10 Thoughts… WWE RAW 2.15.16 (Fastlane, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles)
1. Now that’s an exciting way to kick off RAW. I was wondering what path the Intercontinental title was going to take now that Dean Ambrose is in the main event picture and by putting the title on the line on the RAW before Fastlane I believe it gives fans MORE faith in an Ambrose title win on Sunday since he won’t be “weighed down” by also being the IC champion. Go ahead, name all of the other secondary champions that won the “big one” at the same time as holding the Intercontinental or United States Championship not named the Ultimate Warrior. I’ll wait.
2. Seeing the men booked in the Fatal 5-Way match, Kevin Owens seems like the logical choice for the victory but I really liked how Tyler Breeze looked in this match. I think it’s safe to say Stardust received airtime due to his rumored feud and match with TV’s Green Arrow Stephen Amell at WrestleMania but Breeze’s involvement appeared to come out of left field. It is about time they put him in a situation when he could have some bright spots and I believe people were pleasantly surprised. A Kevin Owens win sets up numerous different scenarios for WrestleMania – Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler… or all of the above. I’ve been saying that Owens would be entering Mania with the championship since before the Rumble as a heel facing three babyfaces sells more tickets.
3. Wait so The New Day, the WWE Tag Team Champions, are going to be featured on a talk show hosted by two retired wrestlers who couldn’t work a match even if they wanted to? I sure as hell hope there’s a huge angle planned for Sunday because The New Day has zero direction heading into WrestleMania… of course, that changes if The Rock & The Usos are penciled in as their opponents at Mania.
4. That might have been the best heel mic work out of Charlotte since coming up to the main roster. Sure, Nikki and Bryan were easy targets but Charlotte spiked the lobs perfectly. If Brie didn’t have the crowd behind her on Sunday, I’m pretty sure this segment swayed a good amount of people into her favor. If Brie Bella is truly on her way out, this could be a good and emotional match to go out on.
5. I love this new happy feeling I get knowing that AJ Styles is going to be on Monday Night RAW. And then check him out have a good match with The Miz. I know we’re getting AJ/Y2J 3 at Fastlane but I sure hope there’s something bigger planned for Styles at WrestleMania. His impact (no pun intended) on the WWE roster has been unbelievable and it really deserves something special on the big show.
6. Damn, I know it was a long shot but I was hoping Buh Buh would come out in his “Bully Ray” gear after their heel turn last week. At least they dumped the stupid glasses but the rest of the look needs to be updated. A “new” t-shirt with “WAZZZZZZUUUUUUPPPP” on it doesn’t cut it. Is there a WWE fan under the age of 15 that even remembers that commercial?
7. Wait who is going to do the WrestleMania Reading Challenge if Titus O’Neil is suspended? Jack Swagger? Let’s just hope they’re aren’t any Sesame Street/Big Bird books featuring his best friend, Mr. Snuffleupagus.
8. I expected SO much more between Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns. I’ve been calling for Roman to start showing some sides of “gray” to his babyface/heel character and this could have been a great opportunity. And hell, we might still see it after Dean Ambrose was the first one to tease tension. Now Reigns can turn on Ambrose in the match and justify it by pointing to this moment with the Lunatic Fringe. How the main event plays on Sunday is going to be interesting and I must say it’s leading to an interesting WrestleMania build.
9. I don’t know how they are getting away with some of these bits with Goldust on PG programming. Even though they might be juvenile, that bit got a small chuckle out of me.
10. “The Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award?” What the what? Is this a way to garner new press after the Titus O’Neil ordeal? Is it the WWE’s way of raising the awareness of prostate cancer by presenting it to Bret Hart? Is it a way to get even more heat on Triple H who has been conveniently absent this week? Or is this a complete shoot and it’s going to someone like Pat Patterson or even Vince McMahon himself? While I wholeheartedly want this to be real, during a time when the WWE could be announcing members of the 2016 WWE Hall Of Fame, this award is appearing out of nowhere and I don’t think I’m the only one suspicious about its intentions or legitimacy.