The first Raw after Survivor Series 2013 took place in Long Island, New York and featured a total of eight matches, including an underwhelming tag team main event that pitted John Cena and the Big Show against Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton. Super Bowl Champion, “FOX NFL Sunday” analyst and “Live With Kelly & Michael” co-host Michael Strahan was the special guest host of tonight’s episode and was probably the most entertaining part of Raw aside from CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, the Wyatt Family and the Shield. Without further ado, here are the overall highs and lows from tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw:
Best Match: Despite a promising main event, the tag team match between John Cena/Big Show and Alberto Del Rio/Randy Orton failed to live up to expectations and was an absolute dud. To me, the best match of the night was CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. the Wyatt Family in a Handicap match. Punk and Bryan were exceptional as always, hitting their signature stuff and getting the crowd pumped up from the opening bell. Each member of the Wyatt Family, particularly Erick Rowan, looked vicious and dangerous throughout the entire bout. Unfortunately, the match ended via disqualification, but I elaborate more on that later in the review.
Worst Match: For two consecutive nights, Triple H and friends made the WWE Universe watch an absolutely unbearable 7-on-7 Divas elimination match. It was the worst bout at Survivor Series, so I have no idea why they would book the same exact thing less than 24 hours later on Raw. As I’ve said before, there are two or three Divas that can actually wrestle, but when you put 14 Divas in a ring and let them do whatever they want, you get Divas action that makes you feel embarrassed to be a wrestling fan. I mean this match was identical to the one at Survivor Series. Hell, even Summer Rae and Brie Bella had the same exact dance off.
Crowd Chants of the Night: During the opening segment with Randy Orton, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan” and “YES”. During Big E. Langston/Mark Henry vs. Curtis Axel/Ryback, the crowd chanted “Goldberg”. I mean come on, these Goldberg chants are starting to get really annoying. They aren’t even cool anymore…are they? During the Hamptons Hardcore match, the crowd chanted “we want Ryder”. During the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan interview with Renee Young, the crowd chanted “CM Punk” and “YES”. During Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater the crowd chanted “Kosher Butcher”.
Breakout Star of the Night: Tonight’s breakout star of the night was Xavier Woods, who defeated Heath Slater in his very first televised singles match on Raw. I was very impressed with Xavier’s quickness and the guy has some infectious charisma. It’s a shame that he was hearing crickets from the New York crowd because he deserved to hear some sort of reaction.
Roman Reigns was impressive during his tag team match earlier in the night, but he won last night’s breakout star of the night award and he put forth a better performance at Survivor Series. Therefore, Woods deserves the award.
Fan Sign of the Night: This is the part of the review where readers can comment on what their favorite crowd signs were. What were some cool, funny and clever signs that you saw during tonight’s episode of Raw?
Jobber of the Night: Curtis Axel was the jobber of the night after being pinned by Mark Henry in a tag team match. Since losing the Intercontinental Title to Big E. Langston two weeks ago on Raw, Axel has had a singles match and a tag team match, and lost both of them. Axel wasn’t over with the WWE Universe when he was with Paul Heyman and now that he is by himself, he seems virtually nonexistent. Don’t get me wrong, Axel is a talented wrestler, but he is not a talented entertainer and in order to be a huge star in the WWE, you have to be great at both. After three minutes of boring action, Mark Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam on Axel and picked up the victory.
Heath Slater was a close second place to win the jobber of the night award after losing to WWE rookie Xavier Woods, but Slater held his own against Woods and actually executed some offensive moves throughout the match. Plus, I’m in a generous mood and wanted to change things up by not awarding the jobber of the night award to a member of 3MB
Upset of the Night: Surprisingly, out of eight matches, there were no upsets that took place on Raw. The closest thing to an upset was Xavier Woods defeating Heath Slater cleanly in the middle of the ring, but come on, who am I kidding? Heath Slater always loses.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan being attacked by the Wyatt Family was expected, but the Wyatt Family stealing Daniel Bryan and taking him backstage was not. Also, the Shield attacking CM Punk before he can go look for Bryan came out of nowhere. The entire segment was one of the best highlights of Raw and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This angle has me intrigued.
Side note: Triple H announcing that there will be a TLC match at the TLC PPV between John Cena and Randy Orton was something that I did not expect to see. Also, the Game said that both the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title will be on the line. This isn’t necessarily a holy sh** moment, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
Logic Fail of the Night: Usually, there is one logic fail in these weekly Nutshell reviews, but tonight, I’m going to talk about two illogical things that have happened within the past two days. First off, tonight on Raw, WWE booked the exact same 7-on-7 Divas elimination match that took place at Survivor Series and it was pitiful. At Survivor Series, the crowd wasn’t into the match and they even booed the Divas during their performance. So why on earth would you showcase the same crappy match less than 24 hours later?
Another thing that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense is the way the Miz has been booked/acting lately. The WWE Universe clearly thought that he turned heel after leaving Kofi Kingston high and dry during their tag team match last week on Raw and he even had a match against Kingston on the Survivor Series pre-show. After that match, he tried to shake Kofi’s hand, but the Jamaican wasn’t having any of it. Tonight, Miz hosted Miz TV and insulted Michael Strahan and the New York audience. However, at the end of the segment, Miz shook Strahan’s hand and did the “millions of dollars” dance with him and Titus O’Neil. Also, he had another match with Kofi Kingston and wrestled/acted the same way a baby face would. What’s going on fellow readers? Is the Miz a heel or not?
Wait a second, I just thought of this. Why the hell would Brie Bella be happy and excited to see Michael Strahan if her fiance Daniel Bryan was just taken away by three scary ass men. The segment where the Bella Twins asked Strahan for an autograph surely happened after Bryan was beaten up and taken away to a mysterious place by the Wyatt Family, right? Maybe Brie forgot what happened….?
Also, didn’t the Bella Twins tell Michael that they were fans of the Philadelphia Eagles? Check out the picture below.
WTF Moment of the Night: There were two WTF moments that happened on Raw. The first was the confrontation between Erick Rowan and Michael Strahan. With his sheep mask on, Rowan walked up to Strahan, stared at him for about ten seconds and then handed him a sheep mask and nodded at him, indicating that he wanted the former NFL player to put it on. Eventually, Strahan put the sheep mask on and the two stared at each other for another ten seconds. That’s it.
The second WTF moment happened after CM Punk and Daniel Bryan defeated the Wyatt Family in a handicap match. After the Wyatt Family refused to stop beating down the Best and the Beard, the referee called for the bell, but the action didn’t stop there. The Wyatt Family beat down CM Punk and then turned their focus to Bryan. After annihilating Bryan, Rowan picked him up and all three members of the Wyatt Family took him up the ramp and into the back. When CM Punk finally recovered, he slid out of the ring and started to head towards the back to save Bryan. Out of nowhere, Roman Reigns came out from under the ring and nailed the Second City Saint with a vicious Spear. After that, all three members of the Shield Triple Power Bombed him and left him in the ring. I’m not sure what all that means, but it looks like the Wyatt Family and the Shield are working together and may possibly be working for the Authority.
LOL Moment of the Night: The funniest moment of Raw was the Miz TV segment featuring Titus O’Neil and Michael Strahan. The talk show started off with Miz asking Titus questions. Titus did an exceptional impersonation of Strahan, sporting a gap between his teeth and all. Miz was hilarious during the segment and insulted the New York crowd by making a joke about the struggling New York Giants. After the crowd responded like it was the worst insult in the world, Miz grabbed the microphone and said “Ohhhhhhhh, Miz is a bad guy, Miz is a heel…it was a joke”! For the most part, it was a funny segment, but the humor started to die down after both Miz and Titus failed to execute a hip toss to Strahan.
Tweets of the Night:
Nothing like showing that literally anyone off the street can outwrestle former WWE Champions #RAWTonight
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) November 26, 2013
— The Fans Podcast (@TheFansPodcast) November 26, 2013
— Kevin Sullivan (@SullivanBooks) November 26, 2013
— Ring-Rap.com (@RingRap) November 26, 2013
Commentary Lines of the Night: “What are they gonna do, drive around in their daddy’s Mercedes and throw lattes at each other?” – JBL talking about the Hamptons Hardcore Match. “Out of all the people in the Attitude Era, you bring up Pete Gas”! – JBL mocking Michael Cole. “Your face is scary” – Jerry Lawler yelling at Erick Rowan.
Overall Lowlights: Cody Rhodes/Goldust/Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield (should have been much better), Big E. Langston/Mark Henry vs. Curtis Axel/Ryback, Divas elimination match (again), Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz (again), The Kosher Butcher talking about circumcision, Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater (good showing from Woods, but bad match), John Cena/Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio/Randy Orton, Big Show pretending to have a concussion.
Overall Highlights: Title Unification match set for TLC, MIZ TV with Titus O’Neil and Michael Strahan, CM Punk/Daniel Bryan pre-match promo, CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family, Wyatt Family beats up Daniel Bryan and takes him away while the Shield destroy CM Punk, Mick Foley/Dude Love/Mankind selling stuff, every Michael Strahan backstage segment (the dude did a great job), Orton hits Cena in the head with the WWE Title.