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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 12/3: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - McMahon returns, Punk takes a Test

Dec 3, 2012 - 11:10:30 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
December 3, 2012 - Episode #1,018
Live from Greensboro, N.C.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

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This week's three-hour Raw opened with a video package recapping recent events including the Sheamus vs. Big Show World Title feud, A.J. Lee "scandal" involving John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. This led to a promo for Ziggler & Big Show vs. Cena & Sheamus in a featured tag match tonight on Raw. The video then hyped The Shield's debut in WWE and potential association with WWE champion C.M. Punk.

Live in the arena, Kane's pyro shot off to begin the show. Interesting start. Kane then walked to the ring flanked by Daniel Bryan, who did not get his own music to do the "Yes! No!" bit. As the WWE tag champs walked to the ring, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were shown on-camera. Cole then noted The Shield attacking the tag champs has seemingly united Bryan and Kane.

Up in the arena, The Shield were shown standing in the skybox area glaring down toward the ring. In the ring, Kane said they're real tough standing way up there. He told them to come down to the ring and have something to fight about. After a pause for a "You Suck" chant, the Shield continued to glare down toward the tag champs. Suddenly, a remixed version of Prime Time Players's music played to bring out Titus and D-Young. As the Players came out, Michael Cole played up "rumors" of Vince McMahon in Greensboro to make a rare Raw appearance.

1 -- WWE tag champions DANIEL BRYAN & KANE vs. PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O'NEIL & DARREN YOUNG) -- non-title match

After the match started up, the cameras focused on Dean Ambrose alone in the skybox. Cole called him "Daniel Ambrose" as Daniel Bryan stared up at him. The announcers then speculated on where Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins went, leaving Ambrose alone in the skybox. The tag champs took control of the action, enhancing the story that The Shield's presence has brought the tag champs together. WWE then showed Roman Reigns standing in another part of the arena watching the events.

After Kane tossed D-Young over the top rope to the floor, fans began shrieking as one of the Shield members began stirring in the crowd. So, the crowd decided to chant for John Cena. WWE went to various camera shots showing Shield members scattered in the arena as the tag champs tried to survey the situation leading to break.

(PWTorch correspondent Jim H. filled in the Cena item live in Greensboro: In case you're wondering what that random loud pop and Cena chant during the match was all about, there is a Cena look-a-like who lives around these parts and he made a big production of coming down the stairs to the floor with his buddy dressed like a security guard in the middle of the match. Many in the crowd thought it was actually Cena and reacted accordingly.)

[Commercial Break]

Back live, the match resumed with Kane and Titus battling inside the ring. WWE then showed Roman Reigns lurking in the arena. Moments later, WWE showed Dean Ambrose watching in another part of the arena. Kane then tagged in D-Bryan, who ducked a Titus clothesline and ran him over with a forearm. Bryan followed with a big corner dropkick for a two count.

[Q2] At 10:00, Titus back-elbowed Bryan and tagged in D-Young, who smashed Bryan with a clothesline. D-Young declared the PTP in the house before continuing the attack. Bryan came back with a No! Lock moments later, which brought everyone into the ring. Suddenly, Shield members were ringside watching the tag champs. Young then tried to roll up Bryan from behind, but Bryan countered with a roll-up on Young for a quick three count.

WINNERS: Bryan & Kane at 11:27. Nice use of The Shield to give Bryan & Kane a new direction working together after the internal battle played itself out. The Players being used in this match was the wrong decision, though, as they should not be treated like afterthoughts. It seems like WWE is doing everything possible not to enhance Titus O'Neil after his breakout performance on commentary two weeks ago.

Post-match: Immediately after the bell sounded, Ambrose and Reigns hopped the guardrail to destroy Kane. Rollins then re-entered the picture to attack Bryan. After Ambrose and Reigns threw Kane into the ring steps, they attacked Bryan in the ring. Ambrose led the attack as the crowd chanted for Ryback. The trio then hoisted Bryan into the ring for a three-man powerbomb. They stood tall over Bryan before leaving the ring and returning to the crowd to boos. The Shield disappeared through the crowd before WWE showed Kane slowly rolling back into the ring to check on Bryan.

Locker Room: John Cena and Sheamus took the show completely off-tone joking about giraffes, ignoring the previous segment. Sheamus went 160 MPH talking about his ancestors, then Cena said it's time to get serious. Cena said they know Sheamus likes to have a pint or two...or more, but tonight it's about fighting. He said they need to be focused and about business facing Big Show and Dolph Ziggler tonight. Sheamus said he's ready to fight. The camera focused on Cena staring off-camera leading to...

Backstage: A.J. Lee was shown walking down the hallway. She's back to in-ring action next.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- A.J. LEE vs. TAMINA SNUKA

Tamina was already in the ring back from break. A.J. then hurriedly made her way to the ring before the opening bell sounded. A.J. was the aggressor, hopping on Tamina's back for early offense, but Tamina overpowered her. Tamina continued to dominate, then A.J. suddenly rolled her up for a quick three count. A.J. left the ring just as quickly as she scored the win, frustrating Tamina.

WINNER: A.J. at 3:22.

[Q3] Announcers: Cole and Lawler switched gears to talking about Ryback's condition after taking beatings the past two weeks. Suddenly, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk flanked by Paul Heyman, who held the WWE Title belt in the air for everyone to look at. The announcers hyped Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE Title at the TLC PPV, then cut to commercial with Punk sneering into the crowd leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

C.M. Punk Segment

Back live, Paul Heyman introduced himself to boos as Punk stood next to him. Heyman then forced himself to say he had to fly to Greensboro, N.C. today and, beforehand, his children of all people were reading WWE's updated Encyclopedia. He said he is not out here to shill because he personally does not like this book. He said the reason is because there is not enough about Punk. Heyman continued that after tomorrow, Punk will surpass John Cena as the longest-reigning WWE champion of the modern era. After the crowd booed, Heyman said he does not appreciate that. He said that after tomorrow, everyone will have to agree with him that Punk is not only the champ, not only the Best in the World, but now front-and-center on WWE's version of Mt. Rushmore. The crowd booed.

Punk spoke next that he stands here now unfairly persecuted. He claimed to have proven for one full year that he is the Best in the World. Punk said he should be above Hogan, Cena, Rock, Stone Cold, and Undertaker. But, these people still won't give him the respect he deserves. Punk then noted he beat Ryback at Hell in a Cell, and beat Ryback and Cena at Survivor Series. So, why is he forced to defend the title against Ryback at TLC...again?! Punk said it's because of the fans - the people who turned their backs on him and now ignore his accomplishments. Punk picked out a fan on the front row and said he can't hold a job for 365 days. He said they want to hold a magnifying glass to his life looking for a blemish to justify why their heroes will never beat him.

First, it was a Paul Heyman as the excuse for Punk remaining champ. He said Paul is surely why Punk is still champ. Then, it was rogue ref Brad Madd-ox. Now, it's The Shield. Punk said it's a lie that he would not be WWE champ right now without The Shield. But, if it were not for him, none of the people would be here today. Punk claimed to be the reason why people bought a ticket and tune in to Raw. If not for him, Punk said people would have nothing to look forward to on these "dismal three-hour Raws."

Punk repeated himself that he had nothing to do with Maddox, nothing to do with The Shield, but everything to do with being the hottest thing going today. Punk said if you can't accept that, then change the channel. He then told the crowd to get up and get out of his arena right now. "Leave, leave if you don't like it!" he shouted.

Heat transfer to The Miz, whose music played. Miz walked out on-stage dressed in a suit doing the "Really?!" routine. He asked Punk if he's really going to ask these people to get up and go, then pandered to the crowd telling them to sit down and enjoy themselves. Miz then told Punk that no one believes him about not being associated with Maddox and The Shield.

"Exactly who do you think you are to come out here and cast judgment on me?" Punk replied. Back on-stage, Miz said he's the guy who cheated, scammed, and took shortcuts as WWE champion. But, at least he has the guts to admit it. Miz said everyone knows that Maddox was in his back-pocket at HIAC and Shield bailed him out at Survivor Series. Miz said if they didn't bail him out last week, Ryback would have fed himself some Punk.

Punk told "Mike" to come down to the ring and prove himself or take a knee to the face when he puts him to sleep. Miz retorted that they can fight or wrestle any time, but he wants Punk on Miz TV to prove that he has nothing to hide by taking a lie-detector test. Oh, and he has contacted the Sheriff's department and they were more than happy to provide the staff to complete this test.

