WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/12: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - WWE Title contract signing, Brock Lesnar & Daniel Bryan return to TV, Cena tries to win back jobs, more
Jan 12, 2015 - 10:15:14 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
January 12, 2015 - Episode #1,128
Episode #2 of 2015
Live in New Orleans, La.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan are advertised. New to the show is a WWE World Title contract signing between Lesnar, John Cena, and Seth Rollins for the Royal Rumble PPV.
- Raw Pre-Show: The new trio is Scott Stanford, Alex Riley, and Corey Graves from NXT. Stanford replaces previous host Byron Saxton, who will be on Smackdown going forward, and Graves replaces Booker T, who will be on Raw going forward.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with a review of Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback "fired" last week by The Authority. Live in the building, John Cena's music started the show. Cena hit the ring to boos, then played to the crowd noting they are back in the host city from last year's WrestleMania. He tried to fire up the crowd to change the mood from last week's depressing show.
Cena said he feels sorry to work for two people (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) who got a scumbag (Seth Rollins) to do their bidding threatening the life of a Hall of Famer (Edge). And, there's Triple H, whose is a first ballot Hall of Famer and all he will be remembered for is being a scumbag sociopath. He said none of the guys deserved to be fired last week. Cena asked the crowd if they want to see all three guys back on Raw tonight. The crowd responded with Daniel Bryan's "Yes!" chant. Cena said the great city of New Orleans has spoken.
Cena then addressed the crowd in the building and watching at home. He said he wants them to use social media and the hashtag #AuthoritySucks to make their voice heard. And, if The Authority doesn't pay attention, that makes them deaf, blind, and stupid. So, in the event that they are deaf, blind, and stupid, he has Plan B for the Royal Rumble in two weeks. His Plan B is simple - "I'm going to win." Cena vowed to leave the Rumble as WWE World champion. And, when he declares "The Champ is Here," it will be the very moment he says, "You can't see me, because I'm going to take that very Championship and go home. And I am going to wait until The Authority gives those Superstars their jobs back." Cena asked what that would mean for Raw, Smackdown, or WrestleMania with no champion.
Triple H's music cut off Cena to bring out Hunter and Stephanie in business suits. Cole relayed information from the locker room that Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan were "fired without severance" last week on Raw. Hunter and Steph then entered the ring to ask Cena if he's listening to himself. Steph mocked Cena's hashtag, then told Cena that he's to blame for the trio being fired. She also mocked Cena's reasoning to take the WWE Title and go home.
Hunter spoke next that he expected a lot more from Cena. "I'm going to take my ball and go home?" Hunter sarcastically said. Hunter went back to Survivor Series, noting he told Cena what the consequences were. But, hey, Cena's team won. And The Authority was out of power. He said they held their heads high, walked away, and found a way back in. Because The Authority always wins.
Steph said they won because Seth Rollins exploited Cena's weakness. He accused Cena of being selfish and always wanting to be the start of the show. Even when he had to be "the hero" to save Edge, it cost the very men who put their careers on the line to stand by Cena's side. Hunter sarcastically said nothing says hero like the guy who turns his back on the people who support him. He said that they will give Cena the opportunity to be the "hero" again. Cross-talk from all three, then Hunter asked the audience if they want to see Rowan, Ryback, and Ziggler get their jobs back.
Hunter asked Cena how much he wants them back. All he has to do to get their jobs back is win his match tonight. Cena asked if it's handicap, 5-on-1, 10-on-1, what? Hunter said it's just a simple one-on-one match between Cena and the man who used him, Seth Rollins. And because a match of that magnitude is huge, they're turning it into a Lumberjack match just to make sure it doesn't get out of control.
[Q2] Hunter brought out his "motivated lumberjacks" because that match takes place right now. Out came Big Show ... and Kane ... and Cesaro, Bad News Barrett, Titus O'Neil, Curtis Axel, Fandango, and more mid-card heels. Cena realized the game as Raw cut to break. #StacktheDeckBooking to try to keep viewers hooked versus the start of the College Football Title game after repeating most of the material from last week's promo exchanges.
