Six nights before the Royal Rumble 2013, the 1026th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the HP Pavilion at San Jose in San Jose, California. After a fierce brawl to end last week's RAW, what will go down between WWE Champion CM Punk and “The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment” The Rock six days before their clash for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble? John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton, The Miz, 3MB, Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, & Dolph Ziggler have all thrown their names in the hat as participants for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, but with six nights to go until the Royal Rumble, will we learn the identities of any more Rumble participants?
The show kicks off with an unusual sight as the Managing Supervisor of RAW, Vickie Guerrero, walks to the ring, arm-in-arm, with Paul Heyman. In the ring, Vickie states that she is a “professional” and she will always do the “right thing”. Paul Heyman then says that he is out there in a show of “solidarity” for Vickie Guerrero, saying that, last week, one man took it upon himself to insult himself and the “sexiest” boss in the history of RAW, Vickie Guerrero, and that man is The Rock. Vickie then shows a clip from last week's Rock Concert where The Rock sings that Paul Heyman's “fat covers up his penis that he hasn’t seen in years”. An embarrassed Heyman then says that, it is one thing to pick a fight with him, but to pick a fight with a “poor, defenseless widow” like Vickie is “vile” and “contemptible”. Despite Vickie's protests, Heyman shows the clip from the Rock Concert where The Rock sang that Vickie “looks horrible tonight” and “dresses like a hooker, but not the expensive kind”. Vickie then declares that, while The Rock is in the building, she has “banned” The Rock from entering the arena, saying that “The Great One” will be arrested if he even tries to enter the arena! Vickie then has the cameras cut to the backstage area where police officers are keeping The Rock from entering the arena. The Rock says that he understands that the cops are just doing their jobs, but nothing will stop him from getting in that ring tonight. One of the officers informs The Rock that, if he does enter the arena, they will have no choice but to arrest him. The Rock suggests that there are some people that the cops should arrest first, saying that they should arrest CM Punk for “impersonating a champion” and arrest Paul Heyman for “not wearing a bra in public”. The Rock then tells the officers to ask Vickie what her insides look like because, if Vickie thinks that he will not make it into the arena, then she must have her head up her ass! The Rock then concludes that it is not a matter of “if” he will enter the arena, it will be a matter of “when”. Vickie fires back, saying that, if Rock tries to make it into the arena, the only song that The Rock will be singing is “Jailhouse Rock”. Vickie then mocks The Rock by screeching, “if you smell what the Vick is cooking”!
RAW would feature a series of unique Beat The Clock Challenge Matches with the Superstar who wins their match in the shortest amount of time will get the incredible opportunity to handpick their entry number in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match! The opening match of the night was the first Beat The Clock Challenge of the night as “The Viper” Randy Orton would go one-on-one with United Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match. During the match, Antonio Cesaro had things well in control, but when the United States Champion took an extra moment to look back at the clock, it would allow “The Viper” to take advantage as Randy Orton strikes with the RKO, pinning Antonio Cesaro to set the time to beat at 11:36! Will any of the other Royal Rumble participants be able to beat Randy Orton's time?
Six nights before he gets his opportunity to regain the World Heavyweight Title retain from Alberto Del Rio at the Royal Rumble in a Last Man Standing Match, “The World’s Largest Athlete” was in action on RAW as Big Show went one-on-one with Zack Ryder. As the match gets underway, the unemployed hopeful, Brad Maddox, hops over the barricade, joining Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler on commentary, against their will. Meanwhile, in the ring, Big Show makes quick work of Zack Ryder, knocking Ryder out with the K.O. Punch en route to picking up the win. As Brad Maddox takes his leave, Big Show stands over the knocked out Zack Ryder and begins to count to ten in a representation of what will happen in his Last Man Standing Match with Alberto Del Rio at the Royal Rumble, but storms out of the ring once the fans begin to mock him.
Backstage, Brad Maddox continues to plague the WWE as Maddox, along with his personal cameraman, interrupts Paul Heyman's phone call, saying that all he has ever wanted was to be “famous” and, just like Heyman, there is “nothing” he will not do to keep his dreams alive. In a complete 180 from what he has told Brad Maddox in the past, Paul Heyman says that he was “wrong” about Maddox, vowing that, if Maddox sticks with him, he will make him “famous”! What has caused this sudden change of heart from Paul Heyman?
Ryback was in action on RAW as “The Sin City Cyborg” went one-on-one with the lead singer of 3MB, Heath Slater, with his bandmates, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in his corner. After easily taking out Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre, who attempted to interfere, Ryback would drop Heath Slater with Shell Shocked en route to picking up the dominant victory. After the match, Ryback says that he was “made” for the Royal Rumble Match and he will “thrive” in the Rumble and he will win it to main event WrestleMania!
