TLC is this Sunday. The major players all got a chance to shine. Plus, Miz was up to his creative name generation thing, yet again.
Raw began by looking at the rise of The Shield. This is just such a rip-off of Aces and Eights. They also showed how C.M. Punk got hurt. He had knee surgery, last week, and won’t compete until Royal Rumble or shortly before it. I have to think with Punk vs Rock on the line, WWE isn’t about to risk Punk getting hurt, more than he already is. The show then looked at the A.J./Cena vs Vickie/Dolph mess.
Dolph Ziggler was introduced. He was standing on a huge ladder, near the Money in the Bank briefcase. Dolph talked about TLC and Christmas. Dolph felt both were the same, to him. Dolph mocked John Cena for having a Money in the Bank briefcase and failing to cash it in, successfully. Dolph said he was going to ruin Cena’s Christmas by beating Cena at TLC. Dolph said after he beats Cena, he would cash in and take out Big Show to become the World champ.
Sheamus then entered the arena. Raw looked at the No Contact Contract signing. It was Booker T that forced Sheamus and Big Show to sign. Sheamus said if Dolph does keep the briefcase, he will have to cash in on Sheamus, not Show. Sheamus didn’t think Dolph will beat John Cena. Sheamus was looking forward to John Cena vs Sheamus for the World title.
Big Show then joined the party and said Sheamus’ and Dolph’s rants are boring (he’s right). Show wanted to destroy Sheamus, right now, but he couldn’t. Show said he would wait til TLC. Show urged Dolph to try and cash in, tonight, on him after his match with John Cena. Show said he would take out both Dolph and Sheamus. Sheamus wondered where Show’s Christmas spirit was. Sheamus teased Show by talking about throwing Ricardo Rodriguez into Show’s nether regions, on Smackdown. Sheamus said he might not be able to have contact with Show, but…
Sheamus tipped over the large ladder. Dolph hit the ropes, awkwardly, and may have tweaked his knee and/or ankle. WWE really can’t afford any more injuries.
Vince McMahon Power Walked backstage. He had something to say…next.
Wade Barrett was in the ring. His match was delayed as Vinny Mac showed up. Vince was excited about the main event. He brought out Vickie Guerrero to give her the credit that she was due. Why doesn’t she have theme music? Vickie took a little bow. Vince felt there should be another main event. Vince suggested that Sheamus should wrestle against…Dolph Ziggler. Vince then decided there should be a third, monumental, main event. Vickie wanted to put A.J. in a Handicap Match. Vince thought about it and suggested that A.J. should wrestle…Vickie! The crowd just exploded at that news. Vince then brought out R-Truth.
Wade Barrett vs R-Truth
Wade with a kick and clubbing blows. Wade pitched Truth to the outside. Wade taunted Kofi Kingston, who was sitting at ringside. Wade ran Truth’s back into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Wade with an Elbow Drop and Running Boot. Wade choked Truth on the middle rope. Rear Chin Lock by Wade. Antonio Cesaro, who was also at the announce desk, got into a war of words with Kofi. Wade with a hard kick to Truth’s ribs. Flying Small Package by Truth to take the surprise win.
Your Winner: R-Truth
Grade: B (84%)
Truth and Antonio got into a verbal skirmish, at the annoucne desk. In the ring, Kofi flew off the top turnbuckle and planted Wade with a Flying Crossbody. Too cool.
A.J. was bouncing around, backstage. She was telling everyone that she was going to get to fight Vickie Guerrero. Most of the people just spaced out as she rambled on about how she was going to break Vickie’sneck. A.J. wanted to tell John Cena, so she just burst into the men’s locker room. She hugged Cena. He tried his best to shield her eyes from the naked and half-naked male wrestlers. Cena couldn’t believe A.J. just did that.
Darren Young and Titus O’Neil (Prime Time Players) vs Jimmy and Jey Uso vs Primo and Epico vs Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow and the returning Cody Rhodes)
Four Team Elimination Match
The winner of this contest will face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara at TLC to determine the Number One Contender to the tag belts. Cody now has a cheesy mustache. I shouldn’t be saying anything derogatory about anyone having lip fuzz, since I’ve had a cookie duster since I was 19 years old (almost 30 years). Heck, my first wife never saw me without it in our 15 years together.Anyway, I digress. Let’s get to the action.
