Been a busy weekend for me and I haven't had a chance to breathe...
Let's see if the Going Home show's any good...
We start with WWE's Martin Luther King Day video package that's actually pretty well-edited. It gets a nice round of applause from the crowd and has Cole, JBL and Booker (on the mics, of course) standing in applause.
Main Titles which highlights Randy Orton, Sheamus and Lesnar who have wrestled approximately 1 match combined in the last four months.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Dallas, Texas!!!
TONIGHT: A RAW Reunion with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac, and The New Age Outlaws. Didn't these people all see each other less than a year ago at WrestleMania?
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman start us off. Heyman begins his speech but Lesnar just grabs the mic and calls out Rollins. He says when he shows up, it's fightin' time. Like last week, when he was just there to sign a contract. Brock: "That's right, baby. When I show up, you're nowhere to be found." It's hard to take Brock seriously when he sounds like Jimmy Hart.
Triple H shows up and says that he gets why Brock is mad -- but Brock started this whole thing at the contract signing. Brock's not having it. He's here to fight. Heyman begs Brock not to do anything, screaming that Triple H "pays the bills".
That brings out Steph with Big Show and Kane. She tells Brock to back off. Everyone stands in silence and Brock just stares at Triple H and the other guys.
That brings us Rollins on the Jumbotron. He calls Brock a "caveman" and says that he'll get a shot at him -- and he'll take Brock's title. Lesnar tells the Authority to put a leash on their "puppy". Heyman says that they don't want Brock to "fix this". If THEY fix it, Brock will be happy. If BROCK fixes it, they'll have bodies all around the ring and a depleted roster.
Aaaaand, here comes John Cena dressed like Joel from MST3K, circa Season 2. Cena tells Rollins to shut up. Cena wants to tell the Authority face to face: they put him through hell and he wants them to keep it up. On Sunday, he'll take out their little mercenary and Seth Rollins. He says that he'll reduce this all to ashes. Then calls The Authority, "Ash-holes". Ba-dum-tish.
Cena tries to leave but Steph brings him back and says that Cena used to be a role model -- but that's not who he is today. Cena lied to everyone by bringing the Authority back. Steph says nobody wants to see him win anymore. Rollins calls him a loser, too. He's been losing over and over. Cena's time is up and it's time to step away. He botches a line, telling Cena to tuck his "legs between his legs".
Cena says he's not sure how that's physically possible, but he'll find the room that Rollins is in and he will rip his "mouth off his face". (DANIELLE: But he'd still be able to talk...why doesn't he threaten to dye his hair one color instead? That sounds more threatening.) He still wants the Fired Three to have their jobs back.
Triple H decides to make a match: if Cena wins, then they get their jobs back, so we're going to this same ol' well again. If Cena loses, he will give up his spot in the Triple Threat Match at Royal Rumble. He asks what Cena thinks. The crowd chants, "YES". Triple H won't let him answer that: that's up to the WWE Universe. That's right. You have nothing but yourself to blame for tonight's bullshit.
And, finally, after 22 minutes, we're done with this segment.
Cole explains how to download the WWE app in case you've lived under a rock for the last five years.
NEXT: Daniel Bryan faces Bray Wyatt.
MATCH #1: Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan
Deja-fucking-vu. Bryan's entrance gets a wild pop. He kicks Bray in the corner but Bray puts Bryan to the mat. Bryan takes over again but Bray leaves the ring. Bryan hits a slide kick and hits a Flying Goat off the top rope -- and out comes Kane for your weekly cup of Shitty Finish. After a break, he's sitting at ringside as Bray beats Bryan up outside the ring. Back in the ring, Bray hits a flying tackle and chokes Bryan against the bottom rope as Booker recounts how "great" their match at last year's Royal Rumble. Bray drops an elbow. Booker: "Oh, that's it." What? Bryan finally breaks a Sleepr with a Chinbreaker but Bray hits a HUGE clothesline. We go to another break.
Bray hits a Reverse Senton when we come back. Bryan comes back with and elbow, then nearly overshoots a corner dropkick and hits a bunch of YES Kicks. He hits a Frankensteiner off the top turnbuckle and we get more YES Kicks. He misses the big kick and Bray flies out of the ring on a rush. Bryan hits a Flying Goat and puts Bray back in -- and Kane attacks, whacking Bryan's head on the mat, then puts him back in where Bray hits Sister Abigail for a completely arbitrary win at 16:15. Your former champ, ladies and gentlemen.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: **1/4. This was not "awesome", as the crowd suggested.
Post-match, it's Yet Another Authority Beatdown, with Kane hitting a Chokeslam and then clubbing away at him.
YES OR NO: Will Cena wrestle on a wrestling show? You can vote on that.
Dolph wants to wrestle. He said so on Twitter.
TONIGHT: A "wrestling panel" with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair.
Apparently, Smackdown was #1. They beat everything on TV on Thursday, including Fox News, which is like bragging about beating up Stephen Hawking. Yes, I somehow just equated the two. That's ironic.
Triple H is backstage, yacking on his cell.
Diesel and Razor Ramon
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall show up to "reunion" or whatever. Shawn joins
them. They want to know where X-Pac is. "X-Dow" shows up instead and
does a perfect impression of X-Pac. X-Pac shows up and he's impressed.
Miz tells Miz-dow to go get dressed and then walks off. Nash: "What the
hell kinda show are you runnin' here, man?" Triple H facepalms and says,
"I'm so ashamed."
EARLIER TONIGHT: Triple H left it up to the WWE Universe to book a match ending in a DQ.
John Cena is backstage with Renee Young. But, whoops, that was an early edit.
Byron Saxton is in the ring to introduce our "Legends Panel": Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels. It's hard to get with the "Sexy Boy" theme when Michaels dresses like he's hunting deer in 20 minutes. Byron asks if Cena should put his title opportunity on the line. Michaels and Hogan think so. Flair doesn't. Isn't this awesome? Why isn't the crowd chanting that?
Flair recounts how awesome it was to win the Royal Rumble in '92. So does Michaels. Hogan tells everyone that the competition was fierce in the Royal Rumble. Hulkamania helped him survive.
Michaels picks Bray Wyatt to win the Royal Rumble. The Orange Goblin disagrees. Michaels yells at him and says Hogan always pushes him. Hogan stands up. Michaels mocks Hogan and invokes SummerSlam 2005. Hogan: "You don't want any of that again, do ya'?" Michaels: "Yeah, you're right. I'll sit back down." Hogan picks Daniel Bryan to win. Flair picks Dean Ambrose, then dances around.
And here comes the somehow-still-relevant Big Show. The crowd yells that Show sold out. Show gets angry and says they would have done the same thing if it was for their family. Hogan tells Show they don't want Show out here. Show tells Hogan to back off and says that Michaels and Flair have been jealous of him. Show says that he's beaten Hogan for the World Championship. He mocks Flair and says he took Flair's shot at the title once. He says Michaels fears him. He calls the Legends "washed up" and says they're begging for another shot. He says that nobody in the back can beat him. That's why he's winning the Rumble because nobody can throw him over the top rope, history be damned.
He tells them that he's giving them a chance to leave the ring. Flair: "Are you done?" Flair removes his coat. Michaels and Flair get ready to fight. Flair hits chops, then runs into a KO. Show blames the crowd for that.
And out comes Reigns. Show tells him to hold up and says that if he stays in the ring, Reigns will get hurt. He asks him Reigns understands. Reigns just attacks, then clotheslines him over the top rope because nobody can put a Giant out of the ring.
Cena's backstage with Renee. The WWE Universe has voted to see Cena risk it all. Cena will overcome. That's about the long and short of it.
When we come back...Cole is excited for the Rumble: "The Royal Rumble is my favorite because it happens once a year!" Unlike the 11 other WWE PPV's.
And what the hell? A MATCH?! It's been over an hour. I thought I was watching a series of NBA Pre-Game interviews.
MATCH #2: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose (non-title)
Ambrose gets an early upper hand and hits a nice elbow off the top rope. Barrett comes back and kicks him in the throat. Two count. After a break, Barrett is in control. Sleeper hold on Ambrose. Ambrose breaks and hits a roll-up for two, then hits a Rebound Clothesline. He goes top rope but Barrett knocks him off. Barrett tries the Bullhammer but Ambrose hits a Dirty Deeds for the win at 8:29.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
TONIGHT: If Cena wins: The Fired Three are rehired. If he loses, Cena gives up his spot at the Rumble match.
The Dallas Cowboys are at ringside as JBL says that they were screwed.
And a loooooooong Royal-Rumble-By-the-Numbers preview.
New Day hits the ring with Xavier Woods saying weird, cryptic shit like, "We won't succumb to rage because the roster will go to the hospital.
TOMORROW: Santino's Royal Rumble Lottery Specatcular
MATCH #3: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) & Cesaro (w/ Adam Rose & Exotic Express)
Big E hits a Spinebuster on Kidd, then tags Kofi who hits a dropkick on Tyson as he flies through the air, courtesy of an E set-up. Kofi gets an uppercut to the face. Cesaro hits a Delayed Suplex and tags Tyson with his other arm. Tyson pulls Kofi to the mat, then puts on a side headlock. Tag to Cesaro who hits a Cesaro Swing to Dropkick. Big E breaks the pin by Tyson. Cesaro gets in and hits a headlock. Kofi breaks and ends up in the corner. Kofi rushes at Cesaro who catches him. Kofi tries a pin but Cesaro runs him back to his own corner. Kofi accidentally kicks Tyson and then rolls up Cesaro for the win at 3:03.
WINNER: New Day.
RATING: DUD. Tyson and Kidd are worth so much more than this, New Day is DOA and WTF is Adam Rose even doing out here?
NEXT: The nWo is out here because we only need 4 matches on a 3 hour show.
ON SMACKDOWN: Daniel Bryan faces Kane in a No-DQ Match. If Bryan loses, he is out of the Royal Rumble.
Out comes the perpetually-drunk Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and X-Pac. Scott Hall does the "HEY, YO" bit and says that a reunion of old guys isn't possible with the three of them. Hall asks how many people are there for the RAW reunion. People cheer. Hall asks the same question and tacks on "with the nWo?" Nash says they can re-live the nWo's rise to power on WWE Network. Then he says the nWo was responsible for the Attitude Era. Nash says he's not an egotist but they're responsible for "everything great". X-Pac starts growling and...out comes The Ascension.
They get into the ring and X-Pac tells them to bring it up. Viktor says it's nice to see them. But they're just three old dogs begging to be put out of their misery. Konnor: "And we're the two to do it." Sigh...he even doubles down with "We're born and bred to rip and shred." Viktor calls then a tag team from WCW as Kevin Nash facepalms and tries not to laugh.
The crowd chants for the nWo. Hall tosses his toothpick at Konnor and we're ready to go. JBL has had enough. He sheds his jacket and unbuttons his shirt to reveal an APA shirt. He says he made a phone call to an old friend. It's Ron Simmons. The Ascension tells them all to bring it on.
And here come the New Age Outlaws. Jesse James goes for a cheap pop with a Dallas Cowboys reference. He says that this ring is full of stallions -- so who invited the jackasses? The Outlaws destroy The Ascension. JBL warms up the Clothesline from Hell and hits it.
RIP, Ascension. If this was the final burial, at least they went out, courtesy of some of the legends.
NEXT: MORE TALKING AS TRIPLE H AND STEPH TELL CENA WHO HE FACES.
Triple H and Steph are backstage. Steph wants a drumroll. And there's a guy back there with him, doing a drumroll. Cena will face Seth Rollins. And The Big Show. And Kane. Steph fires the drumroll guy because he kept stopping the drumroll before each opponent was named. A dude shows up to play Taps.
The Bella Twins are at ringside.
MATCH #4: Paige & Natalya vs. Summer Rae & Alicia Fox
Paige is caught in a wristlock, but whatever. Paige tags Nattie anyhow, while Summer looks slightly befuddled. The two hit a double suplex and it's tags in and out until Summer hits a high spinning kick for a two count. Fox tags in and hits Northern Lights for two. Fox slams Nattie but misses a flipping legdrop. "Hot tag" to Paige and she's all over Fox's shit with kicks, a drop kick and a Superkick for two. Another double team by Nattie and Paige and it's the PTO by Paige to win at 2:56.
WINNERS: Nattie and Paige
Nikki taunts Paige and Nattie with the Divas title as if that belt matters anymore.
