[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 10/29/2012

It’s the night after Hell in a Cell and there are many questions left unanswered: why did Brad Maddox cost Ryback the match against CM Punk? What “photographic proof” will Vickie Guerrero unveil to further implicate AJ Lee and John Cena? What will new World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show have to say now that he has successfully ended Sheamus’ 6 month reign as champion? Will Cena and Dolph Ziggler get into it once again?

All this and more awaits you on this week’s edition of Raw. Click “read more” for full coverage of the show in all of its overly detailed glory.

Hell in a Cell Recap:Referee Brad Maddox low-blows Ryback and costs him the WWE Championship against CM Punk. But Ryback gets the last laugh by delivering the Shell Shock on top of the cell.

Justin Roberts introduces WWE Champion CM Punk to the ring. Punk comes out with his ribs taped and a pronounced limp. Paul Heyman follows behind and holds the championship in the air behind him. Michael Cole and Jim Ross talk about the controversial ending to last night’s match. Cole teases that they’ll have more on Brad Maddox later on in the show. Cole says Ryback was “robbed”.

The crowd immediately boos when his music stops and Punk shakes his head. Punk says everyone thought Ryback was unbeatable and “knew” Punk would be just another victim. Punk says he proved everyone wrong, and starts pointing at random members of the audience saying “you were wrong”. Punk says he has been proving everyone all wrong since day one. He says he’s defeated every single one of their heroes and has survived everything they’ve had to offer. Punk name drops Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton as opponents he’s defeated. Finally he gets to John Cena and says he defeats him time and time again. Punk says as far as Ryback is concerned he’s not in the conversation. Punk says his monumental victory last night should be applauded, but it’s been mired in controversy. Punk takes offense at the accusation he convinced Maddox to get involved and says he had nothing to do with it. Punk says he was shocked at what happened and says the only thing he’s guilty of is taking advantage of situation brought on by a rogue official.

To illustrate Maddox’s incompetence, Punk says he was hired by AJ Lee back when she was GM and talks about how he cost Punk a match a few weeks ago. Punk once again pleads innocence to the events that happened last night. A “You suck” chant breaks out. Punk says the crowd can hate on him all they want but the list of heroes he’s defeated grows. Punk says he’s the “Best in the World”, prompting Heyman to lift the WWE Championship high in the air. Punk proudly says he looks at Ryback a completely different way: in his rearview mirror. Punk says there will not be a rematch.

Punk tries to continue talking but is interrupted by the music of Mick Foley. Out comes the WWE legend as Punk angrily freaks out about being interrupted. Punk tosses his shirt to the floor (his arms are also bandaged up). A loud “Foley” chant emanates from the Charlotte crowd. Punk chides the crowd for chanting his name. Foley says that 24 hours ago Punk was left splattered on top of the Hell in a Cell structure. Punk asks why Foley is even out here since the last time he showed up he got his ass kicked. Foley goes for the cheap pop and then says he didn’t come out to embarrass Punk, Punk did a good job of doing that himself last night. Foley says he gave Punk a chance to live up to the legacy of the Hell in a Cell and he blew it. Punk tells Foley not to yell at him about tradition. Punk goads the crowd by saying he doesn’t suck like Charlotte does, which gets the crowd loudly chanting “You suck!”. Punk has an idea; with Survivor Series coming up, he challenges Foley to a traditional “Survivor Series” match. Team Foley Vs. Team Punk. Foley accepts the challenge. Another “Foley” chant breaks out.

Before Punk can continue the trash talk, Ryback makes his way out to the ring in a hurried fashion. Punk and Heyman immediately bail from the ringside area and escape through the crowd as Ryback gets in the ring. Ryback leads the crowd in a “Feed Me More!” chant as we go to commercial.

  • Thoughts: An actual honest to goodness Survivor Series match? Sign me right the f*ck up. I wasn’t big on the Foley/Punk confrontation from a few weeks ago but this one was much better. Good mic work from both men. And as a superficial aside, Ryback’s new red singlet is obnoxious.

*Commercial Break*

Ryback is still in the ring for the first match. He’s facing JTG, who looks nervous as hell about it.

