Lawler’s back, Cena’s arm and CM Punk ends up face to face with a monster he’s yet to engage in battle.

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, September 24th 2012

Raw opens with a seated CM Punk in the ring. Paul E. Heyman is stood behind him on the microphone. He says they’re here to prevent Raw from starting because of the all injustice last week, CM Punk having his foot on the rope when Cena pinned him. He calls out Brad Maddox, the referee from last week. He joins them and apologises, Heyman demands that Maddox resigns. He refuses and Punk stands up and gets in his face. As Punk discovers Maddox was hired last minute by AJ Lee, he starts calling her names. AJ skips down to the ring and reminds everyone that she’s the one calling the shots. Punk sets up the video from a couple of months ago, showing AJ proposing to him. Punk gets all up in her business and says all of this is backlash from him turning her down, he claims he’s the only reason she has the job as GM and the reason she’s got a skip in her step. Heyman takes the piss and gets down on one knee, telling AJ they’d be the ultimate power couple, she bats him in the face and storms off.

By the way, no JBL at the table this week, he’s climbing mountains. Michael Cole and Jim Ross are in residence, awaiting their interview with Jerry Lawler later on.

AJ is backstage with Brad Maddox, she tells him if this sort of thing happens again, she’ll ensure he’ll never work in the business again. She stares off into the distance when she’s finished talking and he excuses himself.

Dolph Ziggler pins Kofi Kingston after hitting the Zigzag. Before the match, Vickie, R-Truth and Little Jimmy were ejected from the arena. Great match from these two, a lot of back and forth and fast, close calls at the end.

Cole and Ross talk about John Cena’s arm injury. Don’t worry though kiddies, you’ll get to see your favourite TV super hero later on in an interview of some description.

Kane and Daniel Bryan recap from Smackdown. They showed the two singles matches where they cost each other the match. They failed to show the ending of the story though, where the two momentarily got on the same page and destroyed the majority of the tag division.

Daniel Bryan and Dr. Shelby are having lunch in a diner somewhere. Shelby says he’s set up a role playing exercise. Kane appears to take their order, dressed as a waiter named Gerald. Bryan asks for a better tag team partner, which enrages Kane into telling a hypothetical scenario where he tells of what he’d do to a co-worker that acted in the same manner as Daniel Bryan. More amusing, childish bickering!

Voting time, we pick Daniel Bryan and Kane’s tag team name. I said it last week, DRAGON FIRE or get the fuck out.

The Prime Time Players flatten Zack Ryder & Santino Marella. Clash of the Titus on Santino gets them the win.

Raw has a special guest tonight. It’s Mick Foley! He says he’s here because of the actions of CM Punk as of late. Before he can sink his teeth into the matter properly, Punk comes out to the ring. Punk asks Foley if he’s here to plug another kids book. Punk cuts away from what he’s saying to give someone in the crowd some abuse. Foley says he’s unhappy with Punk’s allegiance to Paul Heyman and then lists some of the people that have survived Hell in a Cell. CM Punk points out that once again, someone is telling him what he has to do to solidify his legacy and he’s not buying it. Punk flaunts his three hundred day plus title reign but is stopped there by Foley. Foley reminds Punk that his three title runs lasted a combined total of twenty nine days, yet look how respected he is. Foley leaves Punk to think that one over as he heads into the back.

Ryback squashes The Miz, finishing with Shellshocked. They’ve either gotten bored of The Miz already, or creative have plans to have them feud for a bit with The Miz dodging the bullet whenever the title’s actually on the line. Oh, some mad cunt from the crowd managed to get into the ring during the match, before being dragged away by security. Good effort.

Kane and Daniel Bryan back at the diner. When Harry met Sally parody with them both screaming “Yes!” and throwing their food and drink everywhere.

AJ tells her team of referees that they can turn their collective frown upside down by working hard to prevent more mistakes from happening. Alberto del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez regret pestering AJ about ADR’s rematch for the title when AJ makes a six man tag match later, them vs. Sheamus, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio.

Wade Barrett KO’s Tyson Kidd with The Souvenir, it’s got a name, sweet.

Michael Cole is in the ring, he reminds us all of what happened to Jerry Lawler two weeks ago. He then introduces Lawler up on the Titantron, at home, sat on a fucking throne! Jerry says he doesn’t remember anything from that night after Bret Hart and CM Punk’s confrontation at the top of the show. The next thing he remembers was being in the hospital. They do the usual “can’t wait to have you back”/”can’t wait to be back” back and forth bit until Lawler states he’s leaving his return date up to the doctors.

