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It’s opening time…opening week in the NASCAR “Chase For The Sprint Cup,” opening weekend in the National Football League (N.F.L.) and the opening of a new collaboration between WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman!
With six days to go before Night Of Champions, what will go down tonight as Raw emanates from the arguably the most (in)famous incident in professional wrestling history – The Montreal Screwjob?
What is the significance of the relationship between Punk & Paul?
How will Raw General Manager A.J. Lee handle her roster and show? (It seems to be not going well, so far!)
As all championships will be on the line Sunday, who will gain the last advantage over their opponent(s) – champion(s) or challenger(s)?
Finally, for the first time in just under 15 years, the man involved in the above mention Montreal Screwjob will be in house, so what will Bret “The Hitman” Hart have to say? And will his reaction top that of Hulk Hogan’s following WrestleMania X8 (18)?
Only one way to find out, and that is to read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for September 10th, 2012
Introduction Segment – Welcoming & Arena Promo
To a MONSTEROUS ovation and chants of his name, Bret “The Hitman” Hart is starting off Raw! Bret is trying to begin his speech, but the Montreal fans just want to adore him, even with a call “Ole…”
Bret thanks everyone and says it is a great moment to comeback after almost 15 years. He recalls one of the darkest, but yet one of the proudest days of his life in Montreal. He remembers the people of the Quebec province that helped him journey through those dark times, and called it a unique Canadian moment.
“I stand proud of everything I did that day, and I thank all you people for supporting me. Not just for a little while, years and years and years of support. God Bless everybody in Montreal, thank you very much. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, right here. Thank you very much.”
As “The Excellence Of Execution” finished his talk, the WWE Champion and self-professed “Best In The World” saunters out, sans Paul Heyman. C.M. Punk is appropriately donned in Bret Hart/Hart Foundation colors (adding to his persona/heel heat!), then stares at a fan who is yelling at him that Bret is the best.
Punk takes the microphone and wonders. He wonders what if he had wrestled Bret at the 1997 Survivor Series? Bret doesn’t think it matters, because he would’ve just “put you in a Sharpshooter and wrap you up like a pretzel!” Punk is buying it, and informs Hart what would’ve really happened.
C.M. claims that the WWE would not have existed, because he would’ve beaten Bret with his own two hands. This would’ve resulted in Vince McMahon never screwing Bret, the “Attitude Era” and Punk himself jumping off the then-sinking WWF ship and hopping onto WCW’s, which was flying high at the time.
Bret retorts Punk and tells him that “The Best In The World would’ve been ‘excellently executed’ by the ‘Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be.”
Punk says it drives him crazy that Bret still uses the above moniker, and takes another shot at Jerry “The King” Lawler. Hart stands up for “The King,” saying that he never walked out of the ring like a “coward.” He asks for footage from last week to be shown, which it was of Punk taking out Cena, and revealing his alliance with Heyman.
“The Straight-Edge Superstar” now wonders if John Cena will come out and be Bret’s “white night.” Bret mentions “respect,” which sets off Punk and he wants respect for himself as WWE Champion, as he is the best WWE Champion ever, especially after he defeats Cena at Night Of Champions. He calls Hart “overstated, overhyped, overrated.” Punk ends his tirade by claiming that he will make Cena a “broken-down, empty-shell of man, just like you are.” He drops the microphone and walks to the back, holding his championship high, to loud chants of “@$$hole.”
That is not all of Bret however, as later tonight he will interview John Cena!
We learn that the WWE Universe will decide via voting who WWE Champion C.M. Punk will take on tonight – Brodus Clay, Jerry “The King” Lawler, or Randy Orton.
Match #1: “All Champions” Tag-Team – Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth VS. Intercontinental Champion The Miz and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (with Aksana) (Non-Title)
A waistlock from Kingston begins the bout and he jumps on The Miz with a monkey flip. Kofi tags in his partner, who helps him take down Miz with a double Russian legsweep. Cesaro is also taken out and Kofi flies over the top rope with a sunset flip.
Back live, Antonio has Truth locked in a rear chinlock, then tags in Miz again following a choke on the ropes. Miz hammers away in the corner, then climbs the turnbuckle and dives with an axe handle onto Truth. R begins to fight out of a submission, then nails Miz with a jumping calf kick! he leaps forward to slap hands with Kingston, and Kofi enters via a springboard flying forearm. Miz is also taken out, then the U.S. Champ attempts a roll-up but only for two!
Kofi ducks around and manages to connect with the Trouble In Paradise tornado kick for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
Footage of the rivalry between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio is shown, along with the W.H.C. chatting with Bret Hart backstage.
