– After some brief silliness between Michael Cole, Booker T, and JBL, we were treated with last night’s World championship triple threat match. I haven’t yet had the chance to watch it, so this is a pretty incredible RAW event. I understand that there isn’t a live RAW tonight, but this is crazy…putting a PPV’s main event on RAW the following night. LOVE it.
– The first couple minutes of the match were incredible, with Brock Lesnar throwing around both Seth Rollins and John Cena like they were rag dolls.
– I hate that Cena doesn’t sell beatings. I mean, after multiple suplexes and being dominated by Lesnar, he perked right up when facing off against Rollins one-on-one. This is why people hate Cena so much. It isn’t that he wins all the time, it’s the whole “Super Cena” nonsense.
– Thankfully, Lesnar was booked to be an unstoppable monster. He took a shit-ton of punishment yet still got up…much to the announcer’s surprise. The crowd was cheering hard for him and the match was booked to show Lesnar as the super-attraction that he is. And the thing I loved the most is that through it all, he still sold better than Cena did. Lesnar is just THAT good.
– I’ll give credit where it’s due, though. The whole “Brock Lesnar is injured” angle was fantastic. People legit believed that he was seriously hurt on that incredible Seth Rollins elbowdrop.
– They announced that Daniel Bryan will take on Kane in a Casket Match on a live Smackdown this Thursday. They need to find something else for Bryan to do after this match and quick.
– Seth Rollins was interviewed by Michael Cole about the match last night. They ran through the match and Rollins basically proclaimed that he was robbed of the title at the Rumble. It was a decent enough promo by Rollins, but the interesting part came at the end when Cole said that Lesnar would be speaking next. Rollins said that if Lesnar wanted his interview seat, then he’d have to move him himself.
– Not much to the “confrontation” between Rollins and Brock Lesnar. And really, there wasn’t much to the interview, either. It was interesting to see Lesnar speak on his own, but thankfully Paul Heyman was also there to make things watchable. At this point, there was no animosity between Lesnar and Roman Reigns…so it was set-up to seem like this will simply be a battle of two mastodons. Lesnar congratulated Reigns on his victory at the Rumble and said that he’d stick around so he could meet him later in the show.
– We were all then treated to the Royal Rumble match in its entirety.
Yeah…you just keep telling yourself that.
– I think we all realized just how much of a snooze-fest this could be when we were treated with Miz vs Ron Killings as the first two men in the Rumble. Of course, as soon as I say that they REALLY treat us by giving us what makes the Rumble so great: a surprise entrant.
– I was pumped to see Bubba Ray Dudley make his return to Philadelphia, as was the crowd. I was a little disappointed, though, because I was hoping Dudley would make his return to WWE under a different gimmick (a la Bradshaw turning into JBL) because, quite frankly, Dudley is a world-champion quality heel. Oh well…it was fun while it lasted.
– I think the star of the Rumble was Bray Wyatt. He delivered about a half dozen eliminations while being in there for over 40 minutes and was responsible for eliminating favourites Dudley and Daniel Bryan. There was always the possibility that he could win this thing because let’s face it: he is deserving of the spot. Of course, he wasn’t alone in that description.
– Speaking of Daniel Bryan, though…I don’t know how you could watch the Rumble and not see that Bryan was CLEARLY the overwhelming favourite by the fans to win the whole thing. I just don’t understand how Vince believes that putting him over isn’t good for business. The fans spoke last year and they are speaking again this year. Yes, Vince…you’re out of touch.
– I gotta admit…I didn’t really pop for the surprises of seeing Boogeyman or Dallas Page. I mean, DDP looked blown up after making his way to the ring. Sure, it was nice to see the occasional Diamond Cutter…but meh. It didn’t do anything for me. The Philadelphia crowd was really nice to him.
– As I watch Daniel Bryan’s elimination, I’m just baffled at the booking of it all. I mean, he was barely in there. The crowd was legitimately shocked, and not in a good way. The wind got taken out of their sails and their enjoyment of the PPV was gone at that point. There was a way to overcome this hatred, though…there were still a lot of favourites left to wrestle.
– Damien Mizdow came in to a thundering ovation. He was immediately booked to get thrown out of the ring after hitting two moves. The wind, again, was taken out of the crowd’s sails. Dean Ambrose entered the Rumble soon afterwards. The crowd was chanting for him. Good sign, right? Heel favourites like Bad News Barrett and Cesaro came out too late to really show the world what they had to offer. The final entrant was Dolph Ziggler and the place exploded. So how did WWE book them? They not only got beat, but were destroyed and dumped out by the Big Slow and Corporate Kane. The crowd reaction HAD to be expected at that point, didn’t it?
– The booking of the finish was classic Vince. I mean, if this was 1985 and it was Hulk Hogan eliminating King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd it would have been perfect. Outnumbered by the two biggest men on the roster, Reigns dumped them both out single-handedly before spearing Rusev out of his trunks and winning the 2015 Royal Rumble. The problem was that he was booked like “Super Cena”…and people are SICK of this style of booking. It’s nothing that Reigns has done wrong…he’s been working his ass off. But the booking of the final few minutes just pissed off a ton of people that could see the finish coming from a mile away and weren’t happy about it at all.
– Once the match was over, Byron Saxton sat down to interview Roman Reigns. I’ll be honest, he was asked a couple of questions that I wasn’t expecting…particularly about being “hand picked” by upper management. I thought Reigns was eloquent and intelligent with his responses, and THIS was what Reigns had been missing over the past couple of months. No “Vince promo” nonsense…just a well-spoken individual.
– They announced that the planned WrestleMania match of John Cena vs Rusev will now take place at the new PPV next month, FastLane. Of course, the WWE Network will probably be free in February so they’re trying to hot-shot Network numbers before Mania. I’m a bit surprised at this but anticipate a non-finish to set-up Cena pinning Rusev at Mania in a rematch.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger is going into the “Celebrity Wing” of the WWE Hall of Fame.
– Dean Ambrose apparently hitchhiked his way to WWE HQ just to give a weird promo. Good for him, I guess.
– Renee Young interviewed Daniel Bryan next. He basically tried to put over Reigns and take “the blame” for not winning the Royal Rumble himself. Will it work? Well…it wasn’t a blatant “cheer Roman” promo, but it was close. Thankfully, Bryan delivered his promo in a believable way so it didn’t come off too cheesy.
– Next up was supposed to be an interview by Michael Cole with both Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, but Paul Heyman ended up in the interviewer spot asking Reigns questions. Heyman ended up delivering a spell-binding promo that made Twitter go silent. It really spoke volumes about how this whole match will be set-up: Heyman will MAKE this match.
To end the show…
So here’s the question: did WWE do enough to undo the damage of the Royal Rumble? I’d dare say that they did…at least if enough people tuned in to watch. I guess we’ll find out over the next few weeks how this situation unfolds.
What did YOU think about RAW last night?