1/14 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: 20th Anniversary show, The Rock in concert, Eve vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship, Dr. Shelby returns, Royal Rumble build continues


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WWE TV Reports


1/14 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: 20th Anniversary show, The Rock in concert, Eve vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship, Dr. Shelby returns, Royal Rumble build continues
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:00 PM


By Jason Powell

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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Houston, Texas at Toyota Center


[Q1] Raw opened with a montage of the company's past openings... Michael Cole (along with Jerry Lawler and JBL) checked in from ringside. Vince McMahon's music played and he was introduced while standing in mid-ring. "Welcome, everyone, to the 20th anniversary of Monday Night Raw," he said.

Vince said Raw has provided entertainment. He said Nielsen figures have shown that over four billion viewers have enjoyed Raw. Vince said the reason people have enjoyed the show is because he's a genius! He also said it's because of the fans.

Vince hyped segments for the show. He announced that John Cena would face Dolph Ziggler inside a steel cage. He also plugged that Rock would be performing a Rock concert. He started to wrap thing up, but Vince was interrupted by Big Show's entrance music.

Big Show walked to the ring in street clothes. Cole said Show was very disgruntled and is now a former World Hvt. Champion. Show said the 20th anniversary and the people would have to wait. He said they needed to address "the travesty that occurred" on Smackdown.

Vince told Show that he doesn't like to be interrupted or having people like Show refer to him by his first name. "Sir, we need to address what happened..." Show said before Vince cut him off. Vince said Show has been losing weight. Show said he's been cutting back on carbs. Vince said he wasn't referring to that, he was referring to his title belt. Show tried to stop Vince from playing footage of the title change, but Vince did anyway.

Powell's POV: It was cool to see the past opening montages all show, Yes, even the one by that sissy chick rock band Nickelback. Vince keeps telling Show to refer to him as Mr. McMahon. My first thought was that Show should just tell him to kiss his ass since he has the ironclad contract, but it makes sense that he's in nice guy mode since he's trying to get Vince to do him a favor.

Big Show said Booker T is just jealous of him. He brought up his ironclad contract and said Booker and everyone else are inferior to him. Show said that as Vince's giant, he feels Vince should strip Alberto Del Rio of the World Hvt. Championship. Ricardo Rodriguez walked onto the stage and introduced the new champion.

Alberto Del Rio walked out through the entrance wearing the title belt around his waist. Del Rio suggested giving the fans a rematch for the World Hvt. Championship. The fans chanted "si." Show said no. Del Rio told him to grow some cojones for once in his life. Show said he wouldn't waste his title rematch in Houston.

Show suggested the match take place at the Royal Rumble. He said people won't be talking about who wins the Royal Rumble or the Rock vs. C.M. Punk match. Show said he's going to knock out Del Rio at the Rumble and told him to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame. Del Rio said something in Spanish. Show asked for an explanation. "Fat jackass," Del Rio said. Show looked to Vince and asked if he was okay with his World Hvt. Champion insulting him.

[Q2] Del Rio said he and Ricardo have a present for him. Ricardo pulled out a bucket that had the Mexican flag on it. Show told Ricardo he would break him in half if he poured water on his suit. Ricardo threw it anyway. It contained Mexican flag colored confetti. Show still got upset and went after Ricardo, but Del Rio got the better of Show and cleared him from the ring...

Cole, Lawler, and JBL spoke at ringside. JBL and Lawler were wearing tuxedos. They hyped the Ziggler vs. Cena cage match, and the Rock concert... [C]

Powell's POV: I'm happy they are holding off on the Del Rio vs. Show rematch. It's a nice addition to the Rumble show as expectations for a title change and/or a Dolph Ziggler cash-in will be high. It's a nice third match on what is shaping up to be a huge Royal Rumble pay-per-view. That said, I can't say I cared much for the Show and Del Rio exchange. It was nice to see the Smackdown title change addressed prominently at the beginning of a big edition of Raw, but the confetti bucket gimmick was corny.

A Raw flashback segment showed Bob Barker hosting and bickering with Chris Jericho, and roughing up Chavo Guerrero...

1. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton in a non-title match. Cole hyped the Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton match that will be featured on WWE Main Event this week. Orton controlled the early portion of the match. He slammed Barrett's head off the announcers' table and knocked JBL's hat off the table at one point. That would have been ground for a fight during the JBL character's in-ring career. Orton was still in control when they cut to commercial. [C]

After the break, Barrett had taken control with a kick that knocked Orton off the ring apron. Cole said Barrett already considers himself among the greatest Intercontinental Champions in history. Cole ran through a list of former champs including Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin.

[Q3] Orton and Barrett traded punches in the middle of the ring. Barrett threw a kick, but Orton came back with a couple of clotheslines and a power slam. Orton went for the RKO, but Barrett blocked it and drove Orton through the ropes and into the ring post. Barrett drilled Orton with the Bull Hammer and pinned him clean...

Wade Barrett pinned Randy Orton in 10:30.

The announcers hyped the Rock concert... [C]

Powell's POV: Wow, a huge win for Barrett on the 20th Anniversary show. I just assumed we'd get a cheap finish where Barrett wouldn't be pinned. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind that Barrett would go over clean. Great move. Of course, it won't mean as much if they even this up by having Orton pin him clean on Smackdown or next week on Raw.

A graphic noted that when Raw debuted, Kofi Kingston was 11 years old, Cody Rhodes was seven, and A.J. Lee was five...

Backstage, Booker T and Teddy Long spoke with Eve. Booker said he spoke with Vickie Guerrero and they agreed that Eve will be stripped of the Divas Championship and it will go to Kaitlyn if she even thinks of getting herself counted out or disqualified. Eve tried to use her sexual charm. Booker and Teddy laughed at her. Eve slapped Teddy and stormed away...

Powell's POV: Eve will be stripped of the title and it will go to Kaitlyn. That was confusing. Why not just say the title will change hands if Eve is disqualified or counted out? Anyway, this should have been done last week when they announced the match. Okay, so it's a Divas match and it probably wouldn't have made a bit of a difference in the ratings, but still...

Backstage, Daniel Bryan told Kane that they have to lie to Dr. Shelby and tell him what he wants to hear. Shelby showed up and asked who wanted a group hug. They complied. They sat down on a couch. Bryan said they've clearly beaten their anger issues and asked if they could leave.

Shelby said he had a followup question for both men. He asked Bryan what his favorite thing is about Kane. Bryan said he likes that Kane is tall, "can start things on fire by lowering his arms somehow, and he's quite a good dancer." Funny. Kane got the same question regarding Bryan. He said Bryan is agile, has a great beard, and isn't afraid to admit that he sometimes wears women's clothing. Bryan squirmed.

Shelby said he had one more thing for them. He asked someone by phone to let someone in. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow entered the room. Shelby said they were there to cause a trigger for their anger as part of exposure therapy. Sandow corrected him on the type of therapy.

Sandow questioned Shelby's credentials. He said Kane and Bryan would be better off getting advice from Dr. Phil. Shelby flipped out and ordered Kane and Bryan to get them. Kane and Bryan roughed up Rhodes Scholars and ran them off. Shelby, Kane, and Bryan closed the segment by yelling Yes! together...

[Q4] Kane made his entrance. Cole said Kane would face Damien Sandow after the break... [C]

Powell's POV: I must admit that Dr. Shelby is a guilty pleasure, but the punchline was weak. I was hoping he would see eye to eye with his fellow intellectuals and turn on Kane and Bryan.

Cole announced that Kane and Bryan will defend the tag titles against Rhodes and Sandow at the pay-per-view...

2. Kane (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Damien Sandow (w/Cody Rhodes). Late in the match, Sandow jumped off the second rope. Kane caught him by the throat, chokeslammed him, and pinned him. JBL put over Kane as one of the most dominant people in Raw's 20-year history...

Kane pinned Damien Sandow in 2:00.

Cole said they would officially announce the first entrant into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and hear for the inductee live after the break... [C]

The announcers recapped the Alberto Del Rio and Big Show segment...

Justin Roberts introduced Mick Foley as the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Foley walked out and headed to the ring. Cole said one of his career highlights was calling Foley's first title win. The announcers stood and gave Foley a standing ovation. JBL questioned which character he would go in as.

