The Best Laid Plans…
Six nights before SummerSlam, the 1055th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA. Before he faces off against “The Beast” Brock Lesnar this Sunday at SummerSlam, “The Best in the World” CM Punk would accept the challenge of the man who cost him the Money-in-the-Bank All-Stars Ladder Match and has orchestrated multiple attacks on Punk in recent weeks, his former best friend, Paul Heyman, but what does the evil mastermind Heyman have up his sleeve for CM Punk?
- Special Referee- Brad Maddox: Wade Barrett def. Daniel Bryan by roll-up with a fast count by Brad Maddox.
- Randy Orton (with Cody Rhodes) def. Damien Sandow by pin following the RKO.
- Mixed Tag Match: The Great Khali & Natalya def. Big E. Langston & AJ Lee by AJ Lee tapping out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter.
- Kane def. Titus O’Neil by pin following the chokeslam.
- Non-Title: Alberto Del Rio def. Kofi Kingston by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- Jimmy & Jey Uso def. The Real Americans (with Zeb Colter) by Jey Uso rolling up Jack Swagger.
- #1 Contender’s 20-Man Battle Royal: Rob Van Dam def. Mark Henry, Ryback, Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Brodus Clay, Tensai, R-Truth, Fandango, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Kofi Kingston, & The Great Khali to become the #1 Contender for the United States Title at SummerSlam.
Before he challenges John Cena for the WWE Championship this Sunday at SummerSlam, RAW kicks off with the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Daniel Bryan, as Bryan would face Wade Barrett in a rematch from last week’s SmackDown, but this time, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox would conspicuously serve as the Special Referee of the match. During the match, Wade Barrett would roll up Daniel Bryan and Brad Maddox would administer a lightning-fast three-count, screwing Daniel Bryan and giving Barrett the victory! After the match, Daniel Bryan would nearly cost himself the title match by taking a run at Brad Maddox, but the GM would narrowly escape the ring.
With Cody Rhodes a guest on commentary, the two Money-in-the-Bank winners would square off as the WWE Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton would face the World Heavyweight Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Damien Sandow, who handcuffs his Money-in-the-Bank briefcase to the ring buckle in the corner. During the match, Damien Sandow would shout something derogatory to Cody Rhodes at ringside, so Rhodes would take it upon himself to fiddle with Damien Sandow’s briefcase, distracting Sandow long enough for Randy Orton to hit the RKO on Sandow en route to picking up the win.
Six nights before they face Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn in a Mixed Tag Match at SummerSlam, Big E. Langston and Divas Champion AJ Lee would face The Great Khali & Natalya, with Hornswoggle in their corner, in a Mixed Tag Match on RAW. During the match, Natalya would lock the Sharpshooter in on AJ Lee and, despite the Divas Champion tapping out, the referee would not call for the bell, so Natalya would lock in the move again, forcing AJ to tap out again to pick up the win for herself and The Great Khali. After the match, Big E. Langston would toss Hornswoggle out of the ring, but The Great Khali would put Langston down with a chop to the skull, forcing Langston and AJ to retreat.
The Chairman of the Board of the WWE would appear on RAW as Mr. McMahon would address the controversial opening match of the night where RAW General Manager Brad Maddox served as the Special Referee, ultimately screwing Daniel Bryan in his match against Wade Barrett. McMahon calls the GM to the ring, who rushes out at the Chairman’s request, asking Maddox why he decided to take it upon himself to call the match. The GM gives the explanation that Daniel Bryan’s matches tend to get a bit out of hand, so he felt that the match needed a referee capable of making the right decision. The Chairman says that he gave a fast count in the match, but Maddox argues that he was a little “excited”, saying that if there was any “rust” on his part, it was not intentional and he did the “best” that he could. The Chairman accepts Maddox’s explanation, saying that, if the GM did his best, then there is nothing to apologize for, adding that Maddox is human and humans make mistakes. The GM then asks for a “second chance”, requesting that he be the Special Referee for the WWE Title match between John Cena and Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam! McMahon asks if Brad Maddox would call the match right down the middle and show no favoritism towards the champion or challenger and also asks if the GM would stop making comments about Daniel Bryan’s “troll” appearance and “toothpick” physique. Maddox assures Mr. McMahon that he would do none of those things as the Special Referee of the match, giving the Chairman his “scout’s honor”.
Before Mr. McMahon can make the appointment official, the Chairman is interrupted by his son-in-law, the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, Triple H. Triple H tells Mr. McMahon that he is not out there to air the “dirty laundry” of the family, agreeing that they need a Special Referee who will call the match right down the middle and will have the “guts” to not be “intimidated” by anyone or anything, but says that it does not sound like he is talking about Brad Maddox, it sounds like the Chairman is talking about Triple H! Upon inserting himself into the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam as the Special Referee, Triple H would drop the RAW GM with the Pedigree as Mr. McMahon storms out of the ring!
