That’s the problem.
This show was on November 29. Should Christmas really be the WWE’s primary focus of attention right now?
A WWE ring, Mick Foley in a Santa costume, and a live microphone are three things best left as a punchline for a bad joke.
Unfortunately, the fans in Charlotte, North Carolina were subjected to the real thing, and that set the tone for the rest of the night: just a bad joke.
However, there were a few decent matches.
Divas “Mistletoe On A Pole” Match: The title of this match should tell you all that you need to know. The winner of the match gets a “surprise.” Among the divas included were The Bella Twins, Eve, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix. Bri Bella got the mistletoe and awaited her “surprise.” A future divas title shot, perhaps? Nope. Just a chance to kiss anybody on the WWE roster between now and Christmas. Is a mistletoe really required for this to happen?
Justin Gabriel vs. Jinder Mahal: Mahal came out cutting a promo on how America is disrespectful with their holiday ideas. Then when things got going in the ring, Mahal owned Gabriel with several armdrags, tosses, and knee strikes. The tide turned when Ted Dibiase came out with a bag full of gifts for the fans. Mahal wasn’t pleased, and Gabriel took advantage of the distraction and had Mahal prone for the 450 splash and got the win.
Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd: A short, well-wrestled match. Kidd got some offensive strikes and rest holds in, but this was mainly all Kingston. Things came to a close when Kingston left the ring, took the Rudolph mask Michael Cole was forced to wear from Foley, went back in the ring and hit a flying crossbody on Kidd for the victory.
Randy Orton vs. David Otunga- “Miracle On 34th Street Fight”: This match was chock full of outside action, as Orton was more than happy to spread some holiday cheer upside Otunga’s head with various objects such as gift boxes, cookies, and candy canes. He also took Otunga on a nice jolly tour, allowing Otunga to get up close and personal with the Christmas trees onstage. After Orton hit his deadly middle rope DDT to the outside on Otunga, Wade Barrett intervened and beat Orton senseless and left him lying for Otunga to cover. Orton kicked out though and eventually hit the sudden RKO for the 1-2-3.
20-Man Battle Royale: This “poor man’s royal rumble” included the likes of Sheamus, Hunico, Ezekiel Jackson, JTG, and even Hornswoggle. In the strangest of endings, it was Hornswoggle outsmarting Sheamus by faking for a hug and pushing Sheamus off the apron to win. Sheamus appeared furious, but let things go and even playfully lifted Hornswoggle in the air.
Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan (Steel Cage World Heavyweight Championship Match): Cole played up the fact Henry was not 100% due to his injuries suffered from Big Show but was still competing anyway. In a great case of in-ring storytelling, it was Henry going for strikes, while Bryan took to Henry’s leg on the mat. It took Henry overcoming the La Belle and ankle locks to hit the World’s Strongest Slam on Bryan from the top rope to get the decisive pinfall and retain the title.
Final Thoughts: Aside from the Henry/Bryan match, nothing out of the ordinary happened. If you missed this show, it’s okay. The segments were campy and cheesy (fake snow? As The Miz would say, “Really?”) and most matches were filler (Divas Mistletoe match, Battle Royale). The Dibiase-Mahal feud isn’t exactly exciting, but could be decent. The Orton-Barrett feud continued to grow stronger, Justin Gabriel winning was a surprise, and Daniel Bryan looked great in defeat. Also, Foley even acknowledged how dreadful his “This Is Your Life” segment was a few weeks ago. However, this show was best made to air on December 20, not November 29. No reason to do Christmas filler programming just yet, not with the TLC PPV around the corner. Hopefully next week, there will be a real show.