Welcome to coverage of WWE Raw, live after each match, here at The Geek Asylum!
CM Punk keeps his WWE Title after a controversial draw in his match with John Cena at Night of Champions. The fallout is tonight.
Paul Heyman comes out to CM Punk's music to open the show. Heyman witnessed history last night as CM Punk retained the WWE Title against John Cena. Heyman calls Chad Patton (the referee from the main event last night) to the ring to review the controversy around the ending. Chad agrees he made the right decision and Heyman congratulates him for it. Next is iPhone footage of the ending of the match, showing another angle. Heyman chastises the crowd for booing Punk's name even though he's earned their respect by remaining WWE Champion for 303 days. John Cena takes exception and decides to make his entrance to interrupt.
Cena tells Heyman to shut up, but agrees that the right call was made. Cena isn't mad about the call made; he's mad that Night of Champions ended in a draw. He continues by questioning if Punk earned any respect by retaining in a draw. Heyman says he did. Cena says he wants to know who the winner would have been and even with a hurt ankle, he's willing to have a rematch. Heyman says Punk hasn't arrived yet and he speaks on behalf of Punk - The voice of the voice of the voiceless. Alberto del Rio makes his entrance to interrupt and tell Cena to stop crying. Alberto never had a fair shot because of the Brogue Kick being reinstated. ADR says he wasn't ready because of the change and that he is the man who deserves a rematch tonight.
AJ skips her way down and says maybe both of them deserve a second chance. Tonight we get a "super" main event: CM Punk and Alberto del Rio take on Sheamus and John Cena. How very Teddy Long of you, AJ. Heyman chases after AJ as she skips away, since he's not too happy about Punk being put in the tag match. Interesting open...then we got the old WWE standard of the "mix a couple rivalries into a tag match", which decreases that interest a bit.
Quick update on Jerry Lawler: A tout from Lawler tells us that he thanks everyone for their well wishes. Jerry has flown home to Memphis and is healing up. Like last night, JBL is heading to ringside to join Cole on commentary. And as a bonus? Good ole' JR Jim Ross is heading down as well!
Match 1: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs Epico and Primo
Winners: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara via pinfall
Primo rushes Cara but he responds with a springboard back elbow and tags in Mysterio for some poetry in motion in the corner. Cara tags back in and a team snapmare and double kick for two on Primo leads us into the first mid-match commercial of the night.
Epico is in charge with a chancery on Cara and Primo tags back in to straight jacket Cara, but he throws him off. Sin Cara tries to dive for Mysterio, but Primo catches him; Cara turns it into a tornado DDT, leading to tags on both sides. Rey with a wheelbarrow armdrag, a low dropkick and a kick to the head for two on Epico. Mysterio counters out of the corner to deliver a headscissors and then a tandem hurricanrana with Cara. Cara puts Primo on the middle rope for a double 619 and Mysterio hits a senton on the floor as Cara hits the Swanton Bomb for the win.
Seems like they're trying to establish the masked men as a legit tag team, which is a good thing for the division. Possibly leading to Rey "passing the torch" in some fashion? Good idea all around.
Young and O'Neil attack from behind and Young delivers the Gutcheck and O'Neil hits Clash of the Titus. The Primetime Players are not happy about having a title shot "taken" from them. No barking, no dancing, no goofiness. Time to make this team serious, but they absolutely need to retain their personalities otherwise they'll just be "another" team.
Match 2: Beth Phoenix vs Eve Torres (Divas Champion), non-title
Winner: Eve Torres via pinfall
Kaitlyn won't need surgery, but had torn tendons. Eve offers a handshake to Phoenix and she's having no part of it. Beth tosses Eve to the mat and delivers a knee to the gut. Eve flips over Beth off an Irish whip, but Beth takes her down. Beth grounds and pounds Eve and wants the Glamslam, but Eve kicks her way out. Beth keeps pressure on her in the corner and Eve slips off her shoulder on an attempt at a snake eyes, then shoves her into the corner and follows with a school girl for the win.
Layla who was on commentary at ringside is mad that Eve is manipulative, even though she did absolutely nothing wrong in that match. Lots of insinuating that Eve is the one who attacked Kaitlyn, but no real progress on that front. Beth and Natalya seem to constantly be getting rolled up for losses and it's a bit baffling, but at least there seems to be a real story going on with the Divas division right now.
