Week of 1/12/2015 - 1/18/2015 (Monday - Wednesday)
Randy Savage will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.
Monday Night Raw
Date: January 12, 2015
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Booker T., John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
We're back in the same building as the excellent post Wrestlemania Raw and the big story is what happens to the three guys (Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan) who were fired last week. The Authority is running roughshod on the company all over again and the question is will Cena be able to focus on his war against the team and get the title back from Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the Authority's return to Raw last week (after being on the show the previous week) and firing Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback to end the show, followed by a major celebration for John Cena.
Here's Cena to open the show. He doesn't seem all that upset after costing three people their jobs last week. Cena talks about how New Orleans is about having a good time, even though the Authority is back in power. He can't believe he works for two people who got their jobs back because their whipping boy held a Hall of Famer hostage and made Cena gamble with his health. That's the same decision he would make every time though because it's the right thing.
HHH is a first ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best of all time but he's only going to be remembered as a slimy villain who wants to make us all miserable. Last week the Authority fired three men so Cena has to appeal to the audience. Did any of them deserve to be fired? Do the fans want to see them back tonight? Cena asks us to to go on social media and use the hashtag Authoritysucks to voice their opinions.
However, Cena has a backup plan: win the WWE World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble. As soon as he can say THE CHAMP IS HERE, is the very moment that he can say you can't see me. He'll win the championship and go home until those three guys are rehired, or else this show's most coveted prize is going away and won't be at Wrestlemania.
This brings out the Authority with smirks on their faces. Stephanie laughs off the Authoritysucks bit and says the three guys will be thrilled to see Cena win the title and walk away. HHH expected more than seeing Cena take his ball and go home. He recaps Survivor Series again and talks about how the Authority was gone, but now they've found a way back in. A hero wouldn't turn his back on WWE, but the Authority is going to give Cena another chance.
HHH polls the audience about bringing the three guys back and, upon hearing an affirmative reply, asks Cena how much he wants those three back. All Cena has to do to get their jobs back is win his match tonight. Cena asks how many guys he's up against tonight but HHH says it's nothing that complicated. It's a one on one match with Seth Rollins but they're going to make it a lumberjack match to keep things fair. Here come the lumberjacks because the match starts right now.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
We have Big Show, Kane, Cesaro and pretty much every other heel on the roster as lumberjacks. Rollins stomps him down to start and throws Cena to the floor for the traditional beating. A clothesline puts Rollins on the floor and he isn't touched as we go to a break. Exactly as you would expect so far, meaning it's time to crank it up in a few minutes when the NCAA National Championship game starts.
Back with Cena in trouble after Barrett tripped him during the break. Booker is calling this whole situation unfair as he's the good guy commentator. The ProtoBomb sets up the Shuffle and the AA but the Stooges get on the apron, allowing Rollins to get outside. Cena dives onto the pile of lumberjacks and Fandango is holding his knee. I'll let you make your own dancing jokes. Back in and Cena covers for two, only to eat the low superkick for the same. Seth goes up top and counters a superplex attempt into an across the ring buckle bomb for two. That kind of power out of Rollins always surprises me.
Cena tries a pop up powerbomb but doesn't get under Rollins enough, making it look more like a spinebuster. Seth flips out of the AA and hits a standing Sliced Bread #2 for another near fall. There's another AA but the lumberjacks (including Fandango who seems to be fine) pull Cena to the floor for a beating, including the Cesaro Swing into the barricade. Back in and the Curb Stomp is countered into the STF but Kane pulls Rollins' arm towards the ropes. It turns into a tug of war over Rollins but Big Show pulls Cena to the floor for the KO Punch, giving Rollins the pin at 13:50.
The Usos are in Stephanie's office when Dean Ambrose comes in. All three of them had some negative things to say on Smackdown about the firings. That's fine and there are no firings. The Usos go to leave, but Stephanie stops them and asks Jimmy to tell Naomi that she's competing with one arm behind her back tonight. As for Dean, he checked himself out of the hospital last week so he might be a danger to himself. Therefore, tonight he has to pass a psychiatric evaluation or he's out of the Rumble. This has some potential if they do it right.
Miz talks about his close friend George Clooney winning the Cecil B. DeMille Award last night at the Golden Globes. Keep it up and he'll win a Slammy.
It's already time for the evaluation. Dean thinks he's here because he's been a bad widdle boy. Ambrose is freaked out by the doctor's ticking clock and we go to a break. I love watching Dean be one step off and being all twitchy. It makes him seem like a more well rounded character instead of someone who was created in a board room to make sure he's the best corporate character they can put together.
New Day vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd
It's Kofi and Woods in action here with Big E. and Adam Rose on the floor. Cesaro and Kidd attacked Big E. last week because New Day is just too positive all the time. So they're just curmudgeons? I approve of this gimmick. Kofi starts with Cesaro but Kidd gets a blind tag and kicks Kofi in the chest.
Cesaro stomps away and swings Kofi into the dropkick for two. Back up and Kofi kicks everyone down to the floor before diving over to Woods for the hot tag. The Honor Roll (flipping clothesline) drops Kidd and Cesaro gets low bridged to the floor. Rose gets on the apron but his distraction doesn't work, allowing Woods to plant him with a backbreaker, followed by a top rope double stomp from Kofi for the pin at 3:48.
We get a barrage of wrestlers doing their best OH YEAH in honor of Randy Savage being expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight. Above all else, I want Xavier Woods' NES controller hat.
The Indianapolis Colts celebrates their win yesterday like Ric Flair.
Here's Big Show for a chat. Whoever said that all men are created equal was obviously not a giant. Most of you were probably scared on your first day of work. On his first day, he beat Hulk Hogan for the World Title. The fans chant boring but Big Show laughs them off and calls everyone losers. Competition is supposed to be good for America, but no one wants competition at work. Everyone here would stab someone in the back for job security, just like he did to Cena.
That brings him to Roman Reigns, who he doesn't see as competition. He sees Reigns like the New York Knicks, currently on a 15 game losing streak. Show is going to knock him into the front row next to Spike Lee (longtime Knicks fan) and make him a loser. Therefore, if you like Roman Reigns, you're a loser as well.
Cue Reigns for the big brawl but Show walks out. Reigns thought he wasn't a threat so why is Show leaving? Roman says he doesn't want Show's spot, but he does remember that first title win over Hogan. He was twelve years old or so and that makes him think of a story. A long time ago in a land far away, there was a little boy named Roman Reigns. It's the story of Jack and the Beanstalk but Roman hit the giant in the mouth. The giant ran away, and that's why Big Show is the loser.
Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper
This has potential. Harper hammers away in the corner to start but Reigns knocks him to the floor as we take a break less than a minute in. Back with Reigns hitting a knee lift and raking Harper's face across the rope. Three straight suplex attempts are blocked and Roman counters into a kind of Jackhammer. Someone really should use that as their finisher again. Harper dropkicks him out to the floor and sends Reigns hard into the steps. Back in and Harper busts out a freaking slingshot hilo for two. That's not something a guy his size should be able to do.
Reigns comes back with a neckbreaker but Harper rips the face to break up the Samoan drop. Luke's powerbomb is countered into something like the ProtoBomb. The Superman Punch is loaded up but Big Show throws a chair at Reigns. Naturally, that isn't a DQ because wrestling rules as made up depending on the situation. A Boss Man Slam gets two for Harper but he turns into the Superman Punch. Show interferes again and Harper nails a superkick for two. The discus lariat misses though and a spear puts Harper away at 10:46.
We recap the lumberjack match.
Miz talks about Boyhood winning Best Picture at the Golden Globes. It was filmed over several years with the same actors. Mizdow has been doing the same thing at Miz's house, allowing him to film a movie called Manhood. Both guys shudder a bit.
Naomi vs. Alicia Fox
Naomi has one arm behind her back. Fox makes fun of her by trying a test of strength before getting two off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. She cranks on the good arm until Naomi takes her to the floor for some rams into the apron. Back in and the ax kick gives Fox the pin at 2:37. This would be the match where you're hit over the head with how mean the Authority is because you're not smart enough to understand a concept without it being shown to you over and over.
