Here’s a rundown of the July 29 edition of Monday Night Raw:
This edition of Raw came to us taped from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin Texas.
The show is kicked off with the chairman of the board Vincent Kennedy McMahon and Raw general manager Brad Maddox.
McMahon grabbed a microphone and said that the WWE Universe was going to have some fun tonight.
He then handed the microphone to Maddox who said that he wanted to apologize for the “bone-headed” decision of letting WWE Champion John Cena choose who he was going to defend the title against at Summerslam.
McMahon took back the microphone and began to recap all of the negative things Maddox said last week about the No. 1 contender Daniel Bryan.
Speaking of Bryan, his music hit and he went to the ring to yet another rousing ovation from the fans.
Bryan said that he knew that Maddox said all of those mean things, but McMahon dictated the words.
McMahon then told Maddox he could leave because he has was in control of the situation.
McMahon then warned Bryan about interrupting him and called it a lack of respect. Bryan pointed out how respect was a two-way street.
He said that although he was been working hard for McMahon’s company on a daily basis, he has not received an ounce of respect from him.
McMahon retorted by asking Bryan if he respected Cena. Bryan said he respects his energy a determination and the fact that he chose him for the Summerslam title match.
McMahon told Bryan that Cena was lying through his teeth when he said all of those positive things about Bryan. He even called Cena a “master manipulator.”
McMahon then flat out said that Bryan can’t beat Cena. He also said he couldn’t even beat Kane that night.
McMahon said the reason why he won’t win is because he lacks ruthless aggression that would make him a top star.
He then went to say that although he doesn’t think Bryan can beat Cena, he also wants Cena to lose the WWE title.
He said that Cena walks around the WWE as if owns the place. But he also doesn’t wanting a “half-pint troll” to win neither.
In fact he said he hopes no one wins. He said he’d wished that when Cena and Bryan lock up in the ring at Summerslam, there would be spontaneous combustion and Cena and Bryan explode into pieces.
After all of that, Bryan said that he loves McMahon because he’s always honest with him. But he also said that it doesn’t matter what McMahon thinks.
Only thing that matters is what the people think. Bryan then asked the fans in attendance if they wanted a new WWE Champion. They responded with a resounding, “Yes!”
Bryan left McMahon standing in the middle of the ring with a puzzled look.
Once Bryan left, The Shield made their way to the ring. McMahon quickly exited.
Match 1 – The Shield vs. Mark Henry & The Usos
Henry started things off by dominating Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. After Henry tossed around Ambrose and Rollins, big man Romans Reins was tagged in and was also dominated by Henry.
Henry tagged in one of the Usos and they got some offense in on Reins. Reins was able to make a tag to Rollins and The Shield began to take control of one of The Usos.
Henry was tagged back in and disposed of The Shield as the telecast went to commercial break.
After the break, we picked up the action with The Shield back in control of one of The Usos.
The Shield beat on one of The Usos for a couple of minutes until he was able to tag Henry, who began to clean house.
A spear by Reins, however, stopped Henry’s momentum dead in its tracks.
Despite that, The Usos got a near fall on Ambrose. One of The Usos went to the top rope to attempt a splash, but it was blocked by Ambrose.
Ambrose capitalized on the opportunity and hit his modified DDT finisher to pick up the victory.
Winner: The Shield
After the match, Henry jumped in the ring and began taking on The Shield by himself. Henry was successful and was the last man standing in the ring.
Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler hyped the tables match between Cena and Ryback later on in the night and the cut to a clip of Ryback in the catering area.
Last week, Ryback talked about how he liked to intimidate those who are smaller than him (which is almost everyone).
He barged into the catering area where three normal-looking men were trying to get something to eat. Two of the men quickly left, leaving one poor guy to almost certainly bear the brunt of intimidation from Ryback.
Ryback asked the lowly guy “What did you say to me?” although the man did not utter a word. The man quickly said, “Nothing.” Ryback then said that the guy looked like he was about to say something and asked him if he had a problem.
Before the man could answer his questions he was met by painful looking shove from Ryback up against a wall. Ryback walked right into man’s face as he’s cowering against the wall and told him to say what he wanted to say.
The nameless man said that Ryback is a good guy. Ryback thanked the guy by slapping him in the face with food. Ryback acted as if he was going to walk away, but turned back around and slammed the man through a table and wasted a lot of good food in the process.
