411 Instant Analysis 12.24.12: WWE Monday Night Raw
Posted by Ben Watters on 12.24.2012
Santa Claus visits Raw, John Cena fights for Christmas against Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus takes on Big Show once again and more on Monday Night Raw!
Evening all and welcome to another live episode of Monday Night Raw. Which isn't actually live, because it's Christmas! There's not much else I can say here which can top the drawing power of Christmas so, without further hesitation, let's kick off the show...
SEGMENT ONE: Del Rio ruins Christmas
This was a totally bizarre way to start Raw and I loved it. From Santa taking the sick bump, Del Rio selling the concerned face, Ricardo almost vomiting and the ‘you killed Santa' chant, this was straight up hilarious. No idea what this means for Del Rio's face turn, but he didn't lock the cross-armbreaker on Mr Claus, so I guess that's a good thing?
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
SEGMENT TWO: Cody Rhodes vs Kane Match Result: Kane via Chokeslam Match Length: About 6 minutes
The Santa update backstage skit before this was great as well. Maybe it's just the festive spirit in me at the moment, but I'm digging this Santa angle. You gotta love that with Santa's last breath, he booked Del Rio in a match.
The match went almost how I would I expected it to go. Not too bad, but not particularly interesting. I did like how it made sense with Cody's injury last month and I suppose Cody's use of the exposed turnbuckle shook things up a little, but that didn't stop it from boring me.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10
SEGMENT THREE: Santa's Helper 8-Diva Throwaway Match Match Result: Kaitlyn via Gutbuster Match Length: Around 5 minutes
This was and was always going to be a nothing match – just an excuse to wheel out the divas roster (the entire roster? I don't even know anymore) and dress them up in Christmas themed outfits. It also ran far too long for a gimmicky tag match, although I actually somewhat enjoyed when the match broke down and everyone ran in to hit what may or may not be their finishers.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
SEGMENT FOUR: Lumber Jack-Frost match: Sheamus vs Big Show Match Result: Sheamus via Brogue Kick Match Length: Around 15 minutes
The match that just keeps giving, huh? Besides the first time only match type and Tensai in a Santa hat (which was fucking awesome), this was nothing we haven't seen before. I just can't get into a match that has been rolled out so frequently as this one has recently. We can all agree that their first match was superb, but the quality has just decreased with each subsequent match since. It's not devolved into your usual slow, plodding Big Show match. Shame.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT FIVE: David Otunga vs Zack Ryder Match Result: Match Length:
It's a shame Otunga doesn't get more mic time. His smarmy lawyer gimmick is damn entertaining and such easy heat as well. He gets a reasonable amount of time on the mic, but not enough. This match was poor though – above all else, it was boring. Just boring. I was genuinely nearly falling asleep because of it, but that may have been my slightly tipsy state.
Rating: 4.0 out of 10
SEGMENT SIX: The Miz and Kofi Kingston vs Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett Match Result: The Miz via Skull-Crushing Finale Match Length: Around 6 minutes
Maybe I'm just programmed to think it based on WWE's ‘feud+feud=easy formula tag match' way of thinking, but I can only imagine we'll be seeing a Miz/Cesaro feud coming up soon. I wouldn't be opposed to that though. This match was almost pure midcard formula though, which is a shame considering the talent that was in the ring.
Rating: 5.0 out of 10
SEGMENT SEVEN: Brad Maddox vs The Great Khali Match Result: Khali via bad booking Match Length: I wasn't timing this shit
WWE need to stop recapping everything about 800 times per episode. It's been said before, but it kills an angle's buzz quicker than a flamethrower to a beehive. At this point I'm tired of seeing Santa being run over. It was awesome at first and now not so much.
No. No this is stupid. This Brad Maddox storyline is just mindblowing. Losing streak angles don't work. There will be no payoff to this ‘failing to get a contract' angle. No-one can kid themselves. WWE have practically run Maddox into the ground with his constant losses when he should have gotten his contract months ago – around the point he screwed Ryback. That would have made sense and the guy could have really capitalized on his heat back then. Now I fear that WWE have missed the boat on Maddox.
Rating: 0 out of 10
SEGMENT EIGHT: CM Punk's Christmas is Ruined
I do love Punk's interactions with the fans. Not that interaction, but him using really cheap heat methods such as insulting the homecrowd's sports team and just the town in general actually come off pretty natural and rather entertaining. That aside, I'm pretty sure the end result of this segment was a carbon copy of last week, where Ryback just comes out and hypes up his title shot. Although the added TLC stipulation is definitely welcomed.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT NINE: Daniel Bryan vs Damien Sandow Match Result: Daniel Bryan via No Lock Match Length: Around 5 minutes
Logic dictates that if Kane faced Cody earlier, then Daniel Bryan absolutely has to face Damien Sandow at some point in the same show, so here we are. This was a pretty decent little match here, started off entertaining with Sandow and Bryan exchanging words after the bell rang and the crowd were surprisingly into it, which obviously helped. However, like Cody/Kane earlier, it was just a throwaway match which only really existed to put over the Tag Champs. That's not a bad thing, but it's not really an interesting thing.
Rating: 6.0 out of 10
SEGMENT TEN: 12 Days of Midcard 12 Man Tag Team Match Match Result: (I'm going to say) Jey Uso via Samoan Splash Match Length: Around 5 minutes
Mandatory Santa hats for the faces! I like it. I actually really enjoyed this match as well. These short multi-man midcard tag matches always seem to deliver, mainly because they don't have the time to get bogged down in formulaic rest-holds and building the hot tag – it's just 12 guys going out there and hitting flashy, power moves until the finish. It's very fun.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
SEGMENT ELEVEN: Miracle on 34th Street Fight: John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio Match Result: John Cena via Attitude Adjustment w/ Santa Clause run-in
AJ and Ziggler are such an obnoxiously cute couple and the various skits with them in are sickeningly cutesy. It's awesome. Pretty damn good heel tactic, and the crowd seem to be responding to it as well (although, it's taped so who knows what ungodly doctoring WWE could have done to them).
Ricardo has been brilliance all night. His over-the-topness is just hilarious. The match was in a similar vein as well. Over-the-top and just plain fun. I probably enjoyed it much more than I should have done.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Segment of the Night: John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio
Trash Segment of the Night: Great Khali vs Brad Maddox
Final Analysis: This show started off strong with a great festive vibe that I was really enjoying. It was light-hearted, which I'm sure people will complain about, but it is Christmas after-all and I enjoyed the fun of it all. It also ended fairly strong, although I'm pretty disappointed that there was no ending angle to close the show. But again, it's Christmas. The middle part of the show was a hell of a lot of filler that did bring me pretty close to falling asleep at parts. Very hit and miss at the end of the day.
Verdict: 6.3 out of 10
411 RATINGS SCALE:
0 - 0.9: Torture
1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 - 2.9: Very Bad
3 - 3.9: Bad
4 - 4.9: Poor
5 - 5.9: Not So Good
6 - 6.9: Average
7 - 7.9: Good
8 - 8.9: Very Good
9 - 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect