Raw is Before Christmas 12-19-11

I remember Wrestlemania XX. That was the night that Chris Benoit won the title in the main event and then was greeted by Eddie Guerrero who had defended the other title that night. Very few times in my wrestling watching experience have I ever teared up not involving a death. That moment was one. Those of us in the IWC felt like we all had a moment. OUR two darlings were champs.

Last night was another one of those nights. Our two indy darlings-CM Punk and Daniel Bryan-finished the night as champions of both brands. Now I’m not in some disillusioned world where I think WWE is going to magically turn into Ring of Honor. I’d just be happy to have some exciting, risky booking that means something. Punk and Bryan are people that we can care about. With the right booking, we can see them remain good champions.

We opened it up with a drum roll and Punk introducing himself. Punk got a really good reaction. Then they introduced Zack Ryder who got such a good reaction. And then they introduced Daniel Bryan who got another huge reaction. Punk, Bryan and Ryder all began in the ring to start the show. Daniel Bryan had a lot of fire. They were interrupted by Miz, Ziggler & Del Rio. This segment would have been perfect had it not been for Michael Cole’s sheepish bleating he calls announcing. And the Johnny Ace came out to kill the segment. Actually, considering he has no voice, it was a pretty good segment.

I saw Richard Lewis do comedy live once. It was every bit as awesome as I thought it could be.

We were treated to Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, which I’m glad I didn’t pay $44.95 for. Randy Orton is a 9-time World’s Champion. It amazes me how little titles mean in the WWE. Wade Barrett put Orton through a table. Had no idea of what happened. I thought the work was very solid.

Then Alicia Fox was wearing one of Mario’s fur hats or something. Then she pinned Beth Phoenix in record time. Then she wanted me to have a Foxy holiday. I really want to have a Foxy holiday. I will now ask my wife.

Excuse me. I need to get up and get some ice for my jaw. Out comes Sheamus wearing the next t-shirt I will buy once Johnny Ace is off tv. And now we have Jinder Mahal? Sheamus killed him. That is as it should be.

John Cena came out to the ring and talked to his confidant The Cameraman. He is again Shiny Happy Cena. That’s normal for anybody who Kane attacks. (<-sarcasm font) Mark Henry interrupted him and had some nice focus. Then Kane came out in El Zorro’s mask. He destroys Cena. Him not being Super Cena is good for long-run Cena. Cena had some good facials. Well-done.

We got Primo & Epico vs. the Usos. Do we have a tag team division? It was a well-crafted tag match. I could really get behind this feud.

Then Cody Rhodes cuts a pretty decent promo and was interrupted by Santino. He then beat Santino. Santino does a lot of things right. He is very good at selling and getting himself over in his role.

They showed a recap of Tribute for the Troops which they used as an excuse to pimp out their PPV. That was when I stopped watching last week.

The Bellas are again backstage with Johnny Ace. The Vicki tried to schedule a rematch and ended up getting kissed by Hornswoggle. Cute. Then we had an interview with Zack Ryder’s… dad? Big Show gave a very honest, in-depth interview.

This was such an awesome moment. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk both came out of the crowd. For the first time since Summerslam, I actually feel like the WWE is giving me what I want. This is quite possibly the best match on Raw this year.

A good Raw, except for one glaring minus-Michael Cole. If WWE actually spent their time listening to their fans on Twitter, rather than shoving it down our throats, they would know how much he hurts their product. I’m definitely not deceiving myself that this will be permanent, but this has been a great Christmas present.

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