The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/24/12
Live from Albany, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1009. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Raw began with a live shot of WWE Champion CM Punk sitting in the ring on a chair with his title on his shoulder. Paul Heyman was there standing beside him. He introduced us to Punk. Heyman said the show was grinding to a halt right now. He said Raw won’t proceed until justice is served, so they aired a clip of last week’s Raw when Punk had his foot on the ropes and referee Brad Maddox missed it. The replay clearly showed that Punk got his foot on there before the three count. “You are all witnesses to a grand injustice,” said Heyman. Heyman summoned the referee Brad Maddox to the ring. He said Maddox would apologize to Punk and tender his resignation.
Michael Cole welcomed us to Raw. Jim Ross is with him at the announce table this week.
Referee Brad Maddox walked down to the ring. He said he made a mistake, it was his first main event match and he was nervous. He said he should have checked the ropes. Heyman wanted Maddox to resign as the crowd chanted “no” in support of Maddox. Punk yelled at him. Maddox said that when Raw went to three hours they called him in and he got brought in by GM AJ Lee. Heyman gave him a blindfold that had the WWE/NFL logos on it. It’s an ode to the NFL having replacement referees in case you didn’t know. Punk was berating Maddox on the microphone. He suggested GM AJ Lee should fire Maddox.
The GM AJ Lee’s music started up. She skipped her way out to the ring. AJ sent Maddox to the back. Heyman said he assumed she was there to reverse the decision. She said “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.” Old line, but it’s good. She said she wasn’t going to sit back to let them hold her show hostage. She asked Heyman who he thinks he was. Punk said: “I’m the WWE Champion.” He said he’s the reason the fans are in their seats at this show. Punk said she has it in for Punk. Punk showed footage from two months ago when AJ asked Punk to marry him. He said no of course.
Punk blamed her for sending out a referee that was incompetent. He embarrassed her by mentioning all the voicemails and text messages she sent them. Punk told her to inform the people of how intimate they got. Punk: “Tell ’em I’m the best in the world.” There was a “CM Punk” chant after the suggestion that he hooked up with AJ. Heyman told Punk he’d take care of it. Heyman got down on one knee in front of AJ and asked her to marry him. He said they would be a power couple, he would come up with the ideas and she could take all the credit. He also ended up calling her young, dumb and ambitious as well. While Heyman was still on one knee, AJ slapped Heyman in the face. I guess that’s a no? JR: “Heyman is a slimeball.” The segment ended with AJ leaving the ring while Punk and Heyman were shocked that she slapped Paul.
Analysis: Quality work by everybody involved. I thought Punk was at his heel best when he was taunting AJ. The suggestion of there being a sexual relationship between the two of them was quite interesting because to this point they didn’t go down that road. I liked Punk’s line about how he’s the one that put the skip in her step. Heyman is great as a scumbag. It was nice to see AJ stand up for herself like that. This segment was effective because it set the stage for the rest of the night.
Later in the show, Michael Cole and Jim Ross will interview Jerry Lawler from his home in Memphis.
Backstage, a ref was talking to Brad Maddox. AJ walked up to him. Maddox said he would never make that mistake again. She said that if he does it again she will make sure he doesn’t work in the business again. She had her “crazy eyes” while she said it. He said he was sorry as she continued to look off in the distance.
At the announce desk, Cole & Ross were trying to talk about some of the things that were going to happen on the show when Vickie Guerrero cut them off at the top of the ramp. She introduced Dolph Ziggler. He’s against Kofi Kingston. The match was set up with a Twitter war of words between them. At least it’s better than a shampoo commercial feud. That’s a reference from ten years ago. I’m old.
