It’s a long time ago that I watched a whole RAW episode. But I could instantly remember why exactly I stopped doing so in the first place. As usual this whole episode was about throwing spoilers at us regarding the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. And there was nothing I was surprised about.
Dean Ambrose finally gets a win, so his fans won’t be too disappointed that he won’t win on Sunday
On the RAW pre-show Wade Barrett was informed that he would have a non-title match against Dean Ambrose and that happened around half-time of the show. With one commercial break the match lasted for almost eight minutes, Charles Robinson was the referee and Dean Ambrose finally won a match again – clean with his finisher, the Dirty Deeds. All of this was quite unmotivated, without any reason or deeper storyline. And I wonder if WWE just gave us this Dean Ambrose win, so we won’t be too disappointed that Dean Ambrose won’t win the Royal Rumble match.
Because with the comeback of Daniel Bryan, it’s quite sure that he will handed this win on a silver plate to get “his” title back at Wrestlemania. It’s similar to the Royal Rumble last year when Batista came back just to get this win there and the main event at Wrestlemania 30. Now, Daniel Bryan came back from injury, back in the ring fighting for just a week and will be given the win to headline Wrestlemania 31. Yes, it was unfortunate for him to get injured last year but that doesn’t mean it would be a good idea to take away the momentum of another guy or just skip a few others to hand Daniel Bryan everything on a silver plate. But since Daniel Bryan came back, this awful Yessing made its comeback, too. So, I guess the majority of the WWE Universe will enjoy their Daniel Bryan win on Sunday. It just isn’t for me. As much as the Batista win last year wasn’t for me. Because I just think it’s unfair to the other guys who worked all these months before to get into this Royal Rumble match, built their momentum and connection with the fans on their own, just to be told to wait another year to maybe get something.
As for the match between Dean Ambrose and Wade Barrett, it was a decent one. Not overly exciting given that there wasn’t any meaning behind it. But it was all fast and forward, without any stupid interference, so that was certainly something positive about Dean Ambrose not having a feud at the moment. Now, this win against Wade Barrett should give him the opportunity for a real match, i.e. a title opportunity. And knowing that Dean Ambrose won’t win the Royal Rumble there should be just a little push for him with at least handing him the Intercontinental Championship. I like Wade Barrett as the Intercontinental champion and I don’t really want a mid-card title on the shoulders of Dean Ambrose when he is still considered for a future WWE champion. But we all know that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are far above that ladder for 2015. So, it would be a shame if Dean Ambrose would have to finish his babyface run without winning a feud and just being the punching bag for other guys who somehow needed to make look strong.
The Good of RAW
Since this episode of RAW was called “RAW Reunion”, there were several segments with some old Hall of Famers, the usual suspects who always show up at such events actually. But some quite fun moment was when Damien Sandow acted as the stunt double of nWo member X-Pac as you can see on the Gif on the right hand side. Damien Sandow is just brilliant and entertaining. So, also his participation later in the show during the match of The Miz vs Jey Uso very much made me look at him and forgetting about the actual match. The Miz said during a little promo that having a stunt double he would have two chances to win the Royal Rumble on Sunday. But given Damien Sandow acted like he wasn’t that sure, something with these two has to happen: whether it’s Damien Sandow not following The Miz over the top rope when this might happen or Damien Sandow actually is the one who eliminates his master – it doesn’t matter. Just a face-turn of Damien Sandow that leads to a feud between these two.
Actual funny also was the little backstage segment when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon announced the 3-on-1 handicap match between Super Cena and Seth Rollins, Big Show & Kane. Triple H & Steph thought that this announcement was better done with a drummer but the guy was immediately fired after he didn’t do anything right.
The Bad of RAW
Every time I see Daniel Bryan in a match I really want to like him, just discovering little details that entertain me. But I just don’t. I don’t like the Yessing from the audience; I don’t like these moves by Daniel Bryan right at the end of a match like he gets some epileptic seizure; I don’t even like his in-ring style. He’s an Indie guy who is vegetarian, intelligent and all. And if I would have to choose to hang out for just one day, I would probably choose him before Dean Ambrose. When it comes to their personal lives I’m more able to connect with Daniel Bryan than Dean Ambrose. But I can’t help with finding his in-ring style just annoying and boring. Together in a match against Bray Wyatt it was just more badness I couldn’t stand. And to add a topping, Kane appeared just a few moments into the match, so Daniel Bryan was distracted enough for Bray Wyatt getting the win with Sister Abigail. A little beat-up by Kane followed and the referee wasn’t really helpful in saving Daniel Bryan from this punishment. So, all in all Daniel Bryan once again was made the beat-up underdog, so winning the Royal Rumble must appear like a miracle. I’m so enthusiastic about it.
