It's Slammy Awards night. I hope it's not a stupid show like last year's event that was the worst Raw of the year (I gave it a 3 out of 10) and I remember a year later because of how bad it was. I don't care who wins what award. For the WWE talent that wins, it's not that big of a deal since it's fan voting so the heels don't have much of a chance anyway. You know what their award is? A push. A bump up in pay. That's their award. I don't take it too seriously. Some of the nominees for categories are atrociously bad, so I'd rather work on my own 5th annual WWE Johnny Awards (coming December 19) and focus my energy on that. All I hope for is that I don't lose my damn mind watching this show and having nightmares of Michael Cole telling me to vote using the WWE App because that's all we'll hear for three hours of this show. I hope Brock Lesnar shows up at the Slammys, F5s somebody on the stage, tells Paul Heyman to say something stupid and wreaks havoc. Please entertain me. That's all I want. Bring on the Slammy Awards.
There was an intro for the Slammy Awards with a voiceover guy telling us about the awards "starring" and then listing names of regular stars of WWE. They also mentioned the special guests Mick Foley, New Age Outlaws, Eve Torres, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.
The announcers are just Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield because Jerry Lawler is hosting the awards along with Booker T. Two minutes into the show and there's the "how to download the WWE App" video after they mentioned 9 million people have already downloaded it. Daniel Bryan entered to a big ovation. He's from nearby Aberdeen, Washington, so of course he got a huge pop.
Daniel Bryan vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
They're nominated for some Slammys, so they have a match. Loud "Daniel Bryan" chants early on. Bryan's offense was cheered loudly, especially the barrage of kicks. Hopefully the crowd stays this loud all night. Fandango missed a dive outside the ring, so Bryan hit the Flying Goat dive to take out Fandango. Great dropkick by Bryan outside the ring. Fandango countered a missile dropkick into a powerbomb. That was an awesome move as they went to break. There's a "don't you hate pants?" sign in the crowd. That's a Simpsons reference, which means I love it.
Back from break, more kicks by Bryan and then Fandango moved out of the way of the corner dropkick. He went for the top rope legdrop, but Bryan moved. Bryan hit the top rope headbutt. The running knee by Bryan gets him the win. That move needs a better name. It went 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ** A nine minute match is too short to have a commercial break, but they still did it. Obviously Bryan went over clean because he's in a match at TLC on Sunday and that's the right move. Best spot of the match was when Fandango hit a powerbomb after Bryan jumped off the top rope. Good stuff.
Post match, Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family appeared on the screen. Bray said in his world there's no such thing as a happy ending. He said he would prove to Bryan that he's a monster just like him (Bray). In that moment of serenity he'll take all that pain away. He told Bryan to join them. Cue evil laugh. Bryan led the crowd in "no" chants.
Analysis: Solid promo from Wyatt as usual. Obviously Bryan doesn't want to join the heel stable. I'm interested in seeing how the match goes on Sunday. Right now I'm leaning towards the heels win even though Bryan will put up a hell of a fight.
The hosts for the Slammys are Jerry Lawler and Booker T. No more invites to Dennis Miller huh? The New Age Outlaws Billy Gunn and Road Dogg presented the LOL Moment of the Year award nominees. They were dressed like Harry & Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber in suits with top hats. Of course both work for WWE now. Road Dogg did the talking, so Gunn asked him if he could talk more. The crowd chanted "one more match" at them. Gunn said he had two words, so the crowd chanted "suck it." The nominees for LOL Moment are: Vickie Guerrero getting fired, Titus O'Neil puking, Santino's Cobra being charmed by Jinder and Khali (I hate myself for writing that) and The Rock's concert when he told Vickie "biatch you look horrible tonight" among other things. They could have had better choices.
Santino entered the ring as they went to break and told us that award winner would be announced next.
Analysis: This is such a confusing way to do the awards. They're presenting the nominees, which are already known online and on the App, then allowing people to vote for only a few minutes and then announcing the winner after a break? That's just a bizarre way to do it.
The New Age Outlaws were on the stage to announce the winner.
