Monday, February 1, 2016

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - February 1st, 2016

I missed the opening segment as I arrived around 15 minutes into the show. Apparently it was a verbal exchange between Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman which sounds great on paper, but it is what it is. Rusev and Kalisto are in the ring when my viewing begins.

1) Kalisto vs. Rusev (w/ Alberto Del Rio)
Kalisto was the MVP of WWE in January and Rusev continues to be ever so underrated so this was a lot of fun. Kalisto bounced around nicely and Rusev made him look great. There was an awesome spot which saw Kalisto dive to the outside only to get caught with a kick from Rusev in mid-air. They also did some stuff at the end which ruled as Kalisto got propelled onto the announce table and he dove off to catch Rusev with a head scissors into the barricade. This allowed the US Champ to get a count out victory, much to the shagrin of Alberto Del Rio. They face off once again at Fast Lane in a few weeks.

Match rating - **3/4

TONIGHT: Miz TV with AJ Styles

2) The Usos vs. Adam Rose & Curtis Axel
The Social Outcasts dominate early by isolating Jey Uso. This leads to the hot tag to Jimmy and a superkick party which served as the finishing sequence. Pretty entertaining straight forward stuff here, the crowd was hot for the Usos like usual.

Match rating - **1/2

Miz TV with AJ Styles
The Miz runs his mouth continuiously telling the story of AJ Styles instead of letting him talk himself. The crowd starts booing Miz and he goes off about Styles being a "rookie redneck" who needs him as his coach to be successful just like Daniel Bryan did. Miz turns around and Styles jumps him. Awesome beatdown occurs before Miz flees. Styles faces Miz on Smackdown this week.

3) Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Alicia Fox)
I'm getting so bored of Flair being involved in the Divas division. The story here bridged off a backstage interview earlier where Charlotte made some smart comments about Nikki Bella's injury which led us here. Flair tries to help Charlotte win by providing a distraction, but it ends up costing her the match instead. Brie pins the Divas Champion.

Match rating - **

4) Big Show vs. Erick Rowan
After a bunch of big man slugging around, Show pins Rowan which leads to an attack from Harper & Strowman. They do a pretty good job of dismantling Show and slam him back first on the steel steps to end the assault.

Match rating - **

TONIGHT: Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. The New Day

5) Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
These two have had numerous meetings over the past 6-8 months, but they never fail to deliver. Even when they are put in a match together without any real reasoning like they were here tonight. With the styles of both men, their matches could easily get repetitive however they made sure to do something different here. This one was all about showcasing the dominant, bully aspect of Kevin Owens as he dominated the majority of the match and his charisma was allowed to shine through with a number of cocky remarks. They built towards a back & forth finishing sequence that saw Ziggler fight back by hitting a famesser on the floor. Owens responds by regaining control and nailing Ziggler with the running cannon ball into the corner whilst he was hung from the top turnbuckle. This allows Owens to set up Ziggler for the pop up powerbomb but the Show Off reverses and nails KO with the Zig Zag out of nowhere for the victory.

Match rating - ***1/4

6) Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Sasha cut a great promo prior to the match about branching out on her own which brings out her former Team Bad stable mates in the form of Naomi & Tamina. They claim to still have her back which raised a lot of suspicion. Becky & Sasha have some good exchanges and counter wrestling before a confrontation on the outside leads to Naomi & Tamina jumping Sasha. Becky surprisingly has Sasha's back and the babyfaces make the heels retreat. This was much better than anything going on in the Divas Title picture right now. The crowd chants for Becky as the segment comes to a close.

Match rating - **1/4

7) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. The New Day
Paul Heyman is on commentary to build up the suspense of Brock Lesnar re-appearing and talk the triple threat match at Fast Lane. As with most Ambreigns and New Day matches, this was highly entertaining. There was a super chaotic exchange on the floor near the end and the action was pretty fiery & consistent throughout the match. Reigns & Ambrose both got hot tag opportunities at points and New Day worked well in their role as always. Dirty deeds from Ambrose puts an end to the chaos as he pins Big E.

Match rating - ***1/4

It isn't even a few seconds after the match before Brock Lesnar's music hits and he runs down to exact his promise of bringing fuss. New Day jumps Ambrose & Reigns, but they fight them off. Well, Ambrose does at least. This leaves him alone in the ring and Brock seizes the opportunity to drop him with an F5. Reigns & Kofi awkwardly keep brawling on the outside, but are on the ground when the camera changes back. Weird ending from that perspective although Brock got his hands on Ambrose which was the story of the entire evening. Decent ending to an average episode of Raw. Nothing must see, but not bad either.

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