WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 12/22: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Hulk Hogan guest-hosts, Piper's Pit, IC Title, Cena vs. Rollins, Street Fight re-re-re-match, more
Dec 22, 2014 - 10:08:09 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
December 22, 2014 - Episode #1,125
Live in Minneapolis, Minn.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Hulk Hogan guest-hosting, Roddy Piper returning with Piper's Pit and guests U.S. champion Rusev & Lana, Roman Reigns vs. Big Show in a quick give-away, Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper in an IC Title re-match, and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight, a re-re-re-match of their Survivor Series, TLC, and Tribute to the Troops matches.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Christmas music and a shot of the stage, which was decorated with Christmas presents. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL hyped the show, making it sound like a light episode. After Cole ran down the line-up of matches, Hulk Hogan's music played to bring out Hulk Hogan dressed in a Santa costume. Ringside, Cole and JBL were in suits and Lawler was in an ugly sweater.
In the ring, Hogan posed to all sides of the crowd before talking about spreading holiday cheer all over Raw. "Hogan, Hogan" chants from the crowd. He tried to lead the crowd in "Ho-Ho-Hogan" chants instead. The crowd played along, then Hogan said he is giving presents to all of the stars, as well as the audience. He said tonight will be that big, nasty, stinky Big Show against Roman Reigns (strong reaction). Plus, "that cooky" Bray Wyatt against Dean Ambrose (strong reaction) in a Street Fight, brother.
Suddenly, John Cena's music played. Cena bounced out on-stage firing up the crowd before holding up a "Never Give Up" towel for the camera and storming the ring. Hogan gave Cena the Outsiders pose before shaking hands with Cena. Related to Hogan, a "One More Match" sign was visible facing the hard camera.
Cena acknowledged boos and cheers by saying there are some naughty and nice fans in the crowd tonight. He hyped Hogan being as iconic as Santa Claus, then a "Ho-Ho-Hogan" chant broke out again. Cena said he's tried being a good boy this year, then sang a "Frozen" tune. That is, until last Monday when this happened.
The video was of Brock Lesnar taking out Cena with an F5 during Cena's cage match against Seth Rollins in the Raw main event. Back live, the crowd broke into a "We Want Lesnar" chant since they're in his home market. Cena said they all agree because he wants Lesnar - we wants to kick Lesnar's teeth down his throat. Cena said his career was in jeopardy last Monday, but he's not here to talk about it. He said that he lost to Rollins last week. But, after that loss, he changed his Christmas wish to wanting a match tonight against Rollins.
Before Santa Hogan could reply, Rollins's music played. Out came Rollins flanked by J&J Security shaking their heads no. From the stage, Rollins said that request is ridiculous. He said Cena is running his mouth again, and he told him a few weeks ago on Smackdown that no one wants to hear his stupid voice anymore. He said he didn't come out here to disrespect Cena and Rollins - they're legends from their respective eras. But, as Cena likes to say, his time is up and "my time is now." Rollins added, "I am the future of WWE." He said if Cena wants to last one more day in the Seth Rollins Era, it's just something he's going to have to accept. "You Sold Out" chant from the engaged crowd tonight.
Rollins said the real indictment on this whole company is Hogan running Raw tonight, when it should be The Authority (boos). Rollins said screw that, Hogan is a farce. Rollins said Triple H and Stephanie McMahon deserve to be here (boos). He said that is not the holiday spirit. Instead, they are sitting at home sad and depressed (cheers), while people like Hogan flushes this company down the toilet. Hogan did mock tears from the ring.
Rollins went back to Survivor Series when Cena and his team couldn't get the job done, so they got help from "The Vigilante, Sting" (cheers). So, regarding last week, Rollins said he considers Cena lucky that he let him get up and get out of the ring on his own two feet. So, he wants Santa to grant him his Christmas present... which is forcing Cena to bring The Authority back. Cena told Seth just to shut up. He told him he's putting the people to sleep. He said Seth turned his back on everyone, mastered the art of being a scumbag, and insulted Hulk Hogan. Cena told Seth to come down to the ring and get a present - neon green shoes up his ass.
[Q2] Cena told Seth to come down to the ring and fight or turn and walk away like a coward. He said he is not bringing The Authority back. Hogan said he's going to come up with an alternative tonight - Rollins is going to face Cena in the first match tonight. Hogan removed his Santa hat, then gave it to Cena to wear for the match. Hogan signed off before his music played. Cena and Hogan posed in the ring as Seth seethed on the stage heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:16]
1 -- JOHN CENA vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury)
The bell sounded back from break. Cena quickly cleared Rollins from the ring, then Seth talked strategy with his security on the outside. J&J ran a misdirection, allowing Seth to blindside Cena with a running knee. The crowd picked up a loud dueling chant as Seth worked over Cena. Rollins then introduced his MITB briefcase, distracting the ref, allowing Mercury to punch Cena in the face from the ring apron behind the ref's back. Seth covered for a two count, which sent Raw to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
Back from break, Cena teased a comeback, but Rollins dumped him to the floor. Rollins followed with a suicide dive that took out Cena on the outside. Back in the ring, Seth tried a top rope attack, but Cena avoided. But, Seth caught Cena with a standing kick to the face for a two count.
[Q3] Seth avoided an AA, but took a sit-out slam that set up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Seth tried to kick Cena to block the set-up, but Cena caught his foot and teased the STF, but Seth broke out and kicked Cena in the face for another two count. Seth tried to follow up by bouncing the ropes, but he ran into Cena, who chucked Seth into the air for a huge sit-out powerbomb. But, Seth kicked out of a pin.
Reset at 12:00 with both men to their feet. Standing exchange of blows. Cena hit the sit-out slam, then dropped the Shuffle into the AA, but Seth escaped. Cena then dumped Seth over the top rope right onto Joey and Jamie, taking out all three men. Cena rolled Seth back into the ring, then climbed to the top rope. Cena delivered a guillotine leg drop, but Seth kicked out of a pin.
Both men sold on the mat before resetting at 13:40. Cena took Seth to the top turnbuckle, but Seth blocked and ran Cena across the ring with a Bucklebomb for another nearfall. Seth got a sinister look on his face, then went for the Curb Stomp, but Cena ducked and slapped on the STF. Seth reached the bottom rope for a break, but the ref allowed Cena to yank Seth back to the middle of the ring to extend the hold. J&J hit the ring, but Cena crashed them into each other before delivering a double AA. Seth tried to blindside Cena with the MITB briefcase, but Cena ducked and hit the AA for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Cena at 15:40. Another good match between Cena and Seth. Surprising result since WWE has booked so many DQ/non-finishes to these types of matches lately, but WWE clearly wanted to restore Cena after losing the cage match last week in anticipation of the Royal Rumble title match against Brock Lesnar in a month.
Still to come: Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. Cole only mentioned their TLC and Boot Camp matches, continuing the trend of ignoring their standard Survivor Series match.
[Commercial Break at 8:36]
Holiday Message: Kane is not in the holiday spirit.
2 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. FANDANGO (w/Rosa Mendes)
Both men were randomly in the ring for the comedown match after the break. Rosa lurked ringside as the match started. Swagger teased the Patriot Lock early on, but Fandango slipped out of the ring. Fandango returned to the ring to take a big boot to the face. He pounded his chest to hardly any reaction as Rosa sold concern. "We The People" shout from Swagger got the crowd involved, then he landed a Swagger Bomb for a nearfall. Fandango came back with repeated kicks using the referee to run interference. Fandango followed with a top-rope leg drop for the three count.
WINNER: Fandango at 2:03. So, Fandango decisively loses to Roman Reigns on Smackdown, then Fandango beats Swagger, who challenged for the U.S. Title one week ago, in two minutes. It would be one thing if they took the time to make the match mean something and treat it like a simulated sporting event - Fandango was re-focused after being railroaded by Reigns and Swagger is still down from losing the U.S. Title match - but everyone looks terrible when the match is treated like a nothing two minutes of television.
Backstage: Tom Phillips brought in IC champion Dolph Ziggler to talk about his IC Title re-match against Luke Harper tonight. Ziggler described Harper as a nightmare come to life who will do anything to win. Ziggler vowed to give the audience what they deserve tonight, and he will steal the show. He told Luke it's too bad that he's too good.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]
Vignette: New Day is going back in time to last month when they sang and danced with a gospel choir. Together, they can create a New Day.
In-ring: Adam Rose strutted down to the ring with the Exotic Express, but The Bunny limped down to ringside sporting a neckbrace to sell Kane taking him out last week on Raw and Smackdown. No footage from Smackdown. R-Truth was in the ring to face Rose.
3 -- ADAM ROSE (w/Exotic Express) vs. R-TRUTH
Another comedown match turned into a dance battle. Truth suddenly rolled up Rose from behind and won the match in a minute.
Post-match, The Bunny slid into the ring to console Rose as Truth celebrated on the way out. Rose sat stunned in the ring as the entourage tried to dance and celebrate in the background. Apparently those millennials don't value wins and losses. Bunny turned his back, then turned around to take a spinebuster from Rose. Rose beat down The Bunny before kicking him out of the ring. Rose yelled at his entourage, then measured The Bunny to deliver a running knee into the ring steps. Rose continued to punish The Bunny as Cole noted Rose has snapped. Ross shoved down one of the entourage members as a ref checked on the poor bunny at ringside. Hopefully the fans on the front row chanting "One More Time" feel bad now. Meanies.
WINNER: Truth at 0:54.
Next Monday: Edge & Christian host the final Raw of 2014.
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
This Friday: Hulk Hogan runs Smackdown.
In-ring: Big Show was introduced to the ring back from break. They replayed Roman Reigns punching Show in the mouth last Monday on Raw, then cut to an inset promo of grumpy Show vowing to stuff Reigns's face with his fist. Back in the ring, Show angrily marched around the ring before The Shield's music played. Roman Reigns emerged through the crowd to make his way out for a quick giveaway of this singles match-up. In another inset promo, Reigns vowed to give Show everything he wants tonight.
[Q5 -- second hour]
4 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. BIG SHOW
Show quickly ran over Reigns with a big shoulder tackle, then he slowed the pace working over Reigns. Show collided with Reigns, then kind of tripped and fell down onto Reigns. Show went for a pin to cover for falling down onto Reigns. Reigns teased a comeback, but Show cut him off and delivered a running elbow to the chest for a two count. "Boring" chant from some crowd members as Show continued to slow the pace with a chinlock.
Reigns broke free, then landed clotheslines until a third one finally took Show off his feet. Reigns followed with a Samoan Drop. He tried a Superman Punch, but Show shoved Reigns down to the mat. Reigns dropkicked Show to the mat, though, and followed with his double-foot dropkick on the outside. Reigns then cocked his fist to deliver a Superman Punch that sent Show flying over the announce table. Reigns rolled back into the ring and Show was counted out.
Post-match, Show stood up and flipped out, realizing he lost via count-out. Reigns stood tall in the ring as Show got up and started walking to the back. "I wouldn't call that a win," JBL said of Reigns's decision. Reigns stood tall in the ring before posing in the ring.
WINNER: Reigns via count-out at 4:23. Are they building Reigns to main-event or open WrestleMania? This was just bizarre booking if they have big plans for Reigns - they treated the match like it wasn't a big deal and they made Reigns look soft in victory.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Dean Ambrose for an interview. Renee asked what kind of preparation he's done for his Miracle on 34th Street Fight tonight against Bray Wyatt. Dean said he's been preparing for this all-year long because he's been a really good boy. So, he went to the Mall of America to find Santa. But, he settled for a security guard with a beard. He emphatically said every time a bell rings, Bray gets a beating. Dean calmed down, then smiled and told Renee to have a Happy Holidays. She smiled back.
NBC this Saturday: Tribute to the Troops special.
[Commercial Break at 9:07]
Mainstream Reference: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella was voted one of sports's top power couples in 2014 by MSN. On cue, WWE brought out Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella) in heel mode. So, they re-associated one of their top babyfaces, Bryan, with his wife who has no constitution to her character after randomly turning heel and joining her sister, who beat her down mentally for months. It's WWE sloppily trying to mix outside-the-ring elements with the TV storylines in the same environment.
5 -- BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) vs. NATALYA (w/Tyson Kidd)
As the match started, the announcers debated Natalya making excuses for Kidd flirting with Nikki last week on TV. Brie acted cocky taking control of the match as Nikki looked on approvingly. Natalya then stunned Brie with a roll-up for the win.
[Q6] Post-match, Kidd hit the ring to celebrate with Natalya before Nikki approached the ring apron. So, Natalya promptly shoved Nikki down to the floor. She held up the Divas Title belt as Nikki sold a left leg injury. Nikki writhed in pain as Brie checked on her sister. A replay showed Nikki not even landing on her leg. Nikki eventually got up and sold on the way out with Brie, who mad-faced Natalya. Natayla did the belt-around-the-waist motion as Kidd followed behind.
WINNER: Natalya at 3:20. Unless this a long-term storyline to set up Daniel Bryan returning to TV to wake up his wife from her sister's manipulations, this is a mess. Even if that is the end result, this is still a mess that WWE has given up trying to explain in the present.
Syfy plug: Smackdown is moving to Thursdays in January.
[Commercial Break at 9:18]
Vignette: The Ascension spewed some cliches about causing destruction as heavy metal music played in the background. No debut date.
In-ring: The Rhodes Bros. were randomly in the ring for something else on the show. WWE cut to an inset promo of the duo acting mysterious earlier in the day. Back in the arena, generic holiday music played to bring out Los Matadores and El Torito, who was sporting reindeer horns.
6 -- RHODES BROS. (GOLDUST & "STARDUST" CODY RHODES) vs. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO & EL TORITO) -- handicap match
Cody wanted Torito, who tagged in. So, it's a handicap match. Torito pushed Cody, then tried a suicide dive on the floor, but Cody caught him. No matter, as Torito spun Cody to the mat lucha style. Cody angrily tagged out to Goldust, who chased Torito around the ring. Un Matador tagged in and Goldust worked him over after getting the strength of the team, El Torito, out of the ring. Awkwardness in the ring waiting for a spot, then Goldust accidentally flung Torito into Cody. Torito moonsaulted Cody for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Los Matadores & Torito at 3:33. Amazing to see where Cody & Goldust were at the end of 2013 as relevant tag champs, then the downward slide began when WWE booked New Age Outlaws to win the Tag Titles at the beginning of this year. Now, they've slid all the way down to a D-Level tag division feud. Goldust, an experienced veteran, and Cody, a hungry younger star, are just wasting away in this role when they could help WWE's lack of roster depth.
Somewhere: Luke Harper talked off into space about not liking to give. Because he likes to take - take things away. Tonight, he's going to give himself a present. Good to see a heel lying because he just said he doesn't like to give. Harper said he's going to take the IC Title tonight.
In-ring: IC champion Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring for the next match.
[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:30]
Tomorrow: Big E. vs. Stardust on Main Event.
In-ring: Luke Harper was introduced to the ring to challenge Ziggler for the IC Title. Once both men were in the ring, Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions. Ziggler was billed as "residing in Hollywood, Florida." Before Lilian could finish, Harper attacked Ziggler. Ziggler fell to the outside, then Harper delivered a suicide dive. No bell thus far. Harper followed with a Black Hole Slam on the outside before rolling Ziggler back into the ring. The referee backed up Harper so he could check on Ziggler, who sold pain on the mat. Ziggler did the deal pulling himself together and getting to his feet just like the night he lost the IC Title to Harper one month ago on Raw. The bell sounded.
7 -- IC champion DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. LUKE HARPER -- Intercontinental Title match
Harper big-booted Ziggler, then gave him a sit-out powerbomb, but Ziggler kicked out of a pin. Just like Raw one month ago. Ziggler avoided more pin attempts, then rolled to the floor to catch his breath heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
Back from break, Harper continued to dominate the champ. Harper went for a Michinoku Driver, which resulted in a two count and an actual reference from Cole. Lawler asked what he called that move.
[Q8] Ziggler surprised Harper with a superkick, but Harper shook it off and smashed Ziggler with a lariat for a close two count. Cole freaked out on commentary calling the sequence. "Ziggler, Ziggler" chant from the crowd re-engaging after sitting through five consecutive bland matches. Ziggler nailed a Fameasser, but Harper kicked out of a pin. Another superkick from Ziggler, then another. Zig-Zag and it was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ziggler at 11:20. If you didn't know the booking plans and behind-the-scenes preferences, you would think that Ziggler is being built for the Mania main event, not Reigns, based on the presentation tonight. Strong win for Ziggler after overcoming the same set-up from last month when Ziggler dropped the IC Title after a pre-match attack by Harper.
In-ring: Jerry Lawler brought in Ziggler for a post-match interview in a nice touch. Ziggler talked up the crowd, thanking them for backing him tonight. He said he's found a way to crawl and scratch through WWE, so he will be damned if anyone takes the IC Title from him. Cole and JBL discussed whether Ziggler can be The Man in 2015 before recapping the finish of the match.
Up Next: Piper's Pit.
[Commercial Break at 9:52]
Exterior Shot: Raw is in Minneapolis at the Target Center.
This Friday: Hulk Hogan runs Smackdown.
Piper's Pit Segment
Hogan's long-time rival, Roddy Piper, was introduced to the ring to host Piper's Pit. In the ring, Piper gushed at the crowd response, then noted this is the time of the year to have a rowdy good time. Piper said his guests tonights are two people who asked to come down here because they have a special Christmas message for all Americans. (Boos) "We're judging," Piper smiled, then introduced U.S. champion Rusev and Lana.
[Q9 -- third hour] Once the duo entered the ring, Piper tried to talk about getting straight to the point, but Lana cut him off. He said Christmas in America is a joke because everyone pretends to be good people. He said people put on fake smiles and believe a phony fat man who delivers presents to spoiled children. Piper seethed, then cut off Lana to tell her this is America. "Okay," Lana calmly retorted. "U-S-A" chant. Lana told Piper to believe in this.
It was video from last week on Smackdown when Rusev blind-sided Ryback. Back on the Pit, Rusev smiled at his work, then addressed Piper. "Do you believe now that I can crush the Ryback?" Rusev asked Piper. "Feed Me More" chant from the crowd. Rusev asked Piper if he believes he can crush him. Piper put on a brave face, then smiled and calmed down Rusev. He said he's Hot Rod, full of Christmas joy. He said there's no need for them to be a couple of Communist scrooges. He said he's just a nice guy and he likes Rusev. So much so that he got them a Christmas gift. Lana was intrigued, but tried not to be. He said he even put a bow on the present.
Out came Ryback, who was sporting a giant bow over his t-shirt. Ryback ripped off the bow & t-shirt, then marched down to the ring. Rusev met him at ringside, but Ryback smashed him with a clothesline. Ryback beat up Rusev, then ran him into the guardrail. Ryback rolled Rusev into the ring, but walked into a kick to the gut. Rusev stomped down on Ryback, then tried a sidekick, but Ryback caught him and dropped him with a spinebuster. Ryback wanted the Meathook Clothesline, but Rusev ducked and rolled out of the ring. Rusev bailed to the stage with Lana. Meanwhile, Ryback stood tall in the ring with Piper.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL hyped USA Network's nine-year ratings streak.
Earlier Tonight: John Cena asked Ho-Ho-Hogan for a match against Seth Rollins tonight. He got his wish, then beat Rollins in the opening match.
Still to come: Ambrose vs. Wyatt in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight.
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
In-ring: Alicia Fox was introduced for a Santa's Helpers six-Divas tag match. Emma was out next, followed by Naomi. Out first for the heels were Cameron, then Summer Rae and Paige dressed in all-black to contrast the rest of the participants.
