Monday Night Raw – December 28, 2015: Pay No Attention To The Roster At The House Show

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 28, 2015
Location: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

We’ll wrap up the year with John Cena making his return after a few months off to film a reality show. Tonight Cena is facing Alberto Del Rio in what sounds like a non-title match, meaning we’re likely to see another champion lose again. It should be interesting to see if Cena is going to have a mini feud with the League of Nations or if it’s just going to be a one off match. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence. They really need to update the video due to all the current injuries.

Here’s Vince McMahon to open things up. He’s here to settle a score with Roman Reigns so here’s the champ in a hurry. After seeing clips of what Roman put Stephanie through last week, Vince yells at Roman for embarrassing his family last week. Nobody turns their back on a McMahon and embarrasses them, including Roman Reigns.

Roman can’t just say everything to anyone he wants because this is Vince’s ring and Vince’s company. Reigns says Vince is just a crazy rich guy. Vince: “I’m a freaking billionaire. There’s a difference.” The champ says Vince doesn’t own this title because it belongs to him and his supporters. Vince doesn’t think Reigns is going to be champion that long and here’s a DANIEL BRYAN chant, only to have Vince tell them to shut up.

Now it’s CM Punk as Reign asks if he’s going to be in a handicap match or a gauntlet match. Vince brings up the Wild Samoans and making Afa wrestle every night to ruin him while making a fortune. As for Roman’s dad Sika, Vince used him up and paid him peanuts for all the work. Roman shoves him down and Vince holds his neck, demanding someone help. This brings out a concerned Stephanie, meaning we get ACTING!

She tells the security guards to arrest Reigns but they say no because they’re not her personal police. If Stephanie doesn’t step back, she’s going to jail instead. That means a YES chant but Vince is back up. Vince tries to calm the cops down but winds up grabbing one by the shoulders, earning Vince an arresting. The cop reads him his rights as Stephanie goes on about how they can’t do this. Reigns is just kind of there on the side as all this is happening.

During the break, Stephanie yelled at the cops a lot more.

Cole: “We’re not sure what the charges are at the moment.”

Neville vs. Kevin Owens

Neville kicks him down and almost immediately loads up the Red Arrow. That goes nowhere so Neville rolls him up for the pin at 24 seconds.

Owens destroys him post match.

Post break Neville is still being helped out. Owens runs back down and takes Neville’s head off with a clothesline. He loads up the powerbomb on the floor but Ambrose runs out for the save.

Clips of John Cena co-hosting the Today Show.

Rock will be at Wrestlemania XXXII.

Becky Lynch talks about moving to New York City with no money and getting a chance to fight in Brooklyn tonight.

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

Before the match, Sasha says the real best town in the world is of course Boston. Naomi gets in a few jabs at Brooklyn as well but Tamina doesn’t get to say anything. Well at least it’s not all bad. Becky chases her to the floor to start before grabbing an armbar to slow things down. Sasha runs the corner for an armdrag but Becky starts going after the knee. A reverse figure four has Sasha in trouble but Tamina pulls her to the ropes.

Becky gets tired of the numbers game and baseball slides Tamina down, setting up a huge top rope dive to take all of them out. We come back from a break with Becky cranking on an armbar, only to get caught in the corner for the knees to the back. Sasha puts her foot in Becky’s back and pulls on the arms but stops for UNITY! The fans think this is boring as Sasha stays on the back with a legdrop.

Back up and Sasha botches something that looked like a headscissors, only to send her into a 619 position. Becky avoids a charge though and sends Sasha into Naomi and Tamina. Sasha doesn’t seem to mind as she tries the Bank Statement but can’t flip Becky over. An exploder suplex into the corner gets two and the fans are wanting this to end. Cue Tamina to try to get in, allowing Naomi to kick Becky in the head, setting up the Bank Statement, only to have Becky reverse into the Disarm-Her. Sasha rolls through as well though and grabs the trunks for the pin at 15:39.

Rating: C+. Too many botches and WAY too much Tamina and Naomi here but the ending sequence worked. The other problem here was the lack of timing. The thing to remember is these two got their start in WWE wrestling long NXT style matches but then had to switch to short form stuff. Asking them to go back to the long stuff here isn’t easy and the timing showed badly.

Vince has been booked and we have a goofy mugshot.

Renee Young is outside the police precinct and has little to report.

Kofi Kingston vs. Kalisto

This is the birthplace of the trombone so it’s time for some songs! Actually no because Francesca (the trombone) reminds Woods that these fans didn’t vote for New Day as Tag Team of the Year. Kofi goes on a rant about how New Day will come over and fight kids who don’t listen to their children. This causes Big E. to roll around laughing so Woods shouts “HE’S ROFLING!”

