WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/28: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw #991 - Show vs. Brodus teased main event, Punk-Bryan, no Cena
May 28, 2012 - 10:09:23 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
May 28, 2012 - Episode #991
Live in New Orleans, La.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw started with the annual Memorial Day video tribute package dedicated to fallen American soldiers.
This was followed by a lengthy video package recapping John Cena's feud with John Laurinaitis that now includes Big Show siding with Laurinaitis. The video concluded with a dramatic replay of Big Show KO'ing Cena at the end of Raw last Monday.
The show faded to the arena for Big Show's music to begin the show five minutes into the broadcast. Michael Cole repeated the "the darkest days in WWE history" line as Show made his way to the ring. In the ring, Show flashed a big smile. He said this is him doing his job. That was easy making people smile. He didn't mind doing it, but it was a calculated business decision. Show said he was a businessman who happens to be a giant. (What?) Show said that's all over now. (What?) Show paused and sarcastically said that's so nice. He said he doesn't have to put on a smile anymore because he has an iron-clad contract. Show paused for a Cena chant.
Show said he has an iron-clad contract with a big bonus that has him set for life. Which means he can do whatever he wants, whenever, to whomever, and he doesn't have to be concerned abut putting smiles on people's faces. Show said he's not an entertainer, but a giant. Show said there's no one in his league. He said no one from the NFL, NBA, or any "phony, so-called UFC fighter," or anyone in WWE is in his league. Show said perhaps that's why no one from WWE cared when he was fired because they viewed him as a threat. Show said just minutes after he was fired, this happened. Cue up Brodus Clay dancing in the ring.
Back live, Show shook his head. He said his tears were not even dry in the ring and Brodus Clay was out there dancing. Show said Kofi & Truth - who he thought were his friends - were yukking it up and laughing and dancing and having a good time. He said it was easy for the audience just to move on. Show said the audience is so shallow, so phony. But, after all that, there's one guy who disappointed him even more than all of them. That man is John Cena. Big Show said he thought Cena was going to fight for him. Instead, Cena did this. Show rolled footage from two weeks ago on Raw when Cena did loser voices and did a comedy routine before his match with Laurinaitis at Over the Limit mere minutes after Show was "fired."
Back live, Show looked down at the mat and said Cena just made jokes. "I guess that's all I am to you people. Just one big joke," he said. Show said Cena hurt him when he decided he didn't care. So, last week, he hurt Cena. Show said he knocked Cena out twice within 24 hours. Show said if you think Cena suffered the biggest loss of his career against The Rock at WrestleMania, or suffered the biggest beating of his career against Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules, or if he suffered the most embarrassing loss of his career against John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit, then think again. Show vowed to do all three things to Cena at No Way Out. He said that - that puts a smile on his face. Hit the music. Cole said Show is very dangerous now.
Segment Reax: In the process of further trying to explain Show's actions to cover for the holes in the story last week, WWE tore up Cena's phony babyface character, which they should be in the business of protecting. Show's delivery was solid, and there were some interesting items there from Vince McMahon's psyche. Specifically, a heel explaining how WWE has trained the crowd to simply go along with whatever WWE tells them - e.g. Show being "fired," then WWE moving right along to Brodus Clay and the crowd moving right along with them because of the the general audience's very light connection to the product.
[Q2] Still to come tonight: C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. Cole said Bryan will get a chance to prove he is worthy of another WWE Title shot tonight.
Backstage: U.S. champion Santino was shown warming up with the U.S. Title belt backstage. Lawler said Santino faces Alberto Del Rio next.
Back live, Justin Roberts introduced Ricardo Rodriguez, who was upset after his loss to Santino last Friday on Smackdown. After Del Rio arrived in his car of the week, Ricardo gave the formal ring intro for the #1 contender to the World Title. U.S. champ Santino then came out to a solid reaction.
1 -- U.S. champion SANTINO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- non-title match
The bell sounded and Del Rio tattooed Santino with kicks and stomps. Del Rio then missed with a corner attack and Santino scored with successive moves. Santino tried the Cobra, but Del Rio kicked Santino in the gut and slapped on the cross arm-breaker. Santino immediately tapped out to end the match in less than a minute. Post-match: Ricardo announced Del Rio as the winner in Santino's face over and over. Del Rio then stuffed the Cobra in Santino's mouth to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 0:50.
