I’m still here. And I’m still reviewing RAW. So here we go.
I watch 30 minutes of RAW, leave for work, avoid spoilers like the plague, and then watch the entire show when I get here. That’s how ThinkSoJoE’s RAW reviews work. Also, I play by my own rules. Screw you, SmackDown review!
Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling voiceover guy recaps the story of CM Punk, Ryback, and The Rock.
John Cena comes out, and the arena in Tampa has a GINORMUS Jumbotron. Cena hypes tonight’s show, including the TLC match between Punk and Ryback, mentions that the atmosphere is electric because The Rock is here, and then he’s interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and Big E Langston. AJ calls Cena a very, small man. Cena calls her out for making a sixth grade wiener joke, then gets the fans to do the wave. Ziggler says he’s entering the Royal Rumble with the goal of making sure that Cena doesn’t win. Cena makes them think he’s going to dump poop on them again, then makes more jokes, before he challenges Ziggler to a match. Big E takes AJ’s mic. Yes, they let him talk. He says it’s on. AJ asks who told him he could talk. Ziggler says he wanted the night off. Guess it’s Cena vs. Ziggler when we come back.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is a solid opener. I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing it, since I watched most of it at home before I left for work, but I’ll tell you that Cena and Ziggler put on a hell of a match. Langston and AJ continuously got involved, until the referee kicked them out. Ziggler did a good job avoiding the 5 moves of doom, and managed to hit his own signature moves on Cena. Interesting note, the version of this I’m currently watching has no commentary. It actually comes back in the second segment of this match. There’s a ref bump, and Cena locks in the STF. Big E runs back to the ring and breaks it up. He drops Cena with his finisher and pulls Ziggler over Cena, but there’s still no ref. Another ref comes out, but Cena kicks out at two. Cena hits the AA, and picks up the victory in a great opening contest.
Still to come, it’s a TLC match for the WWE Championship, and the winner goes on to face The Rock, who is also here tonight.
But RIGHT FUCKIN’ NOW, the Divas Championship is on the line. Jorge is salivating at ringside as we head to a commercial break.
Eve vs. Kaitlyn – WWE Divas Championship match
My wife said to me earlier in the night that she’d like to see Kaitlyn win the Divas Championship. Maybe she’ll get her wish. I don’t give a crap. #ROCKonRAW is apparently trending. Of course, #CutForBieber was trending all day too. If that’s what these idiots do because he started smoking weed, I hope he moves on to heroin soon. Kaitlyn’s boot comes untied, and the referee makes her tie them – which leads to Eve promptly booting her in the face. Grumpy Cat is seen in the audience. That’s not a joke, there’s actually a grumpy cat sign. JT may or may not be holding it. Nope – he’s next to that guy with a sign that reads “I don’t show up during Diva matches.” Ironically during the Divas match. Yay for making shit up as we go along! The RAW writing staff can do it, why can’t we? Eve bails through the audience, earning Kaitlyn the count out victory. No DQ, no count out coming at Royal Rumble? I’d put money on it. If I had money. Which I don’t. Buy something from our store, damn you.
Up next, it’s Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars! You’re welcome.
Santino is backstage talking to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. They’re interrupted by Wade Barrett, who is carrying the fake Intercontinental Championship. He says Steamboat is nothing more than an old man blowing smoke. Steamboat says he’ll be in Santino’s corner for his IC title match tonight.
Elsewhere backstage, Matt Striker is interviewing Randall Keith Orton. We can’t seem to get rid of this guy. Orton says he’ll win the Royal Rumble because there’s only one Randy Orton. 3MB interrupt and tell him that they’ve entered the Rumble as well. They’ll rock and roll to victory, and one of them will headline WrestleMania. Orton wonders which one he’ll face tonight. Slater says he can face lead guitarist Jinder Mahal, lead bass Drew McIntyre, or frontman Heath Slater. Where’s their drummer? Orton says Slater won’t be playing air guitar after their match, he’ll be playing a harp. Randall Keith Orton murders the Wendy’s girl, later on tonight!
