One night after a historic and memorable Royal Rumble, the 1027th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV. In what has become a Las Vegas tradition, Monday Night RAW will welcome the return of RAW Roulette, where the fate of the Superstars and Divas will be determined by the spin of a wheel! Also, after overcoming an assault from The Shield and refusing to let CM Punk be stripped of the title, the fourteen-month reign as WWE Champion is over and it is all because of one man, the new WWE Champion, The Rock! For the first time in twelve years, there is a repeat Royal Rumble Match winner in the WWE as John Cena won the 2013 Royal Rumble Match to earn a guaranteed title shot at either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, but who will Cena face on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”?
- Non-Title: Special Referee- The Miz: Randy Orton (with The Miz) def. Antonio Cesaro by pin following the RKO.
- “Make Me Laugh” Challenge: Ryback def. The Prime Time Players
- Player’s Choice: Non-Title: Bo Dallas def. Wade Barrett by pin following a powerslam.
- John Cena def. Cody Rhodes by pin following the Attitude Adjustment.
- Dance-Off: Brodus Clay (with The Funkadactyls) and Tensai dance to a No Contest.
- Las Vegas Showgirls Lumberjack Match: Non-Title: Kaitlyn and Tamina Snuka fight to a No Contest after the Lumberjacks interfere.
- Tables Match: Sheamus def. Damien Sandow
- WWE Karaoke: Zack Ryder and The Great Khali sing to a No Contest.
- Strange Bedfellows Match: Non-Title: Team Hell No (with Chris Jericho) def. Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler by Kane pinning Dolph Ziggler following the chokeslam.
Backstage, RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero reveals three RAW Roulette wheels; the Wheel of Superstars, the Wheel of Stipulations, and the Vickie Vegas Challenge Wheel. Vickie first spins the wheel for the upcoming match between Randy Orton and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, which lands on the Special Guest Referee option.
The show then officially gets underway with the former WWE Champion, CM Punk, who stomps to the ring in a huff. The enraged former champion shouts that he did not lose at the Royal Rumble because he beat The Rock. Punk continues, calling Rock a “cheater”, saying that The Rock could not pin him without assistance. Punk says that, for 434 days, he was a “real champion”, saying that he never needed someone to restart a match for him. Punk then declares that, what happened to him at the Rumble was worse than what Vince McMahon did to Bret Hart, saying that what happened last night will go down as the “Phoenix Screwjob”, shouting that he got “screwed”. Punk then says that he will “crash” the party. WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon then interrupts, saying that he has been presented video footage that proves that CM Punk was involved with Paul Heyman making a deal with The Shield! McMahon then informs Paul Heyman that, later tonight, there will be a Job Performance Review and, depending on the result of the review, Heyman’s contract could be terminated!
The opening match of the night saw “The Viper” Randy Orton going one-on-one with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match and, as determined by the RAW Roulette wheel, the match will have a Special Guest Referee, which was none other than the man that Antonio Cesaro defeated on the Royal Rumble Pre-Show, The Miz! During the match, Antonio Cesaro would deliver a thumb to the eye of Randy Orton and The Miz would take issue with, but Cesaro would shove Miz out of the way. The Miz would then repeatedly pull Cesaro off of the offensive, providing the distraction that would allow Randy Orton to hit the RKO on Antonio Cesaro en route to pinning the United States Champion for the win. After the match, The Miz would get a measure of revenge on Antonio Cesaro, planting the United States Champion with the Skull Crushing Finale.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero spins the Vickie Vegas Challenge Wheel and it lands on “Make Me Laugh” and who would have to be the comedian? None other than Ryback and The Prime Time Players as they would face each other in a competition where the only way to win is to make Matt Striker laugh the most. The Prime Time Players are up first as Titus O’Neil tells a joke, saying “what did the woman say to Matt Striker last night when he asked her on a date?” Darren Young provides the answer, saying “ain’t nobody got time for that”. Striker was not amused and it was Ryback’s turn, asking “what has four eyes, twenty fingers, and is about to be unconscious?” Ryback then delivers the punch line, attacking The Prime Time Players! As Darren Young makes a quick retreat, Ryback drills Titus O’Neil with the Meat Hook Clothesline before dropping Titus with Shell Shocked. Striker is elated as he announces Ryback as the winner, patting Ryback on the back. However, the volatile Ryback then grabs a hold of Matt Striker, dropping the interviewer with Shell Shocked!
The Intercontinental Champion was in action on RAW and, per the spin of the RAW Roulette Wheel, Wade Barrett got to hand-pick his opponent and Barrett wasted no time, opting to face the man who eliminated him from the Royal Rumble Match, NXT competitor Bo Dallas! After dominating the young hopeful for most of the match, Wade Barrett was ready to put Bo Dallas away with the Bull Hammer Elbow, but Dallas would counter with a powerslam, catching Barrett by surprise and pinning the Intercontinental Champion in a major upset!
After spinning the Wheel of Superstars backstage, Cody Rhodes would have to go one-on-one with none other than the winner of the 2013 Royal Rumble Match, John Cena! During the match, Cody Rhodes would leave the ring, saying that it is a waste of his time, but Cena would not allow Rhodes to leave, bringing Rhodes back into the ring and dropping him with the Attitude Adjustment en route to picking up the win.
After the match, John Cena says that there are 29 Superstars who could say why they did not win the Royal Rumble Match, but he is the one man who can come out there and say that he won the Royal Rumble Match. Cena continues, saying that winning the Rumble was only the first step as he must now choose which championship he will challenge for at WrestleMania and, come April 7, either The Rock or CM Punk will be the WWE Champion. Cena admits that, when has challenged CM Punk in the past, he has either lost or was unable to get the job done. Cena then says that, even before The Rock returned, he was talking about The Rock and, for one year he “jousted” with The Rock on a physical and verbal level and he proved that he was on The Rock’s level, but on April 1 of last year at WrestleMania 28, he lost that match and The Rock won. Cena continues, saying that he has a “difficult choice”, weighing his options by saying that, if he challenges for the World Heavyweight Title, then it will not matter who the champion is because he will win, hands down, but if he opts to challenge for the WWE Title, then the odds will be against him. John Cena then makes the official announcement that, on April 7 at WrestleMania XXIX, he will challenge for the WWE Championship, facing whoever the champion is at that time, either CM Punk or The Rock! However, John Cena’s night was not over as The Shield makes their entrance through the crowd before Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns target Cena, stomping and clawing away at the Rumble winner. Sheamus then rushes out, attempting to make the save, but “The Celtic Warrior” is still overwhelmed, but when Ryback comes out, he gets a piece of The Shield, but the three-on-one advantage reigns supreme. On the outside of the ring, The Shield tosses Ryback into the steel steels before tossing Sheamus face-first into the steel ring post! Not willing to give up, John Cena would try and take it to The Shield in the ring, but the trio would again take over, planting the Rumble winner in the center of the ring with their three-man powerbomb!
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero spins the Stipulation Wheel and it lands on Lingerie Pillow Fight, but it is revealed that it will be Tensai and Brodus Clay putting on their best lingerie! Tensai refuses, saying that he is a “monster” before storming out of Vickie’s office. However, Vickie then has Brodus Clay spin the Vickie Vegas Challenge Wheel and it lands on “Dance-Off”! Brodus snickers and tells the Managing Supervisor that he will tell Tensai about the change.
Per the spinning of the Vickie Vegas Challenge Wheel, “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay would face Tensai in a Dance-Off on RAW! Clearly not informed of the change to the contest, Tensai shows up in lingerie! Humiliated, Tensai is then informed of the change and the super heavyweight is outraged, not to mention embarrassed. The Dance-Off then gets underway as Brodus Clay and The Funkadactyls do their dance routine. Then, it was the lingerie-clad Tensai’s turn, but the humiliated big man refuses. Jerry Lawler then reminds Tensai that, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Tensai then gets down with Brodus Clay and The Funkadactyls, doing his best to dance such moves as “The Robot” and “Gangnam Style”, leading Hall of Famer Ron Simmons to comment with a signature “damn”!
Backstage, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio spins the Stipulation Wheel and it lands on a Body Slam Challenge, meaning that Del Rio must face Big Show in a Body Slam Challenge.
In a special Body Slam Challenge, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio would face “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show and the only way to win is to successfully body slam your opponent. However, Big Show would not allow the competition to begin as Big Show knocks Ricardo Rodriguez down before leveling Alberto Del Rio with the K.O. Punch. Big Show then produces a roll of duct tape, tying Del Rio to the ring ropes and, then, with Del Rio forced to watch helplessly, Big Show picks apart Ricardo Rodriguez, pummeling him in and out of the ring, taunting Del Rio by slamming Rodriguez in the middle of the ring and standing on his head! Big Show then targets the helpless Del Rio, stomping away at Del Rio before reinforcing his work, making sure that the champion cannot escape. Big Show then continues the dismantlement of Del Rio’s trusted friend and employee, finishing the job with the K.O. Punch. As Del Rio kicks and struggles to try and get loose, Big Show kicks and taunts the champion, finally putting Del Rio out with the K.O. Punch, leaving a sickening display of torment and destruction in the ring.
