Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, October 8th, 2012 (USA Network)
Location: The Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA.
Results by Ken Hill
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
– No pyro, and we’re live in Sacramento as Cena’s music hits to the usual positive-negative fracas. JBL, JR, and Micheal Cole at ringside. Cena’s surprised by the reaction, and feels like it’s been a year instead of a couple of weeks. He then segues into what’s been going on since he’s left, including the tag champs, the Divas division, and then goes into an awkward point of asking out AJ. Good to see he’s dating so soon. He talks about how loud the crowd is, and yet it feels like they don’t have a voice. He claims Punk is responsible for taking the crowd’s voice away, and asks why bother calling himself best in the world if no one in the world wants to watch his “crusade” for respect. Cena almost begs Punk to consider accepting his challenge for Hell in the Cell, regardless of his own condition. He says people don’t rag on Punk for being a Heyman guy, but because he’s not a man. Cena leaves the ring, but then RYBACK’S music hits and he storms by Cena to the ring as he prepares for action. We flash back to JR Appreciation Night and Punk shirking away from Ryback, who came out to defend JR from Punk’s harsh words and actions.
Handicap Match: The Colons v. Ryback
Ryback lays out the cousins with some slams, but Primo drops him with a kick to the knee. The duo lay into Ryback with dropkicks and strikes, but only get a brief 2 count. Primo locks in a sleeper hold as Epico slaps Ryback, who just fires up and shrugs off Primo into Epico. He nails Primo with the Meathook, then hits it on Epico, and polishes them off with a two-man Shellshock for the victory.
Winner: Ryback (Not much of a shocker here, but an actual tag team is a step up from infinite pairs of jobbers)
– We’re back with the Funkadactyls and Brodus Clay, who “boogie” down to the ring for what seems like to be in-ring action against R-Truth, but Truth begs off, claiming Little Jimmy’s going through some changes, puberty to be more exact, and just wants to strut his stuff tonight instead of seeing Truth fight. Clay, Naomi, and Cameron oblige and start dancing with Truth and Jimmy. I felt my IQ drop a dozen just typing all of that out.
– Mr. McMahon interrupts. Yes, no one but the boss can have an embarrassing dance to their name! He announces that he will be making a “State of the WWE” address, coming up next! Brodus and Truth dance up the ramp as we go to break…
– Back from commercial, as Mr. McMahon is introduced to a nice pop and standing ovation from the Sacramento crowd. He refers to “goat-faced demons, big red machines, leprachauns” and such as the state of the WWE. He says there’s room for that, but WWE should also be about action, drama, pathos, and the best facing the best…speak of the devil, as Punk’s music hits and the WWE Champ and Heyman make his way to the ring, with Punk in a new “GTS” shirt. Vince voices my opinion on it. He gets at Punk disrespecting him for interrupting, but Punk lashes out at him for supposedly taking shots at him for not facing Cena. He laments how many shots he’s given Cena and yet he comes back for more. He takes cracks at the audience, even those that cheer him, and asks if Vince respects Punk. Vince does respect his title reign, but he’s not a “CM Punk guy.” Punk doesn’t care, as he used to be a spoke on the wheel last year, and now, he is the wheel. Punk says Vince should be kissing his feet, and wonders why he isn’t appreciated like JR and Jerry Lawler. He goes so far as to threaten to walk out, except this time he won’t come back. Vince questions if he really thinks he’s indispensable, and Punk says he’s the only reason Vince’s jet has fuel. Vince says it’s not about himself or Punk, but the WWE fans, and right now, they’re saying someone needs to shut Punk’s mouth. He lambasts Punk for thinking he measures up to legends like Andre and Stone Cold. Punk claims he fought his way to the top while Austin took shortcuts, and says Steve’s best moments were picking on a idiot millionaire, and now that millionaire has become ever stupider and a senior citizen. Punk sees everything Vince’s done as a slap to the face, and delivers a real one in kind to Vince. He and Heyman retreat up the ramp. Vince says he ought to fire Punk, but that’s too good for him, and actually challenges him to a fight! He says he may get beat, but Punk will learn something about respect. Punk seems to accept with a cocky smirk, as Heyman is advising him again and again not to do it, but it falls on deaf ears as we go to break…
