Monday Night Raw – September 3, 2012: More Padding Than A Teenage Girl’s Bra On Prom Night

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 3, 2012
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

It’s Labor Day and on top of that the guys are coming back off a tour of Australia, meaning that I wouldn’t expect much tonight. Granted after last week’s mostly awful show, I wouldn’t expect much anyway but you have to have hope. Anyway, the focus is going to be on Punk vs. Cena after last week’s ending. Perhaps we’ll even get an explanation as to why Cena didn’t just climb the freaking cage. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Lawler/Punk stuff from last week.

We open in the arena and there’s no Lawler as we get a clip of him in the back from before the show getting destroyed by Punk.

Tonight Is The Night for Punk vs. an old man again apparently.

Here’s Sheamus with something to say. He says the party never ends in Chicago but the party is ending soon for Alberto Del Rio. Cue Punk with a mic of his own and the big hometown boy reaction. Punk talks about how he’s happy to be here and we saw him beating up Lawler earlier. He claims Lawler started it because Punk is the real king of Chicago.

Last week Punk was teaching Lawler a lesson in the cage until a white knight came out to rescue him. Punk doesn’t like what Lawler said on him at Raw 1000 and Cena saved Lawler. If Cena saved Lawler it means he agrees with Lawler and if he agrees with Lawler it means he’s disrespecting Punk and that’s not cool. It’s Cena that has turned his back on the WWE Universe, not Punk.

Sheamus cuts Punk off and is booed loudly. He says Punk claims to be the best in the world, but Sheamus is World Heavyweight Champion. Sheamus calls Punk down to the ring but Punk says he doesn’t have time for such a thing. He says Sheamus is at best the second best in the world so he can shut his mouth. Sheamus says turn around so he can see what Punk is talking out of. Cue AJ who makes Del Rio vs. Cena and Punk vs. Sheamus. Punk vs. Sheamus with 20 minutes sounds awesome. It won’t happen here, but it sounds awesome.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

Dolph demanded this after losing on Friday. He immediately dropkicks Orton down and struts a bit. Orton comes back with a dropkick of his own and the circle stomp. A slingshot suplex gets two on Dolph and Orton hits a kind of clothesline before sending Ziggler to the floor. Orton rams him into the barricade a few times and we take a break.

Back with Ziggler getting backdropped. Orton misses a knee drop and Ziggler takes over. He goes through his usual offense, including the headstand chinlock and the big jumping elbow. Orton comes back and puts Ziggler on top for a superplex for two. The clotheslines look to set up the Elevated DDT but Dolph escapes, only to get caught in the backbreaker for two. Dolph comes back with his jumping DDT for two. That should be his finisher instead of the Zig Zag. Fameasser misses and there’s the Elevated DDT. The RKO is loaded up but Ziggler rolls through into a rollup for the pin with trunks at 13:45.

Rating: B-. Another decent match between these two but I continue to not get the idea that WWE has with this kind of booking. Is Ziggler pinning Orton here supposed to make up for him losing on Friday? It really doesn’t and it doesn’t make him look good because they’ve now split their matches. This doesn’t make me want to see a third match between them at the PPV either. Orton is leaving soon and is just back off a suspension, so have him put Ziggler over. It’s not going to hurt him, I assure you.

Miz comes out immediately for commentary. Not to jump Orton or anything, but for commentary.

Time for more from Anger Management with Bryan and Kane. Bryan’s is a piece of paper with the words YES and NO on it over and over. He explains the feud with the audience over what they should and snaps a bit. Kane holds up a blank piece of paper. He asks if the instructor wants to see how he feels inside. Kane throws the paper in the trash and sends fire into it. Bryan: “Teacher’s pet.” Next topic: families. This should be good.

Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes/Tensai

The lights are on full here which is a nice touch. Cody and Cara start and the camera is looking different tonight. It’s at a lower level instead of looking down on the ring a bit. Ah now it’s back to normal as we take a break. So we had a break, the Anger Management stuff, another break, the entrances, 50 seconds of the match and now another break. Great.

Back with Tensai hammering on Cara before tagging back to Cody for a bow and arrow submission hold. That gets nowhere so Cody goes for the mask and punches Cara in the face. Cole says he’s stuck with Miz on commentary. Pick a side already dude. Back to Tensai who gets kicked in the head by Cara and there’s the tag to Rey to face Cody. Things speed up Rey hits a seated senton off the top for two.

