Targeted for Destruction?
The 1052nd edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Frank Erwin Center at UT Austin in Austin, TX. After Brock Lesnar brutally assaulted CM Punk at the behest of Paul Heyman on last week’s RAW, what is the status of CM Punk? Will “The Best in the World” be on RAW to respond to the assault?
- Non-Title: Alberto Del Rio def. Sheamus by roll-up.
- Christian def. Titus O’Neil (with Darren Young) by pin following the Killswitch.
- Dolph Ziggler def. Darren Young by pin following the Zig Zag.
- Cody Rhodes def. Fandango (with Damien Sandow) by pin following Cross Rhodes.
- Rob Van Dam def. Wade Barrett by pin following the Five-Star Frog Splash.
- Gauntlet Match: Match #1: Daniel Bryan def. Jack Swagger by submission to the Yes Lock.
- Gauntlet Match: Match #2: Daniel Bryan def. Antonio Cesaro (with Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger) by roll-up.
- Gauntlet Match: Match #3: Daniel Bryan def. Ryback by DQ after Ryback puts Daniel Bryan through a table.
RAW opens with the General Manager of RAW, Brad Maddox, in the ring as the GM would present the official contract signing for the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. Maddox first introduces the WWE Champion, John Cena, who makes his way to the ring and takes his seat. The GM immediately begins to question Cena hand-picking Daniel Bryan to be his next challenger. The WWE Champion explains that he chose Daniel Bryan because the WWE fans wanted Bryan to be the new #1 Contender, but Maddox says that some people are saying that Cena only selected Bryan because Cena is “stronger” than Bryan and Bryan is a “troll” who is “severely unstable” and cannot hold a relationship together. This brings out the #1 Contender himself, Daniel Bryan, which electrifies the Austin crowd with an eruption of “yes” chants and “Daniel Bryan” chants. Daniel Bryan confronts the GM, saying that it seems like the fans disagree with Maddox’s views on him and Brad Maddox immediately quizzes Daniel Bryan on why Bryan thinks he deserves a shot at the WWE Title.
John Cena fields the question himself, saying that Maddox and the “dumbasses” that he works for are afraid to see “god given talent” like Daniel Bryan. Cena continues, saying that if “size matters” in the WWE, then Maddox should go hand the WWE Title to The Great Khali, but he knows that legends like Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, and Eddie Guerrero are a perfect example of how passion and athleticism means more than size. Cena then says that he chose Daniel Bryan as his challenger is because Bryan deserves it, telling Daniel Bryan that he picked Bryan to compete in the match and it does not mean that he is just going to hand the WWE Championship to Bryan. Cena then signs the contract, saying that he will defend the WWE Title at SummerSlam and Daniel Bryan is the best in the WWE right now, but he will prove that the best is still not “good enough”. With a smile on his face, Daniel Bryan does not hesitate to sign the contract to make the WWE Title match at SummerSlam official. Brad Maddox cuts Daniel Bryan off from speaking, but Bryan shouts “no” at the GM, saying that he deserves his moment. Maddox then says that he is going to give Daniel Bryan the opportunity to prove himself tonight on RAW, saying that Bryan will compete in multiple matches, emphatically chanting “no”, he does not think Bryan will be able to prove himself!
Competing for the first time since the grueling Money-in-the-Bank All-Stars Ladder Match, the opening match of RAW would see “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, still sporting a giant bruise on his quadriceps muscle from Money-in-the-Bank, face World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. Throughout the match, Alberto Del Rio would work on the injured leg of Sheamus and, in the end, the work would pay off as, when Sheamus went for White Noise on Del Rio, the injured leg gave out and it allowed the World Heavyweight Champion to capitalize, catching “The Celtic Warrior” with a roll-up, hooking the bad leg to pick up the win.
