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WWE Old School: Pipers and Pimps and Punks...Oh My!
By MATTHEW ASHER - SLAM! Wrestling


It’s the first Monday Night Raw of 2014 and somewhat ironically (or maybe not, I forget the exact definition of irony) the WWE is turning back the clock to give us Old School Raw. We are live from Baltimore, MD tonight, and yes, everything is decked out to look like the first ever Monday Night Raw.

Who better to come out to the crowd than the 16-time World Champion, the Nature Boy himself, Ric Flair. Of course Naitch comes out to style and profile when Randy Orton decides to come out. Surprisingly, Randy doesn’t come out to give Flair a rough time. The two Evolution members give each other a quick hug and Randy starts off by saying he has the utmost respect for Ric.

Randy adds that while this is an episode of Raw to commemorate legends of the business, it’s also about himself. Orton now starts to turn a little heel when he runs his mouth about him being the greatest WWE Superstar of any generation. Randy asks Flair to yield the floor to him because he needs to get some things off his chest.

Orton is none too pleased that John Cena will get his rematch in a few weeks at Royal Rumble. He believes since he’s already beaten Cena “within an inch of his life” that Orton doesn’t have anything else to prove. He wants the Authority to reverse their decision, because he is “the Man”.

That doesn’t sit too well with Naitch, who says he’s not that sure that Orton really is the man. According to Flair, when you’re the Man, you go out 7 days a week and face the very best every night. Orton doesn’t want to hear this. He says Flair is overrated and while Flair was good, that was 25 years ago.

Flair reminds Randy that a decade ago Ric and Hunter handpicked Orton because he had unbelievable talent, but he was also an immature punk. Ric questions if Randy actually thinks he’s a man. Just before the two come to blows, Cena’s music hits and he comes out to back up Naitch.

Cena says Randy has sunk to a new low insulting Flair and simply says if Orton wants a fight, Cena’s ready now. Orton slides out of the ring and Cena and Flair do the strut together before leaving the ring. We now go to commentary. Both JBL and Cole are sporting the old school WWE blazers/sport jackets with the shoulder padding and even the announce table looks like the ones you’d get from under the ring. They thought of everything!

Cole informs us that King is feeling under the weather and is not here tonight. Anyone worrying that it’s another heart issue for the King should know that it isn’t a cardiac issue. Apparently the WWE App has the complete update so I’ll be checking on it in a little as well.

Before we go to commercial, we’re shown a package of Daniel Bryan’s last Raw which ended with him joining the Wyatt Family. We’re told that Daniel Bryan along with the Wyatt’s will be teaming up to take on the Usos and Rey Mysterio next.

Match 1: Tag-Wyatt Family (Daniel Bryan, Luke Harper and Eric Rowan) w/ Bray Wyatt vs. Usos and Rey Mysterio

Just before the match starts we’re given some Old School Raw trivia. Roman Reigns was only 7 years old when the first episode of Raw aired. Interesting.

Rey and the Usos are already in the ring as the Wyatt’s creepy entrance begins. Bryan comes in and Bray gives him an approving nod. Of course, with the beard, Bryan doesn’t seem out of place. He’s wearing a kind of blue working jumpsuit, kind of like Eric Rowan’s but a different color. The crowd isn’t too happy and a lot of “No!” chants echo in the arena.

Bryan tags in and stares down Mysterio. Rey wants nothing to do with this but Bryan starts to unload on Rey. We go to commercial with Bryan out of the ring. It’s a good opening match. The interesting spot happens towards the end when Bryan blind tags himself in off Rowan. Harper doesn’t like that and tags himself in. Harper actually speaks and tells Bryan “Get out.” It ends up costing the Wyatts as the Usos score a School Boy pin for the W. None of the four Wyatts look too happy with the result.

Winners via pinfall…The Usos and Rey Mysterio

Before we go to commercial break, we’re told that Piper’s Pit will be airing tonight and the guests will be all three members of the Shield. We’re also told that tonight CM Punk will take on Roman Reigns in the main event

We come back and Cole informs us that Batista has been officially entered in this year’s Royal Rumble. Cole takes us back to last week with Damien Sandow against Great Khali. Apparantly on the replay of Sandow pinning Khali, one of Khali’s shoulders was nowhere near being pinned, and thus the match shouldn’t have ended.

Something tells me this is a knock at the NFL’s decision to use Jeff Triplette during this week’s NFL Playoffs. If it is, they obviously weren’t paying attention because nothing controversial happened in his game. Regardless, Brad Maddox is backstage talking to three Legends off-screen. It’s up to the WWE Universe to select one of these three men for the rematch between Sandow and Khali. You’re options are Mr. Bob Backlund, Double-A Arn Anderson or Sgt. Slaughter.

As the three legends leave, our Director of Operations, Kane, comes up to Brad. He asks him if there’s anything Maddox wants to say to his face that he was too scared to do last week when talking with the Authority about Kane’s job performance. Maddox asks if Kane is threatening him and Kane quotes the official WWE HR handbook saying he will not lay a hand on Maddox because that would be grounds for his removal as DOO.

Kane tells Maddox he’s in a no-win situation because if Kane decides to lay his hands on Maddox when he’s still in power, he’ll make sure nobody ever sees or hears from Maddox again. On the other hand if Maddox gets Kane fired for another reason, then Kane will simply turn back into the Big Red Monster, and he’ll make sure nobody ever sees or hears from Maddox again. It should be noted that Kane’s mask is on display in a glass cube in the backroom.

Kane refers to Maddox as “Bradley Boy” and walks off. JBL loves that and we’re reminded to use the WWE App to vote for the special guest referee. We go backstage again to see Big E Langston walking, in the hallway I believe is Nikolai Volkoff singing the Russian National Anthem. After that, Big E sees The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, of course with his Million Dollar Belt and Oksana. DiBiase does his “everybody’s got a price” line and laugh as Big E smiles and walks off. He then stops and goes face to face with IRS who reminds him to pay his taxes (seriously) as we now go to commercials.

Match 2: Singles-Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel

Ryback is joining us on commentary. The big man sounds more hoarse than usual. Of course it’s Big E’s power against Axel’s technical skills. Ryback provides a momentary distraction for Axel, but nothing comes of it. Big E is able to pick up the clean win and stares down Ryback and he celebrates.

Winner via pinfall…Big E Langston.

We go backstage and find Rowdy Roddy Piper getting ready for Piper’s Pit which will be next.

Piper’s Pit

Roddy comes out to huge fanfare and reminds us that he was “Old School before Old School was cool.” Before Piper gets to finish his next sentence, the Shield’s music hits and the trio makes their way to the ring. When they finally arrive, Ambrose starts off by telling Roddy he’s lucky they weren’t around when he was in his prime or he would never have survived.

Piper laughs and reminds him that this is his show. He asks Rollins if he thinks he’s cute, which Rollins agrees and laughs. Piper says that while he is older, and things don’t work as well as they used to, his mind is still perfect and there’s only one person who can match his mike skills…CM Punk. This sets Ambrose off who needs to be restrained by Rollins.

Rollins says the Shield is too smart to fall for any of his old tricks. Rollins says Piper’s jealous. Piper says he knows that Punk is better than Ambrose and that he’s better than Rollins. Piper then asks Reigns if he is able to beat CM Punk tonight, if that means he’s better than his teammates. Reigns says he will beat Punk tonight and tells Piper if he touches him again he’s going to “break your old ass in half”. Strong words by a strong man.

The Shield starts to surround Piper and say they want to leave a memorable impression on the WWE Legend. Before any punches are thrown, In Living Colour hits and CM Punk, followed by the New Age Outlaws (didn’t see that one coming) sprint to the ring to take on the Shield. The four men clean house and the Shield heads out of the ring. Before we go to commercials, we’re shown a recap of Brock Lesnar’s return to Raw last week.

Match 3: Singles-Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio

We’re shown a recap of Raw last month with Sin Cara defeating ADR two weeks in a row. I guess this is ADR’s chance as redemption. Of course the ring changes color for Sin Cara and we get a good amount of lucha libre from Sin Cara before ADR hits his Superkick for the win.

Winner via pinfall…Alberto Del Rio.

ADR grabs a mike and cuts a promo about the Royal Rumble. ADR switches back and forth between Spanish and English so I didn’t catch the exact insult he calls Batista. Anyway, ADR says he will be the one to throw Batista out of the Rumble. So we now know 2 of the 30 participants. Before we go to commercial, we’re reminded once again to vote for the special guest referee.

We come back and we get a recap of the Wyatt match and the conclusion of the match. We go backstage and Bryan is talking to Harper and Rowan. He tells them that he willingly joined this family because he wanted to learn and to be transformed from a man into a monster. He adds that he can also teach because he’s been a tag team champion. He says he wants to team next week either with Rowan or Harper. Bray comes into the picture and says that’s not necessary because next week Bryan will team up with him.

