'WWE RAW' Jan. 6 live blog: 'RAW' goes old school with returning legends
8:00 - You have to love that very old video intro before the show begins, but who cares about that when it's "Nature Boy" Ric Flair on his way to the ring? Naitch struts to the ring in a suit and sunglasses and he has the crowd eating out of his palms with "Woos" left and right.
As Flair runs the rope he's interrupted by Randy Orton. Just a few weeks shy of Batista's return that would allow for a full Evolution reunion.
Randy asks Ric to turn over the ring to him so he can whine for a while. He doesn't want to fight Cena again at the "Royal Rumble." He ends by saying "I have proven I am the man," which doesn't sit well with Flair. After all, to be the man, you have to beat the man.
Ouch: Randy calls Ric the most overrated superstar in history. He's a bad guy, sure, but that's just crazy. He demands Flair leave the ring or he'll take him out. Flair runs through their Evolution history. He loves Randy but says he's always has an "immature punk attitude."
8:11 - Just when it looks like Randy is going to attack a senior citizen, Cena arrives to save the day and is showered with boos. At least he's fitting in with the old school feel since he hasn't really changed in a decade. Cena lists of Flair's credentials and says he'll fight Randy. The champ doesn't take the bait, though. He bails out of the ring. A decent enough start to the show.
Jerry Lawler isn't appearing on "RAW" tonight due to a medical issue. The announcers assure everyone that his heart is fine. You'll remember Lawler suffered a heart attack during a live "WWE RAW" broadcast in 2012.
8:15 - Up next, Daniel Bryan will debut as a member of the Wyatt Family in a six-man tag match.
8:21 - The Usos and Rey Mysterio vs. The Wyatt Family
It seems like Daniel Bryan is dressing like a mechanic, now that he's a member of the Wyatt Family, with a pair of coveralls. The crowd isn't having it as they continue to chant "Yes."
Ouch, Bryan's new look also comes with some vicious offense. He nails Mysterio with elbows and knees.
Late in the match Bryan tagged himself in, which his partners did not appreciate. They tagged him out and lost the match.
8:33 - Winners: The Usos and Rey Mysterio
Bray Wyatt definitely isn't happy about that. This should be fun: Roddy Piper will host Piper's Pit with special guests The Shield tonight, and CM Punk will fight Roman Reigns.
8:39 - Batista is officially the first entrant in the 2013 "Royal Rumble."
WWE is making the fans sit through Damien Sandow vs. Great Khali once again, but this time with a legend as referee. Viewers can vote on Bob Backlund, Sgt. Slaughter or Arn Anderson.
8:45 - Backstage, Big E. Langston gets to do the big legends cameo segment. Ted DiBiase, Ivan Koloff and IRS are all there jut wasting time in costume, for one reason or another.
WWE will make a "blockbuster announcement" on Wednesday. It will change everything, etc. It's the network, so now you know.
8:47 - Curtis Axel vs. Big E. Langston
Ryback is on commentary, to support Axel. He's not so great as a commentator because he laughs at his own non-jokes way too much.
8:50 - Winner: Big E. Langston
Well, that was quick. Ryback isn't impressed, though. Piper's Pit is up next and Roddy looks like he's in good shape.
8:55 - Roddy makes his way to the ring quickly and he looks ready to have a little fun. The thing about Piper is you never know exactly what he's going to do. The Shield wins the terrible timing award as their music cut off Piper. If ever someone should just be given a microphone and set free, it's Hot Rod.
"Who gave this old man a live microphone?" Dean Ambrose asks. He's the best talker in the group and proves it. Piper won't stand for it, though.
Piper says Ambrose can talk all he wants but the only man who can match him on the microphone is CM Punk. Seth Rollins says Roddy is just jealous. Piper has a good question. If Roman beats CM Punk tonight, doesn't that make him better than his Shield buddies?
As The Shield moves in Roddy, Punk and the New Age Outlaws run in for the save. They send The Shield heading for the hills. Since Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will definitely accompany Reigns in his match against Punk tonight, perhaps the Outlaws will run with the best in the world.
9:11 - Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Del Rio's lost to Sin Cara twice now, can he turn the luck around? This is the first episode of "RAW" to ever be broadcast live in Japan, which must be immensely confusing for Japanese viewers who are wondering why "The Million Dollar Man" is on TV.
Alberto finally turns his luck around with a quick win.
9:15 - Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio says he's going to be in the "Royal Rumble" and he will get rid of Batista before winning the match. Michael Cole says Jerry Lawler is backstage and doing fine after having a stomach virus earlier in the day.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan says he joined the family to become a monster, but he can also help teach his fellow teammates. Next week, Bray Wyatt says he will team with Bryan, himself.
9:22 - The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
The least Goldust could do for old school "RAW" is bring the wig out of retirement. As has become normal in recent weeks, the match with the tag champions is pretty entertaining. Goldust continues to fire on all cylinders and everyone around him is doing the same.
The Rhodes brothers have things well in-hand, until an European uppercut from Antonio Cesaro sends Cody for a loop. Of course Cesaro hit the giant swing on Cody during the commercial, banishing his most popular move to the app.
