WWE Monday Night Raw Review - 12/21/2015
2015 Slammy Awards
2015 Slammy Award Winner
Breakout Star of the Year
LOL Moment of the Year
OMG Shocking Moment of the Year
Superstar of the Year
Surprise Return of the Year
Diva of the Year
This is Awesome Moment of the Year
The Rock and Ronda Rousey
The Rock and Ronda Rousey
Match of the Year
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (Hell in a Cell)
Sting vs. Triple H
Match #1: The Wyatt Family defeats Kane, The Dudley Boyz and Tommy Dreamer by pinfall
- The Demon Kane makes his return and is scheduled to start off the action tonight as he goes one on one with Bray Wyatt. However, the match ends in DQ in less than a minute and The Wyatts start delivering a beat down on Kane. The Dudleyz and Tommy Dreamer run down to make the save and this match is restarted as an 8-man tag match.
- Where's Rhyno? I think Rhyno should've at least came down with them and stood by at ringside, but he wasn't there and they didn't even mention why.
- This match is close to 4 minutes in total, and ends when Luke Harper nails D-Von with a Discus Clothesline and gets the pin. I think Luke Harper is great and he has all the tools but I would advise him to switch up his finisher to his Sit-Out Powerbomb or something else more believable as a main event level finisher because that could be greatly beneficial in the long run. I think he should just keep his Discus Clothesline as a signature maneuver.
- Kane has been off of TV for some time and this could be a great spot for him to return. It makes sense for Kane and The Dudleyz to form an alliance to work The Wyatts. Kane is a great match for Braun Strowman because of their size and Braun can really learn a lot from working with Kane. Kane is a classic "big man" in WWE and Braun Strowman could learn a lot from the veteran especially if he wants to be next in line. Braun can also learn a lot from talents like Big Show and Mark Henry because they match his size and strength, and they can pass on some veteran in-ring work to the "big man" of the next generation.
- If WWE continues to protect Braun Strowman for now, they can book the tag match with Kane at the next PPV. I would have Rhyno a part of the act as well, even if it is just outside interference. However, if WWE wasn't protecting Strowman they could book him in a one on one match with Kane but I don't think he's ready for that spotlight yet. I would continue to protect Strowman a little longer until he's a little less green in the ring. When he's ready to have his first one on one match at a PPV, either Kane or Big Show would be a great first opponent for the former strongman.
- Match Rating - n/a if under 5 minutes
Match #2: Kevin Owens defeats Dolph Ziggler by pinfall
- In an absolutely great match, Kevin Owens beat Dolph Ziggler with a Pop-up Powerbomb. This match was close to 10 minutes in length, with some great offense from both men. Ziggler and Owens actually had a match last week on Smackdown, which Ziggler won by disqualification. So after tonight, both Owens and Ziggler have traded wins in the past week. The Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose gets mixed into this and now we have ourselves some real potential for a great triple threat. This is really good booking because these guys are hitting home runs every week and now they are getting noticed. This is great because it makes the whole IC division get noticed and makes the title more relevant. I think there should be a rule in WWE that states for a superstar to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, he must have held either the IC or US Championship belts as a pre-requisite. In this case, all the men fighting for the IC title have that pre-requisite. Owens, Ziggler and Ambrose are all very believable future WWE World Heavyweight Champions, and that is why I feel the Intercontinental Championship is the most relevant title on TV right now.
- Match Rating - 7.5/10
Match #3: Alberto Del Rio defeats Jack Swagger by pinfall
- This match was close to 4 minutes in total and the outcome was extremely predictable from bell to bell. It is not believable that Jack Swagger is going to get a win over the US Champion Alberto Del Rio so why would you book this match? It really feels like this match was the outcome of lazy booking and there's a lot better things to do with the US Championship. John Cena is making his return next week to face Alberto Del Rio so hopefully that will spark up some life into the US Championship division because the whole division has been dead ever since John Cena lost. Jack Swagger will likely be taken off Raw for some time because he was just a placeholder in the US title division that needed to buy some time for John Cena to return. I think Alberto Del Rio could have had a much better reign as champ if he actually defended it against more believable talents, but the US title has been booked too predictably because Swagger was never really a threat to Del Rio's US Title reign. Lets hope that John Cena can rebuild the momentum that the US Title had earlier this year with his open challenges.
- Match Rating - n/a if under 5 minutes
Match #4: The Usos defeat The New Day by pinfall in a 2 vs. 3 Handicap Match
- The Tag Team Champions New Day are in action as they take on The Usos in a Handicap Match. This match was great, it was close to 8 minutes and had some great tag team action from both teams. Jey Uso reversed a roll-up pin from Xavier to get the pin and win the match for The Usos, they just got a clean pinfall victory over the tag team champions. Both of these teams are hot as hell, both teams are doing great and both teams are on top of the tag team division right now.
- Match Rating - 7/10
Match #5: Rusev defeats Neville by submission
- The Breakout Star of the Year Neville is in action next as he goes one on one with the Bulgarian Brute Rusev. League of Nations are watching at ringside and The Miz is on commentary. This was a good match with a some extremely smooth high spots by Neville, the greatest spot is the Diving Moonsault from the top rope to the outside. Neville may just be the most athletically impressive superstar on the roster, he can truly perform some maneuvers that no one else on the roster can touch. He makes it look easy and performs with grace. This match was about 5 minutes in length and I really liked the ending of the match. Neville jumped at Rusev from the top rope and got caught in a superkick and it looked devastating. Rusev wins clean with no help from League of Nations as he makes Neville tap to the Accolade.
- This also progresses the Miz and Neville storyline. Last week when Miz was giving Neville instructions through his megaphone, Neville won his match. Now that Miz wasn't instructing him and was only on commentary, Neville took a loss. The Miz and Neville can be a great act in a way where we can hide Neville's weaknesses for now, and give him some time to learn a few things about cutting a promo from The Miz. I can even see WWE going as far as having Neville teach the Miz his accent in backstage segments.
- Match Rating - 7/10
Match #6: Becky Lynch defeats Brie Bella by submission
- In the only divas match of the night, Becky Lynch goes one on one with Brie Bella, the twin sister of the Diva of the Year. This match was about 5 minutes with both divas having her fair share of offense. Becky Lynch gets an opportunity to lock in the Disarmer and she doesn't waste it, Brie taps out and Becky wins clean. This is a key win by Becky because she just made a former Divas Champion tap out clean in 5 minutes. I like this booking, but I would just book Becky Lynch with a little more dominance because she is one of the stronger and stiffer divas in the division. Also, this way she can be a face and she doesn't play third wheel to no one. I expect some more heat to build up between Becky and Charlotte in the upcoming weeks, maybe enough heat for Becky Lynch to have a title shot coming her way. Sasha can't be forgotten about either, she is undefeated on the main roster and she likely has a title shot in her near future as well. The crowd was chanting for NXT Women's Champion Bailey tonight, who is currently killing it in NXT and had a sick title defense against Nia Jax last week at the NXT Takeover. 2015 is the year that the Four Horsewomen changed the paradigm of women's wrestling forever.
Match Rating - 6/10
Match #7 (Main Event): Dean Ambrose defeats Sheamus in a Steel Cage Match by climbing out
- The Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose is in tonight's main event as he goes one on one with Sheamus just one day before he defends his title against Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens in a Triple Threat Match. Before this match even starts, we see League of Nations assault Usos backstage, League of Nations are doing great together as heels and this was an entertaining segment which actually felt like a throwback. The match was close to 12 minutes in total, it was a good steel cage match with some show stealing spots from both men. The White Noise off the top rope was an amazing spot, it was delivered with authority and looked picture perfect. Also, Dean's elbow off the top of the cage was great, probably the spot of the night. The IC Champ Dean Ambrose may actually be more over than both Reigns and Sheamus right now, his popularity is what got him to take the IC title from Kevin Owens. That being said, the IC title division is hot right now and I like the idea of the IC champ main eventing shows. WWE could use something to spice up the world title division because they might just go with a rematch and book Sheamus vs. Reigns again. If I were WWE, I would have the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match as a Triple Threat as well and book Rusev vs. Reigns vs. Sheamus for the title. This way Rusev and Sheamus can work together, as they are already a team, and work towards a common goal which is to make sure Reigns does not retain the title. Rusev is a very believable champion and this would make for an extremely climactic match, this triple threat is a much better idea than a Reigns vs. Sheamus rematch.