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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 9/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - PPV fall-out, Cena & Sheamus vs. Punk & Del Rio "super main event"

Sep 17, 2012 - 10:06:05 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
September 17, 2012 - Episode #1,007
Live in Bridgeport, Conn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_91.jpg


This week's three-hour WWE Raw started with the standard Raw intro video before full pyro shot off inside the arena. Michael Cole introduced the show, noting they are 24 hours removed from a controversial main event conclusion to Punk vs. Cena at Night of Champions last night.

After a pause, Cult of Personality played, but Paul Heyman came out instead of Punk, borrowing a move from his association with Brock Lesnar. As Heyman walked out to the ring, Cole plugged "exclusive footage" from Night of Champions to air tonight.

In the ring, Heyman introduced himself to boos. He said last night he felt like each and every fan witnessing history - history when C.M. Punk successfully defended the WWE Title against John Cena. Heyman acknowledged boos by noting he agrees the end of the match is embroiled in controversy. Heyman then welcomed out referee Chad Patton to discuss the finish last night. Patton walked out to the ring as Cole noted he has a clean record as a referee. Heyman then directed Patton's attention to a still photo from Night of Champions when both men's shoulders were down for a three count.

Heyman said everyone likes to be a critic, including John Cena over his decision last night. Heyman asked Patton if he made the right decision, to which Patton replied that he did. Heyman thanked him for his integrity. Heyman then introduced fan footage from the finish of the match, which Heyman claimed has conveniently been removed by Cena. Back live, Heyman said it proves the outcome to be fair and a tie, with the tie going to the champion. Heyman said it also proves Punk is worthy of respect.

As Heyman pushed a button that Punk walked into Cena's hometown and retained the WWE Title, Cena's music interrupted to bring out an upset Cena. "Paul, shut up," Cena told Heyman, who tried to speak first. Cena said he actually agrees with Heyman and said Patton made the right call last night. Cena acknowledged about two people chanting, "Cena sucks," which fed the chant to grow to a louder chant. Cena then said he had nothing to do with pulling the YouTube footage. He said he knows Patton is not biased and they had a conversation not about the finish, but about the finality of Patton's decision. Cena said they had an epic match of WrestleMania proportions last night and when Patton explained that the match was a draw, it's like ending the Super Bowl in a tie. Cena asked the crowd if a draw is how they wanted the match to end. The crowd booed.

Cena turned to Heyman and noted Punk has always been clamoring for respect, so retaining the WWE Title via a tie isn't exactly earning respect. Heyman said his opinion is Punk earned respect. "No!" chants from the crowd, which Cena acknowledged. He said the opinion from Heyman and Punk is different than his. Cena said earning respect is about leaving no doubt - no ties - and beating anyone on any given night. He said he's with the crowd that he wants to find out the real winner. Cena said he can do this on one good leg and have the re-match right here tonight.

Heyman said he's sure Punk would be very happy to acknowledge Cena's challenge... when he gets here tonight. But, hearing it from him is the same as hearing it from Punk because he is the Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless. Heyman deftly avoided turning that into a comedy line like "assistant to the manager" in The Office. Suddenly, Alberto Del Rio's music interrupted. Del Rio, dressed in a suit with Ricardo Rodriguez by his side, said Cena lost fair and square last night, whereas he was screwed by Booker T when the Brogue Kick was banned two weeks ago, then re-instated. Del Rio said he wasn't completely ready for his opponent at Night of Champions, so if anyone deserves a re-match, it's the man who never lies - Alberto Del Rio.

Suddenly, A.J.'s music interrupted. A.J. skipped out on-stage in a short skirt and business suit, circled the ring, and entered the ring. A.J. said perhaps they both deserve second chances. So, she's going to take the two main events from last night to create a "super main event!" A.J. booked Punk and Del Rio against Cena and Sheamus in a tag match. She said the outcome could help determine whether there are any title re-matches. A.J.'s music hit and she skipped out of the ring with Heyman trying to chase her down, but not fast enough to catch up with A.J.'s skipping. A.J. skipped to the back as Heyman sold frustration ringside.

[Q2] Backstage: Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio were shown walking backstage together. They team up again next.

[Commercial Break]

Ringside: Michael Cole was shown ringside wearing a black t-shirt reading "Long Live The King." Cole relayed positive news on Jerry Lawler's health that he spent the past week recuperating after suffering a "massive heart attack" last Monday on Raw. Cole then fed to a tout from Lawler during the week. Back live, Cole smiled and excitedly announced that Lawler touched down in Memphis earlier today and is back home watching Raw. Cole also plugged an interview with Lawler next week on Raw.

After Cole's announcement, Justin Roberts introduced JBL as Lawler's replacement tonight. After JBL joined Cole at the announce position, Roberts gave the formal intro for Jim Ross, which popped the crowd. Ross walked out and tipped his cowboy hat to the crowd as Cole talked up Ross in a change from their recent issues. Ross approached the table and shook hands with Cole, who stood up to greet Ross. The line-up: JBL on the left, Cole in the middle, and Ross on the right. Ross said he was so proud of the job Cole did last week on Raw and he's ready to have some fun tonight.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music played to bring out Rey on-stage to shoot off fireworks before approaching the ring. Sin Cara came out next as Ross said he couldn't think of a better teacher for Sin Cara in WWE than Rey. Already in the ring to face Rey and Cara were Epico and Primo.

1 -- REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. PRIMO & EPICO (w/Rosa Mendes)

After the bell sounded, Ross noted Primo & Epico are looking to get back into the title hunt against new tag champs Daniel Bryan & Kane. Rey and Cara took control early on with rapid-fire tags before double-kicking Primo in the upper body for a two count. Cara took control leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] Back from break, Cara made a hot tag to Mysterio, who delivered a huracanrana to Epico before Cara and Rey double-teamed the heels into 619 position. Rey followed with a double 619 that cleared Primo to the floor. Back in the ring, Cara came off the top rope with a Swanton Bomb on Epico for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Rey & Cara at 6:44. A fine dose of athleticism to kickstart the show.

Post-match: As Rey and Cara celebrated in the ring, the crowd started to scream, which foretold the Prime Time Players hitting the ring to attack Rey and Cara from behind. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young destroyed the high-flyers before leaving the ring to demand microphones. Titus said everyone knows they were the legitimate #1 contenders to the Tag Titles before it was taken from them last week. He said that's over because they're doing all the taking from now on. D-Young tried to talk, but Titus screamed over D-Young that they will take what they want. Titus just stepped up and nailed a home run. The PTPers then stomped off to the back as Rey and Cara recovered in the ring.

Tonight: The Tag Title re-match from Night of Champions will take place. It's Bryan & Kane vs. Kofi & Truth for the Tag Titles. Ross then plugged Cena & Sheamus vs. Punk & Del Rio still to come tonight in the main event.

On-camera: Cole talked up WWE's new association with the Susan G. Komen partnership to raise breast cancer awareness. JBL and Ross read statistics about the fight against breast cancer as WWE showed the pink middle rope in the ring and logo on the stage. This led to a video package going into break.

[Commercial Break]

Raw tonight: The Miz launches MizTV. His first guest will be Smackdown GM Booker T.

2 -- Divas champion EVE vs. BETH PHOENIX -- non-title match

Back from break, Beth Phoenix was in the ring. Ringside, former Divas champion Layla was on commentary not pleased with the turn of events last night when Eve captured the Divas Title from her. Eve then came out all-smiles to face Phoenix. Eve dominated the action before finishing off Beth. Post-match: Eve got in Layla's face to taunt her about being champ. Layla was not in the mood to join in Eve's celebration, though.

WINNER: Eve at 1:45. Phoenix's stock continues to drop with WWE using her strictly as an enhancement talent at this point.

Still to come tonight: Ross plugged Cena & Sheamus vs. Punk & Del Rio in one of the biggest tag matches in Raw history still to come.

