San Antonio, Texas
-Randy Orton performs a slow, slow walk to the ring to start the show. Orton reminds us that he is superior to our favorite wrestlers. John Cena takes exception to this, and steps out to tell Orton that he has to actually be that good and can’t take shortcuts. Bryan steps out to pile on Orton’s status. The Shield’s music helps Randy retreat quickly. Before The Shield can attack, however, CM Punk shows up. Vickie is ready to give us a six man main event.
Jack Swagger w/Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter vs. Big E Langston w/Mark Henry
Zeb Colter wants to deport Santa Claus. Seems legit. Big E starts a few trapping headbutts, but Swagger chops the front of the knee. Swagger gets some knees in the corner and a clothesline for two. Big E gets out of a foolish bearhug with a belly to belly suplex. JBL is grating. Langston takes control and hits the big splash for two. Henry clobbers Cesaro on the outside. THE STRAPS ARE DOWN inside, and Big E hits The Big Ending for the fun.
Final Thoughts: This was nothing more than a squash, but Big E’s push continues. I’m not sure why JBL and Cole have to argue so damned much. They only have one type of banter, and that’s angry shouting.
Brie Bella w/Nikki Bella vs. Tamina w/AJ Lee
AJ is on commentary. Brie gets some offense in before a slam and some stomps. There’s the jacket toss, and Tamina shoves Brie out to the floor. Back in, Brie flips out of a suplex and trips Tamina into the ropes. She hits a knee to the ropes and a couple of dropkicks. Brie hits a second rope dropkick, but takes the superkick from Tamina for two. Brie gets the knees up on the splash and rolls up Tamina for the win. After the match, Brie runs outside and shoves AJ to the floor to set up a match for the belt.
Final Thoughts: Well, it’s nice that Nikki is alive and, I think, missing a tooth.
Drew McIntyre w/3MB vs. Sin Cara
Drew gets dumped fast and Sin Cara splashes out onto him. Cara gets a crossbody from the top for two. McIntyre tosses Sin Cara into the ropes and stomps away in response. Cara gets a nifty arm drag out of the corner and gets a head scissors. The springing back elbow gets two. Cara kicks Drew in the head and gets the senton splash for the easy win.
Final Thoughts: Here’s a great “what if”. What if Hunico was originally given the Sin Cara gimmick instead of the botch prone Mistico?
Brodus Clay vs. Tensai
It’s a slugfest to begin. It should end that way, too. Tensai shows some gaijin aggression. Tensai misses a senton splash and Brodus hits a few corner splashes and hits a big splash for two. Clay hits another and taunts him. Xavier Woods pops up with the Funkadactyls on the stage, and you know the rest. After the match, Clay attacks Tensai, but Woods runs down to send Clay running. Brodus slinks up the ramp while there’s some dancing.
Final Thoughts: I like that they’re continuing on with this storyline.
The Rhodes Bros vs. The Wyatt Family
Goldust starts with Rowan. There’s a stare down to begin. Goldust knocks off that mat, and pays for it, Rowan quickly clubbing away. Harper enters, but Goldust hits that uppercut and brings in Cody. Harper wins a slugfest, but Cody runs through him with a clothesline. Goldust reenters and exchanges right hands. Harper breaks up some chops with an eye rake and tags in Rowan. Goldust gets out of a slam but gets cut off from Cody for the tag. Rowan slugs Goldy into the corner and brings back Harper, who gets two from an uppercut. They run the ropes, but Goldust misses a crossbody and skids out of the ring. Break time!
We return with a Gator Roll from Harper on Goldust. Rowan comes in with a hard scoop slam and pounds away in the corner. Rowan grabs an Iron Claw in the corner and tosses Goldust across the ring. Goldust dodges a corner charge and he and Rowan go down. Harper takes out Cody but takes a Cross Rhodes from Goldust, which Cole failed to call correctly. Cody springs into action with a high knee. Cody gets the springboard missile dropkick and two from the sunset flip. Cody clips Harper with a Disaster Kick and gets a moonsault for two. Rowan breaks it up, but flies out during the breakdown. Cody is spilled. As is Harper. Goldust hits a rolling senton to the outside onto Harper because he can do anything. Harper nails him with a big boot and Bray throws Cody into the post. Harper takes Cody back into the ring and finishes with the clothesline for the win.
After the match, Bray comes into the ring and they look to do more damage to Cody. Bryan runs out with a chair and cleans house, putting the family out and onto the floor. That was neat.
Final Thoughts: **. I’m not a fan of WWE pulling the plug on this tag team and having them slump to eventually losing the belts. Still, a pretty good match with some nice ending spots.
