Monday Night Raw Recap 2/9/2015: Promo-Mania is Running Wild
Monday Night Raw emanated from Columbus, Ohio this week and it was a promo heavy episode that furthered a few of the big storylines. Unfortunately, I watch Raw for the wrestling and not a barrage of promos being cut in the center of the ring, even if it is Paul Heyman. I get that the storylines need to be progressed but you can do that with the wrestling, it doesn't have to be solely through promos.
Rusev and Lana Mock Cena
It only took about a year but Rusev and Cena have finally begun a rivalry. It's an old school clash on the surface with Cena further solidifying that he is our generation's Hulk Hogan by defending America's pride from the big bad foreigner. It's getting a little tiresome that every opponent that Cena has faced since Bray Wyatt last year has gone after Cena's "legacy" as it just feels like weak, repetitive writing. Lana and Rusev mocked Cena and his legacy on Raw, calling him "hurt and vunerable" which of course led to Cena coming out to defend his honor.
I'm excited for the prospect of this rivalry and it's good to see Cena out of the main event picture for another Wrestlemania so that the newer talent can get a chance. However, this rivalry can only be truly successful if Cena puts Rusev over at Fastlane and Wrestlemania; not squashing his momentum like he did with Wyatt last year. It hurt Wyatt more than it helped him, and hopefully that they don't make the same mistake this year.
Lesnar and Heyman Call Out Reigns and Bryan
Every time that Paul Heyman is handed a mic, it's pure unadulterated gold. This week was no different when Heyman and Lesnar took to the ring and called out not only Roman Reigns but also Daniel Bryan. He talked that while Reigns comes from a famous wrestling family, Lesnar is still the beast and that he literally scared the piss out of Reigns. Heyman also admitted Bryan had heart and was skilled technically but Lesnar is still the beast, with Bryan posing no real threat. It was a typical Heyman promo, elevating Lesnar's opponents while still reinforcing that Lesnar is a total beast.
I'm still not too interested in a Reigns/Lesnar main event and I honestly wish that the WWE had the foresight to realize that most of the fans at Mania won't be either. I don't want the main event to get booed out of the building but if that's what it takes for them to stop ignoring the fans, then so be it.
Triple H Calls Out Sting Again
I'm not sure I understand what the point of this segment was. Triple H has already called out Sting for a face to face meeting at Fastlane, so it seemed derivative to call him out yet again . Trips came down to the ring and said that Sting hasn't accepted his request to meet at Fastlane and he wanted an answer right now. He referenced Sting's time in the WCW and how Trips helped destroy Sting's home during the Attitude Era. The reference is almost fifteen years too late, feeling like it should have been during the Invasion storyline after WCW was bought by WWE but because Sting didn't come over, they had to wait. This promo felt out of place and as a time-filler more than anything else. They should have just waited to assess the storyline at Fastlane. Also, Sting wasn't actually there during the promo, so there's that.
Bray Wyatt Calls Out Taker Again
Bray Wyatt cut yet another promo on a mysterious entity, but any smart fan knows who he is calling out, the Undertaker. He has continued to talk about the afterlife and how he is realizes that the Undertaker isn't the Deadman any more, just a shell of his former self. Wyatt's ferocity and anger towards Taker is palpable, and he is in the upper echelon of talkers in the WWE right now. He keeps telling the Deadman to "find him", and I can expect that sooner rather than later Taker will come for Wyatt in spectacular fashion.
Bryan and Reigns vs. The Authority
While last week they positioned Reigns and Bryan as rivals, this week they were paired up twice against the Authority by the Authority. Their first match at the top of the show ended with Bryan getting shoved into Reigns and then Reigns reacted by shoving him back. Triple H then paired the two of them up against Rollins, Big Show, Kane, and J&J Security in a 5 on 2 Handicap match. The match was average with all sorts of outside interference and shenanigans with Bryan about to end the match then Reigns tagged him out and won with a spear. Bryan confronted Reigns after the match and took a spear for his trouble, reinforcing the power of Reigns and how the crowd is not behind him. Bryan is most likely going to put Reigns over at Fastlane and one can hope that the crowd shows the E how they feel about Bryan being used as a stepping stone for Reigns' rise to power.
This week's Raw was heavy on the promos and light on truly entertaining wrestling action, especially in the main storylines. I would love to see more wrestling and less promos, but at least the promos this week were quite entertaining and kept the stories moving forward.
Raw Rating: 3 out of 5 Roman Reigns' Booed Spears