Another Monday, another RAW. Tonight the Big Show returns. Will he debut as a face or a heel? And how long will he last in said role? Follow along to find out.
Backstage Politics, LOL
After a recap of last week’s events, Brad Maddox was in the ring for the contract signing for the WWE Title Match at SummerSlam. John Cena came out. Maddox asked him why he chose Daniel Bryan. Cena said he chose Bryan because Maddox let him pick, and he listened to the WWE Universe, so the choice was very clear. Maddox said some people say he only chose Bryan because he knows he can beat him. Maddox then went on to say some people think Bryan is unstable and that he can’t hold relationships. Before Cena could respond, Daniel Bryan came out.
Bryan said it sounds like Maddox doesn’t think he deserves the match. Cena said he chose this match because some people are afraid to see god given talent and ability when it looks them right in their face. Cena said if size is all that matters, go give the WWE Title to the Great Khali. Cena listed names like Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero as guys who got to the top without size. Cena said he picked Bryan to compete in this match, and just because he is in it doesn’t mean he will hand Bryan the Championship. Cena said Bryan is the best competition in the WWE right now, but he will prove at Summerlam that even the best isn’t good enough.
Maddox interrupted Bryan before he could speak. Bryan yelled at him and said he’s waited his entire carer for this and he deserves it. Maddox said he is going to give Bryan the opportunity to prove his critics wrong with a match here tonight. Maddox said he meant matches. Maddox said does he think Bryan will prove it tonight? Maddox chanted NO.
Segment Analysis: Not a bad opening segment. Cena at least had a valid reason for picking Bryan. I don’t know if I like Maddox playing the role of “WWE Higher-Ups” in not believing in Bryan as a top talent. Bryan didn’t get too much in there. At least the Bellas aren’t involved, yet. Survey Says: 2.5/5
That Bruise Is Not PG
Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio. Sheamus started with a couple of shoulder tackles, but Del Rio kicked Sheamus right in his bruised thigh. Sheamus came back with a clothesline then a swinging neckbreaker. Del Rio surprised Sheamus with a kick to the face. Del Rio backed Sheamus into the corner but Sheamus caught Del Rio with a kick to the head then hit a suplex. Del Rio went right back to the injured leg of Sheamus. Del Rio tried applying the cross armbreaker in the ropes, but Sheamus punched Del Rio in the face, knocking him to the outside.
Back from break, Del Rio regained the upper hand on Sheamus. Del Rio landed some upper cuts, but he missed a kick and Sheamus landed a backdrop. They reset and both men exchanged punches and kicks. Sheamus started a comeback and hit some axe handles then a running high knee. Sheamus still struggled on his leg so Del Rio landed some more kicks to it then hit a back stabber. Del Rio went for his dropkick through the ropes, but Sheamus moved. Del Rio caught himself but Sheamus landed his rope punches, then the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus went to the top but Del Rio caught him with an enziguri kick to the head for two. Sheamus grabbed Del Rio and hit a rolling senton. Del Rio ducked a Brogue Kick and then hit a kick to the injured leg. Sheamus countered a cross armbreaker attempt and went for White Noise, but Sheamus leg gave out and Del Rio rolled him up to pick up the pinfall victory.
Match Analysis: Fun match that the WWE should do more often. Sheamus plays up the injured leg and looks good in defeat, and the heel Del Rio picks up a clean pinfall victory over a top babyface competitor. Both men look good as a result of it. Survey Says: 3/5
Booker T and Teddy Long were interviewed backstage. Both were upset about Vickie being named GM of Smackdown. Teddy said he was left in a bad spot when Booker left and he held the ship upright. Booker threatened to kick him out. Teddy said if he wasn’t going to be named GM, then maybe Vince made the right decision.
Milli, or Thousands Of Dollars
Titus O’Neil vs Christian. O’Neil took down Christian a couple of times, then caught Christian in mid-air and hit a backbreaker. O’Neil tossed Christian to the outside, then carried him back up the steps over his shoulder and tossed him back in the ring. O’Neil applied an abdominal stretch then hit some knees in the corner. Christian then surprised O’Neil with an uppercut and a missile dropkick. He hit his over the top rope upper cut and flying elbow off the top. Christian went for the Killswitch but O’Neil reversed it and pushed Christian into Darren Young. O’Neil hit a big boot for two. O’Neil tossed Christian over his shoulders but Christian landed on his feet, and then hit the Killswitch for the win.
Match Analysis: Short match, I thought O’Neil might win with the way they were pushing him as wanting to step out as a singles wrestler. But Christian picks up another win, and it seems to be they are setting him up for a World Title Match at SummerSlam. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Ryback was interviewed backstage. He said he likes intimidating people like Josh Matthews because he is small and average, not like him.
Mark Henry came out. He said he was a proud Texan and was proud of the effort he put into his Championship match against John Cena. But he isn’t proud of his beatdown from The Shield. He said his heart don’t pump kool aid, and if The Shield wants him, he is right here. The Shield came out and surrounded the ring. They started attacking Henry. The Usos came down to make the save. The Shield retreated. Looks like we have another match set for SummerSlam.
