The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 10/01/12
Live from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this is the Raw Deal for episode #1010. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please click on "Like" on this post as well.
The video that opened Raw was the clip of Mick Foley's verbal confrontation with CM Punk from one week ago. They also aired the end of Raw when John Cena hit Punk in the stomach with a lead pipe. Then it ended with Punk staring face to face with Ryback.
The "Tonight is the Night" intro song and video was next. Michael Cole welcomed us to Raw. Joining him at the announce table was Jim Ross. They mentioned it was JR's appreciation night later in the show.
CM Punk entered to his music along with Paul Heyman, who was holding the WWE Championship above his head. It's the typical promo to open Raw. He called Cena scared because he attacked him with a lead pipe. Punk said Foley disrespected him backstage, he called him a coward and then kicked him down because he's the WWE Champion. He wondered if Foley would say anything derogatory to Cena or Rock, which Heyman replied by saying "no." Punk said the same thing about Austin too. He said he wishes "Mrs. Foley" taught her baby some manners. Punk took a lot of cheap shots towards the crowd, which was very cool. Punk said he thought about Cena's Hell in a Cell challenge after Foley's speech last week and announced that CM Punk vs. John Cena is STILL not going to happen at Hell in a Cell. Punk gave the microphone to Heyman.
Heyman said they wanted to move on to another relevant piece of business. It was a clip of last week. He pointed out that AJ slapping him is in violation of a memo from the Board of Directors. It was about how she couldn't attack anybody on the show. I wrote a column about this after Raw last week. It was nice of WWE to remember their own history. He said the one to replace AJ was him because of all of his experience.
Vickie Guerrero entered the arena along with Dolph Ziggler. There was a clip from "two months ago" with AJ attacking Vickie. That was the last Raw in August. This is the first Raw in October. That’s a stretch to call it two months. Guerrero argued with Heyman about their clients. Heyman said that the next time she has a problem with AJ she should file a grievance. Ziggler suggested that Guerrero team up with Heyman as the co-GMs of Monday Night Raw. Cue to the music of Raw GM AJ Lee.
AJ said the Board of Directors have put AJ Lee on probation. She said she thought there'd be an exception for hitting a disgusting man like Heyman. She's been appointed an executive coach to help her in her management of Monday Night Raw. That person? Daniel Bryan. At least it was his music that started to play.
Bryan yelled at the fans to stop chanting "yes." He came out there to apologize. Bryan claims that AJ's mental issues are because he dumped her after WrestleMania. He called himself one hell of a catch while playing his goat face beard. "I am handsome! I am a former World Champion. I have a great beard. And now I'm the tag team champions!" He said that repeatedly. Kane's music ended that.
Kane pointed out that AJ Lee is a phenomenal kisser. He said everything else that Bryan said is true with the exception of one thing: "I am the tag team champions!" They started arguing. Everybody started arguing. AJ screamed into the microphone to stop it. She booked a tag match: Punk & Ziggler vs. Bryan & Kane.
Analysis: Tag match main event. Teddy Long must approve of that one playa. That was a long opening segment with seven people involved. It went 22 minutes in length. It should be noted that while Punk summarized a lot of the events from last week, he did not mention Ryback at all. Also I'm glad that Heyman brought up the storyline point about AJ not being allowed to hit anybody because it's something I felt was significant last week, so it's good to see storyline continuity. My gripe with this segment was that it went too long. I know they have three hours to kill, but to go over 20 minutes in a talking segment is a bit much isn't it?
There's a World Championship debate later with Big Show and Sheamus hosted by Smackdown GM Booker T.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara were shown walking backstage. They're having a match in the tag team tournament.
#1 Contenders Tag Team Tournament: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Primo & Epico w/Rosa
The announcers did a good job of putting over the tag team tournament to determine who the number one contenders were. There was fast paced action early on. Mysterio & Cara cleared Primo & Epico out of the ring. The music of The Primetime Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) started and they watched the match from the top of the ramp.
The match is in progress as Team Mexico takes on Team Puerto Rico. Mysterio tagged in Sin Cara, who hit a cross body off the top of Epico. The Primetime Players were sitting at the top of the stage because the winner of this match faces them in the semifinals of this tournament. Epico slowed down Cara with a dropkick. JR tried to put over Primo & Epico as having the best chemistry of any team in the tournament because they've been together long. Cara got a rollup on Primo for two. Epico tagged in and Cara hit a nice spinning DDT. Mysterio tagged in at the same time as Primo. Mysterio hit a hard kick to the face. Mysterio hit a Senton off the top followed by a reverse DDT for two. Sin Cara hit a dropkick on Epico followed by a kick to the head of Primo. Mysterio hit a 619 on both guys. Sin Cara hit a dive on Epico on the floor. Mysterio hit a splash on Primo in the ring for the pinfall victory after 10 minutes.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Analysis: **1/2 That was a really good TV tag match. Did anybody think Primo/Epico were going to win? No. Of course not. They were there to lose and they made Mysterio/Cara look good, which was their job in this match. I'm a big fan of the Mysterio/Cara team. Their chemistry is great. It's also probably less pressure for Sin Cara because in singles matches he's certainly made a lot of mistakes, but when he's out there with Mysterio he can pick his spots better.
There was another plug for the Big Show/Sheamus debate. This was the RawActive segment that allowed the fans to tweet in their questions for that segment.
Brodus Clay was in the ring dancing. I'm not upset that we missed his whole intro. His opponent is United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro said "appreciation" in five different languages in a pre-tape prior to the match.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Brodus Clay
This is non-title. Clay hit a suplex early that Cole called a "throw." Why can't he call it a suplex? Cesaro draped Clay's throat over the top rope, but Clay came back with a headbutt to the chest. A corner charged missed for Clay. Cesaro hit a springboard forearm to the face of Clay. That's a really cool spot. Cesaro picked up Clay and gave him the Neutralizer in the center of the ring. The crowd popped for that feat of strength. He covered for the win in a match that went just over one minute.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Analysis: 1/2* That finishing move was very impressive. I'm pleased that Brodus Clay is losing in one minute. Was never much of a fan. I'm probably 25 years older than his target demographic, though, so there's that too. Cesaro's an awesome talent. Hopefully he can find the right opponent to have a meaningful feud with.
Backstage, AJ Lee met up with Kaitlyn who had a taped up ankle. AJ introduced her executive coach Christopher J. Stevenson. There's probably some inside joke on that name. It's WWE. There always is. He's a balding man in his mid-40s I would say. Kaitlyn said she was ready to go, so AJ told her that next week she'll probably have a match. AJ talked about how they used to be best friends and she said she was sorry. She wanted Kaitlyn to forgive her. Kaitlyn laughed, but then AJ laughed maniacally at her. She said: "I'm not really sorry at all." Then she skipped away.
Analysis: This was all about showing how crazy AJ really is, so in that sense it worked. If she's having a match next week why is Kaitlyn in her ring gear now? To show off her body? That's okay then.
Coming up later is Jim Ross Appreciation Night in his home state of Oklahoma.
Later it's CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler vs. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler) in the main event.
The "Did You Know" told us that last Friday more than three times as many people watched Smackdown than the Ultimate Fighter. What's with the shot at UFC? Vince McMahon always says they aren't competitors. That's an odd choice for a stat to show. Raw ratings aren't good during NFL season, but Smackdown's numbers are pretty consistent.
Zack Ryder was in the ring awaiting The Miz. Meanwhile, the Raw social media ambassador is Larry King (@kingsthings on Twitter if you care). He is 78 years old. Congrats on finding somebody older than Vince McMahon.
The Miz vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder hit a flapjack followed by a dropkick early. Miz blocked a corner charge with a boot to the face. Ryder got a facebuster and then a dropkick off the middle rope. Ryder hit a forearm shot in the corner followed by the Broski Boot. He didn't do the boot in front of the camera like usual. Ryder went for the Rough Ryder. That didn't work because Miz caught him and threw him back first into the turnbuckle almost like a powerbomb spot. Good counter. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win after two minutes.
Winner: The Miz
Analysis: * This is what you do when you want to build The Miz back up after making him look like a jobber against Ryback last week. You feed him a jobber.
Booker T. was shown walking backstage to moderate the debate between Big Show and Sheamus.
All three guys made their entrances for the debate. Cole wondered if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were taking notes. I really hate political season in WWE because they fire off lame jokes more than normal. Booker announced Sheamus vs. Big Show at the Hell in a Cell PPV.
The Debate for the World Championship
Big Show and Sheamus each had opening statements. They were standing behind podiums. Show called the debate ridiculous. It just started and I already agree. Show said he'd win the match easily to become the next World Heavyweight Champion. Sheamus sucked up the crowd by saying the name of the city. They answered some fan questions. I'm not going to transcribe them. Sheamus put over Show for being bigger and stronger than anybody he's ever faced. He said his biggest concern was that the match was longer than 45 seconds. He made fun of Show's body odor, so Show said that he smelled fantastic. "Stop being a funny guy" is what Show told Sheamus.
There was a fan question asking what's the more dangerous move, the Brogue Kick or the WMD. Show said his fist has knocked out everybody. Sheamus pointed out that last year Daniel Bryan beat him in 45 seconds. That was when Bryan cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase. Show destroyed his podium just by leaning on it. Sheamus threw it to a Tout video from his "cousin" Rey Mysteri O'Sullivan, who was obviously him in a mask. Booker called it a serious debate. It was? Not really.
Show was mad that Sheamus was making fun of him. The crowd was barely reacting to any of this. Sheamus asked Show how it felt to lose the World Title to Daniel Bryan in 45 seconds only for DBry to lose it to Sheamus at WrestleMania in 18 seconds. Sheamus wanted to know how it felt to lose the title the way Show lost it. They dropped their microphones. Show left instead of having a confrontation.
Analysis: These are not the best talkers in the company to be involved in this kind of segment. The "debate" was boring for the most part. Sheamus is much better as an ass-kicker than he is as a talker.
Another plug for the tag match later in the show.
Ryback was shown walking backstage.
The reaction to Ryback is growing more for his entrance. That's a good sign considering how much they want to push him.
Ryback vs. Tensai
Tensai didn't even get an entrance. Ryback did. Shoulderblock by Tensai. Ryback popped right up. Powerslam by Ryback. He dropped Tensai with a clothesline. Ryback went for the Shell Shocked, but he couldn't lift him. Ryback went for it again. He couldn't get him up. He yelled "stupid" at Tensai. Ryback ended it with a clothesline after about two minutes.
Post match, Ryback led the crowd in "Feed Me More" chants.
Analysis: DUD That did not go well. Obviously they thought they could do the Shell Shocked finish. It didn't work, though. I think Ryback's strong enough. It's just that it's a hard move to do on a large man like Tensai.
Backstage, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes congratulated each other on their "Team Rhodes Scholars" name. They complained about the debate while Sandow questioned Sheamus' attire saying: "The man was not even wearing pants." Sandow is great! Rhodes said they would win the tag titles soon. Sandow called Sheamus a Neanderthal. The segment ended just like that.
We got a reminder that it's Jim Ross Appreciation Night.
There was a plug for Komen.org/WWE to support breast cancer awareness. That led us to the divas. A fitting intro? Sure.
Prior to her match, Eve praised her fellow divas in a backstage segment. She said she was proud to represent the division as the Divas Champion. It's the fake nice routine. Women are fluent at it. Wait do I have women readers? There might be a few dozen.
They aired a clip from Smackdown when Eve suspended Beth Phoenix. Booker reversed the decision. It was a situation where Eve was throwing Teddy Long under the bus.
Eve vs. Beth Phoenix
It's another champion in a non-title match. Nice Buffalo Sabres attire on Beth Phoenix. Eve wanted a handshake, so Beth took her down. Beth missed a corner charge and she hit the ring post, which sent her out to the floor. Eve whipped her into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Beth hit an inverted atomic drop followed by the Polish hammer. She is Polish, so that's fitting. Eve went into the ropes. Beth showed compassion, Eve kicked her in the knee and then Eve hit her spinning neckbreaker for the win after about three minutes of action.
Analysis: * That's all it takes to beat Beth Phoenix? Yes it is. Beth is on her way out of WWE. Her contract is up this month. I'm not sure when it is, but she is really leaving. Is she done or good? Not sure. I think it may just be a break. We'll see about that long term. I thought they might do Eve vs. Beth at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Apparently not. It will possibly be Eve vs. Kaitlyn.
Backstage, AJ introduced her executive coach to Wade Barrett. Barrett told her that she is doing a horrible job because she hasn't even booked him in a match. He told her to not let personal relationships get in the way of the job. The coach looked scared, so she told him that he looked intimidated.
Analysis: Not much to that. The coach just stood there looking on scared.
The "Did You Know" told us that WWE's YouTube channel has generated over 370 million views. Good for you.
The announcers plugged JBL's climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. That's pretty amazing. I follow him on Twitter and check him out on Facebook. He planted a WWE flag. It was announced that he'll be joining them on WWE television next week. I assume that means he's announcing on Raw next Monday.
Santino vs. Heath Slater w/Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal
Slater has some friends now. It will be interesting to see if they get a decent push as a group or they are just a trio of jobbers. Slater knocked him down with a back elbow. JR wondered how a guy from West Virginia was teaming up with guys from India and Scotland. Slater hit a nice jumping side kick for two. Slater missed an attack off the middle rope. Santino went for a kip up, but fell back on his head. That was amazing comedy. I'm serious. Santino hit his arm drag followed by the headbutt to the chest. Cobra time for Santino. It connected. Mahal and McIntyre went into the ring for the disqualification. The match went about three minutes.
Winner via DQ: Santino
Post match, it was a three on one attack on Santino. McIntyre hit his Future Shock DDT on Santino. McIntyre said he was still The Chosen One. Mahal is…something in Punjabi. Slater said he is the one man band.
Analysis: * It never really got going as a match. I liked the post match attack, though. We don't know the name of the group. The Band perhaps? On Twitter they've been tweeting #Encore a lot so maybe that's the name of the group. No idea. Zack Ryder is the tag partner of Santino in the tournament, yet here was nowhere to be found here. I guess he was busy listening to some Justin Bieber backstage.
It's JR Appreciation night still coming up.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow is after the break.
Sheamus was already in the ring. We got his entrance earlier in the show, so that's why they saved us from showing it twice. Cody Rhodes joined Damien Sandow for his entrance.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
Another champion in a non-title match. Cody Rhodes joined the announce team. Rhodes said their team name was a natural fit. Sheamus used his power early. He went for a clothesline. Sandow rolled out of the ring. They went to break for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back from break, Sandow was running away again. He went into the crowd. Rhodes distracted Sheamus, so Sandow destroyed him with a clothesline on the floor that led to a two count. Back in the ring, Sandow avoided a Sheamus comeback with a knee to the ribs followed by a clothesline. Rhodes was off commentary now. I guess they realized he wasn't adding very much. Sandow grabbed another reverse chinlock. Sandow hit Sheamus with knees to the ribs followed by the Russian leg sweep and then the elbow of disdain for two. Sandow drove his elbow into the chest of Sheamus a few times. Another chin lock by Sandow as the crowd cheered to get Sheamus going. Sandow hit a running knee to the back of Sheamus while Sheamus was leaning over the middle rope. Sandow wrapped his legs around the head of Sheamus while they were on the mat. Sheamus fought back with a boot to the face. He went to the top, but Sandow knocked him down with a hard right hand to the face. Sandow with another chin lock variation. Sheamus got to his feet, charged at Sandow towards the ropes and Sandow flipped him over the top with a back body drop. After a pinfall attempt, another chin lock by Sandow. Sheamus came back with a back suplex to put both guys down in the double KO spot. Sheamus hit his shoulderblock in the corner, the running knee lift and a "watch this" as Cole called a rolling Samoan Drop. Sandow came back with a nice flipping neckbreaker for two. Sheamus dropped him with knees to the face and then the Battering Ram shoulder block off the top rope for two. Crowd popped big for that as a nearfall. Sandow avoided the White Noise and the Brogue Kick, but Sheamus caught him for the ten clubbing forearm blows on the apron. Sandow fell to the floor. That's how people should sell that move. Fall forward not backward. It looks more realistic. Sheamus rolled Rhodes into the ring. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on both guys on the same time. The match ended after 16 minutes.
The replay of the Brogue Kick to both guys was much more impressive looking than the live shot. The back angle was definitely better.
Analysis: ***1/4 That's the Sheamus we want. Not the guy in boring "debate" promos. As for Sandow, it was his biggest singles match to date and he delivered the goods. Maybe there were too many chinlocks in the middle portion of the match, but the finishing sequence was excellent. Sandow looked like a credible opponent that is going to be believable whenever WWE decides to push him as a singles heel star that moves up the roster to face the top guys. It will likely be sooner rather than later.
Main event tag later. JR Appreciation night is next.
The "Did You Know" told us that WWE's network of Facebook pages adds 75,000 new fans every day. They would never lie to us would they? I can underline too.
