Tonight…the WWE unleashes “The Animal” (Batista). Plus, the final pieces of the Royal Rumble puzzle are placed.
The show opened with the “I Have a Dream” speech. It showcased various successful Africans or Americans of African descent.
HHH and Stephanie were in the ring to talk about the Road to Wrestlemania. Royal Rumble is this Sunday and HHH seriously pushed the show. HHH was ready to welcome back a returning superstar. HHH started to introduce Batista but Randy Orton crashed the party. JBL said all the positives that HHH was talking about described both Batista and Randy Orton. Randy went off on The Authority but Stephanie got all up in his face. Stephanie also mentioned the WWE Network. Stephanie said there were more eye son the WWE than ever before. Stephanie reminded Orton that he not only lost to Kofi Kingston but also attacked John Cena, Sr.. Cena now has a dislocated jaw and fractured orbital bone. With those half-hearted punches? Really?
Stephanie said Randy’s actions were unbecoming of a champion. Stephanie warned Randy if he didn’t abide by the new rules of The Authority, he might find himself out of the WWE. Randy tried to flip the situation and put it back on The Authority. Randy grumbled about the returns of Brock Lesnar and Batista. Randy said he would do it all over again. HHH warned Randy Orton that he needed to take the bass out of his voice. HHH said The Authority “Made” Randy the champion…because they felt he was the complete package. HHH said The Authority has faith in Randy but did Orton have the faith in himself? HHH pushed Randy’s buttons by talking about how Randy attacked Cena, Sr. to cover his short-comings. HHH was certain that Batista was looking at Randy, as was Lesnar. HHH told Randy he needed to “Fix Things” by facing Kofi Kingston, again. HHH showed the entrance area where John Cena would arrive, later on. HHH told Randy to “Make it Right” (alone) tonight.
The music hit and The Animal came out. Batista looked massive as he set off the pyro. The announcers agreed that Batista looked better than ever. Batista flexed his abs as the crowd exploded. Jerry Lawler noticed that Orton was the only person who didn’t seem happy to see Batista. The Authority got a chant going for Batista. Batista got down and kissed the canvas. So cool. Batista hugged both Stephanie and HHH. HHH gave him the stick and stepped out. Stephanie followed but Randy stayed put. Batista turned as Randy tried to offer his hand.
Randy offered a second handshake but Batista just said “Hello, Randy”. Batista knew that Randy had questions about the return. Batista wanted to explain why he was back. Simply, he wants the WWE World Title. Batista didn’t care who was holding the title, he was back to win the Royal Rumble and to become the WWE World Champion. Batista also wanted to headline Wrestlemania. Randy looked seriously nervous.
Big Show and Brock Lesnar will go Face to Face, later on.
Goldust, Cody Rhodes and Big E Langston vs Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Six-Man Tag Team Match
The Kick Off Match at Royal Rumble will see the New Age Outlaws go after Cody and Goldy for the Tag Team Titles. That should be interesting.
Langston and Dean started. Dean with punches, kicks and a Headbutt. Universal into a Langston Shoulder Tackle. Dean smacked Langston and tagged to Seth. Gorilla Press Drop and tag to Goldust. Seth took Dust to the corner. Dust reversed a Whip and hit a massive Back Body Drop and Goldustin Uppercut, Inverted Atomic Drop and Running Boot.. 2 count. Tag to Cody who planted Seth with a Stall Front Drop Suplex.
Arm Bar by Cody into a Kneedrop to the extended arm. Tag to Goldy. Double punches. Slider Elbow Drop by Dust. Tag back to Cody. Elbow Drop to Seth’s arm. Seth with a series of kicks and stomps. Float Over Twisting Sunset Flip by Cody into his own Goldustin Uppercut. Cody with the Hardcore Holly kick. He missed the Disaster Kick and Seth went to the floor. Cody with a Springboard Crossbody to the floor. The Shield was on the floor and their opponents were in the ring. Break time.
Roman with a Front Face Lock but Cody fought out. Huge Clothesline by Roman. Tag by Dean and an almost immediate tag to Seth. Running Dropkick by Dean and another by Seth. Seth blasted Cody with wild shots to the ribs. Seth missed a Corner Splash. Cody with a Disaster Kick to Roman. Tag to Langston and Ambrose. Close Quarters Belly to Belly into a Steam Roller. Before that, Langston took Roman off the apron. Seth. Prevented the Big Ending. Langston sent Seth to the outside and Goldust with a Flip Press. Langston planted Dean with the Belly to Belly and a Big Splash. Roman made the save. Cody went for a Disaster Kick but Roman with the Superman Punch. Spear, by Roman, to Goldust. Langston then took out Roman. Dean with the Kitchen Sink and tag to Seth. Seth with a wild Flying Stomp to knock out Big E. Langston.
Your Winners: The Shield
Raw Ranking: 3.0 out of a possible 5
The announcers discussed Daniel Bryan turning on Bray Wyatt, last week. Daniel and Bray had lost a steel cage match to the Usos. Bray wanted to punish Daniel with Sister Abigail. Daniel refused to have any part of the discipline. Daniel eventually beat the stuffing out of the Manson-esque leader of the Wyatt Family. Daniel exploded on Bray with the Dragon’s Fang Knee.
Daniel Bryan came out to a huge chant from the crowd. He asked for the microphone. “Daniel Bryan” rang out from the crowd. Daniel joked about being the face of the company. Daniel admitted that he had a plan when he joined the Wyatt Family. Daniel said he had to take down Bray, who has a Messiah Complex. Daniel said it was a mental war, as well as a physical battle. Daniel said he had to do things he didn’t want to do to get to the head of the serpent. Daniel said he doesn’t follow anyone and he became the buzzard, last week, chewing on the carcasses of the Wyatts. Daniel announced that he would be able to face Bray Wyatt at the Royal Rumble. Daniel got a deafening “Yes!” chant going…
He was cut off by the arrival of Bray Wyatt. Bray came on the Tron and rambled on, cryptically, about how Daniel was a traitor. Bray said Daniel exposed himself as a coward. Bray said Daniel spread his wings and flew back into his cage. Bray told Daniel to go home and hug his mother and say he was sorry. “Everything that happens to you, from this point, is your fault”.
Fandango vs Xavier Woods
R-Truth was at ringside. Fandango opened up with punches. Universal into a Woods Head Scissors. Headbutt by Woods. Discus Punch by Woods. Running Dropkick by Woods. Woods flew at Fandango, who moved. Fandango with a Spin Suplex. Fandango then went to the top for the Perfect 10.
Your Winner: Fandango
Raw Ranking: 2.0
Enna, from NXT, was out in the crowd.
Brad Maddox and Kane were talking, in the back. Brad took credit for Batista’s return. They were interrupted by the arrival of Stephanie McMahon. She dismissed Brad and then went off on Kane for his actions, on Smackdown. Stephanie knew putting Kane in The Authority was a risk. Stephanie made it clear that Kane was not to put his hands on the superstars. Kane apologized to Stephanie. She accepted that but then said Kane would have to go out to the ring and apologize to C.M. Punk. He wasn’t happy about it but he walked off to do it.
Kane came out to the ring to follow orders. Kane was not a happy camper. Raw looked back at the Smackdown incident. Punk did bring it on himself by insulting Kane. Kane planted Punk with the Chokeslam. Kane took the stick and asked Punk to please come join him in the ring. After a long delay, Punk emerged from the back. Punk joked that it was “Apologizing Time”. Punk joined Kane in the ring. It was announced that Kane would be in the Royal Rumble. Kane, as Director of Operation, admitted that he overstepped his bounds. Kane said he did sav Punk from being attacked by 5 other superstars. Kane then apologized for Chokeslamming Punk on Smackdown. Punk taunted Kane over the apology. Kane repeated his apology. Punk thought about it for a minute as the crowd chanted “One More Time”. Punk didn’t need to further embarrass Kane but then he took the fight to Kane. A Flying Knee sent Kane to the floor. Brad Maddox came out to stop the situation. Brad put Punk in a match, not against Kane, but against a member of the New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn came from the back. Who would he face? They did Rock, Paper Scissors to determine it would be Billy Gunn.
C.M. Punk vs Billy Gunn
Road Dogg joined the announce team. Punk with a kick and Forearms. Shoulder Thrusts by Punk. Headbutt by Punk. Punk stomped Billy. Hammer Throw by Punk. Billy went to the floor. Punk came out and attacked Bully. Punk turned to talk trash to Dogg. Billy jumped Punk. Billy rammed Punk into the apron as Raw went to break.
Punk with a Knife Edge Chop and Forearm. Sleeper by Punk. Back Drop Suplex by Billy. Rear Chin Lock by Billy. Cole mentioned that the New Age Outlaws will face the Brotherhood for the tag belts in the kick off match. Billy with a wicked Dropkick. Punk kicked out at two. Billy took off his D-X shirt and threw it at Punk. When Billy did the DX Chop, Punk with a Crescent Kick. Punk came out and beat down on Road Dogg. Punk then yelled at JBL. Leg Lariat and Double Sledges, back in the ring. Rolling Neckbreaker, by Punk, for a two. Punk with his own Crtch Chop and the Elevator Knee. Tilt-a-Whirl Powerbomb by Billy, after Dogg got on the apron. Punk had blasted Dogg before Gunn planted him. Gunn missed a Stinger Splash and hit his head on the ring post. Dogg pulled Billy out of the path of the Savage Elbow. Punk with a Suicide Dive on Dogg. Billy clocked Punk and then threw him back in the ring. Billy wanted the Famouser but Punk countered into the Go To Sleep.
