'WWE RAW' Dec. 30: Daniel Bryan wrestles 2 matches, joins the Wyatt Family

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Previously on: The Christmas edition of "WWE RAW" was mostly filler, though some of it was pretty entertaining. Who doesn't want to see Santa Claus fight Santa Claus?

The big news: The final "WWE RAW" of 2013 was notable for who was missing more than anything else. Nowhere to be seen were John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Real Americans and many more. WWE ran a non-televised show in Canada Monday night as well, meaning the roster was split down the middle.

Of course, those absences gave the talent that was on the show a bit more of the spotlight. CM Punk opened the show with a promo against The Shield that furthered the impending end of the group. He also wrestled Seth Rollins, who decided he was the strong link in the faction. He still ended up losing, though the distraction from his buddies may be at fault.

Daniel Bryan also got time to do what he does best: wrestle a gauntlet match against the Wyatt Family. He beat both Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in pretty good matches, earning a shot at Bray Wyatt. Of course, that's when the entire family destroyed him.

Bryan also got in a good amount of time on the microphone, complaining that "the machine" wouldn't let him be a champion, regardless of how many people cheered and chanted for him. He asked to be allowed to join Wyatt's family and was initiated into the group with a beating. It's an interesting change for Bryan, but not necessarily one that he needs. He's the most popular character in the company, but is routinely treated like just another guy.

Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar made his first appearance on WWE programming since his "SummerSlam" loss to CM Punk. It looks like he plans to fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship eventually, but will face Mark Henry in the short term.

The rest of the regular players should be back next week.

Odds and Ends:
  • John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was announced for the "Royal Rumble."
  • "WWE RAW" is going old school next week. The commercial featured Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Rikishi, Bob Backlund and many more.
  • Bad News Barrett continues not to wrestle, which is strange for a wrestler on a wrestling show.
  • After beating Seth Rollins, CM Punk will face Roman Reigns on old school "WWE RAW."
  • Only one smart phone app tutorial this week.
  • Brock Lesnar screams like a girl.

Matches:
  • CM Punk beat Seth Rollins
  • Dolph Ziggler beat Curtis Axel
  • Big E. Langston beat Fandango
  • Damien Sandow beat The Great Khali
  • Brodus Clay beat R-Truth
  • Aksana, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rose and Summer Rae beat The Bella Twins, The Funkadactyls and Eva Marie
  • Daniel Bryan beat Luke Harper
  • Daniel Bryan beat Erick Rowan
  • Daniel Bryan beat Bray Wyatt by disqualification
Photo/Video credit: WWE