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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/22 (Hour 1): Cena-Bryan contract signing, Del Rio vs. Sheamus, Christian, more

Jul 22, 2013 - 10:06:52 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
July 22, 2013 - Episode #1,051
Live in Austin, Tex.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor


This week's WWE Raw started with a video package focusing on Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk having a fall-out that led to Brock Lesnar destroying Punk last Monday on Raw. But, Punk has vowed to get to Heyman going one-by-one through his allies. The former TNA voice-over man then took the video package to the WWE Title picture, where new Raw GM Brad Maddox allowed John Cena to select his opponent at Summerslam...Daniel Bryan.

Live in the ring, Brad Maddox was standing by. After a drumroll introduced Maddox, he welcomed everyone to Austin, Texas, where he said he is the Sheriff. Maddox, standing in front of a contract table, said they will have the WWE Title contract signing for Summerslam to start the show.

First out was WWE champ John Cena as Michael Cole welcomed everyone to The University of Texas. Cena bounced out on-stage, then hit the ring to mainly boos. Cena sat down at the contract table and acknowledged a smattering of "Yes!" chants. Maddox then asked Cena why he chose to face Bryan at Summerslam over everyone else on the roster.

Cena said he chose Bryan because of Maddox. He said he listened to the WWE Universe and the choice was really clear. Why, John? Maddox said perhaps Cena thinks he can easily beat D-Bryan and Bryan more closely resembles a troll than a future WWE champion. As the crowd sat quietly not interested in Maddox's speech, Maddox said Bryan is unstable and he has relationship issues. Cena replied that maybe these accusations are just accusations.

Suddenly, D-Bryan's music interrupted to bring out Daniel Bryan as Cena watched the crowd "Yes!ing" with a smile on his face. Bryan then hit the ring with a big smile on his face before leading the crowd in loud "Yes!" chants. After Bryan's music stopped, Bryan addressed Maddox, but he was interrupted by "Daniel Bryan" chants. Bryan paused for the chants to breathe, then noted to Maddox that the crowd disagrees with Maddox's assessment.

After Bryan sat down, Maddox asked Bryan why he thinks Cena chose him at Summerslam. Cena interrupted and said Maddox and the "dumbasses he works for" often-times ignore God-given talent when it's hidden behind a beard. Cena then tossed his title belt across the table and said if it's just about size, then give the title to Great Khali. Cena said he can look at Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, and the late Eddie Guerrero who prove it's not just about size and strength. Pause for an "Eddie, Eddie" chant.

Cena said the audience loves Bryan and he's proud of that, but he picked Bryan because he earned it and he deserves it. He said being a WWE champion is about facing the absolute best competition at all-time. And sometimes that comes from an unlikely source. Bryan might not be in this match if he didn't pick him, but he picked him because Bryan earned it. Cena said he's not going to just hand Bryan this title, though, then he signed the contract.

Cena continued that he is going to Summerslam to defend the title against the best competition in WWE right now. But, he will prove at Summerslam that even the best isn't good enough. They paused for a light "Daniel Bryan" chant that picked up steam. Bryan signed the contract, then tried to talk again, but Maddox excitedly spoke that the title match is official now.

"No!" Bryan shouted at Maddox, telling him that he does not get to interrupt him. Bryan said he has waited his entire career for this title shot and he has proved that he deserves it. Maddox said Cena thinks so, a "vocal minority" of the audience thinks so (drawing boos), but not everyone does. Which is why he will give Bryan a chance to prove his critics wrong by having a match tonight. No wait, matches. Maddox said he does not think Bryan will prove himself tonight, prompting a "No!" / "Yes!" dueling chant battle of Maddox vs. Bryan & The Crowd.

After the Raw music played, Cole said he doesn't think Bryan has much to prove, but Bryan will have a chance to prove himself in multiple matches tonight. Now on-camera, JBL said he has no doubt in his mind that Bryan deserves to be in the Summerslam title match.

[ JC's Reax: This important segment came across like schoolchildren arguing about whether the fourth-graders or fifth-graders should get the prime table at lunch, while Cena simplified the discussion on big-man vs. little-man to "pandering to the insider crowd." (Oh, he dogged Great Khali!) The absence of wrestlers who are presented like grown men - as opposed to juveniles - continues to be an issue on-top with Brad Maddox now at the helm of Raw and how D-Bryan is presented. All WWE needs is Principal Hogan and they're all set. ]

Tonight: Mark Henry fires back at The Shield.

Backstage: Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus were shown walking down the hallway on a split-screen. Another round of Del Rio vs. Sheamus is next.

[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]

Back from break, Sheamus's music played to bring out Sheamus limping to the ring still selling the effects of the WWE Title MITB ladder match eight days ago. Cole asked for a close-up of the nasty bruise on Sheamus's left leg, which was very prominent on his pale-white skin. Alberto Del Rio's music then played to bring out the World Hvt. champion.

1 -- World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SHEAMUS -- non-title match

Prior to the bell sounding, Cole called this a "renewal" of their rivalry from last year. Sheamus started with a shoulder tackle, but Del Rio quickly targeted the bruised leg. Sheamus backed away to recover, but Del Rio continued the aggressive attack. Sheamus responded with a big clothesline for a nearfall, then delivered a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Del Rio then kneed Sheamus in the gut before landing punches to the gut.

