Thanks to a hectic snowstorm on the east coast, a very different version of Raw aired on Monday. Was it any good?
The answer to that question would be based on your expectations. The show was done live from WWE studios in Stamford, Connecticut and featured only two matches. Those two matches were the two big matches from last night’s Royal Rumble. It was interview heavy and they did just about the best job you could with the situation. Whatever you do, watch the video below of the last segment. It’s excellent.
Roman Reigns meets Brock Lesnar
They aired both the complete Royal Rumble and the WWE World Heavyweight title match. It was an interesting choice to show the former because of how it ended, with Roman Reigns being booed by the live crowd even though the Rock was by his side. I wouldn’t say they used it to their advantage, but they tried.
Byron Saxton interviewed Roman Reigns and discussed the Royal Rumble. The problem is that Byron Saxton referenced the crowd in Philadelphia in a way that made it weird and a little too inside. By the time he asked Roman Reigns if he was hated because people thought he was handpicked, it not only violated all the storylines (since, you know, Seth Rollins is the Authority’s handpicked guy), but the entire idea of pro wrestling is to make it feel like a real sport even if it’s predetermined. It’s like a magician revealing how he does his tricks in an interview. Reigns didn’t really have a chance to answer the question in a way that would make him look good, but he did come off way more personable in the segment.
Earlier in the show, Michael Cole interviewed Brock Lesnar right after he had just finished interviewing Seth Rollins. Rollins and Lesnar had an interesting little stare down. Lesnar came off as the most confident man in the world. They teased a meeting between Reigns and Lesnar to end the show.
I don’t even want to describe too much of it. Paul Heyman narrated. Roman came off like a bad ass. Brock came off like a bad ass. And I immediately wanted to watch the match.
They set up some other things on the show.
Based on what they teased, it sounds like John Cena will face off against Rusev at Fast Lane. So they aren’t saving their first encounter for WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan did an interview that was very solid and he even talked about wanting a match with Brock Lesnar because it would be a true David and Goliath. But it looks like he and Dolph Ziggler are working their own little thing on Smackdown.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) January 27, 2015
Bryan faces Kane in a Buried Alive match on Smackdown, which is live on Thursday from Hartford.
Dean Ambrose was in a goofy skit where he said he hitch-hiked from Hartford to Stamford in the back of a pick up truck as a metaphor for the windy road to WrestleMania. It was more entertaining because of him than it was good.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame.
If you watched last night’s Royal Rumble, you were able to zoom through this show pretty quickly; just watching the interview segments. But if you passed on last night’s show, it was probably a nice surprise to see the matches for free. The Rumble may have not been very good, but the title match was excellent and probably got more than five times the audience than it did last night.
But after that, the gem of the show was the Roman and Brock face off. It was very well done.