Happy New Year and Blessings/Best-Wishes for 2015 to all who read this! In commencing the new year, I begin my fifth consecutive year writing for this awesome website! I would like to thank Colin Vassallo, editor, for giving me the job back in January 2011 and all the feedback/support/information he has given me in regards to my reports. Of course, thank you too readers for always reading (and hopefully!) enjoying these writings.
Now, onto business at hand. Not only is it a new year for us, but it is a new year for WWE. The first Raw of 2015 emanates from Corpus Christi, Texas. Unfortunately, the crowd has had a reputation to sit on their duffs and not be very animated about the show, so here’s hoping that changes tonight, especially with a what-should-be-brutal Ambulance Match between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt.
What’s more, The Authority is returning. Following Seth Rollins’ heinous actions against Edge which forced John Cena to bring Stephanie and Triple H back, what will the power-couple have to say and do to kick of 2015 in WWE?
New Tag-Team Champions were crowned last week, with The Usos defeating The Miz and Damien Mizdow. At the end, it looked as there may be “trouble in paradise” for the Hollywood Star and his stunt-double; is this true and will it “ring” out tonight? Speaking of tag-teams, The Ascension made their main-roster debuts; how long until they go after the titles?
Lastly, the path to the Royal Rumble will continue, as we are just under three weeks until the show that mostly-determines a big chunk of WrestleMania!
What will go down tonight? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 5th, 2015 – “Not-So ‘Happy New Year’”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo, Opening, and Welcoming
Recap of last week/year’s Raw is shown, as well as a clip from Survivor Series where Vince made it official that John Cena was the only one who can rehire The Authority.
The new Raw video then plays and the pyro explodes in the arena. Michael Cole welcomes us to Raw, where the roster is in and around the ring. John Cena is front-and-center with the microphone.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
John Cena says he is sorry for having to get Stephanie and Triple H back, but did it so he could save his good friend Edge. He makes a commitment that 2015 “will be a very tough year for…”
Before he can continue, The Authority make their presence known. The fans are booing, but Triple H and Stephanie are more than elated to be standing on the stage. “We know what’s best for you, and what’s ‘best for business’” quirks Steph. HHH says everyone really wanted to have The Authority return, since Hulk Hogan and The Anonymous General Manager did not live up to the hype. “The Game” puts over Seth Rollins as “the future of the WWE.” Rollins now joins them on the stage.
“Mr. Money In The Bank” wishes a “Happy New Year” to Cena. Triple H then announces that the scheduled bout at the Royal Rumble between John and Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will now be a Triple Threat match, involving Rollins as well.
Stephanie also wants to thank Cena, so she will do so properly by having a “John Cena Appreciation Night.” HHH proclaims that it is a “new era” for The Authority and starts it by booking Dolph Ziggler to put his Intercontinental Championship on the line against “the man that never really lost it, Bad News Barrett!” That contest will be up next!
Cole continues to welcome us, along with John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Hall Of Famer Booker T., who is replacing a recovering Jerry “The King” Lawler tonight. (Lawler is recovering from diverticulitis; best-wishes/blessings for a speedy and healthy recovery!) They run down some of the matches, which include Roman Reigns facing The Big Show and Ryback squaring off with Rollins.
Match #1: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – Bad News Barrett (Challenger) VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler
Both lockup and trade wrist and armlock holds. Barrett punches Dolph in the corner then suplexes him. Ziggler flips out of a backdrop and hits Wade with a dropkick, but Bad News soon hits Dolph hard. He clamps on a grounding rear chinlock, wearing Dolph down. The I.C. Champ fights back with punches, then reverses a run into a crucifix pin for the sudden victory!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler
Post-match, Bad News is shocked and ticked off, so he decimates Ziggler by hurling him around the outside. He runs him into the steel steps, ring post, ring apron, and again the ring post. Kane’s music plays, and he is back in his Director Of Operations role, so he restarts this match as 2-out-of-3-Falls. The bells rings and it begins again.
Bad News plants Ziggler with Wasteland quickly, getting the 1 – 2 – 3 and second fall. The series is tied. Barrett’s music strangely plays while doctors check on Dolph.
Ziggler says he is good to go, but Barrett quickly nails him with a big boot and Wasteland again. He covers, 1 – 2 – Dolph gets the shoulder up! Barrett dominates Dolph for the next little while, however he misses a splash in the corner. Dolph returns the favor with one of his own then brings Barrett down with a neckbreaker. Ziggler tries the Fameasser but Barrett moves and spins him around with The Winds Of Change slam. 1 – 2 – Dolph kicks out again!
