January 12, 2015
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you missed last week’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw click here
For all of our coverage on the WWE and the Royal Rumble click here
WWE Raw Pre-Show:
Scott Stanford, Alex Riley, and Corey Graves checked in as the hosts of the show and noted that Booker T was gone from the show for good. Riley joked about it being a positive. He also said he will now be known as A-Ry. Graves checked in and introduced himself as being a former NXT star.The contract signing for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match featuring Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble will be held on Raw. They also said it is “expected” that Randy Savage will be the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. They played the clip of The Authority firing Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler on last week’s Raw. The panel talks about John Cena being the blame to the careers of Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback coming to a end. We head to a commercial break.
We’re back Riley, Graves and Stanford talk about Dean Ambrose joining forces with Roman Reigns. We see a backstage segment between Paige & The Bella Twins. The Bella Twins asked Paige why would she associate herself with a crazy cat lady like Natalya. Paige tells Nikki & Brie that there’s one thing she has in common with Natalya and that’s respect. Paige said she doesn’t respect women like The Bella Twins. The panel is back and they talk about the Macho Man getting into the WWE Hall of Fame. The panel makes their bold predictions and that’s a wrap for the pre-show.
WWE Monday Night Raw:
First In-Ring Segment:
John Cena makes his way to the ring to start off this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw. Cena hits the ring and says it’s good to be back in the city that hosted WrestleMania XXX. Cena talks about bringing The Authority back and brings up how Triple H fired Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback. He hopes The Authority is listening tonight. Cena asks if fans like Ziggler and they cheer. He asks if any of the Superstars deserved to be fired last week and they say no. Cena asks if fans want to see those Superstars on RAW tonight and they do. A big “yes!” chant starts. Cena says New Orleans has spoken. Cena tells everyone to get on social media and use the hashtag #AuthoritySucks right now. Cena says he’s going to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title and go home. He’s not coming back with the most coveted prize until The Authority brings back Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler. He wonders what this would do to RAW, SmackDown and WrestleMania, not having a title. Triple H’s music hits and out he comes with Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie McMahon disses Cena’s hashtag campaign. Triple H says Cena knew the consequences for going to battle. They argue some more and Triple H says Cena will have a chance to redeem here. Triple H asks if fans want to see Ryback, Ziggler and Rowan get their jobs back. Fans cheer. Triple H asks Cena how bad does he want those Superstars brought back. Triple H says if Cena can win his match against Seth Rollins tonight, they get their jobs back. Triple H says it will be a Lumberjack Match. He brings out the Lumberjacks and says the match starts now. A number of heel Superstars including Kane, Big Show, Bad News Barrett, Cesaro, Tyson Kidd,Titus O’Neil and several others make their way down to the ring.
First Match: Lumberjack Match
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins & Cena lock up and Cena with a side head lock and take down. Barrett tries to grab Cena by the leg and Cena punches Barrett on the floor. Rollins with a kick and punches. Rollins kicks Cena in the corner and connects with an elbow. Cena punches Rollins and then he Irish whips Rollins and hits a bulldog. Rollins throws Cena to the floor and the lumberjacks pick up Cena and send him back into the ring. Rollins gets a near fall. Rollins punches Cena. Cena with punches and he sends Rollins to the floor and Rollins is shielded by Noble and Mercury as we go to commercial. We are back and we see what happened during the break when Barrett successfully tripped Cena.
We are back to live action. Rollins with a short arm clothesline. Rollins with punches but Cena punches back. Cena with two flying shoulder tackles followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb. Cena signals for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Rollins tries to kick Cena. Cena blocks the kick and tries for an STF. Rollins flips off the ropes but Cena with a Blue Thunder Bomb, Five Knuckle Shuffle, and Attitude Adjustment. Mercury and Noble get on the apron and Cena punches them. Rollins is pulled to the floor and Cena with a splash onto all of them. Cena gets a near fall on Rollins. Rollins with an inside cradle for a near fall. Rollins with a super kick for a near fall. Rollins goes to the apron and then he goes up top but Cena punches Rollins and crotches him on the turnbuckles. Cena sets for a superplex but Rollins with a rake of the eyes and then Rollins with a sunset flip into a buckle bomb.
