Monday Night Raw – January 30, 2012 – They’ve Turned It On

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 30, 2012
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentary: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

We’re past the Rumble now and Raw still has the same champion. The main thing going on tonight is that HHH is going to be evaluating Ace’s job performance. Last night, Ace pretty much was perfect other than a few small errors, which makes me think something is up. Punk vs. Ziggler was a highlight of the show and I’d like to see more of it. Also the Chamber members have been announced already: Kofi, Miz, Truth, Punk, Ziggler and Jericho. Let’s get to it.

After a quick Rumble video and the theme song, we’re ready to go.

Ace comes out and shakes hands with fans and the announcers to keep sucking up. He talks about how it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you don’t make the same ones. Ace is looking forward to the evaluation. He talks about his performance last night and moves onto the “Elimination PPV.” We hear the aforementioned Chamber participants. Also it’s Beth vs. Eve, Kofi vs. Miz and Ziggler vs. Orton. Finally, Punk vs. Bryan.

Cue Punk who leads us in the goodbye song. Ace wants an apology for not screwing Punk and being a man of his word. Punk talks about how bad of a job Ace has done and can’t wait until HHH gets here and throws him out. We also get the Bart Simpson (I think) suck and blow at the same time line. Ace says he won’t take it personal because the Board doesn’t. He does offer a clean slate via a handshake but Punk says if you do that to the best wrestler in the world, it means you want to go to sleep.

That brings out Bryan for the big celebration as usual. After last night, Punk isn’t much of a challenge. Punk again says he’s the best in the world so Bryan says he’s a role model as a vegan. He doesn’t even eat meat. Punk wants to know what exactly Bryan eats then. Bryan threatens to shove the Pipe Bomb somewhere it shouldn’t be. Punk says let’s give the people a show and the best match in the world.

That brings out Sheamus to remind us that he won the Rumble last night. His words, not mine. He also reminds the champs they defend at the Chamber PPV and that Ace could be fired. Sheamus doesn’t pick yet and gives Ace a little Irish proverb. Punk and Bryan shake hands.

Barrett is in a sky box to watch Orton’s match.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

During Orton’s entrance, Barrett says he’ll finish the job on Friday. Barrett is doing commentary from his box in a way. Ziggler starts off fast and avoids a right hand. Randy takes it to the mat for a second with a headlock. Barrett reiterates that he’ll take Orton out on Friday. Zigger hits a dropkick to the back and we take a break. Back with Ziggler holding a chinlock.

Orton gets up and avoids a corner splash but another dropkick takes him down for two. A neckbreaker sets up the sit-ups. Dolph goes up but gets crotched and a superplex gets two for Randy. Orton powerslams him down but the elevated DDT is countered and Dolph hooks the sleeper. They go to the corner again and Orton gets a slick rolling cradle for two. Fameasser gets the same for Dolph. Zig Zag is countered and we go to the floor. Orton throws him into the barricade and comes back in with the elevated DDT. RKO ends this totally clean at about 11:00.

Rating: B-. Is Ziggler capable of having a bad match anymore? He and Orton do nothing but put on solid matches anymore and this was no exception. Good stuff here and the dominant victory is fine for Orton. I don’t think it hurts Ziggler really as he’s a lower level star than Orton so it’s not exactly an upset.

New Hall of Fame inductee tonight.

We get a still package on the Kane/Ryder/Cena stuff from last night.

Ace is still talking to people in the back and asks Regal how his son is. Regal has daughters apparently, who are conjoined and locked in the attic. Somehow that’s hilarious.

Brodus Clay vs. Tyler Reks

There’s a disco ball in Brodus’ entrance now. Reks actually gets in some offense, even getting Brodus down to one knee. Not that it matters though as Brodus comes back and What The Funk ends this in 1:04.

Punk is lacing up his boots when Bryan comes in. Punk asks about the whole vegan thing and Bryan explains about how it’s about screaming animals and not putting poison in your bodies. Bryan asks about straightedge which Punk explains and says he doesn’t claim to be a role model. He’s just the best wrestler in the world.

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan quickly takes over with a dropkick and double leg stomp out of the surfboard position. The announcers explain the Chamber as Bryan continues to control. He misses a high kick and Punk backdrops him to the floor. Punk drops an axehandle on him and they trade European uppercuts on the floor. Bryan throws him over into the timekeeper’s area but Punk beats the count back in at 9.

Punk hits a belly to back suplex to set up the springboard clothesline which gets two. Bryan does his moonsault out of the corner and tries a cross body at the same time Punk does. They collide and as they’re both down we take a break. Back with Bryan working on the arm which he kicked during the break. Bryan goes up but Punk crotches him and hits a rana after shouting BEST IN THE WORLD.

The running knee hits in the corner and Punk shifts to the good arm for the bulldog. I love subtle little things like that, even though Cole and Lawler pointed it out. GTS is attempted but Bryan heads to the floor. Baseball slide is attempted but Punk’s suicide dive is countered by a forearm. Missile dropkick gets two for Daniel. Bryan fires off the kicks but Punk gets a sunset flip for two. BIG kick to the head of Punk gets the same.

They go to the corner again with Bryan trying a superplex. A headbutt puts him down and there’s the Savage Elbow. Well not quite as he only points with one arm. GTS is countered into a crucifix but Bryan can’t get the LeBell Lock. Slingshot puts Bryan into the corner and a high kick puts him down. And here’s Jericho to interfere for the DQ at 15:04.

Rating: B. It was good while it lasted and I guess this sets up Jericho vs. Punk. It was very good back and forth stuff, but it does kind of say a lot when Punk vs. Bryan and champion vs. champion is only the first hour main event. Still though, pretty entertaining match which had no chance at a clean ending.

