WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 2/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Fast Lane final hype, Cena opens Raw, Bryan and Reigns brawl, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, more
Feb 16, 2015 - 10:10:45 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
February 16, 2015 - Episode #1,133
Live in Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Final Fast Lane PPV hype, Dusty Rhodes trying to handle Rhodes Bros. business, Roman Reigns vs. Kane, Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show, John Cena opening the show, and The Ascension vs. a returning Darren Young & tag partner.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Michael Cole introducing the show before John Cena's music to a loud mix of boos and cheers. Cena bounced out on-stage to warm up the crowd before jogging into the ring. As Cena posed, Cole hyped Bryan vs. Big Show and Reigns vs. Kane tonight ahead of Fast Lane on Sunday. Cole, Booker, and JBL were shown at the ringside position previewing the show before Cena opened things up.
Cena excitedly said they're getting ready for Fast Lane in six days. He said the crowd in Memphis will be rocking, but it's packed tonight for Orlando is Raw. Speaking of Raw, he needs to talk about what happened last week. WWE cut to a replay of Cena and U.S. champion Rusev fighting evenly at ringside until Rusev thumbed Cena in his injured eye, allowing Rusev to knock down Cena.
Back to Cena, who said it's a familiar sight of Rusev crushing his opponent, but he says No More. He said Rusev is a super-athlete and undefeated (unpinned & un-submitted, but not undefeated). Cena said his name is John Cena and at Fast Lane on Sunday, "I will beat Rusev." Cena vowed to win by taking the fight to Rusev.
Cena went into his periodic speech about loving the fans, etc. He said Raw is about having fun, but having fun isn't going to cut it Sunday. He said many people have been asking when he's going to "change." Cena said he always believed he could win and with a smile on his face. But, along came Bray Wyatt ... er ... Brock Lesnar ... er ... Rusev, who says Cena has lost a step and lost aggression. "You want aggression, you got it, pal," Cena said.
Cena said there will be no smiles, just reckless abandon. Cena vowed to be the first WWE star to beat Rusev. He said this Sunday he fights for respect, but also to win the U.S. Title. Rusev's music interrupted. Lana called out Cena for the same promo over and over, saying they are tired of his "American rhetoric." Lana paused for "U-S-A" chants, then mocked Cena's mantra about being the man who never gives up. But, there is no going back when he faces Rusev.
Rusev spoke from the stage that he will destroy Cena and everything that he stands for on Sunday. "Your body, your spirit, your little, your little will to live ... will be crushed," he said. From the ring, Cena said Rusev has never had his ass kicked, so if he makes one more move, he will come get him. Rusev smiled and did Cena's hand-wave, so Cena charged the stage. A fight was on.
Cena tackled Rusev, then smashed him with a clothesline. Refs spilled out, but Cena waved them off and kicked Rusev in the gut. Cena told the refs to stay back, then Cena ran Rusev face-first into the videoboard. Cena did it again, then punched him several times in the face. Ten punches to the forehead as the crowd counted along. Cena warned Lana to stand back, then he shouted down at Rusev that every man can be beaten. Cena stood triumphantly over Rusev as Raw faded to commercial.
[ JC's Reax: They set up Cena to get his comeuppance to a portion of the audience that doesn't like Cena and will back Rusev ignoring the patriotism theme. And, they spoke to Cena's Fanbase that needs to see "Super Cena" every once in a while to engage in the product. Meanwhile, Cena's guarantee of victory points to a potential DQ/count-out win. ]
[Commercial Break at 8:13]
[Q2] Moments Ago: John Cena dismantled Rusev. At ringside, the announcers debated whether Cena will defeat Rusev
Cole then transitioned to a quid pro quo hyping Saturday Night Live's 40-year anniversary special, which included WWE footage in the sports montage. Cole said Ambrose recorded the following message earlier today in Weekend Update style...
Earlier Today: Dean Ambrose (loud cheers from the live crowd) was shown on-camera dressed as a newsman delivering fake news on Bad News Barrett. Ambrose then held up a clipboard for Barrett vs. Ambrose for the IC Title at Fast Lane.
In-ring: Luke Harper was in the ring for the opening match, then Dean Ambrose was introduced as his opponent. Ambrose came to the ring with the clipboard for the IC Title contract, which he hopes to get Barrett to sign tonight.
