All are sure to be “in the house” tonight as it is the last Raw before SummerSlam! Both stars of the main event, WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena and Brock Lesnar, are scheduled to face-off live. Who will get the advantage heading into their second showdown?
Following last week, will The Bella Twins gain some revenge and momentum on The Authority, specifically Stephanie McMahon, after being planted with Pedigrees? Also, who will confront who tonight between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. Furthermore, Kane handed over his mask again to McMahon; what does this mean for both “The Big Red Machine” and The Authority?
Dolph Ziggler has been building momentum leading to his Intercontinental Championship match with I.C. Champ, The Miz. Can Ziggler continue it tonight, and possibly win the coveted title on Sunday?
Plus, today is Hall Of Famer and Legend Hulk Hogan’s 61st Birthday! The man himself will be a part of Raw to celebrate, along with many surprises. Who is going to show up and wish “The Hulkster” a “Happy Birthday?” ***Cough, Sting, Cough!?***
Finally, as always, my picks for SummerSlam will follow the usual review. Now read on to find out all that goes down tonight in Portland, Oregon!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for August 11th, 2014 – “A Rap, A Poem, and A Birthday Celebration: All On The Way To SummerSlam!”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming and Arena Promo
Michael Cole welcomes us to Raw, where the camera shows an alignment of presents on the stage, all for Hulk Hogan. Next, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman walk out to the ring. Heyman has the microphone and scans the crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen …” Paul begins. He declares that on Sunday, he will be the “advocate” for the “reigning and defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion.” Heyman says that Brock asked him to “sell SummerSlam to the Cenation.”
Heyman threatens that “bad things happen to good people when you step into the ring with Brock Lesnar.” He goes to the Titantron, which displays still-footage of Lesnar defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX this year, ending the legendary wrestler’s Wrestlemania-winning streak. Paul E. also recaps Brock’s rookie year, back in 2002, when he … both The Rock and Hulk Hogan in that time frame. Heyman proclaims that after SummerSlam, no one will “see” John Cena (he mocked Cena’s trademark hand signal). Heyman cuts into an incredible rap, quoted verbatim below.
“He’s a fifteen-time champ, and he likes to have his fun. But not at your expense, so let us school you son. No we’re not from West Newbury, no we can’t ‘hip-hop’ like you. My client is the ‘conqueror,’ I’m just Brock’s advocating-Jew. You see, my name is Paul Heyman, and my client is ‘The Beast;’ and on the 17th of August, on your title he shall feast. You don’t like ‘Paul Heyman guys,’ you think their attitudes too smug; you gonna beat Brock’s ass ‘cus you the ‘Doctor of the Thugs.’ I mean you’ve beaten all the best, but now Lesnar’s on your plate. You say ‘your time is now,’ Brock says your calendar’s out of date. So here’s some free advice with SummerSlam drawing near; get it out your damn system when you say ‘the Champ is here.’ Because we’re six days away from the West Coast’s biggest arena, where my client Brock Lesnar will conquer John Cena!”
Heyman finishes by telling us that Brock has declared the WWE ring “his house.”
Later tonight, WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena will retort to Lesnar & Heyman, plus Hulk Hogan’s birthday celebration continues through the night.
Roman Reigns is shown taping up is wrist and will wrestle against a hand-picked opponent by The Authority!
Roman Reigns makes his entrance, then Kane’s music plays, but it won’t be him who Reigns is taking on. Instead, Kane walks out in “Corporate Kane” attire and is back as the Director of Operations for The Authority. He announces that Roman will face two men, Rybaxel.
Match #1: Two-On-One – Roman Reigns VS. Rybaxel (Rybaxel and Curtis Axel)
Reigns and Curtis begin with a test/feel-out. Reigns shoves off Axel, then locks up with him. He clamps on a side headlock, then a shoulder block off the ropes. Curtis tries to intimidate Reigns with words, but Roman just responds with another shove. He tags in Ryback, who engages in an elbow/collar tie-up with Reigns. They shove off each other, then Reigns flat-out clotheslines Ryback down. He hits another one out of the corner, but gets a little distracted by Curtis, allowing Ryback to headbutt him. Reigns controls again with punches in the corner after hitting Axel off the apron, but Ryback counters into a powerbomb.
