SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 15, 2012
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week’s three-hour WWE Raw started with a video package from last Monday showing C.M. Punk low-blow Vince McMahon during their main event “fight” before Ryback made the save and John Cena got involved. The video showed Punk escaping Shell Shock, bailing into the crowd, and being told by McMahon that he must decide whether to face John Cena or Ryback at Hell in a Cell by this week’s Raw.
After the Raw intro video, full pyro inside Bridgestone Arena kicked off the show. Michael Cole introduced the show and Jim Ross before hyping that Punk has made his decision and he will announce it tonight.
To start the show, Big Show’s music played to bring out the #1 contender to the World Title. Show was dressed to wrestle and he promptly stomped down to the ring before WWE cut to Cole and Ross on commentary to discuss Show challenging Sheamus for the World Title in two weeks. In the ring, Show tried to start a promo, but was drowned out by boos. Show restarted and the boos drew louder. He said he was in this ring two weeks ago for a debate that was a clever joke put together by Booker T and Sheamus attempting to make him look foolish. Show said he’s not the one who looked like a fool, though. Boos. Show said everyone tells him to watch out for the Brogue Kick, but Sheamus can’t deliver it to a giant. Show rolled footage from last Monday when Show blocked the Kick and dumped Sheamus clear over the top rope to the floor.
Back to Show, who continued that Sheamus looked way over his head in that moment. After waiting out “You Suck” chants, Show noted that Friday on Smackdown, he won a “scientific challenge.” This led to a clip from Friday on Smackdown when Show’s KO Punch destroyed Sheamus’s Brogue Kick in the punching power gimmick. Back live, Show shouted that in two weeks at Hell in a Cell, he won’t be punching a machine, but KO’ing Sheamus to become new World champion.
Show brought it down a notch by noting that no one should tweet him anymore about his 45-second title reign. Show said he’s going to correct that mistake tonight. The crowd interrupted with a “Forty-Five Seconds” chant, which angered Show. Show shouted back that he wants Daniel Bryan right here tonight. He said he’ll erase it right here, right now. Major intensity from Show here. The crowd shouted, “Yes!” as Show looked toward the entrance ramp. No sign of Bryan, though.
WWE then cut backstage to show Bryan, Santino, Kane, Ryder, Justin Gabriel, and R-Truth watching the monitor. Truth told his invisible friend, Little Jimmy, to keep his eyes on that. The camera focused on Bryan, who tried to get some help from everyone. Suddenly, Raw GM A.J. Lee walked in and said she thinks Big Show has a really great idea. A.J. told Bryan to get out there, which drew concern from Bryan. Bryan asked Kane for help, but Kane simply laughed in his face. “No!” Bryan shouted at Kane, then Santino, then Little Jimmy, then a bunch of random people backstage on the way to the Gorilla position. Bryan eventually hit the curtain and his music played.
On the way to the ring, Bryan shouted at fans ringside before ripping up a young fan’s goatface mask. The fan was also dressed like a goat to further agitate Bryan, who eventually entered the ring to start the opening match.
1 — WWE tag champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. BIG SHOW
Show delivered an early frying pan-like chop to the chest, then shoved Bryan clear over the top rope to the floor. And, they cut to break exactly 45 seconds into the match.
[Q2] Back from break at 3:50, Show was still in control of the action. Bryan tried to fight back as big “Yes!” signs were visible in the crowd, but Show grabbed Bryan and put him in a bearhug. They went to a replay of Show smashing Bryan during the commercial, which Ross equated to a Sooner hitting a Longhorn on Saturday. Bryan suddenly came back with a dropkick to the kneecap, drawing loud “Yes!” chants as Bryan tried to fire himself up. Bryan delivered rapid-fire kicks to Show’s chest, each one drawing a “Yes!” from the crowd. Bryan then KO’ed Show with a massive kick to the head, but Show press-slammed out of a pin attempt.
Bryan reset by going to a neutral corner and delivering successive flying dropkicks that rocked Show. Bryan then climbed to the top turnbuckle and went for a flying move, but Show intercepted with a big chokeslam. Show with the pin for the win.
WINNER: Show at 6:32. Thrilling second-half as Bryan did the most with the few minutes of offense he had. Booking-wise, WWE continues to present Bryan as a sympathetic underdog against top heels as of late. They need more depth on the face side, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.