#1 Contender’s Tag Team Championship Tourney Semi-Finals: The Primetime Players v. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
As the teams make their entrances, we flash back to three weeks ago, where Young & Titus waylaid the luchadores. Wristlock by Young on Cara, who counters out and nails a head scissors. Blind tag to Rey, who low bridges Young over the ropes and hits a seated senton on him as Cara hits a suicide dive onto O’Neil as we go to commercial…
Back to the action with Titus and Sin Cara. Cara hits a headbutt to the sternum, but Titus comes back with a big backbreaker. Tag to Young, who locks in a bearhug and carries Cara over to the ropes, but Sin Cara counters with a tornado DDT. He makes the hot tag to Mysterio, who hits a senton on Young and kicks O’Neil off the apron. Crossbody to Young has Titus breaking up the fall, only for Cara to nail him with a kick. Cara gets laid out with Young’s Gut Check, but Rey kicks him into the ropes for the 619 and Drops the Dime to advance him and Cara into the finals.
Winner: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara (Surprised it ended as abruptly as it did, and even more surprised at the outcome, but I guess they need a tag title feud to jump start the eventual Mysterio-Sin Cara WM match)
– Backstage with Punk and Heyman, who’s begging the champ to not go through with it, as beating Vince will cause him to hound Punk and Heyman all the time and attempt to make him miserable. Punk isn’t hearing any of it, and makes plans to step on Vince’s throat to put his point across.
– It’s “England versus Ireland” as the World Champ Sheamus faces Wade Barrett, next!
We recap Cena’s latest challenge to Punk, and Punk’s slap to Vince, who challenges Punk to either fight him or be fired, and Punk joyfully accepting.
Non-Title Match: World Champion Sheamus v. Wade Barrett
If Sheamus can get a credible match out of Damien Sandow, then this should be a stiff, physical masterpiece between two hard-nosed brawlers.
Lock-up by the two big men, but Big Show’s music hits right away and he comes down to the ring, distracting Sheamus long enough for Wade to hit a big left hand. He goes for a forearm, but Sheamus counters into a headlock to ground Barrett. Barrett shrugs him off, but gets shoulder blocked for a two count. Sheamus back on the headlock, and takes Barrett over for a two count. Barrett counters out, Sheamus misses a clothesline, a shot to the gut by Barrett. Suplex countered by Sheamus into one of his own for a two count. White Noise countered by Barrett, who slips to the ring apron, but gets knocked down by Sheamus. Brogue Kick attempt by Sheamus misses as he gets caught up in the ropes, and Barrett sleeps the leg to cause Sheamus to fall hard on the apron as we go to break…
Back from commercial, Sheamus countering out of a sleeper, hits a big knee lift, sending Barrett to the outside. Sheamus follows outside and hits a uppercut. Whip countered as Barrett hops over the steps and kicks them back into Sheamus’ knees, followed by a boot to the face. Sheamus is thrown back into the ring for a two count. Barrett locks in a camel clutch. Sheamus powers out, but Barrett comes back with a stiff clothesline. Barrett traps Sheamus in the ropes for some knees to the chest, followed by a STIFF boot. Barrett rolls him over for a close two count. Barrett misses a second-rope elbow, and Sheamus fires up with an Irish Hammer, followed by two more. SHoulders to Barrett’s gut, powerslam countered by Barrett, but his pumphandle is countered by Sheamus as well. Sheamus traps Barrett in the ropes for his ten shots, but Tensai comes in and attack Sheamus for the DQ.
Winner by DQ: Sheamus
– Barrett and Tensai continue the assault, but Sheamus fights them off as Show sneaks in. Sheamus tries for a Brogue Kick, but Show catches him and tosses him over the ropes. Sheamus looks like he smacked his head pretty hard on the ringside mat, as he looks pretty dazed. Despite that, he gets back in the ring to fight, but Show’s having none of it.
– JR and JBL argue about the upcoming fight between Vince and CM Punk, as despite JBL’s claims to the contrary, JR worries for Vince’s old age and condition and plans on trying to talk Vince out of the match, heading up the ramp to the back.
– We find out about a tag match between “Team Hell No” versus Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio.
– We’re back from commercial with AJ, as Punk enters into her office. He offers to cancel the match, as him breaking Vince will look bad on AJ in the eyes of the Board of Directors. AJ only sees as him being scared to face Vince as he is scared to face Cena at Hell in the Cell. Punk laughs it off, wondering why he came in offering AJ a misguided chance to save Vince, and warns that whatever happens to Vince tonight is on her pretty, little head. Punk walks off as AJ’s a real sad, pissed-off panda.
– Advert for Cena’s earlier appearance on “Kelly & Micheal”, talking about his involvement with breast cancer awareness.
– WWE Rewind features Antonio Cesaro’s phenomenal feat on nailing the Neutralizer on a 350+ lbs Brodus Clay!
Non-Title Match: US Champion Antonio Cesaro v. Tyson Kidd
Cesaro talks about Americana and it’s “famous” foods, saying no one in Europe talks about corn dogs, but only about America’s growing rate of obesity. I’m BIG-BONED, DAMMIT!!!
Cesaro starts out on Kidd with with an arm and wrist lock, which Kidd counters into a roll-up for two. Kidd tries a corner attack, but gets dropped hard by Cesaro, who lays some kicks in to Kidd. He continues to beat on Kidd and locks in a neck vice. Kidd tries to counter, but gets thrown to the outside. Cesaro follows, goes for the clothesline, but Kidd ducks and hits a dropkick. He runs back into the ring and hit a baseball dropkick, sending Cesaro to the ground. Kidd throws him back into the ring, then hits a sunset flip off the ropes for a near fall. Kidd floats back to the apron off the kickout and tries for a springboard elbow but gets nothing. Cesaro waits, then throws Kidd up for a BIG European uppercut, followed by the Neutralizer for the victory.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro (The victory was never really in doubt, but a nice showing from Tyson here. Wouldn’t mind seeing 5-10 more minutes out of these two.)
Non-Title Tag Team Match: “Team Hell No” v. Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio
We go back to last Monday, where Dolph followed Vickie after she got the boot by special ref AJ (who’s a smoking hot official) and left Punk high and dry.
Kane and Bryan argue, per usual, as to who starts, and it’s Bryan versus Zigger. Crisp arm drag by Ziggler, followed by a shoulder block. Whip reversed into a knee to the gut by Bryan. He taunts Kane, only to get kicked by Ziggler. Tag to Del Rio, who covers for a 2 count. Bryan counters of a headlock and tags in Kane, who bashes Del Rip into the turnbuckle and locks in a wristlock. Del Rio gets out and tags in Ziggler, who gets an uppercut for his efforts. Dropkick by Kane gets a near fall. Kane sends Dolph to the outside, but Bryan tags in and hits a knee off the apron to Dolph as we go to a commercial break…
Back to the action, as Dolph has Kane in a headlock, but Kane counters into a big boot and tags in Bryan who hits a clothesline, then a corner dropkick. Another charge, but Ziggler floats over into a roll-up for a near fall. Del Rio distracts Bryan, Ziggler with the sharp dropkick. Del Rio in with the tag, locks in a sleeper hold. Bryan counters out into a sunset flip. Del Rio nails a STIFF kick on Bryan’s jaw and tag in Ziggler. Rick Rude-like swivel and neckbreaker by Ziggler gets a two count. Del Rio back in, and hits a back senton for a two count. Kicks by Del Rio get turned into kicks by Bryan. Whip into the corner, but Bryan misses the dropkick. Dolph tags in and locks in a sleeper hold. Bryan counters out, Ziggler whips him to the corner, but misses the splash. Ziggler tries to stop Bryan’s tag to Kane and does, dragging him to his corner. Del Rio tags in and hits a side slam for a near fall. Chin lock on Bryan, who elbows out, but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Pinfall broken up by Kane. Ziggler tags to put boots to Bryan, then starts trading punches, going along with “YES! NO!” chants from the crowd. Ziggler takes down Bryan though, and Del Rio tags in, hitting a kick for another near fall. Headbutts to Bryan, charge by Del Rio misses into the ring post. Bryan makes the hot tagt to Kane. Clothesline, corner clothesline, but Del Rio counters and tags in Ziggler. DOuble chokeslam attempt by Kane, Ziggle counters into the Fame-Asser for a CLOSE two count. Sleeper hold countered into side slam by Kane. Bryan tags in, however, before Kane takes off with the clothesline and nails a top rope dropkick, after which Del Rio breaks up the pinfall. Kane takes him out. Bryan nails a buzzsaw kick on Ziggler and stumbles into a blind tag by Kane, who drills Ziggler with a chokeslam for the three count!
