Tuesday, January 1, 2013

12/31/12 RAW (New Year's Eve)

(NOTE: A new year brings a new format to my posts. Ratings will just be incorporated into my recap of the show.)

Miz starts the last RAW of 2012 in Washington D.C. with Miz TV. Guest is John Cena. Conversation is about AJ and Ziggler. Rhodes Scholars interrupts. Cena with the RGIII reference, so the chants start. Cena makes fun of Cody's mustache. So we have a tag match between Cena/Miz and Rhodes Scholars.

John Cena & Miz vs. Rhodes Scholars: Fairly standard tag match. Miz worked over. Cena gets the hot tag. Miz with SCF to Rhodes. Cena with AA to Sandow for three. *3/4

This is Champion's Choice Night; champions put their titles on the line but they get to pick their opponents.

New Year's party in the back. Otunga says 2013 will be his year. At least he has a solid on-camera role compared to others. Vickie puts Ziggler gets a match against Sheamus later in the show. CM Punk still on crutches. Of course, he says he'd face Ryback if his knee was good to go. Proposal that Ryback face all three Shield members. Sounds good to Vickie.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Sgt. Slaughter (U.S. Title): Cesaro picks Sgt. Slaughter as his opponent with the whole patriotism thing. Funny because Slaughter was one of those Iraqi sympathizers in the early 90s. Nice pop for Slaughter. Slaughter with the Cobra Clutch but Cesaro to the ropes. A few seconds later, Cesaro hits the Neutralizer for three. Did anyone think Sarge was winning? N/A

Ziggler and AJ Lee are planning a New Year's toast later.

Team Hell No wanted to face the Shield tonight, but that's a no-go now. We hear screeching worse than a cat. 3MB is rehearsing. I guess Team Hell No found their opponents.

Big Show picks Ricardo to face tonight. Nice knowing ya, Ricardo. IT'S MAE YOUNG! With all the divas around, Eve picks Mae as her opponent. Yup.

Team Hell No vs. 3MB (Tag Team Titles): McIntyre and Slater represent 3MB in this title match. Nice to see Slater and Daniel Bryan get solid on-screen roles after starting in NXT. Kane gets the tag and he works on McIntyre. Didn't Drew play a fake Kane once? Kane with a chokeslam and DB with the flying headbutt to pin McIntyre. *3/4

Punk comes out for a promo. Now on his 407th day as WWE champion. Punk also brings his personal doctor to the ring. We see a normal knee and Punk's knee. Major swelling, meniscus issues. They play the whole Punk bravado deal with the doc saying he's not medically clearing Punk.

Enter Vince McMahon! He basically says Punk's doc has no say and WWE officials and docs will determine next week whether Punk faces Ryback in the TLC WWE title match. Vince will continue to investigate if Punk had ties with Brad Maddox and/or Shield. Heyman calls Punk a hero (getting a few cheers) and calls Vince a flesh-peddling promoter. Vince says if Punk can't go next week, Ryback will instead face...Paul Heyman. Happy New Year!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus: AJ and Big E Langston accompany Ziggler. Good technical wrestling here. Nice fallaway slam by Sheamus from the second rope to get two. Battering Ram gets two again. Sheamus can't get the cloverleaf on. Brogue Kick coming, but Langston gets involved. Ziggler tossed outside, and Langston catches Ziggler. Langston and Sheamus about to butt heads. Shield comes through the crowd and the ref rings the bell. Shield takes care of Sheamus. **1/2

Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett for the IC Title tonight.

Brad Maddox goes to Heyman and Punk for a job. No chance.

Mae Young has stomach cramps. Get her on the table. Doc says Mae's pregnant. "Not again." Really LOL'd at that one. At least she didn't give birth to a hand.

Eve says since Mae can't make it out, the ref should declare Eve the winner by forfeit. Kaitlyn to the ring and they get physical. Ref never called for the bell to start the match. And the divas again get the shaft on wrestling time.

Ricardo says he's gonna win the title for Alberto. ADR admits he's treated RR like dirt all this time and shouldn't be doing that. Alberto gives Ricardo the scarf and the keys to the car. Ricardo's going to his title match in style.

Big Show vs. Ricardo Rodriguez (World Heavyweight Title): Ricardo comes out in a Mercedes -- and he's competing in a tux. ADR in Ricardo's corner. RR with some fight in him but Show catches him with a huge slap. Show lines up for the KO but ADR interferes and the ref calls for the bell. Multiple kicks to Show and a superkick to Show's face. Meh. *

Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett (IC Title): Good pace to the match. A few counters on signature moves led to near falls. Barrett finally hits Wasteland for the first time in a while, but that only gets two. Kofi misses a top-rope move and Barrett hits the Bullhammer for three. Barrett begins 2013 as a champion. **1/4

They're doing the Mae Young giving birth segment AGAIN. NO! NO! The doc's really in there. Team Hell No with the NO YES thing. Khali must be thinking why the hell he gets to hold Mae Young's legs. Mae gives birth. Not a hand this time. HORNSWOGGLE is the New Year's baby?! Don't ask. If WWE wants us to lose brain cells, they did a great job of that.

Ryback vs. Shield: This is a 3-on-1 handicap match and it's just a brawl from the start. Ref never rang the bell. Shield pummeling Ryback, then Sheamus comes out to get revenge from earlier tonight. Orton then comes out to help as well. FYI, Shield laid Orton out a couple weeks ago to write him off TV for a little while after Orton dislocated his shoulder at the Tribute to the Troops taping. No match.

Ziggler and AJare out for the New Year's toast. Ziggler sarcastically thanks the fans for picking Cena as the Superstar of the Year and lists all of Cena's big losses. Ziggler and AJ make out in the ring. Cena comes out, so Langston blocks him from getting to the ring. Cena says Ziggler's right, it was a great year for AJ and Ziggler -- mainly AJ and her ascension to a prominent spot on the main roster. Nice photoshopped pic of AJ, Ziggler, and Langston in wedding wardrobe. And I agree, that was one creepy baby photo.

Big LOL at the family photo of many babies, especially the puppy, the Bushwhackers, and Mr. Fuji. The Fink was also a great choice. Can't forget Team Hell No. Sucks there was no Cena in there.

Cena with a nice promo on Ziggler. Seven years, basic rundown on Ziggler's career. Cena is the first to state he's entering the 2013 Royal Rumble and vows to become WWE champion again. Cena with a toast to Ziggler and AJ -- and crap literally falls from the arena on the lovely couple. End show.

Have to admit, while Cena tended to lose in more controversial situations in 2012 (and I would prefer he lose clean), at least he wasn't booked to win on too many big matches. I'm glad Cena didn't prevail from cashing in MITB, but I'm pissed he even had the briefcase in the first place. This is another year that proves Cena's main event spot will always be secure. He'll continue to get a championship match every year he's healthy until the day he retires. Cena's merchandise sells too well for WWE to ever let him go, let alone stay off TV. Ziggler's promo basically echoed a lot of Cena haters' sentiments.

I'm not alone in believing Ziggler will have a big 2013. Cena will also become a champion again if all falls in place. I still think Cena's in line to win the Rumble and face Rock at WM 29 for the title to avenge his WM 28 loss. Punk possibly drops the title to Rock at the Rumble and might move on to face Undertaker if the Deadman is gonna wrestle again. A lot can change, but all this has been rumored for months now.

As for Ziggler, he might not beat Show for the title, but I can see someone else like Sheamus finally beating Show after a huge war, then Ziggler successfully cashes MITB in to start his reign.

We'll see what 2013 brings. Happy New Year to all!

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