A very disappointing episode of WWE Monday Night Raw as we get a lot of confusion to the Survivor Series card, a lot of tag team matches and very little else. So let’s get started…
This week Raw opens with a strange sounding recap of last week that I am sure reminded everyone of TNA’s Impact recaps.
We see a video from earlier today of a conversation between Paul Heyman and the Miz. The Miz says he doesn’t trust Heyman or Punk and quits Team Punk.
Match #1: Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro and the Prime Time Players
Winners: Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and R-Truth
Pretty standard match here involving a number of mid card superstars. I also like the inclusion of two feuds in this one match. I was thinking it could be the start of another traditional five on five match for Survivor Series. Add 3MB members Slater and Jinder Mahal on the heel side and Team CoBro on the face side and there you have it.
Managing Supervisor of Raw – Vickie Guerrero
Vickie has the mic as she walks to the ring and talks about how happy she is that AJ resigned. A lot of boos from the crowd. She reviews the evidence. Crowd is really loud. Chanting “who are ya?” John Cena interrupts. Cena’s back in green. Cena says Vickie running a clean show is like Cena learning to wrestle. Vickie shows new evidence, which includes AJ knocking on a hotel door in a robe and goes into a room. Vickie shows another video of Cena coming out of a room in a towel. Cena tells Vickie she has no proof that those were the same room. Vickie calls out AJ. AJ appears on the big screen. She looks angry. She says to Vickie, “you don’t want me to go out there because I will give you the beating of your life. And then you’ll fire me and I will be out of a job and I won’t be able to do what I love to do.” Ziggler enters with his arm around AJ. Ziggler says we all know what you love to do. Cena leaves the ring and heads to the back as Vickie is laughing.
Backstage Segment – Paul Heyman
Heyman talking to Wade Barrett trying to convince him to join Team Punk. He agrees on the condition that Heyman owes him. And he wants to see it on paper.
Daniel Bryan (with Kane) vs. Cody Rhodes (with Damien Sandow)
The trend continues as Cody is already in the ring when Bryan enters. Back and forth action to start the match. Eventually, Bryan dumps Rhodes to the floor. Kane looks at Rhodes until Sandow attacks Kane. Bryan dives through the ropes and tkes out Sandow. Cody hits the disaster kick on Bryan outside the ring. Cody brings Bryan back into the ring and hits cross Rhodes for the win. Cody wins
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Post Match: Rhodes volunteers Sandow to face Kane
Kane (with Daniel Bryan) vs. Damien Sandow (with Cody Rhodes)
Kane wins with a chokeslam
When we come back from commercial, the match has begun already. Kane is in control and drops a big elbow followed by a two count. Cody gets on the apron for a distraction but Bryan comes over for a brawl. Bryan chases Cody through the ring. The referee sends Cody and Bryan to the back. In the end, Kane wins with a chokeslam.
I am glad to see this feud continuing. With both teams set to be in a traditional Survivor Series match, I expect the tag title rematch to occur at the TLC pay-per-view.
Michael Cole Interviews Brad Maddox
Michael Cole introduces Brad Maddox. Maddox says he is not working with Punk and Heyman. He says it was all him. It was his plan. All he ever wanted to be was a WWE superstar. He once paid $2,000 dollars for a tryout. Finally, he was given a chance with a developmental contract. Even there he wasn’t good enough. Why? because he’s not a freak, giant or monster. He is not a high flyer either. Chants of you can’t wrestle in a lovely British accent. Even when WWE officials told him he would never make it to the main roster his dream didn’t die. It got stronger. So he would do whatever it took to get to the WWE. That’s why he became a referee. All he needed was one chance to make an impact. He made an impact. Feed me more chants. Brad Maddox wants a contract and a match with Ryback. Maddox says no one will forget who Brad Maddox is.
Mr. McMahon’s music hits and the chairman enters. He says he doesn’t think Maddox did it on his own. McMahon will give a million dollar contract if Maddox can beat Ryback next week on Raw. Vince tells Maddox to get out of his ring. Vince goes to the back and comes back out with Vickie Guerrero. Vince asks why Vickie let Punk hide behind his team at Survivor Series. Vince suggests Punk defend his title at Survivor Series. Vince suggests Vickie give a title shot to Ryback and she catches on. The crowd pops. Vince then suggests a triple threat match with Cena and the match is on.
Sheamus vs. The Miz
Big Show on commentary. Back and forth match while Big Show argues with Michael Cole. In the end, Miz ducks Brogue Kick and goes for Skull Crushing Finale, but Sheamus breaks out of it. Sheamus catches Miz in White Noise and then hits the Brogue Kick for the win.
After the match, Show holds up the title at ringside as Sheamus stares back at him.
