WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Batista returns, Lesnar, final Rumble PPV hype, Bryan explains his plot, more
Jan 20, 2014 - 10:05:41 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
January 20, 2014 - Episode #1,077
Live in Dayton, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Raw opened with a video tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. on MLK Day. Included were clips of MLK's famous "I have a dream" speech.
Live in the arena, The Authority were shown hugging in the ring. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon then introduced the show before Hunter hyped the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Hunter said 30 men will step into the ring to compete in the Rumble for a chance to compete for the WWE World Hvt. Title in "a main event" at WrestleMania.
Hunter said it's his distinct honor to welcome back one of these competitors. He said this man has been a friend and foe, and they have "evolved together." But, Randy Orton's music interrupted before Batista could be introduced. Orton stomped into the ring possessing his World Title belts before asking Hunter and Stephanie who they think they are. Steph replied with the same question. Then, Steph shifted things to the WWE Network. Stephanie said there have never been so many eyes on WWE because of the Network. And what did Orton do last week? He lost to Kofi Kingston, then threw a fit and attacked John Cena, Sr.
After a video replay of Orton's actions last week, they returned to the sound of the crowd booing Orton. Orton slowly turned around to face The Authority. Steph said Orton attacked a "helpless, old man" and his actions were despicable. Steph raised her voice to note that is unbecoming of a WWE World champion. She said if Orton cannot abide by their authority, then he won't have to worry about defending the title. Or, being part of the roster.
"No, no, no!" Orton shouted back. Orton said he wouldn't have been so angry if he were not put in a title re-match with Cena at the Rumble. Orton said he was re-paid for being the Face of WWE by bringing back Brock Lesnar. Then, Batista. Orton told Steph and Hunter that while they were too busy launching the Network, he was busy dealing with their mess. He asked how he's supposed to react to the blatant disrespect from them. Orton paused, then said he wouldn't change a thing about what he did to Cena, Sr. last week.
Hunter told Orton to take the bass out of his face, then said they made him WWE champion because they believe in him. He said no matter what problems Orton creates for himself, he can walk through the obstacles in a way befitting of WWE. But, it seems like somewhere in here, Orton has lost faith in himself. He said this has led to him making unreasonable decisions like lose to Kofi Kingston. Orton winced at that sound.
Hunter said there's no shame in losing to Kofi, because Orton should rise up and make it right. Instead, Orton punched a defenseless, old man to cover for his shortcomings. Hunter said he understands that Brock, then Batista are waiting at the door behind Cena. So, Orton needs to rise up and fix things starting tonight. Therefore, Orton will face Kofi Kingston again. He will get the chance to make it right.
Hunter then went to a camera shot of the parking garage entrance. He said that is where John Cena will come in tonight. Hunter said Orton will then be able to "make it right" with Cena when Cena arrives tonight. And, he will do all these things alone. Orton thought this over, paused, and Batista's music suddenly played.
After a pause, Batista came out on-stage dressed in a bright white zipper jacket, jeans, white shoes, and aviator shades. Batista, looking his age facially, pounded the fireworks on-stage before hitting the ringside area with business on his mind. Batista, clean-shaven and baldheaded, hit the ring to loud cheers as Orton stood his ground in the ring. Batista posed in the ring, unzipped his jacket, and pounded his chest toward the crowd as Steph applauded in the background.
As Batista continued to pose, Cole noted three-fourths of Evolution are in the ring right now, sans Ric Flair. Batista lifted his shades while posing, then his music stopped. Steph joined in with the crowd smiling and chanting, "Ba-tis-ta," then Batista knelt down and kissed the mat. Batista hugged Stephanie, then Hunter, who handed him the mic.
[Q2] Batista ignored Orton, who tried to get some love from Batista as The Authority left the ring in the background. BAtista then looked toward Orton, who extended his hand. Batista thought it over, then said, "Hello, Randy." Batista said he understands Orton has a few questions about his return. Nothing from Orton. The crowd was quiet, too, waiting for something and trying to process Batista's return.
Batista explained that he is back in WWE for that (the WWE World Title). So, whether it's Orton or Cena or someone else, he doesn't care. "I'm back," he declared. "To win the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. I'm back to be WWE World Hvt. champion. And I am back to headline WrestleMania. So, deal with it!" Batista dropped the mic and his music played before Orton could reply. Batista left the ring as Orton looked down at the mat selling concern over the predicament he's in right now.
On commentary, Cole said Cena is here tonight, Batista wants the title, and Brock wants the title, too. Cole then hyped Big Show and Brock Lesnar going face-to-face tonight ahead of their Rumble match.
Up Next: Rhodes Bros. & Big E. Langston vs. The Shield in a six-man tag match.
[ JC's Reax: Very sloppy, unfocused 18-minute segment re-introducing Batista. It's a very simple formula that WWE over-complicated and the crowd didn't seem to know how to respond, taking some steam out of Batista's first night back. First, there's Orton having issues with The Authority, then Orton's issues with Cena (not pictured), then Orton's issues with Brock (not yet interacted with), then Orton having issues with Batista, then a look at the backstage area for Cena's imminent arrival, oh yeah and Cena is facing Orton for the title at the Rumble, then Batista returned from a four-year absence, The Authority (the ones who screwed fan favorite Daniel Bryan on four straight PPVs) played babyfaces being excited for Batista's return, then Batista talked about Cena, Lesnar, and Orton. Got it all? ]
[Commercial Break at 8:18]
Back from break, IC champ Langston and Tag Champs the Rhodes Bros. were in the ring. As The Shield came to the ring, Cole hyped the Royal Rumble pre-show All-Star Panel including former Rumble winners Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair.
1 -- IC champion BIG E. LANGSTON & WWE tag champs CODY RHODES & GOLDUST vs. THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) -- six-man tag match
Four champions in one match should have been treated as a huge deal, but was sub-note to the announcers trying to sort through the opening segment. As for the match, Langston knocked Rollins to the outside for the heels to regroup heading to an early mid-match break.
[Commercial Break at 8:27]
[Q3] Back from break, the heels isolated Cody Rhodes, who then popped Reigns with a Disaster Kick. Reigns sold being stunned by the kick, which allowed Cody to tag in the IC champ simultaneous to U.S. champ Ambrose tagging in. Langston cleaned house, then road-blocked Ambrose center-ring. Langston tried to follow with the Big Ending, but Rollins broke it up. Goldust then cannonball-splashed Rollins on the outside. Back in the ring, Ambrose walked into a belly-to-belly throw from Langston. Langston followed with a big running splash, but Reigns broke up the pin.
Chaos in the ring at 10:00. Cody went for another Disaster Kick on Reigns, but Reigns smashed him with the Superman Punch. Langston cleared Reigns, then tried to finish Ambrose again, but Ambrose fought off. Ambrose then tagged in Rollins, who gave a big foot stomp to Langston's head, planting him into the mat. Rollins pinned Langston for the win.
Post-match: WWE replayed Reigns's Superman Punch on Cody a few times before showing Shield standing tall ringside.
WINNERS: Shield at 10:40. Surprising to see Langston take the fall and Rollins get the pin.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL transitioned to a review of the end of last week's Raw when Daniel Bryan confronted Bray Wyatt, dumped the Wyatts, and returned to the Daniel Bryan of old. The arena-wide "Yes!ing" at the end of Raw was highlighted.
Up Next: Bryan breaks his silence on his time with the Wyatts.
[Commercial Break at 8:38]
Network Countdown: The announcers took a look at how many days until the Network launches.
In-ring: Daniel Bryan was in the ring back from break. The crowd joined him in loud "Yes!" chants before Bryan entered the ring dressed in his standard D-Bryan gear. Bryan paused for a "Daniel Bryan" chant that picked up steam as Bryan smiled and looked around the arena. Bryan smiled and said, "And some people say I shouldn't be the face of this company."
Bryan said a lot of people have come up to him since last week asking if he had a plan when he joined the Wyatts. The crowd answered, "Yes!" Bryan said to take down a guy with a Messiah complex, you can't just take him down physically, but mentally. In order to do that, he had to do some things he's not proud of. Included was standing side-by-side with three men he absolutely despises. And, he waited for that one moment when he got Bray Wyatt one-on-one inside the steel cage.
