11/26 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns interviewed by Michael Cole, TLC pay-per-view build continues
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Lafayette, La. at the Cajundome
[Q1] The narrated recap video opened the show. They focussed on the John Cena and A.J. saga, and Ryback being attacked by Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns...
Ryback headed to the ring as Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary. Cole said he recorded an exclusive interview earlier in the day with the NXT3...
1. Ryback vs. Titus O'Neil (w/Darren Young). The Players were already in the ring when the show started and did not have a televised entrance. Cole noted that Ryback beat Young on Smackdown, and Ryback Shellshocked O'Neil afterward. Ryback slammed Titus face first into the mat. Titus fled to ringside and called for a timeout.
Ryback went after him and threw him back in the ring quickly. As Ryback tried to enter the ring, Young grabbed Ryback's leg. O'Neil hit a sit-out powerbomb and only got a one count. Ryback came right back with a spinebuster and finished off Titus with a Meathook Clothesline and Shellshocked...
Ryback defeated Titus O'Neil in 3:15.
After the match, Ryback took the mic and said he wants one C.M. Punk, three "outsiders dressed in black, or all four of them, he was going to stand in the ring until he gets what he wants...
Powell's POV: Disappointing followup for Titus after his impressive personality display on Raw last week. I hope there's a storyline reason for it and not just a case of WWE feeding him to Ryback for no reason since anyone could have done that job. Meanwhile, Ryback vowing to remain in the ring through the commercial break was a nice hook. His delivery was better than usual and didn't have the usual Ultimate Warrior cadence. He's also wearing a green and black "R" armband this week to match his gear, so the yellow and black Nexus look won't be an every week occurrence.
After the break, Ryback was still in the ring leading the crowd in a "Feed Me More" chant that was dying. A group of security guards came out dressed in yellow shirts and black pants. The security guards entered the ring. Ryback grabbed one by the head and tossed him over the top rope.
Vickie Guerrero walked out and said she's a very understanding person and knows he feels robbed of the WWE Championship, but she won't allow him to manhandle security or to take his show hostage. Ryback said he wants Punk at the TLC pay-per-view and he won't go anywhere until he gets it.
Vickie said that in the interest of fairness, she'll give Ryback his match against Punk, but she asked him to please leave the ring. Ryback told her to shut up. Ryback said he wasn't finished speaking. He said he wants Punk at TLC and with tables, ladders, and chairs. Vickie tried to talk, but Ryback told her to shut up.
Vickie agreed to the tables, ladders, and chairs match on the condition that he leave the ring so she could get on with the show. The four remaining security guards stepped forward. Ryback gave them a head fake and they all took off running. Ryback smiled and played to the crowd...
Powell's POV: Mediocre followup. Ryback said he wanted Punk, Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns tonight. He didn't get that. By the way, it's funny that they had to change the look of the security guys to yellow shirts because the gear that Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns are wearing is too similar.
The announcers recapped Hornswoggle spraying water in the face of Rosa Mendes. Footage aired from earlier in the day of Hornswoggle telling Rosa it was just a joke. He questioned who would want to give her flowers or kiss her. Alberto Del Rio showed up and said Hornswoggle is only saying those things because no real woman will ever want him. Del Rio said he'd avenge her, but Great Khali showed up and told him to leave his friend alone. Del Rio backed off...
Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio. Cole said Del Rio would have a huge challenge in The Great Khali after the break... [C]
2. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle). The match was joined in progress. Ricardo climbed onto the apron and distracted Khali, who was dominating the match. Hornswoggle bit Ricardo on the ass and they went backstage. Del Rio used the distraction and ended up getting the win via the Cross Arm Breaker. Rosa Mendes was shown cheering on the end result on a backstage monitor...
Alberto Del Rio defeated The Great Khali via submission in 3:30.
[Q3] Backstage, C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman approached Vickie Guerrero and complained about her giving Ryback the title shot at TLC. Punk said he's 2-0 against Ryback and now she's putting him in danger. Heyman interjected and suggested Vickie's head isn't clear due to the John Cena and A.J. scandal.