With The Rock still trying to find a way into the arena, his Royal Rumble opponent would appear on RAW as, on his 428th day as the WWE Champion, CM Punk makes his way to the ring with Paul Heyman in tow. CM Punk says that the WWE Championship is his “life’s work” and, for 428 days, he has proven that he is the “man”. Punk continues, saying that 428 days is just a fraction of the time that it took him to make it to the level of being the WWE Champion and he will not allow The Rock to take it away from him. Punk says that The Rock is there to “sing songs and tell jokes”, but he is there to “hurt people” and be the champion, saying that the WWE Title is “prestigious” because he made it that way. Punk says that The Rock is almost as proud to be the “people’s champion” as he is to be the “real champion”, saying that he will not allow The Rock to be the WWE Champion. Punk then states that he knows why The Rock is “proud” of being the people's champion because The Rock can never be the WWE Champion again. Punk continues, saying that he chose “honest arrogance” while The Rock chose the fans and they can call The Rock whatever they want, but they cannot call him “champion” and, over his 428-day reign, he has “earned the right” to be the WWE Champion and to be the man in the WWE, saying that the people do not matter and the only thing that matters is the WWE Title. Punk then declares that the people cannot give The Rock the WWE Championship and, at the Royal Rumble, he will remain the “best in the world”.
With Randy Orton setting the time to beat at 11:36, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, with AJ Lee & Big E. Langston in his corner, would go one-on-one with The Miz in the second Beat The Clock Challenge Match. During the match, The Miz would lock the Figure-Four Leg Lock in on Dolph Ziggler, but AJ Lee would distract the referee, allowing Big E. Langston to drag Dolph Ziggler to the ropes, forcing the submission to be broken up. Shortly after this, Big E. Langston would fake The Miz out, temporarily distracting Miz long enough for Dolph to take advantage as Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on The Miz en route to picking up the win and establishing the new time to beat of 10:56!
After months of anger management therapy, it was time for Kane & Daniel Bryan’s graduation from anger management as Dr. Shelby introduces the WWE Tag Team Champions, who come out in graduation gowns to accept their diplomas. Dr. Shelby says that, when they started their therapy, Kane was a “maniacal, mask-wearing monster who preferred hurting over hugging” and, when he started with Daniel Bryan, Bryan was a “tightly-wound little man-child” who would snap whenever anyone would tell him he had a “goat face” and a beard that looks like a “hotel for rats”. Shelby then hands the diplomas and graduation caps to Team Hell No, who put the caps on, before the therapist asks Kane & Daniel Bryan who they think should be the valedictorian, who will get to talk about their “feelings”. The WWE Tag Team Champions then argue that the other should be the valedictorian with Dr. Shelby screaming to break up the bickering, asking if a hug would make them feel better and saying that Team Hell No would feel better if everyone hugged it out! Kane points out Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler, who reluctantly hug it out, followed by RAW's ring announcer, Justin Roberts, and WWE physician, Dr. Michael Sampson! Team Hell No then continues to point out members of the crowd, telling them all to hug each other and, on the count of three, Dr. Shelby & Team Hell No, along with the rest of crowd, hug in unison!
One week after finally defeating Eve to win the Divas Title, new Divas Champion Kaitlyn went one-on-one with Alicia Fox in a non-title match on RAW. In the end, it was Kaitlyn blasting Alicia Fox with the Spear en route to picking up the win.
Backstage, Paul Heyman tells WWE Champion CM Punk that he has arranged for Punk to have his own private skybox as Heyman vows to deliver a “Paul bomb” dedicated to the WWE Champion.
With WWE Champion CM Punk watching from his own private skybox, Paul Heyman appears in the ring, saying that, when CM Punk was speaking earlier, a lot of what the WWE Champion had to say went over the heads of the fans, so he will serve as an “interpreter” to dumb things down for the fans. Heyman says that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is “desperate” for anyone to take the WWE Title from CM Punk and it just so happens that January's “flavor of the month” is The Rock. Heyman continues, saying that The Rock need not concern himself with Paul Heyman, The Rock needs to worry about CM Punk and, just like the fans, The Rock is “stupid”. Having heard enough of Paul Heyman, The Rock makes his entrance into the arena, showing that he has a ticket to be in the arena, the loophole in Vickie Guerrero's plan to keep “The Great One” out of the arena! The Rock calls Paul Heyman “Twinkie tits” before ordering Heyman to get out of the ring, which Heyman wastes no time in doing.
The Rock then addresses WWE Champion CM Punk, who is still seated in his skybox, as Rock says that CM Punk has earned the right to be called “the best in the world”, but that does not change the fact that tonight is CM Punk's last night as the WWE Champion. Rock continues, saying that he is proud to be the people's champion, but he will still rip CM Punk's face off at any given opportunity. The Rock says that he has waited ten long years to get the WWE Title back, promising to beat CM Punk for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble, saying that, when he wins the WWE Title this Sunday, the world will be yelling that they will be “free at last”! The Rock seemed to have the final word on the matter, but the lights would go out in the arena and, when the lights come back on, The Shield is in the ring, pummeling and clawing at The Rock! The Rock would try his best to fight off the trio, but Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns would overwhelm “The People’s Champion”, putting The Rock down with their three-man powerbomb! The Shield then leaves the ring and, as The Rock lays in the ring, spitting up blood, CM Punk tells The Rock that Rock has to “pay a price” for his freedom and, when The Rock wakes up from his “dream”, Rock will realize that “The Great One” was just not great enough to beat “the best in the world”!
In the third and final Beat The Clock Challenge Match of the night, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would go one-on-one with Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a non-title match with the time to beat set at 10:56. During the match, Sheamus was setting Wade Barrett up for the Brogue Kick, but in a desperate attempt to keep his time unbeaten, Dolph Ziggler rushes out with AJ Lee & Big E. Langston as AJ gets in the ring, preventing Sheamus from hitting the Brogue Kick. Wade Barrett manages to hit his Winds of Change maneuver, but, luckily for Dolph, Sheamus is able to kick out. With Dolph and company watching in panic, Sheamus was able to hit the Brogue Kick on Wade Barrett, but the time limit would expire before Sheamus could get to the cover, meaning that Dolph Ziggler will get to hand-pick whatever entry number he wants for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match this Sunday!
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, & Big E. Langston confront Vickie Guerrero, crowing about Dolph getting to hand-pick his entry number into the Royal Rumble Match. However, the cunning Vickie says that her ex-boyfriend does get to pick his entry number, but he must pick between entering at #1 or #2!
Backstage, WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman run into WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon and both men claim that, while they are “clever”, they had nothing to do with The Shield attacking The Rock. Punk & Heyman argue that The Shield has also interfered in the affairs of the likes of Ryback, Sheamus, and Randy Orton. However, Mr. McMahon still lays down the decree that, if The Shield interferes in the WWE Title match this Sunday, then CM Punk will be stripped of the WWE Championship!
Before he defends the World Heavyweight Title in a Last Man Standing Match against Big Show at the Royal Rumble, the World Heavyweight Champion was in action on RAW as Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, went one-on-one with Tensai in a non-title match. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio landing a moonsault on Tensai en route to picking up the win. After the match, Alberto Del Rio leads the fans in counting to ten, in Spanish, in a message to Big Show for their Last Man Standing Match at the Royal Rumble.
After it was announced last week that “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley will be inducted into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame, the second Hall of Fame inductee was announced on RAW as the amateur wrestler turned Superstar achieved greatness by winning the WWE Championship and holding it for an unbelievable six years, the second longest WWE Title reign of all-time as the WWE Hall of Fame welcomes none other than the master of the Cross Face Chicken Wing, Bob Backlund!
Six nights before he joins 29 other Superstars in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, the winner of the 2008 Royal Rumble Match, John Cena, makes an appearance on RAW. Cena says that everyone knows that this Sunday is the Royal Rumble Match and everyone is making their picks as to who will win this year's Rumble, vowing that the Rumble will be an “all-out war”. Cena continues that everyone's Sunday routines will be on hold to watch the Royal Rumble and they will see him win the Royal Rumble Match. However, one man takes issue with what John Cena has to say as fellow Rumble participant Sheamus makes his way to the ring, saying that he will win the Rumble Match for the second year in a row. The Prime Time Players then come out, but before they can get their point across, Randy Orton interrupts, saying that he did not come out there to “dance”, he is out there to tell them that they are looking at this year's Rumble winner. The Miz then comes out, claiming that he will win the Royal Rumble Match and he will main event WrestleMania. Kane & Daniel Bryan then come out, saying it is “childish” how everyone is arguing over which one of them will win the Rumble before the WWE Tag Team Champions argue over which one of them will win the Rumble. Antonio Cesaro then claims that he will win the Rumble Match and he will do it for America. 3MB then all claim that one of them will win the Royal Rumble Match. A host of other Superstars then rush to the ring as Wade Barrett, Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, Yoshi Tatsu, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Alex Riley, Primo, Epico, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Michael McGillicutty, JTG, Curt Hawkins, & The Great Khali march to the ring as a pre-Rumble brawl breaks out with Superstars being tossed over-the-top rope every which way in similar fashion to what the Royal Rumble Match will look like this Sunday!
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark match: The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil)
- Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro in a Beat the Clock Match (11:36)
- The Big Show defeated Zack Ryder (0:49)
- Ryback defeated Heath Slater (w/ Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) (1:20)
- Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E. Langston) defeated The Miz in a Beat the Clock Match (10:56)
- Kaitlyn defeated Alicia Fox (2:07)
- Sheamus vs Wade Barrett ended in a time limit draw in a Beat the Clock Match (10:56)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Tensai (1:30)
- Dark match: John Cena & Sheamus defeated The Big Show & Wade Barrett
Other on-screen talent