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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 10/1: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Ross Appreciation Night, Punk-Ryback feud, World Title debate

Oct 1, 2012 - 10:08:05 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
October 1, 2012 - Episode #1,009
Live in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_97.jpg


This week's three-hour WWE Raw started with a video package from last week when Mick Foley confronted WWE champion C.M. Punk about his recent actions as part of his heel turn. The video continued with the Punk-John Cena confrontation, then final image from last week when Ryback confronted Punk backstage. WWE piped in some cheers when Ryback was revealed as the man standing opposite Punk.

Live from Oklahoma City, Michael Cole introduced the show and introduced Jim Ross ringside with him. Cult of Personality then played to a mixed reaction. The reaction is slowly tilting toward boos when his music plays. Out came WWE champion C.M. Punk dressed in a gray hoodie. Behind him was Paul Heyman holding up the WWE Title belt as they made their way to the ring. As Punk and Heyman entered the ring, Cole noted it is Jim Ross Appreciation Night tonight. Cole said an event will be later in the show.

In the ring, Punk started with a lie that Cena attacked him from behind with a pipe last week. Punk offered another lie that he subsequently ran into Mick Foley while innocently looking for a doctor, so he attacked Foley when Foley said something under his breath. Punk said Foley doesn't have the gall to say anything derogatory to John Cena. How about Dwayne (The Rock)? Heyman said no. Punk told the crowd these are rhetorical questions, then said Foley wouldn't have said anything derogatory to Stone Cold. Punk told the crowd he wishes they learned some manners because they're disrespecting him like Foley.

Punk continued that he did hear a few things from Mick Foley last week. He said some of his words did get to him and he has thought about his stance of not facing John Cena at Hell in a Cell. Punk said he digested what Foley said about his legacy. So, that's why he's here to announce that at Hell in a Cell, Punk vs. Cena... is still not going to happen. Heyman chuckled to himself in the background after Punk's swerve. Punk waited out boos before consulting with Heyman on the next matter.

Heyman took the mic to boos and said the WWE champion would like to move on to another piece of business. They cut to events last Monday when Heyman proposed to Raw GM A.J. Lee, who promptly slapped Heyman across the face. Back in the ring, Heyman was about to speak, but A.J.'s music played. Suddenly, it cut off. Live television. Heyman continued that A.J. never said no to his proposal. But, what A.J. did do is violate an edict from the Board of Directors. Heyman said he's not one to quote scripture, but he holds in his hands a memo from the Board. Heyman read that A.J. is not to put her hands on anyone ever again. So, what that means is he and Punk agree that A.J. must now be removed from the Board as GM of Raw effective immediately. Heyman acknowledged boos and owned the boos by saying he feels their concern about the big power void that would be left in WWE. He said the answer is himself. Heyman said he has all the experience ...

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. Vickie and Dolph Ziggler walked out on-stage and Vickie noted if anyone has been victimized by the child-like A.J. Lee, it's the two of them. Vickie claimed to not have full range of motion in her neck after A.J. attacked her. WWE cut to footage from two months ago when A.J. and Vickie fought, leading to A.J. being reprimanded by the Board.

Back live, Heyman asked Vickie when this became about her. He said it's about The Best in the World. Vickie cut him off and said she is The Vickie Guerrero. He said her client is the future World Hvt. champion. Heyman retorted that when The Future catches up to the Here and Now, let him know. Heyman told Vickie to follow his lead filing a grievance through the proper channels. As the crowd sat quietly, Dolph spoke up with a suggestion that Vickie and Heyman should be co-GMs of Raw.

[Q2] And, on cue in this theatrical procession, A.J. Lee's music played to bring out A.J. dressed in business clothes. A.J. skipped to the ring, then stood in between both sets of interested parties. A.J. said the Board has placed her on probation. And, yes, she knew she wasn't supposed to touch another person, but she figured they would excuse her slapping a creepy slimeball like Heyman. A.J. said they didn't, though. A.J. said she's now been assigned a coach to help her with her development as Raw GM.

Suddenly, Daniel Bryan's music played. Punk asked if he's A.J.'s coach as Bryan stomped out to the ring to loud "Yes!" chants from the crowd. In the ring, Bryan demanded the crowd stop it. He said he just came out here to apologize. Bryan said he's here to apologize because it's obvious A.J.'s mental issues have been compounded by the fact that he dumped her after WrestleMania. And, really, he can't blame A.J. Bryan twirled his moustache as he noted he is a great catch. A.J. just smirked as the crowd chanted, "No!" Bryan declared himself handsome and a former World champion. Bryan said he has a great beard and proceeded to stroke it. And, now, he is the Tag Team Champions. Bryan repeated his claim over and over before Kane's pyro shot off.

To join the party, Kane emerged on-stage with the other tag belt in possession. Kane marched to the ring as Cole and Ross talked about WWE's tag division. Once in the ring, Kane slowly paced around everyone before standing behind A.J. Kane said everyone has forgotten one important fact about A.J., noting she is a phenomenal kisser. A.J. blushed before Kane continuing that he is the Tag Team Champions. This led to Kane and Bryan having a shouting match. Punk and Dolph then argued and Heyman and Vickie argued. In the background, A.J. quietly shouted, "Stop it!" before screaming at the top of her lungs, causing everyone to stop.

A.J. noted this is her show. She said she is still the Raw GM, so what she says goes. A.J. then turned to Punk and Ziggler and booked them in a tag match against Kane and Bryan tonight. A.J.'s music played and she went from mad to happy with herself. A.J. left the ring and skipped around the ringside area as Ross hyped this as a first-time-ever match-up.

Segment Reax: Just way too long, going 20 minutes. It was as if they were rehearsing a high school play; the segment felt like it belonged somewhere else, but not on a wrestling show.

Still to come: World Title debate between Sheamus and Big Show. Cole said President Obama and Mitt Romney should take notes.

Backstage: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara were shown walking down the hallway. Cole plugged the new Tag Title tournament to determine the #1 contenders to the Tag Titles and said Rey & Cara's first round match is next.

[Commercial Break]

1 -- REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. PRIMO & EPICO (w/Rosa Mendes) -- First Round Tag Title #1 contender tournament match

Back from break, all four men were already in the ring. Once the match started, Cole plugged another first round match on the "WWE Main Event" debut show Wednesday night on Ion. Cole said it will be Ryder & Santino vs. Kidd & Gabriel on Ion. The action started hot before Rey and Cara cleared the Colons to the outside. Suddenly, the Prime Time Players's music hit to bring out Titus O'Neil and Darren Young in fancy suits. Cole plugged their first round match this Friday on Smackdown as the duo sat down in chairs on the stage to get a closer look at their potential semi-finals opponents.

[Commercial Break...] [...Q3]

Back from break, Sin Cara and Epico battled as Cole plugged PTPers vs. Kofi & Truth this Friday on Smackdown. Primo and Epico began exchanging tags working on Cara, until Cara pulled out a tilt-a-whirl DDT to break free. Cara then brought in Rey via tag as Primo tagged in for the heels.

Rey delivered a head scissors before kicking Primo in the chest area. Rey then went to the top turnbuckle for a seated splash into a reverse DDT for a two count when Epico broke up a pin. All four men became involved in the ring before Rey set up both Colons for a stereo 619, which connected. Rey and Cara then climbed to the top rope together, where Cara flew onto Epico on the outside. Rey then came off the top with a big splash to Primo for the pin and the win.

Post-match: The PTPers mock applauded the outcome from the stage. WWE went to a replay of the finish, with a slow-mo replay of Rey splashing Primo from the top rope. Ross noted they have an undefeated team, Rey & Cara, advancing in the tournament. After a review of the current bracket, they returned to Rey and Cara celebrating together in the ring.

WINNERS: Rey & Cara at 9:22. Fine high-flying match, although both teams doing the same thing made both acts seem less special. Rey & Cara definitely have a connection with the audience, though, which seems to point to one turning on the other down the road to set up a feud.

Still to come tonight: Sheamus and Big Show debate moderated by Smackdown GM Booker T. Cole said Booker will choose questions from WWE fans to ask the World champ and #1 contender.

[Commercial Break]

Immediately upon returning to the show, Brodus Clay and his dancers were in the ring. Cole told Ross to party tonight. After Brodus's pyro shot off in the ring, U.S. champ Antonio Cesaro came out to face Clay. First, an inset promo from Claudio recorded earlier in the night about "appreciation."

2 -- U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO vs. BRODUS CLAY -- non-title match

Once the bell sounded, the announcers discussed whether WWE fans "appreciate" Cesaro as U.S. champion. The two men traded offense before Cesaro delivered a springboard uppercut. Cesaro then set up Brodus for the Neutralizer and delivered it after a struggle, shocking Ross. Cesaro covered Clay for the pin and the win. Ross noted that was very quick. WWE then went to a slow-mo replay of Clay executing his finisher on the big man for the win.

WINNER: Cesaro at 1:07. Brodus's stock has apparently crashed. On the flip-side, impressive win for Cesaro.

[Q4] Backstage: The camera zoomed in on Kaitlyn as she was dressing for a match. A.J. Lee then walked in with her "executive coach," Christopher J. Stevenson. A.J. said Kaitlyn will have a match next week, then said she wants to apologize for not listening to her months ago about Daniel Bryan. A.J. paused, then busted up laughing, agitating Kaitlyn. A.J. giggled uncontrollably and said she's really not sorry at all. A.J. skipped away down the hallway, then Kaitlyn asked Mr. Stevenson what he is.

Still to come: Punk & Ziggler vs. Bryan & Kane. ... On the way to break, WWE plugged their new prime-time TV show, WWE Main Event, featuring Sheamus vs. Punk in a battle of WWE's top champions this Wednesday. The over-saturation meter is about to explode.

[Commercial Break]

Did You Know: WWE took a shot at UFC on the way back from break, noting three times as many people watched Smackdown as The Ultimate Fighter last Friday.

In-ring: Zack Ryder was waiting for a match back from break. The Miz's music then played to bring out the IC champion. Cole plugged Larry King as today's Social Media Ambassador before the bell sounded for yet another inefficiently-presented match.

3 -- Intercontinental champion THE MIZ vs. ZACK RYDER -- non-title match

Miz dominated Ryder as Ross did Larry King's voice, drawing chuckles from Cole. Cole then plugged Ryder & Santino vs. Kidd & Gabriel on the Ion show this Wednesday. Ryder made a comeback on Miz and delivered a Broski Boot at 2:00. Ryder followed with a pin attempt, but Miz kicked out. Miz then blocked the Rough Ryder with a buckle bomb. Miz followed with the Skullcrushing Finale for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Miz at 2:38. Ross only has so much time to work with to make these quick matches mean something through the commentary. The end result is no one will remember this match until Ryder mentions it on his YouTube show in four days and Miz doesn't gain anything from a clean win because the match was presented as filler before the top of the hour.

Backstage: Booker T was shown walking down the hallway. The Show-Sheamus debate will get the top-of-the-hour spot.

[Commercial Break]

Back live one minute before the top of the hour, Booker T came to the ring for the debate. Ross and Cole slipped in some political comments to make WWE seem relevant during the political season before Booker entered the ring.

[Q5 -- second hour] Booker plugged Sheamus vs. Big Show for the World Title at Hell in a Cell before bringing out Big Show to start things off. Show emerged on-stage dressed in a Big & Tall suit as WWE went to a super Andre camera shot to make Show look like a monster. WWE replayed Show beating Randy Orton to become #1 contender on Smackdown, then Booker welcomed out World champ Sheamus. Sheamus was dressed to wrestle, not to debate.

Once everyone was assembled in the ring, Booker said it's traditional that they open the debate with an opening statement. He offered the floor to Show, who checked his mic before thanking Booker. He cut himself off. He said this debate is completely ridiculous. Show said he's going to walk into HIAC, give Sheamus the WMD, and become new World champ. "End of story. Thank you," he said. In reply, Sheamus introduced himself as the World champ. Sheamus went for a cheap pop thanking Booker for hosting this debate in Oklahoma City. He then told Show not to rip his leg off because he needs to use it to kick Show's teeth in.

Booker transitioned to some questions via Twitter and Tout. The first question was about the most challenging aspect of their opponents. Sheamus started off telling stories about being a fighter. He said he's most looking forward to the fight. Sheamus put over Show before going for the kindergarten put-downs of having B.O. and bad breath. He said he hopes this match lasts longer than 45 seconds. Show replied that he is a very hygienic giant who smells fantastic. He said Sheamus is too much of a comedian, not taking this seriously.

Next was a question on who has the most dangerous finisher. Show said his W.M.D. KO has knocked out more Superstars and won more titles than anyone else. He told Sheamus to ask John Cena and Randy Orton what they think about it. Sheamus responded that Show left off Daniel Bryan. He said not only did Bryan beat Show, but Show lost in 45 seconds. Show accused Sheamus of misconstruing the facts. Show crushed his podium (kinda knocked it over, actually) and demanded a new podium. Show said this is not a serious debate.

Sheamus said they need to get serious here by looking at a Tout. Sheamus asked for the Tout, which was Sheamus dressed in a Rey Mysterio mask asking a mocking question about Show. Booker chuckled, but said this is a serious debate. Sheamus sheepishly said he's trying to be serious. Show told Sheamus to be serious and straighten up because his patience only goes so far.

Sheamus then transitioned to the closing act of this skit, asking Show how it feels to lose in a World Title match. Show had enough and started to shake as he slowly approached Sheamus, who matched his glare with a stare. Show proceeded to remove his jacket, so Sheamus removed his t-shirt. Sheamus and Show squared off with sweat dripping down both men's foreheads, then Show backed up to the ropes and left the ring to boos. Sheamus's music played as Show disappeared to the back. Sheamus smiled as Cole wondered why Sheamus continues to play head-games with a dangerous man like Big Show.

Still to come tonight: Bryan & Kane vs. Punk & Ziggler in the main event. ... Backstage: Ryback was shown walking down the hallway. Ross said the man is hungry and his meal is next.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6] Back from break, Tensai's music was playing in the background. Ryback then came out for a re-match from Friday's Smackdown as Cole reset the show. Cole noted that Jerry Lawler continues to improve following his heart attack three weeks ago; Ross said Lawler is in great spirits and is looking forward to coming back to Raw.

4 -- RYBACK vs. TENSAI

As Ryback and Tensai battled, Cole talked to Ross about what happened at the end of Raw last week when Ryback stared down Punk. Ross said he thought about the look of fear Punk had in his eyes all week. Ryback proceeded to powerslam Tensai into a Stan Hansen-lariat, as described by Ross. Ryback then wanted his big marching finishing move, but stumbled trying to lift Tensai onto his shoulders. He tried again, but Tensai kind of fell on Ryback's back. Ryback shouted, "Stupid!" then picked up Tensai, shot him off the ropes, and delivered another big lariat for the pin and the win. The announcers covered for the finisher issue by noting Ryback proved he has more than one finisher in his arsenal.

WINNER: Ryback at 1:49. Basic reinforcement of what Ryback brings to the table, but this didn't seem like the big moment to push Ryback into a main event feud against Punk.

Backstage: Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes talked in their locker room. Sandow said he can't believe the World champ entered a debate without wearing pants. Rhodes agreed, then said it's time they show what real champions should look like. They discussed Sheamus's uncouthness to conclude the segment.

Still to come tonight: Jim Ross Appreciation Night.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Justin Roberts plugged WWE's association with Susan G. Komen. Roberts asked breast cancer survivors in the crowd to stand up and be recognized. Roberts told the audience how to support the cause, which WWE used a transition to this week's Divas match. Divas champ Eve Torres came out for a match, then WWE cut to an inset promo from earlier today. In the promo, Eve disingenuously plugged all of the great things happening in the Divas division right now and said she's so proud to represent the division. Beth Phoenix then came out as Ross said he's not buying Eve's act.

[Q7]

5 -- Divas champion EVE TORRES vs. BETH PHOENIX -- non-title match

Before the bell sounded, WWE replayed the issues between Eve and Beth on Smackdown where Eve tried to get Beth suspended. Back live, Eve acted concerned as Beth approached her, but suckered her in to continue acting sneaky. Beth tried to make a comeback, but Eve finished her off for the win.

WINNER: Eve at 2:35.

Backstage: A.J. Lee and her executive coach were shown walking down the hallway, then A.J. stopped Wade Barrett in the hallway and introduced her coach. Wade didn't like A.J. not booking him in a match tonight and said she's letting her emotions run her decision-making in a dangerous way. Barrett told A.J. not to let her personal relationships get in the way of doing her job. Barrett excused himself and the executive coach acted stunned. A.J. got in her coach's face and said she thinks he's intimidated. The coach remained in an awkward, eyeballs-bugged-out pose to close the bit.

