WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/22 (Hour 3): Bryan wrestles three times, including epic battle vs. Cesaro, Punk-Heyman confrontation, RVD in action
Jul 22, 2013 - 10:08:08 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
Back from break five minutes before the top of the hour, Cole plugged the "Bella Twins" appearing on NBC's "Today Show" this Thursday morning.
C.M. Punk Segment
"Cult of Personality" played to bring out C.M. Punk dressed in school clothes - black t-shirt, blue jeans, and shoes. No hoodie. Punk limped down the entrance ramp toward the ring as WWE replayed events from last Monday when Brock Lesnar took out Punk.
In the ring, Punk said let's talk about what happened last week. Punk said Brock Lesnar ragdolled him last week, hitting him with his best shot over and over again. Punk said he felt Lesnar's power last week, but every time he manhandled him, he got up. One week later, he has 13 staples in his head, his ankle is messed up, and his legs hurt, but he is Still Standing. Punk said that's the thing about a Brock Lesnar beat down - or ambush - he can beat him down, but he can't keep him down.
Punk said Lesnar is an NCAA Champion, a former WWE champion, and former UFC Hvt. champion. Here's a guy who broke the likes of Triple H and in the past has broken John Cena and The Undertaker. But, over all the years, fights, and matches, Lesnar's biggest strength has never been his speed, power, technique, or fighting skills, but is about one thing. Pause. "Fear," Punk said.
[Q9 -- third hour] Punk said he's seen some of the toughest men he's ever shared a locker room with feel fear. Punk gave WWE's website and Magazine a headline: "I am not afraid of Brock Lesnar." Punk said he is not afraid of Paul Heyman's monster. Now, let's talk about Paul Heyman.
Punk said Heyman had a choice, and he made the wrong one. Now, he will make Heyman regret that decision for the rest of his life. He said he will make Lesnar return to the hype that he came from because this is his ring. "I own it!" Punk said. Punk said he's stood toe-to-toe with everyone he's faced - John Cena, The Rock, The Undertaker, and he will prove it to Lesnar and Heyman.
Punk paused before saying there will not be a third time Heyman screws him. Punk said he won't pretend like Brock isn't a big, tough, S.O.B., but monsters were put on this earth for one reason: to be slaughtered by him. Punk said he wants Lesnar one-on-one right now, but he knows Lesnar isn't here. So, he will take Lesnar at Summerslam. "I want The Best vs. The Beast," Punk shouted before slamming down his mic.
Suddenly, Paul Heyman appeared on the Videotron. Heyman called that line clever marketing after repeating it three times. Punk interrupted that he's going to drag Heyman out here in front of the people of Austin if he's here tonight and not live via satellite. Heyman waited out Punk's speech before asking Lesnar (off-camera) if Punk is really going to stand out there playing the hero in front of his new fans. Heyman said he's glad for technology so they don't have to go to Texas to meet Punk, then he offered a speech asking Punk whether he's a coward or a fool.
In the ring, Punk said he will give Heyman that answer at Summerslam. Back on the video, Heyman chuckled to himself and said it really bothers him. Punk interrupted that he just wants to know where Heyman is so he can kick his ass. Heyman ignored Punk's tough talk before noting they were the reigning and defending WWE champion for 434 days because of Punk's talent and his skill managing Punk's title reign. Heyman then told Punk to look at himself because he's all beat up and in no condition to fight The Beast. But, Punk's challenge for Summerslam is accepted.
Heyman concluded that Punk needs to stop calling it The Best vs. The Beast because The Beast is The Best. And that man is his client and best friend in the world, Brrrrrock Lessssnar. Back live, the crowd chanted Punk's name as Punk contemplated Heyman's words. Punk and Heyman had a stare down through the video screen before Cult of Personality played. On commentary, Cole said this will be one of the most-anticipated matches in Summerslam history.
[ JC's REAX: Clearly-defined heel(s), clearly-defined face, and good management of last week's big moment in the feud to set up the big Summerslam match. ]
Backstage: Rob Van Dam was shown warming up. RVD is in action next.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
This Friday on Smackdown: Rob Van Dam faces World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio in non-title action.
In-ring: Wade Barrett was standing by in the ring. RVD was then introduced to face Barrett in singles action as Cole recapped RVD's return to WWE.
5 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. WADE BARRETT
After the bell sounded, RVD pulled a TNA Moment by turning his back to pose in the corner, so Barrett popped him from behind to begin the match. But, RVD knocked Barrett to the outside moments later and completed his "R-V-D" thumbs-to-shoulder pose. On the outside, Englishman Barrett gained control as the announcers re-visited the Royal Baby discussion.
[Q10] Back in the ring, Barrett worked on RVD as the announcers cracked nose jokes. The crowd tried to rally with an "R-V-D" chant as Barrett continued to work on Van Dam. RVD came back with a standing back-kick, then hit Rolling Thunder for a nearfall. RVD followed with a cannonball splash from the top rope for another two count.
Next was a leaping back-kick before RVD climbed to the top rope. RVD wanted a Five-Star Frogsplash and he connected after twisting his body in mid-air. It was good for the win. Post-match, JBL called RVD "ageless" as they replayed the finish. Is that another way of chanting, "You Still Got It?"
WINNER: RVD at 4:16. Fine. RVD is being re-introduced as a legacy star right now, but doesn't have a program to sink his teeth into yet.
Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown walking down the hallway. He finds out his opponents next.
[Commercial Break at 10:19]
Exterior Shot: WWE showed the University of Texas Longhorn mascot statue outside the Erwin Center. JBL quipped (sounding like McMahon was in his ear) that if Oklahoma fan Jim Ross is awake and sober, he's throwing a brick at the TV right now. "Hook 'em Horns!" Cole shouted. Despite ESPN's best attempts to fill TV time for months and months, it's just not football season until August.
In-ring: Daniel Bryan was introduced to the ring. Bryan waited for his first opponent, then Zeb Colter's music played to bring out Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Colter offered another Texas History Lesson about Austin being named after the father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin. He said the children of the Texas have ruined the state, most notably chanting "Yes!" like puppets. Colter then accused Bryan of taking a hand-out in the form of a WWE Title shot at Summerslam. Tonight, they hand out a beating from a Real American. He asked the crowd to rise to their feet and say in a loud, clear voice, "We the People!" Swagger, representing OU, then hit the ring to face Bryan.
6 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter and Antonio Cesaro)
A minute in, the Austin crowd picked up an "OU Sucks" chant at Swagger, sounding like October in the Cotton Bowl. Next was a "Tex-as...Fight!" chant that bothered Swagger as Bryan sold Swagger's offense. Continuing the theme of heels taking their eye off the ball tonight, Swagger was distracted by a louder "OU Sucks" chant, then Bryan slapped on the Yes! Lock. Swagger fought momentarily, but tapped out.
WINNER: Bryan via submission at 2:57. Fine visual of Bryan forcing a taller, bigger heel tap out clean to his finish.
Post-match, Justin Roberts announced Antonio Cesaro as Bryan's next opponent. It's next.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
7 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. ANTONIO CESARO (w/Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger)
The match was joined in-progress with Cesaro in control of the action. Bryan then leg-swept Cesaro, who sold a left knee injury. Bryan then leg-whipped Cesaro before delivering a Dragon Screw legwhip to set up a surfboard stretch. Cesaro fought out, then cut off Bryan on one good leg.
Cesaro dropped an elbow to Bryan's chest, then slapped on a reverse chinlock. Bryan fought out with "Yes!" punches to the gut, then ducked a clothesline and made his trademark Flying Goat Comeback. Bryan delivered trademark offense, then Colter panicked and ran interference, which allowed Cesaro to score a very close nearfall. Cesaro argued with the ref as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
Back live at 9:00, Bryan scored a close nearfall, then Cesaro came back with a gutwrench overhead toss for a nearfall. Cole wondered aloud how much more Bryan can take tonight before Lawler wondered aloud if Maddox or a "higher power" has it out for Bryan tonight. At 10:00, Bryan delivered a headbutt to tease a comeback, but Cesaro blocked and countered with a reverse Torture Rack-grip Death Valley Driver for a close two count.
