Monday Night Raw TV report for 08/12/2013

Tonight is the last Raw before the biggest party of the summer gets underway, SummerSlam! It is time to wrap up the loose ends and send everyone to Sunday. How will said “loose ends” finish, particularly with WWE Champion John Cena and his challenger, Daniel Bryan?

Also, is Christian solidified as the only contender to Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship, or could Rob Van Dam make a claim that he deserves a shot, since he has beaten the Champion already? (This is a long shot, but it is sensible booking and adds a nice twist, in my opinion.)

Kane threatened a “Ring Of Fire” match for Bray Wyatt last week? What did “The Big Red Machine” mean, and will he explain further? How about the Tag-Team Titles, Intercontinental, and U.S. Championship, respectively? Those for sure deserve bouts on the card, so will they get them? (Again, I hope so!)

And, Paul Heyman is scheduled to WRESTLE his former client, C.M. Punk tonight. Will he actually go through, or does Paul E. have a trick (or two, or three) up his sleeve?

Lastly, as always, I will be providing my picks for the Pay-Per-View!

To find all mentioned above and more, read on!

Monday Night Raw Report for August 12th, 2013 – “SummerSlam Decided”

Match #1: Single with Special Referee (General Manager Brad Maddox) – Wade Barrett VS. Daniel Bryan

We start right off the bat with this match, no opening video, no pyro, etc… The bell sounds, as well as loud “let’s go Bryan” chants. Lock up between the two and Bryan hits a dropkick on Barrett as he comes off the ropes. Wade counters with a kick and tosses him to the outside, but Daniel pull Wade down and rams his left leg against the ring apron.

He kicks away at the same leg back in the ring, then spins him around with a dragon screw. Bryan delivers a baseball slide, but misses his running knee off the apron as Barrett ducked.

Wade gains control by hucking Bryan into the corner of the barricade, then works him over with punches and kicks in the corner. Barrett nails Bryan in the stomach with a resounding-smacking kick, sending Daniel to the floor. Wade smashes his head off the commentator’s table, then whips him into the steel steps.

Bryan starts to fight back with punches, but Wade cuts him off and clamps on a grounding rear chinlock. Daniel battles out of this and somersaults over Barrett from the corner, and follows up with the suicide dive to the outside!

Bryan ascends the turnbuckle and dives off with a front missile dropkick. He kicks Barrett repeatedly, and goes for the final shot-to-the-head, but Wade ducks and rolls him up to get the victory with an extremely fast count from G.M. Brad Maddox!

Winner via Pin Fall: Wade Barrett

Post-match, Bryan is ticked off and goes to take a swing at Maddox, but the G.M. slides out of the ring and high-tails it to the back.

Later tonight, The Miz will have Bryan and WWE Champion John Cena on his “MizTV” talk show. Also, C.M. Punk will take on Paul Heyman.

Up next, is “Mr. Money In The Bank” VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” as Randy Orton takes on Damien Sandow!


Match #2: Single – “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Viper” Randy Orton

(Note: Cody Rhodes, Sandow’s current rival and former friend, is on commentary.) Elbow/collar tie-up to start out, with Sandow applying pressure via a side headlock. He continues to hold a side headlock on, but Orton whips and leapfrogs him, then drops him with a couple of elbows. Randy delivers the 10-punch in the corner, then backs off which allows Damien to kick him and try to gain advantage. Orton blocks a suplex attempt and turns it to one of his own for two!

Randy hammers away in the corner and fires out of the opposite with a clothesline for another near fall. He grounds Sandow with a grounding side headlock, but Damien counters with a backdrop. “The Viper” reverses a whip over the rope and puts Sandow to the floor with a dropkick.


Back from break, Damien is now in control until Randy boots him out of the corner. Sandow quickly comes back by shoving him to the floor, He rolls Orton back in the ring and gets a couple of close calls following some aggressive stomping and elbows. Sandow spins Orton over with a knee-to-the-gut, then drives him back with a Russian legsweep.

He drops the “Elbow Of Distain” and receives another two! He grips on another side headlock to wear Orton down, but “The Viper” gets out of it with a backdrop and begins to gain momentum. He hits a couple of clotheslines, but not the powerslam, as Sandow held onto the ropes. This gave Sandow an opportunity to hit a swinging neckbreaker for a very close call!

