Does he mean that the WWE didn't get what they want in a crowd that would cheer Batista?
Welcome to RAW IS DVR'D, a review with a simple format: I let you know what to watch and what to fast-forward, in case you happened to burst a blood vessel in your eye booing Batista last night and the sight of him might send you over the edge. Speaking of last night, how about a quick review in a style I never really got to use?
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE REVIEW
GETTING YOUR MONEY'S WORTH
My new PPV review format will be made OBSOLETE by the WWE Network (which I guess is a fair trade-off, UGH). Back in my day (for those of you reading in the future where the WWE Network exists and hasn't seen a hike in monthly fees once they realize how insane they are), pay-per-views cost FIFTY-FIVE REAL DOLLARS. YES. Just for ONE show. And yes, I realize that to you lucky future people, 55 dollars buys almost six brand new PPVs in addition to THE HISTORY OF WRESTLING, but this was the awful world we lived in. Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to review a show by allocating portions of the $54.99 you paid to certain parts of the night.
For example, Sunday's PPV would've looked like this: I'd give five bucks to the entire Bryan/Wyatt match, which FUCKING RULED and was as good of a first thing to happen on this or any show as you could ever want. But I only want to give it five bucks because I'm saving the rest for what most certainly will be an EPIC ending to the show where Bryan heroically enters the Rumble, still concussed, and wins the whole damn thing. So I gotta spend wisely, right?
I'll give a shiny loonie (my Canadian is showing, sorry) (sorry) to the Big Show for taking a Bret Hart/Vince McMahon amount of chairshots and looking sad. Y'know what, that loonie should actually go to Brock Lesnar for transforming FIRED UP Big Show (my least favourite Big Show) to Crying Big Show (my second least favourite Big Show).
I'll give three bucks (and two cents, I suppose?) to the Pittsburgh crowd during the Orton/Cena match. I felt kinda bad for them as it went on, but then I remembered that this is all their fault and they did bad and should feel bad.
Now, the RUMBLE! OH BOY! I got about 46 dollars ready to be hucked at Daniel Bryan in a Canadian money ticker tape parade for his big Rumble win!
Just waiting for him to come out.
So pumped though!
oh neat Reigns broke the Rumble elimination record, here's a quarter for your troubles
Still waiting (eee!).
29… Big E, okay okay (Bryan must be next).
why is he dressed as rey mysterio
where is he
WHERE IS HE
[fade to black]
Fuck me, now I've got all this extra cash I didn't even spend because I sat here counting it while waiting for Bryan to come out. Before Batista gives me the finger and shakes me down for the rest of this money, I'd better dole it out.
With my remaining $45.72, I choose to donate it to the Battered Smarks Shelter (the BS Shelter for those paying attention). It's a worthy cause and I think it will do a lot of good. It gets better, you guys. Well, uh, we have to Wait And See Where It Goes, but it gets better. Maybe. Probably not.
RAW IS DVR'D
JANUARY 27TH, 2014
ROYAL RUMBLE - LAST NIGHT: FF
THE AUTHORITY & DANIEL BRYAN PROMO: WATCH
Now that I've cooled down from tearing up my Batista DVDs in my… bedroom? WWE DVD unfurnished room of sorrow? What is that room? It's like a novelty bar where you chuck peanut shells all over the floor. Anyway, now that I've uncrossed my eyes from my grown-up person tantrum, I'm okay. The BS Shelter has provided me with all the resources I need to get through this, such as "a well-adjusted emotional compass" and "a reasonable adult brain".
I'm totally cool with what I assume will eventually be Bryan/Sheamus III at WrestleMania (it'll be like the Rock/Austin trilogy for this generation!!). I can handle that. Sheamus will turn heel and it'll be exciting and Bryan can make anything seem like the greatest match you've seen since the last Daniel Bryan match you saw (part of the reason why he's so goddamned loved).
I feel fine and will be fine and we'll be fine and it's all fine you guys. No more crazy, uncalled for, outlandish reactions towards the WWE for not meeting our insane expectations, okay? Good.
