Once again, I have been living under the “wrestling rock,” as I have no clue what happened at last night’s Survivor Series Pay-Per-View. Were John Cena and Randy Orton able to retain their respective Heavyweight Championships? Who survived (pun not intended) the battle of toughness between C.M. Punk/Daniel Bryan & The Wyatt Family, and what is the trio’s back story with the fan-favorites? Did Rey Mysterio’s return help his team prevail in their traditional Survivor Series bout? Was the entire show a lean one, or much like the last few pay-per-views, did a controversial finish arise?
On a sombre note, my condolences go out to the family of “Mad Dog” Maurice Vachon and his family. Honestly, I was too young (and/or not alive) when he was wrestling, so I don’t have any “live” memories of him, but from stories and old footage I have seen, he was a true great.
I did see his Hall-Of-Fame speech on DVD, and really loved that – very entertaining. Also, his late daughter, Luna Vachon, was also great in her own right; and she was a part of the era I did grow up watching wrestling in, so I have very fond memories of the character and personality she was.
God rest your souls Maurice and Luna Vachon.
Monday Night Raw Report for November 25th, 2013 – “Undisputed?”
Introduction Segment: In Memoriam
A photo of Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, with his name and years (1929 – 2013) appears on screen to start off Raw.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Justin Roberts welcomes STILL WWE Champion Randy Orton. “The Viper” saunters out as Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Jerry “The King” Lawler talk about the controversial finish to his match with The Big Show at Survivor Series (gee, what a surprise!). Also tonight, Michael Strahan – NFL Hall Of Famer and now Talk-Show Host – will be the Guest Host for Raw tonight; and C.M. Punk & Daniel Bryan will take on all of The Wyatt Family in a 3-on-1 match.
Orton believes he is owed an apology from the fans, and then asks The Authority to come out and be by his side. (The controversy referred to above was Stephanie and Triple H distracting Big Show, which allowed Orton to keep his title.) Triple H and Stephanie walk out with smiles on their faces. HHH congratulates Randy, and says that 10 years ago, when he chose him, he knew he had what it takes to become one of the “greatest superstars in the history of the WWE.”
Stephanie also puts over Orton, and subtly herself, by praising him for rising above the challenge. Orton himself is a bit aghast, saying that he really didn’t need or want their help. He says he can do everything on his own, and claims to be the best superstar in the 50-year history of WWE.
Of course, cue World Heavyweight Champion John Cena to probably dispute this. Cena tells everyone to listen to the fans, who are tired of the “administrative b.s.” He says that right now, there are two champions, but would really like to see only one. He proposes the inevitable, Champion VS. Champion to declare only one true champion.
Stephanie and Triple H actually agree, and go on to book WWE Champion Randy Orton VS. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the next pay-per-view, T.L.C on Dec. 15. Both championships will be on the line! The Authority walks off and Cena & Orton hold their respective titles high.
Up next, 6-Man Tag-Team between The Shield and Tag-Team Champions The Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio!
Match #1: 6-Man Tag-Team – The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) VS. Tag-Team Champions The Rhodes Brothers (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) and Rey Mysterio (Non-Title)
Right off the bat, The Shield take out Cody and Rey-Rey from the apron, and then corner Goldust with punishment in the corner. Ambrose holds Goldust as Rollins takes a shot. Dean and Goldust go back and forth, with “The Bizarre One” tricking Ambrose by holding the ropes and then coming back with an uppercut. He tosses Rollins over to the floor, but Rollins tries to come back with a dive, however Goldust counters by catching him with an inverted atomic drop! Reigns is now tagged in and begins to take control prior to the break.
Returning, Goldust manages to counter both Ambrose and Reigns with a double-DDT! He manages to finally tag in Rey, who soars around with his usual high-flying moves! Rollins does put him down, then tags in Ambrose, but Rey did the same on the other side to Cody, who springboards in with a front-dropkick! He hits the Alabama Slam on Ambrose, but the cover is broken up.
This brings in Mysterio who tries to go for a 619, but Reigns comes in and counters with a big spear! He also hits a spear on Goldust. Rhodes comes in and puts him out with the Disaster Kick, but is grabbed from behind and planted with Dean’s bulldog DDT! Ambrose covers and gets the victory!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
Up next, Michael Strahan will be out live.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The Miz is hosting MizTV and brings out Michael Strahan. It is not actually him though, as Titus O’Neil walks out, complete with made-up gap-tooth. This is just an entire mockery to solidify Miz’s heel turn (and apparently, Titus’?) The real Michael Strahan finally walks out and takes a few shots at them both. And since he’s the host, he also gets to book the main-event, and pits WWE Champion Randy Orton teaming with Alberto Del Rio to take on The Big Show and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena.
