Here’s our instant results, recap and analysis for the 9/3/12 edition of WWE Raw, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. . .
Raw begins with Michael Cole sitting at ringside. They show a backstage clip from “7:57” pm when CM Punk attacked Jerry Lawler before his entrance into the arena. Punk boots Lawler in the face and leaves him laid out. So Lawler is not at ringside on commentary. Which means we get a break from his childish gimmick. The crowd was chanting “CM Punk” during the opening segment. This show tonight is in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, which leaves me optimistic that something exciting will happen involving Punk. Already a unique start to the show. I like unique.
Sheamus comes to the ring. He begins to put over the town of Chicago. He is immediately interrupted by the music of CM Punk. Punk comes out to a huge ovation. So much for this heel thing. The crowd will never let CM Punk go full heel. It’s just never going to work that way. Sorry WWE. Punk tells Sheamus not to come out and try to talk to his hometown. He says they can’t relate to a guy like Sheamus. Punk asks the crowd how they are doing. Big reaction. Punk says that Lawler attacked him from behind and that the cameras didn’t catch it. He says Lawler got what he deserved Chicago style. He says he taught Lawler about respect last week in the cage. And then a “little white knight” named John Cena came out to stick his nose where it didn’t belong. Punk asks the crowd if he turned his back on them. They chant “No No No” Daniel Bryan style. Sheamus must be standing in the ring in awe of a guy who actually has mic skills. Punk says that Cena is disrespecting him by taking Lawler’s side. Sheamus interrupts Punk. Sheamus says that Punk interrupting him is as bad as The Rock interrupting Punk. He has a point there. Sheamus wants Punk to get in the ring. Punk says that he already beat up one goon tonight. Punk says that Sheamus is World Heavyweight Champion which makes him at most the second best in the world. That gets a Ha! Sheamus makes a bad joke about Punk talking out of his “arse.” The crowd boos his joke. Good. I boo bad jokes too. Boooooo.
AJ Lee’s music hits. She comes out to the ramp and stands next to Punk. He looks at her in disgust. AJ announces John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio tonight. She also announces Sheamus vs. CM Punk. Then she skips down the ramp, around the ring, up the ramp, and to the back. I’m a little intrigued by Punk vs. Sheamus. World Champ vs. WWE Champ has to be good. Excellent promo by Punk tonight. I like seeing him get face pops. I love his heel character, but the face pops to a heel are great. I can’t think of many heels that have gotten face pops like that over the years, aside from the greats like Bret Hart, Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk. See what I did there? Yup. I put Punk and Bryan in the same category as those guys.
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero- Perhaps we will see actual wrestling in this match? Perhaps. Side head lock by Ziggler to start. He comes back after a shoulder block with a drop kick to the face. Ziggler prances around the ring in show off fashion. Another shoulder block by Orton, leap frog, followed by a….shoulder block. That’s 3 already. Drop kick by Orton. Didn’t Ziggler just do that? Orton is stale already. Stomps to the body by Orton. Hard European uppercut. Ziggler is whipped to the corner, flips over Ziggler’s body, but is stopped by Orton. Orton awkwardly wastes time by setting up for a suplex attempt. He sends Ziggler’s legs off the ropes before hitting the suplex. Ziggler comes back with forearms in the corner. Perhaps a little stiff because of how Orton has killed the flow of the match so far? Orton tosses Ziggler over the top rope. He follows him to the outside and tosses him into the barricade. Everything Orton is doing is pretty stiff as well. As if he’s stiffing Ziggler back for stiffing him. There is definitely some bad blood going on in this match. That takes us to commercial. Michael Cole is doing commentary by himself and I love it. Reminds me of an old Joey Styles ECW event.
