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OO RAW RECAP
6 is the Magic Number
December 23, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

I guess there are two things I need to say here, tonight...
 
First, sorry for skipping RAW last week. Due to the vagaries of scheduling, Scaia Christmas has actually happened already (over the weekend). The festivities (and my various duties as new Official Chef) just kept ballooning and expanding until I had no chance to take care of that recap for you fine folks. On the upside, thanks to this Ultimate Time Shift, RAW has my full attention tonight, when YOU are probably getting distracted!

 

And second: I told you so. Specifically, about the season finale of "Homeland." Four weeks of getting the show back on track, down the drain with a finale that got it all the way off track. I guess if it had been the SERIES finale, and it had been advertised as such, I could have considered it more as closure to the whole story... but as-is? You kill the creepy ginger and write out the other compelling character, and supposedly, the show IS renewed for a fourth season. On what? The strength of Claire Danes acting like a giant crazy load in between acts of espionage?
 
That ain't a show. That's an excuse for me to give it one episode, and then bail if it doesn't get right, quick.
 
And with those two matters addressed, let's get to the matter at hand. Here's what happened on tonight's edition of RAW:

 
Setting the Stage: Mark "Good Santa" Henry and Damien "Bad Santa" Sandow read dueling passages from a modified version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to remind us that they are fighting later tonight, with the very existence of Christmas on the line. Uh huh...

We eschew any further Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and cut to the arena, where we are Not Live, from Austin, TX (this doesn't stop WWE from putting "LIVE!" on the chyron, which surely could be grounds for a class action lawsuit, or something, couldn't it?)... but back last Tuesday night, the Authority wasted no time heading to the ring, so here on Monday, neither do we...

MORE STAGE SETTING

Triple H, Steph, and Kane get to the ring, and take about 5 minutes announcing various matches for tonight, acting as though they are gifts from them to us. We'll be the judges of that, guys.

While sort of windy and time-wasty, it was still sort of worth it for the sight of Kane in a Santa Hat, handing out candy canes to all the ringside kiddies.

Then Randy Orton came out just as HHH/Steph were wrapping up, and wished everybody a very Merry Christmas, and announced he had a gift for the Authority, and it even came wrapped up pretty with a golden bow: it's him, the undisputed WWE World Champion.

Orton shares a hug with HHH/Steph, then leaves, never to be seen again all night. And truly THAT is his gift to the world this holiday season: a 3 hour RAW with nothing but a 90 second cameo by Randall Orton. Thank you, baby Jesus, for this joyous day!

Then Kane put another sort-of worth-it tag on this pointless segment by saying, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a Good Night," before blowing his corner pyro.

[ads]

TEAM WWE WRESTLERS vs. TEAM E! DIVAS (12-women tag match)

All the girls are decked out in holiday outfits, mostly in the Sexy Santa mold (but there are a couple reindeers in there, and also Tamina in a black "bah humbug" Santa Hat). AJ Lee is playing aloof and above-it-all on guest commentary in a "Merry Grinchmas" t-shirt.

Match was basically 2 mintues of rapid tags and no flow, then a Pier 12 brawl breaks out when Tamina comes in to stop Aksana from being pinned. Then it clears up, and Nattie puts Aksana in the Sharpshooter.

Your Winners: Team E! Divas, via submission, in 4 minutes. A bit of silly fun, but certainly not a showcase of any wrestling or storytelling skills. That point is not lost on AJ, who belittles the match as cute fluffery, and is not impressed by Nattie's victory.

[ads]

SIN CARA vs. CURTIS AXEL

During ring entrances, they do one of those old school insert interviews with Sin Cara, where he shows off the fact that he suddenly speaks English. That was another strike against the original Sin Cara: he never took learning English seriously. New Sin Cara already had that in the tool box.

Anyway, we're all adults here. Let's not pretend this was something it wasn't.

Your Winner: Sin Cara, via pinfall, in 5 minutes. Axel got some offense in, but only enough to turn this into an Extend-o-Squash. Not enough to unsquash it.

Last Week, While OO Was on Vacation: the Shield were DQ'd in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match against CM Punk and John Cena, and continued their assault until Big E. Langston made the save. Thus, tonight's 6-man main event.

Next Week: WWE is trying to sell us on the idea of a special New Year's RAW by promising that Big Show will be there dressed as the New Year's Baby. Marketing Fail~!

[ads]

Owning the Error: so WWE screwed up and released advertising last week that revealed Batista was returning. It was supposed to be a big surprise, but since the cat's out of the bag, we got a vignette hyping Batista's return tonight. His comeback is set for Monday, January 20, on RAW. That's 6 days before the Royal Rumble (which had been his expected "surprise" return).

Earlier Today: Bad News Barrett was at a street corner, ringing a bell and collecting donations... Cole actually speculates that Barrett may have changed his tune, and is in the holiday spirit. So naive.

