WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Chamber PPV fall-out, Taker returns
Feb 20, 2012 - 10:09:08 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
February 20, 2012 - Episode #977
Live in Minneapolis, Minn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw the night after the Elimination Chamber PPV started with a video package on the feud between John Cena and Kane on TV the past several weeks. The video stopped with a shot of Zack Ryder being taken away in an ambulance last Monday after Kane threw him off the stage after all of the dramatics with Eve kissing Cena.
Backstage: Eve was talking to the Bella Twins about the weather in Minneapolis. They wanted to know how Eve is handling things after Zack Ryder's fall last week. Eve started laughing after the Bellas called Ryder a great guy and a good friend. Eve noted she was just using Zack and he's just a child who wouldn't know how to handle a woman like her. Eve added that everyone is talking about her after she used Zack - because people use people in this life. She proceeded to reveal her entire plan on national TV that she used Zack to get to John Cena, the big fish. Eve then handed her phone to the Bellas to film her walking up to Cena. Before Eve could start walking, Cena walked up to Eve, frightening her. Cena smirked and walked away, leaving Eve dumbfounded.
Live inside the arena, Michael Cole introduced the show and noted the Road to WrestleMania has started off embarrassingly for some people. John Cena's music then played to bring out Cena fresh off his ambulance match victory over Kane at the Chamber PPV last night.
Before Cena could talk, Eve started walking toward the ring to loud boos. She claimed her comments were taken out of context and she needs to explain. Cena cut her off and noted Eve is trying to use her assets to further her career. Eve tried to calm down Cena and noted that because of Eve, he lost a Broski as a friend. Loud "Hoeski" chant before Eve screamed, "I can explain!" Eve said she was just trying to have fun. Cena cut her off and said Eve shouldn't go after him, but the biggest fish, The Rock. He said Eve is disingenuous, egomaniacal, and will use anything to get what she wants. Cena said Eve and Rock are a lot a like - "scandalous bitches." Cena paused to let the crowd react.
Eve dropped down to both knees and started crying at Cena's feet, selling she was overwhelmed. Cena then tried to console her, but Eve threw her arms around Cena. Cena backed away before referees pulled Eve away. Cena shot back that he's disease-free and wants to keep it that way. (Someone in Creative is mad at women this week.) An agent eventually tried to console Eve, who continued to cry as the audience cackled her. "Broski, Broski" chant as refs and the agent tried to help an overwhelmed Eve out of the ring. The camera followed Eve all the way up the entrance ramp as she continued to cry. (PWTorch editor Wade Keller, live in the arena, noted there were lots of "Ryder" chants during the opening skit.)
Taker Video: Undertaker said in his Criminal Minds-style video that every story has an ending and he wants vengeance on Triple H. Taker said he will write Hunter's ending tonight.
Tomorrow night: Smackdown is live on Syfy. On this night, it will be Champion vs. Champion with Daniel Bryan vs. C.M. Punk. Not acknowledged was it's a re-match from the Raw after the Rumble a few weeks ago.
In-ring: Justin Roberts gave a long introduction for Sheamus, who will face Daniel Bryan for the World Title at WrestleMania. Cole noted Bryan survived the Elimination Chamber at the PPV, but Sheamus sent him a message after the match. In the ring, Sheamus ripped off his t-shirt, then Mark Henry's music played. Henry came out to face Sheamus in a singles match just announced right now. Cole noted Henry was suspended from Smackdown by Teddy Long a few weeks ago, but Raw GM John Laurinaitis is allowing Henry to return on Raw tonight.
1 -- SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY
After a brief feeling-out process, Sheamus came off the top with a shoulder tackle for a two count. As WWE flashed a graphic announcing "#hoeski" is trending on Twitter, Lawler said he doesn't think he's ever seen anything like what opened in the opening segment. Cole noted Zack Ryder is watching Raw from home while recovering from last week's attack by Kane. In the ring, Sheamus blasted away at Henry with clubbing forearms, then kicks and stomps in the corner. Sheamus followed with a Brogue Kick attempt, but Henry blocked and delivered a clothesline. Henry then lifted up Sheamus for the World's Strongest Slam, but Sheamus slipped out and nailed the Brogue Kick. Sheamus with the pin for the win.
Post-match: Cole said he hopes D-Bryan was paying attention, as one Brogue Kick will end his title run at WrestleMania. After Henry rolled out of the ring and they replayed the finish, Sheamus was shown standing tall in the ring with the WM28 banner hanging over his shoulder.
WINNER: Sheamus at 3:13. Rule #1 for Smackdown heels: call in sick Monday nights. Obviously, the goal is to strongly build up Sheamus ahead of Mania, but using Henry to accomplish that after all of his hard work re-building his character and weeks of TV build-up is highly questionable.
Backstage: John Laurinaitis was talking himself up to David Otunga, then Teddy Long walked into Laurinaitis's office. Long said he's here for business. Laurinaitis interrupted and said he had no idea that Del Rio, Christian, and Henry were going to support him at the Chamber last night. Long waited out Laurinaitis's speech, then said one person should run both shows, but they should leave it up to the audience. Laurinaitis said he doesn't care about the people, as he only cares about the Board. Laurinaitis then made a height joke and Long shot back with a manure joke that he didn't know they stacked it that high. Laurinaitis then booked a 10-man battle royal to determine who faces C.M. Punk for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Long added a dig at Otunga that everyone on the Smackdown roster is better than him, then Laurinaitis told Long he could book Otunga in a match against anyone from Smackdown tonight.
Still to come tonight: Undertaker is back.
[Q3] Next Monday: The Rock is back. What will Rock have in store for his WM28 opponent, John Cena?
In-ring: R-Truth's music played to bring out Truth as Cole added to the announcement that Rock will be in the house in Portland next week. Kofi Kingston came out next, apparently to join Truth in a tag match. Kofi sold the effects of the Chamber last night by hobbling to the ring. WWE tag champions Primo & Epico then came out with Rosa Mendes for a tag division match.
2 -- WWE tag champions PRIMO & EPICO (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. R-TRUTH & KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match
Lawler noted Primo & Epico should have the advantage since they were not in the Chamber match last night. Cole added that Truth and Kofi will be in the #1 contender battle royal featuring the 10 losers in the Raw and Smackdown Chamber matches. After the tag champs took the early advantage, Kofi hot-tagged into the match and delivered signature offense. Rosa then provided a distraction before the action broke down. It was no matter, as Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on Primo for the pin and the win. Lawler suggested Kofi and Truth should be in-line for a Tag Title shot now.
WINNERS: Kingston & Truth at 2:23. Another finish that made sense, but hurt the loser(s). Kofi & Truth needed to look strong (a) if they're going after the Tag Titles and (b) because they're in a #1 contender match to the WWE Title later in the show, but what does it say about the tag champs that they lost in three minutes to two guys who were selling injuries after the Chamber PPV last night?
Still to come: 10-man battle royal to determine who faces C.M. Punk for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Plus, a 2012 Hall of Fame class announcement.
Hall of Fame announcement: Cole fed to a video package on the newest Hall of Fame inductee, Ron Simmons. They started with a "Damn!" skit before going into a highlight package on his career, starting with his college football career at Florida State. The video transitioned to his WCW run, culminating with his historic WCW World Title win in 1992, as called by Jim Ross. The video then moved to highlights of Simmons in the APA with JBL. Next was a rapid-fire sequence of "Damn!" clips. (Ross tweeted after the announcement: "Bravo & congrats 2 Ron Simmons 4 his official WWE HOF announcement. So respected & tough. Felt fortunate to call his '92 Title win vs. Vader.")
Announcers: Back to Cole and Lawler, who talked glowingly about Simmons before transitioning to a discussion of the WWE Title situation. They focused on C.M. Punk KO'ing Chris Jericho during the WWE Title Chamber match last night, leading to Jericho being "eliminated" from the Chamber.
Backstage: Jericho was frowning and looking off into the distance. Josh Mathews approached Jericho to discuss him "technically" not being eliminated last night. Jericho went over the rules: to be eliminated, you must be pinned or submitted. "It was unfair!" he said. Jericho asked what kind of a champion Punk is to let victory like that stand. He claimed to be The Best In The World and he believes it with every fiber of his being. Tonight is the end of the world as you know it, and everyone in the battle royal is going to understand exactly what he's saying. They faded to commercial.
WM28 video package: Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" is the official theme song, as Lawler noted.
In-ring: David Otunga's music played to bring out Laurinaitis's hired legal representative to face anyone from the Smackdown brand. Ezekiel Jackson, along with Teddy Long, came out to face Otunga. Jackson, who hasn't won a TV match in 2012, is the best remaining pick from the Smackdown roster?
3 -- EZEKIEL JACKSON (w/Teddy Long) vs. DAVID OTUNGA (w/John Laurinaitis)
Zeke shoved down Otunga and went on the attack, but Otunga cut him off as Cole and Lawler argued about Laurinaitis. The crowd was quiet as Jackson made his comeback before he missed with a corner splash. Otunga then lifted up Zeke with one hand for a power finisher. It was good for the win. Post-match, Laurinaitis bragged in Long's face as Long tried to check on Jackson. Cole stood up to congratulate Laurinaitis before Lawler told him to sit down.
WINNER: Otunga at 1:38.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler transitioned to a discussion of The Undertaker-Triple H situation. This led to a video package from last week's Raw when Hunter told Shawn Michaels that he doesn't want to end Taker or The Streak.
Backstage: The camera focused on Undertaker's boots and the bottom of his jacket. (The camera shot seemed a bit too "unmystical" for Undertaker.) He speaks next.
Video plugs: Live Smackdown tomorrow night, then WrestleMania 28 on April 1. It's 40 days away.
Back live inside the arena, the bell tolled and lights started flashing as fans shrieked inside the arena. The arena turned blue and black as lightning flashed on the entrance ramp before The Undertaker slowly made his way out on-stage to a big reaction. Taker's head was covered by a hood from a jacket with the sleeves cut off. Taker, sporting a clean goatee, slowly made his way toward the ring with a stern look on his face as they hit the top of the hour.
[Q5 -- second hour] Taker slowly entered the ring, then he paced around the ring before his music stopped. "Taker, Taker" chant before Taker looked up at the WM28 logo. He did not remove the hood as he began to talk. Undertaker said he has thought about the beating he took from Triple H every day since last year's Mania. Taker said it's been a living hell for him. He said the physical wounds have healed; he's been living in a hell of uncertainty. Taker said he offered Hunter a re-match three weeks ago, and Hunter said no. But, the choice is not Hunter's. He said this has to come to an end. Taker said they are on the verge of apocalypse. He said they are at the end of an era in wrestling. Yes, he said "wrestling." Taker paused for applause before noting Triple H is using his suit to cover who he really is. He said it's time to end the uncertainty. Hunter can lie to himself and Shawn Michaels, but he can't lie to him. (Taker was doing a lot of pausing, which allowed a lot of catcalls on the air.) Taker told Hunter that this is far bigger than both of them, but the apocalypse.
After a pause, Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter in a suit. Hunter slowly entered the ring and waited out screams from the crowd. Hunter began recapping Taker's Mania challenge three weeks ago, but Taker didn't want a recap, so he told him to shut up. Taker told Hunter he's pitiful for not wanting to do this. Hunter calmly said he gets how badly Taker wants the match, and it is the end of an era, but their fate is not to end it, but to ensure that it carries on. Hunter said his objective is to ensure WWE exists in the future and Taker's fate is what it is: to be the leader and carry the torch for the next generation. Hunter said he won't be the one to extinguish the flame - it's bad for business.
Hunter turned to leave, but Taker called the "businessman" back to the ring. Taker asked if it's bad for business if he's gone or if it's bad for business that Hunter will be gone. The crowd oohed that line from Taker. Hunter paused and said it's just plain bad for business. Boos. Hunter said he gets it that Taker has spent the last year living in uncertainty, he has never been more certain of anything in his life. Hunter told Taker he should look inside himself to see he's certain of it, too. He claimed Taker isn't asking him for redemption or a shot at vengeance, but for "an end." Hunter claimed Taker just wants Hunter to end him and finish the job. "I'm not going to do it," Hunter said. He said he's not going to be the one who finishes it.
Taker looked toward the ceiling as Hunter tried to leave, but Taker pulled him back and said Hunter can spin it however he wants, but all he's going to be is a coward. That brought Hunter back into the ring, where Hunter paced around before getting in Taker's face. "I am sick to death of this coward thing!" Hunter screamed in Taker's face. Hunter calmed down after almost giving into Taker's request. "You're a coward," chant from the crowd. Hunter said he sees what Taker is trying to do, but it's not going to work. "I'm sorry, but the answer's no," Hunter quietly said. Boos. Hunter left the ring for good this time.
Taker was left alone in the ring. While still staring at the WM28 logo with his back to Hunter, Taker said he figured it out. Hunter can't do what his buddy, Shawn Michaels, could do. He said Shawn was always better than Hunter. On-stage, Hunter unbuttoned his jacket, loosened his tie, and unbuttoned his dress shirt before turning around to march back to the ring. Hunter re-entered the ring and stood up to Taker. Hunter, breathing heavily, raised the mic to his lips and said this has nothing to do with Shawn and who's better. "Shawn couldn't get the job done. I know damn well that I can!" Hunter said. He said he can do what Shawn couldn't do: finish it. "Prove it!" chant from the crowd. Hunter said he's standing before Taker, looking him in the eyes, and he is more certain than he's ever been before. "You want this? You want WrestleMania? You want an end?!" Pause. "You've got it!" Hunter said, drawing a big ovation.
[Q6] Hunter started to leave, but he returned to face Taker, who never flinched. Hunter told Taker they do this all the way. He said it's no return, no uncertainty, no excuses. The Streak ends. The Era ends. "You get your end. We do this, we go all the way. I will face you at WrestleMania under one condition. Hell in a Cell," he said. The crowd popped big for the HIAC announcement. Taker locked eyes with Hunter, then left the ring. Cue up "The Memory Remains" from Metallica as Taker paused on the stage to look back into the ring to lock eyes with Hunter.
Segment Reax: Taker was a little shaky in his opening monologue, but they finished strong with a great exchange playing off their history and the big stage to set up the co-headline Mania match.
DVD plug: The Rock's new DVD is out Tuesday.
In-ring: World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan came to the ring, coming off his World Title retention at the PPV last night. Bryan celebrated his World Title status before the announcers plugged Bryan vs. Sheamus at WrestleMania. Cole then confirmed Undertaker vs. Triple H inside HIAC is official for Mania. In the ring, Bryan cut a promo about still being World champion after defeating five other men last night. Suddenly, Santino's music played to bring out the Chamber runner-up. Santino, sporting a taped right hand and taped right forearm, marched to the ring to face Bryan.
4 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. SANTINO -- non-title match
The crowd quickly picked up a "Santino, Santino" chant, like last night. Santino quickly yanked out The Cobra, but Bryan blindsided Santino to knock the Cobra away. Santino then tried a roll-up, but Bryan easily escaped and slapped on the LeBell Lock. "Tap, Tap!" Bryan screamed. Santino tried grabbing the Cobra, but he was forced to tap out.
WINNER: Bryan via submission at 0:56.
Post-match: Cole slipped in a plug for tomorrow's live Smackdown before plugging the #1 contender's battle royal to the WWE Title coming up tonight. Also tonight, John Cena will return to the show to address The Rock.
5 -- KELLY KELLY & AKSANA vs. BELLA TWINS
Back live, the Divas were already in the ring for a Divas tag match. As Kelly started things off for the faces, Cole noted he is still trying to figure out the relationship between Aksana and Smackdown GM Teddy Long. Another blink-and-you-missed-it match, as the Bellas pulled Twin Magic on Aksana for a quick win.
WINNERS: Bella Twins at 1:17.
Still to come tonight: 10-man battle royal to determine Punk's Mania title contender. Backstage: John Cena was shown walking down a hallway. He will address Rock next.
Exterior shot: Snow in Minneapolis! Cole reset the show before Cena's music was heard in the arena. Cena was already in the ring. He said that before he was interrupted by Eve, who he called a skank, he was out here to talk about The Rock. Cena noted Rock isn't here this week, but he will be here next week to address him. "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Cena said he used to love that chant and he used to love that name, but Rock morphed into Dwayne. He said Dwayne is no longer the People's Champion, but a person with people. Cena referred to Raw writer Brian Gewirtz (only as Bryan) as the guy who writes Rock's jokes and said Rock has an entourage to protect him. Cena said he doesn't respect Rock. He respects what Dwayne has done at the box office and that he can make his boobs bounce.
Cena said he has a legit beef with Dwayne Johnson and it's the same problem he's had for seven years. He said Rock can show up next week and hold the audience in the palm of his hand, but then he'll kick it back to Hollywood right after Mania. Cena mocked his own movie career, including "12 Rounds," which was actually decent, then said he's always showed up and never left WWE. Cena said as soon as Rock got a taste of Hollywood, he was gone from WWE as quickly as possible. Cena referred to Rock leaving again last year. He said Vince McMahon is probably going to fine him for this one, but Rock only came back to promote "Fast Five" and launch his Twitter account.
Cena said he's not just fighting for himself, but to fight for everyone behind the curtain who dreams of fighting in this ring. He said he fights for those who dream of becoming - "I'm sorry" - a professional wrestler. Cena said the greatest thing about April 1 is April 9. It's the Monday after Mania when Rock is sitting on a movie set sipping a drink. He said Rock is going to be entertaining and try to put boots to asses, but Rock doesn't have enough clubs in his bag. He said Rock is going to have kill him because the headline is going to read that Cena beat Rock in the biggest match ever in Rock's hometown. Cena looked into the camera and told Rock that he'll see the movie star next week. He slammed down the mic and left the ring with a determined look.
Up next: #1 contender battle royal.
Tomorrow night: Smackdown is live with Bryan vs. Punk in a Champion vs. Champion match.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced WWE champion C.M. Punk to a tepid reaction with the crowd worn out from a lot of big moments on the show. Punk, sporting an announcing jacket, came to the ring to commentate on the main event battle royal. Punk made one girl's night ringside before joining Cole and Lawler to discuss the match.
Out first was Big Show, who was selling the effects of the Chamber last night. IC champion Cody Rhodes, sporting a taped right thigh, was out second. R-Truth was out third, followed by Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero), Wade Barrett, Great Khali, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Santino selling multiple injuries, and Chris Jericho out last after the arena lights shut off for Jericho's light-up jacket to make his presence known. Jericho made his way to ringside and locked eyes with Punk before entering the ring.
6 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. THE MIZ vs. IC champion CODY RHODES vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. WADE BARRETT vs. BIG SHOW vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. R-TRUTH vs. GREAT KHALI vs. SANTINO -- #1 contender's Battle Royal -- winner faces WWE champion C.M. Punk at WrestleMania
Punk targeted Jericho on commentary as Cole tried to badger Punk with exaggerated claims. The entire crew ganged up on Show, but then turned toward Khali and eliminated him at 0:55. On the floor, Khali simply sat on his rump staring into the ring in disbelief before they cut to break.
Back live at 4:00, Punk introduced the show and reset the broadcast, interrupting Cole. The camera focused on Kofi and Miz battling to avoid elimination while Vickie screeched ringside. Barrett and Rhodes tried to eliminate Show, but Show fought them off.
[Q9 -- over-run] Cole reset the show at the top of the hour. Kofi and Truth then double-dropkicked Miz, eliminating him from the match and ending his WrestleMania headline attempt. Show then double-chokeslammed Kofi and Truth, but Jericho dropped Show with a Codebreaker. Zig-Zag from Ziggler. Cross Rhodes to Ziggler. Winds of Change from Barrett to Rhodes. Barrett then tried to cut Santino, but Santino made a mid-air counter to eliminate Barrett. Truth was then eliminated by Santino. And, Ziggler ended it with a high-impact dropkick to Santino.
Show then press-slammed Ziggler over the top rope onto Barrett and Truth for a big visual. Barrett screamed and cussed like a sailor, selling that he injured his arm, which was taped to sell Chamber injuries. Cole said Ziggler may have been injured, which seemed like the storyline injury, and Lawler said Barrett may have injured his arm. Meanwhile, ref Scott Armstrong ran from ringside to the middle of the hard camera shot to give the "X" signal in the background. Back in the ring, Jericho eliminated Kingston as more refs came to ringside to check on the wrestlers ringside.
Now, a Final Four of Rhodes, Show, Jericho, and Santino. All four wrestlers paused in the ring as more medical personnel came to ringside to check on Barrett and Ziggler. They eventually started up the action with Rhodes, Jericho, and Santino trying to wear down Show. Santino then busted out The Cobra for Jericho and he connected. But, Rhodes clotheslined Santino over the top rope. Rhodes screamed that Santino's 15 minutes are over.
So, it was Rhodes and JeriShow. Punk noted Rhodes is against a former tag champion team. Show then double-suplexed Jericho and Rhodes before Show clotheslined Rhodes over the top rope. So, it was down to JeriShow. Show grabbed Jericho for a clothesline, but Rhodes grabbed Show's leg from the outside. The distraction gave Jericho an opening to try to pull Show over the top rope. Rhodes then snuck back to ringside and helped Jericho pull Rhodes over the top rope, giving Jericho the win. Cole noted Rhodes cost Show a match with major title implications two nights in a row.
WINNER: Jericho at 12:17 to become #1 contender to the WWE Title. Not exactly an emphatic victory for Jericho to set up Punk-Jericho for the WWE Title at Mania.
Post-match: Punk clapped and stood up at his announce position to lock eyes with Jericho. As medical personnel continued to work on Barrett in the background, Punk left the announce position to go face-to-face with Jericho in the ring. Punk extended his hand, but Jericho walked away and pointed to himself to suggest he will prove he's the best in the world. Cult of Personality played and Punk stood tall in the ring to apparently end the segment. But, Jericho randomly walked around the ring, chatted with a ref, and stood underneath the WM28 banner. It was for a final camera shot of Punk standing tall in the ring and Jericho looking up toward Punk.
Next Monday: Before Raw officially signed off, WWE plugged The Rock returning live next week. What will he have in store for Cena next week? The show ended nine minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A lot going on with this show. As for WrestleMania hype, Taker-Hunter seems to have the strongest Mania hype at this point, Cena is making everyone feel down about Cena-Rock at Mania, Punk-Jericho has some to work to do the next five weeks, Bryan-Sheamus needs an issue, and the Mania mid-card is anyone's guess at this point.
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