The first RAW of 2013 kicks off with an electrifying video package for The Rock’s return. Rock is here to evaluate which ever Superstar may be his Royal Rumble opponent – WWE Champion CM Punk or his opponent tonight, Ryback.
– We’re live from Tampa, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us to RAW. We go right to the ring and out comes John Cena to a mixed reaction.
Cena hits the ring and we get a look back at the New Years Eve RAW where he slopped AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler to end the show. Cena hypes the crowd and says tonight is special. He talks about Punk vs. Ryback in the TLC Match. He then brings up The Rock’s return and says you can almost feel the electricity, almost feel the boots wanting to be put to asses. Cena hypes Rock’s return and the crowd pops. Cena brings up the Road to WrestleMania and Royal Rumble. Cena is interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston on the stage.
Ziggler says fans may have came for Cena or Rock tonight but they will remember him. AJ speaks and she’s upset about Cena slopping her last week. She’s also upset about Cena toying with her heart. AJ can’t believe she chose to lose her job over someone like Cena. She calls him a petty, pathetic, small man. A very small man, she adds. Cena says AJ just made her first wiener joke. Cena gets the crowd to do the wave and AJ is getting upset. Cena goes on and Ziggler interrupts him. Ziggler has had enough. Ziggler says he isn’t going anywhere so Cena can just cut the crap. Cena says he cut the crap last week and it fell all over Ziggler. Ziggler announces he will be in the Rumble also.
Ziggler says his primary goal in the Rumble is to make sure Cena doesn’t win. Cena scares them and makes them think he’s about to slop them again. Cena makes a joke about AJ messing with both Ziggler and Big E. Cena says he’s done talking and wants to fight. He calls Ziggler down to the ring for a fight. Big E takes the mic and says Dolph isn’t Cena’s only problem. The crowd boos. Big E says it’s on. Cena ignores Big E and tells Ziggler to come take a whooping. Ziggler says he’s not going to the ring. He has words with Big E. Ziggler’s music hits and it looks like he’s going to the ring for a match. We go to commercial.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
Back from the break and Big is at ringside with AJ. Ziggler and Cena go at it to start the match. Ziggler takes Cena down with a headlock. Cena comes back with a hip toss and arm drag. Ziggler takes Cena to the corner and beats him down now. Ziggler with body shots in the corner. Ziggler whips Cena hard into the corner and he goes down.
They trade pin attempts. Cena comes back with right hands and the bulldog. Cena with a 2 count. Ziggler tries to fight out but Cena hits a standing suplex for another pin attempt. Ziggler comes back and splashes Cena for another 2 count. Ziggler drops an elbow for another try. Ziggler drops Cena and shows off, dancing around the ring. Cena blocks a dropkick and catapults Ziggler into the corner. Cena unloads but runs into an elbow. Ziggler distracts the referee while Big E gets on the apron and lays Cena out. Ziggler with a 2 count. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Ziggler has Cena in a headlock as AJ looks on. Ziggler does the headstand and turns it into a bridge, still holding the submission. Ziggler does it again but Cena stands up with him on his back. Cena slams Ziggler and again. AJ gets on the apron and distracts the referee. Ziggler dropkicks Cena for a close 2 count. Ziggler drops a bunch of elbow drops for another pin attempt. Ziggler chokes Cena on the ropes now. AJ gets up and slaps Cena. The referee sends AJ and Big E to the back.
Dolph throws a fit but here comes Cena with the shoulder tackles and slam. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Ziggler blocks it and hits Zig Zag for a close 2 count. Ziggler misses a splash and Cena slams him. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the Attitude Adjustment. Ziggler blocks it and lays Cena out for 2. Ziggler misses a superkick and Cena trips him. Ziggler counters the STF and plants Cena with a big DDT for 2. Ziggler goes to the top and waits for Cena to get up. Cena catches the crossbody, rolls through and stands up with Ziggler in his arms. Ziggler counters the AA with a superkick but Cena barely kicks out. Ziggler mounts Cena with right hands now. They trade shots in the middle of the ring. Ziggler goes for the sleeper and Cena starts to go down but fights back. Cena shoves Ziggler off of his back but the referee gets hit and falls to the floor. Cena blocks Ziggler and applies the STF but there is no referee. Big E runs down and breaks the STF. Big E scoops Cena up and lays him out with his finisher. Big E puts Ziggler’s arm on top of Cena and runs off. Another referee runs down but it’s been a while and Cena kicks out at 2. Cena nails the AA for the win.
Winner: John Cena
– Cole hypes the TLC Match for the WWE Title as Cena celebrates. Also still to come tonight – The Rock.
WWE Divas Title Match: Kaitlyn vs. Eve Torres
We go to the ring and out comes WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Kaitlyn is now in the ring. The bell rings and here we go with the title on the line. They lock up and go at it. Eve takes Kaitlyn down first for a 1 count. Kaitlyn turns it into a head scissors. Eve takes Kaitlyn back down and works on her leg. Kaitlyn turns it around again and takes Eve to the corner. Eve points out Kaitlyn’s untied boots and the referee makes her tie them. Eve takes advantage and kicks Kaitlyn in the head. Eve unloads and works Kaitlyn over.