Sat. Morning Slam plug: Champions edition with The Miz giving tips, an "exclusive match" featuring Zack Ryder, and an appearance by WWE champion C.M. Punk.

[Q4] [Commercial Break]

In-ring: Brodus Clay was introduced back from break. No vocal intro this week, as the dancers and Brodus Clay quickly came to the ring as Cole playfully reminded Ross of his previous dancing attempts on Raw. Suddenly, a voice was heard. It was U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro, who is on commentary here. Ringside, Heath Slater was not impressed by Clay's dancing. Before the bell sounded, Cole talked up Cesaro's successful U.S. Title defense last night at the PPV.

3 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. HEATH SLATER

Cesaro said Clay has his full attention after attacking him last Friday on Smackdown. In the ring, Slater knocked Clay off his feet as Cesaro described Clay as an "embarrassment" in five different languages. Ray then made a comeback before forearm-smashing Slater to the mat. Suddenly, Cesaro hopped on the ring apron to distract Clay. This allowed Slater to face-plant Clay for a nearfall - a three count would have put a permanent stain on Clay's resume. Slater then tried a top-rope move, but Clay intercepted with a mid-air headbutt. Clay finished off Slater with a big splash for the win.

Post-match: Clay celebrated with the dancers while staring down Cesaro and Aksana, who backed away from the ring. On commentary, JBL said Clay could be something special in this business if he cuts the crap and gets serious about winning titles. Kids then entered the ring to dance and celebrate with Clay. Ross said it's a memory that will last a lifetime; JBL said make a memory by winning a title.

WINNER: Clay at 2:03.

Backstage: IC champ The Miz was shown walking down the hallway. The debut of MizTV is next with Booker T as his guest.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Wade Barrett will unleash his brutality, plus a look at the World Title picture.

MizTV segment

In-ring: As an upside-down WWE logo hung over the ring, The Miz's music played to bring out the Intercontinental champion for the first edition of his new talk show. On-stage, Miz held up his title belt before rhetorically asking the crowd what they should get the IC champion who has everything. He said what you get him is his very own talk show. Miz confidently strutted into the ring and plugged his show before comparing it to Piper's Pit, Cutting Edge, and the Highlight Reel. Has Christian fallen that far off the map where the Peep Show isn't mentioned? Miz said the one thing missing from Pit, Edge, and Reel is they weren't as controversial, charismatic, or awesome as his show will be. Miz then introduced Smackdown GM at the top of the hour.

[Q5 -- second hour] Smackdown GM Booker T emerged on-stage to salute the crowd before making his way to the ring to discuss matters with Miz, who complained about Booker putting him in a fatal four-way match last night. Once Booker entered the ring, Miz asked him how honored he is to be the first guest on MizTV. Miz took the mic away from Booker before he could respond, then proceeded to insult Booker with back-handed compliments. Miz followed with a question on why Booker is against him. Miz paused for a "Booker T" chant before re-asking Booker why he put him against three competitors last night. Speaking of which, why did Booker ban the Brogue Kick, then re-instate it? Miz suggested Booker misses the spotlight. Miz offered Booker the mic, but pulled it back before Booker could speak again. "Boring" chant from the crowd, which JBL acknowledged.

Miz continued that Booker is driven crazy by his time being over. Booker suddenly grabbed the mic from Miz and stared him down. He called that conclusion "interesting" before noting Miz likes to talk a lot. He told Miz to find a new guest tonight. After a pause, Ryback's music played to bring out Ryback on-stage. Ross noted business just picked up and JBL said this will make things un-boring. Miz bailed from the ring, then Ryback proceeded to destroy the set, which consisted of couches, director's chairs, and speakers. JBL asked where Dr. Shelby is when you need him as a light, yet noticeable "Goldberg" chant picked up. Miz finished his destruction by power-lifting the final couch into the air before chucking it over the top rope at Miz's feet. Miz scampered away as the crowd popped for Ryback. His music played and the crowd chanted, "Feed me more," with Ryback. On-stage, Miz freaked out while sweating in his fancy suit. Interesting to see a big step-up for Ryback if this turns into an actual feud.

(Off-air note: PWTorch VIP member Zim says from being live in the building that a fan grabbed the mic during the segment and shouted, "Goldberg!")

Ringside: Cole reset the show as Ross and JBL looked on. Cole recapped Jerry Lawler recovering from a heart attack over the past week before being released from the hospital earlier today. After Cole rolled footage of Lawler's mid-week tout, Cole gave the floor to Ross and JBL to send well-wishes to Jerry. Cole said they will show footage of Lawler arriving home later in the show.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman were shown backstage having a quiet, inaudible conversation. Josh Mathews jumped in and asked Punk about teaming with Del Rio tonight. Punk said he's not thrilled and called it blatant disrespect. Punk asked what he has to do to get some respect around here, then slapped Mathews's mic and walked off.

In-ring: Santino marched out to ringside, circled the ring, and entered the ring blowing kisses to the crowd. Cole plugged WWE's next PPV, Hell in a Cell, before Vickie Guerrero interrupted on-stage. Vickie introduced Dolph Ziggler, who talked himself up on the way to the ring while flashing his MITB briefcase to the crowd.

4 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. SANTINO

JBL talked up Ziggler after the bell sounded, then Santino surprised Ziggler with a hip-toss. Vickie told Dolph to focus as Ross noted Ziggler lost to Randy Orton last night at the PPV. Ziggler then suckered in Santino for a dropkick before taking his time following up. Ziggler tried to shoot Santino to the ropes, but Santino power-walked across the ring, confusing Ziggler, who walked into a hip toss for a two count. Ziggler had enough and uppercuted Santino before delivering a neckbreaker. Some of the vocal males audibly chanted, "Let's Go Ziggler," which JBL acknowledged. Cole said he thinks they appreciate Ziggler's athleticism.

[Q6] Ziggler continued to slow down the pace while taunting Santino. Vickie told Ziggler to focus, but Ziggler kept horsing around instead of finishing off Santino. Santino then made a comeback with right hands before delivering another hip toss into the Sailor's Salute drop. Santino proceeded to look for his Cobra, but Vickie had taken away the puppet during the match. Santino argued with Vickie, then Ziggler dropped him from behind with the Zig-Zag. Ziggler opted not to cover Santino, but rather pick up Santino for another Zig-Zag. It was good for the pin and the win. Cole said Ziggler made a statement on Raw as Vickie stuffed the Cobra down Santino's throat to cap off the win.

WINNER: Ziggler at 4:09. When you think about it, it's concerning that Ziggler needed a distraction from Vickie and a sock puppet to put away Santino, but the end result was Ziggler standing tall with a needed victory. Good use of Santino as the opponent for Ziggler, who could control the match and look like a serious player compared to Santino.

Last night: Bryan and Kane won the Tag Titles then shouted at each other, "I am the tag team champions." Tonight: Bryan & Kane vs. Kofi & Truth in a return match for the Tag Titles.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Wade Barrett was introduced back from break. Barrett was dressed in a black cut-off t-shirt and taped fists, then assumed a fighter's stance once he entered the ring. Justin Gabriel came out as Barrett's opponent, which prompted Cole to discuss their Nexus background before bringing up The Corre days.

5 -- WADE BARRETT vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL

Barrett quickly took control of the action to kept Gabriel grounded. Barrett grabbed a mathold and the crowd filled the time with a loud "We Want Nexus" chant, which Cole acknowledged on commentary. Barrett tried to finish off Gabriel with a high-impact move, but Gabriel flipped over into a reverse DDT. Gabriel followed with a springboard moonsault for a two count. It inflicted pain to Gabriel's ribs, though, which gave Barrett an opening to re-target the ribs. Barrett then finished off Gabriel with a big right hand to the face for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Barrett at 4:09. Not a good sign when the crowd is chanting for Nexus since they're disinterested in the match. Barrett is a no non-sense character, but so much damage has been done to him over the past two years that WWE needs to create more depth to the character for the audience to care.

Still to come tonight: Cena & Sheamus vs. Punk & Del Rio in the main event, which Ross described as a "super main event."

[Q7] [Commercial Break]

Locker Room #1: R-Truth was wearing a birthday hat and talking to his invisible Little Jimmy friend. Kofi Kingston entered the room and said today isn't his birthday, and they need to focus on the Tag Title match up next, but Truth ignored him. Suddenly, Jared from Subway entered the shot to announce Subway's birthday. Jared went for the cheap pop referencing they're in Bridgeport, which he said is home of the original Subway sandwich. Truth asked Jared what he thinks of Jimmy's sandwich ideas, which Jared no-sold. Jared handed over two sandwiches, but Truth requested a third for Jimmy. Jared reluctantly obliged.

Suddenly, Damien Sandow entered the shot to offer his own sandwich idea. Jared shot it down, then offered him a meatball marinara sub. Sandow told him he's welcome, then walked off. Jared had the camera on him alone for an awkward three seconds before he turned to the right to see Ryback. The crowd laughed in the background before Ryback shouted, "Feed me more!" Jared frantically gave him a sub, but Ryback grabbed a second one before leaving.

Locker Room #2: World Hvt. champion Sheamus was shown talking, then the camera showed John Cena listening, but not really listening. Sheamus talked up his title victory, then slapped Cena on the back to wake him up. Sheamus said Cena can't get down on himself for not winning the WWE Title last night. Cena pepped up and said he's not down on himself; he just needs to validate a title re-match, so they must win the tag match tonight. Sheamus told Cena not to worry because they're going to win, then have a pint celebrating everything under the sun. Sheamus walked off, leaving Cena to mutter to himself and question Sheamus with his eyebrows.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown yelling at no one in particular, then random people down the hallway that he's the tag team champion. They cut to Kane doing the same in a separate hallway. Kane paused to intimidate a random man before continuing down the hallway.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole re-visited this week's great news that Jerry Lawler's life was saved last week when he suffered a heart attack during Raw. WWE went to footage of Lawler arriving in Memphis on WWE's corporate plane. Lawler was shown greeting Dr. Michael Sampson, who Cole said saved his life, upon touching down in Memphis. Cole plugged an interview with Lawler next week on Raw.

In-ring: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth came to the ring looking naked without their Tag Title belts after a lengthy run. Cole suggested Dr. Shelby's work helped Bryan & Kane win the Tag Titles last night, but JBL cut a promo on Cole for thinking the doctor's program helped. Tag champ Daniel Bryan then came out and shouted, "No!" at everyone who chanted "Yes!" at him. Suddenly, Kane's pyro shot off to freak out Bryan and bring out his tag partner as Cole recapped how they became tag champs last night. Before the bell sounded, Cole plugged a social media pop for Bryan and Kane capturing the titles.

[Q8]

6 -- WWE tag champions DANIEL BRYAN & KANE vs. R-TRUTH & KOFI KINGSTON -- WWE Tag Title match

The new tag champs could not decide on who should start the match, then Bryan presented an argument that Kane got to start the match last night. Kane finally backed off, allowing Bryan to start things off against Kofi. After the former champs dominated Bryan, Bryan had enough and slap-tagged Kane into the match. The crowd focused on Bryan, though, chanting, "Yes!" at him while he stood on the apron. Kane scored offense, but Kofi eventually dumped him over the top rope. Bryan tried charging Kofi to back up his partner, but Kofi back-dropped Bryan over the top rope onto Kane. Bryan and Kane argued on the floor as Raw went to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Kane was working on Truth center-ring. Kane lost control of the match, which brought in Kofi to inflict punishment to Kane. Kofi then came off the top rope with a cross-body splash, but Kane kicked out of a pin. Kofi then delivered the Boom Drop and said it's time to finish things off. Kofi wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Kane side-stepped and teased a chokeslam. Kofi escaped, though, and for a turnaround splash, but ate an uppercut.

Kane wanted a chokeslam for the win, but Bryan tagged himself into the match. Bryan and Kane argued, which allowed Kofi to tag in Truth. Truth dropped Bryan with offense, including a face-first suplex for a two count. Truth had enough of Bryan, so he tagged in Kofi as the pace slowed down after picking up moments earlier. Kofi and Truth proceeded to double-team Bryan, but they couldn't put him away. The match neared the top of the hour, which brought back eerie feelings, as this was when Lawler suffered a heart attack last week.

Bryan broke free momentarily, so Kane demanded a tag, which Bryan granted. Kane then wanted a chokeslam on Kofi, but he spotted Bryan reaching for a tag in the corner of his eye. Kane and Bryan argued, then Bryan slingshot Kane across the top rope. Bryan suddenly realized what he did and broke up a pin when Truth tried to cover Kane. After confusion ensued, Kane chokeslammed Truth, then Bryan tagged himself into the match. Bryan slapped on the No! Lock and Truth was forced to tap out.

WINNERS: Bryan & Kane via submission at 12:45. Solid tag match with exciting action, good back-and-forth, and more great interplay between Bryan and Kane. It will be interesting to see where WWE goes from here with Kofi and Truth - does Kofi finally have enough of Truth distracted by his invisible friend? (**1/4)

[Q9 -- third hour] Post-match: Bryan took both title belts and declared himself the Tag Team Champions. Bryan continued to celebrate before Kane met him center-ring. Bryan continued to declare himself the sole champions before Kane yanked both belts away and gave Bryan a dose of his own medicine. "No!" Bryan shouted, which led to "Yes!" chants from the crowd. Bryan settled things down, then suggested they have a hug. "Hug it out!" chant from the crowd, which led to a mid-ring hug after JBL demanded they go to commercial instead of witnessing this. After the hug, Bryan yanked away one of the Tag Title belts. They proceeded to yell in each other's faces about being tag champion to conclude the segment.

Last March: WWE held a B.A. STAR rally in Bridgeport. Big Show returned to WWE TV via the video package, which also included David Otunga and Stephanie McMahon talking about the anti-bullying campaign.

Back in the arena, Justin Roberts called for members of the Lighthouse in the Community Afterschool Program to stand up and be recognized for incorporating the B.A. STAR curriculum into their program.

Backstage: Randy Orton was shown walking down the hallway. Ross said that Orton faces Tensai fresh off his victory over Dolph Ziggler last night at the PPV.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Randy Orton's music played to bring out Orton, who Cole said is back in the World Title picture after defeating Ziggler last night. Tensai's music then played, which drew groans from crowd members, who were being shown on-camera when his music hit. Tensai stormed past Sakamoto to enter the ring for competition.

7 -- RANDY ORTON vs. TENSAI (w/Sakamoto)

The two men slugged it out early on before Tensai ran over Orton with a big shoulder knock down. The audio suddenly cut out as Tensai worked over Orton, which made it seem like Orton or Tensai offered some potty words, especially after Orton dropped a middle finger on the PPV last night. Suddenly, JBL dropped "IWGP" onto the broadcast, referencing Tensai's recent run in Japan. Ross said Tensai's head is big money, which Tensai promptly used for a headbutt. "Albert!" chants picked up as Tensai continued to slow down the pace.

[Q10] Orton suddenly woke up the crowd and created interest in the match with a snap powerslam. Orton couldn't follow up, though, as Tensai had worn him down. Orton suddenly got a burst to deliver rapid-fire kicks to the gut before pulling Tensai across the middle rope for a trademark snap DDT. Orton then dropped down to the mat looking for an RKO, but Tensai shoved him away. Tensai missed with a follow-up corner charge, then Orton sprung on Tensai for a big RKO to score the pin and the win. Post-match: Orton winced as he entered celebration mode by posing in the corner.

WINNER: Orton at 6:12. Channel-changing action in the middle, but a nice finishing sequence to give Orton a clean singles win heading into what is expected to be a break from Raw to film "12 Rounds: Reloaded," although the announcers gave no indication that Orton is taking time off.

Video promo: WWE stars talked about breast cancer awareness. Cena encouraged viewers to find out how to join the fight.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Paul Heyman was having a conversation with C.M. Punk before David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio entered the shot. Otunga said they understand Punk is WWE champion, but Del Rio expects Punk to follow his lead. Heyman replied that Punk leads and follows no one else's lead. Del Rio whispered something in Otunga's ear, then Otunga relayed a message that Punk appears to sleep in a cardboard box on the street. Punk smirked, then put a word in Heyman's ear. Heyman reminded Del Rio that Punk beat him for the WWE Title at Survivor Series last year. Punk did a GTS motion, then got in close to Del Rio and said it will be an honor to face him tonight.

On-stage: Damien Sandow walked out and demanded his music be cut off since he is about to speak. Sandow began walking to the ring declaring the arrival of Back to School season. Apparently Saturday Morning Slam moved to Mondays. In the ring, Sandow noted to Ross that "slobberknocker" is not in the dictionary. Sandow offered some vocabulary words for the audience to use in their arsenal this school year. Sandow started with temerity, ignoramus, and miscreant. Sandow told the crowd to be quiet because they have a lot to get through, then Zack Ryder's music interrupted. Ryder walked out and told Damien he has two vocab words: shut and up. Ryder then noted A.J. booked them in a match against each other for right now. Raw went to break before the bell.

[Commercial Break. Of note, the NFL game went to halftime during the commercial.]

[Q11]

8 -- ZACK RYDER vs. DAMIEN SANDOW

The action was joined in-progress with Sandow in control. Ryder then made a comeback and cleared Sandow to the outside. Back in the ring, Sandow assaulted Ryder with repeated stomps and kicks. Sandow proceeded to rub Ryder's face into the mat before taunting the crowd. Sandow followed with a reverse chinlock as JBL yelled at Cole about education. Sandow did some more posing before dropping an elbow for a two count. Sandow, angered, followed with corner headbutts before Ryder suddenly small-packaged Sandow for a two count.

Ryder followed with wild right hands before smashing Sandow to the mat with a sledgehammer smash. Ryder measured Sandow for a flying fist and connected in the corner. He wanted a Broski Boot, but Sandow rolled to the outside. On the floor, Ryder smashed Sandow with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Sandow cut off Ryder, but Ryder cut off Sandow in the corner and delivered a Broski Boot. Ryder dragged Sandow to the middle of the ring, but Sandow kicked out of a pin attempt. That was the peak moment for Ryder. Moments later, Sandow cut off Ryder and delivered his neckbreaker finisher for the pin and the win. Post-match: Sandow posed and the camera focused on Ryder's spraytan smeared all over his shoulders. Sandow followed with a cartwheel to conclude the segment.

WINNER: Sandow at 5:36 of what was shown. Interesting match. Ryder got in more offense than expected against a rising star like Sandow, so coupled with the battle royal win last night, Ryder seems to be re-building some momentum.

Earlier today: Jerry Lawler returned home to Memphis to meet Dr. Sampson, who Cole said saved his life. Next week: an exclusive interview with Jerry Lawler.

Up Next: Cena & Sheamus vs. Punk & Del Rio in the "super main event."

[Commercial Break]

Last Night: Seconds before the World Title match, Booker T reinstated the Brogue Kick. This Friday, Booker reveals what led to his decision. And, what is the fall-out for WWE, Sheamus, and Del Rio? The Brogue Kick Controversy Continues...

In-ring: On cue, Sheamus's music played to bring out the World champ for the main event. Sheamus has a 22-match TV & PPV winning streak on the line here. Also of note, the new referee with a Bischoff haircut has the main event assignment tonight. John Cena came out next to a strong reaction. Cena said into the on-stage camera that he knows it's getting late, but join him in the ring. Cena stormed the ring as Cole plugged Cena's new pink and black gear to promote breast cancer awareness, which JBL said was Cena's idea.

