[TV Review] WWE Raw – 9/24/2012

Raw in Brief:The first match is the best match, a legend returns to yell at CM Punk, WWE kicks the NFL while they’re down, the misfit Tag Team Champions get a horrible name thanks to the WWE Universe, and John Cena introduces the world to his latest protege: an inanimate carbon rod.

Quick Match Results:

  1. Dolph Ziggler pinned Kofi Kingston in 11:08. (A-)
  2. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O’Neil) defeated Zack Ryder/Santino Marella in 1:54 (C)
  3. Ryback pinned [WWE Intercontinental Champion] The Miz in 2:57 (C) – Non-Title Match
  4. Wade Barrett pinned Tyson Kidd in 2:19 (C)
  5. [World Heavyweight Champion] Sheamus/Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara defeated Alberto Del Rio/David Otunga/Ricardo Rodriguez (B-)
  6. [WWE Divas Champion] Eve Torres/Beth Phoenix defeated Layla/Alicia Fox in 1:28 (C-)
  7. Brodus Clay and Tensai fought to a No-Contest when The Big Show interfered in 1:45 (C-)

The Important Segments/Moments:

  • Raw began with WWE Champion CM Punk and his associate Paul Heyman in the middle of the ring threatening to hold up the show unless the referee that cost him the match last week came out, apologized, and then resigned. The ref, Brad Maddox, came out and apologized but didn’t resign. Punk got into his face and out came GM AJ Lee to break the fracas up. Punk accused AJ of still holding a grudge against him for turning down her marriage proposal two months ago. Heyman then mockingly proposed to AJ, who slapped him in response before sulking off.
  • Backstage, Brad Maddox thanked AJ Lee for standing up for him, and she threatened his job if he ever made a mistake like that again.
  • Three segments aired of Daniel Bryan and Kane at a diner with Dr. Shelby. The first segment involved Kane roleplaying as a waiter in order to show that they can co-exist outside of a competitive environment. The second segment showed Bryan and Kane talking about how they took out eight people on Smackdown and they imitated the fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sallywith their jubilation, ending with Mae Young making a cameo and saying “I’ll have what they’re having”. The third and final segment had Shelby forcing Bryan and Kane to step in each other’s shoes and take a bite of one another’s favorite food. Kane took a bite of a salad then loudly burped. Bryan took a tiny bite of a meatball and threw up in Shelby’s lap much to the doctor’s dismay.
  • Mick Foley made a surprise appearance and called out CM Punk. Foley put over the barbaric nature of the Hell in a Cell match and said if Punk wanted to be remembered he would face John Cena in a match at the upcoming PPV. Punk brought up how many days he has been champion and Foley said no one cares about numbers, they only care about moments. Punk said Foley was beneath him and so was the Hell in a Cell match, and he said he could make the same impact without putting his body through that torture. He dropped the mic after that statement and left the ring.
  • Michael Cole held a live interview with the recovering Jerry Lawler who was there via satellite from his home in Memphis. Lawler talked about how he didn’t remember anything after the first segment during that Raw and thanked the WWE Universe for their support. He also said a heart attack was inevitable, given he had to spend three hours sitting next to Cole every week (a joke I’m sure the WWE Office cringed at). He didn’t give a timetable for his return to the commentary booth.
  • Daniel Bryan and Kane made their way out to the ring to find out the name the WWE Universe picked for their team via RAWactive.The winner? Team Hell No (sigh). Before they could chew on that, the team of Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes came out and attacked them from behind. Rhodes then said he and Sandow were now known as “The Rhodes Scholars” and Sandow said now Team Hell No had a legitimate reason to be angry.
  • After the Divas tag team match, Kaitlyn came out on a crutch and said she had seen the security footage from the sneak attack on her at Night of Champions.Kaitlyn said her attacker was blonde. Eve Torres quickly blamed Beth Phoenix and attacked her to get “revenge” for Kaitlyn.
  • The Big Show interrupted the Brodus Clay/Tensai match and laid both men out with the WMD.
  • John Cena came out to address the WWE Universe. He said was going to be laid up for awhile due to the surgery but guaranteed he would be at Hell in a Cell to fight. Out came CM Punk and Paul Heyman to cut him off. Punk dresses down Cena and calls him a liar on the level of a politician then turns his back and gives him to the count of 5 to leave the ring before he beat him up. After the count, Punk turned around and got caught with a lead pipe to the stomach by Cena who had brought it along just in case. Punk and Heyman quickly bailed as Cena slapped hands with the fans at ringside.
  • CM Punk stalked around backstage clutching his stomach, and passed by Mick Foley. He kicked Foley in the gut and started walking off but turned around to say something. Instead of talking his face turned to shock as the camera panned over to see Ryback standing over the fallen Foley, staring at Punk with intensity in his eyes.

