Precap to the Dec. 17, 2012 episode of WWE 'Monday Night Raw', or the one after 'TLC'

Previewing the Dec. 17, 2012 episode of WWE "Monday Night Raw", the fallout show to "TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs"; featuring the injured WWE Champion CM Punk, the repercussions of the Shield's continuing attacks on Ryback and Team Hell No, and the ongoing saga of John Cena, AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero, and Dolph Ziggler.

Cena! Ziggler! AJ! Betrayal! Women Be Crazy! Money in the Bank!

There was much doubt to be had as to exactly what would happen last night (Dec. 16). There were a thousand possibilities available to WWE. The pure amount of avenues were enough to leave a smark's brain spinning.

But there was only one way WWE could actually choose, and I, for one, love how everyone handled it.

Dolph Ziggler was laid out, unable to protect his Money in the Bank contract. Vickie Guerrero, making a last-ditch effort to save her former client, ran into the ring with a chair to take out John Cena. The lovely AJ Lee made her way out, dolled up in her best John Cena gear, to deliver her own version of the Five Moves of Doom.

Which, I must say, was probably the best shoulder tackle, shoulder tackle, sidewalk slam, Five Knuckle Shuffle, AA combination I have ever seen.

That left Cena all alone to climb the ladder, to reach up and grab the Money in the Bank briefcase, to claim victory from the jaws of defeat. Everything was falling perfectly into place, like it always does for "Mr. Cena's Baby Boy."

Then it happened. AJ decided to turn. For some strange reason, a reason that we may never fully know, the former Raw General Manager made the decision to push the ladder holding Cena high above the ring. Down, down, down he tumbled from his perch. For a man who is so often standing at the top of the food chain, it must have been a strange feeling to be left staring up at the rafters.

That was all Ziggler needed. As AJ left the mess she created behind her, "The Showoff" was able to steal the show and the victory.

Dolph Ziggler was able to reclaim what was rightfully his. He is once again in control of the Money in the Bank contract.

Moving forward, the question will be why AJ did what she did. I will have more thoughts on AJ in a separate post, but right now I am excited as all hell to see how WWE plays it. It could go wrong very easily, of course.

But it could also go very, very right.

Right now, though, things have yet to be determined. Cena may try to get his revenge against Ziggler and AJ. Ziggler and AJ may decide to form some type of partnership. This battle could rage on into the future, or start to fade away. Does Ziggler ever cash in the briefcase, or will he be the first man to let the time limit expire? Just like the match itself, there are a thousand possibilities available to WWE.

I'm starting to have faith that the promotion could pull this thing off.

The Shield! Ryback! Bryan! Kane!

Oh boy. If you did not get a chance to see this match last night, you missed out. But no worries! Because it looks like this will be continuing on into the near future.

The Shield was able to pick up the victory when Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were able to double team Daniel Bryan while Ryback was tossing Seth Rollins off a ladder and Kane was buried under a pile of rubble. I talked yesterday about how the actual winner was almost irrelevant, but you will never hear any complaints from me about making the heel stable look strong. Now The Shield has momentum going forward, Ryback continues to look like a monster, Bryan gets some shine for trying to fend off two bad guys at once, and Kane got to chill while the young talent killed themselves.

What has happened to WWE Creative, and when did they learn to properly book a match?

Now the question being asked is, what's next for The Shield? Does CM Punk or Paul Heyman finally admit they are the brains behind the whole operation? Will the NXT Trio start to take aim at other members of the roster, or will they be content to do battle with Hell No and Ryback? How will things play out as we make our way to Royal Rumble?

Normally, I would be scared about how WWE will screw this up. Like the top of the card, though, I'm starting to have faith that things will fall into place.

Everything Else! Bullet Points!

  • Alberto Del Rio has now turned face after teaming with The Miz and Brooklyn Brawler -- yes, that Brooklyn Brawler -- when 3MB disgraced the honor of the Spanish announce team. On one hand, Del Rio needed something to shake up his character. On the other, we have seen how Miz has handled his face turn. Either way, I'm interested in seeing how WWE handles him.
  • Every single Champion retained last night at TLC. That should tell you everything you need to know about how WWE feels about the winter months leading up to Royal Rumble.

Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join Nolan, myself, and the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog right here.

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