January 22, 2015
results thanks to wrestleview.com
"Then. Now. Forever." The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video kicks off the show recapping what happened in the main event of RAW. John Cena was facing Seth Rollins, Big Show, and Kane in a match where if Cena won, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback would get their jobs back. If Cena lost, he'd be removed from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble. The odds were against Cena in the match until Sting made a surprise appearance and cost Rollins the match. Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback have their jobs back.
The Smackdown video plays, and we're brought into the arena with a big pyrotechnics display. Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcome us to the show.
Daniel Bryan brings back Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback
Daniel Bryan's music hits, and he makes his way to the ring to a tremendous reaction from the crowd. The "YES!" chant breaks out as he gets in the ring. Bryan will face Kane in a No Disqualification Match in the main event. If Bryan loses, he'll be removed from the Royal Rumble match. Bryan says the crowd seems excited tonight. Why wouldn't they be? We are days away from the Royal Rumble and are ready to begin the Road to WrestleMania. Bryan could come out and talk about how important his No Disqualification Match against Kane is tonight. He could talk about how he would do whatever it takes to win and stay in the Royal Rumble match. He could talk about how ever since he had to forfeit the title because of his injury, he has spent every waking moment thinking about how he could win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He could talk about Sting and his first ever appearance on Monday Night RAW. He could talk about how The Authority, whether in power or out, flat out sucks. He could talk about all of that, but he won't because John Cena did something very important this past Monday on RAW. Instead of him out here yakking, he knows some guys that might have a little something to get off their chests.
Ryback's music hits, and he makes his way out to the ring to a great reception from the crowd. Erick Rowan's music hits, and he's the next to come out. Rowan's reaction is lukewarm. Finally, Dolph Ziggler's music hits, and he makes his way out to the ring to a fantastic reaction. Bryan reintroduces them to the crowd to a good pop.
Bryan asks Ryback how excited he is to get back in the ring. A "Feed Me More" chant breaks out. Ryback says it sounds like we've got a bunch of hungry people in Austin, Texas. Ryback says he and Bryan know what it's like to be at home out of action or fired watching other people do what you love to do. There's no worse feeling watching as the world passes them by. He could have given up, but this was his dream since he was twelve. It's his passion and life, and nobody takes that away from him, especially The Authority. Thanks to John Cena, Sting, and the WWE Universe for reminding the world just how bad The Authority sucks. This little game is over and so is he. The Big Guy is back! A "Feed Me More" chant breaks out again.
Rowan takes the microphone. Bryan asks Rowan what he thinks. Rowan removes the sheep mask and says being gone was sort of a blessing. He had a lot of time to sit back and think. He used to be a different person. He was naive. He was somebody's puppet. Over these last few weeks, he's seen himself in a new light. Rowan knows (he says "we know" while looking at the sheep mask) who he really is.
Ziggler takes the microphone, and the crowd starts buzzing. Ziggler says he's sat around, ate some stuff-crust pizza and watched the Triple H and Stephanie DVDs. Bryan asks if he really did that, and Ziggler says, "Hell no!" Ziggler says right before he was fired, he was very close to showing the world something he's known his entire life. He belongs on top with everyone else. He was the Intercontinental Champion and the sole survivor at Survivor Series. He's earned the right to go toe to toe with the best there has ever been. The Authority tried to take it away from everyone. They stood up to them and something they believed in. They called them out and let the world know. Ziggler says he'd rather be in the ring facing any punishment they give him than sit on some couch complaining on a podcast. This is what he loves to do, and he's just getting going right now.
Kane's music hits, and he makes his way out to the stage with Seth Rollins, Big Show, and J&J Security. Rollins says it looks to him like it's a little Survivor Series reunion in the ring. Of course, they replaced the wannabe Superman in John Cena with the little itty-bitty Daniel Bryan. Ziggler says he almost didn't recognize Rollins without his nose buried up The Authority's backside. Ever since Rollins arranged to bring back The Authority, he's been waiting to get his hands on him. Rollins says he'd love to put Ziggler in his place, but he's not going to do that right now. As Ziggler probably noticed while he was watching the show from his couch, he has a lot more important thing to deal with. A "You Sold Out" chant breaks out, but Rollins tells them to get over it. In only three days, he is going to beat not only John Cena, but also Brock Lesnar. He'll be the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins says Triple H and Stephanie's fitness videos are actually phenomenal. Maybe Ziggler should try to use them so he can be half the man he is. Ziggler says those fitness DVDs do have a lot of cardio in them, so maybe Rollins used that because he ran away from Lesnar faster than anyone.
