With talk of both the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship now being unified at TLC in thirteen nights, what will go down tonight in the continuing saga of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena VS. WWE Randy Orton?
Daniel Bryan was taken away by The Wyatt Family last week, and did not appear on Smackdown. Will he be back tonight, and if so, what will his condition be?
What was the reasoning behind The Shield’s attack on C.M Punk? How will “The Straight-Edge Superstar” respond?
All that and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for December 02nd, 2013 – “Signed, Sealed, and Unified?”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
C.M. Punk is out right away to kick off Raw! “The Straight-Edge” Superstar has pondered as to why The Shield assaulted him last week. He figures it was because he insulted C.O.O. Triple H. Punk called this a “cardinal sin,” but laments whether it was a coincidence or not. He basically calls himself a loner, not one to care about what others are doing backstage.
He slightly warns “The Game” that he is the wrong person to pick on, because he is the “most anti-authority person in WWE.” Before he can go on, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks out. She sucks up to the fans and him by wishing them a happy Thanksgiving weekend (American), then turns it around and flat-out denies The Shield’s powerbomb on C.M. had anything to do with her and Triple H.
She announces that later tonight, there will be a contract signing between John Cena and Randy Orton for their double-title match at TLC She then informs Punk that he may take up any more inquiries with the Director Of Operations, Kane. The 7-Foot (former?) monster walks out and goes all lawyer-talk on him, politically stating that the issue with Punk and The Shield has been finalized, after an investigation was given and deemed no connection between The Authority and The Shield.
Punk calls Kane a sell-out and “big, red ass-kisser.” He then threatens that Kane can “either get knocked out, or I can make you go to sleep.” Kane starts to approach, but Stephanie holds him back. Just then, The Shield’s music hits and “The Hounds Of Justice” make their way to the ring through the crowd and surround Punk.
McMahon-Helmsley gets back in the microphone and orders The Shield to hold off, and claims that C.M. is to “be respected and admired.” Kane then books the “Second-City Saint” in a three-on-one match at TLC against Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose.
Michael Cole confirms that John Cena and Randy Orton will be competing at TLC to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships, then become the Undisputed Champion of WWE.
Match #1: Single – “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Stipulation: #1 Contender’s Match for the Intercontinental Championship
(Note: Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston is on commentary, and is actually quite good!) Sandow is aggressive early, ramming Dolph into the steps, then stomping hard and repeatedly on his left arm. Knees-to-the-chest, followed by the Elbow Of Distain by Damien for a two-count. He slams him down near the corner, then springboards off with a moonsault, but misses! Dolph leaps onto Sandow with a high-jumping and spinning DDT!
Ziggler runs and jumps on the turnbuckle, then gives Sandow 10 + punches. He spins him around with a neckbreaker for a close-call! A Fameasser plants Sandow face-first, but Dolph doesn’t get it! He tries a move off the top rope but is tripped up, and Sandow comes back quickly with the “You’re Welcome” Full-Nelson Slam and the victory!
Winner and #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship: “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow
Match #2: 6-Diva Tag-Team – The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki) and Natalya VS. Tamina Snuka, Summer Rae, & Divas Champion A.J. Lee (Non-Title)
Tamina and Nikki start out, with Nikki slapping Tamina then almost getting this one with a crucifix pin! She switches with her sister, who runs hard with a knee at Snuka! Tamina quickly gains control with headbutts, then tags in Summer. She chokes Brie with the ropes and her leg, getting a two-count. Snuka is back in and pushes Brie down against the bottom turnbuckle. Rae chokes Brie again with her boot, and prevents Brie from making the tag.
She drives Bella into the mat for another near-fall, but soon Brie gets the hot-tag to Natalya. She takes Snuka off the mat, but runs into the ring post. Rae gets A.J.’s attention, who was skipping around the ring the entire time up until this moment. Lee is brought into the match (to a big pop!) then kicks Natalya in the gut.
She attempts another, but is caught by Natalya, who goes for the Sharpshooter. Snuka comes in and kicks away, but the Twins take her and Rae out. The Divas Champion is distracted by this, allowing Natalya to roll her up for the one-two-three!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki) and Natalya
Later tonight, Daniel Bryan will face The Wyatt Family’s Erik Rowan.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Wade Barrett is back, under another new gimmick. This time he is known as “Bad News Barrett” and pretty much rips on Oklahoma City. (Waste of time/talent.)
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
WWE Champion Randy Orton is with Raw General Manager Brad Maddox, and orders him to tell The Authority that he is bigger than everyone and everything in WWE.
Daniel Bryan makes his entrance for his bout against Erik Rowan.
Match #3: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. Erik Rowan (with Wyatt Family member Luke Harper)
Rowan and Erik just appear in the ring, then replays of Bryan’s ordeal with The Family are shown. Rowan tries a couple of slugs to begin, but Bryan ducks and hesitantly kicks back. Rowan takes charge with more arm blows, but Bryan runs back off the ropes with a forearm, then hops on Rowan’s back with a sleeper. Harper chucks him off, but is hurt with a boot-to-the-face and jumping knee from Bryan.
He works over Erik’s arm, possibly setting up for the Yes Lock Crossface. Rowan shoves him off and scoop-slams Daniel. Another scoop-slam is slid out of by Bryan, who tries again for the Yes Lock, but Rowan struggles to the bottom rope for a break. Erik throws Bryan outside, but Daniel slides back in quickly. However Rowan catches Bryan after a dive to the outside. Erik hurls him into the barricade for a break.
Rowan is still powering Bryan, scoop-slamming him harshly again. He clutches him in a waistlock from behind, then clotheslines him hard off the ropes. Rowan works over Bryan on the floor. He chucks him into the steel steps, then puts him back inside the squared circle for a two-count.
He runs at Bryan in the corner, but Bryan counters with a drop-toehold. Daniel charges at him a couple times but is quickly cut-off with an elbow. He nails Bryan with a couple of kicks-to-the-face, then tears away at it. Erik punishes Bryan by pressing his foot on his face, then tosses Bryan overhead with a fall-away slam!
Daniel rolls out of the way of a canvas-splash then pulls down the rope in time for Rowan to tumble over. He takes Luke off the apron, then runs at Erik on the outside with a suicide dive! In the ring, he flies off the top rope with a front-dropkick, then kicks away, but is caught as he hops on Rowan’s shoulders.
Bryan punches away, and double-boots him out of the corner. He climbs the turnbuckle again, but Rowan boots him to a sitting position. He picks up Daniel in a military press, but Bryan moves around and rolls up Erik for the win!
Winner via Pin Fall: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, as he is celebrating, the lights go out and Bray Wyatt appears on the titantron. He has a one-on-one conversation with Bryan. He says that he was wrong about Bryan, as at first “I viewed you as this miniscule little creature, chasing this uphill war that you could never win.” “How long are you willing to live this lie?”
Bray claims that he “understands” Bryan, and thinks that the true Bryan is really someone who fits right in with The Family. He offers another chance at joining, “to bring the machine to its knees.” “Open your eyes.”
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Daniel Bryan is walking through the hallways and literately bumps into Kane. He congratulates Bryan on his win, then places him a three-on-one match too at TLC, against The Wyatt Family.
Match #4: Tag-Team – Xavier Woods and R-Truth VS. Tons Of Funk (“Sweet T.” Tensai and “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay) (with The Funkadactyls, Naomi and Cameron)
Woods and Clay begin, with Woods kicking and chopping Brodus. Xavier jumps onto Clay, but is caught and slammed down. Another scoop-slam gives Tons Of Funk control. Tensai is in, but gets punched and chopped at, then Xavier hits a jawbreaker before tagging in R-Truth.
Truth pounds away in the corner with punches, but is taken down with a shoulder block off the ropes by Tensai. Clay is back in and dominates. Truth comes back with a couple of kicks, then a jumping calf-kick to drop Brodus. Xavier is tagged and flies around Brodus.
He somersaults over into a forearm for a count, then takes Sweet T. off the apron. Clay comes back and attempts a second-rope splash, but Woods moves and struggles to roll up Clay. He manages to and gets the win for his team!
Winners via Pin Fall: Xavier Woods and R-Truth
Match #5: Single – Sin Cara VS. Alberto Del Rio
They lockup into the corner, with Del Rio coming out on top. Cara counters with a flip over the ropes, then dives off the top with an armdrag. He uses the ropes again to springboard moonsault to the outside, but is smacked harshly by Alberto shortly after.
