Coming off a rock solid TLC PPV, it's the final Raw before Christmas. Dear Santa, please give me a show worth live blogging, I have to get up early tomorrow. Twitter, refresh, etc.
We kick things off with CM Punk announcing the winner of last night's main event, which coincidentally was CM Punk! Punk takes a few jabs at Johnny Ace and now introduces us to the winner of the United States Championship match, the new champion, Zack Ryder! Wow, Punk and Ryder being all buddy buddy? Someone's been reading my WWE '12 story!
But just to make this even more smarktastic, let's bring out the NEW World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan! I smell a six-man tag match brewing. Also, if you're having trouble walking around right now, it's because all the smarks just made the floor really sticky. Yes, that's an ejaculation joke, leave me alone, it's almost Christmas break, I'm not above working blue when I'm feeling a little lazy.
Punk hands the mic over to Zack Ryder, who does his thing (WWWYKI) really quick, then a hand off to MY BOI D-BRY! Bryan talks about how CM Punk was never supposed to be WWE Champion, but that he was never even supposed to be in WWE. Hey, five years ago I would've said the same thing. No offense to MY BOI D-BRY!
The Miz, Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio make their way onto the stage and it looks like we're going to see absolute bedlam! Or, if Taz is doing commentary, "pander-monium." Zack Ryder does his somersault plancha right on Ziggler's head and holy shit, it's NASTY~!!!! Remember Edge's debut in 1998 when he almost killed that one guy in Los Boriquas? Yeah, it was just like that... gross.
I hope Ziggler's okay, especially since he's going to be in that six-man tag match I mentioned earlier. Should be an awesome match, as long as Ryder doesn't do that move again, someone get the heating pad!
And just when things were starting off so well, our opening contest is a Randy Orton match. Blurg. To make matters worse, it's a match you may have just paid $50 for, a rematch against Wade Barrett. Just so we're clear, I did not pay $50 for that match, I deliberately subtract $5 from my cable bill every month I order a PPV with an Orton match on it. I'm building up quite a negative balance at this point, but when I meet Orton, I'll make him float me the money. It's only right if he pays me back for the hours of my life I've lost to Zee Vipah.
The fact that I'm talking about my cable bill should probably say something about this match. No offense to Wade or anything, but plenty of offense to Randall. Luckily, just as Randy is going to "that place" (seriously, where the hell is this place?), Barrett jams a thumb in his eye and takes a DQ loss. Wade will shrug it off, stabbing Orton in the eye is totally worth the L. After the match, Barrett Wastelands Orton through a table. I approve! Do it again!
Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox... and wow, what a trainwreck. Fox beats Beth in seconds and this is how desperate WWE is for female competitors. Alicia Fox wishes everyone a "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXAY HOLIDAY" and I have no idea why they thought Philly would be a good place to do this as she gets booed out of the building. Awful, awful, awful.
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal up next and in two segments, WWE is highlighting the two least interesting people on the roster, Fox and Mahal. I rarely like to outright badmouth performers, but Fox is dangerous and Mahal is the traditional "guy on Smackdown who will never go anywhere" (ala Sylvan Grenier, Mordecai and Kizarny) and has overstayed his welcome. Another glorified squash for Sheamus that does nothing for anyone involved.
WOW WOWB WIK WIK WIK WIK WIK WOWRB WOB WOK WOK WOK! Okay, Jesus Christ, I'll order the WWE Network, just stop yelling at me in binary.
Hey guys, it's John Cena, I almost didn't recognize him after he's been gone for so long, considering he missed the first PPV he was eligible first in over eight years. Cena's willing to let bygones be bygones with Kane if he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There's something you don't see in wrestling very often, "Hey, you wanted to make a statement? That's kewl, just don't do it again."
Ah, but John Cena's got a much bigger problem right now, MARK HENRY! Philly welcomes him with a "SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!" chant, must be some commuters from Hersey, and Henry tells Cena he would've murderlized him last week if Kane hadn't got to him first.
Oh no, they said his name three times, through hellfire and brimstone, it's KANE! Cena hits a big clothesline, sending Kane over the top rope, but he lands on his feet old school style. Kane hits a couple of those awesome throat thrust chops and then holds Cena down on the announce table with his hand over his mouth. You know that scene in I Am Legend when Will Smith has to kill the dog? (spoiler alert), it was kinda like that. Awesome visual with Cena bleeding from the mouth, looking like his lips were ripped off, but why did Kane stop there? He should've put him through the damn table!
What happens when you put six of the hottest stars in the company in one match? An Usos match on Raw. Jimmy & Jey up against Primo & Epico and kudos once again to WWE at least trying to do something with the tag division. Primo & Epico pick up the win in a short, but decent match, and as long as they keep it up, things could get interesting. I'm not gonna hold my breath just yet though.
Backstage, we're starting Royal Rumble hype with Cody Rhodes. Loving it, I'm always all for random interviews with various guys who want to win the Rumble. Santino makes an appearance with his Cobra in a box... and he calls Cody "Coby," which is hilarious.
Santino Marella vs. Coby Rhodes is conveniently our next match too, and seriously, Cody's new theme music is so awesome. Sure, it's a total Gravity Kills ripoff, but it's totally badass. Cody picks up an easy win, but sadly he doesn't use that NASTY knee to the face that he busted out last night.
Alrighty kids, I'm tapping out on the live blog tonight. I'll finish up tomorrow morning, but I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. I'm going to go ahead an make an easy prediction for the main event though: fun.
Oh and look, it's starting now. Like I said, it's gonna be fun... I don't know if anything else will even be necessary to say. Good Raw showcasing a lot of new faces too, I'm pleased with tonight's show. Til tomorrow, my friends
AHHHHH!!!! CREEPY KID VIDEO! JUST INTERRUPTED DEL RIO'S ENTRANCE!
***UPDATE - December 20***
And we're back. I told you that match was gonna be fun. Do I even need to write anything up? It was a standard WWE "here's a six-man tag match, enjoy" that they do so well. These matches are rarely something you'll look back on in a year and say "remember that awesome six-man tag?" but thanks to the participants, you just might with this one.
I LOVED the entrance through the crowd stuff, Zack Ryder should keep doing that since he uses the Flip camera when he comes to the ring anyway. Seems like an easy way to get him to interact with the crowd and I think that's his big selling point, the audience feels more responsible for his push than most guys on the roster, so it would give off a great "people's champ" vibe... even if no one can ever use that nickname ever again, thanks Rock!
Also love that is was Daniel Bryan who picked up the win by making Alberto Del Rio tap out. Del Rio's been a thorn in D-Bry's side for awhile and the champ needed to make a big statement that he's legit after the MITB cash-in. I can't think of anything more definitive than that and if they keep it up, my worries about Bryan's reign should subside.
The whole post-match celebration was fun too, it really got you thinking that Punk's whole "change" thing might be true and WWE could be moving in a different direction. When's the last time every champion in WWE was an internet favorite? Punk and Bryan holding the big belts at the same time is something I never thought I'd see and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy this as long as I can.
Unfortunately, Michael Cole made that difficult by going completely over the top with his absurdity, which is a shame because he was fairly tolerable throughout the previous parts of the show... I guess he was resting up. My buddy Scotty Avylla made a great point that if Lawler wasn't in autopilot half the time, he could balance Cole out, but I thought Lawler did a fairly decent job during the main event. Perhaps I just have a soft spot for the King though.
Overall, an incredibly refreshing Raw. Lots of new(er) names were featured all over the place, the champs looked awesome and this Kane stuff is the most intriguing thing they've done with John Cena in awhile. Really fun show and worth checking out if it's sitting on your DVR.