Raw was definitely more interesting tonight than it has been in the recent past. Well, except at the end.
While boring and very long at times, Raw was a near breath of fresh air as Ryback and Cesaro were able to do promos which seemed like restarts of their often “on a treadmill” characters. Bad News Barrett was back. The Ascension finally debuted. And it wasn’t overbooked. Well, except at the end.
Daniel Bryan is in the Royal Rumble.
Being that WrestleMania is in my home town, I’ve been hoping that Daniel Bryan’s neck and arm injuries clear up soon because I want to see him in a high profile match at WrestleMania.
Those hopes took a downward turn earlier today when he tweeted the following:
Everyone comes to a crossroads in their life and I’ve come to mine. I look forward to telling you all about it tonight on #Raw.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) December 29, 2014
Now, WWE being WWE, it probably meant he was ready to return, but there was a little bit of wonder from me if he was going to retire. But a couple things told me that wasn’t the case. If he was to retire, they’d probably build it up a bit more than just a random tweet. And once the opening segment didn’t have him in it, I was pretty sure it meant he was in the clear and was returning.
He played it up quite well. And now that he’s in the Royal Rumble, that match is going to be better than it was going to be. Yes!
At this point in the game, all was well.
The Authority is back.
It took just over a month for what was the biggest match in WWE in 2014 to become meaningless. When Vince McMahon said that the only way the Authority will come back is if John Cena brings them back, you knew they were coming back. It wasn’t if. It was when. But because of how they tried to portray the match (even though the stipulation pretty much came out of nowhere as well), you figured that there would be quite the build and tease for the Authority coming back. You’d be wrong.
Instead, they used Edge, who doesn’t wrestle any longer, to help bring them back. Let’s actually go back to the start of the show.
Edge and Christian were the guest hosts and opened the show. There was a video open that reminded us about when Edge retired with a neck injury. They argued over what would eventually become the main event segment; their interview show. Edge’s was The Cutting Edge. Christian’s was The Peep Show. They agreed on The Cutting Edge Peep Show. As they were going to do their five second pose, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out.
Heyman was seemingly trying to stretch the PG to the fullest on Raw. (Earlier in the promo, Christian mentioned seeing Lana naked.) Heyman was discussing Edge’s neck injury and said that Brock Lesnar wanted to penetrate the virgin neck of John Cena. That was weird. Cena came out and nearly had Brock in the AA, but Brock escaped.
During the segment, E&C booked Seth Rollins in a match with Roman Reigns. The match was just okay and ended with the Big Show, who was doing guest commentary, interfered and beat up Reigns. After the match, Rollins told his goof balls that he was going to be the guest on The Cutting Edge Peep Show. He wanted to propose a New Year’s toast to John Cena.
On The Cutting Edge Peep Show, Seth talked about his 2014 and wanted to thank his friend The Big Show. Seth called out John Cena, but Cena wouldn’t come out. He demanded that he come out and when he didn’t, Rollins hit Christian with the briefcase. This upset Edge, but he was outnumbered with Show, Rollins, and J&J. Soon enough, Show put Edge on the mat with his neck over the briefcase. Seth was going to curb stomp him, which I guess was going to paralyze Edge? Cena finally came out. But Seth wouldn’t let him in the ring. Cena had to bring back the Authority or else Seth would continue with his viciousness toward Edge.
(At this point, I was thinking of ways that Cena could get out of this, because it was a few weeks too early for the Authority to come back. They hadn’t teased it yet. Seth hadn’t planted the seeds for their return yet. Maybe, in two weeks, they could finally get there. And plus, they had to get heat on someone on the roster to fully take advantage of it, not Edge, who won’t be on TV for another year.)
But nope, tonight was the night. Cena relented as Edge laid there seemingly forever and even though he agreed to let the Authority come back, Seth was still going to injure Edge before Cena stopped him. But Cena was soon beaten up, taking the Big Show’s punch and then the curb stomp. As Seth celebrated walking back, Triple H and Stephanie came out drinking champagne. And then Lesnar and Heyman came out to make it a real party.
It’s as if the last several weeks never happened, and we’re back to where we were before Survivor Series. If John Cena only came out when Seth asked, E&C wouldn’t have been beaten up, and The Authority would’ve never came back. What a dick John Cena is.
And the rest…
– Dolph Ziggler beat Rusev by disqualification as Rusev wouldn’t stop beating him up. Rusev’s my pick for next year’s breakout star.
– Ryback came out to save Ziggler and then told his story, which he also told on Talk Is Jericho. It’s a good story and one that he told better on Jericho’s podcast, but was a decent attempt at letting Ryback be more than just, “Feed me more.”
– Nikki beat Natalya and they continued the breakup angle as Tyson Kidd caught Nikki after she was knocked off the apron.
– Naomi talked to Miz backstage and thanked him. I think she was trying to mess with his head since he had a match next with the Usos, but she’s not nearly a good enough actress to pull it off, even though it should’ve been easy.
– The Usos beat Miz and Mizdow to win the tag straps in a really good match. The Usos were my breakout stars for this year. I want someone to call me ooose. They got to talk to Lawler after the win and one of them talked about having a barbeque and using JR’s BBQ sauce.
– Cesaro was sitting in the corner with a microphone. He was referencing Vince McMahon’s podcast with Stone Cold Steve Austin where Vince basically said he didn’t have it, though Cesaro didn’t call him out by name. It led to Bad News Barrett making yet another comeback. Barrett won the match. I don’t get the booking here as giving Cesaro mic time should’ve made sure he was booked to beat someone.
– Luke Harper beat Jack Swagger.
– Cena was in the back with Edge and Christian going over memories in a fun segment.
– Next week, it’s Mean Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt in an Ambulance Match. Um, yay?
– The Ascension beat Miz and Mizdow after Miz complained to Edge that he wanted a rematch. Edge gave him this match instead.
I won’t say that the ending spoiled the entire show for me, but it sure tried. I enjoyed some of the segments as it gave you hope that they were going to try with some guys. It’s always fun to see Edge and Christian. But the end of the show just made it seem like absolutely nothing matters.