There was a recap of last week’s Raw with Roman Reigns getting pinned by Seth Rollins after Randy Orton grabbed Roman’s leg. I didn’t think it was smart to have Reigns get pinned by a rollup, but it’s part of advancing the story.
Randy Orton entered the ring with Big Show, Kane, Seth Rollins, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble in the ring. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show along with Booker T and John Bradshaw Layfield. The main event is Orton and Rollins against Reigns.
Kane said that it was his duty to welcome Orton back into The Authority. Kane shook Orton’s hand. Fans booed when Big Show tried to talk. Show said that he knows Orton and he welcomed him back to The Authority. Noble struggled to thank him because he called Orton a no good snake. Rollins stopped him while saying that Noble was sensitive. Mercury offered up a thumbs up as Rollins said they’re J&J Security not J&J Public Speaking. Rollins said that people in the WWE Universe think that Orton isn’t a part of The Authority and that Orton is biding his time before he gets revenge on Rollins. He called people who thought that idiots because there he is standing side by side with Orton. Fans chanted “RKO” after Rollins paused.
Rollins said that people had doubt, including himself. Rollins joked that nobody cared what Show thought and Show got mad, but Rollins said to take it easy. Rollins extended his hand for a shake. Orton shook his hand. Rollins told the fans to stand up and pay respect for one of the most decorated champions in WWE history, Randy Orton. The fans cheered.
Orton said that was very touching and very kind. It left him thinking something. He wondered what happened to The Authority with the way they were kissing his ass. Orton wondered if Kane is the devil’s favorite dumbass now. Orton told Show he should be the most dominant giant, but all he does is bitch and moan and feel sorry for himself. Orton called Show pathetic. Orton wondered if Noble is mad because he can get on all the rides at Disneyland, but Noble can’t. Got a laugh. Orton said his six year old daughter felt the same way. Orton just skipped over Mercury. Orton told Rollins that he’s going to pick his spot and when the time is right he’s going to make Rollins his bitch. Orton said he’s going to take him apart piece by piece until there’s nothing left of Rollins. Fans chanted “RKO” again as Orton flinched at him. Orton admitted he was screwing with them. Rollins did some over the top laughing.
Rollins said that they would dismantle Roman Reigns on his road to WrestleMania. Rollins wanted everybody together so they could say that’s what is “best for business” although Orton didn’t say it.
Analysis: There’s your typical show opening promo that went about 13 minutes. The delivery by Orton was really good. The heels are all over confident, so when Orton does do the attack and he strikes he’s going to surprise them although those of us at home won’t be surprised. It’s a case of heels being dumb in this instance.
It’s rapper Wiz Khalifa on Raw. Brock Lesnar’s also there with Paul Heyman.
Daniel Bryan entered for a match against Bad News Barrett.
They plugged the Ladder Match for the IC Title at WrestleMania with Bryan possibly in it. R-Truth joined the commentary team. He’s been on commentary on nearly every show for a couple of weeks.
Bad News Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
This is not for BNB’s IC Title, which Stardust currently has. The announcers were joking about potatoes, which is a reference to when guys would get hit legit during a match. Barrett stomped away on Bryan in the corner. Bryan came back with a butterfly suplex while the announcers were trying to have fun. Fans chanted for Bryan as he nailed Barrett with a kick, but Barrett hit a boot to the face. Knee strikes by Barrett and then a boot to the face sent Bryan to the floor for the vintage floor to commercial break.
Barrett was still in control with a kick to the ribs and then a superplex off the middle rope. Cole didn’t even call the move. Bryan got a rollup, Barrett kicked out at two, Bryan ran across the ring and Bryan nailed the running knee for the win after 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ** It was fine for the time given, but wasn’t that long. Why go to commercial during a seven minute match? It didn’t need a commercial. The win was obvious as Barrett’s run as IC Champ continues to be terrible. He’s lost three weeks in a row on Raw to Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose. He’s also lost to others on Smackdown as well, including R-Truth.
