[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 9/17/2012

Preview for the 9/17/2012 edition of Raw:

  • Alberto Del Rio responds to once again falling short in his World Heavyweight Championship quest.
  • Jim Ross returns to the Raw commentary booth to fill-in for the still recovering Jerry Lawler.
  • Cody Rhodes continues his pursuit of the Intercontinental Title.
  • Daniel Bryan and Kane try to get along and hold onto their newly won WWE Tag Team Titles.
  • Although CM Punk emerged victorious via technicality last night, his rivalry with John Cena doesn’t appear to be over quite yet much to chagrin of the WWE Champion and his advisor Paul Heyman. Will Cena be granted a rematch at Hell in a Cell or will Punk/Heyman make him jump through hoops to get it?
  • GM AJ Lee has not had a lot of luck in recent weeks between talent departures and her squabbles with Vickie Guerrero. Will she maintain her composure this week or is the powder keg just about ready to explode for good?

All this and much more on the Night of Champions fall-out/Hell in a Cell build-up edition of Raw!

WWE Raw opening video plays. Every week I’m thankful it’s not Nickelback again.

The pyro goes off and Michael Cole welcomes the home audience.

“Cult of Personality” plays but instead of CM Punk out comes Paul Heyman. Heyman gets into the ring and introduces himself. Heyman says he got to witness history last night by watching Punk successfully defend the WWE Championship against John Cena. Heyman admits the ending of the match is embroiled in controversy, so in the interest of clarity he brings out referee Chad Patton to defend why he called the match a “draw”. Patton makes his way to the ring to a fair amount of boos.

Heyman thanks Patton for coming out and points his attention to the TitanTron which shows a still photo from the Punk/Cena main event at Night of Champions where he counted the 1-2-3 even though both shoulders were on the mat. Patton says he made the right decision, and Heyman commends him for having the integrity to make that decision. Heyman says there is more evidence to vindicate Patton and points him back to the TitanTron. It’s a YouTube video taken live at the event. Heyman says that match was clearly a draw and the draw goes to the champion, meaning that Punk has now been champion for 303 days. The crowd boos, and Heyman gets annoyed saying that this accomplishment is worthy of the fans’ respect.

Heyman is interrupted by “My Time Is Now”, bringing out John Cena. Cena heads to the ring wearing his “Rise Above Cancer” gear. Heyman goes to talk and Cena quickly tells him to shut up. Cena says he agrees with Heyman and Patton made the right call last night. A “Cena sucks!” chant breaks out and he stops to laugh at it for a second. Cena says he didn’t take down the YouTube video, and defends Patton. Cena says they did have a conversation after the match, it was about the finality of the decision. Cena brings up his injured ankle, and calls their match at Night of Champions “epic”. Cena told Patton last night that ending last night in a draw was like ending the Super Bowl in a tie. Cena says Punk has been clamoring for respect, but he doesn’t think he earned said respect by retaining the title in a draw.

Heyman says that Punk did earn the respect he craves by retaining the title in a draw. Cena says Heyman/Punk’s definition of respect is different from his own. Cena says respect is earned by leaving no doubt, beating anyone on any given night for the right to say they’re the best in the world. Cena tells Patton he made the right call but he wants a rematch tonight to settle the score and get a definitive winner. Heyman says Punk will answer Cena’s challenge when he gets here tonight, but hearing it from Heyman is the same as hearing it from Punk.

Out of nowhere, Alberto Del Rio makes his way out. As he walks to the ring, Del Rio tells Cena to stop whining and he had a fair shot. Meanwhile, Del Rio says he got screwed in his match at Night of Champions due to the Brogue Kick being reinstated. Del Rio gets in the ring and says if someone deserves a rematch for a World Title, it’s him.

And that brings out Raw GM AJ Lee who skips to the ring to settle the disputes. She says Cena and Del Rio both deserve another chance, and tonight she’s going to combine both main events from last night into a “super main event” tonight. Cena will team with Sheamus to take on Del Rio and Punk. Lee says this match could go a long way in determining if any rematches will occur and who will potentially be in it. Lee skips away, leaving everyone chewing on her announcement.

  • Thoughts: Once again, Heyman is the MVP here. A good opening segment, but the tag team match was a foregone conclusion as soon as Del Rio showed up. Also I’m pretty sure he and Cena are getting rematches anyway so I’m not feeling any intrigue.

Backstage, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio are heading to the ring for a match.

*Commercial Break*

We join Michael Cole at the announcer’s table. He’s wearing a “Long Live the King” t-shirt because he’s awesome. Cole recaps Jerry Lawler‘s heart attack last week.

Superstar TOUT: Lawler thanks the WWE Universe for their well-wishes.

  • Thought: The best TOUT of all-time.

Cole reports that Lawler has returned home to Memphis to recooperate. Cole says next week he will interview Lawler on-air.

Justin Roberts introduces John “Bradshaw” Layfield out to the ring and he joins Cole at ringside to commentate. Roberts then introduces Jim Ross out who will also be helping to commentate the night’s action.

  • Thought: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rey Mysterio makes his way out to the ring for the opening contest, followed by his partner Sin Cara. Ross says Mysterio is acting as Cara’s “mentor”. I smell a future feud in the works. Cole says they are undefeated as a tag team, and JBL brings up their lucha libre history because he’s awesome.

Match #1: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara Vs. Primo/Epico

Cara and Primo start off, and after a pre-bell attack Cara quickly gains the advantage. Mysterio tags in, and Cara uses Mysterio as a launch pad to splash Primo in the corner. Cara tags back in and they deliver a double snap mare and then a double kick. Cara goes for the pin. 2-count. Cara has Primo in an armbar as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We are back and Primo/Epico have control. Primo applies a resthold, but Cara tosses him off. Cara tries to tag but Primo grabs him. Cara turns this into a DDT, and both men are down. Mysterio gets the hot tag and uses all sorts of “flippy floppy” moves to take down Epico. Mysterio pushes Epico into the turnbuckles and hurricanranas him face first into the second turnbuckle. Cara tags in and both Primo and Epico end up on the second rope. Double 619 by Mysterio. Cara hits a Swanton on Epico for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara (6:41)

  • That was a really fun match. Mysterio/Cara work really well together and having Mysterio there to wrestle part of the match decreases the chance of a major Cara botch. I’m excited at this prospect. (B)

Cara and Mysterio are attacked from behind by The Prime Time Players as they celebrate in the ring. Mysterio and Cara are laid out, and Titus O’Neil grabs a mic. O’Neil says they were the legitimate contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles and it was taken from them last week. O’Neil says from now on they’re going to be doing all the taking. Darren Young messes up his line, then O’Neil angrily says they’re going to be “taking” then throw the mic down in anger. The Prime Time Players head to the back as officials check on Mysterio and Cara.

  • Thoughts: O’Neil was pretty good on the mic, but Young messed up the intensity by flubbing his line. I’m kind of pumped that we may get a tag team feud that isn’t for the belts. The division is coming back!

Raw Hype: Daniel Bryan/Kane defend their newly won Tag Team Titles against R-Truth/Kofi Kingston in a rematch from last night.

Raw Hype: John Cena/Sheamus Vs. CM Punk/Alberto Del Rio

Back at the announce table, they bring up their Susan G. Komen partnership to help fight breast cancer.

*Commercial Break*

Raw Hype: The Miz debuts his new show “MizTV” with his first guest being Smackdown GM Booker T.

Beth Phoenix is already in the ring for the next match. Former Divas Champion Layla is ringside for commentary. New Divas Champion Eve Torres makes her way to the ring. Cole brings up the fact Eve took Kaitlyn‘s spot for the belt last night and won the title. Ross updates us on Kaitlyn’s injury; she’ll be out a few weeks but doesn’t need surgery. PHEW.

Match #2: [WWE Divas Champion] Eve Torres Vs. Beth Phoenix

Phoenix shows off her strength, sending Torres to the mat. Torres responds with a headlock but Phoenix powers out and sends her to the ropes. Torres flips over Phoenix, who catches her with a clothesline in retaliation. Phoenix beats Torres down with a series of rights before the ref separates her. Phoenix grabs her arms, but Torres kicks her in the shins to break the hold. Phoenix reverses an Irish whip in the corner and splashes Torres. Phoenix picks up Torres, but Torres pushes her into the turnbuckles and rolls her up for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Eve Torres (1:38)

  • Well that was a do nothing match, but I really enjoy Torres’ “fake smiles” character. Nice to see someone with the championship whose gimmick isn’t stupidly dancing. But yeah this was forgettable. (C-)

Torres and Layla stare down at the announcer’s table. Torres is all the smiles and raises her belt in the air while Layla looks all mad.

Raw Hype: Cena/Sheamus Vs. Punk/Del Rio

*Commercial Break*

WWE Slam of the Week (Sponsored by Subway): U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro is splashed by Brodus Clay and attacked by Tyson Kidd (last week’s Smackdown)

Out comes Brodus Clay for the next match. Cameron is back! He still can’t dance. I get it. His opponent Heath Slater is at ringside already, and US Champion Antonio Cesaro is doing commentary ringside.

Match #3: Brodus Clay Vs. Heath Slater

Clay gets the easy upper hand on Slater, but Slater attempts to fight back. Slater kicks Clay in the hamstring and follows it up with a dropkick to knock him to the mat. Slater puts Clay in a front facelock. Clay gets to his foot and tosses him off. Clay runs over Slater. Antonio Cesaro distracts Clay on the apron, and Slater hits a move for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Damn. Slater goes to the top, but gets a headbutt to the gut on the way down. Clay follows with the splash for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Brodus Clay (2:02)

  • Booooo. And Cesaro goes from Santino to Brodus? Not much of an upgrade there in the feud department. (C-)

IC Champion The Miz heads to the ring for MizTV, which is next!

*Commercial Break*

MizTV w/ Booker T

Out comes IC Champion The Miz decked out in a suit. He raises his belt in the air and stands at the entrance ramp. The W is upside down on his mic because, you know, M is for Miz. Miz puts over his win last night and welcomes everyone to MizTV. He brings up other former shows (Piper’s Pit, Highlight Reel, etc.), but says their hosts weren’t as controversial as him (please). Miz introduces his guest: Smackdown GM Booker T.

Booker T makes his way out to the ring to a nice reaction. Miz and Booker shake hands in the center of the ring. Miz asks him how it feels to be the first guest on MizTV but before he can respond, Miz talks for him and says it’s humbling and better than his other career highlights. Miz asks Booker why he’s against him and put him in a four way last night on Night of the Champions. He then asks Booker why he banned the Brogue Kick only to reinstate it 9 days later. Miz says Booker misses the spotlight and the attention. Miz says Booker’s time is over. A “Boring!” chant breaks out.

Booker snatches the mic from Miz’s hands. Booker then introduces someone else to the ring, someone who’s used to beating multiple challengers at once: Ryback. Booker leaves as Ryback makes his way into the ring. Miz retreats to the outside, and Ryback destroys the MizTV set. Ryback tosses a sofa at Miz after struggling to lift it up. He leads the crowd in a “Feed Me More!” chant as Miz looks on in fear.

  • Thoughts: If they wanted to set up a Ryback/Miz feud, they didn’t need to go out of the way to invent a new talk show segment to do so. Overall an underwhelming segment, but I’m glad to see Ryback finally is going to wrestle someone of legitimacy.

Back at the announce table, Cole shows the Jerry Lawler TOUT once again. Ross and JBL say nice things to Lawler, whose watching at home. An exclusive interview with Lawler next week.

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, Josh Matthews interrupts a conversation between CM Punk and Paul Heyman to ask if he’s looking forward to teaming up with Alberto Del Rio tonight. Punk calls him an idiot, and says the match tonight is indicative of “what goes on around here”. Punk says he walked out as champion last night and wonders what he has to do to earn the respect he deserves then walks off with Heyman.

Match #4: Santino Marella Vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

They lock up, and Marella takes him down with a hip toss. Ziggler fakes Marella out, then dropkicks him. Ziggler whips Marella in the ropes, and Marella power walks. Marella rolls him up for a 2-count, then takes him down with an armdrag. Ziggler hits him with a forearm to break the hold and send Marella to the mat. Ziggler hits a reverse neckbreaker. Ziggler hits his trademark elbow drop and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Ziggler pulls the Cobra out of Marella and rubs it in his face, yelling at him. He calls Marella a joke and picks him up. Marella fights back, but Ziggler hits a sort of hit to the head to knock him back to the mat. Ziggler cockily pins him Jericho-style for a 2-count. Marella starts fighting back again and hits a hip toss followed by a jumping head butt. He goes for the Cobra, but Guerrero takes it. Marella yells at Guerrero, which allows Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag from behind. Ziggler picks Marella up and hits another Zig Zag for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Dolph Ziggler (4:09)

  • A fun squash match and easy win for Ziggler. The crowd was very behind him as well, even though they in theory shouldn’t be (says a lot about Marella’s standing with older fans). Ziggler treating Marella like a joke was also apt as well; Ziggler is definitely “above” facing people like him…although he still needed help from Guerrero to win. Hm. (C)

Raw Hype: Bryan/Kane Vs. R-Truth/Kofi Kingston

*Commercial Break*

Wade Barrett makes his way to the ring for the next match. His opponent? Justin Gabriel. Their former allegiance in Nexus and The Corre is brought up.

Match #5: Justin Gabriel Vs. Wade Barrett

Gabriel uses his speed to get a quick couple of roll-ups. Barrett catches Gabriel in the gut with a side kick. Gabriel rolls to the outside and Barrett follows suit to continue the assault. He works the mid section with a knee and by smashing him into the post. Barrett puts him in the corner and gets a couple rights into the midsection. Barrett whips into the turnbuckles then hits a backbreaker followed by an elbow to the midsection. Barrett goes for the pin. 2-count.

Barrett continues beating Gabriel down and goes for the pin. 2-count. Barrett goes back to work on Gabriel’s ribs. A “We want Nexus!” chant breaks out for no reason. Gabriel drop toeholds Barrett into the second turnbuckle and follows it up with a series of kicks. Barrett connects with a hard right to the ribs to stop him. Barrett attempts a Pumphandle Slam but Gabriel slips out and knocks him down. Gabriel hits a springboard moonsault for a 2-count.

Barrett ducks a kick and smashes Gabriel to the mat ribs-first. Barrett hits a short-arm forearm (supposedly a right hand) for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Wade Barrett (4:07)

  • It’s almost sad how refreshing it was to see Barrett and Gabriel on Raw and almost for that alone I got into this match. Can’t say the same for the crowd though. A decent showcase for Barrett and Gabriel is damn good at taking punishment. Definitely my favorite of the squash matches thus far. (C+)

Raw Hype: Tag Team main event.

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, R-Truth is trying to put a party hat on Little Jimmy. Kofi Kingston comes in, and R-Truth yells “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”. Kingston says it isn’t his birthday, but R-Truth didn’t mean him: he meant Subway! Jared from Subway then talks about it’s Subway’s birthday and it was born in Bridgeport, CT. Jared gives them three sandwiches and they walk off. Damien Sandow walks over and offers a sandwich suggestion and Jared gives him a Meatball Sub. Zack Ryder then comes in to suggest one, and Jared gives him a sandwich. Then Ryback comes in, says “FEED ME MORE!” and takes two sandwiches.

  • Thoughts: Wow can you get any more blatant than that? Jesus. However this embarrassing segment was saved by Sandow and especially Ryback. The Ryback part made me laugh out loud for longer than I would like to admit.

Backstage, Sheamus and John Cena are talking about last night. Cena says he needs to justify getting a rematch and says they can’t just win tonight; they need to make a statement. Sheamus says they’re definitely going to win and then after head to the Pub to toast to a whole bunch of things.

Daniel Bryan is walking around backstage yelling “I’M THE TAG TEAM CHAMPION!”, while Kane is doing the same in a different hallway. They defend the belts next.

*Commercial Break*

We see footage of Jerry Lawler returning to Memphis, TN via private jet. He shakes hands with the doctor that saved his life. By the way, exclusive interview with him next week in case you forgot.

  • Thought: I want to shit on WWE for hammering this home every ten minutes, but a win of this magnitude is worth the celebration.

Match #6: Daniel Bryan/Kane (c) Vs. R-Truth/Kofi Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Titles

Bryan and Kingston start off. Bryan gets a quick side headlock but Kingston whips him into the ropes. Bryan takes him down with a shoulderblock, but Kingston resurfaces later and hits a back elbow. R-Truth tags in and wrenches the arm but Bryan reverses it. Bryan teases tagging Kane but doesn’t. Kingston gets a secret tag and gets a lateral press for a 2-count. Kane tags in. Kingston ducks a clothesline and starts kicking at Kane but Kane throws him into the corner and lays into him with a series of rights.

Kane picks Kingston up and headbutts him. Kane whips him into the corner and Kingston jumps over him during an attempted splash. Kingston hits a series of kicks, but Kane overpowers him. Kingston baits Kane, and sends him over the top rope. Bryan then runs in and get backdropped onto his partner on the outside. The two argue with one another as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We are back live just in time to see Kane wear down R-Truth with a bear hug. R-Truth tries to punch his way out but Kane backs him into the corner. Kane rushes in and gets boot to the face followed by a spinning kick. Kingston gets the tag and starts laying into Kane. Kingston heads to the top rope and hits a flying cross body for a 2-count. Kingston kicks Kane in the face, then connects with the Boom Drop. Kingston steps up for the Trouble in Paradise, but Kane catches him with a chokeslam. Kingston counters and tries to do something off the top rope, but Kane connects with an uppercut on his way down.

Kane starts setting up for a chokeslam, but Bryan tags himself in. They start arguing with each other. R-Truth tags in during the chaos and beats on Bryan. Truth connects with a face-first slam for the 1…2…kick out. Kingston tags back in and R-Truth bodyslams his partner onto Bryan for the 1…2…kick out. Kingston applies an armbar of sorts to wear Bryan down. Bryan fights his way out and hits the ropes, but he runs into a Kingston dropkick. Kingston goes for the pin. 2-count.

R-Truth tags back in and they connect with a double Russian legsweep and a double elbow/knee drop. Truth goes for the pin. 2-count. Truth applies a front facelock to wear Bryan down some more. Truth whips him into the corner, and Bryan drop toeholds him into the second turnbuckle. Kane tags in and hits a top rope clothesline followed by a dropkick for the 1…2…KICK OUT.

Kane whips Truth into the corner, follows it up with a clothesline, and finishes with a sidewalk slam. Kane sets up for the chokeslam, and catches Bryan trying to tag himself back in. Kane sends him to the floor and Truth attacks Kane from behind for the 1…2…Bryan makes the save. Kingston clotheslines Bryan to the floor. Kane catches Truth with a chokeslam, and Bryan tags in. He locks on the “No! Lock” and Truth taps.

Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions [via Submission]: Daniel Bryan/Kane (12:43)

  • Glad a tag team title match got a good chunk of screen time but the match itself was merely…okay. Bryan is more entertaining as a performer but his matches are slowly getting less interesting. Plus it wasn’t about the match so much as about the friction between Kane and Daniel Bryan. (B-)

Bryan celebrates with the two belts and says he’s the Tag Team Champions. Kane steals the belt and does the “I’m the Tag Team Champions!” routine. Bryan calms the situation down and asks for a hug from Kane. Kane puts the belts around his shoulder and they go in and hug. The crowd goes wild. Bryan grabs one of the belts as they release. They both argue about being the “Tag Team Champions!” some more.

  • Thoughts: I know people are loving this, but the “I’m the tag team champions!” bit is going to get old really quick. I was already sick of it at the end of this segment.

Video Package: Some sort of CT-related “Be a Star” campaign. The Big Show and Stephanie McMahon host it.

Randy Orton is heading to the ring to face Tensai, next!

*Commercial Break*

Match #7: Randy Orton Vs. Tensai (w/ Mr. Sakamoto)

Tensai grabs Orton by the throat, and Orton tries to break out but gets floored with an elbow. Orton gets back up and hits elbows of his own. Orton hits the ropes but Tensai knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Tensai headbutts Orton in the corner, then headbutts him in the back. Tensai sends Orton in the ropes front-first, then hits him with a forearm in the back. Tensai follows it up with another forearm and rakes the face while Orton rests on the second rope.

