Monday, December 30, 2013

Raw 12-30-13

The final Raw of the year starts of with Punk. Loved the kid pumping his sign to his theme. IT'S RAW 1,075! Punk defined 12/30 as the end of one year and being close to the beginning...well, that's a statement of fact. Punk saying that he started the year as the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the past 25 years really makes his star seem less now. At least he's putting over the matches with Rock and Taker. Words. More words. I'm about done with this promo. Putting over the Shield. Being US Champ and former tag champs matters! Iron sharpens iron and he wants the Shield in some form. Oh thank God here they come. Ambrose's earring just looks weird. Ditto the sight of them all in the ring with him and them not just beating the shit out of him. Punk said he WANTED THE BEST IN THE SHIELD. Ambrose accepted. Punk said he's already beaten him half a dozen times, resulting in Rollins snickering a bit. Punk demanded that Reigns should see if he's the best, while Rollins stepped up. Maybe the Cena match really opened some eyes. Reigns and Rollins argued and Rollins plead his case, while the fans chanted for Reigns loudly. His face turn is already organically working. Maddox, who is the GM again, made the Punk-Rollins match. This seems to be building up Punk and Roman vs. Rollins and Ambrose at WM, or maybe the Rumble if they jumpstart this face turn. They did a minute of nothing before a break.

PUNK-ROLLINS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED!? The match started before the break. They kept harping on this "best in the Shield" stuff, which is overdoing it for a breakup tease. Punk broke the rope choke/Tarantula thing out of mothballs leading to Cole saying it's not illegal and JBL rightly saying that it is because the ref's counting for him to stop doing it. @ShirtlessShield got on the Twitter crawl - what a great Twitter name. Cole put over Seth's match on SD with Cena. Rollins shoved him to the floor leading to a break and Ambrose mocking Punk while wearing the dick belt deal. The first SD of 2014 got the most generic hype ever despite being taped in advance. They came back with Punk doing a chain of headbutts to Rollins. More hype for the Authority, the true top stars on Raw. The crowd chanted THIS IS AWESOME. No, it isn't. It's been iffy and okay at best. ACROSS THE RING BUCKLE BOMB from Rollins. Rollins has always been a small guy to do that move, but by doing it to top guys, he comes as credible doing it. Blackout missed, but the enzuiguri gets 2. GTS teased by Rollins, which led to the shining wizard against the ropes and an elbow drop tease. Corner Flatliner. Seth went for the Curtain Call, but it was countered by Punk into one, then into the GTS position before Seth hit the Skywalker, but Ambrose prevented the pin. Outside in sunset flip led to a GTS win for Punk. Great final few minutes there. Seth selling the GTS like death ruled. Ambrose looked hearbroken on the floor - a bit like a scared rat. Maddox met with HHH and Steph and wanted an IC Title match they could be proud of, and that Kane isn't there. Raw technically has four authority figures. Bryan came in and Maddox made a roundabout gauntlet match with him and the Wyatts.

THE TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS SHOW was the most socially-active show on Saturday. Steph in skinny jeans came down to make THE MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT. She said that they'd change nothing, and then ran an Orton video. Benoit's nameplate made the video. I completely forgot about Orton pinning Taker at Summerslam '05. The Summerslam title win excised the pedigree. Steph clapped the mic afterwards. Cena-Orton at the Rumble was announced, and just like TNA in '08, a no-stip match is now the exception...sorta since it's no countout and no DQ. IT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST REMATCHES IN HISTORY! You know, when you apply "one of the biggest matches" to not just one, but two matches that don't deserve it, the term loses all meaning. Oh yeah, the IC Title match is Big E-Fandango.

Naturally Big Dave hype video aired. Steph walked past the laundry room to talk to her husband and he's got an announcement. Axel's in the ring, and said 2014 would be better than 2013 in an inset promo. Axel's beard is nearly Wyatt-level. He's facing Dolph...and I'm honestly not sure who's winning this. Cole hyped this up as a battle of losers, and Dolph cut an inset promo about twerking more than Miley. Cole hyped up Instagram. Crazy bump over the top from Dolph led to a slick over the top hop from Axel. You can vote for an opponent for Sandow after this match. Why would anyone want to do that? Crazy bump from Axel off the second rope from Axel. Dolph hit the mounted corner ADD punches. Crowd's almost making some noise for this match. Zig Zag wins! This was pretty good stuff. Loved them saying that this was a big win. Again, the term means nothing using it when it doesn't apply. I loved King burying the app tutorial. Sandow's options are Khali, Kingston, or Miz...why would anyone want to see any of those matches?

OLD SCHOOL RAW IS NEXT WEEK. Flair will be there. JBL talked about Mel Phillips. I'll just assume that wasn't a thing Vince yelled at him to say. Cole lied about social media going crazy over Big E-Fandango. Summer Rae showing off some fine T&A in that dress. This is the hour 1 main event and is getting the big match intro. Great idea in theory - shame Fandango hasn't been built up and this isn't May when he was super over. Fandango's chops to the chest are being sold like giving a Samoan a headbutt, which makes sense. Cole asked himself a question to keep things moving on commentary. Fandango kicked him in the knee, leading to E's head hitting the knee hard.

They came back and Cole hyped this up as a CLASSIC MATCH. No, it isn't. King shockingly mentioned Anderson Silva's leg snapping during the leg-based offense. Ultimate splash countered with a kick to the knee, and Fandango hit a tornado DDT for 2. This is Big E's best singles match yet. Legdrop off the top hits, but E rolls to the floor. Big E busted out a nasty overhead belly to belly after the side belly to belly earlier. big splash hits. Straps are down, arms out out ala Raven, and the Big Ending gets the win. This over-delivered in a major way. Bryan-Wyatt recap to set up the gauntlet later.

Punk-Reigns was made for next week. Booker T in an amazing scarf came out with mid-carders and divas to celebrate. New Year's Spinaroonie...but Bad News Barrett won't allow it. His podium now rises. Jacyl's lowered and it did about as well for him. A-Ry's out there. Barrett's not even getting much heat by saying that ALL OF THE CROWD'S HOMES WILL BE LOST. And now Sandow said he'd quit if he lost his match. The World Heavyweight title is now the Classic World Heavyweight Title and the Rock offered up King James a WWE Title. Khali's the opponent. Khali got some shitty offense, took some offense, and the crowd just gave no shits. They sang the ole song. Commentators talked about plants being watered. JBL buried Runjin Singh for being in a fire. Sandow won with a schoolboy with Khali's left shoulder up the whole time. Thank God they just ended it. More Bryan-Wyatt stuff. I like that they're showing it sequentially - it reminds me of the old days of PPV where they'd show clips of the feud in chronological order without goofy video effects. Brodus-Truth is next.

Best PPV matches of 2013 set was hyped up. Sadly, it's not getting a Blu-Ray release. Rumble is brought to us by Jackson-Hewitt - if Raw hits a slump again, maybe JBL can do his taxes live. Clay got no intro and is in his black, white, and green gear. Woods referenced his TNA past by saying that Truth saw him when he was trying to make a name for himself. Crowd gave no shits. Over the shoulder backbreaker lasted a whole second. Miz tweeted that something's gotta change in 2014. You're marrying Maryse dude - just leave WWE. Brodus used the train wreck, then hit a big leaping elbow. Brodus's offense looks terrible and he's repeating everything he's doing, and not doing it any better. Woods danced, the girls came out, and then Truth hit the Lil Jimmy off the top - which looks stupid, but was at least a highlight. WHY IS BRODUS STILL IN THIS COMPANY!? 10-diva tag is later, and HHH's announcement is next.

