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Posted by Ken Hill on 01.07.2013
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Welcome to 411's LIVE WWE Raw Report 1.07.13 Championship Roll Call: WWE Champion: CM Punk World Champion: Big Show US Champion: Antonio Cesaro IC Champion: Wade Barrett Unified Diva's Champion: Eve WWE World Tag Team Champions: Daniel Bryan and Kane
Hmmm, let's see...world still in one piece, no animated Mayan stone statues rampaging through cities...it must be 2013!
"YOUR Kennection to All Things Wrestling" Kenny Hill here with coverage of the very first MONDAY...NIGHT...RAWWWWW! for 2013, and it could not be bigger with what's in store tonight.
Well, whether he wants to be or not, WWE Champ CM Punk has be officially and medically cleared by WWE's crack physicians, which means he will indeed do battle with Ryback in a TLC match for the respect-seeker's WWE Championship. Will the "Big Hungry" finally chow down on the championship gold he's hungered for since late 2012, or will Punk (and likely Heyman) have some devious plot to at last put away the dominant Superstar?
Meanwhile, despite enduring a rough 2012, both in the ring and personally, John Cena got a small measure of revenge on Dolph Ziggler and the insane...ly hot AJ by "crapping" all over their New Year's toast, both figuratively and literally. The Show-Off and Cr-AJ will most likely have revenge on Cena in their sights, the only question being: How will it all go down?
Speaking of Cena, he, Randy Orton, and Sheamus have been announced as entrants in the 2013 Royal Rumble. The three former winners certainly seem like frontrunners, but we are due to hear more big names for the 30-man melee. Who else will stake their claim for greatness on the Road to Wrestlemania?
Monday Night Raw coverage begins shortly...
-The opening definitely-not-TNA narrated recap reminds us of the Rock's announcement of facing the WWE Champion at the 2013 Royal Rumble, the drama with Punk's knee and facing his seeming doom in the form of Ryback for his WWE Championship in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match.
-LIVE from Tampa, Florida...Cena out first, and we're shown his "hilarious" craptastic end to 2012 including Dolph and AJ. It's a special night for everyone, with a TLC match for the WWE Title, and the "electric" feel in the air, the need for boots to be put to asses. Cena's awfully excited about the Great One for someone who done f'ed up at Wrestlemania against him. Before he can
-Dolph, AJ, and Big E out now. He says Cena and Rock may be here, but it's about the hottest superstar, i.e. Ziggler. AJ on the mic now, and calls Cena immature, pathetic, and a "small man." Cena laughs it off and even gets people doing the wave over AJ's "historic" first joke of a lack of manhood. Ziggler tries to break that up, telling Cena he just hides and jokes whenever he loses, hoping the victor will go away, but Dolph isn't going away. He officially announces his entry into the Royal Rumble. He tells to Cena to "cut the crap", but Cena says he already did that last week.
-They go back and forth, before Cena says the time to talk is over, let's fight. Big E on the mic for the first time and reminds Cena that Dolph isn't Cena's only problem, accepts the fight for Dolph, and that the fight is on!
Dolph Ziggler w/AJ Lee & Big E. Langston vs. John Cena
A hip toss and arm drag by Cena to start. Ziggler pushes him to the corner and delivers some rights. More shots to Cena's gut and a hard whip to the corner. ANother right, and Ziggler sets Cena up in the corner for some more rights. Ziggler showing off with some sit-ups, but Cena with a roll-up for two. A bulldog gets another two count. Front headlock into a stalling vertical suplex by Cena for two. Cena telegraphs a back body drop and Dolph kicks him HARD. Stinger splash on Cena for a two count. Show-off elbow gets a two count. Cena blocks a dropkick and catapults Ziggler into the corner, and goes after him with rights before the ref breaks them up. Ziggler distracts the ref and Langston delivers a right to Cena as we go to commercial
Ziggler with Cena in a rear chinlock, then going into a nice handstand into a reverse hold. Cena powers out. AJ up on the apron, but John tries to ignore her, only to get drilled with a Holly-like dropkick for a near fall. AJ up on the apron to slap Cena, but the ref's had enough and gives her and Langston the boot. Cena tries for the five moves, but the Shuffle is countered by Ziggler into the Famouser for another near fall. Cena with the spin-out slam and the shuffle, but the AA is countered...Zig Zag! 1...2...Thr-KICKOUT! Wow! Another AA attempt, Doplh slips out...jumping DDT! Another near fall! Cena rolls through on a cross body, AA attempt #3...Dolph lands on his feet! Superkick! 1...2...THR-KICKOUT! Oh man! The two starting trading big rights Cena misses, Dolph locks in the sleeper hold. It's in...Cena flings Dolph into the ref. STF is locked in! Langston out, waylays Cena and hits the Big Ending! He puts Dolph on top of Cena, a ref is out...1...2...Thr-KICKOUT! Dolph rushes at Cena, is caught, AA, three count. "What a way to start 2013!" A Super Cena win...same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
Winner: John Cena
-We're reminded of the WWE Championship TLC Match and that the Rock will be here to face off with the WWE Champion, whether it be Punk or Ryback.
Divas Championship: Eve Torres (c) vs. Kaitlyn
Lock up by the two divas. Eve with a headlock takeover for a one count. Kaitlyn counters into a head scissors. Eve floats out, cinches in a leg lock, then works on Kaitlyn's ankle. CONTINUITY! RING PSYCHOLOGY! Kaitlyn stops because the ref tells her to tie her boots and Eve takes advantage with a boot to Kaitlyn's head. Sleeper hold in the corner by Eve. Eve with a reverse headlock, but Kaitlyn counters into a big sidewalk slam for two. A big reverse DDT get another near fall. Back body drop by Eve countered into a Kaitlyn kick. Gutbuster attempt, Eve floats out, exits the ring, and decides to hightail it with her title, giving Kaitlyn the countout win.
Winner: Kaitlyn Still Divas Champion: Eve Torres
-Big tag match upcoming with the Rhodes Scholars facing the tag champs Team Hell No! YES! YES! YES!
-Santino and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat trading quips about Wrestlemania 3 and Dragon's match with Randy Savage, before Wade Barrett, Santino's opponent for the evening, interrupts and lets them know now that he's IC Champion, the title actually means something, and the Dragon's just a old man blowing smoke now. Ricky offers to be in Marella's corner and vows to show "how much smoke this old dragon can blow."
-Randy Orton backstage with Matt Striker, who asks for his thoughts on being in the Rumble alongside Sheamus and Cena. Slater and the rest of 3MB interrupt "musically" and announce their entries into the Rumble match cockily. Orton is offered his choice of opponent from the three rockers, picks Slater, and promises he'll be playing the harp after Orton is done with him, leaving Slater befuddled as usual.
Non-Title Match: WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. The Rhodes Scholars
Kane starts off with some right hands in the corner, but Cody with a rake of the eyes. Sandow in, but Kane drops him for a two count. Bryan tags in, and a double team Irish Whip dropkick gets a two count. Bryan with the wristlock. Sandow fights out, Cody tags in. Bryan with the drop toe hold, then some kicks. Buzzsaw kick misses, but Bryan hits a nice Northern Lights suplex for two. Cody comes back with a Holly shot on the ropes, then tags in Sandow, who lays into Bryan physically and verbally. Cody tags in, and does the same. Sandow back in, hits the leg sweep, then the Cubito Aequet. "YOU'RE WELCOME!" Sleeper by Sandow, Bryan counters out, Kane tags in, swats Sandow away and hits the top-rope clothesline. He takes out Cody, and hits Sandow with a boot for two. Corner clothesline and sidewalk slam gets another two count. Sandow ducks out of the chokeslam, but Bryan with the knee of the apron and rolls Sandow back to the turnbuckle for some kicks. Bryan floats over on the reversal, but looks to have tweaked his knee. Rhodes and Sandow attack Bryan's knee. Kane takes out Sandow, but Cody basement dropkicks him into the barrier. Small package by Bryan gets two, but a kick to his knee and a Cross Rhodes later...Three count! The Rhodes Scholars have pinned the tag champs!
