WWE Raw Results: Winners, Report Card and Highlights from Dec. 2

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterDecember 3, 2013

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Report Card and Highlights from Dec. 2

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    via WWE.com

    All that holds back a professional wrestling show, like WWE's Raw, are the limits of the creative team's collective imaginations. Real sports have to pray for drama and tension. For every Alabama-Auburn nail-biter, there are a dozen football games that aren't even particularly close. As fans, we wait for the stars to align to make a contest truly compelling.

    That's where WWE has a real advantage. Wrestling doesn't have to wait to catch lighting in a bottle. The booking team can simply create it. When the show is at its best, it's an amazing mixture of athleticism, poetry and live theater.

    Anything is possible.

    That's what makes episodes like tonight's so unbelievable. Anything can happen. Anything at all. And, yet, the big angle they promoted throughout the show was a contract signing between John Cena and Randy Orton. That's the very definition of going through the motions.

    Luckily the main event wasn't the only segment on the show. I took a look at each and every major interview, angle and match and gave it a grade from A to F. Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

CM Punk Interview

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    via WWE.com


    CM Punk came out to air his grievances with the Authority. After a brief argument with Stephanie McMahon, Kane hit the ramp to absolve the Authority of any responsibility for the Shield's attack last week.

    Punk, not amused, challenged Kane to fight, but the Shield came down instead. The segment ended with Kane booking Punk into a handicap match against all three members of the Shield at TLC.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I think I know why the Shield attacked me. I just want to be so wrong this one time. Last week I made the cardinal sin of criticizing Triple H on Monday Night Raw." —CM Punk.

    "The King of Kings isn't that dense—to pick a fight with somebody who prides himself on being one of the biggest anti-authority figures in WWE history...but if I'm right, Triple H and his Authority are the biggest bunch of sorry, ignorant, stupid douche bags that I have ever come across in my entire life." —Punk.

    "You know their couldn't be bigger advocates of free speech than my family." —Stephanie McMahon.

    "We've matured. But I just have to stop projecting our values onto you." —Steph. Good one.

    "Exactly when do you become the Big Red Ass Kisser?" —Punk to Kane.


    Grade: B



    Two of the best talkers in the business going back and forth—I love it. Stephanie McMahon takes a lot of criticism for her role with WWE creative. But that shouldn't take away from the fact that she's become one of the best heels in the business.  

    She's developed quite a presence over the years and has the aura only the biggest stars possess. Combined with her real-life status as heir apparent to the throne, it gives Stephanie the kind of gravitas that most WWE "authority figures" can only dream about. 

Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    via WWE.com


    Damien Sandow pinned Dolph Ziggler clean with the You're Welcome. 


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "This is the biggest moment of my career."  —Big E Langston on holding the WWE Intercontinental title. That's actually kind of a sad indictment of how things have gone so far.

    Skip It. Look it up.

    Damien Sandow with a pretty elbow drop.


    Grade: B



    I think at this point it's appropriate to ring the bell 10 times for Dolph Ziggler's WWE career. I'd like to see him spend some time on the indy scene or TNA. In a couple of years he'll be ready to come back and try again. But right now? He just carries the stench of too many jobs and so many aborted pushes. 

AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka/Summer Rae vs. the Bellas and Natalya

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    via WWE.com


    Natalya pinned AJ Lee with a small package. 


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Is that Skip It?" —JBL as AJ skipped around and around the ring. Good call-back to the previous segment.

    Nice second-rope dropkick from Brie Bella.

    "Yes, AJ Lee is still skipping." —Michael Cole. 


    Grade: C



    I am a big supporter of the Divas, but this match didn't quite work. Lots of botched spots throughout, most notably Brie and Summer Rae totally blowing a sunset flip and the Bella Twins attempting a double dropkick that must have made Ricky Morton cry a little inside.

    Of course, at other points, like Nikki's crucifix attempt on Tamina Snuka, the wrestling was crisp and gorgeous. That's what gives me hope. The potential is there. They're just not a complete package as performers—yet. 

Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan

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    Before the match Wade Barrett addressed the crowd and Randy Orton harangued Brad Maddox.

    Daniel Bryan pinned Erick Rowan with a school boy. After the match Kane booked Bryan into a handicap match with all three Wyatts.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "The bad news is we are stuck in an arena full of hillbillies and overweight miscreants who had to name their city after their state just so they could remember it." —Wade Barrett on Oklahoma City.

    "I need you to go tell the authority that I demand they recognize me as the  greatest WWE superstar of this generation or any other." —Randy Orton. But, but....that's not true.

    "I'm even bigger than the WWE itself." —Orton. Is he on drugs? I mean, more-so than usual?

    "Daniel Bryan would be a great Wyatt." —JBL. I'm trying to picture Bryan in a wife beater. Failing.

    Rowan catching Bryan in midair and slinging him into the ringside barrier. Brutal.

    "Nostradamus, Jimmy the Greek and JBL." —JBL after predicting Bryan will become Daniel Wyatt.

    "They're not going to hurt you. Unless I tell them too." —Bray Wyatt.

    "Since I have been on this Earth, I have done a lot of horrible things to a lot of good people." —Wyatt.

    "How long before they discover that your dirty little feet are ruining their red carpets?" —Wyatt.






    What a great match—but the Bray Wyatt promo that follwoed it was on an even higher plane. I know that it's popular to complain whenever an internet favorite like Bryan or Punk isn't in the main event. But this was a tremendous segment.

