WWE Raw Recap: March 16th

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WWE continues rolling (stumbling?) towards Wrestlemania. Here is what went down on the latest Monday Night Raw!

Seth Rollins and co. promo

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– The show starts with Seth Rollins going over last week and how Randy really got one over them.

For those that missed the last couple of weeks, Randy Orton has been “pretending” to be on the Authority’s side, but wouldn’t you know it, he was secretly waiting for his chance to get Rollins all alone in the ring by himself. Just ignore the thousands of other ways he could have gotten revenge. Shhh.

This three week angle culminated in Orton spending 10 minutes beating the garbage out of Rollins, all the while screaming random things at him. Again, ignore the fact HHH could have stopped this at any time. Shhh.

On one hand, though, it’s nice to see Team Authority take a loss every now and again.

On the other hand, we saw Daniel Bryan get squashed for a solid 8-10 months by the Authority, and his only payback was that he got to spray paint Randy Orton’s car… So you know, maybe in the future, let other people get their licks in too?

– Seth, god bless him, tries so hard when he promos. And it’s not that he’s bad at promos, it’s just not a strong point for him. I get a kick out of every time he does his fake evil laugh, however.

“You know what Randy, you don’t scare me. Ha….Ha…..Ha….HA HA….HA HA HA HA….”

It’s basically Bald Bull’s laugh from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVDg8nAuoic

It’s so bad it’s good. I bet he practices it in the mirror.

– Anyways, Seth says he’ll fight Orton at Mania, but ONLY IF Randy fights him tonight.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. They’re going to tease dissent in the Authority only to have it turn out to be a trick to get one over ol’ Randy.

Well you’re right.

– Big Show delivered an X-men worthy line of “You know what I do to snakes? I crush them under my boot.” You know what happens to a toad when it gets hit by lightning, Big Show?

– Kane continues to have really weird hair. It’s like it’s growing in melted.

– Props to the front row guys, who had a Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, a guy that looked like Edge dressing up as Ric Flair (Inception Flair), and then a Jake the Snake guy, complete with fake snake. You can see him on the far right in the picture below.

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AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella

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– If you ever want another reason to fire JBL, then listen to him scream at Michael Cole about not saying the correct starting time of Mania. Honestly, it’s just JBL screaming “COME ON MAGGLE! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE TIME!”

They continue to show why they are the worst part of Raw every single week. It’s like listening to a really bad podcast between two people who think they’re hilarious. Instead of elevating the in ring talent, they giggle about what they ate that day or a show they watched last week.

– Brie is taking Nikki down a level, let’s be honest. Nikki is out there, elevating her game and putting out new t-shirts.

Brie puts flannel on things and she occasionally looks sternly at the camera and says the last word of her sentences really loudly.

“You think you can beat SISTERS?”

– “AJ is back to put herself back in the Diva’s Championship division”. – Booker T

Why yes, I believe that is exactly the reason she came back, Booker.

– “Women just typically hate each other” – Booker T

It was at this point I realized Booker T was slowly turning into Drunk Uncle Booker T. It’s slightly different from Jerry Lawler’s Drunk Uncle in that it’s less sexual, but still offensive.

The worst part is that Cole and JBL were more self aware of what a bad thing Booker had just said. When Cole and JBL are doing a better job of being self aware than you, things are not looking good.

– “Talk about starting the show off hot….in more ways than one.” – Booker T

I said LESS sexual, not completely devoid of it.

The best part was that Booker said this, then trailed off, then nobody said anything for a minute. It was pretty special.

Renee Young big show and kane

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– Breakdown of the Authority continues. Big Show and Kane argue about what looks worse, Big Show’s tattoo, or Kane’s pointy hairline.

– Seth Rollins arrives, but it’s too late. Everyone hates everyone. Big Show and Kane WILL NOT be at Rollin’s match tonight. Randy Orton might murder Rollins in the ring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbusENG6hCE

Everyone took turns making mean faces as the exit. Rollins nailed his exit face. Guy is a champ.

RYBACK VS THE MIZ

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– The WWE already had this match on Smackdown, but since nobody watches Smackdown, they did it again on Raw.

Despite the repeat performance, Miz and Mizdow is currently one of the best parts of the show.

Assuming Mizdow and Miz finally start feuding after Mania, this is gold.

If the WWE decides to drag it out another 5 months, which let’s face it, would not be shocking, then it will be awful.

The highlight of the match was Miz telling Mizdow to put down his fist, as if he was holding a weapon, and counting down from 5.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Miz, but he is putting in some great work recently.

John Cena contract signing

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– Rusev wore shoes, which was my biggest takeaway from this.

– So a quick recap, basically last week Cena beat Rusev and choked him into unconsciousness, then woke him up, just so he could continue to choke him to death. Finally Lana caved and threw in the towel and agreed to a match on Rusev’s behalf.

John Cena, American Hero ladies and gentlemen.

