It's the night after Night of Champions. Every championship was defended last night. Who were the winners and losers? Be sure to see our recap of that show elsewhere on the site.
The big news came in the WWE Championship match, though. John Cena THOUGHT he won, but both he and CM Punk had their shoulders on the mat, resulting in a double pin. So Punk is still the champion in a controversial finish. Where will these men go from here? Find out as we bring you Raw coverage at the top of the hour.
We get programming intros and go live in the arena with full pyro. Michael Cole tells us we're 24 hours removed from the most controversial main event at Night of Champions. Here comes the WWE Champion, CM Punk - we think. It's Paul Heyman instead to Punk's music. Cole says Heyman is Punk's associate and he was at ringside to watch a controversial title match.
He introduces himself and says that last night he felt like the fans. Last night he got to witness history in an enormous fashion. He got to see CM Punk successfully defend the WWE Championship against John Cena. He admits the match ending is embroiled in controversy and everyone is talking about it. He says in the interest of clarity he has asked Chad Patton to come out and defend the decision to the fans.
Cole calls the decision controversial yet gutsy as Patton comes to the ring. Heyman points to a still photo on the Tron. Heyman recaps what happened; Both men were down and Patton counted three. Heyman says Cena was all over Patton's case about it. Heyman reinforces that Patton made the right decision.
Heyman points out to more evidence to vindicate Patton and says a fan posted video footage on YouTube. Heyman says the video vanished from YouTube at the behest of Cena, but he found it anyhow. Heyman had it, though, and shows the footage.
Heyman says it was clearly a tie and the match goes to the champion. Heyman puts over CM Punk as winning and for the 303rd day he is the champion. Heyman says Punk is worthy of the fans' respect and the fans refuse to give it to him. Heyman goes on but here comes Cena, His entrance package is all pinked out.
Cole talks about how Cena's hope of an 11th title run was smashed with the decision made by the official. Cena tells Heyman to shut up and admits Patton made the right call last night. A "Cena sucks" chant gets going but Cena smiles it off. Cena puts over Patton and says he knows that Patton would show him no favors.
Cena describes the conversation with Patton as being one on the level of "ending the Super Bowl in a tie." Cena puts it to the fans about whether or not they wanted to see the night end in a tie. Cena says that Punk clamors for respect but did he really earn that respect in a tie?
Heyman says that since Cena values his word, he will give it and says "yes." A small "no" chant gets started but dies off quickly. Cena reiterates that Patton made the right call but they need to find out who the winner really is.
Cena offers to do this again right here tonight. He says they have an official and asks for CM Punk to relive Night of Champions. Heyman says we'll hear from CM Punk on that matter - when he gets there. Heyman says that hearing it from him is like hearing it from Punk, however. Heyman says he's the "voice of the voice of the voiceless" and goes to offer an answer when he's cut off by Alberto Del Rio.
Del Rio lays claim to the fact that he didn't have a chance to prepare for Sheamus and complains about the Brogue Kick being reinstated right before the match. He tells Cena he is the one who should be getting a rematch tonight, not Cena.
Cue AJ's music. She skips to the ring and joins the caucus. She says both men deserve second chances. She says she's going to take last night's main events and combine them into a super main event. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio will face Sheamus and John Cena. And that will go a long way to determining if there will be a rematch and who gets it.
Heyman chases after AJ as she skips away, but she's having none of it.
Eh, the fans weren't much into this. It wasn't that it was a bad segment, but it was a bit predictable, I guess, that we'd get the tag match.
They zoom in on Cole as he tells us what happened last week with Jerry Lawler. He explains the gravity of the situation and how EMT's and doctors saved him. Cole feeds it to a Tout from Lawler thanking fans. Cole tells us they will have footage from Lawler touching down in Memphis and next week an interview with King.
JBL gets an introduction to the ring to a nice reaction. Cole puts over JBL's legacy as a wrestler. Jim Ross gets the next introduction to a nice reaction. The three share greetings and settle in to call the night.
Match #1 - Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Epico and Primo (w/Rosa Mendes)
Epico and Primo are in the ring already as Rey and Sin Cara get their introduction. JR says there's no one better to help Sin Cara adapt than Rey. JBL reminds us both guys won CMLL championships.
JR points out that Kane and Daniel Bryan won the tag belts last night and Epico and Primo were looking to get in the hunt. About a minute in, they cut to commercial.
The finish comes when Rey hits a double 619 on the opposition. He hits a seated senton on Primo. Sin Cara hits a Swanton on Epico to get the win.
Afterward, the Prime Time Players attack the celebrating Rey and Cara. They leave them laying, and Titus grabs the mic. He says the #1 Contender position was ripped from them and they say they're going to take what they want from now on.
Good fire from O'Neil and glad to see they dropped the "millions of dollars" bit. He really stepped up. Young, not much to evaluate.
The announcers push the main event and the rematch for the tag championship coming up later. They swing to some talk about the partnership with Komen, pointing out the pink ring rope and logo on the entrance ramp. They show a short video package from a lady struggling with the disease.
Cole hypes up Miz TV and says Booker T will be his guest later on tonight.
Match #2 - Eve (c) vs. Beth Phoenix ; Non Title Match
Layla joins the announce position. JBL mocks her suspicion surrounding Eve, saying he doesn't believe the whole wild conspiracy theories. Layla defends herself and says she took her eye off the ball last night.
Late, Eve slips off Beth's shoulder and rolls her up for the win. Afterward, Eve goes and retrieves her belt and taunts Layla with it. Layla glares at her as Eve walks away.
We get another hype for the main event and they show a commercial for Saturday Morning Slam, which teases an apppearance by CM Punk.
We get a quick recap of the interaction between Brodus Clay and Antonio Cesaro on Smackdown this past Friday.
Match #3 - Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater
Slater is already in the ring, and Brodus gets his full entrance with the dancers. Antonio Cesaro is at the announce position. Cesaro, of course, badmouths Clay throughout the match.
Clay finishes off Slater quickly with a headbutt and the big splash. He and Cesaro exchange words before Clay turns to dancing with the kids.
I wish they'd get Cesaro into a more interesting feud. Nice three-man booth moment: Cole and Ross say how the kids get a moment they'll never forget, but JBL says winning a championship is a memory. Nice heel moment without being over the top.
Miz is walking backstage and his new Miz TV segment is coming up next.
The Miz comes out and asks what you give the Intercontinental Champion that has everything. He says you give him his own talk show. Miz walks to the ring where there's a couple couches and a chair waiting.
Miz welcomes us to Miz TV. He talks about the shows of the past like Piper's Pit, The Cutting Edge and the Highlight Reel. He says Piper, Edge and Jericho were not as charismatic or awesome as Miz is.
Miz introduces Booker T as the man who thought he had him beat by booking him in the Fatal Four Way last night. Miz asks Booker how it feels to have the prestige of being the first guest on Miz TV. Miz doesn't give him a chance to answer though and answers for him.
Miz asks why Booker is against him, and why he banned the Brogue Kick. Miz blames it on Booker missing the spotlight. Booker never answers every time Miz puts the mic to his face. Miz goads him on about his time in the spotlight being over. A "Boring" chant gets going.
Booker eventually pulls the mic from Miz as JBL agrees with the Boring chant. Booker says it's time to introduce a new guest for Miz's show. He says it's a guy who is used to beating multiple challengers. Cue up Ryback's music.
Ryback comes to the ring as Booker leaves. Miz scrambles away and Ryback goes on a destruction spree. He throws the couches out of the ring at Miz. Miz flees to the ramp side as Ryback picks up the second couch and tosses it at him. Miz looks worried as Ryback leads a "feed me more" chant.
Pretty weak for week 1. Miz made a lot of ridiculous claims too but it isn't working. Miz really needs to DO something to prove his controversial nature. He's a good talker but he just doesn't say anything that stands out. It's part of the development he needs to go through to reach that next level.
Cole talks about Lawler again, and points out that JBL and JR have joined him tonight. They replay the Tout from earlier and Cole points out that Lawler got back to Memphis today. JBL and Ross send their greetings and Cole plugs an interview next week.
Punk and Heyman are chatting about something when Josh Mathews interrupts. He asks if he's looking forward to teaming with Del Rio in the main event. Punk says that he's not looking forward to it at all. He calls it a sign of rampant disrespect and asks what he has to do to earn respect around here.
Match #4 - Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)
We get a brief sell for Hell in a Cell as Marella comes to the ring. JR talks about the contract that Dolph still has in his hand. JBL says that Dolph + Vickie is a winning team.
JBL talks about the stats of Dolph Ziggler and asks if Cole is kidding to want to talk about the Cobra. JR says that Ziggler needs to get back on track with a win.
The Cobra gets taken out early on and Dolph calls him a joke. Later, Marella tries to come back and cues up the Cobra but Vickie takes it away on the distraction. Dolph hits his finisher twice and picks up the win.
I'd like to have seen more out of Ziggler tonight than this. Still time, though.
They show the footage again of "I'm the tag team champions" from last night between Kane and Daniel Bryan. The announcers hype up the tag team championship rematch later on.
Match #5 - Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel
Barrett dominates this one, working over the midsection and hitting several punches to the head. The fans chant "we want Nexus!" and Cole acknowledges the history both guys have in the faction.
Gabriel gets some offense in and gets a two count, but Barrett hits a knockout punch to get the win.
I am having a hard time getting behind Barrett as a singles act right now. The fans were flat during it also.
R-Truth is holding a birthday party. Kofi thinks it's for him, but it's not his birthday. It turns into a shill for Subway's birthday, complete with Jared. He gives subs to the former champs, Damien Sandow, and Zack Ryder. Ryback shows up with "feed me more" and takes two.
Overall the segment sucked, but I did laugh at Ryback saying "feed me more."
Elsewhere, Sheamus says there is no better feeling than beating Del Rio at the pay per view last night. Cena seems despondent and distracted. He says he has to justify a rematch so they need to make a statement. Sheamus is happy go lucky, and he talks about going out to the pub to celebrate a lot of different things, including Mexican Independence Day.
Kane and Bryan are each running through different parts of the backstage area saying "I'm the tag team champions."
They show footage of Jerry Lawler landing in Memphis and being welcomed home, including Dr. Michael Sampson, who was the doctor that saved him.
Match #6 - Daniel Bryan and Kane (c) vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston; WWE Tag Team Championship
The champs bicker as always, then Kofi dumps them both to ringside as they go to commercial.
After commercial, Kingston hits a series of strikes on Kane and the fans count along. Kane fights back and teases the chokeslam but Bryan tags himself in. Kane and Bryan bicker about it and shove each other. Kingston tags in R-Truth in the meantime.
Truth works over Bryan until Bryan gets the hot tag to Kane. Kane gets the better of Truth and goes for the chokeslam, but he notices Bryan getting ready for the tag. Kane grabs Bryan instead, which allows Truth to take advantage and hit a DDT but Bryan saves the match up.
A little later Kane hits a chokeslam, and Bryan tags in and locks on the No Lock to get the submission win. After the match, Bryan holds up the belts and proclaims himself the champions. Kane takes the belts and repeats. Bryan mellows and asks for a hug while the fans chant for it (lightly). JBL groans as the two hug to a decent reaction.
The fans were flat during this and the "I'm the tag champs!" thing doesn't seem to be getting legs to it right now. Hard to say if this is a tough crowd or if the act is losing steam.
We get footage from a Be A Star event at a local school. They show Randy Orton walking backstage, and he will face Tensai next.
Match #7 - Randy Orton vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto)
Tensai controls the bulk of the offense early in this one. Orton cusses and gets censored about a minute in after taking a shot from Tensai.
Late in the match, Orton hits the elevated DDT, then goes to his place. He teases the RKO, but Tensai shoves him off and tries to splash him in the corner. Orton ducks away, and hits the RKO for the win. The announcers sell the impact of this win as Orton poses on the ropes.
They move on to sell the main event, coming up next.
Punk and Heyman are conferring when David Otunga and Del Rio approach. Otunga speaks up and he and Heyman engage in a bunch of "on behalf of..." stuff. Punk faces Del Rio and says he looks forward to teaming with Del Rio later. Del Rio says it will be an honor. Punk and Heyman go back to conferring quietly.
Match #8 - Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder
Sandow comes out and tries to educate the fans. He says back to school time is his favorite time and mocks JR's "slobberknocker" phrase. He runs through some vocabulary words but gets interrupted by Zack Ryder. He says he just talked to AJ and they're going to have a match, right now. Ryder enters the ring as we go to commercial.
The match is joined in progress. JBL is melting down on Cole at the announce position about the types of words that Sandow tried to teach us. Sandow is controlling the action at this point but Ryder ducks a charge from Sandow. Ryder rolls Sandow up in a small package for a near fall.
Sandow tries to get a slam but Ryder counters with a double sledge and a face plant. Ryder gets Sandow down and teases the Broski Boot but Sandow escapes. Ryder goes out of the ring after him and throws him back in the ring after a big clothesline.
Sandow starts to take control again but Ryder is able to hit the Broski Boot for a good near fall. Sandow is able to hit his neckbreaker, though, to pick up the clean win.
Not a five-star effort but a good undercard match.
Cole sells the interview with Jerry Lawler next week and the upcoming main event match.
Match #9 - Sheamus (c) and John Cena vs. CM Punk (c,w/Paul Heyman) and Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)
Sheamus comes out first as JBL talks about the controversy of the timing of the announcement that Booker T gave lifting the ban of the Brogue Kick. As Cena comes out, Cole talks about the gear Cena is wearing and shills that it can be gotten on WWEShop.com and at live events. Del Rio gets his full car introduction.
As Punk comes out, Cole gives us a reset of what happened last night at Night of Champions. They show us the still shot of the pinning situation. Punk poses with the title belt over his head before we get started.
The bell sounds and we're underway. Punk and Cena were going to go, but Punk tags out to Del Rio and decides to not face Cena. Del Rio and Cena go at it to start. Cole says that five years ago, Sheamus arrived here and he has made a serious impact.
Sheamus goes to work on Del Rio but gets distracted by a lunging Punk. He turns to address him and he gets hit with the Backstabber from Del Rio. The heels go to work on Sheamus.
Punk tags in and goes to work on Sheamus again, hitting a low drop kick at the knee and locking him in a surfboard submission hold. Punk mocks "wanna be a tough guy?" at him during the hold.
Late in the match the action breaks down. Cena gets the hot tag and runs through his trademark shoulder block/side slam combination. He tells Punk "you can't see me" but Punk tries a kick. Cena turns that into the STF. Alberto Del Rio gets involved and breaks up the submission, but eats a Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
Cena gets to his feet and turns around to deliver the AA to Punk. Punk rolls close to the rope and Cena pins him for the win...problem is, the official didn't see Punk put his foot on the ropes. Sheamus and Cena celebrate their win and leave while Punk and Heyman argue with the official.
The three of them bicker back and forth all the way up the ramp and out of sight as the show ends.
So, what I see is they brought up a rookie referee (said to be Brad Maddox of FCW) to be the fall guy here and blame it on a rookie mistake that he didn't see Punk's foot on the ropes. I am betting this leads to another road block for the obvious CM Punk/Cena Hell in a Cell match in October. There's a lot of time to get there...almost a month, so I am not going to get too excited over it.
I loved hearing JR and JBL tonight and for once the three-man booth worked. Very nice. I thought Cole was a bit over the top giddy about King's recovery, but given the gravity of the situation, I'll give it a pass. The show itself, however, was a drag to me. Felt like a real chore to watch tonight and felt like a letdown after such a great pay-per-view effort.
I will have more to say on this show tomorrow evening in Raw Afterthoughts. Be sure to check that out and join us next Monday for more Raw coverage. Thanks for watching along tonight.