By Travis Kellar and Gene Axton - -

RAW Dialogue 1/6: Rumble revelations! Roman retains!

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    Opening segment

    I almost feel sorry for ever complaining about John Cena’s opening segments.

    Roman Reigns and Stephanie McMahon have kicked off Monday Night RAW for the last several weeks, and it’s getting old. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had any sort of mic chemistry together, but they just don’t.

    I’ve always said that WWE needed to keep the microphone out of Reigns’ hands — the past few opening segments have been testaments as to why that needs to happen.

    Kevin Owens vs. Neville

    Finally, a decent match between two of WWE’s up-and-coming guys!

    I knew Owens was going to win this one heading into it, and that’s okay. Neville hit some crazy spots, and Owens took advantage of Neville’s “injured” ribs to dominate for a good portion of the match.

    Sure, the two traded wins, but it made sense in the grand scheme of things. Solid showing from both guys.

    Winner: Kevin Owens

    Stardust vs. Titus O’Neil

    This is one of WWE’s many pointless feuds.

    Sure, O’Neil and Stardust have bickered for the past few weeks, but the feud doesn’t feel like much more than that. The match was short and sweet in its own right — maybe it could mean bigger things down the line for these two?

    Winner: Titus O’Neil

    Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    This is one of WWE’s only bright spots.

    Charlotte’s heel turn may be a bit heavy-handed, but it’s a great example of the slow-burn writing we don’t see enough of in WWE’s other title feuds. Whereas storylines surrounding the World Heavyweight, Intercontinental and United States titles feel disjointed and forced, Charlotte’s gradual heel turn feels natural. Also, for once, a champion lost a match that made sense; Lynch’s victory moves the storyline along and the post-match antics make the Divas Champ look vicious, willing to do anything to protect her status.

    I would like to see Ric Flair relieved of his managerial duties though. Charlotte possesses a talent that can stand on its own.

    Winner: Becky Lynch

    Ryback vs. Big Show

    This match ended in a no contest due to a Wyatt Family run-in that didn’t discriminate, leaving both Ryback and Big Show lying on the mat. It was a horrible use of The Wyatts and a horrible waste of time.

    Winner: Not us, that’s for sure

    Rusev and Alberto Del Rio vs. The Usos

    I’m not a huge fan of any of these guys, but they put on a great match. Not only did it tell a story, it was also full of sound ring work and, for the first time since they formed, the League of Nations finally seemed like a legitimate stable working together to pose a formidable threat.

    Winners: Rusev and Alberto Del Rio

    Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater

    On television, Ziggler was pinned by Slater. In reality, every wrestling fan with the audacity to have a favorite wrestler who isn’t John Cena or Roman Reigns was sent a message: We make the decisions, not you.

    Winner: Heath Slater used a post-match promo to announce the arrival of his straight-out-of-a-Hot-Topic-customer’s-diary stable, The Social Outcasts. He, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are now a force to be reckoned with at a WWE house show near you.

    The New Day vs. The Dudleys and Kalisto

    With Sin Cara injured, Kalisto teamed up with The Dudleys. The masked superstar continues to impress, and the crowd continues to eat up what he has to offer. WWE should take a hard look at reviving the Cruiserweight Championship; they have enough talent and enough airtime to justify another singles title.

    As far as the match goes, it was a fairly standard tag contest apart of the sudden bursts of energy Kalisto provided. Momentum soon swung to The New Day’s side and, after isolating Kalisto and laying him out outside the ring, the Tag Team Champions pinned D-Von Dudley for a victory.

    Winners: The New Day

    WWE World Heavyweight Championship match

    Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee

    I’ll give credit where credit is due — Reigns and Sheamus put on a decent match. I also liked how several refs were used to draw up the tension, with McMahon knocking out the ref that made the count for Reigns to win the match.

    Only thing is, there was no way Reigns was going to lose the title. I get it — McMahon is trying to make Reigns’ life a living hell, but I think fans are wise to the outcomes.

    I was a bit shocked that Reigns will be defending the title in the Royal Rumble match. I think there’s a great opportunity there to really shake things up, and if there’s a time to bring back Daniel Bryan, it’s at the Royal Rumble.

    That, or Reigns is going to win and WWE will have egg on their face for a third year running.

    Who’s willing to place a bet?

    Winner: Roman Reigns

    Travis’ Reactions: It was a decent enough show this week, but WWE is in a predictable rut that makes the show a bore. Perhaps, just maybe, WWE will finally pull the swerve of the year at Royal Rumble, which is probably the best thing that could happen. If the most recent bookings tell me anything, it’ll be more of the same — poor booking with Roman Reigns overcoming the odds.

    Gene’s Reactions: The Rumble is in Florida. Roman Reigns is from Florida. It’s way too easy to predict. Some kind of swerve is planned, right?

    We watch RAW so you don’t have to

    By Travis Kellar and Gene Axton