This is it – the final Raw before Wrestlemania 31. Santa Clara, CA is getting ready and crews are assembling staging and sets at Levi’s Stadium, but WWE passes through Los Angeles, CA tonight and pays a visit to the Staples Center before the “Grandest Stage of them All” this coming Sunday. All the main stories heat up: Brock Lesnar will face his challenger, Roman Reigns, on this show tonight. John Cena and Rusev will likely exchange words one more time heading into their US Championship collision. All six men in the ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship will face off in some form. Triple H will address Sting, and surely Seth Rollins has something in mind for Randy Orton.
Show Open, Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
Then, Now, Forever. Raw intro rolls, then Michael Cole welcomes us into the sold-out Staples Center. JBL hypes up Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar facing off sometime tonight. Snoop Dogg and ESPN’s Bill Simmons will also be on the show.
The arena goes dark and the crow sounds. Sting is joining us to start the show, and he comes out to a big reaction. Cole recounts the end of WCW, and how Sting was the face of the company. He says this is a moment we never thought we would see happen. JBL says Sting has no idea what he’s getting into in WWE and facing Triple H. Booker T says Sting does know what he’s getting into.
Sting waits out a brief chant and says “So this is what it feels like to kick off Monday Night Raw. WOOOOO!” He says he has been known as the WCW soldier and how he has watched Triple H “do whatever he has had to do to get to the very top where he is now.” He asks if Hunter is unstoppable, and if he thinks there will be no consequence.
He says he isn’t there to fight for WCW, because it would be ridiculous at this point. He says he is there to take Triple H down. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and she makes her way to the ring. “So this is what it feels like to be in the ring with the Stinger, the last holdout of WCW.” She mockingly congratulates him for making it to the big time, to share the ring with her.
Sting calls her a spoiled brat who has had everything handed to her in life “and somehow believes (she’s) earned it.” She says she understands why Sting would lash out, and it’s because he’s intimidated. She tells Sting that he was the big fish in the little pond, but now he is a minnow in a gigantic pond. She reminds Sting that her father defeated WCW.
Stephanie says she has to give the devil his due and credits Sting for his loyalty. She compares him to a dog, saying that dogs are loyal too. She says that she would compare him to a dog, but she didn’t want to insult dogs. “Let me remind you of something. WCW lost. You lost.” She tells Sting he lost his dignity and pride along with that loss. She tells him he will lose whatever he has left of it when Triple H pins him in the ring on Sunday. “Face it Sting, you’re nothing more than a face painted freak.”
Sting gives his yell. Stephanie tries to slap him, but Sting’s too fast. Hunter’s music hits and he comes out, getting rid of the tie and walking with purpose. Hunter slowly walks around the ring, which, by the way has the NXT styled video board on it this week. He talks to Stephanie briefly, then yanks off his coat and rolls up his sleeves.
Stephanie goes under the ring for his sledge hammer. Sting pulls out the bat and Hunter thinks twice. Sting can be heard saying “You’ve got your sledge hammer, I’ve got a bat. Make a move.” Hunter gets off the apron and begins to back away. Sting pulls the overcoat off and goads Hunter on, but Stephanie keeps him at bay.
Sting had some nice confidence and energy here. I like them keeping the physicality apart for these two. It will feel more special on Sunday. Sting actually seemed relaxed and having fun with this. He was good here, and I’m thinking we don’t need another segment with these two tonight.
They hype up Randy Orton taking on someone from the Authority tonight, which will be up to a fan vote.
Backstage, AJ and Paige are talking, and they’re going to have to decide which of them will face Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship tonight.
Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring for the first match. He will be teaming with the “delightfully unstable” R-Truth to take on Luke Harper and Stardust. That’s coming up next.
Match #1 – R-Truth and Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper and Stardust
Bad News Barrett has made his way to ringside, and he will join us on commentary for this match. Early on, the fans rain down “Cody” chants on Stardust. Harper covers his ears in a funny moment. The announcers discuss the thievery of the Intercontinental Championship belt with Barrett as the early action sees the teams exchange offense. Stardust and Harper end up getting dumped to ringside going to commercial.
Back live, Stardust is controlling Ambrose. They show Harper delivering a big boot during the break. Ambrose ends up in the wrong end of town and tries to escape but Stardust hits the Alabama Slam for two. Barrett says the four men can fight all night so they can wear themselves out because it’s better for him. Harper rakes at the eyes of Ambrose as JBL says that Barrett will give England something to be happy about. Harper hits a slingshot off the second rope.
Barrett threatens Booker with a Bull Hammer for talking about the odds for the match. Harper hits his version of the Black Hole Slam for two. Harper perches Ambrose on the ropes and Stardust tags in to try for a superplex. Ambrose counters with a faceplant, but Stardust gets the tag and Harper knocks Ambrose to the floor.
Harper hits a clothesline, and he and Ambrose get back to the ring. Ambrose plants Harper with a tornado DDT. Both man hit the hot tags and Truth goes off on Stardust. He hits a finish but Harper breaks the cover up. Ambrose takes him out with a dive, and Truth finishes off Stardust for the win. Barrett escapes.
Back in the ring, Truth and Ambrose do a little dance and play to the fans. Cole hypes up that we get to pick who faces Randy Orton later – will it be Kane, Big Show, or Seth Rollins and his security goons? JBL says that Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns will go face to face later, but we will get a look at Reigns in more detail, next.
This was fine. I would liked to have seen more attention paid to the match in the ring, but Barrett wasn’t completely distracting on commentary and it did add to the ladder match story. Some of the odds talk was a bit of garbage that could have been left aside, as each man has a 1-in-7 chance to win.
Cole tells us that we have a special presentation. Renee Young welcomes the Special Olympics CEO and a number of athletes. She says that WWE is pleased to announce their partnership with Special Olympics for the World Games which will take place in Los Angeles this summer.
Focus on the announcers. Cole swings to talking about Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. Cole says that they had a candid interview with Reigns, and sends it to a video package.
Reigns calls this match the biggest moment of his life. He talks about how Heyman has fed Lesnar’s bravado, but he can be beaten and he is the man to do it. He says he will show intensity no one has seen before. There’s a Heyman voiceover in there that says “You can’t slay my beast.” He talks about being told he can’t, and says he can, and he will. Believe that.
Back live, Cole reminds us that Lesnar and Reigns will be face to face later. They move on to talk about Bill Simmons and JBL exchanging words on Twitter all week, and he will be out next. Miz’s music hits and Cole says “look who’s home.”
Miz comes out, with Mizdow in tow. Mizdow gets a big pop, of course. This is a ten-man tag match coming up. Cole says they interviewed Kevin Hart and Will Farrell to talk about “Get Hard.” They feed it to an interview clip between the four men, with Miz using it to insult Mizdow, essentially. The interview is on WWE.com if you care to see it.
Match #2 – Ryback, Erick Rowan, Titus O’Neil, Zack Ryder, and Darren Young vs. The Miz, Mizdow, The Ascension, and Adam Rose
They focus on Bill Simmons who has joined the announce position. JBL gives him credit, but Simmons says he has heard the tweets all week. Miz against Titus early. Titus hits a fallway slam, tags in Young and front suplexes him onto Miz. Miz controls Young momentarily, then tags in Rose.
Young fires off on Rose, hitting a stiff right hand and a neckbreaker. Young tags in Rowan, who hits a fallaway slam. There’s a lot of gabbing going on at the announce position that has zero to do with the match. Ryder gets the tag and hits the Broski Boot on Rose. The Ascension starts to work over Ryder, hitting a combination crab/leg drop move. Ryder breaks up the cover, but the heels continue to control the action.
