[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 11/5/2012

On this week’s edition of Raw:

  • The show comes live to tape from jolly ol’ Birmingham, England so there’s a good chance you can find spoilers. Don’t though; this is a much better and cooler recap.
  • Brad Maddox will make his first appearance since costing Ryback the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. 
  • Vickie Guerrero will present video evidence of John Cena/AJ Lee‘s alleged “affair”. Expect Cena to retaliate and for Dolph Ziggler to also get involved.
  • With two weeks to go until Survivor Series, expect the WWE to continue building its already announced matches as well as (hopefully) add a couple more.

All this and much more on this U.K. edition of Raw. Click “read more” for a detailed recap of the entire event plus my own thoughts.

Last Week on Raw: Team Foley Vs. Team Punk Survivor Series teams get set. Ryback emerges as the “secret” member of Foley’s team.

The Miz is backstage with Paul Heyman. Miz calls CM Punk out on “running away” last week and Heyman says that he didn’t run, he made a calculated retreat. Miz says Punk and Heyman are full of crap and quits Team Punk. He walks away, leaving Heyman to look at a poster of The Miz.

WWE Raw “Tonight’s the Night” intro video, complete with a U.K. flag.

Tonight on RAW: Brad Maddox will show up to explain his Hell in a Cell actions and the AJ Lee scandal continues.

  • Thoughts: This is done like a news program and sort of like how TNA opens IMPACT Wrestling every week. I like it. I know a lot of people won’t, but I do.

We go “live” to Birmingham, England as Michael Cole welcomes the home audience. Rey Mysterio makes his way out first for the opening contest, a six man tag. His partners, Sin Cara and R-Truth, are already in the ring. Their first opponent, WWE U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro, makes his way out for the heel team. Cole hypes up the Cesaro/R-Truth rivalry which has been taking place all week on TOUT apparently. His partners this evening are The Prime Time Players. Mysterio/Cara do the PTP dance in the ring to mock them.

Match #1: R-Truth/Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara Vs. [WWE U.S. Champion] Antonio Cesaro/The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O’Neil)

Cara and Cesaro start the match off. Waistlock takedown from Cesaro, but Cara uses his quickness to take the advantage. Head scissors takeover by Cara, who tags in R-Truth. Cesaro headbutts R-Truth and connects with a couple of uppercuts. R-Truth reverses an Irish whip and Cesaro tags out to Young. Truth takes Young down and tags into Mysterio. Bodyslam by Truth followed by a running a legdrop from Mysterio. Mysterio goes for a pinfall. 2-count.

Mysterio unloads on Young in the corner. Young reverses an Irish whip, sending Mysterio into the turnbuckles chest-first. O’Neil tags in. Mysterio uses his quickness to escape any damage and tags out to Cara. Double kick from the team and Cara goes for the pin. 2-count. Truth tags in and gets a sliding dropkick of his own. All six men have a stand-off in the center of the ring as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Truth connects with an axe kick on Young as we come back from break. Cara tags in to continue the offense. He tries the handspring elbow but Young catches him. Cara battles out with a hurricanrana. Cara hits his springboard arm drag, which he messes up a little bit, before tagging out to Mysterio. Mysterio gets Young into position for the 619, but Cesaro tags in and catches Mysterio with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker mid-run. Cesaro goes for the pin. 2-count.

O’Neil tags in and hits a series of backbreakers and tags Cesaro in while Mysterio is still in his arms. O’Neil slams him down and Cesaro goes for the pin. 2-count. Cesaro deadlifts Mysterio and hits a gutwrench suplex for another 2. Mysterio tries to go for the pin but Cesaro locks on a front facelock to create space. Cesaro pushes Mysterio into his corner but Mysterio drop toeholds Cesaro into the second turnbuckle. Cesaro goes to stop a tag attempt, but Mysterio hits a twisting DDT.

Truth gets the hot tag and takes it to Cesaro. Corkscrew forearm from Truth. Truth goes for the pin but Young breaks up the count. Cara dropkicks him out to the floor. Cara then hits a multiple revolution head scissors on Cesaro, sending him to the second rope. Mysterio connects with the 619 and Truth hits the Little Jimmy for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara/R-Truth (10:51)

  • A fun way to open the show and an excellent ending sequence. Now that Truth has the pin on Cesaro, I guess that guarantees him an actual title shot. Perhaps on a certain November PPV coming up. (B-)

Raw Hype: Brad Maddox answers for his Hell in a Cell actions.

Next on Raw: Vickie Guerrero will continue on her crusade to besmirch the names of John Cena and AJ Lee.

*Commercial Break*

Next Week on Raw: Jerry Lawler returns to the show after almost dying two months ago during the show.

Last Week on Raw: Vickie Guerrero confronts John Cena with her video/photo evidence of the supposed affair with AJ Lee.

The John Cena/AJ Lee Drama Continues

Justin Roberts introduces Vickie Guerrero to the ring. Guerrero walks to the ring talking about how proud she is of her accomplishments as the Birmingham crowd boos loudly. Guerrero says he’s happy AJ Lee resigned because “hanky panky” is not allowed. Guerrero gets into the ring and replays the evidence we saw last week in a much quicker fashion. After the elevator footage plays, Guerrero insinuates that it “didn’t end there”.

Before she can continue on her tirade, however, out comes John Cena to once again fight AJ’s battles for her. Cena says Guerrero running a clean show is like him learning a new wrestling move. Nice. She brings up how Guerrero’s other stints running shows have involved getting Edge and Dolph Ziggler World Championship stints. Cena then mocks the way Guerrero looks. Guerrero calls that the “oldest trick in the book”.

Guerrero then introduces the hotel security footage someone sent her. Lee exits her hotel room wearing a bathroom. She knocks on a door nearby. The door opens and in she goes. Cena says that it isn’t evidence and that it means absolutely nothing. Guerrero says it does because she has more footage of the same room. It shows Cena opening the door in a towel and putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on his door. A giant “Yes!” chant drowns everything out.

Cena says that it’s two different cameras and the footage is bogus. Cena says he put the sign on his door because, well, he didn’t want to be disturbed. Guerrero calls Cena’s lies “exhausting” and invites Lee out to also defend herself. A loud as hell “We want AJ!” chant starts. Instead of coming out, Lee is shown on the TitanTron backstage with an angry look on her face. Lee says Guerrero doesn’t really want her to go out there because she will give her the beating of her life and won’t get to do what she loves to do (rassle). Dolph Ziggler walks up and puts his arm around Lee. He says that “we all know what you like to do” and Cena runs to the back to defend Lee’s honor. Guerrero laughs and thanks the crowd.

  • Thoughts: So this is still happening. Right on. But thanks to that loud U.K. crowd it was far more bearable than it was last week so kudos to them. And as dumb as this is, I’m glad Ziggler is getting thrown into this at least for the rub of facing off against the top dog in the WWE. Extra bonus points for Cena’s self-deprecating humor. Is it lame? Yes. But at least he’s self-aware.

*Commercial Break*

Paul Heyman is backstage talking to someone off-camera. Heyman calls The Miz a coward and says that Team Punk needs “someone like…you”. The camera pans and it’s Wade Barrett. Barrett says this is the same routine as last week, and he refuses the offer because he doesn’t trust Heyman. Barrett goes to leave, but then all of a sudden reconsiders out of nowhere under one condition: Heyman owes him one…in writing.

  • Thoughts: Barrett instead of Miz? I’m all for it.

Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring for the next match, accompanied by his partner Kane. His opponent, Cody Rhodes, is already in the ring (his tag partner Damien Sandow in his corner).

Match #2: Daniel Bryan (w/ Kane) Vs. Cody Rhodes (w/ Damien Sandow)

Bryan backs Rhodes into the ropes and backs off, but Rhodes hits a cheap shot to take the early advantage. Headbutt by Rhodes in the corner. Bryan gets sent into the corner but flips out and hits a running a clothesline. Bryan delivers a whole lot of kicks and goes for a backdrop but gets a kick to the face. Rhodes rushes him but gets tossed to the floor. Kane stalks Rhodes around the ring, until Sandow attacks Kane from behind. Bryan attempts a baseball slide on Rhodes but misses, and settles for a suicide dive on Sandow instead. Rhodes hits a Disaster Kick off the apron onto Bryan, then rolls him in and hits the Cross Rhodes for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Cody Rhodes (1:56)

  • Way too goddamn quick. How disappointing. But still…it was a good almost 2 minutes anyway thanks to the talent in the ring. (C)

Rhodes gets on the mic and gloats about the victory. He then says he and Sandow are the next tag team champions. Rhodes says Sandow can beat Kane just as easily as he beat Bryan. Kane gets into the ring and pulls Sandow onto the apron by the hair. He hip tosses Sandow in, but Sandow quickly rolls out and tries to run. Kane chases him and Cole wonders if this match will actually happen as we go to commercial.

