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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 12/5: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - #1 contender matches, WWE Network announcement

Dec 5, 2011 - 10:09:52 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
December 5, 2011 - Episode #966
Live in Tampa, Fla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with Michael Cole introducing the show from Tampa. Cole was joined by Jerry Lawler for commentary. To start the show, John Cena's music hit to a typically loud mix of cheers and boos. It was more cheers this week. Cole presented the topic of whether the boos are getting to Cena lately. Once Cena's music stopped, Cena played up the crowd reaction before re-visiting Raw last week when he was on Piper's Pit. Cena said the audience - like Piper last week - tell him exactly how they feel. Cena pandered to the crowd about there not being a show without the fans. He said that each fan has earned the right to tell him how they feel about him. Cena asked for the boos. Cena then asked for the cheers.

Cena continued to present an idea of Raw being unique because you can get a crowd to chant "Fruity Pebbles." Cena said he's been dealing with the same reaction for years, but he's been dealing with that for years. He said the biggest issue for him was the slap last week. Not Piper's slap, but the one, two, three count by the ref when C.M. Punk defeated Del Rio to retain the WWE Title. A loud "C-M-Punk" chant followed. Cena said he respects Punk, and Punk needs a new #1 contender. He said the only thing bigger than Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania is Rock vs. Cena for the WWE Title. And they're back.

Suddenly, Alberto Del Rio interrupted. He said that title match is for him. Cena disagreed. He asked what part of Del Rio losing does he not understand. Del Rio noted the stipulation last week that if Punk got himself DQ'ed last week, he would be new WWE champion. Cena said that didn't happen since Del Rio lost. Del Rio introduced footage from last week when Punk dropped Del Rio onto the exposed turnbuckle. Del Rio claimed Punk cheated...and did it on purpose. So, by now, he should be new WWE champion. The crowd booed that assessment.

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. Vickie, flanked by U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler, marched to the ring. She said neither one of them deserves a WWE Title match because she's standing next to the only Raw Superstar who does deserve a title shot, Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler noted he beat Randy Orton last week on Raw and he is the longest-reigning champion in WWE. He vowed to be the first-ever simultaneous WWE and U.S champion. Cena then mocked Ziggler's long list of gimmicks before shouting out to Cole for force-feeding "show-off" 25 times. Cena then came up with his own nick-name: take out "show" and insert "jerk." That was apparently a PG way of calling him a jerk-off. Ziggler and Cena went back and forth before Cena noted Ziggler has backed down from Zack Ryder's challenge for months. Ziggler and Cena lost steam trading Twitter and "evaluating the product" insults before The Miz's music interrupted.

As Miz walked out, they rolled of Miz taking out R-Truth, then John Morrison, who Cole noted has been released from WWE. Miz referenced The Slammys next week on Raw. He noted he beat Cena at WrestleMania, his title reign was longer than Del Rio's month, and he doesn't need Vickie to get a reaction. Miz declared himself the 2011 Superstar of the Year...and next WWE champion.

[Q2] Suddenly, Laurinaitis interrupted and stood on stage to introduce himself. Laurinaitis said he's been accused of a boring authority figurehead. He said each of them will face a Smackdown wrestler tonight. If that person wins, he will be entered into a WWE Title match at TLC. He noted there will also be a live contract signing tonight. As for Cena, he has a special match tonight. It's a "social experiment." Laurinaitis told Cena to come to his office to find out the match. Laurinaitis told Miz his match is first and he gets this man...Randy Orton's music hit to bring out Orton. Orton slowly walked out to ringside as they replayed Orton's loss to Wade Barrett last week on Raw. They cut to break with Orton approaching the ring.

Segment Reax: Way too many insider references, desperate Twitter pandering, and "evaluations of the product." It's unbearable over a 15-minute period and distracts from the purpose of trying to get people to invest in the product rather than disinvest being reminded it's a scripted show.

