11/5 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Ryback and John Cena vs. C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler, big Survivor Series changes, Brad Maddox makes first appearance since Hell in a Cell
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Taped earlier today in Birmingham, England at LG Arena
Please note I will not include spoilers in my live coverage report even though I'm obviously aware of how the show played out earlier today.
[Q1] The show opened with a video recap from last week. The recap featured footage of the Team Foley vs. Team Funk setup, and included a narrator...
Backstage, The Miz asked Paul Heyman what kind of leader abandons his team. Heyman said it's the art of war and the rest of Team Punk better get on the same page. The Miz said he doesn't need Punk or Heyman. "As far as the Survivor Series team is concerned, I quit," Miz said. Heyman looked surprised...
The opening video aired and had a graphic that included the Union Jack flag. There was additional recap footage with the narrator included...
Powell's POV: It sounds like someone has been watching the TNA Impact Wrestling television show. Granted, Impact is hardly the only television show to use a narrator, but this definitely has a similar feel to the way TNA opens their shows.
Michael Cole and Jim Ross were on commentary. Cole noted that there were 12,869 fans in the building...
1. Rey Mysterio, R-Truth, and Sin Cara vs. and Antonio Cesaro and The Prime Time Players. Mysterio was the only babyface to get a televised entrance. The heels received televised entrances. Tout videos with Cesaro and Truth were shown. They don't like each other. The babyface trio was getting the better of Titus O'Neil when the show went to break. [C]
Powell's POV: The normally hot British crowd was pretty flat heading into the break. Getting back to the narrator, it is nice to see WWE do something out of the ordinary even if it does feel TNA inspired. As great as WWE production is, they don't stray from their formula as much as I would like them to.
After the break, the heels worked over Mysterio as he tried to make it to his corner for a hot tag. O'Neil did his seal barking bit.
[Q2] Mysterio got the better of the heels in the corner and then DDT'd Cesaro. Rey made the hot tag to R-Truth, who performed his usual offensive moves before breaking out a new one. He picked up Cesaro in suplex position and then dropped him down face first on his shoulder. Cool move.
A short time later, Sin Cara spun around Cesaro and set him up for Mysterio's 619. Truth followed up with Little Jimmy for the clean pin. Mysterio and Sin Cara did the Millions of Dollars dance to taunt the Players afterward...
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and R-Truth defeated Antonio Cesaro and The Prime Time Players in 10:50.
The announcers spoke about a Twitter war involving John Cena and Vickie Guerrero... [C]
Powell's POV: The crowd isn't mic'd well. I could see them come to life for the finish, but they didn't sound as loud as the typical Raw crowd. The match was fine. They kept two feuds going. It was nice to see R-Truth bust out a new move. He's used the same offense for over a decade now, so that was a pleasant surprise. Meanwhile, I'm hopeful that we'll get a WWE Studios classic origins film that shows Titus O'Neil was actually raised by seals, which would explain his barking noises.
An ad hyped that Jerry Lawler will return to commentary next week... A video recapped the awful John Cena and Vickie Guerrero segment from last week. The announcers spoke at ringside. Ross said Vickie's evidence was said to be "pretty ironclad"...
Vickie Guerrero walked to the ring and received loud boos (no problem with that heat coming through the sound system). Vickie ran through all of the evidence she showed last week as the crowd booed and taunted her. John Cena's entrance music interrupted Vickie.
Cena recalled Vickie saying she wanted to run a clean show. She said that's like saying he's going to learn a new move. "It's not going to happen," Cena said. He asked the crowd whether he has four or five moves and whether his tackles count. Vickie got upset and showed security footage of A.J. entering a hotel room. Cena said it proves nothing.
Vickie showed footage of Cena standing in a bath towel putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign on his door. Cena noted that they were two different cameras and the footage is totally bogus. He said Vickie was manipulating the truth again. Vickie said Cena's lies are exhausting to her. Vickie called out A.J. The live and now loud crowd cheered. "We want A.J." chanted the crowd.
[Q3] A.J. was shown standing backstage with a scowl on her face. She said Vickie doesn't want her to go out there because she would give Vickie the beating of her life and she'd be fired and wouldn't be able to do what she loves to do. Dolph Ziggler showed up and put his arm around A.J. "We all know what you love to do," Ziggler said. Cena left the ring and headed to the back while Vickie cackled...
A WrestleMania 29 video aired to hype that tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday... [C]
Powell's POV: The live crowd made the segment watchable. Vickie's footage didn't even show Cena and A.J. in the same shot. The angle is still weak because no one believes Mr. Nice Guy would lie. Hell, I think most of the crowd thinks he's as asexual as Jared from Subway. By the way, I am so happy that Election Day is tomorrow in the United States. Voting is great and all, but I think most of us are happy because we'll finally get a break from the political ads.
Cole hyped SandyNJReliefFund.org to help with hurricane relief...
Backstage, Paul Heyman told Wade Barrett that Miz is conniving and cowardly. He said that's why Barrett needs someone like him. Barrett said he refused Heyman's offer last week and he was doing so again this week because he doesn't trust him. Barrett reconsidered and said he would do it after all on the condition that Heyman owes him and would put that in writing...
2. Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Damien Sandow). Huge crowd reaction for Bryan. The live crowd is coming through loud and clear. They chanted "Daniel Bryan" and "Yes! Yes! Yes!" No televised entrances for the heels. Sandow attacked Kane from behind. Bryan performed a suicide dive on Sandow. Cody followed up with a Beautiful Disaster kick on the floor. Cody rolled Bryan back inside the ring and hit him with CrossRhodes for the win...
Cody Rhodes defeated Daniel Bryan in 2:00.
After the match, Cody took the mic and boasted that it was an impressive victory by one half of the future tag team champions. Rhodes said Sandow could beat Kane just as easily as he beat Bryan. Kane walked over and grabbed Sandow by the hair and threw him inside the ring. Cole questioned whether they would have the match... [C]
[Q3] 3. Kane (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Damien Sandow (w/Cody Rhodes). The match was joined in progress. Sandow had some offensive moments, but Kane shut them down quickly. The referee sent Bryan and Rhodes to the back. Sandow begged off. Kane punched him in the face. Kane finished him off a short time later with a chokeslam...
Kane defeated Damien Sandow in 3:50 (of television time).
Cole hyped that referee Brad Maddox would tell his side of the story after the break... [C] An ad for WWE Main Event hyped Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett as the featured match...
Powell's POV: Sandow is back to wearing pink tights now that breast cancer awareness month is over. Is it safe to assume that he's pro-cancer? Okay, probably not. The crowd wasn't as into this match. They were flat unless Bryan was involved.
Cole stood in the ring and introduced Brad Maddox, who walked to the ring wearing street clothes. Highlights aired of Maddox low-blowing Ryback at Hell in a Cell. Cole asked if Maddox was working with C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman. Maddox said he was not. He said it was his plan.
"All my life, all I have ever wanted to do is be a WWE Superstar," Maddox said. The fans responded with "Feed Me More" chants. Maddox said he tried to get his foot in the door at WWE for years only to have it closed in his face. He said he's sent tapes to the front office or talent relations, had tryouts, and has been to Raw and Smackdown events. He said he once paid $2,000 for a tryout.
Maddox said that after all of that he was finally given a chance with a developmental contract. Maddox said he apparently wasn't good enough. He questioned whether it's because of his height and size or because he can't flip three times and land on his feet. "You can't wrestle," the fans chanted. Funny. Maddox said his dream didn't die even when WWE officials told him he would never make it to the main roster of WWE.
"I want to be somebody and I don't care how many people tell me I'm nobody," Maddox said. He recalled vowing to himself that he would do whatever it takes to make it to WWE. He said that's why he became a referee. He said that when A.J. called to offer him a job he needed one chance to make an impact. He admitted what he did wasn't right. "That was all me," Maddox said.
[Q5] Maddox said Punk was just as surprised as Ryback and the fans were. He said his actions were driven by his need to be someone. Maddox said he's famous now and people know his name everywhere including England. "My dream is to be a WWE Superstar," he said. "That's why I want a contract and a match with Ryback because at this point nobody is going to forget who Brad Maddox is now."
