Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/4/16: Saving Us (Again)
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Saving Us (Again)
– The opening video replayed last week’s events where Vince McMahon got arrested in Brooklyn after WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns shoved him to the canvas when he racially insulted his older relatives, but ended up back in the arena to let him know he’d defend his Title the following week against Sheamus with himself as special guest referee, aka this show’s main event.
– Stephanie McMahon came out to rousing applause, well, not really. That happened when Reigns came out after before Steph could even get to the ring. Loved the “Daaaaad Daaaaad Daaaaaad” sign in the crowd. Reigns walked right past Steph, ignoring her, more blatant disrespect as the crowd chanted his name. Reigns calling out Vince was bold. Didn’t know Reigns’ job was still on the line if he loses the Title. Did they just come up with that invisible stipulation? Steph was her confident self and made it clear that she wouldn’t fire him, but use and abuse him when he loses the Title until he’s forgotten by the people. Reigns’ threat to put Vince in the hospital was bold. Are most Raws going to start with these two now? Will there be a cold open sketch next week with them?
– A hype video showed Brock Lesnar would be back with “Suplex City” chants heard in the background. A reason to tune in next week? Wow. Who’da thought?
– The Neville-Kevin Owens match with WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose on commentary was a logical follow-up to last week when Owens decimated Neville after getting beaten in 20 seconds and then obliterated the announce table with Ambrose’s body via a Powerbomb. Owens was bent on getting his belt back, as being a prize fighter with no prize can’t be fun. Neville looked tough going right on the aerial offense when the bell rang, taped ribs and all. Owens got back on the offense and Neville sold that top rope DDT like a beast. More exciting action with Neville doing a 450 to the floor among other high-flying spectacles, but a vicious Pop-Up Powerbomb ended the threat. Decent staredown between Owens and Ambrose after, with Owens going for more punishment until Ambrose took him down with a suicide dive. Owens got the upper hand and set up the announce table again for destruction. The table almost broke with Owens on it and then Ambrose elbow dropped him through it from the barricade. Nice comeuppance for Owens this week.
– Vince’s backstage promo mentioned all of his charges were dropped and it was ironic he broke the law and this week, in the new year, he was the law. Nice little line.
– The Titus O’Neil-Stardust match continued some of last year’s awkward chemistry. The Disaster Kick was on point, but might’ve been the match’s most interesting part. O’Neil could be such a bigger star. Luckily he had a win here, but let’s hope the Stardust episodes end there.
– The WWE Divas Champion Charlotte-Becky Lynch backstage segment saw the Champ not pleased about Lynch asking for the match since she beat her “fair and square” already, with some friendly threats as Charlotte condescendingly said it’d be “in the spirit of competition.” It was pretty funny to see Ric Flair “woo” Lynch from behind her. Gee, wonder where that’ll go.
– No time for digesting thoughts, because the match was up next. The Charlotte-Lynch match was actually pretty impressive early on when they traded maneuvers with Charlotte showing heel tendencies. It got better towards the end and the finish made sense when Lynch won using the tights after Flair purposely tripped her. Liked the post-match attack by Charlotte to come off as the cocky heel Champ.
– The Sheamus-Vince backstage segment hyped the main event as Vince told him there’d be no outside interference and he’d better obey his rules and wished the “luck of the Irish” on him. Maybe it’s a swerve.
– The Ryback-Big Show match started slow and picked up when The Wyatt Family came back with the lights on attacking Ryback on the outside. Strowman laid out Ryback with his cute bear hug. The sights were set on Big Show next. Show took out the other three before he stood down with Strowman before he was attacked again. It’s odd that the crowd cheered the Wyatts storming the ring and then booed after they laid out Show. Who got the heat here exactly? Why include Show in there besides for the cool standoff with Strowman that could’ve been saved for the actual match?
