Okay so it’s been two weeks since my last report on Raw so let me get you up to date. Cena kissed AJ, AJ kissed Cena, Nexus 2.0 showed up in the form of Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns. Ryback is still hungry, Great Khali stinks, Hornswoggle is worse, Ziggler is getting a push and Punk remains a strong heel.
On to tonight…
The show opens with Ryback, who feels like he’s cooling down with the fan reaction.
MATCH # 1 RYBACK vs. TITUS O’NEIL
I really liked Titus on commentary last week, and I see a big future for him. It’s too bad that he’s in this match as fodder for Ryback. King and Cole continue on the never ending food metaphors. Titus is able to knock Ryback down but the “Big Hungry” comes back with a Thesz press. Darren Young causes a distraction on the outside, allowing Titus to hit a sit down power bomb for a near fall. Young hits the apron just as Ryback throws his partner into him. Ryback finishes with a meat hook and shellshock.
Winner – Ryback
Ryback cuts a generic promo basically calling out Punk, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose. He says he’s not leaving until he gets what he wants.
After a commercial break Ryback remains in the ring chanting “feed me more”. A “security” team comes to the ring seemingly to escort him away. Ryback tosses one of the 5 over the top rope.
Vicky Guerrero comes out and says that she empathizes with Ryback, but he can’t hold up the show or put his hands on security. Ryback cuts her off and demands a match with CM Punk at TLC. Vicky politely agrees but Ryback tells her to shut up. He says that he wants to fight Punk in a TLC match. Ryback channels his inner Steve Austin as he threatens to tear the ring apart. Vicky gives him what he wants and begs him to leave the ring so the show can continue. Ryback scares off security and signals for the title as he heads up the ramp.
In the back (earlier tonight) Hornswoggle tells Rosa to lighten up, Del Rio comes in and offers to get revenge on Rosa’s behalf, Great Khali comes in and mumbles something as Del Rio retreats…and a piece of me dies…I’ll take 10 fake heart attacks over crap like this. And I don’t think it’s over.
MATCH # 2 ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. GREAT KHALI
Rosa looks on as this match is joined in progress (thank god) Khali hits a chop (what else?) and another…and another…fuck. Del Rio works him down to the mat and works on the arm. Del Rio hits a running kick to the arm but Khali fights back with, you guessed it, some chops. Hornswoggle bites Ricardo’s ass on the outside (whatever) and Del Rio ends the pain with a cross arm breaker as Rosa celebrates in the back.
Winner – Del Rio
Losers- All of us
CM Punk confronts Vicky in the back. He’s livid that Vicky would give Ryback a TLC match after having lost to him twice. Heyman tries to catch more flies with honey as he tells Vicky that maybe she’s not thinking clearly because of her preoccupation with the AJ scandal. Vicky says that she made the match because of the controversy surrounding the last two and she calls the NXT guys “Punks boys”. Punk denies any affiliation as Heyman screams “innocent until proven guilty”. Vicky puts Punk in a match against one member of Team Hell No (raw active poll) and Heyman drags Punk away as he screams in Vicky’s ear.
Next up is a pre-recorded interview conducted with Michael Cole talking to Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose. They call themselves a band, and Rollins is the funny one…just kidding.
Ambrose does most of the talking. He says that they are a shield from Injustice. He says point blank that they are not affiliated with Punk, and they aren’t the Nexus or NWO or renegades or mercenaries (although they do dress like mercenaries). They said that the intervened because it was unfair that Punk had to defend his title against two men he’s already beaten, and if Ryback were the one that was champion for a year and being treated unfairly, they would have helped him. They say that sitting in NXT they saw things clearly, and the WWE Universe dictates who is on top, and it’s just a meaningless popularity contest, and it isn’t right. Reigns gives Cole the cold shoulder and eventually stands up to call an end to the interview. This was effective and compelling. I guess they are going to be called “the Shield” and it will be interesting to see if they interfere on behalf of a wronged baby face, as they claim to have no affiliation. I suppose the logical thing would be to align them with Punk, but I could see it being better for everyone if they grew on their own, with Ambrose as their mouthpiece and Reigns as the muscle. This was very interesting, but compared to that last Hornswoggle segment anything would look like gold right now.
Cole analyses with Lawler, he believes that the men are acting alone. Lawler isn’t buying it.
Another Fandango promo where he tells us to “follow my lead, and watch your step” airs. I was looking forward to a gimmick where he joins matches halfway through and asks “you mind if I cut in?” I guess they dropped that.
MATCH # 3 TAMINA vs. ALICIA FOX
Tamina gets scary Islander entrance music. She hits a rolling fireman’s carry and a super-fly splash for the quick win. UUUUMMMMAGGGA!
