Linus Report: WWE Raw, 16/03/2015

Hey, it’s WWE Raw! It’s a bunch of random stuff thrown together, maggle!

The show started with highlights of last week’s beatdown by Randy Orton on Seth Rollins, and Orton’s interview on Smackdown where he explained his actions.

They cut to the arena, and Seth Rollins was in the ring. He had Kane, The Big Show, and J&J Security with him.

The fans were actually chanting for Rollins, because he’s from there, but he cut them off and heeled on them. Good lad. He talked about Orton’s betrayal of him and denied it was similar to what he’d done to The Shield.

He said Orton had made fools of all of them and that it disgusted him. The Big Show shook his head, sadly, and took the mic’.

The Big Show said he owed Rollins an apology, and said he felt kind of responsible for what happened after he & Kane got tossed out of the arena by Stephanie McMahon.

He said Orton was a slimy, no-good snake in the grass. He said he hated snakes and he crushed them under his boot. BECAUSE HE’S A GIANT. No shits given.

Kane spoke next and said he wasn’t as gullible as The Big Show but he’d been sucked in, too. He said he’d make Orton pay for that.

Jamie Noble took the mic’ and declared himself the secret weapon of The Authority, which made Rollins do a Tim from The Office face. He said he’d smelled a rat but that Rollins was not just his boss, but also his friend, and the betrayal had hurt him.

“But it hurt Joey the most!” he said, and passed the mic’ to Joey Mercury. Mercury was too choked up to speak and instead wept on The Big Show’s belly. Gold.

Rollins said that if Orton wanted a match at Wrestlemania he’d give him one, but only on one condition – that Orton face him on Raw tonight.

Orton’s music hit and he came out to the top of the ramp. He said he wasn’t the face of the WWE, he was just a guy. But a guy who had made Seth Rollins look like a little bitch.

He said he knew how it would go down tonight, that it would be five-on-one, but that he didn’t care. Because he’s the only babyface left with any balls. (He didn’t say that, that was me. Sorry). He said he had enough venom for all five of them and the match was made.

Backstage, AJ Lee & Paige were shown walking down a corridor. It’s Lee versus Nikki Bella next.

After a break, AJ Lee & Paige came out, and Michael Cole got the start time for Wrestlemania wrong. JBL laid into him for it – JBL really is the voice of Vince McMahon on this show – and then the Bella Twins came out.

Remember #GiveDivasAChance? They gave them a chance. NEVER GIVE THEM A CHANCE AGAIN! This was not good. And it went for ELEVEN MINUTES.

Nikki Bella won, as if you care, and AJ Lee still finds running a challenge.

The Divas division is what it is, and it will never be “fixed” without tearing it all down and starting again. They can do that, and even then it still might not work. Are they bothered, though? My pal Stereo Mike isn’t wrong when he points out that the women never come out on their own because that means less pretty girls on TV than you could throw out there, and maybe that’s all they want? So have them strip or something, I don’t know.

They showed the bit from Smackdown where Roman Reigns bullied a fatherly Mark Henry.

Backstage Renee spoke with Kane and The Big Show. Kane said that The Big Show would be in Seth Rollins’s corner tonight and The Big Show shouted at him for making decisions without asking him.

Rollins barged in and ranted at them both, and they turned on him, telling him that Stephanie McMahon could shout at them but that he couldn’t. They said they enjoyed watching him get beat up last week, and both men vowed to NOT be in Rollins’s corner later, which made Rollins wince.

Hey, it’s The Ryback! Remember when he beat The Miz on Smackdown? You don’t? That’s okay, they’re doing it again!

The Miz cut an inset promo saying that his personal assistant, Mizdow, would help him win the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, or else he’d be fired.

The Miz & Mizdow came out, and did their thing. The match began, and it spilled to the outside. The Ryback grabbed The Miz and held him, telling Mizdow to punch him. Mizdow made a fist but couldn’t go through with it, and The Ryback took it back to the ring, where he won with the meathook clothesline and the shellshock.

After the match, Mizdow came to The Miz’s aid but The Miz dropped him with the skullcrushing finale. The dastard.

They showed a video package for the John Cena/Rusev storyline, and announced that, after the break, they’d have a contract signing.

Hey, it’s Michael Cole! He stood in the ring, behind a table draped in American and Russian flags, and introduced the first signee for the US title match at Wrestlemania, John Cena.

Cena came out to a mixed reaction, and then cut an intense talky that, if you are an American, was probably very, very good. As a non-American, it had passion but wasn’t so… what’s the word… rousing?

Rusev came out, dressed in a suit (but sadly not flip-flops), and Lana was NOT with him. She’s off making a movie, although they didn’t say that, of course.

Instead, he had a Russian lawyer with him, who was wearing those yellow-tinted driving glasses. Better Call Yuri.

The crowd chanted for Lana, and Cena grabbed a mic’ and told Rusev that, apparently, they wanted the one with balls.

Rusev’s lawyer spoke and, boy, was he bad. He was so bad that JBL & Booker T buried the poor guy, wondering what part of Texas he was from. But he carried on, in his wavering accent(s), and told Cena that Rusev was not accepting the match.

He presented his evidence, which was Stephanie McMahon telling Cena that the only way he’d get a match was if Rusev agreed, and then Lana agreeing to the match on last week’s show.

The lawyer said, however, that Rusev would accept the match if Cena allowed Rusev to read a pre-prepared statement without interruption. Cena agreed.

Rusev then said everyone in America grows up to be a failure. That America was a cancer. And that America would die. During this, Cena got angry, and ripped off his shirt, but restrained himself from actually interrupting Rusev.

Rusev signed the contract and flipped over the table, and he and his lawyer high-tailed it out of the ring as the Russian flag dropped.

Hey, it’s The New Day! They were in the ring, clapping along, as generic white people danced in the background.

(Oh, talking of the background… when the show started there was a bunch of guys in the front row in fancy dress, as Flair, Paul Bearer, IRS, and others, and they kept jumping up whenever the hardcam was on them. Which was a lot. Suddenly, they weren’t there anymore. Or, rather, they were, but dressed in random WWE t-shirts, looking sullen)

They showed The New Day beating Tyson Kidd & Cesaro on last week’s Raw and the stunning thing was how quiet the crowd were during that match. I swear the bumps echoed

Anyway, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, with Natalya, came out, and they cut an inset promo laying down some FACTS and also clapping better than The New Day ever did.

So, they had a match, but before it started Los Matadores’ music played, and they came down to the ring in crimson outfits, because they are EVIL. Torito was with them, natch.

The tag match didn’t last long, Under two minutes, and Kidd & Cesaro won.

After the match, Los Matadores attacked The New Day, and threw Xavier Woods back into the ring, where Cesaro shrugged and hit him with a Neutralizer. Then, oddly, Torito dropkicked Cesaro, and huracánrana ‘d him out of the ring.

Los Matadores joined Torito in the ring as Natalya yelled at Torito. *Sigh*

Backstage, Seth Rollins was with J&J Security, and told them not to mess up like last week. Noble pointed out that Rollins had sent them away, but Rollins told him that he doesn’t pay them to argue with him.

Noble gave Rollins a piece of his mind, and Rollins threatened to fire him, but Noble quit, and Mercury went with him. Rollins winced again.

They showed a FANTASTIC sit-down interview with Brock Lesnar, where he explained what he was going to do at Wrestlemania. He came across as a calm psychopath, doing what he does not because he wants to but because that’s who he is. He said that he was put on Earth to seek and destroy people.

He said The Undertaker didn’t stand a chance against him and that he laughed at people who were upset that The Undertaker lost. He said that if he stayed with WWE, it would be as champion. If he left WWE, it would be as champion. He vowed to mess up Reigns at Wrestlemania and I, for one, believe that.

Hey, it’s The Big Show! He came down to the ring for a match and they cut to a commercial break.

After the break, Erick Rowan’s music was playing and The Big Show was brawling with him outside the ring. The match hadn’t started. And it didn’t. The Big Show hit that awful punch and then a middle-rope elbow and left Rowan lying. Something something Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal something.

The announcers told us that the latest entrant into the WWE Hall of Fame would be Larry Zbyszko. They showed a decent package on Zbyszko and I hope he begins his acceptance speech by stalling for five minutes.

Back in the arena, Kane was stood in the ring with a bunch of mid-carders. Okay, bottom-rungers. There was Titus O’Neill, Darren Young. Heath Slater, Goldust, Curtis Axel, Fandango, Adam Rose, and some guy I had to be told was Zack Ryder.

Kane explained that he was going to demonstrate what would happen at Wrestlemania in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which would feature all of these men.

Mark Henry’s music played, and he came down to the ring pledging to be in the match at Wrestlemania. He then hit the ring and he and Kane eliminated everyone from the non-match.

Curtis Axel, who had been hiding outside, jumped in and pushed Kane out of the ring and then Mark Henry threw him over the rope. Henry posed, apparently a babyface again (perhaps Roman Reigns speared the heel out of him?), as a bunch of jobbers counted their paychecks.

The announcers told us that there would be a six-person interspecies tag-team match on Smackdown, and then ruined it by telling us it was Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Natalaya versus Los Matadores & Torito. I wish he was an actual bull. That would rule.

Hey, it’s Paul Heyman! He was in the ring to hype Brock Lesnar, and his focus was that the rules of the match at Wrestlemania did not fit Lesnar’s style.

Heyman said Lesnar was not coming to Wrestlemania to make love, but to make war. “War on Roman Reigns!” he shouted. Ha!

He wondered if anyone had thought about what might happen if Lesnar violated the rules and regulations. Would they turn off the lights? Would they cut the PPV feed? Or the Network feed? Would they give everyone their money back? I’m guessing “no” to all those., especially the last.

He said the audience was stuck with Lesnar as champion, and there wasn’t a damn thing the WWE could do about it.

His mic’ cut out again and he laughed, and said they could cut off his mic’ but what would they do when they couldn’t stop Brock Lesnar. He put over Roman Reigns but said that, as good as he was, he wouldn’t beat Lesnar. He said he wouldn’t be the next great Samoan-American, he’d the next great Samoan-American’t.

This brought Reigns out, and he was wearing his new t-shirt. Not one that he’d bought, at The Gap or something, but one that you all can buy. And Vince very much wants you to. It says, “I Can. I Will. Believe That” on it. Hot cakes, I’m sure.

Reigns, with his new blue eyes very evident, said he respected Paul Heyman and didn’t have a problem with him. His problem, he said, was with Lesnar, so he’d address Lesnar straight.

The fans were confused at this point, and must have thought it was Daniel Bryan in the ring, because that’s who they were chanting for.

Reigns told Lesnar he will win at Wrestlemania and that Lesnar should believe that. Did he not just see Lesnar coldly talk about murdering people?

After a break, Backstage Renee caught up with Paul Heyman. He told her he will give Reigns a chance to get in Lesnar’s face on Raw next week, which also means Lesnar will have the chance to say – or do – anything to Reigns’s face…

Hey, it’s Bad News Barrett! He’s in the ring, with Stardust and Luke Harper, to reprise their six-man tag from Smackdown against Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler. Fingers crossed this one doesn’t end with anyone being called a turd.

Before the match got started, R-Truth walked down the ring, slowly, to join the announcers on commentary. He kept his back away from the ring because he had the Intercontinental belt hanging from it. This was funny two weeks ago.

So these six men had a match, and did a ton of stuff, and went seventeen minutes. The only really notable thing was JBL accidentally referring to the belt hanging on Truth’s back as a “belt”, which it is, and not a “title”, which it also is and what Vince McMahon wants people to call it. Michael Cole quickly corrected him.

Throughout the match, the announcers chitter-chattered with Truth, adding “-izzle” onto the end of everything, and setting race relations back a good few decades. Well, Black History Month was last month, right?

Oh, Ziggler accidentally superkicked Bryan off the apron, because tension.

The match ended when Ambrose ducked a bullhammer from Barrett and hit the Dirty Deeds for the win.

Afterwards, Harper hit him from behind and then threw him into the announce table. Stardust took the belt from R-Truth and ran into the crowd but Ambrose caught him. The belt got dropped as they fought and Truth picked it up again.

As Truth tried to leave he walked into Harper, and Truth threw the belt into the ring. Harper went after it, and brawled with Ambrose, and it ended with Ziggler and Ambrose both holding the belt. They brawled and Barrett hit the ring and took everyone out with bullhammers and then left the ring with his belt.

Backstage, Seth Rollins begged HHH & Stephanie for help but they told him he’d made his own bed and had to lie in it.

Bray Wyatt cut a talky from wherever he hangs out these days, and talked about Sister Abigail, who had told him how the world really worked. He said that The Undertaker had tried to use his memory of Sister Abigail to burn fear into his heart but had only succeeded in turning a chair into dust.

He said the big question is what’s left of The Undertaker. Was it agony? Or fear? He said that losing to Brock Lesnar at last year’s Wrestlemania had made The Undertaker afraid to show his face, and the whole world saw him ashamed and naked.

He said that The Undertaker was out of time and his fate was sealed. It would be his coronation at Wrestlemania, taking his rightful place among the gods. “Behold the new face of fear!”

Yeah, that was pretty good.

Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Randy Orton versus Seth Rollins, and Rollins has no friends!

Orton came out as the announcers told us they would interview the winner of this match on the WWE Network after Raw.

Rollins’s music played and he came out with a mic’. He stood at the top of the ramp and said that Orton had fooled him for three weeks but it had only taken him three hours to make a fool out of Orton.

The Authority’s music hit and Rollins was joined by HHH, Stephanie McMahon, The Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security. Orton, because he has balls, left the ring to grab a chair to fight them all with.

They walked down to the ring and Rollins had them surround Orton. On his signal they started to climb into the ring and, suddenly, a crow’s “caw” rang out, and the lights went out.

When they came back on, Sting was in the ring, standing with Orton, and carrying his baseball bat. They stood back to back, clearing the heels out of their way, and then Sting hit a Stinger Splash on J&J Security.

Sting then hit a Scorpion Death Drop on Noble, and Orton hit an RKO on Mercury. The show went off the air as the announcers promised that we’d hear from Orton & Sting on the WWE Network, next!

Well, that was another Random Show. It had a thread weaving through it, of Rollins losing his pals to set up his (non)match with Orton, but everything else just seemed thrown together. We’re two weeks out from the biggest show of the year, and nothing is exciting bar the – probably unrealised – prospect of Lesnar killing Reigns. Must try harder.

 

Comment