Last night’s WWE Raw event was a great go-home show for the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view. With decent action and some hilarious moments, the show did a good job of selling this coming Sunday’s event.
Raw opens with a video commemorating Veteran’s Day. John Cena handles voiceover, and thanks those brave folks who serve. WWE has always been incredibly supportive of the military, and this video package just continues the trend.
Following the Veteran’s Day is the “Tonight on Raw” reality show-like recap of the current storylines. These are horrible on so many levels. WWE, please stop these. Please.
Orton kicks off the show to a decent pop, and tonight actually starting things off with a match instead of a long promo. JR and Cole are at ringside, but Lawler isn’t out at commentary yet.
Orton is facing off against Dolph Ziggler.Orton picks up a clean win with a rollup after Ziggler tries to take advantage of an Alberto Del Rio distraction. ADR, Ziggler, and Ricardo Rodriguez beat on Orton until Kofi Kingston makes the save… which brings Teddy Long out from the back. Take a drink, because Teddy just made a tag team match, playas.
So now the match is Orton and Kofi tagging against Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio picked up the win on Kofi, a smart move to keep the heels and faces even going into Team Foley and Team Ziggler match this Sunday at Survivor Series.
Ziggler sticks around in the ring as Vickie heads down to show her new evidence regarding AJ and Cena’s love affair. Ziggler says he is here for the truth, and the truth “cannot be denied.” Dolph Ziggler recaps the evidence presented over the previous weeks, even taking the time to point out that Cena wears his wrestling gear to dinner, which is awesome. Vickie grabs the mic and opens her mouth to instant heat. She blabs a bit about nothing until AJ heads to the ring to ask why Vickie is doing all this. Vickie says she did nothing, and that AJ did something wrong and “she needs to own it.”
AJ says she’ll admit the truth, and goes on to say that she and John Cena are “just friends,” which clearly displeases Vickie. AJ says that she earned Vickie’s ire because AJ was hand picked by McMahon at RAW 1000 to be GM, and because she has “physically embarrassed” Vickie. AJ sums her argument by saying “Vickie, you’re just throwing your weight around, and that weight is pretty considerable.”
Vickie then plays some incriminating voicemails. AJ says Vickie hacked Cena’s phone and edited those messages together. Ziggler interrupts and tells AJ that the cat’s out of the bag. “What is more disappointing and unsatisfying?” asks Ziggler, “That John won’t talk to you anymore, or all those nights in his hotel room?” This brings Cena to the ring. AJ stops Cena, then turns and slaps Ziggler. A reeling Ziggler is then slugged by Cena, which forces him to promptly leave the ring.
AJ and Cena stand in the ring as Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero slowly head to the back.
AJ is freaking out backstage after the commercial. Cena says this is a new low for Ziggler and Vickie. Cena says they’re making a big deal out of something that “never did happen and never would happen.” AJ asks “never would happen?” and Cena awkwardly backpedals, leaving the comment as “never did happen” before heading out to prepare for his match with CM Punk.
William Regal is in the ring, waiting to take on Big Show. Awesome to see Regal back in the ring lately, unfortunate that he has to go squish against the beast that is Big Show. Show gets the quick win with the chokeslam and tries to land the KO Punch on Regal after the match, but Sheamus makes the save with an extremely awkward takedown.
Layla and Kaitlyn battle next for the number one contender spot for Eve’s Diva’s title. Kaitlyn gets a really quick win and has a very brief staredown with Eve. The announcers briefly brought up Kaitlyn’s missed title opportunity at Night of Champions, so a near forgotten storyline may just be wrapping up this coming Sunday.
After the Divas match is an incredibly graphic video package of Jerry Lawler’s heart attack just nine weeks ago, with a lot of uncomfortable footage and sound. Whether the package was moving or tasteless is for the audience to decide. JR tells us The King will return after the commercial break.
Cole and JR are in the ring to welcome Lawler back to a good pop from the Columbus, OH crowd. Lawler and JR enjoy a long embrace, and after a rather funny moment in which Jerry stared awkwardly at Cole, Cole and Lawler hug too. Lawler gets the mic as the crowd starts a “Jerry!” chant. Lawler says the moment is “overwhelming” and thanks the WWE Universe. Lawler references It’s a Wonderful Life, and gets incredibly emotional as he tells folks that he had no idea how many friends and fans he had. Lawler prepares to wrap up his comments when CM Punk’s music hits, and out comes the WWE Champion. Lawler exists the ring as Punk heads down.
“I’m glad you left the ring when you did, because if you didn’t, I would have beat you to death. Again.” says Punk. Punk then mocks Lawler, noting that “Lawler beat death! He’s a real life zombie!” Punk lays into Lawler for “trying to steal his spotlight” and cuts a vicious promo which is amusing right up until Paul Heyman fakes a heart attack in one of the most tasteless displays in recent memory. Punk fakes CPR on a fallen Heyman, “reviving” him. This brings out Mick Foley.
Foley grabs the mic and notes that the WWE Universe will choose the fifth member of Team Foley. CM Punk scoffs at the idea of letting the fans pick the member of Foley’s team, saying stopped caring what people thought about him a long time ago and that the opinion of the fans was worthless. After a long promo, Foley reveals that he’ll be the special enforcer for Punk’s match with Cena later in the evening.
Cut backstage after a bit, and CM Punk and Heyman are having it out. CM Punk is frustrated not just that Foley is the special enforcer but with “the Brad Maddox situation.” Heyman says he’ll take care of it.
More in ring action as Justin Gabriel tags with Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and Tyson Kidd against Epico, Primo, and the Prime Time Players, a match which could easily have just been an opener at Survivor Series instead given as an 8 man tag on Raw. Rosa is given a note by Ricardo Rodriguez mid-match, a note which was undoubtedly written by Alberto Del Rio. Surprisingly, wealthy attractive men communicate with women like middle-school boys. Who would have guessed?
Justin Gabriel picks up the win for his team with the 450 splash on Darren Young. Fairly entertaining conclusion to a match which degenerated into a high-flying mess by the end.
Heyman is in back with Brad Maddox. Heyman wants Maddox to “take a walk” with him and the pair walk off to possibly talk strategy?
Another horrible Fandagoo promo precedes a backstage segment with Ziggler and Miz. Ziggler tells Miz it’s only a matter of time before Miz begs for his spot back on Team Ziggler… the pair argue until Mick Foley interrupts and challenges Ziggler to a match, Kane and the winner of the WWE Universe voting vs the Rhodes Scholars. Miz asks Foley to be put on the ballot for Team Foley. Miz says it would be “awesome” to beat Team Ziggler, and Foley puts Miz on the ballot along with Zack Ryder and Santino.
Back to the ring as R-Truth heads out to face Tensai. Cesaro heads to the ring to tell Truth he became a joke, much like the USA. Cheap heat, but nowhere near as bad as Punk and Heyman earlier. Cesaro sits in on commentary, and Lawler rips on him for being the US Champ but hating America. Truth wins, heads outside and lays a knock-knock joke on Cesaro. Cesaro raises his US title to Truth as he backs away.
The entire 3rd hour of Raw starts with a slew of video recaps, from a recap of Brad Maddox last week to a recap of the AJ/Cena segment earlier and Lawler’s return.
Finally, Maddox heads to the ring with no entrance music. As Maddox heads down an ambulance backs towards the ramp and Lawler notes that the ambulance might be needed after Ryback is through with Maddox.
Ryback hits the ring and absolutely squashes Maddox. After the match, Maddox is placed on a stretcher to be taken to the ambulance but Ryback decides to continue the assault instead. Ryback dominates Maddox then carries him to the ambulance, slamming him into the back doors then opening them and tossing Maddox into the back of the ambulance.
David Otunga is in the ring next, taking on Sheamus. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets as to the winner of this outing. Otunga gets absolutely dismantled by Sheamus, and Sheamus picks up a pinfall win with the Brogue Kick. Post-match, Sheamus grabs a mic and tells Big Show that he’ll do the same to him at Survivor Series. A quick cut to the back reveals Show brutalizing William Regal. Sheamus panics and runs to make the save, but obviously will arrive too late.
Josh Matthews is in back after the commercial break, announcing that Regal suffered a concussion and a possible broken jaw at the hands of Big Show.
Kane is heading to the ring, with Daniel Bryan chasing after him and trying to get him to talk. Bryan wishes Kane luck in his match with his new partner. Bryan says that if he had been chosen by Foley to be in the match, he would never have agreed to partner with anyone but Kane. Bryan’s obvious jealousy cause the team to argue until Bryan turns away from Kane and wishes Kane and whoever his partner would be “the best of luck.”
Damien and Cody head to the ring to await Kane and whoever the WWE Universe voted as his partner. Miz dominated the voting, receiving 60% of the Twitter votes, so Miz will team with Kane against the Rhodes Scholars. Miz heads to the ring but his music is cut off by Daniel Bryan’s, as Bryan makes his entrance to one of the biggest pops of the night. Bryan grabs a Miz sign from a fan but stops himself from tearing it in half, handing it back to the fan and making his way to the ring to shake The Miz’s hand.
The match is a decent tag team affair, and Miz is instantly getting over with the fans, drawing a “Miz is Awesome” chant from the folks in Columbus, OH. Kane scores the win with a chokeslam to Cody, and after the match Bryan gets between Miz and Kane in their victory celebration. Expect this story to play out a bit at Survivor Series.
Foley heads to the ring as special enforcer for the main event of Cena vs Punk. Cena and Punk close out the show on a high note, wrestling an excellent match in the main event which concludes when Cena picks up a win over Punk with the Attitude Adjustment.
Yes, folks, the WWE Champion has been pinned clean by both of his challengers in the past two weeks.
Ryback and Cena state down over Punk’s WWE Championship as Punk looks on distraught in the background, and Raw comes to a close.
Going into Survivor Series it seems the WWE is working overtime to make people think there is no way CM Punk can retain at the event. Punk is being completely overlooked by his challengers, as the rivalry between Ryback and Cena seems to be the focus of the pay-per-view.
Overall, Raw did a great job of selling a pay-per-view which had a very short amount of time for buildup.The developing story revolving around Ryback, Cena, and Punk makes the show a must-see event. While the undercard remains poorly developed, there is a lot of room for filler which could lead to a few good Survivor Series style tag matches which are usually fun to watch.
Survivor Series is this Sunday, November 18th.