CM puts the GM to sleep.
Six nights before the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble, the 975th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW was a RAW SuperShow and it came to you, live, from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ. Before he defends the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler with Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis calling the match as the Special Referee at the Royal Rumble, what will happen between WWE Champion CM Punk and the GM after Laurinaitis admitted that he will screw Punk out of the title? Also, before 30 Superstars from RAW and SmackDown take part in the Royal Rumble Match with a guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania on the line, what will happen between the Rumble Match participants?
- Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (with John Laurinaitis) def. CM Punk & John Cena by Dolph Ziggler rolling up CM Punk with the tights.
- Falls Count Anywhere Match: John Cena Banned: Kane and Zack Ryder fight to a No Contest after Kane chokeslams Zack Ryder through the stage.
- Sheamus def. Jinder Mahal by pin following the Brogue Kick.
- Brodus Clay def. Heath Slater by pin with the Ah, Funk It.
- Loser Enters Royal Rumble Match at #1: R-Truth def. The Miz by pin following the Little Jimmy. As a result, The Miz will enter the Royal Rumble Match at #1.
Six nights before he defends the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler with Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis as the Special Referee at the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble, RAW kicks off with WWE Champion CM Punk. The champion says that each of Dolph Ziggler’s victories over him were “hand-wrapped and delivered” by John Laurinaitis before describing Laurinaitis in one word, “failure”. Punk continues that Laurinaitis is a “failure” as a wrestler, a “failure” as an executive, and a “failure” at life”, adding that the GM “sucks at life”. Punk then says that, after he told Laurinaitis what he thought of him last week, the GM did something that Laurinaitis has never done before, “told the truth”. Punk then shows the video from last week where Laurinaitis blatantly tells Mick Foley that he will screw Punk out of the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble before popping Foley in the head with a microphone. Punk continues that it is safe to say that the GM will not be much of an unbiased referee, adding that, if he didn’t know any better, he would say that he is pretty much screwed. The champion then says that he does know better and there is a “course of action” he could take to get the results he wants, adding that he would take “joy” in that course of action. Punk then says that it would be difficult for Laurinaitis to referee the match with “two broken arms”! The champion then extends a “personal invitation” for the GM to come out there and tell him, to his face, what he plans to do at the Royal Rumble. After waiting on Laurinaitis, Punk says that he gave the GM a chance, but now he is going to go find him.
Before CM Punk can exit the ring, the WWE Champion is interrupted by John Cena, who makes his way to the ring. Punk tells Cena that he can see where Cena got confused, but while he is waiting on a “company man” named “John”, he was waiting on John Laurinaitis, not John Cena. Cena responds by saying that he was just sick of hearing Punk “ramble”, adding that he is out there for “business”. Cena then says that, in minutes, Laurinaitis will appear and give Zack Ryder a rematch for the United States Championship and will also give him a one-on-one match with Kane six nights before he faces him again at Royal Rumble. Cena then says that, most importantly, Laurinaitis will appear and “resign” as the Interim RAW General Manager. Laurinaitis then waits until CM Punk is speaking to interrupt things, but the GM does enter the arena. Laurinaitis says that, in life, everyone has their “bad days” and they say and do things that they later regret. However, last Monday was not one of those days because he stands by what he said. The GM continues that he is not going to be intimidated by either CM Punk or John Cena. Punk then invites Laurinaitis to come to the ring so he can hear him better, but the GM reminds Punk that he is the boss and he will not listen to Punk. Laurinaitis continues that he “apologized” to Zack Ryder last week for his “mistake” before revealing that Ryder is medically cleared to compete. The GM then announces that Zack Ryder will face Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match on RAW and, if Cena interferes, then Ryder will “never” get a rematch for the United States. Laurinaitis then says that he has found two Superstars to face John Cena and CM Punk in tag team action before the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Dolph Ziggler, and the new United States Champion, Jack Swagger. Dolph Ziggler tells CM Punk that Punk needs to worry about him and he will “flat-out beat” him. Jack Swagger then says that Cena is “dead meat” for what Cena did to him last week.
Per the orders of Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis, WWE Champion CM Punk teams with John Cena to face the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Dolph Ziggler, and new United States Champion Jack Swagger, with Vickie Guerrero in their corner and John Laurinaitis at ringside. During the match, John Cena and Jack Swagger brawl on the outside with Cena locking in the STF on Swagger. Meanwhile, in the ring, CM Punk is poised for victory, but John Laurinaitis gets on the apron of the ring, distracting Punk long enough for Dolph Ziggler to take advantage, rolling Punk up and hooking the tights to pick up the win. After the match, CM Punk tells John Laurinaitis that the GM will someday screw him out of the WWE Title, but he will someday “beat the hell” out of Laurinaitis. Punk continues that the GM likes to “gift wrap” victories for Dolph Ziggler before saying that he has a “gift” for Laurinaitis, challenging the GM to be a WWE Superstar for one night only to face him in a one-on-one match. The GM then thinks it over before accepting the challenge to face the WWE Champion!
For the first time since returning earlier in the month, the recently silent Chris Jericho appeared on RAW to host his talk show, The Highlight Reel. Jericho grabs a microphone and tries to get the audience to be quiet, but when they do not, Jericho exits the ring and heads backstage before re-emerging with a t-shirt gun. Jericho then takes a camera and films the crowd before once again picking up the microphone and trying to silence the crowd. Without a word, “Y2J” then points to the Jeritron 5000, which shows a highlight video of Jericho’s legendary WWE career up to that point. Then, much to the elation of the crowd, Jericho finally speaks as he states that, “this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, it will be the end of the world as you know it”. For all the countless accolades Jericho has acquired in his legendary career, he has never won the Royal Rumble Match. Could 2012 be the year of Y2J?
Despite still having an injured back due to being chokeslammed off a loading dock by Kane two weeks ago, the medically cleared Zack Ryder went one-on-one with “The Big Red Monster” Kane in a Falls Count Anywhere Match with John Cena banned from interfering. The match quickly spills to the outside where Kane drives the injured back of Zack Ryder into the steel ring post before taking Ryder back-first into the steel steps. As Eve makes her way to ringside to support Ryder, Kane continues to attack the back of Ryder. As Kane continues to dominate Ryder, the match spills out into the crowd and, as the two of them near the technical area, Ryder is able to grab a metal briefcase and use it as a weapon against Kane, but Kane is only angered by the shot as he rips the tape off that was protecting the injured back of Ryder. The action then makes its way to the staging area where Kane sends Ryder face-first into a steel stage piece. Despite the extreme punishment by Kane, Ryder still manages to kick out of Kane’s pin attempts. Ryder then manages to get a few shots in on Kane, but Kane quickly knocks Ryder down with a right hand. Kane then grabs Ryder by the throat before delivering a hellacious chokeslam that sends Ryder all the way through the stage! Eve then rushes to check on Ryder, but she is stalked back to ringside by Kane before John Cena appears on the stage to check on Ryder. Kane then exits through the crowd as Cena and Eve look on at the destruction left by Kane. EMT’s then tend to Ryder below the stage as Ryder is placed on a backboard as he is prepared to be stretchered out of the arena. EMT’s then lifts Ryder out of the hole in the stage and places him on a stretcher before wheeling Ryder to a waiting ambulance. As Ryder is loaded into the ambulance, Eve tells John Cena that it is all his fault, adding that he has done enough and she is going with Ryder to the hospital. Cena is then questioned by Josh Mathews about the incident and how Cena is feeling, but Cena shoves Mathews before showing a look of pure hatred. What is the condition of Zack Ryder following this hellacious chokeslam? How will John Cena respond to the actions of Kane when they go one-on-one this Sunday at the Royal Rumble?
Six nights before they are both participants in the Royal Rumble Match, “The Great White” Sheamus went one-on-one with Jinder Mahal on RAW. During the match, Wade Barrett makes his way to ringside to be a guest on commentary. In the end, it was Sheamus blasting Jinder Mahal with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the win. After the match, Sheamus dares Wade Barrett to come in the ring, but Barrett gets on the ring apron before deciding not to fight. Sheamus then tells Barrett to get used to that sight because he will be standing alone in the ring as the winner of the Royal Rumble Match.
Backstage, an argument erupts between The Miz and R-Truth before an irate John Laurinaitis steps in and informs the two Superstars that, whoever loses their one-on-one match will be at a near impossible disadvantage as they will be the #1 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match this Sunday.
After getting laid out with the Ah, Funk It by Brodus Clay, William Regal was a guest on commentary as it was time to get funky as “The Funkosaurus” Brodus Clay went one-on-one with Heath Slater. In the end, it was Brodus Clay hitting the Ah, Funk It on Heath Slater en route to picking up the win.
With the loser being forced to enter this Sunday’s Royal Rumble Match at #1, teammates turned rivals The Miz and R-Truth went one-on-one. In the end, it was R-Truth hitting the Little Jimmy on The Miz en route to picking up the win, ensuring that The Miz is the most unlikely to win the Royal Rumble Match by being forced to enter first.
There was a medical update on Zack Ryder during RAW as the former United States Champion suffered a broken back after being driven through the stage with a chokeslam by Kane. After being nothing short of destroyed by Kane, will we ever see Zack Ryder in action again?
Backstage, David Otunga hands Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis an urgent fax that certainly changes the GM’s mood for the worst.
Then it was time for an unlikely main event as WWE Champion CM Punk went one-on-one with Interim RAW General Manager and the Special Referee for the WWE Title match at the Royal Rumble, John Laurinaitis. Before the match begins, John Laurinaitis has David Otunga read the fax that he just received from the WWE Board of Directors as the Board expresses their concern over Laurinaitis’ questionable judgment and public declaration that he will abuse his power and favor Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble. The fax goes on to reveal that Laurinaitis’ status as the Interim RAW General Manager will be “officially under review” and, on next week’s RAW, Laurinaitis will receive a “formal job evaluation” to determine if Laurinaitis will continue on as the GM or if he will be terminated and the job evaluation will be conducted by none other than the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, Triple H!
John Laurinaitis then apologizes to CM Punk and the WWE fans before announcing Mick Foley will take part in the Royal Rumble Match. Laurinaitis continues that he always intended to be unbiased as a referee in the WWE Title match, but Punk made him angry. CM Punk then says that he hopes Triple H fires Laurinaitis, but Laurinaitis argues that he has been with the WWE for ten years and he took the company out of the “dark ages” that it was living in when Jim Ross was in charge of Talent Relations. Laurinaitis then says that he will not be facing CM Punk, but he has found a suitable replacement in David Otunga. With that, Otunga attacks the WWE Champion from behind, but Punk fights back, ultimately forcing Otunga to tap out to the Anaconda Vise. Punk is then ready to fight Laurinaitis, but the GM extends his hand to Punk. Punk grabs the hand of the GM before hoisting Laurinaitis up and delivering the GTS! Dolph Ziggler then takes the opportunity to come from behind and plant the WWE Champion with the Zig Zag! After being assaulted by CM Punk, will John Laurinaitis really cost Punk the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble? What will happen on next week’s RAW when Triple H conducts the job evaluation for John Laurinaitis?
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