1/7 Monday Night Raw Coverage
The first Raw of 2013 kicks off from Tampa, Florida with a video package highlighting The Rock’s return and the feud between CM Punk and Ryback, which will culminate in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match in tonight’s main event.
John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Cena says tonight is a special night for everybody, and reminds everyone of the TLC match and the return of The Rock. Cena reiterates that his is entering the Royal Rumble Match before he is interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, and Big E Langston. Ziggler says the only thing we will remember about tonight is him. AJ gets on the mic and asks him if what he has done isn’t enough and she can’t believe she lost her job over him. She calls him a small, pathetic man. Cena says AJ made her first “sixth grade wiener joke” and gets the crowd to do a wave. Ziggler says every time someone beats him, he just laughs it off and hopes it goes away and says Cena can’t run in the Royal Rumble. Ziggler officially enters the Rumble Match. Cena says it’s time to stop talking and start fighting and tells Ziggler to get into the ring. Langston gets the mic and accepts Cena’s challenge for Ziggler. Langston, Ziggler, and AJ walk to the ring as we head to a commercial break.
Match #1: Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee and Big E Langston) vs. John Cena
The match starts off with Cena getting Ziggler in a headlock before Ziggler turns the tide and sends Cena to the corner. Ziggler stomps Cena down to the mat and keeps control of the match for a while. Cena comes back and hits a bulldog on Ziggler for a one count. Cena gets Ziggler in a headlock and then connects with a vertical suplex for a two count. Ziggler comes back and drops Cena and then stomps Cena down again. Ziggler dives onto Cena in the corner and then gets a two count. Ziggler connects with a dropkick for another two count. Ziggler gets caught by Cena, and Cena slingshots him face-first into the corner. Ziggler comes back with an elbow and Langston lands a right hand on Cena over the top rope as we head to another commercial break.
We’re back and Ziggler has Cena in a headlock. Ziggler connects with a dropkick, which gets another two count and then drops a series of elbow and gets another two count. AJ gets on the apron and slaps Cena, but the referee ejects her and Langston from ringside. Cena fights back for a bit, but Ziggler gains control back and plants Cena for another two count. Cena comes back with a side-slam and the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but Ziggler comes back with the Zig-Zag, but Cena kicks out at two. Ziggler goes for the Superkick, but Cena ducks under and goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler reverses with a DDT. Ziggler goes up top and attempts a cross body, but Cena catches him and goes for the AA, but Ziggler counters with a Superkick for a two count. Ziggle elbows Cena in the head, but Cena comes back with a right hand to the midsection. They exchange right hands before Ziggler locks in the sleeper hold. Cena gets out, but slings Ziggler into the referee, who falls to the floor. Cena locks in the STF and Langston runs down to the ring. Langston drops Cena with his finisher and pulls Ziggler on top of him, but the referee is still down. Another referee runs down, but Cena kicks out at two. Cena hits the AA out of nowhere for the pin fall.
Winner: John Cena.
Match #2: WWE Divas Championship Match: Eve Torres (c) vs. Kaitlyn
They tie up and Eve gets Kaitlyn in a headlock. Eve takes Kaitlyn down and keeps the headlock, but Kaitlyn fights out. Eve comes back and gets Kaitlyn’s leg caught up in a submission, but Kaitlyn fights out and backs Eve into the corner. Eve kicks Kaitlyn in the head and then stomps away on her in the corner. Eve climbs the ropes and chokes Kaitlyn before tossing her back down to the mat. Eve applies a submission in the middle of the ring and then comes off the ropes, but Kaitlyn catches her with a side-slam. Kaitlyn comes off the ropes and delivers a shoulder block and then plants Eve for a two count. Kaitlyn kicks Eve and tries to slam her down again, but Eve escapes and runs outside of the ring. Eve grabs her title and tries runs away through the crowd.
Winner via Count-out: Kaitlyn.
We see that Team Hell No will take on Team Rhodes Scholars after the commercial break.
We go backstage and see Santino Marella talking to Ricky Steamboat. Santino tells him that Steamboat’s match with Randy Savage at WrestleMania III is his all-time favorite. Wade Barrett walks up and says the Intercontinental title finally means something again sine he is the Champion. Barrett says Steamboat is nothing but an old man blowing smoke. Steamboat says he is going to be in Santino’s corner tonight.
We stay backstage where Matt Striker is interviewing Randy Orton. Orton says he is a former winner of the Rumble Match and will do the same this year. 3MB walks up and says all three of them have entered the Rumble Match. Slater says they will rock ‘n roll to victory and one of them will main event WrestleMania. Orton asks them which one his facing him tonight. Slater says Orton gets to pick his poison. Orton picks Slater.
Match #3: Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
Kane takes Rhodes to the corner and pounds away on him. Rhodes escapes and tags in Sandow. Kane takes control over Sandow and takes him to the corner and tags in Bryan. Bryan gets a quick pin attempt on Sandow and works over his arm. Sandow tags Rhodes in, and Bryan takes him down with a drop-toe hold. Rhodes comes back and delivers an elbow shot and a kick to the midsection. Rhodes tags in Sandow, who stomps away on Bryan in the corner. Sandow goes for the cover, but Bryan kicks out at two. Sandow tags in Rhodes, who punches Bryan in the face. Rhodes pummels Bryan in the corner and tags in Sandow. Sandow keeps the offense going and connects with a Side-Russian leg sweep followed by the Elbow of Disdain. Sandow drops a couple of knees and gets Bryan in a headlock. Bryan fights out and tags in Kane, who drapes Sandow over the top rope. Kane goes up top and connects with a clothesline and then knocks Rhodes down to the floor. Kane drops Sandow with a big boot and then clotheslines him in the corner twice. Kane connects with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Kane sets up for the choke slam, but Sandow goes to the outside. Bryan dives off the apron and drives his knee into Sandow’s head. Bryan tosses Sandow into the ring and kicks him down in the corner. Bryan flips off the ropes and tweaks his knee and Sandow tags in Rhodes. Rhodes and Sandow go to work on Bryan’s knee. Kane takes Sandow down off the apron and Rhodes dropkicks Kane. Bryan rolls Rhodes up with a small package for a two count. Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes for the pin fall.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars.
We are reminded that The Rock will return later tonight and see a replay of the ending of the Cena/Ziggler match from earlier tonight.
Match #4: Heath Slater (w/Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal) vs. Randy Orton
Orton gets Slater in a headlock and takes him down with a shoulder block. Slater goes for a hip toss, but Orton reverses and keeps control of the match. Orton drapes Slater over the top rope and takes down McIntyre and Mahal on the outside. Slater takes control and knocks Orton down as McIntyre and Mahal stomp away on Orton on the outside. Slater gets him and tosses him back into the ring for a two count. The match goes back and forth for a hit and they go up top. Orton delivers a superplex from the top rope and then delivers a few clotheslines and a power slam. Mahal and McIntyre try to interfere again, but Orton takes care of them and then delivers his middle-rope DDT to Slater. Orton hits the RKO for the pin fall.
Winner: Randy Orton.
After the match, Mahal and McIntyre attack Orton, but he delivers an RKO to both of them and they roll out of the ring.
Match #5: Santino Marella (w/Ricky Steamboat) vs. Wade Barrett
Santino takes Barrett down with an arm-drag, but Barrett comes back and takes Santino down and then locks in a headlock. Santino gets out and delivers a superkick, but only gets a two count. Santino takes Barrett down again with a hip toss and a headbutt. Santino grabs the cobra sock and goes for it, but Barrett rolls to the outside. Barrett drapes Santino over the top rope and sets up for the Bull Hammer Elbow. He connects with it for the pin fall.
Winner: Wade Barrett.
After the match, Barrett tries to go after Steamboat, but decides against it and walks up the ramp.
We go backstage where Matt Striker is interviewing Sheamus. Striker asks Sheamus if he can win the Rumble again and then win the title again in 18 seconds. He says he can do both, but probably not in 18 seconds. 3MB walks up and he mocks them. Slater says Orton got lucky and Sheamus challenged all three of them to get into the ring with him.
The Miz had joined the announce team for the following match.
Match #6: Antonio Cesaro vs. The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle and Natalya)
Khali takes Cesaro to the corner and chops him a couple of times. Khali drops Cesaro with a right hand, but Cesaro comes back and drapes Khali over the top rope. Cesaro takes out Khali’s knee and works it over for a bit. Khali gets free and chops Cesaro again. Khali delivers an elbow shot and a big boot to Cesaro. Khali takes him down with a couple of clotheslines and goes for the Punjabi Plunge, but Cesaro reverses and connects with a couple of uppercuts. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer on Khali for the pin fall.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro.