Back from break Orton headbutts Ziggler. He launches Ziggler into the air after an Irish whip and let’s him crash and burn on the mat. 10 punch in the corner by Orton. Ziggler pushes him off. Dropkick to the knee followed by a DDT by Ziggler. Orton rolls to the outside but is thrown shoulder first into the barricade. Ziggler is carrying this match. He tosses Orton into the ring and gets a two count. Jumping elbow drop for another two. A Ziggler chin lock slows the pace. Ziggler turns the chin lock into a head stand and then bridges over, which is awesome. Orton powers up but is caught with a high knee to the gut. He misses a second jumping elbow attempt. The crowd is largely behind Ziggler. They boo everything Orton does. Orton punches at Ziggler, sends him to the corner, is back elbowed, and is hit with a running Fame Asser. Another two count for Ziggler. Frustration is building within him. So he logically goes high risk. See how match psychology works? The good ones tell excellent stories. Ziggler climbs to the top rope, but is knocked down. Superplex off the top rope by Orton. That results in a two count.
Orton hits multiple clotheslines, then comes back with a snap power slam. He puts Ziggler through the ropes, but is guillotined. Ziggler comes back in the ring but is hit with Orton’s inverted back breaker. Two count. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for his own two count. This is a back and forth battle where each guy is having trouble getting the upper hand. A simple yet effective psychology. He misses a running Fame Asser, is tossed between the ropes, and is nailed with the hanging DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO. Ziggler pushes him into the corner, charges, and is caught in a sunset flip. Ziggler reverses into a roll up, holds the tights, and gets the three count. Big win for Ziggler. The #heel resorts to cheating after his frustration of not being able to gain the upper hand. The finish flowed perfectly with the story of the match. That is good match psychology. That was a good match. That was wrestling. I’m surprised. The Miz’s music hits as Ziggler is making his way up the ramp. Miz will be taking over on commentary. I liked Cole doing the solo thing. Miz could be a hit or miss on commentary.
Daniel Bryan and Kane go to anger management. It’s week #2! Excited that they are continuing these! Kane and Daniel Bryan sit down beside each other with notebooks. The doctor wants to see the class’ anger collage. Bryan has a piece of paper with YES and NO written all over it. Bryan goes through how the people yell YES and NO. He can’t take it anymore and rips up the paper. The doctor wants Kane to share. Kane’s piece of paper is blank when he holds it up. Kane is going to show everyone how he feels inside. He throws away the piece of paper in the trash can. Then he raises his arms, lowers them, and the trash can explodes. The people scream. Bryan calls Kane a “teachers pet.” This is good stuff. Kane holding up the piece of paper like a child was pretty funny. Daniel Bryan inspired me to make my own anger collage. The Yankees, fantasy baseball, Baltimorons, and rap music will be featured. Michael Cole and Miz reflect on the video. I’m sad to say that Miz added nothing to the conversation. Commentary fail thus far. “That’s a whole new form of anger management” was his comment. Really Miz? Really? Really? That’s all you got?
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Tensai w/ Sakamoto and Cody Rhodes- I don’t like Sin Cara at all, but the idea of him and Mysterio teaming together is kinda cool. The only innovative things that I can think of for both Mysterio and Sin Cara involve one another. They should continue to be booked alongside one another until they eventually half a match at Wrestlemania. That means months of build up just to have Sin Cara botch a few times on the big stage. Rhodes kicks Sin Cara in the gut to start the match. Sin Cara ducks a clothesline, flips off the ropes, and hits a back elbow to the face. Then there is a stand off. Then we go to commercial. Commercial? Already? Nothing really happened. I’m assuming that this show is heavy on time, which means that they are behind schedule. Thus we get early commercial breaks and matches without “commercial spots.”