Back from break, Seth Rollins's ring entrance took place. Rollins soaked up the crowd's boos as Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble stood proudly behind Rollins.
1 -- JOHN CENA vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/J&J Security) -- Heel Lumberjack match
During an early lock-up, Bad News Barrett yanked Cena down from the outside. Rollins took control, then tossed Cena to the outside, where the lumberjacks roughed up Cena before rolling him back into the ring. Cena eventually turned the tables and tossed Rollins to the outside. J&J were quickly on the scene to help Seth to his feet as the heel lumberjacks stood down. Seth smiled as Cena sold frustration back in the ring heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:24. A spot ran for Impact Wrestling on Destination America and a local spot for Sunday's WWE house show in Houston featuring Rusev vs. Roman Reigns for the U.S. Title and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Street Fight.]
Back from break, Seth and Cena exchanged offense until Cena created separation with a sit-out slam and Five Knuckle Shuffle. J&J then hit the ring apron and lumberjacks pulled Seth out of the ring. So, Cena landed a big splash onto Seth and the interchangeable heels standing next to Seth on the outside. Big pile of bodies on the floor. Back in the ring, Cena covered Seth for a two count.
[Q3] Reset at 9:30 with both men selling the effects of the match. Seth then climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Cena cut him off. Cena tried a superplex, but Seth blocked and delivered a running Bucklebomb to the opposite turnbuckle. One, two, nearfall. Seth freaked out, thinking he got the win. Seth then ran into sort of a sit-out powerbomb from Cena, who only got a two count.
Both men to their feet for a standing exchange, including Cena whiffing on some right hand strikes. Seth won the exchange with a slam, but only got a two count. Seth then missed a corner attack and Cena nailed the AA. He had the cover, but J&J pulled Cena out of the ring and punched and kicked him. Wouldn't that be a DQ since J&J were not introduced as lumberjacks?
In any event, after the heels roughed up Cena on the floor, Cena did the Superhero Comeback and put Seth in the STF. But, Kane pulled Seth to the ropes. Cena then found himself on the outside, where Big Show delivered a KO Punch. Cena was rolled back into the ring, where Seth covered Cena for the win.
WINNER: Seth Rollins at 13:51.
Post-match: Seth Rollins celebrated in the ring with Big Show, J&J, and Kane. They re-focused on Cena, prompting Booker to wonder if Cena should just walk away from all of this and go home. Cole took exception, then noted Cena still has a contract signing tonight for the WWE Title three-way match at the Royal Rumble PPV.
Also still to come: Daniel Bryan officially advertised for the first time. Bryan returns to talk about winning the WWE Title at WM30 in New Orleans last year.
[Commercial Break at 8:37]
Authority Office: Stephanie McMahon brought in Dean Ambrose and WWE tag champs The Usos. For viewers who missed Smackdown, they must be wondering what they missed with Dean suddenly back on Raw after losing an Ambulance match last week on Raw. Steph got the Usos's names mixed up, said it doesn't matter, and said there's no punishment for them standing up to The Authority. But, she wants them to relay a message to Naomi that she will be competing with one hand tied behind her back tonight. Next, Dean Ambrose. As Dean stood there silently, Steph ran down Dean and noted he has psychological problems, so he will have to complete a psych evaluation in order to enter the Royal Rumble. Dean made facial expressions, but was given no lines. He walked off.
Backstage: The Miz and Damien Sandow were shown on-camera. Miz talked Hollywood talk.
[Q4] Office: Dean Ambrose sat down with the psychiatrist for his evaluation. Dean sarcastically asked if he's been a bad little boy. The doc noted he's going to find out. He told Dean to sit back, relax, and look into the clock. Dean acted like he was hypnotized as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:46]
Smackdown video: Smackdown moves to Thursdays starting this week. Back from break, Cole plugged Daniel Bryan's in-ring return on Smackdown.
2 -- NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & XAVIER WOODS w/Big E.) vs. CESARO & TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya and Adam Rose)
Rose got on the ring apron late in the match, but Xavier knocked him down. Big E. then smashed Rose to the floor with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Xavier and Kofi combined for a double-team finisher on Kidd for the win. Afterward, Rose complained to Cesaro about the result before New Day celebrated in the ring.
