They’re back! After a long absence for John Cena (OK, really only 2 weeks, but for him that’s an eternity) and Mr. Vince McMahon (he has not appeared since the 1000th Episode on July 23rd), make their return to Monday Night Raw. Will John Cena convince WWE Champion C.M. Punk to face him at Hell In The Cell? What does the owner of the WWE have to say in his “State Of The WWE Address?” Will there be a major announcement/change? How will (if at all) this affect WWE Champion C.M. Punk, and perhaps his “associate” Paul Heyman? General Manager A.J. Lee?
Also, the Tag-Team Championship Tournament is sure to continue, so who will move on in the next brackets? And as it occurs week after week, who is the Tag-Team Champion?
All this and much more from Sacramento, California, as we continue on the path to Hell In The Cell! Read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for October 8th, 2012 – “Intimidation and Proclamation”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming And Arena Promo
Michael Cole welcomes us to Monday Night Raw as John Cena’s music plays, bringing the return of the former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion to kick off the show!
Cena is in the ring as Cole also welcomes back John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) to the commentary booth, as well as Jim Ross. Cena thanks the crowd for their reaction and recaps what has been going on since he left two weeks ago. John is back to his “funny” self for a bit, then gets right on topic. He claims the crowd has no voice anymore, because WWE Champion C.M. Punk – the self-proclaimed “voice of the voiceless” has stolen the fans’ voice. Cena poses a question to Punk – what does it matter about how long he is champion (323 days and counting) if no one is watching?
It gets serious, as Cena demands that “Punk don’t be a ‘punk.’ Be a man, face me at Hell In The Cell. Agree to define your legacy in the cell against John Cena!”
Cena thanks the fans and wishes them to enjoy the show before dropping the microphone, putting his hat on a little boy and approaching the ramp. Suddenly, “Feed Me More” blares out and Ryback marches toward the ring. He and Cena look at each other quickly while crossing on the ramp.
The clip from last week, where WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman ordered Jim Ross to leave the ring, and Ryback brought him back and stared down Punk is shown.
Match #1: 2 On 1 – Ryback VS. Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes)
(I think we know how this will go!) Epico and Primo try to trick and surround Ryback, but to no avail as he just dominates the former WWE Tag-Team Champions for the first part. The cousins get a few shots win, with a missile dropkick and then trade covers and kicks. Ryback rights back a little, but gets locked in a rear chinlock. Epico slaps Ryback, but this only set him off, as he clotheslines both opponents, then finishes them off at the same time with his marching Samoan Drop for the win!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Post-match, Ryback pumps up the crowd with LOUD “Feed Me More” chants.
Match #2: “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron) VS. R-Truth (with “Little Jimmy”)
This match does not get going, as all “Little Jimmy” wants to do is dance with “The Funkadactyls.” So they all do.
Winner: No Contest via Non-Start
During the jig, Mr. McMahon appears on the Titantron and informs everyone that he will be out next for his “State Of The WWE Address.”
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The Boss Is Back! It’s time for The Chairman of the WWE to saunter on down to the ring and talk to the people. Mr. McMahon names all the variety of characters you see in the WWE and says that there is room for all of it, however the most important is the action. Champions taking on all comers, the best of the best. Of course, this brings out the self-dubbed “Best In The World,” WWE Champion C.M. Punk with Paul Heyman and the WWE Championship in tow.
Vince tells Punk that it is disrespect to interrupt him during his promo. This lights up Punk, who feels disrespected because McMahon “took at shot” at him by talking about the “best facing the best.” He goes on to rip on the fans for not respecting him, and giving Cena chance after chance for the title, which he kept failing.
Vince responds by respecting Punk for his 323-day reign as WWE Champion, but does not respect him for being a “Paul Heyman guy.” Punk appreciates Vince for finding his “famous grapefruits” to tell him that to his face, then eventually threatens to “hop that rail and I’ll quit and you can kiss my ass goodbye.” Punk goes on an ego trip, claiming that he is the reason WWE is successful.
