The show opens with Dolph Ziggler in the ring. He is standing near the top of a ladder with the Money in the Bank briefcase hanging over his head. He says that it will not be a merry Christmas for Cena because he is going to retain his case and then go on to cash it on Big Show.
Sheamus’ music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Sheamus says that Dolph won’t be cashing it in on Show, he’ll be cashing it in on him. However, it will probably be Cena who has the case after the PPV, not Ziggler.
Show’s music hits and he comes out onto the ramp wearing a hooded vest. He detests the fact that Sheamus believes he will win the match. Sheamus asks if Show is upset because of what happened with Ricardo Rodriguez on Smackdown. Sheamus says that he can’t attack Show because of their no contact clause, so instead he’ll have to go after someone else. Sheamus grabs the ladder and knocks it over sending Ziggler crashing out of the ring.
Vince McMahon comes out and introduces Vickie Guerrero. Vince starts to coax Vickie into making a match for tonight. He whispers in her ear and she shots, “Dolph Ziggler?”. He agrees. He tells her to make another match. Vickie wants AJ in a handicap match. Vince decides instead that it will be Vickie v. AJ!
R-Truth v. Wade Barrett
Kofi Kingston & Antonio Cesaro have joined the commentary booth for this match. Truth is tossed out of the ring and then back in. Wade drops an elbow followed by a boot to the face. Truth tries to fight his way back into the match but is kicked in the gut. Truth attempts a quick roll up – and it works!
Winner via Roll Up: R-Truth
After the match Kofi leaps with a lateral press from the turnbuckle onto Wade Barrett. Kofi and Truth head up the ramp.
AJ is in the back talking to Kaitlyn. She is excited to tell Cena about her match for tonight. She runs into the men’s locker room to tell him. He is interested but tries his best to shield her from the boys in the back.
Fatal Four Way Elimination Match
Primo & Epico v. Rhodes Scholars v. Prime Time Players v. The Usos
Epico and one of the Usos start the match. Uso quickly takes control and tags in his brother. Cover, but Epico kicks out. Primo gets the tag and works the back of Uso’s neck. Epico comes back into the match and hits a dropkick. Uso kicks out. Primo is back and chokes Uso by stepping on his neck as it is against the rope. Primo is flattened and slammed to the mat. Uso flies off the top rope for a splash.
Epico & Primo are eliminated
Back from the break. Uso is in the ring with Cody. We find out that the PTP were eliminated during the commercial.
Primetime Players have been eliminated
Sandow gets the tag, but is quickly driven into the mat. The other Uso gets the tag and charges at Sandow, only to run head first into a high boot. Sandow unloads with a series of kicks. Cody gets the tag and begins to stomp all over Uso. Sandow gets the tag again as the fans are chanting, “Cody’s Moustache”. It’s a beauty.
Sandow holds Uso for Cody who comes back into the match only to miss a bulldog. The other Uso gets the tag and he hits Cody with a couple of clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Uso hits Back Thunder and goes for a cover. Sandow makes the save, but the other Uso tosses him out of the ring. Sandow pulls his foe out after him. Uso climbs to the top rope, but Sandow interferes. Cody jumps up, but is knocked back down to the mat. Uso goes for the splash, but Cody gets his knees up. Cody hits Cross Rhodes and this match is over.
Winners: Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes
Eve Torres def. Alicia Fox
After the match, Eve calls a photographer into the ring to take her picture as she celebrates above Alicia Fox.
CM Punk limps out onto the entrance ramp with the aid of crutches. Paul Heyman is by his side with the Title. Punk says that it has come to his attention that there are people who think that his injury is phony and the surgery did not take place. They feel that it is a ploy to avoid a match with Ryback. Punk says that his injury is real life and it is what happens when you are the Champion for as long as Punk has reigned. 388 days. Punk throws to a video clip showing Ryback tossing him through a table and causing his injury.
Heyman has the mic now and says that the fans are ticking him off. He points out that Punk is a lot more successful than the New Jersey Devils. Heyman says that the Champion is not complaining. He goes on to talk about The Rock. Punk isn’t going anywhere and he remains the Champion and the best in the world.
Punk has the mic again and wants to address those who feel he should vacate the Title. Punk says that if anybody believes he should be stripped then they should come strip him right now. Punk promises that he will beat The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Punk will be at the TLC PPV on Sunday to watch The Shield take on Team Hell No and Ryback. It is a TLC match that will be determined by pinfall or submission.
Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler
They square off in the middle of the ring and exchange blows. Sheamus is backed into the corner but kicks out the legs of Dolph. Sheamus goes for a cover, but Dolph kicks out. Dolph is punched in the gut, but responds by kicking Sheamus in the gut.
Ziggler grounds Sheamus and kicks him repeatedly. Sheamus gets back to his feet and tosses Dolph right out of the ring. Sheamus follows out after and hits Dolph with an axe handle.
Back from the break Ziggler is in control with a modified rear choke. Dolph tosses Sheamus out of the ring. Ziggler heads out as well and lands a couple of punches before rolling Sheamus back into the ring. Ziggler returns to the rear choke.
Sheamus breaks free and unloads with arm lariats. He attempts a shoulder charge, but Dolph moves out of the way. Ziggler attempts the roll up, but the referee sees Ziggler holding onto the ropes and stops the count. Ziggler stomps across the head of Sheamus. Dolph climbs to the second rope and leaps for a crossbody. Sheamus catches him and hits a backbreaker followed by a released overhead slam. Sheamus sets Ziggler up on the apron and lands his clubbing blows. Sheamus climbs to the top rope for the battering ram, but Ziggler knocks his feet out from under him. Dolph follows with a punchy and climbs up to the second rope. Sheamus fights back and pushes Ziggler into the ring. Dolph runs right back at Sheamus and hits a Latte Faceplant! Cover, but Sheamus somehow kicks out.
Both men are on their feet and attempt to set up finishers. After a series of counters, Sheamus connects with the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Cover, but Ziggler kicks out. Sheamus is on his feet and is looking for the Brogue Kick. Ziggler moves out of the way and slides out of the ring. Sheamus follows after, only to be hit in the gut with a steel chair!
Winner via Disqualification: Sheamus
Ziggler tries to continue the attack inside of the ring, but Sheamus Brogue Kicks it right out of his hands. Ziggler scurries out of the ring and up the entrance ramp.
Zack Ryder. Alberto Del Rio
Rio starts the match hard with a couple of punches but is grounded with a dropkick. Zack lands a couple of punches and then a flying forearm. Ryder drops to the mat and applies a side headlock. Ryder hits a face plant and tries for a cover. Rio kicks out. Ryder is near the ropes and gets kicked straight in the skull. Rio follows with a couple more kicks. Alberto gets behind Ryder for a choke. Cover, but Ryder kicks out. Rio returns to the choke. Ryder breaks free. Rio hits a bridging German Suplex, but Ryder kicks out.
The crowd is on the side of Ryder as he makes his way back to his feet. Ryder tosses Rio out of the ring which allows him to try and catch his breath. Ryder is whipped into the corner. Rio charges but runs into the boots of Ryder. Ryder attempts a Broskie Boot, but Rio dodges and hits the cross arm breaker. This match is over.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
AJ and Vickie make their entrances for their match, but there is no referee.
Brad Maddox appears on the ramp and makes his way slowly down to the ring.
AJ Lee v. Vickie Guerrero
Well, this match is really happening. Vickie slaps AJ around a bit at the start. AJ leaps to her feet and unloads on Vickie. Guerrero tries to run up the ramp, but A catches her and slides her back into the ring. AJ slams her head down against the mat several times. AJ goes for the cover, but Maddox doesn’t start the count. Vickie rolls AJ up, so Brad counts. This match is over.
Winner: Vickie Guerrero
After the match, AJ throws a fit in the middle of the ring. She heads to the outside and starts tearing apart the set and throwing things everywhere. She slaps Justin Roberts across the face before storming to the back.
Back from the break, AJ is still throwing a fit in the back. Cena walks up to try and console her.
Antonio Cesaro v. Kofi Kingston
They trade blows back and forth. Cesaro hits a couple uppercuts. Antonio applies a side headlock and then hits a shoulder block. Kofi leaps over Cesaro and follows up with an elbow. Kofi then leaps up onto the turnbuckle and starts a ten count punch. Kofi leaps back for a lateral press. Cesaro hops out of the ring while pulling down on Kofi’s neck against the rope. Cesaro hits a scoop slam and follows with a double stomp. Cover, but Cesaro kicks out.
Cesaro unleashes an onslaught and gets behind Kofi for a headlock. Cesaro misses a clothesline and gets hit with a couple of chops. Kofi hits a monkey flip and charges toward Cesaro. Antonio puts his boot up to stop the splash.
Back from the break Kofi is escaping from an abdominal stretch. Kofi tries to roll up Cesaro, but he kicks out. Cesaro goes for a cover of his own, but Kofi kicks out as well. They continue to trade off back and forth. Cesaro hits a strong back uppercut, but Kofi kicks out of the cover. Kofi hits the SOS, but Cesaro gets his hand on the bottom rope. Cesaro fights his way back to control and hits a backbreaker. Cesaro follows up with the neutralizer and this match is over.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Miz introduces his guests, and it is Team Rhodes Scholars. Sandow has the mic and puts over the new and improved Cody Rhodes. This moustache is hilarious. Cody says that his Tag Team is a shining beacon of light in a sea of Neanderthals. Rhodes then buries New Jersey. Miz turns the questioning to Cody’s moustache. Sandow says that it is ironic that someone who used to be on a reality show has lost touch with reality. Miz asks really? Sandow says that Miz is not a very good host. He has bad form and his questions are repugnant. Miz asks Cody how it felt that Sandow didn’t visit him once while he was rehabbing his shoulder. Or how about the fact that Sandow walks around the locker room saying that he carries him? That Cody is the Jannetty to his Michaels?
Cody says that Miz has made a career out of proving people wrong, but this show proves that Miz has become one of those very “people”. Cody compares Miz to Honey Boo Boo and says that the interview is over.
AJ Lee is in the back with John Cena. AJ wants to help Cena out tonight, but he cautions her to stay in the back tonight.
John Cena v. Big Show
Dolph Ziggler is on commentary for the match.
They lock up and trade blows in the corner. Show punches Cena in the gut which drops him to the mat. Show continues to hit on Cena which keeps him grounded. Cena springs to his feet and leaps on the back of Show for a Sleeper. Cena releases and both men are on their backs as we go to commercial.
Back from the break, Show is in control. Show connects with a headbutt and continues to laugh as he stands over the fallen Cenation leader. Cena hits a dropkick, only to be met with a huge spear. Cover, but Cena kicks out.
Show lifts Cena up into the air and connects with a slam. Show sets Cena up in the corner, but Cena counters a charge and tries to start his move sequence. Show catches Cena and lifts him up into the air for a bear hug. After much struggling, Cena escapes and tries to lock on an STF. Show kicks him out of the ring.
Cena makes his way back into the ring, but is immediately clubbed. Show climbs to the second rope and attempts a rear splash. The move connects, but Cena kicks out of the cover. Cena is set up in the corner and absorbs a bunch of punches. Show hits a headbutt and looks for a second rear splash. This time, Cena rolls out of the way.
The Five Moves of Doom commence. Cena signals for, and hits, the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Show no sells the move and grabs Cena’s neck for a chokeslam. Cena kicks out of the cover. Cena gets back to his feet and lifts Show up for an Attitude Adjustment. The move connects.
Before Cena can go for the cover, The Shield rushes into the ring. They begin to attack Cena mercilessly. A table is slid into the ring.
Kane’s music hits and Team Hell No runs down to the ring. They unleash on The Shield, but Ziggler runs into the ring to assist in the attack on Cena. Sheamus runs down to the ring and goes right after Cena. Show is with Cena and wants to slam him into a table. Cena responds by spearing Show through a table.
There are bodies and men everywhere as The Shield is in control. Ryback’s music hits and he comes down to clear house. The faces are all back on their feet and begin to overwhelm their opponents as RAW goes off the air.
Vince was trying to play off of last week’s crowd with the opening segment, but the emotion wasn’t as strong. It was a bad omen for what would be a painstakingly dull RAW.
AJ is back full time as a little crazy chick. Running into the locker-room was an okay bit, though Cena’s ham acting was at its cheesiest tonight. Oddly, I like it.
The fatal four way elimination match missed its mark. The crowd was lacking energy, other than their enthused chant for Cody’s moustache. He should keep it; it looks both awful and fantastic at the same time.
CM Punk made an appearance tonight, as was to be expected. Timing wise I don’t have any complaints with Punk’s surgery happening during this cycle. It will leave him fresh and healthy for his career match against The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
Zack Ryder received his wish of having his entrance music played on the broadcast for once. Win or lose doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference for his character. In fact the worse he does, the more popular he seems to be. Sports Entertainment can be weird like that.
Ziggler looked solid in his match against Sheamus tonight. Ziggler seems to always have one spot each week that showcases him as someone with the “it” factor. By now I think most will agree that he is a star with years of success ahead.
AJ is at her character’s best when she plays the crazy chick. It’s certainly over the top and old at this point, but it’s what she does. I’m happy she is at least utilized so we’ll see where it goes.
Antonio Cesaro continues to impress week in and out. He has the look and everything else that he needs. I’m not sure why the audience hasn’t latched on to him, but that will come with time. He’s a hard worker and will deserve everything that comes his way.
The WWE still seems a bit confused as to where they want to take the character of the Miz. He was insulting the crowd but playing a face role tonight in the interview. It’s bizarre to watch. I’m not against a slow burn, but there needs to be at least some kind of kindling in play. As of right now I’m not seeing much more than sawdust.
RAW was a bore and a chore for all three hours tonight. Not a very effective “go-home” show for the TLC PPV.
This will be my last RAW recap of 2012. Next week I will be attending RAW in Philadelphia, but I’ll leave you all in the capable hands of my Teacher’s Lounge Co-Host and WrestleView columnist, Mr. V, Anthony Valvo. The following two weeks are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve respectively, so I have off. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season and I look forward to continuing to be your go-to RAW Recapper in 2013.
The Teacher’s Lounge (Sunday)
“The Teacher’s Lounge” is a weekly podcast archived every Saturday on the Wrestleview Radio Network featuring hosts David Stephens and “Mr. V” Anthony Valvo. The show reviews all of the news from the week, tosses out Gold Stars and Detentions, PPV previews and special guests. Past interviews include: Colt Cabana, Hernandez, Sara Del Rey, CZW Owner DJ Hyde, Shane Douglas and many more!