July 9, 2013
Raw: Wyatts in, Vickie out
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Raw: They told us they were coming. Now the Wyatt Family is actually here in Baltimore. It’s time to go live on USA as someone with a lot at stake is waiting to kick off the show.
Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox welcome everyone to the show. The Managing Supervisor says she has been diligently working on this Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, and the ladder in the ring holds a special place in her heart because it reminds her of how she's had to climb her way to the top. She extends the analogy by ascending to the top step, where she toots her own horn about the job she's done running Raw. Jerry Lawler interjects, saying that the McMahon family is going to be taking the opinions of the WWE Universe into account for her job evaluation tonight. Undeterred, Guerrero runs down her plans for tonight, including a showdown between John Cena and Mark Henry, plus some matches: Christian-Kane, Randy Orton-CM Punk and Sheamus-Daniel Bryan. And that last one is starting right... about... now!
Match 1 – Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Bryan has to deal with some early offense from Sheamus, and just when it appears he has the upper hand by dumping Sheamus out to the floor, he bounces off the retaining wall and both men are down. Perfect time for a commercial break, no? They're back in the ring after the ads, with Sheamus rolling again. He literally rolls with a senton slam, but he misses the Brogue Kick, and Bryan nails him with a suicide dive between the ropes. Daniel feeds off the crowd while peppering Sheamus with kicks, but the Great White recovers to land his clubbing apron shots and a clothesline. Bryan escapes a White Noise attempt and gets a near fall with a big kick to the head. He tries the diving headbutt but misses and has to kick out at two. Bryan almost rolls Sheamus up for a pin, and the two grapplers trade submission holds on the mat. Bryan maneuvers out of a cloverleaf into a pinning position, and he holds on long enough to get the three count.
Big E Langston gives AJ a pep talk since she seems pretty nervous about Kaitlyn. Dolph Ziggler wants to make sure his girlfriend's priorities are correct, meaning that they are focused on walking out of Sunday's PPV with both of them holding titles. Following that, a video takes us through all things Mark Henry. Yay!
Match 2 – The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Tons Of Funk
Tensai – excuse me, Sweet T – is really loud. You can clearly hear him yelling encouragement to Brodus Clay while the action is going on. He also has a nice moment once he tags in, hitting Rollins with a rolling senton in the corner. Sweet T gets a near fall shortly after that, but he ends up getting speared and pinned by Reigns after Rollins flies to the outside to neutralize Brodus. Thanks for playing guys.
If the Wyatts are coming to Raw tonight, why did WWE.com send a reporter looking for them? Sigh... #WrestlingLogic
Cena hits the ring to revel in the fired up crowd and look for Henry. The World's Strongest Man answers the implied challenge, slowly making his way down the ramp. Henry thinks Cena is scared, calling him a puppet just like all of the people in the live audience. He goes on to say that winning the WWE Championship will validate his career and that he'd even sell out his own mama to do so. Cena says Henry better win, because he's already tossed away the respect he earned over his 17-year career. The argument threatens to turn physical, but even though Henry says he'll cross lines that Cena won't, he isn't going to be baited into fighting Cena for free. Henry turns to leave before laying Cena out with a clothesline, and Cena's attempt to fight back is (semi-literally) squashed. A World's Strongest Slam leaves Cena flat on his back, and Henry poses over him holding the belt.
Josh Mathews wants Orton's thoughts on facing Punk, and Randy simply says he doubts that CM actually is the “Best in the World.” Orton also is already looking forward to cashing in the briefcase on a vulnerable Cena, putting the cart firmly before the horses.
Match 3 – Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel
The Miz joins the commentary team to keep a close eye on this one. Paul Heyman is sporting sunglasses thanks to the black eye Alberto Del Rio gave him on Smackdown. Hey, Axel talks on his own! It doesn't help him prevent Jericho from getting off to a fast start both in and out of the ring. Axel finally gets his legs under him just before the inevitable commercial break. Jericho gets one near fall but also gets knees to the chest while trying a Lionsault, and Axel gets a two count via a swinging neckbreaker. The next Lionsault connects, but Axel kicks out. Axel cancels out a Codebreaker and hits the Perfect Plex, but Jericho manages to kick out. The Walls of Jericho are (partially) applied, though Axel is able to crawl to the ropes. He ends up on the floor right in front of a smirking Miz. Heyman yells at his charge to get back in the ring, but he walks right into a Codebreaker. The ref makes the three count, handing Axel his first loss under Heyman's direction.
