VIP Exclusive Features KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 9/19: Live ongoing coverage of post-Night of Champions PPV event on USA Network
Sep 19, 2011 - 8:15:37 PM
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KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
-After the Raw opening, Michael Cole introduced the show. He said "controversy reigns supreme," disqualifying him for ever making fun of Booker T's incessant cliches on Smackdown. Jerry Lawler and eventually Jim Ross also chimed in during the intro, talking about big things happening at the PPV. Ross did a good post-event "guilt trip/hard sell" letting fans know they really missed out if they didn't order the show.
-C.M. Punk made his full ring entrance. The crowd gave him a mixed reaction. He said, "I have to admit, this particular building has never been super kind to C.M. Punk." He said he had to forfeit the World Title one time because he wasn't fit to compete, and Bob Holly punched him so hard in his left eye that he has a dead spot there to his day. He said after last night's match he can't turn left to right and can barely put weight on his left leg. Cole interjected "Boo hoo!" Punk said what hurts the worst is his pride. He said he has to come out in this building and admit maybe he was wrong. He said R-Truth and The Miz were right, there is a conspiracy here in World Wrestling Entertainment. He said it's not the conspiracy that Miz and Truth talk about, though. As he was about to go into it, Triple H's music played. Punk said, "I was not done."
As Triple H walked out in a suit, Cole said Triple H is still the COO. Lawler said Kevin Nash beat up both Triple H and Punk. He asked if Ross and Cole had any idea how to explain that. Cole reminded viewers Nash was fired by Triple H a couple weeks ago. Lawler said Nash came through the crowd to attack both men. Triple H entered the ring and Lawler said you can still feel the tension between them. Hunter said he's every bit as beat up as he is and he can barely move today. He said they went to war last night. "War!" he accentuated. He said today he is still the COO of the WWE. A mix of cheers and boos at that statement came from the crowd.
Triple H said at Hell in a Cell, Alberto Del Rio will get a rematch against John Cena because he deserves it, but Punk is also owed a rematch, so he's making it a first-ever three-way Hell in a Cell match.
Then Triple H said if Punk can't get it through his thick skull that he isn't part of a conspiracy against him, he's willing to fight him again right then and there. He took off his jacket. Punk told him to settle down because before he interrupted he was about to say that he doesn't think Triple H is on it. He said he thinks someone has taken advantage of the issues between them. He said he thinks someone with more power than them is behind this. John Laurinaitis walked out and said they've said enough. He tried to talk Triple H out of listening to Punk's theory.
Punk said he thinks Laurinaitis is behind sending Miz and Truth to the ring, he's behind sending Nash to the ring, he's behind cutting his mic last week, he's behind Nash texting himself and attacking him at Summerslam. As Punk moved into Laurinaitis's space, Triple H tried to create distance between them. Laurinaitis said Punk works for him and he will not be disrespected. Triple H got in Laurinaitis's face and he said, "Yeah, and I'm the COO of the company and you work for me." Triple H said, "I'm not sure who's zooming who here, but I'm going to get to the bottom of this, I'll promise you that." Laurinaitis pointed at Punk and said it's all his fault. He wished him the best in all his future endeavors and said, "You're fired!" Triple H said, "Hold on, you're not fired." Punk raised his arms and smiled. Triple H said if anyone is firing anyone, he'll do the firing. He said by the end of the night, he'll get to the bottom of it and "somebody is getting fired." He dropped the mic and left. Laurinaitis followed closely behind.
(WK Reax: The three-way Hell in a Cell title match is the biggest news coming out of that segment, although Triple H and Punk forwarded the storyline that will eventually perhaps bring them together against Laurinaitis, Kevin Nash, and perhaps Vince McMahon or Stephanie McMahon. Heck, now that Laurinaitis is an on-air regular, let's get someone with even less charisma and more real-life power behind the scenes - Kevin Dunn - in on the fun! It's nice to see Punk get through a promo without patronizing Internet fans with insider wink-wink comments and sticking to a narrative driven by the storylines on the show and his quest to become WWE Champion again.)
-Ross hyped that he will interview Mark Henry later in his first interview as World Heavyweight Champion. Didn't Henry do a post-win interview last night on the PPV? Cole plugged a big eight-man tag match up next.
1 -- JUSTIN GABRIEL & SHEAMUS & KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE vs. CHRISTIAN & WADE BARRETT & DAVID OTUNGA & MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY
Cole said there were a number of blown calls in the Miz & Truth tag title match last night. Ross said that's true, but it's just human error. It would have been even better if he pointed out that Miz and Truth brought some of them on themselves, as the ref was only distracted the first time because Truth had illegally entered the ring, giving Bourne a chance to make the phantom tag and enter the ring. The heels beat up Bourne for several minutes. Sheamus hot-tagged in at 3:00 and destroyed the heels. He finished Otunga with a brogue kick and a Celtic Cross. Sheamus aimed his finisher at Christian at ringside. Christian sneered back at Sheamus as he got the three count.
