TONIGHT: Alberto Del Rio gets his WWE Championship rematch when he takes on CM Punk. And kicking off the show? Piper’s Pit, as WWE Hall-of-Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper welcomes John Cena into the Pit. Plus, where does The Miz go after turning on R-Truth last week? And will Brodus Clay finally make his return?
-Fireworks! Loud fans! Cameras panning them! Michael Cole introduced us to “Monday Night Supershow.” He introduced himself and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Slow-mo clips of Del Rio vs. Punk from Survivor Series aired. Tonight, there will be a WWE Championship rematch, the first WWE Title match on Raw since August 15 said Lawler. I’m surprised they’ve been able to hold off THAT long.
-Justin Roberts introduced Roddy Piper. Crowd chanted “Roddy” as he stood in the ring. Piper asked how a guy who never won the WWE Title, who was never the biggest or the baddest, become a Hall-of-Famer and an icon in the WWE Universe? His answer was “energy.” He said when fans cheered him, it made him feel good, so he did good things. And when they booed him, it made him feel bad, so he did some rotten things. But he said it’s their energy that made him go to work. Tonight, there’s a man in the building who isn’t sure if the fans’ energy is important. Without further ado, Piper introduced John Cena.
Cena acknowledged the crowd as they showed a dad with two kids at ringside clad in Cena gear – the dad looked like Jeremy Borash. Cena said just when he thinks he has the answers, Piper goes and changes the question. He asked what Piper was talking about when he said the crowd’s energy doesn’t matter to him. Piper wanted to play word association with the crowd. He mentioned Steve Austin and the crowd cheered. Next was Bret Hart, and they cheered. The Rock was cheered even more, though some seemed to boo. Cena got a mixed reaction with a decent amount of cheers. Actually a “Cena” chant came next. Piper said he was trying to help Cena and Cena said he knows what Piper was trying to do. They paused for a mixed crowd reaction. Piper said the fans came unglued when they asked for the Rock to Rock Bottom Cena, and when he did, they came unglued. “Boots to asses” chant and Cena was okay with that.
Cena admitted there’s a group of people who know him, know who he is and know what he stands for, and he’s extremely loyal to them. But you can’t please everyone. He said some people will buy a ticket and want to tell him to go to hell. Cena said the fans can do what they want. Piper said no, Cena can do what he wants. Piper said Cena is the face of WWE and the booing is getting louder and louder (and louder!) and Cena is losing it. Piper said if Cena doesn’t suck it up and tell the people what they’re thinking about them, Cena will be the loser of the biggest Wrestlemania in history. Piper said it’s not Mick Foley’s Have a Nice Day stuff, it’s Roddy’s Reality Check. Cena said Piper was overstating things a bit. John Cena hearkened back to Wrestlemania 22 when he was facing Triple H and the fans were against him, and at the Hall of Fame ceremony where he can’t repeat what the fans were chanting at him.
He also brought up ECW One Night Stand at Hammerstein Ballroom and Money in the Bank in Chicago. He pointed out the two kids in the front row and said they’re having the time of their lives. Well, one kid wasn’t. Looked like he was going to fall asleep. He said he had three Make-A-Wishes today and they’re in the crowd, as is the military. He said Rock had a great night, but it’s one night. He pointed to his shirt and said that’s the reason he is who he is. Piper said he knows Cena, he’s followed his career, and asked how much energy Cena can tap into. Piper said he’s done it all and has the jewelry to prove it: The Hall-of-Fame ring. He took it off and gave it to Cena, from one Hall-of-Famer to a future Hall-of-Famer. Piper said if Cena doesn’t get it off his chest, it’ll haunt him. Cena said thanks, but he’s in a good place. Piper slapped Cena and told him to feel the energy. Cena grabbed Piper’s hand on another slap attempt, put the ring in Piper’s hand and walked off. Piper was awesome as usual, and if they’re not going to turn Cena heel (and I don’t necessarily think they should), I don’t know where they’re drawing attention to the crowd reaction he’s been getting lately.
-Cole and Lawler talked on camera and Cole asked if the boos were finally getting to him. Lawler said at Survivor Series, the boos seemed to get to him, but he thinks Cena is okay. He said Piper went over the line there.
-They transitioned to Cole plugging The Miz vs. John Morrison up next. They showed the break-up of Miz and Truth from last week.
-Morrison was shown talking to Alex Riley backstage. Morrison vs. Miz is next.
-Morrison came out for a Falls Count Anywhere match (I didn’t notice them mention it before the break). The Miz attacked him with a steel pipe before he could even hit the aisle. Cole nonsensically said it’s legal in a Falls Count Anywhere match and Lawler rightfully called him on it by saying the match hadn’t even started yet. Miz aimed for the leg with the steel pipe. He made his way to the ring as trainers and referees checked on Morrison. Morrison limped to the ring and the referee started the match.
(1) John Morrison vs. The Miz – Falls Count Anywhere Match Morrison jumped Miz with punches on the ground, but Miz kicked at Morrison’s leg to end that offense. Cole said Miz wants to send a message to the Raw locker room. Miz wrapped Morrison’s leg around the ring post. Cole said Truth will be out “several weeks” with severe trauma suffered at the hands of Miz last week. Miz grabbed a Kendo stick from under the ring and hit Morrison in the leg with it. Morrison ducked a head shot and clotheslined Miz. Morrison took the stick and wore Miz out. Shot to the gut at ringside, then one to the back. Morrison with a pin for two in the aisle. Miz crawled up the ramp as Morrison limped after him. Miz sent Morrison head-first into the giant WWE logo on the stage. Miz brought Morrison to his feet and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on the steel grate. Before Miz could pin him, the ref checked and noted Morrison was unconscious, so he threw the match out.
Winner: Miz, via ref stoppage, at 3:25. He was going to make the pin anyway, why stop it at that point? Also odd that Morrison got the comebacks he did and they didn’t actually have him get pinned on his way out, though I guess knocking someone out makes one look a bit more dominant.
-They replayed Miz’s attack prior to the match, as well as Morrison getting thrown into the logo.
-Morrison was being strapped to a gurney by medics as John Laurinaitis came out to check on him. I didn’t hear him wish Morrison well in his future endeavors, but it would’ve been funny. Miz was in the ring with a mic, saying last week it was R-Truth, this week Morrison, next week…”we’ll see.” He said only one man could make this kind of statement, and that person is him. He said he can do it because he’s awesome. Another replay of Morrison bouncing off the logo! Lawler said Miz’s glare was “ice cold.” Great, now we’ll get “Ice Cold” Mike Mizanin to follow “Cold Blood” Matt Hardy.
(2) The Bella Twins vs. Alicia Fox & Kelly Kelly No entrances for anyone here. “What are they wearing?” asked my girlfriend about the Bellas. Before anyone could even lock up, Beth Phoenix and Natalya jogged out. They jogged around the ring and back out of the arena. Cole called it a “run-in.” They were definitely in workout gear. Headscissor take-over by Kelly. She was taken out by one of the Bellas when she tried a stinkface, but Fox had tagged in and hit her new finisher, the flip leg-drop, for the win.
Winners: Fox and Kelly, at 1:36. A total nothing match.
-Cole talked about the hottest-selling video game in WWE history, WWE ’12. They plugged Punk vs. Del Rio for the WWE Title and they showed Punk vs. Del Rio in video game form. The Championship match is still to come.
-A video package on Sheamus aired.
-John Laurinaitis was on the phone with Brodus Clay. He said, “one more week. It’ll be perfect then.” David Otunga popped in and asked when Clay will be allowed to debut. Laurinaitis said Clay is an angry guy and he’s making him angrier by putting off his debut, as he wants him at his best. Alberto Del Rio walked in. Laurinaitis said Del Rio failed in front of WWE sponsors at Survivor Series. He said he’s unbiased, but Del Rio called his loss a temporary setback. CM Punk knocked and walked in. He said since Laurinaitis was bragging about his Twitter followers last week, he decided to do some research. Punk said 156,000 hits come up on Google when you type in “Laurinaitis” and “spineless.” Over 900,000 hits are registered by typing in “Del Rio” and “boring.” And when he types in Otunga’s name, a bunch of stuff about Jennifer Hudson pops up. Punk said he would not be losing the title tonight. He walked off and Otunga speculated that Punk will try to get himself disqualified to retain. Laurinaitis said if Punk does that, he’ll lose the title.
-In a split screen, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler were walking backstage. They square off next.
-“Ladies and gentleman, please acknowledge the presence of Wade Barrett!” Justin Roberts boomed over the mic. That was fantastic. He came out to do guest commentary for the next match.
(3) Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler I think I like Ziggler’s old theme better. He did an inset interview admitting he’s a show-off, saying he took Punk to the limit last week and will beat Orton tonight and do what he does best: show off. Shoulder knock-down by Orton. Lawler said Ziggler reminds him of Santa Claus because like Santa, Ziggler carries an Old Bag with him wherever he goes. Zing! There was a stalemate 1:20 into the match and they continued to go back-and-forth as the crowd chanted for Orton. Ziggler regrouped outside the ring after Orton briefly bested him. Back in the ring, Orton was still on top. Ziggler took back over as the match had settled into first gear for the time being. In talking about the first segment, Lawler admitted he had no idea what Piper was trying to do. Ziggler with his second roll-up of the match, good for a two count. Orton was thrown outside the ring. He got back to the apron, but Ziggler dropped him with a dropkick. More back-and-forth inside the ring, with a Ziggler neck-breaker netting him a two-count. Superplex by Orton on Ziggler. Pin only got two. They went to break at 7:09.
Back to the match just over ten minutes in. Orton was clobbering Ziggler as Barrett said he had Orton “in his back pocket.” Orton gathered momentum and landed his trademark scoop slam. Rope-assisted DDT by Orton. As he set up for the RKO, Ziggler rolled out of the ring. Barrett got on the apron and Orton dropkicked him off. Ziggler ran in and gave Orton the Zig Zag for the win. Vickie Guerrero got the mic and announced him as the winner.
Winner: Ziggler, at 11:49. Big win for Ziggler. Orton has now jobbed to Ziggler and Cody Rhodes in recent times. Hopefully Ziggler can ride the momentum and not keep getting even-stevened like he was at Survivor Series.
-They showed Punk celebrating in the crowd after winning his match at Survivor Series. Punk vs. Del Rio for the title is still to come.
-Michael Cole was in the ring with Daniel Bryan, whom he called “the biggest hypocrite in WWE.” Cole said Bryan was “given” the opportunity to face Mark Henry for the World Title on tomorrow’s live Smackdown. Bryan interrupted and said he actually won a Fatal Four-Way last week on Smackdown, then called Cole the worst announcer in WWE history. Hey, Bryan trimmed the beard! I thought he was growing it out ‘til Wrestlemania? Bryan said he thought he would’ve earned some of Cole’s respect by now. Cole got upset and said Bryan tried to cash in on a defenseless man on Smackdown after lying and saying he was going to cash in at Wrestlemania. Cole introduced a clip by saying it was worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos. He showed the clip of Big Show punching Henry and Bryan trying to cash in last week. Cole laughed at Bryan actually believing he was World Champion. Cole explained what happened with Teddy Long coming out and reversing things.
Cole said if he were GM, he would’ve stripped Bryan of his MITB briefcase and suspended him indefinitely. He said he hopes Henry breaks him tomorrow on Smackdown. Bryan admitted he was a hypocrite and simply said, “plans change.” He said Henry tried to end his career and realized the briefcase doesn’t guarantee him anything. He said he saw an opportunity and took it. He paused and the fans applauded. Bryan showed a lot of fire here and said Henry may put him in the Hall of Pain. While his dream may be to main event Wrestlemania, what’s more important is that he becomes World Champion. Great job there by Bryan. Mark Henry’s music interrupted.
He said Bryan should be ashamed, trying to take advantage of a halfway defenseless man. He said Long should be ashamed too for booking him in a match when he’s halfway injured. Crowd chanted for Big Show. Henry said Bryan can’t beat him even on no legs. Bryan was coming up the ramp and was angry, saying, “I can’t beat you?” He walked past Henry, kicking him in the leg, and said “see you tomorrow night” as he kept walking to the back.
-More clips of Del Rio vs. Punk, and the third time on the show that Lawler has said, “some say it stole the show.” Anyway, match is tonight.
(4) Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder Vickie was at ringside with Swagger, who got no entrance. Waist-lock take-down began the match for Swagger. For the second time, we got the YouTube address in the snow of the Twitter logo. “Let’s go Ryder” chants as Ryder took Swagger down with a chop. Cole said Ryder’s petition was “hogwash.” He would make fun of someone for using that term. Swagger worked the arm and shoulder of Ryder. Swagger with a gutwrench, but Ryder worked out. He dove into Swagger’s arms though, and Swagger gave him a back-breaker. Swagger Bomb, but Ryder got his knees up. Rough Rider leg-drop for the win.
Winner: Ryder, at 3:25. Good win for Ryder. Fans woo-wooed along with him too.
-The WWE Championship is on the line next.
[Commercial Break- The Kane video has now added “Resurrected” at the bottom of the final shot.]
-Lawler thanked Kasabian for “Days Are Forgotten,” the official TLC theme.
-They showed the exterior of the Colonial Life Arena on the campus of the University of South Carolina.
-Clips aired of the Piper’s Pit segment, including the slap and Cena walking away.
-Mick Foley came out to Christmas music…and was dressed as Santa. Foley recited a festive poem about tomorrow’s live Smackdown. He took a shot at Cole and even got a cheap pop.
-Josh Mathews caught up with CM Punk backstage and asked Punk about Laurinaitis’ declaration about Punk losing his title if he’s DQ’d. Punk said Laurinaitis is dealing from the bottom of the deck, so he can kiss Punk’s bottom. By which he means his ass. Punk continued walking down the hallway. Match is next.
(5) Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk – WWE Championship Match Del Rio went right after Punk’s left arm in the opening seconds. Monkey flip by Punk, then an arm wringer and he went to work on the left arm. Side headlock by Del Rio. Shoulder tackle by Del Rio, who then ran into a back elbow. Del Rio held the ropes on a whip, but Punk clotheslined him over the top and to ringside. Suicide dive followed, but Del Rio obviously got his arms up to protect himself, making it look not as good as it could’ve. Break time at 2:46.
Back to the match, 5:39 in. Del Rio had just gotten a near-fall on Punk. He continued to work the arm, punching at it and putting Punk face-first onto the mat. He stomped the arm and got a one-count. Punk looked like he was going for a sunset flip but overshot. They improvised and Del Rio attacked Punk’s arm. He came off the turnbuckle with another shot to Punk’s limb. Punk fought away but missed a springboard crossbody, landing on his arm. Punk got to his feet at 8:38 with Del Rio sticking with the arm-bar. Tilt-a-whirl back-breaker by Del Rio for two. Del Rio stayed on offense, wearing down Punk. “Where’s our ice cream” chant from the fans. Clearly they’re into the match. Arm-drag by Punk, but Del Rio leveled him with a running kick to the head. Punk kicked out at two. Dueling “Del Rio” and “Punk” chants. Del Rio to the top, but he ran into a kick at 10:48. Not sure where that connected (or was supposed to connect). Two-count by Punk. Running knee intot he corner by Punk, but no bulldog. Del Rio brought Punk’s arm across his knees for a near-fall. German suplex with a bridge by Del Rio for two. Cross arm-breaker and GTS both countered, Del Rio with a DDT for two at 13:33. A frustrated Del Rio began to expose the turnbuckle pad. As the ref put it back on, Ricardo Rodriguez slid a chair into the ring. Del Rio tossed it to Punk, but Punk tossed it back and feigned being hit with it. The ref turned around just as Del Rio tossed the chair back to ringside. Del Rio and the ref argued, but instead of DQ’ing Del Rio, Punk notched a roll-up for two. Backstabber by Del Rio for two. Rodriguez got on the apron to distract the ref, but Del Rio was countered and Punk dropped ADR face-first over the exposed buckle (showing a lot of light), then making the pinfall.
Winner: Punk, at 15:26.
Rodriguez argued with the ref after the match, and Punk began arguing with RR. Punk then took him up and gave him the Go To Sleep. Punk celebrated as the show closed out.
(edited by geemoney on 28.11.11 2324) @gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
Good work by Daniel Bryan; just lose the "OKAY??" affectation. Strong work from Cena and Piper to open the show as well. And good on Morrison for doing The Job on his way out of town. He's shown some class here and will likely be back at some point because of it.
That was a damn fine opening segment. Probably the best since Summer of Punk. Really worked on a couple different levels. You could read it as Face Piper telling Cena to stand up for himself, or Heel Piper telling him to go off on the fans. Cena did everything in the book to keep a straight babyface stance kissing up to kids, Make-a-wish families, and the troops. If they want to keep Cena a face, then he's gonna have to go back to Doctor of Thuganomics Cena and get meaner. Doesn't have to be a full heel turn, but he's gotta stop being a milk drinking boyscout.
Mark Henry's new shirt is awesome. Basic black and white in the Andre' Obey style.
This was a fantastic show. Every match has a purpose, every wrestler is clearly promoted as a big deal (except the divas), every win is meaningful and presented as having consequences, and the interviews both set up Smackdown's main event tomorrow and the WM28 main event and a possible Cena heel turn. Even Cole got ate some comeuppance by having Bryan tell him off in mid-ring. Very clear, straight-forward storytelling tonight and it made for a strong broadcast.
Year 2012/2nd/January = Y/2/J
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Awww... somebody elsewhere beat me to the Piper/Palpatine comparison.
I love this. Piper stirring the pot just like he did with Andre prior to WM3.
Great build. The booing has to get to Cena- both the character and the man. He busts his ass and does all the right things and there's no pleasing the people. It's great that they're finally working it into a story and I can't wait until he finally snaps. The phrase "Your Vegan High Horse" just tickles me to no end. Michael Cole's irritational hatred of Bryan is like Michael and Toby on The Office, but less funny.
