Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, January 7th, 2013 (USA Network)
Location: The Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, FL.
Results by Ken Hill
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
-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.
-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. 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.
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.
Here comes CM Punk to call out The Rock.
-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 Miami crowd going into our final commercial break…
The Rock is out next to confront CM Punk to end the show. OHH SH*T!
Punk is still in the ring.
Punk: I stand here on the first raw of 2013 as WWE Champion and I promise I will stand in the ring on the first Raw of 2014 as WWE Champion. What fuels me is your constant disappoint. I’m not going to let the Rock tear down everything I obtained. In 2011 when I beat Alberto Del Rio for this title I didn’t just beat Del Rio, I beat the system. I didn’t care who I defeated. I wasn’t just beating them I was beating all of you and for 414 days that’s what I have done. I have stomped you under my oppressive boot and that’s what i’m going to do to The Rock. I don’t care if he wins. You do not get to win. You are all losers. You do not get to win-
The Rock comes out and heads to the ring. He meets Punk face to face.
Rock: The Rock had to hear it all. The Rock wanted to wait until you said everything you had to say so The Rock knew the kind of man he was dealing with. And now it’s become crystal clear to The Rock. You are straight up delusional. You keep mention 414. 414 days you’ve been WWE Champion. That’s incredible! The real number, it ain’t 414 jack. The real number is 20. 20 excuses running your mind right now. 20 hairs standing on your straight edge scrotum. Because you know in 20 days you’ll be defending against the Rock. You know that in 20 days…time’s up. You wanted change. You said that when you became WWE Champion you reject the people. No no no no. The people rejected you. You talked about change. You couldn’t do it. You came out and promised everybody ice cream bars, and you couldn’t even do that. You couldn’t provide ice cream if Carvel and Cookiepuss drove an ice cream truck up your ass! I want you to listen to something, Punk. That’s voices. You claim to be the voice of the voiceless, but that’s a bunch of hot garbage because here in the WWE Universe there’s no such thing as the voiceless. They have voices, and they love to use their voice every single night. As a matter of fact they know something special’s getting ready to happen now. They’re going to chant the loudest chant you ever heard. They’re going to chant something that will follow you for the rest of your life. They’re going to chant exactly what you are. In three seconds they’re going to chant…cookiepuss.
The fans, sure enough, chant “cookiepuss”.
Punk: Be the puppets that you are! He got you chanting about ice cream the same way I did. Congratulation. They still don’t get to win . You don’t get to win.
Rock: They don’t get to win? Oh they’ve already won! That’s what you fail to realize. They won on the moment Rock woke up this morning at 4 am, sent his early morning tweet to the world, went to the gym clanging and banging, then drove up right through alligator alley so The Rock could stand here in the middle of this ring and proudly say THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO TAMPA! You see Punk, it’s not just that The Rock is back. It’s why the Rock is back. The Rock is back to entertain them, to stop you, and after 10 long year The Rock is back to win that! He’s watched the show. Every Monday Night Raw deceiving and backpedaling. You’re lying. He’d be yelling at the screen for somebody to show this man a doctor because for a straight edge guy he looks like Popeye on crack! CM Punk. You have one of the most creative and innovative minds in the WWE. You became WWE Champion and also became one of the biggest jerks the world has ever seen. The Rock can look you in the eye and say with all the passion in his heart, don’t ever say that the people don’t matter. The people have always mattered. You’re the one who doesn’t matter.
Punk: Oh I matter, i’m the most successful-
Rock: IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU MATTER! The only thing that matters is that there’s no way, and The ROck means no way, you’re going to stop The Rock from becoming WWE Champion.
Punk and Rock circle one another. Punk then drops the title on the mat.
Punk: Unlike a lot of people i’m glad you’re back. I don’t care if you work here 16 days a year, 365 days a year, 1 day a year, i’ll still kick you ass. Every time you wanna come back and grace us with your presence, i’m happy to kick you ass. You can make fun of my shirt and sing songs and rhyme and do your lame ass schtick. You have about three weeks to realize that i’m going to kick your ass. I’m the best in the world. You’re playing little league with your insults and rhymes. I’m playing big league and swinging for the fences. Your insults are kid games. You can’t leave a mark on the champ’s face. Come Royal Rumble your arms will be just too short to box with God.
Rock: You may think that The Rock is boxing a God. But the Rock knows for a fact that you’re going one on one with the great one. Don’t you think that The Rock doesn’t know how bad you are, how great you are. Rock knows that the last time we were in the ring you knocked Rock out with a GTS. But come 20 days, times’ up. Here’s what Rock wants you to do until then. Rock wants you to go home, look in the mirror and strip naked. Look at yourself, don’t concentrate on your cookie puss, concentrate on your backside and lets see if you can find a spot for two more tattoos. On the left buttcheek he wants you to put snickers, M&Ms, all kinds of candy. And then on the other cheek he wants you to put a tattoo of Rock’s boot so that you’ll know that at the Royal Rumble the Rock is going to kick your candy ass!
The Rock grabs punk and delivers a Rock Bottom. Punk rolls out of the ring and clutches his title while Rock stares him down from inside the ring as the show comes to an end.
Credit: Ken Hill