The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/16/13
The open for Raw showed us some pictures from WWE TLC on Sunday with Randy Orton becoming the Champion of Champions.
The entire locker room (or so they say) was standing on the stage by the entrance for the big ceremony to begin the show. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the ring for some promo time. Hunter said at TLC they crowd the Champion of Champions. I really hope they stop saying that phrase soon. He introduced us to the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. I think I might go with WWEWHC for short since they love acronyms. Welcome to the Acronym Era. The announcers are Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler like usual.
Randy Orton entered the stage with Daniel Bryan standing to his right and John Cena to his left. Everybody else didn't matter. Sorry JTG. Orton walked out with both the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title as Cole mentioned there was a standing ovation. I didn't see that many people clapping. Orton said the fans didn't have faith that Orton would win the most important match in history. He said he didn't look for a handout, he took it. Orton claimed that nobody in the ring during last week's main event ceremony has accomplished what he has done. He told everybody on the ramp that they don't deserve it like he does. Orton said he was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
John Cena cut him off by calling Orton an idiot. Cena went over all the things Orton usually says like best for business, viper, apex predator and he saved us time by talking for him. Cena said that Orton has to put up or shut up. Orton told Cena he's not getting his rematch. Cena said he wasn't talking about himself. He listened to the WWE Universe, who were chanting "yes" for Daniel Bryan. Cena suggested that Orton faces Daniel Bryan. Orton wanted security to get Cena out of there. Cena turned into promoter man by suggesting Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWEWHC. Orton said he didn't have to listen to Cena, Bryan or the idiots in the stands. He claimed that he didn't have to listen to anybody, but Stephanie said "except us." Hunter and Stephanie talked about it privately while Orton was ranting about how it wouldn't be best for business.
Triple H said that Daniel Bryan doesn't deserve a title match for the WWEWHC, but Stephanie mentioned that the WWE Universe voted Bryan for Superstar of the Year. Hunter claimed that they listen to the WWE Universe. Orton didn't want to do it. Hunter booked Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the main event. Bryan led the crowd in "yes" chants as his music played.
Analysis: Hunter didn't say if it was non-title, but that's what I assumed from watching it. I think it's a great idea to have such a big match main event the Raw after TLC. Obviously we've seen Orton/Bryan a lot, but they tend to have good matches so I have no problem seeing it again. It was weird that Cena would speak up on behalf of Bryan. Why can't Bryan speak for himself? It makes him look second fiddle to have somebody else talk for him. He should have spoken up to say how much he wants one more shot at Orton. Let the man speak!
There was a poll on WWE.com to determine Cody Rhodes & Goldust opponent for Raw. It's either Big Show/Rey Mysterio, Curtis Axel/Ryback or Real Americans. Gee, I wonder if the babyfaces will win?
Cody Rhodes and Goldust were in the ring awaiting their opponents. They didn't show the poll results. We just got the entrances for Rey Mysterio & Big Show.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Rey Mysterio & Big Show
This is non-title. Mysterio used his speed early on including an innovative splash outside the ring. Cody hit a Disaster Kick about two minutes into the match. Cody brought in Goldust, who continued the attack on Mysterio. After Cody tagged back in, Mysterio broke free and tagged in Big Show. Show knocked down Cody with a clothesline as the show went to break.
Back from break, Show dropped an elbow on Cody for two. The announcers were talking about taking selfies as Lawler took a pic and the camera cut away from the action. That wasn't great. Then Lawler did again. Are they bored of the action? I don't get it. Lawler made fun of Cole about how to download the app. I guess we didn't miss much since Show had Cody in a choke hold. The crowd was chanting for Goldust as Show continued to dominate the action. Huge chop from Show to Cody. Final Cut by Big Show for two. Show went for an elbow drop off the middle rope, but Cody moved out of the way. Goldust received the hot tag and hit his uppercut punch followed by a flying forearm. Show hit the Chokeslam on Goldy, but Cody saved his brother. Show sent Cody over the top to the floor. Goldy went for a cross body off the top rope, but Show moved. Show hit the KO Punch on Goldust. He tagged in Mysterio, who hit the splash off Show's shoulders. Mysterio covered for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Big Show & Rey Mysterio
Post match, Show and Mysterio showed concern for Goldust after the match because he was knocked out. Mysterio was limping post match. Whether he's selling or hurt again I have no idea at this point.
