Raw results: Punk's quest for respect leads him to Paul Heyman

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September 04, 2012

Dolph Ziggler def. Randy Orton; Intercontinental Champion The Miz joined Michael Cole at commentary

PHOTOS | VIDEO

Dolph Ziggler's match against Randy Orton (a rematch of a closely contested bout on last Friday's SmackDown) began not with physicality, but with an ominous proclamation from Vickie Guerrero, who interrupted her typical introduction of The Showoff to tease an important announcement she'd be making later in the evening.

Orton and Ziggler wasted no time in picking up where they left off on SmackDown, trading shoulder blocks with each other to start the contest, while Orton attempted to incapacitate The Showoff with vicious kicks to the body. Orton continued the punishment by executing a flashy suplex that saw him bounce Ziggler off the ropes, a move The Showoff himself might have appreciated were he not the recipient. The Viper's assault on Ziggler was relentless, as the former World Heavyweight Champion hauled Ziggler outside the ropes and administered a stiff beating to Mr. Money in the Bank outside the apron.

Ziggler rallied, though, making it back into the ring in an attempt to mount an offensive sequence against The Apex Predator. After suffering Orton's wrath for much of the contest, Ziggler finally found success in this regard, felling The Viper with a swinging neckbreaker and exploiting Orton's past shoulder issues by ramming him into the barrier outside the ring. After landing a pair of elbow drops, The Showoff attempted to seal his victory by ensnaring Orton in a headlock (true to form, Ziggler displayed his peerless athleticism by executing a textbook neck bridge while he did it). The rally was enough to tilt the contest back into Ziggler's favor, as he put in enough work to set up for a rare top rope maneuver while Orton lied prone on the mat.

And then, as has happened so many times before, The Viper struck, tripping up Ziggler on the turnbuckles and sending The Showoff airborne with a superplex. His momentum rising and the voices in his head reaching a fever pitch, Orton attempted to set up his signature sequence before Ziggler countered, using The Apex Predator's own fury against him and surprising Orton with a roll-up pin, grabbing a fistful of The Viper's tights to keep him down for a dubious, if hard-fought, victory.

However, no sooner had the bell tolled than Ziggler's thunder was stolen by Intercontinental Champion The Miz, who strolled past The Showoff and took a seat at the commentary booth next to Michael Cole.

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