Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap: 3/16/2015

We’re two weeks from WrestleMania iPod Touch Play Button…and nobody’s listening.  


Most of us wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns won it instead.

A
lot of people said, “All right, fuck us,” and expected Bryan to find
his way into the main event at WrestleMania — just like last year.
Nope. Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar.
The
remaining people who cared held out some sort of hope that Bryan would
kinda, sorta limp into the main event with what fan support he had left.
Nope. Next week, it’s Snoop Lion/Dogg/Lemur/whatever and Bill Simmons
from ESPN for some reason.
Meanwhile, Sting and The Undertaker barely show up and speak to their respective opponents via Jumbotron text message.
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar don’t even cut promos together.
The fans throw their hands up and yell, “WE GIVE UP!”
“But, wait!” WWE said. “Come back…we’ve got one more surprise…”
The
fans turned around and, with the last faint hope welling up and showing
itself in the form of misty eyes — and with the Anti-Smarks folding
their arms and saying, “See, we told you they’d fix it,” WWE said, “LL
Cool J is gonna open WrestleMania. You can go. It’s cool.”
Let’s get moving.
We start with Michael Cole interviewing Randy Orton in the Barbara Walters Interview Room of Doom. He talks, seriously, about seriously attacking Seth Rollins in a serious manner.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Des Moines, Iowa! As “LIVE” as Des Moines allows one to be, that is.
Big
Show, Rollins, Kane and the two security mooks are neatly and
geometrically positioned in the center of the ring like they’re about to
take a bow after the final performance of Les Miserables. Rollins says
he was betrayed last week. Orton turned his back on him. The crowd
chants “RKO” as Rollins seethes. He says that Orton stalked him like an
animal and he got beaten up bad. He suffered. He says that what Orton
did was UNLIKE what Rollins did with The Shield. That was called for.
Orton’s behavior was borderline sociopathic.
Show
takes the mic and says he owes Rollins an apology. He says Rollins is
the biggest talent in the business right now. It’s more “Orton is evil/a
snake/an animal/horrible/etc.” Kane gets in on the sob-fest. Orton will
pay. He betrayed Rollins. Noble says that Orton’s a rat. Noble declares
himself “the secret weapon of The Authority”. (DANIELLE: “Does Rollins realize his bodyguards couldn’t stop El Torito yet? Why does he keep these guys around when they don’t do anything right?”) And, finally Joey Mercury has his turn. He cries into Big Show’s big, sagging boobs, the way you’d think of god’s as big.
Rollins
has the mic again. Orton did what he did with no consequences — but
it’s a new week and Orton’s never faced a guy like Rollins. He accepts
Orton’s challenge at WrestleMania which is cool because I had no idea
Orton ever challenged him. Rollins says there’s one condition for Orton:
he faces Rollins tonight on RAW. More Orton is
scheming/evil/snake-like/pretty awful — and, mercifully, Orton’s music
hits. 
Orton
says he isn’t the face of WWE. He’s the guy who made Rollins look like a
bitch. He says he “accepts Rollins’ challenge”. Wait…what? Who
challenged who here?!
Even still, that’s a more appealing match than the main event.
TONIGHT:
  • John Cena and Rusev go nose to nose when they sign a contract — for the United States Championship match at WrestleMania.
  • Brock Lesnar gave a really stern interview about Roman Reigns.

Paige and AJ head to the ring.

13 days until Danielle and I head to Levi’s for WrestleMania…

MATCH #1: AJ Lee (w/ Paige) vs. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella) (non-title)
The
ladies lock up and AJ runs into a Bella shoulderblock. Nikki picks AJ
up and tosses her into the corner, then hits some shoulders. Nikki backs
off and does push-ups. AJ doesn’t like that and hits a nice flipping
pin combo. Nikki kicks out and runs into an AJ armbar. Nikki breaks it
and puts AJ into an armbar. AJ breaks and it’s Nikki in an armbar. Nikki
hits the weakest “clothesline” ever and gets a two count when AJ hits
the mat. AJ comes back with a clothesline of her own and it’s a side
headlock by AJ. Nikki breaks but AJ hits a Frankensteiner. Nikki flies
outside the ropes. AJ attacks but Nikki drops AJ’s arm on the top rope.
We go to break. When we come back, AJ breaks a headlock only to end up
on the mat for two. More hot armbar action as Nikki has AJ on the mat.
Crowd kinda cheers to move things along as they realize that Jay Leno
knew more moves than Nikki. AJ suddenly locks in an Octopus Hold but
Nikki backs her into the buckle. Nikki rushes at her but AJ kicks her
and hits a crossbody, nearly getting a fall. Nikki goes for a belly to
belly suplex but AJ counters into a Sunset Flip. One count. AJ rushes
Nikki and Nikki slings her out of the ring. Brie swarms like a vulture
and Paige is right there to defend AJ. Nikki backs both women off but AJ
tosses Nikki into the mat. Paige and Brie call each other names. Brie
tosses Paige into the ringpost. AJ is distracted, so she eats a Nikki
forearm and a Rack Attack for the win at 11:02.
WINNER: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: A cautious **1/4. Decent action — and a brave move by WWE to start the night with a Divas match.

TONIGHT: 

  • Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler take on Stardust, Bad News Barrett and Luke Harper in 6-Man Tag Team action.
  • Something regarding Roman Reigns. Remember him? He’s in the main event with Brock Lesnar.

LL Cool J is going to WrestleMania.

LAST THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Mark Henry got his ass kicked by Roman Reigns.

TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar spoke to somebody about Roman Reigns.

Renee
Young has Kane and Big Show backstage. Kane announces that Big Show
will be in Seth’s corner for tonight’s match. Show yells at Kane. Kane
yells at show. Does this count as a turn, or…? Seth shows up and says
that the two of them need to see the “big picture”. Kane suddenly admits
that they kinda enjoyed seeing him get beat up last week. So, Kane, for
one will not be at ringside. He tells Big Show to ditch Rollins as
well.

Ryback is out for a match as we are reminded how Ryback crushed Miz on Smackdown while Miz-dow (who is not really on tour with Wiz Khalifa, sucker) watched backstage, smiling.

MATCH #2: Ryback vs. The Miz (w/ Damien Miz-dow)
Miz
stomps at Ryback but Ryback tosses Miz outside. Ryback grabs Miz by the
hair and instructs Miz-dow to hit Miz. Miz-dow balls his fist but can’t
do it. Miz elbows Ryback and tells Miz-dow to un-ball his fist. Ryback
attacks Miz, rolls him into the ring, hits the Meathook and Shell Shock
for the win at 1:55. And, so this Miz/Miz-dow thing continues endlessly
on into the good night…
WINNER: Ryback via Shell Shock
RATING: DUD. 

Post-match,
Miz-dow gets into the ring and fans him with his cost. He helps Miz up
and Miz repays him with the Skull Crushing Finale. It just. Keeps.
Going.

Cole builds the United States Championship with more fervor than the actual main event at WrestleMania.

We get clips of the Cena/Rusev feud where Cena says that “Rusev doesn’t have the right to disparage America”. Well, that’s not exactly true, Cena…

NEXT: The contract signing for THE MOST IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIP EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS BUSINESS.

Cole
is in the ring when we come back from break. He welcomes John Cena to
the ring. Cena goes to sign the contract, then puts it down and hits the
‘MURICA button for about three minutes. Cena signs it after his rant.
Rusev is called out.

Rusev comes out, dressed in
Pronto Uomo like he’s guest-starring on Miami Vice. Lana’s conspicuously
absent and, instead, Rusev is lead to the ring by a guy who looks like
Ron Howard cos-playing Tyler Durden who sounds like a Yakof Smirnoff
imitating a Frenchman, imitating Yakof Smirnoff. I cannot even begin to
make this up. It doesn’t help that JBL is audibly annoyed by the dude
and calls out his horrible accent or that the dude loses his composure
and nearly laughs at his own horrible acting on live television.

He
says Rusev isn’t signing the contract because Rusev never agreed to the
match, himself. Anyhow, Rusev reaches into his coat to retrieve some
creative writing which is peppered with phrases like “stupid Americans” and
“stupid little country”. Rusev says American will die. Rusev signs the thing. Shit happens. The
table gets tossed and Rusev rolls out of the ring. Cena waves the contract at him. Russian flag falls again
because nobody ever bothers to piss Rusev off by loading up the American flag.

TONIGHT: 6-Man Tag with 6 of the IC title peeps.

ALSO: Randy Orton faces Seth Rollins.

New Day is in the ring as Big E shudders and shakes like he’s having a crack fit.

MATCH
#3: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. WWE
Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/ Natalya) (non-title)

Suddenly,
Los Matadores show up as they’re getting the Roman Reigns Violent Push
treatement. Cesaro enters after Big E tosses Kofi into Tyson. He hits
some uppercutes. Kofi tries to come back with a dropkick but Cesaro
shrugs him off. He hits the Spin but something happens and Cesaro needs
to drop him. All hell breaks loose and Kofi catches a goofy-looking
uppercut to the back of his head. Cesaro covers for the win at 1:52.
WINNERS: Cesaro & Kidd
RATING: DUD. The build-up for the RAW pre-show, everyone!