Still to come tonight: Punk & Ziggler vs. Kane & Bryan.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Ross were shown on-camera. They plugged JBL climbing to the top peak in Africa over the weekend. Cole said JBL climbed 13 hours in freezing snow to plant the WWE flag at the peak. WWE played a tout from JBL at the top of the mountain. Ross said JBL will be joining them on TV next week.

6 -- SANTINO vs. HEATH SLATER (w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre)

No ring introductions, as all four men were assembled in the ring after the break. This Saturday Morning Slam re-match started with more of the same posing and mock singing and dancing. Meanwhile, Cole and Ross tried to figure out what Slater, Mac, and Mahal have in common to form an alliance. Santino eventually knocked down Slater and tried to kip-up, but hit the back of his head on the mat in a comedy spot. Santino then made a full comeback and pulled out The Cobra. Santino struck Slater with the Cobra, then Drew and Jinder hit the ring to attack Slater, causing a DQ.

Post-match: The heel trio beat down Slater before McIntyre delivered a Future Shock as Slater and Jinder did some sort of musical set-up. Slater then grabbed a mic and taunted Santino. Slater told the crowd to listen up because they have something they all need to hear. McIntyre said he is still the chosen one, Mahal said he is special (something along those lines in his language), and Slater said he is the one-man band, baby. Ross and Cole said they still don't know why these three men have assembled.

WINNER: Santino via DQ at 2:49. A cheap Three Count knock-off here?

Still to come: Ross Appreciation Night. ... Just announced: World Hvt. champion Sheamus in singles action. And, it's next. The World champ faces Damien Sandow in another inefficiently-presented match.

[Q8] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, Sheamus was already in the ring. On the screen, WWE flashed an innocuous tweet about Sheamus from Larry King. Damien Sandow then came out with Cody Rhodes for singles action against Sheamus. Before the match, WWE flashed a graphic for the Tag Title #1 contender tournament.

7 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. DAMIEN SANDOW (w/Cody Rhodes) -- non-title match

Sheamus's 25-match TV & PPV winning streak on the line here, and Cody Rhodes is on commentary. Sheamus tried to lock up with Sandow, but Sandow shouted and backed away, not wanting to be touched by the unclean World champ. Sandow used the distraction to take control of the action, but bailed from the ring when Sheamus offered some resistance. Sandow walked half-way up the entrance ramp as Cole and Ross complained to Rhodes about Sandow walking off again. They cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Sandow was in the ring, but then quickly bailed to the outside. Sheamus followed to the outside, Rhodes provided a distraction, and Sandow clotheslined Sheamus to knock him down to the floor. Back in the ring, Sandow went to work on Sheamus as Ross added color to Sandow's gimmick. Sandow dropped the Elbow of Disdain to Sheamus's chest, but could only score a two count. It's worth noting the NFL game just went to Halftime, which could bring some viewers to Raw a few minutes before the top of the hour.

Sheamus teased a comeback at 9:00, but Sandow cut him off with a drop toehold into the bottom rope. Sandow went back to work on Sheamus's upper body, but Sheamus turned the tables before delivering a boot to the face. Sheamus tried a top-rope move, but Sandow cut him off with a big right hand before stomping the World champ in the corner.

[Q9] At the top of the hour, Sandow slowed things down with a reverse chinlock as Cole reset the show from OKC. Sheamus tried to make another comeback, but Sandow dumped Sheamus over the top rope. As they battled on the floor, Cole plugged J.R. Appreciation Night up next. Back in the ring, Sheamus finally made a full comeback with a knee-lift into a rolling gutbuster. But, Sandow dipped to the outside and yanked Sheamus across the top rope. Back in the ring, Sandow delivered a neckbreaker for a close two count.

The announcers hyped Sandow's performance tonight as they reached the 14:00 mark. Sheamus suddenly popped Sandow in the corner, then delivered a big battering-ram tackle from the top turnbuckle for a close two count. Sandow then tried to crawl out of the ring, but Sheamus grabbed him and set up Sandow for ten big forearms to the chest right in front of Rhodes. Sandow then fell off the apron with a flat-face bump to sell the move. Sheamus whipped Sandow back into the ring, then grabbed Rhodes and threw him back into the ring. In the ring, Sheamus wanted the Brogue Kick and delivered a double shot to Rhodes Scholars. Sheamus pinned Sandow for the pin and the win to a big reaction.

