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Posted by Ryan Byers on 12.23.2013
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Championship Roll Call: Undisputed WWE World Champion: Randy Orton US Champion: The Shield's Dean Ambrose IC Champion: Big E. Langston Unified Diva's Champion: AJ Lee WWE World Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Welcome, everyone to 411's live coverage of MONDAY NIGHT RAAAAAWWWWW!
I'm Ryan Byers, filling in for Tony Acero, who I'm told is busy this evening working on his sister's senatorial campaign.
Somebody told me that Acero always starts these things off with a big picture of AJ, and I am not one to break with tradition!
Yikes, when did he get that ridiculous tattoo?
Then, now, forever. Can't believe David Otunga is in this.
Mark Henry and Damien Sandow open the show, alternating lines in a WWE-ized version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in their good Santa and bad Santa personae. The highlight is both men rattling off names of WWE Superstars past instead of reindeer, with Sandow giving shout-outs to the Mountie, Freddie Blassie, and Irwin R. Schyster.
Triple H, Steph-o-Mac, and Kane are out to open the show along with a nameless lackey, and they're all wearing Santa hats. Yes, even Kane, who also distributes candy canes (Kandy Kanes?) to the children at ringside, though he gets a little aggressive with the last one.
It appears Jerry Lawler has the night off this evening. It's a two man booth with Cole and JBL.
Trips and Steph say their job is to make sure the fans have a Merry Christmas, so they've booked a great show. They hype the Santa vs. Santa match, claiming that Christmas is in the balance. Steph's sarcastic cheers for "good Santa" are pretty hilarious. We're also getting Daniel Bryan & The Rhodes Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family and the Shield against John Cena, CM Punk, and Big E Langston.
As HHH is getting ready to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Randy Orton and his belts interrupt. He thanks the McMahon-Helmsleys for their support in recent months and presents his bosses with a Christmas present, namely . . . himself. He also thanks the Authority for giving him the night off, and the segment closes with Kane saying "Merry Christmas" himself and setting off his pyro.
That was a tremendous waste of time.
Match 1: Team Total Divas (The Bella Twins, The Funkadactyls, Nattie Neidhart, & Eva Marie) vs. Team Other Divas (Kaitlyn, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Tamina Sunka, & Rosa Mendes) in a Twelve Women A-Tagging Match
AJ Lee is doing guest commentary. Team Total Divas enters to the show's theme song, while Team Other Divas gets a jobber entrance.
Tamina slams Nikki Bella to start, but Nikki answers with a headscissors. Kaitlyn and Eva Marie tag in, with Eva eating a clothesline before an exchange to Rosa Mendes. Eva takes Rosa down by the hair and brings in Naomi, who immediately eats a dropkick. There's an exchange to Alicia Fox, but she also takes a headscissors. Now it's Cameron's turn, and the Funkadactyls do a double vertical suplex and their leg drop before bringing in Brie Bella. Alicia immediately plants her with a good northern lights suplex and tags Vickie, who does one comedy spot before Aksana takes her turn. Brie cuts her off with a front facelock and tags Nattie, who gets kicked when she telegraphs a back body drop. Aksana drops an elbow on the big of her head (no, really), and things break down into a twelve-way. After the ring clears, Nattie hits a Disqus comment section lariat, and then there's a weird spot where the babyface team starts playing crack the whip with each other while clotheslining heels individually. Of course, the heels can't help but keep running into the ring. AJ openly buries the spot, as does the audience. Nattie puts Aksana in the sharpshooter, and there's your match.
WINNERS: Team Total Divas via Nattie sharpshooter on Aksana
In what is actually a funny bit, they run a "Did You Know" bumper delivering stats about the number of children that Santa visits each year.
Match 2: Sin Cara vs. Curt Axel
Sin Cara does an insert promo in perfect English, as if you needed more proof that there's somebody new under the hood.
