This is going to be way shorter than my norm. I usually write it either late Monday night or early Tuesday before work, but I had to work overtime this week. So I’m starting at about 7pmET Tuesday and will condense my thoughts on this three hour show. What can I say? Life gets busy in December. Before we get started, want to make mention of MY awards: The WWE Johnny Awards. They will be posted next Monday December 20th prior to Raw. I’m looking forward to writing it.

Live from New Orleans, Louisiana this is the Raw Deal…

We started with them talking about the Slammy’s while Lawler said he wanted to punch Cole. Cole said he’d be fired if he did that. I’m sure in two weeks we will be told to forget that there was ever an issue.

The first award was presented by David Arquette of all people. So random. He bragged about being a former WCW Champion. Even mentioned beating Eric Bischoff. I’m sure TNA considers that good press. Isn’t it amazing that the people that booked Arquette to be champion are running TNA now? Boggles the mind.

The first award is Shocker of the Year and it goes to Nexus attacking Cena on their debut. Wade Barrett accepts the award. He said he created the group and it was his decision to do the invasion. Then he said he could re-hire Cena tonight. The GM buzzed in. Punk wanted to read like last week, but Cole did it. He announced Big Show vs. Barrett. Show stole Barrett’s Slammy on the way to the ring.

Big Show d. Wade Barrett via countout (3/4*)
The match went about 3 minutes. The crowd was hot for Cena here, but we didn’t see him. Show was dominating, so Barrett took his Slammy, walked out and lost by countout. In other words they had no interest in booking either guy to lose.

Vote for Superstar of the Year later. Gee, I wonder.

I love how the announcers plugged the Diva battle royal by mentioning Kaitlyn as if that is some kind of interesting thing. NXT 3 sucked. Forget it happened.

Kelly Kelly came out to present an award along with Tyson Kidd, who was accompanied by his bodyguard Jackson Andrews. This was more fun than you’d think. I loved Tyson Kidd ripping on Kelly Kelly during the award presentation by making fun of her being stupid. She was okay too, but Tyson did a solid job considering he rarely gets to talk.

The award for Despicable Me goes to CM Punk singing Happy Birthday to Rey Mysterio’s daughter. I miss Serena. Punk celebrated in an over the top manner. He said he’d get revenge on somebody that wronged him. Didn’t say who. I hope it leads to Punk vs. Daniel Bryan when he gets back to wrestling early next year. I assume late January or early February based on reports on his hip injury.

Daniel Bryan & Kofi Kingston d. Dolph Ziggler & Ted Dibiase (*1/4)
Bryan has the Bellas, Dolph has Vickie, Ted has Maryse & Kofi has nobody. If this was on Smackdown this match would have got 10-13 minutes and been a three star affair. Since it’s Raw they got three minutes. Kofi won with Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler. Dibiase actually broke it up before the three, but the ref totally missed it and still counted it out. I dunno if Dibiase fucked up or the ref did. Somebody did. A year ago you would have thought Kingston & Dibiase had bright futures. They have fallen down the roster in a year. I think Bryan & Ziggler have more potential.

Santino & Kozlov came out to present an award about guest stars. Interesting to note Florence Henderson was nominated here, but she got replaced by Wayne Brady. They changed a lot of nominees on Monday afternoon. Sexist pigs! This was funny because they actually mentioned that Magruber movie nobody watched.

The Slammy for Guest Star of the Year goes to Pee Wee Herman. Blah. Whatever. Shatner should have won for singing the theme songs. That was entertaining. Herman gave a speech from his show in Broadway.

The Nexus boys talked about Barrett’s decision backstage. Otunga told him that running away from Show should tell him he needs Nexus and if he goes against want they want (Cena re-hired) it could leave him alone. Barrett thanked him for helping him make the decision while having a witty smile on his face.

Tribute to the Troops on Saturday. Look at who wins the battle royal. Always a threat.

Cody Rhodes d. Mark Henry (*)
I love how the announcers called this an upset. I doubt Mark Henry has won more than 30% of his matches in 14 years of employment. Cody’s a star on the rise in 2011. I definitely see him winning the IC title next year and could be a main eventer in 2-3 years. The gimmick is working, he can work well and his promos are better than most people think. Don’t touch the face.

Lawler and Vickie came out to present an award. They had some banter that included three fat jokes by Lawler even though she’s clearly lost a lot of weight. But it’s WWE where if you don’t look like a supermodel you are considered fat. Except Natalya & Beth because they’re awesome.

