ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 12/09/13

It’s time for the 2013 Slammy Awards. Michael Cole starts the show with a demonstration of how to download the WWE app. Yup, that’s right. The WWE app. Nice to see something fresh on the show.

Daniel Bryan comes out and because we’re in Washington, it’s Dbry’s home state. He’s taking on Fandango. Yep, the guy who defeated John Cena at Summerslam in one of Cena’s best matches ever is now opening Raw in a match against Fandango while being totally cast out of the WWE Title picture. Can you tell how happy I am?

Dbry defeats Fandango in a solid nine minute match(about three minutes of it were lost to commercial) with the running knee strike. Excellent chemistry between these two and a solid start to Monday Night Raw!

Bray Wyatt pops up on the tron after the match. He says Dbry’s unwillingness to comply is testing his patience. He does not wish to watch Dbry suffer, but there is no such thing as a happy ending in his world. He continues on with creepy words in one of the most original promos ever and says they’re going to hurt Dbry bad to prove that he is a monster just like Bray. Amazing words from a potentially huge star! The crowd chants no with Dbry after the promo. I’m intrigued to see what they do with this.

Booker T and Jerry Lawler are announced as the hosts of the Slammy Awards. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn come out in Dumb and Dumber outfits(one orange and one blue) to present the laugh out loud moment of the year. The show us the nominees and now fans can vote on the WWE app. Thrilling.

Santino comes out for a match and we go to commercial. We come back and Damien Sandow is in the ring. The New Age Outlaws announce the Rock Concert as the laugh out loud moment of the year winner. The Rock’s music is played and Vickie Guerrero comes out; she says the trophy represents her beauty.

Santino and Sandow have a match. Yes, another wrestling match. Let’s see if it goes over four minutes. Big E. Langston is on commentary. Sandow wins the match in under four minutes with the you’re welcome. Not impressed with basically a squash.

Big E. Langston gets in the ring and holds up the title in Sandow’s face after the match. I like the potential for an excellent match between these two at TLC.

The presenters for double cross of the year are the Shield. Reigns almost botches his words and then gets interrupted by Ambrose. That split will happen eventually. Reigns is about as charismatic as Kevin Nash, and that’s not a good thing.

Kofi Kingston comes out for a match with the Miz. Another commercial and then we’ll find out the winner of the slammy. Shawn Michaels wins double cross of the year for his superkick on Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell. I feel like they’re building towards a Dbry/HBK match in the future, and that is something I never thought I would say. Shawn jokes about winning a slammy for double crossing someone four years after he retired when he double crossed a lot of people. He tells the crowd he sold out a long time ago when they chant at him and that’s why he’s still here.

Miz defeats Kofi in a short match after using Kofi’s tights to get the three count. Apparently Miz is heel again. It’s roughly his fifth turn in the past year. Kofi hits Miz with trouble in paradise after the match. These two have never had a bad match, but I’m beyond bored with the whole “feud.”

Eve Torres comes out to present Diva of the Year. Then Rey Mysterio comes out for a match and we go to commercial so the fans can vote. You see how this works yet? The Bella twins win Diva of the Year. Makes a lot of sense.

Rey Mysterio, Big Show, and the brothers Cody and Goldust defeat the Real Americans and Ryback and Curtis Axel in an eight man tag team match. Solid match, but too short like every other match with the exception of Dbry’s.

Michael Cole shows us again how to download the WWE app. Yup, again.

Booker and King introduce Shawn Michaels to present the 2013 Superstar of the Year Award. He wants the Superstar of the Year Award to be called the HB-Shizzle. Yeah, he really said that. The nominees are Brock Lesnar(really?), CM Punk(excellent choice and SHOULD be the winner), the Big Show(who the hell picked these candidates?), Daniel Bryan(the probable winner of this bunch), Randy Orton(not his best career year in terms of matches; 2011 was epic), and John Cena(please, no). I’m surprised Alberto Del Rio wasn’t apart of the group.

Sin Cara, now played by Hunico, comes out for a match. I assume i’s commercial time. And I’m right. Shawn announces Dbry as the winner of Superstar of the Year. Shawn hands Dbry the trophy but doesn’t let go right away, and then he walks off. Dbry thanks Shawn for the HB-Shizzle award. He says he wouldn’t be in WWE if it weren’t for Shawn training him, but he would also be WWE Champion right now if it weren’t for Shawn costing him the title. Dbry points out that the people voted him for Superstar of the Year, and he says 2014 will be even better than 2013. He says go Seahawks before leading the crowd in a yes chant. Classy segment; I enjoyed it as much as his match earlier.

Sin Cara takes on Alberto Del Rio in a rematch from last week. Sin Cara defeats Del Rio with a swanton bomb(that barely connects from the camera angle) in a competitive match.