Post-match: Kane’s pyro shot off to bring out a smiling Kane. Kane laughed to himself on the way to the ring as Show seemed in less than a laughing mood today. Ross called Kane and Bryan more dysfunctional than the Lohans, but they are tag champs. As Show prepared to KO Bryan, Kane hit the ring to stand in front of Bryan, which caused Show to back down. Show then left the ring to boos. Cole said Kane views it as he can laugh as his tag partner, but no one else can. Show eventually left the ring before Kane’s music played. Kane then tried to offer Bryan some verbal advice as Bryan continued to recover in the corner. Bryan eventually recovered and argued with Kane about having Show right where he wanted him.
Up next: C.M. Punk makes his title match decision.
C.M. Punk Promo
Back live, Paul Heyman was in the ring with possession of the WWE Title belt. Behind him in the ring was a large standing object covered by a black cloth. After introducing himself to boos, Heyman talked up Punk’s credentials. Heyman said Punk has held the WWE Title for 330 consecutive days, then introduced him to mainly boos. Cult of Personality played to bring out Punk dressed in a yellow t-shirt and black basketball shorts. Punk came out on-stage putting his hands behind his head, as if to mock the audience after getting in trouble for punching a fan last week. As Punk slowly made his way to the ring, Ross and Cole talked Hell in a Cell, including Ross name-dropping Mick Foley as a future WWE Hall of Famer.
In the ring, Punk received the mic from Heyman, who maintained possession of the WWE Title belt. Punk began his promo by going back to last week. He said someone acts out of turn and questions his integrity, so he proves the person wrong. He said he doesn’t care if it’s Bret Hart, Mick Foley, or Jim Ross, or even John Cena or The Rock, but least of all, any of the fans, he will put that person down. Punk said last week it was Vince McMahon’s turn. He said he’s sure some people will applaud McMahon’s fighting spirit, but he thought the whole thing was very sad and pathetic. He said it was typical McMahon making everything about him. Punk accused McMahon of disrespecting him, so he slapped him in the face. Punk re-emphasized the slap to boos. He then noted McMahon put up a fight against him last week, but he put such a beating on him that he’s comfortable saying McMahon will never compete in this ring ever again.
[Q3] Punk continued that it took two Superstars to save McMahon from him. He said now McMahon has backed him into a corner to pick his opponent at Hell in a Cell. But, first, Punk wants everyone to see what this company thinks of him. Punk introduced the HIAC PPV poster, which depicts Punk as the devil. Punk asked the crowd if he’s the devil, which drew some applause. Punk claimed to be an angel, which drew boos. Punk said the devil art is how he’s treated. He then said there’s a devil he doesn’t know about – Ryback. Punk said Ryback has managed to insert himself into a conversation he has no business in. Then, there’s the devil he knows – John Cena, who he claimed to have beaten physically and mentally.
Punk continued that he could beat Cena, who already has ten WWE Titles, or the “Next Big Thing” in WWE, to borrow a Paul Heyman phrase. Punk then approached the object standing behind him to unveil who he’s facing at the PPV. However, he paused and asked for some respect as he approached the object. Punk tried again, the crowd booed, and Punk said he thinks he needs some more time. He checked Heyman’s watch and said the crowd needs to have a little more patience.
Suddenly, Vince McMahon’s music played to bring out McMahon, who Ross noted doesn’t have a lot of patience. McMahon, looking quite tired, stood on-stage and looked into the ring to tell Punk that perhaps he hasn’t learned anything about respect. McMahon told Punk that he had the chance to make the decision, but he blew it by wasting time. He declared that he will make the decision for Punk tonight when there is a contract signing. At the contract signing, he will announce whether Punk faces Cena or Ryback at Hell in a Cell. McMahon said Punk’s fate is now in his hands. McMahon’s music played and he smirked toward the ring, where Punk and Heyman complained about things.
Still to come tonight: World Hvt. champion Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett in a re-match from last week’s Raw, which ended in a DQ when Tensai interfered.
2 — ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. BRODUS CLAY
Back live, both Del Rio and Clay were already in the ring. Ross and Cole then announced Del Rio vs. Randy Orton at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Once the bell sounded, Clay dominated and knocked Del Rio to the outside. Ricardo helped Del Rio back to his feet, then Del Rio yanked Clay’s left shoulder across the top rope. Del Rio followed with a dropkick before continuing to target the left arm.
Clay came back with a headbutt, then measured Del Rio for a corner splash, but Del Rio moved. Del Rio then popped Clay in the back of the head before delivering a single-arm drop. Del Rio slapped on the cross arm-breaker and Clay was forced to tap out. Post-match: Ricardo gloated in the faces of Clay’s dancers as he announced Del Rio the winner. Ross declared Del Rio ready for Orton at the PPV.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 2:13.
