The rumor is that the main event at WrestleMania is changing and that Daniel Bryan is going to be added.
I take most of what I hear about WWE with a grain of salt because, if the rumor mills were right, CM Punk would have been back months ago and Rollins would have been champion four PPV's ago.
The reaction interests me: two Facebook pages who carried the report (Facken Boolshet and The Botched Spot) have expressed a lot of frustration. Just a few weeks removed from the Royal Rumble, I'm already seeing Bryan backlash.
So, not only does Creative not know which way is up, I'm not even sure the fans do.
We start with clips of last week's show: Triple H announces the big match on the Fastlane card between Bryan and Reigns and the confrontation between the three men and Seth Rollins.
And we are LIVE(!!!) from Ohio State University!!!
JBL, Cole and Booker are the guys at the Talking Desk of Doom.
Roman Reigns' music hits and Cole reminds us that Big Show actually beat the top contender for the title at WrestleMania. We get clips from later in the night when Reigns helped Bryan win the match against Seth Rollins.
Reigns is mostly booed as he walks around the ring, grinning. One fan actually has a sign showing Reigns as a cross-eyed goof with the word "DERP" on it, so that's telling. He says that he won the Royal Rumble match and, when you do that, you get to fight for the big title. So, he gets to fight Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. The Authority has different plans and he says if he has to prove himself by winning the Rumble, beating Bryan at Fastlane and then Brock at WrestleMania, so be it.
Bryan comes out next and the crowd is firmly behind him. He says he's here to thank Reigns for his help last week. But, now, Reigns has an opportunity of his own at Fastlane: the winner of their match faces Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I didn't know that. Did anyone else know that? Bryan says that Reigns his bigger and stronger than he is. In terms of looks, they're even...but, when it comes to wrestling, he's better than Reigns. That actually draws some heat.
And out comes Triple H to book the requisite tag team match where they have to "Get Along to Win!" Steph plugs Fastlane which is free. Also, Sting will be there. Triple H says Sting is being called out. That's right. Triple H is calling out Sting tonight to see if Sting will accept "being called out" at Fastlane. I can't even begin to make this shit up.
Steph says that Reigns and Bryan are angry people. Steph says that Reigns is an ass for interfering last week. Reigns is proud of it. She says Bryan's sick for putting Kane in a dirty casket "where people are buried". You know, the one they booked? Thankfully, Bryan points this out for me.
Steph says she doesn't care. They went over the Authority's head and, so, they must pay. By being in a tag team match against Show and Kane. Next.
After the Flintstones/WWE teaser commercial and about 3 Popeye's Chicken ads for shitty ghost pepper chicken strips.
MATCH #1: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show & Kane
Triple H and Steph are at ringside for this. Kane and Bryan start and Kane flies out of the ring after a series of counters, ending in Bryan ducking. Flying Goat to the outside, then a tag to Reigns who's getting booed because the East Coast has established that they aren't allowed to cheer him anymore. Reigns takes Kane down and Show is tagged in. Reigns is a house-a-fire, punching and kicking him but Show just grabs him and tosses him from corner to corner. Reigns gets up and fights back, hitting clotheslines in the corner. He rushes Show but Show catches him a Chokeslam. Reigns breaks it and counters with a DDT. Show gets to his feet and kicks at Reigns, tagging in Kane. Kane beats on him in the corner, then snap mares him to the mat, putting Reigns in a chinlock. At this point, my USA feed freezes because, suddenly, I'm watching the WWE Network. When it comes back 90 seconds later, Kane STILL has Reigns in a chinlock, so I'm not missing much. Reigns breaks the hold with a Sidewalk Slam and tags Bryan. Bryan takes out Kane and works on Show with dropkicks in the corner. Yes Kicks but Show shoves him away. Bryan comes back and take Show's leg out, then kicks him repeatedly, finally nailing him in the head. Show rolls out of the ring and Bryan leaps at Kane and Show who catch him and toss him into the ring rops. Bryan bounces off and hits the floor. Break time.
