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The PG Era Rant: Raw, 1/20/14

When last we left our heroes, their paths were crossing left and right. Authorities were going both for and against the popular opinion, while giants of men were ready to face off... some for the first time in ages. So who's going to step forward? Thirty men are about to enter with a shot at glory and history; who is the one?

The live look-in reminds us that Batista is making his grand return tonight, and that the Authority will be back to open the show.

The PG Era Rant for Raw, January 20, 2014.

Live from Dayton, Ohio.

Your hosts are Bradshaw, Lawler, and Cole.

We open with a tribute to Martin Luther King and black history. Keep the Dream alive.

The Authority are in the ring to begin. Stephanie pumps up the crowd, and HHH plays up the Rumble on Sunday. Thirty men have a chance to main event WrestleMania. And they're not wasting any time, as HHH welcomes back Batista... but before he can finish the intro, Randy Orton comes out, storming his way to the ring. Did they forget to remind HHH and Stephanie they were heels? Orton cuts to the chase: who do you think you are? Stephanie echoes the question back at Orton. This Sunday is the Rumble, and the WWE Network is coming up. All eyes are on the company. And last week, all eyes saw Orton beat up a helpless old man. We review the loss to Kofi and the attack. Cena Sr. has a broken orbital bone and dislocated jaw. Stephanie continues chewing Orton out and calls his actions unbecoming of a champion. This is a new era, and you can't do what you did in the past. And if you can't live with it, they'll just take your title and fire you. Orton turns the tables and blames the Authority. It's all because of the rematch. And HHH's reward for being the Face of the Company is to bring back Brock Lesnar and Batista? Really? Some faith they show. Especially since both men have hidden ambitions. There wouldn't be a Network without him. Crowd demands Batista. So, how is Randy Orton supposed to react to being disrespected? Not that it matters, because he has no regrets. HHH demands that Orton stop yelling. Orton is the champion – i.e., the Authority made him champion – because the Authority believes in him and that he's the total package. They know Orton will survive any obstacle in a way becoming of a champion. But Orton doesn't believe it in himself, so now he's making bad decisions – you know, like losing to Kofi. To be fair, losing to Kofi isn't a bad thing, but why the hell didn't Orton make that right instead of hiding his shortcomings by punching an old man? Yes, John Cena and Brock Lesnar and Batista are looking at him to take his title, but he's good enough to rise up and get past them. Orton needs to fix what is broken, starting tonight when he gets a rematch with Kofi Kingston. Orton will make it right. He then shows the wrestlers' entrance, and he says that's where John Cena will enter. That camera is there so that Orton knows when Cena will enter so that he can make it right. And Orton will do them alone. And then, Batista's music hits! And here he is. Machine gun pyro and all. Including the spotlight entrance. Stephanie is applauding Batista. Heck, HHH is practically leading the chants. Guys, you're the VILLAINS. Batista kisses the mat, then hugs the Authority. HHH and Stephanie leave, but Orton stays behind. Orton offers a handshake to Batista, but Batista won't return it. Batista says he hears Orton has some questions about his comeback. Batista simply says he's back for the title. Some things never change. He doesn't care who he has to beat, because he's back for the Rumble, back to win, and back to be the Champ and headline WrestleMania. “So DEAL WITH IT!” Batista walks off as Orton is left sulking in the ring.

Later tonight, Big Show and Brock Lesnar will face off. And John Cena is fashionably late. But first, Big E Langston teams with the Brothers Rhodes to face the Shield, NEXT.


Okay – I'm an Orton fan. Maybe the last one left. And to see him go from all-powerful heel who can destroy anyone he feels like to this whipped toy is disgusting. Why should I, as a fan, care if Orton loses or wins now? Why should I give him any effort? He's nothing but a puppet of others with no backbone of his own. Remember the Orton of 2009 who became the hottest heel in the industry? The one who would have cold-cocked HHH during Batista's entrance and destroyed the returning hero to send a statement? The one who attacks a fan – even if it is John Cena's dad – because he's uncontrollable AND talented? Whatever happened to that guy?

Oh, and another thing: why are HHH and Stephanie the good guys all of a sudden? Are we supposed to forget that they took our hero and shoveled dirt on him every chance they got? Just because Daniel Bryan got sidetracked by the Wyatts doesn't change a thing – for three months, HHH personally buried (on camera, mind you – this isn't a smark comment) everything Bryan stood for. The end result right now, in kayfabe, is that Bryan is, in fact, not a main eventer, so HHH is right. He ruined the fans' choice, and now he not only gets no consequence, he acts like a face by treating Orton poorly. Who wins with this sequence, besides a man who never wrestles?

Rant over.

John Cena is still not here.

MATCH ONE: Big E Langston & Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield.

First, we learn that the Brothers Rhodes will face the New Age Outlaws on the Royal Rumble kickoff for the Tag Team titles.

Ambrose and Langston start, and Ambrose gets a flurry with a headbutt before getting tackled down. Rollins in, but he runs into a press slam from Langston. Goldust in next, and he works Rollins's arm only to get caught in a neutral corner. Goldust recovers with a back body drop and kneeling uppercut. Inverted atomic drop and running kick follow, getting two. Cody in, and they work the arm before Cody gets a stalling front suplex for two. Cody works the arm on Rollins as the announcers say what I did: Orton's in a bad way. Goldust back in, and a running elbowdrop gets one. Back to Cody, who continues the arm work. Rollins recovers with a kick to the head and works him over in the corner, but Cody with the Brisco rollup for two. Sliding punch follows, and the Holly low kick, but the Disaster Kick misses as Rollins bails. So Cody gets a springboard plancha instead. The two sides face off as we go to break. We return with Reigns working a headlock on Cody, who fights out of it only to get knocked over. Ambrose in, then Rollins, and it's dropkicks from everyone for two. Rollins kicks away on Cody and works him over in the corner, but a Stinger Splash airballs. Reigns cuts off the hot tag and knocks Goldust away. Cody flips out of a back suplex and nails Reigns with the Disaster Kick. Ambrose tags in, but Langston gets the hot tag and goes clothesline happy, adding a Greco-Roman throw and clothesline to Reigns. Langston floors Ambrose again, getting the Big Ending set up, but Rollins breaks it up. Goldust dives onto Rollins, but a blind charge by Langston eats Ambrose's boot. Ambrose dives into an overhead suplex, and the Ultimate Splash follows, Reigns saves. Cody's Disaster Kick is intercepted by the Superman Punch, and Goldust gets speared by Reigns. But Langston floors Reigns, only for Ambrose to get the knee to the gut. Ambrose with a leaping Rocker Dropper kick for the pin at 10:40. **3/4 Big win for Rollins. They make a big deal out of the Disaster Kick / Superman Punch collision.

We now look back on the ending to last week's Raw, as Daniel Bryan gets just what he always wanted – Bray Wyatt all alone – and takes advantage. The best part about this is that Daniel Bryan didn't attack when Bray TOLD him to, instead waiting for the opportunity HE wanted. Up next, Daniel Bryan will talk about his character arc.

WWE Network debuts February 24.

Everyone's chanting YES, so Daniel Bryan must be in the house. The crowd loves this guy. “And some people say I shouldn't be the Face of this company.” Nice. He says he's been getting questions about whether he had a plan when he joined the Wyatts. Crowd thinks he does. To take down a guy with a Messiah Complex, you have to take out his mind games. To do that, he had to do things he wasn't proud of. He couldn't say what he was doing. He took punishment. And he had to stand next to Bray Wyatt, a man he hates. But it was all worth it to get That One Moment. Because last week was what he wanted: Bray Wyatt one on one. Follow the Buzzards? Daniel Bryan doesn't follow anyone. Last week, he WAS the buzzard chewing on Bray's carcass. This is for Bray: you want to talk fate? Daniel Bryan exposed him. Bryan was told right before he came out, Harper and Rowan would be in the Rumble Match. Nothing wrong with that, because it leaves Bray and Bryan to go one-on-one! YES! But before we get too excited, the Wyatts turn out the lights and talk to Bryan. “A man who does die for something is not fit to live.” Treason is a sin of the highest order. Bray was not exposed, Bryan was. Only a coward would use his freedom to return to the cage. The animals rewarded Daniel Bryan during the beating, but all he was was a traitor. The sheep – his words – look up to him because they chose to kneel. Bray tells Bryan to go home and love his family... and apologize to his mother, because everything that happens to him is his fault. The fans are trying to drown out the promo with a Daniel Bryan chant. That was... so well-timed. Even in accelerated form, this feud is making stars out of both men.

