JC’s Top Rope Report: The RAW Truth Review for 1.20.14

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Mini Evolution Reunion

RAW started with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. Triple H said that this Sunday starts the Road to Wrestlemania. Triple H said that the winner gets a guaranteed main event WWE Title shot at Wrestlemania. HHH was about to welcome back Batista until Randy Orton interrupted. Orton said he was going to get right to it. Steph blasted him and said never before have their been so many eyes on the WWE. And she said with everyone watching, Orton lost and took out his frustrations on John Cena’s dad. Steph said what Orton did last week was beneath the actions of the WWE Champion. She said if Orton can’t follow the rules of the new Authority, Orton won’t have to worry about being part of the WWE roster. Orton said if he wasn’t put in a meaningless rematch at the Royal Rumble, he wouldn’t have been in that situation. He then ripped on Triple H for bringing back Batista and Brock Lesnar. Orton said if he could go back he would do the same thing again. HHH said they made Orton the face of the WWE because they believe in him. They think Orton can get through whatever they put in front of him. Triple H said they still have that faith but Orton doesn’t. HHH said Orton punched a helpless old man in the face to hide his fears. Triple H told Orton he needs to rise up and be a man and fix a lot of things. HHH made a rematch with Kofi Kingston, then said there was a camera in the back where Cena will come in, and Orton and him can settle things in the ring.

Batista’s music hit and he made his entrance to the ring. After playing to the crowd a bit he stared down Randy Orton. Batista said that Orton seems to have a few questions about his return. Batista said he is back for the WWE Championship. He said he is going to win the Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania, and Orton had to deal with it.

Lets Keep Enjoying These Shield Matches While They Are Still Around

Six Man Tag: The Shield vs Big E Langston and The Rhodes Brothers. Big E started with a shoulder tackle on Ambrose then a press slam of Rollins. Goldust came in and hit a backbody drop, follwed by an upper cut and inverted atomic drop for two. Cody came in and hit an elbow off the top rope followed by a face first suplex for two. Goldust came in and hit a knee drop to the head for two. Cody came back in but Rollins caught him with a kick to the gut. Cody went for his roll up pin in the corner, then hit an upper cut of his own. Cody went for the Disaster Kick but Rollins bailed to the outside. Cody instead hopped on the top rope and hit a dive to the outside into commercial.

Back from break Cody tried making a tag but Roman Reigns stopped him. Ambrose and Rollins then hit separate dropkicks on Cody. Rollins ended up missing a splash in the corner, but Reigns came in and knocked Goldust off the apron. Cody countered a backdrop and caught Reigns with a Disaster Kick. Big E got the tag along with Ambrose. He hit a belly-to-belly on Ambrose and clotheslined Reigns over the top. Rollins stopped the Big Ending and was sent to the outside where Goldust hit a dive. Big E hit another belly-to-belly followed by a splash. Reigns broke up the pin and caught Cody with a Superman Punch. He speared Goldust then was taken out by Big E. Rollins tagged in and hit the curb stomp on Big E for the win.

Please Let Daniel Bryan Pull Double Duty On Sunday. Please?

When RAW came back from commercial Daniel Bryan was already in the ring. The crowd chanted his name and he remarked that some people don’t think he should be the face of the company. Bryan said some people asked if he had a plan. He said you have to think outside the box when someone has a messiah complex. He said he had to keep some people in the dark but he finally got his moment when he had Bray Wyatt in the cage one-on-one. He said last week he tore the buzzard apart and exposed him as a fraud. He said Harper and Rowan are in the Rumble, which means he gets Daniel Bryan one-on-one.

Bray Wyatt appeared on the screen. Bray said Bryan exposed himself. Bray said they only look up to Bryan because they chose to kneel before a traitor. Bray said to go home and hug his loved ones because everything that happens to him from now on will be his fault.

Fandango beat Xaiver Woods in about a minute with a suplex and the top rope leg drop.

Brad Maddox and Kane were backstage when Stephanie McMahon interrupted. She asked Maddox to leave and asked Kane what he was thinking when he chokeslammed CM Punk on Smackdown. She said she knew putting Kane in this position was a risk but he can’t put his hands on CM Punk, even if Punk thinks they have a hidden agenda. Kane apologized, but Steph told him he had to go apologize to CM Punk.

