Cleat Geeks

WWE Raw Review

We are now only two weeks away from Wrestlemania 31, and storylines continue to develop on Raw and Smackdown. Once again, it is time for me to enlighten you all to my top 3 moments from last evening’s Raw from Des Moines, Iowa.

Is Team Authority losing faith in Rollins?

Is Team Authority losing faith in Rollins?

The majority of the show was centered around the dissension between Seth Rollins and the rest of The Authority, as they all express their feelings towards him about how he has brought everything upon himself up to this point. Rollins has accepted the challenge from The Viper to square off at WM31, but with a caveat that Orton must face Rollins on Raw. Orton realizes that he may be in for a 5 against 1 showdown, but warns Rollins that he had better take care of him now because if Orton physically makes it to WM31 he will end the undisputed future of the WWE. We have all of the participants in the TLC match at WM31 fighting over the Intercontinental Title which does seemingly give it more credibility. Although in the meantime, Bad News Barrett has lost cleanly several weeks in a row now which doesn’t help HIS credibility. The tension between The Miz and Damien Mizdow continues to grow towards it’s crescendo, and I for one cannot wait to see how this one turns out. We get continued buildup towards the clash between Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker, all without the actual presence of The Deadman up to this point. And of course the best talker in the business, Paul Heyman, continues to add to the lore of his client and his match with Roman Reigns for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Although there was a clip of Brock Lesnar being interviewed regarding his match with Reigns that in my humble opinion just seems to take away from the hype that Heyman continues to build. While Brock says the right things and comes across as tough, he just simply is not the eloquent salesman that Heyman is and the way that he says things make him seem less intimidating to me and more of an unintelligible meathead. WWE has been smart enough to pair him with the best in the business, so why not take advantage of it and simply allow Heyman to do his thing on his own? However, I digress. Allow me to get to my top 3 moments from this weeks show.

1. John Cena and Rusev Contract Signing for U.S. Title Match
Last week John Cena physically forced Rusev’s hand by repeatedly applying the STFU to Rusev until Lana pleadingly offered him the title match that he covets at WM31. This led us to the official contract signing for the match between the two titans, and of course the anticipation of what type of aftermath we would be witness to as these proceedings never seem to go smoothly.

Cena vs. Rusev is official!

Cena vs. Rusev is official!

Cena entered the ring first and gives another impressive emotionally driven promo based upon patriotism and conquering the enemy, then puts pen to paper. Surprisingly, Rusev makes his way down to the ring in a suit and without his trusted manager Lana by his side. Instead we are introduced to a gentleman who claims to be Rusev’s attorney, and he states that only Rusev can grant Cena his match at WM31. As the footage from the previous week clearly shows, it was Lana who offered the match to Cena and not Rusev himself. Rusev says there will be no match for Cena at Wrestlemania and continues to put America down, but then inexplicably signs the contract only to immediately flip the table over and make a hasty retreat as his flag drops down behind Cena who is clearly frustrated. So it is official, we have our match at WM31 where Cena will try to defend the honor of his great country and bring the U.S. Title back where it belongs. Cena continues to do a good job of making it a match based upon national pride, which will undoubtedly make it easier for many fans to support him that otherwise may not. Rusev has done a tremendous job of playing a perfect heel that is always looking for an easy way out, while showing great improvement on the mic as well.

2. A.J. Lee (with Paige) vs. Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella)

The Bella Twins

The talent in the Divas division is at an all time high

There has been the Give Divas a Chance Movement due to the fact that the WWE Divas division has been getting very little exposure (no pun intended) lately with matches of the less than 3 minute variety. I, for one, have been calling for this for quite a while as I have been very impressed with the level of athleticism and new techniques that the Divas have been displaying for quite some time now. It is of my opinion that Nikki Bella has shown the most improvement, not only in the ring but as a heel she seemingly has blossomed into one tough challenge for anyone. She has begun to display a tremendous combination of speed, power and agility in the ring along with some very creative moves as well. Last night we were witness to a Divas match that lasted around 10-11 minutes, had some great back and forth swings of momentum and certainly did not seem forced in any way. The crowd was into it as well, as they seemingly appreciated the effort and talent that the Divas provided. In the end we saw Nikki defeat A.J. Lee with her new finisher The Rack Attack, after a little confrontation outside of the ring between Brie and Paige.

The future of the Divas division is limitless

Will Paige or A.J. Lee be able to dethrone the reigning Queen, Nikki Bella?

With the impending additions of NXT stars Charlotte and Emma to the Divas roster as well, the future of the division, to me, has never been brighter. I only hope that the WWE continues to see the immense abilities of these ladies and that the Divas themselves continue to elevate the division to even greater heights than we saw when Lita and Trish Stratus ruled it.

3. Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
The duration of the show led us to believe that Team Authority were all second guessing their decision to assist, befriend, and even protect Rollins these previous few months. We were even witness to what seemed to be a tense discussion between Triple H and Stephanie not only questioning Rollins but threatening him to fix the problem. Of course this all ended up being a clever ruse by The Authority to mock Orton’s similar actions that took place over several weeks. Slowly and confidently Team Authority marched their way towards the ring where Orton stood his ground alone. Realizing what was about to happen, Orton quickly left the ring to grab a steel chair (his only ally) in an

Sting helps Orton confront Team Authority

Sting helps Orton confront Team Authority

attempt to thwart the merciless savagery that awaited him. Once apparent that no help was coming from backstage, Orton prepared to defend himself from the onslaught as Team Authority calculatingly surrounded the ring. Suddenly the lights go out and all we have is an ominous darkness in the arena. We then hear the hopeful and promising sounds of a crow cawing once, twice. The lights abruptly return to reveal Sting in the ring, side by side with a shocked Orton, wielding his trusty baseball bat to help even what were once insurmountable odds. A melee ensues with Orton and Sting successfully clearing the ring of everyone except for J & J Security who are both in a corner defenseless. Sting delivers his Stinger Splash on both men followed by the Scorpion Death Drop to the helpless Jamie Noble. Orton drops into his famous Viper position and delivers a thunderous RKO to Joey Mercury (who takes the move as well as anyone I have seen). We are left with Triple H gazing back towards the ring with great disdain, as he and his cohorts retreat to safety. Please allow me my fanboy moment, as I have been waiting for Sting to make his WWE debut for quite some time. Alas the moment is over, but will be re-lived in my memory for years to come. Each time that we are privileged to see Sting in a WWE ring should be cherished and appreciated by fans of all types, for he is one of the greatest performers to ever set foot in a ring that up to this point was not owned by Vince McMahon. The crowd reaction to seeing such a legend has been apropos, and I am glad that they have shown him the respect and appreciation that he has earned. The feud between Rollins and Orton should provide us with some tremendous moments, as we have two of the most talented performers in the business going head to head. And of course the Triple H vs. Sting match at WM31 should be memorable from the moment the lights go out as we will be able to rejoice at the spectacle of two legends sharing the spotlight at the biggest event in the business.

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