Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
CM Punk’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Punk takes a seat and puts over his match at the Royal Rumble this Sunday on PPV. Punk says that while Ziggler has beaten him three times in the past month, those victories were a result of John Laurinaitis’ hand. Punk says that Laurinaitis is a failure, and sucks at life.
Video recap of John Laurinaitis saying he was going to screw CM Punk at the Royal Rumble through his role of being special guest referee for the WWE Title match.
Punk says it is safe to say that John is not going to be a fair ref, which means that he is going to get screwed. Punk threatens to break both of John’s arms if he doesn’t come out and talk to Punk. He wants John to say to his face that he is going to screw him. Punk says that he gave him a chance, so now he is going to go find him!
John Cena’s music hits and he heads down to the ring, to the surprise of CM Punk. Punk says that the wrong John came out. Cena says he was tired of listening to Punk ramble. Cena says that Laurinaitis will appear to address the Zack Ryder situation, give Cena a match against Kane, and resign as the Interim GM of RAW.
Punk says that Cena isn’t going to make a difference in getting Laurinaitis out here. As if on cue, Laurinaitis appears on the ramp. John stands by what he said last week, and won’t be intimidated by Cena or Punk. Punk says that if Laurinaitis gets down in the ring, maybe he’ll be able to hear him better. Laurinaitis says that he is his boss, and so he isn’t going to listen to him. He apologizes for letting Ryder fight last week when he wasn’t medically cleared. However, this week he has been cleared. Tonight, Ryder will go one on one against Kane. If Cena interferes in the match, Ryder will never get another US Title match. Tonight, CM Punk and John Cena will be in action as a tag team. That match is up next.
Vickie Guerrero appears with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler says that Punk doesn’t have to worry about Laurinaitis, because he is going to flat out beat him. Swagger says that for what Cena did to him last week, Cena is dead meat.
John Cena & CM Punk v. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero
Cena and Ziggler start the match off. Cena has a side headlock applied but gets backed into the corner. The referee separates them, which allows Cena to hit a bulldog. Cover, but Ziggler kicks out. Cena twists Ziggler’s arm and tags in Punk. Punk kicks him in the back and goes for the cover. Ziggler kicks out. Punk goes for a suplex, but Ziggler counters. Punk lifts him into the air for the GTS, but Ziggler scurries off of his shoulders and out of the ring.
Cena and Swagger are in the ring. Cena goes for the cover, but Swagger kicks out. Cena does a bit of show boating and then knocks Ziggler off the apron. Swagger hits a clothesline and then stands Cena back up. Ziggler gets in a cheap shot, so Swagger goes for the cover. Cena kicks out. Swagger takes him down to the mat with a rear headlock. Swagger transfers to a front headlock and is trying to choke Cena out. Cena is pushing towards the corner, but is caught with a suplex. Ziggler gets the tag and hits a dropkick. Cover, but Cena kicks out. Ziggler hits a series of elbows followed by sit ups and a cover attempt. Cena kicks out. Ziggler stomps on Cena, and Swagger gets in a few of his own before receiving the tag. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb and goes for the cover. Cena kicks out.
Swagger has Cena trapped in another head hold. Cena gets to his feet and hits an AA out of nowhere. After a delay, Punk and Ziggler get the hot tags. Punk hits a springboard lariat followed by high knee to the jaw and a bulldog. Punk lifts him up for the GTS, but Ziggler slides off his shoulder. Punk hits a kick to the skull and goes for the cover again. Swagger breaks the hold. Cena rushes in to the ring and takes Swagger to the outside. Punk goes to the top rope and looks for the elbow. Laurinaitis jumps up on the apron for a distraction. Punk jumps down and threatens to push him off. This gives enough time for Ziggler to hit a cheap roll up. This match is over!
Winners: Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
After the match, Punk says that this doesn’t change anything. Laurinaitis is still going to screw him at the PPV. Likewise, Punk is going to beat the hell out of him one night. Punk says that he wants to make John a WWE Superstar for a night. How about they go one on one tonight? Unless Laurinaitis is afraid…
Chris Jericho makes his way down to the ring for the Highlight Reel!
Jericho takes his time getting ready, and then seems to have forgotten something. Jericho runs to the back while yelling that he’ll be back in a second. Jericho returns with a T-shirt gun. Chris goads the crowd, getting them to cheer in order to win the T-shirt. Instead of firing it, he grabs the camera. He shoots around the audience before returning it to the camera man. He has a mic and whispers for the crowd to shush. He then shows a video highlighting his career in the WWE up until this moment. Jericho puts his finger to his mouth to quiet the crowd. He brings the mic to his mouth, and finally speaks. This Sunday at the Royal Rumble is going to be the end of the world as we know it. Jericho’s music hits and he poses with his lighted jacket in the ring.
Zack Ryder is in the back with Eve Torres and Mick Foley. They wish Ryder luck in his match tonight. Foley says that he has faced Kane in the past, Ryder can win this match. Eve tells him that he doesn’t have to do this. He shouldn’t be competing against Kane tonight. Cena walks into the shot. Ryder tells Cena not to interfere, the US Title rematch is too important to him.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Zack Ryder v. Kane
Kane starts the attack and pushes him to the apron. Kane kicks with his boot which knocks Ryder to the announce table and then the floor. Kane lifts him to his feet only to knee him in the injured ribs. Kane picks up Ryder and smashes him into the steel post of the ring, before slamming him to the mat. Kane then chucks him into the steel steps. Kane stomps on Ryder’s face, and then returns his attention to the gut of Ryder. Eve has come down to ringside.
Back live, Kane is still in control. Ryder is thrown into the barricade. Kane slams him back first into the apron. Kane drops him ribs first onto the steel steps. Cover on the outside, but Ryder kicks out. Kane puts his glove across Ryder’s face and begins to smother him. Kane then chucks him over the barricade. Kane follows after. He lifts Ryder to his feet, and then punches him square in the jaw. Ryder is thrown into a production table, and then lifts up a steel suitcase. He hits Kane across the back with the case, only to be thanked with a lariat by the Big Red Machine. Kane rolls him onto the entrance stage. Kane is stalking Ryder and throws him into the WWE symbol on the set. Kane stomps on the ribs some more, and then knees Ryder in the gut. Cover, but Ryder kicks out again. Ryder gets to his feet and hits a couple of punches, but one right hand from Kane knocks him out. Kane lifts Ryder up for a chokeslam. The move connects – and sends Ryder falling through the stage! Eve runs up to check on Ryder. Kane follows after as she backs down the ramp. Ryder is incapacitated. John Cena appears at the top of the ramp. Kane escapes into the crowd, so John turns his attention to Ryder. Eve runs back up the ramp.
Winner via Ryder getting knocked the hell out: Kane
Ryder is being helped out on a stretcher. In the back they put him in an ambulance. Eve tells Cena that this is all his fault. Cena has done enough, she is going to ride with Zack to the hospital. Josh Mathews appears and says that John must feel just awful about this. Cena doesn’t respond, but instead knocks the microphone out of Mathews’ hand.
Jinder Mahal v. Sheamus
Jinder backs him into the corner and connects with some knees. Sheamus clubs his way out and slams him to the mat. Wade Barrett walks down to ringside. Sheamus goes for a cover, but Jinder kicks out. Sheamus sets up Jinder on the apron and connects with the clubbing blows. Sheamus slams him to the mat and goes to the top rope. Jinder gets to his feet and throws Sheamus down to the mat. Jinder runs across the ring and connects with a high knee. Jinder sets him up on the second rope and connects with a knee to the face on the apron. Cover attempt, but Sheamus kicks out.
Jinder gets behind him and locks on a Siamese Clutch. Sheamus escapes and connects with a couple of axe handles. Sheamus hits an East Coast Roll and then looks for the Celtic Cross. Jinder counters, but gets immediately floored with a Brogue Kick! This match is over.
Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus
Sheamus tells Wade to get in the ring after the match. Wade gets up on the apron and teases entering, but then jumps down and heads to the back. Sheamus grabs a mic and tells him to take a good look at this image. Because on Sunday, he will be the only person in the ring as he wins the 2012 Royal Rumble!
Josh Mathews is in the back with The Miz and asks him about going one on one with R-Truth tonight. Miz says that all of his former tag team partners have seen their careers destroyed. Miz starts to put himself over. Truth walks in wearing a white shirt and holding a clip board. He says Miz has been voted as the #1 most annoying and other such memorable accolades. Without question, he is the #1 jackass. Laurinaitis comes out with David Otunga and says that he can’t concentrate over the squabbling. He says that whoever loses their match tonight will be the #1 entrant at the Royal Rumble!
William Regal has joined in on commentary for the next match. It’s Funkasaurus time, as Brodus Clay makes his way down to the ring.
Brodus Clay v. Heath Slater
Brodus jiggles about, and then hits a shoulder block. Slater gets in a dropkick and then is hit with a shoulder block. He follows with a power move, and then Double the Funk, Double the Splash. This match is over.
Winner via Double the Funk, Double the Splash: Brodus Clay
Loser enter the Royal Rumble at #1
The Miz v. R-Truth
The exchange blows back and forth to start. Miz gets Truth on the apron, and then hits a shoulder block that sends him to the outside.
Back from the break, Miz goes for a cover. Truth kicks out. Miz lifts him to his feet and locks on an abdominal stretch. Truth escapes with an arm drag and takes refuge in the corner. Miz charges, but is caught with a knee. Truth bounces out and hits a couple of clotheslines. Truth goes for a rollup, but Miz kicks out. Truth hits a sit out suplex, and goes for the cover. Miz kicks out. Truth looks for the Scissor Kick, but Miz counters into a neckbreaker attempt. Truth counters into a cover, but Miz kicks out. Miz gets to his feet and does connect with the neckbreaker this time. Cover, but Truth kicks out. Miz looks for the finish, but Truth counters. Miz bounces off the ropes and hits the DDT. Cover, but Truth kicks out. Miz mounts Truth and throws a series of punches to the face. Truth slams Miz to the mat and goes for the cover. Truth picks up the win! This match is over.
Loser and #1 Entrant in the Royal Rumble: The Miz
John Laurinaitis is shown getting ready in his office. He asks if Otunga is ready. Otunga has a fax that John needs to read. Laurinaitis looks very displeased as he reads the fax.
CM Punk makes his entrance. Justin Roberts introduces John Laurinaitis but at first he doesn’t appear. Finally, he walks down to the ring with David Otunga. John Laurinaitis is wearing his own shirt which says, “Future Endeavored”.
John says that he received a fax from the Board of Directors. He asks Otunga to read it. It says that the Board of Directors is worried about his job. They are questioning his decisions and judgment. He is under evaluation by HHH. Punk says this means that John can’t screw him at the Rumble, and there is no reason for him to not beat him up. John says that this is a wakeup call. He plays things off as mistakes and misunderstandings. Foley is even entered into the Rumble! John also says that he was always going to call the title match down the middle, but Punk made fun of him and he was mad. Punk says that he hopes HHH will fire him. John says that that will not happen because of his history with the company. Laurinaitis says that their match will no longer happen tonight, but Otunga will be his replacement! Otunga attacks Punk, but is eventually put into the anaconda vice. Punk lets go and stares down John. Otunga tries another sneak attack, but it is quickly foiled. Punk turns his attention to Laurinaitis. After a stare down, they go to shake hands. Punk pulls Laurinaitis towards himself and up for the GTS! Punk puts John to sleep! Punk begins to celebrate, but Ziggler runs in from the crowd and hits his finisher on Punk from behind! Ziggler celebrates as we go off the air.
Interesting RAW to pep up the Rumble. Punk’s speech to open the show seemed to tire the crowd at times, but by the time Laurinaitis came out the segment was going pretty well. Nothing too crazy.
I’d like to give a quick thank you to the WWE for not having Alicia Fox wrestle on RAW tonight. Thank you!
The tag team match itself was designed to give Ziggler another cheap victory leading into the Rumble. I don’t expect to see Punk drop the strap, but it should be an entertaining bout to say the least.
The Highlight Reel segment was actually pretty important in terms of the Jericho storyline. It has been easy to forget that there was some bizarre prophetic jargon in his return promos. It is as though people expected it to be Undertaker, so seeing Jericho emerge made them forget about the promos. For instance, who is this mysterious “she” that has to return before Jericho can bring about destruction or whatever it is? What is going to make the world end on Sunday? Does Jericho win the Rumble? Is that what this whole return has been about? I say yes. No one else has really been pushed as an expected winner this year. It’s like Bret Hart all over again. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination; it just seems very obvious that Jericho walks out of the Rumble as the winner.
Zack Ryder got clobbered and has a broken back as a result. It’s interesting that WWE wants to keep him off of TV for a couple weeks. Maybe they think the audience needs a reprieve from his character which will make his return a huge event.
I still don’t understand Jinder Mahal whatsoever. I don’t like anything about him; I don’t see a reason to care about his character.
It’s nice to know Mick Foley will be entered into the Rumble, which should be a fun and nostalgic moment.
The Funkasaurus is one of the best things going right now. It’s entertaining and it’s effective. As an added bonus if you are a fan who clamors for the Attitude Era, then Brodus Clay can be your Rikishi v2.0. To be honest, Clay has one of the most Attitude Era gimmicks in the company at the moment.
Sucks to be The Miz. I don’t see him winning the Rumble this year, but he should be able to pull off some chicken heel tactics to remain in the Rumble for a reasonable amount of time.
It’s not much of a surprise that Laurinaitis didn’t actually wrestle tonight. Personally, I think he is hoping for a PPV match, but that’s a pipe dream when your would-be opponent is the current WWE Champion. Watching Punk GTS John was actually fairly gratifying. Even if a lot of fans don’t connect the importance of such an act to Punk, it was clear that Punk felt no guilt in soaking in that moment. Ziggler was effective with the sneak attack to close the show. He drew a lot of heat from a crowd caught off guard.
This is one of the first times in years that I can even remember the Title matches being booked as more important than the Royal Rumble match. There have been strong storylines on both RAW and Smackdown promoting their Titles. The Rumble seems to just be a backdrop this year, instead of the focal selling point of the PPV. It will be interesting to see how this attention to detail affects the quality of the match. Don’t be surprised if this is one of the better Rumbles of the past 10 years.
Chris Jericho wins the 2012 Royal Rumble.
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