[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 10/1/12

Raw Preview:

  • Raw ended last week with WWE Champion CM Punk coming face to face with the unstoppable machine Ryback. Is Ryback on the hunt for tougher competition? What does Punk think of his new challenger?
  • In addition to the stare down with Ryback, Punk was also on the receiving end of a lead pipe courtesy of John Cena. How will Punk respond to this attack and even if Cena says he’ll be ready for Hell in a Cell will the WWE Champion even grant him a rematch given the circumstances? And more over, will Cena even be in attendance tonight or will be at home tending to his injured elbow?
  • Paul Heyman crossed the line with GM AJ Lee last week by issuing a heartless and sarcastic wedding proposal. Expect AJ to react to the events of last week and given her mental state, things could get a little out of hand.
  • By virtue of his win over Randy Orton  on Smackdown last Friday, The Big Show is now the new number one contender for Sheamus‘ World Heavyweight Title. The two will meet tonight in a “Championship Debate” moderated by Smackdown GM Booker T.
  • The #1 Contendership to Team Hell No’s (Daniel Bryan/Kane) is currently up for grabs in an eight team tournament. Expect the tournament to continue tonight, and more than that, expect the dissension between the champions to continue to manifest itself.
  • Raw is live from Oklahoma City and the WWE will be honoring Jim Ross with “Jim Ross Appreciation Night”. But given his track record in his home state, will Ross escape the night unscathed or will he once again be made the fool?
  • Legendary journalist Larry King will be acting as Raw‘s Social Media Ambassador and like with all others who have held this spot, one question remains: will anything he says have any relevance to what’s unfolding on screen? And will he able to stay awake for the whole show when a lot of WWE fans can’t?

All of this and much more awaits you on the October 1st edition of Raw.

Previously on Raw: Mick Foley confronts CM Punk in the ring about his actions over the past few months as well as his association with Paul Heyman. Foley then brings up how the Hell in a Cell match turns superstars into legends. We then cut to Punk and John Cena‘s confrontation that ended last week’s show, which ended with Cena blasting him in the stomach with a lead pipe. The montage ends with Punk attacking Foley in the back, and then coming face to face with Ryback.

  • Thought: Essentially this is the Raw Rebound you’ve been seeing on the other shows all week.

WWE Raw intro video plays. Tonight is apparently the night.

Raw is coming at us live from Oklahoma City, OK. We see shots of the crowd as Michael Cole welcomes the home audience. He will be joined at the commentary booth by Jim Ross once again.

“Cult of Personality” plays to bring out WWE Champion CM Punk and his representative Paul Heyman. Cole and Ross talk about “Jim Ross Appreciation Night”. Punk and Heyman enter the ring and once the music stops they are showered with boos. Heyman parades the WWE Championship around while Punk talks.

Punk calls Cena a coward for hitting him with a lead pipe last week. He then recaps the events that happened after and says he attacked Foley because he looked at him disrespectfully and muttered something under his breath. Punk says Foley wouldn’t have had the gall to say anything bad about either Cena, “Dwayne”, or Steve Austin. Punk says he wishes Foley’s mom taught him manners and then says he wishes the crowd were also taught manners. Punk says Foley is a lot of things (scuzzy, a lunatic) but he’s also an eloquent speaker and some of his words got to him. Punk says he spent the past week thinking about his stance against facing John Cena at Hell in a Cell. Punk announces that he will still not be facing Cena at the PPV.

The crowd boos at the bait and switch as Punk whispers something in Heyman’s ear. He hands the mic to Heyman, and Heyman gives Punk the WWE Championship. Heyman says he wants to move onto a more relevant piece of business and points to the TitanTron. We see Heyman’s sarcastic wedding proposal to AJ Lee from last week, ending in a slap to Heyman’s face. Heyman says that Lee never actually said no to his proposal, but what she did do was violate an edict handed down from the WWE Board of Directors. He pulls out a memo from the Board, which says that Lee is not to put her hands on any superstar, manager, or anyone else ever again. Heyman says that this means AJ Lee must be removed as Raw GM effective immediately. He says that he should be the one to fill the power void.

