WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 24, 2012) from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, featuring a show that was taped last week.
That's because it's Christmas Eve, everybody!
Don't expect much in the way of big time angles or storyline advancement in this one. Shows like this are generally full of fluff and that's perfectly fine. Tis the night before Christmas and all that.
If you want to read full spoilers for the show before it airs tonight click here.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR DEC. 24
Broadcast is live.
They open with the old video they made with all the superstars singing as John Cena leads the entire group. Oh, and the cartoon of Cena knocking out Punk and lighting the Christmas tree.
That thing is still golden.
Justin Roberts introduces the guest host for the evening, Santa Claus. Old Cringle gets a huge pop from the Pittsburgh crowd and to my surprise, that's not Mick Foley. Looks like just some guy.
Alberto Del Rio's theme comes over the speakers and he gets a ton of heel heat for interrupting Santa while he was passing out gifts.
OH SHIT, DEL RIO JUST HIT SANTA WITH HIS CAR. I'M PRETTY SURE HE SHOULD BE GOING TO PRISON. OH SHIT, THE CHRISTMAS TREE FELL ON SANTA WHILE HE LAY THERE DYING.
Del Rio is acting really broken up about having possibly murdered the most famous person in the world.
"You killed San-ta," the crowd chants. THIS IS AWFUL. WHY ARE THEY CHANTING THIS?
Oh man, Michael Cole is using his super serious low shoot voice. Del Rio is absolutely devastated.
This is kind of awesome.
HA! Ricardo Rodriguez is coughing and covering his mouth like he's about to be sick. He's crying, trying to console a still broken up Del Rio.
As they put Santa on the stretcher, he gives the crowd a thumbs up. HUGE pop. I'm not sure CM Punk's entire babyface run over this past year before he turned heel ever yielded a pop like that.
Oh, this just got a million times more awesome. They've got crime scene tape all around the area coming back from commercial break.
Now they cut to backstage and a large group of wrestlers have gathered around Booker T.
"I"m not going to sugarcoat this, you guys. Santa's down."
Best episode ever.
Del Rio shows up and everyone starts yelling at him, including John Cena who is really upset.
Booker says Santa's last words before passing out were that Del Rio is going to be in a "Miracle on 34th Street Fight" tonight against Del Rio.
ADR is upset and Booker tells Cena, "Do it for Santa."
Everyone cheers along and Cena finally screams out, "SANNNNNNNTTTTTTAAAAAAAAA!!!!"
That was the greatest opening segment in the history of Raw.
Kane vs. Cody Rhodes
In case you don't know the new drill, I'm not going to blow-by-blow matches. I'll give you the gist as they go down, though.
Your standard match. The announcers are rightly bringing up Kane injuring Rhodes a month ago and how sweet it would be fore Cody to get his revenge.
It's Christmas Eve, though, so Kane won clean after the choke slam.
Jerry Lawler is talking about how he wasn't sure this would be a good Christmas but there's an 8-Diva tag team match coming up, so things are actually going to be great.
8-Diva tag team match
What's sad about this match is that save for AJ Lee, who is above all this bullshit at this point, this match features every Diva on the current roster, unless there's someone I'm not thinking of.
As is usually the case in matches like this, the match broke down into chaos and everyone got to hit their finisher, ending with Kaitlyn pinning Eve.
They're taking this so serious. Cole just went back into super serious low shoot voice and told us they'll have an update on Santa's health here soon.
Pre-tape vignette airing now. It's Dolph Ziggler cuddling with AJ Lee in front of a Christmas tree. They're watching AJ's favorite Christmas movie.
They cut over to video of TLC and show the finish, with AJ pushing over the ladder and Ziggler hitting John Cena with the superkick.
Dolph says all he needs this holiday season is a little TLC. They continue shitting on Cena before AJ says "this truly is the most wonderful time of the year."
That felt a little creepy and wrong.
Just the way it should be.
Okay, time to get serious. Santa update time. They've got the crime scene tape around the car and the tree.
We get a replay and Cole says the following line, I shit you not, he said this:
"The North Pole has been called and they have been notified of the situation."
Now we go back to Matt Striker who is outside the room of Santa.
He tells us medial personnel continue to work on Santa and as soon as they get more information, they'll let us know.
The lumberjacks come out for the next match.
Sheamus vs. Big Show
Big Show has been in control for the entire match, and this is the long one at the top of the second hour. Sheamus gets sent out to the lumberjacks first and they beat him down a bit before a brawl ensues between the heels and the babyfaces.
Sheamus escapes back into the ring and Show yells at the lumberjacks for not paying attention. Ha.
The first Sheamus comeback attempt fails. Didn't Big Show say he doesn't like dips? Oh, that's right, that's when dealing with less over guys.
Sheamus ducked the WMD and got the Brogue Kick to get the pin after being sent back into the ring by the lumberjacks again.
Just as soon as he gets the pin, the lumberjacks jump into the ring. The babyfaces clear out the heels and everyone celebrates in the ring with Santa hats.
David Otunga is out. He tells us he's uniquely qualified to comment on the earlier matter tonight with Del Rio running over Santa Claus.
He says everyone is pre-judging the situation without knowing all the facts. In other words, they're being prejudice.
Del Rio, it turns out, actually has a case for being the VICTIM in all this. He was simply fulfilling his duties as a WWE superstar while Santa Claus was straight up trespassing.
What an awesome show long angle.
Unfortunately, the geek of all geeks interrupts him and Zack Ryder is out to say "Del Rio practically ran him over." Not practically, Zack, but literally. That's precisely what occurred.
Anyway, Ryder says they have a match now.
David Otunga vs. Zack Ryder
Really a nothing match designed just to get Ryder over and kill time. Otunga hardly got any offense in and the fans got the happy conclusion.
Booker T and Teddy Long backstage laughing it up talking about how it's funny Otunga lost again.
Suddenly, Brad Maddox shows up and tries to get chummy. He says Booker wanted to see him and he knows that's because he's got a contract offer.
Booker says that's not the case but he'll give him one more shot. Now get to stepping.
The Miz and Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett
Not sure if it was that he was working opposite Cesaro but Miz's offense was really good to start this match. It looked lesser once Barrett came in, although not by much.
He's still annoying as hell but there's an improvement, at least.
A slick finishing sequence with all four guys getting involved ends with Kingston kicking Barrett into Miz, who hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the three count.
Time for another pre-tape with AJ and Ziggler. She gives him a gift, the Money in the Bank briefcase. He says it's the best Christmas gift ever.
"I just saw it hanging there. It was the last one left. I kept Cena from getting it and got it for you."
She says she has one more gift and shows him her outfit is catered to his merchandise. He thinks it's the sexiest thing ever.
Another update on Santa. They show the replay again of Del Rio hitting Mr. Cringle with his car and they're still taking this super serious like it's a shoot.
I love it.
Cole calls Santa delivering a thumbs up while doing the stretcher job a "Christmas miracle."
Back to Striker, who tells us there isn't a lot to report. They're still tending to Santa and they can say that Del Rio's car did do some damage.
Here comes Brad Maddox and he's singing "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." Still no entrance music.
"Brad Maddox is coming to Raw." Dude, you're already at Raw. You've had like five matches on Raw. You're on the show every week.
This is beyond dumb now.
They tease Hornswoggle by having him come out in an elf get up before Great Khali's music hits and he's wearing elf gear too.
Great Khali vs. Brad Maddox
This match was different than the usual Maddox squash special because he actually got some decent offense in. It didn't matter in the end, of course.
Hornswoggle gets on the mic and says they wish Santa a speedy recovery.
Khali gets on the mic too and starts singing... something. I'm not sure what the hell he's saying. I think "Merry Christmas, I miss you. Happy new year."
LOOK IN MY EYES, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Paul Heyman and CM Punk are here, needing crutches to walk or not. Punk is wearing his "Knees 2 Faces" t-shirt.
They run a graphic confirming Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE championship is confirmed for Jan. 7, 2013, in Tampa. They did not, however, say anything about The Rock being there, although that is expected.
Punk starts by mocking Khali's performance and saying he must be from Pittsburgh.
A "here we go Steelers" chant breaks out. Punk says he's from Chicago and he's not even stupid enough to root for the Cubs, but everyone here is stupid enough to root for the Steelers.
By the way, this was taped before Pittsburgh lost to the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday to officially get eliminated from playoff contention.
Anyway, Punk says Christmas is ruined, not because Santa was hit by a car, but because Punk is injured and can't compete tonight thanks to that big lug Ryback. He tore Punk's knee up so bad that he can't even walk without crutches.
The fans cheer this.
Punk wonders aloud what they do with Ryback for committing these atrocities. Fire him? No. Suspend him? No. Fine him an obscene amount of money? No. So what's his punishment?
Not only is he not punished, he gets a championship match, which makes no sense to Punk. He says he could see giving Ryback a shot at the belt if there was proof he was working with Brad Maddox or The Shield previously but that's never been proven.
(Because it's not true, or whatever.)
Punk starts bagging Pittsburgh for enjoying the holidays by slogging around from bar to bar trying to find someone as drunk or as dumb to kiss them on their disgusting lips on the new year.
Heyman takes the mic and says "let's get something perfectly clear -- you don't boo CM Punk. He has been the reigning WWE champion for 400 consecutive days. And for each and every one of those 400 consecutive days, Punk has been the victim of a documented conspiracy by the WWE to take the championship away from him."
The conspiracy angle, huh?
Punk gets the mic back and says he's better than Ryback no matter how many legs he has. He's the best in the world.
Finally, Ryback shows up. Not a big pop for him, but we're over two hours into the show now.
Heyman does the same schtick as last week. Punk isn't medically cleared and if Ryback lays one hand on him, they'll sue him for assault. Ryback grabs a mic and says he wants a tables, ladders, and chairs match on Jan. 7.
He even leads a "T-L-C" chant.
Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow
They start by shouting back and forth to each other. Bryan saying "NO" and Sandow shouting "SILENCE."
The crowd loves Bryan, although they aren't as good about keeping up with the dueling chants.
The match has a ridiculously slow pace, so Cole starts talking about Santa Claus again. After saying he really hopes Santa pulls through, he calls out Lawler for being quiet. That's the status of the broadcast at this point.
It's why three hours is too damn long, folks. Still another 45 minutes to go.
Oh man, Cole and Lawler are just chatting now. Cole asking how much Lawler spent on his Christmas gift this year. Lawler tells him to close his eyes and asks what he sees. Cole says "nothing."
This is terrible.
Mercifully, Bryan gets the No Lock and a quick tapout from Sandow to end it.
Because everything is themed we get a 12 days of Christmas 12 man tag team match. Joy.
The Usos, International Airstrike, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella vs. Prime Time Players, 3MB, and Tensai
That's a whole lot of humanity in there.
There's an early spot in the match with Tensai getting hit with an enziguri leading to a tag in for Santino Marella, who came in tough but got popped early and fell out completely. It was awesome.
Marella would hit the Cobra later anyway.
As usual, a lot of big spots are hit when everything goes to chaos and one of the Uso brothers gets the pin.
Backstage segment with Bryan hyped up for Christmas, his favorite day of the year. Kane says he hates Christmas but he knows it means a lot to Bryan so he got him a present.
He hands him a box with a Slammy Award in it.
Bryan also got something for Kane.
It's a puppy.
Kane responds with a smile and says, "Thanks. I'm starving."
Another pre-tape with AJ reading rhymes to Ziggler. She's going off on all her former love interests but it's mostly about Cena and his "BS and lying."
She finishes by saying Ziggler is "the best butt wiggler."
She pushes him so he's under the mistletoe and then they start passionately making out, so much so that they fall over and take out the Christmas tree.
What a dysfunctional couple. Cute, though.
Yet another update on Santa. Striker tells us he took a turn for the worse. His heartbeat monitor starts acting funny and then it suddenly broke into a Christmas tune. Jingle Bells, I think.
Cole starts talking about Christmas miracles and it's finally main event time.
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio
Rodriguez comes out and he's trying to introduce Del Rio through tears. He's really, really broken up about Santa having been run over.
Del Rio comes out and he stares at the crime scene.
Another replay of the terrible accident.
In the ring and Del Rio is trying hard to tell Cena it was just an accident. Cena says it wasn't and he clearly ran Santa over on purpose.
When you think about it, WWE may be sending a wrong message here but whatever.
Del Rio gets on the mic and once again says it was just an accident. He hits Cena with the mic after saying this. "I was not trying to hurt Santa, okay?" And he hits Cena again.
Then he says something in Spanish and tries to hit Cena again but Cena blocks it and screams "SANTAAAAAAAAA" into the mic before blasting Del Rio.
This is so ridiculous.
Cena gets a chair and does his thing before Del Rio answers back with Rodriguez hooking him up with a present to hit Cena with. He opens it and it turns out it's a pie.
That gets a laugh out of the crowd.
Cena ducks, of course, and Rodriguez gets hit with the pie.
Up the ramp they go and now Cena tears open a gift to reveal a TV monitor. Down goes Del Rio.
Rodriguez gets another present, this one really big. Rodriguez promises it's a bazooka but when Del Rio opens it, he pulls out a teddy bear.
Pissed, he looks to a sheepish Del Rio. Instead of wasting it, though, Del Rio gets serious and chucks it at Cena, who laughs it off along with the crowd.
Cena looks for another present and the crowd chants for him to use a tree. So he grabs one and goes down and blasts Del Rio with it.
Back up to the ramp for another present and now he pulls out a bowling ball. Del Rio is set up all the way down the ramp, so he's going to roll it down to try to rack him with it.
Cena went down until he was about two feet away, so he ruined that gimmick.
Another present yields a fire extinguisher. Del Rio begs him not to use it, saying it's Christmas and it was seriously just a fucking accident. Cena doesn't care. He uses it anyway.
Rodriguez puts a sleeper on Cena, who actually goes down to it, but that's just to set up Santa Claus's music hitting so he can come down and club Rodriguez with his bad of presents. Then he puts the Mandible Claw on Del Rio, who was laying on the ropes.
If that's Foley, it's a really, really good get up he's wearing because it's hard to tell.
Cena hits the AA and gets the pin right after.
The babyfaces celebrate in the ring to close it out.
Fade to black.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, CAGESIDERS.