Bad News measures and swings with the Bullhammer elbow, but Dolph ducks and hits him with a superkick. 1 – 2 – Barrett gets his shoulder up! Kane hops the apron, but also gets superkicked for his troubles. However, Dolph turns around into a Bullhammer elbow and subsequent cover, giving Barrett the duke!
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Bad News Barrett
Post-match, Barrett and Kane shake hands.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Throughout the night, we will see montages of John Cena’s greatest moments. The first is his debut on Smackdown!, June 27th 2002, almost taking down Kurt Angle and defeating him, plus earning The Undertaker’s respect with a handshake.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with Roman reigns, who is going to face The Big Show later tonight. She asks him what to expect from The Big Show. Reigns is not sure, but describes himself as “a man that is faster than a speeding bullet, BAM! A man who can leap over a tall building in a single bound! A man so powerful, more powerful than a locomotive! What The Big Show can expect? The Big Show can expect me. Believe that.”
Segment #5: Video Promo
“What is your New Year’s Resolution, Dean? Is it to become a better person? Is it to get to know your criminal father a little bit better? He did his time, Dean. Which is unfortunate, the same thing that must now happen to you. You are going away Dean. You are going to do your time. You made your bed, and now you will rot in it. And tonight, when I slam that ambulance door shut, with your lifeless body on the inside of it, it will mark the end of our great journey. Your ‘Lunatic Fringe’ will be nothing more than a lost soul forever trapped inside of his own nightmare. I’m it. The devil is real; and he’s not just a man with red horns and a pointed tail. He is suffering. He is pain. And tonight, he walks beside me. RUN!”
Match #2: Tag-Team – The Ascension (Conor and Viktor) VS. Unknown
Prior to the bout, The Ascension lists Demolition and The Road Warriors (Legion Of Doom) as great tag-teams, but say they would own them completely. They pick up the win very quickly after their Fall Of Man finisher.
Winners via Pinfall: The Ascension (Conor and Viktor)
Segment #6: Video Promo
United States Champion Rusev and his manager, Lana, tell the United States to “stay out of our business.” They put over the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, as the only man that can bring peace.
Roman Reigns makes his way through the crowd as he will take on The Big Show, next!
Segment #7: Video Promo
The next John Cena moment is his first WWE Championship victory when he defeated J.B.L. at WrestleMania 21 on April 3rd, 2005.
Match #3: Single – Roman Reigns VS. The Big Show
They trade punches at first, but Big Show soon takes control after spearing Reigns off the ropes. Show scoop-slams reigns then walks over Roman’s gut. He stomps away in the corner, then hammers away and works over Reigns’ stomach. Show squeezes Reigns out with a bear hug, but Roman elbows his way out and hits a few clotheslines to bring Show to the mat. He manages to Samoan Drop the 7-foot, 500-punder and line up for the Superman Punch. He runs at Show, but Big reverses by grabbing his throat and chucking Reigns over the ropes. On the outside, Reigns tries to slam Show into the steps, but Big blocks with a kick. He then picks up the stairs and rams him into Reigns, causing the dq.
Winner via Disqualification: Roman Reigns
Post-match, Show continues to attack Reigns, throwing him back in the ring and going to drop the steps on him. Roman counters with a spear, sending the steps crashing onto Show!
Match #4: Single – Divas Champion Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella) VS. Natalya (Non-Title)
Before this contest gets underway, Paige makes her entrance to “make up” with Natalya for an incident on Total Divas.
Nikki tries to get the early advantage, but Natalya catches her and slugs away in the corner. Nikki elbows her out and twists Natalya around with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors! Nikki drives Natalya down with a clothesline and covers for one, but is quickly slapped and taken down with a Russian legsweep. Natalya tries a Sharpshooter, but Nikki fends her off.
On the outside, Paige and Brie become engaged in an argument, with Paige ending it by chucking Brie into the barricade. This distracted Nikki, who is rolled up by Natalya for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Natalya (with Paige)
Post-match, Nikki attacks Natalya, but Paige comes to the rescue. The Bellas high-tail it, leaving Paige yelling “this is my house!” and hugging Natalya.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Dean Ambrose appears on screen to talk about the Ambulance Match. “Bray Wyatt. I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s resolution. I don’t need to lose any weight. I’m not worried about saving money. I don’t need to become a better person; I mean that’s a lost cause anyway, right? All I care about is kicking your ass all over this building and tossing you in the back of that ambulance. There is no happy ending to our little fairytale. This match will be ugly, this match will be brutal, this match will be dangerous. That’s the way I live my life, and that’s the way I’m going to end yours.”
