Zack Ryder, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan as champs.
Strong segment to kick off the show with WWE Champion CM Punk congratulating Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder on their respective championship wins at TLC on Sunday. It was a refreshing change of pace, as well as set up the main event nicely. Bonus points for the ECW chants heard all around the world from the Philly crowd.
Another solid match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett that served a great purpose following their Tables Match at TLC. The disqualification finish saved both Barrett and Orton, and the Englishman's post-match was not only a good attempt in regaining the heat he may have lost on Sunday, but a nice "extreme" flashback with a cool Wasteland through the table.
Horrendous Divas segment that was an absolute waste of five minutes for something else that could have benefited from it. Beth Phoenix was indeed injured during her match with Alicia Fox, but that's not excuse for the Glamazon to job to Fox within moments with a move that wasn't even a roll-up. Fox's promo that followed was just as horrible, but the only positive thing to say about this whole angle is that at least a new face will be contending for the Divas Championship.
Typical squash match with Sheamus once again dominating Jinder Mahal for third consecutive time in the past week. I was expecting some sort of an upset from Mahal in order to give some purpose behind this feud, but no such luck. Instead, it seems as if Sheamus is suffering from lack of credible opponents to work with while Mahal has been booked into the ground on numerous occasions that he wouldn't even begin to garner a legitimate reaction until he's used correctly.
Intriguing segment with Kane brutally attacking John Cena. Great swerve with Kane turning his attention to Cena rather than Mark Henry, further establishing the feud between the two. The Big Red Monster's ambush on Cena came off as intense, and gets me excited for their upcoming feud after Kane walked off with Cena's shirt following the attack, leaving fans with more questions than answers.
Kane leaves John Cena lying motionless.
Decent tag team match with the team of Primo and Epico going over the Usos once again. Sure, neither tandem received a strong reaction, but featuring them on a live show such as Raw or pay-per-views will help the crowd become familiar with them as well as build them heat. Although Air Boom may have successfully retained the tag belts at TLC, Primo and Epico have showed amazing potential in the last few weeks and are certainly on the rise.
Throwaway minute match with Cody Rhodes defeating Santino Marella. They didn't really succeed in getting me excited for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view this early in the hype, but at least they tried to provide motivation for this bout with their humorous backstage segment beforehand.
Strong main event six-man tag team match that featured many new faces as well as focus on the rising young talent, especially United States Champion Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler. Smart move in giving Bryan the submission victory to further help him get over with the crowd. It's was an awesome way to close the show with the hot babyfaces celebrating the crowd, supposedly ushering in a new era that we've desperately needed in recent years.
Overall, a good show that managed to entertain this viewer at times despite the high amount of filler. With that being said, using this show as the aftermath of TLC was an enjoyable and relaxing way of showcasing the rising talent from TLC. Shockingly enough, this Raw featured minimal campy comedy going into the holiday week, which also turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
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