RAW Recap: May 20, 2013

michael dworkis is a Heyman guy …

 

It’s Raw! It’s Raw Laadeedadee!

Before getting into the Monday Night madness that is RAW, some funny stuff post-Extreme Rules. WWE.com has a bunch of exclusive videos, and boy are they comedy gold.

Miz defeats Cody Rhodes on the freaking pre-show match, then says his next target is the WWE Championship. Wait. A pre-show win against Cody Rhodes catapults you to main event status?! Sign me up!

 

John Cena refuses to go to the hospital. Well, there went the opportunity to sell the big fall as a big deal from the match. If it was supposed to be that intense, then you go and script the guy to head to the ER. Hell, have Cena go through surgery. EXTREME!

Chris Jericho talked about his “big win” over Fandango. Congrats Fozzy, your lead singer thinks defeating a scripted dancer is considered a big win. Let me guess, beating Fandango also pushes you to a WWE Title match? Please, sign ME up!!

Kane tries to calm down Daniel Bryan. Oh I just love these guys. Belts or not, Team Hell No is a gorgeous mix of serious wrestling and backstage comedy banter. Keep it rolling fellas.

Kaitlyn beats up AJ Lee. Wait, the face beat up the heel? They were supposed to have a match on the Extreme Rules card but it got bumped off because they needed more time for promos? Oh this must have been an idea from The Great Khali.

Lastly, Sheamus discusses his underdog win over Mark Henry. Probably the only “backstage exclusive” which actually made sense. Ha!

 

The biggest joke was Wade Barrett not actually on the PPV card. The guy is the Intercontinental Champion. A titleholder. A great in-ring performer and great on the mic. Yet he headlined the pre-show talking with Mick Foley and Titus O’Neal.

Singer Miguel legdropped a few fans while trying a stage jumping stunt during the Billboard Music Awards. Deadspin has a neat video of it with Jim Ross commentary included.

Kane might be the Big Red Machine in the wrestling ring, but Mr. Glen Jacobs is the big red blogger as co-founder of the Tennessee Liberty Alliance where he challenges current Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey to a debate about the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Get this, Mr. Kane might make a senate run. Can you image if Kane were in political office?

Onto Raw:

 

We get The Ryback out rambling how he sent Cena home on a stretcher last night at Extreme Rules. Although, he did not, since once he got backstage, Cena hopped off the wagon and walked off. Not so injured now, is he? The short end of a long-winded story is Ryback challenging Cena to an ambulance match at WWE Payback. Cue the sirens.

Chris Jericho & The Miz defeated Fandango & Wade Barrett
Oh that does it! Just give him a WCW championship and call it a day. While the first, oh, two minutes was entertaining, Fandango decided to ditch Barrett, leaving him alone at the mercy of Miz and Jericho. Fandango dances at ringside while Barrett gets destroyed, jobber-style. Barrett, once again, shown no respect as Intercontinental Champion. So, what is it now? The United States Championship was once a joke, held by Santino and Zack Ryder. Since Cesaro had it, it was given respect again. So I suppose now the Interncontinental Titleholder becomes a joke. Way to freakin’ go. This just column just became Monday Night Barrett. Lawler makes a bunch of lewd comments about Summer Rae. Shock.

Vickie Guerrero announces Jack Swagger will compete later tonight, but the WWE Universe gets to vote between Khali, Truth, and Randy Orton. Uh. Yes. I predict Khali in a landslide.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan is upset but Kane tries to cheer him up with some light humor. Bryan is angry and serious. Kane talks sense to Bryan, who then assumes Kane meant he was the weak-link of the duo. Kingston interrupts to calm down his partners for later tonight, but Bryan storms off. Well, I guess the end of Team Hell No is nearing.