Match 4: Tag-Real Americans w/ Zeb Coulter vs. The Rhodes Boys

During the match, JBL and Cole start tossing out lots of hashtag statements. Cole asks JBL why he got his hair styled the way it is tonight, and I believe that’s a reference to Mr. McMahon because JBL has the red blazer and Cole tosses out the famous “The boyhood dream has come true!” when he’s questioning JBL. Anyway, Goldust hits the Final Cut on Swagger to pick up the victory for his team.

Winners via pinfall…Goldust and Cody Rhodes.

We go backstage to see DDP doing some yoga poses when Booker T comes up to say hi. Booker asks him if DDP is trying to get a cheap plug for his DDP Yoga DVD and DDP says yes and then proceeds to pimp out his merchandise. DDP proceeds to show a few stretches to Booker. Booker tries to follow suit but he can’t match the move. In comes Ron Simmons and we all know what we’re about to get: Damn!

Match 5: Single Special Guest Referee-Damien Sandow vs. Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh

It’s great to see Singh accompany his bigger brother to the ring again. And yes, he still is sporting the mutton chops and long hair. I don’t know if Sandow will be forced to quit the WWE if he loses tonight, I hope that’s answered during the match. But first we need to know who the WWE Universe voted for. It’s not even close as Sgt. Slaughter wins with 55% of the votes. Arn Anderson was second with 30% and Backlund only got 15%.

Ten hut! Sarge comes out wearing the old school ref attire complete with bow tie, and of course his trademark hat. Khali lights up Sandow’s chest with a couple of nasty chops to the chest. Khali picks up a tainted win as Damien Sandow’s leg was clearly on the ropes when Sarge counted to three. Sandow doesn’t like this and gets in Slaughter’s face.

Winner via pinfall…The Great Khali.

Sarge isn’t happy and slaps on the cobra clutch, forcing Sandow to tap out. Sarge then kicks Sandow out of the ring and before Slaughter leaves the ring, Singh and Khali try to get him to join them in their Five Rivers dance. It takes a little persuasion, but Sarge finally starts to dance. We go backstage and see Brock Lesnar with Paulrus heading to the ring before we go to commercials.

We come back and Cole informs us that King is suffering from a stomach virus. Good thing it’s not his heart. Here Comes the Pain! Paulrus of course does the talking while Lesnar just looks intimidating. Paulrus wants to clarify what Lesnar meant by “Old School” last week. It’s not bringing these “Legends” out for one last hurrah, but rather, being THE Man that everybody in the locker room wants a piece of. Heyman starts to list former wrestlers who fit the bill: Bruno Sanmartino, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold.

Heyman says that after the Royal Rumble, it doesn’t matter if that one man is Randy Orton or John Cena because Brock Lesnar will target them. Paulrus starts to goad Mark Henry, reminding him of the beating Lesnar threw on him last week. Henry isn’t happy and comes out to get him some. Henry gets a few good shots in but Brock locks on the kimura and appears to have broken Henry’s left arm. Lesnar stands over Henry as medical staff come out to check on Henry.

But before Lesnar can leave the arena, we may have another challenger. We go from the World’s Strongest Man to the World’s Largest Athlete, the Big Show. Lesnar gets back in the ring and invites Show in. Show obliges but Lesnar ducks out of the ring. Show is seething. Paulrus tries to distract Show but as Lesnar tries to attack him, Show tosses Brock around like a rag doll and out of the ring. Paulrus holds back Brock and it looks like we may have a Royal Rumble match set up.

Before we go to commercial we’re shown a recap of the opening segment with Orton, Flair and Cena and are reminded of the main event between Punk and Reigns. When we come back we’re shown the injury to Mark Henry again and now it’s time for divas action.

Match 6: Divas Tag-Bella Twins vs. Alicia Fox & Aksana

During the match Cole informs us that Mae Young is sick as well. I hope it’s not serious and that she recovers quickly from whatever it is. It seems like Aksana is being groomed to be a Divas champ soon. Brie Bella misses a missile drop kick and Aksana is able to pick up the victory.

Winners via pinfall…Aksana and Alicia Fox.

Before we go to break, Cole tells us that this Wednesday at 9:30pm EST on wwe.com, there will be a breaking news announcement that will “change the course of WWE forever”. I wonder if it has anything to do with the WWE Network. #Intriguing

One more thing before we go to commercial, my favorite tag team when I was a kid (really), Scottie2 Hottie, Grand Master Sexay and Rikishi…Too Cool will be competing next. Yay!

