Last night, the last RAW of 2015 went out with a bang, and hopefully things gotten a little bit better thanks to two big returns and a high-profile main event. Here are the highlights:
It begins with a Mr. McMahon promo targeting WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns; And to me, it didn’t go well as he planned. At least the idea of calling Reigns out is gutsy, but let’s be honest here; Do you think that happened out of the blue? While Vince McMahon may be the guy who has the most guys than any promoter in the world, but he is totally out of place in today’s wrestling landscape. While Reigns is the champ, the idea of having a champ who sticks it to their bosses brings up the classic employer vs. employee angle. While McMahon shot the breeze with the champ, Reigns didn’t like what Vince said about his family so he shoved him on his butt. With the police in tow, Stephanie calls for Reigns to be arrested, but the cops won’t have none of it. Safe to say that Stephanie is on the losing end of the spectrum on this one. Instead of Roman Reigns getting arrested, the police arrested Vince McMahon for grabbing a cop by the jacket. Welcome to Brooklyn.
Now we get to the first match of the evening with Kevin Owens against Neville. While these two are breakout stars of the year as far as I’m concerned, Kevin Owens bills himself as “THE Breakout Star of the Year.” This match was just too quick as Neville rolled up KO by counting his Pop-Up Powerbomb. KO went on to be a sore loser by roughing up Neville after the match. This is Kevin Owens at his most typical; Being a sore loser. It took a group of referees to stop the damage, but how can you stop a sore loser? Owens roughed him up some more, but it didn’t last very long once Dean Ambrose came to the scene. A brawl between the two got ugly, but KO left real quick.
The match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch is so personal, it gets ugly. Of course Team B.A.D. began bashing the good name of Brooklyn, New York. It’s that wasn’t enough, they all wore New England Patriots hats on the way to the ring (Of course, the Jets beat the Pats in overtime on Sunday). For Becky, it’s all about winning on her own. But with Naomi and Tamina at ringside, there’s bound to be shenanigans. Sasha got the win by countering the Dis-arm-her. While the “Boring” chants from the Brooklyn crowd really ticked me off, that’s no surprise to me. While Brooklyn was the place where Sasha had one of her biggest matches of the year in NXT, it’s a shock to me why she can’t have matches like that at the big league level. Let’s hope 2016 will be Sasha’s year as well as Becky’s redemption somewhere down the line.
With Kofi Kingston up against Kalisto, high flying moves is a must. While I admit The New Day will put people to sleep with their promos, Kalisto is all about using his actions rather than words. Kalisto got the win, but the loudmouths ramble on as usual. And we end up with Big E vs. Sin Cara in a one-on-one matchup. Ain’t it great? The big fella against the little fella. But with Sin Cara hampering a shoulder injury, Big E took advantage and win with the Big Ending. New Day splits the doubleheader.
Miz TV has got to be the most bizarre segment on WWE, but when you got Ryback, Goldust, Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Heath Slater and Big Show in the mix, there’s bound to be chaos. While the “Please retire” chants towards Big Show sound disrespectful, but he’s been around for a long time do we don’t know when his time is up. The new generation of wrestlers has passed him by, but Big Show is still a competitive guy. Royal Rumble is 4 weeks away, and it’ll get interesting from here on out. But Big Show goes up against Ryback in an impromptu matchup, and it will bring nothing but sleepy viewers. When you get these two men in the ring at the same time, it will get bowling shoe ugly in a heartbeat. Ryback got the win via countout, not the best way to win, but it is what it is.
The six-man tag between the team of Dean Ambrose & the Usos and the League Of Nations (The PG-Era version of the Un-Americans) should be good as advertised, but it got ugly in minutes. Lots of brawling throughout, but in the end, brute force takes the job 99% of the time. The Un-Americans get the W, but sore loser Kevin Owens attacks Ambrose after the match. I’ll have to give the match and the assault 4/10.
John Cena’s return after a few months kicks off when he faces of against the guy who beat him for the US Championship, Alberto Del Rio. Marketing Cena as the top guy is credible, but nobody can doubt what he had done over the years. While the US Title has been rarely defended during ADR’s reign, out should be noted that Cena’s reign as US Champ helped get its prestige up. And now we get the US Title match we wanted, and from the get-go lots of big spots and high impact moves went on and on. These guys would stop at nothing to win the belt, but it got ugly when the Un-Americans came on and screw him over. Cena got the win, but not the title. Once the Usos came in and they got demolished. Once Roman Reigns cane in, he took them out. But once Vince McMahon came back after making bail, he made the first RAW main event of 2016 be Reigns vs. Sheamus for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but with McMahon as the referee.
Conclusion: I’ll give this episode a C, just because. Here’s hoping it get better next week.