11/19 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: C.M. Punk celebrates 365 days as WWE Champion, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and additional Survivor Series followup
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members were told in the November 1 Dot Net Weekly audio show that NXT call ups were planned before the end of 2012. They listened to the 87-minute audio review of WWE Survivor Series today, and will be listening to Jason Powell's audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Dayton, Ohio at Wright State University's Nutter Center
[Q1] The show opened with the narrated recap that questioned who was behind the assault on Ryback... Ryback's music played and he headed to the ring. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary. Cole said you have to believe Ryback is seething because of the attack at Survivor Series. Lawler said the three men who attacked Ryback are "goofs" and said they had to be "idiots" to do what they did.
Ryback went to the ring and said his hunger cannot be suppressed. He said he is a predator and Punk and his three men are his prey. He challenged them all to come out and face him in the ring. He said if they don't oblige he will "tear this damn place apart until I find each and every one of you." Ryback started a "Feed Me More" chant.
Vickie Guerrero walked out and said Ryback had his chance at the WWE Championship and he blew it. She said he will be subject to a fine and suspension if he causes any chaos. She said she enjoys the way he destroys people and said she wanted to find out how big his appetite really is...
1. Ryback vs. Tensai. Tensai headed to the ring and Vickie left. Tensai got some offense in, but he failed to get a one count when he went for a cover. Ryback came back with a power slam. Ryback clotheslined Tensai to ringside and went after him. "Give me Punk," Ryback said before throwing Tensai into the barrier.
Ryback threw Tensai back inside the ring and pumped his arm to get a Feed Me More chant going. Ryback performed the Meathook Clothesline and followed up with Shellshocked for the win...
Ryback pinned Tensai in 3:35.
Backstage, Sheamus yelled at a referee. Cole said Sheamus has a lot to get off his chest and he plans to call out Big Show... The announcers hyped C.M. Punk's one-year celebration as WWE Champion... Shots aired of Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett. The announcers said they would be in action in a non-title match after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The Ryback match was not a squash from start to finish. Tensai got some offense in, but Ryback never looked like he was vulnerable. The live crowd is definitely into the Feed Me More chants. It will be interesting to see whether the newcomers eventually draw his attention away from C.M. Punk or if there's more to come with them at TLC. I wouldn't read anything into Lawler referring to Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns as goofs and idiots. He was trying to establish that it's crazy for anyone to mess with Ryback.
A graphic boasted that WWE 13 was the No. 1 sports title and beat out Madden, FIFA, and NBA 2K13...
Ring entrances for the opening match took place. Cole noted that Team Foley "came up just a little bit short" at Survivor Series. He added that Barrett eliminated Kofi from the match with the Bull Hammer elbow.
[Q2] Footage aired of Barrett saying it's embarrassing that Kofi Kingston is walking around with the Intercontinental Title...
1. Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett in a non-title match. After some punching and kicking basics that seemed to lessen the crowd's interest, the show cut to commercial. [C] Barrett remained on the offensive after the break. Kofi started to make his comeback and the fans picked up.
Kingston caught Barrett with a dropkick and the announcers praised Barrett for being savvy enough to roll out of the ring. Kingston had a good flurry of offense and got a two count after a high cross body block. Barrett worked over Kingston's eye repeatedly and finished him off with the Bull Hammer Elbow...
Wade Barrett pinned Kofi Kingston in 12:35 in a non-title match.
Powell's POV: I was hoping that Barrett was heading for to the Smackdown main events. An Intercontinental Title program isn't what I had in mind for him at this point, but he and Kingston could do a lot to raise its prestige. I like the story they told with Barrett going after Kingston's eye. The announcers did a really good job of focussing on that consistently and using that to explain why Barrett was victorious.
[Q3] The announcers spoke at ringside about C.M. Punk retaining the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. They set up a video that recapped the Brad Maddox storyline... Cole and Lawler directed viewers to The Brad Maddox Experience video on Youtube...
Paul Heyman walked through the backstage area with a giant photo of C.M. Punk holding up the WWE Championship. He told people backstage to call their friends "if you have any" because of the celebration he has planned. Punk came out wearing an "I'm a Paul Heyman Guy" t-shirt and the mutual admiration was on.
