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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Kane-Cena latest, Jericho Week 3, Clay Week 2

Jan 16, 2012 - 10:10:54 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
January 16, 2012 - Episode #972
Live in Anaheim, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with the annual playing and remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Text on the screen read, "Long Live The Dream," before fading to the Raw intro.

Live inside the Honda Center, full pyro shot off before Michael Cole introduced the show, noting the Royal Rumble is looming in two weeks. Two "Somebody call my momma" signs were shown in the crowd, referencing Brodus Clay. Justin Roberts then gave an introduction to Mick Foley, making a surprise appearance on Raw. Cole sighed at Foley's arrival, then Foley and Jerry Lawler plugged Punk & Bryan vs. Henry & Ziggler tonight. Plus, U.S. champion Zack Ryder is still scheduled to defend against Jack Swagger tonight following Kane's attack last week.

In the ring, Foley said he's here for two reasons. First, he would never bypass an opportunity to spend the day at Disneyland. Second, he returned to WWE two months ago for a non-physical, nostalgia role. He referenced John Cena, which drew boos. Foley said he lived out every dream he could imagine, including headlining WrestleMania in this very building (WM 2000). Foley said he has one more dream, though, because he has two more kids who need to see him in the ring. He then announced his intentions of being one of the 30 contestants in the Royal Rumble match.

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. Vickie and Dolph Ziggler walked out to confront Foley. Ziggler, sounding like he read Jim Ross's blog before the show, said Foley really thinks he can just take one of the 30 precious spots from someone who worked hard throughout the year. "Yes," Foley said. Ziggler said if this is one of Foley's stand-up comedy bits, then it's funny. But, if it's not, then his shot in the Rumble would go something like this, "Yay! Our daddy is in the Royal Rumble, oh wait, there he went over the top rope." Foley laughed in the background while the crowd laughed, too, then Foley said that could very well happen, or he could have a magical night after drawing a favorable number. He said he's not in the Rumble just to participate. "I'm not in the Rumble just to be in it; I'm in the Rumble to win it," he said.

Ziggler said that's great, and that's what everyone on the roster does year-around to prove they belong in the Rumble. Ziggler talked up recent victories, then said he can't believe Foley is out here. He vowed to beat C.M. Punk at the Royal Rumble, but having to face Foley at WrestleMania would be the biggest letdown of his career. Ziggler cut a promo on Foley in his face, which drew a crooked frown from Foley. Ziggler said Foley didn't come back just to make two points, but to make a fool out of himself one more time. He told Foley he succeeded. Ziggler told Foley straight-up that it's over. "Go home. Buy a new shirt. Eat a salad. And, just go away!" he shouted. And, Ziggler has officially arrived.

Suddenly, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk on-stage. It's an ROH flashback to Foley and Punk interacting in the mid-2000s. Hot crowd for Punk, who made his way to the ring to stand next to Foley and face off with Ziggler. Punk opened by saying it's so great to see Foley...right here in Anaheim, California. Ziggler shouted back that they get their clothes from the same homeless person on the street. Punk ignored Ziggler's jab, then tore down Ziggler and said they don't like to stand behind a "poor excuse for a woman." Punk tore down Ziggler some more before tearing down John Laurinaitis, the special referee for their title match at the Royal Rumble.

[Q2] Punk then declared he will still be WWE champion at the Rumble before finally getting around to a wrestling-related point that he'll be Ziggler because he's the Best in the World. Vickie tried to interrupt, leading to them screaming over each other before Laurinaitis interrupted on-stage. Laurinaitis introduced himself to boos, then noted he will be completely unbiased in the title match at the Rumble. So, just to show how fair he can be, he will take Foley's Rumble entry under consideration. Laurinaitis said he's trying to do what's right in this situation. So, his answer is...no. The crowd booed and Laurinaitis slowly walked away to the back.

