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This is it – the final stop before Hell In The Cell, this Sunday! Now we know what will be the main event – Ryback VS. WWE Champion C.M. Punk, inside that punishing steel structure. Also, another match will be set for the pay-per-view, as after tonight either The Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes) or Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara will be challenging “Team Hell No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan) for the Tag-Team Championship, following their faceoff in the Tag-Team Title tournament conclusion.
Will there be any more bouts booked for October’s annual? What will go down tonight as it all boils over with six days to go? Only one way to find out, plus my picks for the card, all below! Read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for October 22nd, 2012 – “Hell In A Cell!”
Match #1: Tag-Team Tournament Final – Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara VS. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Raw starts off right off the bat with this big bout (no intro video or pyro), as Michael Cole and Jim Ross welcome us to the IZOD Center. Also, an big tweet from Raw General Manager A.J. Lee informs us that she has been called to an “emergency meeting with the WWE Board Of Directors.” (Ah-oh!)
Cara and Cody begin, with Sin battling out of the corner with his kicks and then hitting a hurricanrana. He tags to Rey, and they double-team Rhodes with a faceplant for a two-count! Rhodes soon falls down and uppercuts Mystery, then switches with Sandow.
Rey and Damien trade a bit, with Mysterio hitting a headscissors and setting Sandow up for the 6-1-9. Rhodes pulls Sandow out of the ring, but both Mysterio and Cara hit suicide dives and seated sentons, respectively, to take their opponents to the floor. Mysterio now holds Sandow on the middle rope and tags in Cara, who falls onto Damien with a springboard moonsault! 1 – 2 – Sandow kicks out!
Cara misses a corner springboard crossbody, allowing Sandow to take control. He tags in Cody, who slams down Sin with a standing vertical suplex into a faceplant. Rhodes Scholars continue to switch back and forth all while dominating Cara, classic tag-team heel style! Sin manages to counter with a headbutt-to-the-gut and an enziguri. Both men down to go to break.
Back live, Cody is in dominance again, until Cara shoves Rhodes off the turnbuckles and flies off with a Tornado DDT. He tags in Mysterio, who dives onto Cody with a seated senton, and Mysterio is on fire with all his aerial attacks! Mysterio dives from the top rope, planting himself with a moonsault, but only receives 2! He soon catches both Rhodes and Sandow in position and nails them with the 6-1-9. One more time, off the top rope with the Drop Of The Dime splash, 1 – 2 – NO! Sandow saves the match by diving UNDER the referees hand-count to prevent a 3! (Very creative!) Cara kicks out Damien, which slightly distracts Mysterio who falls prey to the Crossrhodes reverse spinning neckbreaker, and the victory for Team Rhodes Scholars!
Winners and #1 Contender’s for the Tag-Team Championship: Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Post-match, the WWE Tag-Team Champions appear on the titantron. Kane and Daniel Bryan warn Rhodes Scholars that “Hell No!” they will not win the Titles. Kane then performs a little “magic,” pushing Bryan aside and lighting off his pyro in the ring.
Match #2: Single – Michael McGuillicutty VS. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston (Non-Title)
Prior to the contest, footage of last week’s WWE Main Event show airs, giving us clips of Kingston winning the I.C. Title. (Note: The Miz is on commentary). McGuillicutty aggressive early with punches in the corner and a high dropkick off the ropes. Hanging backbreaker from McGuillicutty and he is in complete control right from the get go. All of a sudden, Kofi dives over Michael, then knocks him out with the Trouble In Paradise tornado kick to get the 1 – 2 -3!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston
Segment #1: Video Promo
Michael Cole, Jim Ross, and footage from last week’s ending to Raw recap why Ryback is the new #1 Contender to WWE Champion C.M. Punk.
Up next, John Cena is speculated to explain why he gave Ryback his confidence vote.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Cena welcomes the New York Giants NFL Football team, then gets down to business. He talks about WWE Champion C.M. Punk, who has lasted 337 days as champion. However, that will come to an end of Sunday, as there will be the “change” that Punk talked about last year. This change though, is in the form of a 291-pound machine. That machine is Ryback – a man who stands for only one thing – destruction. Cena declares that this Sunday, “the face of the WWE will change!”
Before he can go further, the WWE Champion walks out with Paul Heyman and his title. Standing on the stage, donned in a grey hoodie, C.M. Punk calls Cena’s change “laughable” and instead offers his 337-day title reign compared to Cena not being champion “change you can count on.” As always, Punk proclaims that he is the “best in the world” and promises to walk out of Hell In The Cell still the WWE Champion.
