WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Nov. 25

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterNovember 26, 2013

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Nov. 25

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    WWE.com

    One night after Survivor Series 2013, WWE Raw delivered a mix of the excellent and the subpar.

    Tag teams, old and new, flourished. The Wyatt Family's feud with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan took a strange, intriguing turn. Triple H announced a huge match for TLC 2013. 

    Long Island, N.Y., hosted an episode that also gave fans reason to roll their eyes.

    A deju vu moment with both Dolph Ziggler and the Divas did little to engage us. Monday's Raw also delivered a segment with Michael Strahan that hurt The Miz and Titus O'Neil's perception with the audience.

    How well did the performers create drama between the ropes, and how did WWE do in terms of creating excitement going forward? The following are the grades, results and breakdown of the Nov. 25 edition of WWE Raw, a show that began with a mention of the passing of the great "Mad Dog" Vachon.

     

Opening Segment

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    WWE.com

    Randy Orton delighted in the boos tossed at him as he demanded an apology from all his doubters. He invited Stephanie McMahon and Triple H to the ring with him.

    The Authority took the credit for Orton's win, saying they motivated and pushed him. The Long Island crowd chanted for Daniel Bryan.

    Veins popping out of his face, Orton bragged that he slayed the giant at Survivor Series and barked about being the greatest Superstar ever. John Cena took that as his cue, walking in with the world title around his waist.

    He said the fans were tired of Orton being protected. He challenged him to a champion vs. champion match as Orton seethed. Triple H agreed, booking a TLC match for both titles at TLC 2013.

     

    Result

    Cena vs. Orton is set for TLC 2013.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "It's always nice when Triple H and myself are proven right," McMahon.

    "They're sick of guys like you feeling entitled, being coddled, being protected, being confused little boys," Cena to Orton.

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    TLC suddenly feels like a major pay-per-view. As exciting as it is to see both championships up for grabs, the participants chosen for this story take away some of the fun from the moment, though.

    The past Orton and Cena feuds are still fresh in many fans' minds, and it's hard not to imagine how much more thrilling this would be if it were Bryan vs. Cena having a rematch from SummerSlam instead.

    Both Cena and Orton delivered here, though. Orton nailed being both cowardly and arrogant, while Cena delivered a straightforward, effective promo to set this confrontation up.

The Shield vs. Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and Goldust

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    Goldust started things off for his team, watching as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose knocked his partners off the apron. That allowed Roman Reigns to start pounding on Goldust. The Shield kept "The Bizarre One" in their corner, leaving him crawling on the mat. 

    His brother and Rey Mysterio soon got a chance to go on the attack, hyping up the crowd with speedy moves.

    The match turned chaotic then as Reigns speared everyone in sight, Rhodes slipping in for the Beautiful Disaster and Ambrose planting Rhodes in the mat, preventing a Cross Rhodes attempt.

     

    Result

    The Shield win via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Reigns hits Mysterio with a vicious spear.

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    The only flaw of the match was its length. It felt like a sample-size version of what the two teams achieved at Survivor Series.

    Most WWE fans would have traded a few minutes from other bouts to give this one more time.

    Rhodes, Goldust and The Shield have been hitting home runs at just about every outing. It looks as if this rivalry will continue into the foreseeable future. No reason to stop something so red-hot, right?

Miz TV

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    The Miz welcomed Michael Strahan as his guest for Miz TV, but Titus O'Neil, wearing a fake gap in his teeth, came out instead. O'Neil mocked Strahan's voice, while The Miz dissed the New York Giants.

    The real Strahan soon came out, announcing that Big Show and John Cena would team up against Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton.

    The Miz questioned the Super Bowl winner's toughness. He challenged him to take a hip toss. Strahan blocked it as he did an attempt from O'Neil.

    Strahan then knocked both men over with hip tosses of his own, saying, "Oh, it's real." Neither The Miz or O'Neil were mad, though. They were happy to dance and laugh with Strahan afterward.

     

    Result

    Guest host Strahan books Del Rio and Orton vs. Big Show and Cena for the main event.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "That gap is wider than the one between the Giants and the playoffs," The Miz to O'Neil.

     "I think Kelly Ripa is tougher than you," Strahan to The Miz. 

     

    Grade

    C-

     

    Analysis

    O'Neil's humor and Strahan's charm were undercut by WWE mocking itself. There was too much breaking of the fourth wall as all the men involved mentioned WWE not being "real."

    For a former WWE champ and a man billed as a powerhouse to both fail in hitting a hip toss makes the industry itself look bad. 

    Strahan understandably isn't going to take a bump, but having him easily dispose of two Superstars only serves to hurt WWE and imply that NFL players are better athletes. 

     

Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Big E. Langston and Mark Henry

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    Big E Langston formed an intimidating team with Mark Henry, taking on two former "Paul Heyman guys."

    Langston showed off some impressive agility leapfrogging over Curtis Axel before the heels took control. Ryback tossed Langston around; Axel peppered him with punches.

    Henry and Langston eventually took control, thanks to Henry paying homage to the Junkyard Dog's headbutts and Langston sending Ryback over the ring ropes. The World's Strongest Slam came next, and the fan favorites walked out happy.

     

    Result

    Henry and Langston win via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Henry uses the Junkyard Dog's headbutt while down on all fours.

    "You think we may be looking at the world's strongest team?" Jerry Lawler on Langston and Henry.

     

    Grade

    B-

     

    Analysis

    At Ryback and Axel's expense, Henry and Langston came out looking mighty strong after this. They showed good chemistry together and dominated their foes.

    The match was good for what it was, a glorified squash match with a few bursts of action.

Divas Elimination Match

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    The women from Total Divas took on AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and company.

    Tamina eliminated both The Funkadactyls before tangling with Natalya. JoJo Offerman looked good for a brief moment, but Alicia Fox hit her with a backbreaker to eliminate her.

    Natalya helped whittle down AJ's team, but the Divas champ rolled her up to take her out. Brie Bella pinned AJ, leaving Summer Rae as the only Diva left on her team.

    Summer Rae tried to turn the match into a dance off, but Nikki Bella sent her crashing to the mat.

     

    Result

    The Total Divas cast members get the win.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Tamina's superkick was artful violence.

    "We saw that last night. Scotty 2 Hotty is still mad about it," JBL on Bella doing the worm.

     

    Grade

    D-

     

    Analysis

    Why have a rematch of the worst match from Survivor Series?

    All that was wrong with this bout from Survivor Series was on display again as the eliminations came far too quickly. That led to regular moves like bodyslams being enough to put the Divas away and for the women to have little space to cram a story in.

    Kaitlyn, for example, was in and out of the match so quickly, anyone checking their Twitter feed for a moment was likely to miss her entire performance. 

    WWE's insistence on promoting The Bellas and The Funkadactyls and the rest of the reality show cast is sucking all the life out of the Divas division. AJ should be in a feud with Natalya or Tamina, not having to sell a horrendous dropkick from Brie in a match that was about as long as it takes to warm up leftovers in a microwave.

Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    Despite Damien Sandow saying he is above having to fight in a match where the stipulation is chosen by the WWE audience, he found himself in a Hamptons Hardcore match.

    That meant boating and tennis equipment were available for Sandow and Dolph Ziggler to use on each other. Jerry Lawler and John "Bradshaw" Layfield brawled on the outside, smashing each other with a trash can.

    Ziggler hit a neckbreaker onto a pile of garbage before trying to clock Sandow with an oar. Sandow blocked him, going on a brief run before Ziggler rearmed himself with the oar and cracked Sandow in the shoulder with it.

    Sandow paid him back, following a shot with an oar with a full nelson slam into a trash can. 

     

    Result

    Sandow wins via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I should not be forced to compete in a match under circus-like conditions," Sandow.

    Ziggler wore a Zack Ryder shirt under a New York Islanders sweater.

     

     

    Grade

    B-

     

    Analysis

    When the announcers are comparing your match to one involving Pete Gas, things aren't going great for your career.