Rollins gets a near fall. Rollins argues with the referee and then some of the people on the floor argue with him. Cena with a spinebuster for a near fall. Rollins and Cena exchange punches. Cena gets Rollins up for an Attitude Adjustment but Rollins lands on his feet and he hits a super kick and an Asai DDT for a near fall. Rollins misses a Vigilante Stinger Plash and Cena with an Attitude Adjustment but Mercury and Noble pull Cena out of the ring on the cover and the lumberjacks attack Cena. Cesaro swings Cena into the ringside barrier. Cena is rolled back into the ring and Rollins tries for Black Out but Cena moves and he applies the STF. Kane grabs Rollins’ arm to force Cena to release the STF. Show pulls Cena out of the ring and he knocks out Cena. Cena is picked up and rolled back into the ring and Rollins gets the three count.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Dean Ambrose & The Usos Backstage Segment:
Dean Ambrose is with the Usos in the office with Stephanie McMahon. She wants to address some things that were said and actions that took place. Stephanie says that she knows the Usos have animosity towards the Authority about the firings, but we all know it was due to John Cena, not them. Jimmy and Jey wonder if there is no more punishment. Stephanie tells Jimmy to tell his wife that she will be competing with her hand tied behind her back. Stephanie says that Dean was acting erratically after leaving the hospital so he is deemed a threat to others. She tells Dean that he will be evaluated and if he fails, he will not be in the Royal Rumble match.
The Miz & Damien Mizdow Backstage Segment:
Miz and Damien Sandow are in the back and Miz says the Golden Globes took Hollywood by storm. He says his friend George Clooney won the Cecil B. DeMille award. As an FOG, he wanted to congratulate George for his honor.
Dean Ambrose Therapy Segment:
Dean is being evaluated and he is asked if he knows why he is here. Dean asks if it is because he has been a bad little boy. The doctor wants to know what makes Dean’s clock tick. He asks Dean to sit back and relax and reflect. Dean has issues with the ticking sound and he stares at it as we go to commercial.
Second Match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/Natalya & Adam Rose vs. The New Day
Kofi sends Cesaro to the floor to start the match. Kofi leaps out and decks him, then decks Kidd. Kidd tags in and nails a big kick on Kofi. Kidd with an elbow off the top for a two count. Cesaro comes back in and they keep Kofi in their corner. Big E is at ringside. We see Adam Rose and the Rosebuds at ringside also. Kofi fights back but Cesaro hits the Cesaro Swing and turns it into a double team move as Kidd comes off the top for a two count. More quick tags and double teaming by Cesaro and Kidd. Kofi sends Cesaro to the floor and kicks Kidd in the head. Woods finally gets the tag and unloads on Kidd. Woods with a big rolling chop out of the corner and kicks for Cesaro as he comes in. Rose gets on the apron and Woods charges. Rose jumps to the floor but Big E runs him over. Woods with a two count on Kidd. Kofi tags in with the big double team stomp on Kidd for the win.
Winner: The New Day
Big Show & Roman Reigns Promo:
Big Show comes out and talks about being a giant. He brags about how on his first day on the job, he defeated Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Title. Show talks about how people don’t want competition. Big Show talks about fans stabbing the new guy in the back at their jobsso they have job security. This brings him to Roman Reigns. Show says he doesn’t think of Reigns a competition. Show says Reigns is WWE’s version of the NBA’s New York Knicks, who are on a 15-game losing streak. Show goes on and fans chant “boring” again at him. Show says Reigns is a loser and if you’re a fan of his, then by proxy, you’re a loser too. Reigns’ music hits and out he comes.
Reigns makes his way to the ring and Show exits, backing slowly up the ramp. Reigns asks where Show is going and says he thought he wasn’t a threat. Fans boo Show. Reigns says he’s not a threat to Show because he doesn’t want Show’s spot. Reigns tells a story inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk. Reigns planted seeds, climbed the stalk and found a golden goose and some other crap. Reigns’ cartoon promos aren’t working. Reigns also found a giant at the top of that stalk and kicked his teeth down his throat. Reigns has some more words for Big Show until, Luke Harper’s music hits and out he comes. Show points Harper to the ring and follows him as we’ve got a match.