As he tries to explain why, he’s interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. Guerrero, accompanied by Dolph Ziggler, says that they have been victimized by Lee as well. We see a clip from a Raw two months ago when Lee attacked Guerrero in the ring. Heyman tries to shut her down, but she continues talking and says that her client is a future World Champion. Heyman says next time she has a problem with Lee, file a grievance with the Board like he did. Ziggler breaks into the conversation and says they can all agree that Lee is the source of all the trouble on Raw. He suggests that Heyman and Guerrero team up to be Co-GM’s.

And finally, after a botched musical cue earlier, AJ Lee makes her way to the ring. Lee says the WWE Board of Directors have placed her on probation and an Executive Coach has been appointed to her to aid in her development. Out comes Daniel Bryan, one half of the Tag Team Champions. Bryan grabs a mic and gets into the ring. He yells at the crowd to “stop it!” with the “Yes!” chance. Bryan says he apologizes about Lee, saying her issues started after he dumped her after Wrestlemania. Bryan says he can’t blame her because he’s one hell of a catch. Bryan says he’s handsome, has a great beard, and is now “the Tag Team Champions!”.

Naturally his boasting at being “the Tag Team Champions” brings out his partner Kane to the ring. Kane says everyone has forgotten to mention a special fact about Lee: she is a phenomenal kisser. Kane says everything Bryan has said was true, except for the “Tag Team Champions” bit and they get in their faces and yell at one another. Punk and Ziggler then start lifting their hands and arguing they’re great and such, until Lee screeches at them to stop it. Lee says this is her show and is still the GM of RawLee signs a tag team match for tonight: Kane/Bryan Vs. Punk/Ziggler. SHOCK. AWE. Her music hits and out she skips. All four wrestlers argue with one another in the ring as they raise their respective belts (and briefcase) in the air.

  • Thoughts: Wow did that opening segment last longer than normal or was it just me? It felt like it went on forever, and was a giant mess. Goddamn. Still it had its decent moments (Heyman as always, Bryan talking about his beard, etc.) and set a good main event for the night, plus it had some comedy (all four wrestlers hoisting their titles in the air and yelling at one another) and some better than normal acting from Lee. I know I’m in the minority but I enjoy her GM role. I just wish they wouldn’t keep throwing her love life in our faces; just reeks of misogyny. Also…who’s her executive coach? Is she on probation? What’s happening? Who am I?

Raw Hype: Championship Debate between The Big Show and Sheamus, moderated by Booker T.

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara head to the ring for their tag team match, which is next. We see the #1 Contendership bracket and their opponents tonight: Epico/Primo.

*Commercial Break*

Match #1: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara Vs. Epico/Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes) [#1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinals]

Cara and Epico start off and both attempt quick pinfalls. Cara hits a back spring elbow for a 2-count. Cara hits the ropes and Epico lands an elbow of his own for another 2-count. Epico brings Cara to his corner and tags in Primo. Primo beats Cara down in the corner and Mendes yells at him in Spanish. Cara ducks a clothesline and hits a hurricanrana. Cara then takes down Primo with a top rope arm drag.

Mysterio tags in and clears house. Cara and Mysterio knock Epico and Primo to the floor. Out come The Prime Time Players. They sit at ringside to watch the match as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Cara gets the hot tag back in as we come back from break. He dominates Epico, until Epico catches him with a dropkick while Cara was going for a springboard something or another. Ross thinks Cara is Rey Mysterio. Primo tags back in and drops a series of knees on Cara’s sternum. Primo attempts a power bomb but Cara reverses it into a sunset flip for a 2-count. Epico quickly tags back in and the two trade blows. Cara comes out of nowhere and hits a Tilt-a-Whirl DDT.

It’s not Mysterio who gets a hot tag of his own. He dominates Primo and goes for the pin. 2-count. Mysterio heads to the top rope and flattens Primo with a seated senton. Mysterio goes for the pin, but Epico breaks up the count. Cara then attacks and Epico and Primo get hung over the second rope. Mysterio hits a double 619. Mysterio and Cara go to the top rope; Cara hits a flying crossbody on the outside and Mysterio splashes the Colon in the ring for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara (9:22)

  • A sloppy tag team match. Both teams seemed off tonight and went a little slower than they normally do. Still had enough moments to keep it watchable though. And why were The PT Players out there when they haven’t even won their match yet? (B-)

RAWactive: Booker T will choose questions with the hashtag “#SheamusShow” to ask Sheamus and The Big Show during the Championship Debate.

  • Thought: And they’re debating what, exactly?

*Commercial Break*

Brodus Clay is finishing up his entrance as we come back from break. We have been spared this week. Phew. His opponent for tonight is US Champion Antonio Cesaro who comes out next. A picture in picture interview has Cesaro saying “Appreciation” in five different languages.

Match #2: Brodus Clay Vs. [WWE US Champion] Antonio Cesaro

Clay overpowers Cesaro at the outset with a series of blows in the corner followed by a snap suplex. Clay drops an elbow and Cesaro rolls to the apron. Cesaro tries to get in some offense by snapping Clay’s neck over the top rope, but Clay beats him down when he gets back in the ring. Clay misses a splash, and Cesaro hits an uppercut from the second rope. Cesaro then picks Clay up for the Neutralizer and lands it for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Antonio Cesaro (1:06)

  • Normally when secondary champions fight in non-title matches they lose, so it was awesome seeing Cesaro actually get the win tonight. And considering he beat Clay in short order, it might as well be Christmas for me. (C)

Backstage, Kaitlyn is hanging out. AJ Lee comes up with her executive coach Christopher J. Stevens0n. She introduces him then says she’ll wrestle next week when she completely heels. Lee then brings up Kaitlyn telling her not to date Daniel Bryan then asks her for forgiveness. Before we get any response, Lee busts out laughing and says she isn’t sorry before skipping away. The executive coach remains silent.

  • Thought: Oh so her coach is just going to be some guy in a suit? That’s disappointing. Also this segment was stupid.

Raw Hype: JR Apprecation Night/the main event tag team match (Team Hell No/Punk and Ziggler)

*Commercial Break*

Zack Ryder is in the ring for the next match as we come back from commercial. Right on. His opponent: WWE IC Champion The Miz.

Match #3: Zack Ryder Vs. [WWE Intercontinental Champion] The Miz

Miz applies a wristlock and transitions into a headlock. Ryder sends him into the ropes and hits him with a faceslam followed by a dropkick. Ryder attempts to continue with a splash in the corner but catches boot instead. Miz stomps on the fallen Ryder then hits a running kick to the head. Miz goes for the pin. 2-count. Miz drives his knee into Ryder’s back and then applies a front facelock. They get to their feet, and Ryder breaks out. He slams Miz face-first to the mat and gets his knees up when Miz attempts a splash. Ryder hits a dropkick from the second rope and hits a running forearm in the corner.

Ryder then connects with the Broski Boot and goes for the pin. 2-count. Ryder measures Miz for the Rough Ryder, but Miz catches him and hits a buckle bomb. Miz then hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: The Miz (2:38)

  • Fun squash match. Ryder got a lot more offense than I thought he would. But even though Miz won it wasn’t a title defense. Do secondary champions actually defend their belts anymore? (C)

Booker T heads to the ring for the Championship Debate which is next. Reminder of the RAWactive stuff.

*Commercial Break*

The Championship Debate

Smackdown GM Booker T makes his way out to the ring. Booker says Sheamus and The Big Show will face one another for the first time at Hell in a Cell. Booker introduces Show first. He’s wearing a suit. Oh my god this is actually happening. We see clips of Show beating Randy Orton to win the title shot on Smackdown plus a post-match WMD for good measure. We go back live and Show is smiling at his actions from last Friday. Booker then introduces Sheamus, and out comes the World Heavyweight Champion. He is not wearing a suit. What a rascal. Cole says beating Show is on Sheamus’ “bucket list”.

Sheamus and Show take their places at the podiums. They are going to begin with an Opening Statement. Show starts off. He says the debate is completely ridiculous and there’s no reason for it to happen. He says he’s going to beat Sheamus to a pulp at Hell in a Cell and end of story.

  • Thought: Show already wins the debate.

It’s Sheamus’ turn. Sheamus introduces himself for anyone who doesn’t know him already, and thanks Booker for hosting the debate. He gets a cheap pop by name-dropping Oklahoma City. He asks Show not to rip his leg off because he’ll need it to kick his teeth in. The first question gets asked: “what’s the most challenging aspect about your opponent?”. Sheamus answers first. He says he’s never faced as big of a superstar as Show before, then makes fun of him for having b.o. Booker asks Show for a rebuttal; Show says he smells fantastic and tells Sheamus to take the debate seriously.

Second question: “who has the most dangerous move: the Brogue Kick or the W.M.D.?” Booker calls the WMD the “KO” for some reason. Show says the WMD has knocked out more superstars and won more titles. Show says it’s more powerful than the Brogue Kick and Sheamus can’t even get his chubby foot up that high to hit him with it. Sheamus’ rebuttal: Daniel Bryan beat Show for the belt in 45 seconds. Show freaks out and breaks his podium. Show asks for a new podium since he accidentally broke it.

Sheamus says they should see a TOUT. It’s Sheamus in a Rey Mysterio mask (“Rey Mysteri O’Sullivan”), who makes fun of Show and says he’ll sink like a Blarney Stone, yadda yadda, also Arriba. Show says he’s losing his patience and asks Sheamus if he has anything serious to say. Sheamus offers his closing statement: Bryan beat him in 45 seconds and Sheamus beat Bryan in 18 seconds. Sheamus wants to know “how does it feel?” to know this. They drop their mics and stare each other down. Show takes off his sports jacket and Sheamus takes off his shirt and World Heavyweight Title belt. The Big Show backs off and exits the ring.

  • Thoughts: An utterly pointless segment saved by The Big Show saying what any sane wrestling fan was thinking. Sheamus was unbearably unfunny (and a bully/minor racist) and this amounted to nothing. I’m not hyped to see this match any more than I was before. I know they’ve got time to kill and they love tapping into the zeitgeist but…come on WWE.

Raw Hype: Team Hell No Vs. Punk/Ziggler main event.

Ryback is heading to the ring. He’s wrestling next!

*Commercial Break*

Tensai is already in the ring, waiting for his opponent Ryback. It’s a return match from Smackdown. And here comes the man who’s always hungry.

Match #4: Ryback Vs. Tensai

Ryback gets a side headlock but Tensai knocks him to the ground with a shoulder block after an Irish whip. They trade blows and Tensai tries to whip him but Ryback won’t budge. Tensai hits the ropes and Ryback catches him with a powerslam. Ryback goes for a belly to belly suplex but Tensai punches him off. Ryback responds with a running Lariat. Ryback tries to pick him up but can’t do it, so he hits the Lariat instead for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Ryback (1:57)

  • Oh man. That was a hell of an awkward finish to the match. That just made him look weak. Granted Tensai is also at fault here but that doesn’t matter to fans watching (the mainstream ones anyway). Luckily with Raw being as long as it is, there’s a good chance everyone forgets about this in the next hour or so. (C-)

Backstage, The Rhodes Scholars are talking about how awesome their team name is. Damien Sandow makes fun of Sheamus for not wearing pants during the debate. They call Sheamus a neanderthal and such.

  • Thoughts: I didn’t catch all of this because I was still laughing at Ryback/Tensai. But the “pants” line was pretty funny.

Raw Hype: JR Apprecation Night.

*Commercial Break*

WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres heads to the ring for the next match. We get a picture in picture interview with Torres. Torres puts over the Divas Division in the happiest way possible. I LOVE HOW SMARMY SHE IS. Her opponent tonight: Beth Phoenix. We see clips from Smackdown where Booker T reverses Torres’ decision to suspend Phoenix due to her “being Kaitlyn’s attacker”. Torres blames Teddy Long for why she made the decision. Nice.

Match #5: [WWE Divas Champion] Eve Torres Vs. Beth Phoenix

Torres apologizes and tries to shake Phoenix’s hand. Phoenix shakes it, then takes her down and starts hammering her with fists. Phoenix picks Torres up and throws her into the corner. She kicks her repeatedly and attempts a splash but Torres moves and she goes shoulder-first into the ringpost. Torres continues the attack on the outside, and throws her front-first into the apron. Torres then grabs her hair and throws her back-first onto the mat. Torres throws Phoenix into the barricade and gets back in to try to win by countout.

