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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 9/3: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Punk returns home, Anger Management

Sep 3, 2012 - 10:09:13 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
September 3, 2012 - Episode #1,005
Live in Chicago, Ill.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_83.jpg


This week's three-hour WWE Raw started with a video recap of events last week when Raw announcer Jerry Lawler tried to stand up to WWE champion C.M. Punk, but took a loss and post-match beating in a steel cage.

Live inside the arena, Michael Cole was shown ringside sitting alone without Jerry Lawler. Cole then rolled footage from before the broadcast when Cole entered the arena, but Lawler did not. Cole then rolled footage from moments ago. At 7:57 p.m., Lawler and Punk got into a fight backstage. Punk, in jeans and a t-shirt, got the best of Lawler as refs tried to restrain Punk from Lawler. Punk was eventually hauled down the hallway as Lawler sold on the floor. WWE then went to the standard Raw into video.

Back live in the arena, Justin Roberts welcomed out World Hvt. champion Sheamus for a change of pace as Cole recapped events just before the start of Raw when Punk took out Lawler backstage. In the ring, Sheamus shouted out to Chicago before noting the party is going to end for one man, Alberto Del Rio. Sheamus tried to address his title defense against Del Rio at Night of Champions, but Cult of Personality interrupted to a huge reaction. Cole noted it's a partisan crowd tonight for Punk.

Punk walked out on-stage dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, raised his title belt in the air toward one side of the crowd, and walked back to the other side to salute that side. Punk stood on-stage and smiled into the crowd before his music stopped, prompting a loud "C-M Punk" chant. Punk waited out his moment before addressing Sheamus. He told Sheamus not to talk to his hometown, which drew a smile from Sheamus. He said they can't relate to a guy like Sheamus, but they can relate to a guy like him.

Punk squatted down like a catcher before asking the crowd how they're doing. Punk said what they say a little earlier was him beating up Jerry Lawler. But, what the cameras did not catch was Lawler attacking him from behind. Punk said there's only one king in Chicago and if you come at him, you better not miss. Punk said Lawler got a Chicago-style beating, then claimed Lawler has been attacking his integrity for weeks. So, last week in a cage, he taught Lawler a little lesson about respect. But, then, a little white knight tried to get in his business. He said that person's name is John Cena, which drew loud boos. Punk said he did to Lawler what he deserved. He then polled the audience if he turned his back on them. The crowd shouted in reply, "No! No! No!"

After pausing, Punk said John Cena helped Lawler, which means when you help Lawler, you agree with him, which means you disagree with him (Punk), which means Cena is disrespecting him (Punk). Punk said if you choose to disrespect the WWE champion, then it's Cena who has turned his back on the fans.

From inside the ring, Sheamus interrupted to boos, saying he's tired of listening to Punk. Sheamus said if Punk wants to talk about disrespect, then he has something to say because he is the World Hvt. champion, which drew boos. Sheamus told Punk that he interrupted him, then nervously said that's like what The Rock did to Punk. He said at least Rock had the guts to step into the ring, unlike Punk, who is all the way across the stage. Sheamus told Punk to come on down to the ring. Punk smirked and said he already beat up one goon tonight, and he's not worried about Sheamus tonight because Sheamus is right behind him in the pecking order. Punk told Sheamus to shut his mouth. Sheamus shot back that Punk should turn around because he's talking out of his arse, so he might as well be looking at it.

Suddenly, A.J. Lee interrupted the back-and-forth to stand next to Punk on-stage. A.J. told Punk no disrespect to either one of them, but she has an announcement to make. A.J. said Night of Champions is two weeks away, so she has some main events to promote the PPV. In one main event, it's Del Rio vs. Cena in a battle of #1 contenders. And, in the other main event, it's Champ vs. Champ with Punk vs. Sheamus. A.J. made sure she threw the match announcement in Punk's face before her music played. A.J. then skipped down to the ring, skipped around the ring, and skipped back up the stage past Punk to the back. To close the segment, Punk and Sheamus held up their title belts.

[Q2] Backstage: Randy Orton was shown walking down the hallway. He faces Dolph Ziggler next in yet another re-match of a Smackdown main event three days later on Raw.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted to bring out Dolph Ziggler's manager for the opening match. Before that, Vickie noted she has some personal issues with A.J. to sort out tonight. She then introduced the man who will defeat Orton tonight, the resident show-off Dolph Ziggler. Out came Ziggler flashing his MITB briefcase to the crowd before Cole narrated footage from Smackdown when Orton beat Ziggler, who demanded a return match tonight on Raw. After a pause, Orton's music played to bring out The Viper to a strong reaction. As Orton made entrance, Cole recapped events before the show when Punk "ambushed" Lawler backstage. Cole then brought up Punk's view that Lawler attacked him.

1 -- RANDY ORTON vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Ziggler scored an early move, strutted, and then walked into a big dropkick from Orton. Orton went on the attack with consecutive offense, including a slingshot suplex for a two count. Ziggler came back with right hands and kicks in the corner as the crowd dueled with pro-Orton and pro-Ziggler chants. Orton then knocked Ziggler to the outside and threw him into the guardrail before delivering a clothesline. Orton slowly rolled back into the ring as Ziggler sold on the floor, which led to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Ziggler and Orton were battling mid-ring as Cole reset the show, still alone at the broadcast position. Orton blasted Ziggler with Ten Punches in the corner, but ducked his head to take a neckbreaker from Ziggler. Ziggler then took Orton to the outside and ran him shoulder-first into the guardrail. Orton sold immense pain before Ziggler rolled him back into the ring to score a nearfall on a pin attempt.

[Q3] Ziggler delivered a standing elbow to the chest, but could only score a two count. "Randy, Randy!" chant as Ziggler wore down Orton with a mid-ring chinlock. Orton reached his feet, but Ziggler kneed him in the gut. Ziggler missed with a follow-up elbow, though, leading to a standing exchange between the two men. Ziggler won the exchange, then went up top, but Orton crotched him just in-time. Orton then looked into the crowd before delivering a big superplex clear across the ring. Orton sold the effects of his own move, then made a cover, but Ziggler kicked out in-time. Cole narrated a replay that showed Orton also feeling the effects of the superplex.

Orton made his trademark comeback at 12:00, then tried a second-rope DDT, but Ziggler blocked. But, Ziggler walked into a backbreaker and Orton scored another two count. The two men reset, then Ziggler tried the Fameasser, but Orton ducked, swung Ziggler onto the ropes, and nailed the second-rope DDT to a big reaction. Orton then dropped down to stalk Ziggler for the RKO, but Ziggler pushed him away. Orton and Ziggler suddenly traded pin attempts before Ziggler turned Orton's momentum against him, hooked Orton's tights, and scored the pin for the win. On commentary, Cole took an "oh well" approach to Ziggler cheating to win.

WINNER: Ziggler at 13:41. Good TV singles match, but WWE needs a voice of reason/objectivity/sanity on commentary to point out right and wrong so that it actually means something when a heel cheats to win and actually means something when a face overcomes obstacles. (**1/2)

Post-match: Ziggler and Vickie quickly took their win and left the ring as Orton sold frustration in the ring. Suddenly, The Miz's music played to bring out the IC champion, who brushed past Vickie and Dolph on the way out. After a review of tonight's top matches, WWE showed Miz now on commentary along with Cole. Cole sent the show to break.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Miz were shown on-camera back live on Raw. Cole then fed to Week 2 of the Anger Management skits that were recorded last week.

In walked Daniel Bryan, Kane, and the other actors playing anger management patients, including Scorpio Sky playing Harold. The doctor asked the patients to bring out their anger collages. Bryan's had "No!" and "Yes!" written out in a loud font on a piece of paper. Bryan noted he can't take the "Yes!" and "No!" anymore, then crumbled his paper and sat down. Kane then pulled out a blank piece of paper to reflect his anger. The doctor asked Kane if that's how he feels inside. Kane then stood up, slowly walked toward a trash can at the back of the room, threw his paper in the can, raised his arms, and pyro shot off as his paper was "set on fire" in the trash can. Kane then sat down and Bryan went for the one-liner about being teacher's pet. The doctor said it's time for talk to about their families.

Back on-camera, Cole and Miz chuckled and offered one-liners. Sin Cara was then shown walking down the hallway. He stopped to greet Rey Mysterio, who will be teaming with Cara tonight.

[Q4] [Commercial Break]

In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music played back from break as Cole reset the show. Rey came out alone and did his full entrance before Sin Cara came out as his tag partner while Miz gloated about giving Rey a concussion at Summerslam. Cue up crowd groans as Tensai's music played to bring out one-half of the high-flying duo's opponents. Cody Rhodes then came out as Tensai's partner.

2 -- REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. CODY RHODES & TENSAI (w/Sakamoto)

The crowd quickly chanted, "Albert," as Cody and Cara got after it. They had a stand-off, Cole cut off Miz, and Raw went to break 40 seconds into the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Tensai was working on Cara, then brought in Rhodes to inflict more punishment as Miz backed up Rhodes that Cara is ugly under his mask. Rhodes continued to focus on Cara's mask, which Miz said is causing Rhodes to lose matches because he's too obsessed. Cole then announced that Jerry Lawler will not be able to appear on Raw tonight because he's suffering from chest pains following Punk's pre-show attack.

In the ring, Rhodes lost control of the match, which allowed Cara to tag in Mysterio. Rey delivered a seated splash, but only scored a two count. WWE randomly cut to a shot of Cole and Miz on commentary before cutting back to the ring, where the action broke down in the ring. Tensai wanted a big powerbomb on Rey, but Rey slipped out and set up Tensai for the 619. The crowd roared after the move, then Cara dropkicked Tensai out of the ring. Rhodes tried to sneak in a quick pin on Rey, but Rey kicked out. Cody then tried a powerbomb, but Rey countered into the 619 and connected. Rey then tagged in Cara, who came off the top with a Swanton Bomb on Rhodes for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Rey & Cara at 7:53.

[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, Rey and Cara continued to celebrate in the ring before Cole transitioned to another installment of Anger Management Week 2.

Last Week: Dr. Shelby was interlocked with his patients in a trust exercise. Bryan and Kane were not willing to be involved, though, so the doctor told them to participate. To build trust, the doctor told Bryan to fall backward into Kane. Bryan shouted, "No!" then calmly said, "No, it's okay." Bryan told Kane he trusts him, then crossed his arms, and fell backward. Kane nearly let Bryan fall, but caught him at the last second. Kane shoved Bryan away, then the doctor said he's going to advance them to Phase 2, which is catching Harold (Scorpio Sky). Bryan and Kane each pulled away, though, allowing Harold to fall on the floor. Bryan and Kane looked at each other and said they finally understand each other. Dr. Shelby calmly said he thinks Harold needs medical assistance.

In-ring: Sheamus's music played to bring out the World champion for the top-of-the-second-hour main event. As Sheamus completed his entrance, Cole talked about events at the top of the show, then Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk. Punk was not dressed to wrestle, which the announcers completely ignored as he made his way to the ring. Punk, still in jeans and a t-shirt and with no wrestling gear on, slowly entered the ring before taking the mic. Punk waited out a "C-M Punk" chant before shouting out to Chicago again.

Punk told Sheamus there's a lot he doesn't know about his city. The first is they respect him and his decisions. He said they get it that a WWE champion against the World champion is nothing less than a WrestleMania main event. Punk said Punk is nothing less than a main-event wrestler. He said this place respects that you don't just roll Punk out at the top of the 8:00 p.m. hour just because he's from Chicago. Punk said it's Labor Day and there are probably a lot of people who took the day off from work today, so he's decided to do the same thing. Punk abruptly threw down the mic, walked out of the ring, held up his title belt in the air, and continued to walk to the back. There was a mix of boos and cheers from the crowd.

Back in the ring, Sheamus said Punk just showed this crowd a lack of respect by walking away. Sheamus said the people want to see this match. WWE cut backstage to show Punk walking down the hallway. A.J. stopped him in the hallway and told her to check his contract because he has personal days and today is one of them. Punk hopped into a towncar and was driven away. Matt Striker then approached A.J. to ask what she's going to do. A.J. comically asked who he is, then told "whoever you are" to tell Sheamus to stay in the ring because she will find Sheamus an opponent. A.J. angrily stomped off as Raw faded to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Alberto Del Rio was on the stage. Cole speculated that Del Rio could be facing Sheamus right now after Punk walked off the job tonight. Miz said he does not agree with Punk's decision, saying when he was champion, he was the hardest-working man in WWE. Del Rio then made his way to ringside for a closer look at the action, indicating he's not the opponent, then Jack Swagger came out as Sheamus's opponent.

3 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. JACK SWAGGER -- non-title match

The announcers discussed Swagger's long losing streak as Sheamus quickly went on the attack. Sheamus delivered a top-rope shoulder tackle as WWE cut to a shot of Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez scouting Sheamus. Swagger suddenly went after Sheamus's knee as Miz continued to disagree with Punk's actions tonight.

[Q6] Swagger attempted a gutwrench powerbomb, but Sheamus countered. Swagger came back with a corner Swagger Bomb, but couldn't put Sheamus away. Sheamus then came back with a Texas Cloverleaf, which popped Cole, saying he's never seen Sheamus use a submission before. Swagger tapped out, giving Sheamus a win and upsetting Del Rio ringside ahead of their Night of Champions title match in two weeks.

WINNER: Sheamus via submission at 2:43. And, Sheamus moves closer to 20-straight TV/PPV wins.

Post-match: Ricardo distracted Sheamus, allowing Del Rio to sneak in from behind with an attack. Del Rio scored some offense, but Sheamus fought him off. Ricardo tried to get involved, but Sheamus flung him into the corner turnbuckle. Sheamus then nailed White Noise on Del Rio before calling for the Brogue Kick. Instead, Ricardo shoved Del Rio out of the way to take the full Brogue Kick instead of Del Rio. Ricardo sold face-down on the mat before Sheamus's music played for him to celebrate one-upping Del Rio once again. After a replay, Sheamus left the ring and staff checked on Ricardo, who sold unconsciousness. Cole plugged Cena vs. Del Rio later tonight leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

Moments Ago: Sheamus delivered a massive Brogue Kick to Ricardo Rodriguez, who "took the bullet" for Del Rio, according to Cole. They showed Ricardo continuing to sell unconsciousness during the commercial.

4 -- EVE vs. KAITLYN

During a pre-match replay of recent events, Divas champion Layla joined Cole and Miz ringside for commentary. Things got testy between Eve and Kaitlyn, then they shook hands. After some back and forth, Kaitlyn sold like Eve injured her. Eve tried to act sincere consoling Kaitlyn, but then kicked her in the gut and finished off Kaitlyn for the win. Post-match, Eve again tried to act sincere consoling Kaitlyn after the match, then she talked to Layla ringside, who wasn't buying Eve's act.

WINNER: Eve at 3:10.

[Q7] Backstage: Jack Swagger was shown walking down the hallway. A.J. walked up to him and asked where he's going. Swagger said he's leaving and taking some extended time off. He said he doesn't know what happened to him, but he's better than this. A.J. said Jericho left (she set him up to get fired), Punk left him tonight, and it seems like everyone is leaving him. Swagger said he's sorry and walked off. (Very interesting turning WWE's actual roster turnover into a storyline that could lead to A.J. losing her mind, especially having three hours to fill every week.)

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole fed to another round of Anger Management classes. For this clip, Dr. Shelby was shown applauding the class on succeeding in completing anger management. He asked Kane and Bryan to close their anger management sessions. Bryan said Dr. Shelby taught them so much and he realized he had an anger problem. He said he is willing to give Kane a Summerslam re-match anytime he wants. Kane stood up and quietly said, "Thank you, Daniel." He said he will do his best not to eviscerate Bryan. Kane sat down, but Bryan offered some strong words that he will make Kane tap out. Kane and Bryan went back and forth, which led to Harold telling them to calm down. "Shut up, Harold!" they told Harold, who walked off, then the rest of the class followed. Dr. Shelby tried to calm down Kane and Bryan, then freaked out when his calm voice didn't work. The doctor stormed out of the room as Kane and Bryan stood still.

