WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/6: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Hunter-Taker & Jericho-Punk follow-up
Feb 6, 2012 - 10:06:05 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
February 6, 2012 - Episode #975
Live in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw started with a video package documenting the end of last week's Raw when Triple H was set to "fire" John Laurinaitis, but was interrupted by The Undertaker. The video showed highlights of Taker returning, circling Triple H, offering a re-match at WM28, and Hunter seemingly turning him down. "What is going through the mind of the Cerebral Assassin?"
Live inside the arena, pyro shot off and the Raw theme picked up mid-song before Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Cole then plugged a "Six-Pack Challenge" match tonight involving all of the Raw brand's Elimination Chamber participants. The winner gets the final slot in the Chamber match. Also, World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show in a match just announced and the first match of the show.
Triple H's music then played to bring out Hunter sporting a lime-green tie with his blue suit. Once in the ring, Hunter did the routine waiting for cheers before getting to business. He said there might be rumors out there - spread by John Laurinaitis - but his intentions were to fire Laurinaitis. Hunter said that being said, he never quite got to it, but he wants to make that point clear. He then cut down Laurinaitis a la C.M. Punk before explaining a long, winding plotline that Laurinaitis made a last-second plea to keep his job with the Board and he's been advised not to make a decision until they make their decision.
Hunter then name-dropped The Undertaker for a reaction. Hunter stressed Taker was "carried" away from the ring after WM27 last year. The crowd was quiet for this. Hunter said last week, Taker's gong hit and he came down the ramp. Hunter said he's not ashamed to admit that after 20 years, there's no one else he gets that feeling for. "There's a rush for me up my spine. I get butterflies in my stomach," he said. Hunter said he's the only person in the world he would say this about - "I stand in the ring truly humbled," he said. Hunter said the scene was eerily similar to last year, but with the roles reversed and Taker wanted the re-match of all re-matches.
Hunter said he stood in the ring, looked into the eyes of The Deadman, and for the first time ever, there was no rush. No butterflies. He wasn't in awe. Not humbled. He said he looked Taker in the eyes and he felt sorry. "I felt bad for The Undertaker," he said to boos. Hunter said he knows what he did to him last year and he chooses to remember Taker in a different light. He said he chooses to remember Taker this way. Cue up a highlight video of Taker's top career moments dominating folks at past WrestleManias.
Back live, the crowd popped. Hunter emphatically said that is The Undertaker and that is how he chooses to remember him. He said he doesn't want to remember this. Cue up a video from the end of last year's Mania when Taker was lifeless after beating Hunter, then carried away on a golf cart. Back live, the crowd was hushed. Hunter said no one will ever compare to The Undertaker, his legacy will never be matched, 19-0, and the most dominant force ever in WWE history. Hunter paused and the arena got quiet. He said out of respect, he cannot accept Taker's WrestleMania challenge. Hunter said he gets that it might not be a popular decision, but he knows what he did to Taker. "The Deadman would not die, and I know if we do it again, I have to finish it. And, he knows it, too," Hunter said.
Hunter said maybe Taker wants him to put an end to it. He offered an old saying before noting everyone, including Taker, has limits. He said Taker saw his limits last year, and he will not be the guy to push Taker past his limits. Hunter said this - pointing to the WM28 sign - this, this is over. Hunter's music played, then it was suddenly cut off. Hunter looked around the arena, wondering if he should just leave.
[Q2] Suddenly, the lights turned off in the arena. Lightbulbs flashed as the crowd shrieked. Suddenly, a video came on the screen showing Taker watching footage of their match last year. Taker was shown watching Hunter's post-match comments claiming victory because Taker was "carried" out. "This is not over," Taker said. "I will not let that be the last image of me." Taker said his victory over Hunter means nothing. They showed crime drama-style clips of "circled quotes" and photos of Hunter, as if Taker had been stalking Hunter. "Give me what is mine," he said. Taker said he will give Hunter one more chance at immortality. "This is not over," he repeated. Back live, the arena was still dark. Hunter was now spotlighted in the dark, his eyes twinkling in the darkness. They cut to break with Hunter still looking ahead to the Titantron.
Back live, Big Show's music played and Show basically hopped and sprinted down the entrance ramp to the ring. They cut to footage from Smackdown last month when Show ran over A.J., "injuring" Daniel Bryan's girlfriend. D-Bryan then came out, alone, celebrating his current standing as World champion. Bryan paused half-way down the entrance ramp, then called for A.J. to come join him. A.J., still in a neckbrace, very tentatively emerged on the entrance stage, and Bryan assured her she will be fine. Meanwhile, Cole heeled on Bryan and A.J. Once the bell sounded, Lawler defended A.J.
1 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN (w/A.J.) vs. BIG SHOW -- non-title match
The match started with Show delivering blows to the mid-section as A.J. attempted to look on. Bryan then cut off Show at the knees and both men sold on the mat as they cut to break.
Back live, Bryan had Show in a half-Boston Crab, which Show escaped from. Show then ran over Bryan with a series of clotheslines before delivering a mid-ring spear. Show made a cover, but Bryan kicked out. Show then tried a chokeslam, but Bryan countered with a submission, which Show escaped. Bryan took out Show's knee, though, and went up top, but Show teased the chokeslam, so he hopped down to the ring apron. Show then kicked Bryan and Bryan pretended to injure his leg on the landing. On the outside, Show tried to follow up, which involved A.J. Show tried to smash Bryan, but Bryan ducked and Show nearly smashed A.J. into the ring steps, pulling up just in time. Everyone paused to let the moment breathe, then Bryan grabbed A.J. from the hand and walked her up the ring entrance as Show re-entered the ring, drawing a count-out win.
WINNER: Big Show via count-out at 7:33.
[Q3] Post-match: Bryan took a mic and screamed at Show that he's a freak. He asked what kind of a man he is, proving that when he ran through A.J. the first time, it was on purpose. Show waved him off in the ring, but Bryan said Show pulled up this time, proving he could have pulled up back then. Bryan said protecting this woman who loves him is more important than winning or losing any match. But, regardless, at the Chamber, things will still be the same when he will still be Daniel Bryan, still be a vegan, and still be World Hvt. champion.
Still to come: Chris Jericho has barely spoken since returning to WWE, and now he's supposed to open up this week.
Back from break, a hype video for WrestleMania 28 aired. Mania is 55 days away.
Back live, Cole noted Laurinaitis's job status will be announced on Tuesday. Cole then introduced footage from last week in Kansas City when John Cena was greeted by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. They set up some dialogue for Edwards to invite Cena to be the starter at the Daytona 500. Cena said hopefully Edwards's experience at Daytona will be like his experience with The Rock at Mania.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Chamber PPV coming up in two weeks. This led to a video package on the Road to WrestleMania being "filled with obstacles," specifically the Chamber structure. Back live, Cole read some stats about the Chamber match before Lawler plugged the Six-Pack Challenge still to come tonight.
[Q4] [Commercial Break]
They cut off a "Journey 2" commercial to show David Otunga entering the ring back from break. Otunga has something to say. The crowd answered with boos. Otunga gave a glowing recommendation for Laurinaitis as the crowd "What?'ed" in-between phrases. Otunga then took a knee to pray. Justin Roberts interrupted and announced that, per Triple H, Otunga will compete in a match right now. "I'm not even dressed!" he said. Sheamus's music then played to bring out Sheamus.
2 -- SHEAMUS vs. DAVID OTUNGA
Sheamus smiled as he circled around Otunga before grabbing him around the neck. Sheamus teased the Celtic Cross, but Otunga slipped out of his sweater and slipped to the outside. Back in the ring, Sheamus delivered a double-fist smash before opening up Otunga's dress shirt for ten consecutive forearm blows to the chest. Otunga suddenly scored with a kick to the gut and DDT for a one count. Otunga tried to stomp and kick Sheamus, but Sheamus shoved him away and smashed him with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus, no longer in a happy mood, scored a quick pin for the win, putting an end to the awful lawyer jokes and Twitter references from the announcers. After a replay of Sheamus dismantling Otunga, Sheamus posed in the ring.
