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ThunderStruck: RAW Analysis 12/12/11(Slammy Awards)

We open this three hour edition of the Slammy Awards Raw with the “tell me I did not see that” moment award as presented by Booker T and Hornswoggle. The winner is Jim Ross dancing on 11/14. Cole interrupts JR’s acceptance speech. Cole and JR have a rap-off in the ring with Booker T. The whole thing is ridiculous and Ross botches his lines. JR ends up doing a spinarooni after Booker declares him the winner of the rap-off. Honestly, I understand the heat on Cole and continuing storylines, but this was no way to open Raw.

Mick Foley and the Million Dollar Man are out next to hand out the “Holy &#@! Moment of the Year” award, which goes to Big Show and Mark Henry for breaking the ring at Vengeance. Dibiase still has the epic laugh. The comedy was a bit cheesy with Foley but it’s what you get with pg Foley on WWE TV. Big Show then has a “match” with Wade Barrett. After a few minutes, Barrett brings a chair into the ring and Show punches it to cause a dq finish. Really? That’s what we get six days before a pay per view? This show is starting to worry me.

Road Dog Jesse James is out next to give the pipebomb of the year award. The dude has aged. Nobody better to win this particular award than CM Punk. Punk brings out a half nude mock Johnny Ace mannequin resembling the interim GM from his dynamic dude days. Punk cuts a hilarious promo and revives the show back to life support status from flatlining when he presents a video tribute to Laurinaitis with lots of old scenes from his late 80s to mid 90s days in the business. This was probably the funniest segment of the night without question.

Lita comes out to give out the divalicious slammy. Kelly Kelly is the winner. Beth Phoenix and Natalya come out to interrupt but Kelly slaps Phoenix in the face and Lita and Kelly pose for the crowd before leaving. I’m thankful that this was short. I would have been more thankful for emergency broadcast system test during this segment had it occurred.

Santino and the Bellas are out next to present the “OMG moment of the year” award. They bicker a bit with Santino and he cuts jokes at their expense. Triple H ends up being the winner for The Undertaker kicking out at WM 27. Triple H comes down and cuts a promo for his match with Nash this Sunday. No surprise attack from Nash. I assume this is because he’s nursing a hidden injury from his match with Santino last week. Maybe Road Dogg can fill in for him at TLC; or perhaps we can call up Scott Hall and see what he’s doing. All joking aside, this match at TLC has boring written all over it. It will be slow paced and more a street fight style in order to keep anybody interested. If Triple H is only going to wrestle a few times a year, he shouldn’t be wasting these “special” matches on guys like Nash.

Next up we have Otunga and Tony Atlas to “present” the “trending star of the year” award. We then find out that the award won’t be given until after the four nominees compete in a fatal four way match. It’s Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan, and Cody Rhodes in a match. These guys put on the match of the night without question. Ryder was able to get in his www kicks to the head in the corner, and all four of these guys were able to show their stuff. It’s interesting to see a guy like Daniel Bryan be nominated in this category when it seems like he has a fairly mixed reaction from the crowd each week. Ziggler ends up winning the match by pinning Bryan after hitting zigzag. While Ziggler celebrates, Lawler comes into the ring and announces Zack Ryder as the winner of the “trending star of the year” award. At first I thought Dolph may have won the award as well, but Ryder’s internet following is what saved his career and sometimes I forget about that.

Christian is out next to present the “game changer of the year” award. It’s good to see him on tv right now even though he isn’t competing. I expect him to be back in time for the rumble and have high hopes that he might be featured in one of the two major title matches at WM28. This award had Edge’s sudden retirement as a nominee, and I was rooting for an appearance from the Rated R Superstar. Unfortunately, Cena and The Rock won the award. Cena comes out and goes to introduce The Rock, but then makes fun of The Rock and points out that he isn’t here. He then goes to introduce the pre-taped video of The Rock, but points out that The Rock didn’t make a video either. This was probably the most honest and GLARING point that Cena has made in front of the fans when it comes to his feud with The Rock. Since the night after WrestleMania and the booking of the “most anticipated match of all time,” we’ve seen The Rock actually set foot in a WWE ring how many times? My count is twice, unless I’m forgetting something(TD Garden and MSG, no?) It’s sad and I love the Rock for everything that he has accomplished, but the WWE is no longer his home and he has moved on to bigger things(the truth shall set you free!).

