Posted February 16th, 2016 by jshannon

It was the last Raw before Fastlane. The Intercontinental title was on the line and the final puzzle pieces of the next big show were placed.

Raw came live from Anaheim, California, this week.

The show began with a flashback to last week’s main event signing of Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. The winner of that match will get HHH at Mania. Dean took the fight to Brock…and got laid out. Dean came back to continue the fight against The Beast. Dean taunted Brock until Lesanr came out to squash the Lunatic Fringe. Dean was completely outmatched but refused to stay down. Roman came out to distract Brock. Dean then nailed a Low Blow.

Moving forward to tonight. Dean’s music hit and Ambrose came out to address the crowd. Dean knew he was in for the fight of his life. Dean knew he had to do what he did to take advantage on Brock, last week. He knew Brock wasn’t happy with him. Dean poked the dog with a stick as he challenged Brock to come out and fight him.

Instead of Brock, Dean got Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie knew she wasn’t what everyone was expecting. Stephanie made fun of Dean for having to have Roman come out and save the day. Stephanie reminded Dean that he could be going to Wrestlemania, if he wins on Sunday. Stephanie put Dean in a Fatal FIVE Way for the IC title. Who would he be facing? She also let him know that if Roman were to get involved in the IC match, Dean would be out of the main event at Fastlane. She stirred the pot by saying Roman had a lot to think of.

Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens vs Stardust vs Tyler Breeze vs Dolph Ziggler
Fatal Five Way match for the Intercontinental title

Well, four of the five make sense. Why Stardust was in this made no sense. Raw took a quick break before this craziness got started.

Everyone tore into each other. They mostly focued on Dean. Star ripped at Dean’s face. Dolph rammed Kevin into the announce table. Dean blasted Star and tossed Tyler out of the ring. Corner Mount Punches by Dean to Star. Hard Whip and European Uppercut by Dean. Scoop Slam to Star. Dean headed up the ropes. Missile Dropkick by the champ but Kevin Clotheslined from behind. Kevin worked over the neck of his bitter enemy. 2 count.

Dean was sent into the corner by Owens. Dean fought back with hard Forearms and kicks. Measured punches by Dean but Kevin pulled Dean into the turnbuckles. Kevin stomped away on the champ. Dean kicked a charging Kevin in the face. Low Bridge and Owens hit the floor. Dean went to bounce off the ropes but Dolph surprised Dean with a Superkick, Neckbreaker and Heart Stopper Elbow Drop. Star got back in the mix, as did Tyler. Tyler cleared the ring but Kevin returned to drop Tyler. Kevin Powerbombed Tyler over the top and onto Dolph and Star. Kevin went for the Pop Up Powerbomb but Dean converted it into a Hurancanrana. Suicide Dive by Dean and then he hit the Standing Savage Elbow on Kevin. Star stopped the count. Tyler kicked the daylights out of Star. Raw took a break.

We’re back and Dean was unloading on Star. Star reversed a Whip but got decked. Corner Splash/Bulldog by Dean to Star. Dean headed back up top but Star stopped him. Dean fought out of the Superplex. Tyler then went up to try the same Superplex. Dean fought him off, as well. Dolph rushed up and hit the Super X Factor. Dolph was tossed out and Star hit a Disaster Kick to Tyler. Star then decided to try and pin Dean. 2 count. Kevin stood over all the carnage. Cannonballs to 3 of his 4 opponents. Tyler kicked Owens and then hit the Beauty Shot for a two. Dean escaped the Unprettier. Star missed the Disaster Kick. Rebound Clothesline from Dean to Star. Zig Zag by Dolph to Dean. Pop Up Powerbomb to Tyler to become the new IC champions.

Your Winner (and NEW Intercontinental Champion): Kevin Owens
Raw Ranking: 4.0 out of a possible 5

Later tonight, A.J. Styles will battle The Miz. Also, Brie Bella will be interviewed about her husband’s retirement and her pending title match against Charlotte.

Renee interviewed Dean, backstage. Dean was angry but he was ready to take something to replace what he just lost. Dean felt so motivated to win the match at Fastlane and go on to defeat HHH at Mania.

Renee then talked with Kevin Owens. Kevin bragged about doing what he said he would do. He ordered her to tell the world what he did. Dolph cut them off and congratulated Kevin on a job done. Dolph challenged Kevin to an IC title match, at Fastlane. Kevin declined to fight him and walked away.

Time for the comic relief as New Day came out to be silly. Raw looked back at New Day’s run in with Edge and Christian, from a few months back. It was Trombone vs Kazoos. New Day will be on Cutting Edge/Peep Show, on Sunday. I wish E & C were able to fight New Day.

Big E took the stick and said Edge and Christian totally reek…of Booty. Yawn. The trio made fun of E & C for using kazoos. Wake me when this is over. Big E made fun of Coldplay’s performance at the “Big Game at the End”. Grin. I guess no one can call the ‘Bowl by its actual name. Big E then went off on Mark Henry for walking out on them, last week. Kofi calledhim “The World’s Largest Booty Hole”.

That brought out Mark for…

Mark Henry vs Big E

Collar and Elbow. Big E clubbed Mark but it had minimal effect. Scoop Slam to Big E. Wow! Big E scooted to the corner. Headbutts by Mark. He paid tribute to JYD with the Dog Butt. Big E rolled out of the ring and Mark went out after him. Kofi distracted Mark and Big E attacked. Big E ran Mark’s back into the barricade. Big E tossed Mark into the ring. Big E stomped away on mark, in the corner. Kofi and Xavier taunted Mark, including bringing out that darn trombone. Huge Splash by Big E but it only brought home a two.

Big E went for a 2nd Splash but still couldn’t hold Mark down for the three. Big E tried to put Mark in the Abdominal Stretch but couldn’t quite get it locked in. Hip Toss and Clotheslines by the former Olympian. Powerslam by Mark. Mark took out Xavier and then Big Booted Big E. Mark missed the Corner Splash. Big Ending failed. Mark slid off but still got pinned. That didn’t make a bit of sense.

Your Winner: Big E
Raw Ranking: 2.0

So, I switched over to the Grammys, a few times. It’s sad when I hear the names of the nominees and don’t recognize most of them. Yep, I’m getting seriously old. I like metal but who the heck is Ghost? Disturbed, Metallica, Motorhead, Five Finger Death Punch…them I know.

Byron Saxton was in the ring to interview Brie Bella. She is such a lovely young lady. Raw showed Daniel Bryan’s announcement of his retirement. That was the classiest segment I think I have ever seen on Raw.

Back to this week, Brie got a “Yes” chant going. Byron asked how Daniel was doing. Brie talked about all the love that was sent their way. Brie was stopped by the arrival of Charlotte and Ric Flair. Charlotte was so blown away with Daniel’s retirement speech, last week. Charlotte said there would never be another Daniel Bryan. Brie told Charlotte that Daniel IS not WAS in a League of his own. Charlotte mentioned the “Live every day like it’s your last” mantra. Charlotte gave Brie the option to forfeit the title match, on Sunday, to be with her grieving husband (grieving over the loss of his dream). Brie let it be known that Daniel support Brie in her title aspirations. Charlotte mocked the Danielsons for having to rely only on Brie’s income potential. The two women started getting riled up over Charlotte’s comment and Brie’s rejection. Charlotte changed gears and said Brie should help Nikki recover from her neck surgery and help her hubby. Brie was almost amused by all this. She knew Charlotte was scared of her and was trying to psych her out. Brie said Charlotte’s comments just added fuel to the fire by her words. Brie then dismissed the champion and her dad. Ric left eh ring but Charlotte stayed behind. Charlotte explained that she let Brie have an out. Charlotte then made fun of what Brie and Bryan’s kids would look like. Brie tore into Charlotte with Danielson Kicks. Ric pulled his daughter out of the ring.

The announcers then looked at the Wyatt Family’s quest to take out the WWE Titans. That led to a video package of the destruction that quartet has unleashed, in recent weeks. Big Show will face Braun Strowman, shortly.

Chris Jericho came out to address the Cali crowd. He was ready to watch Styles vs Miz…next.

A.J. Styles vs The Miz

I would love to see Styles battle Kevin Owens for the IC strap, at Fastlane. Raw looked back at last week’s Smackdown, where Styles and Jericho had multiple interactions.

Miz rushed Styles as A.J. got in the ring. Miz stomped and punched away. The match hadn’t even started. The ref ordered Miz to get back and then checke don Styles. The bell finally rang. Back Elbow by Styles. Miz ran away to stop Styles’ momentum. Forearms and Chops by Styles. Kitchen Sink and Running Boot by Miz. Miz mounted Styles and punched him silly. Miz then choked Styles on the ropes. Miz dragged Styles by the hair and then drove the knee into Styles’ back. Rear Chin Lock by Miz.

Styles fought back but Miz nailed the Reality Check. Knee Stikes by Miz and then he drove the elbow into Styles’ neck. Styles fought out of a Bow and Arrow and almost pinned Styles >Backslide by Styles for a two. Styles threw Miz down and then unloaded with punches and kicks. Miz tossed Styles out of the rign. Basement Dropkick by Miz. Miz rolled out and got up in Jericho’s face. Styles hithte Flying Forearm off the rign steps. Raw took a break.

Miz took Styles down and almost got the duke. Styles popped Miz in the face. Styles kicked Miz in the mouth. Clothesline and Back Elbow by Styles. Slider Forerarm by A.J. Pumphandle Backbreaker by Styles but it brought only a 2. Styles lifted Miz byt Miz kicked out and hit the Kneeling DDT for a two. Miz set for the Skull Crushing Finale but Styles reversed it. Pele kick. 2, once more. Styles headed up to the top turnbuckle. Miz stopped him. Miz wanted the Superplex but Styles slid under. Miz flipped Styles onto the apron. Springboard Forearm by Styles gave him 2. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale but Miz kicked out. Miz was stunned. Miz attacked Styles, in the corner. The ref pulled him back. Calf Crusher (Calf Killer). Tap Out.

Your Winner (by Submission): A.J. Styles
Raw Ranking: 2.75

Jericho came around with a microphone to talk to Styles. A.J. stopped Chris. Styles knew Chris was being eaten up inside by the thought of losing to Styles on A.J.’s debut match. Styles then challenged Jericho to the 3rd match, at Fastlane. This would be the Rubber Match in their series. Jericho thought it over. Jericho wasn’t sure he wanted to fight Styles so he would let A.J. know, on Smackdown. Interesting.

The Dudley Boyz came out to explain their actions, as of late. They started to take a table out from under the ring but put it back. On Smackdown, they swore off tables. Bubba joked about the whole Get the Tables thing. Bubba asked the Usos to come out and hear what they have to say. Bubba then showed why the Usos didn’t come out. Bubba and D’Von totally destroyed Jimmy and Jey, last week. D’Von said they were not going to be a nostalgia act that rode off in the sunset like Guns and Roses. D’Von let it be known that the Dudleys are the baddest tag team in the business. Bubba reminded everyone that the tables were gone for good. Bubba wanted their legacy defined by the number of championships they won, not by the number of tables they busted up. Bybba said he and his brother didn’t’ care what the fans chant, anymore.

Paige strolled backstage. She would be in action, next.

Summer Rae vs Paige

So, Tap Out will be the PPV that follows Wrestlemania, this year.

The two women stood in the ring and Summer pushed Paige. Paige charged and got rolled up. Arm Drags by Summer. Paige kicked Summer and sent her to the roeps. Slider Trip by Paige and a kick by the Pale Destructress. Arm Rolls by Paige. 2 count. Paige went on to the apron and hit repeated Knee Strikes. Summer hit a High Heel Kick to get a two. Leg Drops by Summer. Summer choked Paige with the boot. Snap Mare into a pin by Summer. She only got a two. Shinu Numaki by Summer but Paige wasn’t about to submit. Paige rolled free and took Summer out with a Thrust Kick. Paige hit a series of wild kicks and then nailed Shotgun Knees, in the corner. 2 count.