Match #1: Ryback Vs. JTG

JTG is cautious in the beginning, circling around trying to figure out a plan. But Ryback eventually gets a hold of him and starts beating on him. JTG side steps a corner splash but Ryback catches him with a Thesz press. Ryback repeatedly slams JTG’s head into the mat. Ryback hits the ropes and delivers the lariat. Ryback signals for the Shell Shock, then connects with it for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Ryback (1:59)

  • Looks like Ryback added a couple of different power moves this time around, but outside of that, it was your normal squash. I mean it is what it is. (C-)

Josh Matthews joins Ryback in the ring. He attempts to interview him but Ryback snatches the mic. Ryback says he’s hungry and when he feasts again it will be on CM Punk. He then leads a “Feed me Punk” chant.

  • Thoughts: Simple promo from Ryback, but it wasn’t half-bad. Way better than his old “food chain” references from the beginning stages of his character.

Hell in a Cell Recap: The Big Show hits Sheamus with the K.O. Punch to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

Raw Hype: Randy Orton meets Wade Barrett right after this commercial break.

*Commercial Break*

Randy Orton is headed to the ring for his match as we come back from commercial. His opponent Wade Barrett is already in the ring. Ross reminds the viewers Barrett beat him on Smackdown last Friday and then we see clips from it.

Match #2: Randy Orton Vs. Wade Barrett

Barrett backs Orton in the corner and then clean breaks, pointing and smiling at him. Side headlock by Barrett, but Orton sends him into the ropes and delivers a dropkick. Barrett rolls to the outside but Orton follows. Barrett side steps him and works on his left arm. Orton fights back and slams him repeatedly on Spanish announce table. Orton rolls him back in and starts on the Garvin Stomp. Orton drops a knee on Barrett then stomps on his face. Barrett fights back with a series of rights, and throws him into the ropes. Barrett tries for a boot but crotches on the top rope. Orton clotheslines him, sending Barrett to the floor. Orton plays to the crowd as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Barrett is back in control and working on Orton’s arm as we come back from break. Barrett sent Orton shoulder-first into the ring post during the break. Orton breaks out of the shoulder lock with a series of headbutts. Orton hits the ropes but gets a knee to the midsection for his troubles. Barrett goes for the pin. 2-count. Barrett grapevines the shoulder and continues to put the hurt on it. Barrett sends Orton shoulder-first into the corner then wrenches it, sending Orton to the mat. Barrett goes for another pin. 2-count.

Barrett chokes Orton on the second rope and then chokes him on the top rope while he’s seated on second rope. Barrett wrenches the arm over the top rope then delivers a series of knee strikes to the ribs. Barrett then delivers a running kick, sending Orton crumpling down to the apron. Barrett drags him in and goes for the cover. 2-count. Another armbar from Barrett to continue hurting the shoulder. Orton smashes Barrett into the corner and breaks free via arm drag. Orton gains momentum and finishes an offensive string with a powerslam. Barrett rolls to the apron, and Orton catches him with his hanging DDT. Orton coils up for the RKO. Barrett blocks it and hits a tilt-a-whirl sideslam for the 1…2…kick out. Barrett sets up for the Souvenir, but Orton ducks it and hits the RKO for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Randy Orton (10:11)

  • A very good match between the two with the added bonus of having the “Orton’s injured shoulder” story to work with. Barrett continues to have the standout matches every week. (B)

Backstage Vickie Guerrero is with AJ Lee. Guerrero says she invited her to explain her affair with John Cena. Lee proclaims her innocence. Guerrero says as Executive Supervisor or whatever, it’s up to her if Lee gets to be hired back as an in-ring performer and asks Lee’s biggest weakness. Lee says she can get too emotionally attached…to her job. Guerrero asks her if she’s “crazy” and Lee holds back. Guerrero says when she gets back, Lee needs to give her one good reason she should be hired back, and leaves. Lee starts with the crazy eyes but sucks it up and composes herself as we go to commercial.

  • Thoughts: I haven’t seen AJ wrestle in forever. I’m all for this…even if it means Cena/Lee against Ziggler/Guerrero.

*Commercial Break*

WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No make their way out to the ring for the next match. Daniel Bryan comes out first and fights the “Yes!” chants in his normal awesome way, followed by Kane and his whole brimstone thing. Their opponents, The Prime Time Players, are already in the ring.

