With a controversial ending to a mostly average pay per view now behind them, WWE now has 20 days do figure out how they are going to follow up the Atlanta screwjob. Not only that, but this week’s Raw is already supposed to feature Vickie Guerrero proving that John Cena and AJ are doing more than just going to In-N-Out Burger.
We open up with an injured CM Punk bragging about how he “beat” Ryback at Hell in a Cell. This includes pointing out individuals in the crowd and calling them wrong. He went into his victories over Mysterio, Orton and Cena, proving how he has always proven people wrong. He says he had nothing to do with Brad Maddox (last night’s referee) interfering in the match, and all he did was take advantage. This is the same official that cost Punk a match on Raw when Punk had his foot on the rope. He says Ryback is behind him and that there will not be a rematch. This brings out Mick Foley, who Punk refers to as a homeless man misplaced by the northeast storms. Foley says Punk embarrassed himself at Hell in a Cell and disrespected the legacy of the match. Punk proposes that he and Foley have a traditional Survivor Series match and immediately Foley agrees. Right after that, Ryback’s music hits and Punk goes running. Looks like he’ll be on team Foley.
Ryback is out for the first match of the night against JTG. Ryback performs all 6 of his moves and that’s the match. Poor JTG. After the match, Josh Matthews interviews Ryback. He says something about revenge being a result of pain, and he feels no pain, only hunger, and he wants to eat CM Punk. That’s what I got from it anyway.
Remember the feud Randy Orton had with Wade Barrett before they both got hurt? They had a pretty good thing going. Anyway now they are in a midcard match. Barrett, who didn’t appear at HIAC, goes after Orton’s left arm that he injured at HIAC. Advantage Barrett. Orton doesn’t really sell it though and he provides most of the offense at the start of the match. Barrett goes back to the arm though and slows the pace. Barrett’s turning the move where he props his opponent on the second ropes and kicks him in the face into one of his signature moves. I like it. Super Orton shows up however and hits his usual set of moves on Wade. Barrett reverses the RKO into a sideslam however for a two count. Orton dodges Barrett’s elbow finisher however and lands the RKO to get the win. Solid all around mid card match. Maybe this rivalry will become a thing again.
Backstage Vickie Guerrero is telling AJ that she is in charge of determining whether or not AJ returns as a wrestler or not. AJ agrees to comply with Vickie. Vickie in return calls her crazy to try and provoke AJ, and Vickie says she wants AJ to give her one good reason why she should hire her back later in the show. I’m already bored with this.
Team Hell No out next to take on the Prime Time Players and hopefully regain my interest. PPT has special pink tights with ribbons all over the place. They really hate cancer. Let me know when Cena starts wearing pink jean shorts (Cena would later present a check for 1 million dollars to the Susan G Komen foundation from the WWE so I guess that’ll shut me up). Along with kicks to the head, I’m seeing a lot of people pulling up on people’s noses lately in the ring. Barrett did it to Orton, and now Young does it to Bryan. This match has been Kane providing all the offense while Bryan give PPT a chance to come back. Kane chokeslams Young, throws O’Neil out of the ring, and Bryan tags himself in to apply the NO Lock on Young for the submission win. Once again, Kane is not happy with the result and they argue. Nothing we haven’t seen a million times before since this angle started.
Vickie Guerrero is now out to show her evidence of the John Cena/AJ affair. She calls out Cena first, who says he’s just there to prove this is nonsense. So Vickie goes into her evidence. Vickie leads off with Cena asking AJ out on a date in the ring. Cena says it was a joke and mentions all the other bad jokes he’s made in the ring. Next, Vickie shows Cena consoling AJ last week after she got fired. The next shot is of Cena and AJ’s “romantic” dinner, in which Cena is still wearing his ring shirt. Still not enough to sway Cena, Vickie shows video of AJ following Cena into an elevator. To chants of “you are busted,” Cena says he knows how it looks but it was just two people getting into an elevator, and he only walked AJ to her door. Vickie pushes Cena, talks trash about AJ which starts to piss off Cena, and eventually Dolph Ziggler comes out to talk more trash. Cena then grabs Ziggler and says not to ever mention him and AJ in the same sentence again. (OOOOOOOOOOOOH)
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston up next to face United States Champion Antonio Cesaro while the Miz looks on from the announce table. Kofi takes charge early and starts yelling at Miz. Kofi then throws Cesaro into the Miz, which leads Miz into attacking Kofi. Cesaro jumps in to double team Kinsgston until R-Truth comes down the ramp to help his tag team partner out. I guess we can expect Truth and Kofi to go against Miz and Cesaro at some point. Part of a Survivor Series match?
Backstage, Vickie is telling AJ that if she just admits to having an affair with Cena that she’ll give her a WWE contract. AJ still refuses, saying that it’s not worth shredding her dignity. Vickie hires AJ, but under the condition that she never lays a hand on her again. Her first match will be against Beth Phoenix, and AJ is back to being in the ring!
