Live from Cleveland, Ohio this is the Raw Deal for episode #1079. If you missed my live WWE Royal Rumble review, you can read all about it right here. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. This was written live on Monday night.

The opening video showed some pictures from the Royal Rumble including the Wyatt Family’s attack on John Cena with the audio included. That’s all they showed. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made their entrance. As that happened, they showed more pictures from Royal Rumble with pictures of Brock Lesnar attacking Big Show.

Hunter and Stephanie pointed at the WrestleMania 30 sign. She welcomed us to the show. The fans were already chanting “yes” as she tried to speak. She called it a satisfying and epic show, which the crowd booed. Hunter sarcastically mocked the crowd and then said it was an incredible night. He mentioned Orton beating Cena, Lesnar beating Big Show and their good friend Batista beat 29 other superstars to win the Royal Rumble. Stephanie announced that at the Elimination Chamber, Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship inside the chamber.

Daniel Bryan’s music started up and the crowd erupted in “yes” chants for their favorite wrestler. Bryan sarcastically told the fans to stop chanting “yes” because The Authority doesn’t like it. Bryan said he had a tough match with Wyatt and win, lose or draw a lot of people are talking about his match from the Royal Rumble. That’s true. Hunter said it was a “good, little effort.” Bryan mentioned that when people talk about the biggest disappointments it’s about him not being in the Royal Rumble match. He said that he wanted to be in the Royal Rumble. “Listen to the people, they wanted me to be in the Royal Rumble.” That’s true. He spoke about the “yes movement” and that The Authority said no to him being in the Royal Rumble. Stephanie talked down to him like a child by saying she didn’t want to put Bryan in harm’s way twice in one night. Bryan pointed out all the times he’s wrestled The Shield, the Wyatt Family and wrestling more than once on Raw. Hunter said they didn’t want him to wrestle twice. Bryan said they cared about what what’s worse for Bryan, not what’s best for business. Stephanie delivered a line asking if everybody in the arena came there to see him. That led to “yes” chants. Great work right there. Bryan asked the fans if they came there to see Orton (“no”) or Triple H (“no”). He asked Stephanie and Triple H to listen to the fans, who were chanting different things and then they started chanting “Daniel Bryan” in unison.

Bryan spoke about wanting to be in the Elimination Chamber match for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Hunter whispered to Stephanie. Bryan got in Hunter’s face and said they shouldn’t leave the ring until he gets what he wants. He had a long staredown with Triple H. The camera focused on them. Hunter said it’s not just them in the ring because Daniel has company. The Shield’s music started up and The Shield made their way down to ringside. I think Rollins slipped when he jumped over the barricade. He’s fine, but he definitely fell down.

Bryan grabbed a chair to prepare for The Shield, but they were able to take him down. The music of Sheamus started up and he ran down to ringside one night after his return at the Royal Rumble. John Cena made his entrance. He evened up the odds. The Shield ended up retreating after the faces cleaned house.

They went to break plugging that Randy Orton would be there later.

Analysis: That was a really good opening segment of the show. The fans wanted Daniel Bryan right away and that’s what they got. At least WWE listened to that. The Cleveland isn’t as loud off the bat as the Pittsburgh crowd at the Rumble, but they still did a good job. That six man brawl will likely lead to a six man tag later in the show. Hopefully we also learn of the challengers to Orton’s WWE WHC in the Elimination Chamber match. I enjoyed Bryan’s speech a lot. He said what a lot of fans were thinking and got his points across well. Stephanie and Triple H also did well to fire back at him whenever they could. They know how to play off the crowd, that’s for sure.


The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield. Main event of Raw is Cena, Sheamus & Bryan vs. all three members of The Shield. The members of the winning team get to go into the WWE WHC match at Elimination Chamber. Expect a babyface win.

Zeb Colter did a promo before the next match.

Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara

No Sin Cara lights for this match, so that’s good. Sin Cara hit a dive on Swagger outside the ring. Colter got right in Swagger’s face and slapped him to try to motivate him. Swagger went back in the ring to deliver a slam followed by a shoulder block. They went to break there after about three minutes of action.