Cole begged people to use the hashtag bestforbusiness and pointed out the upper-left graphic. HHH came out and they waited a bit too long to bring Brock out. His new shirt is awesome, and once again, HE'S COMING BACK TO WWE. It's like his third comeback in less than two years. Brock's down to 2 sponsors, and then HHH and Brock shook hands. Heyman's back being great. Brock's mission statement isn't here to settle old scores - he has none because when you fight him, he beats you and then he forgets about you. He's not here on Paul's behalf, HE'S HERE TO BE WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION. I would so love to see Brock wearing the new title. He wants the winner of Cena-Orton, and will get it. Brock said that no one could challenge him tonight. I bet the strongest man on Earth fights him. Modern-Day Henry vs. Brock could be pretty awesome. SPEAR THROUGH THE BARRICADE from Brock led to a banshee yell. F5 ON THE FLOOR led to another yell. THIS RULED!

Recap of Brock kicking ass. I could watch this all night - I'm definitely doing this match in 2K14. Divas match. True Divas got the jobber intro. Eva and Kaitlyn doing stuff appears to be softcore porn. Cole talked about the handshake tour and Eva hating it due to the hands being sweaty. This led to him saying she didn't like having to use Purell and her being all about it. Both JBL and King buried him for that, then Cole said he didn't mean she's all about Purell - just hand sanitizer, which was no less ridiculous. JBL hyped up wanting to bring back Justin Hawk Bradshaw next week and wanting his Uncle back. Using the hashtag bestforbusiness now stands for Brock - brilliant way to make that term seem like a bigger deal. They all did shit, and Aksana won with the reverse Final Cut after some crack got revealed. I think Ariane's got fake tits now because she was in a short shirt the whole match.  Another Bryan-Bray thing. This is the main event match, so at least Bryan's back in main events regularly. A new Batista hype vid aired. Jackhammer shown during the Batista vid...Batista-Goldberg would be pretty awesome. Another troops vid with "So Here's to Us" for a video with WWE congratulating themselves. Cena-Orton's graphic looks nice, and they made it clear that the match's stip was done so there would be a finish. Brad apologized for the Khali call. He also confirmed that Flair would come back. Another recap of the Bryan-Wyatts deal, from Raw. They've done an awesome job building that up without overdoing it.

After a night of hype, Bryan got a jobber intro. They begged people to use #followthebuzzards for the match. Loved Cole getting pissed at JBL. FOR GOD'S SAKE, HE WAS THROWN OFF A LEDGE! And fine days later. Bryan and Luke were great - what a shock. Bryan finally locked on the dragon sleeper variant of the surfboard. Boomerang on the ropes from Harper set up the gator roll perfectly. "Start working in the break spot." WHOOPS! They came back with Bryan kicking Luke's chest in on the floor against the barricade. Bryan's chest has been beaten red by the corner chops. SUPER BATISTA BOMB got 2! Between Cena doing it on Raw and that, the move sure won't mean as much as it would've otherwise. Nasty double-arm chop from Harper. HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Harper shining as a main eventer in WWE is...not something I ever saw coming. Harper escaped the Yes Lock with biting, then booted him in the face. This match rules. Running knee gets the win! Sadly, this wasn't the Raw main event on its own - it's time for Bryan-Rowan, which should be good if kept short. They showed the barricade all mangled when Rowan threw him to the floor.

For some reason, Rowan being tossed over the announce table wasn't a DQ. "The story on Raw - more of the same!" SUPER FALLAWAY SLAM from Rowan. Snap Small Package got the win! Harper prevented more of a beating from Rowan - now there's another good face turn I could get behind. Bray teased a corner attack, but allowed Bryan a free hit from behind...and then the Family came in to attack him for a DQ. Lots of wall-tossing. Nice double chokslam. Then Bray sang and Bryan said Bray was right. This had a bit of a crucifixion tone to it. Bryan said the machine would never let him win, and the crowd that chants yes now doesn't care. I'M YOURS! Bryan begged to join, but Bray wouldn't hold his hand. He instead gave him Sister Abigail (the move, not the chair), and held his hand while they carried him out. This was...something. I loved the visual of Bryan slowly walking after Bray. They are...slowly building to something happening here. The crowd chanted no, then DANIEL BRYAN, leading to some intense seething. They are doing a great job teasing this, even though it will wok out far better in a video package.

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