The Wrestling News Experience: 12.17.12
Posted by Stephen Randle on 12.17.2012
News and thoughts on the Shield's big win and the rest of WWE TLC, a preview for tonight's Raw, the latest word on John Cena's career, Jeff Hardy's thoughts on CM Punk and more!
Monday, December 17th, 2012
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
You'd Better Watch Out
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and I swear to everything I find holy that I will finish my Christmas shopping today. The appropriate question is, of course, "What the hell do you find holy?" Well, I don't think I appreciate your tone. I'll have you know I have reverence for several gods, including but not limited to Odin, Kratos, Bahamut, Kiri-Jolith, Dread Lord Cthulu, the Erlking, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Offler the Crocodile God, and, of course, Tebow, who is not necessarily a god, but who walks amongst us and makes life better simply by existing.
Yes, it's the one night of the year where tables, ladders, and chairs are legal, except for Extreme Rules, and all those other times of the year where they are also legal, if not specifically mentioned as being so!
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs Rhodes Scholars – Tables Match - #1 Contenders Match
Has anyone figured out exactly why Rey was basically off TV since Survivor Series yet?
Cody Rhodes mocks the concept of ridiculous-looking facial hair, which takes balls given the smudge of dirt currently residing on his upper lip. I've grown a better moustache than that by thinking about it really hard for a few minutes. Yeah, that's right, I'm not a fan of Cody's moustache. Come get me.
Lawler makes a Manila joke that was old when Magellan first claimed the Philippines for Spain in 1521, but apparently Cole had never heard it before, given his reaction. This week's Dennis Miller joke brought to you by Wikipedia: making idiots sound smart since whenever it was established.
2001, according to Wikipedia.
Oh, right, there's a match going on. You know, the Tornado Tag is a lost art, thanks to WWE turning every multi-man match into "two guys fight, everyone else waits outside pretending to be hurt until it's their turn".
That was sudden. I also miss the days when both members of a team had to go through a table.
Rhodes Scholars defeated Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a Tables Match to become #1 Contenders to the WWE Tag Team titles
Apparently "Don't mess with Cesaro" is an old saying in Switzerland. Along with "Our army knives are a joke we played on the rest of the world" and "Why yes, we will hide all your money from federal authorities for a small fee, thanks for asking".
This match is…not as good as Cesaro's other recent outings. Perhaps that could be because R-Truth has lost all pretense of momentum that he had in 2011.
Antonio Cesaro defeated R-Truth to retain the United States title (pinfall, Neutralizer)
Cesaro points out that by booing him, you are in fact booing the United States. Well, why should they be any different from the rest of the world?
Not to spoil anything, but the episode of Burn Notice that they're promoting for WWE Week on USA contains about five minutes of screen time for the Big Show, all of which happen before the show is half over. I mean, I love Burn Notice, and it's a good episode, but Show's role is equivalent to the guy who gets killed by the raptor in the opening scene of Jurassic Park. Man, I love that movie, why haven't I watched it lately?
The disappointment of seeing Miz out for a Miz TV segment is tempered by his guests being 3MB. Plus, they hate Jay-Z, which could do more to get them over as babyfaces than anything else.
Um, tell me I didn't just see an Alberto Del Rio face turn in response to 3MB hassling the Spanish announce team and Ricardo? And with Miz making the save for Del Rio, I can officially say that the wrong guys are faces and heels in this particular match-up. Well, except for Ricardo, obviously.
Well, the crowd wants Ryder for Miz and Del Rio's partner, so either he's going to eat the pinfall or we won't get him at all. At least then somebody on the face side would be likeable.
Did we just have an interview segment to set up a match for later on the same PPV?
Bradshaw accuses Lawler of having a heart attack just so he'd win a Slammy for Tout Video of the Year, and Lawler admits to it! Other people will probably be offended by JBL and Lawler making fun of his heart attack on TV, but frankly, if I survived a near-fatal heart attack and recovered completely, I'd make jokes about it all day to anyone who would listen.
Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barret to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title (pinfall, Trouble in Paradise)
Punk debuts another shirt that I will need to have, a "Knees 2 Faces" take-off of the Rock's "Boots To Asses" shirt. Of course, even referring to Brooklyn as "the slums of Staten Island" doesn't turn people against him for long. Maybe because it's true!
Hell No and Ryback vs The Shield – TLC Match, Pinfalls and Submissions Only
Well, there you go, people who thought Cena might not be the main event after Punk went down.
At least the crowd really, really likes Daniel Bryan, so it's a shame he's not the one getting pushed. Also, on the bright side, the crowd finally reacted to something for long than five seconds.
They really shouldn't have bothered calling this a TLC Match. Without the need to climb a ladder and retrieve something, it's really just another Street Fight.
You know, as The Shield puts Ryback through the SAT and Daniel Bryan flies through the ropes to attack them to a monster pop, I can't help but sit here and think "but they'd rather force a face turn and push Alberto Del Rio instead of Bryan?"
Unsurprisingly, Ryback has wrestled almost none of this match, and has at this point spent nearly half of it selling being put through the announce table. I don't mind selling the spot, but if he can't wrestle in a garbage brawl like this, maybe he shouldn't be the guy they're hitching their wagon to.
Well, that's pretty much how I would have booked that finish. Shield gets the win and Ryback wasn't involved in the decision because he was distracted too far from the ring.
The Shield defeated Ryback and Hell No in a TLC Match (Reigns pinned Bryan, Superbomb through table)
I wouldn't call it a spectacular match by any stretch of the imagination, but it was serviceable. Unfortunately, it's also sliding me into the camp of people who are starting to think that Ryback actually can't bring anything in the ring.
Wait, we still have this, plus the World title match, plus Cena-Ziggler, plus 3MB-Del Rio/Miz/???, and it's 9:45. Something is definitely not getting all that much time. Well, at least they chose the Funkadactyl who can actually wrestle.
The fact that King just said Eve might be the most talented Diva on the roster made me very, very sad. It's not true, also, unless Nattie got fired when I wasn't looking.
Eve defeated Naomi to retain the WWE Divas title (pinfall, something, I wasn't paying attention to and I'm too lazy to check Slimmer's recap to find out, probably a roll-up)
So Diva of the Year was a WWE.com Slammy? What the hell are they going to use to fill the three hours tomorrow, then?
I guess Ziggler or Cena can't cash in tonight, then.
Cole and Lawler talk about needing to use a calculator to count the chair shots Sheamus gave Show at Survivor Series. Ah, yes, one of those newfangled fancy calculators that counts in increments of 1. And yet, I do believe that they had to use one.
JBL makes an abacus joke, which, ironically, would actually make more sense than a calculator.
Did they seriously fabricate a super-sized steel chair just for this match? I refuse to believe that chair actually exists as a retail product.
Well, whatever the case, apparently that was the strongest steel chair ever made.
The Big Show defeated Sheamus in a Chairs Match to retain the World Heavyweight title (pinfall, Super Steel Chairshot)
3MB vs The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and the Brooklyn Brawler
Well, that's a motley crew. And not the guys pretending to be Motley Crue, either. I think the crowd is a little disappointed that they didn't get Ryder, but that's stupid because he's a loser who should be forgotten about, right, WWE?
You know, I totally wish they would make McIntyre into the Keith Richards of the group and have him spend interviews acting stoned out of his mind. Drug references are edgy, WWE!
Between Cody's moustache and Miz's beard, they can almost combine to look like a teenage boy just entering puberty.
JBL runs through a list of Brawler alter-ego gimmicks, but Cole doesn't get what he's doing and start naming random 90's gimmicks. I'd like to say that I'm sure Michael Cole, the human being, isn't actually an idiot, but he makes it so hard.
Does Brawler even have a finisher?
Miz, Del Rio, and Brooklyn Brawler defeated 3MB (Brawler submitted Mahal, Brooklyn Crab)
Um, so Del Rio did a face turn so he could play second (or third, since he was barely involved) fiddle to Brawler nostalgia match?
John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler – Ladder Match for the MITB Briefcase
Okay, let's review: John Cena has absolutely nothing on the line here because even if he loses, he can get a title shot by standing in the ring on Raw and demanding one, while Dolph Ziggler can lose his guaranteed title shot, and if he wins all he gets is to not lose it. I mean, he'll beat John Cena, but hell, Tensai can do that. And he can't even cash in tonight because the World title match already happened. There's literally only one finish here that doesn't totally destroy the career of a rising young star who could be the future of WWE.
No, Jerry, Philadelphia, not Brooklyn, is the city famed for booing Santa Claus. New York did, however, on several occasions, cheer for Xanta Klaus. Of course, it was years later and he was Balls Mahoney at that point, but I think it still counts.
Oh, please let this all be a set-up for AJ to turn on Cena and align with Ziggler. That would make me happy…YES!
BWAHAHA! And the crowd goes wild!
Dolph Ziggler defeated John Cena in a Ladder Match to retain the MITB Briefcase
I was wrong, there was a second way. Granted, it was similar to the first way, but this one included Crazy AJ going heel, so I'm okay with it. A Ziggler-AJ pairing could actually be the thing that puts Ziggler over the top.
90% of this PPV was forgettable, but I liked the booking and I love what they did to finish the show. Now, let's see if this Del Rio face turn lasts longer than one night. I vote no, but that might just be wishful thinking.
Tonight, it's the Slammy Awards, because it's the last Raw of 2012 that anyone's going to watch, since the next two are Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve! Seriously, why would you bother even taping new content, just take the test pattern rating and move on to next year. Even I'm not going to watch those, and I haven't bothered celebrating New Year's Eve for years! Hey, some people don't need it to be December 31st to stay up until midnight drinking.
Anyway, CM Punk may still be recovering from surgery, but with TLC over, all the focus must now be on the Royal Rumble and a long-awaited match with The Rock. At least, you'd hope so, because I'd hate it if they decided to waste time on some other feud when they should probably be putting all their resources towards promoting a money match like Rock-Punk. But I guess we'll see.
More importantly, after defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in a TLC Match last night, The Shield has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in WWE (although one which is definitely not aligned with CM Punk). Meanwhile, Hell No must watch their backs to an even greater degree, because Rhodes Scholars became #1 Contenders at the PPV and you just know they're going to look to take advantage of the beaten-up champions.
Also, Dolph Ziggler retained his MITB Briefcase against John Cena when he received some help from the most unlikely tiny crazy woman…well, actually, when you put it that way I'm not sure why we're surprised. Anyway, Ziggler now has two things to crow about: his World title shot and his win over Cena, and one would imagine he'll talk about both those things tonight!
Plus, 3MB promised to perform for us! Well, at least it'll be better than Fozzy. Tonight, on The Slammy Award Winner for Best Raw, Raw!
- In a recent interview, Jeff Hardy said he has respect for CM Punk, but they're not friends or anything and don't really talk. Gee, it's like they live entirely different lifestyles that are diametrically opposite and have nothing in common or something. I know my life is full of close, personal friends who I share absolutely no interests with.
- Triple H is apparently now essentially entirely in charge of Talent Relations, essentially doing the job previously held by Johnny Ace, and doing a damned fine job according to lots of people who work for him.
- Apparently John Cena's full-time wrestling career might have less time left than previously believed, due to his injury history. And yet Hulk Hogan could probably wrestle another match next week on Impact if he really wanted to. What's the secret to his longevity? Is it the lifetime of steroid use? Or did he absorb superhuman abilities from the fluorescent bulbs of tanning beds, much like Superman gains his powers from exposure to Earth's yellow sun? I'm betting it's probably the first one, since life is not like comic books. But if that ever changes, I call dibs on being Green Arrow.
- No, not Batman. No way in hell am I dealing with the Joker.
This is your absolute last chance to get your votes in and have them counted for the 2012 Fans' Power Rankings, as next week I will reveal the winners, chosen by all of you! Vote in the Comments section, via my e-mail, or through the TWNE After Dark Facebook page, where unlike a RawActive poll, your choices matter! If you don't vote, you can't complain, so get your picks in now!
1. The Shield
It wasn't a super-fantastic match or anything, but by beating Ryback and the tag team champions, it actually does establish these guys as something special, and shows that WWE might have some faith in these guys. At any rate, they're already better than Nexus was after their first big match.
2. Dolph Ziggler
If Ziggler cashes in during the PPV he'd get #1, but he shouldn't feel bad about what he did accomplish to finish off 2012. I mean, he beat John Cena in the main event of a PPV. Ladder match and interference finish aside, he still looked like a big star at TLC. Now, WWE, cash in on it! Pun probably intended.
3. Cody Rhodes'
Man, I know you're jealous of Sandow's luxurious beard, but Sidney Crosby laughs at your ludicrous attempt to grow what might vaguely be called a moustache if one were being generous. Still, at least it gave the crowds a reason to chant about you.
4. Super Chair
Proof of what we already know: if you want to make it more deadly, just make it much, much bigger. Where multiple shots from much smaller chairs failed to get a pinfall, just one hit with this slightly larger model practically rendered Sheamus comatose. I think it's actually just hundreds of tiny chairs bound together into the shape of a giant chair. That's the only science that makes sense.
5. Daniel Bryan
Hey, WWE. I've got a something you really need to hear. Seriously, it's going to be big. Lean in, I'm going to whisper because it's such a huge, guaranteed moneymaking idea that I don't want anyone to hear it before you do.
PUSH THIS MAN!
6. Austin Aries
Apparently Aries is richer than Bobby Roode, the man who was once the "Money, Inc." of Beer Money, Inc. Who knew.
7. Joseph Park, Esq.
Technical question for our End of the Year Awards judges: if Park does indeed finish his wrestling training, does he no longer qualify for our "Non-Wrestling Personality of the Year" category? Because I really don't want to have to change my vote.
8. Kofi Kingston
Count me among those who was sure that Kingston wasn't going to make it out of TLC with the title, if only because I was sure there had to be a title change of some sort on the show and Barrett seemed like he was on one of those roles that demands they put some sort of title on him. Hopefully they aren't just saving that for one of the holiday Raws that nobody will watch.
9. CM Punk
Just to make his extraordinary title reign seem more impressive, he should start billing himself as the man who has held the WWE Title in three different years. Technically, that will be true as of January 1st, and they wouldn't be stupid enough to put the belt on, say, Ryback on New Year's Eve Raw, right?
10. Titus O'Neal
Apparently Titus is gaining some sort of cult following as a comic genius via his work on WWE's Youtube videos. Really? A wrestler trying to get his character over through YouTube? That'll never work.
Inactive List as of 12.10.12
- Alex Riley, out indefinitely as of September 20th (knee and elbow surgeries)
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th (foot)
- Christian, out indefinitely as of September 1st (elbow)
- Cody Rhodes, out indefinitely as of November 14th (concussion, shoulder)
- Curt Hawkins, out indefinitely as of October 8th (multiple surgeries)
- Hunico, out indefinitely as of November 1st (ACL)
- Mark Henry, out indefinitely as of May 1st (surgery)
- Derek Bateman, out indefinitely as of October 30th (knee)
- Skyler Moon, out indefinitely as of September 27 (rehab)
- Chris Sabin, out 6-9 months as of June 14th (ACL)
- Eric Young, TNA, out indefinitely as of November 22nd (kayfabe injury)
- Jesse Sorenson, out at least one year as of February 12th (spine)
- Magnus, out indefinitely as of November 15th (kayfabe injury)
- The Pope, out 2-3 months as of August 12th (broken collarbone)
- Cody Rhodes, SD!, returned to action on December 10th Raw
- Cody Rhodes' Moustache, SD!, made WWE debut on December 10th Raw
- Randy Orton, SD!, out indefinitely as of December 10th (concussion, separated shoulder)
WWE Champion: CM Punk
- 393 day reign, defeated Alberto Del Rio on November 20th, 2011 (Survivor Series PPV)
World Heavyweight Champion: The Big Show
- 50 day reign, defeated Sheamus on October 28th (Hell in a Cell PPV)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
- 61 day reign, defeated The Miz on October 17th (WWE Main Event)
WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
- 120 day reign, defeated Santino Marella on August 19th (SummerSlam PPV)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Kane and Daniel Bryan
- 92 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on September 16th (Night of Champions PPV)
- Next title defense: vs Rhodes Scholars, date unknown
WWE Divas' Champion: Eve Torres
- 92 day reign, defeated Layla on September 16th (Night of Champions PPV)
WWE NXT Champion: Seth Rollins
- 110 day reign, defeated Jinder Mahal to become the inaugural Champion
TNA Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy
- 64 day reign, defeated Austin Aries on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)
TNA World Tag Team Champions: Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez
- 64 day reign, defeated former champions Daniels & Kazarian, and AJ Styles & Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)
TNA X-Division Champion: RVD
- 64 day reign, defeated Zema Ion to on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)
TNA Television Champion: Devon
- 11 day reign, defeated Samoa Joe on December 6th (Impact)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Tara
- 64 day reign, defeated Miss Tessmacher on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: ODB and Eric Young
- 284 day reign, defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne on March 8th (Impact)
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