Last week was one filled with mixed emotions, from curious and happy to downright belligerent and disrespectful. Now, a new week and month begins in WWE! Here’s hoping it is a fresh new start. A clue to said start may be the biggest thing awaiting us – Triple H’s “shocking” announcement that will “shake the WWE Universe to its core!”
So, why wait? Let’s find out what that is all about now!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for February 2nd, 2015 – “A Fresh Restart”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo & Welcoming
Recap from the Royal Rumble match and Triple H talking about it on Smackdown! is first shown. The regular Raw video plays, then pyro explodes in the Pepsi Center. Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Booker T. greet us from Denver, Colorado.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
We may not have to wait long for the announcement, as The Authority make their way to the ring right off the bat. At first, Triple H and Stephanie antagonize the fans by talking about The Superbowl, where the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks. (Denver is not a fan of New England, hence the “poking-the-bear” by HHH and Steph.) They move on to The Royal Rumble Match, talking about the controversial ending. Another replay is aired.
Triple H cites his issue with The Royal Rumble – The Rock. He explains that since Rock is more movie-star than wrestler, he had no reason to just come on by and interfere in the finish of a bout. However, “The Game” also takes the blame for letting Sting come in at both Survivor Series and on Raw two weeks ago. This showed an example of anybody with a “big name” thinking they can come and go as they please. The Authority vow to put an end to this at Fast Lane when Triple H confronts Sting face-to-face.
Back to The Royal Rumble, Stephanie starts the speculation of whether Roman Reigns should be allowed to face WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania all because of his cousin’s interference. Before she can go on, the current #1 Contender walks through the crowd to a better reaction than last week and gets in The Authority’s faces.
McMahon is trying to convince Reigns not to main-event WrestleMania and preserve his family’s legacy/history. One again, they are interrupted. This time, it is the super-fan-favorite, Daniel Bryan, who jumps down the ramp. He wants his rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which he never “officially” got after being stripped of the championship due to his neck injury. Triple H disputes this, as when Bryan finally returned, he immediately announced his candidacy for the Royal Rumble Match, negating the automatic rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple H said he would’ve received.
Now, they are all interceded by “Mr. Money In The Bank.” Along with J & J Security (Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury), Seth Rollins marches to the squared circle, albeit minus a working microphone. Cole wonders what will happen next as we go to our first break.
Back live, Rollins is making a case for Reigns and Bryan not to be the #1 Contender, but instead for it to be him. Roman threatens to knock out Rollins, but Triple H and Stephanie interject. HHH says that plans always change, so he is proposing that Daniel takes on Seth tonight, with the winner facing Reigns at Fast Lane, and that winner going to WrestleMania and matching up against “The Beast Incarnate.”
Stephanie goes back to trying to persuade Roman that this is a good idea, again to protect his family and himself. Bryan tells Reigns not to pay attention to The Authority, instead to go for the offer so they can tear the house down at Fastlane and see who gets to be in the main-event of WrestleMania. Rollins weighs in, insinuating that if Reigns doesn’t this suggestion, then it is because he’s afraid to wrestle him.
Stephanie questions Roman on his decision, which he replies by saying “screw it; I’ll fight you (Bryan) and I’ll fight you (Rollins).” He takes the deal, and it is official. Bryan will take on Rollins tonight, with the winner facing Reigns at Fastlane to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Triple H then informs Reigns not to go anywhere; The Big Show then makes his way to the ring and they will be squaring off next!
Match #1: Single – Roman Reigns VS. The Big Show (with “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury)
Big Show is in firm control for most of this bout. He tossed Reigns over the ropes and whipped him hard into the corner barricade. Reigns tries to mount a comeback, but J and J, and Rollins, interfere a few times; this causes Roman to be driven down with a chokeslam and Big Show to get the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: The Big Show
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Triple H and Stephanie discuss their plan and how it played out perfectly to rid Reigns of his guaranteed Wrestlemania title shot.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Curtis Axel walks out and debates that he should be in the main-event of WrestleMania, as he never even entered after being beat-up. Dean Ambrose interrupts him, chucking him to the floor. Ambrose moves on, wanting to challenge Bad News Barrett for his Intercontinental Championship.
