WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 7, 2013) from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, featuring a monster show to kick off the new year.
Finally, The Rock has come back to begin building towards his WWE championship match at Royal Rumble in just a few weeks. It's expected he'll be taking on current titleholder CM Punk but it's not for certain.
That's because Punk is set to defend his title on this show in a tables, ladders, and chairs match against Ryback to make up for the bout they weren't able to have back at TLC.
All that and more.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 7
Rex at the helm. The takeover starts tonight, see you soon!
And the Broadcast is live.
John Cena is kicking off the show tonight.
Quick recap of the terrible way the show ended last week and the crowd isCena for being excited about what he did last week. This crowd is on my good side already.
Cena is reminding us of his announcement about the Royal Rumble but Ziggler, AJ, and Big E Langston interrupt. Thank you Ziggler.
AJ is giving Cena an absolute tongue lashing and Cena responds by taking her small man comment and turning it into a phallic joke. At least he admitted he has juvenile humor.
Wow, now Cena is getting a wave going over the "wiener joke" and tries to get an Andrew Dice Clay joke out before Ziggler interrupts him to announce that he too is going to be in the Royal Rumble.
Cena makes a joke implying AJ "rubbing off on Ziggler and Big E". Stay classy my friend.
Cena challenges Ziggler to a fight but Big E gets a few words in. AJ, Ziggler, and Big E are arguing over the potential match. Ziggler doesn't seem to want it.
They march to the ring as we cut to commercial break.
Dolph Ziggler vs John Cena
Looks like we are going to get Ziggler vs Cena.
Ziggler with the headlock that Cena eventually gets out of for a couple of arm drags and into an arm bar.
Ziggler taking it to Cena in the corner.
Big E just stands there nodding his head each time Ziggler lands a blow.
Ziggler doing his sit up bit that Cena reverse into a pin attempt.
Bulldog by Cena leads to another pin attempt and now a front headlock.
Crowd is absolutely dead for this match.
Vertical suplex by Cena. He had Ziggler up there for a good five count.
Cole and Lawler finally start to commentate. Don't know if they were having technical issues or what.
Cena launches Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler selling like a champ (nothing new).
Ziggler distracts the ref as Big E kicks a quick cheap shot in on Cena.
Cena kicks out of a pin attempt as we head into a commercial break.
Back in and Ziggler is doing his hand stand head lock. Goes into a bridge for a few seconds and back into the headstand. Cena muscles out of it.
AJ distracts the ref and Ziggler gives Cena a monstrous dropkick. He might have the best drop kick in the business right now.
AJ slaps Cena as Ziggler distracts the ref. The ref kicks Big E and AJ from ringside. Ziggler is not pleased.
Cena begins his five moves of doom but Ziggler is able to give him a good kick to the head and a leg lariat.
Ziggler tries to finish Cena off but gets hit with a five knuckle shuffle.
Cena goes for the AA but gets reversed by Ziggler.
Ziggler goes for the superkick but gets reversed into a STF that he escapes.
Ziggler delivers a huge DDT and is going up to the turn buckle.
Cena catches Ziggler and goes for the AA. Ziggler is able to escape and hit Cena with a Superkick. Cena kicks out though.
Ziggler is frustrated and just wailing on Cena until the ref pulls him off.
Cena and Ziggler trading blows until Ziggler gets the rear naked choke in on Cena.
Cena is starting to Hulk Up and throws Ziggler off of him. The ref is knocked out however.
Cena has Ziggler in the STF but the ref is still knocked out. Big E rushes in and destroys Cena. He runs out after draping Ziggler on Cena.
New ref in but Cena kicks out during the count.
Cena with the AA and pin for the three count.
Cena wins by pinfall.
Eve coming out to the ring. Looks like the Diva's title will be on the line when we get back from break.
Eve Torres vs Kaitlyn for the WWE Diva's Championship
Eve opens it up with a headlock that leads to Kaitlyn throwing in a leg scissors to get free.
The ref has to pull Kaitlyn free from Eve because her laces are untied. Eve delivers a huge kick as Kaitlyn is tieing her laces.
She just blows him off saying "It's not my fault".
Eve on the turnbuckle giving us the royal wave. Money.
Kaitlyn takes control and delivers a couple of big slams to Eve. Eve kicks out of the pin attempt.
