WWE Raw Live Results, Coverage and Analysis for First Raw of the New Year
Welcome, everyone, to the Bleacher Report live coverage for WWE Monday Night Raw for Jan. 7, 2012.
Tonight's show has a few things already planned out so far.
CM Punk will be defending his WWE title in a TLC match against the monster Ryback in a match that was supposed to happen at TLC, but was delayed due to Punk having surgery on his knee.
We also have the the return of The Rock tonight as he gets ready for his title match against whoever leaves Raw tonight as WWE champion as this year's Royal Rumble.
We will also likely see more names announced as participants for the Royal Rumble match as well as some progression on other storylines like the AJ/Ziggler/Cena situation and The Shield's quest for justice.
Will The Shield make a bold move tonight and attack The Rock?
Make sure to bookmark this page and come back tonight at the start of the show to find out as all the action is covered right here live as it happens.
Follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor
The show had plenty of things that people are going to talk about, but none will be as talked about as Rocky's attack to CM Punk.
We are getting to a point where The Shield needs to start wrestling matches and not just attacking people. They are going to lose steam fast if people don't get to see them in one on one situations.
I enjoyed that WWE was very wrestling-heavy tonight for the first 75 percent and then gave the rest of the time to Punk and Rocky.
Cena and Ziggler has the match of the night, but The Rock will be what people will be talking about tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts on the show below.
Rocky says there is no way Punk will stop him from becoming WWE champion at the Rumble.
Punk says every time Rock comes back to WWE he is going to kick Rock's ass. Punk says he is going to kick Rock's ass because he is the best in the world.
Punk says Rocky is in the little league compared to him. Punk says Rocky's arms are too short to box with god.
Rock brings up how Punk hit him with the GTS and knocked him out, but in 20 days his time is up.
Rocky says CM Punk should get some tats of some candy bars, except almond joys because those have nuts unlike Punk.
He grabs Punk and hits the Rock Bottom after telling Punk he is going to kick his ass. Rock's music hits and we end the first Raw of 2013 with The Rock standing tall.
After the break we see CM Punk still in the ring talking about how he is still WWE champion. Punk says he has beaten the system while beating every one of the superstars WWE threw at him.
Line of the night. Ïn your face, jerks!"
Punk calls everyone losers and the Rock's music hits as the crowd pops huge. Rocky is out on the stage right away and he takes in some of the reaction on the stage before going down to the ring.
Punk watches as Rock comes into the ring following his trademark corner pose. Rocky doesn't even look at Punk as he walks past him to the opposite corner for another pose.
Rocky said he waited to come out until he felt he understood the man he is facing at the Rumble. He calls Punk delusional.
Rocky says he has 20 days until Punk has to face him in a match. #20Days will be trending in a few minutes.
Rock says Punk couldn't deliver on any of his promises. Rocky says the crowd is going to chant Cookie Puss and they do it.
It really is that simple for him. Punk says everyone in the crowd is a puppet and all Rocky did was the same thing Punk did a year ago.
Rock runs through his day from 4AM through right now. He gets a cheap pop for saying he has finally come back to Tampa, just like Punk said anybody could.
Rock says he is back to entertain the fans, stop Punk and win the WWE title. Rock says Punk looks like Popeye on crack.
Rock says he knows Punk is one of the best in the WWE, but he is also the biggest jerk the world has ever seen and he warns him to never say the people don't matter.
Punk calls everyone in the crowd a loser because they pay to see guys like him. He says he never wrestled for the fans.
Punk points out how he is being signalled to go to commercial break and he says they won't go to break until he wants to go to break.
Punk says nobody matters and the show goes to commercial with Punk still talking.
CM Punk's music hits and he is out after the break with Paul Heyman holding the WWE title. Punk has on his Knees to Faces shirt. I wonder if Rock will wear his Boots to Asses shirt.
Punk waits a moment before speaking. Heyman holds the title up in the air as Punk rips the WWE cover off the mic and then says he has something very personal to tell us.
He keeps his ear to the ground and says nobody understands what he means by pipebomb. He says it is truth and honesty.
He says everyone lacks honesty. Punk recalls how he came to be where he is. He says he still meant everything he said, except ice cream because the audience doesn't need it.
Punk says he creates the persona of the rebel because he knew the fans would cheer him. He says it doesn't matter in WWE if you are the best wrestler.
There is a glass ceiling and he says the more popular you are the more money you make. He says John Cena is a great example of someone who gets title shot after title shot without deserving him.
He mocks Bryan and Brodus Clay for selling out. He mentions Little Jimmy having more screen time than Tyson Kidd.
He calls the crowd on playing right into his hands as they cheer what he is saying. He says all anyone does out here is try to entertain the fans, except for him.
He says he is the most successful WWE champion of all time and if he had competed in Bruno Sammartino's time he would have been champion for 30 years.