[Q4] Backstage: Punk was shown complaining to Heyman about McMahon being power-hungry and trying to take away his right to decide his opponent. Heyman replied, “He’s Vince McMahon.” He said he tried to warn Punk about this, but Punk didn’t listen. Punk angrily responded that he has this under control and they’ll play the game again tonight. He said he wants Heyman to go tell McMahon that he wants to fight him again tonight. Heyman wasn’t so sure, but Punk sent Heyman off to tell McMahon right now.
In-ring: Santino’s music played to bring out Zack Ryder and Santino dressed in sunglasses and matching headbands. Ross said tag action is up next before he posed the question of whether McMahon will fight again tonight.
3 — SANTINO & ZACK RYDER vs. PRIME TIME PLAYERS (DARREN YOUNG & TITUS O’NEIL)
The match was joined in progress without ring intros for the Players. Cole plugged the tag tournament finals still to come tonight as Ryder hot-tagged into the match to dropkick O’Neil. Ryder measured O’Neil for the Broski Boot and brushed Titus across the head with his signature move. The action broke down moments later before finishers started flying. Unfortunately for Ryder, Titus was the legal man and he dropped Ryder with Clash of the Titus for the pin and the win. Ross said he’s sure the Players will compete for the Tag Titles again one day.
WINNERS: Players at 1:23. Very quick, in-and-out match to set up the post-match.
Post-match: Three men dressed in matching black outfits and fashionable blue jeans stormed past the Players to attack Ryder and Santino in the ring. The men – Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Heath Slater – cleared Ryder and Santino before taking a mic. Slater introduced them as “Three MB.” The trio danced. Of note, McIntyre was dressed in a headband and sunglasses to change his look (while looking very out of his element), Mahal still wore his turban, and Slater was dressed in a black top hat, apparently trying to look like Slash from Guns N’ Roses.
Smackdown plug: Big Show and Sheamus are about to explode before Hell in a Cell. What will happen this week?
Earlier Tonight: WWE champion C.M. Punk was supposed to choose to face Ryback or John Cena at Hell in a Cell, but he waited too long, so McMahon said he will decide for Punk later tonight.
Announcers: Cole and Ross were shown on-camera discussing the next step that Punk told Heyman to tell McMahon that he wants to fight him again tonight. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero’s voice interrupted to bring out Vickie and Dolph Ziggler on-stage. Vickie said Dolph has something very important to say, and they started walking down the ramp to the ring. Ziggler said Ryback has no business in the WWE Title picture, especially compared to him. Ziggler said he steals the show every night, but that’s still not enough.
[Q5 – second hour] Ziggler went back to the Money in the Bank PPV when he earned his MITB World Title contract. Ziggler said Ryback is a flash in the pan and no one will remember him two months from now. But, he’ll still be here. Ziggler said if anyone deserves a WWE Title match, it’s him. Ziggler said he wants to defeat C.M. Punk for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell, then cash in his MITB contract to become top champions on the same night.
Suddenly, David Otunga randomly interrupted. Otunga said Ziggler is right that Ryback doesn’t deserve a title shot, but neither does Ziggler. Otunga said he’s much more deserving, then insulted Ziggler for hanging out with his “mother” backstage. Cole called both of them delusional as A.J.’s music played to bring out A.J. on-stage. A.J. said they all have a right to their opinion, but instead of them expressing their opinion verbally, she’ll allow them to express themselves physically. A.J. booked them in a two-on-one handicap match against the man himself. “Feed Me More” played to bring out Ryback on-stage to loud cheers. Ross noted the fans in Nashville are hungry tonight. Ryback then marched down to the ring as Cole name-dropped Shawn Michaels tweeting about the possibility of Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell.
4 — RYBACK vs. DAVID OTUNGA & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) — handicap match
The fans chanted, “Feed Me More,” after the bell sounded. Ziggler then tried to start things off with a dropkick, but Ryback bounced to the corner and destroyed Ziggler with a knock-down clothesline. Ziggler wanted nothing more of Ryback, so he tagged in Otunga. Ryback proceeded to put Otunga into position for a backpack jawbreaker. Ziggler then teased re-entering the ring, but decided to take his briefcase and head to the back with Vickie. Ryback then turned his attention to Otunga to deliver the Shell Shocked finisher for the pin and the win. Post-match: WWE cut to a shot of Ziggler selling concern while standing on the stage. Back in the ring, Ryback led the chant in “Feed Me More” chants. Cole then wondered aloud if Ryback will face Punk at Hell in a Cell.
