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CM Punk's music plays to open the show, but it's John Laurinaitis that comes out in a CM Punk t-shirt. Laurinaitis said he was paying respect to being in Punk's hometown by dressing like him. Punk's music hits and he heads to the ring. Giant pop for the hometown hero.
Punk takes the mic, and there is a loud "CM Punk" chant. Punk says that he thinks Laurinaitis is antagonizing him and wonders why he doesn't kick him in the face. Laurinaitis said that he would be fired, but is in a giving mood and tells Punk that he has the night off... but he's kidding and notes how unpredictable he is. Punk tells him that he isn't. Laurinaitis said that Punk will be in a gauntlet match tonight, and he will determine his three opponents. If any of the opponents beat him, they will face Punk next Monday night on RAW. Punk asks what happens if he beats his three guys, and Laurinaitis said that he hasn't given it much thought. Punk has other ideas, and says that he wants a fourth match with Laurinaitis if he beats his three guys. Laurinaitis says it's unfair to Punk and he doesn't want to beat the WWE champion as the crowd chants "You can't wrestle." Punk noted that Laurinaitis said that he listens to the WWE Universe and asks them if they want to see them wrestle, and the crowd goes crazy. Laurinaitis finally accepts.
The final 1/2/12 promo airs, with the text "He Is Coming" on a chalkboard and finishes with "The End Begins... Next Monday."
Booker T and Cody Rhodes are shown walking to the ring, they square off next.
A recap of Booker T singing "Cody The Red-Nosed Reindeer" on SmackDown is shown.
Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T
Good opening match. Booker pinned Rhodes clean after hitting a scissors kick.
Backstage Zack Ryder is thanking John Cena for his success. Cena said that Ryder doesn't owe him anything, and everything is happening because he earned it. Ryder asks what the deal with Kane is. Cena said he's going to the ring, and if Kane is anywhere in the building, then the show will be going off in a bang.
Kelly Kelly is backstage talking to The Big Show. A referee comes out and tells Show that Laurinaitis needs to speak with him and Show takes off.
Laurinaitis us in the phone backstage and tells Brodus Clay that he's debuting next week. David Otunga is with Laurinaitis. Big Show comes in and Laurinaitis shows the clip of Show punching Otunga on SmackDown. Otunga said that the punch is worthy of a lawsuit and to not blame him for having the shortest title reign in WWE history. Show said he can beat Otunga any day of the week with one arm tied behind his back. Laurinaitis asks Otunga if he'll face Show if Show had one arm tied behind his back and Otunga accepted. Show said that a giant with one arm is better than a stooge with no testicles.
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