As the saying always goes, last night, “the road to WrestleMania has begun!” Royal Rumble took place just 24 hours ago, and as usual, I have NO IDEA what happened! Was Batista able to win his second Royal Rumble match (first in 2005) as expected, or did another wrestler be the last in the ring? Who will the Royal Rumble winner be facing – John Cena, Randy Orton, or a third option between now and April 6th? Did Daniel Bryan surpass his torture by defeating Bray Wyatt? Are there new Tag-Team Champions in the New Age Outlaws, or was The Brotherhood of Goldust and Cody Rhodes able to keep rolling? How did the collision between Big Show and Brock Lesnar turn out?
Lastly, as the push towards WrestleMania starts, so does the Class Of 2014 for the WWE Hall Of Fame. We already know that The Ultimate Warrior is the first inductee, so who else will be revealed in the coming weeks? Hopefully we shall see another legend tonight.
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 27th, 2014 – “Predictable Predicament”
Introduction Segment: Recap
Still footage showing Randy Orton keeping his WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble thanks to help from The Wyatt Family. Orton R.K.O.’ed Cena, then Bray, Erik, and Luke got in the ring, with Bray putting John out with Sister Abigail.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
The Authority is out and is quite pleased with the Royal Rumble, much to the chagrin of the fans. They tout (and I mean that in the classic term) the success of Orton retaining, Lesnar decimating Show, and Batista (predictably) winning the actual Royal Rumble. Stephanie announces that Randy Orton will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Title against other opponents in the Elimination Chamber, at February’s Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and arguably the most popular star right now interjects. He asks the fans to quiet down on the “yes” chants, so they don’t infuriate The Authority. Daniel promotes how great is match with Bray Wyatt was, but Triple H chalks it up to “a good little effort.” Bryan gets in their face about not being involved in the Royal Rumble match, but they come up with the political health reasons why they didn’t include him. Bryan puts over the fans choice of always wanting to see him (backed up by the crowd chanting his name and “yes.”) Daniel steps right up against Triple H and demands to be in the Elimination Chamber bout. Triple H says that it sounds nice, but instead brings out The Shield.
“The Hounds Of Justice” make their way to the ring, but Daniel had escaped to collect a chair from ringside. It doesn’t take long for the trio to beat down Bryan, until the returning Sheamus and John Cena charge down to the squared circle to even the odds. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns leave through the fans.
It is announced that John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus will team up to face The Shield in the main-event. The winners will all then be inserted into the Elimination Chamber match!
Match #1: Tag-Team – Rey Mysterio Jr. and Sin Cara VS. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with Zeb Colter)
Real Americans control for a bit early until Cara flies around. He pulls down the ropes, sending Swagger over, and then follows up with a suicide dive. At ringside, Colter gets in Swagger and Cesaro’s faces, giving them a “pep talk” and even slapping Jack across the face! This seams to work, as Swagger begins to dominate.
Cesaro and Cara now going at now, then Swagger is tagged in and he is taken down by Cara. Antonio comes in and is thrown over the ropes, then victory-rolled in the ring for a two-count! Americans are back on top via a double-team slam on Sin. Swagger tries the Swaggerbomb, but Cara moves from that and a follow-up splash by Cesaro. He tags in Mysterio, who flies all over Antonio. Off the top rope, he sits on Cesaro with a seated senton! He almost takes this with a stiff kick, but Swagger breaks it up! Rey hits the 619 on Cesaro, and Cara tries to follow with the senton off the top, but Antonio moves. Cara springboards off the ropes but is caught with the uppercut by Cesaro. He drops Sin with The Neutralizer for the victory!
Later tonight, new Tag-Team Champions The New Age Outlaws will defend their belts against The Brotherhood in a rematch from the Royal Rumble Pre-Show. (Okay, I’m slightly surprised they pulled a title switch on a pre-show.)
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Bad News Barrett cuts another pointless interview about how horrible the “Battle Of Cleveland” between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. (Is Ziggler even originally from Cleveland, this makes no sense!)
Fandango and Summer Rae make their entrance for the next contest.
Match #2: Single – Fandango (with Summer Rae) VS. R-Truth (with Xavier Woods)
Truth dominates for a bit before Fandango gets some help from Summer on the outside. He takes control before getting elbowed out of the corner. Truth hits a suplex cutter but misses the scissors kick. Fandango fires back with a calf-kick of his own, but only gets two! Fandango ascends the top rope, but Truth moves from a potential legdrop, then plants Fandango with the Jumping Flatliner for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: R-Truth (with Xavier Woods)
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton is walking through the backstage area and will be out next!
Segment #3: Arena Promo
Raw General Manager Brad Maddox is in the ring, and is all too happy to bring out WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. He takes the microphone and takes John Cena’s moniker, saying “the champ is here.” Orton boasts on his victory over Cena, but is none-too-pleased about being booked for the Elimination Chamber. He calls himself the “face of the WWE,” that is until the 2014 Royal Rumble winner interrupts. Batista also has a microphone and gives props to Orton’s win. However, he reminds “The Viper” of his ultimate goal to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania XXX. “And nothing is going to change that!” This statement, of course, brings out a new competitor – Brock Lesnar! He and Paul Heyman saunter out, staring down both Batista and Orton.
Heyman starts talking, and tells Maddox that Brock’s “patience is running thin.” He gives The Authority two options – for Brock Lesnar to face WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton for the Title tonight, or have him take on Batista. Heyman threatens “my client wants Triple H and Stephanie’s answer tonight, or else.”
Match #3: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. “The Awesome One” The Miz
They lock up and Ziggler turns it into a standing side headlock. Miz leapfrogs a run then delivers a knee-to-the-gut off the ropes. He runs at Dolph with a clothesline in the corner, but Ziggler comes back. He leaps on the back of Miz and clamps on the sleeper, wearing Miz down. Miz backs him into the corner and nails a big boot for two. He signals for and tries the Skull Krushing Finale, but Dolph gets out of it and almost takes this with a back roll-up. Miz counters a jumping Ziggler and sweeps him up into the Figure-4. Ziggler struggles but manages to grab the ropes. Miz goes for the submission again, but Dolph reverses into an inside cradle. Both counter for near falls, until Ziggler brings Miz backward with the Zig-Zag and W!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Match #4: Tag-Team – Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) VS. The Usos (Jey and Jimmy)
Jey and Ryback begin, with Rybaxel dominating. Axel is hits a high dropkick, then mauls Jey on under the ropes. Ryback in now and holds up Jey in a stalling suplex. Jey slaps back a couple times, but is chopped in the corner. Ryback wears Jey down with a grounding headlock. Jey manages to send Ryback out of the ring and get the hot-tag to his brother Jimmy. He is all over Curtis Axel with quick punches and a Samoan Drop. Ryback had blind-tagged Axel and breaks up the subsequent pin attempt. He goes for the Marching Samoan Drop, but The Usos pulled the trick-switch, and finish Rybaxel off with a Superkick combo and huge Superfly Splash!
Winners via Pinfall: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Match #5: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. Alberto Del Rio
Collar/elbow tie-up between the two, with Del Rio taking early control. He kicks harshly at the back of Kofi’s head, then chokes him on the middle ropes. Kingston begins to fight back, then nails a huge dropkick. He leaps onto Del Rio in the corner and hits the 10-punch, but A.D.R. puts him off. He ends up going through the ropes and misses Kofi, so instead Kingston follows with a suicide dive. Del Rio regains domination with a vicious kick to Kofi’s head, then he chucks him into the barricade hard. In the ring, Alberto becomes quite aggressive. While they are fighting atop the turnbuckle, the fans couldn’t care less about this bout, as they start chanting for both J.B.L. and Jerry Lawler, and are acknowledged!
Returning, Del Rio almost gets this after another near-fall! Kingston counters a headlock with a jawbreaker and sunset flip. Del Rio counters with a German Suplex for two, but Kofi comes back with a couple shots to Alberto’s head. He spins him around with a Tornado DDT out of the corner! Kofi ducks another kick and rolls him up, but Del Rio kicks out! Kofi is gearing up, hitting the Boomdrop Legdrop and setting for the Trouble In Paradise. He misses that but catches Del Rio with the S.O.S. pin combination. Alberto places his foot on the ropes to break the cover. He puts Kofi down then signals for the Cross Armbreaker. Kofi turns that around, but is taken down witha Backstabber. 1 – 2 – Kingston still kicks out! He climbs the turnbuckle, but is crotched by Kingston! Kofi is caught on the ropes as Del Rio leaps off with a double-stomp, then finally takes this after a kick-to-the-head!
Winner via Pinfall: Alberto Del Rio
Up next, the WWE Tag-Team Championship is on the line!
