McGinn’s Raw Recap – 8/4/14

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The Authority stood united and had much to say about SummerSlam this week (Courtesy: WWE.com)

Hey look at that! It’s Monday again! Monday is the new Friday when Raw ends your night. I feel as though I’m carrying the weight of your week on my pale, in need of a good beach day, shoulders. A lousy Raw could spoil a good week and a tepid recap leads to hateful tweets. I’m up for the challenge though even if my new dog Basil feels the need to take up my already crowded lap space while I type this. If he keeps acting up, I may force him to write about the Brie/Stephanie war to end all wars. But enough about that. Time to sit back, grab some extra Scooby Snacks and let’s head down to ringside!

Monday Night Raw
August 4, 2014
Austin, TX

Your announcers tonight are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler.

Montage of last week when Randy Orton (with the help of Kane) brutalized Roman Reigns in an effort to extinguish the flame of the hottest guy on the roster. Don’t steal from The Apex Predator kiddos! Now out comes The Authority in all their glory. This could be the first time ever that all of them are coming out together to ringside though I’m sure one of our loyalists will correct me on that point. HHH starts out with a shameless WWE Network plug then pats himself on the back by saying this could be the biggest SummerSlam card in history. He recaps the matches already signed while repeating the $9.99 price point for the monthly network subscription. He then announces that that Rollins and Ambrose will have a Beat the Clock challenge with the winner being able to pick the stipulation for their match at SummerSlam. It’ll be Ambrose vs. Del Rio and Rollins taking on RVD tonight. We’ll also get the heavily anticipated contract signing for Brock and Cen…oh wait…no we won’t. It’s a contract signing for Brie/Steph. Someone shoot me!

More plugs and trolling from the COO before he gives the mic to Orton. The Viper guarantees that he will decimate Reigns in La La Land. Just when Orton was about to go on, waitaminute… that’s Roman Reigns’ music. He is terribly outnumbered so he remains in the crowd and pulls out a microphone. He said he took everything the Viper had last week and he is still standing. He also played off of Hunter’s schilling of the Network by saying he will beat Randy’s ass for free tonight! HHH then kills everyone’s buzz by announcing that Reigns will face The Demon Kane in a Last Man Standing Match. And guess what, that match starts right now!!

ROMAN REIGNS VS. KANE (LAST MAN STANDING MATCH)

I guess one thing you can say about this match is that at least they aren’t saving it for a PPV. It will eat up plenty of time due to the nature of the stipulation and perhaps this will end Kane’s main event run. I always laugh during these matches when someone does something basic like throw a guy into a barricade and it elicits the referee to conduct a dramatic count. As if Reigns is going to lose on a steel stairs spot that we’ve literally seen thousands of times. You think someone is in charge of making sure that every ring is equipped with an ample number of kendo sticks? How do you get that job?

Reigns is suffering a beating until he whips Kane into a chair that’s propped in the corner. Eventually a table is brought into the ring. It looks like Roman is about to end it with a Superman punch but Kane countered it into a chokeslam through the table in a great spot. Reigns was up at nine and then DDT”d the Demon onto the aforementioned chair. Shockingly the ref doesn’t count after Roman scored with the Superman punch so he elects to spear him instead and you can count to 100, this goose is cooked! WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS

Clearly Kane had the better spots but there is no stopping Roman Reigns right now. We all expected HHH at SummerSlam but we could do much worse than Orton/Reigns in Hollywood.

Filler package about Brock Lesnar. You know he’s an ass kicker who enjoys hurting people? He shoots on the Undertaker saying that he knew he would beat him and how it wasn’t even a shock that he won at WrestleMania. Then Cena starts talking about not dwelling on his past accomplishments and always looking forward. He also knows what’s in store for him since he has faced Brock before. Cena wants to beat the one who beat the one. Brock makes a good point that if Lesnar stayed in WWE there would be no John Cena. Powerful stuff from both guys and it really creates a huge event feel heading into this pay-per-view.

Boomer Sooner starts blasting on the speakers but fear not everyone, it’s just Damien Sandow wearing his Oklahoma gear and rips on the Texas Longhorn fans in the crowd. So who do you think is making a surprise return against the intellectual savior of the masses? Why Texas native Mark Henry of course!