WINNERS: New Day at 3:50.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and Booker were shown on-camera to link WM30 in New Orleans to WM31 this year in California. Cole hyped tickets going on-sale for the 2015 WWE hall of Fame this Saturday. He then plugged Randy Savage "expected to be inducted" into the HOF class, referencing TMZ's coverage. Cole said that announcement is still to come. The verbiage has been odd all day. Is the implication that it's up to heels The Authority to make the call? It's always been that the HOF inductions are separate from the storyline environment.
Savage Video Package: Despite WWE using the odd verbiage about the HOF announcement not being official, they conveniently had a video package cued up of wrestlers doing Randy Savage's voice and mannerisms. Included were heels Big Show and Titus O'Neil. Roman Reigns tried to look cool with shades on. Daniel Bryan acted dorky.
[ JC's Reax: Poor video package. Not only were the imitations poor, but they had a heel doing a babyface bit within the Raw TV storyline environment and Reigns tried way too hard to be cool. ]
[Commercial Break at 8:56]
Announcers: Cole played TMZ video of Indianapolis Colts's Sergio Brown doing the Ric Flair imitation after the Colts's Playoffs victory last night. It's as if TNA got one TMZ publicity story over the weekend with Jeff Hardy's nasty bump and WWE had to top it with two on Monday.
Next Monday: Raw Reunion with Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Scott Hall (not Razor Ramon, per the 2014 HOF induction).
[Q5 -- Second Hour] In-ring: Big Show, fresh off playing a friendly babyface giant in the Randy Savage video, randomly came to the ring for a heel promo. Show talked about his first day on the job. He mocked the audience, then said he won the World Title on his first day on the job. "Boring, Boring" chant. Show laughed at them and said they're miserable losers. Show talked about competition. He said no one welcomes the new guy to the job because he might take his spot.
This brought Show to Roman Reigns, who he said he does not see as competition. He called Reigns the equivalent of the New York Knicks, which did not connect to the fans in New Orleans. Show vowed to put Reigns on a losing streak like the Knicks, then told Roman Reigns fans that they're losers. Reigns's music interrupted and Reigns walked through the crowd from the top of the arena.
Once Reigns approached the ring, Show bailed. Reigns called out to Show, noting he thought he wasn't a threat to him. Reigns said he gets it that he's not a threat because he doesn't want Show's spot. After all, when Show won the WCW Title from Hulk Hogan, he was maybe 12-years-old (implying that Show is really old). Reigns then told Show a story in the third-person. He said a guy named Roman Reigns had magic beans and he climbed to the top of a beanstock to find a giant protecting all that treasure. So, Roman Reigns said screw the treasure; he's going to kick this giant's teeth down his throat. He said Reigns made this giant the biggest loser in the entire kingdom. If Show had not figured it out yet, he was talking about Big Show. Show paced around on the stage as Reigns's music played.
Suddenly, Luke Harper's music played and Show turned angry to confident. Harper walked out on-stage and walked past Show down to the ring as Reigns waited for his opponent. Cole plugged Smackdown moving back to Thursday nights this week as Harper entered the ring.
3 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. LUKE HARPER (w/Big Show)
Reigns opened the match with strikes and uppercuts, so JBL extended the attempted Rock comparison (following the third-person story time) by saying it's like The Rock is laying the smacketh down. Harper rolled out of the ring to recover as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:11. Another spot aired for Impact Wrestling on Destination America, focusing on Kurt Angle and the rest of the roster.]
[Q6] Reigns was in control back from break, a rare feat for a babyface having control before and after the break. Harper cut off Reigns with a boot to the gut and teased a suplex as the crowd chanted for Harper instead of Reigns. But, Reigns blocked and landed a suplex for a two count. Harper then cut off Reigns with a flying dropkick to Reigns's face. On the outside, Harper whipped Reigns into the barricade, then sent him crashing into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Reigns made a comeback with a flying clothesline and a corner clothesline. But, Harper cut off Reigns with a big boot to the face, exciting Show sitting in a ringside chair. Reigns came right back with a side slam for a two count. Reigns then stalked Harper for the Superman Punch, but Show chucked his chair toward Reigns. This distracted Reigns, allowing Harper to nail him with the Winds of Change/Black Hole Slam. Harper covered, but Reigns kicked out.
