Posted January 19th, 2016 by jshannon

It’s a sad night in the world of professional wrestling. One of the greatest Talent Enhancement Specialists, “Iron” Mike Sharpe, has passed away. I have always been a fan of those often called “Jobbers”. Mike was one of the best. He helped train tons of talent and helped dozens more “go over” by losing to them. It takes a good wrestler to be successful but a great wrestler to be able to lose and make someone else look fantastic. It would be nice to see Mike go into the Hall of Fame. Rest in peace, “Iron” Mike.

The show opened with the yearly “I Have a Dream” thing to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Roll the opening montage!

Royal Rumble is this Sunday! I already know that I have the day off from work and the laptop is ready to rock. (It has a better resolution that my regular monitor.)

Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd. Roman is the first person to ever have to defend the title in the Rumble match. Flair won the 1992 Rumble to become champion, but the title was held up after the situation between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker. Check that whole thing out on WWENetwork.

Raw looked back at how Brock Lesnar decimated Roman (and others), last week. Roman took the stick and said he knew it would be “1 vs All”. Roman knew he was in for the fight of his life, then. Roman wanted Brock Lesnar, tonight. Roman called out The Beast, but didn’t get him. Instead, he got Chris Jericho. Jericho, in my humble opinion, is the greatest intercontinental title holder of all time. Chris welcomed everyone to “Raw is Jericho”. Jericho felt he was much better than Brock to share the ring with Roman. Roman was a bit confused as to why Chris was there. Roman explained that he was more interested in Brock. Jericho wanted to turn his Highlight Reel into something beyond special. He wanted himself, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in the ring, at the same time. Roman eagerly accepted it.

Suddenly, the League of Nations emerged from the back. Sheamus was offended that the Rumble match was being pushed as Roman vs Brock. Sheamus ws confident that one of the League members (most likely him) would take the World title. Sheamus joked about a shirtless Jericho. Sheamus was upset that no one from The League were invited to the Highlight Reel. Jericho couldn’t believe Sheamus would call anyone “stupid”. Jericho didn’t want Sheamus on his show. Jericho told Sheamus that the Mohawk made Sheamus look stupid.

Alberto Del Rio stepped up and went off on Jericho for never winning a Rumble. Del Rio reminded everyone that he won the largest Rumble match of all time (40 Man). Jericho said Alberto Del Rio was Spanish for “Jackass”. Rusev then blathered away in Bulgarian. Rusev discussed how tough his youth was. Jericho turned to Roman and asked who won last year’s Rumble. Roman said he did. Jericho then asked who Roman eliminated last to win. Roman stated it was Rusev. Jericho laughed as he said Rusev always comes up a “little short” (visual reference to part of Rusev’s anatomy). Roman challenged Rusev to come fight him, now.

Roman Reigns vs Rusev
Special Guest Referee: Chris Jericho

Jericho put himself as the Zebra in Charge. Raw took a quick break before the battle began.

Chris changed into a ref’s shirt, during the break. The bell rang and Roman and Rusev locked up. Chris took Mike Chioda’s shirt, as we learned from the announcers. Rusev ended up heading out to the floor. The Leaguers came to comfort him and talk with him. Rusev got back in the ring and worked over the back. Roman punched away at the big Bulgarian. Rusev pitched Roman through the ropes. Del Rio, Sheamus and King Barrett came around to distract Roman. Rusev Pearl Harbored the champ.

They got back in the ring and Rusev cinched in a Rear Chin Lock. Rusev threw Roman down, by the hair. Rusev missed the Diving Headbutt. Roman blasted Rusev and went for a Whip. Rusev reversed it but took a boot. Rusev fought out of a Samoan Drop. Rolling Neckbreaker by Roman but he only got a two. The LoN members distracted Roman. Rolling Leg Lariat by Rusev. Time for another set of commercials (and a refill on my water).

Back from the break, Rusev had Roman rocked. Roman tried to fight back with punches. Roman hit a Headbutt but seemed to lose more than he gained. Side Headlock by Rusev, on the canvas. Roman worked up to his feet and then hit a Side Drop Suplex. Jericho began counting the men down. Roman and Rusev got up but the Bulgarian didn’t stay on his feet long. Flying Clothesline by Roman. Uppercut by Rusev. Big Boot by Roman. Roman followed up with Corner Clotheslines. Snap Mare and Uppercut by Roman. Rusev fought to get free from the Samoan Drop. Wicked Crescent Kick by Rusev. 2 count. JBL grumbled that the count was slow.

Rusev hoisted Roman on his shoulders and then climbed the ropes. That is some serious strength. Roman pounded away on the big guy and then hit a Sit Out Powerbomb. 1-2-not yet.