Last Week, While OO Was on Vacation: the Wyatts instigated a 3-on-2 beating on Goldust and Cody Rhodes, and Daniel Bryan made the save. In return, the Wyatts delivered a vicious 3-on-1 beating to Bryan backstage, ultimately throwing him off a loading dock. Bryan is not at 100%, but insists on competing tonight.

[ads]

DANIEL BRYAN/GOLDUST/CODY RHODES vs. THE WYATT FAMILY

Cole and JBL must be sitting in a studio in Stamford, doing voiceover work, as they are directly addressing tonight's tweets, and the Batista announcement, neither of which would have been possible last Tuesday, when this show was taped. Yay for priorities?

Opening mintues see the good guys isolate on Rowan, going through one full rotation of tags. Rowan breaks away long enough to tag in Harper, but after a brief interlude, the good guys are back in control, culminating in a sliding Dropkick of Woe by Bryan.

After that, Bryan celebrates, and lets Harper make it to his corner. Bryan begs for Bray to tag in, but he's hesitant. Will he, or won't he? We'll find out, but not until after we watch some....

[ads]

Back, and Bray declined to tag in. Now, it's Cody as our Face in Peril, and Rowan and Harper trading quick tags to maintain control.

But less than 2 minutes of that gives way to a Goldust as the proverbial house o' fire, including another appearance of LuchaDust, as he hit a leaping second rope rana on Harper. But a distraction from Rowan puts an end to that, and all of a sudden, Goldust is our REAL Face in Peril.

Bray makes a brief cameo, just to rile up the crowd by picking on Goldust while he's down, but then retires to the apron again, leaving Harper and Rowan to handle things. Which they do with aplomb for several minutes.

Then, Goldust managed to his a DDT on Harper, completely out of the blue, and it's the molten hot tag to Daniel Bryan.

The full array of YES! kicks, dropkicks, and general 100% fullspeedaheadery get the crowd all lit up. Swandive headbutt on Rowan leads to Bray breaking up the pinfall... and Bryan lets himself be distracted by this: he chases and chases after Bray, and eventually gets blindsided by a Harper clothesline.

Looks like ANOTHER layer to the Face in Peril equation, as Bryan is KO'd outside the ring, and the Wyatts are all pointing and laughing. So we take a break for more....

[ads]

Back, and Bryan is, in fact, getting his ass handed to him by Harper and Rowan. Finally, when it appears Bryan is easy pickin's, Bray tags in and takes a few easy shots, before handing it back to the big men. Of note: Harper hit s slingshot senton in the middle of all this, which was rather impressive.

Momentum shifts when Rowan appears to be setting up a superplex, but Bryan turns it into a tornado DDT. Bryan dives for the corner and gets thehot tag to Cody. Harper in on the corresponding move.

Huge rally by Cody, culminating in the Picture Perfect Moonsault on Harper. Bray has to make the save. Bryan responds by hitting the Flying Goat on him. Rowan takes out Bryan from behind. Goldust takes out Rowan.

Just like that, everybody's powdered out, and we're back to the two legal men: Harper and Cody, in the ring. A couple quick exchanges, and Cody's setting up for the Disaster Kick... except Bray has made it up onto the apron and blind tags himself in. Cody takes out Harper, but is caught completely unawares when Bray catches him from behind and hits a lightning quick Sister Abigail.

Your Winners: the Wyatt Family, via pinfall, in 24 minutes. Really, really good match. Probably loses a few points for being a variation on a theme we've seen several times before, but I'd probably still make the case for it being borderline youtube-worthy. Nice build (with the Triple Morton Gambit) to a hot finish.

After the Match: the Wyatts kept the beatdown going until they could isolate on Bryan for a bit. Then Bray called for a cease fire, and just sort of stood over Bryan, taunting him. Then a lights-out freeze frame. Then the lights came back on and Bray was back in his rocking chair, flanked by Harper and Rowan. The laughing and mocking continued until there was a second lights-out freeze frame, which led directly to...

[ads]

NO. JUST NO.

So this is a Christmas Carol singing contest, featuring WWE's usual suspects of comedy hacks. Not even the delightful Renee Young can save this from being awful. Not even when she goes out of her way to introduce R-Truth's partner by his correct name of "Eggsavier Woods."

Khali wins, because we live in a society where "being awful" is apparently a valid skill in the entertainment industry.

[ads]

DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. FANDANGO (w/ Summer Rae) ("Present on a Pole" Match)

Brad Maddox decided to get in the holiday spirit by offering a IC TItle Match as a Christmas gift... but Dolph and Fandango are gonna have to earn it. The contract is in a gift box hanging above one turnbuckle. The first man to reach it wins it.

Fandango makes the first break for the corner all of 7 seconds into the match. Ziggler foils that, and 20 seconds later, makes his own climb. So it's gonna be one of those, eh? Non-stop, time-compressed escape/climb teases, with no real flow or build-up?

It makes for cheap drama, but it's not really anything that plays well in terms of a narrative that I can spell out for you.

Final spot has both men on the top rope, jockeying for position, and Fandango gets the better of it by slamming Dolph's head into the pole. He takes a sick fall to the floor, allowing Fandango to grab the gift box.

Your Winner: Fandango, via pole climb, in 5 mintues. Like I said, they just jumped right into the climb teases, when they made no sense, and didn't really build things up. Still, two really crazy bumps by Ziggler have to count for something. We also learn that Fandango's title shot against Big E. Langston will come next Monday, so we aren't exactly dragging this out.

[ads]

THE USOS vs. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS

Before the match, Darren Young plays the "well-meaning, but dim-witted" card by saying how great it is to be here in "Houston." Which is not where they are. Titus O'Neil tries damage control by sucking up to the fans in Austin, but it seems this was designed to create at least a BIT of traction for the PTPs to play mild heels in this face/face match.

Right out of the gate, that vibe continues, with Titus just manhandling one of the Usos. Then, when Young tags in, the crowd fires up a "THIS IS AU STIN clap clap clapclapclap" chant. They take more than a bit of joy in the Usos firing up on Young, and taking control of the match.

The bizzaro "heel in peril" continues unabated for several minutes, and ends decisively enough with a double superkick, and a Ruldolph-Nose-Assisted Superfly Splash.

Your Winners: the Usos, via pinfall, in 4 mintues. Definitely an unusual, anti-formula match, but in a goofy and fun way. After the match, everybody made peace and did the Millions of Dollars dance, further underscoring the temporary nature of Darren's buffoonhood.

[ads]

"GOOD SANTA" MARK HENRY vs. SANDOW CLAUS (The Battle for Christmas)

I can't believe WWE left "Sandow Claus" on the table in favor of the generic "Bad Santa" tag. Fools. Ringside is decorated with all manner of prop trees and boxes. We can only hope that the results are as hilarious as the "Miracle on 34th Street Fight" between Orton and Whoever 2 years ago...

Henry opens the first box, and finds a toilet. Sandow gets a swirly. Sandow scurries away, and finds a box of his own to open; inside is a fire extinguisher, but of course, he can't operate it. So Henry takes it away from him, and shoots it off in Sandow's face.

The match spills up the stage, and Sandow finds a candy cane that's made of kendo, and uses it against Henry for a brief advantage. Then Henry tosses Sandow into a tree, and starts peppering him with empty boxes. Ah, there it is: the homage to 2 years ago.

Sandow manages to fight back, and again tries to operate the fire extinguisher. And again, he is foiled by his archnemesis. Henry grabs it, and again shoots it at Sandow, disorienting him enough to land the World's Strongest Slame.

Your Winner: Mark Henry, via pinfall, in 6 minutes, to save Christmas. Good, clean, harmless fun. Unlike the Christmas carol contest. Adding insult to injury, Sandow got a plate of cupcakes in the face after the match.

Backstage: Renee Young has CM Punk for an interview, and wants to know if CM Punk has a plan for dealing with the Shield tonight. Punk says yes, he does, and even if it's out of character, the lone wolf's plan was to ask for help... and he got it in the form of two great partners: Big E. Langston, and John Cena. Cena takes over the promo with a fiery pep talk that's probably a bit over the top and phony, but hell, if Punk's in the holiday spirit and letting it slide, so can we. Instead of "phony," let's call this one "goofy," instead.

[ads]

LOS MATADORES (w/ El Torito) vs. THE REAL AMERICANS (w/ Zeb Colter)

Before the match, Zeb rants and raves about Santa being an illegal immigrant, and how it's "Merry Christmas," not "Feliz Navidad," no matter what the illegal-infested Texas crowd thinks.

Which isn't exactly groundbreaking, but they had to do SOMEthing to justify Chapter 178 in this rivalry. It didn't really work, as the fans responded by finding something else to care about. Namely, chanting "OU Sucks" at noted Sooner, Jack Swagger.

Then Cesaro tagged in, and immediately hit the Giant Swing. I counted 23 rotations, but I also sensed a bit of camera/editing trickery. If it wasn't trickery, it was at least sloppy.

The well-swung matadore rolled out of the ring, and executed a switcheroo with the other matadore. This set up an extended sequence of flashy high spots, then finally a bit of comedy when Torito gored Cesaro in the balls, allowing the Matadores to isolate on Swagger.

Your Winners: Los Matadores, via pinfall, in 4 minutes. You could certainly file this one under "crowd pleasing fun," based on the indisputable positive reaction. But it's also a bit jarring to have WWE go to such lengths to re-establish the Real Americans as a threat to the tag titles, only to revive this old feud to make them look like fools again. The latter is a valid complaint, but it also toes the line of Wankerdom, so I won't explore it any further... wankery ain't may bag.