Segment #2: Video Promo
A “deposition” between Ricardo Rodriguez and his lawyer David Otunga VS. Sheamus and his lawyer (unnamed). This is pretty standard face/heel interaction, with Otunga playing up his lawyer background and Sheamus poking fun at everything. Nothing is resolved, except the camera getting destroyed with a Brogue Kick
Match #2: 6-Diva Tag-Team – Kaitlyn, Eve Torres, and Divas Champion Layla VS. Alicia Fox, Natalya, and “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix
Kaitlyn and Phoenix start out with an elbow/collar tie-up and Beth shoves Kaitlyn in the corner. Kaitlyn counters and runs out from the corner with a jumping clothesline. Natalya is traded in and works over Kaitlyn, then tags in Fox, who does the same. Alicia misses a boot, which allows Layla to be tagged in. She hits all her moves, then gets blind-tagged by Eve, who polishes this one off with her spinning neckbreaker!
Winners via Pinfall: Kaitlyn, Eve Torres, & Divas Champion Layla
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Raw General Manager A.J. Lee is watching a monitor, when WWE Champion C.M. Punk sneaks up behind her and protests her latest decision to put him in a voting match, with John Cena not wrestling at all. A.J. throws his “walk-out” from last week back in his face, then says that the WWE Universe will get revenge and decide his fate tonight.
Match #3: “Raw Active” Single – WWE Champion C.M. Punk VS. ???
And the winner is (for the voting)… Randy Orton (with 75%). They circle around the ring together, then lockup with Punk clamping a side-headlock on Orton. Orton counters a run with a hip-toss and the two stare down. Orton gets the side-headlock on but Punk walks him into the corner then beats on him with knees-to-the-gut.
Backbreaker from Punk, but only for a one-count. Randy gets caught in another grounding headlock but headbutts his way out of it, and attempts an R.K.O., but Punk escapes, contemplates, and begins to walk to the back. Orton cuts him off at the stage and punches his way back to the ring. Punk kicks him off the apron for a quick break.
Back live, Punk has an abdominal stretch gripped on, but Orton hip-tosses out of it, however misses the follow-up knee. Punk knees Orton, then drops an elbow from the middle rope. He ascends another corner of the ring, but is cut off and driven down with a top-rope superplex by Randy. Punk is screaming in pain, as Orton covers for a nearfall!
Orton throws some punches then a few clotheslines and a back body drop! Punk wrestles out of a springboard DDT, kicks Orton in the head, and then flies off the top-rope with a clothesline. 1 – 2 – Orton kicks out! Punk is getting ready to put Randy to sleep, but “The Viper” elbows Punk and hits a backbreaker for a two-count!
Now Orton hits the springboard DDT and finds his zone, until “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler runs in and attacks. Orton fends off both Ziggler and Punk for a moment, but is blind-sided by Dolph, and he & Punk kick away on Orton.
Winner via Disqualification: Randy Orton
Jerry Lawler runs in and makes the timely save, helping Orton chuck both of their rivals out. They continue to brawl outside the ring.
Match #4: Tag-Team – Jerry “The King” Lawler and Randy Orton VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) and WWE Champion C.M. Punk
Yes, as predictable, the brawl has turned into a tag-team bout. Dolph swings Orton around with a neckbreaker and is working him over, until Orton takes him down with a clothesline and then stomps away. Orton tags in Lawler, who nails a nice dropkick and jumps off the middle turnbuckle with a pair of his patented fistdrops. 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out!
Dolph reverses fortune with a high dropkick, a punch, and a high-elbow-drop. Ziggler works over Lawler for a while, with Punk on the apron looking bored. Lawler counters into a backdrop and tags Randy, who cleans house with a powerslam. Dolph counters the springboard DDT by tossing over Orton to the floor.
Suddenly, Paul Heyman walks down and talks to C.M. Punk, all while Ziggler eventually gets R.K.O.’ed for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Jerry “The King” Lawler and Randy Orton
Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk are walking backstage, when Matt Striker wonders what’s up, along with the WWE Universe. The WWE Champion only responds, saying “I’m a Paul Heyman guy,” then they walk off.
A replay of Daniel Bryan and Kane’s issues air. They are in Raw General Manager A.J. Lee’s office, when they are confused as to why. Lee wants to help them out, so she has brought back Dr. Shelby, who informs them that they will either completely be healed, or be driven into an “abyss,” which they will never return.
Match #5: Single – Heath Slater VS. Ryback
(Prior to the match, Slater was hoping it was going to be Zack Ryder, but “Long Island Iced-Z” decline and says he wasn’t booked, however Ryback was!) Ryback has his way with Heath, “finishing him” with the marching Samoan drop. 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Segment #4: Office Promo
Raw G.M. A.J. is in her office with The Primetime Players Titus O’Neil & Darren Young. She decides to revoke their #1 Contender’s spot to the Tag-Team Championship, because they haven’t beaten *every* team – however, she books them in another contender’s bout next, against Kane & Daniel Bryan!
