of the World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler walks out in a styling shirt/pants combo, and prevents her flowers. He takes the mike to a very perplexed Kaitlyn.
He says that everyone only sees him as “Dolph’s heavy” and that all he does is “beat people up,” but ever since he first saw and met Kaitlyn, he has been infatuated with her. Big E. goes to kiss her, but suddenly drops her to the mat as A.J. Lee’s music plays. The “psycho” Diva skips out, high-fives Langston, and takes pleasure in Kaitlyn’s humiliation.
She says that is how she felt when Kaitlyn wasn’t around after being used by C.M. Punk, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan. A.J. gets on her knees and compares herself to “shattered glass.” A.J. says she is smart, because while Kaitlyn could maybe beat her in the ring, Lee can beat her in her mind.
A.J. will take joy when she shoves Kaitlyn off the pedestal, and calls her “trash.” She threatens that Kaitlyn will lose the Divas Title on Sunday, and everything else. A.J. insults her with “white-trash” comments, calling her a “worthless, pathetic, useless, unlovable, cow!” Kaitlyn bursts out and brawls with her former friend.
Segment #10: Video Promo
A third video from The Wyatt Family airs. Bray Wyatt preaches about himself helping us “claim the new selfishness that you never even knew.” He says they will “pry their eyes open and force them to watch. Run, we’re coming.” Very weird, with lamb masks and broken dolls strewn across a forest and cabin. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan were also invloved, declaring “we are the ones.”
Match #10: Single – “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow VS. R-Truth
Prior to the bout, Sandow cuts a promo professing that he will “annihilate” his opponent, the “not-so-great-white” Sheamus on the pre-show before Payback, Sunday. Sandow is all over R-Truth, controlling much of this contest. Truth eventually catches Damien off the ropes with a jumping-calf-kick and tilt-a-whirl headscissors.
He plants Sandow with a front suplex, but is chopped down and driven to the mat with a side-Uranage, called “The Silencer” for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow
Post-match, Sandow’s rival comes out to the stage and proclaims that he will “kick the night off in the ‘Windy City’ then with me kicking off your head. See you in Chicago, fella!” Sheamus speaks.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon orders two assistants to find both Triple H and Mr. McMahon, and meet them in their office.
Segment #11: Video Promo
A recap of WWE Champion John Cena and Ryback’s feud is played. The lumberjacks then walk out to the ring to prepare for the faceoff.
Segment #12: Office Promo
All three McMahon/Helmsley’s are in the office, and after some bickering, Stephanie yells at the boys to fix their issues. At first, they argue some more, before Vince puts over HHH and tells him that he is bigger than Curtis Axel. He wants Trips to be the man who tells people where to go, and think of all the accomplishments that he’s had over his career.
Vince calls him an “icon, a legend.” He wants him to “be the man,” and “do the right thing every time. Vince does give him his match with Axel, but Trips doesn’t want it after all, as he is bigger than that. Again, they try to “one-up” each other, until Stephanie walks back in and gets them to “hug it out.”
Both Vince and HHH walk out to a smiling Stephanie after the family embrace.
Segment #13: Arena Promo
WWE Champion John Cena is out first, surrounded by the lumberjacks, but Ryback enters via the ambulance and only waits back on the stage. Cena mocks Ryback, calling him “scared.” Ryback fires back, saying that he should’ve been the WWE Champion already three times over, from T.L.C., to Survivor Series, to Hell In The Cell.
Ryback says at Hell In The Cell, that the problems started then. Cena gave Ryback is spot, and Ryback claims that is when his popularity skyrocketed and took over John’s, which ate away at the WWE Champion, so then he left him “high and dry.” Cena denies this, saying that he nor anybody that has the WWE Championship has had to have a “guardian angel watching my back.” Cena yells at Ryback that he has been “blaming everybody else for your own failures.”
“The Human Wrecking Ball” informs Cena that he will not back down and the legend will not “grow anymore. It ends when I beat you at our lumberjack match. It ends when I put you through a table. It ends when I load your unathletic body in that ambulance. It ends when I finally become WWE Champion. Eight months ago John, you gave me your spot. This Sunday, ‘3 Stages Of Hell,’ Ryback takes your spot!”
Cena retorts, first stripping off his t-shirt, then running at Ryback from the ring. The lumberjacks hold him back as he tries two ways around, but Ryback is able to sneak in. All the wrestlers manage to hang on to Ryback and the WWE Champion, as they scream at each other in separate corners to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a pretty good show, but there was definitely some stuff I wasn’t a fan of. However, it setup Payback nicely for sure. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Promos! In what seems like a long, long while, almost all of the promos were awesome tonight, in particular Jericho/Ziggler’s and A.J.’s. I loved how Chris put over both himself and C.M. Punk as basically equals, as well as listing the QUALITY of wrestlers they have respectively faced. The World Heavyweight Champion picked a great time to interrupt, as he is also kind of like Jericho and Punk, in a sense of having to work hard (and being darn awesome at what he does) before getting the recognition he well-deserves. A.J. really showed her oratory skills tonight, and I think that was her best promo she’s cut yet. She needs even more mike time! It was a small twist/surprise having Langston, and I’m glad they played it as a “ruse” to get in Kaitlyn’s head. Not ready for the Big E. split/face-turn yet. (And his match with Jericho was well put-together as well). Even the promos between Vickie and Vince, and both Stephanie and Vince and Triple H were mildly entertaining. (Albeit the shameless plugging of themselves or a fast-food joint.)
Absolutely loved the matches between Kane/Ambrose, Orton/Reigns, and especially Bryan/Rollins. All three had different tactics/stories to the bouts, and Seth/Daniel was just a Grade-A classic that brought me back to the days of watching Ring Of Honour in 2009 on HDNET and these two going at it – fantastic! I hope they get more opportunities in the near future, as their matches should not get boring, since they both know how to change it up and make each fresh.
Cesaro/Cara and Miz/Rhodes fall into the category of nice contests too.
Like the ending, as this is the promos that I want to hear from Ryback and Cena. Glad Ryback went back to listing the points of why he is picking on/feuding with Cena, and wonderful to see Cena’s passion again.
Bogus: The beginning – I hated this because it just seemed like a giant waste of time and buried Curtis Axel again, with the “disqualifications and forfeits.” Again, overall this McMahon/Triple H storyline is unnecessary (even if somewhat comical like their promo tonight), because it’s really just feeding their egos, when that time should be used for the other talent on the roster.
Speaking of which, where were The Usos, other than an appearance in the lumberjack? They are back on main-tv last week AND get a win, complete with a new look, but are left off tonight’s card? No sense! Also, same with Curtis Axel being put into the Triple-Threat for the Intercontinental Championship. This is a huge step back and in theory, the whole process of rebuilding him is backwards. Curtis should’ve started in the I.C. area and worked his way upto the main-event level. Now it feels like he is sliding down the line up.
Order of last quarter of Raw – Sandow/R-Truth should’ve been before the Reigns/Orton & Rollins/Bryan matches, since those felt like the real main-events!
Payback Picks: Cena will retain, as will Dolph Ziggler over Ryback and Del Rio respectively. (Then the champions can move onto fresh feuds for the summer – hello Jericho for Dolph?!) A.J. will win the Divas Champion and she/Dolph can be the new “champion power couple.” “The Shield” will keep all their championships, and the on/off friction between Daniel/Kane/Orton continues. Jericho/Punk – I’m not sure if they will actually even wrestle or not. I’ll say no and some shenanigans will happen!
Let’s see how the landscape of the WWE will be changed next week, following another Pay-Per-View instalment. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!