Recap: Monday Night Raw 12/17/12

michael dworkis goes down wrestling memory lane…

Well, tonight’s show ought to be interesting. Cena loses the ladder match thanks to AJ Lee dumping him, literally, off the ladder and into a waiting Superkick from Ziggler, while Alberto del Rio makes a face turn to fight 3MB, who in their WWE.com exclusive post-match interview stated that Jinder Mahal only tapped out to the Brooklyn Brawler, because he hit his head earlier in the day, after learning to play the Bongos, and did not realize he was in a match later that night. Talk about lame gimmicks.

Ryback, again a loser at a PPV will likely look to The Shield for his own meal of justice since Punk is still on the injured list. Team Hell No has something new to argue about, as The Rhodes Scholars (Sandow and Rhodes) look to baffle and bewilder their way to the WWE Tag Team Championships. Tonight, we have the Slammy Awards! Roll Out!

Damien Sandow vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey took on one-half of who I believe will be the new tag champs, Damien Sandow. A slow back-and-forth match where The Intellectual Savior of the Masses had the match won, but his cocky attitude cost him in the end as Rey scored with the pinfall victory.
Winner by Pin: Rey Mysterio

I just realized that JBL is doing commentary tonight. I wonder if this will be a regular occurrence or a one-time thing since it is a “special” night.

Kofi Kingston wins the first Slammy of the Night, the “Tell Me I Did Not Just See That Moment” courtesy of Booker T and… The Boogeyman?! Wow, there is a guy I did not care to see ever again.

Kaitlyn vs. Eve (non-title match)
Kaitlyn fired away at the bell, knocking down Eve over and over, and excuted a number of moves as well. Huh, lots of wrestling happening in the Diva Division. Last night Naomi and Eve has a short, but good match, and now Kaitlyn gets the win with some modified slamming move on Eve. Also, first time Eve was completely dominated in a match. Not sure if I should be hopeful that Divas have finally learned to wrestle or I am hallucinating things again.
Winner by Pinfall: Kaitlyn

The New Age Outlaws make their return to Raw, to give out the Comeback of the Year Slammy. The nominees are Jerry Lawler (cool), Chris Jericho (fail), DX (hmm…), and Brock Lesnar (double fail). The award goes to… Jerry “The King” Lawler! Lawler makes a crack about suffering another heart attack due to the crowd reaction. Ugh. Seriously though, he deserves it. Lawler had it rough for a few months, and I for one am very happy to see him healthy again.

Kofi Kingston defeats Tensai
The match is not long enough to warrant a header and closer from me. Tensai hits big move. Kofi down. Kofi counters. Tensai stumbles around. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise and beats the big man. Tensai has a longer losing streak than his time as A-Train.

The Kiss of the Year Slammy award, has five nominations, all of which have AJ Lee in them. Predictably, AJ and John Cena win this award. Keep in mind, tonight, the fans can vote for the winners. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Vickie presents the award to AJ and demands an explanation for last night. AJ gets belligerent and Ziggler rushes out to stop the fight, and gets rewarded by AJ with a big smoocher on the lips, and Ziggles likes it! Vickie storms off while AJ and Ziggy get freaky for the live audience.

The Great Khali squashed David Otunga
Why? Why do we see this train wreck? I’d rather see 3MB again. No, I would rather The Boogeyman again. No, wait, I take that back. I will stick with 3MB. Punch punch kick kick, I feel like I am playing Street Fighter II with buttons that aren’t working. Oh for the love of… Natalya is in his corner too? WHY? Have they nothing for her to do? Why is she not allowed to… oh, I don’t know… maybe, WRESTLE?

We get a preview of the nominees for Superstar of the Year Slammy, and we get an intro from Michael Cole… no, a “special guest.”

“WHOOOOO!!!”

The nominees are Sheamus, Big Show, CM Punk, and of course, John Cena. But who cares, Ric Flair. Ric Flair will be on Raw tonight?!

Promo for The Rock. Saw a bunch of these clips last night at the PPV, but they were pretty lame and pointless. Telling us what we already know, The Rock will be at the… RIC FLAIR!!!! RIC FLAIR IS BACK!!!! Screw The Rock…

It’s NATURE BOY RIC FLAIR! The Nature Boy is back in WWE! He announces the Superstar of the Year… John… Cena. Huh. Michael Cole says it’s the third time he won. Well, this is one of those moments where I really wonder if the voting is rigged or not. Well, Cena says the award should go to “The Man” and Cena leaves it with Ric Flair. We are not done yet, as CM Punk comes out and tears into Cena, wondering how on Earth he could win this award considering this is the worst year ever, and lists all his failures, such as losing at WrestleMania, losing Money in the Bank, and the list goes on. Punk says that since he won the award last year, he gets the award this year, and reminds us he is WWE Titleholder for 393 days. Punk loses it, and Flair tells Punk to go home before he gets hurt. Punk then proclaims he could beat Ric Flair even with his bad leg. Flair eagerly takes Punk up on his offer, and heads down to the ring, Punk in shock. This segment is awesome now. I agree with Punk, how in the hell did Cena win the award? Are the fans who voted that childish?

This is more like a brawl, as Punk cheap shots Flair with the crutch to the gut, and as Flair is doubled over, Punk BREAKS his crutch over him! Flair down, and Punk winds up with crutch number two, and EYE POKE! The Dirtiest Player in the Game stuns Punk who rolls out of the ring, and Heyman steps up, only to be taken down and locked into the figure-four leglock! Heyman taps out over and over. Flair lets him go and takes the mic to tell us that he “just came to have a good time.” His speech about coming back to WWE is then interrupted by The Shield. We are cut to commercial as they come down through the crowd. Back from commercial… It is an all-out BRAWL. Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Flair are being beat down all over the ring, and Flair is about to go through the announce table via triple-team powerbomb…

FEED…

ME…

MORE!

Here comes Ryback who rallies the troops and turns the tide, chasing The Shield away. The four celebrate in the ring as Flair is hoisted onto their shoulders as the crowd gives the Nature Boy a standing ovation.

Brodus Clay squished JTG
Again, there is a match not long enough to warrant the opening and closing match result. JTG actually had one offensive move, hitting the Blockbuster off the second rope, but Clay botched it by falling face-first instead of falling backwards. At least we got two suplexes during this match, the Belly-to-Belly and the Overhead T-Bone suplex.

Santino and Tensai come out to present the LOL Moment of the Year Slammy. Tensai has a big bandage on his head thanks to the kick from Kofi earlier tonight. He “trips” and falls out fo the entrance. Santino slips and calls him Albert. He then tries to redeem himself by saying that Tensai means Fat Albert. Santino tries making jokes from the teleprompter until Alb… I mean, Tensai points out there is no teleprompter. Santino says the segment has fallen on its face, oh, ha ha, call back to Tensai falling… on his face, yeah. The Rock wins the LOL moment for throwing Cena’s merchandise in a river. Since The Rock is not here, Santino attempts to claim the award for himself, but Daniel Bryan runs out claiming he should have won and shout No! No! No! over and over until Kane co medically carries the crying Bryan away.

Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes
Well, Cody’s mustache gets a good pop from the live crowd, but that is just about it for this match. Rhodes dominates like usual, and Cara stumbles around. I figured with Rhodes Scholars defeating the masked people at TLC, that would have ended that feud. Cara gets some offense in, but spends more time trying hopelessly to rouse the crowd. Rhodes easily blocks one of his repetitive flippy moves, turns it into a rear headlock, and drops Cara on the mat with the Cross-Rhodes. Clean pin and win for Cody and his ‘stache.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes

At this point, JBL had one-too-many drinks since he is mixing up match results and blathering about nonsense. Zack Ryder and Layla come out to give a new Slammy Award, the Trendy Hashtag Social Media something-something award. Uhm, this is so ridiculous, I will not bother to list the actual hastags, but just the featured superstars. Ryback, Zack Ryder, Little Jimmy, and John Laurinitis. Yeah. Lame. The slammy goes to #Feedmemore, Ryback. Lame segment, Ryback doesn’t come out to accept. Is it just me or did Layla gain a few pounds. Dress looks a bit snug on her.

The Big Show heads to the ring, and the World’s Largest Athlete is carrying the World’s Largest Folding Chair (or something of that sort) to the ring. Good lord. He rants about beating Sheamus and still not earning the respect he deserves. Sheamus interrupts and pays his respect to Big Show, saying it was one of the best matches they have had (might be true actually). Sheamus even calls Big Show the better man and offers a handshake, which Big Show accepts. Sheamus starts to leave peacefully, until Show starts spewing insults. Sheamus tackles Show and then beats him with king size chair, followed by a huge flying Brough Kick. Interesting segment actually.

Wow, Big Show leveled as Sheamus storms off and DOLPH ZIGGLER!! ZIGGLER!!! He’s CASHING IN! Ziggler charges the ring with the briefcase and grabs the ref! Oh now hang on… Here comes John Cena charging the ring, and he decks Ziggler before the ref rings the bell. Cena launches Ziggler not once but twice into the arena barrier. Booo! Boo on you sir! Boo on you Cena!

Backstage, Ziggler yells at Vickie for allowing Cena to ruin his chance to win the World Title. Vickie fires back at why Ziggler kissed AJ and if they conspired to rob Cena of the match at TLC. Ziggler has enough of Vickie, and dumps her. She then orders the main event match, Ziggler and AJ vs. John Cena and Vickie. Hoo boy.

3MB vs. Alberto del Rio, The Miz and… their surprise third man – TOMMY DREAMER!
EC-DUB! EC-DUB! EC-DUB! Del Rio starts off beating on McIntyre, and then tags out to Dreamer who decks an incoming Heath Slater. The match quickly dissolves into a brawl, and all three members of 3MB are sent to the floor. Alberto soars through the ropes with a suicide dive, and then… oh my lord, and then Tommy Dreamer jumps off the top turnbuckle and dives onto all three losers on the arena floor! The E-C-Dub chants have not stopped. Why should they? It’s Philadelphia!!! This match has already lasted longer than the PPV contest. 3MB taking turns beating down Miz, using typical underhanded tactics like distracting the ref. For shame. Miz gets beaten through most of the match, until he hot tags to Del Rio, who cleans house. Alberto is about lock Slater in the Arm Bar of Doom, but Crazy Tommy D wants a tag. Alberto obliges and Tommy sends Slater to Dreamland via the ECW-DDT. The trio rejoice with Ricardo to continuing chants of E-C-Dub!
Winners via a Trip Down Extreme Memory Lane: The Miz, Alberto del Rio, and Tommy Dreamer

Sheamus comes out to award the Newcomer of the Year Slammy. The choices are, Ryback, Damien Sandow, Brodus Clay, and Antonio Cesaro. Back from commercial, the winner is…
RYBACK. He talks about Owen Hart! I can actually type his whole speech. “The late great Owen Hart used to say, ‘enough is enough and it’s time for a change’, and I am that change! Feed. Me. More! Feed. Me. More! Ryback heads to the ring to face…

Antonio Cesaro vs. Ryback
This could be a good match. Cesaro has been showing off more talent each week, and oh lord Ryback is just bouncing Cesaro’s bowling ball polished head against the mat. Ryback takes Cesaro skyward with a vertical suplex, holding and walking around the ring, until he finally drops him. Cesaro gets some defense in, taking Ryback down and goes for the Neutralizer… and fails. Cesaro is tossed skyward as Ryback goes for the meathook clothesline but Cesaro rolls away. Ryback tosses him back into the ring, but Cesaro grabs his United States title and runs off.
Winner by Countout: Ryback

The next Slammy award is presented by “Mean” Gene Oakerlund, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and Jim “Good ol’ J.R.” Ross! JBL is drunk as he starts talking about Ricky’s match with Flair in 1989. This is the Match of the Year Award. Undertaker vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 28, Brock vs. Cena (give me a freakin’ break, this was a disaster) Extreme Rules, Big Show vs. Sheamus at Hell in the Cell, and The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 28. Back from commercial, the winner is: UNDERTAKER VS. TRIPLE H! Wow. Out comes The Game to accept the award! Wow, look at that dome of his, what did he do? Shave it to near-baldness? Just kidding. He actually looks pretty good, very… clean. It’s always good to see Hunter on TV. His speech is interrupted by “We Want ‘Taker” chants from the live crowd. He does finally speak and gets interrupted by a “Thank You Hunter” chant. He leaves with just a teaser… “You haven’t heard the last of The Undertaker.”

We cut backstage to The Shield, beating up Tommy Dreamer. These guys are very nWo-like, with sneak-attacks, the propaganda, and honestly, three very talented young stars.

John Cena & Vickie Guerrero vs. Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee
We come to the ring, and AJ comes down for the main event, and AJ gets two ring handlers to bring out an uber-tall ladder for her to climb. Crazy AJ is back, and she’s full of surprises. Vickie interrupts… so is Vickie turning face since AJ is a heel? Well, these days that line between face and heel is very thin and very grey. In any event, Vickie is still an obese hyena and AJ is starting to become more and more of an annoyance. Cena and Ziggler start, but eventually Ziggler tags out to AJ. Vickie runs in and after taking her down, AJ decides to leave the ring area. Ziggler and Cena go at it, and the Vickie just gets up and leaves! Ziggler counters the AA into a DDT. I hear JBL say that Ziggler is the best WWE has right now. Hmm… maybe JBL is not drunk yet. Ziggler misses a superkick attempt, and Cena locks on the STF. Wait… AJ comes back… with Big E. Langston from NXT (wha? Who?) and he destroys John Cena! Raw ends with AJ skipping around the fallen Cena.
Match Result: I’m Confused

A few things, is the votes were taken online, how could each presenter stand there with an envelope with the winning result? This was not the best Raw after a PPV event. Most matches were too short, and easily identified as pure filler. Otunga vs. Khali, really? JTG vs. Clay? Both matches lasted less than three minutes. COMBINED. There was a lot of promos and segments for the Slammy Awards, but something really felt lacking. Highlights were the returns of New Age Outlaws, Triple H, Ric Flair, and Tommy Dreamer. They have over a month for the Royal Rumble, so WWE can take their time to figure out what gets hyped. Ziggler better get some hype. The end of Raw was quite the swerve, bringing in a big guy from NXT to demolish Cena. It did not do Ziggler any favors though, he just sat back looking beat up. This leads to more questions, which is what, I am guessing is the plan moving forward towards the Royal Rumble. Well, I am stumped, so it is time to call it a night and say, see you next week!