|Monday Night Raw|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||May 21, 2012|
|Event reference||RAW #991|
|Special event details||2 hr episode|
|Previous episode||May 14, 2012|
|Next episode||May 28, 2012|
One look at John Cena's face and you could tell this is a dark day for the Cenation leader. Cena opened the show in a state of rage and frustration over his loss to Laurinaitis at WWE Over the Limit. Cena, although clearly embarrassed by the defeat, fired back at his doubters who wondered why Cena took his time humiliating the General Manager during their contest. Cena then called out Big Show, claiming he sold out by coming to Laurinaitis' aid and ruined the prime opportunity to get Laurinaitis terminated.
Executive Administrator Eve interrupted the Cenation leader to introduce Laurinaitis, who sputtered out onto the stage aboard a "People Power" scooter (perhaps we'll see that sold on an infomercial soon?). The GM cited his potential serious injuries that he sustained during his match against Cena and reminded WWE Superstars that they risk immediate termination if they lay a finger on him moving forward. Laurinaitis then announced that Cena will face the rehired Big Show at the No Way Out pay-per-view on June 17!
The World's Largest Athlete refused to apologize for his actions at WWE Over the Limit and said he "did what he had to do" while the crowd chanted, "You're a sellout!" Big Show angrily shouted at Cena for judging him and threatened to knock him out at No Way Out. As Big Show stormed off, David Otunga came out and challenged Cena to a match and dedicated the one-on-one contest to Laurinaitis.
With his boss watching on, David Otunga tried his best to impress against John Cena. But Laurinaitis' legal counsel quickly found himself overmatched and tapped out to the STF. Right after the bell rang, chaos erupted as numerous Superstars rushed to the ring and ganged up on Cena. As the Cenation leader struggled to fight back, Sheamus rushed out to back up Cena. As The Great White cleaned house, Laurinaitis announced that the main event would be Raw's first-ever 2-on-3 Handicap Lumberjack Match, with Cena and Sheamus joining forces to face three opponents of the GM's choosing.
In a bit of high comedy, Santino Marella made fun of Ricardo Rodriguez's eyebrows, saying they looked like "caterpillars," and the two proceeded to get into a duel over who can roll their "R"s better. After the verbal spat, Santino struck Ricardo with The Cobra and did his best impersonation of Ricardo by introducing Alberto Del Rio for his match against Randy Orton.
Del Rio repeatedly targeted Orton's shoulder throughout the contest, trying to soften him up for the Cross Armbreaker. Although clearly ailing, The Viper found his second wind and planted The Mexican Aristocrat with a vicious DDT off the second rope. Before he could finish Del Rio off with an RKO, however, Chris Jericho came out of nowhere and planted his knees into Orton's face with a Codebreaker. Not satisfied there, Jericho delivered two more Codebreakers on Orton, sandwiched between relentless taunts of "I am the best in the world at everything I do!" The Mental Mastermind definitely made a powerful statement coming off his loss in the Fatal 4-Way Match at WWE Over the Limit (a clash that also included Orton and Del Rio).
Daniel Bryan is not a happy camper. The irate submission specialist showed the crowd photos of his WWE Over the Limit match against CM Punk, alleging that the WWE Champion tapped out to the "Yes!" Lock before Punk notched the pinfall. The Straight Edge Superstar retorted that the count of 1-2-3 obviously happened first, which makes any submission afterward irrelevant. To be fair, as announcer Michael Cole pointed out, Bryan still proved to the WWE Universe that he could make the WWE Champion tap out.
The Second City Savior then revealed that Bryan's next opponent would be none other than Kane! With Punk dishing out some running commentary, Bryan did his best to wear down The Big Red Monster. But as Punk toyed with Bryan on the outside, Kane used the extra time to recover, then drove the former World Heavyweight Champ into the mat with a massive chokeslam for the victory. Following the match, Punk added insult to injury by locking Bryan in an excruciating Anaconda Vise.
The new Intercontinental Champion is proving he's ready to be an all-out workhorse. Christian, just one day after participating in a 20-Man Battle Royal and shocking Cody Rhodes, made his return to Raw to defend his title against Jinder Mahal. Less than 24 hours after competing in two intense battles at WWE Over the Limit, Captain Charisma rallied back against Mahal and hit the Killswitch. Christian didn't go for the pin there, however, opting to finish Jinder off with a surprising frog splash for the emphatic victory.
Fresh off her selection to Maxim's new Hot 100 list, Kelly Kelly laid into Beth Phoenix with a series of kicks, showing off some early aggression while matched up against her longtime Diva rival. But right as Kelly Kelly tried to execute a handspring elbow in the corner, Phoenix responded with a crushing double axe handle to the back of Kelly Kelly's head. From there, it was just a matter of "Glam Slam. Ding," as The Glamazon likes to say on Twitter.
One can imagine what was going through the mind of Divas Champion Layla as she watched Beth's win closely on a backstage monitor.
From the early going, there was no doubt that John Cena and Sheamus had their work cut out for them. Isolating The Great White at a distance from his tag team partner, Tensai twisted and yanked on Sheamus' head like it was a stripped screw. After Sheamus was tossed to the outside, the Laurinaitis hand-picked lumberjacks let loose with a flurry of punches and kicks, further weakening The Celtic Warrior. Every time Sheamus appeared closer to mounting a rally, the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Tensai made sure to stop him right in his tracks.
Remarkably, Sheamus found the momentum he needed to tag Cena by executing a rolling senton against Ziggler, and The Cenation Leader followed with a couple of turbocharged shoulder blocks. The comeback wouldn't last long, though, as the lumberjacks pulled Sheamus off the apron and promptly mauled The Great White before storming the ring to turn their attention to Cena. A huge brawl then broke out as the locker room emptied and a horde of Superstars rushed to the ring to exchange blows with the lumberjacks. Meanwhile, Big Show watched all the chaos unfold from the stage.
The melee raged on and Cena went to the backstage area in search of The World's Largest Athlete, but found himself face to face with Laurinaitis instead. The General Manager reiterated to Cena that he wasn't allowed to lay a finger on him or else the Cenation leader would be terminated. As Cena turned away from Laurinaitis, he was knocked out cold by Big Show's ferocious WMD for the second night in a row.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Dean Ambrose defeated Alex Riley
- John Cena defeated David Otunga (2:00)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton ended in a no contest (7:15)
- Daniel Bryan defeated Kane by DQ (1:50)
- Christian defeated Jinder Mahal (3:15)
- Beth Phoenix defeated Kelly Kelly (2:30)
- John Cena & Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Tensai (w/ Sakamoto & Vickie Guerrero) ended in a no contest in a Three On Two Handicap Lumberjack Match (15:30)
- Dark Match: CM Punk (c) defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship
Other on-screen talent