10th Dec2013

‘WWE RAW’ Review & Results (9.12.13)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s results and review write up of WWE RAW, the flagship show of the biggest sports entertainment company in the world.

So, tonight is a special “Slammy Awards” themed RAW, with awards being given out throughout the evening in a variety of categories, including “Superstar of the Year”, “Rookie of the Year”, “Diva of the Year” and “Match of the Year”. So let’s get going shall we?

The show begins, live from Washington, with local boy, and most-over guy in WWE, Daniel Bryan, making his way to the ring to a monster pop and thousands of “yes” chants from the fans in attendance. His opponent tonight is the dancing, silk shirt wearing, former Johnny Curtis, Fandango, who is accompanied by the lovely Summer Rae. The match isn’t a long one, but allows both men to get some offence in before the inevitable victory of Bryan. When the match ends, during Bryan’s celebration, Bray Wyatt appears on the big screen and talks to Daniel Bryan about joining him in the Wyatt Family, and how his patience is wearing thin.

Jerry Lawler and Booker T come out as the “hosts” of the Slammy Awards, and they stand on a podium on the stage and crack some terrible jokes, before introducing the presenters for the “LOL: Funniest Moment” award. Billy Gunn and Road Dogg come out and do their old New Age Outlaws stuff before showing the nominees for the Slammy, which fans can vote on during the next commercial break. We return from break and Road Dogg announces that The Rock’s “Rock Concert” segment from early 2013 wins the “LOL” award. Vickie Guerrero comes out and accepts the award for The Rock.

Santino is out for the next match, and his opponent is Damien Sandow. Big E Langston is on commentary. They hype the coming match between Langston and Sandow that is booked for the upcoming TLC PPV. Sandow gets most of the offence here, and so he should, the Santino character is useless and tired and doesn’t belong on television, in this form, in 2013. Like Eugene did back in the day, the character has outstayed its welcome. Santino does some horrible comedy stuff, which is as cringe worthy as ever. Sandow hit’s his finisher for the victory. Langston gets in the ring and holds the Intercontinental Title in Sandow’s face, and the two stare at each other.

The presenters for “Double-Cross of the Year” come out next, The Shield, all wearing black suits. Ambrose cuts off Reigns at one point, a subtle tease, perhaps, for the eventual disbanding of The Shield. The nominees include Mark Henry’s turn on John Cena, Heyman’s turn on CM Punk, HBK’s turn on Daniel Bryan and Triple H’s turn on Daniel Bryan. Voting then begins on the WWE App to decide the winner.

Kofi Kingston comes out next. It’s a shame that Kofi doesn’t get a pop anymore, he’s been treading water for so long that people are bored of him, and WWE could fix it by giving him a storyline to work with a few changes to his character, he’s a talented worker who deserves better. We go to a break as Kofi is in the ring.

We return to The Shield announcing the Slammy winner for “Double-Cross” and Shawn Michaels has won, for his turn on Daniel Bryan back at the Hell in a Cell show. Shawn comes out looking a bit miffed and talks about how he’s double crossed a lot of people over the years and it took retiring for four years to get an award for it. The fans boo Shawn, which I didn’t really expect, but this is “Bryan Country”. The fans chant “you sold out” at HBK.

The Miz is out as Kofi’s opponent, and we begin that match after HBK leaves with his award. The match goes back and forth with the fans not really popping for either performer. The Miz has turned heel and face and nobody seems to know “what” he is at the moment. Kofi shows more aggression and the announcers acknowledge the change in Kofi’s ring work and aggression. The Miz plays the heel here, so I’m guessing he has turned, but WWE keep changing their minds. Kofi hits a nice springboard clothesline but The Miz suddenly rolls Kofi up to get the victory. The fans boo. Kingston hits his kick finisher on The Miz after the bell while the nonsensical JBL laughs like a moron on commentary.

Eve Torres comes out next to present the “Diva of the Year” Slammy, the fans don’t seem to give a hoot, and those that do, boo her out of the building. The Bella’s, The Funkadactyls, Natalya, AJ Lee, Kaitlyn and Eva Marie are nominated. Voting opens and we go to a commercial break, we return and Eve Torres announces the winner of “Diva of the Year” as The Bella Twins. The fans boo loudly, probably wanting AJ Lee to be announced as winner. The Bella’s thank the fans who continue to boo them like crazy.

The next match participants are already in the ring for an eight man tag match. The Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and Goldust are taking on Ryback, Curtis Axel, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Michael Cole calls Ryback and Axel “Rybaxel”. Catchy, Michael, catchy. This is a decent tag team match, with Goldust, Cody and Cesaro being the standouts. It’s a shame that we have to swap The Uso’s for Big Show and Mysterio now, because I was enjoying seeing the young Samoans in these matches each week, now we have a lazy giant and a luchador with knackered knees. Goldust gets a chant, and looks like a star once again. Cesaro and Swagger carry their team, as expected, with Cesaro looking like the star of the heel group. Also expected. The end comes with a disaster kick/619 combo from Cody and Rey, with Rey getting the pin on Axel, allowing the babyface’s to pick up the win. Decent match but with a predictable outcome.

Jerry Lawler and Booker T bring out the presenter for the “Superstar of the Year” Slammy Award, HBK, who doesn’t get a pop at all tonight, and in my view, they should either run with this heel thing or turn him full-face again, quickly. Shawn puts himself over before announcing the nominees for “Superstar of the Year”. Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, CM Punk and Brock Lesnar are nominated, and the voting is opened. The winner is announced after Sin “Wait, that’s Hunico” Cara is brought to the ring for a match and we go to a break, to give fans time to vote. Shawn announces the winner of “Superstar of the Year” as Daniel Bryan. The fans cheer loudly and JBL calls it an upset, which is bollocks considering how insanely over Bryan is, and has been all year. Bryan and HBK have an awkward moment at the podium before Daniel thanks HBK for helping him, but also blames him for not bring the current WWE Champion. Bryan talks about being chosen by the people which gets him a big pop. Bryan promises an even better 2014 and leaves by saying “Go Seahawks” which gets him more cheers.

Sin Cara’s opponent tonight is the man he beat, cleanly I might add, last week on RAW, the former World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. It’s a good call to put Hunico under the Sin Cara attire and try again, he’s a better worker in a US ring and can adapt easier to the WWE style, so we might get some good Sin Cara matches now that Hunico is under the hood. JBL, once again, proves to me how useless he is at helping get people over and buries Cara throughout the match with lame jokes and put downs. Well played Bradshaw, you must be proud of yourself, you sucked as a wrestler and you’re even worse as an announcer. Cole is only tolerable tonight because of how terrible JBL is. The match is a slow one and has a lot of breaks in action which make for awkward silences between the action. Sin Cara picks up another victory here, so something tells me that WWE are going to try to push him again now that a new worker is wearing the costume. The fans don’t react to this match at all.

The Prime Time Players come out next to announce the nominees and winner of the “Fan Participation” Slammy Award. JBL annoys me again here, I might have to mute the show if this continues. Five people do the “millions of dollars” thing. Fandangoing, the “yes” chant, pro/anti Cena chants and R Truth’s “What’s Up” chants are nominated. Daniel Bryan wins the award for the chants of “yes” he gets everywhere he goes, a chant that has followed him around for over 18 months and is as strong as ever, because of how great Bryan is and how easy it is to chant along with him. Bryan  does the “yes” chant to accept the award.

Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls are out next for a match between Clay and Xavier Woods. Woods looks good in the ring but they haven’t done enough to introduce him to the WWE fans so he doesn’t get much of a reaction. Clay wins the match with a big splash, quickly, and continues the attack after the bell. Tensai pulls Clay off Woods and screams at him to stop. Clay looks pissed off. They tease the split that might occur between Tons of Funk, though I’d prefer to see them become a heel monster team.

The Miz, acting as likeable as never, comes out to host the next award for “Insult of the Year”. The nominees are AJ Lee’s Divas “pipe-bomb” promo, Zeb Coulters’ “Anti-American” promos, Paul Heyman’s “CM Punk Feud” promos and Stephanie McMahon’s “insulting Big Show” promos. The winner of “Insult of the Year” is given to Stephanie McMahon for her degrading insults to Big Show a couple of months ago. Stephanie comes out and accepts the award and thanks the fans, who boo her loudly.

CM Punk is in the ring for a match against Dean Ambrose, with The Shield brethren at ringside. The match is a nice technical match with aspects of brawling and submission holds, is allowed enough time to give both guys a chance to shine. Ambrose manages to escape the GTS at one point, rolling out of the ring, before Punk nails him with a suicide dive through the ropes. The closing few minutes of the match are excellent, with close falls and great exchanges from the two. The fans even chant “this is awesome”. Ambrose hasn’t looked better since his debut, and it’s nice to see him given more time here, with Punk. The two have an undeniable chemistry in the ring, and if they were to feud, the mic work would be on point too. Ambrose gets cocky with his Shield team-mates and tells them to leave him alone. The Shield leave and Punk greets Ambrose with a match winning GTS. Punk wins and The Shield head back to the ring, with Reigns nailing Punk with the spear. The Shield leaves Punk laying, adding more hype to the upcoming handicap match at TLC.

Booker T and Lawler bring out Mick Foley for the next Slammy Award, which is for “Most Extreme Moment of the Year”. Foley comes out to a nice pop from the Seattle crowd. Mick is sporting a bigger beard than I’m used to, but damn is it good to see him on television again, always been a favourite of mine. The fans chant “Foley”. Foley puts over Bryan, Ambrose and Punk and talks about what it takes to be a WWE Superstar. The nominees are The Shield’s attack on The Undertaker in April, Ryback spearing John Cena through the stage wall, CM Punk attacking Paul Heyman on top of the Hell in a Cell cage and The Wyatt Family’s attack on Kane after the Inferno Match at Summerslam. Mick announces the winner of “Extreme Moment of the Year” as CM Punk when he beat up Heyman back at Hell in a Cell. Punk comes out, selling the effects of his match with Ambrose, which is great to see, and embraces Mick, accepts his Slammy Award and thanks anyone who voted.

The Uso’s are in the ring now, and their opponents, Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. The fans, sadly, chant “Wyatt Family”. I am saddened by The Uso’s lack of push over the years and don’t understand why they aren’t more over considering their energy and ability. Jimmy and Jay get some offence in, with a nice dive sequence and some other bits, but this match is designed to make The Wyatt’s look strong going into their match with Daniel Bryan at TLC. Bray Wyatt looks on from his rocking chair. The Uso’s hit some nice moves, including a Samoan Drop, super-kick and top rope splash but eventually fall to the big men. Harper hits the big, mean clothesline for the three-count and the victory. A decent match that didn’t entirely squash the talented Uso brothers.

Lawler and Booker introduce Bret “Hitman” Hart to announce the award for “Match of the Year”. Bret looks great in his tuxedo, and the fans cheer for the most-part. Bret talks about how it’s a huge achievement to have the best match of the night. Bret stumbles over his words a lot here, which is usual territory for him. Bret is a legend and one of the best workers of all time, but he’s never been a wizard on the microphone. The nominees are The Undertaker vs. CM Punk at WM29, Cody-dust vs. The Shield at Battleground, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules and The Rock vs. John Cena at WM29. Natalya comes out for a match and hugs her Uncle Bret on the way to the ring which is a nice thing to see on RAW. Bret Hart announces the winner of “Match of the Year”, voted by fans, John Cena vs. The Rock from WrestleMania 29. Easily the worst match out of the nominated matches. Cena comes out, smirking, to accept the Slammy, and he cuts his usual crap jokes to a landscape of boo’s from the Seattle crowd. Cena puts The Rock over, like he needs it. Try putting a younger talent over Cena, for once. This writer apologised for his anti-Cena remarks, the guy just irks me.

Natalya is in the ring and her opponent is Tamina Snuka. Two generational divas from two big wrestling families here, the match is decent, but doesn’t last long. AJ Lee, who will be defending her Divas Title against Nattie at the TLC PPV, looks on at ringside here. Tamina gets curled up into the sharpshooter and Natalya wins by submission.

The final segment of RAW is upon us, the segment being labelled as  the final time we will see the WWE and World titles in the ring at the same time, as we are having the unification match at TLC between Cena and Randy Orton. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H strut to the ring with their usual heel smirks. An array of former WWE and World Champions stand in the ring when we return from commercial, including Christian, Mark Henry, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Mick Foley, CM Punk, Kane, The Great Khali (really?), Bret Hart, Jack Swagger, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio and Booker T. Stephanie puts HHH over and CM Punk giggles to himself in the background. I wonder what Bret is thinking as Stephanie calls Triple H the best WWE Champion of all time. I’d say he’d rate that comment as a “four out of ten”. The fans chant “Daniel Bryan” throughout the segment, showing their chosen guy out of all of these huge names in the ring. I love that. Mark Henry lifts Bryans hand and the fans cheer wildly. Bryan laughs as Triple H looks upset. Great moment for Bryan here, considering the alumni he is standing beside tonight. Triple H buries Bryan again. Triple H introduces the WWE Champion, Randy Orton, and the World Heavyweight Champion, John Cena, who both get booed by the Seattle fans. Cena looks like a cartoon character again here, in a moment that is supposed to be a big deal. The fans continue their chant of Daniel Bryan here, and I see Bryan giggle to himself, it must have felt awesome. I also see Jack Swagger laughing, it must be a cool thing for these younger, under-pushed guys to see. While Orton is cutting his promo the fans chant “boring” at him, which seems to genuinely annoy Orton, who has always struggled with crowd reactions. Orton isn’t too bad here, at least he is taking it seriously and being a good old fashioned heel. I enjoyed the part where Orton talked to Bret, Shawn and Mick, it was a cool moment. The fans chant “you suck” Cena then smiles and speaks, the fans booing his rubber faced smirking crap. Cena puts Bryan over and puts his hand on him which gets the fans on their feet and chanting “yes”. Cena talks about how Bryan has had to work for everything and was handed nothing. Cena looks like a moron here, putting Bryan over while taking the spotlight at the end of each night. It doesn’t matter how many times you smile at Daniel Bryan, Cena, if he isn’t being pushed properly. Still, this segment is solid proof that Bryan is as popular as ever and should be in the main event, full time. Cena insults Orton and calls him out for behavioural problems, which is also a dumb move. This is supposed to be about them being the best of all time, but Cena comes across as a jock picking on an unpopular rebel in the schoolyard. Cena then puts himself over, to nobody’s surprise. Cena says that if he wins on Sunday he looks forward to a fair rematch against Daniel Bryan. Cena yaps on more about how he gave opportunities to so many people, which is only a half truth, because he proceeded to bury most of them when the bell rang. The two men begin to brawl, and Punk joins in and attacks Orton, which leads to Triple H taking out Punk. Punk and Triple H then get into it, but Shawn knocks Punk out with a super-kick, and Bryan takes out Shawn. Stephanie then “accidentally” gets knocked down by Orton, and Triple H proceeds to hit the pedigree on Orton. Makes sense, right? Cena helps Stephanie up and stands with Kane and The Authority while Orton is grounded. Looks like Cena is as corporate as ever, this time on television. Interesting end to RAW.

RAW, tonight, was a massive improvement on the last few week’s and it was great to see such a massively pro-Bryan crowd. The final segment, though weird at times due to Cena’s burial of Orton, was fun and interesting, and the matches, specifically the fine one on one between Punk and Ambrose, were mostly top draw. The Slammy segments weren’t too good but the winners of most of them seemed legitimate. All in all, a decent RAW that did a good job at bringing things together before the TLC PPV on Sunday night.

RAW: Best of the Night (In-ring): CM Punk, Dean Ambrose

RAW: Best of the Night (On-mic): Mick Foley, Daniel Bryan, Triple H

RAW: Dud of the Night: Santino, JBL, Cena

RAW: Weirdest Moment: Fans no-selling Shawn Michaels’ everything

RAW: Honourable Mentions: Daniel Bryan, Goldust, Cody Rhodes

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