12/31 Shore's WWE Raw live coverage: Final show of 2012, Champions pick their challengers, Ryback vs. The Shield in a handicap match, Happy New Year!
By Chris Shore
WWE Raw on USA
Taped on 12/29 in Washington, D.C..
[Q1] The opening video aired, followed by the pyro, and Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler checked in on commentary…
Shore's Slant: Was that a new theme song. I'm suddenly drawing a blank on what the Raw theme song is. No, I'm not drinking. Yet.
Miz's music hit and he came to the stage, where Miz TV was set up. He said Vickie Guerrero had decreed that all the titles would be on the line and that the champions would get to choose their opponents. He introduced his guest, John Cena, who got primarily boos from the crowd. Cerna opened by wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
Miz ran through what had happened between Cena and AJ. He said he wanted to know what Cena thought of AJ. Cena said it was over. Miz questioned that and said he heard AJ and Dolph Ziggler had invited Cena to a New Year's Toast tonight. Cena said it was true and said to prove it was over, he was going to accept the invitation. He made a poor blowjob joke and Rhodes Scholars' music hit.
Damien Sandow started cutting a promo on Cena, but Cena cut him off and said the poet Robert Griffin III said, "You guys suck." Sandow said he had no idea who that was. Instant heat in Washington. Cena walked slowly up to Cody while staring at his mustache and talked to it while making fun of it. Cody pushed away and said Miz and Cena sucked after getting their asses handed to them by Big E Langston.
Cena grabbed Miz and asked if they could put their differences aside to face Gandalf and Magnum P.I. Miz agreed and they went to the ring and dared Rhodes Scholars to come to the ring. They did…
Shore's Slant: I hate to give Cena credit for anything because then I get insane hate mail, but I legit laughed hard at the Gandalf and Magnum P.I. line. Listen haters, even a blind hog stumbles across a truffle every now and then, OK?
1. John Cena and The Miz vs. Rhodes Scholars. Sandow was knocked to the floor and stalled getting back in the ring…[C] Back from commercial, Cena hit a fisherman suplex on Sandow.
[Q2] Miz tagged in and lost control long enough for Cody to tag in, but he came right back and hit ten punches in the corner on Cody and took out Sandow before covering for two. Cody used his brother's drop down punch and took control. He and Sandow worked in and out on Miz. Sandow hit his elbow drop, and Rhodes hit his kick to the gut with Miz on the ropes.
Cody went for a bulldog, but Miz shoved him away. Both men got hot tags and Cena ran the five moves of doom series on Sandow, but Cody hit the disaster kick before the AA. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Cody, and Cena recovered for the AA on Sandow for the win…
John Cena and The Miz defeated Rhodes Scholars at 12:03.
The New Year's Eve party was shown backstage.
Shore's Slant: Oh God. No.
David Otunga told Vickie 2013 was going to be his year. He walked off and Vickie saw Ziggler nearby. He thanked her for the invite. She said she didn't invite him. He said it was a new year and they should let bygones be bygones. She said he had a match with Sheamus and wished him a happy new year before cackling…[C]
Shore's Slant: Fun tag match. This is going to be mostly three hours of nothing important, but hopefully they will keep the matches fun and the silliness short. The party setup doesn't bode well though.
Back at the party, the Primetime Players danced for Vickie. CM Punk hobbled up with Heyman and convinced Vickie to book Ryback in a handicap match against the Shield. He wished her Happy New Year and kissed her on the cheek. Her and Heyman had an awkward moment right after…
[Q3] Antonio Cesaro stood in the ring and cut a promo about touring the capitol and site of his championship. He said to prove how weak America had become, he was choosing to face a man that embodied everything America was. Sargent Slaughter's music hit and he got a weak pop from the crowd…
2. Sargent Slaughter vs. Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship. Sarge hooked the Cobra Clutch and Cesaro made the ropes. When Sarge broke, Cesaro hit him with a couple of elbows, an uppercut, and then the neutralizer for the win. He hit another post-match to get good heat from the crowd…[C]
Antonio Cesaro retained the United States Championship at 1:48.
Shore's Slant: I think the names from Sarge's era are too far gone now. That crowd didn't seem impressed with him. I did like the heat Cesaro was able to draw though, so maybe those guys haven't lost all their value. It could be just Cesaro beating up a senior citizen too. Either way, I'm glad he got the heat. He needs it.
