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I would like to start tonight’s report by thanking God and all who care for Jerry “The King” Lawler. Prayers and well-wishes were answered, and he is now on the road to recovery. Get well soon and back to WWE “King!”
On to Raw! Following last night’s Night Of Champions pay-per-view, what “new era” could be in store? How many titles actually changed hands (here’s hoping the Tag-Team to Kane & Daniel Bryan, and World Heavyweight – to Dolph Ziggler!), and who was able to escape Boston with their coveted gold? (again, here’s hoping WWE Champion C.M. Punk – especially – and every other title holder!)
Read on and let’s get Raw!
Monday Night Raw Report for September 17th, 2012 – “A Finish(es) Not Worthy”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming
The regular Raw video plays and the pyro booms the arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Michael Cole greets us 24 hours after the “most controversial main events.” (As usual.)
Segment #1: Arena Promo
C.M. Punk’s music plays, but “The Straight-Edge Superstar” does not walk out. Instead, it is his associate Paul Heyman. He is quite happy to announce (to my pleasure) that Punk has retained his WWE Championship at Night Of Champions. However, there was some apparent controversy, so Paul E. invites referee Chad Patton out to explain.
The “controversy” is a double-pin, as depicted by a photo that shows John Cena German-suplex-pinning C.M. Punk, but both wrestler’s shoulders were on the mat as Patton had counted to three. Patton reassures that he made the right decision, as fan footage also displays, that since both pairs of shoulders were on the canvas and counted out, the match is a tie and the decision in a tie goes to the champion going into the contest. Therefore, C.M. Punk is still your WWE Champion for the 303rd consecutive day!
John Cena now walks out (appropriately and genuinely dressed in pink and black to support Cancer-Awareness month – as is the ring, with white top and bottom ropes and a pink middle rope). The former challenger actually agrees with Heyman and Patton, stating he made the correct call last night. Cena puts over the bout as a “match of WrestleMania proportions,” but much like everyone else, wanted to see who could win that match, not in a draw. He goes on about Punk wanting respect, but questions that “respect” when the WWE Championship match ended in a tie.
Cena lists numerous ways one can earn proper respect, and then basically begs for a rematch tonight. Heyman informs that Punk will be quite happy to tell John his answer when he actually arrives. Paul calls himself the “voice of the voice of the voiceless.”
Before Cena can continue, Alberto Del Rio’s music plays and…. is sans World Heavyweight Championship. He and Ricardo Rodriguez walk down the aisle, disputing his results and demanding another rematch against Sheamus.
Hopefully to clean up this mess, Raw General Manager A.J. Lee skips down and around. She talks for herself and Smackdown! General Manager Booker T., booking a “super main event” between Del Rio & WWE Champ Punk taking on Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. She insinuates that the winner(s) of the match might determine which way the challenge for the heavyweight championships go.
A.J. skips away again, with Heyman following her to voice his opinion.
Up next, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara team up!
With fantastic news, Cole delivers an update on Jerry “The King” Lawler. The “tout” video (which is also posted on this website) is aired (Lawler really does look great) and announces that Jerry is now home in Memphis recuperating, and next week, he will be interviewed via satellite! Cole is wearing a “Long live the King” t-shirt to celebrate the happiness.
Out next are two of the other greater(est) commentators in WWE history, as John Bradshaw Layfield and Jim Ross return to fill in and help Michael at the booth. (Truly, excellent choices and Cole seems to be back to just a straight commentator and genuinely caring and happy again – this is awesome!)
Match #1: Tag-Team – Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes) VS. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
Primo goes right after Cara, but the Mexican star picks up the pace with a corner armdrag and a “whisper in the wind” like tag-team move with Mysterio. Double-snapmare and kicks for a two-count by Cara & Mysterio.
Live again, Epico has Cara in a grounding face-down headlock then switches with Primo, who gets tossed over. Cara hits a Tornado DDT as the crowd claps him on to make a tag. He manages to and Rey-Rey explodes with a wheel-barrow armdrag, dropkick, and kick-to-the-head for a near-fall! Mysterio sends Epico into the turnbuckle with a spinning headscissors, then he and Cara set up both Primo & Epico for a double-619 with subsequent headscissors. Rey takes out Primo with a seated-senton on the outside, while Cara finishes Epico with a Senton Bomb off the top rope!
Winners via Pinfall: Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio
Post-match, as they are celebrating, The Prime Time Players attack Mysterio & Cara from behind. They put on a beating, then take the microphone and declare that they will “take what we want, ’cause we get what we want.” O’Neil slams the microphone down and he and Darren Young walk off, leaving the Mexican-Heritage team in the ring.
Later tonight, R-Truth & Kofi Kingston will invoke their rematch for the WWE Tag-Team titles against new Champs Kane & Daniel Bryan (Yay!)
Cole, Layfield, and Ross promote WWE’s support of Breast Cancer month by talking about the cause and airing a video of a current breast cancer fighter.
Also tonight, Intercontinental Champion The Miz will start up his new interview segment, called “MizTV” and feature Smackdown General Manager Booker T.
Match #2: Single – Beth Phoenix VS. Divas Champion Eve Torres (Non-Title)
(Note: Layla is on commentary) An elbow-collar tie-up begins the bout with Beth shoving Eve down. Phoenix gets out of a side headlock, then mount-punches Torres. Beth dominates until Eve gets out of an over-the-shoulder powerslam attempt by pushing Phoenix into the corner and rolling her up for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Divas Champion Eve Torres
Match #3: Single – Heath Slater VS. “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron)
(Note: United States Champion Antonio Ceasaro with Aksana is on commentary too.) Slater works over Clay early, until “The Funkasaurus” comes back with a headbutt and the big splash for the victory in this short match!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron)
Post-match, Brodus dances with his people as the U.S. Champion stares down and walks up the ramp.
Up next, Intercontinental Champion The Miz!
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, struts out in a black suit with his championship and a microphone close to him. He stands on the stage. He puts himself over, defying the odds of the Triple-Threat match from last night and enters the ring to begin “MizTV.” Miz denounces previous WWE Talk-Shows, such as “Piper’s Pit” with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “The Cutting Edge” with Edge, and “The Highlight Reel” with Chris Jericho, all the while saying that he is “AWESOME!”
Miz now brings out his guest for “the pilot,” Smackdown! General Manager Booker T. Miz questions the G.M. of his motives and why he apparently against The Miz. The I.C. Champion then accuses Booker of missing the spotlight, to which he has no response. Miz says his “time is over.” (The crowd is chanting “boring” during this).
Booker grabs the mike and calls it interesting, but wants to invite another guest for The Miz. “Feed Me More!” Ryback marches to the ring and destroys “MizTV’s” set.
Cole, Ross, and Layfield reiterate the healthy and happy news of/for Jerry “The King” Lawler. (Again, all comes across as genuine, sincere, and miss their friend, but are ecstatic he is still with them.)
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews interviews WWE Champion C.M. Punk, who is chatting with his associate Paul Heyman. He asks Punk about the match, and as per usual, Punk sights disrespect since he is the WWE Champion still. He wants more respect, pushes the microphone out of his face and walks off with Paul.
Match #4: Single – Santino Marella VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)
Santino locks up Dolph and judo-tosses him, then measures Ziggler, but gets dropkicked by “The Showoff.” Dolph toys with Marella, even finding The Cobra and tosses it aside. Marella makes a comeback with lefts and rights (thanks Cole!) and a splits into a hip-toss! Santino looks for the missing Cobra and argues with Vickie about it. This allows Ziggler to catch him from behind with the Zig-Zag. Dolph pulls Santino up again and drives him down with a second Zig-Zag for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)
Match #5: Single – Wade Barrett VS. Justin Gabriel
Justin quick early with a Hurricanrana and roll-up into a pin, but Barrett gets out of both. Stiff kick-to-the-gut from Wade gives him control of the bout now. Big backbreaker and hard punches to the side of Gabriel. 1 – 2 – Justin kicks out! Grounding abdominal stretch submission now, but Gabriel sneaks out with a knee and drop-toehold to the turnbuckle, as well as a jumping spin-kick. Justin counters and hits a springboard moonsault! 1 – 2 – Barrett kicks out! He soon pulls up Gabriel by his own nose (ow!) and knocks him out with a right-hand!
