Wrestlemania happens later this month, and we’re “full speed ahead” heading to the Grand Stage. Last week, Paul Heyman confronted Roman Reigns, putting him over but reminding Reigns that Brock Lesnar is the greatest of all and a beast. How will Reigns prepare for Lesnar? Seth Rollins appeared on Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” and confronted him. Tonight, Stewart makes an appearance on Raw. Will he help set Randy Orton up with an opportunity to attack Rollins? And will John Cena continue to pursue Rusev and get him to agree to a rematch of their Fast Lane encounter at Wrestlemania?
Show Open, Live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
Then, now forever. The Raw intro leads us into tonight’s broadcast and into a pyro filled Prudential Center. Cole tells us that it’s 27 days until Wrestlemania, and that it’s a sold-out crowd tonight. Seth Rollins’ music hits, and here he comes to a chorus of boos with J&J Security in tow.
As Rollins comes to the ring, they recap how Rollins interrupted his “Moment of Zen” on The Daily Show. Rollins smirks at the video footage. JBL says Stewart better not show up. Rollins says he has received word that Stewart has wrapped up his show and is indeed on his way to Raw. Rollins gives him a warning: Unless he’s on his way to beg for forgiveness, he should just turn around. He says it’s not a “Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman situation.”
He says he plans to show the world that he can do Stewart’s job better than he can. He says he is the future, Mr. Money in the Bank, and the shining jewel of the Authority. “Unlike the Daily Show, where they give away their tickets for free, every person in those seats paid to see me.” Roman Reigns’ music hits.
JBL wonders what the “hothead” Reigns wants. Cole reminds us that Reigns will fight Brock Lesnar in 27 days for the title. Reigns gets in the ring with a smile on his face, to boos from the Jersey crowd. Reigns tells Rollins not to stop and says he wanted to come out and hear everyone tell Rollins he sucks live. Boos from some, “you suck” chants from others.
Rollins continues, and says he is worth more than Michael Jordan. He says he can out work everyone – he can out talk Jon Stewart, out rap Wiz Khalifa – addresses the What chant – and out eat Mark Henry. He says he can outwrestle Reigns and will be the next World Heavyweight Champion.
Rollins interrupts Reigns and says “I know what you’re going to tell me, you think you’re going to be the next World Heavyweight Champion. Well, Jersey agrees with me, you can’t beat Brock Lesnar.” Rollins says Lesnar is an unstoppable force, and while Reigns can’t beat him, Rollins can. Cheers from some.
Reigns tells Rollins he had his shot at Royal Rumble and didn’t get the job done. Reigns goes on to ask him if he is man enough to cash in his MITB contract and make the main event a triple threat. Rollins says he might be. He might also be man enough to wait til Reigns and Lesnar wear each other out “and cash in on whoever is left standing. Or, I could wait til the Raw after Wrestlemania. Or, I could wait until it’s on my terms.”
Reigns pulls his mic down and says “or I could punch you in the mouth right now.” Reigns punches Rollins, but J&J Security jumps him. Rollins escapes, but Noble takes a Superman Punch and Mercury takes a spear. Reigns poses while Rollins rubs his jaw at the stage.
I thought this was pretty decent. They set up Rollins with Stewart for tonight, and possibly with Wiz Khalifa (who will be in Pittsburgh) next week. Reigns got a really strong mixed reaction akin to John Cena, but not as strong as I thought it might be. I thought Reigns putting Rollins on the spot about the MITB briefcase was good, but it didn’t get a crowd reaction. Good reminder that it’s in play though.
The announcers talk about what just went down. Cole says that Rollins has to regroup because he will host his own version of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart later, and Stewart is on his way. Also, Paige will take on Nikki Bell for the Divas Championship. They also show Dean Ambrose walking backstage, and he has Bad News Barrett, next.
Back live, Rollins is rubbing his jaw. He says he forgot how hard Reigns hits and asks why J&J Security didn’t jump him. Randy Orton shows up and says that was embarrassing. He asks why J&J wasn’t there and why they let Reigns within 10 feet of Rollins. Orton tells him he should march to the Authority’s office and demand a one-on-one match with Reigns to prove he can out-wrestle reigns and out-talk Stewart. Rollins tells him he appreciates Orton’s advice but he will handle it his way. “Okay. I was just trying to help.” Orton exits.
Orton’s stirring the pot. Will he still be aligned with the Authority by the end of the show?