With tonight being the final RAW and final WWE show of 2012, will they end it with a bang? At least it won’t be very hard to top last week’s Christmas episode, which was…odd to say the very least. I couldn’t come up with the right word to describe it since there is not one that perfectly encapsulates the absurdity of it all. Hopefully they have stuff planned tonight to make up for it. We’ll probably get to see Heyman caress the WWE Title like it’s his Precious, guys start proclaiming they’ll be The One to win the Rumble, more Dolph-AJ love and various other things we’ve come to expect. At least USC lost, so it’s not a bad New Year’s Eve at all.
Punk: Whether standing, sitting cross legged in the ring or even standing with crutches, Punk can deliver Grade A promos. The crutches setting was proven last week, especially when he said he was ‘recently emergency sugerized’. Hilarious. He doesn’t need to move around the ring to get his point across, he can just stand there with his crutches, gesture a little and use facial expressions to maximum effect. Bringing out his personal doctor from Chicago wasn’t as goofy as you’d think it’d be, the doc was quite good on the mic. The ‘surprise’ entrance of Mr McMahon wasn’t as big as you’d think, but at least it gave Heyman the chance to masterfully berate Vince.
Barrett Barrage: The New Year is sure to start off great with the re-launch of the Barrett Barrage since Wade just beat Kofi for the Intercontinental title. This is something that’s been a long time coming for Barrett since he returned from injury. He has the talent to be in the main event competing for the WHC, but since that’s seemingly not in the cards, the IC is not a bad step down. He has a great chance to bring back the title’s prestige in the ring and on the mic, the latter highlighted by how he masterfully goaded Kofi into naming him as his challenger. The title itself has been in a lull since Cody’s first reign, so hopefully Wade gets an extended reign and doesn’t pass it back to Kofi in a few months.
The Shield: When Vickie announced that Ryback would take on The Shield in a 3-on-1 match, I was pretty sure some shenanigans would happen to prevent it. It did happen as they attacked Feed Me More before he gets in the ring. It was a letdown, but The Shield is one of the brighter spots for WWE heading into 2013. They’ve made an immediate impact and the options for them heading forward are numerous. We can only hope that WWE doesn’t mess up their momentum.
Night of Champions: During an opening MizTV segment it was announced that champions would defend their titles, with the twist being that the champs could pick their challengers. It’s an interesting concept that Creative almost immediately tarnishes by having Cesaro pick Sgt Slaughter to defend the US title against and continues it by having Bryan and Kane picking 3MB and Eve choosing Mae Young. The Tag Title match was actually decent with Cole & Lawler mocking 3MB the entire time, plus Mae was mercifully taken out of the match. Still the concept was ruined from the start.
False Finish: The Dolph-Ziggler match was going great until Creative decided to throw a massive wrench into the proceedings. Just as Big E was about to get into the ring to tangle with Sheamus, The Shield jumped The Pale One from behind. I know Creative does this practically every week, but the reason I mention it is that the year is over. Thus I was hoping that they would somehow, possibly, maybe, hopefully make a New Year’s Resolution to tone down these false finishes.
Del Rio: Speaking of false finishes, there was another to the Show-Ricardo match for the WHC. Yes another easy pick. This tie the ‘run-in’ came from Del Rio who was ringside to support Rodriguez. He even let him ride his expensive car to the ring! The reason this makes ‘Worst’ is the uncertainty surrounding Del Rio’s character. When he saved Ricardo from 3MB a few weeks it seemed to signal a face turn, but then he reverted to heelish tactics. However, his actions tonight seem to signal he’s going to be a face. Is this wavering going to continue or is Del Rio going to be a face going into 2013? I certainly hope it’s the latter.