WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 21

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 22, 2015

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 21

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Slammy Awards edition of WWE Raw plodded along for the most part.

    Far too often, the winners of these statuettes didn't show up. And so the audience was essentially forced to watch half an awards show.

    Seth Rollins did make his way back to TV, on crutches and all. His impassioned acceptance speech was one of the night's highlights, a reminder of what's been missing since his injury.

    Elsewhere, The League of Nations ganged up on the good guys, Kevin Owens kept winning and Nikki Bella further confused the heel-face alignment in the Divas division. Overall, it was a letdown of a show after Roman Reigns' dramatic coronation last week, even with Paul Heyman, Ric Flair and Santino Marella all stepping on stage.

    The following is a look at those cameos, as well as all the matches, award presentations and moments that comprised Monday's Raw.

Roman Reigns Enrages Stephanie McMahon

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    Despite all the trials she and her family have gone through, Stephanie McMahon came out to the ring smiling. She talked about it being a night of celebration but didn't get far in her speech. Roman Reigns interrupted. 

    The WWE champ joked around and showed off his world title. 

    McMahon told him to leave, but Reigns only laughed at her. When he did walk out, she yelled at him to come back. When he ignored the executive, she booked matches for The Usos and Dean Ambrose. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Unlike all of you, McMahons do not wallow in their own self pity."—McMahon.

    "I don't sweat you, Stephanie. I don't sweat your daddy. And I damn sure don't sweat your husband, Triple H."—Reigns.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Reigns managed to engage the crowd and get them riled up. That's extra impressive considering how childish of a scene this was.

    At times, the two rivals' back and forth sounded like something toddlers might engage in.

    McMahon should have been angrier early and handed out more punishment right away. Reigns turning his back to her angered her more than the attacks on her husband and father, which makes no sense.

Breakout Star of the Year

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    Dolph Ziggler presented the Breakout Star of the Year.

    Neville told fans he didn't expect to win. He started to dish out thanks, but Kevin Owens walked out and told the high-flyer to leave.

    Owens insulted Ziggler, and the two brawled on the entrance ramp. 

    Result

    Neville wins Breakout Star of the Year.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ziggler calls himself "the most handsome, charismatic showstopper in WWE."

    "I'm the breakout star. I'm the guy who beat John Cena on his first night!"—Owens.

    "The only way you would win a Slammy is if they had a Has-been of the Year award."—Owens.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    While it was odd that Neville avoided confrontation, this turned out to be a smart segment.

    Owens should be upset about not winning. Having him gripe about it highlighted the year he had and his egocentric character. Having him and Ziggler brawl was a good, effective way to move their feud along. 

    This is the kind of animosity that helps make feuds more compelling. Anything this relevant rarely comes out of a Slammy Award presentation.

The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer, Kane vs. the Wyatt Family

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    With his family standing at ringside, Bray Wyatt battled the returning Kane. The Eater of Worlds looked to pounce early, but Kane held his own.

    Kane soon found himself outnumbered outside. The Wyatt Family pounded on the big man, but Tommy Dreamer and The Wyatt Family came out to save him.

    The match was changed to an eight-man tag team bout.

    Bubba Ray Dudley and Kane both had the heels reeling. The action got out of control in a hurry. Amid the chaos, Luke Harper knocked down D-Von Dudley to the mat with a discus clothesline.

    Result

    Kane wins via disqualification in the first match. The Wyatt Family wins via pinfall in the second match.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Braun Strowman bowls over both The Dudley Boyz with clotheslines.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    A hurried pair of matches created too few highlights and didn't allow anyone to really shine.

    Dreamer disappeared early on. Wyatt continues to get lost in these large-scale matches. Kane's comeback didn't feel nearly as big as it could have.

    It was good to see The Wyatt Family get another win, but the result was only part of the bout worth talking about.

LOL! Moment of the Year

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    Santino Marella returned to present the Slammy for LOL! Moment of the Year. Marella accepted the award for R-Truth, saying how much better it would look on his mantel.

    R-Truth charged out to take the trophy. Marella ran off the stage.

    Result

    R-Truth wins the LOL! Moment of the Year Slammy.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "He's a funny guy, don't get me wrong, but Santino Marella, I know something about making people laugh."—Marella.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    WWE wasted Marella's return. While his appearance wasn't ever going to be groundbreaking, it should have at least been funny. He didn't get but a few seconds to work with.

    The gag with R-Truth felt like the kind of thing one writes 10 minutes before the show airs.

OMG! Shocking Moment of the Year

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    Paul Heyman presented the Slammy for the OMG! Shocking Moment of the Year. He claimed that every award should go to Brock Lesnar.

    Kalisto walked out in a suit and thanked the fans.

    Result

    Kalisto wins OMG! Shocking Moment of the Year.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "It is the Slammys' honor to have me out here to present."—Heyman.

    "Moments like these motivate me to keep fighting. Moments like these motivate me to fly higher."—Kalisto.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    Even with Heyman at the helm, this segment flopped. Heyman seemed a bit bored. That's not surprising considering how inconsequential this award and moment was.

    WWE clearly wanted to make an effort to keep these award presentations short. That hurts the effect of having a guy like Heyman on TV, though.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens

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    A slugfest erupted right away. Kevin Owens took the early advantage, tagging Dolph Ziggler with right hands.

    Owens battered The Showoff in and out of the ring. He dominated Ziggler, grounding him and clubbing him with no mercy. Ziggler fought back valiantly but couldn't pull off the comeback.

    A pop-up powerbomb finished off the babyface.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Whose got something to say now?"—Owens to the crowd.

    Owens flings Ziggler into the guardrail.

    Owens smacks Ziggler's head onto the announce table.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Owens looked impressive again, displaying a nasty, angry side of himself. Animosity powered a bout clearly designed to showcase the powerhouse.

    WWE continues to give Owens momentum. In an era of 50-50 booking, that's a refreshing change. 

    The only issue is that Ziggler is in the midst of a three-man feud, but has looked far from a threat to Owens or Dean Ambrose.

Superstar of the Year

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    Stephanie McMahon presented the Superstar of the Year award.

    Seth Rollins walked out on crutches to accept and cockily recounted his big year. He talked about his injury and how much he would change and improve in 2016.

    Result

    Rollins wins the Superstar of the Year award.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Fans chant "Thank you, Seth!"

    "There's a tiny part of me that wants to say 'thank you,' but I mean, let's be honest here, was there any other option for Superstar of the Year?"—Rollins.

    "In 2016, I will redesign Seth Rollins. I will rebuild myself. And I will come back and reclaim the title that I never lost."—Rollins.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Rollins nailed his chance in the spotlight, delivering an emotional, intense speech that perfectly fit his character. He should be focused on the title as he was here, and he should be pissed that he's sitting at home while someone else is champ.

    Rollins gave fans both something to savor right now and something to look forward to. And unlike so much of the Slammy Awards, this was noteworthy and not just a throwaway moment.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

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    WWE announced that John Cena will return next week to face Alberto Del Rio.

    The League of Nations lurked at ringside as Del Rio went to work against Jack Swagger. Del Rio dominated, throwing Swagger around, knocking him around with hard strikes. The American powerhouse, though, charged back with a series of power moves.

    The double knee stomp put that flurry to an end. Sheamus followed up with Brogue Kick for good measure.

    Result

    Del Rio wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    The League of Nations stand over a fallen Swagger.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    Why is Del Rio still fighting Swagger? The rivalry has no juice left. It's time to move on.

    If this was just supposed to be a squash match, why not put someone else here to freshen things up?

    The League of Nations' presence was a nice touch. Although, it's odd that only Sheamus attacked Swagger after the bell. There should have been more of a pack-of-wolves approach.

The Hero in All of Us Award

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    Richard Drew/Associated Press

    Mark Henry presented The Hero in All of Us award. He talked about real strength coming from the heart.

    John Cena won the award but wasn't there to accept. Henry accepted it in his place.

    Result

    Cena wins The Hero in All of Us award.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You got me!"—Henry when fans booed Cena's absence.

    Grade

    F

    Analysis

    Nothing makes an awards show feel more insignificant than a winner not showing up, especially when it's a guy who is a regular part of the roster. It doesn't help that WWE hasn't explained Cena's absence with a storyline of any sort.

    This segment was anticlimactic without him around, offering no entertainment whatsoever. 

Surprise Return of the Year

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    Bo Dallas presented the Surprise Return of the Year award, dressed as Santa Claus. He mocked mall Santas. 

    Sting won but didn't show. Dallas took home the award instead.

    Result

    Sting wins the Surprise Return of the Year.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Santa Claus is real. All you have to do is Bo-lieve."—Dallas.

    Grade

    D-

    Analysis

    At least there were some mild laughs to be had here. Still, Sting winning and not being there to accept only managed to undermine the Slammy Awards' importance.

    It's odd that Henry is used too infrequently that him showing up here felt like a surprise guest appearance. 

The New Day vs. The Usos (3 on 2)

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    The New Day berated fans for not voting them as the best tag team of the year.

    Big E threatened to spoil the new Star Wars. The tag champs shamed the crowd.

    The Usos ignored all of that and took charge early on. They had the heels reeling despite the numbers disadvantage.

    The New Day managed to shift momentum their way, triple-teaming Jimmy Uso.

    The pace soon picked up as Jey Uso entered. He managed to score the win with a clumsy roll-up.

    Result

    The Usos win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Sting wins a Slammy but doesn't even care enough about you people to show up."—Xavier Woods.

    "We should have won every single Slammy on the board."—Woods.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis 

    The trio remains highly entertaining, but WWE is starting to hurt The New Day with too many nontitle losses. Not making them a destructive force to counterbalance their silly antics is a mistake. After a while, they just become losers we laugh at.

    It certainly didn't feel like The New Day had the numbers advantage here.

    And there needs to be more personal issues between The Usos and The New Day. These constant clashes fail to engage with such minimal backstory.

Diva of the Year

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    R-Truth presented the Diva of the Year award. He announced that Paige had won. She celebrated her win by hugging R-Truth, but he told her that he had made a mistake.

    Nikki Bella was the real winner. She dedicated the trophy to all the women in WWE. She and Paige hugged.

    Result

    Nikki wins the Diva of the Year award. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "2015 has been the year of the Diva."—R-Truth.

    Grade

    D-

    Analysis 

    Reprising the Steve Harvey-Miss Universe gaff was funny. And R-Truth pulled it off well.

    WWE, though, showed a complete disregard for each woman's character here. Why is Nikki giving such a babyface speech? Why are two longtime enemies hugging it out? 

    It's insulting to the women's division to have these kinds of moments, where storylines are ignored and the heel-face dynamic is washed away by inconsistency. 

Neville vs. Rusev

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    The Miz sat at ringside as Neville and Rusev went to battle. 

    Rusev manhandled the high-flyer. After beating him down in the ring, he took the fight to the outside, smashing him against the ring post.

    The babyface rallied back, but The Bulgarian Brute proved too powerful.

    The League of Nations convened in the ring to celebrate. Sheamus hit Neville with a Brogue Kick.

    Result

    Rusev wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Under my direction, this would have never happened."—The Miz.

    Rusev slams Neville into the ring post.

    Neville hits a huge moonsault to the outside.

    Rusev superkicks a flying Neville.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    Again, The League of Nations made their presence felt. The more they act like prowling predators, as they did here, the better.

    The Miz-Neville story is unfolding well, and WWE is moving it along at a patient pace. It's a narrative that could go in a number of directions. That alone makes it a success so far.

    The action was solid here, but it was nothing special. On a bigger stage, with more story beforehand, though, Neville vs. Rusev could be stellar.

This Is Awesome Moment of the Year

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    The Miz presented the This Is Awesome Moment of the Year award. The Rock and Ronda Rousey won but didn't appear.

    The Miz gladly accepted, plugging his own movies.

    Result

    The Rock and Ronda Rousey win the This Is Awesome Moment of the Year award.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "If The Rock was here, he would have this message: Santa's Little Helper is the biggest movie out there, bigger than Star Wars."—The Miz.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis 

    The Miz carried the segment the best he could, but the winners not showing up took the air out of it. When folks like Rousey don't show up, it feels like the show is beneath them. It makes Raw and the Slammys feel far from important.

    That's the opposite effect WWE has to be hoping for here.

Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella

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    Becky Lynch had Charlotte in her corner as she went to battle. Brie Bella worked on Lynch's left arm, wrenching it and bashing it with a methodical attack.

    Team B.A.D. watched on from backstage. 

    Lynch fought back, but her injured arm slowed her down. Still, she managed to clamp on the Dis-Arm-Her for the win.

    Result

    Lynch wins via submission.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Brie hit a hard dropkick on a seated Lynch.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis 

    Lynch got a win to keep her recent roll going. It came in a match that was fine, a condensed version of the standard babyface-battles-back story.

    Is Alicia Fox hurt? WWE keeps choosing to have the less-talented Brie step into the ring rather than her. 

    While it was good that the announcers talked up Lynch and Charlotte's issues, nothing happened to advance the narrative here.

    The same goes for whatever's happening with Team B.A.D. We have to see more than them just watching from backstage. This angle has to progress faster.

Match of the Year

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    Ric Flair presented the Slammy for Match of the Year. He announced that Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker won the award.

    Lesnar's music came on, but Paul Heyman emerged instead. The advocate claimed that no one in the locker room was man enough to take on his client.

    Result

    Undertaker vs. Lesnar wins the Match of the Year award.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Brock Lesnar has no desire to accept awards. Brock Lesnar wants to come for a fight."—Heyman.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis 

    Heyman made this as good as it possibly could be. He did well to turn the situation around and try to sell Lesnar as an unfeeling, fearsome beast.

    Why would WWE tease that Lesnar was coming out, though? Not coming through with that deflated the crowd. It added to the long list of award winners who didn't appear on the show.

    And the company didn't do a whole lot with Flair here. It could have been just about anybody else in that spot with the same impact.

Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus (Steel Cage)

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    JP Yim/Getty Images

    Backstage, The League of Nations attacked The Usos. Sheamus Brogue Kicked each of the brothers.

    Before Dean Ambrose could even get into the cage, Sheamus kicked him in the jaw. The Celtic Warrior then hurled Ambrose into the steel wall again and again.

    The Lunatic Fringe fought back, but Sheamus kept laying it on him. While the babyface writhed on the mat, Sheamus tried to escape. The League of Nations prevented Ambrose's own attempt escape.

    Roman Reigns appeared, fighting off the heel faction.

    The Big Dog threw a chair into the cage for Ambrose. The weapon helped Ambrose to batter Sheamus. He then scored the win after falling to the outside.

    Result

    Ambrose wins via escape.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Fans chant "This is boring!"

    Ambrose whips off the cage wall and hits his rebound clothesline.

    Sheamus hits White Noise from the top rope.

    Ambrose hits a diving elbow drop from the top of the cage.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis 

    WWE made some good moves in terms of booking, but the match itself didn't find its groove.

    The League of Nations upped their heel status by laying out The Usos. And it was smart to get Ambrose a big win here. He goes into SmackDown having just knocked off a former world champ.

    The action underwhelmed, though. It never reached the intensity one would expect from a cage match. And in one of the biggest hard-to-swallow moments of the night, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds onto a steel chair but didn't go for the pin. For him to try to escape instead felt forced.

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