Raw Five-Point Preview: June 24, 2013
Last week’s Raw left the WWE Universe with more questions than answers: Why did Brock Lesnar attack CM Punk? Will Daniel Bryan ever get that defining win to convince himself that he isn’t the weak link of Team Hell No? Is Team Hell No now Team HellNo More? And will Mae Young ever get her shout-out from Mark Henry in a retirement speech? The WWE Universe can only speculate on most of these matters, but perhaps this week’s Raw will provide illumination on five fronts.
With Curtis Axel winning the Intercontinental Championship and CM Punk making a victorious return at WWE Payback, things seemed to be going Paul Heyman’s way. Brock Lesnar’s return on Raw should have cemented the mad scientist as the man to beat in WWE, but The Anomaly’s unprovoked attack on Punk has instead thrown the status of his stable into question. Though Lesnar’s motives are a matter of guesswork at this point, it’s no stretch to point out that Punk has been trying to distance himself from Heyman in the week since his return. What does the future hold for this painfully strained friendship?
Only the strong survive
Daniel Bryan’s quest to prove his worth hit a rough patch last Monday - WWE COO Triple H ordered his match against Randy Orton be stopped following a bone-jarring mishap Bryan suffered in the heat of battle. Bryan made his feelings known and got a rematch on SmackDown, but voiced further frustration after that bout ended in an indecisive count-out victory for the submission expert. As WWE.com reported, The Apex Predator will have to deal with his one-time tag partner for a third time, tonight on Raw. Can Orton prove that Bryan really is a "weak link," or will Bryan finally get his vindication?
World's Wrongest Slam
Mark Henry’s powerfully moving retirement speech this past Monday was, as it turned out, nothing more than a plus-sized ploy. Feigning a swan song, Henry led John Cena out into the open and ruthlessly plastered The Champ with a World’s Strongest Slam to formally stake his claim to Cena’s WWE Championship. With the match made for the titanic twosome at WWE Money in the Bank, what destruction does the No. 1 contender have planned for the champion as their long-awaited battle approaches?
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Dolph Ziggler, who lost his World Heavyweight Championship in hearbreaking fashion at Payback (to recap: Alberto Del Rio kicked him early and often in the recently-concussed head to win the title) and has been spoiling for a fight ever since. An unfavorable medical report did nothing to stop The Showoff from jumping Del Rio on Raw, but a similar attempt on SmackDown ended in calamity. Forget about will Ziggler make an apperance on Raw to address his loss; the more pertinent question is can he?
Cracking The Shield
Vickie Guerrero promised severe consequences for The Shield if Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns interfered in Dean Ambrose’s U.S. Title defense against Kane on Raw. The WWE Tag Team Champions swarmed The Devil’s Favorite Demon anyway, helping Ambrose to lay Kane out with the Triple Powerbomb and seeming not at all concerned about any possible repercussions for their actions. A sideways endorsement from The Chairman himself probably did nothing to shake their confidence that they’d walk away clean from the incident. However, with Triple H expecting a penalty for the troika of titleholders (and the McMahons seemingly angling to accomplish their own agendas), Vickie may be compelled to make these “Hounds of Justice” pay for putting her in the doghouse.