Last night’s “RAW” featured several matches with predictable outcomes, but the quality of the show was balanced by long awaited comebacks and powerful first appearances.
The show featured WWE Legends like Ric Flair, the New Age Outlaws Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, The Boogeyman, Tommy Dreamer and others, as well as the debut of NXT rookie Big E Langston who laid out John Cena.
The show closed with a mixed tag match with John Cena and Vickie Guerrero facing Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee. The freshly heel turned AJ left the match, and the bout went to no contest we she returned with NXT’s Big E Langston.
The rookie made a debut that rivals The Shield’s first attack on Ryback. The one-man brought the Cenation Leader to the mat with a move that looked devastating, and left the 10-time WWE Champion incapacitated as Langston stood over him.
Langston’s debut makes him the fifth NXT star to rise up to the WWE roster; Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns arrived at Survivor Series last month and Brad Maddox made his name known after Hell in a Cell in October. This rush of new talent could revitalize the WWE product.
2012 was a year for big debuts, with stars like Brodus Clay, Tensai and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro also making their debuts.
Other matches throughout the night were less eventful.
Ryback won a match against Cesaro when the US Champion left the ring area, The Miz, Alberto del Rio and Tommy Dreamer beat 3MB, Cody Rhodes defeated Sin Cara, Brodus Clay beat JTG, The Great Khali put David Otunga away, Kofi Kingston squashed Tensai, Damien Sandow defeated Rey Mysterio, and Kaitlyn beat Eve.
The night also saw the Showoff attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Ziggler went for the World Title after Sheamus beat Big Show with a giant chair, but Cena intervened.
Earlier on when Flair presented Cena with the Superstar of the Year award, the 10-time WWE Champion gave the Slammy to the 16-time World Champion. CM Punk didn’t take kindly to not winning or to Flair, and challenged the veteran performer to a match.
Flair gained an advantage over the injured Second City Saint, but it was cut short by The Shield. Ryback and Team Hell No came out to defend the Nature Boy, prolonging their involvement with the insurgent trio.
Below is the complete list of Slammy winners.
Feat of Strength of the Year – Sheamus lifting Big Show for White Noise
Best Dancer of the Year – Brodus Clay
Top Social Media Ambassador – Charlie Sheen
Tweet of the Yea - "Goat face is a horrible insult. My face is practically perfect in every way. In fact, from now on I demand to be called Beautiful Bryan." – Daniel Bryan
Insult of the Year - "You're the exact opposite. One enjoys eating a lot of nuts and the other is still trying to find his." - John Cena to Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero
Facial Hair of the Year – Daniel Bryan
Betrayal of the Year – Big Show knocks out John Cena at Over the Limit
Crowd Chant of the Year – “Feed Me More!” – Ryback
WWE.com Exclusive Video of the Year - Jerry "The King" Lawler speaks to WWE.com about his miraculous return
Upset of the Year - Daniel Bryan defeats Mark Henry and Big Show in a Steel Cage match at Royal Rumble
Diva of the Year – AJ Lee
Tell Me I Didn't Just See That (Most Shocking) Moment of the Year - Kofi Kingston handstands during the Royal Rumble match to avoid elimination at Royal Rumble
Comeback of the Year – Jerry Lawler
Kiss of the Year - AJ Lee and John Cena
Superstar of the Year – John Cena
LOL! (Funniest) Moment of the Year - The Rock insulting John Cena using the history of Boston
#Trending Now of the Year - #FeedMeMore – Ryback
Newcomer of the Year – Ryback
Match of the Year - The Undertaker vs. Triple H Hell in a Cell match at Wrestlemania XXVIII