Tag Archive: raw

A little late this week due to the Labor Day hangover, but it wasn’t the best episode of RAW this week either as, although we all love CM Punk as much as the next guy, as you’ll see, it was a bit too Punk-centric for my tastes. So here is this week’s Sleeper Hold!

Main Plot Overview: Things kicked off big time on RAW as Punk ambushed Jerry Lawler and kicked him in the back of the head again. Lawler was so hurt, he would not take part in this episode of RAW as Punk continues his rampage looking for respect.

Punk could do no wrong in his hometown of Chicago though until he decided to skimp out on the Champion vs Champion match he had lined up against Sheamus by GM AJ Lee. Punk, claiming to take a personal day (after all, it was Labor Day).

Punk would not completely leave the arena since his Night of Champions opponent John Cena was still to be in action though and when Cena’s Falls Count Anywhere match with Alberto Del Rio went to the back room, Punk intervened and hit a GTS on Cena on the hood of a parked car. This gave Del Rio the win and we also then saw our Shocker of the Night shortly afterward.

Match of the Night:  There wasn’t much going on this night in wrestling aside from CM Punk stealing the whole show, but one other rivalry that’s brewing is Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton and talk about putting on a show. These two guys are both some of the most technically sound wrestlers on the RAW roster and with each one hitting great spots, this match was a joy to watch. Although it ended on a classic heel move when Ziggler grabbed Orton’s tights, everything up to that point was terrifically tight and a shoe in for Match of the Night.

Promo of the Night: Just in order to break up the CM Punk love, we’re giving the Promo of the Night to the Kane/Daniel Bryan anger management sketches. They’ve been hysterical watching Bryan and Kane work out not only their personal issues with each other, but in general. Kane, of course, is angry because he’s the Devil’s Favorite Demon, his real dad being Paul Bearer, etc. And Daniel Bryan is just being angry at the WWE Universe. They also set up the hysterical ‘Hug It Out’ option, which the WWE voted for, but devolved into Kane wreaking havoc as always.

Shocker of the Night: Although it came in the final 15 seconds of the show, this was easily the most exciting moment of the night. After knocking out John Cena and helping Alberto Del Rio pick up a win, CM Punk got into a car and started driving away. But before pulling all the way away, the driver rolled down his window, and Paul Heyman stuck his head out. What this means for the WWE Champion and John Cena’s match at Night of Champions, we will have to wait and see until next Monday, but at least we have something to look forward to now.

Cheap Pop of the Night: Easily the Cheap Pop of the Night came during everytime CM Punk opened his mouth as he related everything to his Second City home of Chicago. Even when he stormed out of the arena, he expected his hometown crowd to understand as he related it to them taking the day off for Labor Day. So all night long, CM Punk’s lovefest with Chicago takes the Cheap Pop of the Night.

CM Punk’s quest for respect continued along with much more as RAW rolled into Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this week!

Main Plot Overview: After being kicked in the head by Punk the previous week on RAW, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler was the one searching for an apology. But instead, CM Punk only apologized for Lawler being what he considered a low standard for the WWE Hall of Fame. A man who never won the WWE Championship and never had a Wrestlemania moment. A man who Punk considers to act far too juvenile for his position in the WWE Universe and for that, Punk apologized. Seeing how furious that made Lawler, Punk challenged The King to a match that would Main Event the evening and with the WWE Universe voting on the stipulation of it being a cage match (tables and No DQ were also options).

To no one’s surprise, Punk demolished Lawler. But Punk was not done after making him tap to the Anaconda Vice. No, Punk locked himself and Lawler inside the cage and continued to pummel the Hall of Famer, demanding he call him the best in the world. As Lawler refused, Punk continued to drop elbows and knees into Lawler’s cranium until finally John Cena, the now official number one contender after AJ Lee decided for CM Punk before his Main Event match, came running down and yelled at the crew to lift the cage. When it did, Cena rolled in, chased Punk out, and RAW faded to black.

Match of the Night:  Although John Cena wasn’t part of the Main Event match of the evening, he was in our best match of the night against The Miz in a non-title match. Just because the two needed some work I guess.

