For the second consecutive week, the holidays have forced WWE to tape an episode of Monday Night Raw in advance, leaving us with additional time to dissect exactly where things are headed as we make our way to the Royal Rumble at the end of January.
The New Year's Eve edition of Raw is usually a lighthearted affair, with some key storylines advancing further, but for the most part, WWE is going to save the most important stuff for the week after in order to ensure more people are watching.
All of the diehard fans will likely end up putting their New Year's plans on hold, but will WWE reward them with a great show? Let's go to the spoilers and find out.
Full spoilers courtesy of PWMania.com
|John Cena & The Miz defeats The Rhodes Scholars via pinfall|
|WWE U.S. Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) defeats Sgt. Slaughter via pinfall|
|WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No defeats 3MB via pinfall|
|Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler via pinfall|
|World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show defeats Ricardo Rodriguez via pinfall|
|Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett defeats Kofi Kingston (c) via pinfall|
John Cena is in the Royal Rumble
Who will win the 2013 Royal Rumble?
As is customary this time of year, WWE superstars start to throw their hat in the ring for the Royal Rumble. The first person to do so this year happens to be the biggest star in the company, as John Cena put himself in the match and vows to win it.
In the process, Cena also douses Dolph Ziggler and A.J. in some nasty, Nickelodeon Gak off-shoot to close the show.
Considering that WWE has been moving towards a Cena-Rock rematch at WrestleMania, Cena has to go into the Rumble as the odds-on-favorite to win. Since WWE likes to set up the WrestleMania main event well in advance, these two should come out on top at the pay-per-view.
Vinny Mac is Back
CM Punk is still playing the slick heel, obviously, and he uses his best tricks to get out of next week's WWE championship match against Ryback. Punk, Paul Heyman and a doctor confirm that the champion is hurt and should not be defending his title right now.
Never one to miss an opportunity for ratings, Vince McMahon decides to come out and tell the doctor that he doesn't care about anything that he says, and Punk will be defending the title against Ryback in a TLC Match on January 7.
This segment should be worth it just to have Punk, Heyman and McMahon all standing in a ring together.
Sheamus vs. Big E Langston Being Teased
In WWE's continued efforts to bring Sheamus back down to earth after giving him a Triple H-level push all year, the company is teasing a potential showdown between the former world champion and Big E Langston.
In all fairness, this could be a way of making Langston actually look like a formidable heel, rather than just the muscle for Dolph Ziggler and A.J. who sits on the sidelines.
But we have no idea what Langston can do as a worker. Putting him in a showcase rivalry with someone who has the cache of Sheamus could do more damage to Sheamus than advance Langston, depending on how the match goes.
This assumes that the match happens, as there was only a tease during the Sheamus-Dolph Ziggler match.
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