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Posted by Ken Hill on 12.31.2012
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Welcome to 411's LIVE WWE Raw Report 12.31.12 Championship Roll Call: WWE Champion: CM Punk World Champion: Big Show US Champion: Antonio Cesaro IC Champion: Kofi Kingston Unified Diva's Champion: Eve WWE World Tag Team Champions: Daniel Bryan and Kane
And here we are, at the end of the raucous year that was 2012 (Take THAT, Mayan Calendar!). We've seen WWE Championship records broken (and a broken-record of a WWE Champi-BEST IN THE WORRRRLLLLDDD!), the rise of a Show-Off, physical wars, dominating and shocking debuts, the revitalization of a stagnant tag team division, heart attacks, triumphant returns, crazy chicks, and so much more that I wouldn't have much room for my final recap of 2012 as YOUR...KENNECTION...TO ALL...THINGS...WRESTLING!
*ahem* In all seriousness, it's been a blast since Larry and co. brought me on to 411Mania, and I'm looking forward to another craz-(Gets stared down by AJ and Big E. Langston), I mean, fun year!
- With the end of the year fast approaching, things are still as hectic as when the year began: The WWE Champion is still in traction and we don't know whether Punk will be ready for his grueling month of title defenses in 2013, starting with Ryback in a TLC match the first Monday of the new year, and the Great One at the Royal Rumble if he makes it that far. Will Punk have an update for us, or will he throw a wrench into Ryback's title aspirations once again?
- Meanwhile, John Cena's had a not-so-auspicious year, losing to the Rock at Wrestlemania, getting physically eviscerated by Brock Lesnar, barely beat out the Big Show to send Mr. "People Power" packing, ended up with the dubious honor of being the first man to lose when cashing in MITB, and ended up the victim of AJ's scorn, the former GM siding with the "Show-Off" Dolph Ziggler to help retain his MITB briefcase at TLC and siccing Big E. Langston on the erstwhile Boston native. Having been invited to the new couple's "New Year's Toast", will Cena have revenge in mind or something more perhaps?
- All this and more as we usher in the new year on MONDAY...NIGHT...RAW!
- The intro video, but no pyro as we IMMEDIATELY kick off with MIZTV! On the final Raw of 2012, it is indeed must-see because it's "Champion's Choice" night, meaning all champions (except CM Punk) can choose who they defend against. Speaking of champions, he introduces the 10-time champion, John Cena!
- Cena thanks Miz and wishes everyone a merry X-Mas and happy holidays. Miz points out how last time it seemed like he and AJ would ride off into the sunset, and now she's pushed him to the curb like he was pushed off the ladder. Cena says it's over, but Miz finds it hard to believe, as Ziggler and AJ invited him to their "New Year's Bash." Cena says he did RSVP, and hopes to drop someone, but here come the Rhodes Scholars.
- Sandow quotes T.S. Eliot and degrades Cena and Miz, but Cena cuts him off with a quote from "Robert Griffin the Third." And I quote, "You guys suck." Sandow has never heard of him and doesn't care. Cena agrees, and says there's a "bigger concern, one that's growing out of control", saying all this while he leans in very closely to "CODY'S MUSTACHE!" Cody shirks away and Damien mocks Miz and Cena's fall from main eventing Wrestlemania into the shadow of Rhodes Scholars. Cena talks with Miz about putting their differences aside to take on Rhodes and Sandow, and Miz agrees! All four down to the ring and here comes a ref!
The Miz & John Cena v. The Rhodes Scholars
Cena and Cody start off, but Cody loses the upper hand and Miz tags in to a shot on Cody's arm. Cody tags out to Sandow, who ends up being flapjacked by Miz as we go to commerical...
