Raw results: Daniel Bryan runs the gauntlet and “The Best” baits “The Beast”

BY Anthony Benigno

July 22, 2013

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Sheamus

The irony, it is thick: Alberto Del Rio tried in vain for much of 2012 to defeat Sheamus in his pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship, but now armed with “Big Gold” around his waist, The Essence of Excellence finally got his long-awaited licks in against The Celtic Warrior in a match on Raw. Sporting a gruesome bruise on his thigh from Money in the Bank, Sheamus was both sporting more color than usual and seemingly, savagely rejuvenated after a two week siesta from in-ring competition. But Del Rio, still fighting mad at the WWE Universe’s rejection of his World Title win, matched the Irishman shot-for-shot with pure ruthlessness.

The Essence of Excellence struck early, wrapping Sheamus up in a ring-rope-assisted Cross Armbreaker and targeting the brawler’s wounded leg while Damien Sandow observed from the locker room area. The tough-as-nails native of Erin’s Isle brawled his way back from the deficit to punish Del Rio with the forearm clubs, following up with a debilitating Irish Curse. Del Rio countered with a kick to Sheamus’ gimpy thigh, weakening the Irishman enough that when he went for White Noise, his legs collapsed under him and the champion capitalized with a roll-up pin.