“BOOM! BOOM! BOOM-BA-BOOM! BOOM!” The show starts with an impressive opening of pyro, before the lights are raised and several sections of the excited crowd are shown waving various signs. The focus then switches to the announce table where Booker T and Mick Foley introduce and hype tonight’s show and a match tonight between John Cena and Christian Cage, a precursor to their World Heavyweight Title Match at Royal Rumble 30 this week. (82)
Your Raw General Manager Paul Heyman is already in the ring, and he looks pretty happy. “This Sunday, live on the WWE Network, we will step one foot forward on the Road to Wrestlemania. The winner of the Royal Rumble match, the thirtieth such match in the WWE, will go on to headline Wrestlemania. It’s my feeling that the winner of the Royal Rumble will also be representing his Brand, and that in effect it is also the brand which will be headlining Wrestlemania!
Monday Night Raw came out on top at Survivor Series, and this Sunday will be the first time since then that both Raw and Smackdown superstars will meet in the ring. In order to continue Brand Superiority for Raw, it stands that a Raw superstar winning the Rumble will be another feather in our cap and to that end I would like to ensure that we offer the greatest of competition to our competitors on Smackdown. I have already entered The Undertaker and the Daniel Bryan in the Rumble match, and several more superstars including Sami Zayn, Shelton Benjamin, Samoa Joe and just last night on Power Hour the masochistic Goldust qualified to enter the match.”
Oh come on now! What the hell does Jake Roberts want out here?
The Snake gets into the ring with Paul, who graciously offers him a microphone. “Paul… Paul Paul, you’re out here once again running your mouth, talking smart and talking trash, and yet once again you have failed to see the big picture. Once again you forget that God is in the details Paul. You enter The Undertaker into the Rumble, I’m no stranger to the dead man but it may be that his time is coming to an end. You allow Goldust into the Rumble, and while he is a sponge for punishment the man is concerned only with his own mental stability and not the prestige of this brand. You say you want to win, you want to best Smackdown, but you don’t make steps to ensure victory. In short, you don’t enter my client Big E into the Royal Rumble match!”
Paul listens carefully, nods in the right places, and smiles at Jake, “Mister Roberts, you are absolutely correct. How could I have been so blind? One of your clients, Rusev, has already qualified to enter the Rumble and yet I have let Big E slip my mind and for that I apologise. And this is truly a fortuitous meeting between yourself and I, because there’s something I’ve been wanting to do here on Raw since the moment I took over and as yet have not been able to realise. A match! A match from which the winner will be entered into the Royal Rumble and also a match which in some respects mirrors that very Rumble. Ten men. Over the top rope, BUT… no timed entrances. No two minutes, no 90 seconds, no 60 seconds… every man in the ring at once and the last one still in that ring the victor!
It’s a match from across the pond in The United Kingdom and it’s match they call…
And since Rusev had the opportunity to fight for his place in the Rumble I can afford your other client Big E no less of a chance! He will enter the Thunderbastard with nine other men and should he be able to stand tall and uneliminated then he will go on to the Royal Rumble!”
The Snake doesn’t look too fucking happy, but he can’t very well complain since he sort of got what he asked for. Paul is loving it, “Now Mister Roberts, as I hope I have answered your request to your satisfaction, I believe you have other business with another of your clients coming up. Good luck to Paige, and also good luck… to Bayley.”
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Bayley defeated Paige in 9:10 by pinfall with the Bayley to Belly Suplex, which is a rubbish finisher and is going to have to change. (68)
Bayley is celebrating her victory in the ring when WWE Universal Women’s Champion Amazing Kong rushes the ring and attacks. She’s joined by Paige, thanks to that Non-Aggression pact with The Gilded and The Snake Agency, and the two women get to putting the boots into Bayley. A miscommunication allows Bayley to slip free and kick Amazing Kong square in the tits. She hits Paige with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle and knocked Kong on her arse with a Shining Wizard!
Paige is pulled out of the ring by Jake Roberts, and Kong rolls herself out as Bayley stands tall! Could this be a picture of the future as Bayley meets Amazing Kong for the second time with the WWE Universal Women’s Title on the line at Royal Rumble 30! (63)
And here comes Matt Hardy backstage, ECW Title over his shoulder, arriving for this much anticipated match against his former friend and now bitter enemy Edge. Last night on Power Hour Matt Hardy made his intentions to join The Gilded very clear, but also made clear was his belief that Edge no longer deserves his place at the top since losing the Universal Tag Team Titles at New Year’s Revolution.
Plenty of history between Matt and Edge going into tonight and OH MY EFFING LIFE THERE’S EDGE! EDGE! EDGE HAS AMBUSHED MATT HARDY!
Edge and Matt brawl viciously back and forth, really letting the years of mutual aggression pour out. Matt goes to strike Edge with the ECW title, but Edge ducks it and SPEAR!! SPEAR!!! Edge just speared Matt Hardy through a dressing room door and the door is now little more than a pile of matchsticks with a broken man in the middle. Edge grabs up the ECW Title and puts it over his own shoulder, “Come and get it… Matthew.” (71)
In his office, Paul Heyman is once again confronted by the Monster Kane and his recent partner in mayhem Rob Van Dam. Rob once again does the talking, “Hey Paul. It’s my turn now. You follow me?”
Paul does indeed follow him, and tells Rob that his Rumble Qualifying match is next. Rob seems happy enough and leaves the room. Kane stays there, staring at Paul. It’s clear he’s going to be watching this match from Paul’s office, which Paul is not especially thrilled about. (77)
In a good match, Rob Van Dam defeated Alberto Del Rio in 10:54 by submission with a Surfboard Stretch. (78)
As RVD shoves Del Rio out of the ring and points up at the Rumble sign, the place goes dark. Then this happens…
The Undertaker! The Undertaker is here on Raw and he’s coming for Rob Van Dam!
The Undertaker blames RVD for helping push his brother Kane over the edge of madness and he’s made it clear he is not happy. And now here he comes to settle the score!
Taker gets in the ring and Rob doesn’t know where to turn to escape. Standing just a few feet apart, The Undertaker cuts across his throat, signalling a pretty shit time to come for RVD.
It’s Kane! Kane is in the ring between RVD and The Undertaker! Rob just claps and smiles. This was all part of some twisted plan to lure out The Undertaker!
And we all know what happens now. All hell breaks loose as the brothers of destruction knock the fuck out of each other. Taker ducks a clothesline from Kane, but runs right into a thrown trashcan and a dropkick from RVD. The Deadman battles back, but the numbers advantage of The Hell F’n Show is too much. The brutality of Kane and the hardcore aggression of Rob Van Dam overcome The Undertaker.
Kane hoists his fallen brother up over his head in a massive show of strength, and hurls him over the top rope to the mat below. If this happens on Sunday then The Undertaker will be eliminated and then I don’t know exactly who can hope to stop this monstrous brute Kane or his Extreme partner Rob Van Dam. (89)
I want to hear more about The Royal Rumble and exactly how many people Kane has eliminated in his career so far, but first I need to talk to you about TrueCar.com
When we return from commercial the ECW originals and the most decorated tag team in the world The Dudley Boyz are in the ring, mic’d up and ready to talk some jibber jabber.
Bubba Ray and D’Von tear into reDragon, and the tag division as a whole. saying that as talented as the likes of The Briscoes and reDragon and even the Ascension are, they’re greener than Kermit’s bellend compared to The Dudley Boyz. Every other team’s time will come in the future, but The Dudleyz are not only the past but they are the present ans they declare their intentions to take on reDragon and win their twenty sixth tag team championship! (65)
And now ladies and gentlemen we come to… the THUNDERBASTARD!
The Big Lad, Big E Langston comes to the ring first and gets ready for competition. With him is his manager, Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
One by one out come his opponents…
The Ascension Konnor and Viktor
The Vaudevillians Simon Gotch and Aiden English
Big E sizes everyone up as they enter the ring, and Snake whispers in his ear about each man’s possible weaknesses.
Then, for some reason, Paul Heyman is on the entrance ramp. “Hello Gentlemen. Apologies for the interruption but this match appears to be one… man… short.”
Big E looks put out and Jake Roberts is positively beside himself as the Big Show, joined on stage by his recent tag team partner Kofi Kingston, enters the arena. Kofi knocks him a fist bump and down comes Show to start the Thunderbastard!
In a bout that had decent wrestling but little heat, Big E won a Thunderbastard – 10 Man in 15:10. The other members of the ‘final four’ were The Big Show, Konnor and Viktor, with The Big Show being the final elimination. Big E got the most eliminations over the course of the match; Apollo Crews set the record for surviving the longest before being pressed out of the ring by Big E. (73)
Big E and Jake Roberts celebrate their accomplishment in the ring, with Big E also pointing at the Rumble sign and Jake Roberts pointing right at Paul Heyman. (83)
Then everything goes dark, and on the screen we see flash after flash of photographs.
Then that message again crackles on and off the screen… 27 StR 6d. (77)
And now it’s time… for the Bad News!
Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett presents some Bad News here on Raw, because no matter how much people might cheer and whoop and yell and chant for Shelton Benjamin, this Sunday at the Rumble Barrett will do to him exactly what he did to every other opponent he’s had and every other man who thought he could take this IC Title… destroy them. Shelton Benjamin could be the toughest challenge Barrett has ever faced… but there’s bad news on that too because the tougher they come the harder they fall and Shelton Benjamin is absolutely going to fall on Sunday.
And now, with the bad weather, it’s European Champion Jay Lethal!
Thanks News. Seems like it’s raining Gold on Raw tonight and it’s gonna be a wet weekend for Shelton Benjamin at the Rumble. Also a righteous wind is blowing in from Europe and the Lethal Tornado looks to sweep away all challengers!”
Speaking of, it’s Carlito! He spits in the face of people who don’t want to be cool, which must include European Champion Jay Lethal because Carlito takes a bite of apple and proper gobs it in Lethal’s face.
It immediately kicks off and Barrett comes out from behind the Bad News desk to help out his Gilded team mate, but the numbers games isn’t played for longer because…
The Gold Standard Shelton Benjamin gets right on the attack to Bad News, as Carlito takes on Lethal. The Gilded members grab one another and retreat to the ring, with Bad News getting on the mic, “Sod this! I’m not waiting till Sunday! If Christian can wrestle on Raw then so can we! You two stick us two, right now!” . (78)
In a decent match, Bad News Barrett and Jay Lethal defeated Shelton Benjamin and Carlito. in 12:52 when Bad News Barrett defeated Shelton Benjamin by pinfall with after a Lethal Combination from Jay took out Carlito, and Barrett rolled up Shelton and got a handful of tights to aid him in the pinfall.
Barrett has pinned Shelton, with help from his Gilded stablemate, and these two will meet with the Intercontinental Title on the line this Sunday! (71)
Former IC Title Challenger Sami Zayn is the ring next, cutting a promo about how this will be his year. Sami qualified for the Rumble over the odds and he will continue to beat them in the match. He is going to eliminate everyone, friend or foe, and he is going on to Wrestlemania to face whomever the hell he likes!
That’s when Rusev hits the ring and attacks. The assault is quick and brutal, and leaves Sami Zayn completely destroyed. (91)
Matt Hardy is shown walking backstage. The ECW Champion, without his belt, looks bruised and hurt. He’s holding his ribs but walking with a purpose to the entrance. Some referees and officials are trying to talk Matt out of going down for the match.
At the curtain he is even stopped by Paul Heyman, who tells Matt it’s not worth it. Not like this. He can postpone the match, he can wait until the injuries are healed. Matt steps around Paul and through the curtain… (62)
Matt Hardy makes his way to the ring with purpose! He wants this! This is about more than the ECW Title, and this is about more than membership to The Gilded. This is about settling a very old score between Matt Hardy and Edge.
The former Tag Team Champion Edge, looking to put Matt Hardy away and earn his place back in The Gilded, thunders to the ring and the two just start paintbrushing the bejesus out of each other. Ladies and Gentlemen this will not be a pretty match or a technical match. This is going to be an all out war in that ring.
Edge spears Matt for the second time tonight and the already injured ribs of Matt Hardy fold like a cheap deckchair. But Matt won’t be counted out and he won’t be pinned as he gets his shoulder up on the two!
The match spills out onto the apron and Matt and Edge trade hands, with Matt getting the upper one and dropping Edge with a Side Effect! But did he do more damage to himself on that one! He’s doubled over in pain, clutching his ribs.
Matt manages to get Edge up and clubs him over and over and over and over again with real fury. Edge has no answer for the attack and more or less stands there dazed and punch drunk as Matt Hardy pummels him in the face.
He throws Edge into the ring and sets him up for the Twist of Fate, but Edge lands a hard blow to Matt’s ribs and knocks the wind out of him.
Edge grabs Matt in a headlock and… TWIST OF FATE!
Edge just hit Matt Hardy with his own finisher!
He covers …
Edge is the new ECW Champion! (74)
Edge has assured his place in The Gilded and he has won the ECW Title for the first time in his career!
Matt Hardy can barely breath in the ring and he cannot believe it at all. He has lost again to the hands of the man he hates most in the world.
Things don’t get much better though because The Gilded make their way down to the ring, patting Edge on the back and re-welcoming him into the fold.
Then, because they’re arseholes, they drag Matt out of the ring and Amazing Kong drives him straight through the announcers table.
The Gilded hold Edge up on their shoulders on the entrance ramp as EMT’s race to the ring to get some help to Matt Hardy, broken and destroyed on the floor. (70)
The announcers, standing off to one side as EMT’s try to help Matt Hardy on to a stretcher, put over the fact that we’ll be seeing John Cena take on Christian tonight ahead of their title match this Sunday at the Rumble. This will be the first time in months that Christian has deigned to wrestle on TV since decreeing that he and his fellow Gilded are too important to work anything other than big shows. However last week John Cena got under Christian’s skin and the champion lost his temper and challenged Cena to this match here tonight. (78)
Backstage, Cena is walking to the ring for his match when he runs across Daniel Bryan. Daniel tells Cena that this match is going to go off without a hitch and to make sure of it, Bryan himself will be at ringside to make sure The Gilded don’t try any bullshit. (84)
Christian congratulates Edge with open arms, telling him he knew he could do it and that he deserves to be Gilded! Edge is pretty beaten up, and thanks Christian but says he’s in no shape to come out and help in his match with Cena. Barrett and Lethal offer their assistance though, and Kong promises to do to Cena what she just did to Matt Hardy, but Christian says, “ENOUGH! Shut up! What makes you think I need or even WANT your help? I’m so sick of everyone saying I can’t keep my title on my own. I don’t NEED you! I don’t NEED any of you! Get out of my way!”
He storms out of the locker room, leaving his stablemates confused and dumbfounded.
John Cena bounces out of the entrance and there’s boo and cheers and blah blah same as usual. Then he’s joined by Daniel Bryan as the crowd chant YES YES YES like a bunch of marks. He pats Cena on the back and stands by in the middle of the ramp as Big John Jesus John Match John Cena Man gets into the ring and whips his shirt off into the crowd, where it’s caught by a sick child who is already wearing his own small version of the shirt. And hat. and armbands and a foam YOU CAN’T SEE ME hand.
The World Heavyweight Champion Christian makes his entrance, alone, and walks right up to Daniel Bryan. He tells Bryan that they won’t be needing him tonight, which gets a good chorus of Boos from the crowd. Bryan looks to Cena, who shrugs and nods, sending Daniel back up the ramp and away. It’s one on one folks.
In a bout that had superb wrestling and great heat, Christian took on John Cena for the first time ever on Raw as far as you know, because you’re 12 and have been watching wrestling for all of six months. Your favourite old school wrestler is Kofi Kingston.
Cena dominated the Champion early on, with Christian seemingly out of his depth in a straight up singles match. Each time Cena got in the some offence, Christian rolled out of the ring, but with no one there to help him he was forced to roll back in to break the ten count.
Eventually, Christian drop kicked Cena out of the ring and demanded the ref count. Faster! COUNT HIM OUT! But Cena was back in the ring after six and knocked Christian down with his shoulder tackle, then added insult to injury with a Five Knuckle (wanking) Shuffle!
Again Christian rolled out of the ring, but he came back with the World Heavyweight Title!
The referee pounced, pulling the title away from Christian and handing it back to a ringside official, but the champ took advantage and hoofed Cena in the slap bag, then twisted him up for the Killswitch!
1… 2… 3!
SUPERB wrestling and GREAT heat!
The Title storyline has lost heat. Fucking… bobbins.
Overall Grade – 76