Angelic Heel Once Again!
The WWE Universe was buzzing with anticipation as the last RAW before Wrestlemania kicked off from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The go home show was star studded fun filled with surprise appearances and more Intercontinental Championship fun. Who would continue to build momentum going into the biggest event of the year? Who needed to step up their game if they hope to have their Wrestlemania moment? Find out now!!
Sting Invades Raw
The night begins with a 14 year first. Sting opens Raw! I’d be excited except that there’s this whole blood feud and the fact that he has meddled in what’s best for business since he showed up at Survivor Series. What did the Stinger have to say? He tried to convince us that his fight with Triple H wasn’t about some left over WCW vs WWE thing, but that he was going to avenge the wrongs of the COO overstepping and allegedly abusing his power. The Vigilante vowed that he would take Triple H down at Wrestlemania.
Luckily for the faithful, Stephanie McMahon blessed the WWE Universe with her presence and ended the long winded rhetoric from the Scorpion. And ever the gracious hostess, Steph welcomed Sting and congratulated him on FINALLY making the big leagues (it only took 14 years…) Sting, however, showed the kind of man he is as he insulted McMahon by calling her a selfish brat who was handed everything that she had.
Of course, the lady who was born to the business would not take such insults and felt the need to put the Vigilante in his place (as is her right) and she attempted to slap the taste out of Sting’s mouth. To this, Sting caught Stephanie’s wrist and gripped it viciously. This prompted the King of Kings, Triple H, to come out and deal with the panted up freak who put his hands on Stephanie.
The queen handed her king his trusty sledge hammer as he went to enter the ring to defend the WWE against the invading Vigilante, but Sting once again produced his bat in answer. Triple H, understood that Sting was a bit too eager and aired on the side of caution as he backed away to regroup and save the confrontation for their match at Wrestlemania!
Dean Ambrose & R-Truth vs Luke Harper & Stardust
Winner: Dean Ambrose & R-Truth
Dean Ambrose may be Unstable, but he worked cohesively with R-Truth to take on the team of Luke Harper and Stardust. Of course, the stars aligned on more than one occasion that saw Stardust and Harper controlling and isolating their opponents. Dean Ambrose caught the brunt of their punishment, but it was R-Truth who would save the day. He tagged himself in and took control of the match. He hit a Lie Detector on the performer formerly known as Cody Rhodes for the pinfall.
It’s good seeing Truth get a pinfall victory. He built some decent momentum heading into Sunday. All the men in the match had a good run in the ring and got off some decent hard hitting offense against their opponents. While they teamed up great, It’s going to be every man for himself. Though I will say it might be interesting to see if any part time alliances are made for the sake of double teaming a guy to take him out. Keep an eye on Dean’s shoulder. It took more damage on Monday and it might come into play on Sunday and we ALL know that he’s had shoulder issues in the past.
Ryback, Zack Ryder, Erick Rowan, & The Primetime Players vs The Miz, Damien Mizdow, The Ascension, & Adam Rose
Winner:Ryback, Zack Ryder, Erick Rowan, & The Primetime Players
In a match meant to hype the Andre the Giant battle royal at Wrestlemania, we were treated to a huge 10 man tag team match! This gave the opportunity for the WWE Universe to get a final look at some of the favorites to win, and other guys you know are just destined to be tossed over as soon as they ring the bell (Darren Young, I’m looking at you). Nothing super amazing happened in the match, not to say it was boring, it wasn’t, but it also wasn’t the wow you and amaze you type. It did flow well together with each new tag in and the pace didn’t lag or drag on. But it was a 10 man tag filled with beat downs and exchange of offensive maneuvers from either side. Ryback ended up pinning the Miz after he hit a shellshock.
Lots of potential winners for that battle royal for the Andre memorial trophy. The Miz and Mizdow also seem to be headed toward an explosion of epic proportions. Definitely gonna love to see Mizdow finally learn his place as a personal assistant. People get down on the Miz, but he has a point. When he found Damien, he was nothing and nobody cared about him. Mizdow’s time with the Miz has been more than beneficial and Damien is down right ungrateful in his need to steal the spot light from the Hollywood A Lister. But soon it will all come to a head. The Ascension looked great in the match. Been too long since I’ve seen my beloved Konor and Viktor on screen. It’s like they destroyed Zack Ryder just because they knew I was watching (Yes, I have some issues, I’ve accepted that about myself). So yeah fun filler match. NEXT!
