By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Seattle, Washington at Key Arena
[Q1] Raw kicked off with a special opening that ran through a list of past and present WWE stars who will appear on the Slammy Awards show... The tuxedo wearing duo of Michael Cole and JBL checked in from ringside and noted that they would be joined by Jerry Lawler, who is co-hosting the awards with Booker T... Cole gave a quick WWE app tutorial...
Powell's POV: This app tutorial was quick and painless. However, if WWE does go with a non-traditional approach for the WWE Network, I can't even imagine what their tutorials will be like for the various platforms. They may have to expand Raw to four hours just to fit them all in.
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae). Bryan hit the suicide dive on Fandango and led a well received Yes! chant. Bryan followed up with a dropkick against the ringside barricade, then threw Fandango back inside the ring. Bryan went for a missile dropkick, but Fandango countered it into a powerbomb for a two count heading into the break. [C]
Bryan was in the midst of an offensive flurry after the break. He threw a series of kicks and his home state fans went bonkers. Fandango came back with a slam for a two count, then went up top and missed his leg drop when Bryan rolled out of the way. Bryan hit the top rope headbutt, then caught him with the running knee for the win...
Daniel Bryan defeated Fandango in 8:45.
Powell's POV: A very good high energy opening match. Bryan was super over with the home state fans and while he dominated the bulk of the match, Fandango had a couple of moments as well. I'd love to see more focus on Fandango as an in-ring threat rather than on his dancing.
[Q2] The Wyatt Family appeared on the big screen to address Bryan. Bray Wyatt told Bryan that he is going to hurt him. He said he is going to prove to Bryan that he is a monster. He said that in that moment of serenity, he will take his pain away. "Join us," Wyatt said. Bryan led "No!" chants in the ring after the Wyatts disappeared...
The announcers pimped Slammy voting, then turned it over Jerry Lawler and Booker T, the hosts of the Slammy Awards portion of the show. They both walked onto the stage wearing tuxedos. They introduced The New Age Outlaws, who were there to present the award for LOL Moment of the Year.
Road Dogg and Billy Gunn walked onto the stage dressed like TNA's Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, er, Harry and Lloyd from "Dumb & Dumber." Billy asked if he got to talk this year. Dogg told him he's not very good at talking. The crowd chanted for "one more match." Billy did the "I've got two words for you" line. The crowd filled it in as Dogg covered Gunn's mouth and told him they couldn't say that.
They ran through the list of LOL Moment of the Year nominees and played a good chunk of Rock's song for Vickie Guerrero, then plugged the voting... Santino Marella made his entrance... [C]
Powell's POV: I've never seen an awards show where the presenters run through the nominees and then one more pitch is made for app voting. I've also never seen a more homoerotic award than the Slammy statue. Seriously, take a close look at that award. It's enough to make Pepper from Modern Family blush.
After the break, the New Age Outlaws presented the award. The LOL Moment of the Year went to The Rock for his Rock Concert. Vickie Guerrero came out and accepted the award because, well, Rock has a life...
2. Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella. Big E Langston sat in on commentary and said he will beat Sandow at TLC.
[Q3] Santino went on the offensive momentarily and pulled out The Cobra. Sandow came right back with You're Welcome and got the win. Afterwards, Langston entered the ring and held up his title belt...
Damien Sandow defeated Santino Marella in 2:30.
Powell's POV: Quick, painless, and they worked in some hype for the Intercontinental Title match at TLC.
The Shield came out to present the award for Double-Cross of the Year. They all wore matching black suits. Dean Ambrose said he looks great. He said they know nothing about double-crossing. Seth Rollins spoke, then Roman Reigns started, but he was cut off by Ambrose in an intentionally awkward moment.
Powell's POV: Fans who watched the app awards prior to the show must be scratching their heads, as they were told twice that The Shield were unable to accept awards because Ambrose was preparing for a match against C.M. Punk. Meanwhile, it appears they are once again showing friction between Ambrose and Reigns. Fans were encouraged to vote for the winner...
Kofi Kingston made his entrance for a match against The Miz... [C] After the break, The Shield presented Shawn Michaels with the Double-Cross of the Year award. This time, Ambrose took his time naming the winner, so Reigns said it instead, which drew a look from Ambrose.
Shawn Michaels made his entrance and said he's won a lot of Slammy Awards, but he never won the Double-Cross Award. He responded to a fan who said he sold out by saying he sold out years ago, which is "why I'm still here"...
3. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz. Miz was clearly the heel, as he tried to walk out early on and drew heat. Kofi chased him down and threw him back inside the ring to keep the match going. Moments later, Miz rolled up Kingston and held his tights while pinning him. After the match, Kingston hit Miz with Trouble in Paradise and left him lying...
The Miz defeated Kofi Kingston in 2:35.
[Q4] Eve Torres came out to present the award for Total Diva. She had a different hairstyle didn't get much of a reaction. She ran through the nominees... Rey Mysterio made his entrance for an eight-man tag match... [C]
Cole announced a Championship Ascension Ceremony featuring 20 former champions. He said it's the last time you'll ever see both championships live in the same ring...
Powell's POV: This would have been something worth promoting in advance. If Cole's comment about this being the last time the titles will be in the ring together is accurate, it could be a sign that they will be introducing a unified championship belt. Of course, he may have been talking out of his ass too.
Eve Torres named The Bella Twins as the Total Diva of the Year. There were plenty of boos from the crowd as the Bella Twins accepted the award...
4. Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes vs. Ryback, Curtis Axel, Jack Swagger, and Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter) in an eight-man tag. They went to break at 1:45. [C] The heels got the better of Goldust.
[Q5] Goldust hit a double DDT on The Real Americans and made a hot tag to Cody, who moonsaulted onto Axel, only to have Ryback break up the pin. Big Show sent Ryback to ringside. Cody hit his finisher on Axel, then Mysterio checked in and hit 619. Mysterio went to the top rope and splashed Axel for the win...
Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes defeated Ryback, Curtis Axel, Jack Swagger, and Antonio Cesaro in 11:40.
Powell's POV: The outcome of the match surprises me only because I thought they were building up Ryback and Axel for a tag title match at TLC. I suppose they could still go with that match since it's not like it's a make or break match as far as pay-per-view sales are concerned.
Cole offered another tutorial for the WWE app... Jerry Lawler and Booker T introduced Shawn Michaels, the presenter of the Superstar of the Year award. Michaels reminded the fans that he won a Slammy. He said he could add Mr. Slammy to his long list of nicknames.
Michaels said the award goes to the man who dazzled in the ring and never gave anything short of an A-plus performance. "Does it remind you of anybody?" Michaels asked. Shawn said perhaps they should rename the award the "HB-Shizzle." He set up a video package for the nominees... Sin Cara made his entrance for a match against Alberto Del Rio... [C]
Powell's POV: HBK is in tongue in cheek heel mode. He's not going all out heel, but rather he is coming off as more humorously arrogant than truly heat seeking. By the way, whenever WWE mentions their app, I would like you to immediately think of tonight's Prowrestling.net Live show that will air shortly after Raw. Check out the top of this page (and all over the website/app) for more details.
[Q6] A memorial graphic was shown for Nelson Mandela...
Michaels opened the envelope and looked uncomfortable, then announced that Daniel Bryan won Superstar of the Year. Bryan came out with a serious look. Michael held onto the award for a bit, then released it and headed backstage. Bryan thanked Michaels for the HB-Shizzle Award. He said if it wasn't for Shawn, he wouldn't be in WWE right now, but then again he wouldn't be WWE Champion.
Bryan said he's not angry about it. He said The Authority doesn't want him to be the Superstar of the Year. He said it's the people who voted him Superstar of the Year. "If you thought 2013 was good, 2014 is going to be even better," he said. Bryan added a "Go Seahawks" for the hometown fans...
Powell's POV: Bryan still isn't mad that he's not WWE Champion. It was good, quick acceptance speech other than that line. If he's not mad, then why should his fans be mad? For that matter, why should they care if he gets another title shot?
5. Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara. A Del Rio pop-box promo was shown before the match. Sin Cara once again had a Hunico's height and tattoo. Del Rio took an awkward landing when he jumped off the second rope and Sin Cara moved. Sin Cara went to the top rope and then Del Rio rolled to ringside heading into the break. [C]
[Q7] The back and forth action continued after the break. The live crowd was quiet prior to the break, but woke up a bit for the post commercial portion of the match. Sin Cara went to the top rope, but Del Rio met him. Sin Cara got the better of it and performed a huracanrana, then followed up with a Swanton for the win...
Sin Cara pinned Alberto Del Rio in 11:15.
Powell's POV: It's so hard to get excited about the Sin Cara character regardless of who is under the mask after watching him lose so many times. It's going to take some time for the live crowds to get into this. It doesn't help that Del Rio has very little heat without a title belt.
The Prime Time Players came out to present the Slammy Award for Fan Participation. Darren Young got worked up because they weren't nominated. A decent "Millions of Dollars" chant broke out, so the Players performed the dance and received zero reaction. Ouch... [C]
The TLC Kickoff match will be Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango. The panel for the TLC show will be Mick Foley, Booker T, and The Miz...
Daniel Bryan's "Yes! Yes! Yes!" won the Fan Participation Slammy Award. Bryan came out and said he was at a loss for what to say. He led the Yes! chant...
Cole noted that The Rock was tweeting about the Slammy Awards and thanked him for joining them. Cole hyped the WWE Championship Ascension Ceremony... Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls made their entrance. Cole said Brodus Clay would be in action after the break... [C]
[Q8] 6. Brodus Clay (w/Tensai, Cameron, Naomi) vs. Xavier Woods (w/R-Truth). Cole said Clay wasn't in a good mood after losing to Woods last week. Woods went right at Clay to start, but Clay caught him with a big powerbomb, then performed a second rope splash for the win. Clay splashed Woods repeatedly after the match. Tensai pulled Clay away and repeatedly asked, "What are you doing?" Clay left the ring and said, "I'm a main event player"...
Brodus Clay pinned Xavier Woods in 0:37.
Powell's POV: Funk is dead. Long live Brodus Clay the monster heel.
The Miz came out to present the Insult of the Year Award. Zero reaction. He set up the video package for the nominees... C.M. Punk made his entrance for a match against Dean Ambrose... [C] The Shield made their entrance...
Stephanie McMahon won the Insult of the Year award for tearing into Big Show. Steph came out with a big smile and said that what some consider an insult, she considers a huge compliment because "finally all of you have realized what's best for business"...
Powell's POV: Look for Stephanie's Slammy Award on ebay along with whatever WWE stock she still has. She and Hunter are said to be buying a house with the stock money. I'm starting to wonder if they're going to buy the state of Rhode Island.
7. U.S. Champion Dean Amborse (w/Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns) vs. C.M. Punk in a non-title match. Cole said the extra members of The Shield don't always hang around for singles matches, but it might be due to the fact that they will all face Punk in a handicap match at TLC. Ambrose appeared to tell the other members to stay at ringside while he handled business inside the ring.
[Q9] Early in the match, Punk dove off the top rope and right onto the knee that Ambrose stuck out. Cole played up Punk nursing bruised ribs. He said Punk didn't have his ribs taped because he might call more attention to it. Really? Punk came back and performed a suicide dive onto Ambrose on the floor. Rollins and Reigns glared at him. [C]
Powell's POV: A local ad aired for the WWE Elimination Chamber at Target Center on February 23. All of the usual suspects were advertised. Tickets go on sale on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
There were some great near falls for both men after the break. Ambrose threw Punk to ringside. Ambrose started bickering with Rollins and Reigns at ringside. Rollins and Reigns smiled about it, then walked toward the ramp. Ambrose avoided Punk's finisher and then went for his own, but Punk avoided it and hit the GTS for the win.
[Q10] Afterward, Reigns entered the ring and speared Punk. The Shield trio walked through the crowd together...
C.M. Punk defeated Dean Ambrose in a non-title match in 16:50.
Powell's POV: WWE threw a lot at us there. Punk is nursing bruised ribs, which is a potential out for losing a handicap match (as if anyone needs an excuse for losing to three other men), but they also showed friction between Ambrose and the other members. Something has to give. WWE teased issues with The Shield members previously, then stopped, and suddenly fired it up again. It's either the setup for Punk winning or a red herring because the plan is actually have to Bryan win his handicap match.
