ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 10/01/12

CM Punk opens Raw and says that a match with John Cena at HIAC will not happen. Paul Heyman then talks about what happened with AJ last week. Heyman says he should be GM of Raw and is then interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. Vickie claims she deserves to be GM of Raw. AJ comes out and says she has been given an executive coach to help her run Raw. Daniel Bryan comes out and says he came out to apologize because AJ’s mental issues have compiled since he dumped her after WrestleMania. Bryan puts himself over and says he is handsome and a former World Champion(also says he has a great beard). He says now he is the tag team champions, and out comes Kane. Kane mentions what a great kisser AJ is, and then he and Bryan argue over which one is the tag team champions. AJ flips out and announces Ziggler and Punk to take on Kane and Dbry tonight.

^I like this entire segment. It might’ve run a bit too long, but it was filled with good promo work and humor to set up the main event. It worked well.

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeat Primo and Epico to advance in the number one contenders tournament for the tag team titles.

^This was a good tag match, and I was impressed with the teamwork of Mysterio and Sin Cara. My concern here is for Primo and Epico. Three or four months ago, these guys were basically the top tag team(one of maybe three or four total) on the roster. Now that WWE has “revamped” the division, these two talents have fallen through the cracks and are barely heard from. It would just be nice to see a better balance of tag teams(Gabriel and Kidd as well) throughout each week.

Antonio Cesaro defeats Brodus Clay in a short match using the neutralizer.

^Finally! Cesaro with a dominant win over somebody that WWE has built to be one of the tougher guys to beat. There’s no better way to put some prestige on the belt or its champion than to book a match where the champion beats a tough opponent. Great writing here!

AJ introduces Kaitlyn to her executive coach, Christopher J. Stevenson. AJ apologizes to Kaitlyn for their problems in the past and then bursts out laughing before skipping away.

^I hope Christopher J. Stevenson is either short lived or he at least turns out to be as entertaining to watch as Dr. Shelby.

The Miz defeats Zack Ryder in a short match. Miz hits the skull crushing finale after a buckle bomb on Ryder.

^Another impressive short match featuring two guys that are clearly the future of WWE. Both these guys are hard workers and put forth a great effort in this one.

The Big Show and Sheamus have a debate hosted by Booker T. Big Show calls this debate ridiculous and says he will win the WHC from Sheamus at HIAC. They exchange words over each question and it gets heated. Sheamus repeatedly brings up forty-five seconds. They end up standing face to face and Big Show walks away.

^I like the build here for this match. I’m not necessarily excited for their match at HIAC, but the heat is there and the intensity of their rivalry is being put over well. Big Show was right about the debate being pointless, but I like the constant taunting from Sheamus towards the world’s largest athlete.

Ryback defeats Tensai with a monster clothesline after he is unable to lift him for his regular finisher.

^Tensai looked awful, and we just saw this match on Smackdown. Good win for Ryback’s streak, but please let him do something new.

Rhodes and Sandow are shown backstage talking about when they win the tag team championships.

^These two are magic together. Read my WWE B-Show Rundown from last week to get more of my thoughts on them. Rhodes has never had a bad tag team partner.

Eve defeats Beth Phoenix using the neckbreaker.

^Short match here, but not much shorter than any other match so far on this card. I like that Beth is actually being used on tv before she departs from the company(as rumor has it).

Wade Barrett tells AJ she’s doing a terrible job as GM and she’s too up and down. He tells her to stop letting her relationships get in the way of her doing her job. AJ gets in Stevenson’s face when Barrett walks away and tells him she thinks he’s intimidated.

^Well at least if Barrett isn’t going to wrestle, we can be fortunate that he was able to cut a promo on AJ. These AJ segments seem a bit pointless, though.

Santino defeats Heath Slater by dq when Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre attack Santino. The trio cuts a short promo after the Marella beatdown.

^I love these three being relevant by forming a trio. I wonder if they’ll go after the tag titles in the future and invoke the freebird rule. Slater looked good in his match with Santino, also. There’s definitely a lot of talent in this group, but you have to wonder how far WWE will take this trio in storyline before it becomes stale and pointless.

Sheamus defeats Damien Sandow with the brogue kick on both Sandow and Rhodes at the same time.

^This was a great wrestling match! I’d say Damien Sandow just showed anyone who hadn’t seen the range of what he can do in the ring something quite special. This match was exceptional and was the best of the night so far. Damien Sandow just established himself as a contender as far as I’m concerned. Very impressive booking by WWE.

Michael Cole puts over Jim Ross for his appreciation night. CM Punk interrupts. Punk bullies Ross out of the ring when he refuses to say Punk is the best world until Ryback comes out. Ryback brings Ross back into the ring and stares down Punk until he walks away.

^I loved this segment! Punk gets put over as an even bigger heel by picking on everyone’s favorite, Jim Ross. Ross was great at countering Punk’s words and made this segment really something special. Ryback and Punk? I’ll take it. I may not love the idea of Ryback holding the WWE Title right now so soon in his career, but I’ll be more than happy to watch him rival Punk until Cena is healthy. The simplicity of having Ryback stare down Punk elevates him and teases the chance for a great matchup. The crowd behind Ryback with the feed me more chants tells me that WWE is definitely doing something right.

Alberto Del Rio defeats Kofi Kingston using the cross armbreaker in a short match.

^Del Rio gets to be dominant until Orton comes back and challenges him for HIAC. I wonder what WWE has planned for both Kofi and Truth now that they’re not holding the tag titles. Perhaps a turn for one and a one on one rivalry? I like the idea of Del Rio facing Orton on a pay per view; the two seem to have really good chemistry when in the ring together.

AJ is shown talking to Christopher Stevenson. AJ suggests that he ref the main event tonight. She tells him he is worthless as a coach because he’s never been a player. She kicks him out of the arena.

^This was probably the only worthwhile backstage AJ Lee promo tonight. The rest of them seemed a bit silly.

AJ refs the main event between Team Hell No and Punk/Ziggler. AJ throws out Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero; this prompts Ziggler to leave with Vickie. Punk is chokeslammed by Kane when he is left alone and Team Hell No picks up the victory. Kane and Dbry argue over who the tag team champions is as the show goes off the air.

^This was a fun main event, and it was definitely a treat to get these four in the ring together. Did anyone catch the fact that Kane has been “Kane” for 15 years as of this week? I remember his Badd Blood appearance in October of ’97. In fact, I’m pretty sure at the age of 8, I had nightmares about the incident. Good tag match to cap off the show and put over the popular tag team champs!

Nine wrestling matches and solid promos! Let me list off what I didn’t like first: ADR/Kofi, Ryback/Tensai, AJ backstage. What I did like: Sandow/Sheamus, both tag matches, Miz/Ryder(could’ve used a bit more time), and the JR/Punk promo. I’d say this was a well above average show in terms of storyline progression and good wrestling. I’ll be back with the rundown this weekend. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! and

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