Posted January 1st, 2013 by jshannon

Welcome to the final Raw of 2012. It was a night of Champion’s Challenges. Plus, Dolph Ziggler and A.J. Lee had a special toast for the WWE Universe…and John Cena.

Roll the opening montage.

The Miz came out to open the show. He hosted an episode of MizTV. Miz talked about what Champion’s Challenge was all about. The Champs get to pick their opponents. Miz then brought out his guest, John Cena. Cena got a definite mixed reaction from the Washington, DC crowd. Cena wished everyone a Happy New Year. Miz talked about Cena’s failed relationship with A.J. Lee. Miz said A.J. is claiming that Cena used her. Miz asked Cena for his thoughts on Lee. Cena said it was over. Miz wasn’t sure because Dolph and A.J. invited Cena to the Toast. Cena made veiled threats against wrestling’s new Power Couple.

Speaking of couples, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow came out. Sandow quoted T.S. Eliot. Cena countered with a quote from Robert Griffin III. The quote was “You guys suck.”. Sandow didn’t know who the guy was (honestly, I didn’t either). Not a football person, I leave that to the grandsons and idiot ex-son-in-law. Cena serious ridiculed Cody for his mustache. Cody came back and mentioned how both Miz and Cena were laid out by Dolph and Big E Langston. Sandow crowed about how great Team Rhodes Scholars is. Cena challenged “Gandalf and Magnum P.I.” to a tag match.

John Cena and The Miz vs Damien “Gandalf” Sandow and Cody “Magnum P.I.” Rhodes (Team Rhodes Scholars)

Cody and Cena locked up and Cody with the Push Off from the Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Cena. “Cody’s Mustache” rang out. Tag to Miz. Ax Bomber to Cody’s shoulder. “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” rang out. Sandow took the tag and kicked Miz. Side Headlock Takeover by Sandow. Push Off but Sandow with the Shoulder Tackle. Flapjack by Miz. Sandow rolled out to the floor. Break time.

Cena with an Irish Whip into a Fisherman’s Suplex. Rear Chin Lock by Cena. Sandow powered up to his feet and Elbowed free. Cena with a huge Back Body Drop and tag to Miz. Miz dropped his weight on Sandow’s back and then Punted the ribs. Sandow with a Back Elbow and Running Clothesline. Tag to Cody. Cody with huge kicks. “Miz is Awesome” was screamed by the fans. Miz ran Cody into the corner and then punched away from the corner. Miz even got a shot in on Sandow. Left by Miz led to a two count. Goldustin Uppercut by Cody. Sandow with a cheap shot on Miz. Tag to Sandow. Sandow worked over Miz’s back and then rubbed Miz’s face into the canvas. Stomps to the ribs by Sandow. 1-2-no.

Elbow Of Distain by Sandow. Cody with the tag. Cody laid out Miz. Modified Rear Chin Lock by Cody. Cody shoved Miz into the enemy corner. Miz punched his way out. Cody with the Hardcore Holly UpperKick. Sandow with a tag and got a two count on a pin attempt. Small Package by Miz for two. Snadow held Miz’s ankle to keep him away from Cena. Tag to Cody. Kitchen Sink into a Front Face Drop by Cody. Arm Bar by Cody. Miz punched the ribs but Cody threw Miz down by the hair. Cody dragged Miz to his corner and tagged Sandow. Snap Mare and Crossfaces by Sandow. Tag to Cody. Stomps by Mr. Mustache. Miz pitched Cody across the ring.

Sandow and Cena both got tags. Cena went Vintage on Sandow. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Beautiful Disaster Kick by Cody on Cena. Skull Crushing Finale on Rhodes by Miz. Sandow charged Miz, only to end up in Cena’s Attitude Adjustment.

Your Winners: John Cena and The Miz
Grade: B+ (89%)

The New Year’s Eve party was running wild in the back. Vickie looked great in her silver dress. She talked with David Otunga. She then ran into Dolph Ziggler. She explained that Dolph wasn’t invited to the party. She let Dolph know that he would be fighting Sheamus, later. She cut loose with the Margaret Hamilton cackle as the reality set in.

Raw’s 20th Anniversary comes up in 2 weeks.

