By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 45-minute Q&A audio show that was recorded earlier today. They will also be listening to my member exclusive WWE Raw audio review later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from North Charleston, S.C. at North Charleston Civic Center
[Q1] The recap video focussed on Mark Henry's retirement tease and attack on John Cena... Michael Cole introduced the show and said Raw was sold out. He was joined on commentary by Jerry Lawler and JBL. Daniel Bryan made his entrance as the announcers noted that Bryan beat Randy Orton by count out on Smackdown...
Bryan said that before they start his match, there are people who have accused him of having a complex. He said some people say that he is a walking example of the little man's syndrome. He said he's listened to people act surprised that he's a wrestler or joke that he was an extra in The Hobbit.
Bryan said people have called the weak link whether he was teaming with Kane or way back on NXT. He said those people are morons. He said his count out win over Orton on Smackdown wasn't good enough. He said he won't be satisfied with beating Orton unless he pins him or makes him tap out in the middle of the ring. Bryan asked if he would do that tonight, then led a Yes! chant that Orton's entrance music interrupted.
Orton said he came out to tell Bryan straight to his face to shut up and fight. They traded shots to start their match...
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton. They continued to trade shots and battled to ringside where they brawled until they were counted out. Several referees separated them. "These guys just don't like each other," JBL said...
Daniel Bryan fought Randy Orton to a count out at 1:15.
Powell's POV: One can only hope that this is going to lead to another match later in the show. The intensity was great and that should leave viewers wanting more.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan told Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox that he wants a match with Randy Orton a match with Maddox. Vickie told him he has his match with Orton. Bryan left and Vickie laughed at Maddox, who appeared terrified over the thought of facing Bryan.
Vince McMahon entered the picture and put his arm around Vickie. Vince said some people think Bryan isn't worthy of being a WWE Superstar due to his diminutive size and his psychological complexities. "Some people think that he's a downright embarrassment," Vince said. Vickie asked him what he thinks. Vince said he would let her figure that out...
Powell's POV: A good setup for the Bryan vs. Orton match, which tells me they plan on making this more than just another match with a cheap finish. Bryan could get his win or perhaps Orton goes full fledged heel. I also like the Vince hook at the end as it's another hook for the match. The funny thing is that it plays on the paranoia that Bryan fans have about his standing within the company. I think there was a time when most of us were wondering how he would fare in WWE due to his size, but at this point it's well established that he's a star.
[Q2] 2. Sheamus and Christian vs. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Cole announced that Sheamus would face Sandow in a Dublin Street Fight on Smackdown. Late in the match, Cody tagged into the match and shoved Sandow aside. Cody then walked into a Brogue Kick on Rhodes from Sheamus, who scored the pin...
Sheamus and Christian defeated Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes in 5:30.
The announcers hyped Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho in another rematch from Smackdown...
Powell's POV: A good high energy tag match that the live crowd enjoyed. Rhodes pushing a stumbling Sandow out of the way and then yelling, "Get out of the way" was an unexpected development. Meanwhile, Smackdown has the Raw Reound, and apparently Raw is Smackdown Rematch...
Backstage, C.M. Punk was texting on his phone when Vickie Guerrero approached him. Punk asked her if Paul Heyman or Brock Lesnar were in the building. She said she hadn't seen Heyman and didn't know if Lesnar would be there. Vickie told Punk he was in a match. She did the excuse me bit when he didn't reply. "Excuse me!" Punk yelled back. He told her to let him know if Heyman or Lesnar show up...
3. Kaitlyn (w/Layla) vs. Aksana. Cole spoke about how supportive Layla has been to Kaitlyn lately. Lawler asked if he remembered how manipulative Layla was when she teamed with Michelle McCool. Kaitlyn's music played and A.J. Lee walkedout wearing a wig and a muscle suit to mock Kaitlyn. Aksana took advantage momentarily, but Kaitlyn came right back with a spear for the win...
Kaitlyn defeated Aksana in 1:20.
[Q3] After the match, Lee introduced herself as Kaitlyn and spoke about her secret admirer. Big E Langston came out and gave her flowers and told her she is the one. Lee said she always wanted someone with a voice as deep as hers. Kaitlyn wanted to go after her, but Layla held her back...
The announcers set up a Wyatt Family video... Cole hyped footage from Mark Henry attacking John Cena last week... [C]
Powell's POV: The crowd was silent for everything other than the voice comment and a jab about Kaitlyn having a big Adam's apple. Kaitlyn looks bad for getting so worked up by a bad spoof. Then again, she also looks bad because she needs Layla around to keep her from crying and/or flipping out.
Highlights aired of the John Cena and Mark Henry angle from last week and included footage of Henry early in his career and in his weightlifting career. Cole said both men were in the building for Raw... Chris Jericho made his entrance for his match against Alberto Del Rio... [C] A "Don't Try This At Home" video aired...
[Q4] Ricardo Rodriguez walked onto the stage and introduced Alberto Del Rio and mocked the fans with a Southern accent... Cole said Dolph Ziggler has received medical clearance and will face Alberto Del Rio at Money in the Bank for the World Hvt. Championship...
4. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Chris Jericho in a non-title match. Cole recalled Ziggler costing Jericho the match that he and Del Rio had on Smackdown, and noted that Jericho performed a Codebreaker on Ziggler. Jericho was on the offensive until he missed a springboard over the second rope. Del Rio picked him up and threw him into the barricade heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Jericho caught Del Rio with a kick to the back of the head and then covered him for a two count. Del Rio came back with a kick of his own that knocked Jericho off the apron and down to the floor. Jericho just beat the ten count. Later, Del Rio took Jericho to the corner and sat him on the top rope. Jericho fought out and then performed a high cross body block for a good near fall at 11:05.
Jericho performed a suplex into a bridge for another good two count. Del Rio came back briefly, but Jericho dodged him in the corner, causing Del Rio to crash through the ropes and into the post. Jericho went for a Codebraker, but Del Rio caught him. Jericho flipped over the top of Del Rio and rolled him into position for the Walls of Jericho, but Del Rio avoided that and came back with a kick to the head for another good two count.
Del Rio went for the Cross Arm Breaker, but Jericho dodged that and performed a running bulldog. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Del Rio put his knees up and then caught Jericho in the Cross Arm Breaker.
[Q5] Jericho fought tapping out and eventually made it to the ropes and then pushed off the ropes and put Del Rio in the Walls of Jericho. Ricardo entered the ring and struck Jericho with the bucket. After the match, Ziggler hit the ring and performed a Zig Zag on Del Rio. Dolph and Jericho glared at one another. Jericho started to walk away, but Ziggler caught him with the Zig Zag too...
Chris Jericho defeated Alberto Del Rio by DQ in 14:15.
Powell's POV: A very entertaining match. I don't even hate the stupid bucket now that Del Rio and Ricardo are heels since it can be used as a weapon, whereas it just seemed ridiculous and out of place when they were babyfaces. WWE is advertising Del Rio vs. Ziggler, but it sure looks like there's a chance they will go with a Triple Threat including Jericho at Money in the Bank.
Backstage, Triple H interrupted Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox. Hunter said he heard a nasty rumor that they were thinking about canceling Daniel Bryan's match. Vickie cited the criticisms that Vince gave earlier without attributing them to him. Hunter said it doesn't matter what anyone backstage thinks, it's what the WWE Universe wants, and they want to see the match.
Hunter said he would like Vickie to over deliver by giving the WWE viewers the choice on the type of match they are going to have. Vickie said that was a wonderful idea. Hunter said he told them that they should listen to him and everything will be okay. He complimented Maddox's shirt and then asked him if it comes in men's sizes too...
Cole hyped the world premiere of the WWE2K14 video game for after the break... The latest 1-800-FELLA commercial aired. Sheamus kicked a tree to get an old lady's cat down. He had to run away from the horny woman at the end...
Powell's POV: My best guess on the 1-800-FELLA spot last week was that it was some type of series to promote SummerSlam. My new guess is that it's some type of ad campaign to make viewers see Sheamus as a comedy tool. Okay, so that's probably not what they have in mind, but I suspect that will be the end result.
Jerry Lawler stood in the ring with Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox for the WWE video game cover release. Lawler said there will be a contest that allows WWE fans to create a cover for the game. He said the winning submission will have the honor of having their cover put on the flip side of every game.
Tobias Fünke's POV: Design a cover that goes on the back? Why don't they just ask viewers to send in backside artwork?
Vickie did the "excuse me" routine and screeched about something that the live crowd booed over. She eventually showed off her cover, which featured Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. Maddox spoke and everyone got quiet. He showed off his own cover with his own image between the images of Punk and Cena.
[Q6] Lawler interrupted and introduced the real cover. A tapestry dropped above the ring and features The Rock going Lemmy from Motorhead on a mic. Cole ran down a bunch of stats about Rock's Hollywood success... A shot aired of Ryback walking backstage... [C]
5. Ryback vs. The Great Khali (w/Natalya, Hornswoggle). Khali won the early test of strength by backing Ryback into the corner and then chopping and kicking him (did you think he was going to hit an f'n moonsault?). Ryback came back with punches of his own, but then ran into Khali's big boot and a clothesline. Khali set up for the Plunge, but Ryback avoided it and then hoisted him up, marched around, and performed Shellshocked for the win...
Ryback defeated Great Khali in 2:20.
Powell's POV: Good news. Ryback still thinks he rules even though he lost the Three Stages of Hell match. I was surprised to see Khali get so much offense early, but the only thing people will remember is the power display at the end.
Cole hyped John Cena's first appearance since being blindsided by Mark Henry for after the break.... A Total Divas ad aired for the July 28 premiere on E! network... [C] A graphic boasted that Smackdown was nearly ten times more socially active than 20/20 on ABC...
Powell's POV: That's a really surprising stat to anyone who thought their parents and grandparents stayed in on Friday night to watch 20/20 and tweet about it.
[Q7] John Cena made his entrance and spoke about the "lively bunch we have here tonight." He spoke about the WWE Championship and said whether you held it for eight years like Bruno Sammartino or a single night like Rey Mysterio, it puts you in an elite category because you've earned the respect of their peers.
Cena said shortcuts do not equal respect. He said men have tried to buy it and steal it. He said he's seen people with his own eyes who cracked under the pressure while trying to chase the title. Cena said even Vince McMahon himself felt he needed to be WWE Champion to justify his existence to the fans.
"And last week we saw how low a man will sink to chase this," Cena said. "Last week, Mark Henry disgraced his family." He said Henry cheated the WWE Universe and felt his speech was an utter disaster to guys who stood in the ring and announced they could never "do this again." Cena mentioned Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair and said Henry made a mockery of all of them last week.
Cena said he understands why. He said Henry has been in WWE for 17 years and he may be the World's Strongest Man, but realizes his time is running out and he won't have a legacy in WWE unless he holds the WWE Championship. Cena said that's where he comes in because if Henry wants to hold the title he has to go through him.
"Allow me to introduce myself, John Cena, the WWE Champion," he said. Cena said the best part of the speech was when Henry handed him the belt and said it's something that has to be earned. He said everything else was a load of crap and now the only thing he earned is the right to have his teeth knocked down his throat.
Cena said Henry forgot to check his calendar and they are in the middle of whoop ass season. He said that in three weeks, Henry is going to find out what the world already knows - "our time is now and the champ is here"...
Powell's POV: A good straight forward and to the point promo from Cena. No clowning around. He's not showing fear of Henry, but I like the way he established the value of the title while labeling Henry's actions disgraceful.
A Rob Van Dam video aired. The live crowd was pretty mild for the video when they were shown after it played...
Brodus Clay, Tensai, Cameron, Naomi, and Scottie Campbell made their entrance for a No. 1 contenders match for the tag titles. Cole said Campbell won the right to make the entrance as part of the Hurricane Sandy Relief fundraiser. Cole said Campbell was a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives... [C]
6. Brodus Clay and Sweet T (w/Cameron, Naomi) vs. Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal vs. The Uso Brothers in a Triple Threat tag match to become No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship. The Uso's received a full entrance. 3MB? Not so much. Scottie Campbell disappeared from ringside.
