Alright, it’s over 24 hours since T.L.C. and do we have ONE Champion? Do we have a NEW landscape in the WWE? Do we finally have a CLEAN finish from a big, important match? (Which, was really built extremely well last week!)
I predicted that Randy Orton (with my Dad’s opinion) needed this win more, and I’m still sticking with it – especially since I really don’t know who won as I have avoided at all possibilities (truly hyped up for this, so hopefully the wait and “shut-out” from wrestling news has been worth it!)
So, enough ramblin’, let’s get wrestling! To find out all that went down and what lies ahead, read on!
Monday Night Raw Report for December 16th, 2013 – “WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”
Introduction Segment: Recap
A montage of highlights from the main-match last night, and old footage of past WWE and World Heavyweight Champions respectively, airs. Still photos of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs contest are shown, and they end with Randy Orton coming out on top after he yanked Cena off the ladder onto a table!
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The roster is standing on and around the stage area. (By the way, The Rhodes Brothers are depicted and are still the Tag-Team Champions!) The Authority is in the ring and Stephanie welcomes us to “this historic edition of Monday Night Raw.” She says that “it’s time for everyone in this arena, everyone around the world. All of the superstars and divas standing on that stage, all of the superstars and divas from the past, the present and the future. Anyone who will ever don a pair of tights and step into this ring, to pay respect and honor one man.”
Triple H declares that “we witnessed the dawning of a new era, as WWE’s rich history collided with it’s bright future; and we unified the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships into one.” HHH brings out the NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton.
“The Viper” walks out, dressed with both titles on his shoulders. He slowly walks down the aisle and seems to be in awe himself of the moment. (Note: there are actually some cheers from the crowd.) Stephanie and Triple H are glowing in his presence.
The man of the hour rips the fans for not having the “faith that I was going to win the most important match in WWE history.” Orton says that he has proved his opportunity by taking action and converting two championships into one, then puts himself on a pedestal against the rest of the roster.
John Cena suddenly cuts him off and sums up his promo. He does sincerely congratulate Orton on the accomplishment, then recalls what Hall-Of-Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin once quoted about the WWE Championship: “that championship forces you to put up or shut up.”
He then lays out a challenge to Orton, for “The Viper” to face Daniel Bryan later tonight! The crowd is happy and want it, but Orton denies it at first. Cena wants him to reconsider and prove his legacy, but Randy still goes against the idea. He says that he doesn’t have to go along with anyone, but Steph reminds him that The Authority are still his bosses.
Triple H admits that he doesn’t think Bryan is WWE World Heavyweight Championship-worthy right now, but both he and Steph concur with the fans who voted Bryan “Superstar Of The Year,” and do book the fan-favorite bout, slated the last match on tonight’s card.
“The Game” informs “The Viper” it is “the chance for you to silence the critics who say ‘you can’t beat this man.’”
Up next, The Rhodes Brothers will face either Big Show & Rey Mysterio, Rybaxel, or The Real Americans; this will be decided via fan-voting.
Match #1: Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The Rhodes Brothers (Cody and Goldust) VS. Rey Mysterio and The Big Show (Non-Title)
Rey and Cody shake hands to begin, then lockup. Cody uses a headlock takedown on Rey, but the little man gets out of it with a leg scissors. Rey spins Cody around with a flying headscissors, then dives through the ropes with a splash to the outside! Rey-Rey is caught on the top rope, but punches his way off Cody’s shoulders. Rhodes elbows his way out and nails the Disaster Kick for a close call!
Cody front-suplexes Rey for two, then tags in his brother. Goldust drops a knee, and begins to work over Rey’s left arm. He switches with Cody again, who jumps off the top rope with an elbow on Rey’s arm. Mysterio slides under and trips up Cody, then tags in his 7-Foot partner.
Show has Cody caught and scoop slams him, then drops an elbow for a near fall! He leans Cody up against the ropes and chops him hard, but Rhodes begins to fight back with kicks and punches. He runs off the ropes but is met with a boot-to-the-chin. Show locks him in the Cobra Clutch and just about puts him to sleep.
Cody counters with a jawbreaker, but is put down again quickly. Show hammers Cody in the gut, then rams his butt a couple times into Cody’s gut. He hits Cody with another smacking chop against the ropes, then drops him with the Final Cut for two!
Big hops to the second rope, then soars off with a huge elbow drop! Cody moved though, and gets the hot-tag to Goldust. “The Bizarre One” is all over Show, bringing him down with a flying forearm clothesline. He is grabbed off the ropes with a Chokeslam, but Rhodes breaks up the subsequent cover. Show shoves Cody to the floor, and moves from a top-rope attack by Goldust! Show nails the K.O. punch, then tags in Mysterio who uses Show to splash to earn the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Rey Mysterio and The Big Show
Post-match, Goldust appears to be completely out of it, and needed to be helped up by Rhodes, Mysterio, and Show. (Not sure if he’s selling the punch, or it’s for real.)
Later tonight, C.M. Punk will team up with either The Usos, Los Matadores, or The Prime Time Players to take on The Shield in 3-on-2.
Segment #3: Arena Promo
Wade Barrett delivers some more “bad news” about $500,000,000 in the lottery and claims that no one in the arena will win it.
Segment #4: Office Promo
Triple H, Stephanie, and Kane are discussing the main-event when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton bursts in. He is unpleased with his spot tonight, but is reassured Stephanie storms away.
Summer Rae and Fandango dance their way to the ring for their bout with Dolph Ziggler, next!
Match #2: Single – Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Fandango starts this with aggressive punches, but Dolph flips his way out of a backdrop, then hits a beautiful picture-perfect dropkick. Fandango move out of the way of a baseball slide, then clotheslines Ziggler down on the floor. In the ring, Fandango stomps away and works over Ziggler.
He gets a two-count following a jumping heel-kick, and wears Dolph down with a side headlock. Ziggler counters and rolls up, but only gets two! Fandango right back to work, delivering elbows to the side of Dolph’s head. He whips Dolph off the ropes, but “The Show Off” rolls through again and schoolboys Fandango for the sudden 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Up next, Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston and Mark Henry will wrestle in a Tag-Team match!
Match #3: Tag-Team – The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter) VS. Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston and “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry (Non-Title)
Swagger and Langston start out, with Jack punching away until Langston reverses an Irish Whip, and impressively leap-frogging over him and pushing him back with a shoulder block. He does the same to Antonio, then goes back to work with Swagger. He bait and switches with Henry, who breaks a waistlock, and over powers Swagger. A stiff headbutt and big splash-in-the-corner, Henry tags Langston back in.
They go back and forth, then Henry gives Swagger a harsh clothesline, and he and Langston put Jack down with a double-shoulder block. Henry military-presses Cesaro and follows with a charging clothesline over the ropes. Big E. is pacing around, and hip-tosses Cesaro into the ring. He fights off both Swagger and Cesaro, but is tripped up by Jack and slammed against the announce table.
Cesaro has Langston tied up in an armlock and face-stretch submission, but Big E. breaks out of it. He tires to power his way past Cesaro for the tag, but Antonio uses his own force to push him down and then pick him up with a gutwrench suplex.
Swagger back in and he belly-to-belly suplexes Langston. Antonio double-stomps the I.C. Champ just he goes for the tag, then Jack powerslams Big E. for a two-count. He clamps on another armbar submission, but Langston avoids the double-team by hurling Jack over the ropes and belly-to-belly suplexing Antonio. He makes the much-need hand-slap to Henry, who comes in and bulldozes over Cesaro.
After headbutts a la the late-great Junkyard Dog, Henry puts him down with an over-the-shoulder powerslam for two. Swagger comes back in but is quickly disposed of with a shoulder block. Cesaro fires back with a high dropkick and uppercut, but is cut off from going for the big swing by Big E. The Real Americans lose this one after Langston drops Cesaro with The Big Ending flapjack!
Winners via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston and “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
Match #4: Tag-Team – Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) VS. Tons Of Funk (“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay and “Sweet T.” Tensai) (with The Funkadactyls, Cameron and Naomi)
(Note: R-Truth and Xavier Woods are on commentary.) Tensai and Curtis begin, with Axel dropped quickly after a harsh punch and headbutts. Tensai whips Axel super hard into the corner and runs with a harsh clothesline, but misses another right hand and is taken down with a dropkick.
Ryback comes in and kicks away, then catches Tensai off the ropes with a powerslam for two! He misses a running shoulder and eats the ring post, allowing Tensai to go for the tag. He reaches out, but Brodus moves and doesn’t accept! Ryback hits Tensai with the Meathook clothesline and Shellshock Marching Samoan Drop, and the win!
Winners via Pinfall: Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel)
Post-match, Brodus dances over a laid-out Tensai, then splashes him twice. Woods and Truth enter and double-dropkick Clay out of the ring to save Tensai. Xavier and R-Truth then invite The Funkadactyls to come in and dance with them, and they accept. Clay looks on furiously from the stage.
C.M. Punk will be out next to address us!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
“The Straight-Edge Superstar” comes out to a raucous ovation and soaks in the adoration from the fans. He talks about his 3-on-1 match against The Shield from T.L.C., and that he was not taken down, but that he defeated them instead! Punk realizes that the battle is still going on, but not necessarily with The Shield themselves. Punk speculates that the bigger picture is The Authority’s problem with Punk. He knows that he doesn’t do well with “authority,” citing last week as an example when he punched out Triple H.
C.M. wants to have a one-on-one conversation to clear the air with “The Game.” After a bit of no response, Punk sits atop the turnbuckle and says that he knew that was the type of reply he was going to get. However, another man does answer the call – “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels! (True surprise!)
Punk quickly cuts off Shawn, and wants Triple H and Stephanie instead. Shawn begins to talk until chants of “you sold out” blare over him. Michaels tries to redirect Punk’s problem, as he thinks that Punk should really have offense with him since he gave him a does Sweet Chin Music last week.
C.M. says that Michaels was ok for last week, but if it happens again, he will retaliate. Shawn claims he always liked Punk, and that “pained me more than it pained you. And on that note, what I’m about to do, pains me more than it pains you. I mean, I’m guessing. Let me introduce to you your opponents.”
The music of The Shield plays and the trio saunter through the crowd for a 6-Man Tag, next!
Match #5: 6-Man Tag-Team – The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose) VS. C.M. Punk and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Ambrose and Jimmy lockup to begin, going back and forth with takedowns. Jey is tagged in and leaps over Jimmy with a forearm smash onto Dean. He slap-hands with Punk who hops off the turnbuckle with a fistdrop, but misses a run in the corner.
Ambrose tags in Rollins, who Punk locks up in bow-and-arrow, then tags Jimmy back in. Both Usos double-team Rollins with elbows, then Jey clutches Seth with an armlock submission. He catches Rollins off a run and hip-tosses him, then switches with his twin. Jimmy trades right hands and kicks and whips with Rollins, then clotheslines him to the floor!
Returning, Rollins hits Jey with fistdrop from the second turnbuckle, but The Uso begins to fight back. Rollins quickly puts him back down with a clothesline and mudhole stomps him in the corner. Seth gears up, but misses a big Stinger-Splash in the corner. Jimmy is back in and fired up!
He clotheslines Rollins a couple times, then kicks him hard. Jimmy tosses Seth up in the air and plants him with a Samoan Drop for two! Rollins hits back with a kick, then brings in Ambrose who viciously kicks at Jimmy’s stomach. The crowd helps Jimmy get out of a submission and deliver a jawbreaker to Ambrose, but Dean quickly gains control back.
Roman Reigns now in and totally dominates over Jimmy. He tags in Rollins, who tries a suplex off the top, but Jimmy counters with a headbutt and high crossbody! Reigns got the tag first and yanks Jimmy back by the hair, preventing him from getting one of his fresh partners. Reigns clamps on a grounding rear chinlock to wear Jimmy down. Uso battles back, hitting a spin-kick to drop Roman! Both make their needed tags, so C.M. and Ambrose are now the legal men.
Punk springboards in the ring with a double-clothesline on both Dean and Seth, then drops them with a double-neckbreaker. He drives Ambrose down with a brainbuster, but the subsequent pin is broken up. This bout breaks down, with The Usos taking out Reigns and Rollins, particularly Jimmy who flew onto Roman with a soaring plancha! Punk follows with the suicide dive onto Rollins, then launches himself with an elbow onto the United States Champ in the ring! 1 – 2 – Ambrose kicks out!
Punk attempts the G.T.S. but is distracted by Rollins and Reigns. He does hit the G.T.S on Ambrose, but left himself open for Reigns to run him over with a Spear to take this one!