Heyman said Vickie is biased against John Cena, and thus she's also biased toward C.M. Punk to even things out. She got upset and said she gave Ryback the rematch because of what happened at Hell in a Cell with Brad Maddox and what happened at Survivor Series with Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns.
Punk said he had nothing to do with Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns. "Innocent until proven guilty," Heyman chimed in. Vickie said Punk would face the winner of a poll later in the show. The options are Daniel Bryan or Kane. Punk threw a fit, Heyman backed him out of the room... The announcers discussed the TLC main event and the poll...
Powell's POV: It's yell at Vickie Guerrero night. Ryback was telling her to shut up for no reason, and now Punk is yelling at her because he doesn't want to face Ryback. I actually understood Punk's approach more than Vickie. If the same person who wrote the Dolph Ziggler promo is also responsible for all of the yelling at Vickie, you may want to check that person's basement to see if there are any women chained to a radiator against their will.
Highlights aired from last week of Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns powerbombing Ryback through a table last week... Cole set up his interview with the trio...
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Michael Cole interviewing Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. Cole started to say that "many people are saying..." He was interrupted by Ambrose, who told him to ask a question if he has one. Cole asked if they are working for Punk. "Nope," Ambrose responded.
Cole asked why they are there if they're not working for Punk. Rollins said that's the question that should be asked. He said they sat down in NXT and saw things clearly. Black said the WWE Board of Directors answers to the WWE Universe, and thus it became a popularity contest. He said they stepped in and righted those wrongs.
"Michael, we are a shield from injustice in WWE," Rollins said. Cole noted that everything they've done has benefitted Punk. Ambrose said it's about right and wrong. He said Punk was forced to defend his title in a Triple Threat match against two men he'd already defeated. He said they would have done the same thing if it were Ryback or John Cena in Punk's place, just as they would have stepped up
Cole asked Roman Reigns for his thought. "When I want to say something, I'll say it," Reigns said. Ambrose said they are not Nexus or the NWO. "We're about principle, we're about honor," he said. "We're a shield from injustice. We are the Shield." Cole tried to talk, but Reigns stood up and said he had something to say. "We've said enough," Reigns said. "This interview is over, man"...
The announcers discussed the interview and hyped upcoming segments...
Powell's POV: Very good performances from all three. Ambrose and Rollins were both good on the mic and the verbiage was strong. Reigns wasn't asked to do much, but he clicked as the quiet heavy hitter. It was a wise move to pre-tape the interview because it was very important that it came off as well as it did. For what it's worth, they were only asked whether they were working for Punk. Heyman's name was not mentioned during that questions. My only concern is that all of the NXT talk is lost on casual viewers who may only remember it as an awful television show on Syfy.
[Q4] [C] A Fandango vignette aired. "Follow my lead and watch your step," Johnny Curtis said at the end of the video...
3. Alicia Fox vs. Tamina. A pre-taped Tamina interview aired with her warning A.J. not to mess with Vickie again. Tamina got the win with a Superfly splash...
Tamina defeated Alicia Fox in 2:05.
The announcers discussed the USO trip that Vince McMahon and a few wrestlers took over the weekend... John Cena was shown walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: Tamina is the logical choice to play the dominant Diva role. I do fear that it will be short lived since she's already feuding with A.J.
John Cena's music played and he headed to the ring to more cheers than boos. Cena said he's been in WWE for ten years now and he's never been interrogated to the degree that he has over the A.J. affair. Vickie Guerrero interrupted with the "excuse me" line. She said she got Cena and A.J. matching bathrobes.
Vickie warned Cena that the world will come crashing down on them. She pointed out how A.J. has damaged other wrestlers and how she's unstable. Vickie got the "What?" treatment. A.J.'s music played and she came to the ring. Vickie asked if she was going to deny that A.J. acted like a lovesick puppy whenever a guy said hi to her backstage. A.J. said Vickie was right.