Winners: The Rhodes Scholars
-We recap Cena's victory in a hard-fought match over Dolph Ziggler, and the upcoming TLC match with Punk and Ryback.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater w/Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre
A cohesive group of lower mid-carders about to be squashed by The Viper...2013, same as it ever was. Orton with a shoulder block, Slater hip toss blocked into a clothesline. Slater comes back with a kick and some rights. Orton fires back with an uppercut. Orotn hangs up Slater on the ropes and fights off 3MB. Slater kicks him in the bad shoulder and 3MB picks the bones. Slater rolls him in for a two count. Slater with a rear naked choke. Orton fights out with a headbutt, but Slater shoves him into the turnbuckle and snaps off a neckbreaker for a near fall. Slater up top, but Orton knocks him down. Orton up top, and SUPER-DUPER Plex to Slater! Clotheslines, followed but a vintage powerslam. Mahal and McIntyre knocked down, Slater gets the hangman DDT! Orton coils...string up that harp, Slater...RKO! Three count! Mahal and McIntyre try to ambush him post-match, but get RKOs for their efforts. Well, it was an elongated squash, but a squash still.
Winner: Randy Orton
Non-Title Match: IC Champion Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella w/Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Arm drag by Santino, but Barrett with a big boot, then a suplex for two. Santino floats out of the pumphandle, superkick! Then gets a near fall. Santino fires up, preps the Cobra, but Barrett slips out and hangs up Santino. Barrett primes the Bulhammer, and nails Santino! Three count!
Winner: Wade Barrett
-"The Dragon" in to check on Santino. Barrett looks to take out Ricky, but he faces down Barrett and removes his jacket. Barrett laughs him off and leaves.
-Striker backstage with Sheamus, who reminisces about his Royal Rumble victory last year and his 18-second victory at Wrestlemania. 3MB shows up, licking their wounds given by Orton. Sheamus jokes around, offering to sing "Danny Boy" with whoever is left standing after a Brogue Kick, as another 3MB member is in action tonight with the former World Champ.
Non-Title Match: US Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Great Khali w/Natalya & Hornswoggle
Miz on commentary for the match to further his building feud with Cesaro. Khali with some big chops to Cesaro, who retreats to the outside. Khali hung up on the rope, then Cesaro attacks Khali's leg in the corner, then on the mat. Khali kicks him off and comes back with a chest chop. Khali with a pair of clotheslines. Punjabi Plunge countered, uppercut, then a VERY EUROPEAN uppercut. Can he...will he...YES! Neutralizer on Khali! Holy crap! Three count!
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
-Heyman backstage, and he is again approached by Brad Maddox, who only wishes to offer help to Heyman and Punk, and even brought his ref's shirt so he could ask Vickie to be placed as ref in the TLC match. Paul sounds off on Maddox, and makes it clear that he doesn't want Maddox anywhere near him or Punk, and advises him to go hide under a rock and to never "PSSSST!" him again.
-Sheamus out for action...NEXT!
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal w/3MB
Sheamus with the headlock takeover. Mahal with the shoulder block, but Sheamus stops him with a hand to the jaw of Mahal. Waistlock by Sheamus, who pretends that Mahal copped a feel on him. Mahal's completely flabbergasted. Sheamus slaps him around some, and throws Mahal to the outside. he hits his Ten Shots on Mahal, then on McIntyre! Mahal distracts the ref, as Slater's clocked by Sheamus, but Drew with the clothesline. Mahal assaults Sheamus back in the ring, but Sheamus quickly comes back with a shoulder to the corner. Slater in, but thrown into Mahal. Both men are clotheslined to the floor. Sheamus out to the floor now. BROGUE KICK to McIntyre! To Slater! Back in the ring, White Noise to Mahal! Brogue Kick! Three count!
-We preview the TLC match for the WWE Championship, then we get a brief retrospective of CM Punk's calendar-year title reign as WWE Champion, particularly his encounters and destruction at the hands of Ryback, whose tumultuous pursuit of the championship and Punk in late 2012 is also chronicled.
-The TLC match for the WWE Title...IS NEXT!
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) w/Paul Heyman vs. Ryback
Here...we...go! The crowd's pumped and so am I! Lock up has Punk laying into Ryback, who shrugs it off. Hard whip to the corner by Ryback, then stomps a mudhole into Punk. Punk to the outside, Ryback follows, but Punk with a chair to the gut, then to the big back of Ryback. He rips it out of Punk's hands, swings for the fences, but misses. Punk with a kick to the gut, then another chair shot to the back. Punk gets a ladder, but Ryback back up and slams Punk into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Ryback asks us "CHAIR? LADDER?" as he hoists Punk for a LONG stalling vertical suplex. He picks...Ladder! Ooooh, that sucked for Punk. Ryback whips Punk into the steel steps, then actually picks up the heavy bottom part to crush Punk with! He misses, and Punk off the steps with a calf kick. Punk lays into Ryback with a steel chair, then parades on top on the steel steps as we go to commercial...
Ryback with a huge Eletctric Chair drop as we come back from the break. Ryback slams Punk on the ringside floor. He brings out a table, but Punk drives a chair into Ryback's midsection. He sets up the table, but Ryback arm drags on and over the announcer table! Back in the ring, Punk clips the knee of Ryback. He fetches a chair, then drives it into the bad leg, and again. Punk traps the leg in the chair,. Punk up top..but misses and tweaks the bad knee. Ryback fires up with a big back body drop and clotheslines. He revs up...MEATHOOK! Ryback gets Punk up for the Shell-Shock, but Punk floats out and out of the ring. Ryback pursues, but Punk sidesteps him and Ryback goes through a ringside table! Punk climbing the ladder in the ring, but Ryback is back up! Punk knocked off, but he shoves Ryback off, WHO PRESSES PUNK ONTO THE LADDER! Oh, that HAD to suck. Punk recovers with a chair shot, then a pair of high knees, but Ryback COUNTERS THE BULLDOG AND DROPS PUNK THROUGH THE TABLE AT RINGSIDE! Dear God, Punk did not land well. Ryback climbs the ladder, but the lights go out...the Shield is out! Reigns pulls Ryback down, but he clears them from the ring. Rollins and Ambrose hold Ryback for Reigns to hit him with a chair. They drag Ryback outside, TRIPLE POWERBOMB THROUGH A TABLE ONTO THE STEEL STEPS! Punk crawls back in as the Shield retreat. Punk, bad shoulder and all, slowly makes his way up, looks smugly down at Ryback and unhooks the championship.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: CM Punk
-Punk and Heyman celebrate in the ring, as it is made official: Punk vs. The Rock at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. We're reminded once again that the Rock IS LIVE (NOT via satellite) and will address the WWE Champion.
-Striker backstage with Punk and Heyman. Punk promises to head back out to the ring and drop some pipe bombs for the Rock before he can entertain "his millions and millions."
-Bryan nursing his knee backstage. He and Kane blame each other for the loss to Rhodes Scholars. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, brings up the two men's issues, and mentions there will be a 4-month follow-up...WITH DR. SHELBY! Oh boy. Bryan and Kane get into a shout-fest over whether Shelby is a monster or a nerd. "MONSTER! NERD! MONSTER! NERD! NERD! MONSTER!" Ah, Kane with the old Bugs Bunny maneuver.
-Recap of Del Rio's save of Ricardo from the Big Show, and the World Champ faces Alberto this week on Smackdown, but faces Kofi tonight as a warm-up
Non-Title Match: World Champion Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi starts in on Show. The ref tries to break them up, but...BOOM! KO Punch by Show, and that's that.
Winner: Big Show
-We flashback to July 2012, where Rock made his intentions know for the WWE Championship, and Punk made his feelings about the Rock known with a GTS for the ages.
