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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/4: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw #992 - Cena returns, latest PPV hype

Jun 4, 2012 - 10:08:25 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
June 4, 2012 - Episode #992
Live in Greenville, S.C.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_32.jpg


This week's live WWE Raw started with a dramatic video package recapping Big Show's remorseless attack on Brodus Clay last week on Raw, attack on Zack Ryder and Santino on Smackdown, and destruction of the tag champs on Raw. But, the man who disappointed Show more than anyone else is...John Cena.

The video dramatically faded out to the arena, where Justin Roberts introduced Michael Cole. Cole claimed one man is responsible for the recent carnage at the hands of Big Show. Cole then introduced this man...John Cena. Cue up Cena's music to a loud reaction after a one-week absence. Cena came out on-stage and surveyed the arena, tipped his cap, and stormed the ring to start Raw.

Once Cena settled things down, Cole started the interview by noting Big Show knocked him out twice in a 24-hour period. Cole rattled off the list of babyfaces destroyed by Big Show last week before claiming this all could have been prevented if Cena did the right thing. If he would have supported his friend, Big Show, but he wanted to make jokes, laugh, and play ha-ha. He said it was more important for Cena to be a comedian than support Big Show. Cena seemed stunned by these claims.

Cena started with a My Little Pony joke in response. He then called John Laurinaitis a power-hungry bully. Cena said he doesn't get where Show is coming from before going all the way through his promo two weeks ago about a new GM assuredly re-hiring Show if Show didn't get in the way. Cole said he didn't know that, Show didn't know that, and no one else knew it. Cole then accused Cena of being self-centered and egotistical. He said Show did what he had to do to feed his family and took the sure thing by signing with Laurinaitis. Show also decided it was time to teach Cena and everyone else a lesson. "And that lesson is Big Show is no longer a businessman, but a seven-foot giant who no one can beat," Cole said. Cole hyped Cena vs. Show in a steel cage at No Way Out.

Cena cracked a fat joke in response, saying Show decided he wants a wallet as big as his waistline. Cena said they've all gone through tough times, and Show took the easy way out. He said the one thing Show cannot do is claim everyone turned their back on him. "Interesting, John," Cole said quietly. He then suggested Cena is jealous of Big Show. Perhaps he's jealous that Big Show won his match at WrestleMania and wasn't a punching bag for Brock Lesnar for 20 minutes at Extreme Rules. Now, he's seeing things differently about Cena. He said he doesn't think Cena is interested anymore and is over-rated. Cole said he hopes Big Show takes out Cena so they can all be put out of their collective miseries. He then noted to Cena that he cannot strike an announcer because it's strictly prohibited.

Laurinaitis's music then played to bring out Big Johnny on his motorized scooter with crutch in-hand. On-stage, Laurinaitis went through the routine of introducing himself before noting he is a fair man and will allow Cena to pick his opponent tonight. He then noted Big Show is not here tonight because he has days off written into his contract. Cena tried to face Laurinaitis, but Johnny claimed he retired from singles competition after Over the Limit. But, anyone else is game. Cena recapped that Show is not here and Laurinaitis is too scared. He then had a revelation. Cena paced the ring and decided he will face an opponent who he has wanted to face for years. He said this man is uninteresting, over-rated, and, according to JR, been shoved down their throats for years. He said tonight's opponent is...Michael Cole!

Cena had a big laugh as Cole spoke over Cena's music. "You can't do that!" Cole shouted. Cole told Johnny to do something about it, but Johnny simply motored off, leaving Cole alone in the ring with Cena. "Johnny!" Cole shouted toward the stage. Cena then left the ring and hugged a woman on the front row as Cole continued to rant and rave in the ring. Lawler went for the hyperbole on commentary, saying this may be the best Raw ever. Lawler then plugged Punk vs. Kane tonight, and there must be a winner. They cut backstage to show World Hvt. champion Sheamus walking down the hallway. Lawler said he's also in a re-match from Smackdown against Dolph Ziggler.

Segment Reax: And, it seems like WWE has run out of ideas with a Cena vs. Cole main event, re-matches from Smackdown three days ago, and Vince McMahon returning to Raw next week. Imagine when they go to three hours.

[Q2] [Commercial Break]

Back live, Michael Cole was shown sprinting down the hallway catching up to John Laurinaitis to make a claim that he should not be in the match against Cena tonight. Laurinaitis said there is a rumor going around that everyone's job will be evaluated next week. Cole said the people don't want to see him get beat up by Cena tonight, though. Live in the arena, the crowd cheered. Laurinaitis said it sounds like they do. And, don't call me Johnny. Laurinaitis motored off, leaving Cole flustered having to return to his announce position.

