TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/29: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw on USA Network
Aug 29, 2011 - 10:10:37 PM
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WWE Raw Results
August 29, 2011 - Episode #952
Live in Tulsa, Okla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw started with a live shot inside the arena and Michael Cole's voice introducing the show. Cue up Triple H's theme music to start the show. Jerry Lawler said they aren't wasting any time getting right down to business. Jim Ross called him the busiest man in WWE with more on his plate than he can handle. After Justin Roberts introduced Hunter, Cole announced the start of Super Week complete with a live Smackdown tomorrow night.
-- Once in the ring, Hunter looked around the arena with a stern look on his face before flashing a smile waiting for a larger reaction than he was getting. Hunter paused for a light chant before beginning his promo. He said it's his job now to give the audience the absolute best the company has to offer at all times. It's his job to make sure this company survives and thrives. So, with that said, starting tonight and for the foreseeable future, the audience is not only going to get the Superstars of Raw every night, but the Superstars of Smackdown to create Raw's Supershow.
Hunter said that's the cool part, but now the bad part of his job with a bunch of people lying to him. He said unfortunately for him, most of the lies are coming from one of his best friends, Kevin Nash. Apparently Kev is a little upset that he wouldn't allow him to "be a man" with C.M. Punk. Hunter told Nash to be a man right and come to the ring to explain why he lied to him.
Instead, C.M. Punk's Cult of Personality interrupted to bring out Punk. Hunter sold annoyance as Punk slowly made his way to the ring. Punk mock applauded Hunter's acting performance before telling Hunter to stop lying and blaming Nash. He said he wants Hunter to admit he's been in on with Nash from the beginning. Cue up the NWO theme music to bring out Nash in a striped polo and jeans. Not a big reaction for the old NWO theme. Hunter held back Punk as Nash entered the ring.
"Yeah, yeah, I lied!" Nash told Hunter. Nash said he had his driver call John Laurinaitis to lie about the car accident. He said he had to use their friendship to get Hunter out of the building so he could finish business with Punk. Nash addressed Punk that he's done with being made a fool in front of millions. Nash got in Hunter's face and told him Punk is insulting him and his wife. Hunter looked down at the mat as Nash posed a question to him. "What kind of man are you?" Nash asked. Hunter glared at him, looked down at the mat, wiped his forehead and chin, and rolled the question around. Hunter said the kind of man who doesn't expect to be lied to from his best friend. He said he can't trust Nash anymore, so now he's going to ask him one more time to leave. "And, this time, don't come back," he said.
Nash ignored the request and said he lied about the accident, but not the text. And, while he was out of the building last week, Laurinaitis signed him to a very lucrative WWE contract. In the background, Punk smacked his forehead. Nash told Hunter if he's going to fire him, he's going to have to do it in front of the audience and it's guaranteed, so he'll sit home and get paid. Nash told Hunter the ball's in his court. Hunter dejectedly told Nash he's not going to fire him, but the lying stops now. Punk had enough and pretended to gag all over the ring and Hunter's suit. More pretend gagging. Punk said he's acting - acting like he's sick. He said no one believes this crap. More pretend vomiting. He said Hunter can't be the bad guy, so he's having Nash do his dirty work. Punk sarcastically told Hunter great job of doing business bringing the Clique back. He said click is interesting because it's the same noise the audience makes with their remote when Nash appears on TV.
Nash told Hunter that since he's now officially under WWE contract...why not book the match everyone wants to see? He told Hunter to book Nash vs. Punk. Punk smiled and told Nash they should have it at Night of Champions...with Nash being a champion ass-kisser. Punk said Hunter has to check with his wife first, though, which drew Nash's ire again. (Why is Nash so intent on defending Stephanie, anyway?) Punk spoke over Hunter's ear that he doesn't wear the pants in the family, but he does wear her panties. "Pipe bomb," Punk declared with a smile. Hunter then slowly turned around to stare eye-to-eye with Punk. Hunter said it's official for Night of Champions - Nash vs. Punk. Hunter took a few steps back and told them he has two words for both of them. Hunter raised the mic and some of the audience shouted, "Suck it." Cole reset the stage as Punk and Nash stared each other down in the ring. Lawler surmised Hunter wants to see these two men kill each other.
[Q2] -- With Punk and Hunter still in the ring, Randy Orton's music hit to bring out the World Hvt. champion on-stage. Cole said Hunter has booked World champion Orton vs. U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler in a Supershow match tonight. Orton continued to stand on the stage as Ross hyped Ziggler. They went to an inset video focusing on Ziggler as Ross discussed Ziggler's accolades. Orton continued to stand on the stage before they cut to break.
-- Smackdown plug: Tomorrow on Smackdown, it's Super Smackdown. Every Superstar in one place at one time, including Triple H, C.M. Punk, and John Cena. Plus, Orton vs. Christian for the World Title in a steel cage.
Back live, Orton was in the ring posing with the World Title belt. Cole noted Raw will now feature stars from Raw and Smackdown going forward. Ziggler was out next flanked by Vickie Guerrero. Cole recapped their strained relationship and Vickie's interest in potential new clients, including Jack Swagger.
1 -- World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- non-title match
The announcers focused heavily on past managers (Heenan, Hart, Albano, etc.) to show that successful WWE managers have included several wrestlers in their stable. Lawler said Ziggler's issue is he believes he should be Vickie's only client. Orton and Ziggler went back and forth before Orton tackled Ziggler with his hips for a Thesz Press that sent Ziggler rolling to the apron. Orton wanted an elevated DDT, but Vickie hopped on the ring apron to distract Orton. Ziggler then dumped Orton over the top rope to the outside and scored with a Zig-Zag on the floor. Ziggler took a blow, too, and Vickie wasn't impressed. The announcers focused on Orton being in jeopardy before rolling back into the ring just in time at nine. Ziggler stomped away on Orton and Cole fed to a commercial three minutes in.
[Q3] Back from break, Ziggler had Orton over the ring steps before smashing him head-first into the steps. Backstage, Jack Swagger was watching intently as Ziggler went for a cover back in the ring. Ziggler then applied a reverse chinlock looking to wear down Orton as the crowd tried to rally behind the World champ. The announcers re-noted tomorrow night's live Smackdown and played up Orton perhaps having his mind on his title defense against Christian tomorrow.
Orton and Ziggler took the fight up-top, where Orton executed a superplex clear across the ring. Orton slowly made the cover, and Ziggler kicked out in time. Vickie pounded the mat in frustration, trying to encourage Ziggler, who then walked into a clothesline before taking a snap powerslam. Orton stalked Ziggler, then executed a belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall. Suddenly, Ziggler came back with a Fameasser for a two count. Back to a shot of Vickie screaming as Cole noted this is about money for Ziggler trying to knock off the World champion and earn a future top title shot.
Orton went back on the offensive smashing Ziggler into the turnbuckle with a catapult, followed with a shoulderbreaker slam, and made a cover, but Ziggler kicked out in time. The crowd was hot with an RKO chant, but Orton measured Ziggler for a Punt and Ziggler intercepted with a superkick for a close nearfall. Ziggler tried the Zig-Zag, but Orton avoided and flung Ziggler into the ropes for an elevated DDT. Orton then dropped down to the mat and pounded the mat to set up for the RKO, which popped the crowd. However, Ziggler countered with a sleeperhold attempt, only to have Orton toss him off the ropes, throw him into the air, wait for Ziggler to bounce up, and deliver the RKO center-ring. It wasn't completely smooth, but effective as another innovative RKO counter finisher. Orton made the cover for the win heading into Tuesday night on Smackdown.
WINNER: Orton at 12:27. Strong match and good focus on Ziggler hanging with the champion in defeat. Ross's commentary was very strong and Cole was actually normal to create a strong one-two dynamic for the call of a serious match. (**1/2)
-- Raw replay: Cena became #1 contender on last week's Raw before WWE champion Alberto Del Rio beat him down to conclude the show.
-- Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Cena for his reaction to Del Rio's attack last week. It looked like Cena wanted to say, "average," after smirking toward Mathews. Instead, Cena grabbed the mic and walked off. Mathews said he'll apparently address it next.
-- Back live, Cena's music hit to bring out WWE's top star. Cena stood on-stage and surveyed the arena before charging the ring. Cena looked around the arena as kids and women jumped up and down celebrating his arrival. Cena took the mic and asked everyone how they're doing tonight. "Mixed emotions as usual," he announced. Cena said he's been a bit uneasy the past week because Del Rio's actions have been speaking louder than words. He said Del Rio's actions have shown he is an unworthy champion and d-bag (it was bleeped). Cena said his goal now is to kick Del Rio's teeth down his throat. He told Del Rio to come get some.
Instead, Mark Henry's music hit and Henry stomped out to the ring looking to take out Cena. They went to a replay from Friday's Smackdown when Henry smashed Sheamus into the ring steps to close the show. Henry then entered the ring with mic in-hand and asked Cena if he's talking about getting some since he's here to get some himself. Henry said he dismantled Kane, Big Show, and many others. Last week, he gave the World's Strongest Slam to Sheamus right there on the steps. And, Cena is going to join the Hall of Pain. Nice. Henry said that regardless of who wins Orton-Christian tomorrow, the winner is going to join his list. And, at Night of Champions, Mark Henry is going to be the new World champion.
