Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/10/12 RAW

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Miz & Antonio Cesaro: **

Layla, Kaitlyn, & Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, & Alicia Fox: DUD

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: **1/4

Randy Orton & Jerry Lawler vs. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler: *1/2

Ryback vs. Heath Slater: N/A (squash)

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Titus O'Neil & Darren Young: *1/2

Alberto Del Rio vs. Tyson Kidd: *

Sheamus vs. David Otunga: N/A (squash)

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: **

We're in Montreal, and Bret Hart starts the show. HUGE ovation, well deserved. Even the "Ole ole ole!" chants. Bret was my favorite wrestler when growing up, with Hulk Hogan a close second.

Enter Punk with the pink and black tights. Even the pink and black boots. What if Punk wrestled Bret at Survivor Series 1997? I woulda loved that too. Ha, Punk pulling the whole "I'd jump to WCW" deal if the WWE's Attitude Era never happened. Punk even checks on Lawler on how he's doing. As we'd find out later, how ominous a statement would that be? Great opening segment to get Punk his heel heat.

Who should Punk's opponent be? Lawler, Orton, or Brodus? We'd find out later.

U.S. Title #1 contender battle royal is the preshow match for Night of Champions. Not sure who's in this one, but I'd like Cesaro to really work with someone great, like Christian. Where has he been? Yeah, I've been out of the loop on this one.

Miz and Cesaro faces the tag champs (Kofi and Truth). All four guys have titles here, nice. A good tag match, in my opinion. Trouble in Paradise wins it for the tag champs. Good momentum for the PPV.

So now we have all these legal depositions in this "lawsuit" between Sheamus and Ricardo. Of course, Otunga is representing Ricardo. Sheamus Lipschitz? Now that's a cool name. "If you're Lipschitz, what does your arse do?" LOL. YESYESYES for Daniel Bryan reference. Brogue Kick to the camera. Best deposition ever.

Hey, Beth Phoenix is back! Hope she took all the time she needed to grieve the loss of her loved one (I believe it was a family member?). Six-diva tag match. Note that Layla, Kaitlyn, and Eve are on the same team. Sorta strange bedwomen? Kaitlyn's wearing a singlet here. Unfortunately, I think the guys are only caring about wolf whistling and Alicia can only pull off a northern lights suplex. Eve tags herself in and hits her snap swinging neckbreaker for three. Thank you for the quick finish because the whistling was hurting my damn ears. Vintage Eve enthusiasm post-match!

So who will Punk's opponent be? Lawler's in his gear, ready to go, but Orton wins with 75% of the vote. Sounds good to me! Cole late on noticing that Punk's wearing Bret's colors. Punk, at 296 days, will have the 9th longest WWE Title reign after RAW's over. Cole and Lawler banter on Punk and getting respect. Punk avoids the RKO and tries to walk out, but Orton prevents that. Typical Orton offense at the end. Ziggler interferes for the DQ, but Orton fights DZ off. Powerslam to Punk and then Ziggler gets on Orton. Lawler with the save at the end.

AJ Lee makes a tag match: Orton/Lawler vs. Punk/Ziggler. Ziggler takes a beating, while Punk doesn't care. Heyman comes out and chats with Punk. Vickie's excused. Ziggler eats an RKO and Orton gets three. Any good restaurants on Montreal, Heyman?

AJ Lee asked Dr. Shelby to come to the arena. Uh oh, what's in store for Kane and Daniel Bryan?

But first, Ryback nukes Slater. Too bad, Heath. Woulda been better for you to face Ryder. People loved chanting "Goldberg" here.

Well, Kane and DB are tag partners. How fun! Time to face the Primetime Players. "OUI!" chants tonight! We've gained another language! YES!

****And then unscripted scary stuff happens to Jerry Lawler. Midway through, you notice Lawler's commentary getting softer. Then we don't hear from him again. Cole decreases on the commentary, likely using talkback or otherwise speaking off headset to ask Lawler if he's OK. On some of the camera shots, you can see Lawler bending over in pain. Cole's now obviously not as interested in the match, rightfully so. You can see the fans also turning their attention to the announce table (paramedics start working on Lawler off camera, then take Lawler away so Cole can focus on the match). Cole is likely being told to talk about the match; he can talk about Lawler's situation later.