Backstage John Cena was worried for Daniel Bryan tonight. Bryan said he will do fine on his own, and this is his opportunity to prove he belongs here. And if Cena comes out at all, it will prove that all of Cena’s compliments were a load of crap.
Billions of Jobbers
Dolph Ziggler vs Darren Young. Ziggler started with a headlock which Young got out of with a knee. Ziggler stopped himself in the ropes then hit a dropkick on Young. Ziggler tossed Young into the ropes but Young caught him with a right hand then a backdrop onto the turnbuckle. Young hit a clothesline then applied a headlock. Ziggler got out with a jawbreaker then side-stepped a Young charge, who went shoulder first into the ring post. Ziggler then caught Young with a boot and mounted him in the corner for some punches, but Young put him on his shoulders and hit a faceplant for two. Young argued with the ref and then taunted Ziggler. Ziggler then surprised Young with a Zig Zag for the win.
After the match, Big E came out and attacked Ziggler. Ziggler fought back and ducked Big E, who went flying over the ropes. Big E ran back into the ring but Ziggler escaped under the ropes.
Match Analysis: Another short match. I liked Ziggler’s escape from Big E. Not much added to the feud there. Survey Says: 2/5
They played a clip from Total Divas. Jerry Lawler came in. Eva Marie said she didn’t like how Jerry Lawler was looking at her then slapped her. Then it ended. And the world rejoiced.
Backstage, Triple H asked Brad Maddox why he doesn’t believe Daniel Bryan will be Champion. HHH said he thinks Bryan will handle every challenge he faces. HHH said there are two trains, one going to the future and one that faces a dead end. Stephanie then set she had an idea.
A recap from the last two week’s of the Wyatt’s aired.
And The Crowd Goes Quiet…
Cody Rhodes vs Fandango. Cody caught Fandango with a dropkick then landed some chops in the corner. Cody then hit a neckbreaker and knee to the head. Fandango dropped Cody’s head on the ropes and gained the upper hand. Fandango hit a couple of elbows and locked in a headlock. Cody reversed it and started a comeback. Cody hit the Goldust upper cut then a moonsault off the top that Fandango had to run into. Fandango rolled to the outside. With the ref trying to get him back in the ring, Damien Sandow distracted Cody. Fandango tried taking Cody out, but Cody tossed him towards Sandow. Cody hit a Disaster Kick on Fandango for the win.
Match Analysis: Another short match. Surprised to see Fandango lose again. Cody doesn’t have the momentum that he had at Money in the Bank, and he doesn’t have the crowd reaction either. Hopefully that changes in the coming weeks. Survey Says: 2/5
Building A Big Match 101
CM Punk came out. He said last week, he got his ass handed to him by Brock Lesnar. Lesnar hit him with his best shot over and over.He knew he was dealing with a genetic freak, but no matter how hard Lesnar hit him, he got up. Punk said he’s still standing one week later. Brock can beat him down, but he can’t keep him down. Punk said Brock is a former NCAA, WWE, and UFC Champion. Over all the years and all the fights and matches, Lesnar’s biggest weapon has always been fear. Punk said he is not afraid of Brock Lesnar. He isn’t afraid of Paul Heyman’s monster. He said he will make sure Heyman regrets making the wrong decision every day of his miserable life. Punk said he won’t stop until Brock Lesnar disappears into the hype he came from. Punk said it was his ring, he owns it. Punk said there won’t be a third time of Heyman screwing him over. Punk said there was a reason monsters were put on earth, and that was to be slaughtered. He said he wants Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, the Best vs The Beast.
Heyman appeared via satellite. Punk asked if he was actually here because if he was he was going to give him the beating he deserved. Heyman said he was glad he could do the promo like this so he didn’t have to step foot in Texas. Heyman said Punk likes to play hero now. Heyman said show me a hero and I’ll show you a coward, or a fool too stupid to stay down. Heyman asked which he was. Punk said he would give his answer at SummerSlam. Heyman said Lesnar is in the best fighting shape of his life, while Punk is still beat up from Money in the Bank and the beating from Lesnar. Heyman accepted Punk’s challenge, but said the Best is the Beast. And that is his best friend in the world, Brock Lesnar.
Segment Analysis: Did you see that WWE locker room? That is EXACTLY how you build up a big time PPV match. Don’t belittle your opponent. Build them up as a threat and say you won’t back down from them at all. CM Punk and Paul Heyman are doing a great job of building up this match. Punk is doing a great job of building up that he won’t back down from Lesnar, while Heyman is doing a great job making it personal against Punk every chance he gets. Survey Says: 4/5
Two Guys Going In Different Directions
Wade Barrett vs Rob Van Dam. Barrett jumped RVD early but RVD came back with a spinning heel kick. Barrett regained the upper hand by dragging RVD down then landing some kicks and elbows. Barrett put RVD in the ropes then landed a knee to the face. RVD blocked a turnbuckle shot with a kick then another one off the top. RVD hit Rolling Thunder then a senton off the top for two. Barrett moved out of the way of RVD in the corner then hit a kick to the gut. RVD reversed Barrett and landed another kick to the face, then hit a Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
Match Analysis: If you read my piece this weekend, I said Barrett will never be a big player in the WWE. They are proving that now. And wasn’t RVD suppose to have a feud in place by now? Where is it? He just seems like a special attraction at this point. Survey Says: 2.5/5
30 Minutes of Wrestling? Who Books The WWE Nowadays?
Daniel Bryan’s first opponent is Jack Swagger. Zeb Colter cut a promo ripping the people of Austin, and said Bryan got a hand out from Cena like many people in America. Swagger caught Bryan with a knee. Swagger nailed a couple of shoulder tackles then worked Bryan over in the corner. Bryan ducked a clothesline and hit a dropkick. Swagger rolled to the outside and Bryan went for a dive, but Swagger caught him with a right hand. Swagger landed the Swagger Bomb and then yelled “We the People!” But Bryan caught Swagger and applied the Yes Lock. Swagger tapped out.
Bryan’s next opponent is Antonio Cesaro. Back from commercial Bryan landed a handful of kicks, but Cesaro threw Bryan hard into the turnbuckle. Bryan fought out of a headlock and landed a couple of leg sweep takedowns. Cesaro blocked a suplex attempt and landed one of his own. Bryan fought out of a headlock with some elbows then hit a flying clothesline. Bryan landed some chest kicks, but Cesaro ducked the head shot and applied a headlock. Bryan backed Cesaro into the corner then hit a dropkick for two. Bryan went to the top, but Zeb distracted the ref. Swagger pushed Bryan off the top and Cesaro hit an uppercut for two.
Back from commercial Cesaro landed a body stomp on Bryan, then a gut wrench suplex for two. Bryan tried fighting back but Cesaro hit a backdrop for two. Cesaro ran right into a Bryan boot then hit a German suplex for two. Bryan went for the top but Cesaro crotched him on the turnbuckle, then hit an uppercut. Cesaro went for a suplex but Bryan blocked it. Bryan escaped and Cesaro was now crotched on the turnbuckle. Cesaro ended up in the tree of woe position, and Bryan landed some kicks and a dropkick. Bryan went for a suplex off the turnbuckle but Cesaro countered mid-air and landed on Bryan. Both men exchanged uppercuts, until Cesaro got the upperhand and landed about a dozen or so uppercuts in a row then a clothesline for two. Bryan countered a Neutralizer attempt and both men exchanged uppercuts again. Bryan tossed Cesaro to the outside where Swagger was and hit a dive on both of them. Bryan jumped over Cesaro, who then tossed Bryan in the air. Bryan PERFECTLY rolled up Cesaro, then picked up the win.
Backstage Alex Riley said that Bryan was doing it. Brad Maddox said lets see how he handles this next one. After commercial, Ryback came out. Ryback connected on a clothesline. Ryback tossed Bryan via his beard. Ryback tossed Bryan into the corner and hit a suplex for two. Bryan caught Ryback and applied a half crab, but Ryback got to the ropes. Ryback came right back with a clothesline and splash. Ryback went for the Meathook clothesline but Bryan nailed him with a knee. Bryan then landed a couple of dropkicks in the corner but Ryback came right back with a clothesline. Ryback set up a table on the outside, but Bryan hit a suicide dive and Ryback went into the announce table. Bryan landed some more kicks but Ryback shoved Bryan into the steps. Bryan landed more kicks in the ring. Ryback caught him on one and went for a powerbomb, but Bryan rolled him up for two. Bryan went to the top and hit a missile dropkick for two. Bryan applied the Yes Lock, but Ryback was able to get to the ropes. Ryback rolled to the outside, but Ryback caught him and hit a powerbomb on the floor, even though he was clearly suppose to go through the table. Ryback then power bombed Bryan through the table, causing a DQ.
After the match, Cena made the save for Bryan. Cena challenged Ryback to a Tables Match next week. Backstage, Vince McMahon told Brad Maddox Bryan needed a challenge for next week too. Maddox made Bryan vs Kane for next week. The show ended with the crowd chanting YES and applauding Bryan.
Segment Analysis: Bryan vs Swagger really didn’t amount to much. Bryan vs Cesaro was great and I wish it would have went longer and just finished the show. Just a great display of wrestling from both men. Ryback nearly killed Bryan on that missed power bomb attempt. But a strong showing from Bryan throughout the night, and they did a decent job of building him up for SummerSlam. Survey Says: 3.5/5
I thought for the most part this was an average show overall that had two really good segments: The CM Punk/Paul Heyman promo and the Bryan/Cesaro match. Everything else was kind of just there. Del Rio/Sheamus wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have any backstory to it. Every other match on the show wasn’t that long. RVD still doesn’t have any feud to go with, and they are giving away RVD/Del Rio on Smackdown Friday. My guess is they are building up Christian for a World Title Match at this point. Paul Heyman and CM Punk once again delivered in their segment. Was disappointed to not see the Wyatt Family used at all. Overall, the show just seemed like a placeholder one. I’m giving it a 5.
Until Next Time,
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Tags: big show, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, john cena, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Raw, Summerslam, The Wyatt Family, WWE