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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/2: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw #996 - Cena & Punk vs. Bryan & Jericho

Jul 2, 2012 - 10:08:56 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
July 2, 2012 - Episode #996
Season 20, Episode 27
Live in Laredo, Texas
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_49.jpg


On the USA Network lead-in, the announcers plugged Teddy Long as Raw GM before WWE names a permanent GM on the Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes in three weeks. They also plugged John Cena & WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho & Daniel Bryan in the main event.

At the top of the hour, Raw started with a video package focusing on the new feud between John Cena and Chris Jericho, which included last week's TV main event that was interrupted by Big Show. They showed Big Show destroying Cena to close the show. Jerry Lawler wondering aloud if Big Show is unstoppable ended the video leading into the Raw intro.

Live inside the arena, Michael Cole introduced the show as the crowd came to life and noted they are in Laredo tonight. Lawler noted Teddy Long is GM tonight and has already made the main event of Cena & Punk vs. Jericho & Bryan. The announcers then focused on a MITB briefcase hanging above the ring tonight, which will come into play tonight. John Cena's music then played to bring out WWE's top star as Cole randomly apologized for a technical difficulty during the opening. As Cena hit the ring, Cole plugged Cena, Kane, Jericho, and Big Show in Raw's MITB ladder match in two weeks.

In the ring, Cena noted they have an excited bunch tonight. Cena thanked Jericho for what he said last week that he doesn't know what it's like to be in a MITB match. He said last week was his crash course education when Show put him out. It reminded him that there are no friends, only enemies in MITB. Cena paused for crowd cheers before noting he needs to be ready for all sorts of giants, body parts flying around, and band leaders. He vowed to win the MITB match, cash in the contract, and become new WWE champion.

Suddenly, "Yes!" was heard throughout the arena. Out came Daniel Bryan Yes!'ing all the way down the entrance ramp toward the ring. The general audience replied with "No!" as Bryan made his way to the ring. Bryan ignored Cena's opening jab, noted his matters do not concern Cena, and vowed to beat C.M. Punk to become new WWE champion at the PPV. Loud mix of "Yes!" and "No!" chants from the crowd. Bryan said that if - if - Cena wins MITB, then Cena will become the first person to ever cash in MITB and lose. Cena called those strongs words and noted he can think of one person who disagrees.

Out came WWE champion C.M. Punk sans music. It took a second for the crowd to recognize Punk without the music. Punk then played Q&A with Cena, Lawler, the popcorn guy, and every side of the crowd on whether they disagree with Bryan, who shouted at Punk to stop it. He said he is begging someone to have one original thought and not just steal his catchphrase. Punk laughed and asked Bryan if he really wants an original thought. He noted A.J. is the special ref for their match at MITB and she is going to count Bryan's shoulders to the mat 1, 2, 3.

As for Cena, Punk said it looks like it will come down to the two of them once again. And, cue up Chris Jericho for another overly-rehearsed interruption. Jericho sauntered to the ring noting Punk doesn't have an original thought. He told Bryan that he shouldn't complain about people stealing his catchphrases, directing a comment toward Punk. Punk shot back that's okay, Bon Jovi. Jericho then told Bryan to get some new catchphrases, Bryan interrupted, but Jericho cut him off and old-school told him to shut...the hell up. He welcomed everyone to Raw...is...Jericho. He noted no one in this ring will ever ... evvvvvvvvvver ... be the same a-gain. Jericho exited old-school mode and told Bryan he just needs to a few extra arrows in his quiver. Jericho then demanded someone come to the ring and tell him otherwise that he's not winning MITB.

Cue up another overly-rehearsed interruption for Kane's pyro to blast off and bring out Kane. "Otherwise," Kane told Jericho. Big Show's music then played to bring out another big-man for the MITB match. All six men in the WWE Title picture were prepared to meet up, but Bryan jumped Cena from behind. Chaos ensued with bodies flying everywhere before Show hit the ring and battled Cena. Show and Kane battled before Show clotheslined Kane to the mat. Show was the last man standing, then his music played and he slowly left to the back. Where's Teddy Long to come out and book a match to settle the chaos?

[Q2] [Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked on-camera about Charlie Sheen playing the Social Media Ambassador for the Raw recognizing 1,000 episodes on July 23. Suddenly, Prime Time Players's music played for an eight-man tag match. Out came Titus O'Neil and Darren Young with AW, then David Otunga and Cody Rhodes randomly followed behind them. So, WWE has established Rhodes is below the PTPs and even with Otunga. Kofi Kingston's music then played to bring out the undercard champs brigade of Kofi, a returning R-Truth, U.S. champ Santino, and IC champ Christian. It's unfathomable that four champions and three separate titles are represented on one team and exactly zero hype went into the match. So inefficient while continuing to define down the value of titles.

