When last we left our heroes, the Internet exploded. With legends taking over, the word was about Jake the Snake's recovery, Ric Flair's downturn, and groups growing via unpopular ways. Now the Road to the Royal Rumble picks up in earnest; who is going to take the bull by the horns and become the favorite among the 30?
Our live look-in is all about the WWE Network and details you'll need to know. Plus, both Randy Orton and John Cena will have matches tonight.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, January 13, 2014.
Live from Providence, RI.
Your hosts are the Three Blind Mice.
We open with a look at the Wyatt Family's recruitment of Daniel Bryan. Bray Wyatt brags about it in a canned bit. Daniel Bryan is home.
Opening match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. No “we're here” entrance. Crowd is still chanting YES, but not nearly as loud as usual. They switch to a “Daniel Bryan” chant. Bryan and Jey start, and Jey pounds on him and gets a right hook in the corner. Bryan floors Jey and works him over in the corner, tagging in Bray. Bray stomps away on Jey and taunts Jimmy, but Jey starts a slugfest only to lose. Bray with headbutts, and in comes Bryan. Bryan chokes Jey against the ropes and fish-hooks Jey's nose before kicking his kidneys. Crowd cheers for Bryan. Bryan with the Taker apron legdrop as JBL claims the crowd is applauding Bryan's choice. Bray back in, and Bryan with a guillotine on the bottom rope leading to a Bray quakedrop. Bray throws Jey into the corner and avalanches him, then laughs at Jimmy and tags in Bryan. Bryan nails Jey with the YES kicks, but without the YES. Roundhouse finale hits as well, and he goes back to the fish-hook. Crowd tries to chant for Bryan again as Bryan kicks the back and goes TO THE CHINLOCK. Jey fights out of it, but Bryan catches a kick only to get Dragon Whipped. Hot tag Jimmy, and Bryan is run over with clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Rikishi Hip Check follows, getting two before Bray saves. Jimmy tosses Bray and Bryan in turn, and the Usos follow with stereo pescados. Pescadi? Everybody's back in now, and the Usos climb adjacent corners only for Harper and Rowan to run in and cause the DQ at 5:38. Not much heat to this one, oddly enough. *3/4 Harper and Rowan isolate Jey and mug him in the corner, but Jey avoids the T&A double-team and kicks down Bryan, allowing the Usos to escape. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Bryan looks at the others like “Dude, why you leave me to take the punishment, man?” The crowd is just WAITING for this to fall apart. Bray whispers some encouragement to Bryan, who again pledges his loyalty and asks to hug it out. Bray gives him Sister Abigail's Kiss anyway. “I do this for all of us! This will lead to change!” It's looking more and more like they're going with the Shawn/JBL “one of these days he's going to snap and go back to normal” stories, but the difference is that JBL and Shawn were reasonably over and better storytellers than Bray and Bryan. Plus, let's face it: was Shawn against JBL really that good a story?
Up next: John Cena in action.
Royal Rumble ad, featuring the return of Batista. There's your clubhouse favorite, folks.
The WWE Network will offer every Pay Per View event ever in WWF, WWE, WCW, ECW... you have my money!
