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??raw results (08-10-2o12)??

True to his word, John Cena was in the house for Monday Night Raw in Sacramento, Calif., making his first Monday night appearance in two weeks sans sling (but sporting some intricate-looking recovery strips on his injured arm) to address the WWE Universe. And, seemingly re-invigorated by his return to Raw, the Cenation leader gave a rousing speech that was ebullient even for him, including an alternate name for Team Hell No and (to the delight of the California crowd) a proposition to Raw General Manager AJ Lee: a date at In-N-Out Burger. But when it came to the matter of CM Punk, Cena was all business and the trademark smile faded away as he repeated his solemn vow to the WWE Universe: One arm, two arms, injured or not, the Cenation leader would make his way to Hell in a Cell to challenge for the WWE Title. As a final appeal to The Second City Saint, Cena bellowed, "don't be a punk: agree to face me and define your legacy at Hell in a Cell!"

All that would have been enough for the WWE Universe, but the assembled crowd got an extra treat when Ryback made his presence known, thundering down to the ring for his match, though not before sharing a moment of mutual respect with the Cenation leader.


Ryback has always said that two is greater than one, and "Big Hungry" doubled down on perhaps his biggest meal yet when he devoured the former WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico in a Handicap Match that came hot off the heels of John Cena's roof-raising address to the WWE Universe.

Primo & Epico, who teamed up to face Ryback after he decimated both men on SmackDown, attempted to slow down the insatiable "human wrecking machine" with a series of double-teams and sleeper holds that seemed to be doing their job well for the first part of the match. Ryback was left dazed and confused by Primo & Epico's rapid-fire, tandem offense, but all it took was one burst of strength from the massive Superstar to turn the tide of the contest and spell doom for the former champions. In an echo of the victories that made him a household name in WWE, Ryback lifted both Primo and Epico onto his titanic shoulders and left the duo Shell Shocked as the referee counted three. Two more challengers fall, but the hunger remains

Following his loss to Antonio Cesaro last week, Brodus Clay was all set to get funk back on a roll on Raw with a match against R-Truth (WATCH: TRUTH & KOFI GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS), but no sooner had The Funkasaurus finished his entrance than Truth was dragged into the ring by Little Jimmy, who appeared to be moving with great purpose toward Brodus and his Funkadactyl entourage.

The problem, as it turned out, was something more deep-seeded than any kind of rivalry Little Jimmy had spontaneously developed with The Funky One: Truth's buddy was "going through changes" and thus, would be unable to sit still at ringside while Clay and the former WWE Tag Team Champion had their match. "Tonight," Truth said, "Little Jimmy wants to dance." And dance the five did, until Mr. McMahon's signature voice boomed from the TitanTron. Brodus and Co. would have to boogie their way to the locker room because The Chairman would begin his State of WWE Address then and there.

So what is the state of WWE? Following Mr. McMahon's address, state of flux would be appropriate to say the least. What started as a good-natured speech to the WWE Universe about what makes WWE great devolved into animosity and, finally, physicality after WWE Champion CM Punk decided to go a few verbal rounds with his former favorite "pipe bomb" target.

It was The Chairman's implication that WWE was about the best battling the best that brought Punk forth, sporting a new T-shirt and the same furious attitude that led to the "pipe bomb" itself. The champion, furious that Mr. McMahon dared speak of "the best" in the company without mentioning his name, took The Chairman to task for his supposedly underappreciative attitude, for attempting to vilify him while he carried the standard of WWE around his waist. "I'm the best you have!" Punk roared in Mr. McMahon's face, but The Chairman would not be moved. He attempted to take Punk down a notch, comparing him unfavorably to legends like Bret Hart and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

Instead of humbling Punk, however, the opposite occurred. Incensed by Mr. McMahon's comments, Punk vilified The Rattlesnake and finally got to his point: that it was a "slap in the face" when Mr. McMahon failed to mention Punk as one of his best Superstars. "You've been slapping me in the face for years," The Second City Saint seethed, before rearing back and open-palm slapping The Chairman across his face. With The Boss prone on the mat, Punk knelt down and delivered the kicker: "And now that's a slap in your face."

While The Second City Saint preened his way back up the ramp, The Chairman got to his feet and got to business: He should fire Punk, but wouldn't ... provided the WWE Champion met him one-on-one in the ring later that night. And by the time the night is over, The Boss vowed, CM Punk would learn something about respect.

At the top of the ramp, Paul Heyman attempted to dissuade his "guy" from taking The Boss's bait, but The Voice of the Voiceless would have none of it. "We have him right where we want him," said Punk.

