Last night, I’m sure many wrestlers got payback, but let’s just see who. Here’s hoping that both Heavyweight Champions retained their titles, as their challengers do not need/should not have, respectively, the championships. Also, what was the fallout from Chris Jericho VS. C.M. Punk? Did they actually wrestle, or did the “Straight-Edge Superstar” just cut one of his infamous “pipe bombs” and walk out?
For tonight, the only known is that Triple H has vowed to take on Curtis Axel. Will “The Game” get his hands on the *potentially* new Intercontinental Champion, or are there going to be more road blocks put in his way? Either way, put an end to it and get him/The McMahons off the TV!
So many unanswered questions lie ahead (especially since I don’t know the results of the Pay-Per-View), so to get those responses, read on for Raw!
Monday Night Raw Report for June 17th, 2013 – “A New Champion Here, A New Challenger There, A Heel Turn Here, A Face Turn There, A Return Here, A Return There.”
Introduction Segment: Recap
A video showing the events of last night (including Dolph Ziggler losing – boooooooo!!!!), John Cena & The Shield retaining (good), and Curtis Axel & A.J. Lee capturing singles championships for the first time (yay!). Plus, C.M. Punk and Chris Jericho did actually wrestle, with Chicago’s own coming home and winning.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Ricardo Rodriguez announces his friend, and NEW World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. He says the fans called his victory controversial, because Del Rio chose to attack Dolph Ziggler’s vulnerable head.
Alberto says he did the same thing, more or less, that Ziggler did to him the night after Wrestlemania when Dolph cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on him, when he had an injured ankle. Del Rio wonders why they were cheering for Dolph, implying he was a coward for doing so, and a pig. Alberto says that for the last five months, he fought for the people and didn’t get anything. However, last night he fought for himself and won the World Title. (As my Dad said, “heel turn!”)
The “Mexican Aristocrat” says he is going to give the people a second chance and fight for them, but before he can go any further, a returning C.M. Punk with Paul Heyman interrupts, to a huge ovation. He reminds Del Rio that the last time they tangled, he beat him for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2011 (and from a sarcastic reminder from Heyman), was champion for 434 days.
Punk says he is out because Del Rio says he is “the best,” which C.M. will always dispute. He then challenges Alberto to a match tonight, despite Heyman’s objects since he already wrestled last night and the title would not be on the line. He also backs Dolph Ziggler, saying “The Show Off” deserves and better get his rematch.
Del Rio tries to back out, but Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero, with Assistant Brad Maddox, forces the World Heavyweight Champion to compete against “The Straight Edge Superstar.”
Also, she will have a surprise for the McMahon-Helmsley family, and has booked Randy Orton to take on Daniel Bryan. Up next, Wade Barrett, who is shown walking through the backstage area, will have his rematch for the Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman are discussing their status. Punk says that while he will always be a “Paul Heyman guy,” he is not wanting Paul E. at ringside by his matches or interviews anymore.
Match #1: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – Wade Barrett (Challenger) VS. Curtis Axel (Champion)
Prior to the bout, Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero and Assistant Brad Maddox walk back out and announces that it is changed. Barrett will now be facing her “big surprise”:
Match #1: Single – Wade Barrett VS. Christian
Christian is all over Barrett, diving off the top rope with a frog-splash-crossbody to the outside. Barrett gains control with a grounding rear chinlock, but Christian soon comes back with a clothesline and Tornado DDT. 1 – 2 – Wade kicks out! He counters Christian with a kick, but gets a pump-handle moves turned around into a rope-hung jawbreaker. Christian drives him down with the Unprettier for the victory!
Winner via Pin Fall: Christian
Michael Cole announces that Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton will wrestle in either a No-Disqualification Match, No Count-Out, or 2 out of 3 Falls; the stipulations are determined by the fans on the WWE App.
The same Wyatt Family video from last week airs.
Match #2: 2 on 1 – Team Rhodes Scholars (“The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes) VS. Sheamus
Both Damien and Cody can be in the ring at the same time, so they are all over Sheamus, taking turns to pound and stomp away. They double-suplex Sheamus for a two-count, then Sandow drops some repeated elbows, including the “Elbow Of Distain.” Damien holds Sheamus back as Rhodes slaps him, but Sheamus powers up and tosses Cody to t outside.
