12/3 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Vince McMahon appearance, John Cena and Sheamus vs. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, The Shield attacks Daniel Bryan and Kane
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Greensboro, N.C.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap video and teased John Cena and Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big Show for later in the show. The recap footage also focussed on The Shield and questioned whether more details on their motives would be revealed...
Kane and Daniel Bryan made their entrance to Kane's theme. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary. They said it appeared Kane and Bryan were unified as a result of the attack by The Shield last week. There was a commotion in the crowd. The camera showed the three members of The Shield standing in a luxury box.
Kane took the mic and challenged them to come to the ring. The Shield didn't budge. As the Prime Time Players made their entrance, Cole noted that there are rumors that Vince McMahon was in the building and would make a "rare appearance" on Raw....
1. Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. The Prime Time Players in a non-title match. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns were shown watching the match. However, when they cut back to them, only Ambrose was remaining. The announcers questioned where Rollins and Reigns went.
Cole said this is Kane's 899th match in WWE. He said that was the most in company history. The camera showed Reigns was standing about halfway down from his previous position. As the match continued with Kane and Bryan in control, the fans continued to focus on Ambrose and Reigns as they slowly moved closer to the ring. Lawler questioned where "the other one" was located. [C]
Powell's POV: The non-title match involving the WWE Tag Champs and one of the other top teams in the division feels trivial with The Shield at ringside. However, it's for the greater good in this case, as obviously WWE is focussed on The Shield more than the non-title match. It's good utilization of the trio, as it is giving the opening of Raw a feeling of danger and unpredictability.
[Q2] After the break, Cole noted that Rollins was still "nowhere to be found" since the early shot of the trio. Ambrose and Reigns made it to ringside as the match continued. Bryan and Kane were distracted. Darren Young tried to take advantage of it by rolling up Bryan and knocking Kane off the apron in the process. Bryan rolled through and got the win.
Kane and Daniel Bryan defeated The Prime Time Players in a non-title match in 11:30.
After the match, Reigns and Ambrose attacked Kane on the floor. Rollins showed up in the ring and attacked Bryan, who held his own until Ambrose and Reigns attacked him. The trio hit their powerbomb on Bryan and left him lying. The three members of The Shield left through the crowd. Kane recovered and entered the ring to check on Bryan...
Backstage, John Cena and Sheamus were in the middle of talking about "a citation for a giraffe." Sheamus thanked Cena for his help on Smackdown. Cena said it was a plus for him because he got to be on Smackdown and beat up Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus worked himself up and yelled. Cena had no idea what he was saying and calmed him down by saying they need to get serious because of their tag match. Sheamus said what he plans to do to Show will translate in any language...
A shot aired of A.J. Lee walking backstage. Cole said she's been involved in a lot of controversies, but she is returning to do what she loves to do by getting in the ring on Raw... [C]
Powell's POV: A good opening segment that forwarded the Shield's program with Kane and Bryan. The end result was predictable, but the slow build throughout the match of getting to that point was nicely done. I don't like the way Cena just flippantly talked about beating up Ziggler on Smackdown. Viewers who don't watch the show now just assume it was more of the same with Cena getting the better of Ziggler and that Cena isn't taking him seriously. There's no money in that.
2. A.J. Lee vs. Tamina. Tamina used power moves on A.J, who spent a good portion of the match selling for the bigger opponent. Tamina used a headbutt and then was going to the ropes for her finisher when A.J. rolled her up for the win...
A.J. Lee pinned Tamina in 3:20.
[Q3] C.M. Punk's music played and he headed to the ring with Paul Heyman. Cole said it would be interesting to see what he has to say... [C]
Powell's POV: They teased A.J. like she was the only focus of the match. That would be fine if she was in there for a squash win, but they have actually built an issue between her and Tamina and it may have meant something if they teased their first match. The result of the match was disappointing in that they are taking the same approach to Tamina that they did to Beth Phoenix. They expect viewers to see the powerful women of the division as dominant, yet they show them losing too frequently. On a positive note, Tamina has new gear that was a huge improvement over her previous look. As for Punk, I like the strategy of giving the viewers a hook going into the commercial break. The pacing of the show feels fresh and less formulaic than usual.
Paul Heyman took the mic and introduced himself. Heyman was booed. "As if your opinion matters," Heyman said. He said he noticed this morning that his children were reading the updated and expanded edition of the WWE Encyclopedia. He said he wasn't there to shill and he doesn't like the book because there's not enough material on C.M. Punk in the book.
