Ryback or John Cena? Who will face CM Punk for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell? Sheamus and The Big Show try to get under each other’s skin and Daniel Bryan and Kane’s love/hate relationship finally takes a step forward.
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, October 15th 2012
We open shop with a recap from last week of CM Punk, Vince McMahon, Cena and Ryback, one of the better videos I’ve seen in some time.
Michael Cole and Jim Ross are at the commentator’s table this week.
The Big Show spits all over the microphone for a bit, he mentions something about the debate being a setup to make him look stupid and then he plays the clip from last week when he tosses Sheamus out of the ring and onto his head. He then shows their punching bag machine contest from Smackdown. Big Show reminds the WWE Universe that he doesn’t like being reminded of the duration of his last title run. The crowd chant “forty five seconds” and the Big Show kicks off and demands Daniel Bryan in a match to erase the memory of one of the shortest reigns in history.
Daniel Bryan is backstage with Kane and others. Bryan refuses to face The Big Show until AJ Lee appears and forces him to. Bryan tells everyone backstage “NO!” but they all respond with “YES!” as he passes them one by one, brilliant.
The Big Show defeats Daniel Bryan with the chokeslam. Fun little opening match from these two. Kane joins them after the match and steps in front of Bryan preventing Big Show from using the WMD. Show decides to call it a night and leaves, while Daniel Bryan ensures Kane that he had it covered.
Paul E. Heyman awaits us in the ring. Heyman starts bigging up CM Punk and welcomes him to the ring to inform us of his decision for Hell in a Cell. Punk lists the guys that he’s taught respect as of late. We’re reminded of the beating he gave Vince last week and Punk shows us the poster for HIAC, where he’s depicted as the devil. He demands silence while unveiling the picture of his opponent, the crowd gives him shit and Punk decides he’s going to save it for another day. Vince McMahon rears his ugly head and tells Punk that he’s blown it and Punk’s opponent will be announced later on.
Alberto del Rio makes Brodus Clay tap out to the Cross Arm-breaker. Clay and Tensai are joining Heath Slater’s band of jobber methinks.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman are backstage debating fighting Vince again tonight. Punk sends Paul on his way to tell Vince he’ll have to beat Punk if he thinks he can decide his opponent at HIAC.
The Prime Time Players make little work of Team Cobro. Titus hits Ryder with The Clash of the Titus. Post-match, Heath Slater and co. stomp Ryder for a while. Slater announces that they are the “3MB”. They’ve all got leather jackets and shit now, looking like some grotty rock band.
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero kick up a fuss about Ryback being considered for a title shot. Ziggler says he should face Punk at HIAC so he can win the WWE Title and then cash in his MITB so he can be the dual-champion. David Otunga comes out and mocks Ziggler and Vickie. AJ comes out and she’s thankfully still keeping it short but sweet. Ziggler and Otunga get to prove themselves two on one against Ryback!
Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga. The fans still indecisive about supporting Ryback by chanting “Feed me more” or getting on his case with the “Goldberg” heckle. Ziggler decides to leave the match in Otunga’s hands and Ryback finishes it in his usual manner.
Paul Heyman puts CM Punk’s challenge into his own words to make it sound appealing to Vinny Mac. Vince says he’s interested in a match tonight, but with Heyman and not CM Punk.
AJ wanders into Matt Striker who asks for nothing more than an apology for the “crazy” actions involving him being kicked in by Kane and Daniel Bryan on Smackdown. AJ reacts to Matt’s wording and tells him he can ask for an apology after his match with Kane.
Antonio Cesaro squashes Justin Gabriel with a launched European uppercut and The Neutraliser.
Kane flattens Matt Striker after Striker tries to talk Kane out of fighting, gets lured into the Lenny Small Hug of Death and then ended with a Choke-slam. Kane tries to get a few words from Striker after the match, but has no luck.
–The Miz TV
The Miz and Kofi Kingston talk trash for a few minutes until The Miz hits a nerve by saying Kofi isn’t relevant or memorable for anything more than saying “Boom boom boom” and being a mid-card player. Kofi ends up challenging Miz to a fight tonight and giving him the old Ground and Pound, Miz flees and Kofi fires up for their match later.
