Monday Night Raw – January 23, 2012 – Ryder Has A Broken Back. Really?

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 23, 2012
Location: US Airways Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

After last week’s actual emotion from Ace, I’m kind of curious as to what happens tonight. The Rumble is in six days and they’ve seemingly only built up to the actual match on Smackdown. That being said, it’s the Royal Rumble so it’s not like it needs much build. It’s a 30 man battle royal with an obvious prize to the winner. That’s not hard to sell. Let’s get to it.

We open things up with the champ. He sits down in the ring and talks about how this Sunday is the Rumble and a big WWE Title match is on the card. Ziggler claims that he’s beaten Punk three times this month, and that’s because he has. Now granted, all of those had Ace helping him but he has indeed beaten him three times. Punk calls Ace a failure, which he knows is true after looking it up on Wikipedia.

We get a clip from the end of the show last week. Punk is a little worried about Ace promising to screw him. However, what exactly can Ace do with two broken arms? Punk calls him out but when there’s no GM, Punk says he’s going after him. Cue….Cena? Cena looks ticked off. He says he was sick of hearing Punk ramble. He’s out here for business, not to talk. Cena demands Ace is here in a few moments to atone for his sins with Ryder last week. Also he wants a match tonight with Kane before his match at the Rumble. Cena also says Ace will resign. Now that’s something new.

Cena looks at the ramp and Punk says Ace needs to be here because of the people. Cue Ace who talks about having days where we wish we could change things. Last week wasn’t one of those days though. Punk calls Ace down to the ring and it’s the whole “I don’t work for you” line from Ace. Ryder is cleared to compete tonight and gets Kane tonight in a falls count anywhere match. If Cena gets involved, Ryder will never get a US Title rematch. Ace makes the tag team match against Ziggler/Swagger and it starts RIGHT NOW.

Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger vs. John Cena/CM Punk

The bad guys promise vengeance before the match. The bell is after a break. Ziggler vs. Cena gets us going. Punk is in long black shorts here which is a new look for him. Well technically as those are what he wore in ROH. Cena hits the running bulldog to start and here’s Punk. Ziggler bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with the starters and Ziggler speeding things up a bit and strutting.

Cena takes over and struts as well. Off to Swagger who takes it to the mat with a double chickenwing. Cena snaps off a suplex but Dolph makes the save with a dropkick. He drops a bunch of elbows and does the situps spot. Swagger Bomb gets two. Ace is texting or tweeting or whatever. Jack puts on a bearhug but Cena fires off an AA out of nowhere. Cena is so weakened though that he can only tag out.

Punk comes in with a springboard clothesline on Ziggy and he busts out his usual stuff. He sticks his tongue out like Jordan but the GTS is countered. High kick gets two as Swagger saves. Everything breaks down and Swagger gets the ankle lock on the floor but Cena reverses into the STF. Punk goes up but Ace distracts him. Punk threatens to him him and Ziggler rolls him up with a handful of tights for the pin at 11:10.

Rating: C+. Decent main event style tag match here with them playing up the idea of Ziggler getting the title via a screwjob. Cena and Swagger were just kind of there really but they kind of had a story to them so it made sense. Not a great match or anything but it was better than most of the recent main event tags.

Punk says this changes nothing because on Sunday, Ace will screw him and Punk will beat him up. Punk says since Ace likes giving Ziggler presents, he’ll give Ace a chance. For one night only, Ace should be a superstar. Tonight: Punk vs. Ace. He accepts and the fans cheer.

Jericho will be in the Highlight Reel next.

We get a clip from Jericho walking out last week.

Here’s Jericho for the Highlight Reel. He’s officially in the Rumble according to Lawler. Jericho picks up the mic and asks for silence. Nothing said yet. He puts the mic up to his mouth twice but he has an idea. He gets out of the ring and runs up to the stage, asking for one second. Jericho goes into the back and comes back with a t-shirt cannon and ammo. He doesn’t shoot any shirts but steals the camera which we get shots from.

Back to the mic again and once more he asks for silence. He points at the Jeritron 5000 and we get the Millennium Countdown and a highlight package of his career, including winning the Undisputed title. The fans cheer once it’s over but there are some boos in there too. HE SPEAKS! I’ve never heard a bigger pop for the word “This Sunday at the Royal Rumble”. He says that this Sunday, it’s going to be the end of the world as you know it. And that’s it. The lights go out, the jacket goes on, and we go to a break.

We get a WWE Rewind from September with the Hugh Jackman show.

We now get one of my favorite things of the year: the It’s All About The Numbers promo for the Rumble. I love these things.