Punk admires Cena’s new role of “cheerleader” for Ryback, and tells John that he cannot beat him. Cena retorts, saying that he wasn’t “allowed” to beat you. However, now Cena is medically cleared to compete. Cena says that he won’t interfere though in the pay-per-view championship match, instead he wants to give Punk a “pre-ass-whooping to the real ass-whooping.”
Both Punk and Cena strip off their shirts, and as Punk marches down the ramp, Heyman begs him to reconsider. Punk stares at Cena from the apron, then backs off, holding his WWE Championship high.
Match #3: Single – Justin Gabriel VS. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (Non-Title)
Gabriel starts this off fast, with a springboard plancha, but Cesaro quickly counters by flapjacking Justin onto the ropes. Harsh uppercuts, both to front and back of Gabriel’s head, then a gutwrench slam by Antonio. The U.S. Champ locks on a grounding rear facelock, which Gabriel tries to fight out of, but gets dumped atop the turnbuckle and booted in the gut. Gabriel counters another move by landing on his feet and mounts a small comeback, climbing the top-rope, but getting crotched. However, Justin fights out a couple moves by Cesaro and kicks him to the mat. Gabriel then manages to fly with the 450 and get the surprising upset!
Winner via Pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Backstage, a limousine pulls into the arena. Outcomes WWE Owner Vince McMahon and Raw General Manager A.J. Lee!
Segment #3: Arena Promo
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is in the ring with Raw General Manager A.J. She is looking somber as Mr. McMahon informs us that A.J. has had meetings all day with Board Of Directors regarding her status as G.M. Lee then tells us that due to allegations of her “fraternizing” with a superstar, she is resigning as Raw General Manager. (To a loud pop from the crowd). She says the allegations are completely false, but understands that she could’ve been fired anyway for attacking Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman, so that’s why she decided to quit herself. A.J. now goes onto recall her life, from being “homeless to being the boss”, the typical sympathy vote. She hugs Vince to finish off.
Paul Heyman now walks out and not-so-subtly projects himself as the next pick for the Raw G.M. position. McMahon simply says “no,” then introduces us to Vickie Guerrero, who is now the “managing supervisor” of Monday Night Raw. (In other words, the same position, different name!)
Vickie walks out and gives her thanks to the Board of Directors, but gets interrupted by Heyman. Paul E. wants her to change the main-event for H.I.A.C., but Guerrero does not go for it. Instead, she books (another) Champion VS. Champion bout, with WWE Champion C.M. Punk taking on World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and adding lumberjacks to it! Heyman goes ballistic and walks out.
Guerrero turns her attention to A.J., degrading her age-inappropriate for a position of huge power. She then accuses A.J. of having an affair, then orders her out of “her ring.” A.J. begins to walk, but then turns around and jumps all over Vickie, engaging in a catfight! A.J. gets the best of it, laughing in the ring at the end while Guerrero heads to the back with the help of referees.
Up next, Ryback taking on The Miz
Match #4: Single – Ryback VS. The Miz
I think you know how this goes by now! Ryback dominates, polishing off Miz with a clothesline then the marching Samoan drop – called “Shellshocked” – for the quick and decisive victory.
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Eve is on the phone, discussing A.J.’s “fraternization,” when Kaitlyn walks up. She still accuses Eve of attacking her at Night Of Champions, until Kaitlyn provides her with photo-evidence, and calls her a “conniving witch.” Another catfight ensues between the two rivals, and Divas Champion Layla manages to get involved too, until all three are broken up by referees.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
Josh Matthews asks World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus about his bout with WWE Champion C.M. Punk tonight. Sheamus says he loves the potential chaos with all the lumberjacks. Big Show now walks in, and punches out Sheamus’ stuffed toy that was in his hands. Show warns Sheamus to get serious for Sunday.
Match #5: Single – Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank,” “The Showoff” Dolph Ziggler
(Entrances prior to/during a commercial break). Lockup by both and they trade wristlocks, until Bryan takes Dolph down with a Northernlight suplex. Both get up and trade more maneuvers until Dolph hits a high dropkick to gain control over Daniel. Ziggler picks him up and drives Bryan down with a classic neckbreaker, but gets caught into a flapjack from Bryan. He locks on a surfboard-like submission and yanks at Ziggler’s nose for more pain. Dolph counters a leg-wrap-around and pushes Bryan into the corner. He punches away against the turnbuckle, but Bryan reverses into a cradle and figure-four leglock! Ziggler manages to clutch the bottom rope for the break. On the apron, Dolph dumps Bryan out to the floor via a suplex, and Daniel is holding onto his left knee. Just now, his partner’s pyro explodes and Kane walks out slowly.
Ziggler is back in control with a headlock, but Daniel soon gains some momentum back. Short forearm clothesline then a running front-corner dropkick, with Ziggler selling beautiful. Bryan now kicks away and attempts the “no Lock” submission, but Dolph rolls out of it. Ziggler counters a potential spear-attempt into a jumping DDT! 1 – 2 – Bryan kicks out! Ziggler attempts a splash in the corner but eats only ringpost. Daniel capitalizes with a Suicide Dive and ascends the turnbuckle. Ziggler meets him there, however, drops with him into a facebuster! 1 – 2 – Bryan kicks out! Bryan now stiff-kicks Ziggler, but notices Kane trying to “rile up” the crowd with “yes chants.” Bryan takes umbrage with this, but it costs him since Ziggler brings him down from behind with the Zig-Zag for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Post-match, Kane and Daniel dispute the finish until Matt Striker walks out and delivers a surprise for them, courtesy of Vickie Guerrero. They will compete against their challengers, Team Rhodes Scholars, in a gameshow, a ‘la “The Newly Wed Game.” This is up next.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
This is a version of the “Newly Wed Game”, called “The Newly Tag Game.” Striker asks Team “Hell No” to introduce themselves. They do so, like the actual game show, and then Striker brings out Team Rhodes Scholars. In short (thankfully, because this one is pretty stupid), Damien Sandow says that he and Cody Rhodes will not be playing this, as it is way below their intellectual level. Instead, they will get to know “Team Hell No” when they defeat them Sunday for the Tag-Team Championship.
Striker manages to back out this, but not Big Show, who throws Show across the stage!
Match #6: Single – Tag-Team Champion Kane (with Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan) VS. The Big Show (Non-Title)
This is your typical two-big-men match, with Show dominating the whole way. He manages to knock out Kane with the punch after Sandow and Rhodes distract him and Bryan. 1 – 2 – 3 for Big.
Winner via Pinfall: Big Show
Post-match, Team Rhodes Scholars run down and beat up both Kane and Bryan, exhibiting their challenge for the Tag-Team Championship on Sunday.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Santino Marella consoles A.J. and tells her that he thought she did a good job as G.M. John Cena now walks in and berates A.J. for not fighting for her position. A.J. reveals that the accusations were against her and Cena! (That was a twist!) This stems from a “business” dinner they had, and Cena is livid about this, so he vows to figure it all out.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
John Cena confronts Mr. McMahon, but it is not useful, as McMahon basically says “it is what it is” regarding A.J.
Match #7: Single – “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder VS. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Alberto starts right away with punches and kicks, then puts Zack to the mat with a quick snap suplex. Ryder fights out of a shoulder lock, but walks into a high-kick from Del Rio. Another submission is clamped on by Alberto, which again Zack battles out of. He runs over Del Rio with a couple of short-clotheslines and double-knees into Alberto’s face. He goes for the Broski Boot, but misses and Del Rio kicks away at Ryder’s left arm against the ropes. Alberto pulls him up and locks in the Rolling Cross Armbreaker for the tap out!
Winner via Submission: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Post-match, Alberto continues to hold onto his submission, showing Randy Orton what damage he can do.
Segment #9: Office Promo
John Cena barges into Vickie Guerrero’s new office and confronts her about the turn of events. Bottom line, Guerrero says that Cena cost A.J. her job when he asked her out on a date on Raw. Cena walks out in disgust.
Up next, the main event!
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews asks Dolph Ziggler about A.J. Of course, he goes to bat for Vickie and blames John Cena for the loss of A.J.’s job.
Segment #11: Video Promo
Clips of Ryback’s career and hype are shown, to build him as the credible challenger for WWE Champion C.M Punk.
Segment #12: Locker Room Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman were watching that montage, and Heyman says not to let that get into his head. He builds up Punk, saying that next Monday night, he will still be the WWE Champion and “best in the world.”
The lumberjacks (Raw Roster) now makes their way to the ring for the main-event, next!
