Are you ready? There are only 62 days until WrestleMania, so stop questioning your heart and join me because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Justin Roberts introduces John Laurinaitis. He makes his way down to the ring and proceeds to shake hands with different members of the audience and crew. John enters the ring and says that he is looking forward to his performance review tonight. He admits that he has made mistakes, but overall his performance has been good. He says that no great man has lived without making mistakes. John is confident that tonight he will be made permanent General Manager of RAW by his good friend HHH. As for his performance last night at the Rumble, John feels that he called the Punk/Ziggler match right down the middle. Laurinaitis announces that Punk will defend his Title against Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, R-Truth & Chris Jericho in an Elimination Chamber at the next PPV. John also announces several matches tonight including a first time ever match. World Champion Daniel Bryan will take on WWE Champion CM Punk!
CM Punk’s music hits and he makes his way out onto the entrance ramp with a microphone. He walks down to the ring singing the “Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye” song. Punk enters the ring and sings the song in the face of Laurinaitis, calling him clown shoes once again. John says that Punk owes him an apology for not screwing him out of the Title last night. Punk says he is a liar, not a man of his own. Punk says that he came out here solely to see his dim witted face one last time before HHH fires him. Punk says that Laurinaitis has given him a great deal of amusement over the past couple of weeks, especially in the way that he stumbles over words. Punk may not be HHH’s biggest support in the world, but he can’t wait for him to come out and kick John out of the building. John says that he won’t take what Punk is saying personally. This is all about business. John wants to put all of their differences aside and start over fresh. John reaches his hand out. Punk tells him that the only reason John should extend his hand to the best wrestler in the world is if he wants to Go To Sleep.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he walks down to the ring. He introduces himself as the World Heavyweight Champion. Bryan wants to make sure that both the men in the ring remember who he is. He says that no one cares about the petty feud between Punk and Laurinaitis. While they were involved in a soap opera last night, he was busy winning a steel cage match. Bryan says that he understands that Laurinaitis wants to make a huge match, but compared to what he went through last night, Punk won’t be much of a challenge for Bryan. He also mentions that he is a vegan. Punk asks him if he doesn’t eat meat, then what does he eat. Bryan says that if Punk continues, he is going to shove his pipe bomb where the son doesn’t shine. Punk says that they have been friends for a decade, so instead of letting John start a feud between them, how about they just put on a great show for the fans in attendance tonight.
Sheamus’ music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Will Sheamus choose which Title he will wrestle for at WrestleMania? Sheamus hates to break up the love fest, but he wants to remind everyone that he was the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble match. He’d also like to remind the men in the ring that they will be defending their belts at the Elimination Chamber match, plus John could be fired tonight! He’d also like to remind everyone that he has earned the right to be in the main event at WrestleMania. With the luck of the Irish, he will be the next WWE OR World Heavyweight Champion. Sheamus wishes luck to both men. Finally, he shares an Irish saying with Laurinaitis, “may HHH kick him in the arse so hard, he be throwing up his lace covered undies”.
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk shake hands in the center of the ring.
Josh Mathews is in the luxury box of Wade Barrett as they provide extra commentary during the upcoming match.
Randy Orton v. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
They lock up and Ziggler is pushed into the corner. The referee breaks them up. Randy takes him down with a side headlock. Ziggler escapes but is met with a shoulder block. Orton connects with an uppercut, and then whips him hard into the corner. Orton charges but is blocked with an elbow. Dolph hits a dropkick as we go to commercial.
Back from the break, Orton slams Dolph back first into the corner. Dolph counters with a boot and goes for a cover. Orton kicks out. Ziggler lifts Orton to his feet and hits a neckbreaker. Dolph does a couple of sit ups for good measure, and then begins to stalk The Viper. Ziggler takes to the top rope, but Orton follows after and knocks Dolph down onto the turnbuckle. Orton punches him in the face a couple of times, before setting up for a Superplex. Orton heads all the way to the top rope and connects! Cover, but Ziggler kicks out!
Orton sets Dolph up on the apron and looks for the suspended DDT. Ziggler gets to his feet and locks on a sleeper. Orton flips him off of his back and then goes for an Oklahoma Roll. Ziggler kicks out, and then hits a leg drop! Orton kicks out. Ziggler goes for another sleeper, but Orton throws him out of the ring. Orton follows after and throws Ziggler into the barricade, and then back into the ring. Orton has him on the apron, and this time connects with the suspended DDT! Orton begins to pound the mat. RKO! This match is over.
Winner via RKO: Randy Orton
Laurinaitis is in the back talking to members of the crew, plus William Regal who casually mentions that he has conjoined twin daughters that he keeps locked in the attic.
The Funkasaurus is introduced, and he makes his way down to the ring.
Brodus Clay v. Tyler Reks
Brodus jiggles and jabs against Reks. Tyler gets in a bit of offense with a dropkick and a couple of punches. Brodus jiggles up, and hits the sheeplex. Brodus hits Double the Funk, Double the Splash, and this match is over.
Winner via Double the Funk, Double the Splash: Brodus Clay
After the match, the jiggling and dancing continues.
–CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are in the locker room. Punk says that people don’t really know what a Vegan is, to which Bryan counters says that some people don’t know what it means to be straight edge. Punk says that the difference is that unlike Bryan, he doesn’t claim to be a role model. Punk is simply the best wrestler in the world.
CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan
They shake hands at the start. They exchange blows and Bryan hits a dropkick. Punk is on the mat and Bryan stands on top of him. He interlocks his legs with Punk and jumps to apply pressure. Punk punches and then hits a snapmare. Quick kick and cover, but Bryan kicks out. Punk knees him in the back and then lifts Bryan to his feet. Scoop slam, followed by a leg drop attempt but Bryan rolls out of the way. Bryan hits a kick and then drops a knee to the face of Punk, followed by another. Bryan awkwardly twists on Punk’s arm, and then stomps down on it! Bryan whips Punk into the ropes, but Punk dodges a kick and throws Bryan out of the ring!
Punk heads to the apron and drops down with an axe handle. Punk connects with an uppercut, but Bryan responds with one of his own. They begin to slug it out. Bryan whips Punk over the barricade and then gets back into the ring so the referee can begin the count. Punk crawls back into the ring.
Bryan stands Punk up and connects with a couple of kicks. Bryan locks on a side headlock. Punk escapes with a side slam and then heads to the apron. Punk leaps for the springboard lariat and connects! Cover, but Bryan kicks out. Punk slaps him across the chest a couple of times, and then whips him into the corner. Bryan reverses, but Punk dodges a high dropkick. Cover, but Bryan kicks out. Punk immediately goes to a chin lock. Bryan gradually gets to his feet and escapes. Both men bounce off the ropes and hit crossbodys at the same time!
Back from the break, Bryan uniquely applies pressure to the arm of Punk and goes for a cover. Punk kicks out. Bryan taunts the crowd and then goes to the top rope. Punk knocks him onto the turnbuckle and follows after. Punk yells, “Best in the World”, and hits a hurricarana from the top! Punk hits a spin kick as he tries to recover from the attacks that Bryan has focused on his arm. Punk charges towards the corner and hits a high knee. Punk follows with a bulldog. Bryan slides out of the ring, but gets hit with a baseball slide. Bryan punches Punk on a suicide dive attempt and then leaps up the turnbuckle. Bryan soars into the air for a huge missile dropkick. Cover, but Punk kicks out.
Punk is on his knees and gets caught with a couple of punches. Punk tries for a German Suplex, but Bryan lands on his feet. They roll through a couple of covers, and Bryan kicks Punk hard in the face. Cover, but Punk kicks out. Punk lays Bryan out in the middle of the ring and takes to the top rope. Punk leaps for a picture perfect elbow drop. Cover, but Bryan kicks out. Bryan tries for the LeBelle lock, but Punk powers free and throws Bryan into the turnbuckle. Bryan is lying on the apron.
Chris Jericho runs down to the ring and throws Bryan to the outside! The referee calls for the disqualification.
Winner via DQ: Daniel Bryan
Jericho charges into the ring and hits the Code Breaker on CM Punk!
Mike Tyson is announced as the newest inductee for the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame!
R-Truth joins in on commentary for the next match.
Kofi Kingston v. The Miz
The Miz cuts a quick promo about being awesome before the match.
They lock up, and Miz takes him down to the mat. Miz punches Kofi and hits a running boot. Cover, but Kofi kicks out. Miz stomps on the back of Kofi and then sets him up in the corner. Kofi flies for a crossbody, but Miz dodges and then knees Kofi in the gut. Miz points towards Truth and then turns his attention back to the match. Roll up from Kofi, but Miz kicks out. Kofi is sent to the corner and is hit with a brutal splash. Miz takes to the top rope for an axe handle. Cover, but Kofi kicks out. Miz hits devastating DDT and goes for another cover. Kofi kicks out once again. Miz charges for another splash, but Kofi moves out of the way. Kofi heads to the top rope and leaps for the crossbody! Cover, but Miz kicks out. Kofi connects with Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere! This match is over.
Winner via Trouble in Paradise: Kofi Kingston
–John Laurinaitis is talking to David Otunga in his office. Otunga claims that he did as much as possible to help influence the decision for tonight. John worries that David is after his job. Otunga comforts him by saying that he is very content in his current role as legal counsel for Laurinaitis.
