Happy holidays, Cagesiders! Welcome to a festive edition of the Cageside Seats Week in Wrestling.
This week was a rare quiet one for both WWE and TNA, as all their programming was taped the week before, so their performers could spend Christmas with their loved ones. This meant that the TV shows weren't very newsworthy, but at least in WWE's case, the lack of pressure led to largely enjoyable seasonal fare. TNA, not so much.
So, let's get to the final results of 2012!
- Disaster struck at the show's opening when Alberto Del Rio accidentally ran over Santa Claus in his flashy BMW.
- It turns out that he wasn't such a jolly old man, after all. SmackDown GM Booker T, reveals after the break, that before passing out backstage, Santa vindictively asked for Del Rio to be booked in a "Miracle on 34th Street Fight" against John Cena in the show's main event.
- Kane defeated Cody Rhodes by clean pinfall after a chokeslam.
- In a Santa's Helper 8-Diva Tag Team match Alicia Fox, Kaitlyn, Layla, and Natalya defeated Aksana, Eve Torres, Rosa Mendes, and Tamina Snuka when Kaitlyn pinned Eve again after a gutbuster.
- Dolph Ziggler cuddles up next to AJ Lee in front of their Christmas tree watching her favourite festive movie: footage from TLC of AJ turning on John Cena by pushing him off a ladder and helping Ziggler to retain his Money In The Bank briefcase.
- Still no word on Santa's condition, but have no fear, The North Pole was notified of the situation, presumably so they could arrange an emergency fallback plan should he not recover in time to deliver all his presents.
- Sheamus finally defeated Big Show in a non-title Lumberjack match with his deadly Brogue Kick.
- Ambulance chasing lawyer David Otunga claimed that Del Rio was the victim of vehicular vandalism by a guilty Santa Claus, while Zach Ryder argued that the Mexican aristocrat had "practically ran him over". This led to Ryder picking up a feel-good victory over the Harvard-educated Otunga.
- Jabroni Brad Maddox, still wants a contract from Booker T, who refuses. But as it was Christmas, he gave him yet another shot to win one.
- The Miz and Kofi Kingston defeated Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett when Barrett fell victim to the Skull Crushing Finale.
- AJ gives Dolph a couple of early Christmas presents: the Money in the Bank briefcase and taking off her robe to reveal that she's wearing Ziggler's merchandise.
- The Great Khali (with Hornswoggle), dressed up like the world's largest ever elf, squashed Brad Maddox, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.
- CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) complained about Ryback being given another shot at his WWE title on the Jan 7 episode of Monday Night Raw, who eventually came out to simply tell Punk he wants that aforementioned championship bout to be a tables, ladders and chairs (TLC) match.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Damien Sandow by submission with the No Lock.
- The Usos, International Airstrike, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella defeated The Prime Time Players, 3MB and Tensai in a "12 days of Christmas 12-man tag team match", when an Uso pinned Heath Slater after a Superfly Splash.
- Daniel Bryan and Kane exchange presents. They respectively receive a Slammy award and a puppy, which Kane is overjoyed with, as he was "starving".
- AJ and Ziggler wipe out their Christmas tree during a passionate make out session under the mistletoe.
- Matt Striker tells us that Santa has taken a turn for the worse, but a miraculous recovery occurs when his heart monitor starts bleeping the Jingle Bells tune. Just in time for the main event!
- John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio in a comical Christmas-themed brawl by pinfall with the Attitude Adjustment after Santa Claus ran in, whacked Ricardo Rodriguez with his big bag of presents and gave Del Rio a stocking stuffing Mandible Claw.
NXT (Dec. 26)
- This was a "Best Of NXT 2012" holiday special show, so only one new "exclusive" match and a few new interviews aired.
- They re-aired Seth Rollins pinning Jinder Mahal to become the first NXT champion on Aug. 30, Bray Wyatt pinning Aiden English on July 12 and Big E. Langston pinning Camacho on Nov. 22.
- Bray Wyatt told people not to worry about their New Year's Resolutions, because he will be here for us.
- Kassius Ohno said 2013 won't be an unlucky year for him and will be "OK for KO".
- CM Punk offered viewers a Christmas present - his wisdom. He praised Seth Rollins for taking to heart his past words of advice to beat respect out of people and to work hard, pay his dues and break through glass ceilings.
- Big E. Langston says his business on NXT is to become the NXT champion and that his New Year's Resolution is to win the NXT title.
- Kane beat Cody Rhodes with a chokeslam again in the exclusive main event match.
- The Great Khali became the number-one contender to Antonio Cesaro's United States Championship by winning a 20-man Battle Royal after last eliminating Wade Barrett. Also involved, were William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, Ted DiBiase, Primo, Epico, The Usos, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Brodus Clay, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, Zack Ryder, Santino Marella, Damien Sandow, and Cody Rhodes. After the match, Cesaro shook hands with Khali, but then attacked him during a backstage interview segment. Khali recovered and sent him packing with a chop when Cesaro started speaking in his five foreign languages.