Paige grabbed Summer’s legs. Summer rolled up Paige and got the three. Wow!

Your Winner: Summer Rae
Raw Ranking: 2.25

Paul Heyman came out to talk with the crowd. He did his typical introduction schtick. Paul was confident that Brock Lesnar would be the next World Champion. Paul wanted to up the excitement so he asked Roman Reigns to come out and join him.

There was a slight pause and then Roman came through the crowd. Roman stared at the Wrestlemania sign. Paul shook Roman’s hand and thanked him for joining him. Paul didn’t want anyone to think he was being disrespectful to Roman. Paul let Roman know that Reigns and Ambrose would be unable to get past Brock. Paul laid out what Roman was hoping to do, this weekend and beyond. Paul admitted that Brock stands in Roman’s way. Paul brought up that Dean Ambrose was also in Roman’s way. Paul felt Roman would have to choose between his family and his “Brother”, Dean. Roman would have to lose one or the other, this weekend. Paul hinted that Roman might end up in Divorce Court, if he chose the wrong path. Paul said the business was all about sacrifice.

Roman thanked Paul for his honesty. Roman had already set himself up to make any sacrifices necessary. Roman knew how difficult it would be to beat his best friend, but he has done it before. Roman was more focused on beating Brock’s *ss. Roman was ready to beat Brock and Dean to get to and defeat HHH. D’Von and Bubba Ray Dudley jumped Roman, out of nowhere. Huh? Is Paul rebuilding a stable?

Roman began to fight back against the Dudleys. Big Boot by Bubba Ray. Bubba asked Roman if he knew who they are. Dean rushed out to help his Brother. Dean laid out Bubba. D’Von tried to attack but got blasted. Superman Punch to D’Von. Dean tried to hit Dirty Deeds on Roman, after the melee. Really?

Next week, the Vincent J. Kennedy Legacy of Excellence Award will be bestowed for the first time, ever.

The Wyatt Family’s crusade against the Titans was highlighted. Braun vs Big Show was about to happen.

Zack Ryder vs Heath Slater

Collar and Elbow and Heath with the Go Behind. Heath then bailed out to party and do a Victory Lap. Heath got in the ring and Zack dropped him hard. Shoulder Tackle into a Universal by Zack. Clothesline to Heath. Hard Whip but Heath got the knees up. Missile Dropkick by Heath but Zack nailed the Broski Boot. Zack flew over the top to take out the entire Social Outcast faction. He tossed Heath back in the ring. Bo Dallas distracted Zack. Heath hit an Implant DDT.

Your Winner: Heath Slater
Raw Ranking: 2.0

They went to a silly vignette with Mr and Mrs R-Truth and Goldust. Truth took exception to Goldy’s interference. Goldy brought out a bottle of champagne, compliments of the house. As Dustin put on his Facebook post, this one wasn’t PG…watch at your own risk.

Where or where is our next Hall of Fame inductee?

Kevin Owens WILL have to fight Dolph Ziggler, at Fastlane, for the IC Strap.

Kalisto, Sin Cara and Neville vs Sheamus, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio (League Of Nations)
Six Man Tag Team Action

Kalisto will defend the US title against Alberto in the Fastlane Kick Off Show. Darn, I will still be at work during that.

Rusev opened up against Kalisto. The Luchadore used his speed to avoid Rusev, at least for a while. Rusev threw Kalisto into the corner. Kalisto kicked away at the tree trunk thighs of the big Bulgarian. Alberto attacked Kalisto, from behind. It broke down into total chaos. Triple Moonsaults to the floor. Damn!

