Raw Five-Point Preview: Jan. 28, 2013
There will be no Day 435 for CM Punk’s WWE Championship reign. The Straight Edge Superstar’s near unprecedented run as WWE Champion ran into a brick wall at the 2013 Royal Rumble when Punk lost his precious prize to The Rock in a highly anticipated, hotly contested match that took both Superstars to the brink. Now that The People’s Champion has made good on his promise to claim the WWE Title once more, though, what awaits on Day 1 of The Rock’s new title reign? And with John Cena having won the Royal Rumble Match, earning a World Title challenge of his choice at WrestleMania, will that throw a wrench into Punk’s plans for a rematch?
Spin the wheel
Before we get into some of the more ominous events of last night, however: It’s Raw Roulette night! WWE’s flagship night on the Las Vegas strip is always a fun time (remember William Regal and Goldust wearing each other’s outfits? Good times), and we’re sure tonight will be no exception. With plenty of new wrinkles in the WWE landscape following the Royal Rumble, what will Lady Luck have in store for our Superstars?
All tied up
Alberto Del Rio clearly had no scruples when it came to his World Heavyweight Championship retention at the Royal Rumble. The champion kept Big Show on the mat with a Cross Armbreaker during their Last Man Standing Match while Ricardo Rodriguez duct-taped the giant’s legs to the ring ropes. The trickery kept The World’s Largest Athlete from unseating Del Rio as World Champion, but it was hardly the kind of thing that will go unanswered by Big Show in the days to come. Mark our words: You haven’t heard the last of this budding rivalry.
All's fair in love and war
It was a mixed night for Team Hell No, who not only retained their WWE Tag Team Championships in a near flawless performance against Team Rhodes Scholars at the Royal Rumble … but who also kinda-sorta eliminated each other from the Royal Rumble Match itself. Seizing his own opportunity, Bryan hoisted Kane over the top rope in the melee, only to be sent airborne by Antonio Cesaro and straight into Kane’s arms. For a moment it looked like Kane would spare his little buddy the ignominious elimination and place him back on the ring apron, but The Big Red Monster ultimately repaid Bryan’s earlier “kindness” by dropping him on his keister. Given that just last week, these two were the best of buddies, is an anger relapse in their future?
He’s back, babaaaayyyy
Chris Jericho shocked the WWE Universe when he made his return to the ring after a monthslong absence, entering the Royal Rumble Match at No. 2 and making it all the way to the final six before he was tossed by the man who got him fired: Dolph Ziggler. Ordinarily the Legends who return to the Royal Rumble do so almost on a whim, and a long-term stay isn’t in their future. But given Jericho’s Herculean resolve in the Royal Rumble Match and the fact that he now owes Ziggler two instead of one … well, we’d be shocked if he simply split without taking another shot at The Showoff.
Mr. McMahon promised to strip CM Punk of the WWE Title if The Shield interfered in Punk’s contest with The Rock. Well, they allegedly interfered while the lights were off, and while Rock dissuaded The Chairman from bringing down the hammer and took the title on his own, it’s safe to say Mr. McMahon will have plenty to say to Paul Heyman during the Mad Scientist's live performance evaluation. As the saying goes, don’t cross The Boss. On top of that, there's the matter of CM Punk himself, who we're sure will have plenty on his mind during his first Raw without the WWE Title since November 2011. What will Heyman's punishment be? And how will Punk react to losing his WWE Championship? Tune in tonight at 8/7 CT to find out!