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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 2/23/2015 – Fallout from Fast Lane, Brock Lesnar Addresses Roman Reigns, John Cena Addresses His Loss to Rusev, Randy Orton Chases Seth Rollins, and More

Tonight WWE rolls on along the Road to Wrestlemania now that Fast Lane is in the rear view mirror.  We saw Randy Orton return last night, and he has his sights set on Seth Rollins.  Will Orton get his hands on the future of WWE, or will he continue to slip away?  John Cena passed out after Rusev landed a cheap low blow to save his US Championship.  You know that Lana and Rusev will gloat – but will Cena respond, and how?  The biggest news though was that Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan to secure his spot at Wrestlemania 31 against Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar is slated to be in the building – so what will go down between these two men?

Show Open, Live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN

Standard WWE product opener rolls, and then we get the Raw credits and in-arena pyro.  Cole tells us we are 34 days out from Wrestlemania, and the road to Santa Clara rolls through Nashville.

Randy Orton’s music hits and he gets a pop.  Cole reminds us that a Curb Stomp nearly ended Orton’s career 4 months ago.  They roll still shots of Orton getting his shots on various Authority members last night at Fast Lane, with Rollins fleeing from the arena.

Orton waits out a “Randy” chant and some cheers.  He says he’s not out there to talk their ears off with a 20 minute promo, but there’s something he needs to get off his chest.  He says he’s been out for the past four months, and it’s because of the Authority and more specifically Seth Rollins.  He feeds it to a video clip to remind us of those events.

In the last four months, Orton says he has relived it over and again.  He says he’s here to tell the Authority that he’s just getting started.  He says Seth Rollins got away last night, but he calls it a stay of execution.  He says there’s no more running or hiding, in fact there’s no more waiting.  “Seth Rollins, get your ass out here right now!”

“King of Kings” hits, and here comes Triple H, Stephanie, Big Show, and Kane.  Booker says it doesn’t look like Seth Rollins.  JBL says that Orton doesn’t run things, but the Authority does.   Stephanie has the mic and holds back Kane and Big Show.  She welcomes Orton back, and says he made a hell of a return both last night and tonight.  Even though it was at the expense of the Authority, that’s the Randy Orton they know and love.  She says that’s the Orton that had 16,000 people chanting his name.  She says it’s the Orton she wants as the face of WWE.

Orton tells her to get off of it and he’s not a part of the Authority.  He says he won’t forgive Seth Rollins and the only thing he plans to do to Seth Rollins is bash his brains in.  Stephanie pleads to him and says that there’s no reason the face and the future of WWE can’t coexist.   She appeals to him to rejoin the Authority.

“Steph, that’s tempting, but I’d rather kick some ass than kiss some ass.”  Big Show addresses him and says he knows Orton is frustrated and angry.  He says he has had to put a lot of his own anger and frustration aside.  Joining the Authority was the best decision he made.  “You sold out” chants start.  Show says that Orton coming back to the Authority is the best decision he can male.

Orton says “and by that you mean ‘selling out.'”  Stephanie pleads again and says that what Orton has done is not for the fans but for his own goals.  She recounts some of the most vile and brutal acts he has committed have come at the expense of her father, husband, brother, and even her.  She says she can’t show the footage but it’s worse than what Rollins did to him.

Steph asks him to listen, and have a “conference” over it.  She asks if he’ll listen, and the fans chant “no” and Orton crosses his arms.  Orton doesn’t respond, but Stephanie, Big Show and Kane go to leave.  Triple H stares at him for a few moments, then he leaves as well.  As they walk up the ramp, Orton tells them to wait.  He says he will meet them backstage.  “Business meeting, fine.”  Stephanie smiles.  Orton has a confident smirk on his face.

Orton didn’t deliver a 20 minute monologue, and the segment still went on 15 minutes.  The fans were hot for Orton early on, and Show actually got some heat when he started talking – more than he’s had in a while.  There’s a clear angle going on with this “meeting” thing, just looking at Orton’s face especially.

Cole says we will find out what is next for John Cena, saying that the record book will show that he suffered a submission loss last night to Rusev.  They also hype that Roman Reigns will face Brock Lesnar, and we will hear from Reigns later.

Bad News Barrett gets his entrance.  Cole points out that Barrett doesn’t have his title, and he’s not happy that Dean Ambrose has stolen it.  He will face Dolph Ziggler, next.