1 -- IC champion CHRISTIAN & U.S. champion SANTINO & WWE tag champions KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH vs. DAVID OTUNGA & CODY RHODES & PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O'NEIL & DARREN YOUNG w/AW)

After a minute-and-a-half of basic action, the two teams had a stand-off ringside as Kofi sold on the mat. They cut to break.

[Commercial Break. Cue up the Katy Perry Pepsi commercial onslaught Week 2.]

Back live, Rhodes was stretching Kofi in the ring. Rhodes then tagged in Titus as the announcers listened in on AW's running commentary. Titus seemed a bit lost trying to follow up on the attack while trying to keep Kofi away from his corner. Santino then tagged in, as did Otunga. The action broke down moments later with bodies flying everywhere. AW suddenly decided to take his men away from the match during the chaos. Back in the ring, Otunga gained control of the match, but Rhodes walked off, leaving Otunga by himself. Suddenly, Brodus Clay's music played. Otunga tried to run away from Santino's Cobra, but Clay threw Otunga back into the ring, where Santino landed the Cobra for the pin and the win.

[Q3] Post-match: All of the faces circled Otunga, who took a Killswitch from Christian. Clay then measured Santino for a giant splash to the chest. Cue up Brodus's music and some dancing, which brought the faces and random people from the crowd into the ring. The random people being several nine-year-olds that Cena said last week is the majority of the audience.

WINNERS: Team Santino at 8:27. Way too much added to the soup, like in the opening segment. People leaving the ring, music playing during a match, post-match dancing reinforcing Cena's irresponsible comment last week, etc. And, the poor heels rendered ineffective as usual.

Backstage: Alberto Del Rio interrupted Teddy Long dancing to Brodus's celebration. Del Rio complained about being over-looked for his title opportunities. Long said he doesn't think Del Rio has been over-looked for anything, but the Board of Directors has informed him that Del Rio will face Sheamus for the World Title at MITB. But, that was their decision. He has a different idea. Long told Del Rio that he has a match next in the Teddy Long Surprise #1 contender match.

[Commercial Break. Katy Perry onslaught continues.]

Raw 1,000 Flashback: January 1999 when Vince and Shane McMahon trained for the Royal Rumble. Stephanie McMahon talked on-camera in a soundbyte about how hilarious she thought it was watching Shane train Vince.

Announcers: Cole tried to get serious thanking the audience for making Raw the longest-running, episodic show in TV history. Lawler then plugged Raw moving to three hours on July 23.

In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez stood by to introduce Alberto Del Rio for the Teddy Long special. Cole noted it's nearly a hometown advantage for Del Rio being ten hours away from Mexico City. After Del Rio's music stopped, the crowd chanted a classic curse phrase in Spanish, drawing Del Rio's ire. Sin Cara's music then played to bring out Teddy's surprise. Del Rio jumped Cara before he could even hit the ring. This not being TNA, the bell did not sound to begin the match. Del Rio continued the assault on Cara, then dragged Cara to ringside and slapped on a cross arm-breaker. Del Rio posed and the crowd cussed at Del Rio again. They faded to the back without a match.

Backstage: A.J. was shown taping her wrists like C.M. Punk. Daniel Bryan then approached A.J. with a rose to apologize for messing things up and blaming her. A.J. said that's so sweet. "Yeah, yeah it is," Bryan said, complementing himself. A.J. thought things over and said it must not have anything to do with her being special ref for the WWE Title match against Punk. A.J. got in Bryan's face and said it was never about her, but always about him. A.J. vowed to win her match tonight, then jump into the arms of the man the audience sees as her soulmate. A.J. snapped the rose in Bryan's face, then walked off.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler set up the Brock Lesnar-Triple H developments tonight. WWE showed Paul Heyman being mic'ed up "live via satellite" prior to the official response from Brock Lesnar.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break. Three consecutive breaks with a Katy Perry spot.]

