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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/29 (Hour 3): Cena vs. Ryback tables main event, Bryan vs. Kane, Wyatts, McMahons to give Bryan a "corporate make-over?"

Jul 29, 2013 - 10:08:52 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
July 29, 2013 - Episode #1,052
Taped 7/23 in Hidalgo, Tex.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor


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Third Hour Raw Results

Back from break two minutes before the top of the hour, WWE recapped Vince McMahon trying to stir things up between John Cena and Daniel Bryan tonight ahead of their WWE Title clash at Summerslam.

[Q9 -- third hour] In-ring: Daniel Bryan's music played to bring out the #1 contender to the WWE Title. Kane then casually returned to action a few weeks after being "injured" and taken out of the MITB ladder match.

7 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. KANE

The former tag partners stood off, unsure how to handle facing each other, then decided to go after each other mid-ring. On commentary, Cole said if Kane wins this match, he will become #1 contender after Summerslam. Kane took control of the match, including delivering a double-foot dropkick to the chest. As Kane slowed down the pace, Lawler said he is picking Cena at Summerslam, but he's not ruling out Bryan because anything can happen in WWE.

At 4:00, Bryan teased a comeback with Yes! kicks as Lawler clarified that he does not think Bryan would be an embarrassment to WWE if he wins the title at Summerslam, unlike Mr. McMahon. Bryan then knocked Kane to the outside before attempting a running knee to the face that put both men on the floor leading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:07]

Back from break, Bryan continued to assault his former tag partner with trademark Flying Goat Offense. Bryan tried the Yes! Lock, but Kane resisted and they reset on their feet. Kane tried to finish off Bryan with a chokeslam, but Bryan reversed and hooked Kane to the mat for a quick inside cradle that was good for a three count. Post-match, Kane angrily stood up and chokeslammed Bryan. Cole said Kane had a lot riding on the line in this match, so he was understandably upset.

WINNER: Bryan at 11:45.

[Q10] After Bryan disappeared, Kane tried to light the ring with his trademark pyro, but the Wyatts's Interruption Soundbyte played. On the screen, Bray Wyatt blew out the lantern and noted, "We're here." Back in the arena, the lights were out and the Wyatts were making their way to the ring as the crowd sold being frightened. Once the lights came back on, Kane tried to attack Bray, but Luke Harper and Erick Rowan cut him off and beat him down. The assault continued before Harper delivered a hard knock-down clothesline.

Ringside, Bray stood up from his rocking chair and slowly walked into the ring. As the henchmen held up Kane, Bray stared down at him before delivering his spinning facebuster finisher. Bray then took the mic and said Kane likes to call himself the devil's favorite demon. "But, you sir, are no demon," Bray said. Bray then let Kane in on a little secret that you never know who might be listening when Kane says those things. "Follow the buzzards!" Bray shouted as Raw abruptly cut to break.

[ JC's Reax: Perhaps the most interesting development of the show seeing where the trail leads on the Wyatts and Kane. But, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks captured the odd hierarchy of this segment, tweeting: How often do you see a win by the main eventer of an upcoming PPV pushed aside for a mid-card storyline?]

[Commercial Break at 10:19]

Moments Ago: The Wyatts re-targeted Kane.

Suddenly, Brie Bella was in the ring. Natalya was also in the ring. WWE then cut to footage from earlier tonight when Natalya confronted The Bellas to continue their Total Divas deal. The Bellas insulted Natalya for being the "ugly duckling" of the show, prompting Lawler to pile on that if Natalya doesn't make it on Total Divas, she can always be on Duck Dynasty.

8 -- BRIE BELLA vs. NATALYA

Brie dominated early on, using Natalya's anger with the Bellas against her. Natalya made a comeback, then Nikki Bella suddenly walked out on-stage mocking Natalya on the mic. Natalya tried to ignore Cena's girlfriend, but she took her eye off the ball long enough for Bryan's girlfriend to roll up Natalya from behind.

WINNER: Bella at 4:13.

[Q11] Backstage: Paul Heyman readied himself to manage IC champion Curtis Axel, who bounced up and down preparing for the next match. Heyman and Axel then marched down the hallway leading to break. Of note, no speaking part for Axel.

[Commercial Break at 10:31]

Back from break, R-Truth's music was playing. Truth paced the ring before Curtis Axel's music played to bring out Truth's opponent. On-stage, Heyman took the mic and waited out audio-sweetened boos before introducing himself. Heyman said it's ironic that his opponent is known as R-Truth because "our truth" is that he, Paul Heyman, is the most exclusive agent/advocate/manager in history. Take, for example, Brock Lesnar. Heyman said at Summerslam, Lesnar will end the career of his former best friend, C.M. Punk.

Heyman shifted gears to his client, Curtis Axel. He said being a Paul Heyman Guy means that you are among the most elite circles of top-tier talent in history. "A fact perfectly personified by Curtis Axel," Heyman said. Axel then took the mic and spoke. Axel said his father won the IC Title right here in Texas (first mention of where Raw is taking place tonight). Axel said as for him, he is already more perfect...dramatic pause...than Perfect. Axel then entered the ring to face Truth, who was looking for a win to get a future title shot.

9 -- IC champion CURTIS AXEL (w/Paul Heyman) vs. R-TRUTH -- non-title match

Basic back-and-forth action to start. Suddenly, there was a loud "C-M-Punk" chant, but no one's mouths were moving in the crowd. On-cue following the piped-in chant, Punk stormed the ring and chucked Axel out of the ring. Punk eyed Heyman across the ring, then chased down Heyman on the outside, but Curtis Axel blasted Punk from behind to allow Heyman to escape. Punk eventually fought off Axel, then stared down Heyman, who escaped into the crowd.

