Monday Night Raw – October 1, 2012: Without Cena, This Show Is Flatter Than AJ’s Stomach

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 1, 2012
Location: Chesepeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jim Ross

We’re in Oklahoma tonight which means a few things. First of all, it’s JR Appreciation Night but that might only be for the post show stuff. Also I believe we’re in the arena where Punk first cashed in the MITB case and won his first world title, which will likely be mentioned. We’re also likely to see what Ryback staring Punk down last week will mean, and on the Blue side, we’re getting…..wait for it….a debate between Big Show and Sheamus. Yet they wonder why no one watches Smackdown. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of all of Punk’s antics last week, including the great promo with Foley and turning around to see Ryback at the end of the show.

Here are Punk and Heyman to open the show. During the entrance the Appreciation Night is mentioned. Punk complains about the attack last week and says in Chicago that’s called weakness. Punk was looking for a doctor at the end of the show when he low blowed Foley. He didn’t like the lack of respect that Foley was showing him and thinks Foley never would have talked like that to Cena or Rock or Austin. Punk doesn’t like the lack of respect this crowd is showing him either. Tonight, Punk is here to announce that it’s still not going to be Punk vs. Cena inside the Cell.

Punk whispers something to Heyman and Paul takes the mic. Heyman would like to move on to something else and that would be the proposal to AJ. This seems to bring out AJ but they cut her music after about half a second. Must be a production miscue. Heyman points out that while AJ didn’t say no, she did violate an ordinance from the board of directors, that if AJ strikes someone, she’s in trouble. Heyman calls for her removal from power and wants her job.

This brings out Vickie and Dolph with Vickie demanding that AJ be fired also and we get a clip of AJ beating her up a few months back. Heyman wants to know when this became about Vickie. Vickie cuts him off and says she represents the future World Heavyweight Champion. Heyman makes the obvious point that he’s with the CURRENT WWE Champion. Ziggler suggests Heyman and Vickie being co-GMs.

This brings out AJ to a surprisingly big reaction. AJ says she’s officially on probation which means we can drag this story out for a few more weeks. Apparently even Heyman doesn’t count as an exception so she has an executive coach to help with her development as a GM. And it’s Daniel Bryan. Bryan snaps on the crowd and yells NO a lot, saying he’s just here to apologize.

Bryan thinks AJ has gone insane because of being dumped by the man with the amazing beard. Now he’s the tag team champions, and you know who this brings out. Kane points out that AJ is a phenomenal kisser. Everything else that Bryan said was true, but he (Kane) is the tag team champions. Ziggler and Punk get in an argument of their own over who is better until AJ freaks out and reaches octaves even Vickie is jealous of. She makes the tag match you would expect her to make with the four guys in the ring. Total time for the opening segment: 21 minutes.

Tag Team Tournament First Round: Epico/Primo vs. Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio

Cara and Epico start with Cara hitting a Tajiri Elbow for two. Off to Primo who doesn’t do any better. Cara and Rey have inverted matching attire now. Rey comes in and the cousins are sent to the floor, but the masked guys stop before diving Epico and Primo move. Here are the Prime Time Players to sit on the stage as we take a break.

Back with Rey tagging out to Cara who comes in with a big springboard cross body. Cara kind of botches a springboard armdrag but it’s not too bad. Epico dropkicks him out of the air for two as the cousins take over. A quick sunset flip gets two on Primo for Cara and it’s back to Epico. Cara spins Epico around and slams him into the mat to get some separation and there’s the tag to Rey.

A big kick to the head takes Primo down and a seated senton does the same. A spinning reverse DDT gets two and here’s Cara with a springboard missile dropkick. There’s a kick to Primo’s head and it’s a double 619. Both masked guys go up top and Cara dives on Epico as the top rope splash from Rey pins Primo at 9:27.

Rating: C+. When all else fails, throw four high fliers out there and have them jump a lot. It worked for years in WCW and it worked here too. The Players didn’t do much here, but what did do something here was the commercial. It’s annoying when you have one like a minute into a match and the post break stuff has to act like a full match for all intents and purposes.

Brodus Clay vs. Antonio Cesaro

Non-title here and no entrance for Brodus. There was no entrance for either tag team earlier so maybe they’re trying to hurry things up. It’s an easy way to add a lot of time to the show actually. Brodus takes him into the corner to start and suplexes him down. A headbutt to the chest does the same but the t-bone suplex is blocked. Clay misses a splash and a springboard uppercut (you read that right) gets two and the Neutralizer pins Clay in 1:06. I guess it’s time for Brodus to be a jobber.

AJ comes up to Kaitlyn and introduces her to the coach, Christopher J. Stevenson, a guy in a suit. Kaitlyn will be ready to go again next week, even though she’s in her ring gear tonight. AJ wants to talk about their relationship and is all serious before going into an insane laugh. She isn’t really sorry at all and skips away. The coach says nothing at all.

Zack Ryder vs. The Miz

Miz takes him down with a shoulder block and a pair of boots to the head for two. Ryder makes a comeback and hits the Broski boot for two as we hear about Larry King as the social media ambassador. The Rough Ryder is countered into a buckle bomb and the Skull Crushing Finale gets the pin at 2:39.

Here are Booker, Show and Sheamus for the debate. Show gets to make an opening statement but Show says this is stupid. He’s going to knock Sheamus out and Sheamus can’t even kick that high, so the Brogue Kick means nothing. Sheamus asks Show not to rip his leg off because he needs it to kick Show’s teeth in. All of the questions come from fans and the first question is what do you find the most challenging about your opponent. Sheamus is looking forward to the fight and the biggest issue is the match lasting more than 45 seconds. Sheamus has something between his eyes that looks like a bruise.

Show defends his hygiene in response to something Sheamus said and the second question is who has the most devastating finisher (Booker, reading the questions off the screen, gets Show’s finisher’s name wrong). Sheamus mentions the 45 second loss again and Show gets mad again. FINALLY he breaks his podium and we go to the last question.

Sheamus wants it to be from his cousin’s Tout. It’s from Rey Mysterio Sullivan, which is clearly Sheamus holding a mask to his face. Show complains about this not being serious again so Sheamus asks how it feels to lose the title in 45 seconds. Show takes off his jacket and Sheamus takes off his shirt. Show is dripping sweat and he walks away. This was REALLY worthless and it doesn’t make me want to see them fight at all. It does however make me want to know what is on Sheamus’ nose.

Ryback vs. Tensai

For those of you that were fascinated by the two minute match these two had on Smackdown I guess. Tensai runs him over to start but Ryback pops up and smiles. They slug it out and Ryback powerslams him down with ease. A belly to belly is broken up by Tensai so Ryback clotheslines him down with ease. Ryback can’t Shell Shock him on the first two attempts so he clotheslines him again for the pin at 1:49.

The Rhodes Scholars love their name and make fun of the debate. Sandow wasn’t pleased with the lack of formal wear from Sheamus. They think Sheamus is a neanderthal. And that’s it.

More cancer stuff.

Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix

Before the match Eve talks about how awesome the Divas are. Beth tentatively shakes her hand and blocks the surprise attack from Eve. This is non-title by the way. Beth misses a charge and hits the post so Eve goes to the floor to pound on the bad arm. Beth gets rammed onto the floor and into the barricade which draws a nine count. Back inside Eve is upset so Beth runs her over. Eve hides in the ropes and comes out with her neckbreaker for the pin at 2:35.

AJ runs into Barrett in the back and my goodness Barrett is tall. Barrett says AJ needs the coach because Barrett doesn’t even have a match tonight. He says AJ has done a horrible job with her emotional outbursts and letting her personal relationships get in the way of her job. Barrett leaves and AJ thinks the coach is intimidated.

We hear about JBL climbing mountains to raise money for poor kids. Nothing wrong with charity work.

Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater

Apparently the One Man Band now has two people with him in the forms of Mahal and McIntyre. After a quick dance off they trade shoulder blocks and Slater elbows him in the face to take over. Slater’s group is called Encore apparently. He slams Santino down and jumps into the boot and Santino uses his usual stuff. The Cobra hits and Mahal/McIntyre run in for the DQ at 2:51.

Encore destroys Santino post match. All three of them say their nicknames and that’s about it. Slater’s theme song starting with “I’m just one man” is really stupid now.

Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus

Sandow hides to start so Sheamus grabs him by the beard and pounds away. Damien hides on the floor as we take a break. Back with Sandow hitting the floor again, drawing huge boos. Sheamus chases him into the crowd and catches Cody trying to interfere. The distraction lets Sandow clothesline Sheamus down and he takes over back in the ring. After some basic shots to the upper body, Sandow puts on a chinlock. Sandow fires off knees to the chest and hits a Russian legsweep and the windup elbow for two.

Damien pounds away some more and gets two off an elbow to the face. Back to the chinlock as Sandow’s offense is pretty much exhausted at this point. With Sheamus in 619 position, Sandow hits a charging hip shot to the back for two. Off to a headscissors which doesn’t last long. Sheamus gets a boot up in the corner but Sandow knocks him off the top with a good right hand. A boot to the head gets one for the non-champion and it’s off to a front facelock again.

Sheamus gets knocked to the floor as Sandow is still dominating which is pretty surprising. Back in and Damien gets another two and then another two and then chinlock #3 assuming you don’t count the variations of the move he’s already used. Sheamus comes back with a suplex to escape the hold and hits a knee lift and Regal Roll.

Sandow escapes a powerslam and hits a flipping neckbreaker for two. Sheamus gets the feet up in the corner and a top rope battering ram gets two. Sandow escapes White Noise but gets caught in the ten forearms. Sheamus catches Cody coming and sends him into the ring as well. A single Brogue Kick takes out both guys and pins Sandow at 15:45.

Rating: C+. Sandow looked better than usual here but man alive does he need to expand his offense a bit. Five chinlock variations in a fifteen minute match is hard to get past. It’s very good to see Sandow get a rub like this though, as he looked credible against a guy who is way out of his league. Not a great match or anything but a good stepping stone for Damien.

It’s time for Jim Ross Appreciation Night and Cole sucks up to JR now because the scripts calls for it. Before JR can say anything, here are Punk and Heyman. Punk tells Cole to go sit down and asks the fans to make some noise. He says the fans don’t know the first thing about respect and says JR is going to make the fans believe it, by saying Punk is the best in the world.

JR calls Punk a jackass instead and Punk is mad. He wants to know what JR is going to do if Punk gets physical. Will Ross scream for Austin to help, because Austin isn’t here. Today is the 316th day Punk has been champion which means that number now belongs to Punk. JR belongs to Punk right now too and JR is going to say it, no matter what. Ross says no because he’s called some of the best matches of all time with the best in the world in them and those people have earned the right. Punk needs to walk into the Cell and beat Cena, and then JR will say he’s the best in the world.

Punk takes his jacket off and steals JR’s hat which he stomps on. Them are fighting words in Oklahoma. JR looks like he’s about to cry and Punk talks about all the time he’s beaten Cena and makes fun of the Thunder for losing in the NBA Finals. Punk gives JR a chance to run or he’s going to get knocked out. JR goes to leave but Punk stops him, saying there’s no more commentary for JR for the rest of the night. Punk makes him take the walk of shame and berates him as he leaves.

Cue Ryback and JR immediately turns back towards the ring. Ryback stares Punk down with JR behind him. Punk doesn’t back down at first and the fans are chanting FEED ME MORE. Now Punk backs down, which is something he said he never does in his promo a few moments before.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

Post Smackdown Del Rio attacked the already down Orton to put Orton off TV to film the movie I’d assume. Ricardo is going to do commentary here. This should be good. Del Rio immediately takes Kofi down to start but Kofi speeds things up as you would expect. Kofi knocks Del Rio to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Alberto holding an abdominal stretch with Ricardo complaining that it’s 3-1 with Little Jimmy and R-Truth out there. Kofi escapes and hits an elbow and clothesline. A nice dropkick puts Del Rio down followed by the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise misses but the springboard cross body does as well. Armbreaker and we’re done at 6:10. Most of that was during the break so no rating, but this was nothing of note.

The coach talks to AJ in the back about putting aside her personal issues. AJ wants something special to happen tonight, like making the coach the guest referee for the main event. This is only made interesting by hearing JR talking about doing a reveal in something we weren’t supposed to hear. That’s production gaffe #3 tonight. For those of you counting, I only mentioned one of them. An incorrect graphic was put up earlier as well as AJ’s music playing too early.