Eve Torres v. Beth Phoenix
Phoenix immediately hits the Glam Slam, and this match is over.
Winner via Glam Slam: Beth Phoenix
After the match, Kane’s music hits as Eve is lying helpless in the ring. Kane appears on the Titantron. He asks how it feels to know that everything that happened to Ryder is a result of Cena not embracing the hate. Kane claims that until Cena embraces the hate, he won’t be able to defeat Kane OR The Rock. Kane promises to keep attacking Ryder until Cena finally gives him. Kane says that tonight he will use Eve as a conduit to pass that message along. Pyro erupts on the entrance ramp, and Eve is frozen in fear in the ring. Kane appears from behind her and enters the ring!
Eve crawls towards the ropes as Cena’s music hits! He charges into the ring and begins to brawl with Kane. Cena chases him out of the ring and follows right after. They brawl their way up the entrance ramp. They work their way back down to ringside. Cena whips Kane into the steel steps, and then takes them apart. Cena lifts the steps high over his head and rams The Big Red Machine! Cena has a smile on his face as he yells for Kane to get up. Cena charges and connects with the steps again. Cena rams him again! Cena heads over to the commentator booth and rips the cover and monitors off of the table. Cena calls for a microphone, which he uses to bash Kane in the head. He says that we are going to have a party up in here! Cena drags Kane towards the table and lifts up the monster for the AA. Kane scurries off of his shoulders and retreats up into the crowd. A fired up Cena gets into the ring and begins to celebrate.
John Laurinaitis comes down to the ring and says that he has been looking forward to this moment all week. He says that during performance reviews all employees are asked to grade themselves on a scale from one to five. John says that he has given himself a lot of fives!
HHH makes his way down to the ring. He laughs about the fact that John gave himself a lot of fives. HHH says that he is amused because he thought that Laurinaitis would do a decent job because he is spineless, but in fact he was quite terrible. HHH says that Laurinaitis used his position to try and make himself a star. Laurinaitis counters that the things he has done were intended to make RAW better. HHH says that when Vince ran RAW he let personal decisions cloud his judgment, and had to be replaced. The same thing happened when HHH was running RAW. Laurinaitis has been doing the same.
Laurinaitis claims that he will do anything to keep his job. HHH tells him that if he can win over the WWE audience with an apology, then he can keep his job. John starts to talk to the crowd, but he can barely be heard over the chorus of boos. Laurinaitis apologizes to each and every fan for any and all mistakes that he has made.
HHH asks the audience what they think, but the crowd is not impressed. HHH says that that didn’t work, so maybe he can find something else. Laurinaitis wants to be a star, so maybe HHH should make a gauntlet match. HHH searches for a better idea. He goes back to something that Vince McMahon used to do when he wanted to test the loyalty of employees… he’d make them join a certain club. The Kiss My Ass Club! Laurinaitis pulls out some chapstick and puckers up! HHH calls him a freak for even considering it! HHH says that there is no way he is going to do any of that silly stuff. He came out here for one reason tonight, and that is to do what needs to be done. Personal issues have clouded everyone’s decisions in the RAW GM role, but the Board of Directors has seen that HHH has put those issues behind him. HHH can now return as the RAW GM! Triple H wishes Laurinaitis the best in all –
The Undertaker’s music hits! The Undertaker’s music hits!
The Deadman walks out onto the entrance ramp and stares into the ring. He slowly walks his way into the ring and looks into the eyes of his opponent from last year’s WrestleMania. Undertaker runs his hand across his throat signaling that he is going to destroy HHH, and then stares at the WrestleMania sign. HHH places his hand on the shoulder of the Deadman, and then walks out of the ring as RAW goes off the air.
Sheamus deserved to win the 2012 Royal Rumble. I was completely convinced that Jericho would walk out the victor, mainly because his return seemed hyped around doing something big, but that obviously wasn’t the Rumble. As I said last week, this was one of the more predictable Rumbles in recent years. Nearly everyone I talked with seemed to have Jericho & Sheamus in their top two. If we are talking career longevity, Sheamus (34) is still relatively early in his run compared to the maybe a couple years left in the tank for Jericho (41). I’m not being disrespectful, though I’m sure I’ll get emails anyway, I’m just saying that I see more advantages for Sheamus’ career than Jericho’s with a victory in the Rumble at this stage.
