Date: February 12, 2015
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The big story coming out of Raw is Bryan and Reigns finally coming to blows with Reigns spearing Bryan after winning the match. It didn't come off like a heel turn, but rather Reigns being more aggressive instead of his usual laid back self. The question now becomes what happens to them going forward, as this is a pretty hard turn for the story and could help things out a good bit. Let's get to it.
We open in the back with Kane and Big Show announcing a tag team turmoil match for tonight with Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan starting things off. Show mentions grabbing the bull by the horns and we get an El Torito cameo. So basically Reigns and Bryan are running a gauntlet? The other teams include Slater Gator, Usos, Los Matadores, Miz/Mizdow, Ascension and presumably Big Show/Kane.
Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth
You have to wonder why Truth would keep accepting this match as he's been squashed by Wyatt about a dozen times now. Wyatt just sits in the corner waiting until WHOOMP THERE IT IS makes his eyes bug out and gets him to his feet. A hard clothesline drops Truth early on but he's able to low bridge Bray out to the floor. That's fine with Bray as he nails Truth upside the head and takes over again. We hit the nerve hold before Truth avoids a seated splash. The Lie Detector totally misses but gets two anyway. Bray hits his big clothesline, Spider Walks, and Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 4:31.
Rating: D. What else did you expect here? Bray continues to squash people and there's nothing to see here in a match with a jobber like Truth. He does get the fans reacting though and is likely to have a job for years as a result. It seems that we're getting Undertaker vs. Wyatt at Wrestlemania, and there would be almost no logical reason for Wyatt to lose there. That match could mean some interesting stories, but I doubt WWE would go there.
Summer Rae vs. Paige
The Bellas are on commentary again. Paige armdrags her down to start and hits a hard kick to the ribs, followed by Matt Morgan's rotating elbows in the corner. Summer comes back with something like an Indian Deathlock as the Bellas do their usual “we're better than you” schtick. Byron: “You are aware there's a match going on in the ring?” Nikki: “Unfortunately yes there is.” Paige hits three clotheslines because there's no other comeback allowed in WWE. The PTO makes Summer give up at 2:58.
The Bellas pose and Paige yells after the match. This is being written about six hours after the fourway Divas match at Takeover: Rival, which was one of the best Divas matches I've ever seen, topping a list comprised of almost all NXT Divas matches. I would pay BIG money to hear someone tell me how the WWE Divas are so much better than the girls down in Florida without using the words John, Cena, Bryan, Danielson, reality or total.
Quick look at Rusev calling Cena an old man and going after his eye. Cena is 37, looks like he's about 30 and probably has at least four or five good years left in him. We're a few years away from calling Cena an old man. He's six years younger than Kane and ten years younger than Big Show, but Cena is the grizzled veteran?
Sheamus return video.
Rikishi is going to the Hall of Fame. I really don't get why people are freaking out over that. He's a multiple time Tag Team Champion, an Intercontinental Champion and was around forever. He even had a brief main event run. That's far better than some people who have gone in but this one isn't ok for some reason?
Fandango vs. Adam Rose
Rose yells at the Rosebuds to start and stomps Fandango down in the corner. He hooks a bodyscissors followed by a chinlock as this isn't going anywhere. Fandango pops up and hits a snap powerslam, followed by the Last Dance for the pin at 1:39. I have no idea why I'm supposed to care about Fandango now.
Rose shoves the Rosebuds down again. Is this story ever going to move forward?
We see HHH calling out Sting for Fast Lane and Sting accepting. I did like how clear he made the response. Sometimes you just need to keep it simple.
Tag Team Turmoil
Either this match is going to go nearly an hour or there's something else to close the show. Reigns and Bryan start against Miz and Mizdow. Miz and Bryan get things going with Daniel kicking him in the back and roughly tagging out to Reigns. Roman pounds him down in the corner and tags out just as hard. It's off to Mizdow for the Reality Check but Miz isn't pleased and tags himself back in. Daniel hits a running kick in the corner so Reigns tags himself in for the Superman Punch, but Bryan tags in for the running knee instead of the spear. Miz is done at 2:18.
Next up are the Tag Team Champion Usos who start their section after a break. Bryan grabs a headlock on Jey to start but has to spin out of a wristlock. Daniel stays on the arm but gets taken down for the double elbow drop. It's off to Reigns for a battle of the cousins and Jimmy is quickly run over with a shoulder. The Usos finally start getting together to clothesline Reigns to the floor as they're clearly in no hurry here.
Back to Bryan for a leg lock and some hard forearms to Jey's face. Daniel starts kicking at the leg in the corner as Reigns just glares at both guys. Jey makes a blind tag and comes in with a kick to the face for two. The champs start in on the arm and Daniel bails outside as we take a break. Back with Reigns suplexing Jimmy but getting annoyed at yet another blind tag from Bryan. Daniel: “THIS IS A SUPLEX!” His has a bit more snap but gets the same two count. The Usos take him into the corner again and stomp Daniel down with the running Umaga Attack getting another near fall.
A running headbutt gets two for Jey and it's back to the arm. That goes nowhere as Bryan pops back up with the running clothesline. The first regular tag brings in Reigns and it's a big boot and a neck crank on Jimmy. Back to Bryan to sidestep a charging Jimmy, sending his shoulder into the post. Both Usos head to the floor for a series of kicks to the chest but Roman says lay off of them because they're hurt. Daniel gets right in his face and they shove each other a bit as we go to our third break.
