Tonight is WWE”s annual Christmas-themed episode of Raw! However, I’m sure much more than “good tidings” are going to be spread around tonight. For starters, Hulk Hogan is going to be on the show. What will “The Hulkster” have to say or do?
We know that John Cena will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble on January 25th; but Seth Rollins defeated Cena last week in a Steel Cage, so how will “Mr. Money In The Bank” factor in to this equation? Also, Roman Reigns made his long-awaited return as well last week, so does the former Shield Member have anything to do with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship scenario?
Will The New Day continue to rise up to another challenge? What’s next for the rivalry between The Usos and Tag-Team Champions The Miz and Damien Mizdow? Does Nikki Bella have a new contender for the Divas Championship?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for December 22nd, 2014 – “WWE’s ‘Christmas Vacation’”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming and Arena Promo
Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield welcome us to Raw Christmas and wish us Merry Christmas. They run-down the line-up, which includes “Rowdy” Roddy Piper interviewing United States Champion Rusev on Piper’s Pit, Bray Wyatt taking on Dean Amborse in a “Miracle on 34th” Street Fight, and The Big Show clashing with Roman Reigns.
The host for tonight’s Raw now comes out, dressed as Santa Clause. It is really Hulk Hogan, who wants to “spread cheer all over Monday Night Raw brother!” he entices the crowd to chant “Ho-Ho-Hogan” repeatedly, then announces that he will give everyone presents. Hogan mentions the same matches listed above, but is quickly cut-off by more familiar music.
John Cena runs out with a smile on his face. He panders to Hogan and the fans, then after showing footage of him losing to Seth Rollins last week, he wants the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Now, he wants another bout with “Mr. Money In The Bank,” but before Hogan can respond, the man himself comes out.
Seth Rollins, with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, comes to the stage. He calls this situation “ridiculous” but puts over both Hogan and Cena as “legends” in their “era.” However, Rollins claims their “time is up and my time is now.” Seth is still adamant that The Authority should still be the ones in charge, and calls Cena “lucky” for being able to still stand after the Steel Cage match. He threatens “Santa-Hogan” into forcing Cena to rehire Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
Cena doesn’t go for it, but Hogan does make the match, as up next it will be John Cena wrestling Seth Rollins!
Match #1: Single – John Cena VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury)
Lockup between the two, then Seth clamps on a standing side-headlock. Cena whips him off the ropes, but Seth comes back with a shoulder-block. Cena whips him again and flips him over with a hip-toss! Rollins goes to the outside for a break and game-plan talk with Mercury and Noble. The two distract Cena, allowing Rollins to stomp away on Cena. He elbows John out of the corner, then dives off with a Blockbuster Neckbreaker for two! Rollins continues to dominate, to the applause of Mercury and Noble. A double-clothesline puts both to the canvas, giving them time to regroup. Rollins is given the briefcase by Noble, which turns the referee’s attention away and allows Mercury to slug Cena!
Rollins is still in control, running across the ring to the outside with a suicide dive! He back flips out of a backdrop attempt by Cena, then gives John a harsh kick-to-the-head, getting a near-fall in the process. He tries a powerbomb, but Cena reverses into an Attitude Adjustment position. Rollins lands on his feet, but is back dropped by Cena. He nails a spin-kick for a near-fall! 1 – 2 – Cena gets the shoulder up!
Seth runs off the ropes but is countered into a sit-down powerbomb and a two-count for Cena! Both men now trade punches until Cena tries another A.A. Rollins gets out of it, but is chucked over the ropes onto Mercury and Noble! Cena climbs the turnbuckle and soars off with a leg drop to the back of Rollins’ head. Again, he only gets two, but then places Seth atop another turnbuckle. Rollins reverses into a turnbuckle-running-powerbomb! 1 – 2 – Cena gets his shoulder up!
Rollins measures Cena for the Curb Stomp but is caught and trapped in the S.T.F. Both Mercury and Noble try to interfere but are dropped with a double-A.A.! Cena does the same to Rollins and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
Kane makes a quick appearance on screen and utters the bad spirited words, “Bah-humbug!”
Match #2: Single – “The Real American” Jack Swagger VS. Fandango (with Rosa Mendes)
Swagger takes Fandango down with a waistlock-slam, but Fandango tries to wear him down with a standing side-headlock. Fandango goes to the floor after almost getting caught in the Patriot Ankle Lock. Swagger boots and clotheslines Fandango hard, then springboards off the middle turnbuckle with the Swaggerbomb splash! Fandango uses the ropes to give Jack some kicks, then rockets off the top turnbuckle with a legdrop for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Fandango (with Rosa Mendes)
Segment #2: Backstage Promo
Tom Phillips wants Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler’s thoughts on facing Luke Harper later tonight for the I.C. Title. Dolph puts over their match at T.L.C., but says tonight he’s going to “steal the show.”
Segment #4: Video Promo
Despite already being TV in-person a few times, another New Day promo airs.
Match #3: Single – R-Truth VS. Adam Rose (with Party Posse)
Rose gives R-Truth an armdrag, then the two trade dance moves. Adam goes to kick Truth, but R reverses into a roll-up to take this one quickly!
Winner via Pinfall: R-Truth
Post-match, Rose is shocked at his loss, so The Bunny tries to console him. This doesn’t work, as Rose completely demolishes the bunny, finishing by running his knee into The Bunny’s head against the steel steps and hurling him into the barricade. Rose shoves his way through the Party Posse to the back.
Up next, Reigns will collide with Show! Also, it is announced that Edge and Christian will be returning next week on Raw to host!
It is made known that Hogan will also be in charge of Smackdown! this week too.
Match #4: Single – The Big Show VS. Roman Reigns
Elbow/collar tie-up starts out, then Show misses a splash in the corner. Roman rams his shoulder into Show, then hits him with a clothesline, but is knocked down with a shoulder-block. Show press-slams Reigns on the top rope and continues to work him over. He scoop-slams Roman then drops an elbow for a two-count! Big clamps on a cobra-clutch, but Reigns elbows and punches his way out of it. Show runs at Roman in the corner, but Reigns boots him away, then nails a leaping-clothesline to drop Show to the mat! He measure and manages to Samoan Drop the giant!
Roman signals for it, but is shoved off a Superman Punch attempt. Reigns counters with a dropkick to the knee of Show, then double-dropkicks him from the floor to the apron. Reigns hits the Superman Punch on the outside, sending Show tumbling over the announce table! The referee counts and gets all the way to 10 as Roman made it back in the squared circle!
Winner via Count-Out: Roman Reigns
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with Dean Ambrose and wants to know how he’s gotten ready for the “Miracle On 34th” Street Fight. Dean says he went to see Santa earlier and told him he wanted Bray Wyatt. He paraphrase the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” by saying “every time a bell rings, Bray Wyatt gets a beating!”
Match #5: Single – Natalya (with Tyson Kidd) VS. Brie Bella (with Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Natalya shoves and kicks Brie away, but Bella comes back with a fireman’s carry and an armlock. Brie pushes at Natalya’s face, but is elbowed by Natalya. She is soon caught up in the ropes as Brie hits a couple running knees for two. Brie tries a sunset-flip, but Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter instead. Brie reverses into a small-package, but Natalya reverses that into one of her own to earn this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Natalya (with Tyson Kidd)
Post-match, Natalya pushes Divas Champ Nikki off the apron.
Segment #6: Video Promo
The Ascension “will rise” at some point (no debut date given)
Match #6: Tag-Team – Goldust and Stardust VS. Los Matadores (Fernando, Diego, and El Torito)
Stardust and El Torito begin, with the little “bull” getting the best of Stardust. Both he and Goldust try to get the best of the Matadores, but Fernando and Diego come back and fly all over the brothers. Goldust swings Torito around, but he accidentally hits Stardust! Torito follows up with a springboard moonsault and gets the win!
Winner via Pinfall: Los Matadores (Fernando, Diego, and El Torito)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Luke Harper says, that unlike most people around Christmas, he is going to take instead of give. Harper warns Dolph Ziggler that he’s “going to take the Intercontinental Championship.”
I.C. Champion Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance and will be defending his title next!
Match #7: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – Luke Harper (Challenger) VS. Dolph Ziggler (Champion)
After formal introductions, Luke immediately knocks Dolph to the outside, then follows up with a suicide dive! Technically, the bell has not rung yet. Harper continues the beating, spin-slamming him on the floor. He rolls Ziggler in the ring, where the referee makes sure Dolph can go. Harper doesn’t wait, ripping the shirt off Dolph. The referee checks again, and Dolph is up for it. He gets hit hard with a big kick, then gut-wrench powerbombed for a near-fall! He continues to dominate over Ziggler.
Dolph tries a comeback with some punches, but Harper sends him to the outside again. He face-plants Ziggler on the commentator’s table, but only gets two when he covered in the ring! Dolph manages a dropkick, but misses a corner splash that allows Harper to regain control. He pump-handle-slams Ziggler and later gives him a Michinoku-Driver, but Ziggler still gets his shoulder up!