Hell No vs. CM Punk/Dolph Ziggler

This is non-title and AJ’s coach is referee for some reason. Scratch that as after the break before the match, AJ comes out as referee. Well I’m assuming she looks better in the outfit if nothing else. Kane and Ziggler start things off with Kane shoving him around a lot. Ziggler tries to get on Kane’s back but gets clotheslined to the floor. Bryan tags himself in as we take ANOTHER break.

Back with Ziggler holding Kane in the sleeper which means nothing anymore. A dropkick puts Kane down for two but the monster comes back with the low dropkick for two. A jumping DDT takes Kane down again and there’s the tag to Punk for the corner clothesline. Say it with me: the bulldog is countered. A side slam gets two on Punk as we still haven’t seen Bryan yet.

Kane hits the clothesline but as usual, Bryan tags in while Kane sets for the chokeslam. Punk kicks Bryan out of the air but Bryan moonsaults out of the corner. A clothesline from Daniel sets up the kicks and he takes Ziggler down as well, only to walk into the high kick for two. Dolph comes in and dropkicks Bryan to the floor. Bryan gets thrown into the barricade which gets two back inside and we hit the chinlock.

Back to Punk who goes up and gets crotched by Bryan. A butterfly superplex sets up the NO Lock on Punk but Punk (with Heyman’s help) makes the rope. AJ ejects both Heyman and Vickie, which makes Ziggler leave as well. Punk walks into the chokeslam and kane gets the pin at 12:35.

Rating: C. Not a terrible match here but it felt more like an angle than the match itself. Bryan and Kane have more or less been turned face now which is the best thing for both of them. They also weren’t featured as much tonight which is another good thing for them, as the company was bordering on overkill with them. Not a great match but it did its job….whatever that was.

Overall Rating: D+. This one felt flat to me. The biggest problem of all was that in the first two hours or so, everything felt really short, making it hard to get into anything. I’m wondering what the point was in squashing Clay, but more importantly we have Ryback getting face to face with Punk in the ring and the place going NUTS. That’s a really good sign for Ryback and hopefully it means something for the future. Not a good show tonight as it felt really flat, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen.

Results

Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio b. Epico/Primo – Top Rope Splash to Primo

Antonio Cesaro b. Brodus Clay – Neutralizer

The Miz b. Zack Ryder – Skull Crushing Finale

Ryback b. Tensai – Clothesline

Eve Torres b. Beth Phoenix – Spinning Neckbreaker

Santino Marella b. Heath Slater via DQ when Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal interfered

Sheamus b. Damien Sandow – Brogue Kick

Alberto Del Rio b. Kofi Kingston – Cross Armbreaker

Hell No b. Dolph Ziggler/CM Punk – Chokeslam to Punk

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

6 comments

  1. Kobiyashi says:

    You said no one watches smackdown. I watch smackdown.

  2. DJ Pat says:

    AJ’s music didn’t hit early. They did, however, forget to turn down the volume on the replay which included her music hitting. Just really bad timing.

  3. Macios says:

    Hey KB,

    I’m back here again reading your reviews. Have to this say Raw was hit or miss for me, as there were parts that were big but also parts that ended way to quickly.

    Would you think that taking a few matches out and the debate out and lengthening everything but the intro would have made it better?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I would have cut the opening in half. There is no way you need twenty minutes to set up that lame of a main event.

    Cut out the coach stuff with AJ. I have no idea what it was supposed to accomplish but it didn’t work.

    Miz vs. Ryder could have been cut, as could have the Encore stuff.

    The debate…..well I guess the Smackdown Title needs some kind of hype on Raw.

    Alberto’s match accomplished absolutely nothing.

    This should could easily be trimmed down to two hours and it would be much better. the problem is they’re taking a two hour show and stretching it out to three hours, which isn’t doing any good.

  4. Jay says:

    I thought RAW was fine overall. The Punk/JR/Ryback stuff was great,Sheamus/Sandow was a really good Match,nice rub for Sandow. Also liked the Main Event and Tournament Match. I do agree the opening was a bit long,I even looked at my clock and it said 8:24 when it was over.

  5. CCTV says:

    Raw without Cena was like Red Smackdown for me..