Kane says Ziggler is extremely disrespectful for someone who was just rehired 72 hours ago. As for Bryan, The Authority is still in control. Bryan still has to go through him if he stands any chance of being in the Royal Rumble match this Sunday. Bryan says he has a better chance against Kane tonight than Kane did against Lesnar this past Monday. A replay is shown of Lesnar giving Kane and Big Show a pair of F-5s. Big Show says he'd like to give all four men a first class ticket over the top rope since flying first class would be something unique for them. Big Show says he doesn't have to worry about giving any of them a first class ticket since Bryan is facing Kane.
Kane says he's known Bryan a very long time, but he seems to have forgotten the depraved levels of sadism he's capable of. As for Ziggler, the little show off who could, he knows he's chomping at the bit for an Intercontinental Championship match, but technically as a new employee, he's at the bottom of the ladder. Tonight, he'll let him face the man who beat him around the arena like a rag doll and took his title from him. That match starts right now.
Bad News Barrett makes his way to the ring. Ziggler has to beat him to qualify for the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett
They circle the ring and lock up. Barrett applies a waistlock and takes him down. Ziggler fights up and wrenches the arm. Ziggler goes to a side headlock, but Barrett backs him to the corner to break the hold. Barrett kicks him down before clubbing him. Barrett sends him into the ropes, but Ziggler ducks a clothesline and connects with a dropkick for a one count. Ziggler punches him before having a whip to the opposite corner reversed on him. Barrett counters a slingshot attempt with a kick to the midsection. Barrett then sends him shoulder first into the ring post. Barrett goes outside to retrieve him and slams him off the ring apron. Barrett then snaps the injured arm off the ring post. Ziggler tries to fight back, but Barrett kicks him down. Barrett rolls him into the ring for a two count. Barrett then applies an overhead wristlock. Ziggler fights up, but Barrett slams him back down. Barrett then attacks the shoulder some more for a two count. Barrett then applies a Fujiwara Arm Bar. Ziggler fights up and punches out. Barrett quickly boots him in the midsection, but Ziggler soon sidesteps an avalanche attempt. Ziggler then connects with a big spike DDT. Ziggler holds his shoulder in pain before going for a cover, but Barrett kicks out after two.
We come back from the break to see Barrett slam Ziggler off the turnbuckle. Barrett lays him across the top turnbuckle before kneeing him in the ribs. Barrett picks up a near fall for that. Barrett applies an arm bar, but Ziggler fights up and connects with a jawbreaker. Ziggler elbows him in the face and sidesteps a shoulder tackle in the corner, causing Barrett to hit the ring post shoulder first.
Ziggler connects with a splash in the corner before hitting a neckbreaker. Ziggler drops an elbow for a near fall. Barrett sidesteps a famouser and rolls him up for a two count. Ziggler immediately connects with a superkick for a near fall. Both men are slow to get to their feet. Ziggler goes for a Zig-Zag, but Barrett holds the top rope. Ziggler avoids a big boot, but Barrett catches him with a back kick to the midsection. Barrett pulls his elbow pad down and sets up for the end. Barrett goes for the Bull Hammer, but Ziggler counters with a dropkick. Ziggler then connects with the Zig-Zag for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: * 3/4
Dolph Ziggler qualifies for the 2015 Royal Rumble. Replays of the end of the match are shown. Ziggler celebrates with the crowd.
Replays are shown of the nWo, APA, and The New Age Outlaws attacking The Ascension. JBL finished it all with a Clothesline From Hell. The New Age Outlaws will face The Ascension at the Royal Rumble this Sunday.
Daniel Bryan will face Kane in the main event in a No Disqualification Match. If Bryan loses, he's out of the Royal Rumble. We'll hear from Roman Reigns, next.