Back from break we see Tensai pounding Sin Cara in the corner. He tags in Cody Rhodes. Rhodes stomps Sin Cara in the same corner. Riveting. Bow and arrow by Rhodes. He attempts to pull off the mask of Sin Cara, because that’s the current gimmick in their feud. Tensai is tagged in as he hits Sin Cara with a clothesline. Uppercut, body slam, and shoulder claw by Tensai. Michael Cole announces that Jerry Lawler will not return tonight. Sweet! Sin Cara comes back with a drop kick. Rhodes is tagged in and tries to cut off the hot tag. He is unsuccessful as Sin Cara rolls through. Mysterio comes in and hits a hurricanrana on Rhodes. Flying seated senton off the top rope by Mysterio for a two count. Front drop kick to the face. Mysterio goes for the pin fall, but Tensai breaks it up. Tensai goes for a powerbomb, but Mysterio rolls down his back and drop kicks his knees. Tensai falls into the ropes. 619 by Mysterio. Sin Cara comes flying off the top rope with a dropkick to Tensai. Rhodes picks up Mysterio and hits a front suplex. He then attempts a powerbomb, but its reversed into a hurricanrana. Antoher 619 from Mysterio, this time on Rhodes. Sin Cara climbs to the top rope. Flying senton off top on Rhodes. 1-2-3. Mysterio and Sin Cara win. Decent match. Feuds progressed.
Daniel Bryan and Kane go to anger management. The class is standing around in a “circle of trust.” They are holding hands. Bryan and Kane are the only ones sitting. The doctor wants them to stand and demonstrate. The doctor wants Bryan to fall backwards and to have Kane catch him. Bryan says he trusts Kane. He falls backwards and Kane catches him. The class cheers. The doctor is proud. Now he wants Bryan and Kane to work together and catch Harold. Harold! My boy! Harold falls backwards and neither guy moves. Harold smacks the floor. Bryan says “did you know I wasn’t going to catch him?” Kane repeats the same thing. Bryan says that he finally understands Kane. The doctor says that Harold needs medical attention. Poor Harold 🙁 Yes I just made a sad face. That was hilarious. Harold back bumping on the floor with Kane and Bryan motionless was very funny. Laugh out loud funny. I’ll watch that again later. These segments are money.
Sheamus comes to the ring. CM Punk comes to the ring to a major ovation. Punk is not wearing wrestling gear. Punk says that Chicago respects his decisions. He says the two champions facing is nothing less than a Wrestlemania main event. He says they respect that Punk is only a main event wrestler. He says he shouldn’t be coming out at the 9 o’clock hour in his home town. He says it’s labor day and that he is taking the day off of work. Punk walks out. The crowd begins to boo. Sheamus says that Punk is disrespecting the crowd by walking away. AJ walks up to Punk in the back. He tells her that his contract gives him vacation days. Punk gets in his car and drives off. Matt Striker comes running up to AJ and asks her what she will do about the main event. AJ asks “who are you?” I don’t get it. Was that a joke? Not funny. AJ says that Sheamus needs to stay in the ring because he will have an opponent.
Great job with this segment. Punk really buttered up the Chicago crowd all night long. He got multiple large face ovations. And then he trolled them all by denying them the chance to see him wrestle. How can you make CM Punk’s hometown boo him? There is only one way. Do not feature him in a match. Although it sucks to not see Punk wrestle, it makes perfect sense. And it was well done. The people were angry. That’s the point. Punk is a heel. You want them to be angry with him. Perfect. Creating an environment where the people must boo Punk each week is good television. They are really trying to get people to boo Punk. First the Lawler situation and now this. I like it a lot. Punk is fresh because of it.
Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger: Alberto Del Rio is on commentary. Sheamus and Swagger tie up to start. Swagger powers him into the corner. Sheamus hits a shoulder block. One count. Ugh. Another shoulder block followed by a pin fall attempt? Awful. Sheamus climbs to the top rope and hits the Battering Ram. Swagger comes back by throwing his shoulder into the knees of Sheamus. Swagger pounds him in the corner. He charges Sheamus, but he gets the boots up. Blows to the face by Sheamus. Swagger attempts a roll through gutwrench powerbomb, but can’t pull it off. Swagger Bomb for a two count. Sheamus gets his knee up on a charge. Sheamus hooks in the Texas Cloverleaf. Swagger taps out. It appears that Sheamus now has a submission. Why? Saying Sheamus is a submission wrestler is like saying that Michael Cole is a brawler. Del Rio hits the ring and Thesz presses Sheamus. They battle around the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez hits the ring. Sheamus sends him over the top rope. Del Rio charges and is caught in White Noise. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick. Ricardo jumps in front of Del Rio and takes the Brogue Kick. Paramedics attend to Ricardo for the over sell. Raw could have gone without that match. That’s my first complaint of the show.
Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn: Does Kaitlyn have a gimmick? Or is she just another ordinary chick, with a common name, that can’t wrestle? Her hair looks like a skunk. Not understanding her push unless it leads to an eventual heel turn and feud with AJ. Layla is on commentary. Great, just what I want to hear. I already can’t stand the weird accent that Layla has. I’d love to hear her talk for five minutes straight. Kaitlyn and Eve tie up to start. They attempt to counter each other and chain wrestle. The key word there was attempt. Kaitlyn walks over her back and hits a running body press. Not bad. Hmmm. Headlock into an Irish whip, leap frog, and botched hip toss. There’s the botch. Knew that was coming. Eve slaps Kaitlyn and Thesz presses her. Layla and Miz are yelling at each other. Ew. After an intense brawl, the two oddly separate. Kaityln and Eve shake hands. More on that later. Remember that thing I was saying about psychology? Non existent in this match.
Drop toe hold by Eve into a front head lock. Eve is good. She is trying to carry this match. Kaitlyn powers up, Irish whips Eve, and botches a body press. Eve kicks her in the gut and hits a spinning neck breaker for the win. Not good. Eve shakes Kaitlyn’s hand after the match and raises her arm. Then Eve goes to Layla and wants to shake her hand. Layla continues to argue with Miz. They shake hands. End of segment. Thank god. Eve has a new sarcastic gimmick. That’s all that really happened here. They put over Eve’s new gimmick. She is going to be sarcastic and fake to the Diva’s division. Hopefully she makes a mockery of it because she’s one of the only Diva’s that can wrestle well. I guess they are now delaying the Kaitlyn push. They should seeing how she botched two spots tonight.
Jack Swagger is walking angrily in the back. AJ runs up to him. Swagger says that he needs extended time off. He says he’s better than this. AJ starts to freak out and says that Brock Lesnar, Jericho, and Punk already left her.
Daniel Bryan and Kane go to anger Management- The doctor is very proud of Daniel Bryan and Kane. He wants them to say a few words to close the program. Bryan says that his anger problem is now behind him. He is happy to give Kane a Summerslam rematch. Kane thanks Bryan. He says some day he will accept that challenge and do his best not to eviscerate him. Bryan says it’s hard to eviscerate while your tapping out. They start to argue. Harold tells them to take it easy. Kane and Bryan yell “shut up Harold” at the same time. Haha. Poor Harold. 🙁 They continue to argue. The doctor goes crazy and starts shouting. He says they learned nothing and walks out. This ends the anger management segments. Funny stuff overall.
Michael Cole takes the microphone. He puts over tonight’s Twitter vote. People can vote #WWEmatch #WWEtag or #WWEhug for Daniel Bryan and Kane. YES YES YES. Love it. A match would be great. Them teaming would be great. Them hugging would be great. I’m for all three. I vote for a tag match against Harold and Stan Stansky. I know it’s Wrestlemania quality, but we can go ahead and do it tonight.
Matt Striker is in the back with Alberto Del Rio. He asks about Ricardo Rodriguez’s condition. David Otunga walks out of the trainers room and says that his client has no comment. That means that Otunga is now with Del Rio. Sure, I guess that works.
Jinder Mahal vs. Ryback: Ryback has a new shirt. There’s gonna be a really cool fat kid wearing that in school next week. Very loud “Goldberg” chants at Ryback. Ryback tosses Mahal after a tie up. He works the arm. Works the arm? If your in a real life fight with a very large man, would you try to twist his arm? Hell no you wouldn’t. You’d try to get in as many body blows as you could. And quickly. And you would use your speed. You wouldn’t try to make him submit. Mahal, your an idiot. Have fun in your future endeavors. Mahal repeatedly fights Ryback out of the corner. Mahal jumps off the second rope and something happens. Not sure what. Mahal botched it. Ryback hits a back body drop. He powerbombs Mahal from the mat. Running clothesline. Shell Shocked. Ryback wins. He chants “Feed me more” with the people. On to the next feud now. That one was boring. Perhaps Wade Barrett can return and attack Ryback? I doubt they would ever mention Ryback being on NXT or in Nexus though. But the angle would make sense.