[Q8] The Uso's made a blind tag and one of them ended up hitting a top rope splash on T for the win. After the match, The Shield's music played and they walked into the lower bowl of the arena and glared at the ring... [C]
The Uso's defeated Brodus Clay and Sweet T and Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal in a Triple Threat to become No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Powell's POV: Well, the Uso's were excited about their win. No one else seemed to be, but they were rolling around the ring like they just won Motherboy.
The Call video with Halle Berry, David Otunga, and Kane from way back when was replayed... Paul Heyman was shown walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: Hey, whatever happened to David O... Eh, never mind.
Paul Heyman walked to the ring and said admitted that he ignored C.M. Punk's calls, texts, and emails. Paul Heyman would never!!! Er, um, anyway, Heyman said they live so much of their lives in public and he figured the only way to do this was face to face in front of the fans. Heyman called for Punk to come out and get the answers he is looking for.
Punk came out to a big pop. "You want to do this in public," Punk said. "You want to air dirty laundry in public for their entertainment?" Punk said he should recap why he has questions, starting with why despite Heyman's lousy reputation in the business and as a human being he is still a Paul Heyman Guy.
Punk noted that he created a little bit of a buzz for himself in 2005. He recalled that "goof" John Laurinaitis being in charge of WWE talent relations, while Heyman was in charge of WWE developmental. Punk said he was set up to fail. He said Punk received weekly notes from people who said Punk was no good and wasn't what WWE looked for.
[Q9] Punk said that no matter how many times Heyman was told to fire Punk, Heyman refused to pull the trigger and fire him. "He saw something in me and he had my back," Punk said. He said he was Heyman's first draft pick when they reformed ECW. Punk said he doesn't mean to bore anyone with their dirty laundry.
Punk turned back to Heyman and told him to tell Brock Lesnar that he's coming for him. "I don't care that he's bigger than me, I don't care that he's stronger than me, because he's not better than me," Punk said. "You know what I'm going to say next. I'm the best wrestler on the planet. And you know it better than anybody and I'm going to say it straight to your face because Brock doesn't have the balls to be here today." Punk said there's no one more relentless or dangerous than he is and he will do whatever it takes to bring Heyman's beast incarnate down.
Punk asked Heyman whether Lesnar attacked him on his own or whether Heyman put him up to it. Punk told Heyman to tell the truth for the first time in his life. Punk said he wants the truth and told Heyman to make him to the exception of the rule by telling the truth. Punk got worked up and told Heyman to swear on his children and tell the truth for the first time in his life.
Heyman hung his head and then looked to the sky. A "tell the truth" chant started amongst some fans. "I never wanted it to be this way between us," Heyman said. "And since you demand the truth and because you would be able to see through me and because as my best friend and until something happens you are my best friend, you deserve the truth and I will tell you the truth straight to your face.
"On my children, I did not know that Brock Lesnar would be here last week." The fans booed. "And that's the very same response that I used to get from Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon and John Laurinaitis," he said. Heyman said the moment Punk said Lesnar needed Heyman's help, he picked a fight. "You didn't pick a fight with me, you picked a fight with Brock Lesnar," he said.
Heyman said the professional jealousy between Punk and Lesnar ran deep for a long, long time. Heyman said that's the reason he never pitched the idea of a Lesnar and Punk tag team or why they were never seen in the same ring at the same time. "I kept the two of you apart," he said. "And why? Because of the professional jealousy between you."
Heyman said all of the things Punk said about him are true and he has never denied that. Heyman said he's not stupid but he will walk down the aisle with Punk one day when he's challenging for the WWE Champion and main eventing WrestleMania. Heyman said that's his dream. Heyman once again said he loves Punk and said he wouldn't kill his dream because Punk wants some space.
