Monday Night Raw – December 14, 2015: They Really Just Did That!

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 14, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

Now this could be a very interesting show. Last night Roman Reigns finally showed the fire he’s been needing for years and destroyed the League of Nations as well as HHH. This starts the road to the Royal Rumble but there is almost no way to predict how a Philadelphia crowd is going to react. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last night’s main event and Reigns’ post match attacks.

Here’s a ticked off Stephanie McMahon to open things. She talks about how badly businesswomen are perceived. Take away her money and her education and she’s just like you. Last night she had to explain to her daughters why their daddy was beaten up and spitting blood in the hospital last night. It’s obvious the fans want her to be cold hearted and vindictive so that’s what they’re going to get.

This brings out Roman, who says it’s his daughter’s birthday and he can’t wait to see her when he gets home. Stephanie asks how Reigns can say that when her husband is so hurt. Reigns says he’s got stuff to do so fire him or move on. The boss yells about how Reigns failed again last night as he always does because he’s a disgrace and a failure. Roman disagrees because it’s really Stephanie and HHH that are the disgraces. Make that the entire McMahon Family, so Stephanie slaps him about ten times. She won’t fire him because her husband asked him not to. Vince might though, because he’s on the way tonight.

Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title and I believe the fourth straight show where Ziggler has been in the match after the opening segment. Dean wristlocks him down to start and gets two off a slam. We hit a Regal Stretch of all things on Ziggler before Dean sends him to the floor for a suicide dive. This has been one sided so far. Back in and we hit a pinfall reversal sequence until Dirty Deeds doesn’t work to send us to a stalemate as we take a break.

Back with Ziggler taking over by dropkicking Ambrose out of the air, followed by the Fameasser for two. Dean grabs a belly to back suplex into a faceplant for two of his own and now the fans think this is awesome. Oh come on you far too quickly impressed people. It’s not that great. Dean misses a charge into the corner and eats the superkick, only to hit the rebound lariat before going down. This brings in Kevin Owens to throw Ziggler outside for the DQ at 12:21.

Rating: C+. Way too happy fans aside, this was a smart way to go for the first match on a show in Philadelphia. There’s a group of wrestlers that they’re going to cheer no matter what and these two are near the top. The match was good enough despite being little more than a bunch of spots going back and forth.

Owens powerbombs Dean twice and holds up the title. Ziggler tries to come in but gets kicked in the knee, followed by a powerbomb onto Dean as Owens stands over both of them.

We look at Stephanie slapping Reigns again. They’re making it very difficult for me to keep calm tonight.

Owens says he doesn’t have to justify himself to anyone because that was just the beginning. He isn’t going to stop until he drives Dean into an institution and takes back HIS Intercontinental Title.

The ECW guys are getting ready for their extreme rules match against the Wyatts. If this city has taught Bubba one thing it’s that you have to keep getting back up.

Stephanie is waiting on Vince.

R-Truth vs. Bo Dallas

O…..k? Truth shoulders him down and takes a victory lap early on. As the match is going on, we cut to the back where Vince arrives. It has been WAY too long since something has happened during a match on this show. We cut back to the ring where Dallas and Truth look terrified. Truth snapmares him down and here’s Vince while the match is still going on. Everything stops and Vince gets in the ring to tell both guys to get out of his ring, drawing one of the pops of the night. The match ended at 3:27 but no rating of course.

Vince talks about Reigns sweating in the back because he might get fired. That’s enough for now though as he goes and sits at ringside, saying Roman is going to sweat a bit more. After a break, Vince calls Reigns down to the ring to take his medicine. Reigns comes out (down the ramp for a change) and Vince demands an apology for what Roman did to HHH last night. Roman smirks a bit so Vince threatens to beat him up right now. There goes the jacket but here’s Sheamus to interrupt before it goes any further.

Sheamus wants to be the one that beats an apology out of Reigns but the fans cut him off with the YOU LOOK STUPID chant. On behalf of Vince’s Irish coat of arms, Sheamus wants to challenge Reigns for tonight. Sheamus knows he can beat Reigns at any time, so let’s make it a title match. Vince asks the fans if they’re interested but there’s no chance that’s happening. Reigns wants to know why not and thinks it’s because the old man’s grapefruits have shriveled to prunes. That’s too far for Vince so it’s on for tonight. However, if Reigns doesn’t become champion, he’s fired. Vince kicks Reigns low and leaves.

Alberto Del Rio/Rusev vs. Ryback/Jack Swagger

Lana is actually at ringside during a League match for a change. Ryback starts fast with the delayed vertical suplex for two on Rusev. It’s off to Del Rio for some kicks in the corner and Ryback stands perfectly still as Alberto runs across the ring for the enziguri. Some stomping sets up a chinlock from Alberto as the fans are really not interested here. It’s hard to bore a Philadelphia crowd but they’ve managed to pull it off.

The fans try a WE THE PEOPLE chant and Ryback responds with a suplex to Rusev, setting up the hot tag to Swagger. Jack makes the comeback with his usual and gets Rusev in the Patriot Lock, only to get caught in a Backstabber. Ryback gets thrown out and back to back superkicks give Rusev the pin on Swagger at 6:35.

Rating: D+. Just a quick match here (thank goodness) and the League continues to be a lame group that is effective yet boring. At least Swagger took the fall here instead of Ryback, who can’t take too many more falls before he loses any credibility he might have built up over the summer. Well any more of it that is as most of it is already gone.

The Rosebush talks about the Charlotte/Becky Lynch situation and Tommy Dreamer being offended by Rose saying he spray tanned. Apparently Dreamer’s skin is as thin as his hair.

Tyler Breeze vs. Neville

I’m off to watch one of their great NXT showdowns instead of this likely nothing match. Before we start, here’s Miz to direct the match and call for the bell. Neville works on a headlock to start as Miz tells him to crank on the head. We hit a chinlock instead until Breeze comes back with some stomps as we keep cutting to Miz. Tyler puts on his own front facelock as Miz tries to lead some Neville chants. Neville fights up again and nails a great looking (and sounding) superkick, setting up the Red Arrow for the pin at 4:55.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad but is clearly part of a longer story. Miz and Neville are an intriguing pair as they both need something to do so why not try something new? Speaking of something new, how about WE STOP JOBBING BREEZE??? Did they really just need a new midcard jobber and that’s the only reason they called him up? That’s the best they can do for someone that worked that hard in NXT? What a shame indeed.

Neville is getting annoyed at Miz after a break but Miz suggests that Neville could be a superhero in the next Star Wars movie. However, he needs Neville to teach him his accent so he can be the next James Bond. Neville still isn’t interested and walks off.

The Wyatts promise to bury the ECW guys.

Wyatt Family vs. Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno/Dudley Boyz

Extreme rules. The Wyatts surround the ECW guys to start as JBL acts like ECW was the greatest thing of all time. Bubba and Dreamer lead the house cleaning and it’s time for some weapons. Back in and the Dudleys give Rowan What’s Up but Harper comes in for a save with the superkick. Dreamer hits him with a few hard objects and loads up a superplex, only to have Strowman pull him to the floor. Bubba completes the superplex but Rowan makes it a Tower of Doom sending Harper down onto the chair as we take a break.

Back with the Wyatts in control until Rhyno cleans house. Dreamer gets to do the baseball slide into the dropkick in the Tree of Woe on Harper and Bray is knocked into the crowd. Strowman gets thrown over the announcers’ table and Bubba follows Bray into the crowd. Harper is on the stage with Dreamer but his powerbomb is countered into a Death Valley Driver through a pair of conveniently placed tables. Strowman helps Bray against Bubba until Dreamer makes the save with a kendo stick. That’s fine with Strowman who powerslams Dreamer through part of the barricade.

Bubba beats Bray up near the announcers’ table and throws the cover on him. Back in the ring (finally) and the Dudleys beat up Harper until Luke fights them off with relative ease and loads up a table. Bubba runs back in for 3D but Bray makes the save and gives D-Von Sister Abigail on the floor. Rowan returns with a spinwheel kick to Bubba but Rhyno suplexes him down. The Gore hits knee though and Sister Abigail plants Rhyno. Rowan loads up a table and a top rope splash sends Rhyno through the wood for the pin at 15:33.

Rating: B. This was WAY more fun than it had any right to be and thank goodness the right team won. They had me believing that the ECW guys were going to win here and riots would have been justified. Instead this was much more of a treat for the live crowd and a pretty fun match for the most part, especially seeing Tommy Dreamer in pain. Good stuff and a really fun surprise.

We recap the Reigns story for the night.

Here’s New Day for their latest celebration. Big E. and Kofi are limping after last night and Woods says they’re not in a mood to party for once. We see some stills of the bigger crashes and the fans cut Kofi off with a NEW DAY ROCKS chant. Kofi is so messed up that he couldn’t even do the full skip clap on the way to the ring. They invite the Usos to the ring and Woods gets right to the point by saying the Usos have earned New Day’s respect.

A truce is offered but the twins aren’t buying it. Instead Big E. asks the Lucha Dragons to come out here as well. Kofi praises Sin and says the Dragons are his son’s favorite tag team. Kalisto calls that a really nice speech but asks about Woods throwing his trombone at him for a save. Xavier can’t change the past but last night these three teams took the tag division to a new level and it was for the fans.

Again the handshake is offered and this time they’re actually accepted. The four of them leave and Woods insists that they were being sincere, but tonight it’s ALL ABOUT THE NEW DAY! It’s time to dance so the Usos and Dragons come out to beat them up. That’s really heelish of them (though it won’t be considered as such) after they lost last night in a No DQ match and New Day really didn’t do anything bad tonight.

Brie Bella/Alicia Fox vs. Becky Lynch/Charlotte

Team BAD is in the front row and Ric Flair is with his daughter. Brie avoids a Charlotte charge in the corner to start and sends the champ head first into the buckle. We hit a very early chinlock followed by the YES Kicks for two. Charlotte gets over for the tag to Becky and everything breaks down. With the referee distracted, Ric trips Alicia and Becky grabs the Disarm-Her for the submission at 4:26.

Rating: D. I have no idea who I’m supposed to cheer and who I’m supposed to boo. So Becky knew that Charlotte cheated to retain last night but is still friends with her after Charlotte blew her off last night. Then Charlotte’s dad cheats instead of Charlotte to pin Alicia, who was doing the Daniel Bryan kicks for a guaranteed face reaction despite being a heel (I think?) at the moment. This division MAKES NO SENSE. Oh and did Team BAD do anything to warrant being at ringside?

The Prime Time Players shill merchandise for Christmas.

We look back at last night’s main event.

Vince talks to the League of Nations, again minus Barrett.

WWE World Title: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

Sheamus is defending, Roman is fired if he doesn’t win the title and Vince is at ringside. Reigns takes him right to the corner for the clotheslines and the fans are behind him for a change. A quick Regal Roll sends Reigns outside and Sheamus slams him onto the table as we take a break. Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and suplexing Sheamus for a breather.

Sheamus sends him to the apron but Reigns snaps the throat across the top and hits the apron boot. A Samoan drop is broken up so Roman just takes him to the middle rope for a bigger drop. The Irish Curse gets two so Reigns lifts Sheamus up for two off a powerbomb. Sheamus slams him down in turn and puts on the Cloverleaf (Not the Texas Cloverleaf but rather the old Edgecator. That’s a bad name.), sending Roman over to the ropes.

The fans are still cheering for Roman and a Superman punch knocks Sheamus silly. Vince pulls the referee out at two though and Sheamus grabs White Noise for two. Dang they’re getting close on these kickouts. Vince grabs the referee and tells him something. Sheamus pushes Reigns to the floor and here comes the League with Rusev kicking (a bloody) Reigns in the head.

Back in and Sheamus ducks the Brogue and hits another Superman punch to the champ and one to knock Vince silly…..only to eat a Brogue Kick for a VERY near fall. This is AWESOME drama and the best stuff they’ve had since Rollins vs. Ziggler at last year’s Survivor Series. Sheamus loads up another Brogue and walks into a spear to give Reigns the title at 16:55!

Rating: B. The wrestling is totally inconsequential here as they NAILED the drama and the story here. This was exactly what needed to happen for a long time now and Reigns is totally over with the fans, at least at the moment. I’m actually in shock here and the moment was exactly what it needed to be. Well done WWE, which I wouldn’t have believed I’d be saying a week ago.

The announcers put this over as a huge moment as Roman celebrates, including kicking Vince out to the floor. I do love the fact that the solution for Reigns was to make the show as bad as they possibly could so the fans would cheer him by default. It sounds bad but dang if it didn’t work. The show actually ends with Reigns as champion and no shenanigans.

Overall Rating: B+. This show had the most important thing a show can have and that is uncertainty. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the main event (or the extreme rules match for that matter) and that’s where they have you. The idea behind wrestling (most of the time at least) is that you shouldn’t be able to know what’s coming but you want to see what’s coming. That’s how I felt for the main event. I really didn’t know what was happening and I wanted to find out.

The energy was way up for this show and it made for the best week in months. It’s no classic or anything, but it addressed one of the biggest issues they’ve had a long time: going through the motions with almost nothing interesting happening. There’s a long way to go until we get to the Rumble but this was a big step in the right direction.

Results

Dolph Ziggler b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Kevin Owens interfered

R-Truth vs. Bo Dallas went to a no contest when Vince McMahon stopped the match

Alberto Del Rio/Rusev b. Jack Swagger/Ryback – Superkick to Swagger

Neville b. Tyler Breeze – Red Arrow

Wyatt Family b. Dudley Boyz/Rhyno/Tommy Dreamer – Top rope splash through a table to Rhyno

Becky Lynch/Charlotte b. Alicia Fox/Brie Bella – Disarm-Her to Fox

Roman Reigns b. Sheamus – Spear

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of the History of Wrestlemania at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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40 comments

  1. Reid says:

    They woke up and got Roman over in the span of 24 hours, I’m shocked.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    They did indeed, at least for now. There are still a bunch of problems to solve but this is a major step in the right direction. If nothing else it stops one of their biggest issues.

    IC Reply:

    1 thing that bothers me is why did Reigns savagely attack HHH?
    HHH didn’t really do anything to screw him at all, just gave him title match after title match.
    They’re trying to make Reigns into a Bryan/Austin anti-authority character but it just doesn’t resonate with me since he was never really screwed over, just given countless opportunities over and over again.

    Reid Reply:

    Either wrong place at the wrong time or probably the fact that the Authority and the League of Nations were together.

  2. larisano says:

    Great Show. Just one question, Where is Wade Barrett?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m really curious about that too. I haven’t heard of a Wellness issue or an injury but you never know with Barrett.

    Beckett929 Reply:

    Thought maybe he was on his way to London for NXT stuff

    Rocko Reply:

    Injured.

  3. BSE says:

    I’ll just copy and paste my comment from WrestleZone.

    That was awesome. How could you not like that ending?

    They had storytelling and drama. STORYTELLING AND DRAMA… ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW!!!

    I’m 100% behind Reigns. I always sorta liked him, but I absolutely hated his booking. Now they’re doing a fantastic job, and let’s just hope they can continue.

    Better yet, I’m actually excited for Raw next week. It’s been a long time since I truly was.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    This was a major improvement but now they have to follow up on it, which is the much harder part.

  4. Your Eternal Reward says:

    Would it be wise to give Roman a new theme song in the coming weeks assuming they don’t strip him off the title or anything stupid like that?

  5. Yeup says:

    Great ending but now a pretty big question.. How do they deal with the elephant in the room (Brock Lesnar)? Keep Roman’s cheers going by keeping him away from Brock, especially in Minneapolis. So, what do you do to ensure that everything stays how it’s supposed to be?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Aside from turning Reigns heel (which they should have done at Survivor Series), I’m not sure. That’s a really good question and I don’t htink they’re going to address it for a bit.

    Yeup Reply:

    I was thinking if they want to have this match at 32 then how about keeping them separated? Have them on the same show but let us acknowledge them not coming face to face instead of commentary pointing out “they’re in the same building maggle!” Make us clamor for it and then the first time they’re face to face can be after the rumble. I guess Brock wins the rumble now and maybe they do HHH/Roman at the rumble to keep the momentum going for reigns.

    Rocko Reply:

    Wasn’t the build to WM 31 mostly the exact same as what you suggested? I don’t remember them getting physical before it.

  6. M.R. says:

    Why are you always upset over jobbing Breeze? It’s an absolute horrible character.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Three things:

    1. That’s what people said in NXT and he got over through pure hard work.

    2. The BS from HHH about “we only bring people up when we have a story for them.”

    3. It makes me wonder why I watch NXT when this is what I’m going to get once they make the main roster.

    M.R. Reply:

    I get that but that doesn’t change the fact the character is dreadful. There’s a number of guys that will be successful when called up, (the bodypaint guy, the redhead), but Breeze isn’t one of them.

    Anyways, great job tonight making Reigns feel like a big deal and limiting his mictime goofiness. Vince puts Stephanie and Trips to shame as the heel boss character.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m not sold on that. They could have had something with him had they not treated him like a jobber when he debuted.

    ted Reply:

    Breeze is talented and deserves better. This isn’t hard to grasp.

    As for Reigns i’m still not sold on the guy he still comes out to almost no reaction gives terrible promos, and is average in the ring. Winning the title is not going to fix this. He needs a good feud and Triple H isn’t it.

    M.R. Reply:

    His gimmick devoids any talent he may or may not have.

    Sebastian Howard Reply:

    I actually like Tyler Breeze’s character, he’s completely obsessed with himself but can still turn it up when he needs to and has a psychotic edge to him. It reminds me of the character they had in the latest season of AHS. Really every wrestler is completely full of themselves, Breeze just over exaggerates this.

  7. M.R. says:

    We just disagree on this one, the gimmick is too cheesy.

  8. Jay H (the real one) says:

    So glad Roman Reigns is finally the WWE Champion and you said it right KB it had some of the best Drama in quite some time. I was on the edge of my seat the entire Match and didn’t know what was going to happen. Great RAW overall and very ironic in the same City where he was booed 11 months ago he wins the Title to a huge pop.

  9. Bam Bam says:

    Sooooooo, Vince has lost touch?

    Anybody listen to Steel Cage podcast – would love to hear what that fat tub of lard Derek thinks of this one

  10. Heyo says:

    You know what this also does? Make the Royal Rumble more interesting. Since we know Reigns is the champ going in, who wins? I think it’s gonna be a toss up with Cena or Lesnar.

  11. Anon de Ymous says:

    People were actually wondering how that would end? They had me wondering all night… until they announced that Roman would be on ESPN tomorrow night while he was making his way to the ring. As soon as they announced it, I knew Reigns was winning. There is no freaking way they have him go on ESPN while being “fired” or after having lost. That annoyed me big time, because I’m finally starting to come around on Reigns. Having him win the title like this on Raw after destroying Triple H was probably the most organic way to let him have his moment (let’s ignore the fact that they needed a boost in the ratings in a big way)… just DON’T FREAKING ANNOUNCE HE’LL BE ON ESPN UNTIL AFTER HE WINS. It seems like I’m the only one bothered by this. Still, I feel badly for Reigns, because this wasn’t his fault at all.

    Rocko Reply:

    At Mania they said Lesnar or Reigns would go on the Today show and then Rollins cashed in.

    Anon de Ymous Reply:

    They had options then. There were none here except for Sheamus or Reigns. Sheamus wasn’t going on ESPN period (WWE didn’t even pretend that was an option), and Reigns wasn’t going on as a loser.

    Rocko Reply:

    Meh this one could have easily been a swerve. I don’t mind it.

  12. klunderbunker says:

    They didn’t and it really didn’t work.

  13. Anon de Ymous says:

    I also feel that I should mention that getting lost in all of this noise about Reigns was the greatest line I’ve read of any wrestling review ever:

    “…a pretty fun match for the most part, especially seeing Tommy Dreamer in pain.”

    Because seriously… fuck Tommy Dreamer.

  14. binbin says:

    Really? so many people didnt know how it was going to end? As soon as i heard that Reigns carreer was on the line, I thought it was pretty obvious he was going to win.

    Still don’t undrstand how he can be that over though, still find him boring a f***.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I thought so but I didn’t think they’d actually pull the trigger. I was expecting some kind of a swerve.

  15. james gracie says:

    That was the most I’ve been into a main event match in a very long time. I actually bought the near falls in this one unlike every other match they do these days(thanks Undertaker and Shawn Michaels for ruining near falls). Its amazing how much Roman Reigns looks like a star now. The way the match progressed, then ended had a very “Mankind wins his 1st WWF title back in 1999” feel to it. I’m actually intrigued for next week(not Smackdown, we know they don’t do shit on that show)

    #ThankYouNewDay

  16. Vintage Nick says:

    KB…did WWE just declare a new champion on RAW?

    I’m surprised at how quick Reigns got over. Hopefully this momentum continues.

  17. CrazySole says:

    OK, so now Roman’s reign… has begun, the Authority are gonna bring out all the stops to take the title off of Reigns. Enter Brock Lesnar, the beast to tame Reigns and we have a title match for the Royal Rumble, Lesnar vs Reigns. I feel like this is the best (and only way) of going about things.

    Was so good seeing Vince and hearing his awesome theme song again.

  18. M.R. says:

    I’m sure Reigns will be back to getting booed next week, but they atleast did
    a solid job of making him feel important for once.

  19. deanerandterry says:

    You know what? That was exactly what they needed to do with Reigns at this point. In a lot of ways they had to nullify all the bad past decisions they made with the guy and although they’re a long way from doing that they at least started moving in the right direction, pretty much the end of TLC to the end of RAW was about as good booking as you could’ve done with Reigns. It will be a while before we really know if this all pans out the way WWE wants it to but there’s no question Reigns is much more over now than he was 1 week ago and it starts his title reign off on the right foot.

  20. BK201 says:

    They didn’t just hey him over. They got him over in Philly. Well played, WWE. Well played indeed.