Back live, they run through still shots to recap the Intercontinental Championship match from last night.  R-Truth is at the announce table, and says that he’s there to scout Barrett for a possible future title shot.  Barrett is mid-promo, saying that his belt was stolen by the “common criminal” Ambrose and he wants it back.

Match #1 – Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler:

Barrett controls the early offense, roughing up Ziggler with knees to the back, then stretching him out.  Ziggler gets to his feet but Barrett rips him back down by his hair.  Barrett throws Ziggler across the ring with a violent whip and covers for two.

Barrett sets up a big boot by the ropes, but Ziggler ducks out of the way so Barrett gets hung up.  Ziggler follows with a drop kick that sends Barrett to the floor as we go to break.

Back live, Ziggler lands ten punches in the corner.  Barrett threw Ziggler into Truth during the break.  After running the ropes, Barrett loads Ziggler for Wasteland.  Ziggler counters to a DDT.   Barrett comes back with a mule kick then loads a powerbomb.  His momentum throws him off balance but he still hits it for two.

Barrett calls for the Bull Hammer as Ziggler gets to his feet.  Ziggler counters with a roll up, then misses the Fameasser.  Barrett hits Winds of Change for two as the commentary team says everyone’s mad at Barrett.  Barrett stomps away on Ziggler in the corner.

Ziggler rolls up Barrett for a two again.  Barrett charges, but Ziggler ducks out of the way so Barrett crashes to the corner.  In the end, Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and grabs the win.

Afterward, Dean Ambrose’s music hits.  He walks out, title belt in hand.  He walks around the ring then gets in.  He confronts Barrett with the belt.  Barrett yells that it’s his belt.  Ambrose turns to Ziggler and they eye each other up.  Ambrose bumps his way past Ziggler and leaves with the belt.

Barrett was holding his neck after he botched the powerbomb – wonder if something happened to make him lose his balance.  Anyhow, looks like we’re heading to a fatal four-way for the IC title match at Wrestlemania, possibly. Truth, Ambrose, and Ziggler all have claims to Barrett’s title.  It could be a triple threat too, if they exclude Truth – the man Ambrose basically ignored in that sequence.

Cole talks about the exchange between Triple H and Sting last night at Fast Lane.  He says we will hear more about that, next.

Back live, Cole thanks us for the success of WWE Network.  They move on to talk about Sting vs. Triple H from last night.    They narrate over various still pictures of the interaction between the two of them.  They hype that Sting vs. Triple H is official for Wrestlemania in 34 days.

Backstage, it’s the business meeting with Randy Orton, Kane, Big Show, Seth Rollins, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.  Triple H stands there, sulking as Stephanie thanks them for coming.  Rollins speaks up to Hunter on his objection to Orton re-joining them, but Stephanie cuts him off.  She asks if he has a problem with her decision because she’s a woman.  Kane speaks up as well, saying that he doesn’t think this is the right choice and Orton should be dealt with  more harshly.

Stephanie says that Kane needs to think beyond himself and think of the bigger picture.  Rollins asks how they could trust Orton.  Stephanie continues to defend her idea, and asks Orton if they can move forward.  She guarantees that they will welcome Orton back with open arms.  Orton extends his hand and he and Rollins shake and stare an intent stare.   Stephanie says they will show dominance by having Orton and Rollins face Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan.

This isn’t sticking, I don’t think.  I think they’re setting up a way for Orton to get his hands on Rollins with this.  Hunter is showing how he is preoccupied with Sting.  He hasn’t said a word tonight, and his mind was clearly elsewhere than in that segment.  I didn’t care for Stephanie cutting Rollins’ balls off in that segment like that though.

We get a new Sheamus vignette.  He’ll be back soon – not sure when though.

In the ring, it’s the return of the Prime Time Players.  Biggest news all week!  Nashville didn’t think so though – not much reaction.

Match #2 – Prime Time Players vs. The Ascension

In a pop-up video, the Ascension complains about the Bushwhackers getting a Hall of Fame induction.  They say that the Bushwhackers wouldn’t last four seconds with them.  Early on, the Ascension dominates Darren Young, and they pretty much dominate the match.  In the end, Young rolls up Viktor to get the win.

Afterward, the Ascension flips out, taking out Titus O’Neil then hitting Young with the Fall of Man.

I could not see that coming – the Prime Time Players hanging loss #1 on the Ascension?  Wow.

Cole hypes that Roman Reigns is up next to address his match with Brock Lesnar.

