So, after a week off, I’m back and worse than ever. ‘Raw’ was in Des Moines tonight. There was a dark match scheduled between….look, I know I’ve been doing this gimmick, but it’s Iowa. What the fuck do you expect from me? Aside from a ‘Field of Dreams’ reference, what could I really do? So, onto the action. However, I did get a report from someone backstage that they heard a voice similar to Mark Henry’s saying, “If you cook it, I will come.”
Rollins and The Authority start off the night arguing over who was hurt more by Orton’s betrayal. Rollins says he accepts Orton’s challenge for WM, but only if meets him tonight. Orton says he’ll do it even though it would likely be 5 against 1.
In a backstage segment, Kane and Big Show bicker like two old men at Eat ‘n Park discussing politics, about who was more responsible for Rollins being attacked the week before. After Rollins joins the interaction, both Kane and Big Show indicate they won’t be at ringside for Rollins’ match against Orton.
The Miz loses to Ryback in unimpressive fashion, after telling Mizdow he will be fired if he doesn’t help him get a win. There was a moment in the match where Ryback holds Miz and tells Mizdow to take a swing. He contemplates doing it, but doesn’t and after Miz gets out of the hold he is none too happy. When the match is over, Mizdow helps him up, and gets a Skull Crushing Finale for his effort. It appears this would mark the end for these two, but I don’t see a singles match coming until after Mizdow eliminates Miz from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Cena and Rusev have their contract signing. Rusev shows up with some bogus lawyer saying he won’t sign it unless Cena controls his ‘ American barbarianism’ while he reads a statement. Call me unpatriotic, but I hope Rusev beats the fucking red, white, and blue out of Cena at WM. I know it is easy to shit on anything Cena does, but this really is the match I am looking forward to the least.
Cesaro and Kidd beat New Day. Los Matadores get involved after the match, attacking New Day and then having El Torito toss Cesaro from the ring. Now that’s some BULL-shit. You are really gonna have half of your tag team champions get embarrassed by a fucking midget in a bull costume? Way to make them look strong going into Mania. And we found out that the Usos are likely out of the picture because of an injury to Jey’s shoulder. Not sure what will be booked at WM, but it likely is gonna be a waste of legit talent like Cesaro and Kofi Kingston of New Day.
Big Show pummels Erik Rowan before their match even gets started. I’m not the biggest Rowan fan, but that’s twice they’ve done that. Why? To give Big Show a push? Motherfucker’s been around since before I had pubes. Doesn’t make sense.
In another backstage piece, Jamie Noble gets upset with Rollins and quits, while Joey Mercury walks off silently behind his partner in J and J Security.
As ‘Raw’ returns from commercial, Kane is addressing a ring full of superstars participating in the ATG Battle Royal. Mark Henry makes his way out from the back and announces he’s entering. A brawl breaks out with guys being tossed just like in a battle royal. Kane and Henry are last two in, or so we think, until Curtis Axel comes in and dumps Kane, but gets thrown out by Henry. So, instead of putting the focus on Axel and the #Axelmania gimmick, or somebody else unexpected, they put it on Henry, and to a lesser extent, Kane. Why? See my above statement on Big Show. It applies to these two geriatrics as well.
Paul Heyman cut another great promo, insisting Reigns can’t beat Lesnar and that Lesnar isn’t be able to be stopped from doing what he wants and giving a prison beating to Reigns. Reigns comes down, but anytime you take the mic from Heyman, I really don’t care what you have to say. Lesnar and Reigns face-to-face next week. Should be interesting, especially after Lesnar said, in a pre-taped interview, that he was going to fuck up Reigns at WM.
Six-man tag featuring the contestants in the IC title match, with R-Truth, in possession of the title, doing commentary. A lot of great action and partners not on the same page, creating some animosity. Ambrose hit a Dirty Deeds on BNB for the win, and the usual, and at this point, fucking unnecessary, game of who will end up with title starts. It ends with BNB executing a string of Bull Hammers and getting back what his rightfully his. Please keep it that way until Mania. That silliness is really distracting from what should be the best match on the card. Although it would be a far cry from giving the fans the Daniel Bryan title run they actually want, I believe he emerges from WM with the title.
Bray Wyatt has another message for The Undertaker. I was hoping to see the ‘Dead Man’, but I guess he’s down to working one day a year instead of one month a year. But, hey, who the fuck is gonna tell him he can’t do that?
Rollins has a heated exchange with Triple H and Stephanie. It now appears nobody will be in Rollins’ corner.
Rollins is now set to face Orton when he announces that, while Orton took 3 weeks to pull off his deception, Rollins did his in 3 hours. The Authority’s music hits and everyone comes out to back Rollins. Orton grabs a chair and waits for them to come to the ring. When they enter, the lights go out, and when they come back on, Sting is next to Orton with a baseball bat in hand and they go to town. Sting hits a Stinger Splash on the hapless J and J Security and a Scorpion Death Drop on Noble, while Mercury gets an RKO. Good to see them put some heat on these two matches. As I said before, Sting and Triple H is about 10 years too late to be a great match, but I am still looking forward to it. And I’ll watch anything with Rollins. Orton can put on a hell of a match with the right opponent, and he definitely fits that bill.