Live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this is the Raw Deal for episode #1021. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. If you haven't done so already, you can also read my full recap of Sunday's excellent WWE TLC pay-per-view RIGHT HERE.
The introductory video focused on previous Slammy Award highlights and also some big moments from the last year in WWE.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield, who is not a regular on Raw but he's there for this special Slammy Awards edition of Raw. Fine with me. I think JBL is the best announcer in WWE. They showed some photos from TLC the night before and even a slow motion replay of Seth Rollins' scary bump off the ladder through a table.
Rey Mysterio vs. Damien Sandow
Their partners were at ringside for support. Sandow overpowered Mysterio early on and he hit the Elbow of Disdain for a two count. Sandow went for a superplex, but Mysterio fought out of that with a headbutt and a seated senton off the top. Mysterio with a headscissors followed by a dropkick for two. Flipping neckbreaker by Sandow got him a two count. Mysterio with a spinning DDT and then the 619. Mysterio hit his top rope "Dropping The Dime" splash for the victory. The match went about three minutes.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: * Too short for my liking. I guess that’s a way to get Mysterio a win back after losing at TLC last night.
Booker T showed up to give away the first Slammy Award of the evening. It was the "Tell Me I Did Not Just See That" Award. Then Booker told us to download the WWE App to vote in the Slammy Awards. I think they've said it about 47 times by now.
Nominees are: Brad Maddox's Low Blow to Ryback at Hell in a Cell, 18 seconds WrestleMania 28 win by Sheamus, Kofi walking on his hands to save himself in the Royal Rumble and CM Punk attacking The Rock at Raw 1000. Those are the four nominees. All of a sudden, The Boogeyman showed up complete with his music and full entrance. They went to commercial.
Analysis: So we don't know who won the award yet. Boogeyman was one of the worst in-ring performers I think I've ever seen. The gimmick was stupid too, but I'm sure a guy eating worms is cool to Vince McMahon. Maybe Linda McMahon should have used him for her campaign to scare her opponent. Just a thought.
Back from the break, Boogeyman was gone. Booker said his "tell me I did not just see that" line. He acted scared of the Boogeyman. As Booker was about to read the card, Brad Maddox showed up. The winner was Kofi Kingston. Maddox left.
Winner of "Tell Me I Did Not Just See That" Slammy: Kofi Kingston walking on his hands at the Royal Rumble.
Kingston thanked the fans for making his dream come true of winning a Slammy Award.
Eve vs. Kaitlyn
They were already in the ring. Title is not on the line. Kaitlyn was all aggressive as she attacked Eve outside the ring. Back in the ring, Eve took her down with some kicks to the ribs. Eve whipped Kaitlyn in the corner as the crowd was completely silent for this match. Eve was on the top rope, Kaitlyn brought her off and gave her a Gutbuster in the center of the ring. She covered for the win after two minutes.
Analysis: I guess it's an upset. It was so short that the crowd didn't even care for the finish. That's how WWE does a feud. A champion loses a non-title match and then the feud goes from there. These two have already feuded, yet here they are again.
The New Age Outlaws, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, were introduced to hand out a Slammy Award. They did their very famous entrance to the delight of the crowd. If you don't know, Road Dogg works as a backstage agent and Gunn recently got hired to be a trainer in developmental.
The next category was "Comeback of the Year." The nominees were Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, DX at Raw 1000 and Jerry Lawler coming back from a heart attack. They went to break.
Analysis: It looks like they're going to hand out the awards after they go to commercial. It's a way to keep people interested even during commercials because if you don't flip back in time you're going to miss it.
The New Age Outlaws were on hand to let us know who won the Slammy Award for "Comeback of the Year."
Winner of "Comeback of the Year" Slammy: Jerry Lawler
Lawler thanked everybody for voting, said it was great to be back and he thanked God as well. JBL said Lawler was one of the best color commentators ever along with Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura. I agree with that.
Kofi Kingston vs. Tensai
Tensai started the match aggressively. He hit a back splash off the middle rope for two. He missed a corner charge. Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise and he covered Tensai for the win after one minute.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: One offensive move for Kingston and it was the finish. That was quick.
Post match, Kingston was celebrating his win. Wade Barrett appeared out of nowhere to trip him up. He threw him into the ring post. Then Barrett hit him with the Bull Hammer elbow while they were outside the ring.
Analysis: Obviously that means the feud will continue. I thought Barrett was going to win the IC Title at TLC. Didn't happen. Since the feud is continuing I still think Barrett will win the IC Title sooner rather than later.
At the announce table, Cole & Lawler mentioned that we had to download the WWE App to vote in the Slammy Awards. I think that's the 48th time they've mentioned it in the first 35 minutes of this show.
Vickie Guerrero was out there to hand out the Slammy Award for "Kiss of the Year." The nominees are: AJ & Daniel Bryan, AJ & Kane, AJ & CM Punk and AJ & John Cena. Another reminder to vote on the WWE App as they went to break again.
Analysis: So the award is all about AJ. I guess Eve's kisses with John Cena and Zack Ryder from earlier in the year were not nominees. Not like it matters. I'm just saying.
Vickie wanted to point out that she was not a nominee for this award and that she would not abuse her power to have a romantic relationship with a superstar.
Winner of "Kiss of the Year" Slammy: AJ & John Cena
AJ smiled and he grabbed her Slammy Award. She said that for the last year she cared about what people think about her, but not anymore. Is that her way of turning heel? I'm not really sure.
AJ argued with Vickie. Dolph Ziggler showed up to break up the argument. AJ said that was the kiss of the year, but it's nothing compared to this. She jumped into Ziggler's arms and they started making out. Vickie ran away screaming. AJ grabbed her Slammy Award and went skipping backstage. Ziggler didn't seem too upset about it.
The Great Khali entered the arena along with Natalya by her side. The story is she has a crush on him. He's in a match after the break.
Analysis: The woman that's the best in-ring competitor on the roster is booked to have a crush on a guy that is basically a comedy character. I don't even know what to say about it anymore.
The Great Khali vs. David Otunga
This awful matchup again? Ugh. Khali hit a chop to the chest of Otunga. Then he hit another chop. Khali missed a big boot, so Otunga went to work on the leg of Khali. Khali made a quick comeback with a clothesline. Then he finished off Otunga with a big chop to the head. The match went about one minute.
Winner: The Great Khali
Post match, Natalya danced with Khali to celebrate the win.
Analysis: Four matches on the show so far. None of them went over three minutes. I'm actually okay with this one being so short.
The four nominees for the Superstar of the Year are: CM Punk, John Cena, Big Show & Sheamus. There's a special guest giving out the award after the break.
Analysis: The special guest is Ric Flair. They already played his voice introducing the award.
Once again the announcers reminded us how to vote for the Slammy Awards using the WWE App. Actually it was Cole & Lawler explaining it.
The presenter for Superstar of the Year is WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. It's his return to WWE after being away for over four years. He said the crowd in Philadelphia was as loud as ever and he was happy to be back in WWE.
Winner of "Superstar of the Year" Slammy: John Cena
Analysis: I'm sure people will complain about that. What can you do? It's fan voting. Babyfaces win every award. That's just how it is. It doesn't matter who wins these awards.
There was a mixed reaction for Cena, needless to say. He thanked the fans for all the noise. He wanted to recognize the loyalty of the WWE Universe. Cena said that out of respect to the WWE Universe the Superstar of the Year should be the greatest superstar of all time, the two-time Hall of Famer Ric Flair. He handed the award to Flair. Cena left.
Flair held the award in his hands when the music of WWE Champion CM Punk showed up along with Paul Heyman. A confrontation between Punk and Flair? Great. Punk said it doesn't belong to Flair. He wasn't even there. Punk said it wasn't even a good year for Cena since he lost to Rock, he lost to Punk at Summerslam, he lost to Ziggler last night and he didn't cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase successfully. Punk said he's the man because he's been the WWE Champion for 393 days. "I'm the man and not you!" Flair told Punk it was time for him to go. Flair said that Punk has enough baggage - referring to Heyman - that he has a hard time getting around. Punk said that even with one leg he could kick Flair's ass.
Punk wanted to talk baggage and Flair mentioned that he has two Hall of Fame rings as well as four ex-wives. Punk said he could beat up Flair like he could beat up anybody in Flair. Flair took off his suit jacket and walked down to the ring saying they should do it. Punk was on his crutches and he was slowly making his way down to the ring. They went to break.
Analysis: Great to see Ric Flair back in WWE again. Watching him and Punk doing a promo against eachother was a lot of fun. Flair's arguably the best talker in wrestling history while Punk is probably the best talker in wrestling today, so it's no surprise that they can have entertaining promos together.
Back from break, Punk struggled to get in the ring. He was wearing his new "Knees 2 Faces" t-shirt by the way. Flair was in the ring trash talking Punk and Heyman. Punk jabbed Flair in the ribs with a steel chair. Then Punk hit Flair in the back with one of his crutches. Punk did the Ric Flair strut although he was limping. Flair gave Punk a thumb to the eye. Punk rolled out of the ring, so Flair tripped up Heyman and gave him the Figure Four Leglock in the ring. The crowd is loving it. Heyman went to the floor.
Analysis: That was fun. Punk didn't have to take a bump because all Flair did was an eye poke. Putting Heyman in the Figure Four was a cool visual that the crowd really enjoyed.
Flair said he came back to have a good time. Flair told Lawler that he loved him. Flair said that if he died he wanted to die right there or with a woman from Philadelphia. He said he had more fun in Philly than any man should have. As Flair was delivering his promo, the music of The Shield started up. They entered through the crowd. The show went to break.
Analysis: That's a bit of a weird commercial break because when The Shield comes out it's supposed to be unpredictable. Now we have to wait three minutes to see what they will do. I guess it's nice of them to abide by commercial breaks.
Back from break, Dean Ambrose was brawling with Flair in the ring. Kane and Daniel Bryan showed up, so they paired off. Ambrose was able to knock down Flair, so they isolated on Kane by throwing him into the security wall. Roman Reigns cleared off the announce table. They set up Flair for a Three Man Powerbomb, but as they were close to doing that the music of Ryback started up. Ryback went after all three members of The Shield. Kane and Bryan were able to fight back. Ryback gave Rollins a Gorilla Press Slam onto the announce table, which didn't break. Rollins escaped through the crowd while Kane & Bryan chased away the other members of The Shield.
Back in the ring, the babyfaces all shook hands with Ric Flair. Ryback and Kane put Flair on their shoulders as they celebrated the way they got rid of The Shield.
Analysis: There was a lot of energy in that segment. It would have been weird to see Flair put through a table on his return to the company, so I'm glad he was able to avoid that kind of beating. The Shield doesn't lose much by escaping through the crowd because they got a big win last night and this was against four men this time.
Backstage we saw Kane, Flair & Bryan together. Kane was happy that they got to The Shield. Kane said "yes" repeatedly, Flair said "Woo" repeatedly, Bryan said "no" repeatedly and Ron Simmons showed up to say "Damn."
Analysis: One word catchphrases are fun.
Brodus Clay vs. JTG
Why are they putting such meaningless matches on this show? JTG hit a flipping neckbreaker off the middle rope for two. Clay came back with a corner splash and then an overhead suplex. The crowd is dead for this match. Clay hit a headbutt to the chest and then a running splash for the cover. The match went about two minutes.
Winner: Brodus Clay
Analysis: After the match, JBL said "match of the year right there." Heavy sarcasm. Why are they even putting matches like this on Raw? They have so many talented performers in the back and they put on a Clay vs. JTG match? Bad.
Santino and Tensai came out to present an award. Tensai tripped on his way out. It's the "LOL Moment of the Year" Award. Tensai had bandages on his head to sell the loss to Kingston earlier. Santino called him Fat Albert.
The "LOL Moment of the Year" nominees: The Rock promo ripping on John Cena merchandise, Team Hell No in therapy ("Shut Up Harold"), Randy Orton shoves Matt Striker's face into a kick and the last nominee is Vickie Guerrero dancing badly with Brodus Clay. They went to commercial.
Analysis: Halfway into the show it's one of the worst Raw episodes of the year. Please get better.
Back from break, Albert didn't want to read the winner on the card so Santino said the segment fell flat on its face.
Winner of "LOL Moment of the Year" Slammy: The Rock
When Santino said The Rock wasn't there to accept the award, the crowd booed.
Daniel Bryan walked out to say "no" and that it should be his Slammy. Kane grabbed Bryan to take him away from the podium.
Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes
The mood lights are back for Sin Cara. Rey Mysterio and Damien Sandow are in the corner of their partners. They stopped using those lights for some singles matches that Sin Cara has had, but now they are back. As they showed Sin Cara suffering a leg injury at TLC, Sin Cara hit a top rope headscissors and then a dive on Rhodes outside the ring. Rhodes took advantage of a Sandow distraction to work on Sin Cara in the ring with a front suplex for two. A "Cody's mustache" chant started up although it wasn't that loud. Rhodes worked over Sin Cara by stepping on his head among other moves. As they were talking about Rhodes, JBL said "his daddy wore a polka dot shirt and got over." I doubt you hear too many commentators say the phrase "got over" too much. Sin Cara made his comeback with a missile dropkick. Headscissors by Sin Cara took Rhodes down. Rhodes as able to counter an athletic Sin Cara move and hit the Cross Rhodes for the win after about five minutes.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Analysis: * We're nearly two hours into the show and that's the longest match of the night so far. I think this show is setting the record for shortest matches in a Raw broadcast. Rhodes got the win because Mysterio got the win over Sandow earlier, so it's more of that booking where things even out.
The announcers reminded us about needing the WWE App to vote in the Slammy Awards. We get it, already.
Zack Ryder and Layla appeared to present a Slammy Award. Of course they talked about downloading the WWE App.
It's the "Trending Now Hashtag of the Year" Slammy Award. The nominees are: #FeedMeMore, #PeoplePower, #LittleJimmy and #WWWYKI for Zack Ryder.
Analysis: I think this is the worst category in the history of award categories I've ever seen. And I like Twitter. I use it a lot. I just don't care about this award.
Back from break, Ryder and Layla handed out the Slammy Award.
Winner of "Trending Now Hashtag of the Year" Slammy: #FeedMeMore
I think Ryback has a Twitter account, but he doesn't even tweet. He still wins the award. Ryder said he would go backstage to give the award to Ryback. Why can't he come out? These awards are such a trainwreck.
The World Heavyweight Champion Big Show walked out with the World Title as well as the ridiculously large big chair he used to beat Sheamus at TLC. Show said that he's still the World Heavyweight Champion just like he said he would. He said the fans can't handle the fact that he's the most dominant superstar in WWE. Show was trying to react to fan chants, but they weren't even loud. This show has killed the crowd. The crowd was chanting "boring" at Show.
Sheamus made his entrance. He said it was one of the most physical matches of his career. Sheamus admitted that Show was the better man at TLC and deserved to be the World Heavyweight Champion. He came out there to congratulate Show and shake his hand. He shook Big Show's hand. Show told him to get to the back of the line "you potato eating Irishman." Sheamus tackled Big Show. Never insult potatoes! Sheamus attacked Show with the Big Show chair with multiple chair shots to the back. Brogue Kick by Sheamus knocked out Big Show. The crowd popped big for the Sheamus attack.
Analysis: I thought the feud was over. Maybe not. The segment was pretty solid and it woke up the dead crowd a little bit.
With Big Show knocked out in the ring, Dolph Ziggler ran out with a referee to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. The crowd was cheering this. All of a sudden, John Cena ran out to the ring. He prevented Ziggler from cashing in the briefcase. The ref never rang the bell. Cena whipped Ziggler into the security wall multiple times to take him out and leave him lying on the floor outside the ring.
Analysis: That's not much of a babyface move from Cena is it? The crowd was all excited about Ziggler cashing in the briefcase, but that moment was quickly vanished thanks to Cena.
The announcers went over some of the key moments from TLC such as when The Shield won and when AJ Lee cost John Cena his match against Dolph Ziggler.
The 3MB group of Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal made their entrance for a six man tag match. Alberto Del Rio entered in a Bentley. He's a babyface no in case you didn't see TLC. One of his partners is The Miz. We'll find out their partner after the break apparently.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler complained to Vickie Guerrero about John Cena costing his World Title shot. She wondered about his kiss with AJ Lee. Ziggler said he had no idea AJ was going to help her at TLC. Ziggler said he was done being friends with Vickie. She announced a match for later with Ziggler & AJ vs. Cena & Vickie.
Analysis: What a bizarre match to book for later. This show is just weird tonight.
Back in the ring, The Miz and Alberto Del Rio were in the ring where they introduced their tag team partner for the night: Tommy Dreamer. He's a legend in Philadelphia due to his history in ECW.
