Below is complete coverage of Monday Night Raw on January 27, 2014 from Cleveland, Ohio featuring results and Richard Reacts:
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, as The Authority, came out to do some kayfabe damage control. They wasted no time with Hunter playing up the "spoiled" fan reaction to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Stephanie said that Randy Orton will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the Elimination Chamber at the pay-per-view next month. Daniel Bryan came out and played up that the machine was against him. The Authority said they didn't want to overwork Bryan, so they didn't put him in the Rumble match because he had a match earlier in the night. Bryan called them on all the times he had to work The Shield in handicap matches or pull double duty in the past.
When Bryan said he wanted in the title match at Elimination Chamber, Hunter introduced The Shield. The faction came out through the crowd, with Seth Rollins taking a spill to the floor when the barricade appeared to break. The brawl was on when Sheamus and John Cena made the save.
I'll give them credit for immediately addressing the crowd reactions and the situation with Daniel Bryan but this was a very forced segment in reaction to what happened on Sunday. As I expected, Vince McMahon had the creative team spin it so The Authority keeping Daniel Bryan out of the Rumble match was the plan all along. It looks like Batista is now a heel as he was referred to as a "friend" of The Authority.
The tag team of Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio is back albeit with a different Sin Cara (so much for Mistico's claim that he owns the gimmick). They had complementing ring gear but went under to The Real Americans when Antonio Cesaro hit a European uppercut followed by a Neutralizer on Cara. Zeb Colter smacked Jack Swagger on the outside during the match but they played it as he was just "firing up" his troops. The match was just under 10 minutes.
Bad News Barrett did his segment from the top of the ramp on the elevated platform. His bad news was The Miz would face Dolph Ziggler in the "Battle of Cleveland." He said it was a good think it wasn't the "Battle for Cleveland" because then there would be two losers.
They ran a promo clip for Monday Night War, the original WWE Network program that debuts when the network launches. You can watch the same package they showed at this link.
R-Truth beat Fandango with the Lie Detector. Xavier Woods was on commentary and there was funny rib about East Carolina University. Woods talked about doing his dissertation for his PhD as he plans to teach autistic children. Somehow East Carolina got brought up and JBL called it the Harvard of the south. Michael Cole teased him about it and Jerry Lawler joked if you got a PhD from ECU you ended up with no JOB or something like that. East Carolina is the alma mater of Vince and Linda McMahon. WWE NXT Diva Emma was shown in the crowd with a sign that said "Emmalution."
Brad Maddox introduced WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, who was still carrying both belts. Batista came out as a babyface to interrupt Orton as he expressed disdain for having to defend the title in the Elimination Chamber. The crowd still chanted Daniel Bryan and both got heat. Batista made it clear he didn't care who was champion but that he was walking out of Wrestlemania XXX on April 6th the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and he didn't care about what The Authority thought.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came out to interrupt. Heyman let Maddox know that Lesnar's patience was running thin and The Authority had two choices. Either they gave Lesnar a title shot later in the night against Orton or put him against the other number one contender Batista. Heyman said they demanded a decision later in the night.
After The Authority called Batista their friend in the opening segment, Batista said he didn't care what The Authority thought. He was the babyface in the 9 PM segment, whereas the 8 PM segment treated him more as a heel. The crowd wasn't as strong as Pittsburgh but both Batista and Orton got a fair amount of heat. Lesnar being inserted into WWE title picture in the short-term is of no surprise and was expected.
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler faced off in the "Battle of Cleveland." Ziggler had a customized Cavs jersey on, while Miz wore a Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns jersey. JBL said LeBron James left Cleveland when he found out Miz and Ziggler were from there. Ziggler went over after hitting Zig Zag in just over 4 minutes. There was a funny bit on commentary where Lawler said he thought he heard "Cleveland sucks" chants (the audience was chanting "Steelers suck"), to which JBL responded that it must have been residents.
The Usos beat Ryback & Curtis Axel when Jimmy Uso pinned Ryback after a splash. The Usos got the upperhand when Ryback didn't see a blind tag and they used double team work to take him out. Ryback and Curtis Axel have fallen so far down the pecking order they didn't even get their entrances televised. Ryback did have a cool singlet, which featured a graphic from Iron Man airbrushed on the back.
Alberto Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston with his Superkick in 13 1/2 minutes. The crowd kept getting sidetracked chanting for the announcers. JBL stood up and got a huge pop and said he changed his mind, he loves Cleveland. Del Rio screamed at him for the distraction but Lawler did the same. JBL said not to get up because Del Rio would get mad. The match got better as it went along, there was a cool false finish when Kofi hit SOS but Del Rio was saved with his foot on the ropes. Kofi hit his head on the mat when Del Rio caught him in a double stomp off the ropes.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust were given 12 minutes before Brock Lesnar came out with Paul Heyman and delivered an F-5 to Rhodes and Goldust. Heyman said because The Authority choose option three and that Lesnar didn't get Randy Orton or Batista, this is what happens. Lesnar beatdown the former tag team champions with a chair, even breaking a chair over the back of Goldust. As for the bout itself, it had a much slower and more deliberate pace then the Kickoff bout on Sunday night. Road Dogg busted his head open hardway. As the "conspiracy" storyline goes, The Authority wouldn't give Brock what he wanted, angering him which in turn, protected the Outlaws.
The Bella Twins & The Funkadactyls beat Alicia Fox, Aksana, Alicia Fox, WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka when Naomi hit the Rear View and pinned AJ Lee. There was a cool triple suplex spot where the babyfaces suplexed the heels at the same time. Brie Bella, the real-life fiancée of Daniel Bryan, landed a great missile dropkick that made me pop.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts was announced as the second inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2014. Roberts joins the Ultimate Warrior as legends that will be inducted the night before Wrestlemania XXX on Saturday, August 5, 2014. They showed a promo for Wrestlemania Rewind that's coming to the WWE Network. You can watch it at this link.
Christian is scheduled to return to the company on this week's episode of Smackdown. WWE will tape this week's Smackdown on Tuesday night from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
John Cena, Daniel Bryan & Sheamus beat The Shield via disqualification when The Wyatt Family came out and attacked Cena. Cena had Roman Reigns in the STF but The Wyatt Family caused the disruption and the disqualification. This means that Cena, Bryan and Sheamus will be part of the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton at the pay-per-view. As for the match, Bryan put Rollins in a surfboard and there was an awkward looking spear from Rollins onto Cena that very well could have hurt Cena (we can't confirm an injury as of this writing). Reigns did his flying dropkick that he used when he entered the Royal Rumble match, executing it on Cena from the outside onto the apron. One false finish saw Bryan with the Yes Lock on Rollins only for Ambrose to break it up. Sheamus gave him Ambrose the Brouge Kick to clear the sequence. After the interference, the babyfaces fought off The Wyatt Family to end the show.