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RAW Recap & Review – “Happy New Year”

December 28, 2015
Aired Live

City: Brooklyn, NY
Venue: Barclay’s Center

Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Tony Chimel


Intro Video
“The Night 2014 remix” by CFO$/KromestatiK

Ring Area
Vince McMahon’s music plays and he struts to the ring. He demands that Roman Reigns come out to the ring. ** Does Roman Reigns always hang out in the hallways of the arena outside of the crowd entrances just in case he’s called to the ring? **

Vince tells Reigns that no one embarrasses a McMahon and that he owns Reigns. Reigns calls Vince a big jerk and says that he doesn’t him. Vince wonders how long Reigns will be champ. The crowd starts to chant for Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, throwing Reigns off a bit.

Vince brings up Reigns’ family and says Reigns is just a generation away from wrestling with a bone in his nose. He says that he “used Sika up” and lined his pockets with the money he made off of him. Reigns pushes Vince. Vince falls and claims his neck is hurt. Stephanie is there immediately with the police. The officers refuse to arrest Reigns because they’re just there for security. Steph gets mad and the officer threatens to arrest her instead.

Vince tries to talk to the cops. The officer antagonizes Vince and threatens him. Vince grabs the officer by the jacket. He is arrested.

** The officer in charge was a complete tool. So they refuse to arrest someone who pushed an old man to the ground. But they threaten two people simply because they got upset and arrest the man who was assaulted because he touched one of the officers for like two seconds. Yeah, real stellar police work. That makes a lot of sense. The cop also was a smart-ass during the reading of Vince’s Miranda rights.

It was all a bit too convenient and is yet another segment where everything happened around Roman Reigns. Reigns barely said anything and just stood there. The story happened in spite of him, not because of him. **


Match 1
Kevin Owens vs Neville
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Neville dropkicks Owens and immediately goes for the Red Arrow. Owens knocks him off the top rope and goes for the pop-up powerbomb, but Neville counters and rolls up Owens.

Result: Neville wins via pinfall with a rollup
Time: 0:12

** Not really a match, but it could lead to some interesting things. And Owens’ reaction after the match effectively guilds up Owens’ angry character. **


Ring Area
Owens is pissed. He attacks Neville, throwing him into the barricade and the ring post. Referees have to come out and stop the beating. Owens has to be helped to the back, but Owens returns and resumes the beating. He’s about to powerbomb Neville on the floor, but Dean Ambrose comes out and attacks Owens.

Rock’s Instagram announces that he will be at Wrestlemania.

Jojo asks Becky Lynch if there are any hard feelings between her and Charlotte. Becky says no. She likes to do things on her own.

Ring Area
Sasha Banks says she is from Boston. Naomi lists a bunch of negative adjectives to describe Brooklyn.


Match 2
Sasha Banks w/ Naomi, Tamina vs Becky Lynch
(referee: Shawn Bennett)

The two women trade holds with neither getting a clear advantage early in the match. The moves progressively pick up in intensity. Becky eventually applies a submission on Sasha, but Naomi distracts the ref while Tamina pulls Sasha to the ropes. Team BAD continues to distract Becky. Becky kicks Naomi, then dumps Sasha to the floor. Becky Then climbs to the top and dives onto all three members of Team BAD.


Back from the break, Becky still has control. Both women start to climb the same turnbuckle, but Sasha winds up driving her knees into Becky’s back. Sasha is in control and stretches Becky’s arms and back. Sasha lands a leg drop, then goes for another that Becky mostly avoids.

Becky starts a comeback, but she gets hung up on the second rope. Sasha goes to attack, but Becky moves and Sasha ends up diving onto Team BAD on the floor. Back in the ring Sasha hits a backstabber with a straight-jacket on Becky. Sasha holds onto the straght-jacket, but Becky gets out.

Becky suplexes Sasha into the turnbuckle. Tamina distract the ref and Naomi kicks Becky. Sasha hits another backstabber and goes for the Bank Statement, but Becky rolls out, goes for Disarm-Her, then gets rolled up by Sasha for the win.

Result: Sasha Banks wins via pinfall with a rollup
Time: 12:41 (1 break)

** A good match, though there was a segment after the commercial that seemed to bog down a little. There were also a couple of miscues that weren’t terrible, but were noticeable. The overall match was good though. The buildup in the beginning was very nice, and the closing sequence was solid. **


Police Station
Renee Young gives an update on Vince’s arrest, and his goofy mug shot is shown.

Ring Area
New Day comes out and asks the crowd if they would like a song. The crowd would like that. But New Day reminds them that they didn’t vote for New Day in the Slammys. Therefore, no one gets a song. Kofi offers to fight children for parents. Big E ROFLs and chortles.


