There was no Randy Orton or John Cena on Monday even though Stephanie McMahon promoted a match between the two for the Royal Rumble. In fact, she promoted it as a traditional match, meaning no gimmicks – which means they had the super important unification bout at TLC to set up the real championship match in a straight match. I thought only TNA booked backwards?
There were a few cool things that happened, which I will describe below, but it was a very fast forward worthy show.
Brock Lesnar returns.
Triple H introduced Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) at the end of the second hour as his big announcement. Interestingly, they didn’t play off the blood feud from the prior year. I imagine Triple H will say something soon. But maybe not. There was also no mention of Paul Heyman leaving and then coming back. Maybe that will be forgotten as well.
Lesnar was absolutely the best thing on the show. He came out, Heyman claimed he was the self-proclaimed number one contender, and then Lesnar himself took the mic and said that he was the best in the company. He issued a challenge which led to Mark Henry coming out and getting speared through the dasher boards and F5’d on the outside mats.
It was very similar to this except on the outside mats:
While Lesnar is always a fantastic addition to WWE, you have to wonder how many times he can do his act and then lose matches before he loses drawing power. He’s already lost to John Cena and Triple H and if paired with Undertaker, will lose to him as well. He makes a difference. But seemingly, that difference is less and less each time. Maybe they’ll be more creative with his current run.
Daniel Bryan joins the Wyatts.
Well, at least that’s what they tried to portray. But I don’t buy it and I don’t buy the Wyatts.
After starting strong, I’ve absolutely become sick of the Wyatts as an act. Unlike the Shield who are presented strong and then have fantastic matches and depth to all three characters, the Wyatts do the same thing every week leading up to Bray kissing his victim in the head and giving them the Sister Abigail.
In this instance, Daniel Bryan wanted Bray in the ring, but Brad Maddox booked him to have to face Luke Harper and Rowan before getting the chance to face Bray. Why? Hasn’t Bryan beat both guys enough in the past? Does he have to beat them again? Shouldn’t already beating them build him up enough for Bray?
In the main event segment of the show, Bryan beat Harper in a long match, and then beat Rowan quickly to set up the match with Bray. But of course, it didn’t happen as he was jumped. After being beaten up, he told Bray that he was right and that he was always right and in a defeated tone, said that the machine would never let him win and he’s now joining the Wyatts. Ugh.
While I don’t mind them trying to be creative, unless this is a big swerve for Bryan vs. Bray at the Royal Rumble, it’s a waste of Bryan. He’s over like nobody’s business. This is an angle for him when he’s cooled off, not when he’s just as popular as ever. I’m patient enough to let it play out, but I’m unconvinced that it will end with Bryan even hotter. I have a feeling he’ll lose steam and it will be a shame.
(By the way, aren’t CM Punk and John Cena terrible friends? Bryan is kidnapped, jumped, and left for dead and no one ever saves him.)
– CM Punk beat Seth Rollins partly because Dean Ambrose wouldn’t stop interfering, setting up Roman Reigns to face Punk next week. All three Shield members are great in their roles. I just hope Seth has a place when they do break up.
– Old School Raw is next week and it looks like Ric Flair will be there. He’s forgiven and Jim Ross is fired? Weird how that works.
– There were two Batista videos during the show, setting up his return on January 20th.
– Big E was booked like a champ again, beating Fandango.
It had to be Punk vs. Rollins, which was booked smartly and featured four guys who just know how to do what they’re supposed to do correctly. While it wasn’t a superb match by any means, it was still the best thing on the show.
In a fast forward world, the show was fine. But if I didn’t have the fast forward button, I think I would’ve been really bored.
It gets: 3 JRs (out of 5)