    This was a touch more intense and entertaining than the Broadway Brawl from the week before, but without a story, all this violence and weaponry still felt empty.

    Ziggler and Sandow did well here, despite the odd stipulation, but this is a story with no direction, one that needs to either be abandoned or better explored.

Michael Strahan Backstage Segments

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    Michael Strahan appeared in two decent backstage segments.

    He joked around with Santino Marella first, who later gave him some funny instructions on how to cook a turkey. Erick Rowan slid into the frame wearing a lamb mask. He offered one to Strahan who wore it, clearly spooked by the experience.

    The sack master later showed up to sign footballs for The Bellas and The Funkdactyls. 

    Eva Marie wasn't interested in sucking up to Strahan like those girls were. She told him about her being in Total Divas.

    Goldust then showed up, inserting his trademark creepiness into the segment. The moment unsettled Strahan.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I just wanted you to meet me," Eva to Strahan.

     

    Grade

    B-

     

    Analysis

    Not a lot of great lines to take away from these, but the bits were both mildly amusing. This was good use of a celebrity, having him add to the fun and bring some star power without having him become too big of a part of the show.

    Eva is using people's real-life dislike of her to conjure up impressive heel heat.

    She is the female version of Bo Dallas in that way. As long as WWE keeps her out of the ring and makes her a valet instead, she has a promising future ahead.

The Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan

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    CM Punk led the way in the pre-match interview, rattling off questions, while Daniel Bryan led the crowd in "Yes!" chants.

    Punk said he and Bryan aren't afraid of facing The Wyatt Family. Bryan told us that he knows Bray Wyatt isn't done with them.

    Wyatt soon lit his lantern and led his family to the ring.

    Punk and Bryan kept Erick Rowan in the corner, stunning him with kicks. The big man fought his way out and the two former WWE champs were soon clashing with Luke Harper. Even when Bryan and Punk double-teamed Harper, the bearded brute seemed a single blow away from regaining control.

    The Wyatt Family kept Bryan down until Rowan missed a big boot in the corner.

    Punk charged in, keeping Rowan off balance and nailing the diving elbow. That advantage didn't last long, though. Wyatt was soon slamming Punk and pacing around his fallen body.

    When Bryan entered the fray again, he motored around the ring, knocking jaws with his boots and revving up the crowd. The match then broke down, The Wyatt Family clocking both Bryan and Punk, refusing to listen the ref.

    After the official stopped the bout, The Wyatt Family hoisted Bryan up and carried him away.

    As Punk tried to help him, Roman Reigns speared him out of nowhere. The Shield emerged from the shadows and hit the triple powerbomb on Punk.

     

    Result

    Bryan and Punk win by disqualification.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Is Bray Wyatt a false prophet?" Punk to the fans.

    Punk says he doesn't care if he and Bryan have to face The Bushwhackers, I.R.S., all of the Russians, The Rock 'N' Roll Express, etc. 

    Rowan tosses Punk out of the ring.

    Reigns hits a surprise spear.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Punk's tirade had plenty of inside jokes to savor. He and Bryan seemed to be having fun together, creating a sense of chemistry between them.

    Punk looks like he's enjoying himself in the ring a lot more now than he was going up against Curtis Axel and Ryback.

    The match was on its way to be even better than their Survivor Series bout but ended without a finish. The odd sight of Bryan being taken away made up for that, though. That moment along with The Shield's surprising attack on Punk raised a number of interesting questions.

    Does this confirm The Wyatt Family is working for The Authority is the biggest of those questions.

     

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston

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    In a mirror image of how their Survivor Series match ended, The Miz slapped Kofi Kingston instead of shaking the hand Kingston offered.

    Kingston then impressed with a number of athletic moves. He mocked The Miz after hitting a hip toss, reminding him of what Michael Strahan did to him earlier. 

    The Miz caught Kingston's leg as he attempted the Trouble in Paradise and then kicked out of the SOS. He surprised Kingston once again, rolling him up for a pin and the win.