Post match, Bryan was celebrating the win with “yes” chants. When he turned around, Barrett nailed him with the Bull Hammer elbow to the face. Is that supposed to make Barrett look tough? He loses every match. He’s booked terribly.
Dean Ambrose entered the arena. He nailed a clothesline on Barrett and he’s in a match up next.
Dean Ambrose vs. Stardust
Stardust has the IC Title with him even though Barrett’s the champion. R-Truth is still on commentary. Front suplex by Stardust, but Ambrose came back with a dropkick to knock him down. Stardust taunted, so Ambrose nailed him with a clothesline that sent him over the top to the floor. Ambrose hit a dive outside the ring to knock Stardust into the announce table. Back in the ring, Stardust with a forearm shot and then a leg whip against the middle rope. Another commercial break with Ambrose on the floor.
Analysis: Four commercials in the first 40 minutes. That’s too much.
Back from break, Ambrose with a bulldog as Truth got mad at Cole and told him to call him “R-Trizzle” not R-Truth. Ambrose hit a clothesline and then Dirty Deeds for the win after 8 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Analysis: *1/2 It was almost a carbon copy of the Bryan/Barrett match with the babyface getting the win soon after the commercial break ended.
Post match, Ambrose grabbed the IC Title and celebrated with it. Barrett showed up to attack Ambrose. Bryan came back out to go after Barrett. Luke Harper joined in the fray. Here’s Dolph Ziggler too. R-Truth had a bag with him, then he grabbed the title and walked away with it. He went back to the announce table with it. Everybody hit finishing moves in the ring with Barrett getting the last shot in on Bryan. Barrett went after Truth, so Truth handed him a bag. With Barrett leaving through the crowd, Truth ran up the ramp with another bag. Barrett had a toy replica title while Truth had the real title at the top of the ramp. JBL was freaking out saying that somebody should call the police.
Analysis: I’m sure some people find this entertaining, but I think it damages the title more than it helps. Yes it’s a good thing that people actually want to be IC Champion. However, people stealing the title is stupid and pointless. It accomplishes nothing. The best thing they could do was make Barrett look like a credible champion instead of a loser.
There was a video package for another WWE Hall of Famer where WWE will honor Connor Michalek aka Connor The Crusher with the Warrior award that WWE is giving in tribute to the late Warrior. They showed a clip from last year when Warrior said he wanted to honor people who helped others. During his speech he mentioned long-time WWE merchandise employee Jimmy Miranda, but they are not naming it after him. That’s why WWE is doing this Warrior Award and they’re honoring Connor, who was a young boy that died last year due to pediatric brain cancer. They mentioned the Connor’s Cure charity that WWE set up. It was a very touching video. They showed Connor’s dad with his other son sitting at ringside since they are from Pittsburgh.
Analysis: That was very well done and it’s awesome that WWE is doing that to honor Connor because he inspired a lot of people. I highly recommend the WWE 24 special about WrestleMania 30 on WWE Network because it shows a lot of behind the scenes stuff about Connor. Very sweet.
Paul Heyman was in the ring for a promo. He set up a video package with clips of Roman Reigns talking to Byron Saxton and Reigns started talking about how when he was in NXT. He wrestled without a shirt on there and then the vest was part of The Shield. He said being in The Shield put them in the place where they’re at now. Reigns talked about how it was tough for all of that fall apart, but that he’s grown since then. Reigns mentioned that The Rock told him to always represent the family. They are not actually cousins although they have similar family members. Close enough. Reigns said he respected other people’s opinions, but people have to respect his opinions too. Reigns said WrestleMania was the biggest match of his life. He said we’ll see a level of intensity that we’ve never seen before. He talked about people talking about what he can’t do. “I can and I will. Believe that.”
Analysis: That was well done. No surprise. WWE is awesome at these video packages.
Heyman said that Reigns made some interesting points, but here comes the pain. It’s Brock Lesnar in the flesh with the WWE Title in his hands. There was a pretty big reaction for Lesnar. He stood in the ring with the WWE Title on his shoulder.
