raw 18 january 2016 top 10 moments in sports

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 18

There was no Effie Trinket exclaiming, “May the odds be ever in your favor” as Roman Reigns’ name was drawn from a rigged tumbler, his fate as the No. 1 entrant in this weekend’s Royal Rumble match determined by Vince and Stephanie McMahon on Monday night.

There wasn’t any sort of grand parade for fans to wish him well prior to entering the hell that will be the 30-man elimination bout Sunday, either.

Instead, what awaited the WWE world heavyweight champion was a singles bout with Rusev, then a face-to-face confrontation with The Beast Incarnate.

If that was not enough, there was the dangerous and menacing Wyatt Family, which ensured that the top dog in the industry ended the night on his back, his chances of even surviving until Sunday’s broadcast lessened significantly as a result of a four-on-one beatdown at the stable’s collective hand.

No, Reigns was not done any favors on Monday night as WWE Raw rolled into Columbus, Ohio, and the powers that be would have it no other way.

After weeks of overcoming obstacles put in his path by The Authority, Reigns finally appears to be overcome and overwhelmed by the 29 other Superstars who await him.

That story may have dominated Raw, but it was hardly the only one to play out on the USA Network on Monday night.

What else went down on the go-home episode of WWE’s flagship program? Who left victorious and how did each segment grade out?

Get your answers now!

Roman Reigns In-Ring Promo

WWE world heavyweight champion Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd to kick off the evening’s broadcast as Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and John Bradshaw Layfield ran down the events of last week’s show, including Brock Lesnar’s message to the titleholder courtesy of an F-5.

“Break the Walls Down” erupted over the PA system and the crowd greeted Chris Jericho with apathy as he headed toward the squared circle.

Jericho suggested that Reigns join him and Lesnar later in the night for the “biggest ‘Highlight Reel’ ever,” an invitation Reigns accepted.

The League of Nations interrupted the promo and was insulted that the Rumble match had become all about Reigns and The Beast Incarnate. Sheamus asked why he was not invited to the promo segment later in the night, to which Jericho responded, “Because I’m trying to keep it entertaining.”

Alberto Del Rio and Rusev each had their own promo time, Jericho and Reigns responded, and a match between the Bulgarian Brute and the WWE champion was booked.

And Jericho inexplicably announced himself as the guest referee.

Where to start with this one?

The opening promo of the night is used to set up. another promo segment later in the show. Not only was that a major problem, but so was the fact that the total runtime of the segment was entirely too long at approximately 20 minutes.

There was nothing entertaining, witty or effective about any of it. Instead, it set up a match with a foregone conclusion and did nothing to incite anything even remotely close to electricity from the fans.

For the first time in his career, Jericho came off as absolutely flat, relying on old catchphrases and childish jokes rather than the witty one-liners and catchphrases he has been so critically acclaimed for over the course of his career.

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev (Chris Jericho as Guest Referee)

Rusev capitalized on a distraction by his fellow League of Nations teammates to attack Roman Reigns at ringside and take control of the bout early.

Just as it appeared as though the second-generation star was about to mount a comeback, the League again inserted itself into the action, allowing the Bulgarian to regain the upper hand as Jericho watched on, doing nothing about the blatant cheating.

Reigns eventually mounted his comeback, including the 10 corner clotheslines that included Jericho counting along with the champion. Hardly unbiased officiating.

Reigns delivered a big sit-out powerbomb for two and called for the Superman Punch only to have Alberto Del Rio cause a distraction, allowing Sheamus to pull him out of the ring and send him crashing into the barricade.

Jericho tossed The Celtic Warrior out of arena, followed by Barrett and Del Rio.

Reigns delivered his trademark punch and exploded across the ring with the Spear for the pinfall victory over Rusev.

Roman Reigns defeated Rusev.

Reigns and Rusev worked hard here and demonstrated some solid in-ring chemistry, but the match was criminally overshadowed by the antics of Jericho as guest referee.

He blatantly ignored the interference from The League of Nations only to catch it in the act and finally do something about it late in the match. It was during that exchange that he did the wacky toss-out of the heels, completely undermining everything the company has tried to accomplish in getting Reigns over as the face of the company.

It was a good match, as is the case most times Reigns steps inside the squared circle, but the surrounding elements prevented it from becoming anything more than that.

Natalya vs. Brie Bella

Natalya returned to the squared circle, accompanied by Paige, for a showdown with Brie Bella.

Michael Cole tried to explain Paige’s association with the third-generation Diva as a clip from the newest episode of Total Divas aired, thus setting the Divas Revolution back three years.

Natalya scored the win after two minutes of action with the Sharpshooter.

Natalya defeated Brie Bella via submission.

This was the epitome of everything wrong with WWE and its treatment of the Divas.

Natalya has not been used on television in months and Paige has been absent since her showdown with Charlotte at TLC. Introducing them only to serve as an advertisement for the crappy Total Divas reality show unravels everything the company tried to do by introducing a Divas Revolution last summer.

No one comes out of this match looking better than they did entering it, and the result was a complete waste of television time that hurt the improving Divas division significantly.

Ryback and The Dudley Boyz vs. The Wyatt Family

Ryback and The Dudley Boyz looked to settle their differences with The Wyatt Family on Monday night in a huge six-man tag team match, the only contest previously announced for the show.

Luke Harper gained control for the heels early, while Erick Rowan used a standing heel kick to take D-Von Dudley down. Bray Wyatt and his loyal followers isolated the smaller Dudley, working over the tag team great to the dismay of the WWE Universe.

After minutes of enduring a beating, D-Von made the tag to Ryback, who exploded into the match, taking down the larger Harper. A blind tag to Bubba Ray Dudley led to a big boot and a near-fall.

Action broke down late, with Wyatt disposing of Ryback at ringside, Rowan breaking up a 3-D by The Dudley Boyz and Harper finishing Bubba off with a huge sidekick and discus clothesline.

“At the Royal Rumble, there will be no salvation! The apocalypse. is here,” cameras caught Wyatt exclaiming following the bout.

The Wyatt Family defeated Ryback and The Dudley Boyz.

The match was not what one would consider extraordinary, but it did what it was intended to do, and that is get The Wyatt Family over as a united front entering the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.

The finish was fantastic in that it utilized every member of the group and showed just how dangerous they can be when they are on the same page. They picked apart the opposition in impressive fashion, and the clean pinfall victory for Harper helped him recover some credibility and momentum after months of mismanagement.

Wyatt’s ominous words were a nice touch and really helped spotlight him as a dark-horse candidate to leave Sunday’s show with the WWE title in ways that the overly long promos from Chris Jericho and Sheamus earlier in the show failed miserably to.

The Big Show vs. Heath Slater

Heath Slater and The Social Outcasts vowed to trend worldwide on Sunday at the Royal Rumble, each of them promising to win the 30-man match.

They did not fare so well on Monday, though, as Slater lost to Big Show in seconds following his KO Punch. After the bout, the rest of the Outcasts were laid out with the big right hand, reminding fans for the umpteenth time that Big Show is a dangerous giant.

Big Show defeated Heath Slater.

A few weeks back, Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel debuted as The Social Outcasts, bringing four talented undercard stars together in a faction that would give them more television exposure.

Unfortunately, they are right back where they were previously, jobbing in humiliating fashion as Vince McMahon and WWE Creative remind them of their place on the pecking order.

This week, they were jobbed mercilessly to put over Big Show, an aging veteran whose best days in the ring are far, far behind him.

Yet another poor booking decision on a show full of them on Monday night.

Who Will Be No. 1?

Vince and Stephanie McMahon ran down the Superstars who could very well find themselves entering at No. 1 in this Sunday’s Royal Rumble.

Wasting little time in determining who will enter the 30-man match at the least desirable position, they turned the tumbler and picked a name from inside.

WWE world heavyweight champion Roman Reigns was revealed as the unlucky participant. The McMahons picked again, and it was Reigns for a second time, really hammering home the fact that the draw was fixed. They repeated the draw one more time and Reigns was drawn again, with the ominous warning by Vince that Reigns’ days as champion will be over on Sunday.

There was something hilarious about watching Stephanie not so subtly poking fun at her father’s inability to open the plastic balls containing Reigns’ name.

Other than that, though, this was another segment in a long line of them that ran entirely too long without really accomplishing anything that could not have been saved for a quick backstage vignette.

Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka

Tamina of Team B.A.D. battled Becky Lynch in singles competition, trying to derail the Lass Kicker’s momentum as Divas champion Charlotte watched from ringside, her father Ric Flair by her side.

The daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka used her size and strength to overwhelm Lynch early, but the Irish-born Diva fought back, unloading with a dropkick and a series of leg drops.

The Dis-arm-her finished Tamina off.

After the match, Lynch cut a promo, asking Charlotte for the Divas Championship match this Sunday at Royal Rumble.

Charlotte refused, telling Lynch to get to the back of the line. The No. 1 contender questioned Flair and what his Hall of Fame friends would have to say about the coward his daughter has become. His pride hurt, The Nature Boy accepted the match on behalf of his daughter.

Becky Lynch defeated Tamina.

The match was nothing special, but everything that occurred after the bell helped write the latest chapter in what is WWE’s best feud.

Becky Lynch, screwed over constantly by Charlotte and her father, played on the egos of her rivals and got one more chance to wrest the Divas title away.

A highly emotional competitor during his days in the ring, Flair could not allow his pride to be insulted, and he may have doomed his little girl’s title reign as a result. This is layered storytelling that simply is not seen elsewhere on WWE programming.

Dean Ambrose and Kalisto vs. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio

Kevin Owens sat in on commentary as WWE intercontinental champion Dean Ambrose teamed with a revenge-seeking Kalisto in a clash against United States champion Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus.

The masked luchador was isolated from his partner, brutally beaten down by his bigger, stronger opponents. A hot tag to Ambrose, though, led to an energetic close to the bout. A suicide dive wiped out Del Rio at ringside, but only momentarily, as the U.S. champion recovered quickly enough to send Ambrose into the barricade.

Back inside the squared circle, The Lunatic Fringe found himself on the receiving end of a beating by a determined and dangerous duo of past Royal Rumble winners.

The rebound clothesline and a hot tag to Kalisto catapulted the babyfaces back into the match.

Kalisto appeared to have the match won after Salida del Sol to Sheamus, but Del Rio broke up the pin. Action between Ambrose and Del Rio spilled to the arena floor, where the heel capitalized on a distraction by Owens to lay out the IC champion.

Back inside, The League of Nations picked up the win with a Brogue Kick to Kalisto.

Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio defeated Kalisto and Dean Ambrose.

The minute Kevin Owens appeared on commentary, it became clear that he would factor into the finish. WWE Creative has relied so heavily on that finish over the years that it can be predicted with relative ease.

With that criticism out of the way, this was a very solid tag match that had the crowd on its side late. The action was a bit sloppy late, with disjointed offense from all four Superstars, but Sheamus scored a much-needed win over a Kalisto, whose heat was diminished significantly following his loss on SmackDown.

Owens was hilarious on commentary, verbally obliterating Byron Saxton, who is nowhere near as good on Monday nights as he is on SmackDown with Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler.

Jey Uso vs. Big E

Seeking revenge for the demise of trombone “Francesca,” Big E squared off with Jey Uso in singles competition.

The WWE tag team champion controlled the heart of the match, overpowering Jey until a missed splash on the ring apron slowed him considerably. A series of superkicks and a big Samoan Drop nearly ended the match on a high note for the face-painted twin.

Unfortunately, a distraction allowed Big E to score the pinfall victory following The Big Ending, continuing the momentum The New Day carried into 2016.

Big E defeated Jey Uso.

The action was solid, and Jimmy Uso’s dive to wipe out Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods really got the crowd into the final moments of the match. Unfortunately, WWE Creative again went with the distraction finish, ruining what was otherwise a perfectly acceptable wrestling match.

Big E’s victory continues what has been a dominant run by The New Day. The trio has been so unbeatable that it would not be a surprise whatsoever to see Jimmy and Jey Uso unseat it on Sunday night, just because the writing staff has no other plans for the division.

That would be a mistake, as the brothers may be over, but they have lost a great deal of the heat they had at their peak in 2014.

8-Man Tag Team Match

Chris Jericho took to the ring again, introducing the “Highlight Reel” that WWE spent all night hyping.

Paul Heyman interrupted and reminded Y2J that the last time he went face to face with The Beast Incarnate, things did not turn out so favorably for the future Hall of Famer.

Jericho asked Heyman if he tried to get Lesnar out of the Royal Rumble because he did not like his client’s chances of winning, to which Heyman responded by reminding Jericho and the WWE Universe that Lesnar never really lost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and thus should have received a bye to WrestleMania.

Heyman promised that his client will turn the Royal Rumble into Suplex City, which elicited a chant from the fans in Columbus. Jericho, unfazed, asked Heyman what happens if he beats The Beast and leaves as the seven-time champion.

Lesnar made his entrance on that note.

Roman Reigns wasted no time, arriving before Lesnar could get into the squared circle and staring The Beast Incarnate down, undeniably waiting for his chance at revenge after last week’s F-5. Reigns speared Lesnar and unloaded on his rival. The League of Nations hit the ring, and a beatdown of Reigns ensued.

Rusev suffered a suplex, as did Del Rio. An F-5 felled Sheamus and a second Spear by Reigns left Lesnar lying on the ground. The Wyatt Family hit the ring and surrounded Reigns. The Wyatt Family leveled both the WWE champion and The Beast, the haunting image of Wyatt smiling telling the story.

“The Royal Rumble is mine. Mine!” Wyatt exclaimed as the show came to a close.

The Wyatt Family was booked extremely effectively earlier in the show and ended Raw on top, laying waste to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in a display that would seem to suggest that Bray Wyatt is the favorite to leave Orlando, Florida, as the winner if it is not one of the two babyfaces.

But will fans buy into the third-generation star as a legitimate contender to the title when he has been heated up and cooled off as often as he has?

That is the question confronting WWE Creative at this point. It has booked The Wyatt Family so inconsistently that what should have been a molten-hot segment to close the show was met with apathy because fans have seen this story play out before.

They know the ending and know that The Wyatt Family will inevitably play the role of heel monsters to be bowled over by the top babyfaces in the company.

The B- grade is representative of the fact that Reigns played the silent-but-deadly ass-kicker, as he should have from the get-go, and Jericho recovered after a terrible start to the show with an engaging performance late.

Only time will tell if B- was good enough to get fans to invest in the Royal Rumble event and throw down their hard-earned money to see if Reigns can overcome the odds, Lesnar will regain his title or The Wyatt Family unleashes dark days on World Wrestling Entertainment.

pro wrestling, wwe, opinion, wwe raw:There was no Effie Trinket exclaiming, "May the odds be ever in your favor" as Roman Reigns' name was drawn from a rigged tumbler, his fate as the No…

raw 18 january 2016 top 10 moments in sports

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raw 18 january 2016 top 10 moments in sports WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 18 There was no Effie Trinket exclaiming, 'May the odds be ever in your favor' as Roman Reigns' name was drawn from a rigged tumbler, his fate as the No. 1 entrant...