Unfortunately for Raw Orlando, the evening starts with John Cena wielding a microphone. This obviously signifies he will give one of his signature speeches that are all about himself and how he’s always beaten down by everyone else. Almost like he’s stuck in this mind set that he’s the underdog even though that’s far from the truth. John’s usual speech goes something like this: “I got hurt, but I will rise again. [Insert whatever challenger’s name here that is probably going to be buried by this man] is good but I am better, and I will defeat the undefeated!”
Predictably, this does not go over well with his challenger Rusev who appears with Lana. As every good manager should, Lana praises Rusev as being the superior competitor. Rusev also decides to take to the microphone and possibly, with much regret, states he will crush “your little will to live”. Interesting choice of words.
It’s only fair that considering last week Rusev hurt Cena, that he would too face the same fate. Cena rushes down the ramp and attacks Rusev, thoroughly beating him after Rusev once again mocks the patented ‘you can’t see me’. The fight was a repeat of last week, except the roles were reversed and Cena was attempting to be more…aggressive and brutal.
Overall, a disappointing start to the evening.
Clip: Dean does his best newscaster impression as a shoutout to SNL and their 40th anniversary special that just passed. In an oversized suit and a cheeky grin that makes him look every bit like a sociopath, he promises to get Bad News Barrett to sign the contract for the Intercontinental title match at Fast Lane.
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
To show that he deserves the title match and will have no problem obtaining it from BNB, Dean faces the former IC champion. Throughout the match he’s very energetic and is clearly making a point. If he can take down the hulking man that is Luke Harper, then he can take out Barrett.
Dean manages to pin Luke for the win after hitting him with ‘dirty deeds’.
Promo: Triple H, Kane, Big Show
Kane and Big Show bicker like school children, all the while Hunter is less than amused. Hunter makes the mistake of saying “You have any idea how bad this makes me look?”
To which Big Show amazingly replies, “About as bad as Sting made you look last week.”
To be fair Big Show, that was fake Sting. Although, that doesn’t make it any better does it? Nonetheless that amazing remark had to have sealed Big Show’s fate in some way. There’s no way Hunter could let that go. Then again….he has lost a lot of his attitude these days, he’s hardly the same ‘Cerebral Assassin’ we all once knew.
Promo: Bray Wyatt…
…wants to do horrible things, and expresses how he has no fear for a particular someone. Hmm, is someone expressing a desire to take on the Undertaker?
Promo: Rhodes Family
Dusty is trying to get through to Cody, because really, nothing matters if you have no family…or some beautiful, meaningful crap like that I don’t know. For the most part it seems like he’s gotten through to him.
Goldust, Stardust vs. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods (New Day)
Honestly, Goldust is spry given his age. While Goldust is incredibly spry, that does not manage to save him. He is distracted when trying to aid Stardust, and as a result leads to Xavier capitalizing and pinning him for the win.
Stardust appears to help his wounded brother to at least stand. Goldust just can’t seem to stand on his own for some time, his age truly showing in this instance. Just when the universe is about to believe that the Rhodes brothers have finally reunited, Stardust hits him with ‘cross rhodes’.
Oh dear, this family relationship just went right into a black hole didn’t it?
Promo: Roman Reigns and Byron
Byron questions Roman about the road to Wrestlemania and his thoughts on Daniel Bryan. Roman so eloquently states that the Authority “rode the wave of public opinion to get Seth in” (That didn’t work out well did it?). Meanwhile Daniel saw an opportunity and took it.
Although, he does leave us with the fact that Daniel did not take his royal rumble loss like a man. Ouch, that can’t be good for Team Reigning Goats
Promo:Dusty and Cody
Dusty is not happy with his son, but Stardust doesn’t care. Stardust has a mental breakdown, swearing that ‘Cody is dead, and so is my father’, and Dustin is just dead weight at this point. That was incredibly brutal and painful. Stardust has officially lost his damn mind. I’m assuming this will lead to a feud between the Rhodes brothers. Cody will move on and become a singles competitor once more, and possibly retire Dustin…? After all, he is getting up there in age…
Roman Reigns vs. Kane
During Roman’s match Daniel decides to sit with commentary. Make a few remarks, be a cheeky little goat man by referring to Roman as the ‘big dog’ instead of by name. He also decides to start a few ‘yes’ chants with the crowd. All the while a few ‘you can’t wrestle’ ‘yes he can’ chants are thrown back and forth.
While Daniel does attempt to cause a distraction, Roman still manages to spear Kane outside the ring and therefore win by count out. Daniel once again starts his signature chant, and naturally Roman beckons him into the ring for a fight. Rather than joining him, Daniel continues to play mind games and prance around the ring while chanting.
Promo: Daniel and Renee
They discuss Daniel’s strategy of using mind games. It’s important that you must not only beat your opponent, but get into his head and throw him off, especially if your opponent is bigger and stronger than you.
He’s ready to destroy the world, “I’m waiting for you”. Okay, he is definitely waiting for Undertaker, right?
Summer Rae vs. Paige
Before the match can even begin, the Bellas and their amazing middle school mean girl personalities go and steal Paige’s ring gear. Rather than let this stop her, she takes a lollipop girl dress from one of the Rosebuds and continues with her match.
Paige manages to get Summer to submit by using the PTO. After her win the Bellas enter and attempt to make fun of her outfit. Paige so cooly replies that she “doesn’t need an outfit to look good”.
Wow, that’s a blow to the self esteem of the vicious twins, well done.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
As the self proclaimed future of the company, Seth must make his entrance first and gloat about how wonderful he is. According to this latex-wearing superhero knock off, President’s Day is a waste and instead he should be celebrated on this day because worshipping the past is useless compared to worshipping the future…which would be him. After stating he is the most talented performer, most valuable asset, and no one can stop him, he claims that he should just become president and host the Daily Show.