MARK “HOOK’EM HORNS” HENRY VS. DAMIEN “BOOMER SOONER” SANDOW

Wasn’t this once a match to save Christmas? In any event, Henry mercifully keeps this short and wins it with a World’s Strongest Slam. WINNER: MARK HENRY

Hey, was that Vince Young?

Adam Rose and his homeless posse are looking at a mirror they all believe to be cursed. Rose looks into it and sees himself in a suit and carrying a briefcase. He gets the chills and immediately snaps out of it. He fears that he just saw himself as a big lemon. Not much else to report here so let’s move on.

Hulk Hogan is having a birthday celebration next week with special guests. I hope the NWO gets back together. The gift that keeps on giving!

DEAN AMBROSE VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO (BEAT THE CLOCK CHALLENGE)

Huge pop for Dean when he makes his appearance. His shoulder is still taped up as he goes for the Bob Orton Award for longest sold injury. Del Rio on the other hand just looks out of place these days. In 2010 he was fresh. Now he’s like the saltines I have buried in my pantry. They really should have changed up his character and have him be the leader of a cartel or something and be seconded a gang. Maybe Rodrigo would still have a job right now. Okay, I’m babbling. As we approach four minutes, Dean goes shoulder first into the steel post. Del Rio, not surprisingly, is working the arm until he wears the now popular, barricade spot tonight. Now past five minutes and it’s pretty clear that Ambrose isn’t going to win this challenge. He again hits the steel post as these guys are running out of ideas. Dean takes a kick to the skull as we go to break, which is never a good sign in a beat the clock challenge.

Now 10:30 into the contest and ADR continues to work that arm. Even the announcers are counting out our hero. Should they even have the second match? Has RVD gone over 11 minutes in any match since his return? Ambrose nearly takes it with a tornado DDT as the clock continues to tick away. He couldn’t hit Dirty Deeds and Del Rio rips off all that protective tape and does this funky, nasty suplex out of the corner for two. After another failed attempt at his finisher, Dean gets locked into the armbreaker in the ropes. This is painfully long and Del Rio knows it so he goes for the cross-armbreaker in the center of the ring, but Ambrose counters it into a Dirty Deeds with his healthy arm and we have a winner at 15:42. WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE

Very long match considering the stipulation. I can’t imagine Rollins not beating the clock but it’s almost too obvious. I guess we’ll find out in a few short paragraphs.

More fluff as we recap the Brie/Steph feud from the previous two weeks. From jailbird Stephanie, to Brie saying “bitch” countless times, to Steph’s epic slap from last week. “I’m going to make you my bitch!” If Basil took a dump in the middle of my family room right now, it would have greater entertainment value than the last three minutes I was just forced to witness. Can’t wait for that contract signing.

RUSEV VS. SIN CARA

ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO? This match wasn’t even announced. Rusev came to the ring and Cole said he was in action as we went to break. Next thing you know, Rusev wins and the only way to see it was on that Heaven forsaken app. Only for the replays of Sin Cara getting his head kicked in and the violent flag waving of the former Bulgarian brute did we know exactly what happened. Honestly Jordan Duncan, what is this horse hockey? Those financial reports must be getting to the suits up there at Titan Towers because this show has been one big promo for the Network and now it’s app downloads. WINNER: RUSEV

They are allowing Lana to talk again. More Putin/Obama stuff as the ravishing one sings Happy Birthday to our president in Russian to hearty boos. Out comes Lex Luger…I mean Jack Swagger! Zeb Colter again is gold on the mic ripping into Lana. He says that Rusev will be fighting all the real Americans around the world at SummerSlam. Swagger is fighting for the soldiers fighting enemies both foreign and domestic that gets a huge reaction from the crowd. He says that the last thing Rusev will see is at SummerSlam will be Old Glory waving in the air. USA chants amplify in the arena as Rusev spears Swagger with the Russian flag. Jack then gets clotheslined over the top with the flagpole leaving Zeb alone in the ring. Where is Hacksaw when you need him? Lana mocks the “We the People” salute and spares Colter the beatdown.