Foley did his cheap pop intro. The Shield's music played and they came through the crowd and surrounded the ring. As the trio entered the ring, Ryback's music played and he came out and fought them. Ryback cleared Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose from the ring and was pounding on Roman Reigns, but Rollins and Ambrose recovered.

[Q5] Randy Orton ran out to help, but he was outnumbered. Sheamus ran out to help Orton and Ryback. The babyface trio cleared Reigns and Rollins from the ring, and Ryback put Ambrose down with Shellshocked. Ryback led the crowd in a Feed Me More chant. JBL said The Shield would be hellbent for revenge because they believe they are curing injustice in WWE. "And no matter what you believe about The Shield, they believe it," JBL said...

Powell's POV: A hot segment. Will they follow up on Ambrose and Foley's scripted altercations during WrestleMania weekend or was it just a setup for the the six-man brawl?

Ryback remained in the ring and was interviewed by Josh Mathews. Ryback said The Shield has allowed C.M. Punk to escape and walk away with the WWE Championship whenever he faces them. He said he doesn't care about conspiracy theories or investigations. "I cannot rest until I give back to The Shield what they have taken from me," he said. "Feed Me Shield"...

Powell's POV: Logical words, yet an awkward delivery. The crowd was hot for Ryback until he started talking. They weren't all that responsive when he brought up the way The Shield has stopped him from beating Punk. The live crowds are into Ryback, but they're not exactly hanging on his every word when he's cutting promo unless he's leading them in Feed Me More chants...

The announcers set up a video that showcased the outrageous gimmicks from WWE Raw's history. Man Mountain Rock, Goldust, The Goon, Duke Drose, Beaver Cleavage, Bastion Booger, T.L. Hopper, Gillberg, Rockabilly, Boogeyman, Naked Mideon, "Man's Man" WIlliam Regal, and many others were shown...

Powell's POV: The hot segment with The Shield, Orton, Sheamus, and Ryback into silly gimmicks. Odd placement of that video package.

3. Eve vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship. Ring announcer Lilian Garica reiterated that Eve will lose the title if she's disqualified or counted out. Eve got the televised entrance, but Kaitlyn did not. Jerry Lawler said Mr. Socko is upset because Lamb Chop beat him out for the Fruit of the Loom Hall of Fame. Cole rightfully mocked him for the dated reference.

Eve controlled the early offense and applied a head-scissors in the middle of the ring, but Kaitlyn reached the ropes to break the hold. Kaitlyn came back with a reverse DDT-like move for a good near fall that the crowd responded to.

[Q6] Eve came back with a neckbreaker for a two count of her own. The crowd once again responded to the near fall. Kaitlyn caught Eve on her shoulders and dropped her onto her knee (finisher), but Eve's momentum took her to ringside. Kaitlyn went after Eve at ringside. Eve threw Kaitlyn into the timekeeper's area.

Eve ordered the referee to count Kaitlyn out. However, Kaitlyn had already entered the ring unbeknownst to Eve. Kaitlyn speared Eve and pinned her to win the match...

Kaitlyn pinned Eve to win the WWE Divas Championship in 5:30.

Powell's POV: That's the most we've heard a live crowd respond to a televised Divas match in some time. Unfortunately, it's expected to be Eve's final match, as she is reportedly leaving the company. She's the only full-time in-ring Diva who has a character at this point. The division is going to miss Eve.

Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Brodus Clay and aired footage of C.M. Punk saying he shucks and jives. Clay said he doesn't shuck and jive because he has to. He said he does it because he was born to. He said Punk's pipe bomb is about to blow up in his face... [C]

Powell's POV: He was born to? Good lord. I was hoping Punk's words were a setup for Clay abandoning this one dimensional character.

A graphic boasted that Raw has aired more original episodes than Survivor, The Amazing Race, and American Idol combined... A 20th Anniversary flashback focussed on Donald Trump and the setup for the hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania 23...

4. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) in a non-title match. JBL said this is what would happen if Disco Inferno and Aretha Franklin had a kid. Holy unexpected Disco Inferno reference! Cole noted that Punk's title reign is up to 421 days. Clay had a big suplex spot down the stretch, but Punk caught him with a top rope elbow and applied the Anaconda Vice for the submission win...

C.M. Punk beat Brodus Clay by submission in 3:40.

[Q7] Punk said he came out to do what he does every Monday night. He said The Rock will be coming out a little later "to do whatever it is he does." He said some fans may feel one of those things is more entertaining and they are entitled to their opinion. He said the facts are that he just made a 400-pound monster tap out, and he's been the WWE Champion for 421 days.

Punk said Rock will come out and sing. He said Rock will not leave the Royal Rumble as the WWE Champion. He said he's the best in the world and that's not just his opinion, that's a fact...

Cole said that if Punk knocks off The Rock, he might be right about being the best in the world and perhaps the best ever. Cole hyped The Rock segment. Lawler hyped the Cena vs. Ziggler cage match... [C]

The announcers thanked The Heavy for providing the Royal Rumble theme song. Cool band... They set up a video for the "best vehicular moments" in Raw history. Cars, trucks, exploding limos, zambonis, cement mixers, monster trucks, race cars, and more...

Backstage, Mick Foley was on the phone telling one of his kids that he was getting ready to defend himself when The Rock interrupted him. Foley offered Rock a handshake. Rock asked if Foley thought he walked all the way across the ring to shake his hand. Rock then smiled, hugged Foley, and congratulated him.

Foley got Rock to deliver the "Finally" line. Foley tried to do singalong with The Rock, but Rock cut him off and said he likes to do it himself. Vickie walked into the picture and told them shut up because she couldn't hear herself think. He said Raw is her show. Vickie mocked the idea of Foley being a Hall of Famer by saying WWE should be like baseball and not induct anyone.

Vickie asked The Rock if he made herself clear. "I have nothing to say to you," Rock said. She said that's what she thought. Vickie left the scene. Foley said he thought Rock was going to lay the verbal smack down on Vickie. Rock said there's a time and a place for everything. He said to trust him and enjoy the Rock concert...

Sheamus made his entrance for an over the top rope challenge. Cole hyped Saturday Morning Slam's new time slot and said Sheamus would be in action...

[Q8] [C] 5. Sheamus vs. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre in an over the top rope challenge. JBL said the handicap match wasn't fair because 3MB needed more men. Sheamus eliminated Jinder and McIntyre. He missed a Brogue Kick on Slater and went over the top rope, yet held onto the top rope and remained on the apron. Mahal and McIntyre helped pull Sheamus to the floor to give their team the win.

After the match, 3MB celebrated with Slater hoisted onto McIntyre's shoulders. Sheamus pulled Mahal to ringside. He entered the ring and kicked McIntyre's leg so that he fell on his knees, then Sheamus caught Slater with the Brogue Kick. Cool spot. He followed up with another Brogue Kick on McIntyre...

3MB beat Sheamus in an over the top rope challenge in 3:20.

Powell's POV: I guess we figured out why WWE didn't bother to name Sheamus's opponent(s) before the break. Sheamus loses nothing by losing the match like that and getting his revenge. Honestly, though, 3MB doesn't gain anything either. They filled some television time.

Backstage, Josh Mathews asked John Cena about his recent history. Cena said it's the 20th Anniversary. He ran through a long list of big names rapid fire style and ended with Braden Walker. He stopped and said Walker wasn't even on Raw, but he has a hell of a highlight video. Cena said Ziggler will do exactly what World Wrestling Federation did to Monday Night Raw ten years ago by getting the F out...

The Miz walked onto the stage and said he had a very special guest on Miz TV. He said the man is a WWE Hall of Famer and it's going to be awesome. Miz's music played again briefly. Miz didn't miss a beat, though. He asked the fans if they wanted a hint as to who his guest will be. Miz "Woooo'd" and strutted toward the ring as the show went to break... [C]

Powell's POV: Sting?!? Okay, now I'm just asking for trouble from the readers who are obsessed with Sting facing Undertaker on a WrestleMania show.

[Q9] After the break, highlights aired of The Shield being roughed up by Ryback, Randy Orton, and Sheamus...

