Category Archives: RAW Recaps

Brendo’s RAW Recap – 2/1/16

It’s February already!  We are two months away from Wrestlemania 32 and I’ve decided I want to go as I want to see AJ Styles live.  I want to see Nakamura vs. Zayn at Takeover: Dallas.  I want to see Kevin Owens’ first WrestleMania appearance.  There are a bunch of cool things to get excited about even if the likely main event of Triple H vs. Roman Reigns isn’t one of them.  The match could surprise us all though. You never know, and that’s what makes wrestling so great.  Let’s get this show on the road!

Tonight we are live in Birmingham, Alabama and we start things off with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman.  Big “Suplex City” chants for Brock.  Again, I really can’t do Paul Heyman justice so I recommend checking this out for yourself.  I’ll do my best, though.  Heyman talks about how the Wyatts’ conspiracy to remove Brock from the title picture at the Royal Rumble failed.  When the time comes, he will have his revenge on the Wyatts.  He said Stephanie did what was “Beast for Business” last week by putting Brock in the Fastlane match to decide who faces Triple H at WrestleMania.  At Fastlane Brock will imprison both Ambrose and Reigns into Suplex City.  He will stack one on top of the other and pin both at the same time.  Triple H is a “Billion Dollar Trophy Husband.”  That was awesome.  Heyman is running down Ambrose, calling him a nutjob when Ambrose comes down to the ring.

Big cheers for Dean as he shows no fear stepping right into Brock’s face.  He responds to Heyman’s nutjob comments by calling Heyman “Porky.”  He says he isn’t crazy, he isn’t stupid.  He respects Lesnar.  But he wants the Title.  He wants it so bad he’s going to fight his own brother for it and he’s going to fight Lesnar.  He doesn’t want to fight Lesnar. He knows he is going to get a beating from both Lesnar and Reigns.  He hopes Brock is prepared to give him the worst beating he has ever given because he is the Iron Man of the WWE.  He says he wanted to tell Brock all this “out of respect.”  He then leaves the ring.  That was pretty great.

Kalisto vs. Rusev

Alberto Del Rio is at ringside on commentary.  He will get his rematch against Kalisto for the U.S. Title at Fastlane.   Rusev powers Kalisto into the corner out of the lockup and allows for a break.  He does it a second time and this time goes for a punch but Kalisto hits a series of quick kicks. Rusev tries to turn a Kalisto hurricanrana into a powerbomb but Kalisto slides out of it.  Rusev regains control with a series of stomps and kicks.  He goes for another powerbomb but Kalisto sends him over the top rope with a headscissors.  Kalisto goes for a plancha but Rusev responds with a big kick to the head as we go to break.

When we come back from the break Rusev is firmly in control in the ring. He hits a slam and gets a two count.  Kalisto catches Rusev with a boot to the face in the corner and hits a tornado DDT to stun Rusev.  He hits an enziguri off the ropes followed by a seated senton.  He then hits a slingshot corkscrew off the ropes and goes for a splash but Rusev catches Kalisto and plants him to the mat with a huge slam. He gets a near fall.  Rusev goes for a tackle into the corner but Kalisto dodges it and rolls up Rusev for a near fall of his own.  Kalisto then hits a headscissors and plants Rusev into the mat, getting another two count.

Rusev rolls out of the ring and Kalisto goes for a plancha off the top turnbuckle.  Rusev catches him and goes for a fallaway slam but Kalisto reverses and Rusev goes into the steps.  Both men recover on the outside as the ref starts counting.  Rusev tosses Kalisto onto the announce table but Kalisto lands on his feet and hits a headscissors.  He then hits a hurricanrana off the apron and Rusev goes into the barricade.  Kalisto gets back in the ring as the ref counts to ten and Rusev is counted out.  Kalisto gets away as Rusev and ADR try to attack him in the ring.  This was an exciting, fast paced match.

Backstage, Ambrose and Reigns are looking at the WWE Title and Stephanie comes in and talks some trash to Dean.  She says Roman knows what it’s like to be so close to the title and compete for it at WrestleMania.  She brings up all the partners who were betrayed, first mentioning Marty Janetty and then Seth Rollins betraying Reigns and Ambrose.  She says she will test their partnership by having Reigns and Ambrose team up against The New Day tonight.

Rene interviews Brie Bella backstage, asking about Nikki’s recovery from neck surgery.  Brie says Nikki is hopeful she will return to the ring but it will be a long recovery.  Charlotte interrupts and says to pass her sympathies to Nikki.  She wonders if she was responsible for Nikki’s injuries as Charlotte beat Nikki for the Divas championship and beat her again at Hell in A Cell.  Pretty good heel work from Charlotte.

The Usos vs. Curtis Axel and Adam Rose

We got a pretty good Lillian botch as she called The Usos “Grammy award winning” instead of Slammy award winning.  They replayed this after the commercial and the commentary team made some cracks about it.  The Social Outcasts explain Bo’s absence by saying Bo Rida is working on some new tracks in the studio.  In actuality, Bo and his real life brother Bray Wyatt had to leave RAW to be with their ailing grandfather, Blackjack Mulligan, who was hospitalized Monday Night.  Best wishes to Mulligan and the rest of the family.

Axel starts off against Jay.  Heath distracts Jay at the bell, allowing Axel to take control with a series of stomps in the corner.  He tags in Adam Rose, who hits a combo backbreaker off the top rope.  The Social Outcasts remain firmly in control, using quick tags, double teams, and distractions on the outside to maintain the advantage.  Axel tags in and wears down Jay with a headlock, maintaining control despite Jay’s attempts to power out.  Just as it appears Jay will get out of it, Axel whips him into the ropes and nails a dropkick.  He tags in Adam Rose, who gets Jay in a sleeper hold.  Jay does power out of this, hits an enziguri on Rose, and manages to get the hot tag to Jimmy.  Jimmy clears the ring with a series of superkicks.  He tags back in Jay as they hit a double superkick on Rose and then Jay hits the top rope splash to get the pinfall win.  I enjoyed this match for the most part but the Uso comeback was pretty by the books.  This definitely didn’t do much to establish The Social Outcasts as serious competitors as they were basically all taken down by Jimmy Uso.

MizTV with AJ Styles

The Miz starts off by praising AJ’s Royal Rumble debut.  He says that AJ’s story is phenomenal and introduces AJ, who comes out to a big pop.  We are shown highlights from AJ’s great RAW debut match against Chris Jericho as AJ makes his way into the ring. Miz starts off by saying that the WWE Universe wants to know who AJ Styles is.  AJ tries to respond but The Miz proceeds to tell AJ’s story of overcoming the odds to become a star football player in high school.  He then talks about AJ’s career in wrestling, traveling all over the globe and performing in smaller organizations.  He says that AJ spent those years wondering what it would be like to be in the WWE and finally he made it into the Royal Rumble.  He says doubts still linger for AJ despite his achievements.  He then asks AJ where does he go from here but interrupts AJ before he can answer.

The Miz says AJ reminds him of his former protege, Daniel Bryan.  He says Bryan didn’t do anything of merit until The Miz took him under his wing.  He tries to get a Yes chant going and the crowd responds with No’s.  He offers to be AJ’s mentor.  The crowd starts booing and this sets off the Miz, who reminds us of all his achievements and asks who the hell AJ is anyway.  AJ may have been a big fish in a small pond, but this is an ocean full of sharks and AJ will drown if he listens to the WWE Universe.  The crowd is now chanting for AJ.  The Miz says there is no chance in hell AJ can make it in the WWE without him.  AJ finally attacks The Miz, slamming him in to a chair and punching him in the corner.  Miz takes off and runs backstage as AJ yells “Do you know me know?  I’m AJ Styles!”  Great way to spotlight AJ and the crowd ate it up.  

