This post Christmas RAW starts with CM Punk's music in his own hometown, and out comes Laurinaitis in a Punk shirt, down on one knee, doing Punk's pose, then up and heads to the ring talking up how great he is and how exciting he is. Things are going to change. He's been told he's the future and brought in the golden era. They're in Chicago, Punk's hometown. He's a Punk believer so much. So much heat for Laurinaitis.
Punk's music and out comes the real Punk! The fans go WILD! Punk to the ring and poses and the roof about pops off for the noise. Punk runs around Laurinaitis, taunting him. Punk's music and the fans are chanting for Punk in a huge way. He says if he didn't know any better he'd think Laurinaitis was trying antagonize him. Is he trying to poke Punk with a stick. This doesn't feel like an homage! The big question is, why isn't he kicking Laurinaitis's ass? Laurinaitis threatens to fire him. Laurinaitis goes on to say he's taken a couple of management classes and likes to empower his talent. Since it's the holidays, he wants to give Punk a gift he'd never expect. Tonight Punk has the night off. Heat from the fans. He then laughs and says he's joking.
"Who says I can't be unpredictable?" asks Laurinaitis.
"Just about everybody," responds Punk.
He knows Laurinaitis can't be unpredictable. He asks the fans if they think Laurinaitis can't be unpredictable. They agree with Punk. Punk asks Laurinaitis if he believes in aliens. If he does, then they're out on their ship watching the show, saying that Laurinaitis can't be unpredictable.
Laurinaitis says they're all wrong. He listens to the WWE 'Universe' and listens to them. He knows they want to see Punk tonight. He'll be in a Match, then a second Match, then maybe a third Match. Punk's in a Gauntlet Match. Laurinaitis will pick the opponents. If someone beats Punk, they will have a Title shot on next week's RAW.
Punk says it's good that he's working the show, which is good. He's up for a challenge. But what happens when he beats Laurinaitis' three guys? Laurinaitis hasn't given it much thought. Punk says that's Laurinaitis' problem, he's not a forward thinker. Luckily for Laurinaitis, Punk's head's full of great ideas. As a present to Chicago. When Punk beats Laurinaitis' four guys, how about one more Match? Would Chicago like to see Punk wrestle four guys? YES! The fourth Match would be with Laurinaitis. The fans love this.
Laurinaitis says Punk doesn't want any of him! And Punk would have wrestled three other times THAT NIGHT! (Yes, Laurinaitis screwed that one up!) "You can't wrestle!" chants for Laurinaitis. Punk says he guesses they've been watching old Japan tapes. Laurinaitis doesn't look impressed. Laurinaitis ignores that and that it's not good business for Laurinaitis to beat the Champ. Punk says Laurinaitis gave a compelling reason why – Punk laughs here – Laurinaitis shouldn't lace up his boots, but Laurinaitis said he listens to the WWE 'Universe'. So Punk's asking the 'Universe' if we want to see Laurinaitis face Punk? The fans love this idea.
"I can't hear you!" yells Punk.
The fans get louder and louder, then chant for Punk.
"Punk, you've left me no choice. You're on." (I'm guessing we'll see Brodus Clay tonight.)
Punk hangs out in the ring posing for his hometown fans, but then he's cut off by one of those cryptic videos.
Split screen backstage shows Cody and Booker heading for the ring.
Booker T vs Cody Rhodes
Booker out to the ring in red and black trunks. Stills of Cody attacking Booker backstage before their TLC Match began. Cody comes out in white with black trim. Video of Booker singing on SD and causing Cody to lose against Ryder. Cole makes a Burl Ives comment. King corrects him that it was Gene Autry.
Booker taunts Cody, then finally gets a hammerlock on Cody. Side headlock on Booker, then into a shoulder block on Booker. Hip toss on Cody, then knees to Cody's face. Slam on Cody for two. Blows to Booker, then Cody slams Booker's head on a corner. Booker then sends Cody into the ropes and a back elbow. Snap suplex on Cody for two. Cody ducks Booker's scissors kick then hits a swinging neck breaker. Cody then stomps Booker in a corner. Cody gets heat from the fans. Cody sends Booker out through the ropes.
Arm hold on Booker on the mat. Booker up, then on Cody with forearms to the face. Knee to Cody in a corner. Cody whipped but back out with an elbow to Booker. King and Cole get arguing about when it's time to hang up the boots, which is funny with King who still works the ring so well at his age.
