So, Money in the Bank is this coming Sunday. Most everyone involved got spotlighted. Plus, the Wyatt Family made their long-awaited debut. In addition, Vickie Guerrero will learn her fate through a job evaluation.
I want to start by saying thanks to all those who sent nice Birthday Wishes to my Facebook and e-mail. It made the day very special. Thanks to my wife and kids for making the day so much fun. They got me a new camcorder and a specially made Superman clock, which I will be using at the Temperature Rising event on August 5th at Jones Beach in New York. That’s another day. Right now, it’s time to get down to the business of WWE Wrestling…
The show opened with one of those cryptic Wyatt Family videos. Love the music.
Roll the opening montage!
Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero were in the ring, standing next to a huge ladder. Vickie talked about how hard she has been working on Sunday’s PPV. Vickie talked about the great men who made the ladder a special part of the WWE. Vickie said the ladder in the ring represented her climb to the top in the WWE. Vickie climbed the ladder as the fans chanted “Fall!”. That’s just tacky. She straddled the ladder and looked around. Vickie said she was a successful woman in a male dominated world. Vickie talked about navigating through the mine fields to bring the WWE Universe the best. Vickie gave credit to the fans for her success. Jerry Lawler came up with the “Excuse Me!”. Lawler said the McMahons would be considering all opinions as far as how Vickie has been doing. I’m sure the fans will fail her. Of course, all of us out here on the West Coast don’t really get a say. Vickie kissed up to the WWE Universe. Vickie asked Brad if he had her back. He nodded. Vickie said she had a fantastic match lined up. She said John Cena and Mark Henry will stand face to face. She will also bring out all the Money in the Bank participants to battle. The rundown was amazing. She kicked it off with Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus!
The first of several Rob Van Dam videos ran. It was his 2006 win of the Money in the Bank briefcase. He’s my pick to win. I’ll be posting my Money in the Bank predictions, a little later this week.
Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus
Money in the Bank All-Stars Preview Match
No ladders in this one, but this is a Flashback to Wrestlemania 28. Collar and Elbow and the two went to the corner. Clean break. Side Headlock into a Takeover by Sheamus. Push Off into a Shoulder Tackle by Sheamus. Sheamus looked up at the briefcase. Daniel went after the arm of the Irishman. Back Elbow by Sheamus. Universal into a Flying Clothesline by Daniel. Sheamus clubbed away at Daniel and dropped a series of knees. Sheamus pulled Daniel down and stretched the arm. Daniel with a Kitchen Sink to send Sheamus flipping over. Daniel with wicked kicks to the arm and chest. Sheamus went to Daniel’s eyes. Funk Neckbreaker for a two. Tilt-a-Whirl Irish Curse Backbreaker by Sheamus but only for a two count. Daniel flipped Sheamus out to the floor. Flying Crossbody by Daniel but he crashed into the barricade. Raw took a break.
Sheamus with the Half Nelson but Daniel battled out with European Uppercuts and kicks. Sheamus reversed a Ship but Daniel ran the ropes. Irish Curse Backbreaker for a two. Measured punches by Sheamus. Celtic Hammer and Million Dollar Kneelift by Sheamus. Sheamus dropped Daniel and got a two count. Sheamus took boots to the face but came back with the Rolling Senton. Daniel ducked the Brogue Kick and Sheamus fell through the ropes. Daniel then took out Sheamus,on the floor, Suicide Dive. Daniel threw Sheamus in and then nailed a Missile Dropkick. 2 count, yet again. Daniel with repeated kicks to the chest. Sheamus ducked a Crescent Kick and hit the Inverted version of the In-Rope Crossfaces (Sheamus was on the outside). Sheamus went to the Penthouse bu Daniel tripped him. Daniel went for a Top Rope Hurancanrana but Sheamus held on. Sheamus with a Top Rope Battering Ram. Both men were stunned. Daniel tried to battle out of White Noise so Sheamus just ran Daniel into the corner, twice. Drop Toe Hold by Daniel. Wicked Crescent Kick to Sheamus’ head that should have score the 3. It didn’t. Daniel went up top, pointed at the briefcase and then flew. He missed the Benoit Diving Headbutt.
The two went back and forth with punches nad kicks. Daniel really unloaded with kicks. Daniel with the Crucifix Pin but Sheamus escaped. Daniel tried for the Yes Lock but Sheamus reversed it into the Four Leaf Clover Leaf. Daniel spun around and rolled up Sheamus for the win.
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan
Raw Ranking: 4.0 (out of a possible 5)
After the match, Daniel and Sheamus shook hands and looked up at the briefcase. That was kind of cool.
A reporter went looking for the Wyatt Compound. A couple of locals said it was a couple miles up the road.
The issues between Kaitlyn and A.J. Lee were profiled. Lee asked Big E Langston to watch out for Kaitlyn. Langston laughed as he watched A.J. trip out. Dolph Ziggler walked up and Lee wondered why Dolph was upset. Dolph read her the riot act about not doing the Power Couple thing with him. Lee flirted with Dolph and asked him to make sure she stays the champ. Dolph wanted his third world championship, not so much her (I think).
Michael Cole sent it to a video package about “The World’s Strongest Man”, Mark Henry. Mark ordered John Cena to meet him in the ring, tonight.
The Shield came to the ring, in full force.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai aka Sweet T)
Before the match, another RVD video package ran.
On to the action. Brodus started against Seth. Seth with kicks and punches but Clay with Double Chops. Gorilla Press Drop by Clay and a tag to Tensai. Double Team Chops on Seth. Butterfly Stall Suplex by Tensai. Tag to Clay. Chop by Clay. “Albert” chant started. Trapped Leg Suplex and Big Splash by Clay. Clay missed a Big Splash. Tag to Roman. Flying Clothesline by Roman. Tag back to Seth.
Seth tried for a pin but Clay kicked out. Tag to Roman. Big Headbutt by Roman. Roman punched away on Clay, who was stuck in the Shield Corner. Rear Chin Lock by Roman. Clay fought his way free but took a Back Elbow. Seth tagged back in and kicked away. Roman with a tag. Seth was Whipped into Clay. Roman followed up with a Splash. 2 count. Rear Chin Lock by Roman, again. Clay got to his feet and used Headbutts to almost get loose. Roman with his own Headbutts and pounding blows. Roman tried and eventually lifted Clay. Sliding School Boy for two. Clay with a Side Suplex.
Tensai and Seth both got tags. Seth went after Tensai and got turned inside out. Rolling Senton, into the corner, by Tensai. Seth got the boots up. Seth pulled Tensai down into the turnbuckles. Seth took out Clay. Seth then went up top. Tensai Bomb on Seth for a two. Seth with a Jumping Enziguri. Seth with a Tope Con Hilo on Clay, on the floor. Roman, who had tagged in, nailed a Spear to take out Tensai.
Your Winners: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 3.25
Another Blair Witch like video of the search for the Wyatts ran. The reporter was found and ordered to follow one of the Wyatts. Creepy.
John Cena came out in his canary yellow t-shirt. Cena noticed how riled up the crowd was. Cena informed the crowd that he was told to get to the ring to talk to Mark Henry. Cena said he was there but Mark was nowhere to be seen…
Mark Henry’s music went off and the challenger slowly lumbered to the ring. This was the Hour One Hour Turner Segment. Mark thought Cena had a look of fear on his face. Cena told Mark that he was not afraid of Henry. Mark said he was hungry. Cena joked that Mark should grab a Snickers bar and shut up. Mark wanted to chill and explain just who the World’s Strongest Man is. Mark claimed Cena was just a puppet. Mark knew the WWE title would validate his career. Mark wanted to be a First Ballot Hall of Famer. Cena told Mark that Henry had better win on Sunday. Cena thought Mark was a desperate man. Cena said if Mark were to lose on Sunday, he would throw away 17 years of hard work. Mark said he simply didn’t care what people thought of him. Mark threatened to start he fight, tonight. Cena told Mark to cross the line and Cena would whip Mark’s *ss right now. Mark said he wasn’t doing anything for free. Mark said he took pay cuts in the past but not this time. Mark changed his mind nad decided to give Cena a sample. Mark messed with Cena by faking a charge. Mark blind sided Cena and then Cena lifted Henry for the AA. Mark shifted his weight and squashed Cena. Mark screamed he was not an easy win. Mark lifted Cena and planted him with the World’s Strongest Slam. Mark stood over Cena and brandished the WWE Title Belt.
Randy Orton was interviewed, in the back. Orton didn’t believe that C.M. Punk is the “Best in the World”. Orton warned Cena that if he were to retain and Orton were to earn the Money in the Bank Briefcase, Randy would not hesitate to go after Cena…on Sunday.
The Miz joined the announce team for the next match.
Chris Jericho vs Curtis Axel
After looking at Ryback’s quitting, last week, it was time for action. Paul Heyman showed off the black eye that he got at the hands of Alberto Del Rio. He then talked about Perfection in the form of Curtis Axel. Axel mocked Jericho’s Christmas Tree light jacket. Axel said he only needed the I-C title to let everyone know he was there. Axel said he would not let Jericho or the Miz stand in the way of Perfection. Chops by Jericho. Shoulder Tackle by Axel. Universal into a Jericho Dropkick. La Bandera Clothesline by Jericho. Jericho flew to the outside. Jericho rammed Axel into the barrier and then Knife Edge Chop Axel. Axel with Shoulder Thrusts through the ropes. Jericho with a Knife Edge Chop but Axel with a Funk Neckbreaker through the ropes. Raw took a quick break.
Axel pulled back on Jericho’s arm and chin. Jericho refused to submit to the Half Nelson. Scoop Slam by Axel. Axel missed the Double Ax Drop. Jericho with Shoulder Tackles. Jericho with an Ax Bomber after being flipped onto the apron. Flying Clothesline. Double Leg Trip but Axel fought out of the Walls of Jericho. Standing Switch into a Bridging Belly to Belly by Jericho. 2 count. Jericho with a kick and Knife Edge Chop. Axel slide under and then clubbed Jericho in the back of the head. Knife Edge Chop by Axel. Axel with an Irish Whip but missed the Corner Splash. Flying Crossbody, from the top, by Jericho to earn a two. Lionsault but Axel got the knees up. Swinging Neckbreaker by Axel for a two. Axel missed a Dropkick but Jericho connected with the Lionsault. Axel blocked the Code Breaker and hit the PerfectPlex.1—2—Kick Out! Really? Axel and Heyman couldn’t believe it. Axel pounded on Jericho’s head. He screamed that Jericho was nothing. Jericho escaped the Funk Neckbreaker and locked in the Walls of Jericho. Axel crawled to the ropes to force the break. Axel was sent flying off the announce table. Axel stared at Miz. It looked like they were going to go. Paul screamed at Axel to get back in the ring. Code Breaker!
Your Winner: Chris Jericho
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Another RVD Highlight Reel video ran.
The announcers talked about the Rising Stars Money in the Bank Ladder Match (World Title). Josh Mathews interviewed Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. Josh asked if the upcoming match would drive a wedge between them. Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter came up and Zeb started rambling. Zeb brought up Cody’s dad, Dusty Rhodes. Wade Barrett came in and said he was going to win the Ladder Match. Suddenly, Fandango came in and everyone tried to stop him from doing his name thing. Wade ended up punching Fanny in the face. Team Rhodes Scholars and We the People had a vicious staredown.
The announcers sent it back to another video piece when the reporter was taken to the inner sanctum of the Wyatt Compound. This gave me a flashback to the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. Bray Wyatt said he had been waiting for the reporter’s arrival. Hmmm…Didn’t Kevin Sullivan turn a reporter into Luna…several years ago? I’m just saying…
Sin Cara vs Alberto Del Rio
ADR with a Headbutt and hard punches and kicks. ADR went for a Hip Toss but Sin reversed it into a Deep Arm Drag. Shoulder Thrusts by Del Rio. Sin dodged ADR and hit a Hurancanrana. Hard kick to ADR’s chest. Sin went up top but ADR with the Step Up Enziguri. 2 count. ADR drove his knee into Sin’s neck, over and over. Kneelift by ADR. Backspring Elbow by Sin Cara. Step UP Enziguri by ADR.
Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler came out to distract Del Rio. Sin Cara with a Roll Up and a two count. Dolph said he kinda felt bad about the injury to Ricardo Rodriguez. Dolph wanted to introduce Alberto. Springboard Senton by Sin Cara. Dolph insulted Del Rio as ADR hit a Release German. Superkick by Del Rio. Dolph screamed that Del Rio would lose, on Sunday. The two started to fight on the floor. Kneelift by Del Rio. Sin Cara flew off the top rope and took out Del Rio. The ref was totally confused as to what he should do. He ended up throwing out the match.
Your Winner: No Contest
Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox walked backstage. Vickie’s job evaluation was up next. The fans had been voting, all show, on how Vickie has been doing as the Managing Supervisor. You just know it would end well if the fans get to vote on it.
Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon and Triple H came out like an execution squad for the Evaluation. Vickie and Brad looked extremely nervous, as they should. There was a table with chairs awaiting the McMahon clan. Stephanie spoke first. She explained why they were all there. She also thanked the WWE Universe for voting whether Vickie passed or failed in her job performance. Stephanie then sent it to Vickie to defend herself. Vickie got up and started to talk but was told to sit down. Vickie said she took pride in giving the fans high class entertainment. Vickie discussed the great returns under her reign. She went a bit too far when she took credit for the return of Undertaker. Stephanie stepped in and reminded her about signing Brock Lesnar. Stephanie said Vickie needed to take responsibility for her action. Stephanie asked her if she thought bringing back Brock was a good idea. She back peddled about the attacks by Brock.
Vince stood up (big cheer). Vince said there was no need to apologize. Bringing back Brock, according to Vince, was a stroke of genius. Vince knew Vickie made a few “bone head decisions” but she did it because she was trying to make the show better.
Triple H stepped up and said Vickie could be unintentionally entertaining. HHH felt Vickie was terrible at her job. HHH said Vickie got booed out of the building as she was trying to push the new WWE video game. HHH said Vickie was bad for business. HHH took a shot at Vince’s age. HHH said the WWE Universe wants and deserves better than Vickie. HHH said Vickie does possess the most annoying voice in television history (I still give the award to Fran Drescher, but Vickie IS close).
Vince came back and said he admired Vickie for breaking through the glass ceiling. Vince wanted Vickie to be promoted to General Manager. HHH immediately broke in and said he understood this was all about what Vince wants. HHH said Vince wanted a spineless puppet in charge. HHH wanted to let Stephanie make the final decision. Vince agreed with that idea, though he did try to butter her up, big time. HHH did a bit of Parkaying his own self. Vince and HHH kept volleying back and forth until Stephanie decided to let the WWE fans decide. This just can’t be good for her. The votes were in and Vickie Failed with 75% of the votes. I don’t agree! Vickie panicked as the reality began to sink in. Vickie shrieked at the top of her lungs about how this wasn’t right. Stephanie had Two Words for Vickie. “In the immortal words of my father…You’re Fired!”
Vickie collapsed to the canvas. JBL felt bad for her, as did I. Brad tried to comfort her but she pushed him away. Vickie had a full-blown temper tantrum, dead in the center of the ring. “No More Vickie” rang out from the crowd. Vickie got on the desk and screamed at all three McMahons. Vince asked the fans if they were happy. Vince said the fans broke Vickie’s heart (another huge round of cheers). Vince said the fans were the ones that failed, not Vickie. Vince said the fans threw it all away. Vince decided to give the fans the General Manager that they deserved…Brad Maddox! Really? Brad had the “Deer in the Headlights” look. The announcers were all confused by that decision. Michael Cole wondered what qualifications Maddox could possibly have. Vince helped the distraught Vickie to the back.
Vince was comforting Vickie. Vince said he would make it right for her. Brad tried to talk to Vickie. When he went to shake Vince’s hand, Vickie tripped out and attacked him. Vince tried her best to calm her down. Vince was actually more worried about his jacket than her.
Kane vs Christian
Money in the Bank All-Stars Preview Match
Wow. Vickie hasn’t been gone five minutes and someone screws up. When Christian’s music hit, some doofus put up the graphic for “Michael McGillicutty” (Curtis Axel’s old name). Shouldn’t someone have deleted that graphic from the system? I’m just saying…
Kane and Christian locked up and went to the corner. Christian rallied the crowd. Go Behind by Christian. They ended up in the ropes. Christian ducked under and then punched away. Kane pushed Christian away before grabbing him and whipped him in the corner. Kane missed an Elbow Drop. Kane threw Christian into the corner. Christian snapped Kane’s neck over the ropes, both forwards and backwards. Morningstar Elbow by Christian. Christian kicked away. Kane shoved Christian to the corner. Rolling Sunset Flip by Christian. Kane punched free and then kicked Christian. Drop Toe Hold by Christian. Christian stood on Kane’s back. He then hopped over the ropes and punched away. Christian escaped the Gorilla Press and Low Bridged the ropes. Christian with a Flying Crossbody off the top rope…to the floor. It was time for a break.
Kane with a Corner Goozle but Christian converted it into a Tornado DDT. Kane with the Big Boot. Kane missed the Kane Klothesline. Chokeslam! 1-2-3.