In a very classy move, the announcers take time to acknowledge and give condolences for Stuart Scott, a very accomplished and well-known sports reporter for ESPN, who passed away yesterday from cancer at age 49. God rest his soul and may He provide love and support for his family and friends at this time.
Match #5: Single – Erik Rowan VS. Luke Harper
It is made known that Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble will both referee this match. Of course, this is a setup as Mercury and Noble rig it and give Harper the fast-count and the W!
Winner via Pinfall: Luke Harper
Post-match, Harper, Mercury, and Noble attack Erik and leave him laying.
Segment #9: Video Promo
John Cena’s draft from Smackdown to Raw on June 6th, 2005, is recalled.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Naomi is doing her hair when Alicia walks by. Fox wants to ensure Naomi that they are still friends, despite being on different sides in the ring to night. Alicia rubs it in that she is on total Divas while Naomi got the boot from the show. Fox then goes bananas and assaults Naomi, splashing powder all over her before Summer Rae, Emma, and Cameron break it up.
Segment #11: Video Promo
The long-time rivalry between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose is shown. The Ambulance Match is up next!
Match #6: Single (Ambulance Rules)
The bell rings and Ambrose slugs away! Bray whips him off the ropes but Dean fires back again with punches, then slams his head on the steel steps and hurls him over the announce table! Ambrose hops up on the table and leaps off it with a punch! Both Wyatt and Ambrose battle through the fans!
Wyatt is the first to try and win, by putting Dean into the ambulance, but Dean kicks him off. Ambrose collects some specialized tables from the ambulance (painted white with a red cross), but Wyatt slams the door (literately) on Dean’s knee. After Dean hobbled to the stage, Bray wheels the stretcher into Ambrose’s leg. He works him back to the ring and slams his knee against the ring post.
Wyatt is still punishing Ambrose, kicking away then splashing him in the corner. He attempts Sister Abigail, but Dean punches out and nails a clothesline! He gives Bray more fists, but runs into a hard clothesline! He yells “no more” then drags Dean back to the ambulance. He sets up one of the tables (which don’t look as intimidating as the normal brown-colored ones!) however Ambrose bars him from going further by kicking him back and leaping off the stage with a clothesline! Dean whacks him a few times with the stretcher board. Bray fights back, but is kicked out of the ambulance again. Ambrose follows up by chucking a chair and setting up one another of the tables. He places Wyatt on it, then decides to climb up to the top of the ambulance. Ambrose follows up, soaring off with an elbow to Wyatt through the table!
Both get back up, but it’s Bray who gets the advantage and gives Ambrose Sister Abigail into the ambulance! He tries to put Dean in the ambulance, but Ambrose kicks out again! Wyatt delivers one more Sister Abigail on the carpeted-floor then puts Dean inside the ambulance to take the victory!
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Post-match, Bray sits on the floor following the hard-fought battle and then begins to laugh maniacally.
The announcer’s continue to plug “John Cena Appreciation Night” by The Authority.
Match #7: Six-Person Tag-Team – Naomi and Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) VS. Alicia Fox, The Miz, and Damien Mizdow (Non-Title)
Naomi and Alicia begin, with Naomi getting the better of Fox. They trade tags, Jey and Miz coming in. At one point, Miz tagged in Damien, but before he can do much, Miz tagged himself back in, to the dismay of the fans. Jimmy is in, but gets distracted by a misplaced Naomi (on the opposite side of the ring), which allows Miz to roll him up and hold the tights for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Alicia Fox, The Miz, and Damien Mizdow
Up next, Ryback will face Seth Rollins!
Match #8: Single – Ryback VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
Again, prior to the bout, “The Big Red Machine” walks out and re-books this as a two-on-one bout, now featuring him!
Match #8: Two-On-One – Ryback VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins and “The Big Red Machine” Kane (with Joey Mercury and Seth Rollins)
Kane and Ryback begin by … Ryback manages to gain advantage, jumping off the middle turnbuckle with a shoulder block. He stomps and splashes Kane but is shoved into the corner and double-teamed. Rollins wrestles with Ryback, but “The Big Guy” makes a comeback and tosses Seth to the floor.
Kane is back in but quickly switches with Rollins. Both he and Kane start to dominate Ryback for a while. Ryback eventually blocks a suplex try by Kane and turns it into one himself. Ryback tosses Rollins aside with a backdrop and a shoulder-powerslam. He tries a powerbomb, but Rollins lands on his feet. He goes for a big kick but Ryback ducks and plants him with a spinebuster. Mercury and Noble try to interfere but are put aside quickly.