Back to the evaluation, where Dean is going to look at pictures and saying the first word that comes to his mind. THURSDAY!
HHH Irritable bowel syndrome
Minor note here: Ambrose was bouncing up and down during the interview. It's the little stuff like that which takes people to a new level. Instead of just sitting there waiting for his line, he's actually doing something and staying in character. It feels so much more natural than the stiff and scripted stuff we usually get.
Here are Lesnar and Heyman for the first time in a few weeks. Heyman talks about being in New Orleans several months back, where we witnessed the Streak dying. Lesnar isn't one to live in the past, but if he was, he would list off all of his accomplishments. No man has ever been NCAA, UFC and WWE Champion, but one beast has. Heyman however loves to live in the past and runs down the fans for being crushed when the Streak ended.
On the other hand, you have this fantasy in WWE of then, now and forever. The fantasy was the Streak running forever or that the Ce-Nation will rise above Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Now the idea is that Rollins is the future of the WWE, but tonight Lesnar will see both challengers face to face.
More people give us their OH YEAHS with Miz knocking it out of the park and Nikki trying to make it sexy.
Jey Uso vs. Miz
Miz hits his running clothesline in the corner to start but jumps into a shot to the ribs. Jey loads up a slam and Mizdow comes in to slam himself off the top. The partners get involved in a tug of war, allowing Miz to grab a quick Skull Crushing Finale for the pin at 2:09. This feud needs to end like a month ago.
Here's Daniel Bryan in the city where he won the World Title at Wrestlemania XXX. Bryan thinks something big happened here the last time he was in New Orleans. It slowly starts coming back to him that he won the main event of Wrestlemania XXX, which isn't bad for a lumberjack looking B+ player. Since this is the city of his greatest accomplishment, he should declare his intention to do it all over again and win the main event of Wrestlemania XXXI.
This brings out Stephanie with a copy of her fitness DVD for Bryan, complete with a mini commercial. Bryan isn't interested so Stephanie talks about making history at Wrestlemania XXX a couple of miles from here (the buildings are actually adjacent), but this is what she remembers. We see a clip of Kane tombstoning Bryan on the floor, steps and table. Stephanie says an A+ player not only wins the big one but stays on top.
She isn't sure if he's ready to do this again, but YES of course he is. Bryan: Go ahead and raise your arms. I bet it's a better workout than you get on that DVD. HO! He's an average Joe who will never stop fighting. They will never stop fighting. We will never stop fighting and go through Wrestlemania XXXI until they prove the Authority wrong again. Stephanie says Bryan's first match back will be on Smackdown (this was already announced) against Kane. The monster comes out and the fight is on, but Bryan fights out of a tombstone on the steps and hammers away on Kane. He even busts out the Flying Goat.
Rollins is in the back when Lesnar comes up to mock the idea of Rollins winning the title. Seth stares him down and says he's the future, but Lesnar says the future starts when he says it does. Heyman thinks maybe they can get rid of Cena together and then the best man wins. He looks very nervous about Rollins, who has stared Lesnar down the entire time. For the first time, I saw that real star power in Rollins from this one exchange. Simple but perfect.
Brie Bella vs. Paige
Natalya, Kidd and Nikki are at ringside. Paige goes right at her to start but gets sent into the buckle, allowing Brie to hit the middle rope dropkick. Paige fights out of a chinock but Kidd gets on the apron for a distraction, allowing Brie to roll her up for the pin at 2:10.
After the match, Paige slaps Kidd and Natalya doesn't seem to mind. I love Paige, but I fully support anyone wearing a cat shirt.
We look back at last week's ambulance match.
Bray Wyatt says thirty souls enter the Royal Rumble and 29 will have to realize that they're not in Wonerland any longer. Some will laugh, some will cry but some will sit in silence at how Bray changes the world. No one on earth will be immune to his wrath. Run.
We finally have it confirmed: Randy Savage is the first entrant of the Hall of Fame Class of 2015. He will be inducted by Hulk Hogan.
