WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 12, 2015) from the Smoothie King Center New Orleans, Louisiana, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Advertised for tonight: Daniel Bryan & Brock Lesnar appearances, more retribution from The Authority for those that have defied them - including the freshly reunited Shield team of Ambreigns, additions to the Rumble field and more!.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 12
BaconStrips here. Will WWE give it their all tonight, or phone it in against tonight's national championship game? Let's find out...
Just made it in time....show is LIVE
Recap of John Cena Appreciation Night.
Crazy pyro, and this train is officially rolling.
John Cena comes out to the normal mixed reaction, and Cena is excited about something. Also...the crowd is singing "John Cena suuuuuuuuuuuucks"
Cena takes the mic, and the boos start rolling in. He goes for the usual cheap pops before rationalizing why he brought back The Authority. He also says that Triple H will only be remembered for being a complete sociopath, and being evil enough to fire Erick Rowan, Ryback, and Dolph Ziggler.
Cena asks the crowd if they want to see those fired people on Raw tonight, and New Orleans overwhelmingly says "yes." Cena tells everyone to go onto social media and use #AuthoritySucks to diss The Authority.
After knocking The Authority some more, Cena says that he has a Plan B in regards to The Authority: beating Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins and leaving as WWE Champion. Cena also threatens to stay home until The Authority gets some sense.
Mercifully, The Authority comes down to the ring. Stephanie thanks the crowd for their warm reception, and immediately starts ripping John Cena and his decision to both oppose and bring The Authority back. They also reference his "take my ball and go home" strategy a few times.
Triple H reminds Cena of his choices in regards to Survivor Series and the stipulation put on that match. Trips also tells us that The Authority was able to win because they not only held their heads high, but they also used John Cena's ego to bring themselves back...and it doesn't help that Rollins was holding Edge's neck hostage as well.
Trips tells Cena that he has the opportunity to be the hero again. After asking the WWE Universe if the fired talent should get their jobs back, Trips has a bigger question: how much does Cena want them back.
The challenge is laid out: If John Cena wins his match tonight against Seth Rollins, the fired people are reinstated. Oh, and to preserve the match's legitimacy, this match will be a lumberjack match (uhhh...).
And that match is next.
John Cena vs Seth Rollins (lumberjack match; Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan reinstated if Cena wins)
- I should note that all of the lumberjacks are heels.
- As we get to the first break, we quickly realize that the odds are against Cena since the lumberjacks are all on Rollins' side.
- Back from break, and Rollins has control after some interference from Bad News Barrett.
- Cena battles back and hits a Five Knuckle Shuffle and Attitude Adjustment in quick succession. After the AA, J&J provide a distraction as the lumberjacks pull Rollins outside. All of the lumberjacks group together, leading Cena to hit a cross body to the floor, taking the entire group down.
- Inside the ring, the back-and-forth action really starts going,with lots of high-impact moves traded for many two counts (Sethwalker, Avada Kedavra, and a sit-down powerbomb, among others).
- Cena hits a second AA, but J&J pull out Cena as he goes for the pin. The lumberjacks beat Cena for a minute before returning him to the ring, where Rollins goes for a curb stomp. However, Cena reverses this into a STF attempt.
- More interference ensures, eventually leading to Big Show pulling Cena out and delivering the KO Punch. The lumberjacks put Cena back into the ring where Rollins gets the pin.
Seth Rollins defeats John Cena
No Ziggler, Ryback, or Rowan for a little while.
The Usos are talking to Stephanie McMahon when Dean Ambrose comes in. Ambrose is made an afterthought as Steph tries to convince The Usos of Cena's treachery. Also, Naomi is competing with her hand tied behind her back tonight....yup.
Steph also declares Dean Ambrose a threat to himself and others. As a result, Steph has brought in some doctor of abnormal psychology to evaluate Ambrose. If he doesn't pass the evaluation, he isn't in the Royal Rumble.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow reminisce on last night's Golden Globe win by George Clooney. One day, Clooney will win the most valuable trophy: A Slammy.
Ambrose and the doctor are talking. The doctor tells Ambrose to reflect, and places a clock on the table. Ambrose just stares at it.
The New Day vs The Uppercats
Adam Rose is ringside for this one.
Somewhat sloppy tag match that is hard to get into. The New Day gets the win with a double-team finisher following a sloppy pin sequence.
The New Day defeats The Uppercats
The commentators discuss the fact that Randy Savage is likely going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. A cool video is shown with various WWE wrestler impersonating Savage's famous "OOOOOOH YEAH" tagline. Roman Reigns nailed it.
Clip of the Indianapolis Colts celebrating...Ric Flair style.
Raw Reunion is advertised for next week. Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, and Ric Flair are advertised so far.
Big Show comes out to the ring, and the crowd couldn't care less.
"Whoever said that all men were created equal obviously wasn't a giant."
He starts talking about his first day in wrestling when he beat Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship.
He calls the crowd a bunch of losers, and starts saying that no one really wants competition...I have no clue what he's going on about at the moment.
Eventually, he addresses Roman Reigns. Show doesn't see Reigns as competition; instead, Reigns is WWE's version of the New York Knicks: a team on a 15 game losing streak.
In short: Roman Reigns is a loser, and all of Reigns' fans are losers.
The causes Roman Reigns to come out through the crowd.
Reigns enters the ring while Big Show high tails it out of the ring. Reigns wonders where Show is going, asking if he isn't enough of a threat.
Reigns brings up Big Show beating Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship.
Reigns then retells Jack and the Beanstalk, only recasting himself in Jack's role. Eventually, Reigns calls Big Show the biggest loser in the entire kingdom...blee dat!
I was incredibly close to muting this segment...not even going to lie.
Roman Reigns vs Luke Harper
Pretty decent hoss fight. Harper got to show some of his more athletic moves, and Reigns was able to display his good selling skills. In the end, Reigns gets the win with a spear while Harper goes for the discus clothesline.
Roman Reigns defeats Luke Harper
After the win, Big Show enters the ring and knocks out Reigns.
Also, either it was just me, or the crowds are starting to turn ever more against Reigns. I heard some very audible boos for him, and I even heard a "Let's go Harper" chant.
Recap of the opening match.
Miz and Mizdow recap the Golden Globes some more. Miz/Mizdow talk about Boyhood. Miz asks Mizdow about a project he's been working on. Mizdow explains Manhood: a film involving Miz living his everyday life for six months, taped by camera set up around Miz's house. This was hilarious.
Naomi vs Alicia Fox (Naomi's arm tied behind her back)
This is just painful. I feel bad for the ladies involved in this mess. They COULD have had a great little match, but whatever. Alicia eventually gets the win with her scissors kick after a surprisingly offensive showing from Naomi.
Alicia Fox def Naomi
Ambrose and the doctor are still talking, and it's time for the word association portion. Pictures are shown, and Ambrose gives some funny responses. Of note, he uses the word "brother" to refer to a picture of Roman Reigns.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman head out to the ring.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman"
Heyman disses New Orleans, and then briefly discusses Brock Lesnar's ending of Undertaker's Streak, which led to the rise of The Beast.
Heyman puts over Lesnar's championship history (NCAA, UFC, and WWE) and follows that up with the good ol' "MY CLIENT, BROCK LESNAR, CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER'S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA!"
Heyman then goes on a discussion about fantasy (everything else) and reality (Brock Lesnar) before discussing Lesnar's upcoming match at Royal Rumble against John Cena and Seth Rollins.
At tonight's contract signing, Heyman promises that Lesnar will explain reality to Cena and Rollins...this should be fun.
Another Macho Man vignette, with more impressions of Savage.
The Miz vs Jey Uso
Quick match that features Damien Mizdow doing his thing and The Miz getting the win with the Skull-Crushing Finale
The Miz defeats Jey Uso
The United Kingdom and Ireland is supposedly getting the WWE Network next Monday, so there's that to look forward to.
Daniel Bryan is NEXT!
Daniel Bryan comes out to a huge ovation.
Bryan brings up a small thing that happened last time he was in New Orleans....maybe the fact that he won a little championship at WrestleMania.
Bryan reminds us about him declaring his entry in the Royal Rumble, but he now makes the promise that he's going to win this time, and he doesn't care what The Authority has to say this time.
At this very second, Stephanie McMahon comes out, and she's holding her fitness DVD, which she gives to Bryan.
Steph briefly discusses Bryan and his hellish 2014. What is her biggest memory of 2014? Why, it's when Kane beat the hell out of Bryan before Extreme Rules.
The B+ player storyline is resurrected again due to Bryan's slow recovery and "average joe" status.