We're back and Show has Bryan in a headlock. The match is so ludicrously boring, Cole can't even bring us shit that happened during the commercial. Bryan breaks and Show hits a Bear Hug, then drops Bryan and tags Kane. Kane hits a Sidewalk Slam and gets a two count. Show back in, hits a headbutt on Bryan and steps on his chest twice. He taunts Reigns, then goes middle buckle for a Vader Bomb, missing by a mile when Bryan moves. Bryan starts hulking up and crawls across the ring to tag Reigns but Kane gets a tag first, runs across the ring and uppercuts Reigns. Kane turns around and ends up in the YES Lock, but Show grabs Bryan by the leg and drags him out of the ring. He tosses Bryan into the timekeeper's pit and the ref just rings the bell. This one's over at 12:57.
WINNERS: Reigns & Bryan via DQ, I guess.
RATING: 1/2*. What's better than two, shitty, repetitious feuds? Having both of them happen at the same time!
Post-match, the heels gang up on Reigns but Reigns overpowers them. Bryan tries to come in and help out but accidentally drop kicks Reigns. The heels, Triple H and Steph all bail and watch the faces implode. Bryan apologizes to Reigns but Reigns isn't having it and shoves Bryan. Bryan can't believe it. Triple H mocks them for "getting along well", then tells them that they'll team up again tonight against Kane, Big Show, Rollins and J&J Security. Sigh...
Cole's all hip and congratulates Eminem for winning two Grammies last night -- including "Legacy". JBL congratulates "Anne Lennox". I just can't.
MATCH #2: Ryback vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury)
Rollins beats up Ryback in the corner. Ryback gets to his feet and rushes Rollins and Rollins flies out of the ring. Rollins distracts the ref and J&J attack Ryback, slamming him into the crowd barricade. Back in the ring, Rollins hits a neckbreaker. Two count. Rollins hits a front headlock but Ryback counters and tries a suplex. Rollins blocks and knees Ryback in the gut, then pounds Ryback with clubbing fists. Rollins runs at Ryback but Ryback body drops him. J&J rush to Rollins' aid. Rollins gives them instructions. Noble leaps on the mat. The ref is distracted. Rollins and Mercury attack but Ryback takes both men out, then goes for Shell Shock on Rollins after a Spinebuster. J&J leap into the ring and it's already one of these fucking shows.
WINNER: Ryback via DQ at 2:55
Post-match, mudhole stomp, Curb Stomp and Cole pretending that multiple DQ finishes are completely foreign to RAW.
TONIGHT: Triple H calls out Sting so he can confirm if he can call out Sting at Fastlane so he can call out Sting at WrestleMania.
Sheamus is returning soon. Say what you will, I'm glad he's ok. There were rumors that his career was over.
MATCH #3: Paige vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella)
Paige Superkicks Brie but Brie gets up and whacks Paige's head against the mat with her legs. Two count. Brie hits a running elbow, then hits a running knee. Two count. Brie puts Paige in Head Scissors for a full minute before Paige pins Brie for two. Brie goes for the Brie Mode Dropkick and hits it. Two count. Brie takes a swing at Paige but Paide ducks and the two women slap each other at the same time. Paige kicks Brie in the head and goes for a Ram-Paige but Nikki goes for the distraction. Paige sees it and shoves Brie into Nikki, knocking her off the mat, then hits the Ram-Paige anyhow, winning it at 3:16.
WINNER: Paige via Ram-Paige
RATING: *. It's the match of the night so far. Isn't that sad?
TONIGHT: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman will address the evolving main event situation.
When we come back, out come Rusev and Lana with the mics giving feedback for the eighth time tonight. Lana says they are proud to face John Cena at Fastlane and Cena should also be proud to face Rusev. They recognize Cena's accomplishments and give us a montage that starts heoric and devolves into all the time Cena took bumps or lost a match.
When we come back, Lana wonders just how much longer Cena can go, calling him weak and vulnerable and tired. Rusev gets on the mic and says that the Cena everyone knows no longer exists. He's nothing. Weak, Tired, Etc. He'll break Cena and ca-dush.
Out comes Cena. He says he's not deaf. He says that Rusev loves to brag that he's unbeatable. He says that the only reason they do that is because they know they're full of crap. He's been through hell and back. Each time he gets knocked down, he gets back up. Rusev will learn respect. Cena says that he'll hurt Rusev so bad, the only thing Rusev will be able to do is beg Lana to help him fix his "boo-boo spot". He says that he picked a fight with the wrong man. Rusev wants Cena to bring it to the ring.
Rusev says that Cena just talks trash and won't back it up. He'll crush Cena at Fastlane. Cena says that Rusev has jokes -- and Lana's got the balls. Rusev runs for Cena and two collide. They fight on the entrance ramp and it's even until Rusev eye gouges Cena in his sore right eye. He goes for an Accolade but WWE refs show up to push him off Cena.
MOMENTS AGO: Rusev beat up John Cena and nobody really gave a shit.
MATCH #4: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt
Ziggler locks Wyatt's leg, then converts to a front facelock. Bray breaks one hold after the next, then finally slaps Ziggler in the face. Ziggler responds with a nice dropkick. Bray gets up and rushes but Ziggler ducks and goes for a clutch from behind. Bray breaks and kicks Ziggler. Bray tosses Ziggler into the corner but bails when Bray charges. Ziggler hits a Splash and Bray gets out of the ring. Ziggler dropkicks him off the mat. After a break, Bray's in full control because Bray beat up Ziggler during a break. So download the WWE App so you can watch Bray club Ziggler across the back. Ziggler fights out of a headlock but Bray takes him down with a nice splash on a rush. Ziggler hits a chinbreaker when Bray tries to get him to his feet. Bray rushes but Ziggler hits an elbow and a beautiful snap DDT. Two count. Ziggler rushes Bray again but Bray grabs him for Sister Abigail. Ziggler breaks and hits the Fame-Asser and a Superkick and NEARLY gets a fall. Crowd tries to chant "THIS IS AWESOME", then quits after two repetitions because it isn't that awesome. Ziggler gets out of the ring and runs at Bray but Bray takes his head off with a clothesline. He rolls Ziggler into the ring, goes into Spider Mode, and then hits Sister Abigail for the win at 11:34, which seemed to breeze by like 5 minutes.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: **. Eh. You've seen it before.
Post-match, Bray drags Ziggler out of the ring, then lifts up the floor padding. Two refs meekly order Bray to quit attacking because this isn't Rusev vs. Cena. So, Bray does quit, then apologizes to Ziggler for beating him up.
Cole "switches gears" and pays tribute to Junkyard Dog for Black History Month.
TONIGHT: The 5-on-2 Match with Kane, Big Show, Seth Rollins, and J&J Security vs. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.
BUT, NEXT, AFTER POPEYE'S CHICKEN ADS: Brock Lesnar addresses stuff.
We are back at Ohio State University and get a shot of the big Championship Trophy the football team won.
Out comes Brock and Paul Heyman. He says that there are people who embellish the truth. Most people say Brian Williams of NBC News. And he did embellish the truth. But he's not the #1 liar: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan are. Heyman says that if Reigns and Bryan are trying to tell everyone they can win, they're lying to everyone, including themselves.
He says that Reigns is scared. The "yellow stream" running down his leg is not pineapple juice. He says that Reigns shouldn't be afraid. That's natural. Heyman brings up Daniel Bryan and says that he's the ultimate liar. Look at Bryan and compare him to Lesnar. He asks the crowd if Bryan has a chance. Surprisingly, it's mostly "NO". Heyman says he must credit Bryan because Bryan makes up for physical prowess with wrestling knowledge -- but he can't beat Lesnar.
He says that, if they believe they can beat Lesnar, they need to get on a chopper with Brian Williams and they'll find themselves getting taken out of the air by a massive F5. They will find themselves beaten and beat up by Brock Lesnar.
TONIGHT: Triple H calls out Sting so he can call him out at Fastlane.
ALSO: The 5-on-2 debacle nobody asked for.
LAST MONDAY: The Dusts were beaten by The Ascension and Not Cody wasn't happy.
MATCH #5: Gold & Stardust vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods)
Crowd. Is. Fucking. Dead. Star and Kofi begin. Kofi puts Star to the mat with an arm drag but Cody breaks in the corner and applies a headlock. Kofi breaks with a Whip but Star shoulderblocks him. Tag to Gold and it's a couple of arm drags and an arm bar. Then Star just up and walks off. Gold continues to fight, confused and tells Star to come back. Kofi rolls Gold up for the win at 1:37 and thank the fuck christ for that.
WINNERS: The New Day
EARLIER TONIGHT: Reigns and Bryan nearly come to blows and are told they have to fight another bullshit match.
Backstage, Renee Young has Daniel Bryan. She wants to know if Bryan and Roman can co-exist. Bryan says it was an accident. Reigns interrupts and says they can team up against a common enemy -- then take care of their own business.
NEXT: Triple H calls out Sting before he calls out Sting.
Backstage, Gold confronts Stardust. Goldust says that he's Dustin and Cody is his brother. Cody shoves him and says Cody is dead. Hiss.
Triple H is in the ring. He's slaved to make things great. Except tonight's show. Triple H says that Sting is ruining things, you know, despite him being on two shows in four months. Triple H says that Sting has no guts. He says that Sting knew to stay away because Triple H would "expose him". For...? Triple H calls him a coward. Triple H says that he's a man and he's calling Sting out at Fastlane. He wants Sting to agree never to show his face again. Why doesn't he just ask Sting tonight? He says he wants an answer from Sting NOW.
We get a single crow's caw. The arena goes dark. Another one. A couple of men in Sting outfits are seen in the arena halls. They vanish. A weird Ring-like clip airs with Triple H talking to Cole about Sting. We see Sting's make-up appear over Triple H's face in flashes. It's intercut with shots of Sting's face and trees and deserts. The words, "TRIPLE H" are shown over a pic of a scorpion. The arena goes dark again. When the lights come back up, a guy wearing a terrible Sting wig and clothing gets into the ring, completely missing his cue. Triple H falls backwards, looking up at "Sting". The lights go out and "Sting" is gone. The Jumbotron lights back up with the words, "I ACCEPT".
Well, that was pointless.
When we come back, Michael Cole shows us what happened, earlier tonight, between Cena and Rusev. Apparently, Cena has a scratched cornea.
MATCH #6: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (w/ Naomi) (non-title)
This match is because Jimmy beat up Tyson at a "restaurant". Nattie's upset because The Usos "ruined their double date". I'm not even sure if this was Smackdown or Total Divas. Jimmy and Cesaro brawl before Tyson comes in. Jimmy tosses Tyson into the face corner and tags Jey. Jey knocks Tyson down and gets two. Tag to Jimmy and it's a Rocker Double Elbow which we miss because the cameraman thinks Naomi, who even Total Divas dumped, is more interesting. Tyson is tossed from the ring and Jimmy leaps at him. Both men are down and, fuck this, we're going to a commercial. After a break, Jimmy breaks a hold from Tyson but Tyson tags Cesaro who tosses Jimmy across the ring with a Gut Wrench. Tag to Kidd and he puts a facelock on Jimmy. Tag to Cesaro and it's more Uso peril with Cesaro clubbing away. Finally, Jimmy kicks Cesaro from the ring. Jey and Tyson enter on twin tags. Jey hits kicks and uppercuts, then puts Kidd in a Tree of Woe, hitting a running headbutt. He tries the Rikishi Splash but Kidd bails. Jey goes for a Flying Uso but Kidd leaps up on the mat to punch him. Jimmy comes out of nowhere and hits a Flying Uso on Cesaro. Kidd tries a Spingboard off the top rope but Jey Superkicks him and NEARLY gets a fall. Jey misses the Rikishi and Kidd rolls him, putting his feet on the ropes. The ref sees it and Jimmy tells Kidd to stop cheating. Kidd yells at Jimmy and Jey Superkicks Kidd. He goes top rope but Cesaro hits an Uppercut, knocking him out. Kidd gets the pin at 10:34.
WINNERS: Kidd and Cesaro
RATING: **1/4. Not bad, really. Kidd and Cesaro are great together.
YOUR NEXT WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE IS...RIKISHI. The Usos, who just lost, celebrate in the ring.
Miz-dow is on his way to the ring. He's in action NEXT.
Cole plugs NXT RIVAL on WWE Network.
Miz sits at ringside with a microphone. Then he mocks Miz-dow "for doing it wrong".