 

Sheamus defeats Titus O’Neal
Hey! A good match. Did you know Wade Barrett was the first winner of the NXT competition. He then led the NXT group into an invasion of WWE as The Nexus. Sheamus starts out strong, demolishing both O’Neal and Young. Get rid of Young. He holds O’Neal back. Speaking of whom, he is throwing Sheamus around, and it sounded like he just dropped an F-Bomb. Someone remind him this is PG television before he does something stupid and gets fired like his former manager A.W. Sheamus rallies back, but not before Young interferes again to give Titus the advantage. Does not last long as the Celtic Warrior crushes Titus with the White Noise, and follows up with the Brough Kick.

Paul Heyman in the ring: First gloating about how Brock defeated Triple H in the Steel Cage match, then invites the crowd to boo him. The crowd does, and Lawler for whatever reason chimes in. Shut up. Shut up Lawler. No puppies here. He confirms the internet rumors are true (by internet, he means WWE.com), he has a third man ready to make it big on WWE television. This is a man who comes from a long line of wrestlers. A man who has been around a WWE ring longer than we think … Curtis Axel. Huh? Oh, it’s Joe Hennig, more commonly known to WWE and NXT fans as Michael McGillicutty. Alright, this could be good. This is a young man who has a ton of talent and all the skills to be main event. With Heyman at his side, this kid can go places. He looks a bit beefy, perhaps put on a few pounds. Heyman re-brands his new charge with a new name, combination of his father Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig and grandfather, Larry “The Axe” Hennig. His entrance theme, if you listen closely is a remix of his father’s Mr. Perfect theme. Very, very nice touch. He could have lost the beard though. The third generation superstar has been at the bottom, and now he is set to stand in the main event spotlight, where both his father and grandfather once stood. Triple H now hits the ring to interrupt the ceremony and immediately brushes the young star aside in order to address Heyman directly. The Game has no shame losing to Brock at Extreme Rules. HHH threatens to beat the crap out of Heyman, instead Axel gets in the way and is paid back with a slap from Helmsley, who then says he will wrestle Hennig tonight, and then beat up Heyman.

 

Big E. Langston defeated Alberto del Rio
The announce team talk about the whole instant replay bit from Extreme Rules. Frankly, I do not think anyone cares. Short bout, with Del Rio being overpowered by Langston. Every time Del Rio locked in the cross-armbreaker, Langston just lifts and hurls the former champion. At the point where Del Rio finally gains control, AJ Lee distracts the ref, allowing Langston to deliver an old school eye poke, leading into the Big Ending and the pinfall win.

Wade Barrett was a real “bare-knuckle brawl” champion. Did you know, after winning a cash prize from a fight, he was stabbed multiple times, but still walked away with the winnings due to his assailant mysteriously suffering from multiple injuries.

AJ Lee defeats Layla
So, I guess her title match is pushed off for a while. Layla does the usual stuff, until AJ Lee surprises her with the Black Widow submission hold for the win.

Cody Rhodes defeats Zack Ryder
Wade Barrett and I have something in common. We both cite the Intercontinental Championship main event between Bret Hart and the British Bulldog at SummerSlam 1992 as one of the best ever. Rhodes defeats Ryder. Hey look, Ryback comes out and mauls Ryder, throwing him into the ambulance. Winner of the “Why Is This A Match” award this week.

 

The Shield vs. Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan & Kane
Ambrose on the mic, and damn those belts look good on the trio. He takes credit for the departures of The Rock and The Undertaker, while also taking credit for Ryback snapping and destroying John Cena. We go to commercial, sparing us from long winded entrances. Back, Kingston and Ambrose put on a mat clinic. JBL is clearly drunk. Rollins takes control, while they talk about how Bryan is one of the best technical wrestlers, but yet very emotionally unstable. Do I see the return of a bad gimmick approaching? Reigns is a bit weird, he does the typical energetic big man routine, growling and howling after every assault. He needs to stop this now. We get it, he is the big man of the crew. Kofi is beaten down for most of the match, until making the hot tag to D. Bryan who goes apenuts on Rollins, clotheslining the Shield member out of his boots. Replay of the clothesline shows Rollins landing badly on his neck. Awesome. Bryan and Rollins putting on a show, Ambrose comes in and eats big top rope dropkick, then is trapped into the No-Lock. He reaches the ropes and The Shield retreat to the outside as the faces stand tall at commercial. Back from the break, Kofi is again at the mercy of Ambrose, but this time mounts a comeback. Bryan tags in, hangs Ambrose upside down in the corner into the Tree of Woe! Rollins gets in and out of nowhere, launches Bryan into the corner with a Turnbuckle Powerbomb! MAIN EVENT! I would love to see more one-on-ones with Bryan against either Ambrose or Rollins. Kane gets a hot tag flooring Reigns while Bryan and Kofi double suicide dive onto Rollins and Ambrose. Kane scores a DDT, but the other members take out Bryan and Kofi on the outside. Kane moves for a chokeslam, but Rollins hits with a top rope diving knee, allowing Reigns to break free and hit Kane with the spear. Ref strikes three.
Winners by Pinfall: The Shield

Backstage: Triple H readies for his fight against Axel. A trainer comes in, saying “Doc” is not clearing Hunter to compete. Triple H says too bad.

Backstage: Kaitlyn and Natalya giggle about something, Rhodes walks by asking if they see something in his “lovestache” and the girls walk away. WHY?! Why does this get more airtime than Wade Barrett, and man who defeated John Cena numerous times during his first year in WWE.

 

Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton
Big surprise. You really thought Khali or Truth would win the fan vote? They must be sitting backstage going “awwwww…” with their sad, mopey faces turned downwards. Oh wait, there is a match going on. Orton Orton Orton Orton. Swagger does a wrestling move. Orton punchy punchy kicky kicky. Wait, get more wrestling, Swagger with a few amateur takedowns, but then Orton somehow takes Swagger does with a top rope superplex. Lawler needs to shut up. Swagger counters an Orton punch with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex! Yay! Swagger gets taken down by Orton’s five-moves-of-doom while Colter cries at ringside. Swagger comes back with a huge floatover Belly-to-Back Suplex! Yes! Go Swagger! Hey Orton… Learn how to wrestle! I am amazed how over Randy Orton is. Swagger counters the RKO attempt into the Patriot Lock. Inevitably, Orton does hit the RKO after counters and reversals and so-forth.
Winner: Randy Orton

Alright, it was not a terrible match. I have to give some credit to Randy Orton for being able to keep pace with a real athlete. Barrett vs. Swagger would have been better.

 

Triple H vs. Curtis Axel
Maybe Axel Curtis would sound better? Too close to Johnny “Fandango” Curtis. I am not 100% sold on the new name, but I really like how Heyman explained the reason for a name change. My wife for some reason likes seeing a scar from an appendectomy on Curtis. It is about time Joe Hennig gets to main event on Raw, and against Triple H no less. Slow match, due to HHH selling his injuries from his match with Brock Lesnar last night. He is staggering around a lot, leading me to believe they are doing an angle where he will collapse from exhaustion. Oh, look, there it is. He goes to the outside for a water and a towel. Trainers tend to him as the head guy calls for the match to end. Announcers are silent, doing the whole “realism” bit. JBL looks very concerned. Show ends with Triple H down on the arena floor.

That wraps it up. Nice touch explaining the sudden name change for Hennig, not just the usual assuming the WWE fans forgot he existed after being off TV for a year bit. I worry WWE is pulling the usual shtick, once a team loses the titles, they get broken up. Reigns needs some serious crash-coursing in not-sucking. His big man routine is not over and the constant roaring is more irritating than impressive. In case anyone cared, a Jonas Brother was the “social ambassador” for WWE on Twitter. No, you did not care. No one did. The quiet finish introduces a serious gimmick once again, showing how Triple H should not have tried to get in the ring after going toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar. Well, not much else to call, it is what it is. What you see is what you get, and tonight we got a lot of prep towards WWE Payback.