Hell's not in a cell
The last survivor stands out
Tender loving care?
WWE RAW from Birmingham, England
- They should start every RAW off with a "LAST WEEK" voice over.
- Hmm... they have a "TONIGHT" voice over too. That's pretty cool.
- The Miz with the night's first big news: he quits the SS team! Heyman looks at the poster with disdain.
6-Man Tag: Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & R-Truth v. Prime Time Players & Antonio Cesaro
Sin Cara starts off with Cesaro and hits a few nice flippy moves, but AC tags out when Truth tags in. Both teams trade moves and Sin Cara hits double team moves with both of his partners separately. 6-man standoff throws us to commercial. Back from break and los luchadores have some miscommunication with D-Young before hitting an assisted headscissors. Mysterio goes for the 619 on Young but Cesaro with the tag and hits a sweet tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that allows the baddies to take control. The big finish comes up as Titus gets low-bridged, Sin Cara gets a beautiful satellite headscissors on Cesaro, Mysterio follows up with the 619 and AC stumbles in to the Little Jimmy Special for the pin. Absolutely perfect way to start off RAW. Mysterio, Sin Cara & R-Truth def. PTP & Cesaro, Little Jimmy - 11 min, ***
- Vickie Guerrero is out to continue accusing Cena of being a little too lovey-dovey with AJ. She recaps last week and then Cena comes out to call her a donkey or somesuch. Cena jokes about how he only knows a few wrestling moves. Security camera footage shows AJ going into a hotel room in her robe, then a different camera shows Cena grabbing the newspaper while in his towel. The crowd does the "oooooooooooooo.... YAY!" when it is indeed Cena who opens the hotel room door. Cena protests that it wasn't him, but the crowd in England is proud anyway. Vickie calls out AJ and Birmingham roars with a huge "WE WANT AJ!" chant, but she's only on the screen. Ziggler shows up next to her, so Vickie laughs maniacally and Cena runs away. Okay then. Are they implying that Cena was running back there to save AJ from rape? That's not PG!
- Heyman wants Barrett for his Survivor Series team, but he says no. Then he changes his mind, but Heyman owes him something.
Cody Rhodes v. Daniel Bryan
Kane actually enters WITH D-Bry this week. That's PROGRESS! The crowd LOVES Daniel Bryan, which isn't abnormal but is even more raucous in the UK. Back and forth action before Bryan sends Cody over the top. Sandow goes after Kane so Bryan hits him with a suicide dive. Rhodes hits the Disaster Kick from the apron and gets Crossrhodes for the win inside the ring. The crowd was absolutely not ready for that match to end. Rhodes def. Bryan, Crossrhodes - 2 min, *1/2
Thankfully Rhodes gets on the mic before the crowd can riot and seems to inadvertently challenge Kane on behalf of Rhodes, so after the commercial we are joined in progress with...
Kane v. Damien Sandow
Hey, Sandow has his pink tights back! He's mocking cancer! Kane takes great offense to this and spends a couple minutes beating him up for it. Rhodes tries to interfere so Bryan kicks his ass and both men get ejected. Sandow begs off but takes a pair of whips and corner clotheslines. Side slam leads Kane to the top. Flying clothesline and the chokeslam finish for Kane. Just a squash, but a good one. Kane def. Damien Sandow, Chokeslam - 4 min, *3/4
- Brad Maddox, who may be just a little bit too good-looking for his own good, is out to explain his actions. He claims to be on his own, not working with Heyman and Punk. His sob story is that he was never given a chance even after doing everything he could to get into WWE. He wasn't even good enough for FCW, they said. He saw his opportunity to make an impact when they let him be a ref. This is a heck of a story to bring in a new wrestler. I hope he can back it up in the ring. He then challenges Ryback, but here comes Vince! He doesn't believe Brad's story but offers him a million dollar contract if he can beat Ryback next week on RAW. Vince then asks Vickie if he can offer Maddox a contract, then asks why she's letting Punk hide behind four other dudes at SS. Then he leads Vickie through booking Punk v. Ryback v. Cena. This was great until Vince came out. What a shitty booking decision.