Knee to Booker's skull for two. Booker flipped and slammed to the mat. Cody then locks an arm and chin hold on Booker on the mat. Booker works his way up and punches free. Booker telegraphs and it punched for it. Clothesline to Booker for two. Both take a moment to regroup, then Cody stomps Booker. "Booker T" chants, but Cody holds a fist high. Blows to Booker in a corner. Booker comes out with blows. They exchange, but then Booker eats a drop kick for two.
Cody locks Booker's arm back with his knees, then puts Booker in a head vice. Booker's hand gets free and he muscles free. Knee to Booker's kidney, then Cody on Booker in a corner. Booker whipped and gets an elbow up. Cody rushes Booker again and gets feet. Clotheslines to Cody, then a side slam for two. Booker is pumped up, but Cody comes back with blows. Booker reverses in a corner and rolls Cody up for two. Cody reverses and hangs Booker for two. Scissor kicked ducked again and Cody gets two. Beautiful disaster kick to Booker for a long two.
Kick to the back of Booker's knee. Cody sets up, but can't hit his finisher. High kick to Cody's face. Booker misses, but comes back with a knee, then the scissors kick! Booker pins Cody for three!
Winner – Booker T
Cole says pigs are flying in Chicago. Booker poses, then hits a spin-a-roonie.
Ryder thanks someone backstage. Turns out to be Cena. Cena says it's all Ryder. It's all him. He'd been waiting for that moment at TLC for 44 weeks. No one gave him a chance, but didn't listen. He's US Champ because he earned it. Ryder says everything's happening for him right now, but what's going on with Kane? Cena says he's looking for Kane and if he finds Kane, then RAW will go out of 2011 with a bang. Ryder wishes Cena good luck, Cena turns back and thanks Ryder for that.
King announces the three opponents for Punk. The first will be Swagger. If he beats Swagger, then he'll face Dolph. If Punk can defeat them, then he'll face Henry. If Punk defeats them all, then he faces Laurinaitis.
Kelly talks to Big Show about something on her tablet. Big Show is told to go see Laurinaitis by a ref. Big Show blows him off. The ref tells him he has to go now. Big Show thanks Kelly for the beauty tips and heads off.
Laurinaitis on his cell telling Clay that he'll be on the first RAW of the new year. Laurinaitis tells Otunga that Clay is pissed and doesn't want to be Clay's first opponent. Big Show comes in. Laurinaitis wants to address this – shows Big Show his attack on Otunga last week on SD on a monitor. Shows it from many angles. Big Show is laughing. Laurinaitis says he attacked Otunga. Otunga says Big Show sucker punched him and that's a lawsuit. Otunga goes on and on about beating up Big Show. Big Show says he can beat Otunga with one arm tied behind his back. Laurinaitis says Otunga will drop his suit if Big Show faces Otunga with one arm tied behind his back. Big Show laughs in a pissed way and says, "A giant with one arm is still better than a smug than a lawyer with no testicles." Big Show pulls a fist quickly and Otunga tries to hide behind Laurinaitis. Big Show laughs about Otunga being jumpy.
Swagger tells Dolph shouldn't even be in ring gear as Swagger will take Punk out. Dolph won't have a chance. Dolph tells Swagger to find a time machine and go back to 2009 when he was still relevant. When Swagger won the Title? How did that work out for Swagger? Swagger says big talk from a guy who doesn't win 220lbs who just lost his Title Ryder! Dolph says Swagger looks better now than he did in the Planet of The Apes movie. Vickie comes in and breaks them up with an EXCUSE ME!! She says it doesn't matter who wins as one will win and bring the strap to her stable. Henry steps by saying, excuse me. They all get quiet.
Eve out in gold and pink. Ryder out to solid pop. This is the granting of his Christmas wish. Cole doesn't see why Eve would want to get with Ryder.
Mixed Tag Match – Eve & Ryder vs Tyson Kidd & Natalya
The guys lock up. Ryder backed into a corner and beaten down hard by Kidd. Ryder into a back elbow, then a kick to Ryder's upper back for two. Ryder whipped but gets his knees up. Flying drop kick to Ryder for two. Natalya tags in and demands Ryder leave NOW! Eve backed into a corner and held tight. Eve comes back with a snap mare, then a kick to the chest. Standing moonsault on Natalya for two. Eve hung up on the second rope, then her face slammed to the mat. Kicks to Eve, then Natalya sets up but is kicked off her sharpshooter, but is kicked off. The guys come back in.
Clotheslines to Kidd, then he's slammed face first to the mat. A back kick to Ryder, but then Ryder slams Kidd to the mat. Natalya breaks up the pin, but Eve rushes in to kick her. They both fist pump and Ryder kicks Kidd in the corner while Eve kicks Natalya through the ropes and out. Rough Ryder and Ryder gets the three.
