Linus Report: WWE Raw 09/02/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Raw! I wonder how they’ll confuse and astound us this week.

The show started with Roman Reigns making his way through the crowd. He got a mixed reception. They showed a re-cap video of last week on Raw, which took FOREVER. I can only imagine Reigns walked very slowly.

Reigns finally got to the ring and started to talk. He said that this time last week he stood in the ring as the winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble. Technically, that’s also true tonight. Pedantically, this time last week, he wasn’t stood in the ring. But I digress.

He said that the Rumble winner got a guaranteed spot in the main event at Wrestlemania, and he said that he was going to have beaten Brock Lesnar for the WWE title.

But, he said, The Authority made it clear that they don’t want him in that spot. So now he had to beat Bryan at Fastlane, too. He said he didn’t care who got in his way, and we could “blee dat”.

Reigns got a mixture of boos and cheers here. That’s because he’s being positioned against two stronger babyfaces than he currently is in Bryan & Lesnar. Odd booking.

Daniel Bryan came out to rapturous “Yes!” chants. He told Reigns to “go easy, big dog” and said that he didn’t come out to fight him, but to thank him. He said that if Reigns hadn’t interfered on his behalf against Rollins last week he might have lost. He sounded less than sincere when he was saying this.

Bryan said it was now the two of them at Fastlane. He said he got that Reigns was bigger and stronger than him. He said they were about even on looks. BUT, he said, he was a better WRESTLER. And actually used that word. I bet Vince got a twitch.

The Authority’s music interrupted this little get-together and Stephanie said that she didn’t appreciate Reigns spearing an “innocent bystander” last week, the Big Show, and told Bryan he was sick and twisted for putting Kane in a casket the other week.

She decided to punish them – and by punishing them she was really punishing us – by putting them in a tag match against Kane and The Big Show, which started right then.

So, yeah, we’ve all been really horrible people in past lives to deserve this, I guess.

Bryan started out and controlled the match. He even hit a tope suicida onto Kane, much to the chagrin of HHH & Stephanie, who were sitting at ringside.

He tagged in Reigns who then got DESTROYED. He made the hot tag and Bryan Yes! kicked the Big Show. He then tried a plancha onto the giants on the outside but they caught him and threw him against the ropes. It looked ouchy.

After the break, the Big Show had Bryan in a bear hug. For all I know he may have had him in that bear hug all break. Poor the fans. Kane tagged in and got a nearfall, and Bryan tried to make the tag to Reigns but Kane smashed him off the apron to the floor. It would not be the last time tonight he took a nap down there.

Bryan put Kane in the Yes! Lock but Big Show dragged him out of the ring and threw him over the guardrail and into the timekeeper’s pit for a DQ.

After the match, Reigns attacked the Big Show but he was beaten down with a chair. He threw Reigns into the ring but was too slow getting in himself and got a Superman Punch and a chair to the back for his troubles.

Kane then attacked Reigns and Bryan tried to make the save, but Kane – for once in his life – moved quickly out of the way and Bryan kicked Reigns in the face. He apologised to Reigns but Reigns shoved him down, to hearty boos.

HHH then said that, seeing as they were getting along so well he was putting them in another match together. Later tonight. Against Kane. And the Big Show. And J&J Security. And Seth Rollins.

Rollins’s music hit and he came down to the ring with his goons. “They don’t have a chance!” he laughed, and we went to a break.

Back from the break, Rollins was apparently prepared to fight, because The Ryback’s music hit and Michael Cole told us this was a match. Is everyone fighting twice tonight?

The Ryback came out and his singlet announced that he was a FULLTIME BIGGUY, whatever one of those is.

Yeah, this was bad. But it was only three minutes. And it ended in another DQ as J&J Security attacked The Ryback, and then Rollins curb stomped him. Despite Rollins losing, they played his music and he posed in the ring. This show sucks sometimes.

They aired a video saying Sheamus is returning. Will he still be boring?

Hey, it’s Paige! She was in the ring waiting for her opponent, Brie Bella, who came down with her sister, Nikki.

Paige had RIP DREW McDONALD written on her arms, which is a lovely tribute, and JBL mentioned it – and a bit about Drew – during the match before MICHAEL COLE TALKED OVER HIM ABOUT HOW THESE LADIES ARE ON TOTAL DIVAS AND BLAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Before I get on with the smark, a word about Drew: I didn’t know him very well, despite working half a dozen shows with him in 2001-02, when he was brought into the FWA as part of the “Old School” angle. He was a funny man, and never moaned when we asked him to do stuff. His thing might not have been for everyone, but he was a professional in a business that had – and I suppose still has – too many dicks.

Now back to awful, awful women. Except you know what? This wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great but I can’t say I hated it. It was short and nothing was blown and that’s a small victory in the Divas division. Paige won with the Rampaige.

After the match, Nikki tried to rush the ring but Paige ran for the hills. It’s on.

Backstage, Rusev was shown walking down a corridor with Lana, as the announcers told us he was going to pay tribute to John Cena next.

After the break, Rusev was in the ring. Lana’s mic squealed feedback a few times but they acted like it was stupid American technology or something. Lana said that Cena should be honoured to be fighting Rusev at Fastlane, but that Rusev was also honoured to be fighting Cena.

She said that he had achieved so much in his career, and then they played a highlight reel of his successes. Which turned into a highlight reel of his failures.

Rusev then said that Cena must be very beaten up after all these years. He said Cena is very vulnerable and that his fighting spirit had left him. He said, “John Cena, I will break your body and I will crush your spirit!”

This brought Cena out, still sporting a bruised eye, who said he may be half-blind but that he wasn’t deaf. Cena said that if Rusev was right, and he was so beaten down, then why are they even having a match? Because, he said, he wants Rusev to shut up, like everyone else.

Cena then told Rusev that he needed a lesson in respect. He said that Rusev had picked the wrong “old man” to fight. “At Fastlane, this old man is going to whip your ass!”

Why? Why would you tell your audience that your biggest star is old? Why?

Rusev threw a fit in the ring but Lana restrained him. Rusev told Cena that he talked tough but that he couldn’t see him out of his one good eye from up there.

Cena said that it sounded like Rusev had the jokes, but Lana had the balls. Oh God, I hope she doesn’t. . Whew!

Then they fought. Not in a match or anything, but brawling on the ramp and the stage. Rusev slammed Cena into the video screen and stamped on him on the stage. Some refs ran out and split them up and Rusev stomped off…

Hey, it’s Dolph Ziggler! He came down to the ring for a match with Bray Wyatt. They fought last week and it was okay. Tonight they didn’t really gel. Ziggler was too fast at times, which meant Wyatt was out of position.

They went to a break and it was better after that. Almost as if someone had told them to slow it down. Wyatt was bleeding from his nose, and the ref had those gloves on. That still looks weird. Ziggler got a nearfall with the Fameasser and a superkick but Wyatt rolled out of the ring.

Ziggler came after him and ran into a HUGE, BIG, MASSIVE clothesline. Wyatt dragged his lifeless body back into the ring and did the crabwalk before hitting Sister Abigail for the win.

After the match, Wyatt dragged Ziggler out of the ring and started to remove the padding on the floor. Two refs stopped him and he walked to the back as Ziggler lay motionless. Ziggler’s dead, man, Ziggler’s dead.

After the break, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came down to the ring. Heyman cut a great talky, saying this society no longer values credible information.

He said the real top liars in the land were Reigns & Bryan, who were going to have a match to decide who faced Lesnar, and if either thought they had a chance they were lying to their families, each other, to the audience, and to themselves.

Heyman said that although Reigns was Samoan, the yellow liquid running down his leg when he faced Lesnar two weeks ago was not pineapple juice. And he said that Bryan may have an arsenal of strikes and submissions but that he wasn’t the one to beat the one in twenty-one and one.

All through this, Lesnar just stood there, smiling. A silent killer. So. Over.

Hey, it’s the Dust Brothers! They’re already in the ring for their match with A New Day. those guys got an entrance. It still sucks. They should have used the full choir.

It was Kofi and Big E against the brothers, and Stardust started out. He held his own against Kofi and then tagged out to Goldust.

Goldust came in and Stardust left. He really did. He jumped down off the apron and walked up the ramp. Goldust shouted after him but got pinned by a roll-up. Stardust stood at the top of the ramp and smiled. What a dick.

Backstage Renee spoke to Daniel Bryan. She asked him if he could really get along with Roam Reigns after what happened earlier, and he said it was an accident and that if it had been the other way around he probably would have done the same. Bryan said, “Can we handle the Authority tonight?” and an off-camera Reigns answered, “Damn right we can.”

Reigns came into shot and said that they had a common enemy, and they need to take care of that before Fastlane. He told Bryan that he’d see him out there…

Backstage, Goldust confronted Stardust over what had just happened. He said he wasn’t talking as Goldust to Stardust, but as Dustin to Cody, but Stardust pushed him away and told him Cody was dead.

Back in the arena, HHH was in the ring to call out Sting. He wanted to know if Sting would face him, man to man, at Fastlane. He said that he had spent his whole life in the WWE and Sting – the face of WCW, a company HHH had helped destroy – almost took it from him.

He said he was a patient man but wanted an answer and then hi-jinx ensued. The arena went dark, and some crows caw’d. Spotlights went up around the arena and a video played on the TitanTron, with HHH with Sting facepaint superimposed on him.

The arena went dark again and when the lights came back up someone who did not in any way resemble Sting was standing behind HHH, who took a shock bump. The lights went out again and I ACCEPT flashed on the screen. Hokey as fuck.

Christ, this show is long.

Hey, it’s the Usos! They came down to the ring with Naomi to fight Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, who had Natalya with them.

They replayed some of the so very bad video from Smackdown, where Natalya & Tyson’s double-date with Jimmy & Naomi went awry. It wasn’t any better.

So, they had a match, and it was okay. Kidd and Jimmy Uso went crashing to the floor at one point, and their respective wives stood over them arguing and we went to a break.

When we came back from the break, Cole told us he’d show us what happened on the WWE App during the break, and then showed us the exact same thing we saw before the break. FAIL.

The finish came when Jey superkicked Kidd while Jimmy and Cesaro were brawling on the outside. Cesaro threw Jimmy into the ring and the ref got distracted by that, allowing Cesaro to uppercut Jey so Kidd could pin him. Clever.

They announced that Rikishi was going into the Hall of Fame. What about Headshrinker Fatu, Make A Difference Fatu, and The Sultan?

They hyped the NXT Takeover special! They really did! And without having one of NXT’s top stars pinned by a farting diva. Wonders.

After this, Sin Cara was in the ring as they showed the events of last week, from Miz firing Mizdow as his stunt double and rehiring him as his personal assistant, to Mizdow costing Miz a match against, yes, Sin Cara.

Tonight it was Mizdow facing the luchador, and he was scolded by Miz on his way down to the ring for doing his stunt double schtick.

Miz told Mizdow to prepare him a seat at ringside, and demanded a mic, and then sat to watch his PA fight.

The bell rang and Mizdow went to take off his sunglasses. Miz shouted, “Stop!” and told him he was doing it all wrong. And now to do it anyway.

They wrestled for a while and Mizdow ended up on the outside. Miz told him that while he was there he could get him a water, and then called him back to open it. Sin Cara hit a dive on Mizdow, which prompted Miz to tell him, “pay attention to your opponent!” What a magnificent dick.

Back in the ring, Sin Cara worked Mizdow over but he made a comeback with some Miz moves and went to pt on the figure four. This caused Miz to jump to his feet and forbid it, because it was him that made the move famous. Mizdow looked confused and annoyed, and Sin Cara rolled him up for the win.

After the match, Miz scolded Mizdow for getting beat, with Mizdow trying to keep his temper. I liked this.

Bray Wyatt did a video and said that he and his mystery protagonist – you know who it’s supposed to be, right? – were already dead and that this life was their hell. He said it was time to go home and dared whoever to “find me!”

Backstage, Dean Ambrose was walking down a corridor. He punked a geek again. The crowd liked him a lot.

After the break, Curtis Axel was in the ring and I just got his name. His dad was Curt(is) Hennig, and his granddad was Larry “the Ax(el)” Hennig. I am such a dumbass.

Axel did his thing about Wrestlemania and insisted we all tweet #AxelMania but was cut off by Ambrose’s music.

Axel angrily attacked Ambrose but Ambrose fought back and won quickly with the Dirty Deeds. He then said he had some “breaking news” for Wade Barrett, that he can deny him an Intercontinental title shot but it’s just delaying the inevitable of Ambrose’s face on the wall of champions at Titan Towers.

Barrett then appeared on the TitanTron for his BNZ – Bad News Zone – segment. He told Ambrose he will NEVER get a title shot. My attention, though, was drawn to the news crawl along the bottom of the screen, which read: NURSING HOME TURF WARS TERRORIZE CITY.

After the break, Roman Reigns was already in the ring for the main event. This saved us from seeing his “random” arrival through the crowd twice on one show.

Daniel Bryan joined him, and then The Authority came out, minus HHH & Stephanie. They attacked the babyfaces before the bell, and Kane and The Big Show hit a double chokeslam on Reigns, who rolled out of the ring. The bell sounded with Bryan in a 5-on-1 situation…

The Authority worked Bryan over until Reigns tried to make the save. He ran wild on J&J Security but got cut off by Kane, and then KO punched by the Big Show and dumped on the floor. Again.

They all attacked Bryan again until The Ryback’s music hit and the fulltime bigguy ran down with Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan to even up the odds. The referee decided to ignore this, oddly.

Rollins, Kane & the Big Show brawled with The Ryback, Ziggler & Rowan at ringside and up on the ramp, leaving Bryan alone in the ring with J&J Security. He hit a double dropkick on them and then hit Yes! kicks to each of them in turn, repeatedly.

He threw Mercury into the corner and readied to finish him off, but Reigns appeared from nowhere, blind-tagged him and speared Mercury for the win. The crowd booed the tag and cheered the win.

After the match, Bryan sat down in the corner, pissed at Reigns. He got up and started remonstrating with Reigns, saying he’d spent the whole match lying on the floor. Reigns went to leave and Bryan spun him round and told him again that it was him who’d done all the work.

He pushed Reigns back into the ropes and Reigns bounded back with a spear. Reigns left the ring to colossal boos as Bryan lay hurt in the ring…

This was an Okay Show but a Long Show. I’m still no clearer where they’re taking Roman Reigns, or why, but it does seem that they have some direction, at least. I do not, however, want to see Reigns & Bryan fight at Fastlane. Just not feeling it. Oh well, there’s still three shows to change that!