Jimmy Uso and Epico to start. Jimmy with a Running Clothesline and tag to his brother, Jey. Epico flipped out and tagged Primo. Double Team on Uso. Elbow Drop to Jey’s skull. Epico with a tag. Snap Suplex by Primo. Sprngboard Elbow Drop by Primo. Primo with a Dropkick to the ankle. He stood on Uso and choked him in the ropes. Side Russian Legsweep, by Primo, for two. Thrust Kick by Uso. Tag to his brother. Top Rpe Splash.
Primo and Epico — Eliminated
Titus jumped Jimmy Uso, as Raw went to break.
Jimmy had Cody in a Side Headlock. During the break, The Usos pinned The Prime TIme Players, after a second Top Rope Splash.
Darren Young and Titus O’Neil — Eliminated
Damien came in and pounded away. Jimmy laid him out with a Double Knife Edge Chop. Backbreaker. Jey came off the ropes with an Elbow Drop. Stomp to Damien’s face. Damien got the boots up. He then stomped on Uso. Tag to Cody. Cody with a sharp kicks. “Cody’s Mustache” chant broke out. Damien tagged back in and kicked Uso in the ribs. Side Russian Legsweep into the Elbow of Distain (my spelling was corrected by Michael Cole, not directly). Cody with a tag and hard punch. Cody was launched across the ring. Tag to Jimmy. Jimmy exploded with Clotheslines and a kick. Samoan Drop. He wasted a a lot of time playing to the crowd. Running Back Thunder to Cody. Damien was pitched out of the ring. Jey was tripped off the apron. Jimmy went to the top rope but Damien stopped him. Uso with a Headbutt. Cody got the knees up when Uso flew off the ropes. CrossRhodes.
Your Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars
Grade: A- (92%)
Eve Torres vs Alicia Fox
Michael Cole said The Muppets were the social ambassadors, this week. Eve tried to play nice and then kicked Fox in the ribs. Side Headlock Takeover by Eve. Back Roll Pin Attempt by Fox for two. Shoulder Tackle by Eve. Fox with a Handstand Headscissors. Fox rammed Eve into the corner. Eve went to the floor and Fox went out to get her. Eve begged off and pretended to have a broken nose. Northern Lights Bridging Suplex by Fox for two. Irish WHip but Eve with a kick. Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker by Fox for two. Eve told the ref to get Fox off her hair. Eve with a Whip to the corner. Fox did the Splits to get on the ropes. Eve pulled Fox off the ropes and then hit the Eve of Destruction (Neckbreaker).
Your Winner: Eve Torres
Grade: B- (81%)
Eve brought in the ringside photographer to snap several photos.
In the back, C.M. Punk hobbled on crutches. “Walrus” Paul Heyman brought up the rear, clutching the WWE title as if it were his own child.
C.M. Punk was introduced. He came out to the top of the stage. Punk took the stick and addressed the crowd. Punk said it has come to his and Paul’s attentions that people think the injury is phony. Punk said some even say the surgery never took place. Punk said it was real life. Don’t let the fact that there wasn’t a huge scar fool you. Most knee operations, these days, have just tiny holes drilled into the area. Punk sent it back to where he got injured. You have to think the injury is legit. Why would WWE toss out a great match and replace it with a mid-card, at best, six man tag match? Paul was ticked off that the fans were chanting “Feed Me More!” Heyman took shots at the N.J. Devils. Paul said there aren’t any stunt doubles in wrestling, unlike what The Rock gets in his movie roles. Punk is now the longest reigning champ of the last 25 years. Heyman took another shot at New Jersey. Heyman said Ryback was out of the title picture. Punk’s next opponent will be The Rock, at Royal Rumble.