Segment #5: Video Promo
WWE is celebrating Black History Month, so to commemorate, they present a video on WWE and AFL Hall Of Famer, the great, late, “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd.
Match #2: Tag-Team – Gold and Stardust VS. The Ascension (Viktor and Conor)
Conor and Viktor finish this one quickly after the Fall Of Man on Goldust.
Winners via Pinfall: The Ascension (Viktor and Conor)
Post-match, Stardust berates his brother for the loss.
Up next, John Cena will have a “welcome back” party for Ryback, Erik Rowan, and “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler!
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Stardust is walking around, muttering gibberish to himself, when Goldust walks up. He tries to get a hold of Stardust mentally, but can’t. So, he calls him Cody, which infuriates Stardust.
Segment #7: Arena Promo
John Cena is out, first ripping on Triple H for wanting a “WWE without John Cena.” He then gives props to Sting, who helped him defeat Seth Rollins two weeks ago on Raw, which brought back Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erik Rowan. The trio come out but are barged by Stephanie, who appears on the Titan Tron. She books all three in matches, with Dolph taking on Bray Wyatt, Erik going against U.S. Champ Rusev, and Ryback facing Luke Harper, next!
Match #3: Single – Ryback VS. Luke Harper
Harper begins with a suplex on Ryback, but Ryback just stands up and beats his chest. He returns with a standing-stalling-suplex of his own. He hops to the second turnbuckle and splashes Harper for two, then works him over with a kick and a chop in the corner. Ryback runs off the ropes but is caught by a dropkick from Luke. He follows up with a big boot, which puts Ryback to the floor.
Back in the ring, Harper chops Ryback and hits another big boot. He wear shim down with a grounding rear chinlock. Ryback gains momentum with a roll-up for a near-fall, then a quick splash. He moves out of the way as Harper runs, sending Luke tumbling to the mat below. Ryback follows up with a spinebuster, then signals for the Meathook clothesline, but is cut off by a superkick. 1 – 2 – Ryback gets the shoulder up! Ryback set sup for the Shellshock, but Harper reverses into a sunset flip for another near-fall!
Ryback suddenly nails the Meathook clothesline, then gives him the Shellshock Samoan Drop for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Match #4: Single – Tag-Team Champion Jimmy Uso (with Tag-Team Champion brother/partner Jey Uso and Naomi) VS. Cesaro (with Tyson Kidd and Natalya)
Both trade takedowns and holds until Cesaro elbows Jimmy hard, gaining an advantage. Uso fires back, soaring over the ropes with a splash! Cesaro hits one of his own, with a double-axe-handle off the top turnbuckle! He clamps on a grounding rear chinlock, then swings him around a bit later. He turns the swing into a half-crab, but Jimmy gets out of it. Cesaro continues to control until Jimmy catches him with a superkick. He ascends the turnbuckle and tries a Superfly Splash, but Cesaro cut shim off with an uppercut to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Cesaro (with Tyson Kidd and Natalya)
Post-match, Kidd attacks Jey as well, then celebrates with Cesaro and they leave with Natalya.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Damien Mizdow is dishing out blueberries, to the orders of The Miz. A production man walks up and asks for an autograph. Miz is happy to oblige, but it is really Damien’s he wants. Mizdow signs, then Miz tears it up. He scolds Damien and calls him “the worst stunt-double I’ve ever seen!” (Mizdow was mocking all of Miz’s moves during the yelling!) Miz fires Mizdow, then quickly rehires him, as his “personal assistant.”
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
John Cena is with Erik Rowan, who thanks Cena for standing up for him. This has never happened before in his life.
Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance for his match with Bray Wyatt, next!
Match #5: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. Bray Wyatt
The bell rings and the two lock up. Ziggler fires away right away with punches, but Bray pushes him off and hammers on the back of Dolph. The fans are split between the two. Dolph comes back with a few punches, but Bray quickly puts him back to the canvas. He starts to dominate, choking Dolph on the ropes.
Ziggler flips out of a backdrop, but can’t hit the Fameasser as Bray slipped away to the outside. Both exchange mat-wrestling holds, then Bray slaps Dolph hard and senton-splashes him. Wyatt squeezes on the collar/shoulder area of Ziggler, but Ziggler battles out. He hits an elbow then a dropkick, but Wyatt goes to the outside again and jawbreaks Dolph on the middle rope. He pulls him through and suplexes from the apron to the floor!
Bray is still governing this contest, until he runs at Ziggler and misses, sending himself shoulder-first into the ring post! Dolph goes for a dive but Bray counters with an uppercut. He goes for a senton splash, but Ziggler moves! He hits a clothesline and splash, then brings him down with a neckbreaker. Dolph drops an elbow for two, but runs into a stiff, hard, harsh clothesline! Bray attempts Sister Abigail, but Ziggler elbows his way out and drives him down with a DDT!
Dolph tries a splash, but eats turnbuckle. Bray follows with a splash of his own, then starts to roll his eyes and hangs upside down. He grabs Ziggler, but Dolph shoves him off and tries a Fameasser. Bray moves but runs into a superkick for a near-fall!
Both punch it out now. Dolph kicks off and plants with the Fameasser, but Wyatt gets right back up and drives Dolph down with Sister Abigail to take this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Segment #10: Office Promo
The Authority and Seth Rollins are quite happy with how everything has turned out so far. Triple H compares “the future” Rollins to the “former future” Randy Orton, where Rollins goes along with everything while Orton complained and went out on his own. Rollins swears that he will make sure that it is him going to WrestleMania.
Match #6: Single – Alicia Fox VS. Paige
(Note: The Bella Twins are on commentary, and Divas Champion Nikki will be facing Paige at Fast Lane for the Divas Championship)
Elbow/collar tie-up begins, with both plummeting to the floor mat. Paige runs and screams at The Bellas, but gets small-packaged inside the ring for two! Fox boots Paige down then clamps on a rear chinlock. Alicia gives Paige a Northern-Light suplex for two, then continues to tear at her chin. Paige soon reverses a tilt-a-whirl slam into a press-cover for the win!
Winner via Pinfall: Paige
Post-match, Alicia continues to beat on Paige when The Bellas come in. They spray Paige with some paint, declaring “we just want to give her some color!”
Match #7: Single – The Miz (with Damien Mizdow) VS. Sin Cara
Miz starts out with a side headlock, but then has to yell as Mizdow not to mimic him. Cara takes advantage and flies around, but misses the top rope Senton Splash. Miz goes to the top rope, as does Mizdow. Miz stops Damien, then goes back to work on Sin.
Damien eventually hops on the apron and gets a crowd reaction, which distracts Miz, and allows Cara to trap his legs in a pinning position!
Winner via Pinfall: Sin Cara
Post-match, Miz freaks out at Damien, who just stands there, being on-guard for The Miz.
Segment #11: Video Promo
“I’ve been called many names in the past. ‘Seducer,’ ‘accuser,’ ‘destroyer.’ But you, you may call me Bray. Because I’ve been watching you, I’ve been watching you for quite some time now. And OH, how they used to fear you. And look what you’ve gone and did. You let all that fear turn into love and admiration. But me, I’m a little bit different. Me, I am the NEW FACE OF FEAR! I am the dragon. The devil is real man, and he cannot wait to see you again. I know you’re listening. (Bending backwards) Find me!”
Match #8: Single – United States Champion Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana) VS. Erik Rowan
Rusev immediately attacks Rowan, with the bell not evening being called for. He totally decimates Erik with slugs and kicks, then stretches him with The Accolade.
Winner: No Contest due to No Official Start
Lana has the microphone and presents a video that highlights Rusev’s destructive ways over the last several months.
Segment #12: Locker Room Promo
Roman Reigns is sitting and thinking when Daniel Bryan walks in. he gives sympathies for The Authority’s actions earlier, but Reigns wants none of it. He doesn’t care who he faces, because he will go through them anyway and move on to WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins makes his entrance, along with J & J, to prepare for the main event!
Match #9: Single (Winner will take on Roman Reigns at Fast Lane) – “Mr. Money In The Bank” Seth Rollins (with J & J Security, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) VS. Daniel Bryan
(Note: These two faced off a few times, over 5 years ago in Ring Of Honor, and had a fantastic match. It’s nice to se them main-event Raw, and have come along way) Both lock up and shove into the ropes before Daniel slaps Seth back. Bryan slips out and twists Rollins’ arm with a lock. J & J yank Bryan into the barricade, then Rollins follows up with a suicide dive.
Rollins is in control, stomping and choking Daniel in the corner. (Note: Big Show is now out at ringside.) Seth runs at Bryan in the corner, but Daniel moves and nails a bunch of punches and uppercuts. He goes for a clothesline, but is caught and driven into the second turnbuckle.
Bryan fires back up after flipping over Rollins in the corner and hitting a running clothesline! He delivers many kicks-to-the-chest of Rollins. Bryan hurricanranas Seth from the top turnbuckle, but Rollins turns it into a sunset flip for a near-fall! Both punch away, then Daniel tries a Yes Lock. He is whipped into J & J, then tosses Rollins onto them. Bryan follows up with a suicide dive that sends both J & J and Rollins sprawled around the ring!
He climbs the turnbuckle again, but is kicked down. Daniel reverses a move and brings Seth from the top turnbuckle to the mat with a backdrop! Bryan measures Seth, but Rollins catches Bryan and powerbombs him into the corner!
Rollins consoles with Show, but Roman Reigns rockets down the ramp with a spear! He takes out Joey Mercury as well, then Superman Punches Rollins while the referee is distracted by Jamie Noble. Bryan capitalizes with the Running Knee and covers to get the victory!
Winner via Pinfall and facing Roman Reigns at Fast Lane: Daniel Bryan
Post-mach, Rene Young interviews Triple H, but he is going to say what he wants on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s Podcast, right after raw. Michael Cole interviews Daniel. He promises that will go on to Fastlane and defeat Roman Reigns (to a mixed reaction), then go to WrestleMania in the main event. He celebrates to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was another pretty good Raw overall; I especially enjoyed the crowd – they were really into it and appropriately reacted this time! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: matches between Cesaro/Jimmy, Ryback/Harper, Bray/Dolph, and Bryan/Rollins – superb wrestling and storytelling! Even though it ran long, the opening segment was really well done. I’m not surprised that Triple H’s announcement didn’t “shake the WWE Universe to its core.” Instead, I am happy that one way or another, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at Wrestlemania still looks to be one-on-one. I also like how they are pitting Reigns and Bryan against each other, so the fans can pick who they really want to be the “golden boy.”
Loved the interactions between Miz and Mizdow. They were well-performed, and as my Dad said, not rushing it and teasing us to the huge inevitable face-turn by Damien, and probable match at ‘Mania between the two.
Seeing the video package on Rusev was great to show him as the destroyer he can be, and a very credible threat to “superman” John Cena. As always, Bray Wyatt’s promos are masterfully, creepily spoken.
I am intrigued by the brewing feud of Stardust and Goldust.
Bogus: Not intrigued by the feud between The Usos and Cesaro/Kidd. Still not liking The Ascension; there bad promos really ruined them for me, as I was quite spoiled when they were on NXT and I got to watch. (Cheap-shot at Sportsnet 360 here in Canada, which took away NXT for me!) Still, Conor and Viktor were much better in NXT and need to go back to that for me to like them again.
While it was a decent match between Paige and Alicia, The Bellas on commentary were awful. They also focused way too much on them instead of the actual bout in the ring.
All-in-all, another pretty good Raw and really looking forward to the night after Fastlane in just under three weeks, as WrestleMania should be truly set then. Until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!