Vickie talked with the Prime Time Players and then C.M. Punk. Punk whined about the WWE Universe. Punk had his Chicago doctor with him. He wanted the doc to explain about his knee injury. Vickie asked Punk who he would have fought, given the chance. Punk suggested Ryback. Vickie then made a 3-on-1 Handicap Match with Ryback vs The Shield. She was kind of pushed into the decision by Paul Heyman and Punk. Heyman was tempted to smooch Vickie but stopped short.

In the ring, Antonio Cesaro was ready to make his selection for an opponent. He wanted someone who truly represented the United States. He brought out…Sgt. Slaughter!

Antonio Cesaro vs Sgt. Slaughter (Really?)
United States Title Match

Sarge came out with Old Glory. Sarge waived the flag and got ready for war. The two with the Collar and Elbow into a Hammerlock by Cesaro. Cesaro Paint Brushed the back of Sarge’s bald head. Standing Switch by Sarge. Slap to Cesaro’s back. Kick and Headbutt by Cesaro. Rear Chin Lock by Cesaro. (I really won’t do the joke of how far Cesaro had to reach to cinch in a Rear Chin Lock on Sarge). Sarge Elbowed free and slapped Cesaro’s chest, over and over. Cobra Clutch! Cesaro got to the ropes. Running European Uppercut by Cesaro. Neutralizer.

Your Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Grade: C (74% — a couple of bonus points for nostalgia)

Cesaro set for and nailed a second Neutralizer. Cesaro will face Great Khali, on WWE Main Event, on Wednesday. The US title will be on the line.

In the locker room, Daniel Bryan and Kane complained that they didn’t get to fight The Shield. They heard horrible screams from the next room. It was 3MB “singing”. Heath got uppity and the tag champs decided that they would face the Freebird-wanna-bes.

It was back to the party. Ricardo Rodriguez went for a drink, only to be confronted by Big Show. Show tried to talk Spanish to Ricardo. Show offered Ricardo a shot at the World title. Ricardo dropped his drink on Show’s boot. Show wished Ricardo “Good Luck!” Elsewhere, Kaitlyn brought in Mae Young. All the Divas showed their love, except Eve (of course). Eve decided she wanted to defend her title against the one woman that she has not beaten…Mae! Mae was all up for it.

Daniel Bryan and Kane (Team Hell No) vs Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre (3MB)
WWE Tag Team Title Match

Jindar Mahal drew the short straw and got to just hang out at ringside. Heath and Daniel to start. Collar and Elbow into an Arm Drag by Heath. Arm Wringer by Daniel with a Shoulcer Tackle and Rick Steiner-like Flying Slam on Heath. Flying Bow and Arrow by Daniel. I can not begin to tell you how much that move hurts. “Broken Angel” Chaz Masters used me as his practice dummy when he was learning that move, a few months back. Tag to Kane. Basement Dropkick by Kane as Daniel held Heath. Tag to Drew.

Side Headlock by Drew. Push Off and Shoulder Tackle by Kane. Uppercut by Kane and tag to Daniel. Kane whipped Daniel into a Dropkick on Drew. Drew kicked out of the pin attempt. Measured fists by Drew. Daniel with wild kicks. Blind tag by Heath. Heath held the ropes open so Daniel would fall through. Flying Knee by Mahal, on the floor. Heath pitched Daniel back into the ring. Rear Chin Lock by Heath. One HIt Wonder by Heath for a two count. Grinding Rear Chin Lock by Heath. Both men went for Crossbodies and laid each other out.

Drew got the tag and kept Daniel away from Kane, for a second. Kane tagged in and hit a Scoop Slam and Legdrop. Whip by Kane but Drew with the Big Boot. Back Elbow into the Sidewalk Slam by Kane. Kane went up top and flew. Kane Klothesline! Kane threw Heath over the top rope. Flying Knee Trembler by Daniel, on Mahal. Kane counted the Future Shock DDT and hit a Chokeslam. Tag to Daniel Bryan. Benoit Diving Headbutt. 1-2-3.

Your Winners: Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane)
Grade: B (84%)

The Rock will be back on Raw, next week. I almost expect Brock Lesnar to trot his happy self out there to attack Ryback. It’s about time for them to upload all the “Once or Twice a year guys” (Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar, Triple H, etc…). While I appreciate MOST of the above listed people, it does offend me that they only stroll out around Wrestlemnia/Rumble time. Do it all or don’t do it at all. I’m just saying.

