We are officially on the “Road To Wrestlemania!” The Royal Rumble is complete; there is a man going to Wrestlemania to face the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and the next nine weeks are going to be the building of this road. Let’s start “driving!”
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 26th, 2015 – “Royal Rumble”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo & Welcoming
A quick recap of the Royal Rumble winner, Roman Reigns, is shown, then an announcement that Raw is cancelled. Due to the extreme weather conditions, Raw taking place in Hartford Connecticut will not happen, so they are going to broadcast live from WWE Headquarters in Stamford.
Michael Cole and Booker T. are in the studios, explaining the major change for Raw. They announce in lieu, that both the entire Royal Rumble match and WWE World Heavyweight Championship match will be shown completely. (To quote my Dad, “I’d be a little ticked if I paid $55.95!”!) On the plus-side, I found-out that the triple threat was a match-of-the-year, so I’m looking forward to watching.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield is corresponding on top of Headquarters, with a whiteboard and drawing a picture of the fake (sunny) weather. He gives a description of what it is really like, which is basically cold and snowy. Cole and Booker then take us to the Triple-Threat Match.
Match #1: Triple-Threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – John Cena (Challenger) VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (Challenger) (with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) VS. Brock Lesnar (Champion) (with Paul Heyman)
After proper introductions by Lillian Garcia, the bell rings and Rollins high-tails it to the floor. Lesnar immediately German suplexes Cena, twice, then goes for an F-5 on Seth but Joey and Jamie stop. He double German suplexes Noble and Mercury, but gets caught in an A.A. by Cena. Rollins stops him, but Lesnar gains control and starts to dominate. He begins to pick apart Cena and Rollins with various suplexes.
Lesnar clamps on the Kimura armlock, but Cena uses his strength to stand up. Rollins flies in with a semi-neckbreaker. Both he and Cena double suplex Lesnar, then Cena plants him with an Attitude Adjustment. Seth pushes Cena out, then covers, but only gets a one-count! All three are now battling on the outside.
Rollins is tossed to the outside again, then Cena tries a couple clotheslines on Brock, but “The Beast” barely moves. Cena is back on the outside, then Rollins soars back into Lesnar. He catches him and drops with an F-5! 1 – 2- Cena breaks it up. Lesnar German suplexes Cena and goes to the outside. He tears apart the Spanish Announce Table, but when he goes to the ring, Cena drops him with three consecutive Attitude Adjustments! Cena goes for the pin but Rollins pulls him out before the potential three!
Back to the floor, Cena tackles Lesnar through the timekeeper’s area, then hurls him into the steel steps! Cena knocks him onto the table with the steel steps, but Rollins moves John out of the way. He then ascends the top turnbuckle and rockets off with a headbutt/elbow drop combo, crashing onto Lesnar through the table and bouncing off him!
Rollins and Cena are now going at it, covering and kicking out! Cena attempts another Attitude, but Rollins lands on his feet. He tries a Hurricanrana, but Cena reverses into a powerbomb for a near-fall! Rollins now powerbombs John one corner to another, for two! Lesnar has not made an appearance for a little while, and officials are checking on him.
Rollins leaps at Cena, but the former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics” traps him in the STF. Mercury and Noble come back in and hammer away on Cena, then, along with Rollins, triple powerbomb him. Medical Attendants walk out a stretcher for Lesnar.
Rollins goes to hit Cena with the Money In The Bank briefcase, but Cena ducks and chucks him to the floor. Mercury and Noble enter again, but get double-A.A.’ed! Cena hits another A.A. on Rollins, then covers. 1 – 2 – Rollins still gets the shoulder up! He nails Cena, then climbs up the turnbuckle. Rollins flips off the turnbuckle with a Phoenix/450 Splash, landing head-first on Cena’s arm/chest and gut area!
Suddenly, Lesnar springs into the ring and German suplexes Rollins and Cena! He manages to catch Rollins and drive him to the canvas with an F-5! He covers and takes the hard-fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, Lesnar and Heyman walk off while Joey and Jamie help Rollins to his feet.
Later, there will be exclusive interviews with both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
Segment #2: Studio Promo
Cole is with “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins. He goes over the Triple-Threat match with Rollins, highlighting some of his moves and what he tried to do to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins defends everyone of them, then his prepared to meet Lesnar again, with “Plan B” with the Money In The Bank contract. Cole thanks him, then announces that Lesnar will be joining next. Rollins threatens that Lesnar will have to remove him from the interview area.
Segment #3: Studio Promo
Rollins is still sitting in the interview chair when Lesnar walks in. Set stands up and flings the chair away, then walks off. Lesnar and Heyman position themselves, then Brock quips that “someone’s a little upset after getting his ass kicked.” Brock says he is fine.
Cole wants to know how Brock continues to get through big obstacles, like defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Lesnar says he has done this all his life.
Up next, the whole Royal Rumble Match will air!
Match #2: Royal Rumble
#1 and #2 to begin the bout are The Miz and R-Truth. They lock-up and Truth comes off the ropes with a shoulder-block. Both try and dump the other out, then Miz big-boots Truth down. They continue to wrestle as the countdown starts. 3, 2, 1, and a big return! Bubba Ray Dudley is back! He goes to town on Miz, then uses R-Truth to deliver the “What’s Up” diving-headbutt-to-groin. He orders Truth to “get the tables!” the fans go nuts, but Miz ruins the pop. However, Truth and Bubba combine for a 3-D, then eliminate Miz. Bubba follows up and also tosses Truth.
Luke Harper is #4, and he and Bubba slug it out. The 5th person to walk out is Luke’s former leader, Bray Wyatt. He and Bubba glare at each other, then Harper helps Bray to double-team and chuck Bubba to massive boos. Harper and Bray contemplate going at it, then just wait for #6, who is Curtis Axel. Before he can even get halfway down the aisle, Axel is ambushed by Erik Rowan.
The next participant to face-off is another returning superstar, The Boogeyman. The two have a “weird-off,” trying to intimidate the other with taunts. Bray eventually eliminates him, then follows up by hurling Sin Cara (8) and another comeback, Zack Ryder. (9)! #10 is arguably the most popular current superstar, Daniel Bryan. He walks out to massive pop and completely dominates Wyatt.
Fandango (with Rosa) is #11 and goes to work on Bryan. After a bit, Tyson Kidd is #12. He hits away on both Wyatt and Fandango, then he and Bryan trade punches until they nail each other with a cross-body. My favorite number, 13, is Stardust. He and Fandango go at it, tossing each other over the ropes, but saving themselves with the “skin-the-cat” move. Bryan dumps out Kidd with a backdrop, then shoots through the ropes onto Bray with a suicide dive. Neither have been eliminated, as they have to go OVER the ropes. A former W.C.W. World Champion makes his comeback at #14 – D.D.P.! Diamond Dallas Page gives the Diamond Cutter to Stardust, Fandango, and Bray! He then faces off with #15, who is United States Champion Rusev!
It’s crush time, as Rusev lobs D.D.P. to the floor. He and Bray face-off, then Bryan rockets in with a front-dropkick on both! He kicks away on the both too, but Bray suddenly throws him out! Halfway through,
Coming back, Stardust gets some “brotherly-love” with Goldust at #16. Kofi Kingston is #17, who is almost eliminated a few times then is saved once again by the Rosebuds, who had accompanied #18 Adam Rose. He is also quickly eliminated!
Kingston is tossed by Rusev, while the next man makes his entrance through the crowd. Roman Reigns is #19, and eliminates The Dust Brothers. (Note: The Philadelphia fans did not like him!) Kofi’s New Day partner, Big E. is #20. #21 is a crowd favorite, with Mizdow. Before he can enter, The Miz runs out and tells him that it is his spot, since Damien’s only the “stunt-double.” Miz hops onto the apron, but is quickly knocked off by Reigns. Mizdow takes his spot and does enter, but unfortunately is also quickly taken out. Jack Swagger, Ryback, Kane, and Dean Ambrose are #’s 22, 23, 24, and 25.
Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett is already in the ring at 26 or 27. Cesaro walks out #28. The last two to enter are Big Show at 29, and “The Show-Off” at 30! When Show entered, everyone tried to gang up on him, but to no avail. Show and Kane tag-team to start pushing and dropping people out. It comes down to Dean, Reigns, Show, and Kane.
All four start to battle, but Show and Kane unceremoniously dump Dean. They then go at it themselves, and both grab each other by the throat. Roman takes advantage and uses power to push both to the outside. It appears he has won, but Kane and Show come back in and pound away.
A certain family member of Roman charges out to make the save. The Rock runs to a big pop, giving a spinebuster to Kane. He nails the People’s Elbow, then Rock Bottom’s The Big Show after Reigns Superman Punches him.
Not technically eliminated, Rusev sneaks back in the ring, but is quickly Speared and chucked out, allowing Roman Reigns to officially win!
Winner via Elimination and #1 Contender To The WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXXI: Roman Reigns
Segment #4: Studio Promo
Smackdown Commentator Byron Saxton interviews Roman Reigns about his Royal Rumble win and WrestleMania place. Saxon tells Roman that some think he is not ready for this spot, but Roman recounts a story form his childhood of having to fight. Byron wants Reigns’ opinion on the Philadelphia crowd’s booing of him during the Royal Rumble. It doesn’t bother Reigns, as he says that everyone who pays to watch WWE has the right to like or dislike who they want.
Byron inquires about the rescue The Rock, who is Roman’s cousin, made. Roman is pleased and proud of his family, and goes over the lineage that has come from his family in this business. These men include The Rock, Afa and Sika of the Wild Samoans, Yokozuna, Rikishi, The Usos, and Peter Maivia. He is also quite happy to see Brock Lesnar, both at WrestleMania and later on Raw.
Up next, John Cena has a revelation for Fast Lane, WWE February Pay-Per-View.
Segment #5: Studio and Video Promo
Cole, Bradshaw, and Booker talk about a backstage incident at Royal Rumble. Cena was talking when United States Champion Rusev snagged the microphone and spoke in Russian. Cena got in his face and the two squared off. They will have a match at Fast Lane, made by Triple H.