Match #3: [WWE Tag Team Champions] Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan/Kane) Vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O’Neil)

Bryan and Young start the match off. Bryan takes him down with a leglock, then hits a bunch of No-kicks. Kane tags himself in and continues the assault. Kane whips Young into the corner and splashes him. Bryan tags himself back in. Bryan hits a front facing dropkick in the corner and avoids Kane’s attempt to tag in. O’Neil tags in during the argument, and takes Bryan down with a running shoulder block. Body slam by O’Neil. Bryan fights back with a series of No kicks but O’Neil hits a powerslam to regain the advantage. 2-count.

Young tags in and The Prime Time Players hit a double shoulder block. Reverse chinlock applied by Young, with intermittent face wrenching. Young transitions into a waistlock. Bryan elbows out and hits a series of forearms, but Young hits a knee to stop the momentum. Bryan flips out of a suplex attempt and fights back to his corner. Kane tags himself in and lays into Young with a series of rights followed by a couple of corner clotheslines. Kane hits a side slam and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Kane heads to the top turnbuckle and connects with a flying clothesline. He knocks O’Neil to the floor afterwards. Young starts fighting back but gets caught with a chokeslam. O’Neil runs in and gets tossed back to the floor. Bryan tags himself in during this and applies the No-Lock on Young. After a brief struggle Young taps out.

Winners [via Submission]: Team Hell No (Time Not Recorded; I forgot to start the stopwatch)

  • An okay match but the Team Hell No thing is really wearing thin with me. And poor Prime Time Players; I guess they couldn’t job out Epico/Primo again. (B-)

Bryan celebrates with both Tag Team Titles, until Kane makes the turnbuckles explode with fire. Kane snatches one of the belts and they continue to argue in the ring with one another.

Hell in a Cell Recap: Show/Sheamus.

Vickie Guerrero heads to the ring to show her “proof” of the AJ/Cena affair as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We join Cole and Ross at ringside. We see clips of last month’s Raw where Brad Maddox accidentally cost CM Punk a match followed by his interference/screwjob of Ryback at Hell in a Cell.

Vickie Guerrero’s “Proof”

Vickie Guerrero makes her way to the ring, mic in hand. She assures that with her in charge, this is a new era of Raw built on integrity and credibility. Guerrero says she’s been promising proof of the AJ/Cena affair all week on Twitter. Guerrero says she has kept her promise, and introduces John Cena to the ring. Cena comes out all smiles and energy. Cena runs into the ring and immediately grabs a mic.

Cena says Guerrero’s actions last week were outrageous and says the only reason he’s out here is to clear up all the misunderstandings. Guerrero introduces Exhibit A: Cena asking AJ out on a date 3 weeks ago during a promo on Raw. Cena says that the comment was a joke and everyone understood that except her. Guerrero introduces Exhibit B: Cena hugging AJ from last week’s Raw. Cena says he was being a good friend by consoling her after Guerrero cost her her job. Guerrero then introduces Exhibit C: a picture of Cena and AJ at a “romantic dinner”. Cena says it was a business dinner to discuss when he would return to in-ring competition on Raw. Guerrero then introduces Exhibit D: AJ getting into an elevator with Cena after the dinner. Cena looks nervous as hell.

Guerrero calls the footage “very interesting”. A “You are busted” chant breaks out in the Charlotte crowd. Nice. Cena says he knows how that looks, which causes a cackle from Guerrero. Cena says he was convincing AJ not to confront Guerrero and what they saw was two people getting into an elevator and that’s it. Guerrero tries to insinuate more, and Cena says he did walk AJ to her hotel door. Guerrero then insinuates it went a little beyond that (SHE MEANS SEX!). Guerrero starts tearing down AJ, but Cena interrupts her. Cena says AJ is more resilient, strong, and attractive than Guerrero. Guerrero calls Cena “sweet” for calling AJ attractive.

Cena tries to get his foot out of his mouth but is interrupted by the music of Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler walks to the ring with a mic. He says everyone has seen enough to draw a conclusion. Ziggler says because Cena was unable to control his “sophomoric” urges, everyone sees him for what he is really is. Cena grabs him by the collar and tells Ziggler to not mention his or AJ’s name in the same sentence again. Cena pushes him to the mat and makes an angry exit.