Heyman said that the video about Reigns was a bunch of propaganda. Heyman sarcastically went over the Reigns story in a mocking voice. He said that the truth is that when Reigns was 9 years old, his father used to take him to the bars and show them the muscle heads at the bunch. That’s when they taught him the punch as well as the tackle. He said that Reigns can’t beat Lesnar. Heyman talked about how Seth Rollins isn’t man enough to cash in on Lesnar. He went on to say that if somebody tried to do some Montreal Screwjob on Lesnar then they won’t leave that stadium alive. Heyman talked about how people will respect Reigns after WrestleMania for being a badass Samoan and then the Heyman microphone went out.
That microphone started working again with Heyman getting angry. Heyman suggested that somebody come out there to take the WWE Title from him because if Lesnar wants to spend his summer unifying the WWE Title and UFC Title then that’s what he will do. Heyman added that if Lesnar wants to go to Vegas to beat up Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio then that’s what he’s going to do. “This title no longer belongs to WWE, this title belongs to Brock Lesnar. It’s his and he’s not giving it back.”
Heyman added that in 2002 he beat The Rock and sent him packing to Hollywood. Then he mentioned in 2014 he beat The Undertaker to end The Streak. At SummerSlam he beat John Cena. Heyman asked questioned, then answered “Brock Lesnar” for all of the questions. Heyman was fired up as he said that he’s going to leave Roman Reigns flat on his back at WrestleMania. The promo ended with Lesnar staring at the WrestleMania sign.
Analysis: That was another outstanding promo by Heyman. What else is new? There’s nobody in the business that’s better than him at selling the importance of a match. That line about going to UFC was very interesting just because WWE usually never mentions UFC at all. Heyman’s issues with the microphone are amusing whether they are intentional or not because he’s even better when he’s angry.
Bray Wyatt was in some dark place wondering where The Undertaker is. He had the urn in front of him. “Tonight, find me.” Just a quick promo from him.
Kane & Big Show vs. Ryback & Erick Rowan
Ryback was aggressive against Kane with a Thesz Press and a spinebuster. Kane hit a boot to the face and then tagged in Show, who crushed Ryback with a Spear. Show hit a shoulder tackle. Kane tagged in as the heels continued to work over Ryback. The crowd isn’t into this very much. Ryback with a suplex followed by a tag to Rowan. Rowan hit some headbutts on Kane, but Kane slowed him down with an uppercut. Kane put Rowan’s head on the middle rope, Rowan moved and Show accidentally hit the KO Punch on Kane. Ryback attacked Show outside the ring while Rowan pinned Kane for the win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Ryback & Erick Rowan
Analysis: * It was a boring match. They just did that finish to show that maybe Kane and Big Show aren’t on the same page at the moment, which is typical of how they like to book favorites in battle royal type matches. The crowd is so dead for anything Rowan does. That’s what happens when you book him like a loser for months.
Post match, Show checked on Kane. They argued.
Stephanie McMahon wondered why they can’t behave like professionals. She told them they shouldn’t behave like this because they represent The Authority. Stephanie wondered what happened to “The Monster” and “The Giant” but she wants them back. Stephanie yelled at them to get out of her ring. Stephanie told them to pack up their stuff and leave the arena. She said they had to figure out their roles, but until then they are out. The two men walked up first and then Stephanie followed.
Analysis: The immediate thought that comes to mind is that sending them home is a mistake because they won’t be there when Orton attacks Rollins later.
There was a recap of The Miz’s “Niagara” commercial from last week.
The Miz was there trying to suggest he work with Wiz Khalifa, who was there, and Wiz said he got somebody with him. It was Damien Sandow, who was in dreadlocks. They called him Wizdow. He did a rap about being in the battle royal at WrestleMania. Miz left angrily.
Analysis: That was fun. Sorry for not transcribing Sandow’s lyrics, but it was pretty funny.