Corporate Kane: Now With Mood Lighting Promos

Kane came out and asked for CM Punk to come out, which he did. Kane said as Director of Operations, he over-stepped his bounds and let his emotions get the best of him. Kane said he apologized for chokeslamming him on Smackdown. CM Punk said that he didn’t think Kane’s mic was working so he asked him to say it again. Kane apologized again. Punk said that he didn’t need to embarrass Kane again. Punk then hit Kane with a mic and knocked him to the outside with a knee. Brad Maddox came out and said Punk will get a fight versus one of these guys, and the New Age Outlaws came out. Billy Gunn ended up getting to fight Punk.

Punk took out Gunn with a couple kicks in the corner. He threw Gunn into the corner hard and Gunn bailed to the outside. Punk threw Gunn onto the apron but was distracted by Road Dogg on commentary so Gunn caught him from behind. Back from commercial Gunn broke a sleeper hold with a jawbreaker for two. Punk escaped a headlock but Gunn caught him with a dropkick. Gunn took his shirt off and threw it at Punk, but Punk caught him with a kick to the face. Gunn rolled to the outside, allowing Punk to leave the ring and attack Road Dogg. Back in the ring, Punk hit a swinging neckbreaker on Gunn, followed by the high knee. Gunn threw Punk into Road Dogg on the apron and Gunn hit a spinning backdrop for two. Gunn missed a splash in the corner. Punk went to the top, but Road Dogg pulled Gunn out. Punk hit a dive through the ropes on Road Dogg but Gunn caught him with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Punk reversed Gunn and hit the GTS for the win.

After the match, Kane congratulated Punk on his win. He said this Sunday, Punk can prove that he is the Best in the World to 29 other entrants because he will be the #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble Match on Sunday.

They aired the Royal Rumble “By The Numbers” video package, followed by a Mae Young Tribute video.

It’s The New Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston!

Alberto del Rio vs Rey Mysterio. Del Rio knocked down Rey with a shoulder tackle then kicked him in the gut. Rey cameback with a sit down dropkick for two. Del Rio blocked a clothesline then dropped Rey on the ropes. Del Rio went for a dropkick through the ropes but caught himself in the ropes. Rey kicked him in the face then hit a springboard moonsault to the outside. In the ring Rey hit a dropkick into the mid-section of Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio reversed Rey and he got caught in the ropes, allowing Del Rio to hit a jumping stomp. Del Rio tossed Rey into the steps on the outside. Del Rio then hit an axe handle off the top for two. Rey escaped a headlock but Del Rio hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio landed more kicks then tossed Rey to the outside into commercial.

Back from break Del Rio tossed Rey into the steps. Del Rio tried ripping off Rey’s mask but couldn’t get it off. Del Rio put Rey in a torture rack position on the mat then pulled Rey into the post. Rey tried fighting back but Del Rio moved and Rey went right into the post. Del Rio kicked Rey a few times, but Rey moved and Del Rio went right into the post. Rey hit a dive off the top. Rey started a comeback and hit a seated senton then a kick to the face for two. Rey then hit a hurricarrana, but Del Rio blocked the 619 and catapulted Rey into the corner. Del Rio went for a powerbomb but Rey hit a hurricarrana then a 619. He Dropped the Dime but Del Rio grabbed the ropes before the three count. Del Rio blocked Rey then dropped him face first, followed by the cross armbreaker for the win.

After the match, Batista came out and confronted Del Rio. Del Rio went to attack him but Batista hit a spinebuster followed by a Batista Bomb.

Yes Cole, We Have Seen This Happen Before

Big Show came out. He said Brock Lesnar may be the baddest man in the WWE right now, but he just doesn’t like him. He then did a really bad Paul Heyman impression and called out Lesnar. Paul Heyman came out and stood on the stage for a bit, then Lesnar came out. Lesnar and Heyman started walking to the ring, but Lesnar laughed and turned around and went to the back. Big Show called him back out and they started walking out again. Lesnar went into the ring and stared down Big Show. Lesnar tried taking Show down but to no avail. Lesnar backed him into the corner, but Show eventually reversed him to the outside. Lesnar grabbed a chair and smashed it on the announce table but Show stopped him from coming in the ring. Lesnar threw a TV monitor into the ring as he circled the ring then walked back up the ramp.

The Funkadactyls beat AJ and Tamina. Tamina took out Naomi with a crescent kick then tagged in AJ. She skipped around the ring then Naomi rolled up AJ to pick up the win.

It’s Nice To See The Usos Getting Over

The Usos vs Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. Harper landed some early blows to Jimmy Uso then tagged in Rowan. Rowan landed some kicks then tossed Jimmy to the outside. Harper missed a chop on the outside then hit one of his own. Jey tagged in and hit a dive to the outside. Jey landed some kicks back in the ring then Jey and Harper exchanged punches. Jimmy came back in and hit a crossbody for two. Rowan applied the claw to Jey but couldn’t push him over the top to the outside. Rowan and Harper started working over Jimmy in the ring. Jimmy caught Harper with a kick and went to the top, but Harper shoved Jimmy off the apron and he landed face first on the barricade on the outside.

Harper and Rowan continued to dominate back from break. Bray took the mic and asked if this isn’t what the fans here wanted to see. He said this punishment is what is in store for Daniel Bryan. Bray said hell awaits Bryan this Sunday. Jimmy escaped a headlock and hit a corkscrew dive off the top and made the tag to Jey. Jey landed some kicks to the gut followed by a Samoan Drop. Jey hit the Rikishi butt splash in the corner then a crescent kick on Rowan, knocking him off the apron. Jimmy hit a dive to the outside, but in the ring Harper hit a sit down bodyslam. Daniel Bryan then came out and took out Bray and landed a kick to the head of Rowan. The distraction allowed Jey Uso to roll up Harper and pick up the win.

We Have A New Who’s Driving The Car Mystery!

Main Event time. Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton. Orton went after Kofi right after the bell. Orton yelled up the ramp asking where Cena was and Kofi took advantage as they brawled to the outside. Orton gained the upperhand with a kick to the mid-section, then he slammed Kofi’s head twice off the announce table. Kofi fought back with some punches of his own then a jumping punch into the corner. Orton side-stepped Kofi and Kofi went into the turnbuckle. Orton landed a dropkick but stared up the ramp again, allowing Kofi a backslide attempt for two. Orton hopped right back up and hit a clothesline. Kofi countered the middle rope DDT with the SOS, but Orton kicked out before three. Suddenly they cut to a shot of the arena entrance and John Cena was walk/running to the ring.

Cena came to the ring and Kofi stopped Orton from bailing. Cena and Orton brawled in the crowd. Cena went for an AA but Orton bailed and they continued to brawl. They went up through the crowd and then into a suite. It eventually ended up with Orton going outside into the passenger side of a car and driving off. Cena came back in and interacted with fans in the audience to close the show.

WHAT I LIKED

Wrestling On The Show: I liked the wrestling on the show again. The Usos/Wyatt tag was good, as was the Shield six man tag. Despite the fact that Del Rio/Mysterio happened for the third time in a week, I thought it was the best match of the three that happened. RAW has been on a streak of good wrestling lately and I hope it continues for the foreseeable future.

Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt Build: This match probably has more heat it than the other two matches on the card. Bryan’s reasoning for joining the Wyatts at least made sense.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Cena/Orton Ending: That might have been a lazier final segment to the show than a mini-Royal Rumble breaking out would have been. Cena shows up 3 hours late, barely gets his hands on Orton, and the show ends with Cena just interacting with fans for three minutes? Just weak. It pretty much tells me they have nothing left for these two from a storytelling standpoint and are just waiting to get to Sunday.

Big Show/Brock Lesnar: I just don’t like the idea of pairing Lesnar with Big Show. This isn’t ten years ago. I don’t expect the match to be any good. It’ll be filled with a lot of big spot/rest hold/reset spots. The win may help Lesnar look strong, but he wouldn’t need it if he was booked the right way from the start. The final build did nothing to get me intrigued.

Batista Return: To me Batista’s return just fell kind of flat. His promo on Orton just seemed off. Him taking out Del Rio was expected and again, it just didn’t do that much for me. I expected somewhat of a better return than what happened. I don’t know what else could have been done. But this just fell flat for me.

This show was a major step down from the last couple weeks The wrestling couldn’t make up for the absolutely poor build they gave to most of the Rumble card. Even the Rumble match itself didn’t seem like it got the hype it normally would. The top two singles matches just didn’t do a great job of selling the PPV itself. It is pretty evident the WWE is putting all of their hopes that the Rumble match sells the viewing audience. I’m giving the show a 3. Weak effort by the WWE.

Also, I will be at the Royal Rumble on Sunday. So be sure to follow me at my Twitter handle below for live in person updates.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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