Mike Shannon’s WWE Raw Review – October 15, 2012

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-Recap of last week’s main event but, strangely enough, they leave out CM Punk punching an innocent fan in the crowd for having the audacity to STAND BEHIND HIM.

-We are live from Nashville, TN (home of 10 gallon hats and 10 cent brains)

-Big Show kicks us off and recaps last week’s activities where a fake PSI meter measures his KO Punch at 1800 PSI, which makes Paul the second coming of Ivan Drago. The crowd starts chanting “45 seconds” at him, causing Show to challenge Daniel Bryan immediately but Bryan is a little hesitant in the backstage area. AJ sticks her nose in and orders Bryan to the ring while everyone in the back chants “YES” at him. Wait a minute, isn’t Bryan supposed to be a babyface so why is he being screwed with by AJ? Or is AJ the babyface and she’s messing with heel Bryan? Or is Bryan a tweener and Kane is the babyface, thus making us want AJ to screw with Bryan and not Kane? Or is…nevermind.

Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
Show chops away in the corner and dumps Bryan to the floor taking us to our first commercial break…really?!? The match barely started.

We return with Bryan hammering away but he runs into a bearhug, which was last over as a submission hold in about 1984. JR starts with his WWE-fed line of “you gotta be here to see how big the Big Show is!” like 19,000 people are going to run out and buy house show tickets just to see if Big Show is really that large. Bryan goes low with a dropkick and kicks away at Big Show’s chest then finishes with one to the head for two. Bryan hits a pair of dropkicks in the corner and tries something from the top but gets caught with the chokeslam for the pin.
Winner: Big Show

-What the hell is the point of jobbing Bryan to the Big Slow? Is this match with Sheamus going to draw a huge buyrate or something? Big Show hasn’t moved the buyrate needle since…well, ever. I’m usually fine with the occasional Big Show push but don’t sacrifice your hottest act just to try to get Big Show booed on the third match of the PPV card. Kane chases off Big Show after the match to further emasculate Bryan *1/4.

-Paul Heyman introduces CM Punk to announce his decision for Hell in a Cell as the announcers discuss how you can’t be a legendary WWE champion without going through a Hell in a Cell match at some point in your career. Oh yeah, I fondly remember Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage in the cell at SummerSlam 1989.

Anyways, Punk recaps last week’s match with Vince and complains because the Hell in a Cell PPV poster portrays him as the Devil. Punk gauges crowd response to each of his two opponents before announcing his opponent will be…no one because the crowd is being disrespectful. I tell you what, CM Punk should have a diploma in Cheap Heat by the end of this heel run. This draws out Vince McMahon because he’s sick of Punk’s crap and Vinnie says he will announce Punk’s opponent later tonight at a contract signing. OK, so that means this was all just a colossal waste of time…fair enough.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Brodus Clay
I’m assuming the announcers won’t mention that Clay used to be Del Rio’s bodyguard? Clay hammers away in the corner and sends Del Rio to the floor with a shoulderblock. Del Rio hangs Clay’s arm on the ropes and hits a dropkick to Clay’s boob for two before going to work on the arm. Clay fights out and hits a headbutt but misses a charge to the corner and an enzuigiri sets up Divorce Court. Del Rio quickly applies the cross-armbreaker and the tap out is automatic.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

-OK, the Brodus Clay experiment is over, send him back to whatever Waffle House you found him in. This was really dull stuff *.

-Meanwhile, Punk is upset with McMahon so he sends Heyman to tell Vince he wants a rematch against him tonight.

Zack Ryder and Santino Marella vs. Prime Time Players
I really don’t like Zack and Santino’s chances here. The heels beat down Santino in their corner but Marella hit a jawbreaker and gets the hot tag to Ryder. The crowd is super hot for Ryder and he hits the Broski Boot on Titus but Young breaks up the pin. Young takes out Santino with the Gut Check and Ryder responds with the Ruff Ryder but Titus catches Zack with Clash of the Titus for the squash win.
Winners: Prime Time Players

-Santino is pretty much useless but I think Zack would do well for himself to move on to TNA and get out of this promotion for a few years. The match was a total squash for the heels *1/2.

-Post-match, Heath Slater’s Miracle Jobber Connection of him, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal run out dressed like total idiots in leather jackets and dub themselves the Three Man Band. My God, please MAKE IT STOP!!!

-Dolph Ziggler hits the ring to complain about Ryback getting a title shot after he went through Hell to get the MITB briefcase. David Otunga interrupts and says he is the one who deserves the shot (BWAHAHAHAHAHA) so AJ skips out and books David Otunga and Dolph against Ryback in a handicap match.