Up next, the next Hall Of Famer for 2015 will be revealed!
Segment #6: Studio and Video Promo
Recap of last week’s Raw finish, with Sting making his Raw debut is shown. The commentators announce that Triple H has called out Sting, and they will have a confrontation at Fast Lane.
The newest member of the WWE Hall-Of-Fame is legendary actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has made a few appearances for the company on TV. A video is shown recapping his career.
Dean Ambrose is shown walking outside Headquarters and proceeds to enter the building!
Segment #7: Studio Promo
Byron Saxon catches up with Ambrose. He recalls his journey from Hartford, where Raw was originally going to take place, to Stamford. Dean says “he loves dangerous conditions,” and declares he will make it to WrestleMania, no matter how he has to get there.
Segment #8: Studio Promo
Rene Young interviews Daniel Bryan, who was eliminated quite early in the Royal Rumble. She asks him about the last 365 days for him, which Bryan recaps. Young then inquires how he felt about the Royal Rumble 2015 and not winning it. Daniel was definitely disappointed with himself and sympathized with the fans, but puts over Reigns. She asks him about his upcoming Casket Match with Kane, this Thursday on Smackdown! Bryan vows to Rene that he will finish it with Kane, then move on to regaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Up next, the participants in the Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXXI will have a conversation!
Segment #9: Studio Promo
Roman Reigns and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar are sitting beside each other, ready to be interviewed. Paul Heyman walks in and takes over the interview. Reigns is fine with this, saying he has “nothing to hide.” Heyman quips that “is your first mistake.” Paul E. tells Roman that he knows his family better than Reigns does. Heyman informs Reigns of how far back he goes with the famous family, then also talks about Brock unseating his cousin The Rock as the big star, way back in 2002, when Brock was still a rookie.
Heyman threatens that The Rock has not had a match with Lesnar since, as The Rock did not want to face Lesnar again because that’s how much of a “Beast” he is. Heyman says that Roman thinks is the “the one to beat the one in twenty-one and one.” Heyman wonders how Roman will take “disappointing your family, when you lose to Brock Lesnar, because you can’t beat Brock Lesnar. Not today, and certainly not at WrestleMania.” Reigns turns and faces the WWE World Heavyweight Champion instead; he warns him “I’m going to beat you at WrestleMania. I’m going to take that title; you know it, I know it. If I can’t I’m going to take a piece of you with me. I believe that, and so should you.”
Lesnar and Reigns go to their feet and shake hands. “Unlike him, (nodding to Heyman), I don’t respect you,” Lesnar responds. “But you will,” Reigns replies. They shake hands and glare to end the interview.
Cole, “Bradshaw,” and Booker recap tonight’s Raw, Royal Rumble, and upcoming Smackdown; then wish everyone in the Northeast to stay safe through the blizzard, closing the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Once again, as my Dad said, this was a pretty good Raw given the circumstances. Tonight, I will analyze both Raw and what I saw of The Royal Rumble; both of which has set up an intriguing couple of months!
Excellence: The interviews with Seth Rollins, Roman, Reigns, Brock Lesnar/Seth Rollins, and Lesnar/Reigns. Out of all these, and even Daniel Bryan’s (even though I didn’t like it – more below), I could almost see a 4-Way for the Title at ‘Mania instead. Seth could use his M.I.T.B. and Bryan may work his way in there much like last year. While I could see it, I honestly don’t wish it to happen. ‘Mania main-event should be one-on-one this year, and I believe Roman Reigns will be strong in the San Francisco/California area, since that is where some of his family (if not all) has made prominence and are best-known/loved. If it stays one-on-one, then I could see Reigns winning and being crowned the new “golden boy” for WWE.
Bogus: Daniel Bryan’s interview – if he was a “pissed off” as he said he was, then he shouldn’t have started off with saying “I’m great.” If I were him, I would’ve been really mad, saying that both times in the Royal Rumble I was basically messed with. I wanted a lot more aggression and anger out of him, but he seemed too calm.
Excellence: the Triple-Threat match – enough said!
Bogus: a good chunk of The Royal Rumble Match. While I did like the true surprise of D.D.P., Boogeyman, and Bubba Dudley, the finish was too weak. There were too many “definitely-not-going-win” guys, and yes, that includes Rusev. I think the final six should’ve been Reigns, Show, Kane, Ziggler, Bryan, and Ambrose. Ziggler, Ambrose, Bryan, and Reigns all team up on Show/Kane, eliminate them, then square off. This would’ve really had the fans guessing who was going to win, as any one of them could’ve legitimately won and been in the main-event at WrestleMania. This is two years in a row that Royal Rumble finishes have been way too predictable; please fix this for 2016 and keep us guessing!
All-in-all, this was a well put-together Raw, basically at the last minute due to the unfortunate happenings. It was a treat to watch the two main-matches from the PPV for free, and the whole show was of course different, but cool in that way!
Until next Monday, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans. May God keep those affected by the storm safe, and let this storm pass by quickly.