Winner via Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (with “Little Jimmy”, of course!) when Jared from Subway is (shamelessly) plugging the restaurant’s birthday by offering various superstars (including the two mentioned above, Damien Sandown, “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder, and Ryback) the signature sub sandwiches.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and John Cena are talking about last night’s circumstances. Sheamus alieves Cena, as John was talking about “must-win” situation. Sheamus says they will do it, then celebrate everything at the end of the night.
Up next, the WWE Tag-Title Rematch!
Match #6: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (Challengers) VS. Daniel Bryan and Kane (Champions)
After a bit of “arguing” between Bryan & Kane, it is decided that Daniel will begin with Kofi. Both duck each other’s moves at first, until Kofi hits a corkscrew elbow. Truth now in, but gets a wristlock clamped on. Kingston blind-tags Kofi, who hits a high-crossbody for a near fall! Kane now blind-tags himself and stalks around Kingston. Kane dominates until Kofi pulls down the ropes, sending Kane to the floor, and then chucks out his partner onto him, Bryan. They now ensue in an argument!
Returning from the break, Kane has a bearhug gripped on, and then is pushed into the corner. Truth counters with double-boots and then a double-front-dropkick off the middle rope. Truth switches up, and Kofi comes flying in and hitting Kane with many aerial assaults. Kane eventually counters and sets up Kofi for a Chokeslam, but is tagged out by Bryan. They argue and shove until Kofi slaps hands with Truth who unloads on Bryan, including the tornado elbow. Suplex/faceplant combo, 1 – 2 – Bryan kicks out!
The challengers work together well for a while. Bryan soon ducks and drop-toeholds Truth into the corner. He actually tags Kane as normal, who dives off the top with a clothesline! Kane hits the sidewalk slam, and wants to Chokeslam again, but Bryan goes for another blind-tag, only to get caught. Daniel “accidently” jawbreaks Kane using the ropes, which allows Truth to give Kane the Jumping Flatliner. 1 – 2 – Bryan saves and breaks up the pin. Kane gets up and drives Truth down with the Chokeslam, but Bryan again tags himself in and clamps on the “No Lock” for the tap-out!
Winners via Submission and STILL Tag-Team Champions: Daniel Bryan and Kane
Post-match, again the Champions bicker over who is the Tag-Team Champion. They eventually “hug it out.”
Match #7: Single – Randy Orton VS. Tensai (with Sakamoto)
Tensai controls the majority with the usual “big-man” power moves until Orton manages to hit the Springboard DDT and soon after an R.K.O. for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Randy Orton
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Paul Heyman and WWE Champion C.M. Punk are conversing when David Otunga walks up and inserts that Punk will follow Del Rio’s orders. Heyman rejects this, citing that Punk is the WWE CHAMPION! Del Rio and Punk exchange words via their “associates” until they determine themselves they are ok with teaming up.
Segment #7: Arena Promo
“The Intellectual Saviour” of the WWE Damien Sandow parades out and gives a quick lesson on new vocabulary words for the Universe, since it is back-to-school season, afterall! “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder interrupts and stops the language-tyrant. He announces that thanks to Raw General Manager A.J. Lee, Ryder will face Sandow next!
Match #8: Single – “The Intellectual Saviour of the WWE” Damien Sandow VS. “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder
Sandow has Ryder in a grounding rear chinlock, then clotheslines him over the top and springboards into a plancha! Damien quickly gains dominance and goes back to the grounding rear chinlock. Russian Legsweep by Damien, then drops a “sophisticated” elbow for a two-count. Back and forth counters occur until Ryder firmly gets control with a faceplant and running elbow in the corner. He misses the Broski Boot and Sandow regains his charge. He drops Ryder onto the ropes and then with his neckbreaker for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Damien Sandow
It is official that Jerry “The King” Lawler will be interviewed next week, via satellite. (Again, get well soon, “King!”)