Heyman said there was something in the encyclopedia that he and Punk were too busy to notice. He said it was day 379 of Punk's reign. Heyman said Punk will surpass John Cena as the longest reigning WWE Champion of "of the entire modern era" at day 381. Heyman said Punk should be front and center on the WWE version of Mt. Rushmore.
Punk took the mic and said he is still unfairly persecuted. He said he's proven for a year that he's the best in the world and it's not a slogan you put on a t-shirt. He said the people are so classless and unintelligent that they won't give him the respect he deserves.
Punk questioned why he's being forced to defend the WWE Championship against Ryback again after facing him at the last two pay-per-views. Punk blamed the fans. He pointed to a fan and said he can't hold a job as long as he's been champion. He said the fans have marriages that don't last as long as his reign.
Punk said people said Heyman was the reason he's the champion. Then they said it was because of Brad Maddox. He said now people say The Shield are the reason people say he's the champion.
"That is a lie," Punk said. "You want the truth, Greensboro, the truth is that if it wasn't for me none of you would be here today. I'm the reason you bought a ticket to come see Monday Night Raw. C.M. Punk is the reason you tune in every single Monday night. If it wasn't for me, you people would have nothing to look forward to on these dismal three-hour Monday Night Raws." Punk encouraged viewers to change the channel and the live crowd to get up and leave if they don't like it.
The Miz's music played and he walked onto the stage wearing a suit. Miz did the "Really" bit and the crowd said it after he did each time. He Punk is telling the fans to leave, but he told them to sit down and enjoy themselves. Miz said people know the truth about Punk's lies. Punk asked who he thinks he is to cast judgment.
Miz said he was the guy that cheated, scammed, and took all the shortcuts as WWE Champion, but at least he's man enough to admit it. Miz pointed to Brad Maddox and said Ryback would have fed on Punk last week had it not been for The Shield. Punk referred to Miz by his first name and challenged him to come to the ring.
[Q4] Miz said they could always have a match, but he was challenging Punk to come onto Miz TV and prove he had nothing to do with Maddox or The Shield by taking a lie detector test. Miz said he spoke with the county police and they were more than happy to give him the equipment for the lie detector.
Heyman took the mic and asked if he was really going to put a mic in Punk's hands given that he knows what Punk thinks of him behind the scenes. Miz referred to Heyman as a "human walrus" and said that if he wanted him to talk he would have thrown him a fish. Funny. Punk told the fans to apologize for calling his friend a walrus. "We are sorry, he is a really, really big walrus." Not funny.
Miz challenged Punk to bring his best pipe bomb. He said he was giving Punk a chance to set the record straight with the truth. He questioned whether Punk wants to keep an asterisk next to his title reign. Punk got worked up and said he would take the test and prove that he's the best in the world and the it would force Miz and the fans to admit it... The announcers hyped the Cena and Sheamus vs. Show and Ziggler tag match... [C]
Powell's POV: Miz's mic work was hit and miss. This would have been a good time for him to tone down on the annoying aspect of his character and deliver his words in a more straight forward manner. He doesn't seem like a changed man. The lie detector gimmick should be fun. Punk didn't seem afraid of it, so I assume that the test will reveal that he isn't in cahoots with Maddox or The Shield. Keep in mind that The Shield denied working for Punk in the sit-down interview last week, yet Michael Cole never asked them about Heyman.
3. John Cena and Sheamus vs. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus and Ziggler started the match. Cena ended up selling for the heels.
[Q5] Show and Ziggler worked over Cena. Sheamus eventually tagged in at the same time Show tagged back in. Sheamus went after Show with a flurry of offense. Sheamus went to the top rope and lunged at Show, who caught him with a spear on the way down. The collision looked good and the crowd went from hot for Sheamus's offense to gasping over the bump he took. [C]
After the break, the heels took turns working on Sheamus while Cena waited for the tag. Sheamus made the hot tag. Sheamus performed White Noise on Show while Cena performed the Attitude Adjustment on Ziggler. Cena pinned Ziggler to win the match for his team. After the match, Cena went to ringside and shook hands with military members...
John Cena and Sheamus defeated Big Show and Dolph Ziggler in 12:00.
The announcers hyped Vince McMahon's appearance. Cena walked behind them and said Sheamus is tough. The announcers set up replay footage of the Punk, Heyman, and Miz segment... [C]
Powell's POV: The live crowd loved the finish to the tag match. It worked for entertainment value for fans of the two wrestlers, but it's just another case of Ziggler losing to Cena. They haven't advertised a TLC pay-per-view match between the two yet. At this point, is there even a reason to have one? Let me guess, Ziggler puts Cena through a table to set up a throwaway tables match that Dolph wins while gaining no momentum in the process?