Back from break, the Real Americans were working over Sin Cara, but he hit a nice DDT on Swagger. Sin Cara/Hunico is an awesome worker. Forget about the former Sin Cara. Sin Cara hit a back body drop on Cesaro, but then Cesaro tripped up Mysterio to prevent a tag. Very impressive powerslam by Cesaro for two. Double team slam on Sin Cara by the Real Americans. Cesaro missed a corner splash, so Sin Cara tagged in Mysterio. Spinning hurricanrana by Mysterio and then a seated senton off the top as well as a bulldog on Cesaro. Kick to the head got two as Swagger made the save. Mysterio hit the 619 on Cesaro. Then he took out Swagger with a splash. Sin Cara missed a top rope Senton Bomb. He went for a springboard off the ropes, but Cesaro drilled him with an uppercut! That was awesome! Cesaro hit the Neutralizer to finish off Sin Cara. Cesaro covered the win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger

Analysis: **1/2 That was an entertaining 10 minute tag match. I’m not sure if Mysterio/Cara will team together permanently or not, but the Real Americans are a great team that should be in the tag title picture right now. I was hoping they would get the titles from Cody & Goldust. It’s okay. Their time will come. I also liked the spot with Colter slapping Swagger to motivate him. That was a good fired up coaching kind of thing that you don’t always see.

Main event is Cena, Seamus & Bryan vs. The Shield. We’ll also get the New Age Outlaws defending the newly won tag titles against Cody Rhodes & Goldust in a rematch.


If you want to see a video of Seth Rollins falling over the barricade you can check it out here unless WWE has youtube delete it.

It’s Bad News Barrett time as Wade Barrett was at his podium by the entrance ramp. Did he have bad news for himself because he wasn’t in the Royal Rumble? “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.” The bad news for the TV viewers is that there will be a match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. He said it was the Battle of Cleveland, which the Cleveland crowd cheered. He ended up insulting Cleveland and said the time was inhabited by losers.

Analysis: He insulted The Miz on Smackdown, so it looks like they’re having a feud. They also had a feud around WrestleMania last year.

There was a WWE Network preview with a look at the Monday Night War program that will air exclusively on WWE Network when it launches on February 24th in America. They showed highlights from WWE & WCW along with interviews, which you can find on some of the DVDs that WWE has produced over the years.

Fandango made his entrance with Summer Rae, who was looking gorgeous in a lime green dress. They went to break there.


There was a video promoting WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans that is 69 days away. See ya there. I’d like to go right now to get away from all this damn snow.

Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods)

It was great that they didn’t show R-Truth’s entrance on TV. I’m sick of it. Woods was on commentary. He made a joke about how his Rumble number was stolen on Sunday. Emma was at ringside with the #Emmalution sign. Fandango hit Truth with a clothesline outside the ring. Woods talked about his education while the announcers barely paid attention to the match. Truth hit a suplex into a neckbreaker for two. Fandango hit Truth with a left kick that didn’t look like it connected well. Fandango went up top, Truth avoided an attack and came back with the Little Jimmy neckbreaker to win after 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: R-Truth

Analysis: * I don’t really get the booking of this one. Truth is the tag wrestler in his 40s while Fandango is the younger singles wrestler and he loses to R-Truth. Why book Fandango to lose against a guy like Truth? It’s not like either guy has any direction or that the match means anything. There was nothing wrong with it. It’s just that it would be nice if the younger guy got the win.

Randy Orton was shown walking backstage as the top of hour two approached.


Plug time: As I’ve mentioned before I have started writing about WWE for My work there will see me write 10 feature columns per week seven days per week and news commentaries throughout the week. Recent topics: My booking of WrestleMania 30, 10 Divas from the 90s that We Loved, 10 Funny WWE Commercials, 6 Reasons why the 1992 Royal Rumble is the best one and more. You can view them all in my archive located right here. Please keep checking the site for my columns as well as the other members of the WhatCulture team. It’s a growing section of that huge site, so please support us!

They plugged the WrestleMania Reading Challenge to win some cool prizes. I think I’m too old for it. Just a hunch.

Raw GM Brad Maddox was in the ring. He introduced the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, who walked out with both titles. In other news I noticed an “#ohmyballs” sign so congrats to the guy with that one.

Orton said “the champ is here” while Maddox stood in the background. He didn’t care how he won – what matters is that he won. Then he found out that in less than a month’s time he has to defend the WWE WHC at the Elimination Chamber against five other guys. He called that garbage. Orton talked about how he was the face of the WWE, not Batista, not Brock…and there’s Batista.

Batista walked out in his street clothes, which this week meant a jacket and jeans. He pointed at a #Bootista sign. At least he makes light of it. Hopefully he doesn’t flip off any fans.

Batista went into the ring and congratulated Orton on his match. The fans were chanting “Daniel Bryan” at him. That’s awesome. He paused for a bit and then he went on with his promo saying he didn’t care who he had to face at WrestleMania 30. He claimed that he would leave with the WWE WHC at WrestleMania and there was nobody that was going to stop him.

Brock Lesnar’s music started up as The Beast entered along with Paul Heyman. Heyman told Maddox that his name is Paul Heyman as Lesnar had a staredown with Batista and Orton. Heyman told Maddox that Lesnar’s patience was running thin. Heyman said The Authority has two choices that he is presenting to Maddox. The first choice is to make history by booking Orton against Lesnar tonight on Raw. Heyman said that the second choice was that Maddox puts Lesnar up against Batista. Heyman claimed to like both choices and that the ultimate winners are the WWE Universe. He wants the answer of Triple H and Stephanie tonight…or else. Lesnar left with Heyman.

Analysis: It’s another scenario that presents many options. It’s unlikely that they would do Lesnar vs. Orton on Raw, so perhaps they’re going for Lesnar vs. Batista at the Elimination Chamber PPV with Batista’s title shot on the line. That would be a huge match although if Lesnar wanted a title shot why not just put him in the actual Chamber match. I like the idea of a decision being made later in the show. It will make me actually excited to see Triple H and Stephanie for a change. Obviously Heyman did a great job on the promo. He always does. It would have been nice if there was a brawl with those guys, but I understand why they held off. Also did you notice Batista get rattled by the “Daniel Bryan” chants? It wasn’t much, but he reacted to it.

Miz vs. Ziggler in the Battle of Cleveland is up next.


Dolph Ziggler made his entrance in a #69 Cleveland Cavs jersey. Of course he would pick that number. JBL said that LeBron James left Cleveland when he found out these two guys were from there. Good line. Miz was rocking a #84 Jordan Cameron jersey from the Cleveland Browns. He posed with some fans at ringside. Justin Roberts did the introductions with both guys in the ring.

Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz

Remember when we thought Miz was a heel? Apparently he’s still a face. Ziggler hit a dropkick on Miz and then applied the sleeper. JBL said the sleeper was apropos in Cleveland. The crowd was chanting “Cleveland Rocks” as Miz broke free and hit a boot to the face for two. Ziggler went for a DDT, but Miz avoided that, got a backbreaker and Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock in the middle of the ring. Ziggler was selling it like a big deal, but he made it to the ropes. Each guy got an inside cradle for two. Ziggler popped up to his feet first and he hit the Zig Zag for the win after four minutes.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: *1/2 That was a decent match from two guys that are from Cleveland that no longer live there. It would be nice if Ziggler was on the receiving end of a push, but there’s no sign of that happening. At least he’s back from his concussion. As for Miz, why didn’t they go with the full heel turn for him? It would have helped him.

Tag title match coming up later.


There was a “Did You Know” about how the WWE App has been downloaded it over 10 million times. Lawler said that’s almost as many times as Cole told us about how to download the app. Best Lawler joke in a very long time.

The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel

Ryback drove Jey Uso into the turnbuckle many times. The Rybaxel team isolated Jey in their corner as Axel hit a dropkick. Nice elbow into a clothesline combo by the heels as the crowd chanted “Goldberg” during a delayed suplex by Ryback. Plenty of quick tags by the heels and then Ryback gave Jey a chinlock. The crowd was quiet during this part of the match. Ryback missed a corner charge, he hit the steel post and Jey broke free to tag in Jimmy. Jimmy was on fire with a kick to the back of the leg of Axel as well as a corner beatdown. Jimmy hit a Samoan Drop as Ryback made a blind tag. Jey made a blind tag of his own and he hit Ryback with a superkick. Jimmy hit a superkick too. Jey hit a dive over the top to take out Axel. Jimmy Uso went up top and hit a Superfly Splash on Ryback. They covered for the win after 6 minutes. JBL immediately said the New Age Outlaws had to worry about The Usos.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ** That was a solid tag match that was by the numbers. It didn’t go too long, but they did everything right with the heels focusing in on Jey before Jimmy tagged in to finish it off. I usually don’t mention it, but when Jimmy does that splash and he tilts his head towards the camera it’s pretty funny. I’m a huge fan of The Usos. It would be a surprise if they’re not the tag team champions at WrestleMania. I think that’s the right place for them to win it.

There’s another WWE Hall of Fame inductee tonight. We’ll find out later.


Plug time: With the Royal Rumble in the books as well as this week’s Raw, we’ll have a lot to talk about on the return of TJR Radio this Tuesday at 10pmET. We’re going for 90 minutes talking about the Rumble, Raw, how things look heading into WrestleMania and we’ll answer your questions too. Join The Ace, Matt Seagull and myself for what should be a really fun show. You can listen live right here at 10pmET (or download at your own convenience) or get it on ITunes available by Wednesday morning.

Kofi Kingston was in the ring, so they showed the clip of the Kofi leap from the barricade to the ring. It was 11 feet according to Lawler.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston

It’s another pairing of midcarders that have wrestled many times in the past. Del Rio got his feet up and then hit a clothesline. The action spilled to the floor where Kingston hit a dive outside the ring. Nice enziguiri kick by Del Rio while Kingston was on the apron. Del Rio whipped Kingston into the barricade. Back in the ring, Del Rio maintained control with a hair whip. The crowd was bored so they were chanting for “JBL” and he acknowledged them. Del Rio was mad about that. The crowd chanted “Jerry” while Kingston & Del Rio fought on the apron. They both landed on the floor for the vintage floor to commercial break. It sounded like the fans were chanting for Michael Cole.

Analysis: When the fans chant for the announcers it means they’re bored during a match, yet this one is getting a commercial break during it.


Del Rio was still in control after the break as he hit a German Suplex for two. Del Rio looked at the WrestleMania and was frustrated about not winning the Rumble match. Kingston came back with a very impressive Tornado DDT off the middle ropes as the ref counted them both down for a count of five. Kingston made a comeback for a nearfall followed by a leaping clothesline. Boom Drop by Kingston. He wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Del Rio moved and Kingston hit SOS. Del Rio got his foot on the bottom rope. Backbreaker by Del Rio. Kingston avoided the Cross Armbreaker and Del Rio moved out of the way of Trouble in Paradise. Del Rio hit the Backstabber for two. He was frustrated as the crowd chanted for “Kofi” at this point, so they won the crowd back. Del Rio did a double foot stomp by the turnbuckle in a nice move. A standing side kick to the face by Del Rio led to the pinfall victory after 14 minutes of action.

Winner by pinfall: Alberto Del Rio

Analysis: **3/4 The crowd didn’t care about it in the first half of the match, but they got them back a bit with some nice nearfalls later on. Both guys worked hard. It was a solid match. I figured Kingston was going to win because the match was moving along in a way similar to his win over Orton. It could have been a way to put over Kingston as a guy that’s tough to beat. Instead, Del Rio got the win with a standing side kick. Perhaps they’re building him up for a future match with Batista, so it makes sense if that’s the case.

The announcers plugged the WWE 2K14 video game with more legends released for download. Even Virgil is in the game! They also mentioned Bruno Sammartino, Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes and Jake Roberts.

Tag team title match is up next. They also plugged a Lesnar match against Orton or Batista, but I doubt that’s going to happen. There’s just over an hour left.


Cody Rhodes & Goldust made their entrance first for the tag title match. I have actually warmed to their mixed theme song. The New Age Outlaws entered last. Road Dogg did the full entrance once they entered the ring. He let the crowd say “biatch” because he can’t say that anymore (it’s PG now). The crowd did the full entrance with them. Are they really heels? It doesn’t feel like it during the intros. Road Dogg said they won the tag team titles because they’re the best at what they do. He told the Rhodes brothers they weren’t good enough.

