TV Recap: Monday Night RAW, January 20, 2014 (MLK Day)

Throughout the show, we are shown a number of superb videos featuring Martin Luther King. I get chills for each one. WWE does an incredible job putting these packages together. Maybe this is lame, but I look forward to watching the video packages WWE puts together to honor Martin Luther King. Each one throughout the night features portions of his famous “I have a Dream” speech with some incredibly moving footage. Kudos to WWE.

For a moment I thought WWE took over football as Richard Sherman pulled a Roman Reigns and roared his way to a win last night. Sherman has some smarts, and even while in some sort of rage-fueled tirade, kept his composure to talk trash on opposing player Michael Crabtree. I’m betting after the Super Bowl, WWE will send him a replica championship belt too. What sports MVP doesn’t have one already? Where is mine? Where is my title? Hell, I’ll take the WCW United States Championship. I’ll defend it too!

Batista is back! I hopped on Twitter earlier tonight, attempting to trend my self-created hashtag of #TooManyMuscles, referring to the fact we now have Batista, Brock Lesnar, Big E. Langston, and Ryback dominating the on-screen time. I tried #Cryback. Which failed as well. Guess I am not the social media guru I thought I was. Better go call up @Appeagle before I drown in embarrassment. Tangent time over. Batista is here, crowd went crazy, and everyone except me forgot he left WWE crying in a wheelchair after John Cena defeated him, causing the Animal to quit. Forever. Yeah. In any event, Batista was confronted by Alberto del Rio and of course did not end well for the Mexican Aristocrat. How could it? They needed someone hovering on main event level to confront him, and Del Rio fit the criteria. Poor guy. If Batista and Alberto del Rio wound up feuding all the way to WrestleMania 30, I wouldn’t need any Joker Gas to laugh.

Laugh! Billy Gunn and Road Dogg are now heels! Bad Dogg! Bad! Even better, they get a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships on the Royal Rumble pre-show. When was the last time a title changes hands on the pre-show? Who cares! We get the New Age Outlaws almost on a pay-per-view card. Unless… they are in the Rumble match!

Speaking of which, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon kick off RAW to bring out one of the Royal Rumble entrants, but Randy Orton interrupts. He cuts an interesting promo, stating how business can’t be that good if The Authority brings back both Brock Lesnar and Batista before the Royal Rumble. Instead, Triple H and Steph rip into the champ regarding beating up Old Man Cena last week. They inform Orton he has another match with Kofi Kingston, and when John Cena arrives, Orton is going to “make things right.”

Batista finally arrives, cuts a short promo about his opportunity to win the Royal Rumble and challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Despite having what my wife calls a “baby face head,” I believe the big man, Big E. Langston will be the man who gets the Mr. Money in the Bank push. Teaming up with The Rhodes Brothers, they worked really well against opponents in the Shield. An incredible match which saw some crazy action. Rhodes went for the Disaster Kick and winds up eating a Superman Punch from a mid-air Roman Reigns. Ambrose and Rollins manage to regain control, with Rollins crushing Langston with the Running Stomp for the hard-fought pinfall victory. Good lord this was a five-star match.

There is a commercial for the new Robocop movie. I died a little inside. Ticket for this movie? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar.

It’s Daniel Bryan time! You can’t even hear his theme music. The YES chants are thunderous. Bryan explains how he was finally able to have his moment to unravel the Wyatt Family plan with last week’s Steel Cage match. But then, the announcement I did not want to hear. Daniel Bryan announces Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are in the Royal Rumble match. So he then challenges Bray Wyatt to a one-on-one match at the Royal Rumble. This concerns me greatly, because Bryan may not be in the Rumble match at all! WHY? WHY? WHY?

Anyone notice there are going to be a lot of matches on the card? Usually there are two or three matches, and then the Rumble match. 30 people, 2 minutes, that’s an hour. Plus the rollover once all entries have entered. I hope it doesn’t get rushed this year.

In the quickest match since 2014 started, Xavier Woods got mauled by Fandango. Yeah. Xavier hit a couple moves, then Fandango strikes with a modified Michinoku Driver, followed by his Top Rope Legdrop for the quick win. Someone in the crowd was holding a sign reading #EMMATaining. Oh look, it’s Emma from NXT. #Backtothedrawingboard

Backstage, Stephanie tells Kane to go to the ring and apologize to CM Punk. The conversation does not go well, as Kane does apologize, but Punk baits him again and we get a quick brawl which Kane finds himself on the arena floor. Before the altercation continued, Brad Maddox ordered Punk into a match with Billy Gunn, with Road Dogg on commentary, who explains they turned on Punk just to get attention, which worked, since they did go on to earn a tag title match against the Rhodes Brothers at the Royal Rumble. Punk manages to take out Road Dogg at ringside, and winds up feeding Gunn a knee via Go To Sleep for the pinfall victory. The Straight Edge Superstar was not given a chance to celebrate, as Kane returned to steal Bad News Barrett’s job, delivering some bad news. Punk will have to go through 29 other superstars in order to go to WrestleMania… Because he just drew number one.

Beautiful video package narrated by Stephanie McMahon in tribute to Mae Young. Not going to lie, brought a few tears to my eyes.

Alberto del Rio forces Rey Mysterio to submit to the cross arm-breaker, but that is not what is news, it is Batista charging the ring to face-off with the man who was bashing him for the past few weeks. Del Rio is mauled by the animal, who plants Del Rio with a huge powerbomb. No surprise he got casted as Grax for Guardians of the Galaxy, he has tattoos everywhere.

Funny segment turned serious. Big Show comes out and jokingly mimics Paul Heyman’s voice as he calls out the Rabbi of Wrestling and his charge, Brock Lesnar. After a few takedown attempts, Brock is hurled clear over the top rope and to the arena floor. The former UFC champion throws a temper tantrum by chucking chairs and video monitors into the ring. Wow, they are really trying to make us believe Big Show has a chance of being put over at the Rumble. It could be a good match, but what’s the point of having Brock lose? I would be surprised if Show wins, but don’t get me wrong, Big Show being put over? Now that would be epic.

AJ in a bad mood. Why? Because earlier tonight, AJ threw a party in her honor for being longest reigning Diva Champion… except no one showed up. Bad News Barrett arrives to explain how no one likes her. AJ screams and instead of tossing a cake on intended target Josh Matthews, she winds up dumping it in Tamina’s face. Speaking of whom, she brutalizes Naomi and Cameron in a tag match, then tags in AJ to get the easy pin. Except Naomi rolls up AJ seconds after being tagged in and wins the match. AJ screams some more. My guess is AJ’s reign as champion will be coming to an end soon.

Creepy line from Jerry Lawler regarding how no one likes AJ. “I got this word of advice, I learned from experience you can’t make someone love you, all you can do is stalk them, hope they panic and give in.”

The Usos are getting an ovation rivaling Daniel Bryan. Take notice WWE, the fans want more Uso. Quick entrance by the Wyatts, maybe pressed for time? Fantastic back and forth match. Usos get the win after Bryan rushes ringside and blindsides Bray Wyatt, distracting Harper, allowing Jey Uso to roll him for the pin. Great match.

Kofi got another chance to prove he might be main event material, however it didn’t last as Cena returned and beat up Orton all the way to the outside of the arena where Orton jumped in a car which sped off. They tried with Orton “stealing a car” to make a getaway, but the camera show was way too clear, showing Orton getting into the passenger side of the car, so Michael Cole passes it off as a fan helping Orton. Wow. Lame finish.

Questions in the air… Is Daniel Bryan NOT in the Royal Rumble match? That would be a massive disappointment and I think a big mistake by WWE.

If The Rhodes Brothers lose the WWE Tag Team Championships to the New Age Outlaws, will they break up?

Will Wade Barrett deliver bad news every time someone is eliminated?

Will Kofi Kingston save himself from elimination using a pogo stick, the WWE App, a camel, Bray Wyatt’s chair, or Bad News Barrett’s podium?

Will Zack Ryder ever defend his Internet Championship against me?