WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 9/13: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live "season premiere" Raw - Cena vs. Orton
Sep 13, 2010 - 10:10:51 PM
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WWE Raw Results
September 13, 2010 - Episode #902
Live from Cincinnati, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Tonight's WWE Raw #902 episode is the "season premiere" centered on John Cena vs. Randy Orton. The show started with a shot of the WWE logo in the center of the Raw Roulette wheel backstage. The camera pulled back to reveal Cena and Orton staring at each other. The crowd popped, then Josh Mathews walked in. A stipulation will be added to their match tonight. Mathews ran down the potential stipulations on the wheel. He teased a Falls Count Anywhere match, steel cage, or...Pillow Fight.
Cena interrupted and said he wants lady luck on his side tonight. In came Eve to spin the wheel. The camera zoomed in tight to reveal it's a Tables match. One way to avoid giving away a straight singles match. Orton walked off while Cena stared straight ahead. Mathews reminded Cena he lost the WWE Title to Sheamus the last time he was in a tables match. Cena said he tried to forget that. He then did the Twilight build-up for you're either on Team Cena or Team Orton tonight. He spun the wheel and they cut to the regular Raw intro. That was Cena scripted at his worst being over-the-top cartoony for no reason whatsoever.
Arena: Michael Cole introduced the show and focused on a steel cage hanging above the ring. Cole and Jerry Lawler were then shown on-camera to plug the tables match to come.
In-ring: Justin Roberts gave the big intro for Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson), who came out to the ring as Michael Cole plugged his performance in the NFL opener yesterday. The crowd popped for Johnson as Cole noted his big fantasy football day, but failed to note the Bengals lost. Johnson waited out a long pause, then described himself as the handsomest man to ever guest host/star on Raw.
The Miz's music suddenly interrupted for a clash of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Miz got the cheap heat saying he is United States champion and Johnson never will be a champion. He said he will successfully defend his title at Night of Champions while Johnson will never win a championship playing for the "Cincinnati Bungles." Johnson quieted down the crowd before returning fire with two words. "Child, please," he said. Johnson reminded Miz the Bengals won the AFC North title last year and the Reds are going to the Playoffs this year. He said he has TO this year and they're on their way to a title this year. Miz and Johnson had a "Really?" exchange before Miz shot back that Johnson's #85 is the number of passes he's going to drop this year. Or, that Bengals QB Carson Palmer moves like an 85-year-old man. He called the Bengals and Johnson over-rated. Because he's The Miz...and he's Awes---.
The Raw GM buzzed to interrupt. Michael Cole stepped to the podium to read off his piece of paper on the keyboard. The GM wanted to know what Miz's match is tonight. Backstage, Alicia Fox spun the wheel and it stopped on a Submission match. Back live, Miz didn't like that. Johnson announced it to Miz and the GM buzzed again. Cole said the wheel determined the type of non-title match for Miz tonight and the opponent will be in the hands of Ochocinco. The crowd popped. Johnson waited it out and said 85 represents the number of ways this opponent can tap you out. Johnson smiled in Miz's face and slowly introduced "his boy" Daniel Bryan. Out came Bryan ready to make Miz tap out before their title match at Night of Champions. PYB talk time: 7:25. An effective counter-punch to NFL Week 1 or a reminder that, oh yeah, there's football on ESPN tonight?
1 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title submission match
They returned from break with the match already in progress. Bryan nailed kick strikes in the corner, then missed with a corner attack. Alex Riley joined Miz ringside during the break to watch as Miz went to work on Bryan's left knee. Lawler noted Riley isn't even on the Raw roster, so he hopes he bought a ticket. Miz followed with a figure-four attempt, but Daniel reversed control. Bryan then tried the LeBell lock, but Miz grabbed the ropes for a break. Miz then stumbled to the outside and Riley checked on him. Miz flung him away and Miz teased he was about to hurl. This was weird. Miz then grabbed the mic and said, "I think I have a hernia." Miz said that to ensure he can defend the title on Sunday, he's pulling out of the match. Miz had a great facial expression selling this. Justin Roberts began to announce Bryan as the winner via forfeit, but Miz cut him off. Miz is booking now and said Bryan can finish against Riley.
Riley, in jeans, entered the ring to face Bryan in his street clothes. Lawler said the only thing Miz is suffering from tonight is diarrhea of the mouth. Riley tried a submission, but Miz countered into the LeBell Lock. Riley quickly tapped out, giving Miz the win. Post-match: Miz jumped into the ring and was suddenly healed - classic heel move there - to kick Bryan in the face. Miz then shoved Bryan's face into the U.S. Title belt to rub it in his face. Miz teased the Skullcrushing Finale, but Bryan countered into the LeBell Lock. Miz tapped out furiously as Bryan smiled and refused to let go. Riley just stood there on the outside. Refs tried to pry Bryan off Miz as the crowd chanted, "You tapped out." Bryan eventually released the hold and his music played out with Cole noting the symbolism of Miz tapping out on the U.S. Title. Cole then made a comment it's not a submission match on Sunday. Well, Bryan can still win via submission.
WINNER: Miz over Riley at 0:34. We never actually heard a start and finish bell for Miz vs. Bryan, so the match technically never happened. Pretty strong emphasis on this feud in the segment. Miz's mic work with Johnson, the heelish way he "quit" the match vs. Bryan, and the sudden recovery before tapping out really enhanced Miz's character. Also, Bryan was presented strongly and the crowd reacted favorably. Good work all around. (n/a)
Backstage: Jillian Hall spun the wheel and sang, "You can spin me 'round, 'round." Suddenly, Edge entered and hammed it up with Jillian singing 'round, 'round with Jillian. Edge was classic there. They cut to a break as Edge stared at the wheel to determine who he faces tonight.
Reset: Cole and Lawler gave shout-outs to the U.S. military overseas as they showed an aerial shot of Cincinnati with the Reds playing at Great American Ballpark. They cut to a shot of various Bengals sitting ringside. Looking for Jordan Shipley. Looking. No dice.
In-ring: Edge came to the ring to a babyface pop to find out who he's facing tonight. Evan Bourne is back as Cole noted Edge will be in the "now-Five-Pack Challenge" at Night of Champions. Cole and Lawler said they'll find out what type of match they'll be in tonight. Roberts announced it's a Bodyslam Challenge.
2 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. EDGE -- Bodyslam Challenge
Edge teased an early bodyslam, but Bourne slipped out and landed a series of kicks. Edge teased a bodyslam after catching Bourne off the top rope, but Bourne fought off and landed a leaping kick strike beneath the chin. Edge did a slow collapse and teased being KO'ed. Bourne tried to slam Edge, but Edge slipped out. He then got that look in his eyes and delivered a one-hand bodyslam for the win. Afterward, Edge wasn't satisfied. He crouched in the corner and waited for Bourne to turn around to eat the spear.
WINNER: Edge at 1:14. Set up for...
After the match, the Raw GM buzzed. Cole read that the GM is not happy with Edge's post-match attack, so he gets a second bodyslam challenge match. And he gets this man...Mark Henry's music hit to bring out a jovial Henry satisfied with this opportunity. Cole noted the Raw GM has become "feisty" when it comes to dealing with Edge after he walked out of the elimination match on Raw two weeks ago.
3 -- MARK HENRY vs. EDGE -- Bodyslam Challenge
Edge teased a bodyslam, but Henry easily blocked before delivering a bodyslam for the decisive win. Afterward, they replayed Bourne's big kick to the jaw in Part 1. Henry checked on Bourne on the outside as the announcers recapped what happened to conclude the bit.
WINNER: Henry at 0:32. This isn't exactly what people had in mind suggesting WWE needs the occasional short match to tease that a finish can come at any time in a wrestling match. Overall, I thought this watered down the WWE Title match at the PPV having Edge look silly throughout this. (n/a)
In-ring: Back from break, Ted DiBiase's music was playing as DiBiase and Maryse were ringside. Playing off the Raw house shows in Canada over the weekend, it will be a Song & Dance contest tonight. R-Truth then bounced out with Eve for the deal. They cut to a shot from during the break determining a Song & Dance song. Justin Roberts announced one partner will sing and the other one will dance. Truth's music played, but he cut it off. "They already heard that one," he said. Truth then asked for a new R-Truth song with a heavier beat. Truth left the ring to slap hands as he got the crowd to chant along with his new song. It's the right time for me to...insert phrase. Cole was indignant. Eve danced in the ring during this. They should keep the Diva dances to Layla.
