McGinn’s Raw Recap – 12/8/14

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Don’t tell these guys that Team Authority is dead. Rollins and co. stand tall on Monday night. (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
December 8, 2014
Greenville, SC

Gentlemen, the envelope please. And the Slammy for Best Raw Recap on the Interwebs goes to… The Man, The McGinn, The Legend, Place to Be Nation. Thank you, thank you. You love me, you really love me! First and foremost, I have to thank the fans. Without you, none of this is possible. I know you get bombarded with countless articles about 90’s songs and movies you have already seen. Sure if you missed me last week and wanted to find my article, you’d have to scroll down through four pages of other peoples’ work before you finally realized that all you had to do was type in my name in the search box on the righthand side. I also would like to thank Scott Criscuolo, The Bellas, my lovely family, my short-tempered puppy and my lovely and talented editorial staff. Without your support, I would never be able to serve up these delightful 3,000 words for the Nation each and every week.

Now without further ado, let’s get on with the show. It’s not only our last Raw outing before the TLC pay-per-view, but WWE presents the Slammy Awards. Tonight, we celebrate the very best of WWE. For you noobs out there, it’s an award show dressed as a wrestling show (or maybe it’s the other way around). Sure we’ll have storyline development heading into the special event, but honestly, tonight is all about the fluff and all its marshmallowy goodness. So let’s get to it sucka!

Your announcers tonight are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Recap video of Big Show’s betrayal of John Cena at Survivor Series leads us to tonight’s main event as our hero will finally get his hands on the traitorous giant. So glad they aren’t spending a whole PPV on this, though I’m also thrilled they didn’t forget about it completely. Clearly these two have bigger fish to fry come Sunday. Lillian now welcomes King to the podium to announce our host of the evening, Mr. Seth Green. I forgot how small that guy was. He is ecstatic to be hosting and tells us about all the awards and exciting matches planned for the night before he gets interrupted by our own personal A-listers, The Miz and Damien Mizdow. Miz tells Green that he is just the kind of celebrity that his next project needs. Green though isn’t buying it and tells Miz that the real star of this pairing is the incomparable stunt double, Damien Mizdow. The former star of such classics as The Italian Job and America’s Sweethearts goes on to call Damien “awesome” which Miz takes exception to, and that line was the perfect segue into our first category of the evening.

“THIS IS AWESOME” MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Occupy Raw
Billion Dollar Jailbird
Goodbye Authority/Sting’s Return
The All-Time Greatest – Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin & The Rock at Wrestlemania

Winner: Sting’s Return at Survivor Series

DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS

The second most over Seth on today’s show battles Dolph in what seems like the 300th time since June. Can you believe they jobbed out Rollins to Ryback on Smackdown in a tag match just before his main event against Cena? More importantly, am I the only one who still watches Smackdown? Anyway, these two work well together as you would imagine. Rollins took an awkward bump when he was back flipped off the top turnbuckle. He recovered and tasted victory with the help of a distraction by Mercury. One Curb Stomp later and Dolph was looking up at the lights once again. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS

After the match and the announcement of Sting winning the Slammy, an angry Rollins takes the podium and accepts the award on the legend’s behalf. Simply put, he feels he deserves it over the Stinger and that’s that!

KOFI KINGSTON (W/ BIG E & XAVIER WOODS) VS. STARDUST (W/ GOLDUST)

Before this match, they announced several Slammys awarded exclusively on WWE.com. Rollins earned a trophy of his own thanks to the “You Sold Out” chant that won for the Fan Participation Award. It was also reported that he accepted a trophy on behalf of Randy Orton for the popular Hashtag of the Year Award for the humourous #RKOoutofNowhere. I can see this will be a trend for the rest of the night. These teams have been snipping at each other the since The New Day formed and neither of these guys had much time to show the Universe much of anything. Kofi though remained ridiculously happy throughout the entire affair and won with cross body for the easy victory. I might be exaggerating, but that might be his first win on Raw since 2009. WINNER: KOFI KINGSTON

Our next award is ready to be presented and here to make the announcement is none other than Mr. People Power himself, Mr. John Laurinaitis. He makes a case that he should make his big return to WWE. He got the same reaction I received from Scott when I asked him when I could be on the PTBN Main Event podcast. Let’s get to the nominees shall we?

