We kick off RAW live at the Target Center in Minneapolis with Ho-Ho-Hogan bringing some holiday cheer and giving us the rundown for the night. He is interrupted by John Cena, who asks the Santa-clad WWE Legend for a match with Seth Rollins. Interestingly, he still remains vehemently loyal to the Authority, demanding Triple H and Stephanie to be reinstated. Cena cuts off Rollins, begging him to stop putting people to sleep. Hogan orders the first match of RAW to begin, and it is Seth Rollins vs. John Cena.
It’s sad when the saving grace of this segment is Hulk Hogan. Cena and Rollins droned on, like broken records, repeating the same stuff over and over.
Thankfully we are treated to a great opening contest between Cena and Rollins. Yes, I typed that right. They put on a great match with minimal interference from J&J Security. Most of the matches Rollins simply teeing off on Cena, hitting a ton of his signatures, but ultimately, Cena gained the upper hand by throwing both J&J together with one Attitude Adjustment, then Rollins got his own AA, giving Cena the win. Yes, Cena won, but it was a very entertaining match.
Kane shows up to say “Bah-Humbug.”
In a very much not entertaining match, Jack Swagger completely jobbed to Fandango. Swagger owned the entire match, suddenly Fandango countered something, I’m not even sure what, and then crushed Swagger with a top rope legdrop.
In a match I was glad to have missed, R-Truth picked up a quick win over Adam Rose, who finally snapped, beating up the Bunny and disbanding the Rosebuds. JBL celebrated Christmas early.
Backstage: Dean Ambrose cuts a funny promo with Renee Young.
Roman Reigns defeated Big Show by count out. Highlights of the match, crowd chanting “boring” “you can’t wrestle” and the wrestling vines I found on YouTube. This stuff is hysterically funny. Every week there are new ones. It’s great.
In a lighthearted but weird match, Los Matadores and El Torito defeated Gold and Star Dust in a 3-on-2 handicap match which saw Goldust get hit with the Backstabber followed by a moonsault from the midget in the match conclusion. Oy gevalt.
Thankfully we are given a great holiday gift, Dolph Ziggler defending the Intercontinental Championship against Luke Harper in an astounding match. Ziggler, cut a serious pre-match promo, which I have noticed to be a theme in the past few weeks. Perhaps WWE wants to see if he can maintain a serious side as well. Harper pulled the whole “pre-match beating” before the bell rang, then Ziggler kicked out of three consecutive match-ending moves. Great chemistry once again, Harper mostly dominating but Ziggler easily took some nasty bumps then deliver some big moves of his own. Two superkicks followed by a Zig Zag gave Ziggler the pinfall victory. Give ‘em 20 minutes next week.
Natalya defeated Brie Bella. Yawn.
We’ve got Rowdy Roddy Piper, and his guests on Piper’s Pit, Rusev and Lana. The Communist Grinches try raining on Piper’s parade, however he has a gift, “and put a bow on it.” Out comes Ryback, wearing a bow. Wow. Ryback beats up Rusev and chases him away. Piper and Ryback celebrate to close the segment.
Alicia Fox, Emma and Naomi defeated Cameron, Paige, and Summer Rae. That’s all you need to know.
The Miz defeated Jey Uso in a mediocre match highlighted by Damien Mizdow and the crowd not caring about the match at all.
Another promo from The Ascension. Next week. Welcome to Wasteland!!!
Bray Wyatt cuts a very disturbing holiday-themed promo where he sings a few lines from various songs like a drunken creepy uncle. Out comes the Lunatic Fringe, “Crazy” Dean Ambrose and a sack of goodies. Ambrose beats up Wyatt with a Christmas Tree repeatedly, until finding a gift-wrapped table under the ring. Chants of “Merry Christmas” ring out after Ambrose crashes into Wyatt, catapulting them both through a stack of gift-props. Ambrose unwraps a gift box to reveal a chair, but Wyatt dodges, hurling Ambrose off the entrance stage, plowing through a table and props. Ouch. All the trees wound up destroyed. Bodies going through tables, beatins with chairs, sick high-risk moves, all came to a shocking conclusion when Wyatt hurled a chair at Ambrose who was on top of a ladder, and then rammed his face into the end of a Singapore Candy Cane. Post-match, Ambrose sprayed Bray with a fire extinguisher, then leapt off the top rope, putting them both through a table on the floor. Great match, shocking to see the heel win and close the show, but at least Ambrose got the last laugh.
A good show, but not a great one. I didn’t mind the lack of storylines being pushed, because not every show has to be so filled with drama, however most of the matches were lacking in the interest category. Highlights were the main event and the IC Title match between Ziggler and Harper. Most of the other matches were filler, yet somehow filled up all three hours of the show. I was disappointed they forgot it is also Chanukah, and no Paul Heyman to say a Bracha over the Menorah or spin a driedel. Seriously WWE, where’s the love?
Next week is the final RAW of 2014. Wow.