Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: January 5, 2015

Well the Authority is back and I’m not sure what else you’re expecting the show to focus on this week. The previous week Cena agreed to bring them back for the sake of protecting his BEST FRIEND EVER Edge, and of course the Authority just happened to be there that night. This is likely to set up Wrestlemania and the return of Sting, which should be awesome when it finally happens. Let’s get to it.

The roster was in the ring for the Authority’s big return. As in their return from last week when the really came back because of course they were in the back. Screw suspension of disbelief and all that nonsense. They actually kept this one short as the Authority’s only announcements were Rollins being added to the title match at the Rumble, John Cena Appreciation Night later, and Dolph Ziggler defending the Intercontinental Title against Bad News Barrett right now.

First up we’ll look at the PPV title match. I REALLY like Rollins being added to make it a triple threat, as we’ve seen Cena vs. Lesnar far too often now. At the end of the day, why am I supposed to care about seeing the same guys fight each other with Cena getting closer and closer every time? This also opens a door to avoid Lesnar vs. Reigns for the title at Wrestlemania. There are multiple ways out now, and that’s the best news we could have had in a long time.

Bad News Barrett took the Intercontinental Title back from Dolph Ziggler in classic Russo booking. Ziggler pinned him in less than three minutes but Kane came out to say it’s 2/3 falls, with Barrett winning the next two. This is the start of the night’s big idea and it really should have been more obvious after you know where it’s going. I’m not wild on another title change, especially after Barrett looked like a face last week. Then again, you can’t expect something like week to week continuity around here. It’s not like this is NXT or something.

All night had some great John Cena moments, most of which are the same ones you always see for something like this. I really would like to see them bust out some fresh ones every now and then.

Roman Reigns still can’t talk. I’m interested in where this is going though, because on Smackdown he cut a really goofy promo but then said of course it was hard to say and winked at the camera, acknowledging that it’s a badly scripted promo. I doubt that goes anywhere, but it’s an interesting possibility.

Bray Wyatt is still creepy.

The Ascension came out for the promo and reaction from the announcers that I’ve already written far too much about.

Roman Reigns beat Big Show via DQ in the feud that will not die. They’re still dragging this thing out and I’m scared that they won’t blow it off until Fast Lane. Does anyone even remember why they’re fighting? Was there ever a reason in the first place? It’s a boring feud and for some reason it just keeps going. It didn’t help that Show basically squashed him and then lost via DQ.

Nikki Bella beat Natalya for the second time in two weeks. I’m still just waiting for Naomi to take the title and end this ridiculous Bella domination. Or we could just cancel Total Divas already and stop these stupid stories.

Dean Ambrose is violent.

Erick Rowan lost to Luke Harper via a fast count from the Stooges. More angle advancement and thankfully we haven’t had the big showdown between these two. Then again, it’s not like WWE knows how to build a match other than to have them fight each other a bunch, nor do they seem to have any sort of a plan for or interest in Rowan.

Alicia Fox beat up Naomi in the back because Total Divas thinks it’s interesting.

Bray Wyatt beat Dean Ambrose again in an ambulance match to end their feud. As usual, WWE doesn’t know how to pace a feud. We started with a TLC match then had a bunch of street fights and they end it with an ambulance match. Why an ambulance you ask? No clue, as there’s no connection to an ambulance in their feud. They wound up feuding just because they were feuding before and that almost never makes for a good story.

On top of that, the match was nothing interesting. It’s the problem with having a feud based on violent matches: eventually you get numb to what they’re doing. Ambrose has dropped how many elbows through tables now? I don’t know why I’m supposed to care now because the table has a red cross painted on.

Miz/Damien Mizdow/Alicia Fox beat the Usos/Naomi in a six person tag. This feud has run out of steam, meaning we’re likely getting it for another six weeks. The match was nothing special and it didn’t help that it came on a long, draining show.

Ryback’s punishment is a handicap match against Rollins and Kane but his big moment is he wasn’t knocked out by the first Curb Stomp. He was however knocked out by the second Curb Stomp to give the villains the win.

Big E. beat Adam Rose via DQ when two masked men, played by Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, interfered. They just HAD to put this in? The show felt like it had been going on for a year at this point and I really could have used a breather. Air a video package or something but stop cramming everything in every chance they have. It’s ok to let the show breathe for a minute, but WWE insists on jamming in every story and angle they can. It makes the show very tiring and I don’t want to see any more at this point.

The big ending segment was the Authority praising Cena and then bringing out the other members of Team Cena from Survivor Series (the show that will not die). The Authority fired Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan for a big dramatic moment. Things picked up though as confetti and balloons fell and music played to celebrate John Cena to end the show. I’ll give them that one as the look on Cena’s face as the Authority smiled was perfect.

This show was LONG. That’s my big complaint here in case you missed it the first dozen or so times. It felt like they were cramming in every single idea they had and it makes for a very tiring show. The big angle isn’t going to mean anything long term because I’d be stunned if those three weren’t back for the Rumble. The ending scene was about breaking Cena’s spirit…..which is a really questionable idea. Why you ask?

Has Cena even mentioned Lesnar at the Rumble? We haven’t gotten one promo about the match, one reason to think that Cena is focused, or one thing that really makes me want to see him fight Lesnar again. Sure he’ll mention Brock once in awhile, but it’s always broken up by something from the Authority or Rollins. The title match is a complete afterthought at this point and that’s not what we should be having going into the Road to Wrestlemania. I can’t wait for Lesnar to lose the title so we can get back to something resembling normal around here.

Other than Cena and the Authority, this show just didn’t do anything for me. We’ve seen the same feuds and stories for so long now that it’s almost impossible to care about them again. I know we keep saying the Road to Wrestlemania will re-energize things, but nothing ever seems to change. Maybe it’s coming soon, but the Rumble needs to be a home run at this point.

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  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    So Cena saves a guy who broke in his house and slapped his dad around while making his life hell for 3 years? I know its his good nature but give me a break. Also if Cena was able to stop Rollins after he said he was going to kill him anyway what stopped him from doing it while Rollins was rambling?

    I know i look too much into things

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Didn’t you see that heartwarming moment where they shook hands and everything was fine? I mean, that made up for all the issues to me.

    I’ve heard the “why didn’t he run in” argument more than once now and it’s pretty simple: Cena moves forward, Rollins jumps into the air and breaks Edge’s neck.

  2. Aeon Mathix says:

    Eh all that aside and throughout these painfully dull raws im excited for the rumble. First time in forever i legit dont know who will win. Will they pull the trigger on Reigns, go the “safe” way and give it to Bryan or help launch someone like Ambrose? I love it

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Best feeling in wrestling.