WWE RAW Reaction: Punk & Heyman Own Chicago, Kane & Bryan Hug It Out, More

Greg DeMarco@@gregdemarco411Analyst IIISeptember 4, 2012

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Tonight’s edition of RAW (RAW 1006) took place in front of a loud and rabid Chicago crowd. Chicago fans have had a mind of their own for years now, and tonight was no different. Not even walking out on a match could make CM Punk a heel in his hometown. What happened? Take a look...

Results and Summary for the September 3, 2012 edition WWE RAW

Backstage 1: Footage of a preshow brawl between CM Punk and Jerry Lawler that removed the Hall of Fame commentator from the broadcast position for tonight

Promo 1: Sheamus opening promo with interruptions from CM Punk and AJ Lee, leading to the announcement of John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus vs. CM Punk (champion vs. champion) as our double main event

Match 1: Dolph Ziggler pinned Randy Orton in 13:40 with a roll-up and a handful of tights

Transition 1: The Miz joined Michael Cole for commentary for the rest of the night

Vignette 1: Daniel Bryan and Kane continued anger management therapy by presenting their “anger collages,” ending with Kane starting a trash can fire with his collage (which was blank)

Match 2: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated Cody Rhodes and Tensai in 7:50 when Cara pinned Rhodes following a Swanton Bomb

Vignette 2: Daniel Bryan and Kane continued this week’s installment of "Anger Management" with trust falls, where Kane caught Bryan, but both men allowed Harold to drop to the floor

Promo 2: Sheamus vs. CM Punk didn’t happen as Punk advised AJ he was taking Labor Day off

Backstage 2: Punk informed AJ he was leaving the building, using a personal day

Match 3: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus beat Jack Swagger by submission in 2:45, leading to a post-match brawl with Alberto Del Rio that ended with Ricardo Rodriguez eating a Brogue Kick

Match 4: Eve pinned Kaitlyn in 3:15 following a neck breaker, and shook hands with Layla (who was on commentary) after the match

Backstage 3: Jack Swagger informed AJ that he was taking an extended leave of absence

Vignette 3: Daniel Bryan and Kane completed anger management therapy for the week with Bryan offering Kane a rematch whenever he wanted one, and both men scared everyone out of the room, causing the therapist to snap

Backstage 4: As Matt Striker looked for a status update on Ricardo’s condition, David Otunga informed him that there was no comment

Match 5: Ryback pinned Jinder Mahal in 2:10 following a Falling Fisherman’s Buster

Backstage 5: AJ announced that John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio was now Falls Count Anywhere

Promo 3: Daniel Bryan and Kane “Hug It Out,” leading to an in-ring brawl that ended with Bryan striking Kane with a chair

Match 6: US Champion Antonio Cesaro pinned Santino in 2:05

Match 7: Zack Ryder pinned Heath Slater in 3:00

Promo 4: Vickie Guerrero initiated a “sit-in” and debated with a chair. This brought out AJ, who apologized to Vickie, who left the ring and skipped to the back, causing AJ to take out her frustrations on the innocent chair

Match 8: Alberto Del Rio pinned John Cena backstage in 12:30 of a Falls Count Anywhere match after CM Punk returned to attack Cena

Backstage 5: CM Punk continued his attack on John Cena before getting back into a car and leaving as the driver revealed himself to be Paul Heyman

The Numbers Game

Matches: 8, totaling 47 minutes and 15 seconds

  • Average Match Time: 5:54
  • Longest Match: Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler (13:40)
  • Shortest Match: Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino (2:05)

Backstage Segments: 5

In-Ring Promos: 4

Pre-Taped Vignettes: 3

Knee Jerk Reactions

This was a good edition of Monday Night RAW, one I would grade a “B.” Overall, the show “felt” longer than last week’s three-hour edition, as the pacing and presentation of these lengthier RAWs is still a challenge for the company.

The average match time of 5:54 is a bit misleading, as multiple matches took some time to develop, and others has post-match storyline advancements that took place in the ringside area, adding to how long the match felt. Sheamus vs. Swagger is a great example of this: factoring in pre- and post-match activities, this entire portion of the program lasted nearly 15 minutes.

There was a three-match run that really felt forced in Ryback-Mahal, Cesaro-Santino and Ryder-Slater. I almost felt like the WWE needed to roll out more matches to justify a three hour program. The company would have been better served to give that much time to one longer match. Factoring in entrances and commercials, you could have added a 15-minute match to the program.

Despite being a pretaped bit for the show, the “Anger Management” series came off really well on TV. The WWE might be amazed at just how over Harold is, and hopefully it leads to something for Scorpio Sky. He did an outstanding acting job in the role, which should impress some WWE officials.

Intercontinental Champion The Miz did a great job at the commentary table. Not since CM Punk occupied that role have I felt like a performer could easily return on a permanent basis and have me not miss Jerry Lawler one bit. Color commentary is not as easy as it looks, and while Lawler has his shortcomings, he is not easily replaced. The Miz proved that he has the ability to fill that role.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler and John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio were two great matches bookending this program. Both had pay-per-view quality action, and both results were surprising. Cena and Del Rio deserve extra praise for their efforts as they really amped up the intensity and provided a level of brutality not normally seen on a WWE broadcast. They showed that you can have match that is pleasing to the hardcore/Internet fan base while still maintaining your PG rating.

Major Angle Advancement

The major angle of the evening was CM Punk’s evolution throughout the program. He entered the show as a god among men in Chicago, but he proved just how great he is. CM Punk got the Chicago crowd to boo him when he walked out, depriving them of the match they had been promised between the company’s two world champions. Punk regained his godlike status within his home town with his return at the end of the show. CM Punk attacked John Cena, costing him the Falls Count Anywhere main event against Alberto Del Rio. Punk then left in a car with Paul Heyman, the night’s biggest reveal.

That reveal leads to many great questions and many great possibilities. It calls back to CM Punk’s famous July 2011 seated promo in Las Vegas, where Punk labeled himself as a “Paul Heyman guy.” PWInsider is reporting that part of Heyman’s decision to sign a longer extension with the company was an idea pitched to the WWE by both men. That idea is obviously the two working together, and it could produce a fall series that would be a rarity for the WWE: a storyline that engages both the hardcore/internet and the casual fans at the same time. If the WWE maximizes this pairing, it has the potential to lead to great things during a traditionally low period for the company.

Fans also got involvement with Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio, and their intensity and chemistry worked better on this night than any other. If any week leads me to have more excitement about their Night of Champions match, it was this one. The involvement of David Otunga and his “client” Ricardo Rodriguez is intriguing. Otunga is a smarmy heel lawyer representing a sympathetic figure, which will elicit a strong reaction from the viewing audience.

Daniel Bryan and Kane continued to have amazing chemistry, and despite their post-hug brawl, their newly found understanding for each other could lead to the WWE’s next super team. If you’re looking to rebuild a tag team division, giving newer teams a super team of Bryan and Kane to chase is a great place to start.

AJ had a great week as the General Manager of RAW, although I am leery of seeing yet another GM lose control of the product. It is a double-edged sword, because her losing control of the roster allows her to infuse more character into the role, and it’s that very character that got her so over with the audience to begin with. While I am not excited about the device being used to tell the story, I am willing to see it through due to the quality of the performer.

Moving Forward

Looking to next week’s RAW, there are many questions to be answered. What caused the alliance between Paul Heyman and WWE Champion CM Punk? Is Brock Lesnar involved with this association? What type of reaction can we expect from John Cena? How will AJ respond to the perceptions that she is losing control of her brand? Is more anger management in order for Kane and Daniel Bryan, or have they been given the necessary tools to work out their own differences? Can Alberto Del Rio and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus ride the wave of momentum created this week? What’s next for Dolph Ziggler and The Miz? And lastly, will anyone finally feed Ryback more?


Want to hear a review of RAW? Check out my weekly podcast, The Greg DeMarco Show, presented by The Voice of Choice Nation. The show streams every weekend, worldwide, at VOCNation.com. You can also listen to Monday’s immediate RAW reactions, along with special guests Heath Hatton and former WWE/FCW developmental Diva Su Yung, here:


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