He starts to dominate, double-stomping on Sin’s back, then grounding him with a rear chinlock. Cara fires back with a flying headscissors, then a soaring dropkick. He nails a crossbody for a two-count, but is German-suplexed for a near fall from Alberto. He slides his way out of the Cross Armbreaker submission, and fends off a running enzigrui! Cara follows up with a senton from the top rope and the surprise one-two-three!
Winner via Pin Fall: Sin Cara
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Renee Young is with World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. She ponders him on what it means to become the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Cena recaps the significant history of both titles, including referencing both icons Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. In one word, Cena states “everything,” about what it means.
Segment #6: Locker Room Promo
The Shield threaten C.M. Punk and warn him what they will do at TLC in their match.
Tag-Team Champions Goldust and Cody Rhodes, followed by The Big Show, make their entrance for their upcoming match with The Shield.
Match #6: 6-Man Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The Rhodes Brothers (Cody Rhodes and Goldust) and The Big Show VS. The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose) (Non-Title)
Ambrose and Show begin, with Ambrose trying a waistlock on the 7-Footer. Show counters with a side headlock takedown, then drops a big elbow on Ambrose. He pull up Dean’s shirt then chops him hard in the corner. Show runs him into the opposite turnbuckle and repeats process.
Dean switches with Seth, who tries his hand at taking down Show, but is flipped over with a bold clothesline. Show scoop-slams Rollins and then drops another elbow for two! He pushes Seth into his own corner, then faces off against Roman.
Reigns shoves Show, but Big comes back with kicks and body-punches. Show applies the same corner chop to Reigns, who chops back. He tags Dean back in, who is dominated again by Show. Goldust is now in, and also works over the U.S. Champ. Cody hops off the top rope and wears down Ambrose’s arm.
He hip-tosses Rollins, then drops him with a stalling-standing front-suplex! He tags his brother back in, who puts down Rollins quickly. “The Bizarre One” holds Seth off with an armlock, then switches back with Cody. Seth begins to fight back, but Rhodes does the same and takes both Rollins and Reigns off the apron. He soars off the top rope with a moonsault on Ambrose, getting two! Ambrose comes back and begins to take control.
Reigns is now in and wears Cody down with an armlock. He punches Rhodes in the gut when Cody tried a Disaster Kick. He is taken to town by The Show, who was tagged in, but Ambrose yanks the rope down and Big spills to the outside. Roman hammers away, then switches again with Rollins. He dives off the top with a knee, then stomps and kicks away. He gets another near fall, then tags in Dean.
The U.S. Champ also gives Show boots, but Show counters with a quick punch to Ambrose’s stomach. Reigns back in and runs at Show with a jumping forearm for two! Ambrose comes in and clamps on a rear chinlock, but Show counters with a big (pun intended, yes!) backdrop on Ambrose. Dean slaps hands with Reigns, but Roman is clutched by the throat for a Chokeslam by Show! Goldust is tagged in and on fire, working all over Rollins.
He hits an inverted atomic drop and knee, then after punches in the corner, he dives off the top with a hurricanrana and drops a spinebuster! Ambrose runs Rhodes into the announce table, then tries a running double-team with Rollins on Goldust, but is pulled over by Show. Goldust catches Seth off the ropes with a powerslam.
On the outside, Show tried a Chokeslam on Dean, but Reigns breaks it up with a spear, followed by Rhodes diving onto Reigns. Goldust suplexes Ambrose off the top rope, but Seth, who was the legal man, sneaks in and presses against Goldust to steal this one!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
C.M. Punk is with Rene Young, and is sarcastically (or not) elated at having to face The Shield at TLC He then gets serious and says “I’m going down, I know I’m going down. The question is, how many of The Shield am I taking with me?”
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Another “Bad News” Barrett ripping on how Americans over-stuffed themselves with Thanksgiving.
Up next, The Miz and Kofi Kingston will team up to face Curtis Axel and Ryback!
Match #7: Tag-Team – Curtis Axel and Ryback VS. Kofi Kingston and The Miz
Miz and Axel start out, trading waistlocks. Curtis chops in the corner, but is planted with a harsh clothesline by Miz. Kofi is tagged in, then after a couple quick moves, he switches again with Miz. “The Awesome One” attempts a leg submission, but is pushed off into the ropes, then hammered from behind with an arm blow. Ryback is tagged in and runs into Miz in the corner, then splashes him on the canvas. 1 – 2 – Miz kicks out!
Ryback dominates, kicking on the back of Miz, then holding him up in a stalling suplex! 1 – 2 – Miz gets the shoulder up! Ryback holds Miz to the mat with a waistlock, and holds his foot on Miz’s head. Curtis back in, and hits a beautiful dropkick. 1 – 2 – Miz kicks out! Ryback in again and snapmares and kicks Miz down.
He clamps a standing hug lock on Miz, who is stretching out and trying to tag in Kofi. He elbows his way out of Ryback, ducks under, and dives for the hot-tag to Kingston! Ryback nails Miz off the apron, but is planted with a jumping springboard crossbody! 1 – 2 – kick out by Ryback. Axel is taken off the apron, but Kofi is fallen with the Shellshock Samoan Drop to give Ryback and Curtis the victory!
Winners via Pin Fall: Curtis Axel and Ryback
Post-match, Miz helps Kofi up then slaps him harsh and backs away. Kofi yells at Miz as he backs away.
Match #8: Single – Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
Elbow/collar tie-up between the two, and Henry pushes Fandango across the ring. He holds him up and scoop-slams him down fiercely, then walks over Fandango after a clothesline. He taunts Summer Rae with a dance, then doesn’t move as Fandango ran right into him. Henry charges into the corner, but misses the splash, and Fandango manages to put him down. He runs off the ropes and dropkicks Mark at the knee.
Fandango climbs the turnbuckle and flies off with a crossbody for a close-call! Henry comes back with a couple of clothesline/shoulder blocks, then finishes this one with the World’s Strongest Slam!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
It is annonunced that C.M. Punk will take on one of the members of The Shield this week on Smackdown!
Match #9: Tag-Team – The Prime Time Players (“The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil and “Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young) VS. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter)
Titus and Jack start out with a lockup, then O’Neil kicks away in the corner. He hits Jack in the face with a big boot, then tosses him over with a fall-away slam. Titus runs into a double-boot by Swagger, then is punished by Cesaro. He is tossed outside, then run over again by Jack.
In the ring, Swagger has a standing front-facelock clamped on Titus, then presses his shoulder against him in the corner. Cesaro hits O’Neil, then Jack follows up with the Swaggerbomb, as does Antonio with the leaping double-foot stomp. Cesaro knees Titus and flips him over with a gutwrench suplex.
Swagger back in and gets a near fall, then works him over. Cesaro sweeps up Titus, then twirls him around numerous times with The Big Swing. Colter hops on the apron and begs Cesaro not to do it, since O’Neil will puke.
Titus, dizzy, falls back into a tag from Young, who is all over The Real Americans. He almost takes the match with a pinning Northern Light suplex! He catches Swagger with a powerslam, then dives off the second rope but is caught with a stiff uppercut by Cesaro. He covers and receives the victory!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger) (With Zeb Colter)
The Authority are walking through the backstage area, on their way out for the contract signing, next!
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Jerry “The King” Lawler presents the results of the vote, and the fans choose “The Unified Champion” to be the new name for the winner of WWE Champion Randy Orton VS. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at TLC
The arena is donned with tables, ladders, and chairs as The Authority make their way to the squared circle. Triple H touts the “monumentous” match, and Stephanie reassures us that there will be only ONE champion.
WWE Champion Randy Orton approaches first, followed by World Champion John Cena. HHH thanks them both and invites them to sit or stand. He puts over the WWE Championship itself, and the lineage of who’s who that wore the title. He does the same with the World Heavyweight Championship.
“The Game” puts over both competitors as well, and lays the pressure on them “with the hold world watching, to cement your legacy forever.” He presents the contract first to Orton, who signs on the dotted line. It is passed to Cena, who also puts pen-to-paper.
Stephanie then gives them the chance to talk about their bout. Orton goes first, and agrees with Hunter about the prestige of the WWE and World Titles. However, he then states that he is better than all of them in history. On the other hand, he also has something in common with the people, because they “don’t like John Cena very much.”
Cena tries a rebuttal, but is promptly cut-off by “The Viper.” He threatens Cena, but the former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics” mocks his attempt to play mind games. “I turn dreams into nightmares. Where the hell did you get that one, a fortune cookie?” he quips.
Cena puts Orton down with reality, recapping how Triple H handpicked Orton and made him a champion, then he took the easy way out. Cena talks about how he has earned everything and has always been a real person. “I am not an ‘APex predator.’ I’m John Cena.” “So right now, you’ve got two options, you can leave or you can move.” “If you so much make a move right now, this audience will be reminded of what a TLC match really is.” “So Randall, are you gonna step up or are you gonna step aside?”
Orton answers Cena with a swing and the brawl is on! Cena rams Orton with the ladder, but is thrown into the steel post. Cena fires back with steel chair shots, then bangs him in the head with the microphone. He drags Orton and rams his head against the steel steps, and gives his t-shirt to a young boy at ringside. (That was actually really nice!) In the ring, Orton comes back with a bunch of chair shots, both on the back and chest.
“The Viper” prepares a table, but Cena punches back and hurls Cena through another wooden appendage set up in the corner. He signals, picks up Orton, and drives him throw the other table with the Attitude Adjustment. Much like last week, but with the positions reversed, Cena holds the Heavyweight Championships high and poses for the crowd to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
I thought this was a better show than last week. There was another exuberant amount of matches, and again it all flowed nicely. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Always love C.M. Punk promo, and this one was no different. As usual, he grabs a hold of the audience’s attention with his passion and realistic style. Kane’s retort was beautiful – much like Mick Foley, he really shines through and has an awesome ability to key into different personality-types. His “lawyer-speak” was both funny and suiting for his new position. (Same goes with the backstage conversation he had with Daniel Bryan.)
Liking the Damien Sandow push again, and even though I believe his match with Dolph could’ve gone a bit longer, it was still executed well. The two have great chemistry. I am little concerned of where Dolph is going; looks like he is falling again unfortunately. I.C. Champ Langston was pretty decent on the headset too at ringside. He’s got some good oratory skills.
Every single match was good-to-very good on the card, with particular props to Daniel Bryan and Erik Rowan, and the 6-Man involving The Shield & Tag-Team Champions The Rhodes Brothers and The Big Show. Again, great chemistry and a story was well told, especially with Bryan/Rowan playing the size gimmick and methodical pacing. And again, extra points for the Divas on continuing to improve their skills/bouts.
Actually liking the tag-team of Ryback & Curtis Axel. These guys seem to gel well, and I would be ok if creative has them continue to partner up and make a run at the straps later. (Perhaps wait until the titles are on The Usos – I don’t see Goldust/Cody being a good match for them, as they are too above Ryback/Axel’s level.)
Loved the ending brawl and John Cena coming out on top this week. Provides the subtle suspense of who is going to win at TLC once and for all (for real, I’m not sure how this match will finish), and another game of “one-ups-manship.”
Bogus: Not sure about having two potential tag-team partner turns teased in one night (Miz/Kofi & Brodus/Tensai). One is enough, just a small nit-pick. Really hate the new gimmick Wade Barrett has been slated with. Truly, as mentioned in the initial report, a waste of talent and time for him. I wish they had stuck with his previous “bare-knuckle” one, as that was a true representation of who he is/was, and could’ve possibly helped elevate him again back to main-event (if not at least I.C.) levels. Really disappointed with Daniel Bryan’s quick comeback. I thought they could’ve milked this, with either him being absent for another week or two or him returning tonight completely changed and “brainwashed” by The Wyatt Family. I think it would’ve been a great change of character, and he could pull off the “cult, silent personality well (much like Harper and Rowan), especially with his bushy hair and beard look now. Lastly, as I wrote last week, not looking forward to the Slammy-themed show next week. While it is cool to see who wins and the moments again throughout the year, I just think it should not be at a “go-home” show before a pay-per-view, especially with a major match going on that pay-per-view. Again, this theme should be save for the last Raw of the year.
Overall, I really enjoyed Raw again this week. It built TLC much better, left a few questions remaining, and answered a few more. Everyone on the show did really well in their parts – it’s just the places some of them were put in I wasn’t a fan of (creative-wise). But, a much better effort than seven days ago in general.
As always until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!