WINNER: No Decision announced around 2:30. Embarrassing crowd-noise editing in that segment.

Backstage: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were shown walking down the hallway. Cole said this must be newsworthy since they have something to say.

Up Next: John Cena vs. Ryback in a tables main event.

[Commercial Break at 10:41]

[Q12] GM Office: Triple H was shown confronting Mr. McMahon, who claimed he is using reverse psychological on Daniel Bryan, then he broke up laughing. Hunter said maybe McMahon needs to wake up and see Bryan for who he is. McMahon said he just wants someone to beat John Cena; someone like Triple H, but 23 years younger. Piped-in "ooohs" played in the arena. Stephanie McMahon then walked in and said they just need to help Bryan's image. She had an idea to personally supervise a...dramatic pause..."corporate make-over" for Bryan. McMahon and Triple H groaned at the corporate-speak idea. McMahon then told Stephanie, "Good luck with that one," before walking off. Hunter sighed and muttered, "It's worth a shot."

In-ring: John Cena was introduced for the main event. Cena bounced up and down on-stage, surveyed tables assembled around him, and stormed the ring. As Cena completed his ring intro, Cole hyped Cena vs. Bryan for the WWE Title at Summerslam. Ryback's music then brought out the former #1 contender for another run with Cena. A replay of Ryback putting Bryan through a table last week led to Lawler describing Bryan as a kid, which fits this angle continuing to play out like it's happening in elementary school as opposed to a grown-man's world.

10 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. RYBACK -- non-title Tables match

Cena quickly knocked Ryback to the outside, then quickly found a table to his liking from under the ring. But, Ryback cut off Cena with an attack from behind. Loud "Cena, Cena" chant that Ryback mocked by cockily chanting along before chucking Cena into the guardrail. Ryback tried to smash Cena with a table, but Cena ducked and rolled back into the ring. Lawler was mid-sentence when Raw suddenly cut to a commercial.

[Commercial Break at 10:53]

Back from break at 5:05, Lawler noted he was "so rudely interrupted" by the commercial. As for the match, Ryback continued to carry himself with a cockier attitude, taunting Cena with light kicks as Cena crawled across the floor. Cena then fought back, but Ryback reversed a whip that sent Cena shoulder-first into the ring steps. Ryback stood up and laughed to himself, then slowly stalked Cena to follow up. But, Cena ran Ryback back-first into the ring apron and then the guardrail.

At 8:00, Cena measured Ryback for a suplex through a table on the floor, but Ryback blocked and suplexed Cena back-first onto the padded floor. Ryback talked to himself a bit before rolling Cena back into the ring to follow up. But, Ryback was too cocky re-entering the ring, allowing Cena to slap on the STF. But, Ryback crawled out of the ring to escape, then he slid underneath the ring to escape Cena. Suddenly, Ryback emerged on the other side and speared Cena hard to the floor.

[Q13 -- over-run ] Ryback cockily stood up and taunted the crowd as Cena sold on the floor. On commentary, Cole reset by noting Bryan beat Kane earlier tonight, then the Wyatts preyed on Kane. Suddenly, Ryback smashed Cena in the face with the ring steps. Ryback re-arranged some furniture, then both men teased power moves through tables on the floor, but neither man could execute for the win. Suddenly, both men had possession of ring steps to use as weapons.

At 13:00, Cena looked to the crowd for advice on what to do next. So, he chucked his ring steps at Ryback, who also chucked his ring steps at Cena and the ring steps met in the middle before falling to the ground. After a pause, Cena ran into the ring and called for Ryback to meet him in the ring. Ryback obliged and Cena got the best of Ryback to deliver Five Knuckle Shuffle as Ryback lay flat on the ring steps. But, Cena could not follow up, allowing Ryback to deliver a backpack slam middle-ring.

At 14:30, Cole did the dejected commentary about Ryback closing in on a tables victory tonight. Ryback measured Cena for a Meathook Clothesline, and he connected. Ryback wasn't through, though, as he wanted it one more time. On the second try, though, Cena popped up to his feet, causing Ryback to stop short. Cena then hoisted Ryback in the air to deliver an AA through a table propped up in the corner for the win.

WINNER: Cena at 15:43. That was actually a very good tables match, complete with Ryback showing some personality and advancing his character to a new stage of cockiness that is a 180 from playing the Cryback heel role. Well done. (***)

Post-match, Lawler excitedly said Cena survived Ryback tonight. Daniel Bryan then marched down to the ring without music. Bryan took the WWE Title belt from the timekeeper, then entered the ring as Cena squared off ready to fight if needed. Bryan then extended the WWE Title belt for Cena to receive. But, he pulled it back when Cena reached out to accept it.

Bryan pointed to himself, then nodded along with Yes! chants, which Cena playfully played along with before yanking the title away from Bryan. Cena pointed to the belt, telling Bryan that he will have to earn it. Bryan then Yes!ed right in Cena's face several times, testing Cena's patience, as Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Summerslam build-up still comes across too much like a school play with the popular sophomore (Bryan) trying to rise up to meet the established jock senior (Cena) while the set-in-his-ways Principal, the new-way-of-thinking Vice Principal, and VP's wife bicker about how to market this story to the rest of the school. It's part of WWE's conundrum where late 40s is the median age of their viewers, but they're trying to appeal to a younger demographic with the Daniel Bryan Underdog Story that plays well on TV and in arenas, but hasn't been tested on PPV at this level.

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff .

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com .


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