WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Nov. 28, 2011) at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.
And Piper's Pit is back.
Opening tonight's broadcast will be none other than "Hot Rod" himself, as he welcomes John Cena into the Pit to kick off the fun ... hopefully it's fun.
Also going down tonight is the WWE championship match set up last week pitting titleholder CM Punk against challenger and former champion Alberto Del Rio. We already know they're headed for a match at TLC, so this match feels flat already. Here's to hoping they bring the house down.
Now that The Rock is out of the picture, I suppose it makes sense for Triple H to return, so he may very well show up to set up his match against Kevin Nash at TLC here in a few weeks.
We shall see.
The broadcast goes live at 9 p.m. ET, Cagesiders, so be sure to come back and join in with all your favorite commenters. It's always a good time. Raw live blog after the jump.
WWE RAW LIVE BLOG AND RESULTS NOV. 28
Broadcast is live.
Obligatory -- Nickelback sucks. If you enjoy this music, you're probably not my friend.
They open with a recap of Punk vs. Del Rio at Survivor Series. That rematch is going down tonight, folks. Jerry Lawler puts over how it's the first time the WWE championship has been defended on Raw since Aug. 15 of this year.
Good timing, Jerry.
Roddy Piper is introduced, as Piper's Pit will kick off tonight's show. He looks pretty damn good for his age and having beaten cancer not too long ago.
The crowd chants for him and he eats it up. Goes into a spiel about how the fans gave him energy and that's how he made it into the WWE Hall of Fame, despite never winning the WWE championship. When the crowd booed him, he did bad things; when they cheered him, he did good things. This is his way of leading into introducing John Cena, of course.
And the music hits to the usual mixed reaction. Some of them love him, some of them hate him.
They all paid to see him, though.
Cena goes into the goofy schtick. Puts over Piper's Pit. But then says he's not sure why Piper thinks Cena doesn't live off the WWE crowd's energy.
Piper says let's do a test. He'll say a name, the crowd reacts however they want.
Stone Cold Steve Austin -- YEAH!
Bret Hart -- YEAH!
The Rock -- YEAH!
John Cena -- YEAH/BOO!
Piper says he's trying to help Cena. The crowd goes off again and starts talking, so Cena pushes the mic out towards them to give them a voice.
Piper is basically egging Cena on, telling him the crowd loved it when Rock delivered the Rock Bottom to him at Survivor Series.
Cena says he knows the game. Some people love him, others hate him. But either way, it's the WWE energy and they can do what they want. Piper says, 'No, you can do what you want. You are the face of the WWE, you are the man. And the booing is getting louder and louder and louder. And you're losing it. You are losing it.'
They're teasing the heel turn.
Piper says this is Rowdy Roddy's reality check and Cena needs to tell them what he's really thinking about them and if he doesn't, he'll be the loser of the biggest WrestleMania in history.
Cena says he's going overboard and needs to calm down. Starts bringing up all the times he was absolutely destroyed by the crowds throughout his career. Cena plays down what happened in New York while Piper tells him to shut up.
Cena really looks delusional here. He points out two little kids in the front row and says they're having the time of their lives. One of them does the "you can't see me" sign while the other drools and looks like he's falling asleep.
That's the time of his life, John?
Cena points out his shirt -- Rise Above Hate, y'all -- and says that's why he'll never get rattled.
Piper says he came a long way to have Cena in Piper's Pit. Says he's proud of Cena. Piper's generation passed it down to Cena and he rose the bar. Now Piper is putting Cena over for putting the work in every day. Gives him his ring and tells him if he doesn't get this off his chest and get it right with the fans, he'll be in denial and it will kill Cena's chances.
Cena says he's in a good place. Piper says, "Here, let me help you," and slaps the shit out of him.
Cena takes his hat off and puts the ring back in Piper's hand before walking out while kissing his dog tags.
What a fugging segment.
They show a recap of The Miz turning on R-Truth.
John Morrison shown talking to Alex Riley in the back. He's next, apparently.
John Morrison comes out for an apparent "Falls Count Anywhere" match but before he even gets down the ramp, Miz shows up and obliterates his leg with a lead pipe. Morrison is selling the leg injury better than his death via limo blowup last night. Great.
Ha. Morrison is limping to the ring like he actually wants this match.
Wow. Bell rings and Morrison actually starts getting the better of Miz. That ends fast when Miz starts working the leg again. Now Miz has the kendo stick out from under the ring. Instead of getting Brodus Clay over at Morrison's expense, they're going to establish Miz as a top heel again?