The lack of storyline aside, if you were looking for some solid in-ring action last night, this was the match to watch as the two wrestlers showed that they had worked in the ring several times before. Each hit very solid spots including reversing each other’s finishers into DDTs and other high impact maneuvers. It would finally be Cena though (of course), who would channel the power of his jorts and go SuperCena on Miz, hit his Five Knuckle Shuffle, and hoist Miz over his head and hit an Attitude Adjustment to end the match by getting the 1, 2, 3.

Promo of the Night:  It was very tempting to put Punk’s belittling of Jerry Lawler as the top promo once again, but instead, as scripted as it may have been, I think there was a few heartfelt moments there, and so HHH’s seeming goodbye to the WWE Universe, was my Promo of the Night.

With lines like ‘Thank you for letting me play the game’ and how hard a pill it is for any wrestler to finally decide to call it quits, I think HHH’s speech gave some interesting insight actually to the inside of a wrestler’s mind before he hears his music, steps through a curtain, and runs down that steel ramp all with the idea of entertaining people in mind. It was a nice moment, and for that, we thank you again HHH.

Shocker of the Night:  This was a difficult call as there really wasn’t anything shocking about last night’s RAW, so this week we’re looking at something that was just a bit more out of character.

A very solid tag match between the team of Randy Orton and Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio and Dolph Ziggler would be won by Orton and Sheamus as for once Orton worked as a solid teammate and helped Sheamus in his time of need.

As chaos ensued outside the ring between the ref and Alberto Del Rio, Ziggler, looking to take advantage of the distraction grabbed his Money in the Bank briefcase and looked to strike Sheamus down with it. In an unusual twist of character though, Orton jumped into the ring and wrestled the briefcase from Ziggler and then performed a signature backbreaker on the Show-Off. This set Sheamus up to hit a brilliant Brogue Kick and the two faces walked away victorious. Not the most shocking of moments, but definitely out of character for the typically loner-type that is Randy Orton.

Cheap Pop of the Night:  Last year, when R-Truth made his way to Wisconsin, he was definitely not in his right mind (well, even less so than he currently is) and even the likes of Michael Cole immediately got on his case when he confused Milwaukee and Green Bay. This led to a chorus of boos the likes of which has rarely been seen for even the most despised of heels.

But, looking to turn a positive into a negative, this time around R-Truth blamed the mishap on Little Jimmy pranking him last year. So when he grabbed the microphone and announced to Little Jimmy that he wouldn’t be fooled again and was well aware that he was in Milwaukee, there could have been no other moment that we picked as our Cheap Pop of the Night. Especially as the ensuing ‘Yes’ chant led to a count out win for Truth after Daniel Bryan went berserk and started arguing with the crowd again.

After an eventful Summerslam PPV, the WWE found itself in Fresno, CA, the site of RAW episode number 1004, to witness the fallout of the biggest event of the summer.

Main Plot Overview: CM Punk continued his quest for respect last night and in the process earned the right from GM AJ Lee to name his number one contender for Night of Champions and to the delight of the WWE Universe, Punk wanted to name John Cena, but one condition. And that was that John had to admit CM Punk was the best wrestler in the world.

When John refused though, after a long tirade about how important it is to always believe in yourself and that no matter how many times you fall down you need to get back up, and a bunch of other trivial self-help garbage, the title picture remained muddied. CM Punk, still looking for that respect, then demanded Jerry Lawler, the man who said Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe, offer him an apology and say the same thing. Although Lawler did apologize, he refused as well to say that Punk was best in the world, and thus got what he deserved. A kick upside the head by Punk.

It’ll be interesting to see how this long, drawn out story goes and why the WWE feels the need to insert Lawler into this shenanigans (now dubbed Minister or Propaganda by Punk), but as long as CM Punk remains champion, as he has now for nine months and counting, things will definitely remain interesting.

Match of the Night: Quite honestly, as is typical of RAW as it shakes off the post-PPV hangover, many of the matches were very one-sided, not clear-cut, or just plain not interesting. There were a couple of contenders for the Match of the Night though.

The Divas #1 Contendership Battle Royale just because of all the ladies being in the ring at once. Randy Orton vs Alberto Del Rio was actually very enjoyable for the most part until the ending. But the match that stood out above all others was the Dolph Ziggler vs Chris Jericho rematch of Summerslam, with the stipulation that if Ziggler lost, he’d lost his MITB briefcase, and if Jericho lost, he’d lose his job.