We see Paul Heyman backstage talking on his cellphone when Brad Maddox walks up. Heyman says he doesn’t want Maddox in his life. Maddox says Heyman will not talk to him that way when he can be of service of Heyman and Punk. Maddox says he has his referee shirt and he can talk to Vickie, but Heyman says he doesn’t want Maddox talking to Vickie, himself, or Punk. He tells Maddox to slither back underneath the rock he came from.
Match #7: Jinder Mahal (w/Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater) vs. Sheamus
Mahal gets Sheamus in a headlock and then takes him down with a shoulder block. Sheamus comes back and does the same to Mahal. Sheamus kicks Mahal and then slaps him across the face. Sheamus tosses Mahal to the outside and delivers his vintage ten clubbing blows. He then delivers the ten clubs to McIntyre. Sheamus kicks Mahal again, but McIntyre distracts Sheamus. Mahal kicks Sheamus to the outside and McIntyre takes him down with a clothesline. Mahal tosses Sheamus back into the ring and gets a two count. Mahal stomps away on Sheamus and delivers a neck-breaker. Mahal applies a headlock, but Sheamus fights out and connects with a running knee lift and then goes after Slater. Sheamus rams Slater into Mahal and clotheslines them both over the top rope. Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick on McIntyre and Slater before hitting Mahal with White Noise. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick, and he connects and gets the pin fall.
We see a CM Punk highlight package, focusing mainly on his feud with Ryback over the past few months.
Match #8: WWE Championship Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match: CM Punk (c) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Ryback
They tie up and Punk kicks and punches Ryback in the corner, but Ryback takes Punk to the other corner and drives his shoulder into his midsection. Ryback tosses Punk to the other corner and stomps away on him. Punk grabs a chair and nails Ryback with it, but Ryback comes back and takes Punk down on the outside. Ryback grabs the chair and swings it at Punk, but Punk ducks and Ryback hits the ring post. Punk hits Ryback with the chair again and tosses him into the barricade. Punk grabs a ladder and tosses it into the ring, but Ryback catches him and beats him down. Ryback suplexes Punk onto the ladder. They go back to the outside and Ryback grabs the steel steps and rams them into Punk’s head. Punk comes back and jumps off the steps and kicks Ryback in the head. Punk grabs a chair and drives it into Ryback’s knee. Punk hits Ryback on the back with it and stands over Ryback as we head to a commercial break.
We’re back and Ryback delivers an Electric Chair to Punk. They go to the outside and Ryback grabs a table. He sets it up against the barricade, but Punk takes Ryback’s knee out with the chair again. Punk grabs another table and sets it up on the outside. Ryback counters and tosses Punk over the announce table and then slams the hood from the announce table down onto Punk. Back in the ring, Punk places Ryback’s ankle in a chair and jumps off the second rope, but Ryback moves and Punk grabs his knee. Ryback sets up for the Meat Hook Clothesline, and he connects with it. Back to the outside, Punk sends Ryback through the table that was set up on the barricade. Punk gets back into the ring and sets up a ladder and starts climbing, but Ryback climbs up the other side and pushes Punk down. Punk pushes the ladder over, but Ryback lands on his feet and power slams Punk down onto the ladder. Ryback picks Punk up again, but Punk fights his way out and sets the ladder back up. Punk hits the high knee in the corner and does it a second time before going for the bulldog. Ryback reverses and tosses Punk over the top rope and through the table that was set up beside the ring. Ryback sets up another ladder and begins to climb the ladder when the lights go out. They come back on and The Shield are on the ladder with Ryback. Ryback takes them out and climbs the ladder again, but The Shield get into the ring with a chair this time. They beat down Ryback with the chair on the outside. They triple-powerbomb him through a table and onto the steel steps. Punk crawls back into the ring and begins to climb the ladder with one arm. Punk glares down at Ryback and grabs the WWE Championship.
Winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk.
We see Paul Heyman and CM Punk backstage when Matt Striker walks up. Punk cuts him off and says he doesn’t know Brad Maddox or The Shield. Punk says he is going to drop another pipe bomb before The Rock has a chance to talk.
We see Team Hell No backstage arguing over whose fault it is that they lost their match. Vickie Guerrero walks up and yells at them. They ask her why she is yelling. She says Dr. Shelby will be back next week to give them their four-month follow-up evaluations. They then argue over whether Dr. Shelby is a monster or a nerd.
We transition into the new feud between Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show by viewing a highlight package. We then see that Del Rio and Show will go one-on-one this Friday night on Smackdown.
Match #9: Kofi Kingston vs. The Big Show
Kingston kicks Show back into the corner, and the referee tries to pull Kingston off of Show, which allows Show to connect with the KO Punch for the pin fall.
Winner: The Big Show.
CM Punk’s music hits and he and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring. Punk says it’s time to tell us something personal. Punk says nobody in the ‘Universe’ understands what a pipe bomb is. He says, in it’s simplest form, is the truth. He says he meant everything he said that night in Las Vegas, except about the ice cream because nobody in the crowd needs another bar of ice cream. He said he sold out to the fans because he knew they loved to cheer for their super heroes. He says nobody is allowed to break the glass ceiling. He says the truth is that the more popular you are, the more money you make. He says that’s why Brodus Clay dances, why Daniel Bryan has catchphrases, and why Little Jimmy has a better position on the flagship show than Tyson Kidd. Punk says he has become the most successful WWE Champion of all-time because Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan had it easy wrestling one night a month. Punk says he is successful in spite of the WWE Universe. Punk says he doesn’t care about the people of Tampa, Florida. He says he is a bad, bad man and will freely admit it. He says he is neither weak nor dishonest, but he is the best in the world. Punk says he has never done this for anyone. A guy gets on the apron and tells Punk we have to go to a commercial break, but Punk says we go to commercial when he wants to go. Punk says nobody matters and what they want doesn’t matter as the camera cuts to commercial.
We’re back and Punk says he will stand in the ring on the first Raw of 2014 still the WWE Champion. Punk says The Rock will not take the title away from him. Punk says he beat the system in 2011 when he won the title and that he beat the WWE Universe when he beat all of their heroes along the way. He says he doesn’t care that The Rock is back. The Rock’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. The Rock says he wanted to hear everything Punk had to say before he came out. Rock calls Punk delusional. Rock says the number 20 haunts Punk, because in 20 days Punk is defending the title against him. Rock says in 20 days, Punk’s time is up. Rock says Punk didn’t reject the people, the people rejected Punk. Rock tells Punk to listen to the crowd, because there is no such thing as voiceless. He says the people use their voices every night. Rock gets the crowd to chant “Cookiepuss” towards Punk. Punk calls the crowd puppets and says they still don’t get to win. Rock says they’ve already won. Rock says he is back to entertain the people, to stop Punk, and to win the WWE Championship. Rock says Punk has one of the most creative minds in the history of the WWE, but became one of the biggest jerks in WWE history. Rock tells Punk to never say the people don’t matter. Rock says Punk is the one that doesn’t matter. Punk says he matters, and Rock says it doesn’t matter is he matters. Rock says there is no way Punk is going to stop him from becoming WWE Champion. Punk lays the title down in the ring and says he is glad The Rock is back. Punk says he will kick Rock’s ass regardless of how many times he comes back this year. Punk says he is the best guy that Rock has ever been in the ring with. Punk says come the Rumble, Rock needs to understand that his arms are too short to box with God. Rock says Punk is going one-on-one with the great one. Rock says he knows how tough Punk is. Rock tells Punk again that his time is up in 20 days. Rock tells Punk to go home and think about the next 20 days. Rock tells Punk to get two new tattoos on his ass and then nails Punk with a Rock Bottom.
Raw comes to a close with Rock and Punk staring at each other as Punk backs up the ramp.
1. John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler
2. Kaitlyn defeated Eve Torres by count-out; Eve retained the WWE Divas Championship
3. Team Rhodes Scholars defeated Team Hell No
4. Randy Orton defeated Heath Slater
5. Wade Barrett defeated Santino Marella
6. Antonio Cesaro defeated The Great Khali
7. Sheamus defeated Jinder Mahal
8. CM Punk defeated Ryback in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match to retain the WWE Championship
9. The Big Show defeated Kofi Kingston