Sheamus gets a DQ win against Wade Barrett when The Big Show pulled the top rope and claimed Sheamus was just clumsy. Another rough back and forth match between these two. Nothing flashy move-wise, but I wouldn’t like to take half the shots they took, even with all that extra meat on my body.
Reminder of Vince’s announcement to Punk from earlier.
Vince McMahon is surprised by John Cena in his suite. Vince asks Cena how he is, Cena says he’s fine and gives him his pitch for putting him in the title match. Vince takes it under consideration and Cena flies out the door to save another village from a natural disaster.
–Diva’s Title Match
Eve retains her title against Layla with the old “Referee didn’t see the foot on the bottom rope before the three rope” bit, the one they used only a few weeks ago on CM Punk. At least Eve got to show off a bit more of her move-set tonight.
Video package of Stephanie McMahon and her campaign against Malaria in third world countries.
Dragon Fire hang out backstage. Daniel Bryan and Kane do their “Yes/No” for a bit and Bryan suggests Kane fights The Big Show next week.
Vinny Mac asks Ryback what he has to say about his decision later. Ryback simply replies “Feed me Punk!” and leaves.
3MB crash a live gig somewhere and get kicked out by security.
Rhode Scholars pick up a win against Primo & Epico when Sandow hits Epico The Terminus. Nice tag team match here, Rhodes and Sandow working very well together. Rosa shouting shit in Spanish to everyone is always entertaining too.
Kofi Kingston KO’s The Miz with a full-bore Trouble in Paradise in the face, no guard up, too close for safety, The Miz legitimately down for the count. Not being a fan of The Miz, it amused me thoroughly to see Kofi almost kicking his head off. I recommend finding this clip for your amusement, as well as the time Test almost killed R-Truth/K-Kwik with his big boot a few years back.
Vince McMahon is in the ring and he demands CM Punk’s company. Punk and Heyman join him, as do Ryback and John Cena. While Cena waves to the crowd, Ryback just paces on the spot and stares a hole through CM Punk. Punk starts talking about the situation he’s been put in but Cena tells him to shut up and gives him a piece of his mind. Vince announces he’s ready to make his decision but Cena stops him and cheerleads the crowd into getting behind Ryback, just because he wants to see CM Punk get his arse kicked by an insane meat-head. Ryback steps forward and signs the contract. Punk gets in his Ryback’s face but his head is slammed into the table and he’s then laid out with the Shell-shocked. Ryback is left roaring in the ring as Raw is over for another week.
The tag-team division has great potential to be amazing at the moment. Sadly, it seems that the teams involved don’t spend time working with other teams before matches and only work on their chemistry together. This works well to some degree. It stops working when 90% of the tag matches are the heels keeping the match in their corner, only two to three tags are made by the faces in the entire match, the heels look close to putting an end to it, hot tag from the faces, everyone ends up doing their finisher on someone else and there’s the pin, EVERY-FECKING-TIME! Step it up lads.
Dragon Fire are coming up with new stuff at least, while still flogging the same dead horse they have been for some time too. Bryan shouting at everyone backstage was very well put together and Kane saving the day when Bryan almost got KO’d by The Big Show was a nice bit of progression with their relationship.
Listening to AJ Lee is taking up less of my time each week. Thanks for that.
I’m liking the CM Punk, Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon segments, they all manage to get on the same page (you know, because they’re selling the same thing) and work together really well. Punk’s hatred for Vince is undeniable, as is Vince’s resentment for letting Punk and Heyman get to the positions they’re at, Heyman scurrying around whispering in ears and twisting words is just the icing on the cake.
I was liking the general lack of John Cena until the end. Having said that, he’s shown he can be a team player and step aside for other talent when the time is right, or maybe it’s purely on his injury and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt when I should just be hoping he clipped his injured arm on his way into the ring.
Either way, I’m still looking forward to seeing what CM Punk and Ryback can put on for us at HIAC. As I’ve said before in passing on this web site and in more detail HERE, I’m staying positive with a match between the two. I’m enjoying their interactions and the match has been built up quite nicely so far. Obviously, I’m not oblivious to the fact that I could be giving more credit than credit is due and that I’ll some day have to scoff down those words with a bright pink John Cena novelty cutlery set.
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.