Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Booker T has joined Cole and Lawler on commentary as we are informed that Lawler’s voice is hurting from last night’s PPV.
Justin Roberts is in the ring to introduce the NEW WWE Champion… CM Punk! Cult of Personality lights up the audio dials and Punk makes his way down to the ring. He’s tells the audience the story of telling his teacher when he was in school that his dream was to be a professional wrestler. Not a sports entertainer, but a professional wrestler. Punk says that he worked his way up from the absolute bottom, and it was a special moment when he walked into Madison Square Garden to win the WWE Championship. Punk says that he is what they see, and he won’t play any hot potato games with the WWE Title. The Title is where it belongs, with Punk. There are a lot of people in high places that might not like it, but Punk is the new face of the WWE. He says he is going to get comfortable as he sits down in the ring. Punk claims that he wants to bring danger back to RAW. Punk wants to make changes, like where are the WWE Ice Cream Bars? He’d also like to have John Laurinaitis removed as Interim RAW General Manager.
Laurinaitis comes out to respond. He says that there is no reason for them to not get along because they both want what’s best for the fans. John doesn’t understand why Punk has a problem with him. Punk says because John is a middle management guy. Punk says that John calls the WWE fans a Universe, because that’s what the boss wants. John says that just because he isn’t covered in tattoos and piercings, doesn’t mean he can’t be just as creative as Punk. John says that Alberto Del Rio will have his rematch against Punk next week on RAW! Laurinaitis says that if you put yourself in the audience’s shoes, you will make the right matches. John makes a Dolph Ziggler v. CM Punk match, because that’s what the fans want to see. Punk says that that is not what the fans want. The crowd begins a, “We Want Ryder” chant. Punk says the fans want Ziggler v. Ryder. John says Ryder is already wrestling against Del Rio. Punk says fine, tonight he’ll beat Ziggler, next week he’ll beat Alberto Del Rio, and one day someone is going to knock some sense into Laurinaitis.
Video Recap of a post Survivor Series promo from The Rock, during which fans started a “We Want Ryder” chant. Rock said that he loves all the Woo, Woo, Woos and chants.
Zack Ryder’s music hits and Booker T compares him to Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow!
Zack Ryder v. Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez
Ryder cuts off Ricardo during the introduction to say his, “Woo Woo Woo” catchphrase. Rio goes for a quick cover, but Ryder kicks out. Del Rio locks on an arm bar to begin the damage necessary for a successful Cross Arm Breaker. Ryder gets to his feet and lands a couple of punches. Del Rio counters with an elbow. Ryder knocks Rio down and sets him up in the corner. He runs clears across the ring for a boot to the face of the seated Del Rio. Ryder is looking for his finisher, but Rio counters and locks on the Cross Arm Breaker! This match is over.
Winner via Cross Arm Breaker: Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus v. Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero
They lock up and Swagger lands a take down. Swagger gets in some overhand punches until Sheamus gets to his feet and absolutely clubs Swagger. Jack slides out of the ring and yells at the referee to get Sheamus under control. Swagger gets back in the ring and lands a couple punches and a scoop clam, but misses an elbow. Sheamus takes advantage and tries for a cover, Swagger kicks out. Swagger flies at Sheamus with a clothesline and then follows with second rope splash. Swagger connects with an elbow lock. Sheamus starts to get to his feet, but is pounded back down by Swagger. Sheamus gets caught in an inverted full nelson, and struggles to power to his feet. Just when it looks like he is going to escape, Swagger drops him right back down to the mat. Sheamus finally does get to his feet and connects with a series of axe handles to Swagger. Sheamus clubs Swagger in the corner and then connects with a lariat. Slam by Sheamus, but Swagger kicks out of the cover. Sheamus heads to the top rope and leaps for a shoulder block, Swagger moves but Sheamus rolls right into a Brogue Attempt. Swagger counters and cinches on the ankle lock. Swagger hits the Brogue Kick, and this match is over!
Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus
Video Recap: Kevin Nash attacking HHH with a sledgehammer on RAW.
Kevin Nash’s music hits and he makes his way onto the entrance ramp with mic in hand. Nash talks about the Madison Square Garden incident with the Kliq. He refers to it as the time Scott Hall, HHH, HBK and himself, put friendship over the business. Nash says that last night he was watching Survivor Series and wished that he and HHH were the ones taking on Nash and HHH. But HHH is here tonight because Nash attacked him with his own sledgehammer and broke his neck. Nash says that Survivor Series may be over, but the only surviving member of that group is himself.
Cody Rhodes is in the ring with a mic. Rhodes says he felt shame which is part of why he wore his masks. Because of that, he became prey for guys like Randy Orton. Rhodes says that now that the mask is off he is unbeatable!
Cody Rhodes v. Santino
They lock up, and the ref backs up Santino. Rhodes connects with a couple of punches and then stomps on Santino. Cody misses a neckbreaker and Santino tries for the Cobra. Rhodes hits his finisher, and this match is over!
Winner via Cross Rhodes: Cody Rhodes
After the match, Cody antagonizes Booker T. He yells at him for insulting him on commentary every week. Cody throws Booker’s glass of water in his face! Booker T stands up, and does not look thrilled.
Josh Mathews is in the back with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. Josh points out that Dolph was the first person eliminated on his team last night. Dolph chalks it up as a win. He then claims to be the true new face of the WWE.
Booker T says that the attack from Cody Rhodes was not professional, but he is going to stay at the booth and do his job.
Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero v. CM Punk
They go back and forth at the start with a couple of cover attempts. They exchange blows as Ziggler punches Punk repeatedly. Ziggler hits an elevated elbow and goes for the cover. Punk kicks out. Ziggler has a rear headlock applied, but Punk fights free. Ziggler knees Punk in the gut and goes for a cover. Punk kicks out. Ziggler punches Punk and goes for a neckbreaker. Punk hits a backslide, but Ziggler kicks out. Punk is caught with a clothesline, but kicks out of the cover. Ziggler applies a modified cross face. Punk gets to the vertical and hits a back suplex. Ziggler tries to take advantage of a Vickie distraction, but Punk throws him towards the corner. Ziggler dodges the splash and Punk tumbles out of the ring. Ziggler does a handstand to gloat as we head to commercial.
Back from the break Ziggler has a headlock applied in the middle of the ring. Punk escapes and has a burst of speed to connect with a huge leg lariat. Punk hits a hard neckbreaker and goes for the cover, Ziggler kicks out. Punk rushes towards Ziggler in the corner, but is countered by a leg. Punk pulls through and lifts Ziggler up for the Go To Sleep. Ziggler counters into an insomnia curing hold of his own with the Sleeper! Punk falls to the mat, but then gets back to his feet. He tries to lift Ziggler up again, but Ziggler rolls through and goes for a cover. Ziggler holds onto the ropes so the ref stops the count. Punk follows with a rope holding cover of his own, and again the referee stops the count. Punk connects with a high knee, followed by a bulldog. Punk goes for the cover, but Ziggler kicks out.
Punk heads to the top rope and looks for the elbow. Ziggler rolls out of the way, so Punk hops off the turnbuckle. Ziggler connects with a huge dropkick to the skull, and tries for the cover. Punk kicks out. Ziggler lifts Punk up onto the turnbuckle and is looking for a superplex. Punk fights back and Ziggler falls to the mat. Punk leaps for the elbow! It connects! Cover, but somehow Ziggler kicks out! Punk signals for the GTS and lifts Ziggler to his shoulders. Ziggler counters with a huge slam which brings about a near fall. Ziggler flies across the ring to try for a leg maneuver, but Punk dodges. Punk lifts Ziggler up, and he finally hits the GTS! This match is over.
Winner via GTS: CM Punk
Big Show is on the ramp with a mic and claims that he proved he is better than the World’s Strongest Man. Show says that Henry got himself disqualified because he knew he was going to lose. Show says that when Henry returns, he is going to win the World Heavyweight Title from him.
In the locker room Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox are playing WWE ’12. Beth Phoenix and Natalya come in and put over the video game. They say it isn’t realistic though, because Kelly and Fox don’t cry after a match in the game like they do in real life.
Wade Barrett v. Kofi Kingston
Wade is strong at the start with a couple of punches. Wade backs Kofi into the corner and connects with some gut kicks. Kofi is hit with a suplex, but kicks out of the cover. Wade shoves him back into the corner and then whips him across the ring. Kofi counters a splash and hits a couple chest slaps. Kofi connects with a dropkick. Kofi counters a side slam into a pin. Wade kicks out and heads straight for the arm lariat. Wade lifts Kofi up on his shoulders for Wasteland. Orton’s music hits and he starts to stride down to the ring. Kofi scurries off, forcing Wade to slide out of the ring to avoid Kofi’s finisher. Orton has made it to ringside as we head to commercial.
Orton has just taken a seat at ringside. Wade is in control, but Kofi begins to fight back. Wade hits the huge side slam and goes for the cover. Kofi kicks out at 2. Wade unloads with some punches until the ref pulls him off. Kofi is resting against the ropes, so Wade presses Kofi’s neck with his knee. Wade charges for a big boot that knocks Kofi senseless. Wade pulls him into the middle of the ring and goes for the cover. Kofi manages to kick out. Wade stomps on his chest and stares out at Orton. Wade stretches Kofi in the ring and applies pressure to his back. Kofi escapes and knocks Wade out of the ring. Kofi flies right out after him with a suicide dive! Kofi rolls him back into the ring. Cover, but Wade kicks out.
Kofi heads to the top, but Wade follows after. Wade is lifting him up on his shoulders for Wasteland. Kofi fights free and then leaps for a huge crossbody. Kofi goes for the cover, but Wade kicks out. Kofi kicks him in the head for his trouble and hits the Boom Drop. Kofi feels the crowd as he looks for Trouble in Paradise. He flies towards Wade, but Wade moves out of the way. Kofi hits a seesaw kick and then tries for a springboard. Wade kicks the rope, and then lifts Kofi up on his shoulders. Wasteland connects as Wade stares at Orton. This match is over.
Winner via Wasteland: Wade Barrett
After the match, Wade grabs a mic and tells Orton that in case he missed it – the winner of the match was Wade Barrett. Orton flinches like he is going to charge the ring, but then he walks towards the back.
John Cena makes his way down to the ring. He says he can still feel the energy in this building. Cena says that now everyone knows who Zack Ryder is. He tells the fans to follow Ryder on Twitter (@ZackRyder). CM Punk is the new Champion, and people learned that Cena and Rock could actually coexist as a team. The crowd begins a loud “Boots to Asses” chant. Cena says that WrestleMania will be what it needs to be because indeed The Rock has not lost it. The Miz and Truth walk down to the ring. Miz asks Cena is he is serious about Rock and himself being the biggest of all time. They go back and forth until Cena finally has enough. He says they have tested him enough and if they keep it up he is going to destroy them. Cena says that after last night no one cares about Miz and Truth… at all. Cena says that Miz thinks Truth is whack, and Truth thinks Miz is only famous for being on a crappy reality show. Cena tells them to stop going after him, and to deal with each other. Cena exits the ring.
Truth asks if Miz really thinks he is crazy. Miz says that Cena is trying to play them. Truth is mad that Miz is saying he is stupid. They continue to argue back and forth. Miz claims that the fans only pay attention to them because they are there for his awesome self. Truth tells Miz not to do something he is going to regret. Miz pushes him, so Truth punches Miz! Miz tries to get him to back off, and tells Truth to calm down. Miz again shouts that Cena is playing them. Miz tells Truth they need to get John Cena. They both take off their jackets, and head towards the back. Miz attacks Truth with a Skull Crushing Finale on the stage!
Let me just start by saying that this RAW had solid wrestling from start to finish. I don’t know what was special about tonight, but the roster was just plain “on”.
Punk cut a rather heartfelt promo to kick off the show. For a moment he removed most of the elements of his usual sardonic self, and let his inner child shine through his tattooed mask. He seemed genuinely touched by winning the Title at Madison Square Garden.
Ryder fans should have no complaints about his match against Del Rio this week. He was allowed a surprising amount of offense against the man that was WWE Champion last night.
Swagger and Sheamus had another great match this week. I don’t know what it is about Sheamus, but he brings out the best in Swagger. The more I think about it, the more I prefer Swagger over Dolph as Vickie’s main squeeze. It suits his character better.
Kevin Nash is somehow still getting 5 minute uninterrupted promos in the year 2011. That’s remarkable, and amusing.
Cody’s lisp still makes me laugh. The fact that he talks in that low, heelish timbre only makes it worse. I love it.
I very much enjoyed the fact that Dolph Ziggler did a handstand in the middle of the ring for no reason other than to taunt the audience. It’s so silly that it’s enjoyable.
CM Punk/Dolph Ziggler was a hell of a match. One of the best TV matches I’ve seen all year, very impressive. I’ve been saying it about both of these guys for a while, they’re stars. They’ll be performing at a high level for more years to come.
The WWE used four divas to promote the WWE ’12 video game in that segment tonight. Going a little overboard with the whole, things male fans want to see advertising, aren’t we? A girl playing a video game has never once made me want to play it. (I look forward to your comments Olivia Munn fans).
Kofi Kingston must be eagerly awaiting the return of the suspended Evan Bourne because the booking department has not been kind to him this month.
The Orton/Wade stare down and game of chicken was a nice departure from the normal post-match attack. Nicely done.
Cena hit the nail on the head in the final segment tonight. No one cares about The Miz & R-Truth. The problem with that fact, is that by openly saying that – I lost any desire to care when they fell apart at the end of the show.
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