Daniel Bryan had to “prove himself” to Raw General Manager, Brad Maddox. What would the weaselly Maddox have in mind for the “American Dragon”? Plus, more pieces of the SummerSlam puzzle were put into place.
I love to start columns with positive news. Today, I get to send congratulations out to two families. First, the Royal Family of the United Kingdom welcomed a new son into the world. On a more personal note, I want to send a virtual hug out to one of my closest friends, Crystal. The lovely young lady, who has been a friend for more than a decade, gave birth to her second child, last Friday. Little Riley and his mom are doing fine at a local hospital, out here. I hope both little men have a long and happy life. I can’t do much to help the little Prince across the big pond but Crys knows “Uncle Jesse” will always be here for Riley and his older sister.
Ok, on to this week’s wild and wooly action…
The show opened with a flashback video, which included Brock Lesnar’s attack on C.M. Punk. In addition, John Cena decided to choose Daniel Bryan as his SummerSlam opponent.
The drum roll heralded the arrival of Brad Maddox. Brad threw out a Foley Pop to Austin, Texas. He tooted his own horn, to the extreme. Brad said it was time for the WWE Title contract signing. Brad brought out John Cena. Brad tried to suggest that John chose Daniel to get an easy ride at SummerSlam. John said he chose Daniel because Brad allowed him to do so. It was the choice that the WWE Universe wanted. Brad really ripped into Daniel Bryan, putting him down, big time. John started to question Brad about his comments but was cut off by the arrival of Daniel Bryan.
The crowd absolutely exploded for Daniel. Daniel got his early wrestling training in the great state of Texas (at Shawn Michaels’ school). “Daniel Bryan” rang out in a sing-song chant. Daniel thought Brad was saying that he (Daniel) didn’t deserve the title shot. Brad wanted to know why Daniel felt he deserved the shot. Cena stepped in and told Brad that he should ask him why Daniel was chosen. Cena said Brad “and the dumb-*sses that he works for” can’t see talent when it stares them in the face. Cena talked about smaller guys that were incredible WWE Champs. Cena felt Daniel had earned and deserved the shot at the WWE title. Cena made it clear that he picked Daniel to compete, not as someone that he was going to just hand the title to. Cena signed the contract and said he was going to defend the title against the best and prove that even the best wouldn’t be good enough to end his title reign. Daniel then signed and started to talk. Brad cut him off. Jack*ss. Daniel screamed at Brad and told him that the GM doesn’t get to cut him off. Daniel said he worked long and hard to reach this point. Brad said he was going to put Daniel in a Gauntlet Match, later on, so Daniel could prove himself. Brad then got into a “No/Yes” chant war with the crowd. I thought Daniel was annoying with the chants but Brad just dwarfed him. Break time.
Sheamus came to the ring as Michael Cole mentioned that WWE Magazine was celebrating its 30th anniversary. Wow. I remember buying the first issue. Wish I still had it. In mint condition, it would probably be worth a few bucks.
Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus had a nasty bruise on his leg from his participation in Money in the Bank. The two hooked up and Sheamus with a Series of Shoulder Tackles. Del Rio went right after the bruised thigh with a vicious kick. Sheamus with Shoulder Thrusts. Del Rio sent Sheamus to the corner but the Irish man came out with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Del Rio exploded on Sheamus with hard clubbing blows. Sheamus began to fight back but Del Rio stopped him with a Kneelift to the ribs. Sheamus had been rocked, moments before, with a hard kick to the jaw. Sheamus started to pound Del Rio and Suplexed the champ. 2 count. Del Rio Dropkicked Sheamus’s bad leg and then stomped the chest. Sheamus took Del Rio to the top rope and punched away. Del Rio tried for the Cross Armbreaker, in the ropes, but Del Rio punched free. Raw went to break.
German Suplex by Del Rio. Del Rio stomped away on the bad wheel of the Celtic Warrior. Sheamus started to fight back but Del Rio with repeated Headbutts. Del Rio missed a kick and Sheamus hit a Powerslam. Sheamus was exhausted by the move. Damien Sandow watched the match. He could cash in, if he wanted to. Del Rio and Sheamus went back and forth with hard punches and kicks. Sheamus moved Del Rio to the corner. Headbutt, again, by Del Rio. Celtic Hammers by Sheamus into a Shoulder Thrust and Million Dollar Kneelift and Spinning European Uppercut. Sheamus grabbed his leg in serious pain. Back Stabber by Del Rio for a two count. Del Rio with a wild kick to the back of Sheamus’ head. Del Rio then choked Del Rio with the boot.
Del Rio missed a running kick and ended up on the apron. Crossfaces by Sheamus. Del Rio snapped Sheamus’ neck over the ropes. Irish Curse Backbreaker by Sheamus but Del Rio landed on Sheamus’ bad leg. Sheamus went to the apron and tried to climb. Rope Run Enziguri by Del Rio for a two. Sheamus nailed the Rolling Senton. Sheamus, despite his injured leg, wanted the Brogue Kick. Superkick to Sheamus’ bad leg. Del Rio called for the Cross Armbreaker. Sheamus pushed out and tried for White Noise. The leg buckled and Del Rio shifted into a Roll Up. 1-2-3.
Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Raw Ranking: 3.0 out of a possible 5
Michael Cole brought up Total Divas. Miz will host the girls and give a sneak preview of the new Reality Show. Be still my heart (yawn).
Raw flashed back to Smackdown. Vickie Guerrero became the new GM of the former Blue Brand. She booted Teddy Long out of the building. Booker T and Teddy Long were interviewed. Booker said he respected Vince’s decision but he was shocked at the whole situation. Teddy chimed in and said he spent 3 long months filling in. Teddy complained about all the abuse that he had to deal with. Booker explained his surgery. Teddy was still upset that Vickie threw him out. Booker threatened to pitch him out. Teddy said that Mr. McMahon made the right decision in replacing Booker. He just wished it would have been him. Teddy told everyone he was “outta here”.
Christian vs Titus O’Neil
Titus said he and his partner, Darren Young, are looking to focus on singles action, for now. Scoop Slam by Titus. JBL felt that Titus will be a future World Champ. The announcers wished Shawn Michaels a Happy Birthday. In the ring, Titus with a wicked Backbreaker. Darren with a sneak attack, on the floor. Titus lifted Christian and carried him p the stairs. He then threw Christian into the ring.
Christian started to fight back but Titus with a Kitchen Sink to stop the Canadian. 2 count. Abdominal Stretch by Titus. Titus pounded on Christian’s ribs and back. Titus stomped away while blowing his whistle. Christian brought up the boots and then hit a Missile Dropkick. Titus tried for a Whip but Christian countered it. Christian hopped over the ropes and hit the Outside In Uppercut. Christian went for he KillSwtich but Darren distracted. Big Boot by Titus. Christian came back and nailed the KillSwitch to get the three.
Your Winner: Christian
Raw Ranking: 2.0
The announcers discussed the attack on Chris Jericho by Ryback. JBL said Ryback had no honor. I have to agree. Josh Mathews then interviewed Ryback. Josh asked Ryback about what he did and his other recent actions. Josh wondered if Ryback liked to intimidate others. Ryback said he did. He then tried to push around Josh, verbally. Ryback said he hated “Average”. Ryback got up in Josh’s face. I hate moronic bullies.
Speaking of bullies and such, I’ll be taking about a week or so off, starting next Wednesday. I’m heading to New York for the big show on Jones Beach on Monday, August 5th. We will have experts there to help families deal with bullies and the stresses that they bring. General admission to the show is free but we will be offering ringside seats at a decent price. You can check out the Jones Beach show at www.rivalrychampionshipwrestling.com. By the way, look for me on the beach on Saturday and Sunday (August 3rd and 4th). I should be easy to spot. I will be wearing either my 1Wrestling.com nursing scrub top or my rock star red shirt with all kinds of black skulls on it. Hope to see you there.
Mark Henry came out ready to put a whuppin’ on The Shield. Mark talked about being proud to be a Texan. He then called out The Shield. The trio of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns began another beat own on Mark. However, Mark had back up. The Usos rushed down and the three men sent the rebel group scurrying like roaches when the lights come on.
Daniel Bryan and John Cena chatted in the locker room. Daniel wondered if Cena was there to wish him luck. John said it wasn’t about luck, tonight. Daniel felt he would be ok tonight. Cena wanted to be sure that Daniel made it to SummerSlam. Daniel needed to prove that he should be there. Daniel asked Cena to please let him do this on his own. Daniel said if Cena go involved in his matches then all the comments about how great Daniel is would just be Cena spouting a load of crap.
Darren Young vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph got a heck of a pop from the crowd. Raw looked back to Dolph’s rant on Smackdown. Backstage, A.J. had a serious hissy fit. School Boy by Dolph for a quick 2. Front Face Lock by Dolph. Kneelift by Darren. Darren missed a Clothesline and Dolph “Showed Off”. Wicked Dropkick by Dolph for two. Darren with a Back Drop Suplex to send Dolph into the top turnbuckle. Darren took down Dolph but couldn’t get the three. Rear Chin Lock by Darren. Darren with a modified Biel. Neck Twist by Darren that moved back into the Rear Chin Lock. Dolph pushed up and hit a Jawbreaker.
Darren charged but hit the corner post. Corner Splash and Flying Clothesline by Dolph. 2 count only. Funk Neckbreaker blocked by Darren. Corner Mount Punches by Dolph. Inverted Electric Chair by Darren. Wow. 2 count. Darren wasted time in an argument with the ref. Darren paintbrushed Dolph and mocked him. Bad move. Zig Zag.
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Big E Langston came in to attack Dolph. Dolph actually embarrassed Big E with out mobbing the powerhouse. Dolph said he was too damn good for them.
The ring was filled with the Divas. Miz talked about SummerSlam and then Total Divas. He sent it to a preview of Total Divas. Even the preview was putting me to sleep. I so HATE reality shows. The only exception is Ink Masters and Tattoo Nightmares.
Miz introduced the various Divas. Miz then turned things over to Jerry Lawler. Lawler was a bit confused but he joined the girls in the ring. Eva Marie got all uppity and smacked Lawler in the face. Lawler said time was up. Lawler looked legit ticked off. Uppity little cow. Supposedly, one of the Bellas had a “Wardrobe Malfunction” but I missed it. Darn it. Smile.
Triple H came up to talk with Brad Maddox. HHh questioned Brad about his feelings about Daniel Bryan. HHH felt someone (Vince) put words in Brad’s mouth. HHH considered Daniel as the potential future of the company. HHH knew Daniel would overcome anything thrown at him. HHH then warned Brad to be cautious about which “Train” he chose to get on. Stephanie McMahon then walked up and acknowledged that Brad was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Stephanie had an idea but she needed to finish thinking it through.
The announcers brought up the Wyatt Family and sent it to a video package about he strange group. Bray, Rowan and Harper have been ripping through the mid-card roster over the past couple of weeks. Bray keeps telling Kane to “Follow the Buzzards”. Weird but I really like the group.
Fandango and Summer Rae danced their way from the back. Jerry Lawler mentioned it was also Fandango’s birthday. The Lite Brite sculpture lit up.
Fandango vs Cody Rhodes
Damien Sandow sat at ringside. Cody has major issues with Damien, right now. Damien wanted Cody to be the Protector of the Case. Cody thought about it and then smacked Damien in the face with it. That happened on Smackdown, last Friday. Cody stared daggers at Damien.
Collar and Elbow into a Fandango Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Fandango. Universal into a Fandango shimmy. Cody with a Dropkick and Open Hand Slap. Fandango with Knife Edge Chops. Kneelift into a Snap Mare by Cody. Running Knee Strike by Cody. Fandango reversed a Whip but Cody flipped Fanny on the apron. Fandango with a hard Clothesline. Knee Strike by Fandango, followed by a punch. Fandango dropped Cody with a Back Elbow. Cravat by Fandango. Knee Strike by Cody into a Face Tear.
Fandango went back to the Cravat. Michael Cole went off on Damien for never holding a title in WWE. Cody with a Roll to send Fandango flying. Goldustin Uppercut to Fandango. Hardcore Holly Upperkick. Moonsault by Cody. Cody landed so wrong. Fandango rolled out to the floor. Damien got up and went to the ring. Cody shoved Fandango into Damien with the Disaster Kick. CrossRhodes to take out Fandango.
Your Winner: Cody Rhodes
Raw Ranking: 2.5
C.M. Punk limped from the back. Raw showed the attack by Lesnar, last Monday. Punk wanted to get right to it. Punk admitted that he got his butt handed to him, last week, by Lesnar. Punk know understood Lesnar’s strength and speed. Punk did, however, continue to get up. Punk talked about all the problems with his body but let everyone know that he was still standing. Punk said Lesnar might beat him down but he would never be able to keep him down. Punk talked about all the damage that Lesnar has done, over the years. Lesnar, according to Punk, only has one true weapon…fear. Punk let he world know that he was not afraid of Lesnar. Punk then wanted to talk about Paul Heyman. Punk said Heyman made the wrong decision and Punk was ready to make Paul suffer forever. Punk said he was going to run Lesnar out of the WWE. Punk made a promise to Paul E.. There would not be a third time (of stabbing Punk in the back). Punk said he would slaughter the monster known as Brock Lesnar. Punk challenged Brock to a fight at SummerSlam. He wanted it to be The Best vs The Beast.
Paul Heyman came on the Tron. He said it was clever marketing. Punk wondered if Paul was there so he could tear him a new one. Paul drew huge heat by insulting Texans. Watch it, Yankee Boy. Heyman wondered if Punk was a coward or a fool. Punk was ticked that Heyman didn’t have the guts to face him. Heyman was head and shoulders above Punk in this little tennis game of words. Heyman accepted Punk’s challenge for the battle at SummerSlam. Heyman said “The Best IS the Beast”. Heyman drove in the knife by calling Brock Lesnar his best friend in the world. The segment seemed to end suddenly.
RVD walked backstage. He was due to battle, next.
Rob Van Dam vs Wade Barrett
Wade with a Pearl Harbor attack. RVD Back Roll into a Jump Spin Kick. Wade rolled to the floor. Wade pulled RVD outside and ran him into the barricade. Backing the ring, Wade got a two count. Wade scooped up RVD and put him on the top turnbuckle. Wade worked over RVD’s back. Kick Out at two. Wade drove his knee into RVD’s back. Wade choked RVD on the middle rope. Knee Strike, by Wade, as RVD was trapped in the ropes. Wade with a shot to the face that left RVD upside down. Wade with the Rear Chin Lock.
Wade was dribbling blood from a busted open mouth. RVD with a hard kick to the face. Double Boots into the Flying Thrust Kick by RVD. Rolling Thunder! 2 count. Cannonball Senton by RVD for another 2. Shoulder Thrusts by RVD. Superkick by Wade. Wheel Kick by RVD followed by a Springboard Back Kick. RVD went to the Penthouse to hit the Five Star Frog Splash! Count to 100, this one’s a done deal.
Your Winner: Rob Van Dam
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Daniel Bryan was on deck for his Gauntlet Match.
Gauntlet Match: Daniel Bryan vs…
Match #1: Vs. Jack Swagger
Prior to the match, Zeb Colter came out and made a total jerk of himself with his anti-Texas rambling. Shut up, you fuzzy faced weasel and let the men wrestle.
After Zeb’s baloney played out, Jack got in the ring to battle. Collar and Elbow to the corner. Daniel blocked a punch and threw several of his own. Sunset Flip by Daniel. Chop Block by Jack. Shoulder Tackle by Swagger. Shoulder Tackle by Swagger. Kneelifts by Swagger, in the corner. Suplex by Swagger. “O.U. Sucks!” rang out (O.U. being Swagger’s college and a huge enemy of University of Texas). Swagger blasted Daniel in the face as he went for a Suicide Dive. Swagger Bomb. Daniel surprised Swagger with the Yes Lock. Swagger tapped out!
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan
Match #2: Vs Antonio Cesaro
The fight was going strong, after a quick commercial break. Keylock by Cesaro. Cesaro pounded Daniel’s ribs. Daniel came back with wild kicks to the chest and legs. Cesaro ran Daniel into the corner and got a two. Cesaro clamped on his Vice Lock move. Dragon Screw Leg Whips by Daniel. Daniel with the modified Surfboard into the Double Knee Drivers. Cesaro powered up Daniel with a Suplex. Daniel tried to block it but had no luck. Elbow Drop by Cesaro for a two. Cesaro went back for his Vice Lock and took Daniel to his knees. Cesaro used the trunks to pull Daniel down. Daniel blasted Cesaro’s ribs to get free. Daniel ran the ropes and then hit the Flying Goat Clothesline. Massive kicks to Cesaro’s chest. Cesaro went back to the Vise. Daniel ran Cesaro into two corners to get free. Two wild Dropkicks to rock Cesaro. 1-2-no. Jack pushed Daniel off the ropes and Cesaro nailed the European Uppercut. Raw took another break.
