ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 09/24/12

CM Punk and Paul Heyman open Raw and call out referee Brad Maddox about his call last week. Maddox owns up to his mistake and apologizes. They demand he resign his position. He says that would be inappropriate. AJ Lee comes out and tells Heyman off. Punk mocks her and then Heyman mocks her to the point that she smacks him and leaves the ring. Backstage after the segment, AJ tells Maddox he will never make a mistake like that again or she will see to see it that he never works in the business again.



^I believe Brad Maddox was the last F15 Champion in FCW before the merger with NXT. I wasn’t thrilled with Maddox as a wrestler overall, but I’m glad to see he’s got a chance to work on the main roster and stay active in the business. This ref storyline is probably being pushed because of the current NFL officiating situation, but to me it’s somewhat pointless. How many times in the past has a ref screwed up a call as part of the storyline? If WWE had done a segment like this for each time it happened, we’d all have quit watching by now. AJ had pretty impressive mic work in this segment, but she was clearly no match for Punk or Heyman. The two together make for a great tandem acting as they do. Good opening segment.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Kofi Kingston using the zig zag.

^As many times as I’ve seen these two wrestle, I’m never bored by it. Both are incredibly talented and this match was exceptional wrestling put on by the duo. Ziggler’s continued push to the top is taking shape slowly, and I feel like it will make his World Title win all the more special as fans continue to get behind the showoff.

We have a taped segment of Dbry shown with Dr. Shelby in a restaurant. Shelby tells Dbry he has set up a role-playing exercise for them. Kane comes over as a waiter and offers to take Bryan’s order. Bryan taunts Kane and then Kane tells them he killed a cook and served him to everyone.

^Kane cracked me up. Big red monster or not, Kane has proven his versatility of playing any character as of late.

The Prime Time Players defeat Zack Ryder and Santino Marella.

^I love the PTP, but my fear is that WWE is going to split them up too soon because of their love for big guys like Titus O’Neil in the World Title scene. I hope I’m wrong and I hope these two eventually get a run with the tag team titles. Good to see Zack Ryder again on Raw this week; fans want to see Ryder and hopefully WWE cares enough about the fans to continue giving them what they want.

Mick Foley comes out to talk about CM Punk and listening to Paul Heyman. Punk interrupts. They exchange words and Foley tells Punk it’s up to him to decide if he will face Cena at HIAC.

^Foley was intense here! I love a good Mick Foley promo, especially when it comes across so effectively. I know he’s older and not the Foley that he once was, but how cool would it be to see Foley and Punk work a match together?

Ryback defeats the Miz in a non-title match.

^Nice to see Ryback wrestling a bit here. Miz losing clean means he will probably have to defend the title against Ryback in the near future. I hate seeing Miz lose at all, and it’d be nice to see him defend the title a bit more to add to its prestige.

Another Kane/Dbry segment is shown. They have lunch together and get excited(sexual undertone with their actions) about the wrestlers they hurt on Smackdown. Mae Young is shown and orders what Kane and Dbry have.

^Awkward as this felt, it was pretty creative. I can’t believe Mae Young is still around.

AJ is shown talking to the refs backstage. Otunga, Del Rio, and Ricardo come to see her. She books them in a six man tag against Sheamus, Mysterio, and Sin Cara tonight.

^I don’t really care for the association between Otunga and Del Rio, but I think it’s because I find them both so boring. Oh well, a six man tag should be entertaining!

Wade Barrett defeats Tyson Kidd.

^Tyson Kidd looked so good when he was on offense in this match. I like the slow rise of Wade Barrett and I was impressed with him in this match, but I hate Kidd being the one to job to anybody. Good wrestling for a short match, however.

Michael Cole interviews Jerry Lawler via satellite. Lawler says he will be back when the doctors allow it.

^I’m glad to see the King looking well. It’s also cool that WWE used this incident to switch Michael Cole 95% back to being a face announcer.

Sin Cara pins Ricardo to win the six man tag for himself, Sheamus, and Mysterio. Sheamus nails Otunga with a brogue kick after the match.

^I love six man tags involving fast guys like Sin Cara and Rey, and this was a fun match all around. I’m sure Cara and Mysterio will be challenging for the tag titles before you know it. I’m just curious how WWE plans to pull Del Rio out of the World Title race and what they might do next for his character.

Another Kane/Dbry segment. Kane eats some of Dbry’s salad and burps in his face. Bryan eats one of Kane’s meatballs and says he is fine, but then throws up on Dr. Shelby. Kane asks for the check.

^This was hilarious. I read a Dbry interview recently where he talked about eating protein and not being entirely veagan anymore, so I’m not concerned about him eating part of a meatball. Seeing Kane dressed in his outfit and sitting in a public restaurant looked silly, but it added to the comedy of the whole scene very well. Great skits from the tag champs!

The fans voted for the name of Kane and Dbry’s tag team. They come to the ring and Michael Cole reveals that the fans voted for “Team Hell No.” Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow attack the champs from behind and announce themselves as the Rhodes Scholars.

^The team name is awful; anger management is far more fitting. Rhodes and Sandow are an awesome combination, and the duo chasing the title adds to the tag team division and makes things that much more exciting. I can’t wait to see this unfold!

Eve and Beth Phoenix defeat Layla and Alicia Fox. Kaitlyn comes out after the match and says she saw the security footage of her attack at NOC. She says it’s a blond in the video, but she can’t see the person’s face. Beth denies doing it. Eve lays Beth out with a neckbreaker.

^I’ve got two theories here. First, Eve wore a wig when she attacked Kaitlyn. Second, Kaitlyn wasn’t attacked at all and this whole thing is her setting up the divas to go after one another. Either way, the storyline is actually somewhat interesting and has me wondering what’s next.

Tensai defeats Brodus Clay by dq when Big Show comes out and punches Tensai. Big Show lays out Clay as well after the match.

^Big guys all over the place. Nice to see Big Show back, but I hope he does more than rival with the giants. Perhaps a World Title feud with Sheamus as rumored? Tensai and Brodus both bore me. What happened to Brodus chasing Cesaro for the US Title? I love how things just get dropped at the blink of an eye without explanation.

John Cena comes out in a sling. He says he will be at HIAC regardless of his health. Punk comes out to confront him and denies Cena the match. Cena hits Punk with a lead pipe and calls it a pipebomb. Punk gets away with Heyman. Backstage, Punk attacks Mick Foley and then turns around to see Ryback as the show goes off the air.

^Another classic confrontation of words between Punk and Cena! This was a brilliant skit from start to finish. I love the class act of WWE with the breast cancer awareness campaign. I wouldn’t complain about Ryback wrestling some matches with Punk if it helped show his ability in the ring and brought him up to a higher level in the company. I would, however, complain if Ryback were to prematurely be thrust into the WWE Title picture and stay in the main event scene by capturing the WWE Title before his time. This wouldn’t work for me at all, and it would be far too reminiscent of Kevin Nash in late 1994(the only difference here being that Ryback CAN wrestle).

This show was packed with storyline pushes and short wrestling matches. I’m not complaining, because I feel that a three hour Raw should feature a lot of different talent to get them over. This was definitely an above average show. I’ll be back with the rundown this weekend. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! and

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