The January 6, 2014 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on January 6, 2014 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. This was a special "old school" show.
How's this for Old School? Raw's ceremonial throwback episode wasn't but two minutes old when Ric Flair styled and profiled his way down the ramp to welcome the WWE Universe. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, however, wasn't exactly in the mood to bask in “The Nature Boy’s” splendor, and wasted no time in raining on his old teammate's parade. The reason for his untimely interruption was a public demand that The Authority rescind Orton's title defense against John Cena at the Royal Rumble, a match The Viper believed was unnecessary at best given the manner in which he captured the championship.
Flair didn't give an inch to the Champion of Champions, though, refuting Orton's assertion that he both is and has beat “The Man” in a bit of bravado that nearly saw him snakebit by a fuming Apex Predator. It was Cena himself who came to “Naitch’s” aid and drove Orton from the ring, ensuring the two-time WWE Hall of Famer would limousine-ride, jet-fly, kiss-steal and wheel-and-deal his way out of Baltimore in one piece. WOOOO!!!
Rumors of Daniel Bryan's defection to The Wyatt Family were ... right on the money, as it turns out. Not only did the former WWE Champion arrive at Old School Raw in his very own Wyatt getup, but he seemed more or less fully on board with the clan's take-no-prisoners style even when their evening ended in defeat. With Bray Wyatt whispering orders in his ear, Bryan competed with a wild, blank-eyed ferocity against Rey Mysterio & The Usos, working in near-perfect sync with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan while Bray Wyatt observed from ringside.
“Near perfect,” that is, because a miscommunication between the trio was ultimately what cost them the match. Bryan had tagged in with the opportunity to finish Jimmy Uso, but Harper cut the submission expert off before he could get going by tagging himself in, and the highflier pounced with a roll-up pin for three. Every family has its squabbles.
As sports-entertainment purists will likely attest, there are few things more old-school than a giant man in a singlet going toe-to-toe with a technical expert who's half his size. In that vein, the bout between Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston and Curtis Axel was a true blast from the past, although it's somewhat ironic that Axel – the Superstar who has old school in his blood – wound up on the losing end of things.
With Axel's tag team partner Ryback disparaging the champion from the commentary booth, Axel gave an all-out effort against the powerhouse who took his title. The former champ pulled out all the stops in an attempt to derail the walking freight train, and he came pretty close when the match spilled outside the ring. A big clothesline from Langston instantly turned the tide, though, and a loopy Axel stumbled straight into a Big Ending from the waiting champion.
As the WWE Universe knows, just when you think you know the answers, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper changes the questions. Even The Shield, despite their insistence otherwise, isn't immune from Hot Rod's mind games, as the WWE Hall of Famer stirred The Hounds of Justice into a froth by bringing up their recent string of losses to CM Punk on "Piper's Pit". Even Roman Reigns – the one Hound yet to fight Punk one-on-one – wasn't in the mood to take Piper's guff, and the WWE Hall of Famer's line of questioning seemed to set him up for a very immediate beating. That is, until Punk himself – with The New Age Outlaws in tow – sprinted to Piper's aid and sent The Shield scrambling.
It's been a rough few weeks for Alberto Del Rio, who found himself waylaid by a resurgent Sin Cara just weeks after his failed attempt to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship. So it came as no surprise that The Essence of Excellence was feeling more than a little confident when he shook off his rough spell against The International Icon, derailing Sin Cara in their third consecutive contest and laying down a bold challenge moments later.
Del Rio – freshly returned from a concussion sustained in his last meeting with Sin Cara – wasted no time in making his countryman pay for his actions, countering Sin Cara's offense with timely, technical reversals. Even though the masked man seemingly had Del Rio's number, “Mexico’s Greatest Export” saved his best trick for last, evading Sin Cara's senton and sealing the bout with a jaw-jacking kick to the head. With Sin Cara dispatched, Del Rio then snatched the mic and turned his attention toward a particular Superstar already set to enter the Royal Rumble Match: Batista.
Let's not kid ourselves: There was no way that two title-wearing sons of “The American Dream” were about to lose a match on Old-School Raw. Cody Rhodes & Goldust, despite their up-and-down run of the last couple of weeks, followed their recent title defense in high style by knocking off The Real Americans – a living embodiment of the old-school themselves – in a hard-hitting match on Raw.
The Americans dominated for long stretches of the match by isolating each Rhodes from the other in turns, but despite Zeb Colter's sign, the best defense turned out to be a good offense when Cody tagged in a fresh Goldust in the match's waning minutes. With the energy of a man half his age, Goldust stormed the ring like a house on fire and took on both Americans singlehanded, riding a timely assist from his half-brother to put Jack Swagger away with the Final Cut.