  • Thoughts: With three hours to fill? Obviously it’s going to happen.

*Commercial Break*

Match #3: Kane (w/ Daniel Bryan) Vs. Damien Sandow (w/ Cody Rhodes)

We join the match in progress, with Kane working Sandow over in the corner. I’m not recording the time for this. Kane whips Sandow into the ropes and hits a back elbow followed by an elbow drop. Kane goes for the pin. 2-count. Back body drop by Kane as Ross goes over The Big Red Machine’s accomplishments during his WWE career. Sandow starts fighting back but Kane delivers a forearm to the back to stop it. Kane whips him into the corner but catches a Sandow elbow. Sandow jumps off the second turnbuckle but gets hit with a right hand. Kane follows it up with a big boot. Rhodes tries to distract Kane but Bryan attacks him from behind. Bryan chases Rhodes into the ring. The ref then tosses both men out of the match for getting involved accidentally.

Back in the ring, Sandow tries to plead with Kane but it falls on deaf ears. Clothesline in the corner followed by a sidewalk slam from The Big Red Machine. Kane connects with a top rope flying clothesline and follows it up with the Chokeslam for the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kane (Time Not Recorded; Much Longer than the Bryan/Rhodes match)

  • The pro wrestling fan in me is horrifyingly depressed that this match was longer than Bryan/Rhodes, but it made sense in showcasing that Bryan is the “weak link” of the team. I’m assuming they are still building on that anyway. A total Kane squash, with Sandow getting no offense in, but it accomplished what it needed to I guess. (C)

Next on Raw: Brad Maddox will break his silence!

*Commercial Break*

Brad Maddox Breaks His Silence

Michael Cole is in the ring and he introduces referee Brad Maddox for an interview. Maddox makes his way out as the crowd chants British things at him. Cole says that last week he met with the Board of Directors to discuss screwing Ryback out of the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. Cole asks Maddox point blank if he’s working with CM Punk and Paul Heyman.

Maddox grabs the mic and says he’s not, what he did to Ryback was all him. Maddox says that it was his plan. Maddox says all he’s ever wanted to do was be a WWE superstar. The U.K. lays in with a “Feed Me More” chant. Maddox says that for years he’s been trying to get his foot in the door but every time he has had the door closed in his face. He says he once paid 2000 dollars for a tryout with the WWE and finally he was given a chance…with a “developmental contract”. Maddox says even down there, he wasn’t good enough because he isn’t huge or has a mask or can’t flip or a whole lot of other reasons. A “You can’t wrestle” chant breaks out.

Maddox says that despite that he didn’t let the dream die, and he wants to be somebody in this company. Maddox says he would do anything to make it in the WWE so he became a referee, and when he was called up to Raw all he needed was one chance to make an impact. Maddox says he knows what he did wasn’t right, but his actions were driven by his desire to be someone. Maddox says he’s famous now, and people know his name everywhere. Maddox says he wants a contract and a match…with Ryback! He says at this point no one is going to forget him anymore.

“No Chance in Hell” starts playing, bringing out Vince McMahon. The crowd goes absolutely nuts. McMahon stays on the entrance stage. McMahon says it’s one thing to be famous and another to have a death wish. McMahon says he doesn’t think Maddox did this on his own and that he intends to prove the Maddox/Punk/Heyman collusion. McMahon then offers Maddox an opportunity: if he can beat Ryback next week, he will get a million dollar contract.

