Biggest Lessons Learned from Dec. 23 Edition of Raw
With Christmas just around the corner, the final Raw before the holiday was aired on Monday night.
It was an edition that was inevitably going to be filled with Christmas puns, Christmas segments and plugs for the Good Santa vs. Bad Santa match.
In that sense, the show didn't disappoint. It another, all the cheesy Christmas segments meant it did.
We learned of a new contender for one of WWE's major titles, though, and we had a pretty solid main event to continue the upward spiral of one of the company's bright young things.
So what were the biggest lessons we learned from the final Raw before Christmas? Let's take a look.
Good Santa vs. Bad Santa? Please, Never Again
It was plugged all last week on Raw, and it was heavily promoted before it actually happened on this weeks show. And, as expected, Good Santa vs. Bad Santa was an abomination from start to finish.
The concept of the match was bad enough. Then we were treated to a promo with both Damien Sandow and Mark Henry before it took place.
What really stank about the whole concept above all was the men who were involved. Just a few months ago, Damien Sandow was one pinfall away from becoming the World Heavyweight champion. He had won the Money in the Bank briefcase on merit and seemed to be going places.
The fact he was reduced to being hit in the face with cupcakes sums up where Sandow is right about now.
Raw Was a Christmas Nightmare
For those of us who aren't too keen on the holidays and Christmas, parts of Raw this week were like a living nightmare.
It wasn't just Good Santa vs. Bad Santa. The majority of the Divas roster was reduced to participating in yet another gimmick-laden match. A "Jingle Belles" match? Really?
We were then treated to 2013's edition of the J.O.B Squad singing Christmas carols in the ring. Very few people want to see the likes of Santino Marella and The Great Khali at the best of times. Even less want to see them singing for our discomfort in the ring.
And Xavier Woods? His debut carried much promise a good few weeks ago. This week on Raw, he was reduced to singing Christmas carols.
That's not exactly what I'd call momentum.
Daniel Bryan Is Being Booked All Wrong
Daniel Bryan's feud with Bray Wyatt was enjoyable—let's just get that out there. If it had ended in a decent manner at Tables, Ladders and Chairs then everyone could have moved on with a touch of momentum behind them.
It seemed as if Bryan was moving on to bigger and better things last week on Raw when he took on WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton. The ending of the match also left the door open for Bryan to have a legitimate claim to a championship shot in the near future.
However, on Raw this week, we reverted back to the old feud, as Bryan was dismantled by The Wyatt Family once again.
In all seriousness, whose career is this benefiting? With the Royal Rumble around the corner, it does leave the possibility open for Bryan to leave the Wyatts behind.
Which is exactly what he needs to do.
The Tag Champions Are in Free Fall
It sure isn't a good time to be Cody Rhodes or Goldust right about now. Sure, they're the Tag champions and have been fantastic holders of the belts.
That time, however, could well be coming to an end. They've been on a dramatically bad losing streak of late, and that continued on Raw this week.
Having the champions in a six-man tag match meant the title holders did not really have to be pinned to lose the match. They could have got away without the ignominy of being pinned. But Bray Wyatt pinning Cody Rhodes clean sends a pretty clear message out.
All creative needs to do now is find a team who can rise from the pack—which, admittedly, is a very crowded one—and feud with The Brotherhood.
Fandango Could Be on the Gold Trail
Next week's Raw will feature an interesting matchup with a championship at stake. Big E Langston, the Intercontinental champion who has been on a huge momentum push of late, will take on Fandango for the belt in the final Raw of 2013.
It seems difficult to envisage a scenario where Langston would drop the belt, but Fandango is perhaps deserved of a shot at a belt. He has been winning a few matches of late, and perhaps plans are in place for the man formerly known as Johnny Curtis to get some gold.
If Langston does drop the strap, it seems likely that he will be heading up the card rather than down it. His participation in the main event certainly suggested that.
January 20 Will Be Must-See
Why will it be must-see? Well, not only is it the final Raw before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but it is the return of Batista!
After it was leaked online earlier this week when Batista was announced for a WWE event, the company went with the decision to make the announcement public.
It certainly does add a lot of hype for a show that will already be highly anticipated.
Speculation will now be rife over the next four weeks as to how Batista will make his return. Face or heel? And who will be his intended target?
Watch out, WWE. Batista is back.
A Good Main Event Sends the Fans Home Happy
Every time The Shield is on Raw, I almost wonder if we'll see another phase in the faction's disintegration and possible split.
And almost every week, the trio come away as strong as they were before. This week, however, they were sent packing from yet another beating from CM Punk, John Cena and Big E Langston.
In truth, the final main event on Raw before Christmas was a pretty impressive one. It went back and forth pretty well on occasions, and all six men had some good spots throughout the match.
However, on this occasion, it was Langston who stood out yet again. As mentioned earlier in this slideshow, if he does drop the IC Championship to Fandango, he will be heading up the card.
Good job, WWE.