[Commercial Break]

1 -- THE MIZ vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title match qualifier for Miz

The bell sounded back from break and the two men circled each other before locking up. Cole plugged Twitter and another link flashed on the screen: youtube.com/user/lookwithin2012 . Miz showed aggression placing Orton on the mat with kicks and stomps before applying a reverse chinlock. Orton broke free with a suplex before landing successive clotheslines. Orton delivered a snap powerslam before setting up Miz for a DDT, but Miz blocked and dumped Orton over the top rope to the floor. Miz tried to follow up on the outside, but Orton delivered a snap powerslam on the floor. The ref was heavily mic'ed here, so you could see what was happening next.

Wade Barrett's music hit and Barrett stood on the stage to glare at Orton. Orton dragged Miz back into the ring, but then decided to chase Barrett up the stage to the back. The ref reached ten and Orton was counted out, giving Miz the win. Post-match: Orton tried to return to the ring to attack Miz, but Barrett re-emerged to jump him from behind. The mind games continue and Miz qualifies for the WWE Title match at TLC.

WINNER: Miz via count-out at 4:29.

Cole and Lawler plugged a WWE Network announcement up next.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] Cole and Lawler reset the show before introducing an "important announcement" on WWE Network. A video package played hyping the Network. "Introducing The First & Only Network featuring Live in-ring action; unexpected, untamed, unpredictable." Plus, travel through time with exclusive classic programming. A Ric Flair clip was featured. Break-through reality shows, too. Legends House is the new reality show featuring WWE Legends living under one roof. It was an MTV-esque video package. They didn't really announce anything new, though.

Backstage: Laurinaitis was texting. Zack Ryder barged in to hype the Network and name-drop some Legend names. Laurinaitis then got around to denying Ryder's U.S. Title petition before Cena barged in sporting Ryder's get-up. Cena did Ryder's gimmick mocking Laurinaitis, who chuckled. Laurinaitis said he wants to put Cena in a match tonight against a very popular WWE wrestler. And, that Superstar happens to be Zack Ryder. Cena didn't appreciate it. Laurinaitis said the Universe wants to see it. The crowd booed live. Laurinaitis told Ryder if he wins, he gets a U.S. Title shot against Ziggler. If Cena wins, he gets the WWE Title shot at TLC. Laurinaitis walked off, leaving a now-serious Cena to contemplate things with Ryder.

Backstage: Otunga was talking to someone off-camera. He said this person would be facing Triple H in a ladder match at TLC. The camera panned left to reveal Kevin Nash, who asked if Hunter is medically cleared. Otunga said Hunter is meeting with doctors this week to see if he's cleared. Otunga added that a sledgehammer will be hanging over the ring that can be used during the course of the match. He then noted Nash will be in the ring tonight. Nash didn't care who his opponent is, as long as it's not Hunter.

In-ring: Back to the ring, Alberto Del Rio came out for his title match qualifier.

[Commercial Break]

2 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- WWE Title match qualifier for Del Rio

Daniel Bryan emerged back from break, sporting taped ribs. They replayed the Henry-Bryan steel cage match on the live Smackdown, where Henry beat Bryan to retain the World Title. Once the bell sounded, Del Rio targeted Bryan's ribs to look for a quick win. Bryan came back with a submission, but Del Rio flung Bryan across the top rope to continue focusing on the ribs. Del Rio then slapped on the cross arm-breaker and Bryan tapped out. Lawler excused Bryan's loss that he was injured from the cage match on Smackdown. A graphic confirmed the three men already set for the title match at TLC.

WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 1:50.

[Q4] Backstage: Kelly Kelly, Eve, and Alicia Fox were shown walking backstage. They're in action next.

Video plug: Tribute to the Troops from Ft. Bragg next Tuesday on USA Network. Celebrity appearances stressed were Maria Menounos, the Muppets, Mary J. Blige, and Nickelback,

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: The babyface trio came to the ring for the next match on the show. As the heel duo of Natalya and Beth Phoenix came out, a video package aired on the Divas of Doom. It was "interrupted" by this week's 1/2/12 mystery video.

3 -- KELLY KELLY & EVE (w/Alicia Fox) vs. Divas champion BETH PHOENIX & NATALYA

After the heels dominated early on, Kelly scored a quick pin on Natalya for the win. The faces celebrated on the outside, leaving the heels frustrated in the ring.

WINNERS: Kelly & Eve at 1:14.

Social Experiment hype: Cole and Lawler clips of Cena vs. Ryder in the new "WWE '12" video game before advertising the match up next.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Mark Henry's World Title is in jeopardy with Big Show on the hunt.

In-ring: Zack Ryder's music hit one minute before the top of the hour. Ryder bounced out to the ring as Cole and Lawler set the stage before Cena's music hit to set up the top-of-the-second-hour main event. The problem with Cena's supposed "dilemma" here is that Cena hasn't cared about the WWE Title in several weeks, wasn't bothered by losing the title over the summer & fall, and, prior to tonight, hasn't stressed the title being part of his match vs. Rock at WM28 in several months. It makes the booking seem very short-sighted.

[Q5 -- second hour]

4 -- JOHN CENA vs. ZACK RYDER -- WWE Title match qualifier for Cena; U.S. Title match qualifier for Ryder

The bell sounded and the two men shook hands before locking up. Ryder scored all of the early offense as the crowd picked up dueling chants of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks." Meanwhile, Cole continued to play up the idea of the crowd reactions getting in Cena's head. Cena tried to make a comeback, but Ryder came back with a neckbreaker for a two count. Ryder followed a missile dropkick from the second rope for a close two count. Next was a Tornado DDT out of the corner for another two count. Ryder tried to finish off Cena with Rough Ryder, but Cena ducked and went through his comeback routine. Loud mix of boos and cheers as Cena set up You Can't See Me and a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena couldn't hit the AA, though, and Ryder followed with the Broski Boot in the corner.

Ryder wanted the Rough Ryder again, but Cena stalled, causing Ryder to lose momentum. Cena then countered the RR into the AA for the pin and the win. They cut to a shot of a disappointed Ryder fan selling shock. Post-match: They showed Dolph Ziggler backstage selling relief over not having to face Ryder. In the ring, Cena tried to help Ryder to his feet, but Ryder shoved him away. Ryder said it was his one shot. Cena, selling inner conflict, told Ryder to hold on one second. Cena left the ring as the announcers plugged the four-way title match thus far. Dolph Ziggler is the last man to have a chance to qualify.

WINNER: Cena at 6:48. Solid, competitive TV match. Ryder stepped up to the moment after being given a spotlight match.

[Commercial Break]

Slammys plug: Back from break, a video aired for next Monday's three-hour Raw. Back in the arena, Cole plugged his accolades as a past Slammys winner. Cole tried to get serious plugging WWE.com voting for the Slammy awards. Cena, Miz, Henry, Punk, Del Rio, and Orton are in the running for Superstar of the Year.

[Q6] Backstage: Otunga was talking to Laurinaitis when Cena barged in. Cena told Otunga to get out...now! He told Laurinaitis if he wants to be a visionary, then give Ryder an opportunity at the U.S. Title. Cena said the kid worked his ass off and pushed him to the limit in the ring. He got in Laurinaitis's face that Ryder deserves another shot. Laurinaitis told him only if Cena gives up his WWE Title shot at TLC. Cena thought it over, said he's a ten-time WWE champion, and said he had to bust his ass like Ryder to get there. He said Laurinaitis and no one in the office gave Ryder a chance, and he's had his own chances, so he's agreeing. The crowd cheered Cena giving up his title shot. Cena shook Laurinaitis's hand, then Laurinaitis said Ryder has to win his match up next to get the title shot. Laurinaitis claimed to not know who Ryder's opponent is.

Kane Vignette: Kane was shown leaning against a wall before shots of various top stars, including The Undertaker, flashed on the screen. Kane was shown putting his mask back on and the camera focused on his glass eye. The red mask dropped on the ground covered in fire before "Kane Resurrected" flashed on the screen.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler, on-camera, bickered about whether Laurinaitis is fair or not fair. They said Ryder's match will apparently be next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back from break, Ryder was in the ring with his music playing. David Otunga was on the apron giving instructions to Raw announcer Justin Roberts. He announced this will be a no count-out, No DQ match. Ryder took it in stride, then waited for his opponent. It wasn't Brodus Clay, rather, Mark Henry. Henry slowly walked out to the ring with the World Title belt over his shoulder. Ryder sold dejection as Henry made his way into the ring still sporting tape over his left ankle.

