WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Dec. 23, 2013) from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, featuring a holiday special in the spirit of the holiday season. It's almost Christmas and that means WWE had to break out all the Christmas time gimmicks it could.
Because this was a taped show with spoilers readily available, it's getting the abbreviated version of the reactions. That's also my way of saying I wasn't able to watch live.
Click here to go back and read the live blog. On to reactions:
- Sometimes I wonder about a company led by a near 70-year-old man when an episode of Monday Night Raw features two wrestlers playing Santa Claus, one good and one bad. I mean, yeah, okay, I guess it works for the kiddos watching, and if that's the case then great. But I imagine even then it would just be confusing, right? And if you're at a point where it's not confusing, wouldn't it just then be insulting? I do applaud the decision to use Mark Henry as one of the Santa Claus characters, however. Racial equality and all that. The match between Henry and Damien Sandow, the other Santa, was bad, though, if only because it didn't feature a spot anythingclose to the one Alberto Del Rio put onwith John Cena last year with the teddy bear. That's still the best thing.
- Speaking of wondering about WWE and its sense of humor and what the powers that be think is entertaining, the 12 Divas jingle bells match. I actually like a lot of what most of the ladies were doing but the dumb gimmick goes a long way towards destroying that and making everyone look silly. Though I guess that was the point of a show like this.
- I suppose I should mention that promo from Randy Orton. The problem is there just isn't much to say about it. I do like that Kane wore the Santa hat and while he may not be "The Big Red Monster" anymore, Corporate Kane can still summon fire from the depths of hell to shoot through the ring posts. You know, just to be festive.
- Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel is an awful idea for a match, for a number of reasons, but I'm glad it happened because it led to the following line from JBL: "Sin Cara's been rejuvenated. He's like a new man!" That's the kind of commentary JBL should be giving us each week. He's sarcastic enough to make that line funny.
- It's good to see Bray Wyatt finally getting more time in the ring because we're seeing so much more of what he can bring to the table. I still wonder about his ability to have a four-star match in a big spot on pay-per-view but at least we're learning more and more each week that the dude is more than just a great gimmick and intriguing character. It helps that he's getting to work with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust now instead of Kane.
- Remember that wonder about WWE and what its leaders think we think will be entertaining? That Christmas Carol Sing-Off. Good god, this was awful. There isn't anything else to say about it.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango is the kind of feud we should all be far more into than we actually are, mostly because these two haven't been positioned very well for some time now. That's the amazing thing about the mid-card; you can be on top of the world and ready for big things one month and back to searching for a brass ring just a couple months later. Fandango beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29 and Ziggler won the world heavyweight title from Alberto Del Rio the next night on Raw. Now? They're squaring off against each other in "Christmas Present on a Pole" matches. That's WWE life when you're not a main event player.
- The tag matches on the show were all fun. Usos vs. Prime Time Players was a good enough time, as was Los Matadores vs. Real Americans. Speaking of the Americans, how much longer are they going to keep Antonio Cesaro heel? That Giant Swing is a decidedly babyface spot and I want it positioned more like the Spear than just a move that he does that people get a kick out of sometimes in matches. Here's to hoping.
- Has Ryback actually learned how to sell? Is Ryback actually kind of good at his job now? I was actually entertained by his match with Kofi Kingston and it certainly wasn't because of Kofi and those ridiculous green and yellow pants.
- Bad News Barrett is still making me sad.
- You know what's great about the roster depth we're currently enjoying? Meaningless holiday shows that are taped ahead of time and are short on angles still manage to be incredibly entertaining because we get awesome main event matches like CM Punk, John Cena, and Big E. Langston taking on The Shield. We are really and truly spoiled with these guys working so many outstanding matches for so many seemingly small shows that people usually wouldn't care about otherwise. The streak of strong six-man tag matches continues. The disqualification finish wasn't very satisfactory, but everybody got their stuff in and looked really good doing it.
- Man, they really think Big E. Langston is going to be a star, don't they? Do we agree?
This was a fairly good show considering the low expectations brought on by the holidays and the fact that it was taped ahead of time.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?