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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/16/15: The Viper-lante

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 3/16/15)

The Viper-lante

– If this episode had any mission, it was to draw advantage back on Seth Rollins’ side, after nearly getting demolished single-handedly by Randy Orton. It kind of happened, but it kind of didn’t. To set all this up though, WWE used the opening video to highlight Orton’s brutal attack, with clips from his sit-down promo describing his satisfaction.

– Starting the show off with a seemingly pissed off Authority made sense. Being in his hometown, chants for Rollins were expected, but he did a good job of shutting it down with insults in a good promo, as the rest of The Authority followed suit. The big newsworthy event here was Rollins’ accepting Orton’s WrestleMania challenge and countering with a challenge of his own for this show. If you’re Creative though, why tease this match for free so close to Mania? It all made sense by the end, but the idea of it still lacks principle. Orton’s response promo was a somewhat edgy way of setting up the “main event.” He sure likes to make people his bitch, huh?

– The Bellas boxed promo was decent for what it was, as they tore down Paige and AJ Lee’s recent friendship and their “Give us a break” line was also good.

– The Lee-Nikki Bella match wasn’t anything too special despite having above average ring time. This had the Bellas get the better of Paige and Lee inside and outside the ring. If the commentary team spent less time bickering loudly and more on pushing the match, that would’ve been nice too.

– WWE must think we love watching Show and Kane bicker like eight year-olds. Of course, this bickering had purpose on the episode, setting up Rollins’ “big plan,” but there’s no doubt that maybe some truth was laid down here – with Kane and Show claiming Rollins’ ego was getting to his head and when The Authority eventually disbands (five years later hopefully?), this can be something they use for it. The immediate turnaround was confusing though, considering Show/Kane told Rollins he deserved what happened to him when they complained about it a little while before.

– Miz’s boxed promo was okay and continued the storyline, saying Mizdow would get fired if he didn’t help him win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale. This will so set up that turn. For a show made for “big moments,” if Mizdow doesn’t turn on Miz here, that will be a horrendous loss of opportunity.

– The Ryback-Miz match appeared as another Smackdown repeat, as Miz was beaten with the Shellshock after a non-convincing tease of Mizdow hitting Miz. Miz dropping Mizdow with the Skull-Crushing Finale was a good way to get heat on him.

– The John Cena-Rusev contract signing promo had its nationalistic feel-good moment in there, as Cena gave a passionate “Rah-Rah America” promo. The logic of Rusev having his attorney as a way of fighting the official rematch made sense, being that Lana made the match official, when Stephanie McMahon told Cena that Rusev himself had to accept. The lack of logic of the outrageously bad Russian accent on said attorney overshadowed this moment, to the point where even JBL, the heel announcer, had to side against Rusev. For what it’s worth, Rusev flipping the table and fleeing was a good tease once he signed the contract.

– You can’t point out that The New Day is in a good mood, because they’re always in a good mood. Silly announcers.

– The Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya boxed promo was a fun spoof on parodying the team’s ridiculous clapping.

– The Kidd/Cesaro-Big E/Kofi Kingston match was okay and quick, with Los Matadores and El Torito observing at ringside and Kidd/Cesaro winning with a cheap trick. Los Matadores essentially fed New Day to Cesaro and then Torito took out Cesaro. Kind of confusing. With pending injury to Jey Uso, we can see why the sudden push of other teams happened. Unfortunate, but it put WWE in this situation.

– The backstage segment where J & J Security “walked out” on Rollins was probably the most convincing of the bunch – considering Jamie Noble didn’t trust Orton from the get-go and was against Rollins already. Nevertheless, we knew what it led to, so why keep talking about it?

– Besides the “F— Roman Reigns Up” comment, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s sit-down interview clip wasn’t nearly as “controversial” as hyped as much as it was him being overconfident, remorseless and sadistic, all qualities we knew already. This was well-done and Lesnar looked like a legit, unpredictable badass.

– So Show beat down Erick Rowan for no reason… What was the point?

– The video package for Larry Zybysko as the recent WWE HOF inductee was cool to see in terms of showing his AWA career highlights early on. Also cool to see his WCW highlights in standing up to the nWo in its heyday.

– The segment to push the Battle Royale by having all the participants in there was mainly to set up Mark Henry’s announcement of joining the match. You have to love impromptu battle royales to hype a battle royale. This led to a Henry-Kane standoff, which Curtis Axel tried to break in, but Henry sent him over the top. This was just okay. Nothing special.

– The hype of the 6-Being Interspecies match between Los Matadores/El Torito and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya has us at an utter loss of words. What? Why? Interspecies?

– No better way to start the final hour than with Paul Heyman. Let the magic begin. What a fitting time to bring out Roman Reigns and his new, “I can, I will” t-shirt. How adorable. His promo was decent, though not groundbreaking. With Lesnar absent, this would’ve been a good time to perhaps silence Heyman with a spear or Superman punch, to get under Lesnar’s skin. Maybe that’s for the go-home show. Either way, their in-ring face-to-face should be fun and we’ll see if they can recreate the magic of the “Blizzard Show.”

– Paul Heyman’s backstage promo sold him being ticked off and hyped next week’s face-to-face greatly.

– The six-man tag match between Daniel Bryan/Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper/Bad News Barrett/Stardust was another repeat match from Smackdown. R-Truth’s presence was expected here though, and he had almost no reaction upon coming out. Oh, great. More title shenanigans. At least Ambrose got the pinfall, not that it really mattered at the end, but Barrett finally got the better end of this segment.

– The backstage segment with Rollins, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was okay in setting up what happened later, but that was about it.

– The Bray Wyatt fog promo was another dime a dozen fog promo. Meh.

– The Seth Rollins “reveal” didn’t really make sense, considering most of those “Authority walking out on Rollins” segments took place backstage, only where the crowd could see it. Does word travel that quickly? Nevertheless, we knew this was going to set up Sting to make the save and the moment was worth it. It’s WrestleMania season. This is when you go all out. Cole overseasoned it a bit to call it one of “the biggest moments of Raw history.” Sigh. The tease for an Orton/Sting Interview on the WWE Network immediately after the show was actually a good hook for TV viewers and treat for Network Subscribers.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) def. AJ Lee (w/Paige) via pinfall

– Ryback def. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) via pinfall

– Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) def. Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) via pinfall

– Dean Ambrose/Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett/Luke Harper/Stardust via pinfall

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/23/15: Return Of The Whack

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/23/15)

Return Of The Whack

– Minor to note that there were subtle changes to the opening theme montage. It’s indeed WrestleMania season.

– It was smart to start things off with the returning Randy Orton, whose promo was sensibly to the point, being angry about being taken out by Seth Rollins and The Authority. When they all came out suit-clad, things went back to being same old same old. It seemed that Orton had been cast as the new anti-hero and his reason for revenge was self-explanatory, but with it being so close to Mania, is it best to disappoint fans with his rejoining of The Authority? While it made sense they’d want him back, they needed to hotshot this possibility quickly. Of course, the business meeting segment just hyped further tension between Orton-Rollins, but it’s obvious a Mania match with them is in the cards and it wasn’t worth killing the “return momentum” Orton already had.

– Smart to return from commercial mid-promo from Bad News Barrett.

– The Barrett-Dolph Ziggler match seemed to be a way to get Barrett to beat somebody that had no momentum lately and Ziggler was that guy, while at the same time, able to put on a good television match. R-Truth out on commentary made things a little interesting, assuming that they’re following up on his victory against Barrett on Smackdown. Perhaps a three-way IC Title match at Mania is in order? It’s hard to take Truth seriously though with his win-loss record, though having him say more than the city he’s in and “what’s up” is a step in the right direction. Ziggler getting the win only added to the amount of competitors for this potential Title match. Dean Ambrose’s interaction with Barrett and purposely bumping shoulders with Ziggler only added more fuel to the fire. For what it’s worth though, for Ambrose to talk about giving the IC Title prestige and then steal something that’s not his is kind of contradictory.

– The business meeting segment with The Authority-Orton hyped the tag team main event and while this seemed like a sudden turn of events, it only makes planting tension between Orton and Rollins all the more obvious later on. Like we said before though – is it worth five weeks a wait?

– The Ascension boxed promo had them disrespect another legend and challenge another current tag team. Big whoop. They’re flailing on the main roster.

– The Prime Time Players-The Ascension match was all over the place. Fans aren’t ecstatic about PTP being back and it’s not like we’ve even had a promo explaining their return. Most of the match was Young selling, only to pull out a surprise win. The more noteworthy thing was Ascension being defeated for the first time wasn’t sold like a big happening. It’s just ho-hum.

– The Reigns promo stared with him having a more favorable reaction from the crowd, but will he continue to have that reaction from other cities? Bryan’s interaction with Reigns set up everything well, explaining his rise and fall. Paul Heyman coming out and his interaction was a great followup, though he made some outlandish statements. Reigns’ response was okay in parts, but this still doesn’t have that “big fight” feel to it.

– The Tag Team Championship rematch between Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) and The Usos (w/Naomi) seemed confusing on paper because this sounded like an already planned WrestleMania match. Nevertheless, it was solid while lasted, until Natalya interfered and cost Kidd/Cesaro the match. The controversy surrounding interference might stretch this out a bit more.

– The backstage segment with Damien Mizdow and The Miz continued their tension a bit with Mizdow telling Miz he got a leading role in a movie and Miz only concerned with lint on his jacket. Vintage Miz?

– The Bray Wyatt casket promo continued his streak of solid promos. We have to look forward to Undertaker’s eventual response.

– The Stardust-Jack Swagger originally come off as a squash match for Stardust to be built off of as a despicable character with a little social media to explain the match. Except that went the other way with Goldust coming out to distract Stardust to get caught in the Patriot Lock in a loss. How can we take Stardust seriously?

– The In-ring segment with Cena, Rusev and Lana was pretty good, but not as good as their previous segments. It just put into perspective the FastLane match and had more of a “Continental Feud” feel to it. This now gives him more of an out to win the United States Championship – “for the country.” Meh. Rusev saying no is something for now, but we know it’s going to happen sooner than later. Ironically, Cena’s attire was almost the same as the Russian colors.

– The interaction between Rollins and Orton backstage was good – it established the obvious tension between the two and it wasn’t like it was gone all of a sudden. Orton’s words served to appease Rollins and hyped the main event. It almost seemed as though Orton was letting Rollins into his trap, but that would’ve made sense, which is not what WWE did.

– The Sting video package summed up his WCW persona right from the bleach-blonde hair and face mask into the “Silent Crow” persona in response to the nWo and how he was loyal to WCW and hyped the confirmed WrestleMania match. Why couldn’t WWE give this amount of background and detail into all of their storylines?

– The Paige/Emma-Bellas match was incredibly lame and over in seconds. Emma was brought back without a whimper and this was just a mess. Poor Paige. Is the rest of the Divas division purposely being booked to be boring to make her character more appealing?

– The Bushwhackers being the new HOF inductees was only a matter of time. Cool for them though.

– Curtis Axel’s new t-shirt is great. His entering into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale match along with the Miz served hype to that match. Ryback coming out kind of meant that he’d win undoubtedly and also declare himself as a battle royale contender. Squash affair.

– What a shocker. The “fired/rehired” trio takes on Show/Kane/Rollins on Smackdown.

– The Bryan/Reigns-Orton/Rollins (w/J & J Security, Kane, Show) main event match was solidly wrestled, but the intrigue came from expecting Orton to turn on Rollins and that didn’t quite happen. In essence, now they burned through a vengeful return angle and made Orton look like a chump for going back with the Authority organically. Bad time for the screen to go black too. Orton RKO’ing J & J Security seemed to set the moment up right, but that quickly went away when he tapped Rollins on the shoulder and left the ring. This isn’t the way to make fans excited for WrestleMania, not to even mention that Bryan and Cena don’t have official opponents with just over a month left. What is WWE doing?

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall

– The Prime Time Players def. The Ascension via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro def. The Usos via DQ; The Usos retain

– Jack Swagger def. Stardust via pinfall

– The Bella Twins def. Paige/Emma via pinfall

– Ryback def. Curtis Axel via pinfall

– Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton/Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security, Big Show, Kane) via pinfall

Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 2/19/15: Last Licks

WWE Smackdown“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/19/15)

Last Licks

– The opening video was decent as it highlighted the Daniel Bryan-Roman Reigns feud that culminated with the brawl at the end of Raw. For all the focus the feud received at the beginning of the show, not ending it on some kind of note was odd.

– The Bryan-Miz match kept the momentum from the opening video, as Bryan looked to be on point here, with no lost fans in the crowd. The segment with Miz/Mizdow smartly brought up Miz being Bryan’s former NXT Pro and tied it into their ongoing conflict. Only problem with this was that Michael Cole brought this up, and if we remember way back when, he was Bryan’s biggest critic and Miz’s biggest fan. Bryan’s submission victory kept him hot for Sunday. We knew at this point the same would probably be done for Reigns later on.

– The Ryback-Kane match wasn’t the best performance by both guys, but it didn’t overstay its welcome. If anything, the sudden Shellshocked finish was decent. Where is Ryback going though in all of this?

– The Bad News Barrett-R-Truth had “feud progression” written all over it as Dean Ambrose sat in on commentary. This was okay for the most part. Ambrose’s comments about Barrett not living up to the “pride and honor” of past Intercontinental Champions was a much better feud focus than him wanting his own face on the wall at WWE Headquarters. Why did they wait so late on that? This could’ve been a much different and better feud. At the same time, Barrett seemingly obsessed with getting his hands on Ambrose on Sunday was decent, but that was all lost when he lost by distraction. This may just seal the deal that Barrett will retain using dirty tactics on Sunday, though.

– The latest cryptic Bray Wyatt promo made him mention “the clock ticking” and told this person to find him or he will find him himself. Some development will likely come of this at or after FastLane.

– The New Day act is just not going to catch on. Their new Thriller-like dance routine won’t do the trick either. The Ascension promo was just more of their trashing of past tag team legends. Yawn. The Xavier Woods/Big E-Ascension match mainly served as enhancement for The Ascension to keep their roll going. So much for Hump Day.

– The Roman Reigns-Luke Harper match was shorter than expected as Reigns more or less made quick work of Harper. The spear finish was somewhat cool, but Harper wasn’t perceived as much a threat here as opposed to earlier this week.

– The Big Show-Erick Rowan match sure did Rowan no favors as it was a completely anticlimactic Show squash. Boredom central.

– The Cameron-Paige match with The Bellas on commentary followed the same path as past weeks. Not much more they could add to this. Paige won by PTO. Do we even care about this Divas Title match coming up? It’s hard to root for Paige when she has obstacles you’d find between high schoolers and their bullies.

– The Goldust backstage interview hyped his FastLane match against Stardust and was okay as he described Stardust as a “cancer eating my brother alive.” The Stardust interruption on the titantron screen was also a cool touch that let him say what he wanted to say. This feud is really just starting, but there’s promise here. Hopefully, this leads to Cody Rhodes making his eventual return and new gimmick. What hasn’t he been these days?

