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It Doesn't Matter What Vince Wants
July 30, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


Whether you, the Home Viewer, knew it or not, this RAW was taped a week ago. I happened to know it, as it goes with the territory of being a properly informed Wrestling Expert and Internet Semistar.
And so -- right here at the top -- let me beg your forgiveness if the following recap of said pre-taped show is in any way lacking.


It's not just that I'm less inspired when I know what's gonna happen... it's also that WWE doesn't provide much in the way of inspiring material when the pre-tape shows. They like to save the good stuff and surprises for live TV. So you get into a "chicken or the egg?" debate when trying to determine whose fault it is.
But perhaps there is no fault to be assigned? Maybe the following recap is just fine. There's only one way for you to find out...

Opening Video Package for the Attention Deficit Crowd, and we're not live from somewhere in Texas! But back 6 days ago when they taped this, they wasted no time cutting to the ring, where Vince McMahon (flanked by GM Brad Maddox) is getting set to address us....


Vince starts off by putting words in Maddox's mouth. All of those words are critical of Daniel Bryan, who is small, ugly, and troll-like. According to Vince, who claims to be quoting Maddox. Before Maddox can speak for himself, Bryan hits the ring.

He cuts to the chase, saying Maddox DID say some of those things, but he (Bryan) knows that those words were dictated to Maddox by Vince. Vince doesn't care for the insinuation, and demands respect. Bryan says respect is a two way street, and since Vince has disrespected him ever since Bryan joined WWE, Bryan's in no rush to show Vince much respect.

Vince tries to turn the tables, by claiming John Cena is the one who is saying all the nasty things about Bryan behind his back. All those compliments were smoke and mirrors... Cena only picked Bryan as his SummerSlam challenger because he knows he can beat Bryan.

Bryan's not buying it, but Vince continues.... Vince wants to be clear that he agrees with Cena about each and every one of Daniel Bryan's shortcomings, but that doesn't mean he wants Cena to win. In fact, what Vince wants is for the ring to spontaneously combust at SummerSlam, so he can be rid of both Cena and Bryan.

Bryan counters with the old chestnut "It doesn't matter what you want." It only matters what the people want. And a huge "YES!" chant confirms that what the people want is a new WWE Champion at SummerSlam.  Bryan's music plays as he leaves the ring, and Vince looks annoyed.

Then, the Shield's music hits, and they enter...




We return to find the good guys have already entered, so we ring the bell and begin...

Henry dominates the opening two minutes,  but basically as soon as he tags in one of the Usos, the tide turns. A little bit of a heel beatdown ends with the one Uso tagging Henry back in, and suddenly, a Pier Six brawl breaks out.

Henry tosses all three of the Shield out of the ring, then the Usos hit the stereo planchas to wipe them out. Five guys down, Henry seething in the ring. In other words, a spot for more...


Back, and one of the Usos is no firmly in not-control. The Shield do what they do best for the next 5 minutes: slicing and dicing and cutting the ring in half.

But as tends to happen, there's a hot tag to Henry, who cleans house until Reigns takes him down with a spear. Jimmy (the fresh Uso) tags himself in, and immediately kicks Reigns out of the ring to isolate on Ambrose (the legal man). Jimmy goes up top for the Superfly Splash, but Ambrose gets his knees up, and follows up with his bulldog-y/inverted STO finisher.

YOUR WINNERS: The Shield, via pinfall, in 14 minutes. Not as thrilling as some past Shield matches that follow this basic formula, but still solid, simple, and straight-forward.

After the Match: Mark Henry gets back into the ring and gets a few shots in, until the Shield get smart and retreat.

Earlier Today: Ryback is displeased with the fact that he's sharing Catering with some no name production schlubs. He picks on one of them for daring to eat the same food as the mighty Ryback. This part reminds me of the time I was covering the Pillman Memorial Show for CBS Sportsline, and met Sean O'Haire in catering (I was lucky enough to learn he was a prick well before he was getting arrested for beating up women and senior citizens!). Then Ryback powerbombed the schlub through the catering table, on the grounds that he wanted to illustrate what he's gonna do to Cena later tonight. To Sean O'Haire's credit, he did not do this to me after I was nice enough to let him have the last slices of ham.


Backstage: Kane walks into Maddox's office, and wants to get his hands on the Wyatts. Maddox says no, because Kane's already booked to face Daniel Bryan.... but then he challenges Kane: if you want to send a message to the Wyatts, why not do it by utterly destroying your former tag team partner later tonight? Kane can clearly tell this is Maddox trying to goad Kane into doing Vince/Maddox's anti-Bryan bidding, but also is just angry enough to not really care who has to suffer....