Brie Bella vs. Charlotte

Brie is accompanied by Alicia Fox and Charlotte is accompanied by her dad.  Charlotte starts off by taunting Brie by doing some push ups in the ring.  Brie goes after Charlotte and hits some punches followed by some stiff kicks and a dropkick.  She goes for a running attack but Charlotte dodges it and sends Brie flying through the ropes.  She attacks Brie on the outside and tosses her back in.  She then slams her face into the mat twice and goes for a pin, getting a two count.  Charlotte follows this up with a couple knees to the midsection and slams Brie back to the mat.  She gets Brie in a leglock to the head and slams her to the mat.  Brie bridges out and turns it into a pin attempt, getting a two count of her own.  She hits Charlotte with a running bulldog and gets another two count.  Charlotte looks for a backslide but Brie counters with a backslide of her own, getting another near fall.  Brie goes to the top rope but Charlotte catches her on the ropes.  Brie then counters with a sleeper.  Ric Flair hops up on the apron.  He and Alicia Fox get into it a bit and Ric keeps up his antics on the apron.  Charlotte gets out of the sleeper with a backdrop slam on Brie and goes for the Figure Eight.  Brie manages to reverse it into a rollup and surprises Charlotte with a three count.  Brie celebrates her victory over the Divas Champion as Charlotte looks on in stunned silence.  Brie looked really good here but I’m not sure what this means for the title picture as you already have Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks vying for the belt.  I guess more viable contenders is never a bad thing and I don’t see any problem with making Charlotte look vulnerable.

The Big Show vs. Erick Rowan

As I mentioned previously, Bray isn’t here as he had to leave to be with his grandfather.  Rowan comes to the ring with Harper and Strowman.  Harper and Strowman surround Big Show on the outside before the match starts and Show fends them off by grabbing the ring steps.  He starts off against Harper with some punches and goes after Rowan in the corner.  Rowan goes for a slam but Show counters with a suplex.  Strowman and Harper both try to distract Show but he knocks them off the apron.  Rowan goes for a running attack from behind but Show counters with a chokeslam and gets the three count.  That was a nothing match but its main purpose was to set up the beat down of Big Show in the ring after the match.  The Wyatts roll Show outside the ring and whip him into the steps.  Harper gets up on the steps and kicks Show in the face. Strowman and Rowan then slam Big Show onto the steps to finish things off.

Titus O’Neil vs.  Tyler Breeze

It’s good to see Breeze on RAW as we haven’t seen much of him lately.  O’Neil starts things off by countering a Breeze headlock with a slam.  Breeze goes for a top rope attack and Titus catches him and nails Breeze with a backbreaker.  Breeze makes a comeback by countering a Titus corner attack and nailing Titus with a series of kicks.  He then gets Titus in a half crab but Titus gets to the ropes.  Breeze tries to drag Titus to the corner but Titus throws him across the ring with one arm.  He then nails Breeze with a huge clothesline and follows it up with Clash of the Titus to get the win.  That was very disappointing. Maybe the rumors of Breeze being in the doghouse with Vince are true.  Titus appears to have tweaked his knee though as he removes his knee pad and limps out of the ring.

Backstage Triple H confronts Brock Lesnar and asks if Lesnar is going soft as he let Dean walk out of the ring earlier.  Brock says they will find out at WrestleMania and he will see Triple H there.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens

Hopefully this will be great and bring things up after the last two not so great matches.  Owens starts off in control, tossing Ziggler to the outside and talking trash.  Ziggler hits a dropkick and Owens rolls out of the ring.  Ziggler goes for a running attack on the outside but Owens counters and throws him into the timekeeper’s area as we go to break.  When we come back Owens has Dolph back in the ring in a headlock.  Dolph attempts to power out but Owens whips him into the turnbuckle and he hits it hard.  Owens follows up with his cannonball splash.  He then nails a downed Ziggler with some kicks.  Ziggler fights back with some punches and a headbutt but Owens nails a big boot and gets a two count on Ziggler.  Owens continues to taunt Dolph as he nails him with some stomps.  He punches Ziggler in the head as he continues to taunt him.  He then nails a short clothesline and goes for a senton but Ziggler rolls out of the way.

Owens goes for a tackle in the corner but Ziggler gets out of the way and Owens eats the ringpost.  Ziggler nails a series of splashes but Owens powers out with a big slam.  He whips Ziggler in the ropes, going for the Pop Up Powerbomb but Ziggler hangs on to the ropes and nails Owens with a superkick.  Owens goes to the outside and Ziggler hits the fameasser on the floor.  He rolls Owens back in and goes for the pin but only gets a two count.  Ziggler goes for the Zig Zag but Owens counters with a backdrop slam and gets a near fall.  Owens catches Ziggler in the corner and hits another cannonball splash.  He then goes for the Pop Up Powerbomb but Dolph counters with the Zig Zag and gets the three count for the win.  This was a great back and forth match.  Ziggler took some crazy bumps and both of these guys looked great.

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

Sasha starts off with an in-ring promo to tell us she’s back and that this time it is on her terms. She is on her own now and nothing with stop her from becoming Divas Champion.  Sasha says Becky and Brie can’t hold a candle to her.  Naomi and Tamina interrupt.  They say this is a proud moment as Sasha is out on her own.  Sasha says Team BAD will always be her family but she needs to do this on her own.  Naomi says she understands, that she knew this would happen as all partnerships must end at some point.  Naomi says they can be competitors and still be sisters.  Naomi says they have Sasha’s back.  Sasha says she still wants the three of them to have unity and they do their unity handshake thing as Becky comes to the ring.

Sasha and Becky lock up and Sasha slams Becky to the mat, taunting Becky.  Becky hits a takedown on Sasha but Sasha counters with a rollover and get get a one count.  Becky counters with a pin attempt of her own, getting a one count as well. The two hit the ropes and Becky hits an armdrag on Sasha.  Sasha then gets Becky in the corner and hits Becky with a double knee drop.  Sasha hits a running armdrag out of the corner and then kicks Becky off the apron and to the floor. Naomi and Tamina grab Becky but Sasha tells them to leave Becky alone as she says she has this.  Naomi and Tamina seem to oblige but then drag Sasha out of the ring and attack her on the floor, causing the ref to ring the bell.  Becky comes to Sasha’s aid as they take out Naomi and Tamina together.  So now Team BAD has imploded.  Hopefully this will be the end of the silly faction wars that stifled what could have been a great Divas Revolution and we will get some real feuds and matches.

Rene Young interviews Chris Jericho backstage, bringing up Jericho’s loss to AJ Styles on last week’s RAW.  Jericho says everyone is talking about Styles but he isn’t talking about him, he’s thinking about him constantly.  He says anything can happen in the WWE and that it happened last week.  He puts over AJ, saying AJ is there for the long haul and he is the real deal.  He says he is going to be paying close attention to what happens in AJ’s match with The Miz on Smackdown.

R-Truth is in the bathroom and finds Goldust standing on a toilet.  Goldust asks him to be his tag team partner and that Golden Truth is a hot idea.  R-Truth says he’s flattered but he doesn’t want to tag with him.  Goldust asks why and Truth says Goldust is a weirdo.  He then makes fun of the fact that Goldust just stepped in a toilet.  Goldust makes fun of the fact that Truth’s last partner was the imaginary Little Jimmy.  R-Truth says that cuts deep and leaves.

The New Day vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

Big E starts off by calling Birmingham “Booty-ham” in their intro.  Paul Heyman is at ringside on commentary.  Xavier gets on the mic and says they are sick and tired of hearing about Bootygate, which they use to refer to The Rock’s comments about them on RAW last week.  They say The Rock has a problem with foul language and that this is family programming.  They implore Rock to think of the children.  They cut to a kid wearing a Bullet Club shirt.  They say tonight is about revenge and tonight they will beat up The Rock’s cousin and his friend, referring to them as “Ambreigns.”  Great stuff from The New Day, as always.

Kofi and Big E will be competing for The New Day and it’s Reigns and Kofi to start things off.  Kofi starts off with a series of headlocks and hammerlocks and taunts Reigns.  They go for a test of strength and Kofi kicks out of it and gets Reigns in a headlock.  Roman powers out and then knocks Kofi down with a right hand.  Ambrose tags in and punches Kofi in the corner.  He follows up with a side suplex and then nails a downed Kofi with a running clothesline.  They then trade blows in the corner and Ambrose comes out on top after a series of chops. He then slams Kofi and tags in Reigns.  Reigns goes for a tackle in the corner and Kofi counters with an elbow.  Reigns then nails him with a big boot.  He goes for a Superman Punch but Big E drags Kofi out of the ring as we go to break.