Now you’re just trying to get the crowd to murder you Seth, thou shall not host the Daily Show.
Enter now Dolph Ziggler who opens with “seems like you had a bad valentine’s Day.” Oh my god that was a brutal remark considering Seth’s recent scandal. Dolph suggests that perhaps Stephanie buckled him into the car seat too tightly, or that Triple H had the “birds and the bees” talk with him. Which, by the way, was done with an uncanny Triple H impression.
To which Seth so boldly replies that the only funny thing about Dolph is his joke of a career.
Dolph has now made it his mission to take out the self-proclaimed future. The referee bans the hobbits from ring side leaving Seth to fend for himself.
Dolph wins by disqualification after J&J return to help Seth. As Dolph is being attacked Rowan and Ryback enter to save him. while Security manages to get Seth to safety, Mercury ends up being sacrificed to the wrestlers three. Ah well, he did his job.
Triple H and Ric Flair
Triple H tries to make it a point that he is not afraid of Sting. Enter his mentor Ric Flair and thousands of woo chants. Ric wants him not to take Sting lightly and not to put himself in a position to fail. After some banter back and forth, it is incredibly clear that Sting has effectively used mind games against the Cerebral Assassin and shattered him to his very core. Hunter is just stressed, angry, and I’ll assume very anxious for the match at Fast Lane.
Now pair all of those feelings with Ric’s parting words: “Don’t let me see you sitting on your ass again like you were last Monday”, and Hunter snaps. Livid that his ring rust has been pointed out by one of the greats, Hunter throws him to the floor and leaves.
Classy act, he is most definitely the man that taught Seth how to throw a proper tantrum.
Ascension vs. Darren Young+ Nameless Jobber
Welcome back Darren Young!
The Ascension delivers a beat down before the match can begin…which leads to a match never happening in the first place. Much to everyone’s surprise, Titus O’Neil runs in to save Darren. The two come out victorious and we are left to assume that this is perhaps the Prime Time Players getting back together.
Promo: Miz and Bad News Barrett
Miz wants BNB to knock Mizdow down a few pegs. In exchange, Miz will look out for the Lunatic Fringe for him. Ah, a match made in hell.
Mizdow vs. Bad News Barrett
Always count on Miz to deliver distractions and ruin Mizdow’s match. Mizdow performs Miz’s moves better than his employer, and while he is on a roll Miz has to make sure that he doesn’t win. After offering the appropriate distraction, Barrett hits him with the ‘bull hammer’ and pins for the win.
But we’re not done there…
Dean Ambrose storms in like a bat out of hell. He throws Barrett into a post, injuring his shoulder and stunning him long enough to zip tie his hands together and keep him in place. Barrett refuses to sign the contract, so like any sane man would do, Dean shoves the pen into his hand and forcibly signs the contract for him.
Dean now has his match at Fast Lane. As for Barrett…well, I can’t imagine he’s too amused.
Promo: Bray….and a hammer?
I’m assuming he’s nailing a coffin shut. With the parting words, “Find me or I’ll find you”, I’m going to assume for the last time that Bray badly wants the Undertaker.
Jimmy, Naomi vs. Tyson, Natalya
Couples mixed tag match!
The women are the real stars of this evening’s match, and it’s nice to see more diva time. They steal the show with their amazing displays of athleticism and their synchronized moves.
Natalya tries to tag out to her husband, who mind you has been hiding behind Natalya for the duration of the match. However he declines, and let’s her stay in the ring so she can fight. This was a poor decision, as Naomi pins her for the win.
After losing, both Cesaro and Tyson scold Natalya for making them lose.
I’m waiting for the moment where Natalya punches them both in the mouth.
Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
Roman decides to sit in on the match, but instead of offering commentary and banter, he offers a distraction in a much different way. As his method of playing mind games, Roman signs autographs, and takes selfies with the fans. Hell the man even throws merchandise out to the crowd. His indifference to the match angers Daniel.
During this match we are privileged to hear ‘boring’ chants. We also get the lovely opportunity to hear Big Show say ‘all night long’ to Daniel. Doesn’t it seem that every single time he tries to smack talk, it sounds like he’s propositioning someone? He really needs to work on that.
The fight goes outside the ring, and Big Show ends up shoving Daniel into Roman. Roman isn’t amused by this, and ends up getting speared by the big man when Daniel manages to step to the side just in time.
Not one for taking a hit passively, Roman superman punches the Big Show resulting in a disqualification that names Daniel the loser.
As a result of his loss, Daniel from the top turn buckle leaps at Roman. Roman throws Daniel out the ring, Daniel gets back in and a brawl breaks out between the two of them both in and out of the ring. The crowd loves it at this point, but it gets better from there. Just as they shake hands and turn their backs on one another, Daniel moves to attack and the fight starts all over again.
The brawl shows Roman as this powerful beast, where if his buttons are pushed just enough he will attack with everything he’s got and show no remorse. It shows that Daniel is a worthy competitor, more than capable of fighting against men who are bigger than him. The fight gets taken into the crowd before eventually getting back to ring side. It appears that the entire crew and countless referees have to pry these men apart and keep them from ripping each other’s throats out.
While the opening for Raw was weak, the ending was amazing and very redeeming. If this is the teaser as to what will happen at Fast Lane, in regards to fighting at least, then it’s safe to say to hold out some hope for a good match. These two work well together in the ring, balancing out each other’s move sets and complimenting one another nicely.
As for Smackdown this Thursday, if you watch it I’m sure you’ll get a quick summary of Monday’s events, a few tantrums, and a plug to sign up for the network to watch the pay-per-view