Jan. 7, 2012
Bob Colling
Wrestling Recaps

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
Date: 1/2/2012
From: Memphis, TN

RAW starts off with a video promoting the segment between Kane and Cena last week. The WWE actually dubbed in booís for Cena. What will Cena do tonight?

John Cenaís music hits and he makes his way out to a mixed reaction. Cena notes that 2011 didnít end the way he wanted it to. The fans start a vocal ďyou suckĒ chant. His three resolutions for this year are to wear less underwear, his father has been banned from WWE television and win the biggest match in history against the Rock at WrestleMania. However, he will remain who he is and will not change who he is. He is not here to judge what the fans wish to say because they have earned the right to be there. He was disappointed in Kane. He isnít going to change his ways. That will never happen. Cena is really sucking up to the fans. Kaneís music to end Cenaís talking. Well, Kane doesnít appear but rather we just hear his voice. Kane says that Cena will embrace the hate tonight!

The End Begins Tonight is shown as we go to commercial.

Opening Contest: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes

Bryan works on Rhodes in the corner with several kicks but runs into a big boot. Rhodes works on Bryanís left shoulder by slamming him to the mat and ramming the champ into the turnbuckle pad. Rhodes misses a clothesline but Bryan hits one. Bryan tosses Rhodes to the floor and runs off the apron to kick Rhodes in the chest. Rhodes battles back with the Disaster Kick but Bryan kicks out at two. Rhodes goes for a vertical suplex but Bryan counters with an inside cradle to pick up the win.

Your Winner: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan via pin fall
Match Rating: **

Footage from last week which saw R-Truth return to RAW and attacked The Miz is shown. How does a plastic water bottle to the head hurt?

Backstage, The Miz walks into John Laurinaitis office to talk. John doesnít agree with what Truth did last week. John reminds Miz what he did two months ago to R-Truth. Miz doesnít recall doing that and John thinks he is scared. John tells Miz that tonight he will be wrestling against Sheamus tonight. Miz thinks he is going to be a sitting duck tonight. Miz leaves and we see R-Truth who does his best to act like a duck as RAW goes to commercial.

Highlights from the 1988 Royal Rumble is aired. Jim Duggan won the event by last eliminating the One Man Gang. The 2012 Royal Rumble will be taking place on January 29th.

Before the next match, Wade Barrett tells us that he doesnít care about the new year nor does he care about the old year! He says that 2012 is a good year because Randy Orton is gone. Barrett sees Orton as another victim and is in his past. Now, he is looking forward to main eventing WrestleMania to win the WWE World Championship. Well, here comes Santino Marella. Marella reminds Barrett that last year he lasted longer than Barrett in the Royal Rumble. He is going to run over Barrett this year. These two will be squaring off.

Second Contest: Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella

Santino does a split and is kicked in the face as a result. Santino tries for the cobra but Barrett nails him with a kick to the face and is rammed into the ring post. Barrett connects with a side slam and picks up the quick win.

Your Winner: Wade Barrett by pin fall
Match Rating: 1/2*

Backstage, the Bella Twins are arguing while the Miz is standing in front of them. Miz wants to know if they saw R-Truth but they havenít. Miz walks away and looks around. R-Truth shows up again and is stalking Miz around the backstage area as we go to commercial.

Third Contest: Sheamus vs. The Miz

Miz plants Sheamus with a DDT before the bell sounds. Miz ties Sheamus up in the middle rope and hammers away on Sheamus. That doesnít last because Sheamus breaks free and clubs away on Miz with several vicious clubbing blows to the chest. Miz jumps the railing and runs away. He walks up the steps to catch his breath. R-Truth is heard talking and he is behind Miz in the crowd! Truth says he ran into Little Jimmy in the crowd. Truth lets us know that Jimmy doesnít like Miz. Truth moves towards Miz to get his hands on him. Miz returns to ringside only for Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick! Truth grabs Jerry Lawlerís water bottle and hits Miz in the head with it. Truth just walks away from Miz. Truth says that this weekly beat down by Truth was brought to you by Little Jimmy.

Footage of Dolph Ziggler earning the title shot this week is aired.

Backstage, Josh Matthews is with Dolph Ziggler who is doing a handstand. Ziggler says that he pinned the champion just as easy as he did the hand stand. He talks about how bad the American society is. He is a walking surplus of everything. He has everything he wants, except for the WWE Championship. Tonight, he becomes the WWE Champion.

Backstage, WWE United States Champion Zack Ryder is with Eve Torres. Jack Swagger comes over and says that Ryder is an imposter champion. Ryder says he can send Swagger to the ER. Swagger tells the champ he can take the title and his girl from him. John Laurinaitis comes over and books a six man tag team elimination match. Swagger with team with Mark Henry and Kane. Ryder will be teaming with John Cena and Big Show.

WWE Champion CM Punk is walking towards the ring as we go to commercial.

Fourth Contest: WWE Championship Match
(champion) CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler

The title match starts off with some mat wrestling with neither man getting a clear advantage. The fans are clearly behind CM Punk. Punk drives Ziggler down with a back breaker but only gets a one count. Ziggler sends Punk to a corner and works on Punk with a few right hands. Ziggler misses a jumping elbow drop. Punk scoop slams Ziggler and hits a few quick leg drops for a near fall. Ziggler drops Punk face first across the middle rope, but it seemed like a botch. Ziggler hits a jumping elbow drop and slows the match with a headlock. Punk kicks Ziggler to the floor and goes for a suicide dive but is stopped by Ziggler with an uppercut. Ziggler connects with a neck breaker on the apron but Punk still kicks out at two. We go to commercial.

They are trading right hands until Ziggler gets a sleeper on Punk, who counters with a back suplex for a near fall. Punk nails Ziggler with a kick to the face and gets another near fall following a snap power slam. They trade roll ups but neither man gets a three. Ziggler connects with a Fame-Asser but Punk pops his shoulder up at two! Ziggler drives Punk to the mat with a modified gut wrench suplex but still canít put the champ away. Punk avoids the Zig Zag and hits a running knee and running bulldog out of the corner but only manages to get a near fall. Punk sees John Laurinaitis coming down to the ring to put the turnbuckle pad back on. Punk has the Anaconda Vice on Ziggler and made him tap, but the referee had his back turned! Ziggler runs into Laurinaitis but gets out of the GTS. Punk falls to the floor when Laurinatis pulls the top rope down. Punk tries to get back in the ring, but he is counted out.

After the match, Ziggler celebrates with the championship despite not actually winning the title.

Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler by count-out, still WWE Champion, CM Punk
Match Rating: ***1/4

A video highlighting the 1995 Royal Rumble is shown. Shawn Michaels won that year last eliminating the British Bulldog. Who will win the 2012 Royal Rumble on January 29th?

Fifth Contest: The Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres

I canít help but laugh when Divas try to entertain by wrestling. Eve hits a top rope moonsault onto Nikki but Brie breaks up the count and replaces Nikki to roll Eve up to win the match with a roll up.

Your Winners: The Bella Twins via pin fall

Backstage, CM Punk storms into John Laurinaitis room who is hanging out with David Otunga. Punk is sick and tired of him. John says that Ziggler will be wrestling Punk at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Punk warns John that Otunga will come in handy because if he screws him out of the championship he will want to sue him. Why? Because Punk will beat him like a bitch!

The mystery video plays with a voice saying that he will reclaim what is his. She has spoken, it is time. The End of the World is here! NOW! Who is it? The screen is shaking. Itís the Natural Disasters?! Wait, no. It isÖ. itís Chris Jericho! That should shock virtually no one. Jericho is wearing a jacket that he must have stolen from Jeff Jarrett in 1995. Jericho circles around ringside to slap hands with the fans and isnít saying anything. He is quite happy to be back, though. The fans chant ďWelcome BackĒ and ďY2JĒ a few times. Jericho is REALLY milking this for all itís worth and itís really starting to lose its fanfare. Uh, he just screams ďoh yeahĒ runs around again and walks up the ramp way. Fans are starting to boo him. He walks to the backstage area. He just turned heel without actually doing it.

Instead of Kane coming out for the next match, David Otunga comes out to tell the ring announcer something. Kane is not going to compete in the match and it will be a handicap match instead.

Main Event: Handicap Elimination Match
John Cena, WWE United States Champion Zack Ryder & Big Show vs. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry

Cena and Swagger started off the contest with Cena working on Swagger with a dropkick and a front face lock. Swagger is working on Cena in the corner as RAW goes to commercial. Back from the break, Swagger connects with a middle rope elbow drop for a near fall. Cena backdrops Swagger and tags in Big Show, who splashes Swagger and follows up with a shoulder block. Henry is tagged in by Swagger. Henry and Show trade body shots until Show knocks him off his feet with a shoulder block. Show whacks Henry over the back with a chair, and he has been eliminated by count-out or disqualification.

Now, its Swagger against Ryder and Cena. Ryder clotheslines Swagger a few times and nails Swagger with a running boot in the corner. Swagger is able to lock in the ankle lock on Ryder but Cena gets the tag. Cena with clotheslines and a spinning slam. Cena connects with the five knuckle shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment to win the match.

Your Winners: John Cena, Zack Ryder and Big Show by pin fall.
Match Rating: *

Kaneís music hits and Cena walks up the ramp way a little bit. Wait a second, Kane shows up from under the ring and hits Ryder with a right hand. Kane grabs Cena by the face and suffocates him. Kane goes back to the ring to grab Ryder and he looks to pull him into the hole. Ryder tries to hang on but Cena jumps into the ring and pulls Ryder free. Fire bursts from under the ring. Cena stares at the fire as RAW goes off the air.

Final Thoughts:

Where do I begin? The first RAW of 2012 was a mix bag, really. I donít think the fans are sold by Daniel Bryan as the champion, and who can blame them? He constantly has to sneak out wins and hasnít had that establishing win. I donít know why they arenít making him a submission specialist.

R-Truth is a good babyface, whether you want to admit that or not, he is. Iím interested in the feud between himself and Miz, which surprises myself.

Punk/Ziggler was a good match, and I canít accept the count-out finish. These two on pay per view should make people tempted to but the show just to see them. Iíd give them at least fifteen minutes to go nuts on the show. Ziggler has the momentum and has beaten the champ twice. Iím a big Ziggler fan and hope that 2012 is a big year for him.

I know a lot of people may have hated the Jericho segment, and Iíll be honest, I was too. But, letís think this through. Jericho is far better as a heel. He had everyone going nuts for him and he didnít say a damn word. Without saying a word he got the fans to turn on him. Go watch the segment again and at the end of it you can see an expression on his face that shows you that he wants to be booed. We are still left with the questions as to why he is here in the WWE. What is he doing? Who is he targeting? There are still questions to be answered. I thought it was a very good segment.

I might be in the minority, but Iím enjoying the mind games by Kane. He is clearly getting inside Cenaís head and I would have to think will cause Cena to seriously consider his message. I like the creepy characters and Kane is pulling it off.

Overall, the wrestling wasnít all that exciting, except for Punk/Ziggler. This was heavily devoted to angle advancements and I was entertained by them. Iíll consider this a good start for the WWE in 2012.

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