Raw Report for Jan. 21 - Ziggler Wins (Loses) Beat the Clock
Sean Balfour / January 22, 2013 - 7:56am
I have a dream that one day a WWE superstar will be judged not by the color of their tan, but by the content of their promo. And that all men aren’t equal, rather pushed individually to superstardom for the betterment of the company. And that Heath Slater saves wrestling…3MB at last, 3MB at last…god almighty put over 3MB at last!
Raw begins with Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman coming out, arms linked, to address their respective defaming’s at the hands of the Rock. Heyman sucks up to Vickie, only for her to remind the audience of his public embarrassment with a recap. Paul returns the favour by playing an encore of Vickie’s serenade (that’s the second encore right?) Say what you will about the content, but that Clapton cover he did was well performed and also very catchy!
Vickie announces that she is officially banning the Rock from entering the arena. A technician tells Vickie that the Rock is here, so Vickie delightfully cuts to a live feed of Rock being denied entry into the arena.
Rock talks to the guards about Vickie wanting to screw over the people. He tells the cops that there isn’t a force on the planet that will stop him from coming in tonight. The cop’s tell Rock that they will arrest him if he attempts to enter. Rock suggests that they arrest CM Punk for impersonating a champion or Paul Heyman for not wearing a bra. He continues to suggest that Vickie has her head up her ass. He warns the cops that he’s relentless and there is no way he’s going to be held away from getting into the arena.
Vickie says that regardless of Rocks charm there’s no way he’s getting in without getting arrested…if you smell what the Vick is cooking!
MATCH # 1 ANTONIO CESARO vs. RANDY ORTON (beat the clock)
Beat the clock challenge. The winner of the challenge will get to choose his entry number in the Rumble! Two things come to mind 1) John and Wai’s pool is thwarted again 2) Will a babyface win and choose #1 just for the challenge?
Orton gets an early advantage and follows up with a Thesz press and a dropkick. The two battles off the top, but Cesaro drops Orton to the outside. He hits a gut wrench and attempts several pin falls. He follows up with a chin lock. Orton comes back with a power slam. Cesaro reverses the DDT and hits an uppercut. He throws Orton into the post and onto the outside. Back in the ring, Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere to get the win.
Winner – Randy Orton at 11:36 (time to beat)
They replay Mick Foleys Induction video, and then cut to The Shield, who tells the WWE Universe to open their eyes. They recap their beat downs on Ryback, Orton, Sheamus, Miz and all the others. They say that they don’t just talk about injustice, they do something about it. They say they are just getting started (oh, I thought they were going to announce their retirement!)
MATCH # 2 BIG SHOW vs. ZACK RYDER
Just before the match, Brad Maddox hops over the guardrail and greets the announcers. He apparently did the same thing on Main Event (only to be escorted out). He grabs a headset and gives an unwelcome hello only to be reminded that he doesn’t work for the company (I’m going to try that next time I go to a Raw taping)
Big show hits a KO punch in no time for a quick squash.
Winner – Big Show
Show Grabs a mic and stands over Ryder as he gives a preview of his Last man standing match vs. Del Rio at the Rumble. He counts to 5 only to be angered by the fans, so he leaves.
In the back, Brad Maddox catches up with Paul Heyman. He is filming his reality show, and tells the camera that much like Paul Heyman there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep his dreams alive. Heyman tells Maddox that he may have been wrong about him, and if he sticks with him he’ll make Brads dreams come true. Sounds fishy!
MATCH # 3 RYBACK vs. HEATH SLATER
Slater gets an elbow and a few shots but Ryback recovers quickly and hits the Meat hook. He takes out Mahal and McIntyre who try to interfere and hits the shellshock for an easy win.
Winner – Ryback
Ryback cuts a promo saying that the Rumble match is a match he was made for, and that he thrives on. He announces his aspirations of main eventing Wrestlemania.
The Rock is still chatting with the cops in the back. He reminds them that they are here to protect and serve the people, and not Vickie. He says that the people paid their hard earned money to see The Rock. He tells them to listen to them chant the Rocks name. The cop tells Rock that he has tickets for tonight’s show, and his wife and kid are in their seats right now. Vickie cuts in and reminds the cops that they could be suspended if they let him in. Vickie offers Rock a chance to apologize and lift the ban. Rock tells her that he’s going to get in tonight on his terms, and Biotch, you still look horrible tonight!
CM Punk comes out next. He says that the title is his life’s work, and he holds it dearer to his heart than most people hold their families. He says that he’s worked half his life to get it and he will not allow any man to take it from him. He says that The Rock is here to sing songs and tell jokes, but he’s here to hurt people and be the champion. He says that the title is prestigious because he made it so. Punk talks about the Rock foolishly being proud to be the people’s champion, but he’s a real champion. Punk continues very seriously to say that he made a choice to be honestly arrogant, and the Rock chose to pander to the people. Punk says that for 428 days he has earned the right to be called champion. What a great promo!
