Date: February 5, 2015
Location: World Arena, Colorado Spring, Colorado
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This week's Raw changed a lot of things about the Fast Lane and potentially Wrestlemania cards. The big story was Daniel Bryan defeating Seth Rollins to earn a shot against Roman Reigns at Fast Lane with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the World Title at Wrestlemania. This is due to the Rock interfering in the Royal Rumble when Rusev was still involved and somehow was announced without ever mentioning Rusev's name. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the “earth shaking” announcement from Raw. Rusev is still not mentioned by the Authority. That's downright impressive. Bryan pinning Rollins to earn the shot is shown as well.
It's time for MizTV with special guests Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Miz has Mizdow sit at ringside to further his new role as assistant. The fans of course want Mizdow and Miz says they have him, sitting outside where he belongs. The guests come out and Reigns lays out Miz with a Superman Punch before anything can be said. Well that's one way to make fans like him. Reigns grabs the mic and says he went through 29 wrestlers to get here and he'll go through one more to go to Wrestlemania. Wouldn't it be one of them again since Bryan was in the Rumble?
Reigns is going to go to Wrestlemania by beating Bryan at Fast Lane but they should just do it right here. Bryan is game but here are Rollins and the Stooges to interrupt. Seth blames Reigns for taking his spot in the main event of Wrestlemania but he'll get there one day on his own, even though Reigns is scared to face him one on one. As per the Authority, Bryan will be in action tonight against himself and the Stooges.
Post break Miz says he should be in the main event of Wrestlemania instead and wants to fight Roman tonight.
Goldust/Stardust vs. Ryback/Dolph Ziggler
Thankfully they come out to Ziggler's music this time. An inset interview from Ziggler and Ryback says for Goldust and Stardust, it's too bad that they're too good. Stardust jumps over Goldust to start for the team and is quickly slammed down by Ryback. Off to Ziggler who gets two off a dropkick and brings Ryback in again to hammer on Stardust even more. Ziggler drops the big elbow (after a quick strut) and Ryback follows with the splash for two. Stardust tells Goldust he has this and we take a break.
Back with Goldust choking Ryback on the ropes before it's back to Stardust for a front facelock. Ryback finally backdrops Goldust out to the floor and punches Stardust out of the air, allowing the hot tag to Ziggler. Things speed up and the running DDT gets two on Stardust. The Disaster Kick drops Ziggler and Goldust wants a tag, calling his brother Cody again. He tags in by smacking Stardust in the head, causing Cody to walk out. The solo Goldust walks into a Shell Shock for the pin at 9:14.
Rating: D+. You know, I kind of wish these teams would just split in a hurry instead of doing these weeks long drawn out buildups to the big showdown. It should be an interesting match and feud, but again I'd like to know who else they have to fill out the division, which is currently about three teams deep. Maybe it's Ryback and Ziggler, who aren't the worst combination in the world and at least they have something in common.
Ernie Ladd Black History Month video.
Curtis Axel vs. Dean Ambrose
Axel uses the “don't change the channel” line again, which is somewhere between brilliant and depressing. He wants everyone to join the movement and of course he has a hashtag for it. Curtis tries to jump Dean to start and gets stomped down into the corner for his efforts. He spins Dean around in the corner and hammers at the back but makes the mistake of sending Dean outside. As he throws Dean back in, Ambrose comes back out with a dropkick to the face, setting up the rebound lariat. Dirty Deeds is good for the pin at 2:44 after Axel got in far more offense than I was expecting.
Barrett pops up on screen with the BNZ: Bad News Zone. The bad news this week: Ambrose is much too insane to receive a title shot.
Fandango vs. Adam Rose
The Trust Fall fails and Rose blames the Rosebuds for doing it on purpose. That earns the hot dog a right hand and kick to the knee in something I never thought I would have to type. Fandango pulls him inside and chops Rose in the corner, only to get stomped down in the corner for his efforts. A belly to back suplex onto the apron has Fandango in even more trouble. Back in and Fandango hits a spinwheel kick, yells to the crowd like a good guy would, and drops the guillotine legdrop (finally named the Last Dance) for the pin at 2:07. Fandango was wrestling entirely like a face here.
Miz vs. Roman Reigns
They're flying through these matches tonight. Miz gets in a good line before the match with “You want to headline Wrestlemania? Come face someone who actually did it.” That's Miz's “I beat the Rock and Austin in the same night.” He knocks Reigns off the apron during the entrances and sends Reigns into the steps. Roman says ring the bell and Miz pounds away as soon as he can. Reigns ducks his head for a backdrop and gets kicked in the face, so he opts for just running Miz over with a shoulder.
After a quick beating on the floor, Miz comes back inside with even more left hands as he's come to play. Cole says a loss here would really hurt Roman Reigns. Like the one on Monday where Big Show beat him in less than three minutes? Or is that an exception because it's Big Show who is in fact big? Miz puts on a neck crank followed by a chinlock but charges into a big clothesline. The low DDT is countered into a bearhug and then a Samoan drop, setting up the spear to pin Miz at 5:47.