Cena with a fisherman suplex to Sandow, followed by a headlock. Sandow fights out, but gets back-dropped. Miz in with a kick to the gut of Sandow. Damien fights back and puts Miz in his corner. Cody in with boots to Miz, who reverses the whip and kicks COdy in the head. Miz to the corner for some punches, delivers one off the ropes to Sandow, then to Cody for a two count. Miz telegraphs a back drop and gets a drop-down uppercut, shades of Dustin, from Cody. Sandow in with some boots to Miz for a two count, then the Cubito Aequet. Cody back in with a rear chinlock. Miz fights out, but Cody with the Holly shot on the ropes. Sandow in for a two count. Miz inside cradles Sandow for a two count, but Sandow drags him back to his corner. Cody tags in. Knee to the gut, then a gourdbuster suplex for a near fall for Rhodes. Chickenwing by Cody, Miz fights out, but gets dropped on the back of his head. Sandow in with a boot, snapmare, clubbing blows, then an axe handle before tagging in Cody. Rhodes gets tossed by Miz on a bulldog attempt, and both men are down. Cena with the hot tag, five moves of doom to Sandow, but Cody with the disaster kick, but Miz with the Skull-Crashing Finale. Sandow misses Miz, Cena hoists him for an AA, hits it! Three count!
Winners: John Cena & The Miz
-The New Year's Party is in full swing backstage, as Otunga kisses up to Vickie before leaving. Dolph in with his usual smug smirk, thanks her for the invitation, and asks that "auld acquaintances be forgot." Vickie sarcastically forgives him, wishes the best for him and his little girlfriend AJ, and puts him in a match with Sheamus to end 2012. Dolph looks less than pleased.
-Back at the party, Vickie's with the Prime Time Players. Punk and Heyman arrive. Punk complains about what he put himself through, and Vickie agrees. Punks says he's even been accused that's the injury is fake and plans on proving the WWE Universe wrong by bringing a Chicago doctor to explain things to us. Vickie asks him who he would've defended against, and Punk says Ryback, who Vickie feels should be in action, and with NO help whatsoever from Punk and Heyman, makes a 3-on-1 handicap match between Ryback and the Shield. Punk gives her a kiss, but Heyman just shuffles off awkwardly.
-Antonio Cesaro in the ring with a typical anti-US promo in our Nation's Capital, and makes plans to face someone who supposed embodies everything about the US, SGT. SLAUGHTER! AT ATTENTION, MAGGOTS!
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP: Antonio Cesaro (c) v. Sgt. Slaughter
The two men exchange clubbing blows and headlocks, Slaughter no-sells a kick off the ropes, and "nearly" gets the win with the Cobra Clutch, but Cesaro finds the ropes, hits a Very European Uppercut and the Neutralizer for the three count. Post-match, Cesaro hit Slaughter with one more Neutralizer as a message to the Great Khali this Wednesday.
Winner and STILL US Champion: Antonio Cesaro
-We hear about Dolph and AJ's New Year's Toast, featuring JOHN CENA! What could possibly go wrong?
-In the back with Team Hell No, who wanted the Shield as their tag team opponents, but hear the 3MB "practicing" and decide that "YES!" they will be their opponents.
-Ricardo at the party getting some drinks, Big Show approaches him menacingly and lets him know that he picked Ricardo for "Champion's Choice". Ricardo drops his drink in horror, on Show's boots, and Show stares him down hard, promising he'll need all the luck he can get.
-Kaitlyn brings in Mae Young as a guest to meet all the Divas. Eve in with her cheesy smile, says she's beaten every Diva there...except for Mae, and gets the "great" idea to make a match for the Divas Title against her, and Mae accepts! Oh boy...
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Team Hell No (c) v. 3MB (Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater w/Jinder Mahal)
Slater with an arm drag to Bryan. Bryan with the shoulder block and a crisp takedown of Slater. Bryan hangs ten with Slater in the surfboard, makes the tag to Kane while holding Slater and Kane hits a basement dropkick for two. McIntyre tags in, gets knocked down by Kane, followed by an uppercut. Bryan tags in, and a double team whip into a dropkick. Good tandem offense by the tag champs. McIntyre fights back with a clothesline. Bryan reverses the whip, but Slater holds the ropes open and Bryan falls to the outside, where Mahal with a vicious knee to Bryan behind the ref's back. Slater rolls him in for a two count. Slate follows up with a running neckbreaker for another two count. Rear chinlock by Slater, Bryan fights out, and the two hit clotheslines on each other. Drew in, can't stop the tag, and Kane is in with bodyslams, legdrops, clotheslines, and then a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane up top with the clothesline, and connects. Slater in and quickly thrown out. Mahal taken out by Bryan. Kane with the chokeslam to McIntyre, tag to Bryan, who goes up for the flying headbutt, and connects! Three count!