Daniel kicked out of another pin. Gut Wrench Throw by Cesaro for a two. Cesaro slapped Daniel in the head, over and over. Daniel with a Headbutt and a gazillion Forearm shots. Spicoli Driver by Cesaro for a two. Knee by Daniel into a Release German Suplex. Crescent Kick to get Daniel a two count. “This is Awesome!” rang out. Daniel went up top but Cesaro hit the top rope. Flying European Uppercut by Cesaro. The two fought on the ropes. Knee Strikes by Daniel. Cesaro with wild Haymakers. Daniel slid under and pushed Cesaro off the ropes. Sullivan Tree of Woe led to numerous kicks by Daniel. Hesitation Dropkick by Daniel. Jeez. Daniel went for a Back Drop Superplex but Cesaro shifted his weight, mid flight. 1-2-kick out by Daniel. The ref started to count but both men got to the their feet. European Uppercut war between the two men. Cesaro went wild and hit the Uppercuts with both arms. Cesaro hit more than a dozen of the European Uppercuts before landing a Short Arm Clothesline that flipped Daniel inside out and upside down. Cesaro went for the Neutralizer but Daniel blocked it nad hit a Back Body Drop. Cesaro went back to the European Uppercuts which seemed to wake up Daniel. Dragon Screw Le Whip into a Leg Lock. Daniel then unloaded with hard strikes to the face. Daniel flew through the ropes to take out both Real Americans. Daniel went to the top and had to fight off Cesaro. Cesaro threw Daniel in the air to hit another European Uppercut but Daniel came down and Small Packaged Cesaro for the win. Amazing.
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan
In the back, Brad Maddox admitted that Daniel was doing ok, so far. Brad was curious to see how Daniel did against the next guy. Quick Break before…
Match #3: Vs Ryback
Flying Knee and kicks by Daniel. Daniel with a European Uppercut. Ryback clubbed Daniel and shouted at him. Daniel with rocking Forearms but Big Boot by Ryback. Ryback stood on Daniel’s throat. Ryback with a Beard Biel. Knee Strike and kicks by Ryback. Headbutt by Ryback. Ryback stood on Daniel’s throat. Hammer Throw by Ryback. “You Can’t Wrestle” rose from the crowd towards Ryback. Suplex by Ryback. 2 count. Rear Chin Lock by Ryback. Ryback pulled at Daniel’s nose. Daniel attacked the ribs to get free. Thesz Press by Ryback but Daniel rolled through to cinch in a Half Crag. Ryback reached the ropes. Ryback’s leg was twisted sof ar back. “Boring!” rang out from the crowd. Big Splash by Ryback. Spinebuster by Ryback. Ryback went for the Meat Hook but got a Knee intothe chest and the Hesitation Dropkicks. On the third Clothesline, Ryback nailed a Clothesline for two. Ryback went to the outside and got a table. Suicide Dive on Ryback as Ryback was setting up the table. Ryback crashed into the announce table. Ryback shoed Daniel into the ring steps. Ryback adjusted the table. The two got backing the ring. Daniel with hard kicks. Ryback went for a Powerbomb but Daniel slid down the back and tried to lock in the Yes Lock. Ryback threw Daniel across the ring. Drop Toe Hold to send Ryback into the corner. Daniel went up top and flew. Double Boot Missile Dropkick for a two. Daniel put Rybackin the Yes Lock! Ryback had to inch his way across the ring to get to the ropes.
Ryback rolled to the outside. Daniel went to fly off the ropes but Ryback spun around to Powerbomb Daniel. Ryback then put Daniel through the table, drawing the disqualification.
Your Winner (byDQ): Daniel Bryan
Gauntlet Ranking: 4.25
John Cena rushed down to prevent Ryback from doing more damage. Cena tore Ryback a new one nad sent him flying with a La Bandera Clothesline. Cenathen checked on Daniel and issued a challenged Ryback to a Tables Match, next week. Ryback accepted.
In the office, Vince McMahon came up to talk with Brad Maddox. Brad made the match official between Cena and Ryback. Vince wanted Daniel to be in competition. Vince guided Brad into making the match of: Daniel Bryan vs Kane.