Raw: A busy night for the new champ in the big D
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
You have to hand it to the WWE: someone did leave TLC as the lone champion. Randy Orton defeated John Cena, becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion in the process. Ah, but uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and challengers will no doubt be lining up to take on The Viper starting tonight in Dallas. Letís go live on USA to find out.
The entire locker room is assembled on the stage, and The Authority is in the ring. Stephanie McMahon calls this a historic edition of the show and calls upon everyone to honor and respect one man. I guess she's talking about Orton. Yep, Triple H confirms it as he introduces The Viper. Randy gets some stares from Cena and Daniel Bryan as he holds both belts aloft on his way down the ramp. The new champ takes the fans to task for not having faith that he would win the big match and for buying the story that he's been handed everything in his career. Orton scoffs at the superstars on the stage, saying it's appropriate that they're up there and he's in the ring because he's better than all of them. Cena interjects, sarcastically summarizing what he though Orton was going to say. In the spirit of Stone Cold Steve Austin, John says Randy should put up or shut up. And he's not talking about getting a rematch himself, he's talking about Bryan getting a shot tonight. Orton doesn't care what the fans think, but Cena keeps trying to goad him into it. It doesn't seem like it's going to work, as Orton claims he doesn't have to listen to anybody. But The Authority is huddling behind him, and HHH says he is just listening to the WWE Universe when he has Orton take on Bryan in tonight's main event.
Match 1 - Rey Mysterio and Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Rey and Show we're voted in as the tag champs' opponents on the WWE app. The announcers take a few moments to take some selfies on Jerry Lawler's phone. Seriously guys, there's a match going on. Show has Rhodes in trouble until he tries dropping an elbow off the middle rope, giving Cody time to tag in his costumed sibling. Goldust ends up on the receiving end of a choke slam, and while Rhodes saves him once, it doesn't prevent him from taking a KO punch. Mysterio Drops the Dime off Show's shoulders, and that's a defeat for the champs.
Bad News Barrett let's everyone know they have no chance to win any of the a Mega Millions money in the big drawing coming up. Happy holidays! Michael Cole pimps the opportunity to bid on autographed replica Slammy Award trophies. And backstage, Orton does what you'd expect and complains to The Authority about having to face Bryan. Steph calms him down by appealing to his ego, but she and Hunter also say he needs to prove why he's the champion.
Match 2 - Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler lost last night to Fandango in the TLC pre-show, a defeat he called embarrassing. Dolph is looking to the rematch to get himself pointed back in the right direction, but early on it looks like more of the same. He's able to steal the win a few minutes later, but the fact that he had to do that tells you all you need to know about his current spot on the card.
Match 3 - The Real Americans vs. Big E Langston and Mark Henry
Lots of Dallas Cowboys jokes, but I guess that's to be expected. Langston and Henry work effectively as a team, working over Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro in turn. Langston presses Cesaro overhead in an impressive show of strength before dumping him out to the floor. The heels finally get into the match just as we check out for commercials. Big E finally battles back and gets the tag to Henry, and the Texas native softens up Cesaro for Langston to pin him with the Big Ending. JBL is sad because Cesaro never got to try his Cesaro Swing on Henry.
For goodness sakes people, does the WWE have to come to your house and download the app onto your phone for you? Actually, don't give them any ideas...
Damien Sandow is Santa, and AJ and Tamina are his elves. This isn't going to end well. Next week, the battle over Christmas will apparently be waged between Sandow and Henry on Raw.
Match 4 - Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Tons of Funk
R-Truth and Xavier Woods are out with the commentators, discussing whatever's gotten into Brodus Clay as of late. Tensai tries making a tag, and Clay hangs him out to dry. Ryback plants Sweet T with a Shell Shock, and this match comes to a quick conclusion. Brodus splashes Tensai repeatedly after the bell, causing Truth and Woods to come to the rescue with a double dropkick. Brodus is incensed as they call the Funkadactyls into the ring to dance. Oh, it's on now!