Matt Striker interviews AJ Lee. She ignores Striker’s questions and wants him to tell Cena and Del Rio that they will have a falls count anywhere match. Sounds like some CM Punk involvement to me.
Daniel Bryan comes to the ring. Huuuuuge ovation. Lot’s of YES chants. Bryan is trying really really hard not to lose his temper. He’s doing such a good job from anger management. I’m so proud of him! Great stuff. Kane’s pyro explodes as Bryan jumps. The jump was great. Kane comes out to a big pop. These anger management segments have really helped to get him over again. Plus the fact that Kane has been going off and on as a face and a heel. He is Bryan’s enemy. So that makes him a face. He’s also making amends with Ryder. Which makes him a face. But he keeps attacking Josh Matthews. Which is heelish. I think they are doing a fantastic job with his character. Here come the Twitter votes. Hug wins. Time for a hug off.
The referee tries to get them to hug. Is the referee necessary for a hug off? Damn it, Miz just said that right after I wrote it. He stole my line. In dramatic form they attempt to hug multiple times as if they are tieing up. Every time they go to hug, they back off. Am I doing okay with this? I’ve never recapped a hug off before. Daniel Bryan hugs Kane around his waist. YES!!!!!!! Kane just stands there. Hilarious!!!! Bryan yells “hug me back!” He is trying not to laugh while yelling, but he’s smiling. The crowd chants “hug him back.” Best chant ever! Kane hugs Bryan. Kane’s face is somehow bleeding. Seriously, it’s bleeding. This is a hardcore hug off! The crowd chants “one more time!” The new best chant ever. They pause for awhile before having a big embrace. A double hug at the same time! Awesome! Then they shake hands! YES YES YES YES YES!
They smack each other on the arm. Then they smack each other in the chest. They continue to push. Face smack by Bryan. Kane charges with a clothesline and Bryan ducks. Kicks to the shin. Kane comes back with a clothesline. He charges Bryan, but Bryan grabs the ropes, and Kane goes crashing to the outside. Bryan jumps off the apron and is uppercutted. Kane throws Bryan into the barricade. He gets a chair and hits Bryan in the gut. Bryan crawls back in the ring. Choke slam by Kane. Kane puts the chair around Bryan’s neck and climbs to the top rope. Referees hit the ring and stop Kane. Bryan jumps up and nails Kane with the chair while on the top rope. Kane goes crashing to the mat as Bryan runs up the ramp. Perfect. That was one of my favorite segments ever!
United States Championship, Antonio Cesaro (C) w/ Aksana vs. Santino Marella: FINALLY the Raw debut of Cesaro. I’ve been waiting months for this. Another great ROH star. Cesaro goes to tie up but Santino slaps him. Hip toss by Santino followed by the saluting fist drop. He goes for the Cobra. Aksana jumps up on the apron. Santino puts the Cobra away because the gimmick is that the Cobra is distracted by her. So Santino attempts to do the Cobra strike without the glove. It doesn’t have the same impact. Cesaro no sells it. Cesaro double underhooks Santino and hits multiple hard head butts to the chest. A chin lock slows the pace. Delayed hanging suplex by Cesaro. Awesome move. Cesaro stomps the Cobra glove on the mat. Santino grabs Cesaro around his back, but is thrown off and clotheslined. The Chicago crowd chants “hey” on every Cesaro move, which is an old Ring of Honor gimmick of his. Santino crawls towards the Cobra and puts it on. He kicks Cesaro out of the ring. While Santino puts the Cobra back on, Cesaro jumps him from behind. He hits his finisher for the win. Good to see Cesaro featured on Raw. It’s a shame that his talent is being wasted in these stupid comedy spot matches. How can you take him seriously if the crowd is laughing at Santino? Done with this feud. It better be over now. On to more serious competitors. Let him work guys like Tyson Kidd, Kofi Kingston, and Evan Bourn. He and Evan Bourn have wonderful chemistry. Bourn needs to come back soon.
Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater: Both guys are already in the ring. Really? Neither guy is worthy of an entrance? Are you kidding me. Two of the most underused talents on the roster. You can’t even give them an entrance? This pisses me off. I really like Ryder and Slater. Tremendous charisma from both guys. On to the match. Tie up to start. Shoulder block by Slater. Irish whip, leap frog, back body drop by Ryder. Slater comes back with stomps. Slater tosses Ryder chest first into the corner and comes back with a running neck breaker. Slater elbows Ryder in the chest multiple times. Knee to the face by Slater. Chin lock. Slater powers Ryder into the corner. He charges, but Ryder gets the knees up. Missile drop kick by Ryder. Running clothesline in the corner. Broski Boot. Rough Ryder is countered into the corner. Slater comes back with punches. Ryder face plants Slater. Rough Ryder. The 3 count. Ryder wins. Great to see them giving him wins. He deserves it. But then his celebration is cut short by Vickie Guerrero. Once again, really? So you don’t give him an entrance and you take away his shine? Ridiculous. That win means nothing if it looks like your forcing yourself to “find time” for him. He deserves better. Slater deserves better.
Vickie Guerrero comes to the ring. She is shouting “Excuse me” of course. She wants a chair because she is taking the show hostage. She wants AJ Lee to come into the ring. Vickie sits there for awhile as they fade to break. When they come back Vickie is still in the ring. She recaps why she is there. Why would they go to commercial with this? Does it really make sense for AJ to wait all that time before hitting the ring? In her current state of mind wouldn’t she come out right away? She came out right away when Punk and Sheamus were arguing. So why can’t she come out right away for Vickie? Vickie decides to pretend like the chair is AJ. So she cuts a promo on the chair. Apparently the chair responds back. Poor attempt at comedy.
AJ’s music hits. She comes to the ring angry. She says she just got off the phone with the board of directors. They aren’t happy with her actions lately. She isn’t allowed to put her hands on anyone. She says they want her to apologize to Vickie. She says she’s sorry. Vickie asks if shes apologizing for being an inept general manager. Vickie demands a better apology. The crowd chants “slap her.” Instead she gives a sarcastic apology. Vickie wants the next one to mean something. AJ continues to get angrier. AJ gives a less sarcastic apology. Vickie slaps her in the face. AJ turns to attack her and stops. Vickie taunts her on the mic. AJ is fuming. Vickie slaps her again. She laughs into the mic and exits. Then Vickie skips up the ramp laughing like a witch.
AJ slams the mic down and pushes over the chair. She’s going nuts and quirking out. She beats the chair into the mat and screams. She starts pounding the mat and cries. She sits Indian style in the ring and rocks back and forth. Good stuff. What’s the best way to get AJ the shine that she’s been missing since the end of the Punk/Bryan feud? Put her in the ring with the biggest female heel in the company. This was an excellent way to put AJ back over as the crazy chick again. Her craziness is once again believable. Plus people really want to see the payoff with Vickie. That’s called great build. I just wish AJ would have started to pull her hair out. That would have really been icing on the cake.
Falls Count Anywhere, John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio: During Cena’s entrance The Miz and Cole say that “Cena will have home field advantage” at Night of Champions in Boston. Uhhhhh? They hate Cena in his home town. Punk will be cheered as loud there as he is in Chicago. Now on to this match. I’m not too hopeful. Cena can’t wrestle and Del Rio has been booked poorly for years now. Del Rio was a nice up and coming talent, but then they ruined his credibility by having him lose to Edge at Wrestlemania, lose to Christian shortly after, and have short title reigns. He’s never been the same since. Such a disappointment because I used to love Del Rio. So the match starts in commercial. The first thing we see is Del Rio using a tilt-a-whirl back breaker. That gets a two count. Not a great start after cutting out half of the action. How can we follow the story of the match if we don’t see the start? Would you go to a movie theater after missing the first 1/4 of the movie? It wouldn’t make sense to you would it? Neither does this match to me. What’s the psychology? I don’t know. So Cena and Del Rio collide for a double down.
Del Rio gets up first and uses a Back Stabber. Do all Latinos have to use that move? Del Rio climbs to the top rope, jumps off, and is nailed with a drop kick to the face. Multiple shoulder blocks by Cena. Shocker. Inverted suplex. Shocker. 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Shocker. Cena goes for the AA. Shocker. Del Rio hangs on to the ropes and guillotines Cena. Del Rio sends Cena shoulder first into the steel steps. He does a running double foot stomp. Love it. I love double foot stomps. It’s innovative moves like that that you’ll never see Cena do. I like Cena on the mic, but damn are his matches repetitive. More repetitive than anyone else in the WWE. Cena runs up over the steps and clotheslines Del Rio. He goes for the first pin fall on the outside, because it’s falls count anywhere. Cena starts to take the equipment off of the commentary table. Del Rio comes from behind and nails him in the head with a monitor. Two count. Del Rio attempts to put Cena through the table, but Cena counters into an AA attempt. Del Rio rolls down his back and sends him face first into the turnbuckle.
Del Rio swings a chair at Cena’s head and misses. Cena tosses him over the barricade and into the crowd. Cena positions the steps next to the commentary table. Cena goes for the AA off the steps, but Del Rio counters into a back body drop. Cena goes crashing through the table. Two count for Del Rio on the dramatic cover. Del Rio throws Cena back into the ring and grabs a mic. He starts to yell at Cena, but I’m really not sure what he’s saying because of his accent. He does say that Chicago is beneath him. He goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, but Cena rolls through into the STF. Del Rio struggles to find an exit. He grabs the microphone and nails Cena across the head to escape. Del Rio charges Cena against the ropes, but Cena moves. Del Rio goes crashing to the outside. He is selling his knee heavily after the STF. Del Rio suplexs Cena onto the steel ramp. Credit where credit is due. Cena does take all the big bumps. He does an excellent job at putting guys over. He isn’t selfish at all. He’s better at putting guys over than anyone else in the company.
Del Rio fights Cena to the side area of the entrance set. Cena picks up an audio speaker and attempts to hit Del Rio. Del Rio counters by kicking Cena in the hamstring. The two fight through the stage and to the backstage area. Cena throws a trash can at Del Rio, but misses. Cena throws Del Rio through the backstage interview set. Del Rio goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, but Cena counters it into the AA. Del Rio crashes onto a table. CM Punk comes out of nowhere and kicks Cena in the back of the head. He puts Del Rio across Cena as he gets the pin fall. Del Rio wins the match. Punk picks Cena up and delivers the GTS off of the hood of his car. He gets in Cena’s face and says “respect.” Punk gets into the passenger seat of his car and drives off. The car stops next to Cena, the window comes down, and Paul Heyman appears as the driver. Raw goes off the year.
Awesome. Nicely done. Paul Heyman and Punk together will be wonderful. The promos will be phenomenal. Punk was used well tonight. Him walking out on Chicago was perfect. The wrestling was great tonight. I really liked Ziggler vs Orton the most. Del Rio vs Cena was also very good. The AJ/Vickie and Bryan/Kane segments were perfect. Highly entertaining. All in all it was a great show. The best we have seen in awhile. Maybe that’s because we didn’t have to suffer through Triple H and Big Show segments. It was also great to see Cesaro and Ryder on Raw. Sure there were a few minor complaints, but you can’t have three hours of perfectness. Well done. Book every week like this one please. They did something that they haven’t done in a long time. Create intriguing build. I’m intrigued to see what happens next with Punk, AJ, and Bryan.
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