[Q5] A.J. said she's had past issues with men, but she's trying to become a better person. A.J. said she had Vickie to thank for not having the general manager job. She said now she can date whoever she wants and do whatever she wants. She showed what she could do by rubbing Cena's cheek and then slapping him on the ass.
She grabbed Cena and started to pull him for a kiss, but Vickie spared everyone by saying that she gets it. A.J. said Vickie can't do any of those things anymore and it's a shame because being the boss is the only way she can land a man. A.J. said she's not a lovesick puppy anymore and there's only one female dog in the ring.
Dolph Ziggler's music played. Dolph said that while this episode of the Jerry Springer show was entertaining, he needed to break up the hen party. Ziggler said he tackled Cena through a bathroom wall and Cena just took it. Ziggler said Cena attacked him from behind on Smackdown and questioned why he would resort to such cowardly tactics.
Ziggler questioned why Cena would do that and then said there's something eating Cena up inside. He said that when Cena kissed A.J. last week, Cena knew that A.J. was thinking about him the entire time. Cena said that was funny. He started to get revved up to go after Ziggler, but Vickie cut him off and said they would find out who is better by having Cena face Ziggler later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: This segment was less annoying than most of the segments between these four, but it's still not good television. I hope they're reminding viewers that A.J. is batshit crazy because they intend to have her turn on Cena and align with Ziggler.
The Monday Night Football music played as footage aired of a 4th And Pain host presenting a replica version of the WWE Championship to Robert Griffin III...
Powell's POV: I question WWE for playing the MNF music because it serves as a reminder for viewers to check the score, but I don't think it's a big issue considering the lousy matchup this week.
4. Kofi Kingston vs. Tensai. Wade Barrett sat in on commentary and said he'll face Kingston at TLC for the title. Tensai had a brief dose of offnese as he targeted Kingston's shoulder. Kofi came back and went for Trouble in Paradise, but Tensai blocked it. Tensai got a near fall, but Kingston avoided a second rope move. Kofi came back with a springboard cross-body block for the win. After the match, Barrett handed Kingston the title and confidently walked away...
Kofi Kingston defeated Tensai in a non-title match in 3:30.
[Q6] Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Kane argued about who is going to win. Bryan pointed to a map of the U.S. and said the states colored in blue voted for him, and the states in red (none) voted for him. Bryan said WWE is global and showed the world covered in blue. He said they don't have polling in hell, so maybe he'll win there.
Kane grabbed Bryan by the throat. Josh Mathews showed up and revealed the voting results. Kane won 59 percent to 41 percent. Kane said it looked like Bryan's data was skewed. "Red rules," Kane said. Mathews informed Bryan that he would be facing Rey Mysterio instead. Bryan made his entrance... [C]
Powell's POV: There's something wrong with WWE's poll or 59 percent of the WWE voters are insane. Either way, the live crowd didn't seem all that excited about the results.
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio. Bryan threw Mysterio to ringside. Bryan ran out after him. Mysterio raced by him and entered the ring. Bryan yelled "No!" repeatedly for no reason and the show cut to break at 3:50. [C]
[Q7] Bryan was in control after the break. Lawler, who spent the majority of the match mocking Bryan's goat face, suddenly realized that Mysterio died his beard red. Cole accused Lawler of prancing around and claiming he's a king even though he's not. Lawler also said he found out what Mysterio's name means recently. Cole had no idea. Lawler said it means Mysterio King. Rey came back and finished off Bryan with a top rope splash...
Rey Mysterio pinned Daniel Bryan in 12:20.
Backstage, Rosa thanked Del Rio for taking care of Khali and Hornswoggle. Del Rio said "whatever you need" and then winked at her... The announcers hyped Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro for later in the show...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Dolph Ziggler inside his locker room. Ziggler said Cena is preoccupied with an obsessive, weak, narrow-minded, attention craving nutcase... [C] An ad aired for John Cena vs. Damien Sandow as the featured match on WWE Main Event...