Tensai comes back in sans tag for the over the shoulder backbreaker but Rey escapes and knocks him into the 619. A springboard missile dropkick by Cara sends Tensai to the floor as Cody hits a release Gordbuster to Rey for two. A powerbomb is countered into the 619 and Cara hits a Swanton Bomb for the pin on Cody at 7:54.

Rating: C. Not bad here but is Cody ever going to get a win in this feud? My guess would be yes, but it’ll be after about 5 wins by Cara. Cara is a lot better after the layoff he had as he hasn’t had nearly as many botches and looks much smoother out there. Maybe that’s just from experience. Decent match here.

Back to Anger Management with everyone but the wrestlers holding hands in a big chain. Bryan and Kane won’t get up for an exercise at first until being told to do it. The idea here is that Bryan is going to fall back and Kane is going to catch him. Bryan: “He is?” Kane: “I am?” Bryan falls…..and shockingly enough Kane catches him. Now Kane has to catch Harold. Kane lets him fall and Bryan seems to be pleased. Harold needs medical attention. If this leads to an insane guys tag team, this could be hilarious.

Sheamus vs. CM Punk

Punk can’t even main event in his hometown in a champion vs. champion match. Punk comes out in jeans and a t-shirt instead of gear. He says this is nothing short of a Wrestlemania main event and that he’s a main event wrestler. Punk doesn’t like being in the first hour (it’s the second) in a champion vs. champion match and since it’s Labor Day and everyone has taken the night off work, he’s doing the same thing. CM walks out and AJ doesn’t stop him. Sheamus says Punk is disrespecting the people here because they want to see this match.

In the back, AJ says Punk can’t leave but Punk says he’s taking a personal day and hops into a waiting car. Striker pops up and asks AJ what she’s going to do. AJ: “Who are you?” I don’t say this often, but BURN. She’ll find Sheamus an opponent.

Jack Swagger vs. Sheamus

Del Rio is on commentary now. According to Cole, Swagger hasn’t won a match in nearly NINE MONTHS. And he was a champion earlier this year! Last singles win I can find for him that was televised: Elimination Chamber. He was also on the winning team at Wrestlemania and was in a tag match with Ziggler on Smackdown in February where his team won. That’s insane. A quick shoulder block gets two for Sheamus and he goes after the arm. Swagger sends him to the apron but Sheamus comes off the top with the shoulder for two.

The champ ducks his head and Swagger kicks him in the face for two. Miz is ripping into Punk for taking a day off after everyone else is back from an 18 hour flight from Australia. Sheamus takes Swagger down with the ax handles but gets sent into the buckle. Vader Bomb gets two but Swagger charges into a knee and Sheamus puts him in a Texas Cloverleaf (???) for the tap at 2:39. That’s a new one.

Post match Del Rio and Ricardo attack with the latter taking the Brogue Kick. He’s out cold and has to be helped to the back.

Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn

Layla is on commentary to continue the parade of people we’ve had out there tonight. Miz is here for the night apparently. Kaitlyn his a cross body for two as Layla and Miz debate women’s rights. The match turns into a catfight and Eve is torn off so she can smile. Eve puts on a front facelock and we get some great camera shots of her in those shorts. Layla is really getting on my nerves on commentary. Kaitlyn falls down and is holding I think her ribs so the match stops dead. Eve kicks her in the ribs and hits that swinging neckbreaker for the pin at 3:13.

Rating: D. That’s mainly for the commentary. Also, there’s your #1 contender ladies and gentlemen: getting pinned clean in a match to get over a character in a battle for power on another show. For months and months I talked about how the Divas needed more time to make them relevant. I was wrong, as they’re still not relevant.

Eve and Layla shake hands post match.

Swagger is leaving but AJ stops him. He says he’s taking extended time off because he’s better than this. She says he can’t because Jericho and Lesnar and Punk have all left her. Swagger says sorry and leaves.

Kane and Bryan have graduated Anger Management. Bryan says that he’ll give Kane a Summerslam rematch. Kane thanks Daniel and says that someday, he’ll accept the challenge. He’ll do his best not to eviscerate Bryan. Bryan says that’s assuming Kane could do that because Kane will be tapping out. Kane says he’ll make it so that Bryan physically can’t leave this room. Harold: “Guys….” Kane/Bryan: “SHUT UP HAROLD!” Kane and Bryan keep arguing and the teacher snaps on them as Kane grabs Bryan by the throat. Great stuff as usual.

Back in the arena, Cole tells us that we get to pick the fate of Bryan vs. Kane. Should they have a match, be a tag team, or hug it out. Decide on Twitter! This is REALLY getting old but it’s going to go on for years to come isn’t it?