Truth sat down at ringside in a chair and also an empty chair for Little Jimmy. All four of them started arguing when a cup of water got dumped on Guerrero. Ref John Cone threw out Guerrero & R-Truth.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
Ziggler vs. Kingston is not a new match. They always have good matches, though. Kingston knocked him down with a dropkick early. He followed that up with a clothesline over the top rope. Then Kingston hit a somersault plancha over the top onto Ziggler on the floor. Kingston landed on his feet. Very impressive. They went to break for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back to the action, Ziggler took down Kingston with an exploder suplex. JR called it by its name while Cole just said “ohhh” because that’s what he does. Neckbreaker by Ziggler got two. Kingston tried to fight back with a dropkick, but Ziggler hit him with a dropkick. Ziggler missed a corner splash, so both guys were down at the same time. Kingston hit a dropkick on Ziggler followed by a leaping clothesline and then the Boom Drop. The crowd was into it, but Trouble in Paradise didn’t hit. They did a nice reversal sequence that ended with Kingston hitting his two boots to the face of Ziggler in the corner. Kingston hit a chop off a springboard. Kingston hit a cross body block off the middle rope. Ziggler came back with the Rocker Dropper/Fameasser for two. Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Kingston got out of it and hit the SOS for a count of two. The fans reacted big to the nearfall even though Kingston rarely wins with that move. It’s a great spot, though. They did another outstanding reversal sequence that ended with Kingston going to the top and jumping back with a cross body block for two once again. Another terrific nearfall. Kingston missed Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler tossed Kingston into the turnbuckle in an upside down fashion. That led to Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: ***1/2 It’s hard to have a 12 minute match better than that, to be perfectly honest. With the commercial break we only got to see nine minutes of it. It was a terrific match between two guys who have an incredible amount of chemistry together. It’s been built up over years not only in television matches, but also a lot of house show matches as well. Ziggler getting the win makes a lot of sense, of course. Of these two guys he’s the one with main event potential. While Kingston may get a solid midcard push, I doubt he will reach main event level. Nothing wrong with that. Is it too much to ask that we get an excellent television match like this every week? There’s so much talent on the roster. It’s a three hour show, so you know there’s plenty of time. All they need is the chance to work over ten minutes on Raw and they can deliver.
The announcers went over the John Cena arm injury and his tweet about how he had surgery on his arm last week. We’ll hear from Cena later.
Did You Know? The WWE App has been downloaded over 2 million times.
In a rare occurrence, there was a video package about what happened on Smackdown. That’s because the video was about the Kane & Daniel Bryan relationship, which was heavily featured on Smackdown. The video only showed when the partners cost each other matches on the show, but didn’t show when they bonded over a chair attack on other tag teams. That’s some creative editing right there.
There was a “therapy session” with Dr. Shelby, Bryan and Kane from earlier in the day in Albany. Bryan was wearing his “no no no” shirt because we’re supposed to think they dress the same way in public that they do when they are in a wrestling building. Shelby told Bryan that he was close to a breakthrough. Bryan said he was the tag team champions, so Shelby told him that wasn’t grammatically correct. Funny and true. Shelby wants to show that Bryan and Kane can co-exist peacefully. Kane, in full wrestling gear, walked up to Shelby & Bryan as the waiter in the sketch. Bryan ordered some vegetables and said he wanted a tag partner that wasn’t a freak. Shelby said it wasn’t Kane. It was Gerald. Kane: “My name is Gerald. And I’m a waiter.” It’s role playing, you see. Kane said he took the cook’s goat beard and put it into the deep fryer. Then he chopped up his goat beard into little pieces and sprinkled it all over every meal that he’s served that day. They cut to an older woman overhearing it nearby that looked so sad. That was funny. Shelby told Kane to tell them that he was joking. Kane pointed to his name tag saying his name is Gerald. That ended this segment.
Analysis: Kane must be thinking: “Damn these skits are way better than those Isaac Yankem ones I used to do!” And he’s right. This was pretty funny. Not the best of their skits, but not the worst either.
The RawActive Twitter vote allowed the fans to decide the official name of the Kane/Bryan tag team. We’ll find out the choices later. So they’re hyping up a RawActive vote now? Okay then.
The social media ambassador is magician Criss Angel (@CrissAngel). I don’t follow him, nor do I care about his tweets. Sorry.