Harper was slow to follow up, allowing Reigns to catch Harper with a Superman Punch. Reigns then left the ring to confront Show. Actually, to run across the ring for his double-foot kick to Harper's head. Reigns then booted Show in the face, returned to the ring, and walked into a superkick from Harper for a two count. Harper wanted to follow with a discus clothesline, but Reigns caught him with a spear for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Big Show hit the ring to attack Reigns. Show then struck him with the KO Punch, trying to get sympathy on Reigns. The anti-Reigns chants turned to "Big Show Sucks" chants and boos. Show left the ring as Reigns recovered near the ropes. No music for the involved parties.
WINNER: Reigns at 10:39. WWE exposed Reigns's limited arsenal by putting him in an 11-minute TV singles match. Meanwhile, WWE keeps building to Reigns getting a significant victory over gatekeeper Show as they try to build up Reigns for a top spot.
Announcers: Cole, Booker, and JBL were shown at the announce table. Cole recapped John Cena unsuccessful in his attempt to get Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan their jobs back in the opening match.
Still to come: Daniel Bryan returns to Raw.
WWE Network plug: WWE ran clips of Randy Savage's death coverage from May 2011. Then, rolled clips on Savage's wrestling character, feuds, and behind-the-scenes stories from the recent Savage DVD that were excerpted on WWE Network in November and will re-air on Tuesday.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
Backstage: The Miz (shadowed by Damien Sandow) talked more Hollywood talk. Sandow then talked about a film project documenting The Miz's every-day life. Miz acted taken aback by Sandow secretly filming him.
4 -- NAOMI vs. ALICIA FOX -- Naomi's hand tied behind her back
Both Divas were in the ring back from break for the next match. Cole relayed an update that The Usos are barred from ringside for this match. Before the bell sounded, Fox mocked Naomi having to wrestle with one hand tied behind her back. So, Naomi kicked her in the gut, but Fox fought her off and took control.
WWE cut backstage to show The Usos watching the match on a monitor. Naomi made a one-arm comeback, then kicked Fox to the outside. But, Fox kicked her on the way back into the ring. Fox finished off Naomi with a scissors kick for the win, prompting The Usos to sell frustration back in the locker room with an absurd laugh.
WINNER: Fox at 3:33.
Doctor's Office: Dean Ambrose mocked the Smackdown video by shouting "Thursday" before he saw the first image for an association game. Triple H: IBS. Seth Rollins: scumbag. Roman Reigns: brother. Kane: toothpaste. Hacksaw Duggan: Hoooooo. Stephanie McMahon: Hoooooo. The doctor acted nervous as Dean rocked in his chair.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
New Orleans: WWE shouted various people walking around on Bourbon Street. They strategically did not show that people were watching the National Title Game.
In-ring: WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar's music randomly played. Out came Lesnar returning to Raw TV with Paul Heyman for a promo segment. Once the music stopped, Heyman looked around the building and heard minimal noise. Heyman tried to engage the crowd by introducing himself, heeling on New Orleans, and going back to the "scene of the crime" where this happened ... the video was of Brock Lesnar breaking The Undertaker's Streak at WrestleMania 30 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Back live, the crowd booed. Heyman said it was the death of a myth, the end of a legacy, and the rise of a beast. Heyman said his client, Brrrrock Lessssnar, conquered The Streak. He said his client is not one to brag, but he is the only man to be amateur wrestling champion, UFC champion, and WWE World champion. He loves to dwell in the past, though, which is why he takes great pride in his client conquering Taker's Undefeated Streak. And, 282 days later, it still burns the crowd when he brings it up. But, to him, it's still very relevant because that's what Brock Lesnar does.
