12/16 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Randy Orton's first night as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, fallout from the WWE TLC pay-per-view
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Dallas, Texas at American Airlines Center
[Q1] Raw opened with a video package regarding the unification match that headlined the TLC pay-per-view... Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary...
The stage was filled with wrestlers as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stood in the ring and gushed over crowning "the champion of champions." Hunter said they were there to pay honor to the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Randy Orton made his entrance through the wrestlers on the stage. He stopped in front of John Cena and Daniel Bryan and held up both title belts.
Powell's POV: Hey, aren't those title belts we were told we would never see together again on last week's Raw?
"Isn't it a nice feeling when your faith is rewarded?" Orton asked. He said the fans never had faith in him or that he would win the most important match in WWE history. He said the fans bought into the lie that he was handed everything in his career and he proved it at TLC and took both championships.
"You're an idiot," John Cena called out. Orton demanded that Cena's mic be turned off. Cena said he wouldn't ruin Orton's moment. He said Orton has trouble speaking sometimes so gave the abbreviated version and mocked Orton saying Viper and Apex Predator and boasting about using handcuffs. Cena said the handcuffs were creative and he congratulated Orton on being the better champion.
Cena said Orton has talked enough, so he has to put up or shut up. Orton said Cena would not get his rematch on this show. Cena said he wasn't talking about himself. The crowd pepped up with "Yes!" chants. Cena said he wants to be champion, but he recalled telling a man that he would give him a fair match if he won the title.
Cena pointed to Daniel Bryan, who nodded. "I don't care what you think," Orton said. "Security, get him out of here." Cena said Orton may not care what he thinks, but he knows he cares about being the greatest of all time and this could cement his legacy. Cena hyped Orton vs. Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Cena asked Orton if he was scared. Orton said he doesn't have to listen to Cena, Bryan, or "all of the idiots sitting in the stands." Stephanie interrupted and said, "Except us." Orton said he was trying not to lose his temper, but Cena was way out of line. Orton said Steph of all people can't possibly think that defending the title against Bryan was best for business.
Triple H said he agrees with Orton in that Bryan does not deserve an opportunity or a title match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at this time. Steph said that for reasons she can't understand, the fans did vote for Bryan as Superstar of the Year. Hunter said he and Steph always listen to the WWE Universe. "And if this is a match you would like to see..." he said.
Orton said he was in a TLC match the night before. Hunter said he can't think of a better way to kick off the champion of champion's new era by kicking it off with a main event that gives Orton a chance to beat the man critics claim he can't beat. Hunter officially announced Orton vs. Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship while Bryan led the Yes! chants on the stage...
[Q2] Cole hyped that Goldust and Cody Rhodes would defend the tag titles against the winners of a poll vote. The options were The Real Americans, Ryback and Curtis Axel, and Rey Mysterio and Big Show... [C]
Powell's POV: A lot of talking and none of it by Daniel Bryan. Don't get me wrong, I like the match as much as the next guy, but at some point it would be nice to hear Bryan put aside the nice guy act and deliver an inspired promo about everything he's been through and how he deserves a fair shot at the championship. It's also hard to believe that the Triple H and Stephanie characters suddenly had a change of heart about Bryan simply because he won the Superstar of the Year award. Then again, maybe they haven't. I guess we'll see how the main event is booked.
1. WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysteiro and Big Show in a non-title match. The results of the poll were not shown. Rather, Mysterio and Show simply made their entrances for the match. Mysterio and Cody shook hands to start the match.
Mysterio hit a cool spot early. With Cody on the floor at ringside, Mysterio slid under the bottom rope and splashed his way onto Rhodes on the floor. Back inside the ring, Cody hit the Disaster Kick for a two count. Later, Show was getting the better of Cody when the show went to break. [C]
After the break, Show continued to get the better of Rhodes. A loud "We Want Goldust" chant broke out as Show continued to work over Cody. Show went to the second rope and Cody rolled out of the way of an elbow drop attempt.
[Q3] Cody made the hot tag to Goldust, who performed his big uppercut and other signature moves on Show. Show came back with a big chokeslam on Goldust, but Rhodes broke up the pin attempt. Show pushed Cody over the top rope and down to the floor at ringside. Goldust caught Show with a boot and then missed him with a cross body block attempt.
Show caught Goldust with a knockout punch. Mysterio tagged in and performed a splash off of Show's shoulders and pinned Goldust. Afterward, Mysterio and Show helped Cody get Goldust back to his feet...
Big Show and Rey Mysterio defeated Goldust and Cody Rhodes in a non-title match in 12:40.