[Q6] An ad aired for WWE Tribute to the Troops that featured Miss Piggy and Flo Rida...
Damien Sandow walked to the ring and delivered a promo. He continued his search for his apprentice. A muscular guy got excited, but Sandow told him he was talking about the guy standing next to him who still had all of his teeth. The fan wearing a Little Jimmy t-shirt entered the ring.
The potential apprentice got two trivia questions right, but he missed out on the third. Sandow told him he won the idiot of the day award and suggested he should be exiled from the United States of America.
Santino Marella came out and said he had a question for Sandow. He tried to ask about selling seashells down by the seashore. Ultimately, Santino tried to hit Sandow with the mic, but Sandow blocked it and knocked Santino down. Santino fired up and took his t-shirt off... [C]
Powell's POV: I was hoping Sandow would pick Jonny Fairplay or Bruce Mitchell from the crowd. I'll bet they went with the Little Jimmy t-shirt on the plant because they knew no one else would be wearing one. Sandow is comical. Santino's comedy isn't what it once was.
4. Santino Marella vs. Damien Sandow. The match was joined in progress. Lawler said Santino is a five-time power walking champion. Santino pulled out The Corba. Sandow fled to ringside.
[Q7] Santino followed and was stomped when he tried to reenter the ring. Sandow threw the Cobra away. A short time later, Sandow executed his finisher for the win...
Damien Sandow defeated Santino Marella in 2:30 of television time.
Powell's POV: I sure am envious that the live crowd because they saw more of that match than we did at home. Ugh. The live crowd was as flat as they've been all night. Sandow drew some heat when he played to the crowd, but Santino's act is stale.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler complained to Vickie Guerrero by saying he should not have been in the tag match. She said she's starting to lose faith. Ziggler asked for a rematch at TLC and said he would steal the show like no one has ever seen. "Go show them, baby," Vickie said. Dolph went for a hug, but Vickie backed off due to the fraternizing thing. Vickie entered his office. Brad Maddox and his personal cameraman were inside. Maddox said he was there to make sure no one forgets his name... [C]
Powell's POV: Maddox returns on the night that Punk is taking the lie detector test. He's obviously another potential connection to The Shield. I'm happy to see his personal cameraman is back. Here's hoping they find the right person to use in the role and turn the cameraman into a minor character.
Backstage, Vickie asked Maddox why she should give him a contract after what he put her through at Hell in a Cell. Maddox noted that Punk had nothing to do with that. He sucked up to Vickie and said part of the reason she's so powerful is because she has an eye for talent. Vickie said Maddox would have a match an he could earn his contract by winning. The cocky Maddox asked how the opponent was. Vickie promised it would make for great TV. "I know, I'm on it," Maddox said...
Cole noted that Maddox's cameraman is named Carson and the footage he shoots will be available on Youtube...
5. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Sin Cara. Lawler told a joke about re-gifting a present for Cole. It went over Cole's head initially. Del Rio was tied up in the ropes and took a kick from Sin Cara, who followed up with a huracanrana that sent Del Rio into the barricade.
[Q8] [C] After the break, Del Rio regained control of the match and tossed Sin Cara into the barricade. Del Rio pulled up the mask and applied a face lock. The announcers spoke of how it would be the ultimate humiliation for Sin Cara to lose his mask. Later, Sin Cara missed a top rope move and then Del Rio applied the Cross Arm Breaker for the win...
Alberto Del Rio defeated Sin Cara via submission in 12:35.
Vince McMaon was shown walking backstage. Vince told a staff member to inform Vickie Guerero that he would like to have a conversation with her in the ring... [C]
Powell's POV: Sin Cara and Del Rio should get an earful after this one. The announcers were right to play up that losing the match would be the ultimate humiliation, yet Del Rio seemed to pull it up just high enough to apply his hold and then Sin Cara never fought to keep it on. It looked like Del Rio easily could have pulled it off, yet he didn't care enough to do it and Sin Cara didn't care enough to fight him on it. The crowd was flat early, but they reacted to Sin Cara's offense before the break and near falls afterward. Oddly enough, it seemed like Sin Cara's offense was over, yet Del Rio wasn't clicking as a heel with this crowd.
[Q9] Footage was shown of the Miz and Punk angle from earlier...