Smackdown plug: Great American Bash live tomorrow night. They promoted a 20-man Battle Royal starring all of the big names on the roster. And, the winner will become GM of Smackdown next week.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler fed to a video package on the Triple H-Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman developments over the past few weeks. Back live, Lawler noted Hunter wants to fight Brock Lesnar in the ring, not in court. Cole then brought in Heyman, who said he is proud to announce that Brock Lesnar has made a decision on Hunter's Summerslam Challenge, which he will deliver in Hunter's face on the 1,000th Raw. Heyman then very quietly noted there's something bigger going on here beyond the lawsuits and legal wrangling. He said the match at Summerslam is Hunter's exit strategy because if Lesnar accepts the challenge, Lesnar will end Hunter's in-ring career. Heyman said Hunter can then go on to become WWE's top corporate citizen after falling on his sword and going out in a blaze of glory against Lesnar. Heyman said it won't be a match at Summerslam, but a mercy killing. Heyman smiled and laughed to himself to end the segment.

Back live, Cole ignored Heyman's segment and said he has breaking news of Big Show vs. Kane in a No DQ match tonight. Plus, Teddy Long has booked World Hvt. champ Sheamus & A.J. vs. Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero.

[Commercial Break. More Katy Perry and Pespi.]

Back live, Vickie Guerrero excused herself onto the air. Vickie told the crowd to put their hands together for the most captivating, irresistible, and grand Diva ever...herself. Vickie announced herself as "Queen Diva" Vickie Guerrero. After coming out on-stage, Vickie introduced Dolph Ziggler and the duo marched to the ring for the top-of-the-second-hour main event. A.J. then bounced out to the ring as Cole described her as unbalanced. Before Sheamus came out, WWE cut to a video replay from Smackdown when A.J. was named special ref for Punk vs. Bryan for the WWE Title at MITB.

[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, Sheamus's music played to bring out the World champ as Cole reset the show. Before the bell sounded, Cole confirmed Sheamus vs. Del Rio for the World Title at MITB. So, Del Rio still gets the title shot despite ruining Teddy's Surprise Match? They need to do a better job defining the powers possessed by the authority figures, but that would require WWE actually paying attention to their own booking.

2 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS & A.J. vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & VICKIE GUERRERO

Sheamus and Ziggler started things off, with Sheamus dominating as Vickie screamed from the heel corner. Ziggler then kicked Sheamus at the legs to cut him off and land a DDT for a nearfall. Sheamus suddenly blasted Ziggler in the face with a forearm out of the corner before landing White Noise for a nearfall. Sheamus wanted to follow with the Brogue Kick, but Ziggler bailed to his corner to tag in Vickie, who asked Ziggler, "Are you kidding me?" Sheamus blasted Ziggler with a Brogue Kick anyways as Vickie entered the ring. A.J. followed into the ring and smashed Vickie with a Shining Wizard. A.J. with the cover for the win.

WINNERS: A.J. & Sheamus at 3:26.

Post-match: A.J. grabbed the mic from Justin Roberts and squeaked, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" up the entrance ramp to the back as her music played. They cut to Sheamus celebrating ringside, then cut backstage to show A.J. looking for C.M. Punk. Punk was on the phone, prompting A.J. to get upset when Punk wouldn't hang up. A.J. was all-smiles when he hung up, then got dejected when Punk told her he didn't see her match because he was on the phone with his sister for 15 minutes. Punk said he didn't even know she had a match. A.J., sad, walked off after asking rhetorically if he wasn't paying attention to her. Punk then did some random hand motions with his phone, which led to commercial.

[Commercial Break. And, we're back with Katy Perry.]

Back live, Heath Slater was in the ring with mic in-hand. Cole said Slater has had an interesting few weeks, which led to a video package recapping Slater getting destroyed by various returning stars, complete with Three Stooges sound effects. In the ring, Slater said that video is not funny. He said he is the one-man band, baby. Slater said he is not a clown. Oh no, Doink? Cue it up. Out came Doink slapping hands around the ring as Cole recapped Lawler's mid-1990s feud with Doink. Not much reaction for Doink since the nine-year-old audience wasn't alive when he was around.

3 -- HEATH SLATER vs. DOINK THE CLOWN

Doink, still wearing his blue jacket, grabbed a headlock and worked the arm before Slater landed a kick to the face. Doink came back with corner shoulders as Cole and Lawler went back through Doink's mid-1990s career. Suddenly, Slater hit a neckbreaker for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Slater at 1:24.

[Q6] Post-match: Diamond Dallas Page's music played to bring out DDP to confront Slater. Cole recapped DDP's resume and noted he's a yoga instructor now. The vocal males chanted, "D-D-P" as Slater mocked Page's Diamond Cutter signal. Page said that was good, but then yanked him back into his arms to deliver the Cutter center ring. Page bang'ed the crowd before leaving the ring to slap hands with the ringside crowd. As Page exited, Cole noted he can't concentrate on the show because the "camp classic" No Holds Barred is out on DVD tomorrow. Cole fed to a trailer on the movie, focusing on Hulk Hogan.

Back live, WWE showed Andre shots of Kane and Big Show in a split-screen as they walked down the hallway for a collision next.

[Commercial Break. Yes, another Katy Perry Pepsi commercial.]

Back live, Cole fed to this week's John Cena charity work video showing Cena and Alicia Fox at Walter Reed supporting the troops.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Raw brand MITB ladder match at the PPV, with Cena, Show, Kane, and Jericho the first four confirmed. ... Kane's music then blasted in the arena to bring out Kane for a No DQ collision with Big Show. Show was out next.

4 -- KANE vs. BIG SHOW -- No DQ match

Show landed a headbutt sending Kane to the outside. Kane tried to climb back on the ring apron, but Show shoulder-blocked him to the floor. Meanwhile, Cole plugged Show and Kane involved in the 20-man battle royal on Smackdown tomorrow night. Show then tried a big boot against the barricade, but Kane ducked and Show ate the rail. Show came back with a thrust kick before tossing Kane back inside the ring. Show then retrieved a chair and slowly re-entered the ring, where Kane met him with an uppercut. Kane came back with a DDT for a nearfall.

Leading to the finish, the two big men quieted the crowd with a spot that featured Show colliding with a chair as Kane held it out; it wasn't clear who took the brunt of the blow. Show then stood up, sold a shoulder injury, and delivered a chokeslam for the pin and the win. Show left the ring and tried to shake off the pain as Cole repeated the line about Show seemingly unstoppable heading into MITB.

WINNER: Show at 3:47.

[Q7] Backstage: Teddy Long approached a returning Eve in the hallway. Eve tried to kiss up to Long, who said he has something for the people to remember Eve. Long pulled out a giant nametag and placed it on Eve, who ripped up the nametag and continued walking down the hallway before finding A.J. crying in the corner. Eve mocked A.J. for trying to borrow from her, then told A.J. to stop trying to act like a grown-up and go sit in the corner. Eve tried to leave, but A.J. said they both like to play mind games. A.J. said John Laurinaitis is gone, so she doesn't have anyone to brown-nose anymore. A.J. noted Eve will do anything to get attention, then told Eve she'll show her and everyone what she's willing to do to get attention. Eve just shook her head as A.J. walked off.

[Commercial Break. More Katy Perry.]

Raw 1,000 Flashback: April 27, 1998 when DX invaded WCW. Alberto Del Rio talked about this item in a sit-down interview, noting this is the time when they started watching WWE in Mexico.

In-ring: Tyson Kidd was in the ring for the next match. Cole noted Kidd, Christian, Santino, Tensai, and Damien Sandow have already qualified for Smackdown's MITB ladder match. Tensai's music then played to bring out Tensai, who did not shove aside Sakamoto on the way to the ring. Cole noted there will be more qualifying matches tomorrow night on Smackdown.

5 -- TENSAI vs. TYSON KIDD

Tensai landed big headbutts in the corner before running into an empty corner turnbuckle when Kidd moved out of the way. Kidd suddenly rolled up Tensai from behind for a three count. Not quite Sheamus-Bryan at Mania, going 19 seconds. Post-match: Tensai destroyed Sakamoto to boos. After knocking Sakamoto to the floor, Tensai tried to rip open Sakamoto's face. They replayed the quick pin for Kidd before returning live to show Tensai seething as he stood ringside.

WINNER: Kidd at 0:19.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan walked up to Chris Jericho to compare jackets. Bryan told Jericho he better not wear his stupid jacket. Jericho mocked Bryan's maroon jacket before noting he needs to cut his beard. Jericho then accidentally set up Bryan to answer, "Yes!" which led to Bryan shouting "Yes!" over and over with Jericho interjecting "evvvvver again" during the pauses.

Backstage: WWE champ C.M. Punk told John Cena to listen to him and follow his lead. Cena laughed, then non-confrontationally said sure thing and slapped Punk on the shoulder before leaving.

Smackdown plug: 20-man battle royal, with the winner getting the Interim GM role for next week's Smackdown.

[Commercial Break. And, yes, Katy Perry returns.]

Backstage: Josh Mathews caught up with Tyson Kidd to get his thoughts on being on a roll as of late. Kidd gave away a sneak-attack by looking over his shoulder before noting he feels on top of the world right now. Suddenly, Tensai attacked Kidd and blasted him into lockers. Kidd sold on the floor before they cut back to the arena.

[Q8] Chris Jericho made his entrance for the TV main event as the announcers noted Jericho's


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