WWE RAW Reaction: Starring CM Punk with AJ, Heyman, Foley, Ryback, Cena and More

Greg DeMarco@@gregdemarco411Analyst IIISeptember 25, 2012

Credit: WWE.com
Credit: WWE.com

Tonight’s edition of RAW (Raw 1009) took place in front of a partisan Albany, N.Y., crowd. CM Punk was the central focus of this show, with supporting roles being played by Paul Heyman, AJ Lee, John Cena, Mick Foley and even Ryback. What happened? Take a look...

Results and Summary for the Sept. 24 WWE Monday Night Raw

Promo 1: A cold open takes us straight to the ring with Paul Heyman and (a seated) CM Punk; they call out referee Brad Maddox and demand a resignation, leading to the addition of AJ Lee, ending with a Paul Heyman marriage proposal that earns him a slap in the face

Backstage 1: AJ Lee told Brad Maddox that she’d ensure he never worked in wrestling again if he made another error of that magnitude, Maddox apologized

Promo 2: Vickie Guerrero brings out Dolph Ziggler, along with Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and “Little Jimmy.” Vickie, Truth and “Little Jimmy” are sent to the back for our match.

Match 1: Dolph Ziggler pinned Kofi Kingston in 11:06 following the Zig Zag

Transition 1: Jim Ross and Michael Cole explain the unexpected severity of John Cena’s elbow surgery

Vignette 1: Daniel Bryan and Kane continued therapy with Dr. Shelby in a local restaurant, where Bryan orders steamed vegetables and Kane turns out to be the cook.

Match 2: The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young) defeated Santino Marella and Zack Ryder (Team Novelty Act?) in 1:54

Transition 2: We see a shot of a locker room door labeled “Special Guest”

Promo 3: Mick Foley addressed the crowd and CM Punk, bringing Punk out; Foley challenged Punk to wrestle John Cena at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view

Match 3: Ryback pinned Intercontinental Champion The Miz in a non-title match in 2:56 with the Falling Fisherman’s Buster (during this match two fan run-ins could be seen on screen)

Vignette 2: Daniel Bryan and Kane ate dinner together with Bryan chanting Yes and Kane pounding on the table; Mae Young was sitting at the counter and delivered the famous (and expected) When Harry Met Sally line “I’ll have exactly what they’re having”

Backstage 2: AJ told the Raw officials that everyone makes mistakes, and wished them well for the remainder of the show; she then informed Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez that they had a match tonight against Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and Sheamus

Match 4: Wade Barrett pinned Tyson Kidd after hitting The Souvenir (elbow smash to the head) at 2:20

Transition 3: Michael Cole and Jim Ross set-up the Jerry Lawler interview

Promo 4: Michael Cole stood in the ring and interviewed Jerry Lawler, who appeared via satellite from his Memphis home

Match 5: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez in 7:52 when Cara pinned Ricardo following a Swanton Bomb

Vignette 3: Dr. Shelby provided a final piece of anger management for the week, where Kane had to eat a salad and Daniel Bryan had to eat meat, Kane burped and Bryan threw up in Dr. Shelby’s lap

Promo 5: WWE Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Kane were dubbed “Team Hell No” by the fans’ Twitter vote, they were then attacked by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow—who declared themselves “Team Rhodes Scholars”

Transition 4: Jim Ross and Michael Cole showed videos of the two CM Punk promos

Match 6: Divas Champion Eve and Beth Phoenix beat Alicia Fox and Layla when Eve pinned Fox in 1:28

Promo 6: Kaitlyn appeared on the stage, on crutches, to reveal that she saw security camera footage of the backstage Night of Champions attack and her attacker was blonde, Eve blamed it on Beth Phoenix and attacked her

Match 7: Brodus Clay battled Tensai to a no-contest when The Big Show attacked both men at the 1:45 mark

Promo 7: John Cena addressed the crowd, discussing his injury and Hell in a Cell, which brings out CM Punk, Punk explains that he isn’t going to wrestle Cena at Hell in a Cell, and Cena attacks him with a lead pipe (providing his own “pipebomb”)