When we come back from the break Kofi is in control in the ring.  We are shown that during the break Big E tackled Reigns into the barricade on the outside.  Big E tags in and nails Reigns with a series of kicks to the gut.  He then goes for a splash on the apron but Reigns rolls out of the way and Big E lands hard.  Reigns tags in Ambrose who hits a series of strikes on Big E.  He then counters a Big E Irish whip with a running forearm.  Kofi tries to interfere and Ambrose goes after him on the outside, throwing him into the barricade.  Big E tries to capitalize on the distraction but Ambrose tosses him to the outside.  Ambrose then nails a suicide dive on Big E.  While Ambrose is celebrating, Xavier nails him with a kick from behind and Big E is able to tag out to Kofi.  Kofi hits Ambrose with a kick from the apron, tosses him inside, and gets a two count.  The New Day then gang up on Ambrose with the Unicorn Stampede.  They finish the double team off with Big E whipping Kofi into the corner and Kofi nailing a dropkick on Ambrose.

Kofi continues the assault on Ambrose, hitting a chop and a big kick in the corner.  He tags in Big E who gets Ambrose in an abdominal stretch.  He spanks Ambrose repeatedly trying to get a “New Day Rocks” chant going but Ambrose gets out of it by biting Big E on the nose.  Big E responds with slam and tags out to Kofi.  Kofi goes for a flying attack off the top turnbuckle but Ambrose counters.  Kofi manages to tag out to Big E before Ambrose can get the energy to tag in Reigns.  Big E goes for a slam but Ambrose counters with a suplex, creating some space and allowing him to make the hot tag to Reigns.  Big E tags in Kofi but Reigns is all over him.  He nails a series of slams and then some clotheslines in the corner.Very mixed reaction from the crowd.  Reigns goes for a Superman Punch but Xavier and Big E distract Reigns on the apron.  He fights them off but Kofi is able to capitalize and hits a kick on Reigns in the corner and is able to tag out to Big E.  Big E goes for a slam but Reigns reverses and both men are down.  They both tag in their partners and Ambrose tries to clean house but gets distracted by Xavier on the outside.  Kofi hits a big kick from the apron but Reigns hits a clothesline off the steps on Kofi.  Big E surprises Reigns with a big slam on the floor.  Big E tosses Ambrose back in and nails him with a running attack.  He sets up Ambrose for a Kofi attack from the top rope but Ambrose gets out of it.  Reigns takes out Kofi with a spear and Ambrose nails Big E with Dirty Deeds to get the three count.

Before Reigns and Ambrose can celebrate, Brock comes out.  Kofi and Xavier attack Reigns and Ambrose from behind.  Reigns and Ambrose are able to fight them off but Brock gets in the ring and nails Ambrose with an F5.  We end the show with Brock standing tall on the stage.  Overall this was an enjoyable RAW.  There were a couple dud matches but I think it did a good job building feuds and matches for Fastlane and continuing the road to WrestleMania.  There was a lot of emphasis on Ambrose tonight, which is exciting, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Brendo’s RAW Recap – 1/25/16

It’s the RAW after the Royal Rumble!  Last night’s PPV met all of my expectations and then some.  Even though I was disappointed with the finish and having to deal with what will likely be 2+ months of Triple H as champion, overall it was a great card and built up some feuds and continued some stories.  WWE has been hyping the return of a “major star” tonight, so hopefully that will be cool and AJ Styles will be making his RAW debut as well.

We start off with a recap of the Royal Rumble.  Haha, some guy in the Royal Rumble audience was holding up a stuffed poo emoji when Triple H won the belt.  Vince and Stephanie come strutting out.  We were discussing in the MBWS Facebook Group today about how the WWE has basically been doing a form of Austin vs. McMahon since 1997.  It’s old.  It needs to go.  Hopefully this is the last run.  Hopefully.  Vince says Roman Reigns is broken.  Vince runs down the crowd quite a bit.  Vince says that he confesses that he enjoys the misfortunes and misery of others and that no one is more miserable than Roman Reigns and just like the WWE Universe, he’s going to stay that way.  Steph said that we were all living in a pipe dream if we thought AJ, Ambrose, or Roman were going to win.  Huge AJ chants.  Steph introduces Triple H, who comes to the ring wearing a suit.  He opens his jacket to reveal the WWE title around his waist.

Triple H says he has to hand it to Roman Reigns.  He says Roman Reigns could be the best but he is not because he lacks respect and that Roman needs to learn his place.  He says that Vince McMahon might as well be God and that he won’t allow Roman to disrespect him.  He says a lot of people will ask why he needs to be WWE Champion.  He says he doesn’t need to be WWE champion but he wants to be WWE champion because people like Roman Reigns want to be WWE champion and they don’t deserve it and until he says so he will be champion.  Loud Roman chants from the crowd.  Steph wonders who Triple H is going to teach a lesson to at WrestleMania.  She says tonight they will be evaluating all the wrestlers and tonight they will announce the Main Event at FastLane.  The winner of that match will challenge Triple H for the title at WrestleMania 32.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens

Owens’ left elbow is taped up after last night’s brutal Last Man Standing match.  Ziggler hits a superkick as soon as the bell rings and gets a two count.  Owens rolls out of the ring and he and Ziggler brawl at ringside.  Owens slams Ziggler into the barricade and drags him back in the ring, nailing him with punches and kicks in the corner.  Owens goes for a backdrop but Ziggler counters it with a dropkick and Owens again rolls out of the ring.  After the break Owens is in control and nails Ziggler with a headbutt.  He gets a two count on the pin attempt.  They go back and forth a bit.  Ziggler nails the Fameasser and gets a two count.  He then goes for a suplex but Owens counters by going for a Samoan Drop.  Ziggler counters by getting Owens in sleeper hold.  Owens gets out and goes for the cannonball splash in the corner but Dolph gets out of the way.  Owens nails Ziggler with a huge suplex out of the corner.

It looks like Dolph is out of it but he nails Owens with another superkick and gets a two count.  Ziggler tries to suplex Owens off the second turnbuckle but Owens shoves him off.  Owens goes to the top rope but Ziggler jumps up for a suplex.  Owens slides out and lands on the apron, catching Ziggler on the turnbuckle.  Owens then hits the pop-up powerbomb and gets the pin.  This was a good match with lots of back and forth action.

JoJo interviews Reigns backstage.  Pretty standard stuff here about Reigns saying he will show something to Triple H tonight.  Back in arena, the Social Outcasts are in the ring and Heath Slater talks trash to Flo Rida who is in the front row.  Adam Rose calls Heath Slater “Red Dragon” and that when he gets mad he spits fire.  Pretty great.  Bo Dallas then challenges Flo Rida to get in the ring and Flo Rida jumps the barrier and does so.  Heath Slater challenges Flo to a rap battle.  Flo Rida is surprised at this and Heath then says he won’t be facing Heath, he’ll be facing “Bo Rida!” Bo shows off his sweet rap skills.  Flo then does a diss rap on Heath Slater alluding to their previous altercation at WrestleMania 28.  He then makes makes fun of the rest of the Social Outcasts and brings out the Dudleys.

The Dudley Boyz vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel

The Dudleys are working over Curtis Axel when we come back from the break.  Axel takes control after a distraction by The Social Outcasts.  Bo then leads the Outcasts in a “Bo Train” around the ring.  Axel and Bo re-enter the ring and work over Bubba.  Bubba creates some space and makes a hot tag to D-Von who firmly takes control hitting Axel with a series of slams and clotheslines. He gets a two count after a big clothesline.  D-Von tags in Bubba and they hit a double neckbreaker.  Heath Slater gets up on the apron but Flo Rida dumps him into the ring.  Flo and Heath stare each other down.  Flo feigns a punch and Heath runs away right into Bubba.  D-Von hits the Wassup on Slater and then Bubba Ray and D-Von hit the 3D on Curtis Axel to get the win.  They celebrate with Flo Rida.  This was pretty fun.

Rene interviews AJ regarding his match tonight with Chris Jericho.  She asks AJ to tell those who don’t know who exactly AJ styles is.  Before he can really do this, he is interrupted by Jericho.  Jericho says AJ has never competed in the big leagues and this is his big shot. He calls him kid and walks away.  After the break the announce team discusses Nikki Bella’s announcement today that she has a career threatening neck injury and will be having surgery.  Bummer for Nikki and best wishes to her.

Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles

What an awesome debut RAW match for Styles.  Jericho was awesome in the Rumble last night, lasting over 50 minutes and really keeping things interesting the whole time. Great entrance by AJ Styles and a good response from the crowd.  JBL acknowledges AJ as a two time IWGP champion.  Big AJ chant from the crowd as the bell rings.  They lock up and go into the corner for a clean break.  We get some good chain wrestling and AJ hits a nice armdrag.  He taunts Jericho and they lock up again.  This time Jericho takes control and hits some Flair chops and then an elbow.   AJ hits his big running clothesline and Jericho goes down.  Jericho powers AJ into the corner and hits some more big chops.  Jericho hits an awesome springboard dropkick off the ropes and knocks AJ off the apron and to the floor.  AJ rolls back in and Jericho hits a suplex.  He barely gets a one count before AJ kicks out.  AJ responds with some chops of his own.  Jericho regains control after reversing an AJ corner attack but AJ hits a great dropkick and knocks Jericho to the outside as we go to break.  This is a great match so far.

When we come back from break Jericho has AJ in a headlock in the ring and AJ powers out.  They both go for cross bodys and take each other out.  Styles hits some quick strikes and then nails a flying forearm into the corner.  Jericho hits Styles with an elbow and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Styles rolls out of it and nails him with a knee to the back of a neck.  Jericho recovers and nails Styles with a Northern Lights suplex.  AJ bridges out.  Jericho hits an enziguri and gets a two count.  More Flair chops by Jericho.  Styles creates some space and hits a huge flying punch from the top rope. He gets a near fall on the pin attempt.  Jericho surprises Styles with a punch.  Styles responds with a hurricanrana attempt but Jericho reverses it into the Walls of Jericho.  Styles barely makes it to the ropes.

Styles nails Jericho with a Pele kick and goes to the top rope. He goes for a frog splash but Jericho rolls out of the way. Jericho goes for a Lionsault but Styles gets his knees up.  He goes for a Styles Clash but Jericho manages to roll out of it and turns it into a pin attempt on AJ.  AJ reverses this with a sunset flip and gets the pin.  This was an amazing match.  Styles offers Jericho his hand afterward.  Jericho shakes it but things seem a little tense between them as Jericho pulls Styles in closer to him and then leaves the ring.

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

It’s great to see Sasha back.  She had a huge moment at the Rumble last night coming out after the Divas Title match and attacking both Becky and Charlotte.  Sasha starts the match by taunting Becky about her loss last night.  Becky responds by slamming Sasha to the mat and then hitting a jumping sidekick into the corner.  Sasha responds with strikes of her own and takes Becky down with a slap.  She goes for the pin and gets a one and a half count.  The two go back and forth a bit, vying for control.  Becky hits a series of strikes and then an exploder suplex out of the corner, getting a two count on the pin attempt.  Sasha regains control and nails Becky with a stomp to the midsection in the corner.  She gets a two count on Becky.  Sasha goes for a suplex but Becky rolls through and gets an armbar on Sasha.  Sasha powers out of this and nails Becky with the Bank Statement.  Charlotte runs in and attacks Becky.  Sasha then goes after Charlotte but Charlotte nails her with Natural Selection.  Charlotte stands tall in the ring.  Pretty great match and it continued to build to future matches between these outstanding women.

Back in the locker room, Goldust is looking for R-Truth.  He finds his headphones and starts listening to them.  Truth arrives and asks what he is doing.  Goldust says that now that the Royal Rumble is over he thinks they should be partners.  R-Truth says there is nothing wrong with that but he is a married man.  Goldust doesn’t understand. As R-Truth leaves Goldust realizes the misunderstanding and yells that he wants them to be tag team partners as Golden Truth.  He asks him to think about it.  That could definitely be fun.

Bray Wyatt vs. Kane

So Kane is back.  Exciting.  I think he’s fine if he’s used properly so hopefully that will be the case and he isn’t in the main event picture.  Kane and Bray exchange power moves to start things off.  Kane gets Bray in the corner and nails a series of punches.  He hits a nice looking dropkick on a prone Bray.  Kane is looking pretty good here.  The crowd is chanting “We Want Lesnar.”  I guess I can’t blame them.  Bray and Kane go back and forth and the crowd is booing pretty loudly.  Bray misses a senton and Kane plants him with a DDT.  He then nails a series of corner splashes followed by a sidewalk slam, getting a two count on the pin attempt.  Kane goes for a chokeslam but Bray counters this.  They go back and forth a bit until Bray hits the Sister Abigail after a distraction from the Wyatts at ringside.  Nothing exciting here.  It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great.  The Wyatts gang up on Kane after the match.  You’ve seen this all before.

After the break Rich Brennan is standing outside a limo that we are led to believe contains the big returning WWE superstar.  He knocks on the door and The Miz gets out.  The Miz starts to deliver a promo but a truck drives in and The Rock gets out.  He calls The Miz a flying nun and asks him to park his truck.  The Rock greets Rick Ross backstage.  He then gives Big Show a hug.  He reminds him of the 2000 Royal Rumble where they both went over at the same time and says Big Show should have won.  He says that Big Show could have been The Scorpion King and gone on to a big movie career.  Show crushes the laptop he’s holding.  Pretty funny stuff.  The Rock continues on backstage and runs into a smiling Lana.  He reminds her of the time they were in Brooklyn and that Lana came over to his hotel afterwards.  Rusev comes from behind and The Rock congratulates them on their upcoming wedding.  That was a little dumb and more than a bit degrading.  He then continues with his promo as he walks to the curtain.  He. does his “Finally…” bit, his music hits, and Rock enters the arena to a big pop from the Miami crowd.

It takes awhile for the crowd to settle down enough for the Rock to start talking.  He asks Miami if they are ready for WrestleMania.  He says he plans on being at WrestleMania and they will break records.  He calls Byron Saxton “the other black dude that I don’t know.”  Ha.  The Rock says he’s going off script as he goes to talk to some guys dressed as Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and The Rock.  He says “The weed in Miami must be good tonight.”  The Rock then resumes his promo but is interrupted by The New Day.  Xavier gives Rock a hard time for not knowing who Byron Saxton is.  They talk about how they beat Rocky’s cousins, The Usos, last night.  Good stuff from Kofi.  They all mock Rocky’s tongue flapping.  Awesome.  They run down Miami and tell Rock he was smart to leave it for Hollywood.  The Rock mocks the unicorn horns by calling them llama penises, which the crowd starts chanting.

Some great back and forth between The Rock and New Day.  You should just watch this and enjoy it.  The Rock says Big E is the result of The Incredible Hulk banging Urkel.  He then invites them to come in the ring so he can take Francesca 2 and shove it up their candy asses.  He then calls them Uni-Bitches.  Definitely pushing that PG rating tonight.  Xavier asks Miami if they want to see The New Day get in the ring with The Rock and then says they don’t deserve it and they start to leave.  The Rock says he has a Plan B and The Usos attack The New Day on the ramp.  Big E gets The Rock Bottom. Kofi gets a Samoan drop.  Xavier gets superkicked by the Usos and a spinebuster from The Rock followed by The People’s Elbow.  The Rock thanks the WWE Universe and says he’ll see them at WrestleMania.  This was really fun overall.

Brie Bella and Alicia Fox vs. Paige and Natalya

It still hasn’t been explained why Paige and Natalya are teaming up.  I know Total Divas is popular and has gotten a lot of exposure but these nothing matches are not helping anyone.  Brie hits some great looking strikes on Natalya and this match has already gone longer than last week’s Total Divas match.  Nattie manages to tag in Paige and Paige goes to work on Brie. She goes for the PTO but Alicia Fox makes the save.  Nattie comes in to take out Fox and Paige hits the Ram-Paige on Brie to get the pin.  This was only slightly longer and better than last week’s match.  Bleh.