Handicap Match
Dolph Ziggler and David Otunga vs. Ryback
If Dolph Ziggler jobs here, I swear I’m turning this show off and just submitting my article. Ryback no-sells a dropkick and clotheslines Dolph to the mat, causing Ziggler to tag out and Otunga to hit the mat. Dolph considers attacking from behind but heads for the locker room instead, leaving Otunga to take the Muscle Buster.
Winner: Ryback

-Another match, another squash only this one had about three wrestling maneuvers in it DUD.

-Meanwhile, Heyman tries to do Punk’s dirty work but that doesn’t end well.

-Still backstage, Matt Striker tries to get an apology from AJ for Kane attacking him on Smackdown but AJ books him against Kane tonight instead. Yay, more squashes.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel
Gabriel flips out of a German suplex but Cesaro takes his head off with a clothesline, allowing Gabriel to work the Marty Jannetty 360 sell in a nice touch. Cesaro lays Gabriel across the turnbuckle and delivers a vicious kneelift before adding a double stomp. The very intelligent Nashville crowd chants “USA” at the European Cesaro and Gabriel, who is from South Africa…and people say southerners are stupid.

Cesaro hits a gutbuster and applies a rear bearhug to keep working the midsection but Gabriel slugs his way out and hits a flipping reverse DDT from the corner. Gabriel actually hits the 450 splash from the top but Gabriel’s gut is injured and, by the time he gets the cover, it only gets two. Justin gets desperate and goes for a springboard but Cesaro hits him with the awesome Very European Uppercut in mid-air and adds the Neutralizer for the victory.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro

-I give WWE a good deal of criticism but I really like how they are booking Cesaro so far. They are booking him against good workers so he can put on great matches but also workers who can sell his stuff really well. That makes Cesaro look like a million bucks and doesn’t exactly kill his opponent either. This is the match of the night so far **3/4.

Kane vs. Matt Striker
Striker begs for his life and simply asks for an apology. Come on now, Striker was part of the fearsome NEW BREED from WWECW, Kane should be a walk in the park for a competitor such as him. Striker makes the mistake of hugging it out with Kane and a chokeslam ends his night.
Winner: Kane

-What, exactly, was the point of this? DUD.

Miz TV
Seriously, has anyone fallen further down the card than the Miz? It’s actually a shame too because he really was going as a performer until they basically removed him from TV for months. They spent all that time building him up as a main event heel and then jobbed him out for weeks, leaving him with absolutely no heat at all.

Anyways, Kofi Kingston is Miz’s guest tonight and Miz runs him down with some impressive trash talk. Kofi responds by saying he’s going to win the Intercontinental title on WWE Main Event. However, just for fun, they are going to have a match tonight as well. Miz makes the mistake of poking Kofi in the chest and that triggers a brawl and Kingston sends Miz running for the hills.

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
They battle over a lockup and Sheamus uses a drop toe hold to go into an ARM-bar but Barrett slugs out and uses a different move, the arm-BAR. A hiptoss is countered to a clothesline by Sheamus but Barrett quickly comes back with a pump handle slam for two. Sheamus regains control with an elbow and a rolling fireman’s carry, causing Barrett to take a powder. Sheamus comes off the apron with a shoulderblock as the Big Show (armed with a chair) makes his way to ringside and we take a commercial break.

We return with both guys heading out to the apron and Sheamus elbows him to the floor. In a nod to last week’s match, Barrett again tries to hop the ring steps and kick them back at Sheamus’s leg but the champ dodges the move this time…PSYCHOLOGY! Barrett catches Sheamus with a stiff-sounding kick, allowing Wade to stomp away and throw some knee lifts. Barrett uses Sheamus’s own forearms against him and adds a big boot while Sheamus is tied in the ropes.

Barrett brings Sheamus back inside for a two count but Sheamus recovers and hits an Irish Curse backbreaker for the double KO spot. Sheamus gets to his feet first and mounts his babyface comeback, hitting a powerslam for two. The forearm clubs on the apron lead to a suplex back inside for two but Sheamus reverses an Irish whip (allowing for a Bret Hart corner sell) and hits a clothesline. Barrett comes off the top with a flying elbow for a near fall and they exchange finisher attempts until Barrett hits a Black Hole Slam for two.

Sheamus buys some time with a kick to the face and comes off the top but Barrett dodges and Sheamus rolls through the move. Sheamus looks for the Irish Cloverleaf but Big Show makes his way to ringside to serve as a distraction. Barrett shoves Sheamus towards the ropes and Show pulls the rope down, causing the referee to call for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Sheamus

-So a good, hard-hitting match is ruined by a stupid finish but that is par for the course in WWE right now, so I don’t know why I’m surprised. Sheamus clears the ring with the Brogue kick to get his heat back from the DQ I guess. The match was about ***1/4 before the finish so we’ll call it *** to be fair.

-Meanwhile, Vinnie Mac meets John Cena, who let’s him know he’ll be ready for the pay-per-view.