5 -- ZACK RYDER vs. World Hvt. champion MARK HENRY -- non-title, No DQ match -- U.S. Title match qualifier for Ryder

The bell sounded and Henry clubbed Ryder across the back. Shouldn't Cena came to the ring and help Ryder win since it's No DQ? Or, does he want Ryder to do it on his own? Henry trash-talked to Ryder that he doesn't deserve to be in his ring. Ryder tried kicking Henry in the face to gain an advantage before wrapping the injured ankle around the ringpost. Ryder followed with a Broski Boot, but Henry shoved Ryder away moments later. Cena then came down to ringside, which distracted Henry, but only momentarily. Henry clobbered Ryder, but Cena slipped into the ring, hoisted up Henry, and delivered the AA. Cena dragged Ryder on top of Cena and it was good for the win. Post-match: Lawler said Laurinaitis out-smarted himself. Ryder celebrated the U.S. Title shot before meeting Cena on the ramp. Cena shook Ryder's hand, then Cena held up Ryder's arm. Ryder, fired up, shouted that he finally got his shot.

WINNER: Ryder at 2:21 to earn a U.S. Title shot.

Backstage: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger were waiting for Vickie Guerrero to come out of Laurinaitis's office. No reversal of the Ryder-Henry outcome since it was No DQ. Vickie said she did find out who Ziggler's opponent is...Sheamus. Swagger assured "Zigs" that he'll be ringside, but Ziggler wanted nothing to do with him. Ziggler walked off and Vickie tried to calm down Swagger.

Backstage: Kevin Nash was shown walking down the hallway. He's in a match on Raw for the first time in eight years.

[Q6] [Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera plugging social media tweets. Lawler chuckled at an anti-Cole tweet. The NWO music then played to bring out Nash with sledgehammer in hand. Cole said it's Nash's first Raw TV match since August 2003. Nash bypassed the ring and approached the announce table to ominously place the sledgehammer on the announce desk. Lawler said that was uncomfortable. Santino's music played to bring out Nash's opponent. They showed a clip of Nash giving Santino the Jackknife Powerbomb last month.

6 -- KEVIN NASH vs. SANTINO

Santino tried doing some stretching to prepare for Nash, but Nash dropped him with a knee to the gut. A sidewalk slam resulted in a two count. In the "trending now" box, Brodus Clay and Masked Kane were listed. Nash then dropped the straps and delivered a Jackknife that was good for a decisive victory. Post-match: Nash slowly approached the sledgehammer, grabbed it, and re-entered the ring to finish off Santino. Santino tried to crawl away, then Nash teased a sledgehammer shot, but pulled away. Nash raised his arms in victory before leaving the ring.

WINNER: Nash at 1:05. Basic booking to show that Nash is a capable wrestler and to place Triple H in jeopardy.

Backstage: C.M. Punk was shown talking to a returning Evan Bourne. They did some hand motions to create a conversation as Cole talked over their backstage spot.

[Commercial Break]

Tribute plug: Cole announced the Tribute to the Troops special next Tuesday on USA Network.

In-ring: U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler came out with Vickie Guerrero for his TLC title match qualifier. Sheamus was out next to a strong reaction to face Ziggler in another top-flight singles match for Ziggler.

[Q8]

7 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SHEAMUS -- non-title match -- WWE Title match qualifier for Ziggler

Ziggler did some "show-off" moves, bragged about it, and Sheamus cut him off with a big forearm to the face. Sheamus then slapped Ziggler across the face and brutalized him with repeated forearms to the chest. Ziggler came back with a forearm into a neckbreaker for a two count. Ziggler followed up with a guillotine leg drop for another nearfall. Sheamus then came back with multiple Polish hammer blows to the chest followed by repeated headbutts in the corner. A short-arm clothesline led to a Celtic Cross attempt, but Ziggler slipped out and caused Sheamus to eat the ringpost.

Suddenly, Zack Ryder's music played and Ryder stormed the ringside area. He teased entering the ring, but stopped short at the ring apron. It was enough of a distraction for Ziggler, who turned around and ate a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Sheamus with the pin for the win. Post-match: They replayed high points of the match before returning live to show Ryder storm the ring and drop Ziggler with the Rough Ryder. Vickie screamed as Ryder pump-fisted with the crowd. Ryder, showing strong intensity, held up the belt in Ziggler's face before leaving the ring. He vowed to fist pump Ziggler's face.

