WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/27: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Rumble fall-out, Daniel Bryan book-ends Raw, Lesnar creates chaos, more
Jan 27, 2014 - 10:06:10 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
January 27, 2014 - Episode #1,078
Live in Cleveland, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Raw opened with still-shots from the Royal Rumble last night.
In the arena, Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter and Stephanie McMahon acting giddy and hugging each other on the way to the ring. Hunter smirked toward the crowd on the way to the ring as announcer Michael Cole talked about Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show. Cole described Lesnar's attack last night as "borderline criminal."
Once The Authority hit the ring, they pointed to the WrestleMania 30 sign hanging in the arena. Stephanie welcomed everyone to Raw to boos. She heard excitement instead of boos. The crowd then picked up "Yes!" chants for Daniel Bryan, interrupting Stephanie saying it was one of the most satisfying, epic Rumble PPVs in history, which drew more boos. Triple H mockingly asked the crowd if they didn't get what they wanted. "Oooh, that's too bad," he said.
Hunter said it was an incredible night, drawing more boos. Hunter said it was a night where Randy Orton beat John Cena to retain the WWE World Title. It was a night where Brock Lesnar destroyed Big Show. And, it was a night where their good friend returned after four years to defeat 29 other Superstars to win the Rumble. Hunter name-dropped Batista to boos, saying he secured his WrestleMania spot.
Stephanie said there's one more stop on the Road to Mania at Elimination Chamber. She said Orton will defend the WWE World Hvt. Title inside the Chamber. Suddenly, Daniel Bryan's music played to loud cheers, setting off a round of "Yes!" chants in the crowd. Jerry Lawler said this is the man the audience wanted in the Rumble last night. Once Bryan hit the ring, the crowd picked up loud "Daniel Bryan" and "Yes!" chants. Bryan told the crowd to please, please stop doing the "Yes!" and chanting his name because he doesn't think The Authority likes it. Of course, this led to a loud "Daniel Bryan" chant. Stephanie insulted the crowd in response as Hunter stood his ground.
Bryan then began his speech that last night he had one of the toughest matches of his career and win, lose, or draw, people are talking about his match. Cheers, then "Yes!" chants. Hunter said it was a "good, little effort, man," drawing boos. And then when people talk about the biggest disappointment with the Rumble PPV, it's him not being in the Rumble match. Bryan said he came to them time after time asking to be in the Rumble, but every time he asked, they told him no.
Stephanie responded that as management, they have to look after the health and well-being of their stars, so they didn't want to ask Bryan to compete twice in the same night. "You suck" chant from the crowd. Bryan responded by asking how many times he's wrestled all three members of The Shield, Wyatts, or gauntlet matches. Hunter said that's a fair point, but they didn't want to make him do it again.
Bryan said they're more concerned about what's worse for him, not what's best for business. Stephanie replied that Bryan seems to be thinking only about himself. After all, do you think everyone came here to see you? "Yes!" the crowd shouted. Bryan asked the crowd if they came here to see Randy Orton. "No!" How about Triple H? "No!" Bryan said they can come here and watch whoever they want and pick their favorite stars. But, listen to the people. The crowd made a bunch of noise, so Steph said it sounds like a lot of different things. On cue, the crowd fixed their noise to a "Daniel Bryan" chant, drawing a reaction from Stephanie.
Bryan said he's not here to talk about last night, but he wants a shot at the World Title in the Elimination Chamber match. Triple H whispered in Steph's ear, then Bryan said he wants the match, the crowd wants that match, and - step aside Stephanie - he doesn't think either of them should leave this ring until he gets what he wants. Hunter matched Bryan's intense glare with a glare of his own as they went nose-to-nose. Hunter said that sounds good, but it's not just the two of them in the ring. Hunter told Bryan that he has company.
The Shield's music played as Cole called this very convenient. As Shield made their way through the ring, Bryan bailed to the outside to retrieve a chair. Cole said Bryan is being punished for speaking his mind. Shield slowly approached the ring, but Bryan scared them off until Roman Reigns blind-sided Bryan. Suddenly, Sheamus's music played. Sheamus, returning to Raw TV for the first time in several months, stormed the ring to help his 18-second brother, but Shield cut him off.
A united Shield beat down Sheamus, but John Cena's music played. Cena stormed the ring and went right after Reigns, evening the odds. There was a mix of boos and cheers for Cena making the save, but the babyfaces eventually regrouped and chucked Shield out of the ring. Bryan's music then played as Shield stood in the crowd glaring toward the face trio. JBL said he has a feeling this isn't over.
[Q2] Tonight: Randy Orton is still WWE World Hvt. champion following "unexplained" actions by The Wyatts at the Rumble.
[Commercial Break at 8:16]
In-ring: Back from break, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara were in the ring for tag action. At commentary, Cole, Lawler, and JBL relayed some main event news: Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus vs. The Shield in a six-man tag match. Cole said the winning team will qualify for the Chamber match.
The Real Americans were then introduced as the opposition. On the way to the ring, Zeb Colter cut a promo on Rey and Cara, focusing on the duo wearing masks to hide their identities.
1 -- REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. REAL AMERICANS (JACK SWAGGER & ANTONIO CESARO w/Zeb Colter)
As the match started, Cole broke down each wrestler's accomplishments in the Rumble match last night. Cole talked about some other Rumble items, unconvincingly asking how great Kevin Nash looked in the Rumble. Swagger was then knocked to the outside. Suddenly, Zeb started chewing out Swagger, asking him what's wrong with him. Swagger started to get back in the ring, but Zeb slapped him across the face to fire him up. Swagger then hit the ring and beat down Cara as Zeb told him to take out his anger on Cara.
[Commercial Break at 8:24. A local TV ad for Smackdown in March in Houston confirmed the advertised main event of Cena, Bryan, and Punk vs. Bray Wyatt, Kane, and Alberto Del Rio.]
Back from break, Zeb was shown ringside, wincing. The camera then swung around to the ring to show Cesaro wearing down Sin Cara. Swagger then tagged in and took a swinging DDT from Cara. Zeb shook his head ringside before Cara crawled across the ring to tag in Rey, but Cesaro yanked down Rey to block the tag. Back in the ring, Cesaro offered a Display of Strength before bodyslamming Cara to keep the heels's advantage.
[Q3] Swagger re-entered and helped Cara toss Cara into the air for a bodyslam. Swagger tried a Swagger Bomb, but missed. And, Cesaro missed a corner attack. Rey Mysterio then took the hot tag to a strong reaction and head-scissored Cesaro across the ring. Rey followed with a bulldog, but Cesaro escaped a pin attempt. Rey then hit the 619 and Cara came off the top with a Swanton, but Cesaro moved just in time. Cesaro then smashed Cara with a European Uppercut and followed with the Neutralizer for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Real Americans at 9:48. Interesting development with WWE suddenly teasing tension between Zeb and Swagger mid-match.
Still to come: Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus vs. The Shield with the winning team qualifying for the Elimination Chamber match. Also still to come: New Age Outlaws vs. Rhodes Bros. in a Tag Title re-match from last night.
[Commercial Break at 8:33]
Back from break, Wade Barrett's music was playing. From his podium above the stage, Barrett banged his gavel over and over, drawing boos. Barrett asked for some decorum, then thanked the crowd for joining them tonight, but he's afraid he has some bad news. Bad News for the TV viewers that is. Because it will be The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler tonight in the "Battle of Cleveland." Barrett said he's just grateful it's not the "Battle for Cleveland" because there would be two losers, representing Cleveland. Ringside, Lawler said he should be refereeing this match.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL introduced a video clip from the WWE Network. It was a highlight package from the "Monday Night War" TV series. Included was a Crow Sting clip. Plus, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. Undertaker had a soundbyte. Austin 3:16, Goldberg, bad WCW booking of Goldberg, and WWE fighting for survival.
In-ring: Fandango's music played to bring out Summer Rae paving the way for Fandango. Cole said he's in action next.
[Commercial Break at 8:42]
[Q4] Back from break, R-Truth was dancing in the ring and Xavier Woods was ringside to join commentary.
2 -- FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae) vs. R-TRUTH (w/Xavier Woods)
On commentary, Woods accused someone of stealing his Royal Rumble slot. Meanwhile, NXT Diva Emma showed up near the announce table dancing around on the front row. Fandango, fresh off a Rumble elimination at the hands of El Torito, bailed from the ring after selling being flustered tonight. But, Fandango used Rae as a distraction to knock down Truth on the outside.
Back in the ring, Fandango worked on Truth as Woods set his sights on U.S. Title gold. Meanwhile, Woods and JBL talked higher education. It was odd hearing an intelligent conversation on Raw when the commentary is typically dumbed down. In-between barbs with JBL, Woods tried to encourage Truth, who eventually made a comeback and finished off Fandango for the win. Woods then jumped into the ring to celebrate and dance with Truth as he recovered.
WINNER: Truth at 3:32.
Backstage: WWE World Hvt. champion Randy Orton was shown walking down the hallway. Orton will address matters next, Cole said, in the top-of-the-hour slot.
[Commercial Break at 8:50]
WWE World Title Situation
Back from break, Justin Roberts introduced Raw GM Brad Maddox, who was standing by in the ring. Brad thanked the crowd for their noise before introducing himself, as if Roberts didn't do a good enough job. Brad then over-introduced the WWE World Hvt. champion, "Viper" Randy Orton.
Out came Orton holding both the WWE Title and World Title belts. As Orton slowly walked to the ring, Cole said Orton is indeed still champion after lucking into a title retention thanks to the Wyatts. Cole said Orton had some choice words for the Wyatts earlier in the night, so they don't know why the Wyatts indirectly helped Orton retain the title last night. Cole added that Orton has to defend the title in a few weeks at the Chamber PPV.
Once in the ring, Orton paced around for a bit as a light "Daniel Bryan" chant picked up. Orton took Cena's line that "the champ is here," before declaring that he beat John Cena once again. He said some think it was a hollow victory, but he doesn't care because he won. Then, this morning, he found out that in less than a month, he is to defend his title against five other stars at the Elimination Chamber. "What kind of garbage is that, Brad?" Orton asked, acknowledging the Raw GM's presence.
Orton said he's the Face of WWE, not Batista, not Brock -- Batista's music interrupted to bring out Batista to a lot of noise consisting of Batista's theme, boos, and cheers. Batista was dressed in normal-looking clothes this week, but the boos from the Rumble were still prominent once his music stopped in the ring.
Batista took the mic and paced the ring feeling out the crowd and Orton before congratulating Orton. He said that was a hell of a performance last night as the crowd picked up a "Daniel Bryan" chant, which Batista turned to slightly acknowledge. Batista said he's back to win the Rumble, headline WrestleMania, and walk out of Mania as WWE World Hvt. champion. Batista said he doesn't care if he faces Orton, Cena, The Shield, or even Daniel Bryan at Mania. So, on April 6, he doesn't care if Orton or The Authority likes it or not, he is walking out of Mania as WWE World Hvt. champion. "And nothing is going to change that," Batista said, drawing boos.
[Q5 -- second hour] Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's interrupted before Orton could reply. Lesnar and Paul Heyman walked out on-stage looking to pick a fight with some foes. Lesnar bounced into the ring as Orton and Batista backed down to the other side of the ring. Lesnar stood center-ring as Paul Heyman introduced himself to Brad Maddox, drawing boos.
Heyman said he stands here as the advocate for Brock Lesnar. He said his client has authorized him to inform Brad that his patience is running thin, which means Mr. Lesnar has asked him to tell Brad to tell The Authority that they have two choices: (1) he tells Maddox to make history by authorizing a match between Orton and Lesnar right here tonight in Cleveland. Or, (2) Lesnar is not unreasonable. Put the obvious #1 contender, Lesnar, against the so-called #1 contender, Batista. Heyman disingenuously said no matter which choice Hunter and Stephanie make, the obvious winners are ... the WWE Universe. Heyman said he wants an answer tonight ... or else. Lesnar's music then played as Orton sold annoyance with this turn of events and Batista stood his ground staring down at Lesnar through his sunglasses.
[ JC's Reax: Did WWE just manage to make Brad Maddox the most likable person in a TV segment? ]
Still to come: Team Bryan/Cena/Sheamus vs. The Shield in a six-man tag Chamber qualifying match.
Up Next: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler in the "Battle of Cleveland."
[Commercial Break at 9:06]
Back from break, Dolph Ziggler was in the middle of his ring entrance. Ziggler was sporting a "69" Cleveland Cavaliers NBA jersey, then Miz came out dressed in a Cleveland Browns jersey. Miz jumped into the crowd before hitting the ring, where Justin Roberts handled formal ring introductions for both men. Ziggler was introduced from Cleveland (as opposed to Hollywood, Florida). Same for Miz.
3 -- THE MIZ vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER -- Battle of Cleveland
It sounded like the Dog Pound was in the crowd early on as Miz and Ziggler traded control. Meanwhile, Lawler acknowledged Cleveland sports players in the crowd in response to JBL heeling on the city. Miz went for the Figure-Four leglock three minutes in, but Ziggler screamed and shouted to block the pain. Ziggler then reached the bottom rope to force a break.
Miz and Ziggler traded rapid-fire nearfalls, then Miz fed his back to Ziggler, who snatched him for the Zig-Zag. It was good for the pin and the win. Post-match, ZIggler hobbled out of the ring, selling the effects of the figure-four as Miz recovered in the ring.
WINNER: Ziggler at 4:08. Seemed like the purpose was more for the announcers to gang up on Lawler and Cleveland than advance either wrestler.
[Q6] Still to come: Tag Title re-match from the Rumble PPV.
[Commercial Break at 9:16]
Back from break, Ryback and Curtis Axel were in the ring. Meanwhile, Cole hyped the WWE App being downloaded over 10 million times. (A more interesting stat - how many times has it been deleted?) Lawler quipped that it's as many times as Cole has plugged how to download it. The Usos then came out as the opposition as Cole hyped a "Fan Favorite Action Figure Pack" vote promoted by Mattel. This got "Macho Man" Randy Savage's name on the air.
4 -- THE USOS vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL
Ryback and Axel dominated early on as Cole continued to needle Lawler about Cleveland sports. Ryback drew some light "Goldberg" chants as he overpowered Jey Uso, then delivered a delayed vertical suplex. The heels continued to isolate Uso, then the crowd started a rally clap, almost as if it would speed up the match to its conclusion.
Jey then hot-tagged Jimmy, who beat down Axel, who also tagged in. Jey delivered a Samoan Drop, but Ryback tagged himself in after Axel bounced the ropes. Ryback tried to capitalize by going for Shell Shock, but Jey blind-tagged and superkicked Ryback. Jey then came off the top with a Superfly Splash on Ryback for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Usos at 5:47. WWE agents, the Usos, and heel opponents have to find a more creative way to build toward the Usos's hot tag while the other Uso is isolated. The same look & feel takes the crowd too far down to get them back up for the finish. Meanwhile, Ryback continues going up and down, taking a clean loss this week.
Up Next: The second WWE Hall of Fame inductee.
[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:29]
Back from break, Kofi Kingston's music was playing. No, he's not the next Hall of Fame inductee. Instead, the announcers hyped Kofi's annual "Rumble elimination avoidance" last night. Alberto Del Rio then came out as Kofi's opponent. Cole noted Del Rio was irate earlier today after Batista eliminated him in the Rumble last night. WWE then cut to an inset promo, where Del Rio vowed to make sure Batista doesn't make it to WrestleMania. That's a babyface declaration in some people's minds.
5 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
Del Rio quickly attacked Kofi, looking to take out his Rumble anger on Kofi. Del Rio found himself on the outside moments later, then Kofi splashed him with a suicide dive. But, Del Rio caught Kofi with a step-up enziguiri on the way back into the ring. Del Rio then chucked Kofi into the barricade on the outside.
Back in the ring, Del Rio slowed things down with a chinlock. Meanwhile, a fan held up a "Sting - Undertaker WM30" sign in plain sight of the hard camera. The restless crowd then picked up a "JBL" chant, prompting JBL to take back everything he said about Cleveland earlier. JBL then stood up and acknowledged the chants, drawing Del Rio's anger. The crowd then picked up a "Jerry, Jerry" chant. Cole said it must be WrestleMania Season. (Or, the crowd is tired of another match that feels like filler.) Suddenly, Del Rio and Kofi kind of fell off the top turnbuckle as Lawler stood up to applause. Cole sent Raw to break as another chant started up.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
Back from break, the announcers were re-focused on the match in the ring. And, the crowd had settled down. Del Rio snapped off a German Suplex for a nearfall, then locked his eyes on the WrestleMania sign hanging in the arena. Cole said now Del Rio has to earn his way to Mania after not winning the Rumble, then said all of these matches are important because wrestlers are trying to build momentum heading to Mania. That might be worth stressing to live audiences to give the crowd something to invest in.
