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WWE Raw Recap 26th December: Cena ends the year in tears

The night started off with John Lauranitis mocking CM Punk, and when the WWE Champion came out into the ring, the interim GM decided to give him the night off. But on hearing the loud jeers from the fans and in an effort to increase his unpredictability quotient, Lauranitis decided to put Punk in a gauntlet match where he would face three opponents back-to-back in singles matches. And if anyone could beat Punk, they would get a WWE Championship match in the first Raw of 2012. Punk didn't show any signs of backing down, and even went to the extent of trying to goad the GM to a match after he runs the gauntlet. Lauranitis refused (naturally), and the champion was left standing tall inside the ring.

The first match of the night saw intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes face Booker T in a non-title match. Booker got the first near fall with a snap suplex and went straightaway for the scissors kick, but Rhodes ducked and hit a swinging neckbreaker. After a few blows, Rhodes got a two-count with knee-shots to the skull of his opponent. Both men then went back-and-forth with blows to each other, until Rhodes hit a dropkick for a near-fall. Rhodes hit the beautiful disaster, but Booker got his shoulder up before the count could be completed. Finally, Booker avoided the Cross Rhodes to hit a knee to the face, and followed up with a scissors kick to get a hard-earned victory.

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WWE SmackDown Storyboard 23-12-2011: The winds of change continue to blow

The Big Show started things off on SmackDown with conflicting emotions on his mind. He was disappointed at losing the World Heavyweight Championship just moments after he had regained it after a gap of nine years, but was equally angry at Mark Henry for beating him down after the match, causing him to lose the title to Daniel Bryan. The 500-pounder then called Bryan out into the ring and started congratulating him, but was interrupted in his speech by Henry, who wasted no time in pointing out that the World's Largest Athlete had the world's shortest title reign. Both the giants then staked their claim for a World Championship rematch, causing General Manager Theodore Long to intervene and announce a match later in the night between Big Show and Mark Henry, where the winner becomes the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

The first match of the night was a champion vs. champion match as the Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes faced off against the new United States Champion Zack Ryder. Both men fought back and forth in the beginning, with nobody having the clear advantage. Rhodes got the upper hand after he hit Ryder with an open palm strike bouncing off the second rope, and then clotheslined him outside the ring over the top rope. Rhodes would then hit the Alabama Slam, but Ryder managed to kick out before the three-count. Ryder mounted a short offensive, but Rhodes ducked under an attempted forearm drop, and Ryder hurt his arm. Rhodes proceeded to focus on the injured arm, locking up different arm-bars and hammer-locks. Just as Rhodes seemed to hit the exclamation point, Booker-T stood up and started singing a carol, distracting Rhodes long enough for Ryder to hit the Rough Ryder for the victory.

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WWE Raw Recap 19th Dec 2011: A New Age Cometh

As we look towards a promising new year after an out-of-the-world experience at TLC, the new kids on the block gave an indication of exactly how the new age is going to turn out in the WWE.

The show started with the WWE Champion CM Punk, the new World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and new US Champion Zack Ryder celebrating their championship in the ring, each of them describing how they had to struggle against all odds to make it big as professional wrestlers, and how being champions was a dream come true for all of them (the loud cheers of the crowd drowned out Michael Cole's rants about how none of them deserves to be where they are). The favourites of the Internet Wrestling Community were interrupted in their revelry by the Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, who tried to ambush the champions. They were fought off, but not before they threw Ryder on the steel steps. The brawl brought John Lauranitis out into the ring, and he fixed the main event for the night to be a six-man tag team match where Punk, Bryan and Ryder would face Ziggler, Miz and Del Rio.

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New Champions galore crowned at WWE TLC 2011

One of the most explosive Pay-Per-View events in the WWE's calendar took place in Baltimore amidst 16,000 exhilarated members of the WWE Universe, and when the night was over, the landscape of the WWE was changed, big time. Here's what took place in the matches that happened at TLC:

1. CM Punk def. Alberto Del Rio and the Miz (Triple Threat TLC match; retains WWE Championship):

A Tables, Ladders and Chairs match always brings with it destruction like no other type of match, and history repeated itself inside the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, as CM Punk successfully defended his WWE title against two formidable opponents.

The destructive furniture came to play early on in the match, as Punk hit the Miz with repeated chair shots to the back and sent him flying outside the ring with a running knee-lift. Punk then took Del Rio out and brought a ladder into the ring. The champion started climbing up the ladder but was taken down by Del Rio's personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez, who managed to handcuff Punk to the ladder! However, the Second City Saviour broke free by breaking the ladder rung he was bound to, and then started using the cuffs as a weapon against the Mexican Aristocrat. He was stopped in his tracks by the Miz, who pummeled both his opponents with a ladder. Moments later, Punk got some of his offence going and tried to suplex Miz over the top rope outside the ring, but Del Rio hit him with an Enzuigiri from behind and Punk was sent flying out of the ring and through a table.

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WWE SmackDown Storyboard 16th December: The final stop before TLC

This week's SmackDown opened with Booker-T telling the WWE Universe how he was going to beat some respect into Cody Rhodes by beating him for the Intercontinental Championship at TLC. He was interrupted midway by Rhodes, who reaffirmed his confidence ahead of their big match, and informed Booker that if he interfered in Rhodes's match against Daniel Bryan, the intercontinental title match at TLC would be called off.

Bryan and Rhodes squared off right after this altercation. Bryan put up some great aerial offence in the early goings of the match, hitting a couple of flying boots and driving Rhodes' knees to the mat with a Mexican surfboard, but got suplexed over the top rope outside the ring. Rhodes hit a gourdbuster for a near-fall, but Bryan came back with a La Magistral. Bryan went for a super belly-to-belly suplex but Rhodes threw him down on the mat. Bryan avoided a Beautiful Disaster kick and rolled Rhodes through for the pin, but the intercontinental champion rolled back and hit the Cross Rhodes for the victory.

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