Dean Ambrose def. Luke Harper
The New Day def. Goldust and Stardust
Roman Reigns def. Kane via count out
Paige def. Summer Rae
Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins via DQ
Bad News Barrett def. Damien Mizdow
Jimmy Uso and Naomi def. Tyson Kidd and Natalya
Big Show def. Daniel Bryan via DQ
The show kicks off with one John Cena. Tonight his eye doesn’t look to be in rough shape as was the case last week. Cena hypes up the Orlando crowd before showing them the events that transpired between Cena and Rusev last week. Apparently during the brawl Cena suffered a scratched cornea. He vows to beat Rusev this Sunday at Fast Lane. His strategy is to simply take the fight to Rusev. He says this Sunday he will make history by being the first man to defeat Rusev and win the US Championship. Out comes Rusev with Lana by his side who criticize Cena for spitting the same tired rhetoric. Lana is drawing massive heat with the crowd who badger her with USA chants. Lana puts over Rusev by saying he is the most superior athlete in the WWE. Rusev cuts Lana off to tell Cena he will destroy everything John Cena stands for. They mock Cena for the top of the ramp and a frustrated Cena takes off for Rusev. The two begin to brawl with Cena gaining the upper hand. Cena smashes Rusev’s skull off the LED screen twice on top of just flat out giving Rusev a beat down at the top of the Raw set. A great way to sell their match at Fast Lane.
I enjoyed the Harper/Ambrose match. I especially enjoyed the spot before the mid match commercial break where Harper catches Ambrose coming off a suicide dive between the ropes and then drops him with a well placed boot. During the commercial break Harper gains the upper hand in the match and slows the pace down with rest holds. Ambrose fights out by biting the hands of Harper. After a back and forth exchange Ambrose hits Harper with a great tornado DDT. Harper had some opportunities to win the match with a well placed superkick and a tilt-a-whirl slam but they only resulted in two counts. The ending came with Ambrose hitting Dirty Deeds to get that win making a strong case to truly be #1 in the hunt for the Intercontinental Championship.
Bray Wyatt cut another weird promo directed at some mysterious entity. Looks like he was carrying a nail, very dark.
It’s very weird when Dusty Rhodes is the voice of reason with two people in face paint. Goldust and Stardust are set to take on members of The New Day. Super solid match from both teams. The match was at a steady pace, good enough to hold your attention. The ending saw a miscommunication between the brothers which resulted in Goldust getting caught with a Trouble in Paradise and losing the match. After the match Stardust helps his brother to his feet and before Goldust could exit the ring Stardust hit his brother with his finisher. Goldust vs. Stardust at Fast Lane?
The match between Reigns and Kane wasn’t anything special. The real treat was Daniel Bryan on commentary. This new confident side of Bryan is cool to watch and despite Reigns not being all that exciting in the ring I am still looking forward to their match at Fast Lane.
The Bellas swiped Paige’s gear so she resorted to borrowing a costume from the Rosebuds much to the chagrin of millions of male wrestling fans at home. Paige had a match with Summer Rae which was…it was a match. Despite it not being memorable that scorpion crosslock submission is a beauty.
Before his match against Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins cut a pretty good promo. I probably say this weekly but during a time where good bad guys are hard to find Seth Rollins a master at being the bad guy. There was the old “ban the stooges from ringside” spot which got the hot crowd going. The match was pretty standard up until the very end with counter after counter. Dolph hit Rollins with his superkick/Zig Zag combo but before he could get the three J&J Security jump in the ring causing a disqualification. Before all three men could dish out a beat down cavalry in the form of Erick Rowan and Ryback come running out to make the save for Ziggler. After disposing of J&J Security all three men celebrate in the ring.
After the commercial break the COO of the WWE Triple H comes down to the ring. He says that at Fast Lane WCW will step in the ring with WWE and the franchise of WCW Sting will have to look into the eyes of Triple H face to face. The music of Ric Flair hits and the WWE Hall of Famer comes down to the ring. Flair shares a bit of advice to his friend and says not to take Sting lightly and in the words of Triple H’s father in law Vince McMahon, don’t put yourself in a position to fail. Triple H ever the student of the wrestling industry gives the people a quick history lesson of Sting in WCW and says what pisses him off most is that Sting has built his legacy on the name of Ric Flair. He goes on to say that it is in Triple H’s best interest to not get into it with Sting simply because Triple H is no longer an active competitor, he should just stick to running a company. An agitated Triple says he understands Flair because Flair has been in the ring with Sting a million times but Sting has never been in the ring with the Cerebral Assassin. Flair takes a jab at Triple H and says he hopes he doesn’t turn on Fast Lane to see Triple H sitting on his ass. Triple H shoves Flair down and angrily says that no one outside of his wife and kids will stand in his way from protecting the name of the WWE. He and Flair exit the ring as we head to commercial.
If you tune in to the pre-show for Raw on the WWE Network you would have seen a returning Darren Young be challenged by The Ascension if he could find a partner. Now logically you’d think they would reunite the Primetime Players or use someone from the back that normally isn’t seen. Nope. We get some random Joe Schmo who doesn’t even get an introduction before he is cut off by The Ascension. The bell doesn’t even ring before The Ascension jumped on Young and his mystery partner. As The Ascension beat the two men down out comes Young’s former tag team partner Titus O’Neil to make the save. Primetime Players reunion?
Damien Mizdow had a match with bad News Barrett. Throughout the match Miz would ring a tiny bell whenever he needed Mizdow to do something of no importance. This distraction led to Barrett hitting Sandow with the Bullhammer elbow for the win. After the match Dean Ambrose jumped the ring and attacked Bad News Barrett. He zip ties Barrett’s hands around the ring post and forces him to sign the contract for a match between Ambrose and Barrett at Fast Lane for the Intercontinental Championship.
I didn’t really pay attention to Jimmy Uso/Naomi vs. Tyson Kidd/Natalya match but the parts I did see the ladies were killing it. They need to give more time to the ladies who know what they’re doing in the ring, it’s a good way to make women’s wrestling seem important and something should be taken seriously. Jimmy Uso and Naomi get the win on a quick rollup.
Big Show versus Daniel Bryan wasn’t too exciting. I think the best thing Reigns has done since this whole thing started with the Royal Rumble was tonight getting under the skin of Bryan by schmoozing with the fans, signing autographs, and taking selfies. Brilliant! The middle stages of the match saw a slight scuffle as Big Show hit Reigns with a spear on the outside thanks to Bryan ducking out of the way. In the ring Bryan has the upper hand and it looks like he was ready to hit his missile dropkick but Reigns enter the ring and hits Big Show with the Superman Punch causing Daniel Bryan to get disqualified. After this basically all hell breaks loose when Bryan and Reigns just start brawling. It takes about four officials to separate them and when cooler heads prevail Bryan and Reigns shake hands and call truce…or so we think. Both men just start wailing on each other causing more agents and officials to come and calm the mayhem as we fade to black and the show is over.
Final Thoughts: This was another Raw where it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exciting either. This show did a really good job at selling the PPV Sunday which is the main point. The ending segment between Bryan and Reigns really did a solid job of selling the Fast Lane main event and might’ve changed a few minds as well.
What did you think of Raw? Comment below or reach out to us on the following social media links: