February 25, 2016
(taped February 23, 2016)
City: Indianapolis, IN
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Eden Stiles
Recap of the main event from Fastlane where Reigns wins
Triple H heads to the ring and quotes “Sympathy for the Devil.” He says that if Roman Reigns forgot and thought there would be retribution for when he attacked Triple H last year, then he was mistaken. He shows footage from RAW where Triple H breaks Reigns’ nose.
Triple H reminds everyone that he is the law. He is The Authority. He says that he once defied authority too, but you can’t beat it. He says he’s had to walk over a lot of people to get where he is. He will humble Reigns at Wrestlemania. He is The Game, he is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and he is “that damn good.”
** I like the promo. Straight, to the point, and pretty intense. I like that Reigns’ feud has finally just turned into a battle of hate between two guys. I think the match will be pretty good. It’s still not my ideal choice for the ‘Mania main event, but fr what we’re being given, they’re doing it well. **
Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto (US Champ)) & Neville & Dolph Ziggler vs League of Nations
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Sheamus pins Neville after a Brogue Kick
Time: 4:56 (1 break)
Good match. It immediately broke down and everyone entered the ring when Barrett, who started the match, went to attack someone on the apron. The League dominated the chaos in the brief segment before the break. After the break it was more of a regular match with the League dominating, but the babyfaces started to come back. The last segment of the match was nice and exciting. Neville pulling off a 450 splash over Sheamus’ head was probably the best moment. Good finish too.
Earlier today, Kevin announces that he would like to reward Dean Ambrose for stealing an ambulance by awarding him his rematch for the IC title. Renee Young informs Owens that Ambrose isn’t at the arena. Kevin Owens says that since he’s already beaten everyone, he’ll have the night off too. Big Show says Owens hasn’t beaten him. He also calls Owens “smart pants.”
** I like it. Owens referenced the recent Stone Cold podcast where Austin asks Show about people telling him to retire, and Big Show looked nice and angry at Owens. **
D-Von Dudley w/ Bubba Ray Dudley vs Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: D-Von wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
It was a little messy and short, but it worked for what it was. Bubba basically caused a distraction then the ref and Jey awkwardly stumbled around so they couldn’t see Bubba shake Jimmy off the ropes.
Recap of the return of Shane McMahon on RAW.
Jericho tells Styles that he didn’t like him at first, but that they have good chemistry as a tag team. Styles agrees and says he wants a Wrestlemania moment, even as a tag team champ. Tonight they have a match with New Day and need a partner. Mark Henry volunteers. He doesn’t like people who act funny and play around.
** Good stuff. I don’t mind Styles being partnered with Jericho going into his first Wrestlemania. Don’t mind it at all. **
The Godfather has been announced as the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Big Show vs Kevin Owens (IC Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Kevin Owens wins via countout
Not bad. Big Show didn’t move a lot, but he and Owens worked well together. Big Show made a questionable decision, but like Lawler said during the match, “bad decisions make great replays.” The replay here wasn’t great, but it was good. And it involved “scrambled eggs” as Ranallo put it.
Natalya vs Becky Lynch
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Natalya wins via DQ after being attacked by Naomi
It was a promising match until the interference. Natalya and Lynch were going well and trading moves with Natalya hitting a nice release German suplex. Then Naomi and Tamina came out.
After the match Naomi and Tamina attack Becky, but Sasha comes out to help fight off her former allies. Charlotte then comes out to the stage with Ric Flair. She informs Becky and Sasha that their number one contender match will be on RAW this coming Monday.
** First choice for me is a triple threat match at ‘Mania, second choice is Sasha vs Charlotte (nothing against Becky). **
Heath Slater w/ Adam Rose, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas vs R-Truth
(Goldust at ringside; referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: R-Truth wins via pinfall with a backslide
Good match. They both took the match pretty seriously and the involvement of Goldust was very well done. This was a very good continuation and development in the Golden Truth story. R-Truth seemed to finally start to come around to the idea, the Goldust winked at him and R-Truth felt weird again. I like it.
Recap of Ambrose arriving in an ambulance on RAW, challenging Lesnar to a match at Wrestlemania, and getting beat up again.
New Day heads to the ring and talks about the foul, nasty, moist mess of a tag team that is Y2AJ and Mark Henry. They question whether or not Henry is still the world’s strongest man. Woods then poses. New Day says Y2AJ isn’t even a real tag team. Not like New Day.
New Day (Tag Champs) vs Chris Jericho & AJ Styles & Mark Henry
(referee: John Cone)
Result: AJ Styles makes Xavier Woods submit to a calf crusher
Time: 7:45 (1 break)
Very good match. It had a lot of fun moments with both teams having some jokey moments, but it was a serious match with a good build to it. It grew to a pretty fast pace and even managed to show the growth in the relationship between Styles and Jericho when Jericho took a shot to save AJ from getting hit as the legal man in the ring. All around, very good.
Yeah, this was a very entertaining show. Stories were furthered both in the ring during matches and outside the ring. I really, really like it when they can effectively further a story with matches like they did here. There were some new combinations in the ring as well which is always nice to see, and the wrestling was generally good and fun to watch.
Match of the Night
New Day vs Chris Jericho & AJ Styles & Mark Henry
Overall this was easily the best match. It had the best in-ring progression out of all the matches, it helped further a story, and it was fun. You can’t ask for much more than that. The eight-man tag had some cool moments, but it was a little more rushed and uneven, which is only natural since the main event had a little more time to develop.