Vince McMahon's music played and the crowd roared. Vince walked onto the stage and noted that Maddox said he wants a contract and he wants to face Ryback. "It's one thing to want to be famous and another thing to have a death wish," McMahon said. Vince added that he thinks Maddox, Punk, and Heyman were in cahoots.
Vince said he will give Maddox a million dollar contract if he can defeat Ryback on Raw next week. "Now get out of my ring," Vince said. McMahon told the crowd to excuse him for a moment. Vince headed backstage and brought Vickie out with him. He asked if it was okay to give Maddox a contract. "Yes, sir," she answered. He also led her to say that she thinks Maddox was working with Punk and Heyman.
Vince asked Vickie why he wouldn't have Punk "defend his title at Survivor Series against..." Vince answered Dolph Ziggler. He gave her another shot and she correctly stated Ryback's name. Vince said he knew Vickie was thinking that's not good enough. He assumed she was thinking it would be a Triple Threat match. He told her if she said Dolph Ziggler as the third man he would fire her on the spot.
Vickie said John Cena is in the middle of a scandal and isn't the right person. Vince noted that Cena stepped aside so that Ryback could have a title match at Hell in a Cell. Vince stumbled over his words while saying Vickie doesn't always make the popular decisions, but she at times makes the right decisions.
Sheamus made his entrance and shook hands with Vince before heading to the ring. The announcers said Vince threw Survivor Series in complete disarray. Cole said Sheamus would be facing The Miz after the break... [C]
An ad for Tuesday's Super Smackdown television special hyped Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio. The ad also claimed the show would be "live from England"...
Powell's POV: Vince tried to get too cute by working the Vickie angle. There was never a big pop from the live crowd for the Triple Threat announcement even though it's a big match and the crowd seems hot for Ryback. Thus, the announcement left something to be desired. Meanwhile, how will Smackdown be live from England with the time difference? Has anyone bothered to tell the Birmingham fans that they will be going to Smackdown in the middle of the night? That's totally disingenuous and unnecessary. Finally, Maddox's promo was nothing special.
4. Sheamus vs. The Miz. Big Show joined the announcers on commentary. Shemaus controlled the majority of the early offense.
[Q6] Sheamus did the forearm slams on Miz as the crowd chanted along. Sheamus was distracted by Big Show momentarily, which allowed Miz to grab control of the match heading into a commercial break. [C]
After the break, Miz was still in control. Show said he humbled and changed Sheamus by beating him. Sheamus fought back as Show and Cole bickered and Ross tried to call the match. Sheamus performed a battering ram shoulder block for a two count. Miz caught Sheamus with a DDT for a two count.
Later, Sheamus avoided a Skull Crushing Finale from Miz and dropped him with White Noise. The crowd chanted for the Brogue Kick. Sheamus pounded his chest to encourage the chants and then nailed the Brogue Kick for the win. Afterward, Big Show stood up and held the title belt above his head to taunt Sheamus...
Sheamus pinned The Miz in 14:40.
Cole hyped Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Hvt. Championship at Survivor Series...
Powell's POV: It would be easier to buy that Sheamus is bothered by losing the title to Big Show if he actually acted like it upset him in any way. He was all smiles last week and he's all smiles this week despite losing his strap. The fans just don't buy Miz when he's wrestling a top guy. It's not his fault. He's lost so many matches that people don't view him as a threat to main eventers.
[Q7] Backstage, Dolph Ziggler stood outside Vince McMahon's office. Vickie walked out of the office and told Ziggler that he is leading Punk's old Survivor Series team. Punk showed up and said the only reason Ziggler is the captain of the team now is because "this cranky old bastard is trying to screw me." Vickie booked Punk and Ziggler vs. Cena and Ryback as the Raw main event. Punk and Ziggler were not pleased...
Ross hyped the tag team main event. "We'll have it in it's entirety live tonight," Ross said...
Powell's POV: A Cranky Vince shout out from Punk? By the way, Chris Shore and Jake Barnett will be covering the Smackdown special as it airs tomorrow night. In fact, they'll be writing their reports while sitting right next to you on your living room couch!!! Hey, if WWE can lie about Raw being live tonight and Smackdown airing live tomorrow night then I think we're allowed to embellish a little too.
A video for "Fandangoo" aired. It featured the words Fabulous, Angelic, Noble, Dapper, Astonishing, Naughty, Graceful, Opulent, and Outstanding. A voice asked, "Do you mind if I cut in?"...
Powell's POV: I think I ordered movie tickets from that guy.
Backstage, Sheamus spoke with William Regal, who shook his hand. Sheamus thanked Regal for helping him from day one. Sheamus said he's going to get his World Hvt. Championship back...
Highlights aired from earlier in the show of the John Cena, Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler, and A.J. segment...
Eve and Aksana made their entrances. Cole said Divas tag action was coming up after the break... [C]
5. Eve and Aksana and vs. Layla and Kaitlyn. Layla did her comedy spot of slamming her ass into Aksana's face. The crowd didn't seem to care.
[Q8] Late in the match, Kaitlyn performed clotheslines and a shoulder block on Eve. The tag partners got involved, but they were cleared from the ring. Kaitlyn hit a reserve DDT on Eve and pinned her...
Layla and Kaitlyn defeated Eve and Aksana in 4:55.
Powell's POV: There was polite applause for the finish. Yes, I'm being polite by saying the crowd was polite. The British fans must be rubbing off on me.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio was talking with Ricardo Rodriguez about Ziggler becoming team captain. Del Rio and turned and bumped into Rosa Mendes. She apologized. He said no problem. They had a moment... [C]
Powell's POV: Are Primo and Epico about to lose the best part of their act? It will be worth it if it results in Ricardo getting jealous and trying to show up Rosa.
6. Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a non-title match. Footage aired of Del Rio brawling with Randy Orton on Smackdown. A few minutes into the match, Del Rio whipped Kingston into the guardrail and then slid him back inside the ring.
[Q9] Del Rio went for the Cross Armbreaker at 6:45, but Kofi avoided it and hit the SOS for a good near fall. Kofi followed up with a missed cross body block attempt. Del Rio motioned for the Cross Arm Breaker. Randy Orton's music played. Del Rio turned his attention to the stage. Kingston rolled up Del Rio and pinned him. After the match, Orton hit the ring and dropped Del Rio with an RKO...
Kofi Kingston defeated Alberto Del Rio in 7:45.
Powell's POV: The match gave the Intercontinental Champion a win and built to the Orton vs. Del Rio falls count anywhere match that will air on Smackdown tomorrow.
Highlights aired from earlier in the show of the Brad Maddox promo and Vince McMahon's appearance... Santino Marella and Zack Ryder made their entrance... A WrestleMania video aired... [C]
Powell's POV: There's a little Eric and Garett Bischoff in Maddox, but he's also a cheesy mustache away from being a younger Joey Ryan.
7. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder vs. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa). The announcers said Jerry Lawler loves Rosa and claims to understand everything she says. The cameras showed her jiggling at ringside.
[Q10] Late in the match, Santino pulled out the Cobra and struck Epico for the win.
Santino Marella and Zack Ryder beat Primo and Epico.
Powell's POV: Rosa got more love during this match than she has since she made TMZ for the airport incident. Ross mocked Cole for explaining why Santino and Ryder are called Team CoBro. After the match, Cole said you have to love Team CoBro. "I do?" Ross asked. I guess I'm not alone in not getting a kick out of WWE's comedy duo.
8. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) vs. Wade Barrett. Clay did his full entrance. The crowd cheered for local boy Barrett when he made his entrance and stuck with him throughout the match. Cameron and Naomi covered their ears as the crowd booed Clay's offense. Barrett performed an impressive swinging sidewalk slam on Clay. Later, Barrett finishing off Clay with The Souvenir elbow...
Wade Barrett defeated Brodus Clay in 3:00.