Analysis: **1/2 That was a solid tag match that the crowd was interested in. Champions losing a non-title match is not a new concept in WWE. They do it all the time. This will likely lead to a tag title shot for Show & Mysterio in the near future. It's an interesting dynamic since there are two face teams and there are so many heel teams out there, but it gives Show & Mysterio something to do too. I wouldn't pick them as the team that takes the titles. It might happen, though.
There's a poll to choose for CM Punk's partners against The Shield later in the show. You can vote for The Usos, Los Matadores or Prime Time Players.
There was a Bad News Barrett segment at ringside with Wade Barrett. His bad news was about how you're not going to win the lottery. The writers that write these segments need to do better. Please.
Back in the office, Randy Orton angrily walked up to Triple H, Stephanie McMahon & Kane. He complained about being put in a match against Daniel Bryan. Stephanie said he was in a match, but so was Bryan. She said he was the first ever WWEWHC and that means there's a lot of responsibility on him. Hunter told him that everybody is gunning for him and every night he has to show them why he's the champion. Hunter told him not to worry because they've got his back. Orton left.
Analysis: That segment was fine. Sometimes they have too many backstage segments, but Orton complaining to management fits his character and what they told him made sense too. That's all I want. Segments that make sense are welcome.
Fandango made his entrance with Summer Rae.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
I didn't watch their match at the TLC Kickoff, so thanks for the rematch. Ziggler was aggressive early, but Fandango was able to take control with a clothesline outside the ring. Back in the ring, suplex by Fandango got a two count. Ziggler got a rollup for two, but Fandango was able to knock him down with a clothesline for two of his own. Fandango whipped him in the ropes, Ziggler avoided a knee attack and Ziggler rolled him up for the pinfall win after about 4 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: *1/2 Good effort by both guys, but they didn't get a lot of time. Fandango won on Sunday, so Ziggler got his win back here. That's WWE midcard booking with people trading wins. It would be nice if either guy was pushed going forward, but I don't really expect it.
Big E Langston and Mark Henry were shown walking backstage.
Big E Langston & Mark Henry vs. Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
When Zeb Colter saw Mark Henry he reacted with a look of fear on his face. That's an example of why Zeb is awesome. Langston was on fire at the start of the match. Henry tagged in and sucked up to the local fans by showing support to the Texas Longhorns. Henry and Langston took turns hitting power moves on Swagger. They seemed to enjoy it. Big hip toss by Langston on Cesaro. JBL wanted Cesaro to do the giant swing on Henry. I think we all want that. Henry hit Swagger with a clothesline. Double shoulder tackle on Swagger. Cesaro tagged in and he took a clothesline over the top to the floor too. The babyfaces dominated the first eight minutes of the match. Weird booking to have the faces in control so much. When Langston ran the ropes, Swagger tripped him up and threw him into the announce table. The heels took control as they went to break.
Back from break, Cesaro prevented Langston from tagging out and hit a gutwrench suplex for two. Swagger hit a belly to belly suplex on Langston for two. Plenty of quick tags for the Real Americans as they worked over Langston in their corner. Langston broke free by giving Swagger a back body drop over the top and a belly to belly suplex on Cesaro. Henry received the hot tag and destroyed Cesaro with everything including the JYD headbutt. Powerslam got two for Henry as Swagger broke up the pin. He was nailed with a shoulderblock for his efforts. Cesaro hit a dropkick, Langston tagged in and hit a running body attack on him. The Big Ending for Langston ended it for the World's Strongest Men after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Mark Henry & Big E Langston
Analysis: **1/2 It was another tag match that I'd consider long for TV because it got over 15 minutes. I love seeing that. The first part of the match before the break was pretty boring with the faces in control so much. It became more of a traditional tag after the break and the finish was well done. The crowd was into it too, which shows this team is working. I'm not sure how much of a run they can have, but they're another team in a WWE tag team division that continues to be a strength in the company right now.
They plugged the App again for the vote for CM Punk's partners.
There was a Santa Claus skit with Damien Sandow talking to a little girl and he was mean to her. His elves were AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka. He didn't care what the little girl wanted for Christmas. He said that Christmas was canceled as the little girl left crying. It set up an ad for Bad Santa (Sandow) vs. Good Santa (Mark Henry) next week on Raw. It's being taped on Tuesday night if you want to see what happens. My advice for the Christmas edition of Raw is don't take anything too seriously.
Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/Naomi & Cameron)
The announcers were joined by R-Truth & Xavier Woods. Tensai nailed Axel with a shoulderblock. Ryback hit an impressive powerslam on Tensai. Tensai avoided a charge and wanted to make the hot tag to Clay. Clay stepped off the apron. He didn't make the tag. Ryback hit Tensai from behind, which led to Ryback hitting Shellshock on Tensai. Clay just watched the match. He didn't help his partner at all. The match went three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Ryback & Curtis Axel
Post match, Clay hit a running splash on Tensai two times. He set up for another move, but Truth & Woods went into the ring. They gave Clay a double dropkick to send him out of the ring. Clay called himself a "main event player" again. Truth and Woods asked the Funkadactyls to do a little dancing with them in the ring. Clay wasn't too happy about it. Poor Tensai was too hurt to dance. Way to think about Tensai, jerks! Michael Cole did awkward dancing, which was not something I want to see ever again.
Analysis: It wasn't much of a match. It was more about the heel turn of Clay. That looks like the official split for the Tons of Funk. They didn't really get that far as a team. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of Brodus Clay as a "main event player" but we'll see how it goes. We know WWE loves the big guys, so he has a legit chance to move up the ladder.
They showed photos from TLC and CM Punk's win over The Shield. Punk was shown walking backstage.
The great CM Punk entered the arena to a thunderous ovation. I can promise you he's going to win some Johnny Awards when I post that column on Thursday. He had another great year. They showed clips from Raw last week when Punk got into it with Orton and when Hunter went after Punk as well. Then Shawn Michaels hit Punk with a Superkick. Punk had a microphone for a promo.
Punk said he expected The Shield to put him down at TLC, but instead he beat them. The crowd chanted "CM Punk" as he tried to speak. Punk said it's really not about The Shield - he thinks it's about The Authority. He claimed that a certain somebody is trying to sweep him under the rug to make him go away. Punk mentioned not being good with authority and he showed it last week when he slugged Triple H in the mouth. Punk asked for Triple H to come out so they can hash out whatever problems they have face to face. Punk waited for Hunter to come out and asked the Dallas crowd if he should give him a bit more time. Instead of Hunter, the music of Shawn Michaels started up.
Shawn Michaels entered to mostly cheers even though he's been acting heelish in the last few months. I am officially marking out at the sight of Punk in the same ring with Michaels, who is my favorite wrestler ever. Punk ended his message by saying whenever Hunter or Stephanie wanted to talk he'd love to do that. Michaels tried to talk as the crowd chanted "you sold out" at him. He insulted the crowd when they stopped chanting by telling them they blew up (got tired) and he had a car waiting. That was funny.
Michaels told Punk that his issue shouldn't be with Hunter because he (Shawn) was the one that kicked him last week. The crowd chanted "one more match" as I marked out. Punk told them he would have one more match. Clever. He said 15 year old him is stoked that he kicked him in the face, but he told him if he ever kicked him again then he (Punk) will kick him back. Michaels said he's always liked Punk and that kicking Punk last week pained himself more than it pained Punk. Michaels introduced Punk to his opponents. The Shield entered the arena through the crowd. Michaels left. The show went to break.
Analysis: There wasn't a whole lot to that Michaels appearance. He tweeted about how it was a last minute thing. They probably called him late to cut a quick promo with Punk because they were in the state of Texas where Michaels lives. It's good for the sake of storyline continuity. I'm not sure if Michaels is going to wrestle again or when they might do Punk vs. Hunter, but I like how they are slowly building in that direction. Even though the segment wasn't a big deal, it was still really nice to see heel Michaels vs. Punk even in promo form.
The poll results were in for Punk's partners. The Usos 57%, Los Matadores 27% and Prime Time Players 16%. That was an obvious choice and the right choice as well.
CM Punk & The Usos vs. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
Reigns had a puffy left eye to sell the injury from TLC. There were plenty of quick tags early on with the babyfaces taking control. Rollins hit a nice knee on Jimmy Uso. The announcers were talking about Randy Orton and John Cena with JBL ripping on Cole for how much he sucks up to Cena. Jimmy hit a clothesline on Rollins that sent both guys outside the ring for the vintage floor to commercial break. Slow pace early on, but you know it's going to pick up.