Luke attempts another powerbomb, but Ziggler reverses into a sunset-flip for two! Harper puts Dolph to the canvas and measures him. He goes for the spinning-clothesline, but Dolph counters with a superkick, however he still hits him with the spinning clothesline! 1 – 2 – Dolph gets the shoulder up! The I.C. Champ reverses another powerbomb attempt with a sit-down facebuster, then a Fameasser for two! Both trade fists, then Dolph hits Luke with a pair of superkicks and the Zig-Zag to earn the hard-fought victory!
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler
Post-match, Jerry “The King” Lawler interviews Ziggler on his big win. Ziggler puts over the fans and his hard-work ethic as reasons to why he is where he’s at currently.
Up next, Piper’s Pit is back!
Segment #8: Arena Promo
WWE Hall Of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is back! He is overjoyed to see the fans, as they are to see him. He brings out his guests, Lana and the United States Champion Rusev. Piper begins to talk first, laying down the rules for Piper’s Pit, but Lana interjects too soon. She calls Christmas “a joke,” saying it is all fake in America. Roddy yells back that “this is America, land of the free, where believe what we want to.” Lana then shows footage of Rusev assaulting Ryback from last week’s Smackdown! “Do you believe now that I can crush your Ryback,” Rusev inquires. The crowd erupts into “feed me more” calls, then Rusev wants to “crush” Piper too. Roddy tries to side with them, offering them a Christmas present. Wrapped in a bow, Ryback marches out and the two behemoths brawl away! Rusev stomps away, but Ryback catches him and lays him down with a spinebuster! Ryback goes for the Meathook clothesline, but the U.S. Champ slides out of the ring and escapes with his title and Lana.
Match #8: Six-Women Tag-Team – Alicia Fox, Emma, and Naomi VS. Cameron, Summer Rae, and Paige
Emma and Summer Rae begin, tripping up Summer and giving her a dropkick. Cameron is tagged in and gives Emma double-knees to the face, then rams her head against the canvas. Paige tags herself in, to the cheers of fans, and headbutts her. She repeatedly knees Emma against the ropes then headbutts her again. Paige wears Emma down with a grounding rear chinlock, then slams her head to the mat again. Emma counters a whip with a kick, then both clothesline each other. Emma manages the tag to Naomi, while Paige slaps hands with Cameron.
Naomi is all over her former tag-team partner, twirling over the ropes and hitting her with a high-kick. Naomi jawbreaks Cameron with the ropes, then this breaks down. Paige kicks Alicia and headbutts Naomi, then throws out Emma. She is yanked out herself, by Emma, while Fox catches Cameron and drives her face-first to the mat for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Alicia Fox, Emma, and Naomi
Segment #9: Video Promo
Another Asecension build airs, but this time a date is announced! Next week, the (former) NXT Tag-Team will make their main-roster debut!
Match #9: Single – Tag-Team Champion The Miz (with Tag-Team Champion partner Damien Mizdow) VS. Jey Uso (with Uso Brother/Tag-Team partner Jimmy Uso)
At first, the fans want Mizdow more than Miz, which distracts the tag-team champion and almost makes him lose this contest. He comes back with a running shoulder-block, but is chucked to the floor. Jey soars with a splash onto Miz, but is kneed down in the ring. Miz stomps away and kicks Jey in his face, then rips at his nose. He runs off the ropes and caught by Jey and dropped with a Samoan Drop. They trade roll-ups, with Miz getting the better after clutching Uso’s shorts/trunks and takes this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion The Miz (with Tag-Team Champion partner Damien Mizdow)
Segment #10: Arena Promo
Bray Wyatt makes his eerie entrance prior to the main event. He takes a microphone in the dimmed arena. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I couldn’t help but notice that people surround like to surround themselves with everyone they love during the holidays. And that really got me thinking; I started wondering why that is. And I believe that people surround themselves with their loved ones because it makes them feel safe. Now how about you, do you feel safe? Do you feel safe? Well I hate to be the one to break it, but your safety is an illusion. It is a façade to shield you from the truth. And the truth is, if you look outside of your bedroom window, there is another world out there. And in this world, there is no Santa Clause, there is no Christmas, there are no sugar plums. In this world, it is the real world. And in the real world, there is only suffering, and evil, and pain, and sorrow. This is my world. This is the world that I thrive in. and in the real world, I, Bray Wyatt, am king. I have taken Dean Ambrose to my world once before. And right here, before your very eyes, I’m going to do it once more. But that’s not all; you too can feel this joyous moment alongside me. All you have to do is look to the sky and follow the buzzards.”
