WWE Hall of Famer, and one of my top 5 favorites of all time, Rowdy Roddy Piper makes a guest appearance to start the show. The ring is set up for the “Piper’s Pit” talk show. Piper starts off by asking how a guy who never won the WWE Championship became one of the biggest icons in history? He says its because of the crowds energy. He said when they booed him he was really rotten. He says the crowd’s energy determined how he would be. This little speech sets up for a guy who is very loudly booed and cheered every week, John Cena. Piper comes up with a game for Cena. He says Stone Cold Steve Austin and the crowd cheers. Bret Hart, the crowd cheers. The Rock, the crowd cheers. He says John Cena and gets a mixed reaction. Piper says he’s trying to help Cena. Then we get a long period of awkward silence. Every time the crowd starts to chant something both of them stop to listen. It goes on way too long and I’m kinda confused as to what’s going on in this segment. Cena says the crowd can do what they want. Piper says Cena is the face of the WWE and is the man. He says Cena is “losing it” because the booing is getting louder. He says Cena needs to tell the crowd exactly how he feels about them or he will be the loser in the biggest match in Wrestlemania history. Cena brings up a bunch of old events where he was booed including ECW One Night Stand and says Madison Square Garden was a cake walk compared to that. Cena shows 2 little kids in the front row with his gear on, says he granted 3 make a wishes today, and shows soldiers at ring side having fun. He says he does it for them and that the crowd will never rattle him. He says he will walk into Wrestlemania with or without the crowd and beat The Rock. Piper says he’s proud of Cena and that his generation passed the bar to him and he raised it. He says The Rock may come once in awhile but Cena is there every single day competing. He gives Cena his Hall of Fame ring and says Cena needs to get things off his chest. Cena says he’s in a good place and Piper smacks him across the face. Cena gives the ring back and walks out. End of segment. Here’s what I think….most people are thinking and hoping for a John Cena heel turn…but it’s not going to happen. Because of all the buzz lately about Cena turing heel, I think the WWE is teasing that idea with this storyline. The purpose of this Piper’s Pit was for Piper to put over the idea of Cena being eaten up inside by the booing from the crowd. The idea is that this starts the storyline and leads to his heel turn. But it’s not going to happen, and it doesn’t need to happen. Why do people want Cena to turn heel? Isn’t he already a heel to the majority of the crowd? Ask yourself what the definition of a heel is. A heel is a guy who goes against the majority of the crowd and does things to intentionally anger the people. Because the majority of the crowd are smart marks, Cena is already going against the majority of the crowd. He doesn’t change his routine or his character purposefully and thus he angers the crowd. Cena is already a heel to those he needs to be a heel to, and he’s a face to his own target audience. Men hate him while little kids and women love him. It would absolutely make no sense for Cena to turn against little kids, soldiers, and women because it doesn’t fit his character at all. Psychologically it wouldn’t make sense for Cena to hate the world. And what would be the real difference in Cena being an official heel? He would have to wrestle babyfaces? Is that why you want him heel? Because since Cena is already pretty much a tweener he is able to wrestle anyone on the roster. They can put him in the ring with The Miz and treat him like a face. Or they can put him in the ring with CM Punk or The Rock (which they have done and are going to do) and they can use him as a heel. He is in the perfect situation as is and gets a larger reaction than any other wrestler in the company, regardless of whether or not they boo or cheer. If his reactions are that large then theres no reason to change anything. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. So you want Cena to be a heel? Well keep booing him and make him a heel when need be. Cena doesn’t need to change anything anytime soon. And he never gets old or stale because the storylines he’s involved in are always epic. So let’s stop calling for a Cena heel turn please.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: The Miz vs. John Morrison- As Morrison makes his entrance The Miz attacks him from behind with a lead pipe and bashes Morrison’s ankle in. Morrison can barely walk but still tries to make his way down to the ring. The bell rings and Miz tries to take out Morrison’s leg. Morrison catches him and punches away, but Miz gets away and kicks Morrison’s ankle out. The Miz goes to the outside and slams Morrison’s ankle into the ring post. Miz gets a kendo stick from underneath the ring and hits Morrison’s ankle with it. Morrison jumps up and hits a clothesline. He takes control of the kendo stick and beats Miz with it. Miz flees to the outside but Morrison follows behind him and nails him with the stick some more. The Miz crawls up the ramp. Morrison charges at him on the set, but Miz ducks, and Morrison hits his head on the big WWE logo on the entrance way. Miz picks Morrison up and hits the Skull Crushing Finale on the steel ramp. The referee stops the match and says that Morrison is unconscious. As Morrison is being loaded on a stretcher with a neck brace, The Miz grabs the mic and heads back down into the ring. He says last week it was R-Truth, this week it’s Morrison, next week we’ll see. He says the only guy that can make this kind of an impact is him and that he can do it because he’s awesome. As The Miz would say, really? Really? Everyone knows that Morrison’s contract has expired and that this is his last night in the WWE. This is the way they make him go out? They don’t give him a “thank you John” match for all the years he’s been with the company? They could have given him a very classy, long match with The Miz where he truly showed off his athletic ability and went out with a bang. Instead they embarrass him and erase his character on a stretcher. Morrison is a guy that has only ever been with their company, won Tough Enough Season 2, and has done everything for the WWE over the last decade. He truly is one the best wrestlers in the company and is more athletic than anyone on the roster. WWE is making a huge mistake in letting Morrison walk. John Morrison you will be missed. Please come back one day.
Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox vs. The Bella Twins- Neither team gets an entrance and they are already in the ring when we come back from commercial break. A new “it begins” cryptic video flashes at the bottom of the screen again. I’ll talk about it at the end of this blog. As the match begins Beth Phoenix and Natalya run down the ramp, around the ring, and back up the ramp to the back. They never stopped running and didn’t stop for a second. Not sure what that was all about. The match was short and pointless. Kelly did a flying head scissors at one point. Alicia Fox hits a flipping leg drop for the win. Ugh what a waste of time.
We see a hype video for Sheamus. Does he really need hyped? He’s already one of the top guys in the company. There was some kick ass Irish rock song playing in the background though.
John Laurinaitis is talking on the phone. David Otunga asks when Brodus Clay will debut. Laurinaitis says he’s doing Brodus a favor by firing him up by making him wait. Well that’s stupid. Del Rio comes up and they talk about Survivor Series. There is a knock at the door and CM Punk comes in. Punk says 156,000 is the number of results you get when you Google “Laurinaitis and spineless.” He says 918,000 is the number you get when you Google “Del Rio and boring.” He says he typed Otunga in but all he got was someone named Jennifer Hudson. That’s funny because Otunga is her husband. Punk says they can dream about a safe vanilla GM having a safe vanilla WWE Champion, but it won’t happen. Otunga thinks Punk hinted at getting himself disqualified. Laurinaitis says to spread the word that if Punk gets himself disqualified he will lose the WWE Championship. So lets research this. I only got 4,380 results when I Googled Laurinaitis spineless. But he was right about Del Rio. It went up since that segment because it’s now 938,000. The top Google search for David Otunga is truly Jennifer Hudson as well. Did you know he saved her life? Also didn’t John Laurinaitis’ nephew James score a touchdown for the St. Louis Rams this past week? Good for him. He is a future WWE Superstar by the way.
Wade Barrett makes his way to the commentary table in dress clothes.
Randy Orton vs. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero- We get an earlier today promo where Ziggler says he took Punk to the limit last week, and that this week he will beat Randy Orton. Barrett talks a lot of trash about Orton progressing their feud. Multiple tie ups to start the match with neither man taking control. Orton catches Ziggler in a headlock, hits a shoulder block, and is countered into a roll-up by Ziggler. Ziggler teases another tie up but kicks Orton in the gut. Good psychology. Orton throws Ziggler into the corner, but he leap frogs, and Orton catches him with a big clothesline. Ziggler rolls to the outside frustrated. He gets back in but is hit with a side slam. Orton stomps away at every part of Ziggler’s body. After a suplex Orton misses a knee drop and is kicked in the head. Elbow drop from Ziggler for a near fall. We see a couple more counters before Ziggler tries to throw Orton to the outside. Orton hangs on to the ropes but is drop kicked off the apron. Ziggler goes outside after him and slams Orton’s head off the steel steps. Dolph tosses him back in for a near fall and then stomps him in the corner. Orton takes control with a series of uppercuts but Ziggler comes back with a neck breaker. Alicia Fox, Raw, and The Bella Twins are all officially trending on Twitter. That’s the first time tonight something has trended. Back to the match, Ziggler goes to the top rope but Orton knocks him down. Jerry Lawler starts reading live tweets from fans on the air. Very good interactive idea. I like it. Orton hits a superplex off the top rope on Ziggler but it’s a near fall. That takes us to commercial where Chuck Norris is beating up World of Warcraft monsters. They also tease a special live Smackdown Tuesday Night. Back in the ring both guys are standing and hitting each other for momentum. Orton kicks Ziggler in the throat, hits a clothesline, a snap powerslam, and his hanging off the ropes DDT. He motions for the RKO but Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Wade Barrett jumps up on the apron and Orton drop kicks him off. Ziggler comes from behind with the Zig Zag on Orton and gets the win. Vickie Guerrero announces Dolph the winner as he does a head stand on the outside.
In the ring we see Daniel Bryan with Michael Cole. Time out. Daniel Bryan is finally on Raw???!!! It’s about time. (Daniel Bryan is my favorite wrestler in the world fyi.) In case you missed Smackdown this past week, Daniel Bryan cashed in money in the bank and won the World Heavyweight Championship but it was taken away because Mark Henry wasn’t cleared to compete. Cole tells Bryan that he will be given a shot at the championship on Tuesday’s live Smackdown. Bryan says that Cole is the worst WWE announcer of all time and that he hasn’t been given anything. He said he earned his title match by beating 3 other guys on Smackdown and that Michael Cole should respect him. This segment is actually a long time coming. Back in the day on WWE NXT when Daniel Bryan was a “rookie” Michael Cole would bad mouth him every week. The heat between these two guys was never really finished. By the way I put rookie in quotations to show sarcasm. Daniel Bryan was the top wrestler on the indy scene for many years. Not only was he the Ring of Honor Champion, and famous in Japan, but he also trained some of the best young athletes on the indy scene today. Daniel Bryan is by far the best technical “wrestler” in the entire world. In my opinion he is the only guy in the industry who is better than CM Punk. I truly hope those two have a title match at Wrestlemania against one another. Anyways, back to this segment. Cole calls Bryan a liar since he said he would cash in his Money In the Bank at Wrestlemania and tried to cash it in on Smackdown. He shows the clip where Bryan won the World Heavyweight Championship and had it taken away. Cole laughs and said Bryan’s dreams were shattered. Cole says he should have been stripped of Money in the Bank and suspended. Bryan said his plans changed when Mark Henry tried to end his career. He hypes his world championship match with Mark Henry in a steel cage match. He says it’s more important to win the championship than it is to main event Wrestlemania. Mark Henry comes out and says Bryan should be ashamed of himself for trying to take advantage of an injured man. He runs his mouth about Bryan not being able to beat him. Bryan walks up the ramp, kicks Henry in his injured ankle, and walks to the back.
Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger- Zack Ryder comes out to a huge pop to his amazing theme music and my cell phone ringer. Swagger takes Ryder down right away and slaps the back of his head. Ryder hits a clothesline and Swagger comes back with a belly to belly suplex. The cryptic video URL flashes across the screen in the bottom corner again. Swagger hits a couple boring big man moves that includes a bunch of back clubbing and a forearm hold. Ryder works his way up and hits a neck breaker for a near fall. Swagger goes for a pump handle slam but its countered with a forearm. Ryder jumps off the top but Swagger catches him with a back breaker. Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb but he messes up his timing and doesn’t jump on the ropes. He stops and awkardly stomps Ryder. Remember how I said a few weeks ago that Swagger messes something up every week? He goes for the Swagger Bomb again but Ryder gets his knees up. The woo woo woo kid hits the Rough Ryder for the win. He fist pumps with the crowd.
The hype video for the return of Kane is shown once again. It ends with Kane throwing a burning mask on the ground. “Kane resurrected” reads at the bottom of the screen.
2 Hall of Famers in one night! Here comes Mick Foley in a Santa suit. He tells “twas the night before Smackdown.” He is the host of Smackdown this week. Just to entertain you I will recite his entire poem. “Twas the night before Smackdown and all through the land, Mick Foley’s smile shown brightly, he had something planned. Festive fun’s the only rule come tomorrow night, as sure as Hornswoggle is tiny and Sheamus is real white. Mark Henry is an angry man, his brain is filled with rage, he’ll defend his title against Daniel Bryan inside of a steel cage. They’ll be divas and some dancing too direct from the North Pole, it’s everything you want to see meaning no Michael Cole. It’s sure to be an awesome night, could not possibly be finea, I hope you will enjoy it especially all of you right here in South Carolina.” (the cheap pop.)
In the back Josh Mathews asks Punk about the stipulation of him losing his title if he gets himself disqualified. Punk looks at the camera and says “kiss my ass.”
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio- This is the first WWE Championship Match on Monday Night Raw since August 15. Tie up to start. Punk takes control with an arm ringer and a fireman’s carry. Del Rio rolls through and back up with an arm lock. Punk sends Del Rio into the corner and hits a monkey flip. Punk takes control of Del Rio’s arm but Del Rio rolls through with a headlock. Good chain wrestling. Punk pushes Del Rio off the ropes but he hits a shoulder block. Back into the arm lock. Punk pushes him off again and again another shoulder block. Punk does it a third time and catches Del Rio in the face with a back shoulder. Irish whip and Del Rio holds the ropes, so Punk clotheslines him to the outside. Suicide dive through the ropes by Punk as we go to commercial in this championship match. Back from commercial Del Rio is magically in control of the match. He continues to work Punk’s arm. We see a “during commercial” showing Punk getting knocked off the top rope, followed by a nasty Del Rio kick to the arm. Punk is now holding his left arm as Del Rio continues to kick at it and Punk’s head. Del Rio heads to the top rope and hits a double axe handle to Punk’s injured shoulder/arm. He puts the arm over the top rope and stretches it. He throws Punk into the corner, charges, but Punk kicks him in the face. Punk goes for a springboard cross body but Del Rio moves out of the way then hits a grounded drop kick to Punk’s arm. Del Rio continues to wear down Punk’s arm with kicks and an arm bar. Punk works his way back up and runs off the ropes, but he’s caught with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker. Del Rio keeps Punk grounded and throws his knees into Punk’s arm. Again Del Rio goes to the top rope and hits a second axe handle for a near fall. The crowd chants “where’s my ice cream.” Punk rolls through an arm lock but Del Rio boots him in the face. He goes to the top rope again for a third axe handle but Punk kicks him in the head. The two punch and kick back and forth to gain momentum. Irish whip and a heel kick to the jaw from Punk followed by a spinning neck breaker.. Del Rio is tossed to the corner and Punk hits running knees to the face. The bulldog is counted as Del Rio drops Punk’s arm across his knees. Punk goes for another big kick but Del Rio counters with a beautiful german suplex. Another near fall. Del Rio gets frustrated that he can’t put Punk away. He picks Punk up and goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, Punk counters and goes for the Go To Sleep, but Del Rio rolls down his back and hits a DDT. Alberto tears the turnbuckle cover off the turnbuckle. As the referee is distracted by putting it back on, Ricardo Rodriguez throws a chair into the ring. Punk grabs the chair from Del Rio and tosses it back to him. He pulls an Eddie Guerrero and drops to the mat as if he was hit with the chair. The referee sees Punk on the ground and Del Rio with the chair and tries to call for the bell. Del Rio intercepts his arm as Punk rolls Del Rio up. Nearly a 3 count. Del Rio jumps up and hits a Back Cracker on Punk for a 2 count. Rodriguez jumps on the ring apron. While the referee is distracted Punk drops Del Rio’s face across the exposed turnbuckle. He covers Del Rio for the win and retains the WWE Championship. Rodriguez is back up on the apron arguing with the referee. Punk grabs him and hits the GTS.
Pretty good show. Always good to see Hall of Famers like Piper and Foley. Plus there was a WWE Championship match, a Zack Ryder match, and Daniel Bryan.
Let’s talk about the newest cryptic video that flashed across the bottom of the screen. The link is here. It starts with a shot of a bench. Then we see the same little boy from last week. He is again sitting at a single desk in the middle of an empty school room writing. He says “the power cometh is a thief in the night to claim what others have taken. We see the shot of the swing from last week but this time it’s playing backwards. “Those who are unjust, destruction will come upon them and they will not escape.” More whispering in the background. We see a shopping cart standing up, but then the video skips and it’s laying down. “The second day of 2012 is coming.” We then see swings swinging in stop motion followed by a ball that rolls across the ground in the classroom. The video warps and the little boy is back, but now there is a little girl sitting behind him where the ball rolled. “And it will be the end of the world as you know it.” The word “Second” appears on a black screen. So this really hasn’t changed anything for me. I’m still thinking its Undertaker. Chris Jericho is apparently in some sort of contract dispute with NBC about whether or not he can appear on shows on other networks if he has a WWE contract. But the fact that the WWE and Jericho were actually in negotiations makes me think that it really could be him. The phrase this week that caught my attention was “to claim what others have taken.” CM Punk took the phrase “best in the world” and Jericho had a war of words with him on Twitter over it. My expert opinion says that if Jericho signs this will be for him. If they fail to sign Jericho then they will use this as hype for Undertaker.
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