WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 13

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJanuary 13, 2014

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 13

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    via WWE.com

    A new day has dawned in the WWE Universe. The era of the Internet is officially upon us with last week's Las Vegas introduction of the WWE Network. 

    One day we might just discuss this move to cyberspace as a triumph of imagination, with the McMahon family rescuing us from our televisions the same way they once rescued wrestling from smoky bingo halls and National Guard Armories. Running 24 hours a day, with additional content on demand, it's a truly spectacular developmentthe best thing to happen to wrestling fans since the suplex.

    But in the weeks before the network goes live, it's televisions' world—and WWE Raw is leading the way. The promotion attempted to heat up a lackluster John Cena vs. Randy Orton feud, and Daniel Bryan returned to the side of the angels. 

    Did either work? Not entirely. I break down both angles and every other segment on the card and give them a grade between A and F.

    Disagree? Let's talk in the comments.

The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan

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    Results

    The Usos beat Bryan and Bray Wyatt when the rest of the Wyatt Family interfered in the match. After the bout, Wyatt delivered Sister Abigail on Bryan. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "He needed me. He was lost," Wyatt on Bryan from the show open. 

    Bryan's weird burlap sack outfit hasn't seemed to hurt his wrestling much.

    Wyatt's Vader Splash in the corner.

    "I love it when they do that!" JBL on stereo Uso dives.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    I don't mind the cluster of a finish, but I wish they would have let the guys work a little longer first. This would have been a pretty good 15-minute match. As a match that lasted less than 10 minutes, it was just OK.

    I know it is unpopular, but I really like Bryan's induction into the Wyatt Family. When the team lost, when he let Bray down, he gave his body willingly. Bryan was willing to pay the price for his failure. I'm not sure where this is going, but it's pretty interesting stuff.

Damien Sandow vs. John Cena

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    Results

    Cena reversed a Crossface and pinned Damien Sandow with the AA.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "I>U." Pretty cool new Sandow t-shirt. 

    "I'm liking this."—Cena, on the babyface pop from the partisan crowd.

    "Lets go Cena!"

    "Cena sucks!"—There's the schizophrenic crowd I'm used to.

    "He was an only child, and he still wasn't his mom's favorite."—Jerry Lawler with a classic joke at Sandow's expense.

    Sandow's new Royal Arch is a pretty cool Texas Cloverleaf variation.

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    These two have pretty good in-ring chemistry, and this was a really good match. But this is a place for hard truths—and the truth is no one is buying Sandow over Cena. You can have 1,000 false finishes, but none of them count for squat if the crowd doesn't believe one of the wrestlers can win the match.

Big Show vs. Jack Swagger

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    Results

    Big Show pinned Jack Swagger with a chokeslam. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "You should be enforcing the rules. So enforce."—Kane to Brad Maddox, who makes a Usos vs. Wyatt Family rematch inside a steel cage. 

    "You're a big part of the problem."—Sign held up by Zeb Colter. When you don't get promo time, I guess you need to find a way.

    Great amateur wrestling spot that saw Show challenge Swagger, a legitimate amateur, to shoot for the takedown. Of course, he defended sharply.  

    "Run Zeb, run."—JBL, right before Big Show knocked Colter out.

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    Straight-up squash match. Is this 1974 or 2014? Well, at least it wasn't our beloved Cesaro, am I right my IWC friends? 

New Age Outlaws and CM Punk vs. The Shield

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    Results

    Roman Reigns pinned CM Punk after the New Age Outlaws abandoned their partner. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Like wine and time, we only get better."—Road Dogg introducing the New Age Outlaws.

    "Suck it!"—The crowd, providing two words for you. Yes, you.

    "Did somebody forget to tell Billy Gunn to age? He looks better now than he did in 2000."—JBL. Somewhere there is a painting of Billy that looks ancient.

    Seriously, the Outlaws still have it.

    Reigns and Punk go toe-to-toe. Punk is the loser. The rest of us are winners.

    Punk's nifty reverse elbow was fun. But not as cool as Reigns' flying dropkick from the floor to the ring apron.

    "Oh, you didn't know? Punks should have called somebody."—JBL on the turn.

    "CM Punk has been thrown to the wolves. Literally."—JBL. No. That's not what literally means. There were no actual wolves in the ring.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    I know we should be talking about the Outlaws and their dastardly heel turn here. But, as always, what struck me was The Shield's performance. 

    Ambrose and Rollins are good hands. But their ceiling is close at hand. Some day, however, Reigns is going to make the McMahon family a lot of money. A lot. Hopefully, he's working on his promos every day. That's the last piece of the puzzlethe only thing separating him from the biggest money players in wrestling history.

Funkadactyls vs. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka

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    Results

    AJ Lee pinned Cameron with the Shining Wizard. After the match, Naomi cleaned house when Lee and Tamina continued to attack Cameron. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Lee has been Divas champion for 211 days. That's amazing. 

