Monday Night Raw
Date: January 19, 2015
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Booker T., Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is a special episode as it’s not only the go home show for the Royal Rumble but also the Raw Reunion with some big names being brought back in for an appearance. Those are almost always at least somewhat interesting, though there are other times where the legends are just there without doing anything special. Let’s get to it.

We open with a tribute to Martin Luther King, which WWE airs in some form every year.

Opening sequence.

Here are Heyman and Lesnar to get things going. Brock cuts off Heyman’s intro and says he’s here to fight Seth Rollins. He gives Rollins ten seconds and the crowd is nice enough to count it down for him. Instead, here’s HHH to address the champ. He understands that Brock is upset about getting Curb Stomped into the ground. However, wouldn’t Brock have done that if he had the chance?

After all, he suplexed Rollins first, so maybe Seth’s actions are understandable. Maybe we should just go to the back and get Brock a steak while he and Heyman talk about things. Brock isn’t pleased and asks if HHH is here to fix this or fight. Heyman loses his mind but here are Stephanie with Big Show and Kane to intervene. Lesnar and the Authority have a standoff but Rollins pops up on screen (prompting Heyman to grab his own head and shout OH NO).

He’ll be getting his shot at Lesnar soon enough, right before he takes Brock’s title. Heyman says let the adults talk about things and wants the Authority to put a leash on their puppy. If they don’t fix things, the roster is going to be destroyed and Lesnar is walking out Sunday with the champion. Cue Cena (now in a blue shirt and hat) to say that they’re going to beat each other up on Sunday. However, he’s here to talk to the Authority.

They offered him a spot on the team a few months back but he politely declined. Every week, the Authority tries to make him quit, but he wants them to keep it up. Every single thing they say and do lights a new fire him that he’s taking to the Rumble this Sunday to get the title back. The Authority used their power and politics to get three people fired, so he’s going to enjoy sticking it to them this Sunday.

Stephanie cuts off his exit and says Cena reached a turning point when he brought back the Authority. Now he’s a loser and a liar and no one wants to cheer that. Rollins says Cena will fail again on Sunday because Cena’s time is up. He should just duck out of the match on Sunday and walk off with whatever dignity he has left.

Cena of course mocks Rollins for saying “tuck his legs between his legs” before saying everyone will respect him after Sunday. Cena offers to sweeten the pot: if he wins the title Sunday, Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler get their jobs back. HHH seems intrigued but wants one more stipulation: Cena has to have a match tonight and if he wins, all three of them get their jobs back. If he loses though, they stay fired and he’s out of the triple threat. We’re still not done though because HHH wants to make it an App poll.

How to download the App.

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

Bryan starts fast by knocking Bray to the floor and hitting a huge dive….and here’s Kane, leading to a break less than two minutes into the match. Back with Bray missing a charge into the middle buckle but still being able to knock Bryan off the top rope. Bray puts on a nerve hold before hitting his flying body block to put Daniel down again. The announcers start speculating about Bryan’s potential Rumble spot and him not having the cardio to get through the whole match as Bray drops knees and goes to a chinlock. Back up and Bray hits a HARD clothesline, sending Daniel out to the floor, holding his neck.

We return from another break with Bray getting two off a backsplash. Bryan scores with a running clot, followed by the running dropkick in the corner. A top rope hurricanrana gets two and it’s time to unleash the kicks. Wyatt gets clotheslined to the floor and the Flying Goat takes him down again. Kane gets in a cheap shot on the way back in though, allowing Bray to send him into the buckle, followed by Sister Abigail for the pin at 16:13.

Result: Bray Wyatt b. Daniel Bryan – Sister Abigail (16:13)

Kane chokeslams Bryan post match and hits some right hands.

HHH is on the phone when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (in NWO shirts) come into his office. They mock him for wearing a suit and ask him to come out with them tonight. Shawn Michaels pops in and offers HHH a spot on the legends panel. HHH should drop the suit, bring back the three fired guys and make their lives miserable here. HHH: “I don’t tell you how to shoot defenseless animals.” Nash wonders where X-Pac is and here’s Damien Mizdow in X-Pac attire. The real one comes in and they do the poses until Miz comes in to take Mizdow away. Nash: “What kind of show are you running?”

We recap HHH putting the Cena match to a fan vote.

It’s time for the Royal Rumble Legends Panel with guests Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. The first question is should Cena put his title shot on the line to get the three jobs back. Only Flair says no and only Hogan’s answer is more than one word long with “definitely yes.” Ric says winning the Rumble was still the greatest night of his career and defeating people like Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage made it even better.

Shawn is asked about winning back to back Rumbles and the famous shot of his foot dangling above the ground. He talks about the Rumble being the future and the winner’s future being Wrestlemania. Shawn says the two men next to him wouldn’t be where they are now without the Rumble and there wouldn’t be a Mr. Wrestlemania without the Royal Rumble. Hogan goes last and says he remembers the competition in the Rumble and dfeating super talent after super talent to win the matches. Thankfully he had Hulkamania in his corner to help him survive.

As for this year’s picks, Shawn goes with Bray Wyatt and Hogan isn’t pleased. Shawn gets annoyed and wants a rematch of Summerslam 2005. Hogan: “You don’t want any of that again do you?” Shawn: “Nah probably not.” Hogan picks Daniel Bryan and Flair goes with Ambrose, but here’s Big Show to interrupt. He says all three of them are jealous of him and brings up beating Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1995. Then he beat Flair for the World Title on Nitro a few months later. Then he showed up in the WWF and Shawn retired because he knew Big Show would eat him alive.

Now the three of them are washed up has beens out here begging for a bit of attention. He’s going to win on Sunday and no one in the back can stop him. The fans are already looking up for Reigns. Show threatens to bea tthem all up so Flair takes his jacket off and starts throwing punches, only to take the KO Punch. Cue Reigns to check on the legends and clothesline Big Show out to the floor. Show comes up favoring his arm and bails.

The votes are in and Cena is going to put his title shot on the line to save the jobs by a vote of 85% to 15%. Cena says the most important part of the WWE is the WWE Universe and tonight he’s fighting for his friends.

Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose

Non-title. Dean takes him to the mat to start before running Barrett over with an elbow and clothesline. A power drive elbow gets two but Barrett comes back with a kick to the throat and another to the jaw. Ambrose comes back by knocking Barrett to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Dean laid across the top rope and getting forearmed in the back for two. It’s already off to the chinlock until Dean fights up with a bulldog out of the corner. The standing elbow drop gets two but the knee gives out, meaning Dean can’t hit the running dropkick. He can however hit the rebounding clothesline and goes up top, only to get caught in the Wasteland. Dean fights out of that and Dirty Deeds pins Barrett at 8:16.

Result: Dean Ambrose b. Bad News Barrett – Dirty Deeds (8:16)

It’s time for Rumble by the numbers.

30 men
782 entrants eliminated
2 feet must hit the floor
39 eliminations for Shawn Michaels, the all time record
38 eliminations for Kane, second place
15 years that Kane has eliminated someone
11 eliminations in 2001 to give Kane the record for a single matching
12 eliminations in 2014 for Roman Reigns to break the record
216,577 or 108 tons in the Rumble over the years
9 won in Rumble debut
43 Hall of Famers have competed
26 nations have been represented
1 time the Rumble has broadcasted on the Network
170 countries have the Network
170,822 people in attendance
3 Steve Austin victories
1 second that Santino Marella lasted to set the record
62:12 that Rey Mysterio lasted to set the record
3:51:32 that HHH has spent in the Rumble, the longest all time
2 winners from both #1 and #30

Here’s the New Day to say they’re always positive to keep the rage under control. They’re here to make sure everyone has a smile on their face and they’re doing it for the day. Woods is out with an ankle injury so it’s just a tag here.

New Day vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd

Rose is on the floor as well because he feels forgotten by WWE, just like Kidd and Cesaro. Big E. throws Kidd into the air for a dropkick from Kofi, but Rose offers a distraction so Cesaro can sneak in an uppercut. A suplex/side slam combo (called a Blockbuster by Booker) gets two on Kofi and the Cesaro Swing into the dropkick gets the same with Big E. having to make a save. Cesaro picks Kofi up to drive him into the corner but Kofi kicks off of Kidd and rolls up Cesaro for the pin out of nowhere at 2:59. It’s nice to see them change the formula up for once instead of the same thing over and over. It keeps it a bit exciting.

Result: New Day b. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd – Rollup to Cesaro (2:59)

Here’s the NWO (Hall, Nash and Waltman) for a chat. Nash says the NWO created the Monday Night Wars, which you can relive on the WWE Network. “You’re welcome Hunter.” They’re responsible for Austin, DX and the Attitude Era. Nash acknowledges they have egos, but you have to admit they created every single good thing ever. Waltman gets the mic but here’s Ascension to interrupt.