He shoulder-rams Sandow in the corner and rolls over him with the fireman’s carry. Sheamus pounds away on Rhodes against the ropes and catches him with White Noise as he flew off the ropes! Sheamus is gearing up for the Brogue Kick but Damien slides underneath and rolls him up for the sneaky 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pin Fall: Team Rhodes Scholars (“The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes)
Post-match, Sheamus Brogue Kicks Cody anyway and stares down Sandow.
Later tonight, Mark Henry may announces his retirement.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Rob Van Dam, former innovative ECW and WWE Champion/Superstar will return at Money In The Bank!
Segment #4: Office Promo
Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero and Assistant Brad Maddox are sucking up to Chief Executive Officer Triple H, touting their success so far tonight. HHH likes how they booked Punk and Del Rio, and brought back Christian, but wonders what their back up plans were. Also, he doesn’t recall them making the deal with Rob Van Dam, like Maddox thinks they did.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
Kane walks in and wants to talk to a warming-up Daniel Bryan. He is not happy he and Bryan lost, so he wants to give Team Hell No another shot. “No!” shouts Daniel, and he wants prove himself by beating Randy Orton tonight and winning the WWE Championship later. Kane wants that title too, and wishes “good luck” to Bryan, who misconstrues this as being the “weak link.”
Match #3: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. Daniel Bryan
Prior to the contest, Randy was interviewed on the WWE App and calls Bryan “the weak link” and it was because of him they lost to The Shield. Speaking of the App, the results reveal No Disqualification rules.
They begin with some wrestling holds and then engage in kicks-in-corner for both. Bryan ducks a clothesline and reverses a Lou Thesz press into the Half-Crab submission. Orton kicks out, but Bryan fires back with more kicks-in-the-corner of his own. Randy scratches at Daniel’s eyes and throws him to the outside, then chucks him right back in.
He clamps on a grounding headlock and delivers the 8-Punch in the corner. Bryan comes back with a clothesline and charges at Orton with a running dropkick in the corner. He pulls down the top rope, which sends Randy tumbling over. Bryan follows that up with a dive, but Orton moves and pushes Daniel to the mat floor!
“The Viper” now brings out a Kendo Stick to play with. He whacks Bryan on the back, then on the chest. He gets a cover but only for two!
Back on air, Orton has Bryan atop the turnbuckle and tries a suplex, but Daniel fights battles out with punches and a headbutt. He flies off the top rope with a front-missile-dropkick and both are down! Bryan is up first and kicks away again, but misses the last one and ends up in a t-bone suplex from Orton!
He attempts the slingshot-DDT, but Bryan reverses into the “No Lock” Crossface submission. Randy reverses into a slingshot and kicks him to the floor after Daniel tried to counter. There is speculation Bryan may be hurt and the ringside doctor is checking on him. Bryan wants to keep wrestling, but Chad Patton, the referee, calls off the match and gives it to Orton.
Winner via Referee Stoppage: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Post-match, Orton goes over and picks up Daniel, hugging him. Bryan walks off with the doctor, shaking his head.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
NEW Divas Champion A.J. Lee skips out with Big E. Langston. She first states that her “Baby Ziggy” isn’t hear, because he is not medically cleared tonight. (Boo!) A.J. calls herself the strongest and best Divas champion ever, so she challenges any woman to confront her.
At first, no one answers the call, until the most powerful woman in the WWE walks out. Stephanie McMahon and berates A.J. for insinuating stereotypes that they just want to tear each other down. She wants A.J. to start acting like a champion with class and grace. A.J. threatens that she should just do it the “McMahon” way and marry a superstar on the roster. Stephanie reminds her that she is the one who can take away that title, and her job!
Kaitlyn, along with Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, Alicia Fox, and Layla walks out to the stage. She yells at A.J. on how she was humiliated and broken, and that she will do the same to her. They engage in a cat fight until Big E. pulls Lee away, leaving Kaitlyn in the ring.
Up next, a U.S. Championship rematch will take place.
Match #4: Single for the United States Championship – Dean Ambrose (Champion) VS. Kane (Challenger)
Kane dominates this bout, until The Shield interferes quickly. Roman Reigns spears Kane and the three Triple-Powerbomb the “Big Red Monster,’ causing a DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Kane
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
The Shield are walking through the hallways, when Vickie and Brad confront them. Dean Ambrose taunts her “severe consequences,” and is about to tell them “you’re…” when Mr. McMahon enters the picture. He is impressed with The Shield, since they remind him of himself, with “ruthless aggression.” Vince tells them to keep it up and they happily stroll off.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Zeb Colter walks out and spews his usual “prophecies” about America, but does bring out a new partner he and the “Real American” Jack Swagger have aligned themselves with … Antonio Cesaro! This leads to…
Match #5: Single – William Regal VS. Antonio Cesaro (with Zeb Colter)
In short, Cesaro completely controls this contest (unfortunately, because this could’ve been a GREAT match), and finishes off Regal with “The Neutralizer.”