  • Thoughts: That was a far better segment than I expected, but come on: affair storylines are always ridiculous and this is no exception. I’m going to always roll my eyes at this as a Pavlovian response but at least the talent involved seems capable enough to make it entertaining. And I was entertained, but…come on. When does Cena bring up the fact Ziggler and Guerrero have essentially been banging for the past few years?

Raw Recap: IC Champ Kofi Kingston faces US Champ Antonio Cesaro next!

*Commercial Break*

WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro is already in the ring. The Miz has joined Cole/Ross on commentary. Cesaro goes to cut a promo and is quickly cut off by a “USA!” chant. Cesaro says while traveling the country as our United States Champion, he has discovered that America has the fattest children in the world. Cesaro then says Halloween is coming up, calling it a “silly American holiday” where obese kids are given candy by stupid adults who don’t see the obesity epidemic. Cesaro says that more than ever, the United States needs him as their champion. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston makes his way out next, and we get a good shot at Miz looking angry.

  • Thoughts: Good old school foreign heel promo by Cesaro, although I wish this sort of character didn’t have a place in wrestling anymore. We should be more evolved than this.

Match #4: [WWE Intercontinental Champion] Kofi Kingston Vs. [WWE United States Champion] Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro easily takes Kingston down and drops an elbow. Headbutt by Cesaro, but Kingston cartwheels out of an arm drag. Kingston moves out of a corner splash and kicks him. He goes to the top but Cesaro crotches him. Cesaro picks him and delivers a fallaway slam. Body slam by Cesaro followed by a double stomp. Cesaro traps Kingston in a double arm bar maneuver as Miz goes nuts about the fact Cole keeps reminding him he’s been beat three times.

The two get back to their feet and Kingston dropkicks Cesaro out to the floor. Cesaro pulls him out but Kingston ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard forearm from the ring steps. Kingston jaws with Miz at ringside and Cesaro attacks from behind. Kingston fights back, and throws Cesaro right into The Miz, flattening him. Kingston rolls Cesaro back in, but Miz attacks him from behind to cause the DQ.

Winner [via DQ]: Kofi Kingston (2:33)

  • With Miz at commentary, it was obvious he was going to stick his nose into the match so I didn’t get too invested in the action itself. Just took up time until the run-in, which is a shame since Kingston/Cesaro could’ve been pretty good. (C)

Miz and Cesaro continue to attack Kingston. R-Truth runs down to the ring to defend his best friend and clears the ring of both heels. Truth raises Kingston’s arm in the air as Miz/Cesaro look on in anger.

  • Thoughts: BFF’s! Love it! Does this mean Truth is Cesaro’s next contender?

Raw Hype: Former World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus will discuss his lost last night.

Raw Hype: CM Punk and Mick Foley pick their teams for the Survivor Series match.

*Commercial Break*

Vickie Guerrero gets back to her office where AJ Lee has still been waiting. Guerrero eggs her on, asking if Cena was romantic and if he gave her a nice goodnight kiss. Guerrero asks Lee to admit she cares about Cena and she can be hired back. Lee refuses because nothing happened. Lee says the WWE means everything to her, but Guerrero is not worth lying for. Lee goes to leave but Guerrero calls her back. Guerrero says Lee is hired, as long as she never lays a hand on Guerrero. She then welcomes Lee back and says her first match back will be tonight against Beth Phoenix. Lee thanks her and skips away.

  • Thoughts: I’m down with that.

3MB Interview

A random interviewer is with 3MB (Heath Slater/Jinder Mahal/Drew McIntyre). He asks what 3MB is. They talk about how they are transcendent, and Jinder Mahal says he’s the funny one (while looking very seriously). Drew McIntyre says they are stronger than other bands and Bono would never be able to do a deadlift in his life. The interviewer asks if 3MB will finally perform. They say they can’t just come up with hits overnight, then call the interview off. They do their hand signal to end the segment.

  • Thoughts: The Mahal serious face wasn’t funny, but otherwise I have this to say: :-DDDDDDDDDDDDD. Yeah I just emoticonned, suck it.

Zack Ryder and Santino Marella make their way out to the ring to face 3MB. Ryder/Marella play to the crowd as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

3MB are making their way into the ring as we come back from commercial.

