By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Confronted John Cena and Ho-Ho-Hogan
It was cool to see so many matches, including Roman Reigns vs. Big Show and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt, confirmed at the start of the show. I don't expect the rating to spike because of it, but with it being a holiday episode, it was smart of them to advertise anything and everything that could possibly get them viewers. Everyone played their part well here and Cena and Rollins had an entertaining exchange on the mic. It still bothers me Rollins continues to bring up The Authority in his promos because it feels like they never left. Announcing Cena vs. Rollins as the opener was a nice hook going into the commercial break.
John Cena def. Seth Rollins
Cena and Rollins always work well together and this was no exception. They just have such great chemistry together in the ring that it's near impossible for them to ever have a bad match. It was given very good time and the relentless reversals down the stretch were excellent. Honestly, I'd rather see Rollins take the straight-up pinfall loss than getting disqualified. We get too many of those finishes these days that I'm sick of seeing them. Rollins doesn't lose much since it was a holiday show and the babyfaces almost always go over.
Fandango def. Jack Swagger
How did Swagger go from contending for the United States Championship against Rusev to jobbing out to Fandango? The lack of consistency is one of this company's biggest issues at the moment. Fandango getting laid out by Roman Reigns two nights in a row last week surely didn't help his cause, either. What a lame match. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I refuse to actually give a crap about Johnny Curtis until they strip him of the stupid dancing gimmick and give him something fans can take seriously.
R-Truth def. Adam Rose
We've been seeing the same garbage from Rose for months now and I grew numb to it a long time ago. The match itself was a complete waste of time, but it was encouraging to see Rose beat up The Bunny as aggressively as he did afterward. I don't have any hope it'll lead anywhere since Rose has brutalized him before and they were back on the same page the following week, but it'd be nice if this was the definitive heel turn for Rose and he stops with the tweener trash.
Roman Reigns def. Big Show by Count-out
I was surprised to see this match take place so soon after the feud started, but the count-out finish justified it. The match lasted all of a few minutes, but they packed quite a bit into the small window of time and it wasn't as dull as I expected it to be. The feud is only getting started, so I had no problem with Reigns winning via count-out in quick fashion.
Natayla def. Brie Bella
In terms of Divas action, this was a pretty good match albeit forgettable. Natalya has a connection with the crowd, but they were pretty silent for most of that match. Part of that may be due to Brie Bella still being a tweener and not explaining her actions as of late. In other words, people couldn't care less about her right now, myself included. At least it appears Natalya is next in line for a shot at the Divas Championship.
Los Matadores def. Gold and Stardust
This was pure Christmas comedy, and not the good kind. I won't comment on how far Gold and Stardust have fallen since dropping the tag titles and now they're losing to Los Matadores, but I can't say I'm surprised given this was the holiday show after all. The match was relatively harmless, but it was ultimately throwaway.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Luke Harper
Of the many matches these two have had over the last month, none of them have been bad. In fact, they've all been great and this was another excellent encounter between them. Harper attacking Ziggler beforehand was a nice touch, but it would have been cool if they acknowledged how this situation was similar to when Harper won the title the first time against Ziggler. They told a solid story with Ziggler fighting the uphill battle and coming out victorious in the end. The finish was fantastic with Ziggler hitting the two superkicks and a Zig-Zag, making Harper look strong in defeat. Ziggler is primed for a huge 2015 if WWE continues on the right path with him.
Roddy Piper Hosted 'Piper's Pit' with United States Champion Rusev and Lana
The interaction between Piper and Lana and Rusev was fun but nothing too noteworthy. We all knew where this was headed, but it didn't take away from the moment. The crowd was heavily behind Ryback here and they'll be hot to see these two finally go at it when the time comes. Additionally, Piper played his role well and it was great seeing him better than he's looked in a long time.
Alicia Fox, Naomi and Emma def. Paige, Cameron and Summer Rae in a Santa's Little Helper Match
Emma isn't featured on Raw too regularly, so the occasional appearance from her is always a treat. The match was fine for what it was, but the crowd was practically dead for the entire thing. It's always risky putting a Divas match so late on the show, especially when the match is meaningless and is solely holiday silliness. On a side note, where's AJ Lee been these days? I still don't believe the rumors of her leaving the company, but I'm curious as to whether she's currently on hiatus or if they just don't have anything for her right now.
WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz def. Jimmy Uso
As I've said before, I'm happy there's an actual story in the tag team division for once, but the feud wasn't furthered in any meaningful way here. There wasn't anything necessarily wrong with the match, but it was more of the same from the two. It feels like the rivalry is treading water at this point and I fear that not even WWE knows the direction it's headed in.
Bray Wyatt def. Dean Ambrose in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
Once again, Wyatt and Ambrose had an awesome match and they made the most of the extreme yet silly stipulation. Both characters are crazy, so I didn't really mind how their match was holiday themed. Similar to their TLC match, there was a lot of cool, innovative spots and both Wyatt and Ambrose worked hard. However, the finish was lame. Wyatt hitting Ambrose in the eye with the kendo stick felt anticlimactic. Plus, Ambrose ended up getting the better of Wyatt anyway, so why not just give him the win? I was fine with his previous two losses to Wyatt, but closing the Christmas show with a heel winning the main event felt out of place. Granted, Ambrose won at Tribute to the Troops, but that win wasn't acknowledged at all and at this point, Ambrose is in desperate need of a victory.
As a major "mark" for Christmas myself, I really enjoyed this show. What I liked about it was that it had the holiday theme to it, but they didn't go overboard with it by making every match have a stipulation or theme attached to it. There was some stellar in-ring action on this show and even with the Christmas theme aside, it was a strong show with several rematches from TLC. Hopefully this means we're in for fresh feuds next week, and I look forward to Edge and Christian guest hosting the show. Happy holidays, folks!