[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 10/15/2012

Announced Matches:

  • Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara Vs. The Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes) in the finals of the #1 Contender Tag Team Tournament

What Else to Expect;

  • WWE Champion CM Punk decides whether to face Ryback or John Cena at Hell in a Cell.
  • That’s literally it. They haven’t announced anything else.

Click “read more” for my overly dry and detailed recap of this week’s 3 hour (sigh) edition of Raw.

Quick Match Results:

  1. The Big Show pinned Daniel Bryan (6:33).
  2. Alberto Del Rio defeated Brodus Clay via Submission (2:12).
  3. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O’Neil) defeated Zack Ryder/Santino Marella (Time Not Recorded).
  4. Ryback defeated Dolph Ziggler/David Otunga by pinning Otunga (1:50).
  5. [WWE U.S. Champion] Antonio Cesaro pinned Justin Gabriel (3:51).
  6. Kane pinned Matt Striker (2:02).
  7. [World Heavyweight Champion] Sheamus defeated Wade Barrett by Disqualification after The Big Show interfered (15:17).
  8. Eve Torres (c) pinned Layla to retain the WWE Divas Championship (4:39).
  9. The Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes) defeated Epico/Primo (6:52).
  10. Kofi Kingston pinned [WWE Intercontinental Champion] The Miz (5:19).

*Full Show Recap*

This week’s Raw opens with a video package from the end of last week’s show. CM Punk has the choice to face either Ryback or John Cena at Hell in a Cell. Who will he pick? Dundundunnnn…

“Tonight’s the Night” brings us in and tonight we’re live in Nashville, TN. Michael Cole welcomes the home audience and introduces Jim Ross as his broadcast partner (no JBL? Aw.). Ross talks about Punk’s tweet from earlier in the day saying he made his decision.

“Weelllll…it’s The Big Shooooow…”

The Big Show makes his way out to kick off the show. He tries to talk but gets drowned out with boos. Show says he was in the ring two weeks ago for a debate which turned out to be a joke in an attempt to make him look foolish (or so he thinks). Show says the fans are the ones who look like fools for telling me to watch out for the Brogue Kick. Show motions to the TitanTron and we see a clip from last week’s show where Show blocked the Brogue Kick and threw him over the top rope and onto the floor. Show cocks a half-smile as the crowd boos. Show says the look on Sheamus‘ face that night was the look of someone in way over his head. “You suck!” chants by the Nashville crowd.

Show then brings up last Friday’s Smackdown and the “scientific challenge” that opened that show. He motions to the TitanTron again and we see footage from that contest; Show’s WMD (err K.O. Punch) proved to be much stronger. Show asks the crowd if he has their attention now. Crowd boos. Show says in two weeks at Hell in a Cell he will not be hitting a machine he’ll be hitting Sheamus and he’ll walk out the new (and largest) World Heavyweight Champion. Show then brings up his last title reign of 45 seconds and yells at the crowd for tweeting him with “45 seconds, fella”. He then admonishes the crowd for not being Irish and tells them not to tweet him with fella. The crowd chants “45 seconds” and Show snaps. He yells for Daniel Bryan to come out to face him so he can erase that loss by KO Punch-ing him.

  • Thoughts: I know everyone hates Show but he had solid mic work here and the crowd is definitely not shy about booing him. He’s really good in this role. Way better than his opponent for Hell in a Cell.

We cut to backstage where Bryan and Kane are watching the monitor along with Zack Ryder, Santino Marella, and R-Truth. Bryan tells them not to get excited because he’s not going out there. In pops GM AJ Lee who tells him he’s going through with it. Bryan asks if Kane has his back; Kane just laughs at him. He has a “No! Yes!” argument with people around him backstage as he heads to the ring.

  • Thoughts: I really liked this part. Watching Bryan walk to the ring having “No!/Yes!” fights with random backstage people was awesome.

Bryan’s music hits and out he comes to the ring. He is not thrilled. He gets in a “No/Yes” argument with kids at ringside. Bryan grabs a goat face mask from a kid and rips it in half.

