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   October 23, 2014



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Raw: Punk, Cena and Big Show have a Texas-sized showdown
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Everything may be bigger in Texas, but the changes in WWE Champion CM Punk have been more subtle. His zealousness for holding onto his title seem to be leading to a change in heart, and we may see more developments on that front tonight in San Antonio. It's time for Raw to get live on USA.

It's still hard to get used to the idea of AJ Lee as General Manager, but she tries to get us more comfortable by announcing some of the matches she has cooked up. She only has a minute or two alone in the ring, though, before Punk decides to join her. The champ says he lives his life with zero regrets, but he also is man enough to admit his mistakes. He apologizes to AJ, saying the GM is like the WWE Champion and doesn't deserve to be disrespected. He also wants the Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam canceled, calling it a mistake. AJ won't budge on that, making Punk wonder if it's revenge for his rejection of her marriage proposal a few weeks ago. While he's attempting to explain his position in more detail, John Cena shows up to add his two cents. His dueling for and against chants are pretty loud tonight. Cena turns them into a commentary about how Punk needs to fight for his respect every week instead of demanding it. He also points out that it was Punk's interference that ended his battle with Big Show and created the Triple Threat Match in the first place. CM disagrees with that point of view, saying he saved Cena from a back injury trying to give Show an Attitude Adjustment. They argue a bit more, Show comes out, and AJ has seen enough. Punk can't believe he doesn't have a match, saying he deserves to be in the main event. Who is it against? She doesn't know, because it's up to the WWE Universe. The choices are The Miz, Kane and Rey Mysterio. Vote on Twitter now! Well not now, because when you read this, the match will already be over. #timeparadox

Jerry Lawler reveals the winner of the fan voting: And it's Mysterio with 47 percent of the votes.

Match 1 – CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey's all white ring outfit with gold printing is pretty sharp. He gets in the first nice shots by sending Punk to the floor and hitting a senton splash off the second rope. A commercial break follows. Punk hits a suplex a few minutes later that evens the odds. Mysterio rallies with a kick to the head for a near fall, and both men get up slowly. Ray battles off of Punk's shoulders and hits the 619, but he's met with raised knees when he tries a splash off the top rope. Punk executes the Go To Sleep and wraps up the win.

A video package shows Wade Barrett going into something that looks like an underground fight club to “reignite the flame” inside of him. Sadly, it looks like we're going to be stuck with the Barrett Barrage catchphrase when he comes back. Elsewhere, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez visit AJ and find out she has nothing planned for ADR. Or does she? After they mention their fears she was going to do something crazy, AJ changes course and puts Alberto in a match... and it's on next.

Match 2 – Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio

Don't make Del Rio angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry, or something like that. Christian survives an early onslaught and sets up for a spear, but he runs right into a big kick. Rodriguez buys his boss a moment without the ref looking, and Del Rio sneaks in a cheap shot with his boot. The cross armbreaker gets a quick tap out from Christian. Sheamus appears on the big screen saying he'd like to upgrade his life since ADR decided the World Heavyweight Champion was beneath him. Turns out Rodriguez left the keys in Del Rio's Ferrari, and Sheamus decides to take it for a little sightseeing tour of San Antonio.

Match 3 – Randy Orton vs. The Big Show

Orton quickly rains down punches in the corner until Show establishes himself. That lasts for about two minutes before Orton drop kicks his way back into the match. He looks for the RKO but gets picked up for a choke slam. Orton slips out to the floor and manages to guillotine Show on the top rope, but the big man retaliates and follows him outside the ring. He rolls Randy back into the ring and signals for another choke slam. The Viper kicks his way out of trouble and heads back toward the announce table. Show gets sent into the ringpost but bounces back to connect with a spear. The ref gets his count to ten, ending the match in a rare double countout. The two combatants aren't quite done with each other, so Orton hits the RKO back inside the ring.

Match 4 – Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. Ryback

Reks actually finds some success against Ryback after Hawkins offers a distraction from the apron. Hawkins tags in and also gets in some offense, but Ryback chucks him out to the floor. Hawkins eats a jumping clothesline, then gets Shell Shocked and pinned. Incredibly, some fans seem to be chanting “Feed me more” along with Ryback. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Match 5 – The Prime Time Players vs. Primo and Epico

Michael Cole manages to make a comment about how competitive the WWE tag team division is and does it without laughing. Now that's impressive. I can't bring myself to do a move-by-move recap of this one since I'm tired of seeing these teams face off. The Prime Time Players try to walk out when momentum turns against them, but Kofi Kingston and R-Truth stop them from doing so. Epico takes advantage with the Backstabber on Darren Young to get the pinfall.

After a quick look back at Damien Sandow's run-in with DX at Raw 1000, Josh Mathews asks the intellectual savior about why he's going after Brodus Clay. To save us all from Clay's dancing, that's why. You're welcome!

Clay starts to come down for his match, but Sandow doesn't even let him get out of his track suit before attacking him from behind. Damien uses a series of chop blocks to the back of Brodus' leg to soften him up for a leg lock. Just like a week ago, we never get to an official match, because Clay can't go on. Sandow says “You did this to yourself Brodus.”

In the GM's office, AJ tells Daniel Bryan that while the psychologist may have declared him sane, he clearly has anger management issues. Bryan wants to use his match against Cena tonight to convince her to make the SummerSlam title match into a Fatal Four-Way, but she informs him that he's already booked for the PPV: to face Kane. A “No!” versus “Yes!” showdown follows.

Match 6 – Kelly Kelly vs. Eve

It looks like Eve has some second thoughts about participating in this one, but Kelly yanks her back into the ring by her hair. Eve still doesn't want to wrestle, so Kelly smacks her in the face and gives her no choice. Eve finally does some damage by dropping Kelly off the top rope and snaring her in a headlock. But Kelly finally escapes and uses a hurricanrana pin to finish Eve off.

In a move guaranteed to delight the San Antonio crowd, Shawn Michaels comes to the ring. HBK says he's out of shape from only appearing every so often, and even though he's happy watching the world go by on his ranch, he figured there was no way he'd miss coming to Raw when it came to his hometown. Even though there are some new faces in the locker room, there's still scuttlebutt, and much of it is about the confrontation between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. As if on cue, Lesnar and Paul Heyman come down the ramp. Just to set the record straight, Heyman says that Lesnar isn't showing up at SummerSlam to be an entertainer, he's showing up to fight Triple H and prove that he's the baddest dude on the planet today. Those were Paul's words, not mine. Michaels says the mistake Lesnar and Heyman made was making it personal, so he's backing his good friend to win. In fact, HBK says he will be in The Game's corner at the pay-per-view. Heyman thinks this is a bad idea, but let's see what Triple H has to say, shall we? His appearance in the ring gets Lesnar to retreat for a second. Brock says he'll see Trips at SummerSlam and Michaels before then.

Cole and Lawler discuss Sheamus and whether or not he stole or borrowed Del Rio's Ferrari. He's out enjoying it now, by the looks of his Tout. Aw crap, thought we would make it through tonight's show without mentioning that. #wishfulthinking

Match 7 – Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler

Chris Jericho joins the announce team and has to endure some of Cole's grilling about how he can't win the big one. Ultimately, Jericho gets in Ziggler's head so much that the Show Off gets rolled up and pinned by Riley. Yes, that's right – Riley isn't just still on the roster, he just got a win.

Sheamus continues his joyride in Del Rio's Ferrari. He even seems to be spilling food in the $200,000 interior. What's that the kids type? Oh yeah, smh.

Match 8 – Kane vs. The Miz

The two non-winners of the poll from earlier tonight get the booby prize, which is facing each other. It's not a long contest, with Miz looking unsuccessfully for a Skull Crushing Finale but ending up on the wrong end of a choke slam. Sorry Miz.

WHAT YOU THINK
What's your take on CM Punk?
He's going full heel - 39%
He'll be a tweener - 43%
He'll stay a babyface - 4%
No idea whatsoever - 13%
The Ferrari is somewhat the worse for wear when Sheamus returns to the arena. He pays someone to valet it, apparently, though I can't recall ever seeing valet parking at a WWE event.

Main Event – Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena

A bunch of guys dressed like referees in the front row harass Bryan as this one gets underway. Bryan gets a little frustrated as Cena battles him to a standstill in the opening minutes, so he goads John into chasing him outside the ring, Bryan launches himself off the apron and heads over to jaw with the fake referees. We step away for one last commercial break. Bryan tries to wear Cena down, a strategy that works until it doesn't. Cena breaks out and scores with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Bryan counters with a guillotine choke. Cena appears to be fading, but he summons up enough energy to kick out of several near falls. Bryan goes up top and delivers the flying head butt, yet it's still not enough. He tries a series of kicks, but Cena catches him and locks on the STF. Bryan reverses into the No Lock, but he finds himself hoisted up for an Attitude Adjustment. Cena makes the cover and gets the three count. Punk and Show both end up heading to the ring, where the champ allows Show and Cena to battle each other. Once Cena has Show up for the AA, Punk attacks from behind. He goes over to the announce table and admits that maybe Lawler was right about him allowing himself to be disrespected. With that in mind, Punk vows that every episode of Raw will end the same way, with his SummerSlam opponents out cold in the ring. Punk climbs back in the ring to punctuate that thought, but Show revives just in time to catch him in mid-kick and knock him out with a big right hand. Cena wakes up just in time to get decked by the WMD himself. So it's Big Show triumphant this time around, and we're out of time. See you in seven!