Cue up Christian's music for an interruption. Cole noted Christian gets Orton in a steel cage tomorrow night for the World Title. Lawler continued to play up the Raw Supershow on Week 1, trying to convince the audience of it being a good idea. Christian entered the ring with a smirk on his face. He told Henry that after he beats and embarrasses Orton tomorrow night, they'll deal with their match at Night of Champions. As for Cena, he makes him sick to his stomach. Christian said he's tired of listening to Cena whine and bitch and complain until he gets what he wants. Cena told him to pause right there before mocking Christian and Henry with some material from the Cena Jokebook. Cena told them to come get some or get gone. Cena threw down the mic and Christian directed Henry to take apart Cena.
Suddenly, Sheamus's music hit to a strong reaction. Cena had flashbacks to 2010 and readied to punch Sheamus before Sheamus stood next to him to square off against Christian and Henry. Before something went down, Christian bailed from the ring, leaving Henry alone in the ring. Cena and Sheamus wanted a piece of Henry, who eyed his exit, then slowly backed away to the ring ropes. Henry waved them off and bailed to the floor as Christian applauded.
Back in the locker room, John Laurinaitis did his own booking. He told referee Charles Robinson the match is on before actually naming a referee by name asking Charles what he thinks. Triple H stepped in and got in John's face to tell him he already booked the match. He reminded John he works for him and he needs to stop stepping on his toes. Hunter walked off, leaving Laurinaitis to stew as the camera focused on his facial reaction. Back in the ring, Cena and Sheamus continued to pose as Cole undermined Hunter by saying Laurinaitis has booked the tag match for later in the show.
-- Still to come: They announced C.M. Punk vs. The Miz as another main event. That should have been given much more hype than a quick mention going to commercial mid-way through the show.
Voice-over: returning from break, Cole read a plug for donations to the Red Cross to help those victimized by Hurricane Irene.
In-ring: C.M. Punk was already in the ring back from break. Cult of Personality played briefly before The Miz's music hit to bring out Miz in a new t-shirt. Miz stood on-stage mocking Punk's promo in the opening segment. Punk rolled his wrists and pretended to yawn as Miz slowly made his way to the ring. Miz said he was speaking his mind before Punk ever was. He said Punk claims to be the best wrestler in the world, but he is the most must-see WWE champion of all-time. Miz said last week was a mere example of what he's capable of doing to make people pay attention to him around here. Miz did his catchphrase before entering the ring to face Punk, who pretended to get wax out of his ear.
2 -- THE MIZ vs. C.M. PUNK
Cole sided with Miz that Hunter is too wrapped up in the Punk-Nash issue, which has caused Miz and other aspects of the program to be neglected. Ross said Miz can get noticed again by winning this match. Cole then asked if Nash-Punk is the right booking by Hunter. Lawler said he doesn't think it will end the controversy, though, because they still don't know who's behind the text messages and phone calls. "How is that match going to resolve anything?" he asked. Lawler, after killing the hype for the match, covered by saying he still wants to really see that match.
[Q5 -- second hour] Cole reset the show at the top of the hour and noted Hunter has introduced a "new concept" with Raw and Smackdown stars on the same show for the foreseeable future. As for the match, Miz scored a close nearfall with a spike DDT before going to a reverse chinlock to wear down Punk. The announcers went back to the Conspiracy Theory on whether Hunter is involved in the whole Kevin Nash re-hiring scheme. Lawler said this all started when Hunter came back on the scene. (It's inevitable they're going to re-visit the Clique's Hall of Fame ceremony huddle four months ago.) Lawler asked what role Stephanie is playing. Cole asked what role "Johnny" Laurinaitis is playing. Miz maintained control of the match and flung Punk over the top rope to the floor. Cole claimed Miz was dominating the match, which drew Lawler's ire, and they cut to break at 7:45.
Back live, Cole welcomed the audience back to a match trending on Twitter right now. Punk came back on Miz with a rolling belly-to-back side suplex that resulted in a two count. Punk then followed with a springboard clothesline. He teased the G2S, only to have Miz counter with a Skullcrushing tease, but Punk ended the exchange with a backbreaker for a nearfall. The match moved up top as Ross questioned Punk's strategy and Cole continued to mock Ross's accent. Punk eventually set up for and delivered a Macho Man flying elbow. Punk wanted the G2S, but R-Truth came down to the ring to cause a DQ.
