WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/1 (Hour 3): Cena vs. Del Rio heavily-hyped main event, Punk & Axel
Jul 1, 2013 - 10:10:31 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
July 1, 2013 - Episode #1,048
Live in Sioux City, Iowa
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
Third Hour Raw Results
Back from break one minute before the top of the hour, Cult of Personality played to bring out C.M. Punk for the top-of-the-third-hour TV main event. On commentary, Cole recapped Paul Heyman swearing on his children that he did not authorize or know about Brock Lesnar attacking Punk two weeks ago.
[Q9 -- third hour] At the top of the hour, Curtis Axel's music played to bring out the Intercontinental champion, who was flanked by Paul Heyman. After the announcers discussed Paul Heyman's lying ways, the bell sounded. Apparently the Prime Time Players were already in the ring.
6 -- C.M. PUNK & IC champion CURTIS AXEL (w/Paul Heyman) vs. PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O'NEIL & DARREN YOUNG)
Punk wanted to start the match, which Axel agreed to. Then, Axel reached out and tapped Punk on the shoulder to tag himself in. Punk took exception, but dipped to the ring apron to watch Axel. After some stalling, the vocal males chanted for Punk. Axel pretended not to hear it, then Titus O'Neil blind-sided Axel. Titus then proceeded to attempt a pumphandle, struggled, and dropped Axel on his stomach. Titus mocked the Punk chants, then suplexed D-Young onto Axel. Ringside, Heyman sold concern as Axel continued to take a beating from the Players.
At 4:45, Axel broke free of the Players and reached Punk with a tag. Punk cleaned house, drawing some cheers from the crowd. Punk followed with a spinning neckbreacker, then kneed D-Young in the corner. Punk went to the top rope for a Macho Man elbow, but not before pausing to shout down at Heyman, "Best in the World!" Punk then warmed up for the GTS on D-Young as Heyman hilariously held up the IC Title belt. Punk delivered the GTS, cleared Titus out of the ring, and Axel suddenly tagged himself into the match. Axel quickly covered D-Young a la the Payback PPV finish and it was good for the win while Punk stood in-place selling annoyance.
Post-match, Heyman gleefully celebrated with his new toy as Punk continued to stand still selling annoyance. Heyman told Punk to join the celebration, then demonstrated Punk's finishing move to indicate he did the work for the win. Punk wasn't having it, though, and left the ring. Heyman shrugged his shoulders and went back to celebrating with Axel, but still longed for Punk's friendship.
WINNERS: Punk & Axel at 6:10. Good booking to get sympathy on Punk in the babyface role. Heyman was, again, terrific here.
Title Vignette: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWE Title. Plenty of Jim Ross voice-overs. And, for the World Title, Sting. The Sting footage was from his early surfer-blonde days. Sting has been featured in various WCW DVD clips before, but it's very rare to see the word "Sting" and a video package on his career appear on WWE TV.
Still to come: Cena vs. Del Rio.
[Commercial Break at 10:11]
Back from break, WWE ran a vignette for WWE Main Event. Sheamus is on Ion TV.
(Q10] In-ring: Alicia Fox was randomly in the ring for Divas action. Kaitlyn, flanked by Layla, was introduced as A-Fox's opponent.
7 -- KAITLYN (w/Layla) vs. ALICIA FOX
On commentary, Cole noted that Layla is offering moral support for Kaitlyn to make sure she stays strong and doesn't go off the deep end from A.J.'s mind-games tactics. Kaitlyn's warm-up match for A.J. at the MITB PPV started off rough with Alicia controlling the action. Suddenly, Kaitlyn nailed The Spear out of nowhere for the win.
WINNER: Kaitlyn at 1:53.
Post-match, A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston walked out on-stage. A.J. drew Kaitlyn's ire just for being out here, then A.J. taunted Kaitlyn, calling her trash. Layla tried to keep Kaitlyn calm, then A.J. referenced Kaitlyn's "modeling pictures" from before she came to WWE. A.J. said Kaitlyn was broke, young, and desperate, and said she has one of those photos. They cut to the Titantron to show a Photoshop of Kaitlyn weighing about 500 pounds. Somewhere in the back, Vince and his yes-men had a good laugh.
A.J. said she wants to remind Kaitlyn of where she will be going after she loses the Divas Title match at the PPV. On commentary, Cole planted seeds of an official A.J./Dolph split, noting that Dolph told A.J. on the App to lay off the digs at Kaitlyn. Obviously, A.J. ignored Dolph's advice. In the ring, Kaitlyn sold determination to give it back to A.J. at the PPV.
GM Office: Vickie and Brad were talking, then Stephanie McMahon barged in sporting different hair. Stephanie asked Vickie why she was checking her emails instead of watching the show. Stephanie ran down Vickie, who said her head is about to explode with Vince, Triple H, and Steph breathing down her neck. Steph paused after Vickie blew up, then played nice that she understands how difficult the job is. Steph reasoned that when you're getting confusing direction from the top, it can be difficult to do your job.
