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   July 25, 2014



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Raw: Three champs lose, a superstar walks off, and more
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Raw: Ryback made quite the impression by laying out both Mark Henry and John Cena last week. Perhaps we'll learn why he did it. And CM Punk makes his return to the show, eight days after failing to beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. What’s on his mind? Best tune in to find out, as Raw goes live from the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina on USA.

Match 1 – Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. Big Show

JBL seems kind of upset that Show is being forced to fight both of his former teammates, saying it's unfair. Yeah, a lot of people feel sorry for a guy who is seven feet tall and 400 pounds! Orton cheers Sheamus on, though the Great White has started slowly here. Make that very slowly as he has to scramble out of multiple pinning attempts. Show climbs the turnbuckles only to have Sheamus hoist him on his shoulders and drop him backwards. As Vader would say, impressive – most impressive. Orton finally gets tagged in, smacking Show with right hands and a dropkick. Randy DDTs Orton off the ropes and signals for the RKO. Big Show shrugs the first one off, but Sheamus' Brogue Kick ensures he's a sitting duck for the second attempt. Orton pins the big man, possibly ending this feud.

The members of 3MB inform Josh Mathews that they are headed to the ring to call out The Shield. Wait... what?

Apparently those guys are serious, because Heath Slater announces that The Shield can't steal their spotlight, and Drew McIntyre demands a hand-written apology. Gutsy, but maybe not so smart. Oh, and now maybe really not smart since it's Brock Lesnar who comes to the ring. Brock destroys 3MB both in and out of the ring, finishing with a flourish by dropping Slater on the barricade with an F-5. Actually, make that two. Paul Heyman tells Lesnar that's enough. Despite the loss at WrestleMania, Heyman says that Lesnar wants another fight with Triple H. As they see it, Lesnar and HHH are tied at one win apiece, and they're looking for a rubber match at Extreme Rules. Specifically, they issue a challenge for a Steel Cage Match. You know, when a No Holds Barred Match just won't cut it. We'll have to wait and see if The Game accepts.

Match 2 – Kofi Kingston (challenger) vs. Antonio Cesaro (champion) – United States Championship Match

From the “Time Flies” file comes the fact that Cesaro has held this strap since last year at SummerSlam. Geez. Kingston scores with an early Boom Drop and calls for the Trouble in Paradise. Cesaro evades it and connects with an uppercut for two. Commercial time. After the break, Kingston does hit the Trouble in Paradise, but it knocks Cesaro out of the ring where he can't be pinned. Kofi decides to try for a cross body off the top once Cesaro comes to, but he's caught and planted with a backbreaker. Back and forth we go with both men going for pins. Another Trouble in Paradise finally does the trick, and we've got ourselves a new U.S. champ.

In case you missed it, we get a replay of Dolph Ziggler (finally) cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Alberto Del Rio. To tell us all about it, Ziggler comes out with AJ and Big E Langston. He calls his win the greatest moment in the history of Raw, but he is confident he'll be able to top it because he's just that good. Ziggler is also enjoying the perks that come with the job, including fame, fortune and AJ. No one will ever be as good as him, and as he's about to go on, Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez make their way out. Alberto says he has a rematch clause, and he wants that match right now. Dolph scoffs at that idea, but Vickie Guerrero says it's happening as soon as a ref can get out there. Is it a good idea for Del Rio since his leg is still injured? Before they can begin, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter join this party as well. Swagger goes after Del Rio's bad leg, smashing it into the post and stomping on it on the floor before applying the Patriot Lock. Some referees finally arrive to drag Swagger away and check on Del Rio, but the damage has already been done.

Match 3 – The Primetime Players vs. Team Hell No

The big news here is that Daniel Bryan and Kane will team with The Undertaker next week in London to face The Shield. In the meantime, they make short work of the PTPers.

He talks! I'm talking about Ryback, who addresses the camera with his reasons for attacking Cena last week. Seems he's just upset about having to climb all the way back up the ladder after WrestleMania. Ryback admits that Cena helped him out early in his WWE career, but he also wonders why Cena didn't help him out when he was getting attacked non-stop by The Shield. Good point.

Match 4 – R-Truth vs. Wade Barrett

Barrett will have to defend his IC title against the winner of a battle royal on Main Event this week. And in a sign that he might be in for a challenge, he gets pinned by Truth after he counters with a DDT. Even Truth looks a bit surprised that he won.

Teddy Long visits Vickie and Brad Maddox backstage to report that he's arranged for Swagger to face Ziggler and even given the Real American some extra incentive. But it's still Maddox's job to go tell somebody.

Match 5 – The Great Khali and Santino Marella vs. Team Rhodes Scholars

The Scholars don't fare so well against Khali, so they goad the big man into tagging his partner and go to work on Santino. Damien Sandow drops the Elbow of Disdain on Marella for two, but Santino rallies and the Cobra makes an appearance. Hornswoggle tries using a Mini-Cobra on Rhodes on the outside, and in the ensuing chaos, Sandow is able to roll up Marella and steal the win.

After we get a look back at all the Fandangoing that has been going on over the past week, the man himself makes his way out. Jerry Lawler introduces Fandango and then moves his hips back to the announce table. Who wants to go Fandangoing tonight? Well you still need to pronounce his name correctly. It's quite obvious that no one in South Carolina can do that, so they can all go Fandango themselves.

Cena quickly tells Matt Striker that he plans on discussing his reaction to Ryback's promo to his face. Okay then.

Match 6 – Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler

I can't believe I actually forgot that Ziggler and Swagger were stablemates not that long ago. See? Time does fly. JBL puts over Swagger's collegiate wrestling accomplishments as he takes control before the commercial break. And that continues after the ads, with Swagger pinning the champ. Nothing like making the new champ look strong, right (#Sarcasm)? But as Swagger makes his way back up the rank, he gets ambushed by Del Rio and locked in the cross armbreaker. A taste of his own medicine, yes?

Sheamus is about to get interviewed, but Henry will have none of that. Because that's what he does!

CM Punk comes to the ring with Heyman to speak for the first time since his loss to The Undertaker. He says he couldn't enjoy the ride of his long title reign because he was always looking to the next challenge. Punk says he always wants more, and he asked rhetorically where he could go next after battling The Rock. The answer was to try upending The Streak, and he claims he pushed Undertaker to the limit. And... then he just kind of walks off. Interesting.

Poor Teddy Long gets chewed out by Booker T for meddling in the World Heavyweight title situation. Booker changes things up just a bit, declaring that Ziggler will defend against both Del Rio and Swagger in a Triple Threat Match.

Match 7 – Kaitlyn vs. Nikki Bella

Did you know that you can now tell the Bellas apart after one had some, um, work done? That doesn't stop them from pulling off some more Twin Magic to steal a win here. I guess it just takes more willing suspension of disbelief now. Wink, wink.

It's now appropriate so say the champ is here again, because Cena is in fact the champ. It feels like a 50-50 crowd for him tonight. Cena wants Ryback to come to the ring immediately and gets exactly that. Face to face with the hungry superstar, Cena points out that Ryback hypocritically attacked him with his back turned last week, and that his speech sounded like a list of excuses. The champ also accuses Ryback of missing the two most important parts to be a champion: one between the ears and one between the legs. Cena challenges Ryback to make a move and earn the championship. Ryback turns to walk away, but he halts when he hears the music of The Shield. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose make their way down at a slow pace, pausing just inside the barricade. The fans chant for Cena as everyone stares each other down. The Shield enters the ring to go after Cena, and Ryback just stands back and watches. Turnabout is apparently fair play as Cena goes for a triple power bomb ride, and The Shield stands over his prone body as Raw fades out.

Nick Tylwalk would never admit it in public, but he's been Fandangoing some over the past week. Oops, he did it again. Chastise him on Twitter, on Google+, or by email.