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Title unification tease ends WWE Raw on Monday night

WWE Raw ended Monday night with Randy Orton holding up both the WWE and World Heavyweight titles, with a match set for the TLC pay-per-view where both titles will be on the line. It must be noted that this hasn't been billed as a "unification" match yet, implying right now that the winner will hold both titles and not make them one single championship.

The timing is interesting. It will certainly boost interest for TLC, a pay-per-view that isn't a traditional big hit for WWE. To generalize that point, what might raise eyebrows is the fact that we aren't seeing a match of this magnitude on a bigger pay-per-view stage, leading me to believe that we won't get a definitive winner at TLC and that the saga of crowning a unified champion (if that is the path that will be taken) will continue into 2014.

The single biggest thing that stuck out to me from Raw -- other than the gap in Michael Strahan's teeth ... low-hanging fruit, I know, I had to go there. Hey, he rocks it proudly -- is the fact that pretty much every match we saw on Raw was something we had seen in the past seven days.

Taking a look at each one:

-- The Shield vs. the Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio was a subset of the traditional Survivor Series match we saw Sunday night.

-- Big E Langston and Mark Henry vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback were two matches at Survivor Series merged into one tag-team match.

-- The Total Divas 7-on-7 Elimination tag match was a rematch from Survivor Series.

-- Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow was a rematch from last week's Raw (side note: neither wrestler was in action at Survivor Series).

-- The Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk/Daniel Bryan was a rematch from Survivor Series, with Bray Wyatt included in the match this time.

-- The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston was a rematch from the Survivor Series Kickoff Show.

-- Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater was the most fresh match on the show, despite R Truth and Woods facing Slater's 3MB teammates Drew McInTyre and Jinder Mahal last week on Raw.

-- John Cena and Big Show vs. Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio was a tag-team match comprised of singles title matches from Survivor Series.

This is not the first time we have seen a situation like this, and it may not be the last. It just seemed painfully obvious on Raw on Monday night.

There were some fun parts to Raw -- Strahan seemed to have fun as Raw guest host, and I want a "Kosher Butcher" t-shirt. Mick Foley did the best WWE Shop segment yet, and although we had seen something like it already, Punk/Bryan vs. the Wyatts delivered again. The crowd had a "hardcore" slant to it, meaning they let their opinions known of certain matches and what they wanted to see more of.

What you need to know from RAW:

-- Roman Reigns continues to rise in WWE, with another emphatic spear on CM Punk after the Wyatts match. Many can forsee big things for the biggest Shield member, and so can I.

-- It should be said that, regardless of the placement of the title unification match between John Cena and Randy Orton, you have to assume it will be a very entertaining match, especially between these two.

-- In my opinion, Xavier Woods is a talented wrestler who belongs on the main roster.

-- Since I'm such a stickler for #TheLittleThings, I loved that Damien Sandow pushed away the garbage can from under Ziggler before making the pinfall to win the match, so his shoulders were on the mat.

-- While I like The Miz as a villain, I find it odd to see him as such as he has a Christmas movie coming out. I don't really want to boo a guy who appears in a movie on a family channel. No, wait, I do. It's The Miz. I don't want him as anything but a villain.

Follow Arda on Twitter @arda_ocal

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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