Ascension vs. ???/???
Konor takes #1 into the corner to start as JBL is ripping on the jobbers again. Booker and Cole are a bit nicer and say they have to fight whoever they're put up against and that they've won every match they've had so far. Fall of Man ends #2 at 1:20.
Ambrose is now counciling the doctor and gets his approval on the papers to stay in the Rumble. As soon as the papers are signed and the doctor is still crying, Ambrose calls him a spineless, gutless pile of cow waste. This really could have been a better comedy idea but it wasn't bad.
Here are Lana and Rusev to thank the Authority for firing Ryback before the showdown tonight. They also thank Cena for failing to save his friends like any American would. Maybe Ryback can get a job in a deli like he had in that stupid story a few weeks back. Rusev calls Ryback lucky for being fired and because the super American John Cena couldn't get his job back. He was going to throw Ryback and twenty eight other men out of the Rumble, so here's Ambrose to easily knock him to the floor.
Rusev vs. Dean Ambrose
Joined in progress after a break with Ambrose bulldogging Rusev. The Russian kicks at the knee (injured in the ambulance match) to take over and wraps it around the ropes. Dean counters the jumping superkick into a rollup for two and the Macho Elbow gets the same. The referee tries to stop the match due to the knee and has no choice after Dean is tied in the Tree of Woe at 4:38.
Here's the Authority to moderate the contract signing. After everyone comes out, Heyman says he can't take credit for bringing back the Authority because it was all Rollins' plan. The plan was endorsed by Heyman and desperately needed by John Cena. What's bad for Cena is good for Lesnar and best for business. Heyman doesn't like the idea of a triple threat match because it could mean a double cross where Lesnar doesn't have to lose to drop the title.
Rollins thanks Heyman for reciting the rules of ever triple threat match ever and asks if Lesnar is scared of a triple threat. Paul gets cut off because Rollins isn't done. Seth doesn't have the list of accomplishments that Lesnar have, but Lesnar doesn't have the list that Seth has. He built and destroyed the Shield, won Money in the Bank, and pinned John Cena's shoulders to the mat. Either by plan A (the match) or plan B (the briefcase), Rollins is is leaving with the title. Lesnar says he conquered Undertaker, HHH and Cena, so he'll conquer Rollins at the Rumble.
Cena says it's time for a beating and he's walking out champion before signing. Rollins lists off all the plans that Cena has had but failed before the fight is on. Seth is knocked to the floor and Lesnar takes the AA through the table, only to have Rollins Curb Stomp Cena. There's a Curb Stomp to Brock to end the show.
Seth Rollins b. John Cena Pin after a KO Punch from Big Show
New Day b. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro Backbreaker/top rope double stomp combo
Roman Reigns b. Luke Harper Spear
Alicia Fox b. Naomi Ax kick
Miz b. Jey Uso Skull Crushing Finale
Brie Bella b. Paige Rollup
Ascension b. ???/??? Fall of Man to #2
Rusev b. Dean Ambrose via referee stoppage
The WWE Network went live in England and Ireland ahead of schedule and is now available.
Unless something changes, Main Event is off WWE Network. The show airs on Sky in the UK and WWE can't show it both on TV and on the Network, nor can they change the Network content based on location.
Date: January 14, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
It's the first show on Wednesday nights and we're starting with a bang as Sami Zayn is giving Adrian Neville his rematch for the NXT Title. Kevin Owens is still lurking around and there's always a chance he could get involved. We also have the continuing story of crazy Marcus Louis stalking Tyler Breeze. Let's get to it.
Tyson Kidd vs. Finn Balor
Balor has the full entrance minus the face paint, which is still awesome. On another note, does Charles Robinson age? He looks identical to how he looked back in 1999. Balor starts with a running dropkick at the bell but misses a top rope stomp. That's fine with Finn as he takes Tyson into the corner for a running basement dropkick, sending Kidd out to the floor. The Irishman follows but gets speared into the barricade for a loud crash. The fans seemed to like that one and I can't say I disagree.
