Raw is back at the site of the epic, and one of the best Wrestlemanias in recent years, New Orleans! Unfortunately, with the way the first week in WWE-land for the New Year went, I’m not expecting any major shockers in the good way. Seriously, you take out three of your top guys on the roster and deplete it even more in a nonsense storyline; particularly after a hot-one started with Survivor Series?
Wade Barrett, who receives a strong reaction with his return and wins the I.C. Title in the above-mentioned storyline, then loses to Sin Cara on Smackdown!?
Dean Ambrose wrestles the night after his brutal Ambulance Match instead of being off TV for a while to sell the bout, especially after the danger of it was very well built?
Right now, there are a lot of issues within the upper-card state of the WWE, so let’s hope tonight starts clearing them up as we continue towards the Royal Rumble. Read on to find out if there are any changes for the better!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 12th, 2015 – “Opportunity Stomps”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo
Recap of last week’s Raw ending is played.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
John Cena’s music plays and he walks out, seemingly all happy and trying to hype up the fans. He defends his position on bringing back The Authority to “save Edge’s life,” then rips on Triple H for “turning coat” and now being remembered as a power-hungry man instead of the World Champion he should be. Cena then inquires if crowd wants to see the recently-fired Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erik Rowan again. He tells us all to get on Twitter and plug in “#Authority sucks.” Cena threatens The Authority to bring them back, or else, when he wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, he will go home with it until the trio are on the roster again. He goes on to list the potential consequences until The Authority interrupts with mocking smiles on their faces.
Triple H reminds John about the consequences that could’ve (and did) happen after Survivor Series. Both berate Cena for acting like a hero, but really only putting himself first and his desires a head of theirs. However, they are willing to give Rowan, Ziggler, and Ryback another chance. “The Game” books Cena to take on Seth Rollins; if Cena wins, then Rowan, Ziggler, and Ryback will be rehired. Of course, this is not just a regular one-on-one bout. Triple H adds some outside help, as it is a Lumberjack Match. The Lumberjacks walk out, as this bout will be up next!
Match #1: Single (Lumberjack Rules) – John Cena VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
(Note: The Lumberjacks are Kane, The Big Show, Curtis Axel, Cesaro, Fandango, I.C. Champ Bad News Barrett, Titus O’Neil, Tyson Kidd, and Justin Gabriel)
Rollins takes control early, tossing Cena to the outside where the Lumberjacks give him a few kicks and punches. Cena then throws Rollins out, but Joey and Jamie guard Seth from being attacked by the Lumberjacks.
Seth is back dominating after Barrett tripped up Cena during the break. Cena begins another comeback with shoulder-tackles and a spin-out backdrop. He tries an STF, but Seth wiggles out of it. Cena quickly drops Rollins with the Attitude Adjustment, but Seth rolls to the outside. As the Lumberjacks protect him, Cena soars off the top turnbuckle with a splash!
In the ring, both trade near-falls, then Seth turnbuckle-powerbombs Cena. He covers but only gets two! Cena now powerbombs Rollins but also only gets two! They punch back-and-forth again, then Cena goes for another A.A. Rollins lands on his feet, then plants him with a flipping-reverse-DDT! 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out. He drives home another A..A but Noble and Mercury, along with other Lumberjacks attack Cena again. John manages to trap Rollins in the STF, but Kane pulls Rollins to the ropes. Big Show then Knockout-Punches Cena and puts him back to the canvas. Rollins lays on top for the victory.
Winner via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
Later tonight, the contract signing for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble will take place, along with Daniel Bryan’s return to the city where he won said WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Segment #3: Office Promo
Stephanie is with Tag-Team Champions The Usos when Dean Ambrose walks in. She clarifies that Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan’s firings are all on John Cena. Jimmy wonders if that is all, with no punishments, and Steph concurs. Except, she also makes Naomi wrestle later tonight, with one arm tied up.
Moving on to Dean, she orders a psych-evaluation for him. If he fails it, then he will not compete in the Royal Rumble match.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
The Miz and Damien Mizdow gives their thoughts on last night’s Golden Globes Awards.
