Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raw Report 2/2/15

As usual, Raw kicks off with a good old fashioned Authority promo. We expected it this week though because Triple H and Stephanie (who was looking mighty fine) had to make their big announcement. Before that though, they brag about going to the Super Bowl before making #CancelNFLNetwork jokes. Seriously guys, pick a side and stay on it. They say that the Rock's appearance in the Royal Rumble is what made the Rumble controversial and maybe Roman Reigns doesn't deserve to go to WrestleMania. This brings out Roman, who jumps to the conclusion that he's already been removed. He gets in Hunter's face, which instantly makes me want Roman/Hunter at WrestleMania. It would be great for Roman's career. Daniel Bryan comes out, which causes the place to go nuts. He mentions that he never got his rematch and wants to throw his name in the hat for WrestleMania. Seth Rollins joins us and we go to commercial. Well that tells you that this will be an extended opening segment. Basically, they manipulate stupid ass Roman to agree to put his title shot on the line. In our main event, Bryan will face Rollins and the winner takes on Reigns at Fast Lane to determine the number one contender. I like him being the badass to agree, but he should have just agreed and not looked dumb by getting manipulated. Then, to make things better, Triple H brings out Big Show for our weekly Roman/Show match. This has to be the fourth or fifth time they've faced this year already. Rollins interferes and Roman loses. Seriously? Roman is supposed to be the guy, but you job him to Big Show? I don't care if it was by interference, it's Big Show.

Curtis Axel is out and he has a microphone. He talks about the controversy from the Royal Rumble being the fact that he was never eliminated. I liked it, but commentary totally buries it by laughing at him. Axel is not a comedy character so why do this? Dean Ambrose interrupts and tosses him over the top, eliminating him. He gets on the microphone and brings up pinning Bad News Barrett two weeks ago before saying that he's coming for the Intercontinental Title. While I'm interested in Ambrose/Barrett, he's going for the IC Title while Rollins and Reigns are in the WWE Title picture. That should tell you where these three stand with the company. Axel gets back in to attack but is taken out with the Dirty Deeds. Fine segment. After a Black History Month vignette, the Ascension take on Goldust and Stardust in a Smackdown rematch. We're two for two in those. The Ascension win despite the negative response from commentary. After the match, Goldy and Stardust have some tension and Stardust storms off. Returning from commercial, Goldust tries to calm him down and calls him Cody, which only upsets Stardust more. Please, give me back Cody Rhodes. It's all I ask for.

We go to John Cena welcoming Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan back. If he wanted to welcome them back, why didn't he do it on Smackdown two weeks ago when they actually returned? Is Raw the only that matters? Because we can't have a promo that doesn't plug something else, Cena promotes the Stone Cold Podcast tonight. (There maybe an article coming tomorrow about that) This is a rather quick segment as once the returnees come out, Stephanie McMahon appears on the titantron to interrupt. She shits on anything that they've done, claiming that only Cena has done anything. So Dolph's win at Survivor Series means nothing. She books some matches for tonight for the three, starting with Ryback vs. Luke Harper tonight. This was a good big man match. There are times that I'm not a fan of Ryback's ring work but he's impressed me a bit recently including here. It went about six minutes and Ryback won. Next, Cesaro takes on Jimmy Uso. On Smackdown, Tyson Kidd defeated Jey Uso and here, Cesaro does the same. I don't mind this since it's still relatively fresh and the Usos have never won many singles matches since they're stronger as a unit. I expect Kidd and Cesaro vs. the Usos at Fast Lane and they should steal the show. Backstage, Miz gets upset when someone comes up to Damien Mizdow for an autograph so he fires him as the Stunt Double and makes him an assistant. Not sure how well this will go.

Dolph Ziggler takes on Bray Wyatt next and this delivered. I know that I've gotten on Bray's case before because he hasn't had many standout matches, but this was another. He has been booked incredibly strong since November to try and save his character. The John Cena and Chris Jericho feuds did nothing for him, but earning wins over Bryan, Ambrose and now Ziggler is huge. The match was really good, we got a cool spot where Dolph nailed the Fameasser only for Bray to get up instantly and hit Sister Abigail. They're doing a good job rebuilding Bray. Backstage, the Authority name drop Randy Orton so I guess he's returning soon. Divas time as the Bella Twins are on commentary for Paige vs. Alicia Fox. No Natalya with Paige tonight. Maybe she's upset that Pagie got a singles title shot. Brie is TERRIBLE on commentary, but Nikki plays the bitch very well. After a Paige win, Fox holds her while the Bellas spray her with something. I guess it was spray tan but it looked black so that was odd. At least it helped build the match and wasn't just random. Miz comes out with his assistant to face Sin Cara. Another short but solid match. Mizdow was forced to stand still but the fans still chanted for him. He would randomly break into mimicking the Miz, which distracted Miz and led to a win for Sin Cara. Fun angle but nothing special.

Bray Wyatt cuts a promo backstage, where it seems like he's targeting the Undertaker. Rusev takes on Erick Rowan in his punishment match. As expected, Rowan loses very quickly. John Cena continues to be the worst face from a kayfabe standpoint as he doesn't help Rowan while he's in the Accolade for a while. Rusev and Lana play a "movie" of him kicking ass but the Russian flag gimmick gets stuck and doesn't come down. The fans pop and credit to both of them for playing the frustration well. After a discussion between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan backstage, we go to our main event. While Bray/Ziggler was really good, Bryan/Rollins stole the show. The fact that Raw can be main evented by Tyler Black and Bryan Danielson is a thing of beauty. They put on a great match with shenanigans from J&J Security and Big Show. Reigns got involved and Speared the hell out of Show before delivering a Superman punch to Rollins that led to the win for Bryan. Okay, so now the WWE is in an interesting spot. Bryan vs. Reigns is a big deal because if Reigns wins, the crowd still dislikes it, but if Bryan wins, what happens to Roman? I'm intrigued.

This was a solid episode of Raw. There wasn't really any fluff as everything had a point. We had two standout matches in Bray/Ziggler and Bryan/Rollins, plus the promos were all well done. Also, based on this show, things are shaping up for a potentially good Fast Lane show. Reigns/Bryan, Kidd & Cesaro/Usos, Ambrose/Barrett and Pagie/Nikki all sound good to me. 7.5/10.