    Tamina competes in a leather vest. Like all the great professional athletes.

    Dang. It looks like Cameron must have said something about Tamina's momma. She's laying them in pretty stiff.

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    I didn't hate this. Tamina was potatoing Cameron and AJ is AJ, so things were working nicely. And then, out of nowhere, the match ended. Poor Naomi never even stepped into the ring!

    Now, based entirely on wrecking fools after the match, Naomi will likely become the top contender for the Divas Championship. It's a match she told me she's been dreaming about. Here's hoping, if they do it, they let them do it right. This, unfortunately, wasn't a good start. 

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston

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    Results

    WWE announced it would induct the Ultimate Warrior into the Hall of Fame.

    Paul Heyman explained why Big Show wanted nothing to do with Brock Lesnar

    Kofi Kingston pinned Orton, countering a DDT with the SOS. After the match Orton attacked Cena's dad at ringside.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Everything's wrong that can possibly be wrong."—Orton, laying out his list of grievances to Kane.

    "All I can control is tonight. So, tonight, you can vent your frustrations on Kofi Kingston."—Kane. Wow. Kofi is kind of being treated like a straight-up jobber here. That will pay dividends later.

    "My client Brock Lesnar lives by the credo 'Eat, Sleep, Conqueror, Repeat.'"—Heyman, selling t-shirts.

    Orton back suplexed Kingston on the barricade. Ouch.

    "..."—The crowd. They are dead for this "match." 

    Orton with a European elbow that gives Cesaro a run for his money.

    "The longer you let them hang around, the longer you can beat them up."—JBL. They kind of telegraphed an upset here.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    Kingston winning was a stroke of genius. Suddenly even the squash matches have just the smidgen of doubt needed to make them interesting. Too bad this was such a lifeless match before the finish and the announcers kind of spoiled the surprise by teasing a Kingston upset once too often.

    After the match, they tried to heat up the flaccid Cena vs. Orton angle by having Randy attack Cena's dad and then make a bunch of slack-jawed weird faces. Not sure that's going to cut it, WWE.

Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel

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    Results

    Cody Rhodes pinned Curtis Axel with the Cross Rhodes.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    The announcers talked over the match to discuss the Royal Rumble. Did WWE hire Tony Schiavone and not tell anybody?

    "He couldn't tell you which way an elevator was going if you gave him two guesses."—Lawler on Ryback. He's saying Ryback is dumb. See? 

    Great press slam by Ryback. Think he lifts?

    Goldust's full speed reversal of the Irish Whip, culminating with an springboard elbow, was a gorgeous piece of wrestling.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    This was just a wrestling match. A short wrestling match. I wish it had been a long wrestling match. That's really all I have to say about that, although it's always worth noting that Goldust is amazing. 

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio

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    Result

    Alberto Del Rio made Rey Mysterio tap out to the cross armbreaker. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Eight years ago I won the Royal Rumble match."—Mysterio. Remember that when they try to sell you on the idea big men have the advantage, people. 

    I love the way, when he runs the ring ropes, Mysterio bounces off the second rope instead of the top.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    In his absolute prime, Mysterio was a wrestling treasure. There's never been a high-spot artist quite like him, and his intensity and fire made it possible to suspend your disbelief, even when he was in with the biggest behemoths. 

    He deserves better than this.

Steel Cage Match: Usos vs. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan

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    via WWE.com

    Results

    The Usos escape the cage to win the match. After the bout, Bryan attacks Wyatt to the crowd's delight.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "That steel cage will rip and tear your flesh."—Lawler. No King, that was the razor blade you used to use in every big match. 

    One of The Usos took a high-flying, face-first bump into the cage.

    The Usos counter Sister Abigail with a kick to the face. 

    An Uso escaped the cage by leaping onto the 

    "Daniel Bryan! Daniel Bryan!"—The crowd goes wild as Bryan pushes Wyatt away.

    Bryan removed his jumpsuit to reveal he was wearing his regular ring gear.

    "Yes! Yes! Yes!"—Wow. The response to Bryan was frightening.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    I am old enough to remember when wrestling had real cage matches. Where the point of the match was to keep people in the ring so the guys could fight, not to escape like a wuss. The WWE cage match, to be frank, is a disgrace.

    Making matters worse was the design of the match. I hate the anarchy of these tornado tag matches where everyone is legal at the same time. I need rules and regulations, people! This was a cluster.

    And then there was the finish. They appeared to blow off the Wyatt angle all together with pretty much no payoff, beyond the delight of the Rhode Island crowd. Well, it was fun while it lasted. 

    I would have liked to see the angle play out further. But the shot of Bryan sitting on the cage, crowd chanting wildly all around him, is one for his scrapbook. What an incredible moment for a wrestler who is slowly becoming too popular for the promotion to hold him back much longer.