Reigns and Ryback still going at it, with Reigns gaining momentum again. He boots Ryback to the floor, then slaps Curtis around. Ryback grabs him from behind and runs him into the steel ring post. Axel does the same, shoulder-first. They both do it, and get dq’ed.
Winner via Disqualification: Roman Reigns
Post-match, Rybaxel go to beat-on Reigns, but he comes back with a clothesline and Samoan Drop! He clotheslines Ryback over the ropes and gives Axel the running front-dropkick from the floor. He puts Ryback into the ring post, then signals for the Superman Punch. He nails Ryback with it, then Curtis. The fans are calling for the Spear, which Roman obliges to on both members of Rybaxel!
Rene Young is in the ring and asks him about his SummerSlam match with Randy Orton. He in turn questions the crowd on if he is ready, and they agree. “I’ve never stolen anything from Randy Orton, but this Sunday, at SummerSlam, I’m taking everything from him.”
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Corporate Kane is walking through the halls when “The Viper” Randy Orton walks up. Despite everyone else not being able to get the job done on Reigns, Orton proclaims that he will. Kane informs Randy that The Authority want to make sure he is good-to-go too, so he will take on United States Champion Sheamus. Orton walks away.
Later tonight, Stephanie McMahon will have a confession, and there is an interview by Michael Cole with Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho.
Up next, Rob Van Dam will go against Seth Rollins!
Match #2: Single – Rob Van Dam VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins
Van Dam takes control early, hitting a standing moonsault for two. He punches Rollins in the corner, but Seth gets out of it and stomps away. He clutches on a grounding chinlock, then hammers on Rob’s back. He whips him off the ropes, but R.V.D counters with a leg-scissors roll-up. He follows with a baseball slide, then front-suplexes Seth onto the barricade. From the apron, Van Dam leaps with a spinning leg-drop kick, but Seth moved!
Rollins now has R.V.D in another grounding chinlock, but Van Dam counters a corner-run with a boot-to-the-face. He follows up with a scoop-slam and the Rolling Thunder somersault splash for two! Van Dam backflips over Seth, but is pushed off a corner monkey-flip try, setting up for Rollins’ Curb Stomp and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins
Post-match, Seth I up on the stage and examines the presents for Hulk Hogan. He’s thinking that Dean Ambrose may be in the big standing-up box, and he’s correct! Ambrose bursts out of the gift and brawls with Rollins, sending him scurrying through the fans. Ambrose grabs a microphone and orders him to “run Seth, run while you still can!”
Next, Stephanie is out to “confess” to Brie Bella.
Segment #3: Arena Promo
Stephanie McMahon saunters out to the squared circle. She says it is her “mission to always do what’s best for the WWE Universe,” which means the wrestlers and fans. She then brings out Megan Miller (thank you Cole for the name recall), who is Daniel Bryan’s physical therapist. She gives her the microphone and wants her to make a confession. Megan puts over Bryan and the fans, but owns up to the fact that she is not able to be his physical therapist anymore because she has been having an extra-marital affair with him.
At this point, Brie Bella marches out and confronts Megan. McMahon intimidates her more, then Brie slaps Megan down. She goes after Stephanie, locking on the Yes Lock. Triple H, Fit Finlay, and Jamie Noble run out to help break it up. Stephanie then announces she wants to get it on and not wait for SummerSlam!
Match #3: Single – Cesaro VS. “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Cesaro goes to takedown Swagger by his legs, but Jack uses his strength to hold up. They continue to trade amateur-wrestling holds, then Swagger catches a leap-frogging Cesaro into a slam. Cesaro turns it around with a gutwrench suplex, then works over Swagger’s taped stomach area. He locks on an abdominal stretch, then gives him a rib-breaker. He hooks an armlock on, but Swagger runs him into the corner to break it.
