On This Day: January 2, 2012 – Monday Night Raw: He’s Here Too!

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 2, 2012
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re in Lawlerville tonight for the first WWE show of the year. There are two major things tonight: we see who the It Begins videos are for and we have a world title match in the form of Punk vs. Ziggler. With the ratings sagging, it might be interesting to see if the title changes hands tonight. Anyway, the road to the Rumble probably will get going tonight so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the ending last week where the fans didn’t chant Cena Sucks, even though the video presents it as if they did. This is the most forced attempted heel turn ever.

Cena opens the show to of course a mixed reaction. He doesn’t look that upset. He wishes everyone a happy new year and it’s a split chant again. Cena talks about how the new year is time for resolutions and changes. He’s going to make some changes in 2012. First off, he’s going to start wearing less underwear (girl pop). As for the This is Your Life John Cena segment, his dad is now banned from WWE programing.

Finally, the last change is coming at Wrestlemania. After he beats Rock, he’s resolving to prove he’s lost his lady parts. The one thing that won’t change: he’s going to remain who he is and his convictions will remain true. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect don’t go away because someone throws fire at you. Every single one of the fans here has paid their money to be here tonight and if they want to cheer, boo, or shout whatever they want, that’s up to them and they’ve earned that right.

Cena’s disappointment is in Kane. Kane has an issue with Cena and Kane can’t settle it the way we do it here in the WWE. Kane pops up….or at least his voice does. He says Cena will eventually embrace the hate and tonight, he’ll witness the power of hate. Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh.

After a graphic about Punk vs. Ziggler, a video pops up saying the end begins tonight.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

Bryan gets NO reaction. Cena got a big reaction and Kane got a pop too, but this is pathetic. Cody shakes off some kicks to start and hooks onto the arm. Bryan fights back and hits the running knee off the apron to the floor. Back in the Beautiful Disaster gets two. Cody tries a release gordbuster and gets rolled up for the pin at 3:20. Where do I begin?

Rating: D. So the IC Champion who has a big match on Friday loses in 200 seconds. Could they be any more counter productive with this stuff? Does the name Jack Swagger or Drew McIntyre not ring a bell to anyone? I’m already in a bad mood tonight and this is just making it worse.

Video of Miz getting attacked last week.

Miz comes in to see Johnny Ace and Ace says he won’t do anything about it. Miz wants to know why he’s here tonight then. Ace shows him a video of Miz attacking Truth two months ago but Miz says he doesn’t know why Truth would attack him. Sheamus vs. Miz tonight. Ace says he’ll have some people watching for Truth tonight. Miz says he’ll be a sitting duck. He leaves and the camera watches him go. Truth pops up and does a duck dance. This also gets a bigger reaction than Bryan had.

Video on Duggan’s Rumble win.

Barrett comes out for a match but before the match we get a clip of the Orton injury moment. Barrett says he’d wish us a happy new year, but he really doesn’t care about his new year, or our old year for that matter. This has been a good year for him already due to a lack of Orton. Orton was just another victim of the Barrett Barrage. Santino comes out and reminds us that he lasted longer than Barrett did in last year’s Rumble. He makes train sounds so he’s funny, get it?

Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella

Let’s get this over with. Barrett throws punches and Santino does the splits. Barrett stops and kicks him in the head which makes me smile. Santino tries to load up the Cobra and gets a kick to the face. His shoulder goes into the most and Winds of Change ends this at 1:18.

The Bellas argue in front of Miz and Miz asks if they’ve seen Truth. He walks off and Truth is still stalking him.

Sheamus vs. The Miz

Miz immediately jumps Sheamus with a DDT and pounds him down. I don’t think the bell rang yet. He gets Sheamus tied in the ropes but Sheamus kicks him off. There are the forearms in the ropes and I mean like 20 of them. They go to the floor and Miz runs into the crowd. Truth jumps on the PA and is in the crowd.

Guess who he ran into? LITTLE JIMMY! Little Jimmy doesn’t like Miz. Little Jimmy says Miz needs to get got. Miz runs back to ringside and right into a Brogue Kick. Truth pops him with the water bottle. There was never an official match I don’t think. Truth goes back into the crowd and says this week’s Miz Beatdown was brought to you by Little Jimmy where you’re going to get got.

We see how Ziggler “earned” his shot tonight.

Ziggler is showing off in the back and says he flaunts it better than anyone else does every night. He talks about debt and how it dominates things, but he’s a walking talent surplus. Everything he’s wanted he’s gotten except for the WWE Title. He wins tonight. Good stuff.

Ryder continues to hit on Eve because he’s the US Champion so he’s hitting on a woman. Swagger comes up and says he should be champion. They get into an argument and Ace pops up. There’s a six man elimination tag with Kane/Swagger/Kane vs. Cena/Ryder/Show.

Raw World Title: CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler

You know, because the world title needs to end the first hour, not the main event of the show. This gets big match intros. If they let this match go, it should be good. They go to the mat to start and neither guy can get much of an advantage. Backbreaker gets two for Punk. Punk takes over for awhile until Ziggler hits a hot shot to take over. Ziggler gets in a shot on the floor and we hit the chinlock and take a break.

Back with them slugging it out on their knees but Ziggler grabs the sleeper. Punk quickly escapes and hits a leg lariat to take over. Snap powerslam gets two. They trade rollups and Dolph hits a Fameasser for two. Stinger Splash and something like a reverse powerslam gets two. They go to a corner and the buckle gets pulled off. Knee in the corner and a bulldog get two for Punk.

He calls for the GTS but here comes Ace. He points out the exposed buckle as Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice. Ziggler is tapping but there’s no referee so Punk lets it go. Ziggler tries the Zig Zag but Punk moves and Ziggler collides with Ace. GTS is countered and Ace pulls the top rope down. The fastest count ever results in a LAME countout win for Ziggler at 13:09.

Rating: C+. It was good up until the really stupid ending. If Ace wants the title off Punk that badly, wouldn’t he know to throw him back inside? I think we know what the Rumble is going to be though and that’s fine. Anyway, good stuff here, until the ending. That’s about what you would expect for this match though.

Ziggler celebrates with the title and goes into the crowd. The video interrupts it and says He Is Here.

Another Rumble video, this one from 1995.

Bella Twins vs. Eve Torres/Kelly Kelly

Kelly vs. let’s say Brie to start and Kelly does her spanking and Stinkface to get on my nerves even more. Eve comes in and does her usual stuff. The moonsault is broken up and it’s Nikki in now. Top rope moonsault gets two and it’s Twin Magic for the pin on Eve at 2:04. Are we really back to this again?

Punk comes in to yell at Ace and Ace makes Punk vs. Ziggler with Ace as referee for the Rumble. Punk says if he gets screwed out of the title, Otunga is going to come in handy because Punk will be arrested for animal cruelty when he beats Ace like a female dog.

Here’s another video with very similar images. It says a familiar force shall arrive to claim what is his. She holds the beckoning of his rebirth. The focus seems to bemore on the girl in this. She has spoken. It is time. And it looks like an earthquake in the arena. And it’s…..a blackout. Big Y2J chant starts up and there are lights of a guy in Jericho’s pose on the stage. It’s Jericho. Blast it. Freaking blast it. All those weeks and it’s Jericho….again.

Jericho takes a lap around the ring, slaps the hands of the fans, goes into the ring, goes back outside and slaps more hands and does the pose where he leans against the crowd. It’s Y2J Jericho too. He keeps playing to the crowd but hasn’t said a word onto the mic yet. There’s something up here. He goes outside AGAIN and shouts at the crowd. Now he points to the side of the crowd he wants to cheer. I’m waiting on a heel promo here.

And he drops the mic and does it AGAIN. This has been going on for like 5 minutes now. Here’s lap #4 around the ring and the fans are getting tired. Up the ramp he goes to grab a camera. And now he’s leaving. Ok no he isn’t…..and yes he is. He’s on the stage and there are some boos now. And he leaves. Jerry isn’t sure what we just saw. Jericho never said a word into the mic and nothing at all other than COME ON BABY!

Big Show/Zack Ryder/John Cena vs. Kane/Mark Henry/Jack Swagger

Elimination rules here. And there’s no Kane. Instead Otunga comes out and says it’ll be a handicap match. Swagger and Cena start us off with Cena taking him to the mat and dropping an elbow for two. Dropkick gets the same. Swagger kicks him into the corner and we take a break. Back with a Vader Bomb getting two. Cena backdrops out of it and here’s Big Show. No eliminations yet.

Show beats Swagger up and it’s time for a battle of the giants. Henry gets knocked to the floor and Show goes after him. Henry grabs a chair but Show knocks it out of his hands and cracks him in the back with it to get us down to two on two. It’s a double elimination though so it’s now Ryder/Cena vs. Swagger. Ryder comes in for the first time that we’ve seen and hits the Broski Boot. Rough Ryder is countered into an awful powerbomb and the ankle lock. Ryder makes the tag to break the hold and Cena cleans a few rooms (I don’t think Swagger qualifies as a house). AA ends this at 8:22.

Rating: D. Uh…yeah whatever man. I don’t get the point of anything here other than the lack of Kane. Having him not come in here is a good thing as he needs to make a big return for his first match back. Not a terrible match but what was the point of this being like 8 minutes long? I don’t get it.

Ryder is down from the ankle lock and the fire goes off. Cena goes straight up the ramp to go after Kane when he pops up through the ring. He gets one shot on Ryder and knocks Cena off the apron. Cena get smothered down and is out. Kane goes back in and grabs Ryder’s bad ankle. He pulls him down into the hole with him ala Taker and Diesel. Or maybe he doesn’t as Cena pulls Ryder out before he goes under. A big explosion from the hole and a bunch of fire pops out to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. The word of the night should be frustrating, because this show just failed to deliver on almost everything. Cody loses in three minutes, the world title match goes nowhere other than to set up another match, Brodus doesn’t debut still, Kane is a no show (which might be a good thing), Jericho does…..whatever (and yes I know it’s going somewhere else) and the main event was whatever it was. I don’t know what they were shooting for here, but I don’t think it was their foot like they hit.

Daniel Bryan b. Cody Rhodes – Small Package
Wade Barrett b. Santino Marella – Winds of Change
Dolph Ziggler b. CM Punk via countout
Bella Twins b. Eve Torres/Kelly Kelly – Small package to Eve
Big Show/John Cena/Zack Ryder b. Jack Swagger/Kane/Mark Henry – Cena last eliminated Swagger to win


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