Orton suddenly catches Damien out of the corner with the powerslam, then plants him with the slingshot DDT. He gears up for the R.K.O., but “The Intellectual Saviour” shoves him away and rolls out of the ring. He rams Orton into the ring apron then slams his head off the post. 1 – 2 – Orton still kicks out!

On the outside, Cody is toying with Sandow’s briefcase, which distracts him and allows Orton to drop him with the R.K.O. for the 1 – 2 – 3!

Winner via Pin Fall: “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Viper” Randy Orton

Backstage, Rob Van Dam is warming up with is split-legged pose on two chairs. It is announced that he and nineteen other wrestlers will compete in an over-the-top-rope Battle Royal to determine who will face United States Champion Dean Ambrose for the title at SummerSlam!

Segment #1: Arena-Video Promo

“The Shield” appear on the titantron, and berate the “old-timers” for still being around. Rollins calls the “old-guard,” “complacent, hollowed-out icons,” and say that “they gotta go.” He wants the new generation to rise up, because “we’re younger, we’re hungrier, we’re just better.” Roman says that “the challenge has been set.”

He says they are the proverbial be-all-and-end-all, and challenges anyone to step up and try and take the Tag-Team Championships. Ambrose calls himself “the unbeatable champion.” He tells us that the U.S. Title is the Championship that everybody runs from. “Believe that and believe in ‘The Shield.'”


Segment #2: Video Promo

Brock Lesnar’s comments about C.M. Punk and SummerSlam are aired. He says that many people see the bout as a real issue between Punk and Heyman, with himself as just the “muscle.” However, Lesnar disputes that claim and says there is a personal issue between him and Punk too. “I’ve never liked Punk.” He calls C.M. a “joke,” and says that “The Beast” IS “The Best.”

Brock downplays Punk’s look and fighting style, then goes on to list his career accomplishments, which all happened before Punk became the superstar he is today. (This included Lesnar’s NCAA Championship, U.F.C. Heavyweight Championship, and WWE Championship). “The Beast” does give “The Straight-Edge Superstar” credit for being WWE Championship for 434-straight days, which Lesnar calls “impressive, especially for a guy like him.”

Lesnar warns that “C.M. Punk has never faced anybody in his entire life like me. Because there is nobody like me. Size does matter. At SummerSlam, C.M. Punk is going to learn what it means to truly be ‘victimized’ by Brock Lesnar.”

Segment #3: Locker Room Promo

Josh Matthews is with C.M. Punk, and asks why he took a match with Paul Heyman shortly before SummerSlam. Punk replies “why not? I don’t think there’s a man alive that’s afraid of Paul Heyman in a one-on-one fight.” Punk says that Heyman’s challenge is a “big chess game to him, and he’s got his ‘pawns’ in place, and they’ve all forgotten, that when you come at the king, you best not miss.” “When it’s all said and done, and when everything is on the line, ‘the best’ is ‘the best.'”

The Great Khali, Natalya, and Hornswaggle make their entrance for their upcoming contest.


Match #3: Mix-Tag-Team – Natalya and The Great Khali (with Hornswoggle) VS. Big E. Langston and Divas Champion A.J. Lee

It looks like Big E. and Great Khali to start out, but A.J. quickly tags herself in. She skips around Khali, who isn’t sure what to do, then slaps the giant! Natalya comes in from behind and pulls Lee down, then kicks away at her in the corner. Natalya tries to driver in the corner, but A.J. slips out and nails a spinning kick for a two-count!

She stomps in the corner on Natalya, then snapmares her into a reverse chinlock. A.J. hits a couple kicks and a Shining Wizard kick-to-the-face for a near fall! Hornswoggle is slapping the ring apron for momentum, which distracts A.J. She turns around into a legsweep and Sharpshooter by Natalya, but it is released just as A.J. taps. (read: botched, I think!) Natalya locks on her finisher again and A.J. gives up for real.

Winners via Submission: Natalya and The Great Khali (with Hornswoggle)

Post-match, Big E. takes down Khali and goes to attack Hornswoggle, but The Great Khali recovered quickly enough to chop Langston down.

Up next, The Boss, Vince McMahon will be out (oh, this better be short and sweet.)


It is announced that the U.S. Title will be defended on the pre-show, diminishing the Championship after Ambrose tried to put it over. Senseless!