But RIGHT FUCKIN’ NOW, the WWE Tag Team Champions are in action! YES! NO! YES! NO! COMMERCIAL!
Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
When I get home from work, I’ll be playing as Damien Sandow in WWE ’13. The “You’re Welcome in 5 Languages” DLC pack is available tomorrow! I swear I’ve seen this match before. I also swear there were more than two tag teams in the WWE. Normally, I’d FFW – but I refuse to do so when The Lord of Literacy is in the ring. Cubito Aequet. You’re welcome. Basic stuff here, Bryan cut off from Kane, hot tag. Sandow sees Kane going for the chokeslam, and rolls out of the ring. Bryan hits Sandow from the apron, and somehow winds up in the ring with Kane on the apron with no tag made. Bryan tweaked his knee on a missed top rope move. Serves him right for cheating. Rhodes Scholars attack the leg. Kane attacks Sandow on the outside. Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes on Bryan and Team Rhodes Scholars have defeated the Tag Team Champions. In a non-title match. You’re welcome.
Still to come, The Rock live on RAW. Also, CM Punk defends the WWE Championship in a TLC match vs. Ryback. But RIGHT FUCKIN’ NEXT, Randall Keith Orton in action. If I let him.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater
FFW! Orton hits RKOs on all of 3MB and wins. Or something. I wasn’t sitting through that.
Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett
Ricky Steamboat is with Santino, and Wade Barrett has the real Intercontinental Championship this time around. This is also a non-title match. I thought it was a title match. Oh well. Guess that means that Steamboat will give Santino good advice and cause him to beat Barrett. Either that, or Barrett will beat up Ricky Steamboat and Richie Steamboat will debut. I’m just coming up with scenarios here because this match started pretty slow. Santino starts building momentum, and breaks out the Cobra. Barrett lures Santino in and guillotines him over the top rope. Bullhammer. Done.
Barrett goes to leave when he sees Steamboat checking on Santino. Steamboat takes his jacket off, and Barrett decides to leave.
Backstage, Matt Striker is with Sheamus, talking to him about the Royal Rumble. Sheamus says he doesn’t think he can do it again. He knows he can win the Rumble, he knows he can win the World Heavyweight Title, he just doesn’t think he can do it in 18 seconds. 3MB come in. Sheamus wonders what’s wrong. Did they break a guitar string? They say Orton got lucky. Sheamus says 3MB and him should go to the ring and sing a song. Then he sings. Apparently he’s facing one of them later on.
Still to come, it’s CM Punk vs. Ryback in a TLC match with the WWE Championship on the line.
Antonio Cesaro is in action, waving a US flag. He’s facing The Great Khali. And The Miz is on commentary. FFW!
Antonio Cesaro vs. The Great Khali
Hornswoggle and Natalya are ringside for this. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer again, and picks up the victory. What strength!
Backstage, Paul Heyman is on the phone. Not the ginormous Zack Morris phone he’s known for, just a normal smartphone. He’s interrupted by Brad Maddox. Heyman tells him to go away again. Maddox asks who Heyman thinks he’s is. Maddox says he can be of service to Heyman and Punk. He’s got his referee shirt tonight, and offers to ask Vickie if he could referee the match. Heyman doesn’t want Maddox talking to Vickie. Or Punk, or him. He wants Maddox to leave him alone. Heyman doesn’t know why Maddox exists, but if he ever “psts” him again, he won’t.
Sheamus is on his way to the ring. I don’t care what you think, I’m a fan of Sheamus. He’s wrestling NEXT!
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal
Wonder what’s going to happen here. FFW! Brogue Kick, Sheamus wins.
Up next, the WWE Championship is on the line, but RIGHT FUCKIN’ NOW, we’ll re-live CM Punk’s last few months. Up until the stuff from last week, this is likely the promo they were going to show at the TLC Pay Per View. The title is hung up above the ring. Tables, ladders, and chairs line the aisle. It’s TLC. It’s the WWE Championship. It’s NEXT!
Jon Gruden is sitting ringside. We re-live the opening match. Tradition be damned, CM Punk is out first for the WWE Championship match. He checks Heyman’s watch – turns out IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME! He walks under a ladder on his way to the ring, because luck is for losers. Punk has a great big smile on his face, and it doesn’t fade when Ryback’s music hits. Not only did the Champion come out first, but they’ve neglected to use the Championship introductions for this match, as each man was announced on his way to the ring.
Ryback vs. CM Punk – TLC Match for the WWE Championship
Bell rings, it’s go time. Ryback is wearing blue knee and elbow pads. It looks weird. Punk introduces plunder into the match, nailing Ryback with a chair. Punk goes for the ladder first but he’s stopped by Ryback. It’s worth noting that he pulled a ladder out from under the ring despite the arena being full of them. Ryback suplexes Punk on a ladder. Ryback then uses the steel steps on Punk. It’s not a tables, ladders, and stairs match dude! Punk starts to work over the legs and lower back of Ryback with a chair. Ryback introduces a table to the match after an ad break, but Punk turns the tide before he can use it, then sets up a table of his own. Nobody goes through a table before they get back into the ring, where Punk is continuing to assault the leg of Ryback with the chair. He tries to Pillmanize the ankle of Ryback, but Ryback moves out of the way, and Punk seems to tweak his knee. Ryback hits the Meat Hook, and goes for Shell Shocked. Punk escapes and rolls to the outside. He sidesteps Ryback, who spears himself through a table. Punk climbs, but Ryback climbs the other side, knocking Punk to the ground – but Punk manages to push the ladder over. Ryback drops Punk face first into a ladder, bending the ladder in the process. Punk turns the tide back in his favor, but can’t get the ladder steady. He hits the clothesline in the corner, but Ryback reverses the bulldog, dumping Punk through a table set up outside the ring. Ryback grabs a new ladder, and starts the climb. He gets his hands on the belt, but the lights go out. When they come back on, The Shield are on top of the ladder with Ryback, preventing him from winning the title. He disposes The Shield and starts to climb again, but they stop him again. The fans chant for The Rock, as The Shield give Ryback a triple powerbomb through a table, onto the steel steps. Punk starts stirring on the other side of the ring. He crawls back into the ring. Punk starts climbing the ladder, which he can barely do. He gets to the top, and Ryback is still down outside the ring. Punk grabs the belt, and he wins the match.
It’s official, The Rock will face CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. The Rock will be LIVE on RAW later on tonight!
Backstage, Matt Striker interrupts Punk. He reiterates that he doesn’t know anything about The Shield and Brad Maddox. He says he’s going back to the ring to drop another pipe bomb.
Elsewhere, Daniel Bryan is icing his knee. He tells Kane it’s his fault they lost to Team Rhodes Scholars. They start arguing. Yes. No. Yes. No. EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero tells them that next week they’ll have their four month follow up evaluations with Dr. Shelby. Kane says Shelby is a monster. Bryan says he’s a nerd. They argue over that for a bit. Kane relents and says Dr. Shelby is a nerd. Bryan says he’s a monster. They argue that way for a while. Then we re-live Ricardo vs. Big Show from last week. This week on SmackDown, G has to review Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio.
But RIGHT FUCKIN’ NOW, I get to review everybody’s favorite neon mute, Coffee Kingstone, who is facing The Big Show, NEXT!
The Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston
I wasn’t done typing that when Big Show blasted Kofi in the jaw and knocked him the fuck out. Big Show picks up the quick pinfall victory.
We re-live CM Punk’s last encounter with The Rock at RAW 1000, where Punk clotheslined him and then put him to sleep. The Rock is up NEXT!
Speaking of Punk, he’s on his way to the ring! #Knees2Faces! We’re shown his successful title defense from earlier in the night. Is Punk in cahoots with The Shield? Who cares? Even if he was, it was no disqualification. Pipe bomb time! He explains that a pipe bomb is the truth, honesty. Punk says that turning his back on the people is a lie. He says he meant everything he said, except the part about ice cream, because the people out in the audience don’t need any more ice cream. Punk sold out. Or at least that’s what the people thought. Punk says he cashed in. He created a persona that the people would cheer for. Punk says the truth is that it doesn’t matter if you’re the best wrestler, the best talker, the best overall performer. There is a glass ceiling, and nobody is allowed to break it. That’s the simple story of this place. The more popular you are, the more money you make. Why do you think Cena, who has admittedly had the worst year of his career, keeps getting title shot after title shot after title shot? Or why a lethal grappler like Bryan puts a smile on his face and belittles himself with catch phrases, or why a 400 pound monster, Brodus Clay shucks and jives for ya. Or why an invisible child is better positioned on RAW than a workhorse like Tyson Kidd. “We’re all here in the circus to entertain you.” Punk has become the most successful WWE Champion of all time, not of the “modern era,” If Punk had competed in Sammartino’s era, he’d have been champion for 20 years too, because wrestling once a month in Madison Square Garden is easy. You never saw Hogan wrestle TLC matches with guys like Ryback. Punk wrestles physically demanding matches on free television every week. So much that one year equals thirty of theirs. And he’s successful, not because of the fans, but in spite of them. Punk is the most honest man in the building. Anybody else would come out and say they do it for the people. Honesty. Punk saw Piper smash a coconut over Jimmy Snuka’s head, and Punk didn’t say “Golly Gee, I can’t wait to go electrify the people of Tampa Bay.” Because Punk doesn’t care about the people of Tampa Bay. Punk is a bad guy, and can freely admit it. Ric Flair will cry and say he did it for all of them. Shawn Michaels will lose and find his smile and say his entire career was to gain acceptance. Edge says he misses competing for people like them. They’re either weak, or dishonest. Punk is neither of those. He’s the best in the world. There are winners and losers, guess which one you are. Punk’s never done this for any of you. There are superstars and nobodies. Punk is a real superstar. Punk is being given the wrap it up signal. Punk says we don’t go to break when they want to, they go when Punk wants to. The Rock is going to come out and talk a whole lock, but Punk will tell you the most important thing you’ll hear tonight. You do not matter.
Punk is still in the ring when we come back. He says in one year’s time, he’ll stand in the ring on the first RAW of 2014 still the WWE Champion. He’s fueled by disappointing the WWE Universe. Punk didn’t just beat Alberto Del Rio for the title in 2011 at MSG, he beat the system. He wasn’t just beating all of our favorite wrestlers, he was beating all of us, and he’ll do the same thing to The Rock. You are losers, you do not get to win.
If ya smell…
The Rock has heard enough, apparently, because he’s here. And not via satellite – he’s LIVE in Tampa, Florida! And despite not being on WWE television since July, he’s the number one contender for the WWE Championship! Hooray! Rock wanted to wait until Punk said everything he had to say, so he’d know exactly what kind of man he’s facing at Royal Rumble. And Punk is straight up delusional. Rock says 414 days is incredible. The real number is 20. 