Up next, the tag-team main event!
Match #9: Tag-Team – World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and John Cena VS. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) and WWE Champion C.M. Punk (with Paul Heyman)
Following the entrances, WWE Champ C.M. Punk stands in the middle of the ring, holding his Championship high, non-verbally demanding respect until a break occurs.
It looks like it will be Punk and Cena, until C.M. bails out and switches with Del Rio. Cena rolls around with side headlocks on Alberto, who gets out of them and kicks away in the corner at Cena’s stomach. Cena reverses an Irish Whip and hits a move I haven’t seen him do before – the monkey flip out of the corner! Cena holds Del Rio and tags in Sheamus. The World Heavyweight Champion manages to hit a rolling Samoan Drop on Del Rio, then soon switches again with Cena.
Punk eventually comes in, as does Cena, who wrestles him down until Punk escapes an A.A. to the outside with a thumb-to-the-eye. Punk sneaks back in and stomps away on the former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics.” Alberto in and controls Cena now. Standard heel/face tag match ensues, with the heels isolating the face and both sides trading back and forth with their big moves.
Sheamus and Del Rio ultimately make the final tag, with Cena all over Punk. Sheamus takes out Del Rio with the Brogue Kick, and Cena slams C.M. with the Attitude Adjustment! 1 – 2 – 3! (However, Punk put his foot on the ropes prior to the referee’s third hand-slap).
Winners via Pinfall: John Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
Post-match, Heyman and Punk argue with the ref, with Punk snapping and giving chase up the aisle and an earful to the official, closing the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings: By Moe Tapp
This was a great Raw, filled with many great (even if they were short) contests, and a nice new touch to the Punk/Cena saga, continuing a great rivalry. Analysis below.
Excellence: Opening promo. Loved Heyman coming out first to boast about C.M. Punk’s 303-day continuing title reign, as only he can do best. Also, Cena was good in his role – while recognizing a controversial finish, not complaining and instead just demanding a rematch.
Nice bout with Cara/Mysterio and Primo/Epico. Really digging the team of Rey & Sin, and they are making me enjoy their matches with their unique high-flying style and double-teams. Also loved “The P.T.P.” asserting their dominance and wanting what is theirs.
Intriguing will be the new (potential) rivalry for The Miz with Ryback. Time to push the “Feed Me More” monster higher, and Miz is perfect, because everyone dislikes him, so even more fans will get behind Ryback, as intended.
Dolph Ziggler winning and playing up his “show-off” gimmick (which was the most I’ve seen in his matches for a while) was awesome!
Nice little match with the former Nexus/Corre members of Barrett and Gabriel – they actually work very well together.
Great Tag-Team Championship rematch – and like the new Tag-Team Champions Kane and Bryan. However, I do believe them “acting out” their differences will get old fast.
C.M. Punk holding the WWE Championship high at the beginning of the main event was brilliant because, without saying a word, he was making a point of who he was and what title he was holding, putting both over extremely (pardon the pun!) well.
Bogus: Phoenix/Eve, Brodus/Slater, Orton/Tensai, and Sandow/Ryder just fell like fillers. However, Sandow’s promo at the beginning of his segment/bout was genius and is still a win. Speaking of filler, if Raw is three hours now, is there really need for an over-run? Starting the main event 5 minutes before the show is scheduled to go off the air just seems wrong and bad timing/booking. Please, it’s already three hours, let’s not have to expand anymore.
Overall again, another awesome Raw and follow up to a pay-per-view. To finish off, once again, the most excellent part of the show was the updates again on Jerry “The King” Lawler and the footage of his tout and him landing in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Also, the three-man team of J.B.L., Michael Cole, and Jim Ross will work excellently in Lawler’s absence, and it is nice to see Cole just a straight-laced commentator again, putting over the action. Both were very sweet and sincere, and again, get well soon Jerry “The King” Lawler! Thank you God.
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!