WWE will return to a live airing of Monday Night Raw on Dec. 30, 2013 (the company had taped the last edition that aired on Dec. 23), but several big name Superstars will be missing from the broadcast.
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WWE will host a Live Event in Toronto on Monday and John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Alberto Del Rio, Kane and Antonio Cesaro are all scheduled to appear at the event. The company will also air a live edition of Monday Night Raw from Richmond, Virginia and CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, The Wyatt Family, The Shield, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are all scheduled to appear there.
Speaking of Raw, fans may have noticed that Michael Cole and JBL called this week's edition of the show as if it were live even though it was taped last week. Keen observers may have noticed that the announcers were talking even though their mouths were not moving at the announce table. F4WOnline.com reports that the company had Cole and JBL come into the Stamford office to announce the show live. This explains how the two commented multiple times on the announcement of Batista's return even though WWE made it official well after the show taping last week.
PWInsider.com also reports that WWE decided early last week to have Batista make his comeback during the Jan. 20 edition of Raw rather than his rumored return as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match. This would indicate that the company planned Batista's return date before the information leaked out last Friday night.
The site also notes that Vince McMahon was furious about the leak, but he was not in the United States when it happened. A source within WWE reported to the site that McMahon "may have killed someone" if he was in America when the leak occurred.