Tune in Monday:
The Shield stood alone as WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs drew to its chaotic close, with the renegade triumvirate knocking off Ryback & Team Hell No in a frenzied Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match in the bowels of Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Barclays Center. And now that the dust has settled, the fate of WWE is up in the air — as the band of rogues continues their vicious mission to restore “justice” to WWE. Will their crusade include attacks on a new slew of targets? Only time will tell.
And what of AJ Lee’s betrayal on John Cena? How will the former Raw General Manager justify costing the Cenation Leader the Money in the Bank contract?
On a lighter note: It’s the Slammys! That magical time of year when the WWE Universe gathers to honor the best, the brightest, the biggest, the smallest the weirdest, the trendiest and the Tout-iest of the year that was. Will WWE Champion CM Punk repeat as Superstar of the Year? Or will The Shield endeavor to crash this party as well? There’s only one way to find out, but before you do, here’s our five-point preview for this week’s Raw…
Will success bring The Shield’s guard down or bolster the resolve?
Leaving the Barclays Center in absolute chaos, the Tables, Ladders & Chair Match at WWE TLC that pit Ryback & WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No against The Shield was in a word: destruction. And despite the combined carnage by Ryback, Daniel Bryan & Kane, when the dust cleared, it was Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns who would reign supreme.
Now The Shield’s brand of “justice” has been somewhat legitimized with an extreme, monumental pay-per-view victory, who in WWE is safe? Will they continue to exert their dangerous brand of devastation on the same group of Superstars? Will they take it a step further by challenging Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Titles?
Or will their success ultimately back fire by blinding the up-and-coming triumvirate to the big picture? On Friday night, for instance, the ruthless Shield attacked Randy Orton, separating his shoulder. Before the blue brand went off the air, it was learned that WWE’s Apex Predator might be cleared to compete. Considering Orton is not one to hold back, will The Viper look the strike? And will the confident Shield be ready if he does?
Dolph: Still Money, but why did AJ turn against Cena?
Well, how about that?
After suffering a series of defeats to the 10-time WWE Champion, Dolph Ziggler made good on his word as well and beat John Cena in a highly hyped Ladder Match at WWE TLC, after AJ Lee shocked the WWE Universe by pushing the ladder over with Cena on it. But why did she do it? Once again AJ stands in the spotlight, as the WWE Universe waits to find out her justification for turning on the Cenation leader.
And what of The Showoff? It seems Ziggler’s dance with the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract will go on for the foreseeable future, while the Cenation leader will have to chase a title the old-fashioned way. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the win, having knocked off Cena in a high-stakes match firmly cements Ziggler’s spot as one of the most dangerous Superstars in the sport, and it’s only a matter of time before Dolph finally makes his move and tries to take the World Title for himself. Will it be tonight?
This is gonna begoooood.
The Slammys — kicking off “WWE Week” on USA Network — are always among the most fun, unpredictable Raws of the year for WWE, from The Miz stealing a small child’s trophy to CM Punk presenting a Stan Bush–soundtracked tribute to John Laurinaitis himself. Given the twists and turns that 2012 took for the WWE Superstars and Universe, this year should be no exception (personally, we’re holding out hope for a “Feed me Slammys!” chant and a last-minute nominee for Cody Rhodes’ mustache as Newcomer of the Year). The nominees are still under lock and key for Superstar of the Year, while the WWE Universe has already got a taste of what’s to come with several WWE.com Exclusive Slammy Winners already named — from Diva of the Year to WWE.com Exclusive Video of the Year. Be sure to tune in at 8/7 CT Monday to see the Slammy winners revealed!
The chair recognizes Big Show
The World’s Largest Athlete kept his promise at WWE TLC, retaining his World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus in a brutal Chairs Match that took both Superstars to the brink of destruction. The giant teed off on The Celtic Warrior with reckless abandon and, as a bonus, managed to escape his fate fromlastyear’s World Heavyweight Championship Chairs Match and avoid a Money in the Bank cash-in. With Sheamus left in ruins by the big man’s chair strikes, who will step up to try and take the title from the giant’s titanic clutches?
Rhodes Scholars: Free ride to the Tag Titles?
Team Rhodes Scholars punched their tickets to a showdown with Team Hell No, defeating Rey Mysterio and Sin Carain a Tables Match to earn the No. 1 contenders’ spot for the WWE Tag Team Championships. And they did it in high style, executing their time-honored strategy to perfection and looking for all the world as if they’d never taken a three-week hiatus while Cody Rhodes recovered from injury. As for the incumbent champs Team Hell No, they looked unified in their Six-Man Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match with Ryback against The Shield, but even their good spells are shaky at best. The bickering bros will need to stay unified to keep their championships safe; can they pull it off long enough to defeat Rhodes & Sandow?