Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Raw Report 1/12/15

My post birthday Raw opens with John Cena. Yay. He comes to the ring completely unfazed after he was supposedly shaken at the end of last week's episode. He seriously looks like he doesn't care one bit about what happened to Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback. He talks about how he hates the Authority and tries to get #AuthoritySucks to trend. He even hilariously threatens to win the title at the Royal Rumble and go home with it. Like that would change anything. Have you not paid attention to Brock Lesnar's title reign. The Authority interrupt because what's a Raw opening promo without them right? Triple H and Stephanie McMahon give Cena a chance to win back the jobs of Dolph, Rowan and Ryback if he can beat Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack Match to open the show. I still think that this whole angle would have worked better if it was Dolph trying to win the jobs back. He'd be super over. Instead, the crowd didn't even really want Cena to win here. As for the match itself, it was standard stuff between the two men and got just about 14 minutes. Thanks to interference from the lumberjacks, Seth was able to actually pin Cena for once. It was beautiful that nobody helped Cena because he's the worst teammate in WWE history.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon decided to punish the Usos and Dean Ambrose. Maybe I missed something, but I don't remember the Usos defying the Authority. Their punishment is that Naomi must wrestle with an arm tied behind her back and Dean Ambrose's is that he must take a psych evaluation. Throughout the night, Ambrose made the stupid evaluation segments work because he's Dean Ambrose. Back to the ring, and I guess Adam Rose is with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro as he accompanies them to the ring with Natalya against the New Day. While this was decent, it was kept short and the crowd didn't care enough. Do you know why the crowd didn't care? Because there is no reason why these guys are feuding. Maybe put in some actual time for the division and give them more character depth and we'd care more. I still do love Kidd and Cesaro though.

The WWE decided to tease Macho Man going into the Hall of Fame. The best part about this was Superstar impersonations, with my favorites being Paige and Roman Reigns. However, Reigns would make me dislike him talking again shortly. We are told that Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan and HBK will be at Raw next week for the Raw Reunion, whatever that means. Big Show comes out and cuts a surprisingly good heel promo on Roman Reigns. But Reigns comes out and does the worst thing of the whole night. He cuts a "fairy tale" promo and it was cringeworthy. We all know that Roman is not good on the mic, but the WWE is making it 10 times worse with this kid stuff. Roman is at his best when he's a simple ass kicker. He should come out, say some short stuff and get straight to the point. That's the only way it works. Luke Harper arrives for a match with Roman. This was decent, but it should have ended via DQ. Harper has a potential future but he loses to Roman, while Show, who doesn't, has non-finishes with Roman. A+ booking guys.

Naomi met Alicia Fox, in a rematch from their Smackdown match, but with the one hand tied behind her back. Again, this was too short for the crowd to give sympathy and nobody cares about either girl, which is unfortunate since they aren't bad. Alicia Fox wins, but why would this get more time than their even leveled match on Smackdown? Moving on, Dean Ambrose plays word association in his psych evaluation, which was again funny. HHH = irritable bowel syndrome, Kane = toothpaste, Rollins = scumbag, Reigns = brother, Jim Duggan = Hooooo and Stephanie = Hooooo. Dean is gold. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar come out now and I remember a time when I looked forward to a Heyman promo. Now he just says the same things over and over again. He brings up the Streak and conquering and shit like that. It was oddly placed on the show but at least was kept brief. Also, we've seen Lucha Underground and TNA commercials during the broadcast.

More impersonations from Superstars, with Miz easily having the best one this time. That takes us to Miz vs. Jey Uso, for what has to be the billionth time. Miz wins, so I guess the feud continues. We're just going in circles and through the motions. The crowd, which hasn't been great, comes alive for the appearance of Daniel Bryan. Man, I feel like he has to win the Royal Rumble. HE discusses winning the main event of WrestleMania earlier this year in that very city. He plans on winning the Royal Rumble and doing it all over again. Stephanie McMahon cut him off and promoted her fitness DVD before showing the footage of Kane attacking Bryan and "injurying" him earlier this year. This leads to Kane vs. Bryan in his return match this Thursday. I'm okay with that as a return match since Kane is someone Bryan has worked with a lot and will keep him safe, and it gives Bryan a win. Well, it should. As long as the feud doesn't go on past that, I'm good. Kane comes out, we get a brawl and Bryan hits him with a suicide dive. So much for easing up his in ring style huh? Good segment because Bryan vs. Stephanie is always great.

Backstage, Seth Rollins is bragging about his win with J&J Security, when Brock Lesnar comes up to him. He's not happy about Seth weaseling his way into the Title match at Royal Rumble. Paul Heyman steps in and plays peacemaker telling them they should work together to take out John Cena. After commercial, we get Paige vs. Brie Bella, with jobber entrance. Fuck that! I want more Paige. This was short and decent. Paige was accompanied to the ring by Tyson Kidd and Natalya and a Kidd distraction cost Paige the contest. She angrily left the ring and slapped Tyson Kidd, who responded with the best reaction ever. Bray Wyatt cuts a promo about winning the Royal Rumble. Yea sure Bray. Just like you beat John Cena. We move quickly into another Ascension squash. Again, I'm not a big Ascension fan but having JBL and Michael Cole burying them for no reason is stupid. Unless it leads to Ascension vs. a returning for one night only APA. Then I'd be okay with JBL. Not Michael Cole though.

Lana and Rusev come out to badmouth America and promote how Rusev is going to win the Royal Rumble. They are cut off by Dean Ambrose, who passed his evaluation and is in the Rumble. They have a non-title match and guess what? Rusev beats Ambrose. Terrible fucking move. Look, I get that they don't want Dean to end his streak and ending it randomly on a Raw would be pointless. But if there was ever a match end in a DQ or hell, even a countout win for Dean, this was it. Instead, it ends because Dean's knee was taken out and the referee chooses to stop the match. I'm not conspiracy theorist when it comes to the WWE, but it's like they want Dean to fail sometimes. Time for our Royal Rumble title match contract signing. These come along every time there's a big match and we don't know how to do another segment for it. Heyman talks first, saying the same stuff as always. Seth Rollins then absolutely steals the show because he's possibly the best thing going in the WWE. His promo about Brock's list of accomplishments being great but not like his list is fantastic. We get a brawl that includes some Brock German suplexes and ends with Seth hitting both Cen and Brock with Curb Stomps. Brock sells that shit like a champ especially when compared to Cena who jumps with it like an idiot.

In the end, this wasn't a terrible episode but it wasn't very good either. Seth Rollins was, and yes I sound like a broken record, the MVP of the show. He won the opening match and shined brightest in the closing segment. The Roman Reigns stuff was goofy and, while the Dean Ambrose segments were funny, wasn't the best use of his talents. Everything else was too short to have any really enjoyable build. 5/10.