Match #1: Daniel Bryan Vs. The Big Show

Show goes right at Bryan when the bell rings. Show chops him in the corner and follows it up with a headbutt. Bryan kicks Show in the hamstrings but Show grabs him by the throat and tosses him over the top rope and onto the floor. Show heads outside to continue to inflict damage as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Show is still in control as we come back live. Bryan climbs up and starts hitting forearms. He hits the ropes for momentum but Show catches him in a bear hug. We see a clip from the commercial break action where Show flattened Bryan with a spear. Back live Bryan starts hitting Show with elbows and Show throws him down. Show splashes Bryan in the corner then hits the ropes, but Bryan dropkicks Show’s knees and knocks him to the ground. Bryan hits a series of “No! Kicks” and connects with the final killing blow. Bryan goes for the pin. 2-count and Show throws him off.

Show gets himself up in the corner and Bryan hits a couple of running dropkicks. Bryan goes to the top turnbuckle but Show catches him and delivers the Chokeslam for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: The Big Show (6:33)

  • Strong win for Show that helps him build towards Hell in a Cell. Bryan doesn’t look weak taking the pinfall loss since he’s now a tag team guy. But still…it’s a Big Show matchIf you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. (B-)

Bryan’s tag team partner Kane comes out and he’s all smiles. Show is confused. Show goes for the K.O. Punch but Kane runs in and shields his tag team partner. Show begs off and heads to the back.

  • Thoughts: Interesting dynamic to Team Hell No. I like that they’ll defend each other against others but will constantly mock each other. Kind of like brothers.

Raw Hype: CM Punk picks his poison for Hell in a Cell tonight!

*Commercial Break*

Paul Heyman is in the ring with the WWE Championship as we come back from break. There’s something behind him under a black veil. After a lengthy ass-kissing introduction, he brings out the champion CM Punk who is going to make his decision on who he faces at Hell in a Cell in two weeks. Out he comes and he’s still in that yellow GTS shirt. Poor guy. That shirt is going to give him a drinking problem if they aren’t careful. Cole and Ross talk about the history of the Hell in a Cell match.

Heyman hands Punk the mic. Punk says that last week was a microcosm of what his life has become (someone questions his integrity and he proves them wrong). Punk says he doesn’t care if it’s any of the fans; if they disrespect him, he will put them down because he’s the Best in the World.

  • Thoughts: I hope no one tries to put sunglasses on this week. (Seriously though nice reference and using a bad situation to strengthen his heel character)

Punk brings up Vince McMahon and found the whole fight last week to be sad and pathetic. Punk says McMahon disrespected him last week so he slapped him in the face. Punk says Vinny Mac will never compete in the ring again after last week and the WWE Universe can thank him for that. Punk then recaps that McMahon said he gets the choice of who he faces in two weeks at the PPV. Punk then gestures to the TitanTron and we see that horrible, wretched Hell in a Cell poster where he dressed up like the devil.

Punk rhetorically asks if he’s the devil and says that compared to the crowd tonight he’s an angel. Punk brings up Ryback as the “devil he doesn’t know” and John Cena as the “devil he knows”. Punk asks who he should pick, then goes to reveal who he’s facing at Hell in a Cell and asks the crowd for a little decorum during so. The crowd continues to boo, and Punk doesn’t remove the veil from the easel. Punk says he needs more time to think about it and tells the crowd he needs some patience.

“No Chance in Hell” plays and out comes Vince McMahon. McMahon stays at the entrance stage. McMahon says that since Punk didn’t decide, he just blew it. McMahon says he’s going to decide for Punk and will unveil his choice during a contract signing for the match tonight. McMahon says Punk’s fate is now in his hands and tells Punk to “respect that”. Punk and Heyman inaudibly discuss what just happened as “No Chance in Hell” plays in the background.

  • Thoughts: Well that was certainly a segment. It was obvious they weren’t going to announce the opponent this early in the show, but a contract signing? Gag me with a spoon. I was hoping McMahon was done after last week. Not the best work from either of these three men.

Raw Hype: Sheamus takes on Wade Barrett in a rematch from last week’s show.

  • Thoughts: Already? Damn. I loved the match last week but no need to get back to the well this quick. Plus since they brought up the DQ finish, I got a weird feeling that Barrett is gonna get pinned.

