As the 2012 calendar moves on to the October page, there have been some changes in the WWE, but it’s mostly stood the same.
Sheamus has held the World Heavyweight Championship for seven months now. He has overcame many challengers, well, mostly Alberto Del Rio.
Don’t fret, though- The Big Show appears to be his newest challenger.
Dolph Ziggler holds the Money in the Bank briefcase and we can assume he will cash in on Sheamus some point soon.
However, while on the subject of champions, it would be downright scandalous to not mention CM Punk and how long he has held the WWE Championship.
Punk’s title reign (316 days as of October 1st) started back in November when he defeated Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden.
Since then, he has defeated the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, The Big Show and Chris Jericho.
Ever since Raw 1000 when he was “disrespected” by The Rock and Jerry “The King” Lawler, Punk has been on a mission to get the “respect” he believes he deserves.
In that process, he has also aligned with the always-shady Paul Heyman and has gone back to his days as a full-fledged heel and has gained heat not seen since he was leader of The New neXXus.
Punk has owned Raw as of late and this week, it was more Punk/Heyman domination.
- The opening segment featured the likes of CM Punk, Paul Heyman, A.J. Lee, Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero, Daniel Bryan and Kane. That’s a lot to digest. Fortunately though, the entertainment factor was incredibly high as all four men bragged their accomplishments to one another. It also effectively set up the night’s tag team main event.
- #1 Contender’s Tag Team Tournament- Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara def. Primo/Epico (w/Rosa): Finally some emphasis put on the Tag Team Division. Much, much needed. The Luchadors sported new masks (Mys-Cara or Sin-Sterio?) and that was a nice touch. Highly competitive and it showed in the ring. The Prime Time Players seated on stage also helped make this match feel important. Mysterio and Sin Cara are a hot unit right now and rightfully deserved the win.
- Antonio Cesaro def. Brodus Clay: Cesaro’s quest for “appreciation” screams a little too much like “CM Punk” but you have to give it to Creative for at least trying. The Gotch-Style Neutralizer by Cesaro on Clay was utterly impressive. It appears the once-upon-a-time squasher has now become the squashed.
- A.J. looked like a babyface in the opening segment in the ring but backstage with Kaitlyn, she looked heelish. She should be an act for the fans to get behind and her Vickie Guerrero-like laughter didn’t exactly help to accomplish that.
- The Miz def. Zack Ryder: The Miz has plenty of momentum at the moment and looked good against Ryder. Ryder also put in a good effort, but just like most matches he competes in, almost doesn’t count.
- Can we please leave the debates to just the Presidential candidates? Big Show was on to something when he said this debate was ridiculous. This showed Sheamus at his worst. He can talk a good game but only when he’s serious. After all, Sheamus is a “fighting champion.” Let’s keep it that way.
- Ryback def. Tensai: These two went at it like burly High School Linebackers. It was hard to save that finisher botch and the crowd noticed, but everybody chanted “Feed me more” after the bell so mission accomplished.
- Eve def. Beth Phoenix: Everything in the Divas Division has been Eve and it was no different here. Her true colors will show eventually, but this wasn’t the night for that.
- It’s still hard to picture Wade Barrett not as the leader of a faction. It’s going to take more than facial hair and a “Barrett Barrage” T-shirt to do this.
- Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) def. Santino Marella: The One Man Band has a few backing members now. This group doesn’t quite have its own identity and just comes off as Job Squad 2012. The beatdown on Santino was somewhat effective, but what’s next for these guys?
- Sheamus def. Damien Sandow (w/Cody Rhodes): This is what Sheamus does best. Sandow looked good in defeat, as the Broadcast team put over his in-ring abilities.
- CM Punk and Jim Ross shared an incredible exchange, might have even topped last week with Mick Foley. Ultimately, Ryback came to Ross’ rescue, but Punk wanted none of him. Ryback and Punk probably doesn’t scream “wrestling clinic” on paper, but it has been executed well on television.
- Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Kofi Kingston: Del Rio did his thing in the ring and Rodriguez was comical on commentary as he cheered on Del Rio. Nothing much else here.
- A.J. throws her “coach” out of the arena to no surprise. Her character is best known for her tendency to be “unstable” but once again, not quite sure it works here.
- Kane/Daniel Bryan def. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman)/Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): Good main event match. Kane and Daniel Bryan are over as a team and A.J. is in the middle of all conlicts.
Final Thoughts: Overall, a decent show. “Hell in a Cell” is still distant enough where the card isn’t a concern. The tag team tournament and the antics of CM Punk/Paul Heyman mixed with Team Hell No, A.J. Lee and the more rapid push of Ryback provided just enough to satisfy everybody.