Quick start for RVD, causing Fandango to try powdering out to ringside. RVD followed, then the standard Role Reversal Spot, where Fandango got back in the ring, RVD followed, but Fandango caught him with a stomp on the way back in.

A very abbreviated heel beatdown ends when Fandango whiffs on a top rope knee drop. RVD hits a few signature moves, including Rolling Thunder. But as soon as he goes up for the Five Star, Fandango bails and walks away from the fight.

YOUR WINNER: Rob Van Dam, via count-out, in 3 minutes flat. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Backstage: AJ is chewing out Big E., on the grounds that she got steamrolled by Kaitlyn on Friday night, and he did nothing to stop it. Big E. gets about 3 words into an explanation, but is cut off when AJ suddenly flips the switch from angry to chipper. She's twirling her hair and all happy and smiley as she reveals she knows why Big E got caught off guard.... in a sing-songy voice, she declares "It's because you like me." Big E. isn't quite sure what to make of this. AJ continues, "You like what I do in that ring. You can't take your eyes off me, cuz you never know what I'm gonna do next." Then she skips away, as Lawler chimes in "Cuckoo Cuckoo."


AJ LEE (w/ Big E.) vs. KAITLYN (Non-Title)

AJ starts by trying to talk smack to Kaitlyn, and gets bitchslapped for it. AJ tries powdering out, and Kaitlyn follows... but it's a trap, and AJ grabs Kaitlyn's arm and drops it down over the top rope.

From there, AJ begins focusing on Kailyn's left arm and shoulder, including the always tantalizing bridging hammerlock. Kaitlyn fires up out of an armbar, and does a flurry of one-armed offense. When she tries for a Spear, however, AJ kicks her in the (leading) left shoulder, and resumes command.
Then, pretty much out of nowhere, Kaitlyn lands the Spear.

YOUR WINNER: Kaitlyn, via pinfall, in 5-6 minutes. Crowd seemed out of it, but this was a well executed little contest, with the arm attacks painting Kaitlyn as the underdog before the one big move.

After the Match: Dolph Ziggler -- wearing a confounding configuration of 2 t-shirts, which is at least 1 too many, and maybe 2 too many, since that pastel orange one is inappropriate in any situation -- comes out and rubs salt in AJ's wounds by congratulating her on her loss. Then, he challenges Big E. to a match. Right here, right now. Big E. accepts....



Back, and we join this match in progress. Specifically, we join the match with Big E. firmly in control, and smacktalking Ziggler as he beats him down. Particularly impressive, Big E.'s big splash, which included an Ultimate Warrior-esque double rope-run before he hit it.

General focus seems to be on Ziggler's ribs and lower back, and before you know it,  Big E. settles in with a bearhug. Well, at least it's not the abominable stretch...

Dolph starts to fire up after dodging a charge, causing E. to go crashing into the ringpost, shoulder first. Dolph strings a few moves together, and all of a sudden, AJ leaps into the ring and attacks him.

YOUR WINNER: Dolph Ziggler, via Disqualification, in 4 minutes (after being joined in progress). Short, but a nice showcase for Big E.; it's not just that Ziggler makes everybody look like a million bucks, it's that Big E. has a pretty impressive arsenal and executes it well.

After the Match: Big E. briefly confronts AJ about causing the loss, but then Ziggler strikes from behind, hitting the Zig Zag on Langston, and again lording it over AJ before leaving the ring.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan walks in on John Cena talking on the phone. Cena hangs up, and Bryan asks him if it's true, if he's really talking shit about Bryan behind his back. Cena doesn't outright deny it, but instead notes that Vince is a notorious liar. The non-denial leads to a staredown before Cena decides to be the bigger man, and walks away...



Slow, methodical feeling-out to start. Headlocks and such. Remember: Alberto's working through a (for real) broken rib, so this may not be everything we'd hope for (kind of like Friday's 90 second match against RVD).

Then Alberto gains control when the match spills outside, using the steel ring steps to soften up Christian's left arm. With Christian writhing in pain, Alberto hops in the ring to break the count, and we check out some...


Back, and Alberto's still targeting that left arm, in anticipation of locking in the cross armbreaker. This continues until del Rio tries for the inverted superplex; dumb idea, since Ziggler's the only guy on the roster who can take that bump, Berto! Christian knocks him off, and turns it into a Tornado DDT.

