WWE RAW reviews (1/4/2016) –“To new Beginnings!”

RAW Reviews. By Erik M.

1/4/2016

The first RAW of 2016. Go along with me on this
journey as we see how the Royal Rumble takes shape in
just a few short weeks. Does the new year start with a
BANG or just a small party favor “pop”? Let’s find out..

We start off Monday Night Raw with.. ANOTHER 20
MINUTE SEGMENT! Hooray! In all seriousness
though, this was the opening segment that we were
waiting for, the rematch being made for Sheamus vs.
Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight
Championship.

I won’t go into much detail about who said what because,
at least in my opinion, it has been done already and the
only real big news was that Mr. McMahon himself, would
be the special guest referee for the title match tonight.

So, how does the opening segment add up?:
-Pro’s: Mr. McMahon is back in the fray and would be
invloved with the main event, further adding to the whole
Authority/McMahon/Reigns angle.
-Con’s: Reigns and Stephanie felt a little flat only due to
this opeing segment being done already in previous
weeks. The repor between them is not what it was and
you get a very stale taste from it.

Neville vs. Kevin Owens:
-Right off the bat, Neville was on the offensive. Taking
the fight to the outside of the ring, landing a somersault
to a stunned Owens on the barracade. Back into the ring,
Neville lands a jumping kick to Kevin Owens, forcing him
off the ropes and into the ring. Shortly after, Neville hit a
shooting star press from the top rope to a standing
Owens on the floor. One side-step later to the taped-up
ribs and Owens was able to slow the momentum of
Neville. From here on, it was back and forth between the
two. Neville would reverse an irish whip into a turnbuckle
and send Owens head first into it instead. Owens then
would work on Neville’s ribs until he would get ready for
a big top rope move, Kevin pushes Neville down into the
corner to set-up for his rolling ball which would then he
topped with the pop-up powerbomb for the win. Of
course, Kevin wouldn’t be the classy guy he is without
returning back to the ring to punish Neville some more
except this time he was met with a fresh Dean Ambrose
who layed in wait at commentary the entire match.
Ambrose would then pummel Owens and flaunt his
Intercontinental Championship with the ringside crowd at
his back.
(Cut to backstage segment w/ Vince McMahon.)
-Vince exposits on the irony of him being arrested for
breaking the law but him BEING the law as the special
guest referee for tonight’s main event.
Titus O’Neil vs. Stardust
-Stardust began the match with some fisticuff action in
the corner but Titus made made easy work by pulling
Stardust into the corner for some huge chest slaps.
Stardust would then use his knee’s to good use to catch
Titus mid-run to slow him down. Titus throws Stardust
into the ropes try to hit a short-arm clothesline, Stardust
ducks jumps off the ropes and lands a disaster kick then
follows it up with a quick cover for a 2- count. Titus then
fell victim to a barage of knee strikes and holds to
continue to slow him down. The conclusion of the match
came as Titus would throw Stardust into the corner and
land his corner splash then Clash of the Titus for the win
of the prince of dark matter.

(Becky Lynch/Charlotte segment)
-Charlotte would walk up on Becky as she’s stretching
and question the motives behind their upcoming rematch.
Becky explains it wasn’t per her request and it’s all in the
spirit of friendly competition. Ric Flair would appear at
the very end to add a little more “Flare” to the friendly
rivalry.

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
-What a simple lock-up to start the match could tell us if
we only knew the future…a.k.a. these 2 women put on a
classic wrestling clinic. Both gals would reverse each
other’s moves over and again in a very smooth and clean
fashion for the first couple of minutes. Becky looking to
just have the momentum on her side. Trading hip tosses
arm-bar’s and some special moves to narrowly escape
pinfalls. Becky then would catch Charlotte with a hip toss
to leave her prone until Charlotte, playing to Lynch’s
good side, would ask for a hand up in good faith only to
be met with a barrage of beatings. Charlotte, with the
upper hand, would then dominate the match going
forward with a leg-choke hold/ mat-strike combination.
Becky turned the tides by reversing a figure-8 attempt
with a roll-up but got the 2-count. Lynch then gets caught
by charlotte on her shoulders and manipulates the hold in
order to lock in a sleeper hold of her own. Charlotte
back drops Becky and turns the match in her favor again.
At the end, Becky would mount another comback but
stopped dead in her tracks courtesy of Ric Flair grabbing
her leg . Charlotte would then roll-up Becky for the win
but Becky would capitalize on a 2-count and roll up
Charlotte and get the victory. Both Ric and Charlotte
would be steaming mad immediately following but it
would be Charlotte kicking Lynch from behind and
stomping her down in retalliation.

(Sheamus/McMahon segment)
-We see Vince go over the contest rules to a
dissapproving Sheamus until Vince gives him a sly look
and says “May the luck of the Irish be wth you”. Sheamus
exits with a large grin.

Ryback vs. Big Show
-Ryback tried to immediately overpower Show but was
instantly met with a Chokeslam. Ryback then gets tossed
to the ropes and clotheslines to the outside. Cue Wyatt
blackout. All 4 members surround Ryback and viciously
attack. They feed him to Braun Strowman into his half
nelson lifting choke then turn their sights to Show. He
would appear to fight back but eventually it would be
too much for Show to handle. Bray would also announce
that he and his family will dominate the royal rumble.

The League of Nations (Del Rio & Rusev) vs. The Usos
-Del Rio started it off early with some brute force
offense eventually being forced into an Uso clothesline
and the Rusev comes in to bring the pain. Both Uso’s
bringing some power to the table, not being afraid to
throw some convincing punches and lariats while also
showing smooth tag team technique. Alberto gets the tag
in and puts the match back in the favor of the L.o.N..
The Nation would go on the dominate the match for
awhile with a series of constant tags, holds and powerful
strikes. Uso’s used their evasive style to comeback which
sent Rusev out of the ring but into a double drop kick in
the corner.. luckily Jey Uso moves in time. Alberto
would eventually catch him with a vicious enziguri, lay
him on the 2nd rope and hit that double stromp from the
top rope and get the pinfall victory.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater
-Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose would
accompany Slater to the ring. Surpisingly, these 2 are
working well off each other to start with Heath being
shocking limber and agile. Ziggler would soon take
control and lead the match. Heath showing more
aggression, he stayed in the fight hitting some nasty
punches, some knee’s and kicks while wearing down
Ziggler with a sleeper hold.Ziggler reverses would would
be a flip and into a DDT to stay in it. The match finds it’s
end with both Ziggler and Slater trading roll-ups but it
was constant distractions from the outside entourage of
Dallas and Rose on the apron and Slater gets the win with
the final roll-up. The group then get a mic and ramble
about random stuff but it was Slater to bring it together
and refer to this new stable as “Social Outcasts”.

(Reigns/ McMahon segment)
-This time Vince would explain the rules of the main
event to Roman, again stating that “you must obey my
every commands”.

(The New Day/Chris Jericho segment)
-Big E starts off this party by saying this will be the year
of The New Day. They would make a few more
references, Mike Tyson’s hoverboard injury, etc.. Kofi
points to a countdown on the titantron only for it to be
interfered by a familiar countdown clock and the return
of Chris Jericho! New Day and Y2J play magically off of
each other as they trade shots at each other. Jericho
would tell the crowd that he is officially entered in the
Royal Rumble match and eliminate everyone to headline
Wrestlemania once again.

The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz & Kallisto
-Woods demands that Kallisto tag in Bubba (revenge for
being put through a table last week). He tries to
overpower Bubba Ray but it immediately blows up in his
face and the Dudley’s now have the match in their favor.
Bubba hits a stalling suplex on Kofi but it only gets him a
2 count. Kallisto enters the fight to work on the arm of
Kofi and then it was D-Von’s turn. The made quick work
of TND and Bubba throws Kallisto out of the ring into
the arms of New Day. Xavier Woods eventually was able
to slow down Bubba and get in his own combination of
kicks and knee’s eventaully grounding him until a tag to
Kofi is made. Kallisto gets the tag, stands on the shoulders
of Bubba(who is sitting on the top rope) and launched
himself onto Kofi. Kofi would get out to tag Big E who
lands a massive big splash on the outer ring to Kallisto.
This is where New Day unleashed hell on Kallisto with a
relentless bombardment of stomps and thanks to Woods,
it had it’s own soundtrack via the trumpet. After that, it
was a mad dash to the finish as both sides would evenly
go back and forth to gain the upper hand. Bubba Bomb
to Woods, running slam to the outside wall on Kallisto, a
3/4 leap across the ring by Kofi(missed jumping kick)
when the Dudley’s tried to set up for the “Wazzup”, they
get blindsided by the rest of the New Day and end up
hitting their combined finisher on D-von for the pinfall!

Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns(WWE World Heavyweight
Championship match)
-Sheamus took advantage of a distracted Roman Reigns
(was playing tug-of-war with Vince McMahon using his
championship title) and unloaded countless punches to
stun Reigns, Sheamus went to the 2nd rope but Roman
grabbed his leg and pulled him down to the mat. Both
guys took the fight outside then Sheamus prompted
McMahon to something on the other side of the ring so
he could use the steel steps without being “seen”. Vince
plays off this obvious feined tactic as Sheamus throws the
stairs at Roman and throws him back into the ring. From
that point it was all Sheamus, he continued to wear down
Reigns some more with Vince being shifty-eyed to the
obvious wrong-doings, fast counts and all. Roman would
then land a powerbomb and Vince would delay the 3
count. Roman then hit Sheamus with the Superman punch
and again Vince delays the 3 count. Roman, getting pretty
pissed off gets ready for another Superman punch only
this time he hit’s the CEO instead. Roman takes Sheamus
outside the ring and demolishes him. Takes him back into
the ring and no referee to count. Stephanie McMahon
comes to the ring to plead for her father’s safety but
Roman is not hearing any of it. Sheamus comes to and
hits Reigns with a double Brogue Kick then replacement
ref, Scott Armstrong, comes down and narrowly gets a 3
count with Reigns popping off the mat at the last milli-
second. Armstrong then gets a dosage of Reigns and he
gets layed out, hits Sheamus with a spear and gets the win
from yet another referee coming in. Vince comes to
finally, knocks out the ref who called the conclusion of
the match and made some shocking news of his own. At
the Royal Rumble PPV, Roman Reigns would be
defending his championship IN the Royal Rumble match
itself!
Final Thoughts:
-This was the RAW we have been waiting awhile for. No
stupid and pointless bits that served no prupose, this was
all action and response. The start only fell a little flat but
with Vince in the picture it only got better as he
continued to lay on the severity of the main event. The
flow of the night was very smooth and didn’t at all feel
rushed. The matches were solid as hell! I want to say that
nearly everyone was on point tonight! The last month of
RAW has been very difficult to watch, at least in my
shoes, so when I watched this episode it felt like a new
wave had finally come in to wash over everyone who was
anxiously waiting for a refresher! The main even shocker
is also something else Im pretty excited for. Not since
1992 has the main belt been up for grabs in the royal
rumble match. With how the company has been booking
lately and with the number of injuries being rather high,
this was the shock the WWE needed to recharge it’s
batteries for the new year! I recommend you give this one
a go!

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