The question is asked to Bryan: Do you really want to do all this again?
The answer: yes...Yes...YES...YES! YES! YES! YES!
Bryan sums it up in one simple sentence: I will not stop fighting. He looks forward to proving Stephanie wrong again.
Stephanie books Daniel Bryan's first match for SmackDown....against Kane. Bryan immediately attacks Kane, but he is soon overwhelmed and thrown into the stairs. Kane sets Bryan up for a tombstone onto the stairs, but Bryan fights out and continues the assault on Kane until an army of refs separate them. This doesn't last long as Kane eats a dropkick followed by a suicide dive.
Kane is sent scurrying away as Bryan celebrates
Backstage, Seth Rollins and J&J Security are talking when they are interrupted by Brock Lesnar. They have a tense conversation until Paul Heyman tries to ease the tension. Heyman reminds us that Rollins is up against Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. An idea is hatched: get rid of Cena, then let Lesnar and Rollins go at it.
Brie Bella vs Paige
Quick match that ends with a distraction roll-up after Tyson Kidd distracts Paige
Brie Bella def Paige
After the match, Paige, who looks like she wants to manually dismember someone, exits the ring, stares down Tyson, and cold-cocks him in the face. Paige walks away as Natalya shows a slight smirk.
Recap of last week's ambulance match.
Bray Wyatt cuts a promo about the Royal Rumble match. Basically, Bray declares his entry in the Rumble, and tells us that he's going to win.
Randy Savage is officially announced as the first inductee to the Class of 2015 of the WWE Hall of Fame. His inductor will be Hulk Hogan.
The Ascension squash These Guys
Rusev and Lana are out.
Lana says that Ryback was supposed to face Rusev tonight, but Ryback got canned. Lana thanks The Authority for firing Ryback, and she also thanks John Cena for failing to win Ryback's job back.
A couple shu-tups later, and Lana tells everyone to imagine how Ryback feels at the moment...being away from the ring, and probably having to get a job at some deli (now I want some pastrami).
Rusev takes the mic and rips Ryback for being a spineless man. He also calls Ryback lucky for being fired, seeing that Ryback would have been thrown over the ropes at the Rumble.
Dean Ambrose, fresh out of his head shrinking session, comes out to the ring, and the two immediately start brawling. We go to break with Rusev having a freakout.
Dean Ambrose vs Rusev
Back from commercial, and this is an official match.
Pretty fun match that sees Ambrose get a good deal of offense in on Rusev. However, Rusev is able to target the knee that Ambrose injured last week during the ambulance match. The constant attacking of the knee eventually leads the referee to call off the match.
Rusev defeats Dean Ambrose due to referee stoppage
Ambrose tries to plead his case to the ref, but eats DAT KICK for his troubles.
Welp, it's contract signing time, and The Authority is in the ring. After a WWE Network shill, the triple threat participants are introduced: Seth Rollins, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar.
Paul Heyman is the first to speak in order to put over Seth Rollins for his plan to bring back The Authority.
Rollins starts to thank Heyman, but Heyman isn't done yet. He says that Brock Lesnar will devastate anything in his path.
Rollins brings up the triple threat stipulation, and Heyman shares his anger about the triple threat stipulation, to which Rollins starts to mock Heyman for being a bit afraid.
Rollins brings up his accomplishments: builder and destroyer of The Shield, Money in the Bank winner, and pinner of John Cena. Seth Rollins vows that he's walking out of Royal Rumble as WWE Champion, whether Plan A or Plan B is used. Rollins signs the contract.
Heyman starts to talk, but Lesnar takes the mic and reminds us all that he has conquered both Undertaker and Cena, and he will not hesitate to conquer Rollins.
Cena takes the mic and says that he will kick both Rollins' and Lesnar's ass. He then signs the contract.
Lesnar signs the contract as well. After this, Rollins addresses the failure of Cena's various plans. At Royal Rumble will signify strike three to Cena's plans.
Rollins tries to attack Cena with the briefcase, but Cena dodges and forces Rollins into a corner. Lesnar takes chase and suplexes both Cena and Lesnar. Cena quickly recovers and AAs Lesnar through the table. Rollins then curbstomps Cena into the mat. Not satisfied, Rollins curb stomps Lesnar into the mat to stand tall.
After a quick break, The Authority stands tall onstage as he looks over both Lesnar and Cena to end the show.