Punk and Orton team up against Del Rio and the Miz next. I was expecting this to be the main event, despite the Cena/Henry plug all evening. These guys gave us a good showing, and surprisingly enough the Miz was able to score a clean pinfall(if you call Orton getting distracted by Wade Barrett clean) on Punk after a skull crushing finale. Miz and Del Rio taunt Punk after the match and beat on him. Miz says one of them will be taking Punk’s WWE Title from him this Sunday. I personally don’t see Punk losing the title on Sunday, unless somebody else gets added to the match(and no, I do not mean John Cena).

During the commercial, we get a Kane return vignette where my colleague Mike Lightning quickly pointed out that John Cena could be seen in the image just before the glass shattered.

Vickie and Goldust are out next to present “A-lister of the year.” Snooki is the winner and we get a pretaped video of her thanking everyone. Goldust is really starting to show his age. I can’t imagine WWE booking him in a match with Cody at WrestleMania. I hate to attack Goldust for what he has done and is still doing for the business, but Cody has the potential to steal the show if given the right match at this year’s WM.

Mark Henry cuts a promo with Josh Matthews where Henry talks about putting Cena into the Hall of Pain tonight. Henry has definitely improved as far as personality goes in 2011. Maybe that should have been an award for the show.

Jinder Mahal and Sheamus act like they are going to have a wrestling match. Mahal cuts a promo and gets hit with the brogue kick the second he steps into the ring and Sheamus’ music hits. This one is apparently over before it even starts. Anybody else know what the point of this was? Maybe when you have a three hour show you feel like you have to include all of your talent? I would’ve preferred seeing Tyson Kidd work a match with somebody else instead if you really want to fill time.

Rey Mysterio comes out to present the “Superstar of the year” award to the only obvious choice, CM Punk. Johnny Ace comes out and accepts the award on behalf of Punk, given that Punk is still beat up from his earlier match. Laurinaitis almost gets through his speech without botching words, but those damn writers just had to throw the dreaded “WWE” in there for him to stumble over. Terrible. Less Johnny definitely made for a better show tonight.

Mark Henry took on John Cena in the main event. During the match, Kane’s music hit and Kane came down and chokeslammed John Cena. No foreshadowing earlier on or anything like that. The mask he wore to the ring was huge and iron-like, and he pulled it off after to reveal a new mask. Kane looks like he’s lost some weight and gotten into better shape. There was a good debate going on my page about whether it was actually Kane or not. I thought he looked like The Undertaker. The walk and the chokeslam and the glass eye have me convinced that it’s actually Kane. Maybe Cena and Kane will now be booked for TLC? Just a guess, but it’d be smart for WWE to have Cena booked in a match for your ppv that you’re trying to sell to fans this week. I’m sure we’ll find out on Smackdown this week.

I tried to keep it short mostly because it’s late and I wouldn’t have had the time to write this tomorrow. After watching this episode of Monday Night Raw, I’m torn. First of all, three hour episodes of Raw are pretty much a waste and things get drawn out. Tonight’s show was a bit different in that sense because you saw a lot of different things. However, you could’ve cropped some of it down and had a much better show. Second of all, these Slammy awards lacked any real creativity as far as categories go. Despite all of those things, the show was able to shine in a positive light because of the performers themselves. The matches that had any length to them were actually pretty good. Fatal four way and the Punk promo were the highlights of the night, as well as the divas not taking up too much time. I guess I was just hoping that they would finally have a great Slammy Raw with even more to it. Once again, I was hoping for too much. I’ll have part two of Know Your Role in the next couple days before my Smackdown column on Friday. I don’t know if I’ll do anything for the tribute to the troops show, but I’m sure it’ll be fun to watch. Support our troops and all that they do! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!

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