Bad News Barrett def. Dolph Ziggler in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match to become the NEW Intercontinental Champion.
Ascension def. Two Jobbers with No Names
Roman Reigns def. Big Show via DQ
Natalya def. Nikki Bella
Luke Harper def. Erick Rowan
Bray Wyatt def. Dean Ambrose in an Ambulance Match
Miz, Mizdow, and Alicia Fox def. The Usos and Noami
Seth Rollins and Kane def. Ryback
The show opens with the entire WWE locker room is the ring. John Cena briefly apologizes to his coworkers and to the WWE Universe for going back on his word and bringing back The Authority. In the middle of his apology The Authority interrupts Cena to come out and gloat about their return. The Authority credits their return to “the future of the WWE” Seth Rollins who comes out and shares a cheerful embrace with The Authority. Triple H makes a shocking announcement by putting Seth Rollins in the Royal Rumble main event. It will now be Brock Lesnar defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins. Stephanie declares tonight John Cena Appreciation Night. Before The Authority exits they book Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship.
I was confused as to why Dolph Ziggler defeated Bad News Barrett with a backslide. Guessing that the beat down of Ziggler by Barrett is to set up a Intercontinental Championship match at Royal Rumble. They sure let Barrett do a number on Ziggler. Corporate Kane comes out of nowhere and says they forgot to mention that this match was 2 out of 3 falls. Whatever. Barrett hits Wasteland to tie things up at 1 fall a piece. The ringside medical staff checks on Ziggler as the show goes to commercial break.
Back from break with the ringside medical staff still in the ring. Ziggler still decides to continue the match. Barrett uses Wasteland again for a quick victory but Dolph kicks out at 2. Ziggler is short on offense and is sure getting worked over hard by Barrett. Bad News Barrett hits Winds of Change but only gets a 2 count. He loads up The Bullhammer but Ziggler ducks and hits a Superkick. He goes for the cover but only gets a 2 count. Kane gets on the apron and gets Superkicked right off. Ziggler turns right into The Bullhammer elbow from Barrett and gets the three count to become the NEW Intercontinental Champion.
Renee Young had a backstage with Roman Reigns. Oh God, he has to speak. And it was as bad as you think it is.
Bray Wyatt pre-recorded promo to wash the sour taste of a live Reigns one. He says tonight the Devil walks beside him. Does anyone pay attention?! This dude basically attributes himself to being the Anti-Christ, in what we call the PG era mind you, and no one says anything. I’m ranting.
The Ascension come down to the ring in the final ten minutes of the first hour. Before their match they cut a promo completely trashing legendary tag teams Demolition and Road Warriors. They draw pretty nice heat from the crowd. The funniest thing about the whole thing is how JBL and Booker T. (filling in for a sick Jerry Lawler) completely took a dump on The Ascension for disrespecting Demolition and LOD throughout the entire match. Cole couldn’t even call the finish! Freakin’ hysterical.
Throughout the night WWE airs clips of past John Cena accomplishments playing up the whole John Cena Appreciation thing.
The Big Show Roman Reigns match was basically Show beating the holy hell out of Reigns then Reigns making a super comeback and hitting three of his six super moves. The action spills outside and Big Show uses the ring stairs to blast Roman Reigns in the face. Blatant DQ. Show rolls Reigns back ine the ring with the stairs as well. Show goes to smash Reigns again but Reigns hit Show with a spear causing the Big Show to drop the stairs on his face. End of match.
The Nikki Bella vs. Natalya wasn’t all that bad however there were some serious tomfoolery going on outside. For some reason Paige comes to ringside and apparently she will be in the corner of Natalya. Nikki and Nattie have some pretty good exchanges in the ring before what happens outside becomes the main focus. Paige and Brie Bella get into on the outside. Nikki loses focus, Nattie sees the opportunity and rolls Nikki up for the win. A pissed off Nikki attack Nattie. Paige enters the ring to make the save and hits Nikki with a pretty sick kick to the jaw. I guess Paige is a face now?
Backstage Dean Ambrose promo. Pretty much like all the others.
WWE offers condolences to the family and friends of ESPN’s Stuart Scott. Very cool.
For some reason J&J Security are the special guest referees for the Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan match. Anytime Rowan is on offense the refs get in the way. When he goes for a pin they get confused on who should make the count. All this ends up with Harper blasting Rowan with a Discus Lariat for the win with an assisted fast count from referee Jaime Noble. After the match J&J Security and Harper beat down Rowan. I guess this is punishment for being on Team Cena at Survivor Series?
There was this thing with Naomi and Alicia Fox and something about Total Divas and….I really wasn’t paying attention.
We get a vignette chronicling the feud between Ambrose and Wyatt preparing us for the first ever Ambulance Match on Raw.
The actual Ambulance Match had a lot of different varieties to it. There was a brawl in the crowd, the ambulance area, and some actual ring work with Bray targeting Ambrose’s knee. Back in the ambulance area where Ambrose sets up a table. After some battling Bray ends up laying on the table. A gimp Dean Ambrose climbs his way from the stage to the top of the ambulance. Ambrose leaps off the roof and delivers an elbow directly into the heart of Bray Wyatt. Unable to get Bray inside the ambulance Dean Ambrose falls victim to two Sister Abigail finishers. The first off the door of the ambulance and the second off the hard surface floor. Bray Wyatt scoops up the limp carcass of Dean Ambrose and stuffs him in the back of the ambulance winning the match. A lot like their other no holds barred contests and had some nice moments to excite the crowd.
By the time I made it back to Raw Miz, Mizdow, and Alicia Fox vs. The Usos and Naomi were about to begin. To me it was pretty entertaining and I’ve been wanting to see if Naomi could gel with the Usos. There hasn’t a tag team manager duo in quite sometime. Pretty smooth match ending with Noami on the apron causing a distraction to her husband Jimmy and The Miz getting the roll up and a handful of tights for the win.
Before Ryback vs. Seth Rollins could begin, Kane comes out to announce that the match will now be a 2 on 1 handicap with Kane teaming with Seth Rollins. Pretty decent match. Wasn’t too one sided and Ryback looked pretty good. I hate how commentary plays up that it took two curbstomps to win just like Ryback didn’t get “knocked out” by Big Show’s KO Punch. So what, he still lost.
Back from commercial with Adam Rose in the ring ready to take on The New Day’s Big E. The match wasn’t anything too exciting. The finish came when two Rosebuds climbed and attacked Big E. They romove their masks to reveal the two Rosebuds to be Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. This would have been a decent way to make a statement as a new tag team except that the goofy theme for Adam Rose started playing an he made all of the Rosebuds get in the ring and start dancing. Completely making a joke of the whole thing. Ugh.
Back from the final commercial break of the show with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon coming down to the ring. Stephanie McMahon gets on the mic and tells us John Cena Appreciation Night was sort of like a thank you for reinstating The Authority. A stern face Cena comes down to the ring with Triple H revisiting how The Authority came back into power. The Authority invite all the members of Team Cena from Survivor Series sans Big Show to the ring to join in on the celebration. The Authority start to wonder what should be the punishments given to each member. Maybe Erick Rowan will get 30 days suspension no pay? Well if they give Rowan 30 days then they have to give Ryback 60? Dolph guessed that he would get 90 but come to find out no one is getting suspended. Stephanie delivers the news that all the other members of Team Cena…are fired! And they all have John Cena to thank! Cheerful music sounds off and confetti rains down from the sky. The show ends with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H lovingly celebrating and John Cena looking dejected in the ring.
This was a pretty standard, safe, non-eventful Raw. None of the matches really wowed me. The Ambulance Match was okay but really nothing different from all of Wyatt and Ambrose’s hardcore encounters. The ending. Oh God the ending! Part of the reason for me as to why the product is so dull is because nothing makes the viewer want to tune in next week. But alas, most of us will.