[Q4] DiBiase was next, calling this stupid and ridiculous. He said he thought this was Raw, not "America's Got Talent." DiBiase said the people don't want to hear Truth rap. DiBiase said he should just forfeit this and walk out. Truth called him out, then DiBiase answered that Maryse knows he's full of surprises. DiBiase asked for a spotlight. He began to croon Sinatra's "My Way" as Maryse kind of did a lounge-dance mock dance. Great heat on DiBiase for this. Eventually, a four-way brawl broke out among all four. DiBiase wanted Dream Street on Truth, but Truth slipped out and hit the Lie Detector. DiBiase and Maryse retreated to the outside, then Truth's apparently new theme hit for him to continue reinforcing it to the audience.
Backstage: William Regal was with the Bella Twins. Chad Ochocinco was back there too. The wheel landed on Switching Places. Johnson told him it's like switching jerseys with the other team. And who is Regal's opponent? Goldust. Goldust walked in and handed Regal a fake wig. "I think you're going to need this," he whispered to Regal. Regal clenched his fist at Johnson, then walked off. The Bellas suggested to Johnson they have a Pillow Fight.
WWE champ Sheamus then walked in. Johnson told Sheamus he got an email from the GM that if John Morrison beats Sheamus tonight, Morrison gets Chris Jericho's spot at Night of Champions. Sheamus asked for the wheel to be spun. It landed on Falls Count Anywhere. Sheamus asked Johnson if he thinks this is funny. He mocked Johnson's Ochocinco last name and said he's going to show him 'good reality TV" wiping the floor with Morrison tonight. "It will kind of be like the Patriots mauling your Bangals last night," he said, which drew heat live. Sheamus told him to watch how you back up your talk. Sheamus walked off, then Johnson said he doesn't want to see that "Red Rooster" anymore.
Backstage: Edge was pacing around in the locker room. In walked Zack Ryder, who told Edge the Raw GM has it in for him. Oh yeah, Edgeheads. Ryder asked Edge if he stole his girlfriend or something. Flashback jab. Edge said if he doesn't win the WWE Title, he will have a hold-out. Sheamus walked in and told Edge not to hold his breath. Ryder played the sidekick in the high-school comedy movie shouting, "Burn!" Edge and Sheamus shot him looks, then Ryder walked off. Edge and Sheamus exchanged a few words.
Backstage: Elsewhere, John Morrison was shown doing some warm-ups on a pull-up bar. He jumped down and the camera zoomed in tight on his face like they were in a kung-fu movie. Morrison then showed off his parkour training with some sick obstacle-course-like moves using the traveling cases and stagehands as props to warm up. Cole robotically described the moves, which Lawler called him on.
In-ring: WWE champ Sheamus came to the ring for the top-of-the-second hour main event against Morrison. Suddenly, Morrison is being positioned as a big deal.
Replay: Back from break, they replayed Morrison taking Jericho out of the Six-Pack Challenge at Night of Champions on last week's Raw. So, what's next for Jericho? Golden Corral has the answer.
[Q5 -- second hour]
In-ring: Morrison's music hit to a strong reaction as he came out to face Sheamus. Cole called it a "career-changing" match for Morrison.
4 -- WWE champion SHEAMUS vs. JOHN MORRISON -- non-title, Falls Count Anywhere match -- Morrison gets Jericho's spot with a win
Sheamus started on the offensive, but Morrison quickly tried a roll-up for a nearfall. Sheamus then cut off Morrison and sent him flying to the outside. Morrison landed on his feet, then played cat and mouse with Sheamus. Morrison eventually scored a kick strike to the chest and made a cover on the floor for a two count. Sheamus then shoved Morrison into the guardrail and tried to follow, but Morrison dumped him over the guardrail into the front row. Morrison had ideas for something big and came flying over the guardrail with a running plancha. He then made a cover on the arena floor for a two count.
They ended up near the production & pyro area and Sheamus landed the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus slingshot Morrison across an arena barrier as the match moved to the area below the entrance stage. Morrison slid across the floor, then ducked the Brogue Kick. Pyro sparked when Sheamus made contact with a stage prop, which freaked out Sheamus. Sheamus followed up anyways as the match moved to the stage. Sheamus scored a nearfall near the WWE logo as the crowd tried to rally behind Morrison. Sheamus teased throwing Morrison off the stage, but Morrison slipped out and landed kick strikes. Sheamus then tried to throw Morrison off the stage, but Morrison did a parkour counter to land on his feet. Sheamus freaked out as they replayed Morrison's sick counter.