On to an edited segment of a “behind the music” for the Three Man Band. Jinder Mahal says he’s the fun one. Best part of the whole clip. Worst part is anything involving Drew McIntyre. Thankfully he sits out for their match up against Santino and Zack Ryder. They are really trying to build 3MB as somewhat of a threat. They are using a lot of fast tags and have control for most of the match. That it until Santino comes in on a hot tag (yeah, that’s what I said) and cleans house. Santino goes for the cobra but hits Drew McIntyre instead, giving Slater the opportunity to take out Santino and get the pin.
WWE just threw out some great news about Jerry Lawler. He will be returning to the ring in two weeks. That’s pretty unbelievable news all things considered.
Next is AJ’s return to the ring against Beth Phoenix. I think AJ is pretty decent in the ring but it’s been so long that I’m not sure. Beth keeps pushing AJ and calling her a failure until AJ snaps and takes Beth down. Phoenix then starts overpowering AJ and there is finally an actual match. AJ gets smacked around a bit, then awkwardly applies an inside cradle to get a surprise win despite the longest three count possible. Vickie comes out and distracts AJ, giving Beth Phoenix the opportunity to attack her from behind. Vickie then demands that the match be restarted. Phoenix hits the glam slam and wins immediately. Backstage, Vickie fired Beth Phoenix because she couldn’t beat AJ the first time. Hadn’t seen her in a while anyway. I think we’ll manage without her.
For some reason Sheamus is in the ring now to address the crowd coming off losing the Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell. He admitted that Big Show was the better man, and that he had the greatest fight of his life (possibly true). He wants a rematch and says that it will be a war. Big Show comes out and says that Sheamus knows he gave Big Show everything he had and lost anyway. He says the match showed Big Show that he has no limits. He calls Sheamus a red headed ginger snap and tells him he can’t beat him and will never take the championship from him. Sheamus asks Show if he ever actually saw a ginger snap, and proceeds to give him White Noise (see what he did there?). So I guess that rematch will happen at Survivor Series.
The next match puts the Rhodes Scholars against Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Mysterio has a whole Halloween skull thing going with his gear tonight (think cobra kai) and has a really nice sequence with Rhodes to start the match. Sin Cara and Mysterio then springboard off the top rope on different sides of the ring to take out Rhodes and Sandow respectively (make sense? good). Coming back from commercial the Rhodes Scholars took control of the match, and as always Sin Cara is taking all the bumps while Mysterio waits for the hot tag. I wonder if we’ll get a double 619. Sin Cara finds an opening, tags in Mysterio and starts to do his thing, only this time Sandow hits Rey by the rope as he was going for a springboard move (you’re welcome!). So now it’s Mysterio being isolated while Sin Cara watches idly. Rhodes and Sandow go for a double suplex but Mysterio reverses to DDT both men instead. Now it’s Sin Cara getting the hot tag. Sin Cara sets Sandow up for a top rope finisher but Rhodes pulls Sandow away at the last minute, causing Sin Cara to miss and giving Damien the opportunity to finish him off and secure the win. Cartwheels!
On to Alberto Del Rio versus Justin Gabriel. The most notable thing I’ve seen so far is Ricardo arguing with fans ringside in the background. The match is all Del Rio until Gabriel hits a springboard moonsault. The momentum is short lived however as Del Rio hits the insiguri and applies the armbreaker for the win.
I thought we would have to wait longer to find out who would be on team Punk and team Foley, but apparently they are doing it now. I’m going to guess team Foley will be Foley, Cena, Ryback and maybe Triple H? Team Punk will consist of Punk, Ziggler and how about Brock Lesnar? Well the first member of team Punk is the Miz, who left one fan completely hanging coming down the ramp. He is joined by the Rhodes Scholars and Alberto Del Rio. So I couldn’t be more wrong. I guess you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Punk references winning the WWE Championship at Survivor Series one year ago against Del Rio (and says “no offense” to him) and calls this a celebration of his run. Foley comes out to announce his team. So based on Punk’s team you can guess Foley’s. Foley opted to manage his team from outside the ring, with Kofi Kingston, team Hell No (which won’t work in Foley’s favor), Randy Orton and Ryback making up the squad. Ryback heads into the ring and Punk runs out as Team Foley beats up team Punk, ending with Rhodes being subjected to a meathook clothesline and Shellshocked.
So right off the top, Punk will not be defending his title at Survivor Series, meaning he’ll at least make it to TLC as champion and most likely the Royal Rumble where I still see him losing to the Rock. Second, aside from Sandow Punk’s team looks like a bunch of jobbers. It’ll likely be Kane and Bryan costing each other to even the odds. Third, I really hope there is a good amount of Bryan versus Punk, as that will be the best part of the match. Meanwhile it looks like two more matches can be counted on for Survivor Series. There is Sheamus versus Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship, and John Cena versus Dolph Ziggler. Not a bad lineup for a PPV.