It’s decision time! Tonight, WWE Champion C.M. Punk must decide who he wants to defend his title against at Hell In The Cell – Ryback or John Cena. (Honestly, either one will be fine with me as long as Punk walks out with the Championship)
Also, it is the finals in the tournament to crown the #1 Contenders for the Tag-Team Titles between The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) and Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. I see this result going either way with it benefitting everyone – more on that in “excellence” analysis.
Plus, what’s next in the “one-upsmanship” contests between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and his challenger, The Big Show? (Best wishes is something sensible!)
And, what role will Dolph Ziggler play? Here’s hoping an awesome wrestling match with a win!
All this and much more, so read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw Report for October 15th, 2012 – “Feed Me A Decision!”
Introduction Segment: Recap & Welcoming
A video package airs the events of last week, where Mr. McMahon threatens WWE Champion C.M. Punk to decide who he will wrestle at Hell In The Cell. The regular Raw video plays, the pyro explodes in the arena, and we are off!
Michael Cole greets us to “Music City USA” in Nashville, Tennessee, as does Jim Ross. According to C.M Punk’s twitter account, he has made up his mind and we will find out later.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
The Big Show, who is the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, walks out. He can’t even get his first sentence out before being booed out of the building. Show claims that the debate from two weeks ago (that really, really bad one!) was a setup by Smackdown General Manager Booker T. and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus to make Big look like a joke. The 7-Footer shows footage of both Sheamus trying to Brogue Kick but failing, and then from Friday Night Smackdown (read the fine report on this fine website!) Show punches with a greater power than Sheamus.
Show says that he will not be punching a machine, but instead will be punching your World Heavyweight Champion. He will then become “the new World Heavyweight Champion, the longest World Heavyweight Champion.” Taking a left turn, Show then issues a challenge to Daniel Bryan, because he wants to erase the 45-second loss last December.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan is with fellow wrestlers Aksana, Justin Gabriel, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, R-Truth (with “Little Jimmy”) and of course, his Tag-Team Championship partner Kane. Bryan doesn’t want to go out, but is forced when Raw General Manager A.J. Lee forces him to go out. Bryan then wants Kane’s backup, and he replies by laughing at him. Daniel shouts “NO!” all the way out to the ring, while walking past the wrestlers who retort “yes!”
Match #1: Single – The Big Show VS. Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan (Non-Title)
Big Show takes control right away, grabbing Bryan by the throat and tossing him over the ropes to the floor.
Show is still dominating after the break, clinching on a big bear-hug. Big runs in the corner with a rear-bump, but Daniel comes back with a dropkick-to-the-knee. as Show ran off the ropes. Quick, resounding kicks connect with Show’s chest and an “attempted knock-out kick” (as called by J.R.) nearly puts Show away.
In the corner, Daniel runs at him with a pair of dropkicks, but soon gets caught in the chokeslam after diving from the top rope. 1 – 2 – 3, Big Show gets it!
Winner via Pinfall: The Big Show
Post-match, Kane walks out and stares down Show, who then climbs over the top rope and walks away, leaving Kane to look over his downed partner.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman, clutching the WWE Championship, brings out his “associate” WWE Champion C.M. Punk. Heyman reminds us that Punk has held the title for 330 consecutive days. (Note: a mysterious item is in the ring behind Paul E, covered in a big black sheet).
Punk recalls everyone who has disrespected him, from legends, to the fans themselves, and the Chairman of the Board, Vince McMahon. Punk talks about the beating he laid on McMahon last week, and claims that Vince will never compete again. He does applaud him for giving choices, and after talking about them both, he goes to reveal his opponent.
C.M. begins to lift the cover of the poster in the ring, but decides that the crowd has not respected him enough, so he will wait some more time.
Or not…as Mr. McMahon walks out. The Chairman gives the “respect” back to Punk, and then informs him he blew it – so tonight, a contract signing will take place between WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Mr. McMahon’s choice of either John Cena or Ryback.
match #2: Single – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkactyls” Naomi and Cameron)
A lockup starts this bout then Brodus turns Del Rio around in the corner. He hits a shoulder-block off the ropes, sending Alberto to the floor. “The Mexican Aristocrat” cuts off Clay by using the ropes against his arm, then connects with a dropkick-to-the-head. Brodus fights out of an armlock submission, then delivers a headbutt to Del Rio’s chest.
Clay runs at Del Rio in the corner, but misses and receives a kick-to-the-head, then gets locked in the Cross Armbreaker for the quick tap out!
Winner via Submission: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Segment #3: Locker Room Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk is irate over McMahon taking his choice away, then orders Paul Heyman that Punk will fight McMahon again tonight.