Powell's POV: Another good outing from these two teams. They stole the show at TLC and I'm looking forward to seeing more. The streak of good matches involving Goldust and Cody continues.
Poll voters were able to choose from The Uso's, El Matadores, or The Prime Time Players to serve as C.M. Punk's tag partners for a match against The Shied... [C]
Powell's POV: Does he need tag partners? He just beat The Shield by himself at TLC.
An ad aired for next week's Raw that teased Bad Santa (Damien Sandow) and Good Santa (Mark Henry)...
Powell's POV: Wait, they can't play Santa Claus!!! Everyone knows Santa is Puerto Rican. Anyway, I'm already dreading the Christmas week show. Enjoy this week, folks.
Wade Barrett hosted another Bad News Barrett segment. He said $250 million is up for grabs in the lottery, but none of the fans will get it because they will have to return to their ramshackle homes and their lowly lifestyles...
Powell's POV: Barrett now has a gavel. I'd like to stick it straight up the ass of the person responsible for this horrible waste of talent.
Cole hyped that there are auctions for autographed replica Slammy Awards available via auction...
Powell's POV: Yes, now is your chance to win a replica version of the most homoerotic award statue ever created.
Backstage, Randy Orton blew up on The Authority while Kane stood there. Orton wasn't happy about being forced to defend his title against Bryan the night after he competed in a TLC match. Steph pointed out that Bryan faced three men at the pay-per-view. She was in nice mode, yet told Orton about the pressure that comes along with being champion. Hunter told him not to worry. "We've got your back, man," Hunter concluded...
Fandango and Summer Rae made their entrance... [C]
[Q4] 2. Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae). Fandango was on the offensive when Ziggler caught him with a rollup and pinned him...
Dolph Ziggler pinned Fandango in 3:25.
Powell's POV: They traded wins. This match was shorter than the Kickoff match, but it did not have a commercial in the middle of it. I'm not sure what was really accomplished with these two over the last two nights, but I hope it leads to a longer match.
Cole hyped Orton vs. Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship... A shot aired of Big E Langston and Mark Henry walking together. Cole said they would be teaming up after the break... [C]
3. Mark Henry and Big E Langston vs. Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter). JBL noted that Henry is a Texas native since they were in the Lone Star state. Henry played to the crowd with the "hook 'em horns" hand sign, and the crowd was all over Oklahoma native Swagger.
[Q5] Later, after being dominated by Langston and Henry, The Real Americans regrouped with Zeb at ringside. Cesaro returned to the ring, and continued to be roughed up by Langston. Swagger reached in and tripped Langston, then slammed his head into the broadcast table heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Cesaro picked up Langston and suplexed him, which really impressed the broadcast team. At 14:10, Henry took a hot tag from Langston for a big pop. He performed the JYD headbutt on Cesaro, then powerslammed him, but Swagger broke up the pin attempt. Langston checked back in and performed The Big Ending finisher on Cesaro for the win...
Mark Henry and Big E Langston defeated The Real Americans in 15:30.
Powell's POV: A good match that ate up plenty of television time. It could be a long week for Oklahoman Swagger since WWE will be taping television in Texas the next three nights.
[Q6] A brief app tutorial was shown. Lawler hyped the app poll that will determine C.M. Punk's tag partners... [C]
Footage was shown of a little girl sitting on Bad Santa Sandow's lap while A.J. Lee the elf and (butch elf?) Tamina stood by. Sandow said he thinks all children are ungrateful wretches so he's not going to deliver toys. He said Christmas is cancelled...
Powell's POV: That's it, I'm drinking during next week's Raw live coverage. There will be more typos than usual and it's possible I will pass out halfway through Raw, but I'll be damned if I'm sitting through that show sober.
4. Brodus Clay and Tensai (w/Cameraon, Naomi) vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel. R-Truth and Xavier Woods sat in on commentary. Yes, Clay and company did their usual entrance routine despite all the issues they had the night before. The problems did flare up again when a woozy Tensai went for a tag, but Clay backed away. Ryback performed Shellshocked on Tensai for the win.
After the match, Clay splashed Tensai twice. He set up for a corner splash, but R-Truth and Woods ran in and double dropkicked him from the ring. "Y'all a bunch of players," Clay told them. "I'm a main event player. Y'all gonna see." Truth said the girls haven't had a lot to dance to lately, Woods invited them into the ring to dance with them, which they did...
Ryback and Curtis Axel defeated Brodus Clay and Tensai in 2:25.
Powell's POV: The Funkadactyls watch Sweet T get his ass handed to him by Clay, but then shrug it off and dance with Truth and Woods. Is it just me or was Consequences Creed actually cooler than Xavier Woods?
[Q7] [C] A graphic boasted about Smackdown being watched by more males and females than a bunch of other shows...
Powell's POV: I'm guessing that most of those females were looking at their notebooks while their men watched wrestling while others were kidnapped and forced to watch wrestling against their will. Oh, and 142 females over the age of 18 actually watched because they like wrestling. God bless them.
C.M. Punk came to the ring for a promo. He said he's not much of a Christmas guy, but he spoke about miracles and how he not only survived at TLC but he won. Punk said knew that last night was only the beginning because he gets the feeling that The Authority is out run him off.
Punk said he and Triple H are both adults, so he should come to the ring and they could discuss their problems man to man unless Hunter is afraid of what he could do to him with a microphone. Nothing happened. Punk asked the crowd if he should give him a couple more seconds. Punk sat on the top rope.
Shawn Michaels music played and he made his entrance instead. Punk still called for Hunter. Michaels started to talk, but the fans chanted "you sold out." He let it play out and then mocked them for not being able to keep it up. HBK told Punk that he needs to get over his obsession with The Authority. Michaels pointed out that he was the one who kicked Punk last week, not Triple H.
"Let's talk about that for a second," Punk said. HBK said to wait a second. A "one more match" chant started. Punk said he is having one more match so people should calm down. Cute. Punk said everyone respects Michaels and 15 year-old Punk is stoked that Michaels kicked him, so he was giving HBK a pass. He said if Michaels kicks him again, he will kick him back.
Michaels said that kicking Punk last week pained him more than it pained Punk. HBK said what he was about to do would have the same effect. HBK introduced The Shield as Punk's opponents. The Shield made their entrance through the crowd. The announcers hyped the app poll to determine Punk's partners... [C]
Powell's POV That segment was so much flatter than it should have been. Shawn just isn't bringing his A-game to Raw. By the way, I apparently misunderstood the hype for the main event. A few readers have informed me that Orton vs. Bryan was not billed as a title match. My apologies.
[Q8] Lawler read the poll results. 57 percent of the voters went with The Uso's, 27 percent went for Los Matadores, and only 16 percent voted for the Prime Time Players...
5. C.M. Punk and The Uso Brothers vs. The Shield. The crowd was somewhat into the Uso chants, but they were very quiet early on. [C] Jimm Uso was isolated by The Shield.
[Q9] Jimmy Uso made the hot tag to Punk, which got the crowd fired up. Punk got the better of Rollins and Ambrose. He had Ambrose pinned, but Reigns broke it up. One of the Uso Brothers dove onto Reigns on the floor, then Rollins ran the same Uso into the barricade. Punk performed a suicide dive onto Rollins. Ambrose charged toward Punk, who caught him with a fist.
Punk followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a two count. Punk set up Ambrose for the GTS, but he was distracted by Rollins. Punk ran him off and then hit the move on Ambrose, but Reigns speared Punk and pinned him...
The Shield defeated C.M. Punk and The Uso Brothers in 16:00.
Powell's POV: All is right in the world of The Shield again aside from the minor hard way forehead cut that Ambrose suffered. I like the slow build toward the inevitable breakup. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather see The Shield stick together for another year, but I am happy to see they aren't rushing into it.
The opening segment was recapped in video form with Triple H setting up Orton vs. Bryan in a non-title match for later in the show... [C]
Cole read the results of a poll that asked which superstar will get coal in their stocking. Stephanie McMahon won... Cole pimped the WWE 2K14 video game. Cole was interrupted by The Wyatt Family sound effect...
Wyatt said Daniel Bryan is a coward. He said he told Bryan he could take the pain away, but all he could feel was his empty heart beating. He told "Abigail" that he understand what they must do. "If Daniel Bryan refuses to walk with the reapers, then he will burn with the saints"...
Powell's POV: So, um, how do you think the main event will end? Even if it's not as simple as The Wyatt Family interfering, that's basically what this segment teased.
[Q10] [C] 6. Natalya and The Bella Twins vs. A.J. Lee, Tamina Snuka, and Alicia Fox. Late in the match, Nikki was on a roll when Tamina caught her with a kick to the face, then Lee followed up with another and got the win. Nikki covered her face afterwards...
A.J. Lee, Tamina Snuka, and Alicia Fox defeated Natalya and The Bella Twins in 15:10.
Cole hyped the main event... [C] A Tribute to the Troops commercial was shown...