This is the big one.  How will Nashville treat him?

In-Ring Segment:

Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he makes his way through the fans to the ring.  The reaction’s pretty mixed from what I can tell.  Once in the ring, Reigns says he has had a hell of a month.  He recounts winning the Royal Rumble.  He says that apparently going through 29 other superstars wasn’t enough, so he had a number one contender’s match last night.  He said he did what he said what he would, and now he can say he’s going to Wrestlemania.

Reigns says he could hear the fans all month.  “I know a lot of you were rooting for the other guy.”  He looked at the camera and says “but to all my doubters…”  Daniel Bryan’s music interrupts.  Bryan stares at Reigns.

Bryan says he didn’t mean to interrupt, but yes, he did.  He mentions the doubters, and says he watched Reigns win the Rumble.  The male demo boos.  Reigns laughs, and Bryan continues.  He says he knew Reigns deserved the opportunity but he felt like all these people.  “I booed, and booed and booed on the inside.”

He says he knows people see promise and potential in Reigns.  Bryan says if Reigns wants to talk about the doubters, the biggest one is Bryan.  He says that when they talk about potential, they’re actually talking about size, strength, and athletic ability.  Bryan says he has seen others who don’t have the heart he does.  “That’s what the Authority doesn’t see, and that’s what all the people here tonight see.  That’s why they like Daniel Bryan, and they don’t like you.”  Mix of cheers, chants, and boos for that.

“And that’s why I didn’t like you.  Last night, I had an opportunity, if I beat you, I go on to Wrestlemania to win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that I never lost.”  He says he gave everything he had and dug down as deep as he could “and I still didn’t do it.”  Bryan says he doesn’t regret a thing because he gave everything he had.

Bryan says “It wasn’t me, you proved to me last night that you had more heart than I ever thought you did.  I don’t care how many people are booing you here tonight.  You and I gave it everything we had and guess what, you beat me.”  Bryan says he put it all on the table and the only thing left to say is congratulations.  He shakes hands with Roman.

Bryan talks about their match later tonight and says if there’ is one man he wants to team with against Rollins and Orton, it’s Reigns.  “Now do me a favor and go beat the hell out of Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.”  Bryan’s music hits and Reigns looks confused.

Bryan exits the ring, and we hear “Ladies and gentlemen…”  Paul Heyman emerges, and steps aside for Bryan to exit.  Heyman introduces himself as he’s walking to the ring.  He says he knows the fans think he’s there to cause trouble, “but actually, tonight, I’m here to say Roman Reigns, congratulations sir.”  He credits Reigns for an impressive victory “the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.”

Heyman says he can’t say he’s surprised and his money always would be on Roman Reigns.  Only a fool would say Reigns is not the one, and only an idiot would not realize Reigns is special.  Heyman runs down a list of opponents like Sammartino, Hogan, Andre, Austin, The Rock, Triple H, John Cena “any time in the past 13 years,” saying his money would be on Reigns.

Heyman says that against 29 other men in the Royal Rumble, and last night at Fast Lane, his money was on Roman Reigns.  Heyman admits he’s the guy against any other man in history.  “You sir, are the right man, in the right place, at the wrong time.”  He says Reigns isn’t fighting a man at Wrestlemania, he’s fighting a beast.  Heyman says he has respect for Roman, but he can’t slay Heyman’s beast.

“You can’t be the one to beat the one, in 21-1.”  Heyman says any other time his money would be on Roman Reigns but at Wrestlemania his money is on his client.  At the end of Wrestlemania, there will be an announcement, and a title.  And that announcement will be “still, WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar.”

Reigns invites Heyman to stand in front of him, then asks Heyman to tell him he can’t.  Reigns says he has been told that he can’t a lot, and he wants more motivation.  “I thought you were smarter than that.  Give me some more motivation.”  He recounts the night after Royal Rumble and saying that he told Lesnar that he will respect him.

Reigns says he doesn’t care if Lesnar respects him, saying he said that to “get my Samoan blood boiling.”  Reigns says he will beat Lesnar at Wrestlemania.  He says he won’t just beat him, and that respect goes out the window.  He says it’s the way he will beat him.  “Because when I’m all done with him, he ain’t gonna like me anyways.  Believe that.”  Heyman leaves, and Reigns music hits.

That was strong between all the players.  Reigns was on camera a lot, but his promo time was limited wisely.  Bryan endorsing Reigns was strong, but the look Reigns gave him was skeptical even though Bryan seemed straight forward about it.  There was nothing there that elicited a skeptical look in my mind and I don’t suspect a Bryan turn coming.  Heyman was good, but when he ran down the long list of stars Reigns would have beaten drew a lot of boos  The segment was important and came off well.  Nothing Reigns did would really change fans’ mind about him, but Daniel Bryan may have been the key to get that mindet changed.

The announcers talk about sampling WWE Network on the site as a first anniversary celebration. Booker horribly sings happy birthday.

The announcers narrate over still shots of last night’s tag team championship match.  The rematch is now!

Match #4 – Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c, w/Natalya) vs. The Usos (w/Naomi); WWE Tag Team Championship

Early offensive control of this one goes to the Usos.  They slam Kidd into the barrier going to break.

Back live, Cesaro is controlling the Usos.  They show us app highlights from the break where Kidd and Cesaro took over.  Uso gets the knees up on an elbow drop by Kidd to create separation.  Cesaro runs across and boots Jimmy, but Jey rolls him up for two.  Cesaro hits an upper cut to the back of the head.  Cesaro and Kidd do their swing into a drop kick for a two count.

More uppercuts from Cesaro, this time off the whip.  Kidd and Cesaro work frequent tags.  Uso gets perched up top, but counters Cesaro into an electric chair.  He tags, and the other Uso hits a splash.  Kidd splashes both of them to break the cover up.

Kidd tries a leg drop at the apron but misses.  Uso rolls up Kidd for two, then hits an ensugiri.  Kidd rolls Uso up but uses the ropes for leverage.  Naomi runs over and pulls his leg off the ropes.  Natalya walks over and confronts her, shoving her down.

In the ring, Uso hits a superkick, and goes up top for the splash.  Natalya pulls him down, and the match gets thrown out.  Naomi pulls Natalya off the apron and she hits her leg hard.  Kidd tends to Natalya, who takes her boot off.  Kidd helps her out of the arena as the match result is announced.  The Usos win, but Kidd and Cesaro keep the titles.

I like seeing Natalya getting involved.  They really could have built up to her becoming a more meaningful heel by having her act innocent then go all out heel.

Cole hypes that we will hear from Cena about his plan going forward after being submitted last night, and Bray Wyatt calls out the Undertaker again, next.

Back live, they talk about Vince McMahon appearing on the cover of Muscle and Fitness, and talk about the interview piece.

Backstage, Miz chides Mizdow for packing his coat wrong and getting fuzz all over it.  He says he has won every title there is to win in WWE, and the only one he hasn’t is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale.  He says he plans to enter this year, so he can win it.  Once he does, that will mean more fame, visibility, and movie roles for him.

Mizdow interrupts and says that since he has stepped out as Miz’s stunt double, he has gotten calls for movie roles and  landed one in a commercial.  Miz tells him it’s great, and demands he get rolling (the lint roller).

There’s the first hint, or maybe confirmation, that we’ll see the Andre the Giant Battle Royale again this year.  And I presume Miz and Mizdow will be in it.

They go back to last night and the Bray Wyatt segment where he duplicated the Undertaker’s entrance.  They recap the promo segment.  Backstage, Wyatt is with a casket.  He speaks into the casket as if someone were in there, and brings up the 21-1 moment from last year’s Mania.  He says that if existence is defined by moments then that one defined Undertaker.  “The mighty Undertaker, reduced to a pile of broken bones and broken dreams on the grandest stage of them all.”  He says in that moment Undertaker felt “his” breath at his neck and his claws pulling him down.

Wyatt says that evil exists inside of him now, and he will finish the job at Wrestlemania.  He says he knows Undertaker is afraid but there’s no reason to hide.  “It’s so much better down here.  Find me.”

Stardust makes his entrance for the next match.  The announcers touch on the match between Stardust and Goldust from last night, saying the implosion of the two brothers is complete.

Match #5 – Stardust vs. Jack Swagger

Stardust starts off aggressively, kicking and stomping away on Swagger.  Fans chant “Cody!” and that gets to him a bit.  Swagger comes back by clipping the knee, then trying a Swagger bomb, but Cody counters.  Cody tries a springboard move but Swagger catches him in the Patriot Lock.  Cody gets to the ropes to break it.

Goldust’s entrance music hits and he comes to the stage.  Swagger picks the ankle quickly and Stardust taps out.  Goldust squats down at the fans chant “Cody!” and drive him nuts.