CESARO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER

So Dolph was named the #1 contender for the IC Title at SummerSlam earlier today and gets the suddenly slumping Cesaro as his reward tonight. I’m still in shock that the Swiss Superman went from killing it with Cena last week and then losing cleanly to Jack Swagger a few days later. Meanwhile, Miz is awesome in this new role and I don’t care how many of you disagree. It’s the role he was born for. Ziggy countered a power move into a Zig Zag and just like that, this one was over. Poor Cesaro. I still believe! WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER

Post-match, Miz holds ups the IC belt in the ring as Ziggler attempts a superkick. Miz hit the deck before damaging his money maker. This card is pretty loaded because this match could be a show stealer. Yes, I said it!

Smackdown highlights of Paige’s awesome Pearl Harbor job on AJ. I loved Paige in that segment. She is terrific in this role and so much better than when she was a face who could barely speak without blushing.

RYBAXEL VS. GOLDUST & STARDUST

The epic journey to find the cosmic key must begin with the Brothers Dust dispatching the hot team formerly known as RybAxel. Basically a Money in the Bank rematch with less time to tell a story. Cole just sounded like an even bigger tool by calling this team “Cosmic Dust.” Now that it’s been said out loud, it’ll no doubt be trending by the end of this match. Stardust hits his unique “Dark Matter” finisher that looked like a modified face buster. It looked pretty sick and the Dust duo reigns supreme. WINNERS: GOLDUST & STARDUST

Backstage, HHH and Steph are looking over her SummerSlam contract when in comes Kane completely uninvited. The Demon doesn’t face the camera as he removes his mask, hands it to Stephanie and walks away without saying a word. For all you Kane haters (me being one of them), our nightmare is over!

CHRIS JERICHO VS. LUKE HARPER
Much like SmackDown, if Y2J wins, Harper is banned from ringside at SummerSlam. Pretty cool big guy vs. little guy encounter. Jericho sold like crazy for the stronger, more powerful Harper. Some of those powerbombs and big boots looked extremely violent. That DDP Yoga is really doing wonders for Jericho. He applies the Walls which summons Bray out to the ring. Rowan tries to interfere but eats a Codebreaker instead. Then Harper tried or a sneak attack but suffered the same fate as his brother. Then in a most puzzling decision, Bray struck Jericho forcing a disqualification. So neither Wyatt will be in Bray’s corner in LA. It’s probably for the best if you think about it. If they have any type of future planned for Bray, he needs to beat someone on his own for once. Nothing screwy, just win baby. WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO

DIEGO VS. FANDANGO
Sweet! More repeat matches. Oh dear God! Fandango is joined by Hornswaggle. What the hell? It’s a good thing Summer Rae and Layla are hot. Heel miscommunication leads to Diego nailing a backstabber and this in a word, sucked. WINNER: DIEGO

Post-match, Hornswaggle starts dancing with the rest of the misfits and Fandango gets mad. He throws his little buddy to the floor only to suffer the embarrassment of a seated senton from El Torito. I stand by my previous statement: What the hell?

Renee Young talks to Randy Orton who is still in his civvies. He shows more clips of his thrashing of Reigns last week. I should show highlights of my column from last week and pad my word count. Anyway, as far as being sadistic goes, Orton says Reigns doesn’t compare and even hints of using his truly evil punt on Double-R at SummerSlam.

BO DALLAS VS. R-TRUTH

Bo enters tonight on a losing streak having lost twice to Truth last week. Should they have ended the streak so soon? That’s a debate that countless wrestling fans will discuss for years to come. Jim Ross now has a new question to ask all his guests whether it’s relevant or not. In any event, loved rewatching that truly justified thrashing the inspirational one laid on Truth last week. Another fast match here as Bo uses the trunks to avenge his crushing defeat. Truth goes after him after the bell but the crafty Dallas delivered a Bo-Dog on the floor knocking him senseless. That’ll learn him to never try to cheap shot my hero. Bolieve that! WINNER: BO DALLAS

To quote my new best friend, Steve Corino, if you don’t order the WWE Network for $9.99 per month, you are just a bad person. Good Lord, do they all get bonuses each time they say $9.99 per month? If this were a drinking game, I would have been out cold in hour one. Hmmmmmm…

Bray Wyatt speaks on why he is different. He might be without his brothers but he is never alone. Beyond time he stands. Then he sings, makes two fists and scene.