Match #5: Zack Ryder/Santino Marella Vs. Heath Slater/Jinder Mahal (w/ Drew McIntyre)

Ryder and Mahal start the match off. Mahal whips Ryder into the corner but Ryder gets his knees up. Ryder follows up with a second rope Missile dropkick and a running forearm in the corner. Ryder then connects with the Broski Boot. Slater distracts the ref and Ryder, allowing Mahal to gain the advantage. Slater tags in and whips Ryder hard into the corner. Slater/Mahal share a series of quick tags and pin attempts. Mahal tags back in and hits a running knee. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Marella tries to get a “Ryder” chant going but it doesn’t work.

Snap mare by Slater followed by a reverse chinlock. Ryder breaks out but Slater backs him into the corner and beats him up. Slater does his air guitar taunt but misses the forearm in the corner. Marella gets the hot tag and lays into Slater. He hits a hip toss followed by the falling headbutt. He goes for the pin but Mahal breaks it up. Ryder comes in and clotheslines both him and Mahal over the top and onto the floor. Marella puts on the Cobra and goes for the finish, but McIntyre goes to the apron. Marella strikes him with the Cobra but Slater comes from behind and hits his finisher for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: 3MB (3:51)

  • Decent enough match, but 3MB has been fighting Marella/Ryder for what seems like forever now. They need to move on already. I was amused by the fact Marella’s attempt to get the crowd to chant Ryder’s name failed miserably. (C+)

Raw Hype: CM Punk and Mick Foley pick their Survivor Series teams tonight.

Raw Hype: AJ Lee makes her return to in-ring competition against Beth Phoenix next!

*Commercial Break*

Cole announces that Jerry Lawler returns to the Raw announce table in two weeks. Oh well it was fun while it lasted far superior commentators.

AJ Lee makes her way to the ring for the next match. Beth Phoenix is already in the ring.

Match #6: AJ Lee Vs. Beth Phoenix

Phoenix shoves Lee and begs her to fight. She shoves her again, this time to the mat. Lee gets the crazy look in her eye and jumps Phoenix, unloading with a series of rights. She jumps on Phoenix’s back and continues striking her, but Phoenix pulls her off and slams her to the mat. Phoenix stomps on the fallen Lee and rubs her face into the mat. The action goes to the outside and Phoenix drives Lee back-first into the apron. Phoenix rolls her back in and goes for the pin. 2-count. Phoenix picks her up but Lee rolls her up with an inside cradle for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: AJ Lee (2:07)

Vickie Guerrero interrupts Lee’s celebration and says she demands more of her. Phoenix attacks Lee from behind and Guerrero makes the ref restart the match. Phoenix applies the double chicken wing then slams her face-first into the mat for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Beth Phoenix (2:24)

  • Nice heel work from Guerrero making Lee’s life a living hell. The match itself was short but it was nice to see Lee back in the ring. Could have done without Cole/Ross treating Lee like a little girl instead of an actual wrestler though; I was waiting for one of them to call her “kiddo”. (C)

A giant ad for WWE ’13 airs, with Cole and Ross hyping how awesome it is. The game is out tomorrow.

Raw Hype: Former World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus talks about his loss last night NEXT!

*Commercial Break*

Raw Recap: The Punk/Foley opening segment.

Sheamus Addresses the WWE Universe

Sheamus makes his way out to the ring to speak about his loss to The Big Show last night. Cole and Ross say that Sheamus had a good showing last night in his loss, being the first man ever to kick out of the K.O. Punch. He still, you know, lost, though. Sheamus asks the crowd how they’re doing and they cheer. Sheamus says he’s out here without a championship around his waist but with a smile on his face. Sheamus says he’s disappointed that he lost but last night Show was the better man. He says Show knocked him out, but Sheamus says he came to the WWE to fight, not to always win, and last night was the greatest fight of his entire life. He says Show won the battle last night, but the war is far from over. Sheamus says he’s dying for another fight against Show and guarantees the next time they face each other it’s going to be an all out war. Sheamus says when it’s all said and done the World Championship will be back around his waist.

Naturally, the new champ The Big Show makes his way out to stick his nose into the proceedings. He holds the belt high in the air then places it over his shoulder before heading to the ring. Justin Roberts gives him an introduction for some reason. Show gets on the mic and remarks how nice the belt looks around his shoulder. Show says he knows why Sheamus is smiling: he’s hiding the fact that he gave it his all and came up short. Show says he did exactly what he said he was going to do. The crowd boos and Show admonishes them. Show says their match last night made him dig deeper than any other match he’s had. Show says he has no limits and there’s nothing to stop him. Show says fighting him again would be liking bringing a glass of water to a burning building. Show says whatever Sheamus brings isn’t going to be enough, and he’ll enjoy knocking the smile off of his face. Show tells Sheamus to his face that he can’t beat him and he will never take the championship from him.

Sheamus commends Show on the speech and becoming the champion. Sheamus then asks Show if he’s ever seen a “ginger SNAP” and hits the White Noise on Show before leaving the ring. Sheamus and Show stare one another down.

  • Thoughts: That was actually a decent segment until it ended with the “ginger snap” comment (okay I laughed but it was really cheesy and undermined the seriousness). Sheamus was in good form tonight on the mic, and so was Show. Nothing more you can ask. I want to see them wrestle again (well for the first time, since I didn’t see Hell in a Cell).

Raw Hype: Punk/Foley decide their Survivor Series teams.

Raw Hype: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara take on The Rhodes Scholars next!

*Commercial Break*

Backstage John Cena is assuring AJ Lee they’ll get this whole mess straightened out. Vickie Guerrero watches from behind them silently with an evil smile on her face. Beth Phoenix shows up and thanks Guerrero for restarting the match. Guerrero says she wouldn’t have had to do that if Phoenix had done her job correctly and fires her.

  • Thoughts: So Phoenix is leaving. Alright. That was a classy way to end her WWE tenure though. Very respectful.

Rey Mysterio is already making his way to the ring. His partner Sin Cara gets the full entrance. Rhodes Scholars are already at ringside.

Match #7: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara Vs. Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes)

Mysterio and Rhodes start the match. Mysterio uses his quickness to get the early advantage, hitting a dropkick to a seated Rhodes for a two-count. Sandow and Cara both tag in. Cara does a series of flips towards him and Sandow hides through the ropes. Sandow applies a wristlock. Cara escapes the hold and whips Sandow to the ground. Rhodes tags back in. Cara kicks at the hamstrings of Rhodes and tags Mysterio in. They hit a double kick on the seated Rhodes and Mysterio goes for the pin. 2-count.

Rhodes fights back and knocks Mysterio down with a right hand. Sandow tags in to continue the offense. Snapmare into a pinfall attempt by Sandow for a 2-count. Quick tag back to Rhodes. Rhodes whips Mysterio into the corner, but Mysterio drops him onto the second turnbuckle. Cara tags in and dropkicks Rhodes to the mat. Springboard moonsault onto Rhodes by Cara and a senton onto Sandow by Mysterio as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Rhodes Scholars have gained the advantage during the break. Sandow attempts three pinfall attempts on Cara, but fails on each one. Rhodes tags in and hits a front vertical suplex for the 1…2…kick out. Rhodes traps Cara in an armbar. Cara rolls through and fights back with a series of kicks but Sandow quickly tags in to smother the comeback. Sandow traps Cara in a front facelock and keeps him away from Mysterio. Rhodes tags back in and picks Cara up, but Cara rolls him for a sunset flip for a 2-count. Tilt-a-whirl head scissors takeover by Cara and both men are down.

Mysterio gets the hot tag and flattens Rhodes. Mysterio hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors of his own. Rhodes throws him to the floor, but Mysterio quickly gets back up. But Sandow strikes him with a cheap shot while the ref’s back is turned to stop the momentum. Rhodes chokes Mysterio with his boot and tags Sandow in. Russian legsweep by Sandow followed by the Elbow of Disdain. He goes for the pin. 2-count.

Quick tag to Rhodes who continues the assault in the corner. Quick tag back to Sandow but Mysterio rolls him with a small package for a 2-count. Sandow quickly grabs Mysterio to prevent the tag and tags out to Rhodes. Rhodes gets a full head of steam and drops a knee on the back of Mysterio’s head. Pinfall attempt by Rhodes results in a 2-count. Rhodes hits a running knee to Mysterio’s temple and tries another pinfall. 2-count again.