Phoenix makes it in just in time, and attacks Torres. She hits the “Polish Power” hammer and goes for the pin. 2-count. Torres kicks Phoenix and hits the spinning neckbreaker for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Eve Torres (2:33)

  • Not bad. Torres is way better in the ring than I ever gave her credit for. And, like I do every time she has a match, I must praise her character. I just love it so much. (C)

AJ Lee is with her coach Christopher J. Stevenson and she introduces him to Wade Barrett. Barrett says she’s doing a horrible job and lets her emotions go everywhere. He sternly tells her to stop letting her emotions get in the way and to do her job before walking away. Lee says Stevenson is intimidated.

Raw Hype: The tag team main event.

*Commercial Break*

We join Cole and Ross at the announce booth. They talk about JBL‘s successful climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro for his charity work. We see a TOUT from him that was taken from the top.

Santino Marella is in the ring for the next match against Heath Slater. He’s accompanied by his “band”, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre.

Match #6: Santino Marella Vs. Heath Slater

Marella and Slater both taunt each other before Marella slaps on a headlock. Marella gets thrown into the ropes and tries to shoulderblock him down to the mat but can’t. Slater tries it and also fails. Marella goes to try again and Slater hits him with a back elbow which finally sends him to the mat. Slater keeps beating him down and goes for the pin. 2-count. Slater slaps on a front facelock. Marella breaks out but Slater hits a spinning kick for another 2-count.

Slater chokes Marella on the bottom rope and follows it up with a bodyslam. Slater heads to the second rope but his attempted splash gets met with a boot to the face instead. Marella tries to kip up but fails (HA!). Slater tries to take advantage but misses a splash. Marella mounts his comeback with a hip toss and a standing headbutt. Marella pulls out the Cobra and hits Slater with it. Mahal and McIntyre break up the count to cause the disqualification.

Winner [via DQ]: Santino Marella (2:50)

  • A decent comedy match, but forgettable. I was just happy to see the Slater/Mahal/McIntyre group get some Raw time. (C)

The three continue to beat up Marella and McIntyre hits the Future Shock. Slater grabs the mic and says they have something to say. McIntyre says he’s the Chosen One, Mahal says he’s the “Maharaja” and Slater says he’s the “One Man Band, baaaaabaaay!”.

  • Thoughts: I’m still baffled by this new union, but I love it. Random stables make me happy.

Raw Hype: JR Appreciation Night

Raw Hype: Sheamus will take on Damien Sandow next!

*Commercial Break*

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus is in the ring for the next match. Cole brings up the debate from earlier. Please don’t. Damien Sandow comes out next, accompanied by his partner Cody Rhodes.

Match #7: [World Heavyweight Champion] Sheamus Vs. Damien Sandow

They lock up and Sandow backs him in the corner. Sheamus blocks a right and tries to hit one of his own but Sandow quickly gets out of there. Sandow gets a waistlock followed by a wristlock. Sheamus reverses into a wristlock of his own, bringing Sandow to his knees. Sheamus goes to continue, but Sandow gets to the ropes to stop it. They circle one another and Sandow kicks him in the gut. Sandow takes Sheamus down with a side headlock. They get to their feet and Sheamus whips him into the ropes. Sheamus knocks him down with a shoulderblock. He blocks a hip toss and tries for a clothesline but Sandow ducks it and leaves the ring. Sandow debates getting back into the match as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We’re back and apparently Sandow decided to continue. Sheamus whips Sandow in the ropes, and Sandow rolls out. Sheamus chases after him and Sandow jumps into the crowd. Rhodes gets up and distracts Sheamus, allowing Sandow to hit a clothesline. Sandow rolls him back into the ring and goes for the pin. 2-count. Sandow moves his knee pad down and hits a knee drop for another 2-count. Sandow locks Sheamus in a rest hold.