- International Airstrike of Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, defeated 3MB's Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntrye, when Kidd pinned Mahal after a double team, top rope, Buff Blockbuster style move.
Superstars (Dec. 27)
- This was another "Best of Raw 2012" highlights show, focusing on The Undertaker vs. Triple H WrestleMania 28 match, Kane and Daniel Bryan's unlikely run as WWE Tag Team Champions, clips from the 1,000th episode of Raw and CM Punk's year long WWE Title reign.
- After defeating Big Show in a non-title match on Raw, Sheamus started the program by calling out the World Heavyweight Champion for a title rematch in tonight's main event. But Show naturally refused. So, Booker T forced Show to defend his title against a name drawn at random from a tumbler, instead. Santino Marella was the lucky man.
- Brodus Clay squashed Primo. Cameron and Naomi got physical with Rosa Mendes when she ran into the ring after the match was over.
- Backstage, Sheamus tried to teach Santino the Brogue Kick, but Marella pulled a muscle practising the move. Consequently, he's out of the World Heavyweight Title match.
- The Rhodes Scholars & Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston & Team Hell No when Barrett pinned Kingston after hitting the Bull Hammer.
- Booker T pulls out a second name from the tumbler, and this time it's Ricardo Rodriguez, but Big Show knocks him out before the match can occur, pissing the SmackDown GM off.
- Antonio Cesaro defeated Zack Ryder by pinfall with the Neutralizer.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz by pinfall with a Zig-Zag from behind, after his opponent was distracted by his seconds in AJ Lee and Big E. Langston. After the match, Miz insinuated AJ was a slut by saying: "No matter which Superstar you are with on New Year's Eve, the night is going to end with a BANG." This inevitably led to Langston laying out Miz with his "Big Ending" finisher, and the loving couple making out again over his flattened body.
- Ricardo is still unconscious, so the doctor tells Booker T that the kid can't compete tonight. Enter Brad Maddox, who wants just one more chance, which Booker grants, but not the World Heavyweight Title shot, which he instead gives to an understandably upset Alberto Del Rio.
- This time it's Sheamus who destroys Maddox.
- The Usos defeated The Prime Time Players when Darren Young accidentally hit Titus O'Neil and Young got rolled up in the confusion.
- The World Heavyweight Title match between Big Show and Alberto Del Rio sees Show win by disqualification when he tried to walk out on the match, Sheamus and the rest of the SmackDown roster stops him, Del Rio hits his running Enzuigiri and an interfering Sheamus finishes him off with the Brogue Kick.
- This was another Best Of show, re-airing Daniel Bryan defeating Tyson Kidd from Oct. 20 and John Cena defeating Heath Slater from Dec. 8.
- It's Open Fight Night again. Bully Ray starts the show by calling out Hulk Hogan, not for a fight, but for a man-to-man chat in order to prove he's trustworthy, completely oblivious to the fact TNA cameras and the Hulkster caught him with his tongue down Brooke Hogan's throat last week. Hulk's not here, but Brooke is, telling Ray that Hulk knows all about them and they need to speak to him, while Ray continues to pretend nothing is going on between them.
- Austin Aries calls out Bobby Roode for the TV main event for screwing him out of the TNA World Heavyweight Title last week.
- Samoa Joe called out one of the masked men of Aces and 8s, whom he quickly choked out, but the rest of the gang made the save before he could unmask the hoodlum.
- Robbie E gets into a backstage argument with Jessie, which leads E to challenge him to a "Bro-off", while Robbie T looks on incredulously.
- Kenny King tells Christian York he's sure TNA X Division Champion Rob Van Dam will call him out tonight, so York should watch the inevitable title switch, and if he's cool about it, King might give him a shot.
- In an embarrassing comedy segment, Robbie T entered into the "Bro-off" at the last minute and seemed to win by default.
- Van Dam predictably gave York the X Division Title shot instead and defeated him clean with the frog splash in a competitive match.
- A backstage Aces and 8s segment was next, where Devon discussed the "arrogant, cocky and hard to manage" wrestler they were planning to approach to join their group.
- Kazarian impersonates AJ Styles in a comedy segment where he verbally puts over Christopher Daniels. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez then came out to challenge the heels to a match, which saw them win via pinfall, after Chavo hit the frog splash on Kazarian.
- It turns out the guy Aces and 8s are courting is a real asshole, namely Mr. Anderson, who they try to tempt over to their side with a couple of hot women, but he still needs time to think about it.
- Gail Kim challenged Miss Tessmacher to a match that she won via pinfall, after hitting Eat Defeat.
- Finally, Aries vs. Roode ended in a no contest, when the wrestlers took out referee Earl Hebner for freaking out at their unsportsmanlike tactics and trying to enforce the rules. Show ends with Jeff Hardy running in, cleaning house and standing tall.