It's the night after Raw in Miami, so here we go with Monday Night Raw!
The entire roster is gathered for a meeting with John Laurinaitis, now in charge of both Raw and Smackdown. Laurinatis said that he became the most powerful person in WWE by becoming the man running both shows, but he's going to use his power to give to the people. He announces Santino Marella will defend the US title against both Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger in a Triple Theat match. At least it's not a handicap match. They scared me there for a second. The challengers are loving this while Santino knows he's sunk.
WWE champ CM Punk pushed his way through everyone and said he has a statement to make on behalf of the fans and the roster. He said that despite the fact Laurinaitis is now the GM of both shows, they all still consider him to be a giant toolbox. Ace said that Punk is always telling jokes. Punk says he likes a good rib, but he's not joking. Punk is told he's going to have to defend the WWE title against Mark Henry. Ace says this will be a new era, the era of "People Power." The members of Team Johnny are loving this while everyone else is disgusted.
Following the theme song, out comes the victorious Rock making a grand entrance to the ring in his hometown. The crowd chants, "Boots to Asses." Rock tries to start his promo but is stopped by the fans chanting, "You still got it." He thanks them and says that 14 months ago, he returned to WWE and they had all sorts of fun electrifying arenas across the country, but it wasn't until last night, when Rock stood before a history making crowd in Sun Life Stadium victorious, that he was able to say, "Finally, the Rock has come back....home." Big pop for that. You can see Rock has goosebumps. No sooner than I typed that did he show everyone.
The Rock said that there is one man he has to thank, John Cena. The crowd booed the hell out of that idea. He said last night, Cena brought it to The Rock like never before. Rock started to recount the things that Cena did to himself in the ring, saying that when he was in the STF, he was having a JHC Moment - Jesus H. Christ, get this guy off of me! Rock said that it was an honor to compete in the biggest match of all time last night. He said that win or lose, they did it for the fans.
Rock said he wanted to thank Cena and his family and friends who came from all over the world, but more importantly, he wanted to thank the people. Rock said in 1995, he was cut from the Canadian Football League. He asked if anyone had any idea how bad you have to be to be cut by the Canadian Football League. He said it was thanks to the people of Miami that he stands before everyone today as the People's champion.
Rock said that for those who believes this the end of the Rock's WWE return, he guarantees that this is just the beginning. The crowd starts doing the Daniel Bryan "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chant. He said that ever since last night, Rock has had this vision in mind. He told a story of going out celebrating last night after winning last night and had a vision. He woke up this morning and started telling people about it, but was told it was impossible. Rock said that he wipes the monkey's a** with the world impossible and asked if they wanted to hear his vision. Rock says that one day, he will walk down the aisle as the WWE champion. He promised it would come true one day.
Rock vs. Punk works for me!
As Rock exits, they pitch it to a video package about John Cena, noting that he stated if he lost to the Rock, he would lose everything. They tease he will be here later to call out Rock and wonder what his mindset may be.
WWE United States champion Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger
The challengers worked over Santino together, then took turns controlling him while also mocking him. Marella ducked a charge and backdropped Zigger over the top to the floor. Swagger laid out Marella as they went to commercial.
When they returned, Marella was still in a compromised position as the challengers teamed on him. Marella kicked Swagger off and nailed Ziggler. He hit several hiptossed and pulled out the Cobra, but was nailed by Ziggler and drilled. They doubleteamed Santino. Ziggler went for the cover, which upset Swagger. They had words and Swagger nailed a belly to belly on him.
Santino avoided a Vader splash. He nailed a catapult into the turnbuckles on Ziggler, then drilled Swagger with the Cobra and scored the pin.
Your winner and still United States champion, Santino Marella!
The challengers attacked Marella, who escaped and ran up the aisle. They followed him but out came Brodus Clay. Swagger and Ziggler backed off. Clay challenged them. The place started chanting for the Funkasaurus. Ziggler charged and leapt at Brodus but was nailed with a headbutt and took a hard bump onto the ramp. Guerrero's team backed off. Clay, Santino and Clay's dancers began dancing on the stage, effectively turning Swagger and Ziggler into a complete non-threat by showing the world they were so unimportant, the heroes could goof off and dance.
As an angle to make Clay, it was a fine way to integrate him into their storylines but they lost me the second they started dancing.
Lord Tensai vs. Alex Riley
Tensai came out dressed like The Great Kabuki, complete with a second who tossed salt in the air. They explained he was a former WWE star who went to Japan after leaving WWE. They said he dominated in Japan. The crowd chanted, "Welcome back" and "A Train."
Tenai elbowed Riley and worked him over in the corner, while looking stoic. Tenai whipped Riley hard into the buckles, then drilled him with a series of headbutts in the corner, forcing Riley to crumple in the corner. He powered Riley up with a double wing suplex, then held him in the air, before dropping him down. Tensai killed him with a pair of running elbowdrops and a big splash.
