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Cook’s Raw Review 1.7.19

January 7, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Hulk Hogan Raw 1-7-19
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Cook’s Raw Review 1.7.19  

In Memory Of: “Mean” Gene Okerlund (1942-2019)

Cook’s WWE Raw Review 1.7.19

Six Man Tag Team Match: Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & John Cena beat Dean Ambrose, Dolph McIntyre & Bobby Lashley (***1/2)
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match: Champions Bobby Roode & Chad Gable beat The Revival (*1/2)
Baron Corbin beat Elias (*)
Mixed Tag Team Match: Ember Moon & Apollo Crews beat Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal (SQUASH)
Winner Gets Ronda: Sasha Banks beat Nia Jax (*1/2)
Falls Count Anywhere Match For the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Champion Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins (**1/2)

-Hi kids, Steve Cook here filling in for Larry this week. Hopefully the Denny Crane to my Alan Shore will be back in this slot sooner rather than later. I’ve got you covered for a Raw featuring all kinds of returns & notable happenings. Hopefully.

-After a RIP Mean Gene graphic we fade in on a backstage brawl between Seth Rollins & Bobby Lashley, stemming from their issues that arose during the holiday shows that some of us (me) didn’t watch. Zack Ryder already making his first Raw appearance of 2019, along with the rest of the other random Raw roster members trying to break this stuff up. We go right from that to…

-RETURN OF JOHN CENA: Cena welcomes us to Orlando, Florida, Monday Night Raw, the Road to WrestleMania, and his mid-life crisis. I made one of those up. Cena says he won’t get left out of WrestleMania again (well, he wasn’t left out, but I want to forget about that whole business too), and announces he’s entering the Royal Rumble Match. Drew Mcintyre says he’s been waiting for this moment for years. He doesn’t care about Cena’s bed partners, his haircut or anything except his 16 world championships, that he’s main evented multiple WrestleManias, and that Vince McMahon calls him the greatest of all time. Drew agrees with Vince on this. He invites Cena to check with some of the people he takes credit for destroying, including Kurt Angle. Drew wants him some of Cena. John is sad now, because he’s heard the same thing every week from every single superstar, and he had to leave so they could come up with a different promo. Cena asks Drew what makes him different. Drew says he’ll show him.

Any showing of things is interrupted by Lio Rush going on about how Seth Rollins is out of control, and he & Bobby Lashley will get a lawyer if something isn’t done about Rollins. Rush cancels the show until somebody does something, and that lasts five seconds before Rollins attacks again. Dean Ambrose comes out to help Lashley, and we get three on two until Finn Balor’s music plays. He does a flip dive onto everybody as we head into commercial & I wait for Teddy Long to come out and make the six-man tag team match playa holla holla holla.

Six-Man Tag Team Match with the guys from the first segment: The action has started when we return from commercial. Naturally, it’s that time of the match for Balor to take offense from the bad guys. Ambrose comes in to eat some arm drags. Balor does ok against Ambrose, but not so much against the Scottish Psychopath. Lashley comes in to put Balor in a chinlock. They tease Balor making a tag, but Finn can’t make it to Rollins or Cena. Ambrose comes back in to change the momentum and eat a Pele kick from Balor. Cena tags in and runs through a couple of his wrestling moves. VINTAGE CENA, if you will. Drew tags in on the AA attempt and gains the advantage heading into commercial. Cena hits a freaking dropkick when we come back. I think Jerry Lawler threw a better one, but at least he’s trying. The announcers put over Drew waiting years to take out John Cena and seizing the opportunity while he’s tagging out to Lashley. Bad timing for that talking point. Lashley poses and then eats an AA. Dean Ambrose with the dreaded sleeper, which he debuted at TLC. Well, no, actually, his match at TLC put me to sleep. We hit another commercial. Cena’s still getting beat up when we return. He finally gets the hot tag to Balor, and Finn’s going ape on everybody. He hits the coup de grace on Ambrose, but McIntyre got him with the claymore kick before he could think of covering. Rollins & McIntyre tag in, and Seth commences burning it down. A Falcon Arrow on Drew gets a near-fall, the crowd chants, Seth stomps, but it doesn’t matter. Drew tries to set up something, and that leads to a series of finishers. We reach a finish when Rollins hits the stomp on Ambrose for the three count. Good, traditional style six-man tag team match with solid competitors. Everybody got to look competitive & do their thing, with the finish setting up something for later. Nothing wrong with this. (***1/2)

-For some reason, the TitanTron shows Triple H talking with Sasha Banks & Bayley backstage so Seth can make a funny face at it. Oh, it’s so Seth can go backstage and demand a match with Dean tonight. Triple H agrees, and makes it Falls Count Anyhwere. He welcomes Seth back.

-Hulk Hogan is WALKING.

-Mike Rome (no JoJo?) asks the fans to rise for a ten-bell salute to Gene Okerlund.

HULK HOGAN RETURNS (to honor Mean Gene): Hogan says he came out in character because that’s what Gene would have wanted. Gene loved entertaining more than anything he ever did, so here’s a video package. After the fantastic video package, Hulk says Gene was one of a kind, and Gene’s in his heart. The fans thank Mean Gene. “WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, MEAN GENE leads to Hogan name-dropping many dead wrestlers of his generation and asking him what he’s gonna do when Mean Gene O Mania runs wild on you, brother. My misgivings about Hulk Hogan & his spot with WWE in 2019 aside, this was as good a way to use him as any. WWE using the occasion to hawk Hulkamania t-shirts on their website was pretty sleazy, but the appearance itself was fine. I’m not going to fault anybody that didn’t approve of it though.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match: Champions Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson): We’ve gone from Lucha House Rules to people being mad over the illegal man getting pinned in a match. Heath Slater & Rhyno have jobs, so good for them. Roode & Wilder start out & exchange moves, then it’s Gable & Dawson tagging in. Double backdrop & the Revival go outside. These aren’t the most excited lumberjacks I’ve ever seen. We go to a commercial, and Roode gets the hot tag from Gable. Nice blockbuster into a german suplex from Roode & Gable. Gable hits Chaos Theory on Dawson, but Wilder tagged in and hit a splash off the top for two. Gable & Dawson fight over a backslide, and it all leads to a finish with the Revival having their feet on the ropes while getting pinned. Roode & Gable retain in a match that while it had decent in-ring action, didn’t win over the crowd at any point. The booking of the heels constantly getting screwed & the faces being depicted as undeserving champions doesn’t make a lot of sense either. Just a lot of blah here. (*1/2)

-NXT people are on their way!

Hello, he is Elias: Nice to see Orlando on Elias’s side after the Full Sail crowd spent so many months & years crapping on him. He reflects on all the things he did in 2018, and mentions the Universal Truth that WWE stands for Walk With Elias. He’s got more in store for 2019, as he is entering the Royal Rumble Match. As much as he’s enjoyed his own successes, he’s enjoyed the failures of Baron Corbin. He has a song about it! Unfortunately, the Applebee’s waiter is here to spoil the show. Blah blah blah blah blah oh, the Preds are finishing the Leafs off! Good times there. I flip back in time to see Elias ask Corbin to shut his mouth.

Elias vs. Baron Corbin: Corbin tries some offense early, but it’s Elias taking the advantage and even jumping from the top rope to the floor! The Nashville Predators finish their 4-0 victory in Toronto while Raw is on commercial. Corbin’s on offense and now I wish Raw was back on commercial. He tells the referee that he sucks, which probably isn’t the smartest idea. Elias with a nice knee to Corbin’s face. Orlando with a brief CM Punk chant, which will probably upset Twitter. Corbin goes over with the End of Days. Larry & I had a saying for matches like these: “This was a match & it was there.” (*)

-Dean Ambrose never liked six-man tags anyway. Very unnatural. He’s our moral compass & our last line of defense against Seth Rollins. If Rollins gets his hands on the IC strap, it’s game over for all of us. Ambrose will burn Rollins down.

-Paul Heyman stands outside Brock Lesnar’s door.

Braun & Brock Are Here: Braun Strowman comes down to the ring and has no interest in talking. Heyman & Lesnar are backstage, and Heyman runs through his spiel. Heyman says they won’t get Face to Face, because if Brock came down to the ring to get those hands, he wouldn’t have an opponent at the Royal Rumble. Braun tells the Beastie Boy that he’s waiting for him. Well, this is awkward. The fans chant Get These Hands, and Braun asks Brock to come on down. Braun tries to goad him, and eventually he does. Brock walks around the ring & laughs, then heads out. Braun says he’ll be crowned new Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble. Man, Brock Lesnar should be wearing a ski mask during all his WWE appearances. That dude is stealing money every time he shows up. Braun didn’t do much to prove himself here either. Not a good week for this program…it seems to be better off when neither of them are on the show.

