By JBG4 16 Comments
Here we go again. I wrote a blog last week where I talk about how positive I am about the WWE product and I got some really great responses to it so I decided to do it again. I'm not going to have a ton of set-up this week because there were a bunch of things that I really enjoyed so I want to stop rambling and get to the action.
Everyone in the opening segment came off really well; we know to expect a nice long promo segment at the top of every RAW that will, more often than not, lead into a match and this was no exception. I’m really impressed with how comfortable and confident Roman Reigns has looked over the past couple of weeks and especially tonight. He delivered his lines well, laughed at Daniel Bryan’s joke about being of equal attractiveness, and didn’t struggle with his retort to comments made by Stephanie McMahon. I’m enjoying seeing his growing process play out the way it is now because it seems like Vince realizes that he should have been doing this all along and I think it is showing that Roman is trying his hardest to improve on his weaknesses.
Daniel Bryan is really good at being a professional wrestler. In the ring he has few, if any, weaknesses and his progression on the mic over the last 5 years has been astonishing. He played his role in the opener perfectly in being jokey and pandering to the crowd a bit but when it came time to let Reigns know that he wasn’t going to Fast Lane to joke but to win because he’s the best wrestler in the world he really shined. The fans reaction was a bit surprising after that line though because I honestly was expecting some thunderous YES! chants and instead we get a smattering of boos. I think that probably changed after what happened in the Main Event but before we get there we have The Authority make a match with Bryan teaming with Reigns to take on Big Show and "Dockers" Kane. (The most evil of all of the Kane’s)
There wasn’t a ton happening in the match. It was a bit slow and was really only there to lead to the real main event of the night after Show was DQ’d for pulling Bryan out and throwing him into the timekeepers tiny house. Hunter, Steph, and the rest of the gang back up the ramp smiling while they announce that later in the show Roman and Bryan would team up yet again to take on the entire group, even J&J Security.
Seth Rollins took on Ryback in the next match which came out of nowhere and it too had a bit of a screwy finish. Nothing of note happened here other than Seth standing tall and Ryback looking somewhat protected because he had Rollins on his shoulders when J&J Security jump on The Big Guy and caused another DQ.
Rusev came out to talk about how Cena is old and broken down man and that he will destroy him at Fast Lane because he is neither of those things which brings Cena out to agree that he is old and broken down but will still beat the younger, stronger Bulgarian Brute. This causes the two to brawl where Rusev gets the upper hand on Cena and leaves him lying face down on the ramp. Something really cool happened a bit later though; Michael Cole gives us a rundown of the myriad of injuries that Cena suffered as a result of the Rusev attack. They are giving Cena an out if he loses at Fast Lane and which will lead to us seeing Cena realize he has to be better than ever in preparing for the rematch at Mania and that would make for a good story. Plus, we could get some sweet Rocky IV training montages leading up to it. (Fingers Crossed)
Dolph Ziggler went one on one with Bray Wyatt in a return match from last week and just as they did a week ago they had another fantastic match. It wasn’t as good as their previous encounter which I named my Match of the Night but it was still very good. It seems they’re using DZ to make Wyatt look strong in preparation for his rumored WrestleMania match against the Undertaker. We also got another cryptic promo from Wyatt that had a better structure than the one last week and gave off a stronger hint that it was directed straight at the Phenom.
Paul Heyman is incredible on the mic and Brock Lesnar does a great job standing next to him looking like the scariest man alive.
Gold and Stardust appear to be heading for a break-up. I don’t really know what else to say about this.
Triple H came out next to demand an answer from Sting as to whether or not he will be at Fast Lane to confront the COO. I thought this was a really cool segment that while it may have been a bit corny to have the fake Sting’s everywhere it was still awesome to see the fear that HHH sold when the graphic changed on the tron to read . I’m really looking forward to how this plays out at the show and to me Fast Lane is turning into a super interesting PPV.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro faced The Uso’s next and were actually given enough time to have a great match. I’m hoping the title match is added to the PPV based on the win that Kidd and Cesaro picked up here because on a smaller show like Fast Lane I feel like they could get even twice as long as this match on RAW and could potentially steal the show. They work well together and the distraction tactic used by Cesaro when he threw an Uso into the ring so he could help Tyson get the pinfall was neat.
When Mizdow blows up on the Miz the crowd will explode because, some may disagree with this; Miz is easily a Top 5 heel in the WWE. The guy is so good at getting heat and making people hate him that I am constantly entertained when he is on the screen. During the match between Mizdow and Sin Cara he sat in a director’s chair at ringside and forced Mizdow to get him a water, then open said water, then instructed Mizdow to not use the Miz’s moves, while telling the fans “when my hand goes up your mouth goes shut” which drew a ton of boos, and finally the fans started chanting “You’re from Cleveland” to which the Miz responded with “Better than Columbus” the host city for RAW tonight. He’s quick witted and has helped get Mizdow over even more in the last couple of weeks. I love their dynamic and this story.
We got a cool video package for the return of Sheamus tonight. He’s a really talented performer on the mic and especially in the ring and will be a real asset when he makes his return soon. Full disclosure, I am a Sheamus fan... especially when he's a heel.
Curtis Axel is topical with his Kanye West jokes and him standing in the ring pointing at the WrestleMania sign saying he was never eliminated and wants his shot makes me laugh but I also laugh when Dean Ambrose comes down and demolishes him. After that match which Ambrose won we get a good Ambrose promo talking about how he really wants the IC Title and then Bad News Barrett pops up on the tron to add a bit more to this program. I am so happy we are getting an actual feud for a secondary title because only good things will come from making the Intercontinental Championship mean something again. It helped to make guys like Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, The Rock, Triple H, and the list goes on.
Last but certainly not least we get the main event - Bryan and Reigns vs The Authority. This classic wrestling story was told throughout the night with two partners being unable to co-exist due to an upcoming showdown between them and a group of dastardly heels trying to take advantage of the situation in this 5 on 2 match. Well that plan was working until it all broke down and just as Show and Kane were getting ready to put Bryan through the announcers table out comes Ryback, Ziggler, and Rowan to make the save and even up the odds. This didn’t lead to a DQ so just as Bryan is prepared to hit the running knee on Joey Mercury we see Reigns jump to the apron, tag himself in, and spear Mercury for the win. This angered DB who gets in Roman’s face and eats a Spear for it. This was a great way to cap off the night because it built a ton of tension between the two and served to set-up a bit of intrigue leading into a face-off on Smackdown that was advertised throughout this show.
Overall another good RAW. There were some very noteworthy moments on the show that play into what the plans are for Fast Lane and WrestleMania. NXT Take Over Rival is this Wednesday which I plan to watch and may even do a small blog for… I’m really looking forward to the big Zayn vs Owens NXT Championship Match.
See you next time…
Match of the Night: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs The Authority