Raw Fusion: Hard Knocks & Cheap Pops
The 16th January 2012 episode of Monday Night Raw starts with Mick Foley being introduced and him making his way to the ring, where he talks about how he would never bypass an opportunity to visit Disney Land, and although he didn’t have a problem being Santa Clause on an episode of SmackDown! or hosting “This Is Your Life: John Cena” as he had lived out his dreams competing for the WWE, he has one more dream.
He says that his kids were too young to see him in that very ring the last time, and it would mean a lot to him for them to be able to see him inside the ring one more time, so he announces his intention to be one of the thirty entrants of the 2012 Royal Rumble match.
An “excuse me” prompts the arrival of Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler, as they make their way to the ring and Vickie tells Foley to welcome the next WWE Champion. Ziggler wants to clarify that there are thirty spots in the Royal Rumble match and that Foley wants to just show up and take one.
Foley’s response is a simple “yes”, as is his response when Ziggler continues by asking if he really wants to snub some Superstar who has worked all year long for their dream to go for their chance to go to WrestleMania, just so that he can “make a fool out of himself in front of his snotty kids one more time”.
Dolph Ziggler says that he knows that he knows that Mick Foley has been doing stand-up comedy and comments that he even went to one of his shows, but says that he watched him try and if it is supposed to be one of his skits then it is funny, but if not, then his entry would go something like “yay, our Daddy’s in the Royal Ru-oh, he’s over the top rope!”.
Foley admits that could indeed happen and he says that the element of danger and magic in the air is one of the things that he loves about the Royal Rumble, but he says that the same magic that existed on the occasions that he won the WWE Championship could also be present on that night for him at the Royal Rumble.
He says that he does want to perform in front of his children, but that if Ziggler things that he is only entering to be a participant then he is looking at him the wrong way, as his aspirations are more ambitious – he is not in the Rumble just to be in it, but he is in it to win it.
Ziggler congratulates Foley and says that is the dream of many Superstars, but he talks about how he defeated John Cena last week as Cena literally ran away, and how he beat CM Punk two weeks in a row.
He says that he can’t think of a better let down once reaching WrestleMania after he becomes the WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble than to be facing Mick Foley because he had somehow won the Royal Rumble match.
Dolph Ziggler says that Mick Foley didn’t have two reasons to be there, but rather three, with the third being to make a fool out of himself for one last time, and he says that he succeeded. He tells Foley that it is over, to go home, to buy a shirt, eat a salad, and just go away.
CM Punk decides to make his presence known, as his music hits and he makes his own way to the ring. Taking a page out of Foley’s “cheap pop” play-book, Punk says that it is good to see him – right there, in Anaheim, California!
Ziggler comments that Punk is glad to see Foley as they get their clothes from the same homeless person on the street, but Punk denies this and says that the real reason that it is good to see Foley is because they are a lot alike, as they do not try to talk, look, or fit into the same mould as every other WWE Superstar.
Punk says that another thing that they have in common is that he and Foley don’t try to hide behind a woman, as they like to do all of their talking for themselves, with him then clarifying that by “woman” he meant “a poor excuse for a woman”.
He says that another thing they have in common is that everything that they have they have earned, unlike Ziggler and Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw John Laurinaitis.
Punk says that even with that “turd in the punchbowl” referee, at the end of the match at the Royal Rumble, he will still be the WWE Champion. Asking if Ziggler wants to know why, he says that it is because he is the best wrestler in the world.
He says he thinks at WrestleMania that he will go on to fight the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble match, and that it would be damn cool if it was Mick Foley.
John Laurinaitis is the next to make his presence known, as he makes his way out onto the stage and says that he has an announcement. He says that as Special Guest Referee for the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble he will be completely unbiased, and to show hoe fair he can be, he address Mick Foley on his request to be in the 2012 Royal Rumble match and says that he is taking it under advisement.
After saying that he has thought long and hard about it and is that he is trying to do what is right in this situation, he tells Mick Foley that his answer is no. Laurinaitis leaves, while Vickie then walks up to Foley and starts laughing in his face at his misfortune.
After a video recapping Primo and Epico’s win over Air Boom (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) for the WWE Tag Team Championship at a House show the previous night, Primo and Epico (accompanied by Rosa Mendes) take on Air Boom (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a tag team match which sees Epico get the victory for his team and retain the titles, when he takes advantage of Bourne’s distracted state and knocks him off the turnbuckle, and then follows it up with the Backstabber for the 3-count.