The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. Santino & Zack Ryder
The PTPers didn’t get an entrance. Decent pop for the babyface team. Ryder hit a flapjack on Young. Ryder missed a cross body block, so he went crashing into the ropes. Young grabbed a facelock, Ryder fought out of a suplex and then tagged in Santino. Santino hit a suplex followed by a chop to the head. O’Neil blind tagged Young. Santino didn’t see it. O’Neil countered the Cobra and hit the Sky High for the win after about two minutes.
Winners: The Primetime Players
Match: 1/2* I don’t have a problem with this match being short. They’re the regular tag team and they should win easily over a couple of guys that lose more than they win.
The worldwide exclusive interview with Jerry Lawler is coming up shortly.
There was a close-up on a door backstage that had “special guest” on it. We’ll find out who that person is after the break.
Mick Foley was the special guest. His music started up and the man in the flannel made his way out. He was introduced as “WWE Legend Mick Foley.” I think he’ll be the headliner of the 2013 Hall of Fame as well, but that’s just an educated guess on my part. Foley said he was a member of the WWE Universe here tonight and not a legend. He said that a year ago he watched the emergence of CM Punk. Foley wondered about the changes that CM Punk talked about last year and wondered what Punk was doing these days by bullying referees and aligning himself with Paul Heyman. Cue the music of CM Punk. It’s not clobbering time. It’s promo time…again.
Punk wanted Foley to talk to his face instead of talking about him to the people this way. Punk mentioned Foley’s upcoming children book, but Foley said it’s not about that at all. Foley said that after Punk won the WWE Title he asked him via text message “how does it feel to be the biggest star in the business?” Is CM Punk the biggest star? I thought it was John Cena? Close enough. Foley said that Punk replied with “thank you Mick that means a lot coming from you.” Foley said that apparently only responded to a few people and one of them was Foley. Punk yelled at the fans to get some heat. He said he deserves some respect. They talked about Paul Heyman as Mick said that he was a Heyman guy, but that he became something in the business when he stopped listening to Heyman and became something on his own. Foley mentioned that Heyman never liked to him. He said Heyman will do what’s good for himself rather than what’s best for Punk. Foley called Punk one of the best talkers in the business and asked why would Punk need a mouthpiece? He wondered if Punk wanted to be an inspiration in WWE or a Kool-Aid drinking. That’s a reference to people “drinking the Kool-Aid” of Heyman, which goes many years back.
Foley moved on from Heyman to talk about Hell in a Cell, which is the next PPV in October. He talked about how the HIAC match made him a legend in the business. Foley said he doesn’t have to ask people for respect because he earned it that night (King of the Ring 1998 if you don’t know). He dropped the names of Shawn Michaels, Triple H and The Undertaker as people who have made history in a Hell in a Cell match. Punk wondered what Foley wanted and Foley said he wanted the old Punk to go into Hell in a Cell with John Cena. Punk claimed that he already beat Cena at Summerslam and that he walked out of Night of Champions still the WWE Champion. He said he heard the same kind of thing from Bret Hart, who disrespected him in his hometown. Montreal is not Bret’s hometown, but as a Canadian I can say we love all the Canadians no matter the city, so Punk is forgiven for that small error. He put over how Bret knocked him down with a punch to embarrass him. Punk said if he put his hands on Foley it would be embarrassing because he wouldn’t lower himself to put his hands on somebody like Foley because he, like the fans, are beneath him. He said the only thing he’s ever done is tell the truth. Punk said he doesn’t know how many times he needs to beat Cena to prove himself. Then he ripped off the fans some more. He said Foley would do anything to win the approval fans by using thumbtacks and lighting himself on fire. Punk told us his motives: “The only thing I want out of them (the fans) is to bring them to their knees. I’ll do that with a microphone.” He said he wouldn’t put himself in harm’s way by doing a Hell in a Cell match.
Punk said he raised the bar. You know how? 309. That’s the number of days of his WWE Title reign. Foley gave him a number: 29. That’s the total of cumulative days of Foley’s three WWE Title reigns. Oh the era of short title reigns. I don’t miss that aspect of the Attitude Era. Foley ranted: “You want to be a statistic? Or do you want to be a legend? Noone cares about dates. What they care about are the moments that define us!” He told Punk he needs one more moment. Foley spoke to AJ, so he was here to talk to Punk about this. He said Cena had arm surgery, but he should be ready by Hell in a Cell. Foley said Cena’s there. Foley wondered if Punk would say yes to a HIAC match with Cena to give us that moment. Foley told him to make the right decision for himself, for Foley and for the fans. Didn’t Punk tell us he didn’t care what the fans thought? Foley left the ring as Punk was left to think about what Foley said to him.
Analysis: It was a smart promo because they know that Foley is a beloved figure that is gifted on the microphone and can help Punk generate more heel heat. It’s similar to how they used Lawler early on in this Punk heel turn. If you’ll recall they also used Foley to try to get John Laurinaitis more over as a heel when Johnny smashed him with a microphone to end Raw several months back. It’s the same reason they used Bret Hart in Montreal too. One thing I will point out. Foley said that nobody cares about dates or numbers. I think some do. What about “The Streak” of The Undertaker about WrestleMania? Some numbers are very important.
Anyway, I thought it was a fantastic segment with both guys playing their roles perfectly. Foley gave the kind of promo that the fans are going to love while Punk did everything he could to make the fans hate him, which worked very well in this instance. I’m sure some people want to see Punk vs. Foley now. Unlikely to happen. Foley is one of the best talkers ever, especially when he delivers a serious promo, and he showed it here.
Coming up next is Ryback vs. The Miz in a non-title match.
Analysis: I’m guessing there will be no mention of Ryback getting cut open at Saturday’s house show, which led to his match ending early due to all the blood. He didn’t win that one. He was fine for Sunday’s house show that I was at.
The Miz made his entrance. We saw a clip of last week when Ryback interrupted MizTV by destroying the set.
The Miz vs. Ryback (Non-Title)
Cole said it would be the youngest test of Ryback’s young career. Young career? He’s been a pro for about ten years. As Ryback it’s been about six months, though. Ryback threw Miz across the ring with a hiptoss. Miz went for his neckbreaker, but Ryback countered with a running powerslam. Miz escaped to the floor. Ryback overpowered him there and rolled Miz back into the ring. Miz was able to get two running kicks to the head followed by a snap DDT for two. Ryback hit a hard powerbomb that Cole called a spinebuster, but JR did call it a powerbomb. Ryback set up for the clothesline. As he delivered it, we saw ref Scott Armstrong and a security guy taking down a fan that ran into the ring. Ryback destroyed Miz with the clothesline. That fan is lucky that Ryback didn’t go after him. Ryback put Miz on his shoulders. He delivered his finisher…Shell Shocked. Cole actually called it that. Yes. Ryback covered for the easy victory after three minutes.
Analysis: * I thought this feud would go to Hell in a Cell with Ryback getting the IC Title. Nope. One week. It’s over. Miz got a few moves in, but he didn’t do much damage to Ryback. I’m glad that Cole called the Shell Shocked finishing move right. I’ve been complaining about that for weeks and thanks to those on Twitter that tweeted me about it when they heard it.
Back to Shelby, Bryan & Kane at the diner. Bryan and Kane were eating a meal together. They reminisced about how they destroyed eight guys on Smackdown with chair shots. Kane started yelling, so Bryan followed up by yelling “yes” repeatedly in a mockery of “When Harry Met Sally” that ended up being pretty funny. Then they both took a deep breath. The camera cut over to an elderly woman that happened to be Mae Young as she delivered the line from that movie: “I’ll have exactly what they’re having.” The crowd popped when they saw Mae, so that was cool.
Analysis: Not a long segment. It was funny, though.
A reminder that we can name the Bryan/Kane team later. Why can’t they give the choices now? I don’t know.
Also later is John Cena talking to CM Punk about Hell in a Cell.
The “Did You Know” told us about Smackdown’s great ratings.
