KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 12, 2012
LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-They opened with hype for the return of Jerry Lawler, plus a recap of top storylines including the Brad Maddox referee controversy and the big Survivor Series changes last week.
-They went to Jim Ross and Michael Cole at ringside hyping the John Cena vs. C.M. Punk one-on-one non-title main event later. Ross then hyped that there’s a mystery fifth member of Team Foley yet to be revealed.
(1) Randy Orton pinned Dolph Ziggler in 3:00. Late in the match Orton gave Ziggler a DDT off the middle rope. He pounded the mat (and didn’t dislocate his shoulder) signaling for the RKO. Cole noted that Jerry Lawler is trending on Twitter. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodrigues ran to ringside to distract Orton. Ziggler jumped Orton from behind, but Orton countered with a schoolboy for the win.
-Del Rio, Ricardo, and Ziggler attacked Orton afterward. Kofi Kingston made the save and cleared the ring. Out walked Teddy Long, assistant to Smackdown G.M. Booker T. He said Vickie is too busy with other things to do her job, so he decided since it’s a Supershow, he’s going to do something “super” and restart the match as a tag match right now.
(2) Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo) beat Randy Orton & Kofi Kingston when Del Rio pinned Kingston in 7:00. They cut to a break at 1:00. [c]
Ziggler nailed a spot-on dropkick to Kofi’s face. They replayed it in slo-mo. At 5:00 Orton and Del Rio both got hot tags into the match. Orton snap powerslammed Del Rio, then set up his signature DDT off the middle rope. Del Rio broke free. Kofi tagged himself in and hit a bodypress and then rolled up Del Rio. Ziggler made the save, but a half second too late so the ref had to stop his count even though Del Rio’s shoulders were still down. Del Rio should have just kicked out rather than put the ref in that tough position. Kofi set up Trouble in Paradise, but Ricardo distracted him. Del Rio then surprised Kofi with a kick to the head and scored the pin.
(WK Reax: Both of these first two matches had good action. Ziggler is still a level above even other really athletic, crisp workers like Orton and Kingston in terms of his execution of everything.)
-Cole plugged the return of Lawler of again.
-Vickie walked backstage with a grin on her face suggesting she had some juicy rumors to spread. [c]
-Ziggler and Vickie stood mid-ring. Ziggler explained what the definition of a scandal is, then bragged about being sharp enough after wrestling two matches to recite that. He said he’s there for one reason and one reason only, the truth.
(WK Reax: This is one of those instances where he should be talking about retribution winning the tag match after losing the opening singles match. The fact that he’s obviously so quickly moved beyond the match outcomes themselves to be worried about the A.J.-Cena situation diminishes the very concept of matches. If he’s moved on already, why did we care in the first place about them? It’s an area where WWE could improve, giving more weight to match outcomes.)
Ziggler reviewed clips of various “incriminating” hidden camera images of Cena and A.J. in hotel hallways. The crowd nearly drowned out Vickie as she began to speak. She said she has evidence that A.J. cannot talk herself out, then she called A.J. to the ring. Vickie called her a “lovestruck little girl.” Vickie said she could have suspended A.J. by now, but she’s not a vengeful person.
A.J. walked to the ring and asked Vickie why she’s doing this to her. She said she got herself into power, cost her her job, and got everything she wanted. Vickie said A.J. cost herself her job. Vickie asked her to admit she had an affair with Cena. A.J. said she wouldn’t stand there and lie. Vickie continued to hound and pester her about admitting it. A.J. finally snapped and said, “Okay, I admit it!” She brushed her hair out of her face and said she admits that she and Cena “are just friends.” Vickie looked disappointed and frustrated. A.J. told Vickie to admit that she’s just upset that back at Raw #1,000, Vince McMahon appointed her (Vickie) the G.M. of Raw instead of her (A.J.). She said she also lost to her twice and can’t stand that if she wanted to, she could do it again. A.J. said she’s just “throwing your weight around.” She leaned over and looked at her butt. “And that weight is pretty considerable,” A.J. added.
