WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 3/9: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Lesnar appears, Orton strikes, Taker "responds" to Bray, Sting "speaks," latest WM31 hype, more
Mar 9, 2015 - 10:25:08 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
March 9, 2015 - Episode #1,136
Live in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar is advertised, U.S. champion Rusev vs. Curtis Axel in a non-title match, Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Randy Orton in a handicap match, IC champion Bad News Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan in a non-title match, Bray Wyatt calling out The Undertaker, hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa guest-starring and performing, and more.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Randy Orton's music. Michael Cole introduced the show, as well as Orton, as The Authority was shown standing in the ring clapping it up for Orton. Seth Rollins, Kane, Big Show, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury were assembled to recognize Orton. Cole hyped Orton & Rollins vs. Roman Reigns in a handicap match tonight.
Once Orton entered the ring, Kane said they could have done this backstage, but they wanted to do this in the ring. Kane said it's his honor to welcome Orton back into The Authority. Big Show spoke next to loud boos. Show asked for some respect so he can talk. Show hyped Orton as ruthless to the point of RKO'ing his own father if he stood in the way of something he wanted.
Show extended his hand. "Welcome home, bro," Show said. Orton shook. Jamie spoke next. He couldn't get the words out, then shouted that Orton is a no-good snake who cannot be trusted. Seth Rollins took the mic and told him to shut up. Seth taunted little Jamie being upset after Orton gave him an RKO. Seth asked Joey to speak instead. Joey had no words.
Seth spoke instead. He said everyone thinks Orton is not really part of The Authority and just waiting to get his revenge on Seth. "Oh yeah, you guys must feel like the biggest idiots on planet earth right now!" Seth shouted. No, not because you live in Pittsburgh, but because he and Randy are standing side-by-side in the same ring as proud members of The Authority. Pause for "R-K-O" chant.
Seth went down the line of guys who had their reservations about Orton, stopping at Show to say no one cares what he thinks. Just kidding! Seth told everyone to calm down and not be so stressed heading to WrestleMania. Seth then extended his hand and Orton shook. He hyped Orton's credentials and asked the crowd to give it up for The Viper.
Orton took the mic and leaned against the top rope. Orton said that was very touching and very kind. But, it left him thinking something. "What happened to The Authority?" he angrily asked. Orton said Kane is now the devil's favorite dumbass. Is it about kicking ass and taking names or kissing ass and making coffee? Show, laughing, got his from Orton, who told him he just uses all his size and power to complain and feel sorry for himself.
Jamie Noble - what happened to you? Orton mocked Noble's height, then moved to Mercury, who was holding the MITB briefcase. Orton had nothing for Mercury, so he went back down the line to Rollins. Orton said Seth has been blinded by his ego that he cannot see what's happening. And when Seth feels comfortable, he will not only beat him down, but make him his b----. Orton vowed to kick and stomp him until there is no future left. "R-K-O" chant from the crowd.
Orton paused and said he's just playing with them. Lighten up, guys. Orton playfully slapped everyone on the shoulder. Kane and Show were not happy, but Seth had a good laugh, saying Orton had him so good. Seth said maybe Orton should be the one taking over for Jon Stewart. He then vowed to dismantle Roman Reigns on the Road to WrestleMania tonight. Seth brought the crew in for a photo-op and recital of their signature line. Seth's music played, then Seth laughed at Orton, saying he really had him there.
[ Reax: Okay way to kill 14 minutes reinforcing Authority Tension & Distrust and setting up the TV main event of Orton & Rollins vs. Reigns. It just did not have the feel of an important top-of-the-show segment during Mania Season. ]
Announcers: Cole, Booker T, and JBL were shown ringside to reset the show. Coel hyped Wiz Khalifa performing live tonight. Not much of a reaction from the live crowd. Also, WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar is here with Paul Heyman.
[Q2] In-ring: Daniel Bryan's music played to kick things off in the ring. Bryan checked out a ladder positioned on the stage, then "Yes!" chants sent Raw to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:16]
Back live, R-Truth was at the commentary position. IC champion Bad News Barrett was out next without possession of his title belt since Stardust f/k/a Cody Rhodes took the belt on Smackdown. Cole made a fool of himself, then the bell sounded to begin the opening match.