Segment #5: Office Promo
Dean Ambrose is being interviewed by the doctor. He wants to find out what goes on inside the mind of Ambrose, so he puts a clock that ticks away, which gives
Match #2: Tag-Team – The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) VS. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya, Adam Rose, and The Rosebuds)
Cesaro and Kidd quickly take control, double-stomping Kingston in the corner. Cesaro swings Kofi around as they continue to dominate. Kofi eventually makes the hot-tag to Woods, who re-tags Kofi and they finish off Kidd and Cesaro!
Winner via Pinfalls: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
The announcers hype up the Hall-Of-Fame Ceremony, which will presumably be headlined by the big news of “Macho Man” Randy Savage finally being inducted! A clip of various superstars attempting his trademark “Ooooh Yeaaahhhh” catchphrase is aired.
It is made known that next week’s Raw will be a Reunion Show, featuring Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Scott Hall!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
The Big Show is back out and rips apart the fans. He calls them the “shallow end of the gene pool,” since all they can come up with is “Big Show sucks.” He compares their first day on their jobs, in which they were probably nervous and scared, to his first day where he defeated Hulk Hogan and won the WCW Heavyweight Championship. Show turns his attention to Roman Reigns, calling him a “loser” and the fans who cheer for him a “loser.” He threatens that he will put Reigns out while he will continue to dominate.
Roman answers, walking through the crowd and wanting to face Show in the ring. Big walks away, as Reigns continue to talk. He takes a shot at Dhow’s age, saying he was only around 12 when Show first on the WCW Championship from Hogan. He then compares the classic “Jack and The Beanstalk” story to Roman’s life, replacing Jack with his own name. “Believe that!”
Luke Harper now walks out and will be taking on “Superman” next!
Match #3: Single – Roman Reigns VS. Luke Harper
Reigns dominates pretty quick and seems to setup for the Spear, but Harper rolls to the outside for a break.
Harper is now fighting back with punches and a big boot! Luke whips Reigns into the barricade and steel steps, then impressively sling-shots himself back into the ring on top of Reigns. He clamps a grounding front-facelock but Reigns battles back. Big Show gets up from the announcer’s area and gets the best of Roman. This didn’t do too much though, as Reigns fires back with the Superman Punch and outside running front-dropkick. Big gets to Reigns again, allowing Harper to nail a superkick. Roman hits back with a sudden Spear and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Post-match, Show assaults Reigns, laying him out with the Knockout Punch.
Up next, Naomi will face Alicia Fox!
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Miz and Mizdow continue talking about the Golden Globes. Mizdow reveals to Miz that he has filmed Miz in all aspects of his life.
Match #4: Single – Alicia Fox VS. Naomi
The referee ties up Naomi’s left hand, but she makes a valiant effort. She uses her right for a bunch of clotheslines and knees Fox on the outside. She slams Fox’s head into the ring apron, but is booted harshly in the head as she re-entered. Alicia takes advantage with a Scissors Kick to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Alicia Fox
Segment #8: Office Promo
The doctor continues to verbally examine Dean. He shows him pictures and asks Dean to say the first word(s) that come to bind. Triple H – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Seth Rollins – Scumbag, Roman Reigns – Brother, Kane – Toothpaste, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – Ho!, Stephanie McMahon – Ho!
Segment #9: Arena Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, are out. Heyman has the microphone and is all-too-happy “to be back at the scene of the crime.” He is referring to Wrestlemania XXX, where Lesnar defeated The Undertaker, and made The Streak end. Paul E. then compares Lesnar to the other top stars/slogans of the WWE, saying they are all “fantasy” while he is “reality.” He threatens that Lesnar will show Cena and Rollins reality later tonight during the contract signing.