*Commercial Break*

WWE Slam of the Week: Randy Orton RKO’s Ricardo Rodriguez on last week’s Smackdown. 

Alberto Del Rio is in the ring for the next match against Brodus Clay. They announce Orton/Del Rio for Hell in a Cell.

Match #2: Brodus Clay Vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio tries to get some offense but Clay uses his girth to fend him off. Clay knocks him to the outside, but Del Rio wrings his left arm over the top rope to get the advantage. Del Rio gets back in the ring and continues working on the left arm. Del Rio locks him in an armlock. Clay breaks out but Del Rio chops him down with a series of kicks. Del Rio gets whipped into the ropes and Clay hits the headbutt to the midsection. Del Rio gets up in the corner and moves out of the way of a Clay splash. Del Rio kicks him in the back of the head and locks on the Cross Armbreaker. Clay quickly submits.

Winner [via Submission]: Alberto Del Rio (2:12)

  • Another week, another Clay burial. I’m fine with that until they find him a much better and less flat out annoying character. Del Rio looked strong in victory as usual but I have no desire to see him and Orton wrestle again. It’s already happened like 5 times in the past month for free. (C)

Ricardo Rodriguez announces that Del Rio has won right in the face of the Funkadactyls. Awesome.

CM Punk and Paul Heyman are backstage. Punk asks who McMahon is for taking away his ability to choose his opponent. Heyman says that they can beat McMahon but they’ll never win the war. Punk says they can win and tells Heyman to find McMahon and tell him Punk wants to fight him again. If McMahon can beat him then he can choose Punk’s opponent. Heyman is reluctant but Punk shoos him away to make the announcement.

  • Thoughts: I’m starting to have deja vu.

Zack Ryder/Santino Marella make their way out to the ring for the next match. They hype up the crowd as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Match #3: Zack Ryder/Santino Marella Vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O’Neil)

We join the match in progress with PTP in control. Marella fights back against O’Neil and Ryder gets the hot tag. Ryder hits O’Neil with a dropkick from the second turnbuckle and hits a running forearm in the corner. Ryder then connects with the Broski Boot and goes for the pin. Young breaks the count. Young takes care of Marella, Ryder takes care of Young, and O’Neil hits Ryder with the spinebuster for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: The Prime Time Players (Time Not Recorded)

  • Not enough shown to really get a grasp on the match itself. (N/A)

The Band (Heath Slater/Jinder Mahal/Drew McIntyre) run out and beat down Marella. They are wearing leather jackets and vests and all sorts of generic stuff. They now call themselves the “3MB”. They do their coordinated air guitar routine and raise their arms in victory.

  • Thoughts: Well they’re getting just a little more ridiculous each week but I’m still on board. I want them to do something else other than beat up Marella though.

Raw Hype:  McMahon decides Punk’s HITC fate tonight (if he doesn’t accept the match)!

*Commercial Break*

Raw Recap: Punk stalls on picking his HITC opponent; McMahon comes out and says he’ll make the decision for him later tonight. Ugh we just saw this like five seconds ago.

Cole and Ross talk about the Punk events, but are interrupted by the shrill shriek of Vickie Guerrero. She introduces Dolph Ziggler and hands him the mic. He talks about how much he’s gone through to become a Money in the Bank winner as heads to the ring. Ziggler calls Ryback a flash in the pan and no one will remember him in two months. Ziggler says if anyone deserves a WWE Championship match, it’s him. Ziggler says he wants to take on Punk at Hell in a Cell, win the WWE Championship, then beat Sheamus and win the World Heavyweight Championship all in the same night.

And out comes David Otunga. Otunga says that Ziggler’s right and Ryback doesn’t deserve the title shot…but Ziggler doesn’t deserve it either. Otunga says that he, in fact, deserves the title shot as he gets in the ring and gets in Ziggler’s face. GM AJ Lee makes her way out to the entrance stage. Lee says he respects their opinion and gives them a chance to prove themselves in a 2 on 1 match against…Ryback. Out comes, erm, “Big Hungry” and the match is on.