SETH ROLLINS VS. RVD (BEAT THE CLOCK CHALLENGE)

Time to Beat: 15:42

Prior to the match commencing, Justin Roberts announced that per The Authority, RVD won’t face Rollins and in his place is none other than Heath Slater. So with that said…

SETH ROLLINS VS. HEATH SLATER (BEAT THE CLOCK CHALLENGE)

Time to Beat: 15:42

Slater made like he was going to leave but then suck punched Mr. Money in the Bank. Time is ticking away and out comes Dean Ambrose. Rollins is instantly distracted and Slater connected with a nifty neck breaker for a near fall. Ambrose picked up the brief case in another attempt to distract his SummerSlam opponent. He pulls the championship contract out and starts ripping it to shreds. Slater then throttles Rollins with a heel kick that goes for only two. Next, Dean dumps a Big Gulp into the case and follows that up by snagging a fan’s popcorn. Ambrose takes JBL’s hat and crushes it and adds it to the soda soaked popcorn as Bradshaw hysterically remarks, “someone call the police.” In the funniest moment of the match, Ambrose gets up on the announce table and waves around the briefcase only to have soda leak all over Cole and Lawler. This was too much for Rollins to take as Slater catches him in a schoolboy and picks up the astonishing victory! WINNER: HEATH SLATER

Do you believe in miracles? Rollins is beyond pissed. What a tremendous turn of events. Earlier it seemed inconceivable that Rollins wouldn’t beat the clock. Don’t sleep on this show folks. And good for Slater too. He has paid more than his share of dues and earned a big spot here. He’ll likely get his ass beat into hamburger next week, but good for the former tag champion.

And now the contract signing that nobody ever wanted to see. Goodness knows I hate being negative, but why is this the marquee feud on the biggest show of the week. I’ll do my best to be objective. With Cole in the ring to moderate the proceedings, out comes our two combatants. Brie comes out decked in a red “Brie Mode” shirt. I’m not sure what that means so I’ll have to ask Ben Morse later. Some verbal jabs back and forth with Brie scoring with more insipid highlights of the previous two weeks. Holy shirts and pants this is awful! Brie says she will embarrass Steph at SummerSlam and send a message that the co-owner is a failure to the McMahon family. She even says that her victory will be for the Vicki Guerreros, Big Shows and Rhodes Families of the world. Basically anyone that the Authority screwed over in the past. Of course, this is when our first CM Punk chant of the night occurs.

Steph calls Brie a wannabe reality star who is selfish and just a piece of trash. She vows to end her pathetic attempt at making history at the expense of the McMahon family. She then wallops Nikki with the contract and delivers a pedigree to the more well-endowed sister. HHH pins Brie behind the table, but then gets slapped across the face for his troubles. Steph responded by planting Brie on the table and pedigreeing her as well. She mocks the Bellas by blowing them kisses as the credits roll.

I guess I don’t have a problem with the build to this because they are trying something new. The less we see of Brock/Cena, the more special it will be when they eventually lock up. They are thinking outside the box and putting the microscope on this feud and making it bigger than it actually is. When was the last time something involving the Divas closed out multiple Raws? Sure the involvement of The Authority has much to do with it but that’s beside the point. I guess my biggest problem is that this match, by right, should be a squash or at the very least, very short. I don’t see it going much further than SummerSlam so why is it dominating my Monday night? I won’t claim to be an expert and I was certainly wrong about the Beat the Clock. Though if the end to all this is Steph getting beat but still goes on burying talent, that’s a waste. If Nikki turns on Brie, that’s just stupid. Maybe I’m just bitter because the Red Sox are in last place and my dog is too nervous to crap outside!

In any event, another turd of a finish with oodles of shameless plugs and fluff in between.

Join the conversation by following me on “The Twitter” @DmcG4881. Still not enough? Hear me weekly on The Steve Corino Show every Friday and be sure to ask us questions @SteveCorinoShow.

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.