Renee Young is backstage with Roman Reigns. Replays are shown of him clotheslining Big Show over the top rope on RAW Reunion. Reigns says apparently Big Show is a giant if you haven't heard. Every chance Big Show gets, he reminds him he's a giant. You know who didn't have to remind people he was a giant? André The Giant. André was the man. Big Show is an insecure man trapped in the body of a giant. Big Show is always talking about Reigns wanting his spot. Reigns says he doesn't want Big Show's spot. He wants his own. He wants to carve out his own path. That starts at the Royal Rumble match. That match will be crazy, but none of it matters unless his feet are planted, his head is on a swivel, and his fist is cocked, locked, and ready to unlock. Reigns doesn't have friends watching his back. Everything he gets, he'll earn. It's one versus all. Believe that.
Ryback makes his way to the ring. He'll face Rusev in a Royal Rumble Qualifying Match, next.
Fandango is seen drawing a number for the Royal Rumble match with Rosa Mendes by his side. Fandango is happy with his number and puts it down. Fandango kisses Mendes. As he does that, Dean Ambrose sneaks in, draws a number he doesn't like, and switches it with Fandango's number.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Ryback vs. Rusev w/ Lana
The bell sounds, and they take their time before locking up. They try to overpower one another, but are unable to do so. They lock up, and Ryback applies a side headlock. Rusev whips him off, but Ryback shoulder blocks him down. Rusev quickly rolls out of the ring to recover. Lana talks strategy with him before he gets back in the ring. Rusev kicks and punches him down before going for a suplex, but Ryback blocks it. Ryback then gives Rusev a scary suplex that sees his feet hit the top rope. Rusev landed hard on his shoulder. Ryback picks up a one count, and Rusev rolls out of the ring to recover again. Rusev gets back in the ring, and Ryback immediately attacks him. Ryback hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner before punching him some more. Ryback hits the ropes, and Rusev takes him out with an impressive dropkick. Rusev kicks him on the apron and DDTs the leg. Ryback falls out of the ring in pain.
We come back from the break to see Rusev DDT Ryback for a one count. Rusev pulls him to the ring apron, and he slams the injured leg off the apron. Rusev then slams it against the ring post. Rusev knees him in the midsection before body slamming him down. Rusev taunts the crowd as Ryback pulls himself up. Rusev body slams him down again. Rusev talks more trash before Ryback hits a scary looking slingshot back suplex.
The crowd chants "Feed Me More" as Ryback catches him with a back elbow. Ryback hits a running forearm smash. Rusev reverses a whip to the corner, but Ryback kicks him away before hitting a big powerslam for a near fall. Ryback hits a chop before sending him into the ropes. Ryback lowers his head and eats a kick. Ryback quickly ducks a roundhouse kick and hits a Boulder Holder for a near fall! Ryback punches away at him before going for a powerbomb. Rusev counters with a vicious Alabama Slam for a near fall! They trade punches with Ryback coming out on top. Rusev reverses a whip to the corner, but Ryback soon catches him with a belly-to-belly side suplex. Ryback goes to the top rope, but Rusev crotches him up there. Rusev hits a thrust kick, and Ryback falls to the mat. Rusev picks up a near fall for that. Rusev yells in frustration.
Rusev stomps on his spine and goes for the Accolade, but Ryback fights it. Ryback fights up with him on his back, and he slams him down. Ryback connects with a spinebuster, and he sets up in the corner. The crowd loudly chants "Feed Me More." Rusev quickly falls down and rolls out of the ring to avoid the Meat Hook Clothesline. Ryback attacks him at ringside and knees away at him. Ryback sends him into the barricade and viciously punches away at him. When the referee screams, "Nine," Ryback quickly gets back in the ring to win by count-out!
Winner by Count-Out: Ryback
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Ryback has qualified for the 2015 Royal Rumble match. Rusev blindsides him with an avalanche before punching away at him. Rusev sets up for a thrust kick, but Ryback blocks it and connects with the Meat Hook Clothesline. Ryback goes for Shell Shocked, but Rusev gets out and quickly leaves the ring. Rusev and Lana retreat up the ramp as Ryback shouts at them.