Match #4: Ryback Vs. Dolph Ziggler/David Otunga

A “Feed Me More!” chant breaks out as Ziggler starts out against Ryback. Ziggler connects with a dropkick and sends him into the corner. Ryback runs out the corner and flattens him with a lariat. Ziggler tags Otunga in. Ryback connects with a backpack jawbreaker. Ziggler goes to get in the ring but Ryback stares him down and he instead bails on the match. Ryback gets back to business and connects with the Shell Shock for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Ryback (1:50)

  • Dolph Ziggler did not need to be dragged into this but him bailing on the match itself saved him from taking a devastating loss. Ryback did what he did, and the crowd was hot for it. He is getting super over. Good for him. (C)

Paul Heyman walks over and meets Vince McMahon in the GM Office. Heyman butters him up and puts Punk’s pitch (if McMahon can beat Punk, he can pick his HITC opponent) on the table. McMahon agrees…on the condition that he gets to face Heyman instead. Heyman cowers away and McMahon yells at him to get out of his sight.

  • Thoughts: …So that happened. Is that a match that’s actually happening or just a brush off?

AJ Lee is walking around backstage and is stopped by Matt Striker. Striker brings up Team Hell No’s attack on him last Friday on Smackdown and asks if he could get an apology. But he says the word “crazy” so instead of an apology he has a match against Kane. Striker protests as Lee exits.

  • Thoughts: We’re getting a Matt Striker in a wrestling match? Rock on. That I’m genuinely surprised about. Does he remember how to wrestle?

*Commercial Break*

WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro heads to the ring as we come back from commercial. His opponent tonight is Justin Gabriel whom he faced on Superstars last week. Picture in picture interview with the champ. He says the United States needs him more than he needs them.

Match #5: Justin Gabriel Vs. [WWE U.S. Champion] Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro attempts a German suplex but Gabriel lands on his feet. Cesaro responds with a clothesline that turns him inside out. Cesaro continues to work him over in the corner. Cesaro picks him up and drops him on the top turnbuckle. Cesaro then knees him in the gut as he lays on the top rope. Gabriel goes crashing to the mat. Cesaro pushes Gabriel back into the corner and beats him down until the ref separates them.

Cesaro dead lifts Gabriel and connects with a gutbuster, followed by a waistlock on the mat. Gabriel gets to his feet but Cesaro sends him back down by using the tights. Cesaro reapplies the waistlock and they both get to their feet. Gabriel and Cesaro trade blows and kicks. Gabriel connects with a flipping inverted DDT and heads to the top rope. Gabriel goes to the top and connects with the 450 splash. He goes for the pin. 1…2…Cesaro gets his foot on the rope. Gabriel is upset.

Gabriel goes for a springboard move, but Cesaro catches him with an uppercut out of nowhere. Cesaro dead lifts him and connects with the Neutralizer for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Antonio Cesaro (3:51)

  • Good match between the two but their Superstars match was better. Gabriel makes a good foil for Cesaro and sold the offense beautifully. Best match of the night so far, not that it has much competition so far. (B-)

Raw Hype: Vince McMahon decides Punk’s fate at HITC tonight.

*Commercial Break*

Matt Striker is in the ring, nervously awaiting his opponent. The fire erupts and the lights go out. Out comes Kane. We see clips from Team Hell No’s beatdown on Striker from Smackdown.

Match #6: Kane Vs. Matt Striker

Striker grabs a mic and tries to plead with Kane. He says he’s not a competitor anymore, he’s a broadcaster. Striker says he’s fine with just an apology and tells Kane to think about all the progress he’s made. He asks Kane what Dr. Shelby would say right now. Striker says the WWE Universe wants legitimate competition not mindless carnage. Kane stalks over and Striker drops the mic to plead some more. Kane motions at Striker for a hug and they hug it out. Striker goes to leave but Kane goes in for another hug but turns it into a bear hug. Kane then connects with the Chokeslam for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kane (2:02)

  • A total non-match but I was entertained by it. (N/A)

Kane grabs a mic and lays down next to Striker. He tries to interview Striker who can’t respond. Kane gets up and starts saying he’s the Tag Team Champions. He celebrates and leaves the ring.

  • Thoughts: Okay that was kind of funny.

