WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 10/31: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw Supershow - The Rock, The Muppets, Halloween edition
Oct 31, 2011 - 10:10:47 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
October 31, 2011 - Episode #961
Live in Atlanta, Ga.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's Halloween edition of WWE Raw started with Michael Cole's voice introducing the show. They cut to The Rock's theme music and a shot of Rock on the Titantron. Rock, standing in front of palm trees in a pre-tape from "Earlier Today," addressed John Cena and a partnership at Survivor Series. Rock said they are two of the most polarizing men on this earth. Rock said they each represent an era and a generation. Rock said from his heart, "Hell no." The crowd popped. Rock said Cena has been knocking on his door for years and then was shocked when he answered the door and came back to WWE. Rock said if Cena wants Team Bring It to team with the Fruit Loop Troop, it's not happening.
Then, Rock started to listen. Rock said he's been getting millions and millions of tweets asking him to team up with Cena...for one night. He said the reason that hooked him was because Team Bring It hates and despises The Miz and R-Truth. Rock said it's not about what he or Cena wants, but The People. He said he's going to give The People what they want: a one-night-only tag team against Miz and Truth at Survivor Series. Rock said Miz & Truth think they've become two BAs, but they're doing it the cowardly way. He re-addressed Cena that Cena got his wish and millions of Cena's little fans are running around the house jumping for joy. Rock said he's doing this for another reason: for Cena to witness Rock putting boots to asses all night. He said what he does to Miz and Truth is just going to be a taste of what he does to Cena at WrestleMania 28. Rock told Cena to witness how a real man gets it done. After doing his catchphrases, Rock said The Rock Is Back. He then used the tagline of "Never before, never again" for Survivor Series. End promo, cue up Rock's theme music.
Announcers: Cole said it's official, then Lawler plugged Cena vs. Miz in a WrestleMania 27 re-match tonight. Cole noted WM28 tickets are on-sale this Saturday.
In-ring: Cult of Personality played to bring out C.M. Punk, who was sporting ring gear and a random white tank top. Mark Henry's music then hit to bring out the World champ. Odd to have no pre-match hype for this match, which was just announced over the weekend on WWE's website. Lawler quickly noted Punk has to beat Henry to receive a WWE Title shot at Survivor Series. Cole then fed to "exclusive footage" from Vengeance when Henry vs. Big Show ended with a ring collapse. Before the match started, John Laurinaitis came out on-stage and introduced himself. Laurinaitis did the announcers's job re-announcing the match stipulation. That was redundant.
1 -- World Hvt. champion MARK HENRY vs. C.M. PUNK -- non-title match -- if Punk wins, he faces Del Rio at Survivor Series
Cole played up the idea of Henry being in a weakened state due to the ring collapse eight days ago. Lawler said he doesn't think Punk has a chance against the mammoth Henry. Punk scored with early offense before delivering a top-rope Macho Man elbow drop. Punk made a cover, but Henry kicked out. Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez then made their way to ringside as Punk rolled to the floor. Ricardo started hitting Henry, but the ref didn't do anything. Ricardo continued to hit Henry with his shoe, so the ref DQ'ed Punk, giving Henry the win.
Post-match: Punk assaulted Ricardo before throwing him into the ring to eat a World's Strongest Slam from Henry. Henry demanded his title belt as Punk seethed on the outside. Too much happening at once for the director to keep up with. Punk then chased Del Rio to the back as Henry's music played. Henry stood over Ricardo, then stepped over him.
WINNER: Henry via DQ at 2:47. Apparently there will be follow-up after WWE slotted this in the opening segment.
[Q2] Still to come tonight: Michael Cole Challenge. Cole claimed he will get rid of Jim Ross once and for all from WWE and be the voice of WWE forever. Also, The Muppets.
In Two Weeks: a live three-hour event...The Rock is back and "Raw Gets Rocked."
In-ring: A drumroll played as Justin Roberts introduced The Muppets, specifically Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. They emerged from behind a box on the stage so the puppeteers could not be seen. Piggy called herself the Original Diva. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger interrupted. Vickie stood next to Piggy while Frog cowered in front of Swagger. The heels complained about them taking their air time on Raw. Kermit tried to apologize, but called Swagger's mother Vickie, prompting a back-and-forth between Piggy and Vickie.
Santino then interrupted and told everyone they're excused. Santino told Swagger he should be warming up because he was just informed by "John Laurin-gytis" that Swagger vs. Santino has been booked for right now. Swagger told Santino he's not interested, then rattled of his resume. Santino shot back that Dolph Ziggler is booked in a match against Zack Ryder tonight. Kermit and Piggy did Ryder's catchphrase, then Kelly Kelly's music played. Kelly, in Halloween costume, planted a kiss on Kermit, then walked off to the ring for a Divas Battle Royal as Piggy reprimanded Kermit. (The segment came off overly-rehearsed in the "WWE theater" setting, but served its purpose appealing to the kids & family demographic.)
1 -- DIVAS HALLOWEEN COSTUME BATTLE ROYAL -- #1 contender match to Divas Title
Back from break, a variety of costumed-Divas were in the ring for the next match. Divas champ Beth Phoenix was ringside on commentary for the match to determine the next challenger to her title. The Final Four was Kelly, Eve, Natalya, and Alicia Fox. Fox was out, then Kelly, then Eve eliminated Natalya to win and earn another title shot. Post-match: Beth & Natalya had a stare down with the faces to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Eve at 2:45.
Backstage: Beaker was given instructions to take a magic potion to Santino. Down the hallway, Beaker ran into Christian, who didn't appreciate Beaker's presence. Christian poured out the magic formula to spite Beaker, then the other Beaker, Sheamus, stepped in to ask Christian if there's a problem here. Christian said there's no problem and walked off. Sheamus was left alone with Beaker and they "engaged in a conversation" about not being able to make the family reunion. Sheamus then spiked his own hair before spiking Beaker's hair.
In-ring: Air Boom came out for the next match. They have Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes on the other side of the break, according to Cole.
3 -- WWE tag champions AIR BOOM (EVAN BOURNE & KOFI KINGSTON) vs. IC champion CODY RHODES & WADE BARRETT -- non-title match
The heels isolated Kingston early on after slingshotting him across the top rope to block a springboard maneuver. A "Cody sucks" chant didn't affect Rhodes, who continued to work on Kingston. Kingston then catapulted Rhodes into the corner and tagged in Bourne, who dropped Barrett with a DDT after countering Wasteland. The action broke down and Kingston found himself on the floor. Barrett then blocked Bourne's top-rope finisher and hit Wasteland for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Barrett & Rhodes at 5:28. Fine for the straight week of Raw focus on Barrett trying to rebuild his career. It didn't help the tag champs, though, when they need some quality wins on Raw.
[Q4] Post-match: Christian hit the ring to help the heels beat down the tag champs, but Sheamus stormed the ring to make the save. Sheamus KO'ed Rhodes as Christian and Barrett bailed from the ring. Sheamus helped up the tag champs before they cut to the balcony to show the grumpy old Muppets critics sitting in the skybox watching. Cole called it Lawler and JR doing commentary.
Backstage: Laurinaitis texting. Epic. Punk then walked in to confront Laurinaitis. He asked Laurinaitis if it's fair Ricardo got him intentionally DQ'ed. Punk mocked Laurinaitis, who told Punk he has his WWE Title match as long as Del Rio agrees to give him the match. Punk said that seems fair enough before slapping Laurinaitis on the back.
Up Next: Del Rio vs. Big Show - a match just announced that requires more advanced hype to justify giving that match away.
Hype video: Brodus Clay. Destroying folks. Next week, he returns to Raw TV.
In-ring: WWE transitioned to Del Rio's theme music, segueing from Del Rio's former bodyguard (Clay) to Del Rio. Justin Roberts handled Del Rio's ring introduction since Punk took out Ricardo earlier in the show. After a look back to the beginning of the show when Del Rio cost Punk his #1 contender match, Big Show came out to face Del Rio. They replayed the "ring collapse" at Vengeance eight days ago as Show completed his ring entrance to indicate Show isn't 100 percent tonight.
