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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 12/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - The strangest show of the year concludes with the debut of a new monster heel; Ric Flair returns

Dec 17, 2012 - 11:06:22 PM


WWE Raw Supershow Results
December 17, 2012 - Episode #1,020
Live from Philadelphia, Pa.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


The three-hour Slammys Edition of Raw opened with a video package promoting the Slammys and marching through historical Slammy "moments" through the years. The hook for tonight is the fans being able to "make history" by voting for the awards through the WWE App.

Live in the arena, different music introduced the show. Ringside, Michael Cole, JBL, and Michael Cole were dressed in tuxedos to set the tone for the night. Cole transitioned away from Slammys discussion to focusing on "controversy" that ended TLC last night. The announcers drew attention to A.J. Lee shoving John Cena off a ladder during Cena vs. Ziggler, then JBL called The Shield vs. Team Ryback a potential Match of the Year in recapping the other big match of the PPV. Lawler concluded that he wants to hear an explanation from A.J. tonight.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music played to kick off the show. Rey came out on-stage and did his introduction before waving to the back. Out came Sin Cara to join Rey. Already in the ring was Damien Sandow, receiving the jobber entrance for some reason. Rey then entered the ring as Cara cheered him on from ringside. Before the bell sounded, Cole and Lawler demonstrated App voting on iTunes and Android. While you're at it, download the free PWTorch App on both systems and every other system out there!

1 -- REY MYSTERIO (w/Sin Cara) vs. DAMIEN SANDOW (w/Cody Rhodes)

Rhodes was shown ringside after the bell sounded. Sandow quickly controlled the action as USA flashed the first plug for tomorrow night's live Super Smackdown show tomorrow night. Sandow dropped the Elbow of Disdain, then slowed down the pace working on Rey. As Sandow controlled, Cole noted that Sandow and Rhodes will get a Tag Title shot against Kane and Bryan on Wednesday's Main Event show. Rey then mounted a comeback, but Sandow came back with a running neckbreaker for a two count. But, Rey came back with the 619 moments later. Rey then climbed to the top rope and Dropped the Dime on Sandow for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Rey at 3:11. Eh, what? Rey has been reduced to a novelty act in recent months and Sandow has been on the way up, then WWE suddenly flipped things here. Can't wait to see how they try to explain Alberto Del Rio's sudden face turn last night.

On-stage: Booker T was introduced to present the first Slammy tonight. Booker said his first award is for Most Shocking Moment of the Year. He again plugged the WWE App and pulled out his phone to instruct people on how to download it. Booker then introduced the nominees for the award - Brad Maddox low-blowing Ryback, Daniel Bryan losing the World Title to Sheamus in 18 seconds, Kofi Kingston's hand-stand to save himself in the Royal Rumble, and C.M. Punk turning heel on The Rock on Raw #1,000.

Back live, Booker prepared to announce the winner, but The Boogeyman's music suddenly played. Booker's friend crawled out on-stage as Cole freaked out about Boogeyman returning. Boogeyman broke his alarm clock over his head, then marched toward the ring through the smoke from his ring entrance. Boogeyman then pulled out his worms and flashed them to the crowd after running back on-stage. Raw suddenly faded to break.

This is going to be a strange show, apparently.

[Commercial Break] [...Q2]

[...Q2] Back from break, the crowd was quiet as Booker remained on-stage. It's unthinkable what Booker had to do for three minutes during the break to keep the crowd entertained after Boogeyman appeared. Booker then set up to announce the winner of the first Slammy as Brad Maddox casually strutted out on-stage. Brad was prepared to accept his award, but Booker announced Kofi Kingston as the winner. IC champ Kofi walked out on-stage excited for his award, then smiled toward Brad, who hid his embarrassment with an angry look. Kofi offered a brief acceptance speech on wow'ing the crowd, then took his award and left.

Suddenly, Divas were in the ring. Namely, Eve and Kaitlyn.

2 -- Divas champion EVE TORRES vs. KAITLYN -- non-title match

Eve was reprimanded for hair-pulling, then Kaitlyn suddenly busted out a gutbuster. It was good for the pin and the win. And, they're back to another round of Kaitlyn challenging Eve for the Divas Title down the road. Afterward, Kaitlyn posed next to Eve to mock Eve's celebratory move.