Ryback manages to gives Kane the Shell-Shock Marching Samoan Drop but Rollins sneaks in and curb-stomps Ryback twice! He covers and gives himself and Kane the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins and “The Big Red Machine” Kane (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble
It is announced that Paige will face Nikki Bella on Main Event this week!
Match #9: Single – Adam Rose (with The Rosebuds) VS. Big E. (with New Day partners Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Rose actually manages to wear Big E. down a bit with a rear chinlock, but Kofi and Xavier cheer on their partner. This motivates Big E. to make a comeback, but two of Rose’s Rosebuds assault all New Day members, also causing the dq.
Winner via Disqualification: Big E. (with New Day partners Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Post-match, the two Rosebuds reveal themselves to be Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. They celebrate with Adam and his Rosebuds.
Up next, it is the “John Cena Appreciation.”
Segment #12: Arena Promo
The ring is decked out in black carpet as The Authority make their way to it. Stephanie puts over John Cena big then await his arrival. He walks out, very stoic and seemingly unhappy. First, they replay the events from the last Raw, then continue to suck-up to Cena.
Triple H then brings out more people that will “appreciate” Cena. They are Ryback, Erik Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler. HHH puts the blame on Cena for causing mayhem again by bringing them back. He woos Rowan, Ryback, and Ziggler at first by saying they were all in the clear and in good standing with The Authority being gone; but Cena shifted that all last week and Triple H tries to convince them to resent. He and Stephanie start to decide on punishments for the three competitors, since they all decided to go against The Authority at Survivor Series.
First, they serve suspensions; Rowan for 30 days, Ryback for 60, and Dolph for 90. Then they decide to discuss further, leaving the ring. Once they reach the top of the ramp, Triple H and Stephanie fire Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan; then tell them they can thank the man behind, John Cena. The U.S. Presidential Theme plays, as confetti flows into the arena while Stephanie and Triple H kiss at the top of the ramp and gloat to a despondent Cena, closing the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a very bad example to kick off the New Year of Raw. I can honestly say that I only liked a couple of matches/segments out of the entire 3 +-hour show, which is not a good sign. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: As always, the promo by Bray Wyatt. Just when I though he can’t get anymore sinister (especially after last year’s Raw with the children singing “He’s Got The Whole World Ins His Hands) Bray steps it up again. Dean Ambrose also matched great with his rough-and-tough rebuttal. The bout itself pretty-much lived up to expectations, and was definitely a well-put-together performance and enjoyable to watch!
Both Reigns’ promo and his match with Big Show were pretty decent. Glad this feud does not seem to be over!
Surprisingly, Natalya and Nikki wrestled pretty decently with the short time given; I’m actually looking forward to the feud with The Bellas and Paige/Natalya.
Bogus: Everything/one else! Let’s start with backwards booking – most of the line up seemed in okay order, until you got to the Ambulance Match 2/3 into the show, then having Rose/Big E. as the “main event?” So very wrong! Ambulance should’ve been main-event! Also, thought that Natalya/Nikki and Reigns/Show could’ve gone a little longer.
The Ascension are starting to fail in my book already. This is too bad, because they were awesome on NXT; however they had better promos (tonight’s was just horrible) and a better, darker entrance, which suited them more. I hope they get a bit better, because they are a legit and can be a great tag-team (again, read: NXT), but need much better talking ability.
Don’t need the numerous replays of stuff we just saw on the same show!
The entire dismantling of The Authority’s opponents. As much as I like Bad News, it was a bit soon for him to win the title and really bad to take it off Dolph with his hot momentum. Plus, last week it looked as if Barrett was going to be a face and it could’ve worked well. Now he’s a full-fledged heel.
I’m really tired of the constant beatdowns/two-on-one’s, etc…
The ending was a huge letdown; I was expecting something big to happen, like The Authority not being in power after all because that’s who Cena didn’t have in mind, or Vince coming in and over-ruling everything. Perhaps even Sting, as my Dad mentioned when we were watching together. But nope, we get a non-sense stipulation that never sticks and some very bad acting by Steph during the whole segment. I give Ryback, Ziggler, and Rowan until Royal Rumble; then they’ll be back as wrestlers. In the meantime, they’ll be showing up weekly as “paying customers” in the audience, as is par-for-the-course when someone is “thrown/banned out of the building” or “fired.”
Overall, the first Raw of 2015 was a pretty horrible one to begin. Let’s hope they totally revamp and make it better next week. Until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!