[Q8] Heyman shifted to a speech about WWE promoting a fantasy of "Then, Now, and Forever" that runs into the reality of Brock Lesnar. He said John Cena's Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect also runs into Lesnar's reality. And now, there's Seth Rollins, who claims to be the Future of WWE. Fantasy or reality? Heyman said now there's a three-way match at the Royal Rumble. Tonight, all three men will be in the ring at the same time. And, during that contract signing, Lesnar will explain the difference between fantasy and reality face-to-face, to curb-stomping face. Heyman tossed the mic and Lesnar's music played. Lesnar, content with Heyman's speech, left the ring and Heyman followed him.
[ JC's Reax: You can just feel WWE squeezing the marketability out of Lesnar. Not even Heyman could engage a crowd that doesn't see Lesnar as that big of a deal anymore, which follows the post-Summerslam booking with John Cena no-selling his decisive loss to Lesnar, the Night of Champions match, WWE acting like Lesnar and the WWE Title disappeared during the fall season, Lesnar returning to TV as "just another heel" associated with The Authority, and this promo segment randomly inserted into the middle of the second hour. ]
Cole plugged the contract signing heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:47.]
Still to come: Michael Cole said they expect to announce Randy Savage for the 2015 Hall of Fame later tonight.
Video Package: More Randy Savage imitations. Included were John Cena, Dean Ambrose, The Usos, Santino, and heels Miz & Damien Sandow and the Bellas. Kane, a heel, went for laughs nodding "no" to the request to do a Savage imitation. The only storyline-redeeming part of the Bellas's bit was Nikki running down Brie for doing it wrong.
5 -- THE MIZ & DAMIEN SANDOW vs. THE USOS (JIMMY & JEY USO)
Keeping everything light to avoid getting heat on the heels, Miz did his Randy Savage imitation back in the ring. They tried to redeem it with Sandow doing an imitation to a pop. Early in the match, Sandow did his bit mirroring Miz selling offense from The Usos. Jimmy Uso then lost focus and The Usos lost the match, compounding a rough night for the Usos. Miz and Sandow celebrated on the way out as The Usos sold frustration in the ring.
WINNERS: Miz & Sandow at 2:10.
Announcers: Cole read a plug for WWE Network available in the U.K. and Ireland later this month.
Up Next: Daniel Bryan is back on Raw.
[Commercial Break at 9:56]
Daniel Bryan Segment
[Q9 -- third hour] In-ring: Lilian Garcia asked the crowd to welcome back Daniel Bryan. Bryan's music played to bring out Bryan dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans with his hair pulled back Bruiser Brody-style. WWE went back to last April at WM30 when Bryan beat Batista and Randy Orton to capture the WWE World Title on the same night that he beat Triple H.
In the ring, Bryan surveyed the crowd before waiting out a "Daniel Bryan" chant. Bryan said something seems familiar about all of this. He said he feels like something big happened last time he was right here in New Orleans. But, he can't think of what it was. Oh, that's right. Last time he was in New "Or-leans," he won the main event of WrestleMania and became the WWE World Hvt. champion. Not bad for a lumberjack-looking B-Plus Player, right?
Bryan said that two weeks ago he declared his intentions to enter the Royal Rumble. But, here in New Orleans, he will declare his intentions to *win* the Royal Rumble match. He said he plans to win the main event of WrestleMania again. Bryan said he doesn't care what The Authority has to say ... suddenly, Stephanie McMahon's music played.
Steph marched down to the ring to address Bryan, who waited patiently for Stephanie to join him in the ring. Dean Ambrose's "hoooo!" line followed Steph to the ring. Once in the ring, Steph plugged her Fitness DVD for Bryan to try out. The crowd booed. No interest, Daniel? Steph said that's fine, then plugged WM30 at the Superdome last year. She noted that Bryan did defeat her husband, Triple H, and they finally bought into Bryan as an A-Plus Player ... until reality set in. They showed events from last year when Kane took out Bryan, scared off sympathetic Brie Bella, and Steph pretended to sell concern over Kane's actions toward Bryan.
Back live, Bryan looked down at the ground to sell a mix of anger and frustration. Steph recapped Bryan's serious neck injury, then noted he's been gone for eight months and had to wonder if he would ever make it back to WWE. Now, these people believe in him for some reason. He said Bryan is an Average Joe just like the rest of the audience. They believe in Bryan, his wife believes in him, and his unborn "foxtroll" children believe in Bryan, but does he believe in himself? Steph asked Bryan if he's ready to do this all over again. The crowd shouted "Yes!" Bryan said, "Yes. Yes! Yes!!! Yes!!!!!"
