I’m Matt Perri in for Andy PG who is unable to recap RAW due to inclement weather. Since my weather is rather…uh…clement (thank you, I really put thought into what my weather was like), I will be recapping from the West Coast — hence, a later cap time.
My apologies: holidays really sucked up my time this year.
In any case, we hope everyone has a nice holiday season with family, food and lots of booze to put up with some of the cheekier members of your family…and may your weather be pleasantly inclement. If you’re into pleasantly inclement. Otherwise, just enjoy opening up all your new shit.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Minneapolis, Minnesota!!!
JBL, Cole, and King are your guys on the mics…
…and Christmas has thrown up all over the entrance ramp with trees and lights and giant presents where Ambrose will be stored for the next 45 minutes.
- Piper’s Pit with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper…his guests are Rusev and Lana which is so last year. It’s all about North Korea n ow.
- Big Show takes on Roman Reigns
- Dean Ambrose faces Bray Wyatt in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
And out comes “Ho, Ho, Hogan”. Let the “Santa With Muscles” jokes…begin…
(ANDY PG via Facebook: “HEY! It’s Santa With Muscles!!!”)
Hogan tells everyone to yell Ho, Ho, Hogan and they do so because everyone’s moved on past CM Punk. Hogan recaps the card for tonight and, because Matlock’s on and he needs to get in bed, he immediately goes into closer mode with “Whatcha gonna do?”
John Cena interrupts. The crowd shits on him, so Cena says the crowd is both “naughty and nice”. He likes that, asks the crowd to chant “Ho, Ho, Hogan”, then sings “Let it Go” from Frozen. He says he can’t because:
We get clips of Lesnar kicking the snot out of Cena and Rollins beating Cena moments later last week.
The crowd chants for Lesnar. Cena says he wants Lesnar, too. He wants to kick his teeth down his throat. He says that he’d like to say he was done wrong…but he can’t because Rollins “beat him fair and square”. HUH?! (DANIELLE: Just…just let him say that…it’s cool.) Cena would like Rollins again. Tonight.
Queue Rollins. He says that Cena’s running his mouth again and he already told Cena that nobody wants to hear his stupid voice anymore. He says it’s his time now, not Cena’s. Also, Ho, Ho, Hogan shouldn’t be running things. The Authority is better, blah, blah, blah, VIGILANTESTING, blah, blah, blah, Authority back…
Cena says he’s not doing that. But wait…Ho, Ho, Hogan says Ho, Ho, Hold on a Minute, Brother! It’s Cena vs. Seth Rollins. Cena puts on Hogan’s Santa Hat and, suddenly, this is bordering on Magic Mike. Hogan says it’s Cena vs. Rollins…RIGHT NOW.
But, first, time to pose and flex to Hogan’s music.
MATCH #1: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Joey Mercury & Jamie Noble)
The initial brawl doesn’t go Rollins’ way, so he re-groups outside with his crack security force and has them distract Cena. Cena falls for it because, suddenly, he’s a complete fucking idiot who’s never, ever seen this tactic before and Rollins takes over, stomping Cena and working on his left knee. Rollins slings Cena to the center of the ring and pins for two. Cena comes back but both men clothesline one another. Noble tosses the MITB case into the ring and the ref intercepts it. On the distraction, Mercury gets up on the mat and just cold-cocks Cena. Rollins covers for two and, for some reason, we go to break.
Cena’s on fire when we come back but misses Move #2 and flies out of the ring. Rollins puts him back into the ring and misses the Curb Stomp. Reversals all over the place and Rollins gets a near fall. Rollins hits a quick medium superkick and, again, gets two. Rollins picks Cena up but Cena counters with an AA. Rollins lands on his feet but Cena hits the Cena Slam and goes for the 5KS. It’s another series of counters with Rollins hitting an Enzuguri. Two count. Rollins goes for a Curb Stomp off a run but Cena grabs him and counters with a Powerbomb for two.
The two trade “bombs” and Cena finally hits Moves #3 and 4. He goes for an AA but Noble and Mercury insert themselves into the match. Rollins rushes Cena, so Cena dumps him on top of the two of them. Once in the ring, Cena hits a legdrop off the top rope and NEARLY gets a fall. Crowd loves it, which is great since it’s all downhill for the next 2 1/2 hours. Cena puts Rollins on the top buckle and goes for a Superplex. Rollins fights out and hits a Turnbuckle Powerbomb for two. Rollins goes for the Curb Stomp but Cena grabs him for the STF. Security runs in and it’s a double splash and double AA for Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dee. Rollins runs at Cena with the case and Cena just hits the AA because the ref has NO idea what the fuck a DQ is at this point. #CENAWINSLOL at 15 minutes.
WINNER: John Cena via AA.
RATING: ***. Decent match, but I’m having a hard time believing that Mercury and Noble are allowed to take multiple shots at opponents without a ref tossing them from ringside.
There’s a wreath hanging backstage. Also Korporate Kane, telling us “Bah, Humbug”.
MATCH #2: Jack Swagger vs. Fandango (w/ Rosa Mendes)
Swagger puts Fandango to the mat after a series of throws and counters and hits an American Bomb or whatever the hell they’re calling it. Fandango comes back, kicking Swagger, and hitting the Flying Legdrop for the win at 2:03. Push for Swagger? What push for Swagger?
WINNER: Fandango via Flying Legdrop
Todd Phillips has Dolph Ziggler backstage. Luke Harper is invoking his re-match clause tonight. Dolph says that Harper is nuts. But Dolph’s no slouch. Tonight…he’s gonna give the WWE Universe the”present” they deserve.
New Day is…uh…they…debuted. But, it’s a New Day promo anyhow. Kofi and Xavier dance like stiff assholes while Big E sweats like he’s about to have a heart attack. Together. They’re strong. Yaaaaay.
OMFG, The Bunny has a neck brace.
MATCH #3: R-Truth vs. Adam Rose (w/ Bunny & Exotic Express)
Truth and Rose dance. Truth rolls up Rose at 56 seconds. Sigh.
Post-match, Bunny consoles Rose. Rose hits a Spinebuster on Bunny. Cole actually says, “The Bunny has a neck brace!” Rose knees Bunny in the head, using the stairs, then tosses him into the crowd barrier. For some reason, the crowd eggs Rose on and requests to see that again.
NEXT: Piper’s Pit with Rusev and Lana.
ALSO: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
Had enough Hulk Hogan? WWE doesn’t think so! HE’S ON SMACKDOWN THIS FRIDAY, ASSHOLES!
MATCH #4: Big Show vs. Roman Reigns
God love him, Reigns goes right at Show who just runs Reigns over with a huge shoulderblock while Cole encourages all the suck-ups to gush about how “awesome” this is on social media. Reigns comes back with clotheslines and forearms, the big clothesline, the Samoan Drop, the Sitting Dropkick outside, a Superman Punch…and Big Show falls behind the announce table. Countout at 4:47?! What the fuck?
WINNER: Roman Reigns
RATING: DUD. Wow, that was shit.
Is there a reason why Show is suddenly Rusev?
TONIGHT: Ambrose vs. Wyatt
Ambrose is backstage with Renee. He will beat Wyatt. Is it me or is Renee’s lisp gone?
MATCH #5: Natalya (w/ Tyson Kidd) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
This is happening because Tyson likes Nikki’s tits. Brie counters an armlock and takes Nattie down. She flips out, a’la Bret Hart but, fuck that, Brie Mode. She pulls Nattie to the mat and gets two. Brie hits two knees to Nattie’s face. Two count. Clothesline. Two count. Chinlock time. Nattie fights out of it and it’s a a Sharpshooter. Brie fights out and cradles Nattie but Nattie reverses it and we’re done at about 3:19.
Nikki gets up on the mat and gets knocked off, cradling her shin. Nattie’s proud of herself and holds up the Divas belt.
COMING UP: Piper’s Pit
The Legion of Doom The Ascension will RISE.
MATCH #6: Gold & Stardust vs. Los Matadores (Diego, Fernando & El Torito) in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
El Torito has antlers and a red nose and Cole calls him “El Reino” which, I’m sure, is a totally legit Spanish translation. Torito starts up and manages to dump Stardust from the ring. Torito dives at him and hits an arm drag. Back in the ring, Star tags Gold. Torito tags a Matador and it’s a chinlock by Goldie. Matador escapes and hits a hot tag after Star tags in. Fernando is all over Gold with elbows, then hits a horrible Hurricarana. Um…ole? All hell breaks loose with Torito getting involved. He splashes Goldie for the win at 3:37 and, suddenly, this is Smackdown on Monday night.
WINNER: Los Matadores
RATING: DUD. I’m still trying to think about how I gave the last match 1/2 a *.
Harper is backstage, talking to the arena basement piping system about beating up Dolph Ziggler.
ON MAIN EVENT: Big E takes on Stardust.
Announcements are made but Harper immediately attacks Ziggler, knocking him outside, then diving at him. He hits a Spinebuster, then tosses Ziggler back into the ring. The ref backs Harper off while he checks on Ziggler. Ziggler says he can go.
MATCH #7: Dolph Ziggler (champion) vs. Luke Harper (challenger) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Superkick and Powerbomb by Harper. Two count. Harper applies a claw but Ziggler breaks by getting to the ropes, so Harper just slings him into the bottom rope. After a break, Ziggler makes a comeback but Harper dropkicks him, sending him out of the ring. Harper picks him up and Atomic Drops him on the announce table and it’s back in the ring we go. Sleeper by Harper but Ziggler breaks and hits a dropkick. He goes for the
VigilanteStinger Ziggler Splash but misses and Harper gets a two count. Harper hits a Pump-Handle Fallaway Suplex but only gets two again. Ziggler tries to roll Harper up but Harper kicks out and slaps Ziggler, then hits a Shinoku Driver for a two count. Crowd chants for Ziggler as Harper sets up for a Clothesline, misses it. Ziggler hits a HUGE Superkick BUT HARPER IMMEDIATELY HITS THE CLOTHESLINE ANYHOW. Two count. Harper tries a Powerbomb but Ziggler lands on his feet somehow, then hits the Fame-Asser, NEARLY getting a fall. Both men are slow getting up. Ziggler headbutts Harper as they finally do. Harper slaps him hard. The two exchanges shots. Ziggler tries a Fame-Asser but Harper blocks it. Ziggler hits two consecutive Superkicks and a Zigg Zagg instead and retains at 11:36.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Dolph Ziggler via Zigg Zagg
RATING: ***1/4. Nice match.
Post-match, King gets in the ring and wants to know how Ziggler beat Harper. Ziggler says he did it because of THE PEOPLE HERE TONIGHT. King wishes him a Merry Christmas and Ziggler celebrates with the crowd.
NEXT: Piper’s Pit w/ Rusev.
We get an exterior shot of the Target Center.
Hulk Hogan’s at Smackdown.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is out for Piper’s Pit. He says everyone looks great. He says that Rusev and Lana wanted to come on his show because they have a Christmas message for all Americans. Out they come. Roddy says he usually likes to get–. Lana finishes the sentence: “–straight to the point.” She says Christmas is a joke because Americans pretend to be nice and believe in a fat old man who gives kids presents. Roddy says that this is ‘MURICA! YOU CAN’T SAY THAT ABOUT SANTA!
Lana shows us a video clips of Rusev kicking the crap out of Ryback on Smackdown. Rusev asks Piper if he believes that he can crush Ryback or him. Piper calls them “Communist Scrooges” and then says he likes them. He even got them a Christmas gift. It’s Ryback with a bow on him because who didn’t see that coming? Rusev meets him in the aisle and it’s a brawl. He runs Rusev into the barriers outside and the fight goes inside the ring. Rusev stomps Ryback and tries a Superkick. Ryback catches his foot, then plants him into the mat. He goes for the Meathook but Rusev bails. Piper and Ryback stand tall as the heels retreat to the back.
Cole says the USA Network is the greatest thing ever on Monday Nights (when Monday Night Football isn’t on).
We go back in time when Cena beat Rollins earlier in the show in full detail.
MATCH #8: Alicia Fox, Emma, & Naomi vs. Cameron, Summer Rae, & Paige in a Santa’s Little Helper Match
The gimmick: the Divas are wearing Santa costumes. That’s it. That match starts out on such a promising note: Summer dances. So does Emma. Then Emma whips Summer in the face using her hair. Tag to Cameron who beats up Emma and it’s a tag to Paige who looks like a Raider fan’s wet dream, wearing all black with a black Santa hat. Paige knees Emma in the head and gets two. Paige locks Emma’s arm. Emma fights out but Paige tosses her to the mat. Paige whips Emma into the ropes and it’s a double clothesline. Hot tag to Naomi and one to Cameron. Naomi flips around, kicking Cameron, then hits a nice high kick to Cameron when she chases Naomi. Suddenly, it’s chaos as all the Divas get involved. Paige beats up the entire face side. Finally, Fox gets tagged in and Cameron is all over her. Fox hits a nice Leg Scissor DDT for the win at 4:17.
WINNERS: Alicia Fox, Emma and Naomi
RATING: 3/4* for the costumes.
The Legion of Ascension and their rejected Whitesnake lyrics are coming. Seriously. “Ride the lightning”? Is that supposed to be intimidating?
MATCH #9: The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow) vs. Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso)
It’s time for Jey to beat up Miz because Miz is helping Jimmy’s wife become successful. This makes so much sense. Miz gets a headlock after Jey doesn’t get a pin on a roll-up. Jey breaks and tosses Miz out of the ring. Miz-dow does everything Miz does and the crowd is still entertained by it. Flying Uso at both men and the action goes back to the ring again. The crowd chants for Miz-dow but that will never happen. Jey hits a Samoan Drop and tries another but Miz rolls him up and gets the pin at 3:29, using the tights.
WINNER: The Miz
RATING: DUD. What was the point of this match?
Tonight on Monday Night Revisionism: Mick Foley.
Scotty Schwartz from the original “A Christmas Story” is here tonight.