The Miz stood in the ring where the Miz TV set was located. He dubbed his show the most must see WWE talk show over the last 20 years. Um, okay. Miz said it was his honor to introduce "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair's music played and he walked to the ring wearing a suit. The announcers noted that Flair went into the WWE Hall of Fame alone and with the Four Horsemen. JBL said he spent "a month one weekend" with Flair in Houston. Funny.

Flair joined Miz in the ring and sat in one of the chairs. "Houston, what's going on," Flair said. Miz ran through some of Flair's WWE history and noted that he once played music chairs on Raw. He asked Flair what his most must see moment on Raw is. Flair said his retirement ceremony. He said it and the nights his children were born were the best days of his life.

Flair brought up talking with Howell Brown III, who told him that the day Ryback brings The Shield down will be a magic moment on Raw. Flair told the cameraman to get a closeup of him. Miz started the "Really" thing for God knows what reason. He and Flair did the "really" thing back and forth and then Flair strutted. Miz stood up and intensely said, "Do you know what?" He said that was pretty awesome.

Miz and Flair strutted and "woooo'd" together. Flair told the fans to learn to love it. Miz said that was a magical moment for him.

Powell's POV: That makes one of us.

Miz set up a video that focussed on the unique voices of WWE. It featured a lot of catchphrases from the likes of DX, Chris Jericho, Spirit Squad, Mick Foley, Val Venis, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Miz, Vickie Guerrero, Steve Austin, and many more.

Miz said the catchphrases were good, but there was one missing. He said the person who can say it "drives in a..." Flair struggled to come up with the right word. Flair stood up and said the limo riding line, but he was interrupted by Antonio Cesaro, who came out with an American flag and a microphone.

Cesaro said he doesn't need a catchphrases because he doesn't rely on crutches. He said Flair and Miz embody America. He said Miz is a failed reality TV star who is more focussed on fame than greatness. He said Flair made ten million dollars and spent 20 million dollars. "Thirty million, brother," Flair responded.

Cesaro entered the ring and told Flair that he's just like America in that no matter how great he once was, he has nothing to show for it. He said that in Flair's case, he might have a bar tab that he can't pay. He held up four fingers and said the only thing that stands for now are Flair's four ex wives.

Miz got worked up and said he would pay Flair's bar tab, but he was giving Cesaro the receipt right now. Cesaro said that unlike most Americans he was going to be the bigger man and walk away. Flair stopped and chopped Cesaro. Miz performed the Skull Crushing Finale and Cesaro, and then Flair set him up for the Figure Four. However, Flair stopped and gave the honors to Miz, who applied the Figure Four. After Cesaro rolled out, Flair knee dropped the ring and elbow dropped a suit jacket...

Cole hyped the cage match... [C]

Powell's POV: Cesaro was the best thing about that segment. His comments were biting and not just cliche jabs that don't ring true. Flair and Miz were chaotic and downright disappointing. I'm guessing 700 people at the absolutely very most inside Toyota Center know what receipt means in wrestling terms. You just know Flair is going to hold Miz to that bar tab thing tonight even if it was a scripted line.

[Q10] Highlights aired of Steve Austin and Mike Tyson from a classic Raw...

Powell's POV: All the Austin footage tonight combined with Jim Ross saying he would be at the show has to leave you wondering whether Stone Cold is going to make a surprise appearance.

6. Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Damien Sandow). Cody used a small mirror and comb to groom his mustache. He was put in the No! Lock and tapped out. The announcers noted that Team Hell No pulled off the clean sweep in the singles matches...

Daniel Bryan beat Cody Rhodes in 1:15.

Footage aired of an angry Eve telling Matt Striker that she quit WWE... Cole hyped The Rock concert... [C]

Powell's POV: Cody's mustache grooming routine is awesome. Rhodes Scholars losing again kills off whatever momentum they gained from winning the non-title match. That said, they'll be just fine if they win the titles at the Rumble. That was the best they could come up with for Eve's departure? Her angry promo was fine, but why not set up a loser leaves WWE match or something more interesting than her getting angry and quitting?