    One note about the match—when I talked to Daniel Bryan earlier this year, he explained his approach to wrestling a big man like Ryback or the Big Show. You could see similar wheels turning during this match with Rowan. Super stuff.

R Truth/Xavier Woods vs. Tons of Funk

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    Woods pinned Brodus Clay with a roll-up. After the match, Tons of Funk hinted at an eventual breakup.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You want to dance?" —Brodus Clay to Woods.

    Cole claimed Woods was proficient in Hip Hop Kido. Power Rangers are going to sue somebody. 


    Grade: B



    Wow. I kind of like angry Brodus Clay. More, please.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara

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    Sin Cara pinned Del Rio with a Senton off the top rope.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

     "This little piece of trash is from Mexico. He represents all the other peasants who are trying to cross the border....I'm going to call immigration." —Alberto Del Rio. Well then.

    Sin Cara with a nice Asai moonsault. If that really was Sin Cara at all.


    Grade: B-



    Sin Cara would have been the 12th-best luchadore on a random edition of WCW Nitro in 1998, slotted in right behind Lizmark Jr. I'm just not into him. And, based on the response from the crowd, neither is the WWE Universe. 

The Shield vs. Big Show/Dustin Rhodes/Cody Rhodes

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    Before the match, John Cena talked about the respective history of the two title belts. 

    Rollins pinned Goldust with a roll=up after Goldust hit Ambrose with a superplex.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "That debate's been going on for half a century." —John Cena on the battle between the world heavyweight and WWE titles.

    "You wouldn't even last five minutes in the ring with me with that Muay Thai nonsense." —Seth Rollins to CM Punk. 

    Big Show's slaps to Reign's chest echoing throughout the building.

    Rollins with a high-flying knee off the top rope to Show's temple.

    Reigns speared Big Show on the outside. 


    Grade: A



    At this point these guys could work a great match in their sleep. This match didn't need a 10-minute interview to set up. It's just six guys at the height of their powers creating art in the ring. This is what it's all about. 

Kofi Kingston/Miz vs. Curtis Axel/Ryback

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    Ryback pinned Kingston with the Shell Shock. After the match Miz slapped Kingston.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I am a kid at Christmas. I am a kid in the candy store...in fact, I feel pretty. Pretty and witty and gay." —CM Punk auditioning for West Side Story?

    Miz misses a left hand by a good two feet. Ryback still sells it.

    Kofi getting serious air on a top-rope crossbody. 


    Grade: C+



    This is a match voted most likely to be watched on 3X speed. 

Mark Henry vs. Fandango

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    Mark Henry pinned Fandango with the World's Strongest Fan.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Did you just compare Fandango to Karl Gotch?" —Jerry Lawler.

    "No, to Frank Gotch." —JBL. Forget JBL and Cole. We need a JBL and King podcast.


    Grade: C+



    If someone has to be booked in a squash match, it might as well be Mark Henry. Fandango bumped around the ring for the big man, then the announcers debated whether or not his dance moves constituted "twerking." This is a real thing that just happened on television.

Prime Time Players vs. Real Americans

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    Titus ill last week on Smackdown
    Titus ill last week on Smackdownvia WWE.com


    Antonio Cesaro pinned Darren Young after a European uppercut. 


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You give new meaning to the letters PTP. Because now it means Prime Time Pukers." —Zeb Colter to Titus O'Neill.

    "For once I agree with Zeb." —Michael Cole.

    Cesaro catches Young with a match-ending uppercut as he leaped off the top rope.


    Grade: B



    These are two great teams. So why are they working a match around the possibility that Titus might throw up again? Has Vince McMahon finally gotten the "Puke" character that Darren Drozdov was once slated to fill? Do. Not. Want. 

TLC Title-Match Contract Signing

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    via WWE.com


    John Cena and Randy Orton both signed on the dotted line. Then they brawled around the ring in an impromptu battle before Cena put Orton through a table with the AA.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "The winner will walk out. Not just as a champion. But as the champion." —Triple H. 

    "The man who is apparently bigger than the WWE. Got your message. Thanks Randy." —Stephanie McMahon basically telling Orton he's screwed.

    "I'm better than all of them including you." —Orton to Triple H, discussing the greats who've held the strap.

    "Allow me to introduce myself. John Cena, world heavyweight champion." —Cena.

    "You never lived up to your potential. Ever." —Cena is shooting now.

    "You can leave. Or you can make a move." —Cena to Orton.

    Cena holds up both belts after dispatching Orton.


    Grade: B



    This was not exactly a thrill a minute. Orton is such a robotic and uninspired promo that nothing he says really carries much weight. The TLC brawl was equally as rote. This is wrestling by the numbers. 

    Suffice it to say, I didn't like this segment much at all. Orton is just kind of lousy and the whole thing sounded carefully rehearsed. But, bottom line, I'm just one fan. The crowd was digging it. When it comes down to it, that's what it's all about.

Post Raw

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    Sometimes the WWE treats fans live in the arena to a little special extra after the television show wraps up. That was apparently not the case for fans in Oklahoma City according to Wrestling INC:

    The advertised dark match for tonight's RAW never ended up taking place. After the show went off the air, the lights simply came on and everyone left.

    That stinks. But when life hands you lemons, toss those tart wannabe oranges in the garbage and watch some wrestling. I'll bet that Raw dark match wasn't nearly as good as this bout between John Cena and CM Punk, free courtesy of WWE's YouTube account.