WINNER: Sheamus at 15:43. Excellent TV match. This was Sheamus in his element, not being stuck in a silly debate segment that fell flat with the crowd. Meanwhile, Sandow has arrived. Another strong performance from Sandow that continues to move him up the ladder toward top heel status. (**1/2)

Up next: Jim Ross Appreciation Night. Still to come in the main event: Ziggler & Punk vs. Bryan & Kane.

[Commercial Break]

J.R. Appreciation Night Segment

In-ring: Michael Cole was in the ring back from break. Cole said it's his pleasure to welcome the most-respected voice in WWE history and the man who makes each match seem just a little more special when he calls it, Jim Ross. Ross, who apparently left the announce position to return to the back during the break, emerged on-stage to applause from the crowd. Ross tipped his hat and made his way into the ring to shake hands with Cole.

Cole played nice to begin with, saying it must be great for Ross to be back in his home state and being back at the announce table. Suddenly, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk, which we talked about on the Livecast during the week that WWE could fill time on Raw and reinforce Punk as a heel by having Punk do a segment with Ross on J.R. Appreciation Night.

Punk had a big smile on his face as he walked into the ring flanked by Paul Heyman. Punk walked up to Cole and took the mic, telling him to leave the ring and go back to the announce position. The crowd booed Punk, who mockingly told OKC to tell him how they really feel. Punk asked the crowd if he's a bad guy, which the crowd affirmed. Punk then excitedly told the crowd to shout Ross's name since that's why they're here. Punk offered Jim a fact that he's the best announcer they have and he respects him. He said these people respect Ross and they're here to shower him with respect. But, the crowd doesn't know the first thing about respect.

[Q10] Punk declared himself the Best in the World, which Heyman echoed in the background. Punk said the people are the ones who turned their backs on him. He said he will instead be a shining example of someone who shows respect. Punk forcefully put his arm around Ross's shoulder, then told Ross he's going to teach the people about respect by telling them that he's the BITW. The crowd booed.

Ross replied that he's glad Punk didn't come out here to embarrass him. He said being honest and talking man-to-man, Punk has done a fine job making himself a jackass embarrassing himself on television the last several weeks. Loud pop, then a loud "J-R, J-R" chant from the crowd. Punk waited it out, then quietly said he's not surprised. Punk said when everyone else in this place treats Ross like crap, and he shows him respect, this is how he repays him? Punk said perhaps they could discuss another situation with him coming out here to actually embarrass him. Punk said perhaps he should disrespect Ross the same way he disrespected Foley last week. He said maybe Stone Cold will come make the save. Punk mockingly told Ross to go ahead and shout his name, or even Jerry Lawler's name, but neither one can make the save. Punk proceeded to mock Austin's 3:16 saying before noting 316 is the number of days he's held the WWE Title.

Punk continued by mocking Ross's John Wayne hat and "phony Stone Cold goatee." He told Ross that he needs to tell Punk that he's the BITW in whatever way he wants to say it. Punk shouted at Ross to say it, then Ross replied that he's not going to say it. Ross told Punk that if he wants to be called the BITW, he needs to earn it. He said he's called WrestleMania main events with guys like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Triple H, The Undertaker, and Stone Cold. He said all of those men have one thing in common: they didn't ask to be called the BITW because they earned that distinction. Ross told Punk the Bottom Line is if he wants to be called the Best, then he accepts John Cena's challenge, he walks into Hell in a Cell, he kicks his ass, and if he does that, then he will be the first man in the line to look him in the eye and call him the BITW. But, until then, they have nothing to talk about. And, there goes a home run from Ross.

After a pause for a "J-R, J-R" chant, Punk removed his gray hoodie and approached Ross. Punk took off Ross's hat, then stomped on it to boos. Punk told Ross he doesn't run away from fights and has beaten Cena over and over. He then said the OKC Thunder couldn't get the job done in the NBA Finals, which drew boos, and they get back in line to get another shot. So, he's not giving Cena another shot. Punk told Ross that what they have right here is a squared circle where men fight. He said he doesn't run from a fight, but one man who should run from a fight is Ross. He called himself the most dangerous man in WWE, so if Ross doesn't put his hands up to fight, then he will knock Ross into next week. Punk shouted at Ross to think real long and real hard about fighting him. Ross looked down at the mat, turned to leave, and Punk grabbed him by the shoulder to spin him back around.

Punk asked Ross where he's going. Ross nodded to the announce table, which Punk wasn't having any of. Punk said he won't let him spew his disrespect anymore. He told Ross that he doesn't get to do what he loves any longer before telling him that he's done on commentary and he wants to see Ross take the Walk of Shame. Punk vowed to put Ross in the dirt, which was pretty strong verbiage. Ross slowly walked toward the ring ropes, then walked down the ring steps, and started to take his walk as Punk offered condescending comments.

Suddenly, Feed Me More played to bring out Ryback, who marched down the entrance ramp, acknowledged Ross, and walked toward the ring. Ross then followed Ryback toward the ring and both men entered the ring as Heyman bailed to the floor. Ryback slowly walked around Punk as Ross stood his ground behind Ryback. Punk and Ryback had a stare down center-ring as the crowd made a lot of noise before unifying with a "Feed Me More" chant.

Punk turned to look into the crowd before locking eyes with Ryback again. Punk decided he wanted nothing to do with Ryback, so he hopped off the ring apron and started backing away as ringside fans told Punk that he sucks. Punk shook his head as Heyman presented Punk with the title belt to hoist into the air. Heyman told Punk that he gets paid to fight and won't fight him. On commentary, Cole plugged Punk & Ziggler vs. Bryan & Kane still to come in the main event tonight.

Segment Reax: Intense, emotionally-charged segment desperately needed on this show. Everyone played their roles well and WWE took their time entering into Punk-Ryback territory without physicality. Imagine how much more impact this segment would have had on a nice, clean two-hour show.

[Q11] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, WWE offered the first plug for Tribute to the Troops coming up in a few months. Cole plugged Kid Rock contributing "Let's Ride" to the proceedings.

In-ring: Justin Roberts was shown on-camera before introducing Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce Alberto Del Rio for another unhyped match. Not exactly a strong way to present a wrestler who has been a PPV World Title match contender for the past two years and needs to be re-built in the eyes of the audience. As Ricardo introduced Del Rio, Cole commended Ross on standing up to Punk in the previous segment. Ross said Punk can earn BITW status by defeating John Cena at Hell in a Cell, but he refuses to accept.

The announcers then transitioned to footage from Smackdown when Big Show KO'ed Randy Orton, then Del Rio beat up Orton after Smackdown went off the air. Back live, Del Rio enjoyed that look at his work. Del Rio then pointed toward the announce table and told Ricardo to do something at the table. Suddenly, Kofi Kingston's music played to bring out Kofi and R-Truth as Cole asked Ricardo what he's doing at the table. Ricardo tried introducing himself before Cole quieted him so he could plug tickets going on-sale Saturday for the TLC PPV at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in December.

8 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. KOFI KINGSTON (w/R-Truth)

Kofi clotheslined Del Rio over the top rope to the floor as Cole continued to quiz Ricardo on why he's at the announce table. Ricardo claimed Kofi is cheating as Kofi blasted Del Rio on the outside. They cut to break 50 seconds in.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Ricardo spoke Spanish, drawing more ire from Cole. Ricardo translated that Del Rio is stretching Kofi and hurting him. He said it's not fair, though, because it's three-on-one with Kofi, Truth, and Little Jimmy. Ross gave a hard plug for this week's Smackdown with the tag tournament continuing as Kofi made a comeback. Kofi delivered the Boom Drop, but missed with a top-rope splash. Del Rio then blasted Kofi with kick strikes to the chest before slapping on the cross arm-breaker. Kofi reached for the bottom rope, but couldn't, so he was forced to tap out. Post-match: Del Rio kept the hold on a few extra seconds, drawing R-Truth into the ring to get Del Rio away from his tag partner. Del Rio stood tall.

WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 6:08.

[Q12] Backstage: A.J. Lee was shown talking to her executive coach, who told A.J. to be a leader by putting aside her personal issues and make the best show possible. A.J. said perhaps she should make the show special tonight by having a special ref in the main event. She said it should be the executive coach. Suddenly, audio of Jim Ross asking a question was heard. They cut off Ross's mic as A.J. said she's joking and she doesn't need a coach, much less an executive one. The coach did his bug-eye look again, then walked off. A.J. smiled to herself.

