03rd Dec2013

‘WWE RAW’ Results & Review (2.12.13)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s results and review of WWE RAW. The first RAW of December is under way.

The show opens with “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour playing and CM Punk making his way down the aisle and to the squared circle as we see a replay of The Shield attacking Punk last week. Punk grabs a microphone and questions why The Shield might have attacked him last Monday night. He said last week he questioned Triple H, which is obviously why he was attacked by Triple H’s “boys” last week. Punk says he doesn’t want anything to do with The Authority. Punk says he prides himself on being one of the “biggest anti-authority guys” in WWE history. Stephanie McMahon’s music cuts Punk off and she makes her way to the stage area with a smile across her face. Stephanie says that she hoped Punk and the audience had a wonderful thanksgiving. Stephanie says that her family loves “free-speech” and that they didn’t instruct The Shield to attack him last week, and that they’re “above” that. Punk frowns in disbelief of what she is saying. Stephanie promotes the contract signing for later in the night between Cena and Orton. Stephanie brings out Kane and tells Punk to talk to him if he has any further issues. Kane comes out in his business suit, mask-less, and talks about how he is a crisis manager and tells Punk that The Authority had nothing to do with The Shield attacking Punk. Punk asks Kane when he became the “big red ass-kisser”. The two exchange words and Punk challenges Kane but before Kane can answer the challenge, The Shield’s music hits and they make their way to the ring, through the crowd. Punk grabs a chair and stands in the middle of the ring, awaiting the “hounds of justice”. JBL rambles on, on commentary, about Bigfoot and stuff. Okay. Stephanie tells The Shield to stop and Kane books a handicap match for the TCL PPV between Punk and all three members of The Shield.

Damien Sandow is in the ring next, and his opponent is the man he has been feuding with recently, the show-off, Dolph Ziggler. The winner of the match will become the number one contender to Big E Langston and his WWE Intercontinental Championship. Dolph gets a decent pop from the Oklahoma crowd. These two guys have a nice in-ring chemistry, as shown in the last couple of weeks in their matches on RAW. JBL, the useless hack that he is, buries Ziggler on commentary here, and though he is a heel, there are better ways of portraying the villain while still putting talent over. JBL, Cole and Lawler don’t know how to do this, or if they do, they just can’t be bothered. The match is a back and forth one, with the two brawling around the ring and exchanging moves and holds inside it. It’s a decent bout that ends when Sandow scores the pinfall and becomes the number one contender to Big E’s title. The two will meet, one-on-one, at the TLC pay per view.

We return from commercial break to a six divas tag team match. The Bella’s and Natalya will face off with Summer Rae, Tamina and AJ Lee. Tamina and Nikki Bella begin, while AJ skips around the ring randomly. The match becomes typical divas territory. We get a fairly substantial “Brie” chant here, or substantial for a divas match. This must be good to hear for The Bella’s, who have struggled to get over as babyfaces. Summer and Brie have a sloppy exchange. Summer worked better than this in NXT, it’s obvious that the freedom isn’t there on the main roster like it is in developmental. The match turns into a brawl and Nattie rolls AJ up for the victory. AJ looks pissed.

“The Slammy Awards” is advertised for next week’s show…

Wade Barrett is announced as “Bad News” Barrett, and he stands at ringside on a podium and talks about how he is “stuck in an arena full of hillbillies and overweight miscreants”. Barrett gets heat for this. When he finishes talking, “Bad News Barrett” is stamped on the screen in red writing. So this, a character that debuted on the JBL and Cole show, online, is Barrett’s new gimmick on television. It could be worse I suppose. Barrett still deserves better.

Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring to the best reaction of the night so far. There are no obvious signs that the “kidnapping” he suffered at the hands of The Wyatt Family, has had any effect on him. Strange. Erik Rowan is Bryan’s opponent tonight. The match is slow paces when Rowan is in charge, with Bryan attempting to speed things up when he takes control. It is helpful to Rowan to work with guys like Bryan and Punk, and good to see. The announcers talk about how Bryan had turned down Bray Wyatt when asked to join The Wyatt Family. This happened on Smackdown apparently, so you must excuse me, I didn’t see that show last week. The match is okay, with some nice Bryan spots. Rowan looks strong here and Bryan sells for him like crazy to get him over as a monster. The match comes to a close when Bryan rolls up Rowan for the three-count, a good ending to a very good little match. Bryan is the current-era’s version of a guy who can have a good match with almost-anyone. Bray Wyatt is on the big screen after the match and talks. He says he has “done a lot of horrible things to a lot of people”, he says he was “wrong about Daniel Bryan”. He asks Bryan how “long he wants to live this life”. He says he “sees Bryan for what he really is”, and not a “circus clown” like “they” see him as. Bray says that “together they can bring the machine to its knees”. This is the best promo work from Wyatt since his main roster debut. Awesome dialogue said in a convincing way by an increasingly intriguing character.

Kane bumps into Bryan backstage and books a match for the TLC PPV, much like the one booked for CM Punk earlier, with Bryan taking on all three members of The Wyatt Family.

R Truth and Xavier Woods make their way to the ring for tag-team action next, their opponents are Tons of Funk, Brodus Clay and Tensai. I’m hoping Clay and Tensai turn heel soon and become the monster heel team they should be. Clay uses power displays against Woods in the early going, with slams. Tensai does the same, before Woods fights back and tags Truth. Truth hits a flurry of punches on Tensai but is knocked down with a powerful shoulder block. The match continues much like this, with the big guys hitting power moves and the smaller guys speeding things up and trying to out-think the Funk. “Out-think the Funk”? Sounds like a 70’s game-show. Woods rolls up Clay for the win for his team, and Clay looks angry. Clay and Tensai have words and look irritated with one another in the ring. Perhaps they won’t be turning heel, I see a split coming soon.

We return from a break and Sin Cara is making his return to RAW since the last time he was injured. He looks different to me, had a big tattoo on his arm and could almost be a different guy altogether. His opponent tonight is Alberto Del Rio who cuts a short promo about how Sin Cara represents Mexican peasants. Del Rio is challenging Zeb Coulter tonight with his racist promo. The match is mediocre, with Del Rio having most of the offence. Cara hits some high flying moves. Del Rio uses aggressive holds on the luchador. Sin Cara hits a senton bomb of the top rope for the three-count and a very surprising victory. Not sure what this means, but Cara is the winner here, and Del Rio doesn’t even react to his loss. Weird.

Renee Young talks with John Cena backstage. Cena talks about the differences between the World and the WWE titles. It’s the typically bland Cena promo with the usual dialogue. He talks about the titles being unified at the TLC PPV. The Shield are shown on the screen, they talk about how they will destroy Punk at TLC.

The WWE Tag Team Champions are out next, Cody Rhodes and his big brother, Goldust, make their way to the ring. Big Show comes out at their team-mate tonight. The Shield are their opponents. The Shield sell for Big Show alot in this match, like everyone does in order to make Show look decent. Show slaps the talented group around while they take bumps for him and make him look strong. I don’t like to see this happen, it’s been going on since 1996 when Paul Wight debuted in wrestling and I’m pretty sick of it in 2013. Cody Rhodes improves things with his exchanges with Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose. The match is not as good as the ones we’ve seen in recent months with the likes of The Shield, Cody-dust, The Uso’s, Bryan and others involved, and I place most of that blame on Big Show. The match comes to an end when Seth Rollins rolls up Goldust after a cool spot involving Ambrose and a super-plex. The Shield win.

CM Punk is talking with Renee Young backstage. He sings “I feel pretty” when asked how he is feeling. He says that he is going down, but he is taking The Shield with him. We get another Bad News Barrett segment at ringside, with Wade insulting America and their celebration of Thanksgiving.

The Miz, who is back to being a babyface after WWE creative realised that he had a movie coming out for Christmas, so the heel turn would have to wait, comes out to no reaction from the fans, to team with Kofi Kingston to take on Ryback and Curtis Axel. Can anyone say “cluster-fuck”? Axel and Ryback win a quick and boring match, and Miz slaps Kofi after the bell. I don’t get it. Fandango is in the ring when we return from commercial break, and he will take on the bald, big Mark Henry. Oh joy. This is purely a squash match that ends with Henry hitting the “World’s Strongest Slam” on Fandango for the win.

The Real Americans, along with their manager, Zeb Coulter, are out for a match against Prime Time Players. Zeb talks about puke. The match is what we’ve come to expect from these teams. The Real Americans are solid, with Cesaro being one of the best wrestlers in the WWE today in my view, but PTP are a little green still and lack the skills to have anything better than a “decent” match. This is just that, a decent match, despite Cesaro’s attempt to make it better than that. The fans pop loud for the Cesaro swing on Titus. Young looks good, but needs to calm it down a bit. Cesaro hits the uppercut on Young and pins him for the win. The Real Americans are victorious. The fans chant “we the people” along with the heels.

Triple H and Stephanie are out for the “monumental” contract signing for the TLC match at the TLC PPV that will determine a new, unified, ultimate World/WWE Champion. They introduce Randy Orton and John Cena, who get the reactions they always get. Cena looks as cartoonish as ever out there, holding the World title and smugly smirking throughout the segment. Triple H talks about how each of these men have earned their place in history but will be able to cement their legacies forever when it comes to their match at the TLC show. Orton and Cena both sign the contract. Orton is given the chance to speak, and speak he does. Orton talks about how much better he is than anyone that has held the WWE title prior to him. Orton says he has a lot in common with most WWE fans, being that he doesn’t like John Cena. The fans are fairly silent here. Cena plays the comedian again, interrupting Orton and smiling like a fool. This is what destroys moments like this, which with other talent might seem like truly iconic moments in wrestling. With Cena they appear lame and stunted. Cena cuts his usual crap promo with his silly voices and dated jokes. Cena calls Orton a failure. Cena, the most egotistical and lazy wrestler today, calls Orton cocky and lazy, to which the fans boo, because they realise the irony of this pathetic speech by John Cena. This segment, due to the dialogue of Cena, is cringe worthy and very poor. Cena, the clean-cut face, insults and threatened Orton, who is showing more respect, strangely. Badly written segments are the bread and butter of WWE these days, and this is another one of them. Orton and Cena, inevitably, brawl in the ring and outside of it, throwing ladders around. Cena throws Orton through a table as the show goes off the air with Cena holding the WWE and World titles over his head.

I felt like this week’s RAW was a step back, and a disappointing show that really felt like a chore to get through. There was little in terms of quality in the ring or on the microphone, with most matches and segments being tolerable, or at best, decent.

RAW: Best of the Night (In-ring): Rollins, Bryan.

RAW: Best of the Night (On-mic): Punk, Wyatt.

RAW: Dud: JBL, Cole, Lawler, Cena.

RAW: Honourable Mentions: Ambrose, Ziggler, Sandow, Cesaro.

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