1/27 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Royal Rumble fallout, Daniel Bryan followup, first appearances from Batista, Randy Orton, and John Cena after being jeered by the Royal Rumble crowd, Brock Lesnar advertised
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Cleveland, Ohio at Quicken Loans Arena
[Q1] Raw opened with still shots from the Royal Rumble of The Wyatt Family costing John Cena the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match... Michael Cole checked in on commentary where he was joined by JBL and Jerry Lawler...
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made their entrance as JBL gushed over them as "the greatest power couple in the world." As they headed to the ring, the announcers narrated still shot photos of the Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show match from the Royal Rumble.
Stephanie welcomed viewers to Raw and was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos. She said the Royal Rumble was one of the most entertaining nights in history. The fans chanted "Yes" and she acted as if they were agreeing with her. Funny. "Oh, did someone not get what they wanted," Triple H mocked in a baby-talk voice. "Oh, that's too bad."
Hunter said it was an incredible night. He spoke about Randy Orton beating John Cena, which drew some boos. He said Brock Lesnar destroyed Big Show. Scattered boos. "And it was a night where our good friend returned after four years to defeat 29 other superstars and win the Royal Rumble, and Dave Batista secured his spot in the main event of WrestleMania." More boos.
Stephanie said there is one more stop on the road to WrestleMania at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Steph said Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship inside the Elimination Chamber.
Daniel Bryan's music hit and the crowd erupted with Yes! chants. Cole said this is what the WWE Universe wanted during the Rumble and it's what they want on Raw. JBL said you want a lot of things, but it doesn't mean you're going to get it. Bryan asked the fans to stop with the Yes! because they don't like it. "We don't want to make The Authority mad," he mocked.
Stephanie said she didn't think the fans would fall for his "cheap parlor tricks but I guess I was wrong." Bryan said that people were mentioning his match as one of the highlights of the Rumble. Hunter said it was a good little effort, Steph said it was a great match. "Thank you," Bryan said.
Powell's POV: Wait, didn't he lose that match?
Bryan said the biggest disappointment was that he wasn't in the Royal Rumble. He said there is a Yes! Movement going on. He said he asked them to be in the match and they repeatedly told him no. Steph said they have to think of wrestler safety and didn't want to put him in jeopardy by putting him in the ring twice in one night.
Bryan pointed out the handicap matches he has worked. Hunter said it was a fair point and that's why they didn't want to do it to him again last night. Steph said Bryan only thinks of himself, whereas they have a lot of people to think about. She asked if Bryan thinks the people only came to see him. The fans responded with a loud Yes! chant.
"Uh, let me answer your question with another question," Bryan said. "Did you people come here to see Randy Orton?" The fans yelled no. Rinse and repeat for Triple H. Bryan said people can come and watch whoever they want. He said the fans get to pick their favorite superstars. "But listen, listen to these people!" he said.
Stephanie said she couldn't really tell what they were saying because some were chanting one thing while others were chanting something else. A loud "Daniel Bryan" chant started. Bryan said he wasn't going to complain about the Rumble because what happened happened. He turned his focus to the Elimination Chamber. "I want in that match," Bryan said. The fans responded with Yes! chants.
Hunter whispered to Stephanie. Bryan said he wants the match and the fans want that match. He asked Stephanie to step aside. "Hunter, I don't think either of us should leave this ring until I get what I want," Bryan said while stepping up and going nose to nose with Triple H, who engaged in a long stare down.
"That sounds good, Daniel, but it's not just me and you in this ring," Hunter said. "It sounds like right about now you have company." The Shield music played. Hunter and Stephanie left as Bryan ran to ringside and grabbed a chair. The Shield surrounded the ring as Cole said Bryan was clearly being punished for speaking out.
Roman Reigns caught Bryan with a shot to the head. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose helped put the boots to Bryan. Sheamus's music played and he ran out and fought The Shield members, but he was quickly outnumbered. The fans chanted for C.M. Punk, but John Cena's music played instead.
[Q2] Cena ran out and helped even up the numbers. Bryan, Sheamus, and Cena cleared The Shield from the ring... Cole hyped Randy Orton appearing later in the show...
Powell's POV: A very good opening segment. Hunter and Stephanie were heels, while Bryan was a determined babyface who finally stood up for himself rather than being all smiles. I also like the way they had Cena make the save. He's a babyface and it makes sense to try to get some of the Bryan fans on his side. Sheamus is the interesting part of this, as he is rumored to be facing Bryan in a match at WrestleMania 30. In other words, keep an eye on him tonight if they book a six-man tag match with these six wrestlers. By the way, rough landing for Seth Rollins, who tripped coming over the barricade (thanks to Dot Net reader Robin Bal).
The broadcast team recapped the opening segment. Cole announced Bryan, Cena, and Orton vs. The Shield in a six-man tag match. He said the winning team will enter the Elimination Chamber match...
Powell's POV: I like it. It gives the six-man tag match some meaning and starts the hype for Elimination Chamber.
1. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Colter cut a promo as he led his team to the ring. Cole said eight different nationalities were represented in the Rumble match. Colter ended up scolding Jack Swagger at ringside and slapping him across the face. Cesaro intervened and then Swagger dominated Sin Cara heading into the break. [C]
Cole said Colter slapping Cesaro was strategy that paid off because it fired up Swagger. Cesaro tagged in and was backdropped to the floor. Sin Cara tried to tag Mysterio, but Cesaro pulled Rey to the floor.
[Q3] The crowd cheered as Mysterio tagged into the match and performed some of his signature spots on Cesaro. Late in the match, Cesaro caught Sin Cara with an uppercut and then put him away with The Neutralizer. Colter shook hands with his men afterward and all was well with The Real Americans...
The Real Americans defeated Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in 9:50.
The announcers hyped the main event, and The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust for later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: I guess this means WWE isn't threatened by the original Sin Cara's claim of having ownership of the gimmick and likeness. Shocking. Now that we see Zeb's slap is effective, I have every intention of bitch slapping Chris Shore as a motivational tactic. Yeah, that's it, a motivational tactic.
A graphic touted Smackdown's viewership success... Bad News Barrett appeared at his elevated podium. He said the bad news is that The Miz will face Dolph Ziggler in the Battle of Cleveland. He said he's grateful that it's not the battle for Cleveland because then the match would have two losers, because Cleveland is inhabited exclusively by losers...
The broadcast team set up a WWE Network plug for the Monday Night War television show. The WWE Network launches four weeks from tonight... Fandango and Summer Rae made their entrance... [C] An ad for Smackdown essentially asked who won the Royal Rumble match. Sigh... A WrestleMania 30 video aired. The show is 69 days away...
2. Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. R-Truth. A clean-shaven Xavier Woods sat in on commentary and joked that someone stole his Royal Rumble number. Emma turned up in the crowd with a sign again.
[Q4] Fandango took a powder and Truth chased, so Summer ran interference and Fandango capitalized with a clothesline. In the end, Truth performed his finisher and got the clean pin. Woods jumped in the ring to cheerlead as Truth danced... [C]
R-Truth pinned Fandango in 3:20.
Powell's POV: Fandango destroyed Woods only to turn around and lose to Truth. If you listen closely you can hear the sound of spinning wheels.
Brad Maddox stood in the ring and introduced Randy Orton as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. "The Champ is here," Orton said. He said some fans say it's a hollow victory, but he doesn't give a damn because the only thing that matters is that he won.
Orton said he got to work on Monday and found out that he would be forced to defend his title in the Elimination Chamber. He asked whether that decision came from Maddox or The Authority. He said he was the face of WWE. Batista's music hit and he was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos. Batista came out dressed like an adult this week with an army style jacket, a shirt, and jeans.
Once Batista was in the ring, there were some boos and some squealing women. Batista congratulated Orton and said he means it because it was a hell of a match. The fans chanted for Daniel Bryan. Batista stopped for a moment and looked at the crowd, then went back to his promo about winning the Rumble and taking the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
[Q5] Batista said he doesn't care who he has to go through at WrestleMania. "On April 6, I don't care whether you or The Authority like it or not, I am walking out of WrestleMania as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and nothing is going to change that," he said.
Brock Lesnar's music hit and he walked to the ring with Paul Heyman. JBL said this was unexpected and Cole put over Orton, Batista, and Lesnar being in the same ring. Heyman introduced himself to Maddox and stated his role. He said his client informed him to tell Maddox that his patience is wearing thin.
Heyman told Maddox to tell The Authority that they have two choices. He suggested they make history by having Orton vs. Lesnar for the title on the spot. Heyman said the second choice is to book Brock Lesnar vs. Batista. Heyman said he likes both options, but it's not up him. Heyman said the ultimate winners will be the WWE Universe. Heyman said he wants The Authority's answer tonight "or else"... [C]
Powell's POV: I love the way Heyman put his hands up and said, "I'm just an advocate" at ringside after the promo. I don't know what Brock's schedule is, but WWE would be wise to book either one of those matches a week out. By the way, the Cleveland crowd is pretty tame so far. They seem to share the same likes and dislikes as the Pittsburgh crowd, but they haven't been nearly as hot. Perhaps the opening segment placated them to some extent.
3. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz in the Battle of Cleveland. JBL said he heard LeBron James left Cleveland when he found out Ziggler and Miz were from there. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for this prestigious match. Yes, really. Cole said there were a lot of Browns and Indians in the crowd.
Miz applied a Figure Four at 3:15. Ziggler yelled and screamed and eventually reached the ropes to break the hold. A short time later, Ziggler hit his finisher for the win. He continued to sell the effects of the Figure Four after the match...
Dolph Ziggler beat The Miz in 4:10.
[Q6] Cole hyped the tag title match for later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: Browns and Indians?!? Those types of derogatory terms are inappropriate in 2014. Wait, what? He was talking about the local sports teams? Never mind. So, um, how about that Washington Redskins team name debate, huh?
The WWE App has been downloaded 10 million times. Meanwhile, my "How To Guide On Writing How To Guides" app has only three downloads...
4. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel. The announcers spoke about a photo that Axel sent out of himself and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the Royal Rumble and how much they look alike. Ryback ended up taking the pin after a series of moves that was capped off with a top rope splash...
The Uso Brothers defeated Curtis Axel and Ryback in 5:40.
Powell's POV: Basically, last night was the best chance that Curtis Axel ever had to get away with committing sexual harassment. As for the match, the crowd still chants Goldberg at Ryback, and the Uso's continue to impress ring but not so much with their post-match dancing.
Cole hyped the next WWE Hall of Fame inductee would be announced during the show... [C]
[Q7] 5. Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio. They showed footage of Kingston's big jump at the Rumble and said it was over 11 feet in length. Del Rio still hates Batista and said he won't make it to WrestleMania. The fans amused themselves with a JBL chant until he stood up. Del Rio jawed at JBL to sit down. The fans started a Jerry chant. Lawler also stood up just as Del Rio and Kingston did a spot where they both fell off the ring post area down to the floor. [C]
Powell's POV: Do we even know why Del Rio hates Batista so much? Is he a big Daniel Bryan fan too?
Del Rio hit Kingston with a wicked German suplex. He looked up at the WrestleMania banner for some weird reason. He set up for his superkick, but Kingston countered out of it and then missed the Trouble in Paradise kick.
[Q8] After an awkward sequence in the ropes, Kingston hit the SOS, but Del Rio reached the ropes. Del Rio hit a Backstabber for a two count. Later, Del Rio hit a double stomp onto Kingston from the second rope. Del Rio followed up with the superkick for the win...
Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston in 13:35.
Powell's POV: The crowd was more interested in the broadcast team prior to the break, but Del Rio and Kingston drew them in afterwards with good work and good near falls.
The announcers hyped the final downloadable content for the WWE2K14 game that includes Dusty Rhodes, Jake Roberts, Bruno Sammartino, Rick Rude, and Virgil...
Powell's POV: Virgil?!? This is a real test for 2K. If the game is truly realistic then his character will blow at least three spots in each match.
6. The New Age Outlaws vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Road Dogg delivered his usual pre-match mic work and did the "up in this..." He let the crowd fill it in and they didn't do a very good job. "Y'all know I can't say that no more," he said.
Dogg said he wanted to dispel the rumors that they got the titles because of past relationships. He said the truth is they got the titles because they are the best at what they do. He said Goldust and Cody were good at the Rumble, but they were not good enough. The Outlaws were cleared to ringside, where Dogg told Gunn they shouldn't have to defend the titles one night after winning them.
[Q9] The announcers clowned around after Dogg took JBL's hat and used it to fan Gunn. Dogg looked to them later and asked what was going on after he was knocked into the corner. The crowd was quiet regardless of who was on the offensive, which just happened to be the Outlaws heading into the break. [C]
Dogg suffered a laceration on his forehead following a spot with Goldust. The flat crowd woke up when Cody hit his double dropkick onto both opponents. Out of nowhere, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman walked to ringside. Lesnar hit F5's on Goldust and Cody, while the Outlaws headed backstage...
The New Age Outlaws fought Goldust and Cody Rhodes to a no-contest when Brock Lesnar interfered in 11:55.
Heyman took the mic and said The Authority chose option three by not responding, meaning Lesnar would fight no one. He said he would show what happens when he doesn't get what he wants. Lesnar struck Goldust and Cody with chair shots and left them lying as his music played... [C]
Powell's POV: Where was Brock prior to the commercial break? He could have spared us the snoozer. Dogg was at least trying to be a heel during the match. If those two are going to be around, they either need to be established as two guys who are oblivious that time has passed them by or as straight up heels. This full babyface entrance followed by some minor heel work during the matches isn't working. And if Brock really wanted to lash out at The Authority, shouldn't he have attacked the Outlaws instead of two guys The Authority have had issues with?
