March 9, 2015
CONSOL Energy Center
If you missed last week’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw click here
For all of our coverage on the WWE and WrestleMania click here
WWE Raw Pre-Show:
Scott Stanford, Corey Graves, and David Otunga hosted from WWE Headquarters. Graves noted that Raw is being held in his hometown of Pittsburgh. They spoke about the Arnold Classic event, and Graves noted that he hosted the WWE Experience. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were hyped for Raw. Stanford questioned what Lesnar would say about his future with WWE and the main event at WrestleMania. They also hyped Wiz Khalifa as the guest star. Roman Reigns faces Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in a handicap match on Raw. The hosts played up whether Undertaker will respond to Bray Wyatt. Otunga said there’s a chill in the air and tonight could be the night Wyatt gets a response from Taker. Graves said he doesn’t know if Taker has anything left in the tank, but he said that if he does he will respond to Wyatt. Backstage at Raw, Renee Young interviewed Bad News Barrett about not having possession of the title belt. He said he would be facing Daniel Bryan on Raw. With a few minutes left in the show, they once again mentioned that Brock Lesnar will appear on Raw, then made predictions about what he would say. They closed the show with their bold predictions.
The Authority & Randy Orton Segment:
Randy Orton makes his way to the ring. Seth Rollins, Kane, Big Show, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury are already in the ring. Kane tells Randy that they could have done this in private, behind closed doors before the show started, but they wanted to do this in the ring in public, to prove to everyone that you are one of us to rub it in their face and show their ignorance. Kane says that he welcomes Randy back into the Authority. Big Show says they go back a long time and then Show waits to deal with the ignorant ‘You Sold Out’ chants before continuing. Show says that when he looks at Randy, he sees the most talented and sadistic Superstar. He is so ruthless that he would RKO his own father if he stood in the way of what he wanted. Show says that he stood up for Randy and told them what he could provide. He welcomes Randy back into the Authority. Jamie Noble says that he is proud and he calls Randy a no good snake who cannot be trusted. Seth tells Randy to excuse Jamie because he has always been the sensitive one. He asks Jamie if he was offended when Randy gave him an RKO. He says that Jamie is 100% thrilled that Randy is back, just like Joey. Joey doesn’t want to say anything.
Seth tells Randy to cut them some slack. He wants to address the elephant in the room. Everyone in the WWE Universe has been saying the same thing. They are saying that Randy Orton is not part of the Authority. Randy is just biding his time until he gets his revenge on Seth Rollins. You guys must feel like the biggest idiots on Planet Earth right now. Seth says it is not because you live in Pittsburgh, but because he is standing side by side with Randy Orton in the same ring as proud members of the Authority. Seth says everyone had a little bit of doubt, including himself. He is willing to say that he had some doubt. Everyone had doubts, even Big Show, but no one cares what Big Show thinks. Seth wonders why everyone is so stressed out. He says they are all back together as one big happy family. Seth says that he wants to extend his hand and welcome Randy home. Seth wants everyone to give it up for Randy Orton. Randy says that was very touching. He thanks everyone for the kind words and he felt it in the bottom of his heart. It left him thinking about something. What the hell happened to the Authority? You guys are kissing his ass. Who do you think you are?
Kane was the Devil’s Favorite Demon, now are you the Devil’s Favorite Dumbass? Are you kicking ass and taking names or kissing ass and making coffee? Why isn’t Big Show the most dominant man in the WWE. Instead, you bitch and moan about yourself. From the most dominant superstar to the most pathetic. Jamie, you speak from your gut, but why do you despise him so much? Is it because people know who he is or is it because Randy can get on all the rides at Disneyland. Randy says his daughter feels the same way, but she is six years old. Randy ignores Joey completely before going to Seth. You are the self proclaimed future of the WWE. You have been blinded by your ego so much that you cannot see. Randy has been getting close to your ‘family’ to make sure that you are safe and secure. At that time, he will strike. Not only will he beat Seth, he will make Seth his bitch. You are going to feel every stomp, kick, and punch as he takes him apart piece by piece until there is no future for Seth Rollins. Randy says that he is just playing around with you. He is messing around and Seth laughs with him. Seth tells Randy he had him good and maybe Randy should take over for Jon Stewart. Wait until you see what him and his partner do tonight when they really have fun when they dismantle Roman Reigns and derail him on his Road to Wrestlemania.
