CM Punk opened the show. He talked about the upcoming WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble with him versus Dolph Ziggler. He claimed that Johnny Ace gifted Ziggler's previous wins over him the past month. He summed up Ace with one word: FAILURE. He said he was going to break John's arms to avoid him being able to screw him this Sunday as the referee. Punk demanded that Ace come out and tell him he would be screwing him to his face.
Ace didn't come out but John Cena did instead and demanded that Ace give Zack Ryder his United States title rematch tonight. He also said he wants a match with Kane before the Royal Rumble and that Ace resigns his position as Raw interim general manager immediately.
The other John came out and said he stands by what he said last week and he won't be intimidated by either of them. Punk tried getting Ace in the ring but he remained on the stage. Ace told Cena that Ryder would have a match with Kane tonight instead of a U.S. title rematch. If John interferes, Ryder would never get another shot at the belt. Johnny finished by telling Punk and Cena they have a tag team match against two opponents he hand picked.
Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger came out to talk some smack before heading to the ring for the tag team bout. Ziggler said he would show Punk who was better while Swagger told Cena he was dead meat. Ace walked with them down to the ringside area to sit and watch.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger v.s. John Cena and CM Punk
Ace sat ringside and texted throughout the match. Swagger hit the gutwretch powerbomb on Cena but John recovered enough to hit an Attitude Adjustment and tag out to Punk. Jack tagged Dolph in as well and we had a preview of sorts of this Sunday's WWE title match. Cena reversed a Swagger anklelock on the outside into a STFU. Punk went to the top tope and Ace distracted him long enough for Ziggler to roll him up and steal the win with a handfull of tights.
After the match Punk got on the mic and told Johnny that he might screw him on the PPV but one day he will beat him up. He told Ace that for one night only he should be a WWE superstar and face him in the ring. Johhny accepted with a smile on his face. The match is on.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Chris Jericho hosted the Highlight Reel. He took the microphone and pretended to want to start talking but acted like the crowd was too loud. He run up the ramp instead and brought out the t-shirt cannon. He got the crowd all riled up and never even fired a shot. Next he grabbed the camera from the camera man and ran it across the audience.
The Jeri-tron aired a highlight reel on his career in the WWE thus far complete with the old school countdown. Jericho smiled and put his finger over his lips attempting to shush the crowd. He finally spoke and said that this Sunday at the Royal Rumble it's going to be the end of the world at we know it. The lights went out and he stood in the ring posing in his jacket as the segment ended.
Backstage we saw Mick Foley talk to Zack Ryder and Eve about his match Kane tonight. After he left, Eve tried to talk Zack out of fighting Kane as John Cena entered the scene and told Zack he would help. Ryder told him to please not get involved so he doesn't lose his future United States title matches.
Zack Ryder v.s. Kane
This is a Falls Count Anywhere match. Ryder was still wearing the tape around the rib cage to sell the injury Kane gave him weeks ago. I wish the Big-O would debut and help Zack not get his ass kicked tonight. That would be awesome. Kane basically kicked the living shit out of Zack and worked on his weakened back. Eve came out to watch the brutality first hand as Kane dragged Ryder up to the top of the ramp and chokeslammed him through the stage.
Kane turned his attention toward Eve and began to chase her down as John Cena appeared on the ramp. There was no official decision for this match. After a commercial break we saw the medical staff wheeling Ryder out on a stretcher as Cena and Eve watched on. Eve told John that this was their fault. Josh Matthews walked up and told John he has to feel awful about this. Cena slapped the microphone away and looked pissed.
Sheamus v.s. Jinder Mahal
Why the hell do they keep doing this lame ass match on every show? I mean, let Mahal frigging win at least once if they expect people to care going forward. Wade Barrett came down and joined the commentary booth while the match was in progress. He talked about how he would win the Royal Rumble match and how he had Sheamus's number in the ring. Brogue Kick by Sheamus won him the match again. Predictable since Barrett didn't interfere.
Brodus Clay v.s. Heath Slater
Before the match we saw a replay of William Regal getting funked over by Clay on Smackdown this past Friday. After that, the Funkasaurus murdered Jullian Moore's twin sister in short order. Clay hit the flying cross body finisher to win the squash match.
Winner: Brodus Clay
The Miz v.s. R-Truth
Truth came out wearing a new "Little Jimmy" t-shirt. Not much of a match, more of a brawl. Whoever loses this match will be the number one entrant in the Rumble match this Sunday. Truth picked up the win here and saved himself from having to be the longshot to win the Rumble bout. Kind of an anticlimatic finish and literally no heat or applause from the crowd.
CM Punk v.s. John Laurinaitus
I hope I spelled his name right. Before the match we found out that Zack Ryder has been diagnosed with a "broken back" due to Kane's chokeslam earlier tonight. Lame. Like anyone would believe that. Justin Roberts introduced Ace three times and he came out wearing a "Future Endeavored" t-shirt. Johnny said that he recieved a fax from the Board of Directors before the match and it was unfortunate. David Otunga read the fax and it said that next week on Raw Ace will recieve a formal job evaluation for his role as Interim Raw General Manager.
Triple H will be the one doing the evaluation next week on Raw. Punk took his shirt off and prepped for a fight. He told Ace that now if he screws him at the Rumble he will lose his job. Ace said he made some mistakes and he wants to apologize to the WWE Universe. He also said that Mick Foley is now in the Rumble match and that he always was going to call the match down the middle. He was just mad at him before.
Punk said that next week he hopes Triple H fires him. Johnny responded by saying that the match will not happen now. He named David Otunga as his substitute. Otunga attacked Punk and Punk fought back locking on the Anaconda Vice quickly forcing David to tap. Punk went after Ace next who extended his hand in friendship instead of engaging him. Punk hit the GTS on him. Dolph Ziggler slid in the ring and hit the Zig Zag on Punk to end the show.