The Big Takeaway:
As the company has done so often since 1999 in an attempt to build a new babyface, Roman Reigns is now being booked like Steve Austin. Vince McMahon got arrested. Reigns was the last man standing in the end. Then Vince came out at the end of the show to announce that Reigns would defend the championship against Sheamus next week with a special referee: Vince McMahon. It was a two segment show and the rest was boring.
Vince McMahon started the show with Tony Chimmel doing the ring announcing. McMahon claimed he had to undergo dental surgery after the Superman's punch that Roman Reigns delivered two weeks ago. He ordered Reigns to come out.
McMahon told Reigns that he practically incapitated HHH and disrespected Stephanie McMahon. Vince said HHH would get revenge on Reigns when he least expected it. And he said Reigns literally kicked him out of his own ring. McMahon said he owns his ring, he owns the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and sooner or later Reigns will understand he owns Reigns. Reigns responded that the fans own the WWE World Championship. Crowd started a "Daniel Bryan" chant which McMahon ordered them to shut up. Then they started a "CM Punk" chant as the two talked over them.
McMahon brought up Reigns' predecessors the Wild Samoans. Hardly anyone knew that in the crowd. McMahon reminded Reigns he was one generation away from having a bone through his nose. McMahon said he made Reigns' uncle Afa wrestle every night of the week and there was nothing left of him once it was over. Then there was Reigns' father Sika, which McMahon claimed to have used him up. McMahon said paid Sika with Reigns dead peanuts. No one really reacted because they didn't remember Sika. Plus, when did the Samoans become the Road Warriors at the gate?
Reigns shoved McMahon down. McMahon started claiming he had a neck injury in the most phony tone possible. Stephanie came out to check on him with police officers in tow. Stephanie ordered Reigns arrested. One of the detectives refused saying they were there to provide security, not be Stephanie's personal police department. Damn, I wish somebody had told that to the police in the late 90s. Depending on the city, the show and the superstar, police were more involved in wrestling angles than actual police work some weeks.
Stephanie started to get in the detectives' face until he ordered her to step back or else she would be arrested. Vince tried to smooth things over, but next things you know Vince started to get in the detectives' face. Stephanie reminded her father to sell his neck again. Finally, three officers came in the ring and put the handcuffs on McMahon.
The detective then read Vince his rights, complete with the line "If you can't afford an attorney...wait, that doesn't apply to you." Vince was led through the crowd with Stephanie protesting the whole way as Reigns smiled and help up his belt.
Vince was shoved into a police cruiser with Stephanie screaming about how she was going to sue the police damage. Michael Cole speculated Vince could be charged with assaulting an officer.
Neville defeated Kevin Owens (:21)
Neville escaped a Pop-Up Power Bomb and pinned Kevin Owens with a victory roll. Wrong crowd to pull this upset because the fans chanted for Owens before the match. The pin was booed. Owens attacked Neville afterwards.
As Neville was being helped to the back, Owens ran back out to clothesline Neville into oblivion. He was about to power bomb Neville onto the apron when Dean Ambrose ran down for a pull-apart brawl.
The official announcement that the Rock was coming to WrestleMania was made. Byron Sexton started to do the "Can you smell" line, to which Cole ordered him never to do again.
Jojo interviewed Becky Lynch, who was jumped by Team BAD while Charlotte wrestled on Smackdown. Charlotte tweeted earlier that she wouldn't appear tonight on Raw, but Lynch said she wasn't worried or angry about it. She spoke about coming to Brooklyn when she was penniless and now she was on Raw.
Sasha Banks did prematch mic work putting over Boston to get heat. Naomi said Brooklyn was a garbage-filled, overrated, overpopulated, polluted stank dump.
Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch (15:40)
Banks won with a cradle following a series of reversals after Banks hit the Bank Statement. Lynch attempted to clamp on Disarm-her, but Banks escaped. They tried to have a match with rest holds to build heat, but this crowd wasn't playing along. It got "boring" chants, which seemed to throw them off their game because they weren't on the same page in certain spots. An average match.