Vickie said she has some very interesting voicemails to play that will incriminate them. A.J. smiled and told her to go ahead with them. A voicemail played with A.J. saying she is conflicted, but she wanted to be honest with him before things went too far and say that what happened last night was a mistake. A.J. looked puzzled. She said she didn’t leave that voicemail. Vickie told her to stop looking innocent and confused. Vickie played another message of A.J. saying, “It’s me. We have to stop doing this. I want to stop, but when I see you, I lose control.” A.J. again looked befuddled. She asked how Vickie did that. Vickie played a third clip. A.J. said, “I want to be very clear about this. You drive me crazy. We should be together.” A.J. asked if Vickie tapped into Cena’s phone and edited those phony messages together. A.J. called her a despearate liar. Ziggler stepped in and said the cat is out of the bag and they now know something happened. Ziggler asked what was more disappointing and unsatisfying, the fact that Cena won’t talk to her anymore or all of those nights in his hotel room. The crowd ohhed and ahhed. Cena’s music then played.
Cena marched to the ring, looking irked with the entire situation. He entered the ring and A.J. pushed on his chest to try to talk to him before he went after Ziggler. She turned and slapped Ziggler. Cena then punched Ziggler and knocked him to the floor. Ross said there is a lot of evidence there, so there has to be some truth to it.
-Cole plugged Cena vs. Punk. A clip aired of Big Show attacking Sheamus in a (very well lit) pub in Ireland. Cole then thanked the troops who have served the country in the past, present, and future. A video package aired on returning soldiers. [c]
-A.J. asked Cena backstage what all of that was. She was losing control. Cena said it’s a new low, even for them. He said Vickie and Ziggler are making her life miserable over something that never happened and “never would happen.” A.J. asked if he really meant “never will happen.” Cena retracted the comment. She smiled. He bashfully left.
(3) The Big Show pinned William Regal in 2:00. Ross said he’s never met anyone in all his years in wrestling tougher than Regal. This was a minute before Regal would lose decisively to Show. Show missed an elbowdrop a minute in. He attacked Show with a barrage of punches and an uppercut, but Show chokeslammed him seconds later for the win. They zoomed in on a nasty handprint on Regal’s chest after the match.
(Rossism Watch – On Big Show’s punches: “They are de-a-bili-tating.”)
(WK Reax: The way they’re pushing Show, it seems they are setting the stage for Ryback vs. Show at WrestleMania 29 as a dream match between two seemingly unstoppable forces.)
(4) Kaitlyn pinned Layla in 2:00 to earn a title shot at Survivor Series against Eve. Eve on commentary said neither of the women deserved another title shot because she beat both of them. After her win, Kaitlyn immediate dropped to ringside and stared down Eve. Cole said it’ll be an interesting match-up given the history between them.
-Cole talked about it being nine weeks ago that Lawler suffered a heart attack at ringside, and he’s excited about Lawler coming back next, but first a video package showing what happened aired. They dramatized the footage with enhanced audio and backstage footage of the CPR taking place, then clips of Cole reacting on air. They showed heavy chest compressions and even Lawler chest being shocked to bring back his heartbeat, then the ambulance driving away with sirens blaring.
-Ross said, “Ladies and gentleman, the King is alive and the King is well, and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler returns to Monday Night Raw next.” [c]
-WWE Fact: The WWE ’13 videogame was the no. 1 sports title last week.
-Cole and Ross stood mid-ring. Cole said it’s a miracle that this night has come. Ross asked fans to join him in welcoming back Lawler. Lawler walked onto the stage, his eyes glistening with tears, as the crowd stood and popped for him. He entered the ring and hugged J.R. first, then Cole, although he gave Cole a joking mean tense stare first. Cole was choked up.
A loud “Jerry! Jerry!” chant rang out as Lawler stood center-ring. He said it’s overwhelming and means so much to him. He said there was a time when he didn’t think he’d ever step foot inside a WWE ring again. He said he didn’t want to get corny or cheesy, but the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” is about a guy who didn’t know how much his life meant to everyone he knew and all of his family and friends, and it took a near-death experience for him to realize that. He said he had no idea how many friends and fans he had who reached out with love and prayers. He said, “From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it.” He thanked everyone and said it was great to be back. At that point, C.M. Punk’s music played.
(WK Reax: I must admit I laughed out loud at Punk’s music interrupting. One of those “only in professional wrestling” moments.)
Punk walked out with Paul Heyman as Cole said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Lawler left the ring, then looked at Punk as if Punk had just kicked a puppy. The crowd chanted “You suck!”
(Quotebook – C.M. Punk: “Jerry, I’m glad you left the ring when you did because if you didn’t, I would have beat you to death… again.”)
Punk called Lawler “a real life zombie.” He said people may accuse him of being in bad taste, but Lawler is in bad taste because a 62 year old man stepping foot inside the ring thinking he can go toe-to-toe with the reinging WWE Champion is in bad taste. He asked what Lawler thought would happen. “I guess one of the side effects of that is having a heart attack,” he said. He shamed the fans for sending him hate mail and nasty Tweets, yet it’s Lawler’s fault and no one else’s. Lawler moved to the announce table, but remained standing, glaring at Punk.
(Quotebook – C.M. Punk: “Shame on you, Jerry Lawler, for trying to steal my spotlight with this heart attack stunt.”)
Punk said all everyone can talk about is how many minutes Lawler was clinically dead, but he can give a number that actually means something – 358. He said that’s the number of days he has successfully defended his WWE Championship. He said he just recently tied Diesel as the ninth longest reinging WWE Champion in company history. He said in one week he’ll be standing one year strong as champion because he will beat Ryback and Cena on Sunday at Survivor Series.
Lawler told Punk that from the bottom of his heart, he’s glad he’s back and that he’ll have a front row seat Sunday to see what he’s going to do. Punk replied: “Just try not to croak before the pay-per-view, okay?” Punk could barely holding back laughing. Lawler said he’ll do his best, but as he sees it, the only thing on life support is his run as WWE Champion.
Punk said that was a good one, then began to challenge him to a fight. At that point Heyman began having a fake heart attack. He coughed and collapsed and grabbed his left arm. Punk put up the X symbol with his arms. Punk put his ear to Heyman’s chest and then pumped his chest. Punk yelled, “Somebody help! Call the paramedics! Why are you just standing there?” Lawler just shook his head in disgust. Heyman came to and began laughing uproariously. Punk said, “Paul, you almost gave me a heart attack!” Mick Foley’s music then played.
Cole said he wanted to be the first to apologize for that despicable, tasteless display. Foley entered the ring as the crowd chanted “Foley! Foley!” Foley said it never ceases to amaze him that someone who demands respect can’t offer it to Lawler. Punk told Foley to show some respect to Heyman because he just had a heart attack and didn’t need two months off like Lawler. Punk told Foley that he doesn’t need to get in his face because Mr. McMahon screwed him and took him out of the tag match. He told him to turn his attention to filling the “gaping hole” on his team. Foley said the WWE Universe will be deciding who fills that spot. Punk said he shouldn’t care what the WWE Universe things. Punk said he stopped caring what anybody thought about him a long time ago and it’s worked out for him. He said his team name should be Team Worthless.
Foley yelled that he should shut up because Lawler was dead, and it was the thoughts and prayers of the WWE Universe that brought him back today. Foley said Punk has lost sight of the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around him. He said he was furious that the match was changed while he was overseas fulfilling a committment to the troops. He wanted to be part of teaching Punk a lesson, but now Cena and Ryback will strip that championship from him. Punk said nobody has learned to beat him in nearly a year. He said none of this even involves him anymore. Foley said it actually does because he has a parting gift for him tonight. He said he was just informed that later in his match against Cena “right here in Columbus, Ohio,” that he would be the special guest enforcer referee. Foley left as Punk and Heyman reacted unfavorably to the news.
-Cole plugged that the RawActive poll would be presented later with a list of possible wrestlers to fill the last slot on Team Foley.
-They showed Brad Maddox warming up backstage. [c]
-Punk told Heyman he wonders sometimes if he’s not trying to screw him too. He told him to go fix the situation with Foley. Heyman said the Brad Maddox situation is also there. Punk told him to just fix it.
-Lawler said he didn’t expect anything more or less from Punk. They showed Lawler and Cole at ringside during ring intros. Lawler said he missed being there so much, but he’s only been back a few minutes and he’s already sick of Cole.
(5) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara & Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel beat The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neill & Darren Young) & Epico & Primo in 11:00. A minute into the match Ricardo walked to ringside. He approached Rosa Mendez and gave her a note. She read it and smiled, then folded it back up. At 1:00 Rey backflipped onto Primo. All eight wrestlers faced off at ringside as they cut to an early break. [c]
Titus O’Neill pressed Rey above his head, then gave him a backbreaker and then a bearhug. Cole said they learned last week that Darren Young has trouble pronouncing the word luchadors.
Lawler said he wished he could have come back a week earlier and made the trip to Europe to see so much of the world. He also said maybe he could have passed Rosa a note before Ricardo had the chance. At 9:00 they went into a rapid fire sequence of big moves leading to Young scoring a near fall on Kidd. Kidd set up Young for a 619, and then Rey tagged in and nailed the 619. Gabriel then tagged back in and landed the 450 splash for the win.
(WK Reax: Cole really amped up his commentary to a new high of enthusiasm during the action. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard more excited about a move than Gabriel’s 450 splash at the end. It was almost overdoing it, but maybe he was just really excited Lawler was back. Lawler was back right where he left off.)
-Cole threw to a video package on the WWE’s support of the National Guard. The crowd chanted “USA! USA!”
-Backstage Heyman walked up to Maddox, put his arm around him, and walked away to have a private talk with him. [c]
-Ziggler told Miz backstage that it’s only a matter of time before he’s begging to be let back into the new and improved Team Ziggler. He bragged up his success earlier in the night. Miz said he saw him lose to Orton and get slapped by a girl. He said, “Good job, captain.” Ziggler said he was never Team Ziggler material. Miz said is that because he has main evented WrestleMania and been WWE Champion. Miz asked if he’s ever going to cash in his Money in the Bank. Foley walked up to them.
Ziggler said sarcastically it’s brilliant to let the WWE Universe decide his final member of Team Foley. Foley suggested he offer up two members of his team to face Kane and the winner of tonight’s fan voting. Ziggler said it was a deal, then left. Miz turned to Foley and said they’ve never seen eye to eye. He asked to be put on the ballot to be on his team at Survivor Series. He said it’d be awesome to beat Team Ziggler. Foley said he doesn’t like his chances, but he’s on the ballot.
-Cole listed Santino, Zack Ryder, or Miz.
(WK Reax: Okay, that’s about as weak as competition gets for Miz. They put two jobber comedy figures next to Miz which splits the ballot for those who would choose a jobber comedy figure over Miz. That is stacking the deck in Miz’s favor.)
-R-Truth came out for a match. Antonio Cesaro walked out in a suit and said Truth talks to an imaginary boy named Jimmy because he’s a former top WWE Superstar who has now become a joke. He said Truth is like the United States of America, a once proud country that has also become a joke. He said he will show the WWE Universe that you shouldn’t mess with a true superpower. [c]
(6) R-Truth pinned Tensai in 3:00. Cesaro joined Cole and Lawler on commentary. Lawler gave Cesaro a hard time about carrying a man purse. Cesaro said it’s a satchel and it has everything he needs in it. Cesaro complained about obese people on the planes in America compared them to the classy people on the tour of Europe. Lawler asked why he is here and wearing the U.S. Title if he hates the country so much. Cesaro asked, “Do you speak Memphis?” Lawler said he speaks English.
(Quotebook – Antonio Cesaro on R-Truth: “He is wearing jeans. You wouldn’t see Roger Federer on the court wearing jeans.”)
-Afterward Cesaro told Truth there is no way on Sunday at Survivor Series he’ll win. Truth yanked the mic away from him and said, “Knock knock.” The crowd asked, “Who’s there?” Truth said, “You’re up in my face right now. On Sunday I’ll knock your teeth down your esophogus. And that’s the truth.”
-A clip aired of Ryback squashing Maddox in a WWE ’13 videogame match.
-They showed Maddox heading toward the entrance tunnel.
-A commercial aired for the new NWO DVD including comments from Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T, Cody Rhodes, and the Big Show.
-A clip aired of Maddox’s interview last week.
-They went to Cole and Lawler who threw to a video recap of key happenings in the A.J.-Cena-Vickie saga.
(WK Reax: I’m not sure if starting the third hour with a recap of the more watched first hour is the best way to keep viewers in the third hour.)
-As Maddox walked out, an ambulance backed into the arena. Lawler joked, “My ride is here.” Then it became clear that it was a precautionary measure because Maddox was about to face Ryback. Maddox looked worried. An inset soundbite aired with Maddox saying people who think these are his last words are wrong. He said win or lose, tonight is the greatest night of his life. He said he has no regrets because he is a WWE Superstar and after tonight no one is going to ever forget the name Brad Maddox. After Ryback’s ring entrance, paramedics rolled a stretcher to the ring.
(Fan Sign of the Week: “Feed Me Less.”)
(7) Ryback pinned Brad Maddox in 6:00. Maddox stalled at ringside, but finally Ryback yanked him into the ring. Maddox held onto the ropes, but Ryback yanked him by his legs into the ring. Then he slammed him hard to the mat. Cole said Ryback would be champion had Maddox not done what he did at Hell in a Cell. Ryback told Maddox at 2:00, “You’re dead.” Then he gave him a running powerslam. The crowd chanted, “Feed me more!” Ryback clotheslined Maddox over the top rope rope to the floor. Ryback went to the floor and threw him right back into the ring. Ryback gave Maddox three unreleased powerbombs. Ryback then signaled for his Meat Hook Clothesline as the crowd chanted “Feed me more!” Ryback then signaled for his finisher, the Shell Shock, and got the win.
-Afterward, Maddox was put on a stretcher. Ryback tipped it over backwards. Then he threw Maddox into the security wall. Ryback waited for Maddox to stand up, then delivered a Meat Hook Clothesline at ringside. He yelled, “I hit hard!” Cole said he hopes Cena and Punk are watching this closely. Ryback then carried Maddox all the way to the ambulance next to the stage, rammed him into it, and then threw him inside. Then he led the crowd in chants of “Feed me more!” from the stage.
-Cole plugged Sheamus vs. David Otunga was next.
(WK Reax: Then America reached for the remote.)
-They showed the ambulance driving away with Maddox in it.
-Cole plugged the voting for Team Foley.
(8) Sheamus pinned David Otunga in 2:00 after a Brogue Kick. Early in the match they showed Aksana, Regal, and Michael McGillicutty backstage watching on the monitor. Otunga flexed and showed off his abs. Sheamus then beat him up and won decisively with White Noise and the Brogue Kick.
-Sheamus turned to the big screen and saw Show beating up Regal backstage. Show said this is what will happen at Survivor Series, then he KO punched Regal. [c]
-Josh Mathews stood outside the trainer’s room and said Regal regained consciousness, but has suffered a concussion and potentially a broken jaw.
-Cole threw to a video on the Wounded Warrior Project narrated by Kevin Costner.
-Backstage Daniel Bryan ran up to Kane and said they need to talk. Bryan wished him luck in his match with his new partner. Kane said they’ve already been over it, and he doesn’t have a new partner, they have a new teammate. Bryan said he would have turned down the invite if Foley asked him first. Kane said he had to be kidding. Bryan suggested they go to Foley together and let him know they wouldn’t team with anyone but each other. Bryan turned to find out Kane had left. He yelled “No! No! No!” over and over and then pouted.
(WK Reax: WWE might be realizing the dynamic with Kane and Bryan was overexposed last month, as this was the latest appearance by them on Raw in a long time. It’s still feeling too corny and cheesy and overplayed.)
