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Angi S., Here….
It’s that time of year again. When we all gather round with those we care about and watch the special Christmas edition of WWE’s RAW from Minneapolis, Minnesota! Trees, lights and cheer paired with mayhem, chaos and insanity were the order of the evening. Like so many presents we have received in our life time, we saw things that made us go this is awesome, and others that made us go what the hell did I just witness? Either way, we were just grateful to spend the time with the superstars we loved and the ones we wished we really could not see. What fun was to be had and what was bad? Let’s rip into this shiny box of holiday spirit that is the December 22, 2014 RAW!
Ho Ho Hogan appeared like the muscle bound Santa of our dreams to spread holiday cheer and smiles that make this time of year so special for the WWE Universe (or torturously cruel depending on how one views things). He wasted no time giving out presents to the good boys and girls as he announced two huge matches to look forward too. John Cena, not satisfied staying away from the center of attention, appeared and claimed that he’d been a good boy all year long and while he’d wanted the Frozen musical play set for Christmas, after last week what he wanted now was Brock Lesnar (Guess he can’t let it go…), Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins. Cena rightfully admits that Rollins was the better man (that’s what I heard anyway) and then begged Santa Hogan for a match with the WWE’s new standard bearer.
Seth, not one to let any, especially John Cena, take his name in vain, graced us with his presence. The undisputed future of the WWE reiterated what he said once before, that no one wants to hear John Cena’s stupid voice anymore. He also stated that he was there to protest the rule of Ho Ho Hogan, as the Authority should be present to run things. Instead, they were depressed because they had to watch the show they had worked so selflessly to govern, run into the toilet from home. Mr. Money in the Bank said that if Hogan should do anything, it was to make John Cena bring back the Authority! Rollins then bravely withstood the verbal barbs Cena rudely threw at him and accepted the match that the tyrannical Hogan forced on him to begin the evenings festivities!
Seth Rollins vs John Cena
Winner: John Cena via pinfall
Seth took and held onto offensive momentum for much of the match firmly asserting that now was the Era of Rollins and that the Cena era was past its prime. It was almost like the Wrestling Gods gave me my Christmas present early. This match was a thing of beauty. But when Seth Rollins is involved, every match is a gift. As the match continued, the 15 time former champion began to show that never give up attitude as fought back and with stood the outside influence of J & J Security. Cena and Rollins fought back and forth exchanging blow after blow, counter after counter, fighting for dominance.
The future of the WWE showcasing why he is the living embodiment of things to come with his cat like agility, landing on his feet after multiple aerial moves and even flipping through an AA much to the surprise of the leader of the Cenation. However, even the best laid plans do not come to fruition as planned John powered through Jamie and Joey, as he delivered a double Attitude Adjustment to the both men and then delivered the move to Seth for the pin. Even though my beloved Seth Rollins did not pick up the win this match was a treat. I give credit where it is due, the in ring chemistry between John Cena and Seth Rollins always delivers gold. It was fun to see Rollins pulling off high risk maneuvers that haven’t really been as prevalent since he destroyed his creation of the Shield. And I totally mark out every time he uses Avada Kedavra (for those who don’t know, it’s the super kick to an opponent on their knees. Used to be his finisher in FCW).
Even Cena pulled out things I’m not used to seeing in his arsenal, such as a sit down power-bomb, or a drop kick. These two are bringing out the best in each other every time they step into the ring. The “this is awesome” chant the two received was well deserved because I was chanting it too. This match had me cheering and tearing my hair out, and ultimately made me scream bloody murder as Seth’s shoulders were pinned to the mat with me begging him to kick out. John Cena got his Christmas wish, but it is only one battle in the war. And Seth Rollins is a true tactician. I am looking forward to seeing how the living breathing future and standard bearer for the WWE teaches John Cena that now is the Era of Seth Rollins!
Fandango vs Jack Swagger
Winner: Fandango via pinfall
I’m of the opinion that after the dancing king got owned by Roman last week, he was out with something to prove. But the Big Hoss from Oklahoma was not about to let him have it easy. It appeared that Jack was going to make short order of the dancer but Fandango rocked the all American with vicious well placed kicks to the temple. This allowed him to take over the match and as he delivered a leg drop from the top rope to pick up a much needed win. It was a shame this match was so short. It almost felt like filler.
Both of these men are talented but have been relegated to the glorified jobber category, with Swagger picking up the title of King Jobber with this loss to the Dango. This match was actually pretty good given time constraints, and I would have loved to see them have more time to truly showcase their abilities. I do find it disheartening that Jack Swagger can’t win a match to save his life it seems. It almost feels like he is the WWE yo-yo. He is built up to look like a true threat to Rusev, he loses. And now he’s losing to Fandango. It’s so up and down with him, like WWE creative has no idea what to do with him, much less other competitors like Fandango.
