Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Raw recap - 07/08/13

With Vickie Guerrero's performance evaluation, the debut of the Wyatt Family and this being the last Raw before Money in the Bank, I genuinely don't know what to expect. But I'm excited.

Opening the show for us tonight is Brickie, and in the ring with them is a ladder. Vickie talks about ladders, and the names associated with them - Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, and... Triple H. Okay. Not Edge? Or Christian? Anyway. Vickie says the ladder represents her climb in the WWE, and before she literally starts to climb the thing, she tells Brad, Charles Robinson and that if she falls she's holding all of them responsible. Oh Vickie you flawless bitch. Tbh I'm half expecting her to grab the briefcase and scream that she's going to win the Money in the Bank match on Sunday. But she doesn't. She instead about how it's hard for women to be successful in a male dominated industry, and how she did that and did it well. Darn tootin' you did gurl! And then Jerry Lawler interrupts her, microphone in hand - um, what? Who allowed you to speak?! Ever?! He tells Vickie that the McMahons are considering the WWE Universe's opinion, and on the WWE App we can vote whether Vickie has passed or failed. I voted pass, FYI. Fan sign of the night goes to the guy with the white sign to the right of Vickie.
Vickie announces that tonight, Mark Henry will have a face off with John Cena, and the MITB Allstars will compete - Christian vs Kane, RANDY ORTON VS CM PUNK (props to the crowd for the huge pop there, they obviously understand how fucking amazing this is) and Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan, the latter of which will be happening now.

Someone needs to take a razor to Daniel Bryan's entire head, it is out of control. Regardless, DBry is looking as excellent as ever tonight, and for once in my life I'm actually giving King props because he mentioned Dr. Shelby. Aww. Despite their vast size difference, Sheamus and Bryan are actually pretty evenly matched, with the match being quite back and forward. DBrizzle launches himself off the apron onto Sheamus on the outside, who catches Bryan and drops him head first on the barricade. It's a great match, really, and a smart match to have six days before MITB. Ladder matches usually favour high fliers and risk takers, which Sheamus is not particularly. However this match with the much smaller and athletic Daniel Bryan is making Sheamus in turn seem quicker and more agile. Sheamus gears up for the Brogue Kick, but Bryan dodges it and pulls down the top rope, sending Sheamus to the outside, where DB soon follows. Back in the ring, Bryan lands a top rope dropkick, gaining momentum. Sheamus fights back after some reversals, but DB fights out of White Noise. There's a weird moment on the top rope when DBry looks like Jesus.
 So many counters! It's a great match, but looks to be at an end when Sheamus reverses the No Lock into the Cloverleaf. Daniel Bryan, master of submissions, slips out of it and gets the roll up victory. Daniel Bryan is looking impressive as fuck. They shake hands after the match, which is nice.

Backstage now, AJ is telling Big E that he needs to keep his ear to the ground for some thundering hooves ("that's Kaitlyn"). Big E laughs it off, saying if AJ beat her once she can beat her again. The prodigal son has returned! An unimpressed Dolph Ziggler asks Big E to give him and AJ a moment, then asks AJ why she wasn't at ringside for his last two matches ("but I still won because I'm really good whatevs") and was instead selfishly running after Kaitlyn. AJ insists she wants them both to be champion after MITB. That seems to cheer him up. They kiss, and it's kinda sweet.

Tag team time. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns enter first, to a weirdly positive reaction. Like, you'd think they were faces. Their opponents tonight are Tons of Funk (jobbers entrance). I'm kinda disappointed that Dean Ambrose isn't at ringside dressed as a cheerleader like Naomi and Cameron. The Shield are looking as good as ever, even against two huge guys. With Rollins legal in the ring with Sweet T, Sweet T gets a very near pinfall. When he irish-whips Rollins against the ropes, Reigns tags himself in (which Sweet T doesn't see), Rollins launches himself on Brodus Clay on the outside and Reigns nails Sweet T with a spear for the 1-2-3.

Time for the Henry/Cena face off. Cena's out first. Henry's next out, and he comments that Cena looks scared like he did last week. It's true, but Cena immediately changes his expression, so now he's like I'm not scared. Pffft. What are you talking-- no please don't come any closer. Henry talks about how much he wants the championship and how he's a new man. Cena says if Henry loses on Sunday he will lose a whole bunch of respect. It's almost like he wants to lose? Henry says Cena cares, but Henry doesn't, but Cena is distracted because everyone's chanting "Cena sucks". Cena challenges Henry to a fight now, but in classic heel fashion Henry declines, then blindsides Cena with a clothesline. Cena tries to give Henry an AA, but Henry literally flattens Cena underneath him because he's so large and in charge. Then Cena gets a World's Strongest Slam for being such a puppet.