[Q4] Bryan said he became the buzzard last week and he chewed on the carcass of Bray Wyatt. He said he also exposed Bray last week. This Sunday, at the Rumble, he's going to do exactly the same thing because right before he came out here, he was informed that Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are going to be in the Rumble because that leaves Bray Wyatt to go one-on-one with him at the Rumble. (So, are Rowan and Harper locked up in a holding cell until the Rumble match, disallowing them from being involved in Bryan vs. Bray?) "Yes!" Bryan shouted. The crowd joined in as Cole confirmed the match.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Bray Wyatt appeared on the video screen saying that a man not willing to do die for something means he's not fit to life. Bray said Bryan did not expose him, like he thinks, but exposed himself as a coward. Bray laughed to himself that Bryan flew right back into the people, who only look up to him because they chose to kneel. "Traitor," he chuckled. Bray said what he wants Bryan to do is go home, hug his mother, tell her he loves her, and tell her that he's sorry, because everything that happens to him from now on is his fault. The crowd chanted over Bray, "Daniel Bryan," as Bray ended his promo. Bryan stood stoically in the ring as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:48]
2 -- XAVIER WOODS (w/R-Truth) vs. FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae)
Back from break, Woods slid into the ring to face Fandango as Truth introduced himself on commentary. In the opening minute, Cole plugged Truth vs. Damien Sandow this Wednesday on Main Event. Fandango then finished off Woods with a top-rope leg drop, much to Truth's chagrin.
Post-match: Truth slid into the ring to check on Woods as WWE cut to NXT Diva Emma dancing in the crowd.
WINNER: Fandango at 1:07. That was quick.
Backstage: Kane was standing around. WWE then showed Raw GM Brad Maddox talking to himself. Brad took credit for Batista's return. Kane then stood over Brad that they know that's not true. Suddenly, Stephanie McMahon barged in. Steph told Brad to leave, then Steph asked Kane what he was thinking last week on Smackdown when he chokeslammed C.M. Punk. Stephanie said it's bad enough that Randy Orton attacked John Cena, Sr. last week on Raw. She said they knew this was a risk changing Kane, but he needs to get a hold of himself because he is in a management position.
Kane tried to talk back, but Steph cut him off and said he cannot put his hands on any Superstar, even if that Superstar thinks The Authority has some sort of hidden agenda against C.M. Punk. Kane apologized, but Steph said he needs to do more by apologizing to Punk. Kane snapped back that if anyone should apologize, it's Punk --- Kane's voice trailed off as Steph shot him a look. Kane lowered his head and took his marching orders to the ring.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Back from break two minutes before the top of the hour, Kane was introduced to the ring. Kane tried to re-group and think through his thoughts as he walked to the ring trying to force a big corporate-friendly smile. As Kane entered the ring, WWE replayed the end of Smackdown when The Shield, Kane, and New Age Outlaws made sure Punk's night ended poorly.
[Q5 -- second hour] Kane quietly requested Punk's presence in the ring. No sign of Punk. "C-M Punk" chants from the crowd. Cult of Personality then played to bring out Punk on-stage. Kane opened with a fake apology, saying he did save Punk from taking a beating from five other Superstars by chokeslamming him. Kane said he apologizes nevertheless.
Punk responded by saying he didn't hear a word Kane said. "I said...I...apologize," Kane responded in Punk's face. Punk stared down Kane as the crowd chanted, "One more time." Punk looked toward the crowd to encourage more of the chant, but Punk said he doesn't need to hear Kane apologize again. So, Punk smashed him in the face with a forearm before kneeing him out of the ring.
Kane freaked out on the outside, then Raw GM Brad Maddox walked out on-stage. Brad tried to calm down Kane, then gave Punk a fight tonight. He said Punk will be facing one of these two Superstars ... the New Age Outlaws's theme music played to bring out Road Dogg, followed by Billy Gunn. Brad called for a referee as the Outlaws marched down to the ring. The Outlaws played rock, paper, scissors, then kind of stood around ringside. Gunn entered the ring as Dogg joined the commentary position to begin the match.
3 -- C.M. PUNK vs. BILLY GUNN (w/Road Dogg)
Dogg opened his commentary by saying this is Gunn's speciality taking out "scroney" Superstars (sounded like he meant "scrawny"). Asked why they walked out on Punk last week, Dogg came up with an explanation that they wanted to get in the spotlight, deflecting from whether they're in cahoots with Triple H. Early on, Punk tried to confront Dogg on the outside, which allowed Gunn to attack Punk from behind leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:06. Advertised locally for a Smackdown TV taping in March in Houston are WWE World champ Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, The Shield, and The Wyatts.]
