WWE Raw TV report - Punk vs. Lawler cage match



WWE Monday Night Raw

August 27, 2012
Milwaukee, WI

Rob McCarron

Tonight is the night!...
- Triple H addresses his future, Daniel Bryan attends anger management classes, and CM Punk talks about respect.

Jerry Lawler began the show by leaving the announce desk to enter the ring, where he talked about last week's confrontation with CM Punk. He asked for an apology from CM Punk, at which point the crowd loudly chanted for the reigning WWE Champion and exploded when he came to the ring. Punk refused to apologize, and made fun of Lawler for being jealous and failing to ever win the WWE Championship. Punk then began to prod Lawler for a fight, calling Lawler "just a commentator," and telling Lawler that he's going to leave tonight's Raw embarrassed. As Punk left, Lawler said "I'll think about it" to Punk's challenge.

Raw is back with Jack Swagger in the ring, set to face off with Panera Bread's biggest fan.

Match: The Ryback vs Jack Swagger
Swagger actually got some offense, including a scoop slam on Ryback. Major, I know. A little sloppy, including one failed back body drop that saw Swagger land on his head. In the end, the machine wins with his usual finish. Will somebody, anyone, please just feed him more. After the match, the bearded Swagger just said "That's it."

Game over? Michael and Jerry ponder the possible end to Triple H's career, then preview John Cena vs The Miz for later on. Jerry said he's still thinking about wrestling Punk.

Match: Natalya vs Layla
Vickie came to the ring and said this match needs to end soon, because she has an important announcement. The two women then proceeded to chain wrestle and not follow Vickie's demand. Layla, in the middle of the match, danced around in the ring and the camera cut away for some unknown reason. Vickie had a point, this match should have ended more quickly. When it did, Layla was victorious by pinfall after a kick to the head. Tiffany's music then hit, but Vickie cut it off with her major announcement~!

Vickie reminded us of last week's Ziggler/Jericho match and result. She berated AJ's stipulations and her abuse of power. Vickie begged the Board of Directors to name a new Raw GM, preferably herself. AJ skipped to the ring, slapped Vickie, and the two fought on the mat. Vickie was able to escape, and ran to the back. AJ never spoke, but changed emotions a few times, and the segment ended.

Game over? Another video highlight package for Triple H aired.

Daniel Bryan anger management class~! Scorpio Sky made a cameo in this segment as 'Harold', sitting right next to D-Bry. A little kid with a goat face mask came in the room, and Bryan was upset. Bryan berated the kid, who cried. The kid turned out to be the anger counselor's son. The counselor told his son that Bryan "was sick and needs help." That line popped the crowd, and Michael Cole, who had been fake laughing in the background.

Jerry Lawler grabbed the mic, stood on the announce table, to give us his decision on wrestling Punk. He started by listing off the names he used to beat up in Memphis. He said Punk may not have lasted long in Memphis. Lawler accepted Punk's challenge, grabbed his Galaxy, and went to the back to prepare.

Better tune into the first hour from here on out folks! John Cena, still in hour one, happily ran to the ring for a bout~!

Match: John Cena vs The Miz
Josh Mathews returned from the dead to take Lawler's spot at commentary. Back and forth match, with some time. During the match, the announcers continued to sell the possible final night of Triple H's career. John Cena won a ten minute affair with the AA, after a few near falls by each man. Miz just can't get past the rank of white belt.

AJ Lee, via Michael Cole, has decided to make the Punk vs Lawler main event a #RAWactive match. Fans got to choose between Steel Cage, No DQ, or Tables match. Have to believe the cage will take this one.

Game over? Another recap of Triple H aired, this time his 2002 return from his quad injury.

Anger management class~! Harold shared a story about his anger towards his boss. Daniel was bored by this, and talked about how his boss (AJ) was worse. Kane then entered the class, and sat down, welder's mask and all, to end this particular act.

Match: Heath Slater vs Santino Marella
The two tried to out air-guitar each other, Michael Cole mocked West Virginia, and the crowd chanted 'boring'. As Santino went for the cobra, Aksana made an appearance on the stage. The cobra, distracted, still managed to knock out Heath, and a surprised Santino went for the pin and won.

Match: Brodus Clay & Sin Cara vs Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow
Rhodes and Sandow talked trash to Brodus, Sin Cara, and the crowd on their way to the ring. As has been the case for weeks, Sandow went after Brodus' knee during the match. He didn't get that much in, though, as the match ended quickly with Brodus splashing Cody for the pinfall. Brodus, the girls, kids, and Sin Cara danced in the ring to end it.

Anger management class~! The doctor asked Kane to tell the class what makes him angry, to which Bryan said "This is a bad idea." Kane told his entire story, including burying his brother (The Undertaker) alive twice, abducting various co-workers, the KATIE VICK story, and his obsession with torturing Pete Rose which he admitted has never been explained. As the class dismissed, Harold thanked Kane for sharing. He went for a hug, but Kane grabbed his neck... only to say "No problem, Harold." This was great!

Match: Daniel Bryan vs R-Truth
A calm Daniel Bryan walked to the ring. Bryan did his best to show he wasn't going to get angry at the crowd chanting "Yes!" Truth and Bryan bumped fists before the match, a sign of sportsmanship! They referenced R-Truth forgetting where he was last time WWE was in Milwaukee. This was never really a match, just a lot of gimmick comedy. Bryan lost via countout while arguing with fans at ringside, including the same fan who has been at many events this year, most famous from the Brock Lesnar return in Miami.

Game over? Cole recapped Lesnar vs Triple H from SummerSlam.

Former World Champion and current sad sack Triple H came out to address his future. He had a cast on his left arm. The crowd did not chant "You tapped out!" this time. Triple H milked a reaction, but really wasn't getting a very loud one like he may have wanted. Mr. H started to go over his career a bit, and began to get choked up. He said he didn't want to be the guy that just hung on, the guy that didn't know when to give it up. He said he's more tired than he's ever been, broken again, and asked himself if it was time to give it up. His answer... "I don't know." He just wants to be the Game, the King of Kings, but he doesn't know if he can be anymore. With tears rolling down his face, he didn't say he'd retire, and subtly implied he'd want a rematch with Brock, but left by thanking the crowd and leaving his future open.

The way that segment played out, I don't know if Triple H vs Brock for Survivor Series is the plan. That would be a quick turnaround, to me, anyway, based on the feel of tonight's HHH speech.

Video recap: Chris Jericho lost and his WWE contract was terminated last week. 

The light's in the arena went out, Y2J's music hit, but Mr. MITB Dolph Ziggler entered instead. He said we'll never... ever... see Jericho again.

Match: Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio vs Randy Orton & Sheamus
Del Rio and Orton spent much of the match in the ring, with Del Rio dominating. It was noted by Mathews that Del Rio was the only one of the four who had not been World Heavyweight Champion, and it eats Del Rio up inside. Finish saw Ricardo slide the MITB briefcase into the ring to Ziggler, but Orton caught Dolph with his backbreaker, leading to the brogue kick from Sheamus for the pinfall victory.

Backstage, Jerry Lawler told John Cena not to interfere in tonight's main event. Looking back, two hours and thirty minutes into the show, this was the first backstage segment of the night.

Kane came out to the ring, which frightened Josh Mathews to the point where Mathews left through the crowd. Kane sat in Josh's seat at commentary. Cole, still doing commentary, stood up away from Kane for the following match...

Match: Zack Ryder vs David Otunga
Kane never spoke on commentary. Otunga dominated Ryder at the start, going for several covers. After a few minutes of getting beat up, Ryder was able to duck a clothesline and hit the Rough Ryder for the win. Kane entered the ring immediately, mimicked going for a chokeslam on Ryder but instead hit one on David Otunga. Michael Cole said that, by letting Ryder go, Kane showed progress.

Michael Cole announced that @RandyOrton would take on @HEELZiggler on Smackdown this week, per GM Booker T.

#RAWactive Match: CM Punk vs Jerry Lawler in a Cage Match (48%)
No DQ match actually beat out Tables match in the voting, which surprised me a bit. AJ Lee came out before the match to announce CM Punk would defend the WWE title at Night of Champions against John Cena. The match began with about ten minutes of TV time remaining. Lawler entered first, with Randy Orton's haircut entering second. Steel Cage was trending on twitter, which surely made 1,000,000 extra viewers nationwide flip to USA.

Punk allowed Lawler to take the first shot. He did, which somehow surprised Punk. Punk tentatively went after Lawler, mixing up punches, kicks, and knees early. The crowd was so quiet at the start of this. During the match, Punk was literally spelling out 'respect' while in restholds. Punk claimed himself the new king of Memphis, TN. Punk was full on heel here, so the transition is now complete, I suppose. The crowd finally got into the match a bit more when Punk made his first attempt up the ropes, but Punk wasn't trying to escape, but rather hit his flying elbow. Lawler countered a second attempt from Punk to hit his elbow, and went for the cage door. Punk, clearly dedicating this match to Andy Kaufman, was singing during the match. Mathews, wisely, noted that Punk was disrespecting Lawler in the ring while all night he had been demanding respect for himself. Lawler late his his flying fist from the second rope, but Punk kicked out from a pin attempt. CM Punk started to bleed from the fist, and the finish came almost immediately. Punk won with his anaconda vise submission. The match was really nothing, crowd was dead, and I was waiting for the end the entire time.

After the match, Punk gave Lawler a chance to tell the world that Punk was the best. Lawler said "Hell no!" Punk beat Lawler up some more until John Cena made the save. Punk had locked the cage door, though, so Cena couldn't get in. Punk continued to beat down Lawler in the ring while Cena tried to get the cage raised. Cena stood by helpless, while Punk kneed Lawler and said he was the best wrestler in the world. Finally the cage began to rise, and Punk bailed while Cena attended to Lawler.

Show's over, final segment was a dud. Bryan and Kane stole the show. We also got a whole lot less AJ this week, too, which was fine. Until next week, go Nats.

@sarahkustok

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