Heyman said he would never represent anyone against Punk, including Lesnar. Heyman once again recalled not listening when people told him to get rid of Punk. Heyman said now the people are telling Punk to get rid of him. He said his fate is in Punk's hands and now it's Punk's move.
Punk and Heyman looked one another in the eye. Heyman shook his head and turned away. Lawler babbled about Heyman lying and questioned him saying that he loves Punk. JBL said he thought Heyman was about to Go To Sleep courtesy of Punk. "I'm sorry I doubted you," Punk told Heyman before giving him a big hug. The fans booed. Punk's music played as the embrace continued...
The Prime Time Players made their entrance. Cole said Punk would face Darren Young after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: A very strong segment. The live crowd wasn't into the early background portion of the story, but it felt very necessary considering the story they were telling. I like that it's not just open and shut and they are stretching this out. The hug was booed, but it leaves viewers anxiously hoping that Punk will see through Heyman and get his hands on him. It should be a big moment when Punk finally executes the GTS on Heyman.
[Q10] 7. C.M. Punk vs. Darren Young (w/Titus O'Neil). The crowd was quiet early on. Young performed an impressive "great throw" as the announcers called it. Punk started to comeback, but he missed a splash in the corner. At 5:10, Punk came back with a springboard clothesline for a two count. He came up limping a bit and Cole reminded viewers of the knee injury he suffered at WrestleMania.
Punk went for the GTS, but Young avoided it and dropped Punk onto his knees for a good two count. Punk came back moments later with a kick and then locked in the Anaconda Vice for the win.
C.M. Punk defeated Darren Young in 6:15.
After the match, Titus entered the ring and the Players got the better of Punk. Curtis Axel's music played and he came out to help Punk. Axel and Punk cleared the Players from the ring. Heyman entered the ring and said they would talk about it. Heyman told Punk there was no other way, then told Axel that he did the right thing...
Powell's POV: A cool twist that I didn't see coming. The live crowd seems a little thrown by everything, but I hope creative doesn't opt to dumb this down because it's very entertaining and it's not like it's designed to get an immediate reaction. I was surprised to see Young get so much offense before Punk came back and went over strong at the end.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero left a message with Maddox saying she wanted her coffee. Stephanie McMahon entered the room and said she noticed that Vickie hasn't announced the participants for the Money in the Bank ladder match. Vickie said it's been a crazy night. Steph said would do it...
Lawler announced the voting options for the Orton vs. Bryan match as lumberjack match, street fight, and falls count anywhere... [C] The Bella Twins walked to ringside and handed out copies of the WWE Magazine...
Stephanie McMahon was introduced and she walked onto the stage. She hyped the Money in the Bank ladder match and what was at stake.
[Q11] Steph said that since Vickie was too busy, she would introduce the ladder match participants - C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane, and Rob Van Dam...
Powell's POV: Steph spoke as if there's only one Money in the Bank match. We'll see if that changes. Either way, that's a really loaded lineup for one match.
Backstage, Ryback complained to Vickie and Maddox about not being in the Money in the Bank match. Chris Jericho showed up and did the same. They ended up going face to face. Maddox tried to intervene and then chickened out. Vickie yelled excuse me again. She booked them in a singles match against one another at Money in the Bank...
A shot aired of Mark Henry walking backstage... [C] Backstage, C.M. Punk told Heyman that he doesn't need his help and questioned how he could be any clearer. Heyman asked if two guys jumped him on the street, would it be business if Punk got involved. Punk said he doesn't need Axel to get involved. Heyman announced that he cleared it with Vickie so that next week it would be The Prime Time Players vs. Punk and Axel. Punk wasn't happy, but he said he would take the match...
Powell's POV: I went back and watched Steph's wording for the MITB match. Even though there was no mention of a second MITB match, she did refer to the one she announced as the WWE Championship MITB match. In other words, there may still be a World Heavyweight Championship MITB match.
The announcers plugged the poll again...
Mark Henry headed to the ring, smiled, and boasted that he fooled everyone. Henry said he saw the fans cry. "And because of my spectacular performance, I've been nominated for an Academy Award," he said. He claimed famous directors have reached out to him. He committed an f'n sin by mentioning Tyler Perry in the same breath as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg in the same sentence.
Henry said he has people upset because he used them. He said he won't apologize to any of them. He said people told him he was a big kid and shouldn't hurt the little children. "Please," he said. He recalled being told to work hard and win the Olympic gold for the United States. "Please," he said.
Henry said the fans are puppets who does what he asks them to do. He mentioned saying that he was coming home last week. "I'm coming home all right," Henry said. "I know I look good, this ain't no Men's Wearhouse. I'm coming home. I'm coming home WWE Champion"...
Powell's POV: A decent followup from last week, but nothing particularly memorable. He got a little flustered by the live crowd giving him the tired What? chants.
[Q12] The announcers spoke at ringside about Henry's promo... The newest Wyatt Family video aired. "They say we're coming but no, we've been here all along." Bray Wyatt said. "Follow the brothers"... Lawler hyped the fan vote again... [C] Lawler read the results of the vote. 50 percent voted street fight, 28 percent voted falls count anywhere, and 22 percent voted for lumberjack match...
8. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton in a Street Fight. Bryan went for a suicide dive at 1:35, but Orton held up a chair that Bryan ran into heading into the break. [C] The brawl continued with a chair and a table lying in the ring. Bryan went on an offensive flurry that was cut off when he charged toward Orton, who once again caught him with a chair.
[Overrun] Bryan ended up going on the offensive and tried to knock Orton off the apron and through a table at ringside, but Orton held onto the top rope. Bryan slid between Orton's legs to the floor and then reached up and powerbombed Orton through the table. Later, Orton caught Bryan with a big suplex through another table that was set up in the corner of the ring. Bryan held his shoulder, and Orton held his elbow after the move.
Later, Orton set up Bryan on the top rope and set up for a superplex. Bryan threw punches to Orton's side and eventually knocked him off the ropes. Bryan followed up with an apparent huracanrana attempt, but Orton caught him and powerbombed him on the way down for a two count.
Bryan applied the No! Lock. Orton reached over and grabbed a kendo stick that was left in the ring from an earlier spot and used it as a weapon to break the hold. Orton continued to slam the stick onto Bryan until he rolled under the bottom rope. Orton performed the hanging DDT on Bryan.
Orton struck the Viper's Pose and went for the RKO, but Bryan countered with a backslide for a two count. Bryan grabbed the kendo stick and struck Orton with it a few times. Bryan applied the No! Lock again. Orton grabbed the kendrock stick again, but this time Bryan grabbed it from him and used it to wrench back on Orton's face with it. Orton tapped out, giving Bryan the win...
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton in a Street Fight in 15:40.
After the match, Bryan celebrated and led the crowd in Yes! chants. Orton got back to his feet and approached Bryan. As a small "You tapped out" chant started, Orton got face to face with Bryan and shook his hands. The announcers praised him for being a class act. Once Orton left the ring, Bryan went back to celebrating with Yes chants...
Powell's POV: A very good brawl with a definitive finish that was set up nicely by the opening segment. This live crowd liked Bryan, yet we've also seen live crowd that enjoyed his act a lot more. It didn't feel like a huge Raw moment when Bryan won. Part of the blame goes to the way this was set up. They had the big angle at the beginning of the show, but then it was forgotten about until the end of the night aside from the usual plugs from the announcers. WWE has to do more than that with their main event matches. They have more than enough time to work in some backstage segments to keep these main events fresh in the minds of viewers.
Overall, this was a good show. The live crowd appeared to be a bit burned out on some of the longer talking segments, which probably worked more for the television audience. It felt somewhat newsworthy with the Money in the Bank match announcements. I will have more to say in Dot Net Member Exclusive Audio later tonight, and in the WWE Raw Hit List on Tuesday. Thanks for watching along with me.
6/24 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, C.M. Punk, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman followup, John Cena's first comments since being attacked by Mark Henry
Jun 24, 2013 - 07:00 PM
Jun 24, 2013 - 07:00 PM
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