Roman called for the Superman Punch. Sheamus yanked Roman out of the ring. Jericho didn’t see it, as Del Rio had him distracted. Jericho slid out of the ring and got up in Sheamus’ face. He ejected the Celtic Warrior. King Barrett got up on the apron and shrieked at Jericho. Chris sent him to the showers, as well. Jericho Cartwheeled over and then saw Del Rio. Jericho made it a Trifecta, as Del Rio was given his walking papers. Superman Punch to Rusev. Spear! 1-2-3.

Your Winner: Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 3.0 out of a possible 5

Stephanie confronted Chris Jericho, backstage. She was ticked off that Jericho went beyond his scope to put himself in as a referee. Jericho insulted the daylights out of Stephanie. Stephanie came back that Jericho was stale. Stephanie didn’t like that Jericho added Roman to the Highlight Reel. Stephanie warned Chris that if he messed with her show, he would never, ever be the same…again.

Brie Bella (w/Alicia Fox) vs Natalya (w/Paige)

The ran a quick preview of the new season of Total Divas. Yawn.

Nattie with a Go Behind Bomb and Flying Dropkick. Brie pulled Brie into the ropes. Knee Trembler by Brie. 2 count. Brie drove her elbow into Nattie’s neck. There is a new Divas joining the cast of Total Divas. Brie with the Danielson Kicks. Nattie surprised Brie and put her in the Sharpshooter. Tap out!

Your Winner: Natalya
Raw Ranking: 1.5

We saw the golden roll cage. The tumbler spun around. Who would get the horrible Number One position? Like that isn’t so obvious.

The Wyatt Family made their way out to the ring. I just added that great theme music to my brand new IPod. My girls got me the little thing for Christmas. Smile. Love my kids.

Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley and Ryback vs Braun Strowman, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Six Man Tag Team Match

Raw looked back at the wild Tables Match from last week. Raw also looked at the problems that Ryback has had, recently, with the Wyatts. Raw needed to pay the bills before this one got going.

The match was already going strong, as we returned. Whip by Luke but Bubba came back with a Clothesline. Huge Back Body Drop by Like. Flip Flop and Fly countered by Harper’s Big Boot. Scoop Slam by Rowan, who had tagged in. Bubba dodged the Big Splash. D’Von got the tag and took down Rowan with Shoulders. Back Elbow and Rolling Neckbreaker by D’Von. 2 count. Rowan pitched D’Von into the corner. Big Boot by Rowan. Tag to Braun

Braun almost got the pin but tagged out to Luke when it failed. Luke used a Slingshot to send D’Von up into the middle rope. The fight went out to the floor. Bubba cheered on D’Von. Tag to Rowan. Erick clocked the Legend and drove his knuckles into the temples of his opponent. Michael Cole mentioned the passing of “Iron” Mike Sharpe. Luke popped D’Von in the face. Tag to Braun. The two ran into each other and both men were stunned. Braun got up first and hit both Dudleys. Tag to Ryback and to Luke. Shoulder Tackle and Corner Clotheslines by the Big Guy. Spinebuster by Big Hungry. Ryback tagged out and Bubba hit a Big Boot and Uranage Slam. Ryback got into it with Braun. In the ring, D’Von (legal) almost pinned Harper. Rowan got involved. Superkick and Discus Clothesline by Harper.

Your Winners: The Wyatt Family
Raw Ranking: 2.75

The Highlight Reel is still to come.

Big Show vs Heath Slater

Slater is just a little too confident to be in this match. Heath went into the ropes. Show then pitched Heath across the ring. Heath bailed out to the floor. His new teammates tried to urge him on. Knockout Punch by Show.

Your Winner: Big Show
Raw Ranking: 1.0

Adam Rose also got knocked out. Bo Dallas slid out of the ring to avoid the giant. Bo rushed around and got knocked out.

The League of Nations were grumbling about Jericho. Stephanie came in and said Jericho Punk’d them out. Stephanie reminded Sheamus that he eliminated Chris Jericho to win the Rumble, some time back. Stephanie told the League to prove they were not scared of Jericho.

Vince McMahon came out to announce who had been unlucky enough to find himself in spot number ONE. Stephanie flanked her dad. Stephanie praised her pop for being spectacular. Whatever. Number One in the Rumble will be…Roman Reigns. No surprise there. Vince wanted to make sure this was all legit so he decided to redraw the person who will start the match. Vince seemed to be having trouble finding a container he could open. Again, it was Roman who was drawn to start. Vince asked Stephanie to leave Roman’s name out of the drum. Roman came up, again, of course. Vince was certain Roman would not remain the champ, after Sunday. Roman must now face 29 others if he wants to keep his title.

Charlotte and Ric Flair strolled out from the back.

Becky Lynch vs Tamina

Charlotte was there to scout. Becky wants to battle Charlotte at the Royal Rumble. Becky went at Tamina and took her to the ropes. Collar and Elbow and Tamina shove Becky down. Becky came back with vicious kicks. Tamina rushed Becky into the corner and then hit a Superkick. 2 count for Tamina. Rear Chin Lock by Tamina. Tamina shook Becky’s head all around. Becky got to her feet and worked the ribs of the Island Princess. Tamina kicked away at Becky and choked her on the middle rope. Scoop Slam by Tamina which brought another 2 count. Tamina went back to the Rear Chin Lock.

Becky got loose and hit Forearms and a wild Dropkick. Corner Flying Forearms and a Springboard Dropkick. Muta Slider Legdrops by the Lass Kicker. It still only earned her a two. Tamina thre Becky into the corner. Flying Dis-Armer. Tamina had no choice but to tap out.

Your Winner (by Submission): Becky Lynch
Raw Ranking: 2.5

After the battle, Becky asked for the house microphone. Becky made it crystal clear she wanted to fight Charlotte for the Divas title. Becky straight up asked Charlotte for the match. Charlotte took another microphone and got up to address her former friend. Charlotte said she would not be intimidated by Becky or the fans. Becky insulted the heck out of Ric Flair. Becky wondered if other Hall of Famers would respect Charlotte for ducking Becky’s challenge. Becky suggested that both Flairs were cowards. She manipulated the 16-time World Champion into agreeing to the title match for his daughter. Charlotte wasn’t exactly thrilled at the news of her title defense.

Kevin Owens came out to watch the next match.

Dean Ambrose and Kalisto vs Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus (w/King Barrett)

Raw looked at how Kalisto won and then lost eh U.S. title. On Sunday, Kalisto will battle Del Rio over the red, white and blue belt. Dean ripped into Sheamus with hard punches. Inverted Atomic Drop by Sheamus. Running Forearm by Dean. Tag to Kalisto. Dean dropped Kalisto onto Sheamus. The luchadore kicked and punched away. Low Bridge put Sheamus to the outside. Kalisto then Dropkicked Del Rio. Dean hit a Dropkick to send Del Rio to the floor. Kalisto flipped out to drop Del Rio and Sheamus. Break time, again.

Del Rio dropped Kalisto. Sheamus tagged back in and continued the punishment. European Uppercuts by the Irish man. Seated Rear Chin Lock by Sheamus.

Tags on both sides. It was Champion vs Champion. Running Bulldog by Dean. Dean flew off the top but didn’t connect. He had to follow up with a Swinging Neckbreaker and La Bandera Clothesline. Dean then hit a Suicide Dive and tore into Sheamus. Del Rio grabbed the IC champ and threw him into the barricade. Sheamus took the tag and got punched for his troubles. Sheamus bashed the ribs and hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus cranked away with a Rear Chin Lock. Dean battled free but took a Kitchen Sink knee. Del Rio took the tag and clocked Dean in the back of the head. Del Rio mocked Kalisto. Rear Chin Lock by Del Rio. Kevin Owens said he would stop at nothing to get his IC title back. Back Stabber by Del Rio. 1-2-nope. Del Rio called for his Cross Armbreaker. . Instead, Del Rio put Dean in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Alberto then went up top. Dean pulled himself up and Suplexed Del Rio. Del then hit a Missile Dropkick.

Sheamus got the tag but ended up laid out by the Rebound Clothesline. Tag to Kalisto. The smaller man sent Sheamus flying and then kicked away. Kalisto escaped White Noise and hit a Crescent Kick. Kalisto called Del Rio a Perro (dog) and then hit a Tilt-a-Whirl DDT on Sheamus. Solenas del Sol. Del Rio made the save and Dean got into it with him. Step Up Enziguri at the feet of Dean. Brogue Kick!

Your Winners: Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus
Raw Ranking: 3.0

Raw flashed back to earlier, when Jericho asked Roman to join his Highlight Reel segment, later on.

Michael Cole thanked the good people of India for making the recent tour a success. Would so love to go there. Maybe someday.

Raw looked at how Chris Jericho destroyed Xavier Woods’ trombone. It was so sad to see Woods crying like a baby. For goodness sake, the New Day did a funeral for Francesca the Trombone. I know a beautiful Island girl named Francesca and Frannie would just giggle to see this silliness. Big E and Kofi promised to get a new trombone for Xavier. Woods asked Big E to beat Jey Uso, in remembrance of Francesca. JBL played into it.

Raw did a “By the Numbers” video package.

Jey Uso vs Big E

Go Behind by Uso but Big E flung him across the ring. Huge Whip but Jey put on the brakes. Corner Mount Punches by Jey. Big E missed the Corner Splash. Big E Back Rushed Jey into the corner. Big E then stomped away. Float Over by Jey into a little dancing. Jey hit a Flying Crossbody to gain a two. Spinning Enziguri sent Big E out to the floor. Jey slid out of the ring and charged. Big E hit a Back Body Drop. The New Day talked trash as Raw took another break.

