Change was in the air as Raw prepared for Hell in a Cell. Vince McMahon was back, with a shocking announcement.
I want to begin by sending special birthday greeting out to two of the most special people that I have the honor to know. First, my younger sister, Bettie, turned 45 on Monday. We lost touch for many years but now have a good relationship again. And 1Wrestling.com’s own, Bill Apter, celebrated his birthday on Monday, as well. Bill has been a mentor, good friend, big brother and role model for me for many years. He’s also the only guy I know that can rap Frank Sinatra songs. Smile. Happy Birthday to both of you.
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio vs Damian Sandow and Cody Rhodes (Team Rhodes Scholars)
Tag Team Tournament Finals
A.J. Lee was called to an emergency meeting, earlier in the day. What that was all about would be discussed, later in the show. Cody and Sin to start. JR talked about all the partners that Rey held tag belts with. Tie up to the corner. Sin with kicks and punches. Sin missed the Backspring Elbow but nailed the Hurancanrana. Rey took the tag and the duo of masked men with a double team on Rhodes. Kick by Rey. Goldustin Uppercut by Cody and tag to Sandow. Sandow with a Power Whip to the corner. Go Behind by Sandow. Standing Switch. The match exploded onto the floor as Sandow almost ended up in the 619. Team Hell No! watched the match, from the back.
Rey blasted Sandow, in the ropes. Sin with a Springboard Moonsault on a trapped Sandow. That was sweet. Sandow blasted Sin and almost got the pin. Cody with a Stall Front Drop Suplex for two. Cody rushed Sin to the corner and tag to Sandow. Shoulder Thrust by Sandow and tag to Cody. Cody stomped the mid-section of Sin. Sandow tagged back in and Headbutted Sin’s kidneys. Suplex into a lax cover. Tag to Cody. Cody with Corner Stomps. Cody talked trash to Rey. Sin with a Headbutt and a Step-up Enziguri. Break time.
Cody cranked on Sin’s arm. Tag to Sandow. Hard shot to the ribs into the Rolling Side Russian Leg Sweep. Sandow with his Elbow of Disdain. Rey made the save. Cody tagged in and placed Sin on the turnbuckles. Sin with a wicked Tornado DDT. Both men were down. Rey with the tag. Seated Senton. Rey took out Sandow. Tilt-a-Whirl Headscissors by Rey. Drop Toe HOld into a Moonsault by Rey for two. Rey kicked Cody and then Sandow into the ropes. Double 6.1.9! Rey with the Benoit Diving Headbutt. 1-2-Sandow slid between the ref and the canvas to prevent the three count. Enziguri by Sin Cara on Sandow. Rey kicked Sandow off the apron. Cody snuck up and drilled the CrossRhodes to take his team to the match against Team Hell No! on Sunday.
Your Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars
Grade: A- (92%)
Kane and Daniel Bryan came on the Tron and told Cody and Damian he wanted to show them a little magic. He hid Daniel behind him and then set off the corner post pyros.
Zack Ryder Touted about being in Egypt. Michael Cole ran a series of pictures about the event.
Kofi Kingston vs Michael McGillicutty
Miz sat at the announce table to watch the match. Cole sent it to a video package of the brutal kick to Miz’s face, last Monday. They then showed Kofi’s win of the Intercontinental championship on Main Event. Miz didn’t think Cole was funny when he mentioned Miz should have stayed on the mic.
Michael with wild punches and kicks to start the match. High Angle Dropkick by Michael. Snap Back Suplex by Michael. Michael is a third-generation star. His dad was Mr. Perfect and his grandpa was Larry “The Ax” Hennig. Kneelift by Michael. Corner attack by Michael into a Side Backbreaker for a two count. Rear Chin Lock by Michael. Kofi started to fight out as Miz talked about speaking Arabic, in Egypt. Kofi with a Float Over into Trouble in Paradise. Wow. That came out of nowhere.
Your Winner: Kofi Kingston
Grade: B (84%)
Cole and JR looked back at the announcement of Ryback as the opponent for C.M. Punk at Hell in a Cell. John Cena took himself out, so Ryback will get to feed.
The New York Giants were introduced. They had a cool NY Giants version of the WWE title. John Cena came out to a very mixed reaction. Cole pushed Susan G. Komen, a fantastic charity that does a lot of good work. Cena did a shout out to the Giants. Cena mentioned that Wrestlemania would be next door, next year. He then started pushing Hell in a Cell. Cena said the WWE Universe will learn that C.M. Punk…long pause…tells the truth. Cena talked about Punk’s 337 days as champ. Cena said Punk has been a visionary, but his vision has changed. Cena said there would be change on Sunday. Cena said the Change was 6’3″ and 292 pounds of “Feed Me More!” Cena said Ryback stands only for destruction. Cena said the Face of WWE would change on Sunday.