McMahon then heads to the back and brings out Vickie Guerrero. McMahon goads her into agreeing with his every word, and then asks why CM Punk isn’t defending the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. McMahon then says Guerrero must be thinking he should defend against Ryback. She agrees. He then says it should be a triple threat match and McMahon gives her the mic to name the next opponent for Punk. Guerrero protests it because the “he” is involved in a scandal. McMahon then forces her to say…John Cena and she does so with a giant fake smile on her face. McMahon puts his arm around her and congratulates her on making the “right” decision.

The music of Sheamus hits and out he comes for the next match. He stops to shake hands with McMahon before headed to the ring. That match is next!

  • Thoughts: That was a really good segment. Maddox was excellent on the mic and although he repeated it over and over and over his justification was sound. It also gave a good hook for next week’s show and I’m pumped to see if Maddox gets the opportunity and actually beats Ryback. As for the Survivor Series change…well, no comment. We’ll see how it shakes out. Either way McMahon goading her into making the decision he himself wanted was pretty awesome and Guerrero was great as the “biting my tongue” Executive Consultant with the fake smile. All in all this was a really sound 10 minutes of television…until Sheamus came out for the next match awkwardly.

*Commercial Break*

Sheamus is still getting ready in the ring. His opponent, The Miz, comes out. Cole and Ross go over the fact he just quit Team Punk at the top of the show. World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show also makes his way out wearing a hoodie. Apparently he’s scouting the match. We see Show’s KO Punch to Sheamus at Hell in a Cell as well as Sheamus hitting him with a White Noise on last week’s Raw. Show joins Cole and Ross on commentary

Match #4: Sheamus Vs. The Miz

Sheamus immediately takes Miz down with a shoulder block. Side headlock takedown by Sheamus. They get to their feet and Miz sends him into the ropes. Sheamus knocks Miz back to the mat. Miz leapfrogs a running Sheamus but Sheamus blocks the hip toss and levels him with a clothesline. Miz rolls to the apron and Sheamus goes for the forearm smashes but Miz wiggles his way out to the floor.

Miz gets back into the ring but gets his kick blocked. Sheamus knocks him to the mat and hits a series of elbow drops before going for the pin. 2-count. Miz cheap shots Sheamus while he’s talking with the ref, and continues to beat on him in the corner. Sheamus responds with a chop and a forearm over the back. Sheamus whips Miz into the corner. Miz tries to float over but Sheamus catches him and hits the rolling senton.

Sheamus goes for a back body drop, but Miz kicks him and levels him with a clothesline of his own. Miz goes for the pin. 2-count. Miz mounts Sheamus and lays into him with a series of rights. Miz applies a chinlock. Miz flips out of a suplex and goes for one of his own but Sheamus blocks that and drops him mid-section first on the top rope. Sheamus then moves Miz to the apron and lays into him with his forearm combo. Miz drops to the floor.

Sheamus goes to the outside and stares Show down. Miz takes advantage and sends him first into the announce table and then the ring post. Miz rolls him back in and hits a running kick. Miz goes for the pin. 2-count. Show laughs at what just happened. Miz wears down Sheamus with a chinlock as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Miz connects with a clothesline in the corner as we come back from break. Miz follows it up with a top rope axehandle and goes for the pin. 2-count. Miz chokes Sheamus on the second rope and then hits a legdrop on the rope. Miz goes for another pin. 2-count again. Show talks about the psychological damage he’s done to Sheamus by beating him last month. The action goes to the outside and Miz sends Sheamus into the ring steps. Miz rolls him back in and goes for another pin. 2-count.

Another Miz chinlock. They get to their feet and Miz jumps on his back to prevent Sheamus breaking out. Sheamus drops to his back to pancake Miz on the mat. Miz hits the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo and goes for another pin. 2-count. Miz chokes Sheamus with his boot until the ref forces him off. Miz mounts him again and rubs his forearm in his face. Miz goes for a corner splash but runs into a couple of polish hammers. Sheamus connects with a powerslam and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Miz gets pushed into the corner and he backdrops Sheamus to the apron. Sheamus knocks him to the mat and climbs to the top. Top rope shoulder block from Sheamus for the 1…2…kick out. Sheamus picks Miz up but he wiggles out and rolls him up for the 1…2…kick out. Miz connects with a DDT and goes for another pin. 1…2…kick out. Miz goes for another running kick, but Sheamus ducks and goes for the Texas Cloverlief. Miz kicks out and ducks the Brogue Kick. He attempts the Skull Crushing Finale but Sheamus fights out. Miz fights back but runs into the White Noise. Sheamus follows it up with the Brogue Kick for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Sheamus (14:40)