Triple H: "awwww did somebody not get what dey wanted??"
I'll leave the Bryan stuff for now, only because I could probably talk about it forever, and I've got 300,000 words to type about a show we all boycotted.
As for Triple H and Stephanie, nobody does Condescending Shithead as well as Triple H (I wonder why??), except for maybe Stephanie McMahon. Her calling the Rumble "the most satisfying in history" is so hilarious because you would never use the word satisfying to describe a WWE PPV unless if you were being a Cerebral Sarcastic. When have they ever used the word "satisfying" to describe anything?
SPEAKING of satisfying (non-sarcastically), how satisfying was the crowd's rabid YESYESYES response to Stephanie McMahon-to-Bryan: "do you think these people are all here just to see you?". Even though it was a gimme for the crowd, it was satisfying as fuck, especially after about twelve Dan-iel-Bry-an/YES chant attempts that never lined up.
Anyway, here's the important stuff that happened: the reason Bryan is even out here (aside from addressing the show-destroying crowd from last night) is to demand that he be placed in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. And then we'll get our classic guy-loses-at-Royal-Rumble-and-is-excluded-from-Royal-Rumble-match-but-wins-at-Elimination-Chamber-to-become-champion-to-then-defend-his-title-against-Batista-at-WrestleMania storyline that we all wanted, right?!
Bryan then tells Stephanie to step aside and he suggests that neither he nor Triple H should leave the ring until he's put in the Chamber match. Triple H takes offense to this and sicks The Shield on Bryan, and Seth Rollins treats the crowd barrier like he's Brock Lesnar navigating a TV monitor-filled floor:
For what it's worth, Rollins' recovery was much more graceful than Brock's (who almost certainly went home and shot Prairie Dogs until he felt better).
About Bryan being saved by Sheamus: I could focus on how Sheamus and Bryan should never be friends ever and it was dumb that he came to his rescue but I'm okay with the idea that everybody hates The Shield so much that it makes friends out of people who normally should hate each other. I know this wasn't even alluded to in the slightest, but that's gonna be my take on it for now, because we're gonna get a wicked main event out of it.
Also, John Cena's bravery and justice and hustle and loyalty and respect fetish is so strong that even though he should still be pissed at Randy Orton for assaulting his dad or The Wyatts for ruining his WWE World Title match, he's still gonna run out and fight The Shield at the top of the show. I guess he's making up for lost time last week.
It sounded like the crowd was chanting for CM Punk to save Bryan and Sheamus, but they got Cena instead because Punk is still lying on top of a broken table in Pittsburgh and the Penguins are practicing around him I guess? Just set up some pylons guys, it'll be fine.
Haha, just kidding, but seriously, where is Punk anyway? He can't be selling a chokeslam from Step Dad Kane, can he? I'm sure everything's okay, he's probab--
oh dear god no
Bryan doesn't win the Rumble, Batista is back, CM Punk is leaving, Road Dogg ughghu…
… this really is the darkest timeline.
I think no matter what the hell is going on, whether it's a work or not, credit has to be given to WWE. What I mean is, between the Bryan/Rumble stuff and Punk leaving, it's as reasonable to believe that it's a work as much as it is real. That's kinda crazy.
If it's a work, there'll be some awesome shit coming down the road with Punk returning and Bryan decapitating Triple H and holding his head up on a spear with the Superdome engulfed in flames and then Sting's face is formed by the billowing smoke.
And maybe even more importantly, this could be doing wonders for Triple H. The more I think about it, the Mr. McMahon character was made on "real" heat from the Montreal Screwjob - Triple H could hugely benefit from something that could be perceived as being "real", like Punk leaving or Bryan being held back or whatever.
Or it's real, and we just traded CM Punk for Batista and I want to fire our team's GM.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION RANDY ORTON IS HERE!: FF
BUT AT LEAST RANDY'S HERE
REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA V. THE REAL AMERICANS: WATCH
If you like somersault offence that forces other people to somersault, this match is for you.
