Week of 1/23/2012 - 1/29/2012 (Monday - Thursday)
Allegedly the MITB PPV will be scrapped and the TLC PPV will be moved into its spot.
Smackdown got a 2.1, down slightly from last week. Now there is one very interesting thing here though: the show had more viewers than the free UFC show of FX.
Monday Night Raw
Date: January 23, 2012
Location: US Airways Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
After last week's actual emotion from Ace, I'm kind of curious as to what happens tonight. The Rumble is in six days and they've seemingly only built up to the actual match on Smackdown. That being said, it's the Royal Rumble so it's not like it needs much build. It's a 30 man battle royal with an obvious prize to the winner. That's not hard to sell. Let's get to it.
We open things up with the champ. He sits down in the ring and talks about how this Sunday is the Rumble and a big WWE Title match is on the card. Ziggler claims that he's beaten Punk three times this month, and that's because he has. Now granted, all of those had Ace helping him but he has indeed beaten him three times. Punk calls Ace a failure, which he knows is true after looking it up on Wikipedia.
We get a clip from the end of the show last week. Punk is a little worried about Ace promising to screw him. However, what exactly can Ace do with two broken arms? Punk calls him out but when there's no GM, Punk says he's going after him. Cue....Cena? Cena looks ticked off. He says he was sick of hearing Punk ramble. He's out here for business, not to talk. Cena demands Ace is here in a few moments to atone for his sins with Ryder last week. Also he wants a match tonight with Kane before his match at the Rumble. Cena also says Ace will resign. Now that's something new.
Cena looks at the ramp and Punk says Ace needs to be here because of the people. Cue Ace who talks about having days where we wish we could change things. Last week wasn't one of those days though. Punk calls Ace down to the ring and it's the whole I don't work for you line from Ace. Ryder is cleared to compete tonight and gets Kane tonight in a falls count anywhere match. If Cena gets involved, Ryder will never get a US Title rematch. Ace makes the tag team match against Ziggler/Swagger and it starts RIGHT NOW.
Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger vs. John Cena/CM Punk
The bad guys promise vengeance before the match. The bell is after a break. Ziggler vs. Cena gets us going. Punk is in long black shorts here which is a new look for him. Well technically as those are what he wore in ROH. Cena hits the running bulldog to start and here's Punk. Ziggler bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with the starters and Ziggler speeding things up a bit and strutting.
Cena takes over and struts as well. Off to Swagger who takes it to the mat with a double chickenwing. Cena snaps off a suplex but Dolph makes the save with a dropkick. He drops a bunch of elbows and does the situps spot. Swagger Bomb gets two. Ace is texting or tweeting or whatever. Jack puts on a bearhug but Cena fires off an AA out of nowhere. Cena is so weakened though that he can only tag out.
Punk comes in with a springboard clothesline on Ziggy and he busts out his usual stuff. He sticks his tongue out like Jordan but the GTS is countered. High kick gets two as Swagger saves. Everything breaks down and Swagger gets the ankle lock on the floor but Cena reverses into the STF. Punk goes up but Ace distracts him. Punk threatens to him him and Ziggler rolls him up with a handful of tights for the pin at 11:10.
Punk says this changes nothing because on Sunday, Ace will screw him and Punk will beat him up. Punk says since Ace likes giving Ziggler presents, he'll give Ace a chance. For one night only, Ace should be a superstar. Tonight: Punk vs. Ace. He accepts and the fans cheer.
Jericho will be in the Highlight Reel next.
We get a clip from Jericho walking out last week.
Here's Jericho for the Highlight Reel. He's officially in the Rumble according to Lawler. Jericho picks up the mic and asks for silence. Nothing said yet. He puts the mic up to his mouth twice but he has an idea. He gets out of the ring and runs up to the stage, asking for one second. Jericho goes into the back and comes back with a t-shirt cannon and ammo. He doesn't shoot any shirts but steals the camera which we get shots from.
Back to the mic again and once more he asks for silence. He points at the Jeritron 5000 and we get the Millennium Countdown and a highlight package of his career, including winning the Undisputed title. The fans cheer once it's over but there are some boos in there too. HE SPEAKS! I've never heard a bigger pop for the word This Sunday at the Royal Rumble. He says that this Sunday, it's going to be the end of the world as you know it. And that's it. The lights go out, the jacket goes on, and we go to a break.
We get a WWE Rewind from September with the Hugh Jackman show.
We now get one of my favorite things of the year: the It's All About The Numbers promo for the Rumble. I love these things.
31 Hall of Famers in Rumbles
21 Wrestlemania main events for those Hall of Famers
695 participants in total
39 eliminations for Shawn Michaels, the most everything
35 eliminations for Kane, the second most all time
194,107 pounds total, or 430 Big Shows
421,883 fans have seen the Rumbles
62:12 is the record amount of time in the Rumble, set by Mysterio
3 wins for Austin, the record
2 seconds, as in the record held by Warlord for over 20 years
1 second, Santino's record breaking mark
2 women in the Rumble
#1 is the entrant that has produced the same amount of entrants as #30
27 is the lucky number, with four winners
55% have gone on to win their Mania match, dating back to 1993
Ryder is with Eve when Foley comes up. He says Kane is an animal, but he's just a human being. And Foley is serious bro. Eve is worried and tries to call it off. Cena pops up to a mixed reaction. He says he's got Ryder's back if needed but Ryder says stay out of it so Ryder can get his rematch. He's not mean about it though.
Zack Ryder vs. Kane
Falls count anywhere so Ryder isn't so thrilled. He still has bad ribs/back too. Ryder goes right for him which is better than he's done lately. Kane kicks him off the apron where Ryder's face slams into the table. His back goes into the post and there's a slam outside. Ryder goes back first into the steps and this has been domination. Eve is at ringside now and this isn't going to end well. Back into the table again and we take a break.
Back and the beating continues on the floor. A whip into the barricade gets two. Here's the smother and the referee asks what Ryder says. Well they're not paid for their intelligence. Out into the crowd now and they go up by the tech area. Ryder hasn't has any offense in about 8 minutes. Oh wait there's a shot with a metal case. This is no DQ apparently. Back to the ramp now and Kane kicks him in the ribs.
Ryder goes head first into the WWE logo and a piece of it breaks off. That only gets two and Kane isn't sure what to do here. A headbutt puts Ryder down as the fans chant for Zack. A few punches by Ryder don't get him anywhere. And Ryder is chokeslammed through the stage. Ok then. The match just ends. Kane goes after Eve but Cena comes out and Kane runs into the crowd. Match ran roughly ten minutes.
Back from a break and Ryder is put on a stretcher. He's put in an ambulance and Eve, that whiny little pest, says this is all Cena's fault. Josh Matthews picks NOW to put a mic in Cena's face. Cena slaps it out of his hands and is very ticked off.
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal
This is their 5th match and Sheamus has never lost. There was a tag match in there too. Barrett, as in the guy Sheamus should be feuding with with no Mahal involved, comes out for commentary. There are the ten forearms. Mahal hits a running knee to the face to take over with a cobra clutch. Well kind of. It's closer to a Tazmission. Screw it: it's a chinlock. Sheamus gets up and the Brogue Kick ends this at 3:10.
Anyway, Sheamus invites Barrett in but Barrett says no. Sheamus says he'll win the Rumble.
Miz says that Truth will be repeating history because every partner he's had has been destroyed. Truth comes up and says he's a marketing analyst and declares Miz the #1 guy in being boring, uninteresting and making people ask What Else Is On. Truth also thinks his name is Fleischer. Ace comes up and breaks them up. The loser of the match is #1 in the Rumble.
Orton is back on Friday.
William Regal is on commentary for this next match due to his dancing on Friday.
Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater
Brodus is in a white suit now. I'm assuming Regal will be his first feud. Slater gets run over to start. Heath gets the first notable offense in against Clay: a dropkick. And never mind as Slater is run over, suplexed and What The Funk ends this in 55 seconds.
Rumble Moment: Taker wins from #30.
R-Truth vs. The Miz
The loser is #1 in the Rumble on Sunday. Cole says that two men have gone from #1 to win the Rumble. I'd LOVE to hear someone ask who those people are. This is much more of a brawl than a match. They go to the floor quickly and then back inside. Miz drops him on the floor and we take a break. Back with Miz hitting something for two.
Off to an abdominal stretch which Truth escapes. He starts his comeback with a nice rolling victory roll for two. Backslide gets two but Miz hits the Reality Check for two. He loads up the Finale but Truth rolls through it. Little Jimmy is countered and a short DDT gets two. And out of nowhere a Little Jimmy gets the pin at 8:13. It's as quick as it sounds.
We get a medical update on Ryder: he has a broken back. Oh geez they're writing him off aren't they. If this isn't for a legit injury, I don't think I'll have ever been more annoyed.
Ace is warming up. It's 10:54 and he's in his office. Otunga pops up with a fax and says it can't wait. Ace isn't happy with it, whatever it says.
It's 10:59, so let's run down the card for Sunday!
CM Punk vs. John Laruinaitis
And there's no Ace. Oh wait here he is and we hear about his resume from All Japan, said by name. Otunga is here too. Ace says he got a fax from the board of directors. Otunga reads it and it says the board is concerned about his activities as interim GM of Raw. His status as interim GM is officially under review. Next week he'll get a formal job evaluation to determine if he keeps his job or is terminated. HHH is giving the job evaulation.
Punk is very happy and says that means he won't get screwed. Ace calls it a wakeup call and says this is all a misunderstanding. Foley is in the Rumble and he was always going to call the title match down the middle. Punk calls Ace a little girl that gets everything all year long but at Christmas she's afraid of getting coal. He wants Ace to be fired. Ace says that won't happen. No match of course.
Otunga will be subbing so he jumps him. There was no bell. Punk takes him down and Vices him. Ace backs away and Punk has a mouse under his eye. There's a high kick to Otunga and Ace backs off again. He offers a handshake but walks into a GTS. Ziggler runs in and gives him the Zig Zag to end the show.
Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger b. CM Punk/John Cena Rollup to Punk with a handful of tights
Kane vs. Zack Ryder went to a no contest when Kane chokeslammed Ryder through the stage
Sheamus b. Jinder Mahal Brogue Kick
Brodus Clay b. Heath Slater What The Funk
R-Truth b. The Miz Little Jimmy
Raw got a 3.2, up pretty significantly from last week.
Date: January 25, 2012
Location: Tucson Arena, Tuscon, Arizona
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal
We enter the second century of episodes of this show and apparently the time has been moved to 10pm EST now. Not that there was any notification of that but an article on there mentioned tuning in then to find out. Anyway, the wedding is over, Bateman and Maxine are together again, and Titus is now a heel. Let's get to it.
Here's Titus in an awesome looking suit to open things up. We get a clip of his rant last week against the fans. Titus talks about an apology but means the fans owe him one. The people are booing so this is at least somewhat effective. He says he did everything the fans asked for like taking pictures and he's gotten nothing out of it. Titus talks about how he's the big dog and the man around here.
Cue Watson who says he's been there for Titus since day one. Now Titus wins one match (that's a stretch isn't it?) and he's turning his back on everyone? Watson says the people love Titus and Titus doesn't buy that. He says the fans don't love him. Percy loves him, but not the people. Titus says this is just business and he did all the meaningless points and such and now even Percy is dragged into it with the stupid talk show.
He invites Percy to join the dark side because together they're unstoppable. Percy declines because that isn't winning. Percy says Titus sounds like Darren Young and that doesn't sit well with O'Neil. Titus says there's one option: be with him or against him. That would be two but I'm no NXT rookie. Percy says he's not with him and drops the mic. Titus drops him so Striker comes out and makes the main event.
In the back, Hawkins and Reks want to know why they're not in the main event. Striker says worry about the Usos tonight and he'll worry about NXT.
Usos vs. Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins
You can really see the issues with tag team wrestling at this point. You only have room for one successful tag team at a time and right now, that's Primo/Epico so a team like the Usos who are very solid aren't allowed to get any wins on the main TV shows. It's a shame too because it'll probably be a few months before that happens. Jimmy vs. Hawkins to start as Regal talks about dancing.
Reks tries to jump Jimmy which doesn't work at all. Hawkins tries to come in but has to duck a superkick. The heels take over and my goodness this place has gone silent. It's almost eerie. Reks takes over on Jimmy with a quarter nelson and it's back to Hawkins. Suplex gets two. Reks hammers away and the announcers talk about how every star is eligible for the Rumble. I'm not entirely sure what that means. I believe it means champions but I'm not sure.
Jimmy finally gets a shot to the ribs and the fans wake up for the tag to Jey. He jumps and spins around a lot as he hits the running hip attack in the corner, which ISN'T RIKISHI'S MOVE!!! Everything breaks down and Hawkins hits kind of a mat slam for two. The cane is brought in but Jey superkicks Hawkins for the pin at 5:20.
Bateman is very happy when Kaitlyn asks why Bateman would go back to Maxine. He says if I have to be here, be here with a hot chick. Curtis is here too apparently, because saying THIS ENDS doesn't end a thing.
Heath Slater vs. Trent Barretta
Regal says Trent makes him want to compete again. Slater takes over early and knocks him to the floor as Regal talks about being a world champion. Slater keeps control and loudly calls spots as he sends Trent into the corner. A charge misses and Trent takes him down with an enziguri. A running knee gets two. Northern lights suplex gets the same. He goes up and Slater runs the ropes and gets a powerslam off the top for two. That was pretty cool. Trent sets for a DDT but Slater escapes and charges at Trent, jumps around him and pulls him down in kind of a jumping spinning sleeper drop for the pin at 4:41.
We get a clip from the wedding last week and Maxine rejoining Bateman. Here's Curtis but Bateman interrupts him. Maxine complains about being stuck here, Striker says get over it because we have to get along. Maxine makes them shake hands and they get slapped. That's it.
Rumble by the Numbers. That's always cool.
Titus O'Neil vs. Percy Watson
Percy controls to start but Titus beats him down and throws him to the floor. He's still in purple and does the dog bark so there isn't much different here. O'Neil pounds him down into the corner and hooks a chinlock. Titus hammers him in the corner and hooks a chinlock. Some of you may be noticing a pattern here. Oh wait Titus told the fans to shut up. He must be evil then. Watson gets his first offense in including a clothesline, a splash and a shoulder block. Spinning splash gets two. Persecution is countered and a very bad looking Clash of the Titus ends this at 5:49.
Titus beats him down even more until Alex Riley makes the save. I like that style: just bring in random people for basic stories and matches as a result.
Usos b. Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins Superkick to Hawkins
Heath Slater b. Trent Barretta Jumping Sleeper Drop
Titus O'Neil b. Percy Watson Clash of the Titus
Date: January 26, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
Back to Orlando for another week of shows, but after this (next week I believe) they're off to England. Anyway, we now don't have a number one contender because of the interference last week. This is probably setting up a triple threat or a fatal fourway at the PPV, which isn't what I'm wanting but it's probably going to happen and that's ok. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the whole issue from last week and how we have no #1 contender.
Jeff is beating up Ray in the back and rams him into a table a few times. Jeff chokes him with a broom and the fight keeps going. The cameraman chases after him and Ray gets in some weak shots. They go through a door and Hardy keeps beating him up. A white truck pulls up with Roode in it and he saves Ray by ramming Jeff into a sign. Ray gets a wooden pallet but opts for some metal thing instead. He drops the pallet on Jeff's leg and then does it again. They throw him in the truck but Storm comes in for the save but is beaten down as well. Sting eventually chases everyone off. The sight of him sans paint scared them.
Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Tara
The winner gets Gail at Against All Odds. Tara uses the Matrish to avoid a clothesline so it hits Velvet. We get into the standard formula of two fight while the third is down. Tara and Mickie do most of the fighting as we take a break. Back with Velvet monkey flipping Tara but Mickie breaks up whatever she was trying with a neckbreaker on Sky. Velvet knocks them both down, then Mickie knocks them both down. Thesz Press gets two on Velvet and a spinning kick gets the same on Tara. Velvet breaks up the jumping DDT and Tara hits the spinning side slam on Velvet onto Mickie (as in Sky landed on Mickie) for the pin at 9:37.
Gail says bring it.
We see highlights of the opening brawl earlier.
Here are Sting, Storm and Hardy to no music. He asks for Roode and Ray to get out here and the fight continues. Sting holds the good guys back with the bat and tries to calm things down. He gets them apart and says stay on one side. They fight again and eventually it's made into a tag team tables match for later. That would be better if it wasn't announced in the clip before the show started.
Shelley is facing Zema Ion and if he wins he gets the shot at Aries at Against All Odds.
Eric Young is getting ready and thinks a stagehand is Sammy Davis Jr. Angelina and Winter come up and imply sex. And they Love hits him low but he's wearing a cup.
Zema Ion vs. Alex Shelley
Shelley takes over to start and gets a rollup for two. Zema beats him into the corner and doesn't want this on cameras. He comes out of the corner with a spinning body press for two. Reverse powerbomb by Shelley and a powerbomb puts Ion on the floor. They fly around a bit and Ion sets for the 450 but Shelley moves and Sliced Bread ends this at 4:26.
AJ says that this business has changed everyone and tonight, he's finding out why Kaz is Daniels' puppet.
Tara says she'll be training harder than ever and can beat Gail.
Earlier today, Eric went to Garrett's gym to find out who the trainer is. Eric goes in and sees who it is but sends the trainer away. He was freaked out by it.
