WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Jan. 27, 2014) from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring the fallout show from the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday night in Pittsburgh.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it. Let's get right to reactions. Remember, these were written as the show moved along with real time reactions to everything that occurred hour-by-hour.
- Triple H is a heel at heart. A real bastard who definitely believes he knows better than you. But he doesn't just believe he knows better than you, he believes he's so superior to you that he should tell you what's good for you and you should believe it without question because, again, he's just that much better than you. But hey, at least they played into the fact that everyone hated the Royal Rumble.
- Smart ass Daniel Bryan telling the fans not to chant YES because the big bad Authority doesn't like it is a Daniel Bryan I can get behind.
- I really, really liked the opening segment because, well, everyone in the ring was firing on all cylinders. Bryan stepping to Triple H and telling him they weren't leaving until he got what he wanted, a title shot at Elimination Chamber? That's perfect, mostly because Bryan just lost clean to Bray Wyatt and doesn't actually deserve a title shot so the only way he should get it is by outright taking it. Triple H bailing out using The Shield? That's perfect. Sheamus and John Cena running in to make the save was fine, though it needs later explanation. Still, this was great.
- I still don't like Zeb Colter's gimmick, but goddamn is he good at what he does. The addition of the Real Americans holding a sign with some text written on it -- this time "Wanted: Two Men wearing masks speaking a foreign language" -- is a nice touch.
- The psychology in tag team matches has been so much better lately. There's still work to be done on building actual teams but you could do worse than a strong match between Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger taking on Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. And Mysterio didn't even get booed!
- Was Colter's slap to Swagger to tease a break up or get Swagger motivated and bring out an angrier, more effective wrestler?
- Remember the explanation for Sheamus & Cena running out to save Bryan? It was done to set up a six-man tag main event against The Shield where the winning team would be enter the Elimination Chamber match against Randy Orton for the WWE title. That's a nice touch and a great way to drive viewers for later in the show.
- Bad News Barrett is dumping on The Miz again? Cleveland too? I'm good with it.
- Hey, they bothered to explain Xavier Woods not appearing in the Royal Rumble after he was "confirmed" as an entrant! While on commentary: "Someone stole my number before I even got the chance to look at it. JBL, I'm not saying it was you but everyone is a suspect."
- It was less than one year ago that Fandango defeated Chris Jericho clean at the biggest show of the year. Now he's jobbing to R-Truth. What happened? Where did it all go wrong?
- Randy Orton's promo sucked. So did Batista's, though he was saying the right things. We just can't care about these guys because of who is on the undercard. There are just better options available, almost everywhere.
- Speaking of better options, Brock Lesnar. Everything about this segment got a million times more interesting when Lesnar's music hit the loud speakers. He is, without question, the most charismatic non-speaking character ever. Paul Heyman finally had some great material to work with and he was awesome making Brad Maddox shake in his boots while Orton and Batista stood across the menacing beast staring them down. Let's be sure to give them credit here too. Batista never stopped looking at Lesnar with a hard look like "yeah, you're a real threat and I have to take you seriously, and I don't like it" while Orton was an absolute wreck, throwing his titles down and pacing back and forth like "oh shit, I'll probably get wrecked by both these guys and The Authority has been loving them both lately, I gotta figure something out fast". This was a great segment.
- Presented without comment: My sister in law Talytha checking out Batista during his promo on Randy Orton: "He's gay, isn't he?"
- The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler in a battle of Cleveland is kind of nice for these guys. They probably wanted to do it and were really excited about it and probably weren't told that Barrett would go out earlier in the night and take a big fat shit on it.
- What's Ryback doing teaming with Ben Roethlisberger? (Had to do it, sorry, let's move on.)
- After the reports of WWE going ahead with the Ryback loose cannon character and his bizarre antics on Main Event two weeks ago, there was real hope for his new character. There's just so much to love about who he is when he gets on Twitter that you can't help but badly want him to be able to do the same on TV. Instead, he's still teaming with Curtis Axel doing jobs for The Usos. His sell job on the running shoulder into the post spot was something special. Picture Ryback literally screaming and crawling like he'd just been shot.
- Actually felt like Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston was a good match that managed to entertain me despite all odds, like the fact that it was an Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston match. Particularly enjoyed Del Rio longingly staring at the WrestleMania 30 sign, no doubt thinking both about what was before -- he defended the world heavyweight title at last year's show -- and what could have been -- he was unceremoniously dumped from the Rumble this year by Batista.
- Man, the New Age Outlaws act got tired faster than anyone ever could have expected they would. It literally seemed like Road Dogg aged like 10 years in one night. I can't be the only one who felt that way, right? And when Billy Gunn was shouting "come on, Dogg" from the apron, I just felt bad. The New Age Outlaws make me feel bad now.
- So let me get this straight... Lesnar doesn't get his wish from The Authority so he decides to make his discontent felt by interfering in the Outlaws vs. Rhodes Brothers tag team title rematch. Okay, that's fine. But he attacks Cody and Goldust instead of two of Triple H's old cronies who had JUST mentioned something about getting the titles due to prior affiliations? Really? And the two guys he attacked were very recently enemies of The Authority?
- Whatever, I badly want an entire episode of Monday Night Raw dedicated to Brock just walking out and F-5'ing the shit out of everyone who works a match on that particular card.
- I enjoyed the Divas match. I have nothing else to say about it.
- Cleveland chanting for Roman Reigns when he got into the main event? That's good to hear if only because it's nice to know there are fans who recognize talent and will cheer for it despite WWE booking. So what if he's a heel? We decide if he's good or not, and Reigns is great.
- Speaking of the booking, though, they had Reigns break out of Cena's STF using pure strength. That's amazing. That man is being booked stronger than anyone we've seen in a long time.
- Thought the six-man tag main event wasn't nearly as good as it should have been considering those involved. Everyone hit their spots, though the Spear Reigns delivered to John Cena was just the worst thing I've ever seen, and it was totally on Cena. One thing that could be said about the match in favor of Bryan, though, was that Cleveland was mostly dead for it until he got in the match. The psychology was good for it and they set up Bryan to be the hot tag house of fire, as they should have. But the ultimate answer WWE came up with for fans after the Royal Rumble was to have Bryan inserted into a title match at the next PPV that will feature five other guys and have him get there via a six-man tag where his team won by disqualification when his teammate was attacked by the group that just defeated him. Take what you can get at this point, fans. At least he stepped to Triple H in the opening segment, right?
- So, uh, where was CM Punk? And Kane?
Not a bad show, though it felt like ran a bit long towards the end.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?