In the ring, DB refuses to tag Kane in. Kane eventually tags in. Chokeslam to D-Young. Titus sent outside. DB tags himself in. Kane chokeslams DB onto D-Young. OOPS, DB gets the three count! YESYESYES. So now it's DB and Kane facing Kofi and R-Truth on Sunday. Primetime Players get taken out of the title picture again. Having the whole symmetry between Kane and DB take off didn't help Titus and D-Young.

Alberto faces Tyson Kidd. Kidd may be billed from Canada, but there's really not many hometown or home country advantages in WWE. Kidd gets a nice pop for the sharpshooter, but we all knew ADR wasn't tapping. Cross armbreaker quickly afterward so Alberto can have his momentum going into Night of Champions.

Again, Cole's still shocked from what happened to Lawler earlier and is not talking as much. Did some commentary on ADR/Kidd, even less for Otunga and Sheamus. He might also be talking with the guys in the production truck for updates on Lawler's condition and how to address it later (if at all).

Sheamus using Twitter to try get the Brogue Kick reinstated. Very short match here. Sheamus gets Otunga to tap to the Cloverleaf. WWE's trying to get that move over as a new finisher, and I love the use of multiple finishers. Worked well for some people in the past (see Chris Jericho).

Oh, and a Brogue Kick for Otunga. Woohoo, rebelling against the lawyer! Oh wait, does that also put me in danger? I'll sing "Danny Boy" with Sheamus if need be.

Booker tells Sheamus if he uses the Brogue Kick again during the internal investigation, Sheamus will be stripped of the title. Sucks.

Cole's not even commentating now when coming back from commercial.

Now DB and Kane arguing on who should be mentioned first on the tag name. NO TEAM FRIENDSHIP! Progress!

Cole then shown on headset to update us on what happened to Lawler during DB/Kane vs. Primetime Players. He got CPR and now breathing on his own. No further commentary tonight from Cole unless they get another update on Lawler.

Rey and Cody in the last match. A bit weird with no commentary in the match, but still a good one here. Miz with the distraction, Cody hits Cross Rhodes for three. Miz rubbing the IC Title in Rey's face, but Cody nukes Miz with Cross Rhodes. Hmm. Face turn? We'll see.

Update from Cole: Lawler now more responsive, reacting to light. Very encouraging sign. He'll be getting a CAT scan.

Bret interviews Cena to end the show, hoping at least to get fewer boos for Cena. Interesting that he compares Cena/Punk to Bret/HBK from back in the day. Bret calls Punk a "phony little punk." Enter Punk. HAHA, Punk even called Austin a "hillbilly" -- WHAT?! That was awesome. Punk says he's better than HBK, Austin, and Rock.

Cena cuts the golden promo that really highlights the feud. Punk is a man still searching for his identity. Cena cites the differences between Punk and HBK, and even Punk and himself. Cena busts out French, which really got the crowd pumped. He'll kick Punk's ass at NoC. Cena blocks Punk's attempt to punch Bret. Bret then decks Punk with a right. Outstanding.

Cole ends the show by saying Lawler's condition has stabilized. Still getting prepped for the CAT scans.

Obviously a very tough last hour of RAW to watch. Lawler had a bunch of physical activity on tonight's show, from playing the agitated commentator to wrestling in a match. It's certainly stuff we've seen him do before, but it also shows that people are human in the pro wrestling world. The superstars and divas here are all stuntpeople entertaining the fans night in and night out.

There was a Pat Patterson Appreciation Night scheduled for after the show, but that got postponed.

Lawler, who either suffered a stroke or a heart attack (people have said the latter) is also very fortunate that he had his medical emergency in a place with paramedics already on site. Had he suffered this at home, it's not as likely he would still be with us. In fact, one source had Lawler "clinically dead for 20 minutes" before a paramedic restarted his heart with a defibrillator.

Lawler's girlfriend has been contacted and is headed to Montreal to be with him. Lawler will undergo heart surgery later today. Best wishes to Jerry for a full and speedy recovery.

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