RAW Recap: 6/24/13

bill bodkin is raw …

 

Last week’s Monday Night RAW featured one of the best hours they’ve had in what seems forever. Heading into this week, you’d have to be concerned that WWE, as they are known to do coming off a hot show, would completely drop the ball. So let’s roll into this week’s show …

Things That Made Me Want to Burn My Eyes (and Ears) Off with A Blow Torch

 

Sometimes the WWE doesn’t know when to cut the chord with some guys. The Great Khali is one of them. He’s never been good, he never will be good, why is he still on the roster? I get it, he’s a giant, he draws a ton in India … but still come on, he’s human molasses. So, someone thought it’d be a good idea to put him in the ring with the human vacuum of charisma AKA Ryback. Now that’s terribly fair, he’s decent … but in his new heel persona, snore fest. Watching this match just made me want to burn my eyes out. Ryback rules? No, no he doesn’t.

Then there was Vickie Guerrero. My lord, did she have to scream “Excuse Me” at the top of her lungs? It was so damn annoying. Yes, she’s often annoying, but tonight it got ratcheted up 11. It was very grating and if a casual fan tuning in for the first time in a while heard this you’d probably change the channel.

Then you have the ‘Battling McMahons’ who keep undermining each other and manipulating Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox into doing their will. This is getting really, really old. Why? Because it was really, really old ten years ago when they did this same exact thing.

The Wyatt Family is Gonna Huuuuuuge

Another video promo plus a live “tweet read” from Michael Cole. The WWE is banking huge on The Wyatts and I think they are absolutely going to deliver. In fact, mark this down. The Usos are going to take the tag titles from The Shield and then The Wyatt Family is going to come in and annihilate them for the belts. Anyways, I’ve seen these guys work in NXT before and I knew that they had star written all over them. Bray Wyatt (aka Husky Harris of NXT/Nexus fame) is the second coming of both Kevin Sullivan and Raven at the height of their respective fame. He’s a hell of a talker and can really go in the ring. Erick Rowan, not completely sold on him as he’s still rough around the edges, but his weaknesses can be hidden by Wyatt and Luke Harper. Harper, the former indie worker known as Brodie Lee, is agile as hell, tough as nails and looks like a psycho killer. These guys are going to print money when they finally debut.

It’s Still Says Wrestling on the Marquee
Notice how WWE has been cutting down on a lot of the “ga ga” recently? Notice how a lot of the top guys or the guys getting the biggest pushes aren’t the typical muscle head type? That’s cause it still says “Wrestling” on the marquee folks. Watching Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho work tonight was poetry in motion. The counters, the gamesmanship, everything executed perfectly by two of the best in the world right now. Find this match online and watch it ASAP.

 

Usos Win A Title Shot…Wait What?
The match itself was a joke. It could’ve been a million times better as everyone involved (The Usos, Tons of Funk and yes, even 3MB) can go in the ring. However, the right dudes won it. First off, these guys are over with the audience despite little mainstream air time. How do we know this? Their entrance, which starts out with no music, is the brothers doing a tribal war chant. It’s so captivating and charismatic, you could feel the crowd getting into it. Then when they yell, “When we say OOH, you say SO” the crowd responded immediately and with passion. That my friends is called being over. And these dudes can wrestle. I love their finisher being the old Samoan SWAT Team Samoan drop/flying splash combo. Their match with The Shield is going to be off the chain. I also loved that The Shield immediately came out to intimidate The Usos when they won their title shot. A little brawl with the brothers would’ve been nice but hey, we can’t have it all.

 

John Cena Finally Cut a Good Promo…but Mark Henry Still Steals the Show
Finally … John Cena does not cut a pandering, PG-rated, goof ball promo. I liked the fact he referenced the history of both the WWE title and legit retirement speeches made on RAW. Then he gets all pissed off and delivers a great late line, “Mark Henry you forgot to check you calendar…because it’s still whoop ass season!” Now that’s not very TV-PG … and I like it. I like Cena when he has some anger, not when he’s sucking up to everyone. Yet, Cena’s promo could not outdo the fabulous Mark Henry. Yup, I called Mark Henry fabulous, not taking it back. He called out everyone for believing him, told the people they were stupid for doing so and then simply stated he was going to kick John Cena’s ass. Simple, to the point. Boom.

 

CM Punk is solid gold … and so is Paul Heyman
CM Punk is the man. Plain and simple, he cannot be touched on the microphone. He has such a captivating way of talking. He’s blunt, honest and pulls no punches. When he screams at Paul Heyman, his legit best friend, to be honest for the first time in his life over and over again, I got chills. The mutton-chopped Chi-Town icon knows how to connect with an audience and it’s because CM Punk isn’t a gimmick, it’s an extension of who he is in everyday life, with the volume turned up a tad. Now, when it comes to his in-ring work, it seems that he’s still not 100% back to snuff as his match with Darren Young was a bit sloppy. Then again, maybe that’s Darren Young’s fault.

 

Yet we cannot forget about the snake-in-the-grass that is Paul Heyman. He, like Punk, is a cult of personality. He’s well-documented liar and manipulator, but he’s so good at it that we can’t totally believe or disbelieve anything he says. And that’s the beauty of this angle with Heyman, Punk and Brock Lesnar — we don’t know where the truth really lies, but we know we’ll get a hell of a match. It’ll also be interesting to see how Heyman’s latest protege, Curtis Axel, who’ll be teaming with Punk next week, will play into all of this as well.

The Money in the Bank Announcement

It’s official — Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk vs. Rob … Van … Damm. This is going to be a barn burner of a Money in the Bank match-up. Now, I could do with Kane as I feel he’d better suited elsewhere, maybe a rematch with Dean Ambrose. However, I can live with it. The same goes for Sheamus and Randy Orton, as neither of them excites as the others in the match. Yet at the end of the day you’ve got two of the best wrestlers in the world (Punk and Bryan), the king of ladder matches (Christian) and one of the most dynamic high-flying wrestlers to ever live (RVD). Sold. Also, this being Van Damm’s return to WWE makes this match even more special.

 

D-Bryan and Randall Orton … YES! YES! YES!

 

This was one hell of a main event, possibly one of the best we’ve seen in years. Orton showed more charisma in this match than I’ve ever seen him. You could see he was feeling the energy from the crowd and played to them like he’s never done before. He also held his own in the ring. I loved his shove off into a beautiful dropkick as well as his head and arm exploder into the table. But it was THE DAZZLER, Daniel Bryan who owned this match. His kick and kendo stick combination was a thing of violent beauty. The table powerbomb was great. And then the Yes Lock with the kendo stick … damn. Bryan gave it everything he possibly could’ve in this match and the crowd loved him for it and they should. A star was born tonight. This is a must, must, must see match. Don’t sit here reading the rest, get on Hulu now!

Was Last Week’s Momentum Continued?
If you haven’t left us for Hulu, then I have to say that strong in-ring work from ADR, Jericho, Bryan and Orton definitely helped keep the momentum going while CM Punk and Paul Heyman held down the angle part of last week’s momentum. One has to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop and the WWE goes back to the same old silliness and TV-PG lameness. But for now, let’s all enjoy this fantastic ride.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites