Live from Charlotte, North Carolina this is the Raw Deal for episode #1014. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Before we get started, I want to tell those affected by Hurricane Sandy that I hope the situation hasn't been too bad for you. I've been watching the news and keeping up to date on the situation, but I'm sure that's nothing compared to those that are having to live through it. Where I live (near Toronto) we have a lot of wind/rain from it, but we didn't lose power or anything like that. I hope and pray that those people dealing with Hurricane Sandy are safe and sound at home or back to work so that you can resume your lives in a normal way. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Now let's check out what happened in the sports entertainment world on Monday night shall we?
There were still pictures of the events from Hell in a Cell. In case you missed the pay-per-view, my full recap of the event is right here for you.
The WWE Champion CM Punk entered the arena along with his associate Paul Heyman, who was holding the WWE Title. The announcers are Michael Cole and Jim Ross. They welcomed us to the show.
CM Punk said the fans thought that Ryback was unbeatable and that he proved us all wrong. There's the first sign of "The John Report" sign in the back corner as Punk was speaking. Behind Heyman's right shoulder. I'll share pics later. Punk said he proved the fans wrong and that he's defeated all of our heroes. He mentioned beating Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and John Cena among others. Punk said Ryback isn't even in the conversation. Punk switched to the match from HIAC saying that he had nothing to do with the actions of referee Brad Maddox that gave Ryback the low blow that led to the loss. Punk said the only thing he's guilty of is taking advantage of a situation. Punk said that former Raw GM AJ Lee hired him and now incompetence reared its ugly face again. Punk mentioned that Maddox cost him a match on Raw - if you'll recall he had his foot on the ropes for a pinfall and Maddox didn't see it. Punk talked about how he's defeated the WWE machine that tries to erase him and he's there standing on day 344 as the WWE Champion. Punk said there won't be a rematch. Punk kept talking, but he was interrupted by the music of Mick Foley.
Future WWE Hall of Famer (probably in 2013) Mick Foley entered the ring to a nice ovation. He was even in a sports coat. Foley mentioned Punk was left splattered on top of the Hell in a Cell. Punk asked what he was doing there, so Foley got in his cheap shot by mentioning Charlotte. He said he wasn't there to embarrass Punk. He's there to remind Punk that he gave him a choice to live up to the tradition of Hell in a Cell and that Punk blew it. Punk pointed to the bandages around his waist and on his arms saying that Foley was the one that would jump off a roof or land in barb wire to win a match. Punk used the word tradition to say that they should have a traditional Survivor Series match - Team Foley vs. Team Punk. Foley said he's on. Punk went to talk trash. Ryback's music started up.
Ryback made his way to the ring. Punk and Heyman ran through the crowd. At least this time he went into an area where there weren't fans around to shove him. No incidents this time. Ryback led the fans in "feed me more" chants.
Analysis: With Survivor Series only three weeks away, they had to set up the main event on this show. We found out that it would be Team Punk vs. Team Foley. I think it's a good idea and my initial reaction was that it gives WWE a way to keep the WWE Title on Punk for another PPV without having him defend it. Of course that could change, but if they want him to carry the WWE Title into the Royal Rumble like I suspect then putting him into an elimination tag is smart. It goes without saying that Punk was very good here. He's not getting cheered much at all and he's doing a lot of the little heel things right like talking trash to the fans at every opportunity.
Back from break, Ryback was in the ring for a match. Against who? JTG of course. I can't believe they are giving away the Ryback vs. JTG WrestleMania main event with no build! You disgust me, WWE Creative Team! (I'm joking. I think.) It's the same JTG who has been employed for 5 years. As always I'll plug LOLwrestling.com for providing us with that information.
Ryback vs. JTG
JTG is such a jobber that Ryback's music played while JTG made his way to the ring. Ryback slammed JTG down hard. Ryback hit a Thesz Press because maybe he's sick of the Goldberg chants, so we should start Austin chants? Ryback rammed the head of JTG to the mat a few times. Ryback hit the Meat Hook Clothesline. Shellshocked got the pinfall for Ryback after two minutes.
Analysis: Didn't take long to make Ryback look very strong after losing the Hell in a Cell main event. I was hoping the ref would low blow him to give JTG the victory. I'm not drunk. I swear.
After the match, Josh Mathews interviewed Ryback. It's like a Tough Enough reunion party. Ryback said revenge is a confession of pain. "I am not hurt. I am hungry. And when I feast again, it will be on CM Punk. Feed me Punk." Then the crowd chanted "feed me Punk" along with him.
Analysis: We don't get to hear Ryback talk too often. That was fine. He didn't say a lot. It was basic and to the point.
Later on we'll hear from Sheamus. Up next is Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett.
Back from break Orton made his way down to the ring while Barrett was waiting in the ring for him. On Smackdown, Barrett pinned Orton after Del Rio interfered.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Orton's hair is shorter than it was on Smackdown because he's done filming 12 Rounds Reloaded and is back in WWE full time. You're welcome for the hair update. I think. It was awkward even just writing that. Orton hit a dropkick early. Barrett went to the floor, Orton went after him and Barrett went after the injured left arm of Orton. Orton came back by ramming the head of Barrett into the Spanish announce table. The table is on Raw? I wonder if it won't break again? It certainly has had a better survival rate in the PG era. Back in the ring, Barrett missed a boot to the face. He got crotched on the top rope, so Orton knocked Barrett down to the floor with a clothesline. There's your vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Barrett smashed the left arm of Orton into the ring post. Barrett gave Orton an armbar. Knee to the ribs by Barrett. Barrett continued to work on the arm of Orton by ramming it into the turnbuckle and then giving Orton an arm wringer. Barrett delivered knees to the head of Orton and then gave him a hard kick to the face while Orton was on the apron. Barrett had Orton in an armbar. Orton gave him an armdrag followed by some clotheslines and then the powerslam. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes. Orton went for the RKO, but Barrett hit the Bossman Slam for two. Barrett went for the Souvenir elbow, Orton ducked it and hit the RKO (out of nowhere?) for the victory after 10 minutes.
Winner: Randy Orton
Analysis: ** The match was okay for the seven minutes we saw (three minutes in the commercial). Orton lost on Smackdown to Barrett. He got his win back here in clean fashion. That's typical booking that WWE does to keep people strong without ever really elevating somebody. I like their matches together and hope there are more of them, but mostly I just hope for a clear direction for both guys.
Backstage, the Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero talked to AJ Lee in her office. She wanted to give AJ a chance to have a job as an in-ring performer/diva because the Board of Directors wanted to give her a chance. AJ said she wanted to be a performer again. Vickie asked her what she considers her biggest weakness. AJ said she can become too emotionally attached to her job. Vickie left and said when she comes back she wants AJ to give her one good reason as to why she should issue her a contract.
Analysis: This angle is really dragging along slowly.
Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs. The Primetime Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil)
No entrance for Young and O'Neil. This is non-title. Bryan got a dragon screw leg whip on Young and then Kane tagged himself in. Corner clothesline by Kane. Then Bryan tagged in. He hit a corner dropkick on Young. Titus O'Neil tagged in with a shoulderblock on Bryan. Body slam by O'Neil on Bryan. Young tagged in with a reverse chinlock on Bryan as the heel team focused in on the smaller part of Team Hell No. Bryan hit a running clothesline. Kane tagged in to destroy Young with two clotheslines in the corner and then the sidewalk slam. The crowd is pretty quiet, by the way. Kane hit a top rope clothesline. Kane with a Chokeslam on Young. O'Neil ran in, so Kane threw him out of the ring. Bryan tagged in and applied the No Lock on Young. That was enough for the tapout win after about five minutes.
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Kane
Analysis: *1/2 A short tag match to re-establish Team Hell No after the DQ loss at Hell in a Cell. It's typical post-PPV booking that WWE does all the time.
Vickie Guerrero was shown walking to the ring.
Back from break, recap of the Punk/Foley promo from the top of the show. The announcers recapped the Brad Maddox situation from September when he missed CM Punk's foot on the ropes. Then they showed a few photos from Hell in a Cell when Maddox gave Ryback a low blow that led to the finish of the match when CM Punk retained the WWE Championship. Cole and Ross said nobody can locate Maddox.
Analysis: There are a lot of ways they can go with that angle. They could say Maddox did it on his own to make up for his mistake in that tag match in September. Or Punk could have been lying from earlier when he said he had nothing to do with the actions of Maddox.
Vickie Guerrero walked down to the ring. She said she had hard evidence proving that AJ Lee and John Cena had an inappropriate relationship. She introduced John Cena.
Cena is happy as always. He said Vickie's accusations were outrageous. Vickie showed footage from three weeks ago when Cena asked AJ out on a date. He said he was joking and that everybody understood it. Then there was a video of last week when Cena hugged AJ after she had to resign as GM. Cena said he was being a good friend. Vickie showed a picture of Cena sitting at a table along with AJ. Of course Cena was wearing his black and pink shirt at the dinner because we're supposed to think that the guy never changes his clothes apparently. Cena said he had a business dinner with AJ. Vickie said he had an answer for everything. Then Vickie had footage of Cena standing in an elevator doorway as AJ was outside of it (still in his regular gear of course) and then she walked into the elevator with him. The crowd went "ooohhh" at that visual. Cena had a serious look on his face as if to say "how did you get that footage?" Vickie said it seems very interesting. Some guys in the crowd chanted "you are busted" at Cena. Vickie laughed at Cena. He said all they did was get into the elevator and that's it. Cena said he walked AJ to her door and that was it. Vickie asked if Cena went into the room. Vickie went into a rant about AJ, but John cut Vickie off and said AJ is more resilient and attractive than Vickie would ever be. Be a star, John. Show tolerance. Dolph Ziggler's music started up.
Analysis: Thank you for showing up, Dolph. That was painful.
Dolph Ziggler walked into the ring saying that he and the WWE Universe sees John and AJ for what they really are. Before he could say more, Cena told Ziggler to make sure he never said John and AJ's name in the same sentence again. Cena shoved down Ziggler.
Analysis: I really don't care if John Cena hooked up with AJ Lee or not. Why should any of us care? It's not like people thought AJ would be a long term GM. Of course you can also point out that Vickie has had several interactions with wrestlers over the years (as shown in the banner up above made by the Melo Man), but this is WWE where we're not supposed to remember things from the past. This feels like a Saved by the Bell episode with Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski. I'm a Kelly Kapowski guy, for the record.
Up next is Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro in a champion vs. champion non-title match.
The "Did You Know" told us that Smackdown was the most socially active show on TV last Friday, beating every show on a bunch of TV networks that they listed. What a thrill.
The Miz was at the commentary table. The US Champion Antonio Cesaro was in the ring. He called American children fat and that adults are bad because they give candy to kids dressed up as a fat Power Ranger. That's why we need Antonio Cesaro as the US Champion.
Analysis: I think calling people fat is one of the chapters of the 17 chapter book on "How to Get Cheap Heel Heat." It's after the chapter on insulting the city you're in and before the chapter on telling blatant lies. (Note: Book does not really exist. Yet.)
Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro
This is a non-title match. Kingston got the boots to the face early, but Cesaro knocked him off the top rope and then gave him a fallaway slam. Cesaro gave Kingston a body slam followed by a double foot stomp. Cole argued with Miz because Cole is a babyface announcer now. Cole kept pointing out that Kingston beat Miz three times in a row. Dropkick by Kingston sent Cesaro outside the ring. Kingston hit a forearm shot outside the ring. Kingston threw Cesaro into Miz, who was sitting at the announce table. Miz attacked Kingston on the apron, which led to the disqualification finish in a match that went under three minutes.
Winner: Kofi Kingston via DQ
Post match, Miz and Cesaro attacked Kingston. R-Truth made the save for his former partner Kingston. The crowd cheered loudly for that. Kingston went after Cesaro while Miz got out of there before Truth could get to him. Truth gave Cesaro a clothesline over the top rope to the floor.
Analysis: * Too short to be a good match. The angle was pretty solid, though. This will probably lead to a tag match on television between these four guys and possibly a Cesaro/Truth feud for the US Title because Truth is another babyface midcarder that Cesaro can beat.
We'll hear from Sheamus later as well as finding out the members of Team Foley and Team Punk.
Plug time: We are having the 20th edition of TJR Radio on Tuesday October 30th (tonight) at 10pmET/9pCT. We talk about wrestling for the first 90 minutes and then the last 30 minutes is NFL talk. Join The Ace, Frank The Clown and myself for all the fun. The link to listen to the show live (or any time after it's over) is RIGHT HERE. It's always a good time, so be sure to listen in. If you miss it live we'll put a link on TJRWrestling.com where you can listen on the internet, download the mp3 file or get it on iTunes as well.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero talked to AJ Lee in her office. She asked AJ how the pillow talk was. Vickie said if AJ admitted that she cared for John Cena then she will make her a WWE diva. AJ refused to do that. Vickie said AJ is hired, but if AJ ever lays a hand on Vickie then AJ won't be allowed around the company again. Vickie put AJ into a match against Beth Phoenix. AJ said thanks.
Analysis: This storyline is painful.
There was a "behind the music" feature on Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal aka the 3MB. Mahal said he had the reputation of being the fun one. Then he made a serious face. The interview asked them if they were ready to finally perform. Mahal with a funny yet awkward line: "Does it look like we work at Lenscrafters? We can't churn out hits in one hour or less." McIntyre said reporters didn't ask Michelangelo if his statues were done quickly. Good point? Sure. Then they said the interview was over. Ross called it one of the worst interviews he's ever witnessed in WWE.
Analysis: Character development is a good thing. Whether these characters get over or not I'm not sure, but at least they're trying and that's enough for me. It was mostly a parody piece where the heels are coming off as phonies who don't really perform music even though they claim to be musicians.
Zack Ryder and Santino aka Team CoBro made their entrance. Tag match after the break.
There was an article on The Contest Strategist that put over WWE's success on Twitter.
3MB made their way out for the tag match. They have matching leather pants, so that's a good thing in terms of showing unity.
3MB (Jinder Mahal & Heath Slater) vs. Team CoBro (Zack Ryder & Santino)
Ryder hit a missile dropkick on Mahal followed by the Broski Boot. Slater distracted the ref, so Mahal dropped Ryder's neck across the top rope. That led to the heels isolating on Ryder. Mahal got a running knee to the face of Ryder. I'm sure Triple H approved of that move. Slater applied a chin lock to Ryder. Slater's air guitar attempt move allowed Ryder to tag in Santino. Santino hit his hip toss followed by a chop to the head for two. Ryder gave a clothesline to Mahal to send him out of the ring. Santino wanted to hit the Cobra. McIntyre distracted him, then Santino ended up hitting McIntyre with it and then Slater finished off Santino with the move MVP used to use called The Playmaker. A lot of wrestlers have used that move over the years. The match went about four minutes.
Analysis: * This is one of those matches that benefitted from a three hour show because on a two hour Raw they may not even be on the show. That’s one of the good things about three hour episodes of Raw. It gives opportunities to different talent. I don't mind that.
Up next is AJ Lee vs. Beth Phoenix.
Big announcement. Jerry Lawler returns to the Raw announce desk in two weeks. On Twitter, Cole confirmed it was at the announce desk.
AJ Lee made her entrance. Beth didn't get an entrance. She was already in the ring.
AJ Lee vs. Beth Phoenix
Beth shoved down AJ while the announcers talked as if AJ was out of her league being in the ring. Beth trash talked her, which led to AJ attacking her with a lot of punches. Phoenix whipped AJ to the mat and then kicked her in the back. Phoenix threw AJ to the floor. Then she drove AJ's back into the side of the ring. Back in the ring, Phoenix went to pick her up and instead AJ rolled her up with an inside cradle for the win after two minutes.
Winner: AJ Lee
Analysis: How many matches does Beth lose via inside cradle? It's her kryptonite, I guess.
Vickie Guerrero appeared at the top of the ramp. She said she demanded a lot more from AJ. Beth attacked AJ from behind. Vickie told the referee to restart the match.
AJ Lee vs. Beth Phoenix (Part Two)
Beth hit the Glam Slam to win the second "match" in about twenty seconds.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Analysis: And that's the last match of Beth Phoenix's WWE career. At least for now. More on that a little later. There's already been way too much of Vickie on this show, by the way.
There was a plug for the WWE '13 video game that comes out on Tuesday October 30 (today as I write this), so pick that up if you're a gamer. I'm not much of a gamer, but I think it's pretty cool that they involved the Attitude Era to add a different element to the game.
We'll hear from Sheamus after the break at the top of hour three.
We got another recap of the Punk promo from the opening of the show.
The former World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus made his entrance. He had a World Title reign that lasted just over six months. Sheamus said he was disappointed, but that on Sunday night Big Show was the better man. He said it took two Knockout punches to do it, but Show did it. He said he didn't come to WWE to always win. He was there to fight, calling HIAC the greatest fight of his life. That’s why he came to WWE. Sheamus said that even though Show won the battle, this war is far from over. Sheamus said the next time they have a match it's going to be an all out war. When that war is over he's going to have a smile on his face along with the World Heavyweight Title around his waist.
