Following a number of intern general managers in charge of the show, things got changed up a notch with the annual Slammy Awards to reward the very best WWE had to offer this year.
And it kicked off with Slammy host Seth Green being introduced by Jerry Lawler. Seth was cut off by The Miz and Damien Mizdow acting all Hollywood buddies with Green. Green responded by putting Mizdow over, referring to him as an A-Lister rather than Miz. Of course, the crowd popped. And of course, Miz got upset. While Mizdow stuck the role, he couldn’t help but signal Seth to “call him” before he departed off the set and again on Twitter later on!
Green stuck around to announce the nominees for the “This Is Awesome” moment of the year, including Daniel Bryan occupying RAW and Stephanie McMahon getting arrested. But before the winner was announced, Dolph Ziggler took on Mr Money In The Bank Seth Rollins. This was a very short match but these two do have good chemistry. However, I have to say the ending seemed to make Ziggler seem weak as the stooges got involved, causing Seth Rollins to hit a simple curb stomp for the victory. Not to down-grade the Curb Stomp but considering how much Ziggler went through at Survivor Series, this loss did Ziggler few favours leading into his ladder match with Luke Harper at TLC.
Getting back to the award, it was Sting’s debut at Survivor Series that got the “This Is Awesome” slammy, which prompted Seth to do his best “angry-heel” impression by calling out Sting for getting rid of the Authority. He accepted the award of Stinger’s behalf.
Kofi Kingston represented the “New Day” as he took on Stardust, following the promo cut on the New Day by Gold and Stardust on SmackDown! On paper, this is a very appealing match. But with limited time on television to perform, there was little either man could do to really deliver. The match had a real bland ending to it as well as Kofi got the pin off a crossbody,, giving the New Day to win. Two members of the New Day will fight the Golden duo on the TLC pre-show and I do hope that whoever’s in the match for the New Day, along with Gold and Stardust, get a chance to do a lot more to really put on a show. It’s also a chance for WWE to sell the New Day gimmick, as it seemed not a lot of people were really interested in it tonight. Few people got in with the “New Day” chants and it’ll be a hard deal for WWE to sell. Let’s see if they can do something to spice things up.
One of my personal favourite general managers of all time, “Big Johnny” John Laurinaitis returned to WWE to present the Surprise Return of the Year slammy. I already have a problem with the naming of the award. It just bothered me that they called it the “Surprise” return of the year as all the nominations, except The Rock, had their returns announced beforehand! But anyway, the Ultimate Warrior fittingly won the award.
We had a good little backstage back-and-forth from Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins. Seth threatened to cash in Money In The Bank on Heyman’s client WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, while Heyman suggested that Rollins focus on making sure John Cena is put in the past before he can become the future of WWE. The segment pretty much set in motion a Slammy win for Lesnar later on.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte had a chance to shine on RAW for the first time as she took on Natalya in a non-title match. Better than your average divas match on RAW, but nothing particularly interesting. Natalya got the win with husband Tyson Kidd trying to steal the spotlight. Good to see these women on the show
Santino presented the award for the “OMG Shocking Moment of the Year”. Despite the likes of Seth Rollins selling out the Authority being on the list, nothing could top Brock Lesnar conquering Undertaker’s undefeated Streak at Wrestlemania. But before Paul could cut a promo, Bray Wyatt made his way down to the ting. You know if you’re cutting a Paul Heyman promo that something good should happen.
A solid promo as usual by Bray Wyatt hyping up his TLC match with Dean Ambrose leads to Dean making his way into the arena in an ambulance. He attacks Wyatt, declaring that he would become the monster and would eat Bray alive. Not much said by Dean but not a lot needed to be said – war is coming this Sunday at TLC.
Jerry Lawler returned to the stage to present the Diva of the Year. AJ Lee ended up winning, which I’m not so sure was the right choice. But regardless, AJ did a tremendous job in putting over losing nominee Paige her acceptance speech as well as the likes of Emma and a number of NXT divas. AJ’s looking to the future but stated her desire to become to rule as the queen of the division. Nice little promo from Lee. In spite of all the CM Punk chants which tried to ruin this moment, AJ cut a good promo and did an awesome job putting over a lot of the divas.
Speaking of cutting good promos, John Cena actually did a good job hyping up his match with Big Show. He mentions Vince McMahon saying on Steve Austin’s podcast that all the stars needed to step up and John said he would step up to take care of the “traitor” Big Show.
Now we move on to Erick Rowan vs Luke Harper. First of all, where was the hype video for this match? A match as highly-anticipated as this was, should have had like a mention from commentary a lot sooner. Not that the match was designed to be a big deal – Luke Harper got disqualified early on from hitting Erick Rowan with a ladder. The brawl that ensued was nice to see to make up for the extremely short match. I would love it if this two started a huge program soon. This has potential.
The LOL moment of the year was awarded by Adam Rose, who was acting heelish declaring that he should have hosted the Slammys. Despite by demands on Twitter that the Hornswoggle vs El Torito WeeLC match should have won this, Damien Mizdow reeked the awards. But of course, The Miz had to take all the credit for Mizdow! Anyway, Miz and Mizdow would still be in action later on (which begs the question of whether we saw Mizdow and Miz a little too much?)
The same old Rusev and Lana routine was replayed as Swagger looked to avenge Zeb Colter after Rusev “broke his leg”. This segment actually made Swagger look real stronger against Rusev. But I just hope he looks strong in their match at TLC.
Ryback teamed with the Usos to take on Kane, The Miz and Damien Mizdow. Even though this was Damien’s third time on the show, the fans still wanted Mizdow! And Mizdow was a delight to watch! The highlight was Damien flipping over to imitate a suplex onto the Miz! Mizdow also threw himself out when Miz was thrown out which was funny. This six-man tag team match was actual a decent match, despite being a bit short. However, having said that, It was a lot a longer than most of matches on this show! So I give these guys credit.
Ricky Steamboat awarded Match of the Year, which was given to the Team Authority vs Team Cena Survivor Series match. Like most of Twitter at the time, I believe that The Shield’s match with the Wyatts at Elimination Chamber should have been a nomination and it should have won. But regardless, Ziggler was able to accept it and cut a nice promo about his performance at the PPV.
AJ Lee v Summer Rae was a decent but short match, which has been the story for a lot of these matches tonight. It’s a shame, because a lot of these matches had the potential to be a lot better if given the appropriate TV time.
Rob Van Dam, looking mighty dapper in his suit, presented the Extreme Moment of the Year which went to Chris Jericho jumping off the cage onto Bray Wyatt. Interesting to note, Jericho was announced as next week’s guest host. I dig that. Jericho’s back on television and he would be part of a highly-energetic RAW just after TLC.
Booker T awarded the final award of the night. He awarded the “Superstar Of The Year” award. I’m surprised Randy Orton was not a nomination for this award when the likes of Daniel Bryan, who had wrestled for about five months before being injured, were. It’s a shame that Orton didn’t get a mention, but maybe it was WWE trying not to draw attention to Orton while he’s away. Shockingly to me, Roman Reigns won the award. He’s had a great year though, and he put everybody on notice that he would be back soon.
The main event featured John Cena taking on the man that knocked him out at Survivor Series, The Big Show. I realized this just before the match. This was the exact same main event as the RAW before TLC from two years ago, when Show took on Cena and the Shield broke it up. The match itself was not a show stealer to say this least, with the match being really slow paced. A few big feats of strength from Cena got the fans popping including backdrops and Attitude Adjustments. Seth Rollins broke up the pin causing a disqualification. Eventually a huge brawl broke out. The likes of Ziggler, Rowan and Harper came out with remnants of the Authority and Team Cena brawling. There were a lot of good spots in this brawl actually, with Big Show chokeslamming Erick Rowan on the steel steps and Ziggler pushing Rollins off a ladder. In the end, Seth Rollins stood tall after delivering a Shield-like powerbomb to Cena with help from Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. A good way to end RAW.
I think if you were tuning into RAW this week wanting more of the in-ring action, I think you were let down this week. A lot of the matches were very quick and not given nearly enough time to make an ever-lasting impression. However, I do think this Raw did a good job with hyping up TLC this Sunday which was one of its main objectives. The big brawl at the end especially gave this RAW some redemption as Tables, Ladders and Chairs arrives this Sunday!