The Prime Time Players came to Raw with "millions of dollars" on their minds, but it was Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara who took it to the bank when they defeated Darren Young & Titus O'Neil to bring themselves one step closer to the No. 1 contenders' spot for the Tag Team Titles.

Sin Cara and Young opened things up, and The International Sensation was quick off the starting line with a dizzying array of maneuvers that left "Mr. No Days Off" reeling by the time Mysterio tagged in to continue the opening barrage. O'Neil attempted to involve himself outside the ring against Mysterio, but a wild dive by Sin Cara felled O'Neil before he could menace Mysterio any longer. 

O'Neil found retribution, though, when he and Sin Cara found themselves in the ring together, as "The Big Deal" tenderized the masked man to prime him for a second burst of offense by Young. Sin Cara rallied fast, planting Young with a tornado DDT and opening the door for Mysterio to tag in and turn the tide of the match. Utilizing his trademark speed, The Ultimate Underdog left Young prone after a flurry of offense, finally capitalizing off an assist from Sin Cara to put Young on the mat with a 619 and send the dynamic tag team one round closer to challenging for the Tag Team Championships.

The reignited Barrett Barrage went up against its biggest obstacle yet when Wade Barrett collided with the World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus on Monday Night Raw. Unfortunately, a decisive win between the two would have to wait thanks to a pair of interlopers in the form of Big Show and Tensai.

Sheamus and Barrett had just begun to rumble when the giant made his way to ringside, prowling the outskirts of the ring while he scouted his competition for the coveted World Heavyweight Title. But with Show seemingly content to sit at the commentary table and observe, Sheamus quickly went back to work against the bare-knuckle stalwart, engaging in a good old-fashioned brawl with Barrett that veered largely toward punishing strikes over the technical mastery of Sheamus' previous opponent, Alberto Del Rio.

Barrett was game in his donnybrook against The Celtic Warrior, but Sheamus was consistently one step ahead of his barrage, cutting Wade off before the English brawler could mount an offensive sequence to slow The Great White down. A burst of ingenuity seemed to have Sheamus stymied after Barrett took the champion out at the knees, sending The Celtic Warrior crashing down to the apron and giving Barrett an opening to make a final push for the win.

Despite the seemingly debilitating attack, however, Sheamus would not be denied. Champion and opponent engaged in several bone-shattering back-and-forths throughout the match, with Barrett finally finding his groove and slowing Sheamus' rolling offense down with knees and kicks to the face and midsection that left the champion stunned on the mat, though not long enough for Barrett to notch the three-count. A thunderous boot to The Celtic Warrior's face seemed to spell doom for the World Heavyweight Champion, but Barrett's attempt at flair cost him when Sheamus dodged his elbow drop and sent Barrett reeling with his signature axe handle sequence.

After Sheamus pummeled Barrett with his forearm clubs, though, the rails came off when Tensai rumbled into the ring, ending the match with elbows to Sheamus' face. Barrett joined in on the beatdown, but true to form, The Great White countered with a boot to Tensai's face that sent Barrett scurrying. Big Show picked that moment to make his strike, but an attempted Brogue Kick was cut short when Show caught Sheamus by the ankle, hauling the stupefied champion over the ropes and sending him tumbling unceremoniously to the announce area. Consider the gauntlet thrown down.

Following his feat of strength on Raw last week, U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro notched yet another impressive win when he felled the versatile Tyson Kidd in a high-octane match that showcased the best the two Superstars had to offer.

Competing against Kidd carries a different kind of challenge than facing a big man like Clay, but Cesaro was clearly prepared for Kidd's unique blend of mat wrestling and high-flying acrobatics The Swiss Superstar used his strength to ground and pound the dynamo from Calgary, Alberta, en route to securing his second victory in a row. Kidd proved a formidable challenge nonetheless, leaving Cesaro reeling after a dizzying offensive series that took the two Superstars to the apron and beyond, finally sending Cesaro reeling into the turnbuckle.

That was when the champion found his second wind, though, hoisting Kidd into the air for his signature uppercut before sealing the hard-won match with the Neutralizer

Team Hell No continues to be a holy terror for their opponents as, despite their trademark bickering, Kane & Daniel Bryan racked up yet another win, this time against the duo of Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler on Monday Night Raw.

The infighting among the champions started before the match even began, when Bryan interrupted Kane's entrance to proclaim himself the Tag Team Champions. But even with the occasional spat, Kane & Bryan's odd-couple efficiency as a team was on display against Del Rio & Ziggler, who were unable to find their groove ...
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