By Graham "GSM" Matthews
John Morrison Confronted WWE Champion The Miz
The ghosts of Christmas past/present/future stuff was total sports entertainment nonsense, though thankfully WWE's typical holiday silliness was relegated to that one segment. Michael Cole and Alex Riley looked completely ridiculous, but it was all worth it for CM Punk on commentary questioning whether Riley had a toothache. Punk was total gold behind the booth. Morrison was the first babyface to stand up to the heels, yet he was an afterthought later on in the main event. Despite that, I liked how he went face-to-face with the champ here one night removed from his huge win over Sheamus at TLC.
Melina def. Alicia Fox and Eve Torres in No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match For the Divas Championship
Natalya was fresh off her feud with LayCool, so it was a welcome change to have a different group of girls contending for the championship (however, LayCool would go for the gold again at the Royal Rumble the following month). The match itself wasn't all that good, but it was cool to see Melina return to relevance by scoring the win and subsequently turning heel. It was random, yes, albeit a smart way of getting people to talk about the Divas.
United States Champion Daniel Bryan def. William Regal (Non-title)
I was really glad Punk pointed out on commentary that Regal played a hand in training Bryan. These two had a great history together prior to WWE that I was surprised they never turned that into an on-air storyline. This wasn't too long of a match, but it was very technical and enjoyable while it lasted. Unfortunately, most of the focus was on The Bella Twins at ringside and how big of a "nerd" Bryan was for not kissing them back, according to Cole. I believe this was one of Regal's final Raw matches before entering semi-retirement the following year.
Santino Marella and Tamina def. Ted DiBiase and Maryse
I forgot all about the Santino and Tamina relationship until I saw it again here. They weren't together for more than a few months, and Tamina was easily the most forgettable partner Santino had in WWE. There just wasn't any obvious chemistry there. DiBiase and Maryse were a much better tandem, which is why it was a shame they lost here to a comedy duo.
John Cena def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler (Non-title)
The segment that preceded this with Cena and Jerry Lawler taking turns making fun of Vickie Guerrero's weight remains one of my least favorite Raw segments of all-time. I understand Cena was in a good mood for ridding Raw of The Nexus the night before at TLC, but having him make fun of Vickie for absolutely no reason went against everything his character stands for. On a lighter note, the subsequent match marked the first time Cena and Ziggler went one-on-one and it was a really good matchup. I didn't see the need in holding a rematch the next night on SmackDown if Cena won as decisively as he did, though. Punk attacking Cena afterward set their feud in motion through the Royal Rumble.
Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton and John Morrison def. WWE Champion The Miz, Alex Riley and Sheamus
This was a pretty standard post-pay-per-view tag team main event that furthered a few feuds but didn't feature anything major. Lawler was basically a Raw regular in the ring by this point, and he made the most of the limited time he had in the ring. There wasn't anything too memorable about the matchup, but everyone played their role well and it didn't overstay its welcome.
Watching this show back on the WWE Network, the episode seemed to fly by. It wasn't an exceptional edition of Raw or anything, but I yearn for those two hour Raws to return. At any rate, this wasn't as throwaway as most holiday shows and they successfully hyped up a few matches for the live SmackDown show on Tuesday night. Bryan vs. Regal was a treat, the main event was solid and Cena vs. Ziggler was quite good after that cringe-worthy segment that preceded it was over with.