Monday Night Raw – December 16, 2013: VIVA EL GOAT!

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 16, 2013
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Well it’s the night after the BIGGEST MATCH EVER and Randy Orton is still world champion, just like he was going into the show. The Authority seems to be ok with these circumstances though the returning Vince didn’t seem completely thrilled. Other than that, Bryan lost to the Wyatts and the Shield is going to be having some problems as we get closer to Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

We open with the roster on the stage with HHH and Stephanie in the ring. The Authority talks about what a huge moment last night was with a new Champion of Champions being crowned. Orton is introduced and just like Jericho 12 years ago, has both belts around his shoulders. Randy talks about how amazing he is and how he takes any opportunity that is given to him. Cena can be seen looking upset on the stage.

Last week Orton stood in the ring with 20 other superstars and now he’s the champion of champions. Orton goes to brag about himself even more when Cena cuts him off by calling Randy an idiot. Here’s what Orton is going to say: “Viper, viper, apex, apex, apex, handcuffs (“Those were clever by the way”), and now I’ve saved these people twenty minutes.” However Stone Cold Steve Austin has said that being champion means you have to put up or shut up every night, and that’s true for Orton tonight.

Cena isn’t talking about himself though. Last week he told a certain someone getting the first title shot if he won, and that means Orton should face Daniel Bryan tonight. Orton calls for security to get rid of both guys but Cena says Orton is just scared. Randy says no way, even though he doesn’t have to listen to anyone. Stephanie: “Except for us.” HHH says Bryan doesn’t deserve a title shot yet, but the Authority always listens to the fans. Orton protests but HHH makes the match anyway.

Rey Mysterio/Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust

This is non-title and determined by a fan vote with the other options being the Real Americans and Ryback/Axel. Mysterio sends Cody to the floor to start and hits a nice baseball slide. Rey actually hits that slide into a splash which is usually a bump instead of a move. Back inside and Cody pulls Rey off the top before the Disaster Kick hits for two. Goldust drops a knee to the back of Mysterio’s head for two and drops some more knees to Rey’s arm. Back to Cody who runs into a Big Show clothesline as we take a break.

We come back to see Big Show slamming Cole as the announcers take pictures of themselves for no apparent reason. Big Show shrugs off some shots to the face and puts on something resembling a cobra clutch as the announcers take more pictures and talk about tweeting the picture. We’re now at about a minute straight with the match being completely ignored.

Big Show has Cody almost out cold and the fans want Goldust. The Final Cut gets two on Cody so Big Show goes to the middle rope. Cody avoids an elbow drop to prevent death and makes the hot tag off to Goldust. The painted one tries to fire away on Show but walks into a chokeslam. Cody breaks it up at two but is sent to the floor, allowing Big Show to knock Goldust silly. Rey splashes Goldust from Show’s shoulders for the pin at 12:39.

Rating: C-. The match was a glorified squash as Big Show dominated everything while he was in there. I’d assume we’re leading to the Rhodes split before they fight each other at Wrestlemania, even though they’re as good as any team we’ve seen in a long time. That’s the problem of writing instead of booking. The logical move would be to have the two of them team until they were running out o steam, but the end goal is the split so that’s what we’re getting, period.

Goldust is helped to his feet post match. Mysterio is clearly limping.

We get an amusing vignette for a Good Santa vs. Bad Santa match with Mark Henry and Damien Sandow playing the respective characters.

Bad News Barrett says there’s a lot of money to be won in the lottery but none of us will win it. He has a gavel now too.

Orton comes in to yell at the Authority some more but they talk to him about how serious it is to be undisputed champion. He has to do twice the work now and they hope he can handle it.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

This is a rematch of last night’s bad pre show match. Ziggler quickly dropkicks him down and sends Fandango to the floor, only to have the dancer clothesline Ziggler down. Back in and Fandango punches Dolph in the face and suplexes him down for two. We hit the reverse chinlock for a bit on Ziggler but he comes back with a quick rollup for the pin at 3:27. It’s as sudden as it sounds.

