WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 12/01/2015

John Cena/ The Authority

John Cena was out trying to get the audience to show their dislike for the Authority and their love for the fired Ziggler, Rowan & Ryback. Then Cena tried to pull a CM Punk on the Authority – he threatened that he’d win the title at the Royal Rumble & he’d sit at home with it until the Authority hires his friends back. Ahm… I don’t think this would change anything, John. Brock Lesnar’s been sitting at home with the title for 6 months now.

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The Authority came out as well. Triple H argued that since Cena knew the stipulations at Survivor Series, it was ultimately his fault that Ziggler, Ryback & Rowan were fired. And then he gave Cena the “oopportunity to get their job back by winning a match.

As expected, John Cena never had any chance to begin with. So the next segment could have easily been skipped without missing anything from the show.

Seth Rollins vs John Cena

This was John Cena vs. Seth Rollins & The Heel Lumberjacks.

As expected, the lumberjacks protected Rollins and attacked Cena. BNB was very eager to take part in the beating of Cena for some reason.

Cena did try to make it exciting by diving off the ropes onto the lumberjacks but really, there was no suspense.

Cena locked the STF but Kane engaged in a thug-a-war game by pulling Rollins away. On the other side of the ring, Big Show pulled Cena and KOed him, leaving him an easy pin for Rollins.

Matches like this help no one. All we get from them is “The Authority’s bad. Hate them”. We already know this. We’ve been reminded of it for an entire year.

As for Cena, being an underdog – give me a break! How many did they put up against him – 12? And Rollins still barely won? Come on!

As for Rollins, he did well in the circumstances given. There was a spot where he landed an AA on his feet and then countered, following with a pin attempt. That combination there was the highlight of the match, courtesy of Seth Rollins.

The Usos / Dean Ambrose/ Stephanie McMahon

Stephanie had gathered the Usos and Dean Ambrose to tell them off because of their behavior on SmackDown. Ambrose got to do therapy, which he had to pass in order to enter the Rumble, while the Usos had to watch Naomi wrestle with one arm tied behind her back.

I feel let down. I expected something much worse to happen to Ambrose for helping Roman Reigns. Same for the Usos. Then again, I can see why the Authority doesn’t want to put too much focus on the Ambrose/Reigns situation. They could accidently wake the Shield up and they wouldn’t like that at all.

However, I need to point out that this segment had it’s good moments – Dean Ambrose’s reactions. Ambrose has the unique ability to communicate more with a facial expression than others do in a 10 minutes promo.

Miz’s Goledn Globes Afterparty

The title of the segment is self-explanatory but let’s just say that the Miz described himself as a “FOG – friends of George”, as in George Clooney. Miz’s amazing ideas just never cease to entertain me!

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Dean Ambrose in Therapy 1

Ambrose was his brilliant self, selling an entire segment, without talking.

Well, he did say one sentence and it was “Is it because I’ve been a bad little boy?”.I’ll just leave that here, you imagine the online reaction to this line.

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

This match served as a filler. Nothing exceptional happened in the five or so minutes that they had to work with.

Adam Rose and the Rosebuds were hanging out at ringside but really didn’t do much. This might be, only because the WWE needs to balance out the fact that the New Day is a trio. Although, I’m pretty sure Kidd and Cesaro would do just fine on their own.

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The one time Adam Rose decided to get involved, he got mowed down by Big E. The distraction only led to Tyson Kidd getting pinned.

Big Show/ Roman Reigns

I have to give credit to the Big Show. He’s been surprisingly entertaining on the mic lately. Telling the audience that they come from “the shallow end of the intelligence gene pool” was funny. The giant said that Roman Reigns was a loser and was no competition to him.

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Reigns didn’t seem to agree but when he came down to the ring to confront the Big Show, Show retreated to the top of the ramp. Then we were treated to Fairytale Time with Roman Reigns.

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I’m struggling to make an objective evaluation of Reigns’ mic skills. That’s because listening to him talk is like hearing your toddler speak for the first time – no matter what they say, you just sit there, staring in amazement, thinking “WOW, he talks!?”

Jokes aside, I think Reigns is improving. He’s gone far from the short badly scripted backstage promos, full of cheesy one-liners and it all happened in a single leap from one week to the other.

Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns

Since the Big Show didn’t want to fight Reigns, Luke Harper stepped in. He ran over Reigns in and out of the ring, while Big Show was cheerleading at ringside.

Reigns was setting up for the superman punch, when Big Show distracted him by tossing his char around. Later on, Roman still hit the superman punch, this time out of nowhere. This is good. A signature move that can come without all the setting up is a very useful and much more realistic.

In the end, Harper was going for his clothesline finisher, when Reigns intercepted him with a spear, getting the victory.

Big Show was angry. He assaulted Reigns after the match and KOed him.

I’m happy with this development, minus the clean loss for Harper. He’s been completely lost after the breakup of the Wyatt Family.

As for the Reigns / Big Show storyline build-up – it’s going well. No one thought Show would knock out Reigns but he did. That way, Reigns seems to have competition in this.

Miz’s Golden Globes After Part 2

We learned that Mizdow had set up hidden cameras in Miz’s house. Yeah, the Miz was surprised too.

Naomi vs. Alicia Fox

This match took an awfully long time to start and the audience lost patience. The crowd gave up on the segment and stayed scary quite the whole match.

Naomi, with one hand tied behind her back, outwrestled Alicia Fox somehow. The obvious beating we expected didn’t really happen. Naomi actually even took the fight to the outside.

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However, once they got back in the ring, Foxy surprised Naomi with the Scissors Kick and won.

I’m still uncertain whether Naomi is getting a push, or she’s merely being used as an extension to the Usos to further their storylines.

Dean Ambrose  in Therapy 2

Ambrose had to play the image – word association game and he started it with Thursday. Then he provided the following associations:

Triple H:Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Seth Rollins: Scumbag

Roman Reigns: Brotha

Kane: Toothpaste

Hacksaw Jim Duggan: HOOOOOOO!

Stephanie McMahon: *pause* HOOOOOOOO!

The guy is born to entertain. What more can I say?

Brock Lesner/ Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman took about ten minutes of time to sell Brock Lesner’s resume for the millionth time and it still sounded interesting. Then again, it shouldn’t be surprising, he IS the advocate.

The Miz vs. Jey Uso

The match was boring. There was nothing exciting to see there.

There saw another game of thug-a-war here, involving the Usos, Miz and Mzidow and somehow from there Miz won the match.

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You can easily move on to the next segment.

Daniel Bryan / Stephanie

Daniel Bryan is back and he’s ready to face the Authority in the underdog role of the “average Joe”. Then Kane comes out under Stephanie’s orders and tries to end his career. What year is it? Honestly, I thought I had transported back to 2014.

However, we can’t take it away from Bryan – he’s well liked and this time he came on top. He got the fans excited, that’s for sure. I’m just not convinced that this storyline should be kept in this form for a long time.

Seth Rollins/ Brock Lesnar

Rollins and Lesnar came face to face backstage. Neither man was about to back off in an aggressive exchange of lines, so Paul Heyman came in-between. He offered Rollins to team up with Brock against Cena and then fight it out amongst themselves, once Cena’s gone. Rollins didn’t answer.

I love this side of Rollins. It’s so proud and dignified, it’s almost face.

Brie Bella vs. Paige

There were more people outside the ring than in it. Nikki, Natalya and Tyson Kidd were all there, watching.

Paige was doing well. She was about to pin Brie when Tyson Kidd climbed on the apron and distracted her. I think he was trying to get in the ring to celebrate prematurely. This cost Paige the match.

Paige was furious and slapped Tyson. Natalya seemed to enjoy the sight.

I wonder whether this is part of the Tyson & Nikki storyline that the WWE was hinting about, or if it’s something completely different.

Bray Wyatt

Another pre-recorded promo by Bray Wyatt was aired. He hyped his new mysterious plan. I’m getting excited about finding out, who he’s next rival will be.  Harper or Rowan would be an easy choice but it would be too predictable.

The Ascension vs Local Jobbers 4

Another squash match and another promo on being better than legends. How is the Ascension expected to rise if the WWE keeps burying Konnor and Viktor with this ridiculous booking?!

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Dean Ambrose in Therapy 3

The end of the therapy session saw Ambrose, wearing glasses, sitting in the therpaist’s chair, while the shrink was lying on the sofa, crying.

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The Lunatic Fringe had the therapist sign his evaluation and then ruined the doctor completely, leaving him a sobbing mess.

Rusev vs. Ambrose

So Lana and Rusev cut another promo on Ryback and their superiority over the Americans.

Ambrose interrupted them and a match was set up.

Rusev immediately went after Ambrose’s injured leg. The Lunatic Fringe still snuck in a clothesline off the ropes and a dive from the top turnbuckle but the referee called the match off because Dean couldn’t stand on his feet.

Ambrose tried to argue with the ref and Rusev took the opening to hit surprise super kick, leaving te Luantic Fringe laying.

First of all, I believe this is the third time we see this. Ambrose comes down to the ring and attacks Rusev, only to be screwed out of the win in the end but no storyline comes out of this.  Also, why Ambrose is being booked so terribly is beyond me.

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match Contract Signing

I loved this segment. I haven’t seen a better contract signing in a while. Seth Rollins made the whole situation worth watching.

You’d expect Paul Heyman to support Rollins only as much as needed to acquire a possible ally, but to still put him down. You’d expect Lesnar to threaten both Rollins and Cena. You’d expect Cena to want to get rid of Rollins and solve his issues with Lesnar one on one. But Seth Rollins standing up to Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar is something else.

Rollins proved that he was his own man last night. He made it clear that he was going to enter the Rumble with no allies and would leave as a champion, no matter what. And then he went on to curb stomp both Cena and Lesnar.

That was a bold, bold move and I loved it.This is the Rollins I want to see. He deserves to be a credible threat, who fears nobody.

What did you think of this week’s RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!

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