The 1075th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW was the final RAW of 2013 and it came to you, live, from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA. On a special New Year’s RAW, the Superstars and Divas of the WWE would be looking to ring in 2014 with a bang and one of the breakout stars of 2013 would compete on RAW as Big E. Langston would defend the Intercontinental Championship against the dancing Superstar, Fandango.
After a banner year that saw the crowning of the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion in Randy Orton, as well as the rise and fall of Daniel Bryan at the hands of The Authority, what will go down on the final RAW of 2013? Who will be looking to make a lasting impression heading into the New Year?
- CM Punk def. Seth Rollins (with Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns) by pin following the GTS.
- Dolph Ziggler def. Curtis Axel by pin following the Zig Zag.
- Intercontinental Championship: Big E. Langston (c) def. Fandango by pin following the Big Ending to retain.
- Damien Sandow def. The Great Khali by roll-up to keep his job.
- R-Truth (with Xavier Woods & The Funkadactyls) def. Brodus Clay by pin following the What’s Up.
- 10-Diva Tag: Kaitlyn, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, & Summer Rae def. The Total Divas by Aksana pinning Nikki Bella following a modified elbow drop.
- Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper by pin following the running knee.
- Daniel Bryan def. Erick Rowan by roll-up.
- Daniel Bryan def. Bray Wyatt by DQ after Luke Harper & Erick Rowan interfere.
The final RAW of 2013 kicks off with a Superstar who had a roller coaster year in the WWE, from taking The Undertaker to the limit at WrestleMania to tearing through Paul Heyman and his “Paul Heyman guys” to defeating The Shield in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match at WWE TLC, “The Best in the World” CM Punk opens the show. Punk says that 2013 saw a lot of good stuff and a lot of bad stuff happen to him, but such is life. Punk says that he started 2013 as the longest reigning WWE Champion in the last 20 years and he went one-on-one with The Rock, faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania, and made and lost some friends in 2013. Punk continues, saying that he doesn’t think that he can confidently call 2013 the “year of Punk” because 2013 belongs to a group of three Superstars, The Shield. Punk admits that The Shield was “unstoppable” in 2013 with Dean Ambrose winning the United States Title and Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns winning the WWE Tag Team Titles. Punk then reveals that he has a “proposition” for The Shield, but Punk would not have to wait long to confront the trio as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns waste no time in making their way to the ring.
With both sides ready to fight, Dean Ambrose points a finger at CM Punk and says that Punk better have a “good reason” for them not to end 2013 by ending him. Punk says that he is not taking anything away from The Shield as a unit, but says that he is “the best”, so he wants to fight “the best” in a one-on-one match. Punk continues, saying that, of the three of them, one of them is the best. Without hesitation, Dean Ambrose assumes that Punk is talking about him, saying they could have their match right now. Punk scoffs at the United States Champion, saying that he has already beat Ambrose about a half a dozen times and saying that he was talking to Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins. An agitated Dean Ambrose asks Punk if he is a “joke”, but Punk says that Ambrose is the “weak link” of the team. As Rollins & Reigns do their best to calm Ambrose down, Punk says that everyone is talking about Roman Reigns, asking Reigns if he is “the man” in The Shield. Rollins interrupts, saying that he is “the best” and that he will be the one to fight Punk tonight!
CM Punk’s master plan then appears to take shape as Roman Reigns gets in the face of Seth Rollins and, as Dean Ambrose angrily paces back and forth, Reigns and Rollins argue over who should get to face Punk. RAW General Manager Brad Maddox then comes out to the stage, wishing everyone a Happy New Year, before the GM makes the decision for The Shield, demanding a referee so that Punk can go one-on-one with Seth Rollins!
Per the orders of RAW General Manager Brad Maddox and the clever manipulation of The Shield by CM Punk, the opening match of the night would see “The Best in the World” CM Punk going one-on-one with The Shield’s Seth Rollins, with Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns in his corner. During the match, Dean Ambrose would jump into the ring, but CM Punk would spot Ambrose coming in and would quickly dispatch Ambrose to the outside. Seth Rollins would attempt to take advantage of the distraction, fighting out of the GTS before finally hitting his Skywalker maneuver. However, the referee was still distracted by a raging Ambrose on the outside and it would give Punk crucial time to kick out of the pin. This leads to an argument between the three Shield members before Punk launches Rollins onto Ambrose & Reigns. Shortly after this, Punk would put Rollins down with the GTS, pinning Rollins for the win.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan confronts The Authority and RAW General Manager Brad Maddox, demanding a one-on-one match with Bray Wyatt. However, the GM has a different idea, saying that, if Bryan wants Wyatt one-on-one, he will have to “earn it”. Maddox then puts Daniel Bryan in a Gauntlet Match of sorts, saying that, if Bryan can defeat Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in separate, one-on-one matches, then Daniel Bryan will get his match with Bray Wyatt.
WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon then makes an appearance on RAW to announce the main event of the Royal Rumble next month. Stephanie says that, under The Authority’s leadership, they have crowned the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion in Randy Orton before introducing a career retrospective video on “The Viper”, chronicling Randy Orton’s ascension to the top of the WWE and his twelve reigns as a World Champion, including his current reign as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. After the video airs, Stephanie says that Randy Orton is a “fighting champion” and, at the Royal Rumble, Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a traditional championship match against John Cena!
At the end of a year that saw him introduced as the newest “Paul Heyman guy” and an impressive reign as the Intercontinental Champion, third-generation star Curtis Axel went one-on-one with “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler on RAW. In the end, it was Dolph Ziggler catching Curtis Axel with the Zig Zag, pinning Axel for the win.
Then it was time for the Intercontinental Championship to be defended as Big E. Langston would defend the Intercontinental Title against Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner. Fandango would come within an eyelash of securing the Intercontinental Title at several points in the match, but Big E. Langston would persevere, hitting the Big Ending on Fandango, pinning Fandango to successfully retain the Intercontinental Title.
After a surprising decree in a backstage interview that, if he cannot defeat his opponent tonight, he will quit, Damien Sandow would go one-on-one with The Great Khali, as voted on by the WWE fans. The Great Khali would dominate the majority of the match, but Damien Sandow would catch Khali with a roll-up and, despite Khali’s shoulder being off the mat, the three-count was made and Sandow kept his job.
With Xavier Woods a guest on commentary, R-Truth would go one-on-one with Brodus Clay on RAW. During the match, Brodus Clay would dominate R-Truth, but when Xavier Woods brings out The Funkadactyls, this would set Brodus off and R-Truth would take advantage, hitting the What’s Up on Brodus, pinning Brodus for the win.
Following the announcement from his wife, Stephanie McMahon, earlier in the night that Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Title against John Cena at the Royal Rumble, WWE COO Triple H would be looking to top his wife’s announcement on RAW. Triple H says that 2013 was an “epic year”, but 2014 will be something that no one has ever seen before. The COO then wastes no time in making his major announcement as “The Game” introduces a huge return to the WWE as Triple H’s former rival and former WWE Champion “The Beast” Brock Lesnar makes his first appearance on RAW since SummerSlam in August! With a proud Paul Heyman in tow, Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring, coming face-to-face with the man who twice broke Triple H’s arm.
The COO shakes the hand of a man he once despised in Heyman before actually shaking hands with “The Beast” himself. Triple H then leaves the ring as Paul Heyman emphatically states that “The Beast is back”. Brock’s mouthpiece continues, saying that Lesnar is not there to “settle old scores” because Brock beats anyone and everyone who opposes him before Lesnar “forgets” about them. Heyman says that he has put his beatings in his past, but it is not about him, it is about Brock Lesnar. Heyman then reveals that Brock Lesnar’s quest is to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion! Heyman continues, saying that, whoever emerges as the champion at the Royal Rumble, either Randy Orton or John Cena, will have to deal with the “self-declared #1 Contender” Brock Lesnar! “The Beast” then speaks for himself, boldly stating that he does not care whether he has to face Randy Orton or whether he has to face John Cena because there is “no one” in the WWE or in the building that can stop him. Lesnar continues, saying that he does not have to win the Royal Rumble Match or stand in some “mysterious line” to earn a title shot, saying that, as far as he is concerned, the “line” starts behind him and he dares anyone to come down there and do something about it!
Paul Heyman immediately states that they might as well call it a night because there is no one in the arena who is “man enough” to take Brock Lesnar up on his challenge, saying that what Brock wants, he takes. However, Paul Heyman is interrupted by “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry, who marches to the ring to take “The Beast” up on his challenge. As soon as Mark Henry tries to step inside the ring, Brock Lesnar knocks Mark Henry off of the apron, but “The World’s Strongest Man” would not back down as Mark Henry fights back, tossing Lesnar over the barricade. After Henry climbs over the barricade, Lesnar is waiting for Henry as Brock nearly breaks Henry in half with a Spear through the barricade! Brock then lifts up the super heavyweight slams Mark Henry’s face into the arena floor with the F-5! Heyman then calls Brock Lesnar off as a ringside physician checks on Mark Henry.
In 10-Diva Tag action, the Total Divas team of Eva Marie, The Bella Twins, & The Funkadactyls would face the non-Total Divas team of Kaitlyn, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, & Summer Rae. In the end, it was Aksana hitting a modified elbow drop on Nikki Bella, pinning Nikki for the win.
Then it was time for the multi-part main event of RAW as the 2013 Superstar of the Year, Daniel Bryan, would look to climb the ‘ladder’ of The Wyatt Family as Bryan would go one-on-one with Luke Harper and, if Bryan can defeat Harper, he will face Erick Rowan and, if Bryan can make his way past Rowan, he will get Bray Wyatt one-on-one. The first of the series would see Daniel Bryan facing Luke Harper, with Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan in his corner. Despite taking some severe punishment throughout the match, Daniel Bryan would survive the onslaught, hitting the running knee on Luke Harper, pinning Harper for the win to advance.
After defeating Luke Harper, there was one man standing between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt as Bryan would go one-on-one with Erick Rowan. Almost as soon as the match begins, Erick Rowan takes the fight to the outside, where Rowan hurls Bryan over the announce table! Despite the beating, Daniel Bryan was able to catch Erick Rowan off-guard with a roll-up to pick up the win. After the match, Erick Rowan would drop an elbow on Daniel Bryan, but Luke Harper would force Erick Rowan out of the ring at the request of Bray Wyatt.
With Daniel Bryan barely conscious, he would get his desired one-on-one match with the head of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt. Bray would charge at Daniel Bryan, but would stop short before, literally, turning his back to Bryan. Before Daniel Bryan can even land a punch, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan hit the ring, mauling Daniel Bryan, forcing the match to end in a disqualification. Harper & Rowan would then toss Daniel Bryan to the outside, where they would twice toss Bryan into the barricade. After rolling Bryan back into the ring, Erick Rowan would hit a big splash in the corner before Luke Harper nails Bryan with the Discus Clothesline. Bray Wyatt then instructs Harper & Rowan to put the finishing touches on Bryan as Bray’s “brothers” slam Bryan down with a double spinebuster. Bray Wyatt then tells Daniel Bryan that he has “no mercy left to give” and that he is going to “punish” Daniel Bryan, saying that “this is the end”.
Shockingly, a barely conscious Daniel Bryan mutters “you’re right” to Bray Wyatt. Bray then hands the microphone to Daniel Bryan and Bryan repeats “you’re right” before saying that Bray is “always right”. Bryan then says that, no matter how many matches he won or how much the people cheered for him, Wyatt was always right and “the machine” would not let him win. To the disbelief of the fans in attendance, Daniel Bryan tells Bray Wyatt “I’m yours”, asking Bray to let him join The Wyatt Family! Daniel Bryan then pulls himself up to his knees, outstretching his arms before Bray Wyatt picks Bryan up and plants him with the Sister Abigail. Bray Wyatt then tells Daniel Bryan that “this is going to change everything” before instructing Luke Harper & Erick Rowan to pull Daniel Bryan out of the ring. Harper & Rowan comply, but Daniel Bryan insists on walking under his own power, hobbling up the ramp towards Bray Wyatt, who turns around and keeps walking as Daniel Bryan struggles to keep up. Bryan then briefly pauses on the stage as the fans chant “no”, looking at the fans, working himself into a frenzy as the fans chant “Daniel Bryan”. However, Daniel Bryan just shakes his head before looking down and walking to the back with his new “family”.
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