9/17 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Night of Champions followup, JBL and Jim Ross both expected to join Michael Cole on the broadcast team, the build to Hell in a Cell begins
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Bridgeport, Connecticut at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard
[Q1] The opening montage kicked off the show... Michael Cole checked in on commentary and spoke about being 24 hours removed from controversy at Night of Champions. C.M. Punk's entrance music played. Paul Heyman walked out with a smile on his face. As Heyman entered the ring (with two white ropes and one pink rope), it was noticeable that Cole was alone at the broadcast table.
Heyman said he got to witness history at Night of Champions. He said the end of the match was embroiled in controversy. He said that in the interest of clarity, he asked referee Chad Patton to come to the ring to defend his decision to the WWE Universe. Patton walked to the ring.
Powell's POV: What controversy? John Cena's shoulders were down, C.M. Punk's shoulders were down, it was a double pin. I'm not sure why they are playing this up as controversial. If they wanted it to be controversial then they should have had Cena lift a shoulder.
Heyman pointed to an image on the big screen that showed the shoulders of both men were down. Heyman and Patton agreed that Patton made the right decision. Heyman also directed Patton to watch fan-cam footage of the closing moments of the main event of Night of Champions. Heyman said a tie goes to the champion, the match was a draw, and the champion is still C.M. Punk.
John Cena's music played and he headed to the ring wearing his pink and black gear. Heyman tried to speak, but Cena cut him off and told him to shut up. Cena said he agrees with Heyman in that Patton made the right call. Cena stopped as a small "Cena sucks" chant started. Cena said those fans know his technical skills and they know it wasn't him who removed the Youtube footage, as Heyman insinuated during his promo.
Cena recalled telling Patton at the pay-per-view that the finish was like having the Super Bowl end in a tie. He asked the fans if they wanted to see the match end in a draw. Cena said Punk has always clamored for respect. He asked Heyman whether Punk earned respect by retaining the title in a tie.
"Since you value my opinion I will give you your answer in one simple word," Heyman replied. "Yes." A small "No" chant started. Cena said Patton made the right call, but he wants to find out who the winner is going to be. Cena said they should relive Night of Champions. He said he was there, they had a ref, and all they need is Punk.
Heyman said he's sure that Punk will be happy to tell Cena what he things of his challenge straight to his face once he arrives. Heyman said hearing it from him is the same as hearing it from Punk "because I am the voice of the voice of the voiceless." Cena started talking, but he was interrupted.
Alberto Del Rio's entrance music played. Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez walked onto the stage and then headed toward the ring. Del Rio claimed he never had a shot in his title match because the Brogue Kick was banned two weeks ago only to be reinstated right before his title match. Del Rio said he wasn't completely ready for Sheamus because of this and thus he deserves a rematch.
A.J. Lee's music played and she skipped to and then around the ring before entering.
[Q2] A.J. said maybe both men deserve second chances. She said she was going to combine them and make a super main event. She announced that Punk and Del Rio would team to face Sheamus and Cena. She said the winner of the match could go a long way in determining whether there will be a rematch and who will be in it. Heyman wasn't pleased so he chased after A.J. as she skipped to the back...
A shot aired of Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio walking backstage. Cole said they would team up after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The live crowd wasn't all that rowdy. I can't blame them for not getting excited about the main event after they teased them with a Punk vs. Cena rematch and were given the predictable tag match instead. The tag match would have seemed just fine had it not been for the tease. Then again, it's not like the live crowd really bought in when Cena teased that the possibility of an NOC main event rematch. Maybe it's just a tough crowd. Either way, I'm not a fan of building up the crowd with something big and then expecting them to be excited about something less significant.
A graphic touted that NOC was more socially active than any network television show...
Cole was shown wearing a "Long Live The King" t-shirt. He updated viewers on Lawler's condition and set up the Tout video that Lawler recorded last week. Cole said he had "absolutely, fantastic, incredible news." He said Lawler has touched down in Memphis. He said he knows Lawler is watching and wished him well. He said they would have footage of Lawler returning to Memphis later in the show, and teased an exclusive interview for next week...