Backstage: Alex Riley tried kissing up to Eve about the job she's doing. Riley was about to tell Eve something important before Big Show walked into the shot. Eve told Show that he gets to pick his opponent tonight. Eve walked off, leaving Riley to try to talk down Show. Riley said he admires Show, who told him to relax because he's not picking him as his opponent tonight. Show said he would like to send a message to the locker room, though. Show chucked Riley into a wall, then stepped over his fallen body before proceeding down the hallway. Riley sold on the floor as they cut to break.
[Q3] Back live, Justin Roberts announced a random Tag Title match. Cue up Kofi Kingston's theme music to a strong reaction to bring out Kofi & R-Truth to defend the titles. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. Vickie excused herself before starting to make an announcement. After excusing herself again, Vickie said she secured a Tag Title match for her clients, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. So, it's a re-match from Over the Limit eight days ago.
2 -- WWE tag champions KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH vs. JACK SWAGGER & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- WWE Tag Title match
Truth's opening strategy was doing a lot of dancing to throw Swagger off his game. The tag champs then double-teamed Ziggler and knocked him to the floor. Kofi & Dolph celebrated their first quarter victory at the expense of the heels before Raw went to commercial.
Back from break, Swagger was working over Kingston in the ring as Vickie screamed on the outside. Cole noted the challengers took control of the match during the break. Kofi tried to make a comeback out of the corner, but the heels continued to double-team. Truth took a hot tag at 6:20 and cleaned house before delivering a DDT to Swagger for a two count. All four men found themselves in the ring, then Kofi cleared Zigs to the outside. Truth then dropped Swagger with the Little Jimmy for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Ringside, Vickie was beside herself as the champs celebrated in the ring. After the champs left, the camera stayed with the heels selling anger. Dolph Ziggler said he's better than this and slammed his hands on the mat before leaving the ring. Vickie tried to console Swagger, who called after Dolph on the way out.
WINNERS: Kofi & Truth at 7:06 to retain the Tag Titles. Time for Ziggler to find his way on his own again?
Backstage: A trainer was helping Santino down the hallway. The trainer saw Big Show and told him Santino is hurt before just walking off. Show then grabbed Santino and tried to stuff his hand down Santino's mouth. Suddenly, Brodus Clay stepped up to Show and told him that he heard he has a beef with him. Clay said instead of talking behind his back, they should settle it in the ring when he gives him something else to cry about. Show retorted that he's going to knock him out, suggesting the match will happen. Show left, then Brodus's dancers sold concern as Clay stood tall in the hallway. Big spot for Clay tonight.
[Commercial Break. Of note, Raw is 45 minutes into the show without a John Laurinaitis live appearance.]
[Q4] I wrote took soon. Back live, Justin Roberts introduced John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis, on his motor cart, came out on-stage flanked by Eve and David Otunga as Cole entered heel mode talking up Laurinaitis. Eve helped Laurinaitis into the ring on a crutch as Cole claimed the people in South America for last weekend's tour were there to see Big Johnny.
Once in the ring, Laurinaitis introduced himself. He said he has several announcements to make. Tonight, Big Show vs. Brodus Clay is official. To ensure no interference in the main event at No Way Out, the match between Big Show and Cena will now take place in a steel cage. Third, he has become the most-popular Superstar in WWE history. He said the new WWE '13 video game will be released in September (well, no) and the cover needs a new Superstar. Laurinaitis then revealed giant cover art for the video game showing Laurinaitis.
Suddenly, C.M. Punk's Cult of Personality played to bring out the WWE champion. Cole wondered aloud why Punk is trying to ruin this moment. On the way out, Punk placed his gum on the seat of Laurinaitis's motor cart. In the ring, Punk did a double-take at the video game cover before posing in the ring. After posing, Punk took a long, painful look at the video game cover before noting Laurinaitis dated himself with a Pac-Man reference. Punk said there wasn't a groundswell to put Laurinaitis on the cover and he's not popular at all. He said being on the cover of WWE '13 is actually prestigious, so it will come as a big shock to Big Johnny that the person on the cover is a heck of a lot better-looking than he is.
Fireworks shot off and a giant cover of WWE '13 came down from the ceiling featuring Punk's his music played. After his music played, Punk told Johnny that his (cover/penis) is a lot bigger than his (cover/penis). Punk said it's a wrestling video game with an actual wrestler featured on the cover - what a concept. He then told Johnny to take the Hoeski and Carlton (Fresh Prince reference) out of his ring. Punk mocked Laurinaitis potentially booking a handicap lumberjack Falls Count Anywhere No DQ match and told him the Board of Directors has a close eye on him. Big Johnny told Punk good luck before leaving the ring after an awkward exchange.