Winter/Angelina Love vs. ODB/Eric Young
Eric locks up with the referee who winds up on the apron and is then brought in. Now he tags in Eric and gets locked up with. Mike calls this the Harlem Globetrotters of wrestling. I've seen the Harlem Globetrotters. Eric Young is no Globetrotter. Over two minutes in and no contact yet. Winter finally hits him so Eric strips. ODB finally comes in and I've never been happier to see her in my life.
A Bronco Buster is messed up and Angelina takes over a few seconds later. Off to Winter who puts her in the Tree of Woe which is an image I don't need. ODB gets in a shot and Eric throws in the flask for....another shot I guess. There's the fallaway slam and nip up. Far too much of this match has been spent showing her underwear. Eric comes in and we get stereo airplane spins. TKO ends Angelina at 7:00.
Ray and Roode fire each other up for the match later.
Video on the tag title feud with Joe/Magnus challenging the champs.
Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan
Joe strikes him into the corner to start but Morgan uses the power of choking and chopping to come back. Morgan plays to the crowd with the elbows but gets caught in the choke. He breaks it quickly and beats on Joe even more. Clothesline gets two. Joe gets a boot up in the corner and a middle rope leg lariat gives him control.
A running charge in the corner and a kick to the head get two. Morgan takes over again and hits some clotheslines. A side slam gets two. Hellevator takes too long to set up so Joe kicks him down and a backsplash gets two. Morgan gets back up and hits a discus clothesline for....three? Mike sounds just as surprised as I am but it got the pin at 4:48.
The champs get beaten down with Morgan taking the double team finisher from Magnus and Joe.
Hardy and Storm say they'll win with a boom.
AJ wants to get to the bottom of this with Kaz and knows Daniels is pulling the strings. Here are Daniels and Kaz and the latter can't talk to AJ. Daniels talks about how AJ is always throwing a tantrum about something or other. He says Kaz doesn't owe AJ a thing. AJ goes to the floor but Daniels and Kaz backpedal. Daniels calls AJ a thug so AJ says he'll turn around and let Kaz take his head off.
Kaz goes to leave but Daniels directs him to go do it. He goes to the apron and can't do it. Daniels goes in and AJ knocks him to the floor with ease. AJ says Kaz can get in here right now and shake his hand and we'll forget all this. The idiots at the Impact Zone count for some reason as Kaz gets in. AJ sticks out his hand but Daniels says Kaz isn't going to do that so he gets out. Daniels says he's had it and says he's going to propose AJ vs. Kaz.
Jeff Hardy/James Storm vs. Bobby Roode/Bully Ray
Tables match. They manage to stay calm during the big match intros. SO Sting with a ball bat isn't enough to keep them apart but Jeremy Borash is? Weird company man. Beer Money explodes on a table as Ray tries to suplex Hardy through one, only for Jeff to hang onto the ropes with his feet. This is all on the floor. Storm spits beer in Roode's face. Ray takes over on Hardy but Storm makes the save. We take a break with Ray taking a water bottle to the head.
Back with Ray hitting Hardy with a chair. Hardy slingshots Ray into a post and a table is sent into the ring. Storm and Hardy try to suplex Roode through the table but Ray moves the table then takes them both down. It's one person going through the table to end it. Roode comes back and stomps Storm to the floor so it's Roode and Hardy in the ring now.
A table is set up in the corner and Hardy is almost able to send Roode through it but Ray makes the save. Ray tries a big boot through Hardy through the table but Jeff moves, leaving a hole in the table. Codebreaker takes Ray out but a spinebuster takes out Storm. Ray puts Hardy's head against the post and punches it for awhile.
Storm goes into the steps and Hardy is put on the table in the ring. Ray goes up but Storm kicks him down. Now Storm goes up and Roode loads up a superplex through the table but Jeff moves. Hardy pulls Roode down and hits a Twist so he can put Roode on the table. Storm elbows Roode through it to win at 14:00.
Post match, Ray destroys the winners with a chair and Hardy is powerbombed through a table.
Tara b. Mickie James and Velvet Sky Pinned James after a spinning side slam to Sky
Alex Shelley b. Zema Ion Sliced Bread #2
ODB/Eric Young b. Angelina Love/Winter TKO to Love
Matt Morgan b. Samoa Joe Discus Clothesline
Jeff Hardy/James Storm b. Robert Roode/Bully Ray Storm put Roode through a table
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