Axel takes Sin Cara down early and tries to humiliate him, but Cara responds in kind and lands headscissors number three of the evening. Curt rolls out of the ring and Sin Cara looks for an Asai moonsault, but he's cut off. Axel shoulderblocks the former Hunico off of the apron and rams him back-first into the post before returning him to the squared circle. The third-generation star slaps on a front facelock but then goes behind into a reverse bearhug. Sin Cara gets shot into the corner, but Axel runs into his boot and gets rolled up for a nearfall. Axel gets the momentum back in his favor with a dropkick and begins rubbing the luchador's face into the mat before going back to the bearhug. Cara tries to elbow out of it and rolls out when Axel tries to change the move into a belly-to-back suplex. More reversals are traded, and it culminates in Axel being tossed from the ring and hit with a tope con hilo.
Back on the inside, Sin Cara gives him a high cross and headscissors four of the evening, followed by the Tajiri handspring elbow for two. Sin Cara tries to get Axel up into a fireman's carry position, but Curt slips out and gives him a rabbit lariat. Lateral press gets two. Axel grabs Cara's face and starts jaw-jacking with him, but that gives the masked man an opening to hit the Angle Slam and the Swanton Bomb to keep his winning streak alive.
WINNER: Sin Cara via Angle Slam/Swanton combo
A video package from this past Friday's Smackdown main event is used to set up this evening's Shield match.
They replay last week's vignette of Damien Sandow meeting with a child in bad Santa mode.
Big Show dances in a diaper to promote next week's New Year's Raw. I could've done without that.
PROMO FOR THE RETURN OF BIG DAVE BATISTA~!~!~!~!~! Awesome presentation, and they tell us his big comeback date is January 20 on Raw!
The follow that up with Wade Barrett ringing bells and collecting money for what is ostensibly the Salvation Army. Swerve alert.
A video package recaps the problems between the Wyatt Family and Daniel Bryan.
The finish of this past Friday's Goldust & Cody vs. Wyatt Family match, complete with D-Bry run-in is played. Ditto for the Wyatt/Bryan backstage confrontation from the same show.
Match 3: Daniel Bryan & The Rhodes Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family
Somebody in the crowd has a JOB Squad sign. In damn near 2014. Epic.
Why does Bray Wyatt blow out an electric lamp?
Cody Rhodes and Eric Rowan kick things off. The big bearded dude kicks Cody in the gut and looks to slam it, but Rhodes slips out and dropkicks him in the knee. He tags in Goldust for a quick double team, and Goldie tries to work the arm but gets powered back into the corner. The two men exchange kicks, but Dustin gets his man back to the corner and D-Bry checks in. He kicks Rowan quite a bit as the crowd chants yes. There's another quick tag to Cody, who gets another quick tag to Goldust for a double shot to the gut. Rowan then bulls Goldust back into the Wyatt corner and gets a tag to Harper, who plants some uppercut on Goldust's jaw, though Goldie reverses an Irish whip to regain control. Cody comes back in and lands a dropkick before setting Harper up for more leg kicks by Bryan. Harper responds with a punch but misses a big boot in the corner and winds up hung in the Tree of Joey Lawrence for some more kicks and a basement dropkick to the face. Bryan calls for Bray Wyatt to tag in, and the standoff between the two sets up our commercial break.
After the ads, Rowan is dropping an elbow on Cody Rhodes, and Cole tells us there has still been no Bryan/Bray interaction. Luke Harper comes back in and gets Cody in the Gator Roll. I'm not sure how, but Cody has been busted open on the bridge of his nose. He uses that as motivation to power out of a chinlock and lands an out-of-nowhere clothesline off of a misdirection play, giving his brother the pseudo-hot tag. Goldust hits his drop down uppercut, an inverted atomic drop, and a boot to the side of the head before unloading with ten punches in the corner. GOLDIE-CAN-RANA~! Unfortunately, Harper cuts him off with a big boot seconds later and makes the exchange to Bray Wyatt, who is in the match for the first time.