Raw Hype: Eve Torres defends the Divas Championship against Layla tonight!

Last Week on Raw: Larry King‘s wife throws water in The Miz‘s face. Kofi Kingston attacks Miz after and connects with a move off the stage.

Raw Hype: MizTV w/ Kofi Kingston, next!

*Commercial Break*

Miz TV

The Miz welcomes everyone to Miz TV and mocks everyone for being from Nashville. Miz says that his guest tonight had the audacity to challenge him for the IC Title last Wednesday on Main Event. He introduces Kofi Kingston. Kingston makes his way out and we see clips of Kingston laying out Miz last Wednesday. Kingston jokingly says he thought Miz would like the footage of him getting laid out. Miz tells Kingston not to worry about tonight as he’ll carry him as he carries everyone. Kingston said that it looked Miz was the one who needed to be carried last Wednesday. Miz then lays into Kingston about his lackluster 5 year career. Miz says Kingston should thank him for finally getting him in a main event and says Kingston will always be a B player.

Kingston says maybe he does needs to add more memorable moments to his career, and says beating Miz for the IC Title on Main Event will do the job. Kingston thanks Miz for the “pep talk” and says he’s fired up enough to face him tonight instead of Wednesday. Miz asks the crowd if they want to see the match and they cheer. Miz says he doesn’t back down to a challenge and it’s on. Non-title though of course. Miz says Kingston will choke as always and says he’s the superstar while Kingston is the novelty act. Miz says no one cares about Kingston; all he’ll ever be is a guy that says “Boom Boom Boom”. Miz pokes him in the chest and Kingston attacks him. Miz gets knocked to the outside of the ring. Kingston grabs the IC Belt left in the ring and raises it in the air while pointing to himself.

  • Thoughts: A far better segment than I expected to be honest. Strong mic work by Kingston and excellent heel work from Miz. But having them wrestle tonight in a non-title match? Not as good. Save it for Wednesday, guys.

Raw Hype: Sheamus/Barrett up next!

*Commercial Break*

Cole and Ross talk about the Susan G. Komen partnership. Awkward shift into the music of Sheamus. Out comes the World Heavyweight Champion. His opponent Wade Barrett makes his way out second. We see clips from their match last week which got marred by Tensai interference.

Match #7: [World Heavyweight Champion] Sheamus Vs. Wade Barrett

Barrett backs Sheamus in the corner, and Sheamus pushes him away before a cheap shot happens. They lock up and Barrett snags a waistlock. Sheamus takes him down with a drop toe hold and transitions into an armbar. Barrett catches Sheamus with a right and grabs an armbar of his own. Sheamus gets out and regains the advantage with an armbar once again. Barrett puts him against the ropes and hits a couple of forearms. Barrett attempts a hip toss but Sheamus blocks it and he hits a clothesline. Barrett rolls to the apron and Sheamus tries to set him up for the forearms but Barrett blocks it and punches him off.

Barrett gets back in and repeatedly lands rights to the side of Sheamus’ head. Barrett connects with a pumphandle slam and goes for the pin. 2-count. Barrett locks Sheamus in a chinlock. They get to their feet and Barrett whips him into the corner. Sheamus comes out with an elbow and forearm. Sheamus picks Barrett up and lands a rolling senton. Barrett rolls to the outside to regroup. Sheamus goes to the apron and hits a flying shoulder block.

The music of The Big Show hits and out he comes with a chair. Sheamus stares him down as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

The action is back in the ring as we come back from commercial. Show is sitting at the entrance stage. Barrett sends Sheamus through the ropes but he stays on the apron. Barrett misses a boot, and Sheamus hits him with a series of forearms knocking him down to the mat. Barrett tries to kick the steps into him again but Sheamus knows better. They get back to the apron and Sheamus knees him in the ring. Barrett responds with a kick, which sends Sheamus crumpling to the floor. Nice.

Sheamus gets back in at the count of 9. Barrett continues his barrage (sorry) and works over Sheamus’ midsection. Barrett puts Sheamus between the ropes and Barrett hits a forearm over his chest (nice). Barrett kicks Sheamus in the skull as Sheamus sits on the middle rope. Sheamus crumples to the apron.

