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WWE Raw TV Report: Sting appears, Authority plays games, Roman shines

By Rob McCarron | Wrestling Observer

Authority Opens Raw Because Of Course They Do

The Authority of Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, Joey Mercury, Kane, and Big Show all stood in the ring to open this week’s Raw. Seth spoke about Randy Orton’s betrayal last week, while also heeling on the crowd that originally cheered for him since they were in Iowa. Big Show apologized to Seth Rollins for Orton’s reactions, claiming partial responsibility for letting Orton back into the fold. Show called Rollins the future, and grew teary eyed when speaking about Rollins being the best talent in WWE. Kane also apologized, saying he was sucked in by Orton, although not as much as Big Show. Jamie Noble was next up, calling himself the “Secret Weapon of the Authority.” He said he knew Orton would do it, but he cares about Rollins, and Orton’s actions were inexcusable. Mercury, holding back tears, was also upset, but the comedy was they wouldn’t let him talk. Instead, he cried into Big Show’s chest while Rollins claimed vengeance was coming to Randy Orton…’s ego. Fifteen minutes into the show, Orton came out and said he’d end the future of WWE tonight in the main event.

 

Michael Cole is looking skinny again these days.

 

AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella

During the entrances, Cole was hyping up WrestleMania and gave out the wrong start time for the show. Layfield didn’t let him forget it. Nikki and AJ were giving themselves a chance until Paige and Brie Bella started getting into it outside the ring. Their fight distracted AJ, who had control at the time, and allowed Nikki to hit the Rack Attack for the win. Nikki looked really proud of her victory, and rightfully so.

 

Backstage, Kane and Big Show argued some more. The Mania battle royal is coming down to these two and Sheamus, isn’t it? Seth Rollins showed up, telling each guy to see the big picture. In the end, Show and Kane basically turned on Seth, refusing to help him in the Rollins vs Orton main event tonight.

 

The Ryback squashed Miz with the Shellshock. Mizdow stood at ringside, enjoying Miz’ misfortune.

 

US Title Contract Signing

John Cena entered for tonight’s US title contract signing, saying that Rusev is disrespecting the country he and the crowd calls home. The fans chanted USA, while Cena tried to get us to feel the excitement for WrestleMania. To join Cena, Rusev came out after the words, dressed in a suit. Accompanying him this week was a shorter, red haired man who portrayed Rusev’s lawyer. The lawyer cut a promo on Cena, saying Rusev wouldn’t sign the contract unless Cena let Rusev read his prepared statement with no threat of violence. JBL and Booker T were burying the lawyer guy, and his failure to properly portray a Russian. Rusev spoke about US parents being failures, the US being a cancer on the world, and beating John Cena. Ending the segment, Rusev flipped the table over on Cena and bailed. The Russian flag dropped over the ring, Cena looked disgusted, and we have our US Championship match at WrestleMania Play.

 

Kofi Kingston & Big E vs Cesaro & Kidd

Cesaro pinned Kofi after an uppercut to the back of the head. Kofi nearly had Cesaro with the Trouble in Paradise, but Kidd pushed Cesaro out of the way and took the move himself. Cesaro then finished Kofi off for the pinfall. After the match, Los Matadores got into it with Xavier Woods outside the ring. The matadors sent Xavier into the ring to be Neutralized, then El Torito jumped in and took care of Cesaro. No Usos involved, with Jey being injured.

 

Backstage, Seth Rollins was wondering why J & J weren’t at ringside last week when Orton broke bad. Jamie said that it was Seth who sent them off, Seth countered by putting Jamie down for arguing with his boss. Jamie, rightfully speaking, responded that if Rollins listened to him last week, no one would be in this mess. Jamie Noble then quit, as did Mercury. Rollins is all by himself.

 

A Brock Lesnar video package aired, setting up Roman vs Lesnar for Mania.

 

Big Show destroyed Rowan, finishing him off with a knockout punch and middle rope elbow. There was no match, as the bell never rang before Big Show attacked Rowan right as Big Red was getting into the ring.

 

Larry Zbyszko was announced as the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2015.

 

Andre Memorial Exhibition

Back from break, the ring was filling up with undercard grapplers in a promo for WrestleMania’s Andre Memorial Battle Royal. Kane spoke about inviting all these guys into the ring for a demonstration on what the Battle Royal will be like. Mark Henry interrupted, however, claiming his own stake as a participant in the battle royal. A huge brawl then broke out with Kane, Henry, Heath Slater, Goldust and the like inside the ring. Curtis Axel, wisely, watched all of the action from ringside, hanging out with the Andre trophy instead of getting mauled by Kane and Henry. Kane and Henry were, indeed, the final two men in after the chaos, but this crowd didn’t care about the face off at all. The two battled a bit near the ropes when Curtis Axel ran in, dumping Kane but failing to get Henry over. Henry eliminated Axel, and he’s your new favorite to win the Battle Royal until, of course, he doesn’t.

 

Cesaro & Kidd & Natalya vs Los Matadores & Torito was announced as an Interspecies 6-Man for Smackdown.

 

Weekly Paul Heyman Words Into A Microphone

Brock Lesnar is a beast, a conquerer. He’s coming to WrestleMania to make War, not Love. In case you were confused as to his intentions. Again, turning the eyes to Brock vs Authority rather than Brock vs Reigns, Heyman wondered if the lights would cut out, or the PPV feed would die, when Lesnar dominated Reigns at Mania. He said WWE was stuck with Lesnar as champ whether they like it or not. There, Paul’s microphone cut out again. Heyman said that cutting his mic is one thing, but no one can cut off Brock Lesnar. It’s a shame, Paul said, that the one man who could live up to the hype will be the one that is ended by Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He said that Roman isn’t the next, great, Samoan American, but the “next, great, Samoan American’t.” With Paul going nuts on how Roman can’t, Reigns made his way to the ring in his new “I can, I will” shirt. Cole referenced the shirt, then JBL countered with “T-Shirts don’t beat Brock Lesnar.” He’s right. Roman stared his piercing blue eyes into Paul Heyman’s soul, while calling him the best talker in the history of WWE. Confirmed WON Awards voter. Reigns dismissed Heyman, instead choosing to speak into the hard camera, speaking directly at Brock Lesnar. Roman isn’t going into Mania expecting a fairy tale ending, but rather a fight, and a war. Reigns spoke well, with great cadence, and more confidence than usual. He was finally a real person, speaking of the chip on his shoulder right as the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan.” He said he’d beat Brock because he can, and will, and not because he needs to. Roman greatly outclassed Heyman here.

 

Backstage, after break, Paul Heyman told Renee Young that Brock Lesnar will be live on Raw next week..

 

Daniel Bryan & Dean Ambrose & Dolph Ziggler vs Stardust & Luke Harper & Bad News Barrett

R-Truth watched the match from the entrance ramp before joining commentary, again as the only man in this match who really doesn’t want to wrestle. Truth had the Intercontinental championship belt tied to his back, hiding it from Barrett. Dean pinned Barrett after countering the bullhammer elbow into the Dirty Deeds. Truth went nuts on commentary. After the match, Luke Harper attacked Ambrose, throwing him into Truth at the commentary table. Harper then went looking for the title belt, but Truth shuffled away. With Truth’s focus on Harper, Stardust snuck in and took the title belt. Ambrose then rushed Stardust in the crowd, stealing the belt back for himself. The belt would make its way into almost everyone’s hands over the next minute of two, before eventually finding its way to Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. The two fought over it, before all the other participants made their way back in. Eventually, Wade Barrett ended the segment with his belt back. The crowd loved the match, but died for all the post match goofiness.

 

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie made an appearance. Seth Rollins was complaining to the pair that he lost all his friends. Stephanie told Seth to stop alienating all his friends, as it is his own fault. Rollins blamed Stephanie for last week’s actions, as she sent Big Show and Kane into a time out before the Orton beatdown. Rollins called out Hunter for being too concerned with Sting rather than focusing on the future of WWE. Stephanie told Seth to man up.

 

Bray Wyatt cut a promo via Tron, speaking that Undertaker’s fate is sealed. It’s his fault, and his final resting place will be WrestleMania.

 

Snoop Dogg and Bill Simmons are announced as guest stars for next week’s Raw. The commentary team had to put over Bill as a huge star for almost all the fans watching who had little clue to his fame.

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins

GUESS WHAT! All the earlier segments with Seth losing his friends were all fake. It was a trap. A set up. A gotchya. With Orton realizing the trap, he grabbed a steel chair as the Authority approached the ring. Right as Rollins, Kane, and Big Show were set to enter the ring, the lights went out. Turning back on, Sting was in the ring, side by side with Orton, ready to take out the nWo. Sting beat up some with his bat, while Orton took care of the others with his chair. Finally, Sting gave the Scorpion Death Drop to Jamie Noble to the crowd’s delight. Not to be out done, Orton gave an RKO to Mercury as Sting stared off at Triple H. Sting looked good here, and the crowd chanted his name to finish the show.