5 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (7-22-13): Cena endorses Bryan long after fans, Triple H-Maddox talk about Bryan’s size, Punk mentions UFC Title when hyping Lesnar fight, three Bryan matches

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


Ryback (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

WWE HELL IN A CELL POST-SHOW - LIVE CALLERS INSTANT BACKLASH...
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The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com five years ago this week…


KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 22, 2013
AUSTIN, TEX.
LIVE ON USA NETWORK

[Q1]

-They opened with a video package on the Paul Heyman, C.M. Punk, Brock Lesnar angle last week.

-They went to the darkened arena and a drum roll. Justin Roberts introduced Raw G.M. Brad Maddox, who stood mid-ring. He saluted the crowd and gave that Eric Bischoff style smile. He said nobody is more Texas than the Sheriff of Monday Night Raw. When he extended his arms, the camera zoomed in on his hand and it appeared to be shaking nervously. He stood in front of a table and chairs for the official John Cena-Daniel Bryan contract signing for SummerSlam’s main event WWE Title match.

Cena made his ring entrance and sat at the table. Maddox said people are curious why he chose Bryan since he could choose to face anyone at SummerSlam. Cena said he chose Bryan because he listened to the WWE Universe. Maddox asked why the decision was so clear to him. He said some are saying he chose Bryan because he’s certain he’ll defeat him because he’s bigger than him and stronger than him and he even resembles a troll. He said some would say Bryan is even unstable. He said he has a history of relationship issues. Cena said he looks uncertain of his accusations. Bryan’s music played and Cena smirked casually.

(WK Reax: Cena is acting like this is a dress rehearsal or almost beneath him. I don’t think he’s going for that, but he is being too casual and smirky here.)

Bryan made his ring entrance and led the crowd in chanting “Yes! Yes!” He began to talk, but paused for a chant of “Daniel Bryan!” He said it sounds to him like Maddox is saying he doesn’t deserve the title shot, but the people seem to disagree with him. Maddox asked why he thinks Cena selected him. Cena interrupted and told Maddox to be man enough to ask him.

Cena stood and looked at Bryan. He said Maddox and the dumbasses that he works for are afraid to see God-given talent and ability when its beard is staring them in the face. He said if you want to run down Bryan for being “half his size” and not being as strong, that would mean Great Khali should be handed the WWE Title. He said Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels and the late Eddie Guerrero have proved that ability and passion make a WWE Champion, not just size and strength. Cena said he picked him because he earned it and he deserved it.

(WK Reax: This is patronizing. The fans already picked Bryan. They didn’t need to be told this. This seems more aimed at Vince McMahon than anyone else.)

Cena said being WWE Champion is about facing the best competition at all times. He said he picked him to compete in this match. He said he won’t hand him the belt, he has to compete for it. Cena signed the contract. He looked at Bryan and said he will be at SummerSlam to defend his title, and he will prove that even the best contender isn’t good enough to beat him. Bryan then signed the contract. As Bryan began to speak, Maddox interrupted and announced that the match was official.

Bryan yelled at Maddox, “No, you don’t get to interrupt me!” He said he’s waited his entire career for this opportunity and he’s proved he deserves it. Maddox asked if he’s sure. He said Cena thinks so, as does a “vocal minority” of the WWE Universe. He said he will give him an opportunity tonight to prove his critics wrong. So tonight he will have multiple matches. Maddox chanted “No!” after asking if he thinks he’ll succeed in proving himself worthy tonight.

-They went to Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL at ringside. Cole talked about The Shield attacking Mark Henry last week. Cole said Henry vowed to fire back this week.

-They went to a split screen of Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus as Lawler hyped their match up next.

[Q2] [c]

-“WWE Fact: WWE Magazine has more readers per copy than ESPN Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Maxim combined.” Yep, WWE fans share their copy with others more than ESPN Magazine readers do. Cole added that WWE Magazine is celebrating 30 years in business.

(WK Reax: I remember picking up the very first copy of that magazine at the newsstand when I was 12.)