[Q10] 7. The Bella Twins, Cameron, and Naomi vs. Aksana, A.J. Lee, Tamina, and Alicia Fox. There was a triple suplex spot late in the match. Naomi hit the Rearview on A.J. Lee for the win The babyfaces danced afterward and Nikki broke out that weird reverse worm...
The Bella Twins, Cameron, and Naomi beat Aksana, A.J. Lee, Tamina, and Alicia Fox in 5:40.
Cole hyped the second inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV It's a little known fact that the outfits worn by Naomi is the same outfit that Prince wore when he wrote that horrible Minnesota Vikings theme song a few years back. I dig Prince's music and I love the Vikings, but that song sucked more than an eight-Diva tag match.
Jerry Lawler stood in the ring and set up the Hall of Fame announcement. A video played to announce that Jake Roberts is the second entrant in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014...
Powell's POV: I'm happy the recent comments about Ultimate Warrior didn't come back to haunt Jake. He's worked hard to get his life back together and I am happy to see one of my favorites get his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
[Q11] A graphic showed Warrior and Roberts on the WWE Hall of Fame graphic... The broadcasters set up another WWE Network spot. This time the WrestleMania Rewind show was featured. Cole hyped that all of the pay-per-views are available as part of the network deal... John Cena, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan were introduced for the six-man tag match... [C]
A video package hyped the return of Christian for Friday's Smackdown television show...
8. Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus vs. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose in a six-man tag match for three spots in the Elimination Chamber match. Reigns and Cena started off, then Cena tagged in Sheamus. Cole put over that Sheamus lasted nearly 30 minutes before being eliminated by Reigns. He also put over all of the men that Reigns eliminated.
[Q12] Bryan eventually tagged into the match to a good ovation. He put Rollins in the surfboard, then reached out to tag in Sheamus. Cena checked in a short time later and sold for The Shield members heading into the break while the fans performed dueling chants for Cena. [C]
The crowd died down as The Shield isolated Cena. Bryan and Sheamus tried to pep them up by playing to them from the ring apron. Ambrose picked up the pace and performed a nice DDT on Cena for a two count. When they stood up, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment and then made the hot tag to Bryan.
[Overrun] Bryan dropkicked Reigns off the ring apron, performed a wicked suicide dive onto Ambrose, and hit a missile dropkick on Rollins. The crowd came to life with Yes! chants as Bryan blasted Rollins with kicks in the middle of the ring. Bryan went for a cover, but Reigns broke it up. Reigns speared Sheamus, then hit Cena with a clunky spear that led to Cena gingerly rolling out of the ring. Bryan hit the running knee on Reigns.
Rollins came back with a bucklebomb on Bryan for a two count. The Yes! chant picked up, but Rollins stopped it temporarily with a move in the corner, but Bryan avoided a stomp off the top rope and suplexed Rollins. Bryan missed a dropkick in the corner. Rollins rolled up Bryan, who countered into the Yes! Lock, which Ambrose broke up.
Sheamus blasted Ambrose with a Brogue Kick, then Rollins caught Sheamus with a kick. Cena was still moving ginerly on the floor as Bryan and Rollins had a mid-ring collision. Cena got back to his corner and took a hot tag from Bryan. Cena applied the STF on Reigns, who broke free with his hands.
The Wyatt Family sounder played and the lights went out. When the lights turned on, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan were putting the boots to Cena. The Shield disappeared to ringside as Bryan, Cena, and Sheamus cleared The Wyatt Family from the ring. Ring announcer Justin Roberts announced that the babyface trio won by DQ. The heel trio fumed at ringside while the faces had a half-assed celebration...
Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus defeated The Shield by DQ in 24:30 to earn three spots in the Elimination Chamber match.
Powell's POV: A good main event match with a flat finish. They can't really have that be the way those three guys earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match. I was waiting for Triple H or one of the 25 authority figures to come out and announce that there will be a rematch next week. Speaking of authority figures, where was Kane? I only ask because I was left wondering where his new adversary C.M. Punk was tonight.
Overall, it seemed like WWE managed to quiet many of the fans who were so irate after the Royal Rumble match. There was no way to go back and do it over again, but they put Bryan right back in the title hunt via the Elimination Chamber and had him show good fire during the opening segment. Of course, they could be setting themselves up for more frustration if Bryan doesn't leave Minneapolis with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship or some indication that he will be going after the title at WrestleMania 30. I will have a lot more to say about this situation, tonight's Raw, and WrestleMania 30 during tonight's Prowrestling.net Live show, and in Tuesday's WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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