Match 3
Kofi Kingston (Tag Champ) w/ Big E, Xavier Woods vs Kalisto w/ Sin Cara
(referee: Ryan Tran)

The match starts quickly with jumps and flips and kicks. Kalisto seems to have a little bit of an advantage on Kofi. Kalisto hits a corkscrew crossbody and a kneeling head scissors. New Day tries to distract Kalisto, but Sin Cara attacks Big E and Woods. Kalisto lands a hurricanrana for the win.

Result: Kalisto wins via pinfall with a hurricanrana
Time: 2:46

** Really short and really fast-paced. Kofi never really had any kind of advantage. A fun, short match. **


Ring Area
Xavier Woods is upset. He questions Sin Cara’s tactics as someone that children look up to. He has something for Sin Cara. Big E.


Match 4
Big E (Tag Champ) w/ Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods vs Sin Cara w/ Kalisto
(referee: Ryan Tran)


That match started during the break, and Big E has Sin Cara in an ab stretch. Big back body drop from Big E on Sin Cara. Big E catches Sin Cara in a moonsault attempt then arm drags Big E and kicks him out of the ring. Sin Cara flips onto the apron where Big E pulls him off. Sin Cara lands hard on the floor. Big E the drives him into the side of the ring.

The trainer checks on Sin Cara, but the match continues. In the ring, Big E just runs over Sin Cara who is hurting. Big E goes back to the ab stretch. Big E sets up Sin Cara in the tree of woe, but he misses a shoulder block and hits the ring post.

Sin Cara lands a springboard moonsault for a 2 count, but his arm is obviously hurt. Both men go to the top and Sin Cara manages to get a second rope steamroller on Big E! New Day distracts Sin Cara, thereby allowing Big E to hit the Big Ending.

Result: Big E wins via pinfall after a Big Ending
Time: 6:00 (1 break)

** A good match. The commentators (well, JBL) did a good job of putting over the fact that Sin Cara never recovered from being pulled off the apron by Big E. It showed some impressive heart when Sin Cara lifted Big E for the steamroller when he was hurting. **


Ring Area
The first annual Miz TV Year In Review Spectacular is immediately interrupted by Ryback. He burps as he enters the ring. Comedy gold.

Speaking of gold, Goldust interrupts and talks about awards.

Zack Ryder interrupts and says that 2016 will FINALLY be the year of Zack Ryder. Woo woo woo. You know it.

Miz tries to talk about yoga when R-Truth interrupts. He reminds everyone that they should vote for R-Truth as Superstar of the Year. Miz reminds him that the Slammys were last week and that he won one. R-Truth needs a daily planner.

Heath Slater interrupts Miz as he talks about January 3.

Big Show interrupts Slater before he can make his point. Slater tells him to leave. He gets a KO punch in response. Big Show goes punch crazy. R-Truth punches himself, but he still takes a chokeslam anyway. Ryback and Big Show end up going at each other, but Show tosses him out of the ring.

Brooklyn wants Big Show to retire. Instead, he puts himself in the Royal Rumble as “entrance number one.”

** I liked it. A nice way to start the inevitable multi-man brawl shenanigans that is required for every Royal Rumble buildup. At least they all didn’t say they were going to win the Rumble. That’ll happen later. **


Match 5
Big Show vs Ryback
(referee: Shawn Bennett)

Ryback takes it to Big Show with kicks and an axe handle. Big Show quickly takes control with slow strikes. Ryback knocks Big Show down with a second rope dropkick. He looks for the meat hook, but Sow gets out of the ring. Show walks away.

Result: Ryback wins via countout
Time: 2:58

** Not much of a match. I really hope they don’t revisit this. **


Match 6
Dean Ambrose (IC Champ) & The Usos vs The League of Nations (Sheamus & King Barrett & Rusev)
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Jimmy Uso sends Sheamus to the floor, but Sheamus stops his dive with a fist. Sheamus is sent back out the other side of the ring and both Usos manage to dropkick Sheamus from the apron to the floor. Rusev enters the ring but takes a double atomic drop then a missile dropkick from Ambrose. The League of Nations regroups on the floor.

Ambrose chases Sheamus and rolls him back into the ring. Rusev and Jey Uso tag in, then Rusev hip tosses Jimmy into the corner, hurting his bad leg.


Jimmy Uso is still in trouble after the break. Rusev works on his leg, applying a half crab. Jimmy manages a tag to Ambrose who goes crazy on Rusev. He sends Rusev out to the floor then dives out after him. Sheamus tries to stop Ambrose from getting in the ring, but Jey dives onto him. Ambrose hits a diving elbow on Rusev for a 2 count.Ambrose is distracted and takes a kick from Rusev.


The League of Nations is in control and plays along with the wave that the crowd is doing. Ambrose tags in Jey who hits a hop attack on Sheamus. The match starts to break down as Rusev and Ambrose get involved. Sheamus goes for a Brogue kick but misses. Jey goes to the top and dives, but Sheamus gets the knees up. Brogue kick on Jey.

Result: Sheamus pins Jey Uso after a Brogue Kick
Time: 10:00 (2 breaks)

** An okay match. I like that Jimmy’s knee is still a continuing story. There was nothing particularly special about the match, but it was solid enough for a RAW match. **


Ring Area
Kevin Owens comes out from the crowd and ambushes Dean Ambrose. He powerbombs Ambrose through the announce table.

Police Station
Renee Young tries to get a word with the McMahons as they leave the station. She fails.

Ring Area
Cena returns to RAW. He says the crowd deserves a championship effort, but Del Rio won’t give them a title match. He calls him a disgrace. Del Rio comes out with the League of Nations. Del Rio says the crowd doesn’t deserve a championship match. Cena disagrees. He understands. He knows that Del Rio is afraid. Del Rio takes the bait and gets mad.

Cena continues and calls Del Rio a “punk bitch.” Del Rio knows what Juan Cena is doing. He’s going to have a fight, but not for the title. Cena continues to question Del Rio’s manhood. He takes his shirt off and gets ready for the attack by the League. Del Rio gets angrier and says he is a man. He will fight Cena, on his own, with the title on the line.

** The heels aren’t very smart lately. Sheamus, Vince, and now Del Rio have all bee easily manipulated. At least Del Rio was pushed though. Vince just gave it up to a guy who stood there and did nothing. Cena was actually persuasive, if obvious, in his attempt to manipulate. **

A tribute to Lemmy.


Match 7
WWE US Title Match
John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio (US Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)

Del Rio attacks first and goes for a quick cover. He continues his attack and keeps Cena off balance. Del Rio kicks Cena onto the ropes, but as he goes to attack Cena moves, sending Del Rio to the floor.


Del Rio goes for a suplex but Cena reverses into one of his own. Cena starts to build momentum but gets kicked in the head with an enzuigiri. Del Rio jumps from the top but meets a dropkick from Cena. Cena hits his shoulder block/slam/5 Knuckle Shuffle combo. He goes to follow up but takes a backstabber. STF by Cena, but Del Rio gets out and hits a back breaker for a 2 count.

Tornado DDT from Cena for a 2 count. Cena sets up the AA but Del Rio counters into a cross armbreaker. Cena lifts Del Rio and slams him with a powerbomb. He looks for the AA again but the referee gets knocked out. Cena applies an STF and Del Rio immediately taps.

With the ref still out, the League of Nations returns. Rusev kicks Cena, and Sheamus rolls the ref into the ring. Del Rio covers for a 2 count. Sheamus goes for a Brogue kick but hits Rusev and takes an AA. Del Rio hits a backstabber and a kick to the dead. The ref slowly counts and Cena kicks out at 2.

Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker again but gets countered into an AA. Cena covers him and the League enters the ring to break it up.

Result: John Cena wins via DQ when Rusev and Sheamus attack
Time: 10:33 (1 break)

** Not a bad match. The DQ ending was kind of expected. I guess they did learn their lesson for screwing up Sheamus’ title match from two weeks ago. One question though: Where was King Barrett? He didn’t come out to help. He’s been absent a few times, but it’s more odd here because he was there before the match started. **


Ring Area
Rusev and Sheamus continue to attack Cena, so the Usos come out to try to help. They don’t put up much of a fight. Reigns comes out and does what the Usos couldn’t. He takes out the League of Nations.

Vince McMahon is back in the arena. He comes out and says that he will sue the city of New York. He also informs Reigns that he will defend his title next week against Sheamus with Vince McMahon as the guest referee. He then repeats “happy new year” over and over, making it sound like a threat.


Show Impressions
This was an okay show. I liked the New Day stuff a bunch (as always). Kofi’s line about fighting children was my favorite part of the night. The women’s match was good, but it could have been better. Still, I like the focus that Sasha Banks and Team BAD (and Becky Lynch) are getting. The Kevin Owens thing is keeping my interest too.

I still don’t care for what they’re doing with the World Heavyweight Title stuff. The things that happen are too convenient. Like I’ve said before, either the heels are dumb or the writing is poor. The cop on this show that arrested Vince wasn’t very believable for me. Too convenient. He gets mad because someone yells at him, then says “you know what, arrest this guy because I don’t like how he’s talking to me”? COme on. And Reigns is still just reacting to stuff that happens around him, not saying much about any of it.

Cena coming back was a nice addition to the show. Seeing how he uses the crowd even when (or especially when) they are on his case is great. It’s such a difference from Sheamus or Reigns and shows how far they still are from his level.

Match of the Night
Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch
Yes, it had some issues, but I think this was the best overall match on the show. The main event was good, but it was a little expected how it played out.

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