[Q4] Heyman spoke up next that Miz wants to subject the BITW to a three-ring circus. Heyman said it's not a smart move because Miz knows what Punk thinks of him behind the scenes. Miz retorted by mocking Heyman's voice and calling him a human walrus. "If I wanted you to talk, I would throw you a fish," Miz said. The crowd chanted, "Walrus" at Heyman, then Punk told them to apologize. Miz said they are sorry he is a really, really big walrus. He said what he wants is a live mic with a live segment on Miz TV. Miz told Punk to bring his best pipebomb. He then noted he is giving Punk exactly what he wants by clearing his name, cement his legacy, and shove it in everyones's faces that he is BITW. Unless...Punk is afraid of the truth and he would rather just keep walking around with an giant asterisks next to his title reign.

Punk did his mad face before shouting toward Miz that he'll take his "stupid little test" and prove himself what he says he is - the Best in the World. Punk told Miz and all these people that they will all have to admit it after he is proven right. Cult of Personality played and Cole plugged Punk taking the lie detector test on Miz TV tonight. Lawler called it the biggest mistake of his life.

Up next: Sheamus & Cena vs. Ziggler & Show in the top-of-the-second-hour main event.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, the NWO music played to catch viewers's attention for an FYI on DVD sales.

In-ring: John Cena's music played to bring out Cena to loud cheers and screams. Cena broke the fourth wall asking the cameraman if he's ready to shave since it's not November anymore, then stormed the ring and posed for the crowd. Cole plugged Cena on Saturday Morning Slam this Saturday, then Sheamus's music played to bring out his tag partner. Lawler wondered aloud how anyone can beat this team, then Cole went to a History Lesson on Sheamus winning his first WWE Title at TLC 2009 (beating Cena, which Cole did not mention). He said Sheamus can regain the World Title at this year's TLC PPV by beating Big Show.

Dolph Ziggler's music then played to bring out Ziggler with the World Title MITB briefcase in-hand. Cole said Cena thinks Ziggler is afraid to cash in, which Lawler agreed with. Big Show came out last to set up the big tag match. The bell sounded three minutes before the top of the hour.

3 -- JOHN CENA & SHEAMUS vs. World Hvt. champion BIG SHOW & DOLPH ZIGGLER

Sheamus and Ziggler started things off as Cole noted Ziggler holds the World Title MITB briefcase and he is teaming with the World champ. Cena then tagged in as the announcers discussed the Cena-Ziggler feud involving A.J. Lee. The crowd picked up a dueling "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant before Cena hip-tossed Ziggler into an armdrag to take control of the match.

[Q5 -- second hour] Ziggler broke free from Cena and tagged in Show, who slowly entered the ring. Cole hyped the battles between Show and Cena earlier this year before the two men locked up. Cena tried a shoulder-block, but he just rebounded off Show and fell to the mat. Show then put a boot on Cena's throat as Cole reset the show. Show followed with a giant chop to the chest before trash-talking Sheamus. Another giant chop to the chest. Show wanted #3, but Cena ducked. Cena then tried a Feat of Strength lifting Show in the air, but Show fell on top of him for a two count.

Ziggler tagged in and delivered seven or eight elbow drops before leaping into the air for a final elbow drop to the chest. Cena avoided a corner attack, though, and both men sold on the mat. Dual tags and Sheamus came in hot on Show. Sheamus finally got Show off his feet, then wanted a decisive blow, but Show creamed Sheamus with a giant spear. Both men sold on the mat as Raw went to break at 6:30.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break at 9:20, Show was still in control of the match working on Sheamus. Ziggler then tagged in and measured Sheamus for a big dropkick. As Ziggler wore down Sheamus, Cole noted all of the legends backstage say Ziggler has the most upside of anyone in WWE, but he just has to put it all together. Sheamus then came back with White Noise and hot-tagged Cena. Cena exploded on Ziggler with clotheslines into a sit-out slam. He wanted an AA, but Big Show kicked him in the injured knee. Chaos ensued. Sheamus then lifted up Show for White Noise simultaneous to Cena lifting Ziggler into the air for an AA, drawing a huge pop. Cena covered Ziggler for the win.

Post-match: Cena and Sheamus posed in the ring as Cole noted Cena got some revenge on Ziggler tonight. (Nevermind that Cena already beat Ziggler one-on-one last week.) Cole then fed to a replay of the end of the match. Back live, Cena left the ring and celebrated with kids and servicemen on the front row.

WINNERS: Cena & Sheamus at 11:56. Hot tag match with another curiously strong victory for Cena over Ziggler. Apparently the heels will get a one-up next week leading to the PPV...?

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera trying to transition to The Shield talk, but Cena interrupted as he continued his victory lap. Cole regrouped, then fed to a replay from Earlier Tonight when Punk said he has nothing to do with Brad Maddox or The Shield. This was followed by Miz challenging Punk to show up on Miz TV to take a lie detector test.

