So, Raw opened in odd fashion. Randy Orton came out, with the Authority waiting for him in the ring. This was honestly a GIANT waste of time. It was just Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show sucking up to Orton. J&J Security, however, don't believe that Orton is legitimately part of the Authority. Orton thanks them but questions their toughness because the Authority has gone soft. He asks Kane if he "kicks ass and take names or kisses ass and makes coffee." He then admits to Seth that he's going to take him out and make him his bitch. At the end though, he says he's just messing around. Strange segment. At least it didn't waste 30 minutes of the show and only lasted about half of that. The opening contest pitted Daniel Bryan against Bad News Barrett. This was solid but nothing special. The best thing was R-Truth on commentary again. So, the IC Champion loses again. Maybe he retains at WrestleMania but regardless, he has looked worse than any IC Champion I can remember in recent history.
Bad News Barrett attacks after the match, and mocks Daniel Bryan.
He signals that Truth is next, who continues to deny ever taking the Intercontinental Title. Dean Ambrose comes out for his match and takes out Barrett. Ambrose is facing Stardust, who is wearing the belt. I know it can be hard to keep track of this stuff. The sight of Cody Rhodes with the IC TItle warms my heart, even if he's deep under the Stardust look. Much like the previous bout, I enjoyed this one, but it didn't stick out for any particular reason. Ambrose picks up the victory and goes for the belt, but Barrett appears. Out comes Bryan, Luke Harper and Dolph Ziggler. They all hit their finishers on each other, with Barrett being the last one to do so. He looks for the belt and JBL rats out Truth, who has a burlap sack. He'd been claiming he was going potato picking. Barrett takes the sack and escapes through the crowd, only to find out that it only holds a toy title like Damien Mizdow would have! Truth reveals that he had the real belt the whole time. I can see where the casual fan may find this whole thing to be fun, but I'm not liking what they are doing to the belt and especially its champion. Remember when Wade used to win matches? Or, the bigger injustice...remember when he had a character?
The latest inductee into the Hall of Fame this year is getting the "Warrior Award." See, last year Ultimate Warrior said that he wanted a special award/section in the Hall for the non-competitors that mean a lot to the company. The first award winner will be Connor "the Crusher". For those unaware, Connor was the sick child who touched the hearts of pretty much the entire company before passing away shortly after WrestleMania XXX. I have no problems with this move at all. Paul Heyman comes out next to watch a Roman Reigns hype video with the fans. They bring up NXT a few times, which leads me to believe that since NXT is red hot, they want to attach Roman's name to it. The guy had a handful of matches there. It's a huge suck up video and Heyman brings out Brock Lesnar. According to Heyman, the video was complete propaganda. Heyman talks about Roman's family before bringing up Brock's accomplishments. He mentions that if Brock wants to unify the WWE and UFC Title, he will. His mic goes out. When it comes back, he mentions that Brock ended the streak, broke John Cena and even back in 2002, he shipped Rock off to Hollywood. Basically, all of these amazing things that Brock has done and Roman is being handed them on a silver platter without earning much of it. Anyway, there is no Roman interaction which is stupid since Brock's appearances are so few and far between. Oh well. We move to a tag match pitting Kane and Big Show against Ryback and Erick Rowan. This is, as expected, really dull and boring. Show hits Kane by mistake and Rowan gets the pin. Great promo followed by a shit match.
Stephanie McMahon comes down and totally berates Big Show and Kane for sucking. It's basically how a ton of fans have felt for years Steph. Yet these guys were in the final three in the Royal Rumble. Backstage, Miz is talking to Wiz Khalifa, which brings in Wizdow. He raps and says he's in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Sheamus is still returning. One day. Wiz comes out to perform. It's the music from WWE 2K15 and the performance sucks hard. He does THREE SONGS! Who thought that was a good idea? Musical performances on wrestling shows always get shit reactions. Ugh, this was terrible. Backstage, the Bellas, in Flintstones inspired attire cut a promo laced with Flintstones puns, leading into the next match. AJ Lee, with Paige, takes on Summer Rae, with Cameron and Eva Marie. Summer, Cameron and Eva had one 15 second promo on Smackdown together so I guess they're being put together for no other reason. Earlier in the day, it was announced that Paige and AJ will face the Bella Twins at WrestleMania. The match features some botches and isn't great, but AJ wins with the Black Widow. She even does a Chickbusters like fist bump with Paige. It makes me miss Kaitlyn. Next, we move to a video package with Sting talking about why he's in WWE. The points he makes are cool but it's ridiculous how they either altered his voice or had someone else entirely cut the promo. Umm, WE KNOW WHAT STING SOUNDS LIKE. It came across as stupid.
Rusev is walking to the ring but is stopped by John Cena. They talk about America and stuff because that's every Rusev feud in a nutshell. Rusev takes on Curtis Axel, who has gotten a bit over lately with his funny AxelMania stuff. Michael Cole, ever the piece of shit, has to go out of his way to remind us that Curtis never made it into the actual Rumble. We get it, that's the joke you tool. Rusev wins quickly and cuts a fantastic heel promo on America. "If America had a spine it would be jello. If America had a heart, it would be full of disease." Cena comes and out locks in the STF. He then wakes up Rusev with water and locks it in again. He won't stop until Lana agrees to the match for Mania. She does and he gives us the stupid face that I just GIFed. Where were the officials for this? Where was any kind of authority? I hated this segment.
Backstage, Rusev is pissed at Lana. I guess this will lead to Lana leaving to film that WWE movie. New Day is out for a match against the Tag Team Champions, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. Again, this is a relatively short match with Xavier Woods rolling up Tyson to win. Here go the champions losing non-title matches. I guess we're getting a multi-team match at WrestleMania. The crowd gave zero fucks about New Day. The Usos arrive with Naomi for our next match, which we join halfway through after a commercial. It's Naomi vs. Natalya. I rather enjoyed this in the time I got to see. Both girls were impressive and Naomi didn't botch like she tends to. Tyson was shouting instructions and Nattie told him to shut up.This led to her losing and them arguing after the match. So what does Nattie do? She steals his Tag Team Title, saying it's hers. Hey, that's the IC TItle's gimmick! Because we seem to be rushing the show, the Usos stay out to face Los Matadores, who come out as Natalya is leaving. Again, this match is not long and guess what? Los Matadores wins, meaning that we are indeed getting a multi-team match at WrestleMania, which is why we need viable contenders. Backstage, Jamie Noble still doesn't believe in Randy Orton but Seth Rollins 100% does. Blah. Bray Wyatt is out for a promo and he has the urn. He opens the urn and nothing happens, but then smoke comes out and lightning hits." WrestleMania. The Man Comes Around" appears on the screen and Undertaker's voice is heard saying Rest in Pace. Bray's rocking chair appears in the middle of the ring and catches fire because of lightning. Bray just sits there and laughs about it, making this way better.
Time for the handicap match main event, pitting Roman Reigns against Seth Rollins and Randy Orton. It was another in a string of ho-hum Raw main events. As expected, Orton has a chance at the big tag and is all like "nope." He flips Seth the double bird, leading to a spear from Reigns that ends this. Post match, Orton beats the hell out of Seth Rollins. He slaps him around, throws him into the steel steps and RKOs him through the announce table. It was a cool ending since the fans have wanted this for a while, but the whole "am I in the Authority or not" thing was dumb. Also, on the rare occasion that you have Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in the same building, you decide not to have them come face to face? Seriously? Another disappointing episode on the road to WrestleMania, when Raw is supposed to be at its very peak. 4/10.