Back from break, Rollins decked Jey with a back elbow, but Jey was able to fight back and tag in Jimmy. Awesome Samoan Drop by Jimmy on Rollins. Rollins went after Jimmy, so Rollins was able to hit a leaping kick to the back of Jimmy's head. It's time for the heels to isolate a babyface as the crowd fires up hoping for that hot tag. The tag team formula always works. Plenty of quick tags from The Shield's three members as they worked over Jimmy. Rollins fought with Jimmy on the top, which was a battle Jimmy won with a cross body block. Reigns tagged in and got a two count on Jimmy after a spinning suplex. Awesome spinning kick by Jimmy created some space and he tagged in Punk to a huge ovation. Reigns tagged out too, so Punk went after Ambrose & Rollins. He hit a nice neckbreaker/DDT combo on both of them at the same time. Brainbuster by Punk on Ambrose broken up by Reigns. Reigns decked one of the Usos with a Superman Punch. The other Uso took out Reigns with a dive over the top rope. Rollins threw Jimmy into the barricade. Punk hit Rollins with a dive outside the ring. Forearm shot to Ambrose and then Punk hit the flying elbow off the top. It wasn't a pretty one, but it's okay. Maybe because he did it lefty. Reigns tagged in, Ambrose charged at Punk, which Punk avoided and Punk stunned Reigns with a kick. Punk hit Ambrose with the GTS. As soon as Punk hit it, Reigns hit Punk with the Spear and he covered for the win after 17 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
Analysis: ***1/2 That was an excellent six man tag as I expected. What's there to say about these six man tags featuring The Shield? We've seen so many of them over the last year and they are always very good matches. The ending sequence was outstanding. They really do an amazing job of building up to the finish. It's typical WWE booking to have somebody (or in this case many people) like The Shield get a win back after losing on Sunday. That's how they tend to do it. They're not ready to do the full breakup of The Shield yet. When that happens that will likely happen after several losses in a row. It's not the right time. I think it will happen around the time of the Royal Rumble, so it's coming soon.
There was a recap of the opening segment as Cole pointed out that Orton hasn't beat Bryan fair and square since SummerSlam. That really wasn't fair since it came after a Pedigree by Triple H.
There was a poll about what superstar will get coal in their stocking this year: Stephanie McMahon 30%, AJ Lee 27%, Brock Lesnar 25% and Ryback 18%. JBL was mad about the poll results. I miss Lesnar. I just re-watched the SummerSlam match with Punk again and absolutely loved it. I wish Lesnar was around all the time because he's such a great performer. I don't blame him for having a part time schedule if somebody wants to pay him for it.
The Wyatt Family did a promo in the darkness backstage somewhere. Bray called Daniel Bryan a coward. He said he was sorry for doubting Abigail. He understands what they must do. The camera panned down to show an empty rocking chair. Maybe Sister Abigail knows Little Jimmy.
Analysis: That was unique just like everything the Wyatt Family does. I'm not sure what their next feud will be, but I assume all three will be in the Royal Rumble.
PLUG TIME: It's another live edition of TJR Radio on Tuesday at 10pmET for about 90 minutes. We're talking TLC, Raw, current WWE happenings and talking about some of our WWE memories of 2013 as well. Join Matt Seagull, The Ace and myself for it or check it out after the show airs at your own convenience.
Natalya, Nikki & Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka & Alicia Fox
I guess Alicia is a heel. I'm not even sure. She started with Natalya as Cole recapped Total Divas stuff. Yes I watched Total Divas. I'm not going to write about it. Fox yanked Brie off the ropes and slammed her down as the heels took control. Why does Tamina wrestle in a leather jacket and always throw it off during a match? Then she wears a t-shirt. She needs better ring gear. I won't claim to be a fashion expert, though. The crowd wasn't that interested in this as Brie sold Tamina's offense by groaning a lot. Samoan Drop by Tamina and she brought in AJ Lee for the first time, who got a nice reaction. Brie hit a dropkick on AJ and tagged in Nikki. Clotheslines on AJ and a hair whip. Nikki hit dropkicks on the girls on the apron. She put AJ on her shoulders, turned around and Tamina just destroyed her with a superkick! Wow. That looked awesome. Perhaps it really hurt her. I don't know. Nikki was holding her face. AJ Lee hit the running knee Shining Wizard on Nikki and covered her to win. The match went about 5 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka & Alicia Fox
Post match, Nikki kept holding her face. Poor Nikki.