Third Match: Luke Harper w/Big Show vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns set up for a move in the corner, but Show stood up and threw his chair at the ring post to distract him, which led to Harper getting a near fall. Reigns hit the Superman punch and then performed his dropkick on the ring apron. Show tried to get involved, but Reigns kicked him. Harper superkicked Reigns and got another two count. All three broadcast team members blew off the interference attempt by Show and raved about Harper’s athletic ability. Reigns hit the spear out of nowhere for the win. After the match, Big Show attacked Reigns and put him down with a knockout punch.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Fourth Match: Naomi vs. Alicia Fox
Naomi has one arm tied behind her back and Alicia does nothing but circle around Naomi for a minute. Naomi with a kick and forearms. Naomi with a short arm clothesline. Alicia with a kick and tilt-a-whirl back breaker for a near fall. Alicia slams Naomi’s head into the mat and she gets a near fall. Alicia with a key lock on Naomi’s free arm. Naomi gets to her feet and she uses her rear end to get loose. Alicia with a punch to the face and then she sends Naomi into the turnbuckles and connects with elbows. Naomi with an elbow and kick that sends Alicia to the mat. Naomi with clotheslines and a thrust kick that sends Alicia to the apron. Naomi with a round kick that sends Alicia to the floor. Naomi with a knee to the midsection and she sends Alicia into the apron. Naomi sends Alicia back into the ring and she follows but Alicia with a boot to the head. Alicia with a scissors kick to the lower back for the three count.
Winner: Alicia Fox
Dean Ambrose Second Therapy Segment:
The Doctor wants Dean to give him the first thing that comes to mind when he sees an image. He yells out Thursday. He says Irritable Bowel Syndrome for HHH. He says scumbag for Seth Rollins. He says Brother for Roman Reigns. He says Toothpaste for Kane. He says Hoooooooooooooooooooooooo for Jim Duggan. He says Hoooooooooooooo for Stephanie McMahon.
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman Segment:
Paul Heyman introduces himself and he is happy to return to the scene of the crime where people laid witness to this. We see footage of Brock Lesnar defeating the Undertaker. Paul says the death of a myth, the end of a legacy. The rise of a beast. It happened in one moment when the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania was conquered by his client Brock Lesnar. Paul says his client is not one to dwell on the past because he would mention that he is the only one to hold the NCAA Championship, the UFC Championship, and Undisputed WWE Championship. No man has ever held two of those distinctions.
Paul says he loves to dwell in the past and he loves to remind you that his client ended the Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania. We are 282 days later and it still burns you when he says that his client ended the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. That is what Brock does. He loves it when this Disneyfied billion dollar concept of ‘Now, Then, Forever’ product and fantasy comes up against Brock Lesnar.The Undertaker’s streak will continue forever . . . Fantasy. Brock Lesnar Fact. The Cenation flag will fly forever. . . Fantasy. Brock Lesnar. Reality. Seth Rollins is the future of the WWE. . . Fantasy or reality? There is a Triple Threat Match at the Royal Rumble with Brock, Seth, and John. All three men will be in the ring later tonight. Brock will explain to them the difference between Fantasy and Reality, face to face to curb stomping face.
Fifth Match: The Miz w/Damien Mizdow vs. Jey Uso w/Jimmy Uso
From there, we head back to the ring for our next match of the evening. Out first are The Usos to a nice reception from the fans here in New Orleans. Their opponents, The Miz and Damien Mizdow make their way down to the ring next. Actually, as it turns out, this will be a one-on-one match, with Jey Uso representing The Usos and The Miz representing his team. The bell sounds to make this one official, so here we go. This match was kept pretty short. Uso was in control of the offense for the most part, with Mizdow doing his fake selling on the outside of the ring. Eventually, via a distraction, Miz manages to hit his Skull Crushing Finale on Uso for the pinfall victory.
Winner: The Miz
Daniel Bryan & Stephanie McMahon Segment:
Bryan says something seems familiar about all of this. He says he seems to recall something major happening the last time he was here in New Orleans. He says it’s all coming back to him now. He says this time last year, in this city, he won the main event of WrestleMania and became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He says, “not bad for a lumberjack-looking B+ player, huh?” Bryan goes on to remind everyone that he announced his entrance into the 2015 Royal Rumble match. He says he’s going to win it and he’s going to repeat history and do it all over again this year. He says he doesn’t care what anyone says, nobody is going to be able to stop him.
With that said, Stephanie McMahon’s theme music hits and out she comes to the ring. As soon as she enters the ring, the fans begin chanting “No! No! No!” Stephanie says in case Bryan isn’t feeling fit yet, she’d like to give him a present, her “Fit Series” DVD, which stars herself. Bryan shakes his head no. Stephanie admits that Bryan proved them wrong and proved himself to be an A+ player. She says unfortunately, it all came crashing down, and this is what she remembers. A video package is shown of Kane attacking Bryan on RAW last April, tombstone piledriving him over and over again on the floor, resulting in him being stretchered out, only for Kane to yank him off the stretcher and tombstone him on the announce table. We see Daniel Bryan getting stretchered out to close out the video package.
Stephanie talks about Bryan having multiple neck injuries and surgeries. She says a real A+ player doesn’t just win the big one, they stay on top. She questions whether or not he’ll ever be able to do that. Stephanie asks him to look inside himself and ask if he really thinks he can do it again. The fans chant “Yes! Yes! Yes!,” so Bryan does as well. Bryan tells Steph to raise her arms and join along in the “Yes!” chant, telling her it’s probably a better workout than the one in her little DVD that she’s holding. He says she called him an average joe, and that’s what she doesn’t get. He will never stop fighting. They (the fans) will never stop fighting. He says he will fight through the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and once again prove her wrong. Stephanie says Bryan isn’t so smart and his first match isn’t going to be at the Royal Rumble. She says it’ll be at SmackDown, the first edition of the show to air on Thursday. She says his opponent is someone he is quite familiar with. With that said, Kane’s theme music hits and out he comes to the ring. Before Kane can get into the ring, Bryan dives through the ropes and splashes onto Kane. He punches and kicks away at him, but Kane reverses the tide and slams him into the ring steps. Kane stomps away at Bryan on the floor.
Brock Lesnar & Seth Rollins Backstage Segment:
Brock Lesnar confronts Seth Rollins backstage and smirks at him. Lesnar asks if Rollins is the guy who beat John Cena earlier tonight. Rollins says he’s the future of WWE and gets in Lesnar’s face. Lesnar says he decides when the future begins. Paul Heyman walks up and says maybe the two of them can take Cena out at the Royal Rumble.
Sixth Match: Brie Bella w/Nikki Bella vs. Paige w/Natalya & Tyson Kidd
When we return from the break, Brie Bella is in the ring finishing her ring entrance. Already in the ring is her opponent for tonight, former WWE Divas Champion Paige. The bell sounds and here we go. We see a shot of Nikki Bella in Brie’s corner as Brie goes to work on Paige. Meanwhile, we see Natalya and Tyson Kidd in the corner of Paige. Brie hits a big dropkick off the top on Paige for a near fall as we see Nattie and Kidd looking on from ringside. Tyson Kidd distracts them on accident, leading to Brie scoring the pin on Paige. Nattie looks at Kidd like “WTF?” and then Paige walks over and bitch-smacks Kidd. Nattie smirks a bit after watching Paige slap her husband. Nattie walks off as Kidd looks confused.
Winner: Brie Bella
Bray Wyatt Promo:
Bray Wyatt is in the back and he says at the Royal Rumble, 30 souls will enter and 29 souls will fall. It will take time to realize we are not in Wonderland Alice. He will change your world. Some will laugh and some will cry. Some will be too shocked at what they will see that they will sit in silence. This animal will be freed from its cage and he tells everyone to run.
WWE Hall of Fame Announcement:
WWE officially makes the announcement that “Macho Man” Randy Savage will be inducted in 2015 WWE Hall of Fame. It was announced that Hulk Hogan will be the man who will induct the Macho Man into the Hall of Fame.
Seventh Match: The Ascension vs. Local Enhancement Talent
Nice squatch match. JBL try to bury the Ascension & Booker T & Michael Cole put over The Ascension. Vitkor and Konnor hit the fall of man to pickup the victory.
Winner: The Ascension
Dean Ambrose Third Therapy Segment:
The doctor complains about his dad. Dean says he has enjoyed the session and he hopes that he has worked through his problems. He tells the doctor he won’t go blind. Dean tells him to sign the papers and he will be able to get the professional help he needs. It looks like Dean is normal. Dean says that he thinks the Doctor is spineless . . . and it is weird that you sit down to pee.
Rusev & Lana Promo:
Lana picks on Ryback and thanks The Authority for firing him. She thanks John Cena for failing to get Ryback’s job back. She disses Americans and a “USA” chant starts up. Rusev says Ryback is spineless and deserved to be fired. Rusev gets the “what?” treatment. Rusev is interrupted by the music and out comes Dean Ambrose to a pop. Ambrose hits the ring and they brawl. Ambrose gets the upperhand and sends Rusev to the floor. Rusev throws a fit as we go to commercial.