Jericho hits Punk with a Codebreaker and leaves him laying. He hit Bryan first though so Bryan wins.

Mike Tyson is going to the WWE Hall of Fame. This was on earlier today.

Truth comes out for commentary for the next match.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

Miz talks about the handstand last night and how he’ll be going to the main event of Wrestlemania no matter what. Miz controls to start with his usual basic stuff. Kofi avoids a charge and speeds things up a bit, but Miz takes him down with a double axe from the top. Off to a cravate and into the short DDT for two. Cole keeps asking about Little Jimmy and Truth gets annoyed. Kofi is in tights with question marks on them. Top rope cross body hits Miz for two. He tries the SOS but Miz escapes. Jumping forearm is almost countered into the Finale but Kofi shakes him off. Trouble in Paradise hits out of nowhere for the pin at 4:15.

Rating: C. It’s nice to see Kofi get a win which gives him some momentum. He hasn’t really done anything as a singles guy in awhile so this is something he needs going into the Chamber. Not a great match but at least it accomplished something and was 100% clean. Kofi has as much chance as I do in the Chamber but that’s ok as he’ll hit some huge spots for the fun aspect of the match.

Otunga comes in to talk to Ace and wishes him luck.

Same Rock video from last night airs. You know, for the wrestling fans that don’t know who The Rock is.

Divas Title: Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix

Eve jumps her to start but the Glam Slam ends this in 30 seconds. Yep, this was pointless.

Kane pops up on the screen and says this could have been avoided if Cena embraced the hate. Cena keeps looking by Kane to Rock, and until Cena embraces the hate, there’s no way Cena can beat Rock. Kane is going to continue punishing Ryder until the hate is embraced. Tonight, Kane is going to use Eve as a way to push that idea along. The fire goes off and Kane isn’t at the entrance. Instead he’s on the apron behind her. She screams and Cena comes out for the save.

The fight is on quickly and they go into the aisle. Cena fires back at Kane and rams him into the steps. He picks up the steps and takes Kane down with them, drawing a smile on John’s face. There’s another shot and Kane is in trouble. Cena loads up the announce table and sets for the AA as he laughs. Kane elbows his way out of it and runs through the crowd. Good segment as Cena has some fire to him (no pun intended) and you buy that he can beat Kane now, which is the idea heading into the Chamber so he can reach his destiny at Wrestlemania.

Time for Ace’s evaluation. Ace says he’s not nervous because he knows what he’s done on Raw and that the fans have appreciated it. He’s had to go through a self evaluation and has given himself a lot of 5’s (the highest score possible). Ace goes on with this for a bit before HHH’s entrance cuts him off. HHH says forget everything about the assessment and all that stuff because it’s all about how Ace has grabbed the power and tried to make himself a star.

Ace tries to explain it and HHH says don’t lie and make it worse. HHH talks about how this is a personal agenda to make Ace a star. That HAS to be a rib. HHH talks about people letting personal decisions cloud their judgment and having to be replaced. Ace says he’ll do anything to save his job. HHH makes sure the word anything was in there. When Ace says that’s right, HHH says apologize to the WWE Universe.

Ace apologizes to everyone and you can feel the corporate stooge in him coming out perfectly because he snaps this off like he’s ordering dinner. HHH says the fans aren’t going with it so how about Ace runs a gauntlet match against everyone in the locker room that wants a shot at him. That probably isn’t fair though so how about Ace joins Vince’s exclusive club. Ace is really shaken about it but puts on chapstick and gets on his knees.

His eyes are closed and he’s puckered up. HHH laughs and says “You’re really going to do it aren’t you you freak?” Instead, Ace is fired and HHH is running Raw again. HHH sets to wish his well in his future endeavors…..and a gong sounds. The lights go out, fire comes up, and the Undertaker is back. I don’t know if Ace is officially gone or not but HHH said the Board said HHH could run Raw again anytime he wanted.

Taker stares down HHH and slowly walks to the ring. Well there’s Wrestlemania and the shot at 20-0. Taker circles HHH and they stare each other down. This is a LONG overrun as it’s 11:15. He looks up at the Wrestlemania sign and then at HHH then hits the throat slit. A very long staredown and more looking at the sign follows and then HHH pats him on the shoulder to a lot of booing. HHH leaves and Taker looks at the sign again. His music plays us out.

Overall Rating: B. I really liked tonight’s show, but MAN does it take a hit between Miz vs. Kofi and the Cena/Kane fight. That Rock video is way too long and it stops things cold. I really don’t get the point of it either. Who doesn’t know who the Rock is? Even non-wrestling fans know he used to be a wrestler and wrestling fans worship him. Why do we need a 5 minute video on him? Either way, the rest of the show was solid as they’ve turned it on as they always do this time of year.

Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO
Brodus Clay b. Tyler Reks – What The Funk
Daniel Bryan b. CM Punk via DQ when Chris Jericho interfered
Kofi Kingston b. The Miz – Trouble in Paradise
Beth Phoenix b. Eve Torres – Glam Slam

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  1. SamualDude says:

    Am I the only one who thought they would wait till after the Chamber to bring ‘Taker back?

  2. J says:

    Great show, great review. That is how u bring a wrestler back. Complete shock value. Websites prior to raw had nothing about taker.

  3. TheSDQQKidJoe says:

    Immensely. Taker came out of the blue for me. We now see how pointless it would have been for Jericho to win the Rumble because of the attack tonight. Something so simple can start a major feud. Well played.

  4. Jay says:

    Great RAW tonight and the HHH/Taker/Ace stuff was very good. I think that HHH was saying im moving on from the Ring and taking on my New Role. 2 Great Matches tonight with Punk/Bryan & Orton/Ziggler,even Kofi/Miz was pretty good. I also liked the Cena/Kane brawl and Cena being more agressive. Good stuff once again tonight.