Match #6: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – The Brotherhood (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) (Challengers) VS. The New Age Outlaws (“Bad Ass” Billy Gunn and “Road Dogg” Jesse James) (Champions)
Right away, this is aggressive as Cody and Goldust hammer away! Goldust and Billy begin, with Goldust all over Gunn. James is in, with Goldust putting him into the corner. He slaps Jesse, then switches with Cody. He stretches James’ face, who takes a break on the outside, and Cody yells at him “get your old ass in the ring!” Rhodes goes back to the hammerlock, then knees him in the arm. Gunn and Goldust are back in, and “The Bizarre One” continues to dominate. He slaps Gunn, but is caught with a big boot off the ropes.
Billy Irish Whips Goldust in the corner, but is spun around with a powerslam. James is tagged back in, but Goldust counters with a sunset-flip bomb. Cody is begging for the tag and gets it, pushing around Gunn. He hits an uppercut and a jumping knee. Both Outlaws are in and both eat a double-springboard-dropkick. Gunn takes Rhodes down with a clothesline, but the match is abruptly stopped when Lesnar and Heyman walk down.
Winners: No Contest via Referee Stoppage
Post-match, Lesnar completely destroys The Brotherhood, since The Authority apparently did not respond to his request to face either Randy Orton or Batista later tonight.
Match #7: Eight-Diva Tag-Team – The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) and The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) VS. Aksana, Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka, and Divas Champion A.J. Lee (Non-Title)
Aksana and Cameron begin, whipping Aksana over herself. Brie comes in with a second-rope dropkick, and tags in her sister. Nikki nails Aksana from behind with a running dropkick, then brings Alicia over with a jumping snapmare. Fox gains control and carries Nikki to the corner, where she tags in A.J. The Divas Champ squeezes Nikki’s head via headlock, then drops Nikki with a neckbreaker. Aksana kicks Nikki in the corner, then carries her around with a sidewalk slam. Tamina tags herself in and rips away at Nikki’s face, then pounds away from behind as Nikki was atop the turnbuckle. Nikki counters with a back kick and jumping kick! A.J. and Naomi are in. They battle it out until the bout breaks down. The Bellas and Cameron impressively triple-suplex Aksana, Alicia, and Tamina! A.J. and Naomi are left in the ring. Lee hits Naomi in the stomach and goes for the Shining Wizard knee, but Naomi counters with her Rear View Bump for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) and The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie)
Segment #4: Video Promo
The newest inductee to the WWE Hall Of Fame is … the man who came back three weeks ago, Jake “The Snake” Roberts! A montage of his career, complete with some awesome creepy promos he cut is aired, reminding us of why really is one of the greats! I’m so glad he seems to have his life straightened out, and now definitely deserves a Hall Of Fame spot!
Match #8: Six-Man Tag-Team – John Cena, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan VS. The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
The good guys make their entrances prior to the break.
It is announced that Christian returns this week on Smackdown! The Shield are now in the ring, and it will be Cena and Ambrose starting it. A lockup by both, and Ambrose controls with a side headlock. Cena comes back with a shoulder block, and will now face off with Rollins. He pushes Seth off a side headlock and leapfrogs. Reigns is now in and squares off. It’s Cena turn to clamp on the side headlock. Later, he tries the Attitude Adjustment, but Roman wiggles out of it. Cena tags in Sheamus, who locks up with Reigns. Neither get an advantage, until Reigns slugs away in the corner. Sheamus returns the blows, and brings him down with a neckbreaker. Rollins is in and is whipped into the corner, then hammered away on against the ropes. Sheamus picks him up, but is dropped out of and Rollins dropkicks his knee. Ambrose is in and shoves away at his face, until Sheamus comes back hard. He points to Bryan, who is tagged in to the pleasure of the fans.
He kicks away, then brings Dean off the top with a hurricanrana! He catches Rollins in a surfboard stretch! He tags in Sheamus, who legdrops Rollins on the canvas. Cena back in and they double-suplex Rollins for two! Cena delivers fists in the corner, but gets elbowed and clotheslined out of the opposite one.
Rollins all over Cena, stomping away. Reigns in and impressively front-dropkicks Cena from the floor to the apron! He nails Cena with the Superman Punch, right square on! Ambrose is tagged in and works over John. An Irish Whip is reversed, but Rollins is in and prevents Cena from getting the hot-tag. He chokes him in the corner with a boot, then Ambrose comes in and and tears at Cena’s face and arm. He drives him down with a hard DDT for a close call! Out of nowhere, Cena hits the A.A. and is able to get the hot-tag to Bryan! He is a one-man show, hitting front dropkicks and suicide dives all over! Off the top rope with a headbutt, then a few kicks! 1 – 2 – Reigns stops the pin! Sheamus comes in but is speared by Reigns, who also awkwardly spears Cena!
Bryan puts out Reigns, and tangles with Rollins. Bryan flips out of a German Suplex, but is powerbombed in the corner! Rollins splashes Bryan in the corner and sits atop the turnbuckle. Bryan ducks the dive and flips him over with a German Suplex! Bryan is fired up but misses the running front dropkick. Rollins rolls him up, but Daniel reverses into the Yes Lock Crossface Submission! Ambrose stops it, but eats a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. In turn, Sheamus eats a diving knee from Rollins, who collides with Bryan via a double-crossbody! Cena is tagged in as is Reigns. Cena trips up Roman and clutches on the STF submission, but Reigns pulls apart Cena’s arms!
Just then, The Wyatt Family’s video appears and they are in the ring! They brawl with Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus! Unfortunately for The Shield, this causes a dq!
Winners via Disqualification: John Cena, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan
Post-match, The Shield go postal after realizing they will not be the ones included in the Elimination Chamber. The Wyatts stand at the top of the ramp while Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose yell back. Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus celebrate in the ring, with Daniel leading the crowd in “yes” chants and motions to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Honestly, I was pretty disappointed by this edition of Raw, especially coming off a big Pay-Per-View. A lot was missing and/or confusing, some of the matches seemed just boring, and the crowd was both hot and off at times – borderline disrespectful. A lot more negative than positive this week, so let’s look at why…
Excellence: Daniel Bryan – everything he does right now is gold. From his promos, to his wrestling, to the ability of getting the fans behind him. You know he is the man on the roster right now, when they are playing HIS music instead of John Cena’s to end a major show. Tonight was no exception.
Batista – I like the new attitude (even though he got a lot of hate at Royal Rumble). Very simple and effective. I feel he did is not interfering with making new stars, because of his promo tonight – he said it doesn’t matter who the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is come WrestleMania, which displays the room that WWE has to put he belt on either Lesnar or Bryan (more below) and create a helluva better bout/interest than if it was to be Orton/Batista.
Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman – also can do no wrong, and I would be totally fine seeing a Lesnar WWE World Heavyweight Champion until Wrestlemania and face off against Batista. That would be a lot fresher (as would Bryan as legitimate champion be until ‘Mania) than another Orton/Batista match.
Ziggler/Miz – bad/pointless concept, but great match! Divas tag was also full of effort and awesome improvement in the women’s division. The Usos are exciting and need to get into a Tag-Title program fast, chasing until Wrestlemania, like my Dad more/less suggested.
Liking the potential three-way feud between Sheamus/Cena/Bryan, The Wyatts, and The Shield. All involved are great on the mike, great wrestlers, and can tell great stories in the ring! Hopefully this continues until and/or through ‘Mania. Nice to see Sheamus back too, picking up right where he left off and I didn’t detect a hint of ring rust whatsoever!
Bogus: The Authority – as of late, it looked like they were doing a bit of a face-turn and just playing everyone/everything down the middle. Now they’ve gone back to heels, but yet, still put Orton, who is supposed to be a major heel, in bad predicaments. All the while, they want him to be the “face of the WWE.” Very confusing/stupid!
Fandango/R-Truth & Bad News Barrett – waste of time tonight. I’m sceptical about The Real Americans – they can be a strong team and I like them, but they can’t keep going back and forth on wins/losses. With tonight’s win, they need to find more of those. As much as I liked parts of the match, I thought Del Rio/Kingston went on way too long. I was expecting a lot more out of the WWE Tag-Team Title match, and I thought it was disrespectful to have it end in a brawl and Lesnar destory them of all people on the roster. My verdict is still out on The New Age Outlaws as Tag-Team Champs, but I definitely believe that the title change should’ve at least been on TV, let alone Pay-Per-View – not the pre-show, ever!
Where were C.M. Punk and Kane, respectively?
Hopefully this was just a one-off, and they will amp it up continuously on the “Road To WrestleMania!” Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!