WINNER: Sheamus in 4:00.
(WK Reax: This is an example of WWE using the Raw Supershow format to give significantly greater exposure to the Sheamus vs. Christian "rivalry" than they'd get on Smackdown on SyFy alone.)
-A referee told Triple H backstage he's concerned for his safety because of Miz and Truth's actions last night. Triple H said as soon as they show up he's going to deal with them. Del Rio walked up to Triple H and told him he is the worst COO in history and angrily reacted to the three-way Hell in a Cell match. He wanted a one-on-one rematch in a regular match, not the Cell. Triple H said it's a done deal, unless he'd rather get his rematch tonight. Del Rio interrupted and said he needs time to rest and prepare mentally and physically. Triple H said then their conversation is over. Del Rio said he prayed for Mr. McMahon to come back and run the show again. Triple H said he's been inside Hell in a Cell and he's going to need all the prayers he can take. [c]
-Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Del Rio, who drove a Porche convertible into the arena.
2 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN MORRISON
WINNER: Del Rio in 1:00 with the cross armbreaker. Lawler said Morrison wasn't prepared for the onslaught Del Rio delivered.
(WK Reax: This doesn't bode well for Morrison, although perhaps even more so they're trying to establish Del Rio is still strong after losing clean to Cena last night.)
-Lawler hyped that Hugh Jackman is up next. [c]
-WWE Fact: WWE programming airs in 145 countries and 30 different languages worldwide each week.
-Hugh Jackman walked out and ran the ropes, then shook hands with ring announcer Justin Roberts (who seemed thrilled), and then stood mid-ring and said he's excited to be on Monday Night Raw. "Hosting the Oscars is cool, but the Oscars isn't in front of 15,000 screaming fans in Cleveland!" Cheap pop! He said if the fans love WWE Superstars, they'll love his new movie, a big sports drama, opening on Oct. 7. Vickie Guerrero interrupted his plug with several "excuse me" exclamations. She and Dolph Ziggler entered the ring. She said she agrees with People Magazine that he's the sexiest man alive, and then she looked down at the zipper area of his jeans. He said that was a couple years ago. A jealous Ziggler said, "Many years!" She said she's sure he would agree she is the hottest WWE Diva. Jackman said, "You are a Diva." He asked if her necklace says "Cougar." When his hand got to close to her, Ziggler moved in and said he should keep his distance.
Ziggler said, "I didn't come on the set of Batman and interrupt you." He said he doesn't appreciate him interrupting his time. He said this is supposed to be his night to celebrate because last night he defeated three other Superstars and proved he is the greatest U.S. Champion ever. He said he didn't beat robots, "No offense, Mason Ryan, but real life people" he said. He added, "Unlike A-Ry, I get it." He said Cleveland is a town of the underdog. The crowd cheered. Jackman said in his new movie, "Real Steel," he coaches and underdog and makes him a winner. "But you know what? That's a movie, and this is as real as it gets." Jackman asked Ziggler if he's staring him down. Ziggler said, "You hypnotized? Getting a little confused?" Funny. Ziggler said, "We all know underdog is just another word for loser." He said losers lose.
Jackman said he just insulted an entire city. He told Vickie to get her client under control. Jackman said he's going to find the biggest underdog he can find and upset and humiliate Ziggler later. Ziggler said whomever it is, it's going to be on his hands when he humiliates him in the ring. He said his underdog will wish he quit the business before he ever met him, "no offense." Jackman said, "Really? Really?" Ziggler said, "What are you, Miz? No, you're too big?" The crowd chanted, "We want Ryder!" Jackman grabbed a fan sign that said, "Ryder > Wolverine." He held up the sign and then ran to the back.
(WK Reax: Jackman was good. He had a little bit of a half-grin at times indicating it was tough to keep a totally straight face, but overall, he seemed to be game for the skit and did a nice job. This is a good boost for Ziggler to share the spotlight in the ring with a star the level of Jackman.)
-They cut to the parking garage where Miz and Truth drove up. Laurinaitis told them Triple H wants to see them right away. Miz apologized to Laurinaitis for putting him in a bad position last night and for compromising his integrity in any way. Truth said they'd go see Triple H right away. They seemed humbled. What are they up to?
-Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes was scheduled. Sin Cara made his ring entrance first. Cole asked which Sin Cara is wrestling tonight. How many Raw viewers are up on that situation? Lawler said it looks like the original Sin Cara to him. Cody Rhodes then made his ring entrance. Before the match began, another Sin Cara ring entrance took place. The crowd in Cleveland didn't know what was going on. They showed the trampoline Sin Cara leaps onto, which they usually try to avoid showing. I'm having Killer Bee flashbacks with WWE announcers wondering who is whom. They squared off mid-ring. The bigger (heel/impostor) Sin Cara attacked the original, but the original made a comeback with flashy moves and took the impostor down. However, by the end, it wasn't clear who came out on top and the crowd just sat in silence and even booed a little. This won't work as long as they have matching outfits. What happened to the Cody vs. Sin Cara match?
-Triple H looked sternly at Truth and Miz. Miz said they know he's not part of the conspiracy and they should have never interfered in his match. Truth apologized to Triple H and the WWE Universe and "even all the Little Jimmys." He said they recognize the error of their ways. He said they love being WWE Superstars and think he is doing a hell of a job as COO. Triple H said, "Fine, I accept your apology." He said since they decided to put their hands on an official, he decided to fine them each 250,000 dollars. He said expects a check on his desk Monday morning. Why not until next Monday? Or did Triple H lose track of what day it is? He said since they love being WWE Superstars so much, they'll have no problem competing later against Cena & Punk.
(WK Reax: That fine is ridiculously high. Nobody buys that as a real figure.)
-Ross hyped that he'll be speaking to the new World Hvt. Champion in the ring next. [c]
-Cole narrated a recap of Henry beating Orton last night at the PPV.
-They cut to the arena live where Smackdown G.M. Teddy Long was walking away from the ring to the back. Ross said from mid-ring that Long said Orton has invoked his rematch clause and that match will take place at Hell in a Cell for the World Title. The fans mostly booed, apparently hoping it'd happen tonight. Henry made his full ring intro. Cole said 15 years of pent up frustration exploded out of Henry's pores last night.
Ross asked what it felt like to prove his naysayers wrong last night. "Like you're not one of them," Henry said to Ross. He said he'd deal with the haters and naysayers later, but first he wanted to say he's never been in a Hell in a Cell match and he doesn't know much about it, but he does know he gave Randy Orton hell last night and he'll do it again. He showed the World Title belt with is name on it. He said he will never forgive the naysayers because they never supported him, never believed in him. He said Ross will apologize for them to him.
Ross tried to pull the microphone to his mouth, but Henry stopped him. Henry said everyone knows Jim Ross wasn't high on him and he wanted Vince McMahon to fire him because he was injury prone, an "overachiever" (he meant underachiever). He said everything that needs to be said is right there, then he pointed at his World Title belt. He gave Ross one opportunity to apologize. Ross stammered and said, "Mark, I apologize." Henry said, "I hate ass-kissers." He then grabbed Ross's tie and began to choke him. Ross said, "You're hurting me!" Lawler ran in and told Henry to back off. The crowd chanted "Jerry! Jerry!" Henry knocked Ross's hat off of his head. Henry shoved Ross to the mat, then grabbed Lawler by his shoulder. Henry said he's going to take Ross's place. Lawler had enough and punched Henry twice. Henry head-butted Lawler, hitting his shoulder and knocking him down. Henry then powerslammed Lawler mid-ring. He threw Lawler onto the announce desk, and then he powerslammed Lawler onto it. The crowd booed Henry as he walked to the back.
(WK Reax: I had concerns coming out of Smackdown Friday which was backed up on Sunday that fans were going to start cheering Henry because of the story they told of his 15 year journey, and how he said he only reached his potential when he stopped listening to promoters telling him to smile and be charismatic. This is a good angle that cements he's a heel, as beating up on both Ross and Lawler definitely makes him seem like a bully.) [c]
-They showed Lawler being helped to the back. Cole sounded sympathetic for what Ross and Lawler went through, a contrast to his character from WrestleMania season that likely would have been cheering and laughing. Josh Mathews joined Cole at ringside as a worker tried to reassemble the announce table.
(Note: 75 minutes into the show, only about five minutes of in-ring wrestling so far.)
3 -- KELLY KELLY & EVE vs. BETH PHOENIX & NATALYA
Mathews messed up in saying Natalya wrestled Kelly rather than Phoenix. Cole covered for him nicely rather than calling more attention to it and mocking him. Cole is playing it more straight now than anytime since his change of character earlier this year.
WINNERS: Eve & Kelly when Eve rolled up Natalya in 2:00.
-Jackman backstage tried to understand what Ryder was all about. He said the Divas in WWE want nothing to do with him, he's hardly ever on Raw, and he made up an Internet Championship that he gave to himself. Ryder said he's right. Jackman said he's not an underdog, he's out of his mind and clearly delusional, therefore he's perfect to face Ziggler. Ryder excitedly said: "Woo woo woo, you know it!" Jackman made a face to the camera as if saying, "What did I just get myself into?" [c]
-WWE Fact: John Cena has 8,642,160 Facebook fans, more than The Rock, Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez, Dwyane Wade, Kim Kardashian, Tony Hawk, Sarah Palin, The Dalai Lama, and Johnny Depp. Yes, they listed The Dalai Lama.