I can only assume that this is continuation to move on to Goldust vs. Stardust at Wrestlemania.  Cole was really disengaged through this match, really.

Cole talks again about Cena vs. Rusev.  He narrates over still shots, showing Lana interfering to permit the low blow that opened Rusev’s opportunity to lock on the Accolade.  Cole says he passed out, but Cena’s loss will go down as a submission loss.  Cole asks Booker what’s next.  Booker says he’s glad the referee stopped it before Cena got hurt bad.  We’ll hear from Cena next.

In-Ring Segment:

Here comes John Cena, serenaded by fans with “John Cena Sucks” but also getting cheered.   Cena isn’t full of his normal fire and vigor as he gets the mic.   He says that Music City is a bit raucous because last night was the last stop on the road to Wrestlemania.

He talks about the title match last night as he faced Rusev.  He tips the hat to Rusev but says he had him staring at defeat.  He says he was in the Accolade, the move Rusev has used to crush everyone before him.  He recounts standing to his feet with Rusev on his back and he knew he would be the first to beat Rusev.  But then Rusev spun him around and hit him below the belt to seal the deal.

Cena says “that’s fine.  I lost, Rusev won.”  He says his problem is with Rusev.  He talks about how Rusev parades himself around like some sort of hero.  He says last night when he had a chance to prove himself a hero, Rusev proved himself a coward.

Rusev’s music hits and he comes to the stage with Lana.  “John, what is that American phrase that you say?  Oh, we told you so.”  They wait out USA chants, then Lana tells the fans to shut up.  Lana tells Cena he’s looking for words to describe what happened, but he failed.  He let down the fans, and like millions of Americans he gave up.  Cena was humbled by the superior athlete, and superior person, Rusev.

Lana talks about how Cena has been at a loss for words while Rusev has been receiving praise from the Russian Federation and Vladmir Putin.  Rusev addresses him, saying that he broke Cena.  “Now that you’ve embarrassed your friends, your family, and your stupid country, it’s my time now. It’s Rusev time.”

Rusev tells Cena that he wants him to admit that Rusev is better than him.  “I want you to admit that Rusev is better than Cena and America.”  Cena says that Rusev can say what he wants about him, but he better “watch your ass when you run down the United States when I’m around.”

Lana mocks Cena, saying he gave up and his life is a lie.  She feeds it  to still shots that show Cena laying face down after the match last night.  Cena says that his life is a lie when he fails to get back up.  Cena says he will keep getting back up and fight to get the job done.  That’s what Americans do.  He says Rusev makes him sick, and if the Russian Federation and Vladmir Putin are really calling him, they should be embarrassed.

Cena recounts history, saying Americans raised a flag 70 years ago on Iwo Jima, and they are real heroes.  Cena gets fired up and says he will humble Rusev and bring back the US Championship at Wrestlemania.

“Rematch at Wrestlemania?  What makes you think you deserve a rematch?”  Rusev says some stuff in Russian and gets the What treatment.  Rusev tells Cena he calls himself the great John Cena, but he is now the great quitter John Cena.  He repeats his assertion that Cena doesn’t deserve a rematch, and says his answer is no.  Cena looks disgusted.  The Russian flag falls and Rusev’s music plays to end the segment.

Heel is logical, Cena can’t even be bothered to call out the obvious nut shot.  They should have had Rusev pin him clean with no heel tendencies.  Cena should be outraged, he should call Rusev out for it, and I spent time screaming at my TV to get him to do it.  I will admit he called the patriotism card more, and I assume that will keep being a strong theme as we head to Mania.

Backstage, Randy Orton is in his locker room when Seth Rollins walks in with J&J Security.  Rollins asks if he has a minute and Orton says if he’s there to talk strategy he can leave the pets (J&J) at the door.  They get a little irritated, but Rollins tells them to go ahead and he has this.

Rollins says he knows Orton hates him.  Orton cuts him off and says hate is a strong word, and he says they could say they’re on the same page from a business sense.  Orton tells him he won’t forget what happened, but the only thing on his mind is showing Bryan and Reigns why they were lucky he wasn’t one of the men in the Royal Rumble.

Rollins says they can show them what the face and the future is all about.  They shake hands, and Orton says “by any means necessary.”  Rollins walks away satisfied, while Orton shoots a look with a smirk.

The announce team hypes up that we’re going to get some video history of Sting, up later tonight.

Paige makes her entrance.  She is up next in tag team action.

They run a video package highlighting Sting’s career, covering his surfer Sting days until the NWO until he appeared in WWE.

Match #6 – Paige and Emma vs. The Bella Twins:

Women got in the ring.  Cole referenced last night’s Divas Championship match.  Paige yelled at Nikki that she’s a cheater.  Emma took a facebuster from Brie to lose the match.  Paige attacked Brie, and Nikki attacked her in return and told her to not touch her sister.

WWE doesn’t care.  Neither do I.

Back live, Cole recounts the current inductees for the Hall of Fame.  He says on Ring-Rap.com….errr…Stuff.com, the newest inductees have been announced.  He feeds it to a video package highlighting the Bushwhackers, the newest inductees.  Cole extends congratulations back live.

Curtis Axel is in the ring pointing at the Wrestlemania sign.  He tells us to not turn the channel.  He says he still hasn’t been eliminated from the Royal Rumble.  29 days plus.  He says Axelmania is alive and well.  He says he is entering the second annual Andre the Giant Battle Royale and he will be the last man standing.  “You can’t stop Axelmania.”  Ryback’s music hits.

Match #7 – Curtis Axel vs. Ryback

Ryback cuts a promo and tells Axel to turn his upper lip south and shut his mouth.  He tells Axel he was a great tag partner and Rybaxel was one of the greatest teams of all time.  He says Axel got one thing right and the man left standing at the Andre the Giant Battle Royal will be him.  He puts over Nashville, saying “since we’re here in the Music City, why doesn’t the big guy take you to Smashville.”

Axel gets some early offense, but Ryback hits him with the Meathook.  Shellshocked strikes, and it’s a win for Ryback.  Ryback yells at the hard camera a bit.

I have to admit, Axel looked comfortable there.  He hasn’t to date, and we all know that.  It wasn’t the biggest deal in the world, but at least he seemed to find himself a bit.

Cole hypes the main event, up next.

Back live, Cole hypes up a six man tag on Smackdown, featuring Kane, Big Show, and Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan.

Match #8  – Seth Rollins and Randy Orton (w/Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security) vs. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns:

During Rollins’ entrance, they run the Jon Stewart TMZ footage again.  Rollins gives Orton a rousing introduction, and the live crowd didn’t seem to know how to react.  Orton poses on the ropes and that draws a cheer.  As Reigns makes his entrance, they recap his words to Paul Heyman.  Bryan is last to come out, and he leads “Yes!” chants.  The match starts after the break.

Back live,  the match gets underway.  Bryan sends Rollins to the floor with a backdrop.  Bryan sets up a suicide dive, but Orton pulls Rollins out of the way before he can deliver.  Another commercial break.  They show us what we missed during the break when we come back live.  The heels got the  better of Reigns.  He started a rally but took a clothesline from Orton.

Rollins tags in, and Reigns gets a tag to Bryan.  He drop kicks Orton off the apron, lands a series of kicks on Rollins.  He winds up for the last one, but Rollins ducks it to roll Bryan up.  Bryan counters the roll-up into the Yes Lock.  That gets broken by Orton.

Bryan goes up top.  He sees J&J Security and that lets Rollins crotch him.  Rollins turns  it into a two count, then tags in Orton.  Orton continues the offense in the corner as the announcers debate Bryan’s Wrestlemania partner.   Orton whips him hard across the ring then puts him up on the top rope.

Orton sets up a superplex, but Bryan fights back.  He knocks Orton down with headbutts then tries to deliver the flying headbutt but Orton moves.  Both men get the hot tags.   Reigns tees off on Rollins with a big clothesline, then a series of corner clotheslines, following up with a modified Samoan drop.

Reigns calls for the Superman punch, hitting it on Mercury.  Rollins counters Reigns and tags in Orton.  The two of them exchange strikes mid ring, then Orton hits a scoop slam.  Orton sets up the elevated DDT, but Rollins blind tags.  Orton still hits the DDT, but gets out of the ring and starts cussing.  Big Show and Kane try to calm him down.

Rollins tries the Curb Stomp, but Reigns avoids.  He hits the Superman punch on Rollins.  Bryan blind tags in, and Reigns smiles.  Bryan hits the running knee and pins Rollins for the win.  Bryan celebrates and exits.

Orton gets in the ring and stares down Rollins.  He heads to the opposite corner where Rollins is, but Noble gets in his way.  RKO to Noble and chases Mercury to the corner.  Orton confronts Rollins and picks him up.  He taps Rollins on the arm and leaves.  Show and Kane get in the ring and talk to a confused Rollins.  The rest of the Authority regroup in the ring.

Cole offers some sell for the WWE Network special marathon that is available via WWE.com and the WWE App going on now.  That’s the show.

This match was fine overall.  The announcers said that Reigns “didn’t whine about it” when Bryan tagged himself in, which was actually kind of a highlight.  I like the draw-out to Orton actually attacking Rollins.  My guard was up throughout this match that he would strike at any time, but he didn’t.  It makes sense – they have their story, and it will end up being more meaningful when they do pull the trigger on it.

Overall, though, this Raw was kinda blah.  If this is how you’re kicking off the final five weeks to Mania, then man I feel like Mania is in trouble.  It’s not like this show was terrible – it wasn’t – but it just felt inconsequential.  Nothing really got set up or advanced in a way that really points to a clear direction, and that bothers me.  There were some good things throughout the night, but not enough to give me confidence in the Mania direction right now.

Drew and I will be by tomorrow with Ring Rap Audio to talk all things Raw, Fast Lane, TNA, ROH, and whatever else crosses our minds.  Be sure to ask your questions regarding things pro wrestling for our discussion as well.  Thanks for reading along tonight.

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WWE Fast Lane Afterthoughts for 02/23/15

Boy, Fast Lane was anything but fast.

Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes into WWE Fast Lane, it occurred to me that WWE essentially presented to us a version of WWE Raw that we were expected to pay for – a version of Raw that was more wrestling-heavy, yet just as restless as the weekly three hour broadcast.

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WWE Sets Two Major Matches for Wrestlemania 31

At tonight’s Fast Lane event, WWE made two of their major matches for Wrestlemania 31 official.

With his win in the main event, Roman Reigns will face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan to solidify his Royal Rumble victory and claim to the main event.

Also, in an in-ring segment, Triple H will take on Sting officially at Wrestlemania as well.  The announcement came after their in-ring segment where Sting and Triple H confronted each other, with Sting saying nothing other than pointing his trademark bat at the Wrestlemania sign.  This match is monumental given that it is Sting’s first match ever in WWE.

 

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WWE “Fast Lane” Pay Per View Live Results and Reaction for 2/22/2015 – John Cena vs. Rusev, Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns for the Right to Face Brock Lesnar, Paige vs. Nikki Bella, and More

It’s the last pay per view stop for WWE as we head to Wrestlemania 31 in Santa Clara, CA in late March.  Tonight, live from Memphis, TN it’s the “Fast Lane” pay per view event (also available on WWE Network for…Free if you’re a new subscriber…or $9.99 otherwise).  John Cena will attempt to hang the first loss on the Russian super athlete Rusev and take his US Championship.  Nikki Bella will play mean girl and defend her Divas Championship against Paige.  The main attraction though is to settle the number one contender to Brock Lesnar’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship as Daniel Bryan takes on Roman Reigns.  The card is as follows:

  • Goldust vs. Stardust
  • The Usos (w/Naomi, c) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya); WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Seth Rollins (w/J&J Security), Kane and Big Show vs. Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan
  • Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dean Ambrose; WWE Intercontinental Championship
  • Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella, c) vs. Paige; WWE Divas Championship
  • Rusev (w/Lana, c) vs. John Cena; WWE United States Championship
  • Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns; Winner earns the right to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
  • In a non-wrestling segment, Triple H will go face to face with Sting regarding his presence in the company

Pre-Show:

They open by showing fans entering the arena as Renee Young introduces the show.  She is joined by Booker T, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton on the panel.

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TNA Impact Wrestling 02/13/15 – Roode vs. Aries, Lashley and Angle vs. Beat Down Clan, Mr. Anderson Returns, an Update on Jeff Hardy, plus more!

Last week, Lethal Lockdown saw the Beat Down Clan squaring off against Team Angle.  Bobby Lashley made a surprise appearance to join with Angle, evening up the odds and giving Team Angle the win.  Can Lashley and Angle continue to co-exist?

We are in Glasgow, Scotland, as Impact Wrestling kicks off.

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Wentz’s Blog: Predicting the Top Tier Matches of Wrestlemania 31

There’s been a lot of feedback on the Royal Rumble this year.  It is still a subject of conversation for podcasts and bloggers with a variety of arguments.  One thing for sure is that this has been the second year in a row where the winner has been rejected by a lot of live fans in the arena and those watching at home.

Last year, WWE saved their own bacon by making an on-the-fly change.  They managed to work Daniel Bryan – the fan favorite and preferred challenger – into the main event of Wrestlemania by creating a triple threat match.  Bryan overcame the odds by defeating Triple H then Randy Orton and Batista to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Will they go there again, somehow?  All the rumors right now say no, and WWE plans to stick to their guns with Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar in a one-on-one matchup.  With all of the vibe that I sense when I read these rumors, I get the feeling that Vince McMahon is going to be stubborn about this and not make a change to placate the fans who don’t like the current title match.

This also might be Brock Lesnar’s last match in WWE if he decides to head back to the MMA world.  WWE could get into a “Goldberg vs. Lesnar” type situation again this year at Wrestlemania if that word gets out.  Fans aren’t high on Reigns being the man to challenge Lesnar, and if Lesnar’s on his way out the fans may turn on the match as a whole.  That will not be good for WWE at all.

WWE will have to count on a strong undercard for Wrestlemania to help support the title match, just in case.  Fan perception of the title match could strongly shift regardless of Lesnar’s status with the company with a good build.  They may not need to add that third man in to save the title match.

So what do the key players aside from this title match have in store for us?

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WWE Begins Setting Up Fast Lane Pay Per View Matches and Segments Via Twitter

As the “Snowbound” edition of WWE Raw kicked off,  The Authority took to their Twitter account to set up two key items for the WWE Fast Lane pay per view, which will happen February 22, 2015.  They are calling out Sting to face Triple H, and John Cena to face Rusev.  The tweets are shown below.

Interesting news.  I presume that the Sting segment is to set up their Wrestlemania match.  John Cena vs. Rusev can’t possibly end clean, so I am guessing that match will be a step toward a Wrestlemania payoff as well.

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Wentz’s Blog – The Dream Match of Sting vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania Should Remain A Dream

In professional wrestling, fans have always opined about the big dream match.  What would have happened if talent from one era or one promotion faced a talent from another era or promotion?  Who would win?  What would the reaction be?

Sting vs. The Undertaker fits in that mold.

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WWE Raw Afterthoughts for 01/20/15

WWE made a final play for the Royal Rumble last night, and despite having a weak build up to this point, they ended strong.  They needed to do something, right?  It was essentially a one-match show, and I’m not even talking about the Rumble Match itself.

This show did a lot of good, and as by evidenced in our poll, you all agree.  100% average or better at this point, with most agreeing the show was good to great.

I really enjoyed the opening segment – Brock Lesnar hit the ring, took the mic, and got straight to the point.  When Paul Heyman did in fact get his hands on the mic, he was his usual brilliance.  I have to give credit to Stephanie for making a case on calling John Cena a liar.  Seth did well here too.  Basically, the entire segment was a hit.

However, leaving John Cena’s fate in the hands of the audience is poor booking.  I am not a fan of letting the audience establish stipulations or choosing opponents.  90% of the time it’s all hedged anyhow.  Ric Flair was right – Cena should’ve said “No.”

Speaking of Ric Flair, the Legend’s Panel dragged on a bit too long, and The Big Show kind of killed it.

I did, however, really enjoy the in-ring segment with the NWO, DX, and APA.  I hope The Ascension gets some much-needed shine from their upcoming match with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.

I have to give a big thumbs up to the final segment of the show – Sting’s appearance had worth and weight.  Triple H’s fire and fury at the end really amplified the appearance too, and seems to suggest we’ll be seeing Trips vs. Sting come Wrestlemania.  For me, the match is Sing vs. Seth Rollins, but Triple H is a bigger name, and thus likely more worthy of the spot.

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Overall, a thumbs up episode of the show, and The Rumble is looking like it’ll be a quality event.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 1/5/2015 – The Authority Returns, Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose in an Ambulance Match, More Royal Rumble Entrants Announced, The Ascension Continues to Rise, and More

WWE gives us the first Raw of the new year tonight, and the push to Royal Rumble is on.  Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns have said they’re in, and now the field should grow from there.  Who will join them?  Also, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt battle one more time, this time with the loser being sent off in an ambulance as they have an ambulance match tonight.  The Ascension debuted last week – will we see them again tonight, and who will they face?  Also, the Authority returned last week after Seth Rollins threatened John Cena to do so by threatening Edge’s health.  What will they do in response to all that has gone on the past 5 weeks?

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