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The Sleeper Hold – Episode 15

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Posted on November 20, 2012 AT 02:41pm

All the fallout from Survivor Series, including both CM Punk and Big Show retaining their respective titles and Team Foley going down in a blaze of glory, came to the forefront on Monday Night RAW as it went on the air from Dayton, Ohio.

Main Plot Overview: The biggest result of Sunday’s Survivor Series PPV, traditionally one of the most controversy laden events of the year, saw CM Punk miraculously retain the WWE Championship after three NXTers interfered and put Ryback through the announce table during the triple threat match. This led to one of the most over-the-top celebrations in WWE history as CM Punk’s title reign officially reached one year, only the eighth time in history that has happened.

Ryback, none too happy about being screwed over again however, decided to crash the party. But just when Ryback looked to feed his hunger, the three NXT upstarts appeared again and performed a Survivor Series encore, again putting Ryback through a table.

It also seems that John Cena is starting a feud with Dolph Ziggler and therefore being slowly worked out of the main plot for the first time in a while. More on that though later!

Match of the Night: I have to say that aside from the stupid AJ/Cena drama and Punk’s weekly gloating, last night’s RAW saw the best all around wrestling card in quite a while, making this a difficult decision. With push coming to shove though, I had to pick a PPV main event caliber match that was almost buried in the very middle of the show.

Continuing the rivalry of Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio in a fight to see who is truly the WWE’s “Apex Predator”, Del Rio and Orton were placed in a Best 2 out of 3 Falls Match. In a surprising call, and to probably hasten the pace of what can be a marathon match inducing stipulation, Del Rio quickly disqualified himself when he refused to stop using the ring post to smash Randy Orton’s arm.

Of course, this was in the hopes of weakening it to more easily lock in his patented armbar submission, which is exactly what Del Rio did to score the second point of that match, his first. Tied up at 1 fall apiece, Orton was in trouble with his arm devastated. But you only need one arm to land an RKO.

After Del Rio missed his Enziguri finisher and Orton countered a second armbar attempt into a pinning situation, Del Rio’s frustration was clear. So much so that he attempted to use Orton’s own RKO against him, but Randy countered it into an Irish Whip followed up by his vintage middle rope suspended DDT. After this, Orton hit the RKO himself and won in what was a spectacular show from both men and has me interested in a non-title rivalry for the first time in quite a while.

Promo of the Night: After AJ and Vickie had their typical spot where Vickie was trying to prove that AJ and John Cena were an item, finally the dam broke and AJ and John locked lips right there in the ring. But it wasn’t this moment that made this situation the Promo of the Week.

As AJ and John made out, Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring and ambushed John. When the tides turned, Ziggler made his way up the ramp to escape and John attempted to follow, but on the way out the ring, it looks like Cena twisted his ankle. At first, I thought he might have been legitimately hurt as replays show John did indeed twist his ankle and you can’t really fake that.

Officials later claimed it was more of a knee injury, but here is why I do not think it was serious. If it had been, John’s night would’ve been over and he’d likely have gone to this hospital. Instead, AJ busted into the Men’s Locker Room and confronted Dolph. This is when it got good.

Dolph then proceeded to belittle poor AJ, even calling her a piece of trash. AJ then freaked and started smacking Dolph. Cena then busted in to break it up, but Dolph then kicked the “injured” knee of John Cena as the two proceeded to have one of the best backroom brawls we’ve seen on RAW in a while, even smashing each other through a bathroom stall. This conflict combined with Dolph’s amazing heel speech is what made this series of events the Promo of the Night.

Shocker of the Night: We have a Great Khali sighting! I suppose the WWE’s ratings in India have dipped as the only reason why you see the Punjabi Playboy is to boost international appeal, as he is the worst wrestler on the roster by far. So this was an easy Shocker of the Week for me because I can’t remember the last time I saw Khali “wrestle”.

Of course, he still didn’t really wrestle as all he did was hit Primo and Epico, his handicap match opponents, with his big fist once or twice and the match was over. At the very least the match gave us an excuse to see the amazing Rosa Mendes come to ringside again though.

Cheap Pop of the Night: With Mick Foley not around that much anymore, it’s hard to call what was the Cheap Pop of the Night as I do not recall anyone blatantly pointing out the WWE’s presence in Dayton, Ohio. Because of this, the Cheap Pop of the Night actually goes to CM Punk for his new “I’m a Paul Heyman Guy” t-shirt (available now on WWEShop.com of course!) that cheaply plugs his legendary manager. This isn’t to say it’s not an awesome shirt as I think I know exactly what I’ll be buying on Cyber Monday next week now, but it just goes to shop a pop doesn’t always have to be for the hometown crowd.

A close second was when Paul Heyman called out the WWE Universe for chanting “ECW” in prior weeks, but not really understanding what that meant as the current WWE audience could never handle the glory days of ECW brand wrestling, or him spinning tales of how he used to hang out with the legendary Bruno Sammartino when he was a boy.

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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