SURPRISE RETURN OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Hulk Hogan
Batista
The Rock
Ultimate Warrior

Winner: Ultimate Warrior

No surprise there. It’s still sad to think about his passing even months later but no one will ever have a return and sendoff like Warrior. He is surely missed.

In the back, Rollins and his security are all smiles backstage when Mr. Money in the Bank meets up with the returning Paul Heyman. He expects a sweep of all the awards his client, Brock Lesnar. is up for tonight and then tells Seth that he has been doing some thinking about his match with Cena on Sunday. Rollins cuts him off and says he will beat Cena and strip the franchise of his #1 contender status. He then goes on to say that when he cashes in his briefcase on Brock, neither the Beast or Heyman will see it coming. Paul, the expert that he is, says that if Rollins truly wishes to be recognized as the “future” of WWE, he better make sure that John Cena remains “entrenched in he past.” He is so awesome! Get him on TV and let him carry around the belt and I guarantee those segments will be better than most of the slop they shovel at us each week!

NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION CHARLOTTE VS. NATALYA

Charlotte, also known as Ric Flair’s daughter and the queen of the mountain at NXT, gets to showcase her skills on the big stage. Definitely a smart move to have her in the ring with a savvy veteran like Natty who has already had classic bouts with her down in Florida. This is also to promote the NXT exclusive special event “Takeover” that will air this Thursday on the Network. Charlotte will defend her strap against Boston’s own Sasha Banks while internet darling, Sami Zayn once again challenges for the NXT title against rival Adrian Neville. Fans were “woo’ing” like mad during this one and Flair’s baby girl even took some verbal shots at Tyson on the outside. The ladies then countered each other’s submission moves with Natty incredibly getting the last laugh by pulling off an inside cradle for an unexpected triumph. Huh? So much for putting over the young talent, eh Hunter? WINNER: NATALYA

Santino Marella is presenting our next award and awkwardly tells a joke about watching Luke Harper taking a shower. He then tries to cover up that image by saying that he watches the divas take showers. What kind of show is this? Santino probably should be locked up for those comments. Freaken pervert! If someone like me made those comments, I’d be a social pariah and hanging out with the likes of Crazy Hairy Rob Lowe.

OMG SHOCKING MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Seth Sells Out (The Shield)
Bella Betrayal (Summerslam)
The Whole World in His Hands (Kids singing with sheep masks)
The Streak is Conquered (WrestleMania)

Winner: Brock Lesnar conquers the Streak

Thank God! If the Bellas won this thing, I would have quit! I am not even kidding!

Paul Heyman speaks and begins his usual monologue about being the one behind the one in 21-1. I thought he would get a few more minutes to pump the tires of the champ we never see, but the lights go out and here comes Bray Wyatt. Don’t get excited, he isn’t interacting with Paul E. but he will be preaching gibberish about Sister Abigail!

He says he first met her while she was rocking in a wooden chair. That chair incidentally was destroyed by Dean Ambrose on last week’s program. A piece of Bray was broken that night and it will never be replaced. Wyatt has decided to take something away from Dean and we replay clips from Smackdown when he assaulted Ambrose from behind. Dean took that nasty bump with the chair across the throat that required further medical attention. Bray calls himself a monster and fear incarnate. He even despises each and everyone of us. He says he will stand victorious on top of that ladder and Ambrose will deserve everything he has coming to him in the TLC match. When Bray begins a tables, ladders and chairs chant, loud sirens can be heard in the distance and Ambrose, donning a neck brace, emerges from the back of an ambulance.