*What Worked*

Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler:The opening match on Rawwas also the best match of the night and one of the best TV matches I have seen in quite some time. Thanks to the ref banning both Vickie Guerrero and R-Truth from ringside, the focus was on the two wrestlers for once and boy did they deliver. The match was fast-paced and exciting, with some awesome action and dramatic near-falls. I loved it, and hope to get the chance to rewatch it sometime soon. My words don’t do it justice.

The Rhodes Scholars Form:I needed a pick me up after the wretched name the WWE Universe saddled Daniel Bryan/Kane with (more on that later), and having the team of Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes come out and attack was just what the doctor ordered. The name “The Rhodes Scholars” is excellent on so many levels and Sandow/Rhodes have great chemistry with one another despite their team being relatively new. I’d prefer to see them be singles stars but since the Tag Team Division is on its way up in terms of stature I can deal for now.

Daniel Bryan/Kane at the Diner, Part 1:The first of the three diner segments between Bryan/Kane was the best and the only one that worked for me. That’s all thanks to Kane’s deadpan delivery; the guy is untapped comedy gold finally getting a chance to shine. Also the reaction of the old lady when Kane said he put hair in all of the food he’s served was priceless.

Ryback Stares Down CM Punk:This worked for me on the basis that I didn’t see this coming whatsoever. Having Ryback stare down the WWE Champion to close out the show is about as left field as you can get but it’s got me excited to tune in next week to see if they follow it up with anything substantial.

*What Was Okay*

The Opening Segment:The whole Punk/Heyman/AJ confrontation to start the show was a bit awkward and ridiculous but once again Heyman rose above the material with his smarmy and insincere marriage proposal to the GM. Although I rolled my eyes in spots, it did a good job of making me care about AJ and making me dislike the Punk/Heyman characters. But for awhile there it was teetering on the edge.

The CM Punk/Mick Foley Confrontation: It seemed like everyone was last night was buzzing about the “return” of Mick Foley to promo prominence but for me this segment was merely “okay”. Foley and Punk’s mic work was stellar but the whole segment seemed completely pointless and tacked on just to get Foley on the show. This was the same “talk sense into Punk” promo that everyone seems to have been cutting since he went fully heel. Highly unnecessary.

Daniel Bryan/Kane at a Diner, Parts 2 and 3:After a good first segment to begin this whole thing, the other two failed to live up to it and quickly delved into easy low common denominator jokes (the vomiting, the When Harry Met Sallyreference they’ve already done at least once before). But at the same time, I still giggled because I’m secretly 8 years old so it gets a minor pass from me.
Sheamus/Mysterio/Cara Vs. Del Rio/Otunga/Rodriguez:The six man tag was serviceable but nothing ultimately that special. But given that it wasn’t a squash match, it instantly got catapulted to the second best match on the show. Also I’ve got to give massive props to Rodriguez who looked like a million bucks bumping for the faces. I find him very entertaining and hope to see him wrestle more.

Overall Show:There were many moments I didn’t like on this show but overall it had enough okay to really good moments/matches to give it somewhat of a pass. These 3 hour Raws are still feeling like endurance tests but they’re getting closer to figuring out how to balance everything.

*What Didn’t Work*

The Inanimate Carbon Rod of Doom:The ending in-ring segment with John Cena and CM Punk was boring in and of itself and definitely not worth the three hours of hype they put into it. Cena just kissed a lot of ass for ten minutes before Punk finally came out to save my sanity. But Cena using a lead pipe to hit Punk? Ridiculous. It was just hokey and tacky and made Cena look like a wuss. He also handed the rod to a fan afterwards, which given the fact that two other fans rushed the ring earlier, seemed like a terrible idea.

Squash Match City:Outside of Kingston/Ziggler and the six man tag, every match tonight was a glorified squash match and dragged down the quality of the show immeasurably. Sprinkling them in is fine, but having squash matches back to back to back to back was too much. Also the show lacked a true main event match which I was disappointed in.

Kaitlyn Identifies Her Attacker as Blonde; No One Cares: Let me preface this by saying that I love the Eve Torres character; she’s playing role of manipulator and backstabber to the tee and doing an admirable job. However her storyline with Kaitlyn is lacking any momentum and the “reveal” tonight that Kaitlyn was attacked by a blonde was stupid. We all know Eve did it; stop trying to drag it out. And the fact that Torres could easily beat up Beth Pheonix is ridiculous.

Overall Show Grade: C+

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  1. September 29th, 2012

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