[Q8] Kofi made a comeback at 10:00, hit the Boom Drop, and wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Del Rio used the power of the WM30 sign to duck. But, Kofi came back with the SOS and had a pin, but Del Rio grabbed the rope to stop the count. Del Rio again looked to the WM30 sign to draw power for the cross arm-breaker, but Kofi blocked. Del Rio switched gears to a Backstabber, but Kofi kicked out of a pin.
Reset at 12:20 with the crowd now verbally backing Kingston with "Kofi, Kofi" chants. Del Rio climbed to the top rope, but Kofi crotched him just in time. Del Rio responded with a double foot stomp to Kofi's chest, though, quieting the crowd. Del Rio then popped Kofi with a standing sidekick. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Del Rio at 13:35.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL hyped the six-man tag main event. Cole then switched gears to WWE's recent video game. Cole introduced clips from the Downloadable Content pack just released with Dusty Rhodes, Rick Rude, Jake Roberts, Virgil, and Bruno Sammartino.
Up Next: Tag Title re-match from the Rumble. WWE then formally introduced Brock Lesnar facing either WWE World champion Randy Orton or Batista tonight via on-screen graphic. Which should be huge since Lesnar hasn't wrestled on Raw since returning to WWE, but the lack of super-hype suggests a redirection.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the Tag Title match up next. Out first were former champs Goldust and Cody Rhodes with determined looks on their faces. New tag champs New Age Outlaws were out next. As Lawler tried to explain why the Rhodes Bros. demanded their re-match tonight, Dogg spoke over Lawler doing his intro speech. Dogg tried to get the crowd to cuss, but they sat quietly. Dogg then tried to bring the material into this decade by referencing Selena Gomez, then did the standard ring entrance. Gunn chimed in with his line.
But, before the match, Dogg said he would like to dispel the rumor that they became Tag Champs because of a conspiracy. Rather, they're the best at what they do, which drew boos. Dogg told the Rhodes Bros. that they were good last night, but weren't good enough. That was enough for Cody, who punched Dogg in the mouth. Dogg and Gunn then recovered on the outside and Dogg asked if they really have to defend the titles tonight. Gunn said they don't, prompting Cole to note they do have to defend the titles, unless they whine to Triple H to get out of the match.
Meanwhile, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has an opinion about the tag belts, via Twitter: "What in the Wide Wide World of Sports happened to the World Tag Team belts???"
6 -- WWE tag champs NEW AGE OUTLAWS (ROAD DOGG & BILLY GUNN) vs. CODY RHODES & GOLDUST -- WWE Tag Title match
Rhodes Bros. quickly knocked Dogg to the outside, where Dogg took JBL's cowboy hat to cool themselves down. Dogg continued to struggle against Rhodes Bros. early on, prompting Dogg to call out to the announcers what's going on. Goldust continued the beating on Dogg, then tagged in Cody at the top of the hour.
[Q9 -- third hour] Cody continued to work on Dogg as Gunn waited patiently on the outside for his turn. Dogg then played for comedy by scampering out of the way of Cody's trademark kick before recovering on the outside with Gunn. Cody, angered and frustrated, shouted at Dogg to get back in the ring. Dogg obliged, then Cody continued the beating. Meanwhile, the announcers started bickering about the facts of how the Rhodes Bros. were re-hired months ago, then Cole noted the audience is mad at JBL for taking a Rumble spot last night.
Gunn finally took a tag and dropped Goldust with a dropkick as an odd hush remained hanging over the match, with the crowd unsure how to receive the proceedings. Gunn was in control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:04]
Back from break, Gunn tagged in Dogg, who tried to go after Goldust, but Goldust snapped off a sunset flip powerbomb. Goldust then tagged in Cody, who greeted Gunn, who also tagged in. Gunn took a high knee from Cody, who mocked DX with a "suck it" crotch chop before coming off the top rope with a double-foot dropkick to the tag champs. But, Gunn answered with a clothesline.