Bryan told Steph to join in with the people and raise your arms. After all, it's probably a better work-out that that DVD. Bryan did the "Hooooo!" from Dean Ambrose, then told Steph that she doesn't get him. Because he had to scratch and crawl for every opportunity. And, he will not stop fighting. There's a babyface line that's been needed on the show. Bryan said they will not stop fighting. "We will not stop fighting!" he said. Bryan vowed to continue through the Rumble, WM30, and past WrestleMania when they prove Steph wrong one more time.
Steph said clearly Bryan is not smart enough to listen to reason, so he will fight. This Thursday on Smackdown against someone who Bryan is very familiar with. Cue up Kane's theme music. Out came Corporate Kane for another run-in with his old Dr. Shelby classmate. Kane sneered as he walked down to ringside, where he was met by a dropkick through the ropes. Bryan took it to Kane, but Kane reversed momentum and whipped Bryan hard into the ring steps. Bryan sold pain before Kane re-arranged the ring steps.
Kane wanted a Tombstone on the ring steps, but Bryan slipped out and rammed Kane into the ringpost. Bryan lit up Kane with right hand strikes, pounding him underneath the ring apron. Suddenly, refs spilled out to pull Bryan off Kane. Bryan broke free, then charged Kane and ran him into the guardrail. Bryan followed with a suicide dive through the ropes to take out Kane. Kane eventually made it up the entrance way to the stage as Bryan stood tall and celebrated in the ring.
[ JC's Reax: A strong babyface segment that was desperately needed on Raw. They still had to rely on the cheap stuff like a "Hoooo!" chant and mocking the DVD (where's Toru Yano when you need him?), but it's better than anything from the babyface side on last week's show. ]
Backstage: Seth Rollins talked trash about John Cena, then J&J Security nervously told Seth to turn around. There was Brock Lesnar. Lesnar said this is the guy who beat John Cena tonight and weaseled his way into his WWE World Title match at the Royal Rumble. Seth confidently said he's The Future, but Lesnar laughed in his face. He said The Future starts when he says it starts. Paul Heyman walked in to try to keep Brock and Seth calm. He told Seth that perhaps they should work together to take out John Cena at the Rumble. And then, then, may the best man win. Seth and Brock stared each other down for a while, then Lesnar slowly backed away with Heyman. Seth continued to stare toward Brock as J&J Security sold concern behind Seth.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:16]
In-ring: Confusing the issue in the segment after Daniel Bryan's big comeback, Brie Bella was in heel mode for singles action against Paige. Will they eventually get to the moment when Bryan confronts Brie about her poor decision-making reuniting with Nikki to try to set her back on the right path?
6 -- BRIE BELLA (w/Divas champion Nikki Bella) vs. PAIGE (w/Natalya and Tyson Kidd)
Brie controlled early on, then Paige made a comeback with a headbutt. Kidd randomly hopped on the ring apron, distracting Paige, which allowed Brie to roll up Paige for the win. Post-match, Kidd tried to explain himself to Natalya as the Bellas celebrated up the ramp. Paige then left the ring and slapped Kidd. Natalya half-smiled, then acted concerned when Kidd looked back at her.
WINNER: Brie at 2:12.
Locker Room: John Cena was shown sitting down looking sad and dejected. Cole said Cena has to regroup for the contract signing tonight. Cole said that segment could be a trainwreck. Speaking of which, Cole went to a "trainwreck" between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt last week on Raw. Bray won, Ambrose got sent to the hospital, and Dean looks to be in pretty good shape despite losing and taking a physical beating.
Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's theme interrupted. Bray talked about the 30-man Royal Rumble match. He said 30 men will enter and 29 souls will fall. Bray said whatever he does next will change everyone's world forever. He said that people will have no choice but to sit there in their silence as he does the unthinkable. Bray told everyone to please run.
[Commercial Break at 10:26]
[Q11] Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera with no set-up. Cole buried the lead about what he was talking about, then officially announced the first 2015 Hall of Fame inductee is this man ... a video package on Randy Savage aired. That was a quick transition from "expected to be announced" to simply rolling the official announcement on Randy Savage. What was the point of the mystery verbiage? The video was a mix of Savage in the ring, Savage promos, Savage on 1980s and '90s TV talk shows, Slim Jim spots, and Miss Elizabeth. No talking heads from the roster or legends.
Back live, WWE showed the crowd applauding the announcement. A "Randy Savage" chant followed. Cole then relayed news that Hulk Hogan will induct Savage into the Hall of Fame.
Suddenly, the 1990s Raw remix played to bring out The Ascension. The announcers said these two guys think they should already be in the Hall of Fame. From an inset promo, The Ascension said they are better than the Road Warriors, Demolition, and Powers of Pain.
7 -- THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR) vs. UNIDENTIFIED JOBBERS
JBL ripped on The Ascension for facing guys who were cooking jambalaya earlier in the day. Booker tried to shoot down JBL's comment by saying Jobber #1 is "Asian, not Cajun." So, an Asian can't be Cajun? Ascension finished off Jobber #1 with combination offense for the pin and the win. JBL continued to rip on The Ascension for not facing real competition.
WINNERS: Ascension at 1:14.
Doctor's Office: Dean Ambrose flipped the session on the doctor, who cried on the couch about his dad never hugging him. Now it all makes sense. Dean told the doctor not to worry about his youthful misadventures. He then asked the doc to sign these papers and he'll make sure he gets the professional help he needs. The doctor signed the paperwork, then Dean called him gutless and spineless. And, yes, it is weird that he sits down to pee. The doctor cried and Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
Smackdown plug: Daniel Bryan returns to in-ring action Thursday night on Smackdown.
Next Week: Raw Reunion with Hogan, Michaels, Flair, and Hall. Cole said he understands there will be more on the show.
In-ring: U.S. champion Rusev and Lana were in the ring back from break. Lana said Ryback was supposed to face Rusev tonight, but he got "canned." She laughed to herself. So, they would like to take this moment to thank The Authority for firing Ryback. And they would like to thank John Cena for failing to get Ryback's job back. So typical. An American has a job, but chooses to be insubordinate. "U-S-A" chant from the crowd. "ShuTup," she said.
[Q12] Lana told the crowd to imagine just how Ryback feels right now sitting at home. Maybe he could get a job at a deli, or somewhere else from his stupid story. Rusev then took the mic to offer his thoughts. Rusev said he's a spineless man who deserved to be fired. He said the coward Americans don't deserve him as their champion, either. "Ryback, I have a secret for you. You're a lucky man. You're lucky because you got fired and because your Super-American John Cena couldn't win your job back," he said.
Suddenly, Dean Ambrose's music played. He apparently took exception to Rusev using his "spineless" line. Ambrose sauntered down to the ring as Cole noted that both men are in the Rumble match. Ambrose hit the ring and knocked Rusev to the floor, angering Rusev. Raw suddenly cut to break with Rusev mid-rant at ringside.
[Commercial Break at 10:47]
8 -- U.S. champion RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- non-title match
Back from break, Dean and Rusev were fighting in the ring. Cole said a match officially started during the break. Rusev worked on Dean's injured leg, but walked into a rebound lariat from Ambrose. Dean climbed to the top turnbuckle, then delivered a flying elbow to a standing Rusev for a two count. Dean sold the knee injury as Cole noted Dean nearly handed Rusev his first pinfall defeat. Rusev stomped and kicked at Ambrose's leg, so referee Chad Patton called for the bell, ending the impromptu match. Post-match, Rusev took his title belt and celebrated with Lana.
WINNER: Rusev via ref stoppage at 4:30. They are so up-and-down with "Teflon" Dean Ambrose from show-to-show.
Announcers: Cole and Co. plugged the Royal Rumble on WWE Network for $9.99. JBL played the role of the guy telling PPV buyers that they're not smart for spending $55 on a PPV. Of course, this same PPV cost $55 last year pre-Network, so what they're really saying is the value of WWE PPVs is now 82 percent less. The overall tone does not enhance the value of WWE Network, rather makes PPV customers feel like they've been wasting their money all these years spending so much on WWE PPVs.
