Thursday, February 18, 2016

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - February 15th, 2016

Dean Ambrose opens the show after the broadcast began with a replay of his altercations with Brock Lesnar last week. Ambrose calls out Brock once again only to get Stephanie McMahon who is returning the favor of interuppting him like he did to her last week. Steph promises Ambrose an F5, but not the F5 he's thinking about. Tonight, F5 stands for Fatal Fiveway and Ambrose defends his IC Title against four opponents in that exact match right now!

1) Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Stardust - Intercontinental Championship Match
These sort of matches always deliver and this was no different. You have three major workhorses and two underutilized talents so it made for a nice mix. Ambrose, Owens, & Ziggler were the highlights although Breeze & Stardust more than got their chance to shine. They pulled off a number of awesome spots & exchanges here including Owens powerbombing Breeze to the floor on the three other men, Ziggler hitting a Zig Zag on Ambrose who had Stardust in position for Dirty Deeds, and who could forget the triple take on Owens' running flip into the corner that would be stopped out of nowhere on the fourth try with a superkick from Tyler Breeze? Highly entertaining match here that ends with Owens nailing Breeze with a pop up powerbomb to win his second Intercontinental Championship!

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Big E vs. Mark Henry
New Day cuts a promo before hand which brings out Mark Henry. I had no interest in this, really, but it truly wasn't that bad. Mark Henry hit this hilariously great pounce/headbutt thing on that mat that I loved. Big E was Big E and he's great. The finish left a worrysome look on everyone's face though as Henry awkwardly fell off Big E's shoulders amidst a big ending attempt. This led to a rushed finish and three count. Hope Henry is alright!

Match rating - **

Brie Bella / Charlotte confrontation
An interview with Brie about Daniel Bryan's retirment turned into a scuffle with Charlotte here when she & her father Ric Flair made their way to the ring. I usually find these Divas segments quite corny, but this one was actually good. Brie & Charlotte were both A+ in their roles. Brie ends up charging Charlotte after a bunch of smart comments directed towards her sister and her husband. This made me actually start looking forward to their match at Fast Lane. The crowd roars with Yes chants as Brie forces Charlotte to retreat.

3) AJ Styles vs. The Miz
I missed the first match these two had a few weeks back on Smackdown. Apparently it was really good though so I'm glad it's happening again so I can seeeees it for myself. It's solid for the first half with Miz controlling a good bit and Styles coming back with a few hope spots like the diving superman punch off the steps. They really turn it up for the final stretch with some unique counters you wouldn't expect in a Miz match. Miz ducks the backfist near the end of AJ's signature striking flurry, AJ responds by rolling up Miz for a near fall. Styles finally hits the flying fore arm after springboarding off the top rope for a two count. Miz hits the skull crushing finale for a near fall of his own on Styles. Just fun false finish stuff that the crowd was into. In the end, Miz rushes Styles in the corner and gets caught in the calf killer and is forced to tap.

Match rating - ***

The Dudleys address the WWE Universe
This was essentially just a shortened version of their promo on Smackdown. They mock what they did to The Usos, say they aren't just a nostalgia act, the tables are gone, and they're the baddest tag team in wrestling. Exit Dudleys.

4) Paige vs. Summer Rae
Random as fuck match here, but it's surprisingly quite enjoyable despite the crowd not being really into it. Paige is crisper than I've seen her in awhile in her return match after a few weeks away from Raw. Summer looks better than normal as well with her offense. They do some stuff on the mat, trade kicks and counters which leads to the sweet finish with Summer rolling Paige into a pinning combination out of a PTO attempt.

Match rating - **1/4

Paul Heyman / Roman Reigns confrontation
Heyman does his thing here. Fast Lane is a week away and Paul E is doing what he does best, selling the main event. He calls Roman out for a talk. Nothing overly notable takes place until the end when Dean Ambrose hits the ring to make the sae after The Dudley's attacked Roman Reigns while Heyman exited. E C DUB! E C-- I'm sorry. Anyway, Ambrose saves Roman then grabs him and sets him up FOR THE DIRTY DEEDS DDT BUT ROMAN ESCAPES! DUDE! That was awesome. Ambrose & Roman stare at each other, Roman kind of smirks which toned down the initial intensity of that, but I'll take it because I popped hard for that moment.

5) Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater
What the fuck is this randomness doing here? I love the Social Outcasts and Ryder is fun though so I'll let it slide. Bo Dallas is at ringside too so ayyye! Ryder hits a huge plancha to take out all of the outcasts at one point. He also lands the broski boot, but it's all for nothing as Slater is victorious when all is said and done.

Match rating - **

6) Neville & Lucha Dragons vs. Alberto Del Rio, Rusev, & Sheamus
The Neville/Dragons trio is made for sprints and that's just what this was. Oddly enough they mesh very well with the League of Nations fellas so this was a hoot. Sick triple dive spot to begin and an insane variation of Del Rio's double stomp as he nailed it on Cara with him hanging from the second rope to finish.

Match rating - **3/4

7) Becky Lynch vs. Naomi
I'd normally be into this, but the show was quite draggy at this point plus it was really short, so, yeah. Becky wins, Tamina attacks, Sasha makes the save, the remaining members of Team BAD retreat.

Match rating - *1/2

8) Big Show vs. Braun Strowman
I'm utterly confused. This was a decent enough match/segment, but having it end Raw was just meh. Show & Strowman go at it for a few minutes before the inevitable happens. Rowan and the Wyatt Family attack thus causing a DQ finish. Cole & the boys on commentary replayed The Wyatt's taking out Kane & Ryback in the past few weeks throughout the night so you knew what that was leading towards. As the Family beats down Show, Ryback hits the ring for his return followed by Kane. Show, Kane, & Ryback stand tall to end Raw.

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