August 16, 2013
San Jose, CA
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (4/7/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Shield (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)
Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.
We kick off the program with the Wyatt family coming down to the ring. As they make their long entrance, a nice video package airs that gets us ready for when Bray Wyatt meets Kane in the “Ring of Fire” at SummerSlam. Bray introduces us to his brothers and says it seems that their actions have been misinterpreted. He tells us a little story about a special boy who was bullied in school. Just when he had made up his mind to change the world, he ran away and found a crutch to hide behind. This crutch allowed him to be whatever he wanted to be. This crutch was a mask and he gave himself a new name: Kane. Behind this mask, he allowed himself to live a lie. Well, NO MORE LIES! Bray says he knows what and who he is. He would walk on water just to prove to you he could, bite the head off a snake just to taste it’s poison, and this Sunday he will prove to Kane that one man’s hell is another man’s paradise. FOLLOW…the buzzards. As he kneels down with his arms outstretched and head high, the turnbuckles catch on fire signaling Kane is on his way. Kane doesn’t come down the ramp. Oh no! He attacks from behind and pulls the brothers out to throw them into the post. Bray welcomes Kane into the ring. He charges Kane, but gets pulled into the corner for a beatdown. Harper and Rowan jump on Kane, but they’re taken care of one last time before Bray runs him down. The brothers then prepare Kane for Sister Abigail. Follow the buzzards, ya’ll.
– Christian vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow handcuffs his MITB chocolate briefcase to the ringpost. Not a bad idea. This match was okay. It ended rather abruptly as Christian rolled away from the Elbow of Disdain and surprised Sandow with a small package for the win at 6:00 shown. Sandow attacks after the bell and gets a Spear for his troubles. Out of nowhere, Alberto Del Rio ambushes Christian from behind and then puts the badmouth to him. He looks for the Cross Armbreaker, but all ADR finds is the Killswitch. *½
Renee is backstage with Rob Van Dam. In case you missed Raw or didn’t read Scott’s Recap, RVD won a battle royal to earn himself a US title shot against Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. Is he worried about the other members of the Shield? No way, because Big Show and Mark Henry got his back. They appear and Show tells us he’s got unfinished business with the Shield. Henry says the Shield is going to *need* a shield at SummerSlam. HA! R! V! D!
– AJ Lee & Layla vs. Kaitlyn & Natalya
This wasn’t so bad. AJ and Layla working some heel stuff in here. One example was when AJ tried to wear down Natalya with a sleeper, AJ jumped off her back and nailed Kaitlyn when she got too close for a tag. They even cheat to win as Layla clipped Kaitlyn behind the ref’s back to set up the Shining Wizard for the pinfall at 4:15. *
Now Renee is with Ryback. He’s got that cocky swagger now! Renee asks him if the reason he’s not on the card at SummerSlam is because he’s too brutal towards his opponents. What kind of question is that? He says he likes that people are afraid of him. That’s when a stage hand gives him the wrong look and Ryback goes over to intimidate him. It escalates to the point Ryback throws him backwards over a table.
Punk-Lesnar video package airs. Pretty lengthy, but definitely awesome.
Earlier Tonight: Short look back at the opening Wyatt-Kane segment.
From Raw this past week: Rob Van Dam winning the battle royal last eliminating Mark Henry. When the Shield surrounded them in the ring, Big Show returned and scared them all away.