The Miz, Alberto Del Rio & Tommy Dreamer vs. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal
Del Rio opened up with McIntyre when Dreamer tagged in as the crowd chanted "Tommy Dreamer" for him. Slater danced in front of him, so Dreamer just puched him in the face and then gave him a flap jack. All six guys started brawling. Del Rio hit a dive between the top and middle rope to knock down all three 3MB guys. Miz hit a dropkick to keep them down. Dreamer went to the top rope and hit a flying body attack (cross body block?) on all three guys on the floor. That was the cue for the vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Miz gave Slater a back body drop. Corner clothesline by Miz. 3MB distracted Miz, so Slater knocked him out of the ring where he dropped him throat first onto the barricade. Back in the ring, Slater got a two count. McIntyre worked over Miz for a bit and then he brought in Mahal as the announcers talked about 3MB as if they were not very smart. Slater took his turn working over Miz as the crowd was quiet again. Miz kept getting rollups for nearfalls, but every time he tried to tag he would get pulled back into the corner of 3MB. It was a very formulaic tag match. Mahal worked over Miz with knee drops. McIntyre dropped Miz with a Gorilla Press Slam for a two count. The heels worked over Miz for about eight minutes or so. Finally Miz hit a backdrop on Slater and then he brought in Del Rio for the hot tag. Backbreaker to Slater. He cleaned house. Miz gave Mahal a clothesline to send him out of the ring. Del Rio went for a Cross Armbreaker, but Slater prevented that so Del Rio gave him an Enziguiri. He went for the Cross Armbreaker although before he could do it, Dreamer asked him to tag him. Del Rio brought in Dreamer, who hit a DDT on Slater for the win. The match went about 15 minutes.
Winners: The Miz, Alberto Del Rio & Tommy Dreamer
Analysis: ** This was by far the longest match of the night, so that's a good thing at least. It was a basic tag match. It would have been nice if they gave the fans more of a reason to cheer for Del Rio. The turn happened last night in a silly midcard angle and on this show he didn't even get a chance to talk. I'm guessing this is a one-time thing for Dreamer since they were in Philly. These days he works the indies and also has a wrestling school that he opened up recently. He also put on an indy show a few months ago that was very successful.
The main event tag on Smackdown Tuesday is John Cena & Sheamus vs. Big Show & Dolph Ziggler.
Sheamus appeared on the stage to present a Slammy Award. He said three years ago he won a Slammy Award for Newcomer of the Year. Now he's a three time World Champion. The nominees for the "Newcomer of the Year" Slammy Award: Antonio Cesaro, Brodus Clay, Damien Sandow and Ryback. We'll find out the winner after the break.
Analysis: It's feeding time.
Back to Sheamus, he let us know who won this Slammy award.
Winner of "Newcomer of the Year" Slammy: Ryback
That's another Slammy award for him. Ryback mentioned that the late great Owen Hart used to say: "Enough is enough and it's time for a change. I am that change. Feed me more." The crowd chanted along with him. Conveniently, his match was next and he made his way down to the ring.
The opponent for Ryback was Antonio Cesaro, who said the voting was rigged. He said he was the true Newcomer of the Year. He said he was stronger, smarter and a champion unlike Ryback.
Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro
Ryback hit a Thesz Press early on. Cesaro came back with a shot to the back followed by an uppercut. The crowd chanted "Goldberg" due to Ryback's presence in the match. Ryback hit a delayed suplex on Cesaro for two. Cesaro came back with a power move as he picked up Ryback and slammed him down in a powerful way. Ryback hit a back body drop to get out of the Neutralizer. Spinebuster by Ryback. He set up for his clothesline, but Cesaro left the ring. Ryback gave him a press slam back into the ring. Cesaro walked up the aisle to lose the match by countout. The match went about three minutes.
Winner: Ryback via DQ
Analysis: There's that "heel walks out of the match" finish they do every few weeks. They tend to do that finish on Smackdown more than on Raw, but that's what they do when they want to avoid booking a finish. I thought it was weird to book Cesaro in a match with Ryback.
Out to present the next Slammy Award are Gene Okerlund, Ricky Steamboat and Jim Ross. Nice pop for those three legends. They're there to award the final Slammy Award of the night for Match of the Year.
The Nominees for the "Match of the Year" Slammy Award: Undertaker vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 28, Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Extreme Rules, Big Show vs. Sheamus at Hell in a Cell and The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 28. The results are after the break.
Analysis: I'm not telling you my pick for match of the year because that's one of my Johnny Award categories. I don't want to give it away. All I'm going to say is that I think WWE did a good job selecting four of the best matches although they missed out on one of my top contenders, which is CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over The Limit.
On the stage, Okerlund, Steamboat & Ross announced the match of the year.
Winner of "Match of the Year" Slammy: Undertaker vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 28.