Suddenly, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman showed up ringside. The Outlaws bailed as Lesnar attacked Cody, prompting the bell to sound. Lesnar then dropped Goldust with an F5. Post-match, Heyman took the mic and said The Authority decided to pick Choice #3, which means you will get to see Lesnar versus no one. So, this is what happens when his client does not get what he wants. Lesnar then took a chair to Cody over and over again. Goldust was next and the chair broke in half. Lesnar was done for this night and got his music on the way.
WINNER: No Contest at 11:55; Outlaws retained the Tag Titles. So, the storyline: Authority rejects Lesnar's proposal, knowing it would anger Lesnar, who would then interrupt the Tag Title match, saving the Outlaws and their Tag Titles, further fueling the conspiracy theory.
Still to come: Shield vs. Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus. The match feels like it was set up yesterday at the rate Raw has slowly unfolded.
Going to break, WWE aired a Don't Try This At Home P.S.A.
[Commercial Break at 10:13]
7 -- Divas champion A.J. LEE & TAMINA SNUKA & AKSANA & ALICIA FOX vs. BELLA TWINS & CAMERON & NAOMI -- eight-Divas tag match
Back from break, the Divas were assembled in the ring for another round of Total Divas vs. non-Total Divas. The heels isolated Nikki Bella early on, trying to score a quick pin. But, Nikki fought them off and tagged in Naomi, who cleaned house. The action broke down moments later, then Naomi found A.J. to roll her up for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Naomi at 5:38. And, Naomi continues her quest for the Divas Title.
Up Next: Second WWE Hall of Fame inductee will be announced. Unless it's not.
[Commercial Break at 10:24]
Back from break, Jerry Lawler was in the ring. Lawler said they already know that Ultimate Warrior will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now, they will find out the second member. Cue up the video package. A snake was shown, which could only mean Jake "the Snake" Roberts. The video focused on Roberts, the DDT, and his trusty snake. Warrior and Jake headlining the Hall of Fame together. Intriguing following their verbal back-and-forth last week. WWE even flashed a graphic showing Warrior and Jake side-by-side.
[Q11] Announcers: Cole introduced a WWE Network clip. Hulk Hogan's voice was heard, then John Cena's voice hyping a Network show on the best WrestleMania matches, WrestleMania Rewind.
In-ring: John Cena's music played to bring out one-sixth of the high-stakes TV main event. Cena stormed the ring as WWE captured pro-Cena fans in the crowd. Cena fired up the crowd with a full ring intro, then Sheamus was introduced as the next participant. Cole hyped Sheamus's WWE return at the Royal Rumble last night, then WWE paused before Daniel Bryan's music played. The crowd went full "Yes!" mode as Bryan stopped ringside, told the cameraman to take notice, and hit the ring. Bryan led the "Yes!" chants in the ring as Cena stood in the ring with hands on hips surveying the crowd, acting amazed by the response.
[ JC's Reax: Interesting to hear the announcers going all-out endorsing Bryan and the "Yes!" business, which felt like WWE was trying to "own the story," giving it a corporate seal of approval. Of course, the "corporate seal of approval" could eventually hurt "Yes!" which could be how WWE finally brings it down by endorsing it. Interesting gamesmanship going on. ]
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Video Package: Christian. Coming back from break, WWE spotlighted Christian in a highlight video. Christian returns on Friday's Smackdown.
Back from break, The Shield was completing their ring entrance to set the stage for the main event. Of note, players not yet seen tonight on Raw: C.M. Punk, Kane, and the Wyatts.
8 -- JOHN CENA & DANIEL BRYAN & SHEAMUS vs. THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) -- six-man tag match -- winning team qualifies for Elimination Chamber title match
Cena started for the face trio. Ambrose started for the heels, got agitated, flipped out, and left the ring as Rollins tried to calm him down. Rollins then went to work on Cena before tagging in Reigns. Dramatic entrance for Reigns as Cena measured his opposition. The crowd picked up a "Roman Reigns" chant, then Reigns dominated Cena. So, Cena opted to tag out to Sheamus, drawing cheers. Sheamus and Reigns circled each other as Cole discussed Sheamus's shoulder injury and frustrating recovery.