Analysis: *1/2 It was a good tag match. I would have liked to see Natalya in there with AJ just to follow up on their match on Sunday, but they didn't interact at all in this one. That superkick by Tamina was impressive. I thought the faces might win since AJ won at TLC. I'm not sure who AJ's next opponent might be going forward. There's plenty of time before the Royal Rumble, though.
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton coming up.
The good Santa aka Mark Henry was in a segment with the Bella Twins and Hornswoggle. A kid told Santa Henry that he didn't want Christmas to be canceled. Mark Henry said it would be a good Christmas because that's what Santa does. Well played. Bad Santa Sandow vs. Good Santa Henry next week.
Backstage, Randy Orton was interviewed by Renee Young. Orton didn't want congratulations. He wasn't happy about facing Daniel Bryan on this show. He said it's like bizarro world with Bryan winning the Slammy for Superstar of the Year. He said what's best for business is if everybody in the arena, in the locker room and in the WWE Universe bends over and kisses his ass. He left.
Analysis: I didn't expect that last line on a PG show, but I think it was great! That's the kind of attitude a heel champion should have. He's a jerk, so act like it.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance for the main event. As I looked at how much time was left on the DVR I knew it would be a match that gets over 20 minutes. I love that.
This week on Smackdown it's Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. It's a non-title match, so I'd expect a heel win because that's what WWE booking does.
Randy Orton entered with both the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title. I assume that at some point they'll just drop the World Heavyweight Title and have him carry just the WWE Title. I don't see the need to carry both titles long term.
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
This is not for the WWE WHC. Since it's a long match they worked at a slow pace early on, which was fine with me. Orton kept trying to create space between them since Bryan was on fire at the start of the match. Bryan hit a running dropkick to the knee of Orton while it was up against the ropes. He rammed Orton's knee into the steel ring post. They did a spot where they exchanged forearm shots, which the crowd was really into and Bryan hit a running knee. Bryan applied a leg lock submission, so Orton bit him in the knee. What a jerk haha. That was so cheap. Orton went for a Thesz Press, but Bryan rolled through into a half crab. What an awesome spot right there. Orton made it to the ropes. Back to their feet, Orton levelled Bryan with a hard clothesline. Orton stomped hard on the left elbow of Bryan and told the crowd "no" to counter their "yes" chants. Orton's offense continued with a back elbow as well as an armbar. Orton slammed Bryan to the mat after an arm wringer with Bryan selling it like a big deal. After Orton did his signature pose, Bryan bit him on the head. Nice biting revenge there. Dropkick sent Orton over the top to the floor. Bryan went for the Flying Goat dive outside the ring and Orton moved out of the way so Bryan went crashing to the floor.
Back from break, Orton was control in the ring with a headlock and then he knocked Bryan off the apron, which sent him into the barricade. Orton threw Bryan's left arm into the steel ring post. Back suplex by Orton onto the top of the barricade. Superplex gets two by Orton. I've always loved that spot. It used to be a finishing move in the 1980s. Bryan made a comeback with a running clothesline using his good right arm. Two dropkicks by Bryan and then a hurricanrana off the top for two. Bryan did a great job of selling the arm injury the entire time. The crowd was chanting "this is awesome" for it. Orton hit his modified backbreaker. Slingshot by Orton, but Bryan hung onto the ropes and did the skin the cat spot. It's Royal Rumble time! Orton hit the DDT with Bryan's feet hanging off the middle ropes. Bryan came back with a backslide for two and then a hard kick to the head. Great nearfalls with the crowd chanting "yes" for all of it. Bryan hit a flying headbutt off the top rope for two. The crowd bought into that nearfall too. Bryan went for a corner dropkick, but Orton moved and Bryan crashed. Orton went for the rollup. Bryan countered into the Yes Lock in the center of the ring. Orton was able to get to the ropes. See, the psychology of Orton working on Bryan's arm makes sense because he couldn't hold the Yes Lock as tightly. Bryan fired up with the Flying Goat dive, dropkick against the barricade and then back into the ring there's the missile dropkick by Bryan. Bryan hit kicks to the chest, went for the roundhouse kick, Orton ducked and he gave Bryan a punch to the groin! Low blow! Low blow! By God his testicles have been broken in half! I miss you, Jim Ross. That led to the ref calling for the bell and the disqualification after 25 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ****1/4 That was their best match this year. Their PPV matches weren't at this level. The other great match they had this year was on Raw before SummerSlam. I don't know how many Orton/Bryan matches I've written about this year, but this was my favorite one. I'm sure some are going to complain about the non-finish. I don't consider it a non-finish. The finish is part of the story that Orton can't beat Bryan. We don't need to see a pinfall or submission in every match. A heel intentionally getting disqualified is a finish. He's being a coward. He's getting heat on himself and making his opponent look good. He's also making us want to see more of it. If Orton hit the low blow without the ref looking and rolled up Bryan that's not a great finish. This finish makes Bryan look stronger than if they did that. I know people are pissed about the finish because the good guy got screwed. That's why they did it. It adds heat to Orton. Perfect finish for this match. Build to something more.
Post match, John Cena ran in to save Bryan from further attack. He took Oron down. He threw Orton over the top to the floor. Cena asked the doctor to check on Orton. Why does a guy need a doctor for a punch to the balls? What can the doctor do? Anyway, Cena turned around and Orton hit the RKO on Cena to knock him down. Orton celebrated with the two titles over his fallen opponents. That's the end of the show.
Analysis: That last visual likely means they're going with a triple threat match at the Royal Rumble with Randy Orton defending the WWE WHC against both John Cena and Daniel Bryan. I'm okay with that scenario. It makes a lot of sense. With that said, I really want to see Bryan in the Royal Rumble match too. I have said many times that CM Punk is my pick to win the Rumble, but I want Bryan in the match as well. There's still seven weeks until the Rumble so there's plenty of time to get to that.
I think Randy Orton deserves a lot of praise for his performance throughout this show. This match was outstanding. His promo at the beginning wasn't at the level of a top all time promo guy or anything like that, but it worked. The backstage segments all made sense. This was Orton's best showing in 2013 in my opinion. His heel work is very old school. He's not there to make smart ass jokes. He's there to be a jerk and he's good at it.
What more can I say about Daniel Bryan that I don't say every week? He's a complete performer. I loved the way he sold that arm injury all match long. Sometimes people have long matches where they sell an injury for a few minutes and forget about it. Not Bryan. I always thought the best guy at selling injuries during a match is Bret Hart. Bryan's at that level as a worker. No doubt about it. He's consistently great all the time.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Daniel Bryan
2. Randy Orton
3. CM Punk
8 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2013 Average: 5.86
2013 High: 8.5 (August 27)
2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 5.5, 4.5, 4.5, 6.5
This was one of the best Raw episodes of the year, so it gets a 8 out of 10 from me. The amount of in-ring action was wonderful to see. There weren't too many promos and the ones that happened were all good too. If you're a fan of great wrestling on TV then this was the show for you.
The tag division continues to be a bright spot on every show. The 6 man tag was awesome, I enjoyed Langston/Henry vs. Real Americans and Goldust/Cody had a good match with Show/Mysterio as well. Three tag matches over 12 minutes on one show? That's awesome. Keep it going, WWE.
I already commented on how great the main event was. If you're a frustrated WWE fan right now, don't be. You need to focus on the excellent match we got on free TV this week instead of stupid things like the announcers taking selfies while matches are going on. Yeah it's stupid, but so what? Focus on the positive.
The Dallas crowd was hot for most of the show. They got more in-ring action on Raw than most shows get, that's for sure. I would say they got their money's worth.
It's another live edition of TJR Radio on Tuesday at 10pmET for about 90 minutes. We're talking TLC, Raw, current WWE happenings and talking about some of our WWE memories of 2013 as well. Join Matt Seagull, The Ace and myself for it or check it out after the show airs at your own convenience.
As I have mentioned many times, my 5th annual WWE Johnny Awards column will be posted on Thursday. It's my favorite column to write every year. It will likely top over 7,000 words. I had a lot of fun writing it and only have some finishing touches to make at this point. I look forward to sharing it with all of you!
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org