9:33 - Cody finally makes it to the corner to tag in Goldust, but he gets knocked off the ring apron, leaving Cody along. Swagger applies the ankle lock and just as Cody's about to tap out, Goldust recovers and lands a huge kick to the face before his brother can tag him in. Goldie is on fire until he finally gets the pin on Swagger. Great match.
9:36 - Winners: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Backstage, Diamond Dallas Page appears to do a commercial for his yoga DVDs with Booker T. This is what they have the WCW guys doing on old school "RAW." It seems fitting. Cue Ron Simmons to show up with a "Damn."
9:45 - Damien Sandow vs. The Great Khali
Since it's old school night, Ranjan Singh is back at Khali's manager, dancing his way down to the ring. The WWE Universe chose Sgt. Slaughter to be the referee, because they are crazy. Arn Anderson's nickname is "The Enforcer." It's not rocket science.
Khali spends his time slapping Sandow around the ring, making it look easy. Even when Sandow is in control, it doesn't last long. All it takes is a brain chop and it's over. Sarge missed that Damien's leg was on the ropes, though.
9:47 - Winner: The Great Khali
Sandow took a swing at Slaughter and was met with a cobra clutch in return. The segment ended with the good guys dancing and Sgt. Slaughter twerking. Really. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are up next.
9:52 - Here comes Brock. Who knows what he's done lately to deserve all those fireworks in his entrance. It seems Lesnar doesn't like that WWE is spotlighting the legends. "According to my client, old school means one man reigns supreme," Heyman says.
Heyman compares Lesnar to both Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan, two men he says reigned supreme over wrestling. He also throws in "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, which is funny since he left WWE rather than lose to Brock at one point. Is that old school?
While Heyman talks, Lesnar just smiles, breathes heavily and shuffles around the ring. He mentions how Brock took out Mark Henry last week and says that will happen to anyone who opposes Lesnar. Henry makes his way down to the ring anyway, but Brock breaks his arm. You'd think purposely breaking someone's arm would be against the rules, but that's just one of Brock's regular moves. He's broken roughly 32 arms since he returned in 2013.
Before Lesnar and Heyman can leave the arena though, Big Show appears. He doesn't look too happy with Brock. Lesnar and Heyman bail before Show can get his hands on them. Still, when Show has his back turned, Brock tries to attack. Instead he gets tossed across the ring in what was a pretty great visual.
10:12 - The Bella Twins vs. Aksana and Alicia Fox
No A.J. Lee this week, it seems, which is unfortunate. She's the Divas Champion, after all.
There's not a lot to say about this one, it was your standard diva match. Brie Bella was pinned after missing a missile dropkick.
10:17 - Winners: Aksana and Alicia Fox
Coming up next is a full-fledged Too Cool reunion. Grandmaster Sexay, Scotty II Hotty and Rikishi are all headed to the ring. The crowd had better be ready to dance.
10:22 - Too Cool vs. 3MB
Of course Too Cool is fighting 3MB. Who else would they beat and have it still be believable? It's the first time Too Cool has teamed together in more than 13 years and Rikishi is wearing pants, so something is wrong. These days Scotty II Hotty is a fireman and Grandmaster Sexay continues to wrestle in the independents.
As expected, Scotty hits the Worm and starts dancing. He takes a boot to the face for it, but the crowd is living the match. They want Rikishi in the match. Once he gets tagged in, everyone hits their signature moves and Rikishi ends it with a Bonzai Drop.
10:29 - Winners: Too Cool
After the match they get to do their old dance routine, though it's a lot weirder now than it ever was in the '90s.
Wrapping up the legends portion of the evening, The Godfather makes his way to the ring with all of the night's special guests. It's not quite the same as the Ho-train, but what can you do? WWE is PG these days.
The legends are basking in their glory, perfect time for Bad News Barrett and his magical rising podium and terrible attitude.
Main event time, but the legendary good times continue because Mean Gene Okerlund is there to shill his wrestling hotline. What a great moment: 98% of WWE's fans don't remember wrestling hotlines at all. Gene introduces the New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg does his old routine and it's as great as ever. Billy Gunn even gets his line. They're out there to introduce CM Punk. "He'll drop pipe bombs on all your moms." That doesn't sound PG, Road Dogg.
In a stroke of pure genius that only longtime wrestling fans will understand, Punk walks to the ring wearing a Ribera Steakhouse jacket. If you're curious about Ribera's history in wrestling, WWE has the answer.
10:50 - CM Punk vs. Roman Reigns
Early on, Reigns is using his power to totally dominate Punk, keeping him grounded. That's how things continue until Punk manages a kick to the head to gain a bit of momentum and start turning things around. Ambrose wants to get involved, but Rollins is keeping him back.
Punk lands the Macho Man elbow drop and Ambrose gets on the apron. The Outlaws take care of them. Punk goes for a springboard and Reigns hits a gnarly punch. Punk kicks out at 2 and Reigns goes for the spear. He misses and Punk rolls him up for two.
Eventually, Ambrose causes a distraction and Reigns his the spear for a win. Does that make him the best member of The Shield?
11:09 - Winner: Roman Reigns
Whoa. It's Jake "The Snake" Roberts. CM Punk hits an airplane spin and GTS on Ambrose and Jake gets Damien from the bag. That is most definitely a memorable moment to end the show. Jake looks great and "RAW" ends with the snake slithering over Ambrose's face.