Welcome to Inside Pulse Wrestling’s LIVE WWE Monday Night Raw Coverage! Segment by segment coverage begins at 9pm EST so join us! In the meantime, you should check out CB’s World: Tackling WWE.com’s Twelve to Watch in 2012 – Agree/Disagree Analysis and Commentary
We kick things off with The Hardcore Legend, Mick Foley. He comes out and cuts a promo first on himself and his career. Mick wants to have his younger kids see him wrestle so he enters the Royal Rumble. Vickie Guerrero interupts (without music!) and asks everyone to excuse her. Dolph Ziggler comes out and makes fun of him for being old and taking a spot from a young guy. He says here is how the Rumble will go for his kids – Yay it’s daddy! Oh he’s eliminated. Ha. Then says they will be worried again he will steal their lunch and eat it. Dolph plans on winning at the Rumble and it would be a huge disappointment if somehow he had to face Foley. CM Punk’s music plays and he comes out to defend Foley and run down Ziggler, Vickie and John Laurinaitis. This brings out the former Johnny Ace, who denies Foley a spot in the Rumble. Really strong segment mixing Punk (current main eventer), Foley (Legend) and Ziggler (being pushed) in a logical way that built to both Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania.
At a house show in Oakland, Air Boom lost the Tag Titles to Epico and Primo – they invokekd their rematch clause and it is NEXT
WWE Tag Team Titles
Primo & Epico (c) w/ Rosa Mendes vs. Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston)
It’s pretty cool they did the title switch on a house show. Heat sequence on Evan to start, and he hits a really cool top rope huricanrana on Primo sending him INTO Epico. He gets a hot tag to Kofi, who cleans house and hits the boom drop on Epico for the apparent win. Kofi tagged to Evan for the Shooting Star Press but Primo attacked Kofi on the floor and distracted Evan, who was then knocked off the top. Epico hit the back cracker for the win.
Winners: Epico & Primo
Backstage John Laurinaitis is texting and is approached by David Otunga. Laurinaitis changes the main event tag team match to a six man, adding David Otunga to the team of Mark Henry and Dolph Ziggler. In walks Chris Jericho w/Glittery Vest and Big Smile and he joins Punk and Daniel Bryan’s team. Jericho says nothing, turns off the lights in the room, then puts on his Glittery Vest and it lights up in the dark. Mix of cheers and boos.
Josh Matthews talks to Zack Ryder w/Eve backstage. I thought for a minute he got huge boos but I guess they were Woos since he got pops in the interview. He’s too injured to defend tonight against Jack Swagger! Zack vows to go to the ring – Eve wants to go with him.
Video of last week’s Kane/Ryder storyline
Jack Swagger comes out for the match, which is NEXT.
US Title Match
Zack Ryder (c) w/Eve Torres vs. Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero
After the break Ryder comes out to a nice pop. He has his ribs wrapped DDP-style and is selling them from the start. Match is a glorified squash, ending on a third Gutwrench Powerbomb by Swagger for the pin and the title.
Winner and NEW US CHAMPION: Jack Swagger
Later tonight – six man tag team action.
Rock/Cena promo for Wrestlemania 28 tickets.
Moments ago: Ryder loses the US Title to Swagger
Backstage John Laurinaitis informs Zack Ryder that he wasn’t actually cleared to wrestle and apologizes. Eve gets upset!
Justin Roberts introduces… Perez Hiton! He is the ring announcer for this divas tag match.
Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie)
Match only goes about 2 minutes, with Kelly pinning a Bella. Perez celebrates with Kelly and Alicia.
Winners: Kelly & Alicia
After the match, the Bellas confront Perez and the faces, and the faces push them away. Play their music again!
Recap of the 1992 Royal Rumble where Ric Flair came in at #3 and won the Rumble, which was also for the title that year. Awesome Rumble.
R Truth comes out to his music and he has a mic, but first out comes Wade Barrett, to HIS music. They chat about the Rumble. Truth talks about being across the street from DisneyLand and shows a wacky slideshow of him at the park. He doesn’t think Barrett will win the Rumble, but as he does his Truth catchphrase, The Miz attacks from the crowd. Barrett joins in for a 2 on 1 beatdown, until Sheamus runs down to his music. He clears the ring of the heels. Teddy Long comes out to his music and he has a mic. Since it seems Mr. Laurinaitis is busy, he makes an “over the top rope challenge” for these men. The last man standing will be the winner.
