Monday night Raw kicked off with a bang, first with Paul heyman and Brock lesnar coming out to the ring and announcing to the wwe universe that lesnar would be invoking his rematch clause tonight. That announcement was followed by a match to the intercontinental title between Daniel Bryan and dolf ziggler with BNB as guest commentary.
The crowds seemed to be on two different sides of the country when it came to being in sink with chants and on who they wanted to win. One thing the crowd could agree on and chant in sink was “This is wrestling!”
Bryan retained came out on top but quickly ended the celebration when BMB attacked Bryan.
To the crowds surprise Shamus returned and just when it looked like he was coming to Bryans aid, shamus kicked some you know what with his new Mohawk and braided chin hair. The crowd had no problem telling him with their bold chant, “You look stupid!” Shamus smiled and delivered the meanest bro kick to ziggler and exited. And that, my friends was the start of Raw.
The following was an 8 man tag match between a new day, the ascension, cesaro and Tyson Kidd, and the NXT tag team the lucky dragons making their Monday night Raw debut.
“NXT” chants filled the arena as the Lucha Dragons amazed the audience with some interesting moves which stole the show and ultimately scored them and the new day a victory.
A short promo was shown for Adrianne Neville which drove the crowd wild thinking he was coming out to the ring, but he didn’t.
The next match to the crowds surprise was the WWE Heavyweight Championship match – or so they thought. Rollins acted tough then ran away and all he’ll broke loose.
Lesnar snapped, throwing j&j security around like rag dolls, followed by an f5 to Michael Cole and then finally delivering two f5s to a poor camera man. Lesnar is now suspended indefinitely.
“Thank you, Lesnar” was chanted while the carnage was being cleaned up after lesnar exited.
Stardust took on Mizdow in a short match. Mizdow won but was attacked after by Miz.
Adrienne Neville made his debut against Kurtis Axel (also referred to as Axeamia) and blew the crowd away. The next generation is here WWE universe! Get ready for awesomeness!
John cena came out for his open challenge and the only chant the crowd seemed to nail was, “John cena sucks!” Maybe it’s because it was more of a song.
What my brother said yesterday at mania was, “john cena finally hit Kurt angle status.” [in reference to the Kurt angle ‘you suck’ chants]
The open challenge was taken by crowd favorite, Dean Ambrose. This action packed match had the crowd roaring from start to finish. It got so intense Ambrose at one point even put cena in his std signature submission but was able to make the ropes to break the hold. Cena came out victorious which left the crowd disappointed and in a bit of disbelief.
Next things we quieter (but only for a few minutes) by the divas 6 woman tag match. Paige, Aj Lee, and Naomi took on Natalya and the annoying Bella’s. The crowd made the match more exciting than the participants with their “we want Bailey”, “you suck cena”, “You suck Bryan”, “you suck Tyson”, and “you suck punk” chants. Naomi got the three count on Nikki which gave the Naomi, Paige, and Aj Lee the win.
Goldust was booked for a match with Rusev that was very short and lacked content. Other than the crowd chanting “you crush Lana”, the match was how they normally book Rusev’s matches which was upsetting because Goldust still has it.
The main event was Rollins, Big Show, and Kane vs. Randy Orton, Ryback, and Roman Reigns. The match was lackluster and the crowd had no problem telling it the way it was like they did all night long. “This is boring”, “Sammy Zayne”, “Kevin Owens”, “NXT”, “please retire”, “same old shit”, just to name a few.
The superstars seemed to find it comical with smirks on Ryback and big shows faces.
The crowd the then stated doing the wave – and when I say the crowd, I mean the ENTIRE crowd did the wave around the arena.
After all the crowd’s antics, Reigns pinned Kane for the win.
Sting came out to talk about his match against Triple H at Wrestlemania. “Thank you, Sting” chants took over and sting announced even though he lost, he was “just happy to be there.”
When asked what the future holds, “Undertaker” chants took over the Ariana.
“I really don’t know what the future holds,” said Sting.
Sting was interrupted by BoDallas but not for long. After some humorous Bo-talk, Sting shut him up with the scorpion death drop. And that, my friends, was Monday Night Raw.
I know it’s a day late, but I’s sure my lovely readers will understand.
As a kid, I remember watching Wrestlemania nineteen’s promo with vaarious superstars explaining the prestige of the grandest stage of them all.
“You haven’t lived…you haven’t breathed until you’ve been to Wrestlemania,” said The Big Show.
The Rock said, “You just have to feel it.”
Twelve years later I’m sitting here at midnight recapping the events of Wrestlemania 31 in my head from experiencing the event live. As a fan, I never realized you could watch Wrestlemania and never truly experience it.
During the preshow most of the crowd was still making their way through the crazy lines, concession stands, and merch tables to get to their seats. There was some pretty good action during the preshow which included a fatal four way tag match for the tag team titles and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
The Usos (accompanied by Niamo), Los Matadores (accompanied by El Torito), The New Day, and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (accompanied by Natalya) competed for the tag titles and delivered in the action department. A six-man suplex off the ropes drove the crowd wild and ultimately aided in Cesaro and Tyson Kidd’s retention of the tag team championships.
After that, was the 20 man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The battle royal was very exciting with the whole crowd at the edge of their seats. Ultimately, it came down to Miz, Mizdow, and Big Show in the ring. Mizdow turned on Miz and threw Miz over the top ropes to eliminate him but Big Show would be victorious.
Wrestlemania kicked off with the Intercontinental Championship ladder match, featuring Daniel Bryan, R-Truth, Bad News Barret, Dolf Ziggler, Star Dust, Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose.
Harper power bombed Ambrose off the side of the ring onto a couple ladders, which left Dean out of the rest of the match. Daniel Bryan and Dolf Ziggler found themselves head-butting it out at the top of a ladder in the center of the ring. Bryan would come out victorious and capture the Intercontinental Championship.
Next The Viper, Randy Orton and Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins came out to dance in the squared circle. The match was exciting and held the crowds interest. Rollins curb stomped Orton and then climbed to the top rope. As Rollins jumped and soared through the air, Orton quickly rose to his feet and gave Rollins a huge RKO mid-air and pinned Rollins for the 1-2-3 victory.
Perhaps the most anticipated match of the night, HHH vs. Sting. This was Sting’s first match in a WWE ring. Sting’s entrance was larger than life with big drums and a gong but what really got the crowd going was HHH’s entrance. HHH came out in a terminator type setting and blew the audience away. This match was full of plot twists and turns. Just as it was looking like HHH would lose, out came D-X to his aid.
Sting found himself in trouble when HHH went to grab the infamous sledgehammer. To the crowd’s surprise, out came the NOW. D-X and the NOW battled outside the ring, meanwhile, Sting had HHH in the scorpion leg lock. Just as the crowd thought Sting would win, HBK Shawn Michaels came out and gave Sting some sweet chin music,. Then HHH hit Sting with the sledgehammer, which gave him the win over Sting and shocked the crowd.
The Diva’s tag match between the Bella’s and Paige and AJ Lee was nothing special. You could tell the crowd was bored with it y the lack of crowd participation and also by the long line at the concession stand. The match ended quickly with Nikki Bella tapping out to AJ Lee’s black widow submission.
Rusev went one-on-one with John Cena for the U.S. Championship. The match was a mix of boring and excitement as the crowd seemed in and out. It became exciting towards the end when Cena broke free from Rusev;s accolade submission and applied his STF to Rusev. Lana tried to interfere but was knocked off the ring apron by Rusev accidentally, costing him the U.S. title after Cena hit the AA and got the three count.
The Undertaker and Bray Wyatt match was more psychological than physical. That could be because of the Undertaker’s age, or because of the persona portrayed by Wyatt. The match was a bit dry in the action department and ended with Undertaker nailing Wyatt with two tombstone piledrivers for the victory.
Finally, the main event: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. The crowd was eager filled with anticipation as Reigns music started. Everyone was looking to see what side of the crowd he would be coming from. Reigns made his way to the ring looking confident, but that changed quickly.
Lesnar made his way to the ring accompanied by Paul Heyman. Once in the ring, Lesnar started demolishing Reigns. It was basically looking like it would be a repeat of Cena vs. Lesnar from 2014’s Summer Slam. Thensuddenly, Reigns starts to make a come back, pushing Lesnar into the steel pole at the side of the ring. Lesnar was bleeding and took a few superman punches and spears.
To the crowd’s surprise, just when we thought it could be over, music started to play. No! Can it be? Yes! Yes, it can. Seth Rollins came sprinting down the entrance ramp holding his Money in the Bank briefcase and ultimately chasing it in. The end of match excitement was unconfined at the Levi’s Stadium as Rollins delivered the curb stomp to Reigns for victory and became the first superstar to ever cash in the Money in the Bank contract at Wrestlemania.
*all photos are from my own personal collection
I had the honor of attending the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
The atmosphere was warm and filled with excitement as superstars began to enter the arena in formal attire. As the crowd settled into their seats, various chants and woooos circled the large space like a merry-go-round.
Michael Cole took the stage as the lights dimmed and asked the crowd to respect the inductors and inductees while they were speaking and not to shout anything out during any silent moments; he warned anyone who did would be escorted out.
Thus, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony began as host, Jerry “The King” Lawler took the stage. King cracked some jokes to engage the crowd before introducing the first inductors of the night, the Usos.
Jimmy and Jay Uso had the pro ledge of indicting their father, Solofa Fatu Jr., better known by his ring name, Rikishi into the class of 2015 Hall of Fame. The twins told some great stories which were followed up by and even greater speech from their father. Although it was long winded, it was heartfelt, genuine, and really paying tribute to the Samoan legacy. The stink facing superstar finished his loving speach with his signature dance moves with his sons.
After that, Bruno Sammartino inductued Larry Zbyszko who was extremely lost for words. “The Living Ledgend” took the stage and couldn’t not even find the words to express his gratitude to Bruno for mentoring him in the world of professional wrestling. Both shared stories of how Zbyszko would ride around Sammartino’s house asking to be a wrestler. Zbyszko struggled to find the words to thank Bruno for the opportunity he have him many years ago which lead him to the class of 2015 Hall of Fame.
Next the building was set ablaze with the induction of Alundra Blayze by WWE diva, Natalya. Blayze is most known for her trashing of the WWE Woman’s Championship on WCW. This ultimately became the first fighting act made in what became known as The Monday Night War. Blayze talked about her career and thanked many who helped her along the way. She ended her speach by retrieving her Woman’s Chamionship from the trash can and making a joke that she is the longest raining women’s champion.
Then, King introduced to is the late Ultimate Warrior’s wife, Dana to talk about the very first Warrior Award in honor of her late husband. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place throughout Dana’s speech. She finished by introducing Daniel Bryan to present the award. Bryan shocked the crowd by saying, “it isn’t real” in reference to wrestling entertainment. The crowd was shocked by that statement but soon after was brought to tears by the powerful speach given by Bryan in honor of the very special warrior award.
Conor “The Crusher” Michalek, an 8-year-old boy who passed away last April due to a form of pediatric brain cancer was honored and remembered by all who attended and watched. His father accepted the award on his behalf.
Luckily, the Bushwakers were the next superstars inducted so the mood lightened up with their antics.
After the Bushwakers, Ric Flair spoke about the next inductee, Tatsumi Fujinami.
The next inductee was a very anticipated one. Hulk Hogan inducted “Macho Man” Randy Savage into the class of 2015. Hogan’s speech was more like a tribute to himself and his career, even mentioning that he started wearing canary yellow rights because of Macho Man’s dad. However, Hogan did credit the greatness of Wrestlemania 3 to Macho Man and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s match. Macho Man’s Brother, Lanny Poffo accepted the award on his behalf.
The eighth inductee was Arnold Schwarzenegger who was introduced by Triple H. During the speeches by both men, the San Jose crowd booed when reference was made to Schwarzenegger as govener of California.
And finally, the last member to be inducted into the class of 2015 was “Big Daddy Cool” Kevin Nash. Shawn Michaels introduced and was clearly a little upset that HBK was “a pro wrestler indicting another pro wrestler” into the Hall of Fame.
Nash and kept the speech short and thanked his wife and also said, “There’s only two things that are real in this business: when you win your first world title and when you’re inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
The ceremony ended with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Nash, and the X-Pac hugging and celebrating on stage.
So it’s about 6:35am eastern standard time and I’ve been up since about 9:00 eastern standard time yesterday. We are at the airport waiting to board our flight. Unfortunately, I feel I’m coming down with a cold – runny nose, sore throat, chills. Leave it to me to plan a trip for over six months just to be sick for it. Oh well.
I have a love-hate relationship with the airport. The security is annoying, a lot of the people are so consumed in themselves, and waiting is harder than meditating. Although I’d like to think I’m good at getting in the meditating zone, but right now I just want to sleep.
On our way to the Starbucks by our terminal I saw a sign that said “meditation room”. I was so excited and ready to sit my butt in that room meditating until now. Alas, the name was only a mask for what is known as a “chapel”.
I strongly dislike how we’ve come to live in a society that must disguise a place of worship. I’m a firm believer in live and let live (unless you take my parking spot…then you die) haha no, not really but you know what I mean.
So as I sat drinking my skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks, I pondered the thought of a world where freedom of speech stayed true to it’s word and freedom of religion rang true throughout. But sadly, that is not the world in which we live.
At the end of the month, I will be going to California for Wrestlemania 31!
I plan to vlog and write