1 -- IC champion BAD NEWS WADE BARRETT vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title match
Bryan kneed Barrett in the gut to begin the match as Cole showed NBA ignorance on when Dikembe Mutombo played. Rough start for Cole tonight. Barrett kicked Bryan out of the ring to take control heading to break. So far, this feels like a Q7 comedown match following a repetitive Q6 Authority talking segment.
[Commercial Break at 8:24]
Back from break, Barrett was still in control of the match. Barrett went for a superplex, and he connected for a two count. In the middle of the conversation, Cole nonchalantly said that Bryan will be in the IC Title ladder match at Mania, which had not been officially announced yet. Bryan then smashed Barrett with his running knee out of nowhere. Bryan covered for the win.
WINNER: Bryan at 7:05. Bryan got the win, but WWE is definitely making Bryan feel like an afterthought during Mania Hype Season.
Post-match, Bryan led the crowd in Yes! chants as the announcers argued about the IC Title belt. Suddenly, Barrett snuck up behind Bryan and smashed him with the Bullhammer elbow. Barrett started to leave, but Dean Ambrose's music played. Dean smashed Barrett on the entranceramp, then rolled into the ring. He's in action next.
[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:31]
Back from break, Dean Ambrose was in the ring waiting for his opponent. "Stardust" Cody Rhodes, wearing the IC Title belt around his waist, was introduced as Dean's opponent. Stardust did his freak-out routine on the way to the ring.
2 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. STARDUST
R-Truth was still on commentary to discuss potatoes with Cole and Friends. Cody was uneasy about starting the match because he might lose possession of the title belt. On commentary, JBL slipped in a Ronda Rousey reference, which follows Paul Heyman putting Rousey's name on the air last week. Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Dean started the match in control, then clotheslined Cody over the top rope to the floor. Dean followed with a suicide dive to the outside. Dean sent Cody back into the ring, but Cody caught him with a forearm returning to the ring. Cody then attacked Dean's knee and Dean rolled to the floor to recover heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:39]
Back from break, Cody was working on Dean's left knee with a half-Boston Crab. Dean fought back with slaps and chops, trying to fire up the crowd before nailing Dirty Deeds. Dean covered Cody for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ambrose at 7:28. Almost a duplicate of the Barrett-Bryan opening match.
Post-match: Ambrose took the IC Title belt and held it up over Cody. Suddenly, Barrett ran back into the ring and attacked Ambrose. But, Daniel Bryan ran into the ring and attacked Barrett. Yes! kicks to Barrett, then Luke Harper hit the ring to join the fight. Dolph Ziggler then ran into the ring to join the fight. Booker said this is what Raw was built on. Meanwhile, Truth snuck down to ringside, grabbed the IC Title belt, and put the belt in the sack he brought down to ringside.
[Q4] Back in the ring, everyone hit finishers until Bryan smashed Harper with a running knee and Barrett hit Bryan with the Bullhammer. Barrett left the ring to stalk Truth, who grabbed the sack that supposedly held the IC Title belt. Barrett took off through the crowd with the bag, but Truth ran away with another sack. Back in the arena, Barrett pulled out a kids-sized replica title belt while Truth stood on the stage holding the real title belt. WWE cut to a shot of Bryan and Ziggler processing the events in the ring as Barrett sold frustration in the arena.
Announcers: Cole and Co. reset the show, then Cole announced the first "Warrior Award" for Connor the Crusher at this year's WWE Hall of Fame. A video package documented Connor being introduced to the WWE audience via a meeting with Daniel Bryan in Pittsburgh more than two years ago. Top heel Stephanie McMahon appeared in the video talking up Connor. The video closed with the memorable WM30 close of new WWE World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan hugging Connor. Back live, the Pittsburgh crowd chanted Connor's name. They cut to a shot of Connor's dad at ringside.
Next: WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar addresses "rumors" heading into his WWE Title defense against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania.
[Commercial Break at 8:53]
DVD plug: Chris Jericho's new product due out Tuesday.
Brock Lesnar? Speaks
Paul Heyman was standing in the ring back from break. Heyman said he wants to watch the following video package along with everyone else. The video was a long hype piece on Roman Reigns. The video ended with Reigns boasting about being the man to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
[Q5 -- second hour] Back live, Heyman was leaning against the ropes pretending to be intrigued. Heyman said he will retort Reigns with an introduction for the reigning, defending, WWE World Hvt. champion Brrrrrock Lesssssnar. Cue up the music to bring out Lesnar to cheers.
Lesnar bounced up and down on-stage, then bounced down to the ring with the World Title belt around his waist. Lesnar stood next to Heyman, who said the previous video was sheer propaganda. "Oh, Roman Reigns was the stand-out in NXT! Oooh!" Heyman mockingly said. "Yeeeaaaah!" Heyman said the truth about Roman Reigns is that video was pure fantasy. Heyman ran down Reigns's family, saying Reigns's two moves he does today are a product of fighting beach bums in Florida.
Heyman said the problem is that Roman Reigns will not beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, which drew cheers. He promised that Lesnar will not lose the title to Reigns at WrestleMania. He said he knows what goes on behind-the-scenes, so if The Authority has it in their heads to have Reigns take the title for Seth Rollins to cash in MITB because Seth doesn't have the guts to cash in on Lesnar, and because The Authority knows Seth is cheaper than his client, he has a message. There will not be a Montreal Screwjob situation because Lesnar will kill anyone involved.
Heyman said the sheer beating that Lesnar gives Reigns at Mania will make everyone respect Reigns because everyone will see him as one B.A. Samoan who took an ass-kicking from Brock Lesnar. Suddenly, the mic cut out. Heyman casually walked around the ring, then went into "work-shoot" mode on management not having the guts to take the mic out of his hand. He also told The Authority to come take the title from Lesnar, who might spend the summer unifying the WWE and UFC Titles.
The mic cut out, then Heyman said Lesnar might show up in Las Vegas and take out both Manny and Mayweather. He had another message that this WWE Title does not belong to WWE anymore, but to Brock Lesnar. "And he's not giving it back!" Heyman shouted.
Heyman went back to 2002 when Lesnar beat The Rock and sent him off to Hollywood. Then, in 2014, they tried to feed Lesnar to The Undertaker, but Lesnar broke The Streak to the point where Bray Wyatt has to summon Taker for this year's Mania. And, this same man suplexed John Cena out of his shoes at Summerslam. So, what do you think he's going to do Roman Reigns at WrestleMania? Heyman shouted his conclusion, then Lesnar's music played. The announcers focused on the intensity in Lesnar's eyes as he stared up at the WM31 sign hanging in the arena. No words from Brock.
[ Reax: It's a good thing Heyman is so good at his job because the material is so flimsy centered on the eye-rolling "worked-shoot" buzz-words. WWE feels the need to roll the UFC rumors and Lesnar's price tag into the TV fiction, but this is not developing Reigns's character or strengthening Reigns's bond with the audience. More like confusing the issue. Reigns's character is a one-dimensional product of the machine at this point. ]
Before Raw cut to break, Bray Wyatt cut in with a message telling The Undertaker to find him.
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
[Q6] In-ring: Big Show and Kane were standing in the ring back from break. Erick Rowan's unexciting theme music played to bring out Rowan and Ryback. Odd choice to use Rowan, not Ryback's theme.
3 -- RYBACK & ERICK ROWAN vs. BIG SHOW & KANE
Show speared Ryback early on, then Show began working on Ryback. Show tried to engage the crowd by trash-talking the front row, then he tagged in Kane to get in some offense on Ryback. Suddenly, Show accidentally punched Kane when he was aiming for Rowan. Ryback clotheslined Show on the floor, then Rowan covered Kane for the win. Cue up Rowan's light music.
WINNERS: Ryback & Rowan at 3:25.
Post-match, Show quietly returned to the ring to face the music of accidentally hitting Kane. Kane got up and angrily asked what he was doing. An argument broke out, so Stephanie McMahon's music played to bring out Principal McMahon looking to get the students in-line. Steph said they are three weeks away from WrestleMania and they need to stop acting like children. She said maybe Randy Orton was right. Show and Kane stopped bickering. Oh, now you're listening?
Steph said maybe they are too busy whining and getting coffee. She said she wants The Monster and The Giant back. She then told them to just get out of the ring. "I said get out of my ring!" she shouted. Kane slowly left the ring, then Steph told them to grab their bags and leave the building. Show said she's over-reacting, but Steph told them to leave. Show and Kane headed up the entrance ramp selling frustration and dejection as Cole noted Steph let them try to sort out their issues long enough.
Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to revisiting the "Niagara" erectile dysfunction gag from last week. Because one airing wasn't enough. And because WWE assumes parents are ready to explain E.D. to their eight-year-olds.
Backstage: Miz was shown trying to pitch a collaboration with Wiz Khalifa. "Miz and Wiz!" he exclaimed. Khalifa said he doesn't think their brands would mesh. And, he found an A-Lister, Wiz-dow. Damien Sandow entered the shot dressed in dreadlocks, a trucker hat, and shades. Sandow rapped about entering the Andre Battle Royal, then Miz grimaced and stormed off. Sandow and Wiz bro-hugged to wrap the segment.
[Commercial Break at 9:28]
[Q7] Vignette: Sheamus returns. Sometime soon.
Back live, Lilian Garcia introduced "international hip-hop star, Pittsburgh's own, Wiz Khalifa." Wiz Khalifa appeared on-stage to perform live. Wiz, wearing a John Cena t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, moved from the stage down to ringside to rap while taking a victory lap. Wiz made it back to the stage to complete his performance after tossing the Cena shirt. Wiz's music stopped to a mix of cheers and boos, then Damien Sandow/Mizdow/Wizdow appeared on-stage to get cheers on the air.
Last Monday: The Divas situation included the return of A.J. Lee to help Paige in her battle with The Bella Twins.
Backstage: A.J. and Paige were shown walking down the hallway. A.J. returns to action for the first time this year on TV next.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
Video Clip: On a show with an E.D. parody, adult-themed song lyrics, and Orton cussing up a storm in the opening segment, WWE returned from break with a clip from WWE's new Flintstones animated movie. (A spot for the movie aired on Nickelodeon over the weekend.)
Backstage: The Bella Twins, dressed in Flintstones costumes, hyped themselves as the greatest tag team since the Flintstones. Nikki vowed to make Paige and A.J. little pieces of rubble at WrestleMania.
4 -- A.J. LEE (w/Paige) vs. SUMMER RAE (w/Cameron and Eva Marie)
Back in the arena, A.J. Lee and Paige were standing by for Divas action. Summer Rae was also already in the ring while Total Divas pals Cameron and Eva Marie were ringside supporting Summer. A.J. shook off the rust early on, then kicked Summer in the gut for a two count. A.J. then finished off Summer with the Black Widow for the win. Post-match, Paige and A.J. knocked fists to signal their uneasy alliance heading into WrestleMania.
WINNER: A.J. via submission at 3:12.
Announcers: Cole transitioned to Sting vs. Triple H hype. And, suddenly, Sting is going to speak and they will hear his point of view. Next.
[Commercial Break at 9:48]
Video Package: Sting. Another person's voice narrated Sting's thoughts on being the silencer of injustice. "Sting" said he knows how power and ego like Triple H's can destroy lives, like in WCW, where the NWO and Eric Bischoff ruled. "Sting" said he tried and failed to save WCW. "Sting" said you cannot control vengeance and Hunter will collapse under the weight of loyalty to his self, only. "You need to be taken down," Sting Voice said. "And I've been waiting 14 years to do it." The voice closed: "Game Over."
Back to Cole, who said they have heard from Sting for the first time. Cole already dissected the promo, saying one of the stand-out lines was Sting saying Hunter's loyalty is to himself only.
Backstage: U.S. champion Rusev and Lana were shown walking down the hallway. Suddenly, John Cena stopped Rusev in his tracks. Cena said "performing" at WrestleMania is not a right, but a privilege. The use of the word "performing" in that context sounded like the random musical act "performing" America the Beautiful, not the specialness of seeing world-class wrestlers compete in big-time matches on a big-time stage. Cena, after offering false humility about maybe not making Mania, then gave Rusev an "American Dream" guilt speech on living his dream in the same country he knocks. Cena said he has the right to free speech, but he has the right to shut Rusev's mouth. Rusev was unmoved.
[Commercial Break at 9:57]
[Q9 -- third hour] This Thursday: Randy Orton returns to Smackdown. No word on what he will be doing. Wrestle? Perform magic tricks? Sing? Cuss? Dance? Interpret dreams? Who knows based on this show.
In-ring: U.S. champion Rusev was introduced to the ring with Lana. Cole capitalistically plugged Summerslam tickets going on-sale this Saturday. Curtis Axel was introduced as Rusev's opponent. Axel came out on-stage sporting his Hulk Hogan "#Axelmania" t-shirt. A clock appeared on the Titantron noting how long Axel thinks he's been in the Royal Rumble match.
5 -- U.S. champion RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. CURTIS AXEL -- non-title match
As soon as Axel hit the ring, Rusev attacked him. The referee tried to get a break, then he checked on Axel before calling for the bell. Rusev quickly ran over an inspired Axel, then slapped on The Accolade. Axel tapped out.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 0:26.
Post-match, Rusev kept the hold locked on, then finally released the hold and stood over Axel. Lana returned to the ring with the U.S. Title belt to celebrate as the Russian Flag dropped behind Rusev and Lana. They had a conversation, then Rusev angrily called for a mic.
Rusev paced around the ring as Lana tried to calm him down. He said Axel represents each and every American who is delusional and living in the past. Rusev said Americans are spineless who just want to negotiate. Lana was concerned about Rusev waking a sleeping giant. But, Rusev said if Americans had a soul, then God would look down and spit on it.
Cena walked out on-stage sans music. Cena removed his t-shirt, then ran down to the ring to fight Rusev. Cena quickly got Rusev in the STF and locked in the hold. Cena would not let go, then he released the hold and re-applied. Rusev teased passing out, then Cena leaned back on the hold to stretch Rusev. Cena forced Rusev to pass out as Lana sold concern ringside.
Cena left the ring and grabbed a water bottle to address Rusev while referees checked on the U.S. champion. Cena dumped some water over Rusev to revive him, then he slapped on the STF again. Rusev started tapping out as Cena kept the hold locked on. From ringside, Lana begged Cena to let go. She agreed to give Cena a match at WrestleMania. Okay, for the U.S. Title. Cena finally released the hold and shot an evil look toward sympathetic Lana at ringside. "John Cena got what he wanted," Cole declared as Cena's music played. Cena left the ring pleased with his work as Rusev remained face-down in the ring.
Still to come: Rollins & Orton vs. Reigns.
Suddenly, Bray Wyatt interrupted. Bray said he cannot wait much longer for The Undertaker. Standing behind Taker's urn, Bray said he will raise the dead tonight. "Find me," he said, sending Raw to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:11]
Video: Roman Reigns is heading to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title.
Moments Ago: John Cena stormed the ring to attack Rusev, put him in a tight STF, and force Lana to give Cena the U.S. Title shot he wants at Mania.
Locker Room: Rusev was being checked on. Lana walked in and Rusev yelled at her for giving in to Cena, his pride hurt after being embarrassed by Cena. Rusev sent Lana away so he could recover and regroup.
In-ring: New Day was in the ring clapping it up and trying to get the crowd involved. In an inset promo, New Day declared their intentions to go after the Tag Titles at WrestleMania. When did New Day get in the Tag Title picture? Cesaro's music played to bring out tag champs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, with Natalya.
6 -- WWE tag champions CESARO & TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya) vs. NEW DAY (BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS w/Kofi Kingston) -- non-title match
Big E. over-powered Kidd early on, then Xavier entered. Kidd back-elbowed Xavier, then Cesaro clipped Xavier's knee from behind. Cesaro and Kidd traded tags working on Xavier as the crowd sat quietly. Suddenly, Natalya got on the ring apron to try to neutralize Kofi at ringside, but that allowed Xavier to catch Kidd and kind of roll him up from behind for the win. The crowd was unmoved.
