We are on somewhat of a new path after the Royal Rumble; debuts, a championship change, a return, and a couple of new rivalries look to be ahead. I will not spoil for those who have not seen the show, and are still wanting to, but it was pretty-good.
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 25th, 2016 – “’The Game’ Begins”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
A recap of the Royal Rumble match is shown, then Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Byron Saxton greet us from Miami, Florida.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Vince and Stephanie McMahon parade out and are overjoyed with the results of the Royal Rumble. They berate both Roman Reigns and the fans for “believing” that he can do it and win the entire match. The McMahons move onto the new WWE World Heavyweight Champions, their son-in-law and husband, respectively, Triple H!
The C.O.O. walks out in his suit, gleaming with the gold around his waist. He is all too happy to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion again, but that is because he said he had too. “The Game” talks about the lack of respect Roman Reigns showed during his sway with the championship, defying Authority and being abusive to Vince. This is why he returned on Sunday and entered into the Rumble, so he could take the title from Roman.
Stephanie announces that all of tonight’s matches will be scrutinized by The Authority so they can determine who will be in the main-event of Fastlane on February 21st, which will then determine who will wrestle Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania!
Match #1: Single – Dolph Ziggler VS. Kevin Owens
Dolph hits a superkick immediately but Owens kicks out at two. They brawl on the outside and Kevin gets an advantage after chucking Ziggler into the side barricade. Dolph fights back inside the ring, getting him with a dropkick that sends Owens to the floor for a break.
Owens is now in control, but he misses a shoulder-ram in the corner and hits the ring post; Ziggler capitalizes with a Famasser for a near-fall! He reverses a fireman’s carry lift into a sleeper, but Kevin breaks it in the corner. He goes for the cannonball, but Dolph moves. Owens snaps Ziggler back with a German Suplex, but Dolph catches him with another superkick right after!
The “Show-off” props Owens atop the turnbuckle and goes for a superplex, but Kevin shoves him to the mat. He boots Dolph as he ran at him, but Ziggler meets him up there. Owens counters and trips Dolph, then whips him off the ropes and Pop-Up Powerbombs him. Owens falls to the cover for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Kevin Owens
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Jojo catches up with Roman Reigns in the halls. She recaps what Mr. McMahon said about him, but Reigns isn’t phased and warns Triple H and Vince that he’s sticking around for the announcement.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
The Social Outcasts are in the ring, and Heath Slater berates Flo Rida, who is sitting at ringside. Rida enters the ring and Slater challenges him to a rap-battle, but puts in Bo Dallas instead. Bo cuts a pretty-good rap, but Flo’s was boring. Rida then tells Slater, Bo, Curtis Axel, and Adam Rose that two of them will be facing the Dudleyz, right now!
Match #2: Tag-Team – The Social Outcasts (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) (with Social Outcast partners Heath Slater and Adam Rose) VS. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (with Flo Rida)
Curtis and D-Von are wrestling until D-Von tags in Bubba and they double-flapjack Axel. Dallas gets Bubba’s attention, allowing Curtis to clothesline Ray from behind. He stomps away in the corner on Bubba, then switches with Bo. He gives Bubba a neckbreaker, then traps him a side headlock. Bubba reverses into a side suplex, and makes the hot-tag to his “brother.” He is all over Axel, and both “brothers” give him a backdrop and neckbreaker combo. Heath hops the apron and tries to distract, but Flo tips him into the ring. Bubba scoop-slams Slater and D-Von soars off the top rope with a headbutt. The Dudleyz finish this one with a 3-D on Axel!
Winners via Pinfall: The Dudleyz (with Flo Rida)
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with new WWE addition, A.J. Styles! She asks him what it was like to make his debut, but Chris Jericho walks up and interrupts soon. He puts A.J. over as “the hottest free agent,” but warns him about being where he is now.
Match #3: Single – Chris Jericho VS. A.J. Styles
They lockup and shove into the corner; both break it then lock up again. They turn each other around with head and wristlocks, then A.J. flips out of one and gives Jericho an armdrag, and poses. (Loud “this is awesome” chants already!) Jericho quickly puts A.J. to the canvas, but Styles hits back with a leaping clothesline from an Irish Whip. Chris gets control after clotheslining Styles in the corners, then giving him a springboard dropkick that knocks him from the apron.
“Y2J” suplexes Styles back in the ring, elbows him in the corner, then dropkicks him from the middle turnbuckle. A.J. counters with a couple of chops, then leapfrogs Jericho and hits a dropkick. He goes to the apron, but Jericho trips him up.
Jericho is now wearing down Styles with a rear chinlock, but A.J. battles out with elbows. They both run into each other with a crossbody and are down! A.J. hits some quick elbows and a splash into the corner, but is almost caught in the Walls of Jericho before he spins Chris over. They move around each other and Jericho gets two with a Northern Lights suplex; they trade pin combos for two-counts, then Jericho hits a running-enziguri for another near-fall! A.J. springs off the top rope with a forearm, but Chris kicks out at two! A.J. gets caught in the Walls, but struggles and manages to clutch the bottom rope for a break.
Styles hits the Pele Kick, then goes to the top. He rockets off the turnbuckle with a Frog Splash, but Chris moves. “Y2J” springs off the middle rope with the Lionsault, but A.J. lifts his knees for the counter. He also reverses a pin combo into a sunset one of his own and receives the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: A.J. Styles
Post-match, A.J. wants to shake Jericho’s hand; Chris reluctantly does then holds on a little longer as a warning.
A limousine is shown pulling into the arena
Match #4: Single – Sasha Banks VS. Becky Lynch
Sasha shoves Becky, then Lynch sweeps her up and punches away. She kicks Banks in the corner, but Sasha jawbreaks her using the rope and throws her into the turnbuckle. Sasha stomps and slaps Becky, then wrenches her head. Lynch flips Banks around, then clotheslines her a couple times and hits a dropkick. She gains momentum, giving Sasha an exploder-suplex. She runs at Banks in the corner, but “The Boss” trips her into the turnbuckle.
Banks tries a suplex, but Lynch rolls through and traps her in the Disarmer. Sasha gets out of it and locks Becky in the Bank Statement, but Divas Charlotte suddenly interferes, throwing Banks to the floor and attacking Lynch too.
Winner: None due to interference
Post-match, Charlotte continues the assault on both women, leaving them in the ring.
Segment #6: Locker Room Promo
Goldust is searching for R-Truth and decides to listen to his music. Truth walks up and wonders what’s going on; Goldust tells him he wants “a new partner,’ meaning for a Tag-Team, but R takes it as a meaning of same-sex marriage. He informs Goldust that he’s already hitched, but is okay with how Goldust wants to live, then walks away. Goldust realizes his faux-pas.
Up next, Kane will take on Bray Wyatt.
Match 5: Single – Bray Wyatt (with Wyatt Family members Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman) VS. Kane
Kane engages into a headlock, then gives Bray a shoulder-block. Wyatt is back up and slugs away, then Kane turns him around into the corner and does the same. He snapmares Bray and gives him a running-front-dropkick, then chokes on the apron. Wyatt counters by slinging Kane’s arm over the top rope then works him over.
Bray is still in control until Kane counters with a jawbreaker. Bray knocks Kane down again, but Kane gets up and gives Wyatt a DDT. He goes for the chokeslam but Bray stops it and slams Kane down. Kane gets back up and hits a big boot. Luke hops the apron, which allows Wyatt to spin Kane around with Sister Abigail to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman)
Post-match, The Wyatts continue to attack Kane, then pose over him.
Segment #7: Backstage and Arena Promo
Rich Brennan is outside the limousine and knocks on the door; out comes The Miz. He declares that it has been three weeks, which is too long for the “most-must-see WWE Superstar of all-time.” He doesn’t get too far when a truck screeches behind them. The real returning star is….
“The most electrifying man in sports-entertainment history” makes fun of Miz, The Big Show, Lana, and Rusev along the way to the ring. As usual, he hypes up the crowd until he notices a particular group. The Rock decides to “go off the script” and quickly talk to three guys who are dressed as The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, and the late-great “Macho Man” Randy Savage, respectively. Rock finishes with them and goes back to the ring.
He is soon interrupted by Tag-Team Champions The New Day, who put themselves over. Rock makes fun of them and their attire, and then challenges them to go at it in the ring. Xavier Woods decides not, but Rock brings out The Usos to help. They fight with Big E., Woods, and Kofi Kingston; The Rock helps and finishes Woods with a People’s Elbow.
Match #6: Tag-Team – Team Bella (Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) VS. Paige and Natalya
Alicia and Natalya start out, switching locks then Fox flips over into a headscissors. She tags in Brie who clutches an arm and chin lock. Nattie elbows out but is slammed down for two. Brie kicks away at Natalya’s chest like her husband Daniel Bryan, then gives her a running-dropkick. She misses her running-knee and Nattie kicks Brie off then slaps hands with Paige.
The former “Diva of Tomorrow” gets Brie into the P.T.O., but it is broken by Fox. Natalya takes out Alicia, then Paige plants Brie with the Ram-Paige DDT and finishes this one!
Winners via Pinfall: Paige and Natalya
Match #7: Single – The Miz VS. United States Champion Kalisto (Non-Title)
The Miz is in the ring and says he has had enough of being cut off; it continues however as Kalisto makes his entrance. Miz furiously kicks Kalisto multiple times in the corner to begin, but Kalisto quickly takes over with his aerial attacks! The U.S. Champion continues the flips, and dives off the turnbuckle with a crossbody.
Miz controls most of the contest until Kalisto kicks back. Miz almost takes this after a harsh-DDT, but the U.S. Champ has some more left in him. He reveres a Skull Krushing Finale attempt into the Solida-Del-Sol for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: United States Champion Kalisto
Up next is the main-event!
It is made-known again that Roman Reigns and Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose will be on Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel” this week on Smackdown!
Match #8: Tag-Team – Roman Reigns and Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose VS. The League of Nations (Sheamus and Rusev) (with League of Nations partners King Barrett and Alberto Del Rio)
Reigns is aggressive right away on Sheamus with punches and a clothesline, then tags in Ambrose who punches Sheamus against the ropes. He runs with a dropkick then switches with Reigns. Both he and Dean double-team Rusev, then “The Lunatic Fringe” soars off the top turnbuckle onto Sheamus and Rusev on the floor with an elbow drop!
Sheamus now has control over Reigns with a chinlock. Roman gets out of it and clotheslines “The Celtic Warrior,” then crawls for the hot-tag to Dean! He is all over Sheamus with clotheslines and forearms, then he dumps him to the outside and follows with a dive-through-the-ropes. He jumps off the apron too, but Del Rio hurls him into the corner. Rusev now dominates, as does Sheamus for a bit.
Dean counters by spinning on the apron and clotheslining Sheamus on the outside. He makes the hot-tag to Reigns, who hits both Rusev and Sheamus numerous times. He gives Rusev nine clotheslines in the corner then an uppercut. Roman gears up for the Superman Punch, but The League distract. Rusev kicks him hard then switches with Sheamus who Brogue Kicks and covers Roman. 1 – 2 – Dean breaks it up! “The Lunatic Fringe” takes Rusev to the floor and Reigns hits a Spear on Sheamus then covers to receive the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Roman Reigns and Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose
Post-match, Dean rips off the top of the announce tables, then he and Reigns double-powerbomb Rusev from one table to, and through, the next! The friends are standing tall until Stephanie walks to the stage.
The Principle Owner is actually pleased with what she saw, then books the Fastlane main-event, which features Ambrose VS. Reigns VS. ….
Ambrose and Reigns look at each other to close the show.
End of Raw.