Here’s a rundown of the July 1 edition of Monday Night Raw:
This edition of Raw came to us live from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Right off the bat, we got Raw managing supervisor Vickie Guerrero in her office. She began to talk about the prestige of both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship.
She then gleefully thanked the McMahon family for allowing her to announce that later in the night, World champ Alberto Del Rio would go one-on-one with WWE Champ John Cena.
After the Raw opening montage, (which I don’t think I’ve seen in a long time, but maybe it’s just me) we get Daniel Bryan, who was sporting a new T-shirt. Once again, the crowd was falling over themselves as they cheered for Bryan.
He walked to the ring where a ladder was already in place; symbolizing the Money in the Bank match he will take part in July 14 in Philadelphia. He talked about how after making Randy Orton tap out last week, that he is no longer the weak link.
Bryan then said that he has his sights set on becoming the WWE Champion. Since there are five or six other people in that Money in the Bank match, it was bound that someone was going to come out and disagree with Bryan and the first person to do so was Sheamus.
Sheamus reminded Bryan about how his last World title reign ended — in an 18-second loss to Sheamus at Wrestlemania XXVIII. The two exchanged some entertaining barbs until Randy Orton interrupted them. Orton talked about how it’s been almost two years since he has held a World title. He said he’s not just hungry, but he’s starving to win it again.
Kane was next to come and stake his claim to winning the Money in the Bank match. He talked about how ruthless he has been throughout his career and is not afraid to be ruthless again — even to his former partner Bryan.
Next out is Christian, who reminded everyone of his well-documented success in ladder matches. He also said that he is only looking for one more match in his career and that match will be for the WWE title.
Last but certainly not least is CM Punk, who said that he was reluctant in joining the parade, but couldn’t resist. He, too wanted to remind all of his opponents of something and that is the fact that he is the only man to win the Money in the Bank ladder match twice.
Bryan forcefully interrupted Punk and told him that he would make him tap out faster than he did Orton last week. Orton had heard enough of Bryan and tried to put his hands on him.
Kane stepped in front Bryan, to which Bryan said he didn’t need any help. Orton turned Kane back around and hit him with the RKO. Everyone immediately got their guard up and prepped for a brawl, but everyone eased their way out of the ring instead.
After that segment we got a montage of past World champions in wrestling history in an attempt to further hype up the main event between Cena and Del Rio. The first part of the montage began with the original “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, who was the first WWE Champion. For the World title, they went to Lou Thesz, who is recognized as one of the first, if not the first, World Heavyweight wrestling champion ever.
After a commercial break, we got:
Match 1 – The Shield vs. Christian and The Usos
Another very good match involving The Shield, who continue to knock it out of the park in the ring. Christian and The Usos definitely held their own as well.
After things broke down in the match, the finish came with a roll-up from Dean Ambrose on Christian to pick up the victory for The Shield.
Winner: The Shield
After the match, we cut to Kane and Daniel Bryan in the locker room. Bryan informed Kane that he talked to Guerrero and got Kane a match against Orton. Kane is happy about the match until Bryan tells him that he will be the special guest referee in Kane’s match.
Match 2 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Jinder Mahal (3MB)
Ziggler made his entrance without A.J. Lee and Big E Langston by his side. Mahal put up a bit of a fight, but as expected Ziggler won with the Zig Zag.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
After the match, 3MB attempted to gang up on Ziggler. Ziggler showed off his athleticism and escaped, but not before he pulled off his finisher to on one of the members of 3MB outside of the ring.
We are treated to another video package outlining the history of the two World titles. This time we got Bruno Sammartino, who is the longest-reigning WWE Champion of all time.
For the World Championship, we got Harley Race, who held the NWA title on numerous occasions and is regarded as one of the legitimate tough guys in wrestling history.
After the break, we are in Guerrero’s office again as she was talking to her assistant Brad Maddox. Triple H interrupted just before Guerrero said something she wasn’t supposed to. Triple H commended Guerrero on the show she put together.
Guerrero complained that she is receiving too much advice from the McMahon family. Triple advised her to simply listen to them, but don’t do any of it. Instead, he told her just listen to him.
The fans are then treated to a video package documenting the career of Mark Henry, the No. 1 contender to the WWE title.
Match 3 – Randy Orton vs. Kane with Daniel Bryan as the special referee
Bryan stayed out of the way for the most part until Orton began to wale on Kane in the corner. Bryan stepped in to break it up twice, but after the second time Orton shoved Bryan.
Bryan took issue with this and disqualified Orton and declared Kane the winner.
Kane refused to win in such a manner and forced Bryan to restart the match, which he did.
After the restart, Orton and Kane went back and forth. Orton eventually gained the upper hand and was ready to hit Kane with the RKO. Bryan got in the way of Orton, however, which allowed Kane to get up and kick Orton in the face.
Kane then pinned Orton to which Bryan gave a quick three-count to give Kane the victory again.
Kane was unhappy with the way he won once again and thought about choke slamming Bryan. He opted not to and left the ring. Orton was not as merciful as he hit Bryan with an RKO.
We cut to the locker room where Punk, Paul Heyman and the Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel are talking about their match against the Primetime Players.
Punk said the he doesn’t need Axel’s help and that he could beat the Primetime Players by himself. Punk said he trusts Heyman, but does not trust Axel.
The fans were shown yet another World title video package. This time, Bob Backlund, who is the second-longest reigning WWE Champion, was first up. Backlund was placed alongside “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, who was a multi-time NWA World Champion and was one of the most charismatic performers ever.
Match 4 – Fandango vs. Sheamus
Faaaandaaangoooo made his return Monday after suffering a concussion last month. He didn’t finish his first match back as he left early and was intentionally counted out.
Winner: Sheamus via count-out
Match 5 – Ryback vs. The Miz
Chris Jericho was out on commentary to observe Ryback, who is his opponent at Money in the Bank.
Ryback dominated this match, but The Miz mounted offense when he started to work the knee of Ryback. Ryback had enough of the pain and asked the referee to stop the match, which he did.
Winner: The Miz
After the match, Jericho gets up from his spot at the commentary table and hit Ryback with a Codebreaker. I don’t know why WWE booked Ryback, supposedly a big, strong monster, to give up on his own match. It actually boggles my mind.
The fans get another video package celebrating the history of the World titles as they profiled Hulk Hogan and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. What more needs to be said of their accomplishments? They’re among the greatest of all time.
After the break, we were bestowed with the presence of Mark Henry. He stood at the top of the ramp and talked about his list of credentials, which includes him being legitimately the strongest man in the world at one point and a two-time Olympian.
He also talked about how he earned the right to be WWE Champion because of the all of the time he put in working for WWE. He talked about he always did the right thing for the company, but at Money in the Bank, he will beat Cena and do the right thing for him.
After another great promo from Henry, Vince McMahon dropped by to visit Guerrero. He was not happy about how Guerrero has handled things when it came to Bryan, but commended on the main event between Cena and Del Rio.
But he also said it was a bad idea to give it away on cable television and said it’s a main event that belongs on pay-per-view, which is odd because in reality, the buck still stops with him at the end of the day.
Anyway, Vince McMahon tells Guerrero that she should listen to him — much like what Triple H said earlier.
Match 6 – CM Punk & Curtis Axel vs. The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Right off the bat we had miscommunication between Punk and Axel. Punk told Axel that he wanted to start the match. Axel obliged and stepped out of the ring. Punk stood in his corner in front of Axel and pandered to the crowd a little until Axel tagged himself in before Punk could take one step toward their opponents.
Axel tried to go the entire match without tagging in Punk, but eventually ran into trouble with O’Neil, which forced him to tag Punk in.
Once tagged in, Punk took control and hit Young with the GTS. But before he could go for a pin, Axel tagged himself in again and pinned Young. Punk had a look of distain on his face.
Winners: CM Punk and Curtis Axel
Yet another championship video package was shown with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as the WWE Champion and Sting as the World Heavyweight Champion — two legends given their proper respect.
Match 7 – Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn
As usual with a match that involves Kaitlyn (or any of the Divas for that matter), there was not much to see here. Kaitlyn wins.
After the match, A.J. came out and stood at the top of the ramp to berate Kaitlyn again.
A.J. said she had brought one of Kaitlyn’s less-than-family-friendly modeling photos before she joined the WWE. She put it up on the big screen and it was a clearly doctored photo of Kaitlyn plus a few hundred pounds. It was actually kind of funny.
Yet again, we’re in Guerrero’s office where she was visited by Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie McMahon is not happy with how Guerrero handled the situation between A.J. and Kaitlyn.
Guerrero then confessed that the directions she’s been getting from all of the higher-ups are making her head spin and is making her job hard. Stephanie McMahon agreed with what she said and asked her how she could she make Guerrero’s job easier.
After a failed attempt at humor from Guerrero, Stephanie McMahon announced that she will be publicly evaluated next week on Raw.
Match 8 – Cody Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro
As Rhodes is making his entrance, he and his friend Damien Sandow stake their claim to the Smackdown! Money in the Bank. In that match along Sandow and Rhodes are Antonio Cesaro, Fandango, Dean Ambrose, Wade Barrett and Jack Swagger.
Cesaro’s manager, Zeb Colter, has a microphone as well and announced that Swagger had returned to form a team with Cesaro.
The match itself goes rather quickly as Cesaro hit Rhodes with the Neutralizer for the win.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Another championship video package is up with Triple H being profiled as the WWE Champion and Booker T profiled as the World Champion.
After the break, we are treated to a backstage segment between a group of Divas promoting their new reality show. Not much happened here.
The announce team then broke the news that Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family will finally debut next week on Raw.
Match 9 – Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena – Champion vs. Champion
Why this match is on free television is beyond me, but here it is.
The two champions have a quality television match. Henry and Ziggler distract the two in the ring, but Ziggler’s distraction caused Del Rio to walk into an Attitude Adjustment from Cena, who picked up the win soon after.
Winner: John Cena
After the match Henry grabbed the WWE title and walked into the ring. Henry tried to bait Cena into a fight, but Cena was ready. Henry them climbed out of the ring smiling.