13th Jan2015

WWE RAW: Results & Review (12.01.15)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

So, it’s been a while since I wrote WWE RAW reviews, but here goes, I’m guessing this is like riding a muscular, spandex-clad bicycle. We are half way through January, and that means one thing in the world of professional wrestling; we’re almost at Royal Rumble, and thus; almost on the road to WrestleMania.

I, for one, have always been a fan of the first quarter of WWE’s year. Rumble, Mania, and some excellent RAW events are promoted in order to bring in a big number of fans for the company’s annual “big” show. So, really, from now until mid-April, no RAW should be wasted, and no event should feel “phoned in”.

We go right to the ring tonight, with John Cena standing, smiling, doing his comedy stuff and talking about a mixture of things such as… fun, The Authority, bring upset, Triple H and the “firings” of Dolph Ziggler, Erik Rowan and Ryback at the end of last week’s show. It’s the beginning to the show that was expected. Heroic John wants to bring his friends back. He then proclaims that he is going to win the WWE World Title at the Rumble in his match against Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. John then proclaims that when he wins the title that he will “go home, and take the belt with him”. Well John, I hate to tell you this, but Brock beat you to it. The show has been without a title on it for months. Apparently the writer of John’s script doesn’t watch the show. Shocking. The Authority come out and mock Cena, talk about the “firings” being his fault, and offer John Cena a chance to win the jobs of Rowan, Ziggler and Ryback, erm, back; all he has to do is win his match tonight. The match in question? John Cena versus Seth Rollins in a lumberjack match. Lumberjacks in question are all heels. Big Show, Fandango, Cesaro, Kane and others stand ringside. The match will be the first match on RAW. A decent opening, albeit predictable and not particularly exciting, to RAW, the show is now underway.

Match Results;

  • Seth Rollins pinned John Cena (after much outside interference from lumberjacks)
  • The New Day beat Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
  • Roman Reigns pinned Luke Harper
  • Alicia Fox beat Naomi (who had one hand tied behind her back)
  • The Miz pinned Jay Uso
  • Brie Bella defeated Paige
  • The Ascension squashed two no-name jobbers
  • Rusev beat Dean Ambrose due to referee stoppage

Obviously we didn’t think Cena would win his match against Rollins, amidst the heel-lumberjacks, and he didn’t. Big Show punched him and Seth pinned him, leaving Cena laying. The match was back and forth and Rollins continued to show why he is a star on the rise, having top notch matches with anyone they book him against.

Stephanie books Naomi in a match in which she will have a hand tied behind her back, and then tells Dean Ambrose that he will be being “assessed” by an “abnormal psychologist” to determine whether or not he will be part of the Royal Rumble match. This results in a series of backstage segments involving Dean Ambrose undergoing psych treatment. The segments were comedy-style and had Ambrose playing up his craziness. Word association with images of people saw Ambrose react to an image of Kane with “toothpaste”. Really though, these segments were pretty bloody terrible. Even Ambrose couldn’t save the awful writing and acting. Oh dear.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage was announced as the first inductee into the 2015 Hall of Fame. Finally, Savage, one of the best WWE stars of all time, and a personal favourite of mine, is being given his much-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame. There were clips of WWE Superstars doing Savage impressions, which were terrible. I’m over the moon to see Randy Savage being inducted. Hulk Hogan will induct him and Randy’s brother, Lanny, will likely accept on his behalf.

It was announced that Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Scott Hall will “reunite” next week on RAW. Okay. Big Show then came out and cut a boring heel promo which resulted in the fans chanting “boring” at the irritating, past-his-prime giant. Someone needs to cut Paul Wight free and let him go home, his appearances send everyone to sleep, and he does nothing to make the product look vibrant or interesting in 2015. The Reigns – Big Show feud is not good for Reigns, and Big Show is just getting the kind of response that no wrestler wants. Apathy.

Brock Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, came out with the WWE World Championship. Heyman talks about how Lesnar beat The Undertaker in the same building at WrestleMania XXX. They showed a clip of the shocking event taking place. Heyman put Lesnar over as a beast, talking about his various accomplishments. Heyman then talks about Brock’s match against John Cena and Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble. The contract signing for said match will take place later on in the show.

The announcement is made that the WWE Network will soon be launching in the UK. I believe it will be £9.99 a month which, after doing the exchange-rate, is almost double what the US pay for the subscription.

Daniel Bryan, receiving the pop of the night, comes out in street clothes and talks to the fans. He mentions his WWE World Title win at WrestleMania, which was, as previously mentioned, held in the same building as this episode of RAW. Bryan talks about his intentions to be in this years’ Royal Rumble match, and his intention to win it and main event WrestleMania 31. Stephanie McMahon interrupts Bryan and presents him with a copy of her exercise DVD. Daniel doesn’t accept the gift, of course. Stephanie talks about Bryan’s accomplishments at WrestleMania but then focuses on how Bryan was injured. She asks him “do you really want to do this all over again”. Bryan responds with an obvious answer. “Yes. Yes. Yes”. Stephanie books Bryan in his return match for Thursday’s Smackdown against Kane. The segment ends with Kane and Bryan brawling around the ring.

The final segment of the show was the contract signing for the WWE World Title match at Royal Rumble. Trippers and Stephanie are in the ring and they bring out Seth Rollins, accompanied by Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble, Brock Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, and John Cena. Paul Heyman puts over Rollins before talking about how he is upset that Brock has been placed in a triple threat match. Rollins declares that he will walk out of the Royal Rumble as the WWE World Champion. Brock talks about how he conquered The Undertaker, Triple H and John Cena and that he will conquer Rollins. Cena then goes around the ring making observations, says he will kick everyone’s ass, and signs the contract. No passion from Cena here, he phoned in this like he has phoned in most of his work in the last god-knows-how-long. The best thing about this segment was that WWE booked Seth Rollins to look good and not merely like a tacked-on entrant in the match. Cena throws Lesnar through a table, and Rollins curb stomps Cena and Lesnar, ending the show standing tall as The Authority look on and applaud “The Future”.

Just some randomised thoughts. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are two super-workhorses who deserve much better, but as a team they are thoroughly entertaining. Easily the best current pairing in the company, I hope they are given a chance to shine as a team before the inevitable break-up comes. Roman Reigns has improved on the microphone since having acting classes to help his verbals, but he still needs to work on it. The fans are already turning on the quickly-pushed Roman too, not a god sign if WWE are planning to push him to the top for Mania season. It was a terrible crows in New Orleans for RAW, they sat on their hands for most of the night. Why pay to go to a WWE show and then sit quietly and bored? I know the product is lacklustre at times, but try to have fun, at least. Jeez.

So, there you have it, another episode of RAW done. Except for the main event booking involving Cena, Rollins, Lesnar and The Authority, and the announcement of Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame, nothing of consequence happened here. Most of the matches were bland and uninteresting, and no one really did anything of note. It was an example of WWE’s current product and how they book it. They have the talent, but they don’t know what to do with them. To say that this was an entirely bad episode may be a tad harsh, but it certainly wasn’t a good episode. Come on WWE, it’s time to step it up now.

RAW: Best Match: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

RAW: Best Talker: Paul Heyman

RAW: Worst Match: The Ascension Squash Match

RAW: Best Crowd Sign: “Captain Insano Shows No Mercy”

RAW: Surprise of the Night: Randy “Macho Man” Savage to be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame

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