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Controversial finishes are all around. It happened in the National Football League (NFL) games this week and it happened seven days ago between WWE Champion C.M. Punk & Alberto Del Rio taking on John Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. The last episode of Raw ended much like last night’s Baltimore Ravens VS. New England Patriots game, with a referee getting yelled at for a finish to a match/game too close to call. With C.M. Punk and John Cena, Punk’s feet were on the ropes as Cena received the 3-count.
How will the WWE Champ, along with his associate Paul Heyman, voice his displeasure with the referees tonight?
What will John Cena’s role be now that he is sidelined with an injury for about six weeks?
Who is the Tag-Team Champion?
Can General Manager A.J. Lee control her show?
All this and much more, so read on to find out the results of Raw, live from Albany New York!
Monday Night Raw Report for September 24th, 2012 – “A Parody, A Potential ‘Goodbye,’ a Return, and a Potential Replacement.”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
Right away, Paul Heyman introduces himself and is honored to be in the ring with the WWE Champion, “The Best In The World” C.M. Punk. Heyman demands that Raw be halted until the referee from last week’s main event, Brad Maddox, comes out and apologies, then tenures his resignation. Maddox obliges the invitation, nervously walking down the aisle. He admits that he made a mistake and apologies. Maddox delays his resignation, but is promptly cut off by C.M. Punk.
The WWE Champion questions Maddox on his qualifications and manhood. Brad says he was hired by General Manager A.J. Lee when Raw went to three hours. Both Heyman and Punk question his qualifications, then at a blatant shot at officials, Paul E takes out a blindfold, with the logos of both the WWE and NFL on it, and hands it to Maddox.
Before this intimidation can continue, G.M. Lee skips down to the ring and kindly asks Maddox to go to the back. Heyman assumes that she is going to reverse the match decision, however he is wrong, as Lee says that they will not take control of her show.
Punk gets in her face, proclaiming that the reason she is after him is because he turned her marriage proposal down from two months ago. Heyman gets involved again, and drops to one knee. He proposes his own marriage to A.J., claiming they can take the top-spot for a power couple. Lee’s answer? A slap to the face! A.J. walks off.
Later tonight, Jerry “The King” Lawler will be interviewed to talk about his on-air heart attack two weeks ago.
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Referee Maddox apologies again to A.J., and she warns him that if it happens again, he will be personally banished from this business.
Match #1: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) VS. Kofi Kingston (with R-Truth and “Little Jimmy”)
Prior to the bout, Vickie engages in an argument with “Little Jimmy,” and Ziggler and Kingston try to calm things down. however, a drink meant for “Little Jimmy” winds up splashed in Vickie’s face and the referee throws both Guerrero and R-Truth out of the ringside area.
Back on the canvas, Kofi starts quick with kicks and a high dropkick. Ziggler gets sent to the outside, followed by Kofi with a diving sunset-senton. Kingston is pumped up to go to the break.
Kofi still in control until he misses a splash in the corner, and Dolph flips him with a backwards powerslam 1 – 2 – Kingston kicks out! Ziggler locks on a grounding rear chinlock and then drives him down with a neckbreaker. 1 – 2 – Kofi kicks out again!
Ziggler “shows off” a little, then grips another rear chinlock. Dolph overshoots a splash, allowing Kingston time to come back. Punches are traded and Kofi takes down Dolph, then hits the Boom Drop leg drop. He goes for the Trouble In Paradise spinning kick, but that is reversed. Ziggler goes for another backwards powerslam, but Kofi lands on his feet and kicks him in the head, then nails him with a springboard flying forearm. 1 – 2 – Dolph kicks out! Another springboard, this time with a crossbody gets Kofi a very close count.
Dolph knees Kofi and drives down with the Fameasser, but also only for two! Kofi fights off a Zig-Zag try, then sneaks in an S.O.S., but still only receives a two-count! A couple more counters, including another springboard crossbody, then Kofi measures Dolph for the Trouble In Paradise again. He misses, and after getting thrown into the ring post, Ziggler drives him down with the Zig-Zag for the hard-fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler
Segment #2: Video Promo
A replay of last Friday night’s Smackdown with the Tag-Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan plays, followed by footage of a meet up between Dr. Shelby and Bryan at a local restaurant from earlier today. A new “therapy” is attempted with Kane acting as a server at the restaurant, taking Daniel’s order. This goes as expected, with the two partners and Tag-Team Champions bickering and taking shots at one another.
Later tonight, the name of Kane and Bryan’s tag-team will be revealed, via the Raw Active voting of the WWE Universe.
