WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 12/19/11 from Philadelphia, PA.
The Big News: CM Punk, Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan celebrated their title victories on a fun edition of Raw.
CM Punk came out to start the show. He said a lot of people thought he wouldn’t win the title but he did and he’s still champ. He brought out Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan along similar lines. Punk said if any city would appreciate these three, it’s Philadelphia. Hopefully that isn’t entirely true, because the crowd didn’t seem that into Bryan or Ryder. Punk brought up meeting Bryan at the Murphy Rec Center and now they are WWE champion and world champion. That really is something. Cream has a way of rising to the top.
Zack Ryder said that he still can’t believe he won the US title. Daniel Bryan said that people didn’t expect him to even get to the WWE but he did and now he is the world champion. Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio appeared on the ramp and attacked. The champions fought them off with Ryder hitting a somersault plancha on Ziggler that appeared to kill them both. John Laurinaitis made a six man tag match.
I wish that when they did these opening segments, they would just announce the main event at the onset of the show rather than “making it” at the close of the first segment. It always feels so contrived that, for instance, there were three heels (two of whom didn’t get along last night and said specifically they didn’t want to team together) just waiting backstage to fight with these three faces, conveniently setting up the main event. But if you just said the match had been signed by Laurinaitis when the show started, it makes perfect sense that they would want to team up and get the jump on their main event opponents.
Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett via DQ. Barrett worked Orton over. Orton came back with clotheslines and a powerslam. He went for the draping DDT, which was reversed into a wasteland attempt. That was countered into an Orton back breaker. Orton then hit the draping DDT and set up for the RKO but Barrett thumbed him in the eye for the DQ. That was a terrible finish. After the match, Barrett attacked Orton and put him through a table with wasteland.
Alicia Fox beat Beth Phoenix. Beth hit a side slam. They botched a spot where Alicia was supposed to counter a slingshot suplex into an inverted DDT. Alicia then hit a somersault leg drop for the pin. Alicia got a negative reaction from some of the crowd. They’re now blatantly lying about what trending means, by the way.
Sheamus beat Jinder Mahal in a brief match. Mahal used a running knee to the head but Sheamus quickly took over. Sheamus used a back breaker and razor’s edge for the pin.
John Cena came out and did some annoying comedy. He then pointed out some people hate him. Cena said he understands why Rock doesn’t like him but doesn’t understand why Kane doesn’t like him. “Why don’t you like me?!?” Cena said that if last week was an accident they can be friends but if it wasn’t an accident there would be trouble. That Cena really gives people the benefit of the doubt. I understand once on the recommendation of his friend Andre he forgave his girlfriend when she tripped, fell and landed on another guy’s dick.
Mark Henry came out and immediately received “Sexual Chocolate” chants. Henry said he wasn’t in the mood for jokes and was out there to address his injuries. He told Cena to leave. Cena didn’t budge. Kane then came out. Kane went around to Mark Henry but then turned and went after Cena. Kane and Cena fought. Kane suffocated Cena, tore off Cena’s shirt and left. Next week, Cena’s sneakers better watch out.
Primo and Epico beat the Usos. The Colons worked over one of the Usos. Uso got the tag and Uso came in with a Bubba slam and running butt to the face. Epico then caught Uso with a zig zag type move for the pin.
Cody Rhodes beat Santino Marella. Prior to the match, Rhodes ridiculed the notion that Booker T could have beaten him. Rhodes was about to predict a Royal Rumble win when Santino came in and threatened him with a cobra (his hand) in a basket. This was pretty damn funny. In the match, Marella went for the cobra but Rhodes caught him with the Alabama slam for the pin.
The Bellas were bickering backstage and complaining about Teddy Long. John Laurinaitis said the board is watching Long and wished them a merry Christmas. The Bellas each gave him a kiss. Vickie Guerrero then came in to complain about Dolph Ziggler’s loss. Hornswoggle came in with mistletoe and kissed Guerrero. Guerrero freaked out. They cut to Michael Cole having a fit of laughter in front of a bunch of fans with blank expressions.
They had a video on Zack Ryder winning the US title and showed his dad after the show talking about how happy he is that Ryder did it. They have the same smile and this was a great little spot. It felt genuine and you really felt good for Ryder.
Backstage, Big Show said he waited nine years to get the title and then in seconds it went away. Show said it is kind of his own fault for encouraging Daniel Bryan not to wait until WrestleMania. He was asked about having the shortest title reign in history. He flashed anger and then left. Show was just tremendous here, showing anger and sadness but trying to cover it up with a smile.
Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Zack Ryder beat Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio and Miz. They cut away from Del Rio’s entrance for a vignette for a “prophetless” early 2012. The faces came out through the crowd, which was a cool touch. The faces ran wild early and did a series of dives to the outside. The heels took over on Bryan and worked him over. Ryder tagged in but they proceeded to work over Ryder for a while too. Finally, Punk got the tag.
Punk hit a slingshot clothesline, swinging neck breaker, high knee, bulldog, body slam and elbow off the top on Miz. This was one of the best looking elbows since he started doing them. Punk applied the anaconda vise but Ziggler made the save. Punk tagged Bryan and then gave Miz the GTS. Del Rio posted Bryan and set up for the armbar but Bryan countered into the LeBell lock for the submission. This was a fun match and conclusion to the show.
This was a much better edition of Raw than most recent weeks. In particular, the second hour was very entertaining with good wrestling, promos and comedy.