The Miz and Michael get into a verbal and physical “man-up” competition, and Strahan actually pulls off a couple of decent hip-tosses. (Granted, Miz and Titus sold them extremely well). Then, all three celebrate to please the fans. (That was wonderfully pointless!)
Match #2: Tag-Team – Ryback and Curtis Axel VS. Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston and Mark Henry (Non-Title)
Axel and Langston start out, with Big E. dominating. Axel tags in Ryback, who gives Langston a spinebuster and splash for a quick one. He covers again after another military press slam, then switches with Curtis. He pounds away on Big E., then gives Ryback another turn. Langston counters Ryback with a belly-to-belly, then tags in Henry.
He bowls over both Ryback and Axel, and with the help of Big E. taking out Ryback via a forearm (thanks “King”!), gives Axel a World’s Strongest Slam for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pin Fall: Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston and Mark Henry
Up next, it will be a rematch from Survivor Series featuring all the Divas. (Why?!)
Match #3: 14-Diva Elimination Tag-Team – The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie), The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi), Eva-Marie, Natalya, and Jo-Jo VS. Aksana, Rosa Mendes, Kaitlyn, Summer Rae, Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, and Divas Champion A.J. Lee
In short, The Bellas eliminate both Aksana and Rosa respectively, then Tamina is tagged in and takes out The Funkadactyls by herself. Jo-Jo is eliminated by Fox, but is quickly taken out by Eva-Marie. Kaitlyn and Natalya wrestle, with Nattie forcing Kaitlyn to give up to the Sharpshooter. A.J. Lee comes in and jumps all over Natalya with little punches.
Natalya picks her up and is rolled through for a potential Sharpshooter, but pushes off and rolls up Natalya with the tights and eliminates her. Brie comes in, and after the distraction from Natalya, drives Lee face-first with the face-buster and a 1 – 2 – 3! Summer Rae is left alone, and ganged up on. Nikki picks her up and drops her down with a Torture Rack to finish this one!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie), The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi), Eva-Marie, Natalya, and Jo-Jo
Up next, Dolph Ziggler will take on Damien Sandow in either “Hamptons” Hardcore Match “Strong Island” Street Fight, or “Long Island” Lumberjack.
Match #4: Single – “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Stipulation: “Hamptons” Hardcore Match
Sandow begins quickly, trying to take a swing at Ziggler with a golf club. Dolph ducks and fights back, but is quickly taken down again by Damien. On the outside, Dolph reverses a whip into the barricade, then clotheslines him over. Sandow fires back with a microphone, them jumps off the barricade. Dolph hops out of a scoop slam, then places the garbage can over Damien’s head and hits a picture-perfect dropkick.
Sandow is back in control, but is soon given a neckbreaker into literate garbage! This infuriates him, and his becomes aggressive again. Damien falls on Dolph with the Elbow Of Distain, while a Jonathan Tavares New York Islands sweater is placed on top. Ziggler is under the apron and pull out s fire extinguisher and blasts Sandow. Inside the ring, he jumps on Sandow with punches in the corner, and almost gets this one with the Fameasser!
Back to the inside, Sandow wields a tennis bat, but Ziggler counters with a high-jumping DDT! 1 – 2 – Sandow kicks out! He comes back with a hard shot with the paddle across the back of Ziggler, then drives him onto another garbage can with the “You’re Welcome” Full-Nelson suplex-slam! 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Michael Strahan is discussing with Santino Marella when Luke Harper, donned in his lamb mask, walks up. He freaks out Marella, then hands another mask to Strahan, insinuating him to put it on. He then walks off and Marella gives instructions on what to do with the mask. (Again, pointless!)
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Rene Young is in the ring and welcomes “The Best In The World” C.M. Punk. “The Straight-Edge Superstar” makes his entrance with a smile and is all hyped-up. She then brings out Daniel Bryan, also to a massive ovation. She wants their thoughts on their match from Survivor Series, as well as tonight’s 3-On-1 match.
Punk asks a bunch of questions about The Wyatt Family and the “decked being stacked against us,” which Bryan is able to respond with “yeses.” C.M. then speculates that lately, The Authority’s answer to solving issues is to put everyone in 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 or 3-on-2 type matches. Punk says they can throw everyone at them, from The Bushwackers, to The Dicks, to both The Midnight and Rock N’ Roll Express(es), etc.. but he and Bryan will always prevail.
Bryan says he has “looked into the soulless eyes of Bray Wyatt. And it is very, very clear that he is not finished playing whatever sick, twisted games he’s playing. And he’s not going to stop until he’s finished us. But WE will not let that happen!” “It’s clobbering time!” Punk belts out, then Bray, Luke, and Erik begin to make their entrance as we go to break.
Match #5: Tag-Team – C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan
Punk and Rowan start out, with Punk trying some kicks until he is pushed to the mat. He fires right back again, but is put in the corner and clubbed away at. Punk slides out of a scoop slam and kicks away, then tags in Bryan who does the same. Bryan runs off the ropes and right into a hard elbow block. Harper is in now and controls Punk who was tagged in after Daniel was able to hit a few quick moves, including the running clothesline.
He boots Luke out of the corner, then rams his shoulder into his gut before tagging Bryan back in. Daniel gives Harper a dragon screw, but Harper comes back. He switches with Bray, who methodically works over Bryan. He hits Bryan with a couple of headbutts, then tags Erik, who dominates over Bryan, until he misses a big boot in the corner.
Punk is back in, and springboards himself onto Rowan with a clothesline, then runs all over Rowan, and dives to the outside on him! He ascends the turnbuckle and flies off with an elbow inside the ring! 1 – 2 – Rowan kicks out! Bray and Harper provide a distraction before C.M. can go for the G.T.S., allowing Erik to capitalize. He chucks Punk to the aisle with a flapjack!
Rowan continues to dominate, ripping at Punk’s chin. Bray is back in and punches C.M. in the corner with fists of furry, then scoop slams him. Harper is back in and Gator Rolls Punk, then holds him in a grounding side headlock. He nails a stiff uppercut, then throws Punk into a fresh Rowan, who catches and hangs on in a bearhug position. Punk battles out with elbows and tries a sunset flip, but is picked up again.
“The Second City Saint” nails Rowan with a kick, and both tag-out. Bryan and Harper in, with Bryan getting the best of both Harper and Bray via high-flying moves, including a suicide dive to Wyatt and missile dropkick off the top rope onto Luke! He brings Harper down with a hurricanrana and manages to lock him in the Yes Lock Crossface, but Rowan breaks it up. Harper spins and plants Bryan down with a Michinoku Driver and gets a two-count until Punk breaks it up. Everyone begins to brawl and this match is suddenly called!
Winners: None due to Referee Stoppage
Post-match, The Wyatt Family attacks then abducts Daniel Bryan. Out of nowhere, Roman Reigns of The Shield spears the heck out of C.M. Punk on the floor. Seth and Dean then show up, and all three Triple-Powerbomb Punk to the canvas!
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
The Miz is with his co-star, and they are plugging their Christmas movie together. (Nothing of importance, yet again.)
Match #6: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. The Miz
Kofi offers a handshake to start, but Miz slaps the taste out of his mouth. They lockup, with Miz clasping a side headlock take down on Kofi, who then does the same. It is pretty much even and a one-up-manship contest for the first bit, then Kofi rolls out of a snapmare, hitting a dropkick and clotheslining Miz over the ropes. He follows up with a dive, but Miz moves, however Kofi was able to stop himself too! He catches Miz back in the ring with a drop toehold and front-facelock, but is kicked in the gut out of the corner.
Miz holds onto Kofi’s head with a rear chinlock and wears him down. Kofi flips out of it, then chops Miz down a couple of times and hits another dropkick and jumping chop. He nails the Boom Drop legdrop, and gears of for the Trouble In Paradise (thanks Michael for the reminder!), but is caught by Miz. He tries the Figure-4, but Kofi shoves off and brings him down with the S.O.S. for two! He uses the ropes again to springboard with a crossbody for a near fall, then Miz cleanly brings him back with a Crucifix Pin and takes this contest!
Winner via Pin Fall: The Miz
Match #7: Single – Heath Slater (with 3.M.B. members Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) Vs. Xavier Woods (with The Funkadactyls [Naomi and Cameron] and R-Truth)
R-Truth introduces Woods again in style, having The Funkadactyls accompany him to the ring. Woods and Slater trade wristlocks, but Heath punches him square in the face. Xavier hops over Slater, then ducks a couple of clotheslines before spinning Heath around with a flying head scissors.
Slater catches Woods out of another springboard and drops him across the turnbuckle, face-first. Slater starts to take control, stomping away and clamping on a grounding rear chinlock. He puts Woods down with a boot and gets two, but misses a splash in the corner. Xavier begins to fire back with punches and a headbutt. He runs with a front dropkick, then flips into a clothesline and boot-to-the-face for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: Xavier Woods (with R-Truth and “The Funkadactyls” Cameron & Naomi)
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Guest Host Michael Strahan is talking with The Bella Twins, who get some merchandise signed. Eva-Marie the comes in and plugs herself on Total Divas, followed by Tag-Team Champion Goldust, who hisses at the NFL Legend. Later, he is chatting with World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, who is getting ready for his match, up next!
Match #8: Tag-Team – WWE Champion Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio VS. The Big Show and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Show and Del Rio begin, with Show chopping away on the best of Alberto. He takes turns doing it to both Orton and Del Rio.