Josh’s Reaction: Nice way to start off Raw and thought that there was good back and forth barbing between Orton and The Authority. Great heel work from The Authority. Funny comedy routine from Randy Orton when he was running down the other members of The Authority. I thought it was a good segment because they were playing posse and it adds more speculation as to if Orton was telling truth and if he could trust The Authority. Good start to the show 10 minute segment didn’t drag too long, so I can’t complain.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 91/100 A-
First Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Bad News Barrett
Bryan with a wrist lock and hammer lock. Barrett with an elbow but Bryan with a knee to the midsection. Bryan with a knee drop and he gets a near fall. Bryan with a hammer lock and he takes Barrett to the mat and he applies a knee drop to the arm. Barrett with an elbow after he backs Bryan into the corner. Barrett kicks Bryan and the referee warns him. Barrett with a snap mare but he misses a knee drop. Bryan with a kick to the back of the leg and then he works on the arm. Bryan with a double underhook and he follows with a butterfly suplex for a near fall. Bryan goes back to the hammer lock. Barrett with a forearms and Irish whip but he runs into a boot from Bryan and then Bryan kicks Barrett into the corner but Bryan goes for the running drop kick, but Barrett with a boot to the head.
Barrett puts Bryan in the ropes and he connects with a series of knees and follows with a running boot that sends Bryan to the floor as we go to commercial. Barrett has Bryan on the top turnbuckle and Barrett with a knee to the midsection and then he goes for a superplex and hits it. Barrett gets a near fall. Barrett gets Bryan on his shoulders but Bryan escapes. Bryan with a crucifix for a near fall and then he follows with the flying knee and he gets the three count. After the match, Bryan celebrates and Barrett hits Bryan with a Bullhammer when Bryan turns around as he comes off the turnbuckles. Dean Ambrose’s music plays and he attacks Barrett with a running forearm.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Josh’s Reaction: Solid match there with Bryan & Barrett. I liked the match my only problem with it is that the commentary barely talked about what was going in the ring. Alot of attention was put on R-Truth and comedy instead of the ladder match and the match that was currently going on. I think that’s a spit in a face to both Bryan and Barrett. Not bothered by the fact that Barrett continues to lose non title matches because once again he’s a heel if a bad guy character loses on tv what’s the problem. I thought it was good however that Barrett did take out Bryan after the match was over, but that moment of shine was quickly taken away when Dean Ambrose laid out Bad News Barrett.
Grade for this Match/Storyline 85/100 B
Second Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Stardust
Back and forth to start the match. Ambrose drops Stardust for a quick pin attempt. Ambrose works Stardust over but Stardust fights back. Ambrose counters with a knee to the gut and a kick. Ambrose runs Stardust’s face along the top rope. Stardust fights back again but Ambrose slaps him in the face. Ambrose sends Stardust out to the floor and follows up with a dive. Ambrose brings it back in the ring but Stardust cuts him off on the apron. Stardust whips the leg on the apron and kicks Ambrose back to the floor. We go to commercial. Back from the break and Ambrose is making a comeback. Ambrose unloads and runs over Stardust with forearms. Ambrose with a running bulldog. Ambrose ends up hitting the big clothesline off the ropes. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds for the win.
After the match, Ambrose grabs the Intercontinental Title belt and holds it up but Bad News Barrett attacks him from behind. Daniel Bryan runs down next and gets involved in the fight. Luke Harper is next, followed by Dolph Ziggler to a pop. R-Truth sneaks over with his potato sack and puts the title belt into it. Ambrose tosses Bryan. Stardust takes out Ambrose. Ziggler takes out Stardust with a superkick. Harper takes down Ziggler with a clothesline. Bryan hits the knee on Harper. Barrett hits the Bullhammer on Bryan. Barrett looks around for his title and JBL tells on Truth. Barrett grabs the sack and takes off through the crowd with it, stopping to pose. Truth runs off to the stage with something clutched tight. Barrett pulls the belt out of his bag and it’s a replica. Truth pulls the real title out of a sack on the stage and poses with it as his music hits.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Josh’s Reaction: You get a good match with Bryan/Barrett and WWE follows up with another good match with Stardust/Ambrose. You got 30 minutes of Raw to build into this Intercontinental Title Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania. The Intercontinental Championship wouldn’t be relevant if they took 30 minutes on Raw one title feud that’s saying something especially since WrestleMania is right around the corner. I thought Ambrose and Stardust clicked well in the ring together. I don’t think Stardust or Daniel Bryan will be in the match, but there was a nice brawl and the IC Title feud has been on a massive roll on this road to WrestleMania 31.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 90/100 A-
We get a WWE Hall of Fame video for Connor The Crusher, who will receive the Warrior Award. We come back to a big applause in the arena and Connor’s brother & father at ringside.
Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar Promo:
Heyman talks about the upcoming WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 31 between his client — Brock Lesnar — and Roman Reigns. Heyman introduces a video package, which shows a Roman Reigns interview. Reigns talks about his life in the interview, including him pointing out that The Rock told him in his ear to stay humble and remember his family at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view earlier this year. With that said, Heyman introduces the champion himself — Brock Lesnar. Lesnar’s music plays and the champ makes his way to the ring. Lesnar stands by quietly as Heyman continues to speak. Heyman warns WWE not to pull a “Montreal Screwjob” scenario on them at WrestleMania.
As Heyman continues to speak, his mic cuts out. Heyman says it’s funny because whoever behind the curtain is responsible for this simply won’t come down to the ring and take the belt out of his hands. This leads to Heyman bringing up the UFC title and what do you know? Heyman’s mic cuts off again. Heyman then brings up Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacqiauo. He says the WWE World Heavyweight Championship no longer belongs to WWE — it belongs to Brock Lesnar — and he’s not giving it back. Lesnar’s “advocate” then brings up Lesnar beating The Rock at SummerSlam years ago and sending him to Hollywood. After that, he brings up Lesnar ending The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania. Then, he brings up Lesnar squashing John Cena at last year’s SummerSlam. Heyman wraps up the promo.
Josh’s Reaction: Another epic promo from Paul Heyman. He can sell Simon Dean vs Heidenreich as the main event of WrestleMania that’s how good he is. Only thing I will disagree with him is the whole mixing MMA and Pro Wrestling together. If I wanted to watch the UFC I will watch it on UFC Fight Pass not on USA Network during a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING SHOW! Nonetheless really good promo from Paul Heyman.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 100/100 A+
Bray Wyatt Promo:
Bray Wyatt appears backstage after the Lesnar-Heyman segment. We see that he has The Undertaker’s urn. Wyatt simply tells Undertaker, “tonight — find me.” The picture cuts out and we head to a commercial break.
Third Match: Kane & Big Show vs Ryback & Erick Rowan
Ryback goes for the Meathook early on but Kane runs over him with a big boot. Big Show tags in and hits a big spear for a close call. Show works Ryback over and beats him around the ring now. Show drops Ryback with a shoulder and yells at the fans. Kane tags in and hits a boot to the head. Kane goes for a suplex but Ryback counters and hits one of his own.
The finish comes when Show goes for the knockout punch on Rowan but accidentally hits Kane. Ryback takes Show out on the floor and Rowan gets the pin on Kane. After the match, Big Show comes back in the ring and argues with Kane. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and out she comes yelling at them. She tells Big Show to shut up and is upset about how they’re acting this close to WrestleMania and about how they’re representing WWE. Stephanie yells at them to get out of her ring and orders them to leave.
Winner: Ryback & Erick Rowan
Josh’s Reaction: Wished the match went longer nothing really special here. Surprised that Stephanie came out of no where and told them to leave the building. Something must be up with Stephanie cause two weeks in a row she just comes out here to scream at people.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 75/100 C
The Miz, Wiz Khalifa and Damien Mizdow Backstage Segment:
Wiz Khalifa is backstage with The Miz now. Wiz isn’t sure about working with The Miz because of last week’s commercial. Wiz says he also met a real WWE Superstar and introduces Wizdow. Damien Sandow appears and starts rapping. Sandow announces himself for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The Miz leaves upset and we go to commercial.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 93/100 A-
Wiz Khalifa Concert:
1.) We Dem Boys
2.) Black & Yellow
3.) All in the Family
The Bella Twins Promo:
We see a clip from the new WWE Flintstones movie. Byron Saxton is backstage with The Bella Twins, who brag about being in the movie. They’re planning on knocking AJ Lee and Paige back into the Stone Age at WrestleMania.
Fourth Match: AJ Lee w/Paige vs Summer Rae w/Cameron and Eva Marie
Summer strikes first and they go at it. AJ comes back with a dropkick. Summer ends up taking control and keeping AJ grounded. AJ finally turns it around out of the corner and hits a Thesz Press. AJ with more offense and a big clothesline in the corner. AJ hits a neckbreaker and a DDT for a two count. AJ runs into a kick from Summer and goes down for a two count. Summer is frustrated now. AJ counters another move and makes Summer tap with the Black Widow.
