Angelic Heel once more…
We continued on the road home to Fastlane as WWE’s RAW hit us hard from Orlando, FL! The night treated the WWE Universe to some hard hitting brawls that have been boiling for weeks and if there is one thing that we learned from the evening, expect the unexpected. No amount of family counseling can heal the wounds from this weeks installment. Who was left bloody and who continues to ride the wave of momentum into FASTLANE (which can be seen on the WWE Network FREE for the month of February)?
John Cena Destroys Rusev
The night began with the leader of the Cenation (oh joy…) addressing the WWE Universe. Cena spared us a list of his accomplishments (even he admits that he is boring and we didn’t want to hear it. ) He did however give the WWE Universe a rousing speech about how Rusev was not unstoppable and something about not being crushed anymore. I zoned out about this time but it was a typical John Cena speech of rising above and how at FastLane he was going to beat Rusev by bringing the fight to him (because apparently everyone else to that point had been trying to tickle Rusev >.>) This impassioned diatribe inspired the United States champion, with Lana, to come out and respond.
Lana’s powers of observation were working full force as she even said that John was give us the typical “John Cena”nonsense and that it was clear that the face that thinks it runs the place lived in a delusional world. She and Rusev, she continued, lived in reality and in reality, Rusev could beat anyone, including John Cena. Rusev at this point took the mic and reiterated that he would destroy Cena.
And this is where things get a bit odd, and John Cena blipped on my radar. After he said he was going to kick Rusev’s ass, that is exactly what he did. The WWE Universe witnessed a different side to Cena, one that we are not used to seeing. He was vicious and calculating. He looked out to HURT Rusev as he mercilessly attacked the US Champion. Cena threw the Bulgarian brute into the LED screen, stomped on his face and then punched a defenseless Rusev into unconsciousness. He then quit blipping on my radar as he posed with the US Title and was the spot light whore that annoys me so much.
Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose
Winner: Dean Ambrose via pinfall
In a match against a second former Intercontinental champion in as many weeks, Dean Ambrose went 1 on 1 with Luke Harper. Never ever expect a technical match when you have two brawlers in the ring. We got clotheslines, punches that loosened teeth, elbows and just the most tooth rattling insanity that we would come to expect from these two less than sane individuals. But that isn’t to say that it was a complete slug-fest. We did see a running bull dog from Ambrose as he controlled the early part of the match. But Luke Harper would use his size and deceptive agility to his favor and wrest the momentum of the match away with a huge super kick to the Lunatic Fringe. But it didn’t last as the end of this battle came when Dean rebounded off the ropes and delivered his signature clothes line and followed it up with a Dirty Deeds for the pin.
Such a fun match. Ambrose and Harper never disappoint when they are in the ring and putting them in the ring together turned out to be best for business. The two knocked each other all over the ring and set the bar very high for all other matches that would follow. Harper was simply impressive. I never get tired of this big man pulling off moves that big men typically don’t and yet he makes the big power moves fun to watch as well. Dean Ambrose is gold in everything he does. Pretty sure you could put him in a chicken suit and he’d rock the hell out of it. This win over yet another former IC champ gives his claim to deserving a shot at BNB’s title credence. That and I’m just gonna say, it is nice to see Dean winning for a change. Been a long time coming and hopefully, come Fastlane, we’ll see some gold on the Unstable one’s waist.
The New Day vs Goldust & Stardust
Winner: The New Day via pinfall
In the past weeks, the stars have been in opposition for the Cosmic Twins. So much so their father, Dusty Rhodes felt the need to try and make his boys see reason and get along. One would have thought that he had gotten through to both Goldust and Stardust as they took on the New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. At first all was grand and the stellar tag team dominated the match briefly before Kofi took control with his speed and aerial offense. Stardust attempted to hit his co-high risk taker with a disaster kick but missed. A bit of miscommunication led to Goldust getting hit with Trouble in Paradise that allowed a huge victory for the New Day.
After the match, Stardust attempts to help Goldie to his feet. It takes a few tries but eventually Goldust is up but wobbly. Apparently this got under Stardust’s nerves as he then attacked his older brother with a Cross Rhodes and left him in the ring. When confronted by his father Stardust let us in on the method to his madness. Cody Rhodes had been destined to live in the shadows of his father and brother. That Cody Rhodes was dead, and as far as Stardust was concerned, so was his father.
The match itself was nothing too spectacular. It served it’s purpose as a chapter in this story of a broken family. But as far as Kofi and Xavier were concerned, they looked good but again, no pop to speak of for the New Day. That’s kinda a bad thing, maybe… Yeah totally bad. If it keeps up, these guys days as a stable are numbered, but hey they can always try and salvage it with a heel turn. I love a heel turn. (Just Sayin) The Rhodes family drama is getting fun. Gotta say though I’m on Stardust’s side. He was the one that had to live up to his brother and his father’s legacy. Try as he might, he could never escape their long shadows. It was too much pressure and it’s no wonder the poor kid snapped. He has now found solace in the personal of Stardust. I say let him be who he wants and quit trying to force this Cody Rhodes business on him when he clearly is not receptive to it. Sheesh, no wonder he lashed out. If people kept calling me a name I don’t like I’d be pissed too.
Kane vs Roman Reigns
Winner: Roman Reigns via count out
I keep saying you can’t trust that goat faced troll, Daniel Bryan. Roman Reign found this out in a big way in his match against Kane. The Big Dog began the match solidly and momentum was in his favor, however, Bryan (who was sat on commentary) used his sway over the WWE Universe and began a random YES chant. Reigns, who suffers from ADD apparently, allowed himself to get distracted by all the unnecessary chanting and lost control of the match.
Roman battled back pulling off an uncharacteristic jump from the second rope on to Kane which brought the big man down. He continued his beating on the Corporate Demon and once again looked ot have things under control when yet AGAIN that spot light addicted Garden Gnome began another YES chant. And again, Roman took his concentration off of his opponent and received a big boot to the face for his troubles that sent him out of the ring. The bigger man followed, intent on hurting the Samoan Superman. Kane attempted to choke slam Reigns through the announce table, but it was countered into an explosive spear. The ref at this point had counted to eight, so Reigns rolled in at nine, and Kane was counted out at ten. But Roman was unable to savor his victory as Daniel Bryan pranced all goat like around the ring leading a rousing YES chant before leaving.
This match was a lot of fun. I know I’ve dogged on Kane in the past, but he did well, moved well and looked every bit an intimidating monster (well as intimidating as he can wrestling in slacks.) Roman, in my opinion is just improving leaps and bounds every time he gets in the ring. It just goes to show, put him in a match against someone who isn’t the BIG SHOW and he will have a decent match. This match may not have stolen the show, but it was entertaining. Daniel Bryan doing his thing through out was a nice touch and only added to the fire brewing between the two Fastlane opponents.
Paige vs Summer Rae
Winner: Paige via submission
Those Bullying Bellas were at it again as they stole Paige’s ring gear. But no worries, the anti Diva found a Rosebud to sheer and the 2 time Diva’s champion came down to the ring the prettiest pink goth fairy (minus the wings that she threw some place). Her opponent, Summer Rae, should have taken her more seriously, as Paige showed that it’s not the gear that makes the wrestler, but how she moves in the ring. Summer got in a little bit of offense but it was not near enough as Paige dominated most of the match in her frilly pink tutu. One PTO later and Paige is riding a victory into Fastlane.
While still not on par with NXT, the main roster Diva’s matches are getting better. Yes, even though this one had Summer Rae in it (and we all know how I feel about her) it was still a decent match. Again, I’m going to credit NXT Alumni, Paige, for the quality of the match. She rocked and was her typical aggressively fierce self despite her ring attire. Perhaps a new look for the Diva? I mean, she basically prooved that you can put her in anythingg and she will still kick ass. Joke’s on Nikki and Brie. Silly, petty twins.
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via disqualification
Oh hot diggity Seth Rollins, the undisputed living embodiment of the future decided to come down to the ring and address the WWE Universe before his match. Mr. Money in the Bank brought attention to the fact that is was President’s day, but why dwell on the past when the future was standing before us. He is the best wrestler in the world and he also mentioned that he could be President (if he were old enough, but hey I’d vote for him!) or he could host the Daily Show. Rollins reminded us all that he is the here and now and that he is the rightful man to be going to main event Wrestlemania, if it weren’t for a certain meddlesome superstar. Dolph Ziggler, then rudely interrupted Rollins, and began to poke fun at him. Of course Seth was not to be out done by anyone, let alone the Show Off, and shot back about how the only thing funny about Dolph was his career (that’s for the Valentine’s reference Ziggy, way too soon).
Of course can’t have a verbal exchange like this with out a match to follow, and oh yes did the WWE Universe get a match. But who knew there would be biased officials in this match? Dolph fell out of the ring, and J & J Security went to help him up, but the ref threw them out! Sure to the uninformed masses, it may have appeared as if Jamie and Joey were going to attacked the downed superstar, but I’m convinced they were just being good upstanding individuals and were punished for their good intentions. This left Seth on his own, but as I’ve always said, he doesn’t NEED his security team to get the job done.
The match continued and it was non stop back and forth on the edge of your seat action. Both men were on fire with counters of counters. At one point Ziggler went for the Famouser, but Seth countered it and was going to hit a turn buckle powerbomb but Dolph FURTHER countered into a roll up pin attempt that got him a two count. The end came when Dolph caught Rollins with a super kick that he followed up with the Zig Zag. Before Rollins had a chance to kick out (which he would have >.>) Jame and Joey rushed the ring and attacked Dolph! This would bring out Erick Rowan and Ryback to even the odds. Seth and his boys would then strategically regroup back to the back, living to fight another day.
This match was insane fun. I could watch Dolph and Seth wrestle every day and not get tired of it. Certain guys just have that chemistry that makes them a must see no matter how many times they’s been in the ring together. Though I gotta hand it to J & J Security for being so dedicated to Mr. Money in the Bank. But they should have the faith in Seth that I do. I mean, I knew he was going to kick out of the Zig Zag, they should have known too. Dolph looked amazing even though he wasn’t knocked out. He is so talented in ring and on the mic. He was on fire. The Savior of the WWE was also on top of his game. Sure he looked like he was about to lose, but that was all part of the plan. He’s the Architect after all. Why kick out at one when kicking out at two would mess with your opponents head? This match easily stole the show.
Ric Flair Warns Triple H
The WWE’s COO, Triple H, came down to the ring to address the fact that he would be facing Sting, eye to eye at Fastlane. He dismissed the rumor going round that he was afraid of Sting and that it took more than parlor tricks to get under his skin (he’s the Cerebral Assassin dammit!) As our fearless leader is speaking about the up coming confrontation, The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, interrupts and joins Hunter in the ring. Flair starts by telling the Game how much he loves him (it was an awful lot >.>) and then goes on to tell him a bit about his rivalry with that damned Scorpion and how he basically WAS WCW.
Long story short, don’t underestimate Sting. The man who knows what is best for business, was unimpressed with the warning and reiterated what he has said many times before, if Sting had shown up in a WWE ring before now, Triple H would have run him out of town. Flair interrupts and told Hunter, that he was the best wrestler when he was wrestling, but that the worst enemy to a wrestler was time off. Hunter hadn’t had the time in the ring lately and to beat Sting he needed to be the best wrestler. Triple H, upset by the lack of faith by his mentor, shoved Flair to the ground and yelling that NOTHING would come between him and the WWE, and if that meant beating the ever loving day lights out of Sting then so be it!
Hell yeah!! I’m behind you Triple H! Sting is a threat to what’s best for Business. Already he’s showed that he would prefer the WWE to be in chaos by having the Authority out of power, or dissenters in the ranks. Is it possible the Monday night War isn’t over for Sting?? Is he trying to take the WWE down by having things run themselves into the ground with the Authority out of power? I’m on to you Sting! It is a relief to those who bought in that Triple H is stepping up to defend the WWE Universe and his lively hood from the Vigilante.
The Ascension vs Darren Young & …. We never got his name
Winner: Never Happened
In another match that wasn’t. The Ascension destroyed Darren Young and his nameless partner. Why is he nameless? because before the announcer had a chance to introduce the WWE Universe to him, Konor and Viktor hit the ring and laid waste to this sacrificial lamb of a newblet. It was a no contest and looked only to get worse before it got better. And jut when we thought Darren Young was going to be in REAL trouble, out comes Titus O’neil to the rescue. (yay?) The Ascension back down and we have the Prime Time Players again.
Uh… Yay? This is not what I had in mind when I asked for the Ascension to go against a tag team with a name. And what happens to Heath Slater now? He dun lost his band now his Gator? Home boy can’t catch a break! Other than that, not much else to say. The Ascension saaw and destryed. Got chased off but its just a regroup. Soon Titus O’Neil will be welcomed to the Waste Land.
Bad News Barrett vs Damien Mizdow
Winner: Bad News Barrett via pinfall
Before the match The Miz approached Bad News Barrett with a request, if he would knock Mizdow down a few pegs, then the A Lister would run interference between the Intercontinental Champion and Dean Ambrose, who had made it his mission to get BNB to sign a contract that gave the Lunatic Fringe a match for the IC title at Fastlane. Wade accepted and so we found him in the ring against the former stunt double, Damien Mizdow. Bad News won the initial lock up, forcing Mizdow into the corner where he began to pummel him. But Damien reversed and returned the punishment. At this point the Miz, who was sitting ringside, rang his little bell (It means Stop) and demanded that Mizdow buff his shoes. Being a good personal assistant, he obliges the Miz As he returns to the ring, poor Mizdow catches a boot to the face that knocks him to the ground.
Bad News takes control briefly, but lost it once again to the intellectually superior one, and as Damien went for the Skull Crushing finale (Miz’s move btw) Miz rang the bell again. There was an emergency! Well turned out not to be an emergency, but the distraction was all that was needed to allow BNB to Hit Mizdow with a Bull Hammer elbow for the win. But Barrett was a fool to trust Miz. The Unstable Dean Ambrose ambushed BNB from out of no where (I WARNED YOU BNB!) The Brit was then promptly zip tied to the ring post. Dean gave the Intercontinental Champion a chance to sign the contract without aid. But in the end Ambrose assisted Barrett in signing the contract that would guarantee Dean Ambrose a match at Fastlane for the Intercontinental Championship.
This was alot of fun. The match, the multiple stories being told. First you have the interaction between The Miz and Mizdow. Its awe inspiring that the A Lister is willing to take Mizdow under his wing and make him a better person. He is single handedly teaching Damien how to multi task and juggle responsibilities. The Miz should be given a medal! And second, it’s not like Barrett wasn’t warned about Dean Ambrose. He should have known he was bound to be ambushed at some point. Ambush tactics are CLASSIC Ambrose. Wade should count his lucky stars The Lunatic Fringe did jump out of his car trunk.
Tyson Kidd & Natalya vs Jimmy Uso & Naomi
Winner: Jimmy Uso & Naomi via pinfall
In a husband and wife tag team match, Jimmy Uso and Naomi took on the team of Tyson Kidd and Natalya. This was mostly just Natalya and Naomi going at it because per the rules, women face the women, men face the men. Some might say Kidd was afraid of Uso, one could also argue, he just wanted to watch his wife work and be a supportive husband. It was a back and forth match with each woman showing off their skills. But the end came when after a flurry of pin reversals, Naomi was finally able to pin Nattie to the mat. After the bell ans as the Usos flaunted their victory, Tyson Kidd expressed his disappointment in his wife’s loss.
This was a short match but it was good to see Naomi and Natalya wrestle one another. Both are gifted female competitors that work very well in the ring together. Not even bothered that Tyson didn’t tag in, I see it as him being supportive of his wife’s career. And of course he was upset they lost. No one likes losing.
Big Show vs Daniel Bryan
Winner: Big Show via disqualification
In a David v Goliath scenario, Daniel Bryan took on the Big Show. Roman Reigns was ringside, to get a closer look at his Fastlane opponent. The giant did what giants do and dominated Daniel Bryan. However the goat battled back as he used his speed and wrestling prowess to wrest momentum from the Big Show. As Daniel began to get the upper hand, Roman decided it was time for him to spend time with the fans and began to give out autographs to the masses and even took a few selfies with them as well. Once again, Daniel had to battle to get the upper hand and this was accomplished by using his superior knowledge of holds in order to dump the Big Show over the top rope and onto the floor.
The proximity to Reigns was too much as the two began to have heated words that started to deevolve into a mini shoving match when Big Show took the opportunity to go for a spear on Bryan. Super freaky troll powers saved D-Bry as he moved just in time to let Reigns take the blow. The match continued in the ring and Daniel unleashed a flurry of kicks that put Show on the mat. Bryan climbed his way to the top rope and was about to fly, but out of now where, the Samoan Superman flew into the ring and Superman punched The Big Show causing Daniel Bryan to be disqualified.
To say that Bryan was a bit upset is an understatement. He drop kicked Reigns from the top rope and Roman was driven outside the ring. Then all hell broke loose and the two clashed viciously and had to be separated. They shook hands after an intense stare down but then were right back at it trading blows and moves on one another in a way that will hoof prints all over Reigns for days to come. Finally the two were separated with the crowd yelling “let them fight.” The show came to a close and we are left chomping at the bit for their war at Fast Lane
The fight at the end was better than the match. I blame the Big Show of course. But that’s neither here nor there. What matters is I want to see the Goat vs The Big Dog. Can Roman hang with the superior wrestler that is Daniel Bryan? How will the garden gnome counter Roman’s brute strength? Only a few more days until the WWE Universe finds out.