A Did You Know graphic boasted that WWE Raw has been viewed four billion times... Cole announced that Alberto Del Rio will celebrate his World Hvt. Championship win with a special fiesta on Friday's television show...

Backstage, A.J. spoke as Big E Langston stood by. She said her favorite Raw moments are WWE weddings. Footage aired of the Edge and Lita wedding and the Stephanie McMahon and Triple H wedding (the one without Michael Hayes singing at the reception).

Langston said there was one that nearly made him shed a tear. Footage played of the Daniel Bryan and A.J. wedding and Vince announcing her as the new general manager. Back live, A.J. was breaking up. She said that was the best moment of her life and it was taken away by John Cena.

[Q11] Dolph Ziggler entered the picture and said he will prove to Cena that he is just too damn good. Ziggler said that when he wins the cage match, it will be the greatest show stealing performance in the history of WWE Raw...

The Oklahoma Sooners fight song played. Jim Ross headed to the ring. Cole said he personally invited Ross to join them on commentary to call the cage match... [C]

Powell's POV: It's always good to hear Ross on commentary and I still wonder if there's a Stone Cold appearance coming. That might be the only thing that can get viewers who expected a lot of surprises feeling satisfied with the show.

After the break, Ross was sitting with JBL and Lawler. They noted that Cole gave up his spot for Ross for the cage match...

7. John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee, Big E Langston) in a cage match. Cena gave his hat and t-shirt to a special kid at ringside. Early in the match, Ziggler went for a dropkick, but Cena caught his legs and slingshot him into the cage. Ziggler grabbed the cage and started to climb it, but Cena caught him. A short time later, Ziggler was crotched in the middle of the ropes heading into the break. [C]

After the break, Cena and Ziggler were fighting at the top of the cage. They both ended up standing on the top rope. Ziggler dropkicked Cena off the ropes. They showed footage from during the commercial break of Cena trying to escape the cage, but Langston holding his foot. They played it up like Langston was holding him up with one arm, but it looked pretty ordinary.

Back live, Ziggler whipped Cena into the cage. Ziggler came right back with a super kick and got a good two count. Ziggler crawled to the door and got a hand on the floor, but Cena pulled him back. Langston grabbed Ziggler's arms and pulled him toward the floor. Cena won the tug of war battle because he's Superman, but Ziggler applied the sleeper hold.

Cena got to his feet with Ziggler still applying the sleeper hold. Cena climbed the ropes with Ziggler on his back. Lawler asked what he was doing. JBL said Cena was on autopilot. Cena collapsed, Ziggler went down with him, and the sleeper hold was broken.

At 13:00, Cena tried to exit the cage door, but Langston slammed the cage door on him. Ziggler made the cover, but Cena kicked out at two. Ziggler was near the door. Cena climbed over the cage quickly and kicked the door shut on Ziggler's head. Langston swung a chair at Cena, who headed back inside the cage to avoid him. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and went for a cover, but Cena kicked out at two again.

Ziggler climbed the cage at 14:30. Cena went up after him and flung him back into the ring. Ziggler ran over, jumped up, and DDT'd Cena off the top rope. Ziggler once again got a two count. At ringside, A.J. threw a fit and ripped the top off the announcers' desk.

A.J. climbed over the top of the cage. Langston entered the ring with the MITB briefcase. Cena cut him off, but Ziggler ended up with the briefcase. Ziggler swung the briefcase at Cena, who ducked, causing Langston to take the shot to the head. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Ziggler and got the clean pin as A.J. sat on top of the cage with a pained expression on her face.

John Cena pinned Dolph Ziggler in a cage match in 16:25.

Powell's POV: I hope WWE doesn't think this "feud" is really helping Ziggler. That's two weeks in a row when he's gotten all sorts of help from his sidekicks, yet has ended up being pinned clean by Cena. I don't think it's really damaging Ziggler aside from leaving fans numb to him looking strong in defeat because they've seen it so many times. Maybe it won't matter if he cashes in successfully. It's worth noting that the announcers went out of their way to say the cage match has no disqualification rules to explain away all the outside interference. It was cool to hear Ross back in the play-by-play role, as he's still the best at creating a big match feel.

