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WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Reaction

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Mistakes.

Everybody makes them, even WWE Creative.

There were some bright spots on the show: The John Cena/Brock Lesnar/Seth Rollins three-way WWE World Heavyweight Championship match was possibly the best WWE Title match in a long time. The Royal Rumble match had touches of glory – returns by Bubba Ray Dudley, The Boogeyman, Zack Ryder and the former Wyatt Family having a cool standoff provided fun.

That’s where it stopped.

It was a clear mistake to eliminate favorite Daniel Bryan in the Rumble early. WWE knew this would potentially backfire in the crowd reaction and have them take it out on Roman Reigns, who WWE sees as this year’s “man” to do it all.

The crowd in Philadelphia did something: they made sure they were heard and that Reigns going over – even with help from The Rock, was not going to salvage this moment.

 

 

 

The Breakdown

– The New Day-Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express) match was even better thanks to the Philly crowd that Cesaro/Kidd were much over with. Adam Rose was just kind of there. It seemed the crowd would have rioted if The New Day had won. Luckily, that didn’t happen and WWE was smart to do that. Perhaps a double tag team turn is in order? The New Day will not catch fire anytime soon as they are currently.

– The Ascension-New Age Outlaws match went down exactly like it should’ve. It wasn’t too long nor too short and while The Ascension used heel tactics to win, the result was what counted. They’re heels. They should cheat. The question though is where do they go from here? Beating The New Age Outlaws in 2015 doesn’t give a team that many bragging rights. Will they continue to take on legends and beat them?

– Say what you want: Triple H on Steve Austin’s podcast is worth checking out. There’s no telling just where things will go there.

– The Triple H-Stephanie McMahon backstage segment where they bashed Sting, dismissing him as a “WCW person” was interesting. When Paul Heyman entered, it was obvious he would be greeted lovingly by the Philly faithful. His proposal of Brock Lesnar as a solution to Sting was also interesting, especially if you consider things by the end of the night where Lesnar appeared to emerge a fan favorite.

– The Miz/Damien Mizdow and The Usos Tag Team Championship match was entertaining because the fans were so much into Mizdow. The Uso botch on the outside was hard to ignore as the crowd let them know, despite WWE not showing it on replay. Mizdow didn’t exactly factor into the finish and The Usos still retained. Good match.

– The J & J Security/Seth Rollins backstage segment was good in that it established Rollins as a threat and the real chance of him becoming Champion and shedding his “future” nickname was upon us.

– The Paige/Natalya-Bella Twins match was lame in terms of the finish, with Natalya not getting the chance to make the hot tag to Paige, who never entered the match. This will probably cause a rift in their friendship on the following Raw. Never have seen a tag match end before a hot tag. It can never be good.

– The Rumble match hype promos from Roman Reigns, Gold and Star Dust, The Big Show, Miz, Mizdow, Fandango and Daniel Bryan were pretty straightforward. Reigns actually sounded convincing and it was also hard to ignore Bryan. Seeing how the match turned out, this was ironic.

– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Cena, Rollins and Lesnar started off strong with no signs of stoppage. The crowd was very pro-Lesnar, very anti-Cena and somewhere in the middle for Rollins. Lesnar was an absolute machine – kicking out at one of the first Attitude Adjustment by Cena, getting up after three more, enduring a Curb stomp, a spear through the barricade, Rollins’ elbow drop through the announce table and shots to the face with the MITB briefcase. This was without a doubt the best WWE match in a long time. Lesnar’s comeback with a broken rib was almost insane and the crowd bought into it. How could you root against Lesnar in a comeback like that? That’s the kind of performance that wins fans over. Lesnar has been a pseudo-face as of late, attacking The Authority, but where do things go now?

– Rusev and Bray Wyatt put in good performances in the Rumble, but the match should be looked at in two halves: the first was fun and entertaining with returns and the second was boring and predictable, with the crowd boos prolonged. So, what happened? It’s obvious the early elimination of Bryan supplied this turning point. The worst part about it: Bryan can’t even blame The Authority. They had no storyline hand in his elimination. Bryan could only blame himself for getting eliminated. With Bryan gone, WWE hoped fans would rally behind Reigns, but just like Batista last year, they rejected him. While WWE turned Batista heel last year in acknowledgment of the crowd reaction, they likely won’t do the same with Reigns – seeing as how The Rock is now aligned with him. The lone bright spot out of this is that Rock will somehow be involved this WrestleMania season in an angle with The Authority. Where will it go? Who knows. There is one thing we do know: people don’t give a damn about Reigns as a Rumble winner.

 

 

 

 

Results

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

– The Ascension def. The New Age Outlaws via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – The Usos (Champions) def. The Miz/Damien Mizdow via pinfall to retain

– The Bella Twins def. Paige/Natalya via pinfall

– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Brock Lesnar (Champion) (w/Paul Heyman) def. Seth Rollins, John Cena to retain

– Rumble Match – Roman Reigns eliminates Rusev to win

 

Original Predictions Correct: 3/6

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

Notes In Observance – WWE Main Event 1/13/15: (Nothing) New Day

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

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 1/13/15)

(Nothing) New Day

– Having no Raw highlight video to open was a nice change of pace as it went straight to the Gold and Star Dust-Los Matadores (w/El Torito) match. The insertion of Gold and Star Dust in the Royal Rumble match was also newsworthy. The match itself was okay, though short. Torito played into the finish as Goldust taunted Torito and got hurricanrana’d and swooped up in a pin.

– Anytime The Ascension’s music hits, you know it’s a squash. Pretty much a repeat of their last squash matches; they give a promo that tears down legendary tag teams, then they dominate local jobbers. More of what happened here. JBL making a big stink of why they’re not facing real competition can make you wonder if The Authority has purposely given them easy opponents to become their future henchmen?

– The highlight video of the Seth Rollins-John Cena match and the contract signing segment from Raw certainly made Rollins look like he had a brilliant night.

– The Rusev-Justin Gabriel match was more to showcase Rusev as United States Champion. JBL brought up the brilliant point of the crowd’s “USA” chants not working here. Being that Rusev has never been defeated, it was hard to believe his first loss would happen at a Main Event to Justin Gabriel. Sure enough, after about five moves of Gabriel on offense, he wound up in the Camel Clutch and tapped out. He superkicked Gabriel after the bell and jumped in celebration and slipped and fell, but quickly got back up. That so wasn’t supposed to happen. Live Stream, folks.

– The pre-taped New Day promo was more of the same “positivity” schtick as before. The match between The New Day and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Adam Rose (w/The Exotic Express, Natalya) had decent action for a six man tag. But this match just makes you wonder about The New Day. Why are they here? What do they want? How did they get together? The action considerably picked up once Big E got picked up for the hot tag. They were a little more over with the crowd here in probably their best outing to date. Credit had to go to their opponents too as they made it exciting.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Los Matadores (w/El Torito) def. Gold and Star Dust via pinfall

РThe Ascension def. Two Local Jobbers via pinfall

– Rusev (w/Lana) def. Justin Gabriel via submission

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

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/12/15: The Authority Always Wins

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 1/12/15)

The Authority Always Wins

– The feeling that WWE wanted fans to have was that The Authority could do anything while in power. The opening video highlighted this by showing “John Cena Appreciation Night” yet again.

– Cena could be taken so much more seriously if he didn’t wear such bright colors. His opening promo mainly tore at Triple H and had him tease bringing back the recently departed for the fans. He even spread a hashtag – #AuthoritySucks. While his confidence hasn’t slowed down a bit and his focus on becoming Champion was good, his proposed attempt to “hold the belt hostage” seemed heel-like and too much like the CM Punk angle from Summer 2011. The Authority’s interruption seemed like it was almost an excuse to take unofficial shots at Punk for how he left the company – “taking his ball and going home,” but it wasn’t anything new as they insulted Cena for “Hustle Loyalty and Respect” and that he was selfish and a traitor. Sure enough, a proposed lumberjack match against Seth Rollins to get their jobs back was a good hook into the commercial break as it initially sounded like main event material.

– The Cena-Rollins (w/Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble) lumberjack match smelled like an Authority scheme from the get-go with mainly heels as lumberjacks, and it happening too soon made it hard to be emotionally invested when the fired guys have basically been gone for four shows. The theme of Cena “being a hero” mentioned over and over also made it kind of obvious he wouldn’t come through here. Cena’s eventual comeback just felt too melodramatic to buy into, but the near falls down the stretch worked better for that. Of course, the heels were too much and once Big Show connected with the KO, it was done.

– The backstage segment with Stephanie, The Usos and Dean Ambrose was just more of The Authority throwing their own weight around, with Naomi forced to compete with one hand tied behind her back and Ambrose forced to take a mental evaluation test.

– The backstage segment with The Miz/Damien Mizdow was more of their usual shenanigans about The Golden Globes. Whatever.

– The first “psychic evaluation” segment with Ambrose and the doctor was basically a clock ticking. Yep, this had the feeling it could either go really good or really bad, quickly.

– The New Day-Cesaro/Tyson Kidd (w/Adam Rose and Exotic Express) match was quick and mostly painless. Kingston scored the pin after a double team move, but the group itself still had no reaction after the fall. They need more of an “edge” to them than shouting out, “New Day!” They work well together, but the gimmick is limiting their potential.

– All we got from the superstars’ Randy Savage impersonations all night was that Roman Reigns can pull it off really well. Anybody also think that Reigns’ t-shirt design comes to close to the Mr. Kennedy logo?