Wyatt drops a series of elbows and blows Goldust a kiss before hitting an axe bomber and hanging upside down in the corner. Now Harper is back in, and he taunts Bryan as we close out hour one. The former Brodie Lee misses an elbow but knocks Cody and Bryan off of the apron to prevent a tag, then handing the match off to Eric Rowan. Rowan's big splash (which I thought was his finisher) only gets two. A charge by the bald guy gets him nothing but Goldust's boot, but that's still not quite enough for a hot tag, as Rowan applies the iron claw and beals his opponent across the ring with it. Cole reacted almost like it was a comedy spot. Harper returns to the ring but is immediately hit with CODE RED~! by Goldust! (Code Gold?) Everybody lays around for a bit, and there's a hot tag to Daniel Bryan. Rowan is in on the other side. D-Bry takes out all of the Wyatts, including knocking Bray off the apron with a dropkick and hitting a pair of the same move on Rowan in the corner. The goat next dropkicks Rowan's leg out from under him, and a buzzsaw kick sets up an attempt at the diving headbutt. It connects, though Bray runs in to stop Bryan's momentum. Bryan double legs him and pounds away, but Wyatt heads for the hills. That allows Rowan to ambush him outside, and now it's time for another commercial, as the Rhodes family and the Wyatt family argue over the fallen body of the former WWE Champ.
On the other side of the ads, Bryan is elbowing out of a Harper resthold, but he's taken back down and catapulted throat-first into the bottom rope. Now that Bryan is down, Wyatt tags in to do battle with him. Bryan gets a second wind but runs off the ropes directly into a right hand. Harper tags in and connects with, of all things, a slingshot senton a la Eddie Guerrero. Rowan takes his place and slams Bryan, following up with a rough variation on Masato Tanaka's Sliding D. Rowan applies a neck vice, but Bryan battles back and gives him a tornado DDT. That sets up a tag to Cody, who gives Harper a missile dropkick and a high knee before getting two with the O' Connor Roll. Rowan eats a Disaster Kick from the apron and Harper is flattened with a moonsault bodyblock, though Bray breaks up the pin. This sets him up for D-Bry's missile dropkick/tope suicida combination, but Rowan again intervenes and throws him to the barricade. Goldust wipes out Rowan and things break down into a pier six brawl, ending when Bray Wyatt nails Cody with Sister Abigail in the ring and pins him.
WINNERS: The Wyatt Family via Sister Abigail on Condy Rhodes
The Wyatt Family considers to beat on their opponents after the bell, and then Bray gives Daniel Bryan a talking to, continuing his efforts to recruit him into the Wyatt Family. Then, all of a sudden, the Wyatts' graphics and jump cuts go into effect and, when we come back, Bray is in his rocking chair in the aisle. Cole makes a good point, noting that the bad guys beat up on Bryan just enough so that he could get the message but not bad enough to hurt him.
After another break, the Mark Henry good Santa vignette from last week is aired. I hope no FOX News anchors saw this, otherwise they'd be very angry.
Barrett is still ringing his bell.
Match 4: R-Truth & Xavier Woods vs. Great Khali & Santino Marella vs. 3MB in a Christmas Carol Sing-Off
Truth and Consequences are up first, and Woods doesn't have a bad voice for an amateur, doing a traditional him that I don't know the name of. Now it's McyIntyre & Mahal's turn, and they hit an intentionally awful rendition of "Jingle Bells," though they lose points for not using the "Batman Smells" lyrics.
JBL gets in the best line of the night, asking, "Was Jillian busy?" God, I miss Jillian.
Now it's Khali and Marella, with Santino singing "Deck the Halls" in a falsetto and Khali supplying the fa la la's, as though he has no idea what he's doing. The crowd eats it up. They do leave in the phrase "gay apparel," so they're better in my book than Hallmark.