Backstage with Randy Orton, who's watching what just happened with a smile on his face until he's interrupted by poor little Josh Mathews. Joshy asks Orton what his thoughts are on his match tonight. Orton responds that he's never believed that CM Punk is the best in the world, and that when Orton wins at MITB he won't hesitate to cash in the contract at first opportunity.

The Miz is on commentary now, and while Chris Jericho makes his entrance I try to remember why Miz is relevant enough to be on commentary. It takes me longer than I'd like to admit to remember he has a program with Curtis Axel, who will be Jericho's opponent tonight. I will be referring to Paul Heyman as P.Hizzle for the remainder of this recap because he's wearing sunglasses tonight due to his black eye. I actually scream a little when Heyman hands the microphone to Axel. Please no. The match is mostly back and forward, with Axel reversing the Lionsault and hitting a spinning neckbreaker for a near fall. Jericho lands the Lionsault on second attempt, but Curtis Axel counters the Codebreaker and gets a very near fall with the Perfect Plex. Jericho gets Axel locked in the Walls, but Axel reaches the ropes. Axel gets knocked to ringside, coincidentally enough the side with the commentary table, causing a confrontation between him and Miz. Upon returning to the ring, Jericho hits the Codebreaker for the victory.

Former Backstreet Boy Josh Mathews obviously hasn't been paying attention lately, because he asks his guests at this time Team Rhodes Scholars if the MITB match will affect their friendship. Sandow responds absolutely not, because if he doesn't win the match he wants Cody too, and Cody feels the same. J.Mathews asks Cody if that's true, but Sandow cuts in that he just said it was. I sense tension! But before anything can happen, in comes Zeb Colter with Cesaro and Swagger in tow. Colter starts talking about literal money. Wade Barrett interrupts next, and after that everyone just starts bickering - until Fandango steps in, does a little wiggle and... "Don't say it" Cody warns him. Faaaannn... "Don't" Barrett repeats. Faaaannn... "Don't say it" Zeb chimes in. Faaaannnnndaaannnn- and then Barrett punches him in the face. They warned you!

Who's Sin Cara? Oh, right, the mood lighting guy. Well he's gonna be wrestling Alberto Del Fuckos tonight as I get my phone out to play Candy Crush because I'm already bored. Thankfully things liven up with Ziggler comes out, ridin' solo. The match continues as Ziggler "introduces" Del Rio, who is an overcompensating coward, who will lose at MITB. He mocks the way Ricardo says ADR's name, so ADR decides he's had enough and goes after Ziggler. I'm not really sure what's happening because the match is technically still going but also technically Sin Cara should be disqualified because Ziggler interfered but then Sin Cara launches himself outside the ring at ADR and then Ziggler's music plays? No bell has rung at this point so I think we'll just call it a no contest.

Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox are in the ring now, ready for Vickie's performance evaluation. Vickie looks scared as the McMahon clan make their way to the ring, because she obviously doesn't see Triple H mocking Vince's signature walk on the entrance ramp. Vince is wearing a pastel green blazer, pale blue shirt and pale blue and green striped tie. Vickie tries to plead her case, but no one looks convinced. Stephanie's had enough when Vickie sort of takes credit for Undertaker returning for Wrestlemania. Stephanie patronizingly asks if bringing back Brock Lesnar was a good idea, when he attacked Vince and Trips. Stephanie is one hell of a business woman and very intimidating, I would hate to be Triple H. Vince speaks up now, saying everyone believes Vickie is highly entertaining, and yeah she's made mistakes but who hasn't. Aww. But then Triple H chimes in, saying she's terrible at her job. Okay buddy you need to sit down. He comments on how the WWE Universe boo Vickie out of the building every week and that it's bad for business and it's not entertaining. K so let's fire John Cena too then. Vince steps in again, saying he disagrees with "certain short-sighted people" and thinks that Vickie should be made permanent GM. Triple H responds by saying pretty much that Vince only wants Vickie as GM because she strokes his ego and does whatever he says. Triple H puts the ball in Stephanie's court, and both men try to sway her to side with them. Stephanie diplomatically says they'll let the app decide. Apparently 75% have voted fail. Well isn't that convenient. Vickie throws a tantrum, and Stephanie channels both Triple H and Vince when she says "Vickie, I've got two words for you - you're fired". Vickie takes the news like a respectable adult by thrashing and screaming on the floor. Vince defends Vickie, before announcing like he's trying to punish the Universe for something that their new GM is Brad Maddox. I kinda forgot he was there. Brad looks like he just wet himself.
Vince puts his jacket around Vickie and helps her from the ring, and King rightly (for once) points out that "this could be really bad". Oh Brad. Vince wants entertainment, well entertainment was just delivered.

Vince is now backstage with Vickie promising he'll make it right. Brad approaches, apologizing to Vickie and thanking Vince. Vickie and Vince both stare at him and his extended hand like they want to kick him in the face. Vickie attacks Brad, and Vince doesn't do a thing to stop it. "You ruined my jacket" he says angrily as he walks off, leaving Vickie to cry by herself now. Well. That was something!

Kane's on his way to the ring now for his match against Christian. Christian finds it hard to build momentum early on, but he manages to take out Kane on the outside. After commercial break we're back in the ring, and Christian's momentum is again stopped by Kane, who lands a Chokeslam for the pinfall victory. Kane's victory celebration is interrupted by a Wyatt Family promo playing on the 'tron. I feel like Kane's about to get whacked, like I'm legitimately concerned. Bray Wyatt is sitting in a squeaky ass rocking chair in a very dark room.  He talks about people being sheep, war, and fear. "This is the end". He lights a lantern, and says "we're here" and I swear I'm about to wet myself. Back in the arena, which is completely dark now, except for the lantern emerging from the entrance way, the Wyatt Family music playing. The crowd is popping big time. THIS IS SO EXCITING.
When the lights come back on, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are in the ring with Kane, and start attacking him. Bray Wyatt watches from his rocking chair on the entrance ramp. Kane gets thrown into the steel steps, and then his head is smashed in between the two parts of the steps. Bray Wyatt approaches Kane, and kneeling in front of him, he laughs maniacally. Awesome.

Backstage now, Vickie is leaving with a box of her things. She stops when she encounters Ryback, who takes the box, puts it on the floor and gives Vickie a hug. He tells her she deserves better and that it's going to be okay. Weird that Ryback was the one to say it, but I'm glad someone did. Poor Vicks.

Unfortunately now the Bella Twins are on commentary (I don't know why). AJ, with Alicia Fox and Big E, gets a huge pop. So does Kaitlyn and Layla?! Speaking of awesome! I love hearing the Divas actually get a decent reaction. Kaitlyn goes after AJ before the match starts, but the referee holds her back. Layla and Alicia start off, but when Layla gets taken down AJ announces she's ready to come in now and gets herself tagged in. Before she can do anything, Kaitlyn comes in and attacks her, and Foxy and Layla separate them. Kaitlyn runs around the outside and nails AJ with a Spear, which is awesome but totally ruined by the fact that the Bella's wont shut the fuck up or even react to what's happening. Kaitlyn's music plays, even though again the match didn't finish. What are the refs doing tonight?

Backstage with CM Punk and Josh Mathews now, and before Josh can ask a question, Punk says Orton certainly doesn't lack confidence, and he can't just make up stuff about Punk not being the best in the world. He says holding the title for 434 days, beating Orton tonight and winning at MITB will make him the best in the world.

Main event time! Eeep! There's so much staring each other down I can't even. Punk's momentum early on is slowed by a drop kick from Orton. A reversal from Punk sees the match neutralised again, and the crowd can't seem to stop chanting "Let's go Randy/CM Punk". WHY DON'T THESE TWO WRESTLE EACH OTHER MORE OFTEN?! Punk sends Randal to the outside, and Punk flies head first between the ropes to take him down again. After a commercial break, Orton has Punk in a headlock back in the ring. During the break, Orton dropped Punk ribs first onto the barrier outside. Punk fights out of the hold, but Orton keeps him down with a T-Bone suplex followed by another headlock. Punk fights out again and nails Orton with a kick. There's a great moment when Orton Irish whips Punk against the ropes, goes for the scoop slam and actually follows through even though Punk held onto the ropes. Punk capitalises and lands a neckbreaker. Punk is slow after all Orton's offense, but lands his signature running knee and a flying elbow. Punk looks for the GTS, but Orton fights out and Punk gets hit with the hanging DDT. Orton goes for the RKO, but Punk counters, only to have his counter countered into a scoop slam. Punk goes for the GTS, Orton reverses into the RKO, but Punk reverses that and hits Randy with a kick in the face, allowing Punk to finally land the GTS for the pinfall victory. Out of nowhere, Daniel Bryan appears, attacking Punk and sending him out of the ring. Bryan gets a ladder from under the ring, takes out Orton with it, sets it up and climbs it to retrieve the briefcase.
It seems like WWE are really pushing Bryan hard at the moment as a hard working, top dog competitor, and it'll be interesting to see how he fares at MITB.

Quote of the night, as always goes to JBL: [While Vickie is slowly climbing the ladder] What an athlete.

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