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The November 19, 2012 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on November 19, 2012 at Wright State University's Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Now here's something you don't see every week: Monday Night Raw kicking off not with a match, but an address to the WWE Universe ... from Ryback.
Typically a Superstar of few words, the beast was positively effusive in Wright State University's Nutter Center when, one night after being driven through a table by Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, he made his intentions loud and clear to the man he believed responsible for the attack: WWE Champion CM Punk.
"Last night I was about to feast on the WWE Championship, but CM Punk employed three of his men to take food out of a starving man's mouth," Ryback snarled. "Well my hunger cannot be suppressed. I am a predator. And CM Punk, you and your three men are my prey."
Ryback presented the champion and his supposed minions with an ultimatum: The four of them could "make it easy on themselves" by facing him at once ... or the beast would tear Nutter Center to pieces until he found them.
What he got was hardly CM Punk and the former WWE NXT stalwarts. Instead, he got was Vickie Guerrero. And the Managing Supervisor was in no mood for Ryback's threats, presenting him with an ultimatum of her own: If Ryback caused any kind of chaos, he would be subject to a fine or suspension. Vickie revealed herself to be, if nothing else, a fan of Ryback's destructive tendencies, though. "I do like watching you destroy people ... so let's just see how big your appetite really is."
The meal she had in mind was Tensai, who was steaming mad following his elimination at the hands of Justin Gabriel in the bonus Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match the night before. The towering gaijin unloaded a world of hurt on Ryback, who struggled to find an initial response to his mountainous foe's opening onslaught. But after a few moments, the beast found his footing and surged back against Tensai, tossing him into the barrier outside the ring and unleashing an earth-rattling Meathook Clothesline, sealing the victory with Shell Shocked, all the while snarling "Punk" in the vicinity of the cameras. Seems like, despite Vickie's warning, Ryback was thinking of someone else during that contest.
Wade Barrett has never been a man to mince words, so it wasn't exactly surprising he claimed the Intercontinental Championship should be his following the Englishman's elimination of Kofi Kingston in the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match the night before. But the Englishman certainly left a few jaws on the floor in Nutter Center when he grounded The Dreadlocked Dynamo with minimal fanfare, bestowing Kofi with his second Bull Hammer elbow in as many nights to earn a huge statement win over the freewheeling champion.
Kofi, as always, proved a handful for his opponent. Barrett struggled early on to find his groove as Kofi stymied the Englishman with his trademark, high-flying offensive maneuvers. Seeking separation, Barrett ultimately turned the tide as only he could: He kicked Kofi Kingston really hard in the face. The Brit's boot sent The Boom Squad General over the ropes, where Barrett subjected Kofi to a street-style beatdown by slamming the champion's head against the steel steps before hauling him back into the ring to finish the job. Barrett unloaded with a series of elbows and kicks to the stunned Kofi, who responded to the adversity in a very un-Kofi like way:
He got really, really angry.
"The Wildcat" found his second wind in a big way and unleashed an offensive storm against the brawling Brit, reversing the Winds of Change into a rollup pin, unleashing a series of kicks against Barrett and finally planting him with the SOS. It wasn't enough for the win, though, as Barrett rebounded and raked Kofi's eyes, finally unleashing the Bull Hammer and sending the Intercontinental Champion to dream street.
To paraphrase an old saying: Fool Kaitlyn once, shame on you. Fool her twice, get a knee to the gut and don't do it again.
At least, that's the message Aksana received loud and clear when Kaitlyn got her hands on Antonio Cesaro's scheming ex following her second attempt to derail Kaitlyn's opportunity at the Divas Championship. Kaitlyn foiled Aksana's attack Sunday, but fell short against Eve in her title match. She didn't suffer the same fate on Raw, though, outlasting Aksana's powerful offense to unleash a series of crushing maneuvers, finally driving her knee deep into Aksana's stomach to notch the three-count and an extremely personal one-on-one win.
With R-Truth stewing on commentary, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro notched another resounding victory on Raw, this time at the hands of the steaming Funkasaurus, Brodus Clay.
Two months after suffering an upset loss to The Swiss Superman, Clay came out swinging against the elitist champion, working Cesaro's ribs with a series of punishing strikes before driving him into the corner. Cesaro briefly surged back, but the big man quickly overpowered the Stars-and-Stripes champion with a cranium-rattling headbutt and a corner splash. The Funky One's attempt at a top-rope strike ultimately cost him when Cesaro rallied and unleashed a soaring, spinning European uppercut off the turnbuckle before repeating his highlight-reel worthy feat from September and pummeling The Funkasaurus with the Neutralizer for the win.
Did Vickie Guerrero finally push AJ Lee and John Cena to their limits? In her latest attempt to expose the so-called "AJ scandal," the Managing Supervisor brought out her greatest evidence: a pair of eyewitnesses who laid eyes on the supposed fling and came forth on Raw to present their accounts. Vickie summoned a waitress and a parking attendant from the Sacramento, Calif., restaurant where Cena and AJ had their alleged tryst, but AJ wasn't about to let herself be slandered any more than she already had been.
"If you want to fire me, go ahead and do it," the former Raw General Manager hissed at her replacement, only one night after Tamina Snuka interrupted their previous confrontation with a sneak attack on AJ. "But if not, I suggest you do everybody a favor and shut the hell up."
The insult did little to faze Vickie, who took the proceedings one step further and prepared to display photos of AJ and Cena in the parking lot. "If you take offense to nudity, I suggest you walk out and protect your little ones' eyes, because now I'm going to present a photo of John Cena and AJ in the car!" Vickie beamed, but what emerged instead was nothing more than a stewing, stomping and decidedly clothed Cena.
"All of this is garbage," Cena said simply, accusing Vickie of manufacturing the scandal simply to get tongues wagging. Happily, he had a solution to that problem.
"I'll give you something to talk about," Cena said before turning toward AJ. "I hope you don't mind," said the Cenation leader before pulling AJ in for a tender kiss in the middle of the ring. But he never got to finish his point, because after Cena broke the lip-lock and turned back to Vickie to finish his thought, AJ spun him around and leaped into the 10-time WWE Champion's arms, swarming him with a smooch that left Vickie speechless.
With Cena otherwise preoccupied, however, the door was wide open for a sneak attack and that's just what happened: Dolph Ziggler sprinted forth and hit the Cenation leader with a cheap shot, squirming out of the Attitude Adjustment and booking it up the ramp to the locker room area. Cena gave chase, but an awkward landing after diving through the ropes seemed to hobble him considerably. Cena pursued Dolph as best he could, but with one leg seemingly compromised, the "AJ scandal" may have left him damaged in a way no one ever expected.
How do you solve a problem like Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio? Well, we're not sure these Superstars' issues with each other can ever be put to bed for good, but a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match is a pretty solid start.
In any case, there was certainly an epic air about The Viper's latest clash with his opulent aggressor. A combination of the unusual stipulation combined with the long-standing nature of the rivalry brought out the most vicious side of each Superstar, to the point where even the calm, collected Del Rio lost his composure for a few moments.
The contest opened up in the way one would expect, with Orton striking fast and trying to put Del Rio away quickly, while Del Rio stuck to the side of strategy and calmly worked Orton's left arm, attempting to soften up The Apex Predator for the eventual Cross Armbreaker. Del Rio's temper ultimately got the better of him, though, after he caught Orton in a compromising position and slammed his arm against the ring post despite the referee's demands he stop. The brutal outburst earned Orton the first fall via disqualification, but the damage lingered despite the scales having been tipped in The Viper's favor.
The loss appeared to be a hit Del Rio was willing to take, as The Essence of Excellence continued to work the arm and keep Orton from building steam. The clearly hobbled Viper fought back gamely, but with one arm taken away, he wasn't able to escape when Del Rio finally did lock in the Cross Armbreaker, submitting after a brief struggle to even the playing field and give The Essence of Excellence a fall of his own.
The hold left Orton severely weakened, essentially robbing him of the left arm entirely and giving Del Rio the chance to employ his time-honored mat technique to leave The Apex Predator stumbling. A reeling Orton attempted to counter with a rollup pin, but Del Rio escaped and unleashed a wicked enzuigiri to the injured arm that left Orton literally screaming in pain. Orton rallied with a backbreaker, and caught perhaps his biggest break of the match when Ricardo Rodriguez, who attempted to interfere, was ejected from ringside. That development turned out to be subterfuge, though, as Del Rio caught the distracted Orton with the Backstabber and, sensing victory, attempted an RKO of his very own.
But as the WWE Universe knows, the RKO is often imitated, but never duplicated. Orton ducked out of Del Rio's attempt at the maneuver and planted The Essence of Excellence with a hanging DDT, eventually dodging a last-second enzuigiri attempt by Del Rio to unleash the original RKO on The Mexican Aristocrat, earning himself the third and final fall of the contest. Advantage: Orton. But is it permanent? Only time will tell.
Stop us if you heard this one: A Punjabi giant, two former WWE Tag Team Champions, the Anonymous Raw General Manager and Rosa Mendes walk into Nutter Center ...
Sounds like the beginning of a crazy joke, and the environment was certainly surreal in Dayton when The Great Khali collided with Primo & Epico in a bizarre Handicap Match that saw Hornswoggle, of all people, play a key role when he approached Rosa with a bouquet of flowers. The gesture seemed to have Rosa smitten, but Hornswoggle delivered the punchline when he unleashed a stream of water from within the flowers, soaking Rosa to the bone. Rosa's shrieks left Primo & Epico distracted enough for Khali to unleash the Punjabi Plunge and earn himself the victory, which he and Hornswoggle celebrated by breaking it down in the ring.
It was a battle of last-minute additions when The Miz (the final member of Team Foley) met David Otunga (Cody Rhodes' replacement on Team Ziggler) in Dayton. And despite a stiff challenge from the brainy Harvard alumnus, it was The Awesome One who reigned supreme in his home state.
Surrounded by "Miz is awesome!" chants from the Ohio natives crowding Nutter Center, Miz showed considerable versatility against Otunga, using both technical strikes and his trademark, blunt-instrument offense in his systematic dismantling of the Harvard grad. That isn't to say Otunga rolled over for The Awesome One: Otunga put up quite a fight against the former WWE Champion, lacing into Miz's chest with a series of brutal clotheslines that left him gasping for breath. An unorthodox roll-up pin attempt by Miz turned the tide, though. Otunga never recovered from the surprise move and a top-rope strike from Miz was enough to set up the Skull-Crushing Finale and secure the victory.
In a rematch from their gritty minor classic a few weeks ago, Sheamus and Damien Sandow took each other to hell and back in a brutal fight that spilled all over in Dayton, Ohio. It was a contest that was every bit worth the wait for an encore, but before that fight could be had, a previous fight had to be addressed.
Sheamus stormed to the ring, dented chair in hand, and addressed his longstanding rivalry with Big Show. To summarize The Celtic Warrior's feelings on the state of things (and to co-opt a classic phrase): This time it's personal. The combination of Show's assault of William Regal and the underhanded way in which he retained the World Heavyweight Title at Survivor Series brought out the brutality in Sheamus. And for his part, the fighting Irishman wasn't willing to wait for a rematch. The Celtic Warrior summoned the giant from the locker room area, but The World's Largest Athlete wasn't having any of it. Incensed by Sheamus' mockery, the giant erupted in a furious tirade and not only denied Sheamus the rematch, but also unleashed an insult that stung The Celtic Warrior to his core: "You're just like your ancestors. You're barbaric."
Sheamus was ready to rumble for sure after that one, but that was the moment Sandow chose to make his entrance. As Show discreetly made his exit, "The Duke of Decency" took to the ring and immediately picked up where he left off with Sheamus. Sandow showed a finesse and brutality that completely belies his bookish demeanor, going shot for shot with The Celtic Warrior and employing a combination of both classic wrestling technique and ferocious strikes that forced Sheamus into the corner. The Irishman rallied in a unique manner, tossing Sandow out of the ring by his beard. The insult must have struck a nerve because The Enlightened One retaliated by mauling Sheamus in the corner, taking away The Celtic Warrior's momentum and giving Sandow the opportunity to bestow a decidedly unrefined beating on the former World Champion. The onslaught left Sheamus literally gasping for air and victory within "The Emperor of Enlightenment's" reach.
But as anyone can tell you, even the most enlightened of us are subject to bouts of hubris. And that never ends well for anyone. So when Sandow took just a little too long to celebrate when he set up the Elbow of Disdain, Sheamus rallied fast. The Celtic Warrior pummeled Sandow with the Irish Curse and left The Enlightened One to suffer, in quick succession, the forearm clubs, the battering ram, White Noise and the Brogue Kick. All of which, we suppose, is a lesson to Sandow: The fight ain't over till it's over. You're welcome.
She may be 95 pounds soaking wet, but AJ Lee proved she had plenty of guts when she stormed into the men's locker room to confront Dolph Ziggler after The Showoff's sneak attack on John Cena. But before AJ could lace into Mr. Money in the Bank, Ziggler retaliated with a string of vicious insults that shook the former Raw General Manager to her core. "I've seen girls like you my whole life," Ziggler sneered. "You're all the same. Sad, weak, pathetic. Face it, AJ. You're just trash."
The insults left AJ speechless, but happily one other option remained: She decided to fight, raining blows down on Ziggler's head and leaving The Showoff stumbling ... until Cena made his entrance, injured knee and all, and proceeded to tear the locker room apart with an all-out brawl. And while Cena saved AJ further humiliation, he may have come out worse for wear: After Ziggler put Cena through the bathroom stalls (yes, all of them), The Showoff got the last word by stomping Cena's injured knee as Superstars and officials dragged him out the door, leaving the Cenation leader with a potentially torn meniscus.
In all the tag team turmoil that has unfolded recently, the Nutter Center crowd was treated to a first on Monday night: Team Hell No vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. And while the champs' brutal, irascible style certainly provided an interesting challenge for the masked men, it was The Prime Time Players who made the biggest impact from their perch at commentary.
Kane and Sin Cara started things off, and The Big Red Machine looked to have The International Sensation dead to rights early on, but Bryan would not be denied his glory moment in the contest. The "No!" man tagged himself in against Kane's wishes and attempted to finish what Kane started, but Sin Cara quickly tagged in Mysterio to turn the tide. The Ultimate Underdog proved too much for Bryan or Kane to handle, nearly executing the 619 on The Devil's Favorite Demon to end the match. Quick thinking on Kane's part led him to duck out of the ring, but that did little to stem the chaos as Rey floored the champion with a seated senton. Bryan followed with a running knee that left Mysterio down, and Sin Cara completed the set with a suicide dive to the submission technician that left all four combatants strewn in a heap.
Sin Cara eventually got another crack at Kane, but The Mexican Icon's fortunes didn't improve much as he fell victim to the demon's punishing offense. Team Hell No finally started to find its groove after a rough 24 hours, with Kane and Bryan trading offensive sequences against the beleaguered highflier. Bryan provided a highlight when he applied a wicked-looking surfboard-headlock combo to Sin Cara, while Kane provided the brawn to Bryan's brains with power strikes. Sin Cara finally found his breathing room when he hit Bryan with a tornado DDT, leading both men to tag in their respective partners.
Kane and Mysterio traded furious blows from the second they entered the ring, but The Master of the 619's agility proved to be the difference-maker when he hit Kane with the 619. Before he could Drop the Dime and seal the win, though, Kane snatched Mysterio out of the air by the throat. At this point, The Prime Time Players had seen enough.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil stormed the ring and laid waste to everyone between the ropes, bringing the match to a no-contest and prompting an unlikely burst of teamwork from the tandems who had, until moments earlier, been opponents. Bryan set Mysterio up for double 619 on the interlopers, and Kane planted "The Big Deal" with a Chokeslam while Sin Cara took to the skies and dropped a senton on a prone "Mr. No Days Off."
In conclusion: They're still the Tag Team Champions, but the competition for Team Hell No's titles has just intensified in a big way.
So here we are, 365 days later. One full turn around the sun since CM Punk made Alberto Del Rio tap in New York City and took the WWE Championship for his very own. Eleven months since his first defense of the reign at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. Seven months since he walked into and out of WrestleMania XXVIII as champion, and one night after Punk proved his own prophecy right by defeating John Cena and Ryback, The Second City Saint stood in Dayton and celebrated the one-year anniversary of his second reign as WWE Champion.
And after some introductory oration by Paul Heyman, Punk took to the ring and, with no small amount of pleasure, quickly placed himself above the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock and proclaimed himself to be, as ever, The Best in the World. The Second City Saint then set his sights squarely on a date in the future: July 25, 2018, the 355th episode of WWE Main Event, when he would surpass Bruno Sammartino for the longest title reign in history. As for his greatest victory? For Punk, that answer was simple: His historic victory over Cena and Ryback, a win nobody said could be done save for Punk and Heyman himself.
It was a victory Punk seemed eager to relive, but at least one man wasn't feeling the same nostalgia. Ryback's music hit and the beast stomped down to the ring, fine/suspension be damned, to sink his claws into CM Punk finally. But once again, Ryback would be stopped short by the same men who cut him down the night before. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns swarmed Ryback halfway down the ramp, stopping him from getting to Punk (who seemed as surprised by their presence as anyone) before once again hoisting Ryback on their shoulders and pummeling him through the announce table.
While the three attackers stood stoically in the ring, Punk decided to bask in the moment all the same. The Second City Saint sauntered down to the prone Ryback, planted one foot on his chest, and for the first time in year No. 2 of his WWE Title reign, proclaimed himself The Best in the World.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Ryback defeated Tensai (3:35)
- Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston (12:35)
- Kaitlyn defeated Aksana
- Antonio Cesaro defeated Brodus Clay (w/ Cameron & Naomi) (2:30)
- Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) [2:1] in a Best Two Out Of Three Falls Match (13:35)
- Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio via DQ (3:15)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Randy Orton (8:45)
- Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio (13:35)
- The Great Khali defeated Epico & Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes) in a Two On One Handicap Match (1:10)
- The Miz defeated David Otunga (6:05)
- Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow (14:50)
- Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) ended in a no contest (11:00)
Other on-screen talent