They aren’t pushing them towards titles, they aren’t giving them meaningful rivalries. How are we, the fans, supposed to give to sh*ts about these guys if we can’t se them in proper meaningful matches? I want to care about Jack and the whole “We the People” thing. And I REALLY want to know how Fandango is new and improved because he still dances, and he’s still being fed to other superstars to make their momentum better. I’ve gone off on a tangent but maybe it’s time to bring back another title for the lower mid card to battle over? Make these bouts meaningful instead of one jobber jobbing to another.
Adam Rose vs R-Truth
Winner: R-Truth via pinfall
Another jobber vs jobber match with R-Truth picking up the win after a dance off with Adam. Truth didn’t hang around to celebrate his win, leaving Adam Rose in the ring to wonder what happened. The neckbrace sporting Bunny went to comfort the party king but in a red hazed rage, Adam took out his frustrations on the furry. It also appeared that other Rosebuds would feel his wrath but it was not to be as Rose stormed into the back leaving his followers to tend to the remains of Bunnymania. What excites me about this (and I’m a sucker for heels and baddies) is how violent Adam Rose was. I haven’t seen him like this since well… ever (at least not under the name Adam Rose <.< Just Sayin) I want to see Adam Rose come back out with no Rosebuds and an attitude of any and all in his way needs to meet a swift and violent end.
Here is another good example of why there needs to be a belt for the lower mid card to fight over. Give them something meaningful to strive for. At the moment, Adam is another guy who seems that his only purpose is to be fed to other guys to make them look strong. Sure, R-Truth got the win, but where does he take that momentum? The US Title? Sorry but R-Truth may have been the one to beat Bo Dallas the first time, but I have my doubts about him pinning Rusev. The Intercontinental Title? While a match with Dolph would be entertaining, not seeing that either. The Tag titles? He needs a partner for that. So what can either man actually strive for?
Roman Reigns vs Big Show
Winner: Roman Reigns via count out
Warning, ranting about to happen but first the match. It was slow, and did more harm than good to Roman’s momentum. Big Show tossed Reigns around like a toy, but Roman answered with a budding offense of his own. However it was not to be as he took a beating and was held in submission holds to the chorus of “boring” chants. The Samoan Superman was able to eventually get the big man down to deliver his basement dropkick bringing Show outside the ring where a Superman Punch was then delivered.
Roman picked up the win as the ref counted the giant out. I begged WWE to take Show off of Erick Rowan for the simple fact that Show would sink him as a budding singles talent. Now I am offering burnt sacrifices to the Wrestling Gods to please, for all that is merciful, end what ever Big Show and Roman Reigns have going on because it is toxic to Roman’s career. The sad thing is, I like Big Show. But I’m now more than ever convinced he is dead weight that will bring down anyone he is in the ring with. This match was horrible. And I hate saying that about a match that Roman is in, because I adore him and think he is talented. But he doesn’t have the experience to turn crap like that match into gold. Big Show may have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but he is not the opponent Reigns needs if WWE wants Reigns to be their number one guy.
And what was that crap with a win via count out? Seriously?? It accomplished the opposite of what they wanted. Sure Roman picked up a win, but it felt more than a little chicken sh*t to me. He couldn’t out muscle Show in the ring, so he got in a lucky punch (even though that punch is a work of art) and then rolled back into the ring to pick up a win. When I watched the match, I just knew he was rolling into the ring to break the count. The Roman I know and love was going to roll back out, muscle Show back into the ring, set him up for a devastating spear and pick up the three count. Is that what happened? NO! NO IT WASN’T!! What the bloody hell man!?
My Samoan Superman let me down. Wanna know who looked strong at the end? Big Show. He flipped the announce table he was so upset. I’m pretty sure I flipped the coffee table I was so pissed! This did nothing but make Roman look like a b*tch and anything but the 2014 Superstar of the Year (Seth was sooo robbed, just sayin) and if he’s supposed to be WWE’s heir apparent to the Cena crown, they hurt him in a big way with how this was done. I better stop here before I really get upset, I made my point.
Natalya vs Brie Bella
Winner: Natalya via pinfall
It’s a testament to how bad the previous match was in that I enjoyed the hell out of this match. I even found Tyson wearing a Bella hat to be a bit on the ha ha funny side. (pretty sure I was looking for an excuse to be entertained.) Brie took control early and went all Brie mode and delivered a couple running knees early on. Nattie answered with her technical wrestling prowess and reversed a roll up to pick up the win. After the match, Natalya ended up elbowing Nikki off the apron and holding up the Divas title.
YES!!! Make this happen and then give the belt to Natalya! Nattie has some wicked momentum going right now. She is coming up as a true contender for Nikki’s belt now that AJ seems to have disappeared. I’d love to see Natalya with the title on her waist and then to have Charlotte come up from NXT and have these two show the main roster divas what wrestling actually is!
Gold & Stardust vs Los Matadores and El Torito
3 on 2 Handicap Match
Winner: Los Matadores via pinfall
This was another match that left me wondering wtf did I just watch? It started with Stardust and El Torito, who was dressed as Rudolph. To Stardust’s credit, he did ask for the little deer. And it was entertaining. Sometimes you can’t take things too seriously and just enjoy them for what they are. This was one of those matches where you just have to forget all about stories and technical wrestling and just enjoy the show.
Granted my wtf moment came when El Torito pinned Goldust. Urge to rant rising but because I know this match was supposed to be bad for me (like candy) I will resist the urge and just chalk it up to mindless dribble that I’m not supposed to take too seriously.
Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper
Intercontinental Title Match
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
FINALLY! A match that makes the previous three worth the wait! Luke Harper exercised his rematch clause as a past champion to attempt to do what he vowed earlier in the evening. He made it his mission to take Ziggler’s IC title off of him this Christmas. And he made his point as he nailed the Show Off with a big boot before the bell even rang. He followed it up with a brutal assault but miscalculated and Dolph was able to create some separation and order the ref to ring the bell to get the match officially underway.
The former intercontinental champion owned the first part of the match keeping Dolph on the offensive and looking as pretty as ever (no one looks prettier than Dolph when he’s being pummeled). This match never let up as Harper threw everything but the kitchen sink at Dolph. But the Show Off would not stay down. And would give as good as he got till he was knocked down again and again. Not even Dolph’s super kick seemed to phase Luke at one point as he shook it off and still delivered a clothes line that made JBL proud for a near fall. Ziggler showed just why he is the IC champion as he was able to rally to deliver not one but TWO superkicks, followed by a zigzag to retain.
I think I’m in love with this rivalry. These two deliver beautiful matches every time. Their two styles are so completely different yet meld seamlessly. My eyes feast on the physical story they tell and I’m invested in both of them. Each man gives everything they have to make the match as meaningful as possible and the fans are the ones who benefit. And I am left wondering, and I know this is a tangent, but what the hell does Bray Wyatt teach if his two freed family members turned out so differently? You have Luke Harper, who is a sadistic twisted crazy bastid who will take from you anything he feels is his.
And then you have Erick who went after Big Show because he didn’t like bullys. And we can go deeper, with Erick turning out like he did, does that mean Bray has a softer more vulnerable side? But back to the point at hand. Dolph Ziggler + Luke Harper + Any Match = Wrestling Crack and I’m waiting for my next fix.
Special Guests: Rusev and Lana
It’s hard to be follow up to a match like Dolph and Luke but when Rowdy Roddy Piper is in the ring, you know it’s going to be good. And then put him in the ring with the United States Champion and Lana, you know it’s going to be explosive. Piper was as Rowdy as ever as he cut Lana’s anti American/anti christmas diatribe off stating that “America is the land of the free and We can believe in what we want to believe in!” (Believe That! ) Rusev then stepped up to threaten Hot Rod, but the Rowdy one didn’t back down but instead informed the Bulgarian brute of the present that he got for him. Put a bow on it and everything. And out comes Ryback!
The Big Guy all geared up to get retribution for the assault from Smackdown. A brawl erupts (cuz well what in ring segment of Piper’s Pit doesn’t?) and Rusev and Lana strategically regroup the hell out of there! No, I am not drinking the Ryback koolaid. I REALLY want to see Rusev crush Ryback. I’m salivating for it, hungering for it if you will. I love Rusev being an unstoppable force that crushes all who dare stand in his way. Set them up, he knocks them down. He isn’t afraid to back up his claims of dominance and he wins cleanly (more or less). This man is a beast and Ryback is going to be just one more in a long list of opponents to fall before the Pride of the Russian Federation.
Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae vs Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi
Santa’s Helper 6 Diva Tag
Winner: Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi
Yay for Holiday Traditions and yay for the The Diva’s division putting forth a rare effort of two entertaining matches! They do have it in them they do they do! Paige carried her team since well she was the only one with talent on it. It was an aggressive back and forth mostly between Emma and Paige. Naomi also gave us some excitement showing why she should not be forgotten in the Divas title race. In the end it was Alicia Fox picking up the win for her team. Nothing really huge about this match other than the winning team gets bragging rights.
It was a surprisingly enjoyable match. I am hard on the main roster Divas, but they stepped up their game for the most part. They are still so far below the NXT ladies as a whole but there is a glimmer of hope. Summer Rae and Cameron are about useless in the ring. Pretty sure they are just eye candy and not even good eye candy. But the other ladies in the match displayed that there is hope for the Divas division and they should be taken seriously by the powers that be.
The Miz vs Jey Uso
Winner: The Miz via pinfall
The Miz accompanied by his stunt double is set to take on Jey Uso accompanied by his brother Jimmy. Miz nearly loses in the first moments as Jey rolled him up but the A Lister was able to kick out and regroup. The two traded blows and offensive momentum throughout the match. The two were very evenly matched and they kept the pace exciting. And of course, Mizdow mimicked like a champ the entire match. In the end Miz pulled out the win when he rolled Jey up and held the tights. The tag champion and his more popular stunt double high tailed it out of there before the Uso’s could seek revenge for the dirty win. So… I’m thinking someone needs to speak to Miz about pulling tights.
I will assume that when the camera went black and then came back to a standing Jey pulling his trunks back up that some fans got a shot of bare samoan ass. This isn’t the first time a competitors hind in has been bared for all to see. Just ask Dolph Ziggler (Great match that was btw… NO! IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH DOLPH’S BUTT! <.<). But back to the topic. This singles match was wrestling fun. Flying Uso’s and mimicking stunt doubles oh my! I do love that they are denying us Mizdow. It makes us want to see him in the ring more. And when we finally do see him in the ring, it’s that much sweeter.
Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt
Miracle on 34th Street Fight
Winner: Bray Wyatt via pinfall
This match was an insanity chaos ridden treat fro the WWE Universe. No Christmas tree was left unused and the presents were laid waste as they were used as weapons. Occasionally, a gift would be opened and the contents used (but right on Dean for putting the TV down. We all remember his luck with electronics.) Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose tore into each other and took turns owning the other as the match progressed. It spilled out of the ring and up to the ramp much to the crowds delight. But in the end it was Bray Wyatt whips the Lunatic Fringe into the corner that held a kendu stick. Dean took the blow to the eye and was dazed long enough for the Eater of Worlds to pick up the one, two, three. Was the night over? Not so much. Ambrose rolled out of the ring and Wyatt followed him.
But the Unstable one surprised Bray with a shot from a fire extinguisher. Dean then puts Bray on an unbroken table, climbs the turn buckle and elbow drops Wyatt straight to hell to end the evening. How many times can they put these two in the same match and then call it a different name? Wait… don’t answer that because then we will prolly see it. Not that I don’t like seeing Bray and Dean go at it, but I want to see them go in a match that doesn’t involve some sorta gimmick. Neither man NEEDS it. Was it a fun match? Yes, but that’s beside the point. These holiday street fights are a WWE tradition so who am I to deny tradition. But I would have like to see someone else do it. Dean ‘s career is built on hardcore death match stuff. And while this is the PG era and there’s no on purpose blood, a part of me just wants to see Dean wrestle. No chairs, no kendu sticks, no pumpkins or brooms or Christmas trees or tables. Now here’s the rub of it, his opponent is Bray Wyatt.
His style favors the more unorthodox brawler style. Not so much the technical mat style that I know Dean is capable of putting forth in his own erratic flavor. I feel there is so much lost in this feud that we the fans wont be able to see. The potential is still great but as I’ve asked before, where can they go with it? Now it just feels like they are fighting aimlessly and for no reason. At least when Dean was going after Seth we KNEW why. I like a spot of violence, but so much violence for violence’s sake gets a bit dull. This fight needs substance. I am still entertained; I’m not saying it’s boring. Dean Ambrose and boring do not go in the same sentence, but there is that part of me that wants more to this. When he is on screen I can’t help but watch him, one never knows what Ambrose is going to do, but it’s the after the match that I wonder why the hell is he fighting Bray again?
Or even when the match is announced, okay he’s going against Bray again… Why? No clue. But I’m gonna roll with it and keep asking. I’m a wrestling fan after all, I’ve accepted that even though I ask, I may not get the answer and if I am given an answer, often times, logic had nothing to do with it. But I love wrestling, and some things are just meant to be enjoyed for the sake of what they are. Maybe that’s what this Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt thing is right now. Something to just be enjoyed for the sake of enjoying it.
– Angi Sanders