Vickie thanked her for reasoning, then said Vince and Triple H sure seem so crazy. Steph asked Vickie if she's trying to be funny, then asked when they became girlfriends. "I'm here in a business capacity," she said, then noted she doesn't appreciate Vickie dogging her husband and father. Stephanie said she does understand that Vickie needs direct information from the top, so they will have a Job Evaluation in the ring next week. Steph said Vickie could be promoted - or she could lose her job.
Steph said it's the beautiful thing about Raw - you never know what's going to happen. Steph walked off and WWE stayed with Vickie reacting to this news for five seconds, which felt like 20 seconds since the crowd was dead-quiet in the background.
[Commercial Break at 10:23]
RVD Vignette: Returning from break, WWE focused on a man's eye. The video pulled back to reveal Rob Van Dam standing in the ring. This was followed by action shots of RVD before the graphic noted RVD returns in two weeks at MITB.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes's music played to bring out Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, who was dressed in a suit with mic in-hand. Sandow noted that in two weeks, his best friend and he will find themselves in a MITB ladder match for a World Title shot. Much to the chagrin of all these mouth-breathers. Rhodes smiled, then noted no prize will ever come between them because it would be lowering them to the level of the fans. Rhodes then hit the ring before Cole plugged the World Title ladder match.
Antonio Cesaro was introduced next. Cesaro, sporting 1950s-style bathing-suit trunks and thigh bands, paused on-stage for Zeb Colter to speak. Colter cut a promo about Congress forgiving illegal immigrants and the institution of marriage under attack. Did you know that free speech and privacy are under attack? Colter said he doesn't know what makes the leaders of this country bound and determined to drop this country in the toilet. Fortunately for him, a Real American is back. Jack Swagger's music played to bring out a returning Swagger to join forces with Colter and Cesaro on-stage. Colter led his duo down the ramp to the ring before telling the crowd to get on their side or be doomed.
8 -- ANTONIO CESARO (w/Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger) vs. CODY RHODES (w/Damien Sandow)
The heel vs. heel match-up started with Cesaro controlling Rhodes. One minute in, a few vocal males chanted, "We The People." Then, the crowd went back to silence. After a brawl on the outside, Cesaro caught Rhodes back in the ring. Cesaro followed with the Neutralizer for the pin and the win. Ringside, Sandow acted stunned that Rhodes was defeated. Sandow then entered the ring to try to figure out what happened as Colter's Crew celebrated on the outside.
WINNER: Cesaro at 2:23. WWE is all over the place with their characters tonight. Take a super-casual crowd, give them a confusing product, and the result is indifference.
Title Vignette: Triple H for the WWE Title. And, for the World Title, Booker T. They showed Booker pinning Jeff Jarrett in WCW before flashing forward to his King Booker reign.
Up Next: John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Title.
[Commercial Break at 10:35]
Back from break, The Rock made an appearance via App Update Plug.
Backstage: The Bella Twins were talking about something. Suddenly, new Divas Eva Marie and Jo-Jo walked into the shot for a "Total Divas casting call." The Bellas ran down the Divas for being "special in their own weird way" before noting this show wouldn't even be on the air unless they returned to WWE. Cameron, Naomi, and Natalya then walked in to confront the Bellas about their arrogance. Brie responded with a fat-joke for Natalya, who called them rude. Nikki followed with a Brooke Hogan promo about attention on the Divas and needing to let everyone know who runs this show. The Bellas walked off, then Natalya led the four other Divas in a conversation. Was that supposed to persuade or dissuade people from watching "Total Divas?"
Announcers: Cole and Co. plugged the Wyatts debuting next week on Raw. Cole then fed to another vignette on the Wyatts, led by Bray Wyatt speaking in tongues while a rocking chair rocked back and forth in an empty cabin.
In-ring: World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio was introduced for the TV main event. No energy in the crowd and no Ricardo Rodriguez to amp up the crowd. WWE then replayed Ziggler "ruining" Del Rio's party on Smackdown, including injuring Ricardo. Back live, Del Rio yelled at ring announcer Justin Roberts, then began stalling as Raw cut to break before John Cena's ring entrance.
Smackdown Plug: Is the party almost over for Del Rio? Find out on Friday's Smackdown.
[Q12] [Commercial Break at 10:45]
This Friday: C.M. Punk makes a special appearance on Smackdown.
In-ring: Back live, Del Rio was still in the ring holding up his World Title belt. After a pause for silence and more silence, John Cena's music hit, generating one of the few reactions of the night. Cena came out on-stage looking to warm up the crowd. Cena surveyed the audience, saluted, removed his title belt, and hit the ring, chasing off Del Rio. Cena posed in the ring, then tossed his belt to the referee and completed his ring entrance. Before the main event started, WWE plugged Cena vs. Henry for the WWE Title at the MITB PPV.
Once everyone was assembled in the ring, Justin Roberts did formal ring introductions for Cena vs. Del Rio. The crowd came alive for Cena, then the bell sounded at 10:50 p.m.
9 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO -- non-title Champion vs. Champion match
As the match started, Cole filled in the blanks on other big-name WWE and World champions who were not documented in the title vignettes. In the ring, Del Rio controlled the action early on, then bragged about it. Cena then teased the Attitude Adjustment to show Del Rio that he's not a big deal, but Del Rio slipped out, then slipped out of the ring to make Cena wait.
Del Rio slowly re-entered the ring, then kicked Cena in the leg to begin targeting Cena's lower body. But, Cena responded with a powerful suplex. Cena followed with right hand body-shots before delivering a running bulldog. Cena tried to follow with a corner attack, but Del Rio moved and Cena went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cole noted this is not good for Cena since Del Rio's finisher is the cross arm-breaker.
On the floor, Del Rio kicked Cena in the shoulder before running him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Del Rio went for a top-rope move, and kind of connected with a flying something. It was like someone coming off the high-dive and changing his or her mind half-way before hitting the water. It obviously didn't affect Cena, who then chucked Del Rio out of the ring to catch a breather leading to commercial.
[Commercial Break at 10:55]
Back from break two minutes before the top of the hour, Del Rio was in control back in the ring. On commentary, Cole claimed this Champ vs. Champ match is a "rarity" for WWE and in the history of wrestling. Well, if you exclude the past two years of WWE putting Champ vs. Champ on regularly when the brand split drifted away.
[Q13 -- over-run] Cena made his trademark comeback, but Del Rio avoided the second shoulder tackle that precedes the Five Knuckle Shuffle and regained control. On the outside, Cena audibly called a spot, which led to Cena dropping Del Rio across the top rope. Cena then made his customary comeback, but Del Rio again cut off Cena with a backstabber for a nearfall.
At 10:30, Del Rio wanted the Cross Arm-breaker, but Cena spun out and dropped Del Rio to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena then wanted the AA, but Del Rio countered with a German Suplex with a bridge pin for a nearfall. Del Rio tried to follow with a move, but Cena delivered a throw-down for a close two count. Cena checked with the ref on his count, then looked into the crowd to try to wake up a suddenly-quiet-again crowd.
Cena wanted a top-rope move, but Del Rio nailed a step-up enziguiri for a close two count. Del Rio wanted it again, but Cena ducked. Cena then ran into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another nearfall. Just before 14:00, Del Rio hung up Cena in the corner, then went for a corner charge, but Cena did a sit-up to avoid and Del Rio went shoulder-first into the post. Cena then positioned himself on the top turnbuckle to deliver a flying cross-body splash for a very close two count.
Both men sold on the mat to reset the action, then Cena teased the AA back on his feet, but Del Rio countered with the Arm-breaker, only to have Cena roll into the STF. Suddenly, though, Mark Henry walked down to ringside as JBL implored him not to ruin this. Henry simply marched around the ring, but Del Rio used the distraction to kick Cena in the head for another close two count. Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler hit the ring. Ziggler shouted at Del Rio, which allowed Cena to flow into the AA. Cena connected and it was good for the win, exciting the crowd.
WINNER: Cena at 15:52. Fine TV main event. Nothing spectacular, but effective for setting up Cena vs. Henry at MITB. (**3/4)
Post-match: Ziggler had a good laugh at Del Rio's expense, Henry sold anger on the outside, and Cena sold being exhausted as he celebrated in the ring. Henry then took the WWE Title belt to "deliver it to Cena." In the ring, Cena stood his ground, then Henry slipped into the ring with possession of the title belt.
Henry smiled, then tossed the belt across the ring, calling Cena "weak." Cena went to pick it up, then Henry feigned attacking him, causing Cena to back away. Henry called him "weak" again, then left the ring. Cena bent down to pick up the title belt, then Henry walked down the entrance-ramp pointing to an imaginary watch on his wrist. In the ring, Cena sold concern over this situation. WWE then cut to the announcers for a post-main event reaction. Lawler plugged the Wyatts debuting next week, which WWE signed off with.
Vignette: The Wyatts are coming. Raw signed off ten minutes past the top of the hour with the rocking chair continuing to rock back-and-forth.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The positive WWE can take away from this show is that at least it was not the PPV lead-in show because the show created very little excitement for the overall WWE product. Part of it was a dead crowd that was disinterested until Cena's arrival two hours and 45 minutes into the show, and part of it was WWE's inconsistent character portrayals. It will be interesting to see if WWE gets back on-track next week.
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