The WWE pulled out all the stops on their final episode of WWE Monday Night Raw for 2013 and presented the return of Brock Lesnar, the announcement of the Royal Rumble main event and the heel turn of the WWE’s most popular wrestler. Here is the WWE Monday Night Raw recap and results for the year end show.
The show opened with CM Punk coming out to the ring. He chats a bit about how he had an incredible 2013 year, with matches against The Rock and Undertaker, but it wasn’t really the “Year of CM Punk.” He then said that it was The Shield who was the real stars of 2013 and has a deal for them.
That brought out The Shield. They came into the ring and Dean Ambrose asked what Punk had to say. Punk said that he wanted to finish the year by fighting whichever of The Shield was the best and Ambrose said that was him. Punk disagreed and said he has beaten Ambrose over and over and he is the weak link. Punk asked Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns which one of them was the best. Seth said it was him (much to the surprise of Reigns) and Brad Maddox came out and booked the match to start right now.
The match was a solid one, although not as great as expected from these two. The end came when Seth Rollins had CM Punk pinned but The Shield accidentally had the referee distracted. It allowed Punk to get the advantage back and get the win.
To the back where Daniel Bryan demands a match with Bray Wyatt. Brad Maddox shows off in front of The Authority when he says Bryan can have Wyatt if he beats Luke Harper and then beats Erick Rowan first. Bryan agrees. Stephanie McMahon then says to watch her as she shows how to make an announcement. She heads out to the stage and delivers a very poor promo where she sets up John Cena vs. Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble for the WWE World Championship in a basic one-on-one match.
Back to the ring where Curtis Axel cuts a promo about turning his slump around. Then Dolph Ziggler, the king of slumps, came out and beat him. Maybe it is time to get Dolph Ziggler back on track.
The Intercontinental title match was next and they made it look very important, which hopefully means the IC title is being made important again. Big E Langston beat Fandango and successfully defended his title in a surprisingly good match. This might be the best match both men have had in the WWE.
Booker T came out with a bunch of the minor league stars to wish everyone a happy New Year and promised a spinaroonie, but Bad News Barrett interrupted him and did his spiel about bad things happening in the world.
Backstage, Damien Sandow threatens to quit if he doesn’t win tonight, and the fans get to choose his opponent. The fans choose The Great Khali, which sucked because when he was about to win the fans in attendance started booing. Then Sandow got the cheap win even though Khali got his shoulder up. The announcers played off this “referee error.”
R-Truth fought Brodus Clay next. This is continuing the feud where Brodus is becoming a monster and hates the men who stole his music and dancers. Xavier Woods was doing commentary and then distracted Brodus when he called out the Funkadactyls, who danced on the stage and distracted Brodus long enough for R-Truth to get the pin. After the match, Xavier Woods danced with the Funkadactyls to Brodus Clay’s music while JBL said someone needed to call Brodus Clay’s mama because someone just stole everything from him.
Triple H comes out next for his blockbuster announcement. He said backstage that his announcement was bigger and he was right. He introduces Brock Lesnar, who comes out with Paul Heyman. Triple H offers his hand and Lesnar shakes it before Heyman cuts a promo.
Paul Heyman said that Brock Lesnar was not back to settle old scores because he has no old scores. He just beats people up and then forgets about them. He is not there to beat up CM Punk, because Paul Heyman has already forgotten about him. He is there to challenge the winner of the John Cena vs. Randy Orton match to a WWE World Championship match. He then said no one in the back could stop him.
That brought out Mark Henry. Lesnar attacked Henry, they fought into the crowd and then Brock Lesnar speared Henry through the barricade. He then lifted Henry on his shoulder and hit the F5 on the floor. Then Brock Lesnar screamed. It was glorious.
Up next the Total Divas cast fought the real wrestlers in a five-on-five match for the millionth time this year. Nothing different here except that it was Aksana’s turn to get a pin by taking down Nikki Bella.
Backstage, Brad Maddox tells Triple H that Ric Flair will be at Old School Raw next week.
Up next is the main event. Daniel Bryan started off fighting Luke Harper and the two had a long, great match. Bryan finally got the win with the knee to the face of Harper. That brought in Erick Rowan for the next match. This one was much shorter and Bryan pinned him with a small package. Since Bryan beat both men, he gets Bray Wyatt.
Bray Wyatt heads into the ring and turns his back on Bryan. When Daniel moved in, Harper and Rowan attacked for the DQ (meaning that Daniel Bryan won all three matches). They beat Bryan to the ground and then they beat him down. Bray was about to finish him off when Bryan said that Bray was right. Bray asked him to repeat it and he said Bray was right.
As the fans all chanted “NO,” Bryan explained that no matter how many matches he won, and no matter how much the fans loved him and cheered for him, The Authority didn’t care and he would never achieve his goals. He says he gives up and asks to join The Wyatt Family. Bray hits him with Sister Abigail and then has Harper and Rowan help him up.
As the four men head to the back, the fans all start chanting for Daniel Bryan but he just shakes his head and leaves with The Wyatt Family.
The opening of the final WWE Monday Night Raw of 2013 was solid, with CM Punk suckering The Shield in and slyly driving a wedge in between them once again teasing an eventual breakup. It was also a perfect year end match since CM Punk is phenomenal and Seth Rollins might be the best in-ring performer of the trio.
There were two big announcements made. The first was the WWE World Championship match between John Cena and Randy Orton, which kind of sucked. I mean, they fought in a TLC match and now we are supposed to get excited about a one-on-one match? Next was the big announcement that Brock Lesnar was back. That led to the awesome confrontation where Lesnar killed Mark Henry while screaming. Awesome!
The Intercontinental title match was surprisingly great. I never thought that Fandango could pull out a match like this and Big E Langston looked fantastic as the big man. This was really the best match on the card, which says a lot with CM Punk opening the show and Daniel Bryan closing it.
That brings us to the final moment from WWE Monday Night Raw. Daniel Bryan finally gives up and throws in the towel. He said he realizes that he will never beat The Authority and win on his own and asks to join The Wyatt Family. It might be the nail that kills Bryan’s popularity with the fans. It might be good storytelling, but if done wrong, the WWE might have killed their most popular star.