Seth Rollins & J & J Security vs Randy Orton
Winner: Randy Orton
The WWE Universe in its infinite sadistic infatuation to see Randy Orton destroy Seth Rollins, voted on the WWE app to have the Future, with J & J Security, face the Viper in the last Raw before Wrestlemania. As the match began Randy begged and pleaded for Seth to step between teh ropes. But the intelligence of the Architect won out as he refused to give into the demands of Orton. Jamie and Joey voluntarily took the brutal punishment that the Viper had to offer as Seth avoided being caught time and again by Randy. The savior of the WWE refused to be goaded into letting Orton have his way deciding to save the fight for when it mattered. Noble valiantly sacrificed himself for the greater good as Randy delivered an RKO for the pinfall victory.
At Wrestlemania, Seth will show everybody that the Viper is nothing but a worm as he curb stomps that voice hearing head into the mat and any other surface he pleases. There is a reason Seth is the future of the company, he is the best in the business and will do anything and everything to win. Not saying Randy will be an easy opponent, but hey… It was Seth that broke Brock Lesnar’s ribs at Royal Rumble.
Nikki Bella vs Paige
WWE Diva’s Championship Match
Winner: Nikki Bella
Gotta give it to the Bellas. The concocted a plan that might actually give them the edge over Paige and AJ at Wrestlemania. And all they had to do was dangle the Diva’s Championship infront of the two former title holders. In a match for the title, Nikki Bella took on Paige. How this came about, Nikki put up the title and made Paige and AJ decide who would be facing her. It ended up being Paige with AJ at ring side. It was a decent match that Paige dominated and nearly won. The nearest fall was when she hit the Ram-Paige that Nikki barely kicked out of. Both Divas pulled out all the stops to put the other down.
The end came when Paige caught an elbow to the face from AJ. Some would argue that Lee must have thought it was a Bella coming up behind her, but I call BS. We all know AJ has a few screws in her head loose and I wouldn’t put it past her that her jealousy at Paige getting a title shot overcame her calmer judgement. Nikki took advantage of the dazed Paige to deliver a rack attack to retain her title. Post match, AJ and Paige tore into each other as once again they put the enemy in frenemy.
Will give it to these main roster Divas. I am actually interested in their match. These four ladies have been putting on quality matches for main roster diva talent. I know, I’m surprised to hear myself say it too, but they are really beginning to kick some ass. So the question though is, will Paige and AJ figure things out before Sunday? Sure why not, crazier things have happened. I still call fatal four way for the title next pay per view though.
Snoop Dogg Has a Surprise
So Snoop Dogg is the guest host of Raw.. yay… He came out and played out to the WWE Universe only to be interrupted by Curtis Axel. The Axe man seemed to have issue with the D-O-Double G but Snoop had a surprise in store for the man who thinks he’s still in the Royal Rumble. Guess what? It’s HULK HOGAN! The Hulkster came out and both he and Snoop laid the smackdown on Axel’s candy ass an it was Snoop Dogg that tossed Curtis over the top rope and out of the ring (does this mean he’s eliminated now?) Hulk and Snoop then proceeded to pose for the fans and enjoy the moment while Axel sulked off into the back.
Los Matadores & El Torito vs Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, & Natalya
6 Being Inter-species Match (Cuz the first one left us wanting more…)
Winner: Los Matadores & El Torito
Because apparently we didn’t get enough of this nonsense on Smackdown, we get an inter-species rematch! If you watched Smackdown then you saw this match with a few differences. Nattie and El Torito didn’t see as much ring time, and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd nailed the spin into a drop kick move that is so beautifully executed every time they do it. Los Matadores looked like much more of a threat but still hold no candle to the current tag team champions. But luck was not on the side of right as El Torito countered Natalya’s powerbomb into a sunset flip and was able to secure the pin on Nattie. Understandably, Tyson was upset at his wife’s failure to win against a itty bitty bull.
Honestly, I was just happy the match was over when it was. I’m not a fan of Los Matadores or the Bull and would much rather see Tyson and Cesaro in matches against quality tag teams and not two guys in a mask that i couldn’t care enough about to discover which one is Fernando and which one is Diego. But there is a cool tag match for the titles on the pre-show for Mania on the WWE Network (for $9.99 😉 )
Jack Swagger vs Rusev
I’d like to say LOLRusevWins, but Jack Swagger did put up a fight and it wasn’t a squash match. Just mostly one and Swagger got crushed in the end like we knew he would. And just as the Bulgarian brute was making a beautiful example of why it’s a bad idea to go up against him, spot light whore himself John Cena appeared to save the day (always gotta be the hero that Cena) The Leader of the Cenation should have let Jack take the beating he’s gotten and survived before because Rusev turned his attention on the 15 time loser. The hero of the Russian Federation destroyed Cena and left him lying in a pool of broken dreams and agony as the Russian Flag majestically unfurled before the WWE Universe.
