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With the poor year of 2015 in the books, WWE has a chance to jumpstart 2016 in San Antonio tonight. 2015 was rough for WWE to say the least with a lot of downs and not nearly as many ups. Ratings collapse to as low as we've seen since pre Attitude Era, and other companies(including NXT) proving they can shovel out better programming and better wrestling. With the return of John Cena and one of the biggest PPV's of the year in the Royal Rumble coming up WWE has everything they need to give the fans something enjoyable to start off the new year. Expect some build up to the Royal Rumble, and maybe a more a favorite to win the Royal Rumble match itself.
PROMO: The first promo of the night belongs to Stephanie McMahon. As she is coming down to the ring Roman Reigns comes out to interrupt. Roman starts off by saying that its all about Vince McMahon tonight and he then calls him out to the ring. Steph confirms that Vince is not here yet, but he will be for the WWE Championship match later in the evening. Roman goes on a rant on how this is his life, but Stephanie shoots him and the fans down. Saying that he and the fans should have no hope for Roman to win. Stephanie then says once he loses tonight and never gets another title shot she is going to use Roman. Wear him down until he can no longer wrestle again. Roman then says if anyone screws him over tonight, she'll be picking up her daddy from the hospital.
MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Neville
Dean Ambrose joins the commentary crew for this one.
Neville starts off fast with a drop kick and then sails over the top rope. Neville keeps hitting Owens fast with everything he has got. The Man that Gravity forgot has one weakness, his taped up ribs. Owens begins to take advantage of that. Owens hits a huge DDT, and then goes for a pin but Neville shows good instincts and rolls out of the ring.
We come back to Owens still in control. Owens throws him outside the ring and throws him straight into the barricade. Neville begins to come back with an insane flip off the apron to the floor onto Owens for a two-count. Neville then lifts Owens to the top rope, Owens escapes then hits the cannonball and the pop-up powerbomb for the win!
KO goes after Neville after the match, but Ambrose stops him and puts Owens through the announce table with an elbow off the barricade.
RESULTS: Kevin Owens wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Great match! Easily the best this year. (get it?) Owens is always a golden horse in all of his matches, and Neville did more than his fair share!
They show a limo pulling into the arena as Vince McMahon steps out. He is then interviewed and talks about his arrest.
MATCH: Titus O'Neil vs. Stardust
Titus starts off on top with Big Show like slaps, and then Stardust takes the upper hand with a series of holds and chokes. Stardust tries to keep Titus on the mat but is not successful as the big man reaches the his feet and hits a big clothesline. Titus then hits his finisher for the win!
RESULT: Titus O'Neil wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Not an overly special match, but also not bad. These two have some good charisma and I think a longer match would be very very good.
PROMO: Becky Lynch and Charlotte backstage. Talking about their match coming up, and then of course the man that won't go away, Ric Flair comes in.
MATCH: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Becky starts off hot against the Divas Champ. Charlotte comes back with her own furry of offense as the two set to lock up again. The two ladies trade moves back and forth with no one taking an upper hand. The Charlotte hits one of the famous Flair chops as she starts to take control.
We come back from break with Charlotte still in control of her long time friend Becky. Charlotte keeps in control of Becky with a leg lock that keeps her stuck to the mat. Becky begins a surge back, but Charlotte catches her. Becky reverses that into a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring, but Charlotte drops straight to the floor. Charlotte goes for the figure 8, Becky reverses that into a small package pin for two-count. Charlotte then hits a big boot for a two-count. Becky goes for a move, but Ric grabs her leg to stop her. Charlotte tries to take advantage, Becky then grabs the tights for a win.
Charlotte then loses it and beats the holy hell out of Becky after the match.
RESULT: Becky wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: A very good match. This is what happens when you give Divas the adequate time. As for Charlottes turn on Becky.. Who didn't see that coming?
PROMO: Sheamus and Vince are in Vinces office. Vince says that he can feel history in the making tonight, and that he wants to go over the match with Sheamus. He goes over the rules such as, no outside interference, no use of foreign objects etc. Then dismisses him by saying "May the luck of the Irish be with you."
MATCH: Ryback vs. Big Show
Big Show beats the shit out of Ryback and then The Wyatt Family surrounds Ryback and beats the shit out of him... Again. They then circle the ring with Big Show still inside. Big Show knocks off everyone and stands toe to toe with Stroman. Then the rest of the family beats the Big Show to death.
RESULT: Uhm... What?
THOUGHTS: I have no idea what just happened, but I love The Wyatt Family. So I loved all of that.
MATCH: Alberto Del Rio & Rusev vs. The Usos
I generally have a very hard time covering tag team matches. I usually cannot keep up with the pace of the match a deliver something worth reading. So, instead, I'm going to tell you who wins, and how.
The League of Nations win with a double foot stomp from ADR.
RESULT: The League of Nations wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: This match was really.. Really.. Really boring. Like really boring. Luckily it picked up as the match went on, but still nothing to be overly excited about.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater (w Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, & Curtis Axel)
Dolph starts off in control of this match. You can see he's just as confused as everyone else with the three goons joining Slater a ringside. Slater then shows he's not as bad as what everyone thinks, and puts on some great moves. Slater still controls Dolph, but I'm feeling a classic Dolph comeback like in every single one of his matches. Slater is keeping Ziggler grounded, and keeping control of the match. Dolph then hits his classic DDT out of nowhere. Ziggler goes for The Sweet Chin Music again.. And again I hate it. But the three men at ringside distract Ziggler and Slater rolls him up for the win.
RESULT: Heath Slater WINS via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: Not only a Slater sighting on Raw.. But a Slater victory?! These four guys together could be very entertaining to watch as a group, and I think Adam Rose might have been intoxicated.
PROMO: The New Day has their nightly promo where they make fun of Mike Tyson falling of his hover board.. Find the video and watch it. The New Day got us a present! As the clock was counting down out comes a returning Chris Jericho! Welcome to Raw is Jericho! The New Day says Jericho is no needed because they have already saved the WWE with positivity. Which is true. Y2J then goes on to say that the WWE needs a little more of him. Which is also true. Y2J then officially enters the Royal Rumble!
MATCH: The New Day vs. The Dudley Boys & Kalisto
No way I can keep up with this, so I'll be doing the same thing I did for the last tag match!
The New Day wins!
RESULTS: The New Day wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I wish this was a match I could've kept up with because it was really a very good match. They gave them a lot of time and the combo of Kalisto and The Dudleys was fun to watch.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Sheamus with Vincent Kennedy McMahon as special guest referee
Before the match starts, Sheamus attacks and Vince quickly rings the bell. Reigns and Sheamus go back and forth for the beginning of the match with no one getting a clear advantage. Reigns clothesline Sheamus over the ropes, but Vince does not count. Vince turns his back to talk to the bell keeper and Sheamus uses the steel steps as a weapon knocking Roman down.
We come back to Sheamus still beating on Roman in the center of the ring as McMahon celebrates. Reigns cannot do anything to get out of Sheamus' grasp, but then finally breaks free. Finally he starts to mount some offense, and mounts a lot of it. Reigns pins Sheamus for what should have been a three count, but Vince counts very slow and its only a two. After that Sheamus takes over again, but Reigns hits his sitting power bomb and pins Sheamus for what would be another 3 but Vince gets something in his eyes and needs eye drops. Sheamus then goes for a pin and gets a very very fast two-count. After a Superman Punch Roman goes for a pin and does not even get a count. Roman acted like he was going to hit Sheamus with his Superman Punch but then turns and hits Vince. Then hits a spear on Sheamus, but there is no official. He then hits another Drive-By and Superman Punch and then tosses him over the announce table. Roman then goes to pick up Vince, and then out comes Stephanie and she is not happy. He then throws Vince into Stephanie. She pleads him to stay away from Vince, but then as he goes to attack Sheamus hits two Brogue Kicks. McMahon still could not get a count but Scott Armstrong comes out and gets a really fast two-count. Scott Armstrong then holds Reigns up, he hits a Superman Punch on Sheamus and Armstrong and then a spear as another official comes out and counts a three-count for the win.
Mr. McMahon then hits the official that counted the three. Vince then announces Roman will defend the title at the Royal Rumble. The way he is defending it is in the Royal Rumble match. One vs. All. Roman Reigns vs. 29 other superstars to defend his title.
RESULT: Roman Reigns wins via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: The match itself was very good. The action as far as wrestling, was subpar like most Reigns matches. But the story it told was off the charts good, and I'm on the fence about Reigns defending the title in the Royal Rumble match. Seems like a last resort and screaming "WE ARE OUT OF IDEAS." but it is at least a change of pace, and it certainly kicking 2016 off with a bang.
What did you think of Raw tonight? Let us know!
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