WINNER: Ryback at 1:50. Basic booking to have Ryback “answer the critics” in the form of Ziggler and Otunga.
Office: Backstage, McMahon was on the phone talking to someone about liking what he saw from Ryback. Suddenly, Heyman walked in and McMahon told the person on the phone that a swarm of locusts just descended on Nashville. Heyman ignored the dig, then tried to butter up McMahon to Punk’s interesting pitch. McMahon saw through Heyman’s “pitch,” but waited out Heyman to explain that Punk wants to fight McMahon again tonight. Heyman said that Punk would also like to add that if he “somehow” beats McMahon again tonight, then Punk gets to choose his opponent. McMahon agreed, but then ignored Heyman’s handshake. Heyman winced as McMahon re-directed that he will agree to Punk’s request…if Heyman beats McMahon tonight. Heyman freaked out, noting that’s not what he pitched. McMahon told him too bad, then shouted, “Get out of my sight!” McMahon smiled to himself.
Backstage: A.J. Lee was shown wandering down the hallway when Matt Striker interrupted. Striker brought up that he was attacked by Kane and Daniel Bryan last week on Smackdown, so he would just like an apology rather than having to go the Board of Directors. A.J. laughed at Striker’s request, then suddenly snapped back to reality and said he’s right. A.J. told Striker that he should ask for an apology…right after his match against Kane tonight. “What just happened?” Striker whispered.
Before WWE cut to break, WWE ran a big ad for Tout, which was the first big plug for Tout in a few weeks.
Yesterday: Michael Cole narrated photos of John Cena as N.Y. Jets team captain at MetLife Stadium, and called Cena a good-luck charm since the Jets won. The video package included a still shot of Cena posing with Tim Tebow.
In-ring: Back live, Antonio Cesaro was on the way to the ring flashing the U.S. Title belt to the crowd. Cesaro’s right hand was taped up to sell an apparent injury. WWE cut to an inset promo from Cesaro, who said earlier today that he has propped up the U.S. Title and the United States through his title reign. Justin Gabriel was already in the ring to face Cesaro as Cole shouted out to Jerry Lawler.
5 — U.S. Champion ANTONIO CESARO vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL — non-title match
Cesaro destroyed Gabriel early on as Cole inserted a pop culture reference that Gabriel wants to match Fearless Felix’s super jump from outer space. Cesaro continued to ground Gabriel, who suddenly came back with an A.J. Styles-style back flip reverse DDT. Gabriel then climbed to the top rope for a 450 Splash and connected. Gabriel sold the effects, then covered Cesaro, but Cesaro put his foot on the bottom rope to escape the pin just in time.
Gabriel, clutching his ribs, climbed to the ring apron to deliver a springboard move, but Cesaro intercepted with a huge European Uppercut. Cesaro, with one good arm, then scooped up Gabriel for a deep-squat Neutralizer for the pin and the win. Post-match: Cesaro sold the effects of the match before getting his hand raised. They replayed Cesaro’s impressive offense as Ross called him one of the most-impressive U.S. champs in “many, many years.”
WINNER: Cesaro at 3:52. Impressive four-minute match with Gabriel teasing a potential upset before Cesaro delivered another trademark Euro uppercut. Although it was only four minutes, this one felt like it actually had time to stand out compared to the previous matches on the show.
Still to come tonight: Cena or Ryback selected as Punk’s WWE Title match opponent at the PPV.
Announcers: Cole plugged Fozzy providing the theme song for Hell in a Cell. No mention of Chris Jericho, thought.
In-ring: Matt Striker was nervously waiting in the ring to face Kane. As referee Brad Maddox looked on, Kane’s pyro shot off to bring out Kane to face Striker. Before the bell, Ross noted Striker is a former wrestler, which promoted Cole to stress “former.” They cut to a replay from Smackdown when Striker got in the middle of a Bryan-Kane argument trying to get an interview, which led to Striker being punished via No! Lock and chokeslam.
6 — WWE tag champion KANE vs. MATT STRIKER
The bell sounded and Striker talked on the mic that he’s not a competitor anymore. He said he would be fine with just an apology, which caused Kane to cock his head to the side. Striker noted Kane should think about his therapy and all of the progress he has made. He asked what Dr. Shelby would say right now. Striker said the WWE Universe wants legitimate competition, not
Kane thought things over as Striker continued to plead for mercy. Kane stalked Striker, then lifted his arms…for a hug. Striker walked in for a hug and they embraced. Kane patted him on the back, then Striker started to leave the ring, but Kane pulled him back in for another hug. Kane then squeezed Striker in a bearhug, causing Striker to flail around. Kane finished him off with a chokeslam for the win.