MATCH TWO: Fandango vs. Xavier Woods

R-Truth will be on commentary.

Fandango attacks Woods to start, but Woods gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and punches away. Headbutt follows, then a discus punch. Running dropkick follows, but Woods misses a bodypress and Fandango gets a suplex. He goes up top, nailing the legdrop for the pin at 1:07. Emma's in the crowd. Lawler thinks her dance is the Hokey Pokey. The most entertaining part of this is R-Truth referring to Cole as “Mike Snow”.

We flash back to SmackDown and CM Punk's career suicide. Cut to backstage, as Kane and Maddox argue over who thought of Batista's return. Stephanie enters and asks Maddox to leave before chewing out Kane over his actions Friday. Bad enough to have Randy Orton attack John Cena's dad, but this? Stephanie knew that Kane in the Authority was a risk, and Kane has to lead by example. Stephanie then cuts Kane off and informs him in no uncertain terms he can't attack a Superstar, no matter what they say. Kane reluctantly understands and apologizes. Stephanie says he needs to go apologize to Punk himself instead. Kane starts to protest, but MCMAHON POWER causes him to give in. This whole thing, combined with the stuff with Orton earlier, basically demands a mutiny.

More about Martin Luther King. This is a reminder that WCW had more black champions than the WWE has had.

Kane heads to the ring, swallowing his pride as he does. We recap last Friday's action before Kane talks to Punk and asks him to come out. Punk emerges (“Well, apparently it's Apology Time!”) and smirkingly walks to the ring. Punk has a microphone in Pipebomb position, ready to attack, but Kane quietly rattles off an apology, which the Universe goes WHAT to. Punk wants him to repeat it, claiming he didn't hear it. Kane repeats it (“WHAT?”), but the fans want him to say it One More Time. Punk instead attacks Kane, who was ordered not to attack back as you recall. Brad Maddox orders Kane not to return fire, and allows Punk to have a fight... but not against Kane. Instead, it's against one of the Outlaws. By virtue of Rock-Paper-Scissors, it looks like Billy Gunn will go at it.

MATCH THREE: CM Punk v. Billy Gunn

Punk attacks at the sound of the bell, driving his shoulder into Gunn's gut. He hammer throws Gunn across the ring, and Gunn bails. Punk follows to the outside and throws Gunn into the apron before looking at Road Dogg. Gunn takes advantage and fights back, throwing Punk into the apron as we go to break. We return with Punk chopping Gunn and getting a sleeper, but Gunn suplexes out of it. He gets one, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Cole notes how convenient their tag team title match is, but JBL yells at him. Punk fights out of the chinlock, but runs into a dropkick. It eventually gets two. Gunn removes the shirt and throws it, but Punk gets a roundhouse to send Gunn out of the ring. Punk seems to wind up, but instead he takes out Dogg on the other side of the ring. Then he barks at JBL. Back in, a leg lariat follows as Punk floors Gunn repeatedly, leading to the inside-out neckbreaker for two. Punk mocks DX before getting the running knee and attacking Dogg again, but Gunn with the tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Dear me, Gunn looks old. Blind charge misses as Gunn hits the post and Punk goes up, but Dogg pulls Gunn out of the way. Punk dives onto Dogg just to prove a point, and Gunn clotheslines Punk on the outside. Gunn goes for the Rocker Dropper but misses, and Punk gets GTS for the pin at 8:57. ** But before we can go anywhere, Brad Maddox re-emerges... and Kane tells him to leave. He tells Punk that he will prove he's the best in the world because Punk will be handed the #1 spot in the Rumble. Cole calls it pure spite, but hey, maybe Punk shouldn't have attacked Kane, who was incapable of fighting back, remember? The same thing Orton got in trouble for?

Hey, someone's here! It's... oh, it's Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman! He'll face off with Big Show later.

It's time to look at the statistics of the Royal Rumble. I love these – it makes the match seem important. 208,993 pounds of humanity has taken part. 25 different nations have taken part. 39 Hall of Famers have been in the match. Austin has won 3 times – a record. 9 Superstars have won on the first try. Brock at age 25 is the youngest ever to win. 1 and 30 have won the same number of times. Thus far, the odds are in favor of the Rumble winner for winning the Championship.

The announcers give an appreciation of Mae Young, as we get a tribute video narrated by Stephanie.

MATCH FOUR: Rey Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio.

Yes, again. This is being played as the rubber match, as we see Del Rio wasn't too thrilled at losing on Friday. Rey's arm is bandaged from Friday.

ADR doesn't want to wait for the bell, but gets shooed back to his corner. ADR with a headlock, and a takedown, but Rey reverses and it's a standoff. Round two starts much the same, but ADR adds a shoulderblock before kicking Rey and covering for one. Rey with a stomp to avoid a monkey flip, and a soccer kick gets two. ADR with a Hotshot and he stomps away, but he does his through-the-ropes bump missing a dropkick. Rey follows with a quebrada. Back in, Rey kicks away in the corner, and a baseball slide splits the uprights. Rey with a ten punch countalong, but ADR reverses a complicated series of events into a guillotine stomp. ADR keeps up the attack, hanging Rey from the apron and kicking him in the head. Back in, ADR gets an axhandle off the top for two. We go to the chinlock, but Rey fights out only to run into tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. ADR sets Rey up and delivers his step-up kick to Rey's back before choking away. Rey fights back, but ADR sends him out on the rock-skipper bump as we go to break. We return with ADR sending Rey into the steps, and back in, he gets two. We go to the top as ADR tries to rip the mask off, but Rey keeps it on while falling into the Tree of Woe. ADR punches away on Rey, who escapes and goes outside to re-adjust the mask and regroup. ADR catches him and wraps him around the ringpost in a bow-and-arrow style hold. Back in, it gets... nothing, because Rey's shoulder wasn't down. Rey fires back, but ADR throws him into the steel post on a blind charge. ADR puts Rey on the top and kicks away at a hung-up Mysterio, but his charge misses and ADR hits the post too. Rey climbs the rest of the way up, getting a body attack on ADR for the double KO. Rey spins ADR around on a tilt-a-whirl, stopping an ADR charge and going back up. Seated senton connects, but Rey rolls through a sunset flip and kicks ADR for two. Rey tries something, but counters a counter to throw ADR into the ropes. ADR catches the 619 and catapults Rey into the corner, getting the low superkick for two. ADR is upset, but calls for the armbar. Rey escapes, and the electric chair turns into a 619. Rey goes up top, and the falling splash... gets two as ADR grabs the ropes. Now Rey is upset. He goes back up, favoring the arm, but his attempt at whatever ends in a faceplant by ADR. Cross armbreaker ends it at 14:46. Started disjointed and slow but got better as it went on. **1/4 But ADR doesn't get much time to celebrate because Batista is out to confront him. The glasses come off as the two yell at each other. Or, rather, ADR yells and Batista stares at him. ADR goes to attack, but just runs into a spinebuster. Vintage! (Take a drink) And the Batista Bomb follows. Some things never change. And one of them is that the returning superstar gets fed someone when he returns.

Meanwhile, Big Show is in the building. He and Brock Lesnar will face off next.

Another quote from Martin Luther King. Would now be an inappropriate time to mention Vince McMahon dropped the N word on Pay-Per-View right in front of Booker T and never suffered consequences?

Big Show is headed to the ring as we see him toss Brock around for the hundredth time. Show calls Sunday the biggest fight of his life, then imitates Paul Heyman. Badly. Despite what the announcers say. Brock is a beast and the WWE's most dangerous man. But Show doesn't like him. So since Heyman promised that Brock Lesnar would be here today, Show calls him out. Instead, Heyman emerges alone. Heyman threatens to talk, but just stares at Show and looks to the back... as Brock emerges. Brock and Heyman head to the ring. As they approach ringside, though, they laugh and walk away, with Show not being worth their time. As they head to the back, Show demands a microphone and calls him out AGAIN, this time more forcefully. Brock comes back out, smirk on his face, and saying “Oh, you want me?” He pauses at the same spot he left last time, this time taking a step or two forward. He gets to the steps, climbs them, and enters the ring. The two are face-to-face now, talking to each other, and Brock spits on Show. Brock charges, but Show's too big to take down and Show takes him down. Show gets caught in the corner and Brock throws shoulder shots, but Show grabs and throws Brock over the top. Brock rips up the announcers' table in disgust before getting a chair and... beating up the table some more. He takes that chair and slides in, but Show steps on the chair and steals it. Brock knows better than to enter now, and Heyman talks him down. You think Heyman regrets not having Ryback and Curtis Axel now? Brock and Show keep yelling at each other as Brock walks back up the aisle to thunderous boos. They promise to take each other out on Sunday. Brock needs to win.

Coming up later: Randy Orton rematches with Kofi Kingston. Meanwhile, John Cena still hasn't shown up.

MATCH FIVE: AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka v. The Funkadactyls

Tamina has cake icing on her jacket because Wade Barrett crashed AJ's Longest Reigning Champion celebration. His bad news: Everyone hates her. AJ responded by breaking down in tears, screeching, and throwing her cake at Josh Mathews. And missing. You'd see that if you had the WWE App. Or if you caught the recap. JBL is obsessed with funk being on a roll.

Cameron starts off with Tamina, who smashes her around. She stomps Cameron down and gets a slam. She rips her hair down and tags in AJ, who gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. She goes TO THE CHINLOCK, then throws Cameron down by the hair. Tamina tags herself in and punches away at Cameron, adding knee smashes. Blind charge hits boot, hot tag Naomi. Flip clothesline and rana to Tamina. Back elbow off the second rope follows, and another dropkick, but she runs into a big boot. AJ tags in, because of course she does, and skips around Naomi... but skips right into a small package for the pin at 2:28. Naomi, I'm afraid I have some bad news: you're jobbing at the Rumble! 3/4* AJ throws another scream tantrum.

We look back at the beginning of the show.

Up next, it's the Usos against Harper and Rowan.

This just in: the WWE Network is awesome.

Another look at the numbers of the Royal Rumble. 753 people have been eliminated in its history. Shawn Michaels holds the record for most eliminations at 39. Kane is second at 37 over a record 14 Rumbles, including a record 11 in one match. 455,107 is the combined attendance of all Rumble shows. The longest run is Rey Mysterio 2006 at 62:12. The shortest is Warlord from 1989 at 2 seconds... until Santino topped it in 2009 at 1 second.

In addition to the Rumble match: Big Show will face Brock Lesnar; Daniel Bryan goes against Bray Wyatt; and John Cena gets his rematch against Randy Orton. I assume AJ/Naomi will be added.

The announcers introduce another MLK video package. Because Vince believes that people are more than their race and doesn't have to resort to stereotypes, right?

MATCH SIX: The Usos v. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

But before we get there, let's have an ad break during intros for the Usos. And I swear, this is not a commentary on the Usos being a racial stereotype. Also, we find out that on SmackDown, it'll be Rey/Show against Swagger/Cesaro. Honestly, that match could be at Mania. Not even joking.

No entrance for the Wyatts – they're just at ringside. Harper starts for the Family against Jimmy. Harper pounds away and uppercuts Jimmy repeatedly. Rowan tags in and removes the mask, adding forearm smashes. Rowan rough-houses Jimmy down and stomps away. Rowan dumps Jimmy and tags Harper, who drops to the floor and chops... the post. Jimmy fires back on the outside with a superkick and tags in Jey, who dives off the apron onto Harper. He punches away on Harper and throws him into the apron. Back in, Jey kicks Harper and staggers him. A slugfest breaks out, but Jimmy tags himself in and Jey sends a drop toe hold into Jimmy's uppercut. Jimmy with a bodypress, Rowan saves. Rowan throws Jimmy and claws Jey into the ropes. Harper boots Jimmy and covers for two. Harper picks Jimmy up and chops him, tagging in Rowan. Rowan drops a knee and slams Jimmy. He goes for the SGT SLAUGHTER DOUBLE NOOGIE OF DEATH on Jimmy, who fights his way to his feet only to get thrown down. Back to the big squeeze. Rowan switches to a neck crank. He fights down Jimmy, adding a forearm to cut off a rally, and boot chokes him while tagging Harper in. Elbowdrop gets two. Blind charge hits the foot, and Jimmy goes up, but Harper throws him into the barricade from the ring as we go to break. We return with both men going for a tag, but Rowan with a Northern lariat to Jimmy to stop everything. Harper back in, and he goes to the Gator Roll into a headlock. Jimmy fights out, but Harper crushes Jimmy in the ropes. A guillotine follows as Bray has a microphone. Harper goes back to a headlock as Bray claims Bryan will be facing this punishment at the Rumble. Bryan will enter a meat grinder, because the Family are the Reapers and Bryan will be in Hell. Meanwhile, the headlock continues, but Jimmy tries to fight both off, getting a twisting senton on Harper after knocking Rowan down. Hot tag to Jey, who flattens both men in turn and gets a middle kick and kneeling uppercut. Samoan Drop follows to Harper, and then the Rikishi Hip Check. Another superkick to Rowan for good measure, and the Usos dive onto both men on opposite sides of the ring... except Jey is nailed by Harper before takeoff. Harper runs into a kick and Jey goes up, leaping over Harper only to be caught with a Michinoku Driver for two. Daniel Bryan emerges and smashes Bray six ways from Sunday, adding a kick to Rowan to good measure as the ref sees nothing. Harper tries to intervene, but Jey catches him with a rollup for the pin at 12:32. I demand a three-on-three Chamber match! ***1/4 This gets extra love for the ending. I don't just mean the hot finish and the crowd chanting along; Bray's creepy smile just adds to it.

Anyone seen John Cena yet? Man, I wish my job allowed me to show up at my line of work 15 minutes before closing time.

Our main event is Randy Orton against Kofi Kingston.

The Rumble kickoff match is a Tag Team title match: Cody and Dustin against the Outlaws. In addition, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Jim Duggan will discuss the show as the pre-show panel.

MATCH SEVEN: Kofi Kingston v. Randy Orton

As a reminder, this is a rematch from last week. And hey, Vince has a black man main event the Raw on Martin Luther King day. Progress! Or something.

Orton goes nuts on Kofi to start, working him over in the corner and getting a back elbow for one. He looks to the back for Cena, which allows Kofi a takedown and right hands. Orton bails out, and Kofi follows him to keep the fight up on the outside. Into the barricade, and back in... and Orton bails again. This time, Kofi runs into a back kick, then Orton bounces Kofi's head off the table. Repeatedly. Back in, Orton gets one. Orton looks to the back AGAIN, then stomps away on Kofi's legs. Kofi shocks Orton and kicks away, landing his own Superman Punch in the corner for two. Orton throws Kofi into the middle corner as a counter. He taunts Cena in absentia before stalking Kofi... who kicks away with the advantage. Orton cuts him off with a knee, then gets a suplex. Orton calls out Cena, then picks Kofi up and gets caught with a backslide for one. He clotheslines Kofi for two. Orton keeps looking to the back in case you didn't get the inherent story here. Orton goes for the Draping DDT, but Kofi counters to the SOS (just like last week) for two. Orton steamrolls Kofi in response and works him over in the corner. Oh, hey, Cena finally showed up! Orton sees it and waits for Cena, which allows Kofi time to recover with a single-leg try. And now Cena appears, and with Kofi's help, Orton is trapped. Cena goes nuts on Orton and throws him into the post, then the crowd. (Yes, Kofi was DQ'd at 5:09, but he doesn't care. In fact, he's cheering Cena on.) Cena pursues him into the mezzanine and throws him into a handrail. Orton keeps trying to escape, but Cena follows and beats him up some more. Cena loads him up, but the AA on the concrete is avoided as Orton escapes. Cena is in Terminator-like pursuit up the stairs, keeping the fight up. Cena keeps beating the tar out of Orton, but Orton lands an elbow and races to a luxury box. Orton throws a fan into Cena to get separation and heads for the exit. Cena keeps following him as Orton finds his getaway car and races off. Cena looks around in frustration, having allowed Orton to get away. Commentary believes Orton just jumped in the nearest van. Cena heads back to the arena entrance and high-fives the crowd as his music plays. Call the whole thing **1/2, including the post-match beatdown since that was clearly meant to be a part of the story.


I'm a little bit disappointed there wasn't more focus on the Rumble Match itself. That's always been the draw of the January show, but there was no “I'm winning it; no I'M winning it” segment. I was especially looking forward to the massive brawl that always highlights this show. Instead, the focus was more scattershot. Randy Orton goes in with no momentum, and it appears that CM Punk is the Rumble favorite because he's the only one who got any Rumble story. Maybe that's okay, I don't know.

Sorry, I'm a little distracted at this point. The show after Raw was Friday Night Tykes. Youth football... I hate this idea. You shouldn't begin football until ninth grade. And when I have kids... okay, IF I have kids... they won't do football until then. So let's just move on to the next segment.


Time to look on the Rumble and see what I'd do. Because it's my column.

  1. Cody and Goldust defeat the Outlaws when Dustin pins Dogg.
  2. Daniel Bryan beats Bray Wyatt by DQ when Harper and Rowan intervene. The Usos make the save.
  3. Brock Lesnar pins Big Show.
  4. Randy Orton defeats John Cena to retain the WWE Title.
  5. AJ retains the Divas' Title after beating Naomi when Cameron's attempt to counter Tamina's interference goes awry. This is of course assuming that Vince watches Total Divas and wants to make an angle out of it.
  6. And in the Royal Rumble... know what? I'll be back Saturday with my in-depth booking of the Royal Rumble 2014. How's that for a teaser?


MATCH TIME: 55:39 in seven matches
BEST MATCH: Usos/Family
WORST MATCH: Fandango/Woods

FINAL RATING: Meh, 4/10.

I'll be back Saturday with my booking of the 2014 Royal Rumble. I fully expect you all to eviscerate it or tell me I'm an idiot. In the meantime, Scott and Tommy will keep the new material train rolling. Let's get ready to Rumble!


  1. Wtf was that ending to Raw? Man, they took all the heat from last week and did....nothing?

    Odd go-home show that made me less interested in ordering the show. I was on the fence last week with the Bryan stuff that got me pumped, but I'm not wasting money on this show at this point I think.

  2. You get it as part of the network for free in a month anyway. I can wait....

  3. If Bryan is facing Bray one-on-one, does this mean he's not in the Rumble? Cause.... that would be stupid.

  4. The six man was good, Bryan is OK, bad news Barrett was a highlight and the lesnar vs big show segment was great. They tried for something crazy at the end, it came up short but whatever. And Batista vs Del Rio will be a fun program.

  5. "Okay – I'm an Orton fan. Maybe the last one left. And to see him go from all-powerful heel who can destroy anyone he feels like to this whipped toy is disgusting. Why should I, as a fan, care if Orton loses or wins now? Why should I give him any effort? He's nothing but a puppet of others with no backbone of his own. Remember the Orton of 2009 who became the hottest heel in the industry? The one who would have cold-cocked HHH during Batista's entrance and destroyed the returning hero to send a statement? The one who attacks a fan – even if it is John Cena's dad – because he's uncontrollable AND talented? Whatever happened to that guy?"

    You're not the last one left. I'm an Orton fan too. After losing interest in wrestling for awhile, it was actually the psychotic heel Orton character that got me watching again. It was the character who responded to losing the title to Batista by interrupting his victory promo, walking to the ring with a look in his eyes like he was going to maim somebody, breaking his fucking arm, and then taking the title back in a 4-way match the next week.

    Yes, I realize there was behind the scenes context for that booking decision (Batista was throwing a tantrum, then he got injured), but the fact was, people bought that sequence of events completely because of what Orton have built himself up to be through taking out the Mcmahons and HHH with methodical efficiency and vindictive rage.

    There were so many ways for them to handle this Orton/Authority angle if they just had a hint of foresight and the common sense to establish and maintain a hint of character consistency.

  6. What's the full card anyways?

  7. How do you figure WCW had more black champions than WWF/E? WCW had Ron Simmons and Booker T. WWF/E had Booker T, Rock, Mark Henry. They also had Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson as tag champions in the late 70s/early 80s.

  8. This is the show that officially put WWF back on the map. it's up there with Backlash 2000, WrestleMania x7, and SummerSlam '98 later that year in terms of "home run" shows that accomplish everything needed and blows off all of the storylines properly.

  9. You forgot to mention how the African American wrestlers were 1-3 tonight, on MLK Day!

  10. Really gonna crucify Vince for saying "My nigga" as a joke?

  11. I think I put Bray over Bryan at Rumble. He needs it more and it wouldn't hurt Bryan.

  12. This show was in Dayton Ohio? Sheeeiiittt, no wonder why it sucked.

  13. Why would it mean that?

  14. Honestly, it was the way Bryan's promo was worded.

    "Harper and Rowan are in the Rumble, so that leaves you and me, one on one." As if Bryan had to choose between the Rumble and getting Bray.

  15. There are only 18 men announced so far for the Rumble match.

    One way they could include Bryan:

    Have Bray tell Haper & Rowan that he wants to have himself and Bryan take their places in the match

  16. Is there a list of who's in somewhere?, most likely...

  17. Stole this from

    Batista, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Big E Langston, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, C.M. Punk, Fandango, Rey Mysterio, Wade Barrett, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

  18. Home of Rick Scaia.

  19. 1-4, actually. Kingston lost via DQ.

  20. Gotta think Santino, Khali, a couple of 3MB (if not all), Brodus/Tensai, NXT guy, Usos, and the usual "surprises" would round out that field pretty nicely.

  21. Bryan could be in... but I could see him not getting in either, same as Bray/Show/Brock/(other singles matches?)

  22. Langston (with Rhodes), Woods, Kingston all lose.

    Funkadactyls win.

    Who's missing?

  23. "Attitude Era brawling by the DX band and by the timekeeper’s table also helps mask some of Michaels limitations."

    Honestly, the Attitude Era brawling into the crowd and around the sets gets a bad rap IMO. There's an element of spontaneity and raw energy that comes across when the wrestlers to this, even over the television.

    More over, I still believe that many of the matches in the Attitude Era - while not the most technically superb, came off looking more realistic to the average viewer, because they resembled actual fights more so than competitive MMA or wrestling matches.

    Now you can argue 'why should a match between two trained athletes resemble a brawl between two jacked-up amateurs in a back alley', but for the wider, mainstream, pre-UFC audience, I think it was more inherently believable to see guys simply try to hit each other as often and as hard as possible (with some basic power moves - power-bombs, spine-busters, neck-breakers, DDTs, etc, thrown in), than it was to see them roll around on the mat for awhile.

  24. Fair enough, but more importantly: how do you book Bryan for Elimination Chamber and Mania?

  25. I guess that's it. 1-3.

  26. You had me thinking for a second..

  27. Not sure, but it wouldn't be unprecedented to have a guy in an earlier match and then in the Rumble itself. Hell, guys have had world title shots earlier in the show and then followed up later with a Rumble appearance.

  28. Depends on what happens with Bryan winning the Rumble match.

  29. I feel so robbed we didn't get Zeb on Raw for MLK day.

  30. thought the same thing.

  31. Your_Favourite_LoserJanuary 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    mlk was a proud us citizen. zeb would have no problem with him

  32. Zeb is a hardcore racist.

  33. The Austin era has begun. So true JR. It may be the most important show in their history or at least top 3.


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