WWE Monday Night Raw
Tampa, Florida
December 5, 2011
Commentators: Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole
Reported by: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!

John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring to a very loud and mixed reaction. He has a mic and welcomes the fans to RAW. He recaps his appearance as a guest on Piper’s Pit last week. Cena says that there is no show without all of the fans. If they don’t watch, the wrestlers don’t work. So the fans have earned the right to tell Cena exactly what their opinion is of him. He gives the fans a chance to boo and cheer. Cena puts over the fact that the fans are so crazy he has even heard them chant “Fruity Pebbles”, something you can’t find on any other show. Cena says these reactions aren’t anything new; he’s been getting them his entire career. Cena says that the most important thing in his sights right now is the WWE Championship. Last week, Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain his WWE Championship. Cena wants to become the #1 Contender.

Alberto Del Rio walks down to the ring and says that Cena doesn’t deserve a Title match, that shot should be his! Cena is confused and tells Del Rio that he lost, period. Del Rio says that Laurinaitis said that if Punk was intentionally disqualified, Del Rio would win the Title. Del Rio shows the clip of Punk using the exposed turnbuckle. Del Rio claims that Punk cheated, thus he should be the WWE Champion.

“Excuse Me”! Vickie Guerrero walks down to the ring with Dolph Ziggler. The fans don’t appreciate her presence. She claims that Dolph Ziggler deserves the shot. Ziggler says that he defeated Randy Orton last week on RAW, he’s the longest reigning Champion on RAW right now, and has the best matches every week. Cena mocks Michael Cole for shoving the new “show-off” moniker for Ziggler down everyone’s throats last week. Cena says Ziggler should be known as the “jerk-off”. Ziggler says he backs up his show-off claims every night. Cena tells him if he really wants to back it up then he needs to give the one person who does deserve a US Title shot, a shot at the Title – Zack Ryder! Ziggler laughs it off and puts himself over as everyone’s favorite “hashtag heel”.

The Miz’s music hits and he walks down to the ring. He begins a series of “really’s”. He puts over that the Slammy’s are next week. He tries to make the case for why he deserves a shot at the Title, but John Laurinaitis appears on the ramp to interrupt. Laurinaitis says that he has been falsely accused by CM Punk of being a boring figurehead that can’t make creative decisions. He announces that all of the competitors in the ring will be facing superstars tonight. If they win their matches, they will be automatically entered into the WWE Title Match against CM Punk at TLC. Except for Cena…

Laurinaitis has a special match for Cena tonight, that he calls a “social experiment”. Cena will have to report to him to find out who his opponent will be tonight! Also, there will be a live contract signing with CM Punk tonight in the ring.


The Miz v. Randy Orton

They square off and Miz is dropped by a shoulder block. He’s back to his feet quick and kicks Orton in the gut followed by a couple of punches. Orton fights back and hits a vertical suplex. Miz kicks out of the cover and goes to a side headlock. Orton punches free, but gets caught by Miz’s backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz slides behind Orton and locks on a rear headlock. Orton escapes with a back body drop. Miz charges at Orton, but gets dropped with a clothesline and then the snap scoop slam. Orton sets up for the suspended DDT, but Miz slips off the ropes and throws Orton out of the ring. Miz slides out of the ring and charges at Orton, only to get caught with a snap scoop slam on the outside!

Wade Barrett’s music hits and he walks slowly down to the ring. Orton at first looks to ignore him and rolls Miz back into the ring. Orton then turns his attention towards Wade and rushes up the ramp. The referee counts him out!

Winner via Countout: The Miz

After the match, Orton considers walking back down to attack Miz for picking up the win, but Wade runs up from behind and takes out Orton.

The Miz will now face CM Punk at the TLC PPV for the WWE Title


Zack Ryder is in the back talking to John Laurinaitis and claims he has over 24,000 signatures on his online petition. Laurinaitis says that Ziggler is complaining that a petition isn’t enough to earn a shot, and he is inclined to agree. Cena walks into the back and is dressed as Zack Ryder. He mocks Laurinaitis for a couple of moments, and then asks what the big social experiment match will be tonight. Laurinaitis announces it as Cena v. Ryder! Cena protests, arguing that this match doesn’t need to happen. Laurinaitis says that if Ryder wins the match, he will earn a shot at the US Title. If Cena wins the match, he will be added into the WWE Title match at TLC!

David Otunga is in the back with Kevin Nash, and says that Nash will be facing HHH at TLC in a ladder match! Nash says that he doesn’t do ladder matches. Otunga explains that it is not a normal ladder match; there will be a sledgehammer hung over the ring and it can be used until there is a winner. Nash says that with that stipulation, he can do a ladder match after all. Also, it is announced that Nash will be in action tonight!


Alberto Del Rio v. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan’s ribs are bandaged heavily from his match against Mark Henry. Alberto goes right for the ribs and connects with kicks and punches. Bryan flips out of the corner and connects with a knee, but falls to the mat in pain. Bryan hits a couple of kicks, and then locks on a guillotine. Rio escapes by dropping Bryan rib first over the top rope. Del Rio goes for the cross arm breaker, and Bryan taps immediately.

Winner via Cross Arm Breaker: Alberto Del Rio

Alberto Del Rio will face The Miz & CM Punk at TLC for the WWE Title.


Beth Phoenix & Natalya v. Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly w/ Alicia Fox

Beth takes it to Kelly at the start. She drops her to the mat with a rear headlock. Kelly tries to punch free but is dropped with a backbreaker. Beth turns her attention towards Eve in the corner and Alicia Fox on the outside. As she turns back, Kelly catches her in a roll up! This match is over.

Winners: Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly


Zack Ryder v. John Cena

They shake hands before the bell rings. They lock up and Cena takes him down to the mat with a side headlock. Cena bounces off the ropes and hits a shoulder block. Ryder leap frogs a charge, and hits a forearm shot. Ryder puts on a side headlock of his own. Cena reverses and goes back to his own. Ryder escapes and hits a nice front drop. Cover, but Cena kicks out. Ryder drops right down and goes back to the side headlock. The crowd is very mixed as the competitors continue to exchange side headlocks. Cena looks for the AA, but Ryder avoids. Ryder then looks for the Rough Ryder, but Cena dodges and begins the 5 Moves of Doom. Cena hits the shoulder blocks and side slam followed by the 5 Knuckle Shuffle! Ryder scurries off his shoulders and pushes Cena into the corner. Ryder fist pumps and connects with the running boot! Ryder sets up for the Rough Ryder once again, but Cena catches him and hits the Attitude Adjustment! This match is over.

Winner via Attitude Adjustment: John Cena

After the match Cena helps up Ryder, but Ryder isn’t pleased. He says that this was his one shot. Cena holds up his finger and heads to the back.


John Laurinaitis is in the back with David Otunga. Cena walks in and kicks Otunga out of the office. Cena tells him to put Ryder in the match for the US Championship. Laurinaitis says that Ryder either blew his opportunity, or Cena blew it for him. Laurinaitis says that Ryder can have one more match tonight; if he wins he can have another shot. But, just to get that chance, Cena must give up his WWE Title shot at TLC! Cena says he is a 10 time WWE Champion, so he will give up his shot to give Zack Ryder a chance. Ryder will have his next match, next!


David Otunga tells Justin Roberts that this match will be a No Disqualification, No Count Out match in order to ensure that there is a winner.

Zack Ryder v. Mark Henry

Henry pushes Ryder to the mat and begins to stomp on him. He lifts Ryder up only to head butt him and continue with the attack. Ryder gets to his feet and connects with a couple punches, but is quickly thrown down. Henry is kicking him, but Ryder slides out of the ring and throws the injured ankle of Henry into the steel post. Ryder hits his fist pump boot kick, but Henry throws him clear across the ring for his troubles. Cena runs down to the ring and lifts Henry up into the air. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment, and puts Ryder on Henry to make the cover! This match is over!

Winner via John Cena: Zack Ryder

In the back, Ziggler is with Swagger and Vickie. Vickie tells Ziggler that he will be facing Sheamus tonight in his WWE Title qualifying match. Ziggler tells Swagger he doesn’t want him at ringside tonight, because he doesn’t want him screwing things up. Swagger takes offense and says that Ziggler is only US Champion still thanks to his help; Ziggler laughs and says he was joking. But, Swagger still can’t come down to ringside for his match tonight.


Kevin Nash v. Santino Marella

Nash walks down to the ring with a sledgehammer. He places it on the commentary booth before entering the ring.

Nash whips Santino into the ropes and hits a side slam. Cover, but Santino kicks out. Santino is whipped into the ropes again, and gets dropped with a big boot. Nash lifts him to his feet and hits a Jackknife Powerbomb. This match is over!

Winner via Jackknife Powerbomb: Kevin Nash

After the match, Nash retrieves his sledgehammer and reenters the ring. He holds it over his head, but doesn’t attack Santino.


Dolph Ziggler v. Sheamus

Ziggler dodges a lock up, and takes the moment to gloat. Sheamus responds by raking his forearm across Ziggler’s face on the mat. Sheamus lifts him up and places him between the ropes so he can connect with his bludgeoning blows across the chest. Cover, but Ziggler kicks out. Ziggler goes after the arm, and then the neck of Sheamus. Ziggler locks on a rear headlock, and gets Sheamus dazed. Ziggler connects with his leg drop, but Sheamus kicks out of the cover. Ziggler immediately goes to a headlock, but Sheamus powers out and tosses Ziggler across the ring. Sheamus charges with hammer blows, and then hits a couple of headbutts for good measure. Sheamus pulls Ziggler out of the corner only to clothesline him to the mat. Sheamus lifts Dolph up for the Cross, but Ziggler scurries down and escapes.

“Oh Radio”! Zack Ryder’s music hits and he runs down to the ring, but stops on the outside. The distraction is all Sheamus needs to connect with the Brogue Kick, this match is over!

Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus

After the match, Zack Ryder climbs in the ring and hits Dolph Ziggler with the Rough Ryder! He lifts up the US Title to tease a celebration and the crowd responds with a big, “Woo Woo Woo”.


The Miz and Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez are in the ring for tonight’s contract signing. John Laurinaitis is introduced and he makes the announcement that John Cena will be facing Mark Henry next week on RAW. Laurinaitis acknowledges that by winning their matches tonight, Del Rio & Miz will face CM Punk. Cult of Personality hits, and Punk makes his way down to the ring.

Punk gets in the ring and moves the table and chairs out of the way. Punk says that contract signings are the biggest clichés in the industry. Every signing turns into a Pier Six Brawl. So, Punk says that they might as well just sign the paper and fight. Laurinaitis announces that the Triple Threat Match at TLC will be… a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match.

Punk laughs and says he isn’t worried about beating the guy he pinned last week, and the guy who lost at Survivor Series. Miz asks if Punk missed him taking out John Morrison & R-Truth. Laurinaitis then takes the moment to wish Morrison the best in all his future endeavors! Miz says that if Punk really wants to make the Title picture interesting again, then it will be because he takes back the Championship. Punk says that unlike The Miz, he doesn’t have TMZ on speed dial; he only cares about being the best wrestler in the world.

Alberto Del Rio steps up and says that he is in the best in the world. In 2011 he won the Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, and the WWE Title. So, he is going to end 2011 by beating Punk for the Title once again. Punk interrupts and says that if Del Rio starts talking about his destiny he is going to start drinking. Miz says that Del Rio and he may be friends, but they will tear each other apart to win the Title. The one thing that they do agree on is that come TLC, Punk will not walk out as Champion.

Miz, then Del Rio sign their contracts. Punk has a mic and says; once he signs it they can get to fighting right? John says no, just sign. Punk signs on the dotted line. Laurinaitis then officially announces the match, and wishes the three men good luck. The crowd is chanting for them to fight. John then asks for a photographer from WWE.com to get in the ring and take a picture. Punk is angry, and says even the contract signings with John are boring, they need to end in brawls.

Punk has had enough, and just begins the attack himself. Miz is thrown out of the ring, and Punk goes after Ricardo. Del Rio attacks Punk, but Miz comes in to interrupt. As a result Punk hits a bulldog on Del Rio through the table! Miz gets hit with a GTS.

Punk grabs his Title and poses as the show goes off the air.

David’s Thoughts

Hell of a RAW tonight. Start to finish, one of the better RAWs that they have put together in quite some time. There were so many little things that I would normally doubt, but they nailed it all.

Nice opening to the show tonight. The WWE has allowed their Superstars to become very loose with the fourth wall and kayfabe since the CM Punk angle this summer, and that continued in the ring tonight with the little jabs between Cena and Ziggler in particular.

It was a pretty contrived match with Orton that allowed Miz to enter the Title picture, but it didn’t really hurt any of the competitors, so I’ll call it a wash.

David Otunga is absolutely fantastic. He has become the perfect lackey for John Laurinaitis.

It was a predictably fast match between Bryan/Del Rio. After Miz/Orton we knew what to expect and as soon as Bryan appeared with heavily bandaged ribs, this match was in the bag for Rio.

I love that John Laurinaitis is going out and admitting that Punk called him boring and uncreative, just adds to his character.

Women wrestled.

Cena/Ryder delivered. Obviously Zack Ryder can’t cleanly beat John Cena on RAW. To even suggest such an outcome is asinine. Ryder just had the opportunity to get in a hell of a lot of offense on the number one guy in this industry. It was an amazing rub for Ryder tonight. Other than the side headlock exchanges, I enjoyed the match up and it accomplished everything it intended.

Very powerful segment with Cena/Laurinaitis backstage when Cena gave up his Title shot just to give Ryder another chance tonight. Absolutely brilliant segment.

Henry/Ryder went exactly as you’d expect it to given the stipulation. I’m not sure WHY Laurinaitis felt the need to do that, because it made the ending obvious, but whatever. For the overall story, it worked.

Tonight was all Ryder, as evidenced by the Ziggler/Sheamus match. Think of the great booking of this match. Ziggler was never actually going to be in the Title match, but he gets a nice rub in the opening of the show. Then, his match is used to further what could easily by the greatest night in the history of Zack Ryder’s career. I don’t even remember the last time a mid-card wrestler got this much play on one show. It’s crazy, but they are going all out to give him a push.

I really appreciate that Punk is still sticking to his whole, contract signings are so predictable stance. I actually enjoyed tonight’s contract signing from start to finish.

Oh, and no disrespect to John Morrison, but I laughed my butt off when John Laurinaitis threw out the future endeavors line. Especially his delivery. Even CM Punk came close to cracking a smile at that one.

Hell of a RAW.

I do read every single e-mail you guys send, even the Facebook comments below, and really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Send me some e-mails, and have a safe week everyone!

David Stephens
Follow me on Twitter!@TheDaveStephens

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