Punk took back the stick and addressed those who felt he should be stripped of the WWE title. Punk said he couldn’t believe people would accuse him of faking an injury to avoid Ryback. Punk talked about all the people that couldn’t take the belt from him. Punk was certain that the Rock would fail at Royal Rumble. Punk said he would be at the TLC Pay-per-view. He was looking forward to watching The Shield (which he is not affliated with) do to Ryback what Ryback did to him.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler explained the new main event of TLC.I think the main event has to be one of the weakest in recent history. It should have been a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the tag belts. Team Hell No vs The Shield or Team Hell No vs Rhodes Scholars. This main event means about as much as Team Angle vs Aces and Eights over at Final Resolution. I’m just saying…
Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler
The tw locked up and they ended up in the corner. Dolph with a kick and punches on the break. Sheamus with a kick to Dolph’s injured leg. The leg was injured when Dolph fell off the ladder and into the ropes, during the opening segment. It was all taped up. Dolph began to fight back with Elbows and punches. Sheamus laid out Dolph with a hard clubbing shot. Sheamus with a punch to the ribs. Dolph with a kick to the face. Sheamus continued to focus on the bad wheel but Dolph connected with a sharp Dropkick. Dolph pounded on Sheamus’ head. Sheamus blocked an Irish Whip and tossed Dolph up and over the top rope. Sheamus went to the outside and hit a Double Sledge to the forehead. Raw went to break.
Dolph with the Sleeper, as the show returned. Dolph took the advantage, during the break. Dolph converted the move into a standard Rear Chin Lock. Sheamus powered up to his feet. Sheamus began to punch free. Kitchen Sink by Dolph. Sheamus rolled out to the floor. The ref slid out and checked on Sheamus. Dolph then came out and brought Sheamus back into the ring. Dolph exploded on Sheamus with wild punches. Funk Neckbreaker by Dolph for a two count. Dolph went back to the Rear Chin Lock. Sheamus Elbowed his way free and sent Dolph into the corner at warp speed. Sheamus began to Hulk Up and unloaded on Dolph. Double Sledges to rock Mr. Money in the Bank. Dolph dodged a charging Sheamus and the Irishman struck the post. Dolph tried to pin Sheamus, with his feet on the ropes, but got caught. Flying Arm Bar by Dolph for a two. Dolph climbed to the middle rope and waited. Sheamus caught Dolph and nailed a Backbreaker into a Fallaway Slam. Kneelift into the Crossfaces, in the ropes. Sheamus Suplexed Dolph back into the ring.
Sheamus went to the top but Dolph shook the ropes. Sheamus fell hard into the ropes. They two fought on the ropes. Sheamus shoved Dolph down. Flying X-Factor…off the top rope by Dolph! 1-2-How the Hell did Sheamus kick out of that? Sheamus blocked the Sleeper. Dolph got out of White Noise and then escape the Four Leaf Cloverleaf. Dolph with a Dropkick to the knee. Irish Curse Backbreaker by Sheamus. Sheamus pumped himself up for the finish. Dolph dropped down to avoid the Brogue Kick. The two ended up fighting on the floor. Dolph bashed Sheamus with a steel chair. DQ!
Your Winner (by DQ): Sheamus
Grade: A- (90%)
Dolph got a few shots in with the chair before Sheamus Brogue Kicked the chair. It barely missed taking out “The Show Off”. Lawler and Cole talked about how vicious steel chairs can be. I’ve taken a chair shot, during my work in wrestling, and they sting like Hell.
Vickie was warming up for her match, when Hornswoggle and Great Khali came in. They helped her loosen up. Vince McMahon walked in and it looked seriously kinky. He got gold star of the night with his comment “I thought this was supposed to be a family show.” Vickie tripped out.
Cole and Lawler talked about The Shield’s attack on Smackdown, last Friday. Daniel Bryan and Kane got annihilated by the rogue trio. Kane ended up going through the announce table. Cole sent it to a video manifesto from Dean, Seth and Roman. Yadda Yadda. Justice, work for ourselves, etc… Yawn.
Alberto Del Rio vs Zack Ryder
Tonight’s show came from one of my new favorite places on the planet, Newark, N.J.. That was the town I flew into, just before my recent trip to Poland. The people there (minus one twerp security rent-a-cop at the airport) are fantastic. I’d move there in a heartbeat, if I had the chance. Not sure where I’d keep my horses, Lacey and Gracie, but if the Two Broke Girls can have Chestnut, I get to keep my mom and daughter combo set.
Zack rallied the crowd. Kneelift and punch by ADR. Dropkick by Ryder. Corner attack by Zack. Flying Forearm brought a two count. Clothesline by Zack for two. Rear Chin Lock by Zack. The two traded punches and Zack took over ADR with a Side Headlock Takeover. ADR got to the ropes. ADR went to the outside and then snapped the arm of Ryder over the ropes. Flapjack by Zack for a two. ADR reversed an Irish Whip and then spun Zack around. Enziguri by ADR. ADR kicked the shoulder of Zack and then choked him on the ropes. Snap Suplex by ADR. ADR worked over the neck and back of Zack. Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker by ADR for a two count. Step-up Enziguri by ADR. Again, he only got a two count. ADR with a Chin Wrench. Sunset Flip by Zack. Vicious German Suplex by ADR. Ax Bomber off the ropes by ADR for another two count. ADR attacked the lower back of Ryder. Alberto will face Ryback on Main Event, this week.
Zack broke free. He flipped ADR up and over the ropes. ADR landed hard. Zack with Clotheslines on ADR. ADR reversed an Irish Whip but ate the knees. ADR used a Drop Toe Hold to avoid the Broski Boot. Alberto Del Rio clamped on the Cross Armbreaker to force Zack Ryder to submit.
Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Grade: B+ (87%)
Next week, The Slammys return. You have to go through the new WWE App to vote. I’ll be doing my own Year-End Awards column, very soon.
A.J. Lee vs Vickie Guerrero
Vickie got all bent out of shape when there was no ref. She kept screaming for a ref and finally got…Brad Maddox. Oh, this isn’t going to end well. The match was one of the worst wastes of time that I’ve seen since, well, Vickie Guerrero vs Santina Marella, several years back. Brad was a complete idiot, as a ref. “You Can’t Wrestle” broke out. I assume they were talking about Maddox. Brad called for the bell and Vickie attacked from behind. It was the lamest catfight since Mae Young beat Layla and Michelle McCool. Vickie threw A.J. around a bit. Lee did the Psycho Princess bit and went off on Vickie. Brad wouldn’t make the count when A.J. blasted Vickie with a hard slap. A.J. got up and confronted the moronic zebra. Vickie with a Roll Up and Brad with a quick count. Sigh. Let’s go back to two hours so we don’t have to see crap like this.
Your Winner: Vickie Guerrero
Grade: F- (0%)
A.J. had a typical Psycho Princess Meltdown. Throw stuff around, slap the ring announcer, tear crap up. The first time through this, I was semi-snoozing on my bed. That little waif shrieking woke me up and set off my Pitbull, Princess.
Backstage, A.J. was still tearing up the sets. John Cena came over and calmed her down. PLEASE, I’m begging you, don’t make one of the matches at Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania a mixed tag: Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler vs A.J. Lee and John Cena.
Kofi Kingston vs Antonio Cesaro
Champion vs Champion, Non-titles match
Cesaro blathered that the US had gone rotten. He said the people of America needed him as their U.S. champion. Cesaro said, on Sunday, R-Truth would learn “The Truth Hurts”.
Antonio worked over Kofi’s arm. Go Behind by Antonio. Spin Switch, on the canvas, by Kofi. Antonio went back to work on Kofi’s arm. Antonio with a series of hard stomps. Side Headlock by Antonio. He has broken fingers and torn hand tendons. Antonio dropped Kofi and went to bounce off the ropes. Universal into a Flying Back Elbow. Corner Punches by Kofi. Flying Ax Bomber by Kofi. Antonio stunned Kofi and then nailed a Scoop Slam and Double Stomp to Kofi’s chest. Antonio choked Kofi on the ropes. Antonio used the boot to choke Kofi. Uppercut by Kofi. Scoop Slam by Antonio into an Elbow Drop. Variation of the Shino-Numaki by Antonio. Kofi escaped another Scoop Slam and opened up on Antonio with Controlled Frenzy. Antonio rolled to the outside to avoid the Boom Drop. The two fought on the apron. Monkey Flip, in the ring, by Kofi. Antonio with a hard boot to Kofi’s face. Break time, again.