Controversy mired what should have been Damien Sandow's David-vs.-Goliath moment last week when he saved his career by pinning The Great Khali even though The Punjabi Playboy raised his shoulder outside the ref's field of vision. That said, as badly as that match turned out it was nothing compared to the result of Sandow's bid for a repeat –and unquestionable – victory over the former World Heavyweight Champion.
With Sgt. Slaughter selected as the guest referee by a WWE App vote, Sandow was in a foul mood from the start and it didn't improve when Khali rained a series of chops on his head and chest. Sandow briefly gained the upper hand until another big chop from Khali – accompanied once again by Ranjin Singh – laid him low for a three-count ... despite the fact that Sandow's foot was on the ropes. The Enlightened One was appropriately livid that Slaughter didn't see him break the pinfall, though putting hands on the Hall of Famer earned him an agonizing Cobra Clutch. Moments later, Slaughter danced in celebration.
Paul Heyman has never been one to let a victory slide by without some gloating to go with it, so it was no surprise that he brought Brock Lesnar to Old School Raw for a public follow-up to Lesnar's decimation of Mark Henry last week. What was a surprise was the fate that befell The Beast when all was said and done.
Heyman was in the middle of reiterating Brock's supposed right to become No. 1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Title when Henry stormed down to the ring, eager for some payback against the former Undisputed Champion. Henry's bravery led him straight into a Kimura Lock from The Anomaly, but there was one other Superstar who took issue with Lesnar's gall: Big Show.
Lesnar was halfway up the ramp when the giant made his presence known, pressing Brock back into the ring and sending the former Undisputed Champion flying when Lesnar made his move. It took Heyman to calm Brock down enough that he didn't make a foolish attempt against Show, but it appears the World's Largest Statement has been made.
Despite her recent gallery on WWE.com, Aksana is clearly not taking any days off when it comes to in-ring competition. The Lithuanian beauty teamed with Alicia Fox for a big win over The Bella Twins on Old School Raw, further tilting the balance of the Divas division back towards the self-proclaimed “True Divas.” Nikki Bella found herself on the receiving end of a beating early on when she aggravated her recently healed leg, and Aksana & Alicia wasted no time in capitalizing. Even though Nikki fought her way to the corner and tagged her sister Brie in, Twin Magic ran dry and Aksana got the win when she dodged a top-rope dropkick and pounced on a stunned Brie for the pin.
3MB vowed that Old School Raw would be the beginning of a brand-new winning streak, but that plan met a plus-sized roadblock when the rockers found themselves targeted by none other than Too Cool & Rikishi. The boogieing mainstays of the Attitude Era had little love for their potential heirs apparent, as Drew McIntyre found out when Scotty 2 Hotty revived The Worm. Despite a brief comeback by 3MB, Grandmaster Sexay helped turn the tide with a Hip-Hop Drop (goggles and all), and Rikishi finished the reunion off with a pin against Jinder Mahal, followed, of course, by the customary Too Cool dance.
Believe this: There is, as it turns out, one member of The Shield who can defeat CM Punk, and his name is Roman Reigns. After weeks of torment at the hands of Punk, The Hounds of Justice's resident Doberman backed up his group's fierce rhetoric and feasted upon The Best in the World ... although the favor was certainly repaid at the end of the night.
Even with The New Age Outlaws backing him up at ringside, Punk was forced into an uphill battle by Reigns, who slowly wore him down over the course of the match. Reigns’ repeated targeting of Punk's banged-up ribs kept The Second City Saint in neutral for a long time, though Punk found separation by countering Regins’ Superman punch with a kick to the head that brought the match back to an even level. The two Superstars threw signature maneuvers back and forth until Ambrose provided a timely distraction and Reigns pounced with a spear that finally put Punk down for the win.
The Shield was hardly out of the woods yet, though, as none other than Jake “The Snake” Roberts made his way to the ring and – with an assist from Punk and The Outlaws – unleashed his trademark pet serpent all over a beaten Ambrose while Rollins & Reigns made their escape. Now that's old-school.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Rey Mysterio & The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Wyatt Family (Daniel Bryan, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) (w/ Bray Wyatt) (8:41)
- Big E. Langston defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Ryback) (2:45)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Sin Cara (2:17)
- Cody Rhodes & Goldust defeated The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger) (w/ Zeb Colter) (11:44)
- The Great Khali (w/ Ranjin Singh) defeated Damien Sandow (with Sgt. Slaughter as Special Guest Referee) (1:56)
- Aksana & Alicia Fox defeated The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella) (3:49)
- Rikishi & Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) (5:22)
- Roman Reigns (w/ Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins) defeated CM Punk (w/ The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & The Road Dogg)) (16:24)
Other on-screen talent