WWE “RAW” was broadcast live from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. was WWE’s last chance to build up the storyline leading into Hell in a Cell. To get fans hyped for Sunday’s pay-per-view, “RAW” featured CM Punk winning a Champion vs. Champion lumberjack match, and strong efforts to show off Ryback’s power.
WWE Champion CM Punk beat World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus for the second time this month, after the Second City Saint defeated the Celtic Warrior on the Oct. 3 episode of “Main Event.” Last night’s match had a minor change, being the largest Lumberjack match in the history of “RAW.”
A Lumberjack match is a bout that features two men, with the ringside area filled with other wrestlers, or lumberjacks, who are supposed to keep the competitors from leaving the ring. In the match, the lumberjacks can attack either opponent, which aided Punk when Sheamus’ Hell in a Cell challenger Big Show Chokeslammed the Great White, allowing Punk to get the pin.
The WWE Champion didn’t have time to celebrate, as his Hell in a Cell challenger Ryback stormed down to the ring and brutally assaulted the Straight-Edge Superstar. “RAW” went off the air with Punk laid out and Ryback looking strong.
Earlier in the night, Ryback beat former WWE champion the Miz in a one-on-one match. This is the second time the Big Hungry has dominated Miz, and it set Ryback up for his Hell in a Cell fight with Punk for the WWE Title this Sunday.
A returning Rey Mysterio opened the show last night after being absent due to a case of the flu. He and his partner Sin Cara lost in the finals of the tag team tournament, however, with Rhodes Scholars becoming the No. 1 contenders for the Tag Team Championships.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are now set to face Kane and Daniel Bryan for the Tag Titles at Hell in a Cell, and the current champions don’t appear to be ready for the action with both men losing their matches on “RAW.”
Dolph Ziggler beat Daniel Bryan when Kane got the crowd chanting “Yes!” which ended up distracting his tag team partner rather than aiding him, and Kane lost to Big Show when he was distracted by Sandow and Rhodes when the duo approached the ring.
The thing that makes Kane and Bryan special is that there’s no way of predicting how their matches will turn out because of how dysfunctional they are. These losses mean nothing because it makes them seem more chaotic, but Rhodes Scholars will likely take the belts because odd couple tag teams rarely have lengthy title runs.
Alberto Del Rio beat Zack Ryder to make a statement before his Hell in a Cell match against Randy Orton. The Mexican Aristocrat locked Ryder in a vicious armbar and refused to break the hold even after the Long Island Iced-Z submitted.
Though the Del Rio and Orton match features two top talents, there has been little build up to the match. It will be hard for fans to care about the match, even if Del Rio claims to be the new Apex Predictor of the WWE, a moniker used by Orton.
Justin Gabriel pulled off an upset victory on the reigning United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. Hopefully this is setting up a grudge match for Sunday’s pay-per-view, because these two men put on a superb performance together and the Hell in a Cell card is nothing if not lacking.
Kofi Kingston will be defending his IC Title in a rematch against Miz. After the Awesome One’s loss on “RAW” to Ryback, and Kingston’s win over Michael McGillicutty, it appears that the current title holder has the upper hand.
“RAW” General Manager AJ Lee resigned from her duties after a short tenure as the show’s authority figure. Her three month run was cut short after Vickie Guerrero, who is now management supervisor of the show, made allegations that AJ had an affair with John Cena.
Cena is now cleared to wrestle, and this could be a last minute attempt to keep him on TV before the pay-per-view this Sunday. Cena is a huge draw and will likely be at the event even though he isn’t scheduled to wrestle that night.
The Divas didn’t get a match on last night’s show, but Divas Champion Eve Torres, Layla and Kaitlyn were all featured in a backstage segment. The weak storyline going on was strengthened by the vignette, but it amounted to very little being that it wasn’t led into nor followed up by a match.