August 5, 2013 marked the day where WWE presents Monday Night Raw ended a one-week hiatus from live television. Live from Green Bay, Wisconsin, we were provided with everything from corporate makeovers to brutal matches.
Here's how it all went down.
Two weeks away from SummerSlam, Titletown hosted an event with an unbelievable 10 matches. This is beyond what the average Raw card presents, which had many on edge as countless storylines and feuds were advanced.
Rob Van Dam battled Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry clashed with Ryback, Bray Wyatt and The Family took on Tons of Funk and Layla faced Kaitlyn. Also involved in matches were Christian and Heath Slater, CM Punk and Curtis Axel, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger against The Usos and Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler.
Did we mention that Kofi Kingston returned?
And we haven't even touched on the main event.
- Stephanie McMahon opens the show by introducing Daniel Bryan after his corporate makeover. Bryan gives a speech on how he is a "wrestler," while John Cena is an "entertainer." He makes the claim that he will make Cena tap out at SummerSlam.
- Vince McMahon comes out and commends Bryan for giving the "WWE look" a "college try." McMahon then calls Bryan a dwarf, says he has the face of a gargoyle and calls him a miniature Mick Foley.
- Rob Van Dam defeats Alberto Del Rio via botched interference by Ricardo Rodriguez. After the match, Del Rio viciously beats Rodriguez.
- Cody Rhodes fight Damien Sandow after unveiling the soaking wet and battered Money in the Bank briefcase.
- Mark Henry defeats Ryback via count out.
- Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeat Tons of Funk via pinfall. Bray Wyatt attacks Brodus Clay after the match. Kane emerges on the titantron and calls Wyatt out for a match at SummerSlam, hinting that it could be an Inferno Match.
- Layla defeats Kaitlyn via Bombshell after AJ Lee interfered.
- Christian defeats Heath Slater via Spear.
- CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel ends in no contest after interference via Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Lesnar leaves Punk laying motionless in the ring after hitting him with the F-5 and multiple chair shots.
- Paul Heyman challenges CM Punk to a match next week.
- Kofi Kingston defeats Fandango via Trouble in Paradise.
- Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger defeat The Usos.
- Big E Langston defeats Dolph Ziggler via Big Ending after a ringside fight between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn.
- Daniel Bryan, John Cena and Randy Orton defeat The Shield via disqualification. After the match, Orton hits both Bryan and Cena with RKOs, nearly cashes in and walks away when The Shield viciously assaults the two men.
Daniel Bryan is a Wrestler, Randy Orton is Opportunistic
Perhaps no feud has taken the WWE by storm as much as the years-in-the-making clash between Daniel Bryan and John Cena. Each have been on top for the better part of a decade, with their respective venues differing.
Bryan was the King of the Indies, while Cena has reigned supreme over the WWE. At SummerSlam, the two will finally meet with the WWE championship on the line.
Tonight, Bryan made it clear that this isn't just a matter of becoming the world champion—it's about being a wrestler.
Bryan was speaking for every independent wrestling fan in the world, whether right or wrong.
Prior to that statement, Bryan's "corporate makeover" was revealed to the WWE universe. With a tailored suit, slicked back hair and a decision toe at steak—shocking, I know—Bryan did whatever it took to conform to Stephanie McMahon's idea.
Until Vince McMahon attempted to shave his beard, that is.
McMahon had Wade Barrett emerge from the back, putting Bryan in a barber's chair and taking a razor to his face. Just before Barrett could do it, however, Bryan headbutted him, threw him into the chair and shaved half of his beard.
Apparently the "dwarf" has some fight in him.
Unfortunately for Bryan, his night didn't get any easier.
Bryan was forced to team with his Summerslam opponent, Cena, and the Money in the Bank briefcase holder Randy Orton in a match against The Shield. While the match may have ended in a team disqualification, the winner was clear.
Orton hit both Bryan and Orton with RKOs and made one thing clear—he's coming for the title.
CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman
When it was announced that CM Punk took would take on Intercontinental champion Curtis Axel with Paul Heyman at ringside, we expected fireworks. When the dust had settled, no one expected to see what had happened.
Brock Lesnar demolished Punk with an F-5 and a steel chair, and an enraged Paul Heyman challenged Punk to a match.
Here's hoping that general manager Brad Maddox bans Heyman's clients from ringside.
Punk and Heyman have been feuding since Money in the Bank, when the latter turned on his former best friend. Now, with Punk wondering what could have been, Heyman is making it clear that he values Lesnar more than he ever did Punk.
Before we can see "The Best vs. The Beast," however, we're going to see Heyman and Punk wrestle on next week's Monday Night Raw.
Chances are, Lesnar and Axel will be involved, thus attacking Punk and setting up a standoff to usher in SummerSlam. On the off-chance that Punk and Heyman actually wrestle, however, we'll see sweet retribution.
Here's hoping for the latter.
SummerSlam Taking Shape
SummerSlam is taking shape, as matches are being announced and feuds are developing at a rapid pace. From wrestlers turning on their managers to gimmick matches being unofficially created, we've heard it all.
We start with a potential Inferno Match between Kane and Bray Wyatt.
Well, SummerSlam is the hottest event of the season.
Not only will Kane and Wyatt square off, but another feud took an intriguing turn when Alberto Del Rio turned on manager Ricardo Rodriguez. Not only did Rodriguez inadvertently screw Del Rio against Rob Van Dam, but he lit a fuse under the World Heavyweight Champion.
What followed was heartless.
We witnessed a vicious assault that drastically alters the trajectory of Del Rio's match against Christian.
As we said, SummerSlam is taking shape and those who blink will miss out on critical moments of WWE television. Randy Orton turned on his teammates, displaying that the title matters above all else, and CM Punk will face Paul Heyman in a preview of their title affair.
Regardless of how we cut it, SummerSlam is shaping up to be memorable.
Do you agree? Disagree?
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