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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/2: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - first show of 2012, WWE Title match, Mystery Reveal

Jan 2, 2012 - 10:06:17 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
January 2, 2012 - Episode #970
Live in Memphis, Tenn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


The first WWE Raw of 2012 started with Michael Cole voicing over a graphic for the WWE Title match between C.M. Punk and Dolph Ziggler tonight. Then, WWE transitioned to a video package on Kane confronting John Cena with his "embrace the hate" message at the end of last week's Raw. WWE amplified the dueling chants - enhancing the kids for Cena and vocal males against Cena - for a long while to conclude the video.

After the standard Raw intro played, they returned to the arena. No pyro tonight. Instead, Cena's music played to begin the action tonight. Cena came out on-stage and noted this is Jerry Lawler Country before hitting the ring. Full smile this week. Lawler spoke on commentary that he doesn't think the anti-Cena feeling is bothering Cena at all.

In the ring, Cena said the end of 2011 wasn't great, but it's a new year. Some vocal males chanted, "You suck," and they were drowned out by boos. Cena said not much has changed. He said a new year is typically about resolutions and changes, which Cena said he will be doing in 2012. (1) Less underwear. (2) His father is banned from WWE TV. (3) At WrestleMania - after he slaps the face off The Rock's neck and wins the biggest match in WWE history, he will prove to Rock he has lost his lady parts. Cena said one thing that will not change is he will remain who is and his convictions will remain true. Hustle Loyalty Respect will not fall to pieces just because he faces adversity.

Cena said he got emotional at the end of last week's Raw, then did the speech about the fans paying their money to do or say whatever they want. Cena said his disappoint was in Kane - an iconic WWE figure who has an issue and can't settle it inside the ring. Cena said Kane wants him to turn his back on the fans and his principles, so he says no. "Not tonight. Not any night," he said. Cena said he is like every other WWE star - there is no better feeling than being in the ring in front of the audience. Cena welcomed any and all emotional responses from the crowd, and he will start off the year by thanking the audience. He was repeating himself at this point.

Suddenly, Kane's music played to interrupt. The arena dimmed and Kane's voice could be heard somewhere in the arena. Kane told Cena he can delay the inevitable, but Cena will embrace the hate and see the true power of hate tonight. Kane's pyro then shot off inside the ring and Cena cocked his head to try to make sense of Kane's message.

Still to come: Punk vs. Ziggler for the WWE Title. Suddenly, the feed "cut out" to a 1-2-12 mystery video. The quick video concluded with text reading, "The End Begins Tonight."

[Commercial Break]

[Q2] In-ring: Back from break, Daniel Bryan's music played to bring out the World Hvt. champion for the first WWE match of 2012. Cole said Bryan may not be World champion for long when he faces Big Show Friday on Smackdown. Cody Rhodes's music played next to bring out the IC champion for a Champ vs. Champ match to start the year. Before the bell sounded, Cole plugged Rhodes's IC Title defense against Booker T also on Smackdown.

1 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. Intercontinental champion CODY RHODES -- non-title Champion vs. Champion match

The two men traded offense early on before Rhodes slammed Bryan's shoulder into the mat. Rhodes worked over Bryan's shoulder for a while before Bryan whipped Rhodes to the floor. He followed with a dive that sent Cody crashing into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Bryan ate the top turnbuckle and a Disaster Kick for a two count. Rhodes tried a suplex, but Bryan countered with a quick roll-up for the pin and the win. Post-match: Bryan celebrated on the announce table in front of Cole before doing a victory lap around ringside. Cole told Bryan to enjoy his moment for now.

WINNER: Bryan at 3:20. This was typical WWE booking of Bryan - improbable victory rather than getting over his striking offense as impactful enough to score a decisive victory. They also wanted to protect Rhodes.

Backstage: John Laurinaitis welcomed The Miz into his office. Miz wanted to know what Ace is going to do about R-Truth sneak-attacking him last week. Ace said he's basically going to give him a slap on the wrist. Miz was beside himself with that decision. Ace told Miz to remember why Truth was out of action in the first place. After a look back to Miz sneak-attacking Truth two months ago, Miz denied any memory of the events. Ace said he'll make sure Truth is taken care of tonight, but Miz has a match tonight. He said it's against Sheamus. Miz then stormed out of the office saying he's not going to be a sitting duck. As Miz walked off, R-Truth suddenly entered the shot staring after Miz. Truth did some quack-quack signals before smiling for the camera.

