A recap video of last week’s Raw featuring The Authority, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns is aired. Randy Orton’s music plays as he strolls down the ramp, where Kane, The Big Show, J & J Security, and Seth Rollins are already in the ring.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Director Of Operations Kane says The Authority wanted to prove to everyone that they all are on the same page, so that is why they are out here to accept Randy back into the group. Big Show concurs, but Mercury and Noble appear to have a little resentment to Orton’s reinstatement.
“Mr. Money In The Bank” defends The Authority in bringing “The Viper” back to the stable; he denounces all who were opposed and speculated that Orton was playing games with them. Orton now has the microphone, and while is pleased with their words, he also inquires why they are so nice. He runs down each member, questioning them on who they have really become. He calls Kane “the devil’s favorite dumbass,” says Show is no longer dominate, pokes fun at Jamie’s height, completely ignores Mercury, and vows to make Seth his “bitch.”
Following a quick stare-down, Orton quips that he is just joking and “having fun.” Rollins buys into it and says it is “what’s best for business.”
The announcers remind us of the Two-On-One match, then say that Brock Lesnar will talk about WrestleMania and his career afterward later tonight.
Daniel Bryan makes his entrance, taking note of a Connor ‘The Crusher’ sign, acknowledging the remembrance young fan Connor, who made a connection with Bryan and sadly passed away from cancer last year at only 8 years old. Nice touch/classy from Daniel! He will wrestle IC Champ Barrett next.
Match #1: Single – Daniel Bryan VS. Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (Non-Title)
(Note: R-Truth is on commentary.) Bryan and Barrett square off evenly, then Daniel knees Bad News in the elbow on the mat. Barrett gets out of it and stomps away in the corner, but Daniel continues to control over Bad News’ left arm. He runs at Wade in the corner, but the IC Champ boots him down, then dumps Daniel to the outside.
Barrett is still dominating, kicking away at Bryan in the corner, then bringing him off the turnbuckle with a suplex! Bryan quickly ducks a run and nails the running-knee for the sudden victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Post-match, at Daniel is celebrating he turns around and gets hit had with the Bullhammer Elbow! Barrett signals to R-Truth that he will be next. As he backs up the ramp, Dean Ambrose’s music plays and he charges down the aisle, clotheslining Bad News! He will be in action soon too!
Match #2: Single – “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose VS. Stardust
(Note: R-Truth is still on commentary and Stardust has the IC Title, which he stole last week on Smackdown!) Dean starts off with a side headlock takedown, then runs at Stardust with a shove. Ambrose is in control for a while, including giving Stardust a suicide dive into the announce table! Stardust switches momentum after chopping Ambrose on the apron and twisting his leg with the ropes.
Stardust has Dean locked in a half-crab, then goes for CrossRhodes a bit later, but Ambrose counters with a snapmare. He clotheslines Stardust, then drives him down with the “Dirty Deeds” DDT for the finish!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose
Post-match, Bad News Barrett runs back out and assaults Ambrose! Bryans hurries out and makes the save, followed by Luke Harper and Dolph Ziggler. While everyone above, including Stardust and Ambrose, are brawling, R-Truth sneaks up and takes away the Intercontinental Championship. Barrett is left standing in the ring and eyes Truth. He approaches R, demanding his title. Truth obliges, handing him a bag. Wade walks up through the crowd and shows off the championship, however it is a toy belt! At the top of the ramp, Truth reveals the real deal, and walks off with the true title.
Segment #3: Video Promo
The newest member of the Hall Of Fame is a very special inductee, Connor Michalek. In honor of the late Ultimate Warrior, WWE has created a “Warrior Award,” which recognizes people who have gone through adversities in their lives. Connor is the same one I mentioned above, and is going to be put in the Hall Of Fame for his struggle with cancer, but also his positive attitude and being a WWE fan. A video of his time with WWE is aired, as well as promotion for the Pediatric cancer research foundation named for him called Connor’s Cure, which has made over $200,000 and helped out 50+ families. He is given a standing ovation by the entire arena as his Dad and Brother are also shown ringside. God rest your soul, Connor.