Inverted Bear Hug by Antonio, on the mat. Kofi battled loose but Antonio locked it back in. Kofi with a Headbutt to get free. Kofi with a Sunset Flip to take over Antonio. It took 2 times to get it done. Antonio lifted Kofi and walked around. Gut Wrench Suplex by Cesaro for two. Cesaro stomped Kofi and then kicked him. Kofi with sharp kicks.Spinebuster by Antonio, for two. Cesaro went back to the Inverted Bear Hug. The fans started chanting “Boring” as the match slowed to a crawl. Antonio sent Kofi into the corner but Kofi fought out. Kofi with a Crossbody to Antonio’s back that laid out Antonio. Antonio blocked the SOS and hit a European Uppercut to the back of Kofi’s head. Antonio boxed the ribs of Kofi, in the corner. Kofi caught Antonio with the SOS but Antonio grabbed the bottom rope just before the three count. Kofi missed a Corner Splash on Antonio. Kofi went up top and flew…right into a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker by Antonio! Holy Crap that was awesome. Neutralizer!
Your Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Grade: A (95%)
MizTV welcomes The Rhodes Scholars.
Miz tried to cause a bit of dissention between the tag team. He suggested that Sandow said he was carrying Rhodes. Plus, he brought up that Sandow didn’t really check on Rhodes, while Cody was recovering from his injury. Rhodes deflected the jabs. Miz then changed gears and made fun of Cody’snew mustache. He asked Cody if he forgot to shave or did some of Sandow’s beard rub off while they were smooching. He called them “The Beard-o and the Weirdo”. He later decided that after seeing Sandow’s ring gear and that little caterpillar on Cody’s lip, he had a new name for them “The Pink and the Stink”.
In the back, A.J. found John Cena and said she wanted to be in his corner. Cena was worried that she would get hurt, at ringside. He asked her to please stay safe, in the back. You just know she won’t.
Dolph came down to watch the final match of the night. He was ready to cash in, if he got the chance, his Money in the Bank Briefcase.
John Cena vs Big Show
Show forced Cena into the corner but Show with a Headbutt and hard shots to the ribs of Cena. Show with a Corner Butt Splash. Show shouted that Cena sucks. Show missed another Corner charge. Sleeper by Cena. Show turned blood red. Show fought to stay on his feet but collapsed. 1-2-launch of Cena. Cena tried for the Attitude Adjustment, but Show shifted and they fell forward. Raw went to break.
Goozle by Show but Cena turned it into a DDT. Both men were down and stunned. Sidewalk Slam by Show for just a two. Huge Headbutt by Show. Cena started punching away and hit a rare Dropkick. Spear by Show. Could be…might be…Kick Out. Scoop Slam by Show. Huge Elbow Drop by Show but it only brought a two count. Cena with Double Boots nad increditble punches. Big Bear Hug by Big Show.
Cena Elbowed the sklull of Show but Show just grinded. Cena got free and tried to go for the STF. Show kicked free and Cena flew out of the ring. Show pitched Cena, like a bail of hay, into the barricade. Show palmed Cena’s head and brought him up to the apron. They fought back and forth and Cena was dropped with a Clothesline. Cole asked Dolph if he changed his ways, the fans might cheer him. Dolph said it wasn’t worth it. Avalanche Splash by Show, off the middle ropes. Show blasted the ribs, over and over. Show knocked down Cena and then went up the ropes. Show missed the Avalanche Splash. Back Drop Suplex by Cena off the Flying Shoulder. Five Knuckle Shuffle by Cena. Chokeslam by Show but Cena kicked out at two.
Show went over to talk trash to the crowd. Show cocked the fist for the KO Punch. Cena ducked it and nailed the Attitude Adjustment. Suddenly, The Shield hit hte ring and attacked John Cena. Really? This sucks. Show got out of the ring as Roman caught Cena with a Headbutt.. The ref tried to get the guys out of the ring. They left and then slid a table into the ring. Roman screamed that he wanted a ladder. Suddenly, the tag champs, Kane and Daniel Bryan rushed the ring.
Your Winner (by DQ): John Cena
Grade: B+ (87%)
Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, and Sheamus got involved. It broke down into a total mosh pit. Cena Speared Show through a table. The Shield and Team Hell No got back into the ring. Ryback then stormed the ring. He threw a ladder into all three members of The Shield. Kane and Ryback double teamed Roman. Raw faded out as Hell was still breaking loose.