Ryback opens the show. He says he will take out the three NXT wrestlers that attacked him. Vickie Guerrero comes out and introduces him to his opponent, Tensai. Ryback defeats Tensai with shell shocked in about four minutes.
^For the four minute match that we got, Ryback worked hard to pace out this brawl and looked pretty good at controlling things. As opposed to the other two matches these two have had, I feel like Ryback’s work ethic came off as more experienced and confident. This was better than just a squash, despite the quick win.
Sheamus is shown yelling at the referee who counted the pin last night.
^The whole end to that match was ridiculous and the DQ decision is suspect, but I’m just excited for what’s to come at TLC with their Chairs Match.
Wade Barrett defeats Kofi Kingston with the bull hammer(former rolling elbow) in a non-title match.
^Talk about chemistry! These two showed us the goods tonight and man was it fun to watch! I can’t wait to watch this new rivalry develop and possibly culminate at our next ppv event. This was just a good and exciting wrestling match.
CM Punk announces a party tonight in a backstage segment with Paul Heyman with Matt Striker.
^Congrats to Punk for 365 days as WWE Champion! I remember the Survivor Series ppv last year well when he won the title. The whole hot potato game with the title from July to November was a bit ridiculous in 2011, but WWE definitely made up for that in booking Punk to hold the gold and work some amazing matches in the past twelve months.
Kaitlyn defeats Aksana with a modified gutbuster.
^This was short, but intense. I like this angry side of Kaitlyn a lot. I expect that she will keep challenging Eve until she finally captures the Divas Championship.
Antonio Cesaro defeats Brodus Clay using the neutralizer with R-Truth on commentary.
^I like the continued use of Clay as a punching bag. If WWE wants to continue this Cesaro/Truth feud, they need to add some fuel to the fire and make the rivalry believable. How about a backstage attack or some interference in each other’s matches? The commentary act every week is growing stale in a hurry.
Vickie Guerrero is shown backstage telling a man and woman to relax. In the ring, they are confirmed to be the restaurant employees where AJ and Cena had dinner. The woman makes AJ and Cena sound scandalous. The man claims to be a parking lot attendant who took photos of AJ and Cena in a parked car together. AJ comes out and gets angry. Cena comes out and gets angry, but then makes out with AJ. Dolph Ziggler attacks Cena. Cena chases Ziggler to the back and appears to hurt his ankle/leg when he jumps out of the ring.
^This was lame. Cena and Ziggler feuding excites me, but the drama is just ridiculous.
Randy Orton defeats Alberto Del Rio in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Orton gets the first fall when ADR is disqualified. ADR makes Orton submit to the cross armbreaker and then Orton wins the match two falls to one with an RKO.
^This was another great match following up what we got from Kofi and Barrett. Orton and Del Rio have good match after good match, and I’d like to see them a few more times and have this all finish up at TLC(unless Orton first gets pushed into a rivalry with Miz as he turns heel). Props to Del Rio for his vast improvement over the last five months; the guy is a killer in the ring and I really look forward to watching his matches.
Khali defeats Primo and Epico in a handicap match. Hornswoggle comes out before the start of the match and squirts water in Rosa’s face in the middle of it.
^I know this was filler, but couldn’t Primo and Epico have been booked to look better and pick up the win here. I honestly hope Khali doesn’t get any sort of push in the near future.
Paul Heyman yells at a crew member for not having balloons for tonight’s celebration.
^Balloons? Really? I find the whole thing comical because you just know the “celebration” tonight won’t last.
Miz defeats David Otunga using the skull crushing finale.
^I have very little liking for Otunga and his lack of skills, but this match wasn’t half bad because of the effort put in by Miz. The two didn’t have bad chemistry, but this was more of a squash overall. I’m hoping the Miz will get a good rivalry going with Randy Orton in the coming months to really put over just how far he’s come as a performer.
Sheamus comes out to talk about TLC. Big Show comes out to argue with him. Damien Sandow comes out for his match with Sheamus. Sheamus wins using white noise and the brogue kick.
^The promo before the match was lame. The match itself was fantastic. Sheamus and Sandow are two guys that I look forward to seeing as much as any other top wrestlers, and their chemistry together is very impressive. I’m not sure what Sandow is going to do now that he’s out of the tag title scene for a few weeks, but I’m perfectly okay with him being booked in great matches like this one. Sheamus deserves to be World Champion when he has matches like this, but it really doesn’t matter if he has the belt or not because he’s still fun to watch in the ring.
Vickie and AJ argue backstage but Tamina stops them. AJ storms away. After the commercial, AJ is shown looking for someone. AJ finds Ziggler in the mens locker room and attacks him. Cena stops her but Ziggler and Cena brawl and Zigs gets the upper hand. Cena needs a doctor.
^I hate the drama. The storyline behind it is just too much crap for me. Despite that, we got a Cena/Ziggler rivalry that’s been in development for several weeks and I can’t wait for their match(es)! Also, I’m thinking the injury is exaggerated and possibly not even real.
Mysterio and Sin Cara face Team Hell No. The match ends as a no contest when the Prime Time Players leave the commentary table and interfere. The two teams clean house on the PTP.
^The PTP were hilarious with King and Cole; I absolutely loved the chemistry. The tag team division has been incredible to watch, and I really hope it stays like this. Kane and Dbry can drop the belts for all I care; I just enjoy the great tag matches that we’ve been getting consistently in recent weeks.
Punk is shown talking to Heyman backstage. Paul tells Punk that this is his night.
^Let’s not make it more obvious that this is the setup of something happening here with Punk’s next challenger for the title.
CM Punk comes out after a lengthy introduction by Paul Heyman. Punk talks about his run as champion and plays a video package. Ryback comes out and gets jumped by Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose. They put Ryback through a table just like Survivor Series. Punk stands over Ryback to close to the show.
^There’s definitely the possibility of a Paul Heyman faction brewing, but I’m not sure if WWE is going to take things in that direction. You could just simply view this as the NXT guys making a name for themselves, or you could try to play out all the theories on their storyline reason for doing what they’ve done. Either way, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy their talent whenever they’re around. Punk and Ryback doesn’t excite me for TLC, but giving them the primary gimmick match could easily mean a more entertaining battle. Good close to the show.
Final Thoughts: We had nine matches tonight; three of them were good, five of them average and bordering on squash level, and the handicap match was just plain terrible. The AJ/Vickie drama just needs to stop, but the Cena/Ziggler rivalry needs to continue. I like the push of the Divas and the AJ/Tamina possibilities, but where was Eve tonight? Overall, it was a really good episode of Raw and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings in WWE.
Make sure to check out the Rundown this weekend for the rest of your WWE updates! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!