Hey there, sports entertainment fans. If my mathematics is correct, then this is the last of these things I’ll be doing before the 25th, so I’ll take the opportunity now to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanzaa, Wonderful Winter Festival and Happy Hannukah.
Santa’s A Fiction, You Ignorant Children
We’re in San Antonio tonight, and the Real Americans are in the ring. Zeb wants to deport Santa Claus, according to his sign, and we just couldn’t have had a Die Hard 3 reference? Out comes Langston, who will be facing Swagger. We get a recap of the tag match on RAW, which I very much enjoyed.
Lock-up and jockeying to start and did Michael Cole just say that Santa isn’t real? Langston hits headbutts; both men run rings around each other and Swagger takes E out at the legs and works him over in the corner. Hard clothesline brings Langston down for a two count and Swagger locks in a bearhug, which E counters into a belly-to-belly suplex. Clotheslines from Langston, followed up by a spear in the corner. Ultimate Warrior Splash and Cesaro gets all up in Big E’s grill before Henry knocks him down. Big Ending finishes Swagger for three.
Well, there wasn’t anything not to like but, as has been a trend of late, that was just too short. I would have been quite happy to have seen more. 2 Stars.
Back from the break, we recap the Unification Match and RAW. I wonder when they’re getting a single belt for Orton, or whether even WWE figures there’s no point to that.
Well, show a lengthy flashback of the oily, orange devil and he will appear. Still with two belts, because like they’d unveil the new one on SmackDown. I think we’re going to get the speech Cena interrupted on RAW: the promo version of sloppy seconds. This brings out Cena, because the World Title picture is the flame to that particular moth. Cena says that he’s out here to stop Orton from looking stupid, so where has he been for the last few years? John says everyone is watching Orton and that he can’t get away with anything anymore; there’s some fourth wall getting bumped into there…
Oh, and here’s Bryan with your basic ‘I’m better than you; you’re a bad champion’ promo. Bryan and Cena are seriously acting like each other’s cheerleaders here: this is reminiscent of that whole Bret Hart/Hulk Hogan/Yokozuna thing. They get into a big argument over who the Face of the WWE is, and it’s probably the Make-A-Wish one.
The Shield’s music hits and Orton decides that…well, screw this. The Shield approach, but here comes Punk and…oh, there is no way, is there?
And here comes Vickie Guerrero? 4-on-3 tag match! Oh…well, I could dream.
We recap the Brodus Clay heel turn, in which he managed to backstab Tensai after basically announcing it on Twitter. Don’t ask me to sympathise with Sweet T on this one.
Okay, that speed-dating commercial for the Royal Rumble made me laugh. We should pay Orton to show up at those things and simply pose at women. I’m pretty sure he’d do it.
Shoving = Title Match
The Bellas are in the ring, as we watch Tamina superkick the shit out of Nikki. AJ’s on commentary. Brie will apparently be facing the woman who got the better of what is essentially her clone. Yep. Brie starts by kicking and crossbodying Tamina before tossing her out of the ring and kicking her on the outside. Bitchslap, oh snap, and Tamina catches a crossbody and bodyslams Brie before stomping her. JACKET TOSS. Tamina pulls Tamina out of the ring and drives her into the apron, then brings her back in for a pin; Brie kicks out. Sleeper hold applied; Tamina tries a back suplex, but Brie rolls out of it and trips Tamina onto the ropes. Knee to the face from Brie, followed by dropkicks and another dropkick from the second rope. Brie then walks into the NIKKISLAYER, but kicks out. Tamina tries for the Superfly Splash, but Bella…I guess gets her knees up? She pins Tamina for the three and then shoves AJ in an unprovoked assault. Michael Cole takes Brie’s side, because fuck anyone who doesn’t follow his exact system of ethics.
Nothing special here. Thought we might be making the superkick a thing for Tamina, but apparently not. The idea’s been floated that AJ might be more entertaining chasing the title, but I think the problem is that she’s going to be the only entertaining one in any Diva feud so far. She was the most entertaining thing about this match and she was barely on camera. 1.5 Stars.
Battle Of Two Guys Who (Fill In Your Own Joke)
It’s Drew McIntyre vs. Sin Cara. Um…I guess? Drew starts off on the assault before Sin hip-tosses him over the top rope and flips out onto him. Drew’s sent back in the ring and Sin Cara crossbodies back in onto him. Drew regains control and hangs Sin onto the top rope with a suplex. Apparently McIntyre will have to use his ‘power game’, and I’m glad we didn’t have to see Cole’s pokerface for that particular phrase. Sin Cara is whipped into a corner, but dodges McIntyre, hits an armdrag and a headscissors before channelling Torrie Wilson for a handspring elbow off the ropes. Drew backdrops Sin out onto the apron; Sin Cara responds with a kick and goes up high. He hits the senton bomb and that’s it. Did JBL just say ‘looks like we’ve got a new Sin Cara’?
This match was unsurprisingly meh. I don’t think people are ever going to be that high on a character which had a lacklustre run when portrayed by another wrestler and who barely speaks, so it’s hard for me to be excited about Sin Cara 2.0. 1.5 Stars.
Back from the break, Sandow is busting out a promo and uses the phrase ‘half-witted hoopla’ in the first sentence. Sold. He’s attacking Christmas from a different angle than the racially-motivated one Zeb did earlier. Man, all we need out here is Bad News Barrett and we’re Fox News. His opponent is apparently the Miz. So…what’s going on with him now? He says that Santa was in his corner at Main Event; I have no idea whether that’s true, so I’ll assume Miz was on acid at the time. He makes a ‘sack’ joke (for the kids) and I guess that really is fighting talk.
Bell rings and Sandow pounds down on Miz. Miz rolls out of a back suplex and starts attacking Sandow back with clotheslines, then a backbreaker and a neckbreaker. Sandow tries to block Miz’s corner clothesline with a kick, but Miz catches the leg and what I thought was a blatant low blow was apparently an inner-thigh shot. Miz then locks in the Figure Four, but Sandow reaches for the ropes. I guess he needs that momentum to get squashed by Henry this Monday. Sandow kicks Miz in the face and then rolls him up with a handful of tights.
Fast, over quickly, hardly inoffensive. We’re really doing some rush-jobs tonight, although the main event probably justifies it. 2 Stars.
Drink Every Time Cole Mentions WWE’s ‘Great Tag Team Scene’
Here come the tag team champions, fresh from a decisive loss against Big Show and Rey Mysterio. Their opponents are Harper and Rowan. Goldust will start off against Rowan, and they stare each other down. Goldust bites at Rowan and then punches mask off Rowan’s face: seen it before, still funny. Rowan takes exception to this historical re-enactment and starts beating the hell out of Goldust in his corner. Dust fights back with right hands and knees to the face. Rowan overpowers Goldust again, now tagging in Harper. Harper tries for a backdrop, but Goldust uses the Rhodes Uppercut and tags Cody in. Cody is immediately overpowered and tries several times to knock down Harper before finally doing it with his catch-up clothesline. He stays on Harper, dragging him into the corner to tag in Goldust. Harper fights his way out of the situation, knocking Goldust down in the corner. The two men trade blows for several moments, but Harper’s power is too much and Dust is dragged over to the Wyatt corner and Rowan is tagged in. Rowan chokes Goldust with his foot and then tries for a bodyslam; Goldust slips out of it, but is caught in a front facelock and worked over but good by Beardface. Goldust valiantly tries to fight out but good luck with that. Harper’s tagged back in and continues the task of putting the boots to Goldust. Goldust ducks two clotheslines and tries for a crossbody, but misses and flies out of the ring to land at Bray’s feet: nice visual.
Back in the ring, Harper and Rowan exchange tags as they flatten Goldust systematically. Rowan’s doing a good thing with his roughneck tactics; they can be more intimidating than the power game sometimes. Big splash to Goldust gets a two count, and Goldust isn’t even trying offense now; he just wants to get to Cody: that’s powerful. Harper’s back in now and uses the Gator Roll and then a headlock before tagging in Rowan. Bodyslam to Goldust before Rowan beats him down in the corner. Man, that paint has just been knocked off Goldust’s face. Finally, Goldust misses a charge, tries to make a tag to Cody, is stopped, hits a back elbow and nearly gets the tag before Harper stops him. Goldust then hits the Cross Rhodes, creating his chance to get the tag and he does so. In comes Cody, pounding on Harper with everything he’s got. Springboard dropkick to Harper; roll-up and Harper kicks out. Disaster Kick to Harper; moonsault to Harper and Rowan breaks up the pin. Goldust’s back now and both Brothers Rhodes try to suplex him but he shoves them away before getting clotheslined over the top rope. Harper sends Cody out over the top rope, and Goldust returns the favour before leaping out onto Rowan and getting his face kicked off by Harper. Bray also shoves Cody into a turnbuckle, probably to fulfil his ‘Be A Total Dick’ quota.
Harper manages to get back into the ring, then heads back out to pick up Cody. He hits That Clothesline for the three and the pin.
That lagged a little bit, but it was still entertaining. Goldust’s beating at the Wyatts’ hands was almost uncomfortable to watch at some points, and the Wyatts looked threatening. 2.5 Stars.
Oh, here comes Bray to stir some shit up. Oh, and here comes Bryan with a chair to beat the hell out of people. He knocks Harper and Rowan down, then guns for Wyatt; Harper grabs the chair so Bryan just kicks him in the head. He ducks a clothesline from Bray, takes him down and beats his fat ass out of the ring before dropkicking Rowan off the apron. Nice adrenaline piece to finish a decent match.
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIEND!!
It’s Brodus vs. Tensai and due to the break I don’t know if they both used the same music. Anyway, they lock up and punch each other. Tensai beats Brodus down in the corner, hammering him with the pent-up fury of a man who’s been booked like Tensai has for the last while. Clothesline knocks Brodus down, but Tensai’s running senton misses. Brodus squashes Tensai in the corner twice, knocks him down and splashes him. Tensai kicks out, Brodus splashes him again and then goes for it again, but here come the Funkadactyls and Xavier Wood. They provide the distraction for Tensai to roll up the Funkasaurus.
Oh, so this is going to be one of those heel-turns that doesn’t matter. 1.5 Stars.
Clay attacks Tensai after the match, Xavier interferes and hits the Honour Roll. Clay is knocked out of the ring and the good guys dance. Sure.
Did We Forget Which Show Is Three Hours?
Fandango and Kofi will be fighting each other, because a great main event doesn’t need such abstracts as ‘time’. Fandango headlocks Kofi, gets shot off the ropes and shoulderblocks Kofi. Kofi gets his own headlock in, gets shoved into the turnbuckle and comes off with a flying dropkick for a one count. Kofi attempts a monkey flip, but it fails and Fandango flattens him with a clothesline. He stays on Kingston in the corner, then sends him off the ropes and into a back elbow. Sleeper hold locked in; Fandango tosses him to the ground and then misses a flying knee drop. Both men regain their feet; Dango misses a charge in the corner and Kofi takes control, knocking Fandango down for the Boom Drop. Kofi misses the Trouble In Paradise and Fandango trips him up before hitting his leg drop.
This was okay, if not really necessary. 2 Stars.
Backstage, Renee tries to interview Bryan, but is scared off by the Wyatts who then jump Bryan and…are they abducting him again? What parking lot will we find him in this time?
Christmas Is About The Broken Promises
Apparently Bryan was thrown off a ledge; our thoughts go to his fiancé at this trying time. So, what, we now don’t get the fun-looking main event that we were told we were getting? This probably wouldn’t be so annoying if JBL hadn’t kept saying ‘Christmas has come early’ and I’d agreed with him because I was excited about the match. Cena and Punk look ready to go with the Shield, but here comes Vickie, and if she’s going to be their tag partner then ALL IS FORGIVEN. The show must go on, she says, and it’s a handicap match. Man, there’s an idea that’s gotten pretty old recently.
Dean and Punk start off, and Punk takes the advantage with some chain wrestling before placing Ambrose in the corner and making a tag. Cena hits Ambrose with a dropkick and a bulldog, tagging in Punk. Double suplex, then a bodyslam and an elbow drop from the second rope by Punk. Tag to Cena, who hits a fisherman’s suplex. Dean looks freaked and tags in Reigns. Roman gets Cena in a headlock, gets shot off the ropes and knocks Cena down. Cena ducks behind Roman, headlocks him, gets shot off the ropes and Reigns knocks him down again. They do it again, but Cena ducks Roman before knocking him down this time. He tries to whip Roman into the corner, but Reigns reverses it and the impact knocks Cena down. Rollins is now in, and he hits some strikes and tags in Ambrose. Ambrose pulls Cena’s neck back on the ropes and then locks his arm, but Cena back suplexes his way out of it. Tag to Reigns, who catches Cena before he can make the tag, placing himself between Cena and Punk before knocking John down with a FALCON PUNCH. Tag now to Rollins, who hits a running forearm into Cena in the corner, but the following splash is ducked. Ambrose still gets the tag before Cena can make it to Punk, dropkicking John against the ropes and tagging in Rollins. Cena tries to drive past Rollins to get to Punk, but Seth knocks Punk off the apron and takes Cena into the neutral corner, keeping on the heat. Off a distraction from Punk, Cena nearly hits the Attitude Adjustment, but Rollins slides out and hits a jumping kick to Cena’s head.
Rollins takes Cena up for a superplex, but John powers out, headbutting Rollins off the top rope. Ambrose comes in off the tag, but gets tornado-DDT’d. Punk gets the tag, firing away on Rollins with kicks and knocking Reigns off the apron. High knee to Rollins against the ropes, and once Seth’s out of the ring, Punk dives on him. Back in the ring, Punk gets Rollins with a springboard clothesline, the high knee, the clothesline and the Macho Elbow. He signals for the GTS, but Ambrose lunges forward; Punk manages to neckbreaker Ambrose whilst DDT-ing Rollins, and Reigns breaks up the subsequent pin. The Shield all start kicking the crap out of Punk and the ref calls for the bell.
Wow, from a good match to this. Okay, it wasn’t bad; just don’t ask me to be happy with it once you show me something far better and then take it away. 2 Stars.
Cena throws Reigns into the barricade and helps out Punk, but Reigns comes right back and spears him. Punk tries to attack Reigns, but the Shield kick him out of the ring. Triple Powerbomb to Cena. Punk comes back, gets beaten down and is about to be powerbombed, but Langston rushes to the ring and clears out the Shield. But apparently didn’t care enough to be their tag team partner. Reigns and Langston tease a face-off and I’ve been waiting to see this, but Punk comes in with a chair, backing Roman down.
This show just gave the overall impression of being a mess. Towards the closing moments I was just waiting for the end, and that’s not how it should be. I am very disappoint. This show gets a four.
Tags: aj lee, Antonio Cesaro, Bella Twins, big e langston, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, brodus clay, Cameron, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Drew McIntyre, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Funkadactyls, goldust, jack swagger, jbl, john cena, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, naomi, Nikki Bella, randy orton, Real Americans, Roman Reigns, Santa Claus, seth rollins, sin cara, Smackdown, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka, Tensai, The Miz, The Shield, Vickie Guerrero, WWE, wyatt family, xavier woods, Zeb Coulter