When WWE's flagship show Raw was still two hours, fans were complaining that the show was full of segments and there wasn't enough wrestling. Now, you hear many fans complaining about the three hours, but I'm not complaining about anything after the latest episode of Raw.
Monday's episode featured nine matches that all were all fairly enjoyable. Now, did they all make sense? No, not really, but if you're a fan of actually wrestling, it shouldn't matter what storyline the match has to do with. Nonetheless, we were treated to three pay-per-view-caliber matches that didn't disappoint.
I usually produce a good, bad and ugly article, but when Monday Night Raw has been good as it has been lately, no need to nitpick for bad and ugly segments when mostly everything is spot on. Instead, let's power rank the nine outstanding matches from the November 27 episode of Raw.
This match wasn't necessarily outstanding, but it was nice to see the WWE continuing on with the Alberto Del Rio-Rosa Mendes storyline. Last week, Khali's good friend, Hornswoggle embarrassed Mendes and ADR was attempting to defend her honor.
He did just that by facing the Great Khali in a match in which ADR did a fantastic job grounding the big man and would finish off the match with the Cross Armbreaker to earn the submission victory.
Following Tamina Snuka's attack on A.J. Lee a couple of weeks ago, fans were wondering what her role would be. On Raw, we found Snuka's facing Alicia Fox in what was basically a one-way beatdown.
Snuka would use her power to man, well, woman-handle Fox and would eventually land her father's signature Superfly Splash for the victory.
All we know is that Snuka is a bodyguard of sort for Vickie Guerrero and will eventually face A.J. Lee sometime down the road.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston was in action against Tensai with Kingston's TLC opponent Wade Barrett on commentary for the matchup. Kingston struggled with the big man early and often during this match.
Tensai would prove to be very tough as he would slow and drop the champion many times throughout the matchup, but the always resilient Kingston continued to fight back. Even after Tensai would block the Trouble in Paradise and counter another one of Kingston's signatures.
Kingston would eventually gain some breathing room and land a massive cross-body drop for the pinfall win. After the match, Wade Barrett would bring Kingston his championship title and walk away.
Ryback kicked off the show against one-half of the PrimeTime Players: Titus O'Neil. O'Neil wasn't just another squash match opponent though as he would down the monster more than a couple times.
The two big men would trade blows and test each other's power in the center of the ring. O'Neil, surprisingly, would gain the upper hand and hit the Clash of Titus which has put many opponents away in recent weeks. Ryback kicked out after barely a one-count.
Ryback would power back countering O'Neil's attempt at hitting his finisher for a second time and would level O'Neil with a Meathook Clothesline and a Shell Shock for the victory.
Ryback continues to show his dominance, but a nice single's showing from Titus O'Neil.
With Cody Rhodes still injured, Damien Sandow continues to proceed as a single's competitor as he faced the always popular Zack Ryder.
Ryder came out hot and looked good early against Sandow. At times, it seemed Ryder was going to be able to pick up the victory, but Sandow would battle back.
Sandow, always aware of his surrounding, used the referee briefly to distract Ryder and would finish Ryder with his finishing neckbreaker called the Terminus for the victory. I'm looking forward to seeing Sandow face John Cena this Wednesday on WWE Main Event on Ion Television.
The Raw main event was the night's Raw Active match which is chosen on Twitter, even though it's seemingly rigged. CM Punk was scheduled to either face Daniel Bryan or Kane and earlier in the show, it was announced that #WWEBryan was trending in America. Well, that would usually mean that Daniel Bryan was winning the vote, but the WWE had other ideas.
Kane would get the nod and would face Punk in the main event. The two went back and forth throughout as each would have a turn being in control. Punk would land back-to-back high knees in the corner, but on his third attempt, Kane countered. Kane would go on to hit Punk with back-to-back corner splashes, a sidewalk slam and a chokeslam.
As Kane began to set up the Tombstone, The Shield made their way through the crowd which briefly distracted Kane leading to Punk hitting the GTS on Kane and picking up yet another victory.
In what was said to be the night's main event, John Cena met Dolph Ziggler in a rivalry that has been feuding for nearly three weeks now on WWE television.
Cena controlled the pace early on overpowering Ziggler to take the lead, but Ziggler would eventually battle back after propelling Cena into the steel steps on the outside.
Cena would attempt a furious comeback, but Ziggler had it well scouted as he countered the Five Knuckle Shuffle with an impressive jumping DDT. Ziggler attempted to put Cena away with a sleeper hold, but Cena was able to escape and lock in the STF. Ziggler struggled through the hold and managed to reach the ropes before having to tap out.
Cena then went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler showed off his athleticism and landed on his feet and hit Cena with the Zig Zag. Ziggler, appearing to have put Cena away, was shocked when John Cena kicked out at only two.
Cena would once again battle back until he appeared to re-injure his knee leading to Ziggler attempting to remove the padding from the turnbuckle. A.J. Lee would rush to the ring to stop Ziggler, but Vickie Guerrero would come out to even the odds. All the commotion on the outside distracted Ziggler, leading to Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment for the big win.
While it was unfortunate that the WWE stole a CM Punk-Daniel Bryan matchup from us, we were treated to a first as Bryan met Rey Mysterio for the first time.
Bryan had just gotten into it with Kane backstage about losing the Raw Active vote which led to Bryan letting his aggression get the better of him at times during the match. It wasn't all bad though as Bryan would ground Mysterio often with different submission holds and some vicious kicks.
Mysterio would eventually take control with a nice kick of his own leading to a two count. The two would go back and forth in a great match before Bryan would gain the advantage going for the No! Lock on Mysterio, but Mysterio would counter sending Bryan head first into the turnbuckle.
Mysterio would then hit a unique 619 around the turnbuckle post and a big splash for the 1, 2, 3 and the win.
A great back and forth match that I would love to see again sometime in the future.
In my honest opinion, this was by far the best match of the night and one of the best matches I've seen on Raw in a long time.
Sheamus would defeat Cesaro by count out after sending him to the outside with a nasty Brogue Kick. Cesaro wouldn't go down without a fight though as he landing some big, impressive moves on the former World Champion throughout the match. Cesaro showed that his future is much brighter than mid-tier and tag team titles. This guy is, without question, a future World or WWE Champion.
Instead of rewriting what I've basically already written, I would invite you to check out my article from last night documenting this one match.
What was your favorite match of the night? Leave your comment below!
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