WINNER: Kaitlyn at 2:08.

After the match, Justin Roberts introduced the New Age Outlaws to present the next Slammy Awards. B.G. James and Billy Gunn debated whether they should go to the ring or to the stage, then settled on the stage. James welcomed the City of Brotherly Love to the doghouse, then gave the NAO introduction. "Unbelievable!" JBL shouted. It wasn't clear what he meant by that. Billy Gunn then looked toward his hand to introduce the Comeback of the Year. The video package listed Brock Lesnar (off TV), Chris Jericho (off TV), DX (half off TV), and Jerry Lawler returning from heart attack as the nominees. WWE amplified Lawler's snoring to dramatize the point before showing portions of Lawler's acceptance speech. Raw then went to commercial.

Smackdown plug: On the way to break, USA plugged the live Super Smackdown tomorrow night.

[Commercial Break. Golf Channel, owned by NBC, picked up an ad during the break. Will the annual pre-WrestleMania WWE golf tournament air on the channel?]

Back live, Cole sent the show back to the New Age Outlaws on-stage. B.G. and Gunn announced Jerry Lawler as the winner of comeback of the year, then Lawler jogged up the stage to the podium. JBL cracked a joke about Lawler's heart doing better as Cole and JBL were shown applauding ringside. On-stage, Lawler said he probably should not have run that much. He thanked the audience and God, then said it's great to be back. Lawler then jogged back toward the announce position. No C.M. Punk sneak-attack.

Instead, IC champion Kofi Kingston was introduced for the next match. Already in the ring was Tensai with the jobber entrance.


3 -- IC champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. TENSAI -- non-title match

"Albert" chants picked up steam early on as Tensai controlled the action early on. JBL began to provide Tensai's background that he is a legend in Japan, but Cole cut him off and said they're not in Japan anymore. Kofi then blasted Tensai with Trouble in Paradise for the win.

WINNER: Kingston at 1:08. This feels like an old-school three-hour Raw where the first hour feels like complete filler until WWE gets to the important stuff in the second and third hours.

Post-match, as Kingston was celebrating, Wade Barrett sneak-attacked Kingston. JBL said apparently Barrett wants the other 99 chances to capture the IC Title. Barrett delivered the Bullhammer to Kingston, then stood tall over the IC champ, smirked, and walked off. JBL said he likes what Barrett is doing here.

Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera again to plug the WWE App. JBL seemed annoyed, tapping his pen repeatedly on the desk as Cole plugged away. Justin Roberts then interrupted by introducing Vickie Guerrero.

On-stage: Vickie walked out to the podium to loud boos. She said she is here to present the Slammy for Kiss of the Year a/k/a the A.J. Lee category. Nominees: A.J. kissing Bryan, A.J. kissing Kane, A.J. kissing Punk, and A.J. kissing Cena, which turned into the Kiss of Death last night at TLC. Cole plugged the App voting leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Vickie was still on-stage to introduce the Kiss of the Year winner. But, before announcing the winner, Vickie said she would like to make a statement. She said that for the record, she would never be nominee for this award. Unlike A.J. Lee, she would never abuse her power or authority to have a romantic relationship with a WWE Superstar. Moving on, Vickie said the winner is...well, A.J... and John Cena.

A.J. skipped out on-stage and tried to receive her award, but Vickie held it back and told A.J. to explain her actions to the entire world. A.J. yanked the Slammy away from Vickie, then said she doesn't owe anyone anything. A.J. smiled and said for the past year, she's cared a lot about what people think about her, including Vickie and "them," the fans. She said that's not the case anymore. Vickie shouted at A.J. that she is nothing but a two-bit piece of trash.

This prompted an argument about who's really trash, then Dolph Ziggler barged in to separate them. Vickie tapped Dolph on the shoulder over and over, but Dolph wouldn't turn around. A.J. said her kiss with Cena might have been kiss of the year, but it doesn't compare to this. A.J. then Dolph hopped on Ziggler and made out him as Vickie screamed and ran away. Ziggler at first held his hands away from A.J., then wrapped her up and continued the kiss. "What a liplock!" Lawler declared. A.J. hopped off Dolph, then skipped around the podium. "Wha?" Cole asked. Ziggler sold shock after processing the events, then decided to jog after A.J. to the back.