Winner – Tamina
John Cena comes out next…and these are the Mondays of our lives. Cena says that he’s been in the WWE for 10 years. He cites his great Wrestlemania moments with HHH, HBK, and The Rock, but says he’s never had more buzz than when he kissed AJ. He’s about to get into the details when Vicky interrupts. She says that last week was proof of the affair. Vicky presents Cena with a gift, matching bathrobes for him and AJ. Vicky says that AJ is psychotic, and their relationship will implode. She talks about AJ’s sketchy past with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Kane.
AJ comes out. Vicky taunts her for acting like a lovesick puppy. AJ says that Vicky is right, and she has had her issues. AJ says that she’s trying to be a better person. AJ points out that the relationship was only inappropriate when she was GM. She says that she can date whoever she wants. She teases Cena, slaps him on the ass and is about to make out with him until Vicky cuts her off. AJ says that it’s too bad that GM’s can’t date talent anymore, because that’s the only way Vicky could ever get a man. She calls Vicky a bitch (in a PG way).
Dolph Ziggler comes out to the ramp and changes the conversation to the fact that he beat up Cena. He says that Cena cheap shot him from behind on Smackdown. Dolph says that when AJ Kissed Cena, she was thinking about him the whole time. Cena is ready to fight Ziggler, so Vicky makes it an official match for later tonight.
Wade Barrett comes out for commentary.
MATCH # 4 KOFI KINGSTON vs. TENSAI
Barrett talks about facing Kofi at TLC for the I.C. title. He thinks he’s going to win. Tensai applies an arm bar. Kofi hits a clothesline and a boom drop. Tensai blocks the T.I.P. and catches another kick and hits an elbow drop. Kofi slips out of the ring and kicks Tensai and hits a springboards cross body to get the pin.
Winner – Kofi Kingston
After then match, Barrett grabs the I.C. title and casually hands it to Kofi before leaving, smiling to himself.
In the back Bryan shows Kane a map of the world’s voting for their poll of who will face CM Punk. Bryan says that the blue states are him and the red ones are Kane (they are all blue). Bryan jokes that there is no voting in hell, to which Kane offers to send him there. Josh Mathews interrupts with the polling results. Kane wins with 59% of the vote (surprising). Bryan is thrown into a match right now!
MATCH # 5 DANIEL BRYAN vs. REY MYSTERIO
Bryan scores the first few take downs. Rey hits some kicks and the two exchange some minor chain wrestling moves. Rey takes Bryan over the top rope but misses a seated senton. Bryan hits a running knee off the apron. Bryan tosses Mysterio out of the ring but Rey rolls through into a standing position. Bryan hangs Rey off the turnbuckle and attacks him with a series of kicks. He applies a surfboard but can’t lock it in so he gives up. He tosses Mysterio out of the ring whom belly flops onto the floor. Bryan counters a comeback attempt from Rey and applies a No Lock but Rey quickly escapes. Rey launches Bryan into the corner and hits a 619 using the ring post. He hits a splash and gets the pin.
Winner – Rey Mysterio
Rosa thanks Alberto for standing up for her earlier. Del Rio winks at her…I smell another scandal!
Josh Mathews asks Dolph Ziggler if making his issues with Cena personal has given Cena extra incentive. Ziggler says that he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, and he can’t wait to see the look on AJ’s face after he gets through with her “boyfriend” tonight.
I have a feeling that AJ is going to end up with Dolph…in a weird uncomfortable verbally abusive relationship.
After recapping all the Ziggler stuff for the third time…we move on to the next match.
MATCH # 6 DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. JOHN CENA
Fast paced start, with numerous hip tosses delivered by Cena. Ziggler takes the fight to the outside and tosses Cena into the steps. He does some sit-ups as Cena seemingly plays possum and goes for a quick cover. Ziggler hits his rapid elbow drops (about 10) but misses the last one. Cena hits his three moves and sets up for the 5 knuckle shuffle. Ziggler blocks the taunt with a kick and hits a DDT. He applies a sleeper hold, but Cena powers out and applies the STF in the middle of the ring. Ziggler manages to crawl to the rope for a break. Ziggler attempts a cross body off the top rope but Cena rolls through and hoist him up for an AA. Ziggler escapes the AA and hits a zig zag but only gets a 2 count. Cena goes for the shuffle again but his knee gives out and he retreats to the outside as the ringside doctor checks on him. Ziggler uses the distraction to take off the turnbuckle but AJ comes out to stop him. Vicky comes out and the whole distraction allows Ziggler to grab the briefcase and attack Cena. Cena ducks the attack however and hits an AA for the win.
Winner – John Cena
After the match AJ greets him in the ring and smiles as she moves in and makes out with Cena. AJ’s white tank top is leaving me wondering where a beer bath is when you need it. Stupid PG era.
MATCH # 7 SHEAMUS vs. ANTONIO CESARO
The two men trade tackles. They resort to headlocks and elbows. Sheamus hits a suplex. They fight on the outside as Sheamus tosses Cesaro into the barricade. Cesaro sweeps Sheamus’ feet causing him to fall head first into the steps (clever move). Back in the ring, Cesaro has a waist lock applied. Cesaro hits a gut wrench suplex. He hits several uppercuts with Sheamus tied up in the rope. Sheamus answers back with some blows of his own. He hits the Irish curse. Cesaro hits a cool move which sets Sheamus up in a torture rack and then turns it into a power bomb. Sheamus brawls back and skins the cat to the top rope. He launches off the top rope but right into an uppercut. Sheamus kicks out and brogue kicks Cesaro out of the ring (this kick didn’t connect very well). Cesaro is counted out as Big Show’s music hits and he walks halfway down the ramp with a chair. Show stops halfway and heads back up the ramp.
Winner – Sheamus
Sheamus cuts a promo telling Show that he’ll hit him with 100 chair shots if he needs to in order to take the title back. Sheamus says that he’ll be happy to send Show into retirement. Big Show destroys the chair as Sheamus looks on seemingly mildly concerned.
Damien Sandow uses a lot of big words as he basically says that his whole purpose in the WWE is to end stupidity (he has a lot of work to do).
MATCH # 8 DAMIEN SANDOW vs. ZACK RYDER
Sandow controls most of the match. He hits the elbow of distain. They trade back a bunch of sloppy moves that don’t have a name, and Ryder hits a running punch in the corner (which is just silly). He climbs to the top but Sandow crotches him and hits the terminus.
Winner – Damien Sandow
I might be over this Genius wannabe…show me something new would you!
In the back, Josh catches up with a nervous looking Paul Heyman. Heyman talks up Punk and says that there is only so much injustice that CM Punk will tolerate.
MATCH # 9 KANE vs. CM PUNK
Punk chops Kane but to no effect, which worries him. Kane tosses Punk into the corner and assaults him. Kane boots Punk over the top rope and to the floor. Back in the ring Punk favors his knee but hangs Kane off the rope and hits a tope to the outside. He limps around as he brings Kane back in the ring. He hits two high knees but Kane counters the third and follows up with a clothesline and side slam. Kane hits a top rope clothesline. Punk hits a swinging neck breaker. Punk goes for a flying clothesline as he shouts “372” in mid-air but Kane catches him and choke slams him. Kane hoists Punk up for a tombstone but “the Shield” makes their way to the ringside. The distraction allows Punk to reverse and hit the GTS for the win.
Winner – CM Punk
Punk looks worried as The Shield approaches the ring. The three men come in and stare at Punk before attacking Kane. Punk Slips out as Daniel Bryan runs in to help his Partner.
Ryback comes out as Punk leaps over the guardrail in a very comedic fashion and escapes. Ryback clotheslines all the men and hits Rollins with a power bomb. Punk comes in and attacks Ryback, who still manages to get Punk hoisted up, only to be saved by a spear from Reigns. Punk looks on in disbelief as the Shield triple team Ryback. Punk stands over the scraps and poses as the Shield leave and Cole gives us his final thought…are the Shield working for CM Punk?
For the most part Raw was painful to get through tonight. The Shield is an exciting development and gave this show interest. I am left wanting more, and there is genuine interest as there are multiple ways they could go with this. Dolph and Cena is another fresh program that I could get into, but with Cena winning clean tonight I’m not sure what will be next? MITB briefcase up for grabs in a latter match maybe? What would Dolph get in return? Winner marries AJ? Just some thoughts. What can I say about the rest of the show? There really is almost no interest in anything else. I am just about done with the overachieving Sheamus/Show program…and Hell No have gone from a once invigorating tag team to fodder for a larger angle…Ryback is a moving up the baby face food chain (pun intended) and that doesn’t excite this reporter…in the words of many, but first spoken by Dan “The Bookie” Snyder back when Ryback started his push, “feed me less!”
And now for some Odds!
Odds that a swerve see’s AJ end up with Ziggler under duress 3-1
Odds that an even bigger swerve sees Cena end up with Ziggler under no duress 4000-1
Odds that Smackdowns main event is Big Show vs. A Chair in a grudge match 899-1
Odds that “the chair” sells better than him 1-1
Odds that Michal Chiklis joins Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins 700-1 (google it)
Odds that next week is Ryback & Hell No vs. The Shield 2-1
Who will be the biggest star to emerge from the Shield? Ambrose 1-1 Rollins 4-1 Reigns 3-1
That’s it for this week…what do you think about these guys? I’ve been high on Ambrose ever since that unique angle that went nowhere with Foley. I feel like he has a very honest tone, and a heel that just tells it like it is can be very effective. I would think after enough time and exposure he will grow to be liked, but he’s got the right look and delivery where he doesn’t sound like he’s cutting a wrestling promo. It will be interesting to see how this goes, and bringing in 3 legitimate guys right into the top mix is a very smart idea right now…because we can only sit through so many Tensai or Khali matches before we keel over and die.