Back in the ring, Vickie cackled in Foley's face, drawing another crooked frown from Foley. Foley cocked his head slightly, trying to restrain himself from punching Vickie. They cut away from the ring to a backstage shot.

Backstage: Air Boom was shown walking down the hallway sans titles. Cole and Lawler noted Epico & Primo captured the Tag Titles at a house show last night in Oakland. The re-match is tonight.

[Commercial Break. The first spot was for The Rock's new "Mysterious Island" family-oriented movie.]

1 -- WWE tag champions EPICO & PRIMO vs. AIR BOOM (KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE w/Rosa Mendes) -- WWE Tag Title match

Before the bell sounded, they showed handheld footage of the Tag Title change from last night's Raw house show. They quickly worked to a hot tag to Kofi, who delivered signature offense before Epico rolled him up from behind for a quick two count. Kofi then hit Trouble in Paradise and Bourne tried to finish Epico with Air Boom, but Primo attacked Kofi ringside, causing a distraction. Epico then crotched Bourne and Primo hit the back-stabber for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Epico & Primo at 2:18. That was short work of Kofi and Bourne's re-match clause. It will be interesting to see what the fall-out is for Kofi and Bourne.

Backstage: David Otunga walked up to John Laurinaitis, who was texting away. Otunga said "you know who" is waiting outside. The person walked in and Laurinaitis told him he will be in a now-re-booked six-man tag match of Ziggler, Henry, and Otunga against Punk, Bryan, and you. The camera panned right to reveal Chris Jericho, who smiled for the crowd. Live in the arena, the fans popped. Jericho then flipped a light switch so his light-up jacket could be on full display. He did not talk.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] Smackdown plug: Sin City Smackdown this Friday from Las Vegas.

Announcers: Cole said that's Friday night, but tonight is Monday Night Raw. Cole re-plugged the "amended" six-man tag main event with Jericho in the ring for the first time in a year-and-a-half. Lawler then sent it backstage for an update on Zack Ryder.

Backstage: U.S. champion Zack Ryder, with taped ribs, was shown wincing in pain standing next to Eve. Josh Mathews entered the shot to interview Ryder, who said he's not cleared to wrestle tonight, but he's not giving up his title. Eve said Ryder should be home recuperating, not wrestling. Eve then said she's going to the ring with him for his title defense.

Video package: They recapped last week's events involving Kane and Cena that led to Kane taking out Cena at the end of the show. The video turned melodramatic looking at Ryder's role in the events, which also put Eve in harm's way. The lengthy video concluded with a voice-over of Kane telling Cena to "embrace the hate."

In-ring: Jack Swagger's music played to bring out Swagger and Vickie Guerrero for the U.S. Title match. They replayed the "blown referee call" in last week's Swagger-Punk match, and put poor Lawler in a bad position trying to defend the call despite Swagger's clear kick-out. Back in the ring, Swagger paraded around the ring before they cut to break.

[Commercial Break. Hulk Hogan and Troy Aikman are back for Rent-a-Center.]

In-ring: Zack Ryder's music played to a strong reaction to bring out Ryder and Eve. Ryder tried to sell confidence as he made his way to the ring while continuing to wince in pain.

2 -- U.S. champion ZACK RYDER (w/Eve) vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- U.S. Title match

Swagger quickly targeted the injured ribs and back as Vickie shouted at Eve across the ringside area. The crowd started a "Let's Go Ryder...woo woo woo-woo-woo" chant as Cole promoted an upcoming update on A.J.'s condition following the injury angle at the end of Friday's Smackdown. Lawler talked dejectedly about Ryder needing to live to fight another day as Swagger continued to wear down Ryder. Swagger delivered a gutwrench powerbomb, but Ryder kicked out. Angered, Swagger pounded away on Ryder's back as the crowd tried to rally behind Ryder again. Swagger delivered another gutwrench and this one was good for the win. Swagger is the new U.S. champion and Ryder had zero offense in the match.