Tonight: Punk takes the test on Miz TV.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6] Miss Piggy on TV back live. Flo Rida was shown next in a separate camera shot. The video package hyped the Muppets and Rida on the Tribute to the Troops special "coming this month."

In-ring: Back in the arena, Damien Sandow marched out to the ring noting his attempt to educate the masses has been futile thus far. But, he will not give up. He said he has decided to give one of the fans an opportunity to become his apprentice. Boos. "Silence!" he said. He asked who is worthy of being considered, then surveyed the crowd. "Please tell me you're joking, ma'am," he said to one person. Sandow then looked over the announcers to pick out a guy who was obviously a plant based on his over-acting. Sandow brought the other person standing next to him into the ring, though.

In the ring, the random person was told to stand up straight for his Three Questions. Sandow asked him what H2O represents and the person said water. Next was the first president of the U.S. Of course, George Washington. Next was an item on a famed English poet. The man did not know the answer, so Sandow awarded him the Idiot of the Day award. Sandow left him with a quote that ignorance is curable, but stupid is forever. Sandow then calmed down and declared, "You're Welcome."

Santino's music then played to bring out Santino to face Sandow, who was befuddled by Santino's presence. In the ring, Santino told "Mr. Trivia Guy" that he has a question for Sandow. Santino got lost trying to ask his question about seashells by the seashore. Sandow ignored Santino's question by insulting him, then decided to answer the question. Santino buzzed him and said the answer is "the conch shell." Santino giggled to himself, then Sandow blasted him in the face with the mic. Sandow dipped to the ring apron, then Santino threw off his t-shirt and marched around the ring looking for a fight. Cue up a commercial.

[Commercial Break]

4 -- DAMIEN SANDOW vs. SANTINO

The match was joined in-progress with Sandow in control. But, Santino stood up and power-walked across the ring, annoying Sandow. Sandow then drove a knee into Santino's throat as Lawler brought up some fake history that Santino won a power-walking contest, which is why he does it. Cole and Lawler discussed this item as Sandow controlled the action with stomps into the Elbow of Disdain.

[Q7] Sandow lost control, though, and Santino pulled out The Cobra, which scared Sandow out of the ring. Back in the ring, Sandow stole the Cobra puppet, then avoided a top-rope Sailor's Salute drop. Sandow followed with The End neckbreaker for the pin and the win. Cue up Sandow's post-match cartwheel celebration.

WINNER: Sandow at 2:43. Eh seeing Sandow involved in Santino's comedy routine. This felt like a Saturday Morning Slam skit than something showing WWE's biggest TV audience that Sandow is a future main-event act.

Backstage: Dolph Ziggler complained to Vickie Guerrero about Big Show being the worst tag partner ever. He ripped Show, then Vickie said she's starting to lose faith. Ziggler asked for a re-match against John Cena at the TLC PPV and he vowed to steal the show like no one has ever seen. Vickie breathed deeply, then told him to go do it. Ziggler calmed themselves down, then Ziggler told Vickie that someone is in his office. Inside was a returning Brad Maddox with his personal camera person. Brad said he's here to make sure no one forgets the name "Brad Maddox." Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break. Coming out of the break, a WWE hype video promoted Tout.]

Vickie's Office: Vickie was mid-conversation with Brad Maddox, who wanted a WWE contract. Maddox denied having anything to do with C.M. Punk, which Vickie didn't believe, then Maddox tickled Vickie's ears by promoting her vision, leadership, management skills, and eye for talent. Maddox said it doesn't get any more entertaining than "YouTube sensation Brad Maddox." He said if you put him on Raw, the show goes from good to great TV. Vickie said she'll give Brad a match tonight and if he wins, he'll get a contract. Brad liked that, but then wanted to know who his partner is. Vickie said he'll find out when the match happens. And, it will be great TV. Brad, sounding like a college kid, said he knows because he'll be on it.

Back in the arena, Cole identified Brad's cameraman as Carson. Also of note, Sin Cara was on his way to the ring for a define-him-down ring entrance. The big entrance went to Alberto Del Rio, who emerged ringside in his car of the week. Cole plugged TLC next Sunday before the match started.

