WWE RAW 1/23/2012

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Phoenix, AZ

Tonight, Zack Ryder gets his shot at revenge against Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The Miz and R-Truth collide in a match where the loser enters the Rumble as the number one entrant. Plus, WWE Champion CM Punk teams with John Cena to take on Dolph Ziggler and WWE United States Champion Jack Swagger!

WWE Champion CM Punk kicks off the show. Punk sits down in the middle of the ring and talks about his title match against Dolph Ziggler. He mentions that Johnny Ace is the special referee and calls him a failure as a wrestler and as an executive. “These are facts. I checked it on Wikipedia” Now you know it’s the truth. Punk shows a clip of Ace telling the truth last week that he is going to screw Punk out of the championship on Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Punk says he will break Ace’s arms. He calls out Ace to tell Punk all the things he said last week to his face. The fans are chanting for Punk big time tonight! Punk is going to find Ace instead. Wait a second, out comes John Cena! Cena comes out and doesn’t play to the crowd. He looks to be dead serious. Cena says he was sick of Punk rambling. Cena says that Ace will appear in minutes. Cena wants Ace to give Zack Ryder a rematch tonight for the WWE United States Championship. Cena also wants Kane in a singles match tonight. He is saying that Ace will also resign as the interim general manager of RAW. Johnny Ace does come out and introduces himself as if no one knows who he is. Ace says that last week he meant what he said and he isn’t going to be intimidated by either Cena or Punk. Punk suggests he come down to the ring so he can hear him better. Ace says he apologized to Ryder for last week. He announces that Ryder will wrestle Kane in a falls count anywhere match! If Cena gets involved then Ryder will never get a rematch for the WWE United States Championship. He also books a tag team match for Cena and Punk. Vickie Guerrero comes out with Dolph Ziggler and WWE United States Champion Jack Swagger. They will be the guys to wrestle tonight. Ziggler suggests that Punk be worried about him instead of Ace. Ziggler is going to flat out beat Punk tonight just as he has in the past. Swagger chimes in to say that Cena is dead meat for what he did to him last week. Those are some tough words!

Opening Contest: WWE Champion CM Punk & John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler & WWE United States Champion Jack Swagger
Cena and Ziggler kick off the match with Cena controlling Ziggler with a headlock. Cena delivers a running bulldog on Ziggler for a quick two count early on. Punk tags in and kicks Ziggler in the back for a near fall. Punk tried for the GTS but Ziggler bailed to the floor as we go to commercial.

Back from the break, Cena is kicked in the gut by Ziggler. Ziggler ducks under a clothesline and taunts the crowd before tagging in Swagger. Cena quickly hits a snap suplex and knocks Ziggler off the apron. That allows Swagger to drop Cena from behind. Ziggler cheap shots Cena from the apron and Swagger gets a two count. Swagger has a front face lock on Cena, but Cena is able to backdrop Swagger. Ziggler enters and dropkicks Cena for a near fall. Ziggler delivers several elbow drops and proceeds to do some situps. Take that Scott Steiner! Cena continues to be worked on in the corner. Swagger hits a big splash off the middle rope for a near fall.

Cena drives Swagger down to the canvas with the Attitude Adjustment. Punk clotheslines Ziggler a few times and hits a swinging neck breaker. Punk delivers a knee in the corner and a running bulldog. Ziggler avoids the GTS but not a standing kick. Swagger makes the save on the cover. Cena brawls with Swagger on the floor and puts the STF on Swagger! Punk heads to the top rope but Ace gets on the apron tells him not push the referee. Ziggler sneaks up from behind and rolls Punk up for the win.

Your Winners: Dolph Ziggler & WWE United States Champion Jack Swagger
Match Rating: ***

CM Punk gets on the microphone and says that at some point he will beat the hell out of Johnny Ace. Punk decides to give Ace a present. He wants Ace to be something he has never been. Punk wants Ace to be a WWE Superstar for one night. Punk is going to make Ace famous tonight. He challenges Ace to a match for tonight! Ace accepts the challenge with a smile on his face.

Backstage, Chris Jericho is walking to the ring as he will host the Highlight Reel!

Chris Jericho makes his way out to the ring as we return from commercial. Jericho wants everyone to be quiet so he can speak. However, he is clearly not looking to actually speak. Well, he actually says hold on one second several times. So, he has actually spoken. He goes to the backstage area and gets a t-shirt launcher. Jericho is toying with the fans as to which side he is going to send the shirt to. He grabs the camera and twirls around. Jericho points to his television screen and get a hype video of sorts highlighting what he has done in his career. Jericho speaks! “This Sunday at the Royal Rumble. It is going to be the end of the world as you know it.” Fantastic segment, folks.

It is announced that R-Truth will compete against the Miz later tonight. Plus, Kane will meet Zack Ryder in a falls count anywhere match in case you forgot.

Backstage, Mick Foley is talking to Zack Ryder and Eve. Ryder thinks he is going to be alright tonight. Foley tells Ryder that he can do this and he is serious, bro. Eve tells Ryder that he doesn’t have to do this tonight. She doesn’t want Ryder to wrestle tonight against Kane. Ryder says he has to do it this tonight. John Cena appears and tells Ryder that he has his back. However, Ryder wants him to stay out of it because he wants his rematch.

Second Contest: Falls Count Anywhere
Zack Ryder vs. Kane

Kane kicks Ryder in his taped ribs early on and knocks Ryder off the apron into the announcers table. Kane drives Ryder back first into the ring post several times before slamming him down onto the floor. Ryder is sent back first into the ring steps as well. Oh lord, Eve has come out to ringside. She must not watch Smackdown. Kane rams Ryder back first into the announcers table as we go to commercial.

As expected, Kane has kept control of the contest as he punched Ryder off the top rope. Kane drops Ryder face first into the ring steps and gets a near fall on the floor. Kane starts to suffocate Ryder but lets go for some reason. Kane is tossed over the railing into the crowd. Ryder nails Kane with a briefcase but runs into an uppercut. They are now on the entrance way where Kane kicks Ryder in his ribs again. Kane sends Ryder into the steel WWE structure by the ramp way. Kane choke slams Ryder through the stage! Kane spots Eve and stalks towards her as he backtracks towards the ring.

John Cena appears at the top of the ramp and Kane exits through the crowd. Cena and Eve look down at Ryder who is obviously still laying under the ramp. Cena is greatly concerned for his buddy. Ryder is put on to another stretcher. Ryder is put into a stretcher and Cena looks pissed right into the camera as we go to another commercial.

Third Contest: Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal works on Sheamus in the corner until Sheamus clobbers Mahal with some strikes. Wade Barrett makes his way out to the ring. Sheamus hammers away on Mahal’s chest on the apron. Barrett is on commentary now. Sheamus goes to the top rope but Mahal yanks him off to the canvas. Mahal delivers a running knee strike to maintain control. Mahal has a chin lock on Sheamus. I really don’t care about this, if I’m honest. Sheamus battles back with a few forearm strikes and a rolling fireman’s carry! Sheamus looks for the Razors Edge but Mahal breaks free. Mahal runs into the Brogue Kick and Sheamus wins.

After the match, Wade Barrett decides against entering the ring ring. Sheamus tells Barrett that on Sunday he will be the only man left in the ring this Sunday.

Your Winner: Sheamus via pin fall
Match Rating: 1/2*

Backstage, Josh Matthews is with The Miz. Miz says that everyone who has crossed him have seen their careers come to an end. When you turn on Miz you become irrelevant. He is sure that he will main event WrestleMania after winning the Royal Rumble. R-Truth shows up and says he is a market researcher. Truth has research that says that Miz is annoying, whining, and number one W.E.I.O. That stands for “what else is on.” Truth calls Miz a jackass and they have an argument. Johnny Ace and David Otunga come out and tell them that Miz and Truth keep on distracting him as he prepares for his match tonight. Johnny Ace announces that the loser of their match will be the number one entrant in the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.

This Friday on Smackdown… Randy Orton returns! His eyes are locked on Wade Barrett!

William Regal is on commentary! First he was on Smackdown and now he is on RAW! Thank you!

Fourth Contest: Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater
Okay, Slater getting squashed is something I can cheer for. Slater says he slipped on a shoulder block and dropkicks Clay. He taunts the crowd and Clay uses his head to drop Slater. Clay hits an overhead suplex, a splash in the corner and hits a leaping cross body for the win.

Your Winner: Brodus Clay via pin fall

Fifth Contest: The Miz vs. R-Truth
Truth knocks Miz off his feet with a back elbow and knocks Miz to the floor. Truth clotheslines Miz on the floor before they return to the ring. Miz drops Truth gut first across the top rope and spears Truth off the apron to the floor as we go to commercial.

Miz has kept control of Truth with an abdominal stretch as we return from the break. Truth rolls Miz up but only gets a near fall. Truth hits a front suplex but Miz pops his shoulder up at two. Miz hits a neck breaker on Truth after a failed attempt the first time. Truth plants Miz with a Flatliner and wins the match. Miz will be the number one entrant in the Rumble.

Your Winner: R-Truth via pin fall
Match Rating: *

Jerry Lawler announces that Zack Ryder has suffered a broken back.

Backstage, Johnny Ace is getting ready for his match. David Otunga gives him a piece of paper and says Ace will not like what it says. Ace reads it and doesn’t say anything.

Main Event: WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Johnny Ace
Ace announces that he has received a fax from the board of directors. David Otunga reads the fax and says that they are upset with the way that Ace has been using his power. Otunga says they don’t like Ace favoring Ziggler at the Royal Rumble. Otunga says that Ace’s position is officially under review. Next week, he will have a job review. He could possibly be fired from his job. Triple H will review his job performance next week!

Punk says that if Ace screws him over at Rumble Ace will be out of a job. He now has no reason t not beat Ace up. Ace considers this to be a wake up call. Ace announces that Mick Foley is now in the Royal Rumble match. Ace says he was going to call the match fair and only said he wasn’t going to because Punk made fun of him. Punk hopes that Ace is fired next week by Ace. Ace doesn’t believe that will happen and says he has been here for ten years. He believes he is safe.

Ace reveals that their match isn’t going to happen. Instead, Punk will wrestle David Otunga. Otunga blindsides Punk and works on the champ in the corner with several short clotheslines. Punk locks the Anaconda Vice in and Otunga taps out quickly. Punk stares down Ace and moves towards him. Punk turns around to kick Otunga and turns back around to Ace. Ace wants to shake hands with Punk. Punk sets Ace up for the GTS and hits it!

Dolph Ziggler comes out and attacks Punk. Ziggler stands over Punk to end the program.

Final Thoughts:
The show opened up on a high note with the promo with Punk, Cena and Ace. Cena is obviously teasing a heel turn and I feel like his new found aggression has been a pleasant thing to see. The opening tag match was a good match and the best on the night by far. Ziggler winning yet again shows that he has Punk’s number and to some fans it could be a high possibility that Punk will lose this weekend. I’ve really enjoyed the buildup for their feud.

Ryder/Kane was a just an extended squash for Kane. I don’t know why they are going with a broken back storyline here. That should mean that Ryder is out for a long, long time. Seriously, he has to be gone for at least eight months to properly make that injury angle effective. I’m hoping there isn’t something more serious going here.

Chris Jericho is playing his role to perfection. I feel bad for the people who don’t get it. His promo tonight gave everyone even more reason to purchase the Royal Rumble this Sunday. That is when the questions will be answered.

The rest of the show was boring to me. I don’t care about a Mahal/Sheamus match and the Miz/Truth match was just really boring.

Brodus Clay is already stale. What has he offered to the program? Nothing.

I didn’t like the way the show ended this week. I hate that they had Punk hit the GTS on Johnny Ace this week. The fans were dead and quite honestly didn’t deserve to have that happened. People want to compare this angle to the Austin/McMahon angle. When Austin hit McMahon with the Stunner in MSG the fans went ape shit. When Punk hit the GTS on Ace there was a pop, but they would’ve gotten some bigger out of it. Plus, having Ziggler beat down Punk to end the show was unnecessary. I feel like Ziggler doesn’t need anymore momentum going into their match. Punk should have hit the GTS, and stood tall while having a stare down with Ziggler to end the show. I didn’t like the ending at all.

Overall, I wish I could say that I liked this show, but after first forty minutes I was really uninterested. I’m going to give this show a mild thumbs down.

Thanks for reading.

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