Winner: AJ Lee
Josh’s Reaction: Short divas match which is unfortunate because Summer Rae is a very good athlete and I think if the match went a little bit longer then it was. For the time it had it was alright. It’s nice seeing AJ Lee back in the ring not only is she a great sight to see, but she’s a good performer.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 79/100 C+
Sting says that he has been called a vigilante, but he is more than that. He is the face of retribution. He is the silencer of injustice. He is Sting. He has been watching you. He knows how power and ego can corrupt and destroy lives. When WCW perished, it fell on a broken authority. He tried to save WCW, but he failed. He knows pain. He knows the pain of loss. After Wrestlemania, you will too. You talk about control, but you cannot control vengeance. You will collapse beneath your thirst for control. Sting says he loyalty never changed. You need to be taken down. He has been waiting 14 years to do it. At Wrestlemania the game is over.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 94/100 A
Rusev and John Cena Backstage Segment:
Rusev walks in the back with Lana and he is stopped by John Cena. Rusev tells Cena he won’t get a match. Cena does not care. He knows that wrestling at Wrestlemania is a privilege, not a right. You have had the privilege to come to this country to support your family. Be a proud hero of the Russian Federation. It does not give you the right to go to the ring every week to denigrate this country. Cena says he has the right to shut Rusev’s mouth. Cena tells Rusev to say one word about the United States, we won’t need a match at Wrestlemania.
Grade for this Segment: 86/100 B
Fifth Match: Rusev w/Lana vs Curtis Axel
Rusev kicks Axel as he enters the ring and the referee pulls Axel away before he will start the match. Axel punches Rusev but Rusev with a jumping thrust kick. Rusev rolls Axel over and stomps on his back and applies the Accolade and Axel taps out. Rusev takes his time to release the hold, but he does. Rusev wants a mic but Lana suggests that maybe he stay silent tonight. Rusev will not listen to Lana and he says that this title represents each and every one of you because he is delusional. In the real Hulkamania days, America was strong. You live in the past. You Americans want to negotiate. You are spineless. If you had a spine you would be made of jello. If you had a heart, it would be full of disease. If you had a soul, God would look down and spit on it.
Rusev is pleased with what he had to say, but John Cena comes out and he is not in a mood to talk. Cena makes his way to the ring and Rusev kicks Cena but Cena with a double leg take down and he puts Rusev in the STF. Cena leans back to apply more pressure and Rusev passes out. While the medical staff checks on Rusev, Cena comes back into the ring with a bottle of water and he revives Rusev. Cena reapplies the STF and Rusev taps. Lana tells Cena to please let him go. Lana agrees to give Cena the match at Wrestlemania. And she says the match will be for the United States Title.
Josh’s Reaction: That was pretty good I’m not a Cena fan, but at the same I don’t rag tag him like everybody else and I do have respect for him. That was perfect that was all they needed to do to get this match going. We needed to see the aggressive John Cena and we got it.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 85/100 B
Bray Wyatt Promo:
Bray Wyatt is back and he says that he would walk through the fires of hell to see you. He cannot wait much longer. Tonight, he raises the dead. Find me.
Sixth Match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The New Day
Kidd and Woods start things off and Kidd with a waist lock into a side head lock. Woods with a head scissors and Irish whip followed by a forearm into the corner. Big E tags in and he sends Woods into Kidd in the corner and Big E gets a near fall. Big E with a back breaker and he holds on for a second one. Woods tags in and Big E with a third one and he sends Kidd into the turnbuckles for snake eyes and Woods with an enzuigiri and he gets a near fall.
Kidd with an elbow and he kicks Woods and goes to the apron. Cesaro tries to interfere but Woods takes care of him. Cesaro clips Woods and he kicks Woods. Cesaro with a European uppercut and he tags Kidd back in and he kicks Woods and works on the injured leg. Cesaro slams the injured leg into the mat and Kidd with a step over toe hold. Cesaro tags in and he kicks Woods in the injured leg. Cesaro with a single leg crab on Woods. Woods kicks Cesaro away but Kidd tags in and he takes care of Big E. Woods with a front driver out of a wheelbarrow position after Natalya distracted Tyson and Woods gets the three count.
Winner: The New Day
Josh’s Reaction: Surprised the New Day won the match wasn’t expecting to see New Day be involved in the WWE Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania. The match was okay from what was going in the ring, but the crowd couldn’t care less about this match.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 78/100 C+
Seventh Match: Naomi w/The Usos vs. Natalya w/Tyso Kidd & Cesaro
Back from the break and the Diva are trading pin attempts before fighting to their feet, still locked up, and trading holds. Natalya catches a kick and throws Naomi to the mat but she lands it with a split. Natalya decks her for a two count. A brawl breaks out between The Usos and the champions at ringside. Naomi hits the Rearview on Natalya for the win. After the match, Natalya grabs Kidd’s title belt and walks off with it, saying it’s hers. The music hits for Los Matadores and out they come with El Torito. They stop and look at Kidd, Cesaro and Natalya before going to the ring.
Josh’s Reaction: Just another match what else can I say. I know that these two can put on a really good, but how can we see that when you break into a commercial and then you see two minutes of action.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 69/100 D+
Eight Match: The Usos w/Naomi vs. Los Matadores w/El Torito
Jey Uso starts off with Fernando and they go at it. Fernando gets the upperhand as we go to commercial. Back from the break and The Usos have taken control of the match. Jimmy Uso finally gets a tag and comes off the top with a big splash for two count. One of the Matadores with a big counter into a DDT for a two count. One of the Matadores comes off the top but Uso superkicks him in mid-air for a two count as the other Matadore broke the pin. Uso nails a Samoan Drop on one of the Matadores as he’s trying to dive out of the ring. El Torito gets on the ropes and distracts Uso, allowing Fernando get the win via roll up on Jimmy.
Winner: Los Matadores
Josh’s Reaction: Solid match and I was surprised that Los Matadores won. I think we’ll see a tag team turmoil for the WWE Tag Team Championship on the pre-show for WrestleMania.
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 74/100 C
Seth Rollins Backstage Segment:
Mercury and Noble are backstage with Seth Rollins. He tells them to trust him in regards to Randy Orton. Rollins says they all like to kid around and that’s what Orton was doing. Rollins says they need to focus on Reigns tonight and give him what he deserves.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 83/100 B
Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker Segment:
Bray says he won’t worship The Undertaker. He doesn’t even want to stand by Taker’s side, he just wants to walk over his bones on the way to the throne. Wyatt says he is the new face of fear. Wyatt says all these people used to fear Taker. Wyatt says WrestleMania will be Taker’s resurrection and his requiem, his final resting place. Wyatt asks Taker to come out and accept the challenge, wherever he is. Wyatt shows us the urn sitting on a table. Wyatt asks if the urn can bring back the dead. He drops the mic and grabs the urn. He holds it with both hands and laughs. He puts it back down and tells everyone that it’s empty and shallow, just like… the urn starts smoking. The lights flicker and we see The Undertaker’s lighting on the big screens. The bells toll and the lights go out to a big pop. Wyatt yells. A spotlight chines down over the urn in the middle of the ring. We hear The Undertaker’s voice. He says Wyatt will Rest In Peace and there’s a WrestleMania “The Man Comes Around” graphic on the big screen. Wyatt’s rocking chair flames up and starts burning in the middle of the ring. Wyatt looks on and laughs. Taker’s music hits as Wyatt stares at the burning rocking chair.
Grade for this Segment/Storyline: 90/100 A-
Ninth Match: Randy Orton & Seth Rollins w/JJ Security vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns knocks Rollins down first and goes to work. Rollins ends up sending Reigns to the floor. The Stooges go to attack him but back off when the referee turns around. Reigns and Rollins go at it in the ring now. Reigns with a slam for a one count. Rollins counters and takes out Reigns’ knee. Rollins works Reigns over and takes him down by the neck for a pin attempt. After some stalling and more back and forth, Reigns brings it back in and hits a big clothesline. Rollins turns it around with a kick to the back of the head after ducking a clothesline. Rollins goes to tag in Orton but Orton pulls his arm back. The crowd pops. Rollins asks Orton what he’s doing. Orton makes it clear he’s not taking a tag and the crowd pops again. Rollins turns around to a spear from Reigns for the win.
After the bell, Reigns poses and exits the ring. Orton stares Rollins down from the steps at ringside. Orton walks in the ring and stalks Rollins. Orton picks Rollins up and smacks him around. Orton tosses Rollins over the top rope and follows. Rollins tries to crawl away but Orton clotheslines him. Orton whips Rollins into a camera man and they go down. Orton takes apart the steel steps and puts Rollins’ head on it. Orton asks Rollins if heremembers what he did to Orton. Orton whips Rollins into another set of steps. Orton disses The Authority and talks trash to Rollins before beating him with several uppercuts. Orton knocks Rollins over the barrier with a big uppercut.
Orton follows Rollins into the crowd and beats him around with a steel chair. Orton with more trash taking in Rollins’ face. Orton with another uppercut. Orton brings Rollins back over the barrier with a draping DDT. Rollins is left face down on the floor now. Orton launches Rollins over the announce table and face first into a chair. Orton takes apart the announce table. Orton takes Rollins to the top of the announce table and puts him through it with a RKO. Orton’s music hits as Rollins is left laying face down on the broken table. RAW goes off the air.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Grade for this Match/Storyline: 96/100 A
Josh’s Grade for WWE Raw: 84/100 B
Follow Josh Lopez on Twitter @VoiceOfTruth94