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No
-Bryan tries to play a little "air ukelele", but Kane's having none of it as he leaves.
-Punk and Heyman in the back with the Chicago doctor as Punk's "update" of his injury is next!
-We recap the Miz/Cena versus Rhodes Scholars match, as well as the title defenses up to this point and the upcoming ones as well.
-Punk out now with Heyman and his "personal physician." We go to 4 weeks ago, where Ryback laid waste to Punk, laying him to waste with the Shell-Shock, followed by a TLC assault, tearing Punk's meniscus. Heyman introduces Punk as only he can. Punk talks about all the names he's beaten over the year of 2012, and dares anyone to take on the schedule he has. He's endured every injury that's come his way and says he's a man and a champion's champion, a fighting one at that. He perseveres and stands tall through all the disrespect he's gotten, even those questioning his injury. Punk asks us to show him respect. The doctor shows us the difference between a healthy knee and one with a "swollen meniscus." Punk says despite this, he can beat Ryback in any state. The doctor objects, despite Punk claiming he said he could compete. They argue, and..."NO CHANCE IN HELL!"
-Here comes Vince with his famous "power strut." He wishes us a Happy New Year. He wonders how Punk plans to weasel out of his match with Ryback. Heyman objects to that, and claims Punk has never done anything of the sort. Vince plans to have WWE official examine him next week and determine if he is capable to defend against Ryback. He doesn't discredit Punk as an athlete, but questions the involvement of the Shield and Brad Maddox in his matches and promises the investigations will continue. Heyman lauds Punk as a hero and questions Vince's scruples in the same city his own father promoted, calling him a "flesh-peddling promoter." Oooh, that ticked Vince off. He says as much, saying that if Punk isn't cleared to compete, HEYMAN will be Ryback's opponent! Ooh boy.
-Dolph Ziggler versus Sheamus...IS NEXT!
Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler w/AJ Lee & Big E. Langston
The two men lock up, Ziggler with right hands and elbows to the head. Sheamus comes back with clubbing blows, followed by a shoulder block and a scoop slam. Elbow gets a two count for Sheamus. Ziggler with right hands and beats Sheamus down in the corner. Sheamus reverses a whip and nearly botches a back body drop with Ziggler flopping in mid-air. ANother knock down gets two for Sheamus. Ziggler gets tossed to the apron for the Ten Shots by Sheamus. Ziggler falls off into Langston, who stares down Sheamus as we go to break...
Sheamus coming back with Irish hammers, shoulder thrusts, and goes for a powerslam, which Ziggler floats out of and hits his jumping DDT for a near fall on Sheamus. Dolph hits his series of elbows for a two count. Ziggler with a standing dropkick to Sheamus for another two count. Rear chin-lock to Sheamus, and Dolph locks in the legs for a full sleeper. Sheamus fights out, and counters with a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Ziggler hangs Sheamus on the ropes, Ziggler up top but Sheamus knocks off his feet. Sheamus up to the second rope, BIG fall-away slam for a CLOSE near fall. Sheamus goes up top now, and Ziggler knocks him down. Ziggler up top, Sheamus knocks him down twice, and hits the Battering Ram for another near fall. Irish Cloverleaf attempt, but Ziggler finds the ropes. DDT attempt caught by Sheamus, WHITE NOISE! Sheamus fires up for the Brogue Kick. Langston distracts, but Sheamus counters the Zig Zag and throws Ziggler onto Langston, who CATCHES Ziggler in mid-air! Wow! Sheamus dares Langston to get in, but THE SHIELD out now for a beat down on Sheamus!