This match had the great pacing and top-notch technical acumen that we saw the night before during the PPV, but this time there was actually something of worth on the line (even though if you follow Jericho at all, you knew he was going to lose because he’s about to start touring with Fozzy, his band, once again). The match started off with Ziggler coming out of the gates on fire, not wanting at all to relinquish his briefcase, but Jericho started hitting a few great spots including both an axe handle smash and missile drop kick off the top rope. When he would go for his patented lionsault though, things would go awry as Ziggler countered with a pair of knees to the gut, followed by his Zig Zag to end it. Great pacing and tight wrestling all around made this an easy pick for Match of the Night.

Promo of the Night: This was an easy one as RAW kicked off with none other that Mr. Paul Heyman and his client Brock Lesnar. The pair were coming down to the ring to obviously gloat after their huge win over HHH at Summerslam where Brock ‘broke’ HHH’s arm and made one the WWE’s most resilient fighters tapout.

But not only did they gloat, but Heyman, in classic feel fashion, deemed Brock the new ‘King of Kings’ and therefore the entire WWE Universe must bow down now to Brock Lesnar. The pure intensity on Heyman’s face, while Brock danced around in one spot like he always does like he’s about to hit someone, as he made this proclamation was absolutely a joy to watch and I recommend you check out the video of it over at wwe.com if you can find it.

The best part of the whole promo though may have been when they called Scott Armstrong down to the ring and Heyman told the referee to hurry up because it was live TV (of course, he may have been taking his time because they wanted to make sure they could fill three hours again), and then Lesnar got right in the referee’s face, who was told by HHH to let the two fight, and Lesnar said ‘Good job’. Armstrong then ran away before he wet himself. Absolutely brilliant way to kick the show off.

Shocker of the Night: The Shocker of the Night didn’t come in a promo or a match announcement, it came in an actual match when AJ decided it best for Kane to tag with Zack Ryder against Daniel Bryan and The Miz. This comes just a few months after Zack Ryder’s big push and feud against Kane where Kane literally push Ryder off the stage in a wheelchair and tried to do…things…with his girlfriend of the time, Eve.

Just as shockingly though was the two seemed to be working well together until Daniel Bryan, the latest target of Kane’s wrath, entered the ring against the Big Red Monster and Kane was ready to get revenge for his upset loss at Summerslam. Daniel Bryan would have no part of it though and ran straight out of the ring, through the crowd, and out of the arena, resulting in a countout win for Kane and Ryder.

Luckily, things resumed some sort of normalcy when in his rage at having lost Daniel Bryan a second time, Kane took his rage out on Ryder, delivering a Tombstone Piledriver that was originally intended for Daniel Bryan the night before.

Cheap Pop of the Night: During the Cena tirade about how important it is for someone to believe in him/herself, he kept dropping little facts about Fresno, CA, from their location to their football team and had the crowd eating out of his hand. Considering how polarizing John is typically amongst WWE fans, this was a rare moment where it seemed he had 100% of the folks in attendance behind him, even if he had to kiss their butts to do so. Therefore, it was with ease to name John Cena’s little self-help speech about Fresno the Cheap Pop of the Night.

The 25th anniversary of Summerslam is right around the corner and with the card only half-booked, it would be interesting to see how storylines continued to develop before heading into one of the most anticipated PPVs of the year.

Note: Due to EGM’s presence at Gamescom next week, there will be no Sleeper Hold until the week following Summerslam.

Main Plot Overview: CM Punk is tired of being disrespected and confronts AJ at the top of RAW to demand that the main event at Summerslam no longer be a triple-threat match as he can lose the belt without even being pinned or submitting. AJ does not care though, looking fantastic in an all-white power suit (have I mentioned before on this how much I love her?) and continues to supposedly disrespect Punk by making the main event of RAW John Cena vs Daniel Bryan in a warm up match for the two before Summerslam (the Big Show and Randy Orton were also in action). Punk demanded a match though and so AJ said it wasn’t up to her, but the WWE Universe as they got to vote to see if Punk would face Kane, Rey Mysterio, or The Miz (the two not picked faced off later that night, in this case being Kane and Miz).

Later in the evening, after the brilliant main event match (more on that in a bit) Punk would continue his gradual heel turn as after Big Show again stormed the ring and John Cena went for an AA, Punk pushed the two of them again. Punk then talked about how he felt he was being walked all over and that part of the reason is his fault, as Cena pointed out in an earlier promo, and so it was no more Mr. Nice Guy from CM Punk. The show then ended with Punk looking to do more damage to the two men in the ring, but Big Show popped up and knocked out both Cena and Punk with a pair of WMD punches, which basically is just to instill doubt in people’s minds that Punk may not walk out of LA the champ.

Match of the Night: I was pleasantly surprised that the best match of the night was actually the main event. Nothing else was particularly special, although the CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio and Christian vs Alberto Del Rio matches had some very good moments.

Yes, amazingly, the John Cena vs Daniel Bryan match was the match most worth watching last night as Bryan carried Cena with a match that saw several finishers countered into submission maneuvers, submission maneuvers countered into finishers, high flying moves off the ring apron, and Daniel Bryan’s continued descent into madness as he tore up ‘YES!’ signs in the crowd and even got into shouting matches with some of the more vocal members of the WWE Universe.

No surprise that Cena was put over in this match with Summerslam less than two weeks away and him in the WWE title match, but Daniel Bryan continued to impress with his in-ring skills, including a flying headbutt clear across the entirety of the ring, Sure, Cena hit his few patented maneuvers, but see Daniel Bryan work with him though the match was a thing of beauty and it actually made so you couldn’t look away as you didn’t know what was going to happen next.

Promo of the Night: Although it was the shortest promo of the night, when CM Punk knocked over Cena and Big Show and grabbed the microphone after Cena’s main event match, the venom he spewed for the next minute solid was spectacular. With shades of the anger he exhibited when he dropped his infamous pipe bomb last year, Punk’s monologue called out everyone around him, including Jerry Lawler, and talked about how important the WWE Championship really is and that the WWE Universe did not truly understand what went with carrying that belt around.

The promo was also critical as it took another step towards Punk’s heel turn, even though much of the crowd still agrees with Punk and so he is in the murky ‘anti-heel’ phase now where he may be mad all the time and he might take some cheap shots (although he legitimately beat Mysterio earlier in the evening), he makes good points and is still one of the best wrestlers in the WWE, making a strong portion of the fan base able to forgive some of the things he says and does. And for that single minute there, backed up by the pure rage that Punk holds at bay, many of us hoped Punk wouldn’t stop talking and RAW would end on another of his rants.

Shocker of the Night: This was a difficult one in that there wasn’t really much to be shocked by over the course of the night. But if we had to choose something, it would probably be a couple of things in the CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio match. The big shocker here was that Rey Mysterio hit his patented 619, but since the WWE didn’t want the champ to look weak against a random opponent, and so Punk could keep yelling ‘Best in the World!’, Mysterio supposedly got greedy and Punk countered Mysterio’s high-flying maneuver follow-up to the 619 and was able to capitalize for the win.

Also just as shocking was that Mysterio looked like he was dressed up as The Riddler from Batman Forever as he was wearing all white with a big green question mark in the middle of his chest. And I thought I was a big comic book fan.

Cheap Pop of the Night: Alberto Del Rio made the mistake earlier in the evening of calling AJ ‘crazy’ and in doing so prompted her fury, putting Del Rio in a match against Christian, that also could have been a Match of the Night contender had it not ended cheaply with a distraction by Ricardo Rodriguez. After the match was over though, with Del Rio victorious, he was shocked to see Sheamus on the Titantron, with Del Rio’s keys to his custom Ferrari. Sheamus then proceeded to talk about how he was going to see how San Antonio (the location of last night’s RAW) treated him and in doing so got thunderous applause from the crowd.

It was humorous to see Sheamus TOUTing his escapades the entire evening throughout San Antonio, continuing the cheap pops, but the best part of the night was when he brought back a filthy Ferrari that Ricardo then had to clean up. But for this blatant imagery and constant mentioning of San Antonio, Sheamus gets our Cheap Pop of the Night.

Originally Published: November 11, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

I reviewed WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 for the Xbox 360 from THQ as a part of CGR Undertow.