Following a week away, I am back and caught up! We are just under two weeks until SummerSlam, and both Heavyweight Championship matches are now solidified! After a fantastic triple threat Match to determine the #1 Contender to Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship (read that fine Smackdown report on this website!), “Captain Charisma” Christian will be the one challenging. Also, with Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton being left out so far, will those two go to battle, potentially over Orton’s MITB briefcase?
Meanwhile, the Daniel Bryan-John Cena build for the WWE Title will continue tonight, with Bryan potentially partaking in a “Corporate Makeover.” Will he actually go through with it, or is this going to end up like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in 1998, and a “Corporate Makeover” turns into “Corporate Mayhem?”
The feud between The Usos/Mark Henry and The Shield is moving along nicely, so does this mean that the Tag-Team Championships and United States Title will actually be defended on the Pay-Per-View? I hope so!
Plus, there is still the A.J. Lee/Kaitlyn/Layla/Dolph Ziggler/Big E. Langston rivalry, and Damien Sandow going at it with his former friend/tag-team partner, Cody Rhodes, so how will they fit into SummerSlam?
All this and much more for Raw, so read on to find out what goes down!
Monday Night Raw Report for August 5th, 2013
Introduction Segment: Welcoming
The regular Raw video plays and the pyro goes kaboom in the arena, as Michael Cole welcomes us to “Title Town,” in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Stephanie McMahon is in the ring and says that her father, Vince McMahon, does not believe in Daniel Bryan. However, she protests and a video airs of Bryan getting a complete makeover, although keeping his patented hair and beard. She brings him out live and Bryan is decked out in a McMahon-esque suit, much to the appreciation of Stephanie. She leaves the microphone to him and exists the ring.
Bryan asks the fans if they like his new look, and they do not. Daniel does thank Stephanie for all her “time and effort,” but still thinks that his new appearance is not what the WWE actually wants. Instead, he lists attributes of someone who is “jacked up, wears cargo shorts, and maybe a yellow t-shirt.” Of course, he is talking about the WWE Champion, John Cena.
Daniel vehemently compares his lifestyle to Cena’s, saying that he is a “WRESTLER” while John is an “entertainer.” Bryan quips that if he gets fired tomorrow (“and it has happened”), he will still be in every armory and high school gymnasium because he still loves wrestling, much like the fans in attendance. Bryan declares that he will make John Cena tap out and become the new WWE Champion.
Before he can continue, the Chairman of the WWE, Vince McMahon, struts out and starts to make fun of Daniel’s new duds. However, he does say that he is “starting to warm up you,” but still berates him for his lack of size, muscle, and style, calling him a “miniature Mick Foley.”
Vince offers his support for Bryan to become WWE Champion, only if he shaves the ever-growing famous beard. Ten or so backstage assistants carry out a barber chair upon McMahon’s orders. He also orders Bryan to “get in the chair” and shave the beard so he can be WWE Champion. Daniel stalls for a few seconds then slowly approaches and sits in the chair. Vince also asks for a barber to help with the procedure, so the man for the job is Wade Barrett.
Barrett teases the close cuts, and Bryan asks him to save a little bit under his lips, before headbutting him and engaging in a mini-brawl. Bryan escapes to the stage and rips off his shirt, revealing another t-shirt that has the phrase “the beard is here.” Bryan plays on Cena’s “the Champ is here” quote, while McMahon throws a fit, and the jacket, back in the ring.
Up next, R.V.D. will face World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, with a returning Ricardo Rodriguez.
Match #1: Single – Rob Van Dam VS. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (Non-Title)
(Note: The Miz, host for SummerSlam, is on commentary). Alberto aggressive early with head shots and shoulder blocks in the corner. RVD reverses a whip into the opposite corner and monkey flips Del Rio out of it. He nails a springboard kick and moonsault, but is caught with a kick from Alberto as he bent over. Van Dam tricks Alberto over the ropes and kicks him down for a break.
Back to the action, Del Rio drags RVD to the corner, but Rob blocks it and kicks him down again. He attempts the Rolling Thunder somersault, but misses and receives a kick-to-the-head of his own. 1 – 2 – Van Dam kicks out! In the corner, Del Rio lines up Rob for the running enziguri, but misses and gets a diving side kick plus Rolling Thunder for a near-fall by Van Dam!
Rob springs off the turnbuckle with the split-legged moonsault, but hurt himself when Alberto raised his knees. Ricardo puts the bucket in the corner, but Van Dam counters and chucks the World Champ head-first into it, then rolls him up with his legs for the victory!
Winner via Pin Fall: Rob Van Dam
Post-match, Del Rio wonders what happened then promptly lays a beating on his friend/manager! He wallops away on Ricardo with the bucket, then hurls him out of the ring. Alberto places Rodriguez between the ring post and the steel steps, then actually does deliver a running front-dropkick to knock him out. Del Rio poses with his World Title to massive boos.
Replays are shown of the above incident, and it is announced that C.M. Punk will take on Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel later.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Cody Rhodes is in the ring and has a gift for his former friend/tag-team partner, Damien Sandow. First, he plays a video, recalling all he has done to the “Intellectual Savior Of The Unwashed Masses” and his Money In The Bank briefcase. Rhodes pulls the briefcase out of a box, still wet and grungy from being in the Gulf Of Mexico ten nights ago.
He tells Damien that if he wants it, come and get it. Sandow walks out and orders Cody to put the case down. Rhodes does and leaves the ring, but as Damien goes to collect, Cody comes back in and beats him up, then empties the briefcase of the contract, and chucks the metal box to him.
Up next, a “WrestleMania Rematch” will take place, as Mark Henry will go against Ryback.
Match #2: Single – Ryback VS. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
They stare each other down and circle around the ring. Ryback pushes Henry then clamps on a headlock, but Henry whips Ryback into the ropes and takes him down with a shoulder block. Henry plays the power game, and goes for a huge elbow slug, but Ryback slides out of the ring. The referee starts the count, and Ryback elects to back away and get counted-out.
Winner via Count-Out: “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
Up next, WWE Champion John Cena will be out.
Segment #3 Backstage Promo
The Bella Twins put themselves and “Total Divas” over (with Nikki almost popping out of her top again), then Eva Marie walks in and puts them over with Brie’s win over Natalya last week. Natalya walks in and slaps Brie hard. (Pointless and really bad-acting segment!)
Segment #4: Arena Promo
WWE Champion John Cena is out to his usual mixed reaction. Cena says “it’s that time again, it’s that time again.” He tells us that he is in a familiar position, where he is standing in the ring with a “true fan favorite.” Cena says he has been listening to the fans choose Daniel Bryan, and that is why he picked him to be his opponent at SummerSlam.
Cena agrees that there was a lot of truth in Bryan’s earlier promo, but also a lot of ignorance. The WWE Champion informs Daniel that he is not the first, or will be the last, that made fun of his style. Cena ignores it all and will always be himself. The next point of Bryan’s he tears down is “hard times.”
Cena cites his own injuries and how he continued to soldier on, while Bryan praises wrestling in auditoriums and gymnasiums. John think this is a slap in the face to the WWE, because the WWE is the be-all-and-end-all of professional wrestling, where everyone wants to make it eventually. Cena speculates that Bryan would still be comfortable wrestling in the small gyms and auditoriums.
Cena tells Bryan that he is also not the first to prod at his lack of wrestling skills and underestimate him. John informs Bryan that if he wins the WWE Title, then he deserves it. However, if he loses it, he has to realize “he just wasn’t that good.” Cena concurs with Bryan’s hot streak and the fan’s choice, but still proclaims “our time is now and the champ is here.”
Just now, the other “Mr. Money In The Bank” Randy Orton walks down the ramp with briefcase and microphone in hand. Orton gives props to Cena for always being “aware of the target on your back.” On the other hand, Orton says Cena is not aware of the target on his front. Randy threatens that the cash-in could happen anytime, and the real “champ is here,” holding up the briefcase.
Both are now interrupted by The Shield. United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Tag=Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns surround the two rivals. Daniel Bryan now runs out and helps ward off “The Hounds Of Justice.” As they all stare each other down, General Manager Brad Maddox comes out and announces the predictable – a 6-Man Tag-Team match in the main event.