Backstage 3: CM Punk ran across Mick Foley backstage, attacking him, when Punk went back for more, we was greeted by a fuming Ryback, Punk backed off and the camera focused on Ryback as the show came to a close

The Numbers Game

Matches: 7, totaling 29 minutes and 11 seconds

  • Average Match Time: 4:11
  • Longest Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston (11:06)
  • Shortest Match: Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox and Layla (1:28)

Backstage Segments: 3

In-Ring/On-Stage Promos: 7

Pre-Taped Vignettes: 3

Knee-Jerk Reactions

This was a good edition of Monday Night Raw, filled with some great promo work and a few surprises. I give this WWE effort a “B+.”  CM Punk was the star of the show tonight, and while it was very entertaining, it also came off as a little bit of overkill.

Punk’s interactions started with AJ Lee. Along with Paul Heyman, Punk berated AJ while bringing up their prior relationship, even requesting that AJ inform everyone that he’s indeed “The Best in the World” (and not at wrestling).

Punk later confronted Mick Foley, who was pushing Punk to accept a Hell in a Cell match against John Cena.

Things finally boiled to Punk and Cena himself in the final segment of the program, where Cena attacked Punk with a lead pipe. This is definitely questionable behavior for the face of the WWE’s corporate initiative with The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The final backstage segment with Ryback protecting Mick Foley from an additional attack by CM Punk was intriguing. If John Cena’s recovery time will in fact be extended, it’s as good of a time as ever to elevate Ryback. And Punk is the perfect man to do that against.

Outside of Ziggler-Kingston and the six-man tag, the matches were a little too short tonight. The Miz—current Intercontinental Champion and one of two heels to leave the WrestleMania main event with a win—shouldn’t lose in under 4 minutes unless he’s walking out. While the end of the show provided the reasons why it had to be done, I still don’t have to like it.

It was nice to see a focus placed on tag teams tonight. A feud was started between WWE Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan and their new foes, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.

The Prime Time Players picked up a good victory, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara were part of a winning team with Sheamus and the company still has options with Zack Ryder and Santino Marella as well as Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. While nearly every team is thrown together, they seem to work.

This week’s “anger management” series wasn’t nearly as entertaining as what we’ve seen in weeks past. The attempts at humor didn’t work for me, but I was glad to see some direction provided to the titles before the end of the show.

Jim Ross did a good job alongside Michael Cole in the commentary booth, but they seemed far more understated when compared to the three-man booth used last week (with JBL).

Major Angle Advancement

The major angle of the program was the continued change being seen in CM Punk. He now has people coming to him with concerns about Paul Heyman’s intentions (a fair concern) while trying to tell him what to do. By the end of the night, Punk had issues with John Cena, AJ Lee, Mick Foley and Ryback. That’s a lot to heap on one man’s plate!

The Big Show returned in a simple-yet-effective manner, knocking out both Tensai and Brodus Clay. Show has now attacked Brodus multiple times, and I do hope the two feud in the future.

There seemed to be an effort to rebuild the tag team division in one night, and it actually worked! While I’d rather see Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow pursuing singles gold, they could make for a very interesting tag team as well. Sandow obviously made a great partner choice, as Cody has held the tag team championships with several partners over the past few years.

One person who didn’t see any advancement was Dolph Ziggler. We really need to see something more from him at this stage of his development. We know he has the briefcase, but he lacks any other form of direction. And with each passing week, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Vickie Guerrero no longer adds anything to Dolph’s character—it’s time for them to part ways.

Moving Forward

AJ Lee’s comment about “cleaning up” Brad Maddox’s messes was very appropriate, as the WWE has to do some clean-up next week. Who will WWE Champion Punk face at Hell in a Cell—John Cena or Ryback? If Ryback is moving on already, who is next for Intercontinental Champion The Miz? Outside of Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars, who else is “officially” in the tag team division?

Greg DeMarco is a wrestling fan of over 28 years and has also worked on the independent circuit as a promoter, announcer, character and booker. More of his work can be found at www.411Mania.com. Greg also hosts a weekly radio show found at www.blogtalkradio.com/gregdemarco and streaming worldwide each weekend at www.vocnation.com.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gregdemarcoshow
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gregdemarco411
Email: gregdemarcolives@gmail.com


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