WINNER: Kane at 2:02.
Post-match: Kane took the mic and sat down on the mat to lean in close to Striker. Kane played interviewer, wondering if he could get a word with Striker. Kane then played interviewer and interview, speaking on behalf of Striker. Kane then declared himself the Tag Team Champions over and over again. His music played as Ross called it a riveting interview.
[Q7] Still to come tonight: Cole plugged a Divas Title match. It’s Eve vs. Layla, who has yet to receive her re-match from Night of Champions. Cole then transitioned to focus on Larry King’s segment with The Miz last week. They showed Miz and Kofi Kingston starting a feud after King’s involvement. Ross then plugged MizTV up next with guest, Kofi Kingston.
Back live: The Miz’s music was playing in the background as Cole and Ross read some sponsor ads. In the ring, Miz’s MizTV set was already assembled in the ring. Miz welcomed everyone to the most must-see WWE talk show in history, then insulted Nashville. Miz went back to last Wednesday’s “Main Event” when his guest tonight had the audacity to challenge him to a match for his Intercontinental Title. Miz then told everyone not to welcome out his guest.
As Kofi Kingston came to the ring, Cole plugged Kofi vs. Miz for the IC Title this Wednesday on Main Event. Once in the ring, Kofi asked Miz why he has “that look” on his face. Miz then asked Kofi if he likes being relevant standing next to him. Miz accused Kofi of being carried by everyone else in WWE throughout his career. Kofi smirked and retorted, then Miz accused Kofi of doing nothing in his five years in WWE. Miz said he’s only known for Boom Boom Boom and being second fiddle in bad tag teams. Miz told Kofi he will only be a B-Player in WWE. He said he just puts smiles on people’s faces, while he is the guy people never forget.
Kofi, now ready to do some fighting, waited out a “Kofi Kingston” chant before looking down at the mat and telling Miz that he’s right. Kofi said maybe he does need to add some memorable moments to his career…like on Wednesday when he beats Miz to become IC champion. Kofi said that will be more than memorable, but must-see. Miz smirked as Kofi thanked him for this pep talk. He said that considering Miz has gotten him so fired up, perhaps they should have a match here tonight. Miz smirked and paced around the ring before polling the crowd. “Really? Really? Really?!” Miz asked. He said he doesn’t back down from a challenge, so Kofi is on.
Miz said they can have a match tonight and they’ll have a title match on Wednesday, but Kofi will choke. Miz said Kofi has already reached his ceiling and maxed out. He said all the kids like Kofi, but no one cares about him. Miz said all Kofi is to the crowd is a guy who says Boom…Boom…Boom. Kofi had enough, so he tackled Miz and blasted Miz with right hand strikes. Kofi ripped off Miz’s suit jacket as Cole declared chaos on MizTV once again. Kofi cleared Miz to the outside, then Miz tried to get back on the ring apron, but Kofi smashed him to the floor. As Miz recovered on the outside, Cole relayed news from A.J.’s office that she has confirmed the Kofi vs. Miz match tonight. In the ring, Kofi held up the IC Title belt for Miz to get a good look at as the announcers plugged their title match still to come on Wednesday.
Up next: Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett in a non-title re-match from last week.
[Q8] Announcers: Ross and Cole were shown on-camera promoting WWE’s partnership to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness. The announcers encouraged WWE’s audience to get involved.
In-ring: Sheamus’s music played to bring out the World Hvt. champion for singles action. As Sheamus made his way to the ring, Cole plugged Sheamus’s “bucket list match” facing Big Show for the first time at Hell in a Cell. Wade Barrett then came out looking very determined before WWE replayed the end of last week’s match when Tensai got involved.
7 — World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. WADE BARRETT — non-title match
Sheamus and Barrett went back and forth early on as Cole noted Dolph Ziggler has vowed to cash in his MITB briefcase on the World Title match winner at Hell in a Cell. Ross replied that Sheamus has to block that out and focus on Big Show at the PPV. Barrett then tried to “roll out of bounds” to the outside, as described by Ross, but Sheamus met him with a flying shoulder tackle. As Sheamus celebrated, Big Show’s music played to bring out Show on-stage. Show, with chair in-hand, looked down toward Sheamus, who met his glare as Raw went to break.
Back live three minutes before the top of the hour, Sheamus was in control as Big Show was shown sitting on the stage intently watching the bout. The match moved to the floor, where Sheamus and Barrett played cat and mouse before Barrett caught him with a big sidekick as Sheamus tried to re-enter the ring. Sheamus sold on the floor, then re-entered the ring just before a ten count. Barrett promptly went on the attack, tying up Sheamus in the ropes to inflict successive blows. Barrett then big-booted Sheamus in the head and mocked Sheamus by pounding his chest.
[Q9 — third hour] At 10:00, Barrett slammed Sheamus across the announce table before trash-talking Jim Ross. Barrett resumed the attack in the ring as Ross noted Barrett has a wild look in his eyes tonight. Cole reset the show as Barrett continued to work over Sheamus in the ring while Show watched from the stage. Sheamus then came back with an Irish Curse backbreaker as the announcers plugged McMahon’s Decision still to come. No mention of the Tag Tournament finals since the start of the show, by the way. After Sheamus and Barrett recovered to their feet, Sheamus delivered a running powerslam – drawing a British Bulldog shout-out from Cole – and Sheamus covered Barrett for a two count.
At 12:00, Sheamus followed with ten big forearm strikes to the chest as the crowd counted along. Sheamus continued the assault as Show paced around on the stage. Back in the ring, Barrett came back with a big knockdown clothesline. Barrett wanted a move from the second-rope and connected with an elbow drop for a two count only. Sheamus then tried a desperation Brogue Kick, but Barrett ducked and nailed Winds of Change for another close two count.
At 14:00, Barrett put a boot to Sheamus’s throat as Cole endorsed Barrett as one of the most resilient champions in WWE history. Barrett then made a mistake feeding his leg to Sheamus, who grabbed him and slapped on the Texas Cloverleaf. This brought Big Show down to ringside, which caused Sheamus to release the hold. Big Show remained ringside and proceeded to pull down the top rope, which caused Sheamus to fall over the top rope to the floor. The ref called for the bell, giving Sheamus a DQ win.
Post-match: Show laughed at the ref and called him clumsy. Show rolled Sheamus into the ring, where Sheamus popped up to his feet and Brogue Kicked Barrett square in the jaw. Show then tried to get a piece of Sheamus, but Sheamus clotheslined him to the outside. Sheamus, fired up, pounded his chest as Show shook his head and bailed from the ring. WWE went to a replay of the post-match before showing Sheamus standing tall in the ring.
WINNER: Sheamus via DQ at 15:17. That was a really good, physical match between Sheamus and Barrett, who continues to impress a little bit more each week since returning from injury. Also, a nice “comeback” for Sheamus on Big Show after Show dominated the build-up before tonight. Nice presentation two weeks before the PPV, especially with Ross given a lot of time to talk up his kind of match.
Backstage Office: Vince McMahon was on the phone again. He told the person on the other end that it’s heads he wins and tails he wins (related to facing Paul Heyman tonight). McMahon then spotted John Cena entering his office. McMahon asked Cena what he thinks about his injury. Cena said it doesn’t matter what any doctor says. He said he’s felt better, but he’s also felt worse. Cena said he belongs out there at Hell in a Cell, though, so the choice is McMahon’s, but he’ll do what he does if given the title shot. Cena left and McMahon said he’ll take that under consideration.
In-ring: Divas champion Eve made her way to the ring. She defends the Divas Title next.
8 — Divas champion EVE TORRES vs. LAYLA — Divas Title match
After a replay of what happened at Night of Champions when Kaitlyn was injured by a mystery attacker and Eve captured the Divas Title from Layla, they returned live with Layla already in the ring for her title re-match. Once the bell sounded, Layla tried to take out her anger on Eve, but Eve cut her off and went on the offensive. Layla made a comeback and wanted a corner move, but Eve dropped her to the mat. Eve covered for the win. Post-match, Layla sat on the ground and cried as Eve celebrated.
WINNER: Eve at 4:50 to retain the Divas Title. Surprisingly, no Kaitlyn involvement to advance the division’s top storyline.
Video package: Stephanie McMahon and WWE Divas were spotlighted in a social initiative about promoting malaria awareness.
Still to come: McMahon makes a decision about Punk’s WWE Title match opponent at Hell in a Cell.
Back live, Cole plugged media coverage of WrestleMania 29 potentially being the biggest WrestleMania ever as a graphic of the New York Post’s coverage was shown.