The Rock made his entrance.

[Overrun] Cole reset the show on commentary at the top of the hour and repeated the four billion viewers claim. Once in the ring, Rock said it's been an amazing night. Um, has he been watching? He said it was an honor to close it all out. Rock said it's brought back some amazing memories, including his first time on Raw.

Rock said he came out looking like the biggest bad ass the world has ever seen. A shot aired of Rocky Maivia on the big screen. "Sweet moonwalking baby Moses, what was I thinking?" Rock said. He said he looked like a mental patient getting ready to audition for the Backstreet Boys. He said that picture shows that if you put your mind to it, you can overcome anything.

Rock sang to the tune of Heartbreak Hotel. He sang about Paul Heyman having floppy breasts and how he hasn't seen his penis in years. Rock picked up the guitar and paused for some "Rocky" chants that died quickly. Rock pointed out Dusty Hill from ZZ Top in the crowd. Hill was shown in the front row. "Cuz every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man," Rock sang while taking a line from the ZZ Top Classic.

Rock called out to the ladies. He asked if people know what his favorite curve on a woman is. "No, it's a family show," Rock said. "My favorite curve on a woman is her smile," he said. He told the guys in the crowd they could go ahead and use that one. Rock said there's a special woman he wanted to sing for. "No, not Cookie Puss," he said. Rock called for Vickie Guerrero to come out so he could sing a song for her.

Vickie Guerrero walked onto the stage and Rock sang his own lyrics to Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." He concluded with the line, "I said no, bitch, you look horrible tonight." Rock told Vickie not to go anywhere. "You abuse all your powers to waste everybody's time, you dress like a hooker, not the expensive kind. So get your ass to the airport, take a one-way flight, because bitch, you look horrible tonight."

Vickie threw a fit on the stage. Rock had the crowd join him in singing the big line again. They obliged and cheered and then chanted his name. Vickie stormed off. "Houston, Texas, that is one horrible looking biatch," Rock said. He asked the crowd if they were having fun and got a strong response.

Rock stood up with the mic and said he wanted to call out someone. He cleared the stool and mic stand aside and called out C.M. Punk. Rock said he wanted to tell Punk something man to man. After a long pause, Punk and Heyman walked out without music playing.

Rock recalled Punk talking about facts. Rock said it's a fact that for 421 days no one has been able to stop him. "Fact, that man right beside you, your manager, has twinkie tits," Rock said. Rock recalled Punk saying that facing him would be like boxing with God. Rock said Punk is not God. "But with God as his witness, in 13 days I will beat you for the WWE Title," Rock said.

Punk handed Heyman the WWE Championship and then whispered into his ear. Punk charged the ring. Rock met him at ringside. Punk took Rock down. Four referees quickly intervened. Punk broke free and charged at Rock. They were pulled apart. They broke free and Rock got a shot in. Arn Anderson and Jamie Noble held Punk back, while Finlay was among the agents who held Rock back as the show went off the air...

Powell's POV: You wanted surprises? You got WWE road agents Arn Anderson, Jamie Noble, and Fit Finlay!!! Actually, the surprise is that there were no surprises. Flair didn't feel like a big surprise since he was on the show recently, Foley makes semi frequent appearances, and Ross announced he would be there via Twitter. There were a lot of rumors about additional surprises, but WWE delivered their usual show with some flashback videos. I can live without all the surprises and in fairness to WWE they never advertised that there would be big surprises, but I know a lot of people are feeling letdown right now. WWE raised the bar with the Raw 1000 show.

I do wish they would have done a better job of hyping the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The Rock's concert was comical once Vickie arrived and the pull apart at the end was nicely done. I was more into what they did last week, but this was solid. The most baffling part is that WWE has neglected to hype the Royal Rumble match in a meaningful way. Wrestlers just randomly announce that they are entrants and the announcers occasionally talk about it, but there haven't been any stat videos or any potential storyline teases. It's really taking a backseat right now and that's a shame because it's such a big match. I'll have more to say in the Dot Net Member exclusive audio review later tonight and int the WWE Raw Hitlist on Tuesday. Thanks for watching along with me.

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