I had a total blast Sunday night! Between the TLC Live Blog, the interesting Tweets, Rikki coming up with 9-0 on her predictions even though she’s the least manic wrestling fan of the group of us, Rikki winning a signed EY poster, and Gesus’ drunken texts after winning an autographed picture of The Brain while they hung out at an event with Cute Kip – I had a total blast! Okay, I’ll admit that I’m a little jealous. There’s not much up here in Maine for wrestling events and it’s not easy to go to Boston, or even Manchester, NH, with four kids, three still living at home. While I absolutely love the Live Blogs, I would skip one now and then for an event where I could watch a PPV and hang out with a wrestler or two, but I don’t see it happening up here.
Either way, TLC was a blast to watch and I’m thrilled to see so many ‘underdogs’ making it to the top, even if one of the wins might not exactly end up as it was planned. For me Ryder is a story of a young man who had nothing to lose, so he took his future in his own hands. He knew he was on the fast track to release-ville, so why not get out there and do something about it? The worse they could do would be to fire him! If there were more guys like Ryder in the wrestling industry, then what we see on TV could only get better. Ryder has that drive and creativity that not only helped him keep his job, but led him to be the US Champ. He brought the IWC to his side, made us want to see him succeed and he’s reaping the rewards for it now. Heck, I’m blown away at the Title picture in the WWE. Okay, the Title picture for the Titles VKM and the WWE give a flying fig about, basically anything that isn’t held by a chick or more than one wrestler. So there’s Punk – indy wrestler who has been in both TNA and ROH and isn’t the biggest guy around. Then there’s Bryan – also not a big guy, looks like an accountant, self proclaimed nerd and vegan who was from the indys and ROH. Ryder – he stepped out and made a name for himself online to change how he was being treated by the WWE, one way or another. He’s not a big guy. And then there’s Cody – okay, he has the family name backing him, but he really struggled until he stumbled into his dark and scary character who finally caught on. Cody is about of a size with Punk, maybe five pounds heavier. They are a very interesting group of Champs in my book and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. My biggest worry is that they’re (Punk, Bryan and Ryder) only a group of feel good Champs going through the holiday season.
In Ring Segment
A > Whoever came up with this opening segment deserves a bonus! What a great way to start the show. Punk was fabby, Ryder was adorable and Bryan was inspiring. Even better was how they handled Miz, ADR and Dolph. Okay, Ryder got the short end of the stick, briefly, but for the most part the three of them came out on top. The only part that really annoyed me was Laurinaitis offering up this Tag Match as a Christmas present’ for all us fans. I don’t want to come off as ‘one of those’ but the WWE should know better than use Christmas in that way. There’s so many WWE all over the world, not just the United States or other greatly Christian countries, that I’m surprised they wouldn’t receive some flack for excluding all other religions and holidays. I know, I’m reading too far into this, but it rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. Yes, some reason more than it being such a special gift from Laurinaitis.
Orton vs Wade
B+ > I have to say that I wish their Match at TLC had ended in a DQ like this. It would have been better for both characters in my opinion. I thought Wade got screwed by losing cleanly to Orton. I also thought Wade was further screwed by needing to cheat here. If there’d been a DQ at TLC, then something else screwy here, both characters might have fared better. Other than not liking the ending, both of these men did a great job. I was not a Wade fan, but I’m growing to respect him more and more recently. He might actually go a lot further than I previously thought possible. This Match further sealed my conviction that Wade could be a star and obviously Orton agreed as he sold going through the table in a big way. This feud is interesting and entertaining; should be interesting to see where they go with these two next.
Winner – Orton via DQ
C > I have to say that having Cole and King talk about Nash’s injuries and showing stills of him being removed on a stretcher leaves it so Nash doesn’t have to return anytime soon, but he still could at any moment without too much trouble.
Beth vs Foxy
D- > As much as Foxy’s perkiness annoys the heck out of me and that she should not have beaten Beth in any way, and she fell on her bum in the ring, she did hit a pretty nice flipping leg drop on Beth. I know that one move does not a wrestler make, but it was better than nothing! It was a lot better than having Kelly jammed down our throats, yet again! For that I didn’t fail this monstrosity of a Match.
Winner – Foxy
Sheamus vs Jinder
B- > Not my favorite Match. I loves me so Sheamus, but this Match didn’t do it for me. I think a big part of it is because Jinder just doesn’t show me much. I’ve never been impressed by him, so I expected to see Sheamus trash him as he did. Just not exciting. Sheamus needs to feud with someone interesting.
Winner – Sheamus
In Ring Segment
A- > Yeah, lucky us, Cena’s on RAW and talking, yay! Okay, yes this segment received an A-, but that was mostly for Kane. Between his pyro, the over-mask and the strange way he went about destroying Cena, I’m impressed and intrigued! Okay, Cena’s shirt being pre-clipped showed me that something was going to happen, I just didn’t know what. It was foreshadowing what was to come. Cena was kind of fun when he talked about the fans hating him, actually the self–deprecation worked pretty well. I can’t believe that I’m writing this, but I’m very interested in seeing where this feud will go.
Usos vs Colons
A- > Why are we not seeing more of the Tag Division? While I love Kofi and even, these teams blow them out of the water. Earlier I was talking to Alex (a WNW reader) and he asked if I’d seen the Colons and Usos on SD last week. I’m ashamed to say that I have yet to see it. What he said about their Match was that it looked like two tag teams in the ring, not a pair of singles wrestlers tagging. Watching this Match, I have to agree with him. The best thing the WWE could do for these four is to have one of them win the Tag Division straps and then put together a huge feud between the two teams. This was some of the best Tag Team work I’ve seen in the E in a very long time.
Winners – Colons
D > Cody has been pushed the way he has, grown the way he has and he’s stuck doing cheap comedy backstage with Santino? Now, I love Santino in small doses, but that was a total slap in the face to Cody!
Santino vs Cody
C- > This wasn’t much better than the backstage segment, but at least we got to see a few wrestling moves. I love Cody hitting the Alabama slam. Maybe an homage to his first tag partner with whom he won gold with in the WWE?
Winner – Cody
D- > What the heck was this about? There was no reason for any of this. The Bellas sucking up to Laurinaitis and Horney kissing Vickie makes for a segment? Tat was total crap.
B+ > Well, that was really interesting and very well executed. Big Show showed some chops here while Josh showed a bit of a backbone, but not too too much. Will Big Show be staying face or turning heel to go against Bryan?
B > Cute video for Ryder with his father. I’d missed Ryder’s father spazzing out when Ryder won at TLC, so I’m glad they showed it again.
Miz & ADR & Dolph vs Ryder & Bryan & Punk
A > I loved how they handled this Match. The early beat down on the heels was great, though I have no clue about Bryan’s strange crash and burn. The further flying, then posing for the fans actually made me enjoy Cole a bit. He sounded as though he was going to give himself a stroke. Not saying I wish any ill will upon anyone, but I really want Cole off announce!
All six of these guys worked their bums off in this Match. They made themselves and each other look good here. The best part of it for me was that Bryan got the win. I was so worried that the WWE would turn right around and screw Bryan out of his strap, but this win gives me a little hope that these three might have decent Title reigns and will be Superstars for quite a long time.
Winners – Ryder & Punk & Bryan
I don’t remember the last time I was so thrilled with the turn of events on one single episode of RAW. While it wasn’t the best episode, it was strong and gave me hope for certain Superstars in the company. Obviously there’s always a few issues, but the Champs, that tag Match and some of the promos and vignettes – Big Show’s and Kane’s to be exact – have left me happy and excited about what we might see in the future.