Back on the floor, Sheamus threw Morrison into the side of the grandstands and scored a two count. Sheamus teased a suplex, but Morrison slipped out. Sheamus then retrieved a chair as Morrison disappeared from view. Suddenly, Morrison was on top of the Raw platform. I thought he was super-imposed on the Titantron. Morrison suddenly came flying off the platform with a big splash on Morrison. He had the cover, but Sheamus kicked out. Chris Jericho suddenly came out and cracked a chair over Morrison's back. Sheamus then made the cover for the win. Afterward, Sheamus did a solid job selling Morrison's offense by acting dazed in celebration.
WINNER: Sheamus at 6:43. That was something else. Exciting and different and innovative. Suddenly, Morrison is way more over than he has been since moving to the Raw brand. They also put sympathy on him getting screwed by Jericho in the match. Two weeks of solid Morrison booking has his career back on track. (**1/2)
In-ring: Chris Jericho was suddenly sitting in the ring on the chair he used to bash Morrison. Jericho has something to say on the other side of the break.
Tonight: Cena vs. Orton. Tables match. They cut to a backstage split-screen of each man preparing in their own way. Very nice touch continuing to build up the match with a sports-like presentation.
In-ring: Back from break, Jericho was sitting in the ring in a trance-like state with a mic resting on his knee. Lawler urged him to hurry along because it's Raw Roulette night. The camera zoomed in tight on Jericho, who continued to stare sternly ahead. "I'm not going anywhere until I get exactly what I want," he said. Jericho said he will sit here all night long until he gets the restitution he deserves. He wasn't really addressing this to anyone. Jericho then said he's going to wait until they get an email from the GM announcing he has been reinstated in the Night of Champions match. He said it was insane to try to replace him with Morrison and he demands justice. Jericho said if he doesn't get what he wants, then he'll quit. "Quit?" Lawler quietly asked. Jericho said he will leave and watch from home as WWE burn up in flames. "This time it's for real. If you don't give me what I want, I'm out of here," he said sternly. No reaction yet.
[Q6] Jericho smirked and warned the GM that before he leaves, he's going to expose his identity to the entire world. "Try me," he said. No response. Suddenly, the GM buzzed and the arena lights flashed. Cole tried to introduce the email, but Jericho snapped on him. "Of course you have an email, idiot, just read it!" he said. That drew a pop. Cole read that the GM does not like ultimatums. "No chance that's going to work. No chance in hell," Cole read. Jericho smirked and said he doesn't believe McMahon is the GM. Jericho said if McMahon really had some orders to give, he would be out here right now. He added that McMahon knows his most valuable asset needs to be in the PPV on Sunday.
The lights dimmed and the GM buzzed again. Jericho got another babyface pop telling Cole to shut up and just read. The camera zoomed in tight on Jericho with a great facial expression glaring at Cole. Cole read that he will make the Six-Pack an elimination match now. Cole read that the GM has decided to put Jericho back in the Challenge. However...Jericho didn't like that interruption. Jericho thanked the GM for finally admitting he's the biggest star in the company. He guaranteed to become the new WWE champion at Night of Champions.
The GM buzzed again as Jericho tried to leave. "Don't ever interrupt me again," Cole read from the GM. Cole also read that he is going to put Jericho back in Six-Pack...as long as Jericho wins his match tonight. And that match will take place right now. Jericho pointed out he's dressed in a suit. And he'll be in a handicap match against the WWE tag champions Hart Dynasty. "I'm wearing a suit!" Jericho shouted. Cole said there's one more thing. It's a steel cage match. the crowd popped huge as Jericho ripped off his jacket and shouted at Cole. The cage started to lower as Jericho demanded to know the email address. They cut to break with Jericho continuing to yell at Cole. PYB (3) talk time: 7:40. That was an amazing singular performance.
5 -- WWE tag champions HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH) vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- non-title steel cage handicap match -- Jericho back in Six-Pack with a win
The match was joined in progress with Jericho trying to escape through the door. The problem with the steel cage handicap match is that do both HD members have to escape to win? They answered that early with Smith and Kidd trying to escape the cage on opposite sides. Smith made it out, but Jericho cut off Kidd. Jericho and Kidd then engaged in match action while Smith watched on the outside. Why wouldn't Smith re-enter the cage and beat down Jericho so they could both escape? Logic! Jericho, in his dress pants, taunted the Raw GM. Kidd then tried to sneak around Jericho to escape the cage door, but Jericho cut him off. Kidd then came back with an armdrag and a kick strike. Jericho tried to run out of the cage, but Kidd cut him off and rammed him head-first into the cage. Kidd then tried a top-rope move, but Jericho countered into the Walls of Jericho. Kidd countered, then rolled into the Sharpshooter center ring. Jericho teased tapping out, but grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold.
