by Joe Thunder - September 18, 2012
CM Punk’s music opens Raw and out comes Paul Heyman. Heyman discusses the finish from Night of Champions and has the referee from last night defend his decision. John Cena interrupts. Cena says he wanted the match to continue and not end as a draw. Alberto Del Rio comes out and complains about not having a fair shot against Sheamus. AJ Lee comes out and books CM Punk to team with Del Rio to take on Sheamus and Cena. She says the winner of the match could determine which one of the two will get their rematch.
^Very effective opening segment. AJ’s run as GM is working for me; I like it when she comes out and books matches. She seems to have a lot more personality than a certain Theodore Long when it comes to being entertaining with her mic work. Cena’s mic work never gets old for me. I’m excited for this main event!
Michael Cole updates us on Jerry Lawler’s condition(shows a tout from Lawler) and informs us that he’s now home in Memphis. Get better, Jerry! Cole is wearing a “long live the King” t-shirt and informs us that he will be interviewed next week on Raw.
JBL and Jim Ross come out to do commentary with Michael Cole. What a crew!
^Michael Cole has worked damn hard to earn his spot as the lead announce man, and seeing the real life respect between Cole and JR is really something special. JBL joining these two makes for a phenomenal announce crew.
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio defeat Primo and Epico. Sin Cara gets the pin after a senton bomb. The Prime Time Players attack Sin Cara and Mysterio after the match.
^Awesome tag team action! I’m more impressed with Sin Cara when his action in the ring is limited, and teaming with Mysterio seems to set that up perfectly. Do I smell a tag team division growing stronger and stronger? It sure looks like things are about to heat up a legit non title rivalry here between these teams. I love it!
Eve defeats Beth Phoenix with Layla on commentary.
^I enjoyed listening to Layla interact with JBL on commentary. The match was over in the blink of an eye. This is where WWE continues to fail the divas entirely. Why have a division when you treat it like this? You can see why no one cares about it when things are booked this way.
Brodus Clay defeats Heath Slater with Antonio Cesaro on commentary.
^I hate the idea of Brodus Clay chasing the US Title. In reverse of that, I like the fact that the US Title is going to be the center of a built up rivalry, even if it does involve Clay. Heath Slater is probably the most entertaining jobber that we’ve seen on tv in years, just to point it out.
The Miz debuts his new talk show, Miz TV. The Miz calls out Booker T as his first guest. He asks Booker why he placed him in a match with three other opponents and why he banned the brogue kick, only to reinstate it just before the World Title match. Miz asks Booker if he misses the spotlight. Booker tells Miz he needs to find a new guest, a superstar that is used to defeating multiple challengers at one time. Out comes Ryback. Miz runs out and Ryback starts throwing the Miz TV set out of the ring and throws the couch at Miz.
^So it looks like Ryback will be the next challenger for the IC Title. I can’t see this ending well for the Miz, but WWE could do a lot with this rivalry if they don’t immediately let Ryback squash the champ. The entire segment here was actually short, but worked well to start a new feud.
CM Punk is interviewed by Josh Mathews. Punk tells Mathews that he isn’t looking forward to the main event, and that he doesn’t know what he has to do around here to get some respect.
^Whining much from the WWE Champion? C’mon Punk! You can do better than that.
Dolph Ziggler defeats Santino Marella. Marella goes for the cobra but Vickie has it and Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and then a second one for the three count.
^I’m ready for Ziggler to become World Heavyweight Champion and have a run of matches with Sheamus. Anyone with me? It’s sad to see what Santino has become, but something tells me WWE politics are to blame for this one. The popularity and merchandise sales are there, but the push of his character to do anything new is not.
Wade Barret defeats Justin Gabriel.
^Barrett is “open for business.” Again, I like this slow build for Barrett to move back into the main event scene. Gabriel was able to show off what he could do here, and both of these guys looked good.
Jared from Subway does a backstage segment with Kofi, Truth, and Little Jimmy. Damien Sandow suggests to Jared a sandwich named after him. Zack Ryder comes on the scene and suggests a WWWYKI sandwich. Jared offers him a BMT instead. Ryback comes into the picture and says feed me more.
^This was fun, but somewhat pointless. Apparently the first Subway was in Bridgeport, CT. I guess I learned something at least.
Sheamus and Cena are shown discussing Night of Champions and the tag match tonight. Cena says they need to make a statement tonight. Sheamus says he has no doubt they will win tonight.
^Anyone else remember TLC 2009?
Daniel Bryan is shown backstage yelling that he is the tag team champions and then Kane is shown doing the same thing.
^This is just funny to me. People can say what they want about Kane’s character being ruined, but I think this just shows the range of personalities that Kane is capable of portraying.
Kane and Daniel Bryan defeat Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to retain the tag team titles. Kane and Dbry argue after the match and eventually hug it out but then argue once again over who is the “champions.”
^Without some of the big match moves like we saw at NOC, this match was actually better than their ppv encounter. We saw solid tag team wrestling throughout with no Kofi botches. Bryan winning the match with the no-lock was a good finish to keep the argument going over who is carrying the team.
Randy Orton defeats Tensai using the RKO.
^This match was nothing special, and it was very similar to the match they just had on Smackdown. To counter what I just said, it was nice to see a wrestling match where the top face gets a decisive victory. It’s too bad that Orton has to take off for even a short period of time, because he really is one of the best draws WWE has at the moment.
Paul Heyman and David Otunga exchange words backstage on behalf of Del Rio and Punk. Punk then tells ADR sarcastically that he’s looking forward to teaming with him tonight. Del Rio says it will be an honor.
^Punk and Del Rio aren’t guys that need someone to speak on their behalf, and David Otunga is annoying to listen to. I do like the increase of “managers” on scene, but I like even more the fact that they aren’t ridiculously involved in the outcome of most matches.
Damien Sandow defeats Zack Ryder using the neckbreaker finisher.
^Good wrestling here from both guys. Ryder is going to take some time to get to where he needs to be in the upper mid card, but seeing him on Raw every week once again is a good start for that. I question how long it will be before Sandow is chasing one of the top titles.
John Cena and Sheamus defeat CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio in the main event. Cena wins using the AA on Punk and getting the three count. Punk argues with the ref as the show goes off the air because his foot was on the rope during the pin.
^Great tag match to end the show. I loved the controversial finish once again here. At least now Cena owns a win over Punk that wasn’t completely decisive. The Hell in a Cell rematch between Cena and Punk should be a classic. I’m hoping Del Rio will disappear from the World Title picture after this match.
This Raw was loaded with matches and had a decent number of non-wrestling segments. We saw a lot of storyline development and six weeks until Hell in a Cell means we will likely be treated to a lot more of it. Good show overall! Make sure to add Lightning and myself on facebook at the links below. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
Facebook.com/thunderstruck11 and facebook.com/mike.lightning
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