Back from break, Punk chopped Gunn across the chest, then went for a sleeper hold. But, Gunn reversed with a back drop suplex, drawing chuckles from Dogg on commentary. Cole then brought up it being odd that the Outlaws all of a sudden have a Tag Title shot on the Rumble kick-off show. JBL jumped on the comment, saying they beat the tag champs on Smackdown. Cole tried to explain that the Outlaws needed a distraction to win and seem to be doing The Authority's bidding.
Punk suddenly left the ring and clobbered Dogg when Dogg's attention was focused on the announcers. Punk then re-entered the ring to battle Gunn as Dogg recovered on the floor. Back in the ring, Punk delivered a high knee, then ran into Dogg, who tried to get involved on the ring apron. Gunn cut off Punk, then stood around in the ring before airballing a corner splash attempt. Gunn kind of fell backward to the mat, then Punk climbed to the top rope, but Dogg dragged Gunn out of the ring. So, Punk delivered a suicide dive to Dogg, taking him out for the third time.
Gunn chucked Punk back into the ring, though, and went for the Fameasser, but Punk avoided. Punk followed with the GTS, rocking Gunn. Punk then covered Gunn for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Punk at 8:57.
Post-match: Raw GM Brad Maddox came out on-stage to congratulate Punk on his victory. Kane then yanked the mic away from Brad and said he sees why Punk calls himself the Best in the World. He said Punk will have the chance to prove that this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. He said every number in the Rumble match is drawn at random. Except Punk's number. "Uh oh," JBL whispered on commentary. Kane then made Punk the #1 entrant in this year's Rumble. Cole said that was done out of pure spite for Punk.
[Q6] Backstage: WWE showed the parking garage area, which remained empty awaiting John Cena's arrival. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were shown walking up. Heyman told Lesnar which way to walk and they continued walking ahead of Lesnar's confrontation with Big Show.
[Commercial Break at 9:17]
Rumble Video Package: Back from break, Cole introduced the annual Rumble Match Hype Video looking at the Rumble "by the numbers." 208,993 pounds of individuals have competed in the Rumble - the equivalent of 492 Big Shows. 39 WWE Hall of Famers. 3 Stone Cold victories - most in history. 9 Superstars who have won in their Rumble debut, including Brock Lesnar. #1 and #30 have generated the same number of winners. 62 percent of Rumble winners have gone on to win their title match at WrestleMania.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown ringside to hype the Rumble. Cole then transitioned to the death of Mae Young last week. Lawler talked up Mae's career, then Cole introduced a video tribute to Mae Young. Stephanie McMahon said in a voice-over that Mae was proud to be a "professional wrestler." This was followed by a series of video clips from Mae's WWE career. Then, a look back to Mae's 2008 Hall of Fame speech. Back live in the arena, the crowd was shown applauding.
Rey Mysterio's music then played to bring out Rey for the next match. Cole said Rey and Alberto Del Rio will meet again this week, making it three matches in seven days. As Rey came to the ring, WWE replayed events from Smackdown, where Rey beat Del Rio, who then attacked Rey after the match. Cole wondered aloud if Rey will be 100 percent with a left arm injury. JBL said the rubber match is next.
[Commercial Break at 9:28]
4 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- Recent Series tied 1-1
Del Rio was in the ring back from break. Cole re-focused on Rey not being 100 percent for this match as Del Rio quickly targeted the injured arm. Meanwhile, Cole hyped Del Rio's recent choice words for Batista, who confronted Randy Orton earlier tonight. Rey knocked Del Rio to the outside early on, then measured Del Rio for a springboard moonsault. Both men sold the effects before Rey took Del Rio back into the ring for a baseball slide kick to the mid-section. Meanwhile, Lawler suggested Del Rio should wear a mask, prompting JBL to yell that Del Rio should be on telenovelas in Mexico and on the cover of GQ.
Del Rio took control of the match before knocking Rey to the outside. Del Rio smashed Rey into the guardrail, then rolled him back into the ring. Del Rio nailed a double axehandle smash, then settled into a reverse chinlock to wear down Rey and keep him grounded. Meanwhile, Cole said that Damien Sandow, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper have officially been added to the Rumble match. Lawler then brought up the topic of surprise entries in the Rumble match. Del Rio then chucked Rey out of the ring heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
Back from break, Del Rio sent Rey crashing into the ring steps on the outside. Lawler said this match has become more about Del Rio punishing Rey than trying to win. Del Rio then tried to embarrass Rey by ripping off his mask, but Rey fought off Del Rio, who was reprimanded by the referee. Del Rio followed by wrapping Rey around the ringpost, drawing another reprimand from the ref. Rey showed some fight with desperation right hands, but Del Rio side-stepped Rey, who went flying into the ringpost.