-Damien Sandow is out with his awful t-shirt to speak poorly of Christmas. Well, he just doesn’t think that the fans deserve. And The Miz is his opponent? He’s out with a microphone and is apparently a face again. The Miz says that Sandow couldn’t carry Santa’s sack. Ok.
Damien Sandow vs. The Miz
Sandow grunts and hits Miz to start. Miz grunts and hits Sandow back. Miz gets his neckbreaker combo after a couple of clotheslines. Miz kicks Sandow in the knee and puts him in the figure four. Sandow makes it to the bottom rope. Sandow grabs the tights on the rollup and wins, walking off without so much as a slight limp. Well, the thrill of victory is strong, I guess.
Final Thoughts: It’s super important to keep Sandow as strong as possible for his match on Raw where he dresses up as Santa Claus.
Fandango w/Summer Rae vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi gets the jobber entrance, and also wears Zubaz! His pants are hurting my eyes. Kofi gets a dropkick out of the corner after a quick opening sequence. Fandango hits a clothesline out of the corner in retaliation. A back elbow from Fandango gets two and he goes to the chinlock. Fandango misses a knee drop from the second rope. Kofi hits some of his babyface comeback stuff and follows with the Boom Drop. Kofi loads up for the Trouble in Paradise but misses and settles with a running dropkick. Kofi gets tripped up on the apron and ‘Go hits the Alabama Jam for the win.
Final Thoughts: *1/2. There was some decent stuff in this brief match.
-Backstage, Renee must be setting up Bryan for these terrible beatings. Erick and Luke wind up throwing Bryan off the loading dock while Bray turns his back, poses, and sings a song about the bubonic plague. So, I’m guessing that the invitation to join the family is off of the table. And how did Renee know how to split like that?
The Shield vs. John Cena and CM Punk
God dammit, another damned handicap match! I’m sick and tired of these shitty things. Punk and Ambrose start. Punk locks an arm and punches away in the corner. Cena comes in with a dropkick. A bulldog brings Punk back in for a double suplex. Punk gets a second rope elbow for two, and we go to break. We return with Cena getting tossed into the corner. Rollins comes and keeps up some pressure. Dean comes in as JBL and Cole argue and ignore the main event. The fans go fifty-fifty on Cena for old time’s sake. Cena fights back with a suplex, but Reigns cuts off the tag. Reigns loads up and hits the Superman Punch, although the science involved would…nevermind.
Rollins comes in for a corner splash. Rollins misses another corner splash. Ambrose cuts off the tag and hits the dropkick into the ropes for two. Rollins knocks Punk off of the apron and keeps working. Rollins fights out of a desperate AA attempt and hits an enzuigiri. Up top, Rollins chops Cena but gets tossed off. Dean runs in but takes a Tornado DDT from Cena. Hot tag to Punk, and he gives Rollins the leg lariat and generally cleans house. Rollins gets knee’d from the ring and gets smashed with a dive. From the top, it’s a clothesline from Punk. Punk hits a Savage Elbow that’s not too bad. Ambrose pops in for the neckbreaker and DDT combo.
Reigns breaks it up and The Shield swarm for the DQ. Cena comes in to help in the fight, putting Reigns into the barricade. Cena takes a spear from Reigns and Punk gets outnumbered. Punk is tossed from the ring, and Cena takes the powerbomb. Punk comes in to fight some more. He looks to take a powerbomb, but Big E Langston runs in to clean house and save CM Punk. Langston and Reigns have a stare down, but Reigns is pulled out by Dean and Rollins. It wouldn’t have gotten much better for Reigns, as Punk reentered the ring with a steel chair.
Final Thoughts: ***. It’s too bad that we didn’t get the original six man match with a finish, but that will just have to happen someday. That type of DQ finish bothers me, as the referee should just dive in there and tackle someone to save the match. I’d rather see a low blow or being dragged outside and choked with a cable. Still, it’s going to be Big E versus Reigns at some point, which is a lot like HHH’s project versus Vince’s project. That’s cute, but a terrible idea at the same time. Also, it’s not like they should be bored and looking to create a new megastar, since they haven’t done that correctly in a decade or so.
–The show was a fine way to spend a couple of hours on a chilly night, but I have my gripes. WWE is on autopilot for the next week, and then it’s time for Rumble build and the return of the real stars, so it’s a waste of energy to complain. It looks like Batista is on the way back in the near future. It’s too bad that WWE ruined the surprise by advertising him for house shows, but it’s a welcome development.