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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/9: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Jericho Week 2, Kane-Cena/Ryder dominates, Hall of Fame

Jan 9, 2012 - 10:06:54 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
January 9, 2012 - Episode #971
Live in Corpus Christi, Tex.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with a video package highlighting John Cena's victory over Jack Swagger in a main event handicap match, followed by Kane trying to rip off Cena's face and drag Zack Ryder into a hole in the ring.

Live in the arena, Kane's pyro shot off, the arena turned red, and Kane's music played to bring out Kane sporting his welder's mask. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler noted Kane has returned to WWE to target John Cena, and they don't know why. Didn't Kane explain it two weeks ago? In the ring, Kane removed the top layer mask before grabbing a mic.

Kane said he sees the disapproving looks and weal whispers in the crowd. People want to know why he embraces hate. He said the audience is deplorably predictable and in denial. He did a TNA Creative Team promo about hating spouse, job, and children. Kane concluded everyone's children are soft, spoiled disappointment. He said the people don't embrace hate because they're cowards or fill their lives with delusions of hope, like John Cena, who represents hope, success, and all the things people aspire to achieve, but cannot. He said Cena should represent their failures, shortcomings, and unfulfilled dreams. He added that "Cena Sucks" chants really reflect the people acknowledging they suck. Kane said people are all liars - to themselves and to others.

Kane his turned his attention to Zack Ryder. He told the people they made Ryder a star, and he was moments away from dragging that symbol of their false hopes straight to hell. But, Cena made the save, which only delayed the inevitable. Sounding like Dr. Claw, Kane said he always gets what he wants, which is consequences for people not embracing hate.

Suddenly, Cena's music played and he stormed the ring to go after Kane. Cena clotheslined Kane over the top rope, but Kane landed on his feet. The fight moved to the floor, where Kane and Cena exchanged right hands. They made it to the fans near the staging area before taking the fight through the arena to the locker room area. Kane ran Cena into a few random official-looking people before dragging Cena down a hallway.

The fight moved to exterior parking lot/loading dock area, where a WrestleMania 28 logo was visible in the background on the side of a moving truck. Cena and Kane teased knocking each other off the loading dock, then Kane uppercut Cena into a box of trash. Cena choked to sell the effects, then got up and Kane was nowhere to be found. Why didn't he ask the cameraman? They faded to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were shown on-camera to recap Kane's mission to "spread the hate." They cut to a replay from Moments Ago of Kane and Cena fighting near the loading dock outside the arena.

[Q2] In-ring: Sheamus's music played to bring out a Smackdown wrestler to start the in-ring portion of the show. Justin Roberts announced this would be a tag match. As Sheamus completed his entrance, they cut to a replay from Friday's Smackdown, where Sheamus was double-teamed by Jinder Mahal and Wade Barrett. Back live, Sheamus sold intensity after watching this development from Friday. Santino then came out as Sheamus's tag partner. First out for the heels was Barrett, followed by Mahal. Cole slipped in a note that there remains no timetable for Randy Orton's return following Barrett's attack two weeks ago on Smackdown. Before the bell sounded, Cole added that all four men have qualified for the Royal Rumble match.

1 -- SHEAMUS & SANTINO vs. WADE BARRETT & JINDER MAHAL

Santino took the initiative to start the match for his team, and was quickly knocked down to size by the heel team. Sheamus took a tag at 2:00 and cleaned house, including a Brogue Kick to Mahal. He didn't make a cover, though, and brought in Santino, complete with Cobra sock puppet. Santino warmed up the Cobra and popped Jinder in the face, securing a pin for the win.

WINNERS: Sheamus & Santino at 2:54. WWE just can't figure out whether Mahal can be built up as a legitimate heel threat or if he's just a comedy heel with no credibility. Friday on Smackdown, they'll want people to be interested in Sheamus vs. Mahal, but no one will take him seriously after this loss. More of that odd Smackdown booking on Raw.