The action spills outside and Barrett sends him face-first into the announce table. Barrett jaws with Ross then throws Sheamus back into the ring. Barrett goes for the pin. 1-count. Barrett puts Sheamus in a sort of camel clutch. Sheamus gets to his feet and fights out. He catches Barrett and connects with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Both men are down and The Big Show paces around the entrance stage.

They get up and Sheamus goes on the offensive. Sheamus hits a shoulder block in the corner followed by a kneelift and running powerslam. Sheamus goes for the pin. 2-count. Sheamus catches Barrett on the apron and delivers his thunderous forearms to the chest. Sheamus suplexes Barrett back into the ring and goes for the pin. 2-count. Barrett reverses an Irish whip and sends Sheamus into the corner chest-first. Barrett connects with a clothesline and heads to the second rope. Barrett buries a flying elbow drop into the heart and goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT.

Barrett picks Sheamus up but Sheamus slips out. Barrett ducks the Brogue Kick and delivers a tilt a whirl slam. Barrett goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT. Barrett chokes Sheamus with his boot but Sheamus kicks at Barrett’s legs to knock him down. Barrett retreats to the corner and Sheamus gets up on the opposite end. Sheamus runs in but Barrett back drops him to the apron. Sheamus goes to the top but Barrett ducks. Sheamus takes Barrett down and locks him in the Texas Cloverleaf. Big Show comes to the ring and distracts Sheamus who breaks the hold. Barrett attacks from behind and Show pulls the top rope sending him falling to the floor. The ref calls for the DQ.

Winner [via DQ]: Sheamus (15:17)

  • Another great effort by both men that resulted in a very entertaining big man match. They have now proved two weeks running that they should be headlining PPV’s. The DQ win was deja vu but necessary and once again Barrett remains strong. So good you guys. (B+)

Sheamus gets back into the ring, delivers the Brogue Kick to Barrett, then clotheslines Big Show to the floor.

Raw Recap: The CM Punk/McMahon stuff. Remember an hour or two ago?

Vince McMahon is on his phone backstage but hangs up when he sees John Cena. They shake hands. McMahon asks what the doctor says about Cena’s injury but Cena says he knows McMahon doesn’t care about stuff like that. Cena says he’s felt worse and he belongs out there. He tells McMahon if he chooses him, he’ll do what he does. McMahon says he’ll take it under consideration.

WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres comes out for the next match as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Match #8: Eve Torres (c) Vs. Layla for the WWE Divas Championship

The two lock up and roll around the ring. They push one another and Torres kicks Layla in the gut. She takes Layla down with a headlock. Layla attempts a head scissor but Torres blocks it. They get to their feet but Torres takes her down immediately with a Fujiwara Armbar. Back to their feet and Layla applies a wristlock. Torres pushes Layla through the second and bottom rope, and Layla heads to the floor.

Torres follows her and smashes her head-first into the apron. Torres throws Layla in and goes for the pin. 2-count. Snapmare by Torres followed by a kick. Torres goes for the pin. 2-count. Another try, another 2-count. Torres locks Layla up in a head scissor, Layla’s arm also caught in the grapevine. Torres spins it around and smashes Layla into the mat a couple of times before rolling back. Layla gets to the ropes to force the break.

Torres chokes Layla on the middle rope. Layla fights back and hits a savate kick. She goes for the pin. 2-count. Layla hits a running clothesline followed by a faceslam. Layla connects with a flying cross body for a 2-count. Torres pushes her off and rams her into the corner. Torres runs in but gets caught in the face with the boot. Layla goes to the second rope but Torres knocks her off and goes for the pin. 1…2…(Layla gets her foot on the bottom rope)…3!

Winner and STILL Divas Champion [via Pinfall]: Eve Torres (4:39)

  • A very strong Divas match. Torres’ moveset has apparently grown by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks. Good mat/chain wrestling. Really dug this match but the ending…not so much. Didn’t they just do the foot on the rope thing with Punk/Cena? (B)

Raw Hype: Blah blah blah McMahon decides Punk’s yadda yadda yadda.