Matt Striker showed up and solemnly asked Punk and Heyman about the controversial finish at Survivor Series and whether there's any association with Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns. Heyman said they will play Punk's celebration on the 2,000th episode of Raw. Heyman said everyone is invited, even Ryback. Punk was concerned about the Ryback invitation... [C]
Powell's POV: They are doing a good job of building up the Punk celebration. It's a nice hook to keep viewers watching, especially since they are teasing Ryback's involvement. The biker from the Village People called Matt Striker and he wants his mustache back. #movember
2. Kaitlyn vs. Aksana. The announcers explained that Aksana attacked Kaitlyn prior to her match at Survivor Series. Kaitlyn picked up Aksana and dropped her on her knee (her finisher) to get the win...
The announcers hyped Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio in a best of three falls match... [C]
Powell's POV: This Divas match was clunky and awkward at times. The live crowd was flat during the match, but they did cheer when Kaitlyn won. It will be interesting to see whether anything happens with Orton during the best of three falls match that suggests a heel turn. The looks Mick Foley gave Orton when he failed to put away Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series was interesting. For those who didn't catch the show, Orton had Ziggler down, but rather than put him away he backed into the corner and went for the punt kick. Ziggler saw it coming and superkicked him for the win.
[Q4] An ad aired for "The Soup Meets WWE" for Wednesday night...
3. Antonio Cesaro vs. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) in a non-title match. R-Truth sat in on commentary. He said Little Jimmy wasn't with him. Clay missed a splash off the second rope. Cesaro performed a twisting uppercut off the second rope and put Clay away with the Neutralizer...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Brodus Clay in 2:30.
Powell's POV: I was hoping that it was a one and done for Cesaro and Truth. Cesaro won clean at the pay-per-view and I was hoping for something
A video showcased John Cena's 300th wish with Make-A-Wish. The mother of a late child who was Cena's second wish sung his praises. "He gave my child something that nobody else could have," she said...
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero was shown talking with an unidentified man and woman. Cole said she has more allegations regarding Cena and A.J. after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Wow, what touching comments. I don't care how much you dislike Cena's character, you have to respect that. The timing of the Vickie skit was poor. It doesn't make her seem more ruthless because it aired after the Make-A-Wish video, it just looks tacky.
An ad for Smackdown questioned whether Big Show or Sheamus is the World Hvt. Champion...
Powell's POV: I normally bitch about these videos airing after viewers have already been told who won the pay-per-view title match, but at this point it's just good to see a Smackdown ad on Raw again.
A video recapped the Vickie, A.J., and Tamina segment from the pay-per-view... Vickie headed to the ring with the unidentified man and woman.
[Q5] The crowd was fairly quiet as Vickie walked to the ring, but they let her have it with booing once she started to talk on the mic. She said she was going to lay doubt to rest because she has eyewitnesses. She introduced Wendy Smith, a waitress from a hotel restaurant in Sacramento.
Wendy said Cena and A.J. requested a private table in the back. She said they were very touchy-feely and it looked like they were discussing more than just business. She introduced Doug Brady, a parking attendant, who said Cena and A.J. were parked in a parking lot for over and hour. He claimed a father complained to him about what his family saw Cena and A.J. doing.
A.J's music played and she came to the ring. A.J. said she doesn't know who the people were or how much Vickie paid them, but she's sick of her attempt to create a scandal. A.J. told Vickie that if she wants to fire her so bad then she should fire her. "If not, then do everyone a favor and shut the hell up," A.J. said. The crowd cheered. Vickie said A.J. can't accept the truth.
John Cena's music played and he headed to the ring. Vickie's witnesses left the ring. Cena said everything Vickie was doing was a load of crap that Vickie was using to give people something to talk about. Cena turned to A.J. and said he hopes she doesn't mind. Cena then shared a kiss. Cena tried to talk to Vickie again, but A.J. grabbed him and kissed him again.
Dolph Ziggler hit the ring and attacked Cena. Cena fought back and went for the Attitude Adjustment. Ziggler escaped and left the ring. Cena stepped awkwardly as he went to chase Ziggler. Cena hobbled as he chased Ziggler to the back...
The announcers hyped Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow for later in the show. A shot aired of Randy Orton walking backstage. Lawler said the Orton vs. Del Rio best of three falls match was up next... [C]
Powell's POV: The first Cena and A.J. kiss was well received in the building. There were a lot of squealing from the female fans, and I have to say that I was embarrassed for a few of the grown ass men who were jumping up and down in delight. The second kiss didn't get as much of a reaction, though the fans may have been focussed on Ziggler running out to spare us all from the public display of affection. Here's hoping this means the weekly Vickie allegations are finished. Cena definitely took a wrong step. It's hard to say whether he was seriously injured or just tweaked something.
4. Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a best of three falls match.
[Q6] Del Rio lost the first fall when he slammed Orton's arm into the ring post repeatedly and ignored the ref's count. Randy Orton won the first fall in 3:20. [C] Orton fired back after the break, but Del Rio locked in the Cross Arm Breaker and Orton tapped. Del Rio won the second fall by submission.
The referee checked on Orton to see if he could continue. Orton told him to ring the bell for the third fall. Later, the ref caught Ricardo getting involved and sent him to the back. Orton watched Ricardo and took a Backstabber from Del Rio for a good two count. Del Rio struck the Viper's Pose. Orton came back with a hanging DDT and then performed the Viper's Pose himself.
Orton went for the RKO, but Del Rio slipped out of it and applied the Cross Arm Breaker. Orton rolled Del Rio into a pinning position for a two count. Del Rio went for the kick in the corner and missed. Orton hit the RKO and got the pin. Orton pinned Del Rio to win the third fall.
Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio in a best of three falls match in 13:35.
Powell's POV: The first two falls were simple and effective with Del Rio sacrificing the first fall to injure Orton's arm, which he targeted throughout the remainder of the match. It also helped explain why the falls occurred so quickly. The last fall was the most action packed and the fans were into the near falls and the countering of the big moves. I'm happy Orton won the match because it would have made Ziggler's win at the pay-per-view look less important. Then again, it's not like they've done anything to make Dolph's win feel special tonight.
Highlights aired of the John Cena and A.J. kiss. The announcers noted that Cena's left knee or ankle buckled as he was leaving the ring to chase Ziggler. Backstage, a trainer wrapped Cena's knee as A.J. stood by. The trainer told Cena that he may have torn meniscus. A.J. was concerned. Cena said he was fine...
Powell's POV: So the Cena leg thing was a work? It sure appears it was because I doubt they'd be showing it and working A.J. into the picture. I assume there would be mass panic backstage amongst WWE officials. Does this mean A.J is the Kiss of Death? She does look a little like Rogue from the X-Men movies.
[Q7] [C] A graphic boasted about how WWE has more Twitter followers than you and your entire family or something like that...
The Great Khali was dancing in the ring. Hornswoggle showed up with flowers. Just when I thought it was going to get weird, they showed Primo and Epico. Oh, and Rosa was there too...
5. The Great Khali vs. Primo and Epico in a handicap match. Hornswoggle glared at Rosa. He approached her and she closed her eyes for a kiss. Hornswoggle shot water out of the flowers at her face. Khali hit the Punjabi Plunge on Epico for the win. Khali and Hornswoggled danced...
The Great Khali defeated Primo and Epico in 1:10.
Backstage, Paul Heyman chowed out a guy for not delivering the balloons he wanted for the C.M. Punk celebration... A shot aired of The Miz walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: Insert your own joke here about Rosa having liquid shot in her face. Just in case you thought the wins that other teams have scored over Primo and Epico meant something, WWE is here to remind you that Primo and Epico are main roster jobbers.
6. The Miz vs. David Otunga. King plugged his appearance on Inside Edition, which will air tomorrow. Otunga dominated the first few minutes and Cole put over the clotheslines that Otunga hit Miz with.
[Q8] Miz came back with a sunset flip and a rollup. He fired punches and then hit his big clothesline in the corner. Miz went to the top rope and came down with the old double axe-handle. Miz finished off Otunga with the Skull Crushing Finale...
The Miz defeated David Otunga in 6:05.
Powell's POV: Miz is just as cocky as a babyface as he was as a heel. The Ohio crowd cheered him before and after the match. The fans see a win over Otunga as being equal to a win over a local guy with bad ring gear. Seriously, it doesn't mean anything for anyone mid-card or higher.
The announcers spoke about all of the chairshots Sheamus gave Big Show at the pay-per-view and hyped Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: For a show with so much potential, the first two hours have been very uneventful. I guess they are saving everything for the final hour. There was a time when that approached worked well, but that hasn't been the case during the three-hour Raw era.
Jerry Lawler thanked Outasight for providing the theme song for Survivor Series. It's nice to see Topher Grace launched a music career after "That '70s Show"... Highlights aired of Ryback's promo...
Sheamus brought a chair to the ring. It's like he knows TLC is next month or something. He said that he had something to get off his chest before he knocks the bejesus out of his opponent. He said his feud with Big Show started as two warriors. He said he was okay with coming up short last month, but then Show made it personal by taking out William Regal and then by dragging the referee in front of him at Survivor Series.
The crowd gave Sheamus the "What?" treatment. He said Show has shown what type of person he really is. Sheamus said Show always seems to run away. He said he had a smile on his face after Hell in a Cell. "I'm not smiling anymore," Sheamus said. He called out Show.
Big Show's music played and he hobbled onto the stage. The announcers put over the beating Show took at the pay-per-view. Show said they have nothing to settle. He said he told him he'd knock him out at HIAC and win the championship. Sheamus noted that the chair he brought out was the same one he used at Survivor Series.
[Q9] Show said Sheamus is barbaric like his Irish ancestors and doesn't deserve the title. Damien Sandow's music played and he made his entrance...
7. Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow. Big Show headed backstage as Sandow made his entrance. Cole said referee Scott Armstrong was not cleared to officiate after taking the Brogue Kick. Sheamus got the better of Sandow and dumped him to ringside heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Sandow was on the offensive. Sheamus sold for the next few minutes. Sandow got cocky and played to the crowd. Sheamus slammed him down. The crowd was really flat all match, but they counted along with Sheamus slamming forearms into Sandow's chest.
[Q10] Sheamus performed White Noise and followed up with the Brogue Kick for the win...
Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow in 14:50.
Powell's POV: The early portion of the match was about Sheamus looking confident and dominant. The crowd was pretty flat during the early Sheamus offense and definitely during Sandow's run, but they got up for Sheamus's signature spots down the stretch.
Backstage, Vickie was talking with Tamina when A.J. entered the room. Vickie asked Tamina and A.J. if they had met. A.J. said they are going to get to know each other a lot better. A.J. complained that Vickie sent Dolph out to attack Cena. Vickie laughed at A.J. and Tamina put her arm up. A.J. said Cena is hurt and asked what Vickie was going to do about it. She said if Vickie isn't going to do anything about it then she will...
Powell's POV: What is Vickie going to do about Cena being injured? Dammit, A.J., Vickie's an executive administrator, not a doctor. Where's McCoy when someone finally needs his expertise?
A graphic boasted about that Smackdown show they rarely promote on Raw... The announcers boasted that Smackdown is the No. 1 show on Syfy consistently, then hyped the Punk celebration for later in the show...
Backstage, A.J. was in a rush while Layla tried to talk her down. A.J. got to a locker room door and told Layla to leave her the hell alone. A.J. opened the locker room door. A large group of heels were in the room. She darted toward Dolph Ziggler and asked who he thinks he is.
Dolph told A.J. that she's a dime a dozen. He said she came from nothing and she is nothing. He said that when someone pays attention to her she gloms onto them and makes that person her entire world. She said at the end of the day A.J. is all alone. He said she's now a shell of a woman. He said he's known girls like him all her life and they are all the same. He called her sad, weak, pitiful, trash.
Dolph sat down. A.J. flipped out and attacked Ziggler. John Cena sowed up in the locker room and pulled her off. Cena and Ziggler exchanged blows. Ziggler took a shot at Cena's knee and then ran him into a bathroom stall that fell over. Cena held his knee. A referee called out for a doctor and a trainer... [C]
Powell's POV: Wow, someone on the writing team has some female issues. I really thought this would be a big night for Ziggler following his win over Orton at Survivor Series. Instead, it's nothing more than a prelude to Ziggler losing to Cena. It's as if Ziggler's win over Orton never happened.
[Q11] They recapped the Cena, Ziggler, and A.J. angle in case you missed it three minutes earlier... Josh Mathews said Cena was rushed to the trainers room. He said Cena's previous injury has to be much, much worse. He said Cena appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain...
8. Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio in a non-title match. The Prime Time Players sat in on commentary. Cole informed the Players that the information he was getting was that Rey and Sin Cara would get a title shot if they were victorious in the non-title match. He said it came from Vickie Guerrero. Mysterio and Sin Cara performed divas onto the champs at ringside before the break. [C]
Titus asked Lawler if he took his heart medication before he came out. He said he wasn't going to do CPR on him. He mocked Lawler for saying "wash rag" instead of washcloth.