Cena is down on one knee, which Alberto uses to kick in the back of it. Del Rio places Cena backwards on the top rope and runs at him, but Cena sits up and Alberto eats the steel ring post. Orton back in, and dominates over the World Heavyweight Champion. He drops a knee on the head of Cena, and after a cover, locks on a rear chinlock. Cena gets out of it with a backdrop, but is quickly decimated with a DDT by Alberto! He runs at Cena, but slides right through the ropes!
Cena is writhing and trying to reach The Big Show. He eventually does, and the 7-Footer is all over Del Rio and Orton. He chargers at him in the corner with a splash, but Del Rio moves. He hits a kick-to-the-head and is measuring the giant. He places his boot directly on the throat of Show, then switch again with Orton. Del Rio hits him again in the head while Orton held him. Big Show looks out of it, and the ringside doctor jumps in the ring to check on him.
After determining that Show is ok, Orton runs at him but is caught by his throat. Orton fights out of it and gears up for a punt. He runs but is met with a spear by Show, who then gets the hot-tag to Cena. The former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics” is all over Del Rio, until he gets a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out!
Alberto catches Cena and almost has him in the Cross Armbreaker, but Cena rolls through and grips on the STF, forcing Del Rio to give up!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Big Show and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
Post-match, Del Rio tries an assault on Cena while he was checking on Big Show, but is eventually laid out with the Attitude Adjustment. Orton hits Cena from behind with the WWE Title, rendering him unconscious. Randy Orton goes to the outside and collects the World Heavyweight Title too, and holds both above his head over a downed John Cena to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Judging by the average show again, it also seems I didn’t miss much (and was not surprised at the major results) from Survivor Series; or I just watched it for free with this 3-hour show! There was definitely some great parts, specifically matches/wrestling, but also some terrible and/or needless segments that did not resonate and made this post-pay-per-view offering weaker. Onto the usual analysis:
Excellence: Opening promo for the eventual set-up. I admit I was surprised that John Cena was the one who answered Orton (remember, I didn’t watch and/or read anything about Survivor Series, so I did not know the ending), thinking that a returning superstar would challenge Orton to be the best/”face of the WWE.” However, really liking the possible final unification of the championships. Really now, the brand is just one big roster, so let’s go back to having one heavyweight title and call it the WWE Championship. I this case, I also strongly believe Cena needs to win it and carry the title through Wrestlemania XXX, where another big money-making match/challenger should face him in the main-event for the title. (Read Undertaker!)
Matches between Wyatt Family & Punk Bryan, Miz/Kofi, Cena/Show & Del Rio/Orton, Sandow/Ziggler, the 6-Man, and the Divas. Yes, while a lot of these were Survivor Series bouts again (why? – hence my point of basically watching the PPV for free!), they were still wrestled very, very well. I was especially impressed with the Divas and most of them (Bellas, particularly) have improved greatly. Kofi/Miz gets high-marks as well for being a decent amount of time and telling a good story of “getting the better of each other” in the ring, plus the clean finish considering Miz is a semi-heel now.
Very intrigued to see the next chapter of Daniel Bryan/The Wyatts. I think Bryan could play the “brain-washed” character very well, and be silenced/mesmerized by The Wyatt Family. I actually really hope this is where they’re going, and it would be a nice fresh change for him.
Liking The Shield getting back to their dominate and aggressive ways. I know it looks like Reigns is being groomed for break-out stardom, but I really hope they don’t ditch The Shield for a long while. They have been the most consistent faction in probably the last 10 – 13 years, and it’s nice to see for a change that group can actually remain together for longer than six months!
Loved the ending shot of Randy Orton smiling back, looking at the entrance way. I think he was specifically glaring at The Authority, as to say “see, I really can do this on my own and don’t need you. I will be the face of this company!” Nice subtle touch.
Bogus: The very bad and pointless use of Michael Strahan. I really don’t know why he was there, as I don’t even think he plugged anything other than his daily talk-show, which he doesn’t need to. All his segments were a waste of time. Missing in action – Brad Maddox, Vickie Guerrero, Kane, The Usos? I’m really happy Mark Henry’s back, but disappointed that he isn’t higher up the card. After his summer run, which was fantastic, he should’ve returned to main-event level as well. (Do like the new look though as well, makes him look even more tough!) The Slammy Awards themed-show. I have no problem with the theme itself, but again, not six nights before a pay-per-view. It muddles down the importance of building to the show, which you’d want people to buy. Plus, since it’s a year-end awards show, wait until AFTER the final ppv of the year to hand them out. There could be great moments/matches at T.L.C. too that wouldn’t count for 2013, since the show is after the Slammys. As I more/less stated above, why have a pay-per-view if you’re just going to run almost the same card the next night!
All in all, some interesting plots have come out of Raw and am looking forward to seeing where those play out, but in general, I thought it was another “meh” kind of show that just moved a long, and not a lot of thought was put into it. Please up the anti for next week, creative!
Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!