4 -- WWE champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. BIG SHOW -- non-title match
Big Show dominated early on as Del Rio tried to find some offense, but to no avail. Del Rio then tried a sleeperhold while wrapping his body around Show's back. Del Rio managed to get Show down to one knee, prompting a "Big Show" chant from the crowd. Long sleeperhold put Show down to both knees. Show reset his base, though, and flung Del Rio off his back after reaching his feet. Show coughed up a lung as he recovered. Then, on the floor, Big Show and Del Rio fought as the ref administered a ten-count.
[Q5 -- second hour] Cole reset the show from this year's WrestleMania host city as the fight continued ringside. Show then missed with a splash near the guardrail and Del Rio followed with a step-up enziguiri. Show was in jeopardy of being counted out as the announcers continued to talk about other items on the show. The two men made it back into the ring, where Del Rio landed successive kicks to the face and upper body. The match slowed down again before Show palm-thrusted Del Rio over the top rope to the floor. They cut to break after nine minutes of uninterrupted action.
Back from break at 11:50, Del Rio was back in control of the action in the ring. Del Rio absorbed an attempted comeback, then planted Show with a DDT. A subsequent cover led to Del Rio being flung clear across the ring to the outside. Back in the ring, Del Rio came running at Show, who KO Punched Del Rio in the face to completely change momentum. Show then made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Big Show at 13:50. Long enough to make up for the short notice on a big match-up given away on TV. The quality was hit or miss throughout, but told a decent story of two men struggling to secure a win. (**)
Post-match: Punk's music played and Punk crossed paths with Show on the way to the ring. Punk surveyed a KO'ed Del Rio in the ring, then grabbed a mic ringside. In the ring, Punk sat down next to Del Rio and threw water in his face to wake him up. Punk said what's about to happen is he's going to ask him a question. Before that, he's going to twist Del Rio into a vice with the Anaconda Vice. Punk said he won't let go until Del Rio gives him the match at Survivor Series. Punk locked in the hold and Del Rio blurted out, "You have your match." Punk then dropped the hold and declared, "He said yes." Apparently Punk wasn't live on the arena mic, so Punk re-told the audience that Del Rio said yes. Cole claimed Del Rio was coerced and didn't voluntarily give him the match. Lawler said what goes around, comes around.
Backstage: Muppets Fozzy and Gonzo were interrupted by Swagger, Vickie, and Ziggler after joking about how easy it would be to be a WWE champion. The heels twisted Gonzo into knots before telling Fozzy to keep himself out of their business.
[Q6] Still to come tonight: John Cena vs. The Miz.
[Commercial Break] In-ring: After a look at some of the Halloween costumes in the crowd, including Lawler calling a Hulk Hogan lookalike "scary," Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero came to the ring. Santino followed out as the opposition.
5 -- JACK SWAGGER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. SANTINO
Cole declared that Swagger is going to wipe the mat with Santino, who had a laugh in Swagger's face before Swagger decked him with a clothesline. Cole mixed in his brand of "humor" at Jim Ross's expense building toward their "challenge" later. Suddenly, Beaker emerged ringside and handed Santino the magic formula. Santino tried to avoid choking on it before spitting it in Swagger's face on accident. Santino then made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Santino at 2:34.
[Q7] In-ring: Zack Ryder, complete with flipcam, came out for the next match. Vickie came back out with U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler for another round of Ryder vs. Ziggler.
6 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. ZACK RYDER -- non-title match
Basic back-and-forth with each man controlling the action for a few moments. Ziggler then found himself on the floor and Vickie, frustrated, shouted at Ryder as they cut to break.
Back from break, the two men traded control before Vickie tried to get involved by grabbing Ryder's foot. Ziggler tried ot capitalize with the Zig-Zag, but Ryder grabbed the top rope to block. Ryder followed with the Rough Ryder for the pin and the win, drawing Vickie's ire again. Cole heeled on Ryder that only on Halloween could Ryder knock off Ziggler. They went to a replay of how Ryder secured the win before a slow-mo shot of Vickie screaming capped things off.
WINNER: Ryder in 10:00. Solid TV match. It looks like another title shot for Ryder is in the future.
Still to come: Miz vs. Cena and a look back to Triple H's "condition" after being attacked by Kevin Nash last week.
[Q8] Raw Rebound from last week: Hunter's heart broken by Nash, then beat up via sledgehammer.
Announcers: Cole said they understand Hunter will be out of action for another five weeks. Lawler then introduced some "news" that Laurinaitis re-signed Kevin Nash, per Hunter's wishes on last week's Raw. Nash has confirmed he will be on Raw next week.
Ringside: They transitioned to Cole standing on the announce table to announce his challenge against Jim Ross will not be happening tonight. Cole said Ross met with a specialist this weekend and Ross is suffering from IBD (as opposed to IBS). He said Ross has ulcers, some sort of colon deal, diverticulitis, and hemorrhaging. Cole said a real man like himself would have showed up tonight, but Ross isn't a real man. He then waved an adult diaper and said Ross accepting the Michael Cole Challenge next week...depends. Cole cackled as the crowd no-sold. Back in the balcony, the old critics sold boredom with Cole.
Backstage: Piggy was rubbing John Morrison's abs. Morrison said he thought Piggy wanted to talk about something. Morrison figured out Piggy just wanted to rub his abs, so he brought in Hornswoggle, who showed off his Piggy tattoo. Swoggle gave Piggy a kiss, so Piggy delivered a chop to the groin. Frog checked on Swoggle, who sold he was in love. Frog looked to the camera and said he thought their show was weird. Suddenly, Cody Rhodes emerged with paper bag in-hand and bagged Kermit.
In-ring: The Miz came to the ring for the main event. They cut back to the critics doing Cena's handwave and interjecting the word "wrestling" onto the show.
In-ring: Back from break, Miz was in the ring awaiting John Cena's arrival. After a pause, Cena's music hit to bring out Cena. On-stage, he did the "I'm here doing it every week" line aimed at Rock, taking another dig at Rock for not being on Raw every week. Cole hyped Rock and Cena teaming up at Survivor Series as Cena did his ring entrance leading to the top of the hour.
[Q9 -- over-run]
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ
Miz started off in control as the crowd engaged in dueling chants for and against Cena. Meanwhile, Lawler repeated that Nash will be on Raw next week. Miz settled into a reverse chinlock as the crowd transitioned to dueling chants of "Let's go Cena / C-M-Punk." Cena then made his comeback and delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Miz countered the AA with a legsweep, though, for a two count. Miz then hit the Reality Check for a two count as Cole continued to rant against Ross. Cena mounted a comeback with a hard clothesline before the action moved to the top-rope. Miz teased a superplex, but Cena blocked and headbutted Miz to the mat. Cena then delivered a guillotine leg smash and made a cover for a two count. Cena didn't capitalize, though, allowing Miz to hit a DDT for a nearfall of his own.
The action moved to the floor, where Cena threw Miz into the guardrail. Suddenly, a man in a Scream Halloween costume choked Cena from behind on the front row. Cena fought him off, then the action moved back into the ring. Cena fought off Miz, then slapped on the STF. Miz tapped out, giving Cena the win. Post-match: Scream re-entered the ring and Cena gave him the AA center-ring. Cena removed the mask to reveal R-Truth, which drew zero reaction since the crowd couldn't see who it was. Cena then put on the Scream mask and posed in front of R-Truth, then for the crowd as Cole plugged Rock & Cena at Survivor Series to close the show 11 minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Cena at 8:42. This reinforced the idea that Miz & Truth are essentially two broomsticks opposite Cena & Rock at Survivor Series - any main-event credibility/juice/momentum Miz and Truth had going into Raw was wiped out here. WWE will probably have Miz and Truth beat down Cena at some point over the next two weeks to put Cena in jeopardy, but the entire selling point for Survivor Series is Cena and Rock together in the same ring to see what happens.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Indifference. WWE was looking for a basic "feel good" show on Halloween (with the main event playing into that theme) featuring the guest stars, reminiscent of when every week of WWE TV seemed to end with a "feel good moment" due to the inclusion of weekly guest stars. But, right now, WWE's top storyline is a lost cause and they're missing something in the build-up to Survivor Series. WWE just hasn't been able to create that "must-see" reason to see Rock's return rather than waiting for WrestleMania. A taped show overseas next week won't help, so it will likely come down to the three-hour Rock Episode in two weeks to really sell this PPV.
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