Up next, Paul Heyman and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar will be out.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Lillian Garcia welcomes Paul Heyman, who is already in the ring. Heyman says that he was given an opportunity to pre-screen a video, but wanted to wait until we all watched it together. The video plays, and is of Roman Reigns talking about his career, family legacy, and what will happen when he meets Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Back live, Paul E. responds “here come the pain. The reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, Brock Lesnar!” the man himself walks out and joins Heyman in the squared circle. Heyman still talks, mocking the video and insinuating that Roman’s family instituted a motto of “fight or don’t come home.”
Paul then threatens that anyone who might decide to make a “Montreal Screwjob” move on Lesnar at WrestleMania will sorely regret it. As he goes on, for the second week in a row, Heyman’s mike goes silent.
When it comes back on, he wonders why the production person doesn’t just come down and take the microphone away. He also challenges anyone “in a position of authority” to come and snatch the belt away from Lesnar too. “Because if Brock Lesnar wants to spend his summer unifying the WWE and the UFC Title, that’s what he’s going to do!”
The microphone goes out again, and when it sounds, Heyman quips, “hey, censor this one: if Brock Lesnar decides to go to Las Vegas and smack around Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao…”
His main message is this: “this title no longer belongs to WWE; this title belongs to Brock Lesnar! It’s his, and he’s not giving it back.” Paul E. runs down three top-names that Brock has run roughshod over: The Rock, The Undertaker, and John Cena. “So here’s my questions ladies and gentleman; cause it’s all the same answer. ‘Who did that to The Rock? Who did that to The Undertaker? Who did that to John Cena? And what the hell do you think he’s going to do to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania?’ And the answer to all these questions is ‘Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar, the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World; the “Beast,” the “conqueror” and the one that’s going to leave Roman Reigns flat on his back at WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar!’”
Segment #5: Video Promo
“WrestleMania is almost here. The reaper awaits you ‘Deadman.’ Where are you? Tonight, find me,” warns Bray Wyatt.
Match #3: Tag-Team – The Authority (“The Big Red Machine”/Director Of Operations Kane and The Big Show) VS. Erik Rowan and Ryback
Ryback and Kane begin, with Ryback dominating early. He rams his shoulder repeatedly into Kane, then Lou Thesz-presses and splashes him on the mat. Kane avoids the Meathook Clothesline, then tags in Show who spears Ryback down. The Authority controls over Ryback until “The Big Guy” counters with a suplex, then gets the tag. Rowan dives off the middle turnbuckle with a tornado-elbow, then Show accidentally hit Kane with the K.O. Punch a bit later. Rowan takes advantage and gets the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Erik Rowan and Ryback
Post-match, Kane and Show have a verbal confrontation until Stephanie McMahon marches on down. She is not pleased with their latest quarrel, so she orders them “ship out” until they “shape up.”
Segment #6: Video Recap and Backstage Promo
The announcers re-air The Miz & Mizdow’s erectile dysfunction ad; then Miz is trying to promote himself to tonight’s special guest, Wiz Khalifa. The rap star listens to Miz’s … but decides to go with Miz’s former protégé, Mizdow, who is now Wizdow. Damien walks in, dressed kind of like Khalifa, and raps about his new partnership and being in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.
Segment #7: Video Promo
A highlight package predicting Sheamus’ return airs.
Segment #8: Arena Concert
Wiz Khalifa performs.
A.J. Lee will be in action, next!
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
The Bella Twins are watching themselves on the cartoon “Flintstones,” then comment that Paige and A.J. will get flattened at WrestleMania.
Match #4: Single – Summer Rae (with Eva Marie and Cameron) VS. A.J. Lee (with Paige)
A.J. takes this one quickly with the Blackwidow Octopus Stretch!
Winner via Submission: A.J. Lee (with Paige)
Up next, we will hear Sting’s comments on his match with Triple H at WrestleMania!