[Commercial Break]

Royal Rumble Flashback - Rumble '88 with Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura on the call. They showed Hacksaw Jim Duggan winning the first Rumble to hype this year's event.

[Q3] In-ring: Wade Barrett's music played to bring out another Smackdown star. Cole said he thinks Barrett will be a big star in 2012. They went back to Friday's Smackdown for a look at Barrett and Randy Orton fighting in the elevator during their Falls Count Anywhere match. Cole said Orton suffered a herniated disk and Orton will need some time off to recover. He said there is no return date.

In the ring, Barrett smiled after he watched the footage. Barrett said he doesn't care about the fans's new year, old year, or Randy Orton. But, for him, it's already been a great 2012 because it's a year completely devoid of Orton. Barrett said he didn't plan to throw Orton down a flight of stairs, but he had no choice. He said Orton is now in his past and he's looking to the future, where he plans to win the Rumble. Barrett claimed there isn't a person on this planet who can deny him.

Suddenly, Santino's music played to bring out Barrett's opponent tonight. In the ring, Santino offered a "pops quiz" to "stupido" on who lasted the longest in last year's Rumble. Santino then told Barrett that the Barrage is going to get choo-choo train'ed. Santino made some train noises before calling for the match to begin.

2 -- WADE BARRETT vs. SANTINO

Santino tried to escape Barrett's wrath with quickness before Barrett cut him off and began dismantling Santino. Santino suddenly teased the Cobra, but Barrett emphatically popped him with a back kick to the jaw. Barrett then landed the Winds of Change for the pin and the win. Cole predicted that Barrett will be a champion this year.

WINNER: Barrett at 1:20.

Backstage: The Miz was standing in the middle of a shouting match between the Bella Twins. Miz tried to quiet them down before asking if they've seen R-Truth. They had not, but they had seen Little Jimmy. Miz, not amused, kept on walking and tried to peep over his shoulder to find Truth, but he wasn't there. Miz continued walking, then Truth popped into the camera shot and told the crowd not to let Miz know he was following him.

[Commercial Break. Batista's name was heard again in an ad for Scorpion King 3 due out this month.]

In-ring: Sheamus confidently strolled out for the next match. Miz, while looking over his shoulder for R-Truth, came out to face Sheamus and jumped him before the bell sounded. Miz tried to tie up Sheamus in the ropes, but Sheamus flipped the tables and absolutely blasted away at Miz's chest with multiple forearm strikes. Miz then bailed from the ringside area and ran into the crowd. Suddenly, Truth's voice could be heard in the arena. Truth then emerged in the crowd and said he ran into Little Jimmy. Truth then passed along a message that Miz needs to get got. Miz tried to run away back to ringside, but ran into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus.

[Q4] Sheamus, content with his night, walked off, allowing Truth to stand over a fallen Miz. Truth then retrieved a steel water bottle and approached Miz. Truth lifted up Miz, then blasted him with a water bottle to the head. Cole wanted to know what's wrong with that man. They went to a slow-mo replay of the bottle shot that KO'ed Miz. Back live, Truth walked back through the crowd. Truth said this weekly Miz beat down was brought to you by Little Jimmy - where you will get got. A "Little Jimmy" in the crowd chimed in with a "Happy New Year" gloat for Miz.

Still to come tonight: Punk vs. Ziggler for the WWE Title.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera to talk social media before going back to last week's Raw when Ziggler became #1 contender to the WWE Title.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Ziggler for an interview. Before commenting, Ziggler had to finish his headstand. Ziggler, now joined by Vickie Guerrero, cut a promo on America and Tennessee before calling himself a walking surplus of talent and charisma. He said he has everything except the title. Ziggler told the crowd to hang onto their ticket stubs because they'll want to remember the time and date he became champion.

Backstage: Zack Ryder was talking to Eve about his New Year's celebration. Swagger then jumped into the shot and called Ryder an imposter U.S. champion. Ryder cracked a joke about sending Swagger to the "ER," then Swagger vowed to take his title and his girlfriend. Laurinaitis interrupted, introduced himself, and put them in a six-man tag elimination match. It will be Swagger, Mark Henry, and Kane against Ryder, Big Show, and Cena. Laurinaitis stared off into space, content with his booking decision.

Backstage: WWE champ C.M. Punk was shown walking down the hallway. Title match up next.

[Commercial Break]

This Friday: Returning from break just before the top of the hour, WWE plugged the double title match Smackdown episode to begin 2012.

