WWE Raw Notes and News: CM Punk, Ryback, John Cena, the Shield, Vince McMahon

Step Taylor@steppytayCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2012

Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

-Raw kicks off with Kane’s pyro, followed by a dramatic beat...followed by Kane’s music. Not sure what that pause is for. We know who’s coming, bros.

-Anyway, Team Hell No is out for action. Couldn’t they just be Hell No? Same goes for the now derailed Team Rhodes Scholars.

-The Shield is way up in a skybox. Kane grabs a microphone and calls the FCW triad on being real tough from afar. That makes sense; they attacked Kane at the end of last week’s show.

-Prime Time Players are out to job to the champs. At first, I typed “Impact Players.” I miss that Lance Storm. Justin Credible…well, I…I really miss that Lance Storm.

-Cole refers to Dean as Daniel Ambrose. By the way, Ambrose is now the only Shield member still up in the skybox. Lawler insists the other members are on their way to the ring.

-Kane throws the Prime Time Players around pretty good for a bit. Titus is getting better at taking bumps.

-Reigns is spotted in the stands amongst the WWE Universe.

-Kane and Bryan work over Darren Young’s arm. The crowd makes some noise as Reigns moves closer to the ring. “Daniel” Ambrose also starts making his way down.

-So far, Ambrose is easily the most intriguing of the three Shield members, and he seems to have taken on somewhat of a leadership capacity (largely thanks to superior verbal skills, I imagine).

-Reigns looks plenty menacing in his big, bad, closed-mouthed enforcer role.

-Titus tries to suplex Kane, but the Big Black Machine (more costume appropriate than socially so) reverses with one of his own.

-Seth Rollins is still nowhere to be seen. How suspenseful.

-Darren takes out Daniels with a flying forearm, followed by a pair of elbow drops and a leg drop.

-Daniels puts the No-Lock on Young, but Titus breaks it up.

-Ambrose and Reigns are at ringside now. Kane and Bryan are both distracted. Young takes advantage by pushing Daniels into Kane and rolling Daniel up. Daniel reverses and pins Young for the victory.

-Reigns and Ambrose jump Kane on the outside. Rollins blindsides Bryan on the inside. They slam Kane’s arm between the steel steps and ring post. Bryan eats the three-man powerbomb in the ring. The Shield take off through the crowd.

-I officially disapprove of Seth’s blond patch. It’s more boy band than bad boy.

-Backstage, Cena and Sheamus cut a horribly contrived promo hyping their tag match against Big Show and Ziggler later tonight. Talk about a couple of try-hard babyfaces with zero edge right now. Let’s hope Ziggler gets some heat back after getting pinned clean last week.

-Tamina is already in the ring. AJ comes out to a nice pop. She jumps all over Tamina, who continuously ragdolls her. It’s pretty clear Tamina is the new Beth Phoenix.

-Lawler says that before AJ became the Raw general manager, she was the Mayor of Crazyville. Nice, Jerry.

-Tamina puts AJ up in a Jesse Ventura-style torture rack. Tamina reminds me of Jazz during her WWE stint.

-Tamina bullies AJ until teasing the top-rope Snuka splash, which allows AJ to school-girl her for the win.

-That match was kind of pointless to me. Not sure how it develops the AJ/Vickie storyline.

-CM Punk is out with Heyman. It’s amazing how cool Punk and Ziggler can make their oddly colored T-shirts look. When Cena does it, one can’t help but wanna reach through one’s screen and poke him in his overacting eyes.

-A clip from the WWE 13 video game before we go to commercial. I haven’t had a chance to play the game yet, but it already annoys me that the new mid-air finisher feature is limited to so few moves. Why not include the Rock Bottom, Spear, Pedigree, Brogue Kick, Meat Hook Clothesline and Trouble in Paradise? Also, shouldn’t more standard moves have a place here? Orton and others frequently counter aerial attacks with a sudden dropkick.

-Heyman plugs the WWE Encyclopedia, but only by running it down for not having enough CM Punk in it. Nicely worked.

-Punk surpasses Cena’s record as WWE Champion tomorrow night. Sick. Cena doesn’t need that claim given the sheer number of title reigns he’s had.

-Punk talks about respect, and then about beating Ryback already. Paul twice yelling “I saw that!” in the background was a highlight.

-Punk points out that many WWE fans can’t keep their marriage or job for as long as he’s been champion. Beautiful heel stuff.

-CM Punk refers to three-hour Raws as “dismal.” Haha. Indeed.

-Punk tells the people to leave his arena.

-Miz comes out in a charming suit and milks the "Really?" schtick he stole from Saturday Night Live. Miz says if the Shield hadn’t saved Punk last week, Ryback would’ve “fed him some Punk.” Not even sure that makes sense.

-Miz doesn’t want to fight Punk. He’d rather have Punk as a guest on Miz TV so he can take a polygraph regarding his affiliation with the Shield.

-Paul Heyman refers to Miz as “Mr. Mizanin.” Miz calls Heyman a “human walrus.” It’s not untrue, but it’s also not particularly clever.

-The kiddies and invalids in the house chant “Walrus.” CM Punk hates it. So do I.

-Miz blathers on for a bit, and voila—Punk accepts the challenge. Not exactly biting my nails right now.

-The Corny Muscle Faces vs. Ziggler and the Big Show is up next.

-I have a bad feeling Ziggler may have to lay down again.

-Cena's out first. Cena makes his debut on Saturday Morning Slam this week. Call all your elementary school friends—it’s gonna be a happening.

-Sheamus’ entrance music couldn’t be more appropriate. Every time I sit through an entire match of his it's a “Shameful Day.”

-Ziggler is out and shaking it like his name is Ravishing Mr. Ass Perfect.

-Funny that Sheamus decided to hit Show with a chair 31 times a month before the TLC pay-per-view, which customarily hosts a "Chairs" match. Amazing coincidence.

-Sheamus neutralizes a speedy Ziggler. Tag to Cena, and the mega faces ground Ziggler with a double-shoulder block.

-A polished sequence between Cena and Ziggler that ends with Cena hitting Zig-Zag Man with a hip-toss and an arm drag.

-Cena and Ziggler could do something special if given a one-on-one slot at TLC.

-Show in, and he has his way with Cena because he’s the Invincible Show mode these days. I prefer upper mid-carder Show mode at this point in his career.

-Cena tries to slam Show, but his legs buckle.

-Ziggler is legal, and he drills Cena with a large number of well-executed elbows.

-Ziggler tries a splash in the corner, but Cena avoids contact.

-Both men make a tag, and Sheamus takes it to the Big Show. He downs him with a flying forearm.

-Sheamus comes off the top rope, but Show blasts him with a nice mid-air spear (see what I'm saying, WWE 13?).

-Show’s like an Orca from SeaWorld: big, slow and nearing the end of a solid career, but still well-trained enough to dazzle on occasion.

-Cole says Ziggler has more potential than anyone in the locker room, he’s just got to put it all together. More like, WWE Creative has to realize the guy can have a money feud with a friggin' knapsack.

-Sheamus hoists Show up for White Noise for the sixth or seventh time in a couple months, and sadly, Cena sets Ziggler up for the FU. They nail their respective finishers in unison, and of course, only Ziggler is pinned. How is this helping Mr. Money in the Bank?

-Ziggler was white hot after surprisingly besting Orton at the end of Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler. WWE has done a marvellous job of flushing that momentum. If this all leads to Ziggler defeating Cena at TLC, I might find some semblance of forgiveness in my wrestle-jaded heart.

-Sandow walks to the ring in search of an apprentice. The candidate he selects from the crowd is wearing a Little Jimmy shirt, which can’t bode well.

-Dude knows about water and George Washington but apparently not poetry or Keats. I’m with Sandow and Cole, actually—that was kind of an easy one.

-Santino interrupts and refers to Sandow as “Trivia Guy.”

-Santino tries to turn the old “She sells sea shells by the seashore” tongue-twister into a question. A fairly asinine verbal exchange results in Sandow dropping Santino. I guess we get Sandow vs. Santino after the break.

-The show is even more haphazard and predictable than usual tonight.

-We’re back, and Santino is “power walking” like the consummate goober he is.

-Sandow scores with his Elbow of Disdain. I’d like to drop that on this whole broadcast thus far.

-Santino goes for the Cobra, but Sandow throws the venomous sock away and connects with the straight jacket neckbreaker.

-Post-match, Damien tips his grad hat to Lanny Poffo with a nice cartwheel.

-We go backstage long enough for Ziggler to tell Vickie that Big Show is the worst tag partner ever and that he wants a rematch with Cena at TLC. Vickie agrees.

