WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Raw from London - WWE Title match, Extreme Rules hype
Apr 16, 2012 - 10:05:06 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
April 16, 2012 - Episode #985
Taped in London, England
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's taped WWE Raw from London opened with the usual Raw intro video - now with Brock Lesnar #2 behind John Cena - before they went to the O2 Arena for full pyro and crowd shots. Michael Cole introduced the show and said London is rocking tonight. Cole and Jerry Lawler set the stage for the show before Justin Roberts announced the WWE Title match to open the show.
Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk to a loud reaction. Mark Henry was already in the ring to challenge Punk for the title. That's never a good sign. Once Cult of Personality ended, the crowd fired off a loud "C-M-Punk" chant. Justin Roberts handled formal ring introductions, then the WrestleMania-esque crowd chanted Punk's name again before the bell sounded.
1 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. MARK HENRY -- WWE Title match -- No DQ, No Count-out match
Punk tried to swipe at Henry with kicks early on, but Henry dodged Punk and went on the attack. Another loud chant for Punk, who tried using his quickness to avoid Henry, but walked into a lift-up slam. Henry knocked Punk to the outside, and the match appeared to be moving to the floor. Except, Punk scurried back into the ring, then flew through the ropes with a suicide splash. Henry was unaffected, though, as he whipped Punk into the ringpost moments later. Henry then tried choking the life out of Punk inside the ringpost and ring apron. Henry took too long following up, though, and ate boots to the face. Punk then hopped on the guardrail, ran the rail, and delivered a flying bulldog on the floor.
Punk spent the next few moments trying to drag Henry into the ring, but Henry rammed Punk back-first into the ring apron. Punk came back with kicks to the back that generated "Yes!" chants with each successful kick. Then, Punk tried following up with a seated splash, but Henry caught Punk in mid-air and absolutely smashed Punk into the guardrail like a ragdoll. They cut to break at 4:30 with Henry in control after a strong back-and-forth, see-saw start to the match.
Back from break, Henry was wearing down Punk inside the ring. Punk tried fighting back with kick strikes, but Henry ran him over with a chest block. Henry then stepped on Punk's throat before doing some trash-talking to no one in particular. Again, Punk with a comeback, then he grabbed a chair from ringside and put two shots to the stomach for a two count. Punk measured Henry for another shot, but Henry back-kicked Punk to cut off the champ again. Henry scooped up the chair, then popped Punk across the back with the weapon. Henry took his time following up, allowing for another comeback. Punk got the "Yes!" chants going, but then ran into another clothesline from Henry, cutting off Punk.
[Q2] Henry selected a slow song on the dance floor by applying a standing bear hug mid-ring. Punk tried to fight out with rapid-fire elbow strikes, then he chopped down Henry at the knee. Punk followed with a leaning DDT, but Henry escaped a pin at two. Punk tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Henry caught him in mid-air. Punk escaped, then kicked Henry in the head. Punk followed with a corner knee strike, but Henry flung Punk away on a running bulldog attempt. Henry then went for a corner attack, but ate the steel chair wedged in the corner.
The chair fell to the outside and Punk scooped up the chair ringside. Punk then slowly made his way up top as Henry remained KO'ed in the corner of the ring. Punk reached the top turnbuckle with chair in-hand and the crowd reacted as Punk delivered a flying Macho Man chair elbow smash. Punk paused to sell the effects, then made the cover for a three count.
WINNER: Punk at 13:13 to retain the WWE Title. Solid TV match with a nice back-and-forth pace. The match appeared to be edited and chopped for the TV broadcast, which was one drawback to the action. (**1/2)
Post-match: Chris Jericho appeared on the Titantron to mockingly applaud Punk for his victory tonight. Jericho, sitting in a bar, said he's been granted a WWE Title shot because of his dominance over Punk the last few weeks. Jericho said he had to make a concession, though, and that is their match will be a Chicago Street Fight. In the ring, Punk smiled and said Jericho will not survive when they fight in the streets. He said this is no longer about him being the Best in the World, but about him kicking Jericho's ass. Punk advertised his father, mother, and sister in the crowd watching the match at Extreme Rules.