Back in the arena, Cole stood up and offered three choices for a Bryan vs. Kane match tonight - compete against each other, compete as a tag team, or "hug it out," for the absurd option. The Raw theme music played for a while, then WWE cut backstage.

Trainer's Room: Matt Striker knocked on the door and Del Rio walked out selling concern over Ricardo's condition. David Otunga then walked out and said his client has no comment at this time. Del Rio continued to freak out before the two of them walked back inside the trainer's room.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole re-inserted The Rock's name into the broadcast, reading the news about Rock recently chasing off would-be thieves on-set at "Fast and Furious."

In-ring: Jinder Mahal was shown in the ring back in the arena. And, Raw officially does not need to be three hours. This roster just cannot support a three-hour show. Ryback then came out to eat Mahal.

5 -- RYBACK vs. JINDER MAHAL

The "Goldberg" chants picked up after the bell sounded. Ryback quickly pounded Mahal into the mat as Miz offered his analysis of Ryback only wrestling sprints, not marathons. Cole acted disagreeable with Miz, prompting Miz to wonder who Cole is tonight. Ryback then delivered a big clothesline and set up Mahal for the marching backpack slam for the pin and the win. Afterward, Ryback led the crowd in a "Feed Me More" chant.

WINNER: Ryback at 2:11.

[Q8] WWE replayed Ryback's dominating victory before going to another shot of Ryback celebrating in the ring. The post-match lasted nearly as long as the match, then Cole and Miz were shown on-camera plugging WWE's new App, which Miz demonstrated. Cole segued to a plug for how Daniel Bryan and Kane should settle their differences tonight.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole plugged the "Champions" theme song for Night of Champions in two weeks. Cole and Miz excitedly talked up the song before WWE cut backstage.

GM Office: Matt Striker knocked on the Raw GM's door to get A.J. Lee out of hiding. Striker asked A.J. what she is going to do about things falling apart tonight. A.J. said she will start by having Striker tell John Cena and Del Rio that their match tonight is a Falls Count Anywhere match. Striker didn't move, so A.J. screamed at him to go tell them.

In-ring: Daniel Bryan's music played and the crowd popped huge with "Yes!" chants. Bryan calmly walked out on-stage and tried to calmly walk to the ring, ignoring the chants. Bryan calmly waved off the chants, took a deep breath, and then freaked out when Kane's pyro shot off. Out came Kane before WWE replayed events from Smackdown when Kane destroyed Josh Mathews again. Cole pleaded with authority figures to do something about that. Back in the ring, Kane grimaced and tried to act remorseful over his actions. Cole then noted Booker T has "severely reprimanded" Kane for his actions and fined him an "undisclosed sum." Cole stood up at the announce table, then introduced the poll results - 55 percent for a hug, 27 percent for a tag match, and 18 percent for a match. The absurd option wins.

6 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. KANE -- Hug It Out match

Referee Mike Chioda instructed the two men to approach the center of the ring for a hug. "No!" Bryan shouted. "Yes!" the crowd shouted in reply. Kane made the first move toward Bryan, who slowly walked toward Kane as the crowd chanted, "Hug it out." Kane suddenly backed away, unable to go through with this. Bryan then opened up his arms nice and wide and slowly approached Kane, but shouted, "No!" which drew a loud "Yes!" reply from the crowd. Bryan freaked out as Kane stood calmly opposite him. Suddenly, Cole slipped in the word "wrestlers," leading to Miz calling them "Superstars." Bryan and Kane came within inches of each other, then sort of chest-bumped each other. The crowd booed and the ref instructed the two men that that's not good enough.

