Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Raw Review 2.15.16

The biggest match set for this Sunday's Fastlane Pay-Per-View is the Triple Threat main event. Dean Ambrose, a member of that match, opened Raw and continued his crusade to call out Brock Lesnar at every opportunity. He got Stephanie McMahon again, leading to disappointing groans around the world. Stephanie cuts the balls off of Brock a bit before booking Ambrose in a a Fatal Five Way match. Michael Cole acted like this was some sort of usual match that we get on a weekly basis by the way. Anyway, Dean would defend the Intercontinental Title against Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Tyler Breeze and Stardust. Random? Yup. Fun? Actually, yes. Steph also says that if Roman tries to help, Dean will lose his spot at Fastlane. The match goes on with no Roman interference and was actually really fun. All five guys worked hard, gave us some cool teases and great spots. In a furious finish, Owens laid out Breeze with a popup powerbomb to win back the strap. This opens up the realm of possibility that Ambrose can win this Sunday, while also hopefully opening the door for Owens/Zayn for the IC Title at WrestleMania. Ambrose was pissed backstage but did a great job in saying that this may open the door for him to become WWE Champion. Owens also cut a damn good promo until Ziggler interrupted. He challenged him to the 168th match of their series, this time for the title, at Fastlane. Dolph fell from fan favorite to guy nobody cares about in about a year thanks to mediocre performances.

The New Day showed up and cut a promo on Mark Henry for walking out on them last week. Big E faced Henry in a pretty bad match. They messed up the finish and I'm unsure if Henry was injured or not. Big E won by the way. At the top of the hour, Brie Bella came out for an interview. They instantly brought up Daniel Bryan. Charlotte and Ric Flair showed up and interrupted her. Charlotte kept mentioning that Brie would have to support Daniel and talked about her goat faced, vegan kids. Brie finally snapped and laid into her with Bryan's signature kicks. They tried to make people care about the Divas Title match at Fastlane but the performances were off. Charlotte and Brie are probably the two worst women on the roster when it comes to promos, making this rough.

We got to see AJ Styles in action once again, taking on the Miz, who he has been working on the house show circuit. They put together a really solid match, slightly below the opener. They did a good false finish where AJ kicked out of the Skull Crushing Finale. Chris Jericho was on commentary and got on the microphone after Styles won with the Calf Crusher. Styles cut him off and challenged him to a rubber match at Fastlane. Jericho will give an answer on Smackdown. The Dudley Boyz were out next, cutting a decent promo about their heel turn. I think the Smackdown promo worked much better. This just came off as a way to kill time on the show. Next, we got the weekly reminder that Total Divas is back. Paige returned to the ring to face Summer Rae. In a pretty strange decision, Summer beat Paige via rollup. I would question why but it's the Divas division so it probably doesn't mean anything.

It's that time of the week where the WWE mocks the people who put money in their pockets and pay for PPVs. They do this using flash cards, adding to the insults. Paul Heyman came out and called Roman Reigns to the ring. Heyman stirred the pot, saying Reigns has to pick between his friend and his daughter. If he wins the belt for his daughter, he'll have no friends backstage. If he chooses friends over family, that usually ends in divorce. Reigns respects Heyman being straightforward and honest and shakes his hand. The crowd gave zero fucks about Reigns, not helping this segment. Heyman was the only good thing about this. The Dudleys then randomly attacked Reigns until Dean made the save. The two teams will meet on Smackdown. Next Monday, there will be a presentation for the first ever Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award. No explanation was given for what that means.

A mostly meaningless match followed as Heath Slater defeated Zack Ryder in a rare appearance for Ryder. I wonder if this will lead to a main roster appearance for Mojo Rawley. Probably not. R-Truth is on a date at a restaurant and Goldust is the waiter. Goldust ends up popping a bottle of champagne and it sprayed all over Truth's date in a highly suggestive manner. Moving on, Neville, who has nothing to do, teamed with the Lucha Dragons against the League of Nations. Also, Del Rio/Kailsto at Fastlane has been moved to the Kickoff show on Sunday for some reason. It's not like the card is loaded or anything. Del Rio won by pinning Sin Cara. Kalisto needs to retain in a great showing this Sunday to make his title reign worth something. Becky Lynch was attacked by Tamina and Naomi earlier in the show. She faced Naomi and beat her with the Dis-arm-her. Tamina attacked again but Sasha Banks came out, removed her earrings and worse some incredible leggings. She wasn't there in time to make the save exactly but ran off Team BAD anyway. The main event saw Big Show take on Brain Stroman. The Wyatts jumped in for the DQ after like two minutes. Ryback ran out, returning from a Wyatt beatdown. That failed, so Kane did the same and they ran off the Wyatts. Yup, that's how your show ends.

So, with Fastlane just six nights away, the WWE chose one of the worst possible go home show closing segments. It was up there with Charlotte/Paige last year and Rusev/Henry from two years ago. We did get a really fun opener and solid Miz/Styles match, but most of the show seemed filler. There was potential on this episode, but it never fully got reached. 6/10.