24th Dec2013

WWE RAW Results & Review (23.12.13)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Raw, the Christmas edition, opens with Good Santa (Mark Henry) and Bad Santa (Damien Sandow) having a battle-rhyme, a festive WWE themed poem-off segment to get the ball rolling.

The stage is set up with Christmas trees, wrapped presents and other Christmas goodies. Triple H’s music hits and RAW is underway.

The Game, alongside his wife Stephanie, the big not-so-red machine, and another dude come out in Santa hats, with smiles on their rich and corporate faces. Kane hands out candy canes (“kanes”?) to the kids at ringside. Triple H welcomes us to a RAW Christmas and talks about how it is the time of year to “give back”. He says he likes to make WWE employees volunteer at soup kitchens at Christmastime. Triple H announces that tonight we will see Bad “Sandow” Santa against Jolly “Mark Henry” Santa. Cheesy as hell. The Wyatt Family will also take on Cody-dust and Daniel Bryan in six-man tag action, and the main event will see The Shield take on CM Punk, Big E Langston and John Cena in another six man match. Triple H then wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, and Randy Orton, the “resident grinch” comes out with his titles over his shoulders. Randy-pants wishes the fans a happy holiday and thanks Trips and Steph for the support they’ve given him. Stephanie holds her heart, warmed by Orton’s words. Randy says he has a gift for the power couple to show his thanks, the gift in question being himself, the champion. He then proceeds to give himself the night off, and hugs The Authority. Kane then ends the segments with a poem, and the flames from the corners of the ring. How times have changed.

We return from commercials for a 12 Divas tag team match, with The Bella’s, Nattie, Eva Marie and The Funkadactyls versus Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, Vickie Guerrero, Summer Rae, Aksana and Kaitlyn. The women are all wearing Christmas outfits, and I wonder what happened to Total Divas cast member Jojo, she’s nowhere to be seen. AJ is on commentary with Cole and JBL, who mock the match and laugh like fools. The match is typical divas action which quickly turns into a brawl between everyone, with the Total Divas clearing the ring in a terrible moment that has fans booing the “babyfaces”. The match ends when Nattie makes Aksana tap out to the sharpshooter.

Curtis Axel is waiting in the ring next for a match against the new version of Sin Cara, played by Hunico. This new Cara might work. Hunico works the WWE style well and has proven to be a great worker, so it could prove to be the boost that the character needed before it completely died. The match is fought under the annoying orange Sin Cara lights, which I wish they would do away with. The old Sin Cara wouldn’t have been able to work a decent match with Axel, but this one is fine. We get a nice Sin Cara dive at one point, and a few lucha moves. Cara hits an angle slam and a senton bomb on Axel for the three count and the victory. The newly refurbished Cara push continues.

We come back from a break and see an exclusive video of Batista, announcing his return to the company on January 20th’s episode of RAW. Big news for WWE here, this will be a big part of plans for WrestleMania XXX.

“Bad News” Barrett is shown wishing people happy holidays in the streets.

Cody Rhodes and Goldust are out next, along with their partner, Daniel Bryan, who gets his usual big pop, for a six man tag team match against The Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt, Erik Rowan and Luke Harper make their way to the ring and the match begins. If you look back on the last few months you can see that the best matches on television have been these six man matches featuring numerous individuals. This one is no different, it’s exciting, interesting and gives all six men a chance to shine. Goldust has proven to be a workhorse since his return to WWE and he just keeps getting better. I have never seen Dustin Rhodes work any better, and I’ve been following his career since the beginning of the 90’s. Harper does much of the work for his team, and is proving to be a very good big-man worker who can have top class matches with a variety of guys. Goldust does a lot of work too, with Cody and Bryan hitting hot tags at times and hitting signature moves and holds, much to the pleasure of the fans in attendance. The match is given a good amount of time and is just a pure pleasure to watch. If 2013 has given us anything positive, it is these astonishingly brilliant weekly matches with the true hard workers of the company shining brightly. The match ends when Bryan hits a missile dropkicks on Bray Wyatt followed by a suicide dive. Cody then walks into a “Sister Abigail” from Bray after a mix-up and is pinned by the family leader. After the match the family continue to beat up Daniel Bryan in the ring as we go to commercial break.

Renee Young is in the ring for a “carol singing contest”. Xavier Woods & R-Truth begin things by singing “O’ Holy Night”. Jinder and Drew from 3MB sing “Jingle Bells” very badly, obviously, and are booed. Obviously. Finally Santino and Khali sing “Deck the Halls”, which the fans greet with silence, because it is hideous and not as funny as WWE wish it was. The segment, due to the terrible writing of WWE creative, is a pile of festive log. Santino and Khali win, apparently, and the babyfaces sing again in the ring and I go to make a cup of coffee and slap my self in the face.

Fandango and Summer Rae are out next for one on one action, with the dancer taking on the show-off, Dolph Ziggler in a “Christmas present on a pole match”. Haven’t seen a “something on a pole” match in a few years. The present is an intercontinental title match on next week’s RAW. The match is what you’d expect, with each man trying to reach the present that is at the top of a pole in the corner of the ring. Ziggler looks good, but I miss the days when he was in longer and more important matches. He has fallen more than anyone else in 2013 and it doesn’t make any sense. Fandango knocks Ziggler off the top rope and onto the steel steps to grab the present and win the match, getting a shot at the IC belt next week. Ziggler loses, again. I hope 2014 is a rehab year for Dolph, who deserved much better.

The Prime Time Players are in the ring next, they cut a mediocre promo which is botched when Titus calls the city “Houston” when they’re in “Austin” and the fans don’t react positively to like they are “supposed” to. They do the “millions of dollars” thing, and get booed for it. The Uso’s are out next to a better reaction from the less-than-jolly crowd. The tag team division is the best it has been in a long time and it’s nice to see WWE putting emphasis back on the division again. The Uso’s shine here, and I really feel like they should be given a long run with the titles in 2014. They’re tremendous workers, they’re over and they look great. The fans boo PTP most of the match, which should hopefully result in WWE turning PTP heel again. We get a “This is Austin” chant during the match. The Uso’s win the match after hitting a big splash on Darren Young. The two teams hug after the match.

Good Santa versus Bad Santa is up now. The ring is decorated with many Christmas items. Mark Henry is out first, his mission: to save Christmas. His opponent is Damien Sandow, his mission: to cancel Christmas. I think I know who is going to win. The match is bad and corny and features many spots with weapons like toilet bowls, fire extinguishers and other things. Sandow Claus heel’s it up. Henry Claus plays the jolly fat good guy. It’s all very polite and daft, as expected. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam on Sandow for the win. “Christmas is saved” exclaims Michael Cole, while JBL annoyingly rants about Santa being a thief. Wow.

CM Punk and Big E Langston cut a backstage promo, and a giant floating moron joins them, oh wait… John Cena joins them. The promo is cartoonish and embarrassing, just what one wants from a main event. Oh wait.

The Real Americans and Zeb Coulter are in the ring next, and Zeb talks about it being Christmas and not any other cultural holiday. Los Matadores and their bull mascot, El Torito, are the opponents of The Real Americans tonight, but they don’t really garner much of a reaction. Cesaro does the swing, which is always fun to see and the fans love it. Los Matadores pull of a victory when the bull gets involved and one of the matadors his a cross body on Swagger for the pin.

We get another Batista Returns… promo, announcing “The Animal” returning to WWE on the 20th of January, 2014.

Kofi Kingston is out next, and his opponent is the bully, Ryback. Ryback controls most of the match, and it reminds me that alongside Dolph, Ryback has fallen greatly since this time last year when he was practically main evening. I’m no Ryback fan but WWE go backwards too often. The match here is boring and typical. Ryback hits the Shellshock finish for the victory, defeating Kofi. Both of these guys need something to do, this match greatly showed that.

We get a “Bad News” Barrett segment at ringside with Barrett revealing that he has bad news, and that he has been collecting money, but not for charity, he is keeping the money. The fans boo. Barrett is a hoot.

It is main event time, CM Punk, Big E Langston and John Cena taking on The Shield in the second of two six man matches tonight. The match isn’t bad, by any means, but it is the weakest, in my view, of the two six man matches tonight. Langston is still very green and Cena’s offence is terrible, but The Shield and Punk save the match from being totally tragic. The match, which was decent and had some fun spots, comes to an end when The Shield gang up on Langston and are disqualified. Cena and Punk join the fray and brawl with The Shield, hitting their finishing moves on the heels and standing tall together as RAW goes off the air.

Merry Christmas everyone. Until next week.

RAW: Best Match: The Wyatt Family vs. Cody-dust & Bryan

RAW: Best Talker: None

RAW: Dud of the Night: Carol Singing, Santa vs. Santa, JBL.

RAW: Surprise Moment: Batista announced to return in January.

RAW: Honourable Mentions: CM Punk

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