After the commercial break, we get another vignette of the Wyatt Family.
Kane then barged into Maddox’s office and asked of the whereabouts of the Wyatt Family, who jumped him a couple of weeks ago.
Maddox said he doesn’t know where they are, but what better way to send a message to them by showing his killer instinct against his former tag team partner Bryan.
Match 2 – Rob Van Dam vs. Fandango
During Fandango’s entrance Cole announced that the WWE has a new pay-per-view set take place in October titled WWE Battleground. Yup, that’s it. Just Battleground.
I mean seriously first Payback and now Battleground. They both sound like names from 1995 WCW. No one is going to buy a pay-per-view called Battleground. WWE gives the pay-per-views silly, generic names and then wonder why they buy-rate didn’t go through the roof.
Just bring back Backlash and War Games and they’ll get a bigger buy-rate than … Battleground.
Enough of my tangent, let’s get to the match. Fandango and Van Dam started the match with a little one-up manship until Van Dam began to break things open with a big kick and dive to the outside of the ring.
Fandango managed to cut off Van Dam’s momentum and take control. Fandango built up enough confidence to try a move off the turnbuckle, but missed his mark after Van Dam moved out of the way.
Van Dam capitalized with a swift kick to the face and built up some momentum again.
Fandango had seen enough, left the ring and was intentionally counted out.
Winner: Rob Van Dam via count out
After the match, Fandango grabbed a microphone and properly said his name as Faaaaandaaaaannngooooooo.
We then cut to a backstage segment involving Divas Champion A.J. and her heavy Big E Langston. A.J. was busy berating Langston for letting women beat her up in the ring.
Before Langston could answer, A.J. did a complete 180 and began to laugh. She then said that Langston stands there and watches because he likes her — as in liking what she does in the ring.
She said something else crazy and then skipped away.
Match 3 – Kaitlyn vs. A.J.
The two combatants began the match with a stare down. A.J. broke that all up by shoving Kaitlyn in her face.
Kaitlyn responded with right hand that put A.J. on her back. Kaitlyn then began to overpower A.J. until A.J. skillfully turned the tables on her and took control.
A.J. began to showboat a little too much when she missed her mark and hit her head on the turnbuckle.
Kaitlyn attempted to roll her up for a pin, but A.J. escaped and hit Kaitlyn with a vicious-looking knee. A.J. went for a pin, but Kaitlyn kicked out. A.J. regained control until Kaitlyn powered her way into a comeback.
During her comeback, Kaitlyn attempted a spear, but it was blocked by A.J. via a knee lift. After some back and forth, A.J. hit the ropes, but was met by spear from Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn rolled A.J. over and got the victory.
After the match, A.J. was not very happy about her loss and let out a couple of screams to show her frustration.
A.J.’s anger became heightened when here ex-boyfriend Dolph Ziggler’s music hit. Ziggler stayed at the top of the stage and congratulated A.J. on her loss.
He went to say that Langston could be her shoulder cry, but she’ll also have to be his shoulder to cry on after taking a loss. That’s because Ziggler challenged Langston to a match right then and there.
Match 4 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston
Ziggler went right at Langston from the start of the match, but it proved to be an unwise decision as Langston easily overpowered him.
Ziggler tried to mount some offense with a splash in the corner, but was caught by Langston, who then suplexed him hard to the mat.
Langston then hit a big splash on Ziggler, which looked like it almost crushed him. Ziggler kicked out of the ensuing pin, but was then bearhugged by Langston.
Langston continued to beat on Ziggler for another couple of minutes until Ziggler was finally able to avoid Langston as he was running at him in the corner.
Ziggler eventually sent Langston out of the ring. A.J. then jumped into the ring and began to attack Ziggler like a crazy lady and got Langston disqualified.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via disqualification
Langston was upset with A.J. for costing him the match. He turned his back for a second, however, and Ziggler hit him with the Zig Zag for good measure.
We are sent backstage to Cena’s locker room, who was on the phone talking to more than likely no one.
He was greeted by Bryan who asked him if what McMahon said earlier was true.
Cena denied McMahon’s claims. Bryan then said that good or bad, McMahon has always been honest with him.
Cena then asked Bryan if he was calling him a liar to which he received no response. Cena simply nodded his head and walked off.
Match 5 – Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
Christian and Del Rio began the match with some back and forth and a botch, but Del Rio eventually assumed control.
Del Rio asserted his control by giving Christian some stiff shoulders in the corner. Del Rio took a couple of steps back from Christian and charged right at him, only to be flipped all the way to the outside of the ring.
Christian attempted to capitalize on his newfound momentum with a baseball slide. Del Rio stepped out of the way. Christian slid to the outside of the ring and charged at Del Rio.
Del Rio stepped out of the way again and sent Christian shoulder-first into the steps. Christian began to grimace in pain when Del Rio dropkicked his arm into the steel steps.
Del Rio took complete control of the injured Christian, who was selling his injured arm. Del Rio eventually put Christian on the top rope and attempted a reverse superplex, but Christian blocked it.
Christian gained some momentum back with a tornado DDT from the turnbuckle. Christian went for a pin, but only got a two-count.
Christian began to mount some offense, but kept coming away with two-counts. Del Rio finally stopped Christian’s barrage with a clothesline and a series of headbutts.
After some good back and forth from the two, Del Rio went for a senton, but missed due to Christian moving out of the way.
Christian then wanted to for go a spear, but Del Rio ducked out of the ring. Christian gave chase, but was met by a super kick from Del Rio. Del Rio went for a pin, but only got a two-count.
Del Rio then attempted one his corner kicks, but missed. Christian tried to capitalize by hitting he Killswitch, but his arm gave way. This allowed Del Rio to try the cross armbreaker.
Christian somehow wiggled out of it and rolled up Del Rio in a pin for the victory.
Match 6 – Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett
Rhodes was able to get in some early offense, but Barrett took control after he threw Rhodes out of the ring.
Once back in the ring, Barrett threw Rhodes around some more. Rhodes eventually turned the tables on Barrett and hit a dangerous moonsault off the top rope on to a standing Barrett.
This allowed Rhodes to gain some momentum and mount some offense. Barrett regained control momentarily with hard kick to the gut. He then tried a pump handle slam, but Rhodes countered it into Cross Rhodes, which he hit to pick up the win.
Result: Cody Rhodes
After the match, Rhodes’ former tag team partner Damien Sandow walked out with a microphone and expressed his outrage about Rhodes throwing his Money in the Bank briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico.
Sandow said that he has already filed an official complaint with WWE management as a result.
He then went to say that while they were a team, he went all around the world enlightening people and won Money in the Bank while all Rhodes did was grow a mustache.
Sandow said that it wasn’t all Rhodes’ fault, however. He said that he comes from a family of scholars where Rhodes comes from a family of clowns.
Match 7 – Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Bryan and Kane seemed reluctant to take each other on at first, but Bryan finally initiated contact.
Bryan and Kane went back and forth and delivered big blows to each other. Bryan got the initial upper hand with a half Boston crab on Kane.
Kane powered out of it and began to hurt Bryan in the corner. Bryan managed to escape, but was met by Kane’s big boot.
Kane then took a good amount of control of the match. Bryan showed signs of life, but was continuously thwarted by Kane.
Bryan finally gained some momentum after flipping Kane out of the ring. He followed that up with a high knee off the apron to the head of Kane.
Eventually, Kane regained control and even garnered a near fall. Bryan regained some momentum of his own with a dropkick of the top rope and some more dropkicks to Kane while in the corner.
Bryan then climbed to the top rope again, but was hit by an uppercut from Kane in mid-air. Kane used that momentum to hit a clothesline from the top rope and set up the choke slam.
But Bryan reversed the choke slam and went for the Yes! Lock. Kane powered out it. Bryan then tried to hit his series of kicks.
Kane caught one of Bryan’s feet, however, and went for another choke slam. Bryan reversed the choke slam again and turned it into a small package. Bryan got the three-count and the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
After the match, Kane was none too happy and choke slammed Bryan. Bryan eventually rolled out of the ring and made his way backstage.
Kane was in the ring alone and was going to set off his fire pyro, but was interrupted by the Wyatt Family.
The Wyatt Family did their awesome entrance and tried to attack Kane again. Kane was ready this time and went right after the leader Bray Wyatt.
But the numbers game quickly caught up with Kane. The Wyatts beat him down in the ring and left the bare bones for Bray Wyatt. Wyatt then hit his finishing move on Kane.