They see the NWO as three dogs ready to be put out of their misery, because Ascension was born and bred to rip and shred. No team from the past, present or future is better than they are, especially not one from WCW. The NWO is ready to fight but JBL won’t have any of this. He takes off the jacket and tie and says wearing spikes doesn’t make you a legend any more than painting yourself green makes you a frog. He was afraid this would happen, so he made a phone call. JBL takes off his shirt to reveal an APA shirt and here’s Ron Simmons.

Before anything happens though, here are the New Age Outlaws in Dallas Cowboys jerseys to interrupt. Dogg says an old school party doesn’t stop and the brawl is on with only the Outlaws getting physical. Billy hits a nice tilt-a-whirl slam and JBL starts stretching his arm. The Clothesline knocks Viktor silly and Waltman pulls off the NWO shirt to reveal the DX colors.

The Authority announces Cena’s opponent for later tonight. Complete with a drum roll, it’s Cena vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane. A bugler comes up to play Taps.

Paige/Natalya vs. Summer Rae/Alicia Fox

The Bellas are on commentary and will be facing Paige/Natalya at the Rumble. A double suplex gets two on Summer but Natalya goes after Alicia, allowing Rae to spin kick her for two. Natalya gets over for the hot tag to Paige and things speed up with Alicia eating a superkick for two. Everything breaks down and another superkick sets up the PTO for the submission at 2:55.

Result: Paige/Natalya b. Summer Rae/Alicia Fox – PTO to Fox (2:55)

The Kickoff match this Sunday is New Day vs. Cesaro/Kidd/Rose in an elimination tag.

Rusev vs. R-Truth

Only Truth gets an entrance and he’s a step off on his rap. Truth says everyone is coming for Rusev on Sunday and that’s the whole truth. “Whomp there it is.” Truth quickly knocks him over the top but eats the jumping superkick. The Accolade makes him tap at 46 seconds.

Result: Rusev b. R-Truth – Accolade (0:46)

Rollins and Lesnar meet up in the back and Brock suggests that Seth take Cena out tonight. Then Brock can take Rollins out on Sunday. Unlike last week, Rollins looks shaken.

Jey Uso vs. Miz

Miz spends too much time looking at Mizdow and gets rolled up for two. Some choking sets up the Reality Check for two and we hit the chinlock. The top rope ax handle drops Jey but he avoids a charge, sending Miz into the post. A superkick and the Superfly Splash are good for the pin on Miz at 2:56.

Result: Jey Uso b. Miz – Superfly Splash (2:56)

Hogan says it can only get better for Cena from here.

The New Age Outlaws vs. the Ascension has been added to Sunday.

John Cena vs. Kane/Big Show/Seth Rollins

One fall to a finish and it’s Cena vs. Big Show to start but John wants to go after Rollins. Show scores with a big chop and it’s off to Rollins to hammer Cena down. Rollins gets in some stomps in the corner but Cena’s bulldog sends him rolling out to the floor. Kane gets the top and sends Cena into Big Show’s boot before the bigger giant comes in for a corner splash. Cena’s slam attempt fails and we take a break.

Back with Rollins putting Cena in a sleeper before a Blockbuster gets two. Rollins misses the top rope knee though and Cena scores with the shoulders. The ProtoBomb puts Rollins down again but the Stooges break up the AA attempt. Rollins blasts him with a low superkick for two but the AA connects, only to have Kane pulls Cena outside. Big Show adds a spear and the Authority is literally standing over Cena gloating. He dives in at nine though and gets chokeslammed for two. Rollins loads up the Curb Stomp…..and STING shows up on the screen. He walks into the arena and Cena rolls up Rollins for the pin at 13:08.

Result: John Cena b. Kane/Big Show/Seth Rollins – Rollup to Rollins (13:08)

Cena goes into the crowd and HHH shouts that Sting doesn’t belong here. Cue Lesnar for right hands to Rollins, an F5 to Kane and an AA (yes an AA) to Big Show. Heyman holds up the title as Rollins runs away to end the show. Lesnar looked like and was received like a superhero here.

Bray Wyatt b. Daniel Bryan – Sister Abigail
Dean Ambrose b. Bad News Barrett – Dirty Deeds
New Day b. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd – Rollup to Cesaro
Natalya/Paige b. Alicia Fox/Summer Rae – PTO to Fox
Rusev b. R-Truth – Accolade
Jey Uso b. Miz – Superfly Splash
John Cena b. Kane/Big Show/Seth Rollins – Rollup to Rollins

Make sure to join us on Wednesday at 8pm EST for NXT.

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