Backstage: Kane was shown talking to Daniel Bryan. Kane asked Bryan if he saw what he did to Matt Striker because it was great. “No!” Bryan replied. They went back and forth with “No” and “Yes” about their activity the last few shows. Bryan finally cut this off and said if Kane thinks it’s so funny that he got chokeslammed by Big Show, how about Kane faces Big Show next week on Raw. Kane thought things over, then Bryan shouted, “I’m the tag team champions!”
Backstage Office: Vince McMahon again. He was standing next to Ryback, who stared straight ahead without looking at McMahon. McMahon thanked Ryback for helping him last week, then said people are calling Ryback heartless, mercilessly, cold-blooded, and will go through a brick wall to get what he wants. McMahon said Ryback is unstoppable; the new king on the mountain. McMahon asked Ryback what he thinks. As the crowd chanted, “Feed Me More,” in the background, Ryback turned to look at McMahon and growled, “Feed Me Punk.” Ryback left, then McMahon gulped and said he’ll take that under consideration.
In-ring: Rhodes Scholars came out for a match Justin Roberts casually announced as tag action. Cole and Ross switched gears from Ross to this match, and Cole noted Rhodes Scholars were supposed to take on Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara tonight in the tag tournament finals, but Rey is ill with the flu and cannot compete tonight. (Rey also missed the Smackdown TV taping six days ago with a sickness.) Cole said the tournament finals will take place next week instead. Rhodes and Sandow posed in the ring leading to commercial.
[Q11] [Commercial Break]
Video: WWE went to a local bar in Nashville to show Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal crash the live music. Slater introduced themselves as “music” and McIntyre vowed to blow their minds. Mahal offered his own intro, then all three of them proceeded to start singing before the bar security sent them off-stage. The trio was kicked out of the bar. Back live, Cole wondered aloud what that was all about.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Primo and Epico were waiting to face Rhodes Scholars. Suddenly, a brawl broke out and Rhodes Scholars bailed to the outside before the bell could sound. The ref eventually restored order and called for the bell.
9 — RHODES SCHOLARS (CODY RHODES & DAMIEN SANDOW) vs. PRIMO & EPICO (w/Rosa Mendes)
Primo and Epico took control of the action as Rosa shouted instructions from ringside. Rhodes then cut off Primo and the heels began working on…the heels as the crowd sat silently. As Rhodes Scholars worked on Primo, Ross and Cole discussed their respective backgrounds, including a reference to Sandow trained by Killer Kowalski. Sandow then dropped the Elbow of Disdain to Primo and continued to wear down the high-flyer as Rosa told ringside fans to shut up rather than encouraging them to rally behind the Colons. Ross noted Primo has been isolated for a long time as Rhodes Scholars continued to work him over. Meanwhile, the crowd continued to sit quietly.
Epico finally took a tag and delivered a flying clothesline. The action broke down, then it came down to Sandow and Epico. Sandow delivered a big elbow, ducked a cross-body, and followed up with a neckbreaker as Rosa shrieked. Sandow made a cover while posing with his chin on his fist for the win. Post-match: Cole said Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio have to figure out how to solve this tag team in the tournament finals next week.
WINNERS: Rhodes & Sandow at 6:53. This was Reason #136 why Raw should not be three hours. This match had no business going seven minutes, especially when two heel teams were matched up against each other, giving the audience zero rooting interest.
Decision 2012: Who will Punk face at Hell in a Cell? McMahon has the call later tonight.
[Q12] Back live, Kofi Kingston’s music was playing. Kofi and The Miz were quickly assembled in the ring for a match before WWE went to a replay of the MizTV segment that broke down earlier tonight.
10 — IC champion THE MIZ vs. KOFI KINGSTON — non-title match
Kofi was very aggressive early on, blasting Miz with right hand strikes to the back that eventually sent Miz scurrying to the outside. Kofi then rolled Miz back into the ring, where Miz cut off Kofi with a knock-down clothesline. Miz visibly called a spot, which led to Kofi teasing a comeback, but Miz cut him off. Miz then hit a double axehandle from the corner turnbuckle for a two count.
The crowd tried to rally behind Kofi as Ross recalled the Boom Drop in the Garden. He said Kofi found “it” that day, and hasn’t been able to find “it” since then. Ross continued to discuss Kofi’s chance to become great this Wednesday night on Ion TV when he has an IC Title shot. In the ring, Kofi made a comeback before landing palm thrusts to the chest. He then wanted the Boom Drop, but Miz rolled to the apron to avoid. Kofi and Miz then teased finishers before Miz kind of fell down. Miz then tried to run the ropes, but Kofi absolutely destroyed Miz with a Trouble in Paradise kick to the face when Miz bounced too far off the ropes, turned his head, and was in the direct line of fire to take the kick. That looked brutal. Kofi made the pin for the win.