– Rob Van Dam, Mark Henry & Big Show vs. The Shield
San Jose wants Big Show in there. RVD plays face-in-peril for most of this until the match breaks down. Show tags in and cleans house on everybody but Ambrose, but then gets dumped out. Looks like he hurt his hip. Henry throws Reigns over the announce table. Rollins somersault planchas onto Henry to wipe him out. Show makes it back in the ring at the count of nine and KNOCKS AMBROSE OUT. Tag to RVD, he hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the victory at 5:00. That pretty much confirms to me that he won’t win the US title at SummerSlam. The three vets are all buddy-buddy afterwards. **
– The Miz vs. Jack Swagger (w/Antonio Cesaro & Zeb Colter)
Cesaro is wearing a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag like a cape. Hilarious. Colter cuts a promo on phony Miz and phony Hollywood. You’d never know by looking at these two that you had a former WWE champion and a former world champion in the ring right now. It’s almost sad. After drawing some interference, Cesaro and Colter get ejected from ringside. It doesn’t really matter though because before they can even leave, Miz sneaks in a rollup and gets the victory at 3:00. Uninspired as could be, but it gave Miz a win going into SummerSlam. He’s going to be the host! ¾*
– Non-title match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder looks to be around the El Matador period of his career. He controls the match for the most part while Heyman watches on looking uncertain and moderately disgusted watching Axel. Nevertheless, Ryder makes a mistake by missing a flying bodypress and Axel capitalizes leading him to victory after the Hangman’s Facebuster finish at 3:00. *
Paul Heyman is in the ring now to applaud CM Punk for attacking Brock Lesnar with a camera this past week on Raw. He says that the marketing plan for SummerSlam was all about CM Punk’s thirst for revenge against Paul Heyman, but the dynamic has shifted and now CM Punk has become the target of revenge, and Heyman’s revenge will come in the form of his beast.
We’ve had a Punk-Lesnar video package, so now we get a Cena-Bryan video package.
From Raw this past week: Brad Maddox fast-counted Daniel Bryan when he faced Wade Barrett. Thus, why we have tonight’s main event.
– No-DQ match: Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
About halfway through, Vince McMahon comes out dressed about as obnoxious as Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack” and observes from the aisle. Barrett jabs Bryan in the ribs multiple times with a chair and tries to comes off the top with the chair, but Bryan moves and mounts his comeback. A kendo stick and kick fest ensues. Barrett ducks the Buzzsaw Kick and rolls up Bryan just like on Raw, but only gets two. As Bryan kicks out, he maneuvers Barrett into the YES! Lock. Before Barrett can tap, Vince walks over and yanks ref Mike Chioda out of the ring. While Bryan gets into a yes-no exchange with Vince, Barrett puts on the loaded red elbow pad and decks Bryan. Vince waves down another ref who happens to be BRAD MADDOX! Bryan gets a fair count this time and kicks out at two. He kicks down Barrett and covers, but Maddox won’t count. Crowd starts to chant for “Triple H”. I’m sure somewhere Scott is doing the same, but for a different reason. Bryan points the finger and backs Maddox into a corner. Meanwhile, Vince hands Barrett a kendo stick, but the swing backfires as Maddox gets nailed by mistake. Bryan dropkicks Barrett which squashes Maddox to knock him out. Barrett goes to slam Bryan through a table propped up in the corner, but Bryan shoves him off and sends Barrett crashing through wood. Vince has had enough and puts on Chioda’s zebra shirt. Just as he starts to climb into the ring, Triple H’s music hits and Vince cowers back down to the floor. HHH is wearing a ref’s shirt! Bryan gives Hunter a smile feeling relieved. He heads up top and delivers the Swandive Headbutt to Barrett and gets the win in 14:00 shown. Well this was an entertaining mess of a main event. ***
Before we leave, Randy Orton appears just as a reminder of what he’s got.
Final Thoughts: They were clearly ready for SummerSlam on Raw. This felt like a filler show with a majority of short matches and lots of video packages. Fun main event, but nothing absolutely must-see on the whole program. I’m ready for SummerSlam!
Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Daniel Bryan (match of the night)
2) Vince McMahon (for being hilarious)
3) Wyatt Family (good not great promo)
4) AJ & Layla (showed some promise as a heel team)
5) Ryback (his attitude just cracks me up)
I need to make my SummerSlam picks too. It’s looking to be very heel-heavy:
WWE Title: Bryan over Cena©, Orton cashes in and leaves as the WWE champ
Lesnar over Punk
World Title: Del Rio© over Christian
Sandow over Rhodes
Ring of Fire: Wyatt over Kane
Ziggler and Kaitlyn over AJ & Langston
Brie over Natalya
US Title: Ambrose© over RVD