Rusev went out to the floor to throw Kalisto back in the ring, after the break. Sheamus tagged in and stood on the Mexican superstar and US champ. Front Drop Suplex onto the top rope. Del Rio pulled Kalisto off, making him fall to the floor. Sheamus bashed Kalisto’s chest and threw him back in the ring. Kalisto kneed his way out of a Stall SUplex. Kalisto actually converted the move into a DDT. Tags to Sin Cara and Del Rio. Tilt—a-Whirl Headscissors by Sin Cara. Del Rio almost got pinned. RUsev nailed Neville with a wicked kick. This total chaos continued as everyone ended up on the floor. Sin Cara with a Tope Suicida to Del Rio. Del Rio hit the Step Up Enziguri. Del Rio went up top and jumped off to Double Stomp Sin Cara, who was trapped in the ropes.

Your Winners: The League of Nations
Raw Ranking: 2.5

Raw did a nice profile of Booker T, as part of Black History Month.

Raw talked about Becky Lynch getting jumped in the parking lot, earlier in the evening. Naomi and Tamina took her out.

Backstage,. The League of Nations members were celebrating. Renee came in and interviewed Alberto. Del Rio said he allowed Kalisto to win the title. Del Rio asked for a 2 out of 3 falls match, on Sunday. He wanted to crush Kalisto, twice.

Becky Lynch vs Naomi

Becky ripped into Naomi with punches. She then launched Naomi with the Lassplex. Tamina checked on her cousin. Naomi kicked away on Becky in one of the wildest Dance Step Kick-a-thon. Leg Drop by Naomi but it only brought a one count. JBL called that wildness of kicks the Neon Nightmare (due to the glowing shoes of Naomi). Arm Bar by Naomi but Becky ran her foe into the corner. Roll Up and reversal. Dis-Armer by Becky. Tap Out!

Your Winner: Becky Lynch
Raw Ranking: 1.75

Tamina jumped Becky, after the match. Naomi and Tamina worked together to brutalize Becky. That stopped when Sasha Banks came out from the back. Sasha won several awards in the PWI Year End Awards. Tamina hit a Samoan Drop to Becky and Naomi and Tamina took a hike.

Raw looked at how the Wyatt Family annihilated Ryback, recently. Big Show was there next target.

Got the sad news, earlier today, that Vanity (Denise Matthews) passed away on Monday. The pop princess was part of Prince’s Inner Circle during the 1980s. A lovely lady with a massive amount of talent, she was taken from us, due to kidney disease and other health issues, at the tender age of 57.

On a more hopeful note, I am happy to dispute a rumor going around the internet that Blackjack Mulligan has passed away. I got an update, from “Black Bart” (Rick Harris), that Mulligan is still in the hospital but he has not left us. Please keep him in your strongest prayers.

Braun Strowman vs Big Show

Braun came out with the full Family at his side. Luke did a promo about people making a choice. Erick stepped in and said there was no hope without them. Bray then took the stick and said his family speaks the truth. Bray rambled on about a dying world that is enslaved. Man, he so reminds me of the Ultimate Warrior when it comes to strange verbal ramblings. Bray discussed Paradise for the lost ones, if they would only bow to him. Sigh. Shut up and wrestle, already.

Braun got ready for Big Show. He mentioned we should Get Ready or Run. Show’s music finally hit and the Giant strolled from the back. Show walked to the ring with a purpose. The ref ordered the other Wyatts to get out of the ring. The bell rang and both men stared at each other. Show was just a tad taller. Collar and Elbow but Show broke the hold. Knee Strike and punches by Braun. Strowman took Show to the corner and hit knees and elbows. Braun blasted Show with a solid right. Braun hit a Shoulder Tackle that dropped Show. Wow!

Braun continued to club Show. Elbow Drop by Braun but he didn’t even get a one count. Braun tried for a Suplex but show reversed it. Show kicked away and then Speared Eric Rowan. All the Wyatts rushed the ring.

Your Winner (by Disqualification): Big Show
Raw Ranking: 1.0

Ryback rushed in to attack Luke Harper and Eric Rowan. He went after the other two. They used their numbers to the Las Vegan. Suddenly, Kane came out to join the party. He came up through the ring! The Titans just annihilated the Wyatt Family. The Titans could definitely use another person. I can think of a few to join them. Kane’s big brother would certainly be a nice addition. Kane set off the pyro. You know, now would be a wonderful time to set up a Trios championship.


–Jay Shannon

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