After they were both fired in favor of Vickie Guerrero being named the new General Manager of SmackDown, former General Manager Booker T and his former Senior Advisor, Theodore Long, were interviewed on RAW. Booker T says that he respects Mr. McMahon’s decision, but he was a bit “shocked” by the whole situation. Theodore Long says that he filled in for Booker T for three long months, saying that Booker would not believe the “abuse” that he had to endure while Booker relaxed at home. Booker reminds Theodore Long that he had to have surgery to repair his triceps tear, but Long says that he was still left to run SmackDown by himself and, after all he has done for SmackDown, Vickie still had him thrown out of the building Friday night. Booker T then says that, if Long keeps running his mouth, he will toss Theodore Long out of the arena himself. Long fires back, saying that Mr. McMahon made the right decision in firing Booker T as the General Manager.
Christian was in action on RAW as “Captain Charisma” went one-on-one with one-half of The Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil, with Darren Young in his corner. In the end, it was Christian planting Titus O’Neil with the Killswitch en route to picking up the win.
After he was assaulted by all three members of The Shield on last week’s RAW, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry would appear on RAW to respond to the attack. Mark Henry says that he is proud of the fact that he was born and raised in Texas and he is proud of the match he had with John Cena at Money-in-the-Bank, but what he is not proud of is what happened to him at the hands of The Shield last week. Mark Henry continues, saying that when he takes a beating, he gives one back. With that, Mark Henry actually calls out The Shield, who waste no time in making their way through the crowd as United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns surround the ring. Much like last week, The Shield enters the ring and Mark Henry briefly holds the trio off single-handedly, but the numbers get the better of Mark Henry. However, Jimmy & Jey Uso rush to the aid of “The World’s Strongest Man” and, together, they take Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins out of the ring. Alone in the ring, Roman Reigns found himself at the mercy of Mark Henry and Jimmy & Jey Uso as Mark Henry squashes Reigns in the corner with a big splash before Ambrose & Rollins pull Reigns out of the ring, rescuing their teammate and retreating through the crowd.
Last week, he was attacked by his ex-girlfriend, AJ Lee, and laid out with the Big Ending by Big E. Langston and, this week, “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would go one-on-one with Darren Young of The Prime Time Players. In the end, it was Dolph Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag on Darren Young en route to picking up the win. After the match, AJ Lee would lead Big E. Langston to the ring, but Dolph Ziggler would use his speed to dodge Langston as “The Show-Off” tosses Langston to the outside and, when Langston slides into the ring, Dolph slides out, avoiding the big man.
With The Miz in the ring, it was time for a special edition of Miz TV as “The Awesome One” would feature the cast of Total Divas on the E! Network as Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, The Bella Twins, and the two new arrivals, Eva Marie & JoJo. However, The Miz then turns things over to Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, who greets the Divas, shaking hands with JoJo, but when Lawler tries to shake the hand of Eva Marie, the new arrival says that she is here to make a name for herself, slapping the legend across the face!
Backstage, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox is confronted by WWE COO Triple H, who asks the GM if he thinks that Daniel Bryan is not “championship material”. The COO says that Mr. McMahon has been putting words in Maddox’s mouth. Triple H then says that he believes that Daniel Bryan is the future of the WWE, telling Brad Maddox that there are two trains leaving the station, one that leads to the future and the other leads to a “dead end”. The COO exits and his wife, Stephanie McMahon, enters, telling the GM that he needs to make sure to “get on board”.
“The Lord of Dance” was in action on RAW as Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner, went one-on-one with Cody Rhodes with “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Damien Sandow a guest on commentary. During the match, Cody Rhodes would go for a standing moonsault on Fandango, but Fandango would dodge it, rolling to the outside of the ring. With the referee’s attention on Fandango, Damien Sandow would try to get involved in the match, but Rhodes would end up hitting the Disaster Kick, hitting both Sandow and Fandango. Rhodes then hits Cross Rhodes on Fandango en route to picking up the win.
One week after being the victim of a heinous assault at the hands of Brock Lesnar, all orchestrated by Paul Heyman, “The Best in the World” CM Punk would make an appearance on RAW to respond to the attack that left him with bruised ribs and strained ligaments in his knee and ankle. Punk admits that he got his “ass handed” to him by Brock Lesnar last week and he knew that he was dealing with a “freak” of an athlete. Punk then says that, no matter what Brock did to him last week, he still got up and, one week later, he is hurting, but still standing. Punk says that Lesnar can beat him down, but cannot keep him down. Punk continues, saying that Lesnar’s biggest strength has always been about one thing, “fear”, saying that he has seen some of the toughest men in the WWE buckle at the sight of Brock Lesnar, but he is “not afraid” of Brock Lesnar! Punk then shifts his focus to Paul Heyman, saying that Heyman made the “wrong” decision and he will make sure that Heyman regrets it every day of his life. Punk continues, vowing that he will not rest until he leaves Brock Lesnar in the same heap that Brock left him in last week and it does not matter what Paul Heyman or Brock Lesnar thinks, he is standing in his ring! Punk says that he has consistently proven that he owns that ring against the likes of John Cena, The Rock, and The Undertaker and he would have done the same against Brock Lesnar had it not been for Paul Heyman’s involvement. Punk continues that he is not going to stand out there and pretend like Lesnar is not a “monster”, but monsters were put on this earth “to be slaughtered”!
Punk then says that he wants Brock Lesnar one-on-one right now, but he knows that Lesnar is not in the arena, so Punk lays out an open challenge to Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam, saying he wants it to be “The Best” vs. “The Beast”! Paul Heyman then appears on the Tron, live via satellite, saying that, through the miracle of technology, neither he nor Brock Lesnar have to set foot in the state of Texas. Heyman then asks Punk if he is a “coward” or “fool” who is “too stupid to stay down”. Punk says that he will give that answer to Heyman and his client come SummerSlam, demanding that Heyman tell him where he is at. Heyman ignores the demand, saying that Brock Lesnar is in the “best fighting shape” of his life, but Punk is all beat up from last week’s Money-in-the-Bank All-Stars Ladder Match and last week’s beating on RAW. On behalf of Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman accepts CM Punk’s challenge for SummerSlam, saying that “The Best” is “The Beast”, Brock Lesnar, who Heyman claims is his new “best friend”!
After making his return at Money-in-the-Bank, followed up by a classic match with Chris Jericho on RAW, “Mr. Monday Night” was in action on RAW as Rob Van Dam went one-on-one with Wade Barrett. In the end, it was Rob Van Dam hitting Wade Barrett with the Five-Star Frog Splash en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the main event as the new #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, Daniel Bryan, would compete in a Gauntlet Match, where Bryan must face back-to-back opponents. Daniel Bryan’s first opponent was one-half of The Real Americans, Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter & Antonio Cesaro in his corner. In the end, it was Daniel Bryan locking the Yes Lock in on Jack Swagger, forcing Swagger to tap out to advance in the Gauntlet Match.
In the second leg of the Gauntlet Match, Daniel Bryan would face the other half of The Real Americans, Antonio Cesaro, with Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger in his corner. At the end of an incredible match, it was Daniel Bryan overcoming interference from Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger, catching Antonio Cesaro with a roll-up to pick up the win and stay alive in the Gauntlet Match.
The third and final portion of the Gauntlet Match would pit Daniel Bryan against the remorseless “Sin City Cyborg” Ryback. During the match, Ryback would get the advantage in the match and would decide to set up a table on the outside, but Daniel Bryan would dive to the outside, taking Ryback down. However, Ryback would shove Daniel Bryan into the steel steps before Ryback finishes adjusting the table. Daniel Bryan would try everything to put down the monster, but Ryback would spot his opportunity for destruction on the outside of the ring as, following a powerbomb onto the arena floor, Ryback would hoist Daniel Bryan up again, this time driving Daniel Bryan through a table, which results in a disqualification win for Daniel Bryan! After the match, Ryback was set to do even more damage to Daniel Bryan, but John Cena would rush out as the WWE Champion makes the save, knocking Ryback out of the ring. The WWE Champion then grabs a microphone, challenging Ryback to a Tables Match on next week’s RAW, which Ryback accepts! Backstage, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon confronts RAW General Manager Brad Maddox, saying that he will make the Tables Match official for next week and, at the ‘encouragement’ of the Chairman, Maddox places Daniel Bryan in a match against his former tag team partner, Kane, for next week!
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