Daniel Bryan will face Kane in a No Disqualification Match. If Bryan loses, he's out of the Royal Rumble match.
Paige and Natalya will be on commentary for the next match.
Naomi vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella
The Bella Twins are shown in a pre-taped promo. They talk trash about Natalya and Paige, their opponents at the Royal Rumble.
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee of all time, is the official for this match. Naomi rolls Brie up as she was glaring at Natalya and Paige. Naomi quickly dropkicks her after the kick out. Naomi ducks a clothesline and hits a flipping clothesline. Naomi forearms her in the face a few times before having a whip to the corner reversed. Naomi kicks her in the face. Brie elbows and slaps her before snapping her off the top rope. Naomi falls to the floor. Brie throws her back into the ring and dropkicks her for a two count. Brie slams her off the top rope a few times before hitting a bulldog for a two count. Brie goes for her running knee, but Naomi avoids it. Naomi hits a pair of clotheslines before kicking her in the midsection. Naomi goes for a spin kick, but Brie blocks it and hits a knee breaker. Brie connects with the Bella Buster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Brie Bella
Match Rating: 3/4 *
The Bella Twins stare at Natalya and Paige. They get up from commentary and stare back.
Luke Harper is seen backstage. Harper says this Sunday at the Royal Rumble match, you can send in whoever you want, but don't expect them back. As for Erick Rowan, he won't even get the chance. Harper warns him not to blink or the monsters that live in his head will get you. Harper asks, "Are you scared yet? You should be." Erick Rowan will face him, next.
Gold and Stardust are seen backstage picking their numbers in the Royal Rumble. Stardust wonders if the stars will align for him. Goldust wonders if darkness will consume them again. They look at their numbers and don't look happy. Goldust says it's every man for himself. Stardust hisses at him, and Goldust chomps back.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper
The bell rings, and they immediately begin throwing punches. Harper knees him in the midsection, but he has a whip to the corner reversed on him. Rowan connects with a big boot for a two count. Rowan applies a side headlock and drives him headfirst into the turnbuckle. Rowan hits a body slam for a two count. Harper rolls out of the ring to recover. Rowan punches him and throws him back into the ring. Harper hits the ropes, and Rowan takes him down with a big shoulder block for a two count. Rowan picks him up for a powerbomb, but Harper counters with a hurricanrana! Rowan quickly pops up and slams him into the corner. Rowan head-butts him before sending him to the opposite corner for an avalanche. Rowan hits the ropes, and Harper dropkicks him down for a near fall. Rowan quickly catches him with a back elbow before flipping him into the corner. Rowan sends him to the corner and avalanches him twice. Rowan then connects with a spin kick for a near fall. Rowan goes for a Full Nelson Bomb, but Harper bites his hand. Harper hits the ropes, but Rowan knees him in the midsection and hits a huge powerbomb for a near fall!
Rowan sets him up and goes to the top rope. Rowan dives off, but Harper avoids it. Harper superkicks him before hitting the Discus Clothesline for the win! Erick Rowan will not be part of the 2015 Royal Rumble.
Winner by Pinfall: Luke Harper
Match Rating: * 1/2
Seth Rollins is complaining to Kane backstage about how Dolph Ziggler talked to him. Kane says this is a really big night, and he needs all the advantages he can get. Kane says he needs to borrow J&J Security. Rollins allows it because they have to do whatever they can to make sure Daniel Bryan stays out of the Royal Rumble.
The Royal Rumble "By The Numbers" video plays.
The Miz is seen walking backstage when Damien Mizdow stops him and gives him a pumpkin spice latte. Miz asks if this is to make amends for embarrassing him on RAW Reunion by parading around as a member of The Kliq. Mizdow apologizes, but he says the people did like it. Miz reminds him that he's his stunt double, so he's really an extension of himself. When the people cheer him, they're really cheering for The Miz. Miz takes a sip of the latte and hands it back, saying there isn't enough froth. Miz walks off, and Mizdow looks frustrated. The Usos then come up to Mizdow. Jimmy says they have a Tag Team Title match, but in the Rumble itself, it's every man for himself. They ask if he'll throw himself out if Miz gets eliminated. They stress that it's a huge opportunity to main event WrestleMania and shut Miz up. They walk off, and Mizdow looks like he's contemplating it.
Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring. He'll face Kane in a No Disqualification Match, next. If Bryan loses, he's out of the Royal Rumble.
The New Day will face Adam Rose, Cesaro, and Tyson Kidd in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination Match on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show.
No Disqualification Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane w/ J&J Security
Replays are shown of Kane costing Bryan his match on RAW against Bray Wyatt. It was Bryan's first RAW match since early May 2014. Kane then attacked him after the match.
The bell rings, and Bryan peppers him with some right hands until Kane uppercuts him. Kane punches him before sending him into the ropes. Bryan ducks a clothesline and hits a running cross-body block for a one count. Kane's kick out sends Bryan to the apron. J&J Security get on the apron to distract him. Kane then big boots him to the floor. Kane goes outside and hits a neckbreaker on the floor. A "YES!" chant breaks out. Kane military presses him and drops him on the barricade. Kane clubs him down before going under the ring for a kendo stick. Kane smacks the stick off his back a few times before digging the tip of it into his neck. Kane throws him back into the ring and brings the kendo stick in with him.
Bryan ducks a kendo stick shot and hits a running forearm. Bryan picks up the kendo stick and smacks him in the shoulder with it a bunch of times. Bryan has him on his knees. Bryan trades off a stick shot and a kick. The crowd is going wild as he does so. Bryan kicks him in the head for a near fall. Bryan goes to the top rope and jumps off with the stick, but Kane uppercuts him out of mid-air for a near fall. Kane throws him out of the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Bryan trapped in a chin lock. Bryan fights up and elbows out. Kane quickly kicks him in the knee and hits a running DDT for a two count. During the commercial break, J&J Security send Bryan into the barricade. Jamie Noble gives Kane a chair. Kane hits him in the midsection before smacking it off his spine for a near fall. Kane wedges the chair in between the top and middle turnbuckle in the corner. Bryan quickly kicks Kane in the head and punches him. Kane pushes him into the ropes, but Bryan holds on. Bryan then pulls the top rope down to get Kane out of the ring. Bryan hits him with a baseball slide. Bryan goes for a suicide dive, but Kane uppercuts him. Kane sends him into the steel steps as J&J Security clears the top of the commentary table. J&J Security throw Bryan on top of the table. Kane goes to give him a Tombstone Piledriver, but Bryan pushes him off the table. Bryan jumps off the table, and Kane catches him in a Chokeslam attempt. Bryan gets out and sends him face first into the ring post. Bryan gets in the ring and takes him out with a suicide dive!
Bryan dropkicks him at ringside, and J&J Security starts to attack him. Bryan fights him off, but Kane recovers and takes him down. Kane sends him into the ring and goes to the top rope. Kane goes for his diving lariat, but Bryan counters into the YES! Lock! J&J Security break up the submission and stomp away at him. Bryan fights them off. Bryan hits Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble with a pair of dropkicks each. Kane then catches him with a Chokeslam for a near fall! Kane slaps the mat in frustration.
Kane goes outside and grabs a steel chair. Kane goes to hit him with it, but Bryan gives him a drop-toe-hold into the chair Kane wedged in the corner! Bryan then hits him with the Busaiku Knee Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: **
Daniel Bryan will remain in the 2015 Royal Rumble. Bryan celebrates at the top of the ramp doing the "YES!" chant. Big Show attacks him from behind and throws him into the ring. The Authority gang up on him until Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler run down to even the odds. More wrestlers led by Luke Harper run down, and they start brawling with everyone. The locker room starts to empty. Dean Ambrose comes out to his entrance music and gets involved. Roman Reigns comes in through the crowd as the ring starts to thin out. Reigns brawls with the Big Show before kicking him out of the ring. Reigns then takes J&J Security out with a single Superman Punch. Reigns spears Titus O'Neil down for good measure.
Remaining in the ring are Reigns, Ambrose, Ziggler, Ryback, and Bryan. Big Show and Kane get on the apron. All seven men stare at each other as the show comes to an end.