Divas Title
Eve vs. Layla
This feud is still going on? My God. They roll around on the mat and Eve works a headlock until she switches to the arm for whatever reason. Layla kicks her way and works to arm to ELECTRIFY the crowd until Eve dumps her awkwardly on the floor. Back inside, Eve kicks Layla in the face for two and Eve applies a head scissors to zero reaction from the live crowd. After what seems like 20 minutes, Layla fights out kicks her way out and mounts her comeback, hitting a cross body for two. Eve hits foot on a charge to the corner and Layla tries to head up top but Eve kicks her off and gets the pin even though Layla’s foot was on the ropes. Didn’t they JUST do this angle with Punk like two weeks ago? Are we already repeating stupid crap?
Winner and still champion: Eve

-Seriously, this match was a cure for insomnia *.

-Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan doesn’t like the fact that Kane laughed at him after he lost to the Big Show, so he challenges Kane to beat Show next week.

-Still backstage, Vince McMahon thanks Ryback for his help last week and wants CM Punk at the PPV.

-After a break, the Three Man Band heads into some redneck bar and tries to sing until security kicks them out…hilarious.

Rhodes Scholars vs. Primo and Epico
Rey Mysterio apparently read the script for this show and is now out with the flu, so we get this match instead of the tag tournament finals.

The Colons get rid of Cody and double team Sandow but he quickly runs away the heels regroup on the outside. Primo hits Cody with a dropkick for two and Epico does the same thing as the babyfaces(?) switch off on Rhodes. Primo rolls him up for two but a Sandow distraction allows Cody to get a cheapshot for two. Now it’s Primo stuck in the wrong corner as the heels work him over and Sandow hits the Elbow of Disdain for two.

The heels continue their beatdown on Primo as the crowd entertains itself with various chants and Rhodes hits a clothesline for two. Finally, Primo leapfrogs Sandow on a back body drop attempt and gets the hot tag to Epico, who hits a trio of back suplexes. A brawl erupts and Cody and Primo end up on the floor, leaving Epico to whiff on a cross body and Sandow hits the Teminus (Latin for “end of the road”) for the win.
Winners: Rhodes Scholars

-I like Rhodes and Sandow but this was really boring and the Colons had no heat since they had been working as heels before this week. I expected better from these four guys **.

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
A brawl breaks out and Miz rolls to safety on the floor but Kingston follows him out and hits a clothesline. Back in, Kofi whiffs on a springboard attempt but still hits a dropkick and Kofi lays the boots to Miz. Miz dodges a charge to the corner and puts Kingston down with a clothesline to slow things down. Miz Clothesline in the corner sets up a double axe handle from the top for two. Kofi counters a back suplex by falling on top for two and a sunset flip also gets a near fall. Miz stops the rally with his backbreaker-neckbreaker combo for two and goes to the chinlock.

Kofi suplexes out of the submission and makes his comeback and looks for the Boom Drop but Miz rolls to the apron. Kofi manages to evade the Skull Crushing Finale and shoves Miz against the ropes, catching Miz on the rebound with a STIFF Trouble in Paradise (busting him open) and getting the pin.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

-Ouch, Miz’s head has to be ringing after that one. A nice, fast-paced match between the two guys even if they didn’t have a whole lot of time **3/4. I don’t understand one thing though: If you’re hyping this match for Wednesday then WHY ARE YOU GIVING IT AWAY ON MONDAY? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the whole purpose of saying “tune in to Main Event to see these guys wrestle”?

Main Event Interview
So Vince calls down all three guys but Punk immediately cuts him off and signs the contract without waiting for McMahon’s decision. Again, Vince tries to make his announcement but John Cena interrupts this time and leads the crowd in a “feed me more” chant as Ryback signs the contract. Well, I guess Cena wasn’t medically cleared after all. As with all contract signings, Ryback attacks Punk and lays him out with the Muscle Buster.

I think they kind of booked themselves into a corner with this match, so I’ll be interested to see how they get out of it. You certainly don’t want Punk to beat Ryback because then he’s just another guy but can you really put the world title on him? I don’t think so.

Final Word
Oh boy, the ratings aren’t going to be pretty for this one. There was absolutely nothing on this show to keep people tuned in because the show was full of squash matches and boring, non-wrestling segments. Unless Vince McMahon has about 500,000 friends who watch the show just for him, Tuesday morning isn’t going to be fun at Titan Tower.

Have I ever mentioned that three hours and 15 minutes is just TOO DAMN LONG for a wrestling show? It’s just damn near impossible to stay focused on a show like this when there are so many throwaway segments and squash matches that don’t mean anything. If the ratings fall this week like I’m predicting, they are going to absolutely PLUMMET next week when the WWE faces stiff competition from a huge Monday Night Football game and the final presidential debate.

Skip this one if you haven’t already. Post your thoughts, comments and opinions below!