Tensai goes for a third, but Orton starts fighting back. Tensai breaks the offense with a powerslam for the 1…2…kick out. Tensai rakes his forearm across Orton’s face and headbutts him some more. Tensai hits an elbow drop for another 2-count. Tensai puts Orton in a bear hug. Orton eventually fights his way out, but gets a headbutt before any momentum can be attained. Tensai stomps on Orton and buries the knee into his back. Tensai applies a nerve hold. Orton gets to his feet, but the nerve hold sends him back to his knees.

Tensai hits the ropes but gets caught in a powerslam out of nowhere. Tensai rolls to the outside, and Orton goes to drag him in. Tensai hits him with an uppercut and gets to the apron. Orton kicks him a series of times, and connects with his DDT from the second rope thing. Orton signals for the RKO and after Tensai reverses one, hits another for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Randy Orton (6:13)

  • That was an alright match. Nothing special from either man but nothing obscene or offensive. Tensai needs a gimmick change though. (C+)

Raw Hype: Cena/Sheamus Vs. Punk/Del Rio

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, CM Punk and Paul Heyman are talking again. David Otunga walks in with Alberto Del Rio. Otunga says he expects Punk to follow Del Rio’s lead tonight. Heyman says Punk follows no one’s lead. Otunga says all of that is irrelevant because Punk looks like a homeless man. Punk whispers in Heyman’s ear. Heyman says Del Rio should go back to last year’s Survivor Series where Punk defeated him for the WWE Championship. Punk gets in Del Rio’s face and says he’s really looking forward to teaming with him tonight. Del Rio sarcastically says it’ll be an honor. Del Rio and Otunga walk away, and Punk/Heyman go back to talking.

Damien Sandow comes out, mic in hand. He says he’s pleased announce summer vacation has come to an end. He says it’s now his favorite season: BACK TO SCHOOL. Sandow says he’s obligated to prepare everyone for this season. Sandow tells Jim Ross that “slobberknocker” is not a word. Sandow has prepared a list of vocabulary words that will prepare everyone for school. First word: temerity. Second word: ignoramus. Third word: miscreant (everyone is a miscreant). Sandow asks the crowd to remain silent because he has a lot to get through.

Sandow is interrupted by the music of Zack Ryder. Ryder calls him “Professor Buzzkill”. He has vocab words of his own: “shut”, “up”, and “now”. They have a match which starts right…now…errr next.

*Commercial Break*

Match #8: Zack Ryder Vs. Damien Sandow

We join the match in progress. Ryder breaks out of a headlock but gets a shoulderblock to the mat. Ryder retaliates with a face slam and clotheslines Sandow over the top rope. Ryder follows it up with a splash to the floor. Ryder rolls Sandow back in and goes for the pin. 1-count. Ryder gets an armbar but Sandow breaks him off by running him into the ropes. Sandow continues to hammer on Ryder and gets a 2-count after a knee drop.

Sandow delivers a knee to the midsection and rubs Ryder’s face into the mat. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Sandow hits a knee drop with his exposed knee, bows to the audience, and goes for the pin. 2-count. Sandow applies a front facelock and yells at Ryder as he tries to wear him down. Ryder gets to his feet and breaks out, but Sandow connects with a headbutt to break the momentum. Sandow connects with a Russian legsweep and hits his fancy elbowdrop for a 2-count. I’ll look up the name for it eventually.

Sandow buries the shoulder into Ryder’s midsection in the corner, then whips him across the ring. Sandow misses a splash and Ryder rolls him up for a 2-count. Ryder counters a suplex with a small package for another 2-count. Ryder wiggles out of a bodyslam and takes Sandow down with a clothesline. Ryder faceplants Sandow to continue his advantage. Ryder hits a forearm in the corner, and Sandow rolls out to avoid a Broski Boot. Ryder rolls out and clotheslines Sandow on the outside.

Ryder rolls Sandow back in and Sandow regains the advantage out of nowhere. He rushes into the corner and gets knees to the face by Ryder. Ryder connects with the Broski Boot for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Sandow attacks Ryder and hits his hangman neckbreaker for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Damien Sandow (5:36 shown on TV)

  • Although it was a pointless match with no story, it might be my favorite of the night in-ring wise. They worked really well together. And as usual Sandow shines as a character. (B)

More footage of Jerry Lawler returning to Memphis, TN. Exclusive interview coming next week on Raw.