5 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. SIN CARA

As the bell sounded, Cole continued the high school theme of this show by bringing up an item that Rosa Mendes was asked on WWE's App whether she "has a crush" on Del Rio. Cole reported that this caused issues between Rosa and her team, Primo & Epico. In the ring, Del Rio dominated Sin Cara as Ricardo Rodriguez cheered on Del Rio. Sin Cara teased a comeback with a kick to the face before delivering a flying head scissors into the barricade on the outside. Cara posed in the ring as Del Rio recovered on the outside. Cole said this would be a huge victory for Cara as Raw cut to break at 4:30.

[Q8] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, the announcers discussed whether Ricardo would have a job if Del Rio did not hire him as his personal ring announcer. Meanwhile, Cara continued to control the action, shocking Cole. Del Rio then popped Cara in the mouth, sending Cara flying to the outside. On the floor, Del Rio chucked Cara into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Del Rio resumed control of the match and teased ripping off Cara's mask.

Cara came back with a hangspring elbow smash to the chest, then measured Del Rio for a corner attack. Cara then climbed to the top-rope and nailed a cross-body splash for a close two count. Cara made a fist that he wanted to finish off Del Rio, then hit a flip-over reverse DDT. He climbed to the top again, but missed with a Swanton Bomb. Del Rio then spun Cara into position for the cross arm-breaker and Cara immediately tapped out.

WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 12:40. Solid TV match, and WWE gave Cara enough time and offense not to look too bad in defeat; before the match, it sure looked like Cara would be yet another star defined-down on this show.

Backstage: WWE showed Vince McMahon wandering down the hallway. McMahon then stopped a P.A. on a headset and told him that he would like to have a conversation with Vickie Guerrero next, and in the ring. The P.A. did not provide the appropriate confirmation, so McMahon asserted himself that the P.A. must say "Yes sir." The P.A. walked off and McMahon continued walking.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break one minute before the top of the hour, Michael Cole fed to a video from Earlier Tonight when The Miz challenged WWE champion C.M. Punk to a Lie Detector Test on Miz TV in the "main event segment."

[Q9 -- third hour] Moments Ago, Miz told Matt Striker on WWE App that he is looking forward to unearthing Punk's lies. He said the Lie Detector test will be "awesome."

Vince McMahon Return Segment

In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the "managing supervisor for Raw," Vickie Guerrero, who marched to the ring to boos. On-camera, Cole and Lawler discussed what McMahon has to say to Vickie. In the ring, Vickie welcomed the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Cue up No Chance to bring out McMahon for a "rare" Raw TV appearance. Cole noted something is serious on McMahon's mind if he showed up on Raw tonight.

After McMahon waddled to the ring, Vickie clapped it up for McMahon, who took a mic of his own. Vickie told McMahon that he looks quite handsome tonight. "Well, thank you, Vickie," he said before trying to find the words on a return nicety. McMahon wanted to address the TLC PPV matches booked, but Vickie cut him off and said John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler will be epic. McMahon told her to make it more epic. Vickie said it will be...No DQ...which landed with a thud. McMahon told her to try harder. McMahon said it's not the No DQ PPV, but TLC. He told Vickie to think about it, then whispered something in her ear. "A ladder match?!" Vickie shouted. McMahon said that's a good idea. Vickie said that can't be possible, though, because neither is a champ. Vickie said they have nothing to reach for. McMahon said perhaps a briefcase should be hanging above the ladder. The crowd popped...as in Money in the Bank briefcase. Vickie stammered that she thinks it would be a great idea, but what would others think about this? She noted Cena has everything to gain and Ziggler has everything to lose. She said it's unfair. McMahon then asked Vickie if it's fair for her to keep this going with the A.J. "crap" involving Cena. He suggested Vickie be fair by making this match official. Vickie stammered that it will be Cena vs. Ziggler in a MITB ladder match. "Ha ha, you got it!" Vince said. (PWTorch reader Jason points out - what if Ziggler cashes in MITB before the TLC PPV?)

Vickie tried to get Vince to leave so she could continue, but then realized her mistake telling Vince what to do. McMahon's other line of business was the lie detector test. What if Punk is proven to be a liar? McMahon asked what the punishment would be. Vickie stammered that if Punk is found to be lying, then they must destroy the mastermind behind all this, who is Paul Heyman. "You're cooking!" Vince encouraged her. Vickie said Punk is a Heyman Guy and he would not put his guy in harm's way. So, if Punk is found to be lying, then next week, there will be a match. "Paul Heyman vs. Ryback!" she said. "Yeah!!!" Vince shouted. Vince asked for the crowd to give it up for Vickie as his music played. (Are they going to do this for every PPV going forward? Vickie, what's better than 30 people in the Royal Rumble? Um...70? "Yes! Give it up for Vickie Guerrero!")

So, it's Cena vs. Ziggler for Ziggler's MITB case at the TLC PPV and Heyman vs. Ryback next week if Punk is found to be a liar tonight.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the WWE App before Cole noted Brad Maddox is very confident that he will win a WWE contract tonight.

Backstage: Maddox was confidently walking down the hallway as Carson filmed his every move. Maddox is up next.

[Commercial Break]

Tribute to the Troops hype video: Kid Rock in a music video setting was shown before Kid talked about giving back to the troops. The commercial hyped USA Network's version of the Troops special on Wednesday, December 19.

In-ring: Brad Maddox walked to the ring sans music looking for a WWE contract. Brad confidently walked to the ring before parading around the ring, entering the ring, falling down on the mat, doing a kip-up, and dancing around some more. Randy Orton's music then played to a big reaction as Brad sold extreme concern. Lawler popped as Orton strutted down to the ring looking like a massive star via juxtaposition to Brad's ring entrance.

[Q10]

6 -- RANDY ORTON vs. BRAD MADDOX -- Brad wins a WWE contract if he wins

Brad danced around the ring, then tried to hit Orton in the mouth, but Orton knocked him to the outside. Orton checked his mouth, then left the ring to clothesline Brad hard to the mat as the announcers discussed Brad being aloof or a goof. Back in the ring, Orton chased down Brad for a giant spike DDT from the second rope. Orton then dropped Brad with an RKO for the pin and the win.

Post-match: The Shield hit the ring to jump Orton as Cole noted these guys are running out of excuses to justify their attempts to "correct injustices." Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns put the boots to Orton before setting him up for a three-man powerbomb in the ring. Ambrose then led his troops out of the ring before WWE replayed the group ambushing Orton following his victory.

WINNER: Orton at 1:15. Another step in the Maddox & Shield association tease.

Still to come: The Miz hosts Miz TV with Punk and Heyman.

[Commercial Break. Leading into break, a spot aired for Kurt Warner hosting "The Moment" premiering in April.]

GM's Office: Back on Raw, Vickie Guerrero was screaming at referee Charles Robinson about something in her office. Dolph Ziggler barged in and said he cannot believe Vickie put his MITB contract on the line against Cena. Ziggler said he already had to defend it against Chris Jericho when booked A.J. booked the same match, then paused and said Vickie is becoming just like A.J. Exit Ziggler. Enter Heyman. Vickie and Heyman went nose-to-nose for a good 20, 25, 30 seconds with neither one flinching. It felt like they were going to bust up laughing at any moment. Vickie then spoke first and with confidence that Heyman better hope Punk is telling the truth. Heyman just sneered, then walked off.

Exit Heyman. Enter Cena with a big smile on his face. Cena said somebody told him that she wants to see him. Cena said he is feeling pretty good because she actually made a great match at TLC. "Thanks, Vickie Guerrero. Thank you," he said. Cena said he knows he is the only guy to unsuccessfully cash in MITB, so when he gets back the briefcase, he will become champion. Cena said he just wants to say thanks. Vickie told Cena to hold on. She said last week, she had the P.A.s clean out the Divas locker room and they found these (bowties with Cena's face on them) in A.J.'s locker. Vickie said A.J. gets obsessed every time she gets involved with a guy. Cena then grabbed the bowties and said these are obviously lies because they're a hack job. He said he can't get it that Vickie won't leave it alone. She retorted that if Cena doesn't learn from mistakes, he'll repeat his mistakes. Cena brushed her off, then walked away. On commentary, Cole noted McMahon just warned Vickie about bringing up the A.J. "stuff."

In-ring: Kofi Kingston was on the way to the ring for tag action, but Teddy Long interrupted. Teddy, the assistant to Booker T, said Vickie is having issues, Booker is not here, and McMahon is looking for ways to spice things up, so he's turning the following match into a fatal four-way match. Teddy asked whether Kofi's IC Title or Antonio's U.S. Title should be on the line. He then plugged a RawActive poll on which title should be defended tonight. He said the result will be revealed on the other side of the break.

[Q11] [Commercial Break]

Back on Raw, Cole plugged John Cena debuting on Saturday Morning Slam. Then, Teddy Long was standing by to announce the RawActive poll result. Long cued up a drumroll and the winner is...U.S. Title with 83 percent. Cesaro angrily kissed his title good-bye before handing it over to the ref.