[ads]

KOFI KINGSTON vs. RYBACK

I'm a huge fan of Kofi, and he threw in a few flashy bits to keep things from being a total waste of time, but c'mon, sing along with The Rick:
 
"We're all adults here, so let's not pretend this was something it wasn't."

Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in 5 minutes. Aside from a crazy no-hands sentonbomb to the floor, the highlight of the match was Cole and JBL going out of their way to talk nonstop about the exact up-to-the-minute weather in Austin. Pretend to be amazed and confounded by the magic of voiceover!!!

[ads]

The Other Shoe Drops: Wade Barrett congratulates Austin on their generosity, saying they donated "thousands of dollars." But he's got some Bad News... he's not affiliated with any charities, and he's taking the money home with him, suckers. Cole has the audacity to act surprised by this.

Backstage: the Shield taunt CM Punk, saying he's a wounded animal, and wondering how desperate he must be to make friends with a guy like John Cena. Punk knows Cena's a liar and a poser, and the Shield know that, too. So tonight, their real target is Big E. Langston. It's time to test the rookie, and teach him a lesson about swimming in the deep end. Believe that.

[ads]

CM PUNK/JOHN CENA/BIG E. LANGSTON vs. THE SHIELD

It's Cena vs. Ambrose to start, and even so, the crowd is pretty evenly split for the ol' "Let's Go Cena"/"Cena Sucks" chants. Cena overpowers Ambrose, so Ambrose gives way to Rollins. Cena busts out some unexpected speed to get the better of Rollins, but Rollins eventually dives out of the ring to get a break, and then tags in Roman Reigns.

Crowd "oooohhhssss" and "aaaaahhhhhs" in anticipation. Staredown and shoving match to start, but Reigns takes over pretty quickly with a lightning quick Samoan Drop. Cena is backed into the enemy corner (and there are even some mild "RO MAN, RO MAN" chants in the background), as we break for....

[ads]

Back, and Cena is still in the wrong part of town. Presently, he's being schooled by Seth Rollins, but an insert shows us how he was Superman Punch'd by Reigns during the break.

A series of tags, as the Shield do that voodoo that they do so well, and we end up with Cena vs. Ambrose, with Ambrose working a sleeperhold. And we know how that ends: with Cena powering up, thanks to the support of the fans, of course!

Hot tag to Punk, and he goes to town on Ambrose, smiling all the way. Between this and the earlier promo, it sure seems like Punk's heart grew three sizes today. But after about 90 second, Rollins runs some interference, and Punk's rally is short circuited.

Punk is on the defensive for several minutes, as the Shield are clearly targeting his ribs and lower back, which have been injured in past attacks. But Punk finally gets separation from Ambrose when Ambrose gets a little cocky and toys with Punk. Punk drops Ambrose with the big head kick.

Hot tag to Langston. Corresponding move to Rollins. Langston cleans house as the crowd goes wild. He hits the running Warrior splash on both Rollins and Ambrose. Pier Sixer breaks out.

Spear to Cena kicks things off, but then everybody powders out, leaving Langston alone in the ring with Rollins (the legal man). He hits the Big Ending, but Ambrose and Reigns dive into the ring to break it up. When they continue stomping away for more than a 5 count, the ref calls for the bell.

Your Winners: Big E. Langston, CM Punk, and John Cena, via disqualification, in 20 minutes. Good match, as you'd expect from these guys. A notch below the Wyatts match, but still plenty good. You know the match did its job when the fans were 100% into Langston's final heat sequence. That could have flopped, but it didn't, and that'll only help expedite Big E.'s rise.
 
After the Match: the Shield tried to continue the assault, but once Cena and Punk got involved, they decided that 3-on-3 wasn't nearly as fun as 3-on-1, so they took off. The good guys celebrated to close things out (with the music rotating among all three, before settling on Big E's theme).
 
And so ends the show. It's not a show you'll remember much past tomorrow, but such is life when WWE has to phone it in with a few taped shows over the holidays.
 
But it's also a show with two really good matches, and a bunch of pretty inoffensive filler mixed in, some of which was genuinely fun and amusing, in keeping with the holidays. I mean, the sing-off was indefensibly terrible... but I figure that's offset by WWE making Batista's return official, so we can start trembling in terror over whose "spot" he'll be stealing at WrestleMania.
 
Well, you can start. Until I learn otherwise, I'm penciling in Batista as more of a "special attraction" (a la Lesnar or HHH or even Jericho) than a full time title contender.
 
Throw all the ingredients together in a a blender, and my Inner Pyro gives the resulting smoothie a grade of B-.
 
See you next Monday, kids.


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


 

 


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