After an interaction between John Laurinaitis and David Otunga that sees Otunga hand Laurinaitis a letter and inform him that “you know who” is waiting outside the door, an interaction between John Laurinaitis and Chris Jericho sees Laurinaitis inform Jericho that he will be part of the Six-Man Tag Team match later on in the show, news which prompts Jericho to simply smile and then turn out the lights to show off his illuminated jacket.
Josh Mathews interviews Zack Ryder and Eve Torres about whether he has been medically cleared to compete, but which sees Ryder say that he’s going to go to the ring, and that if anyone thinks that he is going to forfeit his title, then they are full of crap, prompting Eve to say that she will accompany him.
After a video recapping the events of last week involving Kane, John Cena, Zack Ryder, and Eve Torres, and a video recapping the match last week between Jack Swagger and CM Punk, Jack Swagger (accompanied by Vickie Guerrero) is pitted against Zack Ryder (accompanied by Eve Torres) in a match for the United States Championship which sees Swagger get the victory to become the new United States Champion, when he hits Ryder with a third gut-wrench powerbomb for the 3-count, after Ryder kicked out of the first two.
After an interaction backstage between John Laurinaitis, Eve Torres, and Zack Ryder that sees Laurinaitis apologise for not opening the Doctor’s report sooner and say that Ryder shouldn’t have competed as he wasn’t medically-cleared, Perez Hilton is introduced as the Special Guest Ring Announcer for the upcoming match, much to the crowd’s disapproval.
Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox go against The Bella Twins in a tag team match which sees Kelly get the victory, when Hilton foils the Twin Magic attempt and the distraction resulting from it allows Kelly to roll-up one of the Bellas for the 3-count.
Afterwards, The Bella Twins try to take out their frustration by shoving Hilton down while Kelly and Alicia celebrate, until Kelly and Alicia turn their attentions back to The Bella Twins and the Twins are forced to exit the ring.
After a video hyping the 2012 Royal Rumble and recapping the 1992 Royal Rumble match which was won by Ric Flair, R-Truth makes his way to the ring and is about to say something when he is interrupted by Wade Barrett’s music hitting and him making his way out too.
Barrett apologises for the interruption, but then introduces himself and says that his name is one that will be heard again very soon as it will be announced as the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble match.
He says that this year the Royal Rumble match will be comprised of thirty participants, and says that everyone should all be thankful that one of them is not “that git” Mick Foley. As for himself, he says that he is an official entrant and apparently so is the volatile and delusional lunatic who would be well served to dress in a straight-jacket, R-Truth.
Truth greets Barrett with an “’ello guv’nor!” and says that Little Jimmy wanted him to ask him a question – why he talks so funny. He says that they are across the street from the happiest place in the world, Disney Land, and that he went to it that morning and it put a smile on his face.
He then proceeds to show a slide-show of his visit, until Barrett tells him to stop the nonsense and asks what on Earth that has to do with anything. R-Truth says that he will tell him, and that the last one he met was Pinocchio, and that he was told by Pinocchio that Barrett was going to win the Royal Rumble match, causing his nose to elongate.
R-Truth comments that he doesn’t even know if that is PG, before continuing to say that Pinocchio didn’t tell the truth but instead lied, and that although he believes a a mouse can talk and an elephant can fly, he doesn’t believe for a second that Wade Barrett can win the Royal Rumble match, which he says is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” – as he then gets attacked from behind by The Miz.
Wade Barrett joins in the attack on R-Truth when it seems that he has managed to get the upper-hand over The Miz, but this then prompts Sheamus’ music to hit and for him to make his way to the ring for the save, causing both men to bail out of the ring.
Teddy Long’s music hits and he makes his way out onto the stage, where he says that it seems to him that John Laurinaitis is a little busy, but that as it is a Raw “Supershow” he says that he is taking charge, so he decides to show a preview of the Royal Rumble match by making an Over The Top Rope challenge between the four men to take place right now.
R-Truth wins the Over The Top Rope challenge, when he takes advantage of Sheamus and The Miz’s focus on each other, and eliminates them both. Sheamus still sends a message of his own however, when he hits The Miz with a Brogue Kick outside the ring shortly afterwards.
After an interaction between John Laurinaitis and John Cena which sees Laurinaitis make a match between Cena and Kane at the Royal Rumble and also a match between Cena and Jack Swagger to take place next on Raw.
Now, John Cena takes on Jack Swagger in a match that never officially gets started, but instead sees Cena attack Swagger, with the attack getting to the point where Cena seems to be ready to crush Swagger’s upper body between two halves of the ring steps, but which is stopped by Kane’s music and pyro hitting.