Vickie Guerrero introduced Vince McMahon. She sucked up to Vince by talking about how good he looked, he said she looked almost comely. Vince led Vickie to book John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match for the Money in the Bank briefcase/contract. Vickie resisted, but Vince mocked her for "perpetuating this crap" about A.J. and Cena. Vickie eventually complied. Vince also had Vickie rule that if Punk lies, Ryback will face Paul Heyman in a match next week...
The announcers talked at ringside, and then a shot aired of Brad Maddox walking backstage while Carson filmed him... [C]
Powell's POV: For the love of God. Every MITB contract winner should apparently cash in the night after they win on Raw or run the risk that the crazy old man will show up and make them put the contract on the line before they can cash it in. It does explain why Ziggler has been losing, as it makes the Cena fans think their guy will win at MITB. I hate this idea even if Ziggler keeps the contract. It should be automatic that the MITB winner cashes in at some point.
Justin Roberts introduced Brad Maddox, who came out to the sound of crickets. That changed when his opponent was announced...
[Q10] 6. Randy Orton vs. Brad Maddox. The match was all Orton, who finished him off with the RKO. After the match, The Shield hit the ring and attacked Orton. The trio performed their three-man powerbomb and left him lying. Cole asked if there was an explanation for their seemingly random attacks...
Randy Orton pinned Brad Maddox in 1:15.
The announcers hyped the lie detector for later in the show. Cole said Miz tweeted that it won't be your mother's type of lie detector test because he plans to get the truth out of Punk. Whatever that means... [C]
Powell's POV: Will this lead to The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Kane, and Daniel Bryan at TLC? The first Shield match could lead to extra pay-per-view buys.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero yelled at referee Charles Robinson until Dolph Ziggler showed up. Dolph was upset because his MITB contract is on the line in a ladder match. Ziggler said it happened once before when A.J. made him defend the contract against Chris Jericho. Vickie asked what Dolph expected. Dolph recalled saying A.J. was an ungrateful, power hungry amateur. He said Vickie is becoming just like her.
After Ziggler left the room, Paul Heyman entered. Heyman got face to face with Vickie and glared at her while she made an angry face in response. "For your sake, you better how that Punk is telling the truth," Vickie said. Heyman smiled and walked away.
John Cena entered the room and said he was told Vickie wanted to see him. Cena commended Vickie for making the ladder match at TLC. Cena said he's the only man who failed to cash in successfully and he will become champion when he gets the contract this time.
Cena was about to leave the room. Vickie showed him two ribbons with his face on it. She said they were found in AJ's locker. She warned Cena that AJ becomes obsessed whenever she gets involved with a guy. Cena said the ribbons were the wrong color and Vickie can't leave well enough alone. Vickie told him that if he can't learn from the past, history will just keep repeating itself...
Powell's POV: Okay, so now it appears the story is shifting to AJ being obsessive, which is a step in the right direction. I suspect Vickie was telling Cena the truth in this case.
Just as a tag match with Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett was about to start, Teddy Long came out and changed the tag match into a Fatal Four Way match. He asked the crowd whether the U.S. or Intercontinental Title should be on the line. He said the fans would determine which title would be at stake by voting online...
[Q11] [C] Cole hyped Cena's appearance on Saturday Morning Slam...
7. Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth in a four-way for the U.S. Title. Supposedly, 83 percent of the voters selected U.S. Title. How can you not be skeptical after the Kane and Daniel Bryan voting last week. Former tag partners Kingston and Truth ended up in the ring together at one point. They did the evenly matched routine that concluded with the simultaneous dropkick attempt.
Kingston ran around ringside and jumped of the ring steps only to eat an uppercut from Cesaro on the floor. Cesaro rolled him back inside the ring heading into the break. [C] After the break, the back and forth action continued. They used the formula of having two wrestlers sell at ringside while two worked in the ring.
All four wrestlers were in the ring late in the match. Cesaro broke up a good near fall after Kingston superplexed Barrett and went for a cover. Barrett and Kingston ended up alone in the ring.
[Q12] Kingston got a good offensive flurry on Barrett. "That's why the call Kingston the wildcat," Cole said. Shut up. Just shut up. Moments later, Cesaro set up for his finisher on Barrett, but R-Truth broke it up. Barrett hit the Bull Hammer elbow on Truth. Kingston hit SOS on Barrett and went for a cover. Cesaro picked up Kingston from the cover and performed the Neutralizer...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, and Wade Barrett in a four-way to retain the U.S. Championship in 12:30.