Johnny was helped out of the ring before Cole plugged Punk vs. Daniel Bryan on the other side of the break. In the ring, Punk grabbed the fake Johnny WWE '13 cover, propped it up in the corner, and delivered a running boot as Johnny and Co. motored away, not paying attention to Punk in the ring.
Smackdown plug: Sin Cara returns to Smackdown this Friday. Plus, can the new #1 contender Alberto Del Rio overcome Sheamus?
Back live, Punk was warming up in the ring as the announcers plugged the WWE '13 video game. Daniel Bryan Yes'ed on the way to the ring as WWE picked up a Cajun-themed "Naux, Naux, Naux" sign in the crowd. Bryan entered the ring and the match was on.
[Q5 -- second hour]
3 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title match with title ramifications
The wrestlers felt each other out as Cole noted their backgrounds starting out on the independents before "making it big" in WWE. The announcers also plugged Show-Clay coming up later, including a reference to Clay's 20+match winning streak. Bryan and Punk continued to feel each other out and trade control before Bryan knocked Punk to the outside and shouted, "Yes!" Bryan measured Punk for a move on the outside, but Punk avoided and followed with a turnaround cross-body from the second rope. The two men sold on the outside, then A.J. suddenly came down the ramp for the TV version of this match-up. Punk stared at A.J., who gleefully clapped while wearing a C.M. Punk t-shirt, then Punk rolled Bryan back into the ring prior to a break.
Back from break, Punk was stomping away at Bryan while A.J. peered over the top of the ring apron from the outside. A.J. sold concern when Punk missed with a turnaround splash attempt, then Bryan dropkicked Punk across the ring. Bryan followed with a submission working over Punk's left arm before arm-snapping Punk. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Bryan shouted before nailing a running dropkick in the corner for a two count. Bryan followed with a Northern Lights suplex for a two count before wearing down the left arm/shoulder again.
Punk broke free before the two men slowly came to their feet to engage in another exchange. Punk built some momentum with one good arm, but couldn't put Bryan away. Bryan came back with European Uppercuts before they fought to the corner at 13:00. Punk wanted a springboard maneuver and connected with a flying clothesline for a two count. Punk, exhausted, slowly set up Bryan for a top-rope move as A.J. turned her head to sell inner conflict. Bryan then crotched Punk on the top turnbuckle before delivering a big superplex after pausing to let the audience soak it up. Bryan made a cover, but Punk kicked out in-time.
[Q6] Bryan went to the corner at 14:30 and tried to remove the turnbuckle pad, which brought A.J. to the apron to argue with the ref. A.J. inadvertently helped Bryan, who removed the turnbuckle pad, then told A.J. to get down. Next, Punk nailed Bryan with a kick to the face. Punk tried to follow with a corner attack on Bryan, but Bryan lifted Punk into the air and right into the corner turnbuckle. Bryan made the cover for a three count, with A.J. indirectly costing Punk the match.
Post-match: Bryan celebrated over and over as A.J. frowned. Bryan then turned around to find a chair shot from Kane. The crowd popped for the previously-dastardly heel Kane, who delivered a chokeslam to Bryan on the chair. A.J. then tossed a chair to Punk, who used it to destroy Kane before rolling him out of the ring. A.J. was smitten ringside. Punk stood tall in the ring as Kane retreated to the outside and Bryan disappeared.
WINNER: Bryan at 15:23 to unofficially become #1 contender to the WWE Title. Another match and another great performance. Bryan looked like he could have gone another 25 or 30 minutes out there. As for the Kane aspect of this, what a mess trying to explain how the audience is supposed to receive Kane. (***)
Still to come: Big Show vs. Brodus Clay.
Back live, Christian's music played to bring out the Intercontinental champion. As Christian made his way out, Cole and Lawler - sitting on opposite sides of where they usually sit - recapped Chris Jericho's suspension following an incident in Brazil. The seating arrangement was explained when the camera panned left to show Cody Rhodes sitting next to Cole. Rhodes heeled on Christian for "stealing his title" before The Miz came out to face Christian.
