Here’s a rundown of the July 8 edition of Monday Night Raw, which was the final edition before Money in the Bank in Philadelphia this Sunday:
This edition of Raw came to us live from the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md.
The show started with another video package of the Wyatt Family, who were expected to debut later in the night.
After the Raw opening montage, we get Raw managing supervisor Vickie Guerrero and her assistant Brad Maddox in the ring with a ladder to promote Money in the Bank in Philadelphia this Sunday.
Guerrero said the ladder represents past great ladder matches and also her ascension up the proverbial WWE ladder. She then climbed the ladder and sat on top of it.
As she sat on the ladder she talked about how much of a good job she has done. Jerry “The King” Lawler interrupted Guerrero and said that he was informed that the McMahons would survey the fans in their job evaluation of her. The fans were given the opportunity to vote on Guerrero’s job status on a poll on the WWE app.
Guerrero, knowing her goose is cooked with fans, began to suck up to them in an effort to gain some votes on her side.
She then announced that WWE Champion John Cena would have a face-to-face with the No. 1 contender Mark Henry. She also announced that the participants in what was dubbed the “All-Star Money in the Bank match” would be facing each other during the night. She said that Christian would go against Kane, CM Punk would face Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan would square off against Sheamus.
After those big announcements, we got:
Match 1 – Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Before the match, we got the first of a series of video packages of Rob Van Dam’s greatest moments in the WWE. Van Dam will make his return to the WWE in that “All-Star Money in the Bank match.”
The first highlight was of him winning the second Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania 22 back in 2006.
The match itself was fantastic. Probably the best match Sheamus has had all year and it was certainly up there for Bryan.
The action was hard-hitting and believable throughout. The finish of the match comes when Bryan and Sheamus exchanged a series of reversals.
Sheamus tried to set Bryan up for the White Noise, but Bryan countered to a pin. When Sheamus kicked out, Bryan immediately tried to lock in the Yes Lock, but Sheamus countered that and put Bryan into Boston crab-type submission.
Bryan somehow managed to escape that and rolled up Sheamus to get the pin.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
After the match, Sheamus shook hands with Bryan in a show of respect.
The announce team reminded everyone that the Wyatt Family was set to debut later in the night. They then cut to a vignette where the WWE sent a reporter to the Wyatt Family compound to find out more about them.
After the commercial break, A.J. Lee and Big E Langston are backstage talking about the latest happenings between Lee and her rival Kaitlyn.
Dolph Ziggler showed up and Lee was all giddy to see her man. Ziggler looked less enthused. They both ask Langston to take a hike so they could talk in private. The two didn’t seem to be on the same page at first about what happened last week on Smackdown!, but they then literally kissed and made up.
The video package from last week about Henry was showed again. It’s a nice video package even the second time around.
Match 2 – The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) vs. Tons of Funk (Broadus Clay & Sweet T)
Before the match, the fans were treated to another edition of Van Dam’s greatest hits. This one was his ladder match win over the late Eddie Guerrero for the Intercontinental title on Raw back in 2002.
Tons of Funk actually gave The Shield a good run for their money, but the Tag Team champs prevailed in the end with a spear from Reigns.
Winner: The Shield
After the break, we got another video of the WWE reporter who was in search of the Wyatt Family.
One of the members scared the bejesus out of the reporter and then tells him to, “Follow me.”
After that strange scene we are treated to the presence of Cena. He called out Henry so that they could begin their face-to-face.
When Henry came out he grabbed a microphone and said that Cena and the people believe they know who he really is. He said that he was a new man.
He also said that if he wins the WWE title, he’s be assured of being a first-ballot WWE Hall-of-Famer. Henry said he wanted the title so bad that he would sell out his own mother.
Cena rebuttled by saying that Henry better win this Sunday because if he doesn’t he will lose all of his respect among the people.
Henry countered by saying he doesn’t care what people think about him. He said that Cena panics in the face of pressure from the fans and that he does not. He went on to say that Cena was too good to cross certain lines to keep the title.
Cena directly challenged Henry by saying that there was a line and that Henry should cross it so that they could fight right then and there.
Henry then said that he has taken a 50 percent pay cut before and that he is not losing money. He said that he’d rather wait until Sunday.
Henry eventually did attack Cena. Cena tried to hit the Attitude Adjustment, but Henry’s 400-plus pounds was too much for his body to bear and he fell flat on his face.
Henry capitalized and hit the World’s Strongest Slam.
We then cut to an interview segment with Orton. Orton was asked on his thoughts on his match with Punk later in the night.
Orton said he disagreed with Punk’s assessment of him being the “The Best in the World.” He also said that if Cena retains the WWE title at Money in the Bank, he would not hesitate to cash in the contract on him.
Match 3 – Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel
The Miz was out on commentary for this match to more than likely to scout Axel.
Paul Heyman, Axel’s manager, was on the microphone during Axel’s entrance and was sporting sunglasses and a black eye as he was punched in the face on Smackdown!. Heyman said he was not trying to be a martyr for CM Punk, but a witness to perfection from Axel.
Axel takes the microphone and said to Jericho that he has finally arrived.
This was another entertaining match here, which is not surprising considering the two participants.
The finish came when Axel was knocked out of the ring in front The Miz at the announce table. Axel and Miz stared each other down and exchanged pleasantries before Heyman came over to Axel and urged him to get back in the ring as referee was counting to 10.
