Raw: Kane keeps the heat on Cena and Ryder
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Raw is silence? Chris Jericho reappeared on WWE programming last week without saying a word. He’s supposed to be in the house tonight, so perhaps we’ll get some insight into what’s going on with him. We’re even more certain to get the next chapter in the ongoing drama between Kane and broskis John Cena and Zack Ryder. Let’s get into Raw, live in HD from Corpus Christi, Texas.
We start things off with a look back at Kane's attack on Cena at the end of last week's show, one that featured two awesomely cheesy pro wrestling elements in one segment: A guy ripping his way up through the ring from below, and a mysterious burst of fire. Kane is the first person in the ring tonight too, and he has something to say. The Big Red Machine says the people who question why he is fueled by hate are only in denial about the things they despise about their own lives. He goes on to suggest that the fans who chant “Cena sucks” are really saying that they suck, and that cheering for an underdog like Ryder means nothing. Kane wants consequences for people refusing to embrace hate. That's about enough for an angry John Cena, who hits the ring running and dumps Kane out to the floor. Shades of the Attitude Era as they battle through the backstage area and outside near the production trucks. Just as Cena appears to have the upper hand thanks to a crowbar, Kane pulls a disappearing act.
Match 1 – Sheamus and Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett and Jinder Mahal
This is a tough one for Mahal. He works against both of the faces until he's ultimately dropped by a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. The Great White decides to play to the fans by tagging Santino back in so he can finish Jinder off with the Cobra.
The Miz is still whining about how unfair it is that he is being attacked by R-Truth. John Laurinaitis isn't too sympathetic, as he has a lot on his plate. The interim GM tells Miz he isn't Little Jimmy, he's Big Johnny. Um, okay.
The first 2012 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame is... Edge! It's a well deserved honor for a guy who accomplished so much and yet still could have done more had injury not cut his career short.
Miz is talking to Mason Ryan, probably trying to arrange for some protection. Meanwhile, Ryder gets Eve to agree to go out with him, but only after her match tonight. Unfortunately, Kane is lurking behind the door, and he heard the whole conversation. Duh-duh-duh! Oh, and to the person with the "Paper With Words on It" sign, we see you! #thatsmeta
Match 2 – Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan
Kofi flies around early but misses a move coming out of the corner and ends up in the LeBell Lock in the center of the ring. He fights it for a few seconds but is forced to tap out. Bryan celebrates as Michael Cole fumes, but the Big Show comes out to put a bit of a damper on things. Bryan quickly cuts off Show to tell him he's not happy about the way things ended last week, and since he's a fighting champion, he'll give the big man a rematch whenever he wants. Show says that's good, because Teddy Long has booked one for this week's SmackDown – and this time it's no DQ, no count out.
It's time for the oft-delayed reintroduction of Brodus Clay, and it's... well, it's not what we expected. We're talking about two dancing girls accompanying him to the ring, an entrance theme that sounds like an ode to P-Funk and a whole lot of grooving.
Match 3 – Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins
All that dancing lasted longer than this squash. Clay is now being billed as “The Funkasaurus,” for what it's worth.
Ryder is on the verge of losing it. He brushes his teeth to prepare for his date with Eve, but he's busy looking over his shoulder at the same time. Remember Zack, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you!
Match 4 – Jack Swagger vs. CM Punk
Before this one can get rolling, Laurinaitis comes down the ramp. To prove he can give the champ a fair shake, the interim GM says that if Punk wins this match, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero will be banned from ringside for the Punk-Ziggler match at the Royal Rumble. Johnny Ace also books Ziggler to face Cena later tonight. Good two-way action in this one until Punk is thrown out to the floor. Ziggler wants to put the boots to him, but Laurinaitis puts a hand up to stop him. Punk flies out with a suicide dive, and we have to step out for some ads. Punk rallies back in the ring with a series of strikes, a neckbreaker and a high knee, but Swagger earns a near fall after countering the bulldog. The fans try to get the champ back into it, but he's caught and planted for another two coming out of the corner. Swagger hits a belly-to-belly suplex for yet another two count. Punk finally digs in and drops the elbow off the top. The ending is kind of funky as it appears Swagger kicks out just in time, but the ref says he counted to three. The champ wins and gets some (perhaps sarcastic) applause from Laurinaitis.
Ryder gets a pep talk from Cena backstage. He's still looking over his shoulder though. We also get another promo ad for the WWE Network. Looks cool, but the “It's provocative!” music is getting to me. #migraine
The Bella twins have a message for Ricardo Rodriguez to deliver to Alberto Del Rio. They don't get to it, because Miz threatens Rodriguez into calling out R-Truth for him. Before that, we're going to learn who the second WWE Hall of Fame inductee is for 2012. And the winner is... um, are... the Four Horsemen.
A reluctant Rodriguez is in the ring insulting R-Truth. Surprisingly, Truth isn't that upset about it, because Little Jimmy told him to let bygones be bygones. Uh-oh. Maybe not, because Little Jimmy apparently told Truth to turn Ricardo into a human piñata. As Truth tries to get Rodriguez to sing him a song, Miz finally appears and lays into his former friend. Truth recovers quickly and sends Miz scurrying off into the crowd.
Justin Roberts introduces the first ever undisputed WWE Champion, Chris Jericho. The lights go out, and Jericho has his light-up jacket on again as he comes down the ramp. He gets the fans going again and grabs a microphone again. But just before he attempts to speak, Jericho starts crying. Just like last week, he leaves without saying a word.
Match 5 – Eve vs. ?
Before we can get to any action, Kane's entrance music hits. Ryder runs down and ushers Eve to the back. They try to escape in what's presumably Ryder's car, but the right rear tire has been flattened. Even after a commercial break, he's still trying to change it.
Main Event – Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
Ziggler takes it to Cena right out of the gate. He does some sit-ups to show off after repeated elbow drops. That gives Cena a chance to work in his offense and soak in his mixed crowd reaction. But wait, up on the Titan Tron! Kane catches up to Ryder outside, beating him as Eve screams helplessly. Ryder gets a choke slam off a platform while Ziggler tries to take advantage with a sleeper hold. Cena slams Ziggler on the outside and hustles outside to try to help Ryder. But Kane is ready for him, ambushing him as soon as he steps through the door. Kane smothers Cena with his glove, standing menacingly over both him and Ryder as the show comes to a close. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk is wondering if now that we’ve seen a happy and a sad Jericho, we’ll have to go through a bunch of other emotions before he finally speaks. Send your best guess for next week to Nick through his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.