Who's Hot and Who's Not Heading into Raw on July 15

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJuly 15, 2013

Who's Hot and Who's Not Heading into Raw on July 15

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    Briefcases and championships in hand, the winners from Money in the Bank head into Monday's WWE Raw with momentum aplenty.

    Beyond those who are obviously hot going forward like John Cena, who fended off Mark Henry, and Randy Orton, who outlasted his fellow All-Stars in the main event, some stars shone bright even without a victory. A tag team, a second-generation star and an authority figure are among the folks who came out of the pay-per-view stronger than they entered it.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, a few Superstars head into WWE Raw sputtering.

    Who is stampeding toward SummerSlam ready to build on their success at Money in the Bank, and who needs some momentum repair? Let's start with a mustached man who thought that victory was his.

Hot: Cody Rhodes

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    One of the big stories in the wake Sunday's event is how Damien Sandow trampled over his best friend and tag team partner in order to win the world title Money in the Bank briefcase. Cody Rhodes, though, was the star of that opening match.

    Rhodes didn't come away with the win, but he dominated much of the match.

    He followed flurry with flurry, dropkicking Jack Swagger from under Antonio Cesaro, smashing foes with ladders and getting the crowd riled up in the process. Rhodes gave WWE a glimpse of how compelling he can be when asked to be the focal point.

    He now can head into a feud with Sandow, possibly winning that briefcase away from him a la Edge from Mr. Kennedy.

Not: Kaitlyn

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    Kaitlyn's story arc against AJ Lee may be all but over.

    AJ's decisive submission win could have the Divas champ moving ahead to a new challenger. Perhaps Layla steps up or perhaps Natalya moves into the title picture. Either way, if Kaitlyn can't maintain this feud, she'll likely fall out of the spotlight altogether.

    WWE isn't currently making room for more than one Divas story at a time.

    While Kaitlyn and AJ have been battling, Natalya, Tamina and the Funkadactyls haven't seen much ring action. That could be Kaitlyn's situation once this rivalry dies down.

Hot: The Usos

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    One could argue that the pre-show was the match of the night.

    Kudos to The Usos for making the most of their opportunity. Even in a loss to The Shield, The Usos looked fabulous.

    The brothers seemed to nearly have the match in hand at several points. They made Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins work hard to keep their titles and likely earned another shot at them.

    Their feud spilled over to the world title Money in the Bank ladder match as The Usos prevented Reigns and Rollins from assuring Dean Ambrose a win. Jimmy and Jey proved that they aren't one-time challengers and should be rewarded with more airtime.

Not: Big E. Langston

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    Big E. Langston didn't have a match at the pay-per-view. He didn't get thrown into either of the Money in the Bank ladder matches, but he also didn't really get involved in the one match he appeared at ringside for.

    Langston stood in AJ Lee's corner, but he didn't play much of a factor in the Divas title match.

    The story was all Kaitlyn and AJ. AJ worked on Kaitlyn's injured arm and eventually overcome the challenger’s gutsiness to retain. It was easy to forget that Langston was even standing out there.

    Dolph Ziggler has also asked him to stop accompanying him to the ring, so Langston's roles are diminishing without an immediate replacement in sight. He can only hope WWE has something for him to do in the near future or he may slip into the shadows for the time being.

Hot: Curtis Axel

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    Retaining the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz would have been a boost for him as is, but Curtis Axel won on Sunday without Paul Heyman and without any underhandedness.

    Miz fooled the referee into thinking Heyman had hit him, leading to Axel's manager leaving his side. Still, Axel came out on top and extended his growing IC title reign.

    In addition, it looks as if he'll be at the center of the CM Punk and Heyman feud. Axel attacked Daniel Bryan and clashed with Punk in the WWE title Money in the Bank ladder match. With Heyman turning on his former best friend and Brock Lesnar only being around for select dates, Axel can step in and be a major player in this rivalry.

    That's great news for him as it keeps the spotlight shining on him even without a rivalry of his own.

Not: Wade Barrett

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    Raise your hand if you thought Money in the Bank was going to be Wade Barrett's night. You're not alone.

    Barrett was one of the favorites to win the World title Money in the Bank ladder match, and losing the Intercontinental title seemed like the precursor to bigger things.

    Damien Sandow came out the victor in that vicious battle, and Cody Rhodes looked the strongest of any of the remaining competitors. Barrett didn't get to make that much of an impact.

    Lost in the buzz over Sandow's win, Team Rhodes Scholars' likely split and the match's other highlights, Barrett left Money in the Bank no better off than before it. Without a rival and without a direction, he may find himself out of the SummerSlam mix.

Hot: Brad Maddox

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    The newly appointed general manager of WWE Raw got a surprise segment at Money in the Bank.

    Brad Maddox showed off his unique style of humor as he mockingly thanked Vickie Guerrero for her service and showed an embarrassing video package of her worst moments as GM.

    The fact that WWE put this bit on at a pay-per-view rather than just wait one night to air it on Monday shows the company is fully behind him. Maddox doesn't look to be an afterthought, but instead, he's a man who, for the moment, will be a significant part of WWE Raw.

    Monday will reveal more of where Maddox is headed and what WWE has planned for the man some are calling Eric Bischoff 2.0.

Not: Chris Jericho

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    For Superstars whose win-loss record is in a downward spiral, Chris Jericho is the simple cure.

    Ryback hadn't won a pay-per-view match in 2013. After losing to John Cena, The Miz, The Shield and Mark Henry over the last few months, the powerhouse finally got back in the win column at Jericho's expense.

    Sure, it was a fluky win, but Ryback will take it. Jericho, on the other hand, was once again asked to give someone else momentum. Perhaps he gets a revenge win before he goes on tour with Fozzy again, or else Jericho is going to have to wait a few months to improve his record.