Sheamus v. The Miz
The Miz must have seen the writing on the wall for Survivor Series. Show is out for commentary. Miz runs away (takes a powder, as it were) after getting beat up for a while, but back inside Sheamus continues the beating. Sheamus gets the steamroller but Miz gets two from a clothesline. The comeback is very shortlived as Sheamus ties Miz in the ropes and nails the forearms but Big Show's presence distracts him. Inside, Miz gets a chinlock as the crowd falls asleep on a cushy commercial break. Miz is still in control when we come back and hits the double sledge from the top. Looks like we have a match on our hands! Miz takes Sheamus outside and whips him into the steps and goes back to the chinlock inside. It kept him in control through the commercial, so why not go back to it? Sheamus fights out but takes the Reality Check (backbreaker into neckbreaker) for another 2 count. Sheamus finally comes back and gets 2 off a powerslam. Shoulder block from the top hits for a 2 count but Miz blocks the White Noise and the spike DDT gets a close near fall. Miz dodges the Brogue Kick, Sheamus blocks the Skull-Crushing Finale and then Miz blocks a charge in the corner. He punts Sheamus right in the face, but that just pisses him off. White Noise leads to the Brogue Kick. Sheamus def. The Miz, Brogue Kick - 16 min, ***
- Vickie walks out of Vince's office to tell Ziggler he's the new captain of the #HEEL team at Survivor Series. Punk shows up and he's not happy. Then he finds out that he's teaming with Ziggler tonight against Cena and Ryback. He's even less happy now. I have a feeling his great reaction is going to be a .GIF soon. Somebody make that happen.
- FANDANGOO IS COMING! I bet they'll stop caring about him soon and then we'll get him and Brodus clay teaming on SuperStars.
Eve's Makeup & Aksana v. Layla & Kaitlyn
Layla smacks Aksana in the ass and then hits Aksana with her ass for 2. Layla botches a springboard and then she and Aksana screw up... something... which ends with Layla throwing herself to the mat. The unbelievably hot crowd doesn't even care a little bit about this. It starts with catcalls, then they start talking amongst themselves. They wake up a little bit when Eve shakes her ass but it allows Layla to make the ice cold tag to Kaitlyn, who does some stuff and hits an inverted DDT to pin the champ. Layla & Kaitlyn def. Eve & Aksana, inverted DDT - 5 min, 1/4*
- Rosa Mendes makes eyes at Alberto Del Rio, who is in action NEXT.
Non-title: Kofi Kingston v. Alberto Del Rio
A fan starts us off with a double bird right at the bell. He's blurred out and Del Rio goes on the offensive. Back and forth with Kofi jumping and Del Rio making angry faces. ADR gets the advantage when Ricardo Rodriguez distracts Kofi. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two and a sweet snap suplex gets two more. Kofi tries to come back but walks into a superkick. He hits his shoulder on the post off a blind charge and Kofi gets the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise is ducked but leads to the SOS for a clooooose near fall. Orton's music hits and distracts ADR enough for Kofi to roll him up for the pin. OrtonKingston def. Del Rio, schoolboy - 7 min, **1/2
Team CoBro v. Primo & Epico
Santino does some ropewalking and confuses Primo. Ryder tags in and misses a crossbody and sails into the ropes. Cole and JR don't care and talk about Survivor Series. Double team as Epico hits a vertical suplex and Primo comes in with a rolling senton. Ryder gets a roll up but Santino is distracting the ref. I hate the way this ref counts. Ryder gets a neckbreaker and both teams tag. Santino gets his hiptoss but Primo breaks up the pin so Ryder flies in with the Rough Ryder to get rid of him. The Cobra puts away Epico. Crowd got into it toward the end. I'm loving the tag team action. CoBro def. Epico & Primo, Cobra - 5 min, **
Wade Barrett v. Brodus Clay
Clay controls to start, much to Birmingham's chagrin. Shee-wa suplex and a leg drop get two, but Barrett comes back with the Bossman Slam. Clay makes a comeback with cloteslines and the headbutt. He gets one corner splash but misses another and Barrett finishes with the Souvenir. Ooooooooooo... HEY! The crowd made this one fun to watch. Barrett def. Clay, Souvenir - 3 min, *1/2
Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal) v. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso)
Slater poses so Jey smacks him in the mouth. Uso gets a flying forearm and a legdrop but hits the boot on a blind charge and Slater comes back with a chinlock. Uso comes back but runs into a sloppy Harlem sidekick and gets back to the chinlock. Uso gets a low superkick and then a high superkick but hits knees on a superfly splash. The Smash Hit (impaler DDT) gets the win. Glad he dropped the Overdrive after one week. Slater def. Uso, Smash Hit - 4 min, **
- CM Punk is out to talk before the main event. He's not happy that Vince is trying to screw him at Survivor Series, which Vince loves to do at said event. He'll be champion for 364 days after the PPV is over.
CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler v. John Cena & Ryback
The bell rings right as we come back from commercial and Punk starts off with Cena. Cena controls early with some mat work as the crowd unsurprisingly loves Punk and hates Cena. Ziggler comes in and Cena does the same to him. Cena gets a bulldog out of the corner and Ziggler tags out. Cena meets Punk with a very ugly hip toss but Punk boots him down and tags Ziggler back in. Ziggler gets a neckbreaker and follows with 10 or so elbow drops, winning the crowd's adulation and a two count. Punk comes back in with the step-up knee in the corner but can't get the GTS. Cena can't get the AA and Punk gets two off a head kick. Cena counters a front facelock with the AA but Punk gets the tag and Ziggler cuts off Cena before he can make the tag. Cena gets an incredibly ugly back elbow (that smooth mat wrestling was quite shortlived) but Ziggler gets 2 off the fameasser. Punk tags in as the crowd chants "Feed Me More". Ziggler and Punk continue to tag in and out and Ziggler gets 2 off a great dropkick. He stupidly goes up and whiffs on a missile dropkick and it's hot tag time! Punk takes a high back body drop and Ryback destroys both men while JR creams himself. Dolph gets clotheslined out and Punk eats the meathook clothesline. Ryback finishes easily with Shellshocked while Cena looks on, looking shellshocked himself. Cena & Ryback def. Punk & Ziggler, Shellshocked - 10 min, ***
- Ryback screams "Feed Me More!" over and over at Cena as we go off the air.
Overall RAW Thoughts
I'd call this easily the best of the 3 hour RAWs. Good wrestling (10 matches!) with the exception of the clusterfuck divas match and the crowd was very hot. It still falls prey to the problem of being so long that things that happen earlier in the show are all but forgotten by the time the show is over, though. The Brad Maddox thing, for example, would have been a much bigger deal if there hadn't been an hour before it and two hours after. I bet that wasn't the original plan for him, either. I also don't know what they were thinking with the humongous change they made with the classic 10-man tag match, but that's the nature of Vince. This was definitely a fun show that was surprisingly quick for 3 hours and didn't drag at all. The only real negative was the clusterfuck chicks match. Good stuff.
Is Hunico Suspended?
William Regal made a very cryptic statement on the 10/24 episode of NXT in which he implied that Hunico may have been suspended. He stated that Hunico had run into some trouble and we wouldn't likely be seeing him for a long time. Here's the thing, though, if he had been suspended for Wellness (which people have speculated) it would have been announced smack on the main page of WWE dot com. I assume he got hurt and needs surgery; Regal's comment was simply a kayfabe explanation to acknowledge Hunico's absence and play up his street thug gimmick. That's my take, anyway.
New NWA Heavyweight Champion: Kahagas
After the debacle that ended the Adam Pearce/Colt Cabana 7 Stages of Hell war, the new ownership of the National Wrestling Alliance quickly got on their horses and crowned a new champion. That man is "Tokyo Monster" Kahagas, and hey, why not? I'm not familiar with him, but at least he's got a good look. In the end I don't think it really matters one way or the other, because it's pretty clear that there won't be any changes within the organization. Management is there only to make a decent profit from the NWA name, not because they want to do anything to make the alliance more organized or to rebuild the credibility.
Orton versus Christian All Over Again
Reports are saying that WWE is gearing up to have the main program that carries the World Heavyweight Title into 2013 see Dolph Ziggler defending the title against Randy Orton. It sounds great, but the pessimist in me sees the summer of 2011 all over again. Great matches but no progress. Orton continues to be a pseudo-main event guy while Ziggler goes back to meandering without a purpose and flirting with a main level guy here and there. I'm excited for the matches and hopefully Ziggler finally is allowed to break through the glass ceiling, but that's all I'm willing to let myself get excited about. Fingers are indeed crossed that I'm wrong, and hopefully this new rivalry with Cena will get that train rolling.
Kung Fu Panda on the World Titles "The problem with Punk's reign is the fact that there are 2 "big titles" in the WWE these days. Granted one is considered a little more important than the other most of the time but neither belt feels like it's a big deal anymore. Put that with the fact that many ppvs, neither title is part of the main event and the title is even more devalued. I've thought for a while now, that the belts should be unified. If they want to have two belts other than the us and intercontinental belts for house shows, have a RAW Champ and SD Champ. You could make the WWE World Champ with one house show and the WWW World Tag Team Champs on the other. It's not that Punk's reign hasn't meant shit, it's that the titles (while there's two doesn't mean shit). I mean it's like saying the NFC and AFC champions are both SUperbowl winners. As Orton would say, STUPID STUPID STUPID"
Yeah, that's pretty much been my exact sentiment for a while now. I would build up the Intercontinental Title so it can carry SmackDown house shows, let the US Title be a viable third-tier belt and merge the damned world titles.
Cena Stands Up
So it turns out that the guy who reportedly stood up to Vince and told him to get his head out of his musclebound ass a few weeks ago. I don't know why people are so shocked by this. There's nobody else on the every day active roster whose spot is completely safe. Too bad nothing has changed.
From TJ Hawke:"This match was a lot of fun. They worked their asses off and delivered a very satisfying semi-main event. Cole is definitely someone that should be brought in everywhere and anywhere right now. Bandido made a hell of an impression on me with this match, and I definitely want to watch more of his stuff."