The way Daniel Bryan simply kicked Henry once and kept walking was badass Oh, and Wade Barrett without Nexus is an absolute SNOOZE. Very solid and focused show. Funny how that is when HHH and Kevin Nash aren't around.
- Ziggler pinned Orton!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So great. I assumed he was headed for his third loss in their excellent series. I've said it before, this is the best year of Orton's career. And he's been surprisingly giving this fall with Henry, Barrett, and now Ziggler.
- Punk positioned as a Cena-level top star with Cena-level strong booking. (And they were brave little boys and built the main event around him with no Cena -- and will probably freak when the rating is down.)
- Cena and Piper.
- Miz booked as a killer. Would've been even more useful a year ago at this time, but great stuff. Pragmatic use of JoMo's exit. I hope he obliterates Alex Riley next week, but the-w.com user AlbySure had an even better idea: he needs to take out Extreme Expose.
- Excellent Daniel Bryan interview. Looks to be setting up a heel turn to me as he is stricken with unfair breaks and self-doubt. I hope he doesn't waste the case to get there, but I could see him barely losing the cage match tomorrow and then irrationally going for the immediate rematch only for some bad luck to screw it up.
- Ryder gets a solid win.
- No Nash or HHH. Nash was probably walking around TD Garden still reminiscing about his Royal Rumble pop.
How can you not have Big Show in his home state while he was doing interviews on our local TV stations here earlier? But I guess they didn't want to overshadow Bryan's segment, which was the best of his WWE career.
So now that Del Rio is completely buried as a #1 contender, what do they do with him now? It's probably time for them to end the Del Rio as a #1 or #2 on the show.
No Mae Young segment, usually that's a given in Columbia.
I still don't think they can ever build Miz up as a credible threat, no matter how hard they try.
And those poor souls at Raw now have to board a plane to go to Japan just for a few days... Odd
And I know they are supposed to be using real weights for the wrestlers now but they've got to build Brodus Clay to at least 450 pounds, and not this 360 they are doing now.
When Laurinaitis came out to check on Morrison, I was hoping they'd have posted the "future endeavors" message on the website before Raw was over.
So I guess we can say they are openly flirting with a Cena heel turn now. They're at least dropping the seed in the audience's minds even if they have no intention of pulling the trigger on it. Yet with two Raws between now and TLC, there's no feud for Cena - they can't be building Miz back up so strong just to make a him a credible Cena opponent?
With all the talk about intentional disqualifications, no doubt the use of the exposed turnbuckle will be seized on as reason to give ADR another chance - that and the introduction of a chair into the Punk/Del Rio match, it seems clear enough that we're getting another round of their feud, hopefully with the full TLC stip.
I think I've got whiplash from the turnaround in quality of this show. That opening segment was fantastic storytelling, as was the D-Bry bit. I agree with Justin - there's a heel turn brewing for Bryan, and possibly a Henry face turn at the same time if the sheets are to be believed. Solves the problem of how you fit both Orton and Bryan into the Mania world title match - you just put them against each other.
There have been rumors have turning Henry, face which I disagree with. You finally have a dominate heel why fuck around with that. Bryan should have just choked Cole out. I am for anything that turns Cena heel and Piper as Palpatine is inspired. Yet, I have no faith they will pull this off and it will lead to Miz/Cena at TLC in some bizarre way.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Cole sounded exposed out there. He fumbled the first line and ran out of words when describing how funny Bryan's situation was. He foundered, and that drives me more crazy than his weasel gimmick. The voice of RAW/SmackDown/Vince fell apart in the ring.
But he absolutely had to have that segment the night before Bryan's title shot, and kudos to the WWE for remembering how much Cole derided Bryan on NXT and beyond.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Really burnt out on Cole. He was good as a heel before Mania, but after they botched that, he has been unbearable. What sucks is we are stuck with him since Vince has basically raised him from a pup.
Looks like Kane is going back to the mask. It is the only thing mildly interesting they can do with him. Wonder if they are still going for the record for masks worn at Mania after the Sin Cara debacle?
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoLooks like Kane is going back to the mask. It is the only thing mildly interesting they can do with him. Wonder if they are still going for the record for masks worn at Mania after the Sin Cara debacle?
Ohhhh good catch. Would Kane's mask count as a lucha mask for the purposes of world recordage?
ISTR that Russo used the same tag-team story (last-minute replacement for injured wrestler comes into the match, and they win the tag titles, only to have the belts returned to the team that lost because that guy wasn't officially in the match)