Back again with Daniel cranking on Jey's arm and suplexing him down for two. Bryan is acting a bit heelish but you could also say he's just being more aggressive and trying to win. Roman isn't interested in working on his cousin, which wasn't a problem for him back in the Shield days of course. A Samoan drop finally puts Bryan down for a breather and the hot tag brings in Jimmy.
The kneeling uppercut has Bryan in trouble but he backdrops Jimmy to the floor. Jey tags himself in on the way over though and gets two off a high cross body with Daniel making the save. Jey asks his cousin what's going on (it can't be what's up or that would be gimmick infringement) and everything breaks down.
Reigns drops Jey but gets sent to the floor for a big dive. Bryan dives on everyone not named Jimmy but Jimmy takes too much time, allowing Bryan to hit the Superman Punch. The Usos hit a few superkicks but the Superfly Splash hits knees and Jimmy taps to the YES Lock at 31:50 (total, as all following times will be).
Reigns yells at Bryan for holding the YES Lock too long as we take another break. Back with the argument continuing and Los Matadores coming in as the fourth team. Fernando throws Bryan down and scores with a headscissors to keep the tired Daniel in trouble. Daniel realizes he's in there with Los Matadores and throws Fernando in the surfboard until Diego makes a save. Fernando heads up top but gets butterfly superplexed down, setting up the YES Lock for the submission at 39:47.
Slater Gator is in next with new music and Heath appears to have chopped off his hair. Reigns tags himself in to clean house with the fireman's carry flapjack to Slater, followed by a big spear for another pin at 41:18. We take what might be a record fifth commercial break in one match and come back with Ascension as the sixth team.
Bryan and Viktor get things going with Ascension easily taking over. Daniel fights out of the corner with forearms but Konnor low bridges him to the floor. The double beating is on and Roman gets one as well for trying to make a save. Bryan gets posted and Reigns is sent over the announcers' table. Back in and Daniel takes Fall of Man but the Ascension has been disqualified, somewhere around 49:10. A bunch of referees break it up and Big Show and Kane are the final team.
Cole informs us that Ascension was in fact disqualified. Normally I would have a sarcastic line here but since the referee shouted “YOU TWO ARE DISQUALIFIED!”, I'll be a bit more blunt: Cole sounds stupid. He makes it even worse by saying they can in fact confirm Big Show and Kane as the next team. AS IN THE TEAM COMING DOWN THE AISLE. We take another break and come back with Kane stomping on Reigns. A shoulder block gets two but Reigns pops back up with a clothesline, allowing for the tag off to Bryan.
Daniel busts out the YES Kicks, somehow for the first time in this match. Show makes a fast save though and sends him out to the floor but throws Bryan back over the top and back inside. It's back to Kane for more stomping as he and Show somehow look more exhausted than Bryan and Reigns. More kicks break up the chokeslam but Kane shoves Bryan into Big Show, much to the giant's annoyance.
A double back elbow puts Bryan down and Big Show yells at Reigns a bit. Daniel kicks out of Show's chokeslam attempt before hitting a DDT. That's still not enough for the hot tag though as Show gets two off a splash. He yells at Kane for being negative and chokes Bryan in the air. Kane wants this to be over but Show says he's having fun. Show gets on the middle rope for the Vader Bomb but Kane tags himself in and yells at Show for taking too many risks. Show: “THAT'S RUDE!”
Kane gets caught in the YES Lock and Show makes a very delayed save. This time it's Show tagging himself in but has to stop and yell at Kane again. Reigns gets knocked off the apron but Bryan pulls Show down into the YES Lock. Kane makes a save but asks Show what he's doing. That's quite a rude question.
Big Show thinks so too as he KO Punches Kane and I think we have the 1000th Big Show turn. Well that's quite a milestone if nothing else. Show's gift is a spear and running knee to FINALLY end this match at 1:05:15. From what I can find, that's the sixth longest match in company history. Of the five longer matches, three were Royal Rumbles and none aired on television.
Rating: C-. The best part of it all: the match wasn't even that good. It was a mix of squashes and long, drawn out tag matches which really isn't enough to carry a match that length of time. Bryan and Reigns were trying to one up each other (Bryan had four falls to Reigns' one, which was over Slater) and they used half of the show to do it because half the roster is in the Middle East on tour. My goodness this felt long and I need a rest after this marathon. It's a remarkable performance from Reigns and Bryan but it's a pretty lame match.
Overall Rating: C. The show was entertaining enough but much more of a novelty than anything else. As much as I hate this booking move, there's almost no way to avoid putting the Tag Team Titles on Bryan and Reigns now, because they literally just beat most of the entire tag division in one night, including the champions. Until the Usos beat Bryan and Reigns, they're the best team in the company by default and it gives them another way to build to the match at Fast Lane. There isn't much else to talk about here due to the main event literally taking up over half the show, but there was nothing else of note anyway.
Bray Wyatt b. R-Truth – Sister Abigail
Paige b. Summer Rae – PTO
Fandango b. Adam Rose – Last Dance
Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan won Tag Team Turmoil last eliminating Big Show/Kane – Running knee to Show
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