[Q9 -- third hour] Kane and Bryan opened their arms wide as Miz tried to provide analysis of this situation. After resetting, Kane and Bryan re-approached each other center-ring. Bryan slowly wrapped his arms around Kane's waist like a son hugging his dad. But, Kane did not receive the hug, prompting Bryan to yell that Kane didn't hug him. "Hug him back!" the crowd chanted. Kane then opened his arms wide and slowly approached Bryan, who stood his ground. Cole called this one of the most bizarre moments he's ever witnessed. Kane then approached Bryan and wrapped his arms around Bryan's shoulders. Kane backed away and noted Bryan did not hug him this time. Miz noted that is not acceptable.

The ref demanded a complete hug as some crowd members chanted, "One more time." Bryan then opened his arms wide and Kane, with hands on hips, slowly walked toward him again. Kane took a deep breath, opened his arms wide, and the two men shared a real man-hug center-ring. The hug lasted a good ten seconds, then Kane patted Bryan on the back. Bryan followed with a handshake, which Kane accepted.

After an extended handshake, Bryan playfully slapped Kane on the shoulder. So, Kane slapped him back. The friendliness quickly went out the window when Bryan shoved Kane hard across the chest. Kane then shoved Bryan hard. In the background, some fans tried to start a slow clap. Bryan then calmed things down and re-approached Kane. The slaps got harder, then Bryan delivered Yes! kicks to the leg. Suddenly, Kane big-booted Bryan, but then flew over the top rope to the outside. Bryan followed with a running knee attempt, but Kane uppercut him and rammed him into the side of the ring. Back in the ring, Kane chokeslammed Bryan center-ring. Kane then wrapped a chair around Bryan's throat and wanted a top-rope move, but refs hit the ring to call Kane down from the top-rope. Bryan used the distraction to stand up and pop Kane in the shoulder with a chair. "I guess it's back to square one," Cole said. "So much for the hug."

WINNER: No match in a segment that went about ten minutes. A lot of ways to receive this one, including this perfectly capturing a Raw brand that has come off the rails during the three-hour era. It looks like Bryan-Kane will occur at the PPV, so the real value of this TV investment will be whether it contributes to people buying the PPV to see this "special attraction" match.

Still to come tonight: Cena vs. Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere match. ... Backstage: Santino was shown preparing for a match next. Cole said Santino gets his U.S. Title re-match next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back live, Justin Roberts announced the U.S. Title match up next. Santino was out first as the challenger following his title match loss to Antonio Cesaro on the Summerslam pre-show two weeks ago. Cesaro's new music brought out the U.S. champ, who was flanked by Aksana. As Cesaro came to the ring, Cole plugged Raw in Montreal next week. Before the match, WWE cut to an inset promo of Cesaro saying "success" in five different languages. He said he personifies success.

6 -- U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO (w/Aksana) vs. SANTINO -- U.S. Title match

Santino quickly went for the Cobra, which quickly brought Aksana onto the ring apron to distract Santino. Santino then removed his Cobra sock puppet and tried a basic Cobra strike to Cesaro, but Cesaro no-sold since the story is Santino's finisher doesn't have the same effect without the sock puppet.

[Q10] Cesaro slowed things down and began wearing down Santino, who tried crawling toward the sock puppet. Santino finally got it, put on the puppet, and Cesaro blasted him from behind. Cesaro then finished off Santino with the Neutralizer for the pin and the win. Cesaro then celebrated with Aksana in the ring.

WINNER: Cesaro at 2:05 to retain the U.S. Title.

Still to come tonight: Cena vs. Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole reset the show, noting Jerry Lawler was injured by Punk at the top of the show and Punk took the day off. WWE cut to a shot of Zack Ryder and Heath Slater in the ring, then Cole and Miz continued to talk on commentary.

7 -- ZACK RYDER vs. HEATH SLATER

Miz talked up Ryder on commentary, then dogged Slater for losing recently. Slater scored with an early neckbreaker, but Ryder kicked out of a pin attempt. Slater started dancing and air-guitaring, then delivered an elbow drop for a two count. Cole and Miz continued to banter, which led to Cole offering a line, "We do have a Hall of Famer named Edge," which came across very dismissive of Edge's career. Ryder made a comeback against Slater, then nailed the Rough Ryder for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Ryder at 3:00.

Immediately after the match ended, Vickie Guerrero interjected herself into the show. Vickie walked past a victorious Ryder, who sold annoyance by the interruption. In the ring, Vickie demanded A.J. come out to get a piece of her mind. Vickie demanded a chair, which led to a P.A. setting up a steel chair in the ring for Vickie to sit on. Cole said it's a sit-in. Vickie continued to wait in the ring, but no sign of A.J. They cut to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

[Q11] Back live, Vickie Guerrero was still in the ring waiting for A.J. Vickie then began explaining why she's so mad about A.J. Vickie conveniently had a video package cued up to explain why she's protesting the Raw GM, which led to a recap of events last week when A.J. slapped and tackled Vickie in the ring. Back live, Vickie sold annoyance. She then stood up and noted A.J. put her hands on her. Vickie said it's clear A.J. is losing control of her show. Vickie then turned to the chair, which she addressed as A.J. Another inanimate object in WWE? Vickie began having a conversation with a chair, then A.J.'s music played.

A.J. came out and said she just had a conversation with the Board of Directors. She is not to put her hands on a Superstar ever again. And, they want her to apologize. A.J. said she's sorry. Vickie mockingly said that is so touching. See, she's not sure if A.J. is apologizing because she's an inept GM or because of her actions. Vickie got in A.J.'s ear and demanded that A.J. apologize to her right now. A.J. slowly turned around to face Vickie as the crowd chanted, "Slap her." A.J. looked down to the mat, regrouped, looked Vickie in the eyes, and said, "Vickie, I'm sorry." The crowd booed. Vickie said that is so pathetic. She demanded A.J. apologize and make it mean something.

A.J. milked her follow-up for a while, then said, "Vickie...I apologize." Vickie wasn't sure how to take that. Vickie then slapped A.J. across the face. A.J. freaked out and nearly fought back, but stopped short. Vickie cackled that A.J. can't touch her. Vickie started to leave, but then came back to slap A.J. again. Vickie began cackling as she left the ring, then started skipping up the entrance ramp like A.J. Vickie skipped to the back as A.J. tried to collect herself in the ring.

A.J., now alone with the chair in the ring, threw down the mic. A.J. flipped over the chair, continued pacing around the ring, then grabbed the chair and slammed it down to the mat over and over. A.J. shrieked and freaked out before chucking the chair clear out of the ring. A.J. threw a fit in the ring, clearly losing her mind. A.J. shrieked and cried as the crowd sat hushed. Cole quietly said A.J. is having a nervous break down. A.J. rocked back and forth in the ring before a graphic plugged Cena vs. Del Rio still to come in the main event.

[Commercial Break]

Cole reset the show back live, revisiting events before the show started when C.M. Punk jumped Jerry Lawler, who suffered a chest injury and was not cleared to commentate tonight. WWE then replayed Punk's promo from the top-of-the-second-hour when he decided to take the day off and not face Sheamus tonight. And, Punk was confronted by A.J., but Punk blew her off and left the building. On commentary, Miz said he agrees with Lawler that Punk turned his back on the WWE fans.

[Q12] Back on-camera, Cole plugged the Night of Champions line-up, noting Miz will be defending the IC Title. Miz vowed to walk in and walk out champ. No announcement of an opponent, though. Cole plugged Punk vs. Cena and Sheamus vs. Del Rio as the top PPV matches before John Cena's music played for the first time tonight.

Cena came out to loud boos with a smattering of cheers. Cena smiled on-stage, evaluated the crowd, and stormed the ring to rising cheers mixed with boos. Cena completed his usual ring introduction, then waited for the boos before Del Rio's music played. Justin Roberts, instead of a KO'ed Ricardo Rodriguez, introduced Del Rio, who angrily emerged off-stage in his car of the week. Del Rio entered the ring before WWE showed a tout from David Otunga about an hour ago vowing to address legal matters with Sheamus this Friday on Smackdown. Raw went to break before the start of Cena vs. Del Rio.

