Posted February 9th, 2016 by jshannon

The Twitter-Sphere is all a buzz about Daniel Bryan’s retirement from the ring. Social Media is about to explode with the debate of “Is it a Work or a Shoot?” Tonight, we should find out. Plus, we are well on our way to Fastlane.

Hope everyone (who is interested) enjoyed the Super Bowl. I got my two wishes: `1. It was a good game and 2. No one got seriously injured. By the way, congrats to Denver for their win. Being that Dianna was born and raised in Colorado, the blue and orange was in full force at the Shannon house. Smile.

The show began with a touching video tribute to the great Daniel Bryan aka Bryan Danielson. I know WWE will never give his given name but I honor the man for his entire career, not just his WWE time. Smile.

Roll the opening montage.

Welcome to Seattle, Washington. I have a few good friends that call that area home.

Lilian Garcia introduced Stephanie McMahon. There was a table set up, in the ring. Contract Signing Time? Yep, it’s for the main event of Fastlane. We know these things just never go right. The fans shouted her down with chants for “Daniel Bryan”. Stephanie hushed up to show the proper respect. She then insulted the fans. Steph pushed her hubby, HHH. Stephanie pushed the Lunatic Fringe vs the Roman Empire vs the Beast Incarnate (Dean vs Roman vs Brock). She was cut off by the arrival of Dean Ambrose. He stormed down the ramp, clutching the ivory Intercontinental title belt. Stephanie let Dean know he was early. He wanted to get this over and start kicking Brock’s butt. Stephanie swore there would be no physicality.

Roman Reigns then made his entrance-Roman wanted to get on with the signing. Roman said let’s sign and then punch it out. Stephanie tried to drive a wedge between Roman and Dean but it didn’t’ work. She then called out Brock Lesnar.

Brock came out with Paul Heyman. One of these days, I want the honor of meeting Paul and shaking his hand and thanking him for being Paul. Maybe in Dallas. More on that in a bit.

The fans broke out the “Suplex City” chant. Paul started to do his typical intro but Stephanie cut him off. She wanted to get this over with. Dean signed. Roman signed. Brock signed. Stephanie quickly left the ring. Paul told Dean to ask Big Brother Samoan Bad *ss what the difference a beat down was between The Authority and Brock Lesnar. Brock chuckled at Roman and Dean. Dean came around the table and got up in Brock’s face. Brock threw Dean across the table. He smashed Roman with the table and then laid out Dean with the F5.

Suddenly, Triple H walked out onto the stage. It was a definite Mexican Standoff. The announcers took over and discussed what just happened. Found out that I will have to catch the replay of Fastlane (working during the live event). Michael Cole discussed Bryan’s retirement announcement. The announcers paid their respects to Bryan.

Daniel Bryan Highlight #1

Daniel vs Chris Jericho from 2010. Daniel was on NXT, at the time. Daniel tapped out to Jericho, on that occasion.

Dean was fuming, backstage. Dean swore to God that he would get Brock, tonight. Roman nodded in agreement.

Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler

Kevin dropped Dolph with a Clothesline. He threw Dolph into the corner and hit the Cannonball. 2 count. Kevin worked over Dolph with a clubbing Forearm. Kevin taunted Dolph and yelled at Michael Cole. Kevin kicked the ribs of his foe and stood on his chest. Dolph with a surprise Roll Up for two. Kevin bashed Dolph. Straight fist to Dolph’s face. Hard Whip by Kevin, which caused Dolph to collapse. 2 count.

Scoop Slam was converted into a Dolph Sleeper. Kevin backed Dolph into the corner, multiple times, but Dolph would not let go. Kevin took both of them through the ropes and Raw went to break.

Kevin was in complete control with a Side Headlock. Dolph rolled around to get to his feet. Jawbreaker by the Show off. Kevin nailed a Clothesline. Backsplash Senton by the big Canadian. 2 count. Dolph popped Kevin in the face and Owens hit back. Kevin charged and hit the corner post. Dolph hit a pair of Flying Clotheslines and a Swinging Neckbreaker. Heart Stopper Elbow by Dolph but he only got a two. Superkick by Owens but he couldn’t get the 2. Dolph went for his own Superkick byt Owens rolled up Dolph for a two. Flying DDT by Dolph and Kevin rolled under the ropes. Dolph slinked around the ring to hit a Famouser, off the apron. Dolph clutched his shoulder in agony. The ref kept counting both men. Both men slid back in, just before the 10 count.

Dolph missed a Corner Splash. Dolph avoided the Cannonball and then used the ropes to help pin Kevin. What the heck?

Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Raw Ranking: 2.5 out of a possible 5

Kevin had an absolute fit after the match. He destroyed everything in sight.

Seeing Kevin Owens takes me back, a couple of years, to New Orleans. Got to talk with him, for a moment, at Wrestlecon. I’ll be in Dallas on April 1st and 2nd for this year’s great Wrestlecon event. It is going to be at the Hyatt Regency—Dallas (formerly known as Reunion Tower). I’ll be sitting with Greg Valentine, Tito Santana and Evan Ginzburg (Associate Producer of “The Wrestler”). Plus, our own Bill Apter will be there, as well. You can go to www.wrestlecon.com to get a full list of all the great guests. You can also check out www.RivalryChampionshipWrestling.com to learn more about the appearances by Greg, Tito and Evan.

Daniel Bryan Highlights #2

Daniel Bryan vs The Miz for the US Title. Miz tapped out and Daniel became US Champ.

The Dudley Boyz came in to chat with the Usos. D’Von explained that THEY should be facing New Day in a Tables Match, not the Usos. Bubba Ray suggested that Usos and Dudleys should team up to face the New Day. The Usos were cool with that.

Cole sent it to a video package about Ryback. He will battle Bray Wyatt, later tonight. Glad to see Bray back. His grandpa, Blackjack Mulligan, must be doing better…I hope and pray.

Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs Alicia Fox
Non-Title Match

The two women circled each other. Collar and Elbow into a Charlotte Side Headlock. Universal into Charlotte hitting a Superkick. Ric Woo’d from the floor. Go Behind by Fox. Fox blocked the Figure Eight. Brie Bella will challenge Charlotte, at Fastlane. Charlotte kicked out of a Northern Lights Bridge Suplex. Charlotte dropped Foxy on the back of her neck. Fox hit a nice Sunset Flip out of the corner. Two count.

Charlotte rammed Fox’s face into the canvas. Cravat by Charlotte. Fox worked Charlotte’s ribs but Mz. Flair threw Fox down, hard. Head Scissors Push Downs by Charlotte. Charlotte locked in a Head Scissors. Fox bridged back to almost pin Charlotte. Charlotte with her Leg Scissors Flips. Fox got loose and hit a series of Dropkicks and a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker. Charlotte with her Rolling Neckbreaker. Fox rolled up Charlotte, but only got a two. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight. It was all said and done.

Your Winner (by Submission): Charlotte
Raw Ranking: 2.75

MizTV vs Highlight Reel

Miz was grumbling about A.J. Styles when Y2J joined the party. Jericho quickly took over the segment. Jericho mocked Miz for losing to A.J. Styles. Chris had them roll the clip where Styles just kicked the daylights out of Miz. Miz actually lost a tooth, during the battle. “You Look Stupid” rose from the crowd. Miz grumbled about having to spend $20,000 to have his dental work done. Chris laughed at Miz’s misery. Jericho started singing “All I want for Christmas is my front two teeth”. The crowd knew the song and sang along. The fans thought all this was funny. Miz promised he could be louder than the entire crowd. Miz reminded Jericho that Chris was the first to lose to Styles. Miz had the Monkeys roll the tape. Miz mocked Jericho for losing to a “small fish”. Jericho admitted that the loss was eating him alive. The fans began to chant for “A.J. Styles”. Jericho questioned if Styles was great or only good. Jericho wanted a rematch with Styles. Chris explained that he would get Styles on Smackdown.

That brought out Styles. Miz jumped Jericho, as Styles came from the back. Styles came in and laid out Miz. Jericho and Styles worked together to take out Miz. Jericho then shoved Styles. Face to Face Stare Down. The two then started slugging it out. Miz pulled Jericho out of the ring. Chris pitched Miz over the announce table. Chris backed down from A.J..

Bray Wyatt vs Ryback

Raw showed how the Wyatt Family recently annihilated Kane. The entire Wyatt Family stood in the ring as Ryback entered the arena. Ryback laid out Bray with a Shoulder Tackle and Slam. Braun, Luke and Erick stood and watched. Ryback went up top but stopped. Ryback was dropped, on the floor. Raw went to break.

Ryback blasted Bray but fell to a huge Clothesline. Bray charged but hit the post. Running High Knees by Ryback. Corner Shoulders by The Big Guy. Bray reversed Whip but Ryback with a Float Over and Flying Crossbody. Spinebuster by Ryback, but it only brought a two. Ryback called for the Meat Hook Clothesline. Instead, Bray came out of nowhere with Sister Abigail.

Your Winner: Bray Wyatt
Raw Ranking: 3.0 (extra points for that great reversal, at the end)

Bray called in the troops to finish off Ryback. Ryback tried to fight back but he was completely outnumbered. Erick hit a Full Nelson Bomb. Discus Clothesline by Luke. Braun tossed Ryback out to the floor and then whipped him into the apron and ring steps. The Wyatt Family carried Ryback over and put him in Bray’s hands. Wyatt hit another Sister Abigail. Bray screamed at the crowd and at Ryback. Bray said everyone should pray for mercy…that would never come.

Daniel Bryan Highlights #3

The relationship between Kane and Daniel was profiled.

New Day sang, very badly, about “working on the tables”. They were interrupted by Renee Young. She asked them if they had a partner for the 8-man match. They didn’t, yet. Maybe Francesca (the trombone) would be the 4th member of the team? I’ve seen sillier stuff over the last 5 decades.

Elsewhere, Roman and Dean talked. Both of them wanted to beat the stuffing out of Brock Lesnar. Dean wanted to do this, alone. Roman reluctantly agreed.

Titus O’Neil vs Adam Rose

The entire Social Outcast faction came from the back. Social Outcast rambled on with ridiculous rants. Rose is now the “Radical Mongoose”. Sigh.

Rose popped Titus and slapped him. Bad move, Skippy. Titus threw Rose across the ring. Titus slapped the chest. Rose dodged a charge and hit a Dropkick. Only a 1 count. Rose bashed the neck and Chop Blocked the leg. Crescent Kick to Titus’ face, but O’Neil still got free of the pin. Sleeper by Rose. Titus Elbowed free. Rose kicked Titus in the back and then posed. Titus blocked a Whip, twice. Titus then launched Rose with an Arm Drag. Shoulder Tackles by Titus. Rose kicked Titus in the face. Sidebreakers by Titus. The Social Outcasts pulled Rose to the outside. Titus just took them all out. Rose rolled up the distracted Titus to get the win. After the cheap win, Titus sent Rose sailing over the top with a La Bandera Clothesline.

Your Winner: Adam “Radical Mongoose” Rose
Raw Ranking: 1.75

Daniel Bryan Highlights #4:

Bryan vs John Cena for the World Title. Daniel hit he Knee Trembler to become the World Champion.

As we prepare for the Tables Match, I want to say my good-byes to Axl Rotten. We lost this great wrestler and coach, last week. He helped train one of my best friends and gave him a start. Thank you, Axl. God Bless and Rest in Peace.

It was time for another Black History Month tribute segment. JBL briefly discussed his long-time friend, Ron Simmons.

Dean Ambrose walked, with purpose, to the ring. Dean seriously called out Brock Lesnar. Dean made fun of Brock’s F5 finisher. Dean kept poking Brock with a verbal Big Stick. Dean told Brock to bring it and put some stink on it. Dean accused Brock of going soft when Lesnar didn’t immediately come out. Dean turned his back in a show of utter disrespect. Dean said Paul E didn’t give Brock permission to come out. He accused Paul of holding Dean’s b*lls. That was all it took.

Brock slowly walked from the back. He seemed amused by all this. Dean rushed out and tore into Brock. Lesnar drove Dean into the apron, over and over. Knee Strikes by Brock. Dean was thrown into the barricade. Dean tossed Dean up into the ring. Clothesline by Brock. Dean still got up and stood up to Brock. He didn’t stand long, as Brock Clotheslined him, again. Dean crawled towards Brock. F5! Dean stayed down, this time. Dean began to stir and he urged Brock to come back and keep fighting.

Roman Reigns couldn’t’ stand to watch anymore. He walked onto the stage. Dean nailed a nasty Low Blow to The Beast. Dean bailed out and walked towards his “Brother”. Roman checked on Dean, who was holding his ribs.

The Lucha Dragons vs Rusev and Alberto Del Rio

Alberto will face Kalisto, at Fastlane, for the United States title.

Nice to see Sin Cara back. He hurt his shoulder, a few weeks back. Rusev opened against Sin Cara. Roll Up by Cara for a two. Sin kicked away and hit a Springboard Inverted DDT. Nice. Springboard Sunset Flip but Del Rio made the tag. Del Rio kicked Sin Cara in the face and then worked him over. Rusev tagged back in and came off the ropes to stomp away at Sin Cara’s chest. 2 count.

Michael Cole brought up Rey Mystero, Jr. (who just made his debut, last week, on Lucha Underground). Rusev hit a wicked Crescent Kick that almost knocked out the masked man. Tag back to Del Rio. Ax Bomber by the Mexican star. 2 count.

Rear Chin Lock by Del Rio. Release German by Del Rio for another two. Del Rio chased Kalisto off the apron. Rusev took the tag and hit Running Elbow Drops. Sin Cara reversed a Suplex into a DDT. Kalisto was itching for the fight.

Tags on both sides. Kalisto rocked Del Rio with a hard kick and Dropping the Dime. Corkscrew Springboard Plancha and Hurancanrana DDT. Rusev made the save. Kalisto set for his finisher but Del Rio placed him on the ropes. Kalisto fought out of a bad situation. Step Up Enziguri by Del Rio. Sin Cara had taken out Rusev. Del Rio put Kalist o in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Corner Double Stomp for the three.

Your Winners: Alberto Del Rio and Rusev
Raw Ranking: 2.25

R-Truth was at the Jimi Hendrix Museum. Goldust did a really silly Hendrix impression. Goldy was grabbed by security when he busted up a guitar. (shakes head in total confusion)

Sasha Banks came out to watch the next match.

Daniel Bryan Highlights #5

The Yes Movement’s Occupation of Raw was shown. That was such a great segment, if not a little too long. Smile.

Finisher Flashback Moment: Sasha Banks attacked by Naomi and Tamina, last week. Becky Lynch came to Sasha’s aid. Becky and Sasha had been battling, just before Naomi and Tamina’s attack.

Becky Lynch vs Tamina

Becky and Sasha will team up to face Naomi and Tamina, at Fastlane.

Becky tookt he Side Headlock. Tamina hit a Shoulder Tackle. Bridge Out and Dropkick by Becky. Becky unloaded on Tamina with kicks and punches. Becky jumped on Tamina’s back and cinched in a Sleeper. Tamina backed into the corner. Tamina missed a Corner Splash. Naomi tried to get involved. The distraction allowed Tamina to take down Becky. Tamina choked Becky on the ropes and Naomi nailed a Cheap Shot.

Tamina dropped Beck. 2 count. Cravat by Tamina. Jumping Headbutt by Tamina. Tamina yelled at Sasha. That brought The Boss to her feet. Naomi came around and drilled Sasha. Naomi threw Sasha into the steps. Heel Kick by Becky. Becky came out and tore Naomi a new one. Lassplex by Becky. Lynch slid back in the ring and took a Superkick to the face.

Your Winner: Tamina
Raw Ranking: 1.5

New Day talked with a potential partner. They highly praised the mystery person. It turned out to be…Mark Henry. They gave him a unicorn horn to wear and even let him play Francesca. He wasn’t horrible, but not great. They taught Mark to dance like they do.

Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Bubba Ray Dudley and D’Von Dudley vs Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Mark Henry
8-Man Tag Team Tables Match

New Day did a quick promo before introducing their partner…The World’s Strongest Unicorn. Mark came out dancing. My Eyes! My Poor Eyes! Lilian almost lost it when she introduced the “Slammy” award winning tag team of The Usos. Last week, she gave Jimmy and Jey Grammys. Smile.

The fight got going, fast and furious. Mark was Quadruple teamed. Uso Crazy to take out the regular Trio of New Day. The fans began to scream for tables. Raw went to break.

The heels were in control, as the show returned. Mark laid out one of the Usos with a World’s Strongest Slam. He then used a Headbutt to drop Bubba Ray. New Day ticked off mark Henry, who walked out of the match. Double Wazzup! Massive “Get the Tables” chant, led by Bubba Ray. D’Von fetched the table but took a kick to the face. Belly to Belly by Big E. Double Superkick to Big E. Double Superkicks to Woods. And Kofi. Table was set and the Usos got ready to take out Woods. Big E saved Woods. The Dudleys put Big E through the table with the 3D!

Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz and the Usos
Raw Ranking: 2.0

Jey Uso seemed to be injured, after the match. The Dudleys attacked the Usos. They 3D’d Jimmy through a table. D’Von got another table and they beat down Jey. The E=C-Dub chant got rolling. Bubba Powerbomb to put Jey through the table. Hell, Yeah! We get the REAL Dudleyz back!

A very touching Daniel Bryan tribute video played. If this is the final night of his in-ring career, all I can say is a heart-felt “Thank You”. He is an inspiration to all of us who were told that we wouldn’t be able to be as good as some of the others around us. Daniel has had an amazing career. He has a lovely wife and (possibly soon) a growing family. He touched a lot of hearts, over the years.


Daniel Bryan Farewell Speech

Get the Kleenex ready, this is going to be emotional. Lilian Garcia did the introductions. The crowd went absolutely nuts for their local hero. Bryan was so fighting back the tears as he soaked in the love of the Washington fans. Bryan said he could close his eyes and feel the love. He explained it was time to address the Giant Elephant in the Room. The fans didn’t want him to go. Daniel joked about trimming his beard and cutting his hair. He pushed Wigs for Kids, which is why he cut his hair and beard. It is an organization that makes wigs for kids with cancer. The families never have to pay for the wigs.

Bryan moved on to something less fun to talk about. “No!” rang out from the Seattle crowd. Bryan admitted he didn’t want to do this but he has been wrestling since the age of 18. Bryan mentioned having multiple concussions. After 16 years, the concussions had added up to a significant number. Bryan was advised not to risk any more concussions. Bryan explained that all the previous brain scans said he was fine. Bryan mentioned loving wrestling more than just about anything in the world. “Thank You Daniel” rose from the crowd.

Thank you, WWE, for letting this run long. Bryan’s most recent tests have shown some abnormalities and he had to consider his wife and future family. The fans got a “That’s what SHE said” chant going that had everyone laughing. Bryan then officially announced his retirement from professional wrestling. Bryan was so proud of getting to live his dream for close to 16 years. Bryan showed love for the Seahawks (football team). Bryan also loved the sound just before his music hits that brings the crowd to life. Bryan also loved to hit the ropes and diving into the middle of the ring. It made him feel like Superman. Another thing that he loved was working in parking lots and in massive stadiums. He also loves meeting so many good people. He mentioned Kane, William Regal (someone else that should be in the Hall of Fame). He brought up Conner. Bryan was so grateful for everything that wrestling has given him. Bryan explained that they do this for the love of the business. Bryan loved how the fans got behind him. Bryan talked about how the Seattle fans helped to hijack Raw. Smile. Bryan broke down as he talked about his dad being in the audience, that night. It was the final time that Bryan’s dad got to see him wrestle and the fans made it extra special. Bryan brought up his wonderful wife, Brie. Wrestling brought them together. Bryan pointed out the members of his family, who were at ringside. “I Am Grateful” was his comment to one and all.

Bryan mentioned starting a new life where he was not a wrestler. Tonight, he got to be a wrestler…one more time. He got the loudest and strongest “Yes!” chant, ever, going. Brie came out to be with her loving hubby. They kissed and hugged in mid-ring. Michael Cole talked about us all being Grateful for Daniel Bryan. Bryan went out to hug his mom and other family members.

Fade out. (The party continued on the WWENetwork).

I wanted to finish tonight by sending out a very special birthday wish to someone beyond special to me. One of my dearest friends in this entire world, Sunny, turned the big 4-0, on Monday. She has been an important part of my life for about 15 years now. She has been a friend to not only me but both of my wives. She is my “Lil Sis” and so ever much more. Her birthday hug and dinner are on their way. She is just going to get them a couple months late. I (or maybe We) will be in Dallas around March 30th for Wrestlecon. See you soon. Big Smile and much love from both of us.


–Jay Shannon

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