Starting up with the pre-show, Renee Young has gone gingery-pink with her hair, and looks incredible. Everyone is in their sharpest suits, everyone’s ready to go. The first Slammy we get handed out is for rivalry of the year, and we hand it over to Paul Heyman for Lesnar vs Taker. Most of these are… okay, categories are pretty self-congratulating, and it’s clearly going to be a dull night, as it often is on Monday nights. Stone Cold Podcast wins best original programming on the network, which is… something, I guess. Shame Unfiltered wasn’t nominated. Also, whoever mixed this put the music volume up waaaay too high, so everyone’s shouting over that. Cesaro’s award even gets relegated to the pre-show. Poor Cesaro.
Stephen Amell gets celebrity moment of the year, unsurprisingly, and while Suplex City got best hashtag, it also got ‘I didn’t just say that’ moment. Double-cross of the year was clearly lacking this year, as the categories include Jon Stewart against John Cena, so we were obviously running out of ideas. Clearly Mizdow vs Miz was the only correct choice, so we get to see Damien Sandow! Miz trying to steal his award, but Sandow takes it. Hell yeah, that’s impressive that he’s in the top ten for Superstar of the Year, considering we’ve barely seen him for the past six months. Extreme moment of the year goes to Roman spearing… Bray Wyatt, because apparently that was more extreme than him beating the hell out of his boss, or Seth breaking indestructible Cena’s nose. Riiiight.
For the start of Raw/Slammys proper, we get another recap of Roman being slapped, because… that just does things for some of us. Okay, it’s actually the recap of how WWE got Roman Reigns over in two days, but whatever, it works for me. Seeing the crowd jump and cheer him makes me so happy, I’m perfectly happy to mark out for him. Though I was loving how much character Sheamus was getting as the champ. Maybe Roman can get some of that character.
Steph comes out first, to talk about how she’s had a hell of a week, but she isn’t going to let it bother her, even Roman Reigns punching her seventy-year-old father. Roman comes out to interrupt her, big smile in place, and belt in hand. He says it feels like a set up, but that he doesn’t worry about her family, of the League of Nations. He says when Triple H shows up, Steph should tell him to come find Roman. Steph tells him to get out of the ring, and Roman laughs at her, until she’s shouting like her dad, voice low and gravelly. Roman seems to be enjoying the novel sensation of the crowd loving him, and doesn’t want to leave. Steph says that due to Romans disrespect, The Usos will be in a handicap match against the New Day, and Dean will be facing off against Sheamus in a steel cage.
Our next Slammy gives us the wonderful Dolph Ziggler cleaning up very well in a suit, for breakout star of the year. Neville wins over Kevin Owens, which is a huge surprise, as I think KO has been a much bigger boost for the roster, but there we go. Basically, Neville wins so KO can saunter out and talk about beating Cena. KO calls Ziggler a has-been, and a brawl breaks out on the stage, leaving Ziggler without his suit jacket. I didn’t even know I wanted Dolph Ziggler in a waistcoat until I saw it.
Bray Wyatt up against Demon Kane next, with Strowman and Harper and Rowan at ringside, the whole match falling apart in seconds as the three take on the demon. Kane gets some unexpected help in the form of the Dudley Boyz and Tommy Dreamer, because Kane was… in ECW? All the old men are helping each other out, apparently, to bury the new talent quickly, before they get injured. I might be a wee bit bitter tonight. This match is… slow, and dull, and boring, and I’d rather watch the Dudley Boyz in a cage with tigers and see who wins. Harper pins D-Von for the win, thank goodness.
Santino Marella shows up to present the LOL moment of the year, which goes to R-Truth, but Marella won’t give it up, running off with it after pointing in another direction. Heyman’s out next, telling us it’s our honour to have him here, and that every Slammy should go to Brock Lesnar. However, he’s there to present the OMG moment of the year award, which should obviously go to Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank – but it goes to Kalisto for the Salida del Sol off the ladder at TLC. Kalisto looks great in a suit, actually, quite enjoying that.
Dolph’s stripped off the suit to face Kevin Owens in the ring, and he can barely wait until the bell rings to get started on KO. Spectacular match, with KO owning Ziggler from the start, Dolph gets his licks in, as per usual, but KO is hellishly strong, and will not give in. There are a couple of good roll ups from Dolph to KO, but he comes back with clotheslines and submission moves to keep Ziggler on the back foot. Ziggler gets a hell of a throw to Owens, who goes down hard, and is one of the cooler spots of the match. Ziggler starts to come back, though both men are reeling, but KO hits the pop-up powerbomb, and Ziggler goes down hard.
Steph comes out to present Superstar of the Year – and it has to be Rollins, doesn’t it? It has to be, and she’ll present it because he’s her boy, right? And of course, it does, and the crowd scream for him, and they’re on their feet, and there he is, on his crutches. It is so good to see him back, and you can hear how happy everyone is to see him. We get ‘thank you Seth’ chants, and Seth says he wants to say thank you, but that there was never any other option. Seth says he’ll be back, and he’ll take back his title, and… yes. This was perfect, so perfect, and it’s really awesome that he came back to accept the award he so greatly deserved.
Also, Cena’s back next week, but whatever.
Match up next, with Del Rio vs Swagger, because Del Rio’s not got long to be relevant before Cena gets his title back. The League of Nations are at ringside, and the USA chants are alive and well. Del Rio is still the slowest thing on two legs that isn’t Big Show. Swagger tries, but frankly, Del Rio is slow and dull and boring, and even his hints of aggression are getting slow. Del Rio wins, a strong showing for the League of Nations, and what they’re going to do to Cena when he comes back next Monday.
Mark Henry out to present the Slammy for charitable works, ‘the hero in all of us’, and it goes to Cena, who isn’t back until next week. The crowd cheer for Cena, but he’s not around, so Mark Henry gives a great speech about not doing the charity work for an award, but doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
Bo Dallas wanders out on his way in from a Santa Claus convention to present the surprise return of the year award. Sting gets the award for the surprise return, but of course, we all know he’s injured, so he won’t be here to pick it up. It was pretty awesome the way he came back and scared the hell out of Seth.
The New Day are in to get angry about how they haven’t got a Slammy, and we hear how Kofi hasn’t seen Star Wars yet, and that Big E and Xavier call him ‘pops’ because he’s grown. Perfect. The Usos – tag team of the year for the second year running – come out, and we’re set for a 2 on 3 handicap match. The Usos are bringing it, deep arm drags and submission holds, making the New Day run for the ramp to make a hasty exit. Xavier Woods is particularly salty, like the Miz when he loses at Madden. The New Day must come back in, as we come back from the commercials to a unicorn stampede and Xavier enjoying his trombone again. Big E having Jimmy in the abdominal stretch is a nice spot, but it feels like filler, which is what it is, and it’s a little disappointing as a match. The Usos get a great win, and we hear that the Lucha Dragons have a match tomorrow against the New Day, for the titles.
R-Truth is out for the diva of the year award, and tells us that 2015 was the year of the divas. In a sense, I guess, in that we saw what was done on NXT and what we need to aim for with the main roster. R-Truth also says he reckons some of the divas could beat him up, which is pretty awesome of him to say. Paige is our winner – except we’re doing the same thing as happened at Miss Universe, because the real winter is Nikki Bella, who calls Paige back after she goes to run off, and she dedicates it to all the women in WWE, and to all the women in the crowd. She and Paige embrace again, and the two walk off together, arm in arm – an actual victory for women in a male dominated industry. Women supporting women, no catty nonsense, just women together. Perfect.
Rusev vs. Neville tonight, with Miz on commentary, talking about how Neville wouldn’t be losing if he had taken Miz’s direction. Neville’s getting flung around by the Bulgarian brute, slammed into the ring post from outside the ring, and Miz says he’s staying out of it, to let Neville see what he’s missing without the Miz’s help. Rusev wins, despite Neville hitting some lovely high-flying moves, and once more, the League are there to work the loser over, and support their winning brother. Miz slopes off early to go and present an award, rather than helping Neville out.
Miz is presenting for the ‘this is awesome’ moment of the year, and it goes to The Rock and Rhonda Rousey, at Wrestlemania, which was… okay, I guess? I was hoping for the Shield reunion, which was pretty cool.
Becky vs. Brie next, with Charlotte at ringside. It’s a really nice match to watch, and Team BAD are doing it backstage, looking incredible, all in black. Brie puts a lot of effort into submission moves, messing with Becky’s left arm and shoulder, but in the end, Becky gets the disarmer, on her own this time, without help. Charlotte goes to lift Becky’s arm, and lifts the hurt, one so she’s the only one left in the ring, waving her title like she’s the one who won.
Ric Flair to present the match of the year award, and for once not at ringside with Charlotte like a really ancient groupie. The inner is Brock vs Taker at the Hell in a Cell match, of course. Because WWE couldn’t afford Lesnar’s fee for this farcical award ceremony, Paul Heyman shows up to accept it in his stead.
We’re meant to be getting ready for Sheamus vs Dean Ambrose in a steel cage match, but we cut to backstage, with the League of Nations beating the hell out of the Usos for no real reason, other than taking down Roman’s support system. Bioluminescent jellyfish Sheamus comes down to the ring with his Euroboy buddies, glowing profusely, and then it’s Dean’s turn, Raw in danger of overrunning, by a fair amount and the main event hasn’t even started yet. Dean goes to walk into the cage, and Sheamus hits him with a brogue kick before the match has started, sending Dean into the barricades and under the boots of the Euroboys.
They roll Ambrose back in, and Sheamus is just flinging Dean around, off the steel , and slamming him into the mat, too. The ‘you look stupid’ chants are audible, and Sheamus already has Dean muzzy and dizzy, easy to manoeuvre off the rope. He also handily rips his shirt off for him, which is certainly helpful for all of us who enjoy shirtless Dean. Sheamus tries to climb out of the cage, but Dean drags him back down. The crowd chants that this is boring, and you can hear it’s mostly the men, who don’t appreciate a shirtless Dean like the women. Dean comes back however, because he takes punishment well, and flings Sheamus’ pasty skin off the steel. The two of them trade climbing trips to get out of the cage, and Sheamus hits white noise from the top rope, Ambrose just clinging onto enough sense to kick out.
Sheamus is trying to get out of the cage, and Dean grabs him around the leg like a dog humping its master, flinging him to the mat. When he climbs to the top of the cage, the Euroboys won’t let him drop down, so he comes back into the ring, hitting Sheamus with a huge elbow drop off the top of the cage. He drags himself to the door, which is opened for him, and Del Rio slams it into his face before he can escape. Roman appears to even the odds, grabbing a chair to beat the holy hell out of the Euroboys, Barrett running away and leaving his wrestling husband in the ring on his own. Roman throws the chair into the ring for Dean to pick up, and Dean takes it to him, not letting Sheamus escape. Dirty deeds is hit on the chair, and Roman’s shouting at his brother to get over the edge of the cage to win. He gets halfway over, Sheamus hanging off him to keep him in the ring. The two fight it out on the top for a while, but Dean is the first to get his feet on the ground, and Roman spears Sheamus for good measure when he comes over the cage side.
We see Steph watching backstage watching, and Tom Phillips dares to ask for her reaction, and gets the hell beaten out of him for it. Poor lad. Roman holds up his barely standing brother, and we leave Raw with Roman standing with Dean, ready for SmackDown tomorrow.