Commentators: Michael Cole & Jim Ross
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Daniel Bryan & Kane… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
Paul Heyman and CM Punk open the show and they are staging a sit down protest. Heyman says he is honored to share a ring with Punk; Raw will not be presented this evening until justice is served. We get clips of Punk’s foot on the ropes from last week. Heyman speaks while Punk sits on a chair. Heyman asks referee, Brad Maddox, to come out to the ring and apologize to Punk and tender his resignation. Maddox slowly comes out to the ring. Maddox admits he made a mistake and is sorry. Heyman asks him to resign. He won’t resign and says that he does not feel that warrants a resignation. Punk finally speaks and says that he does not care about feelings; he adds the referee embarrassed him. Punk verbally undresses him; Maddox says that he got the job when the show expanded to three hours. GM AJ Lee hired him. Heyman somehow construes it as he is a “replacement referee”, which is a clear potshot at the NFL. Ironically, the biggest mistake call by an NFL replacement official would occur later this night at the end of the Green Bay/Seattle MNF game. He gives Maddox a blinder with an WWE logo and NFL logo. Punk begins to go off on AJ and feels she should fire him. Here comes AJ, who is looking less Stephanie McMahon and more AJ, with her little short shorts. She dismisses Maddox. Heyman assumes she is there to correct the errors. AJ calls him an ass; she is not letting them get away with berating an official and holding HER show hostage. Punk says he’s the champ and adds that he is the reason AJ gets a paycheck and why the people come to the arenas; he shows highlights of AJ proposing to him. Interestingly Punk has the same trunks on in the clips. He says that is she removes the referee’s bonehead condition then he will forget the hundreds of texts and voice mails. He gets right in her face and implies that they did bad things together. Paul backs him away and proposes to her? He is looking to become the new “power couple”, Heyman says that he’ll have all of the ideas and she can take credit for the. She slaps Paul and walks off… wouldn’t she be fired now? 4/10 Punk was the best part of this segment but it felt kind of haphazard to me. Nothing too special here.
In the back Bryan King talks to fellow referee Brad Maddox when AJ Lee approaches. He promises never to make the same mistake again. She threatens to fire him if he makes a mistake again. She says that he made her look like an idiot and she just stares off into space and then quickly shifts personalities.
Kofi Kingston (w/R-Truth & Little Jimmy) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): This match was set up by a Twitter war; these two have feuded for months back in 2010. Truth has some popcorn with him. Vickie comes out to taunt Little Jimmy and gets soda tossed all over her. Truth gets ejected as does Vickie. Kofi kicks way and hits a dropkick. Ziggler heads to the floor; Kofi leaps over the ropes with a somersault plancha. Back from commercial, Kingston reverses a whip but misses a Stinger splash; Dolph hits a reverse powerslam, for two. Ziggler slaps on a chinlock. Kofi powers free but Ziggler reverses into a neckbreaker. Ziggler gyrates but gets caught but a firing up Kofi… until Dolph hits a dropkick; back to the chinlock, this time with a body scissors. Kingston fights again and Ziggler misses a Stinger splash and hits the post. They exchange blows and Kofi gets riled up and hits a running lariat; the spinning Boom Drop connects. Dolph counters Trouble in Paradise with another inverted powerslam attempt but Kingston lands on his feet. He tries the S.O.S. but Ziggler pushes him into the corner. He counters a charge with a pendulum kick. Kingston hits a springboard clothesline for two. Dolph surprises him with the Namedropper and crawls into a nearfall. Dolph tries the Zigzag but Kingston blocks and connects with the S.O.S., for another nearfall (really close one too). The fans reacted to that one. Kofi heads to the top and leaps right into a dropkick… countered into a slingshot into the post… nope Ziggler lands safely on the turnbuckles. Kofi avoids the move off the buckles and hits a double jump crossbody, for another nearfall. Jim Ross proclaims this a splendid main event. Kofi whirls into the Trouble in Paradise but it misses, Ziggler tosses Kingston upside down in the corner and finishes with the Zigzag for three. 7/10 Excellent match; people are calling it a television MOTY candidate. Pretty good match and it could reach that level; I just have to remember what there was and see what there will be. I wouldn’t be shocked, judging by the reaction, of the fans if they break up the Truth/Kofi tag team and just push Kofi as he can sure have entertaining matches with upper carders and the fans like him.
