For every moment of great wrestling on the last WWE Raw before Christmas, expect holiday-themed goofiness.
Austin, Texas already hosted The Battle for Christmas and all the Santa hat and Christmas carol-centered entertainment from Monday's Raw. The taped show will air on Dec. 23, so spoilers have already been floating around the Internet.
Good Santa and Bad Santa will collide in a match WWE.com claims "is fixing to be pretty epic." Christmas is on the line. Either the holiday is cancelled and we all have to eat Chinese food and go to the movies on Wednesday or the results of a wrestling match keeps Xmas intact.
What else is on the menu for Monday? The following is a look at the matches set for the show with the results left unspoiled.
Ryback vs. Kofi Kingston
"The Big Guy" faces the man he once put out of action with a powerbomb through a table.
Kingston has been in a stop-and-start feud with The Miz. Ryback, meanwhile, has formed a relatively successful partnership with Curtis Axel.
Fans will get a clue of where each man is headed next when these two battle. The winner moves forward, armed with new momentum. The loser continues to slide down the ladder.
Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans
Zeb Colter's least favorite tag team gets another crack at Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro.
The Real Americans will just be glad to not be facing Big E Langston and Mark Henry, who have been responsible for several of their recent defeats in either tag team or singles action.
Los Matadores haven't done much other than prey on 3MB since debuting.
With The Real Americans now one of the teams hanging around the Tag Team title picture, a victory over them means far more than it once did. The bullfighters have a chance here to push themselves back into the spotlight.
Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler (Present on a Pole match)
The present awaiting the victor is a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. Two midcarders look for upward movement in a gimmicky match that sounds like something straight out of Vince Russo's playbook.
There will be no shortage of athletic ability in this match, but the format hints at this being ridiculous.
At this point, though, Ziggler will take a significant victory wherever he can take it. He's gone from world champ to a man struggling to get a IC title match. Does Fandango further spoil his 2013 and move ahead of The Show Off to be Langston's next challenger?
Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel
Since Hunico has taken over the Sin Cara character he has defeated Alberto Del Rio twice and came away from last Friday's SmackDown with a win over Drew McIntyre.
Is Axel his next victim, or does the third-generation Superstar serve as the nails that puncture his tires?
These two were regular foes before and after Axel won the Intercontinental Championship, but that was when the original Sin Cara was under the mask. How will this new version of this combination turn out?
Putting on a better match against Axel than the original Sin Cara will be just one more reason for Hunico to keep his current position for good.
Team Natalya vs. Team AJ Lee (12-Diva Jingle Bells match)
You know it's Christmas time when the Divas are dressed in Mrs. Santa outfits. At least WWE is continuing Natalya and AJ's rivalry and not presenting a complete throw-away match.
The majority of the Divas roster gets tossed into a single bout, so the Divas champ and her primary challenger likely won't get much time against each other. Fans should keep an eye on AJ and Tamina's relationship. Signs of an eventual split between the two allies have been mostly subtle up to this point.
They are expected by many to be enemies before long. For now, they remain on the same side.
AJ and Natalya will look to end the night forcing a foe to tap to the Sharpshooter or the Black Widow. Natalya's team will be looking to stay out of Tamina's kicking range.
Christmas Caroling Contest
If you needed a reason to DVR this episode rather than watch it live, look no further than this segment.
The best fans can hope for is a few chuckles. The more likely outcome is that this will be a goofy bit that drags.
At least WWE's comedy acts will get some time here. The company should have Yoshi Tatsu enter the competition, as he has proven to be an amusingly bad singer.
Does he get an opportunity to outclass his peers in caroling, or will one of the company's comic-relief characters reign?
Good Santa vs. Bad Santa (Battle for Christmas)
Essentially a Christmas-themed Street Fight, the Battle for Christmas pits Mark Henry (as good Santa) against Damien Sandow (Bad Santa).
This isn't likely to be anything memorable, just another bout where Sandow delivers and receives blows with strange weapons. From the Dublin Street Fight against Sheamus to his Hamptons Hardcore match against Ziggler, Sandow is finding his way into a niche he likely doesn't want any part of.
Defeating Santa Claus isn't on the same level as winning the World Heavyweight Championship, but Sandow has to be on the hunt for any victory he can get.
The Wyatt Family vs. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Goldust
This has all the makings of a great match.
There is animosity aplenty between these opponents. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated the Tag Team champs on the Dec. 20 SmackDown. Bray Wyatt and his clan have been hounding Bryan for weeks. Last Friday, they threw him off a ledge.
Factor those rivalries in with the amount of talent involved, and WWE has seemingly given fans a reason to sit through Christmas-themed silliness.
Bryan has spent much of 2013 delivering Raw's match of the night, Rhodes and Goldust have been excellent as a duo and Harper and Rowan have had folks flashing back to the days when wrestlers were the kind of predators that unsettled the audience.
John Cena, CM Punk, Big E Langston vs. The Shield
Langston gets put into good company here. The members of The Shield have been mainstays of the main events of Raw and SmackDown. Punk and Cena are two of WWE's biggest stars.
How will the powerhouse fare in the glare of the spotlight?
As for Punk, he's been clashing with The Shield a lot as of late. After leaving the trio embarrassed at TLC by defeating all three members by himself, he can expect their undivided attention and no shortage of hostility from this point on.
This match has entertainment potential aplenty, as do a few of the other bouts. They will just be sandwiched in between comedy bits, filler and Christmas-themed material that will have many fans skipping through much of the show.
There are things to savor here, but more satisfying, more complete episodes won't be around until next time around.
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