The new World Heavyweight Champion Big Show made his way out to the ring. He had the World Title on his shoulder. He went into the ring saying that Sheamus came up short. Show knocked him out and walked out with the WHC. The crowd booed him even though Show was saying he was telling the truth. Show said no other superstar has made him dig that deep. Show claimed that he has no limits and that there's no stopping him. Show called him a "red headed ginger snap." He looked into Sheamus' eyes: "You can't beat me. And you will never take this championship from me." Sheamus asked Show if he's ever seen a ginger snap. Sheamus gave Show the White Noise. He left.
Analysis: That was an effective segment. I really liked their match on Sunday (it was the match of the night), so I'm all for a rematch probably at Survivor Series. I would assume the rematch will have a stipulation to it, which could make it an even more physical matchup between two really strong dudes. They have good chemistry. More please.
It's Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara after the break.
Backstage, Cena put his arm on AJ's shoulder. He was happy she was back in the ring and said he promises they will get it straightened out. Cena left. Meanwhile, Vickie was shown looking on in the background. AJ left.
Beth Phoenix approached Vickie. She thanked Vickie for restarting the match. Vickie said she won't tolerate a performance like that, so Beth was fired. Beth acted surprised.
Analysis: If you read about wrestling news on the internet you knew that was coming because Beth's contract expired at the end of October and she gave notice to WWE letting them know she didn't want to sign an extension. I would assume that there's a chance Beth could return down the road although that's up to her. She's been a part of WWE for eight years and on the main roster for five years, so I don't think anybody can blame her for wanting to take a break or perhaps permanently calling it a career. I have no idea if she'll do indies or appearances. It's up to her. It should be noted that her boyfriend Edge is having neck surgery in November and will need some help after that, so it's good that she will be there for him. I'll miss her as a performer. I can't blame her for wanting out of WWE considering how long she's been a part of the company as well as the poor state of the divas division these days.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara made their way down to the ring. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow were already in the ring.
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
This is a rematch of the match last week to determine the number one contenders to the tag titles. Mysterio hit a dropkick on Rhodes, which led to both of them tagging out. Sin Cara was doing flips in the ring. He's fine after his head injury from Sunday. Sin Cara gave Sandow a snapmare. Rhodes tagged in only for the masked marvels to double team him with simultaneous kicks. Sandow and Rhodes slowed down Mysterio, but that didn't last. Rey avoided a Rhodes charge into the corner and then Sin Cara tagged in to dropkick Rhodes out of the ring. Sin Cara hit an Asai Moonsault onto Rhodes on the floor while Mysterio hit a Seated Senton on Sandow on the other side of the ring. That led to the vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Sandow was trying to pin Sin Cara. It's time for the babyface isolation portion of the match. Rhodes hit a delayed suplex on Sin Cara. Rhodes went for an Alabama Slam, but Sin Cara got a pinfall attempt and then a headscissors into a facebuster put Rhodes down. Hot tag to Mysterio, who hit a Seated Senton on Rhodes followed by the headscissors. Mysterio landed on his feet after Rhodes through him to the floor. With the ref focused on Rhodes, Sandow hit a cheap shot on Mysterio. Sandow tagged in, hit the Russian legsweep and then the Elbow of Disdain got a two count. It was the second babyface isolation portion of the match. Mysterio got a quick cradle on Sandow for a two count. Rhodes tagged in to deliver a running knee to Mysterio. Rhodes and Sandow went for a double suplex on Mysterio, but Rey turned it into a double DDT. That was a really good spot. The crowd came alive as Sin Cara received the hot tag. Cross body block on both guys. Back elbow to Sandow followed by an enziguiri for two. Arm drag off the top by Sin Cara on Sandow. Sin Cara set up Rhodes for the 619, but Rhodes got out of the way before Mysterio could hit it. Rhodes threw Mysterio into the steel steps. Sin Cara hit a corkscrew plancha onto Rhodes outside of the ring. Sin Cara kicked Sandow in the head. He went for a Swanton Bomb on Sandow. Rhodes pulled Sandow out of the way. Sandow hit The Terminus (Latin for "The End") neckbreaker for the victory after 15 minutes.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars
To celebrate? A cartwheel by Damien Sandow of course.
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a basic tag match using the tag team formula with two different moments where they isolated on a babyface. They got a lot of time, which is another plus of three hour Raw, but it was not a special match. All four guys know what they're doing, though, so they made it work. The right team won since it makes sense for Team Rhodes Scholars to still be to number one contenders to the tag titles since they lost via DQ on Sunday. The chemistry between Rhodes/Sandow is pretty awesome. The announcers did a good job of putting over how smart they were and how well they worked together.
Backstage, Mick Foley was talking to Kaitlyn about how he could use any of the three Faces of Foley to beat CM Punk in WWE '13. Paul Heyman showed up, so off went Kaitlyn. Heyman wondered if Foley was concentrating on his team for Survivor Series. Foley said guys were lining up to beat up CM Punk. Heyman said Punk's mission is to victimize Foley at Survivor Series to remind us that he's the best in the world.
Coming up later we find out who is on Team Foley and who is on Team Punk. It's a promo to hype an announcement for a tag team match that is main eventing Survivor Series in three weeks.
The "did you know" told us that the WWE App has been downloaded 2.5 million times.
There was a brief video package about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for Breast Cancer Awareness. We heard from superstars as well as divas, plus we saw clips of all the moments we saw over the past month since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
At the top of the ramp was Vince McMahon along with the roster of WWE Superstars and Divas. Vince directed us to the ring where Dorothy Jones of "Komen for the Cure" was there along with Susan Komen's nephew Eric. They were in Cena t-shirts while Cena stood in front of a panel that had a pink cover on it. Cena said even though the superstars don't always agree, they all agreed that they should join to help the fight against breast cancer. He thanked the WWE Universe. He revealed a check for $1 million dollars to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Miss Jones thanked WWE for the donation.
Analysis: It's a great cause. My older sister is in her mid-40s and he had breast cancer a few years ago. While it's not going to be easy to find a cure for breast cancer, it's important to keep raising money because with the research money they are able to find early detection as well as treat those that may have a form of cancer. I know for my sister the early detection is what saved her.
Now, for those that want to make a smartass comment about WWE bragging about this and also doing it at a time when Vince McMahon's wife is running for a senate seat in Connecticut you're welcome to do that. Personally I think it's a great cause. I'm glad WWE used their television shows to promote it. Save the tatas. Indeed.
Another plug for that December 15 Rolling Stones show that WWE is producing.
It's time for the weekly "Alberto Del Rio wins a match on Raw to get his heat back after a PPV loss" match. Long name. It's become a Raw tradition.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Justin Gabriel
Gabriel gave Del Rio a monkey flip followed by a clothesline off the ropes. Cole put over how Gabriel likes to skydive because that's supposed to make us like him more. Gabriel knocked Del Rio outside the ring, but when they went back in Del Rio gave him a kick into the head. Del Rio attacked the left arm of Gabriel. Backbreaker by Del Rio for two. The crowd didn't care about this match too much. Del Rio gave a back suplex to Gabriel while making sure the left arm of Gabriel hit the mat. Del Rio went after Gabriel with a series of kicks followed by another armbar. Del Rio fought back with boots to the face followed by a spinning back hit. Springboard moonsault off the top by Gabriel. That's a pretty looking move. Gabriel missed a corner charge. Del Rio hit the enziguiri in the corner. Cross Armbreaker by Del Rio was enough for the submission victory. The match went about five minutes.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: *1/2 The crowd was dead for nearly the entire match. Like I said earlier, it's the typical Raw match where Del Rio gets a win after losing on PPV. I think Del Rio leads WWE in terms of having short TV match wins. That was the last match on the show too.
Paul Heyman was in the ring with a microphone. He introduced the WWE Champion CM Punk, who also happens to be on the cover of the WWE '13 video game. Punk's jacket said "WWE '13" on the back. Good way to plug a WWE video game. The cover of the video game appeared from the rafters. Heyman called CM Punk the greatest WWE Champion of all time.
Announcement for Team Foley vs. Team Punk at Survivor Series
Heyman said he got to pick the superstars on Team Punk. He gave a long introduction for The Miz. That's the same Miz that Punk complained about on his DVD as far as a guy that main evented WrestleMania in 2011 while Punk was fuming mad. Heyman also introduced Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow for Punk's team. The fifth and final member of the team is Alberto Del Rio. So Punk's team has two guys that lost on Sunday (Del Rio & Miz) and then two guys that didn't win the tag titles in their match. Sounds like a bunch of winners!
CM Punk said Survivor Series would be a one year celebration about his reign as the WWE Champion. Alberto Del Rio was in the background clapping even though he was the one that Punk beat for the title. He said Foley wants to be like Punk on the cover of a video game, but that he couldn't have that because his time has passed. Punk said at Survivor Series he will show us how to survive.
Mick Foley entered the ring. Foley said Punk weaseled his way out of Hell in a Cell. Foley doesn't have a problem calling Punk the WWE Champion, but he has a problem calling him a man because he enlisted the talents of a crooked referee. Punk talked into Foley's good ear saying that he had nothing to do with what Brad Maddox did. Punk wanted to know Foley's team.
Foley introduced his team one by one. It was Kofi Kingston followed by Kane and Daniel Bryan. Does this officially make Bryan a babyface or is he still going to yell "no" at the fans? He's basically a face these days. Randy Orton is the fourth member of the team. Punk assumed Foley was on the team, but Foley told him he was not on the team. Punk wanted to get his hands on Foley. Foley introduced the fifth member of the team as Ryback. Punk was angry about that.
To sum it up the teams for this 5 on 5 elimination match are:
Team CM Punk: Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and CM Punk.
Team Mick Foley: Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Randy Orton and Ryback.
Everybody was brawling in the ring. Ryback went into the ring, but Punk left with Paul Heyman. Foley's team dominated Punk's team as expected. Ryback stared down Punk. Ryback destroyed Cody Rhodes with the Meat Hook Clothesline. Everybody else on Punk's team was outside the ring while Ryback had a long staredown with Punk, who was standing at the top of the ramp. Ryback hit Shellshocked on Rhodes. Then he led the fans in "feed me more" chants as the show came to a close.
Analysis: Why do a tag match main event at Survivor Series? It's a way to keep the title on Punk without having him defend it on PPV. Of course they could add that the title is on the line in the match, but we don't know if that will happen. I think it's likely only because a tag team match main event with nothing on the line won't be a big enough draw for the average viewer. If the title's on the line, Punk will win. If the title isn't on the line then expect a babyface win.
Ideally you should spend a few weeks assembling the team by building them up and announcing them at separate times. The problem is they only had three episodes of Raw between Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series, so there was a need to make the announcement in one show.
The ending of the show didn't feel like a main event segment. It felt like a middle of the show segment that ended in a brawl that would then set up a two on two tag team match (let me holla at ya playas).
I would assume that there was no Cena or Ziggler on either team because they will likely do a Cena vs. Ziggler match at Survivor Series with AJ and Vickie in their respective corners. Also the Big Show vs. Sheamus rematch is most likely for Survivor Series as well.
Here are a few shots of "The John Report" sign that appeared on Raw. A major thank you to Eric Thomas (@topecgaheel) for representing TJR at this event. Thanks to my friend Pat for grabbing the screencaps too.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Cody Rhodes
2. Damien Sandow
3. Beth Phoenix - Last show. Thanks for the hard work over the years.
4 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2012 Average: 5.87
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 3 (July 9)
Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 6, 8, 6, 7
The last time a Raw episode got a rating as low as a 4 was August 27th so it's been two months since I've been down about the quality of Raw.
I always say that October is one of the worst months in the WWE year as far as quality programming goes. This October that proved to be true. That's not to say I hate things in WWE right now. It's far from that. I just wish there were more compelling storylines going on right now aside from the tag division, which I'm enjoying very much.
This was a below average episode of Raw that followed an average Hell in a Cell PPV. After watching and writing about six hours of WWE TV in two days there's not that much more to say. Plus, I have a two hour TJR Radio show on Tuesday night to do, so I'll save some of it for that.
We are having the 20th edition of TJR Radio on Tuesday October 30th (tonight) at 10pmET/9pCT. We talk about wrestling for the first 90 minutes and then the last 30 minutes is NFL talk. Join The Ace, Frank The Clown and myself for all the fun. The link to listen to the show live (or any time after it's over) is RIGHT HERE. It's always a good time, so be sure to listen in. If you miss it live we'll put a link on TJRWrestling.com where you can listen on the internet, download the mp3 file or get it on iTunes as well.
I'm not sure when the next column from me will be. It's my birthday on Sunday (I'll be 32 if you're wondering), so I will be having some kind of festivities. Before that I'm not sure if I'll write anything. Depends on if I have a topic to write about. If there's nothing then the Raw Deal will be back next Tuesday as always.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org
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