Monday Night Raw – December 31, 2012: Happy New Year! Here’s Some WWE Comedy!

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 31, 2012
Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

It’s the final show of the year, unless you count the other shows that were taped after this. For the second week in a row, we’ve got a show that probably shouldn’t happen but is anyway because WWE believes people want to sit around on New Year’s Eve and watch their pretty lame shows. We’re getting close to Rumble time but the first show of next year has the Rock and a title match so odds are we’ll hear about next week more than the PPV. Let’s get to it.

Here’s MizTV to open the show. Apparently tonight is a Championship Special, meaning all titles (minus the WWE Title I’m assuming) are on the line and the champions get to pick their opponents. Miz’s guest is Cena who tells us all happy holidays. Miz talks about Cena being on the show before when the AJ saga was going full scale. Tonight, Cena is going to be a guest at Ziggler and AJ’s champagne toast.

This brings out the Rhodes Scholars for no apparent reason with Damien quoting T. S. Elliot. Cena quotes RG3 (Redskins’ quarterback) and says the Scholars suck. Cena looks at Cody’s mustache and Sandow makes fun of the two of them going from main eventing Wrestlemania to being in the Scholars’ shadows. Cena wants a tag match RIGHT NOW and apparently he’s getting one. Cole: “Did you ever think you would see Miz and Cena on the same team?” You mean the former WWE Tag Team Champions Cole?

Rhodes Scholars vs. John Cena/The Miz

Cena and Cody start things off but a fast tag to Miz lets him come in with a top rope ax handle. Off to Sandow who is knocked to the floor almost immediately and we take a break. Back with Cena hitting a suplex on Sandow and hooking a chinlock. Off to Miz who fights out of the heel corner during a discussion of his mustache. Ten punches in the corner and a big left hand get two for Miz but Cody pounds him into the other corner to take over.

Damien hits the Wind-Up Elbow before it’s back to Cody for more chinlockery. Sandow comes back in and gets small packaged for two but he blocks the tag to Cena. Cody hooks a quick armbar before it’s back to Sandow for a knee drop. The match keeps going as Cody comes back in again for more really basic offense. Miz blocks a bulldog though and there’s the hot tag. It’s Sandow that gets to take the finishing sequence but Cody takes Cena down with the Disaster Kick. Cody walks into the Finale and Cena hits the AA on Sandow for the pin at 12:04.

Rating: C-. This got dull during the middle but you can’t say they’re not at least trying to make the fans accept Miz. Having him hang out with Cena is as good a way as you can make the people cheer him as there is in WWE, so why not try it? As usual though, Cole’s commentary made my head hurt.

There’s a New Year’s Party going on in the back of course. Ziggler runs into Vickie and gets a match with Sheamus as a result. I guess they’re done.

January 14 is the 20th anniversary show so they can hopefully have a good rating.

The Prime Time Players dance in the back when Heyman and Punk come up to Vickie. Punk has brought his doctor to prove that his injury is indeed real. Vickie says that’s ok and asks Punk who he would have defended against tonight. Punk says Ryback of course, which leads to Ryback vs. the Shield in a handicap match after Punk whines about disrespect.

Here’s Cesaro to run down America. This brings out the only man you call when there’s someone anti-American and Jim Duggan is busy.

US Title: Antonio Cesaro vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Slaughter slaps him in the back to start but is promptly caught in a chinlock. A quick Cobra Clutch is countered by Antonio grabbing the rope and the Neutralizer ends this in 1:47. Were you expecting anything else?

Antonio hits another Neutralizer and there’s no Khali to make the save for some reason.

HELL NO is in the back pacing back and forth. They wanted to face the Shield tonight but now there’s no one to fight. All hail the great new tag division! Anyway they hear strange noises from behind a sliding door, and find 3MB singing. We’ve got opponents.

At the party Big Show asks Ricardo if he wants a title match tonight and apparently Show has picked him. Ricardo spills a drink on Show’s boot so Show scares Rodriguez a bit more.

Elsewhere, Kaitlyn brings Mae Young tot he party. Eve comes up and makes fun of her and picks Mae to face for the title shot. Oh joy.

Tag Titles: HELL NO vs. 3MB

It’s Slater/McIntyre here. We get a Nexus reunion to start with Daniel vs. Heath. Slater gets in a quick shot but walks into a surfboard and Kane. Didn’t Slater lose to Kane on the first season of NXT? Off to McIntyre as Cole talks about Auld Lang Syne. Back to Bryan who gets caught on the mat and stomped a bit before being low bridged to the floor. Mahal hits a running knee to the head and Bryan is in trouble.

Slater hooks a chinlock as Lawler makes band jokes. Bryan and Slater hit stereo cross bodies as Cole remembers there’s a tag title match going on. Hot tag brings in Kane for some slams and a leg drop (brother!). The side slam gets two on McIntyre and there’s the top rope clothesline. Slater is thrown to the floor and the chokeslam/Swan Dive retains the titles at 6:06.

Rating: C. Cole and Lawler sounded as bored as I’ve heard them sound in years out there. Can you really blame them though? We had two comedy teams against each other here, which is the problem with this show: why would the champions difficult opponents for themselves? Odds are we’ll see one title change hands tonight for fan service, which is better than nothing but it doesn’t make the rest of the show any easier to get through.

We recap the opening tag match.

Here are Punk, Heyman, and Punk’s doctor with something to say. Heyman talks about how Punk has been champion for 407 days which is rather impressive. Punk talks about everyone he’s beaten over the course of the last year and names them off as usual. Apparently people are questioning how real his knee is, with some even calling if felonious. Punk’s doctor, looking no more than about 24, with x-rays of what a good knee looks like compared to Punk’s knee. The doctor says that Punk can’t compete next week.

Cue Vince who has a different opinion I’m guessing. He suggests that Punk is trying to weasel his way out of the defense against Ryback and says next week that WWE physicians will look at Punk’s knee before next week. Vince thinks there’s something up between Punk and/or Maddox and the Shield. Punk is offended and denies an association with the four guys listed again. If Punk doesn’t go next week, Heyman takes his place.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

Sweet Christmas how many times do we have to watch these two fight? Sheamus pounds him down to start and drops an elbow for two. Lawler makes jokes about AJ’s romantic issues over the year. Remember, this is JERRY LAWLER talking about someone’s relationship issues. Langston breaks up the ten forearms in the ropes and we take a break.

Back with Ziggler holding a quickly broken chinlock followed by the jumping DDT for two. The jumping elbow gets the same and Ziggler pounds away. We hit the chinlock again for a bit until Sheamus fights out. A powerslam puts Ziggler down and there’s a middle rope fallaway slam for a delayed two.

Sheamus goes up but gets crotched almost immediately, only to shove Ziggler down twice and hit the top rope shoulder for two. Dolph escapes the Cloverleaf but can’t escape White Noise for no cover. Langston breaks up the Brogue Kick but Shemaus sends Ziggler to the floor to escape the Zig Zag. Sheamus and Langston stare each other down and here’s the Shield for the DQ at 12:46.

Rating: C. To say I’m over this matchup would be the understatement of the year. For those two of you counting, this makes Sheamus 10-0 in singles matches and 18-1-1 in singles and regular tags against Dolph this year. Yet they wonder why Ziggler isn’t over in the main event scene. Anyway, the usual Ziggler vs. Sheamus match here with a screwy finish.

The Shield beats Sheamus down and hits the Triple Bomb on him.

Barrett comes up to Kofi in the back to set up their title match later tonight.

Brad Maddox asks Punk and Heyman for another shot. Heyman throws Maddox out. GO PAULIE GO!

Mae Young has a stomach ache and has to be examined. The doctor declares her pregnant. Mae: “Not again!”

Eve comes out to brag about how she would have defended against Mae tonight, and wants to be declared winner by forfeit. Oh wait she needs a photographer first. Instead she gets Kaitlyn. You know, BECAUSE THIS HASN’T HAPPENED ENOUGH YET. Kaitlyn charges the ring and beats Eve down and I don’t think there’s going to be a match. Ignore the referee in the ring I guess. Eve gets her belt and bails.

Alberto says he should get the shot instead of Ricardo. Rodriguez says he’ll win the title in Del Rio’s honor. Alberto apologizes for treating Ricardo badly over the years and says he’ll be there for Ricardo tonight. He also gives Rodriguez his scarf to make him look like a champion. Ricardo gets to drive Alberto’s car to the ring tonight too. See, THIS is the kind of stuff that makes people sympathize with Alberto more, unlike Miz who is the same guy he was before the turn. SHOW US how they’re different and we’ll buy it.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Ricardo Rodriguez

Ricardo is in his tuxedo here. He goes for a leg to start and then the pain begins. Show hits a big chop in the corner and shouts in a Spanish accent. He talks trash to Alberto, allowing Ricardo to get a boot up in the corner followed by a running enziguri in the corner. Show’s boot out of the corner is countered into a kind of Stunner onto the knee, but Ricardo jumps into a big chop out of the corner. Show loads up the WMD when Alberto runs in for the DQ at 2:27.

Alberto kicks Big Show down and leaves, before doing THE WINK. I missed that thing.

Intercontinental Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett

Kofi is defending and fires off some kicks to start. As soon as the bell rang, the place went silent. Kofi does his leapfrogs into the back elbow into a dropkick for two. He rolls out of a top wristlock and tries Trouble in Paradise but Wade bails away. A clothesline puts both guys on the floor and we take our second break in less than five minutes. Back with Barrett in control via a boot to the face that is ONLY available from the WWE App. I know this because it was shown on Raw as Cole told us it was only available on the WWE App.

Barrett gets two off the pumphandle slam and fires away knees to the face. The boot in the ropes misses and Kofi kicks Wade to the floor. A springboard dive takes Barrett down and they head back in for Kofi to kind of botch a counter to the Boss Man Slam into a sunset flip for two. SOS gets two followed by Kofi’s punches in the corner being countered into a powerbomb for two on Kofi. The kick misses again and I think we have something cut out before the Wasteland gets two. Barrett runs Kofi over and kicks him in the head, but Kofi misses the springboard cross body. The Bull Hammer gives Barrett the title at 12:28.

Rating: C+. I was digging this match by the end even though the booking is annoying. Barrett winning the title is fine because Kofi is going to be stuck in the midcard area he’s in for years to come, which is fine. The match was solid enough and that’s what it needed to be, but I see absolutely no reason why this didn’t happen at TLC. All that match accomplished was making sure both guys have one clean win over the other, which is just stupid.

In the back, Mae is ready for delivery.

For some reason we recap last week’s Santa stuff. Nice job of enforcing that face push for Del Rio.

Santino and Zack show up to the party as Mae is about to deliver. HELL NO comes in and argue over whether or not this shouuld happen. Santino can see the baby coming. It’s Hornswoggle, complete with a hat, a banner saying Happy New Year, and a cigar. I have….nothing. My jaw is hanging open, I have no idea what I just saw, I don’t want to ever think about this again.

And now, here’s the Shield!

Ryback vs. The Shield

The brawl starts in the aisle before the bell and the beatdown begins until Sheamus runs down for the save. He gets beaten down as well until Randy Orton returns to make the real save. Good thing it wasn’t a long term injury. Methinks this is a six man for the Rumble. The non-Shield guys clear the ring. No match here.

It’s 10:45 and it’s time for the closing segment. Ziggler and AJ are in white and Langston is in his gear. Dolph complains about Cena winning Superstar of the Year and then Cena vs. Rock got Match of the Year, which Cena lost. Then the next night Lesnar returned and laid Cena out. Then Cena Lost to Johnny Ace. Then Cena lost his cash-in attempt. Then Ziggler beat Cena at TLC thanks to AJ.

Ziggler talks about how Cena is the same guy he was ten years ago (no he isn’t) and how it’s now Ziggler’s time. Cena is officially uninvited to the toast, so Langston is tasked with keeping Cena out of the ring. Ziggler and AJ kiss and here’s Cena. He says Ziggler is right and if you judge the year by how it goes out, 2012 was the year of Dolph and AJ.

Cena rips on AJ’s romance issues and we get the always “funny” fake photos of AJ and Ziggler shopping for wedding clothes and baby pictures. It’s a set of pictures of AJ’s children with various wrestlers’ faces superimposed, including Mr. Fuji, Eve, Matilda the Bulldog and Hillbilly Jim. Cena talks about how he’s been here ten years and had one bad year. Ziggler on the other hand has been here and has been a caddy then a cheerleader and now he carries around a briefcase. Cena enters the Rumble and promises to be champion next year.

John goes off on a rant about Ziggler and AJ wearing white and says that even though his uniform has never changed over the years (yeah it has), his message and resolve never have. Cena offers a toast to them to end the year…..and brown stuff that apparently smells bad falls from the ceiling onto Ziggler and AJ to end the show. Let’s see: superimposed images, Mae Young and human waste. It’s the WWE comedy triple pack!

Overall Rating: D+. Every good thing about last week’s show was absent tonight. There was no joy to this show at all and the “comedy” was excruciating. I mean, of all the things from the 90s to bring back, they pick Mae Young being pregnant? I get that it’s a one night thing but seriously, MAE YOUNG BEING PREGNANT IS WHAT YOU BRING BACK? The ending segment had its moments, but the “comedy” again brings it down. Next week has to be better than this one at least.

Results

John Cena/The Miz b. Rhodes Scholars – AA to Sandow

Antonio Cesaro b. Sgt. Slaughter – Neutralizer

HELL NO b. 3MB – Swan Dive to McIntyre

Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler via DQ when the Shield interfered

Big Show b. Ricardo Rodriguez via DQ when Alberto Del Rio interfered

Wade Barrett b. Kofi Kingston – Bull Hammer

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

6 comments

  1. Mike says:

    inb4 that jay guy calls it the best episode ever and also says KB underrated it.

  2. Jay says:

    While last week’s Christmas Eve Show was alright I enjoyed this week’s a little bit more. Got a couple Title Matches and most of the Comedy I can take though I do agree dragging out the Mae Young Pregnant thing was a bit much. Overall this week’s just flowed better to me.

  3. Stormy says:

    I laughed my ass off at the Mae Young pregnant thing. More because they actually did it then because it was funny, but I still laughed my ass off.

    And am I the only person who noticed they clearly dubbed “Managing Supervisor” during Miz’s promo? He probably said General Manager or GM or something.

  4. The Killjoy says:

    I swear to God, I didn’t even know it was Monday until came here.

  5. chris says:

    Ok does Vince Russo Work for the wwe again? Mae young is giving birth AGAIN. Is it any wonder the no one is watching.

  6. Mystery Man says:

    My sperm created that stuff. And Vince Russo was gone when they did the whole hand thing. He was already in WC at that time, I believe.