Here is your winner… Dolph Ziggler @ about 8:00 (broadcast) via Zigzag pinfall.
The commentators turn to John Cena regarding Cena’s arm surgery and a from Dr. Andrews’ office; we will hear from him later tonight. We get clips from the Kane and Daniel Bryan show from SmackDown and the bonding moments between the two. We move forward to Dr. Shelby’s latest anger management session. He and Bryan are in a local diner. Shelby thinks they’ve had a breakthrough and are the tag champions. Bryan corrects him and says, “I’m the tag team champions”. Shelby corrects his grammar and has a role playing exercise. Kane comes out AS THE WAITER and takes Bryan’s order. Bryan laughs as Kane thinks this is stupid. Bryan wants steamed veggie platter and a tag partner who is not a psycho seven-foot freak. Shelby corrects Bryan taking that the waiter is not “Kane” but “Gerald” a friendly waiter. Kane says there is a new cook because he took the old one and ripped his goat-faced beard off and put him in the deep fryer and sprinkled all of his goat whiskers on all of the food he served today. Shelby tells Kane he’s gone a little too far… Kane corrects him, his name is Gerald. Whoever writes these is doing a great job; it also helps that Kane and Bryan are behind it 100% and (looks like) really enjoying themselves.
Santino Marella & Zack Ryder vs. Prime Time Players: Ryder starts for Team Internet Darling as does Darren Young; Ryder slaps him and hits a flapjack for two. Ryder tries a crossbody but Young avoids and Zack clotheslines himself on the top rope. Darren takes over with a chinlock; Ryder begins to muscle up and flips out of a back suplex and tags in Santino. He runs in and hits the usual comeback flurry (punches, Saito suplex and Salute head-butt); O’Neil breaks up the pinfall attempt and gets attacked by Ryder. The referee puts Zack out and Young tosses him shoulder-first into the post for good measure. Young charges and Santino hits the split-legged hiptoss. O’Neil tags in unbeknownst to him, though. Santino goes for the Cobra but O’Neil hits the Clash of the Titus for three. The commentators make sure to mention that the referees tonight are really asserting their authority due to the edict from GM AJ Lee. 2/10 This was essentially a squash for the Players; not bad, but nothing too special, just a squash.
Here are your winners… Prime Time Players @ about 3:15 via Clash of the Titus pinfall.
Mick Foley makes a special appearance. Jim Ross gets his “Mrs. Foley’s baby boy” line in. He is a member of the WWE Universe tonight, not a Hardcore Legend. He addresses CM Punk and his empty promises for change. Punk wastes no time interrupting. He demands respect (as usual) and ponders why he is there (to shill another kid’s book). Foley recounts a text that he sent to Punk after he won the WWE title and Punk thanked him and said it meant a lot coming from him; Mick feels that he is still relevant but is disturbed that Punk has aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Punk first turns to the crowd and calls them “jerks” (I guess to try to elicit more boos). Foley says he was once a “Paul Heyman guy”; Mick says that he became important AFTER he stopped listening to Heyman. He addresses the whole “why would Punk, a great talker, need a mouthpiece”. He even uses the term Kool-Aid drinker. Punk yawns. Foley turns to Hell in a Cell. Foley notes that AFTER Hell in a Cell, he never needed to look for respect again. Foley wants Punk to face John Cena in the HiaC. Punk says that he answered all of the critics; he says that all of the speeches from Foley, Cena and Bret Hart were embarrassing. He won’t lower himself to attacking Foley tonight. He says that he no longer does things for them [the fans]; Mick did everything for “them” including set himself on fire if it got the adulation of the crowd. All Punk wants it to bring the crowds to their knees; Foley raised the bar for the fans by doing crazy stunts, Punk raises the bar by beating Cena and by staying champion for 309 days. Foley gives Punk a number: 29… the total of days that he had the WWE title in all three of his title reigns. Foley turns into Cactus Jack and says, “Do you want to be a statistic or do you want to be a legend?” No one cares about dates, they care about moments. Punk is allowed to make his decision and decide if he wants to face Cena in HiaC. Foley says make it for you, me and them. Have a nice day. 7/10 Great promo from Foley; he can sure dial it up when need be. The WWE is resorting to fan insults from Punk and addressing him not needing “them” to try to keep the cheers at bay. If facing Cena in BOSTON in YANKEES colors did not get him boos, perhaps the WWE should abort the heel run and just let him go and whatever he wants and let the fans react as they do; it turned Steve Austin into the biggest star in years, also did it for The Rock. This was a much better promo that the opening one and far superior in putting over Punk as a heel.
Ryback vs. The Miz: This is nontitle. We get clips of Ryback eating Miz’s MizTV set. Miz unloads on with lefts and rights; Ryback floors him with one punch. He tosses Miz into the corner and shoulderblocks him there; he biels him across the ring but charges into an elbow. Miz charges runs right into a powerslam attempt but he wriggles free and tries the Vintage Neckbreaker; Ryback just powers him back up and hits the Bulldog powerslam after all. He rams Miz back first on the mat. Miz rolls to the floor where Ryback gives chase. Miz manages to shove Ryback into the barricade but Ryback power tosses him right back into the ring. Miz seizes the moment as Ryback reenters to hit a pair of running boots and the Dangerous DDT. He gets a one count with a power kickout. Ryback rises slowly and catches another running boot and powers Miz up into a powerbomb! The Sheffield Lariat clobbers Miz as a stupid fan manages to get into the ring. He’s immediately swarmed by the referee and security. Not a wise move by the fan since wrestlers are told to attack fans charging the ring for their own safety; kid could have probably been killed by Ryback. Speaking of which he nails Shell Shocked (they FINALLY officially call it that on WWE television) for three to pin the IC Champion clean. 5.5/10 Complete squash over the IC Champion; I have no problem because they want to go the Goldberg route with Ryback. They’ll need to get some new main event guys, considering John Cena’s shoulder and Randy Orton’s one Wellness violation away from dismissal.
Here is your winner… Ryback @ about 4:00 via Shell Shocked pinfall.
Back to the diner where Kane (in ring gear and elbow pads) and Daniel Bryan bond over not getting along; they reminisce about decimating the other tag teams with chairs and it turns into the famous When Harry Met Sally scene with Bryan providing the “yes” part and, of course, Mae Young provides the punch line. After that, AJ Lee gives a pep talk to the referees AJ denies her saying mistakes are okay because everyone makes them. After the zebras leave; Alberto Del Rio and company arrive. AJ denies him a title match and books them in a very lopsided six-man tag match. Ricardo is awfully psyched about it.
Tyson Kidd vs. Wade Barrett: Kidd is back to already being in the ring. Kidd opens with a dropkick and some spin kicks. A low dropkick gets two. Barrett fires back with a savate kick and clothesline. He mauls Kidd in the ropes and boots Kidd to the floor. Wade follows him to the floor and rams him into the ring barricade; Kidd comes back into the ring with a slingshot body straddle cradle (for two). Kidd charges right into the Winds of Change (spinning Bossman Slam). Barrett drags him up and hits the Souvenir (spinning elbow to the head) kayoing Kidd for three. 2/10 I prefer the “born leader” Barrett over the “bareknuckle hooligan” Barrett because his squashes are less boring; let’s see how he does when he gets moved more vertically up the card and if he’ll go with some more wrestling as opposed to Balrog from Street Fighter II.
Here is your winner… Wade Barrett @ about 3:15 via Souvenir pinfall.
Babyface Michael Cole is in the ring and shows clips from Jerry Lawler’s heart attack. The WWE doctor says Lawler’s recovery is a miracle. Live, via satellite from Memphis, is the King (sitting on his throne). Jerry looks pretty good for a guy who was dead for twenty minutes. Lawler, with his raspy voice (from the ventilator) says he is happy to be back with the WWE Universe. Cole asks him the last thing he remembers. Jerry remembers Bret Hart and CM Punk in the opening promo but after that he recalls nothing, including his match with Randy Orton taking on Punk and Dolph Ziggler. The next thing he recalls being in the hospital. King says woke up in the hospital in Montreal he thought he was still on vacation in Aruba with his girlfriend (two weeks ago). He thanks the fans for the outpouring of emotions and texts, Touts, tweets, etc. Cole asks him when he will be back. Lawler teases Cole about sitting with him for three hours would give anyone a heart attack. He gives no timetable but will return to Raw. I won’t rate this segment but it’s good to see the King is okay… and he looks DAMN GOOD for just having a major heart attack.
Sheamus, Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga & Ricardo Rodriguez: Talk about unfair odds for Del Rio… he has a pair of jobbers and the opponents are the world champion, a former two-time world champion and one of the most exciting Luchadores in the WWE. At least Otunga gets his own entrance so I can hear his theme, All About the Power. Ricardo announces himself as well as Del Rio. After a commercial the match is JIP with Sheamus pitching Otunga over the top for O’Clubbering but Del Rio and Ricardo pull him to safety on the floor. It apparently isn’t that safe as Sheamus lunges off the apron with a battering ram to wipe out poor Otunga. Rey and Cara leap through the ropes with stereo topés to wipe out their fellow Mexican opponents. Back in the ring Otunga gets stomped; Cara tags in and kicks way. David hits a punch (which Cara oversells) and tags in Ricardo. He runs into a dropkick and a Mexican armdrag. Del Rio sneaks in a Tully Blanchard shot from the apron. Alberto tags in and hits a snap-suplex for one. Del Rio applies a chinlock. Cara fights back but Del Rio puts him back down with a Blackout, for two. Ricardo begs for a tag and tries to unmask Sin Cara. He eats a kick and an extremely complicated armdrag for his troubles. Mysterio gets a tag as does Del Rio to take on the little Chihuahua. Rey hits an armdrag and low dropkick; he drop-toeholds him into the bottom buckle and then Del Rio enziguris him off the top and beaten in the corner. He dropkicks out of a chinlock and then Del Rio tries a sunset flip and we all know how that goes. Sheamus gets the hot tag and he flattens Otunga with Irish Hammers, a shoulderblock in the corner and running kneelift. The White Noise is slipped out of and Otunga counters the Brogue Kick by running away and tagging Ricardo. Sheamus drags the poor ring announcer into the ring and hits O’Clubbering. Ricardo collapses in the ropes so Mysterio hits the 619. He slides to the floor to hurracanrana Del Rio into the barricade. Cara gets a tag and drops a Swanton Bomb for three. Post-match, somehow Otunga rolled back into the ring to take a Brogue Kick. 6.5/10 Fun match that puts over the Cara/Mysterio team. The announcers still refer to them as a tag team and let’s keep it that way to give the tag division some more teams making it much deeper than it has been in years.
Here are your winners… Sheamus, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara @ about 9:30 (broadcast) via Swanton bomb pinfall.
We head back to Dr. Shelby’s role playing therapy. Shelby says that they have made tremendous progress. But there is one last thing they must do. They must take one bite of the others’ favorite food. Daniel Bryan is presented with spaghetti and MEATBALLS and Kane has a salad. They must “walk a mile in the other’s shoes”. Kane eats a leaf of lettuce and belches loudly. Bryan admits it was not that bad but eventually vomits all over Dr. Shelby. Kane puts a bow on the entire evening with a casual, “check, please”. When we return to the arena and Michael Cole reveals the tag team names for the champs in this week’s RawActive Twitter poll. The choices are “Team Teamwork”, “Team Hell No” or “Team Friendship”. When we return from commercial, Kane and Bryan come to the ring for their team naming. The results are revealed as “Team Hell No”, I figures it would have been Team Friendship since the IWC has been calling them that since Shelby coined it a few weeks ago. After the name is revealed, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes attack from behind to deliver their receipt from Friday night. Rhodes hits Kane with the Disaster kick and Sandow lays Bryan out with Terminus (formerly Finis). Cody grabs a mic and coins their team name: Team Rhodes Scholars. You’re Welcome. I like Sandow’s new shirt. 8/10 These segments are pure gold. I LOVE this influx of new tag teams, with team names mind you. The Rhodes/Sandow team works since the main event is pretty much full so some of these talented midcarders can bide their time in tag teams, remain relevant and on television, and get their shots in the future; it worked for Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.
We recap all of the CM Punk stuff earlier involving AJ Lee, Paul Heyman and Mick Foley.
Layla & Alicia Fox vs. Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix: See, now Fox is a babyface again, she worked as a heel two weeks ago; makes no sense. Beth and Layla start; she kicks Beth and hits the bouncing crossbody. Alicia tags and hits a pair of dropkicks with a Matrix Move sandwiched in between. Alicia runs afoul of a powerslam and Eve tags herself in. Phoenix hits a slingshot suplex. Torres knocks Layla off the apron and defeats Fox with the neckbreaker. Post-match, Kaitlyn saw the security footage from Night of Champions when she was attacked. She says that she couldn’t see the diva’s face but knows that she’s a blonde. Eve fingers Beth and attacks her with a neckbreaker with a neckbreaker as well. 3/10 Match sucked but not sure where they are going with the Eve/Kaitlyn story. I wonder if they will turn out to be in cahoots (which would make NO sense).
Here are your winners… Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix @ about 2:15 via neckbreaker pinfall.
“Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (w/Cameron & Naomi) vs. Tensai: I guess Sakamoto was downsized. The big guys jockey for position against the ropes and Tensai hits an uppercut. The referee separates them in the corner but Tensai hits a Locomotive splash in the corner. He charges right into Clay’s head-butt. Brodus hits his avalanche and hits the Schuplex. He goes for the Splat but Tensai gets up. Tensai tries his running senton but Clay moves as well. Both guys are down for Big Show to make his return. He lumbers into the ring and knocks Tensai out with the WMD. The referee calls for the bell to DQ Clay. Post-match, Brodus charges and also meets a WMD. Show walks off leaving both guys out cold in the ring. 2.5/10 Pointless match that just served to reintroduce Show as a force and a heel.
Here is your winner… Tensai @ about 2:25 via DQ.
John Cena comes to the ring with his pink gear and arm in a sling (it would turn out much worse than anticipated). He says that his future is in question and thanks the fans for their support of breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation is amazed at the support from the WWE Universe. He apologizes to the referees for himself and CM Punk. He says that Punk misquotes him. Cena says that Punk has turned into a… bunch of near curse insults. Cena adds an apology for the surgery; some people boo, some yay, but everyone is crazy on Mondays. He guarantees that he will walk into Hell in a Cell, which he admits that may not be the best decision. Punk and Paul Heyman come to the ring. Heyman carries the WWE title like a UFC belt. Punk says that Cena should be a politician. Punk says that Cena committed “character assassination”. He calls Albany a dump to get some cheap heel heat. Punk says that there is only one CM Punk, the same one who BEAT him for the WWE title and two years in a row at Summerslam; who also beat Cena in Boston, his backyard. Punk says that his title reign won’t end anytime soon, especially by a one-armed man. Cena tells him to shut up and face him at HiaC. Punk says that he is not granting him a title shot because he gets way too many and it isn’t fair to the rest of the locker room. He’s got a point there. The fans boo him and, unlike Cena, he’s not “going to be a weenie about it” and then tells them all to shut up. Punk says that he will not be medically cleared by HiaC. Punk gives him advice “run”; he gives him to five (with Punk’s back to him) to run away or Punk will hurt him. He will not have his integrity questioned and says that he commands respect. Punk turns his back and counts to five meanwhile Cena produces a lead pipe. Punk charges but realizes too late and takes a pipe shot to the ribs. Punk rolls to the floor as Cena adds an, “I’ll see you in the Cell”. Cena celebrates with the fans. We catch up with Punk in the back as he runs into Mick Foley. He attacks Foley and leaves; he stops short and turns to say something but looks into the eyes of Ryback. 5.5/10 Punk delivered a classic douchebag self-righteous promo there. Cena provided his usual and it looks like he is going to be out for a while so this promo is moot (in terms of the HiaC PPV). The addition of Ryback at the end might mean they are hotshotting him into the upper crust of the “food chain”; if that’s the case that’s quite the jump from Jinder Mahal to the Miz to Punk in a span of two months.
OVERALL 6/10 Much better show this week; the ending promo was a bit flat, though. The Mick Foley stuff was excellent and there were a few pretty good matches squeezed in there. Dolph and Kofi had a great match; we got more stuff from the tag division including a new team and the name for Kane and Bryan. I enjoyed the show despite it still being a wee bit too long.