Angi S., Here…
Just 24 hours after the TLC (and Stairs) pay per view, RAW IS JERICHO! In Detroit, MI, the WWE Universe is ready to witness the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah as interim General Manager and do his best to manage the chaos that has become the WWE’s flagship program in the absence of the Authority. The night promised to be intense as the fall out of the previous evening was hanging over the arena (looking oddly like a steel cage). How would the Best in the World at What He Does fair with such a daunting task? Let’s find out as I give my thoughts and opinions on WWE’s Dec. 15th edition of RAW!
The opening segment saw the crowd explode when the Walls Broke Down in Detroit. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. Last we saw of Jericho was right before Survivor Series when he magic eight balled the down fall of the Authority. Y2J basked in the adulation of the crowd and then began to stretch his GM muscles. He demanded Fandango return the Slammy he stole, but it was Paul Heyman who answered. Brock Lesnar’s advocate admitted to being a Jericholic but questioned not being put in charge of Raw himself. He mentioned that he had experience in managing shows after all. Jericho however, still held a grudge about Heyman owing him $200 from the ECW days.
The two continued their banter and then Paul began to speak ill of Seth Rollins. But before I could stick pins into my Paul Heyman voodoo doll, Mister Money in the Bank’s music hit and the undisputed, living, breathing future of the WWE appeared. Rollins didn’t take to kindly to the trash that Paul had been spouting and confronted him, invading his personal bubble (the one time in my life I ever wished to be Paul Heyman.) Seth defended himself stating that just as with Survivor Series, outside forces, who had no business getting involved, cost him the victory over John Cena. He rightfully called John a coward and challenged him to a rematch, but not that night as he was still banged up from the night before. The leader of the Cenation then decided to make his presence known, because where there is a spotlight, he needs to be apart of it. John implied that Rollins lacked certain parts of male anatomy (that John Cena voodoo doll can’t hold any more pins… I’ve tried…) and accepted the issued challenge but insisted that the rematch take place that night.
I’m convinced that Jericho had one too many Yeah Boys (don’t know what that is? Go read his latest book), before the show began as he abused the power trusted to him as General Manager, and not only booked the match, but made the sadistically cruel decision to make it a steel cage match. Seth protested and then hit on an epiphany. Y2J was jealous of his ability. Rollins doubted if Jericho could beat the popcorn guy, much less Paul Heyman. In an attempt to prove he still had skills, Chris booked himself in a match against a man who is just an advocate and not a competitor, the stipulation of it being the fans would choose what type of match it would be. And we could vote on the WWE app. Our choices being: Extreme Rules Match, No Holds Barred, or a Street Fight. I refused to vote in a silent protest that had NOTHING to do with my iPhone being dead.
Erick Rowan & Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper & Big Show
Winner: Luke Harper & Big Show via pinfall
The new Intercontinental Champion teamed with Erick Rowan to take on the Big Show and Luke Harper in a tag match that saw all four men take more abuse on top of the carnage they endured the evening before. Dolph Ziggler took the brunt of the punishment from both Harper and Show. I didn’t complain, not because I don’t like Dolph, I’m a huge fan, but he looks great knocked out. (yes, I do have issues) The match however was a bit inconsistent. At times the pace was quick and exciting and then slow and lumbering. Harper and the Show Off took a spill over the announce table and Rowan took a knock out punch to the jaw allowing Show to pick up the win.
So while I’m totally peachy with Dolph and Luke continuing their feud, I’m less so enthused with Big Show and Sheepboy. Can this just end and we call it a day? Granted it’s a great chance to elevate Erick to a higher status, but they aren’t doing this. He has been pinned twice by Big Show and while the work he did before getting pinned looked good, he still comes off in a negative way. Can he move on to someone else, pretty please? Perhaps enter the IC title picture as well? Who says that the title should only be contested between two men? A triple threat between the former Wyatt family brethren and Ziggler would be a great match. As much as it pains me to say this, Show is not the performer he used to be and his work is dragging down those who are in the ring with him. He’s still great on the mic, use him in a capacity that plays to his strengths.
The Bella Twins vs Alicia Fox & Natalya
Winner: Alicia Fox & Natalya via submission
It’s Total Divas everyone!!! A sub par “reality” show with only a few women that can put on entertaining matches. This was NOT one of those. Alicia Fox is talented, Natalya is talented, so I’m sure a match pitting these women against each other would have elevated the Diva’s division. But because someone is stuck on the Bellas, we, the WWE Universe, have to suffer through this and pray for a quick victory. Thankfully, Natalya’s skills shown through and answered our prayers and locked in the Sharpshooter causing Brie to tap. After the match Tyson Kidd was seen attending to Nikki as Nattie and Alicia celebrated.
I’ve said it before but I am so OVER Nattie and Tyson’s drama. I didn’t think it could get any worse but it appears I was wrong as the powers that be have seen fit to throw a Bella into the mix. WWE, the Bella twins are poison to who ever they are working with. You have extremely talented women who are far more skilled and entertaining to watch. Or dare I say, you have women down in NXT that would really liven up the Diva’s division. I love to see the chicks wrestle, when it’s done well. But the current state of the Diva’s division is stagnant and not getting any better.
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel!
Featuring: Rusev and Lana
Y2J continued to be in top form for the Highlight Reel. His special guests were the United States Champion, Rusev and Lana. I doubt the Ravishing Russian or the Bulgarian brute would have agreed to come out if they had known the tongue lashing they would receive. Insults were not the only thing to be featured, but now we are left to wonder about the true nature of Rusev and Lana’s relationship. Did we care? Can’t their personal lives remain secret? I personally do not need that visual. It wasn’t completely useless as this segment served up Rusev’s next opponent. The Champion looked as if he were about to crush Y2J when the host with the most introduced Ryback as someone who wanted to fight Rusev RIGHT NOW!! But not right now as Rusev, strategically regrouped all the way back to the locker room leaving us hungry for more.
The New Day vs Gold & Stardust
Winner: The New Day via pinfall
This is a match that must have looked amazing on paper because it did not look that great in the ring. It had potential, it really did, but something continued not to click for the New Day. The fans were also not impressed as they cheered for everything OTHER than the match going in the ring. From, JBL, to CM Punk, to NXT. I feel bad for the guys in the ring, but if they can’t grab the attention of the WWE Universe, they are destined to fall back into obscurity. And that is a shame considering how talented each man in the New Day is. The match itself, as stated before, was anything but stellar (forgive the pun).
The most entertaining parts of the match being Kofi Kingston and JBL arguing on commentary (JBL has a point, no one is THAT happy without an agenda. I choose to believe the New Day spends a lot of time with RVD *wink wink*) and Stardust not sporting gold paint anymore. In the end, it was Big E and Xavier Woods picking up the win over the Bizarre Ones. Looks as if the New Day is getting pushed toward the tag titles. But here’s a thought. Are they trying to make the New Day some sorta Shield 2.0? Quit throwing things at me and follow my thought process. One of the reasons for the Shield’s success centered on the 3 completely different styles of its members. The New Day has 3 men with completely different styles. A Powerhouse, a high flyer, and a more technical mat wrestler. Sound familiar? Yeah and ya’ll thought I was crazy huh? Unfortunately, I see this blowing up in their faces.
You can’t recreate the magic that was the Shield. The biggest reason for me is, the men of the New Day, while talented, do not have the fire and drive that radiated and continue to radiate off of Roman, Dean or Seth. When they are on, you watch. When the New Day is on, you glance up from your phone, chant “New Day” if you can be bothered, and then go back to your phone. They just don’t beg to be watched. That and it feels like the New Day are being shoved down our throats, and that NEVER goeswell. I’m with JBL on this. They have to be hiding something.
Adam Rose vs Kane
Winner: Kane via pinfall
Kane finally looked strong, unfortunately it was against Adam Rose and the Bunny. Kane dominated the match as was to be expected. What little offense Adam did mount, ended before it had a chance to really get going. When the Bunny attempted to help the Party God, Kane delivered quick retribution and we got to see something we haven’t seen in far too long. A Double Choke Slam. Kane picked up the win. Thank you WWE for allowing Kane to pick up a win, but in typical IWC fashion I’m about to bitch about it.
The match was against Adam Rose. He is talented and has great skills too, but Kane should have beat him otherwise it would not have been believable. There aren’t many on the main roster who shouldn’t beat Rose. Even Heath Slater should win over Adam Rose. So, how about we ditch the party god gimmick and repackage Adam Rose into something that is a contender for a title? But not before revealing who that damn Bunny is. Also something that needs to be brought up. Why is Jimmy Jacobs a Rosebud? Don’t know who Jimmy Jacobs is? *pats* Google is your friend. You won’t be disappointed.
Chris Jericho vs Paul Heyman
Winner: The fans via Brock Lesnar
It’s time for the blood thirsty masses to be rewarded for helping Chris Jericho pick on the defenseless Paul Heyman. Again, I refused to vote as I’m a sweet and merciful individual. I reiterate it had NOTHING to do with my dead iPhone. Poor Paul attempted to bribe Chris by writing him a check for the $200 that he owed him. But it was to no avail. The voting results were revealed and the WWE Universe’s sick and twisted fettish to see Paul Heyman pummeled showed in a win to the Street Fight. BUUUT this fight was not meant to happen because BROCK LESNAR is in the hizouse! Our reigning, defending champion marched down to the ring and stalked his prey. He was methodical in his entrance and brutal in delivering an F-5 to Chris Jericho. So, no match but the champ made his presence felt and of course the WWE Universe ate it up. Fickle bunch.
Fandango/Roman Reigns/Big Show Segment
Why oh gods why are they still pushing Fandango on us? And how exactly is he improved? I’m still confused. I will ask that till I get an answer I’m sure. But he was in the ring and bragging how he stole Chris Jericho’s Slammy. He then molests it. (awkward much?) Luckily, Roman Reigns appeared and speared that dancing buffoon out of his boots. (I’m still mad at you Roman… No matter how amazing you look…) The Big Show decided this was the opportune time to air his grievances with the Samoan superman and began to come down to the ring. Roman warned the giant that if he stepped in the ring, he’d get punched in the mouth.
Big Show came down to the ring, and got punched in the mouth. Can’t say he wasn’t warned. While it didn’t knock him down, he did think twice about entering the ring. Big Show went back to the back leaving Roman to triumphantly pose for the adoring crowd. So does this mean that Erick Rowan is no longer on Show’s radar? Is Roman about to prove to the Big Show that the squared circle is HIS yard? Will it be the Superman Punch vs the Knock-out Punch? I’m on the fence about this. Especially since I’ve been so unimpressed with Big Show as of late. I liked it better when Reigns had his sights set on Seth. It makes more sense, Seth Rollins is Mister Money in the Bank.
The closest thing to being #1 contender without being John Cena. Perhaps Show is just a stepping stone on the road to Seth at Royal Rumble? That and in past interviews, Roman said that when he came back, he was going to be gunning for Rollins. And before you all get confused, I love Seth, he’s my main guy. But the last time they were in a match, Roman beat Seth clean. I can’t live with that, and I KNOW it has to be eating away at Seth. Now is the time for redemption against that fluke. So Roman, make quick work of the Big Show. There are bigger and better things for you.
Jimmy Uso vs The Miz
Winner: Jimmy Uso via pinfall
The Miz is still doing his best for Naomi. But Jimmy Uso is still taking exception to the aid that the Miz is selflessly providing to further Naomi’s career. The two came together in singles competition that was pretty decent. The action was back and forth but try as he might, the Hollywood A lister was unable to keep up his attacks. The high flying angry Uso used his anger to fuel his attacks. Damien Mizdow was committed as ever as he mimicked everything that happened to the Miz.
At one point it, however, the Miz shoved his stunt double as he was attempting to mimic the last offensive maneuver that was completed. Poor Mizdow looked like a puppy who just got his nose bopped. It was brushed off as the action returned to the ring and more shenanigans occurred that unfortunately, distracted the ref, and allowed Jey Uso to use his Slammy to hit the Miz over the head stunning him. Jimmy hit a top rope splash and picked up the win. Kinda digging faces using heel tactics to win this. Remember kiddies, a win is a win and it’s only illegal if the ref catches on.
John Cena vs Seth Rollins
Steel Cage Match
Winner: Seth Rollins
And now to our main event. A steel cage match! Sweet retribution on the horizon for the UNDISPUTED, living breathing future of the WWE. This match had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It wasn’t exactly what Rollins had had in mind for a rematch but he made the most of it. The match was back and forth, Seth pulling off a turn buckle power bomb, Cena hitting Seth with a bulldog off the top rope. Nothing would stop the other from winning the match. Cena even hit an AA on Rollins, but like the resilient ninja he is, Mr. Money in the Bank kicked out proving that he is not to be taken lightly.
Not even an STF could make him tap! But at the same time, Cena showed exactly why he is the King of the Mountain. Not even being pummeled with by the briefcase was enough for a pinfall. The biggest surprise however was when BROCK LESNAR with his advocate, Paul Heyman, made their way down to the ring and into the cage. 3 sweet german suplexes to Cena later, Rollins made his way out of the cage, hopping down and picking up the win. Sweet sweet retribution as the wrongs of the previous night were righted! What made me go all gooey was the hand shake between Seth Rollins and Paul Heyman before the victorious exit. I know what I want it to mean, but even I am not that lucky. What do I want it to mean? That Rollins is a Paul Heyman Guy. Can you imagine that?
The one behind the one in 21-1 allied with the man who created and then destroyed the most dominant faction in the WWE? I think I just had a Wrestlegasm. It would make sense for Paul to take Mr. Money in the Bank under his wing. Then he would have the World Heavy Weight Champion & the wild card under his influence. To where all he had to worry about was John Cena. If by some miracle Cena wins at the Royal Rumble, Seth could cash in, win, and Paul would STILL be manager to the Champion. On Seth’s side, if he allies with Paul Heyman, he has the power of the World Heavy Weight Champ at his back. Brock does what Paul says. Who would dare mess with Seth if all Paul had to do was sick Brock on them for messing with one of his guys? Yeah, I’ve not thought or dreamed of this in the slightest…
– Angi Sanders