ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 11/12/12

Randy Orton defeats Dolph Ziggler with a rollup. ADR and Ricardo Rodriguez attempt to distract Orton, but they fail. The three beat on Orton and Kofi Kingston comes down for the save. Teddy Long comes out and books a tag team match right now on behalf of Booker T. Del Rio pins Kofi to win the tag team match after an RR distraction.

^Bringing Smackdown tag team match ideas to Raw might just be the smartest thing done on Raw in some time. Orton and Ziggler teased us with some good wrestling, and then we were treated to these four men going at it in a Survivor Series preview. This was definitely a solid way to open the show and build some hype for the pay per view match.

Dolph and Vickie are in the ring. They call out AJ Lee and share “voice evidence” that shes supposedly left for John Cena. Cena comes down and both AJ and Cena knock Ziggler down.

^First of all, I’m tired of the drama here. Second of all, I can’t wait for Ziggler and Cena to go one on one(hopefully at TLC). Third, I’m guessing those voicemails were provided by CM Punk from when AJ was obsessed with him(if they choose to continue the storyline that way).

AJ and Cena are shown backstage talking. Cena says this is something that never happened and never would happen. AJ says it never would happen with a questioning tone. Cena gets shaken by it and walks away.

^Given that AJ has made her way through half the main event scene of Raw already, why not add John Cena to the growing list?

Big Show defeats William Regal with a chokeslam. Show goes to knock out Regal after the match but Sheamus comes down for the save.

^It’s nice to see the veteran Regal in the ring as of late. Maybe this is his last run at working matches, but I hope we get to see more of him in the coming weeks. Using Regal to enhance the rivalry between Show and Sheamus is a good idea and it makes for some interesting matches that I never thought we would see again.

Kaitlyn defeats Layla in a short match to become the number one contender for Eve’s title.

^This wasn’t much of a match, but props to WWE for at least remembering to put the divas on the show tonight. I’d like to see Natalya become more involved in the title scene as she can actually work a really good match.

Footage is shown from the night of Jerry Lawler’s heart attack. We are shown scenes of Lawler receiving CPR in the backstage area and in the ambulance. Jim Ross and Michael Cole bring out Jerry Lawler. Lawler thanks the WWE Universe for all that they’ve done with their thoughts, prayers, tweets, ect. CM Punk interrupts.

Punk tells Lawler he’s glad he left the ring or he would have beaten him to death. He goes on to mock the King and then Paul Heyman fakes having a heart attack. Mick Foley comes to the ring and rips into Punk. Foley then tells Punk that he will be the guest enforcer when Punk goes one on one with John Cena tonight.

^First of all, showing scenes from backstage when Lawler had a heart attack is just sick and wrong. One of the reasons I almost thought it was all made up was so that WWE could get more publicity. I know you can call me crazy for thinking that, but I put almost nothing past WWE after the Shane McMahon/2×4 on the accelerator of a car incident with Kane in the backseat and anything else related to serious vehicle accidents that they’ve done. In this case, I’m sure Lawler signed off on the segment and everything that was said was for storyline enhancement, but it’s completely classless to use a real life and death situation to enhance the gimmick of a heel. Maybe it just hits too close to home for me for personal reasons, or maybe I’m just overreacting because it’s Jerry Lawler and the WWE should have more respect for him, but I’m just not okay with how this all played out.

We see a backstage segment where CM Punk tells Paul Heyman to fix everything with the WWE Title scene and also with Brad Maddox.

^Way to make it obvious and tell us that Maddox was involved with Punk at HIAC. I love how absolutely useless Heyman has been for Punk since he became his manager. Heyman’s presence alone definitely makes Punk a better heel, but I do find it somewhat comical that he’s been of no actual benefit to the champion.

Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, and the Mexicans in Masks defeat the Prime Time Players and Primo and Epico in an eight man tag team match. Rey Mysterio hits a 619 on Darren Young and Justin Gabriel hits a 450 on him afterwards for the win.

^This was a short but fun match. If this match had gone another ten minutes and featured a little bit more from each performer, you probably could’ve called this the match of the night. I love the tag team division in WWE right now and I hope they continue to push it and create even more teams in the near future.

Brad Maddox is shown backstage and Paul Heyman shows up to talk to him. They walk away.

^Not that we didn’t already know it, but I think the cat is officially out of the bag on who told Maddox to screw Ryback at HIAC.

The Miz is shown backstage. Dolph Ziggler approaches him and tells him he knows he will beg to be on the team soon. Mick Foley shows up. Miz asks Foley to put Miz on the ballot for the fans to vote on who will join Team Foley at Survivor Series. Foley agrees to put him on.

^And the Miz face turn is almost complete! I can’t wait to see how popular the Miz becomes once the fans get on his side. What better way to find the next big guy than to open your eyes and realize that all the talent and charisma in the world has been under your nose this whole time, eh Vince?

R-Truth defeats Tensai with the little jimmy and Antonio Cesaro is on commentary. It’s announced before the match that Truth will face Cesaro for the United States Championship at Survivor Series. Truth gets in Cesaro’s face after the match and tells him he will knock his teeth down his throat on Sunday.

^First of all, it’s great to see Tensai continue losing like this. The guy is a joke and should be nothing more than a face booster(yes, I say it a lot about guys with no talent). Truth and Cesaro at Survivor Series could easily be one of the top three matches on the card. I can’t wait!

Ryback destroys Brad Maddox and pins him after shell shocked. He tosses Maddox off a stretcher after the match and bounces his head off an ambulance that was brought into the arena before the match.

^Okay, so we know this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Brad Maddox. I’m sure Maddox will be back just in time to screw Ryback out of the title another time. Ryback now has all kinds of momentum heading into SS this Sunday, and we’ve still yet to see the guy do anything significant in the ring. Hmm, forgive me for not being enthused.

Sheamus defeats David Otunga in a short match. Sheamus uses white noise, followed by the brogue kick. Big Show is shown on the tron after the match beating on William Regal. Sheamus runs to the back after Show hits the WMD on Regal.

^How many times have we seen Sheamus defeat Otunga in 2012? The answer is probably at least five or six on television, but it feels like so much more. Otunga just doesn’t do it for me, and there are a lot of other talented heels in developmental that could be on the roster working GOOD matches instead of the crap we get when Otunga steps in the ring. I like the intensity of the Sheamus/Show rivalry, and I honestly believe with a chairs match at TLC these two could carry this rivalry strong to the end of the year

Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes come to the ring. Their opponents are Kane and…the Miz. Miz was voted for over Zack Ryder and Santino to be the last member of Team Foley. Kane ends up winning the match with a chokeslam on Rhodes. Daniel Bryan shows his jealousy after the match by trying to raise Kane’s arm. Miz and Dbry start arguing and Kane gets mad at them both.

^This was an effective segment for putting over Miz as a face, adding to the Dbry/Kane drama, and for putting more hype into the big elimination match at SS this Sunday. I’m interested in the fact Rhodes seems to be getting pinned far more often than Sandow, but I’m guessing it’s because WWE has bigger plans for Sandow in the near future. I love the Dbry/Kane/Miz scenario, and part of me is hoping WWE doesn’t do a double cross with the Miz to have him help Team Ziggler. It’s important for the Miz to remain as a face and win the crowd over.

John Cena defeats CM Punk with the AA after Punk tries to run away from the match and is stopped by Ryback. Mick Foley as enforcer stops Heyman from getting involved in the match. Cena and Ryback each try to pick up the WWE Title twice after the match and hold onto it together while staring off. Punk looks on worried.

^What a great way to close Raw! We were treated to an awesome match with Cena and Punk, and now people are led to believe that Punk might actually lose the title to Cena or Ryback. The show tonight was full of good wrestling and storyline build for the Survivor Series. Yeah, we had a few squash matches, but those are to be expected each week. Survivor Series is getting a somewhat decent build(considering it only had three weeks) with five matches on the card and hopefully at least one or two more booked on Smackdown.

I’ll be back with the regular rundown this weekend and also the Smarks will have our Survivor Series preview put together for you as well. Don’t forget to add myself and Mike Lightning on facebook so you can vote for the third inductee into our Pure Pro-Wrestling Hall Of Fame! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! and – add us!