WWE is back on USA tonight (Sept. 26, 2011) with its latest edition of Raw Supershow emanating from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Night of Champions may have taken place just eight days ago but tonight's episode will represent the go-home show to Hell in a Cell, which takes place this Sunday, Oct. 2 in New Orleans.
Last week's edition of Raw featured the character assassinations of Miz and R-Truth by the coward Triple H, but not to worry, they've already been seen at house shows causing a ruckus. They'll be in the building again tonight, surely ready to do the same.
CM Punk, John Cena and Alberto Del Rio will continue the build to their triple threat match for the WWE championship at the pay-per-view this Sunday and maybe we'll see Mark Henry injure another announcer by slamming him through a table the technical crew forgets to gimmick.
The fun kicks off at 9 p.m. ET, so come join us, Cagesiders, for the Raw live blog.
WWE RAW LIVE BLOG FOR SEPT. 26 IN KANSAS CITY:
Geno here after a weekend filled with UFC coverage and taking today off. I know the site's been slow as hell the past few days but that will change starting tonight. Sorry, folks. Ready to get back up and at 'em.
Broadcast is live.
I think it's possible that there are a few thousand folks around the world that quickly turn Raw off each week once their ears are assaulted by the horrific noise Nickelback calls music during the opening of the show each week. Worst singing voice in history.
Michael Cole tells us where Raw is at and Jim Ross lets us know CM Punk will take on Alberto Del Rio later tonight. Booker T is filling in on commentary for Jerry Lawler, who is still hurt. They show the Hell in a Cell structure hanging above the ring, which they will use to "whet our appetite" for Sunday.
Cue Triple H music. Big pop, as usual. Why would anyone cheer for this man at this point?
Quick video to recap Trips firing Miz and R-Truth last week. Cole starts shitting on "The Game" calling his decision a knee jerk reaction. "It was impulsive. Wasn't a fine enough?" You'd think, Cole.
Trips says he wants to explain his actions last week. Miz and Truth weren't fired because of his ego nor a conspiracy theory. They were fired because of this -- and a video shows Miz and Truth doing an interview after Night of Champions saying they were going to run through an entire list of everyone involved in the conspiracy. It gets cheesy with soft music playing while they show Miz and Truth apologizing to Trips last week. Good god, what is this?
Triple H speaks straight to Miz and Truth after the vid and says they were fired because they savagely attacked a referee. Says he knew he was going to fire them and the fine for $250,000 meant nothing. He was just using them to get one more main event out of them. Nice explanation for the goofy amount.
Oh, wait, he blows it by saying he's still fining someone that amount of money and it's Mark Henry for putting Lawler through the table last week and putting his hands on J.R. He starts telling everyone in the back no one is bigger than the business.
Vickie Guerrero comes out and says Dolph Ziggler has something to say. Dolph says he's glad Trips is out here talking and he wants to know what Triple H is going to do about Hugh Jackman punching him in the face last week. Still pushing the fractured jaw storyline. Thanks for that, Dolph, got us a shit ton of hits. They show still shots with all the promotion the spot got.
Ziggler puts himself over saying he'll still compete with the hairline fracture. Says he can't eat solid food ... while he's speaking clearly and having no issue.
Come on, now.
Trips says he doesn't know what Ziggler wants him to do about it. Says Dolph picked a fight with a Hollywood actor and Jackman punched him in his glass jaw. Buries him by telling him he can find him some security for when the Muppets are on Raw.
Cody Rhodes interrupts and comes out talking about the injuries he suffered at the hands of Randy Orton on Smackdown last week. Staples and all that. Great job by WWE of using both storylines that got a lot of play online the past week. Rhodes wants to know why Orton didn't get in trouble.
Triple H says he wishes Rhodes would have got staples in his mouth. Tells Cody to man up, toughen up, suck it up and do something about it himself. Now Christian joins the party complaining about what happened to him last week. Sheamus cost him the world heavyweight championship. Christian wants to know how that's fair.
Triple H says "it was a lumberjack match, idiot." Sheamus was just doing his job.
Christian says he's had enough. Wants to know if Ziggler and Rhodes want to join him in filing the biggest lawsuit in the history of the WWE. Tells Triple H he'll change his mind if he gets ONE. MORE. MATCH.
Triple H says he'll do it and at Hell in a Cell Christian gets one more match against Sheamus. And this Friday on Smackdown he gets one more match against Randy Orton. And tonight, for pissing Triple H off, he gets one more match against the WWE champion John Cena.
Christian asks if it's for the title, with a smile.
"This is unacceptable. I'm not going to stand for this." Then he bails.
Ziggler wants to know what's up and Triple H says he hopes Ziggler loses to his eventually opponent tonight, Zack Ryder. Then does the "woo, woo, woo, you know it" spot. Ziggler gets pissed and leaves.
Triple H says Rhodes gets the night off because he's got a zipper on the side of his head. Ha. That wasn't bad. Rhodes says he's a poor excuse for COO and Triple H says he'll defend the Intercontinental title tonight. Cody keeps talking shit and Trips keeps adding stipulations. Rhodes is going to have a match next. Trips is going to the back and the first nine guys he comes across, they get to compete for the title in an over the top rope battle royal.
Cole complains about Triple H abusing his power.
Back from break and there's already a lot of guys in the ring. Sin Cara's music hits and the crowd pops huge for him. Mistico comes out and they still wont' show the trampoline he uses to jump into the ring. Daniel Bryan, John Morrison, Ted DiBiase, Ezekial Jackson, Justin Gabriel, all in the ring already. Sheamus comes out, so he's in. Alex Riley and Drew McIntrye are all also there.
10-man battle royal for the Intercontinental championship -- The match starts with Rhodes bailing under the ropes and out of the ring. The first elimination comes about two seconds in and it's McIntrye. Hunico Sin Cara comes out and takes out Mistico Sin Cara. Doesn't matter because Daniel Bryan eliminates Hunico. Mistico tries to climb back in the ring but the referees won't let him.
Case of mistaken identity, folks.
Back in the ring and Rhodes is getting his shit pushed in by about four guys. Gabriel almost gets eliminated but does the Shawn Michaels spot hanging onto the ropes. He almost picks his legs up to take Riley out but they both survive ... until Sheamus eliminates them both.
Over in the corner Zeke eliminates two guys, Bryan and someone else. Final four and Sheamus is kicking the crap out of Zeke. DiBiase tries the Million Dollar Dream but Sheamus backs him in the corner. He ends up on the top rope and Rhodes eliminates him. Zeke gets eliminated by Rhodes shortly after and it's down to Rhodes and Sheamus.
Sheamus starts to working him over. He's a lot more over as a babyface than I ever thought he would be. Christian comes out to distract Sheamus from hitting the Celtic Cross. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick but Rhodes ducks underneath. Tries to use his mask as a weapon but fails at first. Christian distracts Sheamus again and it allows Rhodes to use the mask to knock Sheamus out for the win.
Cody Rhodes retains the Intercontinental title.
Christian goes after Sheamus now. Yelling at him, "How's it feel to not be able to win a title, huh!?!? How's it feel? You cost me a world title!!"
Short and sweet. Awesome segment, decent battle royal.
Back and Cole is putting over how Triple H is losing control of the company. And he's only had it for about 45 minutes now! Yeah, they're rushing this, but let's see what they do with it before we bash it ... too hard.
After a video recap of Lawler getting hurt, Cole, with a straight face, tells us he has bruised ribs and is bleeding out of his anus. Money.
David Otunga in the back talking to Johnny Laurinaitis about the state of the WWE. Otunga is getting people coming to him because of his Harvard law degree but Johnny Ace is the one that needs to do something about all this. So, of course, Laurinaitis gets out his phone and starts texting someone.
Vince McMahon, perhaps?
They cut to a video segment featuring the Diva's, which means I can go take a leak now. Oh, look, the Cowboys vs. Redskins game is tied at 6 in the second quarter. Grossman threw an interception, huh? Big surprise.
Kelly Kelly and Eve vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya -- Watching this abomination of a match, and all I can think of is Bryan Alvarez complaining about Kelly running the ropes. Beth gets the clean pinfall, presumably as a way to get her win back, even though this match doesn't mean shit. Whatever.
YES! Mark Henry's music hits. He's got a match tonight, apparently.
Back and Great Khali will be his opponent. Uh ... okay.
Mark Henry vs. Great Khali -- Booker T can't wait for this one because it's going to be a "war." Khali plays to the crowd when he gets in the ring and Henry pops him with the world heavyweight title. Picks him up and gives him the world's strongest slam. Starts yelling at him about not being scared. If he's got to pay a fine, everyone is going to pay. Picks up his title and walks out like a beast, yelling at the crowd.
Shot of John Cena walking in the back with a look on his face like he hasn't taken a shit in two weeks. Lighten up, John, surely you're going over Superman style again tonight.
They show a WWE.com article saying Alberto Del Rio is favored at Hell in a Cell because he's never been in a match like that. Yeah, that makes sense.
They go back to putting over the structure with the fancy lights before Cena's music hits and the crowd goes bonkers. Bunch of donks in Kansas City, I see. He breaks the fourth wall with his usual goofy schtick and no one cares.
Jim Ross -- "Hell in a Cell is like church. Many attend, few understand."
A rare miss for good ol' J.R.
Cena grabs the mic and points it at the crowd. They oblige him by screaming for him. These people have the worst palate. Cena plays to them some more by holding up the title and they shout for him some more.
Let me just go puke real quick.
Now he's talking about "going to Hell" this Sunday to defend the WWE title, which has "a lot of controversy surrounding it." Talks about defending the title for a record breaking tenth time. I hear a few boos in the crowd. Ric Flair fans unite.
Now Cena is putting over the Cell and his cheese is on overload. "Welcome to Hell in a Cell. Welcome to the Devil's playground."
Get bent, clown. Where the hell is The Rock when you need him.
Cena botches his line when he tries to say he'll stare Satan straight in the face on Sunday. There's no way he'll lose the title, he says while holding it up. We believe you, Johnny boy, but not for the same reasons you have.
Alberto Del Rio finally ends this pathetic promo by making his entrance. No car, no Ricardo Rodriguez. CM Punk's music hits and he's wearing the announcer jacket he used to wear. Punk and Del Rio will be on commentary so they can watch Cena go over big on Christian from just a few feet away.
John Cena vs. Christian -- Cena opens up getting the offense in but Christian reverses by getting in a DDT off the top rope. Dropkick off the top rope and Christian covers. Booker T cries out loudly, interrupting Punk, "WAIT A MINUTE!!!"
Dueling Cena chants. Del Rio calls Cena a clown. I knew I liked him for a reason. Punk puts Christian over by calling him amazing and saying Cena has his hands full. Immediately after, Cena easily reverses him and gets the five-knuckle shuffle. They go outside the ring and Cena throws Christian into the announce crew. Del Rio uses the opportunity to smash Punk. He climbs in the ring and lands a kick on Cena just as he's about to give Christian an Attitude Adjustment. Punk jumps in the ring but Del Rio bails.
Del Rio says Cena was right that they'll be going to hell on Sunday but only he will be coming back. Tells the crowd they can all go to hell after he wins the title.
Christian disappeared, by the way. Looking for life on the Smackdown brand ... no sign of it.
Oh yeah, Punk vs. Del Rio is going down later tonight.
They pump Smackdown being the number one show last Friday night. If there was ever a week to do so, it's this week. How the hell did they pull a 2.3 rating for that show? Impressive.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder for the U.S. title -- There's no way they put the U.S. title on Ryder right now, but Ziggler should make him look like a million bucks, which is an underrated quality of his. He comes out with both Vickie and Jack Swagger. What the hell is he doing here? Another recap of Jackman's appearance last week.
Jesus, this video is running way too long. I get it, capitalize on the hot angle from last week but do it by having another great match between the two this week. Ziggler massages his jaw before the match starts. Love it.
Ziggler kicks things off by smashing Ryder. Literally, kicking the crap out of him. Working strong with punches in the corner. Ryder gets out of the way of a big splash, that Dolph sells huge. Ryder gets him in the corner now and does his "woo woo woo" spot. Big kick to the jaw. That's called psychology, folks.
Vickie distracts the ref while Ryder goes for the Low Rider but misses. Swagger racks him and Ziggler picks up the win. Reluctantly shakes Swagger's hand. They go to keep attacking Ryder but we hear a loud boom and uh-oh, it's
Air Boom out to make the save.
Teddy Long comes rolling out. Says Vickie has three minutes to find a partner for Ziggler and Swagger because after the break it will be a six-man tag team match.
No partner for Swagger and Ziggler, so it's a handicap match.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger vs. Air Boom and Zack Ryder -- Kofi Kingston starts it out with Swagger and he's getting all the offense in while the crowd chants for him. Tags Evan Bourne in and now he's working over Jack. Considering the size of each man, it looks downright comical. Sorry, it does. Finally, the heels take control and Swagger gets a tag to Ziggler, who quickly lariats Evan and starts working some solid tag team action.
Swagger is back in and kicking Bourne in the corner. No clue what happened for the past few minutes because I was distracted here at home but I look up and Vickie is walking out with Mason Ryan, who looks even bigger than he did before he went out with injury. He's got longer hair now, though. Looks like a bronzed up pornstar, actually.
Kingston gets popped by Swagger, who keeps working him with punches. Kofi reverses a slam by jumping over to his corner to get a tag to Ryder, who comes in and quickly gets clotheslined to death. Swagger tags in Ryan, who quickly attacks him and tosses him out of the ring. Throws Ziggler in now and picks him up over his head for a press slam into a turning sideways slam. He laughs and heads to the back.
Ryder, of course, capitalizes hits his finisher to pick up the pin. They're doing everything they can to satiate the Internet audience while not actually trying to get Ryder over. Amazing.
They replay Guerrero screaming like a banshee and making everyone's ears bleed.
Another promo for Hell in a Cell. Setting up the matches for this Sunday. Breaking news: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the strap. Ugh.
Otunga in the back spitting game as a lawyer to the heels that were pissed at Triple H. Says he doesn't know that a lawsuit is the way to go but if it is, they need to be together. Christian is in, Ziggler is too, and Rhodes completes the trifecta. Otunga keeps talking but they cut it off to go to Ricardo Rodriguez who will announce Del Rio while he comes out in his ride for the week. Main event time.
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio -- Cena out to do commentary. Damn it. Out comes Punk and we now know this match will center completely around Cena. Ross already making it all about him. Camera showing shots of the back of his head, literally.
Bell rings and it's clobberin' time.
Armlock into an snapmare from Punk to kick things off. They quickly end up on the outside and Punk throws Del Rio straight at Cena, who stands up and takes his headset off. Stands there and tries to look tough but fails miserably. Punk gets back in the ring and Del Rio turns the tide. Misses a spot in the corner and Punk makes a comeback. Del Rio gets him with a dropkick to the outside near the ramp before another break.
Punk is fighting out of an armlock back from break. Runs into a boot in the corner. DDT from Del Rio gets a two-count. Running kick to the head gets another two count. Spot in the corner with Punk running shoulder first into the ring post. Dropkick from Del Rio straight after. Back to working the arm with an armbar that isn't really an armbar. Punk using foot stomps to get out of it. Short comeback thwarted with a lariat.
Del Rio goes flying through the ropes feet first in a goofy spot. Comes back in the ring and gets hit with a big boot from Punk. Covers and only gets two. Del Rio reverses with another armbreaker and gets two again. Still working his arm with moves that neither cause real pain, nor look as though they actually could. Punk uses headbutts to get out of it and goes for a pin but, again, only gets two. Whole lot of near falls on garbage moves.
Cena being used to put over the Hell in a Cell match and how "there's no way out once the cage comes down." Please shut up, John. Please. Punk gets the high knee in the corner, and bulldog but only gets a two-count out of it. Again. I'm not a fan of near-falls in matches like this. Punk reverses another armbar attempt and gets a kick to the head that actually gets the pin. See what I mean? What was that.
The cell comes down and Ricardo Rodriguez gets locked in the cell with Cena, who made sure of it, and Punk, who is still in the ring. He eats the GTS first, then the Attitude Adjustment. Cena and Punk both went for their finishers on each other before Del Rio showed up with a chair and started blasting everybody. Sets up the chair in the corner and sends Punk flying into it. ADR keeps drilling both men with the chair and lifts it over his head while his music plays.
Classic WWE. Preview the pay-per-view match in some capacity the show before the match itself with an outcome we're sure not to see on Sunday.
That's how they end the show. Meh.