Big E had Jey trapped, for a moment. Jey used his hard skull as a weapon. Big E put down Jey but couldn’t keep him down. Kofi popped Jeya s the ref was out of position. Big E missed a huge Splash on the apron. Jey kicked Big E into the barricade. Jey with a Crossbody from the top. Jey nailed the big Samoan Drop. Big E rolled to the corner. Jey missed the Rikishi Run but connected with the Running Dropkick.Big E put Jey on the apron and charged. Jey ducked and Big E crashed and burned. Jey flew out of the ring. Jimmy Uso took out Kofi and Woods. Superkick by Jey. Jey headed up top. Woods distracted Jey and Big E clubbed Jey. Big Ending.

Your Winner: Big E
Raw Ranking; 1.75

Jey may have injured his knee during the close of that match.

Titus O’Neil, R-Truth and Mark Henry discussed the upcoming Rumble Match. Neville joined them to show support.

The League of Nations chatted backstage. In the ring, there was an 8 man match going.

The Ascension, Tyler Breeze and Star Dust vs Neville, Mark Henry R-Truth and Titus O’Neil
8 Man Match

Titus started and got double teamed by the Ascension team. Titus caught Viktor and threw him across the ring. Tag to Neville. Neville kicked away and cranked on the arm. Viktor pushed Neville into the enemy corner and tagged out to Star Dust. Neville setn Star into the ropes. Star Kick by the former Cody Rhodes. Mark took the tag and hit a Corner Splash. This may be Mark’s final Royal Rumble. Tag to Truth. Back Elbow by Truth. Star went for the Universal but Truth had stopped short. Tag to Breeze. Disaster Kick by Star. Tyler got a kick in, as well.

Truth kicked out of a pin. Tag to Konnor. Truth kicked away. Scoop Slam by Konnor. Spiral Drop Elbow by Konnor but it only brought 2 out of the needed 3. Konnor went back to a Rear Chin Lock. Konnor rocked Truth and mocked Neville. Star ran to the wrong corner and the ref ordered him back. Tag to Neville. He went to work on Tyler. Cartwheel Dropkick by the Brit. Standing Moonsault but it was broken up. It broke down into total chaos. World’s Strongest Slam into a Red Arrow!

Your Winners: Neville, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Titus O’Neil
Raw Ranking: 2.0

MizTV should be good, this week, on Smackdown. He will talk with Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens. Plus, Roman Reigns will have to battle the entire League of Nations.

Highlight Reel:

Jericho was trying to talk about his guests when he was cut off by Paul Heyman. There is another man that should be in the Hall of Fame. Jericho told Paul to Shut the Hell Up. Chris wondered where Brock Lesnar was. Paul said Brock would be out in a moment, to deliver an F5. Paul reminded Chris that he was destroyed by Brock, the last time they met. Fortunately for Jericho, Brock was more interested in Roman Reigns. Jericho invited Paul to join him for a little talk. Chris discussed how Paul wasn’t able to get Brock out of the Rumble and straight into Wrestlemania. Chris had one question: Did Paul try to get Brock out of the Rumble because he didn’t like Brock’s chances? Paul chuckled. Paul explained that Brock was never defeated for the World title so Brock should get his rematch without having to battle so many others. Paul made it clear that Brock is a conqueror. Paul ran down many of the possible match ups in the Rumble and any of them would be worth the price of the ticket. Paul knew Brock was dumped all the others to become the new World champion. The fans broke into a Suplex City chant. Jericho wanted Paul to consider what it would be like if he eliminated Brock to become the champ.

The Beast came out to join the party. Brock just continued to circle the ring. Before he got in the ring, Roman Reigns’ music went off. Roman stormed through the crowd. Roman went right into the ring and urged Brock to join him. This is definitely going to be a great Rumble match, I think. Brock hopped up on the apron and bounced around. Spear! As Brock entered the ring. Roman went off on Brock. The ring began to fill up. The League of Nations mugged Roman. The League went after Brock but they got beaten silly. It was Suplex City, Baby. F5 to Sheamus. Spear by Roman to Brock. The lights went out and the Wyatt Family got involved. Dang it, I want to see Braun vs Brock. That will be epic. Roman was dropped and then planted with Sister Abigail. Bray told his family to take out Brock. Brock kept fighting up to his feet. Luke put him down. Bray ordered his men to pick up Brock. Sister Abigail to Brock! Seriously? Bray screamed that the Rumble would be his.

So, I mentioned my girls, a little earlier. As I get ready to post this, the clock is about to move over to Tuesday and that is the birthday of my most beloved daughter, Jesika. She has been invaluable as we have dealt with her mother’s health issues. I am so proud of her for being such a wonderful lady. Happy birthday, my dear one. You are most beloved by me and your mom. Smile.


–Jay Shannon

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