7 -- IC champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO vs. R-TRUTH vs. WADE BARRETT -- fatal four-way U.S. Title match

After the bell sounded, Cole angrily asked how Long was allowed to book this match, then opined that Long is still mad about not being Smackdown GM. After initial chaos in the ring, the match settled into Kofi and Barrett resumed their feud. Kofi then knocked Cesaro off the apron to the floor. So, it was Truth vs. Barrett in the ring. Truth pulled down the top rope to crotch Barrett, then Kofi and Truth came face-to-face in the ring. After the Code of Honor was adhered to, they exchanged friendly offense before coming to a stalemate following a double dropkick.

After a pause, the heels re-entered to create a four-way brawl. Cesaro was quickly dumped out of the ring, though, before Kofi clotheslined Wade to the outside. So, it was back to Kofi and Truth. Kofi then hit a suicide dive on Barrett on the outside. Truth tried to splash Cesaro on the outside, but Cesaro caught him and ran him into the guardrail. Cesaro followed with a massive uppercut to Truth. Cesaro then rolled Kofi into the ring leading to break at 4:00.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break at 7:00, Kofi and Cesaro were battling mid-ring. Cesaro then executed a one-legged airplane spin into a half-Boston Crab. Kofi refused to give up, though, then Truth broke it up and delivered offense to Cesaro. Barrett had enough of being left out of the equation, so he re-entered and battled Cesaro. After they slugged it out, Kofi re-entered, only to take Winds of Change from Barrett. Truth then blasted Barrett with the Axe Kick, covered Barrett, and Barrett kicked out.

At 9:00, Barrett hoisted Truth to the top turnbuckle and wanted a big superplex, but Truth punched out. Cesaro then blasted Truth before Kofi entered the equation and arm-dragged Cesaro off the top. Next was a Tower of Doom spot where Kofi powerbomed Barrett as Barrett superplexed R-Truth. Cesaro then flew into the ring to break up a pin attempt. Cesaro then dropped Kofi with his reverse torture rack slam, but Kofi kicked out of a pin. Cesaro, angered, walked into a catapult from Truth, who then clotheslined both of them out of the ring.

Back in the ring, Barrett blasted Kofi with a knee to the head. Kofi chopped Barrett, though, before delivering a dropkick into a clothesline. Kofi hit the Boom Drop, then wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Cesaro yanked him to the outside. Cesaro then rolled back into the ring to set up Barrett for the Equalizer, but Truth popped Cesaro with a kick. Barrett then smashed Truth with a Bullhammer Elbow. Suddenly, Kofi re-entered with Trouble in Paradise on Barrett, but Cesaro broke up a pin. Cesaro then smashed Kofi with the Neutralizer for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Cesaro at 12:25. Excellent match from all four men; they set out to have a stand-out match in the default main event and they delivered. The two incoming champs, Kofi and Cesaro, really stood out over the course of the match.

Announcers: Cole and Heyman recapped events leading to C.M. Punk taking a lie detector test on Miz TV tonight. Cole said Miz TV with the test is next.

[Commercial Break]

Super-Side Note: The IZW promotion is currently airing on the local Comcast Sports Channel head-to-head with Raw. Not-quite-the-Monday-Night-Wars.

This Friday: Cole plugged Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett on Smackdown. It's been a while since WWE plugged something tangible for Smackdown during Raw.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera for another flashback to earlier in this show. This time, WWE showed McMahon coercing Vickie Guerrero into booking Cena vs. Ziggler for the MITB briefcase at the TLC PPV. The announcers then broke down the PPV line-up in two weeks.

Miz TV Segment

Six minutes before the top of the hour, WWE officially went to Miz TV, where Miz was standing by in the ring. Miz introduced his segment before introducing Frederick Abramson from the Sheriff's department. (Miz needed to throw in a middle initial there.) Miz set up his segment with one lone voice in the crowd near an arena mic hilariously inserting "Really?" into every pause, like a "What?" chant. Miz then introduced WWE champion C.M. Punk to take the test.

Out came Punk flanked by Paul Heyman as Lawler noted it could be Heyman vs. Ryback next week on Raw if Punk fails the test. Punk and Paul slowly entered the ring, then Miz told Punk to allow Mr. Abramson to strap him in. Miz began explaining a lie detector test, but Punk cut him off and mocked Miz's jokes and upside-down microphone. None of Punk's material worked, so he pandered to the crowd to start cheering for Miz. Punk kept trying to find some more digs, then accused Miz of trying to bring Punk down to the level of his irrelevant title reign. Punk then went for a cheap reaction knocking Greensboro before Miz said he wasn't paying attention to him. Punk went for another Greensboro dig trying to establish a baseline for his test.