Eve escapes the ring but Kaitlyn throws her back in.
Eve escapes again and takes her title and heads out into the crowd.
Eve gets herself counted out and retains the title.
Kaitlyn wins by countout. Eve retains the title.
Backstage and we get Santino talking to Steamboat! He still looks good.
Santino begins to discuss his sadness at the cobra and the dragon never getting to meet but Barret interrupts.
Barrett begins to trash them both and leaves.
Steamboat says that he will be in Santino's corner. Kind of hoping he gets involved physically because last time he was in there, he showed he was still better than most of the roster.
Striker is interviewing Orton but 3MB makes their presence known.
Orton challenges anyone of them to a fight. Slater says it can be any one of them and Orton chooses Slater.
Kane is coming out to the ring and Cole puts him over by stating he is a surefire Hall of Famer.
Daniel Bryan comes out next and it looks like we will have some tag team action as we head to commercial.
Come back from commercial and Rhodes Scholars is already to the ring.
Team Hell No vs Rhodes Scholars
Kane and Rhodes starting things off.
Quick exchange and Rhodes tags in Sandow.
Kane with a big boot to Sandow and then whips him into the corner.
Kane makes the tag and then launches Bryan into Sandow.
Sandow fights his way out of a hammer lock and gets the tag in Rhodes.
Bryan delivering roundhouses to Rhodes. Crowd was more into that spot than the entirety of the show so far.
Rhodes is able to fight his way to another tag.
Sandow begins to beat down Bryan and then makes the tag again.
Cody with a beatdown in the corner and another tag for Rhodes Scholars.
Sandow with the Russian leg sweep into the Elbow of Disdain.
According to Cole, Sandow and his ancestors are Presidential advisors. I can get behind that.
Bryan gets the hot tag into Kane he begins to take it to Sandow.
Multiple whips and clotheslines into the corner.
Sandow see Kane getting ready for the chokeslam and bails out.
Kane tags Bryan in who does a running knee off of the apron.
Bryan with the kicks in the corner to Sandow and then does his back flip spot.
Bryan appears to have hurt his knee but luckily its a work as Rhodes Scholars goes to work on it.
Rhodes is able to hit the Cross Rhodes for the three count while Kane and Sandow are fighting on the outside.
Rhodes Scholars win by pinfall.
Really good match. Can't wait to see more of this in the future and how they are going to step it up on a PPV match.
Randy Orton vs Heath Slater
I can't imagine this is going to last long.
3MB is already in the ring as Orton makes his way down to the ring.
Heath Slater gets a bit of offense in but Orton takes control quickly.
Orton gets tossed out the ring but he takes out Mahal and McIntyre quickly.
They recover and are able to get some quick shots in on Orton as Slater distracts the ref.
Slater gets a decent amount of offense in and goes up to the top rope.
Orton meets him up there and delivers a superplex.
Orton begins to take it to Slater and the rest of 3MB get to the apron to try and stop it.
Orton clears them out and delivers the draping DDT to Slater.
Slater gets up and Orton hits him with the RKO and pins him for the three count.
Orton wins by pinfall.
Mahal and McIntyre try to assault Orton after the match but eat RKO's for their trouble. Thanks for playing fellas.
Santino w/ Ricky the Dragon Steamboat vs Wade Barrett
Barrett and Santino trading blows and holds.
Santino gets a huge kick in and begins to take control of the match.
Santino does his hip toss and pulls out the Cobra but is able to escape the ring.
He gets back in and hits the Bull Hammer on Santino. Quick pin for the three count.
Wade Barrett wins by pinfall.
Barrett looks like he is about to cheap shot Steamboat but Steamboat catches him and begins to pull of his coat.
Crowd goes wild for it but Barrett just slowly gets out of the ring
Matt Striker is interviewing Sheamus back stage about last year's Rumble and Mania for Sheamus.
3MB stumbles in and Sheamus makes lame cheap jokes at their expense.
Sheamus wants them to sing Danny Boy with him.
Oh lord, Sheamus begins singing Danny Boy and millions of Irishmen turn over in their graves. Never sing again Sheamus.
Antonio Cesaro vs Great Khali
Miz is with Cole and Lawler for this.
Khali takes early control of the match and throws Cesaro out of the ring.
Cesaro ducks under a Khali big boot and takes out Khali's knee.
Cesaro keeps working the leg with a hold but Khali fights out of it.
Big chop from Khali that leads into a big boot.
Miz just put himself in a group with Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, and Stone Cold. Oh Miz....shut up.
Cesaro with some big uppercuts.
Cesaro gives Khali the Neutralizer! Always impressed by that.
Paul Heyman is on the phone and Brad Maddox comes up to him.
Heyman says that he wants nothing do with Maddox but Maddox has a proposal for him.
Maddox offers to convince Vickie to have him ref the WWE Championship but Heyman shoots him down.
Sheamus vs Jinder Mahal
Sheamus and Mahal trading holds until Sheamus is able to get Mahal in a nose lock. I am not kidding about that.
And Sheamus just made Mahal grab his butt. Mahal is freaked out about having grabbed Sheamus' butt and Sheamus is just taunting him about it.
Sheamus gets Mahal over to the ropes and does his his big forearm spot. McIntyre interferes and gets the forearm spot for his trouble.
Mahal is able to kick Sheamus out of the ring where his stable mates are able to get a few shots in.
Sheamus gets back in and cleans house.
Brogue kicks to McIntyre and Slater on the outside.
White Noise is delivered to Mahal back in the ring.
When Mahal recovers Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus wins by pinfall.
Big video promo for the TLC match for the WWE Championship Match. WWE is always good at producing these things and that match will be next when we get back from commercial break.
CM Punk vs The Ryback in a TLC Match for the WWE Championship
Punk coming to the ring and he deliberately walks under a ladder and just randomly chucks a chair down the ramp.
Ryback out to the ring to a pretty good crowd response.
Punk laughing at all the Feed Me More chants.
Punk and Ryback exchanging spots in the corner and the Goldberg chants start early.
Punk rolls out of the ring and gets a chair from out under the ring.
Couple of big shots with the chair but Ryback is able to tackle Punk to stop the assault.
Ryback with the chair now but misses and hits the steps.
Punk gets a kick in and gets a couple more shots in with the chair.
Punk now getting a ladder out from under the ring.
Ryback grabs Punk and gives punk a vertical suplex onto the ladder. He had Punk up there for a long time and seemed to teasing a jackhammer. If only.
Punk is able to get to the outside and Ryback nails him with the steel steps.
Goes to slam them on Punk but Punk rolls away and uses the steps to deliver a flying knee to Ryback.
Punk taking a chair to Ryback's knee.
He gets up on the steps to gloat as we go to commercial.
We come back from break and both men are down in the ring.
Punk gets Ryback out of the ring and slams him onto the floor.
He sets up a chair against barrier but Punk gets a chair shot in.
"Improvise and react!"- Paul Heyman. Man he is so money.
Punk setting up his own table now.
Ryback reverses Punk and begins to assault Punk with the hood from the announce table and then tosses him into the ring.
Punk is able to regain control and goes outside to bring a chair back in with him. Going after Ryback's knee with the chair again.
Punk traps Ryback's ankle in the chair and goes for a stomp from the second rope. Ryback is able to roll out.
Punk selling his knee being affected by the stomp and Ryback takes control.
Ryback with a huge clothesline on Punk.
Ryback picks Punk up for his finisher but Punk is able to escape and get to the outside.
Ryback follows him outside and attempts to tackle Punk through a table but misses and goes crashing through it himself.
Both men recover and climb the ladder. Ryback is able to knock Punk off but he recovers quickly and knocks the ladder over.
Ryback lands on his feet though and tosses Punk into the ladder which is now leaning on the ropes. The ladder is destroyed by the slam.
Punk recovers and gets back control. Tries to set up the broken ladder.
After a couple of knees to Ryback in the corner, Ryback reverses and tosses Punk over the rope onto the table that Punk set up early.
Ryback tosses the bad ladder out and brings a new one in.
Ryback ascends the new ladder but the lights go out.
They come back on and Ambrose and Rollins are on the ladder with Ryback! Reigns is below Ryback on the mat.
He clears house but they are able to get back in the ring and take out Ryback. They are going to town on him.
They powerbomb Ryback through a table that is set up on the steel steps.
Crowd chanting for Rock but he is no where to be found.
Punk slowly works himself back into the ring and up the ladder.
Punk grabs the belt and retains while Ryback is still laid out.
Your winner and still WWE Champion CM Punk!
The main event of the Royal Rumble is now set- CM Punk vs The Rock for the WWE Championship
Striker tries to get an interview in with Punk but Punk shoots him down and teases another pipe bomb.
Bryan icing his knee in the back with Kane. They begin to fight but Vickie interrupts and says their four month evaluation is next week with Dr. Shelby.
Kane yells that Shelby is a monster but Bryan says he is a nerd. Dueling monster and nerd screams. Kane changes his mind and agrees he is a nerd but now Bryan has changed his mind and yells that he is a monster.
Kofi Kingstong vs Big Show
Kofi charges in and as the ref pulls Kofi away the Big Show hits him with the WMD.
Big Show wins by pinfall.
Well that was something I guess....
Recap of Punk attacking the Rock at Raw 1000 and a brief shot of Rock's locker room as we head into commercial break.
Punk out to the ring and is apparently about to drop another pipe bomb.
Punk is blasting the overuse of the words pipe bomb and is giving use a lecture on what a pipe bomb really is. It's the condensed truth according to him.
Says his promo was all truth except the ice cream bit because no one in the audience needs anymore ice cream.
Punk is saying it doesn't matter if you're the best because there is a glass ceiling. It's all about popularity. Goes after John Cena getting repeated title shots, Bryan has to saddle himself with a dumb persona, Brodus dances in the ring, and lil Jimmy gets more time on Raw than a "workhorse like Tyson Kidd".
Anytime Kidd gets a shout out is a good promo.
According to Punk the fans can't handle anything complicated and can't be successful without pandering to the crowd until Punk came around.
Punk says that he would have been champion for many years during the era of Sammartino and Hogan because they had easy schedule and didn't wrestle the grueling matches he does.
Punk says he doesn't care about the people of Tampa Bay.
"There are good guys and bad guys and believe me I am a bad bad man."
He then proceeds to call out Flair, Michaels, and Edge for either being liars or morons for saying they do it for the fans when they retire.
"Oh look they are wooooing now". Money.
A production assistant comes up to the ring and tells him they have to wrap it up. Punk just dismisses.
"I am going to tell you the most important thing you will hear tonight. You do not matter"
And they cut him off to commercial.
Such a damn good promo. Hopefully he will keep bringing this fire throughout his feud with the Rock.
Punk still in the ring when we come back from break.
"What fuels me is your constant disappoint in your self appoint superheros failure to drag this title away from me"
He says he has beaten the crowd through their heroes.
IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING!
Rock makes his way to the ring and the crowd has finally come alive for more than 10 seconds.
The Rock says he had to hear everything Punk had to say before he came out. Calls Punk "straight up delusional"
Puts over Punk for his long reign but then says the hairs on his "straight edge scrotum are standing up". Ugh
He proceeds to tell Punk that the people rejected Punk because his revolution failed. Especially the failure to deliver ice cream.
"There is no voiceless in the WWE Universe"
Rock gets the crowd to chant "Cookie Puss". What? Really?
Punk congratulates the fans on being puppets.
"Finally the Rock has come back to Tampa"
"The Rock is back to entertain them [fans]. The Rock is back to beat you. The Rock is back after ten long years to win that [WWE Championship]"
Rock then says that Punk looks like Punk-eye the Crackhead. And this promo has just gone down hill on Rock's part.
Now Rock tries to put him over by calling him the most creative mind in the WWE but he has lost his way.
"Never say the people don't matter"
He is starting to bring it back.
Punk says that unlike a lot of people he is glad he is back, no matter the Rock's schedule so he can kick his ass.
Punk completely destroys everything Rock did in his feud with Cena last year.
"Your little jabs and insults are just kiddie games"
Punk just called himself God. Awesome.
"You may think that the Rock is boxing with God. But he knows that you are going one on one with the Great One"
Rock reminds us that he knocked the Rock out cold at Raw 1000.
"In 20 days- time is up."
Rock begins to redeem himself but then goes off the rails again about tattoos on Punk's butt and having nuts.
Rock has picked up the WWE Championship and tossed it outside the ring to Punk.
Even with the hiccups from the Rock, this has been better than the entirety of the Cena-Rock feud.
And that's the show folks. See ya next week.