Match #5: Single – The Miz (with Damien Mizdow) VS. Tag-Team Champion Jey Uso (with Tag-Team Champion partner/brother Jimmy Uso) (Non-Title)
A lockup begins with a reversal whip and clothesline by Miz. Jey counters a dive with a punch, then over-shoulder slams Miz. He drops Miz Samoan-style, then runs into him in the corner rear-first. Miz kicks Jey in the upper-thigh and tries a Figure-4, which Jey reverses into an inside cradle, but Mizdow distracts Jey. Jimmy helps and yanks out Mizdow, but Jey was distracted enough to fall to the Skull Krushing Finale and cover!
Winner via Pinfall: The Miz (with Damien Mizdow)
Up next, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will be out!
Segment #10: Arena Promo
Lillian Garcia welcomes back Daniel Bryan. He walks out to a huge ovation and a plethora of “yes” chants. In the ring, a giant grin is on his face as he tries recall the last time he was in New Orleans. Daniel remembers correctly that he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship last time he was in this city. He now proclaims that it will happen again, as he is going to win the Royal Rumble.
Before he can continue, Stephanie McMahon walks out and plugs her new fitness DVD; she offers him a copy to help him get ready for Royal Rumble. McMahon puts into question what he will be remembered more for in 2014, the monumental win at Wrestlemania XXX or being out of action and not “staying on top” from May onwards. She wonders if he really wants to go at it all again.
Daniel retorts, insinuating that yes he will do it all again and it will be worth it! Stephanie then announces that he will be wrestling this week on Smackdown!, taking on his former friend and now foe, Kane! “The Big Red Machine” walks down the ramp, but Bryan meets him with a sliding front-dropkick. Daniel gets the better of Kane in the brawl after shoving him shoulder-first into the steel post then pounding away on him. Kane hi-tails to the back, leaving Daniel to celebrate with the fans.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Seth Rollins is gloating to Jamie and Joey about beating John Cena when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar walks up to him. They get in each other’s face until Paul Heyman interjects and makes peace. He insinuates that it would be more beneficial to work together and eliminate Cena at the Royal Rumble, then go at it for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Match #6: Single – Paige (with Natalya and Tyson Kidd) VS. Brie Bella (with Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Elbow/collar tie-up with Paige getting the best after an elbow. She repeatedly knees Brie against t ropes, but Brie fights back. She runs at her with a knee against the ropes and dives off the second turnbuckle with a dropkick. 1 – 2 – Paige kicks out! Brie stretches her with a chinlock, then slams her head against the canvas. She goes back to the chinlock, which Paige battles out of with elbows and headbutts! Paige kicks Brie down hard and covers, but Tyson hops the apron, somewhat distracting Paige. This allows Brie to get up and roll Paige for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Brie Bella (with Divas Champion Nikki Bella)
Post-match, Paige slaps Tyson for his interference, then Natalya walks off past Kidd.
Segment #12: Promo
“In the Royal Rumble match, 30 souls will enter. And 29 souls will fall. It will take time to realize that we’re not in Wonderland anymore Alice. And whatever I do next, will change your world forever. Some will laugh, some will cry, but most will be too shocked by what they see. They will have no choice but to sit there in silence while THE ANIMAL THAT IS CAGED IN THIS PRISON SHALL BE SET FREE! And no man on planet Earth will be immune to his wrath, me. RUN!”
Segment #13: Video Promo
It is official! “Macho Man” Randy Savage will be inducted into the 2015 WWE Hall-Of-Fame! A montage of his career plays. More news reveals that Hulk Hogan will be the one to do the honours and induct Randy.
Match #7: Tag-Team – The Ascension (Connor and Viktor) VS. ???
As per the last few weeks, The Ascension defeat their no-named opponents with The Fall Of Man.
Winners via Pinfall: The Ascension (Connor and Viktor)
Segment #13: Office Promo
The tables are turned, as it is Dean Ambrose now interviewing the doctor, who is spilling his beans and lying on the couch. Ambrose coerces him into signing papers.
Segment #14: Arena Promo
United States Champion Rusev is in the ring with Lana, who gives props to both The Authority and John Cena for firing Ryback. The “Ravishing Russian” and United States Champion continue to berate Ryback and America until Dean Ambrose interjects and punches Rusev to the floor.
Match #8: Single – United States Champion Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana) VS. Dean Ambrose (Non-Title)
Ambrose begins to put up a fight as this impromptu match is underway. Rusev soon gains domination for a while. Dean appears to have a hurt knee, which Rusev focuses on. He hangs Ambrose upside down, then clubs away with hard fists. Chad Patton, the referee, decides to put this bout to an end.
Winner via Referee Stoppage: United States Champion Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Up next, the contract signing for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble will take place!
Segment #14: Arena Promo
The Authority are in the ring, which is decked out with a red carpet and a table with black leather cloth. They bring out each competitor for the Rumble. Heyman takes the microphone first, putting over Seth Rollins for bringing back The Authority, but saying it was really made by him. He says that all ended up being good for Brock Lesnar, which is what really counts. All three wrestlers state they will be the ones to win at the Royal Rumble.
Cena then goes at it with Rollins until Lesnar German-suplexes him back. Cena gets up pretty quick and Attitude Adjusts Brock through the contract table, but then is planted with a Curb Stomp. Rollins does the same to Lesnar, much to Heyman’s dismay.
“Mr. Money In The Bank” is quite pleased with himself, as are The Authority. They stare down Lesnar and Cena from the top of the ramp to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was an improvement! I quite enjoyed this Raw; much better mike work and good matches. However, there are still some issues, so I’ll get into those too! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: #1 goes to the extremely long-overdue induction of the late-great “Macho Man” Randy Savage; need I say more? I will. As I have said before, I believe he is one of the top three stars in the 80s, with Hulk Hogan and the late-great Ultimate Warrior. He was on-par with them both in terms of charisma, but yet wrestled much better. He also had the ability to make the fans both genuinely love him and genuinely hate him, which is very hard to do in this business. Many credit his Wrestlemania III match as inspiration for them getting into professional wrestling, whether they actually got into the ring or just became fans after that classic bout; this is another huge achievement. Plus, the accolades as WWF and WCW Heavyweight Champion, and Intercontinental Champion. All of these are just a few of the reasons that his induction has been long time coming and absolutely well-deserved. God rest your soul, Randy. You are greatly missed, but thank you for the memories.
Matches – even though I don’t like the whole storyline, the match itself between Cena and Rollins was pretty great; I liked Harper/Reigns and Miz/Jey; Naomi and Alicia, and Paige and Brie were both better than I expected, especially considering the stipulation with Naomi!
The Big Show’s interview along with Roman Reigns’ response was fantastic; I must admit, I wasn’t excited when he turned heel because he is usually pretty boring, but he has really turned it up with the verbal-jousting and charisma this time, and Reigns is giving it right back to him, almost equally! Rusev was also very good on the stick and seemed to amp it up a bit too, and as always, Bray Wyatt’s promo. Keep it going, all of you!
As much as I still believe Ambrose should be out for a couple weeks, at least, selling last week’s Ambulance Match, I am liking his “psychotic” character more and more, and tonight’s dealings with “the doctor” were funny!
Once again, glad Daniel Bryan is able to continue on wrestling! It is also great they are going with continuity and having his first match be against the man that “put him out of action” for months, Kane.
Bogus: Definitely not liking The Ascension. Their promos are just the same week-in-week-out and they are much better than taking out jobbers weekly. It’s time for another team to step up and start a feud. It really is too bad I feel this way about them, as I was looking forward to their main-roster dominance since they were awesome on NXT and much-more dark and better with their promos.
The New Day has unfortunately stalled for me; and not digging the new team of Cesaro and Kidd.
Again, Bad News Barrett is the I.C. Champ, but relegated to only being a Lumberjack? Bad booking on a hot-return just a couple weeks ago!
I still don’t like the whole firing storyline. It just comes out of nowhere, and really makes Survivor Series seem all-for-not. There is also no credibility to what they’re trying to accomplish when Cena comes out all happy-go-lucky after being the one to cost Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan their jobs just seven days ago.
Overall though, this was a much better Raw than last week, so let’s hope the “go-home” show for Royal Rumble is the best of the New Year so far! Until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!