Both the WWE and World Heavyweight champions walked out of Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view with their titles in tow.
Sheamus cleanly put away his rival Alberto Del Rio, while CM Punk retained his title after a controversial double-pin with John Cena.
But as Paul Heyman was quick to point out on tonight's Raw, in a situation like that, the champion is to be declared the winner.
Both challengers, though, laid claim to another shot at the title, so General Manager AJ Lee put all four men in a tag team match that she said could have ramifications on who could possibly get a rematch.
The teams of Punk and Del Rio and Cena and Sheamus put together a great match that was of the highest quality for a television main event. All four are top-notch workers that really click together.
The match, though, ended with controversy once again, as Punk had his foot on the rope when Cena pinned him. The referee, though, didn't see it and awarded the match to Sheamus and Cena.
The win here will hopefully be two-fold. This should finally be the end of Sheamus and Del Rio's overly long rivalry and a turning point in Punk and Cena's.
Next month's pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell, is a perfect opportunity for Punk and Cena to settle their score. Too often, that show features matches thrown together to fit the gimmick, but this is a rare opportunity.
WWE has done great work to build a rivalry to the point where it will make sense for it to escalate to a Hell in a Cell match. Punk and Cena have had a tremendous series of matches together, and that would be a great blowoff (at least for now).
There is potential for WWE to create top notch stories for the build to the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, and Hell in a Cell will certainly be a turning point in at least one of them.
People, myself included, often complain about the same guys being at the top of the card consistently, but when guys perform at the caliber of these four, can you blame WWE for keeping it that way?
- I didn't get to see the original on Night of Champions last night, but the rematch between Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth was an excellent affair. The match was a lot of fun to watch, and all four men worked hard. They successfully executed some nice nearfalls to make it believeable the former champs would regain their titles, but in the end, the right team won. Kane and Bryan arguing, hugging and arguing after the match was hilarious. This team is gold right now.
- Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara looked good in victory when they defeated Primo and Epico in a good opening match. These four stars worked well together, and it would be nice to see them get an opportunity for a longer match. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young attacked the masked luchadors after the match, and it appears a new midcard tag team feud may have been started. Who says there's no tag team division in WWE anymore? Hopefully WWE continues to build multiple teams and have more than one rivalry in the division at a time.
- Brodus Clay worked one of the longest matches he's had yet, and his opponent was... Heath Slater? But even with the help of United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, who distracted Clay and almost allowed Slater to win, the One Man Rock Band had the plug pulled. Clay and Cesaro seem headed for a collision. While Clay wouldn't be my ideal opponent, beating him will make Cesaro look good, and it will certainly be better than Santino Marella.
- Former stablemates Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel collided in the ring, and the Brit proved his dominance over the South African. Both men looked good in the ring, but the match left me wondering why Gabriel doesn't get more TV spots. The kid is talented. Barrett seems to be getting a new push, and I'm okay with that. His new finisher looks great against smaller opponents, but it would look out of place against someone like Big Show or Kane. Definitely better than Wasteland, though.
- Dolph Ziggler got some of his heat back after a loss to Randy Orton last night by easily disposing of Marella. Ziggler wasn't having any of Marella's signature comedy and laid waste to the former United States champion. Beating Marella isn't much of an accomplishment, but at this point, a win helps Ziggler get back on the right track. Vickie Guerrero's involvement in distracting Marella for the finish also helps rebuild her role as Ziggler's manager.
- Beth Phoenix looked more dominant than she has in recent weeks, but in the end, she still lost to new Divas Champion Eve. Layla, on commentary, tried building a case that Eve has changed and that the new champ is the one who took Kaitlyn out. I'd suggest it's a swerve and Layla is the one turning heel here, but that would mean thought went into a divas rivalry, and I'm not ready to accept that yet.
- Randy Orton defeated Tensai in a pretty good match that saw Orton get worked over for most of the match before hitting his signature offense and catching Tensai with an out-of-the-corner RKO. Orton was able to look strong, as he toppled a big opponent like Tensai the night after going head-to-head with Ziggler. The story they were telling clicked and the result was a fun little basic match.
- Damien Sandow and Zack Ryder had a surprisingly good - and lengthy - match in the semi-main event slot. When Ryder interrupted a Sandow promo, I expected a squash match, but these two worked a high-quality and engaging match. Both men could have big things in their futures if they play their cards right.
- The Miz debuted his new talk show, Miz TV, but it didn't get off to a great start. After cutting a good promo calling out Booker T, which the sheepish crowd called boring, he was introduced to Ryback, who destroyed his set. The Miz being Ryback's first real opponent is interesting to say the least.
- The Jared from Subway skit was completely awful, but I'll be darned if I didn't get a good chuckle when Ryback came out. So bad you couldn't help but just laugh.
- WWE did a great job providing updates on the health of Jerry "The King" Lawler, who will do an interview on next week's show.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara d. Primo and Epico
Eve d. Beth Phoenix
Brodus Clay d. Heath Slater
Dolph Ziggler d. Santino Marella
Wade Barrett d. Justin Gabriel
Kane and Daniel Bryan d. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
Randy Orton d. Tensai
Damien Sandow d. Zack Ryder
John Cena and Sheamus d. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio
I really enjoyed this week's episode of Raw and thought it was quality from top to bottom. A lot of matches surpassed expectations and everything just seemed to click. The commentary trio of Michael Cole, JBL and Jim Ross did an outstanding job. I only wish they would all be around longer, but that's not the hand fate has dealt, as JBL has a mountain to climb - literally. WWE deserves a lot of credit for putting together a great show. After last week's situation, this was a good show for the audience. I had no issues with tonight's Raw.
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