Thirteen nights before SummerSlam, the 1054th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI. Two weeks before he challenges John Cena for the WWE Championship at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”, #1 Contender Daniel Bryan would be at the mercy of WWE Executive Vice President Stephanie McMahon as the boss’s daughter gives Daniel Bryan a “corporate makeover” to try and give Bryan the look of a champion!
- Non-Title: Rob Van Dam (with Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Alberto Del Rio by roll-up.
- WrestleMania Rematch: Mark Henry def. Ryback by intentional count-out.
- Luke Harper & Erick Rowan def. Tons of Funk by Erick Rowan pinning Tensai following the big splash.
- Layla (with AJ Lee) def. Kaitlyn by pin following the Bombshell.
- Christian def. Heath Slater (with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre) by pin following the Spear.
- Non-Title: CM Punk and Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) fight to a No Contest.
- Kofi Kingston def. Fandango by pin following Trouble in Paradise.
- The Real Americans (with Zeb Colter) def. Jimmy & Jey Uso by Antonio Cesaro pinning Jimmy Uso following the Neutralizer.
- Big E. Langston (with Kaitlyn & AJ Lee) def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following the Big Ending.
- 6-Man Tag: John Cena, Daniel Bryan, & Randy Orton def. The Shield by DQ after all three members of The Shield attacks Daniel Bryan.
RAW kicks off with the WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon, who says that her father, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, does not believe that Daniel Bryan has the look of a champion, a view that both her and her husband, Triple H, disagree with. Stephanie continues, saying that she came up with a compromise to make Bryan’s appearance more “palatable”, something that Daniel Bryan was a “good sport” about. The EVP then shows footage of Daniel Bryan getting pampered in a salon, working out in the gym, eating a steak, and getting a new suit before Stephanie introduces the new and improved Daniel Bryan. The #1 Contender then comes out with his hair in a ponytail and wearing an expensive, corporate suit! Stephanie is impressed with what she sees, saying that Daniel Bryan looks “sharp”, leaving the ring and allowing Daniel Bryan to comment on his new look. Bryan asks if the fans like his new look, but the fans “boo”, giving Bryan a resounding “no”.
Bryan then says that, despite the makeover, he knows that the company does not want a guy like him to be its champion, saying that the WWE wants their champion to look “jacked up” and be outfitted in “cargo shorts and a bright, yellow t-shirt” and selling the fans merchandise that they do not actually need. Bryan continues, saying the company brass want a guy like John Cena to represent them, saying that Cena does not think that Bryan can win at SummerSlam. Bryan says that Cena is in movies and on cereal boxes, while he is 5’8”, has a “scraggly beard”, and hails from the “middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest”, asking how somebody as “lowly” as him can be a true “Superstar” like John Cena. Bryan continues, saying that Cena is an “entertainer” and Daniel Bryan is a “wrestler”! Bryan then says that Cena has not seen the “holes” that he has climbed out of or the “mud” that he has went through because he is a wrestler. Bryan continues, saying that, if John Cena gets fired tomorrow, Cena goes back to his mansion and twenty-car garage, back to his “million-dollar lifestyle” where he will never have to wrestle again. However, if he gets fired tomorrow, he will be back in every armory and gymnasium in the country, competing for the smallest of crowds because he “loves wrestling”! With the crowd solidly behind him, Daniel Bryan says that it seems like they love wrestling too, saying that he will do what the company wants “for now” because, at SummerSlam, he is going to do what he and everyone else wants him to do when he makes John Cena tap out!
The #1 Contender for the WWE Title is then ‘greeted’ by the arrival of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, who makes his way to the ring to confront Daniel Bryan. The Chairman commends Daniel Bryan for giving the makeover the old “college try” before saying that he has made it known that he does not want John Cena to be the WWE Champion, but he wants Bryan to be the WWE Champion even less. McMahon then says that he is starting to “warm up” to Daniel Bryan, saying that they have never had a “dwarf” as the WWE Champion, saying that Bryan looks like a “miniature Mick Foley”! The Chairman then says that he has “considerable influence” on if Daniel Bryan becomes the next WWE Champion or not and all he has to do is shave off his signature beard! McMahon then has some crew members carry a barber’s chair to ringside, but Daniel Bryan gives the Chairman a resounding “no”, which is echoed by the fans in attendance. McMahon then says that, if the fans want Daniel Bryan to be the WWE Champion, then Bryan will have to go through with shaving his beard, even threatening to fire Daniel Bryan if he does not go through with it! McMahon then encourages Daniel Bryan to take the “first step” to becoming the WWE Champion, claiming that the fans are saying they want Bryan as the champion, but they don’t mean it. The Chairman then orders Daniel Bryan to get in the barber’s chair and Bryan slowly and reluctantly climbs out of the ring and into the chair. McMahon then brings out a “barber” who keeps his facial hair “nicely groomed”, bringing out Wade Barrett to serve as Bryan’s barber. Barrett comes out with his own shaving kit in hand, getting set up and, with a smile on his face, Barrett gets ready to shave the #1 Contender. However, Daniel Bryan suckers Wade Barrett into leaning in closer and Bryan headbutts the Brit, repeatedly knocking Barrett down into the chair and shaving half of Barrett’s beard off! Bryan then grabs a microphone, saying that, if Mr. McMahon wants him to change, then he is saying “no” and he will be the WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan then rips off his suit to reveal a “The Beard is Here” shirt, shouting that “the beard is here”!
With the Official Host of SummerSlam The Miz a guest on commentary, the opening match of the night would be a rematch from a couple weeks ago on SmackDown as “Mr. Monday Night” Rob Van Dam went one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez back by his side, in a non-title match. During the match, Ricardo Rodriguez would prop his metal bucket up in the corner of the ring with the intention of aiding Alberto Del Rio, but Rob Van Dam would take advantage of the assistance himself, sending Del Rio into the metal bucket before rolling the World Heavyweight Champion up to pick up the win! After the match, Alberto Del Rio would snap on Ricardo Rodriguez, dropping his personal ring announcer with a straight kick to the face before pummeling Rodriguez with right hands and repeatedly smashing the metal bucket on Rodriguez! Unfortunately for Ricardo Rodriguez, the World Heavyweight Champion was not through as Del Rio tosses Rodriguez to the outside, where the heinous champion pins the skull of Rodriguez in between the steel steps and the steel ring post, measuring his employee before smashing Rodriguez’s skull with a dropkick to the steps. As Del Rio celebrates his uncalled-for destruction of Ricardo Rodriguez, the WWE doctor tends to Ricardo Rodriguez, who is unconscious at ringside.
Cody Rhodes make an appearance on RAW, saying that his issues with Damien Sandow are all “water under the bridge” because he has a “gift” for his former tag team partner. Before unveiling his gift, Rhodes shows footage from two weeks ago on SmackDown when Cody Rhodes stole Damien Sandow’s Money-in-the-Bank briefcase and tossed it into the Gulf of Mexico, which was followed by Sandow jumping in to try and rescue his waterlogged title opportunity, an attempt that failed since Damien Sandow does not know how to swim. Rhodes also shows the attack he was the victim of at the hands of Sandow on SmackDown. Back in the ring, Rhodes says that he has “spared no expense” in retrieving Damien Sandow’s Money-in-the-Bank briefcase! Rhodes then pulls the briefcase out of a box as the case is dripping wet and rusty with seaweed sticking out of it! Sandow then comes out to get his briefcase, but insists that Rhodes leave the briefcase in the ring and exit the ring. Rhodes appears to comply, but when Sandow gets in the ring, Rhodes cuts Sandow off at the pass, attacking his former tag team partner. Sandow escapes the ring while Rhodes empties the contents of the briefcase out in the middle of the ring, complete with seaweed and seawater, as well as the title contract, soaking wet. Rhodes tosses the empty briefcase at Sandow, who angrily storms to the back.
In a rematch from their clash at WrestleMania, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback would go one-on-one with “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. Early on in the match, Mark Henry would out-power Ryback and Ryback would opt to leave the ring, taking a count-out loss over continuing to battle Mark Henry.
Thirteen nights before he defends the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, WWE Champion John Cena would appear on RAW to respond to the comments made by the #1 Contender earlier in the evening. Cena says that he is used to being a “target” and, while most of his title defenses are against bad people, he will occasionally collide with a fan favorite and that is what he is facing with Daniel Bryan. Cena then says that there were a lot of “ignorance” in what Daniel Bryan had to say, saying that Daniel Bryan is not the first guy to take issue with how he looks or what he does, but he will not change for anyone. Cena then says that Bryan claims that he does not know about the hardships that Daniel Bryan has been through, but the champion says that he has broken his neck and permanently disfigured his elbow competing in the WWE and he is still standing. The WWE Champion continues, saying that Daniel Bryan would much rather be wrestling in a gymnasium before he says that he has been in the WWE for twelve years and, if he were to get fired tomorrow, he would never wrestle again, but it is only because he “loves the WWE” and he would never “tarnish” the WWE Championship by wrestling elsewhere. Cena then says that Daniel Bryan “glorifies” wrestling anywhere besides the WWE, comparing it to football players who tout themselves as an all-star in the Arena Football League, saying that the WWE is the NFL and the “NFL” stands for “Not For Long” because that will describe Bryan if he does not stop looking at his past and start looking at what is right in front of him. Cena says that millions of people chant “you can’t wrestle” at him on a weekly basis, so that is nothing new to him, but he says that he has held the WWE Title eleven times and you “don’t get lucky eleven times”. As the crowd begins a “boring” chant, Cena dares Daniel Bryan to “underestimate” him like everyone else, saying that Daniel Bryan does not realize the opportunity in front of him as Bryan will either “earn” the WWE Championship at SummerSlam or he will have to look himself in the mirror and realize that he has failed. Cena then vows that, come SummerSlam, he will still be saying that “the champ is here”.
“Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton then comes to the ring, saying that he gives John Cena credit for realizing that he has a target on his back, but Cena refuses to see the target standing right in front of him. Orton then says that it does not matter who wins at SummerSlam because he can opt to cash in his title shot at any time he sees fit, saying that he could cash in next week or he could cash in at SummerSlam or he could even wait for WrestleMania. Orton then holds the briefcase up and says that the truth of the matter is that “the champ is here”, eluding to the almost guaranteed title reign held within the confines of the briefcase! The WWE Champion and “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” are then interrupted by the arrival of The Shield as United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns surround the ring. Before The Shield can initiate their attack, Daniel Bryan rushes to the ring to stand by the side of John Cena and Randy Orton, making The Shield think twice about their attack. RAW General Manager Brad Maddox then comes out to announce a blockbuster main event as John Cena would team with his #1 Contender, Daniel Bryan, and the man keeping a close eye out for the perfect opportunity to cash in, Randy Orton, to face The Shield in a 6-Man Tag Match!
In a rematch from two weeks ago on SmackDown, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, with their leader Bray Wyatt taking his spot in his rocking chair at ringside, would face Tons of Funk, Brodus Clay & Tensai, in tag team action. The match would devolve into chaos and, among the chaos, Luke Harper would hit the discus clothesline on Tensai and, while Harper holds Brodus Clay down in the corner, Erick Rowan hits the big splash on Tensai, pinning Tensai to pick up the win for himself and Luke Harper. After the match, Bray Wyatt enters the ring, putting Brodus Clay down with his twisting neckbreaker. Wyatt then has Harper & Rowan drag Brodus to the center of the ring as Wyatt addresses Kane, saying Kane is “no monster”, calling Kane an “illusion” before saying that he is the man of a “thousand troops”, proclaiming himself as the “eater of the worlds”. Bray Wyatt then again tells Kane to “follow the buzzards”, but an explosion of fire brings Bray Wyatt to his feet as Kane appears on the Tron. Kane says that, when you pull the wings off buzzards, it is impossible to follow them and that he does not condemn Bray Wyatt’s actions as he can solve the cryptic words of Wyatt, saying that The Wyatt Family is there to “maim” everyone who crosses their path. Kane chuckles, saying that he does the same things, but he does not do them to “spread a message”, he does them for his own “personal amusement”. Kane then vows that, at SummerSlam, Bray Wyatt will find out why he is “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” because no one does the “devil’s work” better than him, saying that no one, not even Wyatt’s family, will be able to save Wyatt from “inside a ring of fire”! With that, Kane ignites a fiery explosion at all four corners of the ring, but Bray Wyatt gets on his knees, laughing hysterically at Kane!
After she was betrayed by Layla on SmackDown, Kaitlyn would be out for revenge when she went one-on-one with Layla on RAW. During the match, Kaitlyn would size Layla up for the Spear, but Divas Champion AJ Lee would come skipping out to ringside, getting on the ring apron, distracting Kaitlyn long enough for Layla to hit the Bombshell kick on Kaitlyn en route to picking up the win. After the match, Layla would join the Divas Champion for a skip around the ring.
After winning a Triple Threat Match on SmackDown to become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title with a title shot at SummerSlam, “Captain Charisma” was in action on RAW as Christian went one-on-one with 3MB’s Heath Slater, with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in his corner. In the end, it was Christian hitting the Spear on Heath Slater en route to picking up the win.