WINNERS: New Day at 3:46. Another loss for WWE's mid-card champs. And, New Day is now officially in the Tag Title picture at WrestleMania.
Post-match: The Usos showed up with Naomi to make their case to remain in the Tag Title picture. Actually, Naomi was scheduled for singles action against Natalya.
[Commercial Break at 10:22]
7 -- NAOMI (w/The Usos) vs. NATALYA (w/WWE tag champs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro)
The Divas match was joined in-progress with Natalya controlling the action. Fast-pace as the tag teams watched intently from ringside. Natalya did some trash-talk before teasing The Sharpshooter, but Naomi pushed her away to the corner. Kidd checked on Natalya while Cesaro got into it with The Usos. In the background, Naomi pinned Natalya for the win. Natalya then argued with Kidd after taking the loss.
WINNER: Naomi at 1:45.
Post-match: Los Matadores showed up with El Torito to make their case to enter the Tag Title picture. Actually, they were scheduled for tag action against The Usos.
8 -- THE USOS (JIMMY & JEY USO) vs. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO w/El Torito)
Some in-ring posturing, then un Matador pushed down Jey, who sold amusement heading to an early break.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
Back from break, Uso was dancing in the ring. Booker corrected JBL on his dance terminology, which is about as much in-ring analysis as has been provided tonight. The crowd, frustrated by the show, picked up a "C-M Punk" chant. Un Matador then controlled Uso as the announcers randomly shifted to discussing the Cena vs. Rusev business. Isn't this about teams jockeying for a Tag Title shot? "Great tag team action!" Booker suddenly exclaimed out of nowhere.
Tag to Jimmy Uso, who splashed un Matador. But, un Matador came back with a swinging DDT for a two count. To the top rope for Diego, who jumped right into a superkick. Jimmy covered, but Fernando broke up the pin. Fernando slid out of the ring, then Jey went flying onto Fernando. Major crash and burn. Back in the ring, Torito distracted Jey Uso, allowing Diego to smash Uso into Torito and roll him up from behind for the win. The crowd was unmoved. Cole said there is a logjam in the tag division.
WINNERS: Los Matadores at 8:04. The indirect result of three part-timers in the top three Mania match slots is trying to pack as many full-time wrestlers as possible into the undercard matches (Andre Battle Royal, IC Title ladder match, and apparent multi-team Tag Title match).
Announcers: Back to Cena going to WrestleMania. Then, back to Authority Business from the top of the show. After a video replay, WWE apparently accidentally cut to a ringside shot, where the announcers were sitting in complete darkness. Except for JBL's hat.
WWE quickly cut to The Authority standing backstage. It was Seth Rollins with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Seth tried to calm their nerves about Randy Orton. He said why would Orton lay out his plan to take him out right in front of him? He said they need to stop worrying about Orton and buy into his plan. And, tonight, they need to start focusing on Roman Reigns. "Trust me, guys, I got this," Seth confidently told J&J.
Up Next: Bray Wyatt.
[Commercial Break at 10:42]
Bray Wyatt Speaks
[Q12] Back live, the arena was lit up by cell phones. Bray Wyatt was in the ring ready to deliver his latest message to The Undertaker. Bray said he never sleeps, but he is always dreaming. And, in the darkness of the dreams, he starts to see things. (A lower-third graphic flashed on the screen indicating this was Bray Wyatt speaking.)
Bray waxed about governments and creations crumbling. But, in the chaos, the buzzards guide him. He sees them circling in the distance and he follows them. When he reaches them, he is astonished by what he sees. Below the buzzards is the mighty Undertaker. It was always about Taker. Can't you see? Pride has always been his favorite sin, which is the sin that cast him down into this rotten world. And, pride led him straight to Taker. But, he will not worship Taker. He just wants to walk past Taker's broken bones to sit on his throne. Bray said he cannot be Taker's redemption because he is the new face of fear.
"Fear, that's right," Bray said. He said everyone used to fear Taker, but it's not his fault because this was pre-ordained. Taker always knew The Streak was going to end, but he thought he would be carried off on his shield. Instead, the cruel hands of fate stole Taker's destiny. He can give it all back, though. "WrestleMania will be your resurrection," Bray said. "It will also be your final resting place."
Bray tauntingly called out for Taker to accept his challenge. He laughed at playing the same game each week. Bray asked if this urn is how he brings him back. Bray laughed at the thought of all Taker's power inside a jar. Bray picked up the urn, removed the lid, and nothing came out. Bray looked inside the urn and cackled to himself. "Surprise, surprise, it is empty," he said.
Suddenly, smoke started to come out from the urn. Bray removed his hat and freaked out. Undertaker's lightning flashed on the Videotron as Bray called out for Taker. The bell tolled and the crowd popped. Pause, then another bell. A third bell. Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's rocking chair was in the ring, repaired after being broken by Dean Ambrose months ago. A light shone down on the rocking chair, then the bell tolled again.
Undertaker's voice played over the loudspeaker: "You will rest in peace." A WrestleMania message flashed on the Titantron, then "lightning" flashed down from the ceiling onto the rocking chair. The rocking chair started to burn from the fire. Another bell tolled, then Taker's theme music played. Bray laughed and cried at the sight of his rocking chair burning. Blue lights whipped around the arena as Taker's music continued to play.
WWE went to a wide-shot of the arena to show the burning rocking chair in the middle of the ring before returning to a close-up of Bray kneeling down overwhelmed by the response from Taker. WWE quietly went to a graphic for the main event handicap match up next. Fade to commercial with no words from the announcers.
[Commercial Break at 10:55]
Moments Ago: Cole solemnly introduced a replay of Taker's voice warning Bray Wyatt that he will rest in peace at WrestleMania before Bray's rocking chair was "set on-fire." Cole confirmed that Bray got what he wished for - a WrestleMania match against Taker.
Earlier Tonight: Cena forced Rusev to pass out to the STF, prompting Lana to give Cena his U.S. Title match against Rusev at WrestleMania.
Network plug: John Cena interview on WWE Network following Raw.
[Q13 -- over-run] In-ring: The Shield's music played to bring out Roman Reigns through the arena crowd. Reigns casually walked down the arena steps receiving a casual response from the fans. Reigns entered the ring before WWE replayed a portion of Paul Heyman's message on behalf of Brock Lesnar earlier in the show.
Back in the arena, Seth Rollins's music played. With Big Show and Kane sent home, it was just Rollins and J&J Security representing The Authority. The trio waited on the stage for Randy Orton's music to play to bring out Orton. Seth and Orton entered the ring and had a discussion of who would start the match. Based on the lateness of the opening bell, it was a give-away this would be more of an angle than a match.
9 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. RANDY ORTON & SETH ROLLINS (w/Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) -- handicap match
Orton eventually deferred to Seth to start the match. Seth knocked Reigns to the outside early on, then J&J Security walked toward Reigns, drawing a reprimand from the referee. Orton also told J&J to stay back and let them handle Reigns. Orton had enough of J&J trying to tell him what to do, so he punched out Noble. Seth yelled at J&J, telling them that he and Orton have this. So, Mercury dragged Noble to the back, leaving just Seth and Orton.
Reigns fired back on Rollins to a mixture of silence and scattered boos. Tired crowd. Reigns missed a corner attack, then Rollins kicked Reigns in the head. Rollins crawled across the ring to tag in Orton, but Orton pulled away. "What are you doing?" Seth asked. Seth reached out again, wondering if he was just playing around. Orton then raised both middle fingers in the air. (WWE quickly pulled their cameras down to stop at Orton's wrists.) Seth freaked, then turned around and took a spear. Reigns covered Seth for the win.
WINNER: Reigns at 4:07. Reigns was in this odd spot where he was put at an automatic disadvantage by virtue of being in a handicap match, but he's not really linked up against The Authority like Daniel Bryan was last year at WrestleMania. All the while while everyone could see it coming that Orton was going to turn on Rollins, which diminished the entire point of putting Reigns at the disadvantage for him to overcome the odds heading into WrestleMania to get across the point that he can match up with Brock Lesnar at Mania. Meanwhile, Lesnar's advocate, Paul Heyman, just did a "worked shoot" promo decrying The Authority, who put Lesnar's opponent, Reigns, at a disadvantage tonight by booking this match. It's a giant mess of inconsistent storytelling, underdeveloped characters, and missing chapters in the story heading into Mania.
Post-match, Reigns quickly left the ring as Orton stared into the ring, where Seth tried to recover from the spear. Orton looked to the back to make sure the coast was clear, then he entered the ring to grab Seth around the throat. Orton said he wasn't going to let Seth slide, so shame on him for thinking they were cool. Orton chucked Seth over the top rope, then clotheslined him on the floor.
Orton whipped Seth hard into the ring steps, taking out the cameraman in the process. Orton cleared the ring steps, then placed Seth face-down on the bottom ring step. Orton said he remembers everything that Seth did to him, then he slammed Seth face-first into the steps. Orton whipped Seth into the ring steps again. Orton tauntingly said he's not part of Seth's family. And Seth must be stupid if he thought he would re-join The Authority.
Orton bashed Seth into the guardrail, then uppercut him a few times. Orton got a crazy look in his eyes, drawing a reaction from the crowd, then he smashed Seth into the crowd. Seth tried to crawl away, but Orton retrieved a chair and stalked Seth. Orton slammed the chair down across Seth's back, then again. An older bearded man in a Steelers hat who looked like he's seen far worse than a few chairs to the back watched the camera and then Orton deliver another chair shot.
Orton continued to drive Seth around the ringside area, taunting him that he was going to show Seth exactly who he is. Orton dragged Seth through the crowd before delivering another uppercut. Cole said this all goes back to the night that Seth tried to end Orton's career. Orton finally dragged Seth across the guardrail and delivered a trademark snap DDT onto the padded floor. Orton sat down on the ground, then started pounding the mat. The Punt? RKO? Orton dropped down setting up for the RKO as Seth remained face-down on the floor.
Orton then walked over to the announce table, sending the announcers fleeing for their lives. Orton chucked Seth clear over the announce table into the guardrail, then he tore the table apart. Orton stalked Seth for an exclamation point on the events, then scooped up Seth to deliver an RKO through the table. Orton popped to his feet energized and crazed. Seth remained face-down on the table selling unconsciousness, then Orton's music played and he left the ringside area. Cole hyped a Cena interview on the Network as a ringside doctor checked on Seth. The camera stayed on Orton in full-on crazy mode to wrap up the show 17 minutes past the top of the hour.
Overall, the crowd was quiet for the extended beat down except for the signature spots, a combination of WWE's windy road to get to Orton finally taking out Rollins and a tired crowd after three hours of generally substandard programming.
After Raw went off the air, the Network picked up with Seth Rollins being fit for a neckbrace and placed on a gurney as Orton paced the top of the stage. WWE replayed some of Orton's beat down, highlighting the RKO through the announce table. Seth was eventually wheeled away to the back as Orton watched Seth be taken away. Cole pulled a Mike Tenay saying Orton "suckered all of us in" with his plot.
WWE cut to Cole, Booker, and JBL standing at the announce position recapping the final events. Standing behind table scraps, Cole and Co. recapped Orton remembering every last word from The Authority (Triple H) when they ordered Orton be taken out months ago.
Locker Room: Byron Saxton brought in John Cena to react to getting his U.S. Title match at WrestleMania. Cena credited Stephanie McMahon for making a point last week that it's a privilege, not a right to "perform" at WrestleMania. So, he made it happen by forcing Rusev and Lana to give him a U.S. Title match at WM31.
Cena said that the best way to humble a conceited, super-athlete is on the grandest stage of them all. Cena said he will be proud to give Rusev his first defeat and win back the U.S. Title for America. He said Mania is about opportunity, which he will take advantage of. Cena vowed to give his very best, and if everything goes according to plan, he will be able to humble someone who needs to be humbled and bring the U.S. Title back to the United States.
WWE cut to a slow-motion replay of Rusev tapping to Cena's STF earlier in the show, then Cena saluting the crowd. Raw officially ended 25 minutes past the top of the hour.
The post-Raw happenings served as a bridge to a Chris Jericho DVD preview that was scheduled to air after Raw went off-air. Key piece of marketing to bring Raw viewers to the Network to then sell Jericho DVDs on Tuesday.
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