– The Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Natalya boxed promo was solid but nothing memorable. Fact. The match that followed with Kidd taking on Jimmy Uso never had a chance to get going because Rusev came out and took out everyone. We got the point, but did we need to dismantle a feud here?

– The Dolph Ziggler-Seth Rollins Match was good for what it was. Ryback and Rowan acting as Ziggler’s cheerleaders was questionable, but the main focus was to keep Rollins hot. The Authority sought extra dominance and beat down Ryback and Rowan. Not sure what it actually accomplished besides making The Authority remain strong, but it filled the time.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Daniel Bryan def. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) via submission

– Ryback def. Kane via pinfall

– R-Truth def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall

– The Ascension def. Xavier Woods/Big E (w/Kofi Kingston) via pinfall

– Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper via pinfall

– The Big Show def. Erick Rowan via pinfall

– Paige def. Cameron via submission

– Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso, Naomi) and Tyson Kidd (w/Cesaro, Natalya) to a No-Contest

– J & J Security Barred From Ringside – Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/16/15: Reckless Abandon

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/16/15)

Reckless Abandon

– Is John Cena the only person who gets his name announced when just coming out for a promo? The promo-turned-brawl with him and Rusev was similar to last week, but the added twist was Cena’s more aggressive nature. While it’s necessary and sure, Cena should seek to overcome an undefeated beast and the “fight to respect” angle is okay, but what about the United States Championship on the line here? Is that at all important? It’s definitely not the focus of this feud and that’s doing a disservice to the Belt and what Rusev has done with it.

– The bit with Dean Ambrose doing a news segment taking a shot against Bad News Barrett came across random, but this feud could be taken so much more seriously, considering it’s for the Intercontinental Championship.

– The Ambrose-Luke Harper match was treated like an evenly matched bout that had Ambrose fight to get his victory, but him on top was predictable with his obsession with getting Barrett to sign a contract before Sunday. Why would he lose here?

– The backstage segment with Big Show, Kane and Triple H put over Kane and Show’s arguments. Show Face turn #457 imminent?

– The latest Bray Wyatt cryptic promo had him explain how his fear turned into pity. Or something like that. Would Undertaker just acknowledge this already?

– The backstage segment with The Rhodes family was okay as Dusty Rhodes motivated them to stand together. A turn was so coming here. You could just smell it.

– The Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E)-Gold & Stardust match had most focus on Gold & Stardust trying to work together with constant cuts to Dusty Rhodes watching backstage. This paid off with New Day getting the win and Stardust inevitably hitting his finisher on Goldust – full turn? Maybe not, but leading to a match where it will be more set in stone.

– The backstage interview with Roman Reigns was interesting in his approach of the term “public opinion.” His mic work is far better with this more “tweener” character.

– It was good to have Daniel Bryan out to scout the Reigns-Kane match from ringside on commentary as he talked about being surprised by Reign’s comments. Him playing innocent was entertaining, but the Yes! laps seemed a bit forced.

– The Stardust-Dusty Rhodes interaction put over Stardust’s animosity towards his family. Plain and simple.

– The Reigns-Kane match was okay, though more distracted by Bryan’s commentary as solid as it was. Reigns winning by countout was kind of weak.

– The backstage interview with Bryan was more of what he said on commentary. Public opinion.

– The second Wyatt promo was too brief to make anything of.

– The backstage segment with Paige and The Bellas and Rosebuds was a big bowl of WTF soup. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Paige getting her gear stolen or relief for her probably coming out as a fairy for her match later? Plus, you’re telling us she only has one ring attire outfit? Gosh – get some backups, girl!

– The Summer Rae-Paige match told the story of Paige “bouncing back” though it probably accomplished the creation of Internet memes more than anything. Paige won again by tap out. The Bella Twins coming out and exchange between Nikki and Paige was decent hype towards their FastLane match, but why can’t we just focus on athleticism rather than outfits and spray tan?