Backstage in the GM office, AJ Lee talked to four referees. She said there are no instant replays in WWE. She said everybody makes mistakes, but that they should go out there and have a great time during the rest of the show. Well that’s just lovely. The refs left.
Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga & Ricardo Rodriguez talked to AJ. She booked them into a six man tag match against Sheamus, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. Del Rio and Otunga were not happy about Rodriguez being in the match, but Rodriguez was excited about it.
Wade Barrett vs. Tyson Kidd
Kidd was already in the ring. Barrett got the full entrance. Kidd attacked Barrett with a series of kicks followed by a running dropkick for two. Barrett came back with a kick to the gut followed by a clothesline. Barrett got some knees to the ribs. He nailed a kick to the head of Kidd to knock him to the floor. Barrett drove Kidd back first into the ring apron. Kidd used his feet to roll up Barrett for a two count. Barrett came back with a Bossman Slam. I will always call it that. Barrett picked up Kidd and destroyed him with his elbow to the head that he called “The Souvenir” on Twitter earlier in the day. He covered for the win after two minutes of action.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Analysis: * It was fine for the time given. Kidd beat Ziggler at the house show I was at on Sunday, but house show results don’t matter when it comes to television. Of course I’d love to see Kidd used more on TV. Barrett is being built up in a strong way. It won’t be long until he’s feuding with the top names again.
After the break we’ll hear from Jerry Lawler just two weeks after suffering a heart attack on Raw.
Back from break, Michael Cole was in the ring. He summed up the Lawler heart attack from two weeks ago on Raw in Montreal. Cole said that the WWE doctor said it was a miracle that Lawler is so far along in his recovery. Cole introduced us to Lawler on the screen.
Jerry Lawler was shown in his home on a king’s throne type of chair in Memphis. He did an interview with Memphis TV in the same venue. The fans cheered loudly. Cole said he looked fantastic. Lawler mentioned his voice is raspy because he had a breathing tube down his throat. He said it was great to be back on Raw in front of the WWE Universe. Lawler said he remembered the first segment on Raw, but that he doesn’t remember having his match later on the show. He said the next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital in Montreal. He mentioned how he was in Aruba two weeks before that with his girlfriend (it was actually on the Sat/Sun before that Montreal Raw) and he thought he was still in Aruba rather than in Montreal. Scary huh? Cole mentioned that Lawler has received so much support via voice mail, text messages and tweets. Lawler said he was overwhelmed with all the support he’s received. The crowd cheered. Lawler: “From the bottom of my heart it’s meant so much to me. Thank you all so very much.” Cole asked Lawler when The King will return to the announce table. Lawler cracked a joke saying he defies anybody to sit beside Cole for three hours every week and not have a heart attack. Well played, Jerry. Lawler is leaving his return up to the doctors. He said as soon as the doctors give him the clearance he will be back. Cole thanked him. The crowd cheered some more as we got some shots of fans with signs in support of Lawler.
Analysis: That was terrific. It’s great to see Lawler’s face on Raw again considering how scary the situation was two weeks ago. Anybody that thinks WWE is trying to expose Lawler’s heart attack for ratings or money (with the t-shirt) needs to realize that if he wasn’t at Raw when it happened he may not be with us today. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for WWE to put him on Raw or release a t-shirt because he’ll get some of that money too. As for Jerry’s return, it should be noted that Raw is in Nashville on October 15 and Smackdown tapes in Memphis on October 16. While he may not be ready to sit at the announce desk, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was at one of those events to stand at the top of the ramp and wave to the fans.
The participants for the six man tag entered the arena. Ricardo Rodriguez will be wrestling in his dress clothes. Rodriguez entered in a Rolls Royce from 1950. Nice ride.
The babyface team entered. They went to another commercial. That must be frustrating if you watched live, but watching it on DVR wasn’t bad. I’m glad that the match started after the break rather than going to commercial one minute into the match.
Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga & Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Sheamus, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
As we returned from break, Sheamus was working on Otunga. H gave him a shoulderblock off the apron. Mysterio and Sin Cara hit dives over the top rope to take out Del Rio as well as Rodriguez. Sheamus tagged in Sin Cara, who got knocked down by an Otunga shoulder block. Ricardo tagged in, Sin Cara gave him an arm drag and then Del Rio gave Sin Cara a knee to the back. If you’re wondering, Rodriguez is a trained wrestler that is pretty good if he ever gets the chance to show it. Del Rio got a two count on Sin Cara after a suplex. At one point Del Rio flipped Sin Cara over and his mask was pulled off for a split second. You can find the pic if you really want to know what a grown man looks like. Del Rio tagged in Rodriguez so he could take a headscissors from Sin Cara and make it look great, which he did. Sin Cara tagged in Mysterio while Del Rio tagged in. Mysterio used his quicks to get the advantage with a kick to the head. Drop toe hold into the corner by Mysterio and then Del Rio hit his enziguiri kick while Mysterio was on the top rope. Otunga tagged in to deliver a suplex to Mysterio. Del Rio got back in there to kick Mysterio in the back of the head. Mysterio regained control with a dropkick to the face. He brought in Sheamus for the hot tag. Del Rio brought in Otunga, who got destroyed by Sheamus’ power offense. Otunga tagged in Rodriguez as he was getting out of the ring. Rodriguez tried to run, so Sheamus destroyed him with the ten clubbing blows to the chest and he knocked Del Rio off the apron. Mysterio hit the 619 on Rodriguez. Sheamus brought in Sin Cara, who hit a springboard Senton Bomb on Rodriguez for the victory after 8 minutes.
Winners: Sheamus, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Post match, Mysterio pointed out Otunga to Sheamus. Sheamus warmed up in the corner and delivered the Brogue Kick to Otunga to knock him out. That’s just mean isn’t it?
Analysis: ** That was an entertaining tag match. I would love to see Rodriguez in more matches, perhaps even as a team with Del Rio. He did a good job in this match. He bumps very well. I’ve seen enough of his work to know he’s a better worker than Otunga too. As far as I know the Sheamus/Del Rio story is over. Their matches were okay, but I’m ready for both of them to move on.
Later in the show we’ll hear from John Cena.
There was a third and final Bryan/Kane sketch with Dr. Shelby. He said there was one final piece of identity therapy. The waitress brought Bryan a plate of spaghetti and meatball while Kane got a salad. Kane ate a piece of lettuce as if it was new to him. He ate it. Bryan ate a small piece of a meatball. Kane burped in Shelby’s face. Crowd laughed. A piece of lettuce makes you burp? Apparently it does for Kane. Bryan said the meat wasn’t as bad as he thought. Then he puked in the lap of Dr. Shelby beside him. Kane ended it by saying: “Check, please.”
Analysis: That’s the end of those segments. Nothing wrong with them. Obviously the writers enjoy coming up with them and Kane and Bryan do a good job in terms of bringing the comedy.
The vote on the Kane/Bryan team name: #TeamTeamwork #TeamHellNo and #TeamFriendship. The results are after the break. So they can promote that they are going to come up with names, but then you can only vote during a commercial break because they are up next.
Daniel Bryan entered yelling “no” like usual. I wrote a feature column on him on Saturday that you can check out right here if you missed it. Kane followed him. They each had a tag title. The results of the five minute team name Twitter poll are? Team Hell No 59%, Team Friendship 38% and Team Teamwork 3%. That means the official team name is “Team Hell No.” How creative huh?
As they were looking at the screen, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes attacked the tag champs. Rhodes hit Kane with the Disaster Kick while Sandow dropped Bryan with the neckbreaker.
Cody Rhodes grabbed the microphone. He said let’s talk about real tag team names. He said he and Sandow were called Team Rhodes Scholars. Sandow said now those two have a reason to be angry. “You’re welcome.”