MATCH #7: Sin Cara vs. Damien Miz-dow (w/ The Miz)
There are a bunch of counters and one-count pins to start. Miz-dow hits a suplex and a stomp. Sin Cara gets up and rushes Miz-dow but Miz-dow dropkicks him from the ring. Miz-dow rolls Cara back into the ring. Miz demands Miz-dow get him a water. Miz-dow does. He asks Miz-dow to open it. He does. JBL: "How is the ref not at a ten count yet?" Cara botches a Frankensteiner once the match gets back into the ring. Miz-dow hits the back-to-neck breaker on Cara, then goes for the Figure Four. Miz demands Miz-dow cease using the move. Cara rolls him up. Done at 3:46.
WINNER: Sin Cara
RATING: DUD. Sin Cara has a streak due to this shitty gimmick. Go figure.
Another Bray promo. He asks people where they think they go when they die. Different people have different perspectives. He says that this world is hell and they don't belong here. He says he doesn't fear the person he's calling out. He wants that person to find him.
Ambrose is walking backstage. He's in action NEXT.
THIS THURSDAY: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan will go face-to-face. Not like tonight, when they were face-to-face. Twice.
Curtis Axel's in the ring to wring the "I-never-lost" gimmick for every single drop. He wants #AxelMania to trend. Ambrose's music hits. JBL: "#UHOH."
MATCH #8: Curtis Axel vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose pounds Axel in the corner, then slams him to the mat. Ambrose tries a back bodydrop but Axel hits a kneelift. He hits axehandles on Ambrose and rubs his face into the mat. He continues to punch at Ambrose while taunting him but Ambrose fights back. Axel hits a dropkick but Ambrose hits the Rebound Clothesline and Dirty Deeds to finish it at 2:31.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose via Dirty Deeds
RATING: 1/2*. This was pretty much the same thing we saw last week, only with a referee in the ring.
Post-match, Ambrose has Breaking News for Bad News Barrett: he says the IC Title belongs to him. Ambrose is so much better than this. Bad News interrupts and says he has "breaking news" of his own. He says that, just because Ambrose wants a shot at the IC belt, it doesn't mean he deserves one.
NEXT: The Big Handicap Match
The heels surround the ring. Reigns and Bryan defend themselves but ITSTHENUMBERSGAME and a vicious double chokeslam to Reigns. Bryan is alone.
MATCH #9: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show, Kane, Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury in a 5-on-2 Handicap Match
Rollins an Bryan start. Rollins hits a German Suplex and points to the WrestleMania sign. Rollins hits another. Tag to Show and he hits a chest slap on Bryan. Show slams Bryan, then tags Mercury who drops a quick elbow and a lariat off a rush. Noble dances like he's Shane-o-Mac and beats Bryan in the corner. Bryan comes back with kicks and punches but Noble puts Bryan into the heel corner. Mercury tags in but falls victim to a YES Lock. Rollins interferes and Mercury tags Kane who knocks Bryan down. Chokeslam but Reigns breaks the pin. Everyone gets into the ring and Kane gets a hold of Reigns. KO Punch by Show and Bryan's alone again. Rollins tags and it's a Buckle Bomb for two. Rollins yells shit at Bryan and tells him he won't make it to Fastlane. Show and Kane walk over to the Announce Table and start stripping it down. Everyones's in as, apparently, DQ's no longer exists. Here comes Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler. It's a Pier Six Brawl near the entrance ramp between the three heroes and three big heels. Ziggler manages to knock everyone down and it's J&J vs. Bryan. They go for a Double Superplex but Bryan fights them off and knocks them down. Hulk up time. Bryan goes off the top rope with a Double Missile Dropkick to both guys. Bryan hits YES Kicks on both Security guys, then knocks both out. Bryan sets up for the Flying Knee -- but Reigns gets on the mat, tags himself in, hits a Spear on Mercury and gets the win at 7:39.
WINNERS: Reigns & Bryan
RATING: **. Enjoyable for what it turned out to be but, overall, a booking mess.
Post-match, Reigns and Bryan argue. Reigns goes to leave. Bryan pulls him back in the ring and tells him not to talk away. He shoves Reigns who hits a Rebound Spear on Bryan.
Triple H and Steph watch on a TV backstage, laughing and liking what they see. Reigns stands tall as we off the air.
OVERALL: *. A boring show with filler galore and terrible booking. I know this should be par for the course. Maybe I still think this stuff can be good again.
Er, that's it.