Because it was the RAW Reunion, at some point the New World Order, i.e. Scott Hall a.k.a. Razor Ramon, Kevin Nash and X-Pac came out into the ring. Scott Hall tried to cut a promo but was soon interrupted by The Ascension. Konnor and Victor made a point with all these old guys aren’t really able to fight anymore. But that was just an invitation for JBL dressing down to a APA t-shirt to have his very own reunion with Ron Simmons. And then also The New Age Outlaws joined the population inside the ring. So, in the end it was seven old guys against the two of The Ascension, so the young tag team was quickly beat down. I really don’t get this treatment. First of all The Ascension only have matches against local wrestlers whom no-one really knows (except for the local fans), now they are beaten down by these old guys. And at the Royal Rumble they have a match against The New Age Outlaws. Perhaps WWE thinks it’s an honour to fight the old guard. I seriously hope The Ascension wins on Sunday. Otherwise I’d still don’t get their use in WWE.
The horrible main event probably was exciting for little children with Super Cena “surprisingly” overcoming all odds to get back Dolph Ziggler’s, Erick Rowan’s and Ryback’s jobs in WWE and saving his own just by Sting appearing on the ramp. Michael Cole did his best to hype all this and even JBL praised Cena afterwards. It was ridiculous before and it is even more ridiculous now. For months now Triple H and Stephanie McMahon promise us all the self-destruction of Super Cena. But for months it’s just becoming worse. And no, just because I don’t like Cena’s character I would be pleased with him replaced by someone else. I’d just like for several guys to be top guys. Why does it have to be just one? You wouldn’t lose anything but gain much instead if you’d have not just one face of the company but maybe some kind of a triumvirate.
The Sad of RAW
Like I already wrote in the headline of this review, I couldn’t enjoy the Legends Panel very much. The usual suspects of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair came out and Byron Saxton asked them a few questions. Of course one of them was for their favourites to win the Royal Rumble match. Shawn Michaels went for Bray Wyatt, Hulk Hogan for Daniel Bryan and Ric Flair for Dean Ambrose. And I was just able to feel sad for especially Ric Flair. Because he still sounds always drunk when on such stages and appears just like someone who only still lives for these five minutes of fame. So, it’s somehow a bad sign for me when Ric Flair has to say that he’s with Dean Ambrose.
Another quite sad moment for me wasn’t just the use of Cesaro in this tag team with Tyson Kidd. And it wasn’t just the continued desperate try of The New Day to connect with a bored crowd in Dallas, Texas. The saddest moment of all this was that it was brought together in the match between Big E & Kofi Kingston against Cesaro & Tyson Kidd with a rubbish finish that made Cesaro looking ridiculous and The New Day just lucky. I wish Kofi Kingston and Cesaro were solo again.
The last word: On the speculation of a soon Dean Ambrose heel turn
This rumour goes around the internet for a couple of weeks now: a supposed heel turn of Dean Ambrose very soon. The only reason I can think of would be a feud with Roman Reigns, so Dean Ambrose can put over another guy and make Roman Reigns look strong for Wrestlemania (and for whatever WWE plans for him there). So, as of right now I guess the last three guys in the Royal Rumble will be Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan; Dean Ambrose turns on his “brother” to eliminate him (maybe WWE thinks this could create actual heat against Dean Ambrose when it would only create joy with me) but then Dean Ambrose is just a bit too excited for Daniel Bryan to eliminate Dean Ambrose to win the Royal Rumble. This scenario wouldn’t surprise me at all because WWE still wants to build Super Reigns as the heir of Super Cena, so they will try to do anything for Dean Ambrose not to take away from their chosen Golden Boy. And because they know that Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns are really good friends in real life, they know that Dean Ambrose will do anything in this supposed feud to make Roman Reigns look the strongest as possible.
The only positive thing about a Dean Ambrose heel turn I could see was that he could turn back to his cocky, evil character he was in The Shield and before that in FCW and all his Indie life as Jon Moxley.