After a Pizza Hut-sponsored replay, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted live in the arena. Vickie came out on-stage to introduce herself, then Michael Cole stomped past her on his way to ringside to resume commentary. Vickie continued that this man is better than everyone else at what he does. Out came Dolph Ziggler sans Jack Swagger. After Ziggler completed his ring intro, World champ Sheamus made his way out for the Smackdown re-match. The announcers plugged Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Title at No Way Out before the bell sounded.

1 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- non-title match

Lawler used the opening minutes of the match to give Cole pointers for his match against Cena later tonight. Sheamus dominated early on before Ziggler pulled down the top rope, causing Sheamus to fall to the floor. Sheamus then yanked Ziggler out of the ring to the floor. The two men traded control on the outside before coming to a standstill. Vickie screamed in Sheamus's face, allowing Ziggler to catch Sheamus by surprise with a running dropkick. They cut to break with Ziggler in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Ziggler was wearing down Sheamus in the ring. Ziggler fought off a comeback attempt before continuing to target Sheamus's left arm and shoulder. Sheamus then went for a Polish Hammer that missed Ziggler, who sold it too early. Sheamus followed with a powerslam for a two count. Ziggler came back with a Fameasser and both men sold on the mat. Ziggler then came to his feet and climbed up top, but Sheamus cut him off. The two men traded control before Ziggler landed a second-rope Fameasser for a two count.

[Q3] The two men reset at 8:30 with Sheamus blocking a sleeperhold attempt and nailing White Noise. Sheamus then set himself up in the corner and delivered the Brogue Kick square in the face. Sheamus with the cover for the win. After the decision, Vickie leaned on the apron and sold frustration over another loss for one of her clients.

Post-match: Sheamus made his way to the top of the ring entrance before Del Rio suddenly sneak-attacked Sheamus. Sheamus fought back, then Ricardo Rodriguez helped tackle Sheamus and allow Del Rio to inflict more punishment. Del Rio then stomped Sheamus off the ring entrance stage and slapped on the cross arm-breaker as Sheamus dangled off the edge of the platform. Del Rio eventually released the hold and Sheamus collapsed to the floor below the stage.

WINNER: Sheamus at 9:08. Good showcase for Ziggler to keep him in the mix with top players while WWE figures out where to slot him long-term. Also, a nice win for Sheamus before Del Rio delivered a much-needed attack to look like a credible threat to the World Title. (**)

[Commercial Break]

Back live, John Laurinaitis was shown backstage asking a man where his coffee is. David Otunga then walked into the shot and noted that Mr. McMahon is returning to Raw next week. Johnny said that's a good thing, but Otunga said perhaps not because he will give Johnny a performance evaluation. The camera stayed on Laurinaitis staring off into space.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked about McMahon returning next week. Cole said he gets it now - Johnny is trying to do a good job tonight by putting him in a match against Cena to make a good impression before McMahon returns next week.

In-ring: Sin Cara's music played to bring out Sin Cara in his new red outfit. Sin Cara stormed the ring and slid through the ropes sans trampoline before posing in the ring. Hunico then came out with Camacho to face Sin Cara.

2 -- SIN CARA vs. HUNICO (w/Camacho)

Once the bell sounded, the mood lighting turned on as Cole recapped the history of Sin Cara vs. Fake Sin Cara (Hunico) going back to Smackdown last year. Sin Cara executed some high-flying offense to wow the crowd before Hunico took control after some action on the outside. Cara then came back with a dropkick off the ring apron before executing a springboard huracanrana. An armdrag followed, then a handspring back elbow smash. Sin Cara cleared Camacho off the ring apron before executing his spinning bottle-opener into a faceplant for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Sin Cara at 2:32. It just looked like a bunch of moves strung together at times. The crowd popped for a few moves, but there wasn't a sense that Cara is on his way to being a big player when WWE is desperate for top stars.

[Q4] Up Next: Ryback debuts on Raw. Did WWE just decide to replay Smackdown tonight?

[Commercial Break]

The old 1990s Raw theme music played back from break to introduce a Raw #1,000 flashback. John Cena talked in a sit-down interview about debuting on Raw in St. Louis after Chris Jericho introduced him. Cena said the crowd was amazing when he debuted. Jim Ross's voice was heard describing the moment.

Back live, two jobbers from Illinois were in the ring. Justin Roberts identified them as Stan Stansky and Arthur Rosenberg. Stan & Arthur took the mic before the match and tried to cut a promo together. The promo turned into a poem vowing to make Ryback understand that two is greater than one. Ryback then came out doing his marching poses before marching to the ring to devour some

3 -- RYBACK vs. STAN STANSKY & ARTHUR ROSENBERG -- handicap match

Ryback started with some power offense before knocking them into each other like bowling pins. Ryback followed with a jackhammer, prompting light Goldberg chants. Cole called this embarrassing. Ryback followed with a big corner splash into a double clothesline. He said it's over. Ryback scooped up Rosenberg, then Stansky to deliver a double marching Samoan Drop for the pin and the win. WWE replayed the high points as Ryback watched in the ring. Back in the ring, Ryback demanded to be fed more.

WINNER: Ryback at 1:55.

Up Next: Punk vs. Kane where there must be a winner.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: What does Del Rio have in store for Sheamus? Find out Friday night.

Back live, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk. As Punk made his way to the ring, Cole quickly said he needs to make a phone call to handle some business. Lawler then plugged Punk vs. Kane vs. Bryan for No Way Out as Cole talked on the phone in the background. They cut to a shot of Cole on the phone with Laurinaitis, who hung up on him.

[Q5 -- second hour] Daniel Bryan's music played to bring out Bryan for a closer look at the top-of-the-second-hour main event. Bryan grabbed a mic ringside, stood on the announce table, and said before this match starts, they need a little Q&A with Daniel Bryan. Has A.J. gone completely delusional since he dumped her? Yes! Will Kane destroy Punk tonight? Yes! Will he become new WWE champion at No Way Out? Yes! Yes! Yes! Pyro. Kane made his way to the ring as Bryan sat down ringside to watch the Punk vs. Kane match.

4 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. KANE -- non-title match -- there must be a winner

Kane took control of the action and Punk sold repeated offense from Kane. Punk then knocked Kane to the outside and delivered a suicide dive. They cut to a shot of Bryan watching intently. Punk followed with a splash from the top rope to the outside. Back in the ring, Punk landed a top-rope cross-body, but Kane kicked out of a pin attempt and took control moments later. Coincidentally during a Punk match, WWE flashed a graphic for this week's international Raw tour after Punk talked about having been home for a total of 48 hours the last month in interviews over the weekend. Meanwhile, Cole and Lawler announced that Vince McMahon will kick off next week's three-hour Raw. Kane tossed Punk clear over the top rope to the outside, which led to a break five minutes in.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole was trying to convince Daniel Bryan to help him as Punk tried to make a comeback on Kane in the ring. A graphic flashed on the screen showing McMahon and Laurinaitis on Raw next week as Kane continued to work over Punk. Kane then went up top, and Punk dropped him with a running knee to the chin. Punk followed with another corner knee into a bulldog for a two count. Punk then went to the ring apron for a springboard clothesline that resulted in a two count.

Punk called for the end and tried the GTS, but Kane slipped out and dropped him with a big boot to the face. Kane then wanted the chokeslam, but Punk ducked underneath and nailed a neckbreaker for a two count only. The match moved up top and Punk knocked Kane to the mat before setting up for and connecting with a Macho Man elbow drop for another nearfall. Ringside, Bryan stroked his beard and slowly nodded his head, enjoying watching the two men tear each other apart.

The match moved back to the outside, where Punk landed forearm strikes. Kane then flung Punk into the barricade right next to Bryan. Punk slowly came back to his feet, then Bryan assaulted Punk from behind as the ref controlled Kane in the ring. Kane flung Punk back into the ring, where he went for the chokeslam, but Punk countered with a big kick to the head. Suddenly, A.J. came running down to ringside pointing to Bryan as causing interference. Bryan demanded A.J. get down. Suddenly, Punk came flying through the ropes with a suicide dive to Bryan.

[Q6] Punk returned to the ring, but walked right into a chokeslam from Kane. Kane made the cover and it was good for the win. Cole noted if Kane does that in two weeks at No Way Out, he will be new WWE champion.

Post-match: Kane stalked A.J., who tried to hide in the corner. Bryan then assaulted Kane from behind, but Kane easily discarded him to the outside. Kane stalked A.J. again, then A.J. flashed her babyface smile to Kane, who cocked his head and left the ring. A.J. sold perplexion, then went back to checking on Punk. Ringside, Bryan acted quizzical about the whole thing, trying to process A.J. apparently able to speak crazy getting Kane to back down.

WINNER: Kane at 13:40. Solid TV match with some good nearfalls and decent story advancement ahead of the three-way title match. (**1/2)

[Commercial Break]

Back live, A.J. was shown walking down the hallway. Josh Mathews asked A.J. to explain "the look" exchanged between her and Kane in the ring. Mathews noted A.J. was petrified with fear, then flashed a big smile to Kane. She said she likes when men look at her, then demanded Josh look at her. She asked him if he's uncomfortable, then stroked his tie. A.J. pulled him in close and asked if he likes aggressive women because she does. A.J. patted Josh on the head and said he may be her type. Josh quickly removed himself from the situation, then A.J. batted her eyes again.

Earlier Tonight: John Cena booked himself against Michael Cole tonight. They cut to the announcers ringside, where Cole offered a "heartfelt plea" to his supporters and detractors to please use social media to tell Laurinaitis not to let the match happen. Cole then got excited again plugging Cena vs. Big Show in a steel cage at No Way Out in two weeks.

Sit-down video: Big Show said he doesn't care about being liked, which he called empty garbage. Show said his legacy up until now has been a fool and some big, smiling freak. Show said he's tired of being fat and fed up. He said he saw a chance to make a deal, and he took it. So, he can finally go out and do what he wants to. Video clips showed the various dumb things Show has done during his career before showing Show destroy folks over the last week. "I'm not an entertainer, I'm a giant!" he said. WWE really is going all-out using the Brock Lesnar hype on Show.

In-ring: WWE tag champs Kofi Kingston & R-Truth, apparently healthy following Big Show's attack last week, came out for a tag match. Cole said they were victimized by Show last week. Cole then said he expects Laurinaitis to ride in on his white horse and save him before the main event tonight. So, Cole is "Cotton Top" Mounts and Laurinaitis is Kevin Costner from Hatfield & McCoys? Lawler said tag action is next.

[Q7] [Commercial Break]

5 -- WWE tag champions KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH vs. CURT HAWKINS & TYLER REKS -- non-title match

The match was joined in-progress with Kofi sporting taped ribs and Truth sporting a taped-up shoulder from Big Show's attack last week. Reks wildly over-sold for Truth's offense before Hawkins attacked Truth from behind to allow the heels to take control of the match. Kofi and Curt then took tags, and Kofi delivered trademark offense while selling the ribs. The action broke down as Cole freaked out being told his match against Cena is next. Kofi then smashed Hawkins with Trouble in Paradise for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Kofi & Truth at 3:59 of what was shown.

Backstage: John Cena was shown making his way down the hallway. He stopped to ask some folks at a table something, then WWE cut to a shot of Cole selling concern over his match being next.

[Commercial Break]

Raw #1,000 Flashback: Triple H said the most memorable Raw moment for him was returning from his 2001 quad injury in 2002. Hunter described letting his music hit and never being more amped up than for that moment in front of a sold-out MSG crowd.

Back live, John Cena's music played for the second time tonight. Cena slowly made his way out, declaring that it's time. Cole was still ringside selling concern, and Lawler noted Cole didn't leave to put on his orange singlet. Cole said that singlet's in the Hall of Fame and there's no way they're going through with this.

[Q8] Laurinaitis's music then played to bring out Big Johnny. Cole pleaded from ringside and Johnny said he's been thinking about this that everyone wants to see Cena vs. Cole. He said he always over-delivers, too. So, this match will happen tonight as a No DQ match...provided Cena is victorious against this man. Cue up Tensai's music. Cole danced ringside before Tensai emerged, shoved away Sakamato, and made his way to the ring. Lawler said this is not over-delivering, while Cole talked up Big Johnny.

6 -- JOHN CENA vs. TENSAI (w/Sakamoto)

Tensai dismantled Cena early on as Cole stood up at the announce table and cheered on Tensai. Cena then made a comeback with a big clothesline taking Tensai over the top rope to the floor. Cena tried to inflict offense ringside, but Sakamoto attacked Cena from behind. Cena sold ringside as they cut to break with Cole shouting that Cena is going down tonight.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole was still cheerleading Tensai, who continued to work over Cena. Tensai missed with a corner attack, but came back with a single arm DDT as Cole stood up ringside pacing back and forth in his stance. Cole, obviously biased, said he thinks Cena should just lose so he can worry about Big Show at No Way Out.

The action moved to ringside, where Tensai bounced Cena's head off the announce table. Cole then slapped Cena, prompting Lawler to stand up and shove Cole down into his seat. Cena tried to re-enter the ring, but Tensai knocked him down to the floor again. Cole demanded Tensai take out Cena, then Cole trash-talked Cena as he sold on the floor.

Cena made it back into the ring before a ten count, then Tensai executed a suplex for a two count. Cole shouted at the ref to count faster, then Tensai went for a big running splash, but Cena moved. Cena then made his standard comeback as Cole sat with head in his hand. Cena delivered the Shuffle, then wanted the AA, and connected. Cena with the cover for the win as Cole sat dejected in his chair.

WINNER: Cena at 9:04.

Post-match: Cena posed in the ring as Cole continued to lean back in his chair looking toward the ceiling contemplating how he arrived at this position. Ref Charles Robinson reminded Cena that he has one more match tonight as Cole begged and pleaded. Robinson then called for the bell and Cole slowly removed his headsets to approach the ring.

7 -- JOHN CENA vs. MICHAEL COLE -- No DQ match

Cole made a beeline for the guardrail and ran into the crowd, but Cena retrieved him on the floor and gave him a noogie. Cena dumped Cole over the guardrail to the floor, then Cole tried to run away again, but Cena chased him down and threw Cole into the ring. Cole grabbed a mic during this and tried to beg for mercy in the ring. Cole noted they go way back and have been great friends. He offered to shake hands...like true friends. Cole then removed his jacket and asked Cena if he thinks this is funny. "You all think this is funny?!" Cole shouted toward the crowd. Cole removed his tie as Cena laughed. He said if Cena thought it was embarrassing when Laurinaitis beat him at Over the Limit, it will be even more embarrassing when he beats Cena.

[Q9 -- over-run] Cole asked Cena if he really wants to face a man who is undefeated at WrestleMania. Cole then placed his finger on Cena's chest and told him not to forget who he is. Cena then told Cole they're going to remember him as the guy who got his ass kicked tonight. Cena ripped apart Cole's dress shirt and slapped him across the chest, then ripped off Cole's pants revealing boxer shorts. Cena followed with a kick to the groin area that quieted the crowd. Cena then did Big Show's gimmick asking for silence before ripping off a chop to the chest. He followed with another one to the back.

Cena noted Cole's victory at Mania was a joke because Lawler whipped him. Cole apologized to Jerry and said he's so sorry. Cena called it a great start. But, there's one more man who deserves an apology, Jim Ross. Cena told Cole to give him a heartfelt apology. Cole said Jim Ross is his mentor, idol, and the man he looks up to. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he said. Cena said there's one more thing. He said he loves JR's BBQ sauce, then demanded Cole put over the sauce. "It's slobberknocker good," Cole said. Lawler then noted he always keeps a little JR's BBQ sauce ringside. Lawler pulled out the sauce and tossed it to Cena, who poured sauce all over Cole's upper body and crotchal region. Lawler said he's sorry because he gave Cena the hot version. Cena then pulled out a fire extinguisher and sprayed Cole over and over.

Cena, content with events here, stalked Cole for the AA, but Tensai suddenly hit the ring and dropped Cena with a spinebuster center-ring. Cole then realized what happened and tried to scramble on top of Cena for a cover, but Cena kicked out just before three. Cole threw a fit, then slapped around Cena before grabbing the extinguisher. Cena easily ducked, though, and dropped Cole center-ring with an AA. Cena made the cover for the win as a McMahon & Laurinaitis graphic flashed on the screen plugging next week's three-hour Raw.

Post-match: Lawler described it as a huge victory for Cena. Cena then pulled out the extinguisher and sprayed the arena as Lawler plugged Vince McMahon returning next week on Raw. They replayed Cole's humiliation before going to a live shot of Cole crawling around ringside. Cena cut off Cole as the trademarks were shown on the screen. Lawler signed off as Cena sprayed Cole one more time to close the show.

WINNER: Cena at 9:05. The live crowd ate up this virtual replay of Cena vs. Laurinaitis at Over the Limit, just with Cena scoring the pin after horsing around for most of the match. Also of note, Cole being over-the-top this week and the heavy emphasis on Jim Ross seemed like a set-up for Vince McMahon to change things up next week. But, it could also be a red herring, or simply a self-contained storyline for Cole to get his comeuppance and make Raw viewers "feel good" at the end of the show after the poor ratings last week.

Next Monday: The Boss is back. WWE gave the hard plug for McMahon's Raw return for next week's three-hour Raw, where his first order of business will be giving John Laurinaitis a performance evaluation. WWE signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: WWE has to figure out their target demo. This felt like an attempt to find the lost younger audience using comical, emasculated, non-wrestler heels as lead characters, but in the process, seemed to further push away the older demographic that was into Punk as the centerpiece star and/or Brock Lesnar as centerpiece heel.

***

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