Hey, it’s WWE Raw! Because no-one has enough Kane & The Big Show in their lives!

The show started with John Cena coming down to the ring, to answer Rusev’s accusations that he is past it. As he was making his entrance, Cole hyped up Kane versus Roman Reigns, and The Big Show versus Daniel Bryan. Fuck this show.

Cena said a bunch of the usual stuff, mostly that he would stop the unstoppable Rusev at Fastlane.

Rusev and Lana came out to the top of the stage, and Lana said people were tired of his “American rhetoric”. She mocked Cena’s Never Give Up motto, and said there would be no going back when he faced Rusev.

Rusev told Cena he would crush him and Cena said that if Rusev made one more move he’d come and get him. Rusev did the “you can’t see me” wave, and Cena went and got him.

They brawled at the top of the stage, and Cena repeatedly threw Rusev into the videoboard. He stood over the fallen Russian as the show went to commercial…

After the break, Michael Cole congratulated Saturday Night Live on the occasion of their fortieth birthday, and threw to Dean Ambrose, who he said was auditioning for the Weekend Update segment of their show.

Ambrose was dressed as a newsreader, and seated behind a desk. He delivered some fake news about Bad News Barrett and held up a clipboard with a contract for an Intercontinental title match at Fastlane on it.

He said he’d beaten a former Intercontinental champion in Curtis Axel, and was going to beat another one when he fights Luke Harper, next.

Harper was in the ring, denying us his ace music. Ambrose came down with his clipboard. Live the gimmick, champ.

They had a match and it was an Okay Match. Harper showed smarts in this match that few other wrestlers have ever shown: when Ambrose sent him out of the ring by pulling down the top rope, he ran straight back in, and when Ambrose did his rebound clothesline Harper saw it coming. Good lad.

Ambrose won with the Dirty Deeds, after a second rebound clothesline, and then grabbed his clipboard and left.

Backstage, HHH was talking to Kane when the Big Show walked in. They yelled at each other until HHH told them both off, and said they were making him look bad. “Not as bad as Sting made you look,” muttered the Big Show under his breath, and HHH stared at him. He apologised and told them both to get on the same page tonight. What a bunch of geeks.

Hey, it’s Bray Wyatt! He’s in a dark room somewhere, playing with coffin nails. Actual coffin nails, not fags like what Nick O’Teen tried to get you hooked on. He said some cryptic stuff.

In a locker room somewhere, Goldust and Stardust were talking and Dusty Rhodes walked in. He talked Stardust into doing the right thing by his brother, and showing the world what the Rhodes family is all about. Mustn’t. Make. Jokes.

A New Day were already in the ring, awaiting the Dust Brothers. They’re deader than TNA. It’s Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston against the brothers in tag-team action.

While the match was going on in the ring – and it was as good as you’d expect – Big E was slapping the apron in an attempt to get the crowd clapping along. All they did was copy his rhythm to chant, “New… Day Sucks, New… Day Sucks”. Funny.

A New Day won when the Dust Brothers had a misunderstanding of sorts, and afterwards Stardust picked up his fallen brother. They seemed cool but then Stardust hit the Cross Rhodes and left Goldust lying in the ring, running off maniacally…

Backstage, Byron Saxton spoke to Roman Reigns. He added little of interest. “Believe that, Byron,” he said. I’m not sure Byron did.

Hey, it’s Daniel Bryan! He came down to the ring and… actually, no, he’s just doing commentary. For Roman Reigns versus Kane. They’re really spoiling us tonight.

While Bryan was coming out they showed Stardust backstage with Dusty Rhodes. He said he didn’t want to live in the shadows of his polka-dot freak father and failure brother. “Cody Rhodes is dead,” he said, “As far I’m concerned, so is my father.” Dusty looked sad.

So Roman Reigns and Kane came down to the ring and they had a match. It was not a good match. Reigns was in control early on but Bryan got to his feet and started chanting, “Yes!”, and this distracted Reigns so Kane made a comeback. Yeah, I don’t know either.

