Raw Five-Point Preview: Jan. 7, 2013

Raw Five-Point Preview: Jan. 7, 2013

The first Raw of 2013 is going to be one wild ride, with no less a marquee match in place than a Tables, Ladders & Chairs WWE Title Match between Ryback and the incumbent, recently medically-cleared champion CM Punk. But while the WWE Universe salivates over the long-awaited contest, Dolph Ziggler has been stewing in anger over the past week after being embarrassed by John Cena in the waning minutes of 2012. With Ryback on the prowl for championship gold once again and Ziggler out for messy revenge against his own muscle-bound rival, what can the WWE Universe expect when Raw rolls into 2013. We have a few — five, actually — ideas. …

Oh, also, some guy called “The Rock” is coming back to Raw for the first time in six months. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

Good things come to those who wait

Ryback tells CM Punk they will meet for the WWE Title on the first Raw of 2013: SuperSmackDown, Dec. 18, 2012

Ryback interrupts one of CM Punk's infamous "pipe bombs" to tell the WWE Champion they will compete for the WWE Title on the first Raw of 2013.

Well, the reprieve was good while it lasted: WWE Champion CM Punk will return to the ring against Ryback in the Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Title that was originally supposed to go down at WWE TLC last month. Ryback’s had a rough couple of weeks at the hands of The Shield, while Punk is fresh after recuperating for a few weeks following knee surgery. Who will win this one is anyone’s guess (we’re pretty sure Punk will tell all doubters to  “kiss his a**” regardless), but we’re pretty excited to see this long-awaited bout finally come to fruition.

Revenge is messy

Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee's New Year's Eve toast ends in smelly mess courtesy of John Cena: Raw, Dec. 31, 2012

John Cena ends 2012 on a good note for himself and a really disgusting one for Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee.

It was a sloppy New Year’s Eve for Dolph Ziggler last week when John Cena rained “slop” on The Showoff’s head from above, ruining Mr. Money in the Bank’s New Year’s Eve toast with AJ Lee. The one member of Dolph’s entourage to escape the brown bombing was Big E Langston, who was standing sentinel outside the ring when Cena let loose with his messy surprise. Seems fitting that Dolph will want to get Cena back for embarrassing him, and who better to send after the 10-time WWE Champion than the muscleman who’s laid him out multiple times already?

The bigger they are ...

Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Big Show - Champion's Choice World Heavyweight Championship Match: Raw, Dec. 31, 2012

Can Ricardo Rodriguez defy all odds and become the new World Heavyweight Champion?

The harder they fall, but is anyone bold enough to challenge Big Show for his World Heavyweight Title? We know Ricardo Rodriguez has the gumption to face the giant — though his effort to dethrone Show ended rather painfully, if not honorably — but who besides Alberto Del Rio’s buddy will step to the plate? Maybe Del Rio himself, who has long coveted, but never captured, the World Heavyweight Championship? Hmm …

Finally ...

The Rock returns live to Raw this Monday night, 8/7 CT on USA Network

Prepare to be electrified when The Rock returns to Raw this Monday night, 8/7 CT on USA Network.

The Rock is coming back to Monday Night Raw. For the first time since the red brand’s 1,000th show and just a few weeks before he challenges for the WWE Title, The People’s Champion will descend upon WWE’s flagship program once again. Details are scant on what The Great One’s plans are for the WWE Universe or Superstars. Given that whoever wins the CM Punk–Ryback match will likely be The Brahma Bull’s opponent at Royal Rumble Jan. 27, though, we’re guessing some words will be in order for the victor of the TLC bout. We can smell it already.

Ready to rumble

Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Big Show & Antonio Cesaro: SmackDown, Jan. 4, 2013

Sheamus teams with Randy Orton in the main event of SmackDown to face World Heavweight Champion Big Show & United States Champion Antonio Cesaro.

The 2013 Royal Rumble Match already has quite the (pardon the expression) pedigree, with former Rumble winners John Cena, Randy Orton and Sheamus already having thrown their names into the marquee melee. Considering a Royal Rumble Match victory will punch a Superstar’s ticket to New York/New Jersey to challenge for a World Title, the stakes are doubly high this year. Will any other former World Champions declare for the contest? Or will a left-field entry emerge from the shadows to enter his or her name? Find out this Monday at 8/7 CT on USA Network!

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