Raw begins with a bang. Literally. We get a fiery explosion, the arena goes black, and out comes Kane in the metal mask. Kane grabs the mic and talks about embracing hate. He says everyone in the crowd has a spouse they hate, then they go to a job they hate, then they come home to children they say they love, but deep down they know they are soft disappointments. Kane says John Cena inspires hope. He says when people see Cena they should realize their own shortcomings and failures. He says that when people chant “Cena sucks” they are actually saying that they themselves suck. But everyone refuses to embrace the hate. Kane says that the people made Zack Ryder a star. He says that last week he almost dragged Ryder to hell, but Cena delayed the inevitable. John Cena’s music hits, he tears off his shirt, runs down to the ring, and attacks Kane. Clothesline over the top rope by Cena. He follows Kane down to the floor. The two continue to brawl back and forth to the backstage area. In the hallway Kane slams Cena into a door and punches a bunch of guys in suits. Kane drags Cena outside of the arena and into the parking lot. Cena fights back and almost knocks Kane off a ledge. Kane counters and throws Cena into a bunch of production pipes. Cena grabs a crowbar and nails Kane in the gut with it. Kane uppercuts Cena and sends him into a pile of trash. Cena stands back up but Kane has magically disappeared. End of segment. Interesting way to start the show. I really liked Kane’s promo. It actually made a lot of sense. Kane has always been great on the mic and always finds a way to tie storylines together. Every time Kane is in a confusing storyline all it takes is one promo by him to have it all make sense. The brawl through the back was a little weak. We just saw the same thing on Smackdown two week ago with Orton and Barrett. Kane magically disappearing is kinda cool. I like when they write new ways for mystical characters like Kane and Undertaker to have new unexpected phenomenons. Good way to progress the Kane vs. Cena story.
Sheamus and Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett and Jinder Mahal – Santino comes out with his karate shirt, cobra glove, and power walks around ringside in circles. Mahal comes out stereotypically in his robe and turban. Santino and Mahal begin. Mahal knees him in the gut and hits a running knee to the face. Barrett is tagged in and immediately uses a neck breaker. The pace slows down way too early with a chin lock. The crowd tries to chant Santino out of it, but Barrett sends him into the turnbuckle face first. Mahal is tagged back in. He stomps away at Santino and then uses a chin lock of his own. This time Santino gets out and uses a jaw breaker. Hot tag to Sheamus who hits a series of clotheslines on Mahal. He pounds away at Mahal in the corner, uses a powerslam, knocks Barrett off the apron, and hits the Brogue Kick. Tag to Santino who puts his Cobra glove on. Santino strikes with the Cobra and pins Mahal for the win. Quick little spot fest with no tag team chemistry. Which makes this a sub par match. Santino celebrates by doing the trumpet.
The Miz is in the back arguing with John Laurinaitis and David Otunga about R-Truth attacking him twice. Otunga takes a big drink out of his coffee cup. I hate/love that stupid coffee cup. Laurinaitis says he has too much to worry about including the debut of Brodus Clay tonight. Laurinaitis says he’s not little Jimmy, he’s big Johnny. That made me laugh out loud. Laurinaitis is doing an excellent job playing the general manager. They have turned his actual boring-ness into a pretty funny gimmick. He is very sarcastic, laughs at his own dumb jokes (which are actually funny), and makes a mockery of himself for being boring. He and Otunga are great heels. People hate Laurinaitis. People hate Otunga. People hate Otunga’s coffee mug. Why isn’t Otunga’s coffee mug trending on Twitter? Jinder Mahal is officially the first to trend on Twitter tonight.
It’s WWE Hall of Fame time! The first inductee to the class of 2012 is about to be announced. This is pretty unexpected actually. And it is……Edge! Wow. A little early isn’t it? He just retired in April. He seriously might be the youngest guy to ever go into the Hall of Fame. Don’t get me wrong I think Edge is seriously deserving, but look at all the guys who aren’t in yet. Like Macho Man Randy Savage. Bob Backlund held the WWE Championship for 6 straight years and he’s not in. Bruno Sammartino dominated a decade and he’s not in. Ultimate Warrior isn’t even in. Some of these guys need to go in asap. Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole says that a second inductee will be announced tonight. What’s the rush? I guess Hall of Fame tickets will be going on sell soon and they want to have a reason to sell them. Although the event will sell out regardless of who they announce.
The Miz is in the back talking with Mason Ryan. Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole are talking over this segment, so we don’t actually hear The Miz speaking. Lawler says that Miz is trying to get a body guard. Mason Ryan walks off and ignores Miz.
Zack Ryder is in the back talking to his dad on the phone. He talks about being scared of Kane. Eve walks up and he changes his story by saying he will take Kane out. Zack asks Eve out on a date and says that they should go out right now. She thinks about it and then says okay. So it looks like these two are officially a couple now. Eve says that she has a match with Beth Phoenix first, but that they could go out afterward. Both walk off happily. The door behind them slowly opens and Kane walks out of it looking angry.
World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston- Daniel Bryan is officially a tweener now. He comes out to a mixed response from the crowd. His heel turn is almost complete. Daniel Bryan is already my favorite wrestler in the world, but I love him even more as a heel. He overreacts to everything and he’s a complete sarcastic smart ass. I love it. This match has a ton of potential. Not much chain wrestling off the top. Kofi sends Bryan into the corner and hits the legs through the ropes. They reverse each others pins. Kofi sends Bryan into the corner, but Bryan runs up the turnbuckle, jumps over Kofi’s head, but is hit with a dropkick. Kofi goes for a cross-body off the top rope but Bryan hits an amazing counter. AN AMAZING COUNTER. He catches Kofi’s arm in mid air and hooks in the lebell lock. Kofi taps out. Too quick of a match. Bryan celebrates the same way he always does. He sarcastically jumps up onto the barricades. The Big Show’s music hits. Big Show gets into the ring and both men grab a mic. Bryan cuts The Big Show off and says that he’s a fighting champion and will defend his title against him anytime. Big Show says that Teddy Long has made a rematch between the two for the championship this Friday on Smackdown. The match will be a no count out, no disqualification match. #Edge and WWE Hall of Fame are trending worldwide on Twitter.
Another Royal Rumble highlight, this time from 1994. My favorite of all time, Brett Hart, and Lex Luger are the last two guys in the ring. Both guys fly over the ropes and hit the floor at the same time. The only time in history that there has ever been multiple winners.
“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins – Whattttt????????? After weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of intense hype videos for Brodus Clay, we get the new Flash Funk. The Funkasaurus is announced to be from Planet Funk. His music is the old Earnest the Cat Miller music. He comes out in a funky red suit with two dancers also wearing red. The three dance down the ramp just the same as Flash Funk used to do in the ’90s. He kinda reminds me of Big Daddy V Viscera when he used to wear the big pajamas. It also reminds me of Rikishi. I can’t put over enough how ridiculous this is. The idea is hilarious considering how many weeks Clay was hyped up. He even did interviews where he talked about how he would debut as an unstoppable force who couldn’t be beaten. The hype videos for him were nothing but serious and intense. And after all that we get the Funkasurus. Wow. So after they dance in the ring we get fireworks that ends their dance number. Brodus Clay begins the rmatch dancing. he slams Hawkins straight down to the mat face first. Hawkins puts him in a waist lock but he dances out of it. Nowhere as good as the dancing spots that the Human Tornado used to do. (If you don’t know who Human Tornado is then you need to Google “Human Tornado dancing.” It will be the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in wrestling. Find the one of him facing Ruckus. If you don’t know who Ruckus is then you need to watch his matches as well. That’s all the indy wrestler shout outs I’ll give this week.) Huge shoulder block and T-bone suplex by Clay. After the T-Bone Clay says “my bad.” He hits a running splash in the corner followed by a standing running splash. That combo must be his new finisher as he gets the victory. After the match he continues to dance with his two female dancers. Wow what a segment. I didn’t even get to mention that I was happy to see Curt Hawkins. That’s Zack Ryder’s buddy.
Zack Ryder is in the bathroom brushing his teeth. He looks in the mirror and tells himself that he’s great and psyches himself up to finally go out with Eve. When he looks down Kane is seen in the mirror. When he looks back up Kane is gone.
The Miz is in the back talking to Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes. Rosa yells at him in Spanish and walks off. CM Punk walks up and laughs at Miz.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Jack Swagger w/ Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero- John Laurinaitis comes out before the match starts. He says that if Punk wins then Swagger and Vickie will be banned from ringside at Royal Rumble when Punk faces Ziggler. Swagger goes after Punk’s legs to start the match. They chain wrestle for awhile and roll through each others moves. The #1 worldwide trend on Twitter is Brodus Clay! Funkasaurus is also trending! Rikishi is also trending! Punk works an armbar into a side headlock on Swagger. Swagger rolls through into a grounded waist lock. Punk counters into his own waist lock. He hits some hard kicks on Swagger followed by a slam. Punk goes to the top rope but Swagger rolls out of the ring. Ziggler and Vickie pamper him with towels. Swagger gets back in and kicks Punk. He stands on his back against the ring ropes. He throws Punk off the ropes and Punk comes back with a springboard cross body. Punk then tries to throw Swagger off the ropes, but Swagger counters by grabbing Punk’s ankle. Punk kicks him off before the ankle lock is applied. Swagger comes back with a running knee to the face. Swagger keeps Punk grounded, because that’s the kind of style he works, and puts Punk in a full nelson. Punk rolls through with a pin attempt for a near fall. Swagger hooks the nelson back in. Punk fights back up with elbows but Swagger tosses him over the ropes. Ziggler approaches Punk but Laurinaitis holds him off. Punk gets back in the ring and dumps Swagger to the outside. Suicide dive through the ropes from Punk. That takes us to commercial. Back from commercial Punk fights out of a chin lock. Swagger uses a big boot to knock Punk back down. Swagger throws his forearms into Punk’s back multiple times. He picks Punk up which results in a martial arts combo of chops and kicks by Punk. Punk now has momentum and uses a swinging neck breaker, and knees to the face. Swagger counters Punk’s bulldog with a Swagger Bomb off the ropes. That results in a near fall. Swagger yells at Punk to stay down. Swagger goes for a second Swagger Bomb but gets boots to the face. Punk spring boards off the ropes for a cross body but is caught in a gutwrench power bomb. Very solid spots in this match. Both guys are very impressive. Although that’s expected when Punk wrestles someone. He brings out the best in everyone. Swagger goes for another gutwrench, Punk rolls out and puts Swagger on his shoulders, Swagger rolls out, belly to belly suplex by Swagger. Swagger puts Punk on the top ropes but Punk knocks him off with punches. Macho Man Flying Elbow drop by Punk. Then we get a weird finish. After a two count the bell rings. Swagger clearly kicked out. This has to be part of a storyline. My guess is that John Laurinaitis is going to say that the referee blew the call so Punk’s win didn’t count. This will probably happen next week. It definitely puts emphasis on Laurinaitis being the special guest referee at Royal Rumble. He will now be able to say that he will be fair and impartial unlike the referee from tonight. It’s a storyline people. Don’t blame Swagger or the referee. It all makes sense in the long run and puts the storyline over. Excellent match by the way. One of the best I’ve seen on Raw in awhile. I absolutely loved it. CM Punk is amazing in the ring.
In the back John Cena is talking with Zack Ryder. Ryder is talking about being nervous about Kane and Eve. Cena says that Ryder passed The Miz with Twitter followers which puts him in the top 5 in the company. Ryder looks around nervously as Cena walks off. Jack Swagger and Big Johnny are trending on Twitter. Brodus Clay and #Funkasaurus are STILL TRENDING. That has to be the longest I’ve seen something trend before.
In the back The Bella Twins are arguing…again. This time they are arguing about Stacey Keibler being an A lister. Ricardo Rodriguez walks up and asks why The Bella’s wanted him to fly there from Mexico. They say they have a message for Alberto Del Rio. The Miz walks up and grabs Ricardo. He says that Ricardo will go out to the ring for him and call out R-Truth. Miz says he has to do it or he will be injured like Alberto. Ricardo wants The Bella’s to walk out with him. They say no way.
It’s time for the second inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012. It’s……The 4 Horsemen. The stable. Ric Flair (who is already in), Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Tully Blanchard, and manager JJ Dillon. I am not a WCW guy, and I was never a fan of that company, so I wasn’t a big 4 Horsemen fan personally. With that being said, of course the 4 Horsemen are one of the greatest stables ever. I’m glad Arn Anderson is going into the Hall of Fame. The thing I’m most interested in is whether or not Ric Flair will be there at The Hall of Fame. Of course he still works for the rival, TNA. I’m sure he will be there though. That will make him the first person ever to appear on WWE television while working for the enemy promotion.
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring. He is very nervous and is reluctant to call R-Truth out. He talks about Truth’s mom being ugly, says he has bad breath, says he smells like a rotten burrito, and some other pretty funny things. R-Truth comes out and says “Lucy I’m home. Hola Ricardo.” R-Truth says he’s not a mad man and that he’s a good R-Truth. R-Truth asks Little Jimmy (the crowd) if he should let Ricardo go. They say no. Truth says uh oh, spins around in a circle, and says Little Jimmy doesn’t think much of Ricardo. He says Ricardo is bugging out like a little cock-a-roach. He wants Ricardo to sing La Cucaracha for Little Jimmy. Ricardo clears his throat and sings while Truth dances. Ricardo really gets into it and starts to dance himself. He even does a remix. The crowd cheers Ricardo. Truth wants him to sing it again but Ricardo accidentally knocks the mic out of his hand. R-Truth lays Ricardo out. The Miz comes from nowhere and attacks R-Truth. He hits hard knees to his face. R-Truth rakes Miz’s eyes and fights back. Thesz press by R-Truth. That sends Miz running into the crowd. The #1 worldwide trend on Twitter is “Poor Ricardo”. Arn Anderson is also trending.
Finally Chris Jericho is announced. The lights shut off just the same as last week. They stay off for awhile. There are immediate Y2J chants. He has the same blue light up jacket as last week. He climbs into the ring and has each side chant the same way he did last week. Then he climbs back out of the ring and runs around the outside smacking hands again. He poses in front of the fans and grabs the camera again. Back in the ring he splits the crowd with his hands and has each side chant. He grabs for the microphone. The music stops. The crowd chants Y2J. Will he speak? He climbs the turnbuckle and raises his arms. He stands in the middle of the ring with the microphone. He acts as if he’s crying! I’m cracking up. Now he’s bawling like a baby. Pouty lip and everything. He has to take a break in the turnbuckle from all this emotion. What an emotional moment. I may start to cry. He puts the microphone down and walks out of the ring crying. The fans begin to boo again. I absolutely love this!!! Who thought of this??? Genius. Already one of my favorite storylines in wrestling history. Last week he was happy, this week he is sad. Will he act scared next week? Jericho continues to come out each week and completely drain the life out of the crowd. Then he doesn’t even give them a word out of his mouth. That’s the greatest heel move I’ve ever seen. I hope this continues for the next few months. I can’t wait for the day that Jericho comes out and does the same exact thing while the crowd boos him the entire time. I can just see him now waiving his arms around as if everyone is cheering him while they are actually booing. I’m laughing out loud just thinking about it. Thank you Jericho for thinking of this amazing angle. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Chris Jericho is the smartest wrestling mind of all time.
Another Royal Rumble recap from 1998. Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the Rumble with Mike Tyson cheering on. The next night on Raw Austin would go on to shove Mike Tyson down in one of the greatest Monday Night Raw’s of all time.
Eve Torres comes out for her match with Beth Phoenix. Instead of Beth’s music we get Kane’s music. The arena turns red as Eve begins to cry. Zack Ryder runs down to the ring and grabs Eve. They run out to the parking lot where Zack puts Eve in his van. The tire is flat! Oh no! Zack begins to change the tire but they cut away. They seem to be really heavy on time tonight. #JeriTROLLED is trending on Twitter. Hilarious.
Back from commercial Ryder is finishing the tire. Dolph Ziggler is already in the ring.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler- Tie up to start. Cena shows his power. Cena goes for the STF but Ziggler doesn’t let it happen. Ziggler hits a Fame Asser for a two count. Ziggler punches away at Cena in the corner. Ziggler uses a headlock and does a headstand while the move is being applied. Great spot! Cena powers out with a backdrop. He misses a clothesline in the corner and is hit by multiple elbow drops by Ziggler. I think he did about 8. Ziggler does sit ups on top of Cena. Another great spot! Cena gets up ferociously and uses shoulder blocks. As he goes for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle he waits for video to air on the big screen. We see video of Kane attacking Ryder by the car. Eve is screaming. Cena is now in a sleeper hold. Kane choke slams Ryder off of a ledge to the ground. The only problem is that you could see Ryder pop back up showing that the fall wasn’t very far. The mattresses must have been too high. Cena tries to run up the ramp but Ziggler uses another sleeper hold. Cena throws his entire body into the ring steps which knocks Ziggler off. Cena runs to the parking lot but is attacked by Kane. We see Ryder laying on the ground on top of boards. Those little boards wouldn’t have thrown Ryder back up that high after the chokeslam. Kane uses that weird face claw on Cena to knock him out. The camera pushes into Kane’s eyes to end the show. Ok, ok, ok, really? Cmon. Now this storyline is stupid. At first the Kane teases with Ryder were funny. Then it just turned into a bad horror movie. That whole ending was just ridiculous. I really hated it. It’s very disappointing to go from an amazing CM Punk match, to an amazing Chris Jericho angle, to a terrible Kane storyline. They really need to take emphasis off this storyline asap. It was over done. Which is very sad for me to say because I love seeing Zack Ryder. Good show overall, but terrible finish.
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