[Q5 -- second hour]

In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the WWE Title match to begin the second hour, then Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champ C.M. Punk. Punk, sporting a taped right elbow, played to the crowd before Ziggler's music played to bring out the challenger and Vickie. Once everyone was assembled in the ring, Roberts handled formal ring intros, which prompted a "C-M-Punk" chant from the crowd.

3 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- WWE Title match

They went back and forth to begin the match, including Punk scoring with five consecutive running leg drops that drew applause from the crowd and screams from Vickie. Ziggler then caught Punk off the ropes and dropped him face-first across the second rope. Ziggler began stomping away on the champ, who sold a facial injury. They continued the back and forth theme with Ziggler countering Punk's trademark suicide dive, resulting in a nearfall back in the ring. Cole then sent the show to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Punk and Ziggler were trading bombs in the ring. Ziggler then slapped on his trademark sleeperhold, which Punk escaped. The two men then recovered in the ring before Punk delivered a snap powerslam for a two count. Ziggler came back with a Fameasser for a two count of his own. Vickie demanded a check of the ref's sanity following the count. The crowd rallied behind Punk, who accidentally ripped off a top turnbuckle pad in a desperation moment trying to avoid a corner attack from Ziggler. Punk then called for the GTS and John Laurinaitis came down to ringside to inquire about the turnbuckle. In the ring, Punk slapped on his submission finisher and Ziggler tapped out at 12:05. However, Ace had the ref occupied in the corner, so he didn't see the fall.

Ziggler then tried to sneak up behind Punk, but Punk moved and Ziggler rammed into Ace. Punk teased the GTS again, but Ziggler elbowed out and Punk flew over the top rope when Ace appeared to pull down the top rope. Punk sold a shoulder injury and Ace backed away from ringside selling his own injury. Punk was then counted out, giving Ziggler the count-out win. Afterward, Ziggler grabbed his title belt and celebrated as if he won the title, angering Punk, who recovered to his feet and watched Ace's actions during a replay. Back live, Punk shook his head, then chased away Ziggler, who ran away with Punk's title.

WINNER: Ziggler via count-out at 13:04; Punk retains WWE Title. Another nice chapter in their series without giving away the full match until perhaps the Rumble PPV with a stipulation added. Good heat for the match, too, which is encouraging for a feud featuring a rising heel. (**1/4)

[Q6] Still to come: Six-man tag match. Suddenly, the mystery vignette interrupted. "He is Here" flashed on the screen.

[Commercial Break]

Royal Rumble Flashback: Rumble '95 for Shawn Michaels going the distance to win the Rumble.

Memphis: Back live, they went inside Graceland for a look at Elvis memorabilia to reset the show. This led to a Divas tag match for the audience to "come down" after the title match.

4 -- BELLA TWINS vs. EVE & KELLY KELLY

The Bellas pulled the switcheroo to score a pinfall on Eve. After a replay of the heels cheating to win, the Bellas called Eve & Kelly losers and the two teams exchanged mean looks toward each other.

WINNERS: Bellas at 2:12. Paging Phoenix, Beth, Divas champion.

Backstage: Laurinaitis, selling an arm injury, was talking to David Otunga when C.M. Punk barged in to demand answers for Ace's involvement in his business. Ace told him his real issue is with Ziggler, who will be getting a title re-match at the Royal Rumble. He also assigned himself as special referee. Punk cut him off right there and said Ace will need a lawyer like Otunga if he screws him out of his WWE Title. Why? Punk said he would beat Laurinaitis "like a bitch." That emphatic one-liner popped the crowd back in the arena. Laurinaitis kept shaking his arm before exchanging glances with Otunga.

[Commercial Break]

[Q7] Suddenly, the Raw Mystery Video interrupted a Did You Know. The girl said a familiar force will arrive to claim what is his. The boy said the girl holds the mystery of his re-birth. The girl was shown whispering in the boy's ear, then the boy said she has spoken and it is time. "Now," he said.

Back live, the arena was shown rumbling in a crazy camera shot. The crowd sat stunned, trying to figure out what was going on. Suddenly, the lights went out. Lightbulbs flashed in the arena. Screaming was heard in the crowd. "Y2J" chants were heard. Suddenly, the familiar Jericho pose flashed on the screen in lights. Jericho's music was heard and Jericho re-emerged on the stage wearing a flashy jacket. Lawler called it pandemonium. Jericho was fired up and his presence was unmistakable returning to WWE.

In the ring, Jericho soaked up the moment returning to WWE. Jericho took his time listening to the crowd as his music continued to play. Jericho then left the ring and high-fived the ringside fans as his music rolled over for another round. Jericho looked completely gassed once he re-entered the ring and took a mic as his music stopped. "Y2J" chant as Jericho nodded along and smiled.

On the mic, Jericho screamed and told the crowd to keep it coming. "Welcome back" and "Y2J" chants mixed as Jericho continued to soak up the moment. Jericho then played to all corners of the ring looking for the loudest crowd response. Jericho continued to be in his own world walking out of the ring to shout at the crowd. Back in the ring, Jericho played to the crowd again. This time, he made each side of the arena compete for cheers. Jericho then jumped around in the ring. Jericho approached the mic to talk again, but just let the mic fall out of his hand so he could scream and shout some more. "Y2J" chant before Jericho left the ring and did another victory lap. Jericho then grabbed a camera from the cameraman and shot the crowd, did another victory lap, and reached the stage to point to the crowd near the entrance ramp.

Jericho stood on-stage and started to hear some boos. Jericho's smile subsided, then he turned around and strutted back through the curtain. Lawler said he's not sure what he just saw. That lasted about ten minutes.

Segment Reax:Well...That started of great, then turned weird, then turned into perhaps a new take on Heel Jericho? How else could they tie in the mystery vignettes pointing to the end of the world and Jericho returning in a flashy jacket with a flashy smile? There has to be another layer to this that will be explained in the weeks to come.

[Q8] Still to come: Six-man tag main event.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Big Show was the first man out for the main event elimination tag match. The announcers noted Show will be challenging for the World Title Friday on Smackdown. Cole wanted to know how Bryan stands a chance against Show in the title match. Zack Ryder came out second, followed by John Cena. First out for the heel trio was Mark Henry, who indicated to the cameraman that suffering will take place tonight. Jack Swagger, without Vickie, was out second for the heels. Out last was Kane making his in-ring return after a five-month absence. But, no sign of Kane initially. Cena looked around the arena for him, but still no sign. Suddenly, Otunga came down to ringside. Otunga slid into the ring and whispered to Justin Roberts some news. Roberts announced Kane is not participating, so it will be a handicap match.

5 -- JOHN CENA & BIG SHOW & U.S. champion ZACK RYDER vs. MARK HENRY & JACK SWAGGER -- handicap elimination tag match

It felt like they made a change since they're running short on time. Swagger delivered an early kick to Cena, who sold in the corner as they went to a quick break. Of note, currently trending on Twitter: Y2J, Break the Walls Down, Jericho, Brodus Clay (who is MIA again), and The Undertaker (too early for him to return pre-Mania).

[Commercial Break]

They returned from break with Cena and Swagger still battling in the ring. They tried to get the sympathy on Cena despite the heels being at a disadvantage here. Cena broke free of Swagger just before the top of the hour and tagged in Big Show, who cleaned house.

[Q9 -- over-run] Show tried to get Henry into the ring, then Henry slowly entered the ring for a stare down with Show. Show won the exchange with a flying shoulder tackle that sent Henry rolling to the outside. On the floor, Show stole a chair from Henry and blasted the chair over Henry's back for a DQ at 6:18. The ref also DQ'ed Henry.

Ryder and Swagger picked things up after the double elimination. Ryder delivered the Broski Boot, then wanted the Rough Ryder, but Swagger countered with the anklelock. Ryder fought the hold mid-ring as he reached out toward Cena. Ryder then hopped over to Cena and made the tag. Cena ran over Swagger with trademark offense before delivering the Shuffle. Cena followed with the Attitude Adjustment after flashing a smile, then made the cover on Swagger for the win.

WINNERS: Team Cena at 8:25. Basic house show-style six-man tag. The follow-up was key...

Post-match: Ryder sold his ankle before Cena was stunned by Kane's pyro shooting off in the arena. Cena tried to meet Kane on the entrance ramp, but Kane popped through the ring and attacked Ryder. Cena charged the ring to meet Kane, who grabbed Cena and shoved his glove into Cena's mouth. After trying to choke the life out of Cena, Kane looked back into the ring, where Ryder was still selling injuries.

Kane slowly re-entered the ring and stalked Ryder, who tried to run away, but Kane grabbed Ryder by his injured ankle. Kane tried dragging Ryder into the hole where Kane emerged from, then Cena ran back into the ring and pulled Ryder away from Kane just in time. After running away from the hole, Cena and Ryder checked on each other before pyro shot off from the hole. Cena and Ryder then sat together in the corner selling disbelief as Kane's music played. Smoke came out of the hole as Cena figured out this was a bigger deal than he originally thought. The camera continued to focus on Cena's state of shock as the show concluded.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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