Segment #4: Arena Promo

Mr. McMahon brings out General Manager Brad Maddox to explain the controversial ending to the match he refereed earlier between Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett. He asks him to explain why he was the referee and explain the fast-count. Maddox sucks up by saying that he wanted to give what the WWE Universe wanted and also that he hadn’t ref’d in a while, so he might’ve been a little “rusty.” He apologizes, but Vince says that wasn’t necessary, since he “did your best.”

Maddox asks for a second chance, wanting to referee the WWE Championship bout between John Cena and Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. McMahon makes sure he would be completely “impartial” with a number of cliche-questions, then starts to name him the referee. BUT … Chief Operating Officer, Triple H, cuts him off.

“The Game” cites the importance of the match, and actually agrees with his father, saying that it needs someone who is completely impartial and will cut it right down the middle. However, Triple H quickly changes the idea, and basically names himself the official, then Pedigrees the G.M., as Vinnie-Mac storms off!


Match #4: Single – “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil (with Prime Time Players partner “Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young) vs. Kane

(Note: During Kane’s entrance, a video package of Kane and “The Wyatt Family’s” feud airs.) Kane is aggressive right away, with an elbow and suplex out of the corner. He runs back with a low front dropkick for two. Kane controls all with a sidewalk slam and Chokeslam to finish this one promptly!

Winner via Pin Fall: Kane

Post-match, the lights go out and Bray Wyatt lights his lantern, saying “we’re here.” Erik Rowan, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper saunter to the ring. Wyatt takes a seat in his rocking chair, and the lights come back on to see that Kane is now standing at the top of the ramp, fooling the trio. He signals his corner pyro blast, as Wyatt laughs it off happily, in a twisted sort of way.


Segment #5: Backstage Promo

Josh Matthews interviews The Bella Twins. They put themselves over until Natalya walks in, and challenges to a match at SummerSlam. Brie accepts by slapping her.

Match #5: Single – World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio VS. Kofi Kingston

(Note: During Del Rio’s entrance, footage of his dumping and subsequent beat down of Ricardo Rodriguez, his former manger, from last week on Raw is shown.) Both men engage in a slugfest in the corner, then Kofi leaps over Alberto a few times, and hits him with a flying spinning elbow! Kofi jumps on him in the corner and punches him ten times, but is shoved won on the other corner. Del Rio hangs him upside down and kicks away. He sits Kingston back up and flips him over with a reverse suplex off the top! 1 – 2 – Kofi barely get the shoulder up!

Alberto jumps and double-stomps on Kingston’s back, but misses his through-the-ropes double-kick. Kofi takes advantage with a dropkick and leaping forearm. He drops the Boomdrop legdrop. He tries for the Trouble In Paradise, but Del Rio ducks and turns him around with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. 1 – 2 – Kofi kicks out! Alberto runs at him, but is countered into the S.O.S. for a near fall!

The World Heavyweight Champ comes back with a kick and holds onto the ropes to avoid another Trouble In Paradise spin kick. They run around the ring, and Kofi almost gets it again with a roll-up! Del Rio runs again in the corner, but is double-kicked! Kofi springboards but is smashed with an armbreaker! Del Rio locks on the Cross Armbreaker and Kofi taps!

Winner via Submission: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio

Mark Henry is shown backstage warming up for the Battle Royal.


Segment #6: Video Promo & Backstage Promo

Christian’s career is recalled with wonderful highlights, putting over his “one more match” for the World Heavyweight Championship. The man himself is now with Rene Paquette, and declares that he will beat Alberto Del Rio to become the World Champion for third time. Del Rio meets him, and dictates in Spanish, so I didn’t get what he said.

“The Real Americans” make their way to the ring, with Zeb Colter cutting a promo ripping California for their illegal immigrant, hybrid, and avocado & latte problems!


Match #6: Tag-Team – “The Real Americans” (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter) VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)

Cesaro and Jey start off, with Jey quickly slapping Antonio all around. He gets taken down with a big boot after missing a corner splash, then is swept up with a clothesline/leg chop combo. Swagger is now in and hits the Swaggerbomb out of the corner, as does Antonio with a jumping double-stomp. 1 – 2 – Jey kicks out!