Enter C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman. Punk and Heyman stood for a long time on the ramp. Punk said he wasn’t surprised that Cena pushed the football guys. Punk said he was a fan of the San Francisco Giants, not the New York ones. Punk claimed he was the best in the world. Punk said Cena could promise destruction and change but it didn’t mean a thing. Punk promised that he would walk out of Hell in a Cell as the WWE Champ. Punk said Cena was now acting as Ryback’s cheerleader because Cena knew he couldn’t beat Punk. Cena said he wasn’t allowed to face Punk until he was medically cleared and the PPV match was already set. Cena did want to mess up Punk’s face, right away. Cena was ready to dish out a pre-*ss whipping. Punk was ready to fight. Heyman tried to talk Punk out of it. Heyman freaked out at the idea of Punk getting in the ring. He sounded like Vickie Guerrero with the screeching. Punk thought about it and jumped down from the apron and strolled up the ramp.
Michael Cole talked about A.J. Lee’s meeting with the Board of Directors. Lee would talk about it, a little later on.
Antonio Cesaro vs Justin Gabriel
Cesaro slid out of hte ring and took the house microphone. He blabbered in various languages. It was praise for himself (I kind of understood the Italian). Justin with a Tope Con Hilo to stun Cesaro. Hot Shot by Antonio. Cesaro had torn tendons in his hand. European Uppercut to the back of Justin’s head. Gut Wrench Suplex by Antonio. Wicked Cravat to Justin’s neck. Justin rolled under to get to his feet. Scoop Drop onto the top turnbuckle by Antonio. Field Goal kick by Antonio for a two count. Boring chant broke out as Antonio clamped on the Rear Cravat. Justin was sent to the corner but got both feet up. Cesaro with a wild Backdrop into the corner. Justin started fighting back. Tilt-a-Whirl Cutter by Justin. Justin went for the 450 but Cesaro hit the ropes.
Justin fought out of the Superplex. The two traded fison the top rpes. Justin knocked Cesaro down but Antonio went right back to fighting. Jumping Enziguri by Justin into the 450 Splash!
Your Winner: Justin Gabriel
Grade; A- (92%)
Cesaro had a major hissy fit after losing. Out back, Vince McMahon’s limo pulled up. A.J. Lee was with him. She didn’t look happy. Vince got a decent pop.
Vince and A.J. were in the ring as the show came out of commercial. Vince said the meeting was about A.J.’s tenure as General Manager. Lee took the microphone and said due to allegations of fraternizing with the superstars, she was resigning as G.M.. She said the allegations were completely false but she understood that she could have been fired a long time ago. She said she didn’t fight the request to resign. The crowd popped when she said “Some people like a crazy chick”. Lee said she has come a long way from where she started. She went into talking about her tough background. She went from being homeless to being the boss. She appreciated that he fans accepted her. She thanked the fans for her time as the G.M.. She also thanked Vince for giving her a break that no one else would have given her. Vince hugged Lee.
Paul Heyman then arrived to say that he didn’t know A.J.’s backstory. He then began taking digs at the former G.M.. After the shots, Paul said he knew that a replacement would be needed and he would be willing to step up. Vince said “No!”. He had already decided on a Managing Supervisor…Vickie Guerrero! She came out to take her place as the chief. Paul had the look that most fans did, “Oh Jeez”. A.J. did not look happy at seeing Vickie coming down the aisle.
The crowd were so loud in their booing that it was almost impossible to hear her. She thanked the Board of Directors for this opportunity. Heyman interrupted her and kissed up to her. He asked her to reverse the decision of Punk vs Ryback. Punk was supposed to have the chance to choose his opponent, but Vince took that away. Paul smooched Vickie’s tushie by saying he would have supported Vickie, if he had known she was in the running, he would have never put his name in the hat. Vickie let the match stand. She said she was going to do things bigger than Booker T. She made Champion vs Champion, Punk vs Sheamus. Heyman said she couldn’t do that. “Watch me!” She also made the match “The largest Lumberjack match in the history of Monday Night Raw”. Heyman completely lost his cool and his mind and screamed and raised Hell as he went up the aisle.