Mizdow tags himself in and hits the combination backbreaker/neckbreaker move. Miz forces him to tag out and brags about it. Ryder faceplants Miz and tags out to Ryback. “It’s dinnertime, Bill.” Ryback hits a Thesz Press on Miz then a spinebuster.
Ryback sets up the Meathook, but ends up gorilla pressing Adam Rose. The Ascension takes out the Prime Time Players but they get clotheslined by Ryback. Miz takes advantage and stomps Ryback down, but Ryback fires back with the Meathook and Shellshocked to get the win. The faces celebrate as Mizdow tends to Miz.
A rare Raw win for some of the career jobbers. I guess it set up the Andre the Giant Battle Royale a bit, and the action was overall fine, but it was very much the backdrop for the announcers chatting away.
The announcers talk about the Network briefly, then roll it to a recap of what happened with Sting and Randy Orton at the end of Raw last Monday. Up next, we will find out who Randy Orton will face next – Big Show, Kane, or Seth Rollins and J&J. Voting closes soon.
Randy Orton comes to the ring. They talk about his match at Wrestlemania against Seth Rollins, saying he finally gets his hands on Rollins. Booker T announces the results, and it’s Seth Rollins and the security who he will face.
Match #3 – Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins and J&J Security:
Rollins, Noble and Mercury make their way to the ring as Cole talks about how Orton is ready for this. Mercury starts off against Orton, and the three have to tag in and out. Orton plants Mercury and yells to tag in Rollins. Mercury teases a tag to Rollins but tags Noble in instead.
Orton takes over on Noble, using the Garvin stomp on him. He whips Noble thru the ropes to the floor. Orton gets his hands on Rollins and tries the elevated DDT, but Mercury gets involved. The distraction costs Orton, and that lets Noble get in some stomps on Orton. Noble gets in Orton’s face but takes an uppercut and an elbow. Mercury tries to intervene but can’t.
Mercury takes a scoop slam, then Orton sets up the elevated DDT. Noble tries to help Mercury, but no luck. Instead, double DDT. Rollins tries a curb stomp, but Orton avoids it and tries to hit the RKO. Instead, Mercury gets clotheslined over the top. Rollins escapes the ring and jaws at Orton. Noble takes the RKO, and Orton wins.
The build to this match is really odd, but I still think it will be good and worth looking forward to. It’s weird how they want us to be excited to see Orton get his hands on Rollins, but he destroyed him a couple weeks ago. Rollins also needed some heat tonight, and instead he played chickenshit. Odd build.
Cole gives a brief shill for the Network. He moves on to hype Cena vs. Rusev, and feeds it to an exclusive interview with John Cena that took place during the past week. Cena says he wears his heart on his sleeve and he backs up what he says. He wants to be the ambassador to send a good message to all countries by winning back the US Championship.
Cole sells Jack Swagger vs. Rusev to happen later tonight.
Backstage, AJ and Paige talk about Nikki giving one of them a title match tonight. AJ says it seems like Nikki is trying to divide them before Mania. Paige says that she has had to deal with the Bellas while AJ was away, so she feels she should take the title match, unless AJ wants it. AJ says she’s just trying to keep them from falling into a trap. Paige says that turning down a title match makes her crazy. AJ asks what she said, and Paige hugs her and says they’ll be fine tonight. AJ rolls her eyes.
Match #4 – Paige (w/AJ Lee) vs. Nikki Bella (c, w/Brie Bella); WWE Divas Championship
JBL talks about how it’s smart strategy for the Bellas to divide Paige and AJ. Old school ring introductions for this title match. Cole says that Paige can tie AJ and Eve Torres for title runs if she wins tonight with three.
Paige unloads early on Nikki with right hands and a headbutt. Paige knees away on Nikki in the ropes. Nikki falls to ringside to regroup. Paige continues the assault once Nikki gets back in the ring. Nikki starts to fire up and does her push-ups. Scott Steiner would be proud. Moments later, Paige hits a dive off the apron on Nikki. Nikki manages to regroup and take control of the match going to commercial.
