Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/23/12 RAW

Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger vs. CM Punk & John Cena: **

Kane vs. Zack Ryder (Falls Count Anywhere): N/A

Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal: *

R-Truth vs. The Miz: *1/2

CM Punk vs. John Laurinaitis: N/A

Punk starts the show because he's awesome on the mic. He calls out Laurinaitis. Whoa wait, Cena? Oh, a little heel Cena action! At least when talking to Punk. Cena's on full serious mode. Laurinatis lays down the gauntlet. Ryder vs. Kane in a falls count anywhere match and Cena can't interfere (or else Ryder "never" gets another U.S title match).

Tag match time. Uh oh, Cena's "dead meat," according to Swagger! Laurinaitis gets a ringside seat. Punk and Cena control things early while Laurinaitis tweets. Love how Cole is inaccurate on a lot of things he says. Good crowd reaction, although that's not a surprise given the people involved. Hot tag to Punk, and he and Ziggler work at a frenzied pace. Laurinaitis gets on the apron because Punk moved the ref aside (Punk wanted to go to the top for an elbow, I guess). Enough of a distraction to allow Ziggler to get the rollup with tights for three.

So now this makes four wins, in Ziggler's and Laurinaitis' eyes. Is that enough for Punk to retain with the "deck stacked against him" this Sunday? Yeah.

Woohoo, Punk gets Laurinaitis tonight. Awesome.

Well, the Highlight Reel is back for Chris Jericho. First he wants the crowd to quiet down. He goes to the back for the T-shirt bazooka. Fakes firing the shirt into the crowd. Then he points to his Jeritron 5000...is it still called that? Hmm. Starts from his 1999 debut until now. That's quite a few select highlights for a small video package.

Jericho speaks! "It's gonna be the end of the world, as you know it."

NOTE (added 1/26/12): I was a little surprised Jericho spoke here, but it was probably needed so it wouldn't get too repetitive. I'm not doubting Jericho, because he really is a master at what he does. I've read reports that Jericho's likely winning the Rumble. If so, he'd likely face Punk. However, Orton returned to house shows, so Randy could still win it all and perhaps face Daniel Bryan for the World title (or Dolph if Ziggler wins the WWE title). I've also read that Jericho could be the man to face Taker at WM. I'd love this match just so I don't need to see a third installment of Taker/HHH. Of course, that's assuming Taker's even fit to go at WM.

Royal Rumble by the numbers! Cool useless info. If anything, lots of memories to view.

Kane and Ryder go at it. Zack wants no help. Eve comes out to ringside. Kane's mauling the injured ribs and back. It's basically a destruction of Ryder, likely to send more of a message to Cena...embrace the hate.  Nice, Ryder chokeslammed through the steel stage as Eve looks on horrified. As the medics tend to Ryder, we can see the stage just went down a few feet. Ryder's still on an intact (yet hard) surface. Stretcher time for Ryder. Eve blames Cena.

I can tell this is one of the final straws that could break the proverbial camel's back. Poor Josh Mathews has to step in and get Cena's reaction. The enraged look on Cena's face is great. He's "embracing the hate" slowly but surely. Note the crowd reaction was actually one of cheers, not boos. The majority of the crowd apparently WANTS Cena to turn. I do as well.

Honestly, it's only a matter of time when Cena either turns heel or becomes at least a way more aggressive character. Many people know Cena's act is beyond stale. They want change. It's not the "you can't wrestle!" chants as much anymore. It's the entertainment. These boisterous fans may get their wish very soon. I can't wait for Rock and Cena to collide at WM. Here's hoping both stay healthy. The hype's been built for close to a year. It's hard to pull off because even a freak injury can derail the match.

Jinder and Sheamus for like the 80,000th time. Barrett is on commentary. Basic match here, and Sheamus gets the nod this time.

R-Truth is incredibly funny. I have no clue how Josh Mathews or Miz kept a straight face on that. Heck, I wouldn't have minded had Truth laughed during that segment. Just...awesome.

Ha, Laurinaitis is prepping for his match still in his dress shirt. Miz and Truth tonight, and the loser is #1 in the Rumble. Hey, not bad, because two guys have won from #1...just like #30. The numbers really don't matter anyway!

Regal on commentary! They replay the dancing from Smackdown. I swear, that was classic. Anyway, Funksaurus is on! I guess Brodus' dancers are introducing him now. I'm just waiting for Naomi to get her chance as a wrestler. She impressed the hell outta me when she was on NXT. Just knowing that Kaitlyn, AJ, Maxine, and Aksana have all gotten considerable screen time before her irks me.

Anyway, Slater is laughing his ass off as Brodus. That'll be the last happy memory for Heath. Squash match for Brodus again. Oh, and Brodus wore white this time. Guess we can't call him a Kool-Aid guy now.

Oh, they replayed the last minutes of the 2007 Rumble, the epic end between HBK and Taker. Remains arguably the best finish to a Royal Rumble in history, at least in my opinion.

Miz and Truth go at it. Got decent time, and some good stuff between the two. Truth hits his finisher and gets three, although I don't think the crowd expected it at that point. Were they expecting Miz to win? Anyway, Miz is now #1 in the Rumble, and he's likely posting the longest Rumble time this year.

Laurinaitis looks like he's dressed in a graduation gown. He gets a fax from Otunga and Johnny's not happy.

Punk comes out first for the match. Laurinaitis has a "Future Endeavored" T-shirt! Yes! Otunga gets to read the fax. Johnny's GM status is now under official review and could face termination. Damn. If only Otunga had said "future endeavored." That would have been so appropriate for the situation. HHH will conduct the review next week.

As Punk and Laurinaitis go back and forth on the mic, Otunga is standing there in the middle, just looking like a doofus. Couldn't have he stayed out of the shot? Otunga wears silver-colored dress shoes? He gets to attack Punk, but that's not really gonna do much. GTS to Laurinaitis, but Ziggler comes in for the Zigzag on Punk to close the show. If that doesn't prove Punk's winning at the Rumble, then I don't know what does.

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