Jey begins to come back with slaps and a sunset flip, but Jack breaks up the pin attempt and locks in a stretch. “The Real Americans” double-team Jey with a flapjack/uppercut combo for two. Eventually, Jimmy and Jack get the hot-tags, and Jimmy is all over him with jumping forearms, then planting him with a Samoan drop. He runs into Swagger in the corner, then he and Jey double-dive to the outside on both Swagger and Cesaro!

Colter hops on the apron for the distraction, but to no avail, as Cesaro is taken down with a superkick (even though there was basically no connection), then Jey tags in and rolls up Swagger for the victory!

Winners via Pin Fall: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)

Up next, MizTV will host WWE Champion John Cena and his challenger, Daniel Bryan.


Segment #7: Arena Promo

The Miz brings out Daniel Bryan first, then WWE Champion John Cena. Miz wants to get Bryan’s thoughts on Triple H naming himself the Special Referee. Bryan applauds “The Game” for standing up to Mr. McMahon, and giving the fans the match they all want between him and John Cena. Cena concurs this statement. Miz then asks the WWE Champion what is “real issues” are with Daniel.

John says there are no issues other than the WWE Championship, and “respect him as an athlete and a competitor, and he’s going to put up one helluva fight on Sunday.” Miz feeds into this, claiming that Cena’s phrase is “code for ‘you’re gonna lose.'” He tries to fuel the fire by belittling Bryan, but Daniel cuts him off and threatens to “punch you in the face” if he doesn’t shut up.

Bryan has serious words for Cena. He doesn’t understand why Cena and others think all he can do is “put up a helluva fight.” Daniel gives Cena credit for doing what he does best, making “explosive remarks. You got the ‘WWE Universe’ on their feet.” Bryan accuses the WWE Champion of grabbing the spotlight and being more “style than substance. In it for the fame, in it for the glory. NOT in it for the WRESTLING!”

Daniel says his “the beard is here” shirt is a parody of Cena, because he believes that John is a “parody of wrestling.” This is what Bryan does NOT want to be. “I want to be WWE Champion for one reason and one reason only. And it’s not for the fame, it’s not for the glory. It’s so that everybody knows and it proves, that when I step foot in this ring, there is nobody better than DANIEL BRYAN!”

Cena retorts by taking off his shirt and bracing for a brawl, but quickly backs down.

“You almost got, you almost got me. A parody, a parody, that’s strong. That’s real strong. I’m not a parody. The reason I’m out here, regardless of what you think, is the same reason you’re out here, all of this, all of this. (Pointing to the fans.) And I thought you would be smart enough to understand that. All of these people with their signs and their hands up in the air, chanting ‘yes, yes, yes,’ or ‘no, no, no.’ They’re doing it Daniel because they believe in you. They believe in you, and you hear that. And when you hear that, and when you know that someone believes in you, it empowers you and gives you a motion, and all you wanna do is come out in this ring, sick, tired, or hurt, and put your body on the line as a way to say, ‘I believe in you, as much as you believe in me.’ That’s what the WWE is.”

“It is not ‘grabbing a spotlight.’ It is these people being able to come in, choose their favorite superstar, and put their hand in front of their face, or ride the wave of ‘the beard.’ Have those moments with your favorite superstar, that is why we do what we do. This, ya, just a t-shirt, that’s just a t-shirt. That’s like saying the American flag is just a ‘cloth.’ It is not about a ‘cloth,’ it is about a message that the shirt represents, ‘loyalty.’ And I have been in hostile environments, and I have had my critics, but there are still people that are loyal to me, and as long as they are here, and my neck is broken, I fight for them, and I’m LOYAL TO THEM! “

“‘Parody,’ ‘parody’s’ a joke. Something funny? You got the ‘gall’ to call me a parody? Because of the way I look, because of how I act? Because you don’t approve of John Cena? Like you’re the first person to walk into the ring and say, ‘newsflash guys, John Cena’s what’s wrong with all this. We’ve seen enough. 5 Moves Of Doom. Get John Cena outta here!’ I don’t know how smart you are, but you’re not deaf. You can hear it tonight, it’s been going on for years. You’re not the first, you won’t be the last. I show up everyday, for the last 12 years, and bust my ass. Not for people like you, who don’t respect me.”

“For that kid in the front row, for his Dad. For the 7-year-old Make-A-Wish child named Dakota who I met this afternoon. And when I came in the room, and that kid’s fighting for his life, all he wants to do is say, ‘you can’t see me.’ And then after that, his Dad pulls me to the side and says, ‘thank you, because whenever my son goes in for treatment, all he says is that he will never give up. Thank you for the hope, thank you for the inspiration.'”