The finish came when Kane threw Reigns out of the ring and stripped the announcers’ table, but Reigns reversed this dastardly plan and smashed Kane into the table. He then made it back into the ring at the nine-count, but Kane was counted out.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your new hero, and de facto number one contender won by count-out against Kane.

After the match, Bryan stood on the announce table and led more “Yes!” chants, and Reigns motioned for him to come into the ring. Instead, he skipped around the ring, still chanting, and then made his way up the ramp.

Well, that was weird.

After a break, Backstage Renee spoke to Daniel Bryan and asked him if getting under Reigns’s skin is part of his strategy going into Fastlane. He said Reigns had to get used to a lot more “Yes!” chants at the PPV.

Ah, it’s Bray Wyatt again. He’s still in that dark room, still fingering coffin nails and still talking words. Right now I’d pay not to see whatever this is building to.

Backstage, Byron Saxton was waiting outside the divas’ locker room to talk to Paige when the Bella twins emerged, holding her clothes. Fucking bullies. Paige came out after them, wrapped in a towel, but they’d gone. She saw that the Rosebuds were standing opposite, and grabbed one of the girls and pulled her into the locker room…

Summer Rae was in the ring, waiting for her opponent. She’s fighting Paige but will Paige appear? Her music played but Paige didn’t show. Then it played again and she appeared wearing the Rosebud’s outfit. It looked okay.

Summer Rae laughed at her but people in glass shitty outfits shouldn’t throw stones. They then had a match which wasn’t as good as their match last week – which was shockingly acceptable – but was still okay. The Bellas watched on a monitor as Paige won with the PTO.

After the match, the Bellas came out to mock Paige but Paige schooled them, saying she would be wearing the title after their match on Sunday.

Hey, it’s Seth Rollins! He came down to the ring with his goons, and cut a talky about being the future. But, he said, he wasn’t just the future, he was already the most talented performer in the whole world. Sami Zayn must have laughed at that.

He said he could do whatever he wanted to, but the only thing he wanted to do right now was cash in his Money In The Bank shot. Well, he’s only had, like, eight months.

Instead of cashing in, though, he said he has to deal with annoying people. People like The Ryback. And Erick Rowan. And especially people like Dolph Ziggler.

Dolph Ziggler came out and ragged on Rollins. He did not mention dick pics, which would have been my first port of call. Dolph is a better man than me. They went back and forth, and then they had a match, which started during the break. It really did.

After the break, Rollins was in control. J&J Security looked to get involved but the ref caught them and sent them to the back. Rollins was still on top but Dolph made his comeback and – after trading moves – hit the Zig Zag and covered Rollins for the pin.

Before the ref could count to three, however, Rollins’s goons ran in and forced a DQ. Yes, the same goons who were thrown out of the match. Fuck this show again.

Booker T complained about them ruining a great match. Preach it.

After the break, HHH came down to the ring to talk about Sting. He said that the word on the street was that he was afraid of Sting. What street was he walking down? He said he found that laughable. The crowd chanted, “Yes!”. It’s going to lose all meaning.

HHH hyped up him & Sting some more, and Ric Flair came out. It got weird here because Flair was saying stuff and HHH was replying to the stuff that Flair was obviously supposed to say but was too whacked out of his gourd to remember.

After going around the houses a few times, HHH said that he was upset with Sting not because of what he’s done lately, but because he was such a big fan of Ric Flair and Sting built his reputation on Flair’s foundations.

Flair told him that he wasn’t thinking straight, and was letting Sting’s mind games get to him. HHH wouldn’t listen so Flair told him that, when he tuned into Fastlane on Sunday, he didn’t want to see HHH on his ass like he was last week.

This got HHH mad and he shoved Flair over and ranted in his face. He said if anyone got in his way – Flair, Sting, or anyone else – he would send them packing. He stomped up the ramp as Flair got to his feet…

After a break. Darren Young was in the ring with an Area Jobber (later ID’d by keen observers as Kevin Kross). Apparently Young had been challenged by The Ascension on the Raw pre-show to find a partner for tonight.

Lilian Garcia introduced Young and was about to introduce his partner when The Ascension’s music hit and they came down to the ring.

Konnor & Viktor set about Young & the jobber before the bell rang, and the ref waved his arms in distress. Suddenly, Titus O’Neil ran down to the ring and made the save for Young. The jobber had disappeared.

Young & O’Neil ran The Ascension out of the ring and apparently these four will face off at Fastlane. I bet it’s on the pre-show.

Backstage, the Miz approached Bad News Barrett and offered him a deal. He’d take care of Dean Ambrose if Barrett would teach Mizdow a lesson. They agreed to do business.

After a break, the Miz and Mizdow came down to the ring, and Mizdow was taking on Bad News Barrett in non-title action.

The story of the match was that Mizdow kept getting on top and the Miz kept distracting him with silly PA requests over the mic’. This allowed Barrett to get the win with the Bullhammer.

After the match, Dean Ambrose ran down and cable-tied Barrett to the ringpost, and then put a pen in his hands and made him write “BNB” on the contract. This is apparently legally-binding. I’m not sure it would stand up in NXT, let alone a court of law. They’ll fight at Fastlane.

Shit, it’s Bray Wyatt! He hammered a coffin nail into, I guess, a coffin, and told whoever to “find me or I’ll find you.” FFS.

The Usos and Naomi came down to the ring, and it will be Jimmy Uso & his wife against Tyson Kidd & his wife. Fuck this show for a third time.

Uso and Kidd had some exchanges, and then it was Naomi versus Natalya, and Naomi got the better of her and got the pin. Natalya was crushed and both Kidd and Cesaro – who was at ringside – berated her for losing. It’s the Usos versus Kidd & Cesaro at Fastlane. Something something wife something.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was shown walking down a corridor, making his way to the ring for the main event…

BUT FIRST! Roman Reigns came out to do commentary. What’s that? Not doing commentary? Just sitting at ringside? Okay.

Bryan and the Big Show came down to the ring, and Show was concerned about Reigns being there. Quite rightly, I might add.

So they had a match. And it was not terrible. They worked it to both men’s strengths, such as they are when it’s the Big Show. Reigns smiled and giggled at the parts where the Big Show was hurting Daniel Bryan, and then got up and started signing autographs for the front row. Bryan and Show were in the middle of a long sleeper spot, so I don’t blame him.

Reigns also threw some merch to the crowd, causing a buzz – his response to the “Yes!” chants, I suppose – and this mildly annoyed Bryan, who confronted him after pulling the Big Show to the floor with a guillotine-like choke over the ropes.

They had a to-do and Show pushed Bryan into Reigns, who wasn’t happy. Bryan then sidestepped a spear from Show, and Reigns ate it into the barriers.

Back in the ring, Bryan hit running corner kicks but got caught by Big Show in a chokeslam. He reversed it into the Yes! Lock and got a near submission, with Show just making it to the ropes.

Bryan was about to hit a top-rope dropkick to finish Show off when Reigns appeared in the ring and Superman Punched Show for a Bryan DQ. Bryan was NOT happy.

As Show made his way up the ramp, smiling, Bryan launched into Reigns and they started brawling for a full five minutes, until they were finally separated by Hugh Morrus, Robbie Brookside, and NORMAN FUCKING SMILEY. And that’s your show.

This was an Okay Show. It had some good stuff, and some not so good stuff, but it didn’t really achieve what it should do – get me excited for the PPV on Sunday. The only thing even approaching doing its job was the HHH-Sting build, but that’s undermined by a) Flair being a mess, and b) it not even being a match. Ho hum. Ho fucking hum.

By Alan Boon

Alan Boon is stranded in provincial suburbia. He escapes by watching men in small pants pretend to fight, and motorbikes racing four laps around a small oval track. He has child- and cat-related insomnia.

Comment