They went to the finish where Jericho slingshot Kidd to the ropes, but Kidd tried to Spiderman-climb the cage. Jericho cut him off, then blocked a top rope huracanrana. Kidd's neck nearly snapped in two with his head coming inches away from bouncing straight into the mat. Jericho made the quick save and countered right into the Walls of Jericho. Kidd tapped out, giving Jericho the win. Afterward, they had a great close-up shot of a grizzly Jericho glaring into the camera. Very Kevin Steen-like. Jericho then did the belt-around-the-waist motion to celebrate the win before they had another close-up shot of evil Jericho.
WINNER: Jericho at 5:15. The match logic was flawed with Smith standing on the outside rather than re-entering the match to help Kidd, but Jericho's two-segment performance, in dress clothes no less, was simply terrific. The post-match "heel glare through the bars of the cage" was a terrific visual. Very old-school. The only problem is they didn't translate that to the title match with a rushed re-insertion. A reminder: it's back to a Six-Pack Challenge, with the elimination stipulation. (*3/4)
Ringside: WWE Hall of Famer Pete Rose was shown sitting ringside back in Cincinnati celebrating the 25-year anniversary of breaking the MLB hit record.
In-ring: Lady Gaga was in the ring. Check that. William Regal as Goldust. No wait, Goldust as William Regal rolling the wrists. Goldust's music hit to bring out Regal dressed as Goldust. The confusion with Goldust is he was still wearing the Goldust facepaint with the Regal trunks. Regal entered the ring and just shook his head while trying not to crack up laughing. Regal had the all-time best reaction pausing and looking up as a few fans lightly cheered him. "What? A babyface reaction? For me?"
6 -- WILLIAM REGAL vs. GOLDUST
Regal paused and did Goldust's slow chest-stroke and "boo" noise in Goldust's face, trying to fully enter the Goldust switcheroo gimmick. Goldust then pulled out the Brass Knucks from his trunks. Apparently the Cliffs Notes version of a near-30-year career for Regal is knucks. Goldust then blasted Regal with the knucks behind the ref's back for the win. Regal sold this amazingly by sprawling out like a CSI crime scene.
WINNER: Goldust at 0:24. Regal is an amazing performer getting himself over like a star doing one of the dumbest things of his career. Regal and Jericho back-to-back = greatness. (n/a)
Backstage: Cena and Orton were shown walking on a split-screen. The match is up next.
Night of Champions plug: They have quickly re-added Chris Jericho to the PPV main event hype video. They also reminded the audience of Wade Barrett's involvement in the match. Nexus being saved for the main event?
PPV plug: Cole and Lawler ran down the Night of Champions PPV line-up. The individual performances have mostly been strong setting up the Six-Pack Challenge, but they haven't been able to translate that to selling a PPV.
In-ring: Chad Ochocinco was back in the ring to introduce a special guest ring announcer for tonight. Yes, himself. Johnson, in a natural-sounding voice, introduced the main event tables match. Out first was Randy Orton, who came out flexing his shoulders to look tougher than his frame. That's how you look bigger without actually having to be bigger. Orton paused to look at a table ringside as they recapped the end of Raw last week when Orton went over Barrett, then RKO'ed Darren Young and everyone else in sight. They cut back live where Orton and Johnson slowly paced around each other.
[Q8] Johnson then introduced John Cena to a hot reaction. I'm not a fan of "local heel promos," but the opening segment with Miz got the crowd hot for this show. Cena hit the ring and ran the ropes while Johnson brushed by Orton on the way out of the ring. Cena tossed his cap to Johnson, who made the catch. Ringer. Cena finished his routine and smiled at Orton as Cole noted they have not wrestled one-on-one on TV in 2010. Orton returned Cena's smile with a smirk as Cena tossed his t-shirt into the crowd. Nice "set the stage" before the bell sounded to begin things.