WINNER: Swagger at 2:23 to retain the U.S. Title. You could see this coming last week when WWE created the injury angle to give Ryder an "out" ahead of his title defense. Like Kofi & Bourne dropping the Tag Titles this weekend, it will be interesting to see the fall-out for Ryder.

Still to come: Jericho return to the ring in six-man tag main event.

[Q4] [Commercial Break]

WM28 hype: A new, fast-paced, dramatic video package on Rock-Cena hyped their confrontation on April 1. WWE plugged tickets still on-sale for the event.

Moments Ago: Swagger captured the U.S. Title from a "clearly beat up" Ryder, according to Cole. Lawler said Swagger zeroed in on an injured Ryder.

Backstage: Ryder and Eve were with the trainer. Ryder was wincing in pain when Laurinaitis barged in and claimed to have just seen Ryder's doctor's note that he was not cleared to wrestle. Eve stood up and screamed at Laurinaitis for letting one of his wrestlers compete while injured. John shot back at Eve to "shut your mouth" and demanded respect for his authority. He walked off, then Eve went back to checking on Ryder.

In-ring: Justin Roberts gave a formal introduction for Perez Hilton, who came out to boos. Perez took the mic and was booed again, but took it in stride by thanking the crowd for their "warm reception." He then introduced a Divas tag match.

3 -- KELLY KELLY & ALICIA FOX vs. BELLA TWINS

Perez got involved in the finish, arguing with one of the Bellas ringside after they tried Twin Magic. Kelly then rolled up the other Bella in the ring for the pin. Afterward, the Bellas shoved down Perez, but Kelly and Fox stood up to the Bellas, sending them scampering to the outside.

WINNERS: Kelly & A. Fox at 0:56.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera to discuss the "tragic accident" involving A.J. on Smackdown. They went to a slow-motion clip from Smackdown when Big Show ran over A.J. during the Daniel Bryan-Show World Title match. Cole said they will have an update directly from Bryan tonight.

[Commercial Break]

Royal Rumble Flashback - Rumble '92. Gorilla Monsoon's voice was heard introducing Ric Flair, who won the Rumble to win the vacant WWF Title. Hogan and Sid were spotlighted as the final three with Flair. They cut to Flair's post-Rumble victory promo standing next to Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan.

In-ring: R-Truth came to the ring just before the top of the hour. As Cole ran down Truth, Lawler defended Truth by saying he's "fun to be around." The ultimate back-handed compliment. Before Truth could even speak, Wade Barrett's music played.

[Q5 -- second hour] Barrett noted he is an official entrant in the Rumble, unlike the washed-up Mick Foley. Barrett said Truth is also, unfortunately, another Rumble entrant. He said Truth should be dressed in a straight jacket. "Hello, governor!" Truth replied. He then asked Barrett why he's so mad. He wanted to know if he could call him "Wade," then reminded Barrett they're across the street from the happiest place on earth - Disneyland. "I miss your smile, Wade," Truth told him. He then rolled his slideshow from a trip to Disneyland. Pic 1 - Truth with Mickie & Minny. Pic 2 - Donald Duck. Barrett said that has nothing to do with anything. Truth played with the "What?" chants before introducing Pic #3 with Pinocchio. He said Pinocchio told him Barrett was going to win the Rumble, but look what happened. They showed Pinocchio's nose growing like an erection. "I don't even think that's PG," Truth said, before noting Pinocchio lied about Barrett winning the Rumble.

Suddenly, The Miz jumped Truth after running through the crowd. Barrett and Miz beat down Truth, but Sheamus stormed the ring to make the save. Cole noted Sheamus and Barrett meet Friday night on Smackdown. Truth and Sheamus cleared the heels from the ring, then Teddy Long barged out. Long said Laurinaitis is a little busy tonight, so he's taking charge right now. He then booked a preview with an over-the-top-rope challenge. The last man standing will be the winner. Cole called it a competent decision for a change.

4 -- SHEAMUS vs. WADE BARRETT vs. R-TRUTH vs. THE MIZ -- over-the-top rope battle royal

Truth and Sheamus tried to eliminate Barrett early on, then Miz surprisingly helped them eliminate Barrett. Barrett slammed the ring apron in frustration, then the three remaining men went to work on each other. Miz received plenty of focus before running into a barrage of fist smashes from Sheamus. Sheamus then set up Miz for ten consecutive forearm smashes to Miz's chest, turning Miz's upper body red. Sheamus then pounded his own chest to warm up for the Brogue Kick, but Miz pulled down the top rope and Sheamus crotched himself. Suddenly, Truth came up behind Sheamus and Miz to eliminate them simultaneously. Truth, in jeans, wins the mini-battle royal. Post-match: Miz glared into the ring as Truth celebrated. Sheamus then wiped the glare off Miz's face with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus's music played and he pointed to Truth to sell respect, but also competition. Cole said anyone can win the Rumble in two weeks.

WINNER: Truth at 4:10.

Backstage: Laurinaitis was shown texting. John Cena then barged in and shouted in Laurinaitis's face for intentionally screwing over Ryder. Laurinaitis claimed he's a human being and he made a mistake. He changed the subject to Kane. Laurinaitis booked Cena vs. Kane one-on-one at the Rumble, which Cena agreed with, while still angry. Laurinaitis said it's clear Cena has pent-up anger, so he'll get Swagger in the ring tonight. Cena turned and stomped off, then Laurinaitis went back to texting.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6] In-ring: Back live, new U.S. champion Jack Swagger was parading around in the ring. Notably, Vickie Guerrero was not ringside. Cole complained about Swagger having to wrestle again tonight as they went to a replay from earlier in the show when Swagger captured the U.S. Title from Zack Ryder. Cole then accused Cena of whining to Laurinaitis as Swagger held up his title belt for the hard camera. After a pause, John Cena's music played to bring out Cena to a strong, mixed reaction. Cena threw down his cap, stormed the ring, and blasted away at Swagger. No bell sounded.

Cena blasted Swagger to the outside and pounded away on Swagger, taking out his frustrations with Kane. Cena glared at the ref as the crowd picked up a dueling chant. Mr. Belding was behind the announcers on the front row, of note. Cena placed Swagger on the announce table and choked him, then punched him and kicked him. Lawler said it's like Cena wants to hurt Swagger as much as Swagger wanted to hurt Ryder earlier. Cena then whipped Swagger hard into the ring steps, drawing oohs from the crowd. For his next move, Cena removed the top ring steps, then placed Swagger on the bottom steps.

Cena contemplated smashing the ring steps on Swagger, but Kane's music suddenly played and the arena turned red. Kane appeared on the video screen and said that's impressive. He said they will meet at the Rumble, and, by then, Cena will have embraced the hate. Kane's pyro shot off in the ring and Cole said Kane is driving Cena to a place he's never been to before. Cena wiped his head in frustration before they cut to break.

Rumble hype video: The Fox announcer plugged this year's Rumble, noting every WWE Superstar is eligible to enter.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back live, a random woman's voice was heard introducing the only living, breathing, Funkasauras, Brodus Clay. Cue up the funky music and the Funkettes to bring out Brodus Clay on-stage. Cole said this man deserves a Golden Globe. Clay danced to the ring before everyone danced together in the ring. Pyro shot off and they cut to a shot of JTG unimpressed ringside. Cole named Naomi and Cameron as Clay's dancers before the bell sounded.

5 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. JTG

Clay danced around to freak out JTG, who tried a right hand and a takedown, but Clay wiggled before punching JTG in the face. Lawler noted there were a lot of things moving there. Clay delivered a headbutt before asking the crowd if he should get him. Brodus delivered a t-bone suplex before noting, "My bad." Clay with a big corner splash, then a flying bodypress for the pin and the win. Cole said he calls that move, "Ah, funk it." Post-match: Clay danced with the dancers before they cut to a replay of Clay's power offense. They even went to a slow-motion replay of Clay shaking his body fat.