Rating: D. Well this happened. There was nothing to the match and I have no idea why we had to watch it two nights in a row. Odds are we’re going to see it again next week in a rubber match because WWE writers can’t come up with another idea for these guys so they just have them fight over and over again. Nothing to see here.

Real Americans vs. Big E. Langston/Mark Henry

Swagger and Langston get things going with Big E. leapfrogging Jack and running him down with a shoulder. Off to Cesaro as Cole talks about Snap Chat, which is apparently a social media site. The fans think OU (Oklahoma University, Swagger’s alma mater) sucks. Henry throws Langston into the corner for a shoulder to Swagger’s ribs and Big E. hits an unassisted one of his own.

Mark drops down onto Swagger’s back a few times before it’s back to Langston for right hands in the corner. Some right hands let Jack tag in Cesaro, only to have Henry come in to throw Antonio around with ease. Langston gorilla presses him down and knocks Cesaro the floor for a lull in the match. Back in and Cesaro comes back with some shots to the ribs and Swagger pulls Langston so Swagger can stomp away.

Back with Cesaro cranking on Big E.’s arm before hitting a nice gutwrench suplex for two. Cesaro breaks up a tag attempt and catapults Langston into Swagger for a belly to belly throw for two. Langton comes back by throwing Swagger to the floor and suplexing Cesaro down, setting up the tag to Henry. A powerslam gets two on Antonio but he comes back with a clothesline. Langston breaks up the Cesaro Swing attempt to Henry and the Big Ending is good for the pin at 15:30.

Rating: D+. WAY too long here and the match dragged several times. I have no idea why they keep jobbing the Real Americans and wasting Cesaro, as it’s not like the main event scene could use a new heel. Also, is it really necessary to make a team out of the two strong black guys? Are the writers that creatively bankrupt? That’s a rhetorical question as of course they are.

Weekly how to download the App video.

Bad Santa Sandow and his elves Tamina and AJ torment a young girl by telling her there are no presents this year and Christmas is canceled. The battle of the Santas is next Monday.

Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Tons of Funk

Man alive there are a lot of tag matches tonight. Truth and Woods are on commentary. Axel dropkicks Tensai down to start before it’s off to Ryback who gets two off a powerslam. Tensai avoids a charge in the corner but Brodus walks away from the tag. Ryback Meat Hooks and Shell Shocks Tensai for the pin at 2:22.

Brodus beats up Tensai post match until Woods and Truth make the save. Truth asks the Funkadactyls come in for a dance to Brodus’ music. Brodus is furious. Cole dances at the announcers’ table, giving us this from JBL: “You are the worst white man in the history of dancing.”

Here’s Punk to talk about his win last night. He isn’t a big Christmas guy but he can’t believe he won last night. The war probably isn’t over, but he still thinks there’s more to Shield attacking him than meets the eye. Punk thinks there’s something to the idea that the Authority was behind Shield attacking him, which isn’t a big surprise. Everyone knows Punk isn’t one to get along with authority, especially when they’re trying to sweep him under the rug. He calls out HHH to hash all this out right now, but instead here’s Shawn Michaels.

Punk calls out HHH and Stephanie again but Shawn says he understands Punk’s problems with the Authority. The fans think Shawn sold out but when the chant dies out Shawn says they couldn’t keep it up. Shawn is right there with Punk being anti-authority and since he superkicked Punk last week, shouldn’t Punk’s problem be with him?

The fans chant one more match (Punk: “I’m sure I’ll have more than one more!”) and Punk says the 15 year old him was thrilled that Shawn kicked him in the face last week, but if Shawn does it again, Punk will be the one kicking. Shawn says he’s always liked Punk but what he’s about to do is going to hurt him more than it hurts Punk. He introduces Punk’s opponents: Shield, who were announced earlier tonight.

An App poll determines Punk’s partners. Shocking no one, the Usos crush the Prime Time Players and Los Matadores.

Usos/CM Punk vs. Shield

Jimmy slams Ambrose down to start before it’s off to Jey for a running forearm in the corner. Punk comes in to keep up the arm work before it’s off to Rollins vs. Jimmy. Seth is quickly taken down with an armbar as the match slows down. A hiptoss puts Rollins down and it’s back to Jey for an uppercut. Jey Cactus Clotheslines Seth to the floor and we take a break.

Back with Jey trying to fight out of a double team but getting caught in the corner again for some stomping by Rollins. Jey rolls away from the corner and tags in Jimmy to speed things up a bit. Jimmy gets two off a Samoan drop but Rollins enziguris him right back down. Shield starts their tagging in and out to work over Jimmy as the match slows down again. Reigns slams Jimmy down for two and we hit the chinlock.

Jimmy FINALLY kicks Roman in the face and tags in Punk to wake up the crowd. CM fights off the rest of the Shield at the same time with a DDT/neckbreaker combination to Ambrose and Rollins. Everything breaks down and Reigns is taken down by a Jey dive to the floor. Rollins throws Jey into the barricade but gets caught by a suicide dive. Ambrose charges into a right hand from Punk, setting up the Macho Elbow for two. The GTS puts Ambrose down again but Reigns comes in off a blind tag and spears Punk for the pin at 16:18.

Rating: C+. The match was decent enough but the fans seem to be getting burned out on these tag matches. I can’t say I disagree as this was the fourth tag match in less than two hours. It doesn’t help that we’ve seen the Usos vs. Shield about 95 times in the last few months with the Usos never really getting anywhere as a result.

We recap the opening segment.

The Wyatts interrupt some WWE 2K14 footage with Bray talking about the long process of bringing down the machine. Bryan is a miniscule ant trying to break through a scorpion’s armor. Bray told him he could take the pain away and is sorry for doubting Abigail. He understands what they have to do now and says if Bryan will not walk with the reapers, then he will burn with the saints. It was Harper finishing the statement, speaking for the first time ever I believe. The Family has been looking at something off camera while talking to Abigail. We pan over to see the empty rocking chair.

Bella Twins/Natalya vs. Alicia Fox/AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka

Since this feud just won’t die. Natalya grabs a quick rollup for two on Alicia before Fox can’t quite tilt-a-whirl slam the Canadian. Off to Brie who gets slammed off the middle rope for two before it’s off to Tamina to throw a shirt at Brie. We hit the chinlock as the match is dragging yet again. The announcers talk about the Will Ferrell movie Elf as Tamina slams Brie down. AJ gets the tag and the fans freak out, only to have Brie dropkick AJ down. The hot tag brings in Nikki who cleans house and puts AJ in a torture rack, only to have Tamina hit a GREAT superkick to put Nikki down. A Shining Wizard from AJ is enough to pin Nikki at 5:15.

Rating: C-. The match was saved by that kick alone. Even Shawn would have been jealous of that one. Tamina vs. AJ would seem to be the end goal of all this, but I’m not sure how we get there at this point. This was nothing of note for the most part as the Bellas trying to be all tough is more laughable than entertaining. That kick was sweet though.

Good Santa Henry with Bella and Horswoggle elves make a boy feel better by telling him that Christmas won’t be canceled. I know it’s stupid, I know it’s corny, I know they do it every year, but I can’t help but smile at these things.

Randy Orton doesn’t know why the Authority is listening to the fans.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Non-title, as acknowledged by Cole. Orton gets caught by an early shot to the head and bails outside, only to come back inside and get caught in a headlock. Randy counters into a headscissors but Bryan comes back with an Indian Deathlock, sending Orton out to the floor again. Back in and Bryan drops elbows on Orton’s knee before wrapping it around the post. The Beard wins a quick slugout and knees Orton in the ribs, followed by a kick to the same area.

Orton rakes Bryan’s eyes to get a breather but his Thesz Press is rolled through into a half crab. Randy makes the rope and gets in a stomp to Bryan’s arm, sending Bryan into the corner in agony. JBL praises Orton extensively as Orton goes after the arm and stomps on Bryan’s foot. We hit the armbar for a big before Orton wristdrags Daniel down. There’s the Orton circle stomp but Bryan comes back by biting Orton’s face. A running dropkick puts Orton on the floor but Randy sidesteps the FLYING GOAT, sending Bryan down onto his bad arm again.

Back with Orton holding a chinlock followed by a knee to the ribs, sending Bryan to the apron. Daniel gets knocked into the barricade and Orton drops him back first onto wall as well. Back in and a gorgeous superplex gets two on Bryan but he comes back again with the moonsault out of the corner and the running clothesline. Two straight running kicks in the corner set up a top rope hurricanrana but Bryan’s arm injury prevents the immediate cover. The fans are correct as they call this awesome.

Bryan gets caught in the backbreaker but gets a quick YES Lock attempt to stop Orton’s momentum. A catapult sends Bryan over the top but he skins the cat, only to get kicked in the ribs. The Elevated DDT drops Daniel again but the RKO is countered into a backslide for two. The big kick to Orton’s head gets the same and both guys are down. There’s the big YES chant and Bryan goes up top, only to get crotched down. Bryan breaks up another superplex attempt and scores with the swan dive for another near fall. The fans are losing their minds on these kickouts and with good reason.

More kicks in the corner have Orton in trouble but he misses a running kick to the opposite corner to give Randy a breather. A rollup gets two for Orton but he gets caught in the YES Lock out of nowhere. The hold isn’t on all the way though and Randy gets over to the rope and out to the floor. Now the FLYING GOAT connects and Bryan hits a leg lariat up against the barricade. Back in and the missile dropkick connects, setting up the chest kicks. Orton ducks the head kick and low blows Bryan for the LAME DQ at 25:00.

Rating: A-. Gah they were ROLLING until that ending. Bryan had me believing in him like he never has before and the match worked better than any of their previous bouts. Orton was in a zone out there which people often forget he can reach. Really good stuff here and the best match Randy has had in a good while.

Post match here’s Cena to go after Orton but he checks on Bryan, only to walk into an RKO. Orton poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The show was good enough overall but the tag team overload was a bit much at times. It’s nice to see them focus on tag teams again, but it might help if the tag teams were actually interesting or, you know, good. The main event was outstanding stuff with Bryan’s arm stuff being very well done and it keeps some doors open for later. The Christmas special next week should be good and we have Punk setting his sights on the Authority to likely set up Wrestlemania. Good stuff but not a great show.

Results

Big Show/Rey Mysterio b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Splash to Goldust

Dolph Ziggler b. Fandango – Rollup

Big E. Langston/Mark Henry b. Real Americans – Big Ending to Cesaro

Ryback/Curtis Axel b. Tons of Funk – Shell Shock to Cesaro

Shield b. Usos/CM Punk – Spear to Punk

AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka/Alicia Fox b. Bella Twins/Natalya – Shining Wizard to Nikki

Daniel Bryan b. Randy Orton via DQ – Orton hit Bryan low

 

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9 comments

  1. Ted says:

    Randy says no way, even though he doesn’t have to listen to anyone. Stephanie: “Except for us.”

    Is it Really such a good idea for Triple H and Stephine to keep cutting Randy’s balls off like that?

    Side question: Why is Stephanie still on camera she can’t act period.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No it isn’t, but it keeps HHH from looking evil, even though it’s what he’s best at.

    She’s the head of creative and is doing hands on work?

    Ted Reply:

    1. Triple H is more evil than Hitler and mother Teresa combined. At least that’s what the iwc teaches.

    2. That’s great but she still can’t act. I get that she has a backstage position. Which is all the more reason she should be backstage.

    M.R. Reply:

    Uh…do you know anything about Mother Theresa…?

    Ted Reply:

    Yes a fair bit why do you ask?

    M.R. Reply:

    Well then that made zero sense. Mother Theresa isnt evil.

    Ted Reply:

    So you don’t think that someone who once said “Abortion is the worst evil, and the greatest enemy of peace” is evil?

    How about the fact that she stood by and watched hundreds if not thousands die in horrific agony, and did nothing because she believed “suffering brings you closer to god.”

    Sure sounds like an evil person to me.

  2. M.R. says:

    Randy looked like an absolute star tonight.

  3. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    What a fantastic Main Event and a pretty good Show overall. I like the resurgence of the Tag Division and its definitely the best in the last couple years.