It’s 2013 and The Rock’s back in the house. Be prepared for one of the best promos of the year.
After the flashback recap segment, John Cena came out to an extremely mixed reaction. Cena was 19 kinds of excited as he talked to the WWE Universe. Raw showed the “Shower” of Dolph and A.J.. It was a Craptastic event for the new couple. Cena really revved up the crowd. Cena talked about the TLC match between C.M. Punk and Ryback. He also brought up The Rock. Cena talked about Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania.
Dolph Ziggler, A.J. Lee and Big E Langston came from the back. Dolph said the fans may have come to see Cena or Rock but they were going to leave with the memory of Dolph. A.J. torn into Cena about the Poop Dump and the Relationship Dump. She called Cena a petty, small man. Cena said A.J. started off 2013 by making her first “sixth grade weiner joke”. Cena had the crowd to a wave to celebrate her accomplishment. Hilarious. Cena started to quote Andrew “Dice” Clay but Dolph cut him off. Dolph said Cena likes to laugh off things. Dolph told Cena to cut the crap. “I did that, last week, and it fell all over you.” Dolph then announced that he has entered the Royal Rumble. Dolph’s main goal was to keep Cena from winning. Cena with a psych out of more stuff falling from the ceiling. Cena called A.J. “crazy”. Cena said he was done talking. He challenged Dolph to come down and fight, right now.
Big E took the microphone. He speaks? Big E said Dolph wasn’t Cena’s only problem. Big E accepted the match, for Dolph. Dolph and A.J. weren’t too happy. There was a major arguement on the ramp between Big E and Dolph. The trio slowly walked down to the ring. Raw went to break.
John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler
Both Big E and A.J. got involved in the match. after Big E popped Cena in the face. Dolph with his Machine Gun Elbow Drops., after a wicked Dropkick. A.J. slapped Cena. The ref didn’t see it but he did eject both Big E and Crazy Chick, A.J.. Dolph screamed at the ref not to send them to the back. Cena went Vintage but Dolph kicked Cena in the face on the hand wave. Famouser by Dolph for two. Dolph missed a Corner Splash and Cena with the Proto-Bomb and Five Knuckle Shuffle. Dolph countered the Attitude Adjustment into the Zig Zag. 1-2-no. Dolph missed the Superkick. Dolph with a huge Jumping DDT for two, after avoiding the STF. Dolph went up to the top and waited. Cena rolled through a Top Rope Crossbody and went for the AA. Dolph flipped out and nailed the Superkick. That was impressive. Dolph punched away on Cena. Cena and Dolph traded huge punches. Cena got the better of it. Dolph with the Sleeper. Cena threw Dolph off, right into the ref. The zebra tumbled out of the ring and hit the floor. STF! Cena lost his shoe in the process. Big E Langston rushed down and connected with the Big Finish. Big E took off and both men were down. Big E had draped Dolph’s arm over Cena. Another ref rushed down and started the count…1…2…Kick Out by Cena. Cena with the Attitude Adjustment.
Your Winner: John Cena
Grade: A (95%)
Eve Torres vs Kaitlyn
Divas Title Match
This was a perfect example of why women’s wrestling, in the WWE, is so pathetic. The slow plodding yawn fest came to an end when Kaitlyn started showing a little offense. Eve then bailed out of the ring and took the count out.
Your Winner (by count-out): Kaitlyn
Grade: F (0%)
Next week, Raw celebrates it’s 20th anniversary. I’m sending out my notice to everyone, Now. I will NOT be answering my office, home or cell phone during the show. Smile. I’ve heard there are some major returns in the works.
Santino talked with Ricky Steamboat. Santino said Ricky’s Intercontinental match, at Wrestlemania III, was his favorite. Ricky said it was one of his, as well. Wade Barrett came in and went off both men. He accused “The Dragon” of being an old man, blowing smoke. Steamboat told Santino that he would be his corner for the I-C title match, later tonight.
Elsewhere, Matt Striker interviewed Randy Orton. Orton reminded Matt that he won the Royal Rumble, in the past, and he was ready to do it again. 3MB came in and said they were all in the Rumble match, as well. Orton then wanted to know which member of 3MB would get to fight him. Orton picked Heath. “After our match tonight, you won’t be playing the Air Guitar. You will be playing the harp”.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler mentioned that tickets for the Hall of Fame ceremony were going on sale, Saturday. Still no announcement of who might be going in. I’ve heard so many possible names: “Diamond” Dallas Page, Mick Foley, The Rock, The Undertaker, Bruno, Bob Backlund, etc… We’ll see.
Sandow with the Elbow of Distain off the Side Russian Leg Sweep. Sandow stomped on the ribs of Bryan. Rear Chin Lock by Sandow. Sandow now claims that his family has been advisors to Presidents. Sure, we believe that. Tag to Kane. Kane snapped Sandow’s neck on the ropes. Kane had a tough time getting up the ropes but eventually hit hte Kane Klothesline and a Big Boot. Corner Clotheslines by Kane. Sidewalk Slam by Kane. 1-2-no. Kane went for the Goozle but Sandow bailed out. Flying Knee Trembler by Daniel, off the apron. Daniel had made the passing tag, out of camera shot. Bryan with vicious kicks, when they got back in the ring. Sandow reversed a whip but Bryan ran the ropes. Bryan tweaked his knee on the landing. Like sharks, Team Rhodes Scholars focused on the leg. Cody wrapped the bad wheel in the ropes and Sandow stomped away. Kane went after Sandow, when Damien attacked the knee. Bryan with a Small Package for two. CrossRhodes.
Your Winners: Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes
Grade: B (84%)
Randy Orton vs Heath Slater
Orton with a evil-looking Superplex. Running Clotheslines by Orrton. Snap Powerslam on Heath. Orton attacked both Drew and Jindar. Rope-Assisted DDT by Orton, on Heath. Orton went into his special place. R-K-O.
Your Winner: Randy Orton
Grade: B- (80%)
After the match, Drew and Jindar tried to Pearl Harbor the Viper. Orton laid out both men with R-K-Os.
Santino Marella (w/Ricky Steamboat) vs Wade Barrett
Intercontinental Title Match
Santino with a wicked Back Kick. Diving Headbutt by Santino. Cobra was set but Wade went to the apron. Wade snapped Santino’s neck on the top rope. Wade loaded up the elbow and connected with the Bull Hammer Elbow.
Your Winner: Wade Barrett
Grade: C (75%)
Why did they trot Steamboat out there? Wade looked to Sneak Attack Steamboat but the Dragon was ready to go. Wade backed off.
Striker talked with Sheamus about winning last year’s Rumble and the World title at Mania. Sheamus doubted he could win the World title, again, in 18 seconds. 3MB strolled up and Sheamus gave them a hard time. Heath said Randy Orton got lucky. Sheamus wanted a Sing Off. He started warbling “Danny Boy” but changed his mind. Sheamus decided it would be much better to fight.
ANtonio Cesaro vs The Great Khali
Natalya and Hornswoggle were with Khali. The Miz was at the announce table, for this match. Miz doesn’t like Antonio’s anti-American comments. Khali with a huge Chop an a Back Elbow. Open Hand Slaps by Khali. Antonio threatened Nattie and Hornswoggle. Khali brought Antonio back in and hit a Clothesline. Cesaro snapped Khali’s neck and then his leg over the top rope. Cesaro with a Headbutt to Khali’s nether regions. Cesaro worked over Khali’s leg. Khali clubbed Cesaro and then hit a Chop. Back Elbow and Big Boot and Clotheslines. Khali wanted the Punjabi Punge but Cesaro fought back. Awesome Springboard Morningstar. Neutralizer!
Your Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Grade: B (84%)
Paul Heyman was talking, on the phone, in the back when Brad Maddox came up. Paul told Brad that he didn’t want the kid in his life. Brad put Paul in his place. He said he could be of service to Heyman and Punk. Maddox had his ref shirt with him. He said he wanted to talk to Vickie about being the ref. Paul said he didn’t want Brad anywhere in the WWE.
Sheamus vs Jindar Mahal
Lock Up by Sheamus and they went to the corner. Side Headlock Takeover by Sheamus. Mahal with a hard kick and Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Mahal. Sheamus grabbed Mahal’s nose. Shoulder Tackle by Sheamus and a kick in the arse. Mahal appeared to grab Sheamus’ tushie. Sheamus put the hands there. Sheamus slapped Mahal and pitched him out of the ring. Sheamus brought Mahal up for the Crossfaces. Drew McIntyre got too close and got the Crossfaces, as well. Kick by Sheamus. Drew grabbed the ankle. Mahal sent Sheamus to the floor. Gang attack on Sheamus. Mahal rolled Sheamus in and got a two count. Vicious kick to Sheamus’ face. Heath told Mahal to stay on Sheamus. Modified Funk Neckbreaker on Sheamus. Sheamus and Mahal traded shots. Celtic Hammers and Shoudler Rush by Sheamus. Mr. Wrestling II Running Kneelift. Heath got involved and both Heath and Mahal ended up on the floor, thanks to a Double La Bandera Clothesline. Sheamus threw Mahal back in the ring and then Brogue Kicked Drew. He had one for Heath, as well. White Noise on Mahal. Sheamus completed the Hat Trick by nailing Mahal with the final Brogue Kick of the night.
Your Winner: Sheamus
Grade: B (85%)
Michael Cole sent it to a video highlight package about C.M. Punk’s Year Long Battle for Respect. Punk was about to face Ryback in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Ryback injured Punk’s knee but the WWE Champ has been cleared to compete.
C.M. Punk vs Ryback
Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the WWE Title
Dr. Sampson had given the green light for Punk to return to action. The match was beyond brutal. Punk tried to use his speed to stay ahead of Ryback. It didn’t work. Ryback with Corner Shoulder Thrusts and hard kicks. They ended up on the floor. Punk with a chair shot to Ryback’s ribs and back. Double Leg Trip by Ryback. Ryback got his own chair and went after Punk. He missed and Punk with a Crescent Kick and several chair shots. Punk threw Ryback into the barrier and looked under the ring. He found a ladder. Ryback blasted Punk across the back, over and over. “We want Tables!” rang out. Ryback with a Stall Suplex. He dropped Punk onto the metal ladder. That made my back cringe. Heyman was shrieking like a banshee as he watched the champ wince in agony. The two ended up on the floor, again. Ryback got the ring steps and slammed them into Punk’s face. Punk just dodged the bottom half of the steps. Flying Knee Strike off the ring steps by Punk. Punk got another chair and waffled Ryback’s back. Raw took a quick break.
Ryback hit the Electric Chair Drop on Punk (not that we got to see it, darn it). Ryback with a Scoop Slam, on the floor. Ryback got a table out and set it against the barrier. Punk attacked the knee. Punk looked under the ring and found his own table. Ryback reversed a Whip and sent Punk sailing over the announce table. Ryback blasted Punk with the top of the announce table. Ryback rolled Punk back in the ring. Punk clipped Ryback’s knee. Punk went out and got a steel chair. Punk drove the chair into Ryback’s knee, a couple of times. Punk slid the ankle into the chair. Punk went up to the middle rope but Ryback moved. Punk clutched his repaired knee. Ryback with a Back Body Drop. Spinebuster by Ryback. Meathook Clothesline by Ryback. Punk escaped Shell Shocked and went to the floor. Ryback got out and went for a Spear. Punk side stepped the charge and Ryback destroyed the table.
Punk got back in and started up the ladder. He was climbing slowly. Ryback came up the other side. They fought on the top. Punk fell off the ladder. Punk shoved over the ladder. Ryback landed on his feet and Gorilla Press Dropped Punk onto the ladder The ladder was completely destroyed. Punk with another Crescent Kick to Ryback’s head. Punk set up the ladder but it was useless. Elevator Knee by Punk. Punk tried to fix the ladder but stopper for another Elevator Knee. Ryback dropped Punk over the top rope…through a table! Ryback slid out to find another ladder. Ryback set up the new ladder and started up. The lights went out. No, it wasn’t Sting. It was the freaking Shield. Crap. This was legal, technically. They pulled Ryback down off the ladder. Ryback threw the three guys otu and started back up. The Shield came back and cracked Ryback with a steel chair. They kept Ryback on the outside. This sucks. Sword of Damacles…through a table…onto the steel steps. Both men were down and really wasted. Punk crawled back into the ring. Ryback struggled to clear his head. Punk’s left arm seemed completely dead. Punk pulled himself up by one arm. Punk got to the belt. I was expecting Brock Lesnar and we get Aces and Eights, Mark II? Really?
Your Winner: C.M. Punk
Grade: B (84% — Several points lost due to using The Shield, again)
So, Punk now goes on to face The Rock at Royal Rumble. Here’s how I see this whole thing playing out. Punk survives Rock, at Rumble. At Elimination Chamber, Rock ends Punk’s title run. John Cena, who wins the Rumble match, announces on the Raw after E-Chamber that he is challenging Rock for the WWE title. Cena wins the WWE title and Rock goes back to making crappy movies.
Punk was interviewed, in the locker room. Punk denied being involved with Brad Maddox and The Shield. Punk said he was going to go back out and unload with another Pipe Bomb.
Elsewhere, Daniel Bryan was icing up his knee. Bryan and Kane had a meltdown about their earlier loss. Vickie Guerrero came in and bellowed at the tag champs. Vickie said she knew about the medical histories of both tag champs. Both men will have their four month follow up by Dr. Shelby, next week. Great, that doofus. Kane and Bryan then went back and forth about Shelby being a Monster and a Nerd. Duck Season. Wabbit Season. Jeez.
Cole and Lawler showed how Ricardo Rodriguez took on Big Show for the World title. Alberto Del Rio saved Ricardo. ADR gets a shot at Big Show, on Friday.
“Wildcat” Kofi Kingston vs Big Show
Kofi started with a wild flurry of kicks that took Show to the corner. Show reached around the ref and clocked Kofi with the Knockout Punch. Seriously?
Your Winner: Big Show
Grade: C- (70%)
Michael Cole sent it back to Raw 1000. Punk just retained his WWE title when Big Show got involved. Rock came out and hit hte Rock Bottom. Punk then attacked Rock with a Clothesline and the GTS.
C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman returned to the ring. Heyman held the WWE title high. Punk said he wanted to share something very personal. He said no one understood his Pipe Bombs. He said a Pipe Bomb was The Truth and Honesty. Punk said the WWE Universe didn’t understand him. Punk said people complained that his ego was a runaway train. Punk felt it was a lie. Punk said the only thing that he didn’t mean was the ice cream bars. I would have bought them. Smile. Punk said he could have accepted things or left, but he cashed in and created the rebel, anti-hero persona. Punk said it didn’t matter how good a person is, there is a glass celining in place, in the WWE. Punk got shots in on John Cena and Daniel Bryan and Brodus Clay. He even brought up Little Jimmy. Punk felt Tyson Kidd got passed over for the comic schtick. Punk said the fans couldn’t stomach anything complicated. Punk compared wrestling to a circus. Punk said he was the first person to become successful without having to suck up to the fans. Punk said he was so much better than Bruno Samamrtino and Hulk Hogan. Punk said they both had it easy. Check your history books, jerk. Punk said one year of his career was like 30 years of a Bruno career. Punk said the others in the back were phony. Punk said he didn’t care about the fans. Punk said he was a bad, bad man and was happy to admit it. Punk took shots at Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. He called the two, as well as Edge, weak or liars. Punk again repeated that he was the Best in the World. Punk said there were two types of people: Those born to be in the spotlight and those born to pay to see the first group. Punk said he has never done a thing, in wrestling, for the fans. Punk was interrupted for a commercial break. Seriously? Punk said he decided when they go to break, not “The Truck”. Punk said no one mattered. Thankfully, The Truck cut him off.
So, Punk was back, even more ticked off than before. Punk said he would still be the champ, a year from now. Punk said they were trying to drag the title away from him. Punk said he beat Alberto Del Rio and the System to become the champ. He ran down the list of people that he has beaten in the last 414 days. Punk said he also stomped down the fans. Punk said The Rock and the fans did not get to win.
The Rock finally arrived. It was deafening. Cole had goose bumps. Rock took his time getting back to the ring. He said he wanted to give Punk plenty of time to get it all out of his system. Rock wanted to know just what kind of guy that he was dealing with. He said Punk was “Straight Up Delusional”. Punk said the 414 days was incredible but the real number that haunts Punk was 20. Rock said Punk would defend in 20 days against The Rock. “Time’s Up”. That will be trending. Heck, it will likely be a t-shirt. Rock corrected Punk that Punk didn’t reject the people, the people rejected Punk. Rock brought up the Ice Cream Bars, which he couldn’t provide if “The Dairy Queens, Careille and Cookie Puss drove an Ice Cream Truck up your *ss”. That started the “Cookie Puss” chant. Rock told Punk to listen to “The Voices”. Rock said there were no voiceless in the WWE. Rock said there was about to be something special happen. Rock had the crowd chant “Cookie Puss”. I almost fell out my chair laughing, at this point.
Punk taunted the fans about being puppets. He said he got the fans to chant about ice cream, a year ago. Punk said the fans and Rock would not get to win. Rock said the Fans have already won. Rock got some serious Foley Pops in. The Rock did his “FInally, THe Rock…” bit. “Rocky” chants erupted. Rock wanted to explain why he was back: 1. To Entertain the fans, 2. To stop Punk and 3. To win the WWE title, after 10 long years. Rock accused Punk of lying. He wanted Punk to shut up. Rock said Punk looked like “Popeye on crack” Punk-Eye, the Crackhead. Rock said Punk needed the pipe. Toot toot. The announcers lost it as “Cookie Puss” rang out, yet again. Rock said Punk had a creative mind but failed to use it. He accused Punk of becoming the biggest jerk of all time. Rock warned Punk to never say the fans don’t matter, again. Rock said Punk was the one that didn’t matter. Punk said he…”It doesn’t matter if you matter!” Rock said there was no way that Punk would stop Rock from becoming the WWE Champ.
Punk laid down the title belt and told Rock that he was glad Rock was back. Punk said he was going to kick Rock’s *ss. Punk said he would kick Rock’s *ss, every time he showed up. Punk said Rock had 3 weeks to realize that he was about to kick Rock’s *ss. Punk said Rock bit off more than he could chew, now. Punk said the insults were kiddie games. Punk said Rock’s arms were too short to “box with God”. Rock said Punk may think Rock is boxing with God, but he knew that Punk was going one-on-one with The Great One. Rock knew how tough Punk is. Rock said he remembered being knocked out, but now…Time’s Up! Rock wanted Punk to go home and think about the next 20 days. He wanted Punk to strip naked and look at his backside, not his “Cookie Puss”. He wanted Punk to get 2 more tattoos. On the left butt cheek, get an M&M, Snickers, Mounds but not an Almond Joy (since Almond Joys, unlike Punk, have nuts). Punk said he wanted Punk to get a tattoo, on the other cheek, of Rock’s boot. That would help Punk remember how Rock kicked his Candy *ss at Royal Rumble. Rock Bottom! Punk rolled out to the floor. Sweet!