A week after a pretty darn great week in WWE, what does the new seven days bring in the land of wrestling? With the cliff-hanger that was a confrontation between the “Paul Heyman Guys” of C.M. Punk and Brock Lesnar, what is the beef between the two and how will Paul Heyman himself factor in?
Then there’s Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel – will he get in on the action, or just continue to roll along his own path of greatness?
Daniel Bryan is on a mission to prove himself, and in the actual ring, he is doing just that! Tonight, he will face Randy Orton in a third match between the two? Can the self-thought “weakest link” actually realize he is not with a clean win over “The Viper?”
Does the bickering between the McMahon-Helmsley family have to continue? (I’m sure of course it does, thanks U.S.A. Network!)
And, with the most awesome and legitimate swerve that was Mark Henry’s “retirement,” how will WWE Champion John Cena respond to being completely sucked in (as most around the wrestling world were for real!) and will the two face off for the Championship at Money In The Bank?
Finally, can we please stop burying Dolph Ziggler! First he loses his much-deserved-and-earned World Heavyweight Championship, then he is on the receiving end of a Codebreaker from Chris Jericho on Smackdown (read that fine report on this fine website, written by another excellent reporter). Please let “The Show Off” rebound and get back to his winning ways, and capture the title for a decent, long run!
All this and much more I’m sure will be answered tonight, so to find out, read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for June 24th, 2013 – “Proven”
Introduction Segment: Recap And Welcoming
A video montage of the confrontations between Mark Henry/WWE Champion John Cena/The Fans, and C.M. Punk/Brock Lesnar is aired (the sound was off – obvious technical glitch, so not sure if anything important was said), and then we are introduced by Michael Cole right in the arena.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Daniel Bryan jumps out to a huge pop from the crowd and debunks a myth. He talks about the assumption of him suffering from “little man syndrome” and people not believing he is an actual wrestler. Bryan wants to continue to prove he is NOT the “weak link,” which he claims will happen when he PINS or makes Randy Orton TAP OUT to a submission in their bout later tonight. Daniel is NOT content with simply a count-out victory.
Orton himself walks out and just threatens Bryan – “shut up and fight!” It’s on, as Charles Robinson, the referee, rings the bell!
Match #1: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
Bryan runs at Orton right away and both slug back and forth with punches around the squared circle. Daniel capitalizes in the corner with his patented kicks, but Randy chucks him to the outside and follows up with a smacking clothesline!
Orton hurls him over the announce table, and both brawl around ringside. Robinson mistakenly gets caught with a knee by Daniel and he calls for the bout to be over as Orton and Bryan need to be separated by several referees.
Winner: No Contest due to Double-Disqualification
Segment #2: Office Promo
Daniel Bryan barges into Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero’s office, with Assistant Brad Maddox. He demands another match with Randy Orton, being ticked off at the double-DQ ruling. Maddox tries to get him out of it, saying it is a full show already and he’s had his match. However, Guerrero overthrows his call, and does grant the contest to happen.
Mr. Vince McMahon walks in and tells Guerrero that people belittle Bryan because of “dominative size and psychological complexities.” Vickie asks his opinion, and he wants her to figure it out.
Match #2: Tag-Team – “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Cody Rhodes and “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow) VS. Sheamus and “Captain Charisma” Christian
(Note: It is announced that Damien and Sheamus will square off in a “Dublin Street Fight” this Friday on Smackdown). Rhodes and Christian begin with an elbow/collar tie-up. Christian hits a couple of running shoulder blocks, then gets a two-count following a springboard sunset flip.
Christian chases Cody to the outside, but gets shoved into the steel ring steps after a distracting from Sandow. The count begins, but Christian slides in after three. Sandow is in and dominates over Christian, dropping him with a side Russian legsweep and the “Elbow Of Distain” elbow drop. Rhodes is back in and holds Christian in a standing suplex, then drops him front-face down!