Damien Sandow v. John Cena. We look at Sandow's downhill run, starting with failing at his cash-in. After the bit with Bryan had the crowd deflated, it's Cena to pump them back up... and he does a good job of it. Is Cena wearing Calvin Klein underwear? Why do I notice that? Sandow with a headlock to start as the crowd is their usual. Cena pushes off and, after some iterations, gets an armdrag on the whip. He works the arm, into a headlock, and this time Sandow tries to mimic Cena's armdrag only to get caught for a one-count. Sandow knocks over Cena and stomps away in the corner, adding a boot choke. Sandow with a headbutt and slam to Cena as we go to break. We come back with Sandow working the arm – and it's the right arm, because that's the one that actually got hurt. He misses a kneedrop, however, and Cena begins the comeback. Five-Knuckle Shuffle connects, and the AA is set up, but Sandow with the Edge-O-Matic for two. Terminus try, but Cena fights out of it into the STF try, but Sandow blocks that. Sandow kicks the leg out of Cena's leg, and Edgecation – called the Royal Arch or something – is hooked, but Cena fights out. Half-nelson into a Rude Awakening by Cena gets two. Cena goes up, but Sandow catches him and meets him up there. They fight over what comes next, with Cena shoving Sandow down, then catching him with a Tornado DDT for two. Cena's incredulous, but tries the AA again, but Sandow with a sunset flip for two. Sandow with a facejam for two. Full nelson slam try by Sandow, but Cena gets a hiptoss and STF only for Sandow to make the ropes. Sandow with the Crossface out of nowhere on Cena, but he doesn't really have the arm locked well and Cena picks him up on his back. He breaks straight into the AA for the pin at 10:26. These two have GREAT chemistry together, which bodes well for Sandow's future, but this reminds me of Vampiro in WCW 2000 under Sullivan: he would get the rub of being near main eventers, but can't beat them, so is he really getting over? **3/4 Cena hugs his dad at ringside.
Up tonight: CM Punk and the New Age Outlaws face the Shield in a SmackDown rematch. Plus, a look at the WWE Network announcement.
Tweets from legitimate news reporters celebrate how awesome the WWE Network is. This leads to a look at the press conference where it was all announced. The more we hear about this, the more awesome it is. And I can get it on my PS3? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
Meanwhile, back in the Main Office, Kane is looking over something on paper with Brad Maddox. Maddox approves of how the show started and brings up the Wyatts. Kane tells Maddox to enforce the rules. Maddox: “Oh, you want ME to enforce?” Maddox asks for the Usos/BrayBryan match to be redone in a cage. Kane likes it, but he thinks he can top it: no escaping through the door, and Kane has the key. Hmmm... you know, if they were going to abort the Bryan-in-the-Wyatts story tonight, this WOULD be the hottest way to do it.
Big Show v. Jack Swagger. As a reminder, Brock Lesnar will throw Big Show around like a ragdoll at the Rumble. Colter's sign: “You're a BIG part of the problem.” We look back at Show and Brock facing off. Heck of a bump by Brock, too. Show throws Swagger around to start, and Swagger tries a double-leg takedown but gets beaten up in the corner. Huge throw across the ring, and Show with a Hammer Throw but Swagger gets the knees up on a charge. All momentum is cut off as Show bowls over Swagger a bunch and begins his comeback, ending with a shoulder tackle. Chokeslam time, and Swagger goes for the ride and is pinned at 1:19. Squash. Cesaro enters to attack Show, but thinks better of it and races off through the crowd. But Show sees Colter and has an idea. He stalks Colter, who does the “Oh crap, there's someone behind me, isn't there?” look. He tries to beg off, but Show grabs him and... lets go to shove Cesaro away. So much for the sneak attack. Back to Colter, and Show winds up, but Colter cries for mercy and begs to be let go. It looks like Show will listen... then he winks and knocks him out anyway before doing the We The People pose. Be a star, folks!
Did we mention the SmackDown rematch? It's coming up next.
Batista. Coming back. Next week. Wants title.
New Age Outlaws & CM Punk v. Shield. They hit all the notes in the intro. Did anyone tell them DX is just Shawn and HHH again and they're not allowed in the front door? JBL: “Billy forgot his lines again, didn't he?” Road Dogg introduces Punk. Does the WWE even know Dean Ambrose still has the US Title? He's never getting his deposit back at this rate. Ambrose starts against Gunn. Gunn with a headlock, which he works on, but Ambrose throws him off only to get knocked down. Ambrose with wild shots in the corner, but a blind charge misses and Gunn punches at him. Ambrose controls with a headlock and brings in Rollins. Rollins kicks away at Gunn, but Gunn with a kneelift only to run into a boot. Rollins gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Dogg in, and he works the arm only to get knocked down. Ambrose back in, and he and Rollins work over Dogg before Ambrose rakes at the face in the corner. Punk gets Ambrose away, but it doesn't last as Ambrose tries to keep it up only to get punched down by Dogg, who gets the Shake Rattle and Roll kneedrop for one. Dogg with the chinlock as the crowd says he still got it. Ambrose fights out of it as much as possible, but Dogg holds the arm and Punk tags in. Ambrose races off and gets a standstill, but he charges only to get punched down. Punk sends Ambrose pillar to post and adds Bionic Elbows in the corner. Blind charge eats boot and Ambrose gets control, only to be ALMOST GTS'd. Rollins in, and same for him. So fine, the Shield bring in Reigns to a pop. Whatever they're doing with the Shield, it's working. Reigns and Punk have a staredown, then throw forearms. Punk seems to get the advantage, but it doesn't last as Reigns punches him down off the ropes. He stays on top of Punk, avoiding GTS but getting low bridged out. Punk adds a tope suicida for fun. Outlaws cut off the Shield as we go to break. We return with Punk bowling over Rollins, adding a back elbow and swinging neckbreaker for two. FLASH FUNK IS TRENDING ON TWITTER. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. Rollins knocks Punk down and brings Reigns in, who gets a dropkick from the floor to the apron. It gets two. Ambrose and Reigns double-team Punk, and Ambrose punches him down. He stomps the hand and headbutts Punk, adding a straight kick for two. He goes to the chinlock, as Punk is holding his eye – maybe Reigns's kick was a little too strong? Punk tries to suplex out of it, but gets caught with a running knee to the gut for two. Rollins in now, and he punches Punk in the face. Rollins with a Stinger Splash on Punk for two. Ambrose back in, and he stomps away on Punk. Short clothesline gets two. Ambrose taunts Punk and stomps away at his gut. Rollins points out the eye injury, and Ambrose goes right to it. Punk tries to crawl through Ambrose to the tag, but Ambrose catches him and headbutts him. Ambrose dumps Punk to the outside and follows, but Punk reverses a throw into the steps. Punk back in, and Reigns throws Ambrose in so he can tag Rollins. Rollins is caught coming off the top, but Reigns tags in and drags him away. He does the crotch-chop to the Outlaws, but that allows Punk a roundhouse kick. Hot tag... to no one, as the Outlaws bail on the match. Punk realizes this, and he is not amused. The Shield are grinning at Punk's predicament, but Punk goes to town on all three. Reigns with a spear to cut it off, and that's all she wrote at 15:38. ***1/4 As for why they did it? Punk doesn't like HHH and the Authority, and the Outlaws are HHH's friends so of COURSE they taught Punk a lesson. See? This writes itself. Now, let's see if they do that. Shield get ready to leave, but Reigns wants to do more damage and they return. Triplebomb to Punk follows.
We tune in to the Wyatt Family as Bray speaks to Bryan. He says the Usos do not want to be locked in a cage with them. The Wyatts have been locked in society's cage and now they're out to do what they want. Tonight, they'll find redemption and absolution in the cage. Run.
Cameron and Naomi v. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka. A theory: the more developed a character is, the more likely they have a last name. Wait a second, is Emma in the crowd? Cameron and Tamina start, and Tamina shoves Cameron down. Cameron tries a rollup, but that fails. Tamina misses a legdrop, and Cameron gets one. Cameron with headscissors on Tamina, but she gets smashed on the top rope by Tamina. JACKET OF DOOM follows, and Tamina gets two. She drops a knee and goes to a waistlock. Tamina switches to a slam, and now AJ wants in. Swinging neckbreaker to Cameron and she skips around, and because she gets to show character, she gets cheered. It gets one. Bodyscissors to Cameron, switching to a sleeper. Cameron fights out, but AJ stops the tag (barely) and elbows down Naomi for fun. Shining Wizard ends it at 2:51. Naomi did nothing. 1/4* Tamina pounds Cameron some more, but Naomi's had enough and throws out AJ and destroys Tamina. Butt-butt to AJ and the heels bail. There's your Royal Rumble match. (By the way, yes, that was Emma.)
Randy Orton is angry and demands to see Triple H.
Later tonight, we restart the opening match in a steel cage. In addition, we'll find out who the headliner will be for the Class of 2014 in the Hall of Fame.
Okay, a look at the Divas' roster: the WWE somehow thinks just BEING a Total Diva is enough to be a face. None of the Total Divas have shown any character on the main program outside of “they're on that show”. Compare to AJ, who has been very much protected, given an in-depth character, and allowed to say everyone is beneath her and prove it by consistently winning. Is it any wonder she's over and the others aren't? Someone needs to beat AJ soon, or the whole division is DOA.
Kane is on his PDA when Orton demands to see HHH and Stephanie. Orton is really really angry about the rematch with Cena, about Lesnar showing up, about Batista's return... dude, is he the Face of the Company or not? Kane says he knows all this, but he's only in charge of tonight. And tonight, Orton will face Kofi Kingston and get to beat him up. (Stupid, stupid, stupid. You're all thinking it.)
Legitimate news outlets are praising the WWE Network idea. Let's let Vince have this one: he's earned it.
Your first Hall of Fame inductee is... THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR! Slam dunk. I'm so ready for his speech. Crowd totally approves.
Renee Young is with Paul Heyman. Young reviews footage of Show and Brock fighting each other again. Young asks how Heyman feels about the Royal Rumble match. Heyman: “Wow, beauty really is skin deep around here.” Heyman wonders if knocking out Zeb Colter was trying to impress Lesnar. Eat / Sleep / Conquer / Repeat is Lesnar's credo. Heyman talks about acromegaly causing stupidity, because Show's a bonehead for picking a fight with Lesnar. It's one thing to attack Swagger, fine, or knock out Colter, whoop de doo. Heyman is unimpressed. Lesnar is the clear #1 Contender, and he'll prove it at the Rumble.
Randy Orton v. Kofi Kingston. Cole says that Orton is whining about the pressure, which JBL finds ridiculous. Kofi will be in the Rumble match, as will Miz, Big E Langston, the Rhodeses, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Alberto Del Rio... and others. Orton pounds away on Kingston and dumps him, following to the outside and uppercutting him down. Orton throws Kofi into the barricade and back in. It gets two. Orton chokes Kofi in the second turnbuckle, then stomps Kofi's leg. Blind charge hits the boots, and Kofi begins a comeback. Orton with a whip to the corner, and a clothesline gets two. The announcers argue about Orton and who he whines about rather than call the match. Orton stomps away on Kofi, hanging him up on the top rope. Kofi falls outside, and Orton works the crowd as Kofi is trying to recover. Orton follows Kofi outside, but Kofi throws him into the RAW table over and over. Back in, but Orton suckers Kofi into the turnbuckle. Orton throws Kofi to the top rope and headbutts him, following him up with a superplex. Orton: “KICK OUT OF THAT!” And at two, he does. Orton is quite put off by this. Orton goes to the Garvin Stomp to Kofi, then a kneedrop for two. JBL brings up a good point: Why is Brock Lesnar allowed to just CALL himself #1 Contender? Cole counters: not like anyone disagrees. Kofi slowly fights back, sending Orton out of the ring with a clothesline and followng with a fake-out. Baseball slide misses, but Kofi sends Orton into the stairs. He leaps off the apron with a lariat to Orton and tries to fire the crowd up as we go to break. The problem, of course, is the crowd doesn't give Kofi a chance (unlike with Cody and Goldust earlier), so they're not really rallying behind him. We return with Orton grabbing Kofi by the dreads and suplexing him onto the barricade. He sends Kofi into the table (“HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT?”) and throws him back in. He follows and gets two. He's been grinding his forearm into Kofi's face on the pinfall attempts. Orton to the chinlock, but Kofi fights out and back suplexes Orton. Kofi boxes away on Orton, but a thumb to the eye stops it, only for Kofi to recover. Orton prevents Trouble in Paradise and throws Kofi to the outside. Orton's lip may be busted, and if so, Orton will be ANGRY. Kofi goes into the steps to pay for it. Two sets of steps, actually. Back in, Orton laughs at Kofi (who isn't moving) before stomping his head in. Orton's facials are amazing. It gets two. The stomp, not the facials. Orton back to the chinlock, smiling as he has it on. Orton yells at the crowd to shut up, which fires them up a bit. Kofi fights out, but Orton pounds on the back. Blind charge hits elbow, and Kofi with double chops to fire back, but a dropkick misses. Orton looks at his chest as if to say, “Did he really deign to chop me?” Orton stomps at the head again as he is not happy. Orton picks Kofi up by the hair and uppercuts him. Orton smiles at Kofi and drags him to his feet again, but Kofi with a backslide for two. An angry Orton uppercuts Kofi for two. Orton to an armbar and chinlock, smiling away. Kofi fights out, but Orton pulls him down by the hair. Kneedrop misses, though, and Kofi with a dropkick as the crowd's starting to get into it. Flying clothesline by Kofi and Boom Drop follow, but the latter misses. Orton growls in frustration before hitting the Draping DDT, but Kofi reverses to the SOS for the pin (!!!) at 16:43. We need more massive upsets like this. Now the question is: does it mean Kofi's getting pushed? Orton doesn't need the win or loss – and his anger and post-match tantrum proves it – but Kofi could easily be revitalized by this win. *** I'll totally admit this rating may be more than you give and the story is an acquired taste, but Orton's arrogance getting the best of him and Kofi's hope spots made me enjoy it. Orton is so mad he beats up John Cena Sr., which brings Junior out to chase Orton off and check on his father. Awesome, awesome segment, but we've already seen Orton beat up Cena's dad to get heat on their match. They've literally done everything before. Doesn't mean it doesn't work.
John Cena Sr. is being helped out of the arena on a stretcher, with Cena following. We look back at Kofi's big upset win and Orton taking it out on everything and everyone. Even JBL thinks Orton went too far. They load him into the ambulance, and Cena will follow his dad to the hospital. JBL washes his hands of Orton. That's a great touch.
The Rhodes Brothers v. Ryback and Curtis Axel. Great touch on the WWE App: Goldust promises to eliminate Cody to get even for years past. Goldust with a hiptoss on Axel to start, but Axel slugs away to take control. Goldust with a kick and kneeling uppercut. Ryback tags in, and he runs over Goldust as the announcers point out Ryback's Twitter meltdown. Test of strength is offered, but Goldust refuses. Cody in, and he kicks Ryback and gets a moonsault press for one. Cody works the arm, and Goldust punches Ryback in the gut. Ryback with a headlock on Goldust, but Axel tags in and gets a Northern lariat. Axel works Goldust over in the corner, then nails a dropkick for two. Axel brings Ryback in after some shots, and the duo crushes Goldust in the corner. Ryback gets two before HITTING THE CHINLOCK. Goldust fights out but runs into a military press slam. This match will not get the crowd back into it. Ryback gets two. Ryback kicks away and brings Axel in. Goldust with a back elbow off a corner whip, but Ryback prevents the hot tag. Blind charge eats boot, and Goldust with a running bulldog. Hot tag Cody, and Axel is run over repeatedly. Brisco Rollup gets two. Sliding punch by Cody, and the Holly low kick follows. Springboard dropkick by Cody, and he goes back up, nailing Ryback with the Disaster Kick. Goldust clears Ryback away, but Axel cradles Cody for two. Cody reverses the neckbreaker into Cross Rhodes for the pin at 6:04. Yawn. 3/4*
Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio will meet next.
Batista is going to win^H^H^Henter the Royal Rumble. He'll be here next week.
Rey Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio. Did one of the cameras just go dead? Someone's getting fired. Either that or the Wyatts hacked the wrong feed. Superstar-style inset promo says Rey Mysterio will enter the Rumble. Both of these men are former Rumble winners. Lillian Garcia introduces Del Rio in Spanish just because. There's a La Parka cosplayer at ringside. Del Rio pounds on Rey in the corner, adding a slam for one. Del Rio throws Rey into the ropes, but gets caught with headscissors. Del Rio bails from a quick 619 try, so Rey with a senton off the apron instead. Back in, Rey goes to the top and Drops the Dime. Del Rio catches Rey with a back kick, but Rey flips through to blast Del Rio in the head for two. Rey tries his bulldog, but Del Rio throws it aside and gets the armbreaker. He punches away on Rey and plays to the crowd. Del Rio works the arm with a Fujiwara armbar. Rey fights out, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Del Rio for two. Del Rio wraps the arm around the ropes to weaken it, then begs Rey to stand up and fight him. Hammer Throw by Del Rio, but a charge is ducked and Del Rio flies all the way out of the ring. Del Rio rolls back in, but a blind charge misses and Rey tries a headscissors, eventually succeeding. 619 follows as the crowd finally wakes up. Del Rio cuts off the big splash and Rey is hung up, as Del Rio superkicks him in the face. He calls for the armbreaker and gets it, getting the tapout at 4:57. Is it just me, or has Del Rio started phoning it in? He was really good a year ago against Big Show, but now? Forget it. *1/4 Post-match, Del Rio says it was a message to Batista. He promises to do the same thing next week if Batista shows up, and he will personally throw Batista out. Now, they'll stop talking about Batista and start talking about him. Crowd wasn't into any of this.
Tonight, the steel cage re-start.
Now, wrestlers are talking about the WWE Network as we get highlights of the press conference.
Backstage, Kane is on the phone when CM Punk asks for the Authority. But they're not here. How convenient, says Punk, who says that the Shield are hired assassins and the Outlaws are his former pals. He believes he's being targeted. HHH doesn't have to hide, but Kane says HHH has no idea what Punk is talking about. Kane lets Punk know he's being entered into the Royal Rumble. Punk is ready and has no problem with being in it, but he DOES have a problem with Kane.
The Usos cut a bilingual promo about tonight, saying the Wyatts need to be ready to step aside.
Meanwhile, on SmackDown, the Outlaws will face the Rhodes Brothers in a non-title match.
We look back at Kofi's huge upset and Orton reacting by beating up Cena's dad. John Sr has no heart issues, but he may have suffered a broken orbital bone.
Main event, cage match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. Bryan's not in the “We're here” opening right now, which is interesting. This match can be won by pinfall, submission, or escape... but it better be over the top, because the door is locked and Kane is guarding the door with the only key. With all the pieces in place, SOMETHING has to happen here. I just don't know what. It's tornado tag rules, and it's a massive brawl to start. Bryan gets knocked over and Bray is double-teamed. Bryan trips someone in the corner as Bray blocks a turnbuckle shot. The Family seems to have an edge, as one Uso eats cage on a backdrop. Bryan grinds one opponent's face as Bray chokes down the other with his boot. Bryan dropkicks the back of one Uso – not even the announcers know which is which right now – as the Family is dominant. Bray catapults his Uso into the cage. Bryan lets his Uso get away as he reaches the top of the cage, but Bryan follows and they fight on the top. Bray follows them up, catching up with the Uso and trying to drag him in by the hair, succeeding and bringing him back in. The other Uso knocks Bray down, but Bryan's still up top and is being chased. Bryan gets Russian legswept off the ropes and all four men are down as we go to break. We return with Bray choking one Uso on the ropes as the other is being uppercutted by Bryan. Bray eats boot on a blind charge. Bray and his Uso are climbing the ropes, but Bray is knocked away and one Uso follows him down with a corkscrew moonsault for two. Oh, right, pinfall and submission are in play. Bryan catches the other Uso trying to escape. Uso is in the Tree of Woe, and Bryan destroys him to YES chants. Bryan tries to leave, but he's caught by the other Uso. Both Usos catch Bryan and give him a double back superplex. No one's in any condition to cover, though, as the crowd says it is Awesome. An Uso gets two, eventually. Bray punches both men and throws one into the cage. He catches a superkick by the other and punches him down, getting Sister Abigail's Kiss... only not, because the other Uso superkicks him. Everyone's down again. Huge Uso chant starting as the twins try to leave together. Harper and Rowan try to stop them, which allows Bryan and Bray to catch them from behind. Everyone's on the cage now, and Bryan gets headbutted down, causing Bray to crotch himself. Both Usos are now ready, and one splats onto Rowan. Harper attacks him, allowing the other to drop at 10:50. ***1/4 Harper and Rowan brawl with the Usos on the outside. But this leaves Bryan and Bray, alone, in the cage, and Kane has the only key. Bray is laughing at his own defeat. Crowd chants for Bryan, who has just what he says he wanted. Bryan stares daggers at Bray, who tries to whisper to Bryan. Bryan nods at what he hears, and Bray asks for prostration. Bryan delivers it, much to the crowd's chagrin, and Bray adds Sister Abigail... but Bryan refuses! And now, it's clear everyone has what they want. Bray likes Bryan's feisty behavior. Bryan stares into the crowd, who wants it to happen. Bray tries to explain, but the crowd is LOUD for Bryan. There's no Kane, no Family, no one but Bray and Bryan. Bray begs Bryan to bring it. Moment of truth is coming... and Bray stands up, certain he has control over Bryan. Bray attacks Bryan... who steps aside and HERE WE GO! Bryan UNLOADS on Bray! Repeated corner-to-corner dropkicks as the crowd LOSES IT. YES KICKS follow, including the exclamation point! And the last thing left to do is a formality: Bryan sheds his Wyatt armor and goes back to being himself. It was all a ruse! He stomps away on Bray as Harper and Rowan DESPERATELY try to get in. Bryan throws Bray into Harper, then Rowan, to knock them to the floor. The whole crowd is SCREAMING yes as Bryan leads them on, and it's the Power Kneesmash! Bryan then goes to the top of the cage and leads the entire arena, and half of Rhode Island, in YES chants. Valkyrie rides again as the crowd is going ballistic! YES! YES! YES!
...they got me.
I promised I'd say that. And now I will. THEY GOT ME. Hook, line, and sinker, I was WORKED. Congratulations, WWE. You had me.
I keep thinking I'm smarter than this. We all did. The Internet was furious because it looked like Bryan was being taken out of the picture. But tonight, he outsmarted ALL the Wyatts and got what he wanted... and so did we.
I'm not even going to suggest this may have been an aborted story, but even if it was? So what. They fooled me. They sucked us in, they got us talking, and they worked us all. What do you want me to say here?
I got worked. Congratulations, Vince. As the chants would say, You Still Got It.
MATCH TIME: 74:26 over nine matches
BEST MATCH: Wyatts/Usos II
WORST MATCH: the Divas
NIGHT MVP: I'm giving it to both Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan... with some to Vince and Stephanie in Creative.
FINAL SCORE: 7. The first two hours were pedestrian, but NO ONE will be talking about ANY of that. The main event cage match stole the show. And now, Daniel Bryan is back on the short list for Royal Rumble winner. It was a very rare moment that even the most jaded of us was worked, and marked out at the result. Thanks, guys. I'm ready.
Now, does anyone know how to pre-order the WWE Network?
EDIT: Actually, 7 might not be high enough. In light of three ***+ matches, the big win by Kofi, the angle advancement with Orton/Cena, and a brilliant swerve by Vince, this gets bumped up to 8.5.
EDIT: Actually, 7 might not be high enough. In light of three ***+ matches, the big win by Kofi, the angle advancement with Orton/Cena, and a brilliant swerve by Vince, this gets bumped up to 8.5.