Match #3: Tag-Team – “Team CoBro” (“Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder & Santino Marella) VS. “The Prime Time Players” (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil)
Santino and Ryder are introduced before a break.
Darren has Marella in a rear chinlock, then switches up with Titus. Marella counters with a split-jawbreaker and gets the hot-tag to Ryder. Zack in with right hands, double-knees, and a missile dropkick. Ryder hits the Broski Boot for a near-fall before Young breaks it up. Darren hits his finisher to take out Marella, then Ryder hits the RoughRyder Leg Lariat on Young, but turns around into a sit-down spinebuster from O’Neil and the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Prime Time Players” (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil)
Post-match, “The Band” run out and attack Santino again. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre are now donned in rock-attire (really just jeans and t-shirts with sunglasses and bandanas/hats).
Segment #4: Arena Promo
“Mr. Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler is out with Vickie Guerrero. He complains that Ryback is considered for the WWE Championship, when he himself is much better, especially after beating 7 other men to earn the “Money In The Bank” briefcase. Dolph declares that he will face C.M. Punk, win the WWE Championship, then cash in his briefcase and win the World Heavyweight Championship too all in one night.
A new man opposes this idea, as David Otunga interjects himself. He says that he should be thought about, not Ziggler or Ryback. General Manager A.J. Lee now walks out and makes a match for both of them, against “the man himself.”
“Feed Me More” blares on the speakers as Ryback marches out for a 2 on 1 contest.
Match #4: 2 on 1 – “The Showoff Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) and David Otunga VS. Ryback
Ziggler and Ryback stare at each other, then Dolph hits his beautiful high dropkick after a small distraction from Vickie. Ryback fires right back though with a vicious clothesline. Ziggler immediately tags in Otunga, who gets atomic dropped. Ziggler plays it smart and backs down, leaving David in the ring to suffer a marching Samoan drop by Ryback, who quickly gains another win!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Segment #5: Office Promo
Mr. McMahon is on the phone, when a “swarm of locusts” (according to McMahon) Paul Heyman walks in. Paul E. puts over McMahon’s “herculean” efforts against C.M. Punk last week, then proposes a rematch, where if Punk actually wins, he gets to choose his opponent for Hell In The Cell. McMahon agrees, as long as it is Paul Heyman in the bout, not C.M. Punk! McMahon then yells at Heyman to get out and says “I love being me!”
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
General Manager A.J. Lee is walking around when Matt Striker approaches. He wants an apology for “Team Hell No’s” attack on him from Friday night (again, read the fine report on this fine website!), citing it as “crazy” and “nuts.” Of course, she takes this the wrong way and says he will get his apology, when he faces Kane later tonight.
Match #5: Single – United States Champion Antonio Ceasaro VS. Justin Gabriel (Non-Title)
Gabriel and Cesaro trade waistlocks until Antonio hits a harsh elbow-clothesline and double-stomp. Antonio hangs Justin on the corner then runs at him with a high-knee. Cesaro puts Justin on the mat and holds him in a waistlock then drops an elbow. Gabriel begins to fight back with punches, then hits a moonsault/DDT combo out of the corner. He ascends the turnbuckle and flies off with the 450-splash! 1 – 2 – Cesaro with his foot on the ropes! Gabriel tries again, but this time meets an uppercut from Cesaro, who finishes him off with “The Neutralizer” (cradle-faceplant)
Winner via Pinfall: United States Champion Antonio Cesaro
Match #6: Single – Matt Striker VS. Tag-Team Champion Kane (Non-Title)
Prior to the bout starting, Striker tells Kane he is “fine with just an apology.” Matt then goes on to try and convince Kane using Dr. Shelby’s methods. Kane motions for Striker to approach him, and they actually hug it out! Kane pulls Striker back again for another hug, then really squeezes him with a real bearhug and chokeslams him to the mat for the quick 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Kane
Post-match, Kane lies down beside an out-cold Matt, then asks him what he thought of the “highly-competitive” match and how he’s feeling. Obviously, no response is given, but Kane proclaims “couldn’t have said it better myself. I am the tag-team champions, I am the tag-team champions, I AM THE TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS!”
Later tonight, Eve will defend her Divas Championship against Layla, and up next is Miz TV!
Segment #7: Arena Promo
The Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, is in the ring which is decked out with his talk show gear. He invites his new challenger, Kofi Kingston, out for an interview. Miz recaps that Kofi laid him out last week on Main-Event, and now this week, they will face-off for the Intercontinental Championship on Main-Event. Miz then takes a shot at Kofi’s “happy, go lucky” personality, but still has no memorable moments in his career. (Hello, what about being a former tag-team champion and multi-time Intercontinental Champion?)