TONIGHT: Cena is in a handicap match. AND THE WWE UNIVERSE IS TO BLAME.
AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE: New Day will face Adam Rose, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd on the Royal Rumble pre-show.
Rusev is out for his usual squash. Truth tries to scare him, pre-match, by calling him "cupcake" and saying "Whoomp, there it is" which the fans chant. Thanks, Truth.
MATCH #5: WWE United States Champion Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. R-Truth (non-title)
Superkick, Accolade, done at 45 seconds.
WINNER: Rusev via Accolade
It's hard to call Rusev "unstoppable" when he keeps wrestling fluff and frustratingly gets over at the expense of guys like Ambrose.
Rollins is backstage, walking to the ring entrance and bragging to the Security team about how he's gonna embarrass Cena. He runs into Brock who says that he hopes Rollins beats Cena so that he can take Rollins out 1 on 1.
MATCH #6: Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) vs. The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow)
Miz and Miz-dow pose until Jey rolls Miz up for two. Miz chokes Jey on the ropes and hits the Miz-Breaker for two. Miz leaps at Jey and gets two. SCF by Miz misses and Jey hits a Superfly Splash for the win at 2:56 while Damien Miz-dow imitates it all because stunt doubles work just like voodoo dolls. Get it yet??? DO YOU GET THIS CHARACTER???
WINNER: Jey Uso
WHY WOULD YOU PAY ALMOST 60 BUCKS FOR A PPV WHEN YOU CAN PAY TEN DOLLARS??? YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE. DON'T DO THAT. YOU'RE ALSO THE ONE WHO BOOKED THE MAIN EVENT TONIGHT, WEREN'T YOU???
Hulk Hogan says Cena will win tonight.
AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE: The Ascension faces The New Age Outlaws. Oh. Ok.
MATCH #7: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury), Big Show, & Kane (w/ Triple H & Stephanie McMahon) vs. John Cena in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match
Rollins starts but then backs up and tags Big Show. Cena runs into a shoulder tackle, so it's time to settle in for 15 minutes of Cena peril. Rollins comes in and clotheslines Cena. Two count. Rollins kicks at Cena. Tag to Kane who beats on Cena and runs his head into Show's boot. Tag to Show who splashes Cena in the corner. Cena tries to fight back and attempts to slam Show but Show just falls on him for two. Break time.
Rollins is in the ring with Cena who gets splashed. Two count. Rollins puts on a Sleeper Hold. Cena fights out and puts Rollins against the buckle but Rollins hits a Flying Neckbreaker off the ropes for two. Tag to Show who goes for a Vader Bomb but misses. Tag to Rollins who misses a Curb Stomp and it's Moves 1 through 4. AA attempt doesn't work because Security gets involved and that doesn't end in a DQ because reasons. Rollins ends up in an AA anyhow but Cena gets dragged out of the ring by Kane. It's a shoulder tackle by Show and Cena is down, outside.
Cena gets up at nine and gets back into the ring before 10. Kane sets up for a Chokeslam and hits it but Cena kicks out at two. Tag to Rollins who tries to set up for a Curb Stomp -- and Sting appears on the Jumbotron. JBL: "That's a picture of Sting." Sting's music hits and he's on his way out. He points at the heels and Cena rolls Rollins up for the win at 13:58.
WINNER: John Cena
Post-match, Cena celebrates as Sting just vanishes into the same place Triple H and Steph came from. Triple H is pissed and tells Sting to get back here. The crowd chants WE WANT STING. Instead, here's Brock Lesnar to start the Royal Rumble teaser finish for 2015. He attacks Rollins. Kane and Show attack Lesnar. Lesnar hits an F5 on both Kane and Show. Rollins escapes with his life...and that's it.
Wow. They finished virtually on-time.
OVERALL: **1/2. Way too much talking for a wrestling show. We had less than an hour of wrestling on a 2 1/2 hour show.
Andy PG may or may not cover Santino's Royal Rumble show. Man, that's a hard one to think about writing about. We have Bayless and Scott doing retro shows. Tommy Hall has NXT and Smackdown and Andy PG will give you a nice wrestling sammitch with the Superstars recap to send you into your weekend. The Royal Rumble is Sunday and I'm sure Scott will have a review. If not, one of us will recap that. Till' next week...