1 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. LUKE HARPER
Two guys wrestling in jeans for this match. Ambrose ran over Harper with an early cross-body splash as the announcers debated why Barrett is ducking Ambrose for an IC Title shot. Ambrose knocked Harper to the floor, then tried a suicide dive, but Harper intercepted and smashed Ambrose into the ring apron. Raw cut to break with Harper in control.
[Commercial Break at 8:23]
Back from break, Harper was working on Ambrose in the ring. Ambrose broke free of a headlock by biting Harper, then he low-bridged Harper out of the ring. Harper ran back into the ring, only to take a kick to the face and swinging DDT out of the corner. Ambrose followed with a top-rope kick, but Harper kicked out of a pin. Ambrose tried to follow, but Harper smashed him with a kick to the face for a two count.
Ambrose tried to come back with the rebound lariat, but Harper saw it coming and caught Ambrose with the Black Hole Slam for another two count. Ambrose then nailed the rebound lariat on his second try, which led to Dirty Deeds. Ambrose pinned Harper for the win, then grabbed his clipboard and left the ring.
WINNER: Ambrose at 11:04. The announcers struggled to keep up with the action with neither wrestler selling for very long to play up Harper's character being an "unconscious" big-man fighter and Ambrose having resiliency super powers. With no sign of Barrett in this segment, the match set up a follow-up exchange later in the show.
[Q3] Later tonight: Dusty Rhodes tries to settle things with the Rhodes Bros. and Triple H finds out what's next for him from Sting.
Still to come: Bryan vs. Show and Reigns vs. Kane.
[Commercial Break at 8:33]
Authority's Office: Triple H was talking to Kane, then Big Show walked in. Kane and Show argued over who was supposed to be in the room right now with Hunter. Kane yelled at Show for knocking him out on Smackdown. Show yelled back at Kane for being a control freak. "Enough! Enough!" Hunter shouted. "Are you guys six-years-old?" He said this has been going on since the Royal Rumble. Kane shouted that Show was too stupid or selfish to stick to their plan in the Rumble. Show went back to something from May 13 to keep digging up history.
Hunter told them to shut up, then asked if they know how bad they're making him look right now. "Not as bad as Sting made you look," Show said under his breath. Hunter stared a hole in him, then Show quietly said he's sorry. Hunter told them to get on the same page tonight and come up with solutions to their problems. He'll take care of Sting himself tonight.
Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's theme interrupted. From a dark room, Wyatt rolled a nail around in his hand. He said what happened to "you" still makes him upset and makes him want to do horrible things. "You're an empty shell and whatever fear I once had of you has turned into putrid, hateful pity," he said. Bray closed, "It's coming."
Locker Room: Goldust and Stardust were standing together. In walked daddy Dusty Rhodes to talk about fixing the Rhodes Family. Stardust blew paper out of his hands. "Dammit, Cody, that's what I'm talking about," he said, referring to Cody not acting right and acting childish. Dusty said he will love them no matter what happens tonight, but they need to show the world what the Rhodes Family is all about. Cody calmed down and pretended to be on the same page, shaking hands with Dusty and hugging Goldust before running off.
[Commercial Break at 8:41]
In-ring: Back from break, New Day was in the ring. Goldust's music then played to bring out Goldust and "Stardust" Cody Rhodes for tag action. Cody did his own thing on the entrance ramp before finally joining Goldust to complete the intro. Goldust and Cody bounced into the ring before WWE cut backstage to a shot of Dusty Rhodes standing within inches of a monitor watching their entrance.
2 -- RHODES BROS. (GOLDUST & "STARDUST" CODY RHODES) vs. NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & XAVIER WOODS w/Big E.)
Basic exchanges early on as Cody and Goldust played nice. Tags in and out as Dusty watched backstage. Xavier then kicked Goldust in the side of the head to make a tag to Kofi. Kofi ran over Goldust in the ring and Cody on the apron, then delivered a Boom Drop to Goldust. Kofi followed with a cross-body splash, but Cody broke up the pin.
Cody low-bridged Xavier out of the ring, then Cody tried the Disaster Kick on Kofi, but Kofi moved and Goldust stepped back when he saw the near-miss coming for him. Goldust spun Cody around to engage in a heated conversation, but Kofi smashed Goldust with Trouble in Paradise when Cody moved out of the way. Kofi pinned Goldust for the win.
