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WWE Monday Night Raw Review - 01/04/2016

Updated on January 5, 2016

Match #1: Kevin Owens defeats Neville by pinfall

  • To start the action tonight, Kevin Owens and Neville go one on one in a rematch of last week's opening match which only lasted 21 seconds. Kevin Owens pinned Neville with a Pop-up Powerbomb after an amazing performance by both men which lasted close to 6 minutes in length this time. This match was great, it reminded me of some of their NXT matches. Neville went all out tonight, connecting with a diving Shooting Star Press from the top rope to the outside of the ring on a standing Kevin Owens and hitting a 450 Splash from the apron to the outside of the ring. Neville got planted with a sickening modified DDT and he did justice to the move as he sold it to perfection, I don't think there is anyone on the roster who can sell a DDT better than Neville. If Neville performs like this every week I can see him capturing a singles title in the near future. I see a lot of potential with Neville keeping Miz as an ally but I'm not sure if WWE is pulling the trigger with that angle. It might be the perfect time right now to turn Neville heel because a red hot babyface Sami Zayn just made his return in NXT and I think its likely for him to get called up pretty soon.
  • After the match, Kevin Owens continues to beat down Neville so Dean Ambrose, who was calling the match on commentary, runs in to make the save and attack Owens. Owens and Ambrose go back and forth. Ultimately, Ambrose puts Kevin Owens through the announce table by connecting with an diving elbow off the barricade which somewhat resembled shades of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 15. This was a great segment, both Owens and Ambrose are hot as hell and its nice to see them feuding for the IC title and giving the IC title some serious recognition as this is arguably the best feud on TV right now. Also its nice to see Owens and Ambrose taking the spotlight and putting each other through the announce table every week.
  • Match Rating - 8/10

Match #2: Titus O'Neil defeats Stardust by pinfall

  • Titus O'Neil picks up a singles win tonight as he beats Stardust in close to 4 minutes with the Clash of the Titus. This was a decent match given their time limit, the highlight of the match was the execution of the Disaster Kick by Stardust. I'm not sure where Darren Young has been, if PTP is currently a tag team right now or if Titus is currently a singles wrestler. Regardless, Titus is a great talent and he has been really misused by WWE. Titus is a big guy with great athleticism who has a lot of potential, he has tasted success in the tag team division however WWE just hasn't taken him too seriously as a singles wrestler. That being said, even though I'm big on Cody Rhodes this wasn't a bad call at all and Titus got a well deserved clean singles victory. These two have been involved in some backstage segments together in the past recent weeks so I wouldn't be surprised if we see these two continue to cross paths in the near future.
  • Match Rating - n/a if under 5 minutes

Match #3: Becky Lynch defeats Charlotte by pinfall

  • Divas action is up next as Becky Lynch goes one on one with the Divas Champion Charlotte "for the spirit of competition". This was a great match which was close to 8 minutes in length, the crowd was really into it and they were hot for Becky. Becky wins with a roll up while holding Charlotte's tights, because this was after Ric Flair tried costing Becky the match with some outside interference. This was a big win for Becky, probably the biggest win in her career so far, and this was exactly the win that I have been talking about and saying she needed. Becky just pinned the WWE Divas Champion in a great performance despite outside interference and the crowd was just buying into it and loving it. This could be a career defining win for Becky, it will bring her closer to the championship and can give her career some serious momentum.
  • After the match, it looks like Charlotte has officially turned heel as she attacks Becky Lynch from behind, assaults her and spears her. There were boos all over the arena as the crowd chanted "loser" at the Divas Champion. This was a great heel turn that was well overdue, it separates Charlotte and Becky Lynch which will end up being better for both of their careers in the long run. Charlotte is a dominant athlete and she used that perfectly to aid her in the execution of this heel turn. This was a great segment as it solidified Becky Lynch's spot in the division and also gave Charlotte some serious heat with a well executed heel turn.
  • Match Rating - 7.5/10

Match #4: Ryback defeats Big Show by disqualification

  • In another rematch from last week, The Big Guy Ryback is scheduled to go one on one with Big Show. Tonight it was announced that Ryback is in the Royale Rumble match, and Big Show made the same announcement for himself last week on MizTV. About one minute into the match as Ryback is outside of the ring the lights go out and the next thing you see are the Wyatts surrounding Ryback.
  • The Wyatt Family interrupts this match and completely assaults Ryback outside of the ring, before delivering another assault to Big Show inside the ring. They completely destroyed both competitors and the Wyatts look like a pack of hungry wolves. The Wyatt Family continue their dominance and Bray screamed that they will rise at the Royale Rumble. Just like lasts weeks match, this was just booked as a filler match leading up to the Royale Rumble and it was a good way for The Wyatt Family to enter themselves into the Rumble as they just destroyed two giants and their appearance in this match was unpredictable.
  • Match Rating - n/a if under 5 minutes

Match #5: League of Nations (Rusev and Alberto Del Rio) defeat The Usos by pinfall

  • Tag Team action is up next as The Usos are scheduled to face Rusev and US Champ Alberto Del Rio. This was a great jam-packed tag team match with a lot of action which was close to 10 minutes. There were several near falls on both sides and great tag team wrestling from both teams. Alberto Del Rio got the pin on Jey Uso with a diving double foot stomp across the ring as Jey was caught up in the ropes. This was definitely the best diving double foot stomp that the US Champion Alberto Del Rio has executed since he made his return in 2015.
  • With The League of Nations being booked in tag team action every week, I would be down to see two members from League of Nations challenge New Day for the tag team titles in the near future. There is also great potential with a League of Nations vs. Wyatt Family feud as both teams are red hot and both teams are even with 4 members on each side.
  • Match Rating - 7.5/10

Match #6: Heath Slater defeats Dolph Ziggler by pinfall

  • Dolph Ziggler has entered the Royale Rumble and he is set to face Heath Slater, who is accompanied to the ring with Bo Dallas, Adam Rose and Curtis Axel. It seems like these 4 men may have created a new faction tonight, and they are calling themselves Social Outcasts. In an unexpected upset, Heath Slater picks up the victory with a roll-up pin in under 5 minutes as Dolph was distracted by Bo Dallas. The WWE Universe spoke at the Slammies and apparently Heath Slater was in 8th place in the whole roster for Superstar of the Year and tonight he picks up a pinfall victory over a former World Heavyweight Champion. I am interested to see where Slater, Dallas, Rose and Axel go from here.
  • Match Rating - n/a if under 5 minutes

Match #7: New Day defeats The Dudley Boyz and Kalisto by pinfall

  • The Tag Team Champions are in action as they face the Dudley Boyz and Kalisto in a 6 man tag team match right after Chris Jericho made his return, interrupting New Day's promo to cut his own and enter himself into the Royale Rumble Match. This was a nice return to start off the new year. I don't expect Jericho to win the Rumble this year but I do expect him to make it far, perhaps in the final 5 or so. I think it would be great to see Jericho in action at Wrestlemania as well if everything is done right creatively, unlike Wrestlemania 29. I think Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose at Wrestlemania would be gold.
  • This was a good 6-man tag match was about 13 minutes, Big E picked up the pinfall on D-Von after him and Kofi hit Midnight Hour. The tag team division is stacked right now, with New Day, Dudley Boyz, Lucha Dragons (although specifics of Sin Cara's injury aren't clear at the moment), The Usos, The Wyatts, League of Nations and the newly formed Social Outcasts. I listened to a recent interview from Jeff Hardy, The Hardyz contracts with TNA are expiring next month and Jeff noted that him and his brother Matt are likely to return back to WWE once their contracts are up and once Jeff heals from his knee injury he suffered from a motorcycle accident last year. This is even more great news for the tag team division, as Jeff said him and Matt will likely end their careers in WWE. I don't know how long The Dudley Boyz contract lasts with WWE but I hope its long enough to see another Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz match. I would like to see The Dudley Boyz get at least one last run with the tag titles before their contract is up. I noted earlier how League of Nations can get a tag team title shot, and I think the Wyatts should also have a tag title shot coming their way as I believe The Wyatt Family is the best team in recent history who has never won tag team gold.
  • Match Rating - 7/10

Match #8 (Main Event): Roman Reigns defeats Sheamus to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

  • In the main event of the night, Roman Reigns defends his championship against Sheamus and Vince McMahon is the special guest referee. This match was filled with a lot of outside drama which most wrestling fans love including Roman Reigns attacking Vince McMahon and Stephanie taking a bump as well, Scott Armstrong returning as the second referee and getting knocked out and finally this match took 3 referees for Roman to get the win in about 14 minutes. Roman Reigns had the match won on several occasions but the match would continue due to the referee drama. This was a solid match because of all the drama, it made Reigns look great but unfortunately Sheamus looked pretty weak tonight.
  • After the match, Vince McMahon announced that Roman Reigns will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against 29 other superstars at the Royale Rumble. This is very interesting because this year the winner of the Royale Rumble match is likely going to go into Wrestlemania as the WWE Champion rather than the competitor. This raises the stakes of the Royale Rumble and as much as I would love to see someone like Kevin Owens win, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if Roman Reigns wins the Royale Rumble match again this year because of how thin the roster is at the moment. Although, there are still many spots left open in the Royale Rumble match and if Brock Lesnar is in it he has to be a favorite as well.
  • Match Rating - 7/10


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