WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/9: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw #997 - final MITB PPV hype
Jul 9, 2012 - 10:08:06 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
July 9, 2012 - Episode #997
Season 20, Episode 28
Live in Denver, Colo.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live Raw opened with a video package recapping events on last week's Raw when Daniel Bryan tried to kiss up to A.J. and C.M. Punk ignored A.J., so A.J. decided to get attention by teasing jumping through a table. Instead, A.J. sent Bryan and Punk crashing through a table to close Raw. The video transitioned to events on Tuesday's live Smackdown when A.J. made out with Bryan, then Punk to further confuse and complicate and craz-ify things.
Arena: After Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show sans pyro, A.J.'s music hit for A.J. to bounce out to the ring. A.J. turned serious in the ring, paused, and noted she will be special referee for the WWE Title match on Sunday. A.J. said her actions can greatly affect the outcome of this match, and the thought of that is over-whelming...and very emotional. A.J. took a deep breath and smiled. She then welcomed out WWE champion C.M. Punk. No sign of Punk at first, which made A.J. twitch a bit. After a pause, Cult of Personality played to put a crazy smile on A.J.'s face.
Punk slowly walked out on-stage with hands on hips, then slowly made his way into the ring as A.J. admired him. In the ring, Punk slowly walked toward A.J., who slowly walked toward him. Punk then slowly turned to face A.J. and try to figure things out. A.J. said "last Friday on Smackdown," Punk showed his true feelings when he said she needs professional help. A.J. said she is in full control of her mental faculties at all times. A.J. then sold inner conflict as the crowd chanted, "A-J-'s crazy." A.J. continued that no one has ever cared about her. The crowd booed. Punk nodded along. A.J. said he showed her compassion and concern. And, when she kissed him, she knew it. "I knew what I had to do," she said. Punk seemed confused by this proclamation. A.J. continued that Punk's eyes - boos from the crowd - said love straight to her heart. "You fill me up with passion and desire," A.J. said. A.J. leaned in closer to Punk and told him that he turns her on. Punk rubbed his neck, trying to figure out what to do in this predicament. A.J. then noted she knows what she has to do now.
A.J. slowly backed away, then slowly bent down on one knee. Punk tried to calmly calm her down as A.J. flashed a smile. A.J. looked up at Punk. "C.M. Punk. Will you marry me?" she asked. Cole guffawed on commentary as the crowd roared. Punk sold shock as the crowd shouted D-Bryan's Yes! chant. Suddenly, Bryan emerged shouting "No!" over and over. Bryan slid into the ring and told her she is about to make the biggest mistake of her life. Bryan told A.J. that Punk doesn't love her. "He's just playing you," Bryan told A.J. "because you're our referee for our match this Sunday." Bryan said he knows he's hurt her in the past, but he never stopped having feelings for her.
C.M. Punk, on the other hand, only cares about one person, Bryan claimed. And, that's himself. Punk retorted that Bryan doesn't know the first thing about him. Bryan told Punk if that's so, then go ahead and say "I do." A.J. looked up toward Punk hoping for the answer as Punk rubbed his temples. Punk returned to A.J., but Bryan interrupted that Punk sees A.J. as a special referee, but he sees her as a special person. Bryan said they are so connected right now because he intended to make a proposal of his own.
[Q2] Bryan dropped down on one knee toward A.J. as Punk did the "Ah, c'mon!" look in the background. Bryan asked A.J. if she would marry him, which drew boos. Punk interrupted with Bryan's line from Smackdown that it's a load of crap. Punk demanded to see Bryan's ring if he thought about this just this morning. Bryan could not produce a ring, and Punk called him an absolute joke. Punk told A.J. they should just take it backstage to have a discussion. Bryan shouted at Punk not to talk down to his future fiancé like that.
Suddenly, the familiar computer buzzing noise played in the arena to loud groans. Michael Cole stood up at the announce table, said he has received an email, and dusted off the old podium. Cole read from the computer that the mystery GM is running Raw tonight. The mystery person has enjoyed watching this love triangle unfold for weeks, which is why a mixed tag match has been booked tonight. It will be Punk & A.J. vs. Bryan & Eve. Bryan shouted "No!" over and over because he should be on the same team with A.J. The computer buzzed in again that if Bryan beats Punk tonight, then maybe A.J. will see Bryan in a different light. The mystery email signed off with "Good luck."
Back in the ring, A.J. recapped events that she's really confused. She noted she caught Punk by surprise and Bryan caught her by surprise, so they all need time to think. But, she's really happy to have this match tonight with Punk. A.J. mischievously said everything happens for a reason. And, she has a feeling that she is going to walk out of this arena with her future husband. A.J. smiled toward Punk, then surveyed Bryan and skipped out of the ring as her music played. And, Punk and Bryan remained dumbfounded in the ring.
Also still to come tonight: Cena & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show.
1 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. JACK SWAGGER -- non-title match
Back from break, Sheamus's music played to bring out the World Hvt. champion as Jack Swagger stood-by in the ring. Sheamus was selling the effects of Alberto Del Rio's beating on the live Smackdown six days ago. Once the bell sounded, Sheamus took it right to Swagger with White Noise followed by an emphatic Brogue Kick for the pin in under one minute.
WINNER: Sheamus at 0:58.
Post-match: Horns blared in the arena. WWE cut backstage to show Alberto Del Rio standing next to his car of the week mockingly congratulating Sheamus on his victory. Del Rio vowed to take the World Title from Sheamus this Sunday at Money in the Bank. Del Rio smirked, then hopped inside his car to drive off. Sheamus decided to take out his frustrations by turning around and blasting Swagger with another Brogue Kick before his music played. The announcers said Sheamus is now rolling on the way to Money in the Bank.
Backstage: U.S. champion Santino was shown talking to Zack Ryder off-camera. Ryder said he can't wait to run Friday Night Zackdown this Friday, and he will have more personality than the mystery GM tonight. Speaking of which, Santino vowed to find out who the mystery GM is by the end of the night. Santino put on his Sherlock Holmes gear and began searching around the backstage area as they cut to break.
[Q3] [Commercial Break. A local ad for the Smackdown taping in Houston next month featured Randy Orton, who is currently suspended, facing Kane.]
Announcers: Back live, Cole and Lawler introduced The Rock's pre-Raw tweet on Rock planning to return to WWE TV on the July 23 Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes. Cole talked up Rock's WWE Title quest re-starting, then plugged Brock Lesnar also returning in two weeks.
2 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER & TENSAI vs. TYSON KIDD & IC Champion CHRISTIAN
WWE suddenly cut to the ring, where four men were randomly assembled in the ring for a tag match promoting Smackdown's MITB ladder match. And, Vickie Guerrero was on commentary. After some brief back-and-forth, Sakamoto provided a distraction for Tensai to down Christian, then splash the IC champion for a quick pin and the win. Post-match: Tensai re-targeted Tyson Kidd for another beat down. Dolph and Vickie then high-tailed it away from ringside as Tensai surveyed his damage.
WINNERS: Tensai & Ziggler at 1:35. They're moving too quickly for the audience to digest what's happened since the opening segment.
Announcers: Back to Cole and Lawler to discuss the new GM being named in two weeks by the Board of Directors. Cole voted for the mystery GM to be permanent GM. Lawler voted for Mick Foley to run Raw and Teddy Long to run Smackdown, prompting an argument between the announcers that led to Cole "accidentally" splashing Lawler with water.
Suddenly, the computer buzzed again. Cole stepped up to the podium and quickly read over an email that stunned him. He said he is not reading this tonight. Cole gave way to Lawler, who read that Lawler vs. Cole will happen again tonight. Cole screamed at Lawler, who smiled as the crowd chanted, "Jerry, Jerry." Cole demanded that something be done about this, then the lights flashed again. Lawler said the mystery GM is now going to let the audience decide if this match should take place. King polled the live audience, which cheered for the match, then introduced a WWE.com poll to make it official. Cole ranted and raved as they cut to break. Very clunky segment with the rusty GM bit.
Back live, Lawler plugged the Cole vs. Lawler poll currently on WWE's website. Suddenly, Funkasauras's music played to bring out Brodus Clay and his dancers in matching red gear. Ringside, Drew McIntyre was shown sitting down in a chair unimpressed by the ring entrance. Mac then reluctantly entered the ring to face Clay.
3 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. DREW MCINTYRE
McIntyre landed an early kick before going up top for a high-flying move, but he ran into a headbutt from Clay. Clay wasted no time following up with a big splash for the pin and the win. Cue up the kids entering the ring to dance as Cole disingenuously said this is what people want from Raw on Monday nights, not Cole vs. Lawler.
WINNER: Clay at 0:35.
Backstage: Santino snuck up on Chris Jericho to accuse him of being the mystery GM. Jericho turned the tables by accusing Santino of being the GM. They had a staring contest before Santino stomped off, which gave way to Big Show. Jericho noted to Show that they were one of the greatest tag teams of all-time and they can weaken Cena and Kane ahead of Money in the Bank. Show cut off Jericho and said some of the most embarrassing moments of his career were part of Jeri-Show. Show told Jericho to stay out of his way or risk being knocked out.
Up Next: Cena & Kane vs. Jeri-Show in the top-of-the-second-hour main event. Plus, Cena will speak next.
Raw Flashback: Stephanie McMahon went back to Feb. 11, 2002 when Stephanie tricked Triple H into staying with her, which led to Hunter destroying their wedding vow renewal ceremony. Stephanie called it one of the strongest memories she has of Raw.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged Charlie Sheen as social media ambassador for the July 23 Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes.
In-ring: The MITB briefcase was shown hanging above the ring before John Cena's music played to bring out Cena to a very loud ovation. Cena bounced up and down on-stage before storming the ring as Justin Roberts introduced him to the crowd. Cole plugged Cena's participation in his first MITB match this Sunday before Cena took the mic in the ring.
Cena said he feels exactly what the crowd feels - excitement when the world witnesses Money in the Bank six days from now. Cena said the risk for everyone in the match is doing whatever it takes to secure a WWE Title match contract hanging high above the ring. Cena said MITB is a must-see event because ever since MITB started, the person who has possessed the contract has always cashed in to become champion. Cena said MITB truly changes the landscape of WWE. But, MITB for him is about more than just one opportunity. He said he will do two things at MITB: (a) Big Show will be stopped by his hands. "This I promise!" he shouted. (b) He will do whatever he has to do to be the next Mr. MITB. Cena said you can quote him on this. "I, John Cena, will win Money in the Bank," he said.
Suddenly, Kane's pyro shot off to bring out Cena's tag partner. Cole noted Kane will set the record for most MITB match appearances with six on Sunday night. A graphic flashed on the screen for the four men in the Raw MITB ladder match before the lights went out to signal Chris Jericho's entrance.
[Q5 -- second hour] Break the Walls Down played to bring out Jericho at the top of the hour. Big Show then slowly made his way to the ring as Cole reset the show, noting A.J.'s proposals at the top of the show and mixed tag match later tonight.
4 -- JOHN CENA & KANE vs. CHRIS JERICHO & BIG SHOW
Cena started things off with Jericho and took control of the action, prompting Jericho to scamper over to his corner to tag out to Show. Show then slowly entered the ring to face Cena, who gave way to Kane. The two big men circled each other before trading bombs in the corner. The big men then gave away to Jericho and Cena, who controlled the action before Jericho distracted the ref, which allowed Show to smash Cena from the ring apron. The heels took control on Cena as the show went to break.
Back from break, Show was working on Cena before quieting the crowd to deliver a frying pan-like chop to the chest. Show tried again, but Cena ducked, then tried a bodyslam, but Show fell on top of Cena for a nearfall. Show followed with a bearhug in the middle of the ring, which afforded Cena the opportunity to set up a Feat of Strength side-suplexing Show. Cena then tagged in Kane, who dropkicked Show. Kane tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Show side-stepped Kane and landed a big spear. Show made a cover, but Kane kicked out in time.
Show had enough for now and tagged in Jericho, who double axe-handle smashed Kane off the second rope. Cole talked up Jericho's resume in WWE and role as frontman for "Fozzy" as Jericho continued to work over Kane. Show then cheap-shotted Kane behind the ref's back and they cut to break with Cena complaining about the heels's shenanigans occurring across the ring.
[Commercial Break...] [...Q6]
Back from break, Jericho was still working on Kane as Cena tried to rally the crowd. Kane eventually made it to his feet to ram Jericho into the corner before landing a sidewalk slam. Cena desperately wanted a tag, and Kane made the tag at 16:00. Cena exploded on Jericho with trademark offense before setting up for and delivering the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena then wanted the AA, and he connected. Cena made a cover, but Show yanked Cena out of the ring. The ref suddenly called for the bell, apparently throwing out the match. Talk about setting precedent for future inconsistent application of rules.
Post-match: Show chucked Cena into the barricade before clothesline Kane on the floor. Show then went under the ring to retrieve a handful of ladders. He used one ladder to smash Kane, then his own partner, Jericho. Show began playing with the ladders, unable to decide on his next move. "Big Show sucks" chant from the crowd. Show then placed Jericho inside one of the ladders and smashed Jericho with the top rung.
Suddenly, Cena entered the scene with a ladder and blasted the big bully over the top rope. Cena triumphantly hoisted up the ladder as Cole excitedly said that's Cena's equalizer Sunday night. Cole wondered aloud if Cena will be able to win the MITB ladder match. Lawler said what he does know is it's possible to clear out Show, as Cena just demonstrated. Cole also wondered aloud if Cena will make good on his guarantee Sunday night.
WINNERS: No Contest at 16:33. Plenty of tag action to "whet the appetite" for Sunday and promote the idea of Cena as the favorite to win MITB in order to entice PPV buys from Cena's fanbase.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera as Cena's music continued to play in the background. They then fed to a recap of the opening segment when A.J. proposed to Punk before Bryan proposed to A.J. Still to come: Punk & A.J. vs. Bryan & Eve. Cole then used reverse psychology with the audience to vote against him facing Lawler tonight.
Backstage: C.M. Punk was shown doing leg kicks to warm up for the main event tonight. Eve then walked into the shot and wished Punk good luck. Punk retorted with a dig at Eve's spray-tan. Eve said she's not talking about the match tonight, but A.J.'s instability and manipulation. Eve told Punk that if A.J. doesn't hear the words "I do" tonight, then A.J. might take out her frustrations on Sunday. Eve then brought up Punk's WWE Title run and said she knows it must be hard for Punk to be over-shadowed by Cena, The Rock, John Laurinaitis, and even Brock Lesnar. But, A.J.? Eve wished Punk good luck with that.
Backstage: Santino walked up to Great Khali to find out if he's the mystery GM. Khali didn't seem to understand. Santino stormed off, then Khali seemed to discover a cell phone. In the background, the announcers hoped that Khali isn't running Raw.
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced a Smackdown MITB qualifying match to determine the final slot in the match. Ol' Zack Ryder doesn't get to book himself in the match as Smackdown GM this week. Out first was Sin Cara as the announcers recapped the seven qualifiers thus far. Cole then sent the show to commercial.
[Q7] Raw Hype Video: Raw goes to three hours starting in two weeks on July 23. WWE promoted DX, Brock Lesnar, and The Rock appearing on the show. WWE also focused on The Undertaker, Bret Hart, and Roddy Piper in video clips.
Back from break, the announcers plugged WWE tag champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Hunico & Camacho as the YouTube pre-show match.
5 -- SIN CARA vs. HEATH SLATER -- Smackdown MITB qualifying match
Slater was already in the ring back from break. Once the bell sounded, the announcers recapped Slater's rough journey against former WWE stars as of late, including taking a Diamond Cutter from DDP last week. Slater worked a headlock early on, but Cara used the mood lighting to his advantage to easily discard Slater with a spinning head scissors into a facebuster for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 1:42; Cara qualifies for SD's MITB match.
Post-match: Slater grabbed the mic and said he is a future champion. He vowed to prove it. Slater requested any former champion to come on down and he guaranteed to beat the person. Suddenly, Bob Backlund's music played to bring out Backlund dressed to wrestle. Cole read Backlund's resume as Bob slowly made his way to the ring smiling for the crowd. Before Backlund even locked up with Slater, a smattering of fans chanted, "You still got it." Backlund then approached Slater for a handshake, which Slater turned into a boot to the gut. Slater mocked Bob, who then ducked a clothesline and slapped on the cross-face chicken wing, which got a pop. Slater tapped as Backlund snapped a la mid-1990s WWF. Backlund eventually released the hold and his music played to cue up a celebration.
Cole then stood up at the announce position to read the results of tonight's WWE website poll. Cole fed to the graphic, which revealed 75 percent in favor of Cole vs. Lawler happening tonight. Cole dejectedly gathered himself before telling the audience, "How dare you!" He called them a bunch of hypocrites, claiming the people don't want him in a match, but then say they want him in a match. WWE cut to break with Cole mid-rant.
Raw plug: Before going to break, WWE ran a hype video for their new social media initiative, RawActive, when Raw goes to three hours in two weeks. They're attempting to incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Shazam, and Tout into the show using fan feedback.
6 -- JERRY LAWLER vs. MICHAEL COLE
Back live, the Harlem Heat music was playing. Ringside, Josh Mathews and Booker T were shown joining commentary to call the match, which started with Cole trying to run away. However, Booker made sure Cole stayed in the ring, where Lawler put Cole in the airplane spin. Lawler then made the pin for the win. Post-match: The Raw GM buzzed in again. Mathews stepped up to the podium and said that due to Booker's blatant interference, the decision is reversed and Cole is the winner.
WINNER: Cole via reverse decision at 0:58.
Cole started jumping up and down before Santino's music played. Santino emerged in the arena and said there is only one place left to find the mystery GM. Santino decided to look under the ring, but the GM buzzed in again. Mathews read from the GM, "No, I'm not." The email continued to leave the ring now. Santino decided that was a clue, so he went under the ring, but was pulled underneath. Lawler made the save, though, and yanked out Santino and... Hornswoggle. Everyone reset in the ring, where Swoggle shrugged his shoulders about being the GM tonight. Swoggle then left the ring as Cole, Lawler, and Santino tried to make something out of this segment. WWE cut to Booker and Mathews, who acted dumbfounded by these events. They cut to break with that image. Overall, one of those segments that makes you wonder why you even got out of bed in the morning.
Back live, Cole was back on commentary resetting the show before the main event as WWE showed the exterior of the Pepsi Center. Cole also plugged Zack Ryder as interim GM of Smackdown this Friday. Cole was then shown on-camera requesting to Lawler that they finally put all of this behind them. (Cole also suggested Swoggle was the mystery GM for the past two years.) Lawler ignored Cole's request, which led to main event introductions.
In-ring: Eve was out first, followed by Daniel Bryan as the announcers plugged tonight's sponsors. A.J. then skipped out to the ring, followed by Cult of Personality bringing out WWE champion C.M. Punk just before the top of the hour. Cole tried to get serious promoting Punk vs. Bryan for the WWE Title on Sunday before editorializing that the Board of Directors made a major mistake putting A.J. in charge of the match as special ref.
[Q9 -- over-run]
7 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK & A.J. vs. DANIEL BRYAN & EVE
Punk and Bryan started things off trading blows as Cole talked about everything else, including events on tonight's show and what's to come in two weeks on the July 23 Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes. Punk had enough of Bryan, so he tagged in A.J., which meant Eve had to tag in. A.J. stalked Eve, then tackled her and "let her emotion pour out," according to Cole. Eve then wanted a tag to Bryan, but Bryan bailed on his tag partner, which allowed A.J. to roll up Eve from behind for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Punk & A.J. at 3:19.
Post-match: Bryan smiled as he watched A.J. celebrate the win. Bryan then took the mic and said he just proved that A.J. means more to him than any match. Bryan suggested they leave right now and go get married. Bryan opened the ropes for A.J., who stood next to Punk contemplating her future. A.J. sold concern, then Punk took the mic and accused Bryan of wanting to marry A.J. so that he can become WWE champion. Punk said he doesn't care if what he's about to say costs him the match at Money in the Bank or the WWE Title, but he's not going to marry her. A.J. sold disappointment, then Punk offered an apology and said he at least cares enough about her to tell her the truth.
A.J. teared up standing in-between Punk and Bryan, then forced a 10-year-old smile before slapping Punk across the face. Punk tensed up as Bryan smiled in the background. Bryan told A.J. to come home and opened his arms nice and wide. But, A.J. walked up to Bryan and slapped him across the face. A.J. smiled, having exhausted her emotions. She then led the crowd in "Yes!" chants as Punk and Bryan each sold the effects of her slap. A.J. had enough for one night and skipped out of the ring to the stage as her music played. Lawler wondered aloud who will be champion on Sunday as they signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour with A.J. standing tall on-stage.
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