Post-match: Cody acted stunned on the outside, then he returned to the ring to help up his brother. Goldust sold being lifeless as Cody tried to help him up. Cody hugged Goldust, who stumbled to his feet. As Goldust started to leave, Cody grabbed him from behind to a slight reaction, then gave him Cross Rhodes. Cody acted out of his mind as he left the ring.
WINNERS: New Day at 3:01. The crowd didn't react as much as you would think. Part of it was the match was presented as filler, Rhodes Bros. have been heels for a while, and the crowd saw the turn coming after weeks and weeks of tension. They have a lot of work to do post-Cody turn.
Locker Room: Byron Saxton approached Roman Reigns at his locker stall. Saxton asked Reigns about his journey to this point. Reigns flippantly said he'll get through the Yes! Movement and move on to Brock Lesnar, bypassing Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. Saxton asked Reigns about being manipulated by The Authority. He said he wasn't manipulated; Authority wanted Seth Rollins in his spot, but it didn't work.
Next, Saxton asked Reigns about having to go through Daniel Bryan. Reigns played nice about his relationship with Bryan, noting he has a ton of respect for Bryan, but if he were thrown over the top rope, he would take the loss like a man. He's not sure Bryan would, which drew boos from the live crowd. Reigns said he's going to take away Bryan's WrestleMania title shot. "Believe that, Byron," he said.
In-ring: Daniel Bryan's music played to bring out Bryan for the top-of-the-hour match. Cole said this isn't Bryan's match spot, but Reigns's. Booker and JBL said Bryan wants Reigns to get a look at the Yes! Movement. Bryan took a victory lap and did "Yes! chants with the live crowd as Cole hyped Reigns vs. Kane up next.
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
During the break: Dusty Rhodes approached Cody Rhodes on the App. Cody said he was expected to live in the shadows of his freak father and failure brother, and all of it led to him exploding. "Cody Rhodes is dead," Stardust declared. "As far as I'm concerned, so is my father." Cody stomped off, leaving Dusty to sell sadness.
[Q5 -- second hour] In-ring: Daniel Bryan was leading the crowd in "Yes!" chants. Cole went back to the end of last week's Raw when Bryan and Reigns had problems, which included Reigns spearing Bryan to close the show. But, Thursday on Smackdown, they won Tag Team Turmoil.
As Bryan joined the announce team, Roman Reigns was introduced through the crowd as the 2015 Royal Rumble winner. WWE cut to a shot of the announce position, which included Bryan in what looked like a tiny office chair sitting next to JBL. Bryan said he heard Reigns's words before the match and thinks it's pretty inflammatory that Reigns doesn't think he's a man. He also responded to Reigns's Rumble comment, noting he has no problem with losing the Rumble match; his beef was he never got a rightful WWE Title re-match after being stripped of the title by The Authority. JBL said he was injured; Bryan said he had one fewer title defense than Brock Lesnar.
3 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. KANE
Bryan continued that he wasn't planning to come down to ringside, but once he heard Reigns's comments, he decided to come watch Reigns. And maybe do something since he doesn't know how he feels about Reigns right now. Reigns controlled early on, but got distracted by Bryan standing up to lead "Yes!" chants. As Kane controlled the action, the announcers wondered about Bryan's aggressive new attitude since returning to action. Bryan said he tried to be Mr. Nice Guy, but --- JBL cut him off and said Reigns is wrestling right now, so they need to focus on him. "I would not dare disrespect the Big Dog!" Bryan sarcastically said. Bryan said Reigns does present a lot of problems in the ring, so he will be prepared. He then talked about needing to prove that he can get back to the top of the mountain, like last year. He said that is why John Cena keeps doing this.
Kane continued to work on Reigns, who tried to fight back as the crowd picked up a dueling chant of "You Can't Wrestle / Yes, He Can" from the vocal males and pro-Reigns audience, respectively. Bryan then stood up and led "Yes!" chants, which he said earlier was him testing Reigns's focus on the match. The match then moved to the floor, where Reigns smashed Kane into the announce table. The ref reached a nine count, Reigns rolled to the ring, and the bell anti-climatically sounded.
Post-match: Reigns was declared the winner to cheers from the females. "There is no way in heck I'm getting counted out," Bryan said, leaning back in the chair to sell being unimpressed. Bryan then stood on the announce table and led "Yes!" chants before Reigns opened the ropes for him to come fight. Bryan shook him off, then did "Yes!" chants around ringside with eyes locked on Reigns. JBL said Bryan is trying to get into Roman Reigns's head before Fast Lane.
