WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Oct. 22, 2012) from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, featuring the go home show to the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Atlanta.
That's right, folks, we're under one week away from the most highly anticipated match in years, CM Punk vs. THE RYBACK!
They've been working the house show circuit and getting comfortable with each other, reportedly having serviceable matches with disqualification finishes. Expect a big angle here heading into this weekend's show.
Plus, the finals of the tag team title tournament, and hopefully some AJ THIGHS.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR OCT. 22
Broadcast is live.
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Sin Cara and Cody start.
Cody puts Sin Cara into the corner. Sin Cara fights out and tries his springboard elbow, but Cody ducks. Cara with a headscissors takeover.
Rey brought in. Double-team facebuster and Rey gets a nearfall.
Rey with a shot to Cody's face, then gets reverses on the Irish whip. He lands a boot off Cody's bodydrop attempt. Off the ropes again and he slides under Cody, only for Cody to drop down and land a slap.
Sandow in. He tries to get some power offense going, but he eats a headscissors takeover. He is set on the rope, but Cody moves him out of the way. The luchadores hit some flying maneuvers on the outside and take control.
Back inside and Rey drapes Sandow on his back on the ropes. Tags in Sin Cara and he lands a springboard moonsault for a nearfall.
Cara fails on another flying attempt and Sandow tries to take advantage, only to get a nearfall. Rhodes brought in.
Rhodes with a delayed front suplex on Sin Cara and he earns a nearfall. Drives Sin Cara into the corner and tags Sandow in.
Sandow pummeling Sin Cara in the corner and a few stomps to the grounded opponent. Tag brings Cody Rhodes back inside.
Rhodes working the power offense, but Cara puts him into the corner and Sandow tags himself in.
Sandow with a suplex. He floats over, drapes the kneepad, then lands a kneedrop. He takes a bow for the fans and tags Cody Rhodes back in.
Sin Cara attempting to fight out for a hot tag, but Rhodes is able to place him on the mat and isolate him. Sin Cara hits an enzuigiri that fells the grandson of a plumber.
Rhodes and Sin Cara down and looking for tags as we hit break.
Back and Rhodes has an arm lock in on Sin Cara. Rhodes gets a body slam and a knee drop. Walks over to Sandow and tags the martyr in.
Russian leg sweep and the Elbow of Disdain get Sandow a nearfall, but Rey Mysterio breaks the pin. Sandow puts Sin Cara in the corner, unleashes the stomps, and brings Rhodes in.
Rhodes works him in the corner for a bit and puts him up top in another corner. Sin Cara is able to hit a tornado DDT and put Rhodes down. He gets the tag to Mysterio.
Mysterio in with a senton facebuster. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Mysterio in like a house on fire. Mysterio puts Rhodes down and lands a split-leg springboard moonsault for a nearfall.
Rhodes attempts to turn the tide here, but he eats a drop toehold and is placed on the rope. Sandow runs in and gets the same treatment. Double 619 hits. Mysterio goes up top and lands the flying headbutt. Cover, but Sandow dives under the referee's hand to prevent the victory.
Ref admonishing Sandow and Sin Cara hits an enzuigiri on Sandow. Mysterio baseball slides him to the outside, but he is on the wrong end of the Cross Rhodes.
Pinfall and victory to Team Rhodes Scholars.
Kane and Daniel Bryan want to congratulate their new opposition. Team Hell No asks a rhetorical question about Rhodes Scholars winning the titles, to which they say, "HELL NO!" Kane says he has a magic trick before they go. Bryan is standing in front of him and Kane says, "Now you see him...now you don't!" He grabs Bryan by the beard. Kane puts him behind him and hits the fire.
Team Rhodes Scholars cower in the ring as the fire hits. They still have their shot, however.
Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty
Miz sits at the announce table for this match.
McGillicutty working the power offense and pushes Kofi into the ropes, landing a dropkick. He gets Kofi up and lands a side suplex throw. McGillicutty earns a nearfall.
McGillicutty pummeling Kofi with strikes and working him over in the corner. Knees to the stomach of Kingston. Punch and chops in the corner on Kofi. Backbreaker across the knee gets McGillicutty a nearfall.