Powell's POV: It's cool to hear Barrett get the hero's welcome for his homecoming. The crowd seems to be giving him the reaction that is normally reserved for William Regal. Barrett continues to impress and seems to finally shaken off the negative effects of the losing streak he went on following the Nexus breakup. Granted, he doesn't get that type of a reaction every week, but he's definitely over again. It should be fun to see how the crowd reacts to his match with Sheamus on Main Event this week. Barrett set it up last week by pointing out that he'd have the home field advantage.
[Q11] [C] The announcers hyped the return of Jerry Lawler for next week. Ross said The King belongs at the broadcast table...
9. Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal) vs. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso). Cole noted that Drew McIntyre was not there, but he didn't explain why. Both teams had full introductions. Late in the match, Uso went for a top rope splash, but Slater got his knees up. Slater came back with the Smash Hit DDT for the win.
Heath Slater defeated Jey Uso in 3:55.
Powell's POV: 3MB are more over than the Uso Brothers. You can't blame the Uso's since it's not like they get any love on Raw. I'm not sure why WWE doesn't do more with them in the tag division. This was a crowd killer. I still like Slater as a lovable loser, but I'm not sure what they're going for with the 3MB.
The announcers hyped the WWE '13 video game and the main event... [C]
[Q12] C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman made their entrance. Cole noted that Punk will tie Diesel's reign next Monday for the ninth longest reign in the 50-year history of the title. Ross said it might be the last Raw that Punk has the title because he will face Ryback and John Cena at Survivor Series.
Punk took the mic and spoke of being falsely accused of having Brad Maddox help him at Hell in a Cell. Punk said he's set the bar at an unattainable level during his 351-day title reign. He promised that he would celebrate 364 days as WWE Champion at Survivor Series. Dolph Ziggler made his entrance minus Vickie Guerrero.
The announcers hyped the pay-per-view lineup. They questioned who would replace Ryback on Team Foley for the Survivor Series match against Team Ziggler. John Cena made his entrance to mostly boos. Ryback was out last to a babyface reaction. Cole hyped that Ryback has been a loaner, but he is teaming with someone for the first time. Ross questioned how they would coexist... [C]
10. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman) and Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback and John Cena. Ross said this was the last main event he expected to see when he came to work. Punk and Cena started the match. Punk and Ziggler spent the opening minutes getting the better of Cena while Ryback waited for a tag.
[Overrun] Ross noted that this was Cena's first (televised) match back in several weeks and said it made sense for the heels to isolate him. Cena performed an Attitude Adjustment on Punk at 5:20. He crawled toward his corner, but Punk tagged in Ziggler, who prevented Cena from making the tag.
Ziggler put Cena down with the Fameasser, but he was only able to get a two count. Ziggler griped to the referee and then tagged Punk into the match at 6:35. There was an brief yet audible "Feed Me More" chant.
Ryback finally tagged into the match at 9:10. Ryback worked over Punk and cut off an attempted attack by Ziggler. Ryback pressed Dolph over his head and dropped him on Punk. He cleared Ziggler from the ring and set up in the corner while the crowd chanted Feed Me More.
Ryback struck Punk with the Meathook Clothesline and followed up with Shellshocked. Ryback pinned Punk clean. Cena looked up from ringside with a surprised look on his face. Cena entered the ring while Ryback was leading the crowd in Feed Me More chants. Cena and Ryback stared at one another and Cena seemed to show concern while Ryback led the Feed Me More chants to close the show...
Ryback and John Cena defeated C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler in 10:20.
Powell's POV: A well executed main event. Ross told the story of Cena returning from the injured list (which should have been a big focus from Cena and the heels going into the match) and thus it didn't seem odd for him to sell. More importantly, it built to the hot tag perfectly and limited Ryback's involvement in the match. Textbook stuff.
Yes, the show dragged because of the extra hour, but the hotter than usual crowd helped soften the blow by keeping the energy level high whenever they were given something worth cheering. The new Survivor Series lineup looks much stronger than where things were headed before they shook things up. Thanks for watching along with me tonight...
Join us on Tuesday afternoon for ongoing coverage of the WWE Smackdown taping spoilers and/or live coverage from Chris Shore and Jake Barnett as the show airs live on Tuesday night.
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