Cody taunts Christian, then kicks him in the gut off the ropes. Christian wiggles out of an Alabama Slam attempt and both double-clothesline each other, then manage to make the hot tag to their partners. Sheamus is all over Damien with clotheslines and a shoulder block, then pounds away on him against the ropes as the fans count along!
Sandow slips out of the Irish Curse attempt, and switches back with Cody, but he gets nailed with the Brogue Kick as Sheamus covers for the victory!
Winners via Pin Fall: Sheamus and “Captain Charisma” Christian
Later tonight, Chris Jericho will take on World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio!
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
C.M. Punk is on his electronic device when Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero walks up. All “The Straight-Edge Superstar” cares about is if Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar show up. Vickie books him in a match for tonight, but he doesn’t care and walks off, telling her to inform him when Heyman and Lesnar are in the building.
Match #3: Single – Aksana VS. Kaitlyn (with Layla)
Aksana begins fast with kicks to Kaitlyn’s stomach, both standing and in the corner. Kaitlyn ducks a clothesline and knocks Aksana down with a shoulder block, but is distracted when her own theme music plays in the arena. Out walks Divas Champion A.J. Lee, who is dressed like Kaitlyn! This infuriates the real Kaitlyn, who is rolled up by Aksana for two, but comes back with a huge spear for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: Kaitlyn
Post-match, A.J. rips Kaitlyn for losing both the Divas Championship and her dignity when she thought that someone “liked” her. Out walks Big E. Langston, and they both mock the storyline and Kaitlyn’s personality!
Layla has to hold the real Kaitlyn back in the ring, as Lee continues to poke fun at her physical appearance as well, insinuating she looks more like a man, just like Big E.
Segment #4: Video Promo
The same footage of The Wyatt Family from last week airs. (I can’t wait until these guys show up – they are SUPERB on NXT, and it will be very intriguing to see who/what they feud with first.
Segment #5: Video Recap
A replay of Mark Henry’s FANTASTIC swerve promo plays, to remind us of the impending rivalry between him and WWE Champion John Cena.
Michael Cole announces that it is official, Mark Henry will wrestle John Cena for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank!
Match #4: Single – “Y2J” Chris Jericho VS. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (Non-Title)
(Note: Jericho made his entrance prior to the break, and it is made known that Dolph Ziggler will get his rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money In The Bank!) Lockup and headlock takedown by Del Rio, which Jericho counters into a grounding headscissors. Del Rio delivers a shoulder block off the ropes but Chris comes back with a dropkick!
He chops the Champ hard and rams his had into the turnbuckle. “Y2J” gets a two-count following a suplex but is quickly backed into the corner by Alberto. He delivers right hands and a running knee, but Jericho counters another attempt with a boot-to-the-face and tosses him over, outside the ring.
Chris tries a springboard dropkick, but Del Rio ducks and Jericho plants himself on the mat. The World Heavyweight Champion throws Jericho into the barricade.
Returning, Alberto is quickly rolled up in a small package for two, then receives a knee and enziguri by Jericho to bring him down. 1 – 2 – Del Rio kicks out! Jericho hurdles out of the corner with a shoulder block, but is smacked down with another enziguri as he was perched atop the turnbuckle.
“The Ayatollah Of Rock And Rollah” manages to sneak back in prior to the ten-count, but is clamped in a grounding chinlock submission. A.D.R. is in complete control, whipping Jericho hard into the corner. He places Chris backwards on top of the corner, but Jericho elbows him down and turns around to fly off with a crossbody for a near fall!
Jericho chops him twice, runs with a flying forearm, and just about scores with a pinning Northern Light Suplex! Del Rio goes for another run in the corner, but Jericho moves and rams him shoulder-first into the post. “Y2J” attempts the Codebreaker, but Del Rio contorts out of that AND the Walls Of Jericho! He nails a kick-to-the-head for a close two-count!
Jericho slips out of the Cross Armbreaker and plants Del Rio with the running bulldog! Alberto comes back with a counter for the Lionsault, and gets the Armbreaker gripped on! Jericho struggles for a bit, but is able to use the ropes to spin over and lock on the Walls Of Jericho!
Ricardo runs in and blasts Jericho with the bucket from behind, causing the stop.
Winner via Disqualification: Chris Jericho
Post-match, Dolph Ziggler also charges out and punches away on the World Heavyweight Champion as Jericho drops Ricardo with the Codebreaker. He brings him down with the Zig-Zag and after Del Rio and Rodriguez are chased off, Jericho and “The Show Off” stare down. As Jericho goes to leave, Ziggler catches him from behind with the Zig-Zag, repaying “Y2J” for the Codebreaker from Smackdown. Dolph shouts “I’m the man around here!”
Segment #6: Office Promo
Vickie and Brad are considering cancelling the Bryan/Orton contest for later tonight when Chief Operating Officer Triple H walks in. He disagrees with the call, citing that the WWE Universe wants to see it, so it shall happen. He orders her to give the fans the choice of stipulation in that bout as well.
Up next, the cover for the videogame, “WWE 2K14” will be revealed!
Segment #7: Arena Promo
Jerry “The King” Lawler, Vickie Guerrero, and Brad Maddox are in the ring. Lawler announces that the fans will get to decide design the artwork, and the winner will be featured on the flip side of every copy of the game. Vickie excuses herself and informs the fans in the arena of the stipulations: Street Fight, Lumberjack, or Falls Count Anywhere.
Much to the chagrin of the crowd (and myself, as they could’ve skipped a bunch and gotten to the point!), both Maddox and Guerrero show their own versions of WWE 2K14, with Vickie’s featuring the McMahon-Helmsley family, and Maddox’s displaying himself between John Cena (sans Championship) and C.M. Punk.
Lawler brings everyone back and exposes the REAL cover of the new videogame – The Rock!
Up next, he’s back! Ryback is in action!
Match #5: Single – Ryback VS. The Great Khali (with Natalya and Hornswaggle)
A lock up struggle starts off between the two, as Khali kicks away in the corner. Ryback turns it around with shoulder-rams, but Khali counters with an elbow and boot-to-the-face. Ryback is downed with a stiff clothesline, then hammered away on with elbows in the corner.
Khali tries to finish this with the Punjabi Plunge, but Ryback counters by kicking him in the knee and giving him the Shell-Shock Marching Samoan Drop to end it!
Winner Via Pin Fall: Ryback
WWE Champion John Cena is out next to address his new challenger, Mark Henry!
Segment #8: Arena Promo
WWE Champion John Cena calls the fans a “lively bunch,” then puts over the Title he is wearing on his shoulder. He says that tens of thousands of men have challenged for it, but only forty-three have gained it. Cena calls being a WWE Champion “puts you in an elite fraternity because you have earned the respect of your peers.”
He also runs down the ways men have to conveniently get the WWE Championship, such as buying it or stealing it. However, Cena says that Mark Henry’s ruse was a “disgrace,” both to his family and the fans. He lists Edge, “H.B.K.,” and the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair as names that actually did retire in front of the fans, and how he thinks that Mark figuratively spat in their face with his “retirement” speech.
In one way, Cena does understand, as Henry has been here for seventeen years, and “he will not have a legacy in the WWE unless he holds on to this (holding high the WWE Championship).”
John reiterates that “The World’s Strongest Man” has to earn the WWE Championship, and since they are “still in the middle of whoop-ass season, and in three weeks, in three weeks you’re going to find out what the world already knows. Our time is now and the champ is here!”
Segment #9: Video Promo
A new highlight package of Rob Van Dam’s career is aired, emphasizing the “One Of A Kind” wrestler’s return at Money In The Bank!
Match #6: Triple-Threat Tag-Team for the #1 Contender’s Slot To The Tag-Team Championship – “Tons Of Funk” (Sweet T. and “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay) (with “The Funkettes” [Cameron and Naomi] and Fundraising Auction Winner Scotty Campbell) VS. “3.M.B.” (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) (with “3.M.B.” partner Heath Slater) VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Jimmy and Jinder start off, with Mahal hammering away on The Uso Twin. Jimmy comes back with a splash-in-the-corner and tags in Jey, who kicks Mahal in the gut and delivers an uppercut. Jinder tags in Sweet T., who runs over Jey with a shoulder block and plants him with the double-chokeslam bomb.
Jimmy saves the pin, as Brodus tosses both Mahal and Drew outside. He jumps off the apron with a double-body-splash on “3.M.B.” as Sweet T. dives on Jimmy with a Senton. 1 – 2 – Jimmy kicks out!
Jey gets the tag, as The Usos get the much-deserved victory after a Samoan Drop and top-rope splash combo!
Winners and NEW #1 Contenders to the WWE Tag-Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Post-match, “The Shield,” who are the United States and Tag-Team Champions, respectively, arrive in the crowd and stare down their fresh challengers.
Segment #10: Arena Promo
He’s here! Paul Heyman walks out (to no music) and takes the microphone, introducing himself. He confesses that he has ignored C.M. Punk’s texts and questions, saying that he wants to meet him face-to-face. “The Second-City Saint” walks out and engages in the ring. First, he wants to enlighten the public on why he is a “Paul Heyman Guy.”
Going back to 2005 when he signed a WWE Contract, Punk says that he was shipped down to Louisville, Kentucky, where their developmental system was located. The man in charge of that facility: Paul Heyman. C.M. recaps how Heyman went to bat every time a higher-up in WWE wanted Punk released.
“The Straight-Edge Superstar” warns Heyman that he’s coming for Brock Lesnar, and “there’s no one more sadistic. There’s no one more relentless. There’s no one more dangerous.” He wonders if Lesnar attacked him on his own, or because Heyman “saw the writing on the wall after Payback.” Punk wants the honest truth, and since their “friends,” just do it for “the first time in your life.”
Heyman concurs, swearing on his children that he DID NOT know that Brock Lesnar was going to show up last week. He says that Lesnar had completed his contract obligations at Extreme Rules, and goes further, saying that Punk actually picked a fight with Lesnar when C.M. said that Lesnar needed Heyman’s help.
Paul E. claims there was “professional jealousy” between the two. This is why he never had them tag together, despite the potential money-making opportunity.
Heyman vows to stick by Punk, when he challenges for the WWE Championship, and when he dreams to walk with him down the aisle at Wrestlemania. He tells C.M. that he wasn’t going to screw up his dreams, just because Punk wants a “little time.”
Heyman says that Brock now has a problem with him, and that he will not represent anyone against Punk. Paul states the irony, that at first everyone was telling him to get rid of Punk in 2005 – 2006, when now it is Punk that is being told to dump Heyman.
Paul concludes with the absolute honest truth: he loves C.M. Punk, and now tells him that it’s his move. After a couple of minutes of deliberation, Punk responds: “I’m sorry I doubted you,” then embraces and hugs his best friend.
“The Primetime Players,” Darren Young and “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil walk out, as Young has a match with Punk next.
Match #7: Single – C.M. Punk VS. Darren Young (with “Primetime Players” partner “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil)
Punk brings Young down with a waistlock and grounding rear chinlock. Young works his way out but Punk fiercely punches at him then suplexes him. He drags him out of the corner and twists his leg around, but Darren comes back with a knee-to-the gut and whip in the opposite corner. Young stomps around on Punk and clotheslines him down.
He clamps on a side headlock and chucks him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count! Young is working over C.M. well, until Punk counters a headlock with a backdrop. He’s got a sharp look on his face as Punk runs at Darren with the running knee-to-the-face.
Punk ascends the turnbuckle but is cut off. He counters again and springboards back inside with a clothesline. 1 – 2 – Young kicks out! C.M. signals for the Go-To-Sleep, but Darren counters into the gutwrench drop! 1 – 2 – Punk kicks out! C.M. kicks Young in the head and puts him in the Anaconda Vice for the tap-out!
Winner via Submission: C.M. Punk
Post-match, Punk is double-teamed by “The Primetime Players” until Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel runs out and makes the save. He and Punk stand tall, and Axel gives him a nod. Heyman is back in the ring and tells Punk “it’s okay, we’ll talk about it.” C.M. shakes his head and questions Heyman about the I.C. Champ.
Segment #11: Office Promo
Guerrero is on her phone, looking for Maddox when Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks in. She is concerned that Vickie has not announced the participants in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank Ladder Match. Stephanie says she will do it herself, and walks away.
Segment #12: Arena Promo
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley reveals the participants for the WWE Championship Money In The Bank Ladder match – C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane, and Rob Van Dam!
Segment #13: Office Promo
Ryback barges into the Supervising Manager and Assistant Manager’s office. He complains, as does Chris Jericho who also enters, about being overlooked for the MITB match. Instead, she books a match between the two of them, at the pay-per-view.
Segment #14: Locker Room Promo
C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman are discussing the ending to Punk’s match earlier. C.M. still insists that he doesn’t need the help, but Heyman justifies it as looking out for his best friend, since he was jumped by both “Primetime Players.”
Punk again warns Heyman that he wants to do everything himself, even the tag-team match he and Axel are booked in next week to take on Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. Punk says that he will also win Money In The Bank and the WWE Championship, then come for Brock Lesnar.
Segment #15: Arena Promo
Mark Henry is out and touts about his successful switcheroo from last week. He says that he “fooled each and every last one of y’all.” (Yes, yes you did!) He gloats in the fans reactions, from their signs to chanting “Henry, Henry, Henry,” to crying.
“The World’s Strongest Man” claims he has been nominated for an academy award and been contacted by Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, and Tyler Perry following his performance last week.
However, all that is not what he wants. He says that people are upset with him, because “I used my friends. I used my family. I used the other WWE Superstars. And I’m not going to apologize, to any of you!”
Henry recalls his life, how he was told to live and what defined him, such as not hurting the kids because he was bigger than him, and winning the Olympics for America. He warns everyone that a “no-good, dirty, filthy, lying, cheating, Mark Henry is going to show up.”
He calls the fans a bunch of “puppets,” doing what he asks them to do. The “World’ Strongest Man” declare that he is “coming home, WWE Champion.”
Segment #16: Video Promo
The Wyatt Family professes about everything around us being a riddle. We are all puppets that he plays with. Bray says that they say they’re coming, but they have been here all along!
Match #8: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
(Note: It is announced by Jerry “The King” Lawler that this match is contested under “Street Fight” rules, courtesy of 50% selection by the WWE Universe.) Both tear into each other back and forth right away, until Orton gains some control with punches and chucking Bryan to the outside.
He slams Daniel’s head off the steel steps and against the barricade before rolling him back in the ring. Bryan cuts him off with a dropkick, then attempts a dive but is met with a steel chair-to-the-head!
Back from break, Orton is looking under the ring and pulls out a table! Daniel comes back with punches and knees and kicks (oh my!), but “The Viper” hangs him across the top rope with a suplex. Orton sets up the table in the corner but cannot hurl him through it as Bryan puts on the proverbial brakes.
Bryan fires back with a flying elbow clothesline, then a running front-dropkick in the corner. He kicks away again, but is slammed with the steel chair again as he tried another run. 1 – 2 – Daniel kicks out! Orton sets up Daniel on the apron and tries to suplex him to the outside through a table, but Daniel balances out.
He runs at Randy with a few dropkicks, which don’t put Orton down or through, until Bryan slides out and powerbombs “The Viper” off the apron and through the wood!
Bryan covers in the ring, but Orton gets the shoulder up just before three! Daniel escalates, bringing out a Kendo Stick and he whacks away at Orton repeatedly! Randy countered, however, with a t-bone suplex and chucked him through the corner table. 1 – 2 – Daniel kicks out!
They trade headbutts and punches to the fans’ loud delight. Orton gets the better with a beautiful dropkick. Bryan punches Orton out of the corner and dives off the turnbuckle, but is countered into a powerbomb for a close fall!
Randy mounts and punches Bryan, but is reversed into the “No Lock” Crossface submission! Orton crawls and crawls, grasping the Kendo Stick and nailing Bryan’s body with it to break the hold. He continues to hammer away out of frustration, and Bryan is now positioned for the slingshot-DDT.
“The Viper” gears himself and the fans up for the R.K.O., but Bryan reverses into a backslide for two! He whacks away again on Orton with the Kendo Stick and then clamps on the “No Lock” again, but Orton repeats the process with the Kendo Stick. Bryan grabs the weapon and uses it in the position of the Crossface, which is a huge aide in making Orton tap and give Daniel the victory!
Winner via Submission: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Orton gets up and faces Bryan. He shakes his hand and stares, then walks away. Daniel continues to celebrate with “yeses” for the fans to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Another awesome edition of Raw, perhaps even better than last week. A lot of greatness happened, and it started off with a “bang” and ended with a “bang!” Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton – from the hot beginning to the hot finish, they had everyone pumped for their encounters. Their “Street Fight” bout was beautifully put together (although I was surprised at seeing the chair shot close-to-the-head, as WWE had rightfully banned those in recent years.) Nice to see Bryan get the clean win too and Orton shake his hand afterward. Now they will move on to Money In The Bank.
A.J. continues to impress with her promos and head-games with Kaitlyn. The Divas Champion dressing up tonight was funny-looking and well-played psychologically. Loved the match between Chris Jericho and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio – technically great with a smooth submission counter finish. And absolutely loved Dolph Ziggler coming out for revenge, dropping both with the “Zig-Zag.” He is the man, and still should be the man with the World Title! Very happy to see The Usos re-push reignited, and them VS. “The Shield” for the Tag-Team Titles can be a great rivalry if given the proper booking and time. (Roman Reigns and the Twins are related somehow – play into that for a storyline.)
John Cena’s promo putting over the importance of earning the WWE Championship was terrific, as it places emphasis on the history of the Title and why it means so much for both he and Mark Henry to feud over it. Henry’s oratory was outstanding tonight as well – he really has picked up his game in the mike department, and I would love to see him win the Championship and have another lengthily/well-deserved run. Also, five out of six are great choices for the Money In The Bank Ladder match – any six of them could win. (The sixth choice will mentioned in “Bogus.”)
C.M. Punk/Paul Heyman – another marvellous interaction between the two, both in the ring and in the locker room. Plus, Punk/Young was better than I thought and longer – decent wrestling bout! This storyline definitely has many realistic aspects to it and I am very intrigued to see if they are having Heyman really tell the truth, or it is another veer and he is actually with Brock Lesnar after all.
Bogus: All the Vickie/Brad/McMahon-Helmsley segments. Just felt like they were pointless (especially the videogame one) and boring. Ryback/Jericho – this came out of no where, and sucks. I was really looking forward to a potential Ziggler/Jericho/Del Rio feud, which after the last two shows of Smackdown and Raw, looked like it was headed that way, but then this, and for only the reason of them not being booked in the MITB match. Dumb. As well with MITB, I am disappointed they put Rob Van Dam in the Ladder Match. I really think he should have a bigger role (unless he wins this, and I just see it happening that way), particularly being involved in the Paul Heyman/C.M. Punk/Brock Lesnar storyline. After all, R.V.D. is an original “Paul Heyman Guy” AND the pay-per-view is in Philadelphia! Let’s hope they do have big plans for him.
Once again, in general, as proven by my much more writing on the “excellence” side, Raw tonight was a hugely enjoyable and pleasing. Two in a row, so let’s go three-for-three next week! Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!