Vickie then turned to taunt A.J.. Vickie said she knew A.J. was never a good fit for a role of authority. Vickie said she had the experience to run Monday Night Raw. She knew that she would soon be promoted to General Manager. Vickie accused A.J. of having an affair with one of “The Talent”. She ordered A.J. to go pack up her Barbies and such and leave. A.J. started to go byt turned around. To quote one of my heroes, Joey Styles: “Catfight! Catfight!” A.J. really ripped into Vickie. A.J. nearly ripped Vickie’s top off. Vickie ended up spanking A.J.. Vickie slid out of the ring and told security that A.J. was crazy. A.J. exited the ring and then skipped up the ramp. Yep, gotta love them crazy chicks.
Ryback vs The Miz
Miz didn’t look happy, at all. Shawn Michaels Touted that he would not want to have to face Ryback in Hell in a Cell. “Feed Me More!” rang out. Ryback flipped Miz into the ring. Ryback stomped , in place, and then threw Miz completely out of the ring. Ryback went out to get Miz. Back in the ring, Miz tried for a kick by Ryback got the foot and flipped Miz backwards. Big Boot by Ryback after Miz escaped a Running Powerslam. Ryback slammed Miz’s head, over and over, into the match. Miz dodged the Meathook Clothesline but came off the ropes and hit a Brick Wall. Miz snapped Ryback’s neck off the top rope. Miz flew off the top rope and Ryback caughthim. Spinebutser into the Meathook Clothesline. Shell Shocked!
Your WInner: Ryback
Grade; B- (82%)
Raw looked at the latest stop on the Be A Star Anti-Bully campaign.
Eve was on her phone when Kaitlyn walked up. Eve ended her call, which was about A.J.’s behavior. Eve was so catty. Kaitlyn talked about having someone attack her. Kaitlyn showed the picture taken from Eve’s IPad. The two women started to fight. Layla got between them and it turned into a Triple Cat Fight!
Sheamus was interviewed by Josh Mathews. Sheamus loved his Brawlin’ Buddy. He said not to leave it out in the sun, as it burns very easily. Sheamus was asked his thoughts on fighting C.M. Punk. He looked forward to the anarchy and chaos that their match might well bring. Sheamus wasn’t worried what might happen on Sunday. Big Show came up and punched the doll away. Show told Sheamus to get serious. Show said what just happened tothe doll would happen to Sheamus, on Sunday.
Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler
Vickie was not with Dolph. The two locked up and Daniel worked over Dolph’s left arm. The two traded Arm Bars, back and forth. Go Behind by Daniel. Dolph went into a Cravat. Daniel with a toss. Dolph slid under the ropes. Dolph with measured punches to the head of the tag champ. Daniel started to fight back but Dolph with an Irish Whip. Dolph went for a Roll Up but had to settle for an awesome Dropkick. Rude Awakening Neckbreaker by Dolph. Daniel Floated Over a Suplex and tried to cinch in the Yes/No/Maybe Lock. Daniel da to settle for a nasty variation of the Surfboard, driving both knees into the mat. Dolph kicked out of a Figure Four Leglock.
Dolph with hard punches to the ribs. Daniel with a Small Package that morphed into the Figure Four. Whoooo!’s rang out until Dolph reached the ropes. Daniel started stomping on Dolph. Dolph with a knee to Daniel’s head. Dolph Suplexed Daniel out of the ring. Daniel tweaked his knee on the landing.
Kane’s music and pyro hit and the Big Red Machine strolled from the back. Raw went to break.
Dolph with a Seated Rear Chin Lock. Kane watched from the outside. Daniel punched the ribs to get free. Daniel ran the turnbuckles and then hit a Flying Clothesline. Daniel was still dealing with a hurt knee. Running Dropkick, to the corner, by Daniel Bryan. Daniel with sharp kicks to Dolph’s chest. Daniel ducked the Zig Zag. Dolph avoided the Y/N/M Lock. Daniel went for a Spear but Dolph turned it into a DDT. Dolph popped Daniel in the face. Dolph dived at Daniel and really hit the ring post hard. Dolph grabbed his knee, on the floor.
Daniel with a Tope Suicida to drive Dolph into the ring barrier. JR actually used the Mexican term (I’m really impressed with JR’s encyclodedic knowledge, of late). Daniel threw Dolph in and went to the corner. Dolph rant the ropes and hit a Super X-Factor. Man, that was just evil. 1-2-kick out. Both men were dazed. Dolph punched away and Laced Daniel. Daniel came back with a Crescent Kick to the face. Kane acted as a cheerleader. Daniel tried to get Kane to stop. Super Zig Zag off the ropes by Dolph for the three.
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Grade: A- (93%)
Matt Striker came out and said Vickie was going to put the two tag champs into a “Theraputic Game Show”. Seriously? Kane and Daniel were about to have a meltdown before Matt arrived. That was Vickie’s surprise for the tag champs. It would be the “Newly-Tag Game” and Matt would host it. He was really nervous. Matt said Team Rhodes Scholars would be their opponents in the game show and it would happen, next.
After a look at the resignation of A.J. and promotion of Vickie, which led to a nice catfight, it was time for this stupid waste of time. Rhodes Scholars would not participate. Thank the Heavens. I almost started to like Lanny…err…Damian Sandow. Cody said Team Hell No would get to know Rhodes Scholars, when they took the tag belt. Matt gave the win, by forfeit, to Team Hell No!. Daniel acted all stupid, yelling that he was a winner. Kane then turned his attention to Matt Striker. Matt made tracks. Matt smarted off, at the top of the ramp, saying that he could not wish the tag champs luck. As he backed up, Matt ran into Big Show’s chest. Show pitched Matt across the ramp.
Big Show vs Kane
Kane was already down to his knees as the show returned. Show had tossed Kane outside, during the break. Show talked trash with the crowd. Running Corner Clotheslines by Kane but Show rebounded with a Spear. Show told Daniel to stay back, which Daniel agreed to do. Show with an Elbow Drop. Kane tried to punch and kick back but SHow with Repeated Headbutts. Kane with hard punches but a Scoop Slam by Show slowed Kane to a crawl. Elbow Drop by Show. Another set of Headbutts by Show, in the corner. Show with a Bear Hug. Daniel rallied the crowd.
Kane tried for a Scoop Slam but Show shifted is weight and they crashed down. Show choked Kane on the middle rope. The two started punching each other. Show sent Kane to the ropes but he came back with a DDT. Kane went to the top rope and hit a Kane Klothesline for a two. Kane called for the Chokeslam but Team Rhodes Scholars walked out to stalk Daniel Bryan. Kane got distracted and ended up on the wrong end of a WMD.
Your Winner: Big Show
Grade: C+ (77%)
Damiena nd Cody attacked Daniel. CrossRhodes on Daniel. Both tag team champs were laid out, in the middle of the ring.
Santino tried to comfort A.J.. He said she did a good job as G.M.. John Cena came up and talked to A.J.. He said he would do whatever he could to help her. She said she had done a lot of wrong things but she didn’t have an affair. Cena said he wanted the name of the alleged person. Lee said it was John, himself. Cena looked totally stunned. He said it was a business dinner. A.J. said it was a mess that was created by Vickie Guerrero. Cena hugged A.J. and said he would handle things.
It was time for another Tout and photos from Cairo. I know how great it feels to go to a new country. My trip, to Poland, a few weeks back, was incredible. Jim Ross wanted to ride a camel.
John Cena confronted Vince McMahon about A.J. Lee losing his job over Vickie’s crap. Vince said their was incriminating evidence. Vince said A.J. was already on probation. Vince said Vickie’s thing was most likely just temporary. Vince dismissed Cena and then took off.
Alberto Del Rio vs Zack Ryder
Del Rio quickly went after Zack’s arm. He also kicked the chest. ADR with a Kneelift and Clutch Suplex for two. ADr kicked the arm and got a two count. Arm Twist by ADR. Zack with a Sunset Flip for two. Thrust Kick by ADR. 1-2-no. Rear Chin Lock with Arm Bar. Headbutt by ADR. Zack with Running Clotheslines. ADR with a rush tot he corner but he took Double Knees. ADr dodged the Broski Boot and worked over Zack’s arm, in the ropes. Rolling Cross Armbreaker. Tap out.
Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Grade: B- (81%)
After the match, ADR talked to Zack as if he were Randy Orton. He put the Cross Armbreaker back on Zack as Ricardo Rodriguez screamed ADR’s name.
Vickie had someone cleaning out A.J.’s stuff. John Cena walked in and started to go off on Vickie. He called her a “Back-stabbing Liar”. Cena went off on Vickie for costing A.J. her job. Vickie said A.J. got what she deserved and it was John that cost A.J. her job. Cena walked off, ticked.
Josh Mathews interviewed Dolph Ziggler. Dolph was happy about his win over Daniel Bryan. Dolph thought A.J. was a good egg and didn’t understand why A.J. was booted. Dolph did say that actions bring about reactions. Dolph said it was all John Cena’s fault. He said he thought A.J. had better taste. JR said the accusations didn’t hold water. Michael Cole sent it to a video package about Ryback.
Paul Heyman told C.M. Punk not to let the images get to him. Punk was more irritated that he was having to face Sheamus, in a few minutes. Heyman said Punk would still be WWE Champ, come next Monday.
A whole herd of huge guys strolled out from the locker room. Big Show was bringing up the rear.
C.M. Punk vs Sheamus
Champion vs Champion, Raw’s Largest Lumberjack Match
The bell sounded and the two men circled each other. Sheamus would not go intothe Colalr and Elbow, at first. Go Behind by Punk. Standing Switch by Sheamus into an amateur Takedown. Hammerlock reversal by Punk. They went to the corner. Clean break. Kick by punch by Punk. Sheamus was itched out but the Lumberjacks just backed off. Sheamus with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Punk was sent out and the Lumberjacks attacked and sent him back in. Repeated Kneedrops by Sheamus. Side Headlock Takeover by Sheamus.
Punk powered up to his feet and went to the corner. Shoulder Thrusts by Punk. Punk with a Headbutt to the ribs after sending Sheamus to the ropes. Sheamus with a Shoulder Tackle into a Scoop Slam. Elbow Drop by Sheamus for two. Rear Chin Lock by Sheamus with an Arm Extender. Punk attacked the ribs to get free. La Bandea Clothesline sent Punk into the Lumberjacks. They threw him right back in. Sheamus with the Crossfaces in the ropes but Punk with the Neck Snap. Springboard Flying Clothesline for a two. Sheamus was pitched out and the Lumberjacks assaulted Sheamus and rolled him back in the ring. 1-2-no. Off to commercials, again.
The two men went ot the corner and SHeamus with Elbow Drops and shots to the ribs. During the break, Sheamus ended up striking the post. He was then ambushed by the Lumberjacks. Keylock by Punk. Cole almost got taken out by Big Show when Cole mentioned the 45 second loss. Sheamus was sent to the floor and got beaten down. The Lumberjacks almost went to war. Funk Neckbreaker by Punk. He went to the top rope an nailed an Ax Bomber off the top rope. Punk went back to the top perch to hit another Ax Bomber. Hulk Hogan was so vicious with those, over in Japan. Punk went up for a third time but got blasted as he flew off the ropes. Sheamus with hard punches. Kitchen Sink by Punk into a Crescent Kick to the back.
Scoop Slam by Punk. Punk then went back to the top turnbuckle. Punk teased a Savage Elbow but dropped down and hit a standard Elbow Drop. Another Funk Neckbreaker by Punk for a two count. Rear Chin Lock by Punk. Big Show smiled at the carnage. Sheamus with a series of Celtic Hammers into the Rolling Senton aka Green Bay Plunge. Crossfaces in the ropes by Sheamus. Suplex in by Sheamus for 2. Running Shoulder Thrust but Punk with a Flying Leg Lariat as Sheamus came off the ropes. Sheamus blocked the Elevator Knee and tried for White Noise. Shemus went for the Four Leaf Cloverleaf but Punk with the Elevator Knee into a Short-Arm Clothesline.
Punk went back to the heights but got caught. Shemus just clubbed the heck out of the WWE Champ. Superplex by Sheamus for two. Punk blocked the Irish Curse Backbreaker but Sheamus got out of the GTS. Drop Toe Hold sent Sheamus into the corner. 1-2-not even close. Punk decided to go back to his favorite perch. He missed the Savage Elbow. Irish Curse Backbreaker for two plus. Sheamus tried to lock in the Four Leaf Cloverleaf but Punk kicked out. Low Bridge sent Sheamus to the floor. Sheamus fought back and got back in to nail White Noise. Sheamus signed for the Brogue Kick. Antonio Cesaro, Jindar Mahal got nailed,a s they tried to get in the ring. Big Show got on the apron and Chokeslammed Sheamus.
Your Winner: C. M. Punk
Grade: A (96%)
Ryback came down and the Lumberjacks threw Punk in. Backbreaker and Powerslam by Ryback. Punk hit the floor and got thrown back in. Incredible Powerbomb by Ryback. Punk was thrown in and Ryback with the Gorilla Press Slam, over the top rope, into the Lumberjacks.