[Q12] Mysterio got Kane down and went for the top rope splash, but Kane caught him by the throat on the way down. The Players hit the ring to end the match. Mysterio hit 619 on the Players. Kane chokeslammed Titus and Sin Cara performed a Swanton on Young...
Kane and Daniel Bryan fought Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to an apparent no-contest in 11:00.
Powell's POV: Lawler and Young started humoring themselves and Cole had to reign them in. The tag match would have been fine if it occurred earlier, but the building is lifeless and it feels like this is hour six rather than hour three. Here's hoping it's one of those nights when they bore you to near sleep and then close the show with something really hot.
Backstage, Paul Heyman pumped up C.M. Punk about being WWE Champion for 365 days. He said he wants it to be a celebration beyond compare. He guaranteed that no one will tarnish the night for Punk. "My champion, your celebration awaits," Heyman said to a smiling Punk... [C]
The announcers recapped the Cena "injury" and the backstage segment with Ziggler, A.J., and Cena...
Paul Heyman stood in the ring and introduced himself. There were two photos of Punk, and a listing of the longest title reigns set up behind Heyman. The crowd booed Heyman and he asked if it was because they mocked Jerry Lawler last week. He said that fans cry for the Attitude Era and chant ECW at him, but when they give them a taste they don't like it.
Heyman said the WWE Universe can't handle the greatness that stands before them and makes history by raising the bar so high. Heyman said Punk stands head and shoulders above the rest, not just for today, but for all time. Heyman said this is a celebration of "365 glorious days." Heyman introduced Punk as the best in the world.
[Overrun] Punk's music played and he walked out dressed in ring gear, his new Heyman Guy t-shirt, and with the title belt around his waist. Punk bowed at the fans and held his arms victoriously in the air as Heyman stood in the ring and clapped.
Powell's POV: Dot Net reader Tommy Paslaski is at the show. He noted that security was making room for something, and thus he expects a run-in through the crowd.
Heyman acted like he was crying as Punk entered the ring. Lawler said the tears were as real as the heart attack Heyman suffered last week. Punk took the mic and said Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Bret Hart, Undertaker, and The Rock "couldn't do it." He said it's been 365 days, one calendar year, and then pointed to the big screen.
A Punk video played. It recapped the milestones of his year, including when he dropped The Rock with the GTS. The video concluded with a graphic that read "365 Days And Counting." Off mic, Heyman could be heard telling Punk, "You are the best in the world." Punk said it's a special day and a night of celebration. He said it's about looking forward to the future and recognizing his place in history.
Punk said he won't stop until he's at the top of the list. He said his goal is July 25, 2018 on what will be the 355th edition of WWE Main Event on Ion. He said that's when he will pass Bruno Sammartino as the longest reigning champion in WWE history. Heyman said he knew Sammartino when he was a kid and is a fan of Sammartino. Heyman said Bruno could never beat Punk.
Heyman pointed to Hulk Hogan's name below Punk's on the list and said he could never beat Punk. Heyman said another Paul Heyman Guy, Steve Austin, could never beat Punk. Heyman said it will be proven at the Royal Rumble that "not even The Rock can beat C.M. Punk."
Punk thanked Heyman and said people ask him what his most important victory has been. Punk said beating Ryback and John Cena is number one with a bullet because no one thought he could win. He said two people believed he could do it and they were both standing in the ring. Punk said the odds were stacked against him like never before.
Ryback's music played. He came out and headed toward the ring. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose appeared in the same black gear they wore at Survivor Series and attacked Ryback at ringside. Ryback fought them off, but they kept coming. They eventually beat Ryback down and cleared the table at ringside. The trio once again slammed Ryback through the announcers table.
Punk stood in the ring and looked down at them with a serious look on his face. Punk slowly left the ring as Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns entered the ring. Punk walked over to Ryback, looked down, and laughed. Punk held the WWE Championship above his head and yelled, "Best in the World" to close the show...
Powell's POV: A repeat? The storyline wasn't forwarded aside from showing that the trio didn't go after Punk again. The Punk and Heyman celebration mic work was entertaining, but I was hoping for more from Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns. I suppose that's the point and I can live with that, but it sure did suck to sit through a boring three-hour show just to get a repeat angle from the night before. Expectations were high going into the show and it turned out to be post pay-per-view, holiday week filler. Too bad.
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