Post-match,
Matadores and The New Day jaw at one another. Cesaro hits a neutralizer
on Kofi. Torito hits a physically-impossible Hurricarana on Cesaro and
so it goes.

LAST MONDAY: Bray taunted The
Undertaker who didn’t show up, yet managed to light a chair on fire with
worse VFX than what was seen in Sharknado.

TONIGHT: Bray does more freaky shit in order to draw out The Undertaker.

NEXT: Lesnar speaks.

We
get a nice shot of the outside of Wells Fargo Arena. I guess it’s as
good a time as any to point out that we’ve had 3 matches in 90 minutes,
totaling 15 minutes — and 11 minutes of that was a Divas match.

Rollins
is backstage as the Lollipop Guild argues with him about his fame.
Noble gets so pissed that he quits the Security team. Mercury quits,
too. So, naturally, Rollins will be booked to job to them next week in a
handicap match.

Cole sets up the Brock Lesnar thing
where Lesnar’s curse words get bleeped…except for “ass” which will get
bleeped next week when the censors suddenly decide it’s a curse word.

Erick
Rowan is wrestling Big Show when we come back from that. Months after
his face turn and, still, no fucks have been given. Show kicks the shit
out of him, then hits the KO Punch. He goes to the second rope and hits a
elbow/body splash. There’s no match here. But, nobody wanted one
anyhow, so…

THE NEWEST INDUCTEE INTO THE WWE HALL OF FAME IS…Larry Zbyszko!

STILL TO COME: That 6-Man Tag Match

When
we come back from break, Kane is in the ring with the WWE’s also-rans:
Zack Ryder, Fandago, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Goldust,
Jack Swagger, Adam Rose and Darren Young. He declares that he will win
the Andre Battle Royal. He will demonstrate that right now. So Mark
Henry shows up and he gets mic time because we haven’t had enough promo
spots. He says HE will win. Axel vacates. Dust, Swagger and a slew of
others eat the outside mat. Kane and Henry are the only ones left after
Kane dumps Titus. Kane hits an uppercut. Henry shrugs off his blows and
tries to dump him. He succeeds. In runs Axel, who tries to dump Henry.
Henry reverses that attempts. And that’s about as well as one could do
to pump that match up.

STILL TO COME: Orton and Seth.

After, yet, ANOTHER BREAK.

THIS THURSDAY: 6-Being Interspecies Tag Match on Smackdown…which is the reason I quit watching it.

Out
comes Paul Heyman to remind us that we’ve now had over 2 hours of RAW
with 15 minutes of actual wrestling. At this point, this has become so
tiresome, I can’t even enjoy whatever the hell this is supposed to be.
Everyone hates Reigns. Everyone loves Lesnar. Heyman gives a good promo.
None of this is working.

Roman Reigns
appears. He wants to beat up Paul Heyman but he has “respect” for him.
He’s here, instead, to speak to Brock Lesnar. Who isn’t here. So, he’ll
speak to the camera. He says he’ll kick Lesnar’s ass. Seriously. There’s
nothing here. I was in the kitchen, washing dishes during that entire segment
and I rewound the thing to write this, thinking I’d need to recap
something a lot more in-depth and sophisticated. Right now, it’s two
guys speaking to each other through lawyers. That’s it.

Anyhow,
when we come back, Renee Young catches Paul Heyman in the hallway.
Heyman states that Lesnar will be here to confront Reigns.

HOLY SHIT A MATCH.

MATCH
#4: WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper &
Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose in a Six-Man
Tag Team Match

Just FYI: all three of the faces got a bigger
pop tonight than Reigns has had in weeks. Oh, by the way, here comes
R-Truth because he’s still in this shit but not white enough to compete.
Stardust does cartwheel but Dean grabs him and slams him. Stardust
comes back with punches in the corner. Ambrose whips him into the
opposite corner, then hits a suplex. Tag to Bryan and Bryan puts him
into a Surfboard, despite the fact that Stardust is completely mobile
and not at all tired. Bryan kicks at Dust in the corner. Bryan hits an
armbar and Ziggler tags himself in. Bryan argues with Ziggler. Stardust
gets in the middle of that, so he gets dumped from the ring. It turns
into a near-Pier 6 and we go to break.