^It wasn’t epic by any stretch, but these two mesh really well together in the ring. I like the elevation of the Sin Cara character as long as Hunico is working under the mask. Solid performance by both men. Del Rio losing twice suggests to me that this is going to be a feud that goes for at least a couple more weeks.

The Prime Time Players present the Fan Participation Award and the winner is Dbry. He comes out and says “yes.” Best choice for the award by far.

Brodus Clay destroys Xavier Woods in a squash. Tensai and Truth have to stop Clay from attacking Woods after the match. Interesting feud here; I can’t wait to see a heel Brodus possibly do something more in the ring than just splash someone.

The Miz presents insult of the year. Stephanie McMahon is the winner for her words to the Big Show. Stephanie says the fans have all recognized what’s best for business. Brilliant!

CM Punk goes one on one with Dean Ambrose. Rollins and Reigns stay at ringside for the match. The match earns “this is awesome” chants. Ambrose has some issues with Rollins and Reigns during the match when they stare down Punk on the outside; he doesn’t want them involved in his match. Punk then defeats Ambrose with a GTS. What a terrific wrestling match here from Punk and Ambrose. It’s nice to see what these two can do together in the ring and to know that Dean Ambrose will help secure the future of wrestling talent in WWE.

Reigns gives Punk a spear after the match. Ouch. Hope those ribs are alright.

Booker and Lawler bring out Mick Foley to present the Extreme moment of the year award. Punk getting his vengeance on Paul Heyman at HIAC is the winner. Punk comes out looking beat up. He says if you want to see Extreme, tune in to TLC this Sunday to see what he does to the Shield. Good speech from the very tired looking best in the world.

The Usos take on Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. Harper gets the win with the big clothesline. Love the tag team physicality here! That was fun to watch for not being a lengthy match.

Booker T and Jerry Lawler bring out Bret Hart to present the match of the year award. Bret announces the winner as the Rock vs John Cena from WrestleMania 29. That’s questionable and the crowd agrees with me. Cena comes out and acknowledges the questionability of the match as well while the crowd boos. Apparently that twelve year old audience still loves Cena.

Natalya takes on Tamina. Natalya wins the match with a sharpshooter after AJ’s involvement gets botched by Tamina. Too short to be memorable, but decent work from both women in such a short match.

It’s announced that former two time World Champion Dolph Ziggler will face Fandango on the TLC Kickoff Show this Sunday. Yup, that’s what I said.

Triple H, Stephanie, some referees, and a whole bunch of former World Champions are in the ring for a championship ascension ceremony. Nice to see Christian make an appearance. The crowd chants Daniel Bryan very loudly while Hunter yaks on. Mark Henry holds up Dbry’s hand and the crowd starts a loud yes chant. Hunter says that’s a lot of family for one building, Daniel. Randy Orton and John Cena come out. Orton cuts a promo on Cena and the crowd chants boring. Orton then goes off on a few of the former champions in the ring about what he did or would’ve done to them. Cena brings up the word work and grabs Dbry to be center of attention. The crowd goes crazy for him. Cena points out that Dbry has had to work for everything he’s got unlike Randy Orton who has been given everything in WWE. Cena puts over the other guys in the ring one at a time and offers Dbry a fair rematch if he wins on Sunday. Cena offers to shake Orton’s hand. Orton takes it and then hits Cena with a fist. They brawl and it’s a mess in the ring. Orton shoves Punk and he attacks him. Hunter throws Punk. Punk nails Hunter and Shawn hits sweet chin music on Punk. Dbry hits a flying knee on HBK. Dbry shoves Orton into Stephanie and she’s knocked down. Hunter nails a pedigree on Orton in the heat of the moment. Cena, Hunter and Kane help Stephanie up to close the show as the crowd chants Daniel Bryan.

There’s several things that need to be looked at in this closing promo. First, there are a ton of current talent who have been World Champions, and that tells me that WWE has/had faith in a lot of their locker room. Second, John Cena’s promo work was absolutely spot on and incredible. Third, I think we saw one or two WrestleMania previews in the altercations between Hunter, Punk, Dbry and HBK. Perhaps a tag team match if not two singles matches? Regardless, this segment was RED HOT to close out the show. Loved it!

Things I liked: Dbry/Dango, Wyatt promo, Punk/Ambrose, Sin Cara/Del Rio, Usos/Wyatts, Natalya/Tamina, Ending Promo

Things I didn’t like: Brodus Clay, Eight man tag(very little direction for most of these guys), Sandow/Santino

As for the Slammys, I am fairly neutral as to how they were done. They definitely were better filler material than some of the things done in the past. All in all I’m fairly certainly I liked the good wrestling on the show and the kick ass segment to end the night, so this episode of Raw gets a solid 7.5/10. It was the best Slammy Award Raw WWE has ever done, but not because of the awards.

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