As soon as Axel got back in the ring, Jericho hit the Codebreaker on him for the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Another video package is shown of Van Dam. This highlight includes another Intercontinental title win in 2003 over Christian.
WWE then did a little hype for the other Money in the Bank ladder match, which includes Team Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes).
Sandow and Rhodes were in the middle of an interview segment, which was interrupted by the rest of the members of the match.
Eventually, Fandango cut in and attempted to say his name. After he was warned on multiple occasions not to say it, he still tried anyway. Wade Barrett was not pleased with it and punched Fandango in the face.
We got another edition of the WWE reporter’s trek into the compound of the Wyatt Family.
The reporter is taken into a house where Bray Wyatt, the leader of the family, said he was waiting for him.
Match 4 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Del Rio was still without his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez as he is serving a real-life suspension from WWE.
During the match, Ziggler walked out and began to talk on the microphone during the match and mocked Rodgriguez.
As Ziggler began to belt out his imitation, Del Rio had already heard enough and a brawl ensued between the two. The match never officially ended, but I guess Del Rio was disqualified via count-out. I could be wrong.
Winner: Sin Cara via count-out?
After a replay of what Henry did to Cena, Guerrero is in the ring for her job evaluation. Out came the McMahons with Vince, Stephanie and Triple H in tow.
The McMahons allowed her to plead her Guerrero case. She took credit for the returns of The Rock, Undertaker and Van Dam.
Stephanie McMahon countered with that she had nothing to with those signings and that she did personally sign Brock Lesnar, who attacked Vince McMahon and has beaten Triple H twice within the last year.
Vince McMahon spoke his peace, but overall showed support for Guerrero and said that she was entertaining. Triple H was not a fan of hers. He even went as far to say that she was terrible.
Triple H also took a shot at Vince McMahon saying that what he finds entertaining may not cut it anymore by saying, “There’s a reason why the Golden Girls aren’t on television anymore.”
Vince McMahon got his turn to speak his peace again and said that he admired Guerrero for her persistence and hard work. He also called Triple H shortsighted for not thinking she should be the permanent general manager.
This segment eventually became an argument between Triple H and Vince McMahon. The one thing they did agree on was that Stephanie McMahon should be the deciding vote.
She decides to leave up to the vote to decide her fate. As expected, the fans voted against her. Stephanie McMahon promptly tells Guerrero that she’s fired.
Guerrero throws a huge temper tantrum in the middle of the ring, which cued the signal for Stephanie McMahon and Triple H to inch out of there.
Vince McMahon stayed in the ring and grabbed a microphone. He asked if the fans were happy that they broke her heart.
He then blamed the fans. He blamed the fans for getting rid of the most entertaining general manager ever, in his opinion.
In a shocking turn of events, Vince McMahon named Maddox the new general manager right on the spot.
Guerrero was still visibly upset and Maddox was left standing in the middle of the ring with a deer in the headlights look.
After the commercial break, we got another installment of Van Dam’s greatest hits. This one is of his leap from one side of the ring to the other during a TLC match back in 2002.
We then go to the backstage area where Vince McMahon is consoling an upset Guerrero. He said that he’ll make it right eventually.
Maddox showed up and said sorry to Guerrero in one sentence, but thanks McMahon for the opportunity to become general manager in the next.
This set Guerrero off as she began to attack Maddox, who ran away quickly.
Match 5 – Kane vs. Christian
This was a solid match between the two vets that ended with Kane winning with a choke slam.
After the match, we finally get the debut of the Wyatt Family while Kane is in the ring. Bray Wyatt walked out in a completely dark 1st Mariner Arena. The only light in the arena was the lantern he was holding.
I don’t know if the crowd was cheering or shrieking, but there was a lot of noise when he walked out.
Bray Wyatt walked to a rocking chair and sat in it. He then blew out the lantern. Once he did that, the music stopped, the lights popped on and the other two members of the Wyatt Family began to attack Kane.
The eventually get Kane outside of the ring and smash his head with the steel steps.
The whole time this was happening, Bray Wyatt was just sitting in the rocking chair, rocking back and forth. Pretty cool stuff.
After the break, we are in the backstage area, where Guerrero is walking out with her box of belongings. During her sad walk, she bumped into Ryback who just gave her a hug. That’s right, a hug. I don’t get it either.
Match 6 – A.J. & Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn & Layla
The Bella Twins joined the announce team on commentary for the match.
The match itself ended quickly after Kaitlyn speared A.J. Lee on the outside.
After the match, we’re backstage for an interview segment with CM Punk, who responded to Orton’s comments earlier in the night. He said that Orton is entitled to his opinion, but he subscribes to facts. He said the facts are he’s the longest-reigning champion of the modern era and that’s why he is the best in the world.
Match 7 – Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Before the match, the final installment of Van Dam’s highlights is when he defeated Cena at the second ECW One Night Stand in 2006 for the WWE title.
Another great match on a night where there was some great wrestling. Punk and Orton go back and forth the majority of the match until Punk hit Orton with the GTS to pick up the win.
Winner: CM Punk
After the match, Bryan hit the ring and started attacking Punk. After he threw Punk out of the ring, Bryan grabbed a ladder and hit Orton with it. He then set it up in the middle of the ring.
Bryan climbed the ladder and took the suitcase and did his chant with it to end the show.