Your Winner: C.M. Punk
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Brad and Kane came out to congratulate Punk on his win. Kane took over and said he had a way for Punk to prove his nickname as “The Best in the World”. Kane said Punk would be the 1st entrant into the Royal Rumble.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman arrived at he arena. They would go Face to Face with Big Show, later on.
Raw ran a “By the Numbers” video about the Royal Rumble.
The WWE then ran a wonderful tribute to Mae Young. It literally brought a tear to my eye.
Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio
Raw looked at recent issues between Rey and Alberto.
After a quick break, Del Rio grabbed a Side Headlock. Takeover but Rey with a Roll into a Head Scissors. Collar and Elbow into another Del Rio Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Del Rio. Del Rio stopped a Universal to stomp Rey. Rey with a Stomp and Basement Dropkick out of another Universal. Del Rio dropped Rey over the top roe and stomped away. Del Rio charged and slid between the ropes. Rey with a gun shot kick to Del Rio’s chest. Springboard Moonsault, by Rey, to the outside. Rey pitched Del Rio back in the ring and stomped away. Rey with a Slider Dropkick into Del Rio’s nethers. Corner Mount Punches by Rey. Del Rio reversed a Whip and did an In-the-Ropes Stomp Down. Del Rio then pounded away.
The two men ended up on the floor. Del Rio tacked down Rey and threw him back in. Del Rio then hit an Ax Bomber off the top rope. Rear Chin Lock by Del Rio. Rey got caught in a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker. ADR stomped away and threw Rey into the corner. Enziguri to Rey’s ribs. ADR stood on Rey’s neck. Rey tried to fight back but Del Rio threw Rey out to the floor. Break Time, yet again.
Del Rio sent Rey into the ring steps. ADR then took his foe into the ring for a pin attempt. Del Rio tried to rip off Rey’s mask. Rey ended up in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Rey got free and went to the floor. Del Rio got him and slammed his face into the ring apron. Del Rio with a Bow and Arrow around the ring post. Ouch. Back in the ring, Rey kicked out of the pin. Rey with a Whip but Rey ended up striking the ring post. ADR kicked away at the shoulder. Del Rio charged and Rey curled up so that ADR struck the post. Rey steadied himself and then hit a variation of Whisper in the Wind.
Rey came off the ropes with a Flying Headscissors. Shoulder Bock by Rey and then Rey went to the Penthouse. Seated Senton. ADR with a Sunset Flip but Rey rolled through and hit abasement Dropkick. ADR went for a Spin Slam but Rey with he Flying Headscissors. ADR blocked the 619 and used a Slingshot to send Rey into the corner. Superkick! 1-2-no. Rey escaped the Cross Armbreaker. Rey avoided the Electric Chair to hit the 619. Dropping the Dime but ADR grabbed the bottom rope. Rey went up to the middle rope. He wanted the Wheelbarrow but Del Rio converted it into a Face Plant. Cross Armbreaker. Tap Out.
Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Batista came out to confront the man that has been talking trash about him in recent weeks. The Animal got right up in Del Rio’s face. Del Rio screamed at Batista to get out of the ring. Del Rio looked to be leaving but then went for an attack. Spinebuster by Batista. Batista Bomb! He is definitely a top contender to take the Royal Rumble.
Big Show was backstage. It was time for the Face to Face confrontation with Brock Lesnar.
Big Show came out to the ring and talked about the fight he was about to get involved with. Show did a hilarious imitation of Paul Heyman. It sounded like something off Saturday morning cartoons, to be honest. Show admitted that he didn’t like Brock Lesnar. Show told Brock to come down and get in his face, and see what happens.
Paul Heyman then came out and fumed at the chants of “Walrus”. He didn’t say a word but brought out Brock Lesnar. They walked down to the ring but didn’t get in. They started to leave but Big Show taunted them to come back. Brock did return and got in the ring. Brock tried to take the fight to Show but failed, miserably. Show tossed Lesnar aside like garbage and then powered Lesnar up and over the top rope. Lesnar had a major meltdown at the embarrassment at the hands of the Big Show. Lesnar tried to attack with a chair but Show stood on the chair and Lesnar retreated. Paul called off his Beast and they went to the back.