Cesaro boots him out and drops him with a second-rope axe-handle smash. He goes for another, but Jack catches him and spins him with a belly-to-belly suplex! He gives Cesaro a clothesline, but is turned around and hung on the ropes with a front-suplex. Cesaro boots him to the barricade for a break.
Cesaro goes back to the abdominal stretch, pulling Swagger’s singlet down to expose his damaged ribs. Swagger manages to counter into a sidewalk slam! He hits a boot, then the Swaggerbomb splash out of the corner! 1 – 2 – Cesaro kicks out! (Thanks Cole for the description!) Jack punches in the corner, but Cesaro hits back with a chop, then soars off the middle rope with a mini-senton. He sets up Swagger on the apron, then goes for a suplex inside, but Jack reverses and clotheslines Cesaro into the ring. He whips him off the ropes, but is countered by a flapjack and knee by Cesaro. He then hits an uppercut and gets a near-fall! Cesaro continues to taunt Swagger, but Jack catches him in the Ankle Lock. Cesaro gets to the ropes, but is caught again off the top rope, with Swagger grasping him with the Patriot Lock, forcing Cesaro to give in!
Winner via Submission: “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Post-match, Colter has the microphone. He basically declares that Swagger will reign supreme over Rusev and Lana. As they ask the crowd for “We The People,” the Russian flag drops from the lighting rig, and Rusev and Lana walk out and wave it.
Up next, Michael Cole has an interview with Jericho and Wyatt!
Segment #4: Video Promo
Michael Cole is set to conduct an interview between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho, but Wyatt orders him to exit. Wyatt takes charge of this, questioning Jericho on his bad dreams, and wanting to please his father. Bray talks about himself now, saying that he has a “reoccurring nightmare.” All he wants to do is “help people who can’t help themselves.” Bray declares he is “not the least bit sorry” for all the people he has hurt since coming to WWE, and reveals he has no conscience. He says some inaudible stuff, then allows Jericho to respond. “Y2J” says he is not a “savior,” but is a “survivor,” after being the WWE for over 15 years. He tells Bray that he “will be the first man in WWE history to leave you speechless and shut you up.”
Divas Champion A.J. Lee makes her entrance and will be wrestling, next!
Match #4: Single – Divas Champion A.J. Lee VS. Eva Marie
(Note: Prior to the bout, footage from the August 1st airing of Smackdown is shown, where Paige pushed A.J. off the stage and “injured” her is shown. This will be in my “Bogus” section.) As A.J. works over Marie, Paige’s music plays and she skips around, distracting A.J., and allowing Eva to roll her up for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Eva Marie
Post-match, Paige apologizes to A.J. with a poem. “Roses are red, woodchips are beige. I’m sorry I pushed you right off this stage. It’s not like I hate you; I like you a bunch. But you just have that face that I want to punch. I’ll see you this Sunday; but this part is vital. I’ll be skipping my way out of SummerSlam with my Divas Title. Love ya.”
A.J. then goes after Eva, slamming her head against the announce table and running her into the ring apron. Lee pounds away with fists of furry, then chucks her into the barricade. A.J. collects her Divas Title and skips around.
Up next, WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena will be out!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena makes his entrance. Right off the bat, Cena mocks Paul Heyman’s signature voice and catchphrases. He recaps all that Heyman said, except for winning. “This Sunday, Brock Lesnar WILL NOT WIN!” Cena loudly proclaims that he is not going to lay down for Lesnar. He goes through all the calls the fans give him, both the positive (“Let’s go Cena”) and negative “You can’t wrestle.”), then inquires what fans wonder, and that is “when does John Cena UNLEASH HELL?!” Cena says that will be this Sunday. “You will see a John Cena I’m not proud of,” John says, so that he will keep his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cena debunks Brock’s statement about the ring being his house, saying that it really belongs to the fans.
He challenges Brock to come out and take him out of “his house.” There is no answer, so Cena eggs him on more. Still no response, so Cena warns Heyman and Lesnar. “This Sunday, I am the one who beats ‘the one!’”
Up next, Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon will go at it!
Brie Bella makes her way to the ring and awaits Stephanie. She walks out, but not in wrestling attire. Unfortunately for Brie, this will not take place tonight, as Megan Miller has decided to have Brie arrested for her earlier attack. The police come out and take Bella away in handcuffs, as Megan looks on while McMahon mocks her.
Match #5: Single – Heath Slater VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
(Note: Intercontinental Champion The Miz is on commentary.) Dolph and Heath trade waistlocks, and Slater punches Ziggler down. He whips him off the ropes and delivers an elbow, then clenches a side headlock on. Dolph gets out of it, hitting a dropkick and elbow drop. He covers and points to Miz, but Slater kicks out! Heath reverses and rolls up Ziggler for a near-fall! Slater kicks him down again and almost takes this!
He wars Dolph down with another grounding chinlock, but Ziggler counters into a jawbreaker. Dolph comes back, dropping Heath with the Zig-Zag. He can’t go for the immediate pin though, as Miz distracts him and they brawl. Dolph can’t make it back into the ring in time, giving Slater the victory!
Winner via Count-Out: Heath Slater
Post-match, Slater and Ziggler talk it out. They go to shake hands, but Slater goes to kick him. Dolph catches him and takes him down with another Zig-Zag!
Up next, Randy Orton will face United States Champion Sheamus!
It is announced that Intercontinental Champion The Miz will have Roman Reigns on his show, MizTV this week on Smackdown!
Match #6: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton VS. United States Champion “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Lockup and struggle between the two to begin. Orton whips Sheamus into the corner, but the U.S. Champ comes back with a hard clothesline. He punches in the corner, but Orton slides down and pulls him into the turnbuckle. he clotheslines Sheamus in the opposite corner, but is scoop-slammed out of it after. Sheamus rockets off the middle rope with a kneedrop and gets two! Sheamus rips at Randy’s nose as Sheamus begins to work him over. Orton gets his way out of the “10 Beats Of The Bowron (again, thanks Cole!) for a quick break.
Orton is in control, but Sheamus comes back with a clothesline that sends Randy to the floor. Orton counters with a backdrop onto the announce table, then rolls Sheamus back into the ring. Sheamus regains momentum with a knee-hit and slam, getting a near-fall! Orton works his way out of a fireman’s carry, then baits Sheamus to the floor. He kicks him, but Sheamus counters and rams Randy off the barricade. Orton quickly counters on the apron and goes for the slingshot-DDT, but Sheamus reverses and hits him with “10 Beats Of The Bowron.”
Orton gets out of the Irish Curse with elbows, then kicks Sheamus and gives him a backbreaker. Orton ties up the Irishman on the ropes and drops him with the slingshot-DDT! Sheamus gains momentum again, going for the Brogue Kick, but Orton counters. He runs but Sheamus boots him back. He turns up into the turnbuckle, and soars with the Battering Ram, but Orton impressively reverses into the R.K.O. and the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Viper” Randy Orton
The last segment of the night, coming up next, will be Hulk Hogan’s Birthday Celebration!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Most of the Roster is on the stage, as “Mean” Gene Okerlund and “The Mouth Of The South” Jimmy Hart are in the ring. “Mean” Gene brings out the birthday boy, who makes his usual entrance to the pleasure of the fans. Gene then shows a video of Hogan’s career (including footage from AWA and WCW), accompanied by legendary singer Bob Dylan’s song “Forever Young.”
Of course, Hogan has the microphone too and is totally amazed at the party planned for him. He cheaply plugs the WWE Network for $9.99 (yes, just like me, now!) and then puts over the celebration and his/WWE fans.