– The “legends” Rew reunion of HBK, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Ric Flair for next week seems interesting.

– The Big Show promo got him over as a dominant power and he tore down the crowd for being losers. His focus on Reigns being a loser might have had more of a negative reaction if fans already didn’t have somewhat of a backlash against Reigns. His comparison of Reigns to the Knicks also would have had more heat in NYC, not New Orleans. Show leaving when Reigns showed up was typical heel behavior. Reign’s promo about his “story” again tying to a kids’ fable like Jack and the Beanstalk won’t get him over with adults: “Wham bam, thank you ma’am?” Did we really need the whole story to get to this point that he would kick Show’s ass? Plus, they didn’t even bother to announce that Reigns had a match when Luke Harper came out without warning?

– The Reigns-Harper match wasn’t much to write home about, as the two don’t really mesh together. The story was about Harper owning Reigns and Reigns eventually making a big comeback, which happened. The post match attack by Show on Reigns was expected after Reigns kicked him earlier on. Take note that Show also knocked out Cena and Reigns on the same night.

– The second Miz/Mizdow backstage segment about the Globes and Mizdow claiming he set up cameras around his house was typical WWE campy humor.

– The Naomi-Alicia Fox match had the story of Naomi already with only one hand in use, which sort of gave her an out to lose. Fox won with a Scissors Kick to little reaction.

– The second psychic evaluation segment with image association was a few decent laughs with Ambrose insulting pictures of Authority members, favoring Reigns, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and calling Stephanie McMahon a “ho.”

– It was smart to have the Brock Lesnar appearance in the same city where he ended Undertaker’s streak. We had to know that would be an in-ring promo focus from the get-go. Heyman took things up a notch with his delivery. There is no promo as good as his right now, his “fantasy and reality” knocks to Cena and Rollins were great.

– The Miz (w/Mizdow)-Jey Uso (w/Jimmy) match was more focused on Mizdow’s impressions outside the ring than the action inside of it. Miz won with the Skull-crushing finale.

– The Daniel Bryan promo in the city where he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship had to bring some goosebumps. This was the second promo drawing back to last Wrestlemania, but that was perfectly fine here. Stephanie’s interruption was mainly to advertise her fitness DVD and mention his failures in the year. Bryan’s comebacks worked because of the crowd reaction. The announcement of Kane as Bryan’s opponent on Smackdown wasn’t a shock and the confrontation between the two was good, with Kane teasing the steel step tombstone and Bryan making a comeback. This made Bryan look good and hyped their match for Smackdown. Good stuff.

– The backstage segment with Lesnar and Rollins showed off their side of the match and you got the sense that the two don’t like each other, while Heyman offered to smooth things over by having Lesnar and Rollins work together during the match to get rid of Cena and have the two of them battle it out.

– The Brie Bella (w/Nikki)-Paige match was good for what it was, but it might be hard for fans to root for Paige since her new “best friend” is Natalya, who is associated with Tyson Kidd, a heel. This did come into play when Kidd cost Paige the match. This also furthered tensions between Kidd and Natalya and Natalya’s smirk when Paige slapped him told us that too.

– The Bray Wyatt promo was once again about the Royal Rumble. Too short to take anything from that. – The video package for Randy Savage was nice and classy. If he’s the first inductee in this Hall Of Fame class, we have to wonder who else there will be.

– To follow that with The Ascension was groan-inducing. They gave a box promo where they said they were better than the teams they take after… Again. They beat another team of local jobbers. We get their act by now. Basically what JBL said on commentary.

– The next psychic evaluation segment had Ambrose turn the tables and become the doctor and he brainwashed the doctor into signing papers that cleared him to compete in the Royal Rumble. Sounds about right.

– The Rusev/Lana in-ring promo tore down Ryback, Cena and America. Good stuff, but more of what we have seen before. The interruption by Ambrose brought something new to things. This might mean that Ambrose has his sights set on the United States Championship soon or that Rusev was his new feud for the day.

– The Ambrose-Rusev match that followed was okay until the lame finish where the referee basically stopped the match because Ambrose couldn’t continue. This made Ambrose look more weak, and the post match attack on him by Rusev didn’t help.

– The contract signing segment with Rollins, Cena and Lesnar/Heyman set up that Rollins with The Authority were a force to be reckoned with, though each man had time to explain their side of things and we had to know action would break out. Right now, Rollins is pretty unstoppable and this could very well lead to him becoming Champion at the Royal Rumble someway, somehow.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Lumberjack Match – Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) def. John Cena via pinfall

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

– Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper via pinfall

– Alicia Fox def. Naomi via pinfall

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

– Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) def. Paige (w/Natalya, Tyson Kidd) via pinfall

– The Ascension def. Two Local Jobbers via pinfall

– Rusev def. Dean Ambrose via Referee stoppage