(JC: So, is this setting up the unthinkable Vickie face turn? Also, there's some misogynistic themes in this, to where A.J. apparently liked Ziggler calling her trash and going to town on her in that locker room promo a few weeks ago. Unless, of course, she's setting up Ziggler in the latest mind-twister following Bryan, Kane, Punk, and Cena. Or, unless, of course, WWE comes up with some sort of storyline that Ziggler and A.J. have been working together all along and the locker room promo was to throw Cena off and get him to let his guard down by thinking there's no way A.J. and Dolph could work together after Ziggler tore her apart.)

In-ring: Great Khali, along with Natalya, was introduced for action next.

[Q4] [Commercial Break]

4 -- GREAT KHALI (w/Natalya) vs. DAVID OTUNGA

Back from break, Otunga was in the ring to face Khali. The announcers cracked jokes about Khali trying to tweet, then JBL dismissed Khali as a human by basically calling him an animal. Khali mercifully ended this with a Khali Chop. Cue up the lawyer jokes, and Cole noted there's probably a job for Otunga on

WINNER: Khali at 1:55.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL said they understand a special guest is here to present the next award. Suddenly, Ric Flair's "Whooo!" was heard with zero set-up. But, they didn't show Flair. Flair's voice was heard introducing a video for Superstar of the Year. This is definitely a strange show. After the video aired, Cole plugged the winner and Special Guest next.

[Commercial Break]

Video package: The voice-over man whose voice is synonymous with TNA was heard setting up The Rock's return at the Royal Rumble.

On-camera: Cole, Lawler, and JBL plugged the Superstar of the Year announcement up next. Cole again plugged the WWE App. After WWE botched the surprise return, Justin Roberts gave the formal introduction for Ric Flair. But, no sign of Flair. Well, just a bit late, as Flair eventually walked out on-stage and played to the crowd. JBL said it's like Babe Ruth returning to Shea Stadium. Flair looked toward the ceiling, then Whoo'ed over and over. Flair said no wonder he loves Philadelphia. Flair said this crowd is alive as ever, then noted they're live on Raw. Flair said he is back in town.

[Q5 -- second hour] Flair then introduced Superstar of the Year...drumroll...Flair said it's his man, John Cena. Cole said the fans have spoken and noted Cena has won for the third time. Out came Cena, who took off his cap and surveyed Flair to soak in the fact that Flair is back in WWE. Cena then embraced Flair and grabbed his trophy as the fans showered him with boos. After Cena's music stopped, Cena smiled toward the booing crowd. "You're right, they're a lively crowd," Cena told Flair to the side.

Cena waited for some pro-Cena fans to speak up, but the boos kept coming. "Thank you for all the noise," he said. Cena continued to stand uncomfortably as the crowd kept booing. Some Cena fans then made noise, which only intensified the boos. Cena then spoke that Superstar of the Year is about hustle, loyalty, and respect. More boos. He said the winner needs to work harder than anyone else. Cena then recognized the loyalty of the WWE Universe. That is why out of respect, Cena said the Superstar of the Year should be the greatest of all-time, the two-time Hall of Famer, Ric Flair. Flair shook his head not to do it, then Cena said it's great to see him back where he belongs. Cena handed the trophy to Flair, who looked around the arena. Flair said Cena is too much and he doesn't know why they don't like him.

Suddenly, Cult of Personality interrupted. The crowd popped for C.M. Punk's presence as the WWE champion limped out on-stage on crutches. Paul Heyman brought up the rear with possession of the WWE Title belt. Punk told some booing fans to shut up, then said so much is wrong here. Punk said Flair hasn't even been here this year and this is a joke that Cena was voted the winner. Punk said Cena's had the worst year of his career, then called Cena a loser just like everyone in Philly and Flair.

Punk said he used to listen to Shawn Michaels say he wanted to grow up like Flair, but he doesn't understand why. Punk continued to shout in Flair's face why he should be Superstar of the Year, noting he's been WWE champ for 393 days. Very passionate from Punk, who said he's the man, then sarcastically Whoo'ed! in Flair's face. Flair then checked his watch and told Punk it's time for him to go. He said it's Philly and time to rock 'n roll since it's Philadelphia. Flair told Punk to get to stepping, but said he can't even walk because he has too much baggage (Heyman). Flair said he hasn't been here, but he's been watching. Punk shouted back that even on one leg, he could still kick Flair's ass. Flair smirked and looked toward the ceiling before noting his two HOF rings and four ex-wives. Punk thanked him for saying it before he could. Punk then said he could beat up Flair with one leg, just like everyone in Philly.

