Monday Night Raw TV Report for March 2nd, 2015 – “A Little Help From ‘Friends’?”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming
The regular Raw video plays and the pyrotechnic go kaboom in the arena! Michael Cole welcomes us to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey to continue the “Road To WrestleMania.”
Segment #2: Arena Promo & Video
“Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins, with J & J Security, walk to the ring. A video clip of Rollins appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and getting into an altercation with the host is shown. Back live, Rollins announces that Jon is on his way and threatens that he will be a much better host. As he continue to put himself over, his former teammate and #1 Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship interrupts. Roman Reigns walks through the fans and faces off in the squared circle.
Reigns wants him to keep going, so he can here the negative reactions from the crowd. Seth goes on about how great he is and why, then insists that Reigns cannot defeat WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, but he can. Roman disputes this, saying that he failed the last time at Royal Rumble. However, Roman also questions whether “Mr. Money In The Bank” is “man enough” to cash in his title shot and take them both on at WrestleMania. Rollins says he could do that, or whenever he wants, but Reigns hears enough and decimates Rollins, Noble, and Mercury!
Later tonight, Paige will challenge Nikki Bella again for the Divas Championship, and up next, Dean Ambrose goes against Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett!
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Rollins, Noble, and Mercury are walking through the hallways when Randy Orton walks up to them. “The Viper” backs Rollins and believes in him, telling Seth that he should have The Authority book a match for him against Reigns.
Match #1: Single – “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose VS. Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (Non-Title)
(Note: R-Truth is on commentary.) Ambrose starts out hot with punches and kicks, then chops him and runs with a flying forearm. He puts Barrett in an Indian Deathlock, but Wade gets out of it and takes control. He uses his knees to pummel Dean against the ropes, then gives him a big boot that sends Dean tumbling to the outside.
Barrett is still dominating, having Ambrose in a rear chinlock then head-butting Dean to the outside. Barrett eyes Truth at the table, then shoves him into the chair. Dean takes advantage, suicide-diving onto Barrett, then clotheslining Barrett back to the floor. He follows with a running elbow from the apron, and Truth steals the I.C. Title from the corner of the ring.
Inside, Ambrose whales away with chops but is caught with the Winds Of Change spinning-slam for a two-count by Bad News. On the outside, Luke Harper appears suddenly and Truth gives him the I.C. Championship. Harper walks away with the belt, which distracts Bad News, and allows Ambrose to drive him down into the canvas with the Dirty Deeds DDT for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Post-match, Truth and Ambrose argue about the Intercontinental Title.
Segment #4: Video and Backstage Promo
A clip of The Miz taking over Damien Mizdow’s commercial form Smackdown is shown, then Miz premieres it live backstage with a bunch of wrestlers and divas. Of course, the ad is for erectile dysfunction, with Miz featured bad and Damien featured good. Miz is furious as the other superstar and divas laugh, then rips on Mizdow. He slaps him hard, but Damien get into his face. Miz reminds Damien of where he came from and how he got there, threatening his job, so Damien apologies.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
The arena darkens and Bray Wyatt walks to the stage, where a wooden casket is placed. “Ooh, that wicked feeling is in the air again. Can you feel it? I wonder, what is truly left of ‘the mighty’ Undertaker? Is he still capable of striking the hearts of man? or have the hands of time finally ripped him apart? Come on, Undertaker! Come out, come out, wherever you are! WrestleMania approaches, and Undertaker, I think I’ve got something you’re going to like. (Pointing to the coffin.) I did this, I built this just for you, Undertaker. I hope you like it. But where are you? Instead of being out here in appreciation, you torture me, you mock me, with all this silence. And I understand your apprehension, but you must understand everything comes at a price. Oh, my, my, my. I’ve always had this fascination with the natural distinct of fire. Fire has no prejudices, it has no feelings. Fires just has this urge to destroy anything and everything that is in it’s path. Just me, just like me.”
Wyatt turns around and pours the gasoline onto the coffin. “:I would walk through the fires of hell just to see your face Undertaker. I don’t think you really know who it is you’re really dealing with, man. you can’t hid from me, no one can hid from me. Everything burns, and at WrestleMania, you’re going to burn too, ‘Deadman.’” He lights up the casket and yells, “find me, find me.”
Match #2: Six-Person Mixed Tag-Team – Natalya and Tag-Team Champions Tyson Kidd and Cesaro VS. Naomi and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Non-Title)
Jey and Tyson begin, with Tyson kicking on Jey. He is slapped back by The Uso, but is given a double-drop-toehold and elbow. Cesaro is in but is quickly Samoan-dropped. Jey flies outside, and Naomi and Natalya now wrestle. Natalya’s ankle appears to be hurt, so she quickly tags out. Tyson is back in and gets taken out; he then switches back with Natalya, and Naomi sneaks in and rolls her up for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Naomi and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Post-match, Natalya is upset with Tyson for his actions, but Kidd chooses to “hug it out” with his wife.
Rollins has successfully convinced The Authority to give him a bout with Roman Reigns later tonight, and up next, we may find out what John Cena’s WrestleMania plans are.
Segment #6: Arena Promo
John Cena is out, talking about the fans that are on his side and those who are not. He gives his usual passionate “never give up” speech, and warns Rusev that he will get his hands on him one day. In the meantime, Cena announces that he will be a part of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Stephanie McMahon interjects, refusing to let Cena compete and instead wants to see a Cena-less WrestleMania. She thinks he is disrespecting the late-great Andre, but Cena disputes her claims. She finally decides that he can have Rusev at WrestleMania, only if Rusev lets him. It is entirely up to the United States Champion.
Curtis Axel now comes out and declares that he is technically still in the Royal Rumble at over 35 days; he also sucks up to McMahon, which is going over quite well with the fans. She then sees the light in Axel’s eyes, and books him to take on Cena next.
Cena warns Curtis that this is not the time or place to face him, but Axel persists. They will square off next!
Match #3: Single – John Cena VS. Curtis Axel
Cena is just staring down the crowd and Axel, who is encouraging the fans to chant “Axelmania!” Curtis continues to mimic Hulk Hogan’s signature poses until he gets clotheslined and punched down. John wastes no time, finishing Axel with the A.A. and STF!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
Post-match, United States Champion Rusev and Lana are out on stage. He gives Cena his answer, which after some stalling, is no.
Segment #7: Video Promo
Michael Cole interviewed Arn Anderson and Michael “P.S.” Hayes on WWE.com about the Sting VS. Triple H bout at WrestleMania. They both put over Sting.
Up next, Triple H will also talk about it live!
Segment #8: Arena Promo
“In 1995, I looked Vince McMahon in the eye and said ‘all I want is an opportunity.’ 20 years later, 13 World Titles, and the COO of the WWE; I think I made the most of that opportunity.” HHH says he then gave Sting that same opportunity, to turn him into a bigger icon than he already was, through merchandise and DVDs. However, instead, “The Game” says that Sting turned down that offer so he could compete at WrestleMania. Triple H does understand Sting’s desire, but unfortunately, Sting didn’t pick the right person to wrestle against.
He insinuates that everyone has a “theory” on why Sting didn’t join WWE, then invites Hall Of Famer and former World Champion Booker T. “The Game” wants to know from Booker, who knew Sting through WCW, why “The Icon” had not became a part of WWE. Booker speculates it was because Triple H used his influence to “block” Sting from joining. Booker says that no one, including Triple H, could or can “control” Sting, but he will have to “deal” with him at WrestleMania.
After expressing his opinions, Booker T. is matter-of-fact fired. He collects his things from the commentator’s table, but HHH stops him and says he was just “messing with ya.” He does appreciate what Booker does at ringside, saying that was an example of “control.” “I have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter. I have been handed an opportunity to end a legacy, to end an icon, to end the last vestige that is and was WCW And I will do what I do better than anyone on the face of God’s green Earth; I will take advantage of that opportunity and I will put an end to Sting.”
Match #4: Single for the Divas Championship – Paige (Challenger) VS. Nikki Bella (Champion) (with Brie Bella)
After formal introductions, Paige is all over Nikki until Nikki grabs the ropes for a rest.
Nikki is now in control, stretching Paige with a surfboard. Paige fights back with punches, but is given a spinebuster after a run. Both women run at each other with a double-clothesline and are downed to the mat. Paige catches Nikki with three short-arm clotheslines. She tries for the Paige-Tap-Out, but Brie hops the apron. Paige kicks her off and locks Nikki in the PTO, but Brie interferes causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: Paige (No new champion)
Post-match, The Bellas beat up on Paige until the returning hometown-hero A.J. runs down the ramp to make the save! She and Paige clean house on Nikki and Brie, then look awkwardly at each other.
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Rene Young asks A.J. about her return. She doesn’t get a first word in when Paige interrupts and wonders why she helped. Lee says she wants to “help give Divas a chance,” after seeing The Bellas run roughshod over the Divas. Both conclude they are friends for the benefit of the Divas Division and the Divas Championship.
Segment #10: Arena Promo
Seth Rollins, Joey Mercury, and Jamie Noble are in the ring, which is decorated in The Daily Show set. He mocks hosting the late-night comedy hour, until the real Jon Stewart walks out. He sits down with Rollins and makes fun of him, also insinuating that Rollins didn’t earn the Money In The Bank briefcase. Seth grabs Stewart, but Randy Orton’s music plays which diverts Rollins’ attention. Jon kicks Rollins below the belt and escapes while “The Viper” looks on.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with Jon Stewart, who nervously speculates on his future before running away in case Rollins and J & J chase after.
Match #5: Single – Luke Harper VS. Daniel Bryan
Luke completely dominates this contest, through commercial break, until Bryan reverses one crossface into another and forces Harper to tap to the Yes Lock.
Winner via Submission: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, Wade Barrett, Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, and Luke Harper all try to walk away with the I.C. Title, but it is “The Show-Off” who superkicks Harper and climbs the ladder with the championship.
Segment #12: Video Promo
The next inducted into the Hall Of Fame is announced, and she is Alundra Blaze. Career highlights and superstars talking about her is aired.
Segment #13: Backstage Promo
The Authority, minus Triple H and Stephanie, are gathered. They all back Seth Rollins tonight, including Randy Orton, but Show, Kane, and Noble, inform Randy that he is not needed.
Segment #14: Arena Promo
“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman.” He wants to talk about the stories going around, and puts an end to the them by pronouncing that Brock Lesnar will be at WrestleMania, and afterward, and will still be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Amid microphone problems, Heyman gets his point across that Roman Reigns will be “conquered” by Lesnar.
Reigns now makes his entrance, but Paul E. backs away up the ramp.
Match #6: Single – Roman Reigns VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury] , The Big Show, and Kane)
They lock up and Reigns shove Rollins to the outside. They grapple again Roman shoves Seth to the mat then gives him an inverted atomic drop. Reigns continues to control for a while, but Seth gains an advantage. Both knock each other down, then Randy Orton proceeds to the ring. Rollins looks mad as Show and Kane wonder why Orton’s out here.
Rollins is back in control, chopping down Reigns by the knee. He holds Roman in a side headlock until Reigns works his way out with a back drop. He clotheslines Seth a bunch of times in the corner, then plants him with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Reigns measures for the Superman Punch, but Joey gets involved. Roman tosses him, but then is hit with an ensiguiri kick by Rollins! 1 – 2 – Reigns kicks out! Seth is on the top and is tossed off by Reigns to the canvas. He clotheslines Noble off the apron, but turns into a superkick by Rollins for a near-fall!
Reigns chucks Rollins to the outside, then dives off the apron to Show! The referee is distracted by Rollins, allowing Kane to nail Roman with a steel chair. In the ring, Rollins covers but only gets two!
Winner via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with J & J Security
Post-match, Reigns is furious and totally destroys The Authority with Superman Punches and Spears, then squats over and stares them down to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was an okay Raw – it started out strong, was kind of “blah” in the middle, and finished decent. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: Loving the Intercontinental Championship situation; it creates high-interest on who will be the champion after WrestleMania, as I can easily see any of these guys having the belt.
Promos by Stephanie/Cena/Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Triple H, Curtis Axel, and of course, Paul Heyman. All were extremely well-spoken and with fervor. I was quite surprised by Axel’s and even though I know he’s not going anywhere after ‘Mania, I was pleased to hear some “umph” in his voice tonight and get the fans behind him.
Return of A.J. I predicted this a bit ago, saying Paige needed to win the Divas Champion and her and A.J. could have a great WrestleMania final match for their rivalry. Paige winning didn’t happened, but tonight has planted the seeds for the two to be involved in the Divas Championship bout at “The Granddaddy of them All.” Also, since Raw was Lee’s hometown, I was genuinely surprised to see her, as they usually wait and not have a person who is from that town make a comeback.
Also liking the Miz/Mizdow storyline, and the eventual (probable) ‘Mania match. This has been a great build, keeping me suspenseful as to when Damien will do the full-on turn and break away.
Wrestling-wise – Ambrose/Barrett, Nikki/Paige, and Rollins/Reigns.
I think the Stewart/Rollins angle has played off well, not only for publicity for ‘Mania, but Jon himself really held his own both on the mike and in the ring with Seth.
Bogus: Last week, it looked like that Natalya and Tyson were on the same page and Natalya would be a heel, which I would love. However, tonight it appears they are at odds again, which doesn’t make much sense, and I was looking forward to seeing a bad-girl Natalya again.
There were too many Authority segments with Rollins and company. They need to scale back, as less is more. As well, there were too many promos in general (even though most were good), the wrestling itself was cut short for more talking tonight.
Where were Goldust and Stardust, and the continuation of their feud? Also, after the Primetime Players reunion and win last week, why were they not featured in a match? I thought they’d be gunning for the tag-titles soon since they can get greatly over with the crowd.
All-in-all, the path towards ‘Mania is shaping pretty nicely, and most of the card is looking pretty good. Here’s hoping it continues this way for the next few weeks! Until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!