Post-match: WWE went to several replay angles of Kofi destroying Miz’s face. Afterward, the ringside doctor checked on Miz as the ref called for more help. WWE cameras zoomed in on Miz flat on his back selling the effects before WWE went to another replay of Kofi’s massive kick. Miz continued to sell with a dazed look on his face as Kofi celebrated on the stage.
WINNER: Kofi at 5:20. Seeing Miz’s neck snap back on a slow-mo replay of the finish was quite scary. WWE took advantage of it, though, almost gloating in the brutality of the move to show people that wrestling isn’t “fake.”
Backstage: Vince McMahon, dressed in a power suit, was shown walking down the hallway. His decision is next. Apparently there will not be a McMahon vs. Heyman match.
Back live, Cole excitedly plugged WWE “joining forces” with the Rolling Stones to present the Stones live on PPV on December 15.
McMahon Decision 2012 Segment
In-ring: Dramatic theme music played, then No Chance kicked in to bring out Vince McMahon with a contract in-hand. McMahon paused on-stage to listen to the crowd, which was clearly worn out by this three-hour show. McMahon entered the ring, which was set up for a contract signing one minute before the top of the hour.
[Q13 – over-run] McMahon set the stage for the segment and first introduced WWE champion C.M. Punk. Cult of Personality then played to bring out Punk flanked by Paul Heyman, who was holding the WWE Title. Before entering the ring, Punk paused to talk trash to some ringside fans. At least he didn’t punch them this week. Punk then entered the ring, frowned at McMahon, and paced around the ring. McMahon then introduced the man with an “insatiable appetite for aggression,” Ryback. Ryback stomped out to the ring and surveyed Punk for a meal before McMahon introduced the final participant, John Cena, to a huge reaction.
Cena came out on-stage not sporting his spiderweb device protecting his elbow. On-stage, Cena shook his arm and elbow to indicate he’s healthy, then stormed the ring and surveyed the crowd. Once Cena’s music stopped, he smiled and soaked in applause from the crowd. McMahon then continued that he’s been thinking about this all night and even since last week since he knew Punk wouldn’t have the grapefruits to make up his mind.
Punk cut off McMahon mid-sentence and said he’s sick of listening of McMahon. He said he beat McMahon so badly that he obviously knocked a few screws loose. Punk then angrily signed the contract and said McMahon is going to do whatever he wants anyways, so he’ll just break whichever wrestler McMahon chooses. McMahon replied that Punk brought this upon himself. Punk retorted that McMahon and Cena are just alike – jealous, insecure, egomaniacs. Cena cut him off, shouting, “Enough!” Cena paused and said Punk has been WWE champ for 330 days. Cena called it a respectful achievement, but from one man to another, Punk needs to shut…the hell…up.
Cena paused to let Punk react, then McMahon said perhaps they all need to shut up. McMahon started to book the match, but Cena quietly cut him off and said he’s not done. Cena said he would like nothing more than to compete against Punk at Hell in a Cell, but then he looks at Ryback and wonders if he even cares about the WWE Title, but rather kicking ass. Cena said he thinks maybe Punk needs to get his ass whipped. Cena told Punk he’s not going to any sleep for the next two weeks. He said Punk’s brain will be filled by three simple words…Feed – Me – More. Cena led the crowd in a “Feed Me More” chant as Cena looked into Ryback’s eyes. Cena then left the ring and stood ringside continuing the chant.
Ryback slowly walked toward Punk, grabbed the pen, and signed the contract. McMahon made it official – Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell. Ryback flexed his upper body and stared down Punk, who sold concern before looking toward Heyman for help. Punk looked into the crowd, which picked up another “Feed Me More” chant. Punk then pointed into the crowd and tried to intimidate Punk, but Ryback shoved him across the table. Ryback destroyed the contract table, then kicked Punk in the gut, and delivered Shell Shocked center-ring. Cole freaked out at Ryback delivering his finisher to Punk, then Ryback’s music played and the crowd chanted, “Feed Me More” once again. Ross said it’s Ryback vs. Punk at Hell in a Cell in two weeks. Cole said Big Hungry is hungry for the WWE Title. He concluded that it’s feeding time for Ryback in Atlanta as Raw signed off 10 minutes past the top of the hour.