Before he faces Bray Wyatt in the first Ring of Fire Match at SummerSlam, “The Big Red Monster” Kane would go one-on-one with Titus O’Neil, with Darren Young in his corner. In the end, it was Kane drilling Titus O’Neil with the chokeslam en route to picking up the win. After the match, The Wyatt Family would descend upon RAW as Bray Wyatt leads Luke Harper & Erick Rowan to the ring, but when the lights come back on, Kane is nowhere to be found in the ring as “The Big Red Monster” somehow found his way to the stage, slipping past The Wyatt Family! Kane’s presence behind him causes Bray Wyatt to leap out of his rocking chair, but Wyatt ultimately laughs at Kane’s mind games.
Before he defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Christian at SummerSlam, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio went one-on-one with Kofi Kingston in a non-title match on RAW. Despite an impressive outing from Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio would lock in the cross armbreaker, forcing Kofi to tap out to pick up the win.
In a rematch from last week’s RAW, Jimmy & Jey Uso would face The Real Americans, Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro, with Zeb Colter in their corner. In the end, it was Jimmy & Jey Uso overcoming the interference of Zeb Colter as Jey Uso catches Jack Swagger with a roll-up en route to picking up the win for himself and his twin brother.
RAW would be host to the latest edition of Miz TV as the Official Host of SummerSlam, The Miz, would welcome the two men who will collide with the WWE Championship on the line with Triple H as the Special Referee at SummerSlam, WWE Champion John Cena and #1 Contender Daniel Bryan. After bringing both champion and challenger to the ring, The Miz asks what they think of Triple H appointing himself as the Special Referee for the match at SummerSlam. Daniel Bryan says that he is all for it, saying that he is glad to finally see someone stand up to Mr. McMahon. John Cena says that Triple H is the perfect man to keep order in such a big main event match. The Miz’s next question was for John Cena, asking what the WWE Champion really thinks of Daniel Bryan, but Cena argues that their rivalry is all about the WWE Championship, saying that he picked Daniel Bryan because Bryan deserves the shot and Bryan will put up a “hell of a fight” this Sunday. The Miz takes this to mean that Cena thinks that Bryan will lose at SummerSlam, saying that the WWE Champion is just trying to ride the wave of popularity that Daniel Bryan is enjoying right now and Cena views Bryan as an “easy win”, but Bryan cuts Miz off, telling him to shut up or he will punch him in the face. Daniel Bryan then directly addresses John Cena, saying that he does not understand why Cena and so many others think that “putting up a fight” is the best that he can do. Bryan continues, saying that Cena made some “explosive remarks” last week, saying that Cena “grabbed the spotlight”, telling Cena that he is in it for the “fame” and not for the wrestling! Daniel Bryan then points to his “The Beard is Here” shirt, saying that the shirt is a parody of John Cena’s shirt because John Cena is a “parody of wrestling”. Bryan then declares that he wants to be the WWE Champion for one reason and one reason only, to prove that that, when he steps in the ring, there is no one better than Daniel Bryan!
John Cena argues that he is not a parody, saying that he is out there for the same reason that Daniel Bryan is out there, he is out there for the people, saying that the people believe in Daniel Bryan. Cena continues, saying that the WWE is about the fans and they do what they do for the fans. Cena says that he has come out there for the past twelve years to bust his ass for the WWE and for its fans and he does it to give hope and inspiration to those who are loyal to him, saying that he is “proud” of who he is. Cena continues, saying that he is a man who has withstood the best that the WWE has had to offer, all while holding the WWE Championship. Cena then says that he has defeated all of Daniel Bryan’s peers, like The Rock, CM Punk, Triple H, Batista, & Shawn Michaels, saying that Daniel Bryan does not belong in the same class as those ring warriors. Cena then says that, only if Daniel Bryan becomes the WWE Champion, will he ever respect him. Bryan says that Cena cannot understand the “desire” he has to become the WWE Champion for the first time, saying that, for Cena, this is just another SummerSlam, but for him, it is the “biggest match” of his life! Bryan then says that, when he wrestled in Japan, he learned a pre-match custom where wrestlers would slap each other as hard as they could across the face to get them fired up. However, Bryan says that he cannot slap Cena across the face because Cena is not a wrestler and he does not “deserve” it! An increasingly agitated John Cena then dares Daniel Bryan to slap him across the face, even slapping the challenger, but Bryan refuses, again telling him that he does not deserve it. The Special Referee for the title match at SummerSlam, Triple H, then comes out to try and diffuse the situation, but “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton comes out soon after, letting the men in the ring know that he is still very much a threat.