WINNER: Reigns via count-out at 6:16. Plenty of window dressing with Bryan on commentary and "Yes!" chants to distract from Reigns's basic skillset in the ring. Meanwhile, they continue to give the audience reasons to like and dislike both Bryan and Reigns, which will be interesting to see play out coming out of Fast Lane.
Of note, correspondent Josh Parry noted the dueling chant got pretty loud. It's not an entirely pro-Reigns crowd tonight, but the women seem to love him.
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
[Q6] Backstage: Renee Young caught up to Daniel Bryan to ask him if he got under Reigns's skin as part of his strategy going into Fast Lane. Bryan said Reigns is an awesome athlete, but if you want to be champion, you have to be mentally tough. He said Reigns has to get used to a lot more "Yes!" chants at Fast Lane.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Bray said his hands may have created this world, but his will destroy it. Bray said limbo is no place for a "soul like yours."
Backstage: Byron Saxton was randomly standing outside the Divas locker room. That's kind of weird. The Bellas stormed out after stealing Paige's gear, then Paige came running out in a towel. Cameron was standing by, but she didn't think little Paige could fit in her gear for a match. Suddenly, the Rosebuds were standing there. She grabbed one to take her outfit.
[Commercial Break at 9:18]
4 -- PAIGE vs. SUMMER RAE
Back from break, Summer Rae was standing by in the ring waiting for Paige. Paige's music played once, then twice. She eventually emerged dressed like Katy Perry meets Candyland after "borrowing" a Rosebud's outfit. Paige made the best of it while the Bellas watched on a backstage monitor. She finished off Summer Rae with her Ram-Paige submission for the win.
WINNER: Paige via submission at 2:45. This is the same kind of silly stuff they came up with to set up Awesome Kong/Kharma coming in to reset the Divas division. Perhaps the same for Charlotte.
Post-match: The Bellas came out on-stage to mock Paige to set up the Divas Title match on Sunday. Divas champ Nikki said she needs Paige to understand one thing. Paige interrupted that she doesn't need an outfit to make her look good, unlike Nikki, and all she needs to wear on Sunday is the Divas Title belt. Paige's music played to cut off a rebuttal from the champ. At least Paige got around to hyping the title being important.
Backstage: Seth Rollins, who is currently off the Fast Lane line-up, was standing by with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury ahead of singles action. Cole said Seth faces Dolph Ziggler next.
[Commercial Break at 9:28]
[Q7] Vignette: Sheamus is returning. No date was given.
In-ring: Seth Rollins's music played to bring out Rollins with J&J Security. Before Dolph Ziggler was introduced, WWE replayed the end of last week's main event when Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan picked a fight with The Authority.
Standing in the ring, Seth Rollins spoke about today being President's Day. He said it's a day to honor the great men of ... the past. Which feels like a gigantic waste of time when the living, breathing future is standing right here in front of you. Future, future, future. Rollins said that word is starting to become a little passe because he is the most-talented performer in the entire world. What about circus clowns and halftime show jugglers? Pretty close race.
Rollins said he is untouchable and he can do whatever he wants. He said he could become president if he wanted to, even though he's not old enough to run for office. Rollins said he could take over as host of "Daily Show" and make that thing watchable. But, instead of those things, what he really wants to do is cash in this (MITB briefcase) and become the next WWE World Hvt. champion.
Instead, he has to deal with people who are so far beneath him meddling in his *affairs*. People like Rowan, Ryback, and especially people like Dolph Ziggler. The crowd cheered. "Please, please spare me the bullcrap! I know how you people feel about Dolph Z--," Rollins said before being cut off by Dolph's music.
Dolph spoke on the way to the ring. "Why you so mad, bro?" Dolph said. Maybe Seth had a bad Valentine's Day - maybe J&J got him the wrong chocolate, maybe Stephanie buckled him in too tight, or maybe Hunter gave him the speech about the "birrrrrds and the uhhhh beeees." Seth chuckled, saying Dolph thinks he's a real comedian, but the only joke is his career. Seth said Dolph is nothing compared to him. Dolph said that's right because he is not a whiny, sell-out douche.
Dolph said he is the guy who raises the bar every time he steps in the ring and the guy who took out The Authority the first time. So, if he can't get them again, he'll take out the next closest thing, the so-called future. Dolph told his hobbits to get out of the ring. Suddenly, the fight was on, but Seth rolled out of the ring to take a breather. JBL said they're going to have a match next.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
5 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
Back from break, the match was joined in progress with Seth controlling the action in the ring. J&J got involved ringside, so the assigned ref did the big Earl Hebner routine doing a big wind-up before giving 'em the boot from ringside. JBL called it grandstanding as the crowd sang the "na na, good-bye" song toward J&J. Cole said it took a lot of guts to toss out two members of The Authority from ringside.
Reset in the ring with Seth taking a breath to continue working over Dolph, but Dolph came back with a backslide into a close two count. Snap DDT for another two count for Dolph. Booker foreshadowed the ending by saying they're settling in for a great match. Dolph then nailed the Zig-Zag and made a cover, but J&J ran into the ring and attacked Dolph for a DQ. Booker was indignant, not because of the heels breaking rules to protect Seth from being pinned, but because they took away a potentially great match. That comment captured what's wrong with the booking.
Post-match, Ryback and Erick Rowan stormed the ring to make the save for Ziggler. The face trio KO'ed Noble and Mercury while Seth high-tailed it up the ramp. Meanwhile, Booker continued to complain about not seeing a great match because of J&J Security. WWE cut backstage to show Hunter frowning as he watched the faces celebrate in the ring.
WINNER: Ziggler via DQ at 5:16 of what was shown. Cannot stress enough how much this captured the fundamental problems with the bookings - WWE has shifted away from getting real heat on heels for cheating and breaking rules into getting fake heat on heels for "ruining the entertainment." It's unbelievably self-destructive and captures why the audience sits on their hands for large chunks of Raw since they have no reason to invest in a face conquering a heel when heels are routinely undercut by the booking and announcing.
Up Next: Triple H addresses Sting.
[Commercial Break at 9:49]
Fast Lane Pre-Show: Paul Heyman is on Miz TV.
Triple H Speech on Sting
Triple H walked down to the ring alone before WWE replayed events from last week's Raw and recent events where Sting has gotten involved and played mind games with Hunter. Back in the arena, the crowd chanted, "We Want Sting." Hunter opened his promo by saying word on the street is that he's afraid of Sting. Hunter said he finds that laughable. "Yes!" chants from the crowd.
Hunter said it takes a lot more than mind games and parlor tricks to get under his skin. He said at Fast Lane, the unthinkable is going to happen when WCW stands in the ring with WWE. The Icon, The Franchise gets in this ring and goes face-to-face, eye-to-eye with The Game, the Cerebral Assassin. Not the CEO.
Suddenly, Ric Flair's music played to loud Whoos from the crowd. Hunter tried to hold back a smile as Flair made his way out on-stage. Hunter eventually smiled as Cole noted Flair was a mentor to Hunter for years. Cole added that Hunter probably did not expect to see Flair at this moment in time, but Hunter held open the ropes for Flair to enter the ring.
[Q9 -- third hour] Ric Flair said that before Hunter starts cussing him out like he and his wife do every other week, he's out here because he respects and loves Hunter. Flair noted Hunter inducted him into the Hall of Fame right here in Orlando. So, he comes out here not to say anything but "I love you and I respect you." Hunter cut off Flair, saying he doesn't need to hear how great Sting is. He gets it. Flair told Hunter not to take Sting lightly. And don't put yourself in a position to fail.
Hunter said he doesn't need a history lesson on Sting. He said he's a student of the game and he knows how good Sting is. Hunter said he watched a young punk kid take Flair 60 minutes at the Clash of Champions. Then he watched that same kid become the franchise of WCW. He watched Sting become the Icon of WCW. "Sting was and is WCW," Hunter said. He said when WCW's final bell sounded, Sting was standing tall while all the other rats jumped ship. He respected and admired Sting for that, but then he disappeared and stayed away. And if he would have come here, he would have run Sting out of WWE. Why? Because Sting's reputation was built on Ric Flair's reputation. And that upset him.
Flair told Hunter that he's not acting like the cerebral assassin right now. Hunter cut him off, saying that was then and it would have been on principal. Now, he's made it personal and Sting wants to take away WWE from him. Hunter declared, "Mark my words, I am the WWE," which drew boos. Flair told Hunter to take a breath because Sting is getting to him. He said it's the same thing last year when Daniel Bryan beat Triple H at WrestleMania. Flair told Hunter that his worst enemy is time off. He's running a company right now. He told Hunter to focus on running the company, so don't let Sting sneak up on him.
Hunter said he respects that, and with all sincerity, he is no Ric Flair, but the truth is that when it comes to kicking Sting's ass, Flair is no Triple H. Flair took a deep breath and smiled toward the ceiling. Flair sighed. "Then, do me a favor," Flair said. "When I tune into Fast Lane Sunday night, don't let me see you sitting on your ass again like you were last Monday." Big Whoos from the crowd. Flair asked if that's fair enough. Instead, Hunter shoved down Flair. Hunter looked down at Flair, then said that nothing outside of his wife and kids is more important to him than WWE. Hunter said if someone - Flair, Sting, or anyone else - stands in his way, he will send that person packing. Hunter guaranteed that Sting will never show his face again after Fast Lane. Hunter stomped out of the ring as Flair stood up to Whoos from the crowd. After Hunter disappeared, Flair quietly walked out of the ring for a victory lap.
[ Reax: Very strong segment, clearly presenting Hunter as a self-consumed heel setting himself up for failure and building up Sting in the eyes of WWE fans who either see WCW as a joke or don't know much about Sting. Flair was very good in his role, too. Overall, it's a bit surreal hearing so much WCW talk on Raw, especially 14 years removed from the end of WCW. And, there was no slight toward TNA here; in WWE's telling of the story over the past few months, there are two entities - WWE and WCW. After WCW ended, Sting disappeared from the "Monday Night War universe" and has now resurfaced. ]
Ringside, Cole, JBL, and Booker reacted to what just happened. Booker said they just saw Hunter lose his cool.
NBC plug: John Cena appears on "Parks & Reaction" tomorrow night.
Fast Lane plug: Cena challenges Rusev for the U.S. Title. And, Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns. Before that, Bryan faces Big Show on Raw.
[Commercial Break at 10:10]
Back from break, Darren Young found a non-roster member to be his tag partner. He looked like a cross between Kenny Dykstra and Cody Hall. Before D-Young's partner was introduced by Lilian Garcia, The Ascension's music interrupted. Konnor and Viktor smashed D-Young and his tag partner before a bell sounded, then Titus O'Neil suddenly hit the ring.
Titus and Young knocked down The Ascension, then dumped them out of the ring. Cole noted Titus and Young had a falling out, but they were the Prime Time Players at one time. JBL asked if the PTPers are back together. No match and no back-story for the audience that did not see the Network pre-show, where Young was challenged by The Ascension to find a tag partner tonight.
[Q10] Backstage: The Miz approached IC champion Bad News Barrett, offering him a deal to take down Damien Mizdow a notch or two in exchange for him protecting Barrett from Dean Ambrose. Barrett said it's a deal, then Miz hopped on his cell phone to call "his people."
[Commercial Break at 10:17]
Network plug: The Shield DVD preview tonight after Raw.
In-ring: The Miz's music played to bring out Miz by himself. Then, Damien Sandow to a pop that took attention off Miz. At ringside, Sandow grabbed a director's chair for Miz to watch the match. IC champion Bad News Barrett was introduced next for non-title action.
6 -- IC champion BAD NEWS BARRETT vs. DAMIEN MIZDOW (w/The Miz) -- non-title match
As JBL and Cole argued over European Football analogies, Barrett took it to Mizdow early on. Mizdow fought back, but Miz rang a bell to get Mizdow's attention. He told Mizdow to come buff his shoe. Mizdow performed his assistant duties as the crowd sat quietly, then Miz interrupted again. Except, it caused Barrett to smash Sandow off the ring apron to the floor. Barrett ran Sandow into the ring apron as Miz continued to offer commentary at ringside.
Back in the ring, Barrett worked on Mizdow with a headlock. Mizdow made a comeback, then teased the Skullcrushing Finale, but Miz rang the bell and noted he has an emergency. He said he has a spot on his sunglasses. No wait, it was just hair and it went away. Carry on. In the background, Barrett warmed up the Bullhammer Elbow, then he smashed Sandow when he turned around. Barrett covered for the win.
WINNER: Barrett at 2:31.
Post-match: Dean Ambrose charged the ring and attacked Barrett. Dean pulled out a zip-tie and tied Barrett to the ringpost before grabbing his clipboard for an IC Title shot. "Sign it!" the crowd chanted. Ambrose grabbed a pen from Booker, then approached Barrett to shove the pen into his hand. "This isn't legal!" Barrett shouted as Dean forced Barrett to sign the contract for a title match at Fast Lane.
Ambrose's music played as Barrett yelled at him. Booker noted the signing was under duress, but Cole said he doesn't care. "That's how he signs autographs!" Cole tried to reason. JBL said you can't force someone to sign a contract after his free will is removed. JBL called for Jack Tunney to fix this.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Bray Wyatt hammered down a nail. Then, he spoke. "What shakes the heart of a man who never truly dies?" Bray said there is nowhere left to go. "The angel with the burnt wings cometh," he said. "It's time. Find me." Bray continued to hammer away on the nail. "Or I'll find you," he said.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Vignette: Sheamus is returning. Still no date.
In-ring: WWE tag champs The Usos were introduced for the next match. Naomi joined them for mixed tag action. It was Naomi & Jimmy Uso in two-on-two tag action. After another viewing of the double date drama from Smackdown two weeks ago, WWE announced the Usos vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro for the Tag Titles at Fast Lane. Kidd's music played to bring out Kidd and Natalya as the husband & wife opposition.
7 -- WWE tag champ JIMMY USO & NAOMI (w/WWE tag champ Jey Uso) vs. TYSON KIDD & NATALYA (w/Cesaro) -- mixed tag husband & wife match
Kidd and Jimmy started things off as Booker said he has a problem with The Usos getting involved in this mess when they need to focus on the Tag Titles. Tags to Natalya and Naomi, who battled as the men watched from the ring apron. Uso tagged in, so Kidd also entered the match. Kidd angered Uso, so he bailed to the corner to tag in Natalya, forcing Uso to back off and allow Naomi to enter.
Natalya and Naomi had a strong exchange, then Natalya asked Kidd if he wants in. Kidd waved off, saying Natalya is doing just fine. Natalya and Naomi had a pin exchange, then Naomi snuck in a three count for the win.
Post-match, Kidd entered the ring to calm down Cesaro for being upset with Natalya. Kidd then angrily asked Natalya what she was doing. "Sharpshooter!" Kidd said before demonstrating the move. Kidd continued to talk down to Natalya, who stood still in the ring. Cesaro then calmed down Kidd, who eventually said it's fine. Kidd and Cesaro left the ring talking about what went wrong as Natalya dejectedly walked behind them.
WINNERS: Uso & Naomi at 2:57.
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Booker hyped Fast Lane on WWE Network this Sunday.
Earlier Tonight: Daniel Bryan tried to distract Roman Reigns with "Yes!" chants. Bryan said some people view it as disrespectful.
Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown walking down the hallway for the main event.
Back in the arena, Roman Reigns's music played to bring out Reigns through the crowd to sit ringside for Bryan's match. Two women posed with Reigns in the crowd heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:43]
[Q12] This Thursday: Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins with J&J Security barred from ringside. Who made that call? The Authority self-sanctioning themselves?
In-ring: Daniel Bryan was introduced for the main event as Roman Reigns sat at ringside. Bryan engaged the crowd in more physical fitness doing "Yes!" chants as Reigns leaned back in his ringside chair sizing up Bryan. Big Show was introduced as Bryan's opponent to revisit their old feud. Where's A.J. Lee? Before the bell sounded, Show expressed concern over Reigns's ringside presence.
8 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. BIG SHOW
Bryan ducked and avoided Show early on. "Stand still!" Show shouted. Bryan kicked away at Show's legs, but Show cornered Bryan and smacked him hard, drawing a smile from Reigns. Show then landed a chop to the chest and glared down at Reigns. Bryan fought back with kick strikes, then he chopped away at the left knee. Show shoved him down, though. Headbutt to Bryan. Then a bodyslam as Reigns pretended to feel Bryan's pain. Show mocked Bryan with "Yes!" chants, then missed a corner attack. Bryan landed successive Ric Flair chops, but Show flipped Bryan around and landed a chop to the chest.
Big Show stood over Bryan, then lifted him in the air, but Bryan landed on Show's back and put him in a sleeper. Meanwhile, Reigns stood up and started talking to the fans on the front row. Bryan saw Reigns trying to interact with the front row fans, then he randomly grabbed a pen to sign some autographs. Booker said Reigns is being disrespectful while Bryan is in the ring. Bryan eventually put Show on the mat with the sleeper, but Show broke free as Reigns continued to interact with fans at ringside.
Back in the ring, Bryan took out his frustration with Reigns on Big Show with Yes! kicks. But, Show slapped Bryan in the chest to block the big roundhouse kick. Show took control as Raw cut to break with Reigns making his way around ringside taking photos with fans.
[Commercial Break at 10:54]
Back from break, Show was working on Bryan in the ring as Reigns was back to his ringside seat. Show shoved a boot into Bryan's face, then he slapped Bryan across the chest. Headbutt, then Show played to the crowd, drawing boos. "You sold out" chant from the crowd. So, Show angrily pounded Bryan across the back. Bryan came back with Yes! kicks, but ran into a bearhug from Show.
[Q13 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, Bryan broke free of the bearhug, then dragged Show over the top rope a la a Royal Rumble elimination. Suddenly, Roman Reigns started tossing t-shirts into the crowd. Bryan saw what Reigns was doing, then he tried a suicide dive to Show on the floor, but Show caught him. Bryan posted Show anyways, then confronted Reigns. Show shoved Bryan into Reigns, a discussion ensued, and Show speared Reigns instead of Bryan.
Back in the ring, Show butt-bombed Bryan, but Bryan dropkicked Bryan at the knees. Bryan then measured Show for a running Yes! kick, and he connected in the corner. And then a second. Show intercepted the third with a chokeslam grip, but Bryan dragged Show down to the mat for the Yes! Lock. Show teased tapping out, but he dragged himself toward the bottom rope for a break.
Bryan followed up with Yes! kicks, then the roundhouse kick connected, but Show power-lifted out of a pin before three. Bryan landed in the corner, so he climbed to the top turnbuckle. Bryan prepared for a top-rope move, but Reigns hit the ring and gave Show a Superman Punch for a DQ.
WINNER: Show via DQ at 14:37.
Post-match, Lilian Garcia announced Show as the winner as Reigns paced the ring and Bryan remained standing on the top turnbuckle. So, Bryan slowly stood up before delivering a double-foot dropkick to Reigns, sending him rolling out of the ring. At ringside, Reigns collected himself and noted Bryan just made a mistake. "Daniel Bryan" chant, then Reigns charged the ring and attacked Bryan. Reigns tossed Bryan out of the ring to boos, then Bryan collected himself at ringside. Cole started to sign off as Bryan stood up and contemplated his next move. JBL told Cole to hang on a second. Bryan charged the ring and tackled Reigns to the mat. Reigns and Bryan exchanged kicks and punches before rolling out of the ring, where Reigns landed a right, but Bryan landed a jab. Reigns shoved Bryan into the barricade, then punched him in the face. Bryan responded with a right hand. And another. As refs hit ringside, Reigns chucked Bryan into the barricade.
Reigns tossed Bryan into the ring, then two refs held back each man, including Drake Younger. Bryan pretended to calm down as Booker said they need to make some money, so don't do this right now. Reigns and Bryan then calmed down and looked toward the WM31 sign hanging in the arena. Bryan then met Reigns in the middle of the ring for a handshake, they turned their backs, and they met back in the middle to keep the fight going. The refs tried to get separation, but Bryan knocked Reigns out of the ring and delivered a suicide dive. The fight spilled into the crowd and tot he production area as refs unsuccessfully tried to get separation.
Reigns dragged Bryan toward the timekeeper's area, but Bryan reversed momentum, grabbed a chair, and popped the chair over Bryan. Reigns responded with a big blow of his own, then both men spilled over the announce table. Cole said this is all about WrestleMania and Fast Lane on Sunday. Refs tried to get separation, then NXT trainers spilled out trying to get separation. Bryan suddenly stood up at the announce table and wanted a piece of Reigns, but Norman Smiley held Bryan's foot as Reings was restrained on the other side of the ringside area. Reigns, with a bloody nose, shouted "Wait 'til Sunday!" as Raw signed off ten minutes past the top of the hour.
[ JC's Reax: Intense brawl that at this point needed to happen to get people interested in seeing the match. Too much was about why not to like each competitor, but this shifted the focus to why people need to see them have a match on Sunday. ]
FINAL THOUGHTS: For the most part, a tight show that kept the focus on Fast Lane. In an amazing twist, it's as as if WWE felt like they needed to sell a PPV. The Network being free and the gateway to WrestleMania Month in March was certainly incentive enough for WWE, but they should be this focused year-round.
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