CM Punk isn't much of a Christmas guy, but he did experience a kind of holiday miracle of his own by defeating The Shield singlehandedly. He still thinks someone is trying to sweep him under the rug and go away, and as we all know, Punk isn't one for authority. So he calls out Triple H and waits patiently for the COO to respond. Wait, that's not Triple H, it's Shawn Michaels, looking like he reported straight from deer camp. HBK says Punk's issue should be with him since he's the one who superkicked him last week. Punks says the Showstoppa gets a pass once, but try it again, and he's going to get kicked back. Michaels calls out The Shield, looking grumpier than usual as they descend from the stands.
Match 5 - CM Punk and The Usos vs. The Shield
Will there be repercussions for the Roman Reigns spear that hit Dean Ambrose last night? We'll soon see. Seth Rollins has to do the brunt of the early work for his team, and he ends up getting clotheslined out to the floor for commercials. It's still Rollins after the break, at least until he can tag in Ambrose. He takes it to Jimmy Uso, who ends up in unfriendly territory in the Shield corner. Of course Punk gets in, and four of the six combatants get into it on the outside. Punk drops a big elbow on Ambrose, but that's only good for two. He follows with the Go To Sleep, but Reigns had tagged himself in, and his spear is good enough to pin Punk.
Who are the Wyatts talking to? I hope they realize there's no one in that rocking chair. Also, the 2014 Royal Rumble is sponsored by Jackson Hewitt. That's a legit sponsor!
Match 6 - Natalya and the Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Alicia Fox
Despite my dislike of a Total Divas, I do find it amusing that Natalya drunk dialing Stephanie is one of the talking points. Let's face it: unless you never drink any adult beverages, you can identify with that. Nikki Bella shows off some surprisingly adept moves but she also eats a gigantic superkick from Tamina. AJ uses a shining wizard to get the three count while Nikki checks to see if all her teeth are still there.
Yeah, Henry definitely makes a better Santa than Sandow. Backstage, Orton rants to Renee Young about his displeasure with The Authority listening to the WWE Universe.
Main Event - Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
Orton's newly unified belts are not on the line, but this should still be good. Bryan's early mat work has the champ slowed right out of the gate. Orton gets a short breather on the outside and re-enters the ring to grind on Bryan. That doesn't last long, as Bryan launches a concentrated assault on The Viper's left leg. They stand and trade uppercuts in the center of the ring, an exchange that Bryan wins with a knee to the midsection. Orton smashes home some headbutts in the corner, but his missed Thesz press leads to him getting caught in a half crab. The champ reaches the ropes and clotheslines his foe to the canvas. The fans inspire Bryan to rise, but Orton slams him back down for a near fall. He rallies and bites Orton in the forehead, but his dive to the floor is sidestepped by the champ. Sorry, more commercials. They fight on the outside, with Orton focusing on Bryan's left arm. The ref implores them to return to the ring, and Bryan is still taking some punishment, including a superplex. Another exchange of punches leads to Bryan hitting a clothesline, and both men are slow to get up. Bryan charges into a series of kicks and follows with a top rope Frankensteiner that gets a two count. Orton responds with his DDT off the ropes, but his RKO attempt is countered for not one, but two near falls for Bryan. The fans come to life as Bryan goes up top, only to see The Viper topple him and look for another superplex. Orton is shoved down, and Bryan delivers the flying headbutt for another two. Just when things look bleakest for the champ, he gets another pinfall attempt, yet Bryan maneuvers him into the Yes Lock. Orton tries escaping to the floor, but Bryan dives out to meet him there. They return to the ring for a big missile dropkick from Bryan, and he uses a series of kicks to put Orton in trouble again. Reaching way back, Randy connects with a wicked low blow, and the ref calls for the DQ. Cena comes flying in and tosses Orton away, but the champ recovers quickly and lays out Cena with an RKO. It looks like evil has triumphed over good for now, and letís hope this hint of a triple threat match for the newly unified title doesnít come to pass. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk has declared himself the unified, undisputed, world heavyweight champion of TV wrestling reports, but he's a fighting champ who's willing to take on all comers. Send him a challenge on Twitter at @nick_tylwalk, on Google+ at +NickTylwalk, or by email to email@example.com.