Wiz Khalifa entered in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He performed his song “We Dem Boyz” on the stage. He did some other songs too. He went down to ringside and back up the ramp. I’m familiar with some of his music, but I’m not into hip-hop as much as I used to be. He took off his John Cena shirt as it came to a close with fireworks going off by the set. Sandow came out to raise his hand.
Analysis: The crowd seemed to be receptive to it, but obviously some people are there for a wrestling show so it’s off-putting to some people. I don’t mind that kind of thing once in a while.
There were clips of AJ Lee’s return from last week on Raw. She was shown walking with Paige backstage, so they’re up next.
Plug Time: I love WWE NXT and have watched it for years going back to the days when it was done in the arena, but didn’t write reviews of it. Now I’m doing that on TJRWrestling.net every week. It will most likely be posted on Thursday mornings or Wednesday nights sometimes. The format is the same as the Raw Deal. Here is last week’s NXT review if you want to check it out. Awesome main event with Sasha Banks beating Charlotte. Those women can really put on a show.
There was a clip of WWE’s Flintstones movie and the Bellas were in the movie. They were wearing some Flintstones like girl. They made some awful jokes while saying that they were the best tag team since Betty and Wilma. They said they pan on knocking Paige & AJ back to the stone age at WrestleMania.
AJ Lee (w/Paige) vs. Summer Rae (w/Eva Marie & Cameron)
I don’t know why, nor do I care why Eva and Cameron are there. They just are. Summer hit a face first slam. She choked AJ with her foot on the throat. AJ made a comeback with a Thesz Press, back elbow, corner clothesline and neckbreaker that looked bad. AJ hit a DDT for two. Summer came back with a spin kick to the face. Then she overacted in frustration. AJ came back with the Black Widow submission for the win. It went about three minutes.
Winner by submission: AJ Lee
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match. They missed a few spots and the crowd didn’t care. The women at ringside did absolutely nothing. The three minute match is the standard for divas. At Smackdown there was a eight minute divas match last week.
They said we’ll hear from Sting after the break.
There was a promo for Sting with him talking although it was not his voice. He said he’s been watching Hunter and he knows how power & ego can destroy lives. He spoke about how he tried to save WCW, but he failed. He said he knows pain and after WrestleMania you will too, Triple H. He told Hunter that he can’t control vengeance. Sting said his loyalty never wavered as clips were shown of him in WCW. It ended with this: “Triple H at WrestleMania…game over.”
Analysis: It was weird that they would use some voiceover for the promo or alter his voice. I’m not sure the logic behind it.
Rusev was shown with Lana backstage. John Cena was there. He told Rusev that performing at WrestleMania is a privilege while Cena told Rusev that he’s been privileged to work in America. Cena told Rusev that it doesn’t give him the right to degrade the country that gives him the opportunity. Cena said that if Rusev says one word about America then Cena will prove to him how much fight America has.
Analysis: That was fine as a backstage face to face to set up Rusev’s match after the break with Cena letting him know that he’ll be watching closely.
This week on Smackdown, Randy Orton returns to the show.
Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Curtis Axel
This is not for the US Title. Axel had on his “AxelMania” shirt. Rusev was aggressive before the bell. Once the bell rang, Rusev hit a superkick and then the Accolade for the submission win. It went less than one minute.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Analysis: It was just a squash match to put over Rusev. AxelMania is fun as a comedy thing, but it’s not going to last too long.
The Russian flag was above the ring. Rusev wanted a microphone. Lana didn’t want to give him one, so he got it himself. Rusev said that Axel was delusional like Americans. He said that in the real Hulkamania days America was strong, but all they do is live in the past. Rusev said that if you had a spine it would be made of jello and if you had a heart it would be full of disease. He said that if America had a soul then God would look down and spit on it.
John Cena showed up on the ramp. No music played. He ran into the ring, tackled Rusev, flipped him over and applied the STF pretty easily. Cena was really aggressive with it. With Rusev trying to fight it, Cena re-applied it more aggressively and it looked like Rusev passed out. Lana was freaking out at ringside. Refs tried to tell Cena to stop. Cena got a bottle of water, poured it on Rusev’s head and he woke up, so Cena put him in the STF again. Rusev was tapping out with both hands. Lana got on the microphone to beg Cena to let him go. She said they’ll give him a match at WrestleMania, then she added it would be for the US Title. Cena let go since he got what he wanted. He stared at her with a smile. Cena’s music played as doctors checked on Rusev.
Analysis: Cena had to convince Rusev to give him a match at WrestleMania, so that’s what he did with Lana agreeing to it. It was a smart way to go about it rather than doing some simple challenge. Cena’s actions forced them to do it. That was a solid way of continuing this story. Apparently “never give up” means go attack a dude and choke him out until you get what you want. Enjoy that lesson, kids.
Orton and Rollins against Reigns is coming up later.
Bray Wyatt did a promo with The Undertaker’s urn. He said he can’t wait much longer. He said that tonight he raises the dead. “Find me.”
A replay of Cena’s attack on Rusev was shown.
Rusev was getting looked at by a doctor. Lana showed up. They spoke only in a foreign language, but their actions were clear. He extended his hand telling her to leave, so she did.
Analysis: I like that they weren’t speaking English. It’s unrealistic to think they would speak English in a “private” moment. Lana is going to film a WWE movie with Edge, so the story could be that after Rusev loses to Cena at WrestleMania he will split with Lana. They could get back together when she’s back from the movie too.
Xavier Woods & Big E (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya)
This is non-title, which is another way of saying the champs are going to lose. Woods hit a headscissors and then Big E tossed Woods into Kidd in the corner. Big E with multiple backbreakers led to Woods nailing a kick to the face. Cesaro tagged in and clipped the back of the knee of Woods. The heels made quick tags to work on Woods in their corner. Cesaro applied a half crab on Woods. Kidd knocked Big E off the apron with a dropkick. When Woods shoved Kidd into the ropes, Natalya was on the apron and Kidd stopped before hitting her. Woods came back with some sort of move where he did a reverse rollup that sent Kidd face first into the mat and that was enough for the pin. It went four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Xavier Woods and Big E
Analysis: *1/2 Weak finish. Typical WWE booking with champions losing non-title to try to build up other performers. It was weird to not see a hot tag in there. The New Day gets no crowd reaction and barely wins any matches, yet now it appears like they might be in a match at WrestleMania.
The Usos made their entrance because Naomi is facing Natalya in a match.
Natalya (w/Tyson Kidd & Cesaro) vs. Naomi (w/Jimmy & Jey Uso)
The match started during the break. Natalya did a slingshot into a slam, but Naomi got a pinfall attempt and then Natalya got one too. It sounded like Natalya told Kidd to shut up at one point as she yanked the legs of Naomi and then hit a dropkick. Natalya wanted a Sharpshooter while Kidd tried to instruct her. She yelled “I know” at him. Naomi countered it by sending Natalya by the back of her head into the turnbuckle. Cesaro got attacked by The Usos and so did Kidd. Natalya missed a clothesline and then Naomi hit her flying ass move aka The Rear View for the win. Maybe the worst finisher in wrestling. Two minute match.
Winner by pinfall: Naomi
Analysis: 1/2* That was only two minutes, so a minute less than the usual divas match. The story they’re trying to tell is that Natalya still can’t get along with Kidd and that she was distracted by him, which is why she lost. He also lost the tag match because he was distracted by her.
Post match, Natalya was angry about it. She took the tag title, then Cesaro told Kidd to get his title back as they left angry. Los Matadores entered for a match.
Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. The Usos (w/Naomi)
This is a face vs. face match, so they did a handshake at the start of it. After about one minute, they went to a break.
Los Matadores were in control with Fernando (Epico) hitting a suplex. The fans were chanting “CM Punk” prior to this because they were bored. There was a double cross body block and that led to tags, which set up Fernando hitting a spinning DDT on Jimmy. Fernando jumped off the top, so Jimmy kicked him in the ribs. Save by Diego. Jey hit a dive to the top and nearly tripped up on the top rope, but he connected enough. Jimmy did some Uso yelling, El Torito went on the apron to distract, Fernando shoved Jimmy into Torito and Fernando rolled up Jimmy with the ROLLUP OF DEATH for the win after 8 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Los Matadores
Analysis: *1/2 The divas didn’t need the ROLLUP OF DEATH for their finishes, so they gave it to the guys. I don’t remember the last time Los Matadores won a match over credible opponents. This is WWE’s way of saying they are contenders even though they are barely on television. It’s going to lead to a four corners tag team match at WrestleMania because WWE wants to get more people on the WrestleMania card. It would be better if it was just Kidd/Cesaro vs. The Usos.
There was a recap of Orton’s verbal jabs from earlier that he claimed was all in good fun.
Rollins was backstage with J&J Security. Rollins told them that they work for him and that Orton is with them. Rollins thought it was stupid to think that Orton would tell them their plan and then do it. Rollins assured them that he’s ready. He let them know that they have to focus on Roman Reigns and kept on telling them to trust him.
Analysis: Sometimes heels are smart. Sometimes they are dumb. The viewers at home know that this heel is dumb right now.
Bray Wyatt up next.
Bray Wyatt Calls Out Undertaker
Wyatt was in the darkened ring with a spotlight on him. Fans had their cell phones out to light up the arena. Wyatt said he didn’t sleep, he just had dreams. He said there’s beauty in chaos. Wyatt said that below the buzzards there’s a shell of a man, the mighty Undertaker. He spoke about how he won’t worship Undertaker or stand by his side, he just wants to walk over his broken bones as he ascends to the throne. Wyatt said that he’s not going to be Undertaker’s redemption because he is the new face of fear. Wyatt claimed that he was chosen while saying that Undertaker always knew that The Streak was going to end. He said that WrestleMania will be Undertaker’s resurrection as well as his requiem and his final resting place. “Come on Undertaker. Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
Wyatt pointed at an urn he had on a table saying that all of Undertaker’s power was locked inside of a jar. He wondered if this urn can bring back the dead. Wyatt opened it, then looked inside and laughed because it was empty. He put it back on the table as smoke started to come out of the urn.
There were some purple lights in the arena as well as signs of lighting, which have been symbols of The Undertaker for many years. The gong struck, which is usually the start of Undertaker’s music and then there was another gong. There was a third one. A purple light appeared above the rocking chair of Wyatt. The video screen said “WrestleMania: The man comes around.” Undertaker’s voice said “you will rest in peace.” A bolt of lightning apparently hit the rocking chair in the ring. It lit on fire. Wyatt laughed at the sight of it. Undertaker’s music played while Wyatt looked at the fire.
Analysis: That was pretty cool. It was reported a few weeks back that WWE didn’t want to bring back Undertaker to television before WrestleMania, so they had to have him accept the challenge some other way. This looks to be it. That Wyatt/Undertaker match should be pretty solid just because it’s fresh. I expect Undertaker to be in good condition for it, but he’ll also be 50 years old so expecting some great match is probably not fair. My pick is going to be Undertaker although I’d be fine with a Wyatt win since he’s a future star.
The handicap match main event is up next.
There was a recap of Cena attacking Rusev, which led to Cena getting the US Title match against the fake Russian at WrestleMania. They promoted some interview with Cena following Raw on WWE Network.
Roman Reigns entered and they showed part of Heyman’s promo from earlier. Seth Rollins entered first with J&J Security followed by Orton.
Seth Rollins & Randy Orton (w/J&J Security) vs. Roman Reigns
Rollins sent Reigns outside the ring. J&J tried to go after Reigns, the ref stopped that and Rollins looked upset that Orton was telling J&J to stand back because Orton wasn’t there to receive the tag. Rollins hit a flipping neckbreaker for two. J&J told Orton to cheat, then he told them they can’t tell him what to do. Orton punched Noble. Rollins told J&J to leave because he and Orton had this. That meant that Orton was alone with Rollins.