Cesaro tried to follow with a corner attack, but Bryan kneed Cesaro in the face. Bryan then snapped off a release German Suplex into a kick-strike for a two count. As Bryan and Cesaro recovered on the floor, ref Chioda offered an audible time cue. The crowd showed their appreciation for the match, then Bryan climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Cesaro crotched him, again countering Bryan.
[Q12] Cesaro delivered a leaping European Uppercut, then climbed to the top turnbuckle to grip Bryan. Cesaro tried a superplex, but Bryan shoved him down. Cesaro then tried again, but Bryan slipped underneath Cesaro and crotched him, prompting Swagger to put his hands on his head ringside. Bryan then kicked Cesaro over and over in the mid-section with "Yes!" kicks before getting a running start on a flying dropkick.
At 13:00, the two men stood on the top turnbuckle, then Bryan went for a rear-grip super-plex, but Cesaro seemed to reverse momentum in mid-air. It wasn't quite clear who got the best of it, so Cesaro just acted fresh and covered Bryan for a nearfall. After another reset, the two men came to their feet and traded Yes! / No! bombs. It was old-school ROH with rapid-fire Europeans from Cesaro, rocking Bryan's face. Suddenly, Cesaro destroyed Bryan with an inside-out clothesline, but Bryan kicked out again.
At 15:00, Cesaro slowly picked up Bryan to try to finish him. Cesaro wanted the Neutralizer, but Bryan countered with a back drop. The two men then came to their feet and Cesaro delivered more Europeans. Bryan responded with massive forearms into another Dragon Screw legwhip. Bryan then smashed Cesaor with big forearm strikes, prompting the ref to break it up. Cole said this has been a fight tonight. Bryan then knocked Cesaro to the floor and Swagger tried to help up Cesaro, allowing Bryan to suicide-dive splash both Real Americans.
Back in the ring at 16:30, Bryan climbed to the top, fought off Cesaro, leapt over Cesaro, and walked into a pop-up European Uppercut, but Bryan ducked at the last second, dropped Cesaro to the mat, and rolled him up for a three count, popping the crowd and the announcers for the finishing sequence.
WINNER: Bryan at 16:40 of what aired. That was just a wild, good match. Felt like an ROH match at some points, a WWE match at others, a simulated fight at other times, and seemed like it would end about 8, 12, and 15 minutes in, but just kept going. The announcers just sat back and watched at one point, selling not sure how to handle what was happening in the ring.
GM Office: After Bryan won, they cut to Brad Maddox, who was randomly standing next to Alex Riley. Riley said that was impressive, but Riley said he has one more foe for Bryan.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Back from break, D-Bryan's music was playing as Bryan recovered in the ring. Bryan looked toward the ring entrance for his next opponent and Ryback's music played. Bryan leaned back and took a breath as the announcers noted Bryan just spent so much energy against the Real Americans.
8 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. RYBACK
Bryan tried to attack Ryback right after the bell sounded, but Ryback cut him off and dropped Bryan to the mat. Ryback then taunted Bryan as the crowd sat quietly, exhausted from Bryan vs. Cesaro. Ryback sounded like Bully Ray taunting Chris Sabin, shouting at Bryan that he's a "little man in a big-man's world." Ryback then taunted the "Yes!" chants as Bryan sold in the corner. The crowd tried to get in Ryback's head, chanting, "You can't wrestle." Ryback then delivered a suplex for a two count.