Jinder Mahal tells Alicia Fox to lead the way to tranquility. Mahal making fun of the ringsiders is the funniest thing he’s ever done.

Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox vs. Ember Moon & Apollo Crews: Apollo dominates Jinder early on, doing all kinds of athletic things. The power game doesn’t work, and Alicia gets the tag in. Things don’t go much better for Alicia, with Ember doing athletic things. The Eclipse ends it in quick fashion for Ember & Apollo. Squash city here, which makes perfect sense. They seem to have plans for Ember & Apollo, and if that’s the case, they should be running through Jinder & Alicia like a hot knife through butter. That’s what happened here.

A Moment of Bliss: Alexa Bliss is here to introduce a Ronda Rousey video package & interview her. Ronda seems unsure of what to say while the crowd tries to work up some kind of chant. She goes into this speech and it eventually gets around to her wanting to wrestle Sasha Banks because she admires her. Nia Jax comes out and wants her rematch. Sasha enters & says she’ll teach Ronda how to lose with dignity. Nia says she weighs 300.5 ounces, which comes to 18.78 pounds. Sasha wants a match with Nia where the winner gets Ronda, and she heads to the ring. Nia says she’s a bitch, but not the bitch. I’m not really sure what happened here, but it led to a match.

Winner Gets Ronda: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax: Tamina & Bayley came down to ringside during the commercial. I don’t see the guillotine choke working here, and sure enough it leads to a suplex. Renee makes sure to upgrade Bayley from Sasha’s “friend” to “best friend”. In any event, Bayley gets taken out by Tamina, then Nia gorilla presses Sasha for a minute before dropping her on some boxes. Sasha makes it back in the ring before the ten count. Sitout powerbomb gets two before we go to commercial. Nia dominated during the break, but Sasha comes back once we’re back. She goes for the Bank Statement but it’s not really working out for her. Nia hits the Samoan Drop, but Sasha gets her foot on the bottom rope. The referee sees it this time, unlike in the tag team match earlier. Nia goes up for the Super Samoan Drop, but Sasha slips out. Does it help? Nah, Nia drops her throat-first on the top rope & Graves has an orgasm on commentary. This thing falls apart late & Nia ends up tapping to tbe Bank Statement. Sasha Banks is going to the Royal Rumble to take on Ronda Rousey! They had their typical fine power vs. speed match early on, but at some point things just went to hell in a handbasket. Mama said there’d be nights like this. (*1/2)

Falls Count Anywhere Match For the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins: Rollins attacks from behind during Ambrose’s entrance, which makes the champion look like an idiot for opting to enter first. We got a good ol’ fashioned brawl on our hands, which bodes well for this going better than TLC. The brawl goes backstage & Rollins gets slammed on top of some huge road cases for a two count. Ladders are used as Ambrose gets a couple of near falls before the commercial. Some good brawling as we return. Dean’s rolling back the padding at ringside like he’s Big Van Vader about to powerbomb Cactus Jack on the floor. Or it’s a callback to the night he turned. Either way. No Dirty Deeds, it’s a backdrop on the concrete for Ambrose. Rollins switches things up on the superplex, he instead follows up with the buckle bomb & a superkick. Stomp! That could have been it but for the Almighty Bobby Lashley! Overhead suplex on the floor! Why did Lashley bother with the biker vest & hat here? Seems kinda silly. Big ol’ spear takes Rollins out, and Ambrose manages to retain his IC strap by completely fair means. This was much, much better than the TLC match, as the combatants realized this was supposed to be a brawl & acted as such. It wasn’t the craziest thing ever, but it did the job for a Monday night. (**1/2)

-We’re not done yet, as Lio Rush found a table under the ring. Lashley kinda tosses him through it in one of the lazier breakings of a table that I’ve seen. At least the table did its job & broke!

-End scene.

-Thanks for reading.


The final score: review Poor
The 411
You know how for a minute we thought Raw would actually try to compete against the National Championship Game? Never mind that bollocks! The first half hour was pretty darn good with the opening Cena promo & the six-man tag, but it was all downhill from there. The Hogan stuff was what it was. The Braun/Brock stuff was the opposite of good, as was the Moment of Bliss segment, and everything else was just killing time. If you missed this show, you didn’t miss all that much. The Road to WrestleMania starts next week.

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RAW, WWE, Steve Cook