WINNER: Funkasauras at 1:09. I'm still not quite sure I have the words. They're at the "repeat and reinforce" stage at this point.

Injury update: Cole tried to transition to a solemn plug for Daniel Bryan updating A.J.'s condition up next.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

This Friday: It's Sin City Smackdown. Back live, Lawler and Cole recapped A.J.'s injury on Smackdown. Cole said he's not sure it was an accident. They went to a video package recapping the Bryan-Show title match and match-ending injury to A.J.

On-stage: Daniel Bryan's music played and Bryan came out for a promo. Bryan said most people think of Big Show as a lovable, gentle giant. But, Big Show is a cruel, inhospitable freak, who had no problem running over his 95-pound girlfriend. He said A.J. has been traumatized and will never be the same. He claimed Big Show could have pulled up and stopped, but he ran over A.J. to get to him and to his World Title. "It's pathetic," he said. Bryan said Show hasn't said he's sorry because he stood there like a blithering idiot with fake tears. He said Show should never show his face again on Smackdown. Otherwise, he'll make him pay. But, this Friday on Smackdown, he has a World Title defense against Mark Henry. He then dedicated the match to A.J., which drew boos from the crowd not buying Bryan's claims. Bryan said he appreciates A.J. saying she loves him and, this Friday, he will show her just how much he appreciates it.

Bryan's music played again and he came to the ring for the main event. Lawler suddenly flipped to questioning Bryan, noting A.J. never would have been in harm's way if not for Bryan. Suddenly, the lights went down and Chris Jericho emerged on-stage in his light-up jacket. Jericho turned around sporting standard ring trunks before doing a wild victory lap on the way to the ring. Jericho and Mr. Belding acknowledged each other by the announcers before Jericho continued his victory lap intro. This gave the announcers plenty of time to plug Raw's sponsors. Cole said it's Jericho's first match in a year-and-a-half as Jericho grabbed someone's camera and took a picture of father & son ringside. Amazing. They cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

[Q8] Back live, Jericho was still celebrating ringside. The heels were in the ring at this point, with Vickie freaking out at Jericho's antics. Cult of Personality then brought out Punk as Ziggler was shown bouncing up and down in the ring, ready for a piece of Punk.

6 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK & World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN & CHRIS JERICHO vs. MARK HENRY & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) & DAVID OTUNGA -- six-man tag match

Punk and Ziggler started things off as Jericho continued to smile ringside. Bryan then tagged in to boos and collided with Ziggler on a botched leap frog spot. Bryan sold a right knee injury, then Otunga tagged in and began working on Bryan. The crowd chanted for Jericho as Cole was forced to mention that "Daniel Bryan" is trending on Twitter. Ziggler re-entered the ring and wore down Bryan, but Bryan made it across the ring to tag in Punk as Jericho was comically too late extending his hand for a tag. Punk lost control of the match, though, and the heels began working on Punk.

Punk broke free momentarily and the crowd anticipated Jericho tagging in, but the heels cut off Punk and resumed an attack. Henry shouted encouragement toward Otunga, who went for a superplex on Punk, but Punk blocked and delivered a top-rope Macho Man elbow drop. Jericho was hilarious selling excitement from the ring apron. Punk then went for a tag and brought in Jericho to a huge pop. Jericho did the classic fired-up babyface hot tag routine and played to all sections of the arena. Jericho was done, though, and slap-tagged Bryan. Jericho then left the ring and walked up the entranceramp while still fired up. Jericho screamed and shouted in excitement, then disappeared to the back. Suddenly, they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Ziggler was wearing down Bryan as Punk shouted encouragement from ringside. Bryan broke free from Ziggler, though, and hot-tagged Punk, who ran over Ziggler with clotheslines. Punk with a neckbreaker, then corner attack and bulldog. Punk wanted a springboard move and connected with a flying forearm. Henry, who had been absent for most of the match, broke up a pin, then confronted Bryan. Bryan bailed from the ring and hobbled away, but Henry caught up to him and chucked Bryan clear across the entrance ramp.

Suddenly, Mick Foley's music played. Foley bounced out to the ring and sent a message from Laurinaitis that he's now in the match. The referee wasn't buying it, but Foley convinced him and grabbed a tag rope. In the ring, Punk tried to tag in Foley, but Ziggler cut him off and delivered a Rocker Dropper for a two count. Punk then blasted Ziggler with a kick and reached out to Foley, who tagged in as Otunga tagged in for the heels. Foley unloaded on Otunga before delivering a running knee in the corner. Next, Foley dropped Otunga with a DDT before whipping out Mr. Socko. Otunga ate Socko and Foley pressed him down to the mat. The bell sounded, declaring Foley and Punk the winners.

[Q9 -- over-run] Post-match: Laurinaitis stomped out to the ring and said he never gave Foley permission to enter the match. He said Foley is not a legal participant in the match, so he is reversing the decision. The winners are now Ziggler, Otunga, and Henry.

WINNERS: Ziggler & Henry & Otunga via reverse decision at 14:12.

Punk wiped his head in frustration, then yanked the mic out of John's hand. He told Laurinaitis that he's going to do absolutely nothing about him grabbing and shoving him. Punk told Laurinaitis to man up and get it all out there for everyone to see. Punk said Laurinaitis had the "look" as a wrestler, but he never had "it." He said it must have eaten him up to know his brother, "Road Warrior" Animal, was much more charismatic to him. He called Laurinaitis boring and "roadkill" who turned into a lame corporate kiss-up in WWE.

Punk said Laurinaitis can try to screw him at the Rumble, but he'll fail. He accused Laurinaitis of being jealous of him for being cool, charismatic, and the WWE champion. Punk told Laurinaitis that it doesn't matter what he tries to do to him in the WWE Title match because he'll still be better than him. He said he'll get people talking, no matter what, because the people will be talking about Laurinaitis going through a meat grinder after he kicks his ass. Punk then feigned a punch and Laurinaitis recoiled. Punk smirked, then told him he's pathetic. Punk grabbed his title and bailed from the ring, leaving Laurinaitis and Foley in the ring. Cole said Punk is going to pay for that.

Foley flashed a double thumbs up toward Laurinaitis, who sold intense anger and frustration. Laurinaitis grabbed a mic and re-introduced himself to boos. He said he is the interim, soon-to-be-permanent Raw GM and he is not pathetic. Laurinaitis said he will not be intimidated by Punk. Foley interrupted and told John to just admit he intends to screw Punk at Rumble. He repeated to Laurinaitis that he's just a kiss-ass. Laurinaitis paced the ring, angered, and adjusted his tie before waiting out a "You Suck" chant. Laurinaitis shouted back to Foley, "Who the hell do you think you are?" He said he damn well will screw over Punk at the Rumble.

Laurinaitis said he does his job and does it well, and he's sick and tired of being disrespected and pushed around. He said he's tired of being bullied. Laurinaitis said he puts on the most entertaining show every week (boos) and he's not appreciated for it. And, he's not going to take it anymore. Especially not from Foley. Laurinaitis then popped Foley in the head with his mic. Laurinaitis left the ring and stomped away as Foley recovered in the ring. The credits came on as Foley recovered to his feet in the corner. The show ended ten minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Foley and Laurinaitis in the final segment of a pro wrestling show in 2012? Yikes. Last week, there was way too much Kane. This week, there was way too much Laurinaitis. Punk hit the extremes of being very good and very bad on the mic - the good being when he hyped his Rumble match and the bad being when his promos tore down his opposition yet again. Overall, better than recent shows, but still a lot of issues with WWE's TV writing approach.

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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