Last Week: Ziggler earns a title match and Kane tells Cena to give in to the hate.
THIS WEEK: IT BEGINS.
We kick off with Cena getting the boovation as always. Cena wishes everyone a new year even if some of the crowd isn’t having it and chants YOU SUCK at Cena. Nice. He says he’s going to make some changes in 2012, he’s going to wear less underwear and he’ll win at Wrestlemania. One thing won’t change in 2012, he’ll remain who he is. He says the fans paid their money and he won’t judge how the fans react. Same old shit, really. He says he’s disappointed with Kane for not getting in a match with him and wants Cena to turn his back on the fans, but Cena says no. He says there’s no better feeling than being in the ring and will start the year off by thanking the fans but HERE COMES KANE on the Titantron. Kane says Cena will embrace the hate and witness its true power tonight and laughs. BUT THE END BEGINS TONIGHT OH SHIT.
DANIEL BRYAN HAS ARRIVED and he’s up against Cody tonight. I smell either Goldust or Booker shenanigans. Bryan kicks the shit out of Cody but Cody gets out of it and works on Bryan’s left arm. Bryan counters with an elbow and RUNNING CLOTHESLINE. Bryan calls for missile dropkick but Cody runs off and hits Snake Eyes and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER for two. Bryan gets a small package for three! Bryan rubs the title in Cole’s face again. Nice.
They replay Truth returning last week. Backstage, JOHNNY ACE and Miz talk about Truth. Ace reminds Miz that he attacked Truth first. Ace books Miz against Sheamus and says it’s better than being a sitting duck and walks off…and Truth walks into frame and quacks while flapping his arms. Insane Truth is awesome.
Nice 25 Year retrospective video package for the Rumble this year. Wade Barrett arrives and they recap Orton being thrown down the stairs and SAVING SMACKDOWN FROM BORING. He grabs the stick and says he doesn’t care about the new year but for him, it’s a fantastic 2012, because this will be an Orton-less year. He says Orton is the next victim of the Barrage and threatens to win the Rumble…and here comes Santino! And he power-walks around the ring and reminds Wade about his runner-up victory last year. This year, the Barrett Garage will be run over by the Santino Choo-Choo Trains. Glorious. Anyway, this is a squash, Winds of Change ends it.
Backstage, the Bellas are being annoying to the Miz, who says he’s glad Alberto got hurt. Miz cautiously walks around backstage while Truth stalks him. Sheamus arrives for his match and is followed by Miz. who IMMEDIATELY attacks Sheamus with the kneeling DDT and ties Sheamus up on the ropes, but Sheamus gets out of it and OW FUCK CHEST PUNCHES. Miz tries getting away through the crowd but HERE COMES TRUTH. Miz says he ran into Little Jimmy while watching in the crowd. Little Jimmy says he doesn’t like Miz and he needs to get got. Miz eats a BROGUE KICK from Sheamus and Truth grabs another water bottle and waffles Miz with it for the second week in a row. Miz goes backstage through the crowd. THIS WEEK’S WEEKLY BEATDOWN IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY LITTLE JIMMY WHERE YOU WILL GET GOT! He asks a kid in the crowd what he has to say to Miz, and he says HAPPY NEW YEAR. Tremendous.
Apparently the WWE Championship match is next. Backstage, Mathews interviews Ziggler and he says he’s a walking surplus. He says to hang on to your ticket stubs. ALSO BACKSTAGE, Ryder’s backstage and Swagger says he was born to be US Champ and HERE COMES JOHNNY ACE and books Swagger/Henry/Kane vs. Ryder/Big Show/Cena in an elimination tag match.
AND IT IS TIME FOR CLOBBERING! The WWE Champion arrives followed by Dolph w/ Vickie. I like big match intros for championship matches. They tie up quickly and quick pin sequences. Punk with a backbreaker for one. Dolph pushes Punk to the corner and Ziggler tries an elbow but misses. Punk gets momentum and LEGDROPS EVERYWHERE. Punk gets a headlock but Ziggler neckbreakers out of it. Ziggler stomps on Punk for a bit and finally hits the jumping elbow for two. Punk kicks Ziggler out. Punk tries to follow but Ziggler punches him in the face and Ziggler with a neckbreaker on the apron. Back from the break, BOO/YAY punch but Ziggler gets the sleeper and Punk counters with a side suplex and gets two. Punk hits a high kick and tries a high knee, but Ziggler counters. Punk counters into a powerslam for two. Punk tries a suplex but gets countered into a rollup by Dolph for two. Punk counters that into a rollup of his own, but they’re in the ropes, ZIGGLER HITS A FAMEASSER OUT OF NOWHERE for two. Ziggler hits a splash in the corner and reverse powerslam gets two. Dolph tries for Zig Zag, but Punk grabs the turnbuckle to get out of it and rips it off in the process. Punk gets the knee/Bulldog combo for two. Punk calls for GTS but HERE COMES ACE distracting the ref about the ripped off Turnbuckle while Ziggler taps out to the Anaconda Vice. Ziggler gets tossed into Ace! Punk goes for the GTS on Dolph, but Dolph gets out of it and tosses Punk, who tumbles out of the ring with Ace pulling the rope down! Ziggler wins by count-out! But Punk retains the championship! BUT MORE CRYPTIC PROMO! HE IS HERE! But who is he?