Flair then removed his jacket and walked down toward the ring. Flair told Punk to follow him to the ring, but Punk and Heyman remained on-stage. Flair entered the ring and whoo'ed toward the crowd before Punk started hobbling toward the ring entrance. Cole plugged the possibility of Punk vs. Flair as Punk slowly made his way toward the ring with Heyman begging him to stop.

[Commercial Break. Local plug for Raw TV in Houston in January has Cena & Sheamus vs. Show & Ziggler, plus Punk and Ryback.]

Back from break, Punk was still trying to enter the ring on his crutches while Flair held open the ropes. Punk then entered the ring as Heyman kept trying to talk him out of whatever was about to happen. Punk eventually blind-sided Flair with a crutch shot, then strutted like Flair. But, Flair came back with a thumb to the eye before dropping Heyman and slapping on the figure-four leglock. Heyman tapped out frantically as Flair kept the hold locked in. No sign of Punk as Heyman kept tapping. Flair eventually released the hold and Heyman sold immense pain.

Flair then took the mic and said, "I just came to have a good time," before smiling as the crowd applauded. Flair then looked toward the announcers and told Lawler that he loves him. Flair said they're never going to lose them. Flair then recalled telling Vince McMahon that if he's going to die, then he wants to die right here in this ring or with a woman from Philly.

Suddenly, The Shield's music interrupted. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns slowly made their way out in the crowd before slowly making their way to the ringside area as the announcers implored Flair to get out of the ring, doing a great job of selling Shield as serious threats. Flair welcomed them down to the ring, then sold concern as they drew closer leading to break.

[Q6] [Commercial Break]

Back live, a giant brawl was ongoing. Daniel Bryan and Kane were playing the Four Horsemen role helping out Flair, who found himself taking a beating mid-ring. Ambrose and Reigns then double-teamed Kane ringside. JBL put over Shield's coordination and teamwork, then Cole put over their match last night as "one of the greatest debuts in WWE history." Reigns then began clearing the announce table as Ambrose and Rollins dragged Flair out of the ring. Reigns wanted the triple powerbomb on Flair as the announcers tried to get them to stop.

Suddenly, Ryback's music played to get the big pop making the save. Shield dumped Flair to the ground, then Ryback marched to the ring and smashed Ambrose into the guardrail. Kane then woke up and helped out Ryback, who then press-slammed Rollins onto the announce table. Ambrose and Reigns bailed through the crowd, then Rollins got the heck out of town over the guardrail into the crowd.

Back in the ring, Flair shook hands with Ryback to endorse him. Flair then shook with Bryan and Kane before all four men stood tall in the ring. Flair strutted around in the ring, then left the ring, but Ryback called him back into the ring. Ryback and Kane then lifted Flair into the air for a victory celebration a la a football coach winning a big game. Flair waved toward the crowd, then Raw faded to break.

(JC: One of those segments that felt like it was being set up for the Greatest Moment Of The Year, then kind of ended. Almost like a game-winning NFL drive that has epic third-down conversions, a fourth-down conversion, then ends with the QB fumbling the ball into the endzone and an offensive lineman recovering in the endzone for sort of a flat conclusion, but still counting as a Touchdown.)

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Kane celebrated with Flair and Bryan about finally getting to The Shield, then engaged in a triple Yes! / No! / Whoo! exchange. Suddenly, Ron Simmons entered the scene to shout, "Damn!" And then the NFL team missed the extra-point.


Back in the arena, Clay was dancing with Cameron and Naomi. The bell then sounded and they showed JTG standing ringside. So, now the comedown segment after the three-segment Flair bit. JTG delivered sort of a top-rope Blockbuster that he nearly turned into a facebuster for a two count. Lots of dinosaur jokes from the announcers, who also joined in "coming down" from the intense Shield-Flair bit. Clay then made a comeback and delivered a giant splash for the win. Clay and the dancers then brought kids into the ring to dance. Where's The Shield to save the audience from this injustice?

WINNER: Clay at 1:51. So far, not the night if you're looking for a competitive, long-form wrestling match.

[Q7] Justin Roberts then welcomed out Santino and...Tensai...for LOL Moment of the Year. Santino walked out first, then Tensai tripped coming through the curtain, officially rendering him a joke act. Tensai stood up and revealed a giant icepack on his head that made it look like a Dixie cup was strapped to his head, which was to tell Kofi's Trouble in Paradise earlier in the show. Santino tried not to laugh over Tensai tripping, then set up the award announcement. Santino told Tensai that it's his turn, but Tensai was too busy selling anger and embarrassment. Santino called him "Albert," then read Tensai's lines that Tensai in Japanese means "Fat Albert." Tensai nearly snapped as the crowd laughed, then told Santino there is no teleprompter to read lines. This led to a video package of WWE's attempts at comedy throughout the year. This segment was not included.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, the Miss Piggy and Flo Rida video aired to promote the Tribute to the Troops special Wednesday night on USA Network.

Back live in the arena, Santino and Tensai were still at the podium. Tensai wanted nothing to do with announcing the winner, so Santino said this segment really fell flat on its face. Santino said the winner of the award is The Rock. Unfortunately, Rock is not here, which drew boos. Santino said he will accept the award on Rock's behalf, then noted if Rock does not claim it, he will keep it.

Sin Cara's music began playing, then Daniel Bryan suddenly barged on-stage to take the podium. Bryan said this award should be his. "No!" he shouted over and over before Kane walked out, picked him up in the air, and dragged him away as Bryan continued to shout.

6 -- CODY RHODES (w/Damien Sandow) vs. SIN CARA (w/Rey Mysterio)

Everyone was already assembled in the ring, then the bell sounded and the mood lighting kicked in. Rhodes dominated, then shouted toward the crowd about his mustache. Rhodes settled into a mid-match hold as Rey tried to get the crowd to chant for Cara. JBL talked up Rhodes's "heritage," which Lawler turned into a "hair-itage" joke. In the ring, Rhodes distracted himself, which allowed Cara to pop him with a kick from the ring apron. Cara then nailed a head scissors, but walked right into Cross Rhodes. Rhodes scored the pin for the win, prompting JBL to list tons of people who wore mustaches. He settled on Blackjack Bradshaw. Cole answered with Blackjack Mulligan.

WINNER: Rhodes at 4:15.

Announcers: Cole reset by plugging the WWE App to vote for the Slammys. Suddenly, Zack Ryder's music played. Roberts welcomed out Ryder and Layla for the next Slammys presentation.

[Q8] On-stage: Layla introduced a bit on Social Media. Ryder did his part forcing a smile as Layla did a bit about downloading the WWE App. Layla then plugged a Trending Now category. Of note, Ryder looks completely disengaged from WWE at the moment. This led to a video on items that could qualify for hashtags during Raw in 2012. Cole said the results are next.

[Commercial Break]

Back to Ryder and Layla to present the Hashtag Award. Ryder said he's serious, bro, that they have a winner. Layla said the winner is...#FeedMeMore. Ryder said he's going to head to the back to give the award to "the big guy," then closed with Woo Woo Woo, You Know It. JBL said Ryback has a match coming up.

Big Show Segment & MITB tease

After a pause, Big Show's music played. The World Hvt. champion slowly made his way through the curtain with possession of the World Title belt and his super-huge chair. Show, walking with a limp to sell the effects of facing Sheamus at TLC last night, tossed the giant chair into the ring before trying to re-arrange the chair in the ring. Show took the mic, then said he should be upset that the audience let him down by not voting for him as Superstar of the Year. But, he is not upset because he is still World champ. Show noted he said he would beat Sheamus, he did, and he proved he's the most dominant Superstar in WWE. Show then said he would like to ask Sheamus how it felt being bashed by his Big Show Chair. Show paused as the crowd What'ed him, then chanted, "Boring." Show said he'll open up this chair and sit down if they keep chanting, but Sheamus's music interrupted.

Sheamus walked out on-stage, pounded his chest, and walked toward the ring. In the ring, Sheamus said he's not out here to fight him, but to say he has no regrets about their match last night. Sheamus noted they beat the crap out of each other and it was probably one of the most physical and painful matches of his career. Show just smiled, knowing he's still World champ. Sheamus said Show was the better man...last night. Show interrupted: "What?" Sheamus said he can admit that Show beat him fair and square, and he will be the bigger man by shaking Show's hand. Show wasn't convinced of Sheamus's gesture. Show then reached out, shook hands, and they shook firmly.

Show nodded, then Sheamus started to leave, but Show told Sheamus to get to the back of the line and eat some potatoes. Sheamus had enough and turned around, then tackled Show to the mat. Sheamus picked up Show's giant chair and smashed it across Sheamus's back. Cole said Show brought this upon himself. Sheamus then waited for Show to turn around and delivered a Brogue Kick to KO Show. Cole said Show couldn't just take his victory, but had to throw in one too many insults, bringing the attack upon himself.

Sheamus left the ring, then Dolph Ziggler suddenly hit the ring with a ref in-tow. Ziggler was prepared to cash in his MITB briefcase to challenge Show for the World Title as the crowd popped, but John Cena suddenly hit the ring and smashed Ziggler to the outside, which drew loud boos. Cena then smashed Ziggler into the guardrail and promptly left, selling that he was in a bad mood.

[Q9 -- third hour] As Ziggler recovered at the top of the hour, Cole and Lawler recapped A.J. shoving Cena off the ladder in the Cena-Ziggler match last night at TLC. Cole said A.J. said earlier tonight that she owes no one an explanation. WWE then replayed Rollins taking a huge fall last night, but Shield scored the win.

In-ring: 3MB's music played to bring out the trio for the next match. Ricardo Rodriguez then introduced Alberto Del Rio, who emerged off-stage in his Vehicle of the Week. Del Rio slapped hands with some ringside fans - the easy babyface move - then pointed toward the ring and said it's on. Del Rio waited ringside as The Miz's music played. The Odd Babyface Couple of Del Rio and Miz met up ringside and measured their opponents before Cole pitched a new tag partner up next.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler screamed at Vickie Guerrero that John Cena just cost him the World Title match. He told Vickie to do something about it, but Vickie shouted at Ziggler about A.J.'s kiss. Ziggler shot back that she had no business being in his match last night when she has the Board of Directors to answer to. Vickie shouted back that she can't believe Dolph got A.J. to help her. Dolph shouted back that he didn't know A.J. was going to get involved because she's crazy. Dolph then ended the relationship, but Vickie responded by booking a tag match for tonight: Dolph and A.J. against Cena...and...herself. Dolph smirked as Vickie walked off.

In-ring: The Miz was in the ring with Alberto Del Rio. Miz, of all people, did a big ECW build-up for their tag partner, Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer walked out on-stage to continue the 2010 TNA Invasion tonight. Apparently the idea to get over Miz and Del Rio as faces is to bring out nostalgia acts to give them babyface reactions via association.


The vocal males chanted for Dreamer early on. Meanwhile, JBL quipped that when they're in Buffalo, apparently Jim Kelly is going to be Miz and Del Rio's partner. Lawler noted his "run-in" with Dreamer back in the day, then offered a description of Dreamer as "tough as nails." The first-half of the match built toward Dreamer coming off the top rope to splash 3MB ringside. The announcers said it was like watching a bus fly through the air. Dreamer stood tall leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

[Q10] Back from break, Cole told viewers not to adjust their sets because Dreamer is back on WWE TV. Meanwhile, 3MB was in control working on Miz. The Band continued to wear down Miz as JBL filled time cracking music jokes. Of all the matches to be given full-length, two-segment TV time, this one received it as 3MB continued to work on Miz, who garners zero sympathy with the crowd because he's Miz. Some of the vocal males filled time with "E-C-Dub" chants. JBL then filled time calling the 3MB gimmick "terrible." And, the match continued with Miz continuing to take a beating.

Miz finally hot-tagged Del Rio at 12:53, which drew a minimal reaction. Del Rio cleaned house, sending McIntyre flying off the ring apron into the announcers's App gear. Del Rio then completely airballed a superkick on Slater, but still did the kick noise with his hand. The action broke down with men in and out of the ring before Del Rio dropped Slater mid-ring. Del Rio then looked toward Dreamer, who did a comical face just begging for a tag. So, Del Rio taged in Dreamer, who DDT'ed Slater into the mat. Dreamer covered for the win.