I wouldn’t say it was a bad match, but I don’t know what WWE is doing with the Miz. His career in WWE has been very up and down. This was a good match to have to help feed the Sheamus-Big Show feud, but it did very little for the Miz. After he quit Team Punk, where is he going now?
Backstage Segment – Punk, Ziggler, Guerrero
Dolph Ziggler is waiting outside of Mr. McMahon’s office. Vickie Guerrero comes out and tells Dolph that it will now be Team Ziggler instead of Punk at Survivor Series. Punk enters and says Vince is just trying to screw him. Punk is upset about the triple threat match announced earlier. Punk says Vince is an ego-maniac and now Vince is getting revenge for their recent match. Vickie announces that tonight’s main event is Punk and Ziggler vs. Cena and Ryback.
Eve and Aksana vs. Layla and Kaitlyn
Pretty typical divas match here. I honestly can’t remember ever seeing Aksana wrestle. At least not on Raw. In the end, Eve hits Layla with a neckbreaker, but then Kaitlyn comes in with an inverted DDT on Eve. Kaitlyn pins Eve for the win.
Winners: Layla and Kaitlyn
Backstage Segement – Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio
Ricardo Rodriguez is backstage with Alberto Del Rio talking about Team Punk. Del Rio bumps into Rosa Mendes before walking off to the ring. Back to commercial.
I would love to see Rosa join ADR and Ricardo permanently.
Kofi Kingston vs. Del Rio
Didn’t we see this match a week or two ago? In any case, good match from two of the better wrestlers on the roster. In the end, Kofi hits the boom drop and signals for trouble in paradise. However, Del Rio ducks and goes for the armbreaker, but Kofi hits SOS for a two count. Del Rio tries to put Kofi away until Randy Orton’s music hits and he becomes distracted. Kofi takes advantage and rolls Del Rio up for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Post Match: Orton comes through the crowd and lays Del Rio out with a RKO.
Team CoBro vs. Epico and Primo (with Rosa)
Another tag team match as I don’t even know who WWE is trying to highlight in this match. Neither team is really going anywhere. In the end, Santino hits the cobra on Epico for the pin and the win.
Winners: Zack Ryder and Santino
Will Team CoBro get a push? Probably not. There are a ton of tag teams now in the WWE. They were probably just trying to highlight the fact that they have so many tag teams.
Brodus Clay vs. Wade Barrett
The crowd is completely behind hometown hero Wade Barrett as he squares off against squasher turned squashee Brodus Clay. In the end, Clay hits a pair of clotheslines and a headbutt. Brodus then splashes Barrett in the corner, but he tries again and Barrett gets out of the way. Barrett hits the souvenier elbow for the pin and the win. The crowd goes insane!
Winner: Wade Barrett
Heath Slater vs. Jey Uso
Interesting squash match here for…Jey Uso? Drew McIntyre is not with 3MB here tonight due to his mother being ill. In the end, Heath Slater gets his knees up during Uso’s superfly splash and Slater hits the smash hit for the pin and the win.
Winner: Heath Slater
I’m glad we didn’t see another 3MB versus CoBro match, but then again why did they need to be in separate matches? Is WWE actually pushing mid card and jobbers?
CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback
Before the match, CM Punk says that he’s being screwed by Vince McMahon. Since winning the title 351 days ago he’s set the bar to an attainable level. He promises to celebrate as champion for 364 days at Survivor Series and prove that he’s the best in the world.
During the match, it is all Cena against Punk and Ziggler as they prevent him from tagging in Ryback. Ziggler hits Cena with numerous elbow drops. Ziggler decides to do sit ups in the ring. Cena hits the AA on Punk. Ziggler is tagged in and stops Cena from tagging Ryback again. Cena finally tags in Ryback, while Punk is also tagged in. Ryback destroys Punk and hits him with the shell shock for the pin and the clean win.
Winner: Ryback and John Cena
Overall, again probably the worst episode of Raw since it went to three hours. The Survivor Series card is a mess. It seems as though there were a lot of last minute changes backstage. If WWE was just going to go with this triple threat match, then the last couple of weeks hyping the Team Punk vs. Team Foley match were a waste. We saw no Foley tonight. Team Punk became Team Ziggler and Team Foley is still missing a member.
There is very little time left until the big Survivor Series pay-per-view and only one more episode of Raw. Survivor Series has gone from very intriguing to very questionable.
It’s been me. It’s been me. It’s been the G-U-DOUBLE T!
Seth Guttenplan is a teacher by day, writer by night. Seth is the owner for GuTTWrenchPowerBlog.com, Bleacher Report Writer and a host for ProWrestlingPowerhouse.com Radio. To read more from Seth, follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and visit http://guttwrenchpowerblog.com