At some point I will need a new graphic for RAW Reviews.  But here we go!  It’s the go home show for RAW heading into the Royal Rumble.  Let’s see how they do!

Intro – Brock, Heyman, Triple H, Steph, Big Show, Kane, Rollins
Heyman and Brock come down with the mic and I was ready to listen to Heyman pontificate about what is going on.  But Brock takes the mic and wants to destroy Rollins.  I am fine with Brock as the angry beast.  I am fine with Heyman not being able to control him.  But please for the love of all that is holy and sacred limit his mic time.  HHH shows up to talk down Brock,  but actually just talks down to him.  Steph and crew show up and rub more salt in the wounds.   Then Cena shows up and the entire segment shifts awkwardly away Rollins/Brock or the Rumble,  to the Cena being responsible for Ziggler/Rowan/Ryback being fired.  We get the set up to Vote on the WWE App if Cena should put his title shot on the line to be able win back the jobs of Ziggler/Rowan/Ryback.   I hate how this shifted away from Brock to the Cena drama.  But I did like how Brock was set up here.  The key line was “Are you here to fix this or fight?”  Not a bad opening segment.

Bray Wyatt Defeats Daniel Bryan
Good match with Bray focusing on the neck.  I hope everyone is ready for all of Bryan’s opponents for the next year to employ that tactic…  in the end Bray gets the win after interference from Kane.  Good story telling showing that Bryan can still go in the ring.  It continued the feud with Kane and Bryan.  It also continues to elevate Bray Wyatt.  I hope we do get Wyatt v. Taker for Mania that would be amazing.

Backstage Segment – Nash, Hall, Xpac, Triple H, Miz, Sandow
Damien Sandow as Xpac’s X-tra was awesome.  Rest of the back stage segment was kinda meh.  I did like the emphasis that Triple H has sold out from his rebel roots.  #VinceJunior

Legends Panel – Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Roman Reigns
These segments always come off forces.  HBK brought some nice levity to this segment,  with classic goofy PG DX antics,  but over all kinda meh.  I did like the little argument between HBK and Hogan and HBK threatening to go SummerSlam 2005, and then he remember how that went…  Big Show interrupts what was already low segment and only makes it worse. The legends gear up to attack him, Flair gets in a few chops and gets KO’d.  Roman Reigns shows up and knocks show out of the ring.  Congrats we have shown you can clothesline a giant out of the ring.  Complete waste of a segment.

Ambrose Defeat Bad News Barrett
I liked this match.  Ambrose counters Wastelands into Dirty Deeds.  I don’t know what they have planned for Ambrose but this helps him bounce back from the Wyatt Ambulance match a few weeks back.  I am willing to bet this lose means that Ziggler is also getting back the IC title since we are not making Barrett a strong champ.

The New Day – Kofi and Big E vs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro w/ Adam Rose.
I made a joke that The New Day has to win on MLK day,  and they did.  There isn’t much rhyme or reason to this.  Kidd and Cesaro are the new vicious tag team.  But it does set up an  six-man elimination match for The Royal Rumble Pre-Show.

NWO Reunion Segment – Hall, Nash, Xpac, Bradshaw, Farooq, Viktor, Konnor, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn.
Out comes Hall, Nash, and Xpac (we are leaving Hogan out of the NWO now?).  We get the classic “Hey Yo.” from Hall,  followed but the survey of the crowd.  But after the survey he left off “One more for the good guys.” (Hall please get your catchphrases right you have like three of them….)  Viktor and Konnor show up and spout their catchphrases and taglines,  but without substance or reason…  that was pretty weak.  The Ascension gets into the face of the NWO and is ready to fight when JBL gets up from announce position,  he pulls of his button down shirt to reveal an APA T-shirt,  and him and Farooq hit the ring….  brief pause….  “OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW?”  The New Age Outlaws show up.  All three classic team beat up the Ascension.  This sets up The Ascension vs NAO at the Royal Rumble.  This folks is how you use legends.  You use them to help promote existing and young talent.  This segment was one hundred times better than the Legends Panel crap earlier.

Paige and Natalya Defeat Summer Rae and Alicia Fox
The Bella Twins are on commentary and dominate the match with their feud with Paige and Natalya.  So the commentary team fails to notice that Summer Rae and Alicia Fox put on one of the better Divas matches in the past six months.  Both of them stepped up their game and got zero recognition.  The match was simply there to hype the PPV match at the Royal Rumble,  and there were better ways to do it.

Rusev Defeats R-Truth
No promo from Lana, the same old tired entrance from R-Truth.  A Typical Rusev Squash match.  Rusev they have established as a monster,  but I have to assume they built him up for Kurt Angle to feud with and they didn’t re-sign him, so they have no idea what to do with him.

Jey Uso Defeats The Miz
More sloppy booking,  this is only here to remind us that Miz and Mizdow are facing them at the Royal Rumble for the titles.  There was nothing else here, not even a tease of a Mizdow face turn.

John Cena defeats Rollins/Big Show/Kane
So this was just a gimmick match to fill time until Sting showed up for the distraction.  Sting points at Triple H,  this distracts Rollins,  who gets pinned by Cena.  Triple H is angry.  Sting showed up in a black and red duster coat,  a cross between his early WCW band jackets and the late TNA trench coats.  I think the leather jacket worked better…

Post Match Carnage – Brock Lesnar
Brock Shows up and lays out Kane with an F-5.  He goes after Rollins but Big Show rescues him,  only get F-5 himself.  Rollins makes his escape as Brock is looking dominant in the ring.

Last Thoughts
This show was a pitch for the Royal Rumble,  but it relied on old tactics with out much creativity.  The nostalgia of the fans is one thing,  but it was to heavily relied on for my tastes.

I have changed my format from recap to more of an analysis please let me know what you think in the comments.

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