Reigns nailed Rollins with power moves including clotheslines and punches. Reigns missed a corner attack, Rollins ducked it and Rollins hit a jumping kick to the head. When Rollins tried to tag, Orton pulled his hand back. Rollins looked surprised as the fans let out an “ohhh” for it. Orton flashed two middle fingers at Rollins. The camera panned down to show from his wrists and down because they don’t want to show middle fingers on a PG show. Rollins turned around, Reigns hit a Spear and that was it for the match after about five minutes. The crowd cheered Orton’s actions as well as the Spear from Reigns.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: * It’s one of those matches where it can be said that it was an angle more than a match. Rollins wasn’t focused on the match, so Reigns capitalized with the Spear to end it rather easily.
Post match, Reigns left while Orton stared at Rollins. Cole summarized the Orton promo from earlier because WWE thinks fans are idiots and can’t figure out obvious plot points.
Orton went into the ring and tossed Rollins over the top to the floor. Hard clothesline by Orton on the floor and then he tossed him into the barricade right where a camera guy was. Orton pressed Rollins head against the steel steps and talked trash to him. Orton kept on yelling at Rollins. He tossed him into the barricade again and nailed him with some stiff forearm shots to the chest. Orton grabbed a chair while Rollins tried to crawl away from him, but Orton stopped that with a hard chair shot to the back. More chair shots by Orton. There was more trash talk by Orton saying that he was going to show Rollins who he was. Orton nailed the DDT on the floor.
Orton tossed Rollins over the announce table into the chairs because the announcers moved. Orton cleared off the announce table. Orton: “You thought I was just going to let it go?” Orton hit the RKO on the announce table and it broke the table. The crowd cheered loudly. Sometimes in the past he’s hit that move and the table didn’t break, but it did this time. Rollins was knocked out on the table while Orton walked away looking proud of his work. The show ended with Rollins getting looked at by doctors that were on hand. It ended at 17 minutes past the hour.
Analysis: After several weeks of teasing the split of Orton with Rollins, we got it here in grand fashion. It was Orton’s chance for revenge after Rollins took him out of action over five months ago. It also sets up their match at WrestleMania. It’s not official yet, but it will be.
There are questions about the segment such as where were J&J because Rollins told them to leave during the match, but that doesn’t mean they should have stayed away after the match. We know Big Show and Kane left. Where was Triple H, though? He just let Rollins get his ass kicked. Maybe those points will be mentioned in the story. Usually WWE just ignores stuff like that, though.
It was a good ass kicking by Orton. He hit all of his signature spots and was intense. I remember something similar that was done by him to Roman Reigns prior to SummerSlam to set up their match. We’ve seen him do it against other people many times over the years too.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Paul Heyman
2. Randy Orton
3. Seth Rollins
5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5.5, 6.5, 4, 6
2015 Average: 5.44
2015 High: 7.5 (Jan 5)
2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9)
I’m giving it a 5 out of 10. I’m probably being too nice.
Raw is just an average show week after week and that’s what the score represents again.
The show ended 17 minutes past the hour. Why does it have to go 3 hours and 17 minutes? It’s too damn long. I miss two hour Raw so much not because it was necessarily better, but because it didn’t drag on as much as this show. There were no matches longer than eight minutes on a show that long? It’s just bad.
I think WWE is making a mistake by not having Lesnar go face to face with Reigns. They should have a brawl. They should exchange words. Do something to promote the match. Lesnar isn’t advertised for next week, but he is the week after. Fans want to see these guys go at it, so let’s see it on television.
The matches were uninspired. Champions lost non-title like usual, there were some matches where the winners were never in doubt and none of them were given enough time to be very good. A show this long shouldn’t have that many rushed matches, yet this week’s Raw was full of that. Having so many short matches hurt the product.
The buildup to WrestleMania has been very average. The big problem is that some of the big matches don’t have both combatants at the show while other matches are filled with so many people that it’s just a way to get them on the card.
That’s all for this week. Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – [email protected]