Back live, Nikki is controlling Paige with a headlock. Fans are chanting for Paige, who starts to fight back but takes a spinebuster. Nikki trash talks but takes a knee lift then both of them hit clotheslines. The two ladies sell. Paige hits a series of short arm clotheslines and crawls into a two count.
Paige eats an elbow on a corner charge, and Nikki hits a jumping enzugiri off the ropes (?!?!) for two. Never saw that move coming from her. Paige hits a superkick for a two count. Paige tries for the RamPaige but Nikki counters to a small package for two.
Nikki hits the Alabama Slam for two. Nikki’s frustrated, and Brie is too at ringside. Nikki tries to load the Rack Attack but Paige counters out and hits the RamPaige for a good near fall. Paige is shocked. Paige attacks Nikki at the ropes and they tumble through.
AJ runs over to stop Brie from an attack. A wild swing by AJ hits Paige. The distraction lets Nikki hit Paige with the big forearm shiver. In the ring, Nikki hits the Rack Attack for the win. Nikki and Brie leave, then Paige and AJ brawl briefly in the ring. They separate, with Paige and AJ leaving separately. Nikki and Brie smile. The announcers recap, and talk about the two regrouping before Sunday.
This was actually pretty good. Surprisingly good, in fact. I thought they did a good job of having Paige and AJ go right at each other at the end, rather than silly mind games. That did nothing for their story when they went there before.
Cole swings into a discussion of the gauntlet match on Smackdown. Ziggler vs. Bryan was the best part of the match, and they show highlights of the match. Ziggler picked up the win. Cole says that on the app, you can vote for the special referee between Ziggler and Bryan, coming up later tonight. The other five competitors in the IC ladder match are your choices.
Snoop Dogg (or Snoop, D-O-Double Gizzle, according to Booker T) is up next.
Cole runs down the Wrestlemania week on WWE Network. Lilian Garcia introduces Snoop Dogg, who comes out with several women (Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Cameron and Alicia Fox). Snoop gets a mic in the ring. “Snoop Mania is in the building, right here on Monday Night Raw.” He hypes up that California is the home of Wrestlemania. He says he has been to a few Wrestlemanias. He is interrupted by Curtis Axel.
Axel tells us to not change the channel. ‘Snoop Mania? No, it’s Axelmania.” He says he won’t let Snoop talk about Snoop Mania when Axelmania is running wild. Fans start chanting it. “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay, Axel mania is here to stay.”
Snoop says that Axel is the guy that has been popping off on Twitter. He asks Axel if he wants to talk about Axelmania, Snoop Mania, Wrestlemania, or “this” one. Hulk Hogan’s music hits and he comes to the ring to a big reaction. He and Snoop play to the fans a bit.
“Well let me tell you something, brother…” He talks about how he knew that Hulkamania would live forever after Wrestlemania 3, and how after Snoop dropped his first record Snoop Mania would live forever. “But Axelmania? Snoop, you know as well as anyone, what’s this guy smoking?”
Axel does his best Hogan impersonation, asking Hogan what he’s gonna do. Hulk lands a right hand, and Snoop throws Axel over the top rope. Snoop and Hogan play to the fans as the announcers yuk it up.
Snoop posing was ridiculous, but not really all that offensive. And while Axel got handed it here, it was a good moment and I’m sure for him a career highlight. And it’s a good move on WWE’s part to do this on Raw, because at Wrestlemania this same thing gets crapped all over and Axel gets a ton of smart fan support.
Cole sends it to the interview that Lesnar gave via tape on last week’s Raw. Cole reminds us that Lesnar and Reigns will face each other in the ring later tonight.
Match #5 – Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, and Natalya vs. Los Matadores and El Torito
The Usos are on commentary. Cole lets us know that the tag team championship match will be on the pre-show. Fast start with Matadore getting a springboard cross body. Jey talks about his shoulder injury, saying they stay ready so they don’t have to get ready.
Matadore hits a neckbreaker on Kidd, then tries a cross body but Kidd ducks and he crashes to the ropes. Kidd tags to Cesaro, who covers. Frequent tags from the champs. Cesaro swings Matadore and Kidd hits his drop kick off the ropes. Kidd continues to control Matadore. Matadore tries to fight out of the wrong corner but gets draped across the ropes.
Hot tags to the fresh men. Matadore hits a flapjack on Cesaro, then El Torito hits a seated senton with some help from the Matadore. Head scissor to Cesaro is followed up with a dive. A bit later, it’s the Bull and Natalya. She clotheslines him for two. She sets up a powerbomb but Torito counters and rolls her up for the win. Naomi laughs, Matadores celebrate, and Kidd and Natalya argue.
Backstage, Bad News is polishing his belt. In walks Kane, who says he’s proud that Barrett has held the title in his possession for 72 hours. Kane says he has to relieve him of the title to hang it above the ring. Barrett resists, but Kane tells him that he can strip him of the title if he doesn’t comply. Barrett hands it over reluctantly. Kane smiles and tells him that all he has to do is beat six other men and climb a ladder to get it back. Barrett says “it’s my bloody title.”
Cole hypes an eight man tag match on Smackdown. Rusev is in the ring already, waving the Russian flag. No entrance for John Cena’s opponent at Mania.
Match #6 – Jack Swagger vs. Rusev:
Jack Swagger gets a nice reaction for the “We the People” chant. They talk about how Rusev’s attack on Zeb Colter still has Colter on the shelf. Rusev gets a fast start, bouncing Swagger off the buckle and jawing at him. Swagger starts to fight back as the fans chant that they want Lana.
Rusev stomps on Swagger, landing a big kick to the back. The fans start a “USA” chant as Rusev locks on a headlock. Cole hypes up the card for Sunday’s event, with JBL giving a $9.99 shill in there. Swagger starts to fight back, but Rusev tosses him to the corner. Swagger throws some hands and hits a big boot.
Swagger throws Rusev to the corner and hits a big clothesline. He sets up the Swagger Bomb, but Rusev tries to counter with a superkick. Swagger nearly picks the ankle for the Patriot Lock, but he comes back with a gutwrench suplex.
Rusev ties Swagger up in the corner and lands shots to the back, then from the apron hits a clothesline. Rusev hits his thrust kick then locks on the Accolade to make Swagger submit. JBL debates if Cena can do it or not, but if anyone can it’s Cena.
Rusev holds on to the Accolade until Cena’s music hits. Cena charges the ring and takes Rusev down twice in the ring. Rusev tosses Cena outside then runs him to the barricade. Rusev runs him back-first into the steel post. JBL says this was a plot by Rusev to get to Cena. Cena gets tossed over the table, and Rusev gets his flag and celebrates.
Rusev stops and stalks Cena again. Rusev hits the thrust kick then dismantles the announce position, then flapjacks him up on the announce position. Cole hypes how Rusev has lost it as Rusev locks on the Accolade. Officials run out and break the hold. Rusev celebrates in the ring as Cole pleads for help.
This was a good way to get some heat on Rusev heading to Wrestlemania. Cole did a good job of pointing out how Lana normally gets Rusev to break the Accolade, but she’s not present to do so. Makes him, and the move, seem dangerous. You know the smart fans at Mania will be cheering for Rusev….
They hype Triple H and Arnold Schwarzenegger being interviewed on WWE Network after Raw. They then recap the brawl between Rusev and Cena that just went down. Cole hypes how Cena will not be 100% going into Sunday. Wyatt cut-in interrupts the announcers.
Bray Wyatt makes his way out, into a sea of cellphone lights. Cole hypes up Wyatt vs. Undertaker going down on Sunday. Booker asks if Wyatt has tempted the fates, but he wants to make a statement by winning over Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Mixed chants and Wyatt smiles. “Why, o why, do people hide from the truth? Is it because you’re afraid. Is it because you’re afraid to show the world who you truly are?” He says each and every single one is guilty. Somewhere inside you hate the person you’ve become. You hate your job because all you can see is the color green. He talks about covering one’s face with makeup to cover up the sores and ugliness inside of people. “It does not change the fact that you are all liars.”
