We are live in: Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
The show starts with an advertisement of CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship later tonight.
We then see a recap of last week’s Raw when Kane told Cena to “embrace the hate” and left Cena contemplating the fan reactions.
Instead of the usual pyro, John Cena’s music plays and he heads down to the ring and grabs a microphone.
He starts off by saying that 2011 didn’t end the way that he wanted, but it is a new day and a new year, so he wishes everyone a happy New Year. He says the New Year is typically a time for resolution, and he’s going to make some changes to himself. His first resolution is to wear less underwear, and when he does wear something it’ll be unusual. Second, his father is banned from the show due to the “This Is Your Life” segment.
John Cena: “That segment was worse than the Christmas Creature’s debut.”
Third, the most important resolution comes at this year’s WrestleMania after he slaps the face off of The Rock’s neck and wins the biggest match in WWE, he resolves to prove that he has lost his lady parts. There is one thing that won’t change in 2012, the same thing that hasn’t changed in the 10 years he’s been around. His convictions will remain true. Words like Hustle, Royalty, and Respect do not fall to pieces because something throws fire in your face. He has often said that a man’s character is not judge by how much he’s loved, but how much he’s willing to get up when his back’s against the wall. Last week he was a bit emotional and disappointed, but not towards any of the fans. Those out there in disbelief have earned their hard earned money, and he is not there to judge what they say and how they say it. They have earned the right to do what they want to do. His disappointment was towards Kane. He has an issue with him, and for some reason can’t settle it in the ring. Kane’s upset with the way he does thing, or what his shirt says. He wants Cena to turn his back on the fans.
John Cena: “I say no. I say not tonight, I say not any night!”
He is like each WWE superstar, whether you love him or hate him, there’s no better feeling than being in the ring in front of all of the fans. He will enjoy getting any emotional response he can get. He’s going to start this year off the way it should be started off by thanking the fans. Not just for him, but-
Kane’s theme plays. The arena glows red. Instead of coming out Kane’s voice can be heard over the P.A. He laughs. He says Cena can try to hold off the inevitable all he wants, but he will embrace the hate, and he will personally witness the true power of hate tonight.
Kane continues laughing and soon fire shoots out from the turnbuckles. Cena is left looking concerned.
We cut to another advertisement for CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship tonight. The advertisement is interrupted by another “January 2nd” video. It’s short, and basically says that the end is tonight.
Back from break, and World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan’s music plays as he comes down to the ring for a match. On Smackdown this week, Daniel Bryan defends the World Heavyweight Championship against The Big Show.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhode’s music plays and Cody comes down to the ring as Bryan’s opponent.
Also on Smackdown this week, Rhodes will defend the Intercontinental Championship in a “rubber match” against Booker T.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
The bell sounds and the two men lock up. Cody with a knee followed by a series for forearm shots into the turnbuckle. Bryan counters and starts kicking Cody rapidly in the chest. He whips Cody into the opposite turnbuckle. Bryan runs and Cody kicks Bryan in the face and twist Bryan’s arm before slamming it on the mat. Cody lifts Bryan up and tosses him into the turnbuckle shoulder first. He covers for a two count. Cody grabs Bryan and knees him in the gut, then lands an elbow onto his arm. Cody continues to work the arm and applies a figure-four necklock submission. Bryan quickly slips out of it, but Cody attacks the back and knocks Bryan down. He lifts Bryan up and applies a hammerlock. He tries to toss Bryan into the turnbuckle like before, but Bryan counters and punches Cody back into the ropes. He whips Cody and Cody counters it. Bryan ducks the clothesline attempt and comes back with a flying clothesline of his own.
Bryan kicks Cody and whips him into the ropes. He goes for a back body drop, but Cody counters by dropping down and punching Bryan in the face. Cody tries to toss Bryan out of the ring, but Bryan reverses and tosses Cody out. He then gets on the apron, runs across it and hits Cody with a running knee to the face. He lifts up Cody and tosses him back in the ring. Bryan climbs to the top of the turnbuckle and goes for a top rope attack, but Cody moves in time. Bryan charges, but Cody leapfrogs Bryan over his head and drops him face first into the turnbuckle pad. Cody springboards off the ropes and hits Beautiful Disaster for a two count. Cody grabs Bryan and hits a front suplex. He goes for a second one, but Bryan counters it into a small package and gets the three count.
Winner by Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Bryan celebrates by getting on top of the commentary table and hopping on the barricade before heading up the ramp.
A recap is shown of last week when Miz was attacked by the returning R-Turth.
The camera cuts backstage. John Laurinaitis is in his office using his phone. Miz knocks on the door and John tells him to come in. He says he was expecting him.
Miz asked what John has to say about what R-Truth did to him last week.
John says what R-Truth did was unprofessional and he doesn’t agree with him.
The Miz: “That’s it? That’s it?”
He’s not going to take any action? He might as well go home cause he’ll be a sitting duck out there.
John understands that he’s upset, but obvious he forgot why R-Truth is attacking him in the first place. John tells him to watch something.
A video plays of two months ago when Miz attacked R-Truth from behind and kept him out of action.
John asks if that rings a bell about why R-Truth attacked.
Miz says no.
John says that means he’s scared. He’ll have some people keep an eye out for R-Truth to make sure he doesn’t attack him, especially during his match.
Miz asks what match.
John says tonight he’s facing Sheamus one on one.
Miz says he’ll be a sitting duck.
John Laurinaitis: “It’s better than being a lame duck.”
Miz leaves the office and storms down the hallway infuriated. After a few second R-Truth appears on camera and quacks like a duck.
R-Truth: “QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!”
A promotional package plays for the 2012 Royal Rumble. They show footage of the very first Royal Rumble where “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan came out the winner.
Another Punk/Ziggler advertisement is shown.
Back to ringside, Wade Barrett comes down to the ring for a match.
A replay is show of last week on Smackdown when Barrett tossed Orton down a flight of stairs. They mention that Orton will have time off due to a herniated disc.
Wade smiles as he watches the footage. He now has a microphone in his hands. He’s going to speak before his match.
He didn’t want to come out and wish anybody a happy New Year because he doesn’t care about their New Year just like he doesn’t care about their old year. 2012, however, is off to a fantastic start for Wade because it’s a 2012 completely devoid of Randy Orton. He didn’t plan on throwing Orton down a set of stairs, but it was either him or Orton. Now Orton is just another victim of the “Barrett Barrage”. Orton is now in his past and he’s looking to the future. He’s looking forward to winning the Royal Rumble and being in the main event of WrestleMania. After what he did to Orton, there’s not a person on the planet who can deny that-
Santino’s music plays and he comes down to the ring as Barrett’s opponent. Santino has a microphone with him as well.
Santino Marella: “Pop quiz, hot shot!”
In last year’s Royal Rumble, who lasted long? Was it Wade Barrett or Santino Marella? BZT! Time’s up. It was Santino. Just like in this year’s Royal Rumble, the “Barrett Barrage” is going to get run over by the Santino Marella “Choo Choo Trains!”
Santino Marella: “ALL ABOARD!”
Santino makes chugging noises before taking his shirt off and getting ready to fight.
Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella
The bell sounds. Barrett lands a few punches to Santino, but Santino is able to land a punch to the gut. Barrett swings and Santino drops down into a split. Barrett simply kicks him in the head. Santino gets up and Barrett knocks him down with another punch. He lifts Santino up by the neck and tosses him into the turnbuckle. He punches and kicks him in the corner and goes for a clothesline, but Santino ducks out of the way and Barrett hits the turnbuckle. Santino sets up for The Cobra and goes to hit it, but Barrett it able to land a back kick to the chin that knocks him down. Barrett grabs Santino and tosses him shoulder first into the turnbuckle. He pulls him off the turnbuckle and drops him with a spinning side slam he calls The Winds of Change for the three count.
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett
The camera cuts backstage where Miz is seen standing between the Bella Twins. The Bellas are arguing over whether or not it was Miz’s fault that Truth is attacking him. Miz interrupts them and asks if they’ve seen R-Truth.
They haven’t, but they saw “Little Jimmy”. They laugh.
Miz says he’s glad Alberto got hurt and steps through them before leaving down the hallway again. Miz pauses briefly after hearing a noise, but continues on his way. Seconds later R-Truth appears once more. He shushes the camera before walking away.
Back from break and Sheamus comes down to the ring ready for his match with Miz.
Miz comes out and heads down to the ring occasionally looking over his shoulder.
Sheamus vs. The Miz
The bell doesn’t even sound before Miz attacks Sheamus and drops him with a snap DDT. Miz starts pummeling Sheamus with punches and then ties his arm into the ropes before landing more punches. The referee tries to pull him apart, Miz keeps going. He tries tying up the other arm, but Sheamus fights back and breaks out in time. He kicks Miz away. Miz gets on the apron and Sheamus grabs him. He hits Irish Riestra on Miz and manages to get in eighteen forearm clubs to the chest before Miz drops to the floor. Miz gets back up and heads into the audience in order to get away from Sheamus.
Winner: N/A, match never started.
R-Truth can be heard calling out Miz. R-Truth: “Surprise surprise surprise!”
Truth is a few feet up in the crowd. He asks Miz to guess who he ran into. Little Jimmy! Truth looks down and talks to an imaginary person by his side. He tells Miz that Little Jimmy says he doesn’t like him. He also says that he needs to get got!
Truth goes after Miz. Miz tries to get back into the ring, but receives a Brogue Kick from Sheamus instead. Sheamus leaves and Truth stands over Miz. Truth walks over to the commentary table and grabs a water bottle. He walks back over to Miz, picks him up and knocks him upside the head with the bottle. Truth heads back into the crowd.
He says this week’s beat down was brought to you by Little Jimmy where you will get got. He asks a kid in the audience what he says about that.
Kid: “Happy New Year, Miz!”
Truth says Happy New Year as well.
Back from break, and in a matter of minutes the WWE Championship match will take place.
They replay last week on Raw when Dolph beat Punk to win the title match due to interference from John Laurinaitis.
The camera cuts backstage. Josh Matthews is interviewing Dolph Ziggler who is currently doing a headstand. Vickie Guerrero is standing close by. When he gets up Josh asks Dolph if he’ll be able to beat Punk tonight to become the new WWE Champion.
Dolph Ziggler: “Josh, last week I pinned the WWE Champion as simple as I just did that headstand right there.”
He believes that if you got it, flaunt it, and nobody flaunts it better than he does every single night. We live in a debt based society. Our country is in debt, our kids are out of shape, they can’t read, they’re lagging behind Japan in test scores, and are brought down almost exclusively by states just like Tennessee. He’s a walking surplus. A surplus of talent, athleticism, charisma, you name it he’s got it, everything he’s ever wanted he has…except for one thing; the WWE Championship. So make sure you all hang onto you ticket stubs because after tonight you’ll want to know the time and place when Dolph Ziggler became WWE Champion. He leaves for his match.
We cut to another backstage segment with Zack Ryder and Eve. Ryder invites her to watch their match last week with him when Jack Swagger suddenly walks up to them.
Zack asks him how it’s going.
Swagger says not good. There’s an imposter walking around with the U.S. Championship.
Zack Ryder: “Wait, someone swiped my U.S. Title?!”
He’s talking about him.
Zack says just because both their last names end in ER doesn’t mean he won’t send him TO the ER!
Swagger says he’s the “All American American” he was born to wear that Championship. He’ll take his girlfriend and his title in one match.
Zack says let’s do it right now, he’s not scared of him.
John Laurinaitis appears and interrupts them. He tells Jack that he’s not going to reward Jack for interfering in CM Punk’s match last week. But he’ll tell them both what he’s going to do. They’re both going to compete in a six man elimination tag match. Swagger will team with Mark Henry and Tag while Ryder teams with Big Show and John Cena.
Cut to CM Punk in the hallway making his way down to the ring for his match.
The WWE Championship match is about to start.
CM Punk comes out with the title and heads down to the ring.
Dolph Ziggler comes out along with Vickie and heads down to the ring.
CM Punk(c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship Match
Both men are introduced in the ring before the bell sounds. Once started, the two grapple up, and we get some chain wrestling. Punk rolls Ziggler up for a quick one count. He grabs Ziggler by the neck and snap mares him into a pin for another one count. Punk keeps hold of the neck and spins behind Ziggler. Ziggler gets up, grabs Punk’s leg and takes him down. He grabs the neck and rolls Punk into a bridging pin for a one count. Both men get up and circle each other. Punk and Ziggler back into a grapple, and this time Punk attacks with three right hands before hitting a backbreaker for a two count. He holds Ziggler up by his head and lifts him up, but Ziggler drives Punk into a turnbuckle and lands a shoulder thrusts followed by a few punches that send Punk down.
Ziggler grabs Punk and punches him back down again for a two count. Ziggler goes for a jumping elbow drop, but Punk moves out of the way and scoop slams him. Punk with five running leg drops in a row for a two count. Punk apples a headlock submission. Ziggler fights out of it and pushes Punk into the ropes, but Punk knocks down Ziggler with a shoulder tackle. Ziggler drops on his stomach while Punk leaps over him. On the rebound Ziggler manages to lift Punk up and drop him face first on the middle rope. Ziggler kicks Punk down before lifting him up and dropping a neckbreaker for a two count. Ziggler stands over Punk and finally lands the jumping elbow drop he was looking for earlier for a two count. Ziggler applies a headlock of his own. Punk fights out of it and strikes Ziggler with a knee that knocks Dolph out of the ring. Punk runs the ropes and goes for a suicide dive, but Ziggler hits Punk with a right hand before dropping Punk with a neckbreaker on the apron. He tosses Punk back into the ring and covers him for a two count.
Back from break, and Punk and Ziggler are trading punches. Punk goes for a clothesline, but Ziggler counters into a sleeper hold. Punk fights back by hitting a back suplex for a two count. Punk lifts Ziggler up and whips him into the ropes. He drops him with a high kick to the neck. Punk waits for Ziggler to get back up against the turnbuckle and charges at him, but Ziggler staggers him with an elbow. Dolph runs at him and Punk hits a powerslam for a two count. Punk lifts Ziggler up for a suplex, but slips behind and rolls Punk up for a two count. Punk changes momentum and rolls up Ziggler for a two count. Ziggler gets up first and hits a leg drop bulldog for a two count. Both men get back up. Ziggler hits Punk with a body splash against the turnbuckle and follows it up with an inverted powerslam for another two count. Ziggler and Punk gets up again. Ziggler goes for Zig-Zig, but Punk pushes him off and accidentally knocks off a turnbuckle pad. Punk charges towards Ziggler and hits a running high knee followed by a bulldog for a two count.
Punk signals for GTS and John Laurinaitis comes down to the ring. He yells at the referee about the fallen turnbuckle pad not being set up properly. Meanwhile, Punk goes for GTS, but Ziggler counters. He tries to whip Punk, but Punk twists Ziggler’s arm and arm drags him down on the mat. He quickly applies the Anaconda Vice submission and Ziggler is tapping, but Laurinaitis has the referee distracted. Punk thinks he won, but sees Laurinaitis and gets angry. He yells at John while Ziggler goes to attack from behind for a Zig-Zag. Punk moves out of the way and Ziggler accidentally hits Laurinaitis knocking him against the apron. Punk goes for GTS again, but Ziggler lands a few elbows to the face and pushes punk towards Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis has the top rope lowered causing Punk to fall out of the ring. Laurinaitis gets down and walks away. Punk tries to get into the ring, but gets counted out before he can make it.
Winner by Countout: Dolph Ziggler.
Afterwards, Ziggler takes Punk’s title and celebrates with it as if he won it. He heads into the crowd and holds it up for the fans. Punk exits the ring and tries to go after him, but Ziggler is too far back. Punk leaves looking frustrated.
An advertisement is shown for the six man elimination match later tonight. Big Show, Zack Ryder, and John Cena take on Kane, Mark Henry, and Jack Swagger. It gets interrupted by another “January 2nd” promo.
“He is here”.
We get another Royal Rumble moment. It’s the 1995 Royal Rumble when Shawn Michaels won for the first time.
Back at ringside and we get a Divas Tag Match.
The Bella Twins, Brie and Brie, head down to the ring.
Their opponents, Kelly Kelly and Eve, come down next.
Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres vs. The Bellas
Bell sounds. Kelly and Brie start off. Brie gets behind Kelly and spanks her. Kelly slaps Brie and spanks her before ramming her head into the turnbuckle pad. She then hits Brie with stink face. Kelly grabs Brie and goes to whip her, but Brie slips behind and slams her down by her hair. Brie picks up Kelly and tags in Nikki. Kelly enters the ring and the two twist Kelly’s arms and slam her down together. Nikki with a two count. She picks up Kelly and Kelly counters with a jawbreaker. Nikki goes for a clothesline, but Kelly ducks and tags in Eve. Even enters the ring and clotheslines Nikki. She then dropkicks her. He lands a knee to the chin and follows it with another clothesline. Eve goes for a standing moonsault, but Brie talks trash and Even shuts her up by baseball sliding her off the apron. Even turns around and gets kicked by Nikki. Nikki whips her into the turnbuckle. She charges and Eve lands an elbow to the face. Eve hops off the bottom turnbuckle and kicks Nikki in the side of the head. With Nikki down, Eve climbs to the top and hits a moonsault. She goes for the pin, but Brie comes in and breaks the count. Kelly tries to get involved, but the referee holds her back. Meanwhile, Brie shoves Nikki out of the ring and takes her place while the referee’s not looking. (“Twin Magic”). Eve goes to grab her, and Brie rolls her up into a small package for a three count.
Winners by Pinfall: The Bella Twins
Cut to backstage with David Otunga and John Laurinaitis in their office. CM Punk storms in.
Otunga asks what’s the meaning of this.
Punk tells him to shut him mouth. He looks to John and says for two weeks he’s screwed him. He could almost let last week slide, but this week he almost cost him the WWE Title. He knows he likes to hide behind a suit, and far be it from him to be disrespectful, but he’s a real piece of sh-
Laurinaitis tells him to watch his mouth. He says Punk’s problem isn’t with him, but with Ziggler.
John Laurinaitis: “Right or wrong, true or false, yes or no.”
Dolph has defeated him twice and deserves another match which will take place at the Royal Rumble. He’s also going to assign a special guest referee. A man of integrity, someone with honor, who’s respected by all, who happens to be the executive vice preside-
CM Punk: “You know what, you shut your mouth. I’m going to explain something to you. [Otunga] right here is going to come in real handy because if you screw me out of the title at the Royal Rumble, you’re going to want to sue me because i’m going to be in jail. You wanna guess what i’m going to be in jail for? Animal cruelty. Because i’m going to beat you like a bitch!”
Punk leaves while Laurinaitis and Otunga talk amongst themselves.
Back from break, the “Did You Know” gets interrupted by the third and final “January 2nd” video. It wraps up what’s been said over the past few weeks, and now the end of the world as they know it is here. The camera even shakes to give the appearance of an earthquake. The lights suddenly go out. After a long period of time flashing blue light appears on top of the ramp. It’s in the shape of a jacket with its arms stretched out on both sides. Pyro shoots out. The lights come back on and none other than Chris Jericho appears.
Jericho heads down to the ring with the fans cheering him on. Jericho enters the ring and gets the fans to keep cheering for him. He milks it up for awhile by exiting the ring and giving the fans at ringside high fives. He steps back in the ring and grabs a microphone. The fans chant for him. Jericho has a big smile on his face as he scans the audience. It looks like he’s about to speak, but he just keeps trying to get a reaction from the audience. Now there’s a “Welcome Back” chant. Jericho continues to not speak on the mic, but just gets the fans to cheer for him. He then exits the ring and keeps milking the fans some more. He heads back into the ring and is about to speak, but then goes right back to getting fan reactions. He goes to speak again, but suddenly drops his microphone. Ignoring it, he keeps on rooting for the fans. He exits the ring, high fives some more fans, and runs around the ring before heading back up the ramp. He grabs a cameraman’s camera and holds it up to the fans. Once at the top of the ramp he gets a few more reactions before heading backstage.
He didn’t speak once.
An advertisement is shown of the upcoming six man elimination tag team match up next.
Back from break and Big Show comes out first.
United States Champion Zack Ryder comes out next.
John Cena comes out last for the team.
Mark Henry comes out first for the opposing team.
Jack Swagger is out next.
Five of the six men are now in the ring. King’s theme music plays, but he doesn’t come out. After the music ends David Otunga comes out and heads into the ring. He says something to the referee before leaving. The ref then says something to Justin Roberts. Roberts announces that Kane will not be participating in the match, and they will proceed with a handicap match instead.
Big Show, Zack Ryder, and John Cena vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger
Bell sounds. Cena and Swagger start off. They tie up and Swagger gets in a side headlock. Center pushes him into the ropes and Swagger shoulder tackles him. Swagger runs the ropes and Cena leaps over him and hits an arm drag followed by a scoop slam and an elbow drop for a two count. Swagger rolls away, but Cena grabs and whips him into the turnbuckle. Swagger bounces off and Cena hits a dropkick for a two count. Cena applies a guillotine choke, but Swagger lifts himself up. Cena whips Swagger who on the rebound kicks Cena in the face knocking him down in his corner.
Back from the last commercial break of the show and Swagger whips Cena hard into a turnbuckle and drops down with a corner slingshot splash for a two count. Swagger picks up Cena by the head and applies a headlock. Cena fights it by hitting a back body drop and tagging in Big Show. Show enters and clotheslines Swagger down twice. He whips him in the corner, drives a shoulder into him, then runs the ropes and hits him with another shoulder tackle. Show goes for the WMD, but Swagger tags in Henry before he can be hit. Henry enters the ring. The two stare each other down before they start exchanging punches. Show staggers Henry with a couple headbutts and then knocks him down with a flying shoulder tackle. Henry rolls out of the and Show follows after him. Mark grabs a chair, but Show punches it out of his hand. Show grabs the chair and smacks Henry in the back with it. The referee says that both Henry and Big Show are eliminated. (Cole says it was by count out, but it seemed more like a disqualification).
It’s now a two on one match with Cena and Ryder against Swagger. Ryder enters the ring. Swagger goes for a clothesline and misses. He goes for another clothesline and misses again. Ryder hits a flying forearm followed by a clothesline of his own. He whips Swagger, but Swagger counters and sends Ryder into the turnbuckle. Swagger charges and Ryder raises his knee hitting Swagger in the face. Swagger falls against the bottom of the turnbuckle and Ryder hits him with the Broski Boot. Ryder sets him up for Rough Ryder, but Swagger counters it into an anklelock. Ryder fights the urge to tap, and manages to tag in Cena. Cena enters the ring, ducks a clothesline, and hits Swagger with two shoulder tackles followed by a spin-out powerbomb. Cena goes for Five Knuckle Shuffle and connects. He lifts Swagger up and hits Attitude Adjustment for the three count.
Winners via Pinfall: Big Show, Zack Ryder, and John Cena
Cena celebrates with Ryder in the ring when Kane’s pyro and music shoots up again. Cena heads out of the ring to go after Kane, but Kane suddenly pops out from under the ring and attacks Ryder. Cena heads back to the ring, but Kane beats him to the punch and knocks him outside. Kane heads outside, grabs Cena and covers his face to suffocate him like he did a couple weeks back. Once down, Kane grabs Cena’s leg but puts him down when he sees Ryder still in the ring. Kane heads back in the ring and Ryder tries to get away, but Kane grabs his leg and starts pulling his towards the hole in the ring. Kane enters the hole and drags Ryder down with him.
Michael Cole: “My God he’s getting sucked down into the abyss here!”
Before Ryder falls in completely Cena slides back in the ring and pulls him out in time. Cena asks Ryder if he’s okay, and suddenly a large amount of fire shoots out of the hole as Kane’s music plays once more. Cena and Ryder are left watching in shock as smoke rising out of the hole and the show comes to an end.