SLAMMY Winner for LOL Moment of the Year: The Rock
They didn't reveal the percentage of votes. The Rock wasn't there, so Vickie Guerrero showed up to say that this Slammy represents her beauty. That's some backwards logic right there.
Santino vs. Damien Sandow
Big E Langston was on commentary since he faces Sandow at TLC. Santino did some comedy early, but Sandow was able to gain control of the action. Santino with the hip toss as well as the headbutt and there is the Cobra sleeve. Sandow tripped him and hit the You're Welcome to win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Damien Sandow
Post match, Langston went face to face with Sandow. No physical altercation. Just staring.
Analysis: A very short match that put over the guy getting the IC Title shot on Tuesday. I expect short matches most of the night.
The Shield were the presenters for the Double Cross of the Year. They were rocking black suits instead of their usual vest attire. They entered from the backstage area instead of from the crowd. They said they didn't have to double cross anybody because they went at people straight up. When Reigns spoke, Ambrose cut him off. Shield tension right there. The nominees are Mark Henry's fake retirement (my pick for winner), Shawn Michaels hits Daniel Bryan with a Superkick, Paul Heyman turns on CM Punk and Triple H hits Daniel Bryan with a Pedigree.
Kofi Kingston made his entrance for a match against The Miz as they went to break again.
The Shield announced the winner. This time, Reigns said the name instead of Ambrose.
SLAMMY Winner for Double Cross of the Year: Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels came out to accept the award. He said he's won a lot of Slammys, but not this one. That's probably because the award was just made up this year. There was somebody chanting that he sold out, so he said he sold out a long time ago - that's why he's there. He thanked us and left.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Kingston was aggressive early on with some hard kicks to the chest that got him a couple of nearfalls. Miz tried to leave, so Kingston attacked him while he was in the aisle. The ref didn't reach to ten because it was the slowest count ever. Back in the ring, Miz kicked out of a nearfall, Kingston hit the turnbuckle and Miz rolled him up while grabbing the tights. That's the win in three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Post match, Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise to knock out the celebrating Miz.
Analysis: Like I said, expect a lot of short matches all night long. Miz didn't get any offense in except for the rollup finish.
The presenter for Diva of the Year is Eve Torres. Cole called her one of the best Divas Champions of all time. That's not saying a lot, really. She didn't say much except that the divas have had a heck of an exciting year. The nominees are: The Bella Twins, The Funkadactyls, Kaitlyn, Natalya, Eva Marie (why is she nominated) and AJ Lee. If these awards made any sense I would ask why some categories have more nominees than others, but they don't make sense.
Rey Mysterio entered for an eight man tag team match. We might get a match longer than four minutes.
There's a "Championship Ascension Ceremony" with other WWE Champions surrounding the ring while both major titles are in the same ring for the last time. Why not advertise it last week or even before the show? Advertising stuff is a good idea!
SLAMMY Winner for Diva of the Year: The Bella Twins
Is it deserved? Not really. Two people won an award for one person. AJ Lee deserves it, but like I said in the open heels don't win these things. As they thanked the fans their theme music started so they went to the back. Way to cut them off.
Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback, Curtis Axel, Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
They're all tag teams, or at least they are lately since Mysterio & Show teamed up recently. They wrestled for about two minutes before going to break with Goldust getting in some offense on Ryback.
Analysis: They are really rushing through these commercials.
Back from break, Goldust went at it with Swagger while Cesaro interfered leading to Swagger hitting a chop block on Goldust. The heels isolated Goldust in their corner. Everybody took turns working over Goldust as the announcers mentioned Ryback and Axel are going by Rybaxel according to Ryback. JBL said it was a horrible name. Goldust tried a rollup on Swagger, but Cesaro tagged in. Goldust hit a quick powerslam on Cesaro. Swagger ran interference, so Goldy hit a DDT on both Real Americans at the same time. Cody received the hot tag and hit a springboard missile dropkick for two. Cody hit a moonsault off the top. Show cleared the ring of the heels with spears for all. Cody hit the Disaster Kick on Axel. Mysterio tagged in with a hurricanrana, 619 and then the Dropping The Dime splash off the top for the win. It went about 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Analysis: *** Best match of the night so far. They got a lot of time, everybody had their moment to shine and it ended with the win for the babyface team that makes the fans happy. The formula works. The sad part was there was no Cesaro Swing spot in the match. It would have been funny to see him try it with Big Show.
