Previously on: With the “Royal Rumble” closing in, Daniel Bryan shed his affiliation with the Wyatt Family and got what might be the biggest audience reaction of his career. Bryan has become the most popular guy in WWE.
The big news: Batista is back on “WWE RAW” and he knows exactly what he wants. The show opened with Randy Orton whining to The Authority in the ring, only for Batista to make his entrance. He tells Orton his goal is simple: Win the “Royal Rumble” and headline “Wrestlemania,” becoming WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the process. He doesn’t care who is across the ring from him.
Batista also follows up on the feud he didn’t know he was in with Alberto Del Rio. After Del Rio’s match with Rey Mysterio, Batista made his way to the ring once again and laid Alberto out with a spinebuster and a Batistabomb. That takes care of that.
CM Punk continues to get on the Authority’s bad side and was named the number one entrant into the “Royal Rumble” as punishment. While that sounds bad, WWE ran their usual “by the numbers” promo more than once, pointing out that entering the ring at number one has led to many winners.
Bryan challenges Bray Wyatt to a match at the “Rumble,” since his cronies will be in the battle royal main event. Later, when Wyatt was at ringside as Erick Rowan and Luke Harper battled The Usos, Bryan attacks him from behind. In the chaos, The Usos for the win.
Brock Lesnar continued to be made a fool of by Big Show. The giant threw Lesnar around the ring like he was a toy, dumped him outside and made the former UFC champion appear weak. Using WWE logic, that should mean that Lesnar will get the win at the “Royal Rumble.” From there, he will move on to what is likely a high-profile “Wrestlemania” match.
All night long there was a camera backstage waiting for John Cena to arrive for the show. During the main event of Orton vs. Kofi Kingston he’s seen running up to the arena. That’s why he’s so late, he ran the entire way. He should have rented a car.
Cena wants revenge for Orton attacking his dad last week and and he had new, neon green attire. The two brawl into the audience and all the way up into the luxury box seating and through the lobby before taking the fight outside. Orton jumps into a waiting car and drives away.
The show ends with Cena walking back into the arena and meeting fans, which is a big change from the usual last “RAW” before the “Royal Rumble.” Normally all of the announced superstars for the big match brawl in the ring, which is quite a spectacle. It’s good they focused on the title match, because there hasn’t been much of that, but it leads to a subdued ending to the show.
Superstars announced for the “Royal Rumble” match: Batista, Alberto Del Rio, Big E Langston, The Miz, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Rey Mysterio, Fandango, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Damien Sandow, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg
Odds and ends:
- New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the Tag Team Titles set for “Royal Rumble” kickoff show.
- The expert panel for “Royal Rumble” is Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Jim Duggan.
- Mae Young got a touching tribute about halfway through the show.
- Big Show’s Paul Heyman impression is surprisingly spot-on.
- The Shield beat Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Big E. Langston
- Fandango beats Xavier Woods
- CM Punk beat Billy Gunn
- Alberto Del Rio beat Rey Mysterio
- The Funkadactyls beat AJ Lee and Tamina
- The Usos beat The Wyatt Family
- Kofi Kingston beat Randy Orton