by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)
*All video below from WWE’s YouTube channel*
*Header/cover image via wwe.com*
John Cena promo time!
What’s this? A crowd that is cheering for Cena over his opponent?! It’s certainly an interesting sight, that’s for sure. Maybe a little reshuffling for Cena is what the doctor ordered. He’s at a point where he doesn’t need to be the “man” but he’s still clearly the top draw. It’ll be interesting to see how things go for John in this stage of his career…as for the Rusev feud, the last few weeks have gotten me ready for the match at Fast Lane, which is all I can really ask for.
Dean Ambrose does a little backstage gimmick, playing the part of a news reporter. He says that there’s some breaking news and Bad News Barrett will be signing a contract to defend the Intercontinental title against him at Fast Lane.
Luke Harper is in the ring as we come back from commercial. Dean Ambrose brings the contract out that he says BNB will sign one way or another tonight. After some early back & forth, Ambrose takes full control of the match. This was looking kinda squashy until a suicide dive to the outside was countered by Harper and his big boot. Luke’s in control as we go to break…
…back to action, and Harper is in control with a reverse chinlock. Ambrose bites his fingers to break the hold before sending Harper outside. Harper back in quickly and charges Dean in the corner but he eats a double kick the the face…tornado DDT and both men are down! Ambrose continues the attack and hits a flying elbow drop on a standing Harper for 2! Back up top but Luke is up too…BIG super kick by Harper gets a near fall! Both men trading shots–Dean’s jawbreaker lariat attempt countered by a black hole slam for 2! Big right hand by Harper is followed by a jawbreaker lariat by Amborse…Dirty Deeds by Ambrose and that gets the win!
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via pinfall
Backstage, Triple H is in the middle of a Kane/Big Show argument. Meh.
Bray Wyatt talks to The Undertaker (probably).
The Dust Brothers are backstage when the bull of the woods, Dusty Rhodes, shows up. He implores them to stand together in their match tonight.
Stardust & Goldust vs Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston is up next. The brothers working well together but Goldie misses a dropkick and Woods hits him with an enziguri. Kofi in now and he’s the proverbial house of fire. Springboard crossbody gets 2. Woods back in now but he’s dispatched by Stardust. Goldust holds Kofi while Stardust goes for the Beautiful Disaster kick (or whatever it’s called now). Kofi ducks and Stardust stops before nailing his brother but the miscommunication allows Kofi to get the pin.
WINNERS: Kofi & Xavier via pinfall
Post-match, the long awaited (?) Stardust turn finally happens as he hits Goldust with Cross Rhodes. Do they stretch this out to ‘Mania or have it go down at Fast Lane?
Backstage, Roman Reigns says things to Byron Saxton.
YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan makes his way out to ringside for the next match–Roman Reigns vs Kane is up next!
As we come back from break, they show an “app exclusive” of Stardust and Dusty Rhodes backstage. That 90 seconds was the most I’ve ever enjoyed the Stardust character…the character finally explained why Cody became Stardust and that’s really all I’ve ever wanted to know.
Roman Reigns & Kane are next and I just…yeah. Nothing about a Kane match in 2015 is going to keep my interest right now. Reigns gets an advantage but Daniel Bryan starts a “YES!” chant to lead to a distraction and Kane rams him into the second turnbuckle. Other things happened, and the action spills outside. Kane preps the announce table for a chokeslam but Reigns counters with a spear before claiming the count out victory.
WINNER: Roman Reigns via countout
Afterwards, Bryan leads the crowd in one last “YES!” chant.
Bray Wyatt is back, once again calling out (presumably) a certain dead man.
Byron Saxton is by the Divas locker room, looking to interview Paige. The Bellas emerge with her gear in hand, however and we get this:
Summer Rae is in the ring as we come back from break. Her opponent is Paige, who’s donning a borrowed outfit from one of the Rosebuds:
Summer tries and make jokes at Paige’s expense, but that doesn’t work too well. Paige works over Summer until she counters with a spinning kick. She has the advantage for a brief moment, but Paige storms back and locks in the PTO for the win!
WINNER: Paige via submission
Nikki Bella and Paige exchange words after the match. Paige says she’ll look even better with the Divas title after she wins it at Fast Lane.
Sheamus return promo video. Meh.
Seth Rollins makes his way out next. He reminds us that it’s Presidents Day and says some other things. His opponent, Dolph Ziggler, comes out and they trade barbs. Ziggler attacks first and sends Seth running as we head to commercial…
…Rollins is actually in control as we come back. He sends Ziggy outside and J&J Security try and interfere. They get tossed for their troubles and Rollins rolls Dolph back in. Quick small package by Dolph gets 2 but Rollins quickly regains control. Jawbreaker by Dolph gets him the advantage again, and he follows with a Stinger splash. Elbow drop gets 2. Famouser attempt countered into a power bomb attempt, but Dolph gets a sunset flip for 2. DAT DDT gets a near fall! Zig Zag attempt blocked–spinning enziguri blasts Ziggler and gets a near fall! Seth heads up top, Dolph tries and cuts him off but gets pushed off. Flying knee attempt but Dolph moves. Another Famouser attempt but Seth gets a super kick to the knees of Dolph. Curb Stomp attempt misses–Zig Zag by Dolph! 1–2–and J&J are back to break up the pin and get Seth DQ’ed.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via DQ
Ryback and Erick Rowan come out to even the score post-match. They best the heels and stand talk as we head back to break…
This Sunday, Paul Heyman will be the guest on Miz TV during the Fast Lane kickoff show.
Triple H is on his way out to address the Sting situation. They show the recap video of everything that’s transpired so far between the 2 and as H is getting into his promo, Ric Flair makes his way out! He and The Game go back & forth on Sting and it ends with H shoving ‘The Nature Boy’ to the mat, vowing that after Fast Lane Sting won’t show his face in the WWE again.
Darren Young and some guy are in the ring awaiting the arrival of The Ascension. Isn’t this Darren’s ‘official’ return? The Ascension just manhandle both Young and his partner until TITUS O’NEIL comes out to help D-Young and we get the PTP REUNION!!! URAHURAHURAH!!!
Seriously, I might be the only one excited about that last segment but fuck it…
The Miz & Damien Mizdow make their way out, as Mizdow will be taking on Bad News Barrett. Mizdow was able to get the advantage on the IC champ but Miz distracted him every single time, and BNB hits the Bullhammer for the win.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via pinfall
Post-match, Dean Ambrose attacks and zip ties BNB to the ring post. He grabs his contract from earlier and a pen and forces Barrett to sign the contract. We’ve got an IC title match set for Fast Lane!
Bray Wyatt looks to be constructing a casket. “Find me…or I’ll find you.” These promos leading to ‘Mania are gonna be good.
Another Sheamus promo.
The Usos & Naomi are out next, as Jimmy & Naomi are set to take on Tyson Kidd & Natalya. They, of course, are flanked by Cesaro. Jimmy tries to mix it up with Kidd but Tyson tags in Nattie. She & Naomi trade holds before the guys mix it up. Kidd slaps Jimmy and quickly tags in Nattie. Natalya is able to gain an advantage and asks Kidd if he wants in. He declines and Nattie goes for the Sharpshooter but it’s countered. The ladies exchange roll ups with Naomi gaining the ultimate advantage and securing the win.
WINNERS: Naomi & Jimmy Uso via pinfall
It’s almost time for the main event, but Roman Reigns is coming out to scout his Fast Lane opponent as we go to break…
…Daniel Bryan & The Big Show main event this week’s RAW. Both guys trade shots to start off and Bryan looks to target the leg of Show. Big Show counters by using his strength and Roman seems to be enjoying it. Gorilla press countered into a sleeper by Bryan while Roman gets up and signs autographs & takes selfies with fans at ringside. Show is able to regain control with a bear hug , but Bryan looks to lock in a guillotine. He pulls Show outside while Reigns tosses shirts into the crowd! Bryan looks for the suicide dive but he’s caught by Show. He tries to ram Bryan into the ring post but Bryan escapes. Show tosses Bryan into Roman and then Show spears Reigns. Back in the ring, Bryan is on fire and is able to get the Yes Lock on Show. Show gets to the ropes but Bryan unleashes those seated side kicks. Bryan heads up top but Roman comes in and drills Show with a Superman punch!
WINNER: Big Show via DQ
Bryan hits a top rope dropkick on Roman and they absolutely go at it after the match is over. A group of refs try and break it up but to no avail. Bryan sends Roman back out with a dropkick before hitting a dive! The fights spills out into the crowd. Bryan gets a chair shot but Roman counters back with a nasty forearm shot. They continue to brawl and more agents make their way out as we close the show…
A pretty solid edition of RAW as we head into Fast Lane on Sunday. They’ve done a good job with the build to Reigns/Bryan and tonight’s close was well done. Thinking about it now, this show did quite a bit to get me more interested in Fast Lane this Sunday. Some interesting things happening in the undercard, some much needed tension in the main event and the PRIME TIME PLAYERS! Thumbs up this week.