In-ring: Daniel Bryan came out for the main event as Ross apologized for speaking when he should have been listening. Ringside, Bryan got into a shouting match with a small child before entering the ring and shouting, "No!" at the crowd. Kane's pyro then shot off to bring out the other tag champion. Ross plugged Red Robin as tonight's sponsor, then Cole noted he's ready for a burger after three hours of Raw. In the ring, Kane and Bryan argued about who the tag champion is leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

This Wednesday: WWE Main Event is born. On the premiere episode, it's World champ Sheamus vs. WWE champ C.M. Punk.

Back live on Raw, the heels were in the ring after being introduced to the live crowd during the break. Justin Roberts was standing by to introduce the special guest referee, but sold that he doesn't know who it is. A.J.'s music then played to bring out the Raw GM dressed as special referee for tonight's main event.

9 -- WWE tag champions DANIEL BRYAN & KANE vs. WWE champion C.M. PUNK (w/Paul Heyman) & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- non-title main event -- A.J. Lee special referee

As Kane and Ziggler started things off, Cole said that A.J. has at least one match under her belt as referee. Cole noted she was ref for Punk vs. Bryan at Money in the Bank in July. In the ring, Kane took control of the action by clearing Ziggler to the outside. Bryan then slap-tagged himself into the match as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break one minute before the top of the hour, Ziggler was in control on Kane. Meanwhile, Cole noted A.J. has been reprimanded by the Board and she was sent an executive coach to help her, but she sent him away. Cole and Ross then discussed Kane's WWE TV debut 15 years ago this week (October 5, to be exact, so it will be spotlighted in Friday's PWTorch Brunch). Back to the action, Punk entered the ring and high-kneed Kane before taunting the crowd. Punk followed with another high-knee before Kane dropped him with a sidewalk slam.

[Q13 -- over-run] Cole reset the show as Kane climbed to the top rope. Kane delivered a flying clothesline, then Bryan slap-tagged himself into the match. Bryan wanted a top-rope move, but Punk kicked him in mid-air. Punk then stomped away on Bryan as A.J. reprimanded him. Punk and A.J. shared glares, then Bryan dropped Punk with a flying forearm. Suddenly, Bryan fired himself up and delivered rapid-fire kicks to Punk's chest. Punk ducked a sixth, then sidekicked Bryan in the head. Both men dropped to the mat, then Punk made a cover for a two count, which A.J. gleefully flashed in his face.

At 10:00, Ziggler tagged into the match and went to work on Bryan, but Bryan came back with a top-rope superplex on Punk. Bryan then applied the No! Lock center-ring and Heyman assisted Punk by placing Punk's foot on the bottom rope. A.J. saw it, so she slowly approached Heyman before giving him the old heave-ho to take his act to the back. Vickie proceeded to hop on the ring apron, so A.J. approached her and gave her the boot, too. Vickie screamed as the crowd cheered.

Ziggler took his briefcase and went home with Vickie as the announcers flashed back to a few weeks ago when Punk and Heyman walked out on Ziggler. So, Punk, alone, took a chokeslam from Kane after Kane blind-tagged into the match. Kane covered Punk and it was good for the win, which the crowd cheered.

Post-match: Bryan, upset, walked up to Kane to declare himself the Tag Team champions. The two men argued about who the tag champion is as Cole said it's been a great night. Bryan stood tall facing the hard camera as Cole simply signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour without a hook for anything occurring next week.

WINNERS: Kane & Bryan at 12:44. Apparently Kane and Bryan are face now? Or, at least Kane is and Bryan is face when opposite a heel, like Punk? Bottom line, WWE is risking over-exposure of Kane & Bryan with so much TV time to fill each week. Overall, WWE went for a happy ending to Raw to reward viewers this week, but there just wasn't much of substance after the 20-minute talkfest involving all of these parties at the top of the show.

Overall, without John Cena, this show felt like it was in a holding pattern and without structure. Sure, they set up a four-week story leading to whether Punk finally accepts Cena's challenge for a HIAC PPV title match, but, by the end of the show, that was missing from the equation with WWE drifting back to three or four months ago when Punk vs. Bryan vs. A.J. was a top feud. Punk vs. Ryback is kinda sorta in the mix after the strong J.R. Appreciation Segment, but it felt like an afterthought by the end of the show. Elsewhere, WWE randomly throwing out matches and filling the show with mid-carders and under-carders who are stuck in the same position continued to expose the three-hour Raw format.

***

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