WWE Slam of the Week: Tyson Kidd gets his ass kicked by Antonio Cesaro and Brodus Clay steps up. Why not, I don't know, the second rope German suplex John Cena executed?
Match 3: Brodus Clay vs Heath Slater
Winner: Brodus Clay via pinfall
Cesaro is at ringside with Aksana. I could swear I've seen this match many times...
Clay gets a dropkick to the knee and doesn't quite fall down. Slater kicks away at the leg and then drops elbows on the collarbone out of a chinlock. Slater now has a chancery on Clay, but he powers out, then shoulders him down and follows with a jumping forearm. Cesaro distracts on the apron and Slater hits a snapmare driver on Clay for two. Slater heads up top but dives into a headbutt and Clay finishes with a Splash.
Same old match from Clay, but at least we got a new move out of Slater - Kaitlyn is using the reverse DDT, maybe it's time for Slater to keep the snapmare driver?
Guest: Booker T
Miz draws comparisons to Piper's Pit, Cutting Edge and the Highlight Reel, just like everyone does when they get their talk show segment on WWE television. Booker T heads on out to join the festivities. Miz mocks Booker and then says that he misses being in the spotlight. "Boring" chants from the crowd until Booker snatches the mic out of the hands of The Miz. Booker says Miz needs a new guest who is used to beating multiple challengers at once, bringing out Ryback.
Miz bails from the ring and Ryback throws one of the sofas in the ring at him. Ryback throws the other one at Miz to finish up the show. Why is Ryback so mad at Miz? Kind of just an excuse to have Ryback throw couches, as far as I can tell.
Punk and Heyman are in the back and Josh Matthews asks if the WWE Champion is looking forward to teaming up with ADR. Punk says this is just one more sign of disrespect.
Match 4: Santino Marella vs Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
Santino with a judo-style hip throw to open the match, but he answers with a huge dropkick. Santino with a comedy spot off an Irish whip then a jackknife pin and an arm drag. Ziggler fights right up and levels Santino with an elbow and a swinging neckbreaker. As the crowd starts up a loud "Let's go Ziggler" chant, he lands the jumping elbow for two. Ziggler grabs the Cobra and rubs it in Santino's face, saying the crowd laughs at him. Santino fights back, but Ziggler hits a running right hand and tries Jericho's cocky pin for two. Ziggler jabs away at Santino, who answers with jabs of his own, a split, a hip toss and the jumping headbutt. Santino doesn't realize he's missing the Cobra and tells Vickie to give it to him. Ziggler leaps and hits the Zigzag from behind, but stands Santino up, just to hit a second Zigzag for the win.
Ziggler needs actual wins, but he sure as hell doesn't need to be beating Santino with the help of a distraction. This isn't at all the way to make him a threat to the World Title.
Match 5: Wade Barrett vs Justin Gabriel
Winner: Wade Barrett via pinfall
Gabriel with a kick, a hurricanranr and a schoolboy early on but Barrett stops it with a mule kick. Barrett with a knee on the floor and then dragging Gabriel into the ringpost rib first. Barrett back into the ring and big punches into the midsection. Now a backbreaker and elbow on Gabriel for two. Barrett opens Gabriel wide so that he can punch away at the ribs and the head. On the mat, Barrett locks in a seated abdominal stretch. Gabriel fights his way out and delivers a drop toe hold onto the second turnbuckle. Kicks from Gabriel, but Barrett answers wth a haymaker to the gut. Barrett wants a pump handle powerslam, but Gabriel flips out and lands the eye of the hurricane and a quebrada for two. Gabriel whiffs a kick and Barrett gives him an extra high pancake. Barrett follows with a forearm with a Chris Hero-style ripcord pull and it's good for the three.
The new finisher matches the gimmick quite well, but when you have Big Show using a right hook as a finisher, it's hard to buy it out of Barrett. I guess we can go with a forearm, but strike finishes are touchy; sometimes they can get old quick.
R-Truth is throwing a birthday party for Subway and Jared is around, because it's the home of the original Subway. Jared with a cheap pop and some sandwiches for Kofi and R-Truth. Damien Sandow suggests a signature sandwich, but Jared gives him a meatball sub instead. Ryder suggests one and gets fed. Ryback walks in and demands to be fed more...he helps himself to a couple subs. Well that was a huge waste of time.
Sheamus and Cena are talking shop and Cena says they need to make a statement tonight. Sheamus says they will and then have a few pints.
Match 6: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs Daniel Bryan and Kane (c), Tag Team Championship
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Kane via pinfall
Bryan and Kane argue over who is the Tag Team Champions and Bryan starts with Kofi. Bryan falls for Kofi's double leapfrog back elbow and it allows Truth to tag in so the challengers keep control. Bryan fights out of an arm wrench and goes to tag Kane, then yells NO at him. Blind tag by Kofi and Bryan eats a boot from Truth and crossbody from Kofi for two. Bryan tags Kane in forcefully and Kofi tries to pressure him in the corner, but Kane takes over. Kofi leapfrogs Kane in the corner and then low bridges Kane to the floor. Bryan tries to stop Kofi, but ends up backdropped over the rope right onto Kane. The champs argue into the commercial break.
Kane has R-Truth in a bearhug and tries to fight out, but Kane puts him in the corner. Kane rushes in, but Truth gets the boot up then dropkicks him. Kofi tags in with a flying forearm and hits his chops and dropkick. Kofi with punches and a flipping kick in the corner, then a diving crossbody for two. Kofi levels Kane with a kick and hits the Boomdrop, wanting Trouble in Paradise. Kane catches him by the neck, but Kofi slips out and tries a springboard kick from the top, diving into a right hand. Bryan tags in before Kane can hit a Chokeslam. The Champs argue and Truth tags in, then hits a pair of clotheslines and the Lie Detector forearm. Truth follows with a sitout gourdbuster for two. Kane boxes the ear of Bryan and tags Kofi back in, then slams Bryan then slams Kofi onto Bryan. The Champion kicks out in two and Kofi tries a keylock. Bryan fights out but runs into a dropkick for two. Truth back in and a double team russian leg sweep for another nearfall. Truth with a chinlock and Bran fights up, but Truth cracks him in the head. In the opposite corner, Bryan hits a drop toe hold and then tags Kane. Big Red hits a flying clothesline and a low dropkick. Clothesline in the corner and a side slam. Bryan tries to tag himself in again and Kane threatens him; Bryan drops him across the top rope, allowing Truth to hit Little Jimmy, but then he breaks up the pin. Kofi and Bryan take a spill to the floor and Kane hits a Chokeslam and stumbles back to tag Bryan, who puts on the Nolock to retain the Tag Team Titles.
Bryan grabs both belts and declares himself the Tag Team Champions. Kane gets to his feet and Bryan continues yelling in his face. Kane takes the belts and says he is the champions. Bryan says NO then decides to settle the situation a bit. The crowd chants for them to hug it out and Bryan agrees. Kane puts both belts on his shoulders and hugs his partner. Bryan tries to swipe the belts, but only gets one. The champs argue over who is actually the champs, even though they're both the champs. They should tone this one down a little bit so that the crowd doesn't get burned out on it right away. It's golden, it's hilarious and the tag team works - Don't squander this for a couple weeks of over doing it!
Match 7: Randy Orton vs Tensai
Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall
I guess Orton randomly flipping off the crowd before the RKO last night didn't affect him too much. It was just another of those "what are you thinking, Randy" moments.
Orton stands toe to toe with Tensai early on, but gets shouldered to the mat. Tensai pressures him in the corner and hits forearms to the back off the ropes. Tensai pulls at Orton's face and he responds with forearms to the face. Tensai hits a big powerslam for two. Tensai drops a massive elbow for another two count. Tensai decides on a bearhug and Orton tries to strike his way out. Tensai headbutts him to the mat and stomps on him. Knees to the back of Orton to keep the pain going and now a nerve hold. Tensai won't let him escape from the hold and hits the ropes, only to run into a powerslam from Orton. Tensai rolls to the floor and thrusts at the throat of Orton. As Tensai gets in, Orton kicks away at him and sets up for the spike DDT, which he hits. Orton coils and Tensai shoves the RKO off, but runs himself into the turnbuckle, which the Viper capitalizes on, hitting the RKO to win.
Tensai held control for most of that one before a quick come back from Orton. There's still no focus or use for Tensai, aside from "big guy who gets used to lose to smaller/younger guys" and Orton gets a win over someone who's irrelevant. I guess that's comparable to Ziggler needing help to beat Santino.
Punk and Heyman are discussing AJ's abuse of her power. Otunga and ADR walk in and say that ADR expects Punk to follow his lead tonight. Heyman begs to differ. Otunga says Punk looks like a bum. Punk reminds ADR that he beat him for the WWE Title last year.
Match 8: Damien Sandow vs Zack Ryder
Winner: Damien Sandow via pinfall
Sandow declares Summer vacation over and is happy about the start of his favorite season: Back to School. Sandow tells JR that "slobberknocker" is not actually a word. To further the point, Sandow has a vocabulary list for the crowd, which of course they are not happy about. Ryder has a voacb lesson for Sandow, words one and two are "shut" and "up" respectively.
Sandow has Ryder in a headlock and shoulders him over, but then runs into a flapjack and gets clotheslined to the floor. Ryder dives over the top to take him down. Rolled back into the ring for a two count. Sandow throws Ryder throat first into the rope, then pounds him on the mat. Sandow drops knees on Ryder then puts him back into a chinlock. Sandow hits his roll back russian leg sweep and the swinging elbow drop for two. Ryder counters a suplex into a small package then hits a forearm, clothesline and a facebuster. Ryder hits a corner forearm and wants the Broski Boot, but Sandow bails to the floor. Ryder stays right on top of him and puts him back in the ring, but Sandow runs into double knees in the corner and Ryder hits the Broski Boot. Sandow kicks out at two. Sandow with a quick shot and the Cross Arm Neckbreaker to win it.
Usual Ryder offense and Sandow hits another neckbreaker out of nowhere for another win. Still waiting on progression for this guy. And Ryder for that matter. This is the point in the show where it's two guys I really like but I'm 2.5 hours into it and getting burned out. At this stage of the show, if I'm not being "wow'd", it's a let down, which is a testament to why three hours is a lot to ask of the fans, especially right after a three hour PPV the night before.
Match 9: Sheamus (World Heavyweight Champion) and John Cena vs CM Punk (WWE Champion) and Alberto del Rio
Winners: John Cena and Sheamus via pinfall
Punk holds the WWE Title over his head for about two minutes, leading into a commercial. Big focus on Punk "forcing" respect out of people, even against their will.
Cena and Punk start, but Punk immediately tags out to ADR. Cena with a headlock takeover but ADR is quick to escape and lay in with kicks. Cena hits a monkey flip out of the opposite corner and a back body drop. As someone who criticizes Cena regularly for his repertoire, seeing him do a monkey flip is nuts.
Sheamus tags in and takes control with a firemans carry slam, then tags Cena back in. ADR quickly tags Punk in, but Cena comes alive and bounces him out of the corner and hits a bulldog. Cena wants the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk elbows out and bails to the floor. Punk sneaks in and takes Cena down, then stands on his chest. ADR tags back in and mule kicks Cena. Punk hits a cheap shot on the apron behind the ref's back and Punk tags himself back in. Cena fights out, but Punk tags him with a drop toe hold. Cena scampers over and tags Sheamus in, so it's Champion vs Champion. Sheamus takes it to the WWE Champ with a shortarm clotheslines for two. Punk elbows Sheamus off and tags in ADR, who kicks Sheamus right in the head. Del Rio ends up on the apron and Sheamus hammers on his chest.
ADR swings at Sheamus, but ends up taking White Noise. Sheamus wants the Brogue Kick, but Punk runs interference, allowing ADR to hit a Backstabber for two. Punk tags in and he and Sheamus go back and forth. Punk wraps Sheamus up for a bow and arrow stretch, which Sheamus spins out of to try a pin. Punk drags Sheamus back and ADR tags back in for another huge kick. Sheamus fights out of a chinlock, but ADR puts him back down with a jumping stomp. Sheamus catches a running ADR with the Irish Curse to get some space. Tags on both sides and Cena runs wild on CM Punk. Punk tries to kick to counter the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Cena gets wise and rolls him over for an STF. ADR breaks it up but takes a Brogue Kick. Punk gets rid of Sheamus and walks into an Attitude Adjustment. The ref counts three while Punk's leg is blatantly on the rope.
Punk and Heyman are livid, and to be fair it IS a bad call. They argue with the ref and cut him off as he tries to leave. Punk follows the ref and continues telling him he's the worst ref he's ever seen. Heyman reminds Punk not to touch the ref, which he doesn't, and the show ends. I guess this rivalry heading toward Hell in a Cell is going to focus on ref shenanigans?