By Travis Kellar and Gene Axton - [email protected] - [email protected]

RAW Dialogue 1/13: Kalisto wins gold! Reigns fights everyone! The beast is back!

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Opening Segment

More of the same chatter between the McMahons and Roman Reigns, and it’s not working. It seems like every time Reigns picks up a microphone, his insecurity with talking become glaringly apparent.

Not much to write home about — if you’ve seen how RAW has opened the past few weeks, this week was no exception.

Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus

Not a bad match to start off the night, but nothing spectacular either.

I still don’t get why WWE books matches with the faces getting beat down and then making a comeback. Sure, Sheamus hit Ambrose from behind before the match started, but to control a vast majority of the match?

The match ended in a double count out, but Ambrose continued the beatdown until Kevin Owens came in and attacked him. Sheamus was even busted open during the brawl, something that’s fairly uncommon nowdays.

Winner: Double count out

The Usos vs. The New Day

The segment before this was painful. Chris Jericho and The New Day traded verbal jabs for an elongated period, then Jimmy and Jay Uso hit the ring and argued with The New Day over something entirely trivial. Tensions led to a tag match that saw The Usos get a victory off the hot tag. The more pressing matter is the injury incurred during the match; the fourth member of The New Day, trombone, will be out indefinitely after a brutal attack by Jericho.

Winners: The Usos

The Wyatts vs. The Social Outcasts

This match only served as a vehicle for Ryback to get his revenge on The Wyatts after what happened on last week’s RAW. So let’s examine what’s going on here: four jobbers form a group to become a mid-card force only to job. The Wyatt Family consists of two of the most talented guys on WWE’s roster but they continue to job.

Winner: Ryback

United States Championship Match

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto

If there is one thing WWE got right, it was this match and the outcome.

Kalisto and Del Rio put on an awesome back-and-forth match that, quite frankly, was the best bout of the night. The end made it look like it could go either way, but thanks to a fancy rollup, Kalisto scored the victory via pinfall in one of the biggest shockers in a long time.

Coming off of his insane Salida del Sol from the top of a ladder at WWE TLC, Kalisto deserves this push. WWE is always looking for their next masked wrestler to fill the void that Rey Mysterio left, and Kalisto could be that guy.

Again, the crowd seemed to be asleep at the wheel when the ref hit the three count.

Winner: Kalisto

Charlotte vs. Brie Bella

This match served as a vehicle for Becky Lynch to get her revenge on Charlotte after what happened on last week’s RAW, so let’s examine what’s going on here: WWE is building strong characters within their women’s division (can we get rid of the term Diva’s already?) that rival and, for the most part, surpass anything the writers are doing with their male counterparts. Becky Lynch and Charlotte have done everything right both in and out of the ring to make the term Diva’s Revolution finally seem accurate.

Winner: Becky Lynch

One vs. All Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens

This match had a lot of potential, but let’s call it what it really was — Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens in essentially a lumberjack match.

Again, WWE writers have this undying urge to beat down their faces only to have them come back. Reigns is no exception, — once again, they’re trying to turn him into the next version of John Cena, and it’s not working.

After a lengthy beatdown by Owens and eventually the rest of the roster, Brock Lesnar hit the ring to clean house and wake the audience the hell up. Lesnar’s strength never fails to amaze — he manhandled anybody that got in his way, including suplexes to big guys like Owens and Big E.

Lesnar’s beatdown was essentially his way of confirming that he would be in the Royal Rumble match. Quite frankly, his appearance saved the main event from being downright horrendous.

Gene reacts: WWE had an unusually long amount of time to build up to Royal Rumble yet they dragged their feet for weeks. Now we have no matches other than the Rumble itself (a common booking problem for the event in recent years) and they’re struggling to give us a reason to care. Lesnar is a plus, but I’m getting tired of them relying on one superstar to repeatedly save them when they run out of good ideas.

Travis reacts: WWE is once again backing themselves into a corner for the Royal Rumble, and I’m going to bet they will have egg on their face for a third year in a row. The Royal Rumble match itself is becoming increasingly predictable, and the lack of undercard matches is making what’s supposed to be a “Big 4” pay-per-view a snooze fest. I will give kudos where they’re due — Kalisto winning the U.S. Championship was the right call to make.

We watch RAW so you don’t have to

By Travis Kellar and Gene Axton

[email protected]

[email protected]