Winners via Pinfall: The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose)
Segment #6: Video Promo
The Wyatt Family cut off Michael Cole. Bray prophesises “you’ve always told me that the war to bring down this machine will be a long, daunting process. And you’re right, you’re always right. Daniel Bryan is a coward. He is but a miniscule ant, trying to pierce the armor of a scorpion. I held him, I held him right here in my arms, the same way you did to me. I told him, ‘I can take the pain away.’ I’m sorry, I’m sorry for ever doubting you Abigail. I understand now what you expect from me, I understand what it is we must do. Daniel Bryan refuses to walk with the reapers.” It is revealed they were speaking to Bray’s rocking chair. (Creepy!)
Match #6: 6-Diva Tag-Team – Natalya and The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) VS. Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, and Divas Champion A.J. Lee
Natalya and Alicia begin, with Natalya trying to take this one quickly with a roll-up. They face off again, and Natalya spins her way around Fox with a crossbody for two, then tags in Brie. They double-hip-toss Fox, then Brie is yanked off the corner turnbuckle.
Fox locks on a rear chinlock then hurdles her into the corner. She switches with Tamina, who takes charge ferociously. Brie catches her with a quick roll-up, but Tamina puts her back down viciously. Brie tries to hammer her way out, but is toyed around with by Snuka. She plants Brie with a Samoan drop then tags in a gleeful A.J.
She prances around, but is caught by Brie with a dropkick. Brie tags in her sister and Nikki runs all over A.J., egging her on in the process. Nikki also takes out Snuka and Fox off the apron, but turns around into a stiff superkick by Snuka! A.J. follows up with the running knee for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, and Divas Champion A.J. Lee
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton is with Rene Young. She congratulates him on his historic victory, but he is still none-to-pleased with having to take on Daniel Bryan. He declares that the only thing that is “best for business” is when everyone “bends over and kisses my ass.”
Daniel Bryan makes his entrance to the usual awesome reaction from the fans!
It is announced that The Rhodes Brothers will face Luke Harper and Erik Rowan of The Wyatt Family this week on Smackdown!
Match #7: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton (Non-Title)
They lock up and push each other into the corner. Orton rolls to the outside for a break. Bryan gets Orton in a side headlock back in the ring and takes him down in that position. Orton catches Bryan in a leg scissors, but Daniel reverses into a bow-and-arrow lock. Randy exits for another time-out, then re-enters and starts the beating on Bryan. He suplexes Daniel, but Bryan sweeps up Orton and hammers away on his left leg with elbows and kicks.
He pulls on it, using the ropes, then runs with a front-dropkick! Bryan becomes really aggressive, smashing Orton’s leg against the ring post. They both slug it out with uppercuts, and Bryan gets the better with a knee-to-the-gut. He puts Orton in an Indian Death Lock, but Randy breaks out of by biting Bryan’s knee!
Orton crawls over and headbutts Bryan in the corner, then uppercuts him. He goes for the Lou Thesz Press, but Daniel rolls through into a half-crab submission on that left leg! Orton manages to grasp the ropes to force the break, but Daniel still takes control. He flips over, but Orton sneaks in a clothesline, then stomps on Bryan’s left arm. “The Viper” punishes Bryan methodically, retching at his beard/chin and left arm.
The fans, chanting “yes, yes, yes,” give Bryan a chance, but Orton drives Daniel down by the left arm! He continues to stomp away on Bryan’s body, but Daniel still has the fighting spirit in him. He replies with a bite of his own on Orton’s forehead, then gives him a flurry of punches! He nails a double-knee shot to send Orton over the ropes, but Orton catches and throws Bryan down as he went for the suicide dive to the outside.
Orton still in control, wearing Bryan down with a grounding chinlock. On the outside, Randy chucks Bryan into the ring post, then backdrops him on the barricade. Orton sits Bryan atop the turnbuckle and punches away. He climbs up too, and suplexes Bryan back to the canvas! 1 – 2 – Daniel kicks out! Orton surveys the fans chanting “let’s go Bryan,” which actually help Daniel who begins to come back. He punches his way then flips over Orton from the corner, and runs with a clothesline/elbow smash off the ropes!
Bryan follows up with another couple of runs with his feet in the corner, then turns Orton over with a top-rope Hurricanrana! 1 – 2 – Orton still kicks out! Bryan headbutts Orton again, but is caught in Randy’s variation of the neck/backbreaker. “The Viper” slowly crawls over, but is caught in the Yes Lock. Orton figures his way out and slingshots Bryan over the ropes, but Bryan holds on! Orton kicks him again, and plants him with the slingshot-DDT.
“The Viper” again gears up and prepares himself for the R.K.O. Bryan reverses into a backslide for a close call, then kicks him hard in the head! 1 – 2 – Orton still kicks out! Daniel is fired up as are the fans, who are going crazy loud with “yes, yes, yes,” calls! Bryan climbs the turnbuckle, but Orton crotches him and follows to the top. Bryan fists him and headbutts him off, then soars with the diving headbutt! 1 – 2 – Randy gets the shoulder up!
Bryan’s momentum is slowed again after he misses another corner run. Orton stalks his opponent, then rolls him up from behind for two! Bryan breaks out of it and traps Orton in the Yes Lock Crossface submission, but “The Viper” slithers to the ropes.
Bryan follows him with the suicide dive to the outside, and chucks him into the corner barricade and runs with a high calf-kick! Orton gets in the ring, and Bryan launches with the front dropkick off the top! Daniel is now fired up and kicks away at the chest of Orton repeatedly! He goes for the last kick-to-the-head, but Randy suddenly gives him a low-blow, causing the immediate dq!
Winner via Disqualification: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, John Cena hurries down and brawls with Orton, but is quickly planted with an R.K.O. Orton clasps his championships, holding them high over a downed Cena and Bryan to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
I thought this was a decent show coming off what seemed like a major pay-per-view. Raw did flow pretty fast, and there were some flaws (as well as some results from T.L.C. I would’ve liked better), but it suited well to continue and/or set up new storylines for the coming weeks & new year/pay-per-view. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: The clean, one champion finish, and Randy Orton as it! Finally, WWE actually lives up to the hype/word for this type of situation and provided a definite conclusion to the bout at T.L.C. and a solid decision. I am happy too that it was “The Viper” who got the big nod with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, as my Dad and I stated that Cena has had those big shots and opportunities way too many times before. Even though Randy has always been high-up on the card and had his share of accolades, it was time to “pass the torch” in a way, and not have the ever-so always predictable Cena win “the big one,” again. Plus, a Cena-chasing-champion storyline has always been much better.
Still loving the tag-team of The Rhodes Brothers and hope they keep Cody & Goldust together for a while. Also sincerely hope Goldust was ok, as I really couldn’t tell if he was legitimately hurt after the match or everyone was just selling really well. Glad Dolph got a win on Raw and I hope that it is the beginning of a new, much-needed push for him again. Really underrated and should be a top-tier guy. Great, physical match between The Real Americans and Big E./Henry!
I am interested to see where the Brodus Clay heel turn will go – the guy has a lot of charisma, and I did also like his previous “monster” gimmick, so I think he could do well with a push, maybe to the I.C. Title level?
Fantastic match between Orton and Bryan, and I hope the ending to Raw leads to a triple-threat at Royal Rumble. Bryan deserves to be back in the main-event title level too, and I really want them to continue with his push.
Bogus: The amount of tag-team matches – way too many, and it seemed like they were trying to get everyone on the roster for one night! A.J. Lee retaining Divas Championship, and still feuding with Bellas/Natalya. I think the only way for this to make sense is if Natalya had taken the Divas Title from A.J. at T.L.C., then the feud could logically continue. Now, it seems Lee has beaten all the women, except for her friend/bodyguard Tamina, and it is time for a new call-up from NXT (hello Paige, Emma!) to be the next challenger in the new year.
Sort of the same with the Tag-Team Championship picture – there are many great tag-teams out there, and I think that The Real Americans/Rhodes Brothers could’ve had a great feud over the straps. I didn’t like Cesaro/Swagger losing to the put-together tag of Henry/Langston, especially since Big E. is the I.C. Champ and really should be competing in singles. (Again though, great match to watch anyway!) Same with The Shield/Usos – while I do love them wrestling, it is getting a bit old and unless the tag-titles are on the line, then why are they really feuding? Also, if C.M. Punk defeated The Shield at T.L.C., that should’ve been the end of their little rivalry too. Shawn coming in tonight kind seemed like a waste, and just used for a cheap pop. Had he stuck around for the match and “cost” a team the win, then it could’ve been a bit more intriguing.
I hope that Daniel isn’t caught between two storylines – The Wyatts and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He should just be placed in the title one, and have The Wyatts move on to another “victim.” “Bad News” Barrett = “bad news” for his career – this really is a dumb gimmick and they need to stop it now. Go back to the bare-knuckle brawler, at least that seemed more authentic.
All in all, a good show and am at least looking forward to see where they carry WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and his potential challengers of John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!