September 24, 2012
Raw: An injured Cena drops a different type of pipe bomb on Punk in Albany
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
You don't suppose the WWE is doing an angle about a missed call by a referee as some kind of commentary on the ongoing slapstick comedy that is the lockout of NFL officials, do you? No, surely not. In any case, Raw is in Albany tonight, where we'll see a possible video review and undoubtedly a reaction from WWE Champion CM Punk. Let's go live to USA.
Ladies and gentlemen, his name is Paul Heyman, and he is honored to be sharing the ring with the best in the world, WWE Champion CM Punk. Unfortunately, they are here to grind the show to a halt until justice is served. Heyman rolls the footage from the main event of last week's show, clearly showing that Punk got his foot on the ropes before referee Brad Maddox counted to three while John Cena was pinning him. Paul summons Maddox to the ring for an apology, but also wants his resignation. The ref does say he's sorry, but Punk isn't happy with just that. Maddox explains that when Raw expanded to three hours, he got the call from AJ Lee saying that she needed more officials. Speaking of the GM, she saves Maddox from further abuse, coming out to confront Punk and Heyman. The champ thinks that AJ is still giving him a hard time because of his rejection of her marriage proposal a few months back. He decides to rub more salt in the wound by implying that they were “intimate” behind closed doors and that he's the best in the world at more than just wrestling. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Heyman tries another tactic by suggesting that AJ should marry him to create a true wrestling power couple. He likes 'em young and uninhibited, apparently. AJ responds with a slap to the face. I guess that's a no.
Maddox gets consoled by a fellow ref backstage right before he apologizes to AJ. She warns him not to embarrass her again or she will make sure he never works in this business again. But she doesn't even look like she hears his additional apologies, because that crazy, far-off look is in her eyes. Hold it together AJ!
The hijinks begin before the match even starts as R-Truth ends up spilling his drink on Vickie Guerrero after she thumbs her nose at Little Jimmy. The ref ends up sending Vickie and Truth to the back, and Kingston gets the early edge before a commercial break. It's all Ziggler for the next few minutes, and he gets a two count with a neckbreaker. Kofi rallies and gets the fans behind him with a Boom Drop. He tries for the Trouble in Paradise, and even though Ziggler evades it, Kingston manages to hit a kick to the face and a flying clothesline for a near fall. Jim Ross mentions the official getting a great look at the pinning attempts. Classic. Kingston connects with an SOS, but it's still not enough to win. Neither is a high cross body, but Ziggler does manage to finish things off with the Zig Zag. That was a really good opening match, I'd have to say.
Michael Cole and J.R. discuss Cena's elbow surgery, which apparently found that the injury was worse than expected. We'll hear from Cena live later tonight.
A video package runs down the continuing drama between Daniel Bryan and Kane. Dr. Shelby earned his money again last week on SmackDown. Speaking of the good doctor, he set up a little role-playing exercise earlier today to help them coexist outside the ring. It features Kane playing the role of Gerald the waiter.
Match 2 – The Prime Time Players vs. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder
Mr. No Days Off needs some help from partner Titus O'Neill, but it's enough to completely turn around the momentum of this quick match. Titus sneaks up on Santino as the legal man and is able to quickly get the pinfall that will earn him millions and millions of dollars. Okay, maybe not.
Match 3 – The Miz vs. Ryback
Wait, Ryback is wrestling someone who isn't a jabroni? Guess it had to happen eventually. Miz gets manhandled early on just like everyone else, so he catches a breather by rolling out to the floor. The Intercontinental Champion comes back in with several kicks to the head and a DDT, but they're only enough for a two count. A power slam and a clothesline set up Ryback's finisher, and poor Miz is down and out. The undefeated streak rolls on, but I still have this feeling of deja vu every time I watch Ryback perform. Strange...
Crap, just missed a backstage segment channel surfing to Dancing With... I mean, Monday Night Football. Yeah, that's it. In any case, I caught enough to know that AJ booked a six-man tag that will see Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga team with Ricardo Rodriguez. And none of them seem especially thrilled about it.
Have I mentioned that I was hoping the phrase Barrett Barrage would go away when he returned to action? I have? Well it's worth mentioning again. Wade ends this one rather quickly with his knockout elbow shot that he calls The Souvenir.
Cole gives everyone an update on the health of Jerry “The King” Lawler before we got to him live in Memphis. The King flashes a smile as the fans give him a standing ovation, and he admits that he's probably lucky to feeling as good as he does. Lawler says he does not remember anything past the opening segment of the show where he had his heart attack in Montreal, including his match. He recalls thinking he was still on vacation with his girlfriend in Aruba and did not realize right away what had happened. Lawler calls the amount of well-wishes and concern that he received unbelievable, and he thanks everyone from the bottom of his heart. When can we expect to see him at the announce table again? The King jokes that sitting next to Cole for three hours made it just a matter of time for him to have a heart attack, but he says his voice needs to recover and he will leave it up to the doctors to decide when he can return to work.
This match is so big that it needs two commercial breaks before it gets underway. Otunga takes a bit of a beating before giving way to Rodriguez, who is wrestling in his tuxedo. Del Rio also gets to work against Sin Cara, who also has to fend off Rodriguez's attempts to unmask him. Mysterio tags in and has to be quick to kick out after Del Rio knocks him off the top rope with a jumping enzuigiri. Rey needs a tag and finally gets it thanks to Sheamus. The World Heavyweight Champion tears into the heels, who leave Rodriguez as the legal man. The poor ring announcer receives a 619 from Mysterio before he gets pinned by Sin Cara. Otunga is still in the ring after the bell, where he's easy prey for the Brogue Kick.
Cole tells the dynamic duo that Team Hell No won the poll to name the team by a pretty wide margin. Bryan and Kane don't even have time to digest their new moniker before they are ambushed by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. You're welcome! In case we missed it earlier, we get another chance to see how AJ reacted to Heyman's marriage proposal. And we see Foley yelling at Punk. Why even tune in to the first hour of the show?
This one is super short, with Phoenix doing most of the work but Eve happily getting the pin. Kaitlyn crutches her way out with an accusation that a blond attacked her at Night of Champions. Eve immediately blames Phoenix, who claims she is innocent. Eve ends the argument by kicking Phoenix in the stomach and rolling the dice on her. J.R. says the Divas situation is getting more and more interesting by the week. I have to respectfully disagree.
It's almost like the WWE has no idea what to do with these big guys, so they just keep facing off against each other. Ah, but there's an even bigger man who hasn't been seen too much recently, and he soon makes an appearance. Big Show climbs on the apron to deliver a knockout shot to Tensai, and a second right hand stops Clay dead in his tracks. Show doesn't even say anything before walking back up the ramp.
Cheers and boos break out together, which can only mean one thing: Cena is on his way to the ring. He's walking tentatively due to his injured elbow, and he is decked out in his pink breast cancer awareness gear. Cena admits that he hears the mixed feelings about him being there, but he wanted to thank the fans personally for their support for the breast cancer drive. He manages to keep his rant against Punk on a PG level, though he sounds like it takes him a lot of effort. Cena credits the fans for making every Monday night crazy, and even though he doesn't know how healthy he'll be, he guarantees that he'll walk into Hell in a Cell to fight. Punk picks that particular moment to come out, because of course he would (with Heyman too). The champ wonders aloud if Cena missed his true calling as a politician, though he also scoffs at the idea of anyone buying what John is selling. Punk puts over his prior victories over Cena and his lengthy title reign. He calls talking trash to the champ with one arm in a sling the stupidest thing Cena has ever done, and he gives John until the count of five to run before hurting him. Punk turns his back to make the count, meaning he doesn't see Cena produce a lead pipe. As Heyman bails out, Punk gets a shot to the gut. That's what Cena calls a pipe bomb. Oh, and real men wear pink!
Limping his way backstage, Punk passes Foley and decides to take some of his frustration out on the Hardcore Legend. He's about to go back for seconds when he's stopped cold by the sight of... Ryback. See you in seven...