December 13, 2013
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: Randy Orton (10/27/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena (10/27/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes & Goldust (10/14/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)
Let Us Take You Back: The ending to Raw gets replayed in super dramatic special video fashion. You know why it was so awesome and why it worked? Because the feeling that what is happening is organic over scripted works every time with professionals at the top of their game. Guys like Randy Orton can be exposed for the frauds that they are, guys like John Cena can show why they are the best at drawing money, and guys like Daniel Bryan can shine as the chosen one when the establishment could do nothing to possibly silence his fans. That’s why it worked and that’s why more people than last week will decide to purchase TLC…
Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.
– Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper)
Bryan should have brought with him another Slammy to the ring. The YES chant would feel a little bit more Owen Hart. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Besides probably Bret. At least a dozen tables, ladders, and chairs are set up at ringside. I can only assume this is the 21st century equivalent of sliding a cyclone fence wall in front of wrestlers when they would be cutting a promo hyping up a future cage match. Bryan gets in his flurry of licks, but Rowan’s power overcomes him and bearhugs ensue. Eventually, Bryan missile dropkicks Rowan and delivers his YES kick combo. Harper provides a distraction and takes a suicide dive into the announce table for his troubles. Bryan dumps out Rowan and wants a suicide dive on both of them, but he forgets about Wyatt and gets tripped up for the DQ. (3:06) Afterwards, Bryan escapes an attack from Rowan and Harper only to slide out of the ring and connect with the Busaiku Knee Kick on Wyatt while he’s still sitting in the chair, as Bryan YES chants his way to the back. *
– Non-title match: WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)
Colter complains about someone telling him Feliz Navidad (what a troll that guy is!) and calls Santa Claus an illegal immigrant. Good times! Tides turn quite frequently to start, but the real story begins when Goldust becomes *your* face in peril. Blind tag to Cesaro allows him to dump Goldust on the floor and that takes us into commercial. When we return, Goldust is stuck on the wrong side of town. He escapes a chinlock with a jawbreaker and hot tags his little step-bro. Booker T corner rollup gets two. Alabama Slam scores another nearfall. Disaster Kick is countered by the Cesaro Swing, but Goldust makes sure that doesn’t happen. He gets dumped again out to the floor, but that allows Cody to land the Disaster Kick after all for two. Cody manages to send out both Cesaro and Swagger as he springboard planchas onto Cesaro. Back inside, Swagger causes a momentary distraction to help Cesaro yank Cody off the top rope into the Very European Uppercut for the win. (5:19 shown) I wouldn’t even call this an upset. The Real Americans are pretty awesome and should be taken way more seriously these days. **¼
Great promo video showcasing the parallels of John Cena and Randy Orton’s careers.
#BadNewsBarrett Alert: He announces that everyone who voted for the Slammys are losers who ultimately have to live vicariously through a true winner like him.
– Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow
The IC champ Big E Langston joins us for commentary. He’s really blah on the mic, which makes me think they will give the belt over to Sandow. Furthermore, he might get rewarded for dropping the MITB opportunity. Sandow has no answer for Henry’s power and gets himself counted out. (1:20) Langston makes sure Sandow sweats for tonight’s paycheck and sends him back inside for a clothesline. Before Sandow escapes again, he nails Langston off the apron and heads for the hills while two very large men yell at him from inside the ring. Oh wait, Langston is running after him. ½*
– AJ Lee & Tamina vs. The Bella Twins
No surprise here: Natalya joins us for commentary. She wants to take the Divas division to the top (of the glass ceiling, I suppose). Tamina powers Nikki around until that culminates towards the Samoan Drop. AJ tags in and skips around her prey. Nikki fights out of a chinlock and hot tags Brie. The match quickly breaks down causing Tamina and Nikki to fall out to the floor. Meanwhile, AJ locks in the Black Widow on Brie for the tapout. (2:34) After the bell, AJ and Natalya exchange looks as the TLC PPV approaches. *
Ladies and gentlemen, the World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. The belts hang ten feet over the middle of the ring. He puts over the importance of the match, puts over what Randy Orton says he is, and then talks about what Randy Orton isn’t. Can Randy take the abuse of the TLC match? Cena knows he can. HE NEVER GIVES UP. This Sunday, CENA WILL GET BACK UP. Will Randy get hurt at TLC and take the easy way out like he always does, or will he keep going? Cena feels that Orton just doesn’t have the *nuts*. That’s right, Orton’s nuts will be on the mind of every wrestling fan for the next 48 hours.
– Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (w/Dean Ambrose) vs. The Usos
Dean Ambrose joins the commentary duo again this week. Cole tries to find out if there is any separation between Ambrose and the other two Shield guys. Of course there isn’t, Michael. Rollins gets owned by the Usos to start. That continues on until we take a break with the Shield boys knocked down onto the floor. When we return, the Shield take over on Jimmy. In a nice bit, Jimmy ducks a jumping clothesline by Reigns and hits him with a DDT. Hot tag to Jey, he’s all kicks and shoulderblocks. The Pop-Up Samoan Drop to Rollins gets 2.995. Jey avoids the Spear from Reigns who runs into the post. Rollins looks for the Paroxysm, but Jey flips away and superkicks him down. Jey wants the Flying Splash, but Rollins escapes to the floor only to be met with a plancha instead. Jimmy saves his brother from a Spear by Reigns and takes the bullet in his place. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Jey gets posted and barely beats the ten count. Blackout by Rollins connects. In order to mock CM Punk, Rollins fakes the Go2Sleep on Jey and puts him in position for a Spear by Reigns for the 1-2-3. (8:57 shown) After that really good match, it gets even better as CM Punk confronts the Shield via the basement of the arena. Believe in the Best in the World. Match of the night. **½
– The Big Show (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. Ryback (w/Curtis Axel)
This one is real quick. Ryback sells Show’s offense and comes back with a Spinebuster. He wants the Meat Hook, but charges right into the Chokeslam to give Show the win. (1:44) Axel tries to jump Show, but winds up taking the 619 instead. BOOYAKA BOOYAKA! ½*
From the deepest, darkest place in the arena, the Wyatt Family is there. Bray sees now how wrong he was about Daniel Bryan, calls Bryan a “deceiver”, and sings a creepy lullaby that he says he only sings right before he puts down an animal.
– Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
This is the rematch from last week that never really happened. And again, it doesn’t really happen, because the Miz jumps Kofi from behind and delivers the Skull Crushing Finale on the floor.
From the (no longer) WWE.com Exclusive interview with the COOHHH, Michael Cole finds out that he will forgive Randy Orton for running down Stephanie if the apology is sincere.
Let’s go to the ring. Ladies and gentlemen, the WWE champion Randy Orton. Orton says he wants to look COOHHH in the eyes when he apologizes for tumbling over Stephanie McMahon last week on Raw, so out comes the COOHHH. Orton shows us the clip again like Triple H hasn’t already seen it a million times. He even shows the collision from a different angle, but the result is always the same. Orton makes a point to say that emotions ran high that night and there’s a lot of people who have some apologizing to do, but all he cares about is making things right with the Authority. Triple H responds saying that a lot of things did go wrong on Monday night and a lot of people do have some apologizing to do, but he’s not one of them. HHH brings up the possibility of firing Orton for what happened. Crowd chants YES, of course. HHH won’t do that though because he’s going to accept his apology for this one and only time. One other thing that Orton wants HHH to respond to is when he saw the Authority standing beside John Cena at the end of the show. He needs to know that the Authority has his full confidence going into TLC. Triple H takes a while to answer, but shakes Randy’s hand, tells him not to worry, and says that the Authority knows exactly where their faith lies. And just like that, we are left with more questions than answers.
Final Thoughts: Nothing too crazy exciting on this go-home edition. The wrestling was decent, but a step down from the past several weeks. Check out Smackdown or don’t, it won’t matter much since the ending of Raw already left you thinking the Authority might be siding with John Cena. If last week’s Raw already sold you on the TLC PPV, I doubt this show will sway you one way or the other.
Enjoy your weekend! Be sure to check out the TLC PPV on Sunday night at 7:30pm EST!
WWE/World Title Unification TLC Match: John Cena (c) over Randy Orton (c)
3-on-1 Handicap Match: CM Punk over the Shield
3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Wyatt Family over Daniel Bryan
Tag Team Championship: Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) over Curtis Axel & Ryback, Big Show & Rey Mysterio, and the Real Americans
Intercontinental Championship: Damien Sandow over Big E Langston (c)
Divas Championship: Natalya over AJ Lee (c)
TLC Kickoff: Dolph Ziggler over Fandango