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. RANDY ORTON -- Tables match
After the opening bell, they paused to look at each other and gauge the crowd reaction. Lock-up. No one giving an inch. Lock-up. Cena took Orton down to a knee in a headlock. Cena with a shoulder knock down and Orton backed away to his corner. Great feeling-out process to begin things here as the crowd chanted for an RKO. Lock-up. Orton with the shoulder knock down this time. Cena got up, then both men slowly walked around the ring sizing each other up. Orton then landed a right hand strike and ran Cena into the top turnbuckle. The vocal portion of the crowd was hot for Orton.
At 3:10, they moved to the ring apron. Orton teased a suplex through a table on the floor, but Cena shoved him off. Orton landed on his feet ringside and carefully put his hand on the table trying to feel out the smooth surface of the furniture. The crowd was hot with an "RKO" chant" as they cut to break with Cena tensely staring down at Orton, who returned the stare with a tense glare. His body language sets him apart as a top star. Cole said they're at a stalemate. That's how you set up a professional wrestling match.
Back from break, Cena and Orton were trading right hand bombs center-ring. Orton got control and shoved a boot in Cena's chest to begin stomping on him. Cena then teetered off the edge of the ring apron with a table on the floor below. That got the kids screaming in fright. Back in the ring, Cena made a comeback with a Fisherman Suplex. Orton rolled to the corner to avoid Cena's follow-up, then both men fell to the mat. Cena teased the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton blocked and dropped Cena on his head.
At 10:00, Orton introduced a table into the ring as Cena was talking to Orton about setting up a spot. Cena waited for Orton to prop up the table in the corner, then he did his full comeback routine. Cena dropped the Shuffle on Orton, then teased the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton blocked and landed clotheslines followed by a big powerslam. Orton fired up, but got caught with the STFU center ring.
[Q9 -- over-run] As expected, right at the top of the hour, Nexus hit the ring to huge heat. Orton delivered the RKO to one member, then Cena chucked Slater over the top rope through a table ringside. The table shattered into pieces. That was sick, dangerous, and one of those "can you pass the test, kid?" type bumps. Cena stared down at Slater, then Barrett caught him from behind with the Wasteland overhead slam. Gabriel and Barrett then had some ideas for Cena. Gabriel went up top for the 450 on Cena through the table, but Orton shoved Gabriel off the top rope through another table ringside. That shattered as well. Barrett then cut off Orton with a boot to the face. Barrett had ideas to send Orton through a table, but Orton came to life and threw Barrett over the top rope through a third table ringside. Nexus is wiped out.
Orton and Cena were left in the ring with the tables match still going on. Orton slowly rearranged the furniture in the ring and pounded the mat wanting a piece of Cena. Suddenly, Edge and Jericho hit the ring to beat down Orton. Orton fought back to reduced heat, blocked the Codebreaker, then speared Edge into Jericho through a table. Interesting spot. And there came WWE champ Sheamus with a Polish Hammer on Orton. Sheamus then kneed Cena off the apron to the floor. Sheamus tried to follow, but Cena gave Sheamus the Attitude Adjustment on the floor. It looked like Sheamus was supposed to eat the table, but Cena moved it beforehand.
Back to the match, Orton cut off Cena as Cena was trying to re-enter the ring. Orton wanted the spike DDT, but Cena countered into the Attitude Adjustment position. Cena tried the AA through a table, but both men kind of fell through the table. The bell sounded and Orton was declared the winner with the announcers saying Orton countered into an RKO. They went to a slow-motion replay from a reverse angle that did indeed show Orton with a sick mid-air RKO counter to take Cena through the table for the win. Post-match: Cole sold the idea that Orton could become the new WWE champion at the PPV. They closed with a shot of Orton smiling his sinister smile into the crowd to close the show.
WINNER: Orton at 16:55. Strong main event with Orton looking like a top star to build the company around. You knew Nexus was going to get involved somehow, which set up the parade of folks bumping for Orton or Cena ultimately leading to Orton standing tall as the "favorite" to win the WWE Title at Night of Champions. It was a desperation sales pitch to the adult demographic that is more likely to order a WWE PPV, working with the idea that the audience will be more inclined to order if they believe "their babyface" is going to win the title. On the whole, though, WWE was more miss than hit trying to connect all these different stories - especially the changing stories - into one uniform sales pitch for the PPV. It will be interesting to see how the buyrate comes in following Summerslam last month. (**1/2)
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