Rating: C-. This was much better than I was expecting with Miz having more fire in him than I've seen in years. It's also a good idea to have Reigns have to come from behind instead of just running people over, especially over former World Champions. Yeah Miz is on the low end of that list, but it's better than beating up jobbers or Kane all over again. Also at the end of the day, it's not Big Show, meaning it's a better match by definition.
Rusev vs. Erick Rowan
Non-title. They slug it out to start with Rowan kicking him in the face as a huge USA chant starts up. A shoulder sends Rusev outside but he scores with a spinwheel kick back inside to take over. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Rowan clubs him down and beals Rusev across the ring. A middle rope back elbow to the jaw drops Rusev again but Rowan gets kicked off the ropes. The Accolade makes Rowan tap at 3:20.
Rating: D. Standard brawl here to make Rusev look good by beating up Cena's.....buddy I guess? I mean who remembers Rowan helping to steal the souls of children last summer or whatever you call it? After all, they had a 45 second chat that one time on Raw and those things bury all hatchets. This was your run of the mill Rusev match.
We look at the Bellas putting spray tanner on Paige from Monday. Somehow this is the most interesting feud in the division in months.
Paige was actually embarrassed on Monday because she isn't your standard Diva. She's also not a conformist and the Bellas will be the embarrassed ones at Fast Lane. Not a bad thirty second promo, especially given what she has to work with.
Paige vs. Alicia Fox
In case you didn't get enough of it on Raw. Paige erupts on her to start and hammers on Fox, only to walk into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The Bellas are watching in the back as Fox sends Paige outside. Back in and the northern lights suplex gets two on Paige and it's time for the chinlock.
Saxton says the Bellas have been the faces of the Divas division for the better part of seven years. That would make my soul hurt if it was actually true, but I think Laycool, Mickie James, Kelly, Melina, AJ and even Paige might have a bit to say about that, especially given that before this title reign, the Bellas had combined to hold titles for about two and a half months in those seven years. Anyway, Paige fights up and hits a dropkick, setting up PTO for the win at 2:32.
We go to the double date with Jimmy Uso/Naomi and Natalya/Kidd, but Tyson thought he'd be coming with Cesaro because they're partners. Natalya facepalms and eats at the same time while Cesaro and Kidd say FACT at the same time. Naomi yells at Natalya for being rude and letting her husband be a jerk. Jimmy doesn't like what Kidd says about Naomi and gets knocked out by Cesaro. Natalya blames Jimmy and Naomi.
Network/Fast Lane hype.
Bray Wyatt says a man is defined by his actions but he is no man. He is the reaper, so what makes you think your actions towards him mean nothing? You are blinded by your pride and the devil is knocking on your door. He just wants you to come home, so just let him in. Let him in. Let Bray in.
Daniel Bryan vs. Jamie Noble/Joey Mercury/Seth Rollins
Mercury offers a test of strength to start but gets kicked in the leg instead. Daniel rides him on the mat with ease so it's off to Noble to get abused as well. A cross armbreaker sends Noble running to the ropes and it's off to Rollins for a smattering of applause before the YOU SOLD OUT chants begin. A dropkick puts Seth down but he gets Bryan into the corner for the triple team. Back to Noble as the announcers recap Wrestlemania from last year. Rollins takes Bryan outside and sends him into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Bryan getting German suplexed for no cover. Seth does Brock's bounce before throwing another German suplex. The Stooges take turns stomping away with Noble throwing some shadow punches. Mercury gets two off a dropkick (people might forget how young the Stooges really are. Noble is the older of the two and is only 38. This is hardly Patterson and Brisco II) before Seth comes in for some cocky stomping.
Daniel fights up for a double cross body to put both guys down. Back up and Seth sends him into the buckle to take over again but makes the mistake of setting up the Triple Bomb out of the corner. Bryan counters into a hurricanrana and Daniel speeds things up. A top rope double dropkick puts the Stooges down and it's time for rotating YES Kicks. Bryan clotheslines Rollins to the floor and throws Noble out with him, setting up the YES Lock for the submission on Mercury at 13:58.
Rating: C. This was fine and again it helps that the Stooges are still more than capable of having a passable match. Considering they're wrestling in business casual clothing, this wasn't too bad. Bryan winning here makes sense and there's no need to have him pin Rollins again. As I said in the Wyatts' feud against Cena (before it was resolved with one of those 45 second backstage chats), a good villain needs lackeys for situations like this one.
Post match Kane comes out and beats down Bryan because THIS FEUD WILL NOT FREAKING DIE ALREADY. Bryan gets a big beating to end the show, including a chokeslam and curb stomp. There is no reason for Kane and Bryan to keep fighting, especially after last week.
Overall Rating: C. This show was rolling along to a decent rating and then they do this stupid thing again where they can't just let a feud end and move on to ANYTHING else because for some reason, writers in WWE don't get that it's ok to end a story at some point. There's no reason for this thing to keep going but they're just going to keep it going because they have no idea where else to go with Kane.
Unfortunately, this show felt like an old Friday night episode of the show with nothing really interesting and a decent match here and there. It's not bad or anything, but at least they had the two most important names featured here. At the end of the day, any show that doesn't have Cena on it all the time doesn't feel like a major show. The company really does revolve around him and you can notice when he's gone.
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