Winner via Pin Fall: Antonio Cesaro (with Zeb Colter)
Post-match, Cesaro and Colter drape a “Don’t Tread On Me” banner all over a downed William, then hold their palms to their chest.
WWE Champion John Cena will be out next to say something!
Segment #9: Arena Promo
John Cena, still the WWE Champion following Payback, honestly loves “this,” referring to fans both cheering and booing him. He admires their honesty, because they have/will always be truthful on when they don’t like him. He also acknowledges his fans … the ones who support him no mater what.
Cena thanks all of those who “hung in there for me,” and that he is looking forward to his next challenger. Cena warns the next Money In The Bank winner that he will not be phased, that he will always be ready for that wrestler to cash in his briefcase, and that the next person to hold this WWE Championship earns it.
Just now, Mark Henry walks out. He is donned in a suit and is carrying his boots, and symbolically puts on the stage. With tears in his eyes, Henry asks John to stay so he can tell everyone something. “The World’s Strongest Man” says that he respects everyone in this business, because he knows how difficult it is. He called himself a “seasoned veteran” when Cena came in in 2002, and he’s doing an awesome job.
The fans loudly and proudly chant “Thank You Henry,” and “Sexual Chocolate.” He says that he has had a lot of success, including being both World Heavyweight Champion and ECW Champion. They also chant “one more match,” and John tosses him his WWE Championship.
Henry holds it up proud, and then gives it back to Cena, saying “this is something you gotta earn.” Mark says he is officially retiring from the WWE Active roster, and the crowd tonight, calling them “one of the best in the last five years.” Henry talks about his family, wife and children, then says “baby, I’m coming home.”
“The World’s Strongest Man” holds up John’s hands then suddenly drops him with the World’s Strongest Slam! He stands over Cena and yells “I’ve got a lot more left in the tank!” Henry goes up to the stage and shouts “that’s what I do!”
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Henry is interviewed by Rene Young, and he officially challenges Cena for the WWE Championship, citing that’s the title he hasn’t held yet. He has two boots with him, because one of them he’s going to leave in John’s rear end.
Match #6: Single – Heath Slater (with “3.M.B.” partners Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) VS. “Y2J” Chris Jericho
Jericho boots Slater out of the corner and dives off the top rope with an axe handle. He plants Slater with the running bulldog, but is cut off the ropes by McIntyre. Slater takes advantage with boots and a scoop slam, but misses a second-rope knee drop. Chris nails the Lionsault and Codebreaker (double-knee-driver) and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: “Y2J” Chris Jericho
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Matt Striker interrupts a conversation between Paul Heyman and his other “guy” Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. He asks Heyman what he thought of C.M. Punk “dumping” him, but Paul E. puts Striker down for his line of questioning. He says they should really be talking about Axel, who will be “better than perfect.”
Match #7: Single – Sin Cara VS. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) (Curtis Axel)
(Gee, I wonder who wins this for the umpteenth time?!) (Note: The Miz is on commentary) This actually lasts longer than expected, with Cara putting up more of a fight, but the new I.C. Champ finishes it off with a (very sloppy looking) DDT.
Winner via Pin Fall: Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
Segment #12: Office Promo
Mr. McMahon agrees with Vickie and Maddox on they are running the show, and books Henry VS. Cena for the WWE Championship. Stephanie and Triple H enter, and try to get in their influence, telling Guerrero and Brad to listen to them as well. Vickie is confused.
Segment #13: Backstage Promo
Paul Heyman rushes out and wishes C.M. Punk good luck, calling him “the best in the world.”
Match #8: Single – World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. C.M. Punk (Non-Title)
(Note: Del Rio made his entrance, to almost NO reaction prior to the break, and Punk came out after.) Punk is fired up right away, with kicks and punches until Alberto escapes to the outside for a rest. Punk chases him but is cut off and stomped on back in the ring.
Snap suplex gets two for Del Rio, He corners and attacks C.M., then uses the ropes for an advantage. “The Straight-Edge Superstar” attempts a G.T.S. but Alberto wiggles out. Punk follows with a dive to the outside, but Alberto comes back again and focuses on Punk’s arm.
Del Rio has Punk locked in an armbar, but runs into a boot from Punk. He counters again with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and repeatedly headbutts C.M. on the canvas. Alberto ascends the top rope but misses a dive, allowing “The Second City Saint” with a kick-to-the-face and knees-to-the-face.
Del Rio counters again on Punk’s arm, then delivers punches to his kidneys against the ropes. He nails the Backstabber for two. Punk manages to hit the Go-To-Sleep on the World Heavyweight Champion, who falls out of the ring. Ricardo picks him up and drags to the to stage, allowing getting counted-out.
Winner via Count-Out: C.M. Punk
Post-match, Dolph Ziggler runs out and attacks both Rodriguez and Del Rio, until referees separate them. In the ring, Punk is alone and confronted by another “Paul Heyman Guy,” “The Beast Incarnate,” Brock Lesnar!
He’s back and stands in the ring with a microphone. Lesnar gets in C.M.’s curious-looking face, but instead plants him with the F-5 and laughs! He stands at the bottom of the ramp, staring at a face-down C.M. Punk to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Man, this Raw was packed and really one of the better “post-pay-per-view” shows, storyline-building wise. Even though they were shorter than usual, it still had a nice balance of matches and promos as well. (A little more on the promo side, though.) Onto the analysis.
Excellence: Though I don’t like the actual turn (more on that in “Bogus,”) Del Rio’s promo & reasoning for becoming heel made sense at least made some sense, so props for continuity there. Nice genuine surprise return of Christian – was truly not expecting that and hope he is booked to move up the card. Very excited for Rob Van Dam to come back, and I could easily see him winning a Money In The Bank spot and/or mix it up with The Shield nicely. Also, Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns continue to do no wrong, same with Daniel Bryan. Another fantastic match he had tonight, this time with Randy Orton. I’m not sure of the “injury” storyline though, as they did have me thinking if it was real or not, for a bit. Definitely know it’s not though.
Love A.J. as the new Divas Champion, as she has already brought interest as a challenger to the title, now she can carry it to a higher/more recognized point. Was hoping though that another either returning or debuting (Paige from NXT!) Diva would be her next challenger. I also hope that Antonio Cesaro’s new alliance with Zeb Colter is a turn-around for the good, a la Jack Swagger. He has a lot of potential and use that has not been tapped into yet.
Absolutely LOVED the Mark Henry retirement fake-out. That had both my Dad and I going. At first, he thought it was a work, then with Henry’s superb acting and real tears, we both had it written as legit, then the swerve fooled as after all! That was brilliance, and I am glad he is getting another main-event/Heavyweight Title level run. Henry has really stepped up his game in the last couple years, so definitely deserves this again.
Bogus: At least it was minimal this week, but The McMahons should still be off the TV. They really only put themselves over nowadays and take away from the other talent. I believe they should be saved for just big announcements from now on. In the “don’t care” file: “3.M.B.,” and Brad Maddox – why is he there other than to just stand around in the background? If Sheamus won cleanly over Sandow at the Pay-Per-View Pre-Show, then that feud should be over. No need to continue tonight. Again, where were The Usos and their “renewed push?” Bring them back!
I believe did one backwards tonight – Brock Lesnar/C.M. Punk. While it was cool to see him return, I think they should’ve had Curtis Axel step up and be the one to defind Heyman against Punk, solidifying his status much better than just beating Sin Cara frequently. Then, they could move on to Lesnar/Punk for Summerslam. I could see scenarios on how they’ll stretch it out until then from now, but I think if they shoot right into Lesnar/C.M. at MITB, then they will waste it a great rivalry.
Lastly, absolutely HATED Dolph Ziggler losing the World Heavyweight Championship and Alberto Del Rio’s heel turn. Like I said, while Del Rio’s reasoning made some sense, I think he was pretty over as a babyface and could still taken it further. More importantly, Ziggler was WAY over and should’ve carried the belt for a LONG run properly this time. The only bright side is that now Dolph will be a full-face, and can really have the sympathy and fan support as a chaser for the championship. Then when he wins again, the fans will be elated even more so, and help him become one of the more better-rated and loved wrestlers in recent years.
Overall, pretty good Raw tonight to what apparently was a pretty decent Pay-Per-View. Definitely looking forward to seeing the awesome promos-to-come between Henry/Cena, Dolph, and Daniel Bryan/”The Shield.” Plus, let The Wyatt Family show up soon! Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!