Hostess with the mostess Renee Young asks for crowd response to determine the winner, and its Santino/Khali. A jealous 3MB attacks, but the babyfaces clean house on them. Santino's cobra is wearing reindeer antlers, and everybody joins forces for "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Yes, even Khali.
WINNERS: The Great Khali & Santino Marella via crowd pity
Match 4: Fandango w/ Summer Rae vs. Dolph Ziggler in a POLE MATCH
I thought we were done with pole matches when wrestling got rid of Vince Russo. Anyway, at the top of the pole is a Christmas present, and the first man to grab it wins. We don't know what's in the box . . . unless we read the spoilers.
After Dolph makes his entrance, Justin Roberts spoils what could've been a big surprise by saying the present is an Intercontinental Title match on next week's show.
Both men make a run for the package early and then get down to wrestling, with Ziggler hitting a dropkick and attempting to climb again. He gets to the top rope, but Fandango cuts him off and pounds him while he lays on the top rope. Fanny follows up with a clothesline and climbs, but Dolph pulls him off the ropes and sends him into the opposite buckle. Ziggler climbs again, but Fanny slips underneath and attempts to powerbomb him. Ziggler reverses it into a sunset flip and hits the fame-ass-er, but he's incapable of standing up quickly and has to slowly ooze over to the corner and up the ropes. Fanny nails him from behind so hard that not only does Ziggler go flying off the top rope, but Fanny himself also takes a spill out to the floor. Both men recover and wind up on the ropes at the same time, with Fandango eventually cutting off his opponent thanks to a big kick. Fanny tries to literally climb over the limp body of Ziggler, but Dolph crotches him on the top rope. Ziggler stands up straight on the top rope, but Fanny rams his head into the post, sending him falling to the floor, where he collides with the ring steps. That's the finish, as Fandango retrieves the IC Title shot.
WINNER: Fandango via grabbing his package
Match 5: The Prime Time Players vs. The Uso Twins
The PTP do a pre-match promo in which Darren Young pretends to botch the name of the city they're in and Titus corrects him. What was the point of that? They do their dance and invite the crowd to join in. About three people take them up on the offer.
Titus starts off against . . . I'm sorry, I can't tell them apart. Titus hits a shoulderblock and does the dog bark. There's a leapfrog, etc. off the ropes before O' Neil catches his man on a high cross attempt and tosses him aside. Darren Young tags in and has his partner suplex him on to the Uso, though he walks into an armdrag as the Usos tag out for a double team. In an awesome moment, the crowd starts chanting, "This is Austin!" in response to D-Young's previously calling them Houston. The Uso continues to lay it on thick with the armdrags and simple double teams, wiht one member of the team deciding to go with a keylock while he yells, "This ain't Houston!" The Usos combine their efforts again for a double team elbow drop and another armdrag/arm bar combo. Young tries to Irish whip him off, and it doesn't go well at first, though an Uso miscue allows Darren to hit a northern lights suplex and a clothesline, followed by an Owen Hart style belly-to-belly. The Usos catch him off guard with a blind tag, though, and the fresh Uso flattens D-Young with a Samoan drop. Mr. No Days Off gets hit with the Rikishi ass splash in the corner, and Titus O' Neil tries to run in for the save. He fails miserably, getting tossed in a matter of seconds. One Uso superkicks Darren Young's head off, while the other puts on a Rudolph nose and gives Young a top rope splash for the three count.
Everybody does the PTPs' dance after the bell.
WINNERS: The Uso Twins via Superfly Splash on Darren Young
There is a "Tale of the Tape" for the Battle of the Santas, during which we learn that Damien Sandow's favorite Christmas beverage is Clamato. I too enjoy a good Clamato from time to time.
Cole plugs the fact that Rock was named the highest grossing actor of 2013 by Forbes magazine. I have to admit, that's pretty damned impressive.
