Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Raw Report 12-22-14

It's Christmas Raw! Ho Ho Hogan opens Raw dressed as Santa Clause. He puts over the WWE in a million ways before John Cena joins him. They talk about Brock Lesnar and I pretty much tune them out because duh. Seth Rollins and J&J Security interrupt and he is tired of John Cena's shit. He even tells him that nobody wants to hear his voice anymore. I kind of agree. He rambles on before we get, you guessed it, a rematch of something we've seen a bunch. Seth Rollins vs. John Cena opens the broadcast and it took just over 15 minutes to get that ready. Losing to Seth last week and being attacked by Brock Lesnar had zero effect on Cena as he's able to win here. The match itself was good but it's something I've seen a ton of times.
When we return from commercial, we get dual jobber entrances for Fandango and Jack Swagger. This is dull, the crowd doesn't give a fuck and Fandango just wins. That's it. No storyline advancement for either guy. Just a one on one match with no meaning and no purpose. No wonder the crowd didn't care for it. We also get a New Day vignette as if they haven't debuted already. Adam Rose wrestles R-Truth and loses, before completely snapping and taking out the Bunny. This sucked like the last match but at least it was really short and it furthered the angle, no matter how dumb, between Rose and the Bunny. I have no clue what the fuck Fandango/Swagger was supposed to be.
Roman Reigns, hot on the road to most likely winning the Royal Rumble, meets the man he beat up when he returned at TLC, Big Show. Reigns cut a pre-match and pre-taped promo saying that he's going to give Show a Superman Punch for Christmas because all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth. Terrible. The match wasn't as bad as I expected but the ending kind of sucked. A Superman Punch sends Show over the announce table and Reigns gets a countout victory. For someone who is supposed to be a one man army, I would think he wouldn't want to accept a countout win. Also, of course they'll keep Big Show strong by not getting pinned, but I'm sure Reigns will pin guys who could stand to be protected.
Renee Young interviews her supposed real life boyfriend, Dean Ambrose. He says that all he wants for Christmas is Bray Wyatt, but nobody is really sure why they're fighting still. Ugh, again with the shitty Brie Bella theme. Seriously, if they're going to be complete idiots and put them back together, can they just come out to Nikki's theme? She faces Natalya, who is with Tyson Kidd. Kidd for some reason, wear Nikki's hat throughout the match. It's not like she was wrestling and needed to take it off. Natalya wins a decent divas match, but Tyson steals the show again. Natalya then knocks Nikki off the apron, in a total heel move, and raises the Divas Title. I guess it's that time in Nikki's reign where she beats the crafty veteran Natalya. Everyone else does.
Los Matadores takes on The Dust Brothers. So, even commentary is clueless at the fact that this is somehow a 2 on 2 and a half handicap match as El Torito is in the match. The bout isn't bad but El Torito fucking pins Stardust. The guy who has potential to be a World Champion and makes the best of any gimmick he's given gets pinned by a midget bull. We move to the Intercontinental Championship match, because TLC rematches are what tonight is about. However, holy hell did this deliver. On the level with their Ladder Match, Luke Harper beats up Dolph before the bell, similar to when he won the title originally. Dolph fights resiliently and we get TONS of near falls here. Dolph plays the face needing the comeback with the best of them. This wasn't your typical John Cena/Roman Reigns comeback where they just hit a flurry of moves and it's over. Dolph would rally and Harper would have an answer for every single shot. One hell of a match and easily the best thing of the show so far as Dolph retains and continues to make the second half of 2014 his year.
Jerry Lawler gets in the ring with his HIDEOUS Christmas sweater, to interview Dolph Ziggler. He just says that he fought his ay to the WWE and he'll be damned if someone takes the belt from him. Roddy Piper is out next for Piper's Pit with Rusev and Lana. Lana is apparently a grinch as she calls Christmas in America a joke because Americans pretend to be good people. She hits the nail on the head by calling American children ungrateful. Ryback appears, to a bigger pop than Roman Reigns got earlier. Actually, I'm no Ryback fan, but he got a pop on par with Dolph Ziggler as the loudest of the show. Ryback takes out Rusev and I fully expect a United States Title match between them on maybe the first Raw of 2015. Man I hope Ryback isn't the one to beat Rusev.
We get our mandatory viewing of recaps of shit that happened earlier. Also time for our mandatory "Santa's Little Helper" million Divas tag. Alicia Fox, Naomi and Emma team up to face Summer Rae, Cameron and Paige. If it wasn't for Cameron, I'd love the second team. This is short as expected, but your standard Divas fare. Cameron's outside is ugly. She's a candy cane or something. I love that Paige didn't wear any Christmas attire, just her normal stuff with a BAH-HUMBUG Santa type hat. The faces win and at least it was Cameron who was pinned. Paige was FAR and AWAY the most over Diva of the night.
To continue the story of Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. the Usos, we get a one on one match between Miz and Jey Uso. This is standard stuff with Miz winning using a rollup. Nothing special here. Our main event is a Miracle on 34th Street Fight, which is just a Street Fight with Christmas themed weapons outside the ring. Oh, and it's between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. Bray cuts a promo before the match, singing a little jingle. I'll give these guys credit, they did their best with the stuff. They used the weapons creatively, including a Christmas tree, steel chair, candy cane coated kendo stick and ladder. They even called back to TLC as Dean went to use a TV but realized that it would be better not to. Bray would win, taking a 2-1 lead in pinfall victories during their series, but Dean had the last laugh as an elbow through a table allowed him to smile to close the show.
You know, this obviously wasn't the best episode of Raw. The Christmas Raw stuff usually isn't but it had some high points. I enjoyed the Santa's Helper match a bit, the Street Fight was very good, the opener was solid and the Intercontinental Title match was fantastic and one of the better Raw matches of the year. There were a few too many low points for me to fully enjoy it though (I'm looking at you El Torito and Fandango.) 5.5/10.