WWE Raw Preview: A TLC Match, the Rock Set to Return, the Rumble and More

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 7, 2013

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

It’s Monday again and that means a new episode of WWE Monday Night Raw!

This episode will also be the very first episode of 2013 for WWE’s flagship show, so it has stacked this episode. The company has gone over five points for the event, which includes a WWE Championship match and the return of the Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment.

Let’s see what the sports entertainment giant has in store for the WWE Universe this week!


An Unstoppable Giant: Who Will Step Up to Challenge the Big Show?

Since winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell in October from Sheamus, the Big Show has been an unstoppable giant. While he squeaked by Sheamus with a disqualification at Survivor Series, he took out the Celtic Warrior once again at the TLC: Tables, Ladder and Chairs pay-per-view.

Sheamus isn’t the only one that was mowed down in the Big Show’s quest to keep his World Heavyweight Championship, though, as whoever got in his way has been knocked out by his WMD knockout punch.

With the champion declaring that he is finished with Sheamus for the time being, the Big Show is now looking for a new challenger. Last week on Raw, he was given the option to choose his own challenger and ended up choosing, and knocking out, Ricardo Rodriguez. This week, could someone step up to the plate and challenge the Big Show at the Royal Rumble?

Will Alberto Del Rio be looking to avenge what Big Show did to Ricardo?


A Celebration Dumped On: Will Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee be Looking for Revenge on John Cena?

Towards the end of October, AJ Lee was forced to step down as general manager of Raw due to allegations of an affair with John Cena. The affair soon turned real and AJ got into the head of the face of the WWE.

He grew to trust her so much that he wasn’t bothered when she remained in the ring while he climbed the ladder at TLC to try to win Dolph Ziggler’s Money in the Bank briefcase. That trust backfired on Cena, though, when AJ pushed the ladder and knocked him off of it. The situation saw Ziggler retain his briefcase and AJ align herself with the Showoff.

The devious Diva found herself a new man while Ziggler still has his guaranteed World title match. What they both did, though, was screw John Cena. The 10-time World champion got some revenge last week on Raw when he dropped some nasty looking stuff on them during their New Year’s celebration, but now Ziggler and AJ could be looking for some revenge.

Do Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee have a plan to get back at John Cena? Will Big E. Langston be doing their dirty work? Could their plan backfire?


The Road to WrestleMania: Who Will Join the Royal Rumble Match?

Beginning with Yokozuna’s victory at the 1993 Royal Rumble, the annual January event has been the official start to the Road to WrestleMania. With the winner receiving a shot at either the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship at WrestleMania a few months later, the Rumble is always quite the anticipated event.

Since awarding a title shot at the biggest event of the year, the match has seen the likes of Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker and Sheamus win the match and go onto receive their title shot. Not everyone has won the title, but knowing that you’re getting that shot is exciting in itself.

Later this month, 30 WWE superstars will enter the ring and try to outlast each other, but who will be in it? Last week John Cena declared himself an entrant on Raw while both Randy Orton and Sheamus entered into the match as well. Who will announce themselves as an entrant this week?

Will any more former World champions enter the match? How about the new faces of WWE? Could guys like the Shield try to enter the match?


The People’s Champion Returns: What Will the Rock Have to Say?

The last time WWE fans saw the Rock was in July at the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw. The People’s Champion made a big announcement that night and that was that he would be receiving a shot at the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble event.

Later on in the night, the Rock made the save as John Cena was getting beat down by the Big Show, but he would get quite the surprise. As he was about to deliver the People’s Elbow, WWE champion CM Punk would lift up the Rock and deliver his finishing move the Go to Sleep. The Rock hasn’t been seen since.

His parting gift at Raw 1,000 was an impactful one and he has had six months to think about it. What will the Rock have to say to his current Royal Rumble opponent CM Punk?

There’s a chance Punk may not be WWE champion come the event, though, so could the Rock address Ryback as well?


CM Punk vs. Ryback: TLC Match for the WWE Championship

At the Hell in a Cell PPV, CM Punk was put into a Hell in a Cell match for his WWE Championship against Ryback. Punk’s lengthy title reign was no doubt in jeopardy that night, but a rogue referee saved him.

As Ryback was about to put away Punk, referee Brad Maddox hit a low blow on Ryback and performed a quick count so that Punk could retain. Speculation started that Punk paid off Maddox, but both the champion and the referee denied the claims.

At Survivor Series, Punk was punished with a Triple Threat match against Ryback and John Cena. He was able to beat the odds again with some help from Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Known as the Shield, they denied working for CM Punk and Punk denied the involvement as well.

Vince McMahon dished out another punishment, booking Punk in a TLC match against Ryback at the TLC PPV. Unfortunately, Punk went down with an injury, but that didn’t stop Mr. McMahon from making the match a reality.

Now cleared by WWE doctors, the champion must defend his title against Ryback in Tables, Ladders and Chairs tonight.

Can CM Punk survive the brutal match against such an intense opponent? Could Brad Maddox or the Shield help him once again? Will the WWE Universe see a new champion in the form of the monstrous Ryback?

The first episode of WWE Monday Night Raw is shaping up to be a good one! Will it be? Tune in to find out!


Don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows!