Posted February 24th, 2015 by jshannon

Westlemania is just five weeks away. Time to start placing the pieces for the “Big One”.

Roll the opening montage!

Welcome to Nashville, TN. I love that city. Spent many summers there as a child. Randy Orton came out to a massive pop. He’s got a cool new “Venom” shirt. Sunday night, Randy tore through The Authority forces like a warm knife through butter. Randy didn’t want to cut a long-winded promo (thank you) but he had something to get off his chest. Orton was unhappy that he has been on the shelf for four months, due to Seth Rollins’ actions. Video flashback. Randy has replayed that attack in his mind since it happened. Randy wants Seth Rollins and he ordered “The Future” to get his backside out to the ring.

Instead, he got Triple H, Stephanie, Kane and Big Show. Stephanie took the microphone and tried to keep her men calmed down. She welcomed Randy back to the WWE. Steph got a “Ran-Dy” chant going. Stephanie wanted Orton to be the Face of the WWE. Randy didn’t want to hear her baloney. Randy did not want to forgive Seth Rollins. He just wants to bash Seth’s head in. Stephanie explained that The Authority was ready to forgive and forget. Stephanie invited Randy to rejoin The Authority. Orton said “I would rather kick some *ss than kiss some *ss”. Big Show stepped up and tried to talk sense to Orton. Show said joining The Authority was the best personal choice that he has made. “You Sold Out!” rose from the crowd for Show. Show promised that rejoining The Authority was the best decision that Orton could make. Orton did not want to be a Sell Out. Stephanie told Orton that he was not a “good guy” and has never been one. The crowd screamed at Orton to hit an RKO. Stephanie shrieked about how Orton has attacked every member of her family (including her long-forgotten about brother, Shane). Stephanie proposed an Authority Summit, for later in the night. Orton did not answer. The Authority exited he ring and headed to the back. Randy stopped them, about half way up the ramp. Randy said he would attend the Summit.

Raw showed stills of Dean Ambrose vs Bad News Barrett. Dean got disqualified in a lame ref call. The crowd was ready to lynch the Zebra-in-Charge. After the match, Dean nailed Dirty Deeds and snatched up the Intercontinental title belt.

Bad News was on the stick and screamed for the return of his title belt. He was cut off by the arrival of Dolph Ziggler. R-Truth was at the announce table.

Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett
Non-Title Match

Collar and Elbow and the two jockeyed for position. Dolph worked over Barrett’s arm. Wade came back and clocked Dolph. Barrett ran Dolph into the corner Barrett with stomps and a Snap Suplex. 2 count. Seated Side Headlock by Barrett. Truth mentioned that he was scouting Barrett because he wanted a chance at the IC title. Heart Stopper Elbow Drop by Dolph. Barrett blocked a Float Over and kicked Dolph in the chest. 2 count. Barrett put Dolph on the top rope and pounded on the back and then hit a kick. 2 count, again. Bow and Arrow by Barrett. Dolph powered up but Barrett quickly put him down. Barrett stomped away and punched Dolph, over and over, in the face. Hammer Throw by Barrett brought a two count. Kneelifts and Whip by Barrett. Dolph held the ropes and then Dropkicked Barrett to the floor. Barrett had missed a Big Boot. Raw took a break.

Barrett had Ziggler trapped in a Side Headlock. Jawbreaker by Dolph to escape. Dolph nailed a Back Elbow and Corner Mount Punches. Barrett escaped the Funk Neckbreaker. Dolph countered Wasteland into a DDT. Barrett held the ropes to avoid the Zig Zag. Barrett dropped Dolph, hard, with a Powebomb and almost got the pin. Dolph ducked the Bull Hammer Elbowbut couldn’t connect with the Famouser. Winds of Change (Black Hole Slam) by Wade for a two count. Barrett stomped away in the corner. Dolph escaped Wasteland, a 2nd time, and hit Zig Zag.

Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Raw Ranking: 3.0 out of a possible 5

Dean Ambrose walked from the back, holding the Intercontinental title belt. Dean slid in the ring and taunted Barrett with the ivory strap. Dean then turned and stared down Dolph Ziggler. Dean with a Shoulder Bump to Dolph. Hmmm….. Dean then headed to the back, still carrying the title belt.

Sting vs HHH was highlighted. HHH jumped Sting and started after him with the sledge hammer. Sting came back with the Ebony Baseball Bat. Sting dropped HHH with the Scorpion Death Drop and made it clear that he wants to face HHH at Wrestlemania. Sting will get his chance to battle The Game at the Big One.

The Authority Summit:

Seth Rollins cut off Stephanie as she began to talk. He didn’t want Randy involved. Stephanie nearly bit Seth’s head off. Kane said Stephanie should reconsider this decision. She put Kane in his place and said they should all consider the Bigger Picture. Seth just wondered how they could trust Randy. Stephanie wanted to forgive Orton and move forward. Stephanie straight up asked Randy if he could be part of their group. Randy offered his hand to Seth as a sign of solidarity. Never Trust a Viper! Stephanie put Randy and Seth in a tag match against Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. Bad move, toots.

Raw ran another promo for Sheamus. He’s my early choice to take the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. They may change as we get closer to Mania.

Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) vs The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

The Ascension did an insert video about the Bushwackers going into the Hall of Fame. They had to talk trash about Butch and Luke. History lesson: Before they were the Bushwackers, Luke and Butch were the Sheepherders and those two would have eaten Viktor and Konnor alive. Check out some of the old Sheepherders stuff on Youtube and watch what true brutality can be. I’m just saying…

Young got taken to the Ascension corner and double teamed. European Uppercuts by Konnor. Tag to Viktor. Viktor hit a Snap Suplex after his own European Uppercut. Seated Side Headlock by Viktor. Darren Elbowed loose but Viktor clocked him and tagged in Konnor. Double team but only a two count. Darren fought out of the enemy corner but couldn’t reach his corner. Titus was knocked off the apron. Darren with punches and kicks. Darren with the Double Underhook Suplex. Darren’s Whip was reversed. Titus still hadn’t gotten into the ring. He did rush in to prevent the pin. A knee to the back sent Titus to the outside. Darren with a Small Package on Viktor!

Your Winners: The Prime Time Players
Raw Ranking: 2.0

The Ascension exacted their revenge with Fall of Man to Darren Young.

Roman Reigns will discuss his Fastlane win, next.

The Rock was at the Oscars, on Sunday, to deliver an award.

Roman Reigns came through the crowd to discuss his immediate future. I admit I was wrong in my pick in the match between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. Roman nailed a Spear to seal the deal and get a shot at Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Reigns acknowledged that he has had one “Hell of a Month”. He won the Royal Rumble and then went through Daniel Bryan to cement his spot at Mania. Roman knew a lot of people were supporting Daniel Bryan.

Daniel’s music hit and Bryan came from the back. Roman was not amused at the arrival of Daniel. Daniel stared holes in Roman but didn’t speak for a long time. Daniel came out to talk about the doubters. When Daniel mentioned that Roman won the Rumble, the fans booed. Daniel admitted that he felt like the fans and seriously wanted to boo Roman’s win. Daniel told Roman that Daniel Bryan was the biggest doubter of Roman Reigns. Daniel screamed about having the biggest heart in the company. Daniel said Daniel heart was why the fans liked him and disliked Roman. Daniel said he didn’t like Roman…until last night. Daniel gave his all at Fastlane and Roman was still able to overcome him. Daniel did not regret anything about his performance, last night. Roman proved to Daniel that he (Roman) had more heart than he could have ever thought possible. Daniel looked at Roman and said “Sir, you beat me”. Daniel honestly congratulated Roman for his win. So cool. Daniel was honored to team with Roman Reigns, tonight. Daniel asked Roman to go beat the crap out of Brock Lesanr at Wretlemania.

Paul Heyman then came out to continue this Hour Turner segment. Daniel walked right past Paul and went to the back. Paul then introduced himself to the crowd. Paul knew the fans were thinking that Heyman was there to cause trouble. He wasn’t. He congratulated Roman for his outstanding match at Fastlane. It was a great battle. Paul was not surprised that Roman earned his spot as the Number One Contender. Paul really piled it on thick in his praise for Reigns. Paul went all Brown Eyes in talking about how Reigns would have defeated all the past great champions, were Roman able to be there. Paul admitted he knew Roman Reigns was going to win the Rumble and then beat Daniel Bryan. Paul said Roman could beat any man in the business…except Brock Lesnar. Paul explained Brock wasn’t a man…he was a Beast. Paul warned Roman that Reigns could not “Slay my Beast”. Paul was certain that Brock would retain at Wrestlemania.

Roman asked Paul to come closer. Paul looked seriously nervous. Roman wanted Paul to tell him, again, that he could not beat Lesnar. Roman said his blood was boiling and he was ready to take down Lesnar and take his title. Roman said it wasn’t just about beating Brock but how he beat the Beast. “Believe That!”

Raw looked at how Tyson Kidd and Cesaro won the tag belts at Fastlane.

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs The Usos
Tag Team Title Rematch

Naomi and Natalya were both out with their respective teams. I’d so love to see a Tag Team version of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

Cesaro opened up with one of the Usos. Roll Up but Cesaro escaped and popped his foe. Kidd took the tag. Kidd with a Dropkick. The Usos took out the tag champs with a double team series. Kidd barely kicked out of a pin attempt. Kidd used Natalya as a Shield and then did the Cheap Shot. Cesaro nailed a European Uppercut and then went into the Seated Side Headlock. Jawbreaker to Cesaro and tags on both sides. Jey with kicks and punches to Kidd. Jey nailed a Headbutt but only got a two count. Kidd flipped Je out to the floor and then kicked Jimmy. Kidd went for a Cannonball off the apron but got slammed into the barricade. Cesaro also got laid out, with a Back Body Drop. Cesaro made the save when Jey went for a pin. Jey climbed up top and hit a Crossbody for a two. Break time.

Cesaro had Jey down and trapped in the Side Headlock. Jey was double teamed during the break. Springboard Savage Elbow failed as Jey got the knees up. Cesaro got the tag and kept Jimmy on the outside. Uppercut to the back of Jey’s head. Cesaro Sing with the Dropkick by Kidd. Jimmy made the save but ended up tossed out to the floor. Double Whip on Jey. Whip led to a European Uppercut by Cesaro. Punch by Cesaro and tag to Kidd. Superplex failed and Jey hit the Electric Chair. Tag to Jimmy who went for the pin. Kidd used the Springboard Savage Elbow to almost pin Jimmy. Kidd had made the tag moments earlier. Kidd missed a Springboard Legdrop and almost got pinned. Spinning Enziguri by Jimmy. Kidd slid out of the way of the Rikishi Run. Kidd tried to pin Jimmy with his feet on the ropes. Naomi pushed the legs off. Natalya came around and shoved down Naomi. Nattie pushed Jimmy off the top turnbuckle, causing the DQ. Naomi dropped Natalya and injured her ankle.

Your Winners (by Disqualification): The Usos
Raw Ranking: 3.0

Kidd and Cesaro retained the titles as the titles can’t change hands on a disqualification.

Raw was ready to examine the futures of Rusev and John Cena. First, Bray Wyatt was set to appear. He challenged Undertaker to fight/find him. They may well square off at Wrestlemania.

Backstage, Miz and Mizdow were having issues. Miz announced that he was going to be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Mizdow share his own news, that he was getting offers for other companies. Mizdow will be doing a commercial, soon. Miz blew it off and ordered Mizdow to lift brush him.

The announcers talked about Bray Wyatt doing the Undertaker entrance at Fastlane. It was just weird. Bray used the Druids, smoke, purple lights and organ music. A casket was brought out and Bray was inside. Bray then cut a promo about how The Undertaker used to make Bray tremble with fear. Bray wants to claim the soul of the Undertaker. Bray then cut a promo, standing next to a casket. Bray claimed he has stolen The Undertaker’s evilness and made it his own. “Find me!”

Star Dust vs Jack Swagger

Star kicked and punched away at Jack. Corner Stomps by Star. Star ran Jack into the corner and Headbutted his foe. Punches and kicks by Star. Jack came back with hard punches. Outer Galaxy Kick by Star. The “Cody” chant rose from the crowd. Star countered the Swagger Bomb and went for a Springboard Tornado DDT. Jack blocked it and applied the Ankle Lock. Star snapped Jack’s neck over the top rope.

Goldust came out to distract his brother. Jack with the Patriot Lock and Star Dust tapped out at warp speed.

Your Winner (by Submission): Star Dust
Raw Ranking: 1.0

Goldust walked back and forth as the fans yelled out “Cody”. Star really lost it at the sound of his given name.

The announcers talked about the John Cena vs Rusev match. Cena passed out after being kicked between the legs and then in the head. Rusev put Cena in the Accolade but John was out before the move was applied.

After a break, John Cena came out to discuss what happened, on Sunday. Cena began talking about the match and admitted that he lost but it was close. John talked about how the match went back and forth. John did break the Accolade, at first. Cena knew Rusev let him go to kick him low. John didn’t have a problem with losing but he still had a problem with Rusev. John said Rusev only proved himself a coward at Fastlane.

That brought out Rusev and Lana. She mocked John with “We Told You So”. Lana then told the fans to shut up. Lana accused John of failing when he gave up to the superior human being known as Rusev. Lana knew that John was trying to justify his failures while Rusev was getting praise from so many, including Putin. That began a “USA” chant. Rusev took the stick and said he was no coward. Rusev simply broke John Cena. Rusev insulted the US by calling it a “Stupid Country”.Rusev wanted Cena to admit that John was beneath Rusev. John only agreed to admit that he would kick Rusev’s butt if he kept insulting the USA. Lana reminded Cena that he gave up and John’s entire life was a lie. She showed stills of John’s unconscious body on the canvas. John corrected her that a failure would have been if he did not get up. John wanted another shot at Rusev, at Wrestlemania. Rusev did not feel that John Cena was worthy. Rusev declined the rematch. The Russian Flag unfurled from the ceiling as a symbolic slap in John Cena’s face.

Raw looked back at the Authority Summit. Yawn. Randy wanted to talk with Seth without Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble there. Randy countered Seth’s claim that Orton hated him. Randy just wanted to be on the same page. Randy would not forget what Seth pulled on him. Randy explained that everyone was lucky that he (Randy) wasn’t in the Royal Rumble, earlier this year. Randy said they were going to do this…by any means necessary.

Paige strolled down to the ring for a tag team match. Raw took a quick break first.

Before the Divas match, Raw ran a really great piece about Sting.

Paige and Emma vs Nikki and Brie Bella

Paige seemed annoyed by Emma. Paige tried to run at the Bellas but Emma and the ref held her bck. Emma began the match against Brie. Brie knocked Paige off the apron. Brie with Brie Mode on Emma to get the win.

Your Winners: The Bella Twins
Raw Ranking: .25

Nikki took out Paige and said never to touch her sister. That was a serious waste of TV time.

Michael Cole sent it to the video package about The Bushwackers, the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame! I’ve met Luke and he is just the best. He has a wicked sense of humor and really appreciates the fans. I sat next right across from Luke at Wrestlecon, last year. Heard so many fun stories as Luke talked with the fans.

Curtis Axel was in the ring to claim he was still in the Royal Rumble (29 Days, 37 minutes and 17 seconds). Whatever. Axel put himself in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal because no one can stop #Axelmania. Ryback came out to talk with his old tag partner.

Ryback grabbed the microphone and told Axel to shut his mouth. Ryback said their tag team was one of the best of all time. Ryback told everyone that he was also going to be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Ryback was ready to stomp Axel.

Curtis Axel vs Ryback

Axel jumped on Ryback and screamed at his old partner. Clothesline by Ryback. Shell Shocked

Your Winner: Ryback
Raw Ranking: 1.0

Seth Rollins and Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan

Seth is involved in a War of Words with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. Chris Jericho vs Mickey Rourke, revisited.

Seth introduced a member of “His Family”, Randy Orton. J and J Security applauded Seth’s teammate of the night. Daniel and Seth started, after a quick commercial break. Daniel with the Hammerlock. She Elbowed free and Daniel hit a Kitchen Sink. Daniel put Seth in the Surfboard. Tag to Roman. Roman slammed Seth’s face to the canvas. Orton got the tag on the other side. Collar and Elbow into a Roman Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Roman. Universal stopped when Randy hit a Dropkick. Laces Run by Randy into a hard Whip. Tag to Daniel.

Bryan with an Ax Bomber to Randy’s shoulder. Daniel popped the arm over his shoulder but Randy with the Twisted Sister Backbreaker. Randy Front Drop Suplexed Daniel over the top rope. Tag to Seth. Seth punched away but Daniel gave back as much as he received. Daniel flipped Seth to the outside. Randy pulled Seth out of the path of a Suicide Dive. Raw went to break.

Randy stomped away at Roman as the show returned. Orton Stomp to Reigns’ legs. Randy choked Roman on the middle rope. Roman popped Seth but Randy nailed European Uppercuts. Roman battled back and sent Randy into the corner. Orton exploded out of the corner with a Clothesline. Tag to Seth. Rear Chin Lock by Rollins. Roman punched away at Seth’s ribs. Tilt-a-Whirl Powerslam by Roman.Tag to Daniel Bryan. Daniel Dropkicked Randy off he apron and then took the fight to Seth. Flying Clothesline by Daniel. Daniel with several kicks but Seth rolled him up. Daniel trapped Seth in the Crippler Crossface but Rand got involved. Roman attacked Randy and then Seth took out Roman. Daniel threw Seth out of the ring and nailed the Suicide Dive. J and J Security distracted the ref. Seth took advantage. Daniel kicked out at two. European Uppercuts by Randy Orton to Daniel. Randy sent Daniel into the corner and then put him on the top turnbuckle. Big Show and Kane urged Randy to finish off Daniel. Bryan fought back and sent Randy off the ropes after a pair of Headbutts. Daniel missed the Benoit Diving Headbutt. Both men crawled towards their corners and both made tags.

Flying Clothesline by Roman. Corner Clotheslines that took Seth off his feet. Roman hit 10 of them as the fans chanted along. Flapjack by Roman. Superman Punch to Mercury. Enziguri by Seth. Randy got the tag and the two men unloaded with Haymakers. Snap Powerslam by Randy. Randy got Roman in the ropes but Seth took the tag. Randy hit the Rope Assisted DDT and yelled “Screw This”. He left the apron. Seth wanted the Curb Stomp but took the Superman Punch. Tag by Daniel Bryan. Flying Knee by Daniel for the 3.

Your Winners: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns
Raw Ranking: 3.5

Randy was irate that they lost. The fans screamed for an RKO. Randy slithered back in the ring and waited on his partner to rise. Big Show yelled at Randy that he did not want to do this. Randy took out Noble with the RKO. Randy lifted Seth and stared him down. He slapped Eth on the shoulder and left he ring. Huh?

What a weird ending.


–Jay Shannon

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