20 days until Royal Rumble. In 20 days, time’s up. Punk didn’t reject the people, the people rejected Punk. He promised everybody ice cream, and he couldn’t even do that. He wants Punk to listen to the voices. Punk says he’s the voice of the voiceless, but there is no such thing as the voiceless. The people have voices, and they love to use them. In fact, they know something special is about to happen. They’re going to chant the loudest chant Punk’s ever heard. They’re going to chant exactly what Punk is. Cookiepuss. That’s the lamest fucking thing I’ve ever heard – and I’ve got 10 years of John Cena promos to compare it to. Punk tells the universe to be the puppets they are, because Rock got them chanting about ice cream the same way Punk did a year and a half ago. They still don’t get to win. Rock doesn’t get to win. Rock says they’ve already won. They won when The Rock woke up at 4AM, ate pancakes, went to the gym, then drove up I-75, through Alligator Alley, so he could stand in the middle of the ring in front of the world, and proudly say “Finally, The Rock has come back to Tampa.” It’s not just that The Rock is back. It’s why he’s back. He’s back entertain the people, to stop Punk, and after 10 long years, The Rock is back to win the WWE Championship. He’s watched the show. He’s been begging for somebody to tell Punk they respect him just to shut him up. And for a guy who is straight edge, Punk looks like Popeye on crack. Another winner from Dwayne. Punk has one of the most creative and innovative minds in WWE, Rock knows it, but Punk doesn’t use it. He became WWE Champion and became the biggest jerk the world has ever seen. The Rock can look Punk in the eye and tell him that when The Rock is here, don’t ever say the people don’t matter. Punk’s the one that doesn’t matter. Punk says he matters. The Rock says it doesn’t matter if he matters. The Rock says there’s no way – and The Rock means no way – that Punk is going to stop The Rock from becoming WWE Champion. Punk lays the belt on the ground. Punk says he’s glad Rock is back. Punk doesn’t care how many days a year Rock works here, he’ll still kick his ass. He knows how hard Rock’s schedule probably is, but every time he decides to grace us with his presence, Punk is going to kick his ass. This isn’t candyland, Punk is like nobody Rock’s faced before. He can make fun of the color of Punk’s t-shirt, and talk about pie, and sing songs, and do his tired shtick, but come Royal Rumble, Punk is going to kick his ass because he’s the best in the world. He’s the best guy Rock’s ever been in the ring with. Rock’s playing little leagues with his catch phrases. His little jabs and insults can’t leave a mark on the champ’s face. Rock’s arms are just too short to box with god. Rock says Punk may think Rock is boxing with God, but Rock knows Punk is going one on one with the great one. The Rock knows how great Punk is. Rock hasn’t forgotten what Punk did at RAW 1000. In 20 days, time’s up. The Rock wants Punk to go home and think about the next 20 days. Go home, look in the mirror, and strip naked. Turn around and look at his backside, find a spot that’s not covered in ugly tattoos. Rock wants him to get on his left butt cheek a tattoo of a big fat M&M. Then add a Snickers, Milky Way, a Mounds, he can’t have an Almond Joy, because unlike Punk, Almond Joys actually have nuts. So do Snickers, you blithering idiot. On the right butt cheek, get a tattoo of the Rock’s size 15, so he’ll have a lifetime reminder of how badly Rock is going to kick Punk’s ass at Royal Rumble – and then The Rock hits the Rock Bottom.
20 days until The Royal Rumble. Over 3 months until WrestleMania. No matter who wins at Royal Rumble, we all lose, because we’ve got over 3 months of The Rock’s tired, lame ass shtick, to borrow a quote from CM Punk. I used to love The Rock. I liked his Fruity Pebbles promo when he came back two years ago. But I’m over it. This dude hasn’t been on WWE Television in 6 months, and he’s the number one contender for the WWE Championship. I don’t mind telling you I despise The Rock at this point. What has he done in the last DECADE that earns him a shot at the WWE Championship? And the worst part about it is, he’s probably booked to win. Fuck. I hate this company sometimes. Let’s bring back the nostalgia act, who couldn’t give two shits about professional wrestling for the first seven years of his movie career after he left for Hollywood, and let’s give him the WWE Championship. Not only that, let’s have him beat a guy who, over the past seven years, has busted his ass trying to make his name as a professional wrestler. Makes sense to me. And maybe Vince Russo and David Arquette too. Fuck it, I’m done. BWF Radio Sunday at 2PM. See you then.
Tags: Aj, Big E, CM Punk, Entire Show, Fat Albert, Ginormus, Good Job, Hulk Hogan, Hypes, John Cena, Mushmouth, Raw Reviews, Royal Rumble, Ryback, Secret Identity, Signature Moves, Small Man, Stf, Wwe Raw, Ziggler