(1) ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SHEAMUS

At 3:00 Sheamus set Del Rio on the top rope. Del Rio grabbed Sheamus’s arm and dropped down for an armlock. Sheamus wound back and punched him, sending him to the floor. They cut to a break. [c]

[Q3]

The announcers played up Del Rio looking better than ever since regaining the World Title. They also played up Sheamus’s huge leg bruise as a detriment to him in this match. When Del Rio landed an enzuigiri and leaned in hard for a cover, Sheamus kicked out and the announcers immediately sold Sheamus’s heart. Sheamus made a comeback, but was limping. He pounded his chest and went for the Brogue Kick, but Del Rio ducked and Sheamus looked like it hurt his leg. Del Rio then kicked Sheamus’s leg and went for a cross armbreaker. Sheamus countered and went for White Noise, but his leg collapsed and Del Rio seized the situation with a schoolboy for the three count.

WINNER: Del Rio in 13:00.

(WK Reax: Good match. The twist of playing up Sheamus’s leg injury gave this match a different theme than usual between them.)

-Cole plugged that Miz TV would feature the cast of Total Divas.

-A clip aired of Lesnar brutally attacking Punk last week. Lawler said they’d find out Punk’s physical and mental state later. [c]

-A clip aired of Vince McMahon revealing on Smackdown last Friday that Vickie Guerrero, not Booker T or Teddy Long, would be the new permanent G.M. of Smackdown. Then a clip aired of Vickie calling on security to get Long “out of my office, out of my building, out of my life! Kick him to the curb!”

-Backstage Renee Young interviewed Booker T and Long regarding Vince’s decision. Booker said he respects his decision, but he was a bit taken aback and shocked by the whole situation. Long interjected that he filled in for him for three long months and he would not believe the abuse he took while he was at home with his feet propped up in his La-Z-Boy chair. Booker said he had triceps surgery and Long knows that. Long said he knows he was left holding the bag. He said after all he did for Smackdown, Vickie kicked him out of the building. Booker said if Long keeps running at the mouth, he’ll kick him out. Long said, “That’s what you’re all about, physical oppression.” He said he thinks if he, Long, wasn’t going to be the G.M., then maybe McMahon made the right decision.

(WK Reax: Not sure where that is headed.)

-Cole plugged that Bryan would be in multiple matches later against three mystery opponents.

-Christian’s ring entrance took place. [c…]

[Q4] […c]

(2) TITUS O’NEIL (w/Darren Young) vs. CHRISTIAN

The announcers said the Prime Time Players are looking to try to make an impact in singles wrestling. The also wished Shawn Michaels a happy birthday. Lawler mentioned the royal baby being born earlier in the day. Titus blew his whistle as he stomped Christian in the corner. Christian made a comeback. Lawler said you can’t blow whistles when you have the advantage in a match. That’s probably the first time that’s ever been said on a pro wrestling show. When Young stepped up onto the ring apron, Christian turned and dropkicked him to the floor. Titus then caught Christian with a big boot for a two count. Cole did not falsely declare it the end of the match, which was nice. Christian then slipped out of Titus’s grip and his the Kill Switch for the win.

WINNER: Christian in 5:00.

(WK Reax: That match could have gone either way in terms of predicting how it’d be booked. It says something about both guys that they gave Christian the win. Christian is not going to be a jobber to build new stars and Titus isn’t on a fast track as a singles act, either.)

-A clip aired from Ryback on Smackdown beating up Chris Jericho after his match against Curtis Axel.

-Josh Mathews backstage asked Ryback if he enjoys intimidating others. Ryback said, “You know what? I do, you little twerp.” He said Mathews looks about average size, and that represents everyone in the WWE Universe. He said he hates average. He said in the law of the jungle, the bigger and the stronger always eat the weaker and the smaller. He said whether it’s taking lunch money on the playground or handling anyone he wants how he wants, “hey, the big guy needs to eat.” He said Mathews and people like him deserve to be intimidated by him. He said if they’re not, he’ll prove to them why they should be. He motioned toward Mathews with a snort and Mathews looked intimidated as he backed away.

(WK Reax: I like this direction for Ryback. It’s something that a lot of WWE fans will relate to of any age – someone with muscle or mass being a bully. WWE has it right this time with the bully being portrayed as the heel.)

-Mark Henry’s ring entrance took place. They aired a clip of last week’s angle with Henry and The Shield. Henry began by saying he’s proud of the fact that he’s a born and raised Texan, just down the street.