Dean Ambrose now charges out, weapons in hand, and ready to go!
Match #10: “Miracle On 34th” Street Fight (Single) – Bray Wyatt VS. Dean Ambrose
Both stare each other down and circle around the ring. Bray runs at Ambrose, slugging away until Dean counters and gains control. He repeatedly punches Wyatt, then clotheslines him out of the corner. Dean punches away, then front-dropkicks Bray against the ropes. On the outside, he throws him into a Christmas tree, then uses it to hit him again. Ambrose whips Wyatt into another Christmas tree, then uses that one to ram into the chest of Bray. He contemplates using a TV monitor, but instead chooses a table from underneath the ring. Wyatt catches him off guard, then goes to set up the table himself until Dean rockets through the ropes with a suicide dive!
Dean sets up the table and punches Bray onto it. He ascends the turnbuckle but Bray moves off the table. Dean has a wreath and puts it over Bray. He hits him with a square present, then opens another to reveal a steel chair! Wyatt kicks Ambrose and chucks him off the stage through a table!
Bray now in firm control with a rear chinlock, then gives Ambrose a running senton! Ambrose fights out of another chinlock, but is run into hard with a body-block! Bray now throws Ambrose into a Christmas tree, and obliges by the fans to knock down the last Christmas tree with Dean’s involuntary help! Wyatt tosses a plethora of chairs intot he ring, then brings a candy-cane kendo stick in the ring. He whacks away on Ambrose, and then sets up the cane in the corner. Dean stops himself and Bray from using the cane in the corner, but then is harshly clotheslined down! Ambrose soon counters and hurls Wyatt into a steel chair in the corner, then begins to fire up on Wyatt.
Dean runs Wyatt out of a corner with a bulldog, then gets the candy-cane and whales on Wyatt! He uses it to Russian legsweep him, then dive off the turnbuckle with char in hand onto Bray! 1 – 2 – Wyatt getsthe shoulder up. Ambrose pulls a ladder from under the ring and sets it up in the corner. Bray turns into his “spider-walk,” then one-arm slams Ambrose onto the ladder! Wyatt attempts Sister Abigail, but Ambrose counters and chucks Wyatt into the ladder! Dean climbs the ladder and soars off with an elbow for a near-fall!
Ambrose piles a couple chairs on a prone Wyatt, but Bray gets up and throws the chairs Dean’s way. He shoves Ambrose into the candy-cane, then subsequently covers and receives the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Post-match, Ambrose gets revenge and beats Bray onto the table! He then leaps off the turnbuckle, through Wyatt and the table to the floor! Both men are laying on the mats on the outside to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
That was a pretty bad Raw; it did nothing to move storylines ahead and a contained a bunch of filler matches that really could’ve been left off the cards. Let’s look at the particulars:
Excellence: Matches between Cena/Rollins, Reigns/Show, Harper/Ziggler, Six-Women Tag-Team, and Ambrose/Wyatt. Looking forward to The Ascension’s debut; they were awesome in NXT, so let’s hope they are just as awesome on the main shows! I loved Paige not dressing up as another “helper,” but instead going to the“dark” with her Christmas attire. As always, Bray Wyatt’s promo was superb. Still liking the feud between The Usos and Miz/Mizdow. Loved seeing Roddy Piper back; however wish he was given more mike time and asked more hard-hitting questions of Lana/Rusev. A little surprised, but glad they finished Raw with Ambrose/Wyatt; they put on a real good bout that was fun to watch and ignited the fans!
Bogus: the “fillers” of Rose/Truth, Fandango/Swagger, Matadores/Goldust/Stardust, and Natalya/Brie. While I like the Usos/Miz rivalry, the match itself was nothing special. I hated the opening promo as it was also nothing special, and seemed too much like a one-off/”been there, done that.” If Hogan was to be in charge of Raw, why did he only appear once at the beginning of the show? He should’ve been involved at least a couple more times. Missing A.J. Lee right now. Swagger was recently involved in a high-profile feud, and now he’s losing to Fandango? That makes no sense! Since The New Day has already debuted and won a few matches, why do they need the promo video like they’re being introduced for the first time?
Once again, I felt nothing super-special happened on this Raw and it was pretty lackluster. Here’s hoping they can finish off 2014 next week with a much better production!
In closing, I’d like to wish all of you who read this a Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your families/friends. I hope you all have an excellent one! Until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!