Michael Cole was in the ring to introduce Jim Ross for his Appreciation Night. Apparently Ross walked to the back and then got his full entrance with the Boomer Sooner song. My favorite Oklahoma Sooner? Sam Bradford, of course. Go St. Louis Rams. Cole asked Ross how emotional he was to be out there. Ross was about to answer, but instead the music of CM Punk started up.
CM Punk entered along with Paul Heyman, who held up the WWE Title. Punk told Cole to leave. Punk encouraged the fans to chant "JR" in support of Ross. Punk said Ross is the best announcer they have and he respects and appreciates him. Key word is respect. He told the fans they don't know the first thing about respect. Punk said he respects Ross, which is why Ross is going to teach the fans about respect by telling the fans that Punk is the best in the world. Ross said he was glad that Punk wasn't there to embarrass him. Ross told Punk he's embarrassed himself on television the last several weeks. Now the "JR" chants begin. Punk mentioned how people in WWE treat JR like crap, yet here he is praising Ross and he gets disrespected by Ross like that. Punk wondered who would save Ross if he did something to him and then started yelling "Stone Cold" repeatedly in reference to JR's famous call during Steve Austin's run on top. Punk said nobody can help him, not Lawler or Austin. Punk mentioned Austin because 316 is the number of days he's held the WWE Championship. Punk encouraged Ross to tell the fans that he is the best in the world.
Ross told Punk he wasn't going to call him the best in the world. Ross said he's called many great matches involving men who were the best in the world. He mentioned calling WrestleMania main events with me like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Triple H, Undertaker and he brought up Austin. He said they didn't ask to be called the best in the world, but if they had he would have done it. He said they earned that distinction. How hasn't Punk earned it, though? Ross suggests that Punk accepts John Cena's challenge for Hell in a Cell and kick his ass. He said if Punk does that then Ross will be the first in line to tell him he's the best in the world. The crowd was chanting "JR" again.
Punk took off JR's hat and he stomped on it. Punk said he beat Cena time and time again. He ripped on the Oklahoma City Thunder for not wining the NBA Title last season against the Miami Heat last year. They go to the back of the line. Punk called himself the most dangerous man in WWE. He threatened Ross, saying that he was going to attack him. He told Ross to fight him or leave. Punk prevented him from leaving. Punk told Ross to leave the ring and walk up the ramp with his head down. He didn't want him commentating. Punk said Ross wasn't a Hall of Famer. He called him a joke. Punk told Ross to remember that Punk made him leave. All of a sudden the music of Ryback started up. Ross walked back toward the ring with Ryback.
The crowd reacted big to Ryback. Punk looked right at him. They had a staredown. There was a "feed me more" chant as Ryback breathed heavily. Punk simply walked out of the ring. It's interesting to note that after Punk had told Ross to remember he was the reason that he left. In this scenario it was Ryback that made Punk leave the ring.
Analysis: That was an excellent segment. Bret Hart, Mick Foley and now Jim Ross. They are using WWE legends to add to the heat of CM Punk. It's been an effective strategy. Punk brought up great points in reminding us that he's beat Cena many times, but Ross was perfect in his role too. Ross said what a lot of fans think in terms of their hatred toward Punk. It worked. Punk is doing phenomenal work as a heel right now. I am enjoying his performances every week.
The use of Ryback is interesting. This was the second straight week with a staredown between the two of them. No physical confrontation. They are saving it. For when? Not sure. It will be big when it happens. I like how they are booking Ryback.
The main event is coming up soon.
Before the next match, they showed Alberto Del Rio's post Smackdown attack on Randy Orton. It was a way to write out Orton for a few weeks while he films the "12 Rounds Reloaded" movie in Vancouver for the rest of this month.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston w/R-Truth
Ricardo Rodriguez was on commentary for the match. Kingston hit a springboard crossbody onto Del Rio on the floor. They went to break for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Rodriguez said that Del Rio is against three people because he's against Kingston, Truth & Little Jimmy. That was funny. Kingston was on the attack with a dropkick followed by a leaping clothesline. He hit the Boom Drop. Del Rio avoided the Trouble in Paradise. Kingston got the boots to the face and then he missed a cross body. Del Rio slapped on the Cross Armbreaker. The match went about 6 minutes.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: * We only saw about three minutes of action due to the commercial. Del Rio didn't have much offense. He was on the defensive, but then he took advantage of Kingston's mistakes for the win. No surprise since Del Rio is an upper midcard heel feuding with Randy Orton while Kingston is a tag wrestler.