Your Winner: Kane
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Suddenly, the Wyatt Family video came up on the TitanTron. Bray Wyatt began talking about how people are sheep and need to be led. Bray is just a little on the wacko side. Bray lit an old Hurricane Lamp and said “We’re Here!”. Their cool music rang out and the fans went nuts as Bray walked out with a more modern Hurricane Lamp. I haven’t seen an entrance this good since Chris Jericho interrupted The Rock, all those years ago. When the lights came up, two of the Wyatts were in the ring. They bet down on Kane. Kane tried to fight back but he was pulled to the outside. Bray just sat in a chair. “Let’s Go Wyatt” rang out. The Wyatts ran Kane into the steel steps. They then placed Kane against the bottom half of the steps and hit him with the upper part. That was just nasty. Nice camera work. Bray walked over as the fans began a rising chant of “Husky Harris!” (Bray’s former identity). Raw cut the feed, quickly.
Vickie was slowly walking backstage, clutching a box of her stuff. She ran into Ryback. Ryback took the box and hugged Vickie. He told her “You deserve better, Vickie. It’s going to be OK”. He gave her back the box and she just stood and cried.
The Bella Twins joined the announce team. It was time for Divas Tag Team Action (Oh,joy!)
A.J. Lee and Alicia Fox vs Kaitlyn and Layla
Kaitlyn rushed after A.J. and it took both Layla and the ref to hold her back. Layla nd Alicia to start. Layla and Alicia rolled back and forth. Layla with a wild kick and threw Alicia into the corner. Sunset flip into a Dropkick by Layla. Layla flew off the top roe and got a two count. Alicia laid out Layla. A.J. wanted a tag. Kaitlyn rushed in and tore into Lee. The ref had a hard time keeping Kaitlyn in control. Kaitlyn went around the ring and Speared A.J. Kaitlyn was totally out of control.
Your Winner: No Contest
Raw Ranking: N/A
Josh interviewed C.M. Punk. Punk knew Randy Orton was a confident man. Punk said he would become a three time Money in the Bank winner. He was also certain he would beat Randy, tonight.
Yet another RVD flashback.
Randy Orton vs C.M. Punk
Money in the Bank All-Stars Preview Match
Collar and Elbow and the two jockeyed for position. The ref ordered a break but didn’t get one for quite awhile. Randy shoved Punk. Punk with a Side Headlock. Shoudler Tackle by Punk. Let Trip by Punk. Side Headlock by Randy. The fans were split in their support. Shoulder Tackle by Randy. Side Kick by Punk but Randy with an almost immediate Dropkick for a two. Orton stomped away at Punk’s ankles. Knee Driver to Punk’s head. Randy missed the Flair Flying Knee. Punk with Knee Strikes and a Snap Suplex. 2 count. European Uppercut by Randy. Punk flipped Orton onto the apron. Punk then Dropkicked him to the floor. Punk with a Suicide Dive that sent his own head into the barricade. That looked painful. Both men were down and Raw went to break.
Orton had Punk on the canvas, trapped in a Side Headlock. During the break, Randy dropped Punk’s back over the barricade. Punk got to his feet and Elbowed free. Randy with repeated Headbuts and a Trapped Leg Exploder Suplex. 2 count, yet again. Randy went back to the Side Headlock. Punk with Kneelifts and a series of Forearm Shots. Punk with a shot to the side of Randy’s head. Randy with explosive Clotheslines. Punk dodged the Snap Powerslam and hit a modified La Magistral Cradle into a Backslide. 1-2-no. Elevator Knee by Punk. Short Arm Clothesline by Punk. Punk looked up at the briefcase and then flew off the top. He nailed the Savage Elbow. Punk got the crowd going and he called for the GTS. Randy slipped free and pushed Punk to the outside. Rope Assisted DDT by Randy. Randy went into his Special Place. Punk blocked the RKO but Randy came back with the Snap Powerslam. Randy stomped away on Punk’s head. Randy pounded Punk’s back and then his chest, in the corner. Corner Mount Punches by Orton. Punk slid under and dropped Orton. Elevator Knee, again, by Punk. Randy fought out of the GTS. Punk countered the RKO with a devastating Crescent Kick. GTS! 1-2-3!
Your Winner: C.M. Punk
Raw Ranking: 4.0
Daniel Bryan rushed the ring and attacked Punk. He threw Punk into the ring post. Bryan brought out a ladder and slid it into the ring. Bryan crashed the ladder into Randy’s chest. Daniel then set up the ladder and started to climb. Daniel took down the red briefcase and started yelling “Yes!”.