WWE Tag Team Championships: Road Dogg & Billy Gunn vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

The Outlaws stalled to begin because they didn’t want to have to defend the tag titles. I’m glad they delayed because the Raptors game I was also watching just ended and Toronto got the win over Brooklyn by one point, so that was perfect timing. Cody did a back elbow and Road Dogg regrouped by going down to the floor. Cody was frustrated by that. Cody: “Get your old ass in the ring.” They have barely done anything in about five minutes of “action” at this point. Cody with a dropkick for two. Goldust tagged in for the faces and they remained in control. Boot by Goldust to Gunn, then an atomic drop and Gunn came back with a boot to the face. They went to break about seven minutes into it.

Analysis: There was so much stalling in the first five minutes. I’m guessing the Outlaws didn’t want to go too fast knowing it would be a match with a commercial break in it.


As they returned from break, Goldust made a brief comeback, but Road Dogg was there to cut him off until Goldust hit a sunset flip into a powerbomb. It looked like Road Dogg had a cut above his eye. Hot tag by Cody, who hit clotheslines, the uppercut and a running high knee followed by a “suck it” too. Missile dropkick by Cody on both Outlaws. Gunn came back with a clothesline on Cody. Then out of nowhere, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman went down to the ring. The ref rang the bell. The match went about 12 minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: *1/2 We got the hot tag, but no finish due to Lesnar. That was likely done because they will do this match again at Elimination Chamber or perhaps on TV in the near future.

Brock Lesnar hit the F5 on Cody Rhodes and he also hit a F5 on Goldust. Heyman said choice #3 is that Lesnar faces no one. This is what happens when he doesn’t get what he wants. Heyman threw him a chair, so Lesnar attacked Goldust and Cody with a series of chair shots. He broke a chair after hitting a series of chair shots to the backs of both guys. Lesnar’s music played to end that segment.

Analysis: As I thought earlier, Lesnar wouldn’t have a match on this show. It was silly that they would make a challenge, then have no follow up with Triple H or Stephanie at all. That attack by Lesnar just showed that he didn’t like waiting and would wreak havoc unless he gets what he wants. That’s simple enough.

The main event six man tag was mentioned again.


Nikki & Brie Bella, Cameron & Naomi vs. AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox & Tamina Snuka

Cameron hit one move and tagged in. Thanks for showing up. The Bellas each hit dropkicks on Aksana. Fox hit a backbreaker on Nikki for two. AJ tagged in, which got a reaction unlike the others. Plenty of quick tags. Sidewalk slam by Aksana. Tamina hit a body slam after she tagged in and then she worked over Nikki in the corner. Nikki broke free with a kick, then a dropkick and a hot tag to Naomi while AJ Lee also tagged in. Dropkicks by Naomi. Leaping clothesline by Naomi on AJ. Legdrop got her a two count. Tamina was late on the save. Wow, she really missed her cue there. They did a spot where three babyface girls suplexed three heel girls and then they all went to the floor. AJ bounced off the ropes, Naomi hit the Rear View (aka the Flying Ass) and that was enough to pin AJ Lee. The match went about 5 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Nikki & Brie Bella, Cameron & Naomi

Analysis: * I’ll give them credit for the triple suplex spot because that was pretty good. Naomi pinning AJ Lee wasn’t a surprise because champions always seem to get pinned during tag team matches. That feud has had a story for the last couple of weeks, so they’re likely continuing it going forward. There was an obvious mess up in the match when Tamina was late in saving AJ. You could tell they kept waiting for it, but she didn’t get in the ring in time. It’s not a big deal, but it was noticeable.

The next WWE Hall of Fame inductee will be announced next.


Jerry Lawler was in the ring to introduce the next WWE Hall of Fame inductee: Jake “The Snake Roberts. He joins the Ultimate Warrior as the first two members of the 2014 Hall of Fame class. They aired a video package about his career.

Analysis: I’m very happy about this one. He deserves it based on all that he accomplished in his career. He also has made quite the life turnaround in the past year and a half thanks to his friend Diamond Dallas Page and DDP Yoga. I’m sure his speech will be inspiring because he’s proof that if you want to improve yourself you really can do it. I wrote about Jake as a likely Hall of Fame inductee in a piece for WhatCulture right here.

There was a video about another WWE Network show that focused on WrestleMania called WrestleMania Rewind. The WWE Network launches in 28 days. That Raw episode on February 24th will be loaded with star power. I expect Undertaker and possibly the return of Hulk Hogan on that night.

John Cena made his entrance for the main event. Sheamus was up next. It’s 10:33pmET as they’re doing these intros so this match should get over 20 minutes for sure. It’s Sheamus’ first Raw match since his shoulder injury in July. The third man for the team was Daniel Bryan. The crowd was cheering for him and chanting “yes” of course as they went to break.


The Shield made their entrance during the break. The match is starting at 10:40pmET.

John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns

The winning team gets three of the six spots in the Elimination Chamber match. Randy Orton gets one of the spots, so there will be two others as well. There were plenty of quick tags early on until Cena faced off with Reigns, which led to some “Roman Reigns” chants. Not a lot. There were some. Sheamus tagged in to a nice ovation. He gave Rollins the forward roll while Rollins was on his shoulders. There’s the Sheamus forearm smash spot by the ropes that we haven’t seen in a long time. At least Rollins wears a vest to protect himself. Dropkick to the knee by Rollins stunned Sheamus, but he was able to fight back and bring in Bryan. That led to Bryan hitting some fast paced offense on Ambrose including a top rope hurricanrana. Rollins tagged in, so Bryan gave him a surfboard submission. Cena tagged in, but he was knocked down by Rollins clothesline. They went to break with The Shield working over Cena in their corner 9 minutes into the match.


Back from break, The Shield was still trying to break free to tag in one of his teammates. Cole said the crowd was “electric” which is what he always says. If he says it every show then that means they’re all the same, which would be generic. Reigns did his awesome leaping dropkick from outside the ring. Superman Punch by Reigns on Cena. He wanted the Spear, but Cena moved out of the way and Reigns went flying outside the ring. Reigns got back in time to deck Cena with a back elbow. The “electric” crowd wasn’t really that way when Cena was in a chinlock, but Bryan got them going while he was on the apron. Ambrose decked Cena with a knee to the gut followed by an impressive DDT for two. Super Cena popped right up to his feet and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose. Bryan tagged in while Rollins did as well. Bryan was on fire in the ring and even hit a dive on Ambrose outside the ring. Missile dropkick in the ring on Rollins. The crowd was really hot as Bryan hit a kick to the head for two as Reigns broke it up. Sheamus went after him, but Reigns hit a Spear. Cena went after him, but Reigns hit a Spear on him except that it didn’t look good because Cena leaped and it barely connected the right way. Bryan hit Reigns with a running knee attack, so Rollins got a rollup on him for two. Rollins wanted a German Suplex, but Bryan landed on his feet and Rollins came back with a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle for two. Rollins hit a forearm in the corner. Bryan came back with a German Suplex that caused Rollins to land on his stomach. That’s such a cool spot. Bryan missed a corner dropkick, but then he came back with the Yes Lock. Ambrose broke it up. Sheamus came in with a Brogue Kick on Ambrose. Rollins hit a flying knee off the top on Sheamus. Bryan and Sheamus collided on a cross body block spot. Cena tagged in against Reigns. STF by Cena and Reigns fought it off. The Wyatt Family showed up. The Wyatt Family attacked the faces, so the ref threw the match out. That was about 22 minutes into it.

Winners by Disqualification: John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan

Analysis: ***1/2 The match really started to get good right when it ended, which is no surprise because they were going for a dramatic ending with the Wyatt Family showing up. I liked so many things in the match like the Bryan/Rollins moments, which are always very entertaining because they have amazing chemistry together. Then you had Reigns fighting out of the STF, which you rarely see. I just thought it was a very entertaining main event. I don’t mind the DQ ending because it fits the story.

The faces quickly cleared the ring of The Wyatt Family. The DQ win means that Cena, Sheamus & Bryan are in the Elimination Chamber match so those three were happy about it. The Shield were furious about it. The Wyatt Family escaped up the ramp while the faces were in the ring and The Shield were angry outside the ring. The show ended with the crowd chanting “yes” in celebration of the DQ win.

Analysis: The Chamber match needs the star power of Cena, Bryan and Sheamus if it’s going to headline the show. The Wyatt Family attacking could definitely lead to a six man tag match against The Shield at the Elimination Chamber. If The Shield is going to break up in the near future like we expect then that’s the best time for them to do that huge six man tag match.

As far as Daniel Bryan goes, WWE pissed fans off by not including him in the Royal Rumble. Now he gets a 1 in 6 chance to become WWE Champion. Will he win? Doubt it. With Sheamus in the match and those two rumored to face off at WrestleMania, that can be the moment when Sheamus goes heel perhaps after Bryan pins him. That would cause Bryan to lose in the Chamber, so it sets up their match.

The rumored top five WrestleMania as reported by PWInsider last week were:

Orton vs. Batista for WWE WHC – Obviously set up with Batista winning Rumble and Orton retaining in the Chamber. Good luck trying to get the crowd to not chant for Bryan during that one.

Cena vs. Wyatt – That was set up at the Royal Rumble. Give them two months to build it up.

Lesnar vs. Undertaker – You have the story that Lesnar is destroying everything in WWE, so there’s only one man to stop him: Undertaker at WrestleMania. Bring Undertaker back on the February 24 Raw when the WWE Network launches. That’s a huge show. Undertaker wins at Mania of course.

Triple H vs. CM Punk – Obviously they’re going to do that based on what has happened in the last couple of months. Have Punk go over Kane at Elimination Chamber in a singles match (or put them both in the Chamber) and then he gets HHH at WM30 with Punk winning.

Sheamus vs. Bryan – Like I said they can set it up at the Chamber match with a Sheamus heel turn. I’d rather see Bryan winning the WWE WHC, but I don’t see it. Only place for it to happen now is inside the Elimination Chamber and again I really doubt that happens.

Those rumors look to be true and everything has been setting up over the past couple of weeks.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Daniel Bryan

2. Seth Rollins

3. Paul Heyman


The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 6

2014 Average: 6.75

2014 High: 8 (January 13)

2014 Low: 6 (January 20)

Last 5 Weeks: 6, 8, 6.5, 7, 5.5


Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 6.5 out of 10.

This show had a very weird feel to it because there were some segments that were really good like the opening promo and that Heyman promo, but then there were portions of the show where it really dragged.

There were plenty of midcard matches that didn’t really mean anything or have any real build to it. None of them were really above average aside from the main event, of course. The “match for Cleveland” was just thrown together with Ziggler getting the win. They had Barrett cut a promo about it earlier. Why not bring him out again and have the two Cleveland guys attack him to pop the crowd? It would have worked. Del Rio and Kingston finished strong, but the crowd didn’t care about it early.

The tag title match had a non-finish because they’re likely going to do a rematch at Elimination Chamber or sooner.

The main event was clearly the best match that was given the most time and set up some interesting scenarios for the future.

I missed CM Punk. I assume they left him off the show because he was selling the Royal Rumble attack by Kane that saw Punk get put through a table.

Here’s a TJRWrestling sign from Royal Rumble. It was on a couple times, but I’ll only post one copy. Also says “Hire John Canton” on it so that’s nice. Thanks to Travis for bringing it.

I like the “OMAHA” sign too. Good Peyton Manning NFL reference right there.


That’s all for me. I’ll end it with some things to plug again.

Plug time: As I’ve mentioned before I have started writing about WWE for My work there will see me write 10 feature columns per week seven days per week and news commentaries throughout the week. Recent topics: My booking of WrestleMania 30, 10 Divas from the 90s that We Loved, 10 Funny WWE Commercials, 6 Reasons why the 1992 Royal Rumble is the best one and more. You can view them all in my archive located right here. Please keep checking the site for my columns as well as the other members of the WhatCulture team. It’s a growing section of that huge site, so please support us!

With the Royal Rumble in the books as well as this week’s Raw, we’ll have a lot to talk about on the return of TJR Radio this Tuesday at 10pmET. We’re going for 90 minutes talking about the Rumble, Raw, how things look heading into WrestleMania and we’ll answer your questions too. Join The Ace, Matt Seagull and myself for what should be a really fun show. You can listen live right here at 10pmET (or download at your own convenience) or get it on ITunes available by Wednesday morning.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton –

Twitter @johnreport

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