31 Hall of Famers in Rumbles
21 Wrestlemania main events for those Hall of Famers
695 participants in total
39 eliminations for Shawn Michaels, the most everything
35 eliminations for Kane, the second most all time
194,107 pounds total, or 430 Big Shows
421,883 fans have seen the Rumbles
62:12 is the record amount of time in the Rumble, set by Mysterio
3 wins for Austin, the record
2 seconds, as in the record held by Warlord for over 20 years
1 second, Santino’s record breaking mark
2 women in the Rumble
#1 is the entrant that has produced the same amount of entrants as #30
27 is the lucky number, with four winners
55% have gone on to win their Mania match, dating back to 1993

Ryder is with Eve when Foley comes up. He says Kane is an animal, but he’s just a human being. And Foley is serious bro. Eve is worried and tries to call it off. Cena pops up to a mixed reaction. He says he’s got Ryder’s back if needed but Ryder says stay out of it so Ryder can get his rematch. He’s not mean about it though.

Zack Ryder vs. Kane

Falls count anywhere so Ryder isn’t so thrilled. He still has bad ribs/back too. Ryder goes right for him which is better than he’s done lately. Kane kicks him off the apron where Ryder’s face slams into the table. His back goes into the post and there’s a slam outside. Ryder goes back first into the steps and this has been domination. Eve is at ringside now and this isn’t going to end well. Back into the table again and we take a break.

Back and the beating continues on the floor. A whip into the barricade gets two. Here’s the smother and the referee asks what Ryder says. Well they’re not paid for their intelligence. Out into the crowd now and they go up by the tech area. Ryder hasn’t has any offense in about 8 minutes. Oh wait there’s a shot with a metal case. This is no DQ apparently. Back to the ramp now and Kane kicks him in the ribs.

Ryder goes head first into the WWE logo and a piece of it breaks off. That only gets two and Kane isn’t sure what to do here. A headbutt puts Ryder down as the fans chant for Zack. A few punches by Ryder don’t get him anywhere. And Ryder is chokeslammed through the stage. Ok then. The match just ends. Kane goes after Eve but Cena comes out and Kane runs into the crowd. Match ran roughly ten minutes.

Rating: D. You know I’m really getting ticked off at how they’re treating Ryder. He might as well have been Barry Horowitz out here with how much offense he got in. The guy comes up with a brand new character, makes WWE a bunch of money they wouldn’t have gotten in merchandize sales, and has now been treated like a rag doll by Kane multiple times, making him look like any other guy. I can’t stand this company at times.

Back from a break and Ryder is put on a stretcher. He’s put in an ambulance and Eve, that whiny little pest, says this is all Cena’s fault. Josh Matthews picks NOW to put a mic in Cena’s face. Cena slaps it out of his hands and is very ticked off.

Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal

This is their 5th match and Sheamus has never lost. There was a tag match in there too. Barrett, as in the guy Sheamus should be feuding with with no Mahal involved, comes out for commentary. There are the ten forearms. Mahal hits a running knee to the face to take over with a cobra clutch. Well kind of. It’s closer to a Tazmission. Screw it: it’s a chinlock. Sheamus gets up and the Brogue Kick ends this at 3:10.

Rating: D. Sheamus is probably my current favorite wrestler but I have no interest in seeing him against Mahal ever again. I mean…we get it. Sheamus can destroy Mahal at will. It’s now just a challenge of how fast can he do it anymore. Why is Mahal even in this at all? Why isn’t it Sheamus vs. Barrett?

Anyway, Sheamus invites Barrett in but Barrett says no. Sheamus says he’ll win the Rumble.

Miz says that Truth will be repeating history because every partner he’s had has been destroyed. Truth comes up and says he’s a marketing analyst and declares Miz the #1 guy in being boring, uninteresting and making people ask What Else Is On. Truth also thinks his name is Fleischer. Ace comes up and breaks them up. The loser of the match is #1 in the Rumble.

Orton is back on Friday.

William Regal is on commentary for this next match due to his dancing on Friday.

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater

Brodus is in a white suit now. I’m assuming Regal will be his first feud. Slater gets run over to start. Heath gets the first notable offense in against Clay: a dropkick. And never mind as Slater is run over, suplexed and What The Funk ends this in 55 seconds.

Rumble Moment: Taker wins from #30.

R-Truth vs. The Miz

The loser is #1 in the Rumble on Sunday. Cole says that two men have gone from #1 to win the Rumble. I’d LOVE to hear someone ask who those people are. This is much more of a brawl than a match. They go to the floor quickly and then back inside. Miz drops him on the floor and we take a break. Back with Miz hitting something for two.

Off to an abdominal stretch which Truth escapes. He starts his comeback with a nice rolling victory roll for two. Backslide gets two but Miz hits the Reality Check for two. He loads up the Finale but Truth rolls through it. Little Jimmy is countered and a short DDT gets two. And out of nowhere a Little Jimmy gets the pin at 8:13. It’s as quick as it sounds.

Rating: D+. These two just don’t have good chemistry together. I remember them having a match I believe the Fatal Fourway PPV a few years back and it was simply dreadful. These are guys that are far better on the mic than in the ring, which becomes a problem after awhile. Not horrible but pretty much just there.

We get a medical update on Ryder: he has a broken back. Oh geez they’re writing him off aren’t they. If this isn’t for a legit injury, I don’t think I’ll have ever been more annoyed.

Ace is warming up. It’s 10:54 and he’s in his office. Otunga pops up with a fax and says it can’t wait. Ace isn’t happy with it, whatever it says.

It’s 10:59, so let’s run down the card for Sunday!

CM Punk vs. John Laruinaitis

And there’s no Ace. Oh wait here he is and we hear about his resume from All Japan, said by name. Otunga is here too. Ace says he got a fax from the board of directors. Otunga reads it and it says the board is concerned about his activities as interim GM of Raw. His status as interim GM is officially under review. Next week he’ll get a formal job evaluation to determine if he keeps his job or is terminated. HHH is giving the job evaulation.

Punk is very happy and says that means he won’t get screwed. Ace calls it a wakeup call and says this is all a misunderstanding. Foley is in the Rumble and he was always going to call the title match down the middle. Punk calls Ace a little girl that gets everything all year long but at Christmas she’s afraid of getting coal. He wants Ace to be fired. Ace says that won’t happen. No match of course.

Otunga will be subbing so he jumps him. There was no bell. Punk takes him down and Vices him. Ace backs away and Punk has a mouse under his eye. There’s a high kick to Otunga and Ace backs off again. He offers a handshake but walks into a GTS. Ziggler runs in and gives him the Zig Zag to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This one really didn’t work at all and that’s because most of this was about taking out the new guy that got popular in a hurry on his own. I mean seriously, a broken back? If it’s as bad as it sounds, that’s probably what, back by April at the very best? Barring a legit injury, why in the world would you take away the second or third most popular guy on Raw? I hope there’s more to it than that, because if not then they’re idiots at a level even I didn’t expect. Bad show and I don’t think they realize the Rumble is Sunday.

Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger b. CM Punk/John Cena – Rollup to Punk with a handful of tights
Kane vs. Zack Ryder went to a no contest when Kane chokeslammed Ryder through the stage
Sheamus b. Jinder Mahal – Brogue Kick
Brodus Clay b. Heath Slater – What The Funk
R-Truth b. The Miz – Little Jimmy

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  1. Jay says:

    Solid RAW tonight and I loved the Opening & Main Event Segments. The Punk/Ace stuff has been awesome and can’t wait to see what happens at the Rumble. Highlight Reel was cool,glad Jericho finally spoke and I too liked the highlight piece. Kane/Ryder was fine and it just adds to Cena finally having enough. Brodus was fun once again and I loved Regal on commentary. Good stuff tonight overall. Plus HHH coming back next week should be interesting.

  2. Hamler says:

    A D? I thought tonights was one of the best in quite a while. For the first time in quite some time, I’m interested in more than one angle. The Kane/Cena angle really has me intrigued. As does Johnny Ace and Punk. I don’t think Dolph will win this Sunday but the last time we had the WWE Champion focused on someone else but his challenger, The Miz won Wrestlemania’s main event. I think it’s possible Dolph walks out this Sunday because the focus between Ace and Punk is so high.

    WWTNA Reply:

    Agreed Hamler. The thing I’m really excited about is the Chris Jericho angle. I think they did a pretty good job of making the fans excited for The Royal Rumble.

  3. TheSDQQKidJoe says:

    The booking of Zack Ryder has taken a very interesting turn as late. Giving it some thought, someone had to take the fall for Kane to rise. Usually Rey Mysterio would work here nicely, as it doesn’t affect him as much. But this is a crucial point in Zack’s career. Where do they from here? ‘Mania match with Kane? Or will we not even remember this at Mania and Zack will be in a celeb match?

  4. Stormy says:

    Just like last week, 1 segment of RAW made it suck.

    So Zack Ryder has a “broken back.” That’s not something one comes back from for an extremely long time. And the last person I saw be thrown through the stage was Muhammad Hassan, and we never saw him again. I’m worried they are completely writing him off, which makes no fucking sense what-so-ever.

    I don’t understand why they would just get the fans interested in him, only to write him off right away. And it’s not like he’s bad in the ring, either. His being over, selling merch, and not being shit in the ring should make WWE salivate at selling