Match #8: Single/Lumberjack – WWE Champion C.M. Punk VS. World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
Lock up and waistlock by both, with Sheamus taking Punk down and C.M. rolling into a grounding headlock. Punk and Sheamus trade throwing each other into the lumberjacks, who just toss them back into the ring respectively. Sheamus reverses a neckbreaker into a shoulder block and drops a big elbow for a two-count! He clotheslines Punk over the ropes, allowing the L.J’s to throw him back in again. Sheamus pounds away on Punk’s chest against the ropes, but C.M. “jawbreaks” him with the rope. “The Second-City Saint” flies with a springboard forearm, but again only for two! Punk now chucks Sheamus into the lumberjacks again, and this time they kick away before putting him back in the ring. 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out!
Back live, Punk has a hammerlock gripped on and wiggles out of a fireman’s carry. He again throws Sheamus to the lumberjacks to stomp away, then he hits a neckbreaker and double-axe handle off the top, twice. The third time, Sheamus counters with a punch to Punk’s stomach, but quickly gets kneed in his own gut. Sheamus begins to regain momentum by fighting out of a headlock, then rolling over Punk with the fireman’s carry. Sheamus pounds away again on the tatooed chest of Punk against the ropes, then brings the “Straight-Edge Superstar” back in the ring with a suplex.
Sheamus rolls through a sunset flip, but gets pushed off after a Texas Cloverleaf submission attempt. Punk runs at him in the corner with a high-knee, and brings him out with a short-arm forearm smash. Punk rolls up Sheamus, grabbing the tights, but still only gets a two! Punk ascends the turnbuckle again and dives off with an elbow drop, but Sheamus rolls out of the way! Sheamus drives down with the Irish Curse backbreaker for a two-count! Punk gets out of another Cloverleaf attempt and sends Sheamus to the outside for another beatdown. He returns into the ring to deliver a White Noise, then sets up for the Brogue Kick, however a couple of the lumberjacks distract him, allowing Big Show to Chokeslam Sheamus down. Punk capitalizes for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: WWE Champion C.M Punk
Post-match, Ryback marches his way to the ring and business is about to pick up! Punk tries to escape but the L.J.’s send him back to get powerslammed by Ryback. He gets picked up again and powerbombed this time! Military press and Ryback throws his opponent into the rest of the lumberjacks. Ryback stands strong, staring at a fallen Punk who is crawling up the aisle with Paul Heyman. Ryback mouths “feed me more” as Raw fades to black!
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a great “go-home” show before the pay-per-view, and really everything worked well. Onto the nitpick analysis.
Excellence: the matches – all but one (Cesaro/Gabriel) involved someone on the H.I.A.C. card, and made sense. None of tonight’s bouts felt like “fillers” and the top-notch were Gabriel/Cesaro (even that could potentially lead to a H.I.A.C. match of sorts), the Tag-Title tourney finals, Ziggler/Bryan, and the main-event. Really proud of the wrestling efforts tonight.
Big Show’s interactions with Sheamus – short, sweet, and powerful. That’s the way he needs to be when talking. That’s how I can believe him as a credible threat to anyone, particularly when the World Heavyweight Championship is involved.
NO 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal)!!! Enough said!!!
The build that Ryback has over Punk. I’ll admit, this works well and nice to see a new face get a dominance over Punk.
Really, the whole show.
Bogus: Only two segments bugged me: the whole A.J./Vickie G.M. Swap and “affair” storyline. Unnecessary in my book and “been there, done that.” Hopefully, this will end quickly, like next week in Charlotte with the naming of a “Nature Boy” for permanent G.M.?
The other was the game-show, that was just dumb, but kudos to having Team Rhode Scholars make it below their level and back out, not only giving credibility to their characters, but also putting an end to that very quickly!
Overall, this episode built Hell In The Cell well. It hyped up the main matches of Hell In The Cell beautifully and really has intrigue going into Sunday and beyond. Now my quick picks for the pay-per-view:
1. Kofi retains his Intercontinental Title over The Miz, and finally brings some excitement back to the once-prestigious championship
2. New tag-team champions in Team Rhodes Scholars, also to mix up the picture a little. Plus, they really do gel awesomely as a team and are actually believable as a long-term partnership.
3. Randy Orton defeats Alberto Del Rio
4. Big Show captures the World Heavyweight Championship – fresh rivalry with Sheamus as a “chaser.” Dolph will wait a little longer for a cash-in opportunity.
5. C.M Punk somehow escapes with his WWE Title, but Ryback also remains undefeated. I don’t know how, but that is what will happen, I strongly think.
Until next week, where I’ll see how many I got right and how the “landscape” of the WWE may have changed, as always Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!