In a special Las Vegas Showgirls Lumberjack Match, a host of WWE Divas would surround the ring dressed as Las Vegas Showgirls as Divas Champion Kaitlyn faced Tamina Snuka in a non-title match. During the match, Kaitlyn would go for a pinfall on Tamina Snuka, but the Lumberjacks would rush the ring as a Divas brawl breaks out.
At the Royal Rumble, an attack by The Shield would seemingly allow CM Punk to pin The Rock to retain the WWE Title, but The Shield’s interference would have resulted in CM Punk being stripped of the WWE Championship. However, The Rock stopped Mr. McMahon from taking the title from Punk, saying that he will take the title from Punk, not the Chairman. “The Great One” would do just that as, after the match was restarted by Mr. McMahon, The Rock would hit the People’s Elbow on CM Punk, pinning Punk to win his eighth WWE Championship and, on RAW, the first new WWE Champion in fourteen months, The Rock, would make an appearance. The new WWE Champion states that there is only one word that can represent their entire journey and that word is “finally”, declaring that “finally, The Rock has come back to Las Vegas”, adding that “finally, The Rock is WWE Champion”. The Rock says that there is no achievement more deeply engraved in his blood than the WWE Championship and, standing there as an eight-time WWE Champion is the proudest moment of his career. The new champion continues, saying that he has already thanked his friends and family, but he wants to thank the fans. The Rock says that CM Punk told all of them that they were “nothing”, saying that CM Punk’s “crap days” of running down the fans are over. The Rock then declares that, tonight, they usher in the “People’s Era”! Making good on his promise to crash the party of The Rock, former champion CM Punk comes out, saying that The Rock is “embarrassing” himself. Punk continues, saying that The Rock is disgracing the WWE Championship that he made meaningful, saying that the title was “handed” to The Rock, just like everything else in The Rock’s “spoon-fed life”. Punk then says that, if The Rock was a “man” who is proud of his heritage, he would walk up to him and hand the WWE Title back to him and apologize to him for “tarnishing” the championship that he made “great”. The Rock refutes that, if CM Punk was a man, then he would come to the ring and take the title from him. Rock then tells Punk that he has two choices, he can either come to the ring to fight him or he can stand on the stage like a “punk ass bitch”! Punk then begins to walk towards the ring, but then changes his mind, walking back to the stage, saying that he will fight The Rock on his terms. CM Punk then challenges The Rock to a rematch for the WWE Championship in three weeks at WWE Elimination Chamber! The Rock accepts the rematch before saying that the only thing that CM Punk will be taking is an “ass-kicking”!
After coming so close to winning the 2013 Royal Rumble Match, Sheamus was in action on RAW as “The Celtic Warrior” went one-on-one with “The Intellectual Savior of the Masses” Damien Sandow and, by virtue of the Stipulations Wheel, the match would be a Tables Match, where the only way to win is to put your opponent through a table. Throughout the match, Damien Sandow would take it to the injured Sheamus, still suffering the effects of the attack from The Shield earlier in the night, but Sheamus would fight through the pain, putting Sandow through a table with White Noise to pick up the win.
RAW would host an edition of WWE Karaoke featuring Zack Ryder and The Great Khali, where they would both sing the theme song of a WWE Superstar. The Great Khali was up first as he would sing the theme song for Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. However, WWE Karaoke would be broken up by WWE’s resident singing trio, 3MB, as Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre take issue with the singing. 3MB then proclaim that they are the “rock stars” of the WWE as Drew McIntyre does his best air guitar routine, but he is met with a chop from The Great Khali. Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal would then take a run at Khali and Ryder with Ryder taking Jinder out with the Rough Ryder Leg Lariat as Khali chops Heath Slater. Hornswoggle then delivers the Tadpole Splash to Slater before The Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Natalya, & Hornswoggle celebrate in the ring.
After his surprise entry as the #2 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match, “Y2J” Chris Jericho makes his first appearance on RAW since August! Jericho says that he was only gone for six months, but it felt like six years and, when he returned at the Royal Rumble, it was the best moment of his career. Jericho then proclaims it was a moment that he will never, ever forget. Jericho is then interrupted by “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, & Big E. Langston as Dolph asks what Jericho is doing there, reminding Jericho that he cost him his career back in August. Jericho then makes fun of Big E. Langston, saying that the “E” stands for Langston’s “bra size”! Dolph continues to ask why Jericho is there, but RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero fields the question, revealing that she is the one that re-signed Jericho to a contract! Vickie then puts Jericho and Ziggler into a match and, by virtue of the Stipulations Wheel, the match would be a Strange Bedfellows Match, meaning that Jericho and Ziggler would actually have to team together to face WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No!