McGillicutty puts in the sleeper hold on Kingston. Kofi maneuvering his way out and unloading on the torso, but McGillicutty clubbing the back of Kingston. Kingston cornered and McGillicutty charges, but Kofi floats over. Trouble in Paradise cracks McGillicutty.
Kofi Kingston picks up the victory in non-title action.
Replay of last week's contract signing between Punk, Ryback, Cena, and McMahon.
John Cena will make an appearance next.
Cena out after the NY Giants get a cameo.
Cena says it is great they are there and across the street is the home of next year's Wrestlemania. But, for now, the focus is on Hell in a Cell. Cena says that people will find out that Punk is a man that speaks the truth on Sunday. He has held the title for 367 days. Cena says Punk made a promise for change.
And, at Hell in a Cell, there will be change. That change is Ryback.
Cena says Ryback stands for one thing, that being destruction. Cena says that on Sunday, the face of the WWE will change.
CM Punk is here with Paul Heyman.
Punk says that Cena is just trying to endear himself to the fans and says that he tells the truth. He states that the NY Giants suck, getting that cheap heat. Punk says that he has done everything he promised and then some. Punk says that Cena, the NY Giants, and Ryback are not the best in the world. Punk says that Cena can make all the fuss he wants, but when Punk makes a promise, he means it.
He promises he will be walking out with the WWE Championship on Sunday.
Punk says that he enjoys Cena being Ryback's cheerleader, since he knows he can't beat him. Cena says that he wasn't allowed to beat Punk, but he is now medically cleared. He says he'll fight him right now.
Punk gets a little sarcastic, but Cena gives him a shot at that offer. Both men unclothe, so you know something is going down!
Punk starts to walk down to the ring and gets up on the apron, Heyman encouraging him not to all the way. Punk listens to Heyman and jumps down off the apron, raising his belt s he walks up to the top of the stage.
AJ Lee was called to an emergency meeting of the WWE Board of Directors today.
Also, Kane will take on Big Show later tonight.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel
Cesaro grabs the microphone and speaks in a few different languages.
Gabriel comes down with a suicide dive and puts Cesaro in the ring. Cesaro flapjacks Gabriel onto the top rope. Cesaro with an uppercut and lands his Karelin gut wrench. Cesaro jumps and stomps on Gabriel, then locks in a chin lock. Gabriel gets out, but Cesaro puts him on the top rope. Flying knee to the stomach gets Cesaro a nearfall.
Cesaro with a chin lock again. He sends Gabriel into the corner, but runs into his boots. Cesaro with a throw into the corner, but Gabriel is able to pop back up. Sidekick and a slam puts Cesaro down. 450 Splash upcoming, but Cesaro crotches him. The two fight and Cesaro ends up losing that battle. He gets right back on top after falling and clobbers Gabriel with a forearm. Cesaro fighting on the top, but Gabriel with an enzuigiri that sends Cesaro down.
450 Splash lands and Gabriel picks up the upset in non-title action.
Limo pulling into the arena.
Vince McMahon is here.
And so is AJ.
The two walk out together and it appears there may be an announcement.
Vince McMahon and WWE Raw GM AJ Lee in the ring.
McMahon gives AJ the mic to tell the crowd about the results of her meeting with the WWE Board of Directors.
AJ resigns as Raw GM, due to allegedly fraternizing with a WWE Superstar. She says these allegations are false. She says she could understand that she could have been fired with the decisions she made. She says she thought people would like a crazy chick.
AJ says that she grew up with nothing, stating she grew up 15 minutes from here in the Meadowlands. AJ says she never thought she would be accepted as a poor girl. She thanks the crowd and tearfully walks over to hug Vince McMahon.
Paul Heyman says that he never knew AJ's story. He says that AJ grew past her own stupidity and lack of class. He says that AJ got past being raised a Jersey girl. Heyman says that there needs to be a new Raw GM with education and class.
Heyman wants Vince McMahon to consider him.
McMahon flat out states, "no!"
Vince McMahon then states that Vickie Guerrero is the managing supervisor of Raw.
Vickie comes out and gets the mic. She thanks the WWE Board of Directors for this opportunity. She says that she is touched that the WWE Board of Directors value her expertise.
Heyman starts a proposal to get Punk's option on his Hell in a Cell opponent back.
Guerrero says that it isn't happening and Punk will be facing Ryback at Hell in a Cell. She also states that tonight's main event will be "champion vs. champion" as Sheamus will take on CM Punk. Heyman says that is a horrible decision, but Vickie has more to add on.
It will be the largest lumberjack match in the history of the WWE.
Heyman storms off and Guerrero turns her attention to AJ. She starts bashing AJ, saying that she was unfit for the position. AJ was not only accused of fraternizing, but having an affair with a WWE wrestler. She tells AJ to get out of her ring.
AJ and Vickie start to have a cat fight.
AJ laughing in the middle of the ring as Vickie walks up the ramp in a fit.
Miz vs. Ryback is next.
Ryback vs. The Miz
Miz standing on the apron and trying to decipher what to do, but Ryback pulls him into the ring.
Ryback throws Miz outside. Miz tries to scurry back in with a sneak attack, but Miz is just rag dolled. Ryback looking for a slam, but Miz gets out. Miz eats a big boot and Ryback slamming his head into the mat over and over. Miz again charges, but Ryback puts him down.
Miz turns the tide with a hangman's neckbreaker. He goes up top, but Ryback catches him and eats a spinebuster. Giant lariat and Shell Shocked lands.
Pinfall and victory to Ryback.
Eve on the phone backstage.
Kaitlyn behind her as she gossips about AJ.
Kaitlyn confronts her about the photo she found on her iPad. Eve says that she can't go through her things like that.
Brawl ensues between Kaitlyn, Layla, and Eve.
Sheamus with Josh Mathews.
Sheamus plays with his doll, does his usual shtick...yeah, just bad.
Show shows up and punches the doll out of his hands, saying that he needs to be serious.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler
Lockup and Bryan with the arm wrench. Ziggler reverses and gets his own. Bryan rolls through for a Northern Lights Suplex.
Bryan taking the back of Ziggler. Ziggler turns it into a neck crank, but Bryan arm drags him out. Tries a head kick, but Ziggler ducks under.
Action resets once again.
Ziggler with a boot to the gut and striking Bryan in the corner. Ziggler and Bryan exchanging strikes, but Ziggler with a kick to the gut. Ziggler sends Bryan into the corner, but runs into boots. The two counter some more offense before Ziggler starches Bryan with a dropkick. Neckbreaker by Ziggler. Suplex attempt turns into a "NO!" Lock attempt, but Bryan off the ropes. Ziggler attempts a leapfrog, but Bryan pulls him down.
Bryan locks the legs in a surfboard position and fishhooks the nose and mouth. He slams the knees into the mat in a stomp. Dragon screw by Bryan. He attempts a leg lock, but Ziggler pushes him into the corner. Ziggler with the power offense and trying to mount a comeback, but Bryan with a figure-four leg lock.
Ziggler gets the bottom rope and moves to the apron. Bryan attempting to charge, but Ziggler unloading with strikes. He lands a suplex to the outside and Bryan jacks up his knee.
Kane comes out as we go to break.
Back from break and Ziggler has the sleeper in . Bryan fights out and Ziggler sends him into the corner, but Bryan with his backflip. He gets his clothesline. Bryan with the running dropkick in the corner on Ziggler. Nearfall.
Bryan landing all kicks and the two start exchanging counter after counter. Bryan charges Ziggler, but ends up being planted with a jumping DDT. Nearfall for Ziggler.
Bryan in the corner and Ziggler diving for Bryan, but he goes in hard and lands on the ring post, falling to the outside. Bryan goes outside with a suicide dive.
Ziggler is rolled back inside and Bryan goes up top. Ziggler sprints up and lands a huge face buster from the top rope. He crawls over and gets a nearfall.
Both men slow to their feet. Ziggler gets up first and starts getting strikes going. Ziggler charges and Bryan with a dropkick to the knee of Ziggler. Bryan nails Ziggler with a head kick.
Kane leading the crowd in "YES!" chants, but Bryan climbs to the top rope, not wanting to hear that. And Ziggler comes up from behind with a Zig Zag. Ziggler gets the pin and victory.
Folks, watch this match. This is an amazing piece of work.
Kane and Bryan argue inside the ring.
Matt Striker here to inform Team Hell No of their surprise from Vickie Guerrero.
Striker is going to be the host of the Newlytag Game, a therapy game show. They will face the team of Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
This will happen next.
Back and Bryan and Kane are seated as Matt Striker hosts.
He introduces Team Hell No and wants the group to introduce themselves.
Bryan says he is the world's toughest vegan, a former World Heavyweight champ, and he is the Tag Team Champions!
Kane says he is a Scorpio that enjoys puppies, rainbows, and walks on the beach. Striker asks if that is all true, to which Kane replies, "HELL NO!"
Bryan says it is true that Kane likes rainbows, which starts an argument.
Team Rhodes Scholars enter. Sandow says that this is tomfoolery and the group will not be participating in this. Rhodes says, "what he said!" Rhodes says that they will learn more about them when they beat him on Sunday.
Striker says that Team Hell No wins by forfeit.
"YES! YES! YES! Winner! Winner! Winner!"
Kane looks confused about Bryan's celebration. Striker leaves the ring and tells the group that he does not wish them luck this Sunday.
And he backs right into Big Show, who tosses him across the stage en route to the ring.
Kane vs. Big Show
We join the match in progress.
Show working Kane in the corner with strikes. He attempts a chop, but Kane ducks out. Strikes and a splash by Kane. He goes off the ropes, but he runs right into a spear from Big Show. Big Show taunts Bryan a bit, but Show works him in the corner.
Kane fighting back, but Show puts him down with a body slam and an elbow drop to Kane. Hook of the leg gets Show a nearfall.
Show locking in a bear hug. Kane tries a body slam, but Show topples over on him and gets a nearfall out of it.
Show just has too much power for Kane here. Kane is able to fight back with the strikes. Kane sent off the ropes and lands a jumping DDT. He gets a nearfall and goes up top. Flying clothesline puts Show on his back and Kane once again gets the nearfall.
Kane going for a Chokeslam here, but Rhodes and Sandow appear at the top of the ramp. Bryan looks on at ringside. Big Show takes advantage of Kane being distracted and hits a KO Punch. That gets him the victory.
After the match, Sandow and Rhodes put Bryan down. Rhodes lands a Cross Rhodes in the ring and the WWE Tag Team Champions are left flat in the ring.
Santino talking to AJ backstage, consoling her.
Cena comes up and tells AJ that if she needs anything, let him know. AJ says that she heard all the rumors of fraternizing and an affair.
Cena says he will get the side of the story from the man AJ fraternized.
AJ explains to Cena that it was him that she was rumored to have been having an affair with.
AJ starts weeping and babbling, to which Cena hugs her and consoles her.
Cena looking very confused and muddled.
Cena sees Vince McMahon.
He wonders why AJ got fired off of a rumor started by Vickie Guerrero.
McMahon says there was incriminating evidence and that AJ was on probation. He says that it is what it is and there's nothing he can really do about it.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Zack Ryder
Del Rio puts Ryder in the corner and drops him with a leg kick. Strikes and he pummels Ryder down. More power offense and a suplex by ADR gets him a nearfall.
ADR with a kick to the head of Ryder for another nearfall. He locks in an arm triangle. Ryder fights out and gets a sunset flip for a nearfall. ADR with another head kick and locks in a crossface. Armbar now in by ADR. Ryder with headbutts to fight out. ADR charges a cornered Ryder, but Ryder with a few clotheslines.
ADR charges a cornered Ryder once again, but eats two knees to the face. Broski Boot misses. ADR hangs Ryder's arm on the rope and punts the rope repeatedly.
Kick to the arm and then ADR with a Cross Armbreaker.
ADR is your winner.
ADR again locks in the Cross Armbreaker on Ryder, making him an example to Orton.
Vickie Guerrero moving into her office.
Cena wants to talk to Vickie. Guerrero says not to talk to her that way. Cena says she is a backstabber and a liar. Guerrero says that she mixed business with pleasure. Guerrero goes on to say that Cena cost AJ her job.
Guerrero with a devilish grin as we go to break.
Josh Mathews with Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler says that he always thought AJ was a good egg, but she keeps putting her hands on people. He says you can't have actions without consequences. Ziggler says there is only one person to blame, that being John Cena. He said he thought AJ would have better taste.
Punk backstage and he seems stressed over the Ryback promo they just showed.
Heyman tells Punk not to worry, as he will remain champion.
Lumberjacks come out as we go to break.
CM Punk vs. Sheamus
Lockup and Punk gets the back. Sheamus reverses and gets a takedown. Punk reverses into a front headlock. Ref breaks the two in the corner.
Back in the middle and Punk sends Sheamus to the heel lumberjacks. Punk gets the same treatment, but the lumberjacks actually throw him inside instead of keeping their distance.
Sheamus with a side headlock takeover. Grounding Punk with that maneuver. Punk is able to stand and get over to the corner for the break. Punk with shoulder blocks to Sheamus. He sends Sheamus into the ropes and headbutts him in the gut. Sheamus sends Punk into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder bump. Elbow drop by Sheamus gets a nearfall.
Sheamus locking in a chin lock and abdominal stretch, but Punk fights out and gets to the ropes. Sheamus sends him right back to the outside and the lumberjacks send him back.
Backbreaker by Sheamus earns him a nearfall.
Punk on the apron and Sheamus gets two forearms to the chest before Punk hits a stunner on the ropes. Punk goes up top and hits a flying clothesline for a nearfall.
Sheamus is sent to the outside and lands on the ground. The lumberjacks put the boots to him and throw him back in. Punk uses that to get a nearfall.
Back and commercial action shows Sheamus going outside and getting the lumberjack beatdown.
Punk has a sleeper hold in on Sheamus. Sheamus fights out and puts Punk on his shoulders, but Punk sends Sheamus to the outside. The heel lumberjacks put the boots to Sheamus, but the babyfaces come to save the day and send him back inside.
Punk up top and a double axehandle lands. Punk again goes up top and gets another. Punk once again goes up top and tries again, but Sheamus gets a punch to the gut of Punk. Sheamus with another body shot. More strikes and Punk reverses a Sheamus whip into a knee lift to the gut.
Body slam by Punk and he goes up top.
He gets up for the Savage elbow, but he just jumps down and does one from the mat for a nearfall.
Good heel moves there.
Punk again gets a nearfall and locks in a sleeper. Sheamus fights back and lands a clothesline on Punk in the corner. Rolling senton slam by Sheamus. Punk on the apron and he gets all ten forearms. Suplexes Punk back in for a nearfall.
Punk hits a dropkick on a running Sheamus that earns him a nearfall.
Sheamus in the corner and Punk going for the flying knee, but Sheamus fights out. Punk is able to drop him with an elbow and he gets the nearfall.
Punk goes up top and Sheamus meets him for a superplex. Sheamus gets a nearfall. Sheamus picks Punk up, but Punk elbows out. Punk with a drop toehold and puts Sheamus down. Punk goes up top and misses the elbow drop. Sheamus with the Irish Curse. Nearfall.
Texas Cloverleaf attempt, but Punk kicks him off. Sheamus charges Punk, but Punk pulls down the top rope. Sheamus fights off the lumberjacks and gets inside. White Noise by Sheamus.
Cesaro runs in and gets kicked. Jinder Mahal gets the same.
Big Show grabs Sheamus and gets a Chokeslam with one arm.
Punk picks up the victory.
Ryback comes out.
Punk tries to escape, but lumberjacks throw him back in. Ryback with a running powerslam. Punk again tries to leave, but the lumberjacks toss him in again to get more punishment from Ryback. Happens once more and Punk escapes after being gorilla pressed to the outside by Ryback.
Ryback standing tall in the ring and Punk is down and out on the floor as we fade to black.