[Q5]

He said he’s proud of the effort he put into his championship match with Cena. He said he’s not proud, however, of what happened to him last week. He said, “My heart don’t pump Kool-Aid. I’m made of tough stuff.” He said anyone who takes a beating like he took is willing to give one out. He said he doesn’t want to lull the fans asleep, so if The Shield want him, he’s right there. The Shield music played. The crowd chanted “Henry! Henry!” They walked to the ring and swarmed Henry three-on-one. He held his own briefly, but eventually he was overwhelmed. After ten seconds, the Usos ran out for the save, getting a nice pop for doing so. They cleared the ring of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins quickly, then Henry splashed Roman Reigns in the corner. Ambrose kicked the ringside barrier before all three retreated. Lawler said you don’t see The Shield in that mode very often. Henry’s music played.

(WK Reax: Good Booking 101 basic effective approach by forming a new alliance of three babyfaces against three heels who are used to the numbers advantage. Henry was smart, too, in how he solidified his turn with a mix of humility and cool blunt tough talk.)

-Cena walked up to Bryan backstage as he warmed up. Cena said Maddox booking him against multiple opponents and how nervous he looked made him think he wasn’t making his own choices. Bryan said he’ll be fine on his own tonight. Cena said he wants Bryan to make it to SummerSlam in one piece. Bryan said this is a chance for him to prove he belongs here and he will win. He begged him not to deprive him of this opportunity, and if Cena comes out during any of his matches, it will show all of those things he said out there earlier was nothing but a load of crap.

-A commercial aired for Total Divas premiering this Sunday on E! No clips this week of romance involving Cena and Bryan. [c]

-A clip aired from Smackdown of Dolph Ziggler saying he was sorry he didn’t dump A.J. Lee sooner. Lee threw a fit backstage and threw chairs around. She also started hitting Big E. Langston. Eventually Big E. calmed her down and appeared to move in for a romantic kiss on her lips, but then moved up to the forehead. The announcers said Ziggler’s mood changed when he was interviewed for the WWE App and asked about the Lee-Big E. situation. He said he was blown away by what he saw.

(3) DARREN YOUNG vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Cole noted that Ziggler was interviewing fans at Comic-Con in San Diego this week.

[Q6]

When Young scored a very near fall, he complained to the ref that it was a three count. Ziggler then surprised him with a Zig Zag for the win.

WINNER: Ziggler in 3:00.

-Afterward Big E. and Lee ran out. Big E. attacked Ziggler. Ziggler quickly fought back and knocked Big E. to the floor. As soon as Big E. re-entered the ring, Ziggler slipped to the floor to avoid him.

-They went to Lawler, Cole, and JBL at ringside. Cole said Lee just said on Twitter she’d love Ziggler until his final breath, and added that she would let him know when that time comes. Then Cole showed people with help of on-screen graphics how to download the WWE App. Cole then hyped Punk coming up later. Lawler then said Miz TV was up next with the cast of Total Divas. [c]

-A video aired hyping SummerSlam showing WWE Superstars when they were little kids.

-In the ring Miz stood with the cast of Total Divas. He said he will be the official host of SummerSlam. That got very little pop. He threw to clips of Total Divas focused on the Bellas complaining about WWE hiring someone who looks like them, Eva Maria. When they came back to the ring, there were scattered boos, apparently fans who felt they didn’t pay to have a reality show pitched to them.

Miz introduced each of the Divas one at a time. Miz then surprised Lawler by inviting him into the ring. Lawler acted surprised and flattered, but very much eager to accept. He introduced himself to Jo Jo. They shook hands. He then turned to Eva Maria and introduced himself. She said she didn’t like how he was looking at her. She introduced herself and said she is in WWE to make a name for herself. She was full of attitude. She turned and slapped Lawler on the face.

Lawler said he would turn things back over to Miz. The camera zoomed in on each of the Divas and there was an “accidental” nip slip with one of the Bellas. It wasn’t particularly subtle. The USA Network logo blocked it a little on the next camera view. It was covered again by her shirt a few seconds later when all of the Divas stood and waved to the fans.

-Cole plugged Bryan’s three matches later.

[Q7] [c]

-WWE Fact: WWE.com is localized in Mandarin, Japanese, German, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.

-Triple H walked up to Maddox as he finished up a cell call. He asked Maddox if he really doesn’t think Bryan is big enough or strong enough or championship material. “It almost sounds like someone put words in your mouth,” he said. “I don’t care what the old man thinks. What I think is Daniel Bryan could quite possibly be the future of WWE.” He asked if he knows why he hadn’t overridden all of his decisions tonight. Maddox asked hopefully, “You liked them?” Funny. Triple H said no, it’s because he feels Bryan can handle anything that’s thrown at him. He told Maddox there are two trains leaving the station and he has to choose carefully. He said one train is the future and the other is a dead end. Maddox looked more nervous than usual.

Stephanie McMahon walked up to him from the other side. She said she feels for him because he’s between a rock and a hard place. “I’ve been there,” she said. She said she has an idea that might help, but she hasn’t thought it all the way through yet. She said when she presents it, he has to be sure to get on board. Maddox nervously said he’ll get on board.

-They went to the announcers who laughed at Maddox’s tough situation. They shifted to talking about the Wyatt Family. JBL said he’s retired so he’s glad they’re there. Cole threw to a video package of the Wyatt Family debut two weeks ago on Raw.

-Summer Rae danced onto the stage, followed shortly by Fandango himself.

-A commercial for Smackdown focused on whether Cody Rhodes will derail Damien Sandow’s World Title hopes. [c]

-Sandow joined the announcers at ringside. A clip aired of Sandow on Smackdown last week offering Cody the role of “Protector of the Case.” He said he earned it. Cody looked insulted and then bashed Sandow with the briefcase.

[Q8]

(4) CODY RHODES vs. FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae)

Sandow said it’s a statistical fact that he’s the uncrowned World Champion. At 4:00 Cody moonsault flipped onto Fandango. He clutched one of his knees in pain as Fandango bailed out to be tended to by Rae. Sandow got up with the briefcase. When he stood on the ring apron, Cody turned to him, but then shoved a charging Fandango into Sandow. He then Disaster Kicked the briefcase into Fandango and followed up with a Crossroads for the win.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes in 5:00.

(WK Reax: Sandow was great on commentary for the short time he had to talk. Cody’s still got the mustache, by the way.)

-A clip once again aired of Lesnar brutally beating up Punk last week. [c]

-Cole plugged that the Divas would be on NBC’s Today Show this Thursday morning.

-Punk limped onto the stage in jeans and a t-shirt. He said he felt Lesnar’s power last week and he could tell he was dealing with a genetically gifted athlete. He said no matter how much Lesnar dished out, he got up. He said here they are a week later with 30 staples in his head, with messed up ribs, elbows, and ankle. He said he feels like he was in a car accident, but he’s still standing. He said the thing about a Lesnar ambush, he can beat him down but he cannot keep him down. He said when you talk about Lesnar, you’re talking about a former NCAA Champion and former WWE Champion and “maybe most impressive of all, a former UFC Champion.”

(WK Reax: Wow, putting the UFC Title over the WWE Title on Raw?!)

He said in his last couple of fights he broke the likes of Triple H and John Cena. He said he broke Undertaker in the past. He said it’s never been about his speed or power or technique, Lesnar’s biggest weapon has always been about one thing – fear. He said he’s seen it first hand – his opponents being instilled with fear before facing him. He said he was offering WWE.com and WWE Magazine a headline: “I am not afraid of Brock Lesnar. I am not afraid of Paul Heyman’s monster.”

He shifted to talking about Paul Heyman. He said Heyman had a decision to make, but he made the wrong one, and he’ll make sure he lives to regret it every single day of his miserable life.

[Q9]

Punk said he’s relentless and won’t stop until Lesnar disappears back into the hype from which he came from. He said emphatically: “This – is – my – ring! I own it.” He said he proved it against everyone he has faced including Cena, The Rock, and Undertaker. He said he’s not pretending Lesnar is a big, tough, mean son of a bitch and the monster everyone says he is. But, he said, monsters were put in his path to be slaughtered. He declared he will slay that beast. He said he’ll take him on tonight, but he’s not there, but he does want him at SummerSlam. “I want The Best vs. The Beast.” There’s the headline.

Heyman appeared on the big screen and repeated “The Best vs. The Beast.” He said he doesn’t care for who gets top billing, but he thinks that’s clever marketing. Punk asked if he was backstage or appearing via satellite. Punk said if he’s in the building he’ll find him and give him what he deserves. Heyman asked if that’s what he’s reduced to now. He asked if he’s now just playing to the fans, whom he called “not people, not animals, they’re… uh… Texans.” He said he’s glad they live in an age of global communication so he and Lesnar can deliver their message to him without having to actually step foot in the state of Texas.