  • Not nearly as good as Sheamus’ matches with Barrett but there was still good stuff to be found. Miz went all out in this contest and it showed in all the positive ways it should. I like this whole “make Sheamus wrestle the long match every week” thing they keep doing. I hope it doesn’t let up. (B)

The Big Show stands up over at commentary and holds the World Championship over his head as Sheamus looks on from in the ring.

Dolph Ziggler is pacing back and forth in front of Vince McMahon‘s office. Vickie Guerrero comes out of the office and tells Ziggler he’s now leading Team Punk at Survivor Series. CM Punk comes out of nowhere to whine about his triple threat match and says Ziggler is only leading the team because of it. Guerrero tells Punk to look at the bright side and announces the main event: Punk/Ziggler to face John Cena/Ryback! Punk and Ziggler are both very not okay with it, and Ziggler chases after her down the hall. Punk goes to knock on McMahon’s door but walks away instead in a huff.

  • Thoughts: Okay so the traditional Survivor Series match is still on. That’s good. Funny little segment right here, with Punk peaking out from his own dressing room in comedic fashion. Good main event for tonight. Also it’s now Team Ziggler, not Team Punk. Oooookay.

*Commercial Break*

A weird hype video for a wrestler named Fandangoo airs. Salsa music and disco lights.

  • Thoughts: Fandangoo? Fandangoo?!? That is hilarious. I wonder who is going to get saddled with this gimmick once it debuts on TV.

Sheamus is backstage talking with William Regal. He thanks Regal and says he will be champion again in two weeks. Regal then asks him if he fancies a pint and obviously Sheamus agrees.

  • Thoughts: Regal has it in his contract that he gets to show up on Raw whenever they’re in England. It’s a good clause to have.

Raw Recap: John Cena/Vickie Guerrero confrontation from earlier.

WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres makes her way out for a tag team match. Her partner tonight is Aksana. Yay they didn’t forget about her! She makes her way to the ring as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Layla is making her way out to the ring after the break. She hands out England flags to the people ringside who probably already have one or two or a million. Her partner Kaitlyn is already in the ring.

Match #5: Layla/Kaitlyn Vs. [WWE Divas Champion] Eve Torres/Aksana

Layla and Aksana start the match off. Layla gets a series of near-falls then spanks her before knocking her over with a butt bump. Aksana reverses an Irish whip and stops Layla mid-springboard move. Aksana sends her to the mat by her hair then hits a double leg smash a la Jeff Hardy. Aksana crawls over and covers her suggestively. 2-count. Layla rolls over and unleashes a series of rights. Aksana levels her with a clothesline and throws her into the corner.

Torres tags in and chokes her in the corner hangman-style. Torres drops an elbow drop and locks on a front facelock. Layla tries for the tag but Torres kicks Kaitlyn’s hand to stop it. Torres whips Layla into the corner and stomps her down. Snapmare from Torres, but Layla ducks the kick and rolls her up for a 2-count. Torres kicks her and throws her to the mat. Torres mocks Layla with a little dance but Layla dropkicks her from behind.

Kaitlyn gets the hot tag and levels Torres with a series of clotheslines. Kaitlyn gets a full head of steam and takes her down with a shoulder block. Kaitlyn goes for the pin but Aksana breaks it up. Layla knocks her to the outside, and Torres takes out Layla. Kaitlyn then finishes off Torres for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Layla/Kaitlyn (4:58)

  • Not a bad tag match but nothing to write home about. And although Kaitlyn is being built to eventually beat Torres for the belt, I’m surprised they didn’t give Layla the pinfall since it’s her home country. Oh well. Not a big deal. (C)

Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are talking backstage. Del Rio is mad that Ziggler is the leader of the team but Rodriguez calms him down and inflates his ego. Rosa Mendes runs into him and apologizes, and the two make goo goo eyes at one another. Del Rio/Rodriguez head to the ring for a match, which is next!

*Commercial Break*

WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston makes his way out for the next match. Ricardo Rodriguez handles the introduction for Kingston’s opponent Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio is driving an Aston Martin because England. We see clips from the Del Rio/Randy Orton backstage brawl in catering from last Friday’s Smackdown. Orton covers Ricardo in hot coffee and chili. Matt Striker then tries to interview him but gets thrown face first into cake. Orton/Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere match on tomorrow’s special Super Smackdown Live!

Match #6: [WWE Intercontinental Champion] Kofi Kingston Vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Headlock takeover by Del Rio. Kingston sends him into the ropes but gets floored with a shoulder block. Kingston leapfrogs Del Rio twice and hits a flying elbow. Kingston goes for the pin. 2-count. Del Rio traps Kingston in a front facelock to stop the momentum but Kingston reverses into a hammerlock. Del Rio traps Kingston into the corner and kicks him in the mid-section. Del Rio continues working Kingston over in the corner. Kingston reverses an Irish whip into the corner and hits a series of rights followed by an uppercut. Kingston goes for the pin. 2-count.

Del Rio fights back with a savate kick. Kingston floats over Del Rio in the corner and connects with a head scissors followed by a dropkick. Kingston gets bodydropped to the apron and Rodriguez distracts him, allowing Del Rio to send him flying into the crowd barrier. Del Rio goes to the outside and whips Kingston once again into the crowd barrier as Rodriguez claps in approval. Del Rio rolls him in and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Del Rio locks Kingston up in a body scissors. Kingston breaks out but Del Rio responds with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Running double stomp from Del Rio followed by a snap suplex. Del Rio goes for another pin. 2-count. Del Rio goes back to the body scissors to wear him down. Kingston breaks out and rolls Del Rio up for a 2-count, but Del Rio then kicks him in the head. Del Rio locks on a cross armbreaker over the top rope to weaken Kingston’s left arm.

Del Rio tries to splash Kingston in the corner, but ends up flying into the ring post shoulder-first. Kingston follows it up with chops, a clothesline, and a dropkick. A leaping clothesline from Kingston sets up for the Boom Drop which he hits. Kingston sets up for The Trouble in Paradise. Del Rio ducks it and goes for the Cross Armbreaker but Kingston slides out and connects with the S.O.S. Kingston goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out.

Del Rio ducks a springboard flying crossbody. Del Rio measures him for the Cross Armbreaker, but the music of Randy Orton starts playing. This distracts Del Rio long enough for Kingston to roll him up for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kofi Kingston (7:45)

  • There wasn’t necessarily wrong with this match but for some reason I was just feeling blah about it. Just uninteresting stuff all around outside of Rodriguez. (C)

Del Rio protests and stares Kingston down but turns around and runs into an RKO courtesy of Randy Orton. More hype for their Falls Count Anywhere match on tomorrow’s special Smackdown shows commences as Orton stares at the fallen body of Del Rio.

Raw Recap: Brad Maddox explains why he cost Ryback the match at Hell in a Cell plus other things that happened during this segment. You already heard this earlier.

Zack Ryder/Santino Marella make their way out for the next match. They are in action…NEXT!

*Commercial Break*

Ryder/Marella are still in the ring. Their opponents tonight are Epico/Primo and they get an actual entrance this week. Good for them. As usual they are accompanied by Rosa Mendes.

Match #7: Zack Ryder/Santino Marella Vs. Epico/Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes)

Marella and Primo start the match. Marella takes Primo down with a wristlock which he transitions into a hammerlock. Primo reverses into one of his own. Marella reverses again and transitions into a side headlock. Marella goes for a hip toss but misses. Primo whips Marella into the ropes, and Marella goofily walks them before leveling Primo and applying a wristlock. Ryder tags in and rolls him up for a 2-count. Faceslam via Ryder and another unsuccessful pinning attempt.

Ryder ducks a clothesline but Primo ducks a cross body sending him into the ropes. Epico tags in and beats on Ryder in the corner. Primo tags back in and hits a springboard senton. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Ryder rolls him up but Marella distracts the ref to cause it to fail. Epico tags in and dropkicks Ryder. He gets a 2-count then locks on a chinlock. Epico rams him into the corner and tags Primo back in. Snapmare into a boot scrape and back kick by Primo. Primo goes for the pin. 2-count. Primo applies a chinlock of his own.

Ryder breaks out and Marella gets the hot tag. Hip toss followed by a falling headbutt from Marella. He goes for the pin. Primo breaks the count and Ryder lays him out with the Low Rider. Marella pulls out the Cobra and “strikes” Epico for the 1…2…3! THEY WON A MATCH YOU GUYS.

Winners [via Pinfall]: Zack Ryder/Santino Marella (5:00)

  • Ryder/Marella won?!? What a shocker! An okay match with some actual good chain wrestling from Marella for once (as well as his usual comedy spots). Solid if unassuming tag team action. Felt like a Superstars main event. (C+)

Raw Hype: Cena/Ryback Vs. Punk/Ziggler in the main event.

*Commercial Break*

It’s time for Brodus Clay to make his dancing entrance in full. Makes sense I guess since this is an England show. His opponent, Wade Barrett, makes his way out next. He gets a loud ovation from the U.K. crowd for obvious reasons.

Match #8: Brodus Clay Vs. Wade Barrett

Clay gets the early advantage due to his girth and gets a series of strikes. Running knee by Clay followed by the T-bone suplex. Clay hits a legdrop and goes for the pin. 2-count. Clay hits the ropes but runs into a Black Hole Slam. Barrett mounts him and hits a series of rights. Barrett goes to the outside and hits a series of knee strikes into Clay’s head who’s bent over the apron. Barrett rolls in and goes for the pin. 1-count. Chinlock from Barrett. Clay fights out but Barrett knees him and locks on a chancery. Clay pushes him into the ropes and levels him with a series of clotheslines followed by the running headbutt. Clay splashes Barrett in the corner, then tries to do it again but Barrett moves. Barrett hits a side kick and connects with the Souvenir for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Wade Barrett (3:00)

  • A solid win for Barrett. That black hole slam made him look strong as hell. And props to Clay who bumped really well for him and made Barrett look dominant. The U.K. crowd being deafeaning for Barrett was also excellent. (C)

Raw Hype: The tag team main event.

*Commercial Break*

Heath Slater makes his way to the ring for the next match accompanied by 3MB bandmate Jinder Mahal. No Drew McIntyre? On a U.K. show? Weird. His opponent tonight is Jey Uso, and he and his brother Jimmy do the usual Usos entrance.

Match #9: Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) Vs. Heath Slater (w/ Jinder Mahal)

Uso gets the advantage early on with a bodyslam and legdrop. Uso hits a running forearm, but Slater kicks him and attacks him in the corner. Uso reverses and lays into Slater in the corner, but then runs into a boot. Slater follows it up with a kick. Slater continues the assault and applies a chinlock. They get to their feet and Uso tries to fight out but Slater throws him back to the mat then does an air guitar routine. Uso takes advantage but Slater whips him into the corner chest-first to stop the mini-momentum. Slater gets a nearfall then reapplies the chinlock.

Uso fights out but Slater hits a spinning kick and immediately goes for the pin. 2-count. Another chinlock from Slater. Uso breaks out and fights back with a savate kick and uppercut. Uso then hits another savate kick and heads to the top turnbuckle. He goes for the Superfly Splash but Slater gets his knees up. He then connects with the Smash Hit for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Heath Slater (3:55)

  • It was weird seeing The Usos on Raw for once. Good win by Slater, although McIntyre’s presence was missed on the 3MB side. Definitely a filler match though. (C)

Up Next on Raw: The tag team main event!

*Commercial Break*

“Cult of Personality” plays, bringing out WWE Champion CM Punk along with Paul Heyman. Punk grabs a microphone and recaps the past two weeks of his WWE life. He zeroes in on how his Survivor Series team has been demoted and now he has to defend the WWE Championship against John Cena and Ryback at the PPV. Punk says he’s getting screwed. Punk then talks about how he’s better than everyone. He says that he has set the bar at an unattainable level. Punk says he will celebrate 364 consecutive days as champion at Survivor Series. Punk says he will continue his reign and continue to show that he’s the “Best in the World”. Punk drops the mic and raises the belt in the air. Punk’s partner Dolph Ziggler makes his way out next. We see the updated teams for Survivor Series and Cole/Ross wonder who replaces Ryback on Team Foley.