Kofi responds by saying that this week will be memorable when he does beat The Miz for the title. He then challenges Miz to a “warm-up” match tonight and since Miz doesn’t ever back down from a challenge, “you’re on!” Miz takes one final verbal shot at Kingston, until he gets swept up and beat down by his challenger. Cole informs us that A.J. has agreed, and a bout between the two will happen tonight.
Match #7: Single – World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus VS. Wade Barrett (Non-Title)
They circle around each other, then lock up. Sheamus brings Wade down with an armlock and they trade back and for a bit, working over each other’s arms. Sheamus counters with a stiff clothesline but could not hook up Barrett against the ropes to pound away. Barrett drops Sheamus with a Pumphandle Slam for a two-count, then clamps on a grounding rear-chinlock. Sheamus fights out of it and gets some momentum with Rolling Thudner, then runs at Wade with a shoulder-block off the apron. The Big Show now appears on the stage and takes a seat to watch.
Back live, Wade misses a boot and chases him around the ring, until he lands a high-knee on the apron. Barrett comes back with a kick and capitalizes. He takes a few more shots with a knee, then a big-boot to Sheamus’ skull! Wade bounces Sheamus’ head off the announce table and covers in the ring for a quick one-count. He locks in a modified Camel Clutch, but “Great White” fights out of it. He manages to drive Wade down with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus is fired up now, taking Wade down with a running powerslam (a ‘la the late, great British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith). Sheamus pounds away on Barrett against the ropes, then brings him back in with a suplex for a two-count!
Wade reverses an Irish Whip, sending Sheamus chest-first into the turnbuckle. Barrett drops a second-rope elbow on Sheamus for another near-fall! Wade attempts the Wasteland, but Sheamus slips out, however he misses a Brogue Kick and gets a tilt-a-whirl side slam for a two-count by Wade! The Big Show is walking back and forth on the stage.
Both men are hobbling now, as Barrett tosses Sheamus to the apron. This allows him to climb the turnbuckles and dive off, but Wade ducks. Sheamus rolls through, grabs a kick from Barrett and ties him up in the Texas Cloverleaf submission. Big Show runs down and distracts Sheamus, allowing Wade to capitalize, shoving Sheamus into the ropes, where Show pulled them down and Sheamus tumbled to the floor. The bell rings, signaling a dq win for Sheamus.
Winner via Disqualification: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
Post-match, Sheamus Brogue Kicks Barrett, the dumps out The Big Show with a clothesline.
Segment #8: Office Promo
Once again, Mr. McMahon is on his cell-phone when he is interrupted. John Cena is standing in front of him. McMahon wants his prognosis on the injury, but Cena tells Vince to ignore the doctors as he always does. Cena puts on his “superman” persona, saying that “I belong out there. The choice is yours to make. You choose me, I’ll do what I do.”
Match #8: Single for the Divas Championship – Eve Torres (Champion) VS. Layla (Challenger)
Eve makes her entrances prior to the break.
Layla is now out and they lockup and roll around. Layla shoves Eve but gets caught in a side-headlock takedown. Eve grasps Layla with an armlock but Layla reverses it with a wristlock, until Eve pushes her out of the ring.
Eve rolls through with a headscissors lock on Layla, then uses her leg strength to pound Layla into the mat. Layla fights back with a couple of kicks for a nearfall, then a clothesline and spinning facebuster. Springboard crossbody by Layla for another two-count, but she gets put in the corner and hammered away. Layla boots Eve and steps on the second rope, but Eve kicks her off in the injured knee and covers her for the 1 – 2 – 3, despite Layla putting her foot on the ropes!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL Divas Champion: Eve Torres
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
The Tag-Team Champions engage in another back and forth, when they wonder if they saw each others match. Daniel then challenges Kane to face The Big Show next week and “I’m the tag-team champions!”
Segment #10: Office Promo
Mr. McMahon is staring down Ryback, as he too just stands next to the boss with cold look back. Vince thanks him for helping last week, then goes over his attributes. Ryback just tells Vince “feed me Punk!” Mr. McMahon will take that under consideration.
Match #9: Tag-Team – “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) VS. Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes)
Cody and Damien make their entrance before a break.
(NOTE: This match is taking place, because Rey Mysterio is sick, so the finals of the Tag-Team Title Tournament will be on next week’s Raw instead)
Prior to the bout, a badly-placed video of “The Band” trying to take over a bar and sing is aired. They get the boot. Back to the action IN the ring, Primo starts out with Cody. High dropkick from Primo then he slams Rhodes’ head into the turnbuckle and tags in Epico.
Primo quickly tagged back, as Epico drops Cody with a suplex, then Primo flies over the ropes with Tope’ Atomico. After a quick roll-up, Sandow distracts Primo, allowing Cody to capitalize. Sandow is now in and puts on a grounding rear chinlock, then grapevines Primo’s leg to tag Rhodes again, who quickly works over Primo and switches again with Sandow.
