By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Authority Addressed the WWE Universe
Being a major fan of the holidays, I didn't mind the Christmas theme of the opening segment (or the rest of this show for that matter). However, it was strange to see Kane act jolly as well as the rest of The Authority. I hope Kane bullying the Daniel Bryan fan at ringside doesn't mean he'll be feuding with Bryan at all. I think Kane did more talking here than he has since he was first repackaged. I didn't love the segment, but I didn't hate it, either.
Total Divas def. True Divas in a 12-Diva Tag Team Match
The first season of "Total Divas" ended last Sunday. Is it really necessary to keep the Total Divas vs. True Divas feud going? As expected, this match was horrendous, but I got a kick out of AJ Lee wearing a Grinch shirt on commentary. The one spot where all the Total Divas teamed up to swing around the ring and knock down their opponents made me cringe.
Sin Cara def. Curtis Axel
Surprisingly enough, Cara was over with the audience over the course of this contest. Then again, this Raw was taped, so it is very possible that the chants were added in post-production. Axel and Cara had a good match together that furthered Cara's recent momentum. Axel has 'enhancement talent' written all over him at this point.
The Wyatt Family def. Daniel Bryan and WWE Tag Team Champion Cody Rhodes & Goldust
These two teams worked very well together and produced a solid matchup. It was given great time and everyone was able to shine at one point or another. The finishing sequence was well done and The Wyatt Family going over was a good way to further the feuds involved. I assume Luke Harper and Erik Rowan will be getting a tag title shot at some point, but when that match takes place remains to be seen.
Santino Marella and The Great Khali Won a Sing-off
Going into this holiday-themed episode, you had to expect some holiday silliness. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that this segment was stupendously stupid. I despise 3MB as well as the duo of Khali and Santino, and it's a shame R-Truth and Xavier Woods had to be involved in such an asinine segment.
Fandango def. Dolph Ziggler in a Present on a Pole Match to Become the No. 1 Contender to the Intercontinental Championship
The disappointing string of matches between Ziggler and Fandango. This match didn't get any more time than their prior two matches did and was hindered by the stupid stipulation. Fandango earning the title shot does nothing for me, if only because his ship sailed a long time ago and fans have no incentive to believe he will actually win the belt. As for Ziggler, it looks like his "renewed push" was short-lived after all. What a shame.
The Usos def. The Prime Time Players
The pre-match promo from The Prime Time Players had me thinking they have turned heel, but their dance with The Usos afterward established them as faces. My head hurts from all this confusion. Anyway, the match was fine for what it was, but nothing special. If anyone should take the titles off the Rhodes brothers, it is The Usos.
Good Santa (Mark Henry) def. Bad Santa (Damien Sandow)
Some would say the match was kept quick and painless, but it could have at least gone another few minutes. They brawled a bit before going to the finish, which was disappointing. Seriously, what was a toilet bowl doing in the ring? I am sure Vince McMahon was the only one who actually found that funny. I hoped Henry wouldn't be involved in such stupidity when he turned babyface this past summer. Unfortunately, it turns out I was wrong.
Los Matadores def. The Real Americans
Los Matadores can be fun in the ring, but I just don't see any lasting power in them. They were on a roll a number of months ago before disappearing from television all together. They had a decent match against The Real Americans, but why have them go over? Their undefeated streak means nothing and The Real Americans have much more potential.
Ryback def. Kofi Kingston
I initially hoped these two would have feuded a few months ago when Kingston first returned to avenge his injury on Ryback, but no such luck. The matchup was actually well wrestled and enjoyable, but it was too short to really mean anything. It was a basic squash for Ryback more than anything else. Does this mean Ryback's team with Axel is no more? No complaints.
John Cena, CM Punk and Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston def. The Shield by Disqualification
In what was the match of the night by far, all six individuals had a good showing in this contest. Punk has great chemistry with The Shield and Cena and Langston all performed well against them. Langston received rub from tagging with Punk and Cena and looked like a star after the match was over. The disqualification finish was weak, especially after Punk's last tag match against The Shield also went to a DQ, but at least The Shield was protected in defeat. The babyfaces getting the better of the heels sent the crowd home happy.
Similar to last year's Christmas Eve edition of Raw, this show was mostly filled with holiday silliness. Sure, some of it was absolutely asinine, but it was harmless and I enjoyed other aspects of the show as well. The Batista video package was the only thing of note coming out of this show, which was to be expected given it is a holiday week. If nothing else, this episode got me excited for Christmas, although I can't say I am looking forward to seeing Big Show in a diaper on next week's show. Happy holidays, folks!