Post-match: Cole solemnly said it was Brooklyn Brawler last night and Tommy Dreamer tonight. As Dreamer sold emotion as he embraced Miz, Cole plugged a commercial-free Smackdown tomorrow night. The graphic indicated either Cena vs. Sheamus and Show vs. Ziggler or Cena & Sheamus vs. Show & Ziggler in tag action. The announcers didn't say which, but presumably it's a tag match.

WINNER: Miz & Del Rio & Dreamer at 14:14. Yes, this match happened. And, Example #593 of this being a very strange show.

On-stage: Sheamus was introduced for the next Slammys introduction. Sheamus paused as the crowd acknowledged Dreamer leaving off-camera, then introduced Newcomer of the Year. Sheamus noted he won three years ago and now he's three-time World champion. The winner will be announced next.

[Commercial Break]

[Q11] Back live, Sheamus was still on-stage preparing to announce Newcomer of the Year. Out of Clay, Cesaro, Ryback, and Damien Sandow, the winner is...Ryback. Cole said you can't argue with this pick. Well, you could use Logic since Ryback was on WWE TV two years ago as Skip Sheffield. Ryback came out on-stage and quoted Owen Hart: "Enough is enough and it's time for a change." Ryback said he is that change. "Feed Me More!" he shouted into the podium mic before marching to the ring for the next match.

Antonio Cesaro's music then played to bring out the U.S. champion. Cole said this is going to be a very interesting match-up. Before Justin Roberts could introduce him, Cesaro interrupted and noted the voting was rigged, like a typical American election. Cesaro said he is the true Newcomer of the Year. He could not use Logic to present his case, so he said he is smarter than Ryback and he is a champion.

8 -- U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO vs. RYBACK -- non-title match

This is one of those matches that could have meant a lot more in their first encounter, but is instead a Q11 filler match in the three-hour Raw era. Cesaro delivered a hard uppercut early on, then JBL plugged a "huge election" in Bermuda tonight. Meanwhile, some "Goldberg" chants picked up. Ryback came back with hard slams into the mat before whipping Cesaro into the corner, but Cesaro got a boot up. Cesaro then nailed a big bodyslam and JBL said no one has manhandled Ryback like that.

Cesaro wanted the Neutralizer, but Ryback escaped and nailed a spinebuster. Ryback wanted to nail his clothesline, bur Cesaro left the ring and retrieved his U.S. Title belt. Ryback press-slammed Cesaro back into the ring, though. But, Cesaro kept on going and walked out of the ring to the back. Cesaro was counted out.

WINNER: Ryback via count-out at 2:34. At least WWE didn't make the mistake of feeding Cesaro to Ryback for a clean victory in their first encounter.

On-stage: After the match, "Mean" Gene Okerlund was introduced for another Slammys segment. Ricky Steamboat was introduced next, then Jim Ross. The trio stood on-stage together, soaked up the moment, and the announcers told them to hurry up. Okerlund then spoke that they will award the final Slammy of the night. Steamboat said it's the Match of the Year category. Ross said he was privileged to call some of these matches. The nominees: Triple H vs. Undertaker at WM28, Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Extreme Rules, Sheamus vs. Big Show at HIAC, and Rock vs. Cena "Once In A Lifetime"...maybe. Cole told everyone to vote for MOTY, with the result next.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Ross, Steamboat, and Okerlund presented the MOTY winner. Drumroll...Steamboat said the winner is...trouble with the envelope...pause...Undertaker vs. Triple H.

[Q12] Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter sporting his new short haircut, and dressed in a suit. JBL said somewhere sitting at home is a Deadman with a huge smile. Cole noted Shawn Michaels should be smiling as well. Hunter shook hands with Ross, Steamboat, and Okerlund before standing at the podium. Hunter said what's ironic is he won one of these in '97 for best hair, drawing attention to his short hair. Hunter paused as the crowd picked up a loud "We Want Taker" chant.

Hunter continued that every now and again, you get to be part of something that can only be described as magic. He said he got to be part of something that was just that at WrestleMania, and for him to be in the ring with Michaels (big cheers) and the guy who he considers the benchmark of this business, Taker (big cheers), it was an honor and the end of an era. Hunter tried to make some sort of announcement as some fans picked up a "Thank you, Hunter" chant, which Hunter shook off. He said there's a million dollar question hanging in the air right now, then said the fans have not seen the last of Undertaker. Hunter signed off after coming as close as possible to confirming Taker's in-ring return without making it official.

Suddenly, WWE cut backstage to show The Shield attacking a man in a t-shirt, who was identified as Tommy Dreamer. Shield dismantled Dreamer, then Ricardo Rodriguez tried to make the save, but he took a similar fate. Why does Ricardo care if Dreamer gets beat up? Did they form an unbreakable bond while Miz was beat down for 10 minutes during the six-man tag match? After Shield delivered their beat down, security tried to get Shield to leave, then checked on Dreamer and Ricardo. "My back," Dreamer complained.

Back live in the arena, A.J.'s music played to bring out A.J. Lee for the mixed tag main event. As Justin Roberts introduced A.J., she shouted down toward the announcers or someone else near the announcers. Stagehands eventually scurried across the ring and pulled out a giant ladder to place inside the ring. A.J. continued to direct crew members before taking a mic. A.J. started climbing the ladder as Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole plugged the Tribute to the Troops special in two nights on USA Network. Back in the ring, A.J. was standing atop the ladder. A.J. looked around at the crowd with her crazy eyes, thought about what she wanted to say, and said she is full of surprises. A.J. said everyone keeps asking her "Why?" A.J. asked why she would do what she did to everyone's favorite hero, John Cena, at TLC. A.J. said she stopped at a gas station last night and people asked why. Even a bus-boy at her hotel this morning. Even an hour ago, a few Divas asked her why. But, that's probably because she just made out with Ziggler. But, everyone keeps asking her why and she thought it would be obvious.

A.J. said the reason why she knocked Cena off that ladder at TLC --- suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted. Vickie marched to the ring and said no one cares why she did it. Vickie said something indecipherable , then confronted A.J. in the ring after A.J. hopped off the ladder. Ziggler then came out as A.J. and Vickie threatened to fight before the opening bell. Once Ziggler entered the ring, John Cena's music played just before the top of the hour.

[Q13 -- over-run] Cena came out on-stage as JBL noted Cena doesn't like any of the three people in the ring for the main event. Cena completed his ring entrance as A.J. sort of glared toward him, but Cena no-sold her and focused on Ziggler.

9 -- JOHN CENA & VICKIE GUERRERO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & A.J. LEE -- Strange Bedfellows Match?

The bell sounded one minute past the top of the hour. Cena and Ziggler started things off by circling around the ring. Before locking up, Ziggler did a Flair strut as Cole recapped Flair's involvement in Raw tonight. The crowd picked up a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" as the two men felt each other out in the ring. Cena delivered a sit-out slam, then Ziggler tagged in A.J., which meant Cena had to tag in Vickie. But, Cena didn't exit right away. Cena tried to read Crazy A.J. as she walked toward him, then Cena eventually gave way to Vickie, who tackled A.J. to start a cat-fight.

A.J. eventually left the ring, leaving Ziggler and Cena to battle. Ziggler pounded on Cena, upset that Cena cost him a World Title cash-in tonight. Cole defended Cena, saying Cena should have won MITB last night, but JBL said MITB never should have been on the line. Vickie then walked out of the match, leaving Cena and Ziggler in the ring. So, the PPV main event is being given away on Raw the next night. Ziggler eventually knocked down Cena, then measured him for a superkick, but Cena ducked and slapped on the STF. Ziggler teased tapping out, then A.J. suddenly emerged on-stage flanked by...Big E. Langston from NXT. Big E. stormed the ring and tackled Cena, drawing a DQ finish.

Post-match: Big E. circled around a flattened Cena as Ziggler tried to figure out what was going on in the corner. Big E. stood over Cena, A.J. circled around Big E. standing over Cena, Ziggler tried to reach his feet selling disbelief, the announcers tried to figure out what's going on, Lawler said he doesn't get it, and Raw went off the air six minutes past the top of the hour with a plug for Super Smackdown Live tomorrow night.

WINNER: Cena via DQ at 4:26. Don't ask. This was the strangest show of the year compounded by so many moving parts in WWE's current booking - faces turning heel, heels turning faces, random cameos, and a random debut at the end of the show. Bottom line is WWE needed to give Cena a new monster heel managed by a crazyperson to conquer. Overall, though, WWE is just all over the place right now, and the scary part is it's intentional.

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We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to .

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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