Segment #10: Video Promo
“I’ve been called the ‘vigilante.’ But I’m more than that. I’m the ‘face of retribution.’ I am ‘the silencer of injustice.’ I am Sting.” Shots of Sting standing alone, in the ring, the rafters, and backstage are mixed in with old WCW images, Triple H’s interviews, and Sting’s debuts in WWE. “I’ve been watching you. I know first-hand how power and ego like yours can corrupt and destroy lives. When WCW perished, it fell under the watch of a broken authority. I tried to save WCW; I failed. I know pain, the pain of loss. And after WrestleMania, Triple H, you will too. You talk about control, but you cannot control vengeance. You will be the one to collapse beneath your thirst for control, and realize that I control your destiny. My loyalty never wavered; despite your lies, your loyalty is to yourself. You need to be taken down, and I’ve been waiting fourteen years to do it. Triple H at WrestleMania, ‘game over.’”
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
United States Champion Rusev and Lana are walking through the hallway when John Cena cuts them off. Rusev goes to tell him his answer is still “no,” regarding a match at ‘Mania, but Cena shortens him up. He pressures Rusev into stop bad-mouthing America, since the country has given Rusev the opportunity to make a living all over the world. He says if Rusev trashes the U.S., then a match is not necessary at WrestleMania, instead they will be engaged in a fight!
Match #5: Single – United States Champion Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian,” Lana) VS. “Axelmania” Curtis Axel
As expected, Rusev wins pretty quickly with The Accolade.
Winner via Submission: United States Champion Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian,” Lana)
Post-match, Rusev goes on another U.S.-hating tirade, which brings out John Cena as he promised. Cena immediately takes down Rusev and clamps on the STF. Rusev passes out, then Cena wakes him up with water, and locks in the STF again. Rusev taps quickly continuously, forcing Lana to give in to Cena’s demands; she grants him a U.S. Championship bout at WrestleMania. Upon this news, Cena releases the hold and walks off.
Segment #11: Video Promo
“I will walk through the fires of hell just to see you. But I can’t wait much longer; tonight I raise the dead. Find me.” Bray Wyatt.
Segment #12: Locker Room Promo
U.S. Champ Rusev is being check on and then yells at Lana in Russian.
Match #6: Tag-Team – The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E.) (with New Day partner Kofi Kingston) VS. Tag-Team Champions Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (with Natalya) (Non-Title)
Tyson and Xavier start-out but it doesn’t take long for Cesar and Tyson to control. Kidd ties up Xavier’s leg with a reverse-Indian Deathlock, then allows Cesaro to stomp on that leg and clutch him with a half-crab. Woods kicks off but can’t get the hot-tag as Kidd dropkicks Big E. off the apron.
On the other side, Natalya is on the apron which distracts Tyson. This allows Woods to capitalize with a face-plant victory-roll!
Winners via Pinfall: The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E.) (with New Day partner Kofi Kingston)
Post-match, The Usos and Naomi make an entrance as Natalya and Naomi are scheduled to go at it next!
Match #7: Single – Natalya (with Tag-Team Champions Cesaro and Tyson Kidd) VS. Naomi (with The Usos [Jimmy and Jey] )
Some great back-and-forth wrestling action takes place until The Usos and Cesaro/Kidd fight on the outside, distracting Natalya, and allowing Naomi to complete the contest after the “Rearview” Rear-Bump.
Winner via Pinfall: Naomi (with The Usos)
Post-match, Natalya walks off mad with one-half of the Tag-Team Championships while Los Matadores make their way to the ring to face The Usos!
Match #8: Tag-Team – The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (with Naomi) VS. Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with The Bull)
Both teams measure each other up before the break.
An apparent inadvertent distraction by The Bull causes an Uso to get rolled-up by a Matadores for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with The Bull)
Segment #13: Office Promo
J & J Security are worried that Randy Orton is not entirely on board, but “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins convinces them he is.
Segment #14: Arena Promo
“I never sleep, but I’m always dreaming. And in the darkness of these dreams, I see the world for what it should be.” Wyatt describes the desecrated world he fantasizes about, then says everything was about The Undertaker. He calls “pride” his favorite sin. “It was pride that led me straight to you.” He says he will not praise The Undertaker or be beside him; “I just want to walk over your broken bones as I ascend to my throne. Because I am not your redemption; I cannot be your redemption Undertaker, because I AM THE NEW FACE OF FEAR!”
Bray says the people feared The Undertaker before, but yet The Streak was destined to end and ‘Taker was supposed to ride out in a “blaze of glory.” “Instead, the cruel hands of fate stole your destiny, but understand, I can give it all back to you Undertaker. For WrestleMania will be your resurrection, but it also be your requiem.” He wants to know if the Undertaker will take him on at WrestleMania. He then goes to the Urn and predicts that it will bring The Undertaker back.
Bray opens the lid and nothing happens; suddenly as Wyatt continues to talk, the Urn bellows smoke and the lights go darker. Lighting appears on the ‘Tron, and the infamous gong rings out! A single light beams on Bray’s rocking chair, which has now replaced the Urn. A message appears on the ‘Tron, reading “WrestleMania: The man comes around.” Then, a voice we have not heard for around a year yells out, “you will ‘rest…in…peace.’” A spark of lightning blasts, setting the rocking chair ablaze. Bray laughs maniacally as The Undertaker’s music plays.
Match #9: 2-On-1 – Roman Reigns VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins and “The Viper” Randy Orton (with J & J Security [Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury] )
Rollins and Randy have a quick discussion on who will begin, with Seth getting the nod. He and Reigns start evenly, but then this breaks down into the usual heel-domination for a long-while. Rollins goes to tag Randy, but “The Viper” refuses, even giving Seth the double-middle-finger! Rollins turns around into a Spear, as Roman covers to get the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Post-match, Orton goes berserk and finally gets revenge on Rollins for putting him out of action for months. Orton takes apart the stairs and holds Rollins’ face into them. He whips him hard into another set of stairs, then chases him with a chair through the crowd. They make their way back to ringside, where Orton continues the punishment. He takes apart the announce table and drives Rollins through with the RKO
Ringside personnel check on Rollins as Randy walks away to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Tonight was a great Raw, a real step-up from last week. Lots of good and very little bad, which is a definite plus, so let’s look at those particulars:
Excellence: Randy Orton – all-around from the opening promo to the closing beat-down, he was superb! I loved the psychological warfare he played all the way through the night. I had a really good feeling that he’d do “the turn” right off the bat when the 2-On-1 match was made known, but didn’t think his assault would go that far. It was well-played-out (even though a little long) and truly a “dish bet served cold!”
Still loving the Intercontinental battle that is going on; glad R-Truth is getting a lot of time out of it too. I’m sure he won’t win the Ladder Match, but at they have had him prominent again, as he is definitely got personality and can wrestle.
Promos by Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns (video package), John Cena, Rusev, Bray Wyatt, and the voice-over by The Undertaker were also all terrific. Specifically, Heyman and Wyatt “hit it out of the park” as usual, and demonstrated passion and true character with theirs. Also, loved the setup for Rusev VS. Cena; well-done and a little “out of the norm,” which is great now and then.
The Warrior Award. This is an extremely classy move and one of the nicest and most-genuine things WWE has done. They have really stepped up their game in terms of humanitarianism the last few years, and this Award/induction of late Connor is a beautiful example. While it is absolutely sad that his life was so short due to the terrible disease, it is very cool for WWE to honor Connor this way. Again, God rest your soul, Connor.
Bogus: Was disappointed that only The Bellas talked; would’ve liked to hear a promo from Paige and A.J. too. Also, would prefer a 3 or 4-way for the Divas Championship at ‘Mania instead of the tag-team with no title.
Not liking the “every tag-team gets a shot”/inevitable Turmoil match; would’ve liked to see a two-on-two feud, continuing with The Usos and Cesaro/Kidd. Also not interesting/really getting the Kane/Big Show split and don’t want to see those two go at it for the umpteenth time!
While I liked the words, explanation, and mixed footage of Sting, did not like the dubbed-voice. We all know what he sounds like, so there was no need to hide his real voice; that would’ve been even more effective.
All-in-all, a wonderful Raw that really built WrestleMania well, especially settling more matches. Let’s hope the next two weeks leading up to the “Show Of Shows” are just as great, if not better! Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!