He talks about wrestling so much that one year of his career is worse than 30 of the older generation's years in terms of harm to his body.
Punk says he doesn't care about anybody and he is one of the bad guys. He mocks Ric Flair and the crowd woos.
He talks about Shawn Michaels and Edge and says he knows they are weak.
We go to a video of CM Punk attacking The Rock last year before we head to a break.
Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston
The bell rings and Kofi goes right after Show with kicks. As the ref pulls Kofi back Show hits the KO punch and gets the quick win.
Winner: Big show
After the break we see Punk telling Striker that he had nothing to do with The Shield attacking Ryback. He says he is going back to the ring before Rocky has a chance to talk tonight.
Bryan is icing his knee and Kane asks how he is. They get into an argument over their loss to Cody and Sandow. Vickie walks up and they ridicule her for yelling.
Vickie says Dr. Shelby will come back next week to give them their four month evaluation. Kane and Bryan argue over whether he is a monster or a nerd.
Kofi Kingston is out next for a match.
CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC Match for the WWE Title Part 3
Punk hits a pair of high knees, but on the second one he gets dumped over the top rope and through a table on the outside.
Ryback grabs a ladder while Punk is down outside the ring. He climbs up the ladder and reaches for the belt.
The lights go out and when they come back on we see The Shield on the ladder attacking Ryback. Ryback ends up getting rid of them for a moment and tries again for the title.
The numbers game catches up to him and Ryback is beaten by The Shield all around the ring. They hit the Triple Powerbomb through a table, which was on top of the steel steps.
The 3 men leave the arena and Punk slowly starts to crawl back into the ring. Ryback begins to move as Punk makes it to the ring.
Punk climbs one step at a time to the top of the ladder. Punk smiles as he reaches the top of the ladder and grabs his WWE title.
Winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk
That was pretty entertaining for a free match. The Shield might have ruined it for some fans, but there was no other way to have Ryback still come out looking like he should have won without actually winning.
When the lights went out I thought it might have been Undertaker, but I was wrong.
CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC Match for the WWE Title Part 2
We come back from commercial right as Ryback hits an electric chair to Punk. Ryback slams Punk on the outside and then goes under the ring for a table.
Ryback reverses a hip toss and sends Punk over the announce table and then follows up by using the hood from the announce table to beat on Punk.
Punk goes for the knee of Ryback and gets him down in the ring before going outside to grab a chair. Punk hits Ryback in the legs with the chair a few times.
He locks the ankle in the chair and then climbs up to the second rope. Ryback moves and Punk lands on his bad knee. Ryback comes back and hits some signatures to Punk.
Ryback lines up and hits the Meat Hook clothesline. Punk gets out of a Shell Shocked and Punk ends up baiting Ryback to run right through a table.
Punk goes back in the ring and sets up the ladder. He starts climbing and Ryback starts up the other side. Ryback shoves Punk off the ladder and Punk shoves the ladder over.
Ryback presses Punk above his head and drops him on the side of the ladder. Punk hits a kick to the head and then tries to set up the broken ladder.
CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC Match for the WWE Title Part 1
Punk is out first and he throws a chair in the aisle as he walks to the ring. Heyman follows close behind.
Ryback is out after Punk stands in the ring with his arms stretched out as Heyman claps in the background for what seems like a solid minute.
The bell rings and they go at it, with Ryback overpowering Punk and throwing him from corner to corner. The Goldberg chants start up within seconds.
Punk grabs a chair and hits Ryback in the gut. Ryback still tackles Punk and hits some hard right hands. Ryback picks up the chair and almost smashes Punk into the steel steps.
Punk hits Ryback with the chair and then throws him into the barricade. Punk puts a ladder in the ring but Ryback is able to catch him and keep him grounded.
He grabs Punk and suplexes him into the ladder. Punk is either a great actor or that was a legit look of extreme pain.
Ryback grabs the steps and hits Punk with them. Ryback tries to drop the big part of the steps on Punk and Punk moves and ends up hitting Ryback with a kick off the steps.
Punk grabs another chair and starts working over Ryback's knees as we head to a break.
After the break we see a replay of Ziggler vs. Cena from earlier tonight. We go back to the ring and Justin Roberts explains how the TLC match works.
The WWE title is shown hanging above the ring as we prepare for the TLC main event after the break.
Tonight's show has just flown by. I can't believe we are entering the third hour already.
They must be saving The Rock for last, which is to be expected. Who wants to take bets on how long the show will run past the scheduled time?
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal
The bell rings after the break and Sheamus takes control early. Mahal ends up taking Sheamus down with a shouler block and Sheamus answers back with his own.
Sheamus fores Mahal to grab his butt and then makes fun of him for it. Mahal gets slapped in the face twice by Sheamus before being thrown to the outside.