-Good enough for me. Ziggler goes in for a kiss of gratitude, but Vickie backs off because of the AJ/Cena scandal. I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point in Ziggler’s career for him to be putting the moves on his old coug’ manager. He should be above it now.

-Brad Maddox and his camera guy are in Vickie’s office. Brad doesn’t want people to forget the name Brad Maddox. A fair concern. I forget his name on a weekly basis.

-Maddox claims Punk had nothing to do with Brad low-blowing Ryback at Hell in a Cell. I like that Punk’s helpers maintain Punk’s innocence.

-Maddox wants a contract, claiming he’s great TV. Vickie agrees to give him a match, but she won’t tell him who his opponent is. Maddox looks unaffected. Anybody but Ryback. Blargh.

-Sin Cara gets to put over Alberto Del Rio tonight. This is what’s so wrong with Raw’s three-hour format: There’s too much time for meaningless matches. Del Rio’s clearly going to win, but what’s the point? His storyline basically consists of Rosa having a crush on him. His feud with Orton is over, I think…I hope...I pray.

-Shoulders to the gut of Sin Cara, followed by a nasty short kick to the face.

-Sin Cara fights back with a vintage Eddie Guererro arm-drag from the top rope, and then some stiff kicks to the chest of Del Rio.

-NICE! Del Rio went for a back body drop, but Sin Cara abruptly cut him off with a front drop kick to the top of the head.

-Sin Cara throws Del Rio into the barricade with a flying head scissors off the apron.

-It just occurred to me that Brad Maddox’s mystery opponent will either be Khali or Orton. Either way, I hope Ambrose and his boys get involved.

-Cole says he can’t believe how Cara has dominated the match, and Del Rio immediately forearms Sin Cara in the throat and knocks him to the floor.

-Alberto applies a chinlock and teases removing Sin Cara’s mask.

-Del Rio with a bridging German suplex, but Cara kicks out. Love that Del Rio uses that move so regularly nowadays.

-A sick little tornado DDT by Sin Cara.

-Sin Cara with his usual defensive kick to the face from the outside, followed by a diving cross-body for two.

-Sin Cara goes for his La Mistica Fujiwara arm-bar submission, but Alberto reverses it and locks on the cross arm-breaker for the tapout.

-Definitely the match of the night thus far, but again, it doesn't mean squat because Del Rio isn't building toward anything beyond a creepy romance with Rosa.

-Vince McMahon in the house. He tells a backstage staffer he wants to see Vickie in the ring pronto. Of course, Vince has to be a bully about it because even when his "character" is a babyface, he has to be a jerk-wad.

-Vince heads to the ring with the only power walk more ridiculous than Santino's.

-Vickie asks everyone to clap for Vince. She points out how handsome he is. In moments like this, I'm sure it's the PG Era. A few years ago, Vickie would have been just about naked, begging like a dog and probably kissing Vince's geriatric rump.

-Vince says Vickie looks almost, semi-comely. It gets no crowd reaction because it's way more cruel than funny.

-Vince forces Vickie to make Ziggler vs. Cena a ladder match. Vickie says it can't be because neither man is a champion and something needs to hang above the ladder. Golly, I wonder where this is going.

-So yeah, Cena vs. Ziggler in a ladder match for Ziggler's briefcase. This is all fine so long as Ziggler gets the upset victory.

-Vince also bullies Vickie into booking Ryback vs. Heyman next week should Punk fail the lie detector test. Why would I want to watch that? How does that make Ryback look tough?

-I like to think the crowd's not just booing Vickie, but that they're also booing Vince for being annoying, obvious and stale.

-Randy Orton is Maddox’s mystery opponent. Orton easily hits all of his usual spots, and finishes things with the RKO.

-The Shield swarms Orton and trashes him with their signature triple-threat powerbomb. It might have been more interesting if they ran in during the match and prevented Orton from pinning Brad Maddox. That would've strongly suggested to a greater degree that the Shield, Maddox and Punk are all connected.

-That said, the Shield can certainly argue that it was unjust to put a former referee against Ryback and Orton in his first two matches as a wrestler.

-The Shield’s definitely the coolest part of Raw these days, but I have to say that their run-ins are getting slightly repetitive.

-Backstage, Zig-bro is livid that Vickie is making him defend his MITB briefcase against Cena. Heyman shows up and has a staredown with Vickie. Vickie tells him Punk better be telling the truth. Cena gets a piece of this Vickie segment, entering with a cheesy grin and threatening the intelligent world with another title reign. Vickie shows Cena a couple crudely made John Cena themed bow ties she claims AJ made. This is a storyline that not even a big Dolph Ziggler win can quite solve.

-Looks like we’re gonna get a R-Truth/Kofi vs. Barrett/Cesario tag match, but Teddy Long informs us that it’ll be a Fatal 4-Way title match instead. WWE Universe gets to determine whether it’s for the Intercontintental or United States strap during the break. This may be the best use of Raw Active yet.

-I expect the defending champion (probably Cesara) to retain, as Kofi vs. Barrett is already booked for TLC, and I assume a Cesara-Truth rematch will also take place. That said, this four-way is a happy surprise.

-Cesara and his U.S. belt "win" with 83 percent of the vote. It’d be pretty cool if Kofi got a short reign as both I.C. and U.S. champ.

-Wade Barrett and Antonio end up outside. Kofi and R-Truth face off in the center of the ring. Cole says it’s “just two on two,” probably meaning to say one on one.

-The heels get back into the ring, but only to be tossed out again.

-Kofi dives over the top rope and lands on Barrett. Truth tries to do the same to Cesara, but the Swiss wrestling machine catches him in a waistlock and rams his back into the barricade.

-Kofi runs at Cesara but gets picked off with the big uppercut while jumping off the steps. This guy’s deadly.

-Cesaro tries to make Kofi tap to a single-leg crab, but Truth breaks it up.

-Barrett takes Truth to the outside. Kofi with a cross-body on the champ, but Barrett breaks it up and hits the Black Hole Barrett soon thereafter.

-I love that swift back kick Barrett stuck in Truth’s gut.

-Barrett attempts a superplex on Truth, but he gets thrown to the mat. This allows Cesaro to climb up their with Truth, but Kofi comes out of nowhere and takes Cesaro down.

-Tower of doom with Kofi powerbombing Barrett as Barrett superplexes R-Truth.

-Truth catapults Cesaro into the ropes, then hits a clothesline that sends them both to the floor.

-Kofi opens up on Barrett and lands his stupid double-leg drop. Let's call it the Boo Drop.

-Cesaro pulls Kofi out of the ring before he can hit Trouble in Paradise.

-We get a beautiful series of finishers from all four men. Kofi pins Barrett after Trouble in Paradise, but Cesaro impressively gut-wrenches the Intercontinental Champion up into the Neutralizer.

-We need more matches like this on Raw. That was fresh. 

-And we’re closing the show with a lie detector test. I think we can do better, guys. Plus, I have to listen to Miz.

-It strikes me that the way to get Miz over as a face is not to have him hosting his own talk show. It reeks of his reality TV past, and Miz doesn’t have the sense of humor of a Carlito, Edge or Jericho.

-Punk comes out and tears Miz up pretty good. He says Miz is sophomoric, and that his jokes are simple. Just to confirm this, Miz suggests that Punk's mom sucks, and then yells “Ohhhhhhhhh” like a buffoon.

-During the test, Miz asks if Rey Mysterio shaved Punk’s head bald. Nice touch.

-Long after Miz retires, he will talk about the one year he main-evented WrestleMania.

-This Walrus thing is unbearably old already.

-Couldn’t Punk admit to working with the Shield and Maddox, therefore passing the test and preventing Heyman from having to wrestle Ryback? Besides the point, maybe.

-Anyway, the Shield members assault Miz, hitting their third super-bomb of the evening.

-Hell No are out, but to no avail. Ryback makes the save. Curiously, Orton doesn’t offer his services.

-The Shield gets thoroughly clobbered for the first time, as Ryback and Hell No chase them off through the crowd.

-Punk puts some boots and bad mouth on a defenseless Miz, but as he goes to celebrate, Ryback shows up with a Shell Shock for the champ.

-Ryback then abuses Punk with a ladder and a chair.

-Ryback closes off the show by powerbombing Punk through a table.

-Not a bad ending, as Ryback is looking as strong as ever, but I wish this could have grown out of a match rather than a lie detector segment that never revealed anything juicy anyway.

-Could be looking at Orton, Kane and Bryan vs. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins at TLC. That’s a half-exciting match, but I don’t like the idea of Hell No going two straight PPVs without a title defense.


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