Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, January 9th, 2012 (USA Network)
Location: The American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas
Results by Tony Acero of 411
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
Kane opens the show with a promo. He tells everybody in the crowd that they hate their spouses, jobs, and children, though they don’t “embrace it.” He says people chant “Cena Sucks” because he embodies the success that they cannot achieve and because they’re not embracing the hate. I have absolutely no idea what the point of this angle is, and Kane just confused me further. The Big Red Machine’s attention to Zack Ryder, who he runs down because he is a product of the fans. Kane says that he wants consequences for failing to embrace the hate. WHY?! John Cena runs in to put this godawful promo out of its misery, and they brawl in the aisle. The fight spills backstage, with Kane dominating and also punching out a few random security guards. We go outside to a loading dock and tease going off the side of it, but Kane throws Cena into some pipes instead. Cena wacks Kane in the knee with a crowbar, but the Devil’s Favorite Demon no-sells it and punches Cena to send him flying into a pile of cardboard boxes. When Cena gets up again, Kane has vanished. And we hit the commercial break. What an anti-climatic brawl.
Match Numero Uno: Sheamus & Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett & Jinder Mahal
Michael Cole says that what Mahal wears during his ring entrance is the “Indian version” of a turban, while Lawler says “Who cares what he wraps around his head?” Somebody get these guys some sensitivity classes, STAT.
Mahal and Santino start, but it’s not long before Barrett gets in, starting the process of the heels trading off and getting the heat on our favorite faux Italian. Santino escapes a Marella chinlock with a jawbreaker, and Sheamus gets the not-so-hot tag after the match has been ongoing for about ninety seconds. Sheamus runs wild on Jinder with forearms, knocks Wade Barrett off the apron, and blasts Mahal with the brogue kick. Santino wants to tag back in and Sheamus lets him do so, setting up the cobra for a three count.
Winners: Sheamus & Santino Marella
Miz and Johnny Ace are backstage, and the former is complaining about not getting any protection from R-Truth. Ace says he can’t do too much because he’s got a lot on his plate, including the debut of Brodus Clay this evening. I’ll believe that when I see it. Ace also makes sure to mention to Miz that he’s not Little Jimmy . . . he’s Big Johnny.
We’re back from commercial, and we’re getting the announcement of the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame for 2012. (Well, aside from Mil Mascaras, who was announced in a non-televised segment when they did the TV tapings in Mexico last year.) It’s Edge. He gets a pretty standard video package for a Hall of Fame inductee. He was going to go in eventually, but this seems a little too soon after his retirement . . . but, then again, this is the HOF that includes Vince McMahon’s limo driver, so who am I to question anything.
Backstage, Miz is having an unheard conversation with Mason Ryan, presumably trying to recruit him as a bodyguard. Mason blows him off.
Zack Ryder is on his cell phone with his dad, threatening to beat up Kane if he finds him tonight. Eve Torres walks up, and Ryder says that the two of them should go on a date. Eve says she’ll do it, but after her match tonight against Beth Phoenix. After Ryder walks off camera, Kane reveals that he’s been hiding in a closet.
Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan
This match was apparently set up by a video on WWE.com in which Kofi questioned how Bryan beat the Big Show this past Friday night on Smackdown. Normally I’m not a huge fan of running angle son the website, but if it’s a choice between giving a little backstory for this on the web or just throwing it out there with no story at all, putting the angle up online is preferable.
Bryan gives Kofi a handshake to start the match. The World Champ misses a charge in the corner and runs into a boot, with Kofi using a high cross to follow up. It gets two. Kingston misses a leaping kick and the wrestlers exchange cradles for nearfalls. Bryan does his backflip over Kingston’s head spot, but Kofi is unphased and goes for another high cross. Bryan avoids it and Kingston lands awkwardly, albeit in perfect position for the LaBell Lock. Kofi taps, and we’ve got another two minute match on the show.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
I find it interesting that, even though Daniel Bryan is apparently turning heel, they’ve still got Cole badmouthing him on commentary . . . so is Cole turning face as part of this as well? In any event, Big Show comes out after the bell. He’s got a mic, but, before he can say anything, Bryan starts cutting a GREAT disingenuous heel promo about how he hated the finish, feeling it hurt the prestige of the championship. He says he’ll give Show a rematch any time, and, of course, the giant tells us that Teddy Long has already signed the match for Friday on Smackdown in a no count out, no DQ match. Daniel does a good job of subtly showing us that he’s scared shitless. Show offers a handshake and Bryan reluctantly accepts. CODE OF HONOR!
This was a pretty fun segment, all things considered.
They claim Brodus Clay is debuting after the commercial break. I’ve got $5 that says something happens that prevents his match from actually taking place.
Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins
Justin Roberts refers to Brodus as the “Funkasaurus” and claims that he hails from Planet Funk. He’s using Ernest “The Cat” Miller’s short lived WWE entrance music, and he also appears to have stolen Flash Funk’s Funkettes. Clay starts dancing around the ring in a giant track suit, and he gets some pyro from the corners when he’s done. This may grow on me with time, but I was so looking forward to Clay as a serious heel that I’m not thrilled with it right now.
Clay does a bunch of gyrating and hits an exploder suplex. A King Kong Bundy Avalance and a cross body block later, and Brodus gets the three count in his relaunch. He dances with the Funkettes again post match.
Winner: Brodus Clay
Loser: Any Chance Brodus Clay Ever Had of Being a Draw
Zack Ryder is brushing his teeth backstage and congratulating himself on getting a date with Eve. He gets scared of something that I apparently completely missed and runs out of the room. Okay then.
Miz is trying to get the Colons to be his backup, but they don’t take the deal. CM Punk walks by and laughs.
CM Punk vs. Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler
They’re playing this up as Swagger, who is Dolph’s stablemate, softening up Punk for Ziggler’s title match at the Royal Rumble. Before Punk even finishes his entrance, Johnny Ace interrupts. He says that, in order to prove to Punk that he can be a fair man, he’s adding a stipulation to tonight’s match: If Punk wins tonight, Swagger and Vickie will be barred from ringside at the Rumble. Ace also books Ziggler in a match tonight against John Cena since Punk has to wrestle tonight.
The two engage in some basic mat wrestling early, but then they wind up in the corner and start kicking each other. Punk wins the exchange and slams Swagger, then heading up to the top for the Randy Savage elbow. Jack runs off and rolls out of the ring before Punk leaps, taking a bit of a breather. When he reenters the ring, he gets the upper hand thanks to some forearms the to back. Punk ducks a clothesline and hits a cross body, following up with a clothesline of his own. The All American takes back over by going to the WWE Champ’s leg, and then he applies a double chicken wing submission. Punk powers out of it, but Swagger quickly grabs him again and applies a waistlock. Swagger throws Punk from the ring when it looks like he’s going to recover, and Johnny Ace actually prevents Ziggler from interfering. As soon as Punk gets back into the ring, he clotheslines Swagger out, setting up a tope suicida and a commercial break.
When we come back, Punk is dishing out some forearms, but Swagger cuts him off with a big blow and gets a two count. Swagger continues to dish out some fairly basic offense, but Punk responds with kneelifts and a Shake, Rattle, ‘n’ Roll. The big knee in the corner also hits, but Swagger throws Punk off when he tries the bulldog and immediately hits his Vader Bomb. That was a pretty good idea for a sequence. Swagger starts yelling at Punk to stay down (even though he never pins anybody with that move), and Punk catches him in the face with a boot when he tries another Vader Bomb. The champ looks for his slingshot clothesline, but Swagger catches him and hits a powerslam. Swagger and Punk both tease the finishers, culminating in Swagger hitting a belly-to-belly for two. Swags places the Chicagoan on the top rope for a suplerplex, but Punk fights him off and shoves him down to the mat. The Savage elbow connects, and the finish is royally screwed up, as Swagger kicks out before three but the ref still calls for the bell and declares Punk the winner.
On the replay, you could tell that, as soon as Swagger’s shoulder popped up, Punk was grabbing at his arm to pull him into an Anaconda Vice, possibly for an improvised finish, but the ref just called for the bell anyway.
CM Punk does not look happy AT ALL. Finish aside, this was a pretty fun little TV match, albeit one that moved at a slower pace than what we’re used to from Punk and Ziggler when they lock it up.
Zack Ryder and John Cena are backstage again, and Ryder says he’s feeling “weirded out.” Cena points out that Zack is now one of the five most-followed WWE wrestlers on Twitter. Yeehaw. Ryder acts paranoid again.
