WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/8 (Hour 1): Bryan vs. Sheamus tears it up, The Shield in tag action
Jul 8, 2013 - 10:05:00 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
July 8, 2013 - Episode #1,049
Live in Baltimore, Md.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
The final WWE Raw before Money in the Bank opened with a Wyatt Family vignette previewing their debut tonight.
After the Raw intro video played, Raw authority figure Vickie Guerrero was standing by in the ring with Brad Maddox. Vickie was standing next to a ladder, which led to her delivering Mickie James's promo from last Thursday's TNA Impact about climbing this ladder rung-by-rung to become successful. She also noted this ladder is associated with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, and "the one and only" Triple H.
After climbing to the top of the ladder with help from two referees, Vickie continued that she did the best job she possibly could have to manage a roster full of WWE stars. Suddenly, Jerry Lawler interrupted from the announce position to note that Vickie's job evaluation will include an element from the audience. Lawler introduced an App Poll on whether Vickie gets a Pass/Fail grade, prompting Vickie to kiss up the "WWE Universe" because they "have each other's backs."
Vickie said she knows she will have all of the crowd's support for a spectacular match she has booked for tonight: John Cena and Mark Henry going face-to-face. That's not a match. Vickie said she has also booked the MITB All-Star participants in matches: Christian vs. Kane, Randy Orton vs. C.M. Punk, and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan. "And that match is right now!" she shouted as the crowd started "Yes!'ing."
On cue, Daniel Bryan was introduced to a loud reaction and a lot of "Yes!'ing" in the crowd. Michael Cole spoke up about Vickie trying to save her job with her booking tonight. The crowd was hot for Bryan, who stood in the ring gripping the ladder before Raw faded out to the first of several Rob Van Dam vignettes.
RVD Flashback: April 2006 when RVD won the MITB ladder match at WrestleMania 22. Jim Ross and Taz's voices were heard on the soundbyte. RVD returns to WWE at MITB on Sunday.
[Commercial Break at 8:09]
Back from break, the crowd was still "Yes!ing" for Bryan. Sheamus's music then played to bring out Sheamus for a WrestleMania 28 re-match. Before the bell sounded, Cole brought up Bryan's 18-second loss to Sheamus at WM28.
[ JC's Reax: Perhaps the answer will be revealed during the match, but how does either wrestler benefit from this match? Bryan has been a tweener, heel, and face over the past few weeks of TV, this crowd is hot for Bryan, and Sheamus's character needs to be clearly accentuated by defeating heels because he's lacking something right now. ]
1 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. SHEAMUS
As Bryan and Sheamus felt each other out, Cole noted the Raw stars are coming off a Tour of Asia. Lawler tried to insert a joke about Sheamus's skin color, but Cole ignored him and kept rolling with more plugs. Lawler got his revenge moments later when a graphic noted that "Jerry Lawler" was trending on Twitter. In the ring, more feeling-out before Bryan tried a running smash off the ring apron, but Sheamus bounced Bryan head-first off the barricade. Both men sold the effects leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:17]
Back from break, the crowd was hot for the match. In the ring, Bryan delivered a forearm smash to Sheamus before Sheamus answered with a backbreaker for a nearfall. Sheamus followed with a sequence of power offense before setting up for the Brogue Kick. But, Bryan ducked and Sheamus toppled over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus sold a left knee injury, so Bryan came flying through the ropes with a suicide dive on the outside.
Back in the ring, Bryan came off the top with a double-foot thrust for a two count. At 10:00, Bryan started firing himself and the crowd up before delivering successive kick strikes to the chest. But, Sheamus ducked the big power kick and rolled to the ring apron. Sheamus lured in Bryan, who then received Ten Forearms to the Chest followed by a running clothesline.
Sheamus climbed to the top rope, but Bryan crotched him. Bryan tried to answer with a top-rope huracanrana, but Sheamus blocked and nailed a Battering Ram for a nearfall. "What a way to start Raw!" JBL exclaimed. Sheamus wanted to follow with White Noise, but Bryan countered with a drop toehold into the corner. Bryan then smashed Sheamus in the head with a kick strike for a nearfall.
At 13:00, Bryan climbed to the top rope, took some time to stare at the MITB briefcase hanging above the ring, and airballed a diving headbutt. Sheamus tried a pin, but Bryan kicked out. She-Bry then traded bombs from a seated position before trading bombs on their feet. Bryan scored with successive kicks, then crucifix-pinned Sheamus for a nearfall. Bryan instantly flowed into a No! Lock attempt, but Sheamus countered into a Texas Cloverleaf. Bryan fought the hold, then rolled up Sheamus with a small package for a three count and the win. "What a match!" Cole and JBL said in unison.
Post-match, WWE cut a great shot of Sheamus leaning against the middle rope selling disbelief. Bryan then led a hot crowd in more "Yes!ing." Suddenly, Bryan's music stopped as Sheamus approached Bryan. Sheamus looked toward the MITB briefcase, then shook hands with Bryan. "They won't be shaking hands on Sunday," JBL said, selling the PPV match on Sunday as Sheamus slipped out of the ring.
WINNER: Bryan at 14:20. Well, one way to overcome the Heel/Face/Tweener vs. Lacking Face booking was just to have a darn good TV match that ended with another endorsement for Bryan. A hot crowd really helped make this match reach the next level. (***1/4)
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL transitioned to a plug for the debut of the Wyatts coming tonight.
Earlier This Week: A "WWE reporter" went looking for the Wyatt Family campaign. The handheld footage showed the invisible reporter approaching two back-woods-types to ask where the Wyatts are. Guy #1 told the "reporter" to keep going and he'll find them.
[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:30]
Backstage: Divas champion A.J. Lee was shown talking to Big E. Langston. A.J. requested that Big E. watch out for Kaitlyn, then Dolph Ziggler walked into the shot. Ziggler asked Big E. for a second so they could talk. "What's wrong?" A.J. asked Dolph, who replied that A.J. has missed his last two matches. Dolph said he can only conclude that things are all about A.J. now. A.J. cuddled up with Ziggler, noting that she will do anything to make sure that Ziggler walks out of MITB as World champion after defeating Alberto Del RIo. A.J. asked Dolph if he wants to go "all the way." Dolph said he sure does...all the way to his third World Title. They kissed.
Video Package: Mark Henry through the years. Included were some creative camera-shots enhancing his destruction through the years. And, of course, plenty of Henry soundbytes. This Sunday, he gets a shot at John Cena and the WWE Title.
Still to come tonight: Henry has challenged Cena to find him in the ring tonight.
In-ring: Suddenly, The Shield's music played to bring out WWE tag champs Seth Rollins and Romain Reigns through the crowd. Cole noted they defend the Tag Titles against The Usos on the MITB PPV pre-show this Sunday. The Shield is in action next.
[Commercial Break at 8:40]
Back from break, WWE ran the second Rob Van Dam ladder match vignette. This one was from May 2002 featuring RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero.
Back in the arena, Tons of Funk were in the ring ready to face The Shield.
2 -- WWE tag champions THE SHIELD (SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) vs. TONS OF FUNK (BRODUS CLAY & TENSAI w/Naomi and Cameron) -- non-title match
Tons of Funk isolated Rollins early on until Reigns got a tag. Reigns then attacked Brodus Clay as the announcers offered pop culture references and jokes mixed with notes about Shield vs. The Usos on Sunday. Shield continued to isolate Brodus as the crowd sat quietly in the "come-down match" following Bryan vs. Sheamus.
Sweet T, Cameron, and Naomi woke up the crowd with a rally clap, but Reigns pounded Clay down to the mat to retain control. Reigns then wanted a power lift and got Brodus in the air, but Brodus rolled down Reigns's back for a nearfall. Brodus then tagged in Sweet T simultaneous to Rollins tagging in for the heels. Tensai cleaned house and tried to fire up the crowd, then delivered a rolling bowling ball smash to Rollins's mid-section. But, Rollins responded with a facebuster into the second turnbuckle.
At 6:00, Rollins kicked Brodus off the ring apron, then wanted a top-rope move, but Tensai blocked and nailed a Sky-High Bomb. Rollins kicked out, though. Rollins then popped Tensai in the head with a kick before tagging in Reigns, who came out of nowhere with a big spear to Tensai. Tensai didn't see it coming and it resulted in a three count for The Shield. On commentary, Cole said The Shield is ready for Sunday.
WINNERS: Shield at 6:35. This was better than expected. But, not a good sign for The Shield when they're placed in the Q4 come-down match and the announcers are joking around. It doesn't feel like WWE is interested in keeping Shield at the level they were at during the first-half of 2013 until they do something destructive again.
Up Next: Cena and Henry go face-to-face.
[Commercial Break at 8:52]
Back from break, Cole introduced another Wyatt Family video. WWE cut to footage from "earlier this week" when a "reporter" arrived at an old Southern plantation-looking home. The video showed Erick Rowan cutting lumber, then Luke Harper suddenly popped into the camera shot. "Follow me," he told the invisible reporter.
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