Raw opened with the kayfabe-obliterating video of the locker room singing a cheery Christmas song to us fans. They needn't have bothered on my account.
I was filled with immediate dread at the announcement of it being a Christmas show and even Santa Claus guest-hosting. It's no doubt great fun if you're there, but the same kind of thing is all over every TV show at this time of year, and the last place I want to see it is a wrestling show.
Salvation came quickly in the shape of Alberto Del Rio's BMW running Santa down, and then a Christmas tree falling on his head for added slapstick effect. It's a shame it was a week too late for the Slammies, as I can't think of a better moment of 2012.
Cody Rhodes was hoisted by his own petard as he lost against Kane when his turnbuckle-exposure backfired—making him not look weak, just a little incompetent.
As amusing as Santa's car accident was, it was heavily overplayed throughout the whole show. Not a minute passed without Michael Cole mentioning we'd be getting updates throughout the night. It's a pretty big push for Santa, in fact.
Sheamus defeated The Big Show in a great Lumberjack Frost match. It helped that there was enough doubt about the result and that there was no interference, just a good close match with a clean ending.
Zack Ryder won a supremely boring match against David Otunga but received a pretty big pop regardless because, for reasons I can't fathom, he's popular.
The Great Khali defeated Brad Maddox, and he then danced with Hornswoggle. Booker T and Teddy Long specifically promised that this would be great television, making it all the worse. It was so intolerable post-match that I was convinced it was a set-up for the latest Shield attack. I was sadly wrong.
CM Punk gave a typically entertaining promo as it was announced that Ryback would be facing him in a TLC match for the WWE Championship on Raw. There's not a doubt in my mind that Punk will retain, but with Sheamus defeating The Big Show cleanly earlier, it would be nice to see more upper card results on TV.
Daniel Bryan defeated Damien Sandow, keeping the latter pushed back down the card a bit. It also makes it look even more impossible that The Rhodes Scholars will defeat Team Hell No.
The closing match of John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight was rubbish. It was, of course, played for laughs, and Cena continued to shout "Santaaaa!" as he had done in every appearance throughout the show—I get it's meant to be like 300, but he just seemed like a South Park character. Utterly awful television.
A Raw Christmas show should theoretically be kryptonite to me, but though the final match lived up to that, the rest was surprisingly good. The Big Show vs. Sheamus was very good, and though its eventual conclusion was horrific, the moment when Del Rio hit Santa with his car was brilliant. A pass then, overall. It was about what you'd expect from the WWE at Christmas.