Renee Young was outside the police station where Vince's mugshot was posted. She confirmed that Jerry McDevitt was at the jail and Stephanie had shown up with high-profile attorneys.
The New Day pranced down with Xavier Woods talking about winning the World Tag Team Champions in Brooklyn in August. It was the very building where the trombone made its debut. Kofi Kingston teased singing a new song, but Woods heard the trombone (named Franchecha) that the fans didn't vote for them to win a Slammy. Kingston said everytime the New Day comes out, it's an OMG moment. For instance, for all the parents at home has their children misbehave, they should call the New Day because the New Day will fight their kids. Woods said "Oh my God, Kofi, aren't you a father?" Kingston said "Exactly! OMG!"
Kalisto defeated Kofi Kingston (2:45)
Kalisto pinned Kingston with a huracanrana. Before the finish, Kalisto dropkicked Woods off the apron, but Big E. Caught him. Sin Cara ran off the steps and gave both men a crossbody.
This led to Woods challenging Cara to face Big E. Immediately.
Big E.defeated Sin Cara (4:36)
Cara legitimately injured his shoulder after taking a bump to the floor off the apron, and the doctor had to stop the match. While this was going on, the fans started a dual chant of "We Want Cena" "No We Don't." After the stoppage, Woods screamed the Rocky IV line "It was supposed to be an exhibition!" From the Ill-fated Apollo Creed-Ivan Drago fight. It was a gutsy performance from Cara, especially when he gave Big E. A rolling senton off the top rope. After Kingston and Woods got involved, Big E. Won with the Big Ending.
Cena is on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine.
MizTv started to do a year-in review which was quickly interrupted by Ryback, who said 2016 would be the year of the big guy. Golddust came out and wondered if this was the year the Miz would win a SAG Award, an Oscar, or some Golden Globes. Then Zack Ryder came out to a big pop. Ryder claimed that Brooklyn was "New Zack City" and said 2016 would be the year of Ryder. Miz started to talk about how he tried yoga in January when R-Truth came out. R-Truth said when fans cast their ballots for Superstar of the Year, cast their vote for the Truth. Miz reminded Truth that the Slammys were last week. Then Heath Slater showed up and said he had a lot to say. Before he could start, the Big Show walked down. Slater said nobody cared what Show had to say. Slater managed to block the subsequent right hand with his chin.
Ryder and Golddust were also knocked down. Truth punched himself in an attempt to knock himself out. Show gave him a choke slam. Ryback and Big Show squared off, with Show tossing Ryback over the top rope.
Crowd chanted "Please Retire" at Show. Instead, he said he was going to enter himself into the Royal Rumble and would accept position number one.
Ryback defeated The Big Show by countout (2:53)
As Ryback was about to deliver a meathook clothesline, Show rolled out of the ring and walked out. A totally meaningless segment, and the same can be said of the last 45 minutes of this show.
Sheamus came out and debated the crowd for cheering Vince's arrest and vowed to carry out a beat down on Ambrose and the Usos tonight.
The League of Nations defeated the Usos and Dean Ambrose (16:50)
Sheamus pinned Jey Uso with the Brogue Kick. Jey was about to give Sheamus a splash when Rusev held his leg, giving Sheamus time to get his knees up. A double hot tag match that lost the crowd early . Fans chanted "This is Boring" with Sheamus in there. Jimmy Uso did a tope spot onto Rusev. Crowd chanted for Lana, who again was missing with no explanation. She's really someone who would give the League of Nations the right spice.
Post match, Owens ran out of the crowd to attack Ambrose. It led to a camera shot worth it's weight in gold where Owens power bombed Ambrose off the announcers table onto another announcers' table. Pieces of the table flew everywhere and you'll likely be seeing replays of that spot on opening vignettes for years to come. Ambrose sold it great acted like he was in convulsions and had to be carried out by referees. Owens feels like the most over heel on the roster in terms of getting a reaction, albeit a heel that fans want to like. But as we saw in Philadelphia two weeks ago, he knows how to turn a crowd.
Vince, Stephanie and someone trying to be McDevitt stormed out of the police station without taking questions from reporters who were standing by. It's amazing how the company can be so meticulous in its planning for angles regarding the owner, but can't figure out where Lana is.
Cena made his return to the usual chorus of people hating him. He pointed out a guy who wore a t-shirt with "Cena" crossed out. He ran down Alberto Del Rio for not defending the U.S. Championship once on Raw since he won it at Hell in a Cell. Del Rio came out with the rest of the League of Nations and said "The Champ is Here." He said Brooklyn didn't deserve to have a U.S. Championship match. Cena did a speech putting over Brooklyn. The jibber-jabbered back and forth with Cena trying to goad him into defending the championship. Del Rio refused to put the belt on the line. Cena called him a one-hit wonder who lost his manhood. Del Rio said he was going to send Cena home tonight for good, then finally agreed to put the title on the line.
Cole and JBL did a tribute to Lemmy of Motörhead, who passed away this afternoon after a brief illness. It was impressive they had a video package put together so quickly regarding his life because his death was announced just a few hours ago. If you haven't, check out the documentary on Lemmy that aired on VH1 Classic, a great tribute to a great performer.
John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio (C) by DQ, so Del Rio retains the U.S Championship (14:04)
The only match on the show worth anything. Del Rio clamped on the armbar, but Cena made the ropes. Cena went for the AA, but there was a ref bump as Del Rio kicked the referee. Rusev and Sheamus ran down. Rusev hit Cena with a thrust kick. Del Rio covered him, but Cena kicked out. With the referee still down, Sheamus tried to give Cena a Brogue Kick, but Sheamus hit Rusev. Cena gave Sheamus the AA, but Del Rio gave Cena a back stabbed and a superkick that he used to beat Cena in October, but Cena again kicked out. Del Rio went for the arm breaker, but Cena hit the AA. Rusev )(shook off that Brouge Kick fast) and Sheamus ran in for the DQ.
Sheamus gave Cena the Brogue Kick. The Usos ran down for the save but they were quickly disposed of.
Reigns came down for the save, giving Rusev a spear on the floor and Del Rio a superman punch. Sheamus and Reigns had a staredown. Sheamus entered the ring with a chair, but Reigns gave him a Superman punch and a chair shot across the back.
Vince McMahon came out and said he was going to sue the city of New York. Vince said Reigns would face Sheamus for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship next week. The special referee would be Vince McMahon, and Vince kept repeating "Happy New Year" to end the show.
The Big Takeaway:
Part of the problem with booking Vince McMahon to appear on these shows is he's one of the few larger than life personalities the company has left. Once he appears in the opening segment, then leaves and goes away for two-and-a-half hours, the crowd heat has nowhere to go but down. It was capitalized with some poorly booked segments, namely MizTv. Reigns was received very well.
RAW: Additional live Brooklyn notes
From Mike Omansky
The Barclay Center was sold out and WWE announced a return date of Monday, March 28th, the RAW before Wrestlemania.
Presale on Ticketmaster…code: RAWISBK
Pre-“RAW” – SUPERSTARS
DARREN YOUNG W ADAM ROSE, finisher and pin. Not much at all.
JACK SWAGGER & MARK HENRY W ASENSCION, when Henry pinned Conor after the world’s strongest slam. Decent match. Swagger worked most of it; got beaten down; made the hot tag; over shortly after that.
A “massive” 6 man tag had been advertised on local TV spots in the past 2 weeks, but it didn’t take place. After it went off the air, we got the usual skit in lieu of a match. League of Nations members attacked Cena; Reigns helped Cena and Cena finally got the AA on Del Rio. In the process, Cena teased a turn on Reigns (had a chair in hand), but that was momentary.