Post-match, Punk ran over Truth, then chucked Miz into the barricade. Truth rolled Punk back into the ring, only to take the G2S center-ring. Suddenly, Kevin Nash started walking down to the ring. Cole said he was lumbering to the ring with sights set on Punk. Nash slowly made his way into the ring, allowing Miz to blindside Punk. Nash watched as Miz and Truth stomped away on Punk. Nash then scooped up Punk and delivered the Jackknife powerbomb center-ring. Nash did a clicking motion before throwing up the Diesel right hand in the air. Nash stood tall over Punk as the camera focused on his face and the NWO theme played. They went to a replay of Nash's powerbomb before Nash left the ring.
WINNER: Punk via DQ at 13:56. A bit of a "comedown" match for the crowd before they came to life near the end. The match should have meant more with proper hype. (*3/4)
Still to come: Cena & Sheamus vs. Henry & Christian in the main event.
[Q6] [Commercial Break]
World Premiere tonight: "Inside Out" starring Triple H. Where's the babyface promo from Punk reacting to the attack from Nash? Cole noted the plot for Hunter's movie is a reaction to what happens when your best friend betrays you. Sounds like a tie-in to Nash betraying Hunter in the storylines.
In-ring: Sin Cara's music and theme played, which drew screams and shouts from the audience. It certainly looked like the fake Cara. Jack Swagger was out next as Sin Cara's opponent.
3 -- SIN CARA vs. JACK SWAGGER
The mood lighting kicked in about five seconds into the match. Early miscommunication between Sin Cara and Swagger before Swagger rolled to the outside. Sin Cara became frustrated when Swagger was out of position for a spot on the outside. He eventually executed a springboard moonsault. Back in the ring, Swagger cut off Sin Cara as Vickie slowly made her way to ringside for a closer look. About a minute later, Ziggler came to ringside to argue with Vickie. Ziggler then hopped on the ring apron to taunt Swagger and Sin Cara took advantage with a springboard DDT. Sin Cara then slowly rolled to the ring apron and executed a springboard dive, then a springboard moonsault. Sin Cara with the pin and the win. Post-match: Ziggler told Vickie, "See?" implying Swagger isn't worth her time. Ziggler stomped off, demanding Vickie leave with him. Vickie was slow to leave, continuing to look into the ring as Swagger recovered.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 2:56. The crowd can't tell the difference between real and fake Sin Cara, which is what WWE is hoping for. Meanwhile, the Vickie-Dolph-Jack issue continues to simmer another week.
Still to come: Cena & Sheamus vs. Christian & Henry.
[Q7] Back live, Justin Roberts announced a WWE Tag Title match. Out first were the new tag champs, starting with Evan Bourne. Bourne then waited on the ring entrance ramp for Kofi Kingston, whose pyro didn't shoot off. Kofi made his way to ringside looking around for his pyro. Cole announced the tag team has selected Air Boom as their team name. Lawler asked Cole if he sabotaged Kofi's ring intro. Out next were the former tag champs, McGillicutty and Otunga.
4 -- WWE tag champions AIR BOOM (EVAN BOURNE & KOFI KINGSTON) vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY & DAVID OTUNGA -- WWE Tag Title match
Lawler continued to "evaluate the performance" of the challengers as Mike took it to Bourne early on. Lawler said Otunga is married to Jennifer Hudson, and if not, the only thing he would be saying into the mic is "Do you want fries with that?" Lawler continued to heel on the challengers, saying they put him to sleep. Lawler said he would take them under his wing and give them constructive criticism. Kingston eventually hot-tagged and cleaned house. Kingston scored with a high, turnaround cross-body splash from the top rope before the action broke down. Kingston then tossed Bourne over the top rope onto Otunga. Back in the ring, Kingston dropped Mike with Trouble in Paradise and it was over. Air Boom retains.
Post-match: Otunga and Mike approached Lawler in an aggressive manner. Otunga blamed Lawler for the loss before yanking the headset off Lawler's head. Otunga threw the headset into Lawler's chest as Mike told the "old man" to keep his mouth shut. Otunga sized up Lawler as Ross stood behind Lawler to have his back. They cut to a graphic plugging the main event as Otunga and Lawler continued to stare each other down.
WINNERS: Air Boom at 2:25. Now, everyone gets to move along. Air Boom gets another opponent at Night of Champions and Otunga will apparently be feuding with Lawler.
Backstage: Divas champion Kelly Kelly and Eve were standing by having an awkward conversation. Ross said Kelly will be in action next.
5 -- Divas champion KELLY KELLY (w/Eve) vs. BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella)
Kelly putting her 15 match TV/PPV winning streak on the line and Brie putting her 9 match losing streak on the line here. Before the match started, Cole noted Kelly will be defending the Divas Title at Night of Champions. As Brie dominated early on, they cut to a shot of Beth and Natalya watching intently on a backstage monitor. For the finish, Eve was KO'ed ringside during a scrap, drawing Kelly and the ref's attention. The Bellas pulled the Switcheroo in the background, then, back in the ring, Nikki dropped Kelly with a facebuster for the pin and the win. The Streaks are over.
WINNER: Brie (actually Nikki) at 2:10. Basic booking Week 3 of Week 5 building to Night of Champions for Kelly's eventual title defense.
Up next: Main event of Cena & Sheamus vs. Christian & Henry.
[Q8] DVD plug: Before they cut to break, WWE plugged Randy Orton's new DVD looking at the good and bad choices in his life paving his road to where he is today.
Video package: They returned from break with a video look at Alex Riley talking about his journey to WWE. He said he's done a lot of things he's not proud of, but he's going to prove he deserves respect. They went back to when Riley turned on Miz to begin his up-and-down babyface run.
Exterior shot: As they showed the BOK Center in Tulsa, Cole reset the show before they plugged the Night of Champions line-up thus far. Well, only Punk-Nash. Cole then fed to the debut trailer for Inside Out.
Back live, Mark Henry's music hit as Cole tried an awkward connection between the movie theme and the main event coming up next. Ross hyped Henry before they cut to break ahead of the main event.
Smackdown plug for tomorrow night: Three huge matches. Cena vs. Wade Barrett, C.M. Punk vs. Great Khali, and Christian vs. Orton. (Punk has to work with Khali and Nash in the span of three weeks.) No mention of Del Rio vs. Sin Cara, which was mentioned during the broadcast earlier.
In-ring: Christian was already in the ring back from break. Sheamus then came out with taped ribs as they hit the top of the hour. Not much time for a main event.
[Q9 -- over-run] John Cena made his second entrance of the show as Cole noted he's not sure any of the partners can trust each other. Cole noted Sheamus's history with Cena last year. Also of note is Henry turned on Christian at the Draft show four months ago, but Cole focused on Henry facing the World champion (Orton or Christian) at Night of Champions.
6 -- JOHN CENA & SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY & CHRISTIAN
The heels focused on an injured Sheamus early in the match as Cena tried to encourage Sheamus to make a tag. Christian targeted the ribs to continue wearing down Sheamus before Henry tagged back into the match. Henry continued to wear down Sheamus while getting into it with the referee. The crowd was quiet before Sheamus came back on Christian with the Irish Curse backbreaker. The crowd came to life for a Cena hot tag tease and the tag was made. Cena cleaned house before setting up Christian for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and connecting. Cena wanted the AA, but Christian slipped out. Cena then hit a corner splash before delivering a sandbag toss. Christian tried to come back with a turnaround splash, but Cena caught him in mid-air. Christian avoided the AA, but couldn't avoid the STF. Henry broke it up, though. Henry then fell to the outside and Sheamus took him out with a running splash from the ring apron. Back in the ring, Christian speared Cena, but Cena kicked out. Cena avoided the Killswitch, then Christian ate the Brogue Kick, and Cena delivered the AA on Christian for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Cena & Sheamus at 6:43. Basic main event. But, why would anyone want to see Christian challenge for the World Title tomorrow night? The bigger hook came next...
Post-match, Cena and Sheamus stood tall in the ring before they cut to a shot of Triple H watching a monitor backstage, his tie undone and selling exhaustion. Punk then walked into the shot and Hunter said he just got off the phone with the Board of Directors. Punk joked about the phone call (are you resigning?, did you get the divorce?), drawing a glare from Hunter. He then told Punk his match against Nash has been canceled. Instead, Punk will go one-on-one...with Hunter. Punk and Hunter went nose-to-nose before they returned to the ring to show Cena and Sheamus standing tall. The announcers went to a replay of the match before the winners continued to celebrate in the ring. No Del Rio run-in, meaning he was not on weekend house shows and tonight's Raw. Cole said they will have more on the Punk-Hunter "bombshell" tomorrow night on Smackdown.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If Smackdown ever moves to Tuesday nights, there will likely be endings like this on Raw where WWE follows up on a major show-closing item the following night on Smackdown. Also, with WWE essentially combining the brands, WWE could create synergy by advertising follow-up on major Raw items four days later on Smackdown. Overall, the show was a thumbs up with some good in-ring action and focused writing, although the promo writing continues to be the weakest part of the show lately. Concerning the major Mystery storyline, though, nothing seemed to be resolved this week as they continue to stretch out some sort of resolution/reveal.
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