Del Rio comes out of the trainer’s room. He won’t say how Ricardo is doing but Otunga comes out and says his client has no comment at this time.

Jinder Mahal vs. Ryback

We’ve done this. Ryback pinned him clean on Smackdown, so what is the point of this? Ryback has his own shirt now. The idiot fans have to chant Goldberg because they think they’re smart in doing so. Ryback throws him around to start but Mahal gets his feet up in the corner and hits a middle rope shoulder for two. Miz is talking about how he could beat Ryback through psychology, which I’m begging to be the start of a feud. Ryback knocks him down then picks him up into a powerbomb. The clothesline sets up Shell Shock to keep Ryback undefeated at 2:20.

Nothing for Ryback post match because we need to talk about the WWE App for Android!

AJ tells Striker that Cena vs. Del Rio is now falls count anywhere. Why? No reason whatsoever. Well, other than for them to go to the parking lot and Punk can appear out of nowhere and jump Cena.

Here are Kane and Bryan for the results. The poll says hug it out by a landslide. Well of course it does. Bryan says no, the fans say hug it out, this goes on for awhile, Bryan chest bumps Kane, Bryan finally hugs him, Kane won’t hug back and Bryan is mad, the vice versa happens, they FINALLY hug and this keeps going. Now they slap each other on the arm. Now they shove each other.

Now a fight breaks out and Kane kicks Bryan in the face. Bryan low bridges Kane but misses the running knee off the apron. Kane chokeslams him down in the ring and tries to Pillmanize his neck, but referees distract him and Bryan hits Kane with the chair. They spent over ten minutes on this segment. Let that sink in for a minute. Oh and also, this would seem to be a waste of all the buildup these two had in the anger management stuff.

US Title: Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella

Cole does something that gets on my nerves by saying that Antonio will be champion next week in Montreal. Miz thankfully saves him and says Santino could win, but Cole doesn’t like Marella’s chances. If Cole says there’s no chance, why would fans think there’s a chance?

Santino takes him down immediately and loads up the Cobra but loses the sock for some reason. The move hits and has no effect, so Cesaro puts the chinlock on. Cesaro clotheslines him down a few times but Santino gets the sock. He freaks out because he gets it and is clotheslined down again. Neutralizer gets the pin to retain at 2:06. Never let these two fight again. Ever.

Heath Slater vs. Zach Ryder

This is the battle of guys who did well and then were dropped on their heads because the company got bored with them. Ryder hits a quick flapjack for two and Slater hits a neckbreaker for the same. He stops to dance and drops a knee for two again and it’s off to a chinlock for Heath. Ryder stops to dance again and runs into a pair of knees in the corner. A middle rope dropkick sets up the Broski Boot but the Rough Ryder is countered. A facejam sets up the Rough Ryder for the pin at 2:59.

Vickie immediately cuts Ryder’s celebration off to talk about the power struggle with AJ. Are they that strapped for time? Oh wait yeah they are, because they spent SEVEN MINUTES ON A FREAKING HUG! Vickie demands AJ come out and wants a chair to sit in until she does. Post break Vickie explains the feud…..and imitates Clint Eastwood from the Republican National Convention by yelling at an invisible AJ in the chair.

AJ finally comes out and says she’s been talking to the Board of Directors who have said her recent actions are juvenile. Given the way this show has gone, I think she’s safe from criticism. She can’t put her hands on anyone ever again and she has to apologize. AJ says she’s sorry but that’s not good enough for Vickie.

She demands a better apology and the fans chant slap her at AJ. AJ swallows her pride and says she’s sorry. That’s STILL not good enough as they pad this out even further. AJ pulls back to slap her but Vickie blocks it and says that’s not allowed. Vickie slaps AJ and leaves skipping and cackling. Total time on this segment: ten minutes. Oh wait they’re not done as AJ snaps and bangs the chair against the mat before throwing it up the aisle. She’s stronger than she looks. AJ screams a lot and sweet goodness she has pretty teeth. Apparently this is a nervous breakdown.

We recap the show and the card we’ve got for the PPV so far.

John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio

Falls count anywhere for no apparent reason. Otunga Touts that he’s going to press legal action against Sheamus. That would be the second time in this feud that it’s happened. This is joined in progress after the break with Del Rio hitting a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Off to a chinlock and we get dueling chants. Del Rio goes up but jumps into a dropkick to put both guys down.