In a Strange Bedfellows Match, “Y2J” Chris Jericho would be forced to team with his bitter rival, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, to face the WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Hell No, in a non-title match. Amidst an argument between Kane & Daniel Bryan, the wily Chris Jericho would strike Kane from behind, quickly tagging in Dolph Ziggler and exiting the ring. This would result in Kane thinking Ziggler hit him from behind as Kane plants Dolph with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win for Team Hell No.
With Mick Foley and Bob Backlund already announced as inductees for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame, the third inductee into the Hall of Fame was announced on RAW as the RAW Diva of the Decade and the record-holder for the most reigns as Women’s Champion in history with seven as “Canada’s Greatest Gift to the WWE” Trish Stratus will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6 in Madison Square Garden!
WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon then appears in the ring to conduct the Personal Performance Review for Paul Heyman and, after Heyman initially does not come out, the Chairman reveals that, if Heyman is looking for CM Punk, he won’t find him because he had Punk escorted out of the arena! A nervous Paul Heyman then finally makes his way to the ring, offering his hand to the Chairman. Mr. McMahon shakes Heyman’s hands, but disinfects his hands afterwards. McMahon then asks Paul Heyman if he has ever had either Brad Maddox or The Shield under any sort of contract. Heyman thanks the Chairman for having him out there before saying that “no, I have never had anything to do with Brad Maddox or The Shield”. McMahon then asks Heyman if he has ever “lied” in his life and Heyman says that, yes, he has lied every day of his life because he is a “promoter”. Heyman continues, saying that all promoters have to lie and he lied in order to keep himself in business and he lied to “survive”, saying that he has given any answer that he has to in order to survive. Heyman says that he has lied every day of his life, but he is not lying now! Heyman says that he is trying to be an “honorable man” and, if that’s what it takes to be in the WWE, then that is what he will be.
Mr. McMahon then presents footage from a few weeks ago that shows Paul Heyman talking with Brad Maddox in the backstage area of an arena as they are discussing Maddox’s YouTube show. Heyman then orders the cameraman to turn off his camera, but he simply lowers it as Heyman tells Maddox that he and CM Punk “maneuvered” Maddox into being the referee for the championship match between CM Punk and Ryback at Hell in a Cell, saying that they paid Maddox handsomely, but he kept coming back and coming back, week after week. Heyman then says that, when they pay The Shield, they don’t keep coming back for more, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns wait for Punk and Heyman to come to them and ask for their help, paying the trio to do whatever it is that they need done. Heyman continues, telling Maddox that they pay The Shield more than they pay Maddox because The Shield is more “effective” at what they do than Maddox is. Then, out of the darkness, comes The Shield, who surrounds Brad Maddox. Maddox tries to beg off Heyman’s hired guns, but Heyman tells Maddox to take his beating “like a man” and Maddox tries to apologize, but Heyman tells Maddox to view his beating as a “learning experience”. Heyman then exits, leaving Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns to annihilate Brad Maddox!
Back in the ring, the Chairman waits for an explanation from Paul Heyman and Heyman claims that the man in the video is not him. Heyman continues, saying that Mr. McMahon knows what it is like to be “falsely accused”. Heyman then says that he has a “thick, New York, Jewish accent” and it is “very easy” to impersonate, claiming that the man in the video is doing a “poor impersonation” of him. Heyman continues, admitting that the men in the video were Brad Maddox and The Shield, but he was not there. Heyman pleads with the Chairman, saying “don’t do this to me”, but Mr. McMahon was all but ready to fire Paul Heyman. However, in an unexpected shocker, none other than “The Beast” himself, Brock Lesnar, interrupts the proceedings! The man who broke the arms of both Triple H and Shawn Michaels last year then makes his way to the ring to confront his former manager and his former boss. Lesnar first directs Paul Heyman to stand in the corner before Lesnar gets right in the face of Mr. McMahon! The Chairman warns Brock not to do something that he will “regret” later on. As Heyman pleads with McMahon to just leave the ring, the volatile and unpredictable beast does the unthinkable as the sadistic Brock Lesnar picks up the 67-year old owner, driving Mr. McMahon to the mat with a vicious F-5! As Paul Heyman screams out, “what did you do”, Brock leaves the ring with a smile on his face, showing no remorse for what he just did to the Chairman of the WWE.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Post your comments in the box below.