Tenai continued to beat down Riley in the corner. With each move, the crowd yelled, "Yes!" then started chanting for Daniel Bryan. Lots of Wrestlemania holdovers from last night still in Miami. Tensai nailed the sitdown Baldo Bomb. The referee called for the bell, ruling the match was over.
Your winner, Lord Tensai!
Riley tried to pull himself up but was too hurt. He finally used the ropes to his feet. Tensai spewed his own hand with mist and then applied the IRON CLAW!
It was an OK debut in terms of introducing a new monster but he really needed someone smaller to be bouncing like a pinfall. That said, I like the character thus far. I have to think that fans who haven't seen him since Tensai left WWE will be surprised at how much he's improved.
They showed some stills from Wrestlemania. When they showed one of Sheamus as the World champion, the live crowd booed.
We went to a video package on Cena losing the biggest match of his career. The announcers said that the only thing they know for sure is that Cena will call out Rock.
WWE champ CM Punk vs. Mark Henry.
Henry used his power to control the champ early. Punk fired back with chops and kicks, then a dropkick or two. The crowd chanted for Punk. Henry absorbed the dropkicks and nailed Punk when he went for another. Henry stood over Punk's back, squashed him underneath.
Henry went to set up for a move but Punk fired away with knee strikes. Henry cut him off with a running clothesline. Henry covered Punk for a two count. He began screaming at Punk that he owned him. We're seeing signs of the monster evil Henry that became World champion before he was hurt with the groin injury. He beat down Punk in the corner. The crowd chanted for Punk, who fought back with a series of kicks to the chest. Punk leapt at Henry but was caught in a bearhug. Punk was able to elbow himself out and DDT Henry for a two count.
Punk fired away with kicks to the chest and rebounded with a leaping knee to the face for a two count. Henry cut him off and went for the splash off the ropes. Punk tried to stop him but was taken out. Henry missed the splash. Punk went for the springboard clothesline but Henry clobbered him with a big clothesline.
When they returned from commercial, Punk came off the top but was drilled in the mid-section by Henry. Henry locked on a trapezious hold, trying to force a submission. Punk pulled himself up and dropped down into a jawbreaker. Punk nailed several kicks but was nailed. Henry missed a charge in the corner and was peppered with chops and a roundhouse kick. He is finally felled by a superkick.
Punk went to the top for the Savage elbowdrop but hurt his mid-section. Punk nailed the running knee in the cornee, then a second. He went for the bulldog out of the corner but Henry just grabbed him and dumped him over the top to the floor. Punk is unable to return to the ring in time and is counted out.
Your winner, Mark Henry by countout!
Henry realized that he didn't win the title. They explained he was dazed from the knees to the head and wasn't thinking about what he was doing. He grabbed Punk and nailed the World's Strongest Slam on the floor.
John Laurinaitis came out and said that going forward, Punk is going to be defending the belt against top competition on a regular basis. He said it was going to be like a natural disaster. Punk was out cold on the floor.
Chris Jericho showed up from, I guess, the crowd and took a ring mic. He asked if that was the man that beat him last night laying there. Jericho said that they had a classic match last night and they should celebrate with a drink. He had a bottle of jack daniels. Michael Hayes on standby. Jericho said he promised Punk he would be the reason Punk had his first drink and would end up just like Punk's father. He said he was proposing a toast to his father and Wrestlemania, then poured them entire bottle all over Punk's face, head and mouth. The taste of it woke Punk up somewhat. Jericho kicked Punk but slipped on the wet mat. Jericho said Punk was down and out and wanted another drink. He had another bottle. Hayes must be restrained at this point. Punk was facedown on the mat. Jericho said that he needed to warn Punk that he was going to want another and another, but to be careful or it would go straight to his head. He smashed the bottle over Punk's head. Jericho walked off. Medics were checking on Punk as they went to commercial. Great angle.
They showed stills of Sheamus winning the belt last night from Daniel Bryan.
Justin Roberts introduced Sheamus. The majority of the Arena booed him. It's going to be a promo. I expect Daniel Bryan chants aplenty. Nope, no time as Sheamus was about to cut a promo when out came Alberto Del Rio, introduced by Ricardo. The announcers put it over as the last two Royal Rumble winners being face to face.
Del Rio told Sheamus that he won the World title in record time. The Arena chanted for Daniel Bryan. Del Rio told him that no one will remember the title win in a month, because he has a new challenger, one that doesn't hide behind a chica - Alberto Del Rio. The crowd chanted "Thief" at Sheamus. Sheamus told Alberto it was great to see him because the people don't want to see him talk but kick someone in the face. More boos for Sheamus. The fans chanted, "No! No! No!"
