WWE RAW – December 26, 2011 – Chicago, Illinois
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
[ REVIEWED BY BRAD DYKENS ]
DARK MATCH: Alex Riley defeated JTG..
DARK MATCH: Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins..
IN THE RING
Interim General Manager John Laurinaitis + WWE champion C.M. Punk: John Laurinaitis came out to C.M. Punk’s music and called himself a Punk believer in an attempt to kiss up to the crowd. “Cult of Personality” played once again and the real C.M. Punk made his way out to the ring where he was greeted by his hometown fans. Punk accused Laurinaitis of trying to antagonize him. Punk said there was a question he wanted answered; what is stopping him from kicking Lauritaitis in the face. John said he has taken some management classes and learned some new ways to empower his talent. John said he wanted to give Punk a holiday gift – the night off! But then took it back saying “I gotcha! Who says I can’t be unpredicatable.” Punk said there were aliens watching on their spaceship and they are saying John can’t be unpredictable. John said he listens to the WWE Universe and knows they would like to see Punk compete tonight in a gauntlet match! He added that if any of Punk’s opponents defeated him they would get a title shot next week. Punk asked what happens when he beats all three guys. John said he hadn’t thought about that. Punk wasn’t surprised, but presented an idea that when he survives the gauntlet he gets John Laurinaitis in the ring. John said Punk doesn’t want any of this because it wouldn’t be fair. Punk asked the fans if they wanted to see Laurinaitis face C.M. Punk tonight – and they CHEERED LOUD! John then agreed “you’re on!”
VIGNETTE: Another weird vignette hyping the return of either the Undertaker, Chris Jericho, or perhaps Batista? Most likely the Undertaker! The punchline was “The End Begins… Next Monday”
NON (WWE INTERCONTINENTAL) TITLE MATCH
Booker T defeated WWE Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes:
John Cena & Zack Ryder: John Cena gave Zack Ryder a pep talk and praised him for earning the United States championship. Ryder said tonight he has chance to make another Christmas wish come true. Cena said Kane has attacked him the last two weeks and tonight he will make sure the last RAW of 2011 goes off with a bang!
Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler: They announced that C.M. Punk’s opponents in the gauntlet match will be Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Mark Henry.
The Big Show & Kelly Kelly: Big Show was flirting with Kelly when he was called into the office of John Laurinaitis.
John Laurinaitis & David Otunga + The Big Show: John Laurinaitis got off the phone and said Brodus Clay was mad and he would had to be Brodus’ opponent next week. Big Show came in and John showed a video of him knocking out David Otunga on the last SmackDown!. John said Big Show assaulted his legal council and Otunga threatened a lawsuit. Otunga made fun of Big Show’s shortest title reign in history. Big Show said he could beat Otunga with one arm behind his back. John asked Otunga to drop the lawsuit and face Big Show with one hand behind his back. Otunga agreed.
Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler + Vickie Guerrero + Mark Henry: Swagger & Ziggler argued until Vickie came in and said it doesn’t matter who beats Punk tonight as long as one of them brings the WWE title to her stable next week. Mark Henry walked by and said EXCUSE ME!
MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH
Zack Ryder & Eve Torres defeated Tyson Kidd & Natalya Neidhart: Nothing was really said about Tyson & Natalya reuniting.
IN THE RING
John Cena + The Miz: John Cena came out to mostly boos. Cena said Chicago has been salty towards him over the years. Cena talked about the history of WWE in Chicago and then challenged Kane to a fight. The Miz came out instead and said he had some loose ends to tie up with John Cena before the year ends. The Miz said he beat Cena in the main event of WrestleMania, but that win was a little tainted because of the Rock. Miz said Rock stole his shining moment and wanted to prove that he doesn’t need the Rock to beat John Cena. Cena said if Miz wants a match all they need is a referee!
John Cena vs. The Miz ended in a No Contest: A few minutes into the match, the Miz bailed out and cut a promo on the fans. Miz said it doesn’t matter how he beat Cena at WrestleMania, he still beat him! Miz was counted out while he was talking. Miz said he was a winner! Suddenly R-Truth ran down and attacked the Miz! They brawled around ringside. Truth managed to destroy Miz and said there was no fun in finishing Miz right now. Truth said “that’s the problem with Christmas.. you open all your presents and it’s over!” adding “I want every Monday night to be like Christmas.” Truth said he would take his time getting back at the Miz.
The Big Show defeated David Otunga by DQ: They tied the Big Show’s hand behind his back. David Otunga looks like a wellness violation waiting to happen. Otunga simply tried to wear out the Big Show. Midway through this short match, Mark Henry made his way down to the ring to confront a defenseless Big Show. Henry blasted Big Show down to the mat. Daniel Bryan came down and distracted Henry with the World title. Big Show grabbed Henry, but Otunga hit Big Show from behind. Big Show choke-slammed Otunga down to the mat. Big Show was declared the winner by disqualification.
Alberto Del Rio (in a wheelchair) w/Ricardo Rodriguez (in a neck brace) + The Bella Twins: Alberto came out and announced that he was injured in the main event of RAW last week.. Alberto said he suffered the most painful injury when he completely tore his groin. The crowd booed and Alberto felt disrespected. The Bellas came out and defended Alberto, then bickered with each other over who would throw a party for Alberto. Alberto told them to get lost and promised he will be back and will be more aggressive then ever before – and he will be WWE champion AGAIN!
GAUNTLET MATCH #1
WWE champion C.M. Punk defeated Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero: Swagger picked away at Punk’s knee during the match.
GAUNTLET MATCH #2
Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero & Jack Swagger) defeated WWE champion C.M. Punk: Ziggler continued to work over Punk’s knee. After a long battle, John Laurinaitis walked down and curiously ejected Vickie & Swagger from ringside. John distracted Punk long enough for Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag and pin Punk for the shocking victory! Dolph gets a title shot next week!
IN THE RING
Kane + John Cena: Kane said the man standing before the fans is hie true self. Kane said he may wear a mask but it’s the fans who send every second living a lie! John Cena interrupted but the pyro went off on the stage blocking his entrance. Kane explained that he chose Cena to be his victim because he has led the fans a stray. Kane said this world is a dark place and it’s okay to hate – humans are hateful by nature. Kane said deep down everybody hates, so why rise above it, when the natural impulse is to embrace it. Kane said people hate their bosses, their neighbors, their spouses, their miserable existence. Kane RISE ABOVE is a fraudulent myth perpetuated by John Cena. Kane said hate is the seed from which they are all born. Kane said it motivates us and fuels our impulses. Kane said he knows Cena feels it swimming under his skin. Kane said once Cena embraces the hate, he will become honest with himself. Suddenly the fans were chanting for Cena. Kane said Cena will become free. Kane said with Cena’s denial he will grow weaker by the moment. Kane said until Cena embraces what he denies he can never be truly free. Kane said he was going to help Cena towards the path of enlightenment. Kane said the last image Cena will hear this year is the people chanting the words that will tear his soul apart. Kane started a “CENA SUCKS!” chant which didn’t catch on as much as they hoped. Cena stood expressionless on the stage. The chants turned into “LETS GO CENA! CENA SUCKS!” Cena looked bothered as the show faded to black.