Monday Night Raw Recap 2/16/2015: No! No! No!
The final episode of Raw and Smackdown before a PPV is called the "go home" show, and the WWE usually pulls out all the stops to pique interest for any on the fence PPV buyers. This go home episode was no different as it reinforced some of the feuds going into Fastlane along with continuing to setup feuds for Wrestlemania.
Triple H Responds To Sting
Triple H is second only to Stephanie McMahon in his ability to cut a heel promo and get the crowd to boo him out of the building. He came out to say that Sting's chicanery last week did not scare him, and that he was ready to confront him at Fastlane. The WCW/WWE angle is still being played up with Trips continuing to talk down about Sting's WCW career and how he would have kicked his ass then and he will now. Ric Flair came out to surprise the crowd and Trips. He warned Trips that Sting is not to be taken lightly and that Trips has been out of the game for too long running WWE, which Flair said is a wrestler's worst enemy. Trips pushed Flair and berated him, saying that he would be ready for Sting at Fastlane and that he was going to beat his ass.
I enjoyed this promo as Triple H is such a great heel, but I'm not sure how much longer they can continue these one-sided engagements. We haven't had Sting say a word yet, akin to his WCW run, but after Fastlane they need to start cutting promos on one another.
Bray Wyatt Waits
The time has come for Undertaker to respond to Bray Wyatt's verbal attacks. Wyatt continues to chide Taker, telling him that if refuses to find him, Wyatt will come for him. One can assume that Taker will show up either this weekend or next week to start their Wrestlemania program. I'm a huge fan of Taker as well as Wyatt, and the WWE should take this as the perfect time to pass the torch to this generation's supernatural monster.
Cena Finds Ruthless Agression
Cena's character has grown stale over the last year, and every time he faces an opponent, they try to turn him heel. Everybody knows Cena is never going to turn heel, and honestly, it would be great if they just stopped the teasing all together. He even talked about it in his promo, saying that his opponents have tried to change him, but he always wins "his way". Rusev came out and they fought again, with Cena beating a motionless Rusev while Lana looked on.
I can't wait to see what happens at Fastlane, but one can assume it will not be a clean finish so that their Wrestlemania match will setup. I'd love to see Rusev beat Cena both times clean, but the WWE loves Cena too much to let something so controversial, sarcasm sarcasm, happen.
Rollins vs. Ziggler
Seth Rollins continues to show why he is the future of the WWE in his awesome match with Dolph Ziggler. While their match had no real storyline implications, except that Rollins was beaten to get Ziggler his job back, the match was the best of the evening. Their back and forth is great, both in the ring and on the mic, showing that these two could actually have a meaningful rivalry in the future. The only real issue with this match is it ended with Ziggler seemingly winning with a Zig-Zag yet J&J Security ran back in to break up the pin. I'm getting sick of non-finishes on Raw just to protect a wrestler's strength, it's cheap booking.
Bryan and Reigns Duke It Out
After trading barbs, both physical and verbal, Bryan and Reigns finally tear each other apart. Reigns was ringside for Bryan's match against Big Show and after the match they finally came to blows. Bryan and Reigns beat the ever-loving shit out of one another with Bryan bloodying Reigns mouth. While I don't see Bryan winning against Reigns at Fastlane, the brawl was quite exciting and the crowd was into it. I can't wait to see their match, but I'm not excited about the outcome.
This week's Raw set up Fastlane quite well with some interesting storyline progression and a great brawl to end the show.
Raw Rating: 3 out of 5 Bloody Mouths