Cena quickly re-enters the ring to await Kane, but Kane only appears on the titantron and comments that Cena is being very aggressive and says that he thinks that he is getting it. Kane says that by the time they meet at the Royal Rumble, Cena will have embraced the hate, as he then emphasises his statement by setting off his ring pyro.
Next up, “Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (accompanied by his dancer companions) is pitted against JTG in a match which sees Clay get the victory, when he dives at JTG and knocks him down (a move which Michael Cole states Clay calls “Ah, Funk It!”) for the 3-count.
After a video recapping the events of the World Heavyweight Championship match on last week’s SmackDown! (click here for our SmackDown! report), Daniel Bryan makes his way out onto the stage and talks about how many people think of The Big Show as a gentle giant.
Bryan however claims that Show is a cruel, inhospitable freak, one that he says weighing over five hundred pounds had no problem knocking down his ninety-five pound girlfriend AJ. He says that AJ has been traumatised and will never be the same, and he claims that The Big Show could have pulled up and stopped, but instead intentionally ran over his girlfriend just to get to Bryan and the World Heavyweight Championship.
He says that Show never even apologised, but instead just stood there crying like a blithering idiot, which Bryan claims were crocodile tears and one thousand percent fake. Bryan says that The Big Show should never show up on SmackDown! ever again, but that if he does, Bryan will make him pay.
Turning his attention to his World Heavyweight Championship match against Mark Henry this coming Friday Night on SmackDown!, he says that he is gong to dedicate the match to his girlfriend AJ, as he says that last week she told him that she loved him, and he will show her exactly how much he appreciates that.
Now, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, and CM Punk go against Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry, and David Otunga in a Six-Man Tag Team match which sees Jericho apparently get too excited and tag back out without hitting a single move and leave, Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan continue their own battle past the entrance way, and Mick Foley make his way to the ring and claim to the referee to now be part of Punk’s team in this match.
The match sees Foley get the victory for his team, when he hits Otunga with a double-DDT that he follows up with the Mandible Claw causing the referee to ring the bell.
Afterwards, John Laurinaitis makes his way to the ring and reverses the decision as he says that Foley was never given permission to be in the match, causing Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, and David Otunga to instead be declared the victors.
CM Punk decides that it is time that he and John Laurinaitis lay their cards on the table, as he says that Laurinaitis doesn’t like him, but that it has nothing to do with who he is, but instead who Laurinaitis is not.
He says that the people have no idea who Laurinaitis is, because although Laurinaitis had the look when he was a competitor, he sucked badly. Punk says that must have been difficult for him as his brother was one of the legendary Road Warriors, but he only amounted to “road kill”.
Punk says that Laurinaitis was boring, and that it killed him that he he never made it to the WWE as a competitor, so he traded his lame-ass tights for a suit, and from somebody to who just sucked, he became somebody who just sucked up.
He says that now he is a corporate yes-man, Laurinaitis can not bear the fact that in the last year CM Punk has achieved more than Laurinaitis has in his entire life. Punk says that he doesn’t know why he is screaming at him as Laurinaitis has never had an original thought on his body.
Punk says that better men have tried to screw him and failed, and that the reason that John Laurinaitis wants to screw him is pure jealousy of who he is and where he comes from, as well as the fact that he is the WWE Champion.
He says that it doesn’t matter what Laurinaitis does to him at the Royal Rumble, because whatever happens, he will still be better than Laurinaitis. Punk says that he will be doing something that Laurinaitis wished his entire career that they did for him, which is talking about John Laurinaitis.
CM Punk says that if John Laurinaitis screws him, he will not hit him with the GTS or put him in the Anaconda Vise, instead he says that people will be talking about how Laurinaitis looks like he just went through a meat-grinder as Punk just kicked his pathetic ass.
After Punk leaves, Laurinaitis introduces himself to the crowd and states that he is not pathetic and will not be intimidating by CM Punk.
Mick Foley tells Laurinaitis to have the decency to admit that he intends to screw CM Punk in the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble, as he says that Laurinaitis walks around like pious, self-righteous sycophant, which he says is New York Best-Seller speak to say that Laurinaitis is a kiss-ass.
John Laurinaitis asks Foley who the hell he thinks he is and who he is talking to, followed by whether he wants to know if he’s going to screw CM Punk. When Foley agrees that he wants to know, Laurinaitis admits that he is damn right that he will screw Punk, as he does his job very well only to be disrespected, pushed around, and bullied.
He says that every week he works hard to put on the best show for the WWE Universe, but he is never appreciated for it. He says that he is not going to take it any more, and is sick and tired of it, as he then punctuates his statement by nailing Foley with the microphone.
Foley starts to get back to his feet, while Laurinaitis leaves, as Raw goes off the air.