Del Rio said that he isn't looking for a fight, since he has one already. Del Rio announced John Laurinaitis has given him a match against Sheamus for Friday and if he wins, he gets a title shot. He started to cut a promo as the Bryan chants began again. Del Rio's mic went out so he stammered and started again, then it went dead. He turned to Ricardo to get his and turned back into a Brouge Kick.
The crowd reactions completely killed the segment, which was pretty damn funny.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan and AJ were watching on a monitor. The Arena went nuts chanting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" John Mathews asked Bryan for comment. The crowd chanted for Bryan. He just glared at Mathews, who got the hint and backed off.
They show Machine Gun Kelly at ringside.
Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston
They had a nice back and forth. Rhodes nailed a Beautiful Disaster and began working over Kingston.
Big Show's music played. Out came Show, who showed a video of what happened last night, getting Rhodes back for all the videos he played mocking Show.
Kingston nailed Rhodes with the Trouble in Paradise while he was distracted and got the pin.
Your winner, Kofi Kingston!
Nothing match. Just an angle.
I am surprised that after that heavy angle with Punk, we haven't been given any updates.
Backstage, Mark Henry was pissed, Abraham Washington (remember him?) showed up and said Henry needed help. He offered his management services and walked off after giving Henry a business card.
Michael Cole said tonight was the culmination of a great week. Well, actually that was last night. They talked about the Hell in A Cell match and Kane beating Randy Orton. Jerry Lawler said the only lowlight of the show was John Laurinaitis getting the win thanks to Eve Torres.
Eve came out and said that everyone wants to have their Wrestlemania moment, so last night, she had hers. She said that she manipulated Zack Ryder and it was easy. She said it's easy to manipulate any man except John Laurinaitis because powerful men can't be manipulated. She said that if her actions helped him, then so be and declared herself behind "People Power." Nothing promo.
We had a recap of Rock's comments earlier tonight.
Zack Ryder vs. The Miz
Odd this is going on at 10:50. They said Cena just arrived.
They go back and forth. Ryder went for the Bootscrape but was cut off. Miz locked on a side chinlock. Ryder tossed him off, then kicked off a charge. Ryder slammed Miz's face into the mat and nailed Miz in the corner.. Ryder nailed the Broski Boot for a two count.
Miz grabbed Ryder and ran him shoulder-first into the ringpost, then nailed the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin.
Your winner, Miz!
Short match but they were working hard.
We saw a shot of Cena's locker room. He's going to call out Rock next.
They announced the Smackdown main events.
A somber John Cena came to the ring. He stood in the ring getting booed and acted like he didn't know what to say. He said that he never thought of losing, but now that it's happened, it's time to do it right. He said that is the obligation of those who believe in him. Cena said that we all take defeats in life, quoting Muhammad Ali. Cena said that he talked a lot during the road to Wrestlemania that anyone else in his shoes would be making excuses but that's not him. Cena said that he meant every single thing that he said. He meants it there and means it now. He said there was never a moment where he thought he would lose, because if you think about losing, you do. He said a true champion maintains himself in defeat.
Cena said there was speculation about how he would react. The crowd chanted, "You're a loser." He said that people wondered if this would be the day he lashed out at the WWE Universe. "YES! YES! YES!" chants. Cena said that it wouldn't happen. They booed him for that.
Cena said that he was a man and as a man, he will own up and accept defeat. He said that last night he lost to the Rock. More "YES!" chants. Cena said that there will be critics that will make last night the most important of his career but it will not be his fans. Cena thanked everyone for their support - family, friends, loved ones and even Machine Gun Kelly, who also gets booed out. Cena said that he is going to scrape off his boots and move on.
He said that he's not here to call out The Rock because they settled it last night. HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE "We want Lesnar" chant. Cena said it was, "An always interesting crowd here on Monday Night Raw" and said he would like the Rock to return to the ring. He said that Rock has earned his respect after all they have been through. Cena said he wants The Rock and the world to know that Cena considers him a champion and an inspiration. Cena said that after last night, he considers Rock to be the best Superstar in this industry.
Cena says that he wants one more moment of celebration for Dwayne Johnson in the ring. Cena said it's been an exhausting year mentally and verbally laying it out. HUUUUUUUUUUUGE Lesnar chants again. Cena said that he understands the excitement in the air but he put his heart and soul into last night (that got booed) but he came up short. The crowd chanted, "YES! YES! YES!" so Cena did it with them and said, "Daniel Bryan, you owe me one." That got a Bryan chant. Cena said that this is why he loves Raw and asked Rock to come out so he can congratulate him on his victory.
Brock Lesnar's music hit and out he came. Huge pop. Lesnar smirked and stalked around the stage. Cena smirked at him. Lesnar made his way to the ring. "Holy sh**" chant. He walked around ringside. Cena clapped for Lesnar as he entered the ring. He offered Cena his hand. Cena took it and was nailed with an F5.
Lesnar stepped on the ropes as Michael Cole delared that Brock Lesnar is back.