“My Time is Now” plays bringing out John Cena. Cena makes his way out and does his thing before pointing to the entrance stage for Ryback. The music plays and the man comes out all intense and such. Punk/Heyman talk strategy outside, while Ryback and Cena stare him down from the ring as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

Main Event: John Cena/Ryback Vs. CM Punk/Dolph Ziggler (w/ Paul Heyman)

Cena and Punk start the match off. Headlock takeover by Punk but Cena reverses into a head scissors. Punk breaks free and reapplies the side headlock. Cena takes Punk down with a wristlock and applies a chinlock. Punk gets up as Cena transitions into a side headlock. Punk whips Cena into the ropes and get flattened with a shoulder block. Zigger tags in and Cena immediately takes him down with an armdrag. Front facelock applied by Cena, but Ziggler fights his way out. Cena reverses an Irish whip in the corner and delivers a bulldog.

Punk tags back in and immediately taken down by Cena. Cena, however, misses a splash in the corner allowing Punk to take the offensive. Ziggler tags in and they treat Cena like a wishbone. Reverse neckbreaker via Ziggler followed by consecutive elbow drops. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Ziggler does some sit-ups but Cena goes for a pinfall attempt on the third one, getting a 2-count. Ziggler fights back then tags Punk back in. Punk hits the running knee in the corner, knocking Cena to the mat. He picks him up and hits a series of knee strikes. Cena attempts an Attitude Adjustment, but Punk slips out and kicks him in the back of his head. Punk goes for the pin. 2-count.

Front facelock applied by Punk. Cena powers out and delivers an Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere. Both men are down. Ziggler gets the tag and attacks Cena before he can make the tag. Cena catches Ziggler with a back elbow out of nowhere to send both men down to the mat. Ziggler catches Cena with the Fameasser and goes for the pin. 2-count. Punk tags in and hits a reverse neckbreaker for his own. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Punk locks Cena in a head scissors to wear the man down. Cena gets to his feet and hits an electric chair on Punk to break the hold. Punk once again prevents Cena from making the tag.

Shoulder block in the corner by Punk and Ziggler tags in. Ziggler kicks Cena in the face. Cena gets up but Zigger knocks him out with a dropkick. He goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out. Ziggler heads to the top but misses a Missile dropkick. Punk tags in but so does Ryback and now it’s “Big Hungry” time. Back bodydrop to Punk, lariat to Ziggler. Ryback connects with a spinebuster, then throws Ziggler hard into the turnbuckle before dropping him right on Punk. Ryback clotheslines Ziggler to the floor and then takes Punk out with the lariat. Ryback lifts Punk on his shoulders and delivers the Shell Shock for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: John Cena/Ryback (10:14)

  • A solid main event that was far better than I was expecting. Cena played the babyface in peril very well and Punk/Ziggler worked together like gangbusters. The Ryback steamroll should have been expected by anyone watching but it was also sort of sad to just see him beat the hell out of everyone without much threat. Either way this was a solid way to end the show, but the show itself was so goddamn meh that this probably would’ve gotten a better response out of me had this not been 3 hours. (B)

Ryback leads a “Feed Me More” chant and Cena gets back into the ring. They stare one another down. Ryback starts another “Feed Me More” chant as he stares at Cena as we fade to logo.

Overall Show Grade: C

  • What I Liked: Brad Maddox promo, the main event, 3MB, Wade Barrett joining Team Ziggler, the Survivor Series shakeup (most of it anyway), Sheamus/The Miz, Vickie Guerrero’s fake smile while being forced to curtail to Vince McMahon’s decisions,
  • What I Didn’t Like: Most of the in-ring action, the Survivor Series shakeup (makes last week feel pointless), Team Punk becoming Team Ziggler for illogical reasons, Kingston/Del Rio

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  1. looks like cena maybe?? out as wwe poster boy&rya back is in

    • I don’t think Ryback is in as much as he’s just getting the rub. I don’t see him becoming WWE Champion given the plans they already have etched out with The Rock. But the World Heavyweight Championship, however, is up for grabs…

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