Raw Hype: The main event, which is coming up next!

*Commercial Break*

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus makes his way out for the main event. John Cena comes out next. Ricardo Rodriguez announced Alberto Del Rio to the ring. He comes out in some sort of fancy black car that Cole names but I don’t care to reiterate for you. Something about a Rolls Royce? JBL says “he reminds me of somebody” which is funny to the five fans who remember JBL. And finally out comes WWE Champion CM Punk along with Paul Heyman. They recap the “controversial call” from last night’s Night of Champions main event. Punk holds up the title for a very long time as the crowd boos and Heyman claps. He continues holding the belt up as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Main Event: John Cena/[World Heavyweight Champion] Sheamus Vs. [WWE Champion] CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman)/Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)

Cena and Punk start off. They circle around one another, Punk quickly tags out to Del Rio. Punk goes to the floor and talks with Heyman before jumping to the apron. Cena and Del Rio lock up, and Del Rio nabs a headlock. Cena retaliates with a side headlock of his own. Del Rio escapes with a series of shots and kicks. Del Rio beats Cena down in the corner. Cena reverses an Irish whip and monkey flips Del Rio to the mat. Cena goes for the pin. 2-count.

Sheamus tags in and continues the assault. Sheamus beats on Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio tries to mount offense but Sheamus hits a rolling Samoan drop. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Cena tags back in and Del Rio kicks away. Punk tags in and Cena easily beats on him. Cena tries for the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk thumbs Cena in the eye and rolls out of the ring. He asks for a time out.

Punk gets back in and starts stomping Cena on the mat. Punk stands on Cena and plays to the crowd. Del Rio tags back in and hits a savate kick. Del Rio chokes Cena on the bottom rope, and Punk cheap shots him as the ref’s back is turned. Punk tags back in and Cena fights his way out of the corner. Sheamus gets the hot tag and starts laying into Punk. Sheamus clotheslines him for a 2-count. Punk gets an elbow, and Del Rio tags in. Del Rio connects with a loud kick then taunts Cena.

Sheamus counters Del Rio’s offense, and delivers a series of forearms on his chest. Del Rio fights back but runs into White Noise. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick. Sheamus gets distracted with attacking Punk on the apron, allowing Del Rio to hit a lung blower. Del Rio goes for the pin. 2-count. Del Rio chokes Sheamus on the second rope then tags Punk in. Punk chokes Sheamus with his boot then gets into the ring.

Punk takes Sheamus down and applies a bow and arrow. Sheamus fights out and covers him for a 2-count. Sheamus tries to tag but Punk drags him back to his corner. Del Rio tags in and hits a nice running kick to the face. Del Rio applies a front facelock to wear Sheamus down. Sheamus gets to his feet and breaks out. Sheamus hits the ropes but gets a knee to the midsection to stop him. Del Rio goes for the pin. 2-count.

Sheamus hits a rock bottom backbreaker out of nowhere to stop Del Rio’s momentum. Cena and Punk both tag in. Cena takes him down with a series of shoulder blocks followed by the side slam. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Punk tries to kick him but Cena catches him and applies the STF. Del Rio breaks it up, and Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick. Punk takes Sheamus out, and runs into an Attitude Adjustment by Cena for the 1…2…(Punk gets his foot on the rope)…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: John Cena/Sheamus (10:27)

  • A decent main event. I’m surprised Punk and Del Rio worked together as a tag team; they made it out like Punk was not going to take the match seriously. Not shocked at the outcome either, foot on rope and all. Adds another interesting wrinkle to the proceedings. (B-)

Punk argues with the ref, saying he got his foot on the rope before the 3-count. The ref tries to leave, but Punk follows and he and Heyman yell at the referee. The ref walks to the back as Punk yells at him about the bogus call as we fade to logo.

Overall Show Grade: B-

  • Favorite Match: Zack Ryder Vs. Damien Sandow
  • Least Favorite Match: Brodus Clay Vs. Heath Slater
  • Favorite Segment: Ryback’s part of the Subway shill
  • Least Favorite Segment: MizTV, the rest of the Subway shill

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