Match #2: Tag-Team – “The Prime Time Players” Darren Young and Titus O’Neil VS. “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder and Santino Marella
Ryder and Young start out with a lockup, then Young shoving Ryder. Zack retaliates with a flapjack drop, but misses a crossbody splash into the ropes, allowing Darren to gain control. Ryder lands on his feet out of a backdrop attempt and gets the tag to Marella, who punches Young down and dives on him with a headbutt.
Marella eventually goes for the Cobra, but Titus had previously tagged himself in. He spins Santino around and drops him with the Sky-High Powerbomb for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall “The Prime Time Players” Darren Young and Titus O’Neil
Segment #3: Arena Promo
In a surprise appearance, Mick Foley is tonight’s special guest and returns! New York’s resident “Hardcore Legend” walks out to a massive pop and chants of “Foley, Foley, Foley…” He takes the microphone and talks about one thing that inspired him about a year ago…the emergence of C.M. Punk. That was a year ago. Today, it is different.
The WWE Champion himself cuts off Foley and joins him in the ring. He demands some honesty and respect, saying that if he had something to say, Mick should’ve said it to his face. Punk talked about relevancy, and Mick says he was reassured last year, when Punk still mentioned Foley by name in a famous promo.
Foley is “deeply disturbed, not only by your recent actions, but by your alignment with Paul Heyman.” Punk gets hot at the crowd, purposefully getting heel heat. Foley tells Punk that while he also used to be a “Paul Heyman guy,” he didn’t make it on his own until he stopped listening to Heyman.
Foley puts over Punk as one of the best “talkers” we’ve ever seen, but wonders why he needs a mouthpiece. Punk is done with this, but Foley continues, now talking about Hell In A Cell. He reflects on the famous match he had in 1998 with The Undertaker, where he earned respect by putting his body literately on the line. He lists more legendary names, like Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and The Undertaker himself about being legends following H.I.A.C.
Foley wants Punk to show that he is the best in the world by facing him in a Hell In The Cell match. Punk recalls that same speech from Cena after both SummerSlam and Night Of Champions. He talks about Bret Hart, who three weeks ago tried to put his hands on him.
Punk says it would be embarrassing for him to put his hands on Foley, because Mick is beneath him. Punk wonders how many times he has to beat Cena for people to need him, however he doesn’t need to do anything for them, except to bring them to their knees with a microphone. He holds up his WWE Championship and claims that is how he gets respect, with 309 days and counting.
Mick counters with the fact that no one cares about dates, as he only held the title for 29 days in his three reigns. Foley says that he was asked to convince Punk to face Cena at Hell In The Cell, and tells him that he will do it later tonight face-to-face with John Cena. “Make it for you, make it for me, make it for them.”
Match #3: Single – Intercontinental Champion The Miz VS. Ryback (Non-Title)
Prior to the bout, footage airs of how this match came about from last week. They circle around, with Miz pondering a strategy on how to take this big monster down. It doesn’t work, as Ryback completely dominates with his power game. Huge over-the-shoulder running powerslam and fall-a-way toss into the ring. Miz soon gets the upper hand with three kicks-to-the-head and a DDT. Ryback quickly counters a kick into a huge powerbomb, then levels Miz harshly with a clothesline. (During which, some idiot fan tried to enter but was quickly taken down by referees and agents.) Marching Samoan Drop and Ryback is still undefeated!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Segment #4: Video Promo
Kane and Bryan are eating their respective meals, when they decide that they can never be friends. However, a la the movie “When Harry Met Sally,” (with Kane describing what they can do to destroy opponents and Bryan screaming “YES, YES, YES!”) they do find common ground. A cameo of Mae Young, WWE Women’s wrestler legend, appears and she says “I’ll have what they’re having!”
Segment #5: Office Promo
General Manager A.J. Lee is with referees, pumping them up, telling them they are the “backbone of WWE.” She says that “everyone makes mistakes,” (while putting her arm around referee Maddox specifically) but to still go out their and have a great show.
Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga, and Ricardo Rodriguez walk in. Del Rio greets her but A.J. gets right to the point. She knows that they have been victims of the Brogue Kick, so they can get revenge in a 6-Man Tag-Team, taking on Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara, and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
Match #4: Single – Wade Barrett VS. Tyson Kidd
Kidd with a dropkick right away and quick kicks to take down the big Englishman. Barrett counters with a kick-to-the-gut and clothesline, then knees Tyson against the ropes. He rams Kidd into the ring apron, then catches him and spin-slams him off the ropes. Right elbow-to-the-head caps this bout. 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Up next, Jerry “The King” Lawler’s interview with Michael Cole.
