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WWE Raw results (12/16/13): 15 observations from this week's episode

Raw emanated from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas the night after Randy Orton became the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

WWE Raw results (12/16/13): 15 observations from this week's episode

WWE Superstar lands a punch during a match. (Photo courtesy of WWE)
WWE Superstar lands a punch during a match. (Photo courtesy of WWE)

Raw emanated from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas the night after Randy Orton became the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Compared to what we’ve been offered on Raw the last couple of months, Monday’s episode was pretty good. It didn’t seem to drag on like most episodes and had some pretty good matches.

The crowd in Dallas was pretty hot as well so it only added to the show.

Now on to the observations:

Is WWE setting up a triple threat match between Orton, Cena and Bryan?

That’s the way it looked to me coming out of Raw. Raw started with a celebration for Orton winning at TLC.

Cena interrupted his celebration and told him that he should prove how good he is against Bryan.

Bryan and Orton went at it in the main event and tore the house down. The fans in Dallas were very hot for this match and rightfully so. Orton and Bryan put on a show.

Orton got himself disqualified, however, after he delivered a low blow to Bryan. This apparently ticked Cena off enough to run down to the ring to chase off Orton and check on Bryan, who looked pretty banged up.

Orton came back into the ring and gave Cena an RKO. He stood tall over both Cena and Bryan as the show went off the air.

The visual looked as if WWE is setting up for a triple threat match at the Royal Rumble, but there is still a lot of time between now and then and WWE could definitely change its mind and change course.

Why is the entire roster standing on stage again?

Why would WWE do this again? Again? Really? Because it worked so well before, right? Wrong.

WWE doesn’t know what kind of perception that gives off about its “superstars.” It makes them look weak. Like they have no choice. Now in reality, they don’t. WWE is the only game in town, but you don’t convey that over television.

WWE should showcase the superstars as if the company needs them more than they need the company. It’s the other way around and it doesn’t make sense. Even Cena and Bryan were out there.

Why is John Cena Daniel Bryan’s mouthpiece?

As if Bryan can’t speak for himself. I know Cena is supposed to be the ultimate good guy and I guess it’s supposed to elevate Bryan by having the top guy in the company vouch for him on a consistent basis.

But it really doesn’t elevate him. Bryan is a grown man. He should be speaking for himself. Cena shouldn’t be grabbing the microphone and talking about how Bryan has been screwed over time and time again. That should be Bryan.

Cena doing makes Bryan look like his little brother. Now it doesn’t stop people from cheering Bryan. People still love him. But they could love him even more if he spoke for himself. It would have so much more meaning.

With Cena doing it for him it just looks like he’s receiving charity although Bryan knows as much as anyone how hard he’s worked just to get to the WWE.

CM Punk and Shawn Michaels have an interesting exchange in the ring

CM Punk cut a promo in the ring and called out Triple H for sending The Shield after him at TLC. He told Triple H to come out so they could hash it out like men. Shawn Michaels came out instead.

Michaels went full blown heel again during this segment and CM Punk mentioned that Michaels used to wear chaps with the butt part missing.

Michaels also said that CM Punk’s beef shouldn’t be with Triple H, it should be with him because he’s the one that kicked CM Punk in the face last week. Michaels instantly regretted saying that.

CM Punk said that he let Michaels go because he’s a legend and he respects him, but said that he ever kicked him again he would kick back.

I’m even going to begin to guess where this could possibly be going, but I do like hearing Michaels and CM Punk talk to each other.

The Shield look to be on the same page again

After Michaels and CM Punk had their exchange, The Shield came out to have a six-man tag team match against CM Punk and the Usos.

It was a quality match between the two teams that saw The Shield come out on top. There was dissension. There was no miscommunication. All three members looked ot be on the same page. Roman Reins even got a clean pin on CM Punk.

I sincerely hope WWE holds off on breaking up The Shield for a long time. I don’t know how many times I could say it, but they are fantastic together. Keep them together while people still want to see them. It’s only going to be money in WWE’s pocket.

People want to see unique groups like The Shield. It’s apart of the package when you buy a ticket to the show. You want to see Cena, CM Punk, Bryan and you want to see The Shield and the Wyatt Family. It gives the show variety. Did I mention all three members of The Shield are fantastic?

Bray Wyatt spoke intently of Sister Abigail during his promo

Monday was the most I can remember Wyatt speaking of, or in this case to, the mysterious Sister Abigail.

Wyatt mentioned her as if she’s the one telling him what to do. Wyatt looked to be actually talking to her because he was looking off camera, but when the camera panned down, it was his empty rocking chair. He was talking to an empty chair like Clint Eastwood.

Wyatt did talk about making Bryan suffer even more than what he already has.

Announcing in WWE has officially hit rock bottom

Let me preface this by saying this: I believe Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield are all talented in their own right.

But when they get together every Monday night, they take it upon themselves to talk about everything else in the world but what’s going on during the match.

This hit a new low this past Monday. I don’t know what led to this because I usually tune them out, but during one of the matches Cole, Lawler and Layfield took selfies. Yes, selfies. It’s bad enough that they actually did it, but WWE shot it as if it was cool.

I feel so bad for the guys working their butts off in the ring. How can they ever get over to the television audience if the announcers are taking selfies at ringside? That’s not entertaining. That’s making your “superstars” look so insignificant that the announcers don’t even care about them. They’d rather take selfies than to talk about them.

How else can anyone take that besides being disinterested in what you’re watching? WWE tries so hard to be cool and hip, but it does so at the expense of their own talent. Then the company sits around wondering why only three members of the roster are over.

I can almost promise you that no one sat down to tune into Raw to see three middle-aged men take pictures of themselves.

Big Show and Rey Mysterio defeat Cody Rhodes and Goldust clean and pretty convincingly

I guess a tag team that’s been together for a couple of weeks can defeat the tag team champions. Thus was the case Monday when Big Show and Mysterio defeated the Rhodes brothers clean.

After the match, the four men shook hands because that’s exactly what people paid to see. I guess WWE is building a program between the two teams, but no one will care because there isn’t going to be any heat in the match. By the way, Mysterio still has a noticeable limp.

Broadus Clay turns on Sweet T, Funkadactyls

A night after Sweet T and the Funks walked out on him, Clay went full-blown heel and beat up Sweet T after he allowed Sweet T to be beaten up by Curtis Axel and Ryback.

Clay keeps referring to himself as the main event player, which is preposterous, and demanded the Funks left with him.

They refused and were gladly accepted by R-Truth and Xavier Woods. I don’t blame them at all.

The Authority sure love when fans cheer for them

For a heel group, the Authority sure loves getting the fans on their side. They did so again Monday when they gave the fans what they wanted: Bryan versus Orton.

It’s like they don’t know whether they want to be heels or not. So they change directions almost every week. It’s confusing.

Orton is the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion?

When you go by the specific term of WWE World Heavyweight Champion, then I guess that’s true.

But no matter how you say it Orton is an undisputed champion and he’s not the first one to accomplish such a feat.

Chris Jericho was the first undisputed champion 12 years ago this month. Why WWE refuses to acknowledge that is beyond me.

WWE constantly attempts to revise history and it makes no sense. It’s their history. You should embrace your own history. It may make Orton’s title victory even more special. Being as though he is only the second man to unify the titles. There are only two people in history that can say that they won those title unification matches: Jericho and Orton.

Another reason why you would think that they would mention the time period when there was an undisputed champion is because Triple H was the second undisputed champion. He defeated Jericho for that title at WrestleMania 18.

After Triple H came Hulk Hogan. After Hogan came The Undertaker. After The Undertaker came The Rock. After The Rock came Brock Lesnar. You would think that WWE would like to place Orton in the same category as those men, as they are the only ones to be an undisputed champion.

Dolph Ziggler steals a win

Ziggler rarely wins anymore so I guess I should just be happy with that. But he did so by essentially upending Fandango. It made his win almost look like an upset, which it is not.

Tamina kicked Nikki Bella’s face off

Tamina looked like she really hurt Nikki Bella when she landed a super kick right on the button.

I slightly marked out when it happened. That means something, right?

Nikki Bella either did a great sell job or she was legitimately hurt because she never let go of her face. The kick looked brutal though.

The Real Americans’ entrance is awesome

It’s a shame we don’t get to see it every week because Zeb Coulter talks during the entrance sometimes, which isn’t a bad thing.

But the Real Americans’ entrance when he doesn’t talk is great. They do everything as a unit. It’s great to watch. The look like a real tag team.

#BadNewsBarrett has simply awkward

I feel bad for Wade Barrett. WWE can’t even get this right with him. The reason why he falls flat on television is because he’s not delivering bad news to anyone in particular. He has to deliver it to someone so he can gain heat from it. Until then, it will continue to be flat.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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