The Raw Review
Episode Air Date: 2/16/2015
This was the final episode of Raw before the WWE’s inaugural Fastlane Pay-per-view. It was all about getting us there. Every bit of the show was lead in for the coming show. It started off with John Cena coming out to continue his feud with Rusev. Lana nailed it right on the head when she said he was spewing the “same old rhetoric.” He’s been doing it for over ten years now. Having said that, it was a pleasant surprise for Cena go all in on Rusev at the end. He showed a level of aggression that could have arguably put some children off, and we all know how much kids love the purveyor of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.
The whole segment left me thinking about the concept of Reverse Momentum. Most wrestling fans will already be familiar with the concept, but I’ll explain for those who aren’t. Reverse Momentum is the theory that if you’re heading into a PPV match and you get the upper hand on your opponent during the Raw or SmackDown right before it; odds are you’re going to lose at the Pay-per-view. For example, on the Raw before Royal Rumble 2012, Dolph Ziggler took CM Punk apart. Then at the Rumble, Punk retained his WWE Championship.
With that in mind, I’ve read a ton of rumors recently that say John Cena has been placed into his feud with Rusev so he can win the United States Championship and bring some prestige back to the belt. That makes sense. I was wondering what he was doing going for that title. I assumed he would win it at Fastlane, but now I’m thinking that he may win it at WrestleMania. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.
All right. That was the lead in. I wanted to jump right in, same way the show did. Plus, I really dig Cena vs. Rusev. This could be a long-term program for the two men. Think about it: Rusev wins the first, Cena wins the second, and then we get the rubber match. Hopefully it’s as great as I think Cena has the capability to make it. He’s been in some classics.
I’m going to skip around a bit and cover what I think deserves to be mentioned from this episode of Monday Night Raw. The next noteworthy element came not long after Cena and Rusev. It was Dean Ambrose and a quick Breaking News segment. In a reference to Bad News Barrett’s promo style, which imitates TMZ; Ambrose read off a report that claimed Barrett would sign a contract by the end of the night for a match at Fastlane, whether he liked it or not. I predicted he would do something like this. I have a feeling this match is going to be the underrated bout of the night on Sunday. I may be bias, though.
I love all three members of The Shield.
Bray cut multiple promos on Undertaker during this. It was a little much, honestly. I get that they’re running out of time, but perhaps they should’ve started it a bit earlier. At this pace, Taker’s first show back is going to be the f–king week before WrestleMania. Let’s get it under way, already. Open the crypt. It’s time for us to have to watch him walk to the ring as slowly as he can possibly manage, while still looking like a straight boss. Hopefully his bones don’t creak loud enough for us to hear. That’ll really ruin it.
Oh, Stardust finally struck the blow. He hit Goldust with the Cross Rhodes after the team lost a match to the faction The New Day. I like that they’re saving the match for WrestleMania. Brother vs. Brother doesn’t belong on a PPV with as lame a name as Fastlane. That belongs on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Seth Rollins had a match with Dolph Ziggler, which prompted my brother to ask, in regards to Rollins, “Does this guy ever have a match that doesn’t end in disqualification?”
I like that he gets all these cheap wins. Rollins is the best heel working today, by a wide margin. Nobody in the locker room gets the kind of reaction that he does, which is why putting him against Ziggler makes so much sense. Dolph gets the exact opposite reaction of Seth. People love the dude, and that’ll only grow if he conquers the self proclaimed future of the WWE.
The Diva’s Division is still the worst. Well, to be more specific, the Bella’s are still the worst. You know, actually, it’s not fair to place the blame on their shoulders. It’s all about the writing. Can the guys behind the scenes please step it up? These lame pranks they have the Bella’s pulling on Paige are neither entertaining, nor intimidating. Come what may, Paige is making people tap out, and the WWE Diva’s Champion is spray tanning people and stealing their ring gear.
Quick aside: I don’t know if anyone caught it, but apparently Paige posted a tweet where she called Lana a very crude name. Well, at least over here in the good ol’ U-S-of A. It’s not really a big deal over in England, where Paige is from. Having said that: respect homie. I’ve known many a bitchy foreign women in my lifetime.
Finally, we’re going to close this out with the Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan element of the show. This is the premiere feud going into Fastlane and it was built very effectively on this episode of Raw. Instead of Tag Team Turmoil, the two men were each placed in one on one matches with the Authority’s top two henchmen, the Big Show and Kane. Reigns faced Kane and Bryan faced Show.
Bryan came down and sat at the commentary table during the Reigns and Kane match. He played mind games the whole time, standing up and getting the crowd to chant YES! YES! YES! Reigns played it well. He was clearly effected by Bryan’s games, but he still managed to pick up the win. In return for messing with him during his match, Roman came out and messed with D-Bry during his. He didn’t speak, however, which was a wise choice.
The match ended with Reigns causing Bryan to lose by disqualification. Roman was angry after catching a spear from Big Show, so he returned the favor. D-Bry was not very happy about this, leading to the two of them brawling it out. The show ended with officials coming down and separating the two. This was the perfect way to do it. It’s got me anxiously waiting for Sunday, I’ll tell you that much.