At 11:00, Del Rio hung up Rey on the top turnbuckle. Del Rio wanted a running charge, but Rey avoided and Del Rio ate the post this time. Rey then balanced himself on the top turnbuckle to deliver a flying cannonball splash a la Goldust earlier in the show. Rey followed with a seated splash, then a kick strike to the face for a close two count.
[Q8] At 13:00, Rey followed up with a head scissors into a 619 attempt, but Del Rio intercepted. Del Rio catapulted Rey into the corner, then delivered a standing sidekick. But, Rey escaped a pin attempt. Del Rio sold frustration with the nearfall, then called for the cross arm-breaker, but Rey ducked. Rey sold injuring himself, though, only to snap off a huracanrana into the 619. Rey then climbed to the top rope to Drop the Dime, and he connected. Rey covered, but Del Rio grabbed the bottom rope with his right hand just before a three count.
Reset at 14:30. Rey wanted a second-rope move, but Del Rio body-planted Rey. Del Rio followed right up with the cross arm-breaker and Rey had to tap out, giving Del Rio the win. Post-match, Del Rio posed in the ring as Cole hyped Del Rio getting ready for the Royal Rumble.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 14:47. Perfectly fine match, but neither wrestler has natural momentum right now.
Suddenly, Batista's music played. Del Rio fired himself up, prepared to fight Batista, who marched down to the ring with eyes set on the guy who he's been trash-talking him for a few weeks. Batista snapped off his glasses as Del Rio told Batista to leave the ring. Del Rio started to leave, but turned back around to try to strike Batista, who dropped him with an okay-looking spinebuster. Batista then stomped around before dropping Del Rio with a good-looking Batistabomb. "Welcome back to the Animal," Cole declared. Batista posed in the ring as Del Rio sold unconsciousness in the ring heading to break. Cole said Batista is ready for the Royal Rumble match on Sunday.
[ JC's Reax: Much more focused re-introduction for Batista. Arrive. Spinebuster. Batistabomb. Look strong heading into the Rumble. The unfocused business with Randy Orton and The Authority in the opening segment could have been saved for next week assuming Orton retains the WWE World Title and Batista wins the Rumble. Then, the focus would have been completely on the first Batista-Orton-Triple H confrontation since Batista's return rather than being one of several stories colliding together on the Rumble lead-in show. ]
Backstage: Big Show was shown talking to a random man, who had to look way up at Show. Lawler said Show will go face-to-face with Brock Lesnar next.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
Video Tribute: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Big Show-Brock Lesnar Segment
In-ring: Big Show was introduced to the ring five minutes before the top of the hour. As Show walked to the ring smiling and high-fiving fans, WWE replayed events from Old School Raw two weeks ago when Show chucked Lesnar across the ring.
Back live, Show said he's in one of the biggest fights of his life this Sunday. Show then did Paul Heyman's voice pretending to be Heyman hyping Lesnar. It sounded like a bird choking on his feathers. Show then returned to own his voice hyping Lesnar's attributes. Show then re-entered Paul Heyman imitation mode, wearing himself out. Show said he's done waiting, then called out Lesnar to the ring.
Instead, Paul Heyman emerged on-stage with a mad look on his face. Heyman showed self-consciousness about his voice after Show's mockery. Heyman then smiled to talk, but paused for a "walrus" chant. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music played. Lesnar walked half-way down the ramp with eyes locked on Show, who stood his ground in the ring. Lesnar then took off up the ramp and left with Heyman.
[Q9 -- third hour] Show took the mic and told Lesnar to get back out here and get in his face. Lesnar re-emerged on-stage, followed by Heyman at a close distance. Lesnar then stopped at the base of the entranceramp, folded his arms, half-smiled toward Show, and stood his ground as one fan near the audio mic called out Lesnar for being a coward.
Lesnar eventually hit the ring steps and walked into the ring to go face-to-face with Big Show. Lesnar motioned like he was going to do something to Show, who flinched. Lesnar smiled, then went after Show, who chucked him across the ring. Lesnar reversed and pushed Show into the corner, but Show lifted Lesnar clear over the top rope to the floor. Lesnar did sort of a backward roll onto his feet to avoid injuring himself on the way down.
Ringside, Lesnar cleared the announce table in anger, then grabbed a chair. Lesnar smashed the announce table three times, then charged the ring. But, Show stomped the chair and sent Lesnar scurrying out of the ring. Lesnar chucked objects toward Show in the ring, then Show mocked Lesnar by slamming down the chair. Lesnar calmed down, then started walking away from ringside as Heyman followed close behind. Lesnar smiled toward Show, who stood his ground ready to fight if Lesnar wanted to dance. Lesnar stopped in the middle of the entranceramp and shouted at the top of his lungs that he'll get Show. Show's music then played as Cole said he cannot recall any man doing to Lesnar what Show did tonight.
[ JC's Reax: This segment served as a reminder that Lesnar is just another heel on the roster rather than a special attraction star who is protected as a big deal. Granted, he's at the top of the heel roster, but that's like being a B-Plus Player. ]
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown on commentary recapping what Show has done to Lesnar the past few weeks. Lawler said he thinks there's more to come for Lesnar at the hands of Big Show at the Rumble.
Still to come: WWE World Hvt. champion Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston to "fix things" tonight.
Backstage: John Cena still has not shown up at the building. No stirring in the parking garage as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:06]
In-ring: Divas champion A.J. Lee's music played as Jerry Lawler said he's glad the audience is still here tonight. A.J. and Tamina Snuka entered the ring as WWE cut to App footage of Wade Barrett having some bad news for A.J. Lee. Wade said the reason why no one showed up at A.J.'s party to celebrate her record Divas Title reign is because no one likes her. Josh Mathews then walked in to interview A.J. about no one liking her. A.J. screamed and threw a fit, then tried to smash cake into Josh, but Josh ducked and Tamina took the cake. Back in the ring, A.J. tried to smooth things over with Tamina, who continued to sell the effects of the cake gag. Cameron and Naomi were introduced as the opposition as Cole hyped A.J. passing Maryse on the Divas Title list.
5 -- Divas champion A.J. LEE & TAMINA SNUKA vs. CAMERON & NAOMI
The heels isolated Cameron early on. Naomi then tagged in and delivered offense to Tamina, who eventually cut her off and tagged in A.J. A.J. skipped around the ring, then walked right into a roll-up from Naomi for the win. Post-match, A.J. threw another fit.
WINNER: Naomi at 2:27. Naomi remains on the hunt for the Divas Title.
[Q10] Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL shifted gears to Daniel Bryan-Bray Wyatt business, then Randy Orton having a discussion with The Authority that was interrupted by Batista. Included in the replay was Batista announcing his intentions to become WWE World Hvt. champion.
Up Next: The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in tag action.
[Commercial Break at 10:17]
Announcers: Cole and Co. fed to a second "By the Numbers" Royal Rumble video package. Back on the broadcast, a Rumble graphic showed several wrestlers not yet announced for the Rumble, including Ryback, the Prime Time Players, and Real Americans. Cole and Lawler then broke down the Rumble PPV line-up, which included Cena wearing new black and neon green gear.
Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera again. Cole introduced a video tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
After the video ended, WWE faded back to the arena, where the Usos were introduced on-stage to prepare for their tag bout up next. The Usos did their war-dance intro before hitting the ring leading to break.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:29]
This Friday on Smackdown: Big Show and Rey Mysterio vs. The Real Americans, which means heel manager Zeb Colter will seek revenge on Big Show. Or something along those lines.
The Usos were dancing in the ring after the Smackdown plug. The Wyatt interruption played, then WWE returned to a camera shot of Bray Wyatt sitting in his rocking chair giving instructions to Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
6 -- THE USOS vs. ERICK ROWAN & LUKE HARPER (w/Bray Wyatt)
Harper knocked Jey Uso to the floor early on, but Harper ate the ringpost attempting a chop to the chest. Cole then announced the Usos in the Rumble match on Sunday. Back in the ring, Jey traded haymakers with Harper, then Jimmy tagged in and splashed Harper. But, Rowan tagged in and took down Uso. The heels isolated Jimmy in their corner as Bray looked on approvingly and the crowd looked for some hope. Uso teased a comeback, but the heels cleared him to the outside and Uso bounced chin-first off the guardrail. Bray stood and applauded his men's work heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
Back from break, the Wyatts continued to work on Uso. Meanwhile, the announcers talked about Daniel Bryan's plan to infiltrate the Wyatt Family. Bray suddenly stood up from his rocking chair and cut a promo that this is the type of punishment that awaits Bryan on Sunday. This woke up the crowd momentarily, but they quickly quieted down as the Wyatts retained control. Jimmy then came off the second rope with a splash to Harper, allowing him to tag in Jey Uso.
[Q12] Uso cleared Rowan to the outside, then came flying over the top rope with a big splash. But, Harper blasted Jey from the outside. Back in the ring, Harper ran into a boot from Jey, but came back with a sit-out slam for a nearfall. Suddenly, Daniel Bryan came running down to ringside to attack Bray from behind. Bryan beat up Bray on the outside. Meanwhile, Uso rolled up Harper in the ring for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Bryan and the Usos stood tall on-stage leading the crowd in "Yes!" chants as Bray smiled to himself ringside. Cole said Bryan has to get in the ring with Bray on Sunday at the Rumble. Bray was unmoved, smiling and thinking about Sunday.
WINNERS: Usos at 12:32. A dull tag match that needed two interruptions - including a top babyface sneak-attacking a heel - to stretch out 13 minutes.
Backstage: An empty parking garage. John Cena still has not arrived for work.
Up Next: WWE World champ Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston in the main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
In-ring: Kofi Kingston was introduced for the main event. His pyro sounded like lightning bolt flashes this week. Kofi entered the ring, then Randy Orton was introduced for another shot at Kofi. Cole called Kofi's victory over Orton last week one of the biggest ever on Raw TV, prompting heel announcer JBL to tell Cole that he's not giving Kofi much credit. Cole stuck to his argument, but JBL offered reason that it was "an upset," but not "one of the biggest upsets ever." World champ Randy Orton was then introduced to the ring.
7 -- WWE World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- WWE World Hvt. champion
Orton started off in control, then he turned his back on Kofi to call out for Cena. So, Kofi took him down and landed some blows. But, Orton knocked Kofi to the outside and blasted him around ringside before rolling him back into the ring. Orton covered for a nearfall, then looked toward the video screen again to call out Cena. Next, Orton did Cena's "You Can't See Me" handwave toward the audience.
Kofi came to his feet and answered Orton, but Orton cut him off and delivered a textbook vertical suplex. Orton eyed the video screen again, calling out for Cena. Orton then teased the RKO, but Kofi reversed into a backslide for a two count. Orton started talking to himself, then walked into an SOS - the finish from last week - but Kofi didn't connect flush and Orton easily escaped before three.
WWE suddenly cut backstage to a shot of John Cena randomly turning the corner, hitting the top of the parking garage area, and running down to the ring sporting his new black and neon green gear. Back in the ring, Kofi tried to pin Orton, but Orton bailed to the floor. Orton found himself trapped between Kofi and Cena, who attacked Orton for a DQ.
WINNER: Orton unofficially via DQ at 5:09.
[Q13 -- over-run] Post-match: Kofi, the loser, cheered on Cena to keep beating up Orton. Good team player. Cena bashed Orton into the crowd as JBL said this is better than Cena, Sr. pressing charges against Orton. "Kick his ass, Cena," a fan shouted near the fight. Cena teased an AA, but Orton elbowed out, then walked across the aisle toward another section of the arena. Cena chased him down in the aisleway as fans screamed near the fight.
Orton delivered an elbow to the face, then tried to escape into a skybox. But, Cena chased him down. Orton then disappeared through the arena concourse to the outside area. Cena gave chase as a sea of people apparently returning from the popcorn main event were kept at bay by security. Outside the building, Orton was shown running down the steps of the arena before hopping into a get-away car. Who's driving the car? Lawler asked whose car that was as Cena stood on the stairs selling frustration with Orton taking off. JBL said Orton stole the car, but Lawler pointed out that Orton got in the passenger side. JBL tried to cover that maybe it was an English car.
Cena, thoroughly frustrated, walked back into the arena and stood on top of the arena to pose for the crowd as his music played. Cole said Orton cannot run from Cena on Sunday. Cena then walked down the arena steps, posing for pictures and fans. Cena continued to walk down the arena steps as WWE replayed the events both in the arena and out of the arena. Back live, Cena continued to make his way through the crowd shaking hands and kissing babies before hitting the ring to pose for the crowd. Cole hyped all of the Rumble matches on Sunday before Raw closed with Cena standing tall in the ring five minutes past the top of the hour.
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