Eve chokes Kaitlyn from the top turnbuckle and drops her before waving to the crowd. Eve with another neck hold on the mat now. Kaitlyn catches her in a big sideslam for a 2 count. Kaitlyn with a big shoulder block and an inverted DDT for a close 2 count. Kaitlyn with an uppercut and kick to the face. Kaitlyn gets blocked and Eve runs out of the ring. Kaitlyn brings her back in but Eve runs out the other side. Eve grabs her title and runs off but Kaitlyn chases her. Eve runs through the crowd but Kaitlyn just watches from the barrier. Eve is counted out as Kaitlyn watches from the turnbuckles now.
Winner by Count Out: Kaitlyn
– Up next is Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Santino Marella is backstage talking to Ricky Steamboat about his WrestleMania match against Randy Savage. Wade Barrett walks in, interrupts and insults them both. Barrett says the Intercontinental Title now means something again. Barrett says Steamboat is just an old man blowing smoke and walks off. Steamboat asks Santino if he can be in his corner tonight. Steamboat says Barrett is going to find out how much smoke he can blow.
– Matt Striker is backstage with Randy Orton talking about the Royal Rumble. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre interrupt. They say one of them will win the Rumble and main event WrestleMania. Orton asks which of them will face him tonight. Slater tells him to pick his poison. Orton picks Slater.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan
We go to the ring and out come WWE Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan for a non-title match. The team of Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are out next after commercial.
Kane and Rhodes are going at it as we come back from commercial. Kane works Rhodes over and in comes Sandow. Bryan tags in for a bit of double teaming and a 2 count. Bryan works on the arm and takes Sandow to the mat. Cody tags in but Bryan drops him. Bryan with several kicks to the chest. Bryan misses a big kick but suplexes Cody for a 2 count. Bryan with a big uppercut. Bryan runs into an elbow and Cody turns it around. Sandow comes back in and stomps away on Bryan.
More tags between Sandow and Rhodes as they keep Bryan in their corner. Sandow with the leg sweep and Elbow of Disdain. Sandow with a headlock now. Bryan tries to fight out but can’t. Bryan leapfrogs and tags in Kane. Kane drops Sandow and goes to the top. Kane slips on the top rope but fights Sandow off and hits the big right hand. Kane with a right for Cody also. Kane drops Sandow with a big boot for a 2 count. Kane with a clothesline in the corner. And another. Kane with the big sideslam and a 2 count. Sandow rolls to the floor to regroup but Bryan charges off the apron and decks him with a knee to the head. Bryan rolls Sandow back in and kicks him several times in the corner. Bryan comes off the top rope but lands bad on his knee and hold sit. Cody comes in and goes right to work on Bryan’s knee. They double team Bryan and work on his leg. Kane comes over and takes down Sandow. Cody dropkicks Kane back into the barrier. Bryan rolls Cody up out of nowhere for 2. Cody goes back to working on Bryan’s knee and hits Cross Rhodes for the non-title win.
Winners: Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes
– Still to come tonight, The Rock’s return. We see footage from earlier of Cena vs. Ziggler. Cole and Jerry Lawler plug the TLC Match for the WWE Title.
– We see Randy Orton walking backstage as we go back to commercial.
Heath Slater vs. Randy Orton
Back from the break and 3MB are in the ring. Out next comes Randy Orton to a big pop. They lock up and Orton drops Slater with a shoulder. Orton blocks a hip toss and clotheslines Slater for 2. Orton with shots in the corner now.
Orton ends up getting thrown to the floor. He fights back at Slater and drops Mahal and McIntyre. They eventually get the best of him as the referee is distracted by Slater. Slater brings it back in the ring for a 2 count. More back and forth action. Slater takes control now. Slater with a reverse neckbreaker for a close 2 count. Slater goes to the top but Orton knocks him off. Orton climbs up and nails a superplex on Slater. Orton with a pair of clotheslines now. Orton hits the powerslam and kicks Mahal off the apron. McIntyre goes down also. Orton turns around and blocks Slater. Orton takes Slater to the apron and hits the second rope DDT. Orton readies for the RKO and nails it for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
– After the match, Mahal and McIntyre attack Orton but they also catch RKO’s.
Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella
Back from the break and WWE Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett waits in the ring as Santino Marella comes out with Ricky Steamboat in his corner. Barrett drops Santino early and unloads on him. Barrett with a suplex and a 2 count, then a headlock. Santino makes an effort but Barrett gets the win with his elbow.
Winner: Wade Barrett
– After the match, Barrett goes to attack Santino again but Steamboat comes in. Barrett exits without attacking him and laughs.
– Striker is backstage with Sheamus talking about the Rumble. 3MB walk up and have words with him. They say Randy Orton got lucky tonight. Sheamus proposes they go sing a song together and whoever is left standing after a Brogue gets to sing Danny Boy.
– We see the tables, ladders and chairs around the arena as the announcers hype Punk vs. Ryback. Back to commercial.
The Great Khali vs. Antonio Cesaro