McMahon retorts and credits the success of WWE to the WWE Universe (fans). “You’re nowhere near the caliber of an Andre The Giant, of a Shawn Michaels, of a Triple H, of a Bret Hart. You’re nowhere near that. You’re nowhere near a ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.”
Punk cuts him off and says that McMahon is right, he is nowhere near a Steve Austin, because Punk earned everything, where Steve Austin took short cuts and beat up a “clueless, inept millionaire.” Punk shoots on Vince’s age, calling him a “senior citizen.” Out of no where, the “Straight-Edge Superstar” harshly slaps Vince to the mat, then walks up the ramp.
Vince gets back to his feet and informs Punk that he will fire him for that, “if you don’t fight me tonight! You’re going to learn something about respect.” Heyman is trying to talk Punk out of it, but C.M. is loving this, and obliges enthusiastically. “Trust me, everything’s going to be fine,” he says.
Match #3: Tag-Team Tournament – “The Prime Time Players” (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) VS. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
Young and Cara start out, with Sin countering a hammerlock into an armdrag. Cara springs off the top rope with another twisting armdrag, then gets tagged by Mysterio, who hits a diving Senton from the apron. Cara also hits a Suicide Dive to take out O’Neil.
Cara and O’Neil back in the ring and Titus delivers a backbreaker for a two-count. He tags in Young, who squeezes Cara with a bearhug. Cara counters a 10-punch in the corner with a boot and jumping Tornado DDT. Both men down, as Cara leaps for the tag to Rey-Rey. He flies in with another Seated Senton and headscissors, then a couple of kicks for a nearfall. O’Neil comes into break it up and gets kicked by Cara, who receives a double-knee-dropper from Young. Mysterio is the legal man though, and manages to nail Darren with the 619 and Drop Of The Dime Splash from the top-rope for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
Segment #3: Locker Room Promo
Paul Heyman is still trying to convince WWE Champion C.M. Punk not to step in the ring with Mr. McMahon. Punk thinks otherwise and says that he is totally going to decimate the owner of WWE. Heyman doesn’t like the idea still, trying to say that McMahon will make their life a living hell for the long-term. C.M. reassures Heyman that it will all be ok and he will win.
Match #4: Single – Wade Barrett VS. World Heavyweight Champion “Great White” Sheamus
Elbow-collar tie-up begins this bout and neither man get an advantage before The Big Show’s music plays. The 7-Footer walks down and around the ring, then Barrett jumps Sheamus. The World Heavyweight Champion counters and takes Wade down with a side headlock. Big Show is shown sitting at ringside, by the announce table.
Wade throws Sheamus to the apron, but “Great White” shoots back in with a springboard shoulder-block. Sheamus reverses a suplex attempted into one of his own, then clamps on another side headlock. Barrett fights off Sheamus’ shoulders, but gets kneed off the apron. Barrett sweeps Sheamus off the apron this time, as Big Show smiles.
Back live, Sheamus battles out of a surfboard stretch and clotheslines Wade over the ropes. Barrett hops the steel steps then kicks them back into Sheamus’ legs. He rolls Sheamus back in the ring for a two-count. Wade whips Sheamus off the ropes and delivers a knee-to-the-gut, then a harsh, harsh boot-to-the-face. 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out!
Wade misses an elbow from the top, then receives multiple clotheslines from Sheamus, a shoulder-to-the-gut, and a running knee-lift. Sheamus ties up Barrett against the ropes and hammers away on his chest, but turns around into an attack from Tensai, causing a dq.
Winner via Disqualification: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
Post-match, Tensai and Barrett beat down Sheamus, until he Brogue Kicks Tensai and dumps out Wade. Big Show hops in the ring and catches another Brogue Kick, then chucks Sheamus over the ropes. Show walks off as the Champion is left in the ring staring at him.
Segment #4: Office Promo
General Manager A.J. Lee is on her phone when WWE Champion C.M. Punk walks in. He asks her if she has thought about Punk “annihilating” an old-man. Lee says she knows that Punk is scared to fight Cena but is he scared to fight Mr. McMahon, but Punk says he’s not, and was really talking to save her job, because anything that happens “it’s on your pretty little head.”
Jim Ross has left the announce booth, going to try and convince McMahon not to engage Punk in a match tonight.
Footage of John Cena appearing on a morning talk show to sincerely promote Breast Cancer Awareness month and the WWE’s Partnership with the Susan G. Komen foundation is aired.
Match #5: Single – Tyson Kidd VS. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (Non-Title)
Lockup and hammerlock from Ceaaro. Tyson reverses and Antonio up in the middle rope. Cesaro counters and presses down on Kidd with a wristlock, but Tyson reverses with a springboard rolling-armdrag, then a victory roll for a nearfall!
Tyson runs into a big-boot, then Cesaro punches and kicks away in the corner. Gut-wrench suplex from the United States Champion, then sling-shots him to the floor using the top-rope. Tyson makes a small comeback, with a hard-knee, and sling-shot legdrop. He goes for a flying elbow, but only nails the mat. Cesaro capitalizes with a European uppercut, then The Neutralizer (Cradle-Faceplant-Driver) to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: United States Champion Antonio Cesaro
Match #6: Tag-Team – “The Showoff/Mr. Money In The Bank” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) and Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. WWE Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell-No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan)
As usual, Kane and Daniel argue over who’s the champion and who starts this match. Bryan gets it this time and locks up with Ziggler, rolling through. Dolph with a shoulder block off the ropes but gets kneed by Bryan, who refuses to tag in Kane. Daniel drop-toeholds Del Rio, then switches with Kane, who hammers away on Alberto in the corner.
Kane has Del Rio in a wristlock, then uppercuts a running Dolph. Kane chucks Ziggler over the ropes and then gets tagged by Daniel, who dives off the apron with a running knee.
Back live, it is turned around again with Ziggler grasping a side headlock on Kane. The “Big Red Machine” punches is way out and nails “The Showoff” with a big boot. Bryan is tagged back in and hits a running elbow-clothesline, then brings Dolph off the top rope with a hurricanrana, but Ziggler rolled through for a two-count!
Del Rio slaps Bryan from behind, allowing Dolph to hit a high-dropkick, then exchange with Alberto. The “Mexican Aristocrat” clutches on a grounding rear chinlock, and kicks Bryan in the jaw. Ziggler is back in and brings Daniel down with a neckbreaker, a la the late great “Ravishing” Rick Rude. Ziggler drops an elbow for a nearfall.
In is Del Rio again, who gets a float-over suplex and a running kick-to-the-back, then repeated kicks-in-the-corner. Bryan reverses those into some of his own, but misses the running front dropkick. Ziggler misses too – a jumping splash in the corner and bounces off the top turnbuckle. He is able to yank Bryan from his own corner and prevent a tag. Del Rio now with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but Kane breaks up the pin attempt.
The heels continue to control the bout over Bryan, until Daniel moves from a running shoulder by Del Rio, and crawls to make the hot tag to Kane! One-half of the Tag-Team Champions is all over Del Rio and Ziggler, until he tries a double-chokeslam and instead gets kicked and driven down with the Fameasser by Dolph. 1 – 2 – Kane kicks out!
Huge sidewalk slam by Kane, then Daniel tags himself back in to fly off the top-rope with a missile front dropkick. Del Rio gets sent flying out of the ring, as Ziggler gets kicked harshly following a sneaky rollup. Kane tags himself back in and drives Ziggler down with the chokeslam to gain the hard=earned victory!
Winners via Pinfall: WWE Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell-No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan)
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Jim Ross is with Mr. McMahon and also tries to warn him against wrestling. McMahon won’t hear of it, but does want the honor of Ross calling the match. Vince asks Ross to give him his patented line to hype him up. Ross obliges, shouting “McMahon, McMahon, he’s beating C.M. Punk like a government mule! He’s kicking an ass in him and walking it dry. McMahon wins! he broke him in half!” Ross still thinks Vince is making a mistake, but The Chairman quotes another famous superstar in saying, “It doesn’t matter what you think!” He slaps Ross’ back and walks off.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Larry King, legendary journalist and talk-show host is on the stage with his wife, seated at a desk. He is going to interview Intercontinental Champion The Miz. Before he can go on, the interviewee interrupts and introduces himself. Miz announces that it is his birthday, so he wants everyone to sing him “Happy Birthday.” King gets tired of Miz, and decides to replace him. His new guest is Kofi Kingston.