Analysis: A tag team feud featuring four performers I really like? Yes! Yes! I like the Rhodes/Sandow team name of The Rhodes Scholars. I am crediting my friend Brandon Stroud of With Leather with coming up with the name because that’s where I saw it used first. Read his work. It’s great. He’s quite proud of the name making television as he should be. I’m glad that Rhodes & Sandow are teaming up. The pairing works. This will only accelerate Bryan’s face turn as well.
There was a recap of the odd marriage proposal of Paul Heyman to AJ Lee. Then there was a recap of Mick Foley talking to Punk.
Did You Know? “WWE’s network of Facebook pages has over 75 million fans; that’s more than the NFL and its 32 teams COMBINED!” I love how they capitalize words for effect. Thank you NFL for not shoving social media down our throats.
Layla & Alicia Fox vs. Eve & Beth Phoenix
Layla attacked Phoenix early. Fox tagged in with two dropkicks on Phoenix. Fox rolled her up for two. Phoenix gave Fox a powerslam. Phoenix hit a slingshot suplex. Eve tagged in, knocked Layla off the apron and Eve hit her neckbreaker for the win. The match went about 90 seconds.
Winners: Eve & Beth Phoenix
Analysis: The crowd didn’t care for any of this. Can you blame them considering how the divas barely get any time to have matches on a three hour show like Raw? As an aside, I’ve read the reports that Beth Phoenix may be leaving WWE at the end of October. I believe it’s true. Whether it’s a retirement or a break I’m not sure.
Post match, Kaitlyn’s music started up. She had a crutch along with a brace on her left foot. Kaitlyn said she had security footage from when she was attacked at Night of Champions. She said she couldn’t see the attacker’s face, but she saw that she had blonde hair. Eve accused Beth, who denied it. Eve hit her neckbreaker finisher on Beth. They played Eve’s music as she yelled at Beth saying she’s not going to take advantage of people.
Analysis: The crowd didn’t react to this either. Eve’s playing the role of the woman that wants things to be right in the diva division. It will likely be revealed that Eve attacked Kaitlyn while wearing a blonde wig. Or maybe it was Natalya? I don’t know. I want to care about the women’s division. This angle is not working at this point.
Backstage, Cena was shown with his right arm in a sling talking to some random dude backstage.
Brodus Clay vs. Tensai
Please keep it short. Clay hit a corner splash followed by an overhead suplex. He missed the splash. Tensai missed a splash. Big Show’s music started up after about one minute of this “exciting action.” Show punched Tensai in the head. The ref rang the bell.
Winner: No Decision or Tensai via DQ or does it really matter?
He faced off with Clay. Like the biggest idiot ever, Clay ran right at him and Show knocked him down with a punch. They couldn’t have a bit of a sequence before that?
Analysis: I want to cheer Big Show for ending this match. Isn’t he supposed to be a heel? The rumor is he’s feuding with Sheamus next. I guess we’ll find out on Smackdown if that’s true.
John Cena is up after the break. I guess that “match” we just saw was the main event match.
On Smackdown this week it’s Big Show vs. Randy Orton. Even though Orton is filming the movie 12 Rounds Reloaded out west in Vancouver he has Tuesdays off and will likely be on Smackdown every week. I’d expect Big Show to win to set up the feud with Sheamus.
John Cena made his entrance for the main event promo. He’s so sad about his injury that he couldn’t even say something to the camera. No running to the ring either. I am a fan of the “Rise Above Cancer” hat and shirt, though.
John Cena Addresses the WWE Universe about his injury
He said there were mixed emotions about him being there. Cena said with his future now in question he wanted to thank the fans personally for their support of this…he focused on his pink hat. He said the people at Susan G. Komen appreciates the support from the WWE Universe and put over the fans as a powerful group of people. Cena thanked the fans for supporting him as well. There was a “Cena” chant. He apologized to referees Chad Patton and Brad Maddox for having to deal with CM Punk. Cena said Punk has misquoted him. Cena said that Punk leaving Night of Champions would be a moment that defines who he is. Cena claimed that Punk has turned into a…he was about to swear when he corrected himself into more of an aggressive PG rant. He said he did everything he could to keep that PG. He also apologized for his arm injury. Because of the fans, every Monday is crazy. Except during a divas match. I added that part. Cena said he couldn’t guarantee his recovery and all that he can guarantee is that he’ll walk into Hell in a Cell to fight. Before he could finish his rant, the music of CM Punk started up.