Sheamus hits the Irish Hand Grenades on Mahal. He grabs D-Mac and then hits him with the same thing before going back to work on Mahal.
Slater grabs Sheamus' foot and Mahal is able to take him out of the ring with a running knee. 3MB attack Sheamus while the ref has his back turned.
Sheamus comes back and hits a series of his signature moves before bringing Slater into the ring and taking him and Mahal out.
Sheamus goes outside the ring and brings Mahal back in the ring, but not before kicking McIntyre in the face. Slater eats a kick as well and Sheamus hits Mahal with White Noise.
Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick and hits it for the pin and the win.
WWE just jobbed all of 3MB out to Randy Orton and Sheamus in two consecutive matches.
Brad Maddox walks up to Paul Heyman and makes a veiled threat/proposal to Heyman. Heyman makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with Maddox.
Sheamus comes out to the ring for a match that will happen after the break.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Khali
Cesaro is waving a US flag while he comes to the ring. Miz is on commentary for this one. THe bell rings and Cesaro tries to go for some shots but Khali overpowers him.
Khali hits the chest chop in the corner. Cesaro rolls out of the ring and pulls Khali into the top rope and then pulls Khali's leg down to put the giant on the mat.
Cesaro keeps working the leg of Khali. Khali gets a boot up in the corner to come back. He goes for the Punjabi Plunge and Cesaro fights out with an uppercut.
Cesaro hits a second, much nastier uppercut and then finishes Khali with the Neutralizer, which gets a great response from the crowd.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
It is hard not to like this guy. Cesaro is the total package. The way he came off the second rope and hit that uppercut was one of the smoothest things I have ever seen.
Cesaro holds the US title high as he stares down Miz from the ring.
Sheamus is backstage with Striker and 3MB walk up. Sheamus mocks them and they say Orton got lucky. Sheamus invites them to sing a song with him.
I don't understand what we are supposed to expect. A match or a singing contest. Knowing WWE, it could be either one.
Santino vs. Wade Barrett
Steamboat is with Santino as he comes to the ring. The bell rings and Santino hits an armdrag to start things off.
Barrett answers back with a kick and a series of hard right hands. Barrett hits some body shots and then a snap suplex for a two count.
Ricky cheers on Santino as he fights out of a headlock. Santino hits a big kick for a two count on Barrett. Santino keeps up the offense and hits all his signatures.
He pulls out the Cobra sleeve and Barrett bails to the outside. Barrett pulls Santino into the top rope and then hits the Bull Hammer for the pin and the win.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Ricky Steamboat should be a babyface manager. Not for Santino, but for someone who needs the credibility in their corner.
Barrett and Steamboat almost come to blows, but Barrett takes the high road and leaves the ring.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater
3MB are already in the ring when we return and Randy Orton makes his way out to the ring. Orton has a look on his face that says "How did I end up facing Heath Slater?"
The bell rings and Slater goes behind Orton. Orton ends up hitting a shoulder block and a clothesline for a one count on Slater.
Slater hits a hard kick to the gut and then backs Orton into the corner. Orton fights back with headbutts and a European uppercut.
Orton ends up fighting off the other members of 3MB on the outside. Slater distracts the ref while Mahal and D-Mac lay in with kicks.
Slater rolls Orton back in for a near fall. Slater ends up hitting a nice neckbreaker for a close near fall on Orton. Cole freaks out when he thinks Slater might win the match.
Orton crotches Slater on the top rope and then climbs up for a superplex from the top rope. Orton stalks Slater and hits a pair of clothesline and a powerslam.
Orton hits the rope-hung DDT and then he lines up for an RKO. Orton hits it for the pin and the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
After the match 3MB attack Orton and he hits RKOs on both Mahal and McIntyre. Orton stands tall as the crowd cheers.
If the goal of all that was to make Orton look strong then it worked well. Hitting three guys with an RKO in one segment is something I did not realize I missed.
Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars
After the break we see a mustache ready to fight Kane. Rhodes tries to trick Kane but he gets hit in the face for his troubles.
Sandow comes in off the tag and Kane continues to control the match with a low dropkick. Daniel Bryan tags in and hits a running dropkick in the corner for a two count.
Bryan focuses on the arm of Sandow to soften him up for the No Lock. Sandow breaks free and tags Rhodes, who runs right into a drop toe hold.
Bryan hits Rhodes with a series of kicks to the chest. Bryan misses a kick but hits a bridging suplex for a two count.
Cody ends up hanging Bryan on the top rope and kicking him in the gut, much like how Bob Holly used to do. Sandow tags in and starts pounding on Bryan.
Sandow drops the Elbow of Disdain on Bryan and tells the crowd they're welcome. Bryan makes a desperate tag to Kane, who takes Sandow out with a flying clothesline.
Kane hits a big boot for a two count. Kane hits a pair of corner clotheslines and a sidewalk slam for another two count.
