In Memory Of Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, 1929-2013. Great wrestling family. Luna was the only one I ever had the privilege of watching. RIP
Randy Orton is introduced to kickoff the show here on episode 1070 in Long Island, NY. Michael Strahan is the special guest host tonight, but for some reason he isn’t kicking off the show. While Orton is getting into the ring, it’s also announced that all three members of the Wyatt Family will take on CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in a handicap match.
Randy Orton cuts a promo about proving everyone wrong by showing up tonight as WWE Champion. He introduces the Authority as he wants them to join him ringside. Hunter says they could not be any more pleased with his victory against Big Show. Orton says they’ve gone and made this all about themselves and they got involved last night when he did not need their help. Hunter says they came down to ringside because Orton was about to lose the WWE Title. Orton says he did it on his own and he is the greatest superstar in the fifty years that WWE has been around. John Cena’s music hits and out he comes with the World Title around his waist. Cena says the crowd is chanting for Daniel Bryan because that’s what they want and they’re sick of Randy Orton. Cena says he believes it’s time for there to only be one champion. Cena challenges Orton with both titles on the line right now and the crowd chants yes. Stephanie says they’ve been talking about this possibility for awhile. Orton gets mad and Hunter tells him to grow up. Hunter says we’re going to do something epic. He books the match with Cena vs Orton for both titles at the TLC pay per view in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match. They both hold up their titles and Hunter’s King of Kings theme hits.
^I didn’t expect a unification match this soon for the belts, but I won’t complain about it. Solid start to the show with great promo work from both Orton and Cena. People may not like the rivalry, but I personally think Orton can get better matches out of Cena than Del Rio could and I welcome the new/renewed rivalry.
The Shield comes to the ring for a six man tag against Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Rey Mysterio. Ambrose pins Cody Rhodes after hitting his finisher when Rhodes went for his finisher on Rollins.
^What a match! *** for incredible action. Reigns continues to serve the part of the muscle in the group and Ambrose looks like the guy with all the smarts. Nice to see these guys united and getting a win against the veterans on the roster. JBL is right when he calls these guys one of the greatest teams of all time; the chemistry with the dominance is just so damn impressive.
The fans can vote on what sort of match Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow have tonight. Nice of WWE to leave two of their best performers off the pay per view last night.
The Miz has his segment and introduces the guest host tonight, Michael Strahan. Titus O’Neil comes out pretending to be Michael Strahan. Miz and Titus make fun of Strahan. Miz insults the gap in his teeth. O’Neil then puts himself over until the real Michael Strahan comes out. He makes fun of Miz and O’Neil before putting over NY and Raw. He announces the tag team main event of Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio taking on John Cena and the Big Show. Miz gets mad at Strahan as they start to bicker. O’Neil breaks them up and tries to be the voice of reason until he tells Strahan he might not make it to the show tomorrow. Miz asks if Michael can handle a hip toss. Strahan wants to try it. Strahan blocks the hip toss and Miz says he was stiff. Titus says he will do it. Strahan blocks this one too. Miz says he wants Strahan to pretend he’s Tony Romo. Strahan blocks a hip toss and hip tosses the Miz. Titus does the millions of dollars dance with Titus and he hip tosses him as well. Miz and Titus hug and hold up his hands after the segment.
^Gigantic waste of non wrestling time, but at least we got to see the fun personality of Titus O’Neil.
Big E. Langston and Mark Henry take on Ryback and Curtis Axel. Henry pins Axel after a world’s strongest slam.
^Short match here, but I love the combination of Langston and Henry. Big E. just looked so dominant, as did Henry. Less than four minutes just isn’t enough time for a good match, but I still enjoyed the overall segment.
We are having a rematch of the divas elimination match from the Survivor Series last night. Oh joy.
We have the rematch from last night. Brie Bella eliminates Aksana first and then tags out to Nikki. JBL mentions Cole’s mistake at Survivor Series about Nikki being eliminated when she was not. Nikki pins Rosa Mendes. Cameron and Naomi next double team Tamina Snuka. Tamina ten eliminates Naomi from the match. She then takes out Cameron as well with a Samoan drop. JoJo pins Tamina after Natalya does all the work. Alicia Fox gets in the ring with JoJo and eliminates her after kicking out of two pin attempts. It’s Alicia Fox and Eva Marie now as Eva Marie gets booed. Eva Marie eliminates Alicia Fox and Natalya is now in the ring with Kaitlyn. Natalya and Kaitlyn have some good action and then Kaitlyn is eliminated with a sharpshooter. It’s AJ and Natalya going at it as it’s now four on two. AJ eliminates Natalya on a rollup. Brie Bella is in the ring with AJ now and she eliminates her with an X-factor. It’s now the Bellas with Eva Marie against Summer Rae in a three on one situation. Summer starts dancing. Way to embarass a talented girl from NXT and FCW. Nikki does the worm for her own dancing. This is stupid. Summer tries to run away but they stop her. Nikki puts Summer in a rack and then drops her to the mat for a three count. Eva Marie celebrates with the Bellas.
^The match wasn’t horrible, but pieces of it were totally ridiculous. The right team won here, but I just wish we could see this much WRESTLING from the divas all the time.
Damien Sandow defeats Dolph Ziggler in a Hamptons Hardcore match. Sandow pins Ziggler after slamming him on a trash can.
^Not sure why these two keep going at it without being booked on pay per view, but at least we get to see what they can do in specialty matches. I don’t know what 2014 holds for either superstar, but I have a bad feeling about Ziggler’s future in WWE.
WWE puts over the Christmas Bounty movie with the Miz. I almost care. No, actually I don’t.
A backstage segment happens with Michael Strahan, Erick Rowan and his mask(s) and Santino. Tell me I didn’t just say that.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are interviewed by Renee Young in the ring. Punk name drops Colt Cabana in his promo. Then they take on the Wyatt Family. The match goes for awhile and then it’s ended by DQ by the ref when the Wyatts won’t stop beating both men down. They beat down Dbry and then carry him off with them. Maybe he’ll come back like Kane did and become a corporate Puppet. Roman Reigns then spears Punk from out of nowhere and the Shield stand tall over Punk before putting him in the ring and delivering the big triple powerbomb.
^Anyone think the Authority has a problem with “indy” guys? Booking everyone to look weak and beaten down only works for so long until you have to give the good guys some advantage. WWE is heavily lacking in that formula, despite Punk and Dbry going over at the pay per view. I wonder how all of this will shape up for the TLC pay per view in just three weeks.
The Miz is backstage with his co-star from Christmas Bounty. She wishes him luck in his match with Kofi next. Props to WWE for promoting a family movie.
Kofi Kingston takes on the Miz…again. Miz wins the match.
^Nice and competitive like their pre show match at Survivor Series, but still nothing new here. Make the rivalry feel important, damnit!
Jerry Lawler promotes the winner of the Superstars for Sandy(hurricane) auction. The guy calls himself the Kosher Butcher. The guy gives Lawler his own t-shirt and says his finisher would be called the circumcision. Awful, just awful.
R-Truth is in the ring and he cuts a promo. He introduces Xavier Woods accompanied by the Funkadactyls. Woods is taking on Heath Slater with the rest of 3MB in his corner. Woods wins a short match.
^I love how WWE goes with the formula that new guys win a lot, and then they go into irrelevancy, and then they get used in a tag team or fall off the map. You’d think they would get out of that particular rut before failing with Woods as well. Original just isn’t the word for WWE creative these days.
Another backstage segment with Michael Strahan, the Divas, and Goldust. Unbelievable. The next backstage scene shows Cena and Strahan talking about the main event.
Cena and Big Show take on Orton and Del Rio. They sell Big Show’s “injury” from being punted in the head last night. Refs get involved to check on show multiple times during the match. The WWE doctor jumps in the ring to check on Big Show. Show gets up and says he’s alright. He manages to tag in John Cena. Del Rio ends up tapping out to the stf and Cena checks on Show after the match. Del Rio attacks Cena. Cena counters a cross armbreaker attempt and delivers an AA, but Orton nails Cena with the WWE Title. Orton grabs the World Title and brings it in the ring. Orton holds both belts high over his head.
^Solid match overall when you consider the time wasted on the Big Show injury. Could’ve been better; could’ve been worse. I wonder if Del Rio and Show will feud again now that Cena and Orton are tied up for the next pay per view. Nice of WWE to close out Raw with the World Titles as the focus.
Overall, the Shield match with the Usos and Mysterio stood out, as did the handicap match with the Wyatts and Punk/Dbry. The main event wasn’t bad but people are tired of Orton and Cena on top of WWE. Everything else was just average exactly like Survivor Series. In this case, three hours was too much and I’m not impressed. 4.5 out of 10 generously given for the show. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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