Backstage, the coach was giving AJ some advice in her office. She said they should have a special guest referee - him. Ross spoke into the microphone saying: "Why don't you do the reveal?" Oops. JR goofed. She said the coach isn't worth a damn because he's never been a player. She told him to leave. She made herself the guest referee.
Analysis: Telling the coach that the Board of Directors appointed is going to hurt AJ in her role as GM. I'm fine with that because she'd be better off being a wrestler mostly instead of being the GM.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance. Ross apologized for talking instead of listening. Kane followed as Team Hell No argued about who the tag team champions was. Or were?
Punk and Ziggler were in the ring. I'm such a fan of this team. In fact I'm a huge fan of three of the guys. Kane is okay too. AJ Lee made her entrance as the guest referee of the match. Her shorts are so tight that I have absolutely no problem with her being out there in the striped shirt.
Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) vs. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler w/Paul Heyman & Vickie Guerrero
More champions in a non-title match. Kane started with Ziggler. He used his power to control the action. Kane knocked Ziggler out of the ring with a clothesline over the top. There's the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back from break, Ziggler had Kane in a sleeper. Kane fought out of it. Ziggler hit a dropkick. Bryan got a tag into the match, which led to Bryan hitting a running dropkick in the corner. Kane tagged back in for a seated dropkick. It's a dropkick-fest. Ziggler came back with a leaping DDT on Kane. Punk tagged in. He hit running knees in the corner, but the bulldog didn't work. Kane hit a sidewalk slam for two followed by the top rope clothesline that he has done in literally every match for 15 years (this week 15 years ago is when Kane debuted). Bryan tagged in. He went for an attack off the top, but Punk countered with a dropkick to the gut. Bryan came back with his series of kicks, then he got distracted by Ziggler and Punk dropped Bryan with a roundhouse kick to the head for two. Ziggler hit the best dropkick in the business to knock Bryan out of the ring. Ziggler threw Bryan into the security wall two times.
The heel team continued to work over Bryan in the ring. Punk's top rope elbow didn't work. Bryan hit a lovely double underhook suplex off the top. That led to the No Lock. If he's going to be a babyface soon should it be called the "Yes Lock" again? Punk got to the ropes. Heyman helped him. AJ saw it. She kicked him out from ringside. Then Vickie argued, so she kicked her out. Ziggler followed her up the ramp too. That left Punk all alone. Bryan hit a running dropkick. He tagged in. Kane hit a Chokeslam on Punk for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners: Team Hell No
Analysis: **3/4 There was a lot of talent in this match. The crowd was pretty dead for most of the match, though. It's another sign of Raw being too long at three hours in length. The finish was interesting because the WWE Champion took the pinfall in a match where you'd think his partner might be the one to get pinned.
The show ended with the tag team champions celebrating their victory by arguing.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk - He was all over the show again.
2. Damien Sandow - Biggest match of his career so far. He delivered.
3. Antonio Cesaro - That Neutralizer finishing move on Clay was very impressive.
6 out of 10
Last week: 7
2012 Average: 5.83
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 3 (July 9)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 6, NR, 6, 4
It was fine, but I'm really getting tired of three hour episodes of Raw. Every week there are so many matches that go two or three minutes where you know what the outcome is going to be beforehand. It seems like the biggest change in three hour shows is that there are more squash matches. Do we really need another hour to have squash matches?
I thought the Sheamus/Show segment was pretty bad. Show's comedy saved it, but the badass heel shouldn't be doing comedy.
Meanwhile, Sheamus' match with Sandow was a lot of fun. That's the kind of thing we need to see on Raw more often. Give some midcard guys the chance to have longer matches. It's how they are going to get better and generate cheers from the crowd.
Where are they going with the Ryback angle with Punk? It's interesting at least.
No John Cena. Did you miss him? I didn't. That's nothing against him. I just think it's smart to keep him away while he's injured.
We don't know who is challenging CM Punk for the WWE Title yet. I assume it will still be Cena. It could be a multi-man match too.
My WWE Roster Evaluation column will be posted on Wednesday (Raw) and Friday (Smackdown & final rankings). It's one of my biggest columns of the year.
Keep checking out TJRWrestling.com for extra columns from me and the wonderful work of the TJR staff as well. Thanks for all the support! Also at TJRSports.com we're covering the NFL from all angles. I'm writing weekly picks. Others are writing analysis of the games. We've also got NBA previews going up. We're all over it.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - email@example.com
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