     

    Result

    The Miz wins via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Kingston lands on his feet after The Miz delivers a hip toss.

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    The Miz and Kingston didn't have much time to entertain and didn't do a whole lot with that time. Kingston dazzled as usual in a few spots, but there wasn't the same amount of drama and spark that these two had at Survivor Series.

    The Miz gets another fluky win, likely leading to a third consecutive match between these two.

    Having this continue to evolve into a true feud is a strange choice considering The Miz and Kingston were in a rivalry just over a year ago. The previous one wasn't the kind worth repeating either.

Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater

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    After Jerry Lawler interviewed a kosher butcher in the crowd, R-Truth explained that Brodus Clay signed off on The Funkadactyls accompanying Xavier Woods to the ring.

    Woods danced with Naomi and Cameron before trading wristlocks with Heath Slater. The speedster darted around the ring and dominated before Slater tossed him jaw-first onto the turnbuckle.

    An energetic offensive flurry saw Woods dropkick Slater, kip up and land his Lost in the Woods finisher.

     

    Result

    Woods wins via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    The kosher butcher tells Lawler his finishing move would be called "circumcision."

     

    Grade

    B-

     

    Analysis

    Woods was fun to watch, his energy being of the infectious variety. It wasn't a great match, but it was a good showcase of what Woods does.

    Putting The Funkadactyls at his side is a good move as it adds spectacle and sex appeal to his act. Using Clay's music isn't necessary, though.

    Having Cameron and Naomi at Woods' side also opens the door for a future Clay vs. Woods rivalry if Clay is jealous of what Woods accomplishes with his dancing ladies. 

Big Show and John Cena vs. Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio

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    The two men who lost at Survivor Series squared off, Big Show tossing Alberto Del Rio around. Del Rio ducked away from a chop to the chest and tagged Randy Orton in.

    Orton couldn't dodge Big Show's chops. The big man's blows had Orton squealing in pain.

    Del Rio and Cena soon continued their battle from Sunday night. Del Rio had Cena likely seeing cartoon birds flying around his head thanks to a vicious kick. Orton then took charge, squeezing Cena's breath out of him.

    Big Show stormed in but soon found himself woozy after a kick from Del Rio.

    The giant stumbled around as the referee checked on him. Orton then zeroed in on Big Show's head, stomping away while wearing a grin. Big Show managed to keep kicking out of pin attempts but was so out of it that he tried to tag Orton in.

    Somehow the doctors cleared him, Orton rushing in and hitting a DDT on the big man. "The Viper" went for a punt, but Big Show hit a spear instead. He tagged Cena.

    Cena soon locked Del Rio in the STF which forced him to tap.

    Orton attacked Cena afterward, tossed both the WWE title and World Heavyweight Championship into the ring and held both belts above his head.

     

    Result

    Cena and Big Show win via submission.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Del Rio misses a dropkick and crashes on the outside.

    "That's gotta wrench your back, wreck your vertebrae and ruin your day," JBL on Big Show's backdrop to Del Rio.

    Orton's predatory look while waiting for the doctors to check on Big Show was brilliant.

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    If WWE is planning to write Big Show off TV, this was a memorable way to do it. Both Del Rio and Orton looked merciless in sending Big Show onto the disabled list, while the big man looked like a warrior for hanging on for so long.

    The match was solid, though it didn't have the same electricity as the opening tag match and the episode's other best offerings.

    The lasting image is a strong one, though. Orton's attack made the championships the center of this feud and showed Cena in a rare state of weakness. The TLC build begins.

     

Post-Raw Notes

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    Raw's last match left John Cena and Big Show in need of a look from the WWE medical staff. Randy Orton left the ring, leaving his destructive work behind him.

    He wasn't finished, though.

    As PWMania.com reports, Orton was on his way out when he decided to walk back to the ring where he "tried to retrieve the WWE Title belt but Cena pulled it away and posed with it."

    That led to Orton retreating before "a referee and Cena helped Big Show to the back to end the show."