Recap: Monday Night Raw 12/24/12

michael dworkis gets raw on christmas eve…

This is it folks, the final Monday Night Raw of 2012. AJ Lee has formed her own stable of athletes, Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston under her management. Will Vickie try to earn the love of Ziggler back, or is she finally done forcing Ziggler to stagnate with a bad gimmick? I like where this is going, give AJ two more superstars in her corner and we could have a nice stable for others to feud against. She should court The Rhodes Scholars to round out that group. Can you say… The New Horsemen?

Do not expect much in the way of storylines tonight, as Raw was actually taped last week due to the Christmas holiday. No complaints here, it is pretty nice that Vince McMahon gives everyone off, even if Christmas Eve falls out on a Monday night. Instead, we do get a number of good matches to entertain us.

We start off with Santa Claus! Here comes the jolly ol’ man giving out presents to the kiddies in the arena. Santa having a little fun, walking around the titantron area, when the music of Alberto del Rio hits. The recently turned babyface has a new direction, I wonder what WWE has planned for him in 2013. Right now, he drives his car out… and runs over Santa! Oh no! Ricardo runs out and starts bawling like an infant while Del Rio pleads forgiveness. EMTs and officials rush to Santa with a stretcher. They take him out, but before he goes he gives a big thumbs up to the crowd.

The area gets taped off with the Caution tape, and backstage Booker T informs a number of jobbers and mid-carders that Santa is not doing well. Alberto del Rio rushes in to check on Santa, but the locker room boo him off. John Cena emerges (so he is a jobber now? Yay!) and yells at Del Rio. However, Booker T informs everyone that Santa requested a match, Alberto del Rio vs. John Cena for tonight’s Main Event in a “Miracle on 34th Street Fight.”

Something tells me this show is “for the kids.”

Kane defeated Cody Rhodes

Not a long match, but a good one. The new addition, by that I mean Cody’s Mustache is probably the most over gimmick right now. Rhodes and Kane have a bit of a back and forth until the Red Machine takes over and crushed Rhodes with a backbreaker. Kane goes for the chokeslam but Rhodes counters out and later on scores with the Disaster Kick. Rhodes takes off a turnbuckle pad, however Kane counters an irish-whip attempt into the exposed corner, sending Rhodes right into it. One chokeslam later and Kane gets the win. Rhodes looks more like “Ravishing” Rick Rude, doesn’t he? Bring on the 80’s gimmicks!

Kaitlyn, Layla, Natalya, & Alicia Fox defeat Eve, Tamina, Oksana, & Rosa Mendes
Oksana looks like a prostitute, Tamina Snuka looks bored (as she should be), and Alicia is happy to be on TV. Tamina is the clear dominator on her team while Natalya should be the dominator on hers, except she does not get that chance. She hits Tamina in the head with her rear, a very technical wrestling move. Tamina has enough and crushes Layla with a fallaway slam. Her teammates try rallying the crowd with “Layla” chants, except everyone in the arena is asleep or in the bathroom. A lot of provocative pinning situations, at one point Oksana seems to be enjoying the wrestling mat. Really enjoying the mat. After a series of finishing moves, Kaitlyn clobbers Eve with a Fireman-Carry-To-GutBuster Drop, earning the win for her team.

An update on the condition of Kris Kringle. Representatives in the North Pole have been notified and WWE trainers are working hard to keep him stable. Very serious situation folks.

We get a glimpse of a lit up tree, and the camera pans to two lovebirds… Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee. They seem to be getting cozy watching their favorite film… John Cena Losing to Dolph Ziggler at TLC. Cute.

Sheamus vs. Big Show in a Lumberjack Match

All the lumberjacks wearing Santa hats, nice. Big Show comes down to the ring, checking the Christmas gift props for actual presents. Funny stuff. Offers his World Title to a young fan then pulls it away. More funny stuff. Show blasts the Irish Warrior with huge chest chops, turning the pale Irishman bright red, like his hair. Sheamus gets the upper hand, knocking Big Show down with a top rope shouldertackle, sending the giant retreating to the arena floor. 3MB right there, and they want nothing to do with the largest athlete in the world. Show takes over, dumping Sheamus to the floor following a massive powerslam and a brawl breaks out around the ring. Back in the ring Big Show executes a picture-perfect vertical suplex! Sheamus thrown into the corner, and Show does up, but Sheamus turns it around and drops Big Show off his shoulders with an electric-chair drop!! Sheamus firing back, but Show flattens the Celtic fighter with a Chokeslam, but only gets a two-count! This match is incredible. Back and forth, Sheamus clobbers Show with a takedown, but Show comes back with a massive clothesline and a huge running elbowdrop. Show wishes everyone a Merry Christmas before leaping off the second-rope, missing with a splash. Sheamus scoops up the giant and crushes him with the White Noise, but Show kicks out at two. Big Show throws Sheamus over the top rope, Royal Rumble style, and the lumberjacks brawl around ringside again. Sheamus thrown back in as Show winds up for the WMD Punch, but misses and walks right into a running Brough Kick! Show goes down, Sheamus covers and gets the three count! The bell rings and all the lumberjacks pile into the ring and another brawl breaks out. The good guys emerge victorious.
Winner by Pinfall – Sheamus

Clips of Miz TV with The Muppets from Tribute to the Troops. Freakin’ hysterical Miz is Awesome.

David Otunga vs. Zack Ryder

Mr. Otunga gloats about being the only Harvard graduate lawyer in WWE. He blathers on about a jolly geriatric not having a valid permit or some nonsense. I thought they were trying to keep Alberto del Rio face? Otunga stepping in his corner is not the way to do it. Thankfully Ryder comes out and the match is underway. Otunga dominates early and through the majority of the match. Ryder finally gets some offense in, taking down Otunga with a back elbow and a double-knee to the face. Ryder levels the Harvard grad with a top-rope missile dropkick and then punts the head of Otunga into the second row with the running facewash. Otunga tries to make a comeback, but crashing into the corner leaves him falling prey to The Rough Ryder.
Winner by Woo Woo Woo, You Know It – Zack Ryder

Backstage Brad Maddox interrupts Booker T and Teddy Long. Booker gives Maddox another change to win a contract if he can defeat “one of Santa’s elves.” I see much embarrassment. Ironic though, Maddox does not have a contract, yet he competes in a match nearly every week, and loses. Huh.

The Miz & Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett & Antonio Cesaro

Miz and Kofi partners? Weren’t they just feuding over the Intercontinental Championship, a couple of months ago? Boy do times change fast. Miz puts the boots to Cesaro early on, then tags to Kofi who hammers both Cesaro and Barrett until Cesaro stops the rally with a spinning spinebuster slam. Kofi gets beaten down by the challengers until he finally hot tags to Miz, who dispatches Cesaro to the outside and then takes the fight to Barrett. Miz attempts to end the match, but Cesaro breaks it up. Miz rids the ring of the United States champion but Barrett from behind goes for Wasteland, but Miz escapes! Miz sends Barrett to the ropes where Kofi blasts the bare-knuckle-brawler with the Trouble in Paradise, allowing Miz to spike Barrett with the Skull Crushing Finale.
Winners: The Miz & Kofi Kingston

Recap of Santa getting run-over by Alberto del Rio. Painting Alberto as a bad guy here… really hoping they are not undoing his recent face-turn. Bad thing to do to a good star. Matt Striker is backstage where there has been no change on the condition of Santa Claus.

Brad Maddox gets his tuchas beaten by The Great Khali
Maddox sings his own version of “Santa is coming to town” as he struts down to ringside. So lame. What is worse, is that The Great Khali and Hornswoggle are desecrating my television. I blame you, Brad Maddox. GET OFF MY TV!!! The two circus freaks are dressed as elves. Khali is dressed a giant ****** elf. There are actually “let’s go Maddox” chants. I would chant for the cotton candy guy.

CM PUNK is here!!!! Love the “Knees 2 Faces” t-shirt. As he tries getting into the ring, Punk cries to Heyman there should be an escalator replacing the ring stairs. Punk makes fun of Khali’s singing and Pittsburgh. Punk then informs us that Christmas has been ruined due to Ryback injuring Punk. Heyman starts whimpering, and Punk amends that to Ryback also effectively ruining Chanukah. Punk is an amazing genius. Punk rants and raves that he is the longest reigning WWE Champion in the past 25 years and still gets no respect. Punk says it is ridiculous that Ryback is being rewarded with a WWE Title Match while Punk says he is “recently emergency surgerized” and still not able to compete. Punk runs down Pittsburgh for being full of ugly drunks. Heyman takes his turn, berating the fans, but Ryback comes out and warns Punk of their upcoming WWE Title match, taking place on the first Monday Night Raw of 2013, will not be a regular match, but the match they were supposed to have, Tables… Ladders… and Chairs! That is right, the WWE Title will be on the line on the first Raw of 2013, in a TLC Match!

My wife accurately calls Heyman and Punk the Masters of the Spoken Word. For someone who has only watched wrestling just a few years ago, my wife certainly has picked up on who the greatest masters of the promo are. I have taught her well

Dolph Ziggler and AJ share an intimate gift exchange moment… Awww… AJ got Dolph a beat up Money in the Bank briefcase, mocking John Cena of course.

Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow

This should have been the main event of the night. Leading off with Sandow demanding “Silence!” and Bryan responding with “No!” and the two of them going back and forth about a dozen times. Bryan takes the match to Sandow early on, scoring a sliding dropkick and a running rushing knee off the ring apron. Sandow capitalizes off a reversal and takes over the pace of the match. Sandow wearing down Bryan with arm holds and scoring a short backbreaker. Sandow scores with the Elbow of Disdain (I love this guy) and takes Bryan to the top turnbuckle for a superplex, but Bryan fights him off, sending the Intellectual Savior crashing to the mat. Bryan leaps for a diving headbutt, but Sandow rolls away and the co-holder of the Tag Team Championship crashes to the mat. Sandow goes for the Terminus neckbreaker, but Bryan reverses it and traps Sandow in the No-Lock, earning the tap-out victory.
Winner via Submission – Daniel Bryan

Brodus Clay, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Santino, Jimmy & Jay Uso defeated Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Tensai, Darren Young, & Titus O’Neal

This match was too fast to call. Bodies flying everywhere. Santino got beaten up, the rest of the team hit a number of flying high risk moves. Titus O’Neal and Tensai dominated for his team, while Slater took the brunt of the finishers as Gabriel hit a springboard moonsault, followed by Kidd and a top rope elbow, finally pinned after a top rope Uso splash.

AJ and Dolph read their own version of a Christmas Story, involving AJ’s exes and Ziggler’s rise to the top of WWE. They share a passionate moment, resulting in the destruction of their Christmas tree through their passionate display.

Recap of earlier tonight where Alberto del Rio inadvertently ran over Santa with his car. Santa is still recovering, and Matt Striker believes things are not looking good, until the heart monitor starts beeping erratically… almost as if in song… Dashing through the snow…

John Cena vs. Alberto del Rio in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight

Ricardo Rodriguez is crying hysterically as he introduces Alberto del Rio, and I do not know Spanish that well, but I think Ricardo introduced him as the man who killed Santa. Chants of “you killed Santa” echo through the crowd towards the Mexican Aristocrat. According to Michael Cole, John Cena is out to save Christmas. Well, Cena starts off strong, but then Alberto comes back and takes Cena down. He gets a mic from Ricardo and he yells that it was just an accident, hits Cena in the head with the mic, and that he did not mean to run Santa over, and then clobbers Cena again. Cena powers up and grabs the mic, screaming Santa!!! And then waffling Del Rio. Cena goes outside and grabs one of the prop gift boxes, opening it to pull out… A chair! Cena steps up to the plate, swings… and blasts Del Rio with it! Alberto makes a short comeback, opening a box of his own, and finds a pie. Alberto throws the pie, Cena ducks so Ricardo winds up eating it. The fight goes to the outside, where Cena unwraps another gift, a new television monitor, which he promptly uses to bash Del Rio in the head, sending him crashing into a pile of Christmas presents. My wife, who does speak Spanish informed me the during a verbal exchange, Del Rio yelled that he loves Christmas. After commercial, Del Rio took control of the match, with some help from Ricardo. The car-collecting superstar opens another box, Ricardo insisting it might be a bazooka, and Del Rio looks skyward, then menacingly at his personal announcer. Why? Because inside the giant box, is a teddy bear. The Dreaded Teddy Bear. Del Rio hurls it straight at Cena, and nothing happens. This match is comical. Cena then uses a Christmas tree and bashes is opponent with it. Boxes, gifts, trees are destroyed. Cena opens another of the gifts, and pulls out a bowling ball. You can guess what happens next. After Cena bowls a strike between the uprights, he then pulls out a fire extinguisher and douses Del Rio. As Ricardo enters the ring, we hear some familiar Jingle Bells, and Santa comes down to ringside! He is OK! Ricardo rushes towards him, only to get clobbered by the sack of gifts. Santa then pulls out a sock, stuffing it down Alberto’s mouth!? Hmm… Santa seems a bit familiar now. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on Alberto del Rio and scores the pinfall. Cena and Santa-Foley celebrate in the ring as the show goes off the air.
Winner by Christmas Cheer – John Cena

This was a fun Monday Night Raw. We had a lot of matches, most with a lot of action to call. I will go as far to say that Raw was pretty awesome tonight. Almost all the matches were amazing. Sure, all the good guys won tonight and not much in the way of storyline went down, but it is the holidays after all, and I think everyone welcomes a night of pure wrestling entertainment. I do not think we always need a storyline-filled show, especially when WWE has a roster full of uber-talented superstars who can entertain on any given night.

With the holiday spirit in mind, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate. Wrestling might be scripted, but life is not. 2012 was full of ups and downs, and sadly more downs towards the end of the year. 2013 is a new year, and hopefully the start of good things. Please, take the time to take care of yourself, your family, friends, and loved ones. Be a little nicer to your fellow person, do a few more good deeds this year, and most importantly, have a safe holiday season, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013.