As Ryback slowed down the pace, Lawler noted perhaps the only person who doubted Bryan all along was himself, worried about being the weakest link. Cole said there might be another person (Mr. McMahon), who Triple H alluded to earlier. It all feels like WWE building to McMahon eventually having a confrontation with Bryan to question and perhaps endorse Bryan during the Summerslam build-up, backwards-booking this title match build-up with Cena.
[Q13 -- over-run] Ryback continued to dominate and taunt Bryan, but he could not put him away. Bryan then kneed Ryback in the face before delivering a corner dropkick. And another. But, Ryback smashed Bryan with a clothesline for a nearfall. As the two men sold on the mat, Cole reset the show, noting it's Bryan's third match in a row tonight.
Ryback then slipped to the outside and retrieved a table, but he took so long that it allowed Bryan to fly through the ropes with a suicide dive that crunched Ryback into the table. Bryan followed with Yes! kicks as Cole said he does not know how Bryan is doing this right now. Ryback then shoved Bryan hard into the ring steps and re-assembled his table. But, Bryan beat Ryback back into the ring and delivered more Yes! kicks to the legs and mid-section.
Bryan wanted a big roundhouse kick to the head, but Ryback lifted his leg (and body) into the air for an attempted power move, but Bryan slipped out. Ryback then grabbed Bryan by the hair to fling him away. Ryback couldn't follow up, though, and Bryan climbed to the top rope again. Bryan wanted a top-rope smash and connected with a missile dropkick for a close two count.
At 8:00, Bryan wanted the Yes! Lock middle-ring. Ryback fought the hold, crawled toward the bottom rope, and Bryan wrenched back on the hold. Ryback teased tapping out, but crawled and groaned toward the bottom rope to finally get a rope break. Ryback then rolled to the outside in front of the table to recover.
On the outside, Bryan wanted a running knee, but Ryback intercepted and half-powerbombed Bryan to the floor. Ryback then wanted a powerbomb through the table and he connected, causing a DQ. Ryback slumped to the mat trying to catch his breath as Bryan remained out-cold on the table.
Post-match, John Cena charged down to the ringside area and attacked Ryback with punches and kicks. Cena then tossed Ryback into the ring and promptly clotheslined Ryback over the top rope to the outside. Cole noted Bryan did not want Cena out here tonight, but that was while the matches were going on.
WINNER: Bryan via DQ at 9:11. Bryan is just a machine able to get another good match out of Ryback 30 minutes into his night.
As Ryback bailed to the entrance ramp, Cena took the mic and said Ryback thinks he's tough taking out Bryan with a table after 30 minutes in the ring. Cena then challenged Ryback to a Tables match. Cena didn't say "next week," since that wouldn't be a babyface move. Instead, Ryback, the heel, backed up the entrance ramp and bailed, avoiding Cena. On commentary, the announcers said that match has to happen next week, right?
GM Office: Brad Maddox applauded the tables match set-up for next week as Mr. McMahon walked in. McMahon wanted to know about Daniel Bryan. "Daniel Bryan!" he shouted as Maddox thought things over. McMahon told Maddox to make Bryan face someone who will bring out the vicious side of D-Bryan, maybe a friend. Maybe a best friend. Maddox said maybe it should be Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. "You damn right," McMahon said. Wasn't Kane taken out and/or kidnapped by the Wyatts? Or, is he in the Aces & Eights pick-up truck?
Back live in the arena, Bryan was shown rolling back into the ring to receive a standing ovation as Cena watched from ringside. They acted like they were off-air during this, then it appeared Bryan got a cue to celebrate for TV as the fans cheered. Cole called it a show of respect from the WWE fans. Cole said Bryan doesn't realize he has to face Kane, though. Bryan then continued to celebrate as Cena watched on the outside. Cole signed off from the University of Texas eight minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The first two hours felt like WWE was just going through the motions trying to pace themselves for four TV tapings in four days, then Punk-Heyman and the Daniel Bryan Show took over. Excellent final hour that set up Punk's Journey and Bryan's Journey to Summerslam.
P.S.: Where was Big Show? We'll try to find out what happened to Show...
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