They get to their feet and Sheamus fights out. Unfortunately Sandow hits him with a knee to the gut followed by a clothesline for another 2-count. Sandow puts Sheamus into the corner and buries his shoulder into his midsection. Sandow snapmares Sheamus to the mat and applies a front headlock on the mat. Sheamus punches his way out but Sandow catches him with a kick. Sandow hits a series of knees then hits the Russian Legsweep. Sandow then hits the Elbow of Destain for a 2-count. Sandow chokes Sheamus on the second rope. Sandow rolls outside and pulls Sheamus over the apron. Sandow hammers the point of his elbow onto Sheamus. He rolls back in and goes for another pin. 2-count.

Sandow locks Sheamus into a front facelock. They get to their feet and Sheamus once again breaks out. Sandow drops Sheamus with a drop toehold onto the second rope, then follows it up with a running leg lariat. Sandow goes for another pin. 2-count. Frustrated, Sandow applies a seated head scissor to wear Sheamus down. Sheamus gets out and tries to go to the top rope, but Sandow knocks him off quickly with a right hand.

Sandow and Sheamus trade rights, but Sandow hits a running boot to knock him down. Sandow goes for another pin. 2-count. Sandow traps Sheamus another headlock. Sheamus fights out and Sandow backdrops him to the floor. Sandow exits the ring and rolls Sheamus back in. Sandow goes for the pin. 1-count. Sandow tries again. Another 1-count. Sandow hits a double axehandle, then applies the front facelock.

Sheamus gets to his feet and connects with a back suplex to break free. It’s now Sheamus’ turn to throw down and he ends a series of hits with a high knee. Sheamus picks Sandow up and hits the rolling senton. Sandow rolls out to the apron, and Sandow drops him neck-first on the top rope. Sandow rushes in and hits a spinning neckbreaker out of nowhere. 1…2…KICK OUT. Damn.

Sandow chokes Sheamus in the corner with his boot, but get caught when attempting a splash. Sheamus heads to the top and hits a top rope shoulderblock for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Sheamus picks Sandow up but Sandow weasels out. Sandow ducks the Brogue Kick and tries to leave the ring, but Sheamus keeps him from running. Sandow ends up on the apron and Sheamus delivers his ten forearms of doom. Sandow drops to the floor. Sheamus follows and jaws with Rhodes. He rolls Sandow back in, and Rhodes tries to attack. Sheamus catches him and rolls him into the ring as well. Sheamus connects with the Brogue Kick to both men at once and pins Sandow for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Sheamus (15:43)

  • Take away a few of the rest holds, and this match would’ve been fit to headline a WWE PPV. Hell of a good match from both men, with Sandow looking like a star even in defeat. Ross also put him over massively and all but gushed about him as the match continued on. And we even got a clean finish to boot! Match of the night unless the tag team main event comes out of nowhere to take it. (B+)

Raw Hype: The tag team main event/JR Appreciation Night. The latter is coming next.

*Commercial Break*

Jim Ross Appreciation Night

Michael Cole is in the ring. He talks about the excellence that is Jim Ross, and introduces him out to the ring. I guess he walked backstage just for an excuse to play that Sooners song. He gets into the ring and shakes Cole’s hand. The crowd goes wild. Cole congratulates him on JR Appreciation Night. Cole asks him how he feels. But before he can say anything, “Cult of Personality” hits to bring out WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman.

Punk takes Cole’s microphone and tells him to get out of “his” ring and take a seat back at the announce table. Punk eggs on all of the boos. He asks the crowd if he’s a bad guy and the crowd cheers. Punk mockingly leads a “JR!” chant which the crowd actually does. Punk says Ross is the best announcer they have and he respects the hell out of him. He says the crowd also respects the hell out of him but there’s one problem: they don’t know respect.

Punk says he’s the “Best in the World” and deserves respect, but every week he comes out to get his words “twisted” by the fans who turned their back on him. Punk puts his arm around Ross and says he’s going to help teach the crowd about respect by saying that Punk is the “Best in the World”. Ross says he’s happy Punk didn’t come out to embarrass him but then says Punk has done a good job making himself look like a jackass over the past few weeks.

Punk is disappointed in Ross for those remarks, saying that he thought they had something in common. Punk says he hopes Ross understands the situation he’s in right now. Punk asks what happens if he treats Ross with the same disrespect that he showed him. Who’s going to save him? Punk jokingly says “STONE COLD! STONE COLD!”, and says Ross can say it all he wants but he won’t come out. No one is there to help Ross. Punk says 3:16 used to mean Austin would kick ass, but now it’s the number of days he’s been WWE Champion so it belongs to him now. Punk says Ross belongs to him now.

Punk mocks Ross’ cowboy hat and goatee and says he’s his own best friend and the only one that can help him. Punk yells at Ross to call him the “Best in the World”. Ross refuses to say it. Ross says he’s been lucky to call matches featuring the best in the world over the years (name dropping Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Triple H, The Undertaker, and Austin for good measure). Ross said they didn’t ask to be called the best in the world but he would’ve called them that anyway because they earned that distinction. Ross says if Punk wants to be called the “Best in the World”, he should accept John Cena‘s challenge for Hell in a Cell and beat him. If he does, Ross will be the first to call him the “Best in the World”, but otherwise they have nothing to talk about.

Punk drops the mic and takes off his grey hoodie. He snatches Ross’s cowboy hat and throws it to the mat, and then smashes it with his foot. Punk says he doesn’t run away from fights and he’s beaten Cena time and time again. Punk gets cheap heat for saying the Thunder choked in the NBA Finals and they don’t get another immediate shot; they have to work their way back up. Punk says this is a squared circle and men fight. Punk says he’s never run from a thing in his entire life, but if Ross is smart, he’ll run. Punk says if Ross doesn’t defend himself, he will knock him into next week. Punk says “fight me or leave”.

Ross drops the mic and goes to leave, but Punk stops him and asks him where he thinks he’s going. Punk says no commentary for the rest of the night and tells him to take the “walk of shame” up the ramp. Ross reluctantly starts walking away as Punk calls him a joke and an embarrassment. The music of Ryback starts, to bring the man back out. He stops to look at Ross, then heads to the ring as Ross follows. They get in the ring as Ryback stares at Punk. Punk and Ryback continue to stare down as a loud “FEED ME MORE!” chant breaks out. Punk backs away and leaves the ring.

Punk continues walking backwards up the entrance area, and holds the belt in the air.

  • Thoughts: Now that was a much stronger segment than the other two long-form ones they’ve done. I enjoyed it immensely. And coming to JR’s aid gave Ryback the superstar pop he needed to look like a million bucks to those watching at home (also to make up for the unfortunate way his match with Tensai ended). I guess they’re slow-burning the Ryback/Punk feud…if it happens at all.

Raw Hype: The tag team main event.

*Commercial Break*

Justin Roberts gets some face-time to introduce Alberto Del Rio‘s ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. Awesome. Del Rio gets out and his towel drops but he doesn’t pick it up because f*ck it. We see Del Rio’s post-show attack on Randy Orton after The Big Show beat him on Smackdown. Del Rio’s opponent tonight is Kofi Kingston, accompanied by R-Truth. Rodriguez sits down for commentary.

Match #7: Kofi Kingston (w/ R-Truth) Vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio gets a quick snap suplex for a 2-count. However Kingston quickly fights back and clotheslines Del Rio over the top rope and onto the floor. Kingston hits a springboard flying crossbody on Del Rio as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Del Rio has Kingston in an abdominal stretch as we come back from break. Kingston fights out with a hip toss and mounts his comeback. He dropkicks Del Rio and hits a hesitation clothesline. Kingston connects with the “Boom Drop” and gets ready for the Trouble in Paradise. Del Rio ducks it and throws him into the corner. He misses the follow-up splash but ducks Kingston’s springboard crossbody. Del Rio throws Kingston into the corner and repeatedly kicks him. Del Rio then locks on the Cross Armbreaker and after a brief struggle, Kingston taps.

Winner [via Submission]: Alberto Del Rio (6:06)

Backstage, Christopher J. Stevenson is telling AJ Lee how to get better at her GM job. He mentions putting her personal issues aside for the betterment of the show. Lee says they should make something special tonight by adding a special guest referee. She hints at Stevenson, who looks scared. Lee then tells him to get out of her arena because she doesn’t need a coach.

  • Thought: Uh…what?

