Thirteen nights before Hell in a Cell, the 1012th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. Per the decree made by Mr. McMahon at the end of last week’s RAW, this week’s show would be crucial for CM Punk as the WWE Champion must choose his fate come Hell in a Cell as the outspoken and controversial champion must select either the man he has repeatedly refused to give another title shot, John Cena, or the undefeated and seemingly unstoppable “Sin City Cyborg” Ryback to defend the title against inside the demonic Hell in a Cell structure and, if CM Punk fails to choose either John Cena or Ryback, then Mr. McMahon has declared that he will choose Punk’s opponent himself! Also, the culmination of a month-long tournament to crown the new #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles would take place on RAW as Team Rhodes Scholars would face Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara with the victorious team facing Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Titles at Hell in a Cell.
- Big Show def. Daniel Bryan by pin following the chokeslam.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- The Prime Time Players def. Team CoBro by Titus O’Neil pinning Zack Ryder following the Clash of the Titus.
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Ryback def. Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga by pinning David Otunga following Shell Shocked.
- Non-Title: Antonio Cesaro def. Justin Gabriel by pin following the Neutralizer.
- Kane def. Matt Striker by pin following the chokeslam.
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Wade Barrett by DQ after Big Show interferes.
- Divas Championship: Eve (c) def. Layla by pin after Eve (c) knocks Layla off of the middle rope to retain.
- Team Rhodes Scholars def. Primo & Epico by Damien Sandow pinning Epico following the Terminus.
- Non-Title: Kofi Kingston def. The Miz by pin following Trouble in Paradise.
Two weeks before he challenges Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title at Hell in a Cell, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show kicks off the show. Big Show says that, two weeks ago, he took part in a debate with Sheamus, saying that the debate was just a clever way to allow Sheamus to make fun of him. The #1 Contender continues, saying that Sheamus is in way over his head, evidenced by what happened last week when Big Show caught the Brogue Kick and dumped Sheamus to the outside. Big Show then says that, on SmackDown, he took part in a “scientific challenge” to see which was stronger, the Brogue Kick or the K.O. Punch, saying that he didn’t want to “embarrass” Sheamus, but Sheamus left him no choice. Big Show then vows that, at Hell in a Cell, he will knock Sheamus out and become the World Heavyweight Champion, saying that then the fans will stop badgering him about his 45 second title reign. Big Show then proclaims that he is going to put an end to the berating he has received, demanding that the man who cashed in Money-in-the-Bank and defeated him in 45 seconds last year come out there right now! Backstage, the man who did just that, Daniel Bryan, is being glared at by his tag team partner, Kane, and a host of other Superstars, but the WWE Tag Team Champion says that there is no way he is going out there to face Big Show. RAW General Manager AJ Lee then enters the picture, saying that Big Show has a really great idea, ordering Daniel Bryan to go out there and face Big Show! Bryan then asks Kane if Kane has his back and Kane just laughs at his tag partner as the tag champion reluctantly goes to the ring.
Per the orders of RAW General Manager AJ Lee, the opening match of the night saw the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, go one-on-one with one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Daniel Bryan. Despite an impressive outing by Daniel Bryan, Big Show would put the WWE Tag Team Champion down with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win. After the match, a very interesting confrontation looked to be on the horizon as Daniel Bryan’s tag team partner, Kane, makes his way to the ring, laughing at Daniel Bryan’s loss. However, Kane’s smile would disappear when Big Show looked ready to level Daniel Bryan with the W.M.D. as Kane would actually enter the ring to protect Bryan! Big Show would then think twice about clashing with “The Big Red Monster”, leaving the ring as the WWE Tag Team Champions argues with one another.
With the world awaiting a decision from CM Punk, the WWE Champion’s associate, Paul Heyman, appears to introduce CM Punk, mentioning that Punk has held and successfully defended for 330 consecutive days before introducing CM Punk. WWE Champion CM Punk then makes his way to the ring, saying that, last week, he was “disrespected” again and he again proved everyone wrong and, whoever disrespects him will be put down. Punk continues, saying that is what he did to Mr. McMahon last week, saying that the Chairman disrespected him, so he slapped him in the face. The WWE Champion admits that McMahon put up a good fight last week before saying that, because of the beating he gave to McMahon, the Chairman will never compete in the ring again. Punk then shows the poster for Hell in a Cell that depicts him as a devil, saying that devils don’t exist, but he will pretend that they do for a moment. Punk says that, on one hand, there is the devil that he doesn’t know in Ryback, who inserted himself into a situation that he had no business being a part of, or the devil he knows very well and has beaten multiple times, John Cena. Punk then motions to a veiled stand in the middle of the ring, saying that he will use it to unveil who he will face at Hell in a Cell. The WWE Champion then says that, due to the disrespect shown by the fans, he is going to take some additional time to think about his decision. However, a certain Chairman had a different plan in mind as Mr. McMahon comes out, saying that he was hoping that Punk learned his lesson last week. McMahon then says that, maybe Punk will “respect” what he is about to say, saying that Punk “blew it” by not selecting the opponent himself. The Chairman then declares that he is going to make the decision for Punk later tonight when McMahon and Punk will take part in a contract signing where Punk’s Hell in a Cell opponent will finally be unveiled, telling Punk to “respect that”!
Two weeks before he faces Randy Orton in the just announced match at Hell in a Cell, “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, faced “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay, with the Funkadactyls in his corner. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio locking in the cross armbreaker on his former protégé, making Brodus Clay tap out to pick up the win.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is talking with WWE Champion CM Punk as Heyman tries to explain to the stressed champion that Punk may have won the “battle” last week, but Punk will lose the “war” to Mr. McMahon. Punk then orders his associate to go tell the Chairman that he wants to fight McMahon again tonight!
Two of the teams that failed to advance in the #1 Contenders Tag Team Tournament faced off on RAW as Team CoBro faced The Prime Time Players. In the end, it was Titus O’Neil hitting the Clash of the Titus on Zack Ryder en route to picking up the win for The Prime Time Players. After the match, the new alliance of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre rush the ring, attacking Zack Ryder before Heath Slater proclaims that they are going to put the “music” back in the Music City, referring to the group as “3MB”!
“Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero appeared on RAW, saying that he earned his Money-in-the-Bank contract, saying that Ryback is just a “flash in the pan” and he deserves to challenge CM Punk for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell, proclaiming that he could beat Punk for the WWE Title and cash in his Money-in-the-Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Title in the same night! The Harvard Law graduate, David Otunga, then comes out, saying that it does not take a Harvard Law degree to see that Ryback does not deserve a WWE Title shot, but says that Dolph does not deserve one either. Otunga then says that they should give a WWE Title shot to the “biggest star” in the WWE, who is as strong physically as he is mentally, himself. RAW General Manager AJ Lee then interrupts, saying that Dolph and Otunga should express themselves physically against the man himself, Ryback!
Per the orders of AJ Lee, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler and David Otunga faced the undefeated “Sin City Cyborg” Ryback in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match! During the match, Dolph Ziggler would decide not to clash with Ryback, walking out on the match as Ryback hits David Otunga with Shell Shocked en route to picking up another dominant win. Will Mr. McMahon select Ryback as CM Punk’s next challenger?
Backstage, Mr. McMahon is on the phone when his phone call is interrupted by the arrival of Paul Heyman, who says that he does not want to go against the Chairman, but he has an interesting proposal for McMahon. Heyman says that McMahon’s effort last week was “Herculean” and, if Punk and McMahon were to face off again tonight and Punk was somehow able to win, then Punk would get to choose his Hell in a Cell opponent. The Chairman takes to the idea, saying that they will have the match, but the match will not feature CM Punk, but will instead see Paul Heyman himself facing McMahon! The Chairman then barks at Heyman to get out of his office.
Also backstage, the victim of the No Lock and chokeslam at the hands of Team Hell No on SmackDown, Matt Striker, confronts RAW General Manager AJ Lee, wanting an apology for what happened to him on SmackDown. However, the interviewer makes the mistake of using the word, “crazy”, and AJ responds by putting Striker in a match against Kane!
The United States Champion was in action on RAW as Antonio Cesaro went one-on-one with Justin Gabriel in a non-title match. During the match, Justin Gabriel manages to hit the 450 Splash on Antonio Cesaro, but Cesaro manages to injure himself by landing on Cesaro’s shoulder. Cesaro then avoids being pinned by getting his foot on the bottom rope. Shortly after this, Cesaro catches Gabriel with an uppercut in mid-air before finishing Gabriel off with the Neutralizer en route to picking up an impressive win.
Per the orders of AJ Lee, wrestler-turned-interviewer Matt Striker returns to in-ring competition to go one-on-one with one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, “The Big Red Monster” Kane! The match begins, but Matt Striker pleads with Kane, asking what Dr. Shelby would say before saying that the fans want to see spirited competition, not “mindless carnage”. Kane then extends his arms and embraces Matt Striker in a hug, but Kane does not let Striker leave, wanting to hug him again. However, Kane turns the friendly hug into a bear hug before he drops Striker with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win! After the match, Kane mocks Striker, asking Striker how he feels after a tough loss with Striker unresponsive. Kane then proclaims that he’s the “tag team champions” before leaving the ring.
Before he defends the Intercontinental Title on WWE Main Event this Wednesday night, Intercontinental Champion The Miz would host Miz TV on RAW with his guest, the man he will defend the title against, Kofi Kingston. The Miz asks the fans to “please feel sorry” for Kofi Kingston before Kofi makes his way to the ring. Miz tells Kofi that he will “carry” Kofi just like every other Superstar has done, but Kofi disputes that Miz looked like he needed to be “carried” out last week. Miz then says that Kofi has been in the WWE for five years and is best known for being in “forgettable tag teams”, saying that Kofi will never be a main eventer, calling Kofi a “b-player”. Kofi then says that maybe it is time for him to create a “memorable moment” by defeating Miz for the Intercontinental Title on WWE Main Event. Kofi then says that he will step up tonight by facing Miz on RAW! Miz agrees to the match before saying that “nobody cares” about Kofi, saying that all Kofi will ever be is the guy who says “boom, boom, boom”. Fed up with the Intercontinental Champion, Kingston attacks The Miz, wrecking another edition of Miz TV by pummeling its host and sending Miz out of the ring!
After their match last week was brought to a halt by Tensai, the rematch would take place on RAW as World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus went one-on-one with “The Bareknuckle Brawler” Wade Barrett in a non-title match. During the match, Big Show comes out, taking a seat on the staging area to watch the match. Later on in the match, Sheamus begins to lock in the Texas Cloverleaf, but Big Show approaches the ring, drawing the attention of Sheamus. Shortly after this, Big Show low-bridges the champion, sending Sheamus to the outside, bringing an end to the match! After the match, Sheamus blasts Wade Barrett with the Brogue Kick before knocking Big Show out of the ring!
After losing the Divas Title at Night of Champions under dubious circumstances, Layla would get the opportunity to regain the title as Layla challenges Eve for the Divas Title on RAW. During the match, Layla would be perched on the middle rope and Eve would kick the legs out from under the challenger, resulting in Layla’s face colliding with the mat. Eve then pins Layla and, with the referee not seeing Layla’s foot on the bottom rope, Eve pins Layla to retain the title, knocking Layla’s foot off of the rope.
With Rey Mysterio sick at home with the flu, the Finals of the #1 Contenders Tag Team Tournament were postponed until next week’s RAW. Team Rhodes Scholars was still in action on RAW, however, as Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow faced Primo & Epico, with Rosa Mendes in their corner. In the end, it was Damien Sandow hitting the Terminus on Epico en route to picking up the win for Team Rhodes Scholars.
In a non-title prelude to the Intercontinental Title match on Main Event, Intercontinental Champion The Miz went one-on-one with Kofi Kingston on RAW. In the end, it was Kofi Kingston striking suddenly with Trouble in Paradise, blasting Miz in the skull en route to pinning the Intercontinental Champion. After the match, the referee and EMT’s tend to a bloodied Intercontinental Champion, still reeling from Trouble in Paradise. Can Kofi Kingston achieve the same feat when it counts on Main Event with the Intercontinental Title on the line?
Then it was time for CM Punk’s Hell in a Cell fate to be decided as WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon would hold a special contract signing for Hell in a Cell. The Chairman first introduces the defending champion inside Hell in a Cell as WWE Champion CM Punk makes his way to the ring with Paul Heyman in tow. McMahon then introduces one of the potential title contenders in the undefeated, insatiable Ryback before bringing out the other potential challenger in the recovering John Cena. With all parties in the ring, Mr. McMahon says that he knew that CM Punk would not have the “grapefruits” to pick a challenger himself. The brash champion then cuts the Chairman off, calling McMahon an “egomaniac”, accusing McMahon of taking away his decision of selecting his challenger. The WWE Champion then signs his side of the contract, saying that McMahon is going to do what he wants to do anyways, so he will just do at Hell in a Cell what he did to McMahon last week, saying he will “break them”! Punk then calls Cena and McMahon “insecure, little men” before Cena interrupts, saying that he respects Punk’s achievement of 330 days as the WWE Champion. McMahon then says that he is ready to get the contract signing over with, but before the Chairman can reveal the new #1 Contender, Cena interrupts and says that he is not even sure if Ryback is interested in the WWE Championship as Ryback seems content with getting his hands on CM Punk, saying that, regardless of who does it, Punk needs to get his “ass whipped”! Cena continues that McMahon’s decision is an easy one and, while Punk walks throughout the WWE demanding “respect” and will learn to fear three simple words, “feed me more”! Cena then leads a “feed more chant” as Ryback signs the title contract and Mr. McMahon announces the match officially signed! Punk then gets in the face of his new challenger and Ryback responds by smacking Punk’s head off of the table before dropping the WWE Champion in the center of the ring with Shell Shocked!
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