A video package showed Ric Flair, Harley Race, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Steve Austin, and others talking about winning World Championships. It tied into hyping the unification match at TLC...
Powell's POV: For those not watching the show, none of the clips of the legends were new or specific to this match.
Jerry Lawler and Booker T spoke and there was a brief issue with the mic. The audio returned in time for Lawler to tell a joke about when he "kicked the bucket" on television. Booker introduced Mick Foley to present the award for Extreme Moment of the Year.
Foley came out and said Daniel Bryan has two Slammy Awards and is engaged to Brie Bella, so he can leave his cheap pop alone. He mentioned being tossed off the top of the cage by Undertaker, then actually said the bar has been raised even higher this year. Foley set up the nominees video package...
The Uso Brothers made their entrance for a match against The Wyatt Family... [C]
C.M. Punk won the Extreme Moment Slammy Award for beating up Paul Heyman at Hell in a Cell. JBL questioned whether Punk or Heyman deserved the award. Punk came out and sold his ribs. He said he felt strange accepting an award while not wearing pants. He thanked the fans for voting for him and thanked Heyman for being a hell of a target. He snuck in a plug for TLC, then put the award up against the camera...
Cliff Clavin's POV: It's a little known fact that the Slammy Award trophy was designed by Dr. Tobias Funke.
[Q11] 8. The Uso Brothers vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt). The Uso Brothers performed their dive onto Harper and Rowan on the floor heading into the break. [C] Harper cut off a flurry by one of the Uso's by dropping him neck first over the middle rope.
Harper tied up Uso in the ropes and did his "yeah, yeah, yeah." Uso came back with a superkick and a top rope splash, but Rowan broke up the pin attempt. Rowan tossed the other Uso onto the table, then ate a superkick from the legal Uso. Harper followed up with a big clothesline for the win...
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated The Uso Brothers in 8:30.
After the match, the lights went out as they usually do after the Wyatt Family segments are finished. Cole acted confused. The lights came on again and Lawler and Booker T were at the podium. Lawler and Booker gave big hype to Bret Hart and said some feel he is the greatest wrestler to ever lace up a pair of boots.
Bret Hart walked onto the stage wearing a tuxedo. Cole said Hart was getting a standing ovation. They cut to crowd shots. Some fans were standing, others were sitting, but most were cheering. Hart spoke about how a good match can captivate an audience and change a night, but a great match can change WWE history.
Hart said he's held many honors during his career, but match of the year is the one he always cherished the most. He set up a video package for the nominees for match of the year (C.M. Punk vs Undertaker at WrestleMania 29, Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at WWE Battleground, Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H at Extreme Rules, and The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 29)...
[Q12] Natalya made her entrance and hugged Bret on the stage before heading to the ring... [C] A.J. Lee and Natalya were in the ring...
The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 29 won the Match of the Year Slammy Award. John Cena made his entrance and received more boos than cheers. Cena praised Rock as one of the greatest opponents he's ever been in the ring with. He said that while some fans may feel differently, it is a match and a memory that he will never forget. "Quite frankly, because you voted, some of you feel the same way."
9. Natalya vs. Tamina (w/A.J. Lee). A.J. tried to interfere early. Tamina picked up Natalya in bodyslam position and turned her so that her legs hit Lee and knocked her off the apron. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter moments later for the win...
Natalya defeated Tamina in 1:35.
Triple H's music played and he and Stephanie McMahon walked onto the stage and headed to the ring. Cole hyped the Ascension Ceremony for after the break. "This will be epic," JBL said... [C] Cole hyped the TLC Kickoff match and the TLC panel...
The ring was filled with former World Champions that included Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, Great Khali, C.M. Punk, Mick Foley, Kane, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Christian, and Dolph Ziggler. Steph said it was only appropriate that her husband host the segment.
[Overrun] Triple H spoke and the crowd responded with loud "Daniel Bryan" chants. Bryan was shown laughing. Hunter stopped and HBK motioned for the fans to stop. Henry raised Bryan's arm and the fans cheered, then followed up with Yes! chants. Bryan pumped his arms a few times to encourage the Yes! chants.
