For the second year in a row, the WrestleMania main-event has potential to change. As per Triple H’s “shocking” announcement last week, Daniel Bryan will face Roman Reigns at Fast Lane on Feb. 22 to determine who challenges Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. Will there be any other twists, or is the track for Fast Lane between the two pretty straight-forward now?
Also, John Cena will be squaring off with United States Champion Rusev; what will happen between the “irresistible force” and the “immovable object” (yes, I used that cliché!) tonight?
Lastly, we are promised that a new inductee into the WWE Hall-Of-Fame will be announced! Who will be that (most-likely) deserving person?
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for February 9th, 2015 – “All For Roman And Daniel For All?”
Introduction Segment: Video Promos and Welcoming
Recap of last week’s events that have setup Fast Lane are aired. The regular Raw video plays and the pyro blows in the arena. Michael Cole, Booker T. and John “Bradshaw” Layfield welcomes us to Ohio State University.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
One of the two #1 Contenders to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship makes his way to the ring. Roman Reigns enters the arena through the crowd and goes on to talk about his Royal Rumble win and the meaning of it. In short, he remarks that he is going to beat whoever is in his way. “You can believe that!”
His opponent for Fastlane now joins him. Daniel Bryan gives props to Reigns for helping him defeat Seth Rollins, which allowed Daniel to take on Roman at Fastlane. He recounts what the stakes are between the two, as well as physical comparisons. Before they can go on, The Authority interrupt.
Triple H, Stephanie, The Big Show, and Kane all stand on the stage. Stephanie plugs Fast Lane and The Network, then HHH says he wants an answer from Sting tonight about their face-to-face at Fast Lane. Steph then rips Roman and Bryan for what they did to Kane and Big Show in the last couple of weeks. For that, she decides to punish them by booking a tag-team match with Show and Kane, next!
Match #1: Tag-Team – Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan VS. Kane and Big Show (with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon)
Kane and Bryan are starting out. Daniel soars with a suicide dive. Roman and Show now go at it, with Reigns hitting a running clothesline in the corner. Show gains control with a headbutt, then tags Kane back in. he dominates for a bit until Reigns reverses a standing side-headlock into a backdrop. He makes the hot-tag to Bryan, who is all over Show. He nails him with multiple kicks to the chest and one to the head. Daniel follows up with a rocketing dive, but Show and Kane catch him and throw him into the ropes, bouncing back to the floor.
Show is back in control, locking Bryan in a Cobra-Clutch type submission. Daniel breaks out of it but runs into a bear hug hold. Show turns that into a scoop-slam, then switches with Kane. He also clamps on a bear hug. Again, he trades with Show and The Authority continues to govern this bout for a while. Show climbs to the second turnbuckle and tries a springboard-splash, but Bryan moves! Kane is tagged in and knocks Roman off the apron, but Daniel manages to put him in the Yes Lock. Show breaks it up and hurls Bryan over the timekeeper’s area, causing a DQ.
Winners via Disqualification: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan
Post-match, a brawl breaks out between the four, which ends when Reigns pummels Show with a chair, and Bryan accidentally hits Roman with a running front-dropkick. Reigns and Daniel argue, with Reigns shoving Daniel. Triple H takes advantage, booking them in another tag-team match later tonight. This time, they will take on Show, Kane, J & J, and Seth Rollins. Rollins will also matchup against Ryback after the break!
Match #2: Single – “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury] ) VS. Ryback
Ryback starts out strong until J & J get involved on the outside. Rollins takes control from that point, but as Ryback tries to mount a comeback, J & J interfere again, causing another DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Ryback
Post-match, the trio beat-down Ryback, with “Mr. Money In The Bank” finishing him off with a Curb Stomp.
Later tonight, United States Champion Rusev and “The Ravishing Russian” Lana will pay tribute to John Cena.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Match #3: Single – Paige VS. Brie Bella (with Divas Champion and Sister/Partner Nikki Bella)
Paige immediately Lou-Thesz’s, hard-kicks, and mount-punches Brie, but Bella capitalizes with a kick-to-the-head. She hits an elbow and runs a knee into Paige’s face, then wears her down with a grounding headscissors. Paige gets out of it, hitting rapid elbows. Brie counters with an elbow of her own and a second-turnbuckle missile dropkick. Brie measures, but Paige ducks a clothesline and slaps Brie hard. She hits a couple short-arm clotheslines and a dropkick, then whips Brie into Nikki on the apron and plants her with the Ram-Paige DDT to receive the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Paige
Later tonight, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar will have his say on the Fast Lane match that determines his WrestleMania opponent. Up next, Rusev and Lana are out!
Segment #4: Arena Promo
United States Champion Rusev and Lana make their entrance. Lana says they are delighted to meet John Cena at Fast Lane and that Cena himself should be “honored” to go one-on-one with Rusev. She praises his “never give up” mantra, and like an awards show, pay homage to his career. A video of Cena’s triumphant moments first plays, then it turns into high(low)lights of his numerous injuries.
Back live, Lana says that “13 years is a long time.” They both talk about the wear-and-tear on his body, both physically and mentally with his “fighting spirit.” Rusev warns that he will “break your body and crush your spirit” at the pay-per-view.
Cena now comes out and describes what he usually and how he usually is, which is rising to the occasion after getting taken down. He entices Rusev to go at it right now, which “The Super Athlete” obliges. They engage and carry each other up the stage, until Rusev pokes Cena in his injured right eye. The U.S. Champ then runs him into the Titantron. Referees check on Cena and try to hold Rusev back.
Match #4: Single – “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. Bray Wyatt
The bell rings and they lockup. Wyatt shoves Dolph to the corner, but Ziggler tries to take him down with mat-wrestling techniques. Bray hits a punch but Dolph fires back with a leaping dropkick. Wyatt fends off Dolph, but Ziggler comes back by jawbreaking Wyatt with the ropes and dropkicking him to the floor.
Bray is now dominating with reverse mount-punches. He gained control by driving him face-first onto the apron. He works over Ziggler with a grounding rear headlock, and it is shown that he got busted open the hard-way by the earlier dropkick form Dolph. He tries to clothesline a running Dolph, but Ziggler slides under and plants him with a leaping-DDT! He attempts a Fameasser, but Bray catches him in a Sister Abigail position. Ziggler works his way out then hits the Fameasser again. He follows with a superkick and covers. 1 – 2 – Wyatt gets the shoulder up!
On the outside, Bray nails Dolph with a vicious clothesline. He places him back in the ring and crawls upside down. He picks Dolph up then spins him face-first to the canvas with Sister Abigail to take this contest!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Post-match, Bray goes to do something to Dolph on the cement, but referees stop him. Instead, he just perches over a prone Ziggler.
Segment #5: Video Promo
In continuing the celebration of Black History Month, WWE promotes the late-great Hall Of Famer Sylvester Ritter, a.k.a. Junkyard Dog.
Up next, we will see WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar enter the arena. Heyman rips on both Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan for being liars. He says that despite Roman’s background and family history, he is still scared of “The Beast.” He then contrasts Lesnar and Bryan. Heyman gives Daniel credit for his “in-ring ability, knowledge of submission wrestling, grit, and a pipeline to God, because he’s pulled more miracles out of his tuckus than my client and I have ever seen anybody pull off!” He questions us on if we think that Bryan “is the one to beat the one in twenty-one-and-one.” He threatens both Roman and Daniel that an F-5 awaits either of them at WrestleMania, courtesy of Brock Lesnar!
Match #5: Tag-Team – The Dust Brothers (Gold and Stardust) VS. The New Day (Big E. and Kofi Kingston) (with New Day Partner Xavier Woods)
Stardust and Kofi start-out. Stardust hits a running shoulder-block. Goldust is in, but suddenly Stardust walks off, leaving Goldust to lose this one after Kofi rolls him up!
Winners via Pinfall: The New Day (Big E. and Kofi Kingston) (with New Day Partner Xavier Woods)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young interviews Daniel Bryan about his actions from earlier. He doesn’t fault for Reigns, despite it being an accident. She wonders if they can still get along, and Roman interjects confirming they can. He says that until they face each other at Fastlane, they both need to team up and take out their “common enemy,” The Authority.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Stardust is rocking back and forth when Goldust comes up to confront. He calls him “Cody” again, which infuriates Stardust, and pushes Goldust to the floor, exclaiming “Cody is dead.”
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Triple H is in the ring and recaps his 20-year career. He says that it has all been taken away because of Sting. The man who never crossed into WWE at the high-time, but instead waited until well-after W.C.W. was shut down, has now made his way over and is ruining things. HHH proposes that if Sting never shows up again, then he will leave him in tact with his “dignity.” The lights go out and spotlights shine on random areas. Crows squawk and a video appears on the ‘Tron. It is Triple H’s interview on WWE.com/WWE Network, mixed in with Sting’s crows and face-paint on “The Game.” A fake Sting appears in the ring, which spooks Triple H, then the words “I accept” appear on the video.
Match #6: Tag-Team – Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya) VS. Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (with Naomi) (Non-Title)
Cesaro and Kidd trade-off, but The Usos take big control. Both an Uso and Tyson tumble to the floor, and Natalya and Naomi square off.
Cesaro is dominate, with a gutwrench suplex. He tags in Tyson, who wears down Jimmy with a headlock/armlock. Cesaro back in and slugs away with forearms and an uppercut. He tries to drag Jimmy, but The Uso counters with a backward spin-kick. He manages the hot-tag to his brother, who is all-over Kidd. He attempts to soar over the rope, but Tyson blocks. Jimmy follows with the rocket-splash, and Jey superkicks Tyson! 1 – 2 – Kidd still gets the shoulder up!
Jey runs at the corner, but Tyson moves and tries a roll-up with the ropes. Jimmy pushes Tyson’s leg off the ropes, then Tyson runs into a superkick by Jey. He ascends the turnbuckle, but Cesaro shoves him to the canvas and Kidd covers for the W!
Winners via Pinfall: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya)
Segment #10: Video Promo
Appropriate to the previous bout, the newest member of the WWE Hall-Of-Fame is The Usos’ father, Rikishi. A highlight package of his career from 1999/2000 – 2014 is shown.
Damien Mizdow is walking backstage when The Miz puts his hand in front and walks ahead. He will be in action next!
Match #7: Single – Sin Cara VS. Damien Mizdow (with The Miz)
Mat-wrestling trades start off this contest then Mizdow kicks Sin Cara in the corner and brings him out with a suplex. During the match, The Miz asks Damien to get him some water and open the bottle. This allows Cara to suicide dive Mizdow, which Miz tells to “pay attention to your opponent.”
In the ring, Mizdow gets a bit of a comeback until he goes for the Figure-4. Miz takes exception to this, and orders Damien to not lock on the submission as it is the move he “made famous.” Again, Cara takes notice and small-package roll-ups Mizdow for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Sin Cara
Segment #11: Video Promo
“Since the dawn of existence, Mankind has struggled to answer one simple question: ‘where do we go when we die.’ A man of science believe we just become one with the earth and nothing more. And a man of faith views things from a much, much different perspective. What about those like you and I? We’re special. For us, there is no death. This world is our hell, this world is our hell. WE DON’T BELONG HERE. I know you can here me. But now my eyes are wide open and I don’t fear you anymore. It’s time for you to go home. Find me, FIND ME!”
Match #8: Single – Curtis Axel VS. “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Prior to the match, Curtis cuts a promo declaring that he should be in the main-event at Wrestlemania as he was never officially entered and/or eliminated from the Royal Rumble.
Ambrose is all over Axel right away with punches and kicks, then runs him down with a block. He scoop-slams Curtis, but is caught with a knee-to-the-face. Axel begins to pound away, then wipes his face against the mat. He wears him down with a ground rear chinlock, then knees him in the gut. Dean hits back with frequent chops and the bounce-back clothesline. He finishes this one after the Dirty Deeds DDT!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Post-match, Ambrose threatens that he “will not stop” until he gets his Intercontinental Championship match. I.C. Champ appears on the ‘Tron and continues to deny Dean the opportunity.
Up next is the 5-On-2 main-event!
Match #9: Five-On-Two – Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan VS. The Authority (“Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins, J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury], Big Show, and Kane)
The Authority surrounds the entire ring and decimate Bryan and Reigns. Kane and Show give Roman a double chokeslam, while Rollins is left with Bryan in the ring. He is good-to-go, so Seth and him go at it. Rollins German suplexes Bryan, then yells at him. He German suplexes again, then tags in Show, who slaps Bryan hard in the chest. Big picks him up and hugely scoop-slams him, then tags in Jamie. He begins to work over Daniel, but Bryan makes a small comeback. Joey is tagged in, but is quickly trapped in the Yes Lock. The Authority break it up and continue to dominate.
Kane chokeslams Bryan and covers, but Roman gets the save. He tries some more but is held by Kane when Show knocks him to the mat with the Knockout Punch! Rollins gives Bryan the running-corner-powerbomb but only gets two! He yells at Bryan more, then orders Show and Kane to tear apart the announce table.
Joey and Jamie bring Daniel over, but the blare of “Feed Me More” disturbs The Authority. Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, and Erik Rowan march out to brawl with The Authority. Kane and Rollins double-team Rowan by the stage, but Ziggler cuts them off by leaping onto them from it!
In the ring, Bryan does make a comeback against Mercury and Noble. He kicks away on both, then measures Joey for the Shining Wizard knee! As he is about to go for it, Roman hops the apron and tags himself in! he cuts off Bryan and spears Joey, then covers for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Bryan takes issue with Reigns, as he was pretty much inactive most of the bout. He gets in his face and shoves him, but Roman responds with a spear. He glares at a downed Bryan, as his music plays and Triple H and Stephanie look on backstage to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was another pretty good Raw, especially match-amount wise. Storyline-wise was kind of flat in a couple instances, but in most others, intriguing. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: promos/most-of the interactions between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan; they both come off as genuinely fighting for what they believe (pardon the pun, considering it’s one of their catchphrases!) and making it be no-nonsense.
Promos by Bray Wyatt, Paul Heyman, and Triple H. All were well-spoken, and I really liked the setup for Sting/Triple H. Reminds me of the way they did things in W.C.W. with Sting when he first turned into The Crow.
Great wrestling between Show/Kane & Bryan/Reigns, Paige/Brie, Cesaro/Kidd/Usos, and of course, Bray/Dolph (match of the night!)
I also enjoyed Rusev/Lana/Cena segment; Rusev has really improved lately on the microphone, and glad that Cena wasn’t in a joking mood tonight. Even though I didn’t’ write out his promo, because it was the usual “never give up” style, at least it wasn’t corny, so I appreciated that and it helped make it better.
Bogus: Getting really tired of the constant Authority beat-downs & 3/4/5 on 1 or 2 matches. These have been way overplayed and way too predictable. I also was disappointed by the ending; I was honestly expecting the return of Randy Orton or Sting to show up and help. Plus, I think they should’ve waited for Bryan and Reigns to fully implode until next week; tease us and close the show with the stare-down.
I’m not interested the Ambrose/Barrett storyline, mainly because I don’t see Bad News as a credible champion right now. He won the title out of nowhere, then lost a few weeks, and now hasn’t wrestled again in a while. This would’ve been a better matchup if Barrett was undefeated and wrestling almost every week since getting the I.C. Championship.
In general, I enjoyed this week and am hoping next week’s is even better, since it is the “go-home” Raw before Fast Lane. Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!