“You are red-hot right now, but you will always have critics. You should be proud of every single thing you accomplished here. But you should be smart enough to know that I am proud of what I’ve done here, I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of what I’ve become. Because what I’ve become is a man who has spent the last 12 years WRESTLING around the world. From Abu-Dhabi to Taipei, from Tokyo to Shanghai, from New York right here to Sacramento. Sometimes they cheer, sometimes they boo, but I have stood in for a dozen years, in front of the most hostile environments, in front of the biggest names this business has to offer.”

“And the difference between you and me is not parody, jack, everyone of those matches, I did it while I was holding this. (Raising the WWE Championship.) So please, please think I’m a ‘joke.’ Please think I’m a ‘parody.’ Please think I’m going to waltz in to Los Angeles on Sunday, just a shell of a man, whose a t-shirt, a set of wristbands, an off-the-rack set of cargos, and a beat-up set of Pumas. Please, please think that about me. ‘Cause that’s what everyone of your peers has thought about me, and I’ve beaten them all, ALL OF THEM! I’ve WRESTLED AND BEATEN THEM ALL! And that’s a pretty stout list, Daniel Bryan. A list that includes Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Randy Orton, C.M. Punk, The Rock…”

Bryan cuts him off and says that Cena thinks those people are better than him (to which a fan shouts out, “they are!”). John retorts, “Daniel you gotta understand. You’re on your way to greatness, but I can’t put you in that class, because you don’t belong in that class. You wanna talk about catchphrases, what’s yours, ‘respect the beard?’ Well, Daniel respect here, it isn’t given out, it is earned. You listen to me, and you listen good. If you are good enough to hold this (WWE Championship) Sunday, then, and only then, you earn my respect.”

Daniel takes this as Cena not respecting him. He also says that Cena isn’t treating their match like the ones he had with Triple H or The Rock, because he respected those men.

“How could you? How could you understand the hunger, understand the desire, for holding that WWE Championship JUST ONCE, THAT’S ALL I WANT, ONCE! HOW COULD YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? AND YOU CAN’T! Because for you, this is just another SummerSlam, but for me, this is the BIGGEST MATCH OF MY LIFE!”

“You know, there’s a custom I learned in Japan, that they did before big matches. And it’s to ‘fire somebody up.’ It’s to ‘light that spark’ from one wrestler to another so that they would bring everything that they had to that fight. They’d take their hand, and as hard as they possibly can, they slap him in the face. You know, I wish, I wish so bad that I could do that to you right now. But I can’t, because you’re not a ‘wrestler,’ and you don’t deserve it.”

They both drop the microphone, and Cena makes the first move, slapping Daniel across his bearded-face. Bryan smiles and won’t react, holding his ground. Just now, the special referee and C.O.O., Triple H, walks out and gets in between them. And further, Randy Orton walks out to the stage and eyes the situation, visually warning them of his Money In The Bank title shot.

(Bloody AWESOME promo/segment! – This should’ve closed the show!)


Match #7: Single – Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. R-Truth

Prior to the contest, Fandango is irked at R-Truth’s dancing ability, so he dances himself. R-Truth does the same, before being attacked from behind. Fandango slugs away, but Truth comes back with a sweep and fist blows. He puts him down with the jumping calf-kick and Fandango retreats to the back.

Winner: No Contest due to No Official Start

Ryback is strolling through backstage for the Battle Royal, which is coming up next!


Segment #8: Locker Room Promo

Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel is with Paul Heyman, and asks his manager if he is alright. Heyman replies “I think I’m having second thoughts about this.”

Match #8: 20-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royal For the #1 Contender’s Spot to the United States Championship – Rob Van Dam VS. “Tons Of Funk” (“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay and “Sweet T.” Tensai) VS. “3.M.B.” (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre) VS. Ryback, VS. “The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) VS. “The Prime Time Players” (“The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil and “Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young) VS. Wade Barrett VS. The Great Khali VS. Fandango VS. Justin Gabriel VS. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) VS. R-Truth VS. Kofi Kingston VS. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry

Main eliminations include Ryback tossing Gabriel, Young, and Tensai. “3.M.B.” takes out Jimmy Uso, and Fandango is chucked by R-Truth, who in-turn comes back in and takes out Truth! R.V.D throws Fandango and we go to break.