WINNER: Sheamus at 2:05.
Backstage: Chris Jericho was shown walking down the hallway with a smug, heelish look on his face. He will speak next.
Friday on Smackdown: D-Bryan has step inside the ring with Randy Orton.
Back live, Cole ad Lawler plugged the Raw brand Chamber match in two weeks. Then, the lights turned out and a mixture of boos and cheers were heard before Chris Jericho's light-up jacket was focused on. Jericho then emerged on-stage sporting a traditional heel look before he sauntered to the ring. They went to a replay of the end of C.M. Punk vs. Bryan last week on Raw when Jericho attacked Punk.
[Q5 -- second hour] In the ring, Jericho surveyed the arena with an icy glare before his music stopped. Jericho took the mic and claimed the end of the world has arrived. He said it's the end of thievery, plagiarism, liars, and people claiming to be something they are not. Jericho said his arrival has made everyone else obsolete. He said everyone who appears in the ring is a thief of what he did. Is he channeling Kurt Angle? Jericho said there's a locker room full of thieves and an arena full of Jericho wannabes. He said he manipulated each and every one of them. Jericho noted he did Miz, Kofi, Truth, and Dolph Ziggler's gimmicks before they did. (All of his Chamber match opponents.)
Jericho paused. Then, there's C.M. Punk. (Final Chamber opponent.) Jericho said he's the worst of them all, a liar. He said Punk claims to be the best in the world when he's not. He said Punk is a Jericho wannabe. Jericho said he is the best in the world at everything he does. "I don't have to write it on the back of a t-shirt to prove it," Jericho said. He said he proved it when he became the first-ever Undisputed champion, eliminated 28 other wrestlers in the Rumble, including Orton in his hometown, and earned the right to become best in the world. Jericho said it's the end of the world as you know it because he's coming back to reclaim what is his.
Suddenly, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk on-stage. Punk smirked as he stood on-stage, then slowly made his way toward the ring. Punk locked eyes with Jericho before slowly, slowly entering the ring. Punk then slowly, slowly walked toward Jericho and his light-up jacket. Punk waited out a chant of his name before opened his mouth every so slowly. Punk then dropped the mic at Jericho's feet and raised up the WWE Title belt for Jericho to take a look at. Punk then turned his back to Jericho, smirked, and left the ring. Cult of Personality played again, leaving Jericho somewhat frustrated in the ring. Jericho tried interrupting Cult of Personality, calling Punk a wannabe, but Punk simply walked to the back with his title belt held high in the air.
Segment Reax: Good and bad promo. The good was Jericho explaining his purpose, mission, and reason for starting a feud with C.M. Punk. Plus, Punk not talking and letting the title belt speak for himself. The bad was the usual "post-Punk Shoot Promo" bad of evaluating the product and cutting down wrestlers who don't need to be cut down.
Still to come tonight: Orton & Khali vs. Barrett & Rhodes. Another Smackdown match. The Raw mid-card has officially disappeared.
They cut off an ad for "Journey 2" again to plug Smackdown's Elimination Chamber match in two weeks. Suddenly, awful, screeching, unbecoming music played to bring out Wade Barrett. Cody Rhodes's music then played to bring out the IC champion. Great Khali was out next as the announcers plugged Khali's return to WWE at the Royal Rumble. After a pause, Randy Orton's music played to bring out the top star in the match. Orton wasn't waiting around and marched to the ring with a deliberate pace before the announcers plugged Bryan vs. Orton first-time-ever Friday on Smackdown.
3 -- IC champion CODY RHODES & WADE BARRETT vs. RANDY ORTON & GREAT KHALI
Khali seemed confused as to what was going on, and Orton started the match against Rhodes. Orton then slap-tagged Khali, who entered the ring, as did Barrett. Khali got in a few moves, then slap-tagged Orton, who had a good laugh at the tit-for-tat. Orton turned around and ate a boot to the gut from Barrett, though. Rhodes and Barrett then went to work on Orton as Khali looked around the arena from the ring apron. Orton made a comeback and stared at Khali before deciding to handle the heels by himself.
[Q6] Orton planted Rhodes with a DDT, then went to That Place for an RKO, but Khali tagged himself into the match. Rhodes tried to capitalize with a Disaster Kick, but Khali intercepted with a chop to the head. Khali with the pin for the win. Afterward, Orton confronted Khali's nipples before Khali grabbed Orton around the neck. He tried a chop to the head, but Orton ducked and nailed an RKO to deck Khali.
WINNERS: Orton & Khali at 3:43. I get that WWE is actually trying to promote the Chamber PPV (with the idea of Orton and Khali being every-man-for-himself in the Chamber match), but they actually invested valuable Raw TV time in a story centered on Khali.
As Orton's music played, Cole and Lawler hyped Rock-Cena before noting their Twitter war last week. They read Cena's Twitter response to Rock during Raw, "Saw rock's video. Especially liked the quote 'when I left WWE...' Something u will never hear me say. WM28 I WILL NOT LOSE!#teamfilmit." That's quite convenient for Cena to say since no Hollywood movie studio would ever hire Cena to film movies full-time, which is why he'll always be able to "stay in WWE." Cole then fed to a four-minute video package on Cena that WWE released on YouTube over the weekend.
Back live, Cole plugged Cena vs. Rock for WM28 as a graphic flashed on the screen. Lawler then plugged the Six-Pack Challenge match still to come on Raw.
A "Journey 2" commercial actually finished without being cut off. Back live, Cole and Lawler plugged the Rock-Cena Twitter battle and Cole re-read Cena's tweet.
4 -- EVE & KELLY KELLY & ALICIA FOX & TAMINA vs. Divas champion BETH PHOENIX & NATALYA & BELLA TWINS
Eve's music played to bring out four babyface Divas, including a cheery Eve. They replayed footage from last Monday when Kane tried to victimize Eve, but John Cena made the save and dismantled Kane before Kane ran away. Back live, Eve sold concern before the four heel Divas came to the ring for a Royal Rumble re-match. The match ended with Tamina scoring a Superfly Splash on one of the Bellas for the win. Afterward, Tamina locked eyes with Beth Phoenix, suggesting she wants the Divas Title.
WINNER: Team Tamina at 1:48. It looks like Tamina is the new babyface flavor of the week for the Divas division.
Tonight: The Rock on Jay Leno's talk show. They showed a clip of Rock's segment, which was already taped this afternoon. Leno asked Rock if he's ever had a wardrobe malfunction, prompting Rock to talk about WrestleMania. Cole called it a snippet of the interview tonight.
Backstage: Triple H was on the phone telling someone the Board will have an answer on John Laurinaitis tomorrow. Laurinaitis then walked into the shot and noted he still has his position on Raw. He complemented the Board, then told Hunter that Shawn Michaels will be on Raw next week. Hunter said Michaels is hunting in the middle of nowhere right now, but Laurinaitis said he suggested Michaels to the Board, and they approved. Laurinaitis then said he also suggested Cena vs. Kane in an Ambulance match for the Chamber PPV. Hunter said that's not a bad idea, but turned it into jokes about Laurinaitis's career needing to flatline.
An ad for "Journey 2" was cut off for the third time out of four to plug Smackdown's Bryan vs. Orton main event.
Back live, Cole and Lawler announced Laurinaitis's "job status" will be announced on WWE's website at 10:00 a.m. EST Tuesday morning. Lawler then introduced a video package on the Hunter-Taker issue that was fleshed out in the opening segment. The focus was on Taker sitting in a dark video room demanding that Hunter give him what is his - "vengeance."
Backstage: Laurinaitis was shown walking down the hallway when Josh Mathews approached him. Laurinaitis made another case for himself to remain as interim Raw GM. He then tried to knock Triple H, calling him cowardly and unfit to run Raw because he's backed down from Taker's challenge.
In-ring: Justin Roberts tried introducing the Six-Pack Challenge, stumbling over the rules. R-Truth came out first, then Cole fed to a commercial break.
[Q8] Back live, WWE plugged Shawn Michaels returning to Raw next week. Cole said Michaels will speak directly to Triple H.
With Truth still in the ring, Dolph Ziggler's music played to bring out the former #1 contender, flanked by Vickie Guerrero. Cole repeated the rules that the first man to score a pin or submission wins the match. Kofi Kingston was out third, followed by Chris Jericho, who is being billed from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Miz was out fifth, then WWE champion C.M. Punk, which drew muttering from Jericho.
5 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. R-TRUTH vs. THE MIZ vs. CHRIS JERICHO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- Six-Pack Challenge -- non-title match -- Winner gets final slot in Raw's Chamber match
Once the bell sounded, everyone except Punk attacked Jericho after Jericho dogged everyone in his promo segment. Out of the fracas, Punk tried a roll-up of Miz, but Miz kicked out. Jericho then found himself on the floor, leaving the other five to battle in the ring. The ring eventually cleared out, leaving Ziggler and Kofi in the ring. Kofi then splashed everyone on the outside, leaving Ziggler alone in the ring. Ziggler teased "showing off" with a splash, but paused and danced around in the ring. Cole fed to a break as Punk cut off Ziggler with a dropkick.
Back from break, they showed R-Truth being helped to the back by medics. They went to a replay from before the break when Truth took a dive on the outside, using that as an "out" to take Truth out of the match. Back in the ring, Punk delivered a combination move on both Miz and Ziggler as Jericho waited on the outside. Suddenly, Punk was the last man left in the ring, drawing Jericho into the ring. Punk walked toward Jericho and told him to bring it, then the heels ambushed Punk and Jericho.
[Q9 -- over-run] The match came to a halt before Ziggler went up top and Punk crotched him. Punk then wanted a superplex, but Miz and Jericho cut him off. This set up a four-man superplex spot that put all four men on the mat while Kofi was on the floor. Miz and Jericho then made simultaneous covers, scoring simultaneous nearfalls. Miz and Jericho then called an audible spot, leading to Kofi blasting Miz with a kick to the face. Jericho and Kofi were alone in the ring, and Jericho slapped on a sleeperhold. Kofi fought out, then scored with high-flying offense. Lawler called it a "rough and tumble" match, which sounded like Ross calling a match "bowling shoe ugly."
For the next sequence, Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho, but Punk broke it up with a knee to the head. Punk then tossed Jericho from the ring. Ziggler tried to ambush Punk, but Punk intercepted and delivered Go 2 Sleep. Punk had the pin, but Jericho yanked Punk out of the ring before throwing Punk over the announce table. Back in the ring, Jericho stole the pin on Ziggler, giving Ziggler two more visual losses to add to his rough last eight days. After a replay of the finish, Jericho celebrated with possession of Punk's title belt while sitting down in the ring like Punk does.
WINNER: Jericho at 12:24 to take the final slot in the Chamber match. Okay match, but also very clunky that only got the crowd slightly involved at the end.
Suddenly, screams and shrieks were heard. It sounded like multiple fans too close to an arena mic, but WWE suddenly cut backstage to show Eve screaming. Kane made his first appearance, cornering Eve. Kane said Cena is finally starting to embrace the hate, but if he doesn't get there soon, then he's afraid for Eve. He's afraid for Cena, Eve, or anyone who gets in his path. Kane said that more than any of that, for the first time in his life, he's afraid of himself. The camera zoomed in on Kane's lazy eye to close the show six minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Up-and-down, leaning towards a thumbs-down show. Some parts of the show were good with focus on the Chamber PPV and WrestleMania in the distance, but Hunter's show-opening promo set a poor tone and took the crowd completely out of the show for the rest of the two hours, the Raw mid-card was non-existent, the announcers returned to form as a nuisance, and there wasn't even a good match on the card to follow a good match, a very good match, and a great match last week.
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