JC’s Top Rope Report: The RAW Truth Review for 12.16.13

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Undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of Champions of the World

RAW started with all the wrestlers and divas on stage and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on stage. Stephanie said it was time for all wrestlers past and present to honor the undisputed Champion. Triple H said we are here to pay honor to Orton and introduced him. Orton came out with both title belts. He said it is a nice feeling when your faith is rewarded. Orton said no one believed he would win. Orton said he doesn’t look for a handout, he takes it. Orton said none of the former champions he was in the ring with last week have accomplished what he’s done. He said all the wrestlers jealousy on stage was appropriate because they won’t accomplish what he’s done either.

Cena called Orton stupid. He gave a cliff notes version of what Orton was going to say about being the greatest ever and said he saved everyone 20 minutes of time. Cena said he actually wanted to congratulate Orton. But he said holding that Title means that you either have to put up or shut up. Orton said he was not getting his rematch. Cena said he didn’t mean him. He meant Daniel Bryan. Cena said what a better way for Orton to prove his legacy by defending the Title against Bryan tonight. Orton said he didn’t have to listen to anybody. Stephanie said except us. Orton said he was trying not to lose his temper. Steph said they weren’t going to give Bryan a match tonight. But since Bryan was voted Superstar of the Year, the WWE Universe must for some reason that she doesn’t understand like him. But Triple H then made Orton vs Bryan, presumably not for the Title. I think.

Big Show and Rey Over The Real Americans? Injustice!

The WWE Universe voted for Rey Mysterio and Big Show to face the Rhodes Brothers. Rey and Cody started. Mysterio hit a hurricarrana followed by a dropkick through the ropes and a baseball slide to the outside. Back in the ring Cody escaped Rey with an elbow and hit the Disaster Kick for two. Cody hit a face first suplex and tagged in Goldust. Goldust hit a knee to the head and tagged in Cody again. Rey escaped an armbar and tagged in Big Show who hit a shoulder tackle on Cody.

Back from break Cody tried to tag Goldust but Big Show grabbed him and hit a bodyslam. Big Show hit one of his chest slaps. Cody tried fighting back but Show caught him with a kick to the gut. Show threw Cody into the corner and backed into him a couple times. Show hit a very loud chest slap and an elbow drop for two. Big Show went to the second rope but missed an elbow drop. Cody made the tag to Goldust. He hit a dropkick and his trademark upper cut followed by a clothesline. Big Show caught Goldust and hit a chokeslam but Cody broke up the pin. Goldust went for a crossbody but Big Show moved. Show then hit a KO Punch and Rey hit a splash off the shoulders of Big Show for the win. Guess it wasn’t for the Titles. Maybe WWE should clarify that next time.

Bad News Barrett told us we aren’t going to win the lottery.

Randy Orton complained to Kane, HHH and Steph backstage. Steph said Daniel Bryan competed last night too. Steph said there is a lot more to being the Champion than meets the eye. HHH said every night Orton has to prove why he is the Champion and said that they have his back.

Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango. Dolph ducked a couple early clotheslines then hit a dropkick. But Fandango recovered and clotheslined Ziggler over the top. Fandango took control with some kicks and punches then a chinlock. Dolph escaped but Fandango connected on a heel kick for two. Fandango went to a headlock. Ziggler fought out and hit a running knee and went right into a school boy pin to pick up the win.

More Tag Team Wrestling!

The Real Americans vs Big E Langston and Mark Henry. Big E and Swagger started. Langston hit a shoulder tackle on Swagger and he then tagged in Cesaro and he did the same to him. Swagger came back in. Big E tagged in Henry. Henry tossed Swagger into the corner then hit a splash. Big E came back in and he tossed Big E into the gut of Swagger. Big E hit ten corner punches followed by a clothesline. Swagger was able to escape an armbar and tag in Cesaro, who went right into a Big E hip toss. Henry came in, but Cesaro caught him with a kick to the gut. Swagger came in but he ran right into a Henry clothesline. Henry and Big E hit a double shoulder tackle on Swagger. Cesaro came in and Big E hit a press slam then clotheslined Cesaro over the top. The Real Americans regrouped on the outside, but Big E grabbed Cesaro and tossed him back into the ring. Big E hit a backdrop. Big E went for a splash but Swagger pulled him out of the ring and tossed him into the announce table into a commercial.

Big E caught Cesaro with an elbow back from break. But Swagger held Big E in the corner. Cesaro then stopped Big E from making a tag, then dead lifted Big E and hit a gut wrench suplex for two. Swagger came in and hit a belly-to-belly for two. Swagger applied a headlock, but Big E eventually tossed Swagger away. Cesaro made the tag and hit a back stomp on Big E. Cesaro tagged in Swagger. Cesaro sling shotted Big E into Swagger, who caught him and hit another belly-to-belly. Cesaro tagged back in. Big E caught Cesaro with a kick then tossed Swagger to the outside. Big E made the hot tag to Mark Henry. Henry hit a headbutt followed by a powerslam. Swagger came in but ate a shoulder tackle. Cesaro hit a dropkick on Henry. Big E tagged himself in and hit a clothesline on Cesaro, followed by the Big Ending for the win.

Tons of Funk vs Rybaxel. Axel and Ryback worked over Sweet T early. Sweet T started fighting back but Ryback caught him with a scoop slam. Sweet T moved out of the way of a charging Ryback. T went for a tag but Brodus moved away. Ryback hit Shell Shocked on Sweet T to pick up the win. After the match, Brodus hit a couple splashes on Sweet T until R-Truth and Xaiver Woods made the save with a double dropkick. Afterwards they invited the Funkadactyls to dance in the ring which they did.

If Only These Two Were Wrestling

CM Punk came out. Punk said he thought for sure The Shield would take him down. But not only did he not get taken out, he defeated The Shield. Punk said he knows they will make excuses and that this is far from over, but this isn’t about The Shield. Punk said he feels The Authority is trying to sweep him under the rug and push him away. He said he went after HHH because he doesn’t like authority. He invited Triple H to come out and settle their differences face to face. Unless HHH was afraid of what Punk could do to him on the mic.

Instead, Shawn Michaels came out. Punk said before HBK started he was still waiting for Punk or Steph. Punk then asked if HBK if he had something to say. Shawn said he understands Punk’s problem with authority. HBK said Punk’s problem should be with him. Punk said HBK gets a pass because 15 year old Punk was giddy to get super kicked last week. But if HBK tries to kick him again, he will kick HBK back. HBK told Punk to get over it then introduced The Shield.

More Tag Team Wrestling!

The Usos were chosen as Punk’s tag partners. Jimmy Uso started with Dean Ambrose. Jimmy hit a back bodydrop and tagged in Jey who caught Ambrose with an uppercut. Rollins came in but Punk took him down. Jimmy Uso came in and ate a Flair chop, but Jimmy came right back rith a clothesline. Jey came in and hit an elbow drop and went right to an armbar. Rollins fought out but Jey hit a hip toss. Jimmy came in but Rollins reversed him and caught Jey with a knee. Rollins caught himself in the ropes, but Jey clotheslined him over the top.

Back from break The Shield had control over Jey Uso. Jey tried fighting back against Seth Rollins but Rollins caught him with a clothesline. Rollins, however, missed a splash and Jimmy Uso came in and hit Rollins with a Samoan Drop. Reigns distracted Jimmy enough to allow Rollins to hit an enziguri kick. Dean Ambrose came in. Ambrose connected on an elbow and then went to an armbar. All of The Shield members took their turn working over Jimmy. Rollins went for a superplex, but Jimmy headbutted Rollins off and hit a crossbody. Reigns tagged in before Jimmy made the tag. Jimmy fought out of a headlock and caught Reigns with a kick to his bad eye then made the hot tag to Punk. Ambrose and Rollins both came in. Punk caught both of them with a high knee. He then hit a DDT/Neckbreaker combo on both men. Reigns broke up the pin on Ambrose but one Uso hit a dive to the outside. Rollins tossed him into the barricade. Punk hit a dive on Rollins and caught Ambrose with a punch. Punk hit the Macho Man Elbow drop for two. Ambrose escaped a GTS attempt and Reigns tagged himself in. Punk hit the GTS on Ambrose, but Reigns hit the Spear on Punk to pick up the win.

Bray Wyatt cut a promo. He called Daniel Bryan a coward. He said he held Bryan in his arms and told him he could take the pain away. Bray looked off camera and told Abigail he knows how she feels. Bray said Bryan must burn with the saints and then the camera cut to an empty chair.

The Bellas and Natalya vs AJ, Tamina and Alicia Fox. The heels dominated the faces early on. Tamina caught Brie with an elbow followed by a Samoan Drop. A.J. came in but Brie caught her with a dropkick. Nikki came in and put  A.J. in a torture rack, but Tamina caught her with a superkick. The other four Divas battled and A.J. caught Nikki with a Shining Wizard for the win. Tamina’s kick looked rough and Nikki held her jaw the entire time after.

10:30 to Start The Main Event? Works For Me

Main event time. Both men locked up and Orton bailed to the outside. Bryan went to a headlock takedown. Orton countered to a head scissors. Bryan countered back into a leg submission and Orton eventually escaped and bailed again. They reset again and Orton caught Bryan with a kick followed by a suplex. Orton took his time and Bryan recovered, going to work on the legs of Orton. He hit some elbow drops followed by some kicks to the legs, followed by a dropkick. Bryan slammed Orton’s leg into the post. Bryan backed Orton into the corner but Orton caught him with an uppercut. Both men exchanged uppercuts, but Bryan eventually got the upper hand and hit a running knee. Bryan went to another leg submission, but Orton bit his knee to escape. Orton went on the attack with a headbutt. Orton went for a Lou Thesz Press but Bryan slipped under and applied a half crab. Orton got to the ropes. Bryan went for a hip toss but Orton countered with a clothesline. Orton went on the offensive with his version of the Garvin Stomp. Orton connected on an elbow and went to an armbar. Orton went back to the Garvin Stomp. But Orton took his time after and Bryan bit Orton’s head. Bryan hit a running knee on Orton sending him over the top, but Bryan missed on his dive as Orton moved heading into commercial.

Orton still had control back from break. Orton knocked Bryan off the apron. Orton back dropped Bryan on the barricade. Back in the ring, Orton hit a superplex for two. Bryan leap frogged over Orton and then hit a clothesline. Bryan hit two running dropkicks in the corner followed by a handful of kicks. Bryan then hit a hurricarrana off the second rope for two. Bryan hit a headbutt but Orton came right back with a backbreaker. Bryan surprised Orton and went for a YES Lock but Orton escaped and sling shot Bryan over the rope. Bryan caught himself but Orton kicked him and hit his middle rope DDT. Orton went for the RKO but Bryan countered with a backslide for two. Bryan came back with a kick to the head for two. Bryan went to the top but Orton crotched him. Orton went for another superplex but Bryan knocked him off with a headbutt, then hit his flying headbutt for two.

Bryan landed more kicks but Orton moved out of the way of a corner dropkick. Orton went for a school boy roll up but Bryan countered into the YES Lock. Orton got to the ropes. Orton went to the outside. Bryan hit a dive through the ropes and tossed Orton into the barricade. Back in the ring Bryan hit a missile dropkick off the top. He landed more kicks, but Orton ducked the last one and hit a low blow, getting himself DQ’d.

John Cena came out after the match and went after Orton, sending him to the outside. Cena checked on Bryan but Orton came back in and hit a RKO on Cena. The show ended with Orton standing tall over both men.

OVERALL

I know lately I’ve been breaking this down into the What I Like/What I Didn’t Like part. But you know what, there was A LOT to like on this episode of RAW. You can say hello to the new tag team division. Another good match with the Rhodes Brothers. But you know what, I think I liked the Big E and Mark Henry/Real Americans match a little better. They worked the match the right way even with two bigger guys involved. And then of course there was the main event match which was great until the ending. I was kind of hoping for a clean Bryan win with the match being non-Title, but we got a DQ finish instead. The six man tag was good as well. When was the last time you could say we had four high quality matches on RAW?

Not much of an advancement from a storyline perspective. There is way too much smoke around the Shawn Michaels fire for me. Something has to be up with him, and I have a feeling HBK will be back in the ring at Wrestlemania. With next week already being hyped as a Christmas episode, I wouldn’t expect any kind of Royal Rumble push to start for another couple weeks. But this RAW on its own was a damn fine wrestling show. Anytime you get four quality matches, you are going to get a good show.

My only real gripe once again was the announcers. Taking selfies during a match involving your Tag Champs? Give me a break.

I’m giving the show a solid 8. Very fun show.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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