The match wasn’t much, we’ve seen it before. But The beating that Cena received I could watch over and over. The United States Champion showed no mercy on Cena as he righted the wrongs and achieved a certain kind of retribution to the bullying he had received at Cena’s hands over the past few weeks. Sunday will be a time of great celebration in Russia as Rusev once again proves that he is a Super Athlete and makes John Cena take a nap once more to retain his hard fought United States Championship.
Bray Wyatt Taunts the Undertaker
Bray Wyatt’s last sermon to the WWE Universe and to the Undertaker before Wrestlemania was a thing of beauty. He spoke in his typical charismatic way that just demanded that you pay attention to him He raged against the lies and falsehoods we all tell ourselves to make it through our days. The Eater of Worlds then told his faithful that he was no liar, but that he was the Sword of Truth that would cut away the lies. The Undertaker was a liar and in denial about is power. But Bray Wyatt, the Angel with the Burnt wings was sent to take him to the other side. As the thunder sounded, Bray Wyatt laughed and proclaimed his mastery over the powers that once made the Phenom special. Wyatt vowed that at Wrestlemania, he would take his rightful place among the Gods as the NEW FACE OF FEAR!
Loved this. It is definitely going to be an amazing match. Will Wyatt be the 2nd person to beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania? I think I feel a 21-2 coming soon >.>
Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan
Special Guest Referee: Dean Ambrose
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
If their clash on Smackdown was any indication of what we were to expect from Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan then the WWE Universe was blown away by what the two men gave us when they went one on one again on RAW! Speaking of the WWE Universe, they had the chance to have their voice heard as they voted on the app for who they wanted to see as the special guest referee. And of course, the Universe chose Dean Ambrose in a landslide 57% of the vote.
The match got underway and both men immediately showed off their technical backgrounds as they grappled and jockey for position over the other. The two were evenly matched and it was reversal after reversal. Counter after counter until finally the Show Off threw the WWE’s resident farm animal over the top rope. But the Leader of the Yes Movement would not let a little thing like being tossed over the top rope stop him as he then flipped back over it, grabbed Dolph around the head with his feet and used his strength to pull Ziggler over the top rope and dumped him on the outside.
The match would continue to be very competitive with either man battling and putting 100% of themselves into the match and holding nothing back. Bryan had Ziggler trapped in the corner with his viscous goat-like kicks and looked to have the upper hand as he went for the running knee to end it. But Somewhere Dolph found the strength and countered with a super kick that he then followed up with a Zig Zag to pick up the victory over the hairy little troll. (Again that is the difference between A+ players and B+ players.)
With the match over one would think that everyone would just go home right? Wrong. Dean Ambrose was out there and did I mention the Intercontinental title was hung over the ring? No? Well it was. Chaos erupted as ladders and all participants of the ladder match flooded the ring in a preview of what we can expect on Sunday. And in a true preview, all 7 men beat the ever living dog snot out of one another with no one looking particularly in an advantage over his competitors.
This was a lot of fun. Seeing Dolph and Daniel in a match together is pure gold. There are times when you get two guys in the ring that just know what they are doing and have amazing matches. These are two of the guys you could throw in the ring and have them wrestle the entire 3 hour show and it would not be boring. I do find it interesting that Dolph beat Daniel clean in both their encounters. Well I say that but then I remember Dolph is A+ and Daniel Bryan is a hairy little troll. So I’m not surprised anymore. But the match itself was a thing of beauty. One of those you could watch over and over again and still find something you missed. The added fun of having Dean Ambrose ref the match was interesting as he did call the thing right down the middle. This was most def the best match of the night.
Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns Come Face to Face
I can’t say enough about how amazing Paul Heyman is on the microphone. His ability to hype a match and make you believe that Roman Reigns is about to get his ass handed to him at Wrestlemania is second to none. And here’s the thing. I love Roman, but I don’t believe that he can take the title off of Brock Lesnar. And once again Paul Heyman, with the Beast Incarnate, came down to the ring to passionately reiterate just what lay in store for the Samoan Superman on Sunday.
How did Roman respond? He came down to the ring and stood face to face with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the first time since the day after Royal Rumble. And What did he have to say in response? Why nothing, but he did prove that perhaps he spent a little too much time with Dean Ambrose as he stole the Title right out of Brock Lesnar’s hands. But not to be out done in childish displays, Lesnar grabbed the title back but Reigns would not let go and the two then began to play tug of war with the most prestigious championship in the business. Aww isn’t that cute?
Anyway, our go home show sent us off to Wrestlemania in a huge way, no idea what to expect except if you’ve been paying attention and childish games aside, the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar will destroy Reigns and retain his Championship. Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat.