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'Monday Night Raw' recap: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder celebrate

December 20, 2011 |  8:03 am

  On one of the best editions of "Monday Night Raw" in the last few weeks, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder all celebrated their titles
On one of the best editions of "Monday Night Raw" in the last few weeks, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder all celebrated their titles.

The good: Punk (WWE champion), Ryder (U.S. champion) and Bryan (world heavyweight champion) came out in the opening segment to discuss their success at the TLC pay-per-view event on Sunday.

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that the three main champions at the end of the year would be Punk, Ryder and Bryan, I would have laughed. Here's hoping WWE doesn't give up on Ryder and Bryan too quickly and gives both a lengthy run with their belts, keeping the titles on them at least until WrestleMania.

Also Monday, we got another mystery-man video. The WWE has run a video every week for the last month or so teasing the return of a superstar on the Jan. 2 edition of "Raw." In Monday's video, we briefly saw a name scratched out on a notebook: Chris. Which leads us to believe that Chris Jericho will be returning Jan. 2. Or was the "Chris" just a red herring and it will end up being the Undertaker? I'm betting it's Jericho.

The bad: There wasn't anything bad on the show. Solid episode all around.

The mystifying: Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett via DQ when Barrett thumbed Orton in the eye. Really? A thumb in the eye? If that's the case, Roddy Piper should have been DQ'd in every match he competed in. I realize WWE wants to protect their top guys and not have them lose by pinfall, but if that's what you want, don't have your top guys wrestle each other.

But that's just nitpicking. If every episode of "Monday Night Raw" was as good as Monday's, then the WWE may just reach the heights of the "Attitude Era" once again.

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"Monday Night Raw" recaps

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: From left, Zack Ryder, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan celebrate. Credit: WWE 

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