The matches were solid this week on RAW, but the storyline developments made the show memorable.
Bryan, even without a belt around his waist, is the people’s champion. Everything he does now, is gold.
With the drama between Bryan and Cena, as well as the tension involving Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and CM Punk heating up, this weekend’s pay-per-view is going to be something special.
Add in Triple H’s role as special guest referee for the WWE title match and you’d have to be crazy not to be intrigued, just a bit.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett, RAW GM Brad Maddox special guest referee: A solid match that saw both competitors trade offense. When it appeared Bryan was going to nail the Buzzsaw Kick, Barrett ducked and rolled up Bryan. Thanks to a super fast count from Maddox, Barrett got the win.
Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow: The Money in the Bank winners squared off in an entertaining, but otherwise meaningless bout. Sandow nearly won with a nice jumping, flipping Neckbreaker, but Orton quickly went vintage on the up-and-coming star. After the Powerslam, Orton hit his trademark DDT. But before Orton could hit the RKO, Sandow slipped out of the ring and beat on Orton on the outside. With the advantage, Sandow decided to focus on Cody Rhodes, who was ringside. Naturally, Sandow walked into an RKO and lost via pin fall.
The Great Khali and Nattie Niedhart w/Hornswoggle vs. Big E. Langston and Divas Champion AJ Lee: Neidhart sold a lot of for Lee, who nailed a Shining Wizard and a slew of kicks on. However Neidhart latched on the Sharpshooter, but the referee didn’t see Lee tap. A few seconds later, Neidhart latched the move on again to earn the submission win. After the match, Khali hit Langston with the Brain Chop.
Titus O’Neil w/Darren Young vs. Kane: A Chokeslam gave Kane the quick and impressive win. After the match, The Wyatt Family appeared, but Kane was able to escape without getting hurt.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston: A reverse Suplex from the top rope but Del Rio in the driver’s seat. Although Kingston made a valiant comeback with some of his signature offense including the SOS, Del Rio eventually won with the Arm-Bar.
Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Jimmy and Jey Uso: A technically proficient matchup between two solid teams. The Usos continue to use strikes and top rope maneuvers to gain their advantages, while Cesaro and Swagger are arguably the best in-ring tag team in the company today. Some of the double-team maneuvers they pulled off in this match were proof of that. After the Samoan Drop from Jimmy however, the Usos got the advantage. In spite of interference from Colter and Cesaro, Jey Uso was able to roll up Swagger for the win.
R-Truth vs. Fandango w/Summer Rae: The match never got started, as R-Truth laid out Fandango before the bell rang.
20-Man Over the Top Battle Royal for U.S. Title Shot: Kofi Kingston was at his acrobatic best, but Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry weren’t too shabby either. A strike-a-palooza, Ryback took RVD out with the Meathook Clothesline, but van Dam was able to make it to the end with Henry. Using his signature sped, RVD was able to avoid elimination and allow Henry to fly over the top rope.After the match, Big Show returned once The Shield hit the ring, making it almost a forgone conclusion that Show and Henry will take on Rollins and Reigns for the WWE Tag Team titles at Summerslam.
CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman: No match, but Punk took out Brock Lesnar with a camera and a suicide dive and later nailed Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel with the GTS on the ramp.