More importantly, check out the TSN Turning Point of this match:
Out of all the things that could make the Real Americans EVEN BETTER, I did not expect Zeb Coulter slapping Jack Swagger in the face to get him TURNT UP would be the one they went with. Frankly, I Juan't this to escalate every week. If it could get to the point where Zeb is purple nurpling Swagger to fire him up for suplexes, I'm weirdly all for it and no I don't know why.
This match was mostly good because of Zeb's HOW CAN HE SLAP, but how could I not mention:
How long until Cesaro's the one we're unreasonably mad about being left out of stuff?
RAW TONIGHT - SIX-MAN ELIMINATION CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: FF
Sheamus, Bryan & Cena vs. The Shield. Winners are entered in the Chamber with Orton. The result is obvious but the match will be sweet and Mick Foley won't have to destroy his daughter's TV in spite of it.
RAW TONIGHT - WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH: FF
Cody Rhodes has been hanging around Attitude Era guys for so long I'm starting to retroactively book him in Hardcore Title matches in my brain.
DID YOU KNOW? - THE NBA: FF
Last Friday, more than twice as many people watched SmackDown, compared to the NBA on ESPN
Probably because they read the NBA spoilers on Tuesday, DUH.
BAD NEWS BARRETT: FF
In kayfabe, what is this man's purpose? Like, everybody on the roster is supposed to be a person who wants to wrestle, right? So does he show up to the arena every night, check the card and go "welp, no match for me - ah, but I see that there's this block of time for me to sit in my cherry picker and make fun of things. Good!" and that's that? And then after he's done shitting all over the city of Cleveland, he raises his arms like he didn't realize he just did that. And then a graphic with a hashtag stamps on his face. It's all so ridiculous that in theory, I should love it, but instead I hate it.
Making fun of The Miz is where it evens out for me. Because fuck him.
WWE NETWORK - MONDAY NIGHT WAR PREVIEW: WATCH
This preview gave me a boner with "nWo" spray-painted on it when I first saw this during the Vegas Network launch. The Ted Turner interview that starts it alone - just put that on repeat on my TV and I'll give you $9.99 a month (with a six month commitment).
WWE NETWORK COUNTDOWN: FF
As a Canadian, I have to wait an extra year and however much longer for this. Michael Cole says it's four weeks away, but then the King pipes up:
Jerry Lawler: "Let's be more exact! It's actually 2 days 2 days 3 hours 2 days 3 seconds and 2 days 2 days and 2 seconds from now!"
Michael Cole: "… um"
I'd make a "he's probably just having a stroke" joke but that would be too insensitive/accurate.
WRESTLEMANIA XXX COUNTDOWN: FF
We've got so many countdowns. Someone get Jerry Lawler to try to correct the screen.
This graphic is hideous and looks like it's from 2002. Also, I remember ten years ago watching WrestleMania XX and wondering how pornographic WrestleMania XXX would be, thinking that Vince McMahon would have become a full-blown senile pervert by then. So far, I'm disappointed.
FANDANGO V. R-TRUTH: FF
Everything I liked about this match had nothing to do with the match. Three things:
1. Xavier Woods reveals he wants to teach autistic children and suddenly his character develops a layer no one expected (what). In the process, he shuts up JBL who seems hellbent on destroying Woods' credibility.
2. Summer Rae's distraction where she just stands in R-Truth's way and screams. I would feel dumb falling for that completely avoidable distraction. OH NO A GIRL [gets clotheslined]
RANDY ORTON WALKING BACKSTAGE: FF
Start fast-forwarding now and don't stop until you see Paul Heyman shit himself during Brock Lesnar's fireworks.
BRAD MADDOX, RANDY ORTON, BATISTA, BROCK LESNAR, PAUL HEYMAN, A LOT OF PEOPLE PROMO: WATCH
There is a real charisma discrepancy going on in this segment.
We've got Brad Maddox trying out new hand gestures as we return from commercial, Randy Orton struggling to flip his belts over his shoulder before yelling about some Randy Orton stuff or something, Batista coming out and reprising his promo from last week but in clothes that fit normally, and then Paul Heyman shows up to cut a promo so awesome that it instantly wets Brock Lesnar's upper lip for reasons we'll never understand.
Sometimes I feel like Paul Heyman's words directly affect Lesnar's resting heart rate. And if his promo gets too intense then Brock's body starts doing stuff like this:
Pretty sure that scream filled Randy Orton's trunks with more poop than a Diva's duffel bag after Randy Orton filled it with his own poop.
One thing I did like from Orton in his promo is how he was talking about his day and said "then I got to work this morning" as if he didn't mean that very arena, but another job at Hollister or something, where he takes shifts when he can because nobody responsibly supplements their income quite like THE VIPER RANDY ORTON.
Batista's promo was basically just his return promo but with the phrase "I don't care" inserted a bunch of times, which seems about right. But the most obviously perfect part of this whole segment was:
The Royal Rumble crowd was basically 18,000 Hans Molemans.
Also, Paul Heyman threatens Brad Maddox to have The Authority put Brock Lesnar in a match either against Randy Orton or Bootista OR ELSE and suddenly this Raw wets my upper lip.
RAW TONIGHT - SIX-MAN ELIMINATION CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: FF
AND THERE'S THIS TOO.
UP NEXT, THE BATTLE OF CLEVELAND - DOLPH ZIGGLER V. THE MIZ: FF
and there's this too
THE BATTLE OF CLEVELAND - DOLPH ZIGGLER V. THE MIZ: FF
So Edge has the TLC Match, Undertaker has the Casket Match (and the Hell In A Cell Match) (and the Buried Alive Match) (and the Concrete Crypt Handicap Match) (holy jesus) … does that make the "match that's named after whatever city we're in and features the wrestlers dressing thematically" Dolph Ziggler's match? Because if so… woof.
Anyway, Ziggler is excited to be in a Cavs jersey, The Miz is excited to be in a Browns jersey, and I'm not a basketball or football fan but I think a joke I can make here is that they both suck (the teams) (and The Miz).
This match had a lot of things going against it, such as Wade Barrett declaring that it would suck earlier in the show, or say a "Cleveland Sucks" chant that occurred (in Cleveland) (which might be my favourite chant ever), or even the announcers ignoring what was happening and spending the match naming things they remember from Cleveland.
In the end, it was fine, but kinda weird. It felt like a pretend match. I know they're all pretend matches (it's still not pretend to me dammit) but I mean it seemed like they were projecting how pretend it was. Maybe because both guys we're overly playing to the crowd to be like CLEEEEVELAND WOOO THIS ONE'S FOR YOU ETC or something. And it's a shame because I really like Ziggler. Also The Miz was there.
RAW TONIGHT - WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH: FF
Somewhere X-Pac is staring distantly into his phone reading through old texts from his friends.
DID YOU KNOW? - 10,003,647 AND COUNTING: FF
The WWE App has been downloaded an astonishing 10,000,000 times!
is there a faq somewhere to show me how to download it
RYBAXEL V. THE USOS: WATCH
This match is brought to you by "A Clubbing Blow: The Curtis Axel Story" out on DVD and blu-ray this month.
Even though a solid 80% of this match was CLUBBING BLOWS (emphasis on blows) from Curtis Axel and Ryback, I ended up liking it quite a bit. It certainly made The Usos seem like a Dragon Gate team by the time they turned on their comeback. Not to mention this:
I'd love any kind of explanation as to why Ryback and Curtis Axel are hanging out and teaming beyond "they're both kind of sucking and are mean" (although even that would do, I'm just assuming that much). There's a huge chunk of the roster who you look at and go "and what do you do" and there's no answer. You have to dig deeper than most casual fans are willing to go to find the personality and purpose of so many of these guys (Big E Langston's Instagram, Fandango on Main Event, Xavier Woods on Backstage Fallout, Ryback on Twitter, Curtis Axel in Mr. Perfect matches and promos, and so on).
Just gimme ten seconds of Ryback and Curtis Axel backstage practicing their big dumb wrestling grimmace faces in the mirror and I'd be happy. Just prove to me that they see each other more often than when they're already in the ring together because they constantly get the already in the ring jobber entrance.
Also, it's pretty nuts where Ryback's career has gone. From Skip Sheffield on NXT to headlining PPVs as Ryback to taking a clean pinfall from an Uso in a meaningless tag match on Raw. It's a perfect bell curve.
RAW TONIGHT - SIX-MAN ELIMINATION CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: FF
I just realized they kept Mysterio off the show. Probably a good idea.
RAW TONIGHT - 2014 WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: FF
KOFI KINGSTON V. ALBERTO DEL RIO: WATCH
This was one of those matches where nothing is smooth and everything looked like it accidentally hurt way more than it should, and that, actually, was sweet.
What was not sweet, was people cheering WILDLY for an old man standing up when two guys are flying to their death to the outside from the top rope.
You must be able to time this down to the second - the moment, every week, when the live crowd gets tired of being at a wrestling show and decides to chant the things they hear people on TV chant every week: Randy Savage, JBL, Jerry, Michael Cole, Super Dragon, etc. Normally the announcers will ignore it, or give a slight wave or something, but this time JBL decides he's equally as bored as the crowd and stands up for a big HEY HOW YA DOIN.
Del Rio's response was what you might expect from a pissed off wrestler, as he SCOLDS JBL and tells him to sit down. It was the realest thing that's happened in wrestling since Vader throttled that interviewer in Kuwait.
Seriously though, I felt shame FOR JBL in that moment.
Even though ADR v. Kofi had the makings of being a crappy match that gets ruined by the crowd and the commentary, it ended up being pretty good. Also good was Jerry Lawler commenting on Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble performance: "it was almost like a coming out party for Reigns last night, he really showed himself". We may as well just have Tobias Funke replace Jerry right now.
WWE 2K14 PLUG: FF
Jerry Lawler is shocked that Wrestling Superstar Virgil is in this game.
UP NEXT - WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH: FF
X-Pac, at home, studies his reflection in his replica European Title
RAW TONIGHT - BROCK V. ???: FF
a.k.a. OR ELSE
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - BRHODES V. NEW AGE OUTLAWS: WATCH
Or, The New New Age Outlaws: Eddie Griswold and Age-Accelerated Dolph Ziggler.
I would've loved the match to start with Cody Rhodes gingerly rolling up a gassed Road Dogg because that promo damn near killed him.
And you know, even though there's storyline reasons for everything, it's a huge bummer that the guys that finally took the belts off the FUCKING SHIELD are losing to the New Age Outlaws.
One highlight from this match (before Brock Lesnar came out to steel chair it to death) was Cody Rhodes' crotch chop, which ranks somewhere in between Roman Reigns' and CM Punk's and leagues below Mike Tyson's, which, obviously, is the benchmark.
Anyway, Brock Lesnar comes out and turns Cody Rhodes and Goldust into Al Snow, Spike Dudley and Maven with F5s and chairshots. As badass as that was, Charles Robinson steals the segment when Brock hurls the chair into the air, it bounces off the apron and perfectly into Lil' Naitch's hands.
RAW TONIGHT - SIX-MAN ELIMINATION CHAMBER QUALIFYING MATCH: FF
Let The Shield qualify and then somehow the Wyatts qualify and it's just a six-man Chamber match that Randy Orton forfeits the title for. Or do the thing that makes "actual sense", FINE.
THE BELLAS & THE FUNKADACTYLS V. AJ, TAMINA, AKSANA & ALICIA FOX: FF
Out of all the combinations they had to start this match, they went with Cameron and Aksana, which may be the most dangerous pairing they've got on the entire roster.
As for the match, I, uh… yeah I don't want to be the guy who shits all over the Divas matches all the time, but eeeughhh. This match featured the referee informing Nikki Bella her shoulder isn't down so he can't count the pin, so instead of Aksana forcing Nikki's shoulder down, Nikki just puts it there herself and then kicks out at two. At one point, I'm almost certain the hard cam had to zoom in to avoid seeing Nikki's entire vagina. There also was a TRIPLE SUPLEX spot that went flawlessly (what) and AJ taking a single move to get pinned clean. Also Nikki Bella never passes up an opportunity to do the worm, and that's how this ends.
2014 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE - NEXT: FF
If they open up a Match Wing, it's only a matter of time until Melina v. Alicia Fox is in, so maybe they'll just get right down to it tonight?
DID YOU KNOW? - WWE NETWORK: FF
When the WWE Network debuts on February 24th, you'll be able to watch every Pay Per View event ever produced from ECW, WCW and WWE.
yes i did know that but the thought of it still stiffens my wrestling boner so i forgive you
also yes i realize i've referenced my wrestling boner more than once in this review (i sincerely had to cut it down from three or four times)
2014 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE - JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS: WATCH
I'm legitimately shocked that he wasn't already in. He's one of those guys that, I believe, to the people who have never watched wrestling, know his name. Jake "The Snake" is probably the third or fourth wrestler people name if you ask "what wrestlers do you know" behind Hulk Hogan, Macho Man and The Rock. I'm pulling this out of my ass, but I feel like it's kinda true.
He deserves this as much as anybody, and it goes without saying, but good for him for DDP Yoga-ing his way back into WWE's good graces. Although, when I was a kid my mom told me to not be like Jake because he hit Miss Elizabeth. Good thing she didn't know about the other stuff he did (two a time with toys).
WWE NETWORK - WRESTLEMANIA REWIND PREVIEW: WATCH
The graphics of this thing alone satisfy my Jake Roberts-esque sexually insatiable wrestling appetite.
MAIN EVENT - SIX-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH TO QUALIFY FOR THE ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH AT ELIMINATION CHAMBER - JOHN CENA, SHEAMUS & DANIEL BRYAN V. THE SHIELD: WATCH
Do you need me to tell you this match ruled? DO YOU?!
I feel completely stupid writing anything else. Just watch this match and enjoy your balls off.
But, in case you need a list of things I liked about this match to enhance your viewing experience, here it is:
- Seth Rollins STICKING his ringside entrance and being proud about it
- Roman Reigns stocking up on wicked moves and taunts liked there's a 12 year old out there somewhere creating him as a real life CAW. Seriously, he's got the Spear, Single-Style Triple Powerbomb (when he chooses to use it), the apron dropkick complete with robo-arms:
and the Superman Punch, preceded by the Three Point Landing pose and a fist-cocking/fisting pantomime taunt. WHAT ELSE IS THERE? Can he incorporate a Burning Hammer with a taunt where he literally lights a hammer on fire?
- Seth Rollins' grenade pouches finally having a purpose (they're Sheamus proof):
- Daniel Bryan's always impressive surfboard on Rollins
- The Shield's completely dejected demeanour after Cena kicks out of a DDT:
- Daniel Bryan's entire comeback spot that is so perfect that these words are actually making it worse as I type
- Reigns breaking Cena's STF cyborg-grip
- JEAAP WYATTS
- The Shield's reaction to losing which is incredulous and SO JUSTIFIED
- the wrestling
- the match
- the guys
- all of it
- can't stop won't stop
When a show ends like that, it basically erases all of the Batista things and tucks you into bed as if nothing bad ever happened.
I feel like George Bailey running around in the snow, seeing the wonderful life he had is back to how he knew it - "HAHA MY MOUTH'S BLEEDIN' BERT, MERRY CHRISTMAS
MOVIE HOUSE DANIEL BRYAN WINNING THE ROYAL RUMBLE! MERRY CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM CM PUNK LEAVING IS A WORK! MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU WONDERFUL OLD BUILDING AND LOAN BATISTA TURNING HEEL INSTEAD OF BEING A SHITTY BABYFACE WHO HATES FANS!"
… uh, see you next week?
fooorrr auullld laaaang syyyyne...