“The Lord of Dance” Fandango was set to go one-on-one with R-Truth on RAW, but after R-Truth cut Fandango’s entrance short, Fandango would take part in an impromptu dance-off with R-Truth, but when Truth takes his turn, Fandango attacks R-Truth from behind. This sparks a brawl between the two that ends with R-Truth tossing Fandango out of the ring, never allowing the match to begin.
Then it was time for 20 men to collide in a 20-Man Battle Royal with the winner earning a shot at Dean Ambrose’s United States Title on the SummerSlam Kickoff this Sunday night as “The Whole Damn Show” Rob Van Dam, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback, as well as Brodus Clay, Tensai, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Fandango, The Great Khali, Justin Gabriel, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, R-Truth, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, and Jimmy & Jey Uso, would all battle for the #1 Contender’s spot. The first man to go was Justin Gabriel as Ryback vaults the high-flyer over the top rope to the outside, followed shortly by Darren Young and Tensai. The members of 3MB then work together as Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre eliminate Jimmy Uso. Shortly after this, R-Truth sends Fandango packing, but Fandango comes back into the ring illegally, tossing R-Truth out! Brodus Clay would also get eliminated, followed by The Great Khali tossing out all three members of 3MB before Ryback manages to hoist Khali over the top rope to the outside.
The Real Americans then work together to eliminate Jey Uso before Rob Van Dam scores his first elimination, sending Titus O’Neil to the outside. Despite some impressive techniques to stay in the match, the two-on-one disadvantage would win out against Kofi Kingston as The Real Americans send Kofi to the outside. The Real Americans would then take on the task of trying to eliminate Mark Henry, but “The World’s Strongest Man” would fight back, shoving both Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro over the top rope, as well as tossing Wade Barrett to the outside. Then, with Rob Van Dam down, Ryback and Mark Henry would collide and, with Ryback on the ring apron, a kick to the head from Rob Van Dam would aid Mark Henry in knocking Ryback off of the apron to the outside, leaving only RVD and Mark Henry in the Battle Royal. Despite being out-classed in strength, Rob Van Dam would use his speed advantage, low-bridging Mark Henry, eliminating “The World’s Strongest Man” to punch his ticket to SummerSlam! After the match, Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry would share a fist bump in the ring, but then The Shield would make their way to the ring. RVD and Henry would stand tall as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns surround the ring, but just when it looks like The Shield was ready to attack, “The World’s Largest Athlete” returns as Big Show makes his way to the ring, standing alongside Mark Henry and Rob Van Dam, making The Shield retreat!
Then it was put up or shut up time for Paul Heyman as, after his challenge to a one-on-one match with CM Punk was accepted, the evil genius would have to go through with facing “The Best in the World” on RAW. After making his way to the ring, Paul Heyman says that Punk’s “worshippers” are calling for their “hero”, saying that he does not blame CM Punk for what is happening, he blames each and every WWE fan. Heyman continues, saying that CM Punk used to live for his “respect” and his “admiration”, but now he lives for the “acceptance” of the WWE fans, saying that the fans took Punk away from him. Heyman then vows to take CM Punk away from the fans before openly admitting that the match is a “trap” for CM Punk. Heyman then says that he had a “co-conspirator” that helped him come up with the plan, bringing “The Beast” Brock Lesnar to the ring. After showing a video package of Brock Lesnar’s two savage attacks on CM Punk in recent weeks, Heyman says that Brock Lesnar’s plan is so “insidious”, yet so “simple”. Heyman then says that all CM Punk has to do is play the “hero” by coming down to the ring to face both of them in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Heyman continues, saying that Punk does not have to play the hero, all he has to do is disappoint each and every fan. Paul Heyman then asks if CM Punk is going to be the “smart coward” or the “stupid hero”. However, CM Punk would prove to be neither as, with both Heyman and Brock Lesnar watching the entrance for CM Punk’s arrival, Punk comes in from behind, grabbing a camera from one of the cameramen and using it as a weapon to blast Lesnar in the face! Punk then sends Lesnar to the outside, running and diving on top of his SummerSlam opponent. Punk then grabs a steel chair, waylaying “The Beast” with two vicious chair shots to the spine. With the monster down on the outside, CM Punk closes in on Paul Heyman in the ring, but Heyman quickly flees the ring to the entrance with CM Punk not far behind. However, Curtis Axel cuts Punk off at the pass, allowing Heyman to escape as Punk targets the Intercontinental Champion, putting Axel down with the GTS on the stage! CM Punk then looks down towards ringside, where a surprised and weakened Brock Lesnar begins to fully realize that CM Punk just tore through his and Heyman’s master plan.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Post your comments in the box below.