Thirteen nights before he squares off with “The Beast” Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, “The Best in the World” CM Punk would go one-on-one with another “Paul Heyman guy” in Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, in a non-title match. Before the match can begin, CM Punk hops out of the ring at the sight of Paul Heyman, but Curtis Axel cuts CM Punk off, brawling with Punk and allowing Heyman to escape to the back. The brawl would eventually make its way into the ring and the match is finally able to begin. With Curtis Axel in control later on in the match, Paul Heyman would make his way to ringside. After a couple of failed attempts to get his hands on Heyman, CM Punk would turn his focus back to the Intercontinental Champion, but when Punk spots Heyman within reach, Punk grabs Heyman and drags him into the ring. However, before Punk can do any damage, Brock Lesnar comes out and Punk puts Heyman down in preparation for “The Beast”, but when Lesnar climbs into the ring, Curtis Axel pulls CM Punk out of the ring on the other side. Punk would quickly deal with Curtis Axel, dropping the Intercontinental Champion with the GTS on the outside of the ring. Punk then grabs a steel chair, but Lesnar rips it out of the hands of Punk before a brawl breaks out between the two SummerSlam opponents! Lesnar then tries for the F-5 on Punk, but Punk fights out of it, shoving Lesnar into the steel ring post and coming off of the announce table with a big clothesline that takes Brock off of his feet! However, when Punk goes in for more punishment, “The Beast” catches Punk and snaps off a big belly-to-belly suplex on the arena floor! Lesnar then rolls Punk into the ring and, as Paul Heyman stands in the corner shouting instructions, Brock goes for the F-5 on Punk, but Punk again fights out, delivering a kick to Lesnar’s leg, followed a steel chair shot to the spine! With chair in hand, Punk hones in on Heyman, but Punk’s temporary focus on Heyman would cost Punk as Lesnar springs to his feet, grabbing Punk and dropping him with the F-5. Then, at the instruction of Heyman, Brock grabs the steel chair and, with ill intent, Lesnar blasts Punk with three vicious steel chair shots to the back!
Moments after Brock Lesnar’s attack on CM Punk, Paul Heyman appears with his clients, Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel, as Brock tells interviewer Renee Young that he is “the beast”, as well as “the best” before he turns things over to Paul Heyman. Heyman then makes the surprising announcement that CM Punk may not make it to SummerSlam as, next week on RAW, he is “confident” enough to go out to the ring and face Punk in a “man-to-man” fight, saying that, if Punk is “man enough” to accept, he will see Punk in the ring next week!
In his first match since being put on the shelf by Ryback a couple of months ago, a former Intercontinental Champion would return on RAW as Kofi Kingston would go one-on-one with “The Lord of Dance” Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner. In the end, it was Kofi Kingston hitting Trouble in Paradise on Fandango en route to picking up the win.
Backstage, WWE COO Triple H is confronted by his wife, Stephanie McMahon, who is in tears. Stephanie explains that she just ran into her dad and he bit her head off after the Chairman was “embarrassed” by Daniel Bryan earlier in the night. Triple H tells his wife to calm down before saying that Vince McMahon has “lost it”, saying that the once great “genius” is gone and McMahon goes around doing whatever he wants. Triple H continues, saying that McMahon does not care if he “throws away” SummerSlam or anything else to destroy Daniel Bryan and get his way. An angry Triple H then declares that he is tired of it and he refuses to watch the “ship go down” because of Vince McMahon, saying that he does not know what the Chairman has in store for SummerSlam, but he is going to stop him!
Jimmy & Jey Uso were in action on RAW as the second-generation stars faced The Real Americans, Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro, with Zeb Colter in their corner. In the end, it was Antonio Cesaro hitting the Neutralizer on Jimmy Uso en route to picking up the win for The Real Americans.
After their match was brought to an early end by AJ Lee last week, the rematch would take place on RAW as “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler went one-on-one with Big E. Langston, with Divas Champion AJ Lee in his corner. During the match, Kaitlyn would march out to ringside with her sights set on AJ Lee as a brawl breaks out between the two. The brawl between the two Divas would take a detour through the ring, distracting Dolph Ziggler long enough for Big E. Langston to take advantage as Langston hits the Big Ending on Ziggler en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the combustible main event as WWE Champion John Cena would team with the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Daniel Bryan, and the WWE Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton to face The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, in a 6-Man Tag Match. In the end, Daniel Bryan would lock the Yes Lock in on Seth Rollins, but Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns would rush the ring and, with the entire match breaking down, the referee would have no choice but to ring the bell. After the match, John Cena and Daniel Bryan would work together to toss The Shield out of the ring, but Randy Orton would slide in and drop Bryan with the RKO out of nowhere! Cena and Orton would then face off, but before a fight could break out, The Shield comes back to fight and, this time, it’s Cena and Orton who work together to rid the ring of The Shield, but the moment that The Shield is dealt with, Orton strikes again, dropping the WWE Champion with the RKO! Orton then takes a moment to look at the destruction that he caused and “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” realizes that the time is right to cash in, but after Orton gets his briefcase and a referee with the intent of cashing in, The Shield re-emerges, making Orton think twice about cashing in his title shot as Orton exits the ring. Orton then watches as Roman Reigns takes John Cena out with the Spear and The Shield focuses on Daniel Bryan as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns beat-down the #1 Contender, laying Bryan out in the center of the ring with the three-man powerbomb!
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