RAW Ramblings – March 16th 2015
Wells Fargo Arena: Des Moines, IA.
OK, we’ll get into the show in a minute, but there is a story which frankly deserves to be headline news all over the place, however it has yet to pick up any real steam as of the time of publication. A group of 9 friends, who paid upwards of $100 for front row tickets, were forced to change out of their 80’s wrestler costumes and into generic WWE merchandise or face being thrown out of the show. Think about that. I find it absolutely disgusting and disgraceful that the WWE are such control freaks that they actively seek out their own hardcore fans and tell them to stop having fun. I know WWE TV is entirely propaganda and they can control everything they want on their shows, but this is really going too far. Confiscating signs is one thing, but making fans change clothes because they might distract from the product is an absolute outrage. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. And the worst thing is, RAW was actually better than it has been in months, however this story has taken my contempt for the WWE to a whole new level that goes way past a terrible product and into the realm of civil liberties, which apparently you give up when you attend a WWE show.
Thankfully this week’s RAW didn’t make me want to jab my eyes out with a rusty screwdriver, so that was a plus. If we’re grading on a curve then this was a great show. Sadly we aren’t, and in reality it was only marginally better than the run of downright abominable shows the WWE has put out for months. Don’t get me wrong, RAW was fine and there were a couple of strong segments, however the WrestleMania build is still stuck in the Ice Age and once again the reaction to Roman Reigns was a mixture of apathy and boos; mostly boos. There was precisely one good match on this angle-heavy show, but I’ll give them credit for at least trying to get things into gear, even though they keep stalling and the transmission was worn out a long time ago.
Story of the show was Seth Rollins & The Authority swerving Randy Orton. Rollins challenged Orton to a match in the main event, however throughout the night all of the members of the Authority, including HHH & Stephanie, told Rollins he was being a tool and was on his own against Orton. So when it was time for the main event Rollins came out with the Authority and surrounded Orton in the ring. The lights went out and Sting showed up to help Orton fight off the Authority with his baseball bat. Sting hit Mercury & Noble with the Stinger splash then gave Noble the scorpion death drop before Orton gave Mercury an RKO. The ever-credible Michael Cole called it, “one of the greatest moments in RAW history” – It wasn’t even close, but it was a good angle and the people went nuts for Sting, who looked OK for a 56 year old guy in a t-shirt. There was no need for the swerve of the Authority turning on Rollins though; nobody could have possibly bought it and the main event angle would have worked just as well without it. I guess they need to fill up the airtime with something. Sting did a promo on the post-show; said it had taken him 14 years to get to the WWE and he would put HHH down at WrestleMania. Why they had it on the post-show, I have no idea, but at least it was Sting’s real voice this time.
There was a pre-tape, UFC-style, video promo from Brock Lesnar, which I actually enjoyed more than the Sting thing, but that’s just me. Brock brought up his contract and said it doesn’t matter if he stays or goes because he would be the WWE champion either way. They showed footage of him beating the Rock, Undertaker & John Cena then Brock closed by saying he was going to “F**k up Roman Reigns” and he got up and walked away. It was so great and believable, because NEWS FLASH: BROCK LESNAR IS GREAT AND BELIEVABLE!
Paul Heyman came out for a promo later on. He talked about nobody being able to control Lesnar and called Roman Reigns a Samoan-American’t, who can’t beat Brock Lesnar. Reigns showed up with an ugly new t-shirt that said, “I Can. I Will” – Who in their right mind would ever buy this? Reigns cut a dull promo about beating Lesnar’s ass; nobody cared and there were audible boos and at one point a few fans chanted for Daniel Bryan.
They did a contract signing for the Cena/Rusev US title match. Cena cut a passionate promo about how great America is which only Americans would care about. Rusev showed up without Lana; a very sad time indeed. I guess she was filming her movie. Instead, he had a Larry Sweeny looking guy with him who played Rusev’s lawyer and had the WORST Russian accent in the history of the world. It was so bad that JBL & Booker T, presumably at the behest of Vince McMahon, buried the guy unmercifully for being a phony. It reached a point of absurdity, as the announcers are making a big joke out of it while Cena is in the ring taking everything seriously, which made him look like a moron for not figuring out what everyone else in the world realised when fake Larry Sweeny started talking. Anyway, Rusev said America will die then signed the contract, flipped the table towards Cena and ran away. – No Lana? NO BUYS! Seriously though, this segment was farcical.
Bray Wyatt cut a pre-tape promo on The Undertaker. The urn was magically turned red for some reason that was never explained. Bray talked about his beloved rocking chair then poured out some dust from the urn and said WrestleMania would be the Undertaker’s final resting place. – Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t give a damn about this match or anything Bray has to say, because – and I don’t know if you aware of this or not: UNDERTAKER LOST LAST YEAR!
Potpourri: They gave Nikki Bella & AJ 11 minutes to have a match. It was brutally sloppy early and nobody cared at all. So you had your chance, Divas! Nikki won with the rack-attack. Ryback squashed the Miz in 1:40; afterwards, Miz gave Mizdow the skull crushing finale and walked out. I suspect they will be back together on SmackDown, because WWE booking. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro beat the New Day in 1:45. Before the match Kidd & Cesaro did a promo about being able to clap better than the New Day; it was awesome. Post-match, Los Matadores showed up and attacked the New Day and Torito took Cesaro out of the ring. Yes, you read that right. Cole announced that Jey Uso suffered a shoulder injury, so the Usos look to be off Mania, which is a shame. I don’t know if they will throw another team in the mix or just go with a three-way. Fandango, Goldust, Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Curtis Axel, Alex Riley, Titus O’Neil, Jack Swagger, Darren Young, Kane & Mark Henry had a pre-battle royal, battle royal. It was a complete joke. All the geeks were tossed out quickly, including Axel so there goes his gimmick, and Mark Henry stood tall. In a rematch from SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose & Daniel Bryan beat Bad News Barrett, Stardust & Luke Harper in 17:00. Match was very good, although R-Truth was on commentary and did his best to ruin it. He had the IC belt hooked to his back and played dumb the whole time. Post-match everyone fought over the meaningless belt and Barrett ended up walking out with the strap. So at least the champion has the belt, although Ambrose pinned him in the match, which actually made sense since this all started with Barrett and Ambrose. Sadly, Barrett has been beaten like a drum for weeks and the pinfall meant nothing for Ambrose.