-Cole threw to a preview of Jackman's movie, "Real Steel," featuring robot fights.
4 -- ZACK RYDER (w/Hugh Jackman) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
The crowd loudly chanted "Let's go Ryder!" He got in some early offense, pounding Ziggler in the corner as Jackman cheered him on. Ziggler made a comeback and grounded Ryder. Mathews asked Cole if he's watched Ryder's videos. "No interest. Absolutely no interest. I think people who spend their time at home staring at videos on the Internet are goofs," said Cole, getting back into his character. Vickie slapped Ryder. The ref ordered her to the back. Jackman then snuck onto the ring apron and punched Ziggler. Ryder then gave Ziggler the Rough Ryder and scored the upset. Jackman celebrated in the ring with Ryder and threw his headband into the crowd. Ryder wears one of those digital scan images on the front of his trunks to fans can point their camera at the image on his, uh, crotch area to be directed to a web page.
WINNER: Ryder in 3:00.
(WK Reax: I don't think Ziggler losing under these circumstances is a big blow to his push, as he got KO'd by a well-known movie star in what amounted to a comedy match. It's not like he's in-line for a PPV main event next month, so this is more a step to promote his personality and put him in a high-profile segment, not mean to bury him.)
-A vignette aired on Jack Swagger. This new weekly video feature on a wrestler is a nice touch.
-Backstage Swagger stood next to a smiling Vickie and said that video shows he is outstanding. Swagger said he can help Vickie meet Jackman. Vickie was excited. Swagger asked about the managerial contract. She said she'd be proud to represent him and she can't think of anyone better to join her stable. They said "stable" after all. Ziggler stood by and didn't like what he saw.
-Punk warmed up backstage when Cena walked up to him. The crowd gave Cena a mixed reaction. Cena said, "We're partners, the new Rock & Roll Express." He said they're more alike than Punk realizes. He said they both surround each other with controversy, they both make history, they have historic battles month after month. He said tonight they're partners, and while he may not care, through their wars he's earned his respect. He said afterward, in two weeks, they'll be in the Hell in a Cell cage with Del Rio as opponents. Cena said, "That's history. I just hope you make it there. Triple H said someone is going to be fired tonight. "It'd be a shame if you were history," he said. Punk said it'd be a shame if he was the first WWE Champion to be fired. "That would be history," Punk said. Cena laughed at the comment.
-They went to Cole and Mathews at ringside, who threw to a Hell in a Cell video package.
-Truth and Miz made their full ring entrance, singing "You Suck!" to the tune of "What's Up?!" [c]
5 -- JOHN CENA & C.M. PUNK vs. THE MIZ & R-TRUTH
Punk and Cena also got full ring intros. Miz shook hands with ref Charles Robinson (they said his name!) and apologized for their actions the night before. Cena hit an early bulldog and scored a one count, then he tagged in Punk. Punk and Cena double arm-dragged Miz, then Punk snap legdropped him. They cut to an early break as the crowd engaged in the "Let's Go Cena!" / "Cena Sucks!" battle chant. [c]
The heels isolated and beat up Cena until 11:00 in when Punk hot-tagged in. He hit a high knee and running bulldog. Then he hit a springboard clothesline that Miz essentially blocked, so the move showed light. Miz elbowed out of the GTS attempt. Miz almost ran into Truth. As they worked that out on the ring apron, Punk surprised Miz with another GTS attempt, and this one was successful.
WINNERS: Punk & Cena in 12:00.
STAR RATING (*1/4): Basic single-theme match with Cena taking a beating and then a minute or so of Punk rallying to win, so not a lot to it. Acceptable time-filler before getting to the Triple H segment.
-Triple H walked out and interrupted the Cena/Punk celebration. Hunter congratulated Cena & Punk on their win, then said, "Miz, Truth, you're fired." He turned and walked away. Miz and Truth looked dismayed. Cole asked, "For what? This is unfair!" He said Hunter accepted their apology earlier and fined them a quarter of a million dollars.
-They cut to the back where the roster was watching what happened on monitors backstage. Scott Stanford tried to interview Hunter, but then Miz and Truth attacked him. The rest of the wrestlers jumped up and pulled Miz and Truth off of him. Swagger, Wade Barrett, and William Regal threw Truth out of the building. A few others threw Miz out of the building. The camera the showed Hunter storm back into the arena as the show ended.
(WK Reax: More questions than answers in this show regarding the conspiracy and chaos in the main event at the PPV. What did Hunter discover to cause him to fire Miz and Truth? Where does Laurinaitis fit into this? But, the show also set the stage for the big two matches at Hell in a Cell, with just next week's show left to fill out the undercard.)
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