Date: December 18, 2012
Location: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
This is a special show so that they can start taping the holiday episodes sooner. This is live as well as commercial free for no apparent reason. After last night’s Slammys, we’ve got a lot of places we can go now, so hopefully the show tonight is as good as Raw was last night. It’s hard to say what to expect from these shows though as they can be hit or miss. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap from last night as you would expect a show to do anymore.
The main event is Cena/Sheamus vs. Big Show/Ziggler as you would expect.
We open with MizTV which has to be the most frequent talk show segment in years. The guests tonight are Ziggler and AJ who haven’t been confirmed as a thing yet. Langston is with them as well. Ok considering AJ and Ziggler kissed on the stage, maybe they are a thing. Miz asks why all of this stuff has happened and AJ says ask Cena why he played with her heart. She lost her job as GM to keep Cena’s good name clean and we get a clip of Cena kissing AJ.
AJ goes on a rant about having her heart broken by Cena. We get a clip from thre weeks ago with Cena and Vickie talking about the bows Vickie found in the locker room. Cena made fun of them, AND THAT IS A PLOT POINT. Yes, an eight second line about FREAKING BOWS is the reason this story is happening. Then Cena told AJ to stop coming to the ring with him, like she was some dirty little secret. Cena is supposed to be better than that, but he broke her heart. Therefore, she broke Cena’s chances at TLC.
Miz asks who Langston is so AJ says he’s Big E. Langston. Ok then. Miz doesn’t really care about what’s going on because AJ is crazy. Apparently that work ticks her off, but she’s proven to Dolph that she’s not crazy. He doesn’t care that Cena won Superstar of the Year, because he stole the show and Cena’s girl. Miz makes fun of AJ for being a slut and says Ziggler is the sixth member of One Direction. Langston lays out Miz.
Teddy comes up to talk to Booker T with a prospect for a job later. It’s Brad Maddox and Booker goes off on Teddy. Long says that Brad is a good prospect because he has a big social media following. Booker gives him the chance because Teddy says Booker knows what a second chance means. What is with the references to him being an ex-con lately? Maddox gets the match and finds out his opponent later.
Damien Sandow vs. Sin Cara
Rey’s music hits for some reason but there’s no Rey. Cara speeds things up to start and Damien bails to the floor. Back in and Cara walks the corner for the armdrag, followed up by a springboard missile dropkick. Cody breaks up a springboard something and Cara is down on the floor. That gets two for Sandow back inside, as does a suplex. A quick chinlock goes nowhere so there’s the Russian legsweep.
The Wind-Up Elbow misses, but Sin can’t get anything going. Back to the chinlock for a bit until Cara escapes and hits a quick cross body. Cara dives on the Scholars on the floor….and here comes the Shield. They have Mysterio’s mask and throw it at Cara, allowing Sandow to hit the Terminus for the pin, appropriately enough at 6:19.
Rating: D+. Dull match here which didn’t go anywhere. Shield attacking various people is still a good idea, because at least they’ve proven they can back it up. Not a terrible match here, but once Mysterio didn’t show up it was clear that something was up and Shield is the right idea. We still need some reasoning behind these attacks, but it’s not bad yet.
Post match, Shield destroys Cara and hurts his knee, which is likely a way to get Cara off TV for a legit knee problem he’s been having.
Flo-Rida and Miss Piggy waste some time so we can get Cara out of the ring.
Santino Marella vs. Tensai
This is fallout from the presentation of an award last night. Santino grabs a headlock to start but Tensai runs him over. Santino does his power walk thing but stupidly tries to slam the big bald guy. Instead he escapes a powerslam and tries a German suplex. That goes nowhere and a slam completely fails. Off to a weak looking chinlock by the monster before a cross body is no sold. Santino does his signature stuff and finally slams Albert. The Cobra is blocked and Santino is put in a sleeper. The Cobra hits the top of Tensai’s head to no effect. The backsplash misses Santino and he steals a pin that was clearly going to him the whole time at 4:18.
Rating: D-. Tensai, go away. Get off of my television, go back to Japan, go to Belarus, go wherever will take you, but get away from me. You’re a joke, not interesting, not anything to see, and just annoying overall. Just go away already so no one can miss you. Why he was hired back I have no idea.
Cara has a severely injured knee.
We recap the Cena/Flair/Punk/Heyman/HELL NO/Shield/Ryback segment from last night.
Kofi and HELL NO are in the back with Kane telling Kofi to watch over his shoulder for the Shield tonight. Bryan looks ticked off and apparently he’s mad for not winning a Slammy last night. Kofi pulls his Slammy out. “You mean like this one?” They try to console Bryan by reminding him that he got to hang out with Flair, but make the mistake of saying Flair has the best catchphrase ever. Bryan: “NO! NO! NO!” Funny stuff.
Kofi Kingston/HELL NO vs. Prime Time Players/Wade Barrett
Mysterio apparently has a neck injury from the attack by Shield. Kofi and Titus start but Kingston goes right for Wade, allowing the heels to take over. Young gets dropkicked down and here’s Bryan to kick him a lot. There’s the surfboard hold by Bryan and it’s off to Kane for a low dropkick to Young’s chest. Back to Daniel for a dropkick of his own as I think this match is going to last awhile.
Bryan fires off the kicks to Young in the corner but gets caught in a Stun Gun to change the momentum. Barrett comes in to pound away for a bit, but Bryan dives away for a tag to Kofi. The IC Champion goes off on Wade but Young breaks up Trouble in Paradise, allowing Barrett to clothesline Kofi to the floor. The Players work over Kingston as we look at the crowd to see if Shield is coming. Apparently Mysterio’s neck injury is a SEVERE neck injury and not just a regular one. Good to know.
Barrett pounds away on Kofi a bit for two before it’s back to Young. Kofi finally comes back with a tornado DDT out of the corner, allowing for a double hot tag to Kane and Titus. The masked man takes over and hits a side slam for two. The top rope clothesline misses and there’s the Clash of the Titus to Kane, but Bryan makes the save. Everything breaks down and Darren gets the tag. Bryan pulls Titus to the floor and the chokeslam pins Young at 10:45.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but where are we supposed to go with either of these feuds? HELL NO has beaten the Players time after time, while Kofi has beaten Barrett in their PPV title match. Then again, these feuds are likely going to keep going because that makes it easier on the writers, and Heaven forbid they have to figure out something new.
It’s the top of the hour so let’s hit that recap button.
Sheamus explains some UK comedy show to Cena but he doesn’t get it. He says Langston is the strongest person he’s ever faced, which seems to turn Sheamus on. Sheamus asks what’s up with AJ. “You can tell me, no one is around.” Cena whispers in Sheamus’ ear and Sheamus starts to laugh but is disturbed by something Cena says. John says more though and Sheamus isn’t sure what to think. He looks scared but Cena was kidding him. Sheamus: “But is that even possible?”
Here are Punk and Heyman with something to say. Punk says the fans are going to look back in the years and be shocked that they didn’t vote Punk Superstar of the Year. He talks about how the fans clearly don’t care about winning and losing, meaning they’re the kinds of parents who put their kinds in t-ball where they don’t keep score so the kids don’t know how big of a failure they are. Punk rips on Cena for being a mockery of the words on his shirt: Hustle, Loyalty and Respect.
This turns into an anti-Flair promo because Punk says he never loses. He’s been champion for nearly 400 days and he’s still here two weeks after having knee surgery. He’s not on strike like the Pittsburgh Penguins because he doesn’t have an off season. No one can beat him, and here’s Ryback. You know, that guy that loses every match he’s in anymore. Ryback actually talks, and says that on the first Raw of the year, he’s getting his title shot against Punk.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Ryback
Ryback throws Cesaro to the floor to start and pounds his head into the mat back inside. The Goldberg chant start and Ryback hits the Thesz Press and a splash. All Ryback so far. Cesaro bails to the floor before the Meat Hook can hit and gets his belt to leave. Ryback heads to the floor and tries to throw Antonio back in, but Cesaro escapes and sends Ryback into the steps for a nine count.
Back in and Antonio hooks a cobra sleeper for a few moments. Ryback misses a charge in the corner, sending his shoulder into the post. A middle rope European Uppercut gets two for Cesaro and it’s off to a cravate. Ryback fights up and pounds Cesaro down before hitting the Meat Hook. Shell Shock gets the clean pin at 5:11.
Rating: C. Erg. If you need to put Ryback over someone to keep him strong, PICK SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE FREAKING UNITED STATES CHAMPION. This was just a step above a squash as the steps and post did way more damage to Ryback than Cesaro did. The match was nothing good either, but the fans were WAY into it.
We see Miz going through Navy training. He also flies a plane. Riveting stuff.
AJ comes up to Kaitlyn in the back and Kaitlyn doesn’t want to talk to her. Kaitlyn tells AJ she’s tired of this and a brawl breaks out.
Divas Title: Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn
We get a freaking recap of the brawl that just happened ON A SHOW WITH NO COMMERCIALS. REALLY? We REALLY NEEDED THAT??? Kaitlyn gets thrown down to start and Eve hits her running flip splash for two. We head to the floor with Eve still in control. Nothing happens there so here’s a Downward Spiral for two by Eve.
Off to a chinlock by the champion (Eve if that wasn’t clear) until Kaitlyn gets two off a small package. A sloppy middle rope sunset flip gets two for Kaitlyn as does the reverse DDT. Kaitlyn dives onto Eve off the apron to the flor as this just keeps going. Kaitlyn goes up but Eve grabs the referee’s foot….AND THAT’S A DQ at about 5:20.
Rating: D. OH GOOD FREAKING GRIEF. If there was EVER a time to change this stupid belt, it was right here. Kaitlyn isn’t anywhere near good in the ring and now we have to sit through a long match until we get to THAT stupid ending? Give me a freaking break. Terrible match with a bad ending on top of that.
Ziggler says he’s a future world champion when Show comes up. He threatens Ziggler and Langston looks to stare Show down, only to have AJ stop him. Show threatens to kill Dolph if he tries to cash in tonight.
We recap the Sheamus/Show stuff from last night which included the attempted cash in by Ziggler, only to see Cena spoil it. Jerk.
Brad Maddox vs. Brodus Clay
Brodus pounds away with headbutts to start and drops some elbows. Maddox comes back with a quick dropkick to the side of the head for one and we hit the chinlock. Brodus comes back with a splash in the corner and suplex to set up the splash for the pin at 2:08. Same Maddox match as always.
Post match it’s the Shield to beat down Brodus. They actually hit the SuperBomb.
Dolph Ziggler/Big Show vs. John Cena/Sheamus
Apparently Santa Claus is hosting Raw on Monday. Shouldn’t he be working? Cena and Ziggler start things off with Dolph ducking under a Cena punch and strutting a bit. Off to Show so Cena can fire away punches with little effect. Show misses the chop and gets dropkicked into the corner. Show pounds him right back down again and it’s off to Ziggler for some elbow drops.
Cena backdrops Ziggler down but can’t make the tag before Show comes back in. He stays in for about two seconds so it’s back to Ziggler. Dolph misses a splash in the corner and there’s the tag to Sheamus. He hits the ten forearms on the apron but has to stop to punch Show before he can hit White Noise. The Cloverleaf is broken up with Sheamus being kicked to the floor. Show takes Sheamus’ head off and the match slows down again.
Sheamus gets pounded on now as we hit the second heat segment of the match. Show gets in his usual power stuff, followed by Ziggler pounding away for awhile with his usual stuff. Back to Show whose chokeslam is countered into a DDT to put both guys down. The double tag brings in Cena to face Ziggler and everything breaks down. Sheamus and Show head to the floor and then up the ramp as Ziggler gets two off the Zig Zag. There’s the AA to Dolph but Langston comes in for the DQ at 11:30.
Rating: C-. Why, it’s almost like this was EXACTLY THE SAME THING THEY DID LAST NIGHT. Good grief are the writers that creatively bankrupt? I mean, it’s the NEXT DAY and you can’t come up with another idea? This match did very little to make me feel better about this show, which has been the same story that this match had: no reason for it to exist.
The heels pose to end the show. Seriously, that’s it. Oh wait we do get a commercial for Tribute to the Troops because EIGHT HOURS OF TV THIS WEEK ISN’T ENOUGH.
Overall Rating: D. What in the world was the point in this being a special? The lack of commercials makes an already tiring show even more exhausting as you don’t get a breather if you want to see the whole thing. The main event was your standard main event tag match and it’s nothing to see at all. There’s nothing of note here and while it’s not a horrible show, it falls into the same category Smackdown stays in anymore: completely unnecessary viewing.
Damien Sandow b. Sin Cara – Terminus
Santino Marella b. Tensai – Pin after Tensai missed a backsplash
HELL NO/Kofi Kingston b. Prime Time Players/Wade Barrett – Chokeslam to Young
Ryback b. Antonio Cesaro – Shell Shock
Kaitlyn b. Eve Torres via DQ when Eve grabbed the referee
Brodus Clay b. Brad Maddox – Splash
John Cena/Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler/Big Show via DQ when Big E. Langston interfered
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