Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
– If this episode had any mission, it was to draw advantage back on Seth Rollins’ side, after nearly getting demolished single-handedly by Randy Orton. It kind of happened, but it kind of didn’t. To set all this up though, WWE used the opening video to highlight Orton’s brutal attack, with clips from his sit-down promo describing his satisfaction.
– Starting the show off with a seemingly pissed off Authority made sense. Being in his hometown, chants for Rollins were expected, but he did a good job of shutting it down with insults in a good promo, as the rest of The Authority followed suit. The big newsworthy event here was Rollins’ accepting Orton’s WrestleMania challenge and countering with a challenge of his own for this show. If you’re Creative though, why tease this match for free so close to Mania? It all made sense by the end, but the idea of it still lacks principle. Orton’s response promo was a somewhat edgy way of setting up the “main event.” He sure likes to make people his bitch, huh?
– The Bellas boxed promo was decent for what it was, as they tore down Paige and AJ Lee’s recent friendship and their “Give us a break” line was also good.
– The Lee-Nikki Bella match wasn’t anything too special despite having above average ring time. This had the Bellas get the better of Paige and Lee inside and outside the ring. If the commentary team spent less time bickering loudly and more on pushing the match, that would’ve been nice too.
– WWE must think we love watching Show and Kane bicker like eight year-olds. Of course, this bickering had purpose on the episode, setting up Rollins’ “big plan,” but there’s no doubt that maybe some truth was laid down here – with Kane and Show claiming Rollins’ ego was getting to his head and when The Authority eventually disbands (five years later hopefully?), this can be something they use for it. The immediate turnaround was confusing though, considering Show/Kane told Rollins he deserved what happened to him when they complained about it a little while before.
– Miz’s boxed promo was okay and continued the storyline, saying Mizdow would get fired if he didn’t help him win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale. This will so set up that turn. For a show made for “big moments,” if Mizdow doesn’t turn on Miz here, that will be a horrendous loss of opportunity.
– The Ryback-Miz match appeared as another Smackdown repeat, as Miz was beaten with the Shellshock after a non-convincing tease of Mizdow hitting Miz. Miz dropping Mizdow with the Skull-Crushing Finale was a good way to get heat on him.
– The John Cena-Rusev contract signing promo had its nationalistic feel-good moment in there, as Cena gave a passionate “Rah-Rah America” promo. The logic of Rusev having his attorney as a way of fighting the official rematch made sense, being that Lana made the match official, when Stephanie McMahon told Cena that Rusev himself had to accept. The lack of logic of the outrageously bad Russian accent on said attorney overshadowed this moment, to the point where even JBL, the heel announcer, had to side against Rusev. For what it’s worth, Rusev flipping the table and fleeing was a good tease once he signed the contract.
– You can’t point out that The New Day is in a good mood, because they’re always in a good mood. Silly announcers.
– The Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya boxed promo was a fun spoof on parodying the team’s ridiculous clapping.
– The Kidd/Cesaro-Big E/Kofi Kingston match was okay and quick, with Los Matadores and El Torito observing at ringside and Kidd/Cesaro winning with a cheap trick. Los Matadores essentially fed New Day to Cesaro and then Torito took out Cesaro. Kind of confusing. With pending injury to Jey Uso, we can see why the sudden push of other teams happened. Unfortunate, but it put WWE in this situation.
– The backstage segment where J & J Security “walked out” on Rollins was probably the most convincing of the bunch – considering Jamie Noble didn’t trust Orton from the get-go and was against Rollins already. Nevertheless, we knew what it led to, so why keep talking about it?
– Besides the “F— Roman Reigns Up” comment, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s sit-down interview clip wasn’t nearly as “controversial” as hyped as much as it was him being overconfident, remorseless and sadistic, all qualities we knew already. This was well-done and Lesnar looked like a legit, unpredictable badass.
– So Show beat down Erick Rowan for no reason… What was the point?
– The video package for Larry Zybysko as the recent WWE HOF inductee was cool to see in terms of showing his AWA career highlights early on. Also cool to see his WCW highlights in standing up to the nWo in its heyday.
– The segment to push the Battle Royale by having all the participants in there was mainly to set up Mark Henry’s announcement of joining the match. You have to love impromptu battle royales to hype a battle royale. This led to a Henry-Kane standoff, which Curtis Axel tried to break in, but Henry sent him over the top. This was just okay. Nothing special.
– The hype of the 6-Being Interspecies match between Los Matadores/El Torito and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Natalya has us at an utter loss of words. What? Why? Interspecies?
– No better way to start the final hour than with Paul Heyman. Let the magic begin. What a fitting time to bring out Roman Reigns and his new, “I can, I will” t-shirt. How adorable. His promo was decent, though not groundbreaking. With Lesnar absent, this would’ve been a good time to perhaps silence Heyman with a spear or Superman punch, to get under Lesnar’s skin. Maybe that’s for the go-home show. Either way, their in-ring face-to-face should be fun and we’ll see if they can recreate the magic of the “Blizzard Show.”
– Paul Heyman’s backstage promo sold him being ticked off and hyped next week’s face-to-face greatly.
– The six-man tag match between Daniel Bryan/Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper/Bad News Barrett/Stardust was another repeat match from Smackdown. R-Truth’s presence was expected here though, and he had almost no reaction upon coming out. Oh, great. More title shenanigans. At least Ambrose got the pinfall, not that it really mattered at the end, but Barrett finally got the better end of this segment.
– The backstage segment with Rollins, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was okay in setting up what happened later, but that was about it.
– The Bray Wyatt fog promo was another dime a dozen fog promo. Meh.
– The Seth Rollins “reveal” didn’t really make sense, considering most of those “Authority walking out on Rollins” segments took place backstage, only where the crowd could see it. Does word travel that quickly? Nevertheless, we knew this was going to set up Sting to make the save and the moment was worth it. It’s WrestleMania season. This is when you go all out. Cole overseasoned it a bit to call it one of “the biggest moments of Raw history.” Sigh. The tease for an Orton/Sting Interview on the WWE Network immediately after the show was actually a good hook for TV viewers and treat for Network Subscribers.
– Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) def. AJ Lee (w/Paige) via pinfall
– Ryback def. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) via pinfall
– Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) def. Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) via pinfall
– Dean Ambrose/Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett/Luke Harper/Stardust via pinfall
Posted in WWE
Tags: AJ Lee, Bad News Barrett, Big E, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Brock Lesnar, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Mizdow, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, El Torito, Erick Rowan, J & J Security, John Cena, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Larry Zybysko, Los Matadores, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Paige, Paul Heyman, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Stardust, Stephanie McMahon, Sting, The Authority, The Bellas, The Big Show, The Miz, The New Day, Triple H, Tyson Kidd, Xavier Woods