Matt’s Monday Night RAW Recap – 2/16/2015

So, I have
to say, before we begin: I really like the new RAW Pre-Show hosts.
Mainly, I love the way they play off one another and I love David
Otunga. Which is something I never thought I’d say.

He had some really goofy lines tonight that were quick-witted and pretty funny:
  • “Right now, Sting is trolling Triple H like a 14-year-old on the Internet.”
  • “[The
    Cena/Rusev feud] is much like The Lion King. If you remember, Simba had
    to conquer [Scar] in order to take over the kingdom.”
  • “My bold
    prediction is that John Cena’s doctor is gonna tell us…that John Cena
    has learned to exercise his eyeballs and is gonna strengthen his eyes to
    overcome his scratched cornea.”

His commentary is
actually pretty brilliant stuff and makes light of the bullshit we’ve
been witnessing from WWE Creative (Sting’s mastery of Final Cut Pro, the
arbitrary Cena/Rusev feud, etc.) and that’s a relief.

Of
course, you may feel free expound and tell me I’m full of shit in the
comments. As you all know, I look forward to that and I hope we have
some good conversation.

Let’s move…

We start with the titles.

And we are LIVE(!!!) from Orlando, Florida!!!

Michael Cole, JBL and Booker T are the guys manning that one desk with the mics.

We
start with John Cena who, I swear, has the booing built into the his
music at this point. He says that we’re only a week away from Fastlane.
He says the crowd will be rockin’, but he likes what he sees tonight as
ORLANDO IS RAW. But he has something to show us from last week. We get
clips of the Rusev beatdown from last week.

Cena says
NO MORE. He’s been told that Rusev is unstoppable. He doesn’t agree.
This Sunday, he’s gonna beat Rusev. He says that he’ll save everyone the
trouble of thinking about it and he’ll tell everyone how to do it. He
says he’s been doing this for years and he loves it when the fans boo
(they boo) and cheer (they cheer) and that’s what RAW is all about. (DANIELLE: Because I get paid either way, assholes!) He
says that there won’t be any high fives, just five fingers balled in a
fist. He will be the first WWE Superstar to beat Rusev. This Sunday, he
will win the United States Championship. The more he pounds the
Championship angle, the more he’s convincing everyone he’s gonna lose.

That
brings out Rusev and Lana. Lana says Cena just delivers the same tired
rhetoric. She says that Cena’s cup is half-full. Her and Rusev live in
reality. He’s the greatest United States Champion. Rusev is even better
than Cena: the man who never gives up. This time, however, there isn’t
any coming back from what Rusev is going to do. Rusev grabs the mic and
he’s gonna destroy Cena’s body, spirit and his “little will to live will
be crushed”.

Cena tells Rusev that Rusev has never
had his ass kicked. So, stay there. He’s coming down to kick Rusev’s
ass. Cena runs down the ramp and tackles Rusev, punching away, then
clotheslines him. Referees come out to stop Cena, but there’s only two
of them as the rest are in the middle of a good round of Texas Hold ‘Em.
Cena tells them to back off and they do. Cena just belts Rusev in the
face. Rusev is laid out and Cena yells, “EVERY MAN CAN BE BEAT” into his
face.

MOMENTS AGO: Cena beat up Rusev.

Cole
praises SNL’s 40th Anniversary…and, apparently, Dean Ambrose tried
out for Weekend Update. Ha. Cole shows us a clip of Ambrose in a suit,
announcing that he’s taking on Bad News Barrett at Fastlane in a sketch
that aims to be “funny” and fails.

MATCH #1: Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
Initial
back-and-forth sees a Harper shoulderblock and Ambrose headlock
followed by a wristlock. Harper breaks it and puts Ambrose in the
corner, slapping at him. A whip sees Ambrose hitting a cross body and
flurry of punches. Ambrose follows up, beating Harper in three of the
first four corners, then hits a nice Reverse Flying Elbow off the second
buckle, followed by a Flying Ambrose through the ropes to the outside.
Harper somehow no-sells that and boots Ambrose in the head. When
we come back from break, Harper has Ambrose in a headlock. During the
break, Cole tells us that were saps for not having the WWE App. If we
had it, we would have seen Harper slapping Ambrose in the mouth. Ambrose
finally breaks the hold and dumps Harper outside. Harper leaps back
into the ring but ends up in a Tornado DDT from the turnbuckle. Harper
gets to his feet but Ambrose bolts to his feet as well and punches away
at Harper, hitting a nice running sitting dropkick. Ambrose hits a nice
Flying Clothesline which JBL calls the “Air Psycho”. He gets two, then
goes top rope again. He leaps and flies over Harper, who hits a
Superkick for a close fall. Harper tries a powerbomb but Ambrose breaks
it only to fly right into a Twirling Side Slam by Harper for another
close fall. Harper tries the Clothesline from Smell but misses. Harper
ducks a move and boots Ambrose into the ropes for the Rebound
Clothesline from Ambrose, then Dirty Deeds for the win at 11:04.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: **3/4. Really decent match to start off. 

Cole talks about the Rhodes brothers having issues. Dusty is here, tonight, to help settle things.

TONIGHT: Triple H will respond to the time he called Sting out and got punked.

ALSO OMG WE’RE SWITCHING WRESTLERS IN THE FEUDS THAT WON’T DIE:

  • Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
  • Roman Reigns takes on Kane

Triple
H is talking to Kane. Show shows up. Kane and Show don’t like each
other because of what happened on Smackdown. Triple H gets in the middle
of them but the two keep arguing. Triple H says that, when they argue,
they make him look like an ass. Show: “You mean, how Sting made you
look?” He takes it back when Triple H glares at him. Triple H says he’ll
take care of Sting but that he’s looking for solutions.

Bray Wyatt time. He has a nail for a coffin. He says that he’s not afraid of who he used to fear…in fact, it’s coming…

Star
and Golddust are backstage. Dusty interrupts and he’s not impressed
with Cody’s Stardust thing. He says that the three of them share common
blood. No matter what goes down, he loves them both. He says that they
are gonna take care of business tonight. Gold asks Star if he’s ready to
go tonight. The two shake hands and hug.

MATCH #2: The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (w/ Big E) vs. Gold & Stardust
Big
E drums the mat which doesn’t work. At all. Woods knees Star in the
stomach but Star manages to get a tag to Gold who gets hip tossed to the
mat. Gold manages to put Woods in the corner and the Rhodes brothers
tag in and out. Woods hits an Enzuguri to Gold and gets a tag to Kofi
who attacks Star and kicks Gold. He hits a clothesline and legdrop. He
sets up for a move and ends up hitting a crossbody. Some
miscommunication, however, leads to Gold getting kicked in the face by
Kofi, who pins Gold for the win at 3:00.
WINNERS: New Day
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Star helps Gold up — then hits Cross Rhodes and leaves. Hooray. Good job, Dusty, you fixed it.

Byron
interviews Roman Reigns backstage. He’s focused on WrestleMania. He
says that Seth Rollins tried to find a way to worm his way into their
match. He says that he’s going to WrestleMania. Believe. Dat.

Meanwhile, at ringside, Daniel Bryan comes out to do commentary as Reigns is due to take on Kane.

After
a break, Dusty confronts Cody backstage. Cody says a bunch of bullshit,
then denounces his father, telling him that, like Cody, Dusty his also
dead to him.

And, like 9 minutes later, people are still yelling YES at Daniel Bryan.

MATCH #3: Roman Reigns vs. Kane
Daniel
Bryan: “I have one less title defense than Brock Lesnar.” Nice. Reigns
suplexes Kane as Reigns looks on. Kane puts Reigns into the turnbuckle
on the distraction and it’s a headlock as Daniel Bryan suddenly starts sounding like a fucking heel.
Reigns fights out but runs into a Kane elbow. Reigns tries a top rope
attack but Kane uppercuts him. Kane hits a Sitting Dropkick. Two count.
Reigns comes back with clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Bryan starts
another YES chant and Reigns is distracted — then runs into a Kane big
boot. Kane goes outside and tears the announce table apart. Kane
grabs Reigns and tries a Chokeslam but Reigns hits a Spear. Kane is
counted out at 6:20.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
RATING: 1/4*. PLEASE. STOP. THIS. FEUD.

Post-match, Bryan taunts Reigns with the YES chant.

TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan faces the Big Show.

ALSO:
Triple H calls out Sting because he didn’t like the way Sting reacted
to being called out the first time he was called out.

Backstage,
Renee Young wants to know what Bryan’s thinking about Sunday. Bryan
says that Reigns is gonna need to get used to the YES chant.

Bray Wyatt. Again. He has a hammer this time. He says that his opponent is in limbo…and he’s waiting.

Byron 
is waiting outside the Diva’s locker room and actually gives us a
reason why he’s there. The Bellas come out and they have Paige’s gear.
They say that Paige will have to wrestle naked tonight. You know,
because wrestlers don’t have more than one costume. Paige flies out of
the dressing room and says her gear’s been stolen. She asks Cameron if
she can borrow her gear. Cameron says she can but it won’t look good.
Girl, bye. Then Adam Rose’s Special Bus People shows up. Paige yanks the
candy plum fairy one into the dressing room and we go to break. Way too much thought is going into this…

MATCH #4: Summer Rae vs. Paige
Paige
looks hotter than hell in a skirt and stockings and boots. Summer mocks
her and Paige just clotheslines her with the top rope. She knees Summer
in the face and screams. Summer comes back with a Leg Scissors
Surfboard. Nice move. Paige counters with a pin that gets two. Summer
breaks and hits a legdrop but Paige moves out of the way of the
follow-up. Clotheslines to Summer and the PTO for the win at 2:45.
WINNER: Paige via PTO
RATING: 1/4*. 

Post-match,
Nikki has the mic and insults Paige’s outfit. Paige says she doesn’t
care. All she needs to do is win. And she will at Fastlane. Nikki storms
off.

NEXT: Seth Rollins faces Dolph Ziggler

Sheamus is returning…

Seth
Rollins and J&J Security hit the ring. Rollins says that today is
President’s Day where they honor the great leaders of the past. But
that’s a waste of time since the future is standing in front of
everyone. He says he can do what he wants when ever he wants. He can
even be the new host of The Daily Show. The crowd, who isn’t smart
enough to watch the show, doesn’t know whether to boo or cheer.
H=Rollins says that he has to deal with with people who are far beneath
him like Ryback, Erick Rowan and Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler
comes out to interrupt. He asks Rollins if he had a bad Valentine’s Day.
Maybe his Security team got him the wrong chocolates? Maybe Triple H
failed to explain the birds and bees. Rollins interrupts and calls him
and his career pathetic. Ziggler agrees and says that Rollins is right.
He’s nothing compared to Rollins. He’s not a whiny douche like Rollins. He tells “the Hobbits” to leave the ring so he can kick Rollins’ ass. Cole: “Yeah, Frodo and Bilbo! Leave!” Sigh…

MATCH #5: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
is tossed from the ring. Rollins distracts the ref so Security can
attack Ziggler but the ref is hip to this and tosses Security out of the
matc. Rollins is furious and goes after Ziggler, pushing him back into
the ring. Ziggler quickly rolls him up for two. Rollins kicks at Ziggler
and puts him in the corner but misses an attack. Ziggler hits a corner
splash. Big Elbow Drop gets two. Ziggler tries a Buckle Bomb but Ziggler
rolls him up for two. DDT by Ziggler gets two as well. Ziggler tries a
Zigg Zagg but Rollins breaks and hits a dropkick for two. Rollins kicks
at Ziggler, then goes top rope but Ziggler leaps up to grab Rollins.
Rollins shoves him and it’s a series of counters. Ziggler hits the
Superkick and Zigg Zagg but Security’s here to fuck up another match at
around 6:30.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via DQ
RATING: **1/4. Why bar Security from the ring if you’re gonna have them do the run-in DQ spot anyway?!

Post-match,
it’s Yet Another Mudhole Stomp until Rowan and Ryback come in to even
the odds. They miss Mercury and Rollins but they do get a piece of Noble
as Ryback hits a Spinebuster.

FASTLANE KICKOFF: MizTV will have special guest Paul Heyman

Out
comes Triple H to “react” to Sting as we get clips of Sting trolling
him last week. The crowd chants “WE WANT STING”. Triple H has heard a
rumor saying that he’s afraid of Sting. He says that it takes more than
mind games to get under his skin. At Fastlane, WCW will stand there and
face WWE–.

Then Ric Flair just shows up
because why the hell not? Triple H holds the ring ropes for him as he
gets in the ring. Flair says he’s out here because he loves and respects
Triple H, so he doesn’t wanna be cussed out “like you guys do to all
the other guys each week”. Triple H interrupts him and says that if
Flair’s here to sing the praises of Sting, he says Flair should save his
breath. Flair says not to take Sting lightly. He tells Triple H not to
put himself in a position to fail. Triple H says he knows how good Sting
is. He says that he watched Sting get in the ring for 60 minutes at
Clash of the Champions. He’s seen him win titles and stand tall. He was
an icon and one of the greatest. He was WCW.

Triple H says
he admires all of that — but then Sting disappeared. That was the
right thing to do. He says that if Sting showed up after all that,
Triple H would have run him out of WWE. He says that Sting built his
reputation on Flair’s reputation. Flair tries to interject but Triple H
stops him and says that he is WWE. Flair says that he’s right: Sting is
already getting to him. He says people have stopped him and asked “Ric,
who is the greatest?” Flair says Triple H is always the greatest. Flair
says that he doesn’t want Sting to sneak up on Triple H.

Triple
H says that he’s not Ric Flair…but…when it comes to kicking Sting’s
ass, Flair’s no Triple H. Flair looks hurt and says, “Do me a favor:
when I tune in Fastlane, don’t let me catch you sittin’ on your ass like
you did last time. Fair enough?” Triple H isn’t please and shoves Flair
to the mat. He says that if Flair thinks he’s gonna let Sting take WWE
from him, he’s mistaken. He will make sure that Sting never shows his
face here again. He leaves the ring. Flair’s music hits even though he
was humiliated. But, it’s cool.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Cena attacked Rusev.

AT FASTLANE: Cena will face Rusev for the U.S. Championship

TONIGHT: Daniel Bryan faces Big Show

MATCH #6: Darren Young & Some Guy vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
The
announcers can’t even be bothered to name Young’s partner but it
doesn’t matter. It’s a mudhole stomp — until Titus O’Neil interrupts.
The two men clean house…and we’re not having a match, I guess.
NO CONTEST. Why not just have The Ascension take on Young and O’Neil?!

Post-match, Titus celebrates with Darren Young

Backstage,
Miz tells BNB to knock Miz-dow down a few pegs in the ring. If BNB does
that, he’ll take care of Ambrose. BNB says that he wants Miz’s people
to call HIS people.

MATCH #7: Damien Miz-dow (w/ The Miz) vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (non-title)
Miz-dow
puts Barrett in a side headlock but Barrett puts Miz-dow in the corner,
clubbing away at him. Miz-dow gets the upper hand again but Miz rings a
bell and tells Miz-dow it’s time to stop. He wants Miz-dow to clean his
shoes, then tells Miz-dow to watch himself after Barrett knees him in
the gut when he’s distracted. Barrett rolls Miz-dow into the ring and
gets two. Headlock by Barrett but Miz-dow breaks and hits the
Miz-breaker Combo. He goes for the SCF but Miz tells Miz-dow to stop
again so Miz-dow can clean his sunglasses. Barrett hits the Bullhammer
on Miz-dow on the distraction for the win at 2:31.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via Bullhammer
RATING: DUD. PLEASE. TURN. MIZ-DOW.

Post-match,
Ambrose attacks Barrett, then zip-ties him to the ringpost. Ambrose
holds the contract in Barrett’s face and tells him that the contract
will be signed. Ambrose gets a pen, grabs Barrett’s hand and makes him
sign. He taunts Barrett, yelling in his face, telling him he’ll see him
at Fastlane.

Bray again. He’s putting a nail
in a coffin. You know, just in case you haven’t guessed that Bray’s
opponent is gonna be The Undertaker. He says that his opponent has
nowhere left to go. He wants this guy to find him…or Bray will find
him.

We get a mixed tag match with Jimmy and Naomi taking
on Nattie and Tyson because of ruined date 2 weeks ago during Smackdown.
It’s darkly ironic that Jimmy calls Tyson “ignorant” while pronouncing
the word as “ig-nint”.

MATCH #8: Jimmy Uso & Naomi (w/ Jey Uso) vs. Tyson Kidd & Natalya (w/ Cesaro) in a Mixed Tag Team Match
Jimmy
and Tyson start. Tyson’s so scared, he tags in Nattie. Naomi gets in
and she arm drags Nattie and applies a side headlock. Nattie counters
into head scissor. There’s a series of counters and a tag to Jimmy.
Tyson’s not happy about this but gets into the ring, applying a headlock
to Jimmy. Tyson kicks Jimmy, then turns tail and runs, tagging Nattie.
JBL: “That’s a great strategy! You slap your opponent, then tag your
wife! I’ve done that for years!” Nattie tosses Naomi to the mat and
wants to tag Tyson who’s too scared to get back in the ring. Naomi rolls
Nattie up after a series of roll-ups and gets the arbitrary win at
2:56.
WINNERS: Uso and Naomi
RATING: DUD.

Post-match, Tyson berates Nattie for losing the match. Cesaro tells Tyson to calm down and separates the two.

Cole reminds us that February is FREE on WWE Network.

EARLIER TONIGHT: Reigns beat Kane.

Bryan walks to the ring from the backstage area. At ringside, Reigns comes down to the ring to hang out.

THIS THURSDAY ON SMACKDOWN: Ziggler faces Rollins with J&J banned from ringside. That worked wonders the last time.

MATCH #9: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show
Show
tries to corner Bryan but Bryan doesn’t fall for it and kicks at Show’s
legs. JBL: “This is like Jack and the Beanstalk…except the beanstalk
fights back.” Show finally manages to grab Bryan and slaps his chest.
Headbutt and chest slap to Bryan. Bryan comes back with kicks and works
on Show’s left knee. Show shoves him to the mat again, grabs him and
headbutts him. Show slams Bryan, then kicks at him, taunting him. He
misses a huge clubbing blow and Bryan slaps and kicks Show. Show moves
and chest slaps Bryan. Show picks Bryan up and goes for a press slam but
Bryan counters and puts a Sleepr on Big Show. Reigns gets up out of his
seat, then goes to a fan. He asks the fan for his sign, gets a Sharpie
and starts signing autographs. Show breaks the hold but Bryan kicks
Show. He misses the big Yes Kick. We go to commercial.

Reigns
is sitting back down after signing a bunch of autographs. Show has
complete control of Bryan in the ring and stomps at Bryan. Show slaps
Bryan’s chest, then headbutts him. Show stands there, I swear, for a
full minute, not doing anything, while the fans give him shit and the
match unnecessarily passes the ten minute mark. Finally, Bryan gets up
and kicks him. He leaps at Show but Show catches him in a Bear Hug.
Bryan counters and manages to toss Show from the ring. Reigns, though,
is up and tossing t-shirts into the crowd. This means something to Bryan
for some reason. Bryan tries a Flying Goat. Show catches him and tosses
Bryan into Roman Reigns. The two men shove one another. Show hits a
Spear on Reigns by accident, then kicks Bryan and rolls him back into
the ring.

Bryan hits the trio of dropkicks but Show
grabs him on the third one and goes for the Chokeslam. Bryan counters
into the YES Lock but Show gets to the ropes, breaking the hold. Bryan
hits YES Kicks, hitting the roundhouse this time. He gets a close fall
and then goes top rope but Reigns runs in and hits the Superman Punch to
end this at 14:39.
WINNER: Big Show via DQ
RATING: *. The match picked up at the end but this feud is so beyond stale.

Post-match,
Bryan hits a sitting dropkick on Reigns from the top rope. Reigns comes
back, punching and it’s a brawl culminating in Reigns tossing Bryan
from the ring. Bryan’s not happy and flies back into the ring. It’s a
brawl that goes back and forth. Both men roll out of the ring and it
continues. Reigns tosses Bryan into the ring barrier. They get back into
the ring but referees show up and break them up as the crowd chants LET
THEM FIGHT. The two calm down, shake hands, turn their backs on one
another…then charge each other and it’s another brawl that spills out
of the ring. It goes into the crowd and Bryan gets a hold of a chair. He
whacks Reigns with it but Reigns comes back with a HUGE forearm shot.
The brawl continues and spills behind the announce desk with Reigns
hammering away on Bryan. Everyone and their mother comes out to hold the
two men back and we finally go off the air.

OVERALL: **1/2. That final bit pushed the show back up — though I really hope that WWE is not turning Bryan heel. If they are, I don’t think the crowd realizes it.

Er, that’s it.