Backstage: The Miz asked John Laurinaitis why he's not doing anything about R-Truth's attacks. David Otunga was in the background sipping his coffee. Laurinaitis told Miz to back off because he has a lot on his plate. He noted tonight is the debut of Brodus Clay. Miz said he doesn't care and demanded protection from Truth. Laurinaitis told Miz to find his own protection, then noted he's not his problem and he's not Little Jimmy, but Big Johnny. Miz walked off, then Laurinaitis pulled out his phone to send a text.

Tonight: Cole robotically plugged a new match for tonight - WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. Jack Swagger. Lawler added a plug for the first (technically second) inductee to the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame to be revealed...next.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole plugged this year's Hall of Fame ceremony before introducing a video package on the headline Hall of Fame act. Jim Ross's voice was heard first talking about this man's passion. Cena talked up this person before they went to a faraway shot of Edge's trademark bouncing on the ropes. The text noted this year's Hall of Fame will be "Rated R." A rapid-fire video was shown of Edge's career highlighting his memorable moments and matches. Orton was shown on-camera saying Edge raised the bar for everyone. C.M. Punk said people taking a chance on Edge opened the door for him. Christian said Edge's accomplishments can be put at the top next to anyone else's. John Cena talked up Edge, as well.

Back in the arena, Cole congratulated Edge on his Hall of Fame induction the night before WrestleMania. Cole and Lawler talked on-camera as a graphic flashed on the screen announcing HOF tickets going on-sale this Saturday. The announcers added that another HOF inductee will be revealed tonight.

[Q3] Backstage: A camera "snuck up" on Miz trying to talk to Mason Ryan to be his bodyguard. Ryan smirked and walked off, leaving Miz frustrated.

Backstage: Zack Ryder was on the phone with his dad talking about his concern with Kane. Eve then walked in and Ryder tried to act confident. Eve asked if he's doing all right and Ryder maintained his bravado. Ryder then blurted out a question if Eve will go out with him tonight since he doesn't have a match. Eve thought it over, then said she would go out with him. She said she has a match with Beth Phoenix tonight, though, so they'll have to go out later. Eve walked off, then Ryder walked off, then the camera spotted Kane lurking behind a side door.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: WWE tag champion Kofi Kingston came to the ring for the only match advertised in-advance, but not promoted during the show. As Kofi completed his intro, Cole said just that - people need to go to WWE's website to find out how this match came about. World champ Daniel Bryan came out to a mixed reaction - light cheers and indifference - since the crowd wasn't sure how to react to him.

2 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. WWE tag champion KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match

The two champions cut a quick pace early on before exchanging rapid-fire pinfall attempts. This is definitely not going long. Kofi went for a top-rope cross-body splash, but Bryan intercepted and slapped on the LeBell Lock. Kofi fought the hold momentarily, but tapped out. Bryan jumped out of the ring and hopped on the announce table to celebrate like he just won the Super Bowl. Lawler, the babyface announcer, talked up Bryan's victory while Cole, the delusional semi-heel announcer, continued to knock Bryan.

WINNER: Bryan via submission at 1:21. Apparently this was supposed to be a "credibility-boosting" victory for Bryan, but Kofi deserves better.

Post-match: Big Show's music played to bring out Show, who paused to give his headgear to a member of the National Guard ringside. Show entered the ring and tried to talk, but Bryan interrupted him and unconvincingly said he hated how their World Title match ended last week on Smackdown. Bryan said this title is too important and prestigious for their match to have ended the way it did last week. Bryan said he would give Show a title match anytime he wants. Show smiled and said Smackdown GM Teddy Long agrees as well. The re-match will be this Friday on Smackdown in a No DQ, No Count-out match. Bryan nervously licked his lips, then nodded his head. Show pulled him in tight for a handshake, then Show's music played. Cole said he thinks Bryan's "fluke" World Title reign is over on Friday.

Tonight: Jericho Live! Cole said some people believe Jericho was too emotional to talk when he returned to WWE last week, while others don't know what to make of Jericho's return. Cole's robotic plug zapped the interest out of seeing Jericho Week 2. Also, Punk vs. Swagger is still to come. ... Backstage: They zoomed in on Brodus Clay's locker room door and Cole said he debuts next.

[Commercial Break]

[Q4] Royal Rumble Flashback - Rumble '94. Vince McMahon's voice was heard calling the match, which saw Kevin Nash clean house. They showed it coming down to Lex Luger and Bret Hart leading to their simultaneous elimination.

In-ring: Justin Roberts did a big build-up for Brodus Clay, slipping in a weird nickname for Clay as Funk-a-souras. Dance music played to bring out two dancers, followed by Clay sporting a bright red jumpsuit and fedora. Flash Funk is back. Clay looked so uncomfortable mouthing along with the funky words in his theme music. Clay then dropped his tracksuit pants and proclaimed that people didn't see that coming. Ringside, Curt Hawkins was perplexed.

3 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. CURT HAWKINS

Clay looked like a combination of Colt Cabana and Dusty Rhodes gyrating and strutting around the ring in his bright red singlet. Clay was mic'ed for sound, too, as he called his spots dominating Hawkins. Clay delivered his big chest bump finish for the pin and the win, prompting Lawler to say Hawkins was just squashed. Afterward, Clay's funk music played again and he danced with the dancers to celebrate.

WINNER: Clay at 1:07. One of those segments specifically designed to get something to trend on Twitter. I just don't know what to say right now.

Bathroom: Zack Ryder was brushing his teeth in anticipation of his date with Eve, then the camera revealed Kane standing in the mirror. Ryder breathed heavily, then turned around and Kane was nowhere to be found. Ryder stormed out of the bathroom.

Hallway: Miz actually went to Primo & Epico and Rosa Mendes for help with his security issue. They ignored his request, then C.M. Punk walked up to Miz, smirked, and Miz stormed off. Punk vs. Swagger is next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back live, Jack Swagger's music played to bring out Swagger, #1 contender Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero. After Swagger made his way into the ring, Cult of Personality brought out WWE champ C.M. Punk for the top-of-the-second-hour main event. Before the match started, John Laurinaitis's voice interrupted. Big Johnny came out to remind everyone he is the special referee for Punk-Ziggler at Royal Rumble. He said he wants to prove to Punk he can be impartial, so if Punk beats Swagger tonight, then Vickie and Swagger are banned from ringside at the Rumble. And, he wants Ziggler to stay in shape for the Rumble, so Ziggler will face John Cena tonight.

[Q5 -- second hour]

4 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero) -- non-title match

Right on cue, WWE flashed a big graphic on the screen noting "Brodus Clay" is currently the #1 worldwide trend on Twitter. In the background, Laurinaitis was busy texting on his phone rather than watching the match and Cole noted he wants to know who Laurinaitis keeps texting. Also in the background was a fan sign reading, "Mr. Belding for Raw GM." After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Swagger dumped Punk to the outside. Ziggler thought about a cheap-shot on Punk, but Laurinaitis looked up from his phone and casually stepped in front of Ziggler to sell impartiality. Moments later, Punk turned the tables with a suicide dive on Swagger on the outside. They cut to break with Punk in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Swagger and Punk were trading blows. Cole plugged Chris Jericho on the show tonight before they recapped Clay's return and noted Cena faces Ziggler tonight, but Kane is lurking around. Punk built some offense before delivering a high knee in the corner. Swagger blocked the follow-up bulldog, though, and delivered a Swagger Bomb for a two count. The crowd rallied behind Punk, who blocked a second Bomb with boots to the face. Swagger then countered a flying press attempt with an impressive turnaround bodyslam for a two count.

Swagger slowed down the pace and talked trash to Punk before setting up for his gutwrench powerbomb finisher, but Punk escaped. Punk then walked into a belly-to-belly slam for another nearfall. Vickie pounded the mat to tell Swagger to follow up. Swagger tried to follow up with a superplex from the top turnbuckle, but Punk blocked, then delivered a top-rope Macho Man elbow drop. Punk covered, but Swagger kicked out. Suddenly, the bell sounded. Apparently they're calling it a three count.

Post-match: They went to a replay of the seemingly botched spot - Swagger kicked out well before three like any other kick-out, but the referee slapped the mat for a three count. After another replay of the odd finish, Punk was shown doing a face about the blown call while the heels retreated up the ramp. This led to Cole and Lawler debating whether Laurinaitis can handle the referee role at the Rumble, unlike tonight's ref.

WINNER: Punk at 13:51. This was the best they've made Swagger look in months. The only problem was the finish was pretty bad trying to get over the Laurinaitis Referee angle heading to the Rumble.

[Q6] Earlier Tonight: Cena and Kane battled near the loading dock.

Backstage: Cena was cracking jokes with Ryder, who said he has to thank Cena for the U.S. Title opportunity several weeks ago and for saving him last week. Cena looked down at the ground while listening to Ryder, then cut him off. He noted Ryder passed The Miz on Twitter followers this week, which is also a big deal. Cena then told Ryder to calm down and get his act together. He said they'll be fine. Cena walked off, then Ryder checked over his shoulders for Kane.

WWE Network plug: A new psychedelic Network video plug aired. Included was a plug for a new show titled, "Countdown." The graphic merely advertised the launch coming in 2012.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: The Bella Twins were arguing about which one of them is an A-Lister and slipped in a Stacy Keibler reference. Ricardo Rodriguez, now healthy, walked into the shot and asked why they requested to talk to him about Alberto Del Rio when he's injured and resting in Mexico. Before an explanation could be given, The Miz interrupted and told Ricardo to go announce some awful things about R-Truth to draw Truth into the ring. Or else, he would beat him up and send him back to Del Rio.

Announcers: Cole amused himself with a joke about Miz before they went to another segment on the Hall of Fame. Cue up the video package. Excellence. Champions. Pioneers. Horsemen. They went to various classic clips of Horsemen moments in the ring and on the mic. Shawn Michaels talked glowingly about Arn Anderson, then Ric Flair. Michaels also talked up his hometown star, Tully Blanchard. Barry Windham was the fourth Horsemen focused on. Dusty Rhodes and Steve Austin talked up Windham. A graphic noted, J.J. Dillon will join Tully, Flair, Windham, and Double A in the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez was in the ring to run down Truth. He came up with some kindergarten-quality insults, including Truth's breath stinks, before R-Truth's music interrupted. Truth checked his breath, then paused ringside as Ricardo shook his head. In the ring, Truth said he doesn't know why Ricardo wants to pick a fight with him.

[Q7] Truth said he's not a bad man. Pause for "What?" chant. Truth noted he's a goooooood R-Truth. In fact, Little Jimmy told him that he should let bygones be bygones and let Ricardo go. He started calling out to the Little Jimmys in the crowd, who told him not to let Truth go. Ricardo started calling out for Miz, but Truth told him to quiet down. He then asked Ricardo to sing him a song. Specifically, La Cucaracha. Ricardo feigned embarrassment signing the sing, then went all-out singing before throwing in a re-mix. The crowd applauded Ricardo, then Truth asked him to sing it again. Instead, Ricardo slapped the mic out of Truth's hand, which drew a finisher from Truth. The crowd was indifferent since the supposed babyface KO'ed the sympathetic announcer. Suddenly, Truth's music started to play as Miz stormed the ring to jump Truth. They quickly cut off Miz's music as the fight spilled to the floor, then back into the ring, where Truth got the best of Miz. Truth's music played again to conclude the segment.

Segment Reax: This came across like just another segment to get something to trend on Twitter, which isn't driving anyone to spend money on the product. WWE needs someone with a disciplined approach to booking pro wrestling to filter out the unproductive silliness on this show.

Up Next: Jericho is live.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Daniel Bryan defends the World Title against Big Show.

In-ring: Justin Roberts gave the big introduction for Chris Jericho. The announcement of his name was greeted by a tired reaction. Jericho's music played and he emerged on-stage sporting his new light-up jacket. Jericho excitedly marched to the ring before firing up the crowd. He did the point-to-all-sides-of-the-arena routine, like last week. Jericho spun around in the ring before slipping to the outside to high-five everyone before stopping at Sign Guy to pose with him. Jericho completed his victory lap, then returned to the ring. He pitted two sides of the arena against each other for loudest cheers as his music continued to play. Jericho sold being exhausted before thanking the crowd for their applause.

