January 12, 2016
(taped January 12, 2016)
City: Lafayette, LA
Commentary: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler
Ring Announcer: Eden Stiles
“On My Way” by CFO$
Mark Henry enters the ring and says that in August it will be 20 years since he signed his first WWE contract. He’s been all over the world and he’s held many titles, but he’s never won the Royal Rumble match. He says that 2016 is the year for him to cross that accomplishment off his list.
The Ascension comes out and reminds Mark that they eliminated him from the Andre Battle Royal at Wrestlemania last year. They say that together The Ascension can win the Rumble. They enter the ring and attack Mark. Mark is down, but Jack Swagger comes out to stop The Ascension from going any further.
** I like the start to the show. I think Mark Henry’s speech could have relly been a segment on RAW. I think it has enough real emotion that people would be interested. It would make those throw-away multi-man matches on RAW mean something if it started with something like that. **
Fandango vs Stardust
(referee: Mike Chioda)
They start off running the ropes until Fandango hits a dropkick that sends Stardust to the floor. Fandango follows him out with a plancha over the ropes. Back in the ring Stardust suckers Fandango and hits him in the gut.Stardust starts to take control of the match with strikes and by using the ring to his advantage.
Stardust puts Fandango in a rear chinlock. Fandango fights to his feet. Fandango winds up on the apron and comes back into the ring with a sunset flip. Fandango builds momentum and lands a heel kick for a 2 count.
They counter each other’s moves, but Fandango winds up in the corner after Stardust side-steps a charge. Stardust pulls Fandango out of the corner and hits Queen’s Crossbow for the win.
Result: Stardust wins via pinfall after Queen’s Crossbow
Nice match. It was short but they managed to make it feel longer than it was because there was little down time. Stardust was devious with how he got nearly all of his offense which fits his character perfectly. Very solid match.
** On a side note though, I wish Fandango would stop doing the pointing dance thing that the fans do. It’s like he’s become a parody of himself. He’s not actually dancing anymore. He’s better as a heel, so he should either do his fake ballroom stuff, or just not dance at all. What he’s doing now makes no sense for his character. He really needs an overhaul like what Adam Rose did. He needs a clean break from what his character has become or I feel like he’s going to be stuck on Main Event and Superstars at best. **
Sting’s Hall of Fame video.
Alicia Fox vs Tamina
(referee: Dan Engler)
Tamina runs towards Alicia, but Alicia uses the turnbuckle to get a sunset flip. Tamina then starts to dominate Alicia with her power. Tamina hits a scoop powerslam and gets a 2 count on Alicia. Tamina takes her time as she stalks Alicia and arrogantly punishes her.
After a running hip attack by Tamina, Alicia puts her in a small package and starts to shift the momentum in her favor. Tamina shuts her down, but Tamina misses a jumping attack and Alicia rolls her up for the win.
Result: Alicia Fox wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
Pretty good match. It was a nice and believable some from behind performance by Alicia. The way they put the match together and how they ended it made both Tamina and Alicia look good.
Recap of Reigns versus a bunch of people from RAW.
Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs The Ascension
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Swagger and Viktor start. They trade headlocks with Swagger getting the advantage. Viktor drives Swagger into the corner and The Ascension makes some quick tags to isolate Swagger. Swagger goes for a Patriot Lock but Viktor escapes. Mark Henry gets the tag.
Henry powers Viktor into the corner and tags Swagger back in. Swagger prevents Viktor from tagging with a short-arm clothesline. Konnor pulls Viktor out of the ring. Swagger follows but gets tripped on the apron by Konnor.
The Ascension is in control of Swagger. Eventually, after much punishment, Swagger hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Viktor. Both men tag. Henry comes in and runs over Konnor. He slams Viktor as well. Swagger hits a Swagger Bomb on Viktor followed by a World’s Strongest Slam from Henry on Konnor.
Result: Mark Henry pins Konnor after a World’s Strongest Slam
Time: 8:23 (1 break)
Good match. I really like the team of Henry and Swagger. I’d actually like to see them team on RAW and insert themselves into the tag title picture that has been pretty narrow over the last few months. With the Lucha Dragons out until Sin Cara heals, they need some new people in the mix. I think the “World’s Strongest Americans” (as Rich Brennan called them) would be a great match with New Day.
This was a really solid show. I thought all the matches were good and I liked the opening segment. Mark Henry is a great sympathetic character when he starts talking about all he’s done. He’s instantly likable.
Match of the Night
Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs The Ascension
It was the longest match and easily had the most to it. I quite enjoyed the ending and hope to see these guys get a push as a team on one of the big shows. It kind of feels like they should considering this isn’t the first time they’ve teamed together. I think they could get a good reaction from the crowd.