4 -- IC champion CHRISTIAN vs. THE MIZ -- non-title match
Miz nailed Christian with an early kick to the face for a two count that seemed to stun the crowd a bit. Miz followed with a corner kick as Rhodes accused Christian of sitting on the fence between classic and contemporary. Rhodes summed it up for Lawler that he's old. Miz continued to work over Christian as Rhodes said he will make the choice on when to cash in his IC Title re-match. Christian made a comeback before nailing a sit-out DDT. He then measured Miz for Edge's Spear, but Miz blocked with a boot to the face.
Rhodes slammed down his headset and stood up to distract Christian. Miz suddenly rolled up Christian from behind, but scored a two count only. As Rhodes walked away in the background, Miz measured Christian for the Skullcrushing Finale, but Christian shoved him off. Christian then nailed Miz with the Killswitch. Christian wasn't done, as he climbed up top for his new Frogsplash finisher. It was good for the pin as Rhodes watched on the stage.
WINNER: Christian at 4:15. Basic advancement of the Christian-Rhodes feud ahead of their eventual title re-match. Miz had a good showing this week, but ultimately is in the role of enhancing other stars before heading off to film Marine 3.
GM's Office: Laurinaitis wanted a private meeting with Eve and David Otunga before Eve sent Teddy Long off to fetch a cup of coffee. Big Johnny then called out Otunga for tapping out to Cena's STF on Raw last week when he survived the STF twice at Over the Limit. Johnny told Eve that she botched Smackdown not getting an apology from Sheamus. Otunga spoke up that he'll beat Sheamus tonight. Johnny said he expects that and more. He said with a straight face that he needs capable people to succeed him when he may consider retiring in 10 or 20 years. Johnny walked off, then Long brought Eve her coffee. Eve spit it out at Long, though, and complained it was cold. The camera stayed on Long to note it was supposed to be cold because it's iced coffee. Were they going for comedy there? Odd segment.
[Q7] [Commercial Break]
Back live, The Miz was still in the ring. Miz said he wants his loss to Christian stricken from the record book. He said it wasn't even for the title. He said he's the sole reason for Big Johnny in-charge, but where's his iron-clad contract and his championship match? Miz said he is not leaving until he is treated like the Superstar -- suddenly, Randy Orton's music interrupted. Orton stomped right to the ring and walked right up to Miz to deliver an RKO mid-sentence from Miz. Orton's music played, then he posed in the ring as Miz disappeared from sight.
They cut backstage to a shot of Dolph Ziggler, in a suit, telling Vickie Guerrero to make him happy by getting him out of his tag team with Jack Swagger. Vickie said she'll see what she can do. Back in the ring, Orton continued to pose as the announcers tried to figure out what to say while Orton posed. Lawler then plugged Big Show vs. Brodus still to come tonight.
Backstage: Sheamus was shown walking down the hallway ahead of facing Otunga tonight. Back to the announcers, Lawler said John Cena - whether you love him or hate him - should be respected for his commitment to the military. Lawler fed to a video package on the military narrated by Cena on what Memorial Day means to him. The video closed with a shot of Cena at a previous Tribute to the Troops. Back live, the cameras focused on military representatives ringside. The crowd applauded and Lawler said, "Happy Memorial Day," before they cut to commercial.
[Commercial Break. Adam Rodriguez on an episode of "Unnecessary Roughness." Finally, a reason to watch a USA Network show after CBS ruined and then canceled CSI: Miami. Not that I'm upset or anything.]
Smackdown plug: Kane has been used in the Bryan-Punk WWE Title issue. Now, his fury has been fueled. This Friday, Kane will have an outlet to release his retribution. For the first time in eight years, the WWE Title is on the line on Smackdown. It's Punk vs. Kane for the WWE Title.
[Q8] In-ring: David Otunga came out for the semi-main event. World Hvt. champ Sheamus came out next sporting a new Brogue Kick t-shirt.
5 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. DAVID OTUNGA -- non-title match
Otunga was dominant early on, motivated by trying to impress Big Johnny. However, he started posing and lost his focus, which allowed Sheamus to make a comeback with successive clotheslines. Sheamus then hung Otunga out to dry on the ring apron to deliver ten successive forearm strikes to the chest as the announcers amused themselves with lawyer jokes. Sheamus followed with White Noise center-ring. Sheamus wasn't done, though, as he took Otunga's head off with a Brogue Kick for the pin and the win. Lawler said Del Rio should be paying attention ahead of their title match at No Way Out.
