Episode Air Date: 2/12/2015
First, I want to start this by apologizing for it being so late. Here’s the thing: NXT Takeover: Rival was amazing. So amazing, in fact, that it left me spent on the sport of Professional Wrestling for a couple days. I didn’t even remember that SmackDown was on, on the 12th. I was too busy watching Kevin Owens versus Sami Zayn again. If you read this series to stay up to date on the show; again, I’m sorry I’m a couple days late on it. Luckily, the WWE doesn’t exactly have the most layered stories to showcase. Especially when it comes to SmackDown and Raw, nowadays. Neither show has any sense of urgency to it anymore. They’re all about building towards the PPV’s. This episode was no different.
It began with Kane and the Big Show announcing to the WWE Tag Team division that a Tag Team Turmoil match was going to take place later in the night, starting with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. For those of you who don’t know, Tag Team Turmoil is very similar to a Gauntlet match. The only difference is that if D-Bry and Reigns lost in the first round, the match wouldn’t end. The winners of that round would go onto the next one, and so on, until there’s only one team left standing. Before we could get to that, we had about a half hour’s worth of show to get through.
First, it was Bray Wyatt versus R-Truth. See what I’m saying? It’s all about the PPV’s. The only reason this match took place was to continue to have Bray look strong as he heads into a WrestleMania match with the Undertaker. I hate to dismiss Truth like that, but his time came and went. It’s the same way that Reigns and Bryan were placed in a Tag Team Turmoil match to, as Michael Cole not so subtly hinted, create turmoil within that tag team. The WWE needs them to come to odds to help sell their match at Fastlane. They have one week left to do it. The PPV is a week from tomorrow.
Next, it was Summer Rae and Paige in a one fall to a finish match. I hate to dismiss it, but that’s exactly what I’m going to. I genuinely feel it’s more important to highlight the fact that the Bella Twin’s biggest heel move so far in their feud with Paige was to cover her in spray tan. Seriously? The girls of NXT are putting on phenomenal Fatal Four Ways and the WWE Diva’s are spraying each other with self-tanner? Also, Nikki and Brie on commentary? Holy f–k. That needs to never happen again.
You know what else can never happen again? Fandango vs. Adam Rose. Both of those guys can join the Honky Tonk Man in sucking down a searing hot fart. Wake me up when hell freezes over and either one of those dudes gets within a fifty foot radius of a World Championship.
After that, they recapped everything with Sting and Triple H, reminding us that the two would finally be meeting face to face at the Fastlane Pay-per-view. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’m in. I’m down for whatever they want to do with that pairing. As long as there’s more than one Scorpion Death Drop.
With that out of the way, Tag Team Turmoil began. This was actually pretty fantastic. It started off with Reigns and Bryan vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow. The best part of this was watching the fans react. It’s great to see them boo Miz and cheer Mizdow. The match itself was fairly quick, ending when Bryan hit Miz with his running knee and got the pin.
That meant it was time for another team: The Uso Brothers. This was the best display of wrestling during this almost hour long affair. The Uso’s are the Tag Team Champions, though; they better show up to play. It would’ve been insanely bad for the entire division if they stepped into the ring and got crushed by Reigns and D-Bry. They took advantage of Reigns relation to the Uso’s to sell the whole ordeal. With the Uso’s down and hurt, Daniel Bryan went on the attack. He started doling out brutal kicks like it was his job.
Since they’re his cousins, however, Reigns couldn’t let Bryan continue to dismantle them. So he stepped into the way and separated his partner from his family members. It was a great display of in-ring psychology. The constant cuts to Reigns were perfect. Each time, he had a clear look of dread. As if he was imagining the conversation with his mother that he was surely going to have if either Jimmy or Jey got hurt during the match. That quickly changed when Roman was struck by one of his cousins. That only served to make the massive Samoan angry.
After the Uso’s, three teams came and went in fairly quick order. The teams of Los Matadores and Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil were in and out of the ring in less than five minutes. Then the Ascension got booed for a few minutes while they essentially assaulted Bryan and Reigns to “impress” the Authority.
After they got disqualified, the Big Show and Kane came out. They were the final team; the last mountain for Bryan and Reigns to climb to prove that they could, in fact, co-exist. In a bit of a twist, the World’s Largest Athlete and the Big Red Machine wound up coming apart at the seams. This allowed the physically exhausted Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan to get the upper hand and pick up the win.
We’ll see where this goes on the upcoming episode of Monday Night Raw.