The Miz vs. Kalisto

This is a non-title match.  Kalisto has had quite a month.  Let’s hope he can continue the momentum.  The Miz starts off on offense but Kalisto quickly comes back with a series of kicks.  He hits a spinning headscissors, tossing Miz out of the ring.  He then hits a big dive to the outside.  He tosses The Miz back in the ring and gets a two count.  The Miz makes a comeback and slams Kalisto to the mat.  He then mocks Kalisto’s lucha chant.  This gives Kalisto the space to mount a comeback of his own and after a series of strikes he hits a big splash off the top rope.  After the break The Miz is back in control.  He hits a big clothesline and gets a two count.  He follows up with some mounted punches and then slams Kalisto into the corner, hitting him with some kicks to the midsection. He then hits his flying corner clothesline.  The Miz nails a diving strike off the top turnbuckle and gets a two count on the pin attempt.  Lots of great offense from The Miz but the crowd is getting to him and Kalisto capitalizes with a kick to the head.  He then hits a big seated senton off the top rope and then a springboard corkscrew.  He goes for a pin and gets a two count.  The Miz regains control by hitting a big DDT. He goes for The Skull Crushing Finale but Kalisto counters with the Salida Del Sol and gets the three count.  This match was way better than I expected.  The Miz can be really good in the ring with the right opponent.

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Rusev

Del Rio and Wade Barrett accompany Sheamus and Rusev.  Reigns and Sheamus start things off and Reigns quickly goes on the attack.  Big clothesline by Reigns and some quick tags and double teams by the former SHIELD teammates..  When we come back from the break Sheamus is in control and has Reigns in a headlock.  Roman powers out and attempts to attack Sheamus in the corner but he’s met by a big kick.  Roman surprises Sheamus with a flying forearm and manages to tag out Ambrose.  Ambrose takes firm control over Sheamus, hitting his forearm attacks as well as a suicide dive to the outside on Sheamus.  The League of Nations regains control after distracting Ambrose and attacking him on the outside.  Rusev tags in and manhandles a weakened Ambrose.  He hits a series of gutwrench suplexes and tags out to Sheamus.  Sheamus hits three Irish Curse backbreakers and goes for the pin, getting a two count.  Ambrose tries to mount a comeback but Sheamus shuts him down by shoving him into the corner and tagging in Rusev.  Rusev hits Ambrose with his big judo kicks and then gets him in a headlock.  Ambrose still shows some fight and manages to power out of it with a backdrop.  He rolls out of the ring but Rusev throws him back in and tags out to Sheamus, who hits him with several forearms on the apron as well as some elbows.

Ambrose surprises Sheamus with a clothesline on the outside and manages to roll back in and get a hot tag to Reigns.  Reigns cleans house both inside and outside the ring.  He throws Rusev into the corner and hits a series of clotheslines, finishing it off with a big right hand.  Barrett and ADR distract Reigns long enough for Rusev to recover and nail Reigns with a big kick.  He tags out to Sheamus, who nails Reigns with a Brogue Kick and goes for the pin.  Ambrose makes the save and goes after The League of Nations on the outside.  Back in the ring, Sheamus Irish whips Reigns who counters with a huge spear and pins Sheamus for the win.  This match was pretty good thanks to Ambrose.

After the match Reigns and Ambrose get payback on Rusev for his attack on Reigns last night by double powerbombing Rusev through the announce table.  Stephanie comes out and says that the main event for FastLane will be a triple threat between Ambrose, Reigns, and Brock Lesnar.  The winner will face Triple H at WrestleMania.  It’s pretty obvious where this is going.  This was a pretty great RAW overall, highlighted by the amazing match between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho.  Storyline wise it seems kind of dumb for them to make a big deal out of how they were evaluating ALL of the wrestlers tonight to determine who would go on to the FastLane match and then they chose Lesnar, who wasn’t even there tonight.  I might just be nitpicking though.  That should be a great match.


Brendo’s RAW Recap – 1/18/16

It’s the go home RAW before the Royal Rumble so hopefully we’ll have a good show following last week’s rather good outing.  Today it we found out “Iron” Mike Sharpe passed away.  He was a stalwart in the ranks of WWE enhancement talent and trained many wrestlers as well.  He will be missed, especially in his home country of Canada.

We open with a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr and African American leaders who have made a difference in our nation’s history and culture.  Here’s hoping that WWE and the business as a whole can learn from its mistakes in the past regarding racial diversity.  I feel like we’re slowly headed in the right direction.

Tonight Brock Lesnar will join Chris Jericho on the Highlight Reel.  That’s definitely exciting.  What’s not quite as exciting is Roman Reigns coming out to start RAW yet again.  I guess that’s not really fair since he is the champion and the champion should be front and center on RAW.  I just am tired of the opening 20 minute promo formula that has been used for years and years.  Is it so crazy to start a wrestling show with wrestling?  Roman is gearing up for the Rumble and says tonight he only cares about one man: Brock Lesnar.  He says he’s ready to finish what Brock started last week and calls Brock out to the ring.  Instead, we get Chris Jericho.

Jericho  says Roman has someone even better than Brock, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah.  He talks up tonight’s Highlight Reel and proposes that Roman join him and Brock there.  Roman says he is down.  The League of Nations interrupt.  Sheamus still has a small gash on his head from last week.  Sheamus reminds everyone that there are more than just 3 competitors in the Rumble, including the League of Nations and that the WWE Title will come back to them.  He then makes fun of Jericho’s fashion choice of a suit jacket with no shirt.  He says it’s just plain stupid not to invite the League of Nations on the Highlight Reel.  Jericho says he doesn’t want them on the show because he’s trying to keep things entertaining.  Ha.  Del Rio says Jericho has never won a Royal Rumble match so Jericho wouldn’t understand what it means to be a true winner.  Jericho says Alberto Del Rio is Spanish for Jackass and just doesn’t feel like having him on the show. Rusev has a pretty good promo starting off by saying in Bulgaria every day is the Royal Rumble.  Jericho reminds everyone that Roman won the Rumble last year and he eliminated Rusev to win.  Roman challenges Rusev to a match and Jericho asks the Columbus crowd if they want to see that match tonight.  The crowd seems into it.  Jericho says he will be the special referee and the match is on.

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev

Sheamus, Barrett, and Del Rio are at ringside for this match.  Roman and Rusev exchange holds and Rusev ducks out of the ring to take a breather.  The crowd is chanting for Lana.  Roman and Rusev exchange fists and Rusev tosses Roman to the outside.  The League distract Roman as Rusev hits him from behind.  He tosses Roman in the ring and gets a one count.  Rusev misses a headbutt and Roman takes control. Reigns hits a splash for a two count but then gets distracted by Sheamus.  This gives Rusev an opening.  Reigns fights back but gets taken down by a headlock. Reigns powers out with a backdrop.  He hits a pretty good flying clothesline and then a barrage of punches in the corner.  Rusev counters a Samoan Drop with one of his brutal judo kicks and gets a two count from Jericho.  Rusev argues with Jericho a bit and then goes for a Samoan Drop off the second rope which is blocked by Reigns and Reigns turns it into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.

Del Rio distracts Jericho and Sheamus pulls Reigns out of the ring and slams him into the barricade.  Jericho confronts Sheamus and kicks him out of the ring area.  Barrett then gets in Jericho’s face and he is kicked out as well.  Del Rio, not sensing a pattern here, does the same and Jericho kicks him out with a little funky chicken dance to boot.  Roman hits the Superman Punch on a distracted Rusev followed by the Spear for the pin.  This was a solid match to get things started and got the crowd fired up.

Steph confronts Jericho backstage.  She says he did not have the authority to make that match or make himself the special referee.  She says this is not 1999.  Jericho says he wish it was because Steph used to be fun.  Stephanie then goes into some stuff about business and how she now has to renegotiate with Lesnar because of the changes to the Highlight Reel.  People complain about Reigns not being exciting, I think the real culprit is all this boring Authority junk.

Natalya vs. Brie Bella

Natalya brings out Paige to accompany her which doesn’t really make sense since the last time we saw Paige she attacked Natalya.  It looks like the purpose of this is to promote the new season of Total Divas.  Paige has some beef with Alicia Fox on Total Divas so that is why she is on Natalya’s side here.  Great.  Brie hits some of her strikes on Natalya and taunts the crowd.  Natalya takes advantage and gets Brie in the sharpshooter for the win.  Oh look, it’s the return of the nothing two minute Divas match.  One step forward, two steps back.  Hopefully Becky and Charlotte will make me forget this garbage.