Jericho then told Punk to make sure he shows up to the PPV sober because he saw Punk in a bar earlier today. They cut to footage from 11:55 a.m. showing Punk walking into a bar. Punk was then shown leaving a few hours before Raw. Jericho asked Punk if was drinking and if he's drunk right now. He told Jericho to come down to the ring and find out if he's drunk. Punk said he's not allowed to go to a pub and have some fish and chips with a friend. Jericho said that's how it started for Punk's father. He told Punk he could have gone out for fish and chips anywhere, but he likes being surrounded by alcohol. Jericho told Punk he's on the path to alcoholism and his Straight Edge lifestyle is a mere façade. Jericho vowed to make Punk lose the last thing he has left in his life - the WWE Title. Punk tried to respond, but Jericho "hung up" on Punk by disappearing on the Titantron. The crowd chanted Punk's name before the segment ended with Punk frustrated in the ring.
Still to come: Santino vs. Otunga. Also, "Controversial Words" from Brock Lesnar. They played a soundbyte that if he were around in WWE for the last eight years, John Cena would still be carrying his bags.
Backstage: Back on Raw, R-Truth was dressed as Sherlock Holmes looking for someone. Teddy Long then walked into the shot and asked Truth who he's talking to. Truth noted he's talking to Little Jimmy Holmes. Truth vowed to find Long a job away from being John Laurinaitis's lackey.
In-ring: Santino came out on-stage sporting a football jersey. It was the wrong jersey in London, so he did a bit pretending to realize he was wearing the wrong jersey, taking off several jerseys before revealing the English football team club jersey. During this, Jerry Lawler read some prepared lines about the wrong teams Santino was representing in London. After Santino got the cheap face reaction, David Otunga came out to the ring to challenge Santino for the U.S. Title.
2 -- U.S. champion SANTINO vs. DAVID OTUNGA -- U.S. Title match
Basic action to start the action before Santino tried getting the "Yes!" chants with rapid-fire jabs, before Otunga kicked Santino in the face. Moments later, Otunga had a pin and appeared to score a three count, but the ref realized at the last second that Santino's foot was on the bottom rope. Ref Charles Robinson waved off his three count, Otunga argued, and Santino made his comeback, culminating with a Cobra shot to the jaw for the pin. Post-match, Cole complained about Otunga's loss as Santino celebrated his win in the ring.
WINNER: Santino at 2:01 to retain the U.S. Title. Basic house show match giving Otunga an "out" and setting up the follow-through.
Backstage: Sakamoto prepared Lord Tensai for battle, then Josh Mathews walked into the shot for an interview. Sakamoto tried to speak on behalf of Tensai, but Tensai cut him off and said he knows what everyone should fear. Tensai also spoke in Japanese to get his message across - speaking for the first time since returning to WWE TV.
Up Next: Brock Lesnar unloads in an interview on John Cena. The soundbyte included Lesnar saying piss is running down Cena's leg when he's in the ring with him.
Back live, Michael Cole read a press release about WrestleMania breaking PPV records, according to preliminary results. On-camera, Cole and Lawler thanked the audience for supporting WrestleMania before feeding to an interview with Brock Lesnar.
Video: Lesnar was shown sitting in a room for a sit-down interview. He said he's not a Superstar, but an ass-kicker. "I am Brock Lesnar. That's it," he said, before the video showed footage of Lesnar in the early 2000s. Included was footage of Lesnar dominating high school and college amateur wrestling. Lesnar said he was recruited by WWE because they wanted and needed him. They focused on Lesnar beating The Rock for the WWE Title. WWE included still photos of Lesnar in UFC as Lesnar said he proved everyone wrong in UFC.
Lesnar said he didn't come back to WWE because he misses the fans or walking through the curtain again. He said it's strictly business because he's going to legitimize the company. "We're tired of John Cena's bull crap," he said. Lesnar said the only reason why Cena is in the spot he's in because he left. Lesnar was shown training as he continued to talk about being legit. He said nothing about him is fake because everything he does is real, as evidenced by punching Cena in the face last week on Raw. Lesnar said Cena is scared s---less.
"This isn't a wrestling match on April 29," Lesnar said. He said it's an Extreme Rules match and the only thing he cares about is bringing the pain to John Cena. He said Cena got an appetizer, and he hopes Cena likes the taste. "I am not a Superstar. I am an ass-kicker. I am Brock Lesnar," he said. "What makes me happy? Beating people up. That's what makes me happy." End promo. Back on Raw, Cole plugged the Cena-Lesnar match turning into an Extreme Rules match at the PPV. Lawler added that there's no filter on Lesnar's mouth, nor on his fists.
In-ring: Zack Ryder came out to the ring for the next match-up. Cole said he's not sure why Ryder is in a good mood today because he's fighting Kane tonight. Cole then narrated still-shots of all of the destruction Kane created for Ryder at the beginning of the year. Pyro then shot off and Ryder sold concern as Kane slowly made his way to the ring leading to break.
3 -- KANE vs. ZACK RYDER
Back on Raw, Ryder was on the outside watching Kane shoot off his pyro in the ring. Ryder then tried to hop on the ring apron to start the match, but Kane booted Ryder off the apron to the outside. Kane continued to blast away at Ryder before throwing him into the announce table. Kane threw Ryder back into the ring, but the ref refused to start the match considering Ryder's condition. Kane then stalked Ryder for a chokeslam and delivered a monster chokeslam center-ring. They replayed the non-start to the match before returning to the ring, which was now washed in Kane's red lighting.
Kane took the mic and went back to last week's Smackdown. He said it was a beautiful family reunion when Randy Orton and his father were KO'ed next to each other. Kane said he expected Orton's old man to go down without a fight, but he didn't expect The Viper to be so easy. Kane added that it's true what they say - like father, like son. Is Paul Bearer coming back for a tag match with Kane against the Ortons? Kane dipped out of the ring as his music played.
WINNER: No Match; bell never sounded. This captured Ryder's place in life enhancing upper-mid-card stars. Concerning Kane, more set-up for the inevitable Kane-Orton rubber match at Extreme Rules.
Backstage: Kofi Kingston was talking to A.J., then Daniel Bryan walked into the scene to a big live reaction. Bryan told Kofi that just because he doesn't want A.J. anymore, doesn't mean it's open season on her. Bryan then vowed to make Kofi tap to the LeBell Lock...no wait, Gene LeBell never beat anyone, so it will now be known as the "Yes! Lock." Bryan did the "Yes!" chant over and over in Kofi's face as the live crowd joined in. Kofi had enough after about ten chants, then walked off. Bryan kept going to end the segment.
Up Next: What is John Cena's State of Mind following Brock Lesnar's attacks last week on Raw?
Smackdown plug: Sheamus's frustrations boiled over after WrestleMania, now he must rise to Daniel Bryan's challenge ahead of Extreme Rules... Back on Raw, Michael Cole plugged a three-hour Raw next week from Detroit. No word yet on what the theme will be.
In-ring: Just before the top of the hour, John Cena's music played to bring out WWE's top star to a mixed reaction. Cena stormed the ring as Cole plugged an article on WWE's website wondering why Laurinaitis selected Brock Lesnar over Cena as his top dog. Cole then narrated footage from last week's Raw when Cena and Lesnar brawled in the ring to start the show. They showed Chapters 3 and 4 with Cena defeating Otunga at the end of Raw before Lesnar kicked Cena between the legs to stand tall again.
[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, they returned to Cena in the ring after he watched the video clips. Cena smirked, then smiled. He said the thing he finds interesting is John Laurinaitis trying to avoid controversy by washing his hands of the situation. Cena said WrestleMania may have been the end of an era, but it also may have been the end of his era. The crowd responded with "Yes!" chants, which Cena acknowledged. Cena then mocked the "Cena Sucks" chants in Laurinaitis's voice. He said it's not the first or last time for that. He said that the problem is when someone like Laurinaitis uses his power and authority to try to replace someone like John Cena. Pause for more "Yes!" chants.
Cena said the sad part is Laurinaitis isn't a man. And, he feels the need to legitimize "all of this," pointing to the arena. So, Laurinaitis went out and found Brock Lesnar. Cena, in preacher promo mode, said Lesnar's return was the most anticipated return in history. He said after a year of listening to "putting on a good show" and shaking hands (referring to his WM27 match build-up with The Rock), Lesnar decided he wants destruction in WWE. Cena said Lesnar stands for torture. Cena said on April 29, he faces a man who is not stepping into the ring to win, but whose sole purpose is to end and replace him. Cena said he steps into the ring on April 29 to fight. He said if he walks into Extreme Rules to take the biggest ass-kicking of his career, he...will...fight!
Suddenly, trumpets and various music assigned to royalty played to bring out John Laurinaitis on-stage to boos. Laurinaitis told Cena that it's the end of an era, but the beginning of another era, People Power. Cue up the big smile. Laurinaitis said he's glad to see Cena wants to fight, so he's putting him in an Extreme Rules match tonight. He also told Cena that on next week's three-hour Raw, there will be a contract signing between Cena and Lesnar. Laurinaitis added that he will not reveal Cena's opponent tonight. He said that's the way he does it in the new era. Cue up the trumpets.
Reax: This feels too rushed. I think many viewers are still coming down from Cena-Rock after the one-year build-up to the Mania main event, and WWE seems to be jumping into Chapter 10 of a Cena-Lesnar issue to try to sell Extreme Rules on a quick turnaround. Lesnar's promo hit the right notes, and Cena's promo would have been on-track if this entire program didn't feel rushed.
Back ringside, Cole and Lawler repeated the contract signing advertising for next week's three-hour Raw. Cole then revisited the Punk-Henry title match opener from earlier tonight. Cole also re-introduced footage of Punk leaving a pub earlier today, which Jericho used to accuse Punk of becoming an alcoholic. Cole then plugged Punk-Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules.
Up Next: Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston.
Back on Raw, Hornswoggle was shown reading in a mock library. R-Truth then walked into the shot via secret passageway. Swoggle did a double-take, then tried banging on the secret passageway to get out of the room. Why not just paint a portal on the wall and escape?
In-ring: Kofi Kingston came out for the featured singles match with Daniel Bryan. No sign of A.J. accompanying Bryan to the ring as the crowd roared their approval for Bryan. The crowd "Yes'ed" along with Bryan on the way to the ring before the announcers plugged Sheamus vs. Bryan for the World Title at Extreme Rules.
4 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. DANIEL BRYAN
Lawler said he normally likes to hear "Yes," especially if it comes from a pretty lady, but now Bryan has ruined it for him. Moving along, Bryan "yes'ed" in Kofi's face to slow down Kofi as the crowd shouted their support for Bryan. Bryan landed a knee to the gut as a graphic flashed on the screen plugging the theme-less three-hour Raw next week. The graphic stayed on the screen for a while before Kofi teased a comeback, only to have Bryan cut him off with an uppercut. Lawler defended the honor of Gene LeBell as the match moved to the floor, where Kofi cut off Bryan with a strike to the face. They cut to break with Kofi in control.
[Commercial Break. Next week's three-hour Raw - contract signing for Cena-Lesnar at Extreme Rules. What happens when they come face-to-face next week?]
Back live, Bryan was working over Kofi in the ring. They cut to a shot of A.J. watching the action on a TV monitor, and Cole admired A.J.'s perseverance continuing to pursue Bryan. Bryan blasted away on Kofi with more kick strikes as the crowd loudly chanted, "Yes!" Kofi then made a comeback with high-flying offense before warming up the crowd, which responded with boos. Kofi then delivered the Boom Drop before warming up for Trouble in Paradise. Bryan easily avoided, though, but Kofi came back with the SOS for a two count.
The action moved up top, where the two men blocked each other's offense before Kofi missed with a big top-rope splash. Bryan then wrestled Kofi to the mat and slapped on the Yes Lock center-ring. The crowd called for Kofi to tap out and he did, giving Bryan the submission win. Backstage, A.J. looked on approvingly as Bryan celebrated in the ring with the crowd doing "Yes!" chants over and over.
Post-match, Bryan re-applied the Yes Lock, which Cole agreed with. Sheamus's music then hit to bring out Sheamus, who airballed a Brogue Kick. Bryan slipped out of the ring and flashed a big smile toward Sheamus, who told him he was "this close" to getting Bryan. Bryan slowly made his way up the ramp with a big smile on his face as Sheamus helped Kofi recover in the ring. Bryan then did more "Yes!" chants on-stage as the crowd chanted along.
WINNER: Bryan via submission at 10:34. Strong singles match. Bryan gets a clean win, then reinforces he's a heel (despite the crowd) with a post-match attack. That's the type of win Bobby Roode needs as heel champion in TNA. (**1/2)
Still to come: Cena faces a Mystery Opponent in an Extreme Rules match...tonight.
In-ring: After a replay of Dolph Ziggler taking The Headbutt from Brodus Clay on-stage on Raw two weeks ago, Brodus Clay's music hit back in the arena. Out came Clay along with his dancers for a singles contest as Lawler reminded Cole of Pat Patterson KO'ing him on Smackdown last week. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. She said Dolph Ziggler will cut the Funkasauras down to size tonight. Out came Ziggler to a strong reaction (U.K. fans appreciate good in-ring work) and Jack Swagger backed Ziggler on the way to the ring.
5 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero)
Ziggler tried an early dropkick, but Clay shooed him away and delivered an overhead suplex. Swagger then found himself in the ring and the ref tossed out the match 22 seconds in. Post-match: Vickie tried to get involved, but Clay's dancers pulled her off the ring apron. Vickie shoved down Cameron, then Naomi cornered Vickie and she walked into Clay's jiggling pecs. Naomi then popped a frightened Vickie out of the ring, leading to more dancing for Clay and the dancers.
WINNER: Clay via DQ at 0:22.
Backstage: Laurinaitis told Otunga that if he focuses on his in-ring career as much as the work he does for him, the sky is the limit for him as a wrestler. Eve then walked into the shot and said she never received her one-on-one time with Laurinaitis. John had an idea, so he invited Eve and Otunga into his office for a meeting.
Ringside: Back to the announcers, Cole and Lawler talked solemnly about the death of Chief Jay Strongbow. Cole then fed to a highlight video package on Strongbow that WWE released on YouTube last week. Back in the arena, the crowd was shown applauding. WWE's "In Memory Of..." message flashed on the screen before they faded to commercial.
Back on Raw, Cole plugged the main event with Cena in an Extreme Rules match still to come. They cut backstage to Sherlock R-Truth finding Teddy Long using his magnifying glass again. Truth said he has the perfect job for Long: general manager of Smackdown. Long noted he was just fired from that job, then walked off after calling Truth crazy.
In-ring: Great Khali made his way out to the ring, followed by IC champion Big Show. Show and Khali hugged it up in the ring before the tag champions came out to the ring. Cole noted Epico and Primo have been complaining about not being on TV as of late and complained about being bumped to the pre-show at Mania. So, now they get TV time against Khali and Show. Lawler said they should be on TV more...because of Rosa Mendes.
6 -- WWE tag champions EPICO & PRIMO (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. IC champion BIG SHOW & GREAT KHALI -- non-title match
Abraham Washington, being called "AW," walked out on-stage to scout talent in the opening minutes of the match. It's not clear which team AW was actually scouting. Cole noted AW has not signed anyone yet as the giant babyface duo dominated the tag champs. The tag champs then decided to leave the match, but Big Show dragged them back into the ring. Khali turned this into a handicap match by dismantling the champs before the giants hit a stereo chokeslam and Punjabi Plunge for a double cover for the win. Post-match, Show and Khali danced as Cole groaned.
WINNERS: Show & Khali at 1:55. Just a showcase of WWE's big-man stars at the expense of the tag champs. WWE's mid-card titles are virtually useless at this point.
Up Next: Cena finds out his Extreme Rules opponent.
Next Monday: three-hour Raw featuring John Cena-Brock Lesnar contract signing.
Back in the arena, Cena's music played to bring out Cena to another mixed reaction. Cena asked the on-camera cameraman if he's ready to get extreme, then Cena stormed the ring. Justin Roberts announced the only way to win is via pinfall or submission as Cole noted this is a preview of Cena-Lesnar at Extreme Rules in two weeks. After a pause, Laurinaitis's music played again to bring out John and David Otunga. Laurinaitis waved to the crowd, then introduced Cena's opponent tonight, Lord Tensai. The crowd groaned and Cena sold concern. Sakamoto then led out Tensai as Lawler recapped Tensai's journey from WWE star to Japan to learn the way of the warrior and dominate the competition. Cole also drew attention to Cena's look of concern as Tensai was announced as his opponent.
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. LORD TENSAI (w/Sakamoto) -- Extreme Rules match
As the bell sounded, Cole took things back to WM28, wondering if Cena has even recovered from his WrestleMania loss to The Rock. And, now, he has to deal with Brock Lesnar. Lawler said he bets Cena thinks about that loss to The Rock every morning he wakes up. Tensai dismantled Cena early on before splashing Cena in the corner, which sent Cena rolling to the outside.
Cena teased a comeback on the floor, but Tensai whipped Cena into the ring steps. Tensai then wanted a powerbomb, but Cena countered with a back body drop. Cena then lifted up the ring steps and cracked the steps across Tensai's body. Cena rolled Tensai back into the ring, but Sakamoto smacked around Cena ringside. Otunga then got up from his ringside seat and rolled Cena into the ring, where Tensai scored a nearfall.
[Q9 -- over-run] Cole added some very strong commentary that Laurinaitis may have recruited Lesnar because he doesn't think Cena could ever recover from the loss to Rock at WrestleMania, and he needs a new top star. Lawler equated it to Tiger Woods unable to regain his Majors victory form in the past few years following his personal life collapse. Cena finally made a comeback, then hit the sit-out slam. He wanted the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Tensai reached his feet and chopped Cena across the face. Tensai followed with a running splash for a two count.
Tensai continued the attack with a leg drop across the shoulder, followed by an armbar. Tensai leaned back on Cena's back to apply more pressure, but Cena flipped over into the STF in one fluid motion. Otunga then stormed the ring, but ate an Attitude Adjustment from Cena. The distraction allowed Tensai to get his green mist and spew it in Cena's face. Tensai then hit a sit-out powerbomb on Cena and made the cover for the win.
Post-match: Otunga sold a back injury ringside as Laurinaitis looked on approvingly. In the ring, Tensai sold satisfaction with his victory as Lawler sold concern over Cena's condition with the mist in his eyes. "Water, water, water," Cena called out to ringside. They went to a slow-motion replay of Tensai blinding Cena with the green mist, which led to the sit-out bomb for the finish. On commentary, Cole said Lesnar - oh yeah, that guy - has a sole purpose eliminating Cena from WWE. "He may be right," Cole said as Cena continued to sell in the corner and Tensai celebrated in the ring to close the show five minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Tensai at 6:59. Classic stack the deck formula against Cena, with Tensai being a surrogate for Lesnar and a means for getting sympathy on Cena. Not much heat on Tensai, though, three weeks into his TV return. The character just isn't popping off the screen at a main event-level yet. Lastly, having Cena take a loss this close to Extreme Rules was questionable, but the commentary was really strong focusing on whether Cena is off his game following the loss to Rock at Mania.
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