By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler
Have these two ever had a bad match? This was on par with all their past bouts. It may not have been a show-stealer, but it was a fun opening and an entertaining exchange between Rollins and Ziggler. I would've rather liked to see Ziggler keep his momentum going strong with a win here, but surprisingly enough, Rollins hasn't won a match in a while, so I was fine with it. Ziggler didn't lose cleanly, either, so he loses nothing from this.
Kofi Kingston def. Stardust
I still question the decision to make The New Day lose in their Raw debut last week. The crowd couldn't have cared less when they came out. Kingston was directionless as a singles guy, sure, but at least he was over. The crowd wasn't receptive to him here which was unfortunate. The match was what it was. It's nice to see another feud in the tag team division that's not over the WWE Tag Team Championship. The New Day is not off to the best start, but I'll give it more time before calling it a bust.
Natalya def. NXT Women's Champion Charlotte (Non-title)
First off, it's great to see a star from NXT get some TV time to promote the NXT live special on Thursday. Charlotte is destined for big things on the main roster and the video package that aired for her made her out to be a star on the rise. I didn't expect them to go as long as they did at the Takeover special in May, and I enjoyed it while it lasted, but at only two minutes, it was disappointing. Why did Natalya beat the rookie champion days before her title defense? What an odd booking decision.
Bray Wyatt Addressed Dean Ambrose
I was glad Wyatt finally explained the significance of the chair after Ambrose broke it last week. Ambrose didn't sell his injuries too well, but that might have been the point. He showed awesome aggression here and did a superb job of making people want to see them clash at TLC. They've done a better job of making me care about this feud going into this pay-per-view than they did going into Survivor Series and the match itself should be stellar.
Erick Rowan def. Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper by Disqualification (Non-title)
Call me a traditionalist, but I'd rather these two didn't square off at all until they start feuding (and you know that's bound to happen sooner rather than later). That said, they went about this the best way they possibly could by keeping the match as brief as possible and ending it with a non-finish. I don't like the way Harper has continuously lost matches since winning the title, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the past booking of people who have held that same belt.
Jack Swagger Attacked United States Champion Rusev
As I've said before, I have no problem with these two going into TLC. It's obviously just a filler feud for Rusev before WrestleMania time. Plus, their matches have always been good, so what's the problem? The crowd was receptive to Swagger here and he's holding his own on the mic even without Zeb Colter. They did a solid job of making Swagger look like a threat to Rusev's title come TLC even though it's obvious he won't win.
Ryback and The Usos def. Kane and WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz and Damien Mizdow
This wasn't your ordinary fast-paced six-man match and it didn't need to me. There was a lot of enjoyable action and everyone was able to get their spots in toward the end. Mizdow continues to be a riot, Jimmy and Miz furthered their feud, and Ryback picked up some more momentum going into his Chairs match with Kane. The post-match bit with Seth Green was humorous as well.
AJ Lee def. Summer Rae
I didn't expect this match to get much time, especially since Natalya vs. Charlotte was cut short, but it was fine for what it was. It was basically a showcase for AJ going into her Divas Championship match against Nikki Bella, so it served that purpose. AJ also cut a promo earlier in the evening when she won the Diva of the Year award, so I was surprised we didn't hear anything from The Bella Twins at all... not that that's a bad thing.
John Cena def. Big Show by Disqualification
I dreaded having to see this match when it was initially announced, but I knew we were bound to see it eventually after the events at Survivor Series (which WWE happily reminded us of a million times over the course of the night). The match was essentially what'd you expect from a Cena vs. Show match, but on the bright side, it only went a few minutes before Seth Rollins got involved. The big brawl at the end featuring everyone in the big matches at TLC was almost identical to what we saw last week on Raw, but it was well done and Rollins closing the show as the last man standing was a cool sight.
I realize I'm in the minority on this one, but I always enjoy the Slammy Awards and this year was no exception. Roman Reigns winning Superstar of the Year was a bit controversial (though I personally didn't mind it too much), but aside from that, the winners of almost all of the awards were wisely chosen. The awards will never be taken seriously, but it was a nice touch and the first time I wasn't all-out anger at who was picked. I wouldn't call this a great show by any means, but I, for one, was entertained by it far more than some of the recent episodes of Raw. There was also a lot of solid hype for TLC on Sunday which is shaping up to be a strong show that I'm highly anticipating.
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