– The Seth Rollins in-ring promo was par for the course of his usual promos, not bad though. Ziggler’s interruption was good but you had to cringe at the slight sexual references considering the last week Rollins really had. You’d think WWE would want to avoid that road entirely. The match was pretty good but stopped before it could get going, as J & J Security interfered as Ziggler was about to get a three count. The save with Rowan and Ryback getting payback was okay, but keeping these three guys together so long is doing more harm than hurt.

– The announcement for MizTV featuring Paul Heyman on the FastLane pre-show should be interesting to say the least.

– The segment with Triple H addressing Sting was going the usual way until the random surprise appearance by Ric Flair. This was all good as Flair tried to praise Sting up and Triple H gained heat by claiming he was the WWE and pushed Flair to the ground in a rage. Best hype on the show.

– From the looks of The Ascension-Darren Young/Unnamed match that never took place, it was to make The Ascension look good and set up the moment of Titus O’Neil saving his old partner. A PTP reunion to feud with The Ascension sounds interesting. It would also be good to see them back together as they work best together.

– The backstage segment with The Miz and Barrett set things up for the match later. We can believe Miz “has people,” but Barrett? What does he do that’s so big?

– The Damien Mizdow (w/The Miz)-Barrett match carried on the storyline of Miz purposely costing Mizdow the match and just being a Hollywood douche. The spot with Ambrose tying Barrett’s hands to the post to get him to sign the contract was a bit corny, albeit decent way to have Ambrose outsmart Barrett, though Barrett could argue he never consented. JBL asking for Jack Tunney was hilarious.

– The third Wyatt promo was more of the same as he took a hammer to something unseen.

– The Jimmy Uso/Naomi (w/Jey Uso)-Tyson Kidd/Natalya (w/Cesaro) mixed tag was short, but furthered tension between Kidd and Natalya. Natalya and Naomi also worked pretty well together.

– Reigns being ringside for the Bryan-Show match eventually signing autographs and throwing shirts into the crowd was his way of payback. Why Bryan would be enraged at that is beyond us. The front row fans got their money’s worth with that at least. Once Reigns got speared by Show, you had to know Reigns would get revenge and likely cost Bryan the match. The post match Reigns-Bryan brawl was well-done as it just kept going and going. Where was this when we needed it before? Was this too much too late?

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Dean Ambrose def. Luke Harper via pinfall

– Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E) def. Gold & Stardust via pinfall

– Roman Reigns def. Kane via countout

– Paige def. Summer Rae via submission 

– Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) via DQ

– Bad News Barrett def. Damien Mizdow (w/The Miz) via pinfall

– Mixed Tag – Jimmy Uso/Naomi def. Tyson Kidd/Natalya (w/Cesaro) via pinfall

– The Big Show def. Daniel Bryan via DQ

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/19/15: Legends Take Over

 

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found on the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 1/19/15)

Legends Take Over

– They opened up with the same classy MLK tribute like every year right into the theme montage. WWE sure knows when to be humble.

– Starting things off with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman was smart. Lesnar should have been angry after being both Attitude Adjusted through a table and Curb Stomped. Lesnar called out Rollins and said it was business when he showed up, super serious mode. Lesnar being eager to fight and not stepping down to The Authority got him a good reaction. Stephanie coming down with Kane and The Big Show made it seem serious. Rollins looked strong with his appearance on the big screen. Before Lesnar could become too much of a favorite, there was John Cena, who gave the same passionate, Authority-insulting promo. Stephanie bringing Cena back to eventually led to the big added stipulation that Cena would get those three men their jobs back again for a match later or give up his spot in the match and giving the power to the crowd was an interesting way to keep viewers into the show.

– The Daniel Bryan-Bray Wyatt match wasn’t spectacular, but served more to hype the Bryan-Kane match on Smackdown. Kane making an appearance at the top of the ramp confirmed this. The match was lengthy and better down the stretch, but Wyatt beat Bryan with Sister Abagail after interference by Kane. Kane chokeslammed Bryan and assaulted him after the match.

– The backstage segment with Triple H, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, The Miz and Damien Mizdow was good for nostalgia as Mizdow impersonated X-PAC rather well and the legends asked Triple H why he was doing what he was doing. Campy.

– The Royal Rumble WWE Legends panel segment with Byron Saxon, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair set focus to push the Rumble match with all former winners discussing the match. The interruption of The Big Show after him not being considered a favorite to win and knocking out Flair put more heat on Show. Roman Reigns coming out, standing up to Show, attacking him and clearing him out of the ring furthered their feud and actually got the crowd behind him.

– The backstage segment where John Cena was shown the WWE Universe voted “Yes” for him to have the match and 85/15 still sounded a bit fixed. It’s hard to criticize his confidence, but we have heard it all before.

– The Bad News Barrett-Dean Ambrose match had good action and didn’t overstay its welcome. Him pinning Barrett clean was also interesting. Will he get a future Title shot?

– You just can’t call it a new year until you see the Royal Rumble “Numbers” video package.

– Having The New Day come down the ring with microphones during their entrance just doesn’t work, although there was that one guy in the third row who got down. The match with them against Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express) was your usual Midcard six-man tag. Kingston pinned Cesaro in a School Boy pin. It was meh.

– The nWo segment with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and X-PAC was good for what it was for nostalgia purposes. Since Hogan was there, why not have him come out with them too? The Ascension coming out was groan-inducing, but given their characters, this made sense. JBL’s interruption was bound to happen given his complaints the last few weeks and this was a great way to set up the reunion of the APA Protection with Ron Simmons and The New Age Outlaws. The Ascension essentially getting their asses handed to them was good for a TV moment, but now The Ascension has been made to look like fools.

– The backstage segment with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon announcing that Cena would face Seth Rollins, The Big Show and Kane sounds about right.

– The Paige/Natalya-Alicia Fox/Summer Rae match with The Bellas at ringside on commentary was what it was. The storyline basically continued about Paige and Natalya’s strange friendship. Paige won by submission with a sick-looking Submission maneuver.

– The Rusev (w/Lana)-R-Truth match was essentially a squash despite Truth insulting Rusev at the beginning.

– The backstage segment with Lesnar confronting Rollins with J & J Security there kept the tense part of their feud alive. This would be key later on.

– Most people would usually like to forget the 2014 Royal Rumble. Was it really smart to advertise that for after Raw?

– The match between Jey Uso and The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) was okay as it all seemed to set momentum towards the Rumble. A little foreshadowing perhaps took place during the promo in the box with Miz talking about how he had two chances to win the match and Mizdow did a slight double take. Mizdow might even eliminate Miz. Who knows? Jey hit The Splash to get the clean victory. Miz definitely has no momentum here.

– Having Hogan have faith in Cena being able to overcome the obstacles wasn’t surprising.

– The Ascension will finally have their first serious match at the Royal Rumble as they will face The New Age Outlaws.

– The 3-on-1 Handicap main event match with Rollins/Kane/Show and Cena was good in terms of the near-falls and obviously the appearance of Sting once again. The moment happened a little too fast, but it was still good. Sting getting the best of The Authority twice is big but it’s surprising that this wasn’t for the Rumble. The crowd bought in to the moment. Lesnar and Heyman coming out and Lesnar single-handedly dismantling The Authority was also big.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Bray Wyatt def. Daniel Bryan via pinfall

– Non-Title – Dean Ambrose def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall

– The New Day def. Adam Rose/Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/The Exotic Express) via pinfall

– Natalya/Paige def. Alicia Fox/Summer Rae via submission

– Rusev (w/Lana) def. R-Truth via submission

– Jae Uso (w/Jimmy Uso) def. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) via pinfall

– 3-On-1 Handicap Match – John Cena def. Seth Rollins/The Big Show/Kane via pinfall to Keep Title Shot and Reinstate Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan