FEATURE: David Stephens reviews 7/22 WWE RAW

David Stephens reviews WWE RAW for 7/22/13

Dave’s RAW Thoughts
July 23, 2013
By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

Good old Brad Maddox was in the ring to open RAW. His confidence was not as high as last week and he did stumble his way through a couple of moments. I like the Maddox character when he accentuates himself as a goof ball, but I don’t like the Maddox character at times when he genuinely seems lost. Rewind your DVR to when Bryan’s music hits because Maddox and Cena share a nod and glance at each other that speaks volumes. Not trying to harp on the kid for one mistake, but I have to call it as I see it.

As for the concept surrounding Daniel Bryan v. Cena – there is a lot at stake. The tie in to Total Divas is nice but there is more to the story. Vince McMahon is picking on Bryan due to his size. That plays nicely with the stereotype we’ve long read about Vince and smaller talent. Obviously a multitude of small stars have been Champion but it’s still a nice angle to watch play out. It’s a tongue in cheek reference to reality while still keeping it as part of an angle. I think we all know that Vince likes the cash flow from the Bryan merchandise, so if you’re a fan of Bryan try not to take this storyline too hard.

Bryan is being built up as the guy who will always give his everything time in and time out. He’s the go-getter that always seems to have a chip on his shoulder and needs to prove himself. That drive is really playing well into this story. It won’t be long until the Bellas are by the sides of their men on television. The tie in is too perfect to not exploit. This is not the first time that Cena has helped out a star. He and Zack Ryder played buddies on the show in the past. The difference here being of course that Bryan has the raw talent to wrestle the fans to their feet.

Sheamus’ leg looked absolutely brutal. Keeping in mind that Sheamus has tree trunks as legs the fact that the bruise took up the entire canvass is staggering. The ending of a roll up worked well in this match as it showed Alberto capitalizing on the injury.

I don’t know who that backstage interviewer was that replaced Matt Striker’s role – but thank you. Don’t get me wrong I like Striker; she’s just nicer to look at. This must be why the WWE can get away with so much. As a fan I liked the guy but hey look there is something shiny over there. Distraction – successful.

Titus came out of his match looking stronger than Christian. There is something powerful about his stature that is intimidating. The sheer size and his force sell his gimmick. Darren Young also looked strong in his match tonight. It’s bizarre with this team because there are only a few times I remember enjoying one of their tag matches. Yet, as individuals I find them enthralling. I’m more into Titus than Young at the moment, but Young has had his share of decent matches as well.

Mark Henry came down to the ring to cut another honest promo. The Shield attack made perfect sense, as it would of course be an injustice to let someone have two free shots at the Title. I wonder about the future of The Shield because I think time is approaching when they will be disbanded. Now, that probably won’t happen until the winter but I do think some gradual changes will occur. Maybe Ambrose will end up too caught up in his US Championship to deal with the rest of his faction. The Usos look poised to take the Titles, which could cause some dissension in the ranks. Don’t fret – even the Nexus broke up. Several of the wrestlers involved with the Nexus are now quite accomplished in the company as individuals.

AJ is psycho and the feud between Langston and Ziggler will be interesting. When Ziggler split from Vickie he found a bit of himself. He was crutched back up with AJ and Langston but this final break should lead to a decent stint as a singles star without management. Ziggler’s personality flies off the screen. In fact I’d argue that the addition of Langston to the group was more about introducing him and getting him established as a character than helping Ziggler.

Cody’s moonsault was a bit crazy. Fandango had to rush forward to try and catch him. I’m not sure how the Rhodes and Sandow feud plays out but I hope that it does not end with a match for the briefcase. Sandow seems a more viable candidate for a Title run at the moment.

RVD and Wade had a fun match. My feelings of RVD from last week still hold true so I don’t need to go into much detail. I had the feeling watching this match that RVD just had a sequence of moves that he wanted to do in the match and he clocked them out in order. There wasn’t much of a story just a lot of flips and awkward setups. Rob is lacking the fluidity that made him so compelling.

Cena’s run out at the end actually received cheers from the crowd so I’m sure creative can pat themselves on the back. I’m over the whole Cena/Ryback feud. I don’t care what happens in their match next week.

What is there to say about Daniel Bryan? He is just an incredible talent. He was able to go out and wrestle for 40 minutes and had the fans on their feet. There have been RAWs in which we haven’t even received that much ring time during an entire show. Cesaro is a great talent and it brings a smile to my face to see him succeed. I’ve seen a lot of hyperbole thrown around about the match, and it was no doubt great. For free television it doesn’t get much better than that match.

David Stephens

Follow me on Twitter! @TheDaveStephens