So, I’ve learned two things thanks to the wonderful world of wrestling in the past couple weeks. First and foremost, I clearly don’t know how to change a tire. My apologies to Zack Ryder, and thank the lord that I have an AAA card. The second is that even when I’m near 100% confident that someone is going to win a match, I can occasionally be wrong. Though to be fair I’m not sure if it being my number two pick made the Rumble all that more unpredictable but whatever. The other thing that I said last week is that I felt this year’s Rumble had the potential to be one of the best of the past ten years. In that respect, I don’t think it let the audience down. It was fun, silly, and serious and boosted the career of a talented young star. Works for me!
Nice opening segment tonight. I was expecting Jericho to make an appearance with all the talk of being the Best in the World. It just makes sense that he and Punk will feud over that moniker at some point, but let us not forget that Daniel Bryan has often been touted with that Title as well. Sheamus came out like a giddy school girl in the segment, but he did win the Royal Rumble so I can’t fault his jubilation.
It was a nice return to RAW match for Randy Orton. He looked very strong against the man who challenged for the WWE Title at the Rumble last night. Ziggler continues to impress on a daily basis. In terms of charisma, ability and drive, Ziggler is one of the top performers on the WWE roster at the moment.
William Regal cracks me up. I have no idea what the point of the segment was which included him mentioning that he keeps his conjoined twin daughters locked in the attic, but I got a chuckle out of it. It’s worth mentioning that his commentary on Superstars is near impeccable. Not enough for me to catch the show on a weekly basis, but if I hear about an interesting match that I want to watch, he adds to the entertainment value.
Not much to say about the jiggling of Brodus Clay. As of now, I’m still entertained by his character. A month from now I might get bored, but we’ll have to see where the character progression takes Brodus.
I’m laughing as I type this next little paragraph because I actually type my RAW thoughts as the show progresses. It helps keep the nuances of the show fresh in my mind. At the end of the Punk/Bryan match, Jericho ran out and I had to chuckle because I didn’t want to go back and re-edit my surprise that Jericho didn’t appear in the opening segment. It made perfect sense to me, and then low and behold Jericho runs his way out. I’m very eager to see the Punk/Jericho feud make its way towards WrestleMania. I really hope that it does!
As for the Punk/Bryan match, paint me impressed. It was just an altogether fantastic match. I’m sure there will be those who feel obligated to hate on it simply because they can’t accept that ROH stars can have a great match in the WWE, but this was a WWE style match with some nice technical additions. Very impressive.
Mike Tyson is a logical choice for the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. Remember, the point of bringing in Tyson isn’t because he deserves it more than any other Superstar not yet inducted, but because the WWE is a business. They have a celebrity wing to bring in media attention and stay relevant in the main stream culture. If you can’t understand or comprehend that fact I don’t really know what to tell you. It makes perfect business sense.
The WrestleMania theme song is really catchy this year. Maybe not as good as “Written in the Stars”, but it’s growing on me. For those curious, it’s called, “Invincible” by MGK ft. Ester Dean.
I was pleasantly surprised that Kofi picked up the win over The Miz. The cool thing to say the past couple of weeks is that Kofi will be buried due to the suspension and probable release of Evan Bourne. Instead, they are giving Kofi a decent push including a WWE Title shot on PPV. How is this possible? Because Bourne and Kofi are two different performers, to forget or ignore that fact is simply ignorant.
Cena sure is fired up isn’t he? It’s a refreshing change for the character that genuinely has me interested in the WrestleMania match which up until this point has mostly been focused on all of the grandeur involved.
Laurinaitis has been fired, or so it seems. I’m actually a bit disappointed. Anyone I watched RAW with immediately despised him, so I felt he was playing his role very well. Perhaps if HHH does face Taker at ‘mania then John will remain in his interim role for another couple of months.
Speaking of which – WHY DOES THIS MATCH HAVE TO HAPPEN??? I’ve been wracking my brain for the past 4 or 5 months trying to justify a reason for these two men to have a rematch. I’ve gone into lengthy discussions on my radio show about why it makes no sense, and there are a myriad of reasons. For me, the biggest and simplest reason this match shouldn’t occur this year is this – their match sucked last year. I nearly fell asleep.
I was watching with about 6 other guys and literally everyone was bored. It happened, I’m over it. But not again, please Lord don’t let them wrestle again. Clearly the Undertaker is not going to lose, he’s going to make it to a perfect 20-0 record. But why not give him an opponent that can cast at least a little bit of doubt on that fact? HHH has absolutely nothing to gain by beating The Undertaker, and so he won’t. At least if it was a younger star there would be a little bit of curiosity going into the match that the WWE would be crazy enough to allow someone to beat Taker. It would never happen, but it would be fun to think about. With HHH, that’s not even a slight possibility.
Ah well, I’ll need a bathroom break before Cena/Rock anyway.
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