– I couldn’t think of a better way to kick of a RAW show than to bring out “The Beast” Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman. As much as I hate the fact that he hasn’t faced ANYBODY to defend the WWE title against, I have to admit I love that Lesnar has now become a bona fide “attraction”.
– The entire opening segment was fantastic. Brock Lesnar vs Triple H…Brock taking on The Authority…Seth Rollins on the big screen calling Brock a “caveman”…even John Cena coming out to bore everybody…it was all really great. I was even sooooo certain I knew where things were going with stipulations and such, but then Triple H left the decision up to the voters on the WWE app: whether or not John Cena should put his title match on the line to win back the jobs of Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler. For smarks like me, the mere possibility of having Cena lose his title opportunity is exciting. Having the WWE Universe vote to not have him even wrestle for the jobs of those three men would speak volumes, as well. I’m sure the end vote will be a landslide vote of confidence, but still…I like having the possibility being out there.
– I was surprised to see Daniel Bryan‘s opponent to be Bray Wyatt. I mean, Wyatt’s been on a tear lately and he doesn’t need the loss. Having Kane sit at ringside didn’t bode well for Bryan, either. The match itself was okay…I’ve seen both do better. I’ll say this, though: either Daniel Bryan really tweaked his neck at some point in the match or he did an absolutely KILLER job at selling (which I think was 99% the case). I was floored to see Wyatt pick up the win, even with some outside interference from Kane. That was a big-time win for him.
– The nWo meets DX backstage segment was useless. Was that really the best they could offer us in terms of a backstage skit? At least Damien Mizdow got the rub a little bit. I dunno…this should have been seen as more of a “big deal”; maybe inside the ring?
– The next segment seemed to go on forever. Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Hulk Hogan did some kind of in-ring “panel” where they answered questions. Just when the pain became unbearable, Big Slow waddled down to the ring to deliver (an admittedly) pretty good promo on the three legends. After knocking out Flair, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring and took Show out in impressive fashion. It appeared as though Show actually dislocated his right shoulder on a really hard fall. I mean…I thought I saw his shoulder sticking out in a weird way as he stood at the top of the RAW ramp, but I think that maybe it was just fat on top of bone.
– Oh…and a newly shorn Renee Young told John Cena that 85% of the WWE Universe want him to wrestle tonight and risk his title shot on Sunday. Everybody knows he’s going to win, but that 1% chance that he’ll lose intrigues me.
– Dean Ambrose (who was Flair’s pick to win the Rumble) took on Intercontinental champion Bad News Barrett in our second match of the night…halfway through the show. Barrett looks like he lost weight during his injury time off, which is good because he looks cut and definitely championship material. I was shocked…absolutely SHOCKED…to see Ambrose get a clean pinfall victory here. Why does WWE continually bury IC champions? Why did Barrett have to be the sacrificial lamb here? He’s the new IC champ…shouldn’t he be booked strong?
– After a pretty impressive Royal Rumble video package, the New Day came out to deafening silence. Thankfully, they each had live microphones to help hype-up the crowd. Sorry, WWE…but the gimmick STILL isn’t working. During the commercial, the more intriguing combination of Cesaro and Tyson Kidd came to the ring, along with Adam Rose, Natalya, and the Rosebuds. Just as things were beginning to get interesting, a “malfunction at the junction” led to Cesaro getting pinned in quick order. Just an embarrassment for everyone involved. Though I can’t lie…I’m really intrigued about the potential of a Cesaro/Kidd/Rose heel faction.
– There was a great segment with the nWo, the APA, the New Age Outlaws, and the poor Ascension. I say “poor” because the whole segment was meant to make the Ascension look like complete and total losers. It’s been a failed gimmick since the beginning, and I’m not sure what WWE has planned for The Ascension now that they’ve gotten a serious ass-kicking by a bunch of retired wrestlers. They’re such a joke.
– Triple H and Stephanie said that John Cena would wrestle Seth Rollins, Big Show, and Kane in a 3-on-1 handicap match. I guess Show didn’t really hurt himself earlier, after all.
– Somebody has been working out, eh Natalya? Damn, girl…your new look is working for you. I mean…you’re no Paige and you’re certainly no AJ, but you’re lookin’ fine. Oh…and Paige & Natalya won. Handily.
– There was a nice, quick backstage confrontation between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins.
– For the seventy-seventh time, Jey Uso took on Miz. In a bit of an upset, Uso pinned Miz cleanly after a big splash. Huh.
– So with a ton of time left in the show, the 3-on-1 match began. The camera appeared to be on Stephanie as much as it was on the match…which just got monotonous after awhile. Thankfully, the match picked-up the pace and built to a pretty good finish, which saw Sting make an appearance, distract everybody, and cause Rollins to get rolled-up by Cena.
Just when you thought things were over and the crowd was going to go home happy, Brock Lesnar came back out. and went after Rollins. Lesnar gave an F5 to Kane and a HUGE F5 to Big Show while Rollins went running for the hills.
All told, a pretty satisfying and entertaining end to a fairly blah episode of RAW. Does it make me want to order the WWE Network so I can watch the Royal Rumble this Sunday? Well…I will say this: I want to see the title match and I want to see who wins the Rumble. So they’ve got me interested, at least.
What did YOU think?