Segment #6: Arena/Satellite Promo
Michael Cole sets up the interview, recapping what happened two weeks ago with Jerry “The King” Lawler, as still images of that night (with Jerry being rescued by E.M.T.’s, agents, etc..) show us the condition he was in. Cole quotes the doctor, who says it is an “absolute miracle that Jerry Lawler is so far along in his recovery considering the traumatic events that his body went through.” Cole then gets the WWE Universe (fans) to welcome Lawler live from Memphis, Tennessee. He appears, appropriately sitting on his throne at home, to a huge ovation from the crowd.
Cole starts off by saying that he “looks absolutely fantastic.” Lawler says thank you, but apologies for his raspy voice due to the ventilator. However, he says he feels so much better than he looks. Cole asks what he remembers from that night, but Lawler can only remember the first segment of Raw. He knows that he had a match with Randy Orton, but cannot remember the actual bout.
Jerry says that he was in Aruba with his girlfriend two weeks prior to that night, and when he woke up for the first time following the heart attack, he thought he was still there. He goes on to thank the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans around the world, and of course, Michael asks the inevitable, but appropriate question – when is he coming back. Lawler says that he will leave his timetable for return upto the doctors, and as soon as he as cleared he will be back!
Cole thanks Lawler for joining us and it is great to see him in as good as a condition he is, considering all he went through. Jerry smiles on the ‘Tron to more adoration from the fans.
Match #5: 6-Man Tag-Team – David Otunga, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Alberto Del Rio VS. Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio, and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
(Ads happen between Del Rio’s entrance and Sheamus’ entrance). Sheamus has Otunga in control, then tags in Cara who kicks away at David, until he gets shoulder-blocked. Rodriguez is now in, but gets quickly flown around with an armdrag. Alberto kicks Cara from the apron and Ricardo capitalizes with a quick-cover attempt, but only gets one. They switch up and Del Rio is all over Sin.
Suplex for a one-count, then a grounding rear chinlock. Cara fights out with punches, but gets kicked again and stomped down for a near fall! Ricardo wants back in and punches Sin in the gut. Rodriguez tires to take off Cara’s mask, but Cara counters and spins Ricardo around with a tilt-a-whirl-headscissors/armdrag combo!
Both tag out, and now in are Rey Mysterio and Del Rio. Mysterio flies around drop-toeholds Alberto into the second turnbuckle, but is cutoff the top rope with an Enziguri by Del Rio. Otunga back in now taking control, as do all the heels, trading tags in and out, and working him over. Rey-Rey eventually counters a sunset flip with a front-dropkick, and he manages to crawl over and get the hot-tag to Sheamus.
The World Heavyeight Champion dominates Otunga with a high knee, but misses White Noise and the Brogue Kick. Instead, Ricardo is tagged back in, and forced over the ropes by Sheamus. He tries to run, but gets caught and clubbed on the chest against the ropes! He drops down in position and Mysterio hits the 6-1-9. Rey takes out Del Rio, while Sheamus tagged in Sin Cara, who finished off Rodriguez with a top-rope Senton Bomb!
Winners via Pinfall: Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio, and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus
Segment #7: Video Promo
Back at the restaurant, Dr. Shelby has one more task to complete therapy. A waitress brings Bryan and Kane food – one salad and one spaghetti and meatballs. The goal is for each to eat the opposite – Kane the salad, and Bryan the meat. They take a bite of their “opposite” foods and Dr. Shelby wants their opinion. Kane just belches in his face, while Daniel actually says “it wasn’t as bad as I thought” – before making the best face of all and puking all over the good doctor’s lap! “Check please,” asks Kane!
Up next, they will be live and their tag-team name will be revealed.
Segment #8: Arena Promo/Fan Voting
The winner for Kane and Bryan’s new tag-team are….”Team HELL NO!” All of a sudden, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow attack the Tag-Team Champions from behind and then quickly back up the aisle. Rhodes gets on the microphone and declares that they will be the new tag-team champions – “Team Road Scholars.” Sandow tells Bryan and Kane they have a real reason to be angry. “You’re welcome!”
Match #6: Tag-Team – Alicia Fox and Layla VS. “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix and Diva’s Champion Eve Torres
Layla and Beth begin this one, with a springboard crossbody from Layla and then a huge dropkick via Alicia, who got a quick tag. Alicia gets turned around with a twisting sidewalk/powerslam then a springboard suplex. Eve tags herself in, runs over and knocks down Layla, then drops Fox with a corkscrew neckbreaker for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix and Divas Champion Eve Torres
Post-match, Kaitlyn hobbles out on a crutch, and declares that she knows a “blond” attacked her at Night Of Champions. This leaves Beth and Eve to argue in the ring, before the Diva’s Champ puts her down with the corkscrew neckbreaker.
Match #7: Single – “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron) VS. Tensai
Elbow/collar tie-up to display the strength of both powerhouses. Tensai quickly pushes Brodus in the corner and hits him with headbutts and a splash. Clay quickly comes back with ones of his own and a T-Bone suplex, followed by a missed-running splash. Tensai misses his running Senton however, and then “Well….It’s The Big Show!” The 7’0, 500-pounder returns, knocking out Tensai with his huge right hand, then Brodus Clay.
Winner: No Contest due to outside interference
Up next, John Cena will address everyone.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
John Cena walks somberly to the ring, donned in his pink (to support Cancer awareness month), and a black sling over his right arm. He looks very sad, but lets the fans do the talking – half cheering and half booing, as usual. He acknowledges those “mixed emotions” and says that he wasn’t supposed to be here. He says his future is in question, so he wants to thank everyone for their support.
He takes off the baseball cap and genuinely thanks the fans for their support of the Susan G. Kolmen foundation for Cancer. He says to “not ever doubt the WWE Universe, they are a very powerful group of people.” He points to some Cena fans in the front row and thanks them for their support. “Cena” chants now ring out in the audience.
Cena gets down to more business, apologizing to referees Brad Maddox and Chad Patton, for the ridicule that WWE Champion C.M. Punk is giving them. Cena reminds Punk that he told Punk that defeating him at Night Of Champions would simply be a “moment” in his career. He rips Punk in the most-P.G. format he can, then apologizes again for his injury.
He’s not guaranteeing anything, EXCEPT that he will walk into Hell In A Cell to FIGHT! WWE Champion C.M. Punk now walks out to respond, with Paul Heyman following and holding the championship. Punk calls it a “beautiful speech,” but says it reminds him of all the political speeches run by candidates every four years, as it is full of lies. He is not buying it. Punk says that there is only “one C.M. Punk” and that is the one who beat him in Chicago last year for the WWE Title, at Cena’s hometown of Boston, and one who’s held the Championship for 309-consecutive days encounting.
Cena tells him to “shut up” and just face him at Hell In The Cell. Punk warns Cena of what will happen to him if he walks into Hell In The Cell. He tells Cena to run, otherwise he will “hurt you worse than I have hurt anybody before.” Punk demands respect since he is the WWE Champion (and Heyman holds that Title high, flaunting it.) Punk turns around and counts down from 5, not knowing that Cena is welding a led pipe.
Punk turns around and gets stricken in the gut. Punk vacates up the ramp, as Cena proclaims “Real men wear pink! Now that’s what I call a pipebomb!” He greets commentators Michael Cole and Jim Ross, as well as happy fans while his music blares in the background
Backstage, Punk walks past Mick Foley, who glares at him with a look of “told ya!” Punk turns around and kicks Mick below the belt (presumably – hard to tell from the angle of the camera), then goes to go back, but looks surprised when he turns again. The camera spins to show a heavy-breathing Ryback standing over Foley and glaring into the WWE Champion to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Two-for-two! Another great night of Raw all-around, and really only one aspect to complain about, but definitely lots of accolades going out! Onto the analysis…
Excellence: All three segments/promos with WWE Champion C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman, with their respective counterparts. Punk really did well getting on the heel side and just being a jerk tonight, while still maintaining his superb vocabulary and superiority. Intriguing potential feud/replacement as well with Ryback thrown in the mix now, potentially instead of John Cena.
Of course, AWESOME wrestling match with Ziggler and Kofi. They had great chemistry tonight and showed what two pure athletes can do if given proper time.
Also of course, AWESOME segments with Tag-Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan, now known as “Team Hell No!” I’m really digging their chemistry as well, and Kane has the ability to be the dead-pan comedic performer beautifully. And speaking of tag-teams, love the new pairing of Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Hopefully, they will be together for a while and make this picture even more interesting.
Jerry “The King” Lawler’s interview – great to see him, it was genuine and well-conducted by Cole, and he truly does look amazing considering what he went through. Once again, thank you God for pulling him through this ordeal and keeping him with us. Speedy recovery “King!”
Overall, pretty much the entire show. Was a really well-put together edition, the only “gripe” being The Miz losing in his match to Ryback – I think they could’ve carried that feud for the I.C. Championship longer, but it seems to have been “all said and done” after tonight, especially with the ending of Raw.
Otherwise, loved Raw tonight and looking forward to next week. As always, until then Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!