Maybe not. Morrison gets the kendo stick and starts kicking the sh*t out of Miz with it. After about 10 shots, he goes for the cover on the outside but only gets two. Miz starts crawling away while Morrison gingerly walks towards him with the stick.
When they finally engage, Morrison gets sent into the props at the top of the ramp and gives a hell of a sell job for it. Skull-Crushing Finale leaves him lying and Miz rolls him over for the pin.
The referee waves off the match and doesn't let Miz pin him because Morrison is straight up out cold. Miz is declared the winner.
If that was a way to get Miz over as a big time heel, they failed miserably.
They bring out the cart for Morrison and he's loaded up. John Laurinaitis briefly comes out, looks him up and down and walks to the back. That was odd.
Miz waltzes back down to the ring with a mic in his hand. He'll speak now.
"Last week, it was R-Truth. This week, it's John Morrison. Next week, we'll see. There's only one superstar that can make this kind of impact. This kind of statement. That person is me. The Miz. And I can do it because I'm awesome."
He delivers this with a stoic look on his face while still doing that goofy thing where he sticks his lips out when he speaks. Small mannerisms like that can kill a heel's character and it really makes it hard for me to take him seriously when he's doing the fuggin' duckface.
Whoa. Diva's match and The Bella Twins are actually getting some ring time on TV.
Bella Twins vs. Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly -- Beth Phoenix and Natalya come running out just to jog around the ring. Just two ladies working out, ladies and gents, nothing to see here.
Alicia hits a pretty sweet looking ankle pick takedown before hitting a cool looking standing flip leg drop that gets the pin. Quick, stupid and painless but Fox was good there.
They do some shilling for WWE '12 by showing a digital Del Rio submitting CM Punk with the Cross Armbreaker. Will he do that for real later tonight?
A promo airs for Sheamus. How long, exactly, is this push going to last?
HA. Laurinaitis on the phone telling Brodus Clay he'll "see him next week." David Otunga asks why he's holding him back and not letting him compete. Laurinaitis says that's the point. Clay is a monster and if he pisses him off, he'll come in and kill people.
Well, at least that kind of makes sense.
Alberto Del Rio comes into the picture and Laurinaitis is doing his motivational thing. Punk comes into the picture. Starts putting over Google search. In short -- Laurinaitis is spineless, Del Rio is boring, and no one knows Otunga, they just know Jennifer Hudson.
Otunga says Punk is going to try to get himself intentionally disqualified so he can keep his title and he knows this because he's a Harvard lawyer. He can tell what people are thinking. Laurinaitis says to spread the word that if he does so, he loses the belt.
Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler walk through the back and we see this via split screen. Oh sh*t, potential match of the year upcoming.
Wade Barrett's music plays and Justin Roberts announces him by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, please acknowledge the presence of Wade Barrett."
That was actually hilarious. I know it was supposed to come off heelish, but it came off really lame. Roberts might as well have just said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please care about Wade Barrett."
Randy Orton's music hits and the crowd explodes like a bomb went off in the building. That's called heat, Barrett, how bout you go and get a lil' bit.
Ziggler is perfection but you wouldn't know it listening to his theme music anymore. It's been changed to a song called "Here to show the world."
Split screen interview.
Ziggler says he admits it. He's a show off. Last week he almost beat Punk and this week he's going to beat Orton. Then, he'll show off.
Eh. Love the split screen, promo could have been better.
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler -- Barrett puts over his "Barrett Barrage" gimmick on commentary while Ziggler gets the better of Orton early before slicking his hair back like a player. Orton, of course, makes a comeback and a big clothesline sends Ziggler out to recover on the outside.
Once he gets back in, he starts working Ziggler's leg. Stays on the offensive until he gets a bit cocky by pointing out Barrett on commentary, allowing Dolph to come back.
They go back and forth, trading offense with Ziggler staying one step ahead. Orton gets a two count off the top rope while selling a head injury.
Back and Orton is doing his version of the Hulk-up. Draping DDT off the ropes. Pounding the mat calling for the RKO and Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Barrett gets off the commentary desk and climbs up on the apron. Orton dropkicks him but Ziggler sneaks back in, hits the Zig-Zag and gets the pinfall.
Ziggler does a headstand on the outside after picking up the win. Showing off and all that.
We're back and Michael Cole is in the ring introducing Daniel Bryan as "the biggest hypocrite in the WWE." Cole says Bryan has been given a world heavyweight title match tomorrow night on the live edition of Smackdown. Bryan stops Cole and says he wasn't given anything, he earned the title shot by winning a Fatal Four-Way match. He then buries Cole by calling him the worst announcer in the history of the business.
This is true.
Bryan wants Cole to admit he finally respects him, at least a little bit. Cole indignantly goes off on him for being a hypocrite for trying to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase this past Friday night on Smackdown. As we know, it didn't work and Cole is now making fun of it.
Cole does the play-by-play over the video showing Bryan winning the title and shoving it in Cole's face before having it ripped away by Teddy Long. Cole really laying into Bryan now, saying Bryan disgusts him and he wants Henry to destroy Bryan on Smackdown tomorrow night.
Bryan says, "Yeah, sure, I'm a hypocrite. But plans change." And they changed when Henry tried to induct him into the Hall of Pain. Can't blame him there. Bryan puts over the fact that his dream of winning the world heavyweight championship is far more important than main eventing a WrestleMania.
Never would have main evented it anyway, Dan.
Out comes Mark Henry. "Haven't I knocked you upside the head enough already?"
I love this man.
Henry says Bryan can't beat him, no matter how messed up his legs are. Bryan walks up the ramp, where Henry was standing, and kicks him in the knee. "We'll see tomorrow night."
Nice build to Smackdown. Well done, WWE.
More build to Punk vs. Del Rio tonight.
Job Swagger already in the ring and he'll take on Zack Ryder.
Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder -- Swagger gets it in early, squashing Ryder to open the match, as per usual with Ryder's matches on TV. Oh man, they botch Swagger's bomb spot in the corner with Jack stepping on Zack's arm. He goes to do it again and, of course, the prearranged finish goes off with Ryder picking up the win after countering and hitting the Rough Ryder despite getting no offense in the whole match.
Right before the legit commercials aired, WWE showed another vignette on Kane returning. They were more blatant this time, putting "Kane resurrected" in big bold letters across the screen.
Back from break and they show a replay of the amazing segment to open the show with Cena and Piper.
Man, that was damn good TV. Never have I been more entertained by a segment including John Cena.
Hey, it's Mick Foley!
Oh god. "The Hardcore Legend" comes out in a Santa suit. Promotes the Holiday Special Smackdown tomorrow night with a few rhymes. Good comedy. Lighthearted and all that.
Backstage interview with Punk. Let's it be known he has no plans to get himself disqualified and after he beats Del Rio tonight, he wants Laurinaitis to kiss his ass. He makes that part really, really clear.
It's clobberin' time.
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk -- Chain wrestling to start. These two are getting about 15 minutes, which is a long time for a TV match. Let's see what they do with it. Not much doing in the first few minutes.
Del Rio in control as we come back. They show replay of what happened during the break, which was "ADR" racking Punk on the ropes.
Meanwhile, Del Rio hits a double axe handle off the top rope and gets a two count from it. Starts working Punk's arm again. A short comeback is snuffed out via duck down from a cross body springboard and Del Rio is back on the attack of Punk's arm.
It's boring but it's good psychology, folks.
The crowd gets behind Punk for his comeback and he makes it just long enough to let Del Rio hit a swinging backbreaker off the ropes. Del Rio goes off the top again and Punk finally gets a dropkick counter in. They trade kicks and now Punk is getting his run of offense in.
Neckbreaker gets a two count. Might have jumped the gun on the near-fall there. Should have waited for the running knee and bulldog. I see now why he didn't. Del Rio counters the bulldog portion of it and hits a faceplant, which only gets two.
Suplex from Del Rio and Cole sells the two count like this is a match of the century we're seeing. It's a good match but the crowd is basically dead for it. They come alive when Punk briefly teases the GTS. Of course, Del Rio pops out quick and goes back to working the arm.
Now he's undoing the lacing on the turnbuckle. Rodriguez throws a chair in and Del Rio hits the canvas with it before tossing it to Punk. The ref doesn't turn around, though, and Punk throws it back to Del Rio before falling and acting hurt. The ref turns around at this point and almost disqualifies Del Rio. He doesn't, though, and Punk shows up with a surprise roll up.
The crowd is finally alive. Rodriguez distracts the ref but Punk uses it to his advantage, hitting Del Rio on the exposed turnbuckle and getting the pin. Punk wins and is still the champion.
Slow match but it was awesome by the time it was over.
Thanks for playing, folks. Raw results and reactions will be up bright and early in the morning.
Fade to black.