For the third time in the show, CM Punk entered the arena. Paul Heyman was with him carrying the WWE Championship over his head. A fan tried to give him a low five only for Punk to pull his hand away like a jerk.
Punk applauded the speech of Cena. Punk told Cena he reminds him of a politician with some of the lies he says. Punk ripped on the fans and even called Albany a dump. He said there’s only one CM Punk and it’s the same guy that beat Cena last year at Money in the Bank, at Summerslam two years in a row and at Night of Champions he left as the WWE Champion as well. He bragged about his 309 day WWE Championship reign once again. Punk said he wouldn’t lose at the hand of the one armed man. Cena told him to shut up and face him at Hell in a Cell to see what happens. Punk said he’s not accepting Cena’s challenge because he gets so many title chances. He said that’s not the main reason. Then he yelled at the fans some more. Punk talked about how Cena’s not going to be medically cleared to compete by Hell in a Cell. Punk gave Cena some advice. He told him to “run right now while you can.” Punk said he’s going to turn his back for five seconds and if he sees Cena there when he turns back around he’s going to hurt him. Punk said he wasn’t going to have his integrity questioned and he commands respect. Punk, along with Heyman, turned their backs to Cena. Five…four…and Cena pulled out a lead pipe from the back of his shorts as Punk got to three…two and then one. He hit Punk in the ribs with the lead pipe. Punk and Heyman left the ring quickly. Cena said he will see him at Hell in a Cell. Cena grabbed the microphone: “Now that’s what I call a pipe bomb!” Good line.
Analysis: It was nice to see Cena out there using that tone of speech. He was very humble early on, but then he showed a lot of confidence in telling Punk that he’d be ready by Hell in a Cell. The match is not official, though, so it will be interesting to see if they go with it. They still have four more episodes of Raw to go until Hell in a Cell. Punk was excellent for the third time in terms of being a jerk. I enjoy his heel work so much.
Backstage, Punk was shown walking with his WWE Championship. He bumped into Mick Foley, who he exchanged a look with. Then he went back to Foley and kicked him in the gut or knee. Something like that. Punk walked away. When he turned back around he had a look of fear on his face. It was Ryback staring at him. He said nothing. He just stared Punk down. The camera focused in on Ryback breathing heavily as the show came to a close.
Analysis: Is Ryback vs. Punk the fall back plan if Cena can’t go for Hell in a Cell? Not sure. I think Cena will be ready, but until we get an official word it make sense that they would put Ryback out there as a potential challenger for Punk. It’s a good cliffhanger, I think.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk
2. Dolph Ziggler
3. Kofi Kingston
7 out of 10
Last week: 6
2012 Average: 5.83
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 3 (July 9)
Last 5 Weeks: 6, NR, 6, 4, 7
The promos carried it. Punk was involved in three of them. He delivered every single time as he always does. Foley was right when he called him one of the best talkers ever.
The Ziggler/Kingston match was exactly what I want to see every week in terms of letting two guys go out there to have an excellent match. There’s enough time for two or three of those every week really if you give them a chance.
I liked the show. I would have liked it more if it was two hours instead of three hours because once again it seemed like it dragged during some parts of the broadcast.
My WWE Roster Evaluation column (Raw & Smackdown rosters) that I planned to post on September 26 & 27 is going to be pushed back one more week. I’ll post it on October 3/4. It’s one of my biggest columns of the year and I need more time on it. I’m sorry to those that were looking forward to it. It will be up one week later.
Keep checking out TJRWrestling.com for extra columns from me and the wonderful work of the TJR staff as well. Thanks for all the support! Also at TJRSports.com we’re covering the NFL from all angles. I’m writing weekly picks. Others are writing analysis of the games. We’re all over it.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
TJRWrestling.com and TJRSports.com
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