[Q12] After Sheamus and Reigns battled for a bit, Rollins tagged in and Sheamus quickly blasted him with trademark Ten Forearms to the Chest. The heels then used their numbers advantage to isolate Sheamus, drawing up "Daniel Bryan" chants. Sheamus broke free, then heard and obliged. Bryan quickly entered with Yes! kicks to Ambrose, then a top-rope huracanrana. Rollins tagged in and tried to go after Bryan, but Bryan put him in a surfboard stretch. Bryan then reached back and tagged in Sheamus, who kicked a prone Rollins.
Sheamus tagged in Cena, who worked on Rollins as the crowd picked up a ritualistic "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant for the heck of it. Cena was in control heading to the final break of the show.
[Commercial Break at 10:49]
Back from break, The Shield was working on Cena. Specifically, Reigns. Reigns set up for and delivered a Superman Punch, but opted to walk around the ring instead of covering Cena. He then wanted a spear, but Cena avoided and Reigns crashed to the floor. Cena teased making a tag to one of his partners, but Reigns scampered back into the ring to cut off the tag.
This brought in Ambrose, who went to work on Cena. Rollins was in next. Rollins taunted Sheamus's trademark chest-pound-and-pose while working on Cena, then tagged in Ambrose. Ambrose snapped off a DDT for a two count, but couldn't follow up. Cena then broke free and hot-tagged Daniel Bryan just before the top of the hour.
[Q13 -- over-run] "Yes!" chants for Bryan as he cleaned house in and out of the ring. Back in the ring, Bryan delivered a double-foot dropkick to Rollins, then kicked Rollins over and over in the chest. Bryan had a pin, but Reigns broke it up, then speared Sheamus. Reigns then went for another spear, this time on Cena, and seemed to spear him in the crotch. Cena rolled out of the ring, joining other match competitors on the floor.
Back in the ring, Rollins planted Bryan in the corner with a Bucklebomb, but Bryan kicked out of a pin. Of note, there was some activity on the floor as Bryan and Rollins continued to battle in the ring. Bryan wanted a flying corner dropkick, but Rollins moved and Bryan crashed hard. Rollins tried a follow-up pin, but Bryan flowed into the Yes! Lock. Ambrose broke it up, then Sheamus kicked him, then Rollins kicked Sheamus. Bryan and Rollins again. Double collision and both men fell to the mat.
Reset at 23:10 with Cena slowly approaching the ring steps and looking into the crowd. Bryan then tagged in Cena, who put Reigns in the STF center-ring. But, Reigns powered onto his back and overpowered Cena to break the grip. Suddenly, the Wyatt theme played. The Wyatts were in the ring when the lights came back on. The attack was on and the ref called for the bell. The faces eventually cleared the heels from the ring, then stood tall.
Once the dust settled, Justin Roberts announced Team Cena/Bryan/Sheamus as the winners, meaning they're going to the Chamber match. Ringside, The Shield flipped out and started chucking items out of anger for losing without losing. Meanwhile, the Wyatts stood on the stage surveying the scene. Wyatts on the stage, face trio in the ring, Shield freaking out ringside, and the crowd joining Bryan in "Yes!" chants as Raw signed off six minutes past of the hour.
WINNERS: Cena, Bryan, Sheamus via DQ at 23:59 to qualify for the Chamber. Solid TV main event giving everyone spotlight time and focus. Plus, it accomplished two goals of getting Bryan and Co. in the Chamber match and setting up a potential Shield vs. Wyatts PPV match (or randomly thrown out Friday on Smackdown) where the audience has a rooting interest in Roman Reigns to continue building toward him as the break-out babyface from the group.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Intriguing book-ends, but a whole lot of filler/cold matches in the middle of the show. It was also interesting to see WWE not over-play the Bryan business from the Rumble last night, but acknowledge it, get it out of the way, and incorporate it into the show in a way that doused a little water on the heated situation last night, but also recognized Bryan as a main-event player worthy of the opening segment after the Rumble, interaction with the king of WWE's universe, and standing side-by-side with the top star, Cena, in the final segment.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**