Date: December 13, 2013
Location: Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the final show before TLC, meaning this is the last night with two world champions. It's hard to say what we'll get tonight but given that this is the blue show, I'll take a guess and say it ends in a big tag match. Other than that, maybe we'll get a tables, ladder or chairs match added to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs show. Let's get to it.
We open with a clip of the ending segment from Raw with Cena calling out Orton for living on his reputation and the huge brawl which seems to plant seeds for Wrestlemania. I still don't think Shawn is getting back in the ring though.
The belts are hanging above the ring and there are probably fifteen ladders and tables set up around the ring.
Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan
Bryan has one of the Slammys he won on Monday with him. Rowan shoves Daniel down to start but Daniel comes back with a running forearm to stagger Erick. The kicks get him nowhere though as Rowan easily shoves him down. Rowan gets in a forearm of his own to Daniel's back and puts on a bearhug followed by a fallaway slam.
A splash in the corner gets two on Daniel as Harper looks.....confused I guess you would call it. Bryan gets a boot up in the corner and a middle rope dropkick to drop Erick. Now the kicks work a bit better with the big one to the head dropping Rowan. The FLYING GOAT takes out Harper and Rowan is sent outside as well, only to have Bray trip up Bryan for the DQ at 3:06.
Rating: D+. This was just a quick trailer for the match on Sunday to illustrate what Bryan is going to have to go through. I actually like it better that way as we've seen Bryan vs. Rowan in a long match recently so there's little need to see the same thing again. Also it keeps Rowan looking strong instead of having him lose a second match, meaning there's some actual thought to the booking for a change.
Bryan has to fight off the monsters post match and manages to get out of the ring for a bad looking running knee to take Bray out.
Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust
Non-title. Before the match Colter rants about Santa Claus telling him Feliz Navidad. That sounds like an illegal immigrant to him and that means we need to strengthen our border with the North Pole. Goldust runs Cesaro down to start and it's quickly off to Cody as the champions start in on Antonio's arm. Swagger comes in with some right hands to Cody's jaw and the Americans start some quick tagging of their own. The Vader Bomb misses as a moderate We The People chant starts up.
Goldust comes in with the uppercut and a spinebuster to Swagger but a blind tag brings in Cesaro to knock Goldust out to the floor. We take a break and come back with Swagger holding Goldust in a front facelock. The Americans take their turns on Goldust with Swagger putting on a chinlock. Goldust fights up and comes off the second rope for a collision with Swagger.
The double tag brings in Cody for the sunset flip out of the corner and the Alabama Slam for two each on Antonio. Goldust has to break up the Swing and Cody gets two more off the Disaster Kick. Both Americans are sent to the floor and Cody hits a great looking dive to take Cesaro out. Back in and Cody loads up the moonsault press but gets distracted by Swagger, allowing Cesaro to pull him into the European uppercut for the pin at 6:17 shown of 9:47.
Rating: C-. It's been at least a few weeks since we last had the champions lose a few matches to set up a title shot so it was long overdue. The Americans getting wins is fine, but there must be some teams they could beat other than the champions. If nothing else, take some of those guys that have nothing else to do and make quick teams out of them. It's worked many times before.
Video package on what the history of the titles means for the unification match. This transitions into a nice package shows Cena and Orton's career paths.
Bad News Barrett calls us losers for voting on the Slammy winners.
Damien Sandow vs. Mark Henry
Langston is on commentary again. Henry throws Sandow around to start and shrugs off a boot in the corner. Sandow is sent to the floor and takes the countout to save himself for Sunday at 1:17.
Langston throws Sandow back inside for the beating he deserves.
AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka vs. Bella Twins
Natalya is on commentary. Nikki is shoved to the mat by Tamina to start but uses the power of yelling to come back. A snap suplex and a Samoan drop put Nikki down as Natalya talks about Total Divas. Off to AJ who skips around a lot but misses a charge into the corner, allowing for the hot tag to Brie. The girl named after cheese cleans a little bit of the house but is quickly caught in the Black Widow for the submission at 2:36.
Here's Cena for the PPV hard sell. Cena talks about how Monday was the first time that the two world champions both handed the world title away. 99% of the superstars in WWE history will never hold one of those (true, though if you go by the WWE roster currently listed on Wikipedia, which to be fair includes Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar and other part timers as well as names like Ezekiel Jackson and Evan Bourne, it's about 30% of all male wrestlers. Think about that for a minute and you'll see why the titles should be unified) but they gave the titles away. Why would they do that?
It's because of the moment on Sunday when the unification will change everything. Cena knows what Orton is capable of, but he also knows something Orton wishes he doesn't know: Orton has a glass jaw. Think about it: whenever Orton gets hurt, he runs away. This Sunday there's nowhere to run though and Orton is going to have to suffer through the pain from falling off a ladder or going through a table. Cena doesn't know what Orton is going to do but he's going to get back up every time. The question is does Orton run again or does he get back up? This Sunday there's one champion and his name is John Cena.
We look back at Punk beating Ambrose on Raw but getting speared down after the match.
Shield vs. Usos
Ambrose is on commentary here to continue a theme tonight. Jimmy leapfrogs Rollins to start and punches him in the face before tagging Jey. The twins hit a higher flying version of the Demolition Decapitator for two before Jimmy puts on a standing armbar. Rollins pushes him into the corner for the tag off to Reigns and Shield takes over. Jimmy tries to speed things up by hitting the ropes, allowing Jey to make a blind tag. Some Uso double teaming knocks Rollins out to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Jimmy fighting out of a Seth front facelock and getting two off a backslide. Reigns comes back in and shoves Jimmy into the corner for a chinlock. Jimmy escapes with a jawbreaker but Roman runs him over with a clothesline. Shield tries some double teaming but Rollins gets low bridged to the floor. Jimmy DDTs Reigns down and dives over for the tag to Jey. Rollins comes back in to speed things up with the throw in the air Samoan drop for a VERY close two.
The superkick sets up the Superfly Splash but Seth rolls to the floor. That's cool with Jey who takes him out with a cross body, putting all four guys outside. Reigns comes out of nowhere with a spear to Jimmy and Jey is sent into the post. Jey barely beats the count but gets caught by the Black Out (running curb stomp). Rollins loads up a GTS but puts Jey on his feet instead of hitting him with the knee, only to set up another spear for the pin at 8:55 shown of 11:10.
Rating: C+. The tag matches continue to be good in WWE as they're given the time to develop. I still hope the Usos get the titles eventually as they've spent years on the roster and consistently put on entertaining matches. At the same time, Shield, is able to have good matches no matter what combination we get from them.
After the match Punk appears on screen from the basement ala Shield's promos. Punk didn't like it when Shield put their hands on him and he's going to do something about it on Sunday. He knows he's going down, but the question is how many of them are going with him.
Ryback vs. Big Show
Axel and Mysterio are the seconds here. Before the match we get the announcement of a four way tag title match on Sunday: Rhodes/Goldust vs. Ryback/Axel vs. Real Americans vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio. Big Show chops Ryback down to start and hits the loud chop in the corner. A headbutt staggers Ryback and there's another loud chop. Ryback comes back with a nice spinebuster for two but the Meat Hook is caught in a chokeslam to give Big Show the pin at 1:44.
Axel takes a 619 post match.
We look at Bryan attacking Bray earlier.
The Wyatts come on screen and Bray says he was trying to prove Daniel wrong. Bray yells that he (Bray) was a blind fool though and starts singing about walking with the reaper and leaving this world behind. That's his special lullaby song that he sings to all of his babies before he puts them down. See you Sunday Bryan.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio gets the jobber entrance. No match again this week as Miz jumps Kofi and gives him a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. I'd assume we have a TLC match set as a result.
In the weekly sitdown interview, HHH says he might listen to an apology from Orton for him running into Stephanie on Monday.
Here's Orton for the apology to end the show. He talks about the end of Monday's show and seeing Stephanie laid out on the mat. Orton can't get the image out of his head and wants to apologize to the Authority in person. This brings out HHH as Orton says it was clearly an accident. He says it's clearly an accident if you look at the footage so here's the ending sequence again.
There's more footage from a different angle in slow motion but we have to wait for the YES chant to die down first. Orton talks over the Daniel Bryan chant and talks about how their relationship is important and he wants HHH and Stephanie to accept his apology. HHH says he's seen the footage over and over because they're his cameras in the first place. There are a lot of people that need to apologize but he isn't one of them. They both know he could fire Orton for this but that wouldn't be best for business. For this one time, Orton's apology is accepted.
Orton is grateful, but there's one more thing he needs to ask about. We look at the footage of Cena helping Stephanie to her feet and standing next to the Authority and Orton would like an explanation. Randy talks about proving himself on Sunday but wants to know if the Authority has the same amount of faith in him that he has in himself. HHH says don't worry about it because they know exactly where their faith lies. Orton is confused to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show was designed to set up the main matches for Sunday but we didn't really get anything new here. Bryan got in a shot at Bray and that's really about all that has changed. Cena still seems to be the Authority's guy (though I don't buy it at all) and Punk is still promising to take the Shield down with him. Other than adding the four way tag match, there really isn't anything new for Sunday. The wrestling here was just ok but the point was setting up the PPV. Everything was covered, but other than the main event there isn't much of interest to see, which cuts tonight's show down.
Daniel Bryan b. Erick Rowan via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered
Real Americans b. Goldust/Cody Rhodes – European uppercut to Rhodes
AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka b. Bella Twins – Black Widow to Brie
Shield b. Usos – Spear to Jey
Big Show b. Ryback – Chokeslam
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