Cena starts his finishing sequence but Del Rio grabs the rope to block the AA. They head to the floor with Del Rio sending him into the steps for two. Cena sends him to the steps but Del Rio jumps over them and Cena shoulder blocks him down for two. John loads up the announce table but gets caught by a running enziguri for two. Cena tries another AA but gets posted for his efforts.

Cena gets up again and sends Del Rio into the crowd. John moves the steps to the side of the table and tries an AA through them, but Del Rio escapes into a belly to back suplex for two on the floor. Back in Del Rio gets a mic and says that Cena is beneath him. He puts on the armbreaker but Cena rolls through it and counters into the STF. Del Rio hangs in it for a long time and grabs the mic to hit Cena in the head to escape.

Del Rio misses a charge and crashes to the floor. A suplex onto the ramp gets two for Alberto and they head over to Alberto’s car. Cena grabs a speaker but drops it before he can kill Del Rio with it. They head to the backstage area and Cena launches a trashcan at Del Rio who ducks. Cena hits the AA onto a case but Punk jumps Cena and knocks him out, giving Del Rio the pin 13:20 shown.

Rating: B. Good main event here which felt like something off a bad PPV. I thought Cena had him beaten at least three times before the end, which while predictable needed to happen. The story of Cena not being able to hit the AA worked well and it told a good story for the match. Very solid TV match here.

Post match Punk gives Cena a GTS onto the car and says respect. He gets in the back seat and rides off. The driver rolls the window down and it’s Paul Heyman. Cue the internet explosion.

Overall Rating: D+. I’m not going to call this show a failure, because there were some genuinely good things going on with it. The Kane/Bryan stuff before they were in the arena was good, Orton vs. Ziggler was good, Miz was good on commentary, the Mysterio match wasn’t bad, the main event was good and the Punk/Cena stuff will lead to a good match so that was acceptable as well.

Then we get to the bad stuff. The stuff like Vickie and AJ and the hug are clearly being stretched out to fill time. This is the same show where the tag division can’t get on TV, Sandow can’t get on TV, and a ton of other people can’t get on TV, but we can spend twenty minutes on those two segments? I get that this is the show back from Australia, but they’ve had the same problems since they went to three hours. I get that’s not their move and USA demanded it, but for the love of all things good and holy, use your time better.

Things like the anger management sessions are GREAT, as they’re not only entertaining but they build up a feud and give us CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Let us see a segment on Del Rio out shopping like DiBiase or Brodus being funky in the real world or ANYTHING for these guys that need development for their characters. Or gee, I don’t know, give someone a mic and say “here, you go say something to hype up your match.”

You know, help create some new stars and characters instead of relying on the same handful of guys with the same stories over and over again. Instead of having the law enforcement thing (twice in the same feud now), battling for power (AJ vs. Vickie, just like Teddy vs. Ace or Ace vs. everyone) or so and so is cashing in his rematch clause and we’re going to have the same match three times in a row despite the same guy winning every time. Why is this such a horrible idea? Ask these wrestlers what ideas they have and see if they work, because the ones we’re getting are already repetitive and are now just getting dumb.

Results

Dolph Ziggler b. Randy Orton – Rollup

Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara b. Cody Rhodes/Tensai – Swanton Bomb to Rhodes

Sheamus b. Jack Swagger – Texas Cloverleaf

Eve Torres b. Kaitlyn – Swinging Neckbreaker

Ryback b. Jinder Mahal – Shell Shock

Antonio Cesaro b. Santino Marella – Neutralizer

Zach Ryder b. Heath Slater – Rough Ryder

Alberto Del Rio b. John Cena – Pin after an attack from CM Punk

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

6 comments

  1. Your Eternal Reward says:

    I thought it was a pretty good show. I believe King not being on commentary help it allot for me. Cole seems allot less annoying when he isn’t going back and forth with King every five seconds.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve never minded King’s commentary but it was a nice change of pace.

    Your Eternal Reward Reply:

    I’m probably just tired of King and Cole together so when they are apart its a nice change.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Cole gets on my nerves. He’s incredible with a crowd but they need to make him a manager already.

  2. Rocko says:

    It’s fucking ZACK not Zach.

    I liked tonight show (fast-forward button makes Raw really good every week for me).

  3. Jay says:

    I loved RAW this week. Cena/ADR was good,Orton/Ziggler was good,Rey/Sin Cara Im liking more as a Team,Jack Swagger getting some direction again it seems,Miz was good on Commentary,the Anger Managment stuff and even the Hug stuff was hilarious. Oh yeah it seems like CM Punk has aligned with Paul Heyman. So I would say another memorable Show for Chicago.