The Dudley Boyz and Ryback vs. The Wyatt Family

We see clips from the Tables match on last week’s Smackdown where the Wyatts destroyed the Dudleys after they lost the match.  It’s Bray, Harper, and Rowan with Strohman on the outside for the Wyatt team and Harper hits a huge boot to Bubba and tags out to Rowan.  Rowan misses a splash and Bubba tags in D-Von.  D-Von hits a neckbreaker and gets a one count on Rowan, Rowan hits a big spinning kick and gets a two count on D-Von.  He tags in Bray who hits a running clothesline into the corner and gets another two count.  Tag out to Harper and they double team D-Von a bit. Quick tags and double team offense by the Wyatts as they are firmly in control.  D-Von finally creates some separation and gets a hot tag to Ryback who runs wild on Harper.  Lots of Feed Me More chants and a tag to Bubba who hits a big boot.  Rowan and Bray enter the ring to cause some chaos and Ryback ends up on the outside and gets smashed by Strohman.  The Dudley’s hit a double team for a near fall.  They go for a 3-D but Rowan breaks it up and tosses D-Von out.  Harper hits his Discus Clothesline and gets the pin on Bubba Ray.  This was mostly the Wyatts beating up the Dudley’s outside of a strong showing by Ryback.  It seems like they are keeping the Wyatts strong, which is wise but there doesn’t seem to be much direction for them, as usual.

The Big Show vs. Heath Slater

Everyone is calling The Social Outcasts the new J.O.B. Squad and sadly that doesn’t seem to be far from the truth.  At least their promos are entertaining and it gives them something a little more substantial to do.  Axel reminds us that he was never eliminated from the 2015 Royal Rumble match.  Heath goes right for the ropes as Big Show advances.  He then ducks out of a clothesline and runs to the outside, only to be palmed by the head and dragged back in.  Big Show then hits the Knockout Punch and gets the pin.  Axel tries to attack Show and gets knocked out. Big Show then hits Rose off the top rope.  Bo dodges Show’s attack and runs to the outside to celebrate this.  Show then hits him with the Knockout Punch on the outside.  He spent more time taking a selfie with a fan that it took for him to win this match.

Steph joins the League of Nations backstage and congratulates them on keeping their cool earlier tonight.  She reminds them that one of them could win the Royal Rumble and win the WWE Championship.  She asks them why Chris Jericho was able to to scare them away from ringside during the match and challenges them to prove their value tonight.

Vince McMahon comes to the stage with Steph as they are going to draw the #1 entry for the Royal Rumble.  Vince says the odds of Roman winning is the same as one of the WWE Universe members winning the Powerball.  Timely reference there, Vince.  They spin the tumbler and Vince can’t open the first ball so he puts it back in and draws another.  He then hands this ball to Steph who shows that the ball contains Roman Reigns.  Vince says that is not too likely so to be fair they will draw another ball.  He can’t open it so he put it back in.  He can’t open that one so he puts it back in too.  They draw another ball and it also says Roman Reigns.  He accuses Stephanie of putting the original Reigns ball back in the tumbler so they draw another one. Vince drops the ball so he draws yet another one.  I think Vince really thinks this whole bit is funny.  This says a lot.  Once again they draw Roman Reigns.  Are we really going to watch Roman Reigns go a whole Royal Rumble and win it all?  I am praying for a big swerve at this point.

Charlotte comes to the ring with Ric Flair by her side.  They are both stylin’ and profilin’.  For the love of God can someone change Charlotte’s entrance video from NXT that has the Times New Roman titles and uses backslashes for emphasis.  Backslashes!

Becky Lynch vs. Tamina

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Tamina in the ring and she doesn’t look half bad as she hits her power moves on Becky including a superkick.  Charlotte looks on and we are told she hasn’t given an answer to Becky’s challenge for a title match at Royal Rumble yet.  Tamina continues to work over Becky and gets a one count that Michael Cole calls a near fall.  Come on, Cole. Becky Lynch manages to fight back and hits some forearms and a jumping side kick.  She’s showing a lot fire as she hits some more kicks and a nice looking leg drop for a two count.  She then hits the Disarmer off the top rope on Tamina and gets the submission victory.  This was another good match for Becky.  She gets on the mic and asks for an answer from Charlotte.  Charlotte says Becky earned a title match and lost a title match and tells her to get in the back of the line.  Becky says Charlotte wouldn’t have that belt if it wasn’t for her dad and then says Ric Flair never backed down from a challenge so maybe Charlotte didn’t take after her dad.  Ric accepts the challenge on behalf of Charlotte and Charlotte does not look pleased. Fingers firmly crossed that they give this match the time and significance it deserves.

Dean Ambrose and Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus

Kevin Owens is on commentary which is always a treat and he’s here to hype up the Intercontinental Title match between him and Dean Ambrose this Sunday.  We see clips from the two great matches that Kalisto and Alberto Del Rio had on RAW and Smackdown last week.  It is announced that Kalisto will get a rematch for the title on Sunday.  Ambrose starts off against Sheamus and hits some strong moves before tagging in Kalisto. Kalisto Kalisto kicks Sheamus to the outside.  Ambrose hits Sheamus off the apron and then backdrops Kalisto on to both Sheamus and ADR.  After the commercial break Del Rio regains control and tags in Sheamus who proceeds to manhandle Kalisto.  Owens is doing a great job of talking trash on commentary.  Kalisto and Sheamus both go down and then hit hot tags to their partners.  Quick action between ADR and Ambrose.  Ambrose gets the upper hand and clotheslines Del Rio to the outside and then hits a diving attack.  Sheamus distracts Ambrose and Del Rio takes advantage.  He tosses Dean back inside and hits him with a stiff kick.  Tag to Sheamus who continues to wear down Ambrose.  He hits a side slam and gets a two count.  He tags in ADR who hits another stiff kick to the head of Ambrose for a near fall.  

Sheamus gets a cheap shot in and Del Rio gets another near fall.  He puts Ambrose in a chinlock.  Ambrose attempts to power out but Del Rio hits him with a Backstabber.  He puts Del Rio in the Tree of Woe and goes for his corner stomp finish but Ambrose fights out of it and hits a missile dropkick on Del Rio.  Del Rio manages to tag out but Sheamus can’t capitalize and Ambrose finally tags in Kalisto.  Kalisto hits some quick kicks on Sheamus, who goes for White Noise but Kalisto reverses into an enziguri.  Kalisto then dodges a Brogue Kick and hits Salina Del Sol but Del Rio breaks up the pin.  Ambrose goes after Del Rio but is distracted by Owens at the commentary table.  Del Rio uses this to hit a beautiful step up enziguri off the commentary table to take out Ambrose.  Meanwhile, Kalisto goes for another Salina Del Sol but Sheamus powers out of it and nails him with a Brogue Kick and gets the pin.  This was a pretty great match and did a good job of building to the U.S. and Intercontinental Championship matches at the Royal Rumble.

We are shown clips from when Jericho killed Francesca the trombone on last week’s RAW.  We then see a clip from earlier today where New Day had a funeral for Francesca.  Big E and Kofi tell Xavier they will get him a new trombone and that the memory of Francesca will live on forever.  They also say that Francesca would want Big E to take on Jay Uso tonight to avenge her.  Good stuff.  This is all to build up a Tag Title match between The New Day and The Usos on Sunday.

Jay Uso vs. Big E

The New Day are pretty solemn at they come to the ring.  Kofi and Xavier are in their funeral attire.  Big E starts off by powering out of a waistlock and slamming Jay to the mat.  Jimmy manages to regain control and hits him with some forearms but Big E turns it back around.  He hits him with a kick in the corner.  Jay dodges a corner attack and does his dance taunt.  He then hits a kick on Big E and Big E goes to the outside.  Jay goes for a running kick but Big E counters with a slam.  After the commercial Big E is in control back in the ring.  Big E distracts the ref and Kofi nails Jay with a kick.  Big E misses a splash on the apron and falls to the outside.  Jay then hits a running dropkick into the barricade.  Big E stumbles back in the ring and Jay hits a kick from the top rope followed by a Samoan Drop.  He goes for the corner splash but Big E gets out of the way.  Jay follows up with a big kick and gets a near fall.  Big E manages to counter a dropkick and goes for a running attack but Jay pulls down the rope and Big E ends up on the outside  Jay then hits a big suicide dive.  Big E gets back in the ring while Jimmy takes out Kofi with a splash on the outside.  Jay goes for a top rope splash but is distracted by Xavier and lands hard on his left leg.  Big E hits a running forearm and then the Big Ending to get the pin.