Returning, “3.M.B.” were eliminated by The Great Khali, and the 7-Footer was tossed by Ryback. “The Real Americans” double-team Jey Uso to the outside, and it is them, Mark Henry, Ryback, Titus, Wade Barrett, and Kofi left. R.V.D. slides out of an over-the-shoulder carry by O’Neil, then kicks and clotheslines him over the top!

Kofi is battling “The Real Americans,” and as Swagger was going to chuck him, Kingston used the leverage of Cesaro on the apron to save himself, in sunset-flip/Shawn Michaels Royal Rumble 1995-move type! Impressive! However, that is short-lived as Antonio and Jack eliminate him after all. Van Dam is going after “The Real Americans” now, but gets is Rolling Thunder move interjected by a harsh clothesline from Ryback. Barrett and Ryback work over R.V.D.

Mark Henry manages to fight out of a double-pick-up-flapjack (very impressive) by Cesaro and Swagger, then clothesline them both over, and hurls Wade to boot! It is now down to Ryback, Henry, and R.V.D. The two bigger men faceoff and jaw at each other! Henry just picks up Ryback and places him on the apron, allowing Van Dam to kick at Ryback, making him unsteady so Mark can finish him off and send him to the floor!

The fans are split now between Henry and R.V.D., so circle each other. Van Dam ducks a slug, and jumps on the back of Henry, who backs him into the corner to break it. Van Dam goes to the top rope, but is crotched, and hanging onto the ropes on the apron. Henry runs at him, but Rob pulls down the ropes and Henry tumbles over, giving Rob Van Dam the hard-fought victory!

Winner and #1 Contender to the United States Championship: Rob Van Dam

Post-match, Mark Henry climbs back in and gives props to R.V.D. “The Shield” now enters the arena, and Henry decides to back up Van Dam. They all face-off until some more back up makes his return .. The Big Show! He walks to the ring, much to the shock and awe of Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns, who decide to go back through the crowd, and leave Show, Henry, and R.V.D. standing tall (no “pun” intended!)

Up next, will C.M. Punk be able to physically take out his frustrations on Paul Heyman?


Match #9: Single – Paul Heyman VS. C.M. Punk

Prior to the bout, Paul Heyman cuts a promo. With chants of “E.C.W.”, Paul says that C.M. Punk’s “worshippers” are calling for their “hero.” Instead of blaming Punk, Heyman blames “every single member of the WWE Universe. C.M. Punk used to live for my respect. He used to live for my love, for my acceptance, for my adulation, for my affirmation. And now, C.M. Punk doesn’t live for my love, he lives for YOUR acceptance. What I take very personally is that YOU took C.M. Punk away from me. So tonight, tonight, tonight, I take your worship of your hero, C.M. Punk, away from you.”

Paul E. does confirm that yes, facing Punk is all a trap for “The Second-City Saint,” but he did not come up with it himself. He had a “co-conspirator,” his “best friend in the world,” BROCK LESNAR! Heyman gives “The Beast Incarnate” a present of a video package, showing Lesnar’s brawls with Punk, and his domination. Paul agrees with Lesnar that Punk did fall into the trap, and instead wants to change this match to a two-on-one, him and Lesnar VS. C.M. Punk.

However, Heyman does incite that “C.M. Punk has an option. C.M. Punk has a choice. C.M. Punk tonight doesn’t have to play ‘the hero.’ All he has to do is disappoint each and every one of you. All C.M. Punk has to do is turn around, tuck his tail between his miserable legs, walk out the back door, and live to fight another day. And that day will be this Sunday, when he fights BROCK LESNAR at SummerSlam.”

They wait on Punk’s decision, and after a few seconds, his music blares the speakers. However, he doesn’t walk out on stage, as he slides in from behind, and nails Lesnar with a camera! Heyman is jaw-dropped as Brock rolls out of the ring hurt. Punk drops the camera and runs with a suicide dive onto “The Beast.”

He takes a chair and begins to pound away on Brock’s back. Heyman is left in the ring, and “The Straight-Edge Superstar” eyes him. He gives chase as Heyman backs away to the stage, with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel running out. Punk dispatches of him quickly against the Raw set, delivering a Go To Sleep. Loud “C.M. Punk” chants ring out the arena, as Punk poses atop the steel and yells, “I AM ‘THE BEST IN THE WORLD'” to close the show.