Both Rhodes and Sandow continue to change up tags and isolate Primo, until he eventually leap-frogs Damien to jump for the hot-tag! Epico now in and all over Sandow, almost getting the duke until Cody breaks up the pin. Rhodes and Primo take each other out, while Sandow ducks a springboard crossbody and drives Epico down with the “Termanuse” neckbreaker for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Match #10: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (Non-Title)
All-out aggressive Kofi to begin, brawling and punching, then hitting his high-flying maneuvers. Miz counters and flapjacks Kingston in the corner, then proceeds to stomp on Kofi. Miz runs at Kingston in the corner with the clothesline, then dives off the top rope with a double-axe-handle.
Kofi turns a back drop into a crossbody cover for a two-count, and a sunset flip for the same. Kofi goes for a punch, but Miz reverses into a back/neckbreaker combo for a near-fall of his own. Kofi gets out of a grounding rear-chinlock with a back suplex, then fires up with clotheslines and chops. Kingston off the ropes with a jumping forearm, but Miz holds onto the top rope and counters a suplex with a Skull-Krushing Finale attempt. Kofi wiggles out of that and another one, eventually nailing him with the Trouble In Paradise spin-kick for the 1 -2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Vince McMahon is walking backstage toward the arena, meaning he’s up next!
Segment #11: Arena Promo
Mr. McMahon is back out and he holds the contract for the WWE Championship in his hand. First, he brings out the champion, C.M. Punk, and of course, Paul Heyman. Vince then calls out Ryback, and finally John Cena.
Punk quickly cuts off Vince and berates him for taking away his decision on who he faces. Punk just signs the contract and continues to babble on, until Cena stops. He says that he respects the achievement of Punk keeping the WWE Championship for 330, but as a man, he needs to “shut the hell up!” Vince wants to get on with it, but Cena has more to say.
Cena wants to face Punk badly at Hell In The Cell for the WWE Title, but then says Ryback is just ready to kick ass. “The way you run your mouth Punk, you need to get your ass whipped!” Cena charges up the crowd and Ryback with “feed me more” chants. Ryback approaches the table and signs the contract! “It’s official, C.M. Punk will defend the WWE Championship inside Hell In The Cell against Ryback,” declares McMahon!
Cena and McMahon leave, as Ryback and Punk stare each other down with “feed me more” chants enveloping from the crowd. Punk tries to poke him, but Ryback pushes his head into the table and then drops him with the “Shell-shocked” marching Samoan drop. Ryback pumps up the crowd again, over a laid-out WWE Champion to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
There was a lot more to like this week compared to last. I believe they improved a little, especially with one awesome match and excellent build for the anticipation of who will face Punk at H.I.A.C. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Promos/build/result of WWE Champion C.M. Punk’s opponent for Hell In The Cell. I liked how they had everyone involved state their case to McMahon throughout the night, and ultimately, it really was his decision, with a straight-forward answer/no “bait & switch” or “screw-job.” I don’t (and honestly hope not) see Ryback winning the title though, as I think it’s too early for that, but he could still come out strong, especially with a messy finish.
Actually liked the interactions between Big Show and Sheamus this week, and has me re-interested in their feud for the World Heavyweight Championship. It wasn’t any stupid gimmicks, but just plain one-upsmanships, making it all about the title, along with a fantastic match between Sheamus and Wade Barrett. Also loved them keeping Barrett strong with the disqualification, because now he can say that he wants to beat Sheamus for real sometime down the road.
Loved how they kept Dolph strong by backing out of a meaningless match with Ryback – letting Otunga take the fall.
Great match between Ceasaro and Gabriel. Now they just need to find Antonio a legitimate feud for the U.S. Championship.
Nicely done promo between Miz and Kofi Kingston, as well as the match. The loss does not hurt Miz one bit, as the win for Kofi helps more, dictating that “I beat you once already, I can/will do it again.”
Ending was great – short, simple, and right to the point. Also, got to admit, loved how they kept Punk’s microphone work down to a minimal this week, as I still think that the whole “respect” angle is starting to a get a little repetitive in his promos. So kudos for giving us a little “break.”
Bogus: Always presume from this point on that I do not care for or will write about “The Band.” (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal). I think you know why.
While funny, the Kane/Bryan stuff is starting to get a bit old.
Santino/Ryder was pointless as well.
The Divas match was well-wrestled, but unfortunately not advertised as well as it could’ve been. Granted tonight with the “foot on ropes” issue, maybe this will set up for H.I.A.C.?
Overall, better than last week for sure and has me definitely invested in the card for Hell In The Cell, as well as the storylines.
As always, until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online readers and wrestling fans!