I have no idea how he isn’t a heel at this point. He doesn’t get a match he wants, so he chokes a guy repeatedly until he gets his way. All because the guy is trash talking him.

Be a Star John, thank god you’re standing up for bullies everywhere. I mean against bullies.

– Fargo Russian accent guy was by far the best part of this contract signing. Lana wasn’t there, so Rusev brought in “Generic Russian bad guy, complete with yellow glasses”:

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Fargo Russian then starts speaking with what might be the worst Russian accent you’ve ever heard. It honestly wavered between Fargo and Borat for most of the interview.

“Very nice, dontcha ya know.”

Rusev said he would only sign the contract to fight if Cena didn’t attempt to attack him while he read off a prepared statement.

Again, Rusev knows Cena is willing to beat people almost to death for saying words, so he now has to take precautions against him. Hero John Cena.

Cena comically barely restrains himself in that over top fashion we all know and love as Rusev essentially calls the USA a piece of poop.

Rusev signs the contract, flips the table, then gets the eff out of there.

The storyline is dated, I don’t think it works for today’s audience (You can almost see people groan and get out of their seats as they do their duty to chant “USA”), but here we are.

I pray Rusev wins at ‘Mania, but ‘Mania is John Cena season, and Rusev hasn’t starred in a Fast and Furious movie, so I don’t see him winning the match.

Cesaro and Kidd vs New Day

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– Can we all agree New Day is the worst group to come out in a long time? Like, how bad do you have to be to get an even worse reaction than Los Matadores? The crowd just dies when they come out. 3MB got a bigger damn reaction.

– If you’ve ever needed a sign that the tag team division is a tire fire again, then just watch as the current champs are involved in a feud with New Day and Los Matadores.

– If you’ve ever needed a sign that Vince hates Cesaro, then just watch Cesaro have to sell a  hurricarana flip to El Torito. Yes, Cesaro is putting over a midget in a bulls costume, yet Daniel Bryan as a world title holder isn’t believable…

Seth Rollins Backstage

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– Seth Rollins slapped Jamie Noble as Scott Caan’s body double Joey Mercury tried to keep the peace.

Brock Lesnar Interview

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– Brock is the best thing WWE has going on right now. He really is. I pray the WWE finds a way to extend his contract and keeps him as the title holder for another year.

The only caveat? When he shows up for TV shows, have him F5 the crap out of the lower end of the roster.

Saving his fights for PPV’s to make them feel special, sure, I get it. But when he’s on Raw, why not have him F5 Heath Slater 20 times? Just let us have that.

– The bulk of the interview was basically Brock showing how he eats babies for breakfast. The highlight of the interview was Lesner saying he was going to “**** up Roman Reigns.” Brock ain’t got no time for PG.

 Big Show vs Erick Rowan

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– Ah, Erick Rowan, you only get trotted out when Big Show needs to look strong. Hey, it’s a living.

The WWE, in its eternal battle to “keep people looking strong” (and by people I mean the old tall guys) had Big Show look like a bad ass so everyone could go “OMG HE COULD TOTALLY WIN THE ANDRE THE GIANT BATTLE ROYAL!”

Larry Zbysko Being Inducted to WWE Hall of Fame

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– Rikishi got into the Hall of Fame, there is no point pretending there is rhyme or reason to any of this.

Kane and Henry beat people up

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– Curtis Axel, he who has finally found the first sliver of momentum he’s ever had (he runs a clock during his entrance now that shows how long he’s lasted in this years Royal Rumble. It’s amazing.)  didn’t even get an entrance tonight.

Instead we come back from commercial and in the ring Kane is basically telling everyone he has to look strong now because he’s taller, but then Mark Henry comes out and says HE needs to look stronger because he’s wider, then they all fight it out.

I’m not kidding, the ring gets cleared by Kane and Henry (Titus made it to the final four because he is tall) because this is how the WWE works. Kane and Show somehow need to keep being put over because they’re tall.

Curtis Axel was hiding on the outside and instead of giving him a bit of momentum (heaven forbid we make Kane look weak against anybody that isn’t in the main event), Axel runs in and gets eliminated when trying to dump both Kane and Henry out.

HOW HARD IS IT TO GIVE AXEL A MOMENT??

Seriously, it’s a god damn Raw. Let Axel freaking run in there, dump the two large guys out a la Shawn Michaels, and have him god damn celebrate a win. If you REALLY need to keep Kane or Henry looking strong, let them run back into the ring and do their version of the Underaker vs Maven snuff film and beat up Axel for 15 minutes.

It doesn’t take much to give mid card guys some material to try and run with. Hell, Curtis has been working quite well with the mere fact he never made it into the ring in the Royal Rumble.

Throw them a bone, damn it!

Paul Heyman Interview

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– Roman’s newest t-shirt is a nice touch to his families heritage of motivational t-shirts. Next week I am hoping he comes out with a green eggs and ham inspired shirt.

“I would beat Brock here or there, I would beat him anywhere.”

– Seeing Roman trying to force “Believe THAT” into every promo hurts my soul each time it happens.

– Paul Heyman is without a doubt the best talker in the WWE. It’s just losing a bit of impact for me lately as he’s basically trying to run the main event feud at Mania all by himself.

One guy can’t talk. One guy isn’t there to talk.

So what we get is Heyman talking out of both sides of his mouth as he tries to put over Roman, while at the same time elevating Brock.

Don’t get me wrong, he can do it, it’s just getting a bit tired now. It feels like he’s delivering the same promo each week now.

“ROMAN IS THE BEST….UNLESS COMPARED TO BARAAAAAAAAAAACK LESNAAAAAAAAAAAR.”

Paul Heyman sweats backstage

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– Heyman sweated a lot then told us Brock would be on Raw next week, where I am sure we will have an intense stare down with Roman before hopping backwards and chuckling to himself.

BNB, Luke Harper, Stardust vs Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose

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– This is essentially the “People the WWE doesn’t want to push but the crowd keeps trying to force our hands” vs “People we want to push but the crowd just isn’t that into them.”

– This was the first extended wrestling match of the show, and while it would have been nice to sit back and enjoy it, the commentary did their best to prevent it.

They basically talked over the match the entire time, talking to R-Truth and giggling and saying words that ended if “izzle”. It was like listening to your grandpa trying to be hip and with it.

– “You should sit gingerly in that chair so you don’t ruin your new suit”

“Who you calling ginger?”

*Loud laughs*

This. This is what the match was. Just 4 older dudes laughing their asses off about stupid ****.

– At one point they talked about floaties for what seemed like half an hour.

– Battle of the worst finishers: Ambrose vs Ziggler? I really want to see this one day. Both finishers look so bad. So very very bad.

– The match itself was fun to watch, and does give hope that they will all put on an amazing ladder match at Mania.

– It also makes me want to see Luke Harper get more of a push. The guy just has something that draws me in.

– JBL took a leg to the chest pretty hard when Ambrose got tossed over the announce table. It was the best.

Seth Rollins backstage Take 3

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– Rollins called HHH out for being scared of Sting. The crowd made an “OOOOOOHHH” noise reserved for Jerry Springer.

Bray Wyatt Bray Wyatts for a while

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– Bray Wyatt did his usual rambling promo. At least now it has a bit of direction, what with him talking about Undertaker being broken, but it’s still just a lot of noise to me. Deep breaths, throw in a laugh here and there, mention some pale horses, boom, you’ve got yourself a Bray Wyatt promo.

– I am intrigued with what happens at Mania with these two. You would think Bray has to win this, as Undertaker doesn’t need the win. If Bray wins, Taker can help the business one more time (it would have to be his last match, right?) and Bray can use that as momentum for the next feud in which he wants to laugh at somebody as they discuss pale horses in the moonlight.

– I am also intrigued by what kind of shape Undertaker is in. You hear reports ranging from “He’s working out and looks better than ever!” to “He’s in a coma and bleeding out of all of his holes”.

Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton

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– Seth came out and WHAT?? The Authority was in on it the whole time. You see, this way Randy Orton was stuck by himself in the ring alone, instead of being backstage alone where the Authority’s numbers could have overwhelmed him just as easily.

I know, I know, wrestling logic, don’t think too deep.

It was a storyline intended with one thing in mind, to further Orton vs Seth and to allow the arrival of:

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Sting showed up and the crowd ate it up. I’m not a huge Sting guy, but it seemed like a moment Sting guys would love.

If Bret hadn’t been broken in two by Goldberg’s inability to wrestle, this storyline is playing out how I had envisioned Bret Hart finally taking his revenge of Vince McMahon (instead of the awkward 20 minute beat down we ended up with).

The crowd loved it, it was a fun moment, and Sting looked pretty good in there.

– The WWE attempted to have some “BREAKING NEWS” which I found amusing, because how did they confirm this? Orton and Sting are still in the ring. Nobody had any idea Sting was going to show up, how did they book them both in an interview that quickly?? HOW???

sigh

Final Thoughts

– I’m not a huge fan of this Wrestlemania build up. The lower card involves a lot of weak storylines that either haven’t been fleshed out enough, or were thrown together to try and get everybody onto the card. Los Matadroes in the title picture? Come on.

The main events of the card involve aging stars and people who aren’t even on TV that much, which has made the storyline development feel stale and not very organic.

That being said, all you can try and do is have fun with it at this point. Just pray Sting and Taker can bring their A game and that Brock Lesnar german suplexes Roman Reigns 100 times and that the Rock doesn’t come out pleading with the fans to love Roman Reigns.

“If you clap your hands, Roman get’s his wings!”

Best Sign

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Wyatt Arndt Wyatt Arndt is a freelance writer who currently writes for The Province, Canucks Army, Canucks.com and Vancity Buzz. He's probably written in bathroom stalls near you as well. You can find him on Twitter where he is most likely making fun of Eddie Lack's goalie mask.
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