It’s been a two-week period since I’ve seen any live wrestling on a Monday night. How will WWE respond?
– We kicked things off with the announcement from The Authority that would shake the WWE Universe to its very core. What could this announcement possibly be?
– Basically, Stephanie threatened to take away the main event spot from Roman Reigns. Then Reigns came down and got in the face of Triple H.
– They came back from commercial and Triple H basically said that he was going to make an announcement, but decided to change his mind. He said that it should be Daniel Bryan vs Seth Rollins at RAW with the winner to face Roman Reigns at FastLane, with THAT winner to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. For me, this was a major fail for Reigns. It’s not that he didn’t play his role well…it’s just that you can’t expect him to get over with fans as long as he’s facing off against Bryan. It’s ridiculous.
– I’m surprised that one more person didn’t enter the fray…
– The cameras then showed us Triple H and Stephanie talking backstage, where they said that they just manipulated the entire situation and, technically speaking, they were contractually obligated to have him keep his title shot at WrestleMania. I understand that they wanted the world to understand that Reigns was getting screwed, but the whole “we don’t realize the camera is RIGHT THERE” thing is fucking stupid. Quite frankly, it’s one of the things that TNA is doing extremely well right now on Impact.
– The Ascension took on Goldust & Stardust next. It was a quick match that the Road Warrior wanna-be’s won in short order. Then there was tension shown between the two painted brothers. I’m already more entertained by that than anything the Ascension has done. I’m really hoping this is leading to a WrestleMania match between the Rhodes boys.
– John Cena came out next and I decided it was “Bathroom Break Time”.
– When I paid attention again, Ryback was about to take on Luke Harper. I can’t say enough good things about Harper and his in-ring abilities. Having him face off against Ryback is meant to not only put Ryback over, but to make him look good because Harper has that ability. I’d dare say that Harper is the best big man to wrestle inside a WWE ring in the past decade. He’s just incredible.
– Next up was Cesaro taking on Jimmy Uso. If given enough time, this match truly could have been one of the best of the evening. Instead, the announcers continued to talk about Tyson Kidd’s relationship with Natalya. I don’t want to be one of those internet whiners that complains about Cesaro’s lack of sustained push…but WTF?? This is one of the most talented wrestlers on the entire roster who can provide incredible matches with just about anybody, he speaks multiple languages, and he knows how to pop a crowd. It pisses me off to see him so underutilized. Thankfully, Cesaro won the match and Natalya looked pretty hot…so the segment wasn’t a total loss.
– A backstage segment saw Miz fire Damien Mizdow as his stunt double, but then hiring him as his personal assistant. So now Miz doesn’t like being mimicked by Mizdow and the tension continues to lead to the inevitable WrestleMania match. I mean…if this isn’t leading to WrestleMania (much like Stardust & Goldust), then WWE needs a swift kick in the balls.
– Regardless of whether he’s a babyface or a heel, there simply isn’t another entrance around today as spectacular as Bray Wyatt’s…
– Dolph Ziggler took on Bray Wyatt in a match set-up by Stephanie earlier in the night. Something they’ve done with Wyatt over the past year is allow him to grow and get over. He was able to learn in the multiple tag matches he was involved with as the leader of the Wyatt Family, then he has been wrestling some of the biggest and the best over the past year…learning as he goes. He’s not spectacular in-ring, but he’s very competent and can help a match get over with fans by using his personality and gimmick. Ziggler, as I’ve said many times before, is the modern-day Mr. Perfect and can bump like nobody’s business. The match itself was really good and ended with a clean pinfall for Wyatt.
– Paige took on Alicia Fox with both Bellas on commentary. I absolutely LOVE Paige and, in the absence of AJ Lee, is my new favourite Diva. It’s not just that she’s hot, it’s that she’s uber-talented inside the ring, too. She reminds me of AJ and of Trish and of Lita and of Victoria: women who didn’t only look good, but kicked ass, too.
– The Miz took on Sin Cara next. The whole story of the match, though, was the fact that Mizdow wasn’t allowed to be a stunt double anymore, so Miz would get upset any time Mizdow tried to mimic him. And y’know…I feel bad for Triple H with this whole Sin Cara thing. I mean, the original Sin Cara was so damn talented but so damn sloppy and acted like a baby…so the back-up is a little pudgier, slower, and less charismatic. So really…the whole thing was a massive fail. In the end, Sin Cara got the pin because Miz got distracted by Mizdow.
– Out next was my favourite new duo, the United States champion Rusev and his manager, Lana, to take on Erick Rowan. This was basically a squash and wasn’t even a match…it was two minutes of Rusev brutalizing Rowan. I loved it. This guy is on the cusp of the main event.
– The main event was next: Seth Rollins taking on Daniel Bryan for the right to wrestle Roman Reigns at FastLane for the WrestleMania match against Brock Lesnar. The match started off slow, which was great because they told a story and it helped build anticipation to the rest of the match-up. It worked because the match itself was great. They didn’t pull out all the stops, but they put on a helluva match. In the end, Roman Reigns helped Bryan overcome outside interference from Big Slow and J&J Security, so we’ll have Reigns vs Bryan at FastLane.
All in all, this was a very intriguing RAW. I have NO idea where they are going with this, but they’ve got my attention. It looks like a train wreck, but they’ve obviously got a plan in place…we all just need to be patient and try to enjoy the ride.