Powell's POV: Love is in the air in WWE. Cena and A.J., Del Rio and Rosa, and Khali and Hornswoggle. That last one is unofficial. Meanwhile, Dolph still hates A.J. WWE is the land of adolescent-like relationships. After all, Cena and A.J. took weeks before they finally kissed. Del Rio still acts bashful around Rosa. Dolph expressing hatred for A.J. probably means he likes her in the twisted WWE storyline universe. Meanwhile, Mysterio has been with WWE for ten years now, yet King is just learning what his name means? Cole is no better since he didn't seem to have a clue.
[Q8] Highlights aired of Dolph ripping into A.J. on last week's Raw, which led to Ziggler tackling Cena in the bathroom....
6. John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler. Cena applied a headlock. Ziggler came back before the break. [C] The match kicked into gear after the break with Ziggler getting plenty of offense in. Ziggler applied a sleeper, which Cole said was Dolph's bread and butter at one point in his career. Cena backed Ziggler into the corner and then applied the STF.
Ziggler hit his finisher and scored a believable near fall. Well, as believable as it could be for Cena to lose after only one finishing move. Cena came back, but then sold his knee injury. A trainer checked on Cena at ringside. Ziggler tried to remove a turnbuckle pad.
A.J. ran out and yelled at him. Ziggler backed off for God knows what reason. Vickie came out. The referee told them both to go backstage. Ziggler picked up the Money in the Bank briefcase and tried to use it, but Cena ducked and hit the Attitude Adjustment for the win.
[Q9] After the match, A.J. shot a mean look at Vickie and then entered the ring. A.J. waited in mid-ring while Cena stood on the ropes and played to the crowd. She gave him the doe eyes when he turned around. Asexual Cena offered a handshake, but she pulled him in and kissed him. Cena looked conflicted...
John Cena pinned Dolph Ziggler in 11:45.
An ad hyped that the WWE edition of The Soup will air after Raw... [C]
Powell's POV: Cena has a knee injury and he still can't lose to Ziggler on television? And now they'll try to sell viewers on a rematch at the pay-per-view. Let me guess, Ziggler gets a fluky tables match victory over Cena?
7. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. Sheamus in a non-title match. Highlights aired of the Big Show vs. Sheamus match at Survivor Series. Sheamus had the majority of the offense and took the match to ringside, where he whipped Cesaro into the barricade. However, Cesaro tripped up Sheamus on the ring steps before the break. [C] An ad for Smackdown actually questioned whether Big Show or Sheamus was the World Champ coming out of Survivor Series.
Powell's POV: It's bad enough when they air those spots coming out of pay-per-views when they've already revealed the outcome, but they aired the same ad two weeks in a row? Welcome to WWE Nitro, folks.
[Q10] Sheamus came back and performed his signature spots including the forearm shots to the chest and the Irish Curse backbreaker. He went for White Noise, but Cesaro avoided it. Cesaro came back and had Sheamus up in Torture Rack position and then slammed Sheamus down for a really good near fall at 11:15.
Sheamus recovered and went for a Battering Ram, but Cesaro caught him with the uppercut on the way down. Cesaro set up for the Neutralizer, but Sheamus avoided it and Brogue Kicked Cesaro to ringside. The referee counted out Cesaro.
Sheamus defeated Antonio Cesaro via countout in 12:50.
Big Show's music played as the ref was counting. Show walked out with a chair in hand, but he stopped on the stage and turned around. Sheamus took the mic and told Show that if he brings the chair out he better use it. He said Show has been telling people he'll be champion until he retires, so he'd be happy to retire him at the pay-per-view.
Sheamus said he'd hit him with 100 chair shots to get the belt back. Show looked at the chair in his hand, pulled it apart, punched it, and slammed it down while Sheamus looked on with a concerned look on his face...
Powell's POV: If the look on his face is any indication, Sheamus has a soft spot for chairs. The match was very good. The action down the stretch was great and the near fall was about as close as it gets. I was happy to see them protect Cesaro by having him be competitive and lose by countout rather than giving him the Dolph Ziggler treatment.
[Q11] A graphic touted that WWE gives free tickets to U.S. military personnel... Still shots aired of the WWE goodwill tour with Vince McMahon, The Miz, R-Truth, Eve, and Layla visiting the troops...
8. Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder. Sandow cut a promo on his way to the ring. Ryder had some type of Ghostbusters-like logo all over his gear. The announcers never mentioned it. Rather, they ran through a list of Sandow's nicknames. Cole questioned how Lawler could use the word Ryder and intelligence in the same sentence. He also mocked Lawler for going to school in the '20s.
Late in the match, Sandow tripped up Ryder on the ropes and dropped him with his finisher for the win. The announcers hyped John Cena vs. Damien Sandow for Wednesday's WWE Main Event television show...
Damien Sandow defeated Zack Ryder in 4:55.
Powell's POV: Cole isn't all out heel or anything, but he's definitely drifted in and out of his past gimmick of insulting Lawler and a couple of the babyfaces tonight. The Lawler comments are more lighthearted than they were in the past.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Paul Heyman, who was clutching the WWE Championship in front of C.M. Punk's locker room door. Heyman noted that Punk was on day 372 of his title reign and has passed Randy Savage on the all-time list. Heyman went back to clutching the title belt in front of Punk's door...
Cole's interview with Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns was replayed...
Powell's POV: This was the highlight of the show thus far in terms of being newsworthy, so it's logical to air it again.
[Q12] Kane made his entrance for the main event. C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman were out next. Nine lives, er, um, never mind. Cole noted that Punk was the grand marshal of the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade. Lawler said Punk will do anything to get people to follow him. Huh? Cole also noted that Punk appeared on Talking Dead, and hyped the TLC main event...
9. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Kane in a non-title match. Cole noted that it was the RawAction (stupid poll name) match. Kane got the better of Punk and knocked him off the ring apron with a boot to the face heading into the commercial break. [C]
Kane worked over Punk's knee after the break and performed a top rope clothesline. He looked to the crowd and some cheers as he motioned for the chokeslam. Punk countered with a neckbreaker for a two count. Punk went for a springboard move, but Kane caught him and chokeslammed him.
[Overrun] Heyman pulled Punk's leg and dragged him near the ropes. Kane picked up Punk for a Tombstone while Heyman screamed no at ringside. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose were shown standing in the crowd. Punk slipped out and clipped Kane's leg. Punk hit the GTS on Kane for the win.
C.M. Punk defeated Kane in a non-title match in 10:20.
After the match, Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns climbed over the guardrail and entered the ring. Punk struck a fighting pose and backed into a corner. The Shield members attacked Kane and put the boots to him. Punk went to ringside and watched. Daniel Bryan ran out to save Kane, but the Shield members outnumbered him.
A "Feed Me More" chant started in the crowd. Ryback's music played. Punk hopped the guardrail and fled through the crowd. Ryback entered the ring and the three men jumped on him. Ryback overpowered them. Ryback powerbombed Rollins and hit Meathook Clotheslines on Ambrose and Reigns.
C.M. Punk ran in and attacked Ryback from behind. Ryback no-sold it and set up Punk for a powerbomb, but Reigns speared Ryback. The Shield trio worked over Ryback with Reigns directing traffic. He had Ambrose and Rollins pick up Ryback, and the three of them powerbombed Ryback in the middle of the ring while Punk looked on from one corner with a serious look on his face and Heyman did the same from the opposite corner.
The Shield left the ring and Punk reentered. Punk put his foot on Ryback and celebrated with the title belt over his head to close the show...
Powell's POV: A very good angle to close the show. Ryback looked strong as he was roughing up The Shield members, yet they got the better of him in the end and kept the crowd waiting to see him dish out revenge. They also kept the mysterio of their relationship with Punk alive in an intelligent way. The announcers aren't being portrayed as morons who don't see the connection. Rather, they openly say that it's hard to believe their story regarding Punk. I'll have more to say about Raw in audio later tonight. Be sure to take advantage of our Cyber Monday special at the top of the page.
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