End Of Raw.

Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp

This was a great Raw to set up SummerSlam! I absolutely LOVED Cena/Bryan’s promo (which is why I quoted John’s entire monologue.) and there was some pretty good wrestling as well! Onto the analysis:

Excellence: Some great wrestling chemistry between Orton and Sandow for the second match. These two have nice flow with each other, and Damien is getting much better at his ability to tell the story in the ring. Loved the promo by “The Shield” on their challengers for their respective championships. These are the types of dialogue and personality I want them to go back to. Unfortunately, Ambrose’s match being on the pre-show really killed the momentum he rebuilt the U.S. Tile with that speech. Brock Lesnar’s video promo was also beautiful, and really made his rivalry with C.M. Punk seem absolutely legitimate and that they really hate each other. Lesnar is great these days at being very serious and “real.”

Glad McMahon’s promo was short-and-sweet. Again, really tired of him being on T.V. every week again. He should be reserved for special times and just be a face, straight-down-the-line company boss. His heel time is long over and worn out. (That was a positive, by the way, on his time at Raw being short!) Triple H as the referee should be interesting. Really not sure what to make of it. Loving the interaction/feud between Bray Wyatt and Kane, especially with Kane going back to his demonic ways, and Wyatt sadistically welcoming whatever “The Big Red Machine” brings him! Nice little highlight package on Christian’s career, and I honestly hope he does win the World Title. Great match between “The Real Americans” and The Usos, and both teams I am very happy with. I hope they can do battle in the Tag-Team Title department very soon. That was a very good Battle Royal, longer than usual, and with some nice spots and drama to keep on suspense! Liking the return of Big Show too, and intriguing to see where he lies.

AMAZING segment/promo by Daniel Bryan and John Cena. Much like Lesnar/Punk, they made it feel authentic, and like they really have legitimate beef with each other. Awesome examples, and you could really tell that they were expressing from the heart. Here’s a promo that should stand time a while, and really be studied as to how to tell a story. (In my opinion). The only grievance – should’ve closed the show, especially with four (HHH, Orton, Cena, Bryan) facing off at the end.

Bogus: Hated how Raw started off, and the match with Daniel Bryan/Wade Barrett just seemed pointless. Was rushed into it way too quickly. What the heck was that Sharpshooter spot between A.J./Natalya? Botched-much? Also, A.J. and Big E. have a bigger match at SummerSlam, so why have them lose tonight. Kills their momentum? And why weren’t Kaitlyn and Dolph featured, instead of just being shown watching that match? Bad build. R-Truth/Fandango was just a waste of time, since they were both in the Battle Royal anyway. They should’ve been cut out. As much as I always love Paul Heyman’s promos, (another genius on the mike), the whole segment was way too predictable, and that should’ve been reversed with the Cena/Bryan/Orton/HHH segment. Theirs was much more suspenseful and would’ve been a much better closer.

All in all, an enjoyable Raw that really hyped up SummerSlam well and has me wondering who’s coming out on top! (Not watching the show.) So, with that, now comes the predictions:

Like my Dad told me last week, Bryan will win the WWE Championship, then Randy Orton will cash in and get major heel heat/turn for his win, leading to a feud there

Christian will win his “one more match” and the World Heavyweight Championship

Brock Lesnar/C.M. Punk will end in a brawl and potential no-decision. I can’t see them blowing this off in one night. Nonetheless, it will be the most physical (if not for Cena/Bryan) bout and potentially the best on the card.

Dolph/Kaitlyn should win over Divas Champ A.J. and Big E, then Dolph needs to move on back to the World Title.

Cody Rhodes/Sandow – I see an non-finish, and this hot rivalry continuing

“The Shield” will be added to defend the Tag-Team Titles at SummerSlam, and do it successfully against Big Show/Mark Henry

Bray Wyatt MUST win his first major Pay-Per-View singles match. Perhaps a rematch next month, or 3-on-1, but Wyatt HAS TO WIN over Kane! (very cool scenario, by the way, with the “Ring Of Fire.”)

Brie Bella will take the victory over Natalya, as they are hot (no “innuendo” intended) with this Total Divas Show

As always, until next week, when the landscape of WWE may be/should be changed, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!

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