David Stephens reviews WWE RAW for 7/8/13

Dave’s RAW Thoughts
July 8, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

RAW kicked off with Vickie Guerrero pleading for her job. As she sat atop the ladder with Brad Maddox looking on Vickie was making a desperate plea to the WWE Universe. While the audience was still waiting for events to unfold Vickie was already starting her cries. Last week I had noted in my thoughts that Brad Maddox was sure to be named the RAW GM. I take no credit for the insight as it seemed so obvious. Vince likes to screw with the audience. It’s tough for me to hate on this decision as I for one actually enjoyed Mike Adamle. Oh sure he was terrible, but I found him terribly amusing as well. He fell into the category that HHH described as ‘accidentally entertaining’. Maddox attends the same school. I have taken pleasure in his little smug smirks and grins. His tenure will be short, but I’ll get a kick out of him for a few weeks.

Daniel Bryan was in action against Sheamus and once again scored a decisive victory. For yet another week the WWE had his opponent shake his hand after the match. It was a powerful moment to watch the Celtic Warrior offer a submissive gesture.

Bryan also went on to close the show, which begs the question of why. He has been featured at the end of RAW in a complete positive role a few weeks this month. As Bryan once again closed the show without being attacked I wanted to pinch myself to see if it was really happening. At this point in my fandom I simply anticipate being screwed with. See: Brad Maddox.

I feel like I should call shenanigans. Maybe Bryan will walk out with his second Money in the Bank briefcase. If I know anything about the WWE it is that a wrestler rarely looks this strong going into a multi-man match. The television product is so heavily promoting Daniel Bryan as the winner that it seems obvious that he won’t win. On the other hand, it is quite possible that HHH is holding true to his goal of incorporating more old school style angles. There was once a time in wrestling when stars would be featured with such obvious push angles to make their win that much more monumental. It is risk that is not often taken in the days of the Internet. The fans would in most situations complain that the product was being too obvious. Yet, the WWE is taking one of their darlings and watching as fans shake their head in disbelief that it is actually happening. If Bryan does manage to walk out with the case, the roar will be huge in Philadelphia.

Speaking of the PPV I will be present. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, as I will be live tweeting from the event.

It’s difficult to anticipate the winner. All of the matches between the competitors seemed fairly even tonight. Aside from some scuffles the matches showcased the talent that will be making up the so-called All Star Money in the Bank match. The TV product is pushing Bryan but nearly everyone in this match stands a chance of walking out with the case. Punk is always a threat, but a pending angle with Lesnar suggests the company has other plans. I am a fan of both Christian and Kane, but they are on the bottom of my list. The status of Kane going into the PPV could be up in the air following the step shot he took during the debut of the Wyatt Family. RVD could potentially come back and win but given the circumstances that followed his last Money in the Bank win and subsequent cash-in, he may have to do a bit more to prove himself to Vince before he is handed such responsibility.

On the Smackdown side I would lean towards either Dean Ambrose or Antonio Cesaro walking away the victor. If Antonio were to win it would fit in well if Alberto Del Rio retains and Cesaro can allow Zeb to work another program with his favorite target.

The Wyatt Family made their much-anticipated debut. I have to wait to see more from them before I make a judgment. It was different so I appreciate the attempt. I’m a fan of the former Brodie Lee so it was nice to see him in front of a nice sized crowd. Usually when I had a chance to watch him in action there were only about three hundred fans in attendance. I think people are stretching to suggest that the attack on Kane was meant to drum up a feud with the Brothers of Destruction – I doubt it. Not just because of Taker’s health, but because the usage of Kane was even simpler than that. Kane is a huge guy, but both of Wyatt’s henchmen overmatched Kane in size. It was impressive.

It was a good decision to have Seth Rollins use a somersault plancha instead of a suicide dive. It is a nice differentiation.

Chris Jericho handed Curtis Axel his first loss on RAW. Jericho continues to defy logic with win after win over the past several months. I’m so used to him losing that it’s nice to see him having fun in the ring with the victories.

Sin Cara showed up on RAW. He must have wandered in and someone in creative remembered he existed and tossed him on the card. His lighting was on for most of his match and at this point I’m baffled as to why it is used. Once Ziggler came out the lighting never even returned. I was very confused by the lighting cues in this segment. Low blue lights really do not help Sin Cara keep from getting tripped up. The lights aren’t even all that impressive in person. I have yet to see them add any value to one of his matches.

Cena and Henry were again lost in the middle of the show. It’s a situation where it seems next to impossible that Mark Henry will walk out with the belt. If you think about it this angle with Henry is reminiscent with one with Big Show. The monster had finally captured a World Title only to almost immediately lose it to a Money in the Bank winner. The only thing worse for Henry than losing to Cena might just be beating Cena and then having to drop the Title ten minutes later.

The Diva feud has kind of lost me over the past couple of weeks. I was finally on board but I’m quickly losing interest. Everything always has to be so complicated anymore. Now Dolph is upset with AJ so there is added distraction plus Langston and maybe Vickie will have an impact on Dolph, sigh. I remember when women’s matches were simply bathroom breaks.

Money in the Bank looms this Sunday on PPV. The landscape of the WWE is about to get shaken up. RVD is set to return, Mark Henry has his last hurrah, and The Usos are set to prove that even though they can’t afford enough paint for their entire faces – dating the right Diva might just land you a Tag Team Championship.

David Stephens

Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens