Tonight’s special “Old School” edition of Raw took place in Baltimore, Maryland and featured a total of eight matches, including the first ever meeting between CM Punk and the Shield’s Roman Reigns, which was the main event. A handful of WWE Legends and Hall of Famers were showcased on tonight’s episode, including Roddy Piper, who hosted an outstanding Pipers Pit segment with The Shield. So without further ado, here are the overall highs and lows from Monday Night Raw:
Best Match: My only real gripe with tonight’s episode of Raw was that there were too many squash matches. However, there were two above average, well, great matches that took place and that was the tag team match between the Rhodes Brothers and the Real Americans and the main event between CM Punk and Roman Reigns. After a hard-hitting back and forth contest, Reigns hit the Spear on Punk after a distraction from Dean Ambrose and picked up the unexpected and monumental victory. After the match was over, a special WWE Legend made his return to the WWE (more under holy sh** moment of the night category.
Crowd Chants of the Night: During the opening match, the crowd chanted “NO” “NO” “NO” when Daniel Bryan debuted his new Wyatt Family look. During Pipers Pit, the crowd chanted “Roddy”, “CM Punk” and “YES”. During Real Americans vs. Rhodes Brothers the crowd chanted “we the people”. During Too Cool vs. 3MB, the crowd chanted “you still got it”. During the main event between CM Punk and Roman Reigns the crowd chanted “this is awesome”.
Breakout Star of the Night: Rikishi, Scotty Too Hotty and Grandmasta Sexy were tonight’s breakout stars of the night. It’s been 13 years since the trio has teamed up and they put on an entertaining performance against 3MB. This is the reason why I love these Old School Raw’s, the nostalgia. These three weren’t the most over cats during the Attitude Era, but they were over tonight and worked a decent 7-8 minute match. It was great to see all of these legends on tonight’s show.
Fan Sign of the Night: This is the part of the review where readers can comment on what their favorite crowd signs were. What were some cool, funny and clever signs that you saw during tonight’s episode of Raw?
Upset of the Night: Without a doubt, Roman Reigns defeating CM Punk was the upset of the night. Reigns hit the Spear on Punk after a distraction from Dean Ambrose and after the match was over, all three members of The Shield embraced in the ring. WWE is playing the victory as a win for The Shield instead of a win for Roman Reigns, but all of that is about to change at the Royal Rumble, I can guarantee that. Is Roman Reigns the breakout star of the Shield and does he deserve the push he is currently getting? Let me know in the comments section below.
Jobber of the Night: Tonight’s jobber of the night was Curtis Axel after losing to the Intercontinental champion Big E. Langston in about four minutes. Axel was a fairly dominant IC champion only a month or so ago and it’s amazing how far he has fallen since losing Paul Heyman as his manager and aligning himself with Ryback. Axel got in two or three offensive moves before being hit with the Big Ending. Sin Cara lost to Alberto Del Rio in about the same amount of time, but the Mexican comic book hero hasn’t been losing week after week, like Axel. Therefore, he deserves the jobber of the night award.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night: Tonight’s holy sh** moment of the night was CM Punk and the New Age Outlaws coming into the ring to save Roddy Piper from The Shield. The crowd was chanting Punk’s name waiting for him to make the save, but they popped huge when they saw Billy Gunn and Road Dogg accompany the Second City Saint. The Pipers Pit segment was phenomenal and the trio of fan-favorites making the save made the segment that much better.
Another holy sh** moment(s) came during the main event between CM Punk and Roman Reigns. Reigns hit the Spear and picked up a massive victory over Punk and just as Raw was about to go off the air, Jake the Snake Roberts came out with Damien (pet snake) and put Damien on Dean Ambrose, who was knocked out after getting hit with the GTS. Jake Roberts has been dealing with a hell of a lot of personal problems over the years and it was a heartwarming moment to see the legend back in a WWE ring healthy again. We can all thank DDP and his “Accountability Crib” for helping Roberts get back to where he should be.
Worst Match: There were multiple short, squash matches, so it’s difficult to pick a worst match of the night award to give out. Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel wasn’t anything special, but had terrific commentary, Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio was too short to really get invested in and Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow showcased the return of Khali’s old manager, Ranjin Singh, and had Sgt. Slaughter as the special guest referee. But, if were talking about the worst match when it comes to actual wrestling, I have to give the award to the Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow. Sandow, bless his soul, did everything he could to get an entertaining match out of Khali, but that’s the equivalent of Khali winning the Boston Marathon…impossible.
Logic Fail of the Night: I didn’t catch anything too illogical on Raw tonight. I wasn’t a big fan of the Wyatt Family losing their first tag team match with Daniel Bryan, but I’m sure that there will be some sort of payoff in the near future amongst Bryan and the Family. Did you catch any logic fail of the night worthy moments? Sound off in the comments section below.
Tweets of the Night:
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) January 7, 2014
— Will Sasso (@WillSasso) January 7, 2014
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) January 7, 2014
— Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) January 7, 2014
— NFL (@nfl) January 7, 2014
Commentary Lines of the Night: “It’s like Babe Ruth walking into Yankee Stadium, Michael” – JBL talking about Ric Flair. “This is surreal” – Michael Cole talking about Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family. “Well it’s simple, you take Ryback and Axel and put them together, moron” – Ryback answering Michael Cole’s question. “I think Brock Lesnar is the only person out here who can say he’s the number one contender and be the number one contender” – JBL.
LOL Moment of the Night: There wasn’t one singular LOL moment that stands out, but Ryback on commentary was a real treat for me and the rest of the WWE Universe, I’m sure. The Big Guy isn’t known for being great on the microphone, but on commentary, he was a revelation. He seemed very comfortable taking shots at Big E. Langston, JBL and Cole and would laugh hysterically at everything he said. Ryback may not be the next big thing, but he can be very entertaining at times.
Noteworthy Moments: Michael Cole telling the WWE Universe that Batista has officially entered the 2014 Royal Rumble was a massive announcement. Is the Animal really going to win the Rumble and headline WrestleMania 30? During the Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar segment, Mark Henry came down to the ring to get revenge, but the Beast Incarnate took matters into his own hands and dislocated the World’s Strongest Man’s elbow. Just as Lesnar and Heyman were about to leave, Big Show came down to the ring to challenge Brock, but the duo retreated. After trying to attack Show from behind, Lesnar was thrown across the ring, and then retreated again. Are we going to see Lesnar and Show eventually square off once again?
Overall Lowlights: Wyatt Family w/ Daniel Bryan vs. The Usos & Rey Mysterio (I was expecting a lot more), Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel, Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara (the match was too short), The Great Khali vs. Damien Sandow.
Overall Highlights: Ric Flair/John Cena/Randy Orton opening segment, Pipers Pit with the Shield (brilliant, entertaining stuff), New Age Outlaws save Roddy Piper with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan says that he joined the family to become a monster, Rhodes Brothers vs. Real Americans (Goldust is just spectacular! Wow!), Brock Lesnar breaks Mark Henry’s arm and throws down with Big Show, Too Cool & Rikishi vs. 3MB, Bad News Barrett, CM Punk vs. Roman Reigns, all of the WWE Legends, Jake the Snake Roberts makes his return and he’s looking great and healthy!