Powell's POV: All wonderful news. Cole was so over the top giddy that you would have thought he was running for office. Don't get me wrong, Cole has every right to be happy that his friend his recovering just as we all are, but it came across like he was directed to flash the big smile and make it seem as feel good as possible.
Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced JBL. Once JBL took his seat, Roberts introduced Jim Ross. Cole said it was an "absolute treat" that Ross was joining them on commentary and ran through his history. Cole offered his hand to Ross, who shook it and JBL's hand. Ross spoke briefly about how proud he was of Cole's work last week...
1. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa). Ross noted that Kane and Daniel Bryan won the tag titles at NOC and said Primo and Epico were looking to get in the hunt. The match cut to commercial a little over a minute into the match. [C]
Powell's POV: Dot Net Member Zim is at the show and notes that there's an upside down Miz logo next to Brodus Clay's disco ball. "Expect a dance off," Zim wrote.
[Q3] After the break, Mysterio performed a double 619 on his opponents. He performed a Senton onto Primo at ringside, and then Sin Cara hit a Swanton Bomb onto Epico for the win.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated Primo and Epico in 6:45.
After the match, The Prime Time Players attacked Mysterio and Sin Cara. Titus O'Neil took the mic at ringside and complained about having the No. 1 contenders spot taken away from them. O'Neil said they are going to take what they want. Darren Young chimed in briefly...
Powell's POV: O'Neil showed good fire and wasn't doing the "Millions of Dollars" silliness. Young seemed like he may still be in clown mode, but he didn't say enough to make it clear. O'Neil was much more interesting in this role.
The announcers hyped the main event and then spoke about their partnership with Komen.org. They pointed out the ring ropes and there's a logo on the entrance ramp that plugs the charity... A video from a breast cancer fighter was shown. It was the same video that was shown at NOC... [C]
Cole promoted the debut of Miz TV and said his special guest would be Smackdown general manager Booker T...
Powell's POV: That explains the Miz logo. It beats the hell out of the dance-off that Dot Net Member Zim suspected we'd be seeing.
2. Eve vs. Beth Phoenix in a non-title match. Layla joined the announcers on commentary. JBL mocked the suspicion surrounding Eve by saying he doesn't believe Jesse Ventura's wild conspiracy theories either. Funny. Layla defended her suspicion and said she made the mistake of giving Eve the benefit of the doubt and taking her eye off the prize.
Late in the match, Eve slipped off of Beth's shoulders and rolled her up for the pin. After the match, Eve walked to ringside and retrieved her title. She held up the belt in front of Layla, who stood up and went glared at her. Eve walked around ringside with the title belt...
Eve defeated Beth Phoenix in 1:40.
The announcers hyped the tag team main event...
[Q4] [C] A commercial aired for WWE Saturday Morning Slam that teased The Miz, Zack Ryder, and a special appearance by C.M. Punk...
3. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) vs. Heath Slater. Clay performed his full entrance routine. Clay didn't get an entrance. Antonio Cesaro sat in on commentary while Aksana stood by. Cesaro badmouthed Clay and ended up getting up before the match was over. Clay finished off Slater with a splash, which Cole is calling "Splat." Clay danced with kids afterward...
Brodus Clay pinned Heath Slater in 2:00.
A shot aired of The Miz walking backstage. Cole hyped the debut of Miz TV. Cole said viewers may want to set their DVRs... [C]
Powell's POV: Cesaro goes from feuding with Santino to feuding with Clay. I really wish they were putting him in there with another quality worker. Cole and Ross put over the big smiles of the kids and how it's a memory that will last a lifetime. JBL said if win a championship if you want a memory and the smile won't come off. It's so nice to have a heel color commentator again.
The monthly idiotic Smackdown aired where they ask who the champion is even though we've already found out before it's actually shown. The ad also focussed on Wade Barrett...
The Miz made his entrance and stood on the stage. He asked what you give an Intercontinental Champion who has everything. He said you get him his very own talk show. Miz headed to the ring where the WWE logo was hanging upside down. There were two couches and two directors chairs inside the ring.
The Miz welcomed viewers to Miz TV. He said there was one thing missing from Piper's Pit, The Cutting Edge, and The Highlight Reel were missing one thing. He said Roddy Piper, Chris Jericho, and Edge were never as controversial, charismatic, or as awesome as he is.