– The WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio/Rusev-Usos tag match was overshadowed by Del Rio’s much-evident spray tan but basically, Del Rio/Rusev were a tighter unit, the crowd wanted Lana and someone finally avoided Del Rio’s doofy finisher until he ended up hitting it minutes later. League Of Nations’ music still sounds like a goofy special news report theme song.
– The Dolph Ziggler-Heath Slater match started with a pre-taped Ziggler promo that revolved around his excitement for the new year while Slater came out with a new entourage (Bo Dallas, Adam Rose and Curtis Axel) that “stirred things up” on Twitter apparently. Can we call them the band of Misfits? The match was okay at best as we expected a flimsy finish as Rose and Dallas distracted Ziggler to get rolled up in a pin for Slater to beat Ziggler to win for the first time in months. The post-match promo was strange from Rose, Axel said “the chains were off now,” Dallas said a man was measured by how often he got up. Lots of repetition there, and ironically they named themselves Social Outcasts. Another heel faction? We’ve got New Day, The Wyatts, LON, The Authority and now these guys.
– Nice way to hype the first SmackDown on USA with the two championship matches for the IC and Divas Championships.
– The Reigns-Vince backstage segment saw Vince lay down all the rules like he did to Sheamus but without wishing him luck. More hype.
– The New Day promo poked fun at Mike Tyson breaking his booty on a hoverboard (which didn’t hit the comedy mark but maybe that was on purpose) and then they did a countdown which brilliantly transitioned into Chris Jericho’s theme song at 5 and he came out sporting some facial stubble. Jericho insulted New Day for being jackasses and said he was back to save the WWE with numbers needing a boost. Hmm. Then he called them “rooty tooty booty” and mentioned he was entering the Royal Rumble then called them “trap queens.” Well, it does raise the Rumble’s profile.
– The Six-Man Tag between New Day and The Dudley Boyz/Kalisto was entertaining as always with Bubba’s antics and Kalisto’s athletics but New Day came out the winners. We’re kind of immune to these now.
– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Reigns and Sheamus with McMahon as special guest referee started how you’d think. Weird that commentary didn’t protest McMahon having fast counts early on right away until Sheamus’ third pin attempt. Makes sense for Sheamus to purposely tell McMahon to look at something on the other side of the ring while he could clobber Reigns with the steel steps. He also counted slow for Reigns and feigned something in his eye. Um, couldn’t Reigns get himself disqualified to keep the belt? At least he knocked out McMahon and then speared Sheamus before turning his attention back to McMahon, which prompted Steph to come out and Reigns pushed McMahon into the ropes which knocked her down too. Okay, nice cover of McMahon not knowing where he was to make the pinfall for Scott Armstrong to try to pin him, whom we had to be reminded was associated with The Authority. Reigns knocked out Armstrong and Superman Punched Sheamus and got the pinfall from another official. This feels incredibly tainted. That’s when McMahon dropped another bomb that Reigns would now defend his Title in the Royal Rumble match. Commentary is contradictory because they said Reigns would have to live with the consequences of his actions and then soured when they learned what Reigns now had to do. Gosh, pick a side.
- Kevin Owens def. Neville via pinfall
- Titus O’Neil def. Stardust via pinfall
- Becky Lynch def. Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) via pinfall
- Ryback and The Big Show to a no-contest
- Alberto Del Rio/Rusev def. The Usos via pinfall
- Heath Slater (w/Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – The New Day def. The Dudley Boyz/Kalisto via pinfall
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Vince McMahon As Special Guest Referee – Roman Reigns (Champion) def. Sheamus via pinfall to retain
Posted on January 10, 2016, in WWE and tagged Adam Rose, Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Bo Dallas, Brock Lesnar, Byron Saxton, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, JBL, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Michael Cole, Neville, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Royal Rumble, Rusev, Ryback, Sheamus, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, The Big Show, The Dudley Boyz, The New Day, The Usos, The Wyatt Family, Titus O'Neil, Vince McMahon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.