8 -- ALICIA FOX & NAOMI & EMMA vs. CAMERON & SUMMER RAE & PAIGE -- six-Divas tag match
Emma mocked Summer Rae to start things, including using her hair as a weapon. The match came down to Naomi vs. Cameron, who was saved from a pin when the heels broke up a cover. Chaos broke out. Naomi then tagged in Alicia, who drove Cameron face-first into the mat for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Team Alicia at 4:18. Feel-good babyface win.
Still to come: Wyatt vs. Ambrose in a Street Fight.
[Commercial Break at 10:18]
Vignette: The Ascension spewed out more cliches. They debut next week.
In-ring: The Miz's music played to bring out WWE tag champs The Miz and Damien Sandow (cheered). Miz was announced for singles action. In an inset promo, Miz and Sandow did a bit about singing Christmas songs. Miz cut off Sandow before he could sing a tune. The Usos's music played next to bring out Jey Uso, along with Jimmy Uso.
9 -- WWE tag champion THE MIZ (w/WWE tag champ Damien Sandow) vs. JEY USO (w/Jimmy Uso)
Once the bell sounded, the focus went to Sandow getting cheers ringside. Miz tried to ignore his stunt-double getting attention, then he got tossed from the ring. Sandow also fell down to the floor to sell the effects, then Uso went flying over the top rope to splash Miz. Back in the ring, Miz cut off Uso and began stomping away at him, which Sandow mimicked at ringside.
Uso tried a comeback and went for a roll-up, but Miz rolled through, hooked the tights, the screen went black, and a three count was rendered. The screen returned with Miz celebrating on the stage with Sandow as The Usos gritted their teeth in the ring.
WINNER: Miz at 3:30. And this was the eight-second delay match of the night.
Announcers: Cole hyped the Monday Night War series, then rolled footage of tonight's episode focusing on Mick Foley, which premiered three months ago and WWE presented as new content.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Next Monday: Edge & Christian host Raw.
Back on Raw, the Wyatt theme interrupted the broadcast to bring out Bray Wyatt on the stage. Wyatt used his lantern to light the way down to the ring as JBL recited the usual line about his movement growing. In the ring, Wyatt sang a tune about it being the most wonderful time of the year. He laughed to himself, then said he couldn't help but notice how people like to surround themselves with loved ones during the holidays. Why? Why is that? He said he believes it makes people feel safe. Bray told the crowd that their safety is an illusion to shield them from the truth, and the truth is if you look outside your bedroom window, there is another world out there. He said in this world, there are no Santa Clauses, only evil, suffering, pain, and sorrow. Bray said he thrives in this world, and he is king.
Bray said he has taken Dean Ambrose to his world once before. And, he will do it once more tonight. But, that's not at all. He said everyone tonight can feel this moment with him by looking to the sky and following the buzzards. "We Want Ambrose" chant, then Dean's music played to provide the answer. Dean brought a sack full of weapons with him to the ring before Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
10 -- BRAY WYATT vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- Miracle on 34th Street Fight main event
The bell sounded back from break. "Merry Christmas" chant early on as Dean and Bray battled back-and-forth. Dean then dropkicked Bray into the ropes, sending Wyatt spilling to the outside.
[Q12] Dean followed up by ramming Wyatt into a Christmas tree prop. Dean then whipped Bray into another Christmas tree on the opposite side of the ringside area. Another Christmas tree was wiped out, then Bray picked up the tree and smashed Bray with it. Bray then unwrapped a Christmas box to find a TV monitor. No cord attached to this one to blow up in Dean's face, but he set it aside for the moment.
Dean then went under the ring to retrieve a table with a bow on it. Bray smashed Dean from behind, though. Bray rolled Dean back into the ring, then took his time playing with the table, allowing Dean to surprise him with a suicide dive into a pile of Christmas presents. Dean then set up the table ringside. He dragged Bray toward the table, placed him on it, and climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Bray ran away toward the stage. Dean, disappointed by Bray's decision, chased after him and hung a wreath around his neck.
On the stage, Dean smashed Bray with a Christmas present box. He then unwrapped a present to find a chair with a bow on it. Bray booted Dean in the gut, though, then chucked him off the stage through a table down below at the production area. Bray smiled as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:49]
Back on Raw, the camera followed a trail from the broken table past carnage ringside to Bray working on Dean inside the ring. Bray then ran over Dean with a clothesline, sending the match to the outside again. Bray chucked Dean into a tree at ringside, then the crowd disengaged from the heel/face dynamic by chanting, "One more tree," at Bray. Bray also disengaged by giving the crowd what they wanted instead of teasing and pulling away by chucking Dean into a tree.
Bray re-arranged weapons on the outside, then chucked Dean into the ring. Bray brought a giant candy cane into the ring, which he used to bash Dean with. Wyatt then set up the candy cane in the corner like the Kendo Stick at TLC that he sent Dean into, but Dean blocked this throat-jab attempt. No matter, as Bray recovered and delivered a hard lariat for a two count.
Reset at 15:30 with Bray setting up the candy cane in the corner again. But, Dean reversed a whip that sent Bray head-first into the opposite corner, where a chair was waiting. Dean made a full comeback with a corner clothesline into a bulldog.
[Q13 -- over-run] Dean exploded on Dean with a clothesline, then picked up the candy cane and measured Bray for a jab to the gut. And another to the back. And another. A few more. Side Russian Legsweep using the candy cane, then Ambrose re-arranged some chairs. He dropped a chair-assisted elbow from the top rope, but Bray kicked out of a pin.
Ambrose went under the ring and retrieved a ladder, set it up in the ring, and turned his back on Bray, who popped up doing the crab-walk into grabbing Dean for a hard bodyslam into the ladder. But, it was only good for a two count. Bray wanted Sister Abigail, but Dean pushed him away and sent Bray face-first into the ladder. Another nearfall. Dean then climbed up the ladder, sat on top, stood up, and delivered an elbow to a standing Wyatt for a two count.
Ambrose tried another move from the ladder, but Bray threw chairs toward Dean, who fell down to the mat. Bray then ran Dean face-first into the candy cane in the corner, harming Dean enough to get a three count. They were almost to the point of needing a health-altering weapon to end this match after all the kick-outs from weapon shots.
Post-match, Bray left the ring, but decided to return to ringside, where Ambrose sprayed him with a fire extinguisher. Dean then placed Bray on a table, climbed to the top turnbuckle, and delivered an elbow smash through the table. Dean's music played to cover for the babyface losing another main event. WWE replayed the finish, then the post-match. Both men sold on the floor as Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Wyatt at 21:23. This was just ridiculous. It's not all Bray and Dean's fault, even if their kick-outs are just unrealistic now and Bray (the heel) played to the crowd during the match, but WWE blowing out every weapon-based match you could make people care about eight days ago at the TLC PPV. Following that up with a stunt-brawl at Tribute to the Troops and another stunt brawl that turned comical at times on this show made this just way over-the-top to the point of just two guys bashing each other with weapons for the sake of it, wasting the physical toll and risks. The crowd didn't care if the heel lost or if the face overcame the monster to win, reflecting an over-arching problem of WWE wearing out audiences, the writing being weak, and a general lack of selling, whether within a match or the following show. If Dean and Bray have another match, and it sure feels like they will need to after Ambrose shook off the loss in less than 20 seconds to deliver an elbow dive through a table, they'll have to carry a stipulation that the only way to win is by cutting off an opponent's arm or leg or something. It's gotten to that point of ridiculousness.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Two good matches (Cena-Rollins and Ziggler-Harper), seven really bland or filler matches, and one play-toy, stunt brawl main event. As can be said almost every week of Raw, cut out the third hour and it's an acceptable show. Also, there were no angles or developments tonight, which was expected based on the tone of the show at the outset when Cole presented this as a light, Christmas Week show. It was more like a drawn-out house show reinforcing what's been on TV for months. The problem is that last week's Raw ended with a big development when Seth Rollins formed an alliance with Paul Heyman. They'll assuredly follow up on that next week or the week after, but the lack of immediate follow-up this week muted the big development, especially when WWE really needs a good, believable explanation for the big angle heading into the Royal Rumble.
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