WINNER: Sheamus at 4:59. Strong match-up. It felt like a Ravens vs. Steelers NFL match-up with a constant stream of hard-hitting action. Ryder also showed strong intensity in the post-match. He's advancing his character beyond just a "happy go-lucky, just glad to be here" babyface by adding some intensity to his act. Three strong performances in this segment by Sheamus, Ziggler, and Ryder.

TLC plug: Cole and Lawler set the stage for TLC: Punk vs. Del Rio vs. Miz for the WWE Title. The contract signing will be live, next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Del Rio and Miz, in suits, were already at the contract table. Justin Roberts introduced Laurinaitis to oversee the contract signing. In the ring, Laurinaitis said it's an exciting time to be part of WWE. He name-dropped Brodus Clay and referenced next Monday's three-hour Slammys show. He also booked Henry vs. Cena for next week's Raw. Laurinaitis turned to the matter at hand: Miz and Del Rio are the challengers to this man...C.M. Punk. Cult of Personality brought out Punk with the title belt around his waist. He smiled as he entered the ring staring down Miz and Del Rio, who shifted to the opposite side of the contract table.

Once Punk's music stopped, everyone waited out a Punk chant before Punk threw his chair away to lean across the contract table. He then pulled away the contract table to describe this contract signing as the biggest cliché in WWE. He said this always ends in a Pier Six brawl and, since Laurinaitis is boring, they can just sign the contract, then get to fighting. Laurinaitis said he is all about excitement - Mr. Excitement, if you will. He said they will not be having a "traditional" triple threat at TLC. He said the title will be defended in a triple threat TLC match.

[Q9 -- over-run] Punk ran down Miz and Del Rio, then Miz spoke that perhaps Punk missed what he did to Truth and Morrison the last two weeks. Punk wanted to know where Miz took them out...on a date. Probably the new Twilight flick, Punk surmised. Miz mock laughed before getting serious that he took them out on the steel stage. Laurinaitis, almost like a bad SNL skit, then looked into the hard camera and wished Morrison the best in all his future endeavors. Miz followed up on what he's capable of at TLC. He vowed to take back what's his. Punk then ran down Miz's Hollywood lifestyle before saying he concerns himself with being the best wrestler in the world.

Del Rio had enough of them "crying like little girls." Del Rio told him the Best in the World is standing before him. He said he won everything in 2011: Rumble, MITB, and he beat Punk for the title at Summerslam. He vowed to end the year doing the same: beating Punk to become champ again. He said there's nothing Miz or Punk can do about it. Punk cut him off before Del Rio could talk about his destiny, saying it will drive him to drink. Miz settled things down and said no matter what happens at TLC, they will make sure Punk does not walk out of TLC as WWE champion.

Miz signed the contract, then Del Rio signed. More like scribbled. Del Rio said Miz is right that Punk is going to lose. Punk took the contract next, looked it over, and said once he signs this, they can fight, right? Laurinaitis said that's not happening. Punk then signed the contract and Laurinaitis made it official. And, as an executive of WWE, he would like to wish each of them good luck. The crowd chanted for a fight, then Laurinaitis asked for a photographer to take a picture. Punk wanted nothing to do with the photo-op. Del Rio and Miz did their fighter poses, which Punk laughed at. He said this is supposed to end in fighting.

Punk then popped Miz with a mic, but the numbers game caught up to Punk. Del Rio put the boots to Punk, then wanted to put Punk through the contract table, but Miz grabbed Del Rio from behind. Punk used the dissension to his advantage to send Del Rio through the contract table with a bulldog. Punk then dropped Miz with a GTS and Miz fell onto Del Rio. Punk, with his shirt ripped, grabbed his title belt and hoisted it up in the air to pose for the crowd. Cole plugged the triple threat match at TLC as Punk locked eyes with Laurinaitis, who was upset while standing on the stage. They closed nine minutes past the top of the hour with final shots of Punk celebrating and the heels recovering in the ring.

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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