Next, Hall Of Famers a-plenty strut out! First is “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, then “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Following them are Hogan’s main two cohorts from WCW, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall! The former nWo members join the party, donned in their classic nWo t-shirts and walking out to the music. Scott takes a survey, and inquires if the fans like Hogan better in the red and yellow, or black and white. Cheers go for the nWo colors, so Hogan rips his t-shirt and reveals an nWo tank-top underneath. Nash then sings him “Happy Birthday,” but a certain couple interrupt to spoil the fun. Brock Lesnar’s music hits, and he and Heyman walk out with a smile on their faces. Heyman asks “whatcha gonna do?” as Lesnar tells Hogan “party’s over, Grandpa.”
Before he goes further, WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena runs out and faces off with Lesnar. Everyone stares at the stare-down, then Brock and Paul bail, as Cena glares at them to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was on okay Raw; down from the last few weeks in excitement and suspense, because it felt like they were just pushing through to get to SummerSlam. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Opening promo! Once again, Paul Heyman delivers on the stick and puts over both Brock Lesnar and his match as legit. He makes you believe that Lesnar is truly a bad-boy and only cares about dominance. His rap was stupendous and funny!
Seth Rollins thinking about Dean Ambrose being anywhere and wanting to attack him. This is great continuity/story-telling, showing that Rollins is getting a little scared of Dean and his unpredictability.
Very good matches between Cesaro and Swagger, Dolph/Heath, and Orton/Sheamus! Video conversation between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho. This is what I’ve wanted from them throughout this feud and felt it was missing; the verbal banter back-and-forth. Still loving A.J./Paige’s feud, and liked the verbal Paige cut on A.J. tonight.
Once again, when John Cena cuts promos like tonight’s, those are the ones I love because is exuberates his passion for this business, and makes you believe he is absolutely legit. He needs to cut many more promos this way.
The Hulk Hogan Birthday Bash was nice, (although Sting appearing would’ve been a truly cool surprise!) and really glad they finished off with Brock/Heyman/Cena, giving one more chance to put over the Pay-Per-View and the main event.
Also, so glad that Brock and Cena have not touched each other, to make us feel the suspense for when they tangle again.
Bogus: Thought that the opening two matches were really just “going through the motions” and nothing more than putting over Reigns and Rollin, respectively, strong for their SummerSlam bouts.
I wish they hadn’t gone the affair route between Bryan and his physical therapist. While they’ll probably spin it that she was paid to say it by The Authority after all. I just think they didn’t need to go here, as the feud was decently hot (no pun intended, looks-wise) already.
I was annoyed they didn’t play off A.J.’s potential “injury” and have her sit-out until SummerSlam. She just came back tonight like nothing happened and continued on her way with a match. It diminished the stage-throwing a lot.
It was odd to see Chris Jericho on the stage during Hogan’s Birthday Bash, since I thought the video between him and Wyatt meant they weren’t in the building. It kind of diminished that a little too. As well, Wyatt should’ve won at Battleground; it has more “umph” to it for Jericho chasing him than Wyatt.
SummerSlam Picks: Bray Wyatt over Chris Jericho; Paige to regain Divas Championship and setup a third bout with A.J.; Rollins wins by nefarious means over Ambrose; The Miz keeps his Intercontinental Championship, also by nefarious means; Bryan comes back and helps Brie win, proving the “affair” was a lie; Reigns wins in a close-one over Orton; Brock Lesnar becomes new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
In non-wrestling news, I would like to give my condolences to the Williams family and friends. Today (August 11th), world-renowned actor/comedian/personality Robin Williams shockingly died. Even though I didn’t ever know/meet him, or like all of his stuff (most of his movies/comedy was great), he was a truly talented man who did bring a lot of joy to those who needed it; whether it was through his movies, comedy acts, or charity. I honestly do not know if he was ever involved in the wrestling business in any way, but he would’ve been a great part of it somehow. I grew up watching him and will miss him. He was a major star and well-known throughout the world, so I believe the majority of people reading my Raw report knew of Robin Williams, which is why I chose to write a condolence piece on/for him/his family/friends. He will be greatly missed by many. May God give love and support to his family and friends at this tragic time.
Sincerely, Moe Tapp.