Ah, the Slammys. Could this be the last in-RAW edition of the wrestling award show? I figure, if the WWE Network actually launches in 2014, the Slammys could be a staple of that channel. But, for now, here they are.

Is it just me, or over the last few weeks have broadcasters and others seemingly gone out of their ways to name drop the Undertaker? Granted, this wouldn’t be the first time that seeds of his annual return were planted at the Slammys…it just seems more obvious and heavy-handed this time around. Though, who honestly doesn’t know the Dead Man should be back soon, per his usual schedule?

Either Bret is still hurting from his in-ring career, or having him say “winning Slammy match of the year was what he cherished most” really hurt. I am leaning toward option B here, folks.

I will give WWE credit, they are going all-in hyping the snot out of the title unification bout this Sunday at TLC. An Ascension Ceremony? Well, it will be an assembly of 20 former title holders. Interesting. For what it’s worth, how depressing is it to hear the commentators say Orton is an 11 time champion and Cena is a 14 time champion? You have so many much more talented stars from the past who did not get to hold the big prize as frequently as either man…and both are close enough to eye up Ric Flair’s number of title reigns. Neither can hold his jock. Just sayin’.

OK, I’ll bite. WTF was a Divas match doing going off at 10 minutes to 11PM on Monday night? That’s effectively the main event slot, and it was the last actual televised match of RAW…and lasted all of a minute?

Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka: Raw, Dec. 9, 2013

Bryan getting a nice hometown pop, to say the least.

Broadus Clay releasing his inner beast, it would seem. He’s going to have to go well off the deep end to erase and undo the damage done by having him be a dancing sideshow bear dressed as the WWE version of Barney the Dinosaur. That being said, while he was in the Nexus before, he showed signs of being a good moving big man who could be a monster heel. This can’t hurt, but I fear his stock is tarnished enough that he’s limited to midcard status.

I think I’ve had enough of Kofi and Miz. I just can’t get into this pairing. Get Evan Bourne and/or Tyson Kidd in the mix for some high flying spots? That could be really exciting and might actually work.

Ziggler has a match at TLC! Oh wait…its Fandango on the pre-show. That’s about the same as getting a lump of coal in your stocking, ain’t it?

The more I hear Stephanie keep placating Hunter’s ego as it relates to a match he isn’t a title holder in…makes me really think there’s going to be a massive screwjob on Sunday, and neither Orton nor Cena walks out as champ. I hope that’s not the case….I have my heart set on the swerve that you see coming a mile away, where Cena is new WWE champ and Orton takes home the WHC, but the belt isn’t unified. Worst case, theres some outside interference, someone gets hurt, Hunter decides to jump in and claims the win for himself. In this day and age, I wouldn’t be surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised.

My gut though, says that as much as WWE is hyping “the last time one man is called champion” and “the last time we see both titles on RAW”, both men remain champs, Vince gets ticked at HHH and Stephanie for hurting WWE in the process, and there’s Vince’s re-introduction.

Having those former champions in-ring did one thing to show how watered down the product has become, when you realize that guys like Khali and Miz held the strap-and Miz held it longer than Daniel Bryan or Dolph Ziggler got to hold their world titles, just to name a few. How sad is that?

Cena is either having one of the best promos he has ever cut… or he’s desperately appealing to those who browse the internet wrestling communities to show who all he’s gotten behind/put over/elevated. And perhaps that is true, that he’s given guys shots. But, at the end, by choice or by ego, John still comes back in. Ziggler’s not holding a title. Punk and Bryan? Demoted.

And there’s some interesting seeds being planted in the inevitable breakdown with all those former champs. HHH pissing off Punk, and Punk whooping his ass? Yes please. HBK delivering Sweet Chin Music to Punk, only to get to eat the High Knee as sweet revenge from Daniel Bryan in front of his fans? Absolutely wonderful. Stephanie knocked down, by Orton who was shoved by the American Dragon, leading to Orton eating a Pedigree? Not at all expected. Nor was the unexpected trio standing tall in the ring at RAW’s close. Hunter….Kane….and….Cena?  Planting seeds of doubt in so far as who the Authority backs, if anyone?  I will give them credit. They took an obvious planted piece, made some of the pieces serve a purpose, and maybe made me just a wee bit more interested in what happens at TLC. And, regardless of TLC, they laid groundwork for a number of follow up matches, should they choose to go there. That’s not a bad thing.

All in all, not a terrible end to RAW leading into the year-end PPV. Interesting that neither current champion delivered his finisher in the closing segment, though it doesn’t bode well for Orton that he had to take a finisher from a non-active star, does it? This is the red herring for me. i really think Hunter gets himself more than a little involved come Sunday night.

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