WWE RAW – January 23, 2012 – Phoenix, Arizona
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
[ REVIEWED BY BRAD DYKENS ]
IN THE RING
WWE champion C.M. Punk + John Cena + Interim General Manager John Laurinaitis: Punk hyped the WWE championship match this Sunday at Royal Rumble. Punk said Dolph Ziggler is a self-proclaimed “show off” and has defeated him three times in the past month. Punk added that each victory was hand-wrapped and delivered by John Laurinaitis – who happens to be the referee this Sunday. Punk said JL was a failure at being a wrestler, failure as an executive, and a failure as a human being. Punk said JL sucks at life. Punk said last week JL told the truth for the first time in his life when he admitted that he was going to screw Punk at the PPV. Punk said it was safe to say JL isn’t going to be unbiased this Sunday, so he’s pretty screwed. Punk said there was a course of action he can take to get him the desired results. Punk said he knows it is hard to referee a match with two broken arms. Punk invited JL to come out right now and look him in the eye, be a man for once, and say those things to his face! John Cena came out instead. Punk said he didn’t want “John the Boy Scout” he wanted “John Nobody Gives a Crap About Me.” Cena said he was sick of hearing Punk ramble. Cena said he was out there for business. Cena said JL will appear in minutes to give Zack Ryder a rematch and will give him a one-on-one contest with Kane. Cena said JL will soon appear and resign as the Interim General Manager of RAW. Punk said if JL calls himself ‘champion of the people’ then the people have spoken. John Laurinaitis finally came out to the stage and did his boring introduction gimmick. JL told Cena & Punk they all have bad days, saying things they wish they could take back. JL said last week was not one of those days. JL said he wouldn’t be intimidated by either man. Punk invited JL down to the ring so he can hear him better. JL said he was the boss. JL said he apologized to Zack last week and he is ready to compete tonight. JL booked Ryder against Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match and if Cena interferes Ryder will never get a shot at the U.S. title. JL also booked Punk & Cena in a tag team match against ……. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger!
TAG TEAM MATCH
Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero defeated WWE champion C.M. Punk & John Cena: Vickie Guerrero came out and introduced the United States champion Jack Swagger and the future WWE champion Dolph Ziggler! Ziggler said Punk shouldn’t be worried about John Lauriniatis screwing him at the Royal Rumble because he (Ziggler) is going to flat out beat Punk. Swagger said Cena was dead meat for what he to him last week! John Laurinaitis joined in on commentary for the match. Late in the match, Cena reversed the Anklelock by Swagger into an STF on the floor. Punk was about to finish Ziggler in the ring, but JL got up on the apron. Punk pushed him down, allowing Ziggler to roll up Punk for the 1-2-3. This would be the fourth time Ziggler has pinned the WWE champion in a month! After the match, Punk said that doesn’t change a damn thing, because at some point he plans on beating the hell out of John Laurinaitis. Punk said he wants JL to be a WWE Superstar for one night tonight so he (Punk) can make him famous! Punk challenged JL to a one on one match. JL grinned and accepted.
IN THE RING (THE HIGHLIGHT REEL)
Chris Jericho: Jericho came out and milked the crowd reaction. That gimmick is getting old fast. Jericho asked the fans to be quiet so he could talk, but couldn’t quite get the words out. Which was funny, because the fans were quieter than they usually are. Jericho jumped out of the ring and ran backstage, only to return with the t-shirt gun. Jericho went to each side of the ring to see which side was louder and deserved a t-shirt. Jericho then took a camera and panned the audience. Jericho then picked up the mic and there was a countdown. At which point they showed a highlight reel of Jericho’s WWE career. Jericho told the crowd to SHHHHH even though they were already silent from boredom. Jericho finally spoke, promising this Sunday at the Royal Rumble it would be the end of the world as you know it! That’s it.
VIGNETTE: Royal Rumble, the “Numbers”..
Mick Foley & Zack Ryder & Eve Torres + John Cena: Mick said he knows Kane and he’s an animal, but deep down he’s a human being. Mick wished Zack luck and walked off. Eve tried to talk Zack out of doing the match. John Cena showed up and said if Zack needs him he’ll be there. Zack said he needs his rematch so stay out of it, bro!
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH
Kane vs. Zack Ryder w/Eve Torres ended in a No Contest: Kane choke-slammed Zack Ryder through the stage. Eve ran up and freaked out. Kane turned his attention to her and stalked her all the way back to the ring. John Cena showed up on stage. Kane retreated through the crowd, allowing Eve to run up Cena’s side. Cena realized what he did and looked concerned as Zack was fitting in a neck brace and stretchered out. Eve cried. After the commercial, Cena helped EMT’s take Ryder out of the building. He looked into the camera and looked demented.
Sheamus defeated Jinder Mahal: Wade Barrett joined in on commentary and promised victory in the Royal Rumble. After the match, Sheamus cut a promo on Wade Barrett – saying he would be the winner of the Tew-tousand and twelve Royal Rumble.
John Mathews & The Miz + R-Truth + John Laurinaitis & David Otunga: Miz said those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Miz said everyone who has teamed with him and crossed him met their doom in the WWE. Miz said when you forget your place and turn on the Miz you become irrelivant. Miz promised to headline WrestleMania for the second year in a row. Miz hyped himself up saying he was the #1 Superstar of all time!. R-Truth showed up acting as a member of WWE Market Research. Truth it was true that Miz was #1 – Miz was #1 at annoying, #1 at whining, #1 ninkinpoop, #1 weio (as it what else is on). Truth said Miz without a doubt Miz is WWE’s #1 jackass! Both men went nose to nose yelling at each other until John Laurinaitis got between them. JL booked them in a match where the loser would be the number one entrant in the Royal Rumble match.
Brodus Clay w/flash dancers defeated Heath Slater: William Regal joined in on commentary for this match.
VIDEO RECAP: Royal Rumble 2007..
#1 SPOT IN THE RUMBLE MATCH
R-Truth defeated The Miz:
John Laurinaitis & David Otunga: JL was preparing for his match when Otunga delivered an important fax. JL read it and had a disappointed look on his face.
IN THE RING
WWE champion C.M. Punk + John Laurinaitis & David Otunga + Dolph Ziggler: C.M. Punk came out first for his match with John Laurinaitis. JL (wearing a future endeavored shirt) came down with David Otunga with some unfortunage news (from the fax). Otunga announced that the board of directors are concerned with JL’s questionable judgement while running RAW. It said that they didn’t like JL’s declaration that he would screw Punk at Royal Rumble. The letter also said JL’s status as Interim G.M. will be reviewed, and he will have a job evaluation next week conducted by COO Triple H. Punk said this means if JL screws him at Rumble he will be fired. JL said it was a wake up call and wanted to apologize to the WWE Universe and C.M. Punk for any wrong-doing. JL put Mick Foley in the Rumble match and claimed he was going to call the WWE title match right down the middle. Punk called JL a spoiled little girl that gets everything who is worried that Santa would give her a big fat piece of coal. Punk said he hopes Triple H inherited the ability to say YOU’RE FIRED! JL said he has been in WWE for 10 years and took over talent relations from Jim Ross and brought the company out of the dark ages. JL said he had a good replacement tonight in David Otunga. Suddenly Otunga attacked Punk and the match began! Sorta. Punk came back and made Otunga tap with the Anaconda Vice. Punk then walked up to JL, then kicked Otunga out of the ring. JL backed off and wanted to shake hands. Punk took his hand and pulled him into a Go-To-Sleep! Punk’s celebration was cut short when Dolph Ziggler snuck in and nailed him with a Zig Zag!