Match 6: Mark "Good Santa" Henry vs. Damien "Bad Santa" Sandow in a Battle for Christmas
Henry and Sandow are both in Santa suits, and they've got custom Titantron videos of each of them standing around in beards and either laughing or scowling depending on the situation. Sandow's twisted, dark Christmas music is actually pretty badass, in the same way that the evil Doink the Clown music was.
Sandow charges Henry at the bell, but the World's Strongest Man flattens him and unwraps a giant present to reveal . . . a toilet. Henry forces Sandow's head into the toilet, which he sells like death. Damien rolls to the floor and opens another gift, finding a fire extinguisher, which he has trouble operating. Henry throws it off of him and shows Sandow that you need to pull the pin to work the thing, then spraying our intellectual savior. The two men climb up the ramp, with Sandow finding a candy cane kendo stick and destroying the Christmas-themed set as Michael Cole literally yells "Boooooo!" over the mic. Henry cuts off his next attempt at a stick shot and sends Sandow rolling down the ramp, shoving him into a Christmas tree. Sandow finds himself thrown back into the ring, but he manages to cut off Henry as he enters. The fire extinguisher is back in play, but Sandow still can't get it right, so Henry kicks it out of his hand and sprays him again. World's Strongest Slam. That's it.
To add insult to injury, Sandow gets a face full of Christmas cupcakes once the match is over.
WINNER: Mark Henry via World's Strongest Slam, Christmas is saved
Renee Young is with CM Punk, and she asks what his plan is when going up against the Shield tonight. Punker says he's asked Santa Claus for help, and Santa delivered two partners in the form of Big E Langston and John Cena. Now acknowledgment whatsoever of the relatively recent bad blood between Cena and Punk. Cena says he found the Shield's Christmas list, which apparently consisted of various offensive moves of their opponents. I sincerely doubt that is what Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns asked for for Christmas.
Match 7: The Real Americans w/ Zeb Colter vs. Los Matadores w/ El Torito
Colter cuts a promo before the match accusing Santa Claus of being an illegal immigrant. I have heard more ridiculous claims from people named Colter in the past, so I'm just going to let that one go.
El Torito has Christmas lights wrapped around his tail and horns. Have I ever mentioned how much I love El Torito?
Antonio Cesaro starts with . . . a matador, who I think is Primo. Tony whips him into the buckle, but the masked man goes up and over the top before hitting a headscissors . . . and another. How many of those are we gong to see tonight? A top rope headscissors is attempted, but Cesaro turns it into the giant swing. As can be expected, it goes on for quite some time. Los Matadores do a "Twin Magic" switch, which will probably get John Cena after them. The fresh matador rolls up Cesaro, but Swagger saves. Swagger stays in the ring but gets wiped out by a matador dive . . . aaaaaand a headscissors. There's a sitdown splash on Swagger. The matador tries to follow up with another high flying move, but Cesaro provides a distraction. Torito takes him out with a headbutt to the belly, allowing the matador to follow through with a high cross off the top to get the pin on Jack Swagger.
WINNERS: Los Matadores via high cross on Jack Swagger
We recap the ending to last week's Smackdown main event AGAIN.
Match 8: Kofi Kingston vs. The Ryback
After Kingston's entrance, they go to a commercial and play the Batista hype video again once they come back. Way to guarantee that nobody pays attention to poor Kofi.
Kofi tries to run wild early, but Ryback grabs him for a suplex attempt. Kofi slips off and connects with a diving clothesline in the corner and a dropkick, sending the Ryback to the floor. Mr. Back returns to the apron but gets kicked off again, and Kofi follows him with a better tope con hilo than Sin Cara's. Both men get back into the ring, but Ryback immediately throws Kofi back out as a "boring" chant sets in. So much for that tope. After doing virtually nothing, Ryback brings Kofi back to the ring and chops him in the corners before applying a bear hug. Delayed vertical suplex for two. I'll let you guess which of the two guys hit that move. Ryback goes for a diving something off the second rope but jumps into Kofi's feet and gets hit with a second rope dropkick for a nearfall. Boom Drop by Kingston, and he starts doing his pre-Trouble in Paradise dance. Ryback avoids the move but can't avoid a slingshot high cross, which gives us another two count for Kofi. Kingston tries for some punches in the corner, but Ryback slips out and drops him throat-first on the ropes, following with a lariat. Shellshock, and we're done.