Powell's POV: Look away, folks, nothing to see here. Meanwhile, that was either the greatest super kick ever thrown in a women's match or Tamina really caught her with that one. It sure looked stiff and Cole even asked why the match was continuing. Right before that, we saw one of the worst dropkicks ever, as Nikki dropkicked Tamina's hand and knocked her off the apron. Oh, and JBL mispronounced Will Ferrell's name. Someone should throw a trident through JBL's chest.
[Q11] In a pre-taped segment, Good Santa Mark Henry, The Bella Twins, and Hornswoggle were shown with a child backstage to promote next week's Raw...
Backstage, Randy Orton complained during a Renee Young interview about having to face Daniel Bryan again. He called him a sawed off troll. He said it was bizarro world because Bryan won the Superstar of the Year. He said the only thing that is truly best for business is everyone in the arena, locker room, and around the world bends over and kisses his ass... Daniel Bryan made his entrance... [C]
Cole hyped Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for Friday's Smackdown television show... Randy Orton made his entrance for the main event...
7. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan in a non-title match.
[Q12] Bryan caught Orton in a half crab, but Orton reached the ropes to break the hold and yelled at the referee to get Bryan off of him. Orton came back a short time later with a big clothesline. The cut that Orton suffered around his eye at TLC opened up. Orton stomped on Bryan's arm and then played to the crowd and drew good heat.
Orton bit Bryan, who returned the favor by biting Orton's forehead. Bryan went for a suicide dive, but Orton moved and Bryan crashed to the floor heading into the break. [C] After the break, they replayed Bryan cashing and burning, then Cole told viewers that a physician treated Orton's cut during the break.
Powell's POV: See, if you had been watching the app, you would have been able to see a doctor treat a minor cut. Exciting stuff.
Orton remained the aggressor as Bryan continued to sell the effects of the missed suicide dive. Orton superplexed Bryan and got a two count. Bryan fired shots at Orton at 18:00, then caught him with a running clothesline. Bryan caught Orton with a dropkick in the corner and then threw a series of kicks. Bryan set Orton on the top rope and then performed an awkward huracanrana.
Orton came up checking his teeth and said something to Bryan. Orton hit a backbreaker on Bryan. Orton crawled toward Bryan, who went for the Yes Lock, but Orton countered and slingshotted Bryan over the top, but Bryan hung on, only to have Orton kick him. Orton performed a hanging DDT.
Orton struck the Viper's Pose at 21:00. Orton went for the RKO, but Bryan countered into a backslide. Bryan caught Orton with a kick and got a two count. Orton once again came up checking his teeth.
[Overrun] Bryan went to the top rope, but Orton cut him off. Orton went for another superplex, but Bryan fought him off and knocked him off the ropes with a headbutt. Bryan followed up with a top rope headbutt for a two count at 22:45. Bryan threw more kicks, but then charged and missed in the corner when Orton moved.
Orton rolled up Bryan for two, but Bryan countered into the Yes! Lock. Orton frantically reached out and grabbed the bottom rope. He rolled out of the ring and again checked his teeth. Bryan hit a suicide dive and then whipped Orton into the barricade and dropkicked him.
Bryan rolled Orton back inside the ring and then caught him with a missile dropkick. Bryan threw another round of kicks to the chest of Orton, but then Orton ducked the kick to the head and low-blowed Bryan for the DQ. Cole said Orton was going to get beat by Bryan and took the cheap way out. JBL said he had to agree.
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton by DQ in 25:00.
John Cena's music played and he ran to the ring and attacked Orton. Cena threw Orton over the top rope and then checked on Bryan. Orton ran back in and put Cena down with an RKO. Orton held up his title belts (the ones we would never see in the ring together again) and posed over Bryan and Cena to close the show...
Powell's POV: I was more entertained by this Orton vs. Bryan match than their recent pay-per-view matches. They worked really hard and the match would have been even hotter had they made it a title match. I thought it was a cool and savvy move by Cena to play into the Bryan hysteria in Seattle last week, but this week was a little too much for my liking. I am curious to see whether they go with Orton vs. Bryan, Orton vs. Cena, or Orton vs. Cena vs. Bryan in a Triple Threat at the Royal Rumble.
The goal seemed to be to put heat on Orton and get through three hours of television. It wasn't the most newsworthy show, but we did get some very good in-ring work. The next couple weeks are likely to be filled with holiday silliness, but hopefully they will work in some good wrestling as well. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. Stop back on Monday for my WWE Raw Hit List and Will Pruett's Pause review of Raw.
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