Raw Fusion: Driven By Hate
The 26th December 2011 episode of Monday Night Raw starts with CM Punk’s music hitting, but instead of CM Punk making his way out, Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw does, wearing Punk’s shirt and imitating his entrance.
He cites it as proof of him being “Mr. Excitement” and the wild unpredictability of Raw since he has been in charge. Laurinaitis says that he has been told that he has ushered in a new golden era, and that he will continue it on this episode of Raw.
CM Punk’s music hitting once again marks the real arrival of CM Punk, as he makes his way to the ring, much to the approval of his hometown crowd in Chicago. He asks Laurinaitis if this is his way of poking a stick at Punk, and asks what is stopping him from kicking him right in his face right now.
Laurinaitis says that he is his boss and may fire him, but that he has taken several management classes and has learned that he likes to empower his talent, and that as it is the holiday season, he would like to give him a gift that he wouldn’t expect.
He says that Punk is off – before clarifying that it is a joke, and then asks who says that he can’t be unpredictable. Punk’s response is to say that just about everybody does, and that he knows it, and after asking the crowd, it shows that they know it too.
John Laurinaitis makes the decision that CM Punk will be competing in three matches on this episode of Raw, as it will be a gauntlet match against three opponents, and that the opponent who beats Punk will get a WWE Championship match next week.
Punk asks what happens when he beats all three men, to which Laurinaitis admits that he hadn’t thought about. Punk’s suggestion is that he then have a fourth match – this one being against Laurinaitis.
Laurinaitis doesn’t think that it would be fair on Punk, but he ends up agreeing to the match anyway.
After another video hyping the return of somebody on the 2nd January 2012, which is next Monday, the announcers recap Cody Rhodes’ attacks on Booker T at TLC with some photos (click here for our TLC report), followed by a video recapping Booker T’s distraction in Cody Rhodes’ match last week on SmackDown! (click here for our SmackDown! report).
Now, Booker T takes on Cody Rhodes in a match which sees Booker get the victory, when he hits Rhodes with a scissors-kick for the 3-count.
After an interaction backstage between Zack Ryder and John Cena, we return to ringside where Jerry “The King” Lawler reveals who the three men CM Punk will face in his gauntlet match will be. The first is Jack Swagger, the second is Dolph Ziggler, and the third is Mark Henry, then reminding us that if he defeats all three men, he gets a match with John Laurinaitis.
After an interaction between The Big Show and Kelly Kelly, Show is called to John Laurinaitis’ office, where he has an interaction also involving John Laurinaitis and David Otunga, in which Show’s figure of speech is taken literally when Laurinaitis makes a match between Otunga and Show, with the stipulation of Show having his arm tied behind his back.
After an interaction elsewhere involving Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero, and an interruption by Mark Henry, Eve Torres and Zack Ryder are pitted against Tyson Kidd and Natalya in a match which sees Ryder get the victory for his team, when he and Eve hit Kidd and Natalya with the Broski Boot, followed by Ryder hitting Kidd with the Rough Ryder for the 3-count.
After a video recapping Kane’s attack on John Cena last week, John Cena makes his way to the ring and talks about how CM Punk beat him for the WWE Championship and left the arena with it at the Money In The Bank Pay-Per-View a number of months ago (click here for our Money In The Bank report).
He suggests that as this is the last Raw of 2011, the world should once again remember Chicago, by him then calling out Kane. Instead of Kane however, The Miz’s music hits and he makes his way out, and he talks about how he beat Cena in the Main Event at WrestleMania, but says that the win was tainted and that people say that the only reason he beat him was because of The Rock.
The Miz says that The Rock stole his shining moment, and that he is not going to let this year end without proving to everyone that he doesn’t need The Rock to beat John Cena. He says that he wants everyone’s lasting image of 2011 to be him standing triumphantly over a beaten Cena.
Cena interrupts what The Miz says next and says that if he wants to fight him, he’ll fight, and then he calls out a referee to make it official. The match sees John Cena get the victory as a result of a count-out, when The Miz exits the ring and decides that the match doesn’t matter, as he rants on the microphone that it doesn’t matter how he beat Cena at WrestleMania, just that he did beat him.
The Miz says that he is going to leave and end 2011 with his head held high, because he is The Miz, and he is… interrupted by the return of R-Truth, who then attacks him and states to him that he could finish it right there, but there would be no fun in that.
R-Truth says that the problem with Christmas is that you open up all of your presents and then it is over, but he wants every Monday night to be like Christmas, so he will be taking his time getting to The Miz. He says that “Little Jimmy” said it’s okay, so this New Year’s, “old acquaintances aren’t going to be forgot, they are going to get got” – punctuating the statement with more attacks and ending it with a water bottle to the head.
Next, The Big Show – with one arm tied behind his back – goes against David Otunga in a match which ends prematurely, when the referee rings the bell due to Mark Henry’s music hitting and him making his way to the ring on a bee-line for The Big Show.
Henry takes down Show with a clothesline, but he is then distracted by the appearance of Daniel Bryan, which allows Show to get loose and grab Henry by the throat. An interjection by Otunga allows Henry to get away, but Otunga pays for it, as Otunga is grabbed by the throat and hit with a chokeslam instead.
Now, Alberto Del Rio comes out in a wheelchair pushed by neckbrace-wearing Ricardo Rodriguez, and talks about how he suffered a groin injury last week. The Bella Twins make a brief appearance to assure Del Rio that they will throw a party when he recovers from the injury, though due to the argument that follows between the twins at who will be throwing the party, Del Rio tells them to leave.
Del Rio promises that he will be back, and when he is he will be more vicious and aggressive than ever before, and he doesn’t care who he will have to destroy, as he will be the WWE Champion once again.
Next up, CM Punk takes on Jack Swagger (accompanied by Vickie Guerrero) in the first of his gauntlet matches, which sees Punk get the victory, when he hits Swagger with a kick to the head for the 3-count.
Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring as the second opponent for Punk, but before the match gets officially under-way, Swagger attacks Punk. Punk still accepts continuing the match however, so it does go ahead.
The match sees Ziggler get the victory, when he hits Punk with the Zig-Zag thanks to the distraction provided by John Laurinaitis ordering Vickie and Swagger and then talking to Punk.
It’s now time to find out from Kane why he attacked John Cena over the past two weeks, as his music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He talks about how what we see before us is his true self, his true essence.
He says that he may wear a mask, but it is all of the fans who spend every waking moment living a lie. Kane starts to explain why this is, but John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way out – before he can make his way down the ramp however, he is blocked by a wall of fire that erupts.
Kane says that he didn’t come out to pick a fight with Cena, and that the reason he chose him as his victim is simple, as Cena has lead all of the fans astray, as he asks them to “Rise Above Hate”, but he says that is a fallacy, as this world is a dark, dark place.
He says that it is okay to hate, and that humans are hateful by nature. Kane says that deep down, everybody hates, asking why they should rise above it when the natural impulse is to embrace it and let it consume you.
Kane says that “Rise Above Hate” is a fraudulent myth perpetuated by John Cena, and that hate is the seed from which we are born, as it drives us, motivates us, and fuels our impulses. He says that he knows that Cena feels it, and that it eats away at Cena like a thousand insects under his skin.
He says that once you embrace the hate, you become honest with yourself, and that you become free. Kane says that what Cena fails to realise is that with his denial, he grows weaker by the moment, and until he embraces that which he denies, he can never be truly free.
After pausing for the Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks duelling chants that erupt, Kane says that he is going to help Cena, as are all the fans. He says that the last thing Cena will hear this year is every one of the fans chanting the words that tear Cena’s soul apart – Cena sucks.
Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks duelling chants erupt once again, and continue as Raw goes off the air.