Sandow tags back in and they prevent Mysterio from tagging. They attempt a double suplex, but Mysterio counters with a double DDT. Cara gets the hot tag and takes both Rhodes Scholars down with a springboard crossbody. Springboard elbow from Cara followed by an enziguri on Sandow. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Cara hits a twisting springboard armdrag and dropkicks Sandow out to the floor. Rhodes rushes in and Cara delivers a hurricanrana. Rhodes lands on the second rope and Cara calls in Mysterio. Mysterio goes for a 619 but Rhodes moves. Mysterio rolls to the outside and Rhodes sends him into the ring steps. Cara takes Rhodes out with a corkscrew splash. Cara goes to the top but misses the Senton when Rhodes moves Sandow out of the way. Sandow connects with the Terminus on Cara for the 1…2…3.

Winners [via Pinfall]: The Rhodes Scholars (14:40)

  • Damn good match with a cool finishing sequence. They were right to give them almost 15 minutes to duke it out. And added bonus points for Mysterio’s awesome Day of the Dead (the holiday, not the movie) inspired mask/makeup combo. (B+)

The Rhodes Scholars celebrate with a Sandow cartwheel (with the assist from Rhodes).

Backstage Mick Foley is pimping WWE ’13 to KaitlynPaul Heyman shows up and asks Foley which of his “three faces” deems it appropriate to care about a video game instead of creating a Survivor Series team. Foley says it didn’t take long since superstars were lining up to join Team Foley. Heyman says a target has been placed on Foley from CM Punk who has made it his mission to victimize Foley at Survivor Series. Heyman leaves, letting Foley chew on those words.

  • Thoughts: The WWE ’13 pimpage was gross, but nice exchange otherwise. Heyman is gold as usual.

Raw Hype: Team Foley Vs. Team Punk announcement yadda yadda.

*Commercial Break*

A video for the WWE/Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer partnership airs. Lots of pimping for John Cena‘s “Rise Above Cancer” gear.

We then go live where Vince McMahon is on the stage with a bunch of Susan G. Komen people and WWE superstars. McMahon sends it to John Cena who’s in the ring with two other Susan G. Komen reps. Cena says that WWE superstars may not agree with one another most of the time, but when it came to breast cancer they all agreed to help fight the cause. Cena then thanks the WWE Universe for buying the gear and reveals the giant check’s amount: ONE MEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLIIIIOOOON DOLLLLLLARS. A whole lot of clapping and cheering goes on. Dorothy Jones gets on the mic and says the money will help continue the progress of fighting breast cancer. She thanks the WWE for helping them rise above cancer. Cena then thanks everyone again for helping them in their October cause.

  • Thoughts: I’m glad the WWE did a really good thing without having to self-congra…oh wait. I mean good for them raising the money and helping the cause, but this was a celebratory wank and nothing more (also a certain chairman’s wife does have an election coming up next week…). Also Susan G. Komen isn’t the most clean charity organization out there. Google it.

*Commercial Break*

Alberto Del Rio makes his way out to the entrance area in his latest flashy car while Ricardo Rodriguez handles the introductions. It’s a Mazerati Grand Turismo or something. His opponent Justin Gabriel is already in the ring to lose. They hype the six-man match happening this Wednesday on Main Event.

Match #8: Justin Gabriel Vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio goes on the attack early and hits a snap suplex. 2-count. Snapmare followed by a kick by Del Rio for another 2-count. Gabriel slides under Del Rio’s legs and hits a monkey flip. Gabriel hits a flying clothesline from the second turnbuckle and goes for the pin. 2-count. Cole and Ross talk about how much Gabriel loves taking risks and how he’s an adrenaline junkie. Back to the match Gabriel head scissors Del Rio to the floor and follows it up with a baseball slide. Gabriel rolls him back in but Del Rio catches him with a kick when he tries to follow suit. Del Rio wrenches Gabriel’s left arm over the bottom rope then goes for the pin. 2-count.

Del Rio continues putting pressure on the left arm. Gabriel punches his way out but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cover by Del Rio results in a 2-count. Del Rio kicks Gabriel hard in the back then smashes his left arm over his own shoulder. Suplex by Del Rio followed by a pinning attempt. Another 2-count. Del Rio traps Gabriel in another arm bar-like move to wear the left arm down. Gabriel gets to his feet and fights out but Del Rio grabs the hair and slams him to the mat.

Del Rio continues kicking at the fallen Gabriel and goes for another pinfall. 2-count. Del Rio goes for another arm bar and Gabriel keeps his hands clasped to prevent it getting any worse. Gabriel elbows out and gets his boots up in the corner. Gabriel hits a spinning kick and connects with a springboard moonsault for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Del Rio gets up in the corner and side steps a splash attempt. Del Rio follows it up with a running enziguri then locks on the Cross Armbreaker for the quick tap.

Winner [via Submission]: Alberto Del Rio (5:20)

  • A longer match than I expected it to be and not a total Del Rio squash. But for some reason it felt like it went on just a little bit too long and my mind started to wander. Stupid Raw fatigue. (B-)

Raw Hype: The Team Foley/Team Punk teams get revealed coming up NEXT!

*Commercial Break*

CM Punk and Mick Foley Decide Their Survivor Series Teams

Paul Heyman introduces CM Punk to the ring. Cue “Cult of Personality” and out he comes still limping. Heyman gives him a standing ovation. Ross and Cole play up the controversial finish from Hell in a Cell once again. Punk gets into the ring and shakes hands with Heyman. He does the “X” with his arms, pyro goes off, and the WWE ’13 cover banner descends from the heavens. Heyman says this is a larger than life presentation for a larger than life guy and calls Punk the greatest WWE Champion of all-time. Heyman says his goal in life is to serve at the behest of Punk and thanks him for putting together Team Punk. He introduces the first member of Team Punk: The Miz. Miz shakes Punk’s hand. Heyman names the second and third members: The Rhodes Scholars. Sandow and Rhodes make their way out. Heyman introduces the fourth member: Alberto Del Rio. Punk gets on the mic and immediately tells the crowd to shut up. Punk says that at Survivor Series, it’s going to be a celebration of Punk being champion for one year. Punk says the spotlight Foley craves is going to cost him the last two teeth in his head. Punk says at Survivor Series he will teach Foley how to survive.

Out comes Mick Foley to announce his team for the event. Foley says Punk didn’t survive last night, he weaseled. Foley says he can refer to Punk as WWE Champion but not a “man”. Foley says a man doesn’t enlist the services of a crooked referee to survive the Hell in a Cell. Punk once again proclaims innocence. Foley announces the first man on his team: IC Champion Kofi Kingston. He then names the second and third members: WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No. Team Foley’s fourth member: Randy Orton.

Punk says he’s impressed with the team and tells him what Team Punk’s plan is going to be: individually eliminate each member, leaving Foley as the sole survivor for Punk to beat the crap out of. Foley says that’s an excellent game plan, but he’s not actually competing. He then announces team member #5: Ryback. Team Foley attacks Team Punk, but Punk escapes as Ryback gets into the ring. Punk walks to the entrance stage and raises the WWE Championship in the air. Ryback hits a lariat on Rhodes for added oomph. Punk shakes his head at Ryback, and Ryback hits the Shell Shock on Rhodes and leads a “Feed me more” chant as Punk/Heyman talk on the ramp. And that concludes this week’s edition of Raw.

  • Thoughts: I’ll be honest: the teams left me a little cold. I was hoping for a surprise entrant or something but instead both teams went with people who are already overexposed on a weekly basis. Del Rio and Miz being on Punk’s team is interesting given their history with the champion (storyline-wise and real-life) and I hope that gets brought up. But despite the anti-climactic announcements, I am jazzed that Survivor Series will be main evented with a real-life honest to goodness Survivor Series match. Hell yeah.

Overall Show Grade: B-

  • What I Liked: Orton Vs. Barrett, Mysterio/Cara Vs. Rhodes Scholars, Gabriel Vs. Del Rio, Punk/Foley opening segment, Sheamus/Show confrontation, AJ Lee returning to in-ring action, 3MB getting significant TV time, the Charlotte crowd no-selling Marella’s attempts to get them to chant Ryder’s name, the overall show.
  • What I Didn’t Like: The AJ/Cena/Guerrero stuff, the matches not listed in the “What I Liked” section, the shameless self-congratulatory gesture to Susan G. Komen, lack of any surprise members of either Survivor Series team, Kingston/Cesaro getting cut so damn short.

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  1. November 2nd, 2012

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