We’re
back and Harper is roughing up Dean Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose hits a
nice Tornado DDT on a counter as “R-Trizzle” (because it’s 1995, see)
sits in on commentary. Tags on both sides. Ziggler hits a DDT on
Stardust but Dust comes back with a dropkick. Ziggler flies from the
ring and Barrett attacks after a tag. He runs Ziggler into the crowd
wall, then rolls him in-ring for a two-count. He puts Ziggler into the
corner and kicks him in the ribs. Two count. Tags to Star and Harper.
They rough up Ziggler. Barrett gets back in and kicks Ziggler, then hits
a nice swinging neckbreaker for two. He tosses Ziggler into the corner
and tags Harper. Harper tosses Barrett into Ziggler who evades. Harper
charge and he flies out of the ring. Dust attacks and he gets sent to
the mat.

Ziggler goes for a hot tag and completely
misses as the heels take out Ambrose and Bryan. Ziggler counters a
powerbomb and hits the Fame-Asser. Barrett saves the pin. All hell
breaks loose as everyone gets into a huge brawl in the ring. It ends
when the ring clears. Harper hits a Big Boot and a Sitting Powerbomb —
but Ziggler kicks out! Wow. After another break, Barrett has Ziggler in a
headlock. Ziggler starts to break it and hits a nice DDT. Ziggler gets
the hot tag to Brayn. He’s all over Barrett after taking out Dust and
Harper. Flying Goat to Harper as he tags Ambrose. Ambrose hits a splash
on Barrett. Two count. Stardust sends Ambrose into the ropes. Comeback
Clothesline. Everyone goes for a spot. Ziggler hits a Superkick on Bryan
by accident, then nails Harper. Barrett goes for Wasteland but Ziggler
counters and dives at both Harper and Stardust. In the ring, Barrett
sets up for the Bullhammer but Ambrose ducks and counters with Dirty
Deeds to get the pin at 17:00.
WINNERS: Ambrose, Bryan and Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. A VERY welcome quality match.

Post-match,
Stardust tries to steal the IC title and run into the crowd but leaves
the belt behind. Truth grabs it but Harper gets in his way. Truth throws
it back into the ring. Bryan gets up and grabs it. So does Ziggler. The
two fight over it. Barrett comes into the ring and it’s like an episode
of Oprah: everyone gets a Bullhammer. He grabs his title, takes out
Ambrose with a Bullhammer, then takes out Truth, who also gets in his
way.

Steph and Triple H are having a moment
backstage. Seth interrupts. He wants to know what Steph and Triple H are
gonna do about things tonight. Steph says that it’s time for Rollins to
lay down in the bed he made. Seth blames Steph for what’s going on.
Triple H asks who Seth thinks he’s talking to. Seth goes nose to nose
and dares him to mess up the company’s future. Steph gets between them.
Triple H says that Seth should go before things go from bad to worse.

NEXT: Bray Wyatt talks.

LAST WEEK: Bray Wyatt talked. His chair was set on fire.

Bray Wyatt time. It’s another promo. It’s not in a ring. Doesn’t involve The Undertaker. So, who honestly cares?

NEXT: Orton and Rollins.

NEXT WEEK: Lesnar and Reigns go face to face. 

ALSO NEXT WEEK: Snoop Dogg & Bill Simmons are here.

Orton’s
out for the final match. Rollins is out for a promo. Rollins says that
Orton has made the Authority look like fools. Then he laughs because,
surprise, it’s a set-up that nobody, but the entire fucking WWE Universe saw coming.
He’s made a fool out of Orton. He brings out the entire Authority in
Triple H, Steph, Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security. Orton goes
outside to grab a chair. He stands his ground. Triple H mocks him. They
surround the ring.

Crowd chants for Sting.
Everyone gets in the ring. Lights go out. The sound of a crow and Cole
ruins the fucking moment by saying, “What in the world…?” Lights come
back up. Sting’s in the ring with the baseball bat. The faces clear the
ring out. Sting hits the Stinger Splash on J&J. Sting hits a
Scorpion Deathdrop on Noble. Orton hits an RKO on Mercury. Crowd is
INSANE right now, chanting Sting’s name.

We go off the air because OMGFANSWEREOUTTATIMEENJOYTHEFIFTHELEMENTONTHETBSNETWOR–..

OVERALL:
A LOT of build-up. I’d go ** for the decent Divas match, the IC tag
battle, and the Sting/Orton team-up at the end. There was a LOT of
filler here, however. 4 matches on a RAW card totaling in 35 minutes of
actual, recorded action? Not good. 

Before we go…the best of Monday Night Open Mic: 

 
Er…that’s it.