Heyman asked if he was a coward who ran out of options or a fool who is just too stupid to stay down. Punk said they’d find out at SummerSlam. He then demanded to know where Heyman was because he’d walk, drive, or fly to find him wherever he is. Heyman said to this day it bothers him that he still doesn’t realize they were the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. Heyman then accepted Punk’s challenge for SummerSlam, but he should stop calling it “The Best vs. The Beast,” because Lesnar is the best. He also rubbed it in by saying Lesnar is now his best friend in the world, replacing Punk. They had a staredown and then Punk’s music played. The announcers reacted to the exchange.

-They showed Rob Van Dam warning up backstage. [c]

-Cole plugged RVD vs. Del Rio on Smackdown on Friday.

(5) ROB VAN DAM vs. WADE BARRETT

Barrett jumped RVD as he stood on the top rope pointing at himself even though the bell had just rung. RVD looked like he deserved that, even if it was a bit of a bad sportsmanship move for Barrett. RVD fought back quickly and send Barrett to the floor. RVD then pointed at his shoulders and the fans chanted his initials. Barrett got the advantage at ringside and sustained it in the ring. JBL shifted to talking about the new Prince of Cambridge. Barrett bled from the nose and mouth early in this.

[Q10]

At 3:00 RVD made a comeback, hit some kicks, and finished Barrett with the Five-Star Frogsplash.

WINNER: RVD in 5:00.

-They showed Bryan heading toward the entrance tunnel. [c]

-Bryan’s ring entrance took place. Then Zeb lead Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro to the ring. Zeb said it would disgust the founder of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, that they have lowered themselves to shouting a stupid slogan “Yes! Yes! Yes!” He said Bryan is just like the people in the crowd, not minding taking a handout. He said he accepted a handout for a title match from Cena. He asked everyone to recite “We the People.”

(6) DANIEL BRYAN vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb, Antonio Cesaro)

At 2:00 Bryan was going to dive through the ropes and nail Swagger at ringside, but Swagger saw him coming and nailed Bryan on the forehead with a forearm as he flew in the air. He charged into the ring and did the corner swing splash. The crowd pelted Swagger with a chant of “OU Sucks.” He shouted “We the People!” Bryan recovered and applied the Yes Lock out of nowhere for the tapout win.

WINNER: Bryan in 3:00.

-As Bryan celebrated, Justin Roberts announced Cesaro was his next opponent.

[Q11] [c]

(7) DANIEL BRYAN vs. ANTONIO CESARO (w/Zeb, Jack Swagger)

They showed that during the break, Cesaro hit Bryan with his mid-air uppercut. He sent Bryan hard chest-first into the corner turnbuckles and scored a two count. The announcers brought up the speculation by Cena and Triple H that someone is in Maddox’s ear. They stopped short of overtly accusing Vince McMahon even though it was made obvious that viewers were supposed to infer that. As Zeb distracted the ref, Swagger shoved Bryan off the top rope right into an uppercut by Cesaro. It looked like a sure pin. The ref turned away from Zeb and counted a near fall. They cut to a break.

(WK Reax: Again, the announcers did not oversell the pin attempt by saying “he got him!” before the kick out, which is nice and perhaps a sign they’ve dropped that bad policy.) [c]

Back live Bryan sunset flipped Cesaro for a near fall, but Cesaro followed up immediately with double stomp onto Bryan’s chest leading to a two count. Cesaro hit a gut-wrench suplex for another two count. The rapid pace continued. Lawler heaped praise on Cesaro. Bryan caught Cesaro with a knee as he charged him, then came back with a released back suplex and an enzuigiri to the side of his head for a two count. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!”

When Bryan climbed to the top rope, Cesaro knocked him off balance and then went for a superplex. Bryan blocked it. Cesaro came back with punches. The ref ordered him to back out of the corner. Cesaro told the ref to “shut your mouth.” Bryan then blocked a top rope move and shoved Cesaro crotch-first onto the top turnbuckle. Bryan hung Cesaro upside down in the corner and began roundkicking him in the chest. Then he gave him a running basement dropkick. Bryan then went for a top rope back suplex, but Cesaro twisted in the air and landed on Bryan for a believable near fall.

[Q12]

Around 17:00 Cesaro began hitting Bryan with a barrage of uppercuts that dropped Bryan to the mat. Cesaro lifted Bryan and delivered more. Than he delivered a short-arm clothesline for a believable near fall. The crowd again chanted “This is awesome!” Cesaro set up the Neutralizer, but Bryan backdropped out of it and got a nice pop. Bryan fought back with forearms and the crowd yelled “Yes! Yes!” He then went for his Yes Lock. Cesaro tried to block it, so Bryan nailed him with a few forearms. Bryan then tossed Cesaro out to the floor. As Swagger yelled at Cesaro to get back into the ring, Bryan dove through the ropes and took both of them down. He threw Cesaro back into the ring. When Cesaro surprised Bryan with an attempt at the mid-air uppercut, Bryan countered with a small package for the three count.

WINNER: Bryan in 20:00. (****1/2)

-Backstage Maddox told Alex Riley he survived so far, but let’s see how he does “against this next one.” [c]

(8) DANIEL BRYAN vs. RYBACK

The crowd and the announcers fell silent when Ryback’s music played. Bryan looked a bit deflated after seconds earlier saying bring it on. Bryan attacked at the start with a barrage of kicks, but Ryback fought back rather easily against Bryan who had just been through two collectively grueling matches. Ryback stood on Bryan’s throat for a four count by the ref. Ryback yelled at Bryan, “You’re a little man in a big man’s world.” JBL said Michaels wasn’t a big man and he was one of the greatest ever. He noted Rey Mysterio was also a great champion. The crowd taunted Ryback with a chant of “You can’t wrestle.” He cupped his ear and encouraged more of it. That silenced it pretty quickly. Bryan came back at 3:00 with a half Boston crab. Ryback crawled to the bottom rope to force a break. A “Goldberg” chant began.

[Q13]

Ryback wound up for his Meat Hook clothesline, but Bryan countered with a high knee to his jaw as he charged at him. He followed up with a running dropkick into the corner. And another. And a third attempt, but Ryback dropped him with a Meat Hook for a near fall.

(WK Reax: That was believable and deserved a better sell by Cole, but Cole was preoccupied by resetting the show since the overrun just began.)

Ryback grabbed a table at ringside. Bryan dove through the ropes and knocked Ryback into the announce table. Cole said he has no idea how Bryan is even in this match. Ryback shoved Bryan back-first into the ringside steps. A few fans attempted a “holy sh–‘ chant. Back in the ring Bryan threw a series of roundhouse kicks. The crowd chanted “Yes!” with each one. Ryback lifted Bryan for a powerbomb, but Bryan countered with a rollup. Bryan then went for a Yes Lock. Ryback lifted him by his hair and tossed him aside. Bryan then took Ryback into the middle turnbuckle face-first. He climbed to the top rope and landed a big dropkick for a near fall at 8:00. Bryan then applied the Yes Lock. Ryback was mid-ring, but managed to crawl to the bottom rope to the force a break.

When Ryback retreated to ringside, Bryan leaped off the ring apron toward him. Ryback caught him and threw him to the ground. Then he powerbombed Bryan through the table he set up earlier. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Bryan in 10:00 via DQ.

(WK Reax: Epic performance from Bryan, and also from Cesaro who will get credit for that effort for a long time.)

-Ryback picked up Bryan, so Cena ran out and threw Ryback into the ring. Then he clotheslined Ryback over the top rope to the floor. Cena took the house mic and said if Ryback wants to put Bryan through a table after a half hour fight, “how about you trying to do the same thing with me?” He suggested they have a tables match, presumably next week. Ryback said, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” Cena’s music played.

-Backstage Maddox told Vince McMahon he would now make Cena vs. Ryback in a tables match official. McMahon asked what he had in store for Bryan. He told him not to deny him the ability to prove himself. He suggested he match him against someone with a vicious side, such as possibly “a best friend.” Maddox got the message and booked Bryan vs. Kane.

-Back in the ring Bryan rolled into the ring where he stood and got an ovation. Cena stayed at ringside as the crowd chanted “Yes! Yes!” Cole said the fans were showing respect for his effort. He then hyped Kane vs. Bryan next week.

(WK Reax: Just as I was going to criticize Cena and WWE for ending the show with Cena’s music instead of Bryan’s after that tremendous performance(s) by Bryan, they did the right thing and switched to Bryan’s music. I do feel bad for longtime pro wrestling fans who tuned out for whatever reason after WrestleMania 29 and are missing all of this. Bryan is phenomenal week after week, and as much as we have been given reason to question some of the booking execution of things lately with various people, including Bryan, there is so much going well and so much right that it’s a great time to be a regular viewer of Raw.)


NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/8: C.M. Punk vs. Orton headlines, Vickie & Maddox job evaluation by Vince & Steph & Hunter, Cena-Henry segment, plus Lawler, Seth & Reigns, Jericho, Kane, A.J. Lee

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