Daniel Bryan makes his way out for the main event tag team match. Bryan yells “No!” in a little kid’s face. We see the Rawactive results from last week’s show that gave Bryan/Kane the horrible tag team name. Bryan’s partner Kane makes his way out to the ring next. The heels make their way out after the commercial break!

*Commercial Break*

Nevermind, the heels are already in the ring as we come back from commercial. Justin Roberts then says “and now you’re special guest referee…”. After a pause, AJ Lee comes out! I guess she’s the ref. Right on. She comes out wearing a half-shirt. I’ll try to be cool about it and not fawn.

Main Event: Team Hell No (Kane/Daniel Bryan) Vs. [WWE Champion] CM Punk (w/ Paul Heyman)/Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) [Special Guest Referee: AJ Lee]

Kane and Ziggler start out. Kane uses his power to take the early advantage. Kane connects with a bodyslam and hits a running elbow drop. He goes for the pin. Ziggler gets his shoulder up before the count even starts. Kane refuses to tag Bryan in. Kane whips Ziggler into the corner but Ziggler avoids a splash. He tries the Zig Zag but Kane pushes him off. Kane clotheslines him over the top and to the floor. Kane goes to follow but Bryan tags himself in as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We’re back from break and Ziggler is on Kane’s back with a sleeper applied. Kane rams Ziggler into the corner to break the hold, but Ziggler drops him with a clothesline. He goes for the pin. 1-count. Ziggler pushes Bryan in the corner, allowing Kane to push him into the corner and beat him up. Bryan tags in and Kane whips him at Ziggler. Bryan hits a running kick and goes for the pin. 2-count. Bryan takes Ziggler down with a snapmare and tags Kane in. Kane hits a running dropkick and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Ziggler kicks Kane and hits a jumping DDT to stop the momentum. Punk tags in and hits a running knee on Kane in the corner. Punk then hits a second. He goes for the bulldog but Kane pushes him off and hits a sidewalk slam for a 2-count. Kane goes to the top and connects with a flying clothesline. Kane goes for the Chokeslam but Bryan tags himself in. Bryan goes to the top but Punk catches him on the way down with a dropkick. Punk chokes Bryan with his boot in the corner. Lee starts counting and Punk gives her an evil look.

Punk whips Bryan into the ropes, and Bryan flips off and follows it up with a clothesline. Bryan hits a series of No kicks but misses the last one. Bryan turns and hits Ziggler but then Punk kicks Bryan and goes for the pin. 2-count. Ziggler tags in and kicks Bryan as Punk holds him. Ziggler connects with a dropkick that sends Bryan to the outside. Ziggler rolls out and throws Bryan into the barricade. Kane tries to stop it but is kept away so Ziggler throws Bryan into the barricade again. Lee gets into Ziggler’s face to get him back in the ring and he complies.

Ziggler rolls Bryan back into the ring and goes for the pin. 2-count. Ziggler applies a front facelock. Bryan breaks out with a jawbreaker but Ziggler tags Punk in on his way down. Punk continues the offensive then goes to the top for the elbow. Bryan crotches him and hits a guttwrench suplex from the top. Bryan wraps Punk in the “No! Lock”. Heyman pushes the rope in to allow Punk to get his foot on it. Lee tells Heyman to meet her on the apron and sends him to the back. Guerrero then hops on the apron and starts screaming at her. Lee then bans Guerrero as well from ringside.

Guerrero leaves, and Ziggler follows with his briefcase as Punk tries to tag him. Bryan dropkicks Punk and tags in Kane. Kane connects with a chokeslam and goes for the pin. 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Team Hell No (12:45)

  • Good main event. Lee was fine as the special guest referee, and I liked Ziggler leaving Punk stranded to chase after his manager. Nice callback. And although I really shouldn’t be, I’m surprised Team Hell No actually got the win. The Tag Team Titles do matter! (B)

Bryan and Kane do their “I’m the Tag Team Champions!” schtick in, erm, celebration as we fade to logo.

Overall Show Grade: B-

  • Favorite Match: Sheamus Vs. Damien Sandow
  • Least Favorite Match: Ryback Vs. Tensai
  • Favorite Segment: JR Appreciation Night
  • Least Favorite Segment: The Championship Debate

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  1. October 6th, 2012

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