Mathews hustles to get some interview time with Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, but the party is crashed by Zeb Colter, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett and Fandango. A Barrett right hand stops the dancing superstar from doing his big intro. Meanwhile, the WWE.com reporter has found the Wyatts. But is that good or bad? #Obey
Match 4 – Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
Sin Cara is starting to drift into “I forgot he was on the roster” territory. At least he still gets the cool lighting for his matches. Ziggler comes out to the stage to taunt Del Rio a bit, mocking his ring introduction. Eventually the match is thrown out, or something.
Accompanied by Maddox, Guerrero awaits her performance appraisal in the ring. She's looking pretty nervous as Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H walk down together. Vickie tries making a final plea on her own behalf, nearly getting drowned out by a chorus of boos. Oh, and the fan voting is supposedly going to play a part in this too. Guerrero tries taking credit for the return of The Rock and The Undertaker, to which Steph points out that she actualy signed the man who took out both Vince and HHH, Brock Lesnar. As it turns out, Vince thinks bringing Lesnar back was a stroke of genius, and though she made a few bonehead decisions, they were done in the name of entertainment. Triple H cuts to the chase, calling Guerrero rotten at her job. Vince comes to her defense, saying she should be named permanent General Manager. Trips questions “Dad” on his motivation for wanting Vickie to remain in her position and proposes having Stephanie break the tie. Looks like it's coming down to entertainment versus business, so Stephanie declares that she will let the exclusive WWE app voting decide. By a 75 to 25 percent margin, the fans have voted that Vickie has failed. Guerrero goes berzerk, shrieking as she's never shrieked before. That only prolongs the inevitable as Stephanie borrows her father's famous words: “You're fired!” The fans sing and chant as Vickie throws a bit of a tantrum. McMahon asks the people if they are happy breaking Vickie's heart and telling the fans that they've all failed. Vince names Maddox the new GM, a move that surprises even Brad, before consoling Vickie on her way back up the ramp.
Backstage, Vince promises Vickie he'll make it right somehow. Maddox rubs some salt in the wound by telling Mr. McMahon he won't regret the decision, but Guerrero goes nuts and attacks her successor.
Match 5 – Kane vs. Christian
It's hard getting motivated to write too much when you know commercials are coming. Anyway, Kane wins this one pretty quickly after the break. Have to get to more Wyatt Family stuff, you know?
That reporter got his interview, and it's a creepy one. And the long-awaited (by some) first appearance of the Wyatt Family is on. They get a suitably atmospheric ring entrance with the lights off, and two of the Wyatts beat up on Kane, who was still in the ring for some reason. A shot from the steel steps to the face finishes off the Big Red Machine, and the Wyatt boys pose over his body.
Guerrero makes the long, sad walk out of the building with her box full of stuff. For some reason, Ryback gives her a hug and tells her she deserved better.
Match 6 – AJ Lee and Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn and Layla
The Bella Twins are on hand to add something to the commentary, even if it isn't clear exactly what that might be. The ref loses control of this one early on, and I think the match gets thrown out as Kaitlyn spears AJ on the outside. Nope, it’s a DQ win for the heels. Sorry about that.
Backstage, Punk touts his accomplishments as a counter to Orton's opinion that he isn't the best in the world. Stop it CM. That makes too much sense for wrestling.
Main Event – Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Here we go. Punk backs Orton into a corner as they lock up, and it looks like Randy didn't like that too much. Dueling chants break out, though Punk's is just a bit louder. An Orton dropkick forces Punk into an early kick out. Randy stomps on his foe and drops some knees across his face. A jumping knee drop misses, and Punk hits a suplex and floats over for a near fall. Orton tries for his signature DDT, but Punk flips him to the outside and follows with a suicide dive. Go to the app (that means it's commercial time)! Orton hits a t-bone suplex for another near fall before slowing the pace with a headlock. Punk battles to his feet but runs into a series of clotheslines. He bounces back to score several of his own two counts, then sizes up Orton in the corner. Punk smacks Orton with a jumping knee, and he pauses to look at the briefcase before hitting and elbow off the top rope. Orton is lifted up for the Go To Sleep, but he escapes to score with his rope-aided DDT. Randy's RKO attempt is thwarted, but he does hit a power slam for another two. Punk wears a pained expression as Orton delivers shots in the corner, and the two men exchange counters until a GTS finds the mark. The cover is made and Punk earns the pinfall, but there's no time to celebrate as Bryan ambushes Punk right after the bell. Bryan hauls out a big ladder and climbs up to get the Money in the Bank briefcase, earning at least at symbolic victory to close out the show. See you in seven!