A.J. Lee and Tamina Snuka vs the Funkadactyls
Raw looked at how Lee accidentally smashed her celebration cake into Tamina Snuka’s face. Wade Barrett had set off Lee, at the party to celebrate lee’s record-breaking Diva championship reign. She went to slam cake into Josh Mathews’ face but hit Snuka, instead. Speaking of celebrations, I want to send my most heart-felt congratulations out to Naomi and Jimmy Uso. The couple recently got married, in Hawaii. I hope they have a long and happy life together.
Cameron started against Tamina. The daughter of Jimmy Snuka with a Scoop Slam. Tamina dragged Cameron to the corner and tagged out to A.J.. Funk Neckbreaker by the champ. Lee then threw Cameron down and tagged back out. Tamina with a weak punch to Cameron’s ribs. Knee Strikes by Snuka. Whip to the corner but Cameron got the feet up. Naomi got the tag. Japanese Arm Drag and Flying Headscissors. Morningstar Elbow by Naomi. Dropkick by Naomi but Snuka came back with a Thrust Kick. Tag to Lee. A. J. skipped around but got Small Packaged for the three..
Your Winners: Naomi and Cameron
Raw Ranking: 1.25
Batista’s arrival was shown, again.
The announcers sent it to another “By the Numbers” vignette about the Royal Rumble. I love trivia like this.
The Usos vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Luke opened the match for his side. He took Jimmy to the corner and clubbed away. Luke with a vicious kick and punches. Tag to Rowan. Forearm Smash by Rowan but Uso tried to fight back. Rowan with severe brutality before throwing Jimmy out to the floor. Harper with for a Knife Edge Chop but hit the ring post. Jimmy slid in and made ht tag. Jey flew off the apron and took down Luke. Jey ran Luke into the ring apron and slapped him with a passion. Jey with hard punches but Luke gave as good as he got. Tag to Jimmy. Jimmy with an Uppercut on Luke. Jimmy with a Crossbody but Rowan made the save. Rowan threw Jey into the ropes. Luke with a Back Attack on Jimmy. Rowan took the tag and beat on Uso. Scoop Slam and Knuckle Dig on Jimmy’s temples.
Rowan switched to a Neck Wrench and then a clubbing blow. Jimmy began to punch away but Rowan stepped on the neck. Luke tagged in and hit an Elbow Drop. 2 count. Whip by Luke but Jimmy with the boot. Luke pushed Jimmy off the top rope. Jimmy struck the ring barrier, on the floor. Break Time.
Rowan rocked Jimmy with another shot to the back of the head. Tag to Luke. Alligator Roll into the Side Headlock. Jimmy began to punch his way free but Luke with the Freight Train. Bray got on the stick and taunted the audience. Bray said this was the type of punishment that awaits Daniel Bryan. Bray said he was going to put Daniel into a Meat Grinder. Side Headlock by Luke. Luke whipped Jimmy into Rowan. Whisper in the Wind! Jimmy finally got the tag. Flying Clotheslines to both men. Thrust Kick and Goldustin Uppercut. Samoan Drop! Rikishi Run! Thrust Kick to Roan. Jimmy with the Tope Con Hilo. Luke clocked Jey as he got near the ropes. Big Boot by Jey. Harper’s Spin Slam. Daniel Bryan rushed down and attacked Bray and Rowan. Daniel tore into Bray. Uso rolled up Luke to take the win.
Your Winner: The Usos
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston
Randy kept looking for John Cena’s arrival. Raw showed the attack on John Cena, Sr., again. The bell sounded and Randy with a kick and vicious punches. Back Elbow by Randy. Kofi tore into Randy and went wild with hard shots. Kofi with Forearms, on the floor. Kofi threw Randy back in but Orton slid out the other side. Kofi tried to attack but Randy caught him with a knee. Randy rammed Kofi’s face into the announce table. They got back in the ring and Randy tried for a pin. He only got a two. Randy with the Orton Stomp. Kofi with punches nad kicks on the WWE World Champ. Corner Flying Punch for a two count. Randy threw Kofi into the turnbuckles. Randy mocked the “You Can’t See Me’ hand wave. Kofi with several kicks and punches. Knee Lift by Randy. Snap Suplex by Randy.
Randy kept screaming “Where are you?”. European Uppercut countered into a Backslide. Randy escaped and Clotheslined Kofi. Kofi avoided the Rope Assisted DDT and nailed the SOS. 2 count. Randy with a hard punch and throw into the corner. John Cena arrived, backstage. John ran into the arena. Kofi got Randy’s leg but Randy tried to get free. Cena rushed the ring and John and Randy started throwing bombs. Cena ran Randy into the ring post.
Your Winner: Match Thrown Out
Raw Ranking: 2.5
Randy and Cena fought up into the stands. They even went out into the concourse. Randy was doing his best to escape. Randy ran outside and got into a car. The car sped away and Cena retuned to the arena. The fans were thrilled that Cena had vanquished The Viper.