Sheamus responded with clubbing forearms before snapping off a suplex to get some breathing room. Del Rio then tried to trap Sheamus's arm in the ropes to soften him up for the cross arm-breaker, but Sheamus powered Del Rio into the air to punch him right in the face. This sent Del Rio down to the floor and sent Raw to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:24]

Back from break, Sheamus's bruise was still there. (The camera was focused right on the bruise when Raw returned from break.) Del Rio continued to assault the leg, but Sheamus escaped with a backbreaker. Suddenly, WWE cut to a shot of World Title MITB holder Damien Sandow watching this match backstage while clutching his briefcase. Back in the ring, Del Rio headbutted Sheamus, but Sheamus came back with Polish Hammers. Then, a spinning elbow smash for a nearfall.

[Q3] At 10:00, Del Rio nailed the backstabber for a nearfall. Del Rio couldn't put Sheamus away, though, so Sheamus delivered Ten Big Forearms to the Chest against the ropes. Del Rio then ran into the Irish Curse backbreaker, but Del Rio kicked out again after Sheamus re-injured his bruised leg. For his next move, Sheamus very slowly climbed to the top turnbuckle, which allowed Del Rio to kick him in the head for a close two count.

At 13:00, Del Rio delivered a standing kick to the bruise, which knocked down Sheamus. Del Rio wanted the cross arm-breaker, but Sheamus blocked. Sheamus then wanted White Noise, but his "leg collapsed." This allowed Del Rio to roll up Sheamus for a quick three count to win.

WINNER: Del Rio at 13:23. Very nice, basic, fundamentally-sound storytelling of Del Rio continuing to take advantage of his opponents's injuries (a la Dolph Ziggler) and Sheamus taking a clean loss, but being valiant in defeat after "fighting through an injury."

Announcers: Cole plugged the cast of The Divas Search "Total Divas" appearing on MizTV tonight to promote the series premiere in six days.

Still to come: C.M. Punk responds to Brock Lesnar's beating orchestrated by Paul Heyman last week.

[Commercial Break at 8:35]

Smackdown Flashback: Vickie Guerrero was announced as the new Smackdown GM three nights ago on Smackdown. Then, she booted Teddy Long from the show.

Backstage: Renee Young welcomed in former GM Booker T and Teddy Long. Renee asked Booker for his reaction to Vickie replacing him as Smackdown GM. Booker said he respects Mr. McMahon's decision, but he was a bit shocked by his decision. Long then spoke up that he filled in for Booker for three months and he took so much abuse while Booker was propped up on his couch at home.

Booker tried to calm down Teddy, noting he was legit injured, but Long angrily responded that he was left holding the bag for Booker. Booker got a bit more agitated with Long's attitude, prompting Long to note there goes Booker threatening physical aggression. Long said maybe McMahon made the right decision on Booker's future, then he stomped off.

Later Tonight: Daniel Bryan faces three different silhouettes.

In-ring: Christian was introduced for the next match. No word on the opponent heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:43]

[Q4] Back live, JBL provided a brief lesson on Texas History before the Prime Time Players's music played to bring out Titus O'Neil as Christian's opponent. Cole said the Players are looking to "make a splash" in singles competition now.

2 -- CHRISTIAN vs. TITUS O'NEIL (w/Darren Young)

As the match unfolded, the announcers talked about Shawn Michaels's birthday today, HBK's hunting show, and the birth of the Royal Baby. Mark the time of 48 minutes into the show for Jerry "The King" Lawler's first Royal Baby reference tonight. The announcers then focused on Titus having "all of the tools" to be a big star in WWE if he puts everything together, but "it takes a little while," according to JBL.

Suddenly, Titus grabbed his whistle and blew his whistle in-between each kick to the chest. Titus did the Gator Chop, which isn't going to get any heat in Texas since there's no football rivalry, then Christian popped Titus in the gut to make his comeback. The announcers noted these are the rookie mistakes Titus continues to make. Then, "The Overachiever," according to Lawler dropped Titus across the bottom rope. Christian wanted the Killswitch, but D-Young ran interference to help Titus. But, Titus again could not follow up - taking his eye off the ball - and Christian nailed the Killswitch for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Christian at 4:37. It comes across like WWE is holding its nose while spotlighting Christian in singles victories since he returned to TV. Fine spotlight for Titus in singles action, but they don't seem to building Titus toward anything important.

Post-match, WWE switched focus to Smackdown when Ryback destroyed Chris Jericho. The announcers described Ryback as a "bully" who tried to settle their score by injuring Jericho.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Ryback for a chat. Ryback ran down Mathews, calling him a representative of the WWE audience. "I hate average," Ryback said. "The big guy needs to eat," Ryback added. "People like you deserve to be intimidated by me." Ryback vowed to injure Mathews, so Mathews ran off. "Thank you," Mathews said as he bailed. Ryback breathed heavily going to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:55]

SECOND HOUR COVERAGE CONTINUES AT PWTORCH.COM. ...

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff .

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com .


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