|Monday Night Raw|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||March 26, 2012|
|Event reference||RAW #983|
|Special event details||2 hr episode|
|Previous episode||March 19, 2012|
|Next episode||April 2, 2012|
World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Kane made big statements in a Tag Team Match with WrestleMania implications. The duo of Bryan and Kane looked impressive in defeating Sheamus and Randy Orton, as Bryan wore down The Great White with punishing kicks and Kane inflicted some painful strikes on The Viper.
But it was some timely distraction from Bryan's girlfriend, AJ, which ultimately threw Sheamus off his game when he tried to deliver a Brogue Kick, and allowed Bryan to capitalize for the pinfall following a chokeslam from Kane on The Great White.
Will Orton and Sheamus be able to get retribution and win when it matters most in Miami?
Before the match, announcers Michael Cole and Booker T made their allegiances clear for the battle between Team Johnny and Team Teddy, with Cole introducing Interim Raw GM John Laurinaitis and Booker T siding with SmackDown GM Teddy Long. David Otunga took early control of the match and did some bragging mid-match by waving the Team Johnny Flag, before Hornswoggle interfered provided the perfect opening for Santino to strike with The Cobra.
After the contest, Santino got on all fours as Long pushed Laurinaitis over him. As Laurinaitis steamed, The Miz ran out to seize the opportunity to stick up for the Interim Raw GM and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Santino. Clearly impressed by The Awesome One's defense, Laurinaitis named The Miz as the final member of Team Johnny at WrestleMania XXVIII. The Miz is going to WrestleMania, after all!
It looks like Eve has a new best friend – one that's toting some championship gold over her shoulder. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix proudly accompanied Eve to the ring for her match with Kelly Kelly -- a prelude to the Tag Team Match that will take place on April 1 between Kelly and "Extra" host Maria Menounos against Eve and Beth.
Perhaps brimming with a little too much confidence, Eve missed the mark with her signature moonsault from the top rope and Kelly Kelly took advantage for the victory. You can bet it'll be a tougher challenge once the Divas Champion is awaiting the tag in Eve's corner at WrestleMania.
Just when you thought CM Punk's rivalry with Chris Jericho couldn't get any more personal, Jericho makes sure it does. Before Punk squared off with Christian, The Straight Edge Superstar got another heated video message from Jericho, who appeared live via satellite on the TitanTron. Jericho proceeded to make personal remarks about Punk's birth, alleging that it occurred before his parents' wedding date, and claiming that makes Punk "the legal definition of a bastard."
Christian tried to make a surprise attack on Punk from behind, but it was the enraged WWE Champion who quickly took out his aggression on Captain Charisma. Punk had to be separated by WWE officials after he repeatedly smashed Christian into the announce table, then refused to let go of the painful Anaconda Vise. It's become very apparent that Jericho has gotten inside Punk's head. The question is whether or not it will work to Jericho's benefit for their "Best in the World" clash at WrestleMania.
UPDATE: Christian re-aggravated his neck injury due to Punk's attack, and has been ruled medically unable to compete at WrestleMania.
The funk train keeps on rolling!
Brodus Clay made quick work of Curt Hawkins with an assortment of power moves, then showed off his assortment of booty-shaking dance moves for the Atlanta crowd.
Big Show didn't waste any time dealing with the much smaller Primo. The World's Largest Athlete laid out one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with a crushing chokeslam, and then delivered a chokeslam to his partner Epico for good measure.
After the match, Cody Rhodes again mocked Big Show, who tried to go after the Intercontinental Champion as soon as he appeared on the entrance way. Cody claimed that Big Show will be the "biggest fool" on April Fool's Day – the same date as WrestleMania XXVIII. We'll soon find out if Rhodes is able to back up all the trash talking he's done over the past few weeks.
Another vignette showing the mysterious Lord Tensai aired
The WWE Universe got another glimpse of Lord Tensai in a second vignette -- this one including Japanese phrases scattered throughout. More questions are left unanswered, but it'll certainly be interesting to see if additional clues are revealed in weeks to come.
It's no wonder he's known as The World's Strongest Man. Team Johnny member Mark Henry overpowered Team Teddy member The Great Khali with a major exclamation point – a remarkable World's Strongest Slam on The Punjabi Giant.
Henry didn't stop there, though. The mighty Superstar prepared to pancake SmackDown GM Teddy Long before the other members of Team Teddy interfered, and Team Johnny wasn't far behind as the two squads engaged in an all-out brawl. Right as Henry was about to drop Long with the World's Strongest Slam, Booker T made the surprise save. Long then thanked Booker by offering him the final spot on Team Teddy at WrestleMania. Booker accepted the invite with a smile – and a Spinaroonie!
Keeping with his theme of history lessons, The Rock took the Atlanta crowd down memory lane and reminded them of his electrifying appearance at WrestleMania XXVII in the Georgia Dome one year ago. The Great One said there's only one man that the millions – and millions – wanted The Great One to face at WrestleMania, and that's John Cena. It wouldn't take long for his WrestleMania opponent to interrupt, as Cena came out to the ring to stop The Rock before he got any further with his verbal assault.
Cena noted The Rock is great at talking trash, but he definitely isn't the first to do so, and that every time someone tries to rip the leader of Cenation, he rises above the hate. Cena went on to say that he's been an active member of WWE longer than The Rock, and unlike The Great One, he's stuck with WWE in both good times and bad. Cena said the WWE Universe knows that he has to win this match, because his entire life is riding on it.
The Rock answered by explaining why he knows he needs to win, and that he's driven by the fact that he can cement his legacy as the greatest WWE Superstar of all time by defeating Cena at WrestleMania. On a personal level, The Great One said he just doesn't like Cena and promised him the ass-kicking of a lifetime. Cena closed with some final heated words before dropping the mic as the two rivals exchanged fiery staredowns nose to nose.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan & Kane (w/ AJ) defeated Randy Orton & Sheamus (11:30)
- Santino Marella (w/ Hornswoggle & Teddy Long) defeated David Otunga (w/ John Laurinaitis & Vickie Guerrero) (1:30)
- Kelly Kelly defeated Eve Torres (w/ Beth Phoenix) (2:30)
- Brodus Clay defeated Curt Hawkins (1:00)
- The Big Show defeated Primo (w/ Epico & Rosa Mendes) (0:45)
- Mark Henry (w/ John Laurinaitis) defeated The Great Khali (w/ Teddy Long) (0:50)
Other on-screen talent