10/22 Shore's WWE Raw live coverage: The final Raw before Hell in a Cell, AJ meets with the Board of Directors, Kane vs. Big Show, and the finals of the tag team tournament
By Chris Shore
WWE Raw on USA
Aired Live from East Rutherford, NJ.
[Q1] The show opened immediately with Rey Mysterio's music and Michael Cole and Jim Ross welcomed us to Raw. Cole hyped AJ's meeting with the Board of Directors as Rey made his entrance. Sin Cara made his entrance with a video showing their semi-final match. Rhodes Scholars were out together as their semi-final match clip was show…
1. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Rhodes Scholars in the finals of the tag team number one contenders' tournament. Sin Cara and Cody Rhodes started. Both partners got in quickly, and Rey setup Sandow for the 619. Cody helped him escape, but both masked men hit dives on the floor. Sin Cara tagged in and hit a double rope moonsault, but missed the next crossbody attempt. Cara played the babyface in peril as JR gave a history lesson on tag teams. Dear God I forget how great he can be. Cara hit an enziguri on Sandow to go into break…[C]
Back from commercial, Cara took the Elbow of Despair, but he kicked out and got the hot tag to Rey. Rey hit 619 on both men and then the splash on Cody. Sandow stopped the count with his body. Cara hit a kick on Sandow and Rey kicked him to the floor. Cara followed, and Cody recovered and hit the CrossRhodes for the win.
Rhodes Scholars defeated Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio and will challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championships at Hell in a Cell at 11:16.
[Q2] Post-match, Kane and Daniel Bryan appeared on the screen. They congratulated Rhodes Scholars and asked if they could win the titles at Hell in a Cell before answering their own question with "Hell no." Kane said he wanted to do some magic and made Bryan disappear by dragging him away by the beard. Kane popped his pyro in the ring as the announce team sold the match at the PPV…[C]
Shore's Slant: Really good match. I'm looking forward to what these two teams can do together at the PPV, and hopefully they can have a good feud. The two teams seem to be perfect foils for each other. Could be crap. Could be synergistic.
Kofi Kingston made his ring entrance. Miz was introduced on commentary…
2. Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty. Miz complained about having to face Ryback later and said he would get his title back in six days. Kofi hit a surprise Trouble in Paradise to win…
Kofi Kingston defeated Michael McGillicutty at 2:27.
A video recapped the contract signing last week…[C]
Shore's Slant: This is a prime example of what WWE is doing so poorly right now. They do just enough to remind everyone there is an Intercontinental Championship match on the PPV, but it isn't real hype. It's just lip service. If you want main event players you have to build them in the mid-card.
[Q3] Members of the New York Giants football team were announced and show… John Cena made his ring entrance to a mixed reaction, even for the cheap pop of mentioning WrestleMania. Cena said that at Hell in a Cell, Punk delivers on his promise of change. Cena got the crowd chanting, "Feed me more" and put over Ryback. He said this Sunday, the face of WWE will change.
CM Punk's music hit and he came to the ramp while Heyman held the belt up. Punk said the Giants suck to get the cheap heat and then said he had been champion for 337 days, which was change you could believe in.
Shore's Slant: Wait. Am I watching the debate?
Punk said he knew the reason Punk let Ryback go in front of him, because Cena couldn't beat Punk. Punk said after the PPV he would still be champion, but he did like Cena's new role as cheerleader for Ryback. Cena announced he was medically clear, and challenged Punk to come to the ring right then. Punk did, with Heyman in tow freaking out. Punk took off his shirt and climbed on the apron. Heyman finally talked him out of it and they walked to the back…
Shore's Slant: Good segment. I wonder if Ryback moves on to Cena after this thing with Punk because Cena is jealous or upset or something. He said what he said on purpose, so what's the angle. Guess we will have to keep watching.
[Q4][C] Antonio Cesaro finished his entrance as the show came back…
3. Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel. Cesaro went to the floor as soon as the bell rang and cut a promo in one of his non-English languages. He turned around and Gabriel hit a dive. Cesaro took control when they rolled back in the ring. Cole pointed out Cesaro is wrestling with torn tendons in his right hand. Both men battled on the top rope. Gabriel hit a kick to the head and Cesaro fell back. Gabriel followed with the 450 splash for the win…
Justin Gabriel defeated Antonio Cesaro in 5:00.