Bray Wyatt grabbed a microphone another good promo.
Match 8: Natalya vs. Brie Bella
This was more or less a match to promote the new Total Divas reality show. The other Bella came out during the match and distracted Natalya, which gave her sister just enough time to roll up Natalya for the win.
Winner: Brie Bella
We then get a backstage segment with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman where Heyman is pumping up his charge.
Match 9: Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth
During Axe’s entrance, Heyman took the microphone and called himself the most exclusive manager in sports entertainment history.
He talked about how one of his clients, Brock Lesnar, will end the career of CM Punk.
Heyman then said that being a “Paul Heyman guy” means you are among the best talents in the world.
Axel grabbed the microphone himself and said that he was born perfect.
As for the match itself, R-Truth began the match at a fast pace, but was cut off with a clubbing blow to the back by Axel.
Axel then put the boots to R-Truth and assumed control. During the match, CM Punk ran to the ring and began to beat on Axel.
Winner: Curtis Axel via disqualification
With Axel out of the way, Punk turned his attention to Heyman. Punk went after Heyman and momentarily got his hands on him before Axel intervened.
While Punk and Axel fought it out, Heyman was able to make his escape.
After the commercial break, we were backstage with Triple H and Vince McMahon. Triple H wanted to know why Vince McMahon was putting Bryan through all kinds of challenges.
Vince McMahon said that it’s possibly reverse psychology and he actually wants Bryan to be WWE champion, but began to laugh.
Vince McMahon said that all he wants is for someone to beat Cena. He went to say that he wanted someone like Triple H, but much younger.
Stephanie McMahon stepped in between the bickering men and gave them an idea of giving Bryan a corporate makeover.
Vince McMahon simply said good luck with that idea. Triple H said it may be worth a shot.
Match 10: John Cena vs. Ryback – Tables Match
After long show we finally get the main event.
Cena and Ryback started the match by exchanging punches. Cena eventually threw Ryback out of the ring and grabbed the first table.
After Cena grabbed the table, Ryback stopped his momentum and began to beat one Cena outside of the ring.
Once Cena rolled back into the ring, the show abruptly went to commercial break. They must have mistimed the show somehow.
After we came back Ryback was still beating on Cena and even sent him into the steel steps.
Ryback spent some time putting the steel steps into the ring, which gave Cena time to recover and hit Ryback with some offense.
Cena then put a contraption with steel steps, a table and the ring apron to set up a table on the outside and tried to put Ryback through the table. But Ryback blocked the move and suplexed Cena right on to the mats outside of the ring.
Ryback then threw Cena back in the ring, but when he stepped into the ring himself he was immediately put into an STF by Cena.
Since it was a tables match, Cena could not win by submission. Nor were there rope breaks for Ryback.
Ryback smartly crawled all the way out of the ring, which forced Cena to break the hold.
Cena grabbed a table from inside of the ring and attempted to throw it right on top of Ryback, who was laying outside of the ring.
Ryback cleverly rolled under the ring like Hornswoggle to avoid the table. He came from under the ring behind Cena and hit him with a spear outside of the ring.
Ryback then grabbed the steel steps and nailed Cena in the head with them. While Cena tried to recover, Ryback put together the same contraption Cena did.
Each man attempted to put each other through the contraptions, but to no avail.
Ryback pushed over one table that he was almost put through and destroyed the other the steel steps. Cena then quickly grabbed steel steps of his own, which set up a steel step-joust.
After their little joust, Cena and Ryback got back into the ring and started to exchange bombs.
Cena got the best of Ryback by slamming him on to the steel steps, which was followed up with the five-knuckle shuffle.
Cena went to the outside and grabbed a table, but was met by a big move from Ryback upon returning to the ring.
Ryback then set up a table in the corner and got ready to hit his meat-hook clothesline. He was successful.
Ryback then went to another corner was primed to spear Cena through the table in the corner, but Cena moved out of the way.
Cena quickly turned around and picked up Ryback for the Attitude Adjustment and slammed him through the table for the win.
Winner: John Cena
After the match, Bryan ran down to the ring and grabbed the WWE title. He stood in the ring with Cena and acted as if he was going to simply give Cena the title belt.
When Cena went to reach for it, Bryan pulled it back. Cena pretended to go along with the Yes! Chant before snatching his title belt back.