Eight Match: Rusev w/Lana vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose unloads and hits a running bulldog. Ambrose goes to the top but has to land on his feet. Rusev charges but Ambrose unloads. Rusev dives and takes out the knee as Lana applauds. Rusev works over Ambrose and drops elbows on his knee now. Ambrose comes back and tries to go up for a tornado DDT but Rusev tosses him. Ambrose blocks a kick and gets a two count. They trade shots now. Ambrose drops Rusev and goes to the top. Ambrose hits a big elbow drop for a two count. Rusev with more kicks in the corner. Ambrose fights back but Rusev drops him. Rusev with a kick and a knee to the head. Rusev turns Ambrose upside down in the corner and wails away with forearms to the knee. The referee unties Ambrose from the corner and calls for the bell because of Ambrose’s condition. Ambrose argues with the referee and says his leg is fine. Ambrose hobbles to his feet and turns around to a big superkick from Rusev. The Russian flag drops down and Rusev poses over Ambrose with Lana.
Winner: Rusev by Referee Stopage
Stephanie reminds you that you can watch the Royal Rumble on the WWE Network. Stephanie brings out the man who is single handedly responsible for using John Cena to bring back the Authority Seth Rollins. Seth comes to the ring with his suited little friends Joey and Jamie. Triple H introduces the man who was used by Seth Rollins, the man that could find it in himself to bring the Authority, but not his friends. Mr. Hustle Loyalty and Broken Promises John Cena. Stephanie introduces the Beast Incarnate (and probably someone not manipulated by Seth Rollins) Brock Lesnar. Brock is joined by Paul Heyman as he does the Brock Bounce on the stage. Everyone gets their contract signing commemorative mics.
Paul says that for those of you who cannot identify them without a scorecard, he says that he wishes he was behind the plan to bring back the Authority, but it had one architect and that man is Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins had a plan. That plan was endorsed by Paul Heyman. What was endorsed by Paul Heyman was desperately needed by the Authority. What was desperately needed for John Cena was bad for John Cena. What is bad for John Cena is good for Brock Lesnar. What is good for Brock Lesnar is best for business. Seth tells Paul he appreciates him. He says it was a hell of a plan if he says so himself. Paul says that he was not done. Paul tells Mr. Rollins that his client Brock Lesnar has conquered everything in his path. That will include anything that comes in his path at the Royal Rumble pay per view. That is the end of his statement. Seth asks Paul if he is upset that this match is now a Triple Threat. Paul says he is upset because a Triple Threat could be a double cross where the reigning, defending, undisputed champion does not have to be pinned or tap out to lose the championship. Seth says that Paul just explained the rules of a Triple Threat Match. Brock has a list of accomplishments that is incomparable. Is Brock Lesnar unable to conquer a Triple Threat match?
Seth tells Paul he is not finished. He does not have the list of accomplishments that Brock does. Brock does not have his list of accomplishment. He built the Shield, he destroyed the Shield. He is Mr. Money in the Bank. He single handedly brought back the Authority. He managed to pin John Cena to keep Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan fired. Whether it is Plan A or Plan B, he will walk out of the Royal Rumble as the World Champion. Brock tells Mr. Curb Stomp that he conquered the Undertaker. He conquered Triple H and he conquered John Cena and he will conquer Seth. John tells Brock he does not have to get pinned to lose the title, but he will pin him. He says that he owes Seth a beat down. They are going to kicks Seth’s ass and then he is going to kick Brock’s ass. John signs the contract. Brock signs the contract. Seth says that sounds like a great plan, but there is one glaring flaw. Your plans have not gone your way. Your first plan was to keep the Authority out of power and . . . strike one. Then you had a plan to get Dolph Ziggler and company back, but he pinned John all by himself to make sure that didn’t happen so strike two. At the Royal Rumble, it will be Strike Three. That is if you can make it that far. Cena runs Rollins into the corner and Lesnar with a German Suplex to Cena and then to Rollins. Cena with an Attitude Adjustment through the table to Lesnar. Rollins with a kick and Black Out to Cena. Rollins looks at Lesnar and Rollins with The Curb Stomp to Lesnar.
Josh’s Grade for WWE Raw: 88/100 B+
Follow Josh Lopez on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR