We kick off the last RAW of 2014 with Edge and Christian, our guest hosts, and some entertaining banter, announcing of two big matches, and Tony Chimmel doing the classic high pitched intro of Edge’s “Rated R Sooooooooooperstar.” Their five-second pose is interrupted by Rabbi Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Before Lesnar falls asleep or misses his flight, John Cena rushes out to confront his Royal Rumble opponent, but Heyman and Lesnar manage to escape.
Everyone comes to a crossroads in their life and I’ve come to mine. I look forward to telling you all about it tonight on #Raw.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) December 29, 2014
Tease for Daniel Bryan… His cryptic post on Twitter earlier today left many wondering if he is retiring, shaving his beard, or entering the 2015 Royal Rumble.
The first match tonight is Rusev against Dolph Ziggler, and throughout the match JBL talks about wrestlers burning out too fast and being too injury-prone to have long careers. Interesting. Talking about Edge, or Daniel Bryan? He says he is talking about the way Dolph Ziggler goes, but I wonder if JBL is making some not-so-subtle hints. Ziggler spends majority of the match taking a pounding, then hits some big moves, including the Famouser, for one of many near-falls. Rusev gets angry, beating down Ziggler to the point where he ignores the referee’s five-count, giving Ziggler the DQ win. Rusev traps Ziggler in the Accolade until referees rush out to pry Rusev off, then Ryback hits the ring, and Rusev with a Meathook to close out the segment.
Blargh! Fine, they did not want Rusev to lose clean, and they wanted Ziggler to earn a win over the United States Champion. But having Ziggler being laid out only to be saved by Ryback does not do him any favors. If anything, it favored Ryback more than anyone else.
Back from commercial, Ryback is still in the ring, and not because he’s lost. He has the mic, and cuts the best promo of his career. He talks about his elimination from Tough Enough, and as a result, fell into a depression involving a bout with alcoholism. He talks about his comeback in NXT, and show various clips of his time with The Nexus and then his return from injury and ankle surgery. He talks about the book, The Secret and how it saved him from negative (harmful?) thoughts and he made a positive future for himself. He concludes with a threat directed towards Rusev, saying “this isn’t a USA vs. Russia thing, it’s one big guy kicking another big guy’s ass thing!”
I was set to cringe in my chair, but this promo was fantastic. Props to Ryback.
In the time it took for me to use the bathroom, Nikki Bella defeated Natalya. Precise length of what a Divas match should be. #NoOneCaresAboutTotalDivas
Backstage: Naomi thanks The Miz for her landing a role in some flick. Miz seems confused while Damien Sandow is dead-on with the impersonations. Miz and Naomi share a moment, leading us to wonder if this is a ploy for the WWE Tag Team Championship match tonight.
We got a fantastic match between The Miz’s and Usos. Miz took most of the match, keeping his stunt double on the outside, pissing off the fans with frequent teases. At one point, “Mizdow” saved Miz, only to be used as a shield, eating a superkick. Miz nearly had the match won, but after eating three consecutive superkicks, followed by a Superfly Splash, The Usos pin Miz and regain the WWE Tag Team Championships. Post-match reveal, Naomi was playing Miz.
Guess the split with Miz and Sandow is on the way, while Usos end 2014 on a high note, meaning they’ll likely job the belts off to The Ascension.
Cesaro is out, talking about how 2014 should have been his year, and he dares anyone to come out to challenge him… out comes…
WADE BARRETT!!! My boy is back, and he’s got some BAD NEWS for Cesaro. Indeed, the Bull Hammer was dropped on Cesaro, Barrett picking up a solid win. He even stole Diamond Dallas Page’s catchphrase of “It’s me, it’s me, it’s B-N-B!”
Creepy Luke Harper promo wishing us all Sweet Dreams turns into a nightmare for Jack Swagger as the All American American guy jobs to Captain Sweaty Beard.
Michael Cole points out the WWE App has been downloaded over 15 million times. Either interns are required to install on all their devices or maybe people delete it then re-install it out of pity.
Backstage: John Cena and Edge share a moment, Christian gets awkward.
It’s 10pm, time for the main event! Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. This mean Daniel Bryan closes the show. Odd, wasn’t Rollins supposed to be on the Edge and Christian talk show segment? Big Show is out at ringside, and I don’t see any menus being passed around, so I guess this match will have interference. Most of the match is focused on Big Show ranting about how Reigns is being forced down the fans’ throats as the next big thing, while Seth Rollins is the true future of WWE. Hmmm, I wonder if filters were switched off by the commentary table. In any case, Rollins spends most of the match teeing off on Reigns, who comes back every-so-often with one of his signature moves. The match is all Rollins until Reigns amps up, connecting with the Superman Punch. To the shock of no one, Big Show interferes, grabbing Reigns and lobbing him clear over the commentators, then flipping the announce table on top of him. Nice.
Next week, Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in an Ambulance Match. Bray Wyatt cuts a creep-factor-ten promo, sitting in an ambulance, claiming to already own Dean’s soul. Backstage, Daniel Bryan hugs R-Truth. That broke the internet. It must be a sign of something!!
After a long commercial break, Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. He gives a heartfelt speech about becoming WWE Champion, marrying Brie, but then turned sad about his father passing away and the multiple injuries stacking up, forcing him out of action. He builds up the drama very well, even saying he spoke to Edge about “career ending” injuries, before revealing his career is not over, and he will return at the 2015 Royal Rumble. Crowd goes nuts. We rejoice! Boom went the internet.
Backstage: Edge and Christian playing kazoos to Daniel Bryan’s theme. Miz and Mizdow enters, with Miz demanding a rematch against the Usos. Edge, with his stunt-double dummy, gives Miz a match, but not against the Usos. Sandow glares at the stunt-double dummy.
In the ring, we find out The Ascension will challenge Miz and Mizdow. JBL acknowledges Konnor and Viktor as former NXT Tag Team Champions. It’s 10:47pm, so this will not be long at all. Crowd chants of L.O.D. break out. That would be Legion of Doom. My guess is the demonic red and black face paint bore a slight resemblance. Miz wants no part of this, tagging in Mizdow to take the beating. It’s 10:50, and the match is over. Waste.
Tonight, the real main event is Seth Rollins on the Cutting Edge Peep Show, with invitations extended to John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Guess the “defending” WWE Champion has a late flight out?
Rollins offers some lackluster mocking praise which Edge and Christian don’t buy. Rollins then puts himself over as having the best year out of any wrestler in the company. Edge gives a nod to the Doctor of Style, Slick. It’s now past 11, and Seth Rollins brings out the Big Show before demanding John Cena come to the ring. Cena does not, and Rollins bashes Christian with the Money in the Bank briefcase and Big Show manhandles Edge, setting him up for a Curb Stomp. This gets Cena out, with Rollins shouting “John” after every sentence. Rollins continues to taunt, putting his foot over Edge’s head. Amazing, retirement gives you the strength and bravery of a referee. Rollins obviously wants The Authority back. Duh. It’s 11:08, and I can’t stand Rollins saying “John” after every sentence. Crap just get to the point with this long-winded crap! Finally, Rollins says what we are all thinking, and Cena gets all dramatic about granting Seth’s wish, stalling for time. Thankfully, before this turns into the first RAW of 2015, Cena caves in and brings back The Authority to power in order to save Edge. A brawl breaks out, and Cena eats mat via Curb Stomp. At the stage, Rabbi Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar shake hands with Seth Rollins. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon surprise us all by joining the party.
Interesting way to close out the year. It is common for the heels to get a last laugh, but something felt off about this one. It didn’t have the “big surprise” feel to it. Now, if Sting or Undertaker showed up, now that would have been a spinetingler. Closing the show with the Daniel Bryan reveal would have felt too predictable as a way to send the crowd home happy. They needed something different, and this fit the bill.
I guess the only thing left to do, is to wonder in wait as to what the first RAW of 2015 will bring.
With that in mind, keep it healthy, happy, and most importantly, stay safe everyone.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!