[Q5] Miz introduced Booker T as the man who thought he had him beat by booking him in a four-way match at Night of Champions. Miz asked Booker how it felt to have the prestige of being the first guest on his show. Miz pulled the mic away and answered for him.
Miz asked why Booker is against him and why he banned the Brogue Kick. Miz said it's because Booker misses the spotlight. He put the mic in Booker's face. Booker did not answer. Miz continued to goad him about his time being over. A group of fans chanted "boring."
Booker pulled the mic away. JBL said he couldn't agree more with the boring chant and said good for Booker T. Booker said he thinks it's time for Miz to get a new guest for his show. He said it's a superstar who is used to beating multiple challengers at one time. Ryback's music played and he walked onto the stage to a decent reaction.
Ryback headed to the ring as Booker left. The Miz left the ring and watched as Ryback threw a couch in Miz's direction and followed up with the director's chairs. The fans at ringside flinched when one of the chairs was thrown. Ryback picked up the second couch and threw it at Miz, who ran up the aisle to avoid it. Ryback led the crowd in chanting "Feed Me More"...
At ringside, Cole spoke about Jerry Lawler and noted that he was joined by JBL and Ross tonight instead. Cole set up the Lawler Tout. Cole said Lawler had returned to Memphis, was watching Raw, and asked JBL and Ross to say hello. Ross and JBL both sent along their greetings. Cole plugged an exclusive interview with Lawler for next week... [C]
Powell's POV: Miz's first show was weak. It didn't help that none of his claims about being more controversial than Edge, Jericho, and especially Piper seemed ridiculous. I guess that's what he was going for, but it just didn't work. Miz isn't positioned in a way that makes viewers want to hear him talk as much as he did. For that matter, while he is a good talker in terms of his delivery, he really doesn't say anything special that commands attention. Don't have him tell us he's controversial, have him do something that shows us he's controversial. Oh, and it looks like Ryback will be taking the Intercontinental Title in the near future.
Backstage, C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman were shown talking. Josh Mathews popped up and apologized for interrupting. "Then why did you interrupt?" Heyman asked. Mathews asked Punk if he's looking forward to teaming with Del Rio. Punk said he's not looking forward to teaming up with anyone.
Punk said it's another example of rampant disrespect. He said he walked into Night of Champions as the WWE Champion and left as WWE Champion. Punk slapped the mic away from Mathews and walked off...
JBL noted that Punk has been champion for 303 days. Santino Marella made his entrance, then Vickie Guerrero introduced Dolph Ziggler...
[Q6] 4. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Santino Marella. Ross said Ziggler's match with Orton could have gone either way. Ziggler took the Cobra away early and called Santino a joke. Santino made a comeback and tried to get the Cobra, but Vickie took it. Dolph took advantage of the distraction, hit his finisher twice, and pinned Santino...
Dolph Ziggler pinned Santino Marella in 4:05.
Footage aired from NOC of Kane and Daniel Bryan both claiming to be the tag team champions. The announcers hyped that Kane and Daniel Bryan would defend the tag titles in a rematch against Kofi Kingston and R-Truth later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: Ziggler lost to Orton clean at the pay-per-view and follows up with a win over Santino? There's still plenty of time left in the show, but I must say I was and still am hoping for something bigger from Ziggler on this show. Meanwhile, I'm hopeful that they are going with the tag title rematch tonight and then blowing off the Kofi and Truth team for good so that Kingston can get back to being a singles wrestler.
Highlights aired from Smackdown of Wade Barrett saying he's open for business...
Powell's POV: Is Wade Barrett open for business just like Donna Pinciotti was in Bob's dream? Either way, I'll take "open for business" over the horrible Barrett's Barrage.
5. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel. Barrett dominated the match and hit Gabriel with numerous punches to the head and ribs. A loud "We Want Nexus" chant broke out. Cole even acknowledged the chants and noted Barrett's involvement. Gabriel ended up getting a two count after two moves of offense, but Barrett came back and put him away with a knockout punch...
Wade Barrett pinned Justin Gabriel in 4:05.
The announcers hyped the tag team main event...
