WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 05/01/2015

The Return of the Authority

The entire roster had gathered in and around the ring to welcome back the Authority. And when I say “the entire” roster, I mean it – even Darren Young, who hasn’t officially come back yet, was there. Also, it was nice to see Reigns and Ambrose, standing side by side again.

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Cena apologized to the WWE Universe and piled up a bunch of excuses for his actions. Triple H & Stephanie saved him from his misery by interrupting him midsentence. They were glowing with happiness and expressed their gratitude to both John Cena and Seth Rollins. As a present for Mr. Money in the Bank, Triple H made the WHC match at the Royal Rumble a triple threat. Rollins literally can’t lose now.

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Then Triple H promised a new, different era – one without agendas and ulterior motives….and then he went on to announce a title defense for Ziggler and a suspicious Cena Appreciation Night.

The Authority really brings nothing new to the table as of now. They are the same egotistical bullies as before but nobody expected it to be any different, right?

Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler

For once, I agree with the Authority – Barrett never lost the title, so he deserves a rematch. However, I seriously doubt that the Authority will apply the same rule when they are dealing with Daniel Bryan’s return.

The match was a complete set-up. Ziggler won in a surpassingly short amount of time, only to get viciously beat up by Barrett after the match with no referees sent out to help. And then Kane announced that it was a 2out of 3 falls match.

Obviously, the second fall went easily to Barrett. The third was the most hard-fought one but after a Bull Hammer, Ziggler had to part ways with the Intercontinental Championship.

The Authority’s first mission for 2015 was to destroy Ziggler’s dream for the New Year – to become The Man in the WWE. The walked all over Dolph’s desperate attempts to protect what was his and forced him to stand down. Great way to start the year, right?

Roman Reigns Interview

Roman Reigns just gave himself the most accurate description of Superman possible, without mentioned the word “Superman” in it.

I found it funny. It didn’t annoy me. That’s a good start.

Bray Wyatt Promo

I think I’ve lost my sensitivity to Wyatt’s promos. He spoke beautifully about the Devil, who walked by his side and I was just sitting there, waiting for him to finish.

Is it just me or is Wyatt’s gimmick becoming too detached from reality to click with the fans?

The Ascension vs ???

The Ascension cut an angry promo, based on badmouthing legendary tag teams. It wasn’t Konnor & Viktor’s best mic work and the audience didn’t respond at all. The WWE is handling the Ascension all wrong.

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The new pair of nameless local jobbers didn’t stand a chance against the Fall of Man. Even JBL pointed it out: destroying “so dramatically” two men we’ve never seen before doesn’t really do anything for the Ascension’s credibility. Booker T was trying to save Konnor & Viktor but JBL’s words couldn’t have been truer.

Rusev & Lana

A pre-recorded footage of Lana and Rusev insulting America was aired. Nothing new there, apart from the fact that Rusev got more mic time than Lana for once.

Roman Reigns vs. Big Show

Big Show speared Reigns early on and manhandled him from that moment on. Reigns took a proper beating. The footage of Big Show’s knee hitting his face in slow motion, almost made me lose some teeth.

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Show didn’t care about winning. He took the steel steps and attacked Reigns with them, causing a DQ. Back in the ring after the match, Roman managed to evade the Giant with the steps and speared him into oblivion.

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This officially made Reigns the only face to come on top on RAW.

Nikki Bella vs. Natalya

Following some Total Divas action, Paige decided to stay by ringside and help out Natalya.

Paige and Brie fought each other on the outside, Nikki got distracted and Natty won.

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After the match, the Divas Champ attacked Natalya but Paige came to the rescue and got rid of Nikki.

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I don’t trust Paige for one single moment. She is using Natalya to get herself back in the title picture.

Also, I had completely forgotten about this match when I said that Reigns was the only face to come on top on RAW. I guess, Natalya should count as well.

Dean Ambrose

Ambrose promised that this will be the end of his feud with Bray Wyatt and that the ending wouldn’t be pretty.

Ambrose, unlike Wyatt, never ceases to awe me when he speaks.

Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper

Sigh. This match is a good example of why the fans are protesting about last night’s edition of RAW.

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J&J Security were goofing around in the ring, pretending to be referees. They didn’t allow Rowan to mount any offence. They went from being unable to count when Rowan was on top, to delivering a fast count when Harper was winning in seconds.

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It was a complete and utter joke that ended with Rowan getting beat up.

Naomi & Alicia Fox

Alicia Fox found Noami backstage and attacked her. This might have meant something to the fans if we had ever heard of Naomi & Foxy’s friendship before.

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

Now, this was a great match. Actually, one deserving to be the main event…I wonder what could be more important…oh, yeah – The Cena Appreciation Ceremony. Sigh.

Ambrose and Wyatt didn’t disappoint. They had circled out of the ring, through the announce table, over the barricade and through the audience less than 5 min after the start of the match.

Ambrose started well but once again lost his advantage by getting too preoccupied with setting up props to pay attention to his opponent. Then Bray Wyatt smashed Ambrose’s knee with the ambulance door, which started the beginning of the end.

That knee of Dean’s got hit in so many ugly spots that I found it hard to watch. He sold being unable to walk like a champ but still found it in him to climb on top of the ambulance and dive off, putting Wyatt through a table.

Unfortunately, while trying to drag the much heavier Wyatt, on one leg, Ambrose put himself in a position for the Sister Abigail and Bray took his chances. After a second Sister Abigail, in front of my disbelieving eyes, the Lunatic Fringe got locked in an ambulance and driven away.

This booking is ridiculous. Dean Ambrose hasn’t won one meaningful match since the break-up of the Shield. It is true, that the guy connects with the audience and delivers no matter what, but that is not a reason to book him to lose every single feud he gets in.

The Usos & Naomi vs. Miz, Mizdow & Alicia Fox

The women started the match but didn’t stay long in the ring. Then a generic Usos vs. Miz&Mizdow match followed, until Alicia Fox got involved. She stood in Jimmy’s way to protect the Miz, Naomi rushed in to take care of her.

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Then, according to Cole’s explanation, Jimmy mistook Naomi for Mizdow, which distracted him and he got pinned by the Miz.

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I don’t need to tell you how ridiculous that sounds. But I think all the WWE is trying to do is set up the rumored Naomi heel turn. Still, they are doing a rubbish job of it.

Seth Rollins & Kane vs. Ryback

This was supposed to be Rollins vs. Ryback, 1 on 1, but ended up being Rollins & Kane vs. Ryback with J&J Security on the side.

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Obviously, Ryback lost after not one, but 2 curbstomps, just to make sure and then got beat up after the match. No surprises there.

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The whole ” the Authority, abusing their power” plot couldn’t get more repetitive. I see where the plot is going but there must have been more original ways to achieve it.

Big E vs. Adam Rose

This, out of all, was the one segment on RAW that put a smile on my face and it had nothing to do with Big E or Adam Rose.

The match was boring, the Rosebuds were cheering for Big E and then suddenly two surprisingly fit rosebuds in morph suits ran in the ring and took out Big E.

Before I could even consider the possibilities, the masks were off and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd were standing in the ring. That was simply amazing.

It was a nice surprise and I loved it! Also, those are some sick t-shirts! Thanks, Kidd & Cesaro!

The Cena Appreciation Ceremony

I’ll save you the details but to punish Cena, Triple H & Stephanie fired Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper.

By that point the audience had already either switched off their TVs or had started pulling their hair out. This show was a complete bust.

However, I want to point out that firing Ziggler, Rowan and Harper actually will harm the Authority the most. Now all three men have nothing to lose. They will want vengeance and since they are not held down by their contracts, they can do whatever they want to. All they need to do is recruit Sting as their leader and the Authority will be gone for good.

What did you think of the first Raw of the year? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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