-Punk and Heyman out once again, as we recap his victory over Ryback thanks to "surprise" assistance from the Shield. Punk tosses the WWE icon off the mic, which means it's "pipe bomb" time. He feels the term has been misused and wrongly defined. It's simply the truth boiled down to its purest form. He wonders about how people saw him as this savior and voice of the voiceless, then how people felt he turned into man who bitched and moaned about respect. That's not true, he's everything he initially claimed to be. In the end, though, it hasn't mattered if you're the best wrestler or talker, there has been a glass ceiling, and you're only popular if you're making money. People like Daniel Bryan and Brodus Clay putting a smile for the audience, performers like Tyson Kidd not getting their fair share of the spotlight, and Punk even lampshades the audience agreeing with him. If Punk had been in the Sammartino era, he'd have reigned for 20-30 years. Hogan didn't wrestle against the likes of Ryback, Punk has, and it's because of that he's successful, not because he's relied on the fans to back his popularity. He saw Roddy Piper crack a coconut over Snuka's head and didn't say he would "electrify" people, cry his eyes out, or make a heartfelt speech about missing performing for the fans. He's the best in the world. Two types of people: People in the spotlight, and people paying to watch people in the spotlight. He asks the audience to take a wild guess. There are superstars and nobodies, he's a superstar and we're the nobodies...a stage hand tells Punk to wrap it up, but Punk says the champion decides when he wants to go to break and continue to rag on the Tampa crowd going into our final commercial break...
-Punk promises us that next year, he will still be standing in this ring as our WWE Champion. The Rock returning hasn't changed anything. When Punk beat Del Rio in 2011, he beat the system. When he took anyone down, he was beating the system, and he was beating us. He calls the audience losers...IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLLL! Here he is! The Rock is out, and soaking in the big home state pop as he marches down to the ring.
-Rocky asks if the hair on Punk's head and the twenty hairs on his *ahem* straightedge scrotum are standing up because he knows that in 20 days, he's finished. Punk claimed to be the Voice of the Voiceless, but ROck says that doesn't apply to the WWE fans, who always have a voice, and will chant "Cookie-Puss." Punk's not impressed. They don't get to win, and neither does the Rock. The Rock says the fans already won at 4 AM when the Rock woke up, went to the gym, to Alligator Alley, and here in the arena, where he would be proud to say that FINALLY, THE ROCK HAS COME BACK...TO TAMPA! The Rock is back to stop Punk and and to win championship gold. He's seen Punk's deceit, and wishes someone would respect Punk so he'd shut up, or get a doctor because he looks like a crackhead Popeye. Yep, Dwayne just said that. He says Punk used to have such a creative mind for the business, but became the biggest jerk when he won, and says that the people matter, it's Punk who doesn't matter. Punk thinks he matters...IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU MATTER!
-Punk says he's glad Rock's back. Doesn't matter if it's one day, 16, or 365, Punk will still kick his ass. Whenever the Rock comes around from his movie schedule, Punk will kick his ass. He congrats Rock on finally graduating from the "kiddy table." He needs to realize that all the insults and jabs won't leave a mark on Punk. Make all the kiddy jokes that Rock wants, Punk will see him in twenty days at the Royal Rumble and just kick his ass. Rock will realize, when he steps in the ring with Punk, he's stepping in with the Best in the World, better than all the Rock has faced before, and Rocky's arms will be too short "to box with God."
-Rock says he may be boxing with God, but Punk doesn't seem to be aware that he's facing The Great One, and Rock knows how dangerous and competent Punk is, the GTS he took laying him out cold as ice. Rock hasn't forgotten that. In 20 days, Punk's time is up. He tells Punk to get two new tattoos: One of a bunch of candy, the other of Rock's Size 15 so that Punk will have an eternal reminder of his candy ass getting whooped by The Rock..."ROCK BOTTOM! AMEN A ROCK BOTTOM TO PUNK!" Rock raises the WWE championship high before tossing it off to a recovered Punk, and the two stare one another down from afar as we fade to black on an awesome beginning to 2013.