The award for “Holy Shit Moment of the Year” goes to Cena giving the Attitude Adjustment to Batista through the stage. Lame. Should have been Orton’s RKO on Bourne. That happened in the ring and was one of those moments you don’t forget. The stuntman bumps aren’t as good to me. Orton even tweeted asking if he was robbed of the award. Yes he was.

Wade Barrett came out to accept the award for Cena, who is still fired. He goes to the ring and asks Cena to come out. He comes in through the crowd. The Nexus guys showed up. Barrett re-hired Cena to the shock of nobody. This angle was terrible, so glad it ended. They couldn’t even keep the guy off TV for a week to try to sell it. It was brutal. Barrett told him there are two conditions: he faces him at TLC in a Chairs Match (Cena agrees) and that he takes on David Otunga later (Cena agrees). Former tag champs! Collide! Are we allowed to remember that? Moving on, Nexus attacked Cena and Barrett hit Cena in the back with a couple of chair shots to help promote that match. The crowd was happy to have Cena back. Like I said, though, the angle lost a lot of its luster and became a joke more than anything.

Next week three WWE shows on USA Network: 2 hour Raw on Monday, 2 hour live Smackdown on Tuesday and 2 hour Tribute to the Troops on Wednesday. The NBC Tribute is 1 hour. I guess that means people will actually watch Smackdown since it’s not buried on Friday night for a week. Check listings in other countries. I’ll likely watch Smackdown live.

David Arquette was out again acting like an idiot. He gave out the WWE Universe Fan Reaction award, which was clearly an award inspired by one fan.

The Slammy for Fan Reaction goes to the Miz girl. She’s actually there. Not a plant either. Legit fan. She talked for like 10 seconds, thanking her dad & The Miz came out to interrupt. They should have had her slap him. That would have been a big pop.

Miz walked out to the ring talk about the PPV match against Orton in a Tables Match. The GM buzzed in to say that both Miz & Orton would have to face former World Champions. The Miz’ opponent? Rey Mysterio.

The Miz d. Rey Mysterio (**)
It was okay for seven minutes because it was an actual fresh match, but they screwed up some stuff. Alberto Del Rio showed up and there were three guys outside the ring to distract Rey. Eventually it worked so Miz was able to win with the Skull Crushing Finale. These two could have some good matches together, I think. I actually like Cole’s announcing during The Miz’ matches. Reminds me of Bobby Heenan when he would do matches for Flair or Perfect. Not as good obviously (The Brain was the best), but the same kind of idea and I think it adds to the heel’s work in the ring.

Post match, Miz was celebrating and Cole get buzzed, so he had to interrupt much to his dismay. Orton would have to face Riley & former WCW World Champion David Arquette. Remember the whole former World Champ thing? There ya go.

Mark the fuck out time. Edge is out to present the “Oh Snap Meltdown of the Year” Slammy and Kane was supposed to be there, but he’s having a meltdown. He needs somebody else…Christian! Yes. Finally. The E&C reunion. Christian is of course injured with a torn pec muscle. He mentions Del Rio, then they bring the funny. By the way, they’re not “brothers.” They are friends. Don’t watch shows from a decade ago that tell you otherwise. Forget the past. The Slammy went to Edge for beating up the computer. Christian started doing the computer noise on his phone because it’s the same as on IPhone’s. Edge ended the segment with the line of the night: “Michael Cole is still a massive tool.” Star of the night for that. Loved the reunion. Hope it happens when Christian’s healthy in about three months. This was fun. Not great. It was fun at least. And sometimes that’s all that you need.

John Morrison vs. Sheamus ended in a DQ (NR)
They brawled for 30 seconds and it got thrown out. The GM buzzed in to say at Sunday’s TLC PPV they would have a ladder match with a #1 Contender’s WWE Title contract hanging from the roof. Winner gets to be number one contender. Sheamus hit him with the ladder and then slammed him from inside the ring onto a ladder set up on the outside. The crowd was pretty hot for this, so that’s a good sign.

I actually think Morrison will win the match and then go on to face The Miz at the Rumble. Triple H is likely coming back and will face Sheamus at the Rumble PPV. Then Miz can go over Morrison and likely defend & lose the belt to Cena at WrestleMania. At least that’s how I see it.

JTG and Regal came out for the Knucklehead of the Year award. It went to Mae Young pinning Laycool. Accepting the award was Laycool. The Slammys: Where losers win. They did their usual annoying speech. Please hurt them.

Divas Battle Royal won by Michelle McCool.
The winner of this is Diva of the Year. Not fan voting. This is what I wrote in my Slammy Preview: “I think McCool wins, or maybe Laycool wins to honor Layla as well. They are the focal point of the division, like it or not. They probably booked it battle royal style to ensure the heel wins because otherwise they’d have no chance with the fan voting.” And that’s what happened. Michelle won, last eliminating my favorite diva Natalya.

After the match, the GM announced that it would be Natalya & Beth vs. Michelle & Layla in a tag team Tables match at the PPV. I’d expect Natalya & Beth to win. I wouldn’t mind a Beth heel turn leading to a feud with Natalya though. That would be excellent.

They plugged the “controversial” Top 50 WWE Superstars DVD. Wrong word. The word should be misguided, irrational or silly because of how low the likes of Flair, Hogan, Foley & Angle are. I don’t have it in front of me, but google it and see. It’s sad. Obviously it’s because they work for TNA. It’s still stupid.

They announced Ziggler vs. Kingston vs. Swagger in a Ladder Match for the IC Title at the PPV. Way too many gimmick matches this year.

Edge d. Jack Swagger (*1/2)
It was okay, but they’ve had better matches this year. Edge won clean with the Spear in about five minutes. I think he’s going to beat Kane at the PPV to win the World Title and then feud with Del Rio, who will go over Mysterio at the PPV. That could be fun.

The Miz, Riley & Arquette had a meeting. Arquette continues to be crazy. It’s annoying, not funny. Miz says his goal was to put Orton through a table later in the show.

The announcers plugged the video game and some award that a kid won for making a created wrestler. Lawler loved it of course! What doesn’t he love?

Big Show came out to present Moment of the Year. It went to Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania. It’s the Slammy’s, so the loser gets the award: Shawn Michaels. Shouldn’t we be concered about the Undertaker being Buried Alive in a moment like this? The shock! The horror! Oh wait, nobody cares. HBK gives a speech from the Tribute to the Troops show that he’s on this weekend. He ended it by saying “see you again very soon.” Cue the rumors. Hopefully it’s for the WWE Hall of Fame. I really think he’s done. But I thought that about Flair too.

Randy Orton d. Alex Riley & Arquette (*)
Orton won clean with the RKO in about 3 minutes. Arquette was just goofy and awkward. Post match, Miz attacked. They set up a table. Orton went to powerbomb him through it, but Arquette saved him. Orton put Arquette through the table. To a big pop. I cheered that too. Then there was a staredown between Miz & Orton. I’d say Miz goes over at the PPV. Has to. Does anybody ever win the rematch anymore?

Next award was the “And I Quote” award. Very good video package about memorable quotes and jokes from the year. Highlights for me were Santino’s Tea Time and Jericho telling Cole to shut up and read it. I liked the video package, though. Cole said he won the award. For what? I dunno. Moving on.

Teddy Long came out to present Superstar of the Year…John Cena. Fans voted. Shocker? No. I don’t think he’ll even be in the top five in my awards. We’ll see next week. I’m sure he cares. Haha. Cena talked. He loves the fans and he’s going to take out Nexus. That’s lovely.

John Cena d. David Otunga (1/2*)
Cena won with the STF in about a minute. Otunga’s the worst wrestler to get high profile matches in WWE in 2010. I don’t think he’s improved at all.

Post match, Cena beat Otunga with chair shots to the back while Barrett looked on at top of the ramp with a chair in his hand. Cena did his mad face to end the show.

I think it was decent hype for the match. I guess the deal is Cena’s beat everybody in Nexus now except Barrett. And you know he’s winning Sunday.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Edge – “Michael Cole is still a massive tool.”
2. Christian – Because I marked out for the E&C reunion. I’m biased. Deal with it.
3. Randy Orton – He shut up Arquette. That’s a win to me.

5 out of 10
Last week: 5

Same as last week. Average show. I’m sure some will say I was too nice with that number. I think it did an okay, but not great, job of promoting the TLC matches. I think some of the awards were silly. That’s the point in some cases. I’m just amazed that some people take them so seriously. They’re mostly done for storyline progression or simply for laughs.

In closing, thank God the firing angle is over. After Cena beats Barrett hopefully that story ends. It started out with so much potential five months. It’s ending with a whimper.

There will be a PPV preview later in the week. Look out for that. I will write it while sitting on a chair, typing on a table and doing nothing involving a ladder. That’s TLC, people.

————

Keep checking out thejohnreport.net for exclusive articles that are only posted on my site, plus the thejohnreport.net podcast posted every Wednesday. We have recaps of Raw, Smackdown, NXT and TNA Impact, so give us a look.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
Visit the blog: thejohnreport.net
Add me on Facebook at Facebook.com/thejohnreportnet
and Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreport

Visit My Archives to view ten years of The John Report columns.