Join me for live coverage of WWE Monday Night Raw beginning at 9PM EST!
Things get kicked off with “Cult of Personality” playing, but instead John Laurinaitis comes out wearing a CM Punk shirt. He cuts a promo talking about being unpredictable. Soon after, CM Punk comes out to a huge pop with Raw in Chicago. He cuts a promo on Laurinaitis. At first Laurinaitis says Punk will not be wrestling tonight, then books him in a 3 on 1 gauntlet match where if any of the 3 pin him, they get a title shot next week. Punk wants something if HE wins and goads Laurinaitis into a match. So it will be CM Punk vs 3 mystery men then if he wins, Punk vs. Laurinaitis tonight on Raw.
As Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler recap the opening, another creepy vignette interupts. It has more creepy kids in a school then the screen says “The End Begins” then “Next Week”.
Cody Rhodes and Booker T are split-screen WALKING. They wrestle
for the IC title NEXT.
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Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T
This is a return bout from the TLC 2011 PPV. Commentary is based around Booker T being old, which is strange if they are trying to use him to get over Cody. Most of the offense is Cody’s, and he removes the knee pad and beats down Booker into the corner. Booker T clears to the floor and we go to an unfortunate mid-match
And we’re back in the ring, and Cody continues on offense. Some restholds. Cody is on offense and Booker T builds a comeback. Ends with a side slam that gets a 2 count. Some back and forth action. Booker T hits a desperation scissors kick and gets the pin out of no where! Oh it looks as if this is a non-title match. Really good TV match, and Booker T can still go.
Winner: Booker T
Booker T celebrates in the ring.
Zack Ryder is shown talking to someone backstage and the crowd pops. Then it’s revealed to be John Cena and the crowd boos. Zack thanks Cena for the opportunity. Cena puts him over.
Lawler gets on the house mic to announce CM Punk’s 3 opponents tonight. 1) Jack Swagger 2) Dolph Ziggler 3) Mark Henry
Backstage Kelly Kelly and the Big Show are giggling together.
Backstage, John Laurinaitis talks to Brodus Clay about debuting on the first Raw of 2012, then talks about how mad he’ll be with David Otunga. In strolls The Big Show, who was summoned while talking with Kelly before. They want answers for the Big Show sucker-punching Otunga on Smackdown. Show says he could beat Otunga with one arm tied behind his back! Laurinaitis suggests Otunga drop any potential lawsuit if he accepts Show’s “challenge. Which he does. Show says he has no balls and such.
Swagger and Ziggler chat backstage about the gauntlet match. They argue about being losers. Vickie interrupts, then Mark Henry walks by and silences the bickering.
Eve Torres & Zack Ryder vs. Tyson Kidd & Natalya
We’re back in action and the heels control. Ryder with a missile dropkick and tags to the ladies. They go back and forth a bit, tag back to the men and Ryder hits the Rough Ryder for the pin on Kidd.
After the match, Eve presents Zack with the US Title.
Coming up next: Cena calls out Kane!
John Cena comes out to a full entrance and a full audience of boos. He talks about the WWE and his own history in Chicago and says it challenges NYC as the “home” of the WWE. Still no takers here in Chicago. Cena calls out Kane, but instead The Miz comes out to his music. He said rather than Kane, he wants a piece of Cena. Cena retorts and gets some cheers, and calls for the match right now with a referre.
John Cena vs. The Miz
And a ref DOES come and it’s on! They go back and forth for about 2 minutes, with the crowd loudly doing dual-chants of “Let’s Go Cena” and “Cena Sucks”. This prompts The Miz to go to the floor and grab a mic and cut a promo on the crowd and Cena. The bell rings so I’m guessing The Miz is counted out.
Winner: Cena via CO
The Miz continues cutting a promo, talking about how he’s had a huge 2011, this match doesn’t matter, etc. He rambles for a bit until The Truth music hits and The Truth himself comes out to attack The Miz at ringside. Truth beats Miz into the safety rail and over the announce table. After the beating, Truth grabs a mic and says he wants every Monday to be like Christmas. Little Jimmy said its OK, and at New Year’s all they gonna get got.
The Big Show vs. David Otunga
The Big Show has one arm tied behind his back, of course. Otunga is still using that wacky music they made for him and McGillicutty as a team. Match is nothing for about a minute until Mark Henry’s music hits and he comes out. Bell rings, match is out I guess?
Winner: No Contest
Show is struggling to free his hand from the rope that tied it behind his back, but Henry attacks. As he stands over the Big Show, Daniel Bryan’s music hits and HE comes out. He points the title belt at Henry, distracting him, and allows the Big Show to attack. Henry escapes but Show hits THE CHOKESLAM on Otunga. His music plays!
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Alberto Del Rio comes out in a wheelchair pushed by Ricardo Rodriguez, who is in a neckbrace. He recaps his 2011 including winning the Royal Rumble and WWE Title twice. But now he has the worst injury – a completely torn groin. The Bella Twins randomly come out and defend Alberto, but then they bicker about throwing him a party and he kicks them out. He pledges to continue being aggressive when he returns in 2012.
Gauntlet Match #1
CM Punk vs. Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero
Match begins with a flurry of offense but settles into Swagger on offense. He controls for about 2 minutes and goes for a Vader Bomb in the corner but Punk catches him on his shoulders. Swagger floats out of the GTS but Punk hits a big roundkick to the head for the pin.
Winner: CM Punk
Immediately, Ziggler’s music plays and he comes out, but Swagger attacks Punk from behind before match #2 “officially” begins with a bell. Swagger clears out and the second match begins
Gauntlet Match #2
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero
Ziggler sizes up Punk as the second match begins.
We’re back with action in progress. Ziggler controls and works the legs. Punk rebounds with a catapult into the corner turnbuckle which Dolph sells like crazy. Punk takes some offense with kicks. They go back and forth. Swagger and Vickie still at ringside Vickie interferes, sending Punk down. Ziggler and Punk are both down, and John Laurinaitis comes down and has a mic. He says in the interest of justice, he is sending Vickie and Swagger to the back. While he is cutting a promo, Punk hits Ziggler with a roundhouse and has him pinned, but the ref is looking at Laurinaitis. Punk confronts Laurinaitis and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag from behind and pins Punk!
Ziggler gets a title shot next week on Raw. Punk shakes his head in the ring. This was weak.
Up Next: Kane responds to Cena.
Kane comes out to his full music and entrance, including HELMET OF DOOM and new mask. He removes the helmet and start his promo. Suddenly John Cena’s music plays and he comes out to the Raw entrance ramp. Kane says that Cena has lead these people astray – in telling them to rise about the hate. Kane says that humans naturally hate. He goes on and on about hate and such, and the crowd begins to chant “Cena”. This leads to Kane telling Cena to embrance the hate he denies. Kane leads the crowd in a “Cena Sucks” chant but it does not catch on. Cena milks it and it turns into a dueling chant of “Let’s Go Cena” and “Cena Sucks” and the show ends without him responding, just observing the crowd from the ramp.
Tags: john cena, monday night raw, Raw, WWE