Winner by DQ: Sheamus
-Sheamus tries to fight back and clear The Shield out, but Reigns with the spear, and they lay out Sheamus with the triple-team powerbomb and stand tall.
-Wade Barrett and Kofi Kingston in the back. Barrett questions Kofi's choice of opponents for "Champion's Choice", and Kofi says he's beaten Barrett, but won't have any problem doing it again and accepts his challenge.
-Brad Maddox poking around in Punk's locker room, and asks Heyman for a job, who succinctly tells Maddox to get out of the room, the arena, and his life, with Punk giggling at the scene.
-Mae Young and the party guests now, with a doctor coming in becuase Mae's suffereing from "stomach cramps" and they lay her on a table. Oh no, don't tell me...cheesy soap opera music plays as the doctor says, "She's pregnant." Yep, they went there, again. Mae even says to us, "Not again." We're all thinking the same, Mae.
-Eve out and questions Mae's excuse for getting out of the match, and looked forward to defending against a Hall of Famer, and asks to be declared winner by forfeit. Kaitlyn out now, and lays into Eve big time with right hands, then throws her to the outside and into the barricade. Kaitlyn and Eve clawing at each other now. CAT FIGHT! Eve and Kaitlyn tug-of-war over the championship, and Eve escapes with it.
-Alberto Del Rio backstage with Ricardo Rodriguez, who wants to win the World Championship for Del Rio. Del Rio says Ricardo has been so loyal to him and yet Del Rio treated him like dirt. No one, even Del Rio himself, deserves to treat Ricardo like Big Show has, and he will be out there alongside Ricardo. He gives him his scarf, then tells Ricardo to do it "in style", handing him his car keys. THAT is how you do a face turn.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: The Big Show v. Ricardo Rodriguez w/Alberto Del Rio
Ricardo out in style, just like Del Rio! Del Rio out at ringside to support Ricardo, who looks scared shitless. Ricardo with the single leg, that doesn't work. Big Show with the chest chop, THAT worked. Show chokes him in the ropes. He jaw jacks with Alberto and puts Ricardo up top. Ricardo with a kick, he ducks Show, and a run-up enziguri like Del Rio! Show misses a boot, LEG JAMMER by Ricardo! Show chops him out of mid-air though. He sizes him up for the KO Punch, but Del Rio in for the save.
Winner by DQ and STILL World Champion: The Big Show
-Post-match, Del Rio lays the boots to the World Champion, and addles him with a superkick to the the side of the head. Del Rio helps Ricardo up the ramp, and winks to an enraged Big Show, as we recap the various title situations and preview the IC Championship match; speaking of which, Kofi comes to the ring as that match with Barrett...IS NEXT!
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Kofi Kingston (c) v. Wade Barrett
Lock up, Barrett with a knee. Kofi reverses a whip with a kick to the gut, and locks in a headlock. Wade with a shoulder block, but Kofi with the float over and the elbow for two. Front headlock by Kofi, but Barrett takes him to the corner and cinches in an arm lock. Kofi flips out of it, goes for Trouble In Paradise, but Barrett holds the ropes to avoid it. They lock up again, Kofi with the headlock. Barrett blocks a monkey flip to the ropes, but both men end up tumbling to the outside as we go to commercial...
Barrett with a thrust kick to Kofi's midsection, followed up by a pumphandle drop for a near fall. Barrett drives his knee into Kofi, then traps him in the ropes for more knees. Kofi dodges the boot, kicks Barrett to the outside. Kofi springboards onto Barrett from the ropes and rolls him into the ring for a two count. Barrett counters the SOS for a near fall. Barrett gets stiffed with an elbow and gets SOS'ed for another near fall. Kofi jumps into the corner for his punches, but Barrett with the powerbomb for yet another two count. Wasteland connects, but that only gets two as well. Barrett laying into Kofi, the ref backs him off, and Kofi hits the slingshot kick. He misses the cross body, though, and Barrett hits the Bullhammer! Three count! New champion!
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Wade Barrett
-From a new IC Champion to...Mae Young in labor. Yeahhhhh.
-And now we recap the "horror" of Santa being hit by Del Rio "last week". Why? If you're trying to turn this guy face, why show this again?
-Santino and Zack join in the "miracle" of Mae Young birthing the New Year's Baby. Team Hell No joins in as well. We hear a comedic "pry and pop" noise, and (figures) it's Hornswoggle in a freakin' diaper. Jerry Lawler with the line of the night: "Having watched that...I regret the doctors in Canada saving my life."
3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Shield (Reigns, Rollins & Ambrose) v. Ryback
The match doesn't even start before The Shield is assaulting Ryback on his way to the ring. Ryback fights back against Ambrose, but the rest of the Shield beat him down. Sheamus comes to Ryback's aid, but he's put down as well. The beat-down continues...then "VOICES IN MY HEAD!" Orton down now to even the odds, and Ryback presses out Rollins and RKO to Ambrose to send the Shield packing!
Winner: No Contest
-AJ and Dolph in the back, gussying up for their "New Year's Toast", featuring, once again, JOHN CENA!
-Dolph, AJ, and Langston in the ring now for the "New Year's Toast." Dolph toasts us for doing the "smart" thing in voting Cena the "Superstar of the Year", remarking what a "great" year Cena's had. He shows, on the Titantron, Cena losing the match "he could not lose" to The Rock. Then, we see Brock Lesnar's return and F-5, laying out Cena. He says that's not so bad, but losing to John Laurinaitis at "Over the Limit"? That was bad. Ziggler then shows Cena cashing in his MITB shot and being the first person to cash in and lose, thanks to the Big Show. He wants to cut Cena some slack, because it's always about what you've done lately. AJ answers for him, and we see her knocking Cena off the ladder at TLC, allowing Ziggler to retain his MITB briefcase. Cena had the worst year of his life, and the WWE Universe voted him "Superstar of the Year." AJ: "And people say I have the mental issues." Ziggler paraphrases Cena, saying Cena's time is done, and Ziggler's time is now. He asks Langston to watch out for Cena, who is now UN-invited. AJ toasts a "real man and the man she loves" Dolph Ziggler, and they have their game of tonsil hockey until Cena crashes the party.
-Cena admits 2012 was not a banner year for him, but rather for Dolph and AJ. He even agrees that 2013 will be great...for AJ. Dolph's the 6th man for her, and 6 is always the charm. He then shows some ridiculous doctored photos of the couple's "wedding clothes" and AJ's numerous "children." He then gets serious, says he's been here ten years, and took his lumps. He had one bad season, but that doesn't mean he should be written off. Dolph's been here seven years, and all Cena's ever heard is Dolph complaining, saying the administration has held him down and he just needs a push, and whenever there's a screw up, OF COURSE it isn't his fault. Dolph knocks on Cena's shirt and says he's a loser in 2012, and while Dolph is champion in 2013, Cena will still be a loser. Cena admitted this wasn't his best year, that's why didn't accept the award, and he probably will be buried in his ball cap and jean shorts, but the reason he hasn't changed his outfit in 10 years is because his resolve hasn't waned either, and that's why he's entering the Royal Rumble and will go through everyone to be champion again. Dolph's been a caddy, a cheerleader, blond, brunette, blond again, and went from a large girlfriend to a tiny girlfriend. Dolph needs to look DEEP in the mirror to find out what kind of man he is, since the only nuts he has are ones he finds in the concession stands. BURN! Cena gives a "mock" toast to Dolph and AJ and praises them for what they are full of, and HOLY SH*T! No, really, Dolph and AJ get slopped with port-a-potty leftovers as John Cena signs off on 2012 and wishes us all a Happy New Year.
-HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! From all of us at 411Mania, we wish you happy holidays and a rocking 2013!