Nice End Game sequence follows, including some "Meh Hee Co" chants by the crowd, which Alberto seemed to enjoy. Seemed like Alberto was set to win after a Low Superkick, and went for the cross armbreak... but Christian rolled through into a pinning combo. And it's over!

YOUR WINNER: Christian, via pinfall, in 8-10 minutes or so.  Slow-ish start, but really nice final 2-3 minutes, especially considering Alberto was limited. For the record the timetable was: del Rio was injured last Monday on RAW, then worked this match on Tuesday's TV tapings without telling anyone. He finally went to the trainers at Wednesday's tapings, which is when they switched things around so his scheduled main event against RVD turned into a 90 second mid-show match. He did not work the Thursday tapings (which were for this upcoming SmackDown). He's working through it on subsequent house shows (albeit in matches that are usually abbreviated with DQ finishes), and will work SummerSlam come hell or high water. Alberto's old school like that.



Prematch videos -- telling the story of Cody's theft of the MitB Briefcase, and Sandow's search and eventual leap into the Gulf of Mexico, which was pretty hilarious -- take up almost as much time as the match itself.

They went directly into the heel beatdown. That lasted 90 seconds. Cody fired up, hit a moonsault, hit the Bob Holly Crotch Punt, whiffed on the Disaster Kick, but then immediately countered a pump-handle slam into CrossRhodes.

YOUR WINNER: Cody Rhodes, via pinfall, in 3 minutes. As if the prematch videos didn't telegraph it, this match wasn't here to be something in and of itself. It was here to be an excuse for a post-match visitation...

After the Match: Sandow hits the stage and declares "Damn you. Damn you, Cody Rhodes." He castigates Cody for what he did to the MitB Briefcase, and says he's lodged an official complaint with WWE Management to receive a replacement. But then he makes it personal. First, he says he (Sandow) has spent the past year trying to lift Cody up to his level, and in all that time, the only thing Cody accomplished was growing a moustache. Ha. But he should have seen it coming: Sandow comes from a family of scholars, and Cody is descended from a family of circus folk. Cody wants to fight about it, but Damien announces that carnies are beneath him, and leaves. You're welcome.



Kane's the de facto heel, due to Bryan being so popular. Announcers play up that vibe by reminding us that Maddox inventivized any extra asskicking Kane might do. Maddox dangled the Wyatts, and beating the #1 Contender would also put Kane in the title hunt, so Kane is plenty motivated.

So it's Kane in control, but I'm not feeling any extra badassness. Instead, it's almost painfully methodical. Not at all what I was expecting. Bryan peppers in a few YES! kicks here and there, but it's about 5 minutes of Kane being content with chinlocks to start.

Bryan finally gets a real rally going, and manages to headscissors Kane over the top rope. He follows up with the running knee from the apron to the floor. Both guys down. A perfect spot for more...


Back, and Kane's working another chinlock. Oy. Pace picks up after about a minute when Bryan drop toeholds Kane into the turnbuckle. More back and forthy, but no real energy, since Bryan doesn't unleash the full Flying Goat Comeback.

Instead, Kane hits a flying clothesline, and goes for a chokeslam, only to have Bryan turn it into a guillotine-choke takedown thingie that turns into a small pakcage.

YOUR WINNER: Daniel Bryan, via pinfall, in about 10 minutes. Not bad. But definitely flat. My expectations were certainly higher, anyway.

After the Match: Bryan celebrated for about 7 second before Kane attacked and hit him with the chokeslam, afterall. Then, all of a sudden, the lights go out.

Enter the Wyatt Family. Bray takes his seat in the Rocking CHair of Serenity, blows out the lantern, and when the lights come back on, Kane is flanked by Harper and Rowan. Instead of dealing with them, Kane darts out of the ring and charges Bray. That works for about 2 punches, then the other two swarm, and Kane's on the short end of the 3-on-1. It ends with Bray hitting The Kiss Goodbye (or so said Lawler; I'll be fine if that name doesn't stick).

Bray then grabs a mic and muses that Kane calls himself "the devil's favorite demon," but sure hasn't been looking the part lately. He suggests Kane think twice before making claims he can't back up, because "you never know who's listening." FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS~! Subliminal freeze frame before fading the black...



On the grounds that I do not acknowledge the E! Network as a valid channel for self-respecting humans to watch, and thus do not acknowledge the existence of programs on said network, I also can't acknowledge the existence of this match.

And I can't recap a figment of my imagination, can I?

YOUR WINNER: the Bella, when the other Bella interfered. Don't encourage WWE by pretending to care.


CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. R-TRUTH (Non-Title )

Some pre-match mic work yeilds some wince-worthy non-sequiturs from Axel. Yikes.

As to the match? It lasted about 90 seconds, then CM Punk ran out and attacked Axel.

Your Winner: R-Truth, via DQ, in 90 seconds. Yep, thrilling.

After the Match: Punk tried to get his hands on Heyman, but Heyman sprinted away at Warp 7. So Punk settled for GTS'ing Axel and posing on the announce table. So, on the upside: only 90 seconds of R-Truth. On the downside: only 30 seconds of Punk on a 3-hour show. D'oh.


Backstage: Triple H is talking with Vince. HHH is taking Daniel Bryan's side, but Vince isn't having any of it. He wants somebody to beat Cena, but he refuses to let it be a half-pint troll like Bryan. Vince wants somebody like HHH... but like HHH 20 years ago.

In walks Steph, who's all "Uh, Dad? Pot. Kettle. Black, Old Man." She has another idea... get behind Daniel Bryan and help him polish his image. She'll personally oversee a "Corporate Makeover." Vince thinks this is the stupidest thing he's ever heard of, and leaves. HHH, on the other hand, mutters "Worth a try" to Steph.

So, Corporate Bryan? Could be fun. Given the odd mention of Vince wanting somebody like HHH, but younger, I vote Bryan wrestles a match next week and wins via Pedigree. Sledgehammer optional.

JOHN CENA vs. RYBACK (Tables Match)

Ringside is strewn with tables for the smashing. But for the first couple minutes, it's a straight forward punchy-kicky assualt by Ryback.

Then, without any warning, and cutting off the announcers in mid-sentence, we suddenly break for...


Back, and Lawler immeidately makes a joke about the abrupt ad break. And also, Ryback's still in control.

First table tease has Cena flipping out of an attempted powerbomb, but Ryback counters by slamming Cena into the steel ringsteps. Ryback also sets up the larger/bottom part of the steps in the ring, along with a table. But before he can use it, Cena catches him and rams him into the ring apron.

Then, Cena sets up his own little structure, making a Table Bridge from the apron to the other/smaller/top part of the steps. But before he can use it, Ryback reverses a suplex, and the fight eventually spills back inside the ring, where Cena locks in the SSTF. Ryback breaks it, and lures Cena outside, where he regains control with the OTHER set of steel ring steps.

And then: Ryback makes a second, duplicate "table bridge" with the second steps. Both "bridges" are on the same side of the ring, and Cena/Ryback start brawling in between them. Ryback tries a Shellshock, Cena tries and F-U, and neither works. Both "bridges" are destroyed as collateral damage in the brawl.

But there's still more steps and a table back up in the ring, so that's where they head. Ryback takes control with the Meathook, and has Cena set up in front of a ladder propped up in the corner. But Cena dodges. Ryback stops himself from going through the table, but the awkward stop leaves him wide open for an F-U through the table.

YOUR WINNER: John Cena, via table breakage, in 15 minutes. The final spot was a bit of an anticlimax, but that wwas a surprisingly solid gimmick match. Intense and even a little bit creative in spots.

After the Match: Daniel Bryan YES!es his way down to the ring, while Cena looks confused. Bryan grabs Cena's title belt from the timekeeper, and gets in the ring. The two staredown. Then Cena snatches his title out of Bryan's hands and holds it up. Mixed reaction. Then Bryan starts YES!ing in Cena's face. Crowd joins in. Advantage: Bryan.
And so ends the show. As a taped one, it had one strike against it from the start. Until the main event, I'd say the mix of content that ranged from "pretty worthless" (E! Network showcase/R-Truth match and unsatisfying Punk cameo) to "decent at best" (6-man/Christian's upset win) adds up to a foul-tip strike.

But with an 0-2 count, the Ryback/Cena main event was a pleasant surprise. Better than I expected, anyway. I don't know about your expectations. Yeah, it's a loss for Ryback, when this is supposedly a Ryback Revival, of sorts... but it's a gimmicky table loss, so you can still steer the guy into a SummerSlam match that he can win, and keep him on track.
Meantime, I'll focus on the unexpectedly good outing, and how that (combined with the Bryan pop-in) made for a satisfying finish to the show.
Stick it in the blender, hit "puree," and the 3 hours as a whole gets a C+, according to Inner Pyro.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.



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