Are you ready to be ROCK’D? (Can’t believe I really just led with that.) Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
The show kicks off as Justin Roberts introduces Michael Cole to a chorus of boos from the audience. He walks down to the ring in a white suit. There are two black cloth draped objects in the ring. Cole says that tonight Jim Ross has finally decided to take the challenge. Michael Cole brings out Jim Ross. Cole says that there are going to be 3 challenges. If Ross can complete them all, Ross will have his job back, and Cole will quit.
The first challenge is… arm wrestling. A referee is brought in to officiate. Cole really plays up to the audience with some heelish stall tactics. Cole is continuously trash talking, but Ross just wants to get on with it. The challenge finally begins – and Jim Ross wins! At first Cole tries to complain about the result, but then claims he couldn’t breathe because of Ross’s BBQ breath and he gave up. The production truck keeps showing the clip over and over.
The second challenge is… a dance competition to be judged by the audience in attendance. The music for Cole starts and he prances around the ring with a scarf. Ross calls for his music to be played… and it is a dance number, to which we see some of the most bizarre dance moves from a respected broadcaster I’ve ever seen. I apologize for the commentary, but that gyrating JR was disturbing. The crowd votes, and of course Jim Ross wins, making him (2-0) with one challenge to go.
If Ross wins the 3rd event, Ross goes back to being a commentator and Cole will leave the WWE forever. The third challenge is… “Who Weighs Less”? Michael Cole unveils a scale. He steps on it, and at first it doesn’t work. He turns on the power and his weight comes out to about 200 lbs. Ross gets on the scale next and weighs 239 lbs. Cole laughs and says the contest is over, Ross is gone and Cole remains the voice of the WWE.
CM Punk’s music hits, and he walks onto the entrance ramp with a microphone. Cole flips out and says Punk has no business being here. Punk walks down and gets into the ring. Punk says that Cole’s time is up. Once it became painfully obvious that Cole wasn’t going to give Ross a fair chance, this whole thing became a waste of time. Punk said that everyone already knows that Ross is the better commentator, so this is a giant waste of time. Cole’s 15 minutes of fame are over. Punk says that between Cole, Laurinaitis and Alberto Del Rio are ruining the show. Punk says that he wants the show to be entertaining, and that is what he is going to do as Champion. He wants Cole to go and starts to berate him. John Laurinaitis comes out and says that according to his 38,000 Twitter followers, they wanted to see the Michael Cole challenge. Punk says screw his Twitter followers. Laurinaitis declares that tonight, CM Punk will team with Big Show to take on Mark Henry & Alberto Del Rio.
Cole laughs and demands that Punk apologize. Punk head butts him, and then locks on the Anaconda Vice! Punk mouths he is sorry as he laughs and gets to his feet as his music plays.
Backstage, Matt Striker tells us that one of the biggest Superstars in WWE history is here to return tonight. But it’s not the Rock… it’s Mick Foley! Foley says that he is here to give The Rock and John Cena one of the best nights of their lives. Mick wouldn’t miss The Rock’s return to RAW for anything.
Jim Ross has joined Lawler on commentary.
Sin Cara & Kofi Kingston v. Cody Rhodes & Hunico
Cody Rhodes is no longer wearing his face mask.
Sin and Hunico start the match. Hunico dodges a cartwheel but gets caught with a springboard tilt a whirl. Cara transitions into an arm drag before tagging in Kofi. Hunico’s charge is blocked and Kofi hits an inverted monkey flip. Kofi kicks Cody to the outside. Sin Cara and Kofi both leap for big crossbodies to the outside as we go to commercial.
Hunico has a side headlock applied, and tosses Sin to the mat. Hunico bounces him off the ropes and connects with a back breaker. Rhodes gets the tag and stomps on the leg of Cara. He connects with a couple of punches and tags Hunico back into the match. Cara is whipped into the ropes but counters a backbreaker into a roll up. Hunico kicks out and works the neck. Cody gets the tag, and punches Cara in the back. Rhodes connects with a hard shot, but is caught off guard by a hurricarana. Kofi gets the tag, and rolls into the ring to punch Cody. Kofi hits a springboard crossbody, but Hunico breaks up the cover. Hunico is sent to the outside, and Sin Cara flips out with a spinning crossbody. Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes on Kofi, and this match is over.
Winners: Cody Rhodes & Hunico
The Rock is shown walking backstage.
Santino is in the locker room fighting as The Rock against John Cena in WWE ’12. Ryder asks him to sign his petition for a US Title shot. Santino agrees and uses Zack’s phone to vote online.
Vickie Guerrero comes out to excuse herself. She announces that there is bad news. She announces that Christian has suffered an ankle injury while on the road, which along with his neck injury from Smackdown, means that he is out for the Survivor Series match. But, Vickie has good news! She has spoken to her dear friend John Laurinaitis and is happy to announce… Dolph Ziggler walks out and says that HE is happy to announce that he is officially on Team Barrett. Tonight, Ziggler announces that he is going to take on Mason Ryan, and give him a taste of what Team Orton will endure on Sunday!
Michael Cole comes out and replaces Ross at the commentary table.
Dolph Ziggler v. Mason Ryan
Mason pushes Dolph into the corner and hits a shoulder thrust followed by a shoulder block off the ropes. Ryan lifts Ziggler into the air, over his head, and drops him to the mat. Vickie jumps up on the apron and smacks Mason Ryan across the face!
Winner via DQ: Mason Ryan
Ziggler clears the ring to escape, but John Morrison runs down and throws Dolph back into the ring. Ryan cinches on a full nelson, and then slams Ziggler to the mat.
In the back, Mick Foley shakes hands with Zack Ryder. Ryder asks him to sign his petition for a US Title shot. Foley agrees, but Ryder has to show him how to fist pump and say his catchphrase first!
Justin Roberts introduces Mick Foley and tells the crowd to welcome him back to the WWE! Foley says there’s no place like home. He says while it is fun to be back, he is here to talk about a serious matter. Foley says that despite Cena and Rock claiming they will only ever team together once, he hopes they can one day reunite and form The Rock and Cena connection. The crowd boos at the Cena reference. Foley says that’s the problem, but he is here to let them see John Cena as he does, and try and set things right.
Cena’s music hits and the hometown hero runs down to the ring. Cena thanks Foley, but says that he doesn’t need to be friends with The Rock to be successful. He asked Rock to be his partner because he is fantastic, not because he is his friend. Foley says that he knows that, and truthfully Cena and he get along because of mutual respect. Foley tells of the time he wrote Cena a note back in 2006 expressing how impressed he was by how Cena carries himself backstage. Foley says he got in trouble for putting Cena over on Twitter, but Cena deserves the respect he is due for having great matches in this company. Foley is wearing a shirt that is half Cena’s/half Rock’s. Foley says he knows how to do this right… John Cena – this is your life!
Cue the emotionally charged video package of Cena’s journey in the WWE. Cena laughs at the song choice. Foley says Cena will remember this voice… it’s Cena’s Little League coach from Massachusetts! The coach gets in the ring and gives Cena a hug. The coach tells a story of the baseball team only needing a hit to win… but Cena struck out. Cena says he struck out looking! The coach says that moment would lead to Cena becoming a great man, but that didn’t stop him from crying his eyes out.
The next person introduced is… B Squared! We see a clip of some very awful Cena rapping from 2003. Cena says wonderful, so wonderful. Bull Buchanan comes down to the ring! Bull says that John Cena was the greatest tag team partner he ever had, bar none. He doesn’t want to get emotional, but teaming with John was the greatest time of his life. They eventually broke up, as all great tag teams do, but Cena has gone on to be one of the greatest Superstars of all time! Bull says things have been alright from him. He got fired, his wife divorced him, lost all his money in a Ponzi scheme, and to top it all off his dog bit him and gave him rabies ending his career. So, what Bull is trying to tell Cena – is that Cena ruined his life. Cena says there has now finally been something worse than the Shockmaster.
The third guest is… John Cena Sr.! Senior says that he wants to address the fans that chant Cena sucks. Senior says that Cena doesn’t suck, THEY suck! John looks ready to die. His dad continues and says that they have no idea how hard his son works, they shouldn’t hassle him. Little children love him, so let’s be cool, let’s boo him. But those fans aren’t cool, they’re losers. They aren’t one half the man that his son is. John cuts him off and says that this is awful, and is not the time.
Cena thanks Mick, but says he doesn’t need any of that. What we just saw isn’t Cena’s life, what Cena does in the ring is his life. Whether the fans are here to boo him, or cheer him, he is here to perform. Cena tries to end the segment, saying this is a catastrophe and not working. Foley claims there is one last person to bring out… The Rock! Rock walks into the ring, gives Foley a Rock Bottom, and heads right back out!
Sheamus v. Jack Swagger
Swagger starts the match off with some punches, but Sheamus absorbs them and hits a shoulder block. Swagger gets a take down, but on their next barrage Sheamus pounds him to the mat and then throws Swagger to the outside.
Swagger comes off the ropes and dives to take out Sheamus’ leg. Cover, but quick kick out. Swagger tries for another cover after a slam, but Sheamus kicks out. They continue to exchange blows until Sheamus takes the advantage with a strong knee and carry slam. Cover, but Swagger kicks out. Sheamus calls for the Celtic Cross, but Swagger scurries off his back and punches him from behind. Swagger hits the second rope splash, and then goes for the ankle lock. Sheamus kicks himself free, and Swagger tumbles to the outside. Swagger gets back in the ring, but after being jostled by a punch is met with a Brogue Kick to the skull. This match is over.
Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus
Ryder is backstage convincing The Bella Twins to sign his petition. They go to talk to Alberto Del Rio and say if he wins on Sunday they’d love to hang out with him after. Ryder tells them they should all come to Long Island and party Broski style. The Twins walk away looking disgusted.
Kelly Kelly w/ Alicia Fox & Eve Torres v. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix
Kelly Kelly’s cover edition of Maxim magazine is on newsstands this week.
Kelly dodges a slap, and hits a stink face. Natalya is looking for the Sharpshooter, while she asks Kelly Kelly if she is going to cry. Kelly counters into a rollup, and this match is over.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
John Laurinaitis is on the phone, and tells whoever he is talking to that they will be debuting next week instead of this week, because The Rock would overshadow them tonight. Alberto Del Rio walks into the back and doesn’t look thrilled about CM Punk. Laurinaitis says that Punk will cause a lot of trouble for the WWE and Monday Night RAW if he wins at Survivor Series. Alberto says he might just make it so that Punk doesn’t make it to the PPV.
Matt Striker is in the back with Miz & R-Truth. He tries to ask them a couple of questions, but they ignore him. Finally, they walk away in silence.
Punk is walking through the back as Alberto runs up for a cheap attack. Referees try to break it up, but Punk was thrown against the production truck in the scuffle.
Alberto Del Rio & Mark Henry v. CM Punk & The Big Show
Show starts off against Del Rio and absolutely clobbers him. Punk gets the tag and goes right after the man who just attacked him backstage. Rio is able to scurry away and tag in Henry. Punk turns to Show. Henry and Big Show lock up in the center of the ring. Henry wins their first exchange, and after a long struggle, their second as well. Show takes off his shirt and locks up again. Show finally comes out on top in their third exchange! Show attacks with a series of head butts before trying for a scoop slam. Henry falls back into him and tries for a cover. Show kicks out, but is met with a headbutt from Henry. Show’s ankle becomes the target as Del Rio gets the tag. He kicks at the leg several times, and then brings Henry back in to the match. Henry stomps on Show’s head, and then starts to lift him to his feet. Show punches from his knees. Henry tries to block, but Show gets to his feet and gains the advantage with head butts! Henry whips Show into the ropes, but gets clobbered by a shoulder block! Show signals for the Weapon of Mass Destruction. Henry turns to tag in Del Rio, and jumps off the apron. Del Rio is not thrilled and begins to argue with the World Heavyweight Champion.
Back from the break, Punk is on the mat being tortured by Mark Henry. He takes his time tagging in Rio. The Champion tries to work on Punk’s injured shoulder. Punk dodges a splash but gets clobbered with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Henry gets the tag. He locks on an arm bar, and Punk tries to get to his feet to escape. They exchange blows, and Punk connects with a heel kick followed by a rolling neckbreaker. Henry comes into the ring, but gets caught with a kick first from Punk, and then Big Sow! Punk heads to the top row and leaps for an elbow, but catches Punk and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Show runs in and throws Henry out of the ring. Show follows after, but Henry pushes him head first into the steel post. Rio rolls towards Punk to capitalize on the Slam, and this match is over!
Winners: Alberto Del Rio & Mark Henry
After the match, Del Rio locks on the Cross Arm Breaker until Show can make it back to the ring and save his partner.
Santino’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He says that it was this building, this year, where he almost won the Royal Rumble. He would have won if it wasn’t for that son of a gun Alberto Del Rio. Santino says Boston is known for a lot of things, but he promises that the next time he is here it will be as a Champion!
Kevin Nash’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Santino begs him not to attack him. Nash says he wouldn’t do that, he actually wants to see Santino do the trombone. Santino starts to trombone, but Nash hits him with a Big Boot. Nash says that he was in the Rumble here, and got the biggest pop of the night, but HHH didn’t rehire him. Nash picks Santino up and looks for the Jackknife Powerbomb – and connects.
Wade Barrett gets in the ring and has a mic. He reiterates that Orton is the past, but Wade is the present and future. His Survivor Series Team is here with him (Swagger, Hunico, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler). Orton makes his way down to the ring with his team (Sheamus, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston & Mason Ryan).
Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett
Orton starts off strong with a couple punches, kicks and a European Uppercut. He bounces out of the corner and hits Wade with a clothesline. Orton hits a suplex, and then leaps for a high knee drop. Cover, but Wade kicks out. Orton kicks him in the kidney, before getting countered by a Wade side slam. Orton kicks out. Wade mounts Orton and unloads with punches. Wade fights his way back and locks on a rear headlock. Orton gets to his feet and escapes with a back drop. He hits a couple arm lariats before hitting his signature snap scoop slam. Orton throws Wade onto the apron and sets up for the suspended DDT as his Survivor Series team looks on. The move connects, and Orton starts to pound on the mat. Cody Rhodes comes in to attack Orton – and all hell breaks loose. Both teams get in the ring, but Team Orton throws everyone but Hunico out of the ring. Orton hits an RKO. Mason Ryan then lifts Hunico over his head and tosses him to the outside!
Justin Roberts introduces… The Rock! The Great One comes out to a monster ovation. He tells the story of his day from waking up to arriving in Boston and then on the show. “Finally, The Rock has come back to Boston!” The Rock says that he is driven by every single moment. Rock says that as much as he loves Mick Foley, he couldn’t stay backstage and let him continue that Cena garbage. The crowd begins a “Thank You Rock” chant. Rock says that it is the moments like this that drive The Rock. It’s why he is the most electrifying man in entertainment. Rock puts over his new shirt which says “Boots to Asses”. He wants it to trend on Twitter. The crowd begins a, “Boots to Asses” chant! The Rock says he doesn’t want to wait 6 days to fight.
The Miz & R-Truth come down to the ring. They say that when they come down to the ring things get awesome. Truth says he is ready to get it on right now. But, Miz says that’s not going to happen right now. The Miz says they don’t care what The Rock or the people want. It’s all about what they want. What they want is to make history at the biggest Survivor Series of all time. And that’s the truth.
Another, “Boots to Asses” chant starts in the crowd. Miz goes to leave the ring – but John Cena’s music hits!
John Cena makes his way into the ring to stand next to his partner for Sunday, The Rock. Cena asks Miz if he is wearing makeup. Cena says that Rock thinks he is the captain of Team Bringit, but the only thing he has brought in 7 years was crappy satellite messages. The Rock tells them to excuse his partner because he is not used to having support from someone who has gone through puberty. Rock says that Cena has lady parts, and we get a “lady parts” chant. Cena denies he has a mangina. Miz says he is sick of The Rock and Cena. He is sick of them getting all of the attention. Miz says when they defeat them at the PPV, it will never be forgotten. Truth says he’ll see them Sunday.
“Boots to Asses” chant once again. The Rock says they will see them on Sunday, but as the crowd is saying, it’s time for boots to asses! Cena and Rock attack their opponents. Rock hits a Rock Bottom on Truth. Cena lifts up Miz for an AA, but Miz scurries off and Rock hits him with a Rock Bottom! The Rock gets out of the ring and heads up the ramp. Cena is not thrilled. The Rock pauses on the ramp and flashes the “you can’t see me” sign. The Rock and Cena stare down as the show fades.
Not a great opening to what was anticipated to be a great RAW tonight heading in to one of the four biggest PPVs of the year. I’m so sick of Cole and Ross shenanigans at this point. It doesn’t matter who comes out on top, I’m just tired of it all. I enjoyed the CM Punk bit, but all that proved is that the Challenge was scripted to be that bad and painful, and I don’t think the pay off with Punk was enough to warrant the annoyance at felt at the top of the show. Also, by the end of the show I had completely forgotten about his segment.
Sin Cara & Kofi Kingston v. Cody Rhodes & Hunico was a pretty decent match up. Sin Cara and Hunico looked crisped at the offset. I don’t know if Kofi’s game is off without his tag partner, but his offence looked especially silly tonight. When Kofi rolled into the ring Cody had to stop running forward simply to allow him to roll through and connect with the punch. It’s those kinds of maneuvers that can pull the audience out of the moment and lose the ability to enjoy the match.
Dolph Ziggler continues to impress me each and every week with his promos. I enjoyed the, “by the way how damn good am I at this?” line. It’s clever, and might work well for his character.
John Cena was spot on during the “This is Your Life” segment with Foley. He played up the embarrassment perfectly, and I enjoyed the humor of the moment. I don’t know why I found Rock hitting the Rock Bottom on Foley so hilarious, but it really made me smile. The whole segment was borderline awful, but unlike the Cole/Ross open – this segment was actually entertaining.
Sheamus continues to perform solidly in the ring, and Swagger actually impressed me with his work tonight. I was never Swaggers’ biggest fan during his ECW run, but as of late he is starting to grow on me. Still baffles that he was made a main event Champion thanks to Money in the Bank, but I suppose not all risks will pay off.
Kelly Kelly looked great in that video package for her Maxim cover. That’s all I got out of her segment/match.
Watching Henry and Big Show clash is one of the few big man feuds I’ve enjoyed in wrestling, and they do it to perfection. Can’t wait to see them battle on PPV once again.
The positive of long shows like this one is that it allows Santino to get some mic time. He still cracked me up, and somehow his character is so secure that it can’t be hurt by blatant squash attacks. Love it.
Wade/Orton was what it was. (It’s that kind of in-depth analysis that got me this gig). I was expecting Hunico to get hit with everyone’s finisher; maybe they ran short on time.
Depending on your take on the angle going into Survivor Series for The Rock & Cena to take on Miz & R-Truth, you either loved or hated this segment. There have been many complaints about Miz and Truth being an afterthought, and there is legitimacy to that claim. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a match and the opponents didn’t even cross my mind half the time. This match can’t hurt Miz or Truth, it can only help them. I’m not calling for a crazy upset, but who knows in this business? Either way, this match is giving Rock a chance to shine on a big PPV, before having one of the most important matches of his life.
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