Kane calls for the Chokeslam and Sandow rolls to the outside only to get hit with a running knee off the apron from Bryan.
Bryan tags in and hits Sandow with a ton of kicks to the chest. Bryan lands bad off a back flip in the corner and Sandow and Rhodes immediately focus in on the knee.
If that was a planned spot then it came off well.
Kane hits Sandow for attacking Bryan while the ref had his back turned. Bryan rolls up Rhodes for a near fall. Rhodes ends up hitting Bryan with the Cross Rhodes for the pin and the win.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars
Decent match. Pretty standard tag team action.
A video plays advertising the fact that next week is the 20th anniversary of Raw. Santino is backstage with Ricky Steamboat and Santino says his match with Randy Savage at WM3 was his favorite.
Wade Barrett walks in and puts himself over. He mocks Steamboat and Ricky turns to Santino and says he will be in Santino's corner for his match with Barrett.
Randy Orton is backstage with Matt Striker. Striker runs down the list of who has entered the Rumble match so far.
3MB walk up and declare themselves as in the match as well. Orton challenges one of them and Slater says he can face whoever he wants.
Orton picks Slater and walks off. We go back to the ring and Kane's pyro hits for the next match.
Eve vs. Kaitlyn Divas Title Match
The bell rings after the break and they lock up. Kaitlyn uses her power to shove Eve off but Eve comes right back with a side headlock takeover.
Katie turns it into a headscissor. Eve breaks out and grabs Katie's leg for a leglock. Eve locks in a nice ankle lock that Katie uses a nice counter to break out of.
Eve makes the ref force Katie to tie her shoelaces and Eve pounces. The ref yells at her and Eve says it wasn't her fault.
Eve hangs Katie in the corner with a choke hold. Katie ends up hitting Eve with a side slam for a near fall.
She grabs Eve and plants her with a reverse DDT move and gets a near fall. Katie puts Eve on her shoulders. Eve breaks free and tries to run away.
Kaitlyn follows Eve and Eve escapes through the crowd for a countout loss to retain her title.
Winner: Kaitlyn (No title change due to countout)
After a quick graphic to hype The Rock's appearance again we get Eve coming out for a Divas Title match with Kaitlyn, which will take place after the break.
I am curious to know who had the idea of having the Divas follow Cena and Ziggler in a 25 minute match that was obviously going to be PPV quality.
This has the chance of either proving the Divas can keep the momentum going or stop it in its tracks.
Cena vs. Ziggler Pt. 2
Ziggler is in control when we return. He hits a beautiful dropkick on Cena for a near fall and he follows up with a series of falling elbows and a jumping elbow for another two count.
The ref catches AJ slap Cena and the ref kicks AJ and Big E. from ringside. Cena hits a few signatures but Ziggler ends up hitting a kick and a fame-asser for a two count.
Ziggler misses in the corner and Cena takes advantage so he can hit the 5-Knuckle Shuffle. AJ squirms out of the AA and hits the Zig Zag for a close two count.
Ziggler tries for a Superkick and Cena reverse into an STF, which Ziggler breaks out of so he can hit the jumping DDT for another two count.
Ziggler goes to the top rope and leaps off into Cena's arms, who hoists him up. Ziggler breaks out of the AA again and hits the Superkick for another near fall.
Cena and Ziggler starts trading shots in the middle of the ring. Ziggler locks in the Sleeper hold and Cena starts to lose his balance after a moment.
Cena won't go downand he grabs Ziggler's leg and whips Ziggler off of him. The ref goes down so when Cena locks in the STF there is no one to ring the bell.
Langston comes out and hits his finisher on Cena and then pulls Ziggler onto Cena's body. Another ref runs to the ring and counts.
Cena kicks out at two and the crowd goes a little nuts. Cena grabs Ziggler and hits the AA for the pin and the win.
Winner: John Cena
That was a great match despite the fact that it was obvous Cena would win halfway through. Cena lasted through everything in Ziggler's moveset and t only took one AA to get the win.
John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler Part 1
After the break the bell rings and the match starts. Cena starts off with a shoulder block to Ziggler as Cole says Vickie made the match official during the break.
Zggler tales Cena down with a side headlock takedown and Cena answers back with a big hip toss and an armdrag into an armbar.
Ziggler backs Cena into the corner and beats him down with hard rights. Ziggler is in control and he celebrates with some situps.
Cena takes advantage with a rollup for a near fall. Cena comes back with a running bulldog for another near fall.
Cena hits a standing suplex for another two count. Ziggler comes back with a running knee and a splash in the corner for a near fall on Cena.
Ziggler hits a nice dropkick for another two count. Cena catches Ziggy and slingshots him into the turnbuckle.
Langston hits Cena upside the head and Ziggler is able to get another two count before the break.
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