Winners: “Team Hell No” (Fun tag match between these four, but I can’t help but feel like Ziggler and Del Rio are spinning their wheels until HITC)
– Recap of Punk’s slap on Vince, Vince’s challenge to Punk, and Punk accepting.
– Backstage with JR and Vince. Vince asks the point of JR coming to see him. JR mentions the Appreciation Night after RAW and how Vince considered him an American Icon and a friend. As a friend, he implores Vince not to do this, and can’t help but think about what happened to Lawler shortly after his match with Punk. Vince assures him he’s going through with it, and even asks JR for one of his classic calls during the match, then demands it now in classic Vince fashion. “MCMAHON! MCMAHON! HE’S BEATING PUNK LIKE A GOVERNMENT MULE!” Nice pop for that. JR still doesn’t like it, but Vince quotes the Rock, saying it doesn’t matter what he thinks and walks off.
– Back with Larry King, who gets a pop from Sacramento and gets interrupted by the Miz, who feels it’s a honor for Larry to have Miz on his show. Miz mentions it’s his birthday and insists on a sing-along, but Larry refuses, saying no one cares about Miz’s B-Day and brings on Kofi to replace Miz as his guest. Kofi talks about his day, but Miz questions how relevant either Kofi or Larry is, and tells King he has more titles then Larry’s had wives and threatens to “divorce” Larry’s head from his shoulders. Larry’s wife gets in Miz’s face, throwing water in his face. Miz takes off his jacket, but Kofi beats him to the punch, throwing him off the stage, ripping off his shirts, and nailing a Superman punch off the stage to Miz as Larry King signs off from Sacramento…
– Sneak peak of WWE ’13 with a “vintage” Austin-McMahon match
#1 Contender’s Tag Team Championship Tourney Semi-Finals: Team CoBro v. The Rhodes Scholars
Pre-match assessment by the Rhodes Scholars has them calling this “the greatest mental mismatch int the WWE.” Can’t say I’d disagree with that.
Ryder starts off quick with some roll-ups, followed by a facebuster for two on Rhodes. Sandow with the distraction and clothesline to Ryder. Damien tags in and lays boots to Ryder. Headlock countered by Ryder, but gets knocked by Sandow. Rhodes tags in for some boots, then tags Sandow right back in for the Kobito Aequet for a near fall. Rhodes tags in and tries to stop a tag. A taunt to Santino ends up with Rhodes flapjacked by Ryder, who tags in Santino. Flurry of offense by Santino, who then goes for the Cobra. Sandow distracts him, and Rhodes nails the Disaster Kick for the three count.
Winners: The Rhodes Scholars
– Post match, Encore (Slater, McIntyre, Mahal) show up to beat down Santino some more, knocking Ryder the ring apron as they finish the assault and celebrate.
– Vince prepares for his match as Heyman enters. Paul offers to broker the peace between Punk and Vince, who wonders if Paul can ever tell when’s he telling truths or lies, and says he’s been poisoning Punk’s mind for years. Heyman assures he’s doing this for Vince’s sake and hopes that Punk doesn’t do to Vince what Brock Lesnar did to Vince’s son-in-law Triple H.
Divas Championship Match: Eve Torres (c) v. Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn’s long-coming match for the championship. Kaitlyn with a pair of hip tosses, followed by a clothesline for a two, then a takedown for another two count. Fireman’s carry into a backbreaker. Eve slips out and kicks the bad ankle. Eve goes after it, but Kaitlyn counters into the backbreaker, which only hurts the ankle further. Kaitlyn goes after Eve in the corner, but another shot to the ankle and then Eve locks in a Brazilian Heel Hook, and eventually Kaitlyn has to tap.
Winner and still Divas Champion: Eve Torres (Expected outcome with Kaitlyn still favoring the ankle, but I’m wondering where the angle’s going to go with Layla and Eve)
– Following the match, Eve refuses to let go of the hold and Layla charges into the ring. Eve lets go and looks “absolutely” apologetic about it, but ultimately leaves as Layla attends to Kaitlyn.
– Backstage with Del Rio and Ricardo. Josh Matthews interrupts with a tweet from Randy Orton, who states he will be back on Smackdown in pursuit of Del Rio. Del Rio only huffs and walks off in response.
– Back from commercial, as we give a special welcome to the Susan G. Komen cancer survivors at the show tonight.
– Backstage, Daniel Bryan tries talking to Larry King about how to deal with being called a goat-face, like when King was called an owl by Conan O’Brien. King just says to deal with it, but Bryan denies it, and makes a move on King’s wife, who says she doesn’t like trolls who sleep under bridges. “ONE TIME I sleep under a bridge!” Kane enters the scene, and says that, yes, the audience is calling Bryan goat-face. Bryan fires back, saying Kane’s mask looks like someone slapped him with a fruit roll-up. ZING! They continue to argue and find that Larry king has vanished. Kane thought that was Skeletor Bryan was talking to. BAZINGA!
– Punk with Heyman. Heyman tries once more to dissuade Punk from facing Vince, until he realizes that if Punk completely debilitates Vince, he’ll never be capable of making another decision again. Punk assures that he’ll victimize McMahon completely.
Vince McMahon vs. CM Punk is up now ….
CM Punk v. Vince McMahon
Vince makes his way down to the ring, but Punk assaults him from behind and beats him down with punches and kicks. Looks like the match ain’t happening, but a fight sure is.
Punk rolls him to the ring, but Vince takes him down and with some rabbit punches. Punk drops him with a roundhouse kick, then takes him over to the announce table. He bashes Vince into the announce table, then mocks him on the announcer mic. GTS attempt countered by Vince, who shoves Punk into the ring post, then throws him over the announce table! Then Vince dives over the table himself, and starts beating Punk with the mic, then a rolling chair shot below the belt! Vince tosses him back in, then fishes around for a kendo stick. Vince in the ring, Punk out of the ring. Punk calls for Heyman and the championship, but Vince cuts off Heyman and lays him out, taking the title and telling Punk to come and get it. Punk gets his own kendo stick, and the two lay into each other, but Vince gets the upper hand, Punk’s begging off, and the crowd’s in a frenzy! Vince charges, but an uppercut low blow by Punk. Punk canes Vince, then plans for the GPS before…FEED! ME! MORE! Ryback down to the ring, Punk out, but Cena tosses him in for the Meathook to a HUGE pop from the crowd. Shellshock attempt, but Punk slips out and runs off through the crowd. McMahon tells Punk, it’s decision time. He either faces Cena or Ryback at Hell in the Cell, and if Punk won’t decide, Vince will.
– End Show. (An ending that had me laughing and almost cheering in disbelief at the beating Vince gave Punk, and the monster pop for Ryback is a real good indicator that a WWE title match is soon coming for the “hungry man” of WWE. Overall, decent effort tonight. Rating: 7.0/10)
Credit: Ken Hill