Powell's POV: I'm with the crowd. I don't care about bare knuckle boxer Barrett, but I love leader of the faction Barrett. The crowd was really flat during the match. Oh, and Cole mentioned Barrett's Barrage. Ugh.
[Q7] [C] Backstage, R-Truth was holding a birthday party. No, it wasn't for Kofi Kingston. No, it wasn't for Little Jimmy. It was for ass-hat Jared from Subway. Oh, f--- me. It's Subway's birthday. He handed out subs to the former tag champs, Damien Sandow, and Zack Ryder. Ryback showed up and said, "Feed Me More." Jared gave him a sub. Ryback took two...
Powell's POV: No!!! No!!! No!!! Why in the hell can't Subway find a new spokesman? Jared was super fat, he ate a bunch of subs, and now he's just douchey looking. How in the hell he has parlayed this into a lifelong job is beyond me. Join me in boycotting Subway until they find a new spokesman. Eat at Jimmy John's, Blink Bonnie's, Blimpie's, or any other sub sandwich restaurant that doesn't employ this androgynous freak.
Backstage, Sheamus said there was no better feeling than beating Del Rio at the pay-per-view. Cena was distracted. He said he needs to justify getting his rematch, so they have to make a statement, not just win. Sheamus was in happy go lucky mode and spoke about all the things they could toast to after the match. He even mentioned Mexican Independence Day and said they would toast to it even once he was informed it wasn't actually today...
Daniel Bryan ran through the back yelling that he's the tag team champions. Kane did the same... [C]
Footage aired of Jerry Lawler landing in Memphis, where he was reunited with Dr. Michael Sampson, the man who saved his life at Raw last week...
Ring introductions for the tag title match took place...
[Q8] 6. Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston for the WWE Tag Titles. The champs did their usual bickering before the match. Kingston dumped them both to ringside heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Kingston hit Kane with a series of punches in the corner and got some fans to count along. Kane came back and was setting up for a chokeslam when Bryan tagged himself in. Kane and Bryan bickered and shoved one another. Meanwhile, Kingston tagged in R-Truth. For the second night in a row, Cole said Truth was juking and jiving. Ugh.
Truth worked over Bryan until he made a tag to Kane at 11:00. Kane got the better of Truth and was about to chokeslam him when he noticed that Bryan was going to tag himself in again. Kane grabbed Bryan by the throat. Truth ended up taking a distracted Kane down and had him pinned, but Bryan made the save.
[Q9] A short time later, Kane chokeslammed Truth, Bryan tagged in and applied the No! Lock for the win. Afterwards, Bryan held up the titles and proclaimed himself the tag team champions. Kane took the belts and did the same. Bryan mellowed out and told Kane that the people wanted to see a hug. JBL objected on commentary. Kane and Bryan hugged and got a favorable reaction from the live crowd...
Powell's POV: Clearly, Kingston and Truth would have won the tag titles had they not accepted sandwiches from the freak. The live crowd was flat during the match and I don't think the "I'm the tag team champions" stuff is working. Even the hug got a mild reaction compared to the pay-per-view. It's hard to say whether it's losing steam or if this is just a tough crowd.
Footage aired of Stephanie McMahon, Big Show, and David Otunga at a BA Star event in Connecticut... A shot aired of Randy Orton walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: That explains why Big Show was in Bridgeport earlier today. It remains to be seen whether he'll appear on the show. If he's still a heel, I hope he sits out this week since this would spoil the surprise and it's hard to look menacing after being nice to a gym full of kids.
7. Randy Orton vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto). It took Orton just over a minute to cuss and be censored after taking a shot from Tensai in the corner. It's comical at this point.
[Q10] Tensai controlled the bulk of the offense, but Orton came back late and finished off Tensai with the RKO for the win. Ross put over the way Orton "willed his way" back into the match and "survived the onslaught from Tensai"... [C]
Randy Orton pinned Tensai in 6:10.
Powell's POV: I wish I was Tensai and Jared was my Sakamoto. Actually, not this week. They showed Tensai shoving Sakamoto during his entrance, but Orton was still mugging for the crowd when they cut to commercial. Here's hoping our friends in Bridgeport are treated to a good old fashioned Sakamoto ass kicking during the commercial break. By the way, Dot Net reader Jacob Martin noted that the Bridgeport BA Star footage was from last March, so I was wrong earlier when I said it occurred earlier today.
Backstage, David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio approached Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk. Otunga said Del Rio expects Punk to follow his lead. Heyman said Punk has been champion for 303 days and takes a lead from no one. Otunga said Punk looks like he sleeps in a box. Heyman said Del Rio should buy a time machine and go back to Survivor Series when Punk beat him for the title. Punk said he's looking forward to teaming with Del Rio, who replied that it will be an honor...
Damien Sandow mocked the kids over it being his favorite season "back to school." He said he was there to prepare the kids. He told Jim Ross that slobberknocker is not a word. He taught the kids temerity and used it in a sentence. He taught them ignoramus and used an example that should have included Jared. He also used the word miscreant and used it in a sentence. He was interrupted by Zack Ryder, who taught him shut up and said the third word was "now" because they had a match right now... [C]
Powell's POV: Yes, he said "now" only for the show to go to a commercial break. Joined in progress?
[Q11] 8. Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder. Sure enough, the match was joined in progress. It was clown around time for JBL, who complained about how "Woo Woo Woo" isn't even a word and then boasted of his Twitter superiority. Ryder got plenty of offense, but Sandow came back and put him away with his finisher...
Damien Sandow pinned Zack Ryder in 5:30 of television time.
Footage aired of Lawler landing and hugging the doctor who saved his life. Cole hyped the exclusive interview with Jerry Lawler next week. Cole also hyped the tag team main event for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The wrestlers worked hard and probably deserved more attention from the broadcast team, but it's rare to get that type of comical rant from a heel color commentator these days so no complaints.
An ad for Smackdown teased that the Brogue Kick controversy continues. Good lord... Entrances for the main event tag match took place. Cena invited viewers to walk with him because it was time for him to go to work.
[Q12] The heel introductions took place. Ricardo Rodriguez handled the Del Rio introduction. Punk was accompanied to the ring by Heyman. Punk mocked a fan on his way to the ring. Punk did the long pose with the title belt in the middle of the ring before the opening bell again... [C]
9. John Cena and Sheamus vs. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman) and Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez). The opening bell sounded as soon as they returned from the break. Punk and Cena were set to square off, but Punk immediately tagged in Del Rio and acted like his shoulder was hurting.
Cole noted that it was five years ago today that Sheaus arrived in the United States from Dublin, Ireland. Dot Net reader Justin Madden noted that the referee for the match was NXT/FCW referee Brad Maddox. At 6:15, Sheamus was getting the better of Del Rio, but he had to turn and take a shot at Punk, who was lunging at him. Del Rio used the opening to take him down with a Backstabber.
[Overrun] Punk tagged in and dropkicked Sheamus's knee. "You wanna be a tough guy?" mocked Punk. Later, Punk and Cena simultaneously tagged into the match. Cena got the better of the initial exchange and applied the STF. Del Rio broke it up only to eat a Brogue Kick. Punk took out Sheamus.
Cena finished off the sequence by performing the Attitude Adjustment and went for a cover. The referee counted the pin even though Punk had his foot on the bottom rope. Cena and Sheamus celebrated the win and left the ring. Punk and Heyman protested. The referee could be heard saying that he counted the three and didn't see Punk's foot.
The referee headed backstage with Punk and Heyman following. Punk said the referee saw the replay and had to see that his foot was on the rope. "My foot was on the ropes!" Punk yelled as they all headed to the back to end the show...
John Cena and Sheamus defeated C.M. Punk and Alberto Del Rio in 10:25.
Powell's POV: So new referee Brad Maddox (or that's what he was called in developmental) was set up as the rookie making a mistake. My guess is that Punk protests and the solution is to put another obstacle in front of Cena before they officially announce the rematch for Hell in a Cell. After all, the pay-per-view doesn't take place until October 28, so they have plenty of shows between now then, which is why they didn't dive into HIAC hype tonight. Overall, the show continues to drag due to the extra hour. I was hoping it would begin to feel like the norm, but I feel it is just too much of an investment to ask the average fan to make every Monday. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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