Hey guys! Drew here! Bill has the night off, recovering from an average-to-terrible Survivor Series last night. We ended the show with John Cena and Randy Orton trying to out-belt each other with their respective titles. You know what that means? Unification!
Tune in tonight at 8pm Eastern as we cover the show live! Join in the fun on Twitter as well, @RingRap!
Tonight's episode is in memoriam of "Mad Dog" Vachon.
We kick things off in Long Island with Randy Orton heading to the ring. By the way, Michael Strahan is the special guest host tonight. Later tonight, The Wyatts (all three of them) face off against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in a handicapped match.
Orton takes the mic. He feels he's owed an apology from all the cynics that didn't think he'd have the belt still. Orton introduces The Authority: Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
The announcers keep referring to being in Long Island. It's as if Long Island is a city, not, you know, an entire island.
Steph and Trips say they gave Orton exactly what he needed - motivation. He reached deep down inside and rose above victorious. Plus, it's nice to be right.
Orton says that she's gone and made it somehow about themselves. Orton is upset that they came down to ringside and tainted his victory. Triple H says there was no physical interference, as promised. Orton says he can take care of himself.
Worthy of note, the loud Daniel Bryan and Yes chants.
Orton continues, and says he slayed the giant. He is the WWE Champion, and is the greatest superstar in the 50 years the company has existed. Noone can take that from him.
Cue John Cena's music.
Cena comes to the ring all smiles. He extends his hand. "Hi, John Cena. World Heavyweight Champion." Steph interrupts him, and wants him to get to the point. He says they need to listen to the fans. Why do they chant for Daniel Bryan? Because they're sick of the administration. He also asked who is champion? There's two champions in the ring. Cena believes it's time there should be only one champion.
Orton interrupts, but Cena cuts him off. He wants to put the belts up. Randy Orton vs. John Cena for both titles, tonight!
Naturally the fans love this.
Steph says it's something they've been talking about for a while now. Orton feels betrayed. Triple H tells him to grow up. In three weeks, at TLC, they are going to hang both championships above the ring. Randy Orton vs. John Cena in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match!
Orton's promo was pretty great, and he showed some awesome fire. John Cena's speech about Daniel Bryan acknowledged the fan's frustrations, then completely ignored them. The idea of the unification of the titles is intriguing, and something that people have been calling for going on years now. But, at TLC? A second-rate pay-per-view? Seems like something is off there. It's not clear if both belts will be hung from the same rung or different ones. If different ones, it leaves open the possibility of separate winners for each.
The Shield comes out to the ring for their six man tag match. The announcers put over Roman Reigns' domination last night at Survivor Series. Goldust and Cody Rhodes come out to the ring, and they are teaming up with Rey Mysterio!
The Shield (Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) vs. Goldust & Cody Rhodes & Rey Mysterio
The Shield immediately triple-teams and attacks Goldust. Lots of rapid fire tags from The Shield. Goludst tries to get the hot tag but gets cut off. He sends Rollins over the top. Rollins makes it back in and tags Reigns, cutting Goldust off again. Good match already as we go to break.
We're back, and Goludst is still in the ring. Hot tag to Rey! Rey's on fire and Rollins is bumping all over the place for him. We almost had a 619. Double collision in mid-air. Cody and Ambrose are in. It's chaos, and Rey goes for the 619 again, but Roman Reigns spears him! He spears Goldust too! Craziness. Cody hits the Disaster Kick on Reigns, but Ambrose and Rollins assault him from behind. Ambrose hits his finisher, and we have our winners.
Winners: The Shield
I was concerned about there being some sort of tension between The Shield, considering the early Ambrose elimination last night and Reigns' domination, but they're still as unified as ever. Excellent match from top to bottom, as expected.
Back after commercial, The Miz stands in the middle of the ring for MizTV. His guest tonight is our host for the evening - Michael Strahan.
Instead, Titus O'Neil comes out to the ring with tape over his front teeth. I can't help but wonder how many people realize it's not Strahan. Titus is playing up the part pretty well. He compliments The Miz on being a former Wrestlemania headliner and champion. Miz runs down his accolades and asks him "What's with the gap?" Strahan, I mean Titus, says the gap is distinctive. Miz cuts a joke about The Giants. "Ohhh Miz is a bad guy, Miz is a bad guy. It was a joke!" Funny.
Titus starts talking himself up, when the real Michael Strahan interrupts and comes out to the ring. Strahan and Strahan chest bump. The real Strahan thanks both Titus and Miz. He says the jokes were weak. Strahan says Titus needs more confidence for the gap. Strahan says they're here to have fun. Oh boy.
Strahan says later on there is a double team tag team main event. Ok? Randy Orton & Alberto Del Rio will tag against. John Cena & The Big Show.
The Miz says Strahan is a great host, but so is The Miz. The Miz also challenges him to a match. Strahan says Kelly Ripa can beat The Miz. Titus tries to talk him out of it. The Miz asks if he can handle a simple hip toss. They move the chairs. Miz tries to hip toss Strahan, he blocks it. Titus goes for it. He fails as well. Miz tries again - Strahan blocks it and counters with his own. Titus does his Millions of Dollars dance, and Strahan tosses him as well. They all hug afterwards and dance.
The segment was bad, but even worse was how The Miz went from heel to face to heel to face throughout the entire segment. I don't get it. Titus is kind of a goofball, so it was fine for him, but they just turned The Miz heel. Stick with it!
Curtis Axel and Ryback stand in the ring. Looks like they're facing against Big E Langston and Mark Henry.
Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. Big E Langston & Mark Henry
This is a good opportunity for Big E to get a rub from Henry. Big E and Curtis start it off. Worth noting, this is the second match on the card, is also a tag match, and we have another tag match in the main event, as well as a handicapped tag match later tonight as well.
Not long before the Goldberg chants break out. It's back and forth between Ryback and Langston. Tag to Henry, and Axel. Henry headbutts Axel. Langston cuts Ryback off, and Henry hits The World's Strongest Slam on Axel for the win.
Winners: Big E Langston & Mark Henry
Up next, a rematch of our Divas contest at last night's pay-per-view. Dear lord.
Divas vs. Total Divas in a Survivor Series Elimination match
Last night, most eliminations took one minute or less. I expect the same here. I won't even bother.
Summer Rae ends up being the last Diva, so she has a dance-off with the remaining girls. The Bellas and Eva Marie surround the ring. Nikki Bella hits her finisher for the win.
Winners: Total Divas
It was a train wreck. I'm sorry.
We get a recap of another train wreck from last week - the Broadway Brawl between Ziggler and Sandow. We can vote for their match tonight. Joy.
The Slammys are in two weeks. Mark your calendar.
Damien Sandow and Jerry Lawler stand in the middle of the ring. Sandow says he's above this and should not be forced to compete in "circus-like conditions." Well, he's right.
Anyhow, he and Dolph are gonna face in a "Hamptons Hardcore Match." The choices were really all the same anyhow.
Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Hardcore Match
A crew brings out "toys" for the wrestlers to use, including golf clubs, tennis rackets, and other various highbrow sports equipment. Pathetic.
Dolph Ziggler is wearing a Zack Ryder t-shirt, by the way. The action quickly spills outside the ring. Sandow is throwing Ziggler all over the place. Michael Cole says "This is like the Attitude Era - shades of Pete Gas and the Mean Street Posse." Really? Really. We go to break.
We are back from break, and it's literally turning into a garbage match. There's garbage all over the ring. Lovely.
Anyhow, it's a long hardcore match, and it's fine, but the fans are bored. Damien Sandow gets the win.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Backstage, Michael Strahan and Santino chat about something. Erick Rowan comes up to Strahan and hands him a mask and makes him wear it. Creepy.
After break, Renee Young stands in the middle of the ring, and introduces CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Young wants their reaction to last night's match and their match tonight. It's a Q & A session with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Punk name-drops all his buddies. Fun stuff. The Wyatts come to the ring and we go to commercial.
Fun promo rallying up the troops, so to speak. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk have a chemistry together, which isn't shocking considering their history.
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt)
Punk and Rowan start it out. Punk targets the legs. Ends up with Bryan and Harper going at it. Harper's got some nasty uppercuts. Tag to Bray himself. It's been a while since he's been in the ring. Bray talks trash and hits a few headbutts. Tag to Rowan. Punk tags in and ends up dropping an elbow on Rowan. Rowan tosses Punk outside over the top rope as we go to break.
Back from break and CM Punk is getting the tar beat out of him. Tags between all three Wyatts. Punk kicks Rowan in the side of the head and it creates an opening to tag in Daniel Bryan. Dropkick to Wyatt, but Harper is the legal man. Huge Yes chants for every kick. The fans love Bryan.
All hell breaks loose and everyone is in the ring. The referee calls for the bell and we get the DQ. The attack continues, and CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are both laid out. Rowan slings Daniel Bryan over his shoulder and the Wyatts leave the ring with Bryan in tow.
CM Punk starts to stand up, when out of nowhere Roman Reigns takes him out with a spear. The rest of The Shield walks over to keep him down. They pick Punk up and set him up in the ring for a triple power bomb. I guess we have our next feuds going into TLC.
The match itself was fine, but it was really intended to set up two angles. I'm fine with it.
We come back from break to a recap of the previous events.
Backstage, The Miz and that chick from that movie he's in chat it up. It's like he's hitting on her. Creepy.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Just in case you missed their match last night, you get it again. Cheers.
Kofi offers a handshake to start the match. Wrong company dude. Miz and Kofi jockey for position. Kofi hits a hip toss and makes a comment to The Miz. Kofi taunts Miz. It's a slow pace and it kind of feels like they've sent these guys out there to fill time.
Kingston hits SOS and it's a near fall. Miz scores a quick pin out of nowhere. It's over.
Winner: The Miz
This match never got out of first gear. Some good spots, but they didn't seem to care and the audience didn't either.
Mick Foley does the weekly WWEShop.com plug, both as himself, Dude Love, and Mankind. Nice seeing Foley on TV in-character.
After the break, Lawler interviews a guy ringside who won a Hurricane Sandy relief auction. Lawler asked him the name of his wrestling persona - "The Kosher Butcher" and his finisher is "The Circumcision." Lawler cuts him off.
R-Truth introduces Xavier Woods, who is accompanied by The Funkadactyls for some reason. They dance. Anyhow, it looks like Woods is facing Heath Slater.
Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater
A Kosher Butcher chant breaks out. Sad. This is actually a pretty entertaining match, especially compared to everything else we've seen. Sadly the audience is in it for themselves.
Woods has some really nice offense and a nasty looking finisher. He gets the win.
Winner: Xavier Woods
Woods heads over to the Kosher Butcher and poses with them, and manages to get a shirt out of the deal. Woods looks really comfortable in the spotlight here.
Back from break, and one-by-one, various Divas come up to Michael Strahan and ask him to sign footballs. Eva Marie comes up. The fans boo the crap out of her. Good thing they cheer for Goldust.
After some ads, now he's chatting with John Cena. Cena heads out to the ring for his match.
John Cena & The Big Show vs. Randy Orton & Alberto Del Rio
After introductions, Big Show and Alberto Del Rio kick us off. It doesn't take long for Show to lay down the chops. Del Rio avoids the second one. Tag to Orton.
Show has Orton on the mend, using elbows and chokes as we go to break.
We come back, and it's Del Rio and Cena. Del Rio is attacking Cena. Nice enzuirigi to Cena. Action is back and forth. Typical main event tag match, really. Orton and Del Rio tag back and forth, and they've got control. Big Show getting beat down. Repeated kicks to the head. He's out on his feet.
Orton and Del Rio focus on attacking Show's head. Show tries to tag the wrong team. The doctor stops the match and checks on Big Show. Show gets to his feet, Orton strikes immediately. Orton goes for a head punt, but Show spears him out of nowhere.
Hot tag to Cena. He hits his moves. You know, the sequence. Del Rio with a nice tilt-a-whirl. He sets up the cross-arm breaker, Cena counters with an STF. Del Rio taps and Cena secures the win for his team.
Winner: The Big Show & John Cena
Del Rio attacks Cena after the match. Orton gets involved and hits Cena with the belt. He grabs Cena's World Heavyweight Championship next, throws it in the ring, and holds both belts high in the air over Cena as we end the show.
The show had some redeeming qualities, but overall, it felt pretty flat. WWE is on auto-pilot right now, and the programs just don't feel inspired or exciting. What happened to the flame or energy we had during the summer? It's gone.
I'd like to thank everyone for following along with me tonight. Keep your eyes open for Bill's Afterthoughts tomorrow, as well as your Smackdown results!