Match 7: 6-Man Tag-3MB vs. Too Cool

Before the match we’re shown a quick video of 3MB saying that tonight their winning streak will start. I think we all know that’s not going to happen…Cole has to remind me that it’s been 13 ½ years since all three members of Too Cool competed in a match and now I suddenly feel really old. Both Scottie and Grand Master look to be in phenomenal shape and Rikishi is sporting his son’s Usos shirt and some black track pants rather than his traditional wrestling attire.

During the match, Cole informs us that Henry didn’t suffer a broken arm, but Brock did fracture and dislocate Henry’s elbow. Cole refers to Too Cool as the Hip Hop Twins and JBL won’t let him hear the end of it. Of course, you can’t see Scottie2Hottie without a Worm.

It actually looks like 3MB will make good on their promise of a winning streak starting tonight as there’s an extended beatdown on Scottie. But Rikishi finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. Grand Master Sexay puts on the goggles and hits the Hip Hop Drop. Jinder Mahal tries to do a sunset flip on Rikishi but the big man sits down on Jinder for the win.

Winners via pinfall… Rikishi and Too Cool.

Rikishi gets the yellow glasses and the trio proceeds to do their victory dance and we go to commercials.

Before we get to the next match, we get one more Old School Raw wrestler…The Godfather’s music hits and the Godfather himself, sporting a Bishop Don Magic Juan green pimp suit complete with hat, leads out all the Legends from the night. We’re given a chance to acknowledge all the wreslters. It’s a nice send off as each wrestler is personally introduced.

Unfortunately we now have to deal with #BadNewsBarrett. Of course Barrett tells the Legends that nobody knows who they are and we’ll all forget their names once they leave tonight. I was hoping they would all ban together and throw Barrett a beating but no such luck. Now to commercials.

We come back and it looks like there’s one last WWE Legend we haven’t been introduced to yet. Hall of Fame announcer Mean Gene Okerlund! Gene does a quick promo for his hotline number before he introduces the New Age Outlaws (they were the one group that wasn’t recognized with Barrett).

Road Dogg and Badass Billy Gunn do their old promo. This time, Billy is able to say his piece. Jesse James does a great job of introducing the next wrestler (JBL asks if they can fire Justin Roberts now because of the good job Road Dogg did)…CM Punk.

Main Event: Singles –CM Punk w/ New Age Outlaws vs. Roman Reigns w/ the Shield

Reigns is in control for the majority of the match, using his strength to his advantage. Everytime Punk gets some offense in, Reigns is able to quickly stop it. He gets Punk in a bear hug and wears him down more. A Samoan drop stops another flurry by Punk but Reigns can’t put him away. Reigns prepares for the Superman punch but Punk counters into a head kick.

Punk is finally able to get some offense as he uses his kicks and a swinging neck breaker but can’t even get a 1 count. He starts using his Muay Thai elbows and knees and prepares for a Macho Man elbow drop. Reigns doesn’t allow Punk to try the move as he loads Punk up for a superplex. Punk is able to knock Reigns off the turnbuckle and does hit the elbow drop. Punk motions for the GTS but Ambrose gets ready to intervene.

Before Ambrose can do anything, Road Dogg attacks Ambrose but is tossed into the ring steps for his troubles. Billy Gunn knocks down Ambrose but Rollins tosses him into the ring post. Punk then hits Rollins with a suicide dive onto the announce table. Punk goes back into the ring but Reigns hits Punk with the Superman punch for a two count.

Reigns can’t believe it but sets up for a spear. Punk counters the spear but can only get a 2 count of his own. Punk tries one more head kick but can only get a 2 count. He tries to hit the GTS, but Reigns counters it and when Punk goes to knock Ambrose off the apron again, Reigns hits Punk with a spear for the 3 count.

Winner via pinfall…Roman Reigns.

It looks like the Shield is about to hit the triple power bomb on punk but a very familiar song hits. It sounds like Jake “The Snake” Roberts music…and it is! Here comes Jake the Snake, with Damien in a yellow bag. That allows the New Age Outlaws and Punk to regain their composure and unload on the Shield. Punk loads up Ambrose with an airplane spin before hitting the GTS on him.

Jake gets in the ring, points to the yellow bag and here comes Damien! This time he’s a cream colored snake and Jake puts Damien over an unconscious Ambrose. Dean doesn’t move at all and we’re treated to Jake’s music as Raw goes off the air.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. He’s wondering if more people saw this episode of Monday Night Raw or the BCS Championship game. What do you think? Email him your thoughts.