Winners – Ryder & Eve
They celebrate and fist pump together. Ryder hands her his belt to look at. He looks so smitten.
In Ring Segment
Cena's music. He comes out and says to the cameraman, "They're everywhere Stu, they're everywhere!" Cena then to the ring. Video of Cena and Kane going at it last week on RAW. Ends with Kane's hands on Cena's face, then ripping Cena's pre-ripped shirt off him and leaving with it. This week Cena's shirt isn't prepped for ripping. Much heat for Cena. Some pop, but mostly covered by the overtly male heat.
Cena says he can't say he's Chicago's favorite son. His first Match was in this arena. Many since and the locals are somewhat salty to him. Serious heat. Sometimes more than salty he says. Cena stands and listens to the reaction of the fans. He wants them to take a look around, there's magic in this building. He's seen it, they've all felt it. Chicago has hosted three WM's. Huge cheer. Chicago inducted Eddie into the HOF. The fans cheer and start chanting for Eddie. Cena removes his hat and holds the mic out for the fans with a very solemn expression on his face. One of the latest moments in Chicago history, Punk beat Cena here and walked out with the Title. It's often said New York City is the home of the WWE. But he looks around at another sold out crowd and sees the WWE 'Universe' on their feet. Loud, proud and not afraid to tell you how they feel! Huge pop. This is the last RAW of 2011, so he says let the world remember this night, let the world remember Chicago. He's probably signing his own death warrant because right now Chicago will see hellfire and brimstone! Chicago will see Cena versus Kane!
The fans go wild!
Out comes Miz. Less heat for Miz. Miz wants to see Miz versus Cena. As the year comes to and end they have some ends to tie up. Everybody knows that 2011 was the year of the Miz. He beat Cena in the main event of WM. Let's be honest, the win was a little tainted, wasn't it? Everybody says Miz beat Cena because of the Rock. "Rocky!" chants. Miz tell them to not start his stupid chants. Rock stole his moment and he's not going to let this year end without proving to everybody that he doesn't need the Rock to beat Cena. He wants everyone's lasting image of Miz from 2011 is Miz standing tall over a beaten Cena. Miz wants...
Cena cuts him off and says he wants Miz to shut up and wash that god awful tan off his body! The fans like this. Miz wants to fight him? All they need is a ref for Cena to beat him down. Get a ref out here. Cole says he knows Miz spent his holiday in Hawaii and it's a real tan!
Cena vs Miz
They lock up and Cena rolls back sending Miz flying. On their feet and Cena wants more. Miz takes a moment. They're trending on Twitter right now. They circle, then Cena behind and takes Miz down. Miz is pissed, seething. They lock up and a side headlock take down on Miz. Cena keeps hold of him. Dueling chant for Cena. Miz up and muscles out, but then ducks from the ring. Miz says they're chanting the wrong Superstars name! Forget this Match and all of them. They need to understand that he's the most must see WWE Champ of all time! He beat Cena at WM, doesn't matter how he did it, he beat Cena. This crappy city, he did it in the grandest stage of them all. The ref counts Miz out.
Winner – Cena vs count out
Miz is what's called a winner. Like the Packers beating the Bears, he's a winner! They don't get it. He's walking out of the crappy city with his head held high because he's the Miz and...
R-Truth's music and he stomps out. R-Truth jumps on Miz. Blows to Miz, then into the barrier. Miz into the apron, then R-Truth rushes Miz and they go over the table badly. More blows on Miz on announce. Miz into the side of announce. R-Truth slams Miz to the floor. Miz then sent into the side of the stairs. R-Truth grabs a mic, then over to Miz. Miz reaches for R-Truth, but gets beat down more. R-Truth says he can finish it now, but what's the fun in that? The fans start what-ing, but he doesn't care. R-Truth says there aint no fun int that. More blows on Miz. That's the problem with Christmas, you open all your presents and it's over. More blows. He wants every RAW to be like Christmas, so he's going to take his time getting to Miz. Little Jimmy said it's okay! This new years, old acquaintance be forgot? No, they gonna get got, Jimmy! R-Truth stands, gets a water bottle and hits Miz with it before leaving while talking to himself and looking around in confusion. There's a tiny bit of blood above his top lip.
Recap of R-Truth's beat down on Miz.
Cole says Kane is there and will discuss the Cena situation later.
Big Show vs Otunga – Big Show w/ one arm tied behind his back
Big Show out in his semi-new ring gear, slapping hands and gave away his hat to a little boy sitting in that corner, that prime seat. Video of Otunga getting punched out last week by Big Show. Otunga out to the ring in ref trunks, black knee pads and white with red boots. Big Show's right hand is tied behind his back by the ref.
Otunga dances around Big Show and hides in the ropes. Otunga tries to kick back, but Big Show catches his foot between his legs and holds it. Head butt, then a huge hand to Otunga's chest. Forearm to Otunga's back. Trying to back Big Show into a corner and he gets a head butt. Big Show backed into a corner but gives a serious blow to Otunga's back. Otunga sent out flying by Big Show with one hand.
Henry's music and he comes out to the ring. The ref calls for the bell when Henry gets in.
Winner – No Clue!
Big Show struggles to get his arm free, but can't and gets a clothesline for it. Bryan's music and out he comes, taunting Henry from the apron and outside. Big Show free and grabs Henry for a chokeslam, but Otunga attacks Big Show from behind. Big Show grabs Otunga and gives him a chokeslam. Cole is blaming all this trouble on Bryan coming out, but sees no issue with Henry coming out to the ring.
Ricardo with a neck brace pushes ADR to the stage in a wheelchair that is painted gold and has leopard arm rests and trim! King makes jokes about the chair. ADR says this year has ended in tragedy. The man who won everything – the Royal Rumble Match, MITB, the WWE Title twice, who brought everything, class, honor, but especially cahones to the WWE has been injured. Last week in the main event he suffered the most horrible and painful injury a man can suffer, he completely tore his groin. He glares around at the cheering fans and asks what they're happy about and calls them peasants. How dare they? He sits and listens to it all. Don't worry, he'll be back... The Bellas come out in short sheer black dresses with trains and admonishes the fans, they should treat him with respect. The other Bella says when ADR recovers, she's personally going to throw a party in his honor. The other Bella says that was her plan. They argue about copying each other. ADR doesn't care and yells at them to get out of there. He promises us all one thing, it's his new year's resolution. He'll be back and more vicious than ever before. He doesn't care who he has to destroy, but he'll bee WWE Champion again. Vamanos!
They show clips of Henry beating Punk on WWE 12, but then Punk comes back and wins! The whole thing is narrated by Cole and King.
Punk is heading for the ring.
Gauntlet Match – CM Punk vs Jack Swagger w/ Vickie then Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie then Mark Henry – Anyone beats Punk, they get a Title Match on 1st RAW of 2012! - Punk wins and he gets to face Laurinaitis!
Swagger and Vickie to the ring. Punk out to huge pop to face Swagger. Punk poses and the fans get even louder!
They lock up. Swagger behind Punk, Punk free and an arm bar on Swagger. Double hand lock and Swagger bends Punk back. Punk's head to the mat, but muscles back up. Side headlock on Punk. Punk pushes out but eats a shoulder block. Swagger then eats a back kick for two. Punk on Swagger with kicks all over. Punk is caught and slammed chest first to Swagger's knee. Leg drop on Punk for two. Vickie screeching outside with Swagger's arms around Punk's gut. "CM Punk" chants. Punk whipped, but gets a foot up in Swagger's face. Punk up and flies, but Swagger catches Punk (BADLY) and slams Punk onto his knee for two. Punk backed into a corner, then knees to his gut. Swagger pulls Punk into a knee to the gut. Swagger runs and bounces in a corner to splash Punk, but Punk suddenly up and catches Swagger on his shoulders! Swagger holds the ropes tight, but Punk gets free. Swagger elbows free off Punk's shoulders. Punk ducks a clothesline and Swagger runs into the ropes right above Vickie who screams in fear. Round house kick to Swagger's temple for three.
Winner – Swagger
Dolph out to the ring as the ref checks on Punk. Dolph on the apron, then drops down. Chop block on Punk's knee. Swagger on Punk with blows. The ref finally gets Swagger out and the ref stops Dolph to check on Punk. Dolph wants in, but the ref checks with Punk. Punk nods and says he's ready.
Dolph on Punk's left leg, has it in a hold. Punk kicks out with his other leg. Punk picks up Dolph but falls back with Dolph on him for two. Video of Swagger's chop block on Punk. Dolph stomps Punk's knee as the fans chant for Punk. Swagger and Vickie are still ringside. Dolph sets Punk up for a suplex but Punk rolls Dolph up for two. Dolph takes Punk down for two. Dolph holds Punk's knee, then slams back to the mat. Drop kick to Punk for two. A knee in Punk's back, his head and ankle pulled back, Punk won't tap out. Punk fights back with head butts. Punk limps, then sends Dolph into the corner with snake eyes! Dolph reverses out of Punk's neck breaker and on that left leg and gets two. Dolph with a single leg Boston crab on Punk. Dolph really wrenches that leg back. Punk pulls, crawls and tries to get to the ropes. Punk won't tap out. The fans are chanting for Punk. Finally Punk gets to the ropes. Dolph holds the hold until the last moment.