[Q13 -- over-run] Miz settled things down and got the first reaction of the segment noting if Punk fails, then Heyman faces Ryback next week. A light "walrus" chant started up, then Miz asked Punk what his name is. Punk slowly said, "C-M-Punk." Punk asked him if he's been champ for 379 days. Miz then changed the tone asking Punk if he got his head shaved bald by Rey Mysterio in 2010. Punk didn't want to answer, then quietly said Rey shaved his head bald. Miz's next item was whether Punk lost to Randy Orton the same year he (Miz) main-evented WrestleMania. Punk had enough and started to leave, but sat down and said the answer is. Punk added a deeper response that Miz won his match because Rock attacked John Cena, then said everyone wishes they could forget Miz main-eventing Mania, just like Miz because he had a concussion.

Miz cut off Punk, noting they are trying to establish a baseline, then went for another question. He asked Punk if he thinks he can beat Ryback by himself. Suddenly, the lie detector spiked off the meter on the Titantron. Punk said that doesn't mean anything. Miz said it indicates Punk could be lying; Punk said it's his opinion. Miz then went to the heart of the matter asking Punk if he worked with Brad Maddox and The Shield. "Did you?! Answer it!" Miz shouted. The crowd chanted, "Yes!" as Punk looked around the arena. Suddenly, The Shield hit the ring and attacked Miz, then cleared the ring of the Miz TV set before Punk could answer.

The Shield took Miz apart in the ring as the crowd chanted for Ryback. Another triple powerbomb put Miz flat on his back in the ring. Cole noted Bryan & Kane, then Orton, and now Miz have been victimized. Bryan and Kane then hit the ring and battled The Shield center-ring. Of note, no sign of Punk or Heyman after they cleared out. The group put the boots to the tag champs before Feed Me More played in the arena.

Ryback ran to the ring and took the group apart one by one before dumping Ambrose over the top rope to the floor. Ryback left the ring to go after AMbrose before dumping him over the top rope into the crowd. Ryback beat Ambrose up the arena steps as Bryan paired off with Rollins and Kane paired off with Reigns ringside. Bryan and Rollins then took their fight into the crowd. Kane and Reigns followed into the crowd as well.

Suddenly, Punk re-emerged in the ring. He looked down at Miz and asked him if he wants to ask some questions now. Punk told Miz to get out of his ring, then kicked him out of the ring. Cult of Personality then played and the WWE champ posed in the corner with a big smirk on his face. Punk celebrated himself, then hopped off the top turnbuckle and found Ryback staring at him center-ring. Ryback quickly wiped the smile off Punk's face with Shell Shock before the crowd chanted, "Feed Me More."

Ryback wasn't done. He went under the ring and retrieved a chair, then walked to the other side of the ring and retrieved a ladder. Ryback waited for Punk to get up, then measured Punk for a big ladder shot to the gut. Ryback then picked up the chair and blasted Punk with it. For his big finale, Ryback went under the ring and retrieved the one item missing, a table. Ryback placed the table in the ring as Punk tried to crawl away, but Ryback set up the table, grappled Punk, set him up for a powerbomb, and smashed Punk through the table with an emphatic powerbomb.

Ryback's music played and he led the crowd in a Feed Me More chant before placing his boot on Punk to flip the conclusion from the past few weeks. WWE then replayed Ryback's emphatic ending to the show before going back to a live shot of Ryback leading the crowd in Feed Me More chants as Cole hyped TLC. Raw signed off ten minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This felt like the PPV lead-in show after WWE hit a crescendo at the end of the show (the very end, not with the lie detector segment that bombed)... but TLC is in two weeks. How do they re-capture getting viewers hyped for TLC on next week's Raw? It was also worth questioning whether Ryback should have delivered the decisive powerbomb through the table instead of saving that one final, juicy moment for the TLC PPV (since they've given up on hyping the WWE Title match aspect of Punk vs. Ryback) instead of giving away the powerbomb on free TV. But, it seemed like WWE really wanted to give viewers a reward for staying tuned to the end of the show to see Punk get some form of comeuppance, which gets into the whole issue of WWE giving away everything in their three hour Raws and leaving viewers with nothing to anticipate. Overall, this show had a much-better flow than your average three-hour Raw, but was still hurt by too many recaps that are used to stretch out the content.

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff .

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com .


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