Match #6: “#1 Contender’s Bout” – Tag Team – Daniel Bryan and Kane VS. The Primetime Players, Titus O’Niel & Darren Young
Kane and O’Neil slug it out, with Kane getting the better and punching away in the corner. He tags in a reluctant Bryan, who harshly kicks Titus. Young now in and runs over Daniel, then tries a couple quick covers. A huge scoop slam from Titus, and he elbows Bryan in the corner and switches with Young. A Northern-Light suplex puts Bryan on the mat for a quick nearfall.
Daniel begins to mount a comeback with some quick kicks until he is caught and driven into the knee of Titus via a rib-breaker. 1 – 2 – Daniel kicks out! Both “P.T.P.” members continue to work over Bryan for a while, until he fights out of a grounding rear chinlock with kicks and a suplex. Kane wants the tag, but Bryan is shaking his head “no,” then soars off the top rope, but misses the headbutt! Young back to the grounding rear chinlock.
Daniel fights back again and drops Darren with a running clothesline. Again, he refuses to switch with Kane and goes back to kicking Young in the chest, but Kane blind-tags Bryan. Kane cleans house now, complete with a sidewalk slam for 2 and a clothesline off the top rope. He lines Darren up and sends him for a ride with the chokeslam. He has to toss Titus over the top before he can cover, then Bryan blind-tags himself, much to Kane’s unpleasantness, so he gets chokeslammed right onto Darren for the 3-count!
Winners and #1 Contender’s for the Tag-Team Championship: Kane and Daniel Bryan
Match #7: Single – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. Tyson Kidd
This one is all Alberto, who is aggressive right off the bat and doesn’t stop. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Del Rio and he just pounds away on Kidd, stretching his face/back. However, Kidd reverses at one and manages to lock in the move that Bret Hart made famous in WWE (WWF) – The Sharpshooter! Del Rio barely manages to reach the ropes and eventually locks in the Rolling Cross Armbreaker for the tap out.
Winner via Submission: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Post-match, Del Rio tells World Heavyweight Champion that he has destroyed this “Canadian Peasant,” which is nothing compared to what he will do to him at Night OF Champions.
On a very serious note, Michael Cole, who looks sincerely upset, has informed us that Jerry Lawler had collapsed during commentary and they are performing C.P.R. on him backstage. He lets us know that this has nothing to do with the show and is as real as it gets. (Please God, let him be ok.)
Match #8: Single – World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus VS. David Otunga
Ok, seriously, Michael Cole has not said anything. Something is very wrong. Sheamus beats Otunga with the Texas Cloverleaf.
Winner via Submission: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
Post-match, Sheamus hits Otunga with the “banned” Brogue Kick. Smackdown General Manager Booker T. comes out and informs him that he would be stripped of the World Title if he uses that move again.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
Kane and Daniel Bryan argue over their team name.
Michael Cole, visibly shaken and upset, tells us that Jerry collapsed and has now been taken to a local Montreal Hospital. It is a very serious situation and Jerry is receiving oxygen and is responding to light, but out of respect for him, Cole will no longer commentate.
(With that revelation, due to the same reason of respect, I will not be providing my usual review after the show is done. All recap will be short and to the point.)
Match #9: Rey Mysterio VS. Cody Rhodes
Cody defeats Rey, with the help of Intercontinental Champion Miz. Rhodes then delivers his CrossRhodes to Miz to and holds up the I.C. Championship.
Michael Cole gives another update on Jerry. He is more responsive and reacting to the lights in his eyes. He is an E.R., awaiting a catscan, and Cole begs him continue to fight through and get through this.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Bret Hart is back out and brings out John Cena. He compares rivalry with Shawn Michaels to Cena & Punk’s. (Note, Cena looks visibly upset too, so I am guessing he has been told about Lawler). Cena contrasts Michaels and the current WWE Champion and puts over Bret, as someone who stands for something.
Punk comes out now and tells both Bret & John that they have been beaten by someone far better – himself and Shawn. The WWE Champion continues to put himself over, and he and Cena argue back and forth. Cena warns Punk that he will lose his WWE Championship, and they have a stare down, with Punk turning right into a punch from Bret Hart. Punk escapes with his WWE Title, as Hart & Cena stare him down from the ring.
Michael Cole gives us one more update and he says that Jerry is stabilized, breathing on his own with his heart beating and is still awaiting the cat-scan of his head and chest. Michael gives his thoughts and prayers, and tells Jerry to beat this thing, as Raw closes tonight.
End Of Raw.
As mentioned above, I am not doing my usual review of Raw to show respect for Jerry Lawler.
All I hope is that Jerry Lawler makes a full recovery and my sincere thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.