Over The Top Rope Challenge aka a Battle Royal
The Miz vs. Sheamus vs. R Truth vs. Wade Barrett
Truth pairs up with Miz and Sheamus with Barrett for some brawlin’. Barrett is eliminated first, with the faces helped by the Miz. Every man for himself, decries Cole. The faces also break down with Truth trying to eliminate Sheamus. Lawler notes how Sheamus JUST SAVED him but now it’s every man for himself. Did WWE remember how to promote PPVs tonight? Truth is in the corner while Sheamus and Miz brawl, Sheamus goes to eliminate Miz but Truth runs up behind and tosses them both.
Winner: R Truth
After the match Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on the Miz on the floor. So they switch to HIS music.
John Cena makes his show debut backstage, to confront John Laurinaitis about the Ryder situation. First Laurinaitis books Cena vs. Kane for the Rumble. Then books Cena vs. Swagger – next?
John Cena vs. Jack Swagger
This match is apparently non-title. Cena runs down and beats down Swagger from the get-go, moving to the floor and brawling around the announce table and to the STEEEEEL steps. Maybe a DQ? Not sure
Kane’s music plays but he doesn’t come down, rather appears on the Titantron, noting how Cena is embracing the hate and needs to more heading into their match at the Rumble.
Royal Rumble promo
Funkasaurus Brodus Clay w/The Funkasaurusettes vs. JTG
The lovely Funkasaurusettes introduce him as the only known Funkasaurus in captivity. Same wacky entrance as last week on Raw. He does a few spots, no selling JTG’s slight attempt at offense. Hits the “Aw Funky” big splash for the win. SQUASH.
The Funkasaurus dances to his music with his ladies after the match.
Coming up: an update on Daniel Bryan’s girlfriend AJ
Recap of the Daniel Bryan/AJ/Big Show storyline from Smackdown last week. She loves him. Big Show knocks into her at ringside and injures her.
Daniel Bryan comes out to his music. He cuts down the Big Show for injuring AJ – he should have stopped, but NO – the Big Show intentionally ran over his girlfriend AJ. Bryan calls him “pathetic”. He says he will make Big Show pay if he ever shows himself on Smackdown again. This Friday he will defend against Mark Henry. He dedicates the match to AJ. Bryan’s music plays again and he heads to the ring.
Daniel Bryan, CM Punk & Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga
The arena goes dark and then the Glittery Vest appears illuminated, then Jericho comes out. He celebrates and such as we go to a
Jericho’s music still plays and he is circling the fans at ringside. The heels are in the ring, not sure if that was over the commercial or before the break. CM Punk’s music plays and he enters last. Punk and Ziggler start the match. Ziggler on offense and crowd chants Y2J. Tags to Otunga and back to Ziggler as the heels control. Few minute heat sequence, and Punk finally gets a hot tag to Chris Jericho and the crowd ERUPTS. He comes in all fired up, points to all four sides of the arenas to huge cheers, then blind-tags Daniel Bryan and leaves the ring. Jericho walks to the back to boos. Daniel Bryan looks confused as we head to another
And we’re back and Daniel Bryan was beaten down over the break. Hot tag to CM Punk and things are breaking down here in Anaheim. Bryan and Henry brawl to the back, leaving Punk with Ziggler and Otunga. They beat him down for a bit, but then Mick Foley runs out to his music. He tells the ref he’s in the match now! Punk gets beaten a bit more but gets the hot tag to Foley! Crowd goes crazy! Patented Foley DDT on Otunga, then Mr. Socko on Otunga! The Mandible Claw and Otunga submits!
Winners: CM Punk & Mick Foley
After the match, John Laurinaitis comes down and said Foley did not have his permission to be in this match. So he reverses the decision and declares David Otunga, Mark Henry and Dolph Ziggler as the winners. Punk gets on the mic and runs down Laurinaitis for sucking as Johnny Ace and stuff. He went from someone who sucked to someone who sucks up. OOOOOOOOOH. Laurinaitis can TRY to screw Punk at the Royal Rumble, he can just try – better men have tried and failed. No matter what, coming out of it, he’ll still be better than him. Promo goes on for a while, ending with “you’re pathetic”. Punk’s music plays and he holds up the title as he leaves. The music stops and Laurinaitis has a mic. He refuses to bow to Punk. Foley grabs a mic and runs down John Laurinaitis for being a kiss-ass. Laurinaitis responds that he does indeed intend to screw Punk at the Rumble. He will not be bullied! Laurinaitis decks Foley and leaves to big boos.
So just to recap, the night began with the main event announced as:
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry & Dolph Ziggler
Then they changed it to:
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan & Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry & Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga
During the match it changed first to:
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry & Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga
CM Punk & Mick Foley vs. Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga
So the WWE writers booked the match to change four times during the course of the show!! Talk about meta booking.