Bray’s got a mic, so he serenades us with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Christmas is a time where we are surrounded with loved ones, by choice. It makes them feel safe. Bray asks if they feel safe. Bray says that safety isn’t really real. There’s no Christmas or Santa Claus, just suffering and evil and pain and sorrow. That’s his world. He says that he’s taking Dean Ambrose there. Everyone can come with him. Follow the buzzards.
King freaks out and acts like all the lights in the crowd are people who adore Bray Wyatt. Right before they all pop for Ambrose who heads out with a sack of tools.
MATCH #10: Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
Christmas trees surround the ring with different weapons under them. Ambrose beats up Bray in the corner and hits a clothesline off an Irish Whip. Bray comes back with a headbutt and the crowd starts chanting “Merry Christmas”. Dean hits a dropkick and the fight rolls out of the ring. Ambrose throws Bray into a Christmas tree which compels Cole to deadpan, “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree”. Ambrose throws Bray into another tree, then uses the tree to spear Bray in the best. He unwraps a gift and, ha-ha, it’s the EXPLODING TV MONITOR OF DOOM. Ambrose wisely puts it back and goes for a table under the ring instead. Bray attacks and manages to take control of the table situation. Ambrose hits a Flying Ambrose, knocking Bray into the conveniently set-up pyramid of gift boxes in the entrance aisle. He sets up the table and puts Bray on it. Ambrose goes top buckle and wears a wreath for effect but Bray bails. Ambrose chases him and tosses a box at his head. Ambrose grabs a larger box, opens it and it’s a chair with a bow on it. He goes to whack Bray but Bray kicks him and sends him flying down a level through some boxes. We go to break.
We come back to a trail of destruction leading from the entrance ramp to the ring. Bray has Ambrose in a headlock, then tosses him to the mat when he tries to escape. Ambrose escapes again and kicks Bray in the face when Bray rushes him in the corner. Ambrose misses a dropkick and Bray hits the Reverse Senton for two. Another headlock and Ambrose escaps, using Bray’s beard. Irish Whip and Bray just runs him over with an elbow. The fight moves outside again and Bray tosses him into a Christmas tree. The crowd chants, “ONE MORE TREE” and Bray obliges much to their delight. Wyatt tosses a tree into Ambrose’s chest, then tosses a bunch of chairs into the ring. Ambrose is rolled back in and Bray grabs a Kendo stick decorated like a candy cane. Ambrose gets a bunch of shots to the chest, then lays there as Bray sets the stick up like a spear in the corner. He tries to run Ambrose’s head into it but Ambrose blocks it. A run into the ropes ends with Bray nailing Ambrose with a big clothesline.
Bray yells, “TO HELL WE GO!” and then headbutts Ambrose in the back of the head. He sets up the Kendo Spear again but Ambrose reverses an Irish Whip and Bray eats the buckle instead. The two trade blows but Ambrose gets the best of it, chopping and punching until Bray hits the mat. Bray gets to his feet and hits a Bulldog. Ambrose goes for the Candy Cane Kendo Stick. He at Bray, but Bray knocks Ambrose into the ropes. Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline, then just nails Ambrose with the stick anyhow. Ambrose goes for a chair and nails Bray off the second buckle. Two count. Ambrose goes under the mat and grabs a short stepladder. He sets it up on the second buckle but Bray goes into Spider Mode, then hits a Spinebuster for a close fall.
He picks Ambrose up and sends him, face-first, into the ladder. He slaps at Ambrose and tells him to get up. Ambrose finally does. Bray goes for Sister Abigail but Ambrose counters and sends Bray into the ladder and NEARLY gets a pin. Ambrose goes HIGH off the ladder and hits a big-time elbow for two. He stacks a bunch of chairs on Ambrose and goes 3/4’s of the way up the ladder but Bray gets up and throws the chairs at Ambrose’s face. Ambrose falls. Bray picks him up and sends him into the Kendo Spear in the corner and gets the win at 20:13.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt
RATING: ***1/2. Pretty entertaining stuff. Both men gave it their all.
Post-match, Bray walks over to Ambrose who sprays Bray in the face with a fire extinguisher. He puts Bray on the table outside and hits the elbow drop into the table. Both men can’t even get up as we get a replay. Ambrose wakes up, smiling and looking over at the damage he caused. We go off the air.
OVERALL: **. The show is too long. I know I’ve said that before but there are about 73 plotlines and about 2 of them are interesting. The show has an appalling amount of filler now and way too many 3-minute quickie matches that don’t catch anyone’s interest or keep it.
Er, that’s it.
Andy’s in for me today, doing Main Event. Scott and Tommy have some retro stuff. The latter will have Smackdown. I will be back next week with Main Event.
Please visit us at http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com!