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Recap: WWE Raw – 1st July 2013

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Cold open with Vickie Guerrero announcing that tonight’s WWE Raw will be celebrating the history of the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championships, with title holders John Cena and Alberto Del Rio facing off tonight. This is met with general apathy from this Iowa crowd. It’s gonna be a long night.

In-Ring Segment

Daniel Bryan out first sporting a terrific new shirt touting ‘Respect the Beard’, and he receives a pretty nice reaction. Who would have thought that a strong in-ring push would get a competitor over? Bryan compares himself to wrestling legends such as Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hogan’s name was met with jeers, which is pretty funny.

Sheamus then arrives to kill the mood. He brings up beating Bryan in 18 seconds at WrestleMania. Randy Orton also arrives sans music and says stuff. Then Kane arrives with pyro but no music, which is just bizarre. They are ultimately joined in-ring by both Christian and then CM Punk, and it seems all men shockingly covet the WWE Title. They posture and trade insults for a while until eventually Orton hits Kane with an RKO and this weak segment fizzles out.

The Shield (Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns) vs. Christian & The Usos

Ambrose avenges his loss last week on Smackdown by pinning Christian with a roll-up; his vest will protect him if Christian is packing heat backstage.

Backstage

Daniel Bryan and Kane have a lovers quarrel. Bryan reveals he hooked Kane up with a match against Randy Orton. This pleases Kane. Bryan then reveals he is the special guest referee. This angers Kane. Emotions confuse monster!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Jinder Mahal w/Slater and McIntyre

I want to see Ziggler succeed as a babyface, but he continues to wear pastel shirts with sport-coats, which just won’t fly with southern crowds — the same crowds that cheer the clearly racist characters.

Ziggler picks up the obvious win over the jobber with the Zig Zag, but the match was pretty fun. So fun, in fact, that this fantastic crowd chanted for the commentators.

Axl Rose and Stacee Jaxx try to attack post-match, but Ziggler turns the tables, as he is The Road Runner and 3MB are collectively Wile E. Coyote.

Backstage

Triple H tells Vickie Guerrero to not listen to Vince or Stephanie but to listen to him. Vickie is WAY STRESSED! Brad Maddox’s vest is also feeling the pressure, but only because it’s a size too small.

Randy Orton vs. Kane  – Special Referee Daniel Bryan

Bryan wears the referee stripes like a Foot Locker employee.

In a nice spot, Orton shoves Bryan, who immediately calls for the disqualification because Orton does not respect his authoritah. Bryan restarts the match under duress from Kane and the crowd, but ultimately fast-counts a Kane pinfall after getting involved and this crowd doesn’t know what to do because EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING RAMPANT. They love-hate-love-hate Bryan in this segment and pop big when he eats an RKO to end it.

It’ll be interesting to see where this angle goes, as right now there are no clear-cut face or heel roles and these guys can’t all be playing the tweener forever.

Backstage

CM Punk doesn’t trust Curtis Axel, possibly because Punk remembers whipping him as a part of membership initiations for the Nexus. Paul Heyman talks shit to quell the fire. There’s a brand of fire extinguishers called Quell and I JUST GOT IT!

Fandango w/ Summer Rae vs. Sheamus

Fandango is back! But it appears his momentum has hit a wall due to his recent convalescence, which is a shame.

Fandango dances between moves for a bit which is actually hilarious. Sheamus does as well but ends up looking like a vertical axolotl, which is actually even more hilarious. Fandango eventually cheeses it after copping a beating, giving Sheamus a count-out victory.

Ryback vs. The Miz

Chris Jericho is on commentary, and he wishes everyone a happy Canada Day, eh?

Miz winds up working Ryback’s leg which leads to The Ryback… calling the match off? Huh? Well, nobody will compare that to Goldberg. Jericho nails Ryback with a Codebreaker post-match on behalf of the entire viewing audience.

Entrance Ramp Promo

Mark Henry puts over his real-life accomplishments, but fails to mention every time he busted through a wall with a thirst quenching beverage. Oh yeah! He says that at Money in the Bank he’s going to “beat John Cena’s ass!” No other body parts were mentioned.

Backstage

Mr. McMahon berates Vickie Guerrero for booking compelling television. Vickie is WAY STRESSED!

CM Punk & Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman vs. The Prime Time Players

I’ll never tire of Curtis Axel’s terrific entrance theme.

Prime Time Players are the Rodney Dangerfield of the WWE: entertaining as heck, but still get no respect.

Axel steals a pinfall on Chocolate John Cena after CM Punk did the dirty work which exacerbates DRAMA.

Alicia Fox vs. Kaitlyn w/ Layla

Kaitlyn wins via Spear. AJ Lee comes out with Big E. Langston to present a photo of Kaitlyn’s head on an obese woman. I’d like to pretend that the Diva’s division is even remotely entertaining…

Backstage

Stephanie McMahon berates Vickie Guerrero for… I’m not sure. Stephanie’s just a bitch. In any case, Vickie is WAY STRESSED! Also Vickie is getting a job evaluation next week, which hopefully ends this awful storyline.

Cody Rhodes w/ Damian Sandow vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger

Both groups garner cheap heat on the mic pre-match; wonderful, classic cheap heat. But I need to ask: WHY FOR THERE SO MANY HEELS RIGHT NOW?!

Cesaro wins with the Neutraliser; a sporting victory for Yosemite Sam’s new posse.

Backstage

A terrible segment with the Bella Twins, Natalya, the Funkadactyls, plus others plugging a new Divas reality show on the E! network. It was inexplicably shot on a multi-camera setup and it was awful, just awful!

Video Package

The Wyatt Family debut next week. In unrelated news, things aren’t looking good for Zack Ryder.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena – Champion vs. Champion Match

Del Rio is sans Ricardo Rodriguez who is suspended for a Wellness violation. RVD hasn’t even returned yet and his presence is already being felt.

Nice long match, which ends when both Henry and Ziggler saunter down to ringside to distract their respective adversaries. Del Rio is evidently more distraction prone and Cena finishes him off with an Attitude Adjustment.

Cena and Henry have a THRILLING STARE-DOWN to end this pretty flat show.

Award - The GoldDaniel Bryan continues to impress, and although he wasn’t given any ring time tonight, his presence was felt in every segment he was in. He is a full entertainment machine!
Award - The ShockmasterThe constant backstage drama between Vickie Guerrero, Triple H, and the McMahon’s is brutal. Hopefully it all ends next week but I have a feeling we’ve only JUST BEGUN!

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