WINNER: The Ryback via Shellshock
Bad News Barrett is at his podium with his kettle from the bell ringing campaign earlier. He explains that he wasn't raising the money for charity but rather for himself. This gimmick is godawful and I almost find myself hoping that they fire Wade Barrett so that I don't have to see it anymore.
The Shield are backstage, and they cut a promo on CM Punk. They're apparently not just the hounds of justice but also the hounds of continuity, pointing out that Punk and Cena are not friends. Roman Reigns has some harsh words for Big E Langston, so they're still building up that confrontation big time. Believe in the Shield.
Match 9: Jon Cena, CM Punk, & Big E Langston vs. The Shield
Ambrose and Cena are the first men in the ring tonight. They lock up and Cena gets a headlock early, but Ambrose shoves him off. Cena runs through him with a shoulderblock, and in comes Seth Rollins. He kicks Cena in the gut but is flattened by a couple of shoulderblocks and a Proto-Plex. We attempt the Five Knuckle Shuffle early, but Rollins rolls out of the ring and the Shield stalls for a little bit. When the action resumes, Roman Reigns tries his hand at Cena, and Roman gives him a Samoan drop for two and puts the boots to his man. Rollins tags in as we cut away for an abrupt commercial.
After the ads, Seth Rollins hits the BUFF BLOCKBUSTER~! on John Cena. It's been eons since I've seen that move. Dean Ambrose tags in and drops the Muta power drive elbow and slaps on a sleeper hold. Cena, while still in the hold, reaches out and tags in Punk, who clears the ring and gives Ambrose a tope, as well as a swinging neckbreaker back on the inside. There's Punk's high knee and clothesline, and he calls for the Randy Savage elbow. Rollins interferes so that Ambrose can knock Punk off the apron to the floor, and Dean gives him a snap suplex on the pretty black mats. Back on the inside, Ambrose gets two and Rollins tags back in for a whip into the buckles and some boots. Punk gets in an Irish whip of his own, though, and Rollins takes the buckles in an HBK-esque manner. Seth slides over to his corner and makes a tag before Punk can, though, and it's Dean Ambrose who wears Punk down further with a front facelock. Roman Reigns blind tags in and goes for the bear hug. Rollins checks back in and gets a wear down hold of his own, a bodyscissors with something vaguely resembling an armbar.
Punk elbows his way out of that and ducks a clothesline, hitting a back suplex. It looks like he's going to get the hot tag, but the Shield expertly cuts Punk off again and also wipes out John Cena. The Shield taunts Langston for a bit, but it gives Punk the opportunity to hit a high kick on Ambrose. He also avoids a Reigns corner charge, and there's the real hot tag to Big E Langston. He kills everybody, including a belly-to-belly on Rollins and bealing Ambrose off the top on to Rollins before splashing both men. Big Ending is attempted on Ambrose, but Rollins gives him an enzuguiri from out of nowhere. John Cena makes the save and catches Rollins coming off the top rope for an FU. Reigns spears him, but Punk takes out Reigns from the top rope. Wrestlers take turns throwing each other out of the ring until it's down to Ambrose and Big E, and NOW the Big Ending connects. Roman Reigns saves, and that's enough to get our fair referee to call for a DQ.
The Shield sets up for a triple powerbomb on Langston, but Cena and Punk cut it off before giving their finishers to Shield members.
WINNERS: John Cena, CM Punk, & Big E Langston via DQ
I have nothing to say about this show except that, if I ever have to do any sort of coverage for Raw again, it's going to need to go back to two hours.