Title This: WWE Raw Reaction 1-23-12

Josh Isenberg

WWE RawOpening Segment:

CM Punk starts off Raw talking about his match at the Royal Rumble. He talks about Laurinitis screwing him, and calls him out to say what he said last week to his face. John Cena comes out, and Punk does not like it. Cena goes on to talk about how Laurinitis screwed Zach Ryder. He wants Laurinitis to make everything better, now. Laurinitis comes out and says he meant everything he said last week. He books Ryder vs. Kane in a Last Man Standing match, and Cena cannot interfere. He also books Punk and Cena vs. Ziggler and Swagger

Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger def. CM Punk and John Cena:

What I Liked:

A great way to start off Raw, giving us basically two of the biggest feuds in one match, aside from Kane actually fighting here. Punk carried alot of the offense in this match, and was very quick at his decision making from move to move. We received a good view into what Ziggler and Punk will do Sunday, without giving away too much. I really liked the finish as well, Laurinitis distracting Punk, so Ziggler can roll him up. It was perfect to give Ziggler another win, as well as continuing Johnny vs. Punk. All angles were covered here.

What I Disliked:

I was expecting some sort of pyro or lights to tease Kane. This could have made Cena leave Punk alone, fending for himself. This could have made things a little more interesting. The match was good, not great. There were no major weaknesses in this entire first half hour of the show.

Grade: B+

Post match, Laurinitis accepts Punk's challenge for a match later tonight.

In Ring Segment:

Chris Jericho comes out for his Highlight Reel. He quiets the crowd down, does his usual, and then leaves. He comes out with a T Shirt machine, grabs the camera, and then points to the video tron. They play highlights of his returns and career. He finally speaks and says at the Royal Rumble, it will be the end of the world as you know it.

I loved how he is getting the crowd to boo and cheer him at any time. This shows his versatility in the company, as well as how important he is right now. He is the star power that they are lacking, and he is toying with everybody each week. One sentence is all he needed to say this week, and it was spot on. Each week, something is coming out of it, building to a greater picture. He did the perfect thing for us to look forward to him on Sunday.

Grade: A

Zack Ryder is backstage talking to Eve. Mick Foley asks if he is okay, and Ryder says he will be alright. Cena comes over and says that Ryder will be alright because he will have his back. Ryder says do not get involved because he wants his title rematch.

Kane vs. Zack Ryder in a Falls Count Anywhere Match:

What I Liked:

Kane completely dominates Ryder, which does Kane more than anything else right now. He needs to be shown as a monster, and Ryder is a likable guy that puts immediate heat on Kane. The bodyslams, the tossing of Ryder on the announcer's table, and the sheer power seen from Kane in this segment worked. He chokeslams Ryder through the stage. Ryder is the scapegoat, and that is alright with me. He got thrown into a major storyline. Cena looks really pissed off when Ryder leaves in an ambulance. This was the best I have ever seen Cena upset.

What I Disliked:

Where does Ryder go from here? I feel like Ryder cannot get revenge on Kane, so that is gone. Is his ultimate revenge coming at Mania against Swagger? There are few options for him, and now since he "broke his back." He will not be in the Rumble match, as well as at Elimination Chamber, unless he makes an amazing recovery. I also hope that Ryder is also seen on TV, even if he does not have a match. He cannot lose popularity right now.

Grade: B

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