He immediately grabs several weapons of destruction out of said vehicle and tries to carry them down the ramp. He tosses them in the ring and spears Bray with a ladder. Rather than enter the ring while Bray lies prone on the mat, Ambrose elects to toss a few chairs into the ring. Unlucky for Wyatt, one of those chairs landed square on the back of his head in a nasty, and quite scary, spot that was completely unnecessary. Clearly shaken up, Bray rolls out to safety and finishes the segment like a champ. He does take a another thrown chair shot to the face (this time intended) for his troubles as Ambrose proclaims that he will eat him alive at TLC. Does this mean Ambrose is bringing an 18-foot anaconda to Cleveland? If so, someone call the Discovery Channel!

Hey, Seth Green is still here! They are so getting the most out his appearance fees aren’t they? He brings out the King who is presenting a rather appropriate award given his track record of oogling young ladies.

DIVA OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Brie Bella
Paige
AJ Lee
Nikki Bella

Winner: AJ Lee

Oh there is a God! I’m telling you, if one of the Bellas won this award, I would have set myself on fire!

I like the pick. She is clearly the gem of the division and I’m probably overstepping it by saying that she is insanely over thanks to her in-ring ability and perhaps in large part to her controversial husband. She gives a nice speech about how three years ago she was a nerd but soon became the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history. She gave a nod to the Divas in waiting who could someday win a Slammy and mentioned Bailey, Sasha Banks and Paige by name. Then she capped it off by saying she will once again take back what is rightfully hers. (Spoiler Alert: She means the Divas Title)

Renee interviews Cena. He references Vince’s interview with Austin from last week and how the Chairman told everyone in the locker room to step up. He gives reasons why this Sunday will be a time for Rollins to finally step up. He says it is mighty fortunate for Seth that he doesn’t have to pin Cena since he wouldn’t be able to without Big Show’s assistance. He then delivers the undeniable message that Rollins couldn’t get Cena to submit because the appointed “standard bearer” of WWE isn’t man enough so again, it’s a good thing their match will involve no submission finishers. No, their match is a tables match. The perfect stip for a little guy. Is their a more perfect setup for the cowardly heel to steal a win over a heavy favorite than that? Cena will no doubt slip on the proverbial banana peel in order to give Rollins the rub. Heck, he did virtually the same thing a couple years ago for Dolph Ziggler at the very same pay-per-view. Still a nice, albeit serious, promo by the leader of the Cenation and one of his best in quite a while.

ERICK ROWAN VS. LUKE HARPER

So unless you have been living under a rock, a brand new stipulation match was added to the TLC card. That new wrinkle is the Steel Stairs Match between Rowan and Big Show. You can even see the word “stairs” being added to some of the promotional logos for the PPV. Harper has his own troubles to deal with as he faces Ziggler in a ladders match for the IC belt. Odd that they would give these two an unadvertised, middle-of-nowhere match on the Slammy’s Raw as opposed to a main event blowoff type of match. As expected, these two really don’t get going as Harper uses the ladder outside the ring forcing a DQ. Rowan returns the favor by dropping his former buzzard follower onto the steel steps. He bounces some stairs off his buddy’s skull and that’s the end of that. This could have been so much more but in the words of Bill Belichick, it is what it is. WINNER: ERICK ROWAN BY DQ

My girl Naomi is greeted by a jovial Uso Brothers team that is celebrating their un-televised Slammy win for Tag Team of the Year. After brief congratulatory hugs by the Mrs., Jey takes off to leave the happy couple to themselves. There appears to be some tension still between Jimmy and The Miz and Uso is none too happy to hear that Naomi is still talking to Miz’s Hollywood agent. She informs her man that she has a screen test this week in LA LA Land though Jimmy still voices his distrust for the A-lister. Naomi just wants her husband to believe in her and I suspect more trouble is afoot. Join the entourage! Make me look like a genius Naomi!

Adam Rose still has a job? Well for now anyways. He is presenting our next award Rosebuds!

LOL MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Mr. T Loves His Momma
WEE-L-C Match
The Stunt Double
Princess Pudding (Vicki tosses Steph into pudding)

Winner: Damien Mizdow

The plot thickens. Miz nudges Damien aside and gives his own speech. When fans start chanting for Mizdow, Miz says he hears their chants and is giving them “Miz-Now.” Clever stuff by this guilty pleasure of mine. Mizdow continues his mimicry and goes about his business holding an imaginary trophy.

And now, time for your weekly rundown of America starring Lana and Rusev!

On today’s episode, Lana makes me chuckle by saying that the real LOL Moment of the Year is the state of the U.S. economy and President Obama. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually agree with the Ravishing Russian! I mean did you see the election results?? Hey oh! That one was for you Scott and Dr. G! Thank you, I’ll be here all week! Be sure to tip your waitress!

Anyway, he calls the real Americans the biggest joke of all and that brings out Jack Swagger. He says that if Rusev wants to take credit for breaking Zeb’s leg, he will give the brute a receipt in the form of a broken ankle. They brawl like hooligans outside the ring and Swagger immediately goes after the ankle. He does this nasty spot where he body slams Rusev onto the barricade where the backs of his ankles slam down hard onto the wall. Swagger next applies a tight Patriot Lock on the floor before officials stop him. These two rekindle their feud this Sunday in a match for the United States Championship and you can catch it on the Network for just $9.99.

TLC Kickoff Match Alert: The New Day faces The Rhodes Brothers during the preshow. My how the mighty have fallen. Time for another gimmick change Cody!

RYBACK & THE USOS VS. KANE, THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW

I’ll have more on the individual feuds involved in this match in my PPV preview later this week, but this was just an excuse to get these guys on TV and to have Seth Green play grab ass with the announcers. Cole is almost orgasmic describing Seth taking selfies at the announce table. They are also furthering along the Naomi/Miz/Uso story by bringing up Nomi’s screen test. Mizdow is still as brilliant as ever as he gives himself a back body drop and then caps it by throwing himself over the top ropes. Meanwhile, Ryback delivers a savage beating on Miz before Kane gets involved. Jey Uso goes flying and that leaves Jimmy in the ring alone with Miz. After Miz dumps Jimmy over the top, he loses sight of Ryback who wallops him with a Meat Hook clothesline. The A-lister eats the pin on the Shell Shock and this one is as dead as disco. WINNERS: RYBACK & THE USOS

After the match, Green tries to lift Ryback’s hand in victory but can’t so Jimmy and Jey lift him onto their shoulders as the trio begins a “Feed Me More” chant.

Now we hop into the “Way Back” machine to 1986 and the Baltimore Civic Center for the first ever Slammy Awards. Jesse Ventura is ticked for losing out to Mean Gene and Roddy Piper cuts up MTV and shatters his own trophy. Ahh those were the days!

Speaking of old school, here to present our next Slammy is none other than Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Much like Jerry, he is at the podium for a most apropo award.

MATCH OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Bryan vs. Orton vs. Batista – Main Event, WrestleMania XXX
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt – Last Man Standing, Payback
The Shield vs. Evolution – Extreme Rules
Team Cena vs. Team Authority – Survivor Series

Winner: Team Cena vs. Team Authority

Really? No Shield vs. Wyatts? How quickly we forget WWE! Anyway, Dolph accepts the award on behalf of the winning team at Survivor Series. Ziggy says that he’s going to build on that win and he never would have done what he did without the fans. He acknowledges Sting and says that his award belongs to all the fans. At this rate, I’m just glad Rollins didn’t come out and break that trophy over Dolph’s head. I guess this is a consolation prize for him doing the job three hours ago.

AJ LEE VS. SUMMER RAE

Oh yeah, we have to fill three hours and justify Summer Rae’s employment so let’s have a match. You probably already know how this one goes without watching so let’s go right to the bold capital letters portion of the paragraph. WINNER: AJ LEE

Now to present the next award, Mr. Monday Night, Rob… Van… Dam! Dude! He sounds about as punchy as I am after writing this recap.

MOST EXTREME MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Brock Lesnar – Conquered John Cena at Summerslam
Kane – Murdering Daniel Bryan after WrestleMania
Chris Jericho – Flying off the steel cage against Wyatt
Seth Rollins – The infamous cinder block episode of Raw

Winner: Chris Jericho

Somewhere Tommy Dreamer is turning in his grave… Yes I know he’s not dead!

Fandango and the stupid hot Rosa Mendes come out to accept the award. Fandango does a Jericho impersonation and reminds us that he beat Jericho in his first WrestleMania match. Someday Y2J will get that win back. That’s my bold prediction of the night!

To sum up the next 10 minutes, Mick Foley, dressed as Santa, shills WWE merchandise, Big Show says he will knock out Cena, more awards not TV worthy are announced and my fantasy team clinched a spot in the Shiva Bowl despite getting a huge 0 from Demaryius Thomas. Oh and Booker T came out to present our final Slammy Award of the evening.

SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR

Nominees:
Brock Lesnar
Dean Ambrose
Daniel Bryan
Roman Reigns
Bray Wyatt
John Cena
Seth Rollins

Winner: Roman Reigns

Hmmmm… I know it’s fan voting but that seems fishy to me. Oh wait, here he comes to accept his own award! What a novel concept! You knew sooner or later, Double-R would come back and turn in his “via satellite” status. He says he is stepping up regardless of who is on the top step. Basically a rehash of Cena’s words from earlier though it is, at the very least, encouraging that Roman appears to be ready to make his return. Seems like years ago he was the heir apparent to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Now where the hell is Bad News Barrett?

JOHN CENA VS. BIG SHOW

This has all the makings of one of those matches that ends with everyone in the featured PPV bouts coming out and brawling until the credits roll. Let’s see if I’m right as we continue reading this paragraph.

Show dominated early with clubbing blows though he concentrated on punishing Cena rather than finishing the match quickly. As far as entertainment value goes, this is no WrestleMania 21, but I digress. It’s too damn slow considering I’ve been sitting here for the length of a Hobbit movie. We get a bear hug which is always fun. This is followed by a sleeper by Cena; a move that hasn’t won a match since 1988. Cena attempted the Five Knuckle Shuffle only to be choked instead by Show. He countered that into an Attitude Adjustment and was about to pick up the W until Rollins and his security team rushed the ring to break up the count. A helpless Cena was lifted by Mercury and Noble as Rollins climbed a ladder to try a Curb Stomp from way upstairs. This prompted Ziggler to make the save and shove Seth off the ladder. Dolph ate a knockout punch for his troubles so out came Rowan. He was quickly vanquished by both Harper and Show. The giant chokeslammed Big Red onto the stairs which led to an appearance by Ryback. He posts Big Show and Meat Hooks Harper though when he goes to put Luke through a table, he wears a chair shot by Kane instead. Kane is taken out by Dolph who then superkicks Show a few times before he gets driven through the table face first in an ugly spot by Harper. Cena recovers enough to AA Harper though while he’s down on a knee, Rollins scores with a Curb Stomp. Finally, with Cena prone on the ground, the “New Shield” triple powerbombed John through the announce table to finish off the franchise. Basically the surviving members of Team Authority stand over Dolph’s carcass in the center of the ring as we fade to black. WINNER: JOHN CENA BY DQ 

Mercifully, this guy is put to bed. I knew this would be a tough one. They had to put over the award show so there was more filler in here than in a bag of grass seed. Plus you factor in two lame DQ finishes and some woefully short and uninteresting matches and you just get a huge blah over three hours. Sure, they had to sell the PPV. And yes, everyone of substance appears to be in a match that has a purpose behind it, so that is definitely a positive take from Monday’s festivities. But, for a once a year event, it was hardly offensive. It’s just long and I would have loved to have seen more wrestling that’s all.

I will say this however. It is definitely a “What have you done for me lately” type of show when you consider that Occupy Raw and Bryan winning at Mania didn’t win in their categories when they would have been shoe-ins if this show took place in May.  Also, where was the award for Best Podcast That Only Lasted 21 Episodes? Corino and I would have that one in the bag! Oh well, I’ve already lost enough sleep over this.

So in the immortal words of the Doctor of Style, “turn out the lights, the party’s over!”

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.