*Commercial Break*

Daniel Bryan and Kane are talking backstage. Kane asked if he saw what he did to Matt Striker but Bryan says he was too busy being mad at Kane laughing at his earlier loss to The Big Show. They argue about whether it was funny or not. A “Yes/No” back and forth breaks out until Bryan stops it. Bryan says if Kane thinks it’s that funny that he got chokeslammed by The Big Show, Kane should be face him to see how funny it is. Bryan then says he’s the tag team champions and walks off.

Vince McMahon is in the GM Office with Ryback. McMahon thanks him for helping out last week. McMahon says that people are calling Ryback heartless, merciless, cold-blooded, and other such things. McMahon says that people are calling Ryback the new king of the mountain. He asks what Ryback has to say. Ryback simply says “Feed Me Punk” and walks off in a huff. McMahon says he’ll take that under consideration.

The Rhodes Scholars head out for the next match, the #1 Contendership Tag Team tournament finals. Well apparently Rey Mysterio is sick this week so the match has been moved to next week so neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrmind. They’re still gonna rassle though, but that’s not until after this commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

We are out and about with the 3 Man Band. They enter a Nashville Honky Tonk and charge the stage. Heath Slater gets on the mic and says that they are music. Drew McIntyre counts them down, but Jinder Mahal stops him and counts down in his native tongue. Before they can perform, a bouncer kicks them off the stage.

Epico/Primo are in the ring for the match that we forgot was happening. They attack The Rhodes Scholars before the bell and flee the ring. Both teams tell the ref to ring the bell and he finally obliges.

Match #9: Epico/Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes) Vs. Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes)

Epico and Primo work over Rhodes with their tag team maneuvers. Primo makes the first cover of the match. 2-count. Rhodes reverses  an Irish whip but misses a splash and gets rolled up for a 2-count. Sandow distracts the ref and Primo, allowing Rhodes to attack from behind. Sandow tags in and works Primo over in his team’s corner. Snapmare by Sandow into a chinlock. Primo flips him off but Sandow drags him away and prevents the tag.

Rhodes tags in and continues the hurt. Rhodes connects with a right hand and tags Sandow back in. Russian legsweep by Sandow followed by the Elbow of Disdain. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Sandow connects with a knee drop and goes for the pin. 2-count. Rhodes tags in and hits a running knee to a seated Primo. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Rhodes keeps Primo from tagging in his partner. Snapmare by Rhodes followed by a right hand. Primo catches Rhodes mid-kick but Rhodes rams back to his team’s corner. Sandow tags in and rips at Primo’s face. Primo fights back but Sandow continues to block the tag.

Rhodes tags back in and hits a running clothesline. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Sandow tags in and goes for a pin after an elbow drop. 2-count. Sandow attempts a backdrop, but Primo leap frogs him and tags in Epico. Epico connects with a flying clothesline and a dropkick. Epico hits three back suplexes in a row and goes for the pin. Rhodes breaks the count. Primo comes in to make it even but Rhodes knocks him out. Epico then knocks Rhodes out. Epico reverses an Irish whip but Sandow hits him with an elbow. Epico misses a crossbody from the second rope, and Sandow hits the Terminus for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: The Rhodes Scholars (6:52)

  • The crowd was absolutely flat for this match as was the announce team. Very weird. Also Epico/Primo had to play the good guys which was awkward since they’ve been heeling out for a long time. It was obvious this match was thrown together at the last minute, but at the very least it helped make The Rhodes Scholars look like a dominant tag team. Love their constant tags in and out and how they keep their opponents from tagging in. They felt like an old school team. (C)

Raw Hype: Punk/McMahon HITC dasf;aewfewtfrwe4rfeweroer (I’m getting bored saying this every damn time)

*Commercial Break*

The Miz and Kofi Kingston are already in the ring for the next match. Someone went over time earlier in the show.

Match #10: Kofi Kingston Vs. [WWE IC Champion] The Miz

Back and forth action to begin the match. Kingston starts getting the upper hand but Miz bails to the outside. Kingston follows and clotheslines him to the ground. The action moves back into the ring and Kingston continues the assault. Kingston repeatedly kicks Miz in the midsection and chokes him in the corner. Miz catches Kingston off guard and drops him face-first on the turnbuckle. He follows it up with a clothesline.

Kingston quickly fights back but Miz hits his running clothesline in the corner. Miz goes to the top and waits for Kingston to stand. Miz connects with a flying axehandle and goes for the pin. 2-count. Miz traps Kingston in a chinlock. Kingston fights out and turns a suplex attempt into a pinning combo for a 2-count. Miz reverses an Irish whip and Kingston sunset flips for a 2-count. Miz catches Kingston in a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo and goes for the pin. Another 2-count.

Another chinlock by Miz. Kingston turns it into a back suplex and both men are down. Kingston takes Miz down with a bunch of chops followed by a running clothesline. Kingston goes for the Boom Drop but Miz rolls to the apron. Kingston tries to suplex him but Miz rolls out and goes for the Skull Crushing Finale. Kingston counters out of it and hits the Trouble in Paradise for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kofi Kingston (5:19)

  • Not a bad match but I’m getting super burned out by this point; 10 matches is too much for a TV episode. Also it felt a bit rushed due to dwindling TV time. The match created doubt as to if Miz can retain the IC Title on Wednesday. The Ric Flair tactic. (C+)

Officials check on Miz as Kingston celebrates his win.

Vince McMahon heads to the ring for the final segment next!

*Commercial Break*

The Contract Signing (Who Will Face CM Punk at Hell in a Cell?)

Vince McMahon heads to the ring, contract in hand. Jim Ross mistakenly mentions John Cena sooo I wonder who it’ll be. He gets into the ring where there’s a table set up. McMahon says it’s decision time and out comes WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman. Punk gets into the ring and stares McMahon down. McMahon then introduces Ryback to the ring. Finally McMahon introduces the man who will fa…err, Cena to the ring. He isn’t wearing that ridiculous spider tape on his elbow. Cena looks over to Ryback but Ryback is focused completely on Punk.

Cena grabs a mic and gets the usual mixed response. McMahon says he’s been thinking about this decision all week because he knew Punk wouldn’t have the balls to do it himself. Punk cuts him off and says he’s already sick of hearing him talk. Punk signs the contract and says he’ll do to Ryback or Cena what he did to McMahon last week. McMahon says Punk brought this on himself. Punk says he’s “shocked” that McMahon has Cena’s back. He calls them jealous little men and Cena yells “ENOUGH!”. Cena says from one man to another Punk needs to shut the hell up.

McMahon goes to announce his decision but Cena says he’s not done. He says he would love nothing more than to face Punk but he looks at Ryback and sees a man who only cares about kicking somebody’s ass. Cena says Punk needs to get his ass whipped. Cena says Punk won’t sleep for the next couple of weeks because of three simple words: “Feed Me More!”. He leads the crowd in a “Feed Me More” chant and gets out of the ring.

Ryback walks over to the table and signs the contract. McMahon officially announces that Punk will face Ryback at Hell in a Cell. Punk and Ryback stare one another down as a “Feed Me More” chant gets loud and intense. Punk pokes Ryback in the chest and Ryback smacks his head into the table. He throws the table away and leads the “Feed Me More” chant. Ryback picks Punk up and delivers the Shell Shock. More “Feed Me More” chanting by Ryback and the crowd. His music hits as we fade to logo.

  • Thoughts: I’ll give this one to the WWE; I didn’t expect Ryback to actually get the shot against Punk. And although Cena is annoying as hell, he is the biggest star in the company and him backing Ryback gave “Big Hungry” one hell of a rub. I almost want to order Hell in a Cell now. Almost. We all know Punk won’t lose the belt. A good ending to the show with a genuine surprise but goddamn did I feel every f*cking minute of this episode. I’m worn the f*ck out.

Overall Show Grade: C

  • Favorite Match: Sheamus Vs. Wade Barrett
  • Least Favorite Match: Zack Ryder/Santino Marella Vs. The Prime Time Players
  • Favorite Segments: MizTV, Ryback signing the contract
  • Least Favorite Segments: Heyman/McMahon confrontation, McMahon forcing the contract signing, pretty much all of the McMahon stuff

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