Solid show tonight, furthering storyline for Fast Lane and dropping the breadcrumbs for WrestleMania. RAW kicks off with a recap of last week, and Roman Reigns in the ring threatening to bleat Brock Lesnar, and in case anyone gets in his way, he has a spear with said person’s name on it. So you can “bet your ass, to believe that.” Oh dear, he tried coming up with his own catchphrase, how cute, and pathetic. The booing crowd is overjoyed as Daniel Bryan sarcastically interrupts, “thanking” Reigns for interfering in his match with Seth Rollins.
The Authority interrupts, and Stephanie for whatever reason commandeers the mic, putting Reigns and Bryan in an opening tag team match against Kane and Big Show. Triple H also demands a response from Sting, tonight.
Funny oops moment, Stephanie calls Bryan sick for stuffing Kane in a casket on SmackDown, and laughing, he reminds her that was the point of the match.
They have a decent match which ends with a miscue and Bryan clobbers Reigns with a running knee, but so obviously accidental it becomes comical as Reigns refuses to “believe that.” Triple H then announces the real main event is a 5-on-2, with Big Show, Kane, Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury all against Bryan and Reigns. Huh.
Right away we get to our next match, with Ryback going up against Seth Rollins. A surprisingly good match which ends in DQ as J&J Security once again involve themselves. Funny, Ryback spent most of his debut beating lightweights in 2-on-1 matches, yet J&J manhandled The Big Guy better than Big Show could.
We get a video promo for Sheamus who is set to return to action… Soon!
We then cut to the other pale European, as Paige is in the ring awaiting Brie Bella, and defeats her with the Rampaige. First match of the night which did not end in a DQ. Astounding.
In a bizarre segment, Lana and Rusev sing the praises of John Cena, while pointing out after 13 years he must be getting tired from being old. Actually, we’re just tired of his old shtick. The roll a short package, first with some of his highlights, then his injuries and major losses. Cena, sporting a nice shiner comes out and says he doesn’t care, but wants a fight… At Fast Lane. Rusev mashes up between Russian and English to some sort of threat, but Cena cuts it short with another childish joke about Lana holding Rusev’s nuts, and we get a fight on the stage, which Cena loses. Astounding.
We get two other guys WWE knows we cheer for, Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt in another one-on-one match. Bray Wyatt earns another win over the Show-Off, however both men came out looking good. Wyatt is on a tear, and although Ziggles loses again, I see no harm being done here. Ziggler and Wyatt are even tiered, hopefully this will lead to bigger plans heading towards WrestleMania. I will say, during the match the live crowd had dueling Ziggler/Wyatt chants going strong.
In honor of Black History Month, a video package rolls for the Junkyard Dog. Very well done.
Following the package, we get Brock Lesnar and Rabbi Paul Heyman who delivers a sermon regarding the concept of lying, of course linking with Brian Williams. Heyman then links that scenario to the controversy with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. Heyman gets to the point, if either one thinks they have a chance of defeating Brock, then they too, are liars. Heyman cuts another great promo. I love this guy.
In a case of WWE believing they need to beat a dead horse into mulch, I guess we didn’t get it the first two times, once again, Stardust bails on Goldust mid-match, allowing Dustin to get pinned by The New Day. Goldy starts shouting for Cody, but is taunted all the way back. Okay, do you all understand now? Goldust and Stardust have SPLIT UP.
In the opposite extreme, backstage Renee Young interviews Daniel Bryan about working with Roman Reigns, who understands why Reigns was angry. Guess those sessions with Dr. Shelby paid off. Reigns interrupts, and assures Bryan they can work together tonight to overcome the 5-on-2 odds and then go into Fast Lane unimpeded.
No. Reigns did not actually use that word. Don’t be stupid. I tried to insert some intelligence here.
Backstage: Stardust tells his brother that Cody is dead, and Stardust lives.
In the ring Triple H calls out Sting to demand an answer to his demand to call out Sting at Fast Lane so he can call him out and demand a match at WrestleMania. That last part did not happen, but we know it will. In any case, Sting played some mind games with having his own stunt doubles, possibly Damien Sandow, scaring Triple H while on the Titantron a Triple H promo was altered into super-creepiness, as the words “I Accept” flashed on screen.
So, no actual Sting. But some vintage WCW mindgames.
Next up, a horrible playback of SmackDown where Natalya and Tyson Kidd went on a double-date with Naomi and Jey Uso. No, this was not a clip from Total Divas. WWE knows no one actually watches that. The staged dinner also featured Cesaro. Just because. The dinner breaks down, and Jey calls Kidd “ignant.” Yes. For a pre-taped staged segment which was then replayed, no one in the production crew thought to somehow edit that out. They pump in fake cheers and boos for SmackDown, but can’t figure out how to edit a segment in order to make one of the WWE Tag Team Champions not sound like a complete buffoon. This leads to tonight’s grudge match where Natalya is now dressing more whorishly (is this a word?) in order to stress her aligning with heels, while wearing evil black spiky heels.
Kidd and Cesaro pick up the win with some clever strategy, besides putting on a good wrestling match. Likely will lead to a title match at Fast Lane. Sad they needed this stupid gimmick between Natalya and Naomi to push this along when WWE could have relied on both team’s wrestling abilities. But that would mean WWE has to have faith in mid-carders to do something without a corny storyline.
Speaking of Usos, they leaked it on Twitter earlier today their dad, Rikishi, is the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. Nice. Video package featured mostly stinkfaces, with mentions of being a multi-time Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion. Guy did main event for a while too.
Damien Mizdow gets a match against Sin Cara, but this time it is the Miz who provides the distraction, numerous times, allowing Sin Cara to rollup the favored stunt-double for the win. Nice crowd chant mocking Cleveland to which Miz fired back “at least I’m not from Columbus.” Sandow goes for the figure-four, but Miz stops him claiming “it’s my move, I made it famous!” Cara gets the win here and Miz gloats.
Uber-creepy promo from Bray Wyatt, discussing death and “not being afraid of him.” He closes with one demand… “wherever you are, come find ME!”
Yeah, it has to be Undertaker. I worry about this. I seriously do. Undertaker can lose now. He is not immortal at the Grandest Stage of Them All anymore. Undertaker is fallible. I wonder, will he now be 21 and 2?
Back in the ring, Curtis Axel still is relevant somehow, and whines about not being eliminated at the Royal Rumble. He begs the WWE Universe to keep the #AxelMania movement alive, and repeats “hashtag Axel Mania” over and over. Well, enter Dean Ambrose to shut him up. I don’t know whether to say “poor Axel” or “poor Ambrose.” Ambrose picks up the fast win, then calls out Wade Barrett. His newest gimmick, BNZ reports that just because Ambrose wants a title shot, doesn’t mean he gets one and equates it to something about the Kardashians. So, either BnB is failing or WWE wants to try and rip off TMZ for a while.
For the main event, we saw Bryan and Reigns take on the Authority, however it came down to being a beatdown. Reigns was KO Punched early while Bryan was left to fight for himself. Thanks to an assist by Ryback, Ziggler, and Erick Rowan, the match was abandoned by Rollins, Kane, and Show, leaving J&J at the mercy of Bryan. However, Reigns woke up at the end, tagging himself in, hitting the spear for the pinfall win. Bryan was not happy, and when he voiced his thoughts on the matter, Reigns speared his Fast Lane opponent as well. Not sure where the crowd stands, and I think this is what WWE is wondering as well.
Will the WWE Universe stand with Daniel Bryan, or with Roman Reigns?
Following this conclusion, all I can think of is… Why haven’t they figured out where SummerSlam will be yet?!
Joking aside, pretty good episode of RAW tonight.