Cole thinks this might be a high flying match. Just a hunch of course. Kofi grabs a wristlock to start but Kalisto flips him into the corner and springboards up into the corner for a wristdrag. A headscissors takes Kofi down again and there’s the corkscrew cross body into the hurricanrana driver. No count though as Kalisto has to dropkick Kofi into Woods and Big E. Cara takes them both down, allowing Kalisto to grab a hurricanrana for the pin at 2:48.

Post match Woods challenges Sin Cara to face Big E. right now. Well after the commercial of course.

Sin Cara vs. Big E.

Joined in progress with Cara getting out of the abdominal stretch but taking a hard backdrop. A moonsault is caught in mid air, only to have Cara send him out to the floor. Big E. pulls him off the apron for a huge crash, meaning it’s time for some sweet Francesca. The referee comes over and brings in the doctor to check on Cara but the match continues.

Big E. asks about the shoulder and runs Cara over to make sure it’s ok. We hit another abdominal stretch for a bit before Big E. charges into the post. A cross body staggers E. and a standing moonsault gets two. Cara actually gets him into the corner for a rolling senton but Woods comes in for a distraction, allowing the Big Ending to put Cara away at 5:20.

Rating: D+. It’s hard to grade a match where a guy seems to have been hurt so early on. Even at his best though, Cara is a far cry from Kalisto as the fire really isn’t there in his singles matches. It really didn’t work here though and I’m not sure how much of that is to blame on the bad arm.

Here’s Miz for his year in review. We’ll start on January 1 with his New Year’s Resolution but here’s Ryback to interrupt. He’s had his fill of MizTV but here’s Goldust to interrupt as well. He doesn’t think Miz is going to win a SAG Award or an Oscar or a Golden Globe but before he can go anywhere with that, here’s Zack Ryder to a ROAR. Zack talks about 2016 being his year but Miz has something else to talk about.

Miz: “On January 2nd….” This brings out R-Truth to interrupt with a speech about trying to be voted Superstar of the Year. Miz points out that the Slammys were last week and Truth remembers winning one. Truth: “I need to get one of those daily planners.” Miz tries to keep going but here’s Heath Slater for yet another interruption.

Before he can say anything, Big Show comes out to knocks Slater cold. Show takes out everyone but Truth is smart enough to lay down. He looks up though and eats a chokeslam, leaving only Ryback and Big Show standing. Show throws him out as well and mocks the fans for telling him to retire. Therefore, he’s entering the Royal Rumble and wants to be #1.

Ryback vs. Big Show

In case you didn’t see this enough earlier in the year. Ryback gets thrown around to start but hits a quick middle rope dropkick, only to have Show drop under the bottom rope. It’s a countout to give Ryback the win at 2:56.

Dean Ambrose/Usos vs. League of Nations

No Del Rio here. Sheamus dedicates this match to Vince and headlocks Jimmy down to start. A double dropkick knocks Sheamus to the floor and Rusev joins him off a double atomic drop and a missile dropkick from Dean. The League takes a break on the floor until Dean follows them out and stomps Sheamus down. Back to Jimmy for chops in the corner but Rusev hiptosses him down and we’ve got a bad leg.

We come back from a break with Jimmy still in trouble and Rusev putting him in a half crab. They’re doing a really good job of hiding Barrett’s injury as he’s on the apron but hasn’t had any actual contact. It’s off to Sheamus who quickly gives up a tag to Ambrose. Dean cleans house on Rusev to near silence and Jey dives onto Sheamus. The top rope elbow gets two on Rusev but Barrett offers a distraction so Rusev can superkick Dean, sending us to another break.

Back again with Rusev missing a middle rope splash and Dean tagging in Jey. The running Umaga attack gets two with Rusev making the save. Jey superkicks Sheamus but Barrett offers a distraction (again, well done on hiding the injury) to delay the Superfly splash. The Brogue Kick finally puts Jey out at 16:57.

Rating: C-. This is a tough one to grade as they had to do a lot of tricks to make this work. Having Jimmy go out with the injury made this a regular tag since Barrett can’t do anything physical due to his neck, but that made for a really awkward match as they were clearly trying to hide things. The length didn’t help either but that’s due to the brilliant idea of having a house show on the same night as Raw.

Post match Owens comes in through the crowd and sending Ambrose into the steps. A powerbomb puts Dean through the table and makes him convulse a lot.

We look back at Rock announcing that he’s going to be at Wrestlemania in case you thought that changed.

Recap of the arrest.

Renee is still at the precinct with other media waiting on Vince to come out. Here are the McMahons, because you can totally be booked and let out on bail in two hours in New York City. They bail into a car and leave.

John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio

Before the match, Cena comes out to rip on the League of Nations for not respecting the USA. He brings up the fact that Del Rio hasn’t defended the title on Raw and that he won’t defend it tonight. This brings out Del Rio to say he defends his title wherever he wants so Cena says do it here. They argue back and forth for a few more minutes until Del Rio agrees to make it a title match.

Back from a break and before the match, we get a tribute to Motorhead’s Lemmy, who passed away earlier today.

US Title: John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio is defending of course. After the big match intros, Alberto starts with right hands in the corner and sends him face first into the post. We hit a quick chinlock with a knee in Cena’s back but Alberto misses a charge and crashes out to the floor. Back from a break with Cena dropkicking him out of the air and starting his finishing sequence. Del Rio breaks it up with a Backstabber and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.

Cena’s tornado DDT gets the same and NOW the fans are getting into it. They get back up and the AA is countered, only to have the referee get bumped. The STF makes Del Rio tap but there’s no referee, allowing the League to run out for a superkick to Cena. That’s only good for two though as Cena cleans house but gets caught by the low superkick for two. There’s the AA but the League comes in for the DQ at 14:05.

Rating: C+. You must be doing something right when you can get a Brooklyn crowd to cheer for Cena. I’m kind of glad they didn’t change the title back here as it would have been too easy of a finish for the show but Del Rio keeping the title isn’t doing it any favors. At least Cena is back though and that should help everyone.

Post match the League swarms until the Usos come out for a failed save. The League goes for chairs but Roman comes in for the real save. Reigns Superman punches Sheamus but here’s Vince to make Reigns vs. Sheamus for the title next week. With Vince as guest referee of course.

Overall Rating: D+. This is good proof of what can happen when you’re shorthanded and have to run a three hour show on your own. That being said, this could have been WAY worse and I really didn’t see it as bad as a lot of people did. It’s not a good show but given that it’s the end of the year and so many of the people weren’t there, this wasn’t all that terrible. We had to sit through a lot of time wasting though and that’s one of the worst things that I have to sit through week to week on Raw. Making it even worse made this feel like an even longer show than usual, but at least they had more of a reason this time.

Results

Neville b. Kevin Owens – Rollup

Sasha Banks b. Becky Lynch – Rollup with a handful of trunks

Kalisto b. Kofi Kingston – Hurricanrana

Big E. b. Sin Cara – Big Ending

Ryback b. Big Show via countout

League of Nations b. Dean Ambrose/Usos – Brogue Kick to Jey

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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9 comments

  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    You gotta give it to Cara for some of those moves he still did after the injury.

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    It’s not the same one that stopped the match for a broken finger though lol

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Next week I think Reigns retains which sets up him vs HHH at the Royal Rumble.

  3. binbin says:

    The whole “Vince is arrested” was cringeworthy for me, the cena return was ok ish especially since he totally disappeared after the DQ only to have the story refocus on Roman Reigns.

    The only thing I really enjoyed was Kevin Owens, as usual. I wouldn’t even mind if Neville were to join in on the IC title picture. It would actually give him something to do.

  4. beckett929 says:

    “Arrest angles” in 2015 are soooo dumb. Like, insulting to the audience dumb when they take place in public like that with so much bad acting from all parties involved.

    The matches and segments were all longer tonight, and I thought “okay, this is fresh, they aren’t rushing through the show”… but it was so unusual and like you said KB about Becky/Sasha, not everyone can go long-form when they’re not used to doing it.

    Good to have Cena back, the US title feels like a really important thing (more so than the IC) with him around. Like when Arn and Regal were WCW TV champion, that title felt more important the WCW US title because how well-booked and how great they were compared to US champs like Duggan, One Man Gang, Kensuke Sasake, and even Sting all around the same time.

    beckett929 Reply:

    Also, Sin Cara is like Kalisto’s fat, talentless, “pothead at 32” older brother. Like, he was out of work, so their parents told management-level Kalisto to just give him a job down in shipping, because you’re family, but all he does is fuck up purchase orders.

  5. IC says:

    Do you really think the Wyatts and Dudleys not being there really made that big of a difference?
    Pretty much most everyone they usually showcase was on camera.
    Still though, why would anybody go to a house show the same night as RAW?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I think they might have given the show a burst of energy instead of just having them need to fill so much time.

  6. CrazySole says:

    Disappointed that Cena didn’t win, really want the US open challenge back. Hoping he wins it back at the Royal Rumble.

    I enjoyed Miz TV, was quite funny seeing all these guys get air time. Slater and truth were great.

    Surprised the crowd chanted “boring” during the Sasha Banks/Becky match.

    Finally, I want Bray Wyatt to win the Rumble.