Backstage, a limo pulled up. Vince McMahon got out, and then AJ followed him, looking unhappy…[C]
Shore's Slant: Here's the corner they have painted themselves into. Because Cesaro has had a weak title run after beating a comedy champion, this win means nothing for Gabriel. It's just guys trading wins in the under card. You have three hours to fill. Why don't you actually use the time for something productive?
Back from commercial, Vince and AJ were already in the ring. Vince was smiling and AJ was stone faced. Vince said she met with the board for several hours today and was here to give the results in her own words. AJ said due to allegations of her fraternization with a wrestler on the roster, she is resigning as GM. She said the allegations weren't true, but she knew she could have been fired for any of the decisions she made so she agreed to resign.
AJ said some people might consider her mentally unstable, but she thinks some people just like crazy chicks. She gave a sob story about growing up in NJ, living in cars and even being homeless, but she made it to the boss. She said she never thought she would be anything, but the fans accepted her.
[Q5] AJ thanked the fans because she loved every minute of it. She thanked Vince for giving her a chance that nobody else would. They hugged, and Paul Heyman walked out talking and drew instant heat. He said he didn't know AJ's story before tonight, and it is sad, but business is business and business tonight was about the GM of Raw. Heyman said that the board had to make a decision immediately to replace the GM, and put over all the reasons why he should be the choice.
Vince leaned in real close and simply said, "No." He introduced a person he said was not the General Manager or interim General Manager, the person was the "managing Supervisor" of Raw. He said, "Vickie Guerrero" and the place rained boos as Vickie came out. Vickie screamed into the microphone to be heard, and thanked the board for their confidence.
Heyman interrupted her and laid it on thick with her. He asked her to reverse Vince's decision and give CM Punk his choice at Hell in a Cell back. Vickie cut him off and said the match would stand, and Punk would face Sheamus in a Champion vs. Champion match. She went on to say it would be the biggest lumberjack match in WWE history. Heyman stormed off screaming to himself.
Vickie turned her venom on AJ and said she knew AJ wasn't cut out for the job. She said AJ didn't just fraternize with a Superstar, she had an affair. She told AJ to get out of her ring. AJ started to leave, but turned around and attacked Vickie. They brawled all over the ring, even tearing each other's clothes a little. Vickie escaped first and left the ring area. AJ's music played…[C]
Shore's Slant: So we get a new GM, but they change the name, and we use a nebulous affair story to get us there. Wow. This is really weak.
[Q6] Ryback and Miz made their entrances. Miz yelled at the ref that he didn't want to have the match. Ryback came over and dragged him in over the top rope…
4. Ryback vs. Miz. A "Goldberg" chant broke out for just a moment. Ryback immediately shove Miz to the floor. Do you want him in the ring or out of it? Miz got in no offense and Ryback hit Shell Shock for the win…
Ryback squashed Miz at 2:32.
A Be a Star video aired…The announce team hyped the main event…[C]
Shore's Slant: This is where the three hour format starts to drag. Also, way to take all the heat off Miz going into Sunday. No wonder they didn't do anything to build that feud in the first hour. They killed it right here.
Backstage, Eve ran down AJ as a whore on the phone with someone. Kaitlyn walked up and said Eve shouldn't be talking about anyone being unprofessional. Eve asked what she meant and Kaitlyn showed her the picture she took on her phone from Smackdown last Friday. Kaitlyn said it was the email that Eve sent to set Kaitlyn up for the attack. Eve said she was going to tell Booker T, and Kaitlyn told her to drop the act, they all knew she was still a witch.
Eve slapped Kaitlyn and they brawled onto the snack table. Layla ran up and broke up the fight. She jumped on Eve then, and all three brawled until the refs came and broke it up…
[Q7] Josh Matthews interview Sheamus, who had a Brawling Buddy doll. Sheamus put over his match with Punk for later and started selling cereal while talking about Big Show. Show walked up and knocked the doll out of Sheamus's hands. He told Sheamus to get serious because he was going to fly across the room just like his doll…Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance…[C]
Shore's Slant: So now we have to find out who the person Eve used was so we can get a tag match with the four women? Has to be. Good intensity by Big Show. I'm really liking his serious character. The problem is he makes Sheamus look even more like the Lucky Charms mascot.
Dolph Ziggler got the jobber entrance with no Vickie Guerrero…
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler. The announce team told us that Vickie won't be accompanying Dolph to the ring due to her new position. Well, that's one plus from that awful segment. Ziggler kicked Bryan to the floor and Bryan sold the knee being hurt. Kane's pyro popped and he headed toward the ring…[C]
[Q8] Back from commercial, Bryan hit a nasty looking drop kick in the corner. He continued to sell the knee, and Ziggler kicked his leg to take control. He whipped Bryan to the corner and charged. Bryan moved, and Ziggler went for a Stinger splash but flew over the top rope. Bryan hit a suicide dive on the floor and rolled Ziggler back in the ring. He slowly climbed to the top, and Ziggler ran up and caught him there for a super sitout facebuster for a great near fall.
Bryan hit a knockout kick for a near fall, and Kane got the fans clapping for Bryan. They started chanting "Yes" and Bryan flipped out. He ran over to Kane and climbed the turnbuckle and yelled at him to stop. Ziggler ran up and hit the Zig Zag from the second rope for the win…
Dolph Ziggler defeated Daniel Bryan at 14:01.
Post-match, Kane and Bryan argued in the ring and Matt Striker came out, yelling at them to stop. He said Vickie sent him out to be the host of a unique game show and that their opponents would be Rhodes Scholars and it would be next….[C]
Shore's Slant: Solid TV match from two guys who can flat go. I even like how they got out of the match without hurting either guy. A rare win for WWE. Of course now they want to go and mess it all up with some stupid game show.
A video recapped AJ's resignation and Vickie's announcement…
[Q9] Kane and Daniel Bryan sat in chairs in the ring as the "Newlywed Game" theme played. Striker announced it as the Newly-tagged Game. He started to go through introductions, but Kane cut him off. Striker told them to tell the fans something about themselves. Both men did a comedy bio and started arguing again.
Rhodes Scholars' music hit and they came to the ramp. Sandow said they were not going to participate in the very drivel that they are there to end. Cody said they would know them as well as they know each other when Rhodes Scholars wins the tag titles at Hell in a Cell. They left, and Kane said the game show was a bust. Striker announced them as the winners, and Bryan celebrated, but way over the top. Kane decided to go after Striker, so Striker split. He backed up the ramp and said he wasn't pulling for Hell No on Sunday. Big Show came out and tossed Striker to the end of the ramp and stormed to the ring…[C]
Shore's Slant: What the f--- was that!
6. Kane (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Big Show. The match was joined in progress. Kane had Show staggered, but Rhodes Scholars came out. Kane and Bryan watched them, which allowed Show to knockout Kane for the win…
Big Shoe defeated Kane at 5:31
[Q10] Post-match, Rhodes Scholars beat up Bryan and rolled him in the ring where team Hell No both sold…Backstage, Santino Marella told AJ he thought she did a good job. John Cena walked up. He said id there was anything he could ever do for her, he would. AJ said thanks, and she did a lot of things that should have gotten her fired, but not this.
Cena said she gave up, she should give him a name and he would talk to the person and then AJ could clear her name. AJ said the person was Cena. Cena acted stunned. She said that was why she resigned, she didn’t want to drag his name into it. Cena asked if it was from the business dinner and AJ said she didn't know. She said she thought it was Vickie and cried on Cena's chest. Cena said he would take care of it…[C]
Shore's Slant: OK, this seems pretty obvious that AJ is going to swerve Cena later on, but I'm OK with it. I'm a little stunned WWE would do this story so soon after Cena's divorce where allegations of unfaithfulness came up, but this could be fun to watch. I still hate how they got there, but I see a possibility for something more than garbage now.
Backstage, Cena walked up to Vince and asked him what was going on. Vince said this was neither the time or the place. Cena pushed him on it and he said there was some incriminating evidence. Cena pressed him on that and Vince said it didn't matter, AJ was on probation and was probably going to get fired anyway. Cena asked about Vickie getting the job, and Vince said he didn’t even know what a "managing supervisor" was, but it was what it was. He climbed in the limo and left…
7. Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez). Ryder missed the Broski Boot and Del Rio attacked the arm. He used the cross-armbreaker for the submission win. Post-match, he locked it back on again and screamed into a microphone for Orton to tap…
Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder at 2:42.
Backstage, Cena threw the moving guy out of Vickie's office and got in her face. He called her a backstabbing liar and Vickie said perception was everything. Cena said he cost AJ a job she loved. Vickie said Cena asked her out on a date on Raw and then they had one. She said he was the one who cost AJ her job…
Shore's Slant: I have no idea where they are going with this Cena thing as far as him, but I have to admit, I'm intrigued. Can't remember the last time I said that about Cena. WrestleMania? Maybe?
[Q11][C] Josh Matthews introduced Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler said he hated what happened to AJ, but she can't put her hands on people or fraternize with talent. He said at the end of the day, Cena was the one who really cost AJ her job. He said he was surprised because he thought AJ would have had better taste…
Shore's Slant: That was totally random and could not have felt more forced. Ziggler had no chance to make that work. I realize he's associated with Vickie, but that was too much too soon for the story.
A Ryback hype video, that I am sure I will see again Wednesday night on Main Event, aired. Backstage, Punk and Heyman were shown watching it. Heyman told him not to let that get in his head. Punk said that didn’t matter, it was more disrespect that he was put in a lumberjack match the week before Hell in a Cell. Heyman told him not to worry about that. He said when they go live next Monday, everyone is going to have to deal with the fact that CM Punk is still the WWE Champion, and there was no doubt that he was the best in the world…The lumberjacks made their collective entrance… [C]
Shore's Slant: Boy, it sure does feel like they are setting this up for a Ryback win. I can't imagine they will do that, but it sure does feel like they are going that way. Well done.
CM Punk and Sheamus made their ring entrances…
[Q8] 8. CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Sheamus in the largest lumberjack match in WWE history. There were 30 lumberjacks at ringside. Hard to believe they have that many on roster as thin as this roster is. Sheamus got thrown out first in front of heels, and they backed away and let him get in the ring. Punk was thrown out next in front of the same group. He got chesty with them, so they rolled him back in.
Later, Punk got tossed out in front of babyfaces and they rolled him back in the ring, while Sheamus was tossed out in front of the same heels as before and they attacked him before rolling him back in the ring. Punk scored a two count off the attack…[C]
Back from commercial, Punk stayed in control and tossed Sheamus to the floor again. The lumberjacks almost got in a fight with each other and heels and babyfaces argued over Sheamus. Cole mentioned Big Show's 45 second title reign and Show basically threatened to kill him. Sheamus suddenly powered back and hit a couple of clotheslines. He started his comeback, but Punk broke it up with a high knee for two.
[Overrun] Punk went to the top, but Sheamus caught him there with a superplex for two. Punk came right back with the drop toe hold into the second rope, which was how he won their match on the first Main Event. He got a two count here. Sheamus went for the elbow from the top, but Sheamus moved and followed with the Irish Curse for two.
Punk shoved Sheamus away and Sheamus fell to the floor. He jumped up and beat up all the lumberjacks and slid in the ring. He immediately hit the White Noise and set up for the Brogue kick. For no reason except Sheamus hit back, Antonio Cesaro jumped in the ring and took the Brogue kick. Somebody else took one, but Punk ducked his. Show was on the apron and grabbed Sheamus by the throat. He chokeslammed him and Punk covered for three.
CM Punk defeated Sheamus at 18:11.
As soon as the bell rang, Ryback's music hit. He came to the ring and Punk tried to run. The lumberjacks rolled him back in the ring and Ryback hit a running powerslam. Punk tried to run again, but they rolled him back in for a popup powerbomb. Punk tried to roll away a third time, but they rolled him back in again and Ryback hit his finisher to end the show…
Shore's Slant: A good match from Punk and Sheamus that suffered from everyone expecting the lumberjacks to get involved, or someone to run out during the match. I'm surprised by Cena's story not going any farther tonight, but I am also intrigued to see where it goes. I don't think this show did a very good job of selling the PPV, however, so a mixed bag of results. This was not the worst three hour episode of Raw, but it was still too long with too much meaningless filler. I'll have more to say tomorrow on the Hitlist, and later tonight for the Members' Exclusive audio review. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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