Backstage: Seth Rollins was shown walking down the hallway for the contract signing.
[Commercial Break at 10:56]
Smackdown plug: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane this Thursday.
[Q13 -- over-run] Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the ring for the WWE Title contract signing. Steph, an evil heel, asked the crowd to give them $9.99 for WWE Network access to watch the PPV. The crowd reluctantly played along, then Steph brought out Seth Rollins. Seth entered the ring with J&J Security for handshakes all around. Hunter then introduced the man who was used by Seth Rollins to bring back The Authority, Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Broken Promises, John Cena.
Cena walked down to ringside and reluctantly entered the ring. Stephanie then introduced Brock Lesnar, who came out with Paul Heyman. Not much of a reaction for the participants after multiple in-ring appearances on the show while also being three hours deep into the show. As Lesnar completed his ring intro, JBL slipped in a reference to Lesnar being a former IWGP World Hvt. champion. (No mention of New Japan, but IWGP is close-enough.)
In the ring, Paul Heyman spoke first. Heyman said one man brought back The Authority, and that man is Seth Rollins. Heyman said Seth had a plan and that plan was endorsed by Paul Heyman. What was endorsed by Heyman was desperately needed by The Authority. And what was desperately needed was bad for John Cena. And what'a bad for John Cena is good for Brock Lesnar. And what's good for Brock Lesnar is best for business.
Seth said he did have a great plan, but Heyman cut him off and said he wasn't done yet. Heyman said his client, Brock Lesnar, has conquered everything in his path. And that includes everything in his path at the Royal Rumble PPV. Seth said he wants to get this straight - Heyman is upset that this title match has turned into a triple threat? Heyman shouted that he is indeed upset because a triple threat could be a double-cross. Cena stood off in the background watching Seth and Heyman going back and forth eagerly anticipating the heels tearing each other up.
Seth asked Heyman if Lesnar cannot handle a triple threat match. Heyman started his rebuttal, but Seth cut him off and said he wasn't finished yet. Seth said he doesn't have Lesnar's accomplishments, but Lesnar doesn't have his. "I am Seth Rollins. I built The Shield. I destroyed The Shield. I am Mr. Money in the Bank. I singlehandedly brought back The Authority. I pinned John Cena's shoulders to the pin," he said. Seth said it must "sting" a little bit that Cena failed to win back the jobs of Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan.
Seth vowed to walk out of the Royal Rumble as WWE champion. He then signed the contract and dropped the pen. Heyman said what really -- Lesnar took the mic to tell "Mr. Curbstomp" that he conquered The Undertaker, Triple H, and Cena. And he sure will conquer Rollins. Cena took a mic to tell Lesnar that he doesn't have to get pinned to lose the title, but he will get pinned. Cena then laid it out that they're going to take out Seth, then he's going to take out Lesnar. Cena signed the contract, then Brock signed it. "It's on!" Cena shouted.
Seth said there is one glaring flaw in Cena's plans. He failed to keep The Authority of power, then failed to get jobs back for the babyface trio. Seth heelishly said he beat Cena all by himself tonight, then said it's going to be Strike Three at the Rumble. If he can make it there, of course. Seth tried to attack Cena, but Lesnar grabbed Cena and suplexed him. Lesnar then suplexed Seth across the ring. But, Cena grabbed Lesnar and put him through the contract table with an AA. Cena got fired up and posed in Hunter's face, but Rollins dropped Cena from behind before nailing a Curb Stomp. Seth then Curb-stomped Brock as he remained KO'ed on the announce table.
Raw wasn't over, as Cole fed to a WWE Network plug for the Randy Savage DVD content feature, focusing on Savage's 2011 death coverage.
Back in the ring, Lesnar was shown recovering in the ring as Stephanie, Rollins, Hunter, and J&J stood tall on the stage. Cole and JBL asked if Rollins knows what he's done by waking up The Beast. Raw signed off 15 minutes past the top of the hour with Lesnar, now in a tweener role, angrily glaring toward the stage and Cena recovering on the floor.
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