-They revealed Miz got 60 percent of the vote. Ryder got 34 and Santino got a mere 6 percent of the votes. Miz made his ring entrance. Bryan then came out to protest that Kane was going out with someone else while he and Kane were going steady. Bryan actually walked up to Miz and offered a hand shake and encouragement, trying to prove he was a good sport. Miz looked at him like he was a goof. [c]
(9) Kane & The Miz beat Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) in 6:00. Back from the break Bryan was watching from ringside as the fans chanted “Miz is Awesome!” to get under Bryan’s skin. Bryan sulked. Cole complimented the teamwork of Kane and Miz. Lawler told him not to say it too loud. Bryan stood up. Miz was distracted by that. Cody landed a kick to Miz, then tagged in Sandow who worked over Miz. At 4:00 Miz hot-tagged in Kane. Kane clotheslined Sandow out of the ring when he tried to interfere. Meanwhile, Miz rolled to the floor. Bryan got up and went after Miz, but Miz reversed Bryan into Sandow. Miz threw Cody into the ring where Kane chokeslammed him for the win. Afterward Bryan raised Kane’s left arm as Miz raised Kane’s right arm.
(Quotebook – Jerry Lawler on Kane & Daniel Bryan: “They put the fun in dysfunctional.”)
-Cole plugged that the tenth anniversary of Tribute to the Troops would take place from Norfolk, Va., the home of the world’s largest Naval station. A video hyped the show with various celebrities scheduled including Flo Rida, Kid Rock, and the Muppets.
-They went to Cole and Lawler at ringside. Cole said Gov. Bob McDonald had a lot to do with Naval Station Norfolk landing Tribute to the Troops. [c]
-Foley’s ring entrance took place as Cole touted record setting ticket sales for WrestleMania this weekend. Lawler said the way tickets are going, fans better act quickly to get theirs.
(10) John Cena pinned C.M. Punk in 13:00. The match began 54 minutes into the third hour (or as Vince McMahon refers to it, the second hour, since to him the third hour is the second hour). Very loud battle chant early of “Let’s Go Cena! / Cena Sucks!”). Lawler finally got around to comparing the A.J.-Cena situation to Gen. Petraeus. A minute into the match Punk bailed out to ringside where Foley stared him down, then they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break Punk leaped off the top turnbuckle with an axe handle smash to Cena on the floor.
At 9:00 Punk dove at Cena off the top rope with a flying elbow. but Cena moved. Cena went for a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Punk moved. Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment a minute later, but Punk elbowed out. Then he hook kicked Cena in the face and side kicked him in the gut, then scored a two count. Punk signaled for the Go To Sleep. Cena countered with an Attitude Adjustment attempt. Punk slipped free and gave Cena a faceplant into an Anaconda Vice. Cena shifted to the ropes to force a break. Punk took a few extra seconds before releasing his grip. Punk springboarded toward Cena, but Cena countered into an STF. Punk called for Heyman to enter the ring with the belt. He did. Cena released his grip and got up to confront Heyman. Foley yanked on Heyman’s leg and dragged him to the floor. Punk surprised a distracted Cena with a roundkick to the head for a convincing near fall. Punk then lifted Cena for a Go To Sleep, but Cena countered mid-air into an STF. Punk struggled to reach the bottom rope, and he did. Punk rolled to the floor and limped his way toward the stage. Ryback, though, walked out to stop him. Cole called it being between a rock and hard place.
(WK Reax: A wrestler should name themselves Hard Place because then it would be almost impossible to not somehow end up with a match with The Rock because, really, what promoter could avoid that pun: “Join us Sunday for a match between a Rock and a Hard Place.”)
Punk tried to escape through the crowd, but Cena caught him and dragged him back to the ring where he delivered the AA for the win.
-Ryback entered the ring to face Cena. The crowd chanted “Feed me more!” Cena and Ryback both reached for Punk’s title belt lying beneath them at their feet. They engaged in a bit of a tug-o-war. Punk stood at ringside and watched. When he hopped onto the ring apron, Cena and Ryback turned to him. He dropped to the floor again. They went back to grabbing the belt, as Punk looked on in dismay from the floor.
(WK Reax: Solid final angle to hype Survivor Series. Classic technique to show the lead babyface beating the heel in a non-title match on TV before the title match that fans have to pay for. It gives fans hope and a taste of what they’re supposed to pay for later. This definitely will do bigger business Sunday than the Team Foley vs. Team Punk concept was going to. The apparent babyface turn of The Miz is a potentiall nice side effect of the change in the line-up since they were very weak on the babyface ledger when Cena went down, and Miz might end up being better off career-wise as a babyface using his wit against heels.)