WINNER: Sheamus at 2:47.
Backstage: Brodus Clay was shown strutting down the hallway with his dancers ahead of the main event tonight.
ECW DVD Plug: Going into break, Paul Heyman's voice narrated grainy ECW footage before plugging the new Unreleased Matches DVD out next Tuesday. Doesn't that go against Heyman's current storyline working against WWE (specifically Triple H, who represents the company)? Also of note, no mention thus far of the Heyman/Brock Lesnar-Triple H feud, or Lesnar appearing on the UFC PPV two nights ago.
Announcers: Back live, Cole and Lawler plugged Cena vs. Show in a steel cage match at No Way Out in three weeks. Cole then fed to a video package on what he called arguably the "darkest 24 hours in WWE history" last week. Talk about hyperbole and WWE trying to "own their history" by defining down a multitude of actual events that would actually qualify for that label.
In-ring: The disco ball was down from the ceiling, which meant time for Brodus Clay to dance his way to the ring along with Cameron and Naomi. Lawler noted Clay is feeling very confident and still happy-go-lucky before a big spotlight match tonight. Cole said he shouldn't change up his routine when it's worked thus far.
[Q9 -- over-run] After Clay completed his entrance, Big Show's music played and Clay got serious. Show came out with mic in-hand and stood on-stage. Show said he's a big fan of Brodus, then said he thought he was a sell-out when he put on a diaper and faced Akebono at WrestleMania 21. Show said Clay does embarrassing things nightly when he does them for business. Clay then left the ring and started walking toward Show, who said maybe when the audience gets tired of watching Clay dance, he can put on some clown make-up and become the next Doink. Show said the difference between Clay and Doink is Doink actually had talent.
Show then came running down the entrance ramp and speared Clay ringside. Show threw his t-shirt down at Clay, who sold ringside. Cameron and Naomi sold concern in the ring as Show landed more blows. Clay fought back, but Show rammed Clay into the ringpost. Show ran Clay into the ringpost again as the dancers sold concern in the ring. Show paused to look around the arena before looking over at the announce table. Show removed portions of the table, then Kofi Kingston came running out of nowhere, but Show shoved Kofi into R-Truth, who seconded Kofi.
Show returned to the announce table as the crowd chanted for Cena. Show then big-booted the announce table, which folded in-half. Show picked up a piece of the table, then measured Clay for a big blow. After pausing, Show landed a shot to the back. Show reset and delivered a second blow to the back. Show delivered a third shot, then dropped the table piece. Show then picked up Truth and chucked him off the ring ropes and to the floor. Kofi decided to stand up and try Trouble in Paradise, but Show grabbed Kofi around the throat and destroyed the gimmicked ringside barricade by throwing Kofi through the barricade. The calls for Cena grew louder as Show surveyed the damage. Show then smashed Truth into the ring steps. Clay was showing life, so Show KO Punched Brodus into next week. Show looked around the arena with a confident, firm facial expression.
Cole spoke up that Show has left an arena full of carnage tonight. WWE then replayed Show's big spear on Brodus, which led to ringside destruction. Back live, Show was shown walking around the ringside area, content with his work tonight. Show glared at a fan holding up a sign on Show being a sell-out. His lip quivered, then his music played and Show unblinkingly kept on walking up the entrance ramp. John Laurinaitis met him on-stage and raised Show's hand in the air. Cole said they can only imagine things will be much different next week when John Cena returns live on Raw. There's the hook for next week. Laurinaitis continued to stare off-stage looking for a cue, then Johnny shook Show's hand again as WWE signed off nine minutes past the top of the hour.
Segment Reax: WWE apparently didn't want to end Clay's losing streak, and they couldn't have Show lose in the beginning stages of a resurgent heel push, so the pre-match destruction was the right way to go. On a side note, good decision keeping Cena off the show for a week to keep him fresh in the eyes of the viewers, especially when the PPV is in three weeks. On another side note, very interesting that there was only a brief mention of Brock Lesnar during Big Show's opening promo two days after Lesnar appeared on a UFC PPV and zero mention of the Heyman-Triple H storyline involving Lesnar. Couple that with WWE re-building Big Show as a destructive force and monster heel (how Brock Lesnar was built up and described during his one-month run) and there could have been one of those typical WWE messages to talent that anyone is replaceable. Very interesting Raw.
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