Jericho received a mic, stood in the middle of the ring, and his music stopped. Jericho waited out a "Y2J" chant and paused to "soak up the admiration of the crowd." Jericho stood on the top turnbuckle and played to the crowd before looking around the arena as they did another Y2J chant. He mouthed, "Wow" a few times to offer the crowd a few clues he was being disingenuous. Next was fighting back tears. That only encouraged more cheers as Jericho pinched the bridge of his nose to sell emotion. Another "Y2J" chant as Jericho mouthed, "Why?" over and over. Jericho took a few deep breaths, then leaned on the top rope. A few scattered boos were heard in the arena at this point.

Jericho dropped the mic and his music played again. Jericho slowly left the ring selling tears as Lawler muttered to Cole about trying to make sense of it. The camera followed Jericho up the entrance ramp before he stopped on the stage and feigned more tears. Jericho did the classic babyface move pounding his chest and flashing a thumbs up before turning to walk away. They faded to commercial.

[Q8] [Commercial Break]

Royal Rumble Flashback - Rumble '98. They focused on Stone Cold cleaning house as Mike Tyson watched from a skybox. It ended with Cena and The Rock trading bombs before Austin eliminated Rock to win. Lots of Jim Ross on this broadcast tonight.

In-ring: Eve came out for the pre-main event match. Cole reminded viewers that Eve will receive a Divas Title match if she beats Beth Phoenix tonight. Suddenly, Kane's music played and the arena flashed red. Eve tried to find a place to hide, then Zack Ryder stormed the ringside area to whisk Eve away to safety. They cut to the announcers, who said Kane could be anywhere. Suddenly, they cut to the parking area, where Ryder tried to get away with Eve, but the tire on his rental car was flat. Ryder quickly tried to change the tire as Eve sold desperation inside the car. They cut away to a plug for Cena vs. Ziggler tonight.

WWE Hall of Fame plug: The Fox TV announcer hyped this year's Hall of Fame ceremony. The video focused on The Four Horsemen, then Edge, and ended with a plug for tickets to the event at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

[Commercial Break]

Next Monday on Raw: Zack vs. Jack in a U.S. Title match. What happens if Zack gets killed by Kane while changing the tire?

Back live, Zack was shown still changing the tire as Eve desperately pleaded with Ryder to hurry up. They suddenly cut back to the ring, where Dolph Ziggler was pacing around. The #1 contender to the WWE Title is given an enhancement talent intro? The show is clearly running long, but that's inexcusable. After a pause, John Cena's music played to bring out Cena, who stood on stage and mocked Ziggler's "show-off" tagline, which is the only discernible characteristic WWE has built up for Ziggler, further reinforcing Ziggler on the level of Curt Hawkins.

[Q9 -- over-run]

5 -- JOHN CENA vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Ziggler scored with an early Rocker Dropper for a nearfall. Ziggler continued the assault as Cena tried to cover up. Ziggler then slapped on a headlock and "showed off" by doing a headstand while working the hold. Cena broke free with a side suplex, but Ziggler cut him off again and tried to "show off" some more. Cena took advantage of Ziggler's cockiness to begin his comeback routine. Suddenly, they cut to the parking garage, where Ryder was still changing the tire. Kane then attacked Ryder and slammed him into the car. Cena was watching this as Ziggler slapped on a sleeperhold from behind. They cut to the loading dock again, where Kane chokeslammed Ryder to the area below. They tried to make it look like a big fall, but it was about a two-foot drop since Ryder's head popped up after his "fall." The worn-out crowd barely reacted.

Back live, Cena escaped Ziggler's ringside attack, then ran toward the back. They cut to a shot of Vickie trying to get Ziggler back in the ring for a count-out win, but Cole called the whole thing a mute point. They cut back to Cena looking for Kane, who found Cena near the loading dock and drove his fist into Cena's mouth again. The camera showed Ryder flat on his back below the loading dock. Once Kane released his grip on Cena, they showed Cena selling unconsciousness and Kane breathing heavily to conclude the show.

WINNER: No Decision when Raw ended at 6:21.

FINAL THOUGHTS: What a mess. It felt like the production team was watching the BCS Title game and the writers were completely devoid of ideas other than trying to find things to trend on Twitter. When the Creative team has too much time in-between PPVs, you get a show like this one that hurts WWE business and feels like a throwaway.

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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