The streak continues tonight, as C.M. Punk has now reigned as WWE Champion for 372 days. As the build towards T.L.C. starts, who will be the man to challenge him for the title at that Pay-Per-View? How will Ryback react to his beatdown from Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose?
Speaking of title shots, when will Wade Barrett exercise his match against Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship?
And, what will Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler have to antagonize John Cena and A.J., respectively? Or will the new "couple" gain some revenge?
Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw for November 26th, 2012 - "To Serve and Protect - But For Who?"
Match #1: Ryback VS. Titus O'Neil (with Darren Young)
No intro video, no pyro, just right into the first contest. (During Ryback's entrance, Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcome us to Raw and Cole informs us that later he will show an interview he had with the trio of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose).
Titus holds his fair game at first, knocking Ryback down and hammering away until Ryback counters with a Thesz press (much better than Randy Orton's) and a faceplant. O'Neil rolled out for break, but it is short-lived as Ryback chases Titus to the outside.
He quickly rolls O'Neil back in the ring, but Titus capitalizes on Young's help with a huge sit-down spinebuster! Ryback immediately gets up and chucks O'Neil into Darren, then rolls over him with a clothesline and the Shell-Shock marching Samoan Drop.
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Ryback takes the microphone after his match and demands that WWE Champion C.M. Punk, the trio, or all four come on down and "feed him more!" He will stay in the ring until this happens.
Back live, Ryback is upping the crowd with "feed me more chants," until a bunch of guys in yellow security shirts enter. They climb in the ring and face-off against "The Machine." (I think you know where this goes - bye-bye security!) Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero walks out, but before she can deliver her punishment, Ryback orders her to book him and C.M. Punk for T.L.C.
Vickie agrees, and Ryback ups the anti by commanding an actual Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. Guerrero concedes if he leaves the ring so Raw can continue. Ryback drops the mike and spooks security out, leaving a happy man.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Hornswoggle and Rosa Mendes bicker about her personality, when Alberto Del Rio walks in and threatens to face-off against Hornswoggle. That is until The Great Khali interrupts and gets A.D.R. to back off. This footage from earlier leads to...
Match #2: Single - Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. The Great Khali (with Hornswaggle)
(Ads were after Del Rio's entrance, before Khali's). Back live, The Great Khali has Alberto in the corner, slapping him and pushing against the turnbuckle. Del Rio ducks a clothesline and kicks away and dropkicks Khali down, then locks an armbar on the big-man.
He tries to run at Khali in the corner, but the 7-Footer elbows him twice and chops him down. Ricardo distracts Khali until Hornswaggle takes him to the back. Unfortunately for The Great guy, Del Rio seizes the opportunity and brings him down with a jumping armbar-breaker, then locks in a grounding Cross-Armbreaker for the tap-out victory!
Winner via Submission: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodgriguez)
Segment #3: Office Promo
Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero is reading WWE Kids' Magazine, when WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman walk in. They dispute the booking of the WWE Championship match at T.L.C., and accuse Vickie of not having a clear head because of her situation with John Cena and A.J. She fires back and then books Punk in a match later tonight, with the opponent determined by the WWE Universe. Punk and Heyman exit very unhappy.
Segment #4: Video Promo
Cole is with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. Ambrose wants Michael to ask straight-up, so he does and gets to the point by asking them if they are working for WWE Champion C.M. Punk. Ambrose immediately and quickly just says "nope."
Rollins calls what they have done coincidence, because in reality, they are just working for justice. They are sick of everybody answering to everybody else (wrestlers to GM'S, GM'S to Owners, Owners to the "almighty" WWE Universe.) Instead, they stand to "right what is wrong," and declare themselves "The Shield," as in a "shield from injustice."
Reigns stands up and promptly informs Cole they've said enough and the interview is over.
Segment #5: Video Promo
Another airing for new superstar Fandango airs, and he is a dancing-esque wrestler. "Follow my lead, and watch your step."
Match #3: Single - Alicia Fox VS. Tamina Snuka
Tamina has a new entrance song and attire, supporting her recent heel turn. In a pre-match video, she warns A.J. to not mess with Vickie Guerrero again. Alicia is aggressive quickly, punching and kicking away at Tamina in the corner. Tamina soon gains control, slamming Fox into the turnbuckle and clotheslining her.
Alicia rolls through into a small package for two, but soon falls to a Samoan Drop and top-rope Superfly splash for the 1 - 2 - 3.
Winner via Pinfall: Tamina Snuka
Segment #5: Arena Promo
John Cena is out and is going to tell us about A.J., but not until Guerrero walks out and interrupts again. She wants to give him and A.J. a present, which are matching bath robes.
Guerrero says she is going to enjoy watching them implode, since that is A.J.'s modus operandi with her relationships. Vickie recaps Lee's recent "courtings" until the girl herself walks out.
A.J. is happy not to be G.M. anymore, because she can do whatever she wants, which includes dating whoever and "teasing" John Cena. Just now (thankfully), "The Showoff" Dolph Ziggler interjects and gives his two cents on John Cena. He questions Cena's intentions on attacking him "cowardly" in the lockeroom last week and on the stage following Smackdown. Ziggler knows it's because that A.J. was always thinking of Dolph himself while kissing Cena.
John wants to end this now, but Vickie orders for later, and books Ziggler to take on Cena!
Match #4: Single - Tensai VS. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston (Non-Title)
(Note: Wade Barrett is on commentary, and it is made-known that he will challenge Kofi for the I.C. Title at T.L.C.). Tensai dominates early with his power moves, then grounds him with an arm-stretch. Kofi counters and springboards off the middle rope with a chop, then takes down Tensai, delivering the Boom Drop leg drop.
Kingston sets up but gets the Trouble In Paradise blocked. Tensai tries a middle-rope splash, but Kofi moves and kicks him between the ropes, then flies off the top with a crossbody to receive the win!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston
In a mind-games move, Barrett hands Kofi the I.C. title and walks off smiling.
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
WWE Tag-Team Champions "Hell-No" argue about who likes who more. Daniel Bryan provides polling information to prove that no one would vote for Kane, whether it is in the U.S. or the world!
However, the real results are determined by Josh Matthews and it is the other half that wins, with Kane facing WWE Champion C.M. Punk later tonight! Kane declares "red rules!" and walks off, while Matthews tells Daniel that he has a match next with Rey Mysterio!
Match #5: Single - Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan VS. Rey Mysterio
(Ads after Daniel's entrance, before Rey) Lock up and armdrag by Daniel to start right away. They approach each other again and Rey kicks twice at Bryan's thigh. Rey clamps a wristlock, which Daniel rolls out of and hooks on one of his own.
Mysterio kicks out of it, leap frogs Daniel, monkey-flips him, and hurls him out of the ring all in quick motion. However, Rey misses a running senton off the apron, and instead eats a running knee from Bryan off the apron.
Mysterio counters a hammerlock with a snapmare then drop-toeholds Daniel into the turnbuckle, but gets a clothesline to be driven down. Bryan baseball slides Rey out of the ring, then trades with him, as Mysterio stares him down from inside.
Back live, Bryan crotches Rey on the turnbuckle then gives him a running dropkick to his face. He follows with quick, harsh kicks, then an elbow to the kidneys (according to Cole). He attempts a suplex from the top-rope, but Mysterio punches him off and flies with a seated-senton, then a flying headscissors!
He rolls through sunset-flip with a kick to Daniel's head for a two-count! Rey sets up Bryan for the 6-1-9, but misses and Daniel clamps on the "No Lock" Crossface. Mysterio manages to grab the ropes for a break while Daniel is frustrated. He attempts another submission, but gets sling-shotted into the second turnbuckle.
Mysterio delivers the 6-1-9 and "Drop Of The Dime" top-rope splash for the 1 - 2 - 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Segment #7: Lockeroom Promo
Josh Matthews asks Dolph Ziggler about "incentive" for John Cena in their match tonight. Ziggler denies this, and states he is "The Showoff," and will enjoy the look on A.J.'s face when he beats her boyfriend.
Match #6: Single - "The Showoff/Mr. Money In The Bank" Dolph Ziggler VS. John Cena
The circle around each other, then lockup, with Dolph clamping a standing-side-headlock. Cena leapfrogs and hip-tosses Dolph, then grabs him in an arm-stretch. Cena with a side-headlock this time, and another hip-toss and side-headlock takedown.
Resounding shoulder-block by Cena, but he gets elbowed and driven down with a jawbreaker by Dolph.
Back live, we are shown Ziggler chucking Cena into the steel steps to help him take control. Ziggler "shows off" with sit-ups in the ring, but Cena catches him with a quick pin for 2! Dolph follows with a quick clothesline and series of elbows to Cena's heart.
He misses the last one after posing like the late, great, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, and Cena fires up with his usual repertoire of shoulder-tackles and a spin-out powerbomb. Dolph counters the 5-Knuckle with a kick-to-the-head and jumping DDT for a near-fall!
Ziggler runs at him for the splash in the corner, but Cena moves and tries to lock in the STF, however Dolph pushes off and grasps on the sleeper hold. Cena has dropped to one knee, but battles out and pushes Dolph into the corner to break it.
Cena takes down Ziggler and locks in the STF, however "The Showoff" makes it to the ropes and nails an on-target dropkick to Cena's face!
Dolph dives off the top rope, but Cena rolls through and sets up for the Attitude Adjustment. Ziggler lands out of it and drops Cena with the Zig-Zag! 1 - 2 - Cena kick out! A slugfest ensues and Dolph rolls up Cena for a quick near-fall, but Cena comes back with his spin-out powerbomb.
Cena runs then hobbles out of the ring, as his "injured" knee is bothering him again. With referee Scott Armstrong distracted, Ziggler is trying to remove the turnbuckle covering. A.J. runs out and stops him, as does Vickie to A.J. Dolph then tries to smash Cena with the briefcase, but he ducks and drops Ziggler with the A.A. to get the W!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
Post-match, Cena and A.J. engage in another make-out session to celebrate the victory.
Match #7: Single - Sheamus VS. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (Non-Title)
Both men lockup to being the bout, and Sheamus is shoved down with a shoulder-block. Side-headlock takedown now from Sheamus, then he pounds away on Cesaro. Suplex by Sheamus for a quick pin try. Antonio wrenches on Sheamus' nose to gain an advantage, then slams Sheamus' knee against the steel steps.
Back live, Antonio has Sheamus in a grounding waistlock submission, then hits a couple of uppercuts. Sheamus fights back with fierce punches of his own, but gets clotheslined for another two-count by Cesaro! He now gutwrench-suplexes Sheamus for another near-fall, then ties him up against the ropes and gives Sheamus numerous uppercuts.
Sheamus fights back with knees and then hammers away on Cesaro's chest with punches, as per usual. Springboard shoulder-tackle by Cesaro, and an Irish Curse backbreaker for a near-fall!
Huge scoop slam by Sheamus for a two-count and now he is pondering what he can do to finish off Cesaro. He tries a Cloverleaf submission, but Antonio grabs the ropes to break. The U.S. Champ pushes Sheamus off and picks him up with a Torture-Rack slam! 1 - 2 - Sheamus kicks out!
Antonio is surprised at Sheamus not staying down. Cesaro approaches Sheamus in the corner, but gets kicked away. Sheamus flies off with the "Battering Ram" shoulder-tackle, but Cesaro counters with a smacking uppercut!
He goes for the Neutralizer faceplant, but Sheamus back-body-drops him off and nails the Brogue Kick! However, Cesaro fell to the outside, and get up, so he is counted out!
Winner via Count-Out: Sheamus
Post-match, World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show walks to the stage with a chair in hand, then starts to walk back. Sheamus takes the microphone and demands that Show use that chair, then tells him he will make Show retire after a million chair-shots at T.L.C.
Show looks at the chair and then (poorly) rips it apart with his hands and smashes it on the steel ramp. He walks away with Sheamus glaring at him.
Match #8: Single - "The Intellectual Saviour" Damien Sandow VS. "Long Island Iced-Z" Zack Ryder
Prior to this contest, Damien speaks on his way down. He promises to continue his crusade against "improper" opponents. Lock up with Zack pushing Sandow into the corner, and Damien demanding the referee to back him off.
Sandow quickly takes dominance, pounding away then stomping on the side of Ryder. Grounding rear-chinlock by Sandow, then he jumps down with a knee to Zack's face. Russian legsweep is followed by the "Elbow of Distain" for a two-count.
Ryder counters an Irish Whip with a faceplant and double-knees. He flies from the ropes with a missile dropkick, then sets up and misses the Broski Boot. He ascends the turnbuckle but Damien cuts him off and drives him down with the "Termaneuse ('The End')" neckbreaker. Sandow covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: The Intellectual Saviour Damien Sandow
Segment #8: Lockeroom Promo
Paul Heyman is clutching the WWE Championship outside of C.M. Punk's lockeroom when Josh Matthews asks him how he feels about Punk facing Kane. Heyman turns it around and tells Matthews that he should be asking Punk about how he feels about being "subjected to the whims of the WWE Universe," or how he feels "on the 372nd uninterrupted day of his title reign," or how he feels "now that he has surpassed 'Macho Man' Randy Savage on the all-time list," or "how much injustice can C.M. Punk tolerate."
Match #9: Single - Tag-Team Champion Kane VS. WWE Champion C.M. Punk (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
Lockup into the corner and Punk chops Kane to begin. Kicks and chops in the corner by C.M. but Kane grabs and tosses him around. Punk fights out and punches/kicks away, attempting something but getting draped on the top rope instead.
Back live, Punk is in control again, pressing against Kane's left knee. C.M. jawbreaks Kane off the ropes then runs and dives through the ropes on to him. Punk presses and stomps on Kane in the corner, then runs at him with the knees, twice.
A third does not happen, with Kane countering via an uppercut, and Kane is coming back. Big sidewalk slam for a two-count by Kane, then he flies off the top with a clothesline! Kane measures for the Chokeslam, but Punk counters into a neckbreaker for two!
"The Straight-Edge" Superstar uses the ropes to springboard off, but gets caught with a Chokeslam! Before Kane can get the cover, Heyman pulls Punk away. Kane tries for the Tombstone Piledriver, but "The Second-City Saint" drops down and chops Kane's knee. (Just now, "The Shield" approaches the barricade and watches from the crowd.) Punk hits the Go To Sleep for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: WWE Champion C.M. Punk (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, "The Shield" surrounds the ring and stand-off with Punk, then abruptly assault Kane. C.M. leaves the ring, and Daniel Bryan runs down to try and help, to no avail as "The Shield" beat him down.
The crowd is begging to be "fed more" and they receive! Ryback comes out, as C.M. Punk stares down and then escapes over the barricade.
Ryback takes out "The Shield", then tries a powerbomb on Punk who had come back in and hit from behind. Before he can drop the WWE Champion, Ryback is speared by Roman Reigns.
All three members then triple-powerbomb Ryback and stand over him, while staring at Punk. He climbs back in the ring and poses over a prone Ryback with his WWE Championship, and "The Shield" left through the crowd to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter's Rumblings - By Moe Tapp
This was a much better week, and all because of one aspect - WRESTLING! There were many, great matches tonight and that is really the best part (and main) of "excellence." I say this because everything else still felt a little "average", but the entire show was exemplified by the amount of matches and time given to the contests. Way to go on that part! Here's official analysis:
Excellence: Good bout for Ryback and Titus (although, odd choice) to kick off the show and really liked the promo following to setup the main event for T.L.C. between Ryback and WWE Champion C.M. Punk. It was short and simple to follow, but meaningful too - great formula
The "mind-games" with Wade Barrett handing Kofi Kingston the Intercontinental Championship was a nice touch for their feud.
Again, pretty much all of the matches tonight were good-to-excellent in wrestling ability, particularly John Cena/Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus/Antonio Cesaro.
So far, liking the new group of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose. Very interesting and intriguing storyline - with or without Punk? I could see this continuing for a long while, even costing The Rock the WWE Championship (when he faces Punk at Royal Rumble), citing "injustice" that one main person comes back once a year for a high-profile match while everyone else works their tail off to get a spot on the card every week. That would be a good addition, I believe. We shall see, but here's to them sticking around.
Bogus: A.J./Cena/Vickie storyline. I like the match of Ziggler/Cena out of it, but the rest is not necessary. It's boring now and just end it. Also, on the fence about Dolph's loss tonight. While I think he's at the stage where a high-profile loss will NOT hurt him, I think he should've not been pinned clean, or he should've won himself by nefarious ways to give meaning to the next match Cena and he will have. Was disappointed in the main-event, thought it would be a bit longer (could've taken out Sandow and Ryder to make room) and a little more competitive.
Overall, an improvement for this week and here's hoping they can do the same and more for next week. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!