MATCH # 4 DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE MIZ (beat the clock)
The Clock counts down as Miz attempts a quick roll up. Dolph and Miz trade off several roll up attempts early on…probably 10 in the first minute! Ziggler hits a neck breaker. Ziggler applies a sleeper but Miz breaks free and hits a Ric Flair like chop block. He works the leg and attempts the figure four. Ziggler reverses and thrusts him to the outside. Big E gets a cheap shot in behind the refs back. With 4 mins to go, Ziggler locks in another headlock. Miz escapes and hits a kick to the face. He hits a running clothesline into the corner and an axe handle off the top. Dolph rolls through the SCF and hits a DDT. Miz slaps in the figure four with a minute to go. AJ distracts the ref and Langston pulls Ziggler to the rope for a break. Langston distracts Miz and Ziggler hits a zigzag for the win.
Winner – Dolph Ziggler at 10:56 (new time to beat)
Next up is Team Hell No’s anger management graduation. Dr. Shelby is in full graduation garb in the middle of the ring (my vote for best non wrestling performer!) He brings out his students, who are also in full gowns. Shelby says that Kane was a maniacal monster who preferred hurting to hugging, and Daniel was a tightly wound man child who would snap if anyone mentioned his goat face or his beard that looks like a hotel for rats. He says that they have matured into a clam and peaceful team, and they’re ready to graduate. Shelby says that the top student is traditionally chosen as valedictorian, but he doesn’t give grades so he invites both men to decide who they think should get the honours. Kane selflessly says it should be Daniel. Bryan nominates Kane to talk about his feelings. Both men start fighting about who should be the valedictorian. Shelby gets his own chant as he suggests the two men hug it out. He goes further to say that everyone, everywhere should hug at the same time. Even Cole and Lawler! The two announcers oblige. The ring Doctor and Justin Roberts hug next. Kane gets three guys in the crowd to hug. They continue to organize a huge hug fest…They three men hug in the ring to celebrate their graduation…I don’t know why, but I loved this.
MATCH # 5 KAITLYN vs. ALICIA FOX
Alicia tosses Kaitlyn around and hits a clothesline. Kaitlyn weathers the storm and hits a spear out of nowhere for the win, as Tamina looks on from the back.
Winner – Kaitlyn
Heyman tells Punk that he’s arranged a skybox for him to sit in and watch as he delivers a “Paul Bomb” to the Rock. Heyman says he’s going to dedicate it to the champ. Heyman says that he’s not only the voice of the voice of the voiceless, but he’s also a close friend and strategizer for the champion. He says that a lot of what Punk said earlier went over the fans heads, so he is going to dumb it down. Heyman talks down to the crowd as he says that Vince McMahon is so desperate to dethrone the champion that he’ll grasp at anyone who he thinks could pose a threat. He goes on to call Rock the flavor of the month, and points out the Rock’s preoccupation with him and Vickie is keeping his focus away from the most dangerous man in the WWE, and the longest running champion in 25 years. Heyman chalks it all up to stupidity.
The Rock comes out, holding a ticket (which I guess allows you ramp and ring access as well!) Rock thanks the police department for the ticket and cut Heyman off when trying to explain my aforementioned logic. He tells “Twinkie tits” to get lost. He looks up at Punk and tells him that he has earned the right to call himself the best in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is his last Raw as champion. He tells Punk that all entertainment aside; he will stand before him and rip his face off. Rock says that he has earned respect and has a dream to go to the top of the mountain one more time. He tells Punk that he promises to beat him for the title at the Rumble. He parallels the Martin Luther King speech which if you ask me is sooo disrespectful!
The Lights go out and come on to reveal the Shield triple teaming the Rock. They hit the triple power bomb and leave Rock laid out and “bleeding” from the mouth. Punk grabs a mic and tells Rock that there’s only room for one man at the top of the mountain, and the thing about dreams is that eventually you have to wake up.
MATCH # 6 SHEAMUS vs. WADE BARRETT (beat the clock)
Ziggler and crew look on from the back as Sheamus hits some thrusts and a clothesline. Barrett takes Sheamus over the top rope, and follows up with a kick to the midsection. He applies an arm bar but Sheamus fights out of it and hits an axe handle off the rope. He ties Barrett up on the rope and hits his clubbing shots to the chest followed by a suplex. With 3 mins to go Sheamus attempts white noise but Barrett counters into a pump handle. Sheamus reverses that and misses a brogue kick but is caught by a kick from Barrett. Wade hits an elbow off the top. Sheamus connects with white noise at 1 minute to go. He sets up for the brogue kick but Dolph and his crew come to the ring. AJ gets in the way of the brogue kick and Barrett hits a side slam. Sheamus hits the brogue kick and goes for a cover but time winds down before the ref can count!
Dolph Ziggler wins the beat the clock challenge…will he be a show off and take #1?
In the back, Dolph confronts Vickie and gloats about his win before making out with AJ in front of her. He tells Vickie that he wants #30, but Vickie informs him that he only gets to choose between 2 numbers, One or Two!
Punk and Heyman bump into an angry Vince McMahon who accuses them yet again of being in cahoots with the Shield. He says if they interfere in his match at the Rumble, regardless of whether or not they are working together, Punk will be stripped of the title.
MATCH # 7 ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. TENSAI
Tensai delivers some early offense in front of a hostile crowd who seem to boo his very presence. Del Rio hits a nice flying head scissors followed by a belly to belly suplex. He hits an enziguiri and a moonsault off the top rope for an easy win.
Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio tells Big Show that there will be a ten count at the end of their match but it will be by him, and in Spanish. He then either counts to ten in Spanish or announces his grocery list…I don’t speak Spanish.
The second inductee is announced for the Hall of Fame. It’s Bob Backlund! Hey did you know that he had a whole career before he went crazy?
Cena is out next. Cena talks about Sunday usually being a day of rest. He points out a kid in the crowd and crack jokes about him kicking his ass in video games. He cracks more jokes about being a grown man who eats fruity pebbles. He points out a girl and creates a whole narrative about her going out on Saturday night with the girls, posting pictures on Facebook and meeting a guy while listening to Taylor Swift. He points over at the “guy she met” as a dude from across the ring who wakes up at 2pm with a hangover and a receipt for blow up dolls and Jagarbombs. He talks about “Bret Farveing” yourself on Facebook…he mercifully ends his stand-up comedy routine to talk about this Sunday being special, because it’s the Royal Rumble. He says that this Sunday the world will find out what he already knows, that he will win the Royal Rumble.
Sheamus comes out and calls Cena’s speech bizarre and creative. He says that he’s got it all wrong…
The Primetime Players interrupt but they are quickly interrupted by Randy Orton, followed by The Miz, who cycles through his catchphrase. Kane and Bryan come out next to stake their claim, and argue over who will win. Cesaro keeps the line moving, saying that he will dedicate his win to the USA! 3MB come out and say they know they won’t win (not really but that would have been funny) the rest of the roaster come out and we get a Royal Rumble preview. Khali, Brodus, McGillcuddy, Kofi, Cody, are all in the mix as all the superstars try to show their supremacy but tossing guys over the top rope as Raw comes to a close.
I enjoyed the last segment, and although formulaic it really established about 4 guys that are legitimate threats to win the Rumble. They nice thing about having 2 world titles is that even the smartest fan can only narrow it down to 2 contenders. Obviously Cena is the favorite, but clearly there are other routes they could take with Orton gaining momentum, Ryback being a possible direction for the World title, and there is always the possibility of a surprise return, or one of the 4 men in the title matches with a surprise entry. The fact that Cena is becoming so obvious could point to a swerve (as they like to do) but at this point it still makes the most sense, especially after 2 years of Rumble winners jerking the curtain at Mania. The Rock was his usual self tonight, but was contrasted very nicely by CM Punk who put a serious emphasis on the title that went a long way towards selling the importance of their match. I have no doubt that the plan was to put the title on the Rock but after such an impressive performance in recent months and a great job at establishing the importance of Punks streak, it would be nice to see him keep it until mania…I have a dream – but I’ll have to wake up, cause Rock is winning!
Here are some Odds with my picks for my Favorite PPV of the year (depending on the mania card)
The Rock (-1100) over CM Punk (+900) to win the title
Alberto Del Rio (-130) over Big Show (+110) to keep the title
Rhodes Scholars (+120) over Hell No (-110) to win the tag titles
John Cena 5-2 to win the rumble
Odds that Undertaker returns and wins the rumble 6-1
Odds that Brock Lesnar returns to win the rumble 8-1
Odds that Orton wins the Rumble 11-1
Odds that Rock or Punk enter and win the rumble 7-1
Odds that Ziggler wins the Rumble 11-1
Odds that Daniel Bryan wins the rumble 16-1
Odds that anyone else wins 15-1
Over under on Rumble match mark out moments 2.5
Over under on total combined eliminations at the hands of 3MB 0.5
And finally, a huge announcement…I have officially entered the 2013 Royal Rumble…….pool. I submitted my picks last night and ironically I already had Ziggler in at #1! However he could still be #2 so it’s not a lock.
Good luck, and have a great week…see you at the start of the Rock Era next week!