Here come the Bellas and the crowd doesn’t care. Kelly and Eve arrive and the crowd still doesn’t care. I don’t care either. Bellas use twin magic and rolls Eve up for the win. The crowd is SILENT.
Backstage, Ace gets yelled at by Punk. Ace says Punk’s problem is with Dolph. Ace books Punk vs. Dolph and assigns a special ref for the Rumble. Punk says he’s gonna need Otunga because if Ace screws Punk out of the title, he’s gonna beat Ace like a bitch.
THE END OF THE WORLD AS YOU KNOW IT IS HERE. OH MY GOD. CAMERA SHAKING. LIGHTS OUT. SOMEONE IN AN LED JACKET IN A FAMILIAR POSE! BREAK THE WALL DOWN! THE CROWD GOES INSANE! Jericho grabs the stick and the crowd continues chanting Y2J and WELCOME BACK. He’s milking the crowd now. God, I missed this man. He…drops the mic? Oh lord, he doesn’t talk, he’s just going up the ramp and soaking up cheers from all sides of the crowds. People are beginning to boo him now as he walks to the back. ARRIVE. MILK CHEERS. LEAVE.
The faces arrive, followed by Henry, Swagger and…Kane’s music? He’s not coming out. But HERE COMES OTUNGA. He tells Justin Roberts and Scott Armstrong that Kane does not want to participate. Huh. So it’s Henry/Swagger vs. Show/Ryder/Cena. Cena and Swagger start out and Swagger telegraphs a backdrop attempt and kicks Cena’s face. Back from the break, Swagger hits the Vader Bomb for two. Cena tosses Swagger over his shoulder and tags Show, who manhandles Swagger. Show calls for the WMD but Swagger tags in Henry. And the two attack each other until Show headbutts Henry twice and uses the ropes for a running shoulderblock knocking Henry out of the ring. Henry grabs a steel chair, but Show knocks it out of his grasp and uses it. Ref Scott Armstrong DQs both men leaving Swagger alone with Ryder and Cena. Ryder rallies on Swagger, hits the corner knees and hits the BROSKI BOOT. Ryder calls for the ROUGH RYDER but Swagger counters into the Ankle Lock. Ryder manages to drag Swagger to his corner and tags Cena in and FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. SHOULDERBLOCK, SHOULDERBLOCK, PROTOBOMB, CAN’T SEE ME, FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE, AA on Swagger and it’s over. BUT OH SHIT IT’S KANE but while Cena walks to the ramp to cut Kane off, Kane emerges from UNDER THE RING and throat thrust on Ryder. He gets out of the ring and SUFFOCATES CENA. Kane focuses on Ryder and DRAGS RYDER TO HELL. OH SHIT but Cena saves his broski! FIRE FROM THE HOLE. OH SHIT.
I’m still half-expecting Jericho to run out and milk the crowd some more, really.
Bryan/Cody was fine until the ending, but Bryan has a big match tomorrow/Friday.
Barrett/Santino was fine for what it was.
Sheamus/Miz was just a setup for Truth shenanigans, and they were awesome.
Punk/Ziggler was great aside from a couple Ziggler botches, and the Ace/Punk storyline continues.
No-one cares about the Divas by this point, why bother.
Jericho trolls the universe, marks out for himself, and leaves. The Internet is mad. And I’m laughing. I’m expecting Jericho to be back to HYPOCRITES/SYCOPHANTS mode next week, insulting the fans for believing the hype.
The main event was just a setup for Kane wrecking shit, and shit was wrecked. Ryder was almost dragged to hell, Cena’s slowly getting more boos because Kane’s just being awesome right now.
What with the slow burn of Cena’s heel turn (hopefully), Jericho’s very, very odd return, Laurinaitis putting himself in Punk’s match at the Rumble and Insane Truth being a completely batshit FACE, I can’t wait for next week’s Raw.