With the aftermath of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view still fresh in the minds of the WWE Universe, the Monday, Jan. 28 edition of WWE Raw began with a video package recapping The Rock's victory over CM Punk to capture the championship belt.
Raw, which was live from Las Vegas, Nev., opens with former WWE champion Punk angrily walking to the ring. Punk, alongside manager Paul Heyman, begins to shout that he did not lose at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Punk claims that he is the real WWE champion and that the Royal Rumble was a fluke.
Vince McMahon interrupts Punk by coming out to the entrance way. McMahon turns his attention to Heyman, stating that his involvement with The Shield could result in him getting fired by the WWE.
Match No. 1: Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro (with special guest referee The Miz)
Your winner via pinfall: Randy Orton. This was a very good opening match, as both Orton and Cesaro fought an entertaining battle inside and outside the ring. WWE also made a good selection with The Miz as the special guest referee, helping further boost his feud with Cesaro.
Match Rating: 3.5/5
After the match, a backstage shot is shown of the Raw roulette wheel spinning. Eventually, it lands on "Make Me Laugh." A shot of Ryback is shown, as he is forced to head toward the ring and attempt to become a comedian. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young join Ryback in the ring.
O'Neil and Young go first, followed by Ryback. As Ryback is speaking, he attacks both O'Neil and Young, forcing them outside the ring. WWE announcer Matt Striker proclaims Ryback as the winner. However, to no laughing manner, Ryback takes out Striker in the ring.
Match No. 2: Wade Barrett vs. Bo Dallas
Your winner via pinfall: Bo Dallas. Dallas is really beginning to gain some attention in the WWE after performing exceptionally well in the Royal Rumble match and defeating Barrett. There is some potential to his character and starting a feud with Barrett is a smart and safe decision by the WWE.
Match Rating: 3/5
Match No. 3: John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes
Your winner via pinfall: John Cena. Cena looked absolutely dominant in this match, as he is on the winning track toward WrestleMania. A quicker match that saw Cena have control for the majority of it.
Match Rating: 3/5.
Cena, after his victory over Rhodes, takes the microphone and begins discussing the upcoming WrestleMania pay-per-view. At the tail end of his in-ring segment, Cena challenges The Rock for the WWE Championship belt.
However, The Shield comes through the crowd and attacks Cena in the ring. Sheamus attempts to help Cena, but he is quickly brought down to the ring mat. Ryback storms to the ring but fails to slow down The Shield. With Ryback and Sheamus outside the ring, The Shield deliver a triple power bomb on Cena before leaving through the audience.
After a commercial break, Brodus Clay and Tensai are in the ring for their dance-off competition. Both Clay and Tensai embarrassingly dance with no selected winner as a result. Backstage, Alberto Del Rio spins the wheel next. After the wheel lands on a body slam match, Del Rio heads toward the ring with Ricardo.
Before the match can start, the Big Show goes on the attack by putting tape on Del Rio's arm, preventing him from helping Ricardo. After putting the offense on Ricardo, the Big Show places a right hand on Del Rio, knocking him out.
Match No. 4: Tamina vs. Kaitlyn
No-contest match. Unfortunately, this was a new low for the WWE Divas division, which is in need of a major boost. WWE dropped the ball with this match, as Tamina and Kaitlyn never got the opportunity to finish the match after outside interference.
Match Rating: 0.5/5
WWE champion The Rock is introduced to the ring. The Rock says that winning the WWE Championship belt after 10 years was the best moment of his career. While celebrating in the ring, Punk comes out in a sweater and shorts.
Punk tells The Rock that the championship belt was handed to him. After Punk demands an apology, the Rock challenges him to come take his belt in the ring. Punk fires back, telling the Rock he wants a rematch at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. The Rock quickly accepts.
Match No. 5: Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus
Your winner: Sheamus. Sheamus earned the victory by slamming Sandow through a table. A decent battle that had some shinning moments in it. Both wrestlers did a good job in keeping the match interesting by brawling outside the ring.
Match Rating: 3/5
Zack Ryder and the Great Khali are in the ring for a singing contest. After the Great Khali attempts to sing Shawn Michaels' theme song, 3MB interrupts the singing contest by coming out to the ring. However, the Great Khali and Ryder force them outside the ring.
Chris Jericho returned to Raw after participating in the Royal Rumble match. He thanks the wrestling fans for giving him motivation. Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and AJ Lee suddenly march their way to the ring.
Ziggler asks Jericho why he was in the building. Guerrero interrupts Ziggler by appearing on the entrance way screen and announcing that she had signed Jericho to a WWE contract. After spinning the Raw roulette wheel, Guerrero said that Jericho and Ziggler would team together against Kane and Daniel Bryan.
Match No. 6: Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan
Your winners via pinfall: Kane and Daniel Bryan. It appears the WWE will be setting up a full-fledged feud between Jericho and Ziggler. Quick and simple tag team match.
Match Rating: 2.5/5
A video package is shown of Trish Stratus' career, who is revealed to be the third person to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Mr. McMahon, who is in the ring after a commercial break, invites Heyman to join him. McMahon begins to quickly question him about his involvement with The Shield. Heyman denies the accusations of the WWE Chairman, telling McMahon that he had nothing to do with the heel group. McMahon asks Heyman if he has ever lied in his life. Heyman says he has lied everyday because of survival purposes.
On the entrance way, a video is shown of Heyman, who is with Brad Maddox, admitting that he pays The Shield for their services in protecting Punk. Heyman tells McMahon he was not in the video shown. He claims someone else is impersonating him.
As McMahon was about to fire Heyman, Brock Lesnar makes his WWE return. Lesnar steps into the ring and begins to taunt McMahon. Despite Heyman's demands to keep things in control, Lesnar delivers a F-5 on McMahon, as Monday Night Raw ends in shock.