March 10, 2015
That’s right, The Beast Incarnate was on Raw and did absolutely nothing. No interaction at all with his WrestleMania opponent, Roman Reigns. Just a simple Paul Heyman promo. A great promo, no doubt, but we’re three weeks away from the event that’s supposed to launch Reigns into the next stratosphere, and we have nothing brewing between him and Lesnar.
Here are some of the main stories coming out of Raw:
Heyman did the talking, but one would think there would have at least been a confrontation between the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and his challenger. There wasn’t. Instead, Heyman once again stole the show with his microphone, selling the WrestleMania main event possibly better than anyone in the world right now ever could. He eloquently alluded to the infamous Survivor Series ’97 Montreal Screwjob, where Vince McMahon purposely told the timekeeper to ring the bell while Shawn Michaels had Bret Hart in the Sharpshooter, screwing Hart out of the WWE Title before he left the company for WCW. The message: Don’t do the same thing with Brock. The Beast and McMahon had a disagreement backstage a few weeks ago, causing Brock to walk out of the arena before he was scheduled to appear on Raw. Heyman was undoubtedly playing up that real-life scenario in his quest to build more hype for the WrestleMania 31 main event. It was almost perfect – until realizing that was the last we would see of Lesnar. There was no interaction between the champion and the challenger three weeks away from the most important night in their respective lives. Lesnar is not scheduled to appear on Raw next week. Right now, the WrestleMania main event is being outdone by at least four other matches on the card. That’s not good.
The entire Randy Orton and Seth Rollins saga is mind-numbing. It’s almost as if WWE wrote this storyline for a three-year-old to follow. I’ll give them credit – a three-year-old probably could follow it. And that’s the problem. This angle didn’t need the added layer of Orton re-joining The Authority. It seems like WWE thought everybody forgot who Orton was before he returned and that he was a member of The Authority before being decimated by the group he helped organize in the summer of 2013. Finally, we’re where we should have been on February 22nd, when Orton returned to WWE and took out The Authority at the Fast Lane pay-per-view. Orton turned on Rollins Monday night and now the stage is set for them to collide at WrestleMania, but why? What we saw Monday night essentially should have been the match at the pay-per-view. The crowd seemed confused by it, and it didn’t come across the way it ideally should have on television.
We finally got an answer from Sting! For the first time ever on live WWE television, Sting, well, “spoke.” A voiceover sent the message that Sting is after Triple H for his power, ego, and corruption that has destroyed lives. Pretty much what we all thought, but couldn’t believe until it was finally told to us. Triple H’s need for control vs. Sting’s vigilance against injustice. It makes sense. Fourteen years in the making? That’s pushing it. Why do we care now? The video package they put together for Sting was also lacking. It should have been something huge, and they made it just another segment during Raw. The match will be a spectacle at WrestleMania, that’s for sure.
John Cena and Rusev collided again, and this time Cena got what he wanted. Rusev squashed Curtis Axel and then cut a promo to which Cena interrupted, sans theme music, to come down to the ring and brawl with Rusev. He put him in the STF and Rusev passed out. Cena then woke him up with a little water and applied the STF again, to which Lana, Rusev’s manager, agreed to give him a match against Rusev at WrestleMania if he would let go. Man, if only I could choke people out to get what I want. Anyway, I enjoy the importance being placed in the United States Championship in this feud. This will be the biggest match that’s included that championship in as long as I can remember; maybe WrestleMania XX, where Cena defeated the Big Show for the strap. It feels bigger than the main event.
The Intercontinental Championship continued to be passed around Monday night, with the Intercontinental Champion, Bad News Barrett, suffering another defeat on WWE television. That’s five consecutive television losses for the champion, after getting a DQ win against Dean Ambrose at Fast Lane in February. The champion is being made to look like a joke, especially with the title being passed around from superstar to superstar. Above all else, if Barrett winds up retaining the championship at WrestleMania, I think it’ll make everyone involved look even worse. I originally thought this would be a great way to build up the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship with everybody wanting the gold, but now it’s become more so a joke.
We were privileged to get more Miz and Mizdow gold, with the addition of Raw guest host, Wiz Khalifa. Despite performing in front of that sold out audience in Pittsburgh, the highlight of the night for ol’ Wiz had to be the backstage segment among he, the Miz, and Damien “Wizdow.” Wizdow rapped his way into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania.Bray Wyatt’s still waiting for the Undertaker, wanting him to find him. It seems the Undertaker has. The build for this match has been tremendous despite the physical absence of the Undertaker. Wyatt has carried the angle week by week, and the Undertaker returned the favor Monday night by playing some mind games of his own. A lightning strike to Wyatt’s rocking chair was a good start. Keeping Undertaker off television until WrestleMania will make this match that much more special. It also feels bigger than the main event, along with Cena/Rusev.
The latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame was one of sentimental value. In the inaugural presentation of the Warrior Award – an award that not only pays tribute to the Ultimate Warrior, who suffered a heart attack and passed away just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year – will go to Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, who passed away last spring . According to WWE, the Warrior Award will now be a yearly staple of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and “given to someone who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of WWE Hall of Famer, The Ultimate Warrior.” (http://www.wwe.com/classics/wwe-hall-of-fame/connor-michalek-warrior-award-2015-27168837)
The award will be presented to Connor’s father by the widow of the Ultimate Warrior, Dana Warrior.
WWE has since started a charity in Connor’s name, and you can donate to that charity here:
Non-Title Match: Daniel Bryan d. Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett by pinfall via a running knee to the face. That’s Bad News Barrett’s fifth consecutive loss on WWE television, and he’s still a champion.
Dean Ambrose d. Stardust by pinfall via Dirty Deeds.
Ryback & Erick Rowan d. Big Show & Kane by pinfall after Big Show accidentally knocked out Kane with a punch.
A.J. Lee d. Summer Rae by submission via Black Widow.
Non-Title Match: United States Champion Rusev d. Curtis Axel by submission via The Accolade.
Non-Title Match: The New Day [Xavier Woods & Big E] d. WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd by pinfall via modified rollup after Tyson Kidd was distracted by Natalya.
Naomi d. Natalya by pinfall via the Rear View.
Los Matadores d. The Usos by pinfall via schoolboy after Jimmy Uso ran into El Torito, allowing Diego to roll him up for the pin.
Handicap Match: Roman Reigns d. Seth Rollins & Randy Orton by pinfall via spear on Rollins. Orton turned on Rollins, letting Reigns get the win.