The announce team hyped the handicap match…Backstage, Hell No was pissed that they couldn't pick the Shield and said they needed someone to fight. They heard screeching noises from beside them, and opened a door to reveal 3MB. Kane pointed at them and asked, "Yes?" Bryan considered and said, "Yes." He started his chant and they left…
At the party. Big Show found Ricardo Rodriguez and told him he picked him for his title match. Ricardo dropped his cup and Big Show got angry. Ricardo wiped it up and Big Show wished him luck through gritted teeth. Eve then picked Mae Young to be her challenger for the Divas title…Hell No made their ring entrance…
[Q4][C] 3MB finished their entrance. Thank you God for keeping that on commercial…
3. 3MB (w/Jinder Mahal) vs. Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Lawler said Mae Young was a waitress at the original Boston Tea Party. My wife popped for that. Hell No had early control, but Slater pulled the ropes open and Bryan was running the ropes and Bryan fell to the floor. Mahal hit him with a running knee, and 3MB took control for just a moment, but Kane got the hot tag and hit the chokeslam on McIntyre. Bryan hit the diving head-butt for the win…
Hell No retained the Tag Team Championships at 6:06.
Punk was shown talking to a man who was put over as his personal physician…[C]
Shore's Slant: The crowd absolutely died for that match. They were hot as hell for Bryan during his entrance, but they couldn't give two shits about the match.
A video recapped the end of the opening match…
[Q5] CM Punk, Paul Heyman, and the "personal physician" made their ring entrances. Heyman introduced Punk as the man who held the WWE title for every single day of 2012. Punk cut a promo on how awesome he was for being able to be out there with a bum knee. He said a lot of people thought his injury was fake and that was why he brought his physician from Chicago.
The doctor showed an x-ray of a normal knee, followed by a supposed x-ray from Punk's injured knee. Punk said even after all that, he had a title match against Ryback next week. He said he had beaten guys like Ryback with one arm and one eye, and he would do it again with one leg. The doctor cut in and said he wouldn't clear Punk to wrestle. Punk said the doctor had just said he could wrestle. The doctor said he knew what he said, but he said after further review, he could not in good conscious clear Punk.
Vince McMahon's music hit and he came to the ring. He said he was wondering how Punk would weasel his way out. He said Punk would be evaluated by WWE Officials, and if they determined Punk was able to compete, he would have to compete. Heyman ran Vince down and shamed him. Vince said if the officials determined Punk couldn't go, it would be Heyman vs. Ryback. He wished them a happy new year and left them stunned in the ring…The announce team hypoed the Dolph and AJ toast for later and Ziggler's match with Sheamus, which was next…[C]
Shore's Slant: I have to say, Punk is getting stale. He's still very good on the mic, as is Heyman. But the act itself is starting to show some moss. It isn't rolling forward anymore. I have no doubt working with Rock will ignite a fire, but I would hate to think what a mess he would become if Rock wasn't there to work with.
[Q6] 4. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ and Big E Langston). I missed the first few minutes of this match due to an emergency bathroom break. It wasn't the drunk shits. Yet. I joined the match just before Sheamus started hitting his forearms over the ropes. Langston saved Ziggler after only a few blows. He and Sheamus stared off into the break…[C]
Back from commercial, Ziggler hit a big DDT on Sheamus for two. Sheamus came back with a fall away slam from the second rope for two.
[Q7] They went back to the top and fought there. Ziggler was pushed down. He ran back up and ate a forearm, followed by a top rope shoulder block for two. Sheamus tried for the cloverleaf, but Ziggler made the ropes. Ziggler tried for the swinging DDT again, but Sheamus caught him and hit White Noise.
Sheamus sat up for the Brogue kick. Langston grabbed his foot, and Sheamus kicked it away. Ziggler recovered and jumped on Sheamus's back. He dumped Ziggler over the top rope. Langston caught him. Actually, he almost dropped him and then powered him back up. Wow. Langston set Ziggler down and he and Sheamus stared off. Langston started to get in the ring, but the Shield attacked Sheamus from behind…
Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler by disqualification in 14:00.
Sheamus initially got the better of the Shield, but Roman Reigns hit a spear at that was it for him. They beat him up and then hit the powerbomb. Cole read a statement from the Shield that closed with the "Believe in the Shield" line…[C]
Shore's Slant: Fair match. We've seen it before, but it was still well done. The Shield beat down was also the same, but I have to say I am intrigued by the "Believe in the Shield" gimmick. I wonder what they have in mind. This also keeps pointing the Shield back to AJ. I'm not sure if that is a red herring or a setup, but I'm still not 100 percent convinced she isn't behind them.
[Q8] A video recapped the attack on Sheamus. Backstage, Kofi was checking on Sheamus when Wade Barrett walked up. He said Kofi was the only champion who hadn't picked yet and dared Kofi to pick him. Kofi said he had beaten Barrett already at TLC. He said iff Barrett wanted a rematch, no problem. Kofi stormed off, and Barrett looked pleased…
Brad Maddox walked up to Punk and Heyman and asked for help in getting him a contract. The satellite I am watching on is having issues from wind, but I did catch Heyman saying they couldn't help him and then told him to get out…
At the party, Mae was holding her stomach and everyone was checking on her. The doctor walked up and said he needed her to lie on the table so he could check her. The Usos dumped a table and put her on it.
Shore's Slant: Oh no.
The doctor listened to her stomach and said, "That's impossible" before saying Mae couldn't compete tonight.
Shore's Slant: Oh God no!
The doctor said she couldn't compete because she was pregnant. She looked at the camera and said, "Not again."…[C]
Shore's Slant: NO! JUST F-ING NO!
Back from commercial, Eve made her ring entrance and demanded the ref declare her the winner since Mae couldn't compete. I lost signal for a moment, and when I got it back, Kaitlyn was fighting with Eve, but Eve escaped…
Shore's Slant: Having real issues with the satellite signal here. Trying to find a fix or online.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio talked Ricardo up and said he would be with him tonight for his title match. He gave Ricardo his scarf and car keys and wished him luck…[C]
Shore's Slant: Alberto Del Rio update - still bayface. At least right this second. Still lots of show left. He may turn two or three more times.
Big Show made his ring entrance. Ricardo drove a Mercedes out and made his ring entrance with Del Rio coming down the ramp. Show laughed at Ricardo while Del Rio pumped him up. Ricardo made the ring and Justin Roberts had the old school ring intros…
[Q9] 4. Ricardo Rodriguez (W/Alberto Del Rio) vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. Show stuck his leg out and told Ricardo to go ahead. Ric Rod shot in and pulled on the leg. Show chopped him down and the mugging began. Show set Ricardo on the top rope and jawed with Del Rio.
Show charged at Ricardo, but Ricardo kicked him in the face and then Del Rio's step up enziguri. He followed with a knee cracker, which got Cole excited, but Show chopped Ricardo out of the air. He hit two clothesline and setup for the WMD. Del Rio ran in and clipped Show to cause the DQ…
Big Show retained the World Heavyweight Championship by disqualification at 2:26.
Post-match, Del Rio beat up Show and hit a thrust kick while Show was on his knees. Del Rio rescued Ricardo and helped him backstage while jawing with Show, who sold being pissed…Kofi Kinston made his ring entrance…[C]
Shore's Slant: Harmless match that I guess solidifies Del Rio as a babyface. I guess. I also guess they are moving Show on to Del Rio at this point. So what do you do with Sheamus?
5. Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship. Kofi took quick control and went for the Trouble in Paradise very early, but Barrett escaped the shot. They squared off again and dumped each other to the floor…[C]
[Q10] Back from commercial, Barrett hit his knees in the rope, but Kofi knocked him to the floor and followed with a crossbody from the second rope. Back in the ring, Kofi hit the SOS for two. He set Barrett in the corner and jumped up for punches. Barrett grabbed Kofi and ran out for a powerbomb for two. Kofi fought back and went for Trouble in Paradise again, but Barrett ducked and hit Wasteland for a great near-fall.
Kofi hooked an inside cradle for two. Barrett beat Kingston back into the corner. He punched him and was pulled away by the ref. Kofi hit the pendulum kick and jumped off for the crossbody. Barrett ducked and followed with the Bull Hammer for the win…
Wade Barrett won the Intercontinental Championship at 10:29.
Backstage, Mae Young was in labor with Khali serving as her stirrups…[C]
Shore's Slant: Very good match from Kofi and Barrett. I like how they are setting this up as an equal feud, and Kofi will gain more in a chase scenario. I would have preferred Barrett not winning and moving into the main event picture, but this isn't a terrible decision.
A video recapped the Santa Claus gimmick from last week…
Shore's Slant: WHY ARE THEY SHOWING DEL RIO BEING A HEEL?!?!?! This is so stupid! Why in God's name would you have him be a baby all night just to show this video of him being the ultimate heel in running Santa over and taking a beating from Cena.
Zack Ryder and Santino Marella whooped it up and joined the pary where Mae was starting to push. Vickie Guerrero farted. Bryan chanted "No!" Kane Chanted "Yes!" Bryan and everyone else traded "No" and "Yes" chants and then Santino said he saw it coming.
[Q11] There was the stretching rubber sound and then a pop. The camera went away for a second and then came back to find Hornswoggle dressed in a diaper, a new year's sash, a top hat, and a cigar. Khali put him in Young's lap and they hugged…The Shield made their entrance…[C]
Shore's Slant: I hate all of you people for making me cover that. At least it was a whole person, but still.
The Shield was in the ring as Ryback made his entrance. They attacked him before he could get to the ring. They beat on him for a little bit, then Sheamus ran out to make the save, but he was beat down too. The Shield had everyone down when Randy Orton's music hit. He ran to the ring and helped clear the ring of the Shield, including hitting Dean Ambrose with an RKO. The Shield bailed through the crowd as Orton's music played and he posed in the ring…AJ and Ziggler were shown getting ready backstage…[C]
[Q12] The announce team hyped either Ryback vs. Punk in a TLC title match or vs. Heyman next week. Ziggler, AJ, and Langston were in the ring. Ziggler and AJ were dressed, while Langston was still in his Nation of Domination gear. Ziggler toasted all the people because they voted Cena as Superstar of the Year this year.
Ziggler said Cena started the year by building to the "Match he could not lose." He showed still photos of Cena jobbing to Rock. He showed video of Cena getting F5ed by Brock Lesnar and jobbing to John Laurinaitis after Show knocked him out. He showed video of Cena becoming the first person to fail to successfully cash in Money in the Bank. He asked if anyone knew how Cena ended his 2012 PPV year. AJ raised her hand and said, "By losing to Dolph Ziggler after I pushed him off a ladder." Ziggler played the video.
Ziggler said after all that, the people still voted him Superstar of the Year. AJ said people thought she was the one with mental problems. Ziggler said he wasn't worried about Cena anymore because Cena wasn't on his level anymore. Ziggler told Big E that Cena was no longer invited and told him to stand guard.
AJ asked everyone to join her for toasting a real man, the man who will own 2013, Mr. Money in the Bank, the Showoff, the man she loved, Dolph Ziggler. They toasted and then made out in the ring. Cena's music hit and he walked out with a mic. Langston crept a little down the ramp but stayed ringside.
Cena told "Mr. T" to hang tight, he wasn't there to fight. He said he was there to say Dolph Ziggler was right, 2012 was not a banner year. He said if you are really judged by what you did recently, then 2012 was really the year of Dolph and AJ. Dolph said 2013 would be better. Cena said it would definitely be that way for AJ. He talked about all her relationships and said AJ and Dolph had been shopping for their wedding. He showed a photo of Dolph in a wedding dress, AJ in a tux, and Big E in a blue dress.
Cena showed a doctored photo of a baby with a composite face of AJ and Dolph. He said she also had other kids, and showed a photo of babies with a bunch of faces of current and former stars, including a dog. Ziggler called Cena a manchild. Cena said he admitted 2012 wasn't a good year, but 2013 would be great for him. He ran down Ziggler and shot on him about whining about being held down by administration. It was probably a worked shoot comment, but he did say, "need a push." He said the only way a guy like Ziggler got any nuts was if he bought themas concessions.
[Overrun] Cena announced he would be in the Royal Rumble and would be the WWE Champion in 2013. He said he wanted to close the year with what Ziggler was full off. Chocolate pudding, which was supposed to be shit,. Fell on them in the ring. Cena wished the crowd Happy New Year to close the show…
Shore's Slant: If this show went off at midnight my time I would have killed Jason Powell because the superstition is whatever you are doing at midnight is what you will do the rest of the year, and the overrun began with Cena fellating himself. Again. What a way to close the year: shit from the sky and Cena's mouth.
Thanks for watching along with me tonight and I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. See you back on Wednesday for the first show of 2013: Great Khali challenges for the US Title! Oh well. Meet the new boss…
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
And read my first work of fiction: The Following Contest is a Dark Match available exclusively on ebook for all eReaders, smartphones, tablets, and PCs for only 99 cents.
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