by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)
The Authority welcomes us to RAW. Stephanie & HHH do a masterful job of trolling us and they’re rolling in the heat. They bring up Elimination Chamber which brings out Daniel Bryan! HUGE POP! Talk comes around to Bryan not being in the Rumble and he says there’s a Yes Movement going on. Stephanie puts him not being in the Rumble on the fact that they have to look out for the safety of all the superstars. He calls bullshit and I’m loving this exchange. It’s like they read my Twitter timeline today. Daniel Bryan makes the ultimatum that he wants in the Chamber match for the WWE WHC. Triple H signals for the Shield who come down and work over Bryan. But out comes SHEAMUS! JOHN CENA is here too! They stand tall as the first segment comes to a close. Perfect. Hopefully this appeases some of those that have spit venom since the end of the Rumble last night. They know what they’re doing, just let it develop.
Back from break and Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara are in the ring. Their opponents, the Real Americans, make their way out. Match was moving along with Sin Cara in control and Zeb slaps Swagger to fire him up! It seems to have worked because he’s on tear now. Advantage doesn’t last though and the Real Americans seem to be a step behind Rey & Cara. 619 by Rey on Cesaro and Cara looks for the senton and this looks to be all but done. Cesaro moves though–Sin Cara springboards right into Swiss Death!!! Neutralizer by Antonio and the Real Americans pick up the win! Nice little matchup here.
Bad News Barrett is here as we come back from commercial. He runs down the match coming up between Dolph Ziggler & The Miz, as well as the city of Cleveland.
Preview of the Monday Night War show coming to the WWE Network.
Summer Rae is here with FAAAANNNNNDANNNNGOOOO!
He’s taking on R-Truth. Emma is in the crowd once again. A very ‘just there’ match that Truth wins with the Lie Detector.
Brad Maddox introduces the WWE World Champion Randy Orton. He gloats about beating Cena at the Rumble before he’s interrupted by Batista. Dave cuts a rather bland, cookie cutter promo about not caring who he faces at ‘Mania. All of a sudden, Brock Lesnar’s music hits! He & Paul Heyman are here and Paul has 2 options for Brad: give Brock his title shot or let him take on Batista to see who the true no.1 contender is! This is huge news for tonight’s show and definitely has my interest.
The ‘Battle of Cleveland’ now as The Miz takes on Dolph Ziggler. I love Ziggler but this was a match between two guys who are about as irrelevant as you can be during ‘Mania season. Either way, Ziggler at least picks up the win here in a decent 4 minute match.
Rybaxel in the ring as we come back and they’ll be taking on The Usos. Well, not quite as good as the tag match from earlier but not too bad. Axel & Ryback actually control most of this but Jimmy & Jet hit a pair of superkicks and a Superfly splash to win it. Time for them to get a run with the gold–they’re over with the crowd enough and getting the straps off of the Brotherhood opens the lane.
Kofi Kingston vs Alberto Del Rio is next. I made coffee and missed most of the first part of this. I did see Kofi smack his head off the mat after that enziguri. Back from break and Del Rio is still in control and hits a nice bridging German for 2. If this was a few months ago, Kofi would’ve tapped within 3 minutes. He fires back though and hits a series of moves, including the SOS for a near fall. A back breaker gets Del Rio the advantage again and he also hits a back stabber for 2. Del Rio up top but gets cut off, but Kofi finds himself caught up–hanging double foot stomp by Del Rio! A kick to the head and Del Rio gets the win. Nice action.
The Brotherhood gets their rematch for the tag titles against the New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg quotes Selena Gomez in the pre-match rituals. Cody & Goldust in control up until the commercial break where Billy gets the advantage for NAO. The Outlaws heat segment lasts only during the commercial as a Goldust powerslam swings the momentum back to the brothers. Cody in and he’s a house of fire. But here’s BROCK LESNAR and he lays out both Goldust & Cody Rhodes with F5’s before wearing both out with a chair!
AJ Lee/Tamina/Aksana/Alicia Fox vs The Bellas & The Funkadactyls is next. Why, I’m not sure. None of them get any reaction outside of AJ and even worse, Nikki Bella plays Ricky Morton in the match. Naomi comes in and man, she goes too quick. Anyhow the “rear view” gets Naomi a win over the divas champ.
Time to find out the next inductee into the Hall of Fame…JAKE ‘THE SNAKE’ ROBERTS!
Main event time and here comes John Cena! He’s followed by Sheamus and of course, Daniel Bryan. Match after the break…
Christian returns on SmackDown this week!
The Shield are here now and it’s go time. Rollins & Cena to start and then Reigns gets the tag to a good pop. Brief exchange and then Sheamus comes in. Bryan comes in next to square off with Ambrose but with Cena back in the Shield regain control as we go to break…
The Shield continue to beat down Cena. Cena finally hits an AA and tags in Bryan! Crowd has exploded! Buzzaw kicks on Rollins…Sheamus & Reigns in but a spear sends Sheamus out. Cena goes for the AA on Roman but he slides out and spears Cena! Turnbuckle bomb by Rollins on Bryan! Seth up top but misses a knee (?) and Bryan hits a release German! Bryan goes for the corner dropkick but misses. Rollins tries to take advantage but is caught in the Yes Lock! Ambrose breaks it up but eats a big brogue kick! Cena & Reigns get the hot tags and Cena locks on the STF but here’s the Wyatt Family! Justin Roberts announces that Cena, Sheamus & Bryan win by DQ to earn spots in the Elimination Chamber! The Shield loses it at ringside, the Wyatts look on from the ramp and the faces celebrate as we fade to black…
An odd edition of RAW. There was some good wrestling (main event, Real Americans vs Rey/Sin Cara), the Bryan/Authority interaction, Jake Roberts going in the HoF and the trigger getting pulled on Brock in the title picture. But something felt very…off. Not quite sure what though. All in all, I thought it was a decent RAW that could be the launching pad for some ‘Mania stories once we look back in a few months.