I guess I should send out congratulations to Hugh Hefner. The octogenerian snagged himself a 26-year old former Playmate of the Year as his bride. This is the same chick who bailed on him, a few months ago. Nah, she’s not after his money…she really loves the wrinkly old coot. (wink, wink)

C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman came out to address the crowd. They had Punk’s doc with him. Raw showed the clip where Ryback “injured” Punk’s knee. Supposedly, the injury happened when Punk went through a table. Whatever. “The Walrus” took the stick and introduced himself. Heyman then introduced Punk, who has held the WWE title for every single day of 2012. He’s held it for 407 straight days. Punk bragged about what a great year he had. Punk mentioned all the injuries that he has suffered, during his career. Punk said he survived all the disrespect and the injuries. Punk said he brought Dr. Samuel somebody or other to explain Punk’s injury. The sawbones was as dull as dirt. He showed a slide, on the TitanTron, of a healthy knee and Punk’s knee. There was major swelling in the meniscus in Punk’s left knee. Punk bragged about how he could beat Ryback, even if he was still injured. The doc suddenly decided that he could not clear Punk to compete, next week. Punnk and Heyman tried to play it up but were cut off by the arrival of…

Vincent Kennedy McMahon! The Chairman Power Walked his way to the ring. Vince was wearing one of the ugliest suits that I’ve ever seen him in. Vince wished everyone a Happy New Year. He was also there because he understood that Punk was trying to weasel out of the match, next week. Heyman took offense to the slur. Vince said the WWE Officials, next week, will evaluate Punk’s condition. If they clear him, Punk will compete in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match against Ryback for the WWE Title. Vince said there was speculations as to why Punk has been champion for so long. He brought up Brad Maddox and The Shield. Punk denied any relationship with Brad Maddox or The Shield. Vince said the investigation will continue.

Heyman ripped into Vince for the way he was treating Punk. Heyman couldn’t believe that Vince would dare question a “injured hero”. He went to far by calling Vince “a flesh-peddling promoter”. Vince kept his cool. He said if Punk wasn’t cleared, so be it. If Punk can’t go, Ryback will face Paul Heyman. Heyman looked as if he needed a fresh pair of drawers, after that little announcement. To quote Cat from Red Dwarf “No, it went straight from Red Alert to Brown Alert”.

Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus

Dolph was joined by Big E. Langston and A.J. Lee. I see the big guy and think “Wow, Mark Henry had a child with Zeus (Tiny Lister)”. The Pale Destroyer came out to a huge pop. The two circled each other and Dolph with hard punches and clubbing blows. Sheamus answered with shots of his own. Sheamus ran Dolph into the corner and then blasted Mr. Ziggles with a Short Arm Clothesline. Elbow Drop by Sheamus for a two. Arm Wringer by Sheamus but Dolph with a kick. Sheamus ducked a Clothesline. Sheamus with a Back Body Drop that put Dolph down awkwardly. Sheamus with a two count. Whip by Sheamus but Dolph with a kick. Sheamus with a Kneelift into the Crossfaces. Big E pulled Dolph off the apron. Raw went to break.

Rear Chin Lock by Dolph. Sheamus sent Dolph to the ropes and hit a pair of Celtic Hammes and a Running Kneelift. Dolph escaped the Bulldog Bounce and nailed a Jumping DDT. 1-2-not yet. Michael Cole talked about all the huge powerlifting records that Big E Langston has set. Basement Standing Dropkick by Dolph but he only got a two count. Rear Chin Lock by Dolph. Dolph moved into a variation of the Kokina Clutch/Rear Naked Choke. Tilt-a-Whirl Powerbomb by Sheamus for two plus. Dolph snapped Sheamus’ neck over the top rope. Sheamus caught Dolph, on the top rope. Super Fallaway Slam! Sheamus went for the pin but only got a two. Sheamus headed to the outside. Dolph tripped Sheamus, on the ropes. The two fought up the ropes. Sheamus pushed Dolph off the ropes. Dolph tried to do a Kurt Angle Rope Run but Sheamus blasted Dolph. Battering Ram, by Sheamus, for two.

Sheamus went for the Four Leaf Cloverleaf but Dolph got to the ropes. Dolph attacked the knee but Sheamus survived. White Noise! Sheamus psyched himself up for the Brogue Kick. Big E held Sheamus’s foot. Dolph went for the Sleeper but Sheamus pitched Dolph over hte ropes. Big E caught Dolph. There was a staredown between the two men. Suddenly, The Shield hit the ring and attacked Sheamus. Seriously?

Your Winner (by DQ): Sheamus
Grade: B (84%)

Sheamus was doing ok against the trio until Roman nailed a Spear. They planted Sheamus with the Sword of Damacles (Triple Team Powerbomb).

Kofi Kingston was checking on Sheamus’ status. Wade Barrett came up and taunted Kofi for not choosing his opponent for the night. Barrett told Kofi to be a man and choose him. Kofi threw it back at Wade that Hornswoggle and Little Jimmy would probably put up more of a fight than Wade. Wade suckered Kofi in and got the title match.

Elsewhere, Brad Maddox interrupted Punk and Heyman. Brad said he thought they could help each other. Brad wanted a job. Heyman told Brad to get out. Punk chuckled. That may well have been a seriously bad move.

Back at the party, Mae was having stomach cramps. The doctor came in to check on Mae. The doc called for a table to lay Mae down on. Mae was helped onto the table. The doc said it was impossible…but Mae was PREGNANT…Again! Oh, dear Lord, not again. Mae even said it.

Eve came out for her match.

Eve Torres vs Mae Young
Divas Title Match

Eve explained that the 89 year-old Mae would not be able to compete. Eve said the pregnancy was a flimsy excuse to get out of the match. Since Mae couldn’t compete, Eve demanded that the ref declare her the winner, by forfeit. Eve asked for a photographer to snap a few pics of her defeat of Mae. Kaitlyn came out and the fight was on. Kaitlyn with a Spear. The two tore into each other and fought out to the floor. Kaitlyn took the upper hand and sent Eve back into the ring. Thre ref had a Hell of a time keeping them apart. The two fought over the Divas belt. Eve got possession and took off.

Your Winner: No Match
Grade: N/A

Ricardo Rodriguez was getting himself ready. Alberto Del Rio said it should be him that will be fighting Big Show. Ricardo said he was going to win the title, in Del Rio’s honor. Alberto said Ricardo has always shown honor to Alberto. Alberto said he treated Ricardo like dirt, in the past. He said no one should treat Ricardo like dirt. Alberto gave his scarf…and car…to Ricardo to use.

Big Show vs Ricardo Rodriguez
World Title Match

Ricardo came out in an incredible Blood Red Mercedes SL550. Ok, when I make my first million, I’m getting one of those. I may not be able to drive the darn thing but I can style and profile while riding shotgun. Wooo.

Alberto Del Rio came out to watch his man servant battle the World Champ. Big Show laughed at Ricardo. Alberto psyched up Double R. Ricardo fought in his tux. Show ordered Ricardo to go after his leg. That let Show club the back. Open Hand Slap by Show. Another Open Hand Slap to the bare chest of Ricardo. Show choked Ricardo, on the ropes. Show taunted Alberto. Show turned to confront Alberto. That allowed Ricardo to get a Big Boot up. Ricardo dodged a Charge and hit a Step Up Enziguri. I love it. Kneebreaker by Ricardo. Ricardo flew off the ropes, into a big Slap. Short Arm Clotheslines by Show. Show cocked the fist but Alberto came in the ring and clipped the knee. Alberto with several kicks and a Superkick to the face. Alberto pulled Ricardo to safety.

Your Winner (by DQ): Big Show
Grade: B- (81%)

Kofi Kingston vs Wade Barrett
Intercontinental Title Match

The two locked up and went to the ropes. Irish Whip by Wade but Barrett missed a Corner Splash. Kofi with punches and kicks. Push Off by Wade into a Shoulder Tackle. Universal into a Flying Back Elbow and Dropkick. Front Face Lock by Kofi but Wade took them to the corner. Top Wrist Lock by Wade. Kofi used the ropes to flip over. Kofi just barely missed with Trouble in Paradise. Side Headlock by Kofi. Wade blocked a Monkey Flip. Both men ended up falling out to the floor. Break.

Wade with a wicked Rear Chin Lock. During the break, Wade had nailed a huge boot to Kofi’s face. Pump Handle Front Drop by Wade. Wade choked Kofi on the middle rope. Knee Strikes by Wade. Pendulum Kick by Kofi. Kofi with a Springboard Crossbody, to the floor. Kofi hurt his ribs when he landed on Wade. 2 count by Kofi, once they got back in the ring. Dropkick by Kofi. Kofi blocked the Black Hole Slam. SOS by Kofi for a two. Corner Lock punches but Wade turned it into a Running (Walking) Powerbomb for a two plus. Wade ducked Trouble in Paradise and nailed Wasteland. 1-2-Kick Out! Wade (and the fans) were shocked. Small Package by Kofi for two. Wade with hard kicks and stomps. Kofi with another Pendulum Kick. Kofi missed a top rope Crossbody. Bull Hammer Elbow!

Your Winner (and New I-C Champ): Wade Barrett
Grade: A (94%)

The delivery of Mae’s baby was about to happen. This is just going to get major league silly.

Raw did a recap of the whole Santa got run over by a fancy car thing. Alberto Del Rio struck Ol’ Saint Nick. That led to ADR vs John Cena in the Miracle on 34th Street-Fight. Santa came back and caught ADR with a Santa Socko.

Back to the party. Santino and Zack Ryder came in. Vickie warned them that Mae was giving birth to the New Year’s Baby. There was a rude bodily noise, which came out of Vickie. Mae pushed and pushed. Daniel Bryan came in and started a “No/Yes” chant. There was a weird stretching and pop noise and out came…Hornswoggle! He got up with his “mommy”, who kissed him on the cheek. Cole and Lawler nearly fell out of their seats, laughing.

Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (The Shield) vs Ryback
3-on-1 Handicap Match

The wild fight started down on the floor. Ryback got mauled by the trio. Ryback fought back and really laid out Roman. He rushed Dean into the corner. Seth and Roman kept up the assault. They just continued to beat down on Ryback. The bell never sounded. Sheamus hit the ring and started blasting the renegade group. The Shield used their number advantage on Ryback and Sheamus. Out of nowhere, Randy Orton’s music went off and The Viper hit the ring. He went wild on the men who messed up his shoulder. The Shield were dumped to the outside. Randy with an RKO on Dean.

Your Winner: No Match
Grade: N/A

Dolph and A.J. got all “prettied up” in the back. It was time for the Toast.

The ring had black and white balloons, all around. Big E Langston, Dolph Ziggler and A.J. Lee were in the ring. Dolph and A.J. were all dressed up in white. Dolph said the Toast was going out to the WWE Universe. He said the fans picked John Cena for Superstar of the Year. Dolph ridiculed Cena’s lousy year. Dolph showed where Cena lost to The Rock at Wrestlemania. He then touched upon Cena getting beaten silly by Brock Lesnar. Lesnar laid out Cena with an F5. Dolph then looked at when Big Show caused Cena to lose to John Laurinaitis. Dolph poked fun at the missing John Laurinaitis. Dolph then moved forward to when John Cena cashed in his Money in the Bank Briefcase, at Raw 1000, only to have Big Show cost Cena the title. It made Cena the first person to cash in and not win the title of choice. Dolph wasn’t done as he next brought up A.J. turning on Cena, at TLC. Dolph continued to rant and rave until Cena finally showed up. Dolph had asked Big E. Langston to stand guard and prevent Cena from getting in the ring.

Cena said he didn’t accept the Superstar of the Year award, due to his bad year. He accepted his defeats and learned from them. Cena praised Dolph for being correct. Cena said it was the year of Dolph and A.J.. Cena said the future screamed A.J.. He poked fun at the fact she had six relationships during 2012. Cena showed a photo of Dolph and A.J.’s wedding wardrobe. Dolph and Big E were in dresses and A.J. was wearing the tux. He then showed a picture of their potential child. Cena then showed a Family Photo of all of A.J.’s kids. There was like 16 kids, including one with Matilda, the Bulldog. Dolph said Cena was the biggest loser in the WWE, now. He felt Cena would be the same loser in 2013. Cena said it was time to party and have a good time. Cena said Dolph really didn’t want Cena to get serious, because it wouldn’t end up well for Dolph. Cena mentioned that Dolph had been in the WWE for 7 years and he whined for a push, the whole time. Cena announced that he would be in the Royal Rumble and he would be going to Wrestlemania to get the WWE title. Dolph called Cena on his statement. “Talk, like your outfits, is cheap”. Cena poked fun at the outfits that Dolph and A.J. were wearing. Cena said he has not changed in 10 years and would likely be buried in jean shorts and a ball cap. Cena made a prosperous Toast with what they were full of…Poop! A shower of crap rained down from the ceiling and bathed the power couple in tan slime. Yuck!


–Jay Shannon

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