Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 2/15/16: Friendship Reigns Supreme
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Friendship Reigns Supreme
– The opening video showcased the events of last week’s Raw – WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose’s toughness, Brock Lesnar’s utter destruction and Roman Reigns simply hanging in the background, while others tried to throw stones in the fire that is the “brotherhood.”
– The in-ring segment with Ambrose and Stephanie McMahon was a decent nod to the last few weeks where Steph got to interrupt Ambrose this time around when he expected Lesnar to heed his call yet again. This was Steph throwing curveballs into Ambrose’s plans while also setting things up for Reigns to ruin things simply by showing up. Steph forced Ambrose to defend his Title against four other individuals and made a stipulation that if Reigns interfered, Ambrose would lose by DQ and his spot in the Fastlane main event was no more. Fatal Five-Way suddenly became the magic word of the day. Also liked Steph picking on Ambrose for “relying on Reigns and a cheap shot to get things his way.”
– The Fatal Five-Way match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Stardust, Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler was a great, hectic opener. Plenty of action all over from bell-to-bell as we got everything we could’ve wanted and more. Owens particularly shined in this bout, with some impressive spots (the multiple cannonballs, Powerbombing Breeze out of the ring onto other opponents below, etc.) and we figured this was just another Ambrose retain, we were pleasantly surprised to see Owens be the one to come out on top by pinning Breeze. Some other sick moves here, like the Dirty Deeds/Zig Zag combo, but again the result outweighs the action. Even better, it frees up Ambrose as a losing candidate since he no longer has the IC Title to fall back on.
– The backstage segment involving Ambrose, Owens and Ziggler was a good follow-up, as Ambrose first expressed his feelings to Renee Young about losing the belt not affecting him too bad since he wanted to show The Authority that when they took something away from him, that gave him the opportunity to attain something bigger. Liked the “unscripted” feel of Owens walking into the shot and demanding recognition from Young to which Ziggler celebrated sarcastically and proposed a challenge for the belt since he already beat Owens twice prior. Doing the burly heel thing, Owens turned it down.
– As we know, Edge and Christian’s new “Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness” show will debut on the WWE Network after Fastlane and what better way to promote it than having a Cutting Edge Peep Show involving the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day during Fastlane? Before the Big E-Mark Henry match, we had a usual New Day promo that involve putting themselves over and insulting Henry for walking out on them the week before. As for the match, it was ultimately nothing special, as Big E hit big splashes to a trombone symphony outside the ring and help from Xavier Woods on the apron. That finish though. Worst Big Ending ever. Guess he was supposed to actually hit the move, but Henry slipped off Big E’s back and they counted the pin like that.
– The Brie Bella, WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, and Ric Flair segment started as an exclusive interview with Brie about how her husband Daniel Bryan was dealing with post-retirement life. This was a golden opportunity to have Charlotte interrupt and get in her head that she was a family woman who couldn’t get the big win, having to now “support the family.” Charlotte was so over-the-top here but it worked so well. Meanwhile, Brie wasn’t the most slick on the mic but with her having Bryan as the emotional backstory, it’s easy to naturally root for her in this moment. It’s funny how that kind of worked out that way. The physicality ended with Brie getting the advantage and that’s exactly how it should look if you want to make it seem like Charlotte has to think things over again.
– The Miz-AJ Styles match with Chris Jericho on commentary carried on the Jericho-Styles feud by having him put both guys over. The match itself was good especially down the stretch with some good near-falls. Styles made Miz tap out to the Calf Crusher after kicking out of the Skull-Crushing Finale. Post-match saw Jericho about to praise him when Styles stopped him and said he knew what Jericho was thinking and proposed a rubber match at FastLane. Jericho responded that he’d think about it and respond on SmackDown. Nice way to stretch it out.
– The Dudley Boyz came out and called out The Usos before reminding everyone how they attacked them and put them through tables. D-Von said they weren’t a nostalgia act on a farewell tour and Bubba Ray reminded us there’d be no more tables and didn’t care what the fans chanted. This radioed their SmackDown turn promo, so check that out too if you want a deeper explanation.
– The Summer Rae-Paige match seemed to be a way for Paige to regain some momentum but that was sidetracked when Summer actually won. Um, what? Not much of a match and the crowd wanted Sasha Banks.
– A Paul Heyman promo is never a bad thing and if this Fastlane match could use some selling, why not? He sold the moment on the respect with Reigns, reliving some WrestleMania 31 glory. We liked the line Heyman fed Reigns that he could only have either the WWE World Heavyweight Championship or Ambrose’s friendship, not both. Also liked how Reigns covered his bases by saying that he already beat Ambrose and while he didn’t beat Lesnar, he beat his ass. Herman’s response of a simple, respectful handshake seemed strange but then a minute later, The Dudley Boyz attacked him. Michael Cole bringing up the history between Heyman and The Dudleyz seemed to be done by design, but this was a good time to have Ambrose make the save before teasing the Dirty Deeds, which Reigns immediately pushed away.
– The Zack Ryder-Heath Slater match started with a pre-taped promo that referenced the All-Star Game and they made basketball jokes which continues to go over like bad improv. The match was brief with Ryder putting in some work and took a nasty tumble on the outside on a suicide dive. Basically, SO helped Slater get the win.
– Oh god, more R-Truth, Goldust stuff. This time he crashes an R-Truth date by being the waiter at the restaurant. Bad sexual innuendo of an exploding champagne bottle in Goldust’s groin area. Right.
– The six-man tag between The Lucha Dragons/Neville and Rusev/Sheamus/Alberto Del Rio saw the announcement that WWE United States Champion Kalisto-Del Rio would fight for the Title on the FastLane pre show. The action was cool while it lasted and ended with Del Rio hitting a better version of his top rope finisher on Sin Cara, though it looked silly that Sin Cara held on for so long.
– We liked Del Rio’s backstage promo as he talked about Kalisto’s past wins being a fluke and wanted to settle the dispute once and for all by proposing the Fastlane match become a two-out-of-three falls bout. We’re all for it.
– The Becky Lynch-Naomi match already carried off an earlier taped segment that day when Naomi/Tamina attacked Lynch in the parking lot. The match was more brief than we would’ve liked, but they had good chemistry as Lynch broke out the Disarmer and won, only to get attacked by the two heels afterwards. Banks came out and hit the ring as Naomi/Tamina left. Decent way to go off of that on Raw.
– The Big Show-Braun Strowman match started with another pointless Wyatt Family in-ring promo that talked about freedom from a future of a dying world and “followers.” Luckily, we didn’t have to sit through much of the match because the Family intervened and out came Ryback and then Kane. Kind of a weak storyline to end things on, but decent development there. Should’ve ended with the Reigns-Lesnar stuff.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – Fatal Five-Way – Kevin Owens def. Tyler Breeze, Dean Ambrose (Champion), Dolph Ziggler and Stardust via pinfall to become new Champion
- Big E (w/Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston) def. Mark Henry via pinfall
- The Miz def. AJ Styles via submission
- Summer Rae def. Paige via pinfall
- Heath Slater (w/Adam Rose, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas) def. Zack Ryder via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – Alberto Del Rio/Sheamus/Rusev (w/King Barrett) def. Neville/The Lucha Dragons via pinfall
- Becky Lynch def. Naomi (w/Tamina) via submission
- The Big Show def. Braun Strowman (w/Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt) via DQ
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on February 21, 2016, in WWE and tagged Adam Rose, AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Big E, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Byron Saxton, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Fastlane, Goldust, Heath Slater, JBL, Kane, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Naomi, Neville, Paige, Paul Heyman, R-Truth, Renee Young, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Sasha Banks, Sheamus, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, Summer Rae, Tamina, The Big Show, The Dudley Boyz, The Lucha Dragons, The Miz, The New Day, The Social Outcasts, The Wyatt Family, Tyler Breeze, Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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