"That's a lot of family for one building, Daniel," Hunter said. "I should have known, a lot of them look just like you." Hunter shifted the focus to the TLC main event and the unification match. He said two men will enter and one man will leave and he will be the champion of champions.
Triple H introduced WWE Champion Randy Orton, then World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Once they were in the ring, Hunter asked them both to hand over their title belts so they could hoist them above the ring. Both men complied and the belts were fastened to the holder that was positioned between the champions while Orton spoke.
Orton recalled Cena saying he got lazy. The fans responded with boring chants. Orton spoke louder and said that sometimes when you're better than your peers you get complacent. Orton said Cena claims he doesn't care about being the face of WWE, but it's a lie. He said image is everything to Cena.
Orton said he took years off of Mick Foley's life. He said he embarrassed Shawn Michaels. He said there would not have been a screwjob in Montreal if he were in the ring because he would have left Bret Hart unconscious. Orton said that everything Cena has fought so hard for will come crashing down all around him.
Cena started to talk and was booed loudly with some cheers mixed in. He said he noticed that Orton mentioned the word work. Cena walked over and led Bryan to the middle of the ring to face Orton. The crowd roared. Cena had Bryan tell the people his name. Cena asked where he is from. Bryan said he is from Aberdeen, Washington. The fans roared again.
Cena asked Bryan if his father or mother were a WWE Hall of Famer. Bryan said his father is a log scaler. Cena asked Bryan if he has had to work for everything he has. Bryan answered yes, which led to more Yes! chants. Cena said the reason they cheer for Bryan is because he works and he earns it, whereas Orton has been given everything in WWE.
Cena said Orton has been untouchable ever since he showed up at the WWE training center because "they" liked him. He said Orton now hides behind Triple H, yet claims he is better than everyone. Cena said Orton blames everyone else for his failures. He said he's had behavior problems inside and outside the ring.
Cena said that maybe if Orton wins the match on Sunday, he can finally said he is finally what he was supposed to be ten years ago. He said that whether the people in the ring like him or not, they respect him. He took credit for giving Dolph Ziggler a fight, and said he saw the Best in the World when C.M. Punk was on the verge of leaving. He said the only legitimate shot Bryan had was against him and Bryan won.
Cena told Bryan that if he wins on Sunday, he looks forward to a fair rematch with Bryan. He told Orton that Sunday will be physical and brutal, and he will be at his very best. "I just hope you are too, because after this Sunday, the last thing anyone is going to want to deal with his another Randy Orton excuse," Cena said.
Cena wished Orton luck on Sunday and told him that he's going to need it. Cena stuck his hand out and Orton shook it as the title belts were raised. Orton took a cheap shot at Cena and they were quickly pulled apart. Punk threw a couple of shots at Orton, then Triple H grabbed Punk from behind and threw him to the mat. Punk stood up and knocked Triple H down, only to get Sweet Chin Music from HBK.
Daniel Bryan then caught Michaels with the running knee. Orton went for the RKO on Bryan, but Bryan shoved him off and Orton bumped into Stephanie McMahon, who sold it like she was shot. After checking on his wife, Triple H stood up and hit the Pedigree on Orton.
Cena helped Triple H and Kane get Stephanie back to her feet. The crowd chanted Daniel Bryan. Orton backed into the corner while Cena stood with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Kane, and looked down at him. The announcers gave a final sales pitch for the TLC pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: A strong segment to close the show and I think they sold some pay-per-views. Granted, a lot of the wrestlers involved in the physicality won't be facing one another at the pay-per-view, but it was still a hot close to the show and they put strong focus on Cena vs. Orton and made it seem like Orton is no longer in the good graces of The Authority. Based on that final shot, they will also have some fans asking if Cena is in the good graces of Triple H and Steph.
Overall, the Slammy Awards edition of Raw held my interest, yet also felt like it went on forever. I will have a lot more to say about the show coming up shortly in Prowrestling.net Live. Your calls are welcome. Use the link at the top of the page to join us.
12/9 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: The 2013 Slammy Awards featuring the returns of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Eve Torres, final hype for the TLC pay-per-view
Dec 9, 2013 - 10:00 PM
Dec 9, 2013 - 10:00 PM
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