He says he’s different and he is not a liar. His tongue is the sword of truth that cuts through the deception of everything in the world. He says that if the fans want the truth, he will give it. “The Undertaker is just like you. The Undertaker is a liar.” He says that Taker tries to deny the fact that his soul wants to be set free. He says the angel with the burnt wings was sent to take him back to the other side.
Thunder rolls and Wyatt calls it a mystical euphoria that the fans have become addicted to. He says it all belongs to him now and he has the power now. “Undertaker, I have judged you and you are guilty.” He tells Undertaker that there is no shield to carry him out and his destiny is sealed with Sister Abigail’s kiss. He says he will take his place among the gods. “At Wrestlemania, you can finally rest in peace.” He strikes Taker’s pose, then the graphic cuts him out.
Wyatt has done a hell of a job carrying this feud on the mic alone. I like that they had him come to the ring rather than in a backstage set. He didn’t let the fans take over on him, and he kept talking over them. The problem I have is they just haven’t made a huge deal out of Undertaker being there. Great promo here for sure, and they need to drive home Undertaker’s appearance over the rest of the show, and any programming this week.
Cole goes into sell mode for the app vote for Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler’s special referee, coming up next.
Back live, they give us the formal announcement of Kevin Nash being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The announcers feed it to a video package highlighting his career through WWF, into WCW, and back to WWE.
More on Nash and his induction in an article on the site posted earlier.
Backstage, Natalya is fixing her makeup. Kidd is eating Burger King beyond a screen. Kidd compliments the burger and Natalya thinks he is talking about her. He says chicken fries are back. She takes them and eats. He tries to say something, but she needs a moment.
Match #7 – Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler; Dean Ambrose as special guest referee
Big reaction for Bryan, who comes out first. Ziggler gets just about the same reaction as well. The title belt is now hanging above the ring. Booker T gets in the ring to introduce the special referee, and it’s Ambrose in a runaway. Cole says this throws unpredicatability into the match. Ambrose comes out with the shirt in his pocket. The match gets underway after the break.
Ambrose is properly dressed as we get started. Chain wrestling from Bryan and Ziggler to start. They work into a corner with a clean break, but Ziggler throws a slap. Fight is on now as the two exchange slaps and strikes. Ziggler tosses Bryan over the ropes but he hangs on. Bryan uses his legs to flip Ziggler to the floor.
Bryan hits a sliding kick through the ropes, then sets up a dive from the apron. Ziggler ducks it then clotheslines Bryan into the timekeeper area. “Hey, you guys need to get in the ring” Ambrose yells as we go to break.
Back live, Ziggler controls Bryan with a sleeper. Bryan rolls Ziggler up for two, then hits a German with a bridge for two. Bryan goes up top, but Ziggler hits the ropes to crotch him. Ziggler joins him up top, setting up a superplex. Bryan blocks it with strikes to the body, and Ziggler falls to the mat. He runs back up and hits a facebuster off the ropes for two.
Ziggler teases the Zig Zag but Bryan hangs on to the ropes. Ziggler gets a backslide for two, but Bryan comes back with a kick to the head for two. Bryan starts unloading kicks on Ziggler in the corner, followed with a running drop kick. Ziggler hits a superkick into the Zig Zag to get the win.
Ambrose raises his hand, but hits Dirty Deeds for good measure. He drags out a ladder from under the ring, then climbs up the ladder. The rest of the men in the ladder match charge the ring and a brawl is on. Truth takes a look up the ladder, but gets hit with Dirty Deeds.
Bryan and Barrett go up, as does Stardust. Barrett pulls him down then hits a Bull Hammer. He eats a superkick from Ziggler. Ambrose and Stardust go up, but Harper tips the ladder over enough to knock them down. All the men are laid out in the ring.
I like Bryan and Ziggler, and I’m glad they stayed away from this feud for Mania. I think if it were a heel-face feud, it would work, but nothing about the two men being faces appealed to me. I do wonder if Bryan losing this match hurt his momentum.
Cole welcomes Middle Eastern viewers who will be able to get WWE Network on OSN Network. The announcers add some shill for the WWE Network and all the Wrestlemania-related programming that will be airing this week.
Backstage, Paul Heyman knocks on Brock Lesnar’s locker room door. “Hey champ, it’s time.” He and Reigns will face off, next.
I gotta admit, they haven’t done a good job of building to this moment. Now that we’re there, it feels big, but they didn’t set the tone throughout the night very well.
Roman Reigns – Brock Lesnar Face-Off:
Lesnar comes out first and they talk about how Lesnar did the unthinkable at last year’s Wrestlemania, and how he manhandled John Cena. “Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman…” Lesnar paces like a caged animal as Heyman introduces him.
“Yak yak yak yak yak yak..” Heyman says if he hasn’t sold us yet on a reason to see Reigns take his beating like a man at the hands of Brock Lesnar, there is nothing he can say tonight to get us to tune in. Heyman says that if we’re looking to see a fight, and looking to see Brock Lesnar lay a beating down on another man, then he swears we’ll get our money’s worth.
“Either Brock Lesnar is everything I say he is, or he isn’t. Either Roman Reigns will be all they hype him up to be, or he won’t.” Heyman says that Lesnar makes failures out of every man that steps in front of him.
Heyman talks about how everyone said Lesnar would not end the Streak. “I said he can, and he did.” Heyman talks about how Lesnar would give John Cena a prison beating. “And he did.” Heyman emphasizes that John Cena isn’t closing Raw tonight, and he’s not main eventing Wrestlemania.
Heyman talks about the “mercenary” label for Lesnar and says about how some say Lesnar is in it for the money. He says that Lesnar is a passionate competitor. Heyman calls Lesnar a beast and a conqueror that will break down your front door, take your wife, take the food off your children’s plates and rename them Lensar.
“That’s a conqueror, and Brock Lesnar conquers everything in front of him, and this Sunday he will conquer the main event of Wrestlemania.” Heyman mentions Reigns’ “I can, and I will” catchphrase. “Brock Lesnar says you can’t., and therefore, you won’t.” Heyman concludes calmly.
Reigns’ music hits, and he makes his way through the crowd. Reigns hits the ring with purpose to a chorus of boos from the male demographic. He and Lesnar circle each other then stare each other down. Lesnar with the smug smile. He holds the belt up at Reigns, who just stares.
Reigns snatches the belt from Lesnar’s hand, then holds it up. The two engage in a tug of war of sorts, and Reigns jaws at Lesnar off mic. That’s how the show ends.
The belt tugging bit was dumb and a really poor ending. Heyman’s promo work, as always, was stellar. I got a chuckle out of the look that Lesnar shot at Heyman when he said that Reigns had to be the kind of man to go in and essentially take over everything of Lesnar’s in order to become champion. It was like he was shocked Heyman went there.
Very, very surprised we heard NOTHING from Reigns. I sense they really went out of their way to protect him here. Los Angeles really wasn’t behind the challenger, so that doesn’t bode well for him on Sunday either. The reaction will be very interesting.
All in all, not a bad go-home show. The top matches got focus, with them doing the best job of putting heat on Rusev for his match with Cena. Drew and I will have our Wrestlemania preview and prediction show tomorrow night on Ring Rap Audio, where we talk about tonight’s show and look ahead to next Sunday. I will be by with live Wrestlemania coverage starting sometime during the kickoff show and following it through the full show.
Feel free to send in your questions and comments for our show tomorrow night. Already have a couple from Twitter, so be sure to add your comments to the mix. See you tomorrow!