Match #3: Tag-Team – Tons Of Funk (“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay & “Sweet T.” Tensai) (with The Funkadactyls [Naomi and Cameron]) VS. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erik Rowan) (with Bray Wyatt)
Harper and Tensai begin with Luke hammering away. They both stand their ground with blocks until Tensai runs him over with a running shoulder. Luke returns with a big boot and tags in Rowan. He slugs away at Tensai in the corner, but gets a big boot and clothesline. Clay is in and suplexes Luke, but is taken out by Rowan, as Harper gives a discus clothesline to Tensai. Erik follows up with a splash for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erik Rowan) (with Bray Wyatt)
Post-match, Wyatt himself exists from his rocking chair and plants Brodus with a kiss and the turning flatliner. He takes the microphone and professes that “the devil’s favorite demon is no monster. He is an ‘illusion.’ He’s a ‘fairy tail.’” Wyatt calls himself “the man of a thousand truths. I am Bray Wyatt, ‘The Eater Of Worlds.’ And I am ‘forever.’ Kane, follow ‘the buzzards.’”
The lights go out and come back on in a red glow, following a pyro blast on the stage. Kane appears on the TitanTron and tells Bray that he likes Wyatt’s intention to “maim, disfigure, and mutilate everyone who crosses your path. I like that, I do these same things too. But I don’t do them to spread a message. I do them for my own personal amusement. And at SummerSlam, you’ll find out why I am ‘The Devil’s Favorite demon.’”
Kane warns The Family that no one will be able to save them from “inside a ring of fire!” Kane signals for his corner explosions as Wyatt gets on his knees and laughs insanely.
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews is with C.M. Punk, and wants his thoughts on his bout with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. Punk compares Axel and Paul Heyman to his father, the late-great “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, and his former manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Punk says that while Hennig was with Heenan, “Mr. Perfect” still had a mind of his own, while now Curtis just listens to and gets lost in Heyman’s advice. Matthews now asks about SummerSlam, where Punk will take on Brock Lesnar. Punk says that “The Beast Incarnate” will lose a match, “and Paul Heyman will lose everything.”
Match #4: Single – Kaitlyn VS. Layla
Replays are shown of Layla turning on Kaitlyn from Friday’s Smackdown (read that fine report on this fine website!). Kaitlyn is aggressive early, but Layla turns it around with a unique move by crawling along the ropes. She drops Kaitlyn with a DDT for a two count and uses the ropes again to choke Kaitlyn with a scissors lock. Kaitlyn counters a run off the ropes with a backbreaker and clothesline. She fires back with a shoulder tackle, then tosses her off her shoulders with a knee-to-the-side.
As Kaitlyn measures Layla, Divas Champion A.J. Lee’s music plays and she skips around the ring. She hops to the apron, distracting Kaitlyn and allowing Layla to recover and nail her with “The Bombshell” chick kick to get the W!
Winner via Pin Fall: Layla
Post-match, Layla and A.J. skip around the ring and celebrate.
Later tonight, Dolph Ziggler will face his former friend/bodyguard Big E. Langston.
It is made official that Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow will go at it at SummerSlam!
Match #5: Single – Heath Slater (with “3.M.B.” partners Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal) VS. Christian
Christian waistlocks Slater to begin, then trips him up on the ropes. McIntyre and Mahal approach Christian, but he gets back in the ring and Slater takes advantage. He drops a knee, stomp, and forearm, then grips on a grounding chin lock. Heath dives off the second turnbuckle but eats a double-boot and flapjack from Christian.
He nails a missile dropkick for two and starts to get warmed up. Slater tried a move from the apron, but Christian backdropped him over. Slater kicks out of a sunset flip attempt and shoves Christian to the corner. As he gloats, Christian spears him to finish this off!
Winner via Pin Fall: Christian
Up next, C.M. Punk is out and will take on I.C. Champ, Curtis Axel!
Match #6 – Single – C.M. Punk VS. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
Even before Curtis can walk all the way down the ramp, Punk storms to him and starts the fight. Axel was ready, as he strikes first with a kick and some blows to C.M.’s back. Mike Chioda, the referee, tries to get them back to the ring as they brawl around it. Eventually, they end up in the squared circle and the bell rings.
Axel chops away at Punk’s chest in the corner, then jumps over him a bit later before C.M. takes him down, and wrenches his left leg with a lock. “The Second City Saint” viciously kicks Axel down, then clotheslines him over the ropes and follows up with a suicide dive into the barricade!
Curtis now has control, ripping at Punk’s nose. He kicks away then scoop slams Punk, and comes down off the second rope with an elbow smash. Punk struggles out of a side headlock and backdrops Axel to the canvas. He notices Paul Heyman at ringside and begins to crawl over, but Curtis drags him back. C.M. counters a run with a boot-to-the-face and a springboard crossbody.
Punk goes to chase Heyman again, but the I.C. Champion blocks him with a running clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Curtis receives a two-count. Axel screws up a splash, and gives Punk momentum. The “Straight-Edge Superstar” picks it up with a running elbow and clothesline, then swinging neckbreaker.
Punk delivers the running knee-in-the-corner and clothesline. He ascends the top rope but is crotched by Axel, who follows up with his running spinning neckbreaker. 1 – 2 – Punk kicks out! C.M. fights back with a high kick, then clutches Heyman. The bell suddenly sounds.
Winner: No Contest due to Referee Stoppage
Post-match, Heyman’s other charge, “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring. Axel tries a move on Punk, but gets the Go To Sleep for his troubles. Lesnar tries a chair shot, but Punk blocks and wiggles his way out of an F-5, shoving him into the ring post. Punk gives him two kicks and a few punches, then flies off the announce table with a clothesline! (Huge “C.M. Punk” chants)
Lesnar recovers with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and rolls him in the ring. As Paul E. watches on, Brock picks up Punk for another F-5, but C.M. drops out of it and nails Lesnar in the back with a chair. He is now eyeing an on-his-knees begging Heyman, but before he can connect, “The Beast Incarnate” does F-5 him, and then whales away on his back with a chair. Lesnar and Heyman both stand over a downed C.M. Punk, then walk off.
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Lesnar, Heyman, and I.C. Champion Axel are with Renee Young, who wants their thoughts on what just transpired. “That’s the best, of the best, of the best, of the best, of the best, that this world has to offer? I’m ‘The Beast’ and ‘The best in the world.’ Paul, say something ‘stupid,’” proclaims Lesnar.
Heyman does have a message for Punk, saying that “he may not make it to SummerSlam. Because next week, right here on Raw, I’m going to walk out to the ring. And based on the beating C.M. Punk just suffered from Brock Lesnar, I am confident enough to tell you that I am not going out to the ring as an ‘advocate.’ I’m going to stand in the ring, and I’m going to look for a one-one-one, man VS. man fight, because next week on Raw, if he’s ‘man enough’ to accept it, it will be C.M. Punk VS. Paul Heyman!”
Match #7: Single – Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. Kofi Kingston
Fandango starts the bout with a few dance moves, but Kofi begins with quick kicks. He hits a high dropkick, but his nailed in the head with an enziguri-like kick. Fandango pounds away with a couple of punches, then tosses him over with a fireman’s carry. He clamps on a grounding chinlock, which Kofi battles out of, but is quickly put back down with a spinning butt-bump.
Fandango attempts a double-knee dive, but Kofi rolls and now has the advantage. He dives from the top rope with a springboard overhand chop, and hits a few chops then a dropkick! Kofi hits the Boom Drop legdrop, but Fandango rolls to the apron and hits a kick, then uses the ropes to gain advantage for a pin attempt. 1 – 2 – Kofi kicks out!
Kofi manages a springboard crossbody for two, then turns Fandango around into a Trouble In Paradise kick for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: Kofi Kingston
Segment #7: Office Promo
WWE C.O.O. Triple H is on his cell phone, when Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks in upset. She says that her father, Vince McMahon, just “ripped my head off” because of how the Daniel Bryan makeover segment turned out. HHH now goes on a tirade, declaring that Vince has “lost it,” doing whatever he wants to do and not really caring anymore. Triple H doesn’t want the proverbial “ship to sink,” so will do anything to stop Vince from taking the company down.
Match #8: Tag-Team – “The Real Americans” (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter) VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Prior to the bout, Colter cuts a promo, ripping Green Bay for being the “heartland of America.” He says all the cheese they eat has “clogged your arteries, but it clogs your brains as well.” He calls the Packers an “overrated football team.” (Agreed, nice one!), and tells the fans to “pack your bags and leave, because ‘The Heartland’ belongs to ‘Real Americans.’”
The Usos make their usual awesome entrance, and this contest is on! Swagger and Jimmy start out, with Jimmy chopping away on Jack. He jumps down with a headbutt for two, but is thrown into an uppercut by Antonio as Swagger/Antonio switch up. Cesaro chucks Jimmy over with a gutwrench suplex, the tags Jack back in who hammers away with punches-in-the-corner.
Jimmy fights out of the heels side, but is quickly picked up and slammed down by Swagger. He hits the Swaggerbomb splash, tags in Cesaro, who hops over Swagger and nails a double-stomp on Jimmy for two! Cesaro hits an atomic drop, then Jack comes back in with a running knee block. He grabs Jimmy in a stretch, but is dropped with a spin-kick.
Jimmy manages to get the hot-tag to his brother/twin. Jey leaps over, taking control with kicks to both Swagger and Cesaro. He comes off the ropes with a flying chop, then runs at Cesaro in the corner with a butt-bump. 1 – 2 – Swagger breaks up the cover. Jimmy back in, who propels Jack over the ropes, then himself with a jumping splash! Jey kicks Cesaro down, 1 – 2 – Antonio kicks out!
On the outside, Swagger reverses a whip on Jimmy, sending him into the ring post. He nails Jey with a right hand between the ropes, which allows Cesaro to pick him up and drop with The Neutralizer cradle facebuster for the duke!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The Real Americans” (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter)
Up next, Dolph Ziggler will take on his former friend/partner Big E. Langston!
Match #9: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. Big E. Langston (with Divas Champion A.J. Lee)
Dolph ducks around and holds onto the ropes, “showing off.” He hits a dropkick for a quick one, then clutches the middle rope to stop himself from being planted with a press slam. However, as he got back up, Big E. clotheslines him to the floor, then throws him back in the ring. 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out! Langston locks in an abdominal stretch, which Dolph jawbreaks out of!
Langston runs for Dolph, but “The Show Off” moves and Big E. nails the post instead! Dolph hits the splash and brings him down with a neckbreaker, but is caught with a huge backbreaker! Big E. attempts a canvas splash, but Dolph moves and plants him with the Fameasser.
On the outside, A.J. starts to walk around, but Kaitlyn is strolling She and Kaitlyn engage in a fight, which Dolph tries to break up. He turns around into a huge clothesline by Langston, then is finished with The Big Ending front-flapjack!
Winner via Pin Fall: Big E. Langston (with Divas Champion A.J. Lee)
Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and WWE Champion John Cena make their respective entrances prior to a break.
Match #10: 6-Man Tag-Team – Daniel Bryan, “The Viper/Mr. Money In The Bank)” Randy Orton, and WWE Champion John Cena VS.
The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) (Non-Title)
Rollins and Orton begin with a slugfest, and Randy rams Seth’s head into the turnbuckle. He punches away in the corner then runs at him with a clothesline. Orton brings Rollins out with a suplex for one, then tags in Bryan, who soars off the top rope with a front missile dropkick. Ambrose is also in, and Daniel flips over him then runs him down with a clothesline and suicide dive!
Bryan fights both Rollins and Reigns on the outside, but Dean cuts him off with a front dropkick, then shoves him into the side of the ring. Roman is now in and clotheslines him out of the corner. He switches with Rollins, who jumps on Bryan with a senton splash. Seth wears Bryan down with a grounding chinlock, then double-knees him with Reigns’ help. Daniel fights back against all three “Shield” members, nailing Roman in the head with a high-kick!
Bryan crawls to his partners, even though he is grabbed by Rollins. He manages to tag in Cena, but apparently the referee did not see it, thanks to the U.S. Champion. Both Orton and Cena argue, then Randy comes in and begins to stomp away on Ambrose. Rollins almost gets Bryan with a rollup, but Bryan reverse3s into the Yes Lock Crossface submission! All three members of The Shield pound on Bryan, causing a dq.
Winners via Disqualification: Daniel Bryan, “The Viper/Mr. Money In The Bank” Randy Orton, and WWE Champion John Cena
Post-match, Orton R.K.O.’s Daniel Bryan out of nowhere, then he and Cena get rid of “The Shield.” Suddenly, he drops the WWE Champion with the R.K.O. too, and gives serious though to cashing in his MITB briefcase title shot. Before he can, The Shield approaches the ring again, and Orton leaves them to dismantle both Cena and Bryan, triple-powerbombing Daniel and standing over him to boos. Orton looks on from the top of the stage as The Shield are in the ring, united to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was an action-packed Raw with a ton of matches! I really felt the build towards SummerSlam was done greatly, and nice to see some new matches added to the mid-card with only 12 (as of this writing) days left. Lots to love from Raw! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: The opening promo on Daniel Bryan’s side – loved his expression for his passion of professional wrestling and the long, hard path he has taken to make it where he is today. You can truly feel the genuine emotion and love for the business he has in him. Almost the same with Cody Rhodes – he is really getting over now as a face and developing much better. Liking the feud between him and Sandow after all!
As with Bryan, WWE Champion John Cena’s interview also exhuberated the passion and desire/heart he has working for the WWE and representing it as champion. I liked Orton interrupting too, and teasing both in the interview and at the end of the show, cashing in his briefcase. Adds a bit of suspense to the already great-built SummerSlam main-event storyline!
As always for now, “The Wyatt Family” can do no wrong and Bray in particular, is extraordinary with his prophecy promos. He has timing and personality to get his point across and make you believe what he is saying is real, albeit very disturbing! Glad Kane is also back to that side as well, and his short response to Bray was great too. I think these two could be a “sleeper” for better match at SummerSlam.
The other hottest rivalry, C.M. Punk/Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman can also do no wrong. They are interacting extremely (pardon the pun!) well together, both oratory-wise and physically wise. This one just keeps on feeling like two who really hate each other and are going to make their match seem as a real brutal fight.
Loved Zeb Colter’s promo, only for the fact that I’m a Chicago sports-team fan (especially “Da Bears”), so always nice to hear someone rip the Green Bay Packers! Liking the continuing feud between A.J. and Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship. Also another hot (I’ll admit, in more ways than one!) rivalry, and Kaitlyn has really stepped up her wrestling game, so props to her!
Bogus: The opening segment for everything else. First, I thought it was rushed into right away, with Stephanie already in the ring. Then the highlight package of Bryan’s transformation fell kind of flat and hurried. I think they should’ve have built this up throughout the night (much like they did the “Team Hell No” vignettes with Dr. Shelby) and honestly have this segment be the main-event. They also could’ve included John Cena’s promo in the last spot too, potentially closing Raw with a faceoff argument between the two opponents.
I really don’t understand World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio both losing AND getting rid of Ricardo Rodriguez. To me, as much as I like Rob Van Dam, it makes no sense, as he should’ve won to build him strong for Christian at SummerSlam. The only way to salvage this is to somehow add R.V.D. to the title bout, claiming that he too beat the World Champ clean. Kind of the same with Layla/Kaitlyn/A.J. – with them continuing the A.J./Kaitlyn feud, they should’ve had Kaitlyn win tonight (again, build her back up) and wait until SummerSlam or after for Layla to turn heel.
Ryback/Mark Henry – that was really pointless (Ryback lost his “steam” about three months ago), and what happened to Henry’s & The Usos feud with The Shield? I liked that one much better and was hoping it would lead to matches for both the United States and Tag-Team Championships at SummerSlam for those six men (having The Shield involved in Orton/Bryan/Cena also made no sense, especially the ending).
I also though Kofi’s return after a two months of injury could’ve been built up more. Glad to have him back and get a win though.
Unfortunately, Dolph’s star has fallen a bit, especially with the clean loss to Langston (even though I do like Big E., so not a shot at him), and I still highly believe/protest that he should be World Heavyweight Champion!
Overall, a great Raw that really setup SummerSlam nicely! Next week is the “go-home” show, which will also feature my predictions for most of the matches. As always, until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!