Sheamus, Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio defeat Alberto del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez & David Otunga. Sin Cara pins Rodriguez off the top rope Senton. Sheamus dims Otunga’s lights with a Brogue Kick after the match.

Kane, Daniel Bryan and Dr. Shelby again. Shelby asks them to walk a mile in each other’s shoes by having just one bite of each other’s food. Some salad for Kane and meatballs for Bryan. Bryan hurls in Shelby’s lap, much to Kane’s amusement

Michael Cole’s podgy face is back on my TV screen, sigh. Our options for Kane and Bryan’s team name are Team Teamwork, Team Hell No or Team Friendship. Fuck you WWE, I’m calling them Dragon Fire from now and that is that. Team Hell No wins it with 59%, Friendship got 38%, leaving Teamwork with 3%. While they’re looking confused about the whole idea of us picking a name for them, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes jump them from behind and announce themselves as Team Rhode Scholars, the next tag team champions.

Recap of Heyman proposing to AJ earlier on.

Recap of Punk and Foley from earlier on.

Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix beat Layla & Alicia Fox. Eve’s neck-breaker gets her team the win. Kaitlyn comes out after the match and says she scored security video of her attack at NoC, it was a blonde. Eve points the finger at Phoenix and gives her a neck-breaker. Glad they’ve moved the belt on. The former champion is still worth a few chuckles though, Layla double jumps the corner ropes and still only manages to get two feet off the ground. What’s the point?

Brodus Clay vs. Tensai results in a no contest. Both guys went all out and it looked like it was going to be over in a couple of minutes, however, The Big Show returns and drops them both like sacks of shit with a pair of WMDs.

Smackdown this Friday: The Big Show vs. Randy Orton.

John Cena, arm in sling, makes his way to the ring. He thanks the fans for their response to the Susan G. Colman for the cure cause and for the well wishes regarding his arm. He sounds like a Scooby Doo character when he does his best to keep his insults PG. He then starts to talk about his return to action, he’s not sure when it’ll be but he guarantees he’ll walk into Hell in a Cell to fight. This brings Punk and Heyman out. To John Cena’s horror, CM Punk teases kids in the crowd on his way to the ring. Punk commands respect from Cena and the crowd, giving both of them a large piece of his mind. He tells Cena he’s going to turn around and he’s got until the count of five to be gone. When Punk turns around, Cena’s holding a lead pipe that he kept in his pocket, he cracks Punk in the stomach with it, but can’t get a second swing in as Punk’s already half way up the ramp by now.

CM Punk hobbles away into the back, booting Mick Foley in the gut on his way past, as he stops to go back for more, he’s stunned at what the camera doesn’t see. Punk clenches his belt tightly, just as The Miz did last week at the sight the camera slowly reveals. Ryback is stood over Foley, ready to fight and Raw goes off the air.


Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Here’s me focusing on Ryback’s running over of The Miz and a potential IC title shot, which left a window open for this sneaky little number to creep in. If Cena is really out for HIAC, then throwing Ryback at Punk would be extremely fun to watch. Punk did a great job putting over Ryback’s fierce presence with his “I’ve just shit a bag of bricks” look and will obviously weasel his way into winning some way if this is the case. I’m hoping this is the direction they head towards for HIAC. I really don’t understand how people would still want to see CM Punk vs. John Cena again, considering the potential for new rivalries since Punk’s heel turn.

As I’ve said in the past, Ryback has been known to bore me from time to time. If he wrestles more back and forth with someone (losing control of the match through being outsmarted or being slower) and shows that he can do more than just find people daft enough to let him chuck them around the ring for three minutes, he could actually be the Goldberg 2.0 they want, but good. Right, I know Goldberg wasn’t an entire shit sandwich, in fact, he’s one of my favourites from both WCW and the monster category. The reason I highlight that there’s room for improvement because they’re obviously trying to replicate somewhat of a stiff, sloppy oaf. He was in great shape and could pick up anything not stuck to the ground, but he didn’t really seem to have any consideration for the well being of others.

JR and Cole kept the table above its usual (pre heart attack) quality this week. Although it may just be easier on my ears as it’s not the same droning noise I hear when Cole and King go on and on and on, I’m still really impressed with how JR’s kept on top of his game. About seven or eight years ago I suspected he’d be long gone by 2012. He was all over the place, mumbling, getting names mixed up, forgetting what was going on etc. and I honestly thought that was the man’s mind finally packing up its bags and leaving, nice to see a positive turn around. I enjoy JR’s contribution on NXT too, not taking too much work on and giving chance for others to shine.

The tag division is possibly on it’s way down a bumpy road. Nothing new there, it’s a road well travelled for WWE tag teams. The past few months have shown Kofi and Truth hold the belts, giving chance for pre-tested, well oiled teams to get some attention and submerge themselves knee deep in the tag title mix, only to have two teams of singles guys (albeit four entertaining workers) look to square off for the gold at the next PPV.

Speaking of the tag champions, they were pretty amusing in WWE’s 2012 movie parody series. Their chemistry is off the chart and Dr. Shelby acts as a great parent figure to keep them from erupting at the climax of every argument they have. Mae Young even poked her turtle head out of her shell for the closing line of one. She’s looking good, for a two hundred year old.

Jerry Lawler looks taken back by his ordeal, but he seems to be coping well. Hats off to the man for getting back on the horse and getting back into his TV role, even if ever so briefly. Here’s hoping they don’t run him into the ground, disturb his recovery time and trigger something like this to happen again.

Digest and discuss! You can follow me on Twitter for additional nuggets of wisdom. Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.

Danny Damage

@BluntDamage (twitter)

  • Hitmonchan

    Fuck this. The Spurs just beat Manchester United.

    • Mateus Araújo

       Hell fucking Yeah.

  • Is subtlety going out the window with Punk’s heel run now? We’ve got him shouting at the crowd and randomly beating up legends all of a sudden, I mean I’d get pissed off if I was in creative and the damn crowd is still cheering him as a heel (I know it’s because he’s pretty damn good, but we’re trying to make a fucking villain here), but come on now. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and hope it’s leading somewhere more than “GET THEM TO FUCKING BOO!”.

    *Next week: CM Punk punches a charity worker and burns down an orphanage*

    Not enjoying the hint at the possible backup match of Ryback vs. Punk, too many squash matches has me worrying, would Ryback be any good in a regular match (I was on a long ass hiatus from pro wrestling for while, so this is a genuine question) ? Would making Ryback job now (’cause I don’t see punk jobbing to anyone at HIAC) hurt him in the middle of this run?   

    Lastly, that heart attack aged the fuck out of Lawler, I mean he had classic botox face before, and now it looks like he hasn’t even heard of cosmetic surgery.

    • Hitmonchan

      That’s because the smarks cheer for him and won’t budge because they cheer for him out of spite.

      • As much as he tries to get booed, he drops a line “unlike you, I’m not going to be a passive aggressive weenie about it” when he gets a mixed reaction from the crowd. As long as he continues to point out the reasons people loathe Cena, he’s going to get cheered by the people that boo Cena.

        Hell, they are trying just as hard to make it impossible to boo Cena (next week: Cena brings the Make a Wish kids with him to the ring to be in his corner). However, the people that cheer Punk and boo Cena do so because they enjoy Punk more as a heel and are annoyed by the shoving of Cena down their throats … so having a heel Punk and more forcing of Cena as the most babyface face of all time aren’t going to sway their opinion.

    • Dynamo11

       You put any Heel vs Cena and the huge amounts of Cena-Haters will just cheer for the Heel. That is a 100% infallible fact 

      • Thunderboy61

         Like the hell it is Ziggler, Miz, Del Rio aren’t that well liked by smarky crowds.

        • Dynamo11

           You just say Smarks won’t cheer for Ziggler? Because they most definitely will

  • Anonymous

    I was expecting all this to be so much worse than it is. I actually have no real complaints about anything going on right now, aside from the matches being predictable, but that’s WWE in a nutshell. Compared to how bad things used to be not that long ago, everything seems to have really improved.

  • DingleBerry

    Some people actually read this shit? This is worse than a class essay!

  • Sharpe puppy

    I wish Maffew never brought up that Punk’s gimmick was a joke from the writers on the adult male fans e.g. Stan Marsh.  I feel like someone from creative saw that and then they just made him a boring face. and now they’re making him a boring heel, only with Heyman being around for some reason.

    Screw you Maffew, I liked him as Stan Marsh.  At least CM Punk saying everything about WWE sucks was a nice counterpoint to Are You Serious going “Everything except WWE sucks.”

    • Fuck, I’m to blame for this mess? Sorry everybody.

      • Hitmonchan

        You get no acceptance from me, only because I fully agree with what you said about Punk being the whiny wrestling fan that claims his rights were removed by the WWE who for some reason became a wrestler and taking on the overrated wrestler spot that is basically the adult counterpart of Cena.

      •  Dammit Maffew, you’ve ruined Christmas.

  • Dregen Rockwell

    When they showed footage of Lawler flying from Montreal to Memphis a couple of weeks back, am I the only one thinking WWE missed a trick by not playing The Fabulous Rougeaus music?