Dolph runs into a big boot, blows from Punk, then a back kick. A kick to Dolph's head. Slam on Dolph, then Punk holds the top of Dolph's hair and kicks Dolph in the back over and over. Dolph flops to the mat. Punk then kicks a sitting Dolph in the head for a very long two. Vickie is screeching outside. Dolph sets up for his zig-zag, but Punk ducks out of the way. Both are down. Dolph whipped and gets Punk's running knee. Punk gets Dolph up , but Swagger distracts the ref on one side of the ring while Vickie holds Punk's leg from outside on the opposite side of the ring. Dolph free and takes Punk down hard, but Punk kicks out. Vickie screeches away.
Laurinaitis out to the ring. He grabs a Miz and says in the spirit of justice, there's been an injustice here tonight. Punk kicks Dolph in the head. Punk is going to cover. Laurinaitis says the ref can't see everything. Vickie got involved, so both Vickie and Swagger are thrown out. Punk's trying to finish off Dolph, but Laurinaitis keeps calling his name for his attention. Laurinaitis on the apron and says he's not getting in the ring, but... Zig/zag on Punk from behind. Dolph pins Punk for three.
Winner – Dolph
Dolph will face Punk for the Title next RAW. The little boy Big Show gave his hat to was bright red and screaming (possible obscenities) at Laurinaitis as he goes past. Dolph from the ring and grabs the WWE Title belt. He celebrates around the ring and up the ramp as if he won it! Up on the stage Dolph makes sure Punk is watching, then Dolph kisses the Title before laying it down on the top of the ramp carefully. Punk is bright red and not happy.
In Ring Segment
Kane to the ring in his over-mask. He calls fire from all four corners, then removes the over-mask. The red lights stay on as Kane starts talking. He says what we see before us is his true self. His essence. He may wear a mask, but it's all of us who spend every waking second living a lie! That's because we...
Cena's music and he comes out to the stage, stares wide eyed at Kane. The red light is now gone. Kane yells, "STOP!" and a huge amount of fire erupts from the top of the ramp stopping Cena from heading down to the ring. (In reality Kane missed his mark by at least a second as the fire erupted just before he yells stop. God check it out!) He didn't come out to pick a fight with Cena. Cena wants to know why Kane chose to make Cena his victim? It's simple Cena. Cena has led all these people astray. He asked them to rise above hate, but that's a fallacy. This world is a dark, dark place. It's okay to hate. Humans are hateful by nature. Deep down, everybody hates. Why rise above it when the natural impulse is to embrace it. To let it consume you. People hate. They hate their bosses. They hate their neighbors. They hate their spouses. They hate their miserable existences! Cena is looking at Kane as if Kane has totally lost his mind. Rise above? That's a fraudulent myth perpetuated by Cena. Hate is the seed from which we are all born. It drives us. It motivates us. It fuels our impulses. He knows Cena feels it. Feels it swimming under his skin like a thousand insects eating away at him.
Cena shakes his head a bit and says no off mic, but there's real tension in Cena's body. He looks mad, but there's something more. Kane says once Cena embraces the hate he becomes honest with himself. "Cena" chants, but almost exclusively women and children. Kane says Cena becomes free. Free. What Cena fails to realize is that with his denial he becomes weaker by the moment. Until he embraces that in which he denies, Cena can never be truly free. Dualing chants for Cena. The women and children chant, "Let's go Cena!" and the men chant, "Cena sucks!" Kane is quiet, lets the chants go. Cena looks very conflicted as he looks around at the fans as they chant. He almost looks sad too. Then glares at Kane.
Kane tells John that he's going to help him. All these people are going to help Cena on his path towards enlightenment. Right now the last image that Cena will see this year, the last thing Cena will hear is each and every one of these people chanting the words which tear his soul apart. Cena sucks. Cena sucks. Cena sucks! Cena sucks! The fans continue the chant. The chant then goes back to the regular dueling chant we're all used to. Cena stand on the stage, stares at Kane and clenches his jaw. The interesting thing is that while the camera pans through the fans, most of the fans on the floor of the arena are not chanting in either way. Actually it seems as though a lot less fans are chanting than I expected to see.
Cena looks around at the fans and looks like he has tears in his eyes. Cena hangs his head as the camera pulls in tight on him.
CM Punk – by far!
Rock – when mentioned
Sorry I was so behind tonight. I just got behind the 8 ball and couldn't catch up. Too much talking always does that to me. I'll try harder next week.