Kofi plays the face and cheap-pops Sacramento, which Miz calls-out. He rips on both Larry and Kingston (with a great-line of “I’ve had more championships than you’ve had wives!”) then threatens to beat up King. Larry’s wife hurls water at Miz, allowing Kofi to fight to the back, and Larry leaves with his wife happy.
Match #7: Tag-Team Tournament – “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder and Santino Marella VS. The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Rhodes and Ryder begin, with Cody shoving Zack into the corner then punching away at him. Ryder counters into a backslide and roll-up, then hits a short clothesline. Cody knees Zack then tags in Damien. Sandow stomps away then drops a knee for a two-count. Grounding rear chinlock by Sandow to wear down Ryder. Zack counters and flapjacks Rhodes later, then tags in Marella. Santino works over Cody and goes for the Cobra, until he is distracted by Sandow, and gets nailed by a disaster kick for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Post-match, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre beatdown Santino Marella for no reason at all. (This made no sense!)
Segment #7: Locker Room Promo
Vince, now donned in his wrestling gear, turns around to find Paul Heyman. He wants to apologize for C.M Punk, and did not know that Punk was going to challenge McMahon to a fight and slap him. Heyman wants to “broker the peace between you and C.M. Punk.” Vince accuses him of lying and “poisoning Punk’s mind for years.” Paul begs McMahon to not make “C.M Punk do to you what Brock Lesnar did to your son-in-law Triple H.” Heyman walks off as McMahon scowls.
Up next, Eve defends her Divas Championship against Kaitlyn.
Match #8: Single for the Divas Championship – Eve Torres (Champion) VS. Kaitlyn (Challenger)
Kaitlyn rushes Eve and chucks her to the mat. She delivers a couple of forearms and then a suplex for a two-count. Back-body drop from Kaitlyn, then a Torture Rack (haven’t seen that in a long while!), but Eve fights out. Kaitlyn catches Eve in a backbreaker, but appears to have re-injured her left ankle. Torres kicks and works over that ankle to gain an advantage. Eve locks in a leg grapevine submission in the middle of the ring to get the tap out victory and retain her title!
Winner via Submission and STILL Divas Champion: Eve Torres
Post-match, Layla, who was on commentary, makes the save and shoves Eve.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews asks Alberto Del Rio about Randy Orton’s “tweet” that he will be at Smackdown on Friday. Del Rio and Rodriguez just walk off.
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan asks Larry King and his wife how they dealt with name-calling. He then hits on Larry’s wife, and King suggests that he can’t do anything about it. Kane sneaks up from behind and they get into their usual argument.
Segment #10: Locker Room Promo
Paul Heyman is still going over the situation where McMahon can make their lives miserable, unless Punk delivers a beating so brutal, Vince can never make another decision again. “Paul, I’m going to victimize Vince McMahon, and I’m going to enjoy every single second. You should too,” declares an ominous Punk.
The main-event is next!
Match #9: Single – Mr. Vince McMahon VS. WWE Champion C.M. Punk (Non-Title)
As Mr. McMahon is walking down the aisle, Punk runs out and starts laying the assault. C.M. rolls Vince in the ring, but McMahon spears and punches Punk. They engage in a roll-around brawl, but Punk nails McMahon in the back of the head with a high-kick. Punk throws Vince outside and slams his head on the announce table three times. He picks up Vince, carrying him on his shoulders, but McMahon drops down and pushes C.M. into the ring post!
McMahon now chucks Punk over the commentator’s table, then gets on the mike claiming “I’m gonna teach you something about respect!” before leaping over the table and pounding on Punk! (He’s still got it!) Vince shoves the leather chair into Punk’s lower extremities, then pulls out a kendo stick from under the ring!
C.M. rolls out as Vince took a swing. Punk asks Heyman for the Championship, but Vince cuts him off and slaps Paul E. down! McMahon brings the Title into the ring and taunts C.M. with the kendo stick. However, Punk now grabs one of his own and it’s a battle!
They both wail away on each other with kendo sticks, but Vince gets the better, sending Punk to his knees, until Punk gives him an upper cut below the belt! C.M. takes both sticks and bats away on his boss. “The Second-City Saint” signals for the Go To Sleep and picks up Vince in position for the G.T.S., but Ryback stomps out!
“Big Hungry” is ready for Punk, but the WWE Champion chickens out, until he turns around into John Cena! He punches Punk with his left arm and throws him back into the ring, where Ryback clotheslines him and picks him up for his marching Samoan Drop. Punk escapes though, and grabs his WWE Championship, hiding in the crowd.
Winner: No Contest due to Non-Start
McMahon picks up the microphone and gives C.M. Punk an ultimatum: he takes on Ryback at Hell In The Cell, or defends against John Cena! If Punk doesn’t decide by next week, then Mr. McMahon will make his mind up for him!
To close the show, all three wrestlers stare down, with Punk looking very, very worried, and clutching his WWE Championship.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
I thought this week was more mediocre. The only two big storylines that stuck out was C.M. Punk VS. Vince McMahon (well-done, though!) and the Divas Championship situation. The rest just seemed to go along with not much fanfare. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: As mentioned above, the whole night of Punk VS. McMahon, both verbally and the main-match. I’m glad Vince wasn’t here tonight just to make some promise or some “big” announcement, but instead really pulled off a convincing “one-night war” with C.M. Punk, not seen since the days of McMahon taking on Austin. Plus, he really stepped up in his match, and I think that was the best I’ve seen him “wrestle” since either of his bouts at Wrestlemanias XIX & XXII, facing Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels respectively.
Love Ryback’s popularity. Really, really getting over now. (Hopefully those “feed me more” chants aren’t piped in!)
Cena’s promo tonight was the right balance – he did start off his “funny” (though, I never really like it – always love him more when he’s just serious) to get the welcome back, but when it came time to get down to business, he did that too and put over his pending match with C.M. Punk and heated rivalry.
The finals for the Tag-Tournament – intriguing because I’m truly not sure who they’re going to have win, either team would be perfect to face Kane & Daniel Bryan. Also, just should be a great, great match between Cara/Mysterio & Rhodes, Sandow.
Eve/Kaitlyn/Layla saga for the Divas Title. This “triple-threat” is also interesting and has put some “spark” back in this division for me. They are making it real again and about a championship, rather than superficial issues like modeling or soap operas like stealing lovers. They are about the wrestling, finally!
Tyson/Ceasaro – awesome, technical wrestling match – enough said!
Bogus: Brodus Clay/R-Truth – short and dumb. I
Wade/Sheamus – waste of a potentially great future feud/match, Championship or not. (although, tonight’s bout was very hard-hitting and great to watch)
Kane/Bryan/Ziggler/Del Rio – felt mis-matched and just a one-off. Waste of time for Ziggler, since his is the M.I.T.B. holder. Bigger and better for him.
Larry King/Miz segment – longer and dumb.
Marella/Ryder/Rhodes/Sandow – should’ve been on Smackdown and it should’ve been Rhodes/Sandow VS. Kidd/Gabriel. (Not into Marella at all, and Zack has lost my support because he’s lost his push.)
“The Band” (Slater/Mahal/McIntyre) beatdown – read last week’s report for my full-feelings – for now, really, really, really dumb!
Even though I thought this week was “average,” I did just count up my “excellence” for this show and at least it’s more than the “bogus,” so that is a positive. I definitely liked the “cliffhanger” and truly can’t wait for next week to see who C.M Punk will face at Hell In The Cell for his WWE Championship!
Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!