Titus O’Neil is backstage with R-Truth, Neville, and Mark Henry as they get pumped for the Royal Rumble and their match tonight.

Neville, R-Truth, Mark Henry, and Titus O’Neil vs. Stardust, Tyler Breeze, and The Ascension

Neville seemed to be working his way up the card last week but now he’s back down in this random match.  That’s a bummer. Konnor starts off against O’Neil and they exchange strikes.  Konnor tags to Victor who is tossed to the outside by O’Neil.  Breeze goes for flying dropkick on Titus but Titus catches him and tries to toss him behind his back to a waiting Henry but Henry screws up and drops Breeze.  He picks Breeze back up and hits The World’s Strongest Slam.  Neville then hits the Red Arrow and gets the pin.  This was pretty dumb and pointless and that botched finish did nothing to help it.  I wasn’t buying the “Vince is Burying Breeze” rumors but this seems to be making a case for that.  Ugh.

The Highlight Reel with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns

Y2J isn’t doing a bad job putting himself over as a legitimate Royal Rumble contender but come on.  Paul Heyman interrupts Jericho and does what he does best.  Jericho tells Heyman to shut up and asks where Brock Lesnar is.  Heyman says you don’t need to be a weatherman to know that an F5 is touching down in Columbus tonight.  He reminds Jericho that the last time he went face to face with Lesnar things did not go well for him.  He then says Jericho shouldn’t be worried because Brock’s focus is on Reigns tonight.  I can’t really do Heyman promos justice so you should just watch this and enjoy it.  Heyman is really selling Brock as our only hope and to be honest I’m ready to buy that.  Jericho asks what will happen if it comes down to him and Brock and what will happen if Jericho tosses Brock over the top to win the Rumble.  Paul does a facepalm as Brock’s music hits and The Beast heads to the ring.  Before he can enter the ring Reigns’ music hits and he makes his way through the crowd.  Roman enters the ring and taunts Lesnar who paces around the outside.  Brock jumps into the ring.  Roman immediately hits him with a spear and unloads on him with punches.  The League of Nations runs down and attacks Reigns.  Rusev goes after Lesnar and is hit with a suplex.  Lesnar then suplexes Del Rio and hits the F5 on Sheamus.  Roman spears Lesnar AGAIN.  The Wyatt entrance hits and they appear around the ring.  Bray gives Reigns the Sister Abigail.  Brock is having a hard time getting to his feet and Harper nails him with a clothesline.  Rowan takes Lesnar out with a kick.  Strohman levels him with a clothesline.  I’m not sure what destroying Lesnar accomplishes here.  Bray hits him with another Sister Abigail and we end on The Wyatts standing tall.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Bray Wyatt victory as he’s had strong showings in previous Rumbles but this doesn’t seem earned at all as they were previously going after mid-card guys and before that Bray decisively lost to Reigns and then The Wyatts lost to The Brothers of Destruction.  If they had some actual Main Event victories behind them this could be the next step for them.  Instead this is kind of a mess and seems like just a bad way to build tension in what is probably a Reigns victory.  I really hope I’m wrong and we still have the possibility of a surprise AJ Styles entry in the Rumble that could result in a big swerve.  This was a pretty disappointing finish to a decent episode of RAW.  The only really clunkers match-wise were the garbage Total Divas match and the meaningless 8-Man tag.  



Brendo’s RAW Recap – 1/11/16

I’ve decided to try and actively watch things more instead of having my phone out or playing Pokemon Shuffle.  I figured a good way to do that is to have my laptop open and write about what I’m watching.  We’ll see how it goes.  I think this would make a good addition to the MBWS site since the podcast is in a holding pattern.  I’m working on re-launching that but it might take some time.  Benson is a busy guy these days and I still have doubts about having a show where it’s just two dudes talking about wrestling since there are a ton of those shows.  Talking to the wrestlers at MWE was something that separated us and without it the show just felt lacking.  Our awesome listeners have responded otherwise so if you guys want it, I’ll do my best to give you something worthwhile.  Until then, let’s watch RAW!

We start with a recap of Roman and Steph from last week.  I know why they have to do these constant recaps but it still kind of drives me crazy.  Man, it is still nuts to see how ripped Vince still is.  I don’t know a lot about bodybuilding, but that can’t be natural, can it?  But then again, the guy has been hitting the weights his entire life and that probably can do a lot for you. I have no idea.

So whoever wins the Royal Rumble will be the champion.  The only other time the title has been at stake in the Rumble it was vacant so this is a first.  It looks like a huge chunk of the Rumble entrants are on stage as Vince and Steph come out to hype up the Rumble.  I am so disappointed that Sandow is just back to his old gimmick.  They really blew that whole opportunity.  The Wyatts interrupt.  He continues with the “Anyone but you, Roman” rhetoric.  I can dig it.  Vince teases Brock but then Roman interrupts to what sounds like a decent pop.  Vince announces a One Vs. All match pitting Roman against an untold amount of opponents.  Stardust is rocking Bowie face paint and it’s awesome.  Sheamus attacks Ambrose to start the first match of the evening.

Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose

Sheamus is just kind of there for me. I don’t particularly dislike him or like him.  I like the mohawk and beard, unlike most people.  I think it makes gives him some much needed personality and solidifies his image.  Like it or not, he’s the top heel right now and he’s doing the best he can.  Hopefully Owens can rise to that top heel spot soon because he’s a million times better than Sheamus.  Good brawling between Sheamus and Ambrose.  Those announce tables seem to be getting more and more solid as it showed no give whatsoever when Sheamus slammed Ambrose on to it.  Ambrose’s forearms are looking a lot better lately.  Sometimes it looks like they don’t even connect.  Some good near falls making this a pretty exciting match.  Ambrose counters White Noise with his rebound clothesline, knocking Sheamus out of the ring.  This leads to more brawling which is what these guys are good at. They end up getting counted out and Sheamus is busted open.  That’s not something you see every day on RAW.  Ambrose teases slamming Sheamus onto the announce table but is attacked by Owens.  These guys have been doing a great job building this feud.  Owens manages to get past all the refs to put the boots to Ambrose.  He finally heads to the back and does it in the usual great Owens way.

We get a tease for tonight’s Highlight Reel with Jericho and The New Day.  This should be great.  We also get a shot of Bourbon Street as we are in New Orleans tonight.  Crazy it’s been almost 2 years since I was there for WrestleMania 30.  Rene interviews Ambrose and Ambrose assures us he’s still alive and ready to take on Owens.  Ambrose is always great on the mic.  Steph and Vince run into Paul Heyman backstage.  Heyman always does a great job selling whatever needs to be sold, hyping up tonight’s One Vs. All Match and of course his client, Brock Lesnar. Heyman tries to sell Lesnar as the challenger to the title at WrestleMania.  Vince doesn’t like it.

Stardust vs. Titus O’Neil

Stardust’s Bowie homage is great.  Drew Brees is in the house with his Cena fan sons.  Poor kids.  Stardust is one of my favorite wrestlers.  O’ Neil has a lot of upside and charisma.  I think these guys work well together.  They go back and forth with Stardust showing a necessary aggressive side against Titus.The whole back of Titus’ head is covered in silver paint after a Stardust sleeper hold.  Pretty funny.  Stardust gets a nearfall after a well executed counter but then walks into the Clash of the Titus after a miss off the top rope for the loss.  He then attacks Titus after the bell from behind so it looks like this feud will continue.  I think in the right circumstances Cody could finally rise to the top of the roster but it doesn’t seem like that is happening any time soon.

Highlight Reel with The New Day

Jericho is wearing some goofy scarf thing and no shirt under his glow jacket and vest.  I guess it fits his rockstar persona.  I loved Jericho’s segment with New Day last week so hopefully we’ll get more of that tonight.  Jericho is going to be in the Rumble so that should be cool.  Jericho comparing his return to Star Wars and Guns N’ Roses.  As he is telling the crowd how he’s walking out of the Rumble champion, The New Day interrupts.  Those Unicorn horns are silly but part of me wants one.  These guys are so good on the mic and pairing them with Jericho just makes sense.  Rooty Tooty Booty indeed.  They are still hurt they didn’t win Tag Team of The Year Slammy.  I don’t blame them.  The Uso’s come out with their Slammys to taunt The New Day. Jericho proposes match between Kofi and Big E vs. The Usos and he’ll be in their corner.

The Usos vs. Big E and Kofi Kingston

The Usos are all right but I am a huge New Day fan both in and out of the ring. Usos are great in the ring but I feel like The New Day are more versatile.  I can’t tell the Usos apart but one of them had a funny dance spot to antagonize Big E after smashing him in the corner.  The crowd dug it. Kofi launches Jimmy off the top rope to the outside and here comes Xavier with the trombone.  Jericho chases him off. Jimmy goes for the hot tag to Jay but Big E pulls Jay off the apron.  Great teamwork from New Day, as always.  More dancing from Jay as The Usos regain momentum and a dive to the outside followed by a good looking crossbody from the top turnbuckle. Big E regains control though and the straps are down.  Jay counters the Big Ending with a Superkick but Big E manages to tag to Kofi who gets a Superkick as well.  Xavier distracts the ref but Jericho is right there and smashes the trombone.  This makes the second trombone casualty.  Xavier is inconsolable over the loss and the Usos take advantage and win with a rollup on Kofi.  

Michael Cole discusses Cena’s shoulder surgery and we see some pictures of the surgery.  This is the worst possible time for Cena to be out but it is also exciting to see who is going to step up especially with the potential Bullet Club and Nakamura signings.

Steph has a heated discussion with Heyman.  Heyman says Lesnar says no to competing in the Royal Rumble.  Steph informs Heyman that Brock will compete or he will be fired.  JBL is in the ring to announce Sting’s induction into the Hall of Fame.  This is definitely deserved I am just a little sad that it likely means we won’t be seeing him in the ring again and that his recent neck injury is indeed career ending.  I was hoping for one more Wrestlemania match but as any wrestling fan knows too well, you can’t always get what you want.  Great video package highlighting his legendary career.  For me Sting was WCW, the only reason I ever watched when I was a kid and the main reason I flipped back and forth during the Monday Night Wars.

The Wyatts vs. The Social Outcasts

While the Wyatts come down they hype a tables match between the Dudleys and The Wyatts on Smackdown on Thursday.  It looks like they really are serious about elevating  Smackdown.  Last week’s show was great especially with the introduction of Mauro Ranallo on commentary. As Bray grabs the mic they are interrupted by the introduction of The Social Outcasts, my new favorite stable.  They now have matching shirts with their names on them so that’s a good sign that this might be around for awhile.  Strohman starts off getting the best of both Rose and Dallas, Axel comes in and has a little bit more luck but is then brought down by a fierce shoulder tackle.  Bray tags in and before he gets to do anything Ryback comes out.  He takes out the Wyatts with the assistance of The Social Outcasts.  I guess this was all just to build the Ryback/Wyatts feud.

Next is a clip from Smackdown where Kalisto got a win over U.S. Champ Alberto Del Rio which earns him a title shot against ADR tonight.  Sin Cara getting injured might be the best thing that’s ever happened for Kalisto as he can finally show his singles prowess that any follower of the Indies knows he has.  He gives a good interview with Rene to show he is ready and game for tonight’s match.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (U.S. Title Match)

Alberto taunts the crowd saying John Cena is not there tonight because of him.  Heel ADR is great.  I don’t understand the detractors.  He has looked great since his return aside from that silly MexAmerica thing which quickly got dropped.  Sad for Zeb though as I am a huge Zeb fan. Hopefully they’ll find something else for him to do.  Kalisto does a pretty good job getting the crowd hyped up. Hopefully this will be a big match for him.  They’re definitely giving it the Big Match treatment, which is good.  Del Rio starts right in with some crisp, fierce offense. He tosses Kalisto to the outside and does a great job taunting the crowd.  Kalisto finally manages to fight back and hits a senton on ADR followed by a great corkscrew attack off the ropes.  ADR quickly gets control back with a punishing sit-out powerbomb.  ADR shuts down another Kalisto comeback with a vicious clothesline.  This has been the story throughout the match so far. Really well done.  Kalisto gets an opening and goes for a dive to the outside but ADR sniffs it out and smashes him into the barricade.  Brutal.  Kalisto is still fighting back though and showing a lot of fire. ADR keeps shutting him down though. Kalisto hits a hurricanrana from top rope and finally mounts an offense.  He hits another great looking corkscrew off the ropes and then a DDT for a nearfall.  ADR is right back on offense though, going for his big kick but Kalisto counters for another near fall.  ADR counters a Salina Del Sol attempt by tossing Kalisto into the ropes.  He then puts Kalisto in the tree of woe and goes for his big stomp finish, which Kalisto ducks out of and hits him with a head scissors for another near fall and the crowd is really into this match now.  Another Salina Del Sol counter but Kalisto manages to counter a Del Rio suplex into a pinfall.  New U.S. Champion!  I wasn’t expecting that and the crowd is digging it.  This is huge for Kalisto.  Great match.

We see highlights from last week’s match between Charlotte and Becky.  I’m super happy this has turned into a real feud with a real story, something the Divas division desperately needs.  JoJo interviews Charlotte and Ric Flair.  Charlotte gives a good heel promo telling us she’s the best, that Becky is the real villain and she is the victim.

Brie Bella vs. Charlotte

I can never get tired of seeing Ric Flair strutting down that aisle. Never.  Becky attacks Charlotte from out of nowhere as Charlotte does her splits entrance.  This is great, building the feud.  Becky has to be dragged out by the refs.  Ric then says Charlotte is in no condition to wrestle tonight and it’s all Becky Lynch’s fault.  Ric yells “What are you going to do about it fatboy?” to a guy at ringside.  Still the best.  No match occurred.  JoJo interviews Becky backstage.  Becky does a great job selling this rivalry, she feels betrayed.  This is what Becky needs to get to that next level on the main roster.

Roman Reigns vs. Everybody

Vince and Stephanie come out to introduce the competitors which are basically all the heels on the roster.  I don’t see Rusev though and Barrett is reportedly injured again.  Kevin Owens starts off the match and the rest of the opponents are on the outside.  Steph says Roman will battle all of these superstars until he can no longer move.  Owens dominates early but Roman regains control and tosses Owens to the outside.  Owens regains control after re-entering the ring and does a great job riling up the crowd.  Stardust is sadly back to his normal face paint since most of his Bowie paint ended up on Titus’ head.  Owens gets Roman in a chinlock and the crowd is firmly behind Reigns.  Sheamus distracts Reigns and Owens hits him with a kick to knock him to the outside where he hits him with a senton.  That always looks painful. Thankfully they showed what happened during the commercial as it turns out Owens hit a very impressive frog splash from the apron onto Reigns on the floor.  Owens is one of the most agile guys on the roster, period.  His weight is definitely not an issue and I think works in his favor. Beautiful Superkick from Owens results in another near fall.  Reigns goes shoulder first into the steel post and Owens hits him with his cannon ball splash for yet another near fall.  The crowd is chanting “Suplex City” as they clearly want Brock but I’m enjoying seeing Owens do his thing.  

Roman starts building steam but Owens is holding his own.  He goes for a Superman punch on Owens but the Ascension hop on the apron so he hits them with it.  He then takes out Stardust and Tyler Breeze as well.  Now all the heels are in the ring ganging up on Owens.  The crowd is screaming for Brock.  Del Rio hits him with his kick.  Brogue Kick from Sheamus.

Brock’s music hits and the crowd goes nuts.  New Day is in the ring to greet him and Brock takes them out.  Suplex on Owens.  He then takes out ADR.  Sheamus gets the upper hand on him at first but then gets knocked to the ground.  Suplexes on ADR and Sheamus.  Brock stands tall in the ring over Roman, who he drags into the middle of the ring and then nails with the F5.  His music hits as he exits the ring.  He and Roman have a bit of a stare down to end the show.

Overall this was another solid RAW compared to some of the episodes we had to slog through in December.  Some good matches with ADR vs. Kalisto definitely being the highlight but strong showings from Ambrose/Sheamus and New Day/Usos.  I liked the fact that they gave the matches more time than it seems like they usually do. Hopefully this is a new trend.  The closing segment did a good job building up the Royal Rumble match.  Brock being in the Rumble makes it interesting and not as a sure thing as for Roman as some would think.  Add to that the possibilities of AJ and NXT callups and hopefully we will have a much more exciting Rumble match this year.