After a commercial, Ricardo Rodriguez is talking to the Bella Twins, who apparently called him here so that he could take a message back to Alberto Del Rio in Mexico. Miz interrupts and tells Ricardo that he wants him to go to the ring and call out R-Truth. Initially the young ring announcer refuses, but Miz intimidates him into doing it. “Andele,” says Miz. Wow, not a good night for that sort of thing between this and the turban talk earlier.
We get another Hall of Fame inductee, and it is . . . THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Specifically, the name J.J. Dillon, Arn Anderson, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, and Barry Windham. No mention of original member Ole Anderson, though that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Also, before the comment section says it, no Paul Roma. NO PAUL ROMA. I have no idea whether TNA and WWE will work something out that allows Flair to appear at the ceremony or whether it’ll just be the crew without the Nature Boy.
Ricardo is in the ring after the video package, halfheartedly insulting R-Truth. Truth, of course, comes out, and his first line is “Lucy, I’m home!” Jesus. Truth says he doesn’t understand why Ricardo would want to pick a fight with him, so apparently he wasn’t watching the show five minutes ago. Truth asks Little Jimmy if he should let Rodriguez go, and the crowd responds positively. Truth calls Ricardo a cockroach and makes him sing “La Cucaracha.” They better pray that whatever the Latino equivalent of GLAAD is doesn’t have anybody watching the show. Eventually Ricardo just slaps Truth across the face for no reason, leading to Truth attacking Ricardo and Miz attacking Truth. However, before he can get too far, Truth thumbs him in the eyes and double legs him, causing Miz to run away. Least. Effective. Heel. Ever.
Chris Jericho and his jacket are back when we come back. He does the same over-enthusiastic faux babyface routine that he did last week, though this time he goes a bit farther with being “teared up” by the crowd’s reaction. Speaking of the crowd’s reaction, it is almost exactly what it was last week, as they’ve big into the “Y2J” chants at first but eventually turn on him and start booing. Once he hears the boos, Jericho walks off again, with even more exaggerated crying, and that’s it for the segment. No words, once again.
Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix Kane
Funny thing is that the first few notes of Beth and Kane’s theme songs are similar, so, when Kane’s music started to play after Eve’s entrance, I just figured they’d given Beth’s tune a remix. Zack Ryder immediately runs out and pulls Torres out of the arena, putting her a car. He notices that the tire is conveniently flat and starts to change it. We cut away in the middle of Ryder trying to change a tire. This made Zack look like such a geek in so many ways. First, shouldn’t a top babyface be willing to stand up to Kane, even he he gets his ass kicked? Why run away like a pansy? Second, if you think you’re in imminent danger and you’re going to run away and you find a flat tire on your car, why would your first reaction be to change it? Come up with an alternate plan on the fly or . . . better yet . . . DRIVE AWAY ON THE FLAT TIRE. It’s not good for your car and it’s not something I would normally advise doing, but, if you’re in mortal danger, it’s possible. Is your suspension more important to you than your life?
Oh, god, it’s not over. Zack is still trying to change the commercial after the commercial break. And then they cut away to Dolph Ziggler in the ring. Now Ryder looks even worse than he did before because apparently, despite having his plight broadcast on national television, Zack is such a loser that nobody will do anything to help him out, even though he and his girlfriend are apparently going to be murdered. Or chokeslammed. Or something.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler
The wrestlers do some clothesline-related spots off the ropes early and, about thirty seconds in, Ziggler hits his Rocker Dropper out of nowhere. It only gets two, but Dolph gets to stay on top and puts the boots to Cena in the corner. Ziggler slaps on a headlock and does a headstand while he’s got the hold applied, which isn’t a horrible spot for a braggart character. He drops a series of elbows and stops to do sit-ups, missing an elbow after the calisthenics wrap up. Cena starts doing his normal comeback, but, after the blue thunder driver, Zack Ryder changing a tire pops up on the Titantron. Kane finally jumps the guy (couldn’t have done that five minutes ago?) and chokeslams him off the loading dock that we saw at the start of the show. Cena tries to run to his aid, but Ziggler has his sleeper hold on. Eventually Cena slams him into the steps and runs off, COMPLETELY no-selling the sleeper even though it was on him for about a minute. Cena runs outside and Kane, not surprisingly, jumps him and applies the jaw claw. The sleeper didn’t do anything, but that move manages to put Cena out. Kane stands over Cena and Ryder’s limp bodies and grunts to end the show.
Credit: Tony Acero