RAW Ramblings – February 1st 2016
Legacy Arena: Birmingham, AL
Unlike last week with the “surprise” appearance from the Rock and the AJ Styles/Chris Jericho match, there was virtually nothing of note on this week’s episode of RAW. The show no doubt had to be rewritten due to Bray Wyatt & Bo Dallas flying to Tampa, FL to be with their grandfather, Blackjack Mulligan, who was in rough shape in hospital. Bo certainly wasn’t figured into any major plans, however, with a Brock Lesnar appearance used up here in Birmingham, AL, Bray would have surely been involved in some kind of angle with Lesnar since that appears to be the WrestleMania direction.
Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar were out for the opening segment and Heyman cut a promo about the Wyatt’s conspiring to eliminate Brock from the WWE title picture and said Lesnar would get his revenge whenever he felt like it. Heyman talked about the threeway at Fast Lane and Dean Ambrose came out to cut a really good babyface promo about how he was not scared of Lesnar and that he would drag his broken body to WrestleMania to beat HHH for the WWE title. – Hopefully Reigns was watching his buddy, Dean, to learn how a babyface cuts a believable, fiery promo. Later, Ambrose & Reigns were in the Authority’s office and they were staring at the WWE title belt which was mounted in a fancy case. Stephanie showed up and did her usual emasculation deal then talked about a bunch of famous turns involving friends and tag team partners. She called Ambrose, “Roman’s sidekick” then booked the two against the New Day in the main event. Huntor the Fearless met with Lesnar & Heyman in the back and he scoffed at the idea of Brock Lesnar not killing “Little Dean Ambrose” then asked if Suplex City had gotten soft. Brock said HHH would find out at WrestleMania and Huntor told him, “I’ll see you there.” – Did everyone forget that Brock broke HHH’s arm twice? Why would HHH be looking forward to facing that guy again? Maybe the story will be that the Authority sent the Wyatt’s after Brock, but still, it would be nice if HHH showed a little vulnerability in certain situations. Main event saw Ambrose & Reigns beat New Day in a non-title match in 17:20 when Ambrose pinned Big E with his DDT. Will Ambrose & Reigns get a tag title shot after beating the champs? Of course not. Match was fairly pedestrian; Heyman was on commentary and he at least made things interesting. Lesnar hit the ring afterwards, but New Day jumped Reigns & Ambrose from behind. Big E awkwardly slammed Reigns on the announce table and Lesnar laid Ambrose out with an F5 in the ring. – The roster is so depleted that we are back to having the New Day as top heels and, shockingly, the crowd didn’t believe for one second that these clowns had a chance of beating Reigns & Ambrose. Like I said, there was virtually no storyline progression towards Fast Lane. Lesnar gave Ambrose an F5 and that was it.
Get this. AJ Styles was on Miz TV. Certain death, right? Well, actually it turned out to be a pretty good little segment. Miz gave AJ the big introduction then proceeded to do his old shtick of asking a bunch of questions and not letting the guy answer. Miz got in some jabs about AJ being short and compared him to Daniel Bryan, who was also a short indie darling. Miz took credit for Bryan’s success and said there was probably a reason why Styles had never made it to big leagues of the WWE. Miz continued to be a fantastic troll and asked the fans if a “rookie redneck” like Styles could make it in WWE without his guidance. AJ nailed Miz and stomped the hell out of him, before Miz escaped and ran away. – I was sure this segment would be a complete disaster, but all credit to Miz, who played his super troll role perfectly and managed to make the fans want to see AJ kick his ass. This set up a match on SmackDown, so at least they are building stuff for Styles, even if it is with the Miz. Later on in the show, Chris Jericho did a backstage interview and put over his match with Styles last week, but said he was not happy with the outcome. He mentioned that he would be watching SmackDown very closely to see AJ vs. Miz. – Even though Jericho has been far from enthralling since he came back, a heel turn and feud with AJ could be just the thing he needs to snap out of the cliché-ridden, parody of himself from 1999.
Leftovers: Kalisto beat Rusev in a non-title match via count-out at 10:40. Alberto Del Rio was on commentary and he bad mouthed Kalisto the entire time, because they are in fact having another match for the US title at Fast Lane. Kalisto was good, but Rusev looked a little off his game. Lana got to come down to ringside though, so that’s a plus. Brie Bella cut a nauseating babyface promo about Nikki recovering at home and watching the WWE Network. Charlotte & Ric Flair showed up and Charlotte’s big insult was that Nikki was at home, “online shopping.” – I don’t get it either. This led to a match in which Brie pinned Charlotte with the WORST small package you have ever seen; “Mrs Small Package,” she was not. That’s right, they are setting up Brie Bella for a babyface run at the Diva’s title. – What clowns. Usos beat Adam Rose & Curts Axel in 5:10. The only thing of note was that poor Lilian Garcia called the Usos, “Grammy winning,” instead of, “Slammy winning.” Of Course, petty old Vince McMahon just had to get his jollies by replaying Lilian’s mistake and instructing the announcers to bury her unmercifully. Big Show squashed Erick Rowan in 1:24 then all the Wyatts, expect Bray, beat up Big Show forever after the match. Harper & Strowman slammed Show onto the steel steps and no a single person in the crowd cared at all. Titus O’Neil, one of the legit worst performers in the company, squashed Tyler Breeze, one of the most under utilised performers in the company, in 2:40. It was totally depressing. Titus sucked as ever. Dolph Ziggler pinned Kevin Owens clean in a good 10:20 TV match. I guess they realised they had nothing planned for Owens and rushed to get something going. Never mind that we’ve seen these guys wrestle each other hundreds of times over the last few months. Sasha Banks cut a promo about wanting to make it on her own. Team BAD came out and they teased still being friends. Sasha then wrestled Becky Lynch in a nothing match that went to a DQ in 3:30 when Team BAD attacked Sasha. Becky saved Sasha and the two stood side-by-side in the ring. – Who knows what they are planning for the women. Brie might just get a title shot next week, or they could hold that off until Fast Lane and have Becky & Sasha team up to face Team BAD. That way they could do the Charlotte vs. Becky vs. Sasha match at WrestleMania. Who knows, and honestly, who cares? Goldust asked R-Truth to be his tag partner again. They were in the bathroom and Goldust had his bare feet in a toilet for some reason. Truth once again declined and told Goldie he had, “do-do on his foot.” – Twenty plus writers it took to come up with this hilarity.