[Q12] After Cena completed his ring entrance, Justin Roberts introduced Ricardo Rodriguez, who proceeded to introduce Del Rio, who emerged off-stage in his vehicle of the week. Del Rio made his way to ringside, then stopped before Cult of Personality played to bring out the WWE champion, who was flanked by Paul Heyman. As Punk made his entrance, Cole talked up Punk-Cena as one of the best matches of the year before discussing the double-pin draw finish last night at Night of Champions. Cole then went to a still-shot of both men's shoulders down for the three count in the PPV main event before they went back live to Punk holding up the WWE Title belt in the air for a good, long time. As Punk continued standing in the middle of the ring with the belt in the air, the crowd focused on Cena with a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks." Punk continued to stand there with the belt in the air as Sheamus stood in the background with his arms folded. Cena took off his shirt, Punk kept standing there with the belt in the air, and Raw went to break.

[Commercial Break]

9 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK (w/Paul Heyman) & ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN CENA & World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS

The bell sounded back from break with Punk and Cena in the ring. They circled, then Punk quickly tagged in Del Rio. Punk bailed to the floor and chatted with Heyman before Del Rio entered the ring to face off with Cena. Del Rio took control, then Punk tagged in, thinking Cena was down and out, but Cena sprung to life with quick offense. Punk tried to grab the ring apron to escape, and in the process, thumbed Cena in the eye. Punk consulted with Heyman on the outside, then entered the ring to take advantage of Cena in a weakened state. The crowd picked up another dueling chant as the heels worked on Cena. Cole then engaged JBL in a debate about Punk talking about change last year, but only being about change that benefited himself.

Suddenly, Sheamus tagged in, giving Cena a breather. Sheamus teed off on Punk with repeated strikes, but Punk kicked out of a pin attempt. Punk then escaped to the heel corner and tagged in Del Rio, who smashed Sheamus with a boot to the face. He tried to follow with a move against the ropes, but Sheamus ducked and Del Rio ate the ropes. Sheamus then pounded on Del Rio's chest with ten big forearm strikes to the chest as they neared the top of the hour.

[Q13 -- over-run] Sheamus hit White Noise, then went to the corner and called for the Brogue Kick, but Punk caused a distraction, so Del Rio dropped Sheamus with a backstabber for a two count. Punk then re-entered and engaged in a slugfest with Sheamus. Punk realized that he couldn't go toe-to-toe with Sheamus, though, so he kicked him at the knees. Punk followed with a submission, then pulled the World champ away from Cena and tagged in Del Rio.

At 9:30, Del Rio and Sheamus knocked each other down and their tag partners begged for tags. Cena and Punk took simultaneous tags and Ross set the stage for another encounter between the two rivals. Cena dropped Punk with the sit-out slam, did the You Can't See Me handwave, and Punk tried to kick him in the head, but Cena grabbed Punk's foot for an STF. Del Rio broke it up, though. Suddenly, Sheamus blasted Del Rio with the Brogue Kick to clear him from the picture. Cena then scooped up Punk and delivered the AA near the ropes. Cena covered Punk for one, two, Punk's foot on the bottom rope, three. The bell sounded giving Cena and Sheamus the win.

Post-match: Punk kept his foot on the bottom rope and Heyman frantically tried to draw the ref's attention to the rope situation. Cena and Sheamus celebrated the win, then headed to the back as Punk and Heyman continued to state their case, with Punk keeping his foot on the bottom rope. After a replay of the outcome, Punk yelled at the new ref some more. The ref waved them off, noting there is no instant replay in WWE. Punk said he doesn't care and continued to yell at the ref. Punk shouted, "My foot was on the ropes!" all the way up the ramp to the back as Raw signed off six minutes past the top of the hour.

WINNERS: Cena & Sheamus at 10:25. Good, high-energy main event that gave viewers a sample of Cena-Punk from last night without giving away too much to build anticipation for a likely re-match at Hell in a Cell. The referee business came across like WWE taking a page from TNA's August PPV by focusing on referees when the NFL is struggling with replacement referees.

***

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