TV Recap: Monday Night RAW, December 23, 2013

Tonight is the Holiday-themed RAW, where major storylines are toned down and we get an episode which is just fun to watch. Although tonight’s RAW has been taped, it is still my duty to cover the show and present to you its glorious content.

It’s Christmas, so before one thinks to complain about a storyline-free episode, just remember the wrestlers are people too and deserve to take a break from some aspect of their work. They still perform in the ring, and we all know those hits are all too real.

The big news out of RAW is the early gift of finding out Batista is on his way back to WWE. He originally left WWE in 2010, not a very long time, but long enough to give wonder if younger fans remember him. One might think I’m crazy for suggesting it, but keep in mind, three years is a long time in the wrestling world. Younger fans may not remember him, older ones like me say it’s been too long since he was in a WWE ring. Question remains, is this a full-time gig, or is he now on the same level of people like Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker who make short-lived runs? Time will tell…

Mark Henry and Damien Sandow read their versions of The Night Before Christmas. Funny guys. You have to love characters like Henry and Sandow who are so flexible. Serious one week, comedy the next. It’s great.

The Authority welcomes us to the holiday edition of RAW, giving out hats and candy. As they hype the show, Randy Orton interrupts. He appears to have the night off. Kane starts his holiday speech and then hits the pyro. It’s going to be a fun episode tonight!

Diva Match: Team Total Divas win when Natalya forces Aksana to tap to the Sharpshooter.

Here is a shocker, Sin Cara can speak, in English! I thought he couldn’t! We get a short yet surprising pre-taped promo from Sin Cara. In the ring, Curtis Axel wonders what his 2014 might be like. I hope he doesn’t believe in omens, because after this convincing defeat at the hands of Sin Hunicara, the son of Mr. Perfect might want to rethink his options. The new-but-not-really-new Sin Cara wins again!

The promo for Batista airs. That made my eyes jump. Could imagine him back in the ring? He returns to RAW on January 20th, just a week away from the Royal Rumble. Interesting timing, don’t you think?

Why is Big Show dressed as Baby New Year? NO! NO! NO!

Bad News Barrett collecting donations… why, not sure, but he’s scaring people off.

When I say Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan, what comes to mind? Awesome? Incredible? Other astounding words? They should because this match, like many others were on par with the rest. The level of epic consistency for all these wrestlers to continually put on performances like this have not been seen in years. Without fail this match could have been in the running for match of the year. Chemistry, check. The Wyatts earned the hard fought win, but the real winners are the loyal wrestling fans who appreciate seeing back-and-forth action like this. I applaud WWE for giving these guys the ball, and I stand with an ovation for these guys who strive to be the best performers of our era. Did you ever think Cody Rhodes or Goldust would be on this level of stardom? I thought Goldust’s days were over and Cody was destined for mid-card hell. I am glad to be wrong.

Now we have the ugh moment… Dolph Ziggler losing to Fandango in a #1 contenders match to the Intercontinental Championship. Yes, both Big E. Langston and Dolph Ziggler are fan-favorites, but really, Fandango? Unless WWE plans to piss us all off by having Fandango win the title next week on RAW, he is nothing more than fodder for the now main-eventing Langston. Poor Ziggler.

In yet another perfect example of great tag team wrestling, The Usos defeated The Prime Time Players. Great match, these are two solid teams whom I believe should wear the tag belts sometime in 2014. The only blemish was Darren Young pulling an R-Truth. He botched the name of the city. The Austin, Texas crowd did not seem happy being called Houston. For shame Darren. For. Shame.

Barrett back collecting donations. Still scaring people. What is really scary is watching Santino and The Great Khali win some sort of singing contest against the duos of Xavier Woods & R-Truth and 3MB. Very scary indeed.

In a match to determine whether Christmas would come to a screeching halt, Mark Henry the “Good Santa” defeated “Bad Santa” Damien Sandow. A large box was revealed to be a toilet, adding some toilet humor to the match. Ha ha. No. Lots of comedy brawling with Henry earning the win in this fun match. Should have been the show closer though.

Oh look, Los Matadores. Short match where they made short work of The Real Americans. It’s the holiday episode, so I’m letting this one slide. What does not slide is Ryback making mush out of Kofi Kingston. Poor guy.

In the night’s main event match, CM Punk, Big E. Langston and John Cena get the DQ win over The Shield. Good match, good exchanges involving Punk and Ambrose, and Langston is very over and was given a lot of time to show off what he can do in a main event match. When was the last time you saw the Intercontinental Champion get this big of a push? In any case, the heroes stood tall to close the show, I would have preferred Langston earning a clean win, but what can you do except take what you can get.

Not much to advance the Royal Rumble story, but we still have a month to go, so a lot can happen. Happy Holidays everyone!

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