Cleat Geeks

WWE Raw Highlights

The WWE had some surprises in store for us this past Monday on Raw, as we inch ever closer to this Sunday’s Wrestlemania 31 extravaganza. We were witness to the immortal Hulk Hogan surprising us all to help Snoop Dogg confront Curtis Axel, and we were also presented with some perspective regarding the WWE Tag Team Titles. Also, Bray Wyatt delivered another outstanding promo for his upcoming match with The Undertaker. So, as has become tradition, allow me to enlighten you with my top 3 highlights from the show. Tomorrow, I will cover the Wrestlemania 31 lineup and provide you with my breakdowns and predictions. But today, let’s focus on what happened on Raw!

1. Sting

This past Monday we were privileged to see Sting make his first big WWE Raw promo, and he certainly did not disappoint. He displayed very good energy, and the crowd was clearly amped up to see him. He wasted very little time informing us that he was there to take down Triple H, especially because Triple H has come to think of himself as unstoppable. Just as Sting began to get the crowd going, Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and she makes her way down to the ring to belittle Sting and let him know that her husband will certainly defeat him at WM31. Sting calls Stephanie a spoiled brat, but is interrupted by her continuing rants until he lets out a patented “Woo” that the already raucous crowd appreciates.

Sting seems very intent on stopping The Authority

Sting seems very intent on stopping The Authority at WM31

Stephanie attempts to slap Sting, but he catches her wrist to subdue her which prompt Triple H to immediately come out to save his wife from an embarrassing situation. Being the “Cerebral Assassin”, Triple H is prepared as Stephanie hands him his trusty sledgehammer. However, unbeknownst to Triple H, Sting is also prepared and produces his faithful baseball bat from his robe to even the odds. Triple H realizes that he has no immediate advantage and hastily retreats in classic heel fashion.

2. Nikki Bella vs. Paige for the Divas Championship

We were fortunate to see the Divas really shine last week in an extended match that has great flow, excitement, energy and a solid finish. This week was no different, as Nikki Bella defended her Divas Championship against Paige. This match was also given a longer time slot and these ladies did not disappoint. The match was full of fast paced action, some very technically sound spots. Nikki has truly embraced her pompous character’s identity and has really shone, in my opinion, these past few months.

The Divas once again put on a great show

The Divas once again put on a great show

Paige was able to escape The Rack Attack once, and deliver her finisher The RamPaige which had the crowd anticipating an ensuing pinfall. Nikki showed her resiliency, however, and managed to elude defeat just before the 3 count. The end of the match was somewhat frenzied with A.J. Lee “accidentally” elbowing Paige which gave Nikki the golden opportunity that she needed to hit The Rack Attack for the clean pinfall. Once again, a very impressive performance by the Divas that I believe has really made the division exciting for the forseeable future.

3. Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan

The fans were able to get involved in this one as their votes determined who would be the special guest referee for this match between two of the WWE’s best in-ring performers. As soon as I saw the available candidates (the remaining entrants in this Sunday’s Intercontinental Title Ladder match) I had a strong feeling that Dean Ambrose would easily win the fans vote, and surpise…I was correct! After a brief feeling out period, the match featured some great fast-paced back and forth action. Watching a match between Ziggler and Bryan contains more solid technical wrestling in a five minute period than most of the entire episode on any given evening, that’s how highly I regard their in-ring abilities.

Two of WWE's best went head to head on Monday

Two of WWE’s best went head to head on Monday

It’s fun to watch and they never disappoint! I was surprised to see Ziggler get a clean pinfall over Bryan once again, but that only leads to my suspicion that Bryan wil be able to redeem himself when it counts the most at WM31. The aftermath to this match was fun as well, with all of the WM31 Ladder Match participants taking turns trying to reach the Intercontinental Title that was hanging above the ring. As each Superstar had their chance they would be dismissed by a fellow competitor, ultimately ending with all of the stars laid out and scattered about the ring. Although I am not typically a fan of Ladder or TLC  matches (simply because I always feel empathy for the bumps that are typically taken in these types of matches, and feel that they end promising careers prematurely) I am looking forward to this match based on the enthusiasm shown by each of the participants leading up to the match itself.

So there we have it folks, my highlights from Monday Night Raw. Of course these are only my opinions (which are typically correct), so I always welcome any comments or thoughts that you have. What were your top 3 moments from the show, and what do you think will happen at Wrestlemania 31 this Sunday? Comment on this article or let me know on Twitter @ScottArhart!

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