Powell's POV: The formula was predictable, but the action was good throughout and especially down the stretch with the near falls. I like the finish with Cesaro showing his strength by picking up Kingston from the pin and going right to the Neutralizer. Cesaro will face Kingston on WWE Main Event this week. I assume Kingston will avenge the loss. The live crowd isn't getting a match in the final segment, but they ended up getting a good final television match. Does anything in wrestling sound more manufactured than Cole referring to Kingston as a wildcat?
The announcers narrated footage of The Shield putting Ryback through a table at Survivor Series and hyped the Lie Detector Test. They played the Miz TV opening for what felt like the 80th time and played Miz's music while a graphic showed him, Punk, and Heyman... [C]
Powell's POV: There's been no sign of Ryback tonight. I assume they held him back with the idea of generating a big pop when he appears in the final segment. I guess we'll find out shortly.
A rare ad for Smackdown hyped Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett. Cole said they will be renewing an old rivalry. Cole and Lawler set up a recap video of the Vince and Vickie segment and the announcers hyped the ladder match for TLC...
The Miz stood in the ring and welcomed viewers to Miz TV. He introduced Fredrick Abramson and said he was from county sheriff's department. The announcers noted Miz said the name of the county wrong. Miz was clueless to this, so he told the chastised the crowd and said they have to celebrate the sheriff's department.
Miz introduced C.M. Punk, who headed to the ring with Paul Heyman. Abramson offered Punk a handshake, but the champion declined. Abramson started to strap Punk into the lie detector as Miz tried to explain how it works. Punk said he knows how it works and mocked Miz for having predictable jokes and said it's stupid that the WWE logo on his mic looks dumb.
Punk continued to rip into Miz and the fans while the lie detector equipment was strapped in. Miz said he wasn't paying attention. Punk said it was just like when Miz was in wrestling school. Punk said Miz and Greensboro suck. "Am I lying now?" Funny. Miz asked the questions. Miz started by asking Punk's name.
Powell's POV: Don't they all have to be "yes" or "no" answers?
[Overrun] Miz asked about Punk's title reign, whether Rey Mysterio shaved his head bald, and whether he lost to Randy Orton the year that Miz main evented WrestleMania. Punk begrudgingly answered yes, but pointed out that Miz only won "because Dwayne ran out and attacked John Cena." Punk said everyone remembers Punk vs. Orton and how it ended with a fantastic RKO, whereas Miz forgot his own match because he had a concussion.
Miz continued to goad Heyman with the walrus line. Heyman glared at him in response. The lie detector results were shown on the big screen. Punk was asked if he could beat Ryback by himself. The lie detector graph spiked. Abramson said Punk could be lying. Miz asked if Pun worked with Brad Maddox and The Shield.
Before Punk could answer, The Shield ran out and attacked Miz and destroyed the lie detector and Miz TV setup. The trio performed their powerbomb on Miz. Daniel Bryan and Kane came out and brawled with The Shield. "Feed Me More" chants started. Ryback's music hit and he charged the ring.
Ryback got the better of Dean Ambrose and threw him into the crowd. Ryback followed and continued to rough him up while Bryan brawled with Rollins, and Kane got the better of Reigns. All six men brawled into the crowd.
Punk was left standing in the middle of the ring over the fallen Miz. Punk kicked Miz while yelling, "Am I lying?" Punk kicked Miz to ringside. Punk's music played and he acted cocky. Ryback returned to the ring and Shellshocked Punk for a big pop. Ryback went to ringside and pulled out a chair and a ladder.
Ryback returned to the ring and jabbed the ladder into Punk's gut. Ryback grabbed a table and set it up in the ring. Ryback powerbombed Punk through the table as the crowd cheered. Ryback led the crowd in "Feed Me More" chants to close the show...
Powell's POV: Great use of Ryback. They didn't have him win a throwaway squash match early on and then hope the crowd would be excited to see him a second time. Rather, they made him look like the most over guy in the company by saving him for the end of the night and making his appearance special to the live crowd. That's the best reaction he's received yet.
The show dragged in the usual spots and I hate the MITB contract being put on the line at TLC even though it certainly enhances the match. That said, it was a good night for The Shield and Ryback, and the four-way match was entertaining. The Vince McMahon appearance was underwhelming. Miz isn't clicking with me as a babyface. It was a nigh of ups and downs. I'll sort them out on Tuesday in the WWE Raw Hitlist. I'll be back later tonight for Dot Net Members with an exclusive audio review. Be sure to take advantage of our sale offer at the top of the page before time runs out.
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