CM Punk and Ryback face each other within a tag match, the British lads get more screen time than usual and Vickie Guerrero is still sniffing John Cena’s fingers for clues.
Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
And your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, currently training for the next series of The Crystal Maze, a man more blunt than a sledgehammer to the bollocks, it’s Danny Damage.
The Raw Rant, November 5th 2012
Recap of the Foley vs. Punk team announcements from last week.
Being filmed in England this week, the stage is host to the typical red phone box (which are as rare as rocking horse shit now-a-days) and a black taxi cab. I wish they’d mix up the stereotypical scenery from time to time, or at least have the phone box stuffed full of immigrants, under-age mums or fornicating youths.
Backstage, The Miz tells Paul Heyman that he’s lost interest in fighting CM Punk’s battle at Survivor Series and removes himself from the team. Sweet, get rid of Borton and ADR from the match and I’m that little bit happier.
Flashback of the (WWE) AJ affair scandal 2012 from last week.
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & R-Truth defeat Antonio Cesaro and The Prime Time Players after the masked members set up Truth to hit Cesaro with the Little Jimmy. Fun tag match to get the crowd warmed up, Sin Cara back on form with the slippery feet.
Video package reminding us what happened to Lawler a little while ago and reminding us that he’s back on Raw next week.
Vickie Guerrero walks down to the ring and shows us the same videos of Cena and AJ Lee she showed last week and begins to give us the update, “Who are ya?” chant from the crowd, nice. Before she can elaborate on her new bit of information, John Cena comes out to a LOT of heat. He tries to turn the attention to Vickie, but the crowd doesn’t buy it. He pokes fun at himself (saying he only has five, or maybe four moves) and gets the crowd on his side in the end by getting them to repeat their “Who are ya?” taunt. They both decide they’d like to see AJ in the ring. She appears on the Titantron and says she’s staying where she is so she doesn’t flip her lid and beat up Vickie. Ziggler appears beside AJ and puts his arm around her as he mentions she’s a bit of a slag. Cena runs off to save the day while Vickie cackles in glee.
Paul Heyman manages to get Wade Barrett to take The Miz’s spot in Team Punk. Barrett states that Heyman owes him one and that he wants that in writing.
Cody Rhodes pins Daniel Bryan after hitting the Cross Rhodes. Sandow caused the distraction and Kane failed to negate him. After the match, Cody gloats and says that Sandow could dispose of Kane just as easily as he just pinned Bryan, so a match is made.
Kane beats Damien Sandow with a Choke-slam. Both Bryan and Rhodes were ejected during the match because they were running in and out of the ring while fighting with each other.
Michael Cole introduces Brad Maddox to the ring and asks for an explanation. Maddox says he’s not working with CM Punk and that his actions were his own. He goes on to say he’s always wanted to be a WWE Superstar and details the lengths he’s gone to get into the business and into the WWE. He says he did what he did to make an impact and to get some recognition. He says now he’s got his name in lights, he’d like a contract and a match with Ryback. Vince McMahon appears and says he doesn’t trust Maddox but he’ll give him a million dollar contract if he can defeat Ryback next week on Raw. Vince drags Vickie Guerrero out and walks her through some changes he assumes she was going to make as some point soon, he makes a WWE Title match at Survivor Series between CM Punk, Ryback and John Cena.
Sheamus KO’s The Miz with the Brogue Kick. The Big Show was entertaining at the commentator’s table, giving Cole grief and making him shit a brick sitting next to him and trying to show him how big his fist is compared to Cole’s head. Show and Sheamus stare each other down when the match is done.
Dolph Ziggler paces outside Vinny Mac’s room until Vickie Guerrero emerges and announces that Team Punk is now Team Ziggler at Survivor Series. CM Punk runs around the corner and demands to know what’s going on, Vickie adheres and gives him the rundown and adds that her and Vince decided upon tonight’s main event, CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback and John Cena. CM Punk isn’t happy with this and comes close to kicking Vince’s door in.
William Regal and Sheamus decide to go for a pint shortly, much to the crowd’s delight.
Layla & Kaitlyn fumble a win against Eve Torres & Aksana.
Alberto del Rio bumps into Rosa Mendez on his way to the arena, lucky sod.
Kofi Kingston sneaks a roll up win over Alberto del Rio, thanks to Randy Orton’s music distracting ADR. Orton RKO’s ADR after the match while Alberto is watch Kofi leave.
Team Cobro are victorious against Primo and Epico, Santino finishing the match with the Cobra. Looks like WWE have hired a new camera man and he’s loving a bit of Rosa Mendez.
Wade Barrett drops Brodus Clay with the Souvenir Elbow. The crowd were well behind Barrett throughout, leaving the Funkadactyls cheering alone for Clay.
Heath Slater beats Jay Uso using the Smash Hit. It’s a bit strange they’d use the Uso brothers for a singles match if they’re going to put them on Raw. I guess they’re just happy to put The Rock–, ahem, Rikishi’s sons on TV.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman walk down to the ring and CM Punk reiterates him having nothing to do with Brad Maddox’s actions and cuts a pretty good promo before the match, nothing new content wise, but still well delivered and intense none the less.
John Cena & Ryback win against CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler. Cena makes a point of using as many holds as possible in his first two minutes of offence after making fun of his move set earlier in the show. Ziggler and Punk kept Cena down for the match, building to the hot tag to Ryback who destroys both the heels and finishes Punk with the Shell Shocked. After the match, Ryback stands face toface with Cena and screams his catchphrase at him as we’re done for another week.
There you go, those people worried about the lack of a WWE Title match at Survivor Series can rest easy now the WWE have back peddled on Punk and Ryback’s involvement in the elimination match and given us a Punk vs. Ryback vs. Cena triple threat instead. As I mentioned before, Orton and ADR are still involved but I’m hoping they’re going to see red when they get in there with each other and swiftly get double counted-out/double DQ’d, fingers crossed.
Time for some stables I think. Seeing as they have more than four PPVs a year, I wouldn’t have minded Survivor Series mostly featuring the traditional elimination matches with only a couple of matches for the main titles, if that. One of the great things about Survivor Series used to be the number of people you’d see in one night, no matter how brief. It’s was like the Royal Rumble in that respect. Now we just get to see practically the same limited roster on a monthly basis. If we had more factions running around like the 3MB from time to time, I think this wouldn’t be too difficult to deliver. I don’t mean for them to go overboard with it and end up with two factions consisting of a 50/50 split of the roster, i.e. Raw vs. Smackdown, I prefer when there are a variety of groups running amok, whether collecting titles, entertaining the crowd (chuck Santino, Clay and Ryder together for this as a modern Too Cool) or just simply trying to make a name for themselves by jumping folk and destroying anyone they can. Anyway, I digress, stables are good in general and can be used in fun ways at Survivor Series.
More of people getting in Cole’s face and aggravating him, it brings out his better qualities. This was also evident on Main Event with The Big Show sat beside him again.
Although I am quickly bored of the in-ring and general microphone work delivered by John Cena, I do have to take my hat off to him for the crowd manipulation effort he put on earlier in the show. As soon as he walked out, the arena was full of boos and his initial attempts of putting Vickie down weren’t applauded by the crowd, even though she herself had received a similar amount of heat upon her arrival. It didn’t take Cena long to get the crowd where he wanted them however, he may have been watered down and censored somewhat over the years, but he still has the knowledge to do his job and make the most of any situation.
Digest and discuss! You can follow me on Twitter for additional nuggets of wisdom or find my Mid-card Manifesto over on PRO-WRESTLING POWERHOUSE – Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.