[Commercial Break]

8 -- JOHN CENA vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- Falls Count Anywhere match

The match was joined in-progress with Del Rio in control of the action in the ring. The crowd picked up a loud "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant with the kids going for Cena and the loud vocal males indicating their displeasure with Cena. Miz wondered if the response will be different in Cena's hometown of Boston at Night of Champions in two weeks. In the ring, Del Rio controlled the action as Miz noted Punk walked out on WWE at MITB in this building one year ago and walked out on WWE tonight. Meanwhile, Del Rio went for a top-rope move, but Cena intercepted with a mid-air dropkick.

Cena made his trademark comeback, smiled toward the crowd as he waved his hand in the air, and delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena teased the AA, but Del Rio reached the top rope to counter. Del Rio then snapped Cena throat-first across the top rope before whipping him into the ring steps. The crowd picked up another loud dueling chant before Cena charged Del Rio and ran him over with a shoulder tackle. Cena tried pinning Del Rio on the floor, but Del Rio kicked out.

At 5:00, Cena approached the announce table to begin clearing objects out of the way. But, he took too long and subsequently ate a kick to the head from Del Rio for a nearfall. With Cena back on his feet, Del Rio ran Cena into the ringpost before retrieving a steel chair. Cena ducked a chair shot, though, and sent Del Rio flying over the guardrail into the front row. While Del Rio recovered, Cena set up ring steps next to the announce table. Suddenly, a Macho Man Randy Savage look-a-like entered the camera shot on the front row, drawing a reaction.

[Q13 -- over-run] Cena hoisted Del Rio onto his shoulders and marched him up the ring steps to deliver an AA through the announce table, but Del Rio countered with a back-drop suplex through the table. This drew oohs from the crowd, then Del Rio covered Cena for a two count only. Del Rio threw Cena back into the ring, then grabbed a mic and taunted Cena that he's beneath him. Del Rio said Chicago is beneath him, too. He vowed to break Cena's arm, then tried the cross arm-breaker, but Cena rolled through into an STF center-ring. The pro-Cena crowd popped for Cena's finisher, then Del Rio grabbed the mic and popped Cena in the head with it to break up the submission.

At 10:00, Del Rio went flying to the outside after Cena ducked a charging attack. On the floor, Del Rio sold a knee injury before Cena approached him. The two men battled up the entrance ramp before Del Rio suplexed Cena onto the ramp. Del Rio covered, but Cena kicked out. Miz noted Cena just won't give up. The fight moved toward Del Rio's vehicle and the staging area. Cena then pulled a Will Smith on Fresh Prince looking into the camera and winking before lifting up one of the speakers to smash Del Rio with, but Del Rio countered with a kick to the leg.

At 12:00, the fight moved through the arena to the backstage area. Cena then whipped Del Rio into the interview set, causing equipment to crash and burn. Del Rio tried to stagger away as Cena followed up with right hands. Cena then lifted up Del Rio and gave him the AA onto equipment cases. And, C.M. Punk returned to smack Cena in the face. "What happened to his personal day?" Miz shouted. Punk then dragged Del Rio on top of Cena for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Del Rio at 13:14. Pretty good main event that lost some steam backstage, but was necessary to set up Punk for the "surprise" return to sneak-attack Cena.

Post-match: As Del Rio's music played, Punk lifted up Cena to drop him face-first across the head of his getaway vehicle earlier in the show. It is a three-hour show, so Punk had a lot of time to drive around town before returning to the arena. Punk then leaned down next to Cena and simply said, "Respect." Punk backed away, then stood on his vehicle and hoisted the WWE Title belt in the air to cheers from the live crowd. Cena continued to sell on the floor, then the getaway vehicle began driving away. Before it sped off, though, the driver lowered the window to reveal Paul Heyman, which popped the male fans in the arena. Heyman drove off as Cena continued to sell on the floor. Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Again, no need for this show to be three hours with a lack of roster depth, but they created an interesting development at the end of the show that could give Raw some steam heading into the fall season.

***

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