It's "go-home" again for Monday Night Raw tonight, as we are just 6 nights away from Survivor Series 2012! (Didn't I just write a "go-home" show 3 very short weeks ago, even though I was sick last week and had to opt out of one Raw? In other words, ) What will go down as the annual pay-per-view is built up?
One match is for sure, John Cena taking on WWE Champion C.M. Punk again, to warm up for their triple-threat match with Ryback. Who will gain the advantage?
Also, Ryback himself will be in action, as he faces Brad Maddox, the referee who screwed him at Hell In The Cell. The stipulation, if Maddox wins, he gets a $1,000,000 contract! And I'm sure will see more action (granted, maybe not as much as the finale to the NASCAR Race last night!) between Team Foley and Team Ziggler.
Alright, enough speculation, let's get to it! Read on...
Monday Night Raw Report for November 12th, 2012 - "Welcome Back, King!"
Introduction Segment: Commemoration Video, Recap and Welcoming
A sincere video montage of Veterans and all they fight for freedom airs, narrated by John Cena. This is then followed by the (what is now) "cheesy" recap and preview clip package (except for the mention of Jerry "The King" Lawler - not cheesy at all, of course!).
Match #1: Single - "The Viper" Randy Orton VS. "The Showoff" Dolph Ziggler
Right into it, as no regular Raw video or pyro, but instead the first bout starting off Raw from Columbus, Ohio. His opponent is...Dolph Ziggler! Jim Ross and Michael Cole speculate on who might be the 5th member of Team Foley, while Orton and Ziggler lock up in the ring. Side headlock and shoulder block by Ziggler, who then gets high-flapjacked by Randy.
Springboard suplex by Orton to the inside for a near-fall! Dolph counters with smacking kick and high, beautiful dropkick for a two-count, followed by a neckbreaker and series of grounding elbow drops. 1 - 2 - Orton gets the shoulder up! Randy makes his comeback with clotheslines and a powerslam, plus his favorite slingshot-DDT. Just as he is gunning for the R.K.O., Alberto Del Rio runs out, but gets taken out from Orton. Dolph tries to take advantage with the Fameasser drop, but Orton side-steps and rolls him up for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: "The Viper" Randy Orton
Post-match, Alberto, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Dolph attack Orton until Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston runs out to save. Among this melee, Smackdown's Assistant General Manager Teddy Long comes out and makes a tag-team match for the four competitors, on behalf of Smackdown General Manager Booker T.
Match #2: Tag-Team "The Viper" Randy Orton and Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston VS. "The Showoff" Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (Non-Title)
Kofi and Dolph begin this contest, with Kofi kicking and punching away at "The Showoff." Kingston twists Dolph's arm and takes him down with a beautiful dropkick of his own.
Back live, Del Rio is now in control of Kofi with stomps and head-stretch. Del Rio switches with Ziggler, who tries a neckbreaker but gets reversed into a backslide pin for two! Dolph nails another picture-perfect dropkick then clamps on his headstand-bridging rear-chinlock to wear down the I.C. Champ. Dolph then flies at Kofi in the corner but misses a high-splash, allowing both he and Kingston to tag their partners.
Orton and Del Rio now in and Randy reverses into a powerslam, but Del Rio counters his slingshot-DDT attempt with a kick. Orton gets tagged by Kofi, who springs in with a crossbody for two! Kingston hits another pin combo on Del Rio, but Ziggler comes in and just saves the pinfall.
Rodriguez distracts Kofi, allowing Del Rio to run at him with the enziguri and the 1 - 2 - 3!
Winners via Pinfall: "The Showoff" Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Up next, Vickie Guerrero will be out.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Dolph Ziggler is still in the ring and Vickie Guerrero is by his side. He defines the word scandal, as "an action or event that is deemed legally or morally wrong, and leads to public outrage." He boasts that he still knows that after wrestling two back-to-back matches. Ziggler is out to back his former manager, Vickie, and wants to seek the truth. They go through the "controversial" footage aired from last week of the "meetings" between John Cena and A.J. Lee.
Guerrero then takes the microphone and declares that she will not be threatened by anyone, particularly a "love-struck little girl." She the demands A.J. to come out and explain the allegations. A.J. questions Vickie's motives, as she is now already in power. Guerrero promptly cuts her off, encouraging her to admit to her "affair" with John Cena. A.J. will not say anything, as she is not going to lie. Vickie intimidates her, eventually forcing A.J. to "admit it." A.J. says that "John Cena and I...are just friends. Nothing inappropriate has ever happened between the two of us."
In turn, A.J. wants Vickie to admit why she has been doing this to her - because Vince McMahon chose A.J. over Guerrero as Raw General Manager back on July 23rd, at the 1000th episode, and that she has "physically embarrassed" her in this ring, twice, and if she wanted to, A.J. could do it again.
A.J. takes a shot at Vickie's weight, so Vickie "conveniently" plays some voice mails that incriminate her and Cena even more. A.J. (with common sense) accuses Vickie hacking to Cena's cell-phone and editing the messages together. Vickie denies this and Dolph makes fun of A.J.'s and Cena's "encounter."
All this brings out the man himself, who marches toward the ring. He goes for Dolph, but A.J. holds him back, then turns around and slaps Ziggler herself, followed by a right-hand from John. A.J. and Cena stand in the ring together before break.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
A.J. and John Cena discuss what just transpired, with Cena saying this is nonsense over something that "never even happened and something that never would happen." A.J. picks up on his language and questions "never would happen?" Cena uncomfortably corrects himself, with "okay, over something that never happened," then walks off, leaving A.J. smiling.
Match #3: Single - William Regal VS. World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show (Non-Title)
Big Show completely dominates and decimates William Regal with harsh punches and hammer blows, finishing him off with the chokeslam.
Winner via Pinfall: World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show
Post-match, Show measures Regal for the Knockout Punch, until Sheamus runs down and saves him. They brawl, with Sheamus getting the best of it and Show escaping with his World Title.
Match #4: Single for the #1 Contender Spot to the Divas Championship - Layla VS. Kaitlyn
(Note: Divas Champion Eve is on commentary). Kaitlyn and Eve begin by trading pin combos for near-falls, until Layla hits a sit-down faceplant to take control. Kaitlyn ducks kick and catches Layla off the top rope, dropping her with a sit-down reverse DDT for the W!
Winner via Pinfall and #1 Contender to the Divas Championship: Kaitlyn
Eve and Kaitlyn stare each other down.
Segment #3: Recap
With the return of Jerry "The King" Lawler coming up next, unseen footage from the horrific event of his heart-attack on September 10th's edition of Raw is shown. This includes clips of ringside by the commentator's table, as well as backstage, where they were working on keeping him alive with the defibrillator and putting him into the ambulance with chest compressions.
Personally, that was the scariest Raw I had to ever watch, as I truly felt scared for Jerry and that it was not going to turn out well. Once again, whole-heartedly, Thank You God for pulling Jerry "The King" Lawler through that ordeal, keeping him with us, and letting him comeback tonight!
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Michael Cole and Jim Ross quickly recall that night, then welcome back their colleague and more importantly, friend, Jerry "The King" Lawler. He walks out, to a HUGE ovation of course, steps in the ring, and hugs both J.R. and Cole.
Lawler is overwhelmed, thanking everyone. He says there is one point when he didn't think he'd be back in a WWE ring again, so for tonight to happen, Jerry says is "beyond words for me." He compares the last few weeks of his life to the classic Christmas movie "It's A Wonderful Life." Jerry says the movie is about a guy going through a life-changing experience and is shown how much he is meant to his family and friends. Lawler says he felt like that he has lived that movie in the last two months, but truly knows he is loved and that he loves back. He thanks the fans for all their love, support, and prayers, and says that it is good to be back.
Just now, WWE Champion C.M. Punk interrupts, followed by Paul Heyman holding his WWE Title high. Cole goes on a rant of how disrespectful and hypocritical this act is by the WWE Champion. Punk takes the mike and stares at Jerry. Punk mocks Jerry's situation, but then tells him that he is being disrespectful by thinking he can still go toe-to-toe with the WWE Champion, even at the age of 62. Punk makes more fun of Jerry's health issues (which I do have a problem with, and I'll get to that in "bogus."), then brags about his title reign, citing he is now the 9th-longest running champ, tied with Kevin "Diesel" Nash.
As he's talking, Paul Heyman then fakes a heart-attack of his own, and C.M Punk "saving" him. (This was in poor, poor taste.) Thankfully, Mick Foley interjects and rips a new one into Punk about what he just did. This doesn't phase the WWE Champion, and he also makes fun of Foley, but Mick gets the last "laugh," informing that the WWE Universe will choose the 5th member on his Survivor Series team and that Mick himself will be the special-guest enforcer for Punk's match tonight.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman are in their locker room, with Punk claiming he is being screwed with tonight and Survivor Series. He orders Paul to fix everything, including the Brad Maddox situation.
Match #5: 8-Man Tag-Team - Epico and Primo & "The Prime-Time Players" (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) (with Rosa Mendes) VS. Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, and Rey Mysterio
Gabriel and Titus start off, with O'Neil overpowering Justin. Darren is tagged in to try a quick cover, then tags in Epico, who locks on a grounding rear chinlock. During this, Ricardo Rodriguez walks out and hands a note to Rosa, putting a smile on her face.
Rey is now in, flying around with a headscissors on Primo, then sets him up for the 619, but misses that. He instead chucks Primo out with a hurricanrana, the dives on him with a springboard moonsault. All 8 men face-off on the outside before break.
Back live, Titus is in major control over Mysterio, then he tags in Primo again. Rey counters a sunset-flip attempt with a kick-to-the-head, but cannot make the tag, as Young pulls him back. Rey counters with another Hurricanrana into the post, then manages to get the hot-tag to Kidd. He springboards in with a front dropkick, then quick spin-kicks and another front dropkick. Tyson flies off the top rope with an neckbreaker, but gets a Backstabber from Primo. This breaks down with everyone taking everyone out, and Rey and Justin picking up the win with the 619 and 450 splash, respectively!
Winners via Pinfall: Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, and Rey Mysterio
Segment #6: Video Promo
Footage promoting the WWE's involvement with the National Guard and then show some of the members of the Ohio National Guard in the audience tonight.
Backstage, Paul Heyman approaches Brad Maddox and walks off with him, obviously "plotting."
Segment #7: Video Promo
A new (old) Superstar is featured, with Johnny Curtis now playing "Fandango." (Interesting, to say the least, as to how they'll pull it off.)
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
The Miz is trying to figure out how to get on the Survivor Series card, when Dolph Ziggler approaches him. They bicker back and forth about who is better, then Dolph decides that Miz would not be a good fit for Team Ziggler. In walks Mick Foley, who, after taking a great inside-joke shot against Ziggler ("Amy Schumer says 'hello'"!), offers to put Miz on his ballot for Team Foley.
The choices are Santino Marella, "Long Island Iced-Z" Zack Ryder, or The Miz. (Gee, I wonder who's going to "win." #rigged!)
Segment #9: Arena Promo
R-Truth makes his entrance for his match, then is promptly promo-ed on by his Survivor Series opponent, United States Champion Antonio Ceasaro. Ceasaro calls Truth a "once-proud superstar" and now he is a joke, much like the once-proud nation of the United States, who are now a joke. Cesaro takes a seat at commentary, and Truth's opponent will be revealed after the break.
Match #6: Single - R-Truth VS. Tensai
In short, R-Truth wins with the Jumping Flatliner. (This was just a build-match, hence no real recap necessary!)
Post-match, R-Truth gets in Cesaro's face at ringside, then proposes that he will "kick your teeth down your esophagus!"
Up next, Maddox will try his hand at Ryback!
Match #7: Brad Maddox VS. Ryback
As Brad makes his way to the ring, an ambulance rolls out in the aisle way. Just after the bell, E.M.T.S. wheel down a gurney. Maddox slides in and out of the ring a few times, before Ryback gets his hands on him. Powerful fall-a-way slam by Ryback, then he slams Maddox's head into the mat seven times. Ryback picks him up and drives Brad down with a running powerslam, a la the late, great, "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith.
Ryback drops Maddox three consecutive times with powerbombs, then the crowd riles him up with "feed me more" chants, allowing Ryback to nail him with the clothesline and marching Samoan drop - "Shellshocked" for the 1 - 2 - 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Post-match, Ryback continues to demolish Maddox around the ring, eventually finally throwing him into the ambulance to calls of "feed me more."
Up next, David Otunga will try to wrestle Sheamus!
Match #8: David Otunga VS. Sheamus
Again, in short, Sheamus destroys Otunga with the Brogue Kick!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus
Post-match, Sheamus tells Big Show that what happened to Otunga will happen to him at Survivor Series, then he will regain his World Heavyweight Championship. On the titantron, Big Show appears beating up William Regal again. Sheamus runs to the back for the rescue.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Tag-Team Champion Kane is walking the hallway when his partner, Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan catches up. He is jealous that Kane will be teaming with another partner tonight, to which Kane depicts as "teammate." Bryan wants them to go to Mick Foley and say they will never team with anyone else because they are partners, however he turns around and Kane is gone. Daniel screams "no" a bunch of times in displeasure.
Match #9: Tag-Team - "The Rhodes Scholars" (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) VS. Tag-Team Champion Kane and ??? (Non-Title)
Before the contest, the results for the 5th member of Team Foley are known, and surprise, surprise, it's The Miz. He joins Kane, as does Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan to shake hands with Miz and offer support for the bout.
Back live, Kane suplexes Sandow for a quick cover, then tags Miz for a high-knee. Miz runs at Sandow in the corner with a clothesline, then tags Kane back in. Low front-dropkick onto Sandow, who tags in Rhodes. Miz is also in (and "Miz is awesome" chants escalate among the fans), dumping Cody to the floor and jumping off the apron with an axe handle.
Bryan distracts Miz, allowing Rhodes to hit the Disaster Kick and switch with Sandow, who drops the Elbow Of Disdain. Miz ducks a clothesline and drops Damien with the knee-to-the-back-of-the-head and neckbreaker combo. Kane and Cody are tagged in respectively, and Kane dominates over Cody. Kane ascends the turnbuckles and flies off with the clothesline, and he takes Sandow to the outside. On the floor, Miz chucks Bryan into Cody and the post, then Cody gets rolled back into the ring to receive a Chokeslam and pin.
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion Kane and The Miz
Post-match, Miz and Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan celebrate with Tag-Team Champion Kane caught in the middle.
Up next, it's Punk VS. Cena (3?)!
Match #10: Single with Special Enforcer Mick Foley - WWE Champion C.M. Punk (with Paul Heyman) VS. John Cena (Non-Title)
Lock up with Punk taking advantage via a side headlock and shoulder block push. Cena comes back with a hip-toss and (nice) armdrag, then clamps an armlock on the WWE Champion. Punk out via the ropes and waits on the outside for a break.
Back live, Punk dives off onto Cena on the outside, then rolls him back in to continue. "The Second-City Saint" grapples Cena with an inverted chinlock, then clamps on a sleeper. Cena breaks it by running Punk into the turnbuckles, then a slugfest of punches and kicks ensue between the two. Cena gets the upper with a couple running-shoulder blocks, but Punk victory-rolls Cena for a two-count! Punk nails the high-knee and clothesline, then attempts and misses a diving elbow!
Cena is fired up again, eventually hitting the 5-Knuckle Shuffle. He tries the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk gets out of it and kicks Cena down. The Champion signals for the Go To Sleep, but Cena reverses into another A.A. attempt, but Punk counters that into a face-first drop and Anaconda Vice. Cena manages to get to the ropes. Punk attempts another springboard move, but misses and gets caught in the S.T.F. submission.
As he's about to tap, Heyman jumps into the ring but gets yanked out by Enforcer Foley. Cena unfortunately turns around into a high-kick, but gets his shoulder up and 2 and 1/2! Punk picks up Cena for the G.T.S. again, but Cena reverses back into the S.T.F. Punk gives every effort and manages to crawl to the ropes at the last second. He falls back outside and begins to leave up the ramp.
However, he is cut off the other way by Ryback, who walks him back to the ring, where Cena drops him with the Attitude Adjustment to receive the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
Post-match, Ryback and Cena have a staredown, and both grab the WWE Championship, playing tug of war, with C.M. Punk staring in between to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter's Rumblings - By Moe Tapp
Overall, this was just an average Raw, in my opinion, all because of the build-up to Survivor Series. Other than Jerry Lawler's return, nothing "special" happened, it really just felt like a hold-over and countdown show. So, onto the analysis, followed by my predictions for the Pay-Per-View.
Excellence: #1 is Jerry "The King" Lawler returning. He looked and sounded awesome tonight, like his old-self, so I am super glad he's back and able to return to the commentary booth. Way to go "King"! Thank You, Lord!
Liked the two opening matches, as all of them have great in-ring chemistry and the moves flowed smoothly.
Even though I don't like the storyline, Vickie Guerrero is superb at playing up whatever character (in this case a "meddling, jealous, boss") she is portraying. More of her skills were exhibited tonight in her interactions with A.J.
Still liking the feud between Sheamus and World Heavyweight Champ Big Show, as the storyline is simple - two men fighting over a title and who's bigger/stronger/better, etc...
Kaitlyn and Layla had a nice little match tonight. The 8-man tag was exciting and also flowed wonderfully. U.S. Champion Antonio Ceasaro is also gold on the mike, and has some great facial expressions to go along with whatever he is talking about.
Not entirely sure where the Kane/Bryan/Miz storyline will go, but I'm cool with it for now. Nice quick and easy face-turn too for The Miz!
Cena/Punk another wrestling classic!
Bogus: only two major "gripes." #1 a short one - mainly from last week (which I was sick and did not write about, but still caught up on), I do not like the switching of the Survivor Series match. I thought it was a nice change of pace to have the WWE Champion in a non-title bout on a major pay-per-view like that, and that was the perfect scenario. It gave meaning back to the Traditional 10-Man (2, 5-person teams) match and really could've been something special. Now, it's just the mid-card to upper-card guys fighting it out, really for no reason, and Mick Foley should not be involved anymore, because his issue was with Punk, not anyone else on the opposing side.
Grievance #2 - The tacy segment where Punk and Heyman mocked Jerry Lawler's heart-attack. I know they were told what to say and how to act (most of it anyway), and I'm sure (and hope) it would've been cleared with Lawler too, but still, I really don't find making fun of real life and death situations amusing, especially for "cheap heat." They are better than this and can find many better ways to receive a negative reaction that is not possibly "controversial." It's a topic that shouldn't ever be gone near in that context and Jerry should've been allowed a nice welcome back promo and gone to commentary as usual.
Obviously, there were many more likes in this episode, which is a good thing, but I still feel it was just a "write-off" show to get us to Survivor Series, which below, are my picks:
WWE Champion C.M. Punk somehow retains to continue his streak.
Big Show keeps his new World Championship
Kaitlyn dethrones Eve as the Divas Champion
Dolph Ziggler gets the push going by being the last wrestler survived in the ring for the Teams' match
Antonio Cesaro walks out with his U.S. Championship
That's all for tonight everyone. Enjoy Survivor Series, if you're watching. As always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!