The Slammy hosts Booker T. and Jerry Lawler introduced Shawn Michaels.
Michaels was there to present the Slammy for the Superstar of the Year. Shouldn't be this the last one? Michaels bragged about winning the Slammy earlier. He said this award goes to the man that has dazzled us, entertained us and has given us an A+ performance every time he has stepped into the ring. Lots of "yes" chants in Seattle. Michaels said perhaps they should stop calling it the Superstar of the Year and instead call it the "HBShizzle." That's just awkward, Shawn. The nominees are: Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and John Cena. Lesnar worked three matches to earn the nomination. That's a nice gig he has. I should add that all the video packages are well done, which is to be expected.
Sin Cara entered for a match against Alberto Del Rio after the break.
Michaels was there to read the winner for Superstar of the Year. He took his time reading it.
SLAMMY Winner for Superstar of the Year: Daniel Bryan
There was an awkward exchange as Michaels handed Bryan the Slammy Award due to Michaels costing Bryan the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell. Bryan thanked Shawn for the HBShizzle award. He says if it wasn't for Shawn he wouldn't be there in WWE and also if it wasn't for Shawn he'd be WWE Champion. Loud "yes" chants for that. Bryan thanked the people right there in Seattle for voting him Superstar of the Year. It's a worldwide vote actually. He said 2013 was great, but 2014 will be even better. I hope so. Bryan ended the promo by saying "go Seahawks" for some sucking up to the home NFL team that is currently 11-2 as one of the best teams in the league. I don't think he even likes football, but good pandering anyway.
Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
Once again it's Hunico back in the role as Sin Cara and the mood lights are there too. Sin Cara was aggressive early on with dropkicks, a cross body block and the crowd was chanting "Russell Wilson" "MVP" - that's a NFL related thing too. Del Rio missed a dropkick off the top and then escaped to the floor when Sin Cara went for an attack. That led to the vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, the crowd still didn't care about what they were doing as Del Rio hit a backbreaker. Outside the ring, Del Rio threw Sin Cara into the barricade. Del Rio hit a dropkick. I don't do full play by play anymore, but this has been a dropkick heavy match. Sin Cara hit a nice Tornado DDT followed by a headscissors and springboard back elbow for two. Sin Cara hit an Angle Slam! I marked out. JBL said he's not sure what happened to Sin Cara, but what a showing. It's like he's a new person! Oh...right. Nice sunset flip into a powerbomb by Sin Cara off the top rope. That was a great spot. Swanton Bomb off the top and that's enough for the pinfall win for Sin Cara. It went 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sin Cara
Analysis: ** They tried their best, but the crowd didn't care too much until the last few minutes there. They really had no interest in it. I honestly think the lights are a bad idea that hurts more than it helps. I doubt it's good for the wrestlers either. Anyway, I really liked Sin Cara's offense towards the finish. Del Rio's been pushed so much that a loss is a big deal in that it helps Sin Cara. They want to push Sin Cara because his merch sells well. Plus, Hunico is a really good worker and I think he'll be much more consistent than the original Sin Cara was.
The Prime Time Players appeared to present the Fan Participation Slammy Award. Darren Young was mad they weren't even nominated for the award, so they did the Millions of Dollars dance. The nominees are: Fandango-ing, the "yes" chant for Daniel Bryan, mixed reactions for John Cena (why is that nominated?) and "What's Up" for R-Truth.
The Kickoff Match at TLC is Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango. The panel is Mick Foley, Booker T and Mr. Kickoff Show The Miz.
SLAMMY Winner for Fan Participation: Daniel Bryan
That's another one for Daniel Bryan. He wins all these Slammys, yet isn't a main eventer anymore. Way to listen to the fans, WWE. Bryan said he was at a loss about what to say so there's only one thing left to say. He led the crowd in more "yes" chants.
Brodus Clay made his entrance.
The Brodus song was still playing as they returned from the break. I feel sorry for the fans.
Brodus Clay (w/Tensai, Naomi & Cameron) vs. Xavier Woods (w/R-Truth)
Woods was aggressive early, so Clay countered with a Powerbomb. Clay hit a big splash off the middle rope. He covered for the win after about 30 seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Brodus Clay
Post match, Clay dropped some elbows on Woods. He hit the big splash too. Tensai stopped him from doing more. Clay said he was a "main event player" as he left. No he's not.
Analysis: There are rumors of Clay and Tensai going heel in the near future, so obviously this was done to further that idea. Tensai didn't act like a heel here. Hopefully they stay as a team because it's better than seeing them get a singles push. The loss basically killed the momentum for Woods. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
The Miz was there to present the Insult of the Year. He did his awesome line and he barely got any reaction. He has fallen so far in a couple of years. The nominees: AJ Lee insulting the divas, Zeb Colter's rants, Paul Heyman promos and Stephanie McMahon insulting Big Show in that awful angle. No nomination for the booking of the WWE Title from Summerslam to Hell in a Cell? That was insulting.
CM Punk made his entrance for a match. That's good. This show needs his energy in a match. Not saying it's been a bad show. It's just that he tends to have longer matches.
There was an ad for the history of WWE DVD. I have it, but haven't watched it yet. Need to write a review of it too. Life's busy. I hope I find some time for it soon.
SLAMMY Winner for Insult of the Year: Stephanie McMahon
Her theme song is still awkward to me. She said finally all of us have recognized what's best for business. JBL said it was a wonderful speech. It was wonderful that it was short.
CM Punk vs. Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins)
This is obviously not for Ambrose's US Title, which is rarely defended. They had a long match on Smackdown. Since WWE likes to repeat matches, here's another one. There was a big spot with Punk going for a cross body off the middle ropes that Ambrose avoided by sticking his knee up, so Punk went into the knee. There's a good "it's not real mom" sign in the crowd too. Cole mentioned it was Raw episode #1072 just like I told you at the top of this column. I'm here to inform, Michael. Ambrose controlled the action with a couple of shoulderblocks in the corner. He went for another, but Punk moved. Punk wanted the GTS, so Ambrose rolled to the floor. Punk hit a flying attack outside the ring as they headed for the vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Ambrose was back in control in the ring with a sleeper. Punk hit a back suplex. Ambrose regained control briefly until Punk hit a sweet neckbreaker to counter him. Punk hit some of his usual offense with the running knee, clothesline and then the flying elbow off the top rope. Punk was selling the rib injury after he hit it. Ambrose countered the GTS with punches to the ribs (love psychology!) and then a butterfly suplex for two. Punk came back with a crossbody off the top, Ambrose rolled through for two and then a Punk roundhouse kick earned him a two count. Two great nearfalls back to back. Ambrose sent Punk outside the ring as the other two just stared at Punk because Ambrose told them he had it. Rollins and Reigns walked away. Back in the ring, Punk was able to hit the GTS to win the match after 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Post match, Rollins distracted Punk and Reigns destroyed Punk with a Spear. The Shield left while Punk was left in pain in the ring.
Analysis: ***1/4 Best match on the show, which isn't a surprise when Punk is in a match that goes longer than 12 minutes. I really liked the psychology with Ambrose working on the ribs whenever he could while Punk showed great fight in coming back. I'll always say Punk is better as a heel because he's truly elite in that role, but he's still very good as a babyface too. Punk winning makes sense of course. In my WWE TLC 10 Questions & Answers column from Sunday I mentioned Punk winning because of issues with The Shield. That's what they hinted at here. I'm not sure if Punk's going to win for sure Sunday, but that post match angle suggests it might happen. Punk did win on TV, but he also got his ass kicked so that could mean he's winning at TLC. It's a tough match to predict. I'll get more into it in the preview on Saturday.
There was a video package highlighting a lot of the big name WWE & World Champions of the past with clips of them talking about their wins. No clips of Jack Swagger or Great Khali? Shocking. Like most WWE videos, it was excellent.
Lawler and Booker introduced Mick Foley to present the Slammy for Extreme Moment of the Year. Loud "Foley" chants for him. Everybody was in suits - even Foley. He did the cheap pop by mentioning Seattle and said Bryan can leave the cheap pops alone because Bryan's marrying Brie plus he has a bunch of Slammys. The nominees are The Shield taking out Undertaker on Smackdown in England with a Powerbomb through the table, Ryback driving Cena through the set at Extreme Rules, CM Punk destroying Paul Heyman at Hell in a Cell and The Wyatt Family taking out Kane at SummerSlam.
The Usos entered for a tag team match.
SLAMMY Winner for Extreme Moment of the Year: CM Punk
Punk said it felt strange accepting the award not wearing pants (he was in his ring gear) and thanked Paul Heyman for being an easy target. He told us to tune in on Sunday to see what he does to The Shield.
The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)
Wyatt was sitting in his rocking chair at ringside. The Usos hit dives outside the ring about one minute into the match. They went to break. Already? Yes.
Back from break, Harper was in control of Jey Uso as the heels isolated him in their corner. Of course he was able to break free, so Jimmy tagged in as a house of fire with a Samoan Drop and running butt splash on Harper for two. Huge superkick by Jimmy followed by a top rope splash earned him a two count after Rowan made the save. Jey went after him, so Rowan threw him into the announce table. Jimmy knocked Rowan off the apron. When he turned around, Harper destroyed Jey with a huge clothesline. What a great bump by Jimmy Uso right there. He ran right into it, landed on his back and then flipped over onto his stomach all in one motion. The match went about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
Analysis: ** It was a solid tag match as expected. The Wyatt Family winning makes sense because they're in a big match at TLC while the Usos aren't even on the card. I would have liked to see more interaction with the Wyatts and Bryan on the show. I thought they needed to do a bit more to promote that match.
Booker and Lawler introduced Hall of Famer Bret Hart to present the Match of the Year award. He said a great match can change WWE history. Bret mentioned that winning Match of the Year was always something he cherished the most. The nominees are: The Undertaker vs. CM Punk from WrestleMania, Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield at Battleground, Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H at Extreme Rules and John Cena vs. The Rock at WrestleMania. I think WWE failed in terms of their choices. I can tell you that my top three matches of the year weren't even nominated here. Punk vs. Undertaker is in my top five. The others? Not so much. How can they leave out the SummerSlam matches? I don't get it. Anyway, I'll write about the best matches at length in my Johnny Awards column next Thursday December 19th.
Natalya entered for her match. She gave a big hug to her uncle Bret.
SLAMMY Winner for Match of the Year: John Cena vs. The Rock
Cena sucked up the fans for being loud. He said WrestleMania 29 was a great match on a great night with one of the greatest opponents he's been in the ring with. He said he knows some may disagree with the choice, but he thanked those for voting. He'll never forget the match and because of the vote that probably means the fans think the same way. Good point.
Natalya vs. Tamina (w/AJ Lee)
It's AJ Lee vs. Natalya on Sunday for the Divas Title, so she's at ringside. Tamina was on offense early by working over Natalya in the corner. She missed a corner charge, so Natalya hit the Nattie by Nature clothesline. AJ went on the apron, Tamina picked up Natalya, her feet hit AJ during the body slamming motion and down goes AJ. Natalya capitalized with the Sharpshooter leading to the Tamina tap out. The match went about 90 seconds.
Winner by submission: Natalya
Analysis: It seemed rush because they were likely told to cut it short. It's amazing that a three hour show has to have such a short match, but that's just how it is. I'll likely be picking AJ Lee to win on Sunday.
Triple H and Stephanie entered for the main event promo segment.
This main event segment seems like a big deal. Once again I ask why not advertise it last week on TV? Or on Smackdown? They need to advertise things before the show airs.
Main Event Championship Ascension Ceremony
There were former WWE and World Champions in the ring for the Ascension Champion. They are: Rey Mysterio, Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Mark Henry, Great Khali, Booker T, Bret Hart, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Mick Foley, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Christian, Dolph Ziggler and Triple H. JBL was still on commentary for it. I wish Steve Austin was there. Stephanie welcomed them all to the ring and bragged about her husband.
Hunter did a speech about the sacrifice and talent that it takes to be a champion. Hunter was rambling on, the crowd didn't seem to care, so they chanted "Daniel Bryan" during the speech. Great. Give them a Slammy Award for it. Hunter waited for them to quiet down. Took a couple of minutes. That was an awesome moment to see that reaction. Hunter went on about how both titles will hang from the rafters and we will have only one champion at TLC: the champion of champions.
Hunter introduced Orton first - his walk to the ring lasted longer than that divas match. Cena entered last. His time is now apparently. Good for him. Hunter told them to hang their titles on the apparatus they have so they can hang them up together. He said for one of them it's the last time they will be known as champion. I guess Smackdown doesn't count.
Orton began the promo fest by saying Cena will regret not putting Orton in the hospital last week. The crowd was chanting "boring" at him. He said his motivation to beat Cena is hanging right there - he means both of those major titles. Orton said that Cena will be known as the guy that lost the most important match in WWE. He called himself the greatest superstar of this generation or any other. Heels lie. Orton talked trash about Foley, Michaels and said that if he was competing at Survivor Series 1997 he would have left Bret Hart unconscious in the ring. Orton said this Sunday at TLC, everything that Cena has worked hard for will come crashing down all around him.
Cena replied by bringing out Daniel Bryan to the center of the ring, which led to loud "yes" chants. Cena asked for his name."My name is Daniel Bryan from Aberdeen, Washington." Cena asked if his dad was in the wrestling business and Bryan said his dad is a log scaler. Goes without saying the crowd was hot for all of this involving Bryan. Cena said Bryan works and earns it while a guy like Orton has been given every single thing in WWE. He said Orton was untouchable, he couldn't be fired because "they" liked him. When he got to WWE he was sheltered to the best performer in the business (I assume he means HHH, which shows how you suck up). He got mad at Orton for saying he had the balls to say he was better than everybody there. Cena mentioned that Orton's always made excuses, that he's had behavior problems in the ring and outside the ring (hey Wellness Policy how you doing?). Cena called their match the biggest match in WWE history because it changes the course of WWE. He said that Orton wants the titles because he's selfish because he wants to brag in front of the others for being what he was supposed to be ten years ago.
Cena said that every time he's held every both titles his business card reads the same: if you want some, come get some. In other words, he takes on all comers. He mentioned Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, even gave Dolph Ziggler a chance and also talked about giving CM Punk a Championship match when he was going to leave the WWE. Cena mentioned the only legitimate Championship match that Bryan's ever had was against Cena and Bryan won. What about Bryan's nearly five month reign as World Champion? That counts! I get the point of what he was saying, though. Cena told Bryan that if he wins on Sunday he looks forward to a rematch one day. He shook Bryan's hand. The crowd loved it. Cena got right in Orton's face - he told him being a champion has a certain level of respect. He claimed that he can be just as brutal as Orton, which is why he didn't take him out last week.
Cena wanted to make one more statement. "This Sunday will be physical and brutal and I will be at my very best. I just hope you are too because after this Sunday the last thing anyone is gonna want to deal with is just another Randy Orton excuse. Good luck on Sunday. You're gonna need it." He wanted Orton to shake his hand. Orton shook it.
The titles went high up. Orton punched Cena in the face. Everybody broke it up. Punk got in Orton's face and Orton shoved Punk. Punk hit Orton with a forearm shot. Hunter threw down Punk to break that up. When Hunter turned around, Punk decked Triple H with a punch. That led to Michaels hitting a Superkick on Punk! Wow. And there's Bryan with the running knee to take out Michaels! Damn. The crowd exploded for that one. Orton went for the RKO on Bryan, but Bryan shoved him and Orton accidentally went into Stephanie with his shoulder. She went down, which led to Hunter checking on her and the crowd chanted "yes" at that. Hunter hit a Pedigree on Orton. The three men that helped Stephanie up were Hunter, Kane and Cena. Cena? That's interesting. Orton was down on the mat looking up at them. The crowd? They were chanting "Daniel Bryan" as Triple H's music played. Stephanie appeared to be fine. Raw ended with an Orton/Cena staredown.
Actually, Raw ended with Great Khali hitting chops on everybody and groaning like a bear. Okay so maybe I made that up. He just stood in the corner wondering how he was a World Champion. I wonder too. Every damn day.
Analysis: That was a very good 20 minute promo segment in the main event slot. That's the kind of hot ending that Raw needs to have more often. I thought Orton did a good job in his promo. Cena's was clearly better because when he gets fired up he's as good as anybody at getting a point across. He was also smart to use Bryan in the promo because the crowd was really getting behind Bryan. It was very interesting to see Cena there to help up Stephanie too. I don't know if it means anything, but those that want Cena going heel will probably think it is important. I just think it's John doing the right thing because that's what he does. Others will think it means more.
There were so many big spots at the end there. Orton went at it with Punk, Hunter pushed Punk away and then Michaels hit Punk with a Superkick out of nowhere. Then Bryan nailed Michaels with the running knee. Is that some teasing for WrestleMania? It could be something like Michaels coming back for one more match with Triple H against Bryan and Punk in a tag match. Perhaps it could be Bryan vs. Michaels and Triple H vs. Punk. It could be heel DX vs. Bryan & Punk, which I would also love. I'm not really sure what plans there are involving those guys, but that was a nice tease. Obviously there's a long way to go before we can figure all of that out, but you could tell the crowd was into it.
I think it's fair to call that one of the better Raw endings of the year and maybe ever. Actually I don't know about ever because there have been 1071 episodes before it, but you know what I mean. It got people talking. There was a lot of genuine emotion in it. The words they said made sense. The actions in the ring really worked. It certainly got people talking due to all of the things that could happen because of it. Most importantly, those 20 minutes made me care about Orton vs. Cena at TLC much more than I did before it happened. That's why the segment can be considered a success.
The last point about that ending is that I hope WWE management was really listening to the fans because if they were they would have heard how much they care about Bryan. It's not just because he's from the state of Washington. It's because they genuinely like the guy. He's popular. Listen to it. He's the guy that should end WrestleMania with the WWE Championship. I hope it happens. I don't know if it will, but I hope it does.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk
2. Daniel Bryan
3. John Cena
It was a good show, so plenty of people were worthy.
7 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2013 Average: 5.79
2013 High: 8.5 (August 27)
2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 4.5, 4.5, 6.5, 5
The final segment did an excellent job of promoting TLC. It ended Raw on a great note. I think my rating of 7 is very fair. There were a couple of really good matches (six man tag and Punk/Ambrose), so that helped the quality of the show as well.
When WWE says that Monday's Raw was last time we see WWE/World Titles together does it mean ONE title hangs at TLC? If so, what? I assume it will be the WWE Title because it's new from earlier this year, the WWE logo is featured prominently on it and it just seems like a good idea to me. Perhaps they just meant that was the last time we'd see both of them on Raw. I think it would be better if just one title was hanging from the rafters. It takes away that "each guy comes down with a title" idea. One decisive winner would be the best thing they can do.
My main gripe with TLC is there's nothing announced with the tag division yet. That division has been on fire, yet they have no match at this point. That's disappointing. I'm sure they'll likely add something on Smackdown or on Sunday.
The Seattle crowd was great most of the night. Awesome sports fans there for NFL and NBA when they had the Sonics - get them an NBA team again! They have the Mariners too, but they haven't been relevant in a while. Maybe they will be with Cano. Anyway, hot crowds make a show more fun and Seattle certainly did their part.
Here's a graphic that aired during the broadcast that @mikebrady05 tweeted to me. They put on a graphic that said 2012 Slammy Awards. Oops. It's okay WWE. I make errors all the time.
Mistakes happen. Just ask my parents. Wait a second!
Thank you to WWE for putting on a good Slammy show. It's not a perfect show by any means, but it was better than last year. It was the right mix of promos and matches this year. Plus, having a couple of really good matches certainly helped.
That was a longer than usual edition of the Raw Deal because of all the awards stuff. I'll be back on Saturday with the TLC Preview and Monday with the TLC recap. There are only a couple of weeks left in the NFL regular season, so once January I can go back to writing the Raw Deal live once in a while.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org