Out to accept the award is Triple H with his very short hair. It's a weird sight to see him with short hair on WWE TV. We haven't seen him on television since Summerslam. The crowd popped big for him. He said he won a Slammy in 1997 for Best Hair. True. Before he could talk, the crowd started up a "We Want Taker" chant. Hunter talked about the night calling it special to be in there with a benchmark performer like Undertaker and a legend like Shawn Michaels. Hunter said thank you to the fans. Hunter said that we haven't heard the last of The Undertaker.
Analysis: That was the most newsworthy thing that happened on Raw this week. If you're wondering if Undertaker is wrestling at WrestleMania 29 I would say that was Hunter's way of saying that he is.
In the backstage area, The Shield was attacking Tommy Dreamer. They threw him up against a truck and then a garage door. Ricardo Rodriguez showed up and they beat him up too. Referees came in to check on Dreamer.
Analysis: The Dreamer appearance was a one-time thing most likely, so having The Shield assault him makes sense.
AJ Lee skipped her way out to the ring. She told some dudes to get a ladder and kept telling them it was on ramp side. They set up the ladder as the show went to break.
Analysis: She's a part of the main event on this week's Raw, but first we'll get a promo.
Back from break, AJ Lee was standing atop of the ladder. I'm sure the guys sitting high up are happy about that because now they got a better view of her ass. She said people are wondering why she would knock John Cena off the ladder at TLC. A bunch of different people asked her why she did what she did, including a hotel bus boy and the divas backstage. Before she could finish, Vickie Guerrero interrupted her saying nobody cared.
Analysis: I can't disagree with Vickie about that one.
Dolph Ziggler entered the arena as we reached the 11pmET, which meant this was going to be a very short match. John Cena entered last.
John Cena & Vickie Guerrero vs. Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee
Cena and Ziggler started. Ziggler quickly tagged out. That meant the girls had to go at it, so Vickie attacked AJ by pulling her hair. AJ escaped up the aisle. Ziggler attacked Cena. I have no idea if the match is still going on. Ziggler hammered Cena with elbows to the head. Vickie walked out of the ring and up the aisle. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler countered with a leaping DDT for two. I guess the match is still going on even though AJ was the legal member of her team and she left. Ziggler went for the superkick, Cena avoided it and Cena applied the STF.
All of a sudden, AJ came back to the ringside area and she had NXT superstar Big E Langston with her. Cole quickly identified him. Langston's a very powerful dude. He dropped Cena with a powerful slam into a neckbreaker. The whole "match" went about five minutes.
Match Result - No Contest
AJ's music started up as the show came to an end. Langston stood over the fallen Cena while Ziggler looked on with a confused look on his face. The show ended like that.
Analysis: The match was pretty forgettable. The story was that AJ brought out Big E Langston to attack Cena. We don't know, but that's something we'll learn in the coming weeks I assume. Langston's one of the bigger guys in NXT in terms of his strength. He's not a tall guy, but he's very strong. I've seen a bit of him from watching NXT although for the most part his matches are squashes where he's just destroying people. It's nice to bring up guys from developmental, so we'll see what he can do.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Ric Flair - Good to see him back in WWE. That's where he belongs.
2. Dolph Ziggler
3. Ryback - He's only in because he said Owen Hart's catchphrase.
3 out of 10
Last week: 5
2012 Average: 5.85
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 3 (July 9 & December 17)
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 6, 7.5, 7, 6
I don't know what to say. TLC was great. Raw was awful. This was as bad as any episode of Raw this year. I don't remember anything from the July 9th show that also got a 3, but that's what I gave this week's show.
They put on so many brutal matches that almost makes me think they wanted people to turn the channel to stop watching this.
Every Slammy Award went to a babyface. Some of the categories were so stupid. It felt like a giant waste of time. Don't get upset over any award winners. It doesn't matter. It's a work.
I feel bad for the fans at this show. They did not get their money's worth.
That's a wrap.
Plug time. Coming up on Tuesday at 10pmET/9pmCT it's the last episode of TJR Radio this year. Lots of year in review stuff with The Ace, Frank The Clown and myself.
On Wednesday I'll be posting my favorite column of the year. It's the 4th Annual WWE Johnny Awards as we look back on the past year in WWE at the good and bad moments. I've been working on it for the last week. It's been a lot of fun to write and I look forward to sharing it.
I'm not sure when I'll write about the Dec 24 edition of Raw. Might be on December 26th. It's Christmas. I need to chill with the family. We all deserve a break!
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org
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