Raw: Ryback finally gets some payback in Greensboro
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Raw: Sheamus has hit the breaking point in his feud with Big Show, and John Cena has had enough of Dolph Ziggler. They'll come together in a tag team match. Also, we'll find out if The Shield is going to offer an explanation for yet another attack on Ryback. Raw is live from Greensboro on USA.
Match 1 – Team Hell No vs.The Prime Time Players
The Shield is in the house, watching from high up in the stands. Kane sees them, promising to give Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns something to fight about if they come to the ring. Michael Cole mentions that Vince McMahon is rumored to be in the building as well. Also, he's noticed that Rollins and Reigns have already disappeared. They get progressively closer to the ring as the match goes on, as does Ambrose. In the meantime, Daniel Bryan works over Titus O'Neil for a near fall, but Darren Young quickly repays the favor. Bryan gets the No Lock applied, and all four men end up in the ring. Ambrose and Reigns are now right behind the barricade. Bryan rolls up Young for the pin, but The Shield attacks right after the bell. Kane gets crunched between the stairs and the ring before all three men turn their attention to Bryan, who receives a group power bomb. Their work done, Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns head back off through the crowd.
Cena and Sheamus talk about how it's a win-win that the two of them are teaming to get their hands on their enemies, and the Great White promptly loses his partner with a series of Irish references. He promises that what he's going to do tonight will translate in any language.
Match 2 – Tamina Snuka va. AJ
Snuka throws AJ off the top turnbuckle in the early going, stomping on her multiple times to get a near fall. The former GM fights back after getting racked over Snuka's shoulder, though she soon finds herself kicking out again. A big jumping head butt seems to have AJ in more trouble, but Tamina takes her eye off the ball and gets rolled up for the three count.
Accompanied as usual by his representative Paul Heyman, WWE Champion CM Punk makes his grand entrance. Heyman has the new WWE Encyclopedia with him, but he doesn't like it because there's not enough in it about Punk. He did use it to figure out that tomorrow night at midnight, Punk will surpass Cena as the longest reigning champion of the last 25 years. Despite that, the champ is still feeling unfairly persecuted. He calls out the members of the WWE Universe, scoffing at the way people have credited Heyman, Brad Maddox or The Shield as the reasons he still has the belt. The truth according to Punk is that without him, they would never have bought a ticket for tonight's show. He repeats his assertion that he has nothing to do with Maddox or The Shield. If you don't like it, you can change the channel or leave the arena. Really? That rhetorical question heralds the arrival of The Miz, who says no one believes Punk. He actually proposes that Punk appear on his show to take a lie detector test. Heyman objects, but that backfires as The Miz spurs the fans to start a “Walrus!” chant. Eventually, Miz's reverse psychology works, and Punk agrees to take the test.
Match 3 – John Cena and Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show
Sheamus and Ziggler start things out, but it isn't long before Cena gets tagged in. Ziggler also gives way to Show, who shrugs off Cena's offense and steps on his chest. Some painful open hand chops follow. Cena tries lifting the big man, but Show falls on him to get a two count. Ziggler also gets a near fall after a series of elbow drops. Cena avoids Ziggler's leap into the corner, leaving both men down. Sheamus and Show are both tagged in, and the Great White rips off a series of moves. He comes off the top rope but is met with a spear. Commercial time. Sheamus is able to turn things around with an Irish Curse on Ziggler, and Cena returns with a vengeance. Ziggler is hoisted for an Attitude Adjustment, and though Show halts it, Sheamus quickly comes to the aid of his partner. Ziggler gets the AA while Show simultaneously receives the White Noise, and Dolph is covered and pinned.
Miss Piggy and Flo-Rida talk about WWE's Tribute to the Troops. #noreally
Damien Sandow is giving one lucky fan the opportunity to become his apprentice. What a boon for that lucky plant... er, fan. All he has to do is answer three questions:
1. For what is the chemical formula H2O?
2. Who was the first president of the United States?
3. Which poet wrote “Much have I traveled in the realms of gold?”
The “fan” misses the last question (it was Keats), earning him ridicule and banishment by Sandow. Santino Marella comes out with a trivia question of his own. Sandow reacts violently to that query, and it seems we're going to have ourselves a match.
Match 4 – Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella
Jerry Lawler tells some story about the origin of Marella's power walk. Santino manages to survive the Elbow of Disdain, chasing Sandow around the ring with the Cobra drawn. Sandow outsmarts him (#surprise), and gets the pinfall with the Terminus. Apparently you, yes you, can try to stump Sandow with your own question on Tout.
Ziggler asks, nay begs Vickie Guerrero for a rematch with Cena at TLC. Maddox and his cameraman are waiting in her office. After a commercial break, he kisses up to her by mentioning her eye for talent and entertainment. Vickie grants his request for a match tonight and promises it will be great TV.
Match 5 – Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
Sin Cara has the early edge thanks to both his typical acrobatic moves and a series of kicks. Del Rio responds with a snap suplex for two and a chin lock, but he soon finds himself under assault on the outside. Sin Cara knocks him off the apron with a kick and leaps to slam him into the barricade. More commercials, as if you didn't know. Del Rio has things turned around after the break, working over Sin Cara's back and trying to unmask him. A German suplex leads to a pin but Sin Cara kicks out at two. The masked man recovers to hit a big tornado DDT off the middle rope, and the Mexican superstars slug it out. Sin Cara hits a high cross body off the top rope, but Del Rio is able to kick out at the last moment. Fighting off one last burst of offense, Del Rio counters with a cross armbreaker to get a quick tapout from his foe.
The Chairman is here! He tells a production assistant to inform Vickie that he wants to have a conversation with her in the ring. Like right now.
The boss gets what he wants, power walking to the ring after an introduction from Guerrero. Vince has a suggestion for making the Cena-Ziggler match truly epic. She wants it to be No Disqualifications, but he wants her to try harder. How about a Ladder Match? She protests that neither man is a champion, and there needs to be something to hang above the ring. Oh, but what about Ziggler's Money in the Bank briefcase? She's eventually convinced to make that match, but Vince isn't quite done yet. The Chairman wants to know what will happen if Punk fails the lie detector test. No one likes a liar, Vickie. If Punk is found to be lying, Heyman will have to face Ryback in a match next Monday. Let's hear it for Vickie!
Match 6 – Brad Maddox vs. Randy Orton
You kind of saw this one coming, you know? Rope-aided DDT, RKO, and that's it for Maddox. But it's not it for Orton – he gets jumped by The Shield after the bell. Even Cole is saying he's starting to run out of excuses for the group. Orton gets pummeled and takes the group power bomb.
Vickie is busy yelling at Charles Robinson when Ziggler stops by to complain about her inability to stand up to Vince. Dolph delivers the ultimate burn by telling her she is becoming just like AJ. Heyman also drops in, but all he does is stare at Vickie. She finally breaks the awkward silence by saying he better hope that Punk is telling the truth. Oh, and there's one more visitor: Cena. Not surprisngly, he loves the TLC match, and he thanks her. Cena mentions that he's the only person ever to try cashing in the briefcase and fail, so he vows to correct that when he gets the case the second time. Guerrero warns Cena about AJ and how unstable she is, seemingly ignoring McMahon's request that she not focus on the “AJ scandal” going forward.
Teddy Long comes out to ask the fans to vote on Twitter as to whose championship will be defended in a Fatal Four-Way match. We'll find out the results right after the break. And the winner is... Kofi Kingston, because it is Antonio Cesaro who has to risk his strap.
Match 7 – Antonio Cesaro (champion) vs. Wade Barrett (challenger) vs. R-Truth (challenger) vs. Kofi Kingston (challenger) – United States Championship Match
The heels get sent out to the floor so that Kofi and Truth can have a cool stalemate of dropkicks. Kingston hits a suicide dive on Barrett, but Truth gets hauled out of the ring by Cesaro and smashed into the post. Kofi tries jumping off the stairs, but Cesaro greets him with a European uppercut. Time for more ads. Truth and Cesaro square off for a bit, but Barrett hits the ring to square off with Cesaro. Kingston comes out of nowhere with a cross body on Cesaro, and Barrett has to break up the pin. A quick series of near falls unfolds, ending when Kofi power bombs Barrett as he's trying to superplex Truth. Cesaro makes the save, but can get only two with his move on Kingston. Barrett stalks Kofi with the other two men out on the floor, but Kingston turns things around with a Boom Drop. Cesaro drags Kingston to the floor, but Truth nails him with a dropkick. Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on Barrett only to have Cesaro lift him up to deliver the Neutralizer. Kofi can't kick out, and Cesaro narrowly retains his belt.
Miz has an experienced member of the sheriff's department ready to administer the lie detector test. After all, every good talk show uses one when it needs answers, right? Punk is pretty angry as he gets hooked up to the machine. Miz asks him a series of questions we all know the answers to so a baseline response can be established. The first possible lie comes when Punk is asked if he thinks he can beat Ryback by himself. Miz then cuts to the chase by asking if Maddox and The Shield are working for him. Naturally, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose show up to attack The Miz. Kane and Bryan hit the ring in response, but they're outnumbered. Or at least they are until Ryback makes it three-on-three. Kane and Reigns brawl into the crowd, but Punk is free to take shots at Miz, kicking him onto the floor. He thinks he's home free, but Ryback is waiting right behind him. Punk gets Shell Shocked, and Ryback grabs a chair and a ladder from underneath the ring. Both of those weapons leave their mark on the WWE Champion, and it looks like a table is next. Ryback power bombs Punk through a table to finally end a show with the upper hand. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk wants his own team of writers to help "fight injustice" on SLAM! Wrestling. Volunteer to help invade other writers' stories by contacting him on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.