Kidd has dedicated this match Charlotte. His cat, not the wrestler. Back in and Kidd shouts at Finn to kill him before we take a break. We come back with Kidd catapulting him face first into the bottom buckle for two before we hit a chinlock. A dropkick in the Tree of Woe gets two for Kidd but Balor nails a Pele Kick to get a breather. I'm glad someone in WWE finally started using that move. A running sleeper drop puts Kidd down so he bails to the floor, only to have Balor nail a great flip dive.
Kidd pops back up with a running chest kick from the apron and the springboard elbow drop for two. They're just beating the heck out of each other here. The Sharpshooter goes on but Finn finally crawls over to the ropes. A slingshot Fameasser misses Balor so he grabs a reverse Impaler, followed by the top rope double stomp to end Kidd 11:55.
Package on Zayn winning the title at R-Evolution minus the post match beatdown. This is all about Neville vs. Zayn.
Bull Dempsey says he's just as undefeated as Baron Corbin and tonight will be Corbin's End of Days. The last thing he's going to hear is BULL BULL BULL.
Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
The fans start the counting as they hammer away on each other with Bull going down first. Thankfully the fans give up after about twenty seconds and the fight heads outside. Back in and Bull slams him down but misses his flying headbutt. End of Days is good for the pin at 1:36. This was exactly what it needed to be and Baron looked like a monster.
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch vs. Natalya/Charlotte
Banks' theme song is rapidly growing on me. Natalya headlocks Becky to the mat to start before getting two off a rollup. Renee tells us about Natalya and Lynch tagging in Japan about nine years ago as the villains are sent to the floor, setting up stereo baseball slides from Natalya and Charlotte. A double delayed suplex gets two on Becky before Charlotte wheelbarrow slams Natalya on top of her for two.
Banks comes in and gets snapmared down, allowing Natalya to step on the back of her head to drive Sasha's face into the mat, immediately followed by a low dropkick. Sasha pops back up with two knees to the ribs as things FINALLY slow down a bit. The men on the main show can't keep up a pace like that most of the time. Off to Charlotte for a neckbreaker for two as everything breaks down. Banks hits a neckbreaker of her own on Charlotte and grabs the tights for the pin at 4:20. Banks: I WON!!!
NXT Title: Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville
Sami is defending. They shake hands to start and Sami scores first with an armdrag. The champ hooks a headlock but charges into an armdrag, sending him out to the floor for a second. Back in and Neville sends him into the corner but gets caught in his third headlock in three minutes. Sami leapfrogs over Adrian and avoids a dropkick, sending Neville into his first frustration of the match.
Adrian slaps him in the face and Neville says he's sorry. Sami says sorry and forearms him in the face, starting the slugout with Neville getting the better of it and sending the champ to the floor. A big dive puts Sami down again as we take a break. Back with Neville hitting a running uppercut in the corner for two and hooking a hurricanrana for an even closer near fall.
Sami grabs the leg to block the Red Arrow but Neville won't let him hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. The power of OLE lets Sami force him up on the second try but Neville kicks out again. Zayn rolls some Germans but Neville flips out of a chicken wing/half nelson suplex. Neville cartwheels onto Sami's shoulders and snaps off one of the hardest hurricanranas you'll ever see for two. The referee has to check if Sami can continue but he shakes his head yes.
Zayn half pops up into a Koji Clutch attempt but Neville rolls away, only to have to bail outside to avoid the Helluva Kick. Sami loads up the diving DDT through the ropes but Neville superkicks him into a state of shock. Back in and Adrian has to bail out of the Red Arrow but avoids another Helluva Kick into a sweet bridging rollup for two. Sami goes into Beast Mode and grabs the exploder suplex followed by the Helluva Kick for the pin at 13:56.
Sami celebrates but Owens comes in with a pop up powerbomb and puts his boot on Sami's face. Owens kicks the title over to Zayns' head to end the show.
Finn Balor b. Tyson Kidd Top rope double stomp
Baron Corbin b. Bull Dempsey End of Days
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch b. Natalya/Charlotte Neckbreaker to Charlotte
Sami Zayn b. Adrian Neville Helluva Kick
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