Edge & Christian
Edge and Christian opened the show with some old-school comedy and set up a few matches + a Cutting Edge Peep Show combo. They were getting ready for the 5 seconds flash photography when Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman showed up.
John Cena ran to the ring to stand up to Heyman and Lesnar. While The Beast was enjoying the LET’S GO CENA/ CENA SUCKS chants, Christan and Edge retreated. Then Cena made a new year’s resolution to become a champ once again and almost got to Lesnar but the Beast got away.
I don’t know how Heyman still has the face to come out and say that his client is a “defending champion”. Reigning – yes, defending – no. When was the last time we saw the WWE World Heavyweight Championship put on the line? This is ridiculous.
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler
This now is what I call a champion vs. champion match! The action in the ring was just flowing flawlessly. It was a pleasure to watch.
The match ended by DQ to Rusev, who wouldn’t stop kicking Ziggler when he was down and it was a good ending. Neither man can afford to take a clean loss and lose momentum. This served to enhance Rusev’s ruthless monster heel gimmick, while demonstrating Ziggler’s resiliency as a baby face.
Rusev continued the attack after the match, placing Ziggler in the Accolade over the ropes. Dolph sold it amazingly well. Four referees and a Ryback were needed to get Rusev off of Ziggler.
Ryback was left standing tall in the middle of the ring, while Rusev retreated. I still don’t want to see Rsuev’s streak coming to an end at the hands of the Big Guy. No offense, but from those two big guys, I’d pick Rusev. However, a win for Ryback is most probably on the horizon.
I had already started to complain about Ryback’s lack of character development and the WWE Creative apparently decided to do something about it. However, this was not what I was looking for.
Ryback gave us a dramatic sob story about the hardships on his way to becoming a WWE Superstar. We were supposed to feel sympathy towards him for having seen the Miz gone further in Tough Enough than him. Then the Big Guy praised the power of pop psychology and self-help books. In the end, he finished by talking about feeding on the negativity and turning it into positivity.
This gimmick is all wrong. All wrong. Another positivity gimmick!? If it doesn’t work out for Ryabck, I’m sure he could ask the New Day to accept him as one of their own.
Natalya vs. Nikki Bella
This match was so short that I almost missed it.
Natalya tossed Nikki outside the ring and she fell in prince charming…I mean, Tyson Kidd’s arms.
Natalya was angry, got distracted and lost.
Miz / Naomi Backstage
Miz was hanging around with Mizdow when Naomi literraly jumped on his neck, hugging him. She wanted to thank the Miz privately for helping her get a Hollywood break. Even Miz was surprised.
Miz& Mizdow vs. The Usos
Say whatever you want about the Miz, but regardless of his reasons for not tagging in Mizdow, the A-lister carried quite a good match against two opponents.
Believe it or not, Miz’s performance against the Usos got some THIS IS AWESOME chants. I was thoroughly impressed.
The ending caught me by surprise. I would have never guessed that the Usos would actually succeed in winning the titles on RAW.
After the match Naomi came to celebrate with her husband. Jimmy’s post match interview made it sound like they “played the Miz”. Is he trying to tell me that Naomi’s backstage proximity to the Miz was a rouse to achieve…what? I’m confused.
Cesaro vs Bad News Barret
This was a night of surprises! Cesaro, sporting a new T-shirt, got some mic time. Last week he was tagging with Tyson Kidd and the two of them were getting their team named. What happened?
Cesaro made the terrible mistake of issuing an open challenge. He got Bad News Barret as an opponent out of it.
The match was good. Barret was in shape and Cesaro’s in-ring skills helped make BNB’s return look meaningful. It was much, much better than the expected squash match. Still, BNB won with the bull hammer.
I wonder if now BNB is going to look for his title. That would be the logical choice but if the WWE wants him face, it can’t happen.
Luke Harper vs. Jack Swagger
In the beginning of the match Swagger floored Harper outside the ring but I think this is just about the only strong point for The Real American. Harper dominated decisively and won with a devastating clothesline.
It’s strange to see a clothesline being someone’s finisher. I also really like Harper’s style and I’m rooting for him to succeed. My worry is that there’s no title opening for him and the WWE Creative isn’t great at writing meaningful side storylines.
Edge/ Christian/ John Cena
We saw footage of Cena and Edge bonding backstage. This will be important later on.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns w./Big Show on Commentary
It’s a shame that the Rollins vs. Reigns post-Shield feud never happened. The way Roman looks down on Seth is annoying. That smirk on his face before the match was offensive. Reigns should be angry at Rollins, not look at him like a joke.
The match was much better than what I expected. Judging but the tag-team match on SmackDown, I dreaded seeing Rollins vs. Reigns. I was convinced that Reigns would be booked to squash Rollins, making both of them look bad. Fortunately, it didn’t go that way.
Rollins actually did very well, staying on top throughout the match. Big Show was so into selling Rollins’ offense that it made me laugh. Also, that comment about Roman Reigns becoming Superstar of the Year “because he’s pretty” was bang on. And this comes from somebody, who supports Reigns.
Since this was another match where the two competitors couldn’t afford to lose, the Big Show got involved in the end, saving Rollins and decimated Reigns. The Giant threw Reigns over the announce table and then buried him under it. Then Reigns still managed to leave on his feet. This is how you make somebody look strong, without overdoing it. Nicely done.
After the match Seth Rollins invited John Cena for a toast at the Cutting Edge Peep Show. Seth’s overconfident smile was a giveaway for his dirt intentions.
Bray Wyatt sitting in an ambulance, addressed Dean Ambrose , to hype their ambulance match on SmackDown.
I wonder how many times can one man say “we’ve reached the point of no return” and still sound believable. Whatever the answer is, I’m pretty sure Bray Wyatt has passed the number.
Also, why do Ambrose & Wyatt only have gimmick matches? Ambrose is on my personal top list but this feud has been lacking soul all along.
Daniel Bryan announced that he was not only not going to retire, but he also entered himself in the Royal Rumble.
This is a big & pleasant surprise! Bryan in the rumble puts another favorite in the game. Things just became much more interesting!
Miz & Mizdow vs. The Ascension
Miz and Mizdow went to Christian & Edge to demand a title rematch but got a match against the Ascension instead.
The Miz stayed fully protected, as Mizdow took the pin in a short squash match.
This is not how I wanted the Ascension to debut. They should have made an impact but instead, they ended up squashing Mizdow in a forgettable under 5 min match.
The Cutting Edge Peep Show
This was smart, well-orchestrated segment. Seth Rollins got himself surrounded by J&J Security and Big Show, got rid of Christian and got Edge restrained and set to receive the curbstomp. Faced by this predicament, John Cena had to put the Authority back in power.
I saw many people complain about this segment for a number of reasons but I enjoyed it. I couldn’t have come up with a way for Rollins to get what he wants. He found one and it made sense. Cena would always pick someone innocent over anything else.
It was a matter of time until the Authority were back and Rollins just found a way to achieve the impossible sooner rather than later. However, when one day the Authority turns their back on Rollins, he will destroy them. For now, 2014 is rounding up nicely for the heel side of the WWE.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!