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WWE Raw results (12/23/13): 10 observations from this week's episode plus Batista return promo

It was the Christmas edition of WWE Raw this week, but it was not live like Raw usually is. It was taped last week at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin, Texas as the WWE is off on a holiday break.

Because of this, nothing really eventful or meaningful occurred on the show.

Enough happened for me to gather some observations so here they are:

Great main event marred by unnecessary disqualification finish

The main event of Monday's show was not bad Santa (Damien Sandow) versus good Santa (Mark Henry). It was actually a six-man tag matching The Shield against John Cena, CM Punk and Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston.

Anything that has The Shield involved inside the ring is usually great. The same goes for Cena and CM Punk. Monday was no different. Langston even delivered in his first match of this magnitude since winning the Intercontinental title.

The match was going great and seemed to be headed to a great finish. Amid a ton of chaos, Langston put United States Champion Dean Ambrose in the big ending.

He went for a cover, but Seth Rollins and Roman Reins broke it up. For some reason, the official decided to disqualify The Shield. For what you ask? I have no idea why.

Pins are broken up in almost every tag team match on the card on a weekly basis in WWE, but this one was all of a sudden against the rules.

Maybe the WWE wanted to protect The Shield from being pinned. I would understand that if Rollins and Ambrose didn't wind up taking Cena's and CM Punk's finishers anyway.

Everything leading up to the finish was great. The finish was a let down.

WWE advertises the return of Batista

After having the return of the former World champion spoiled by a ticket vendor in Las Vegas, WWE decided to control its own message by advertising his return for Jan. 20.

As to what Batista will actually be doing when he returns, that is something that we'll apparently have to find out in January.

The opening segment was a waste of time

The opening segment of Raw is usually a must-see. It usually sets the tone for the rest of the show and typically presents something worth watching the show from start to finish.

That was not the case Monday. The Authority, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kane, walked to the ring with Santa Clause hats on their heads as Kane and someone unimportant handed out candy canes to fans.

Triple H and McMahon got on the microphone and told everyone happy holidays and gave people a rundown of the matches that would occur that night.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton then came out and did mostly nothing other than have a group hug with the Authority.

Then that was it. That was it. We didn't see Orton, Triple H or McMahon the rest of the show. It didn't serve much of a purpose at all.

Christmas-themed segments/matches were all bad

That's putting it lightly. The Santa Clause match was rather uneventful. The 12-person Divas match was absolutely brutal, especially the spot where the Total Divas each did a clothesline.

WWE had the nerve to put on a Christmas carol sing-off, which was also wretched. Santino Marella was kind of funny so I'll give them that much.

It's going to be a rather depressing day Wednesday if you judge your holiday spirit off WWE's Christmas segments Monday.

Fandango is No. 1 contender for Intercontinental title

Fandango defeated Dolph Ziggler in a prize on a pole match where he received a shot at the Intercontinental title on the Jan. 30 edition of Raw.

From the looks of it now, Fandango will be merely another person to feed to Langston as WWE is trying to build him up with the title.

As for Ziggler, just another in a long line of losses for the talented performer. Hopefully, a new year means a renewed push with this guy. He's been buried and punished long enough. Next year is time to fully utilize this guy's talents.

Ziggler has always had a chip on his shoulder and maybe it got him into some hot water. His chip may be even bigger now after what he's been through lately. Hopefully, they hand him a microphone and let him express himself. It could make for good television, in my opinion.

#BadNews Barrett steals money

He literally stole money. I mean really. Barrett stood in the streets of Austin asking people to donate to a charity.

Once he collected all the money he wanted, he revealed the bad news to the people in the arena that he was keeping the money and not giving it to charity.

Stealing money is kind of a crappy thing to do, but I'm not sure if it's crappy enough to really get people upset and draw heat in this day and age. Time will tell, I guess.

Sin Cara spoke English

Because Hunico, the man playing the Sin Cara character, can speak English, Sin Cara actually cut a pre-taped promo before his match.

He backed up his words by defeating Curtis Axel clean Monday night. The funniest thing during the match was what John Bradshaw Layfield said on commentary.

Layfield was giving Sin Cara props for his recent winning streak, even going as far to say the he thinks Sin Cara looks like a brand new man. That is because he really is a new man under that mask.

Los Matadores returns, Ryback wins a singles match

Two things that haven't occurred in a while actually happened on Raw this past Monday: Los Matadores worked a match and Ryback won a singles match.

WWE put a lot of money behind Los Matadores with vignettes and hype. The company then had the duo win its first two or three matches only to take them off television for about a month. Los Matadores defeated The Real Americans, who deserve better.

Ryback pinned Kofi Kingston in the middle of the ring after a solid match. I couldn't tell anyone when was the last time Ryback actually won a singles match even if my life depended on it. It's been a while.

Primetime Players turn heel, then turn back to face in a matter of minutes

Titus O'Neil and Darren Young cut a heel-like promo before their match that actually drew boos. Whether those boos were real or canned, they were still boos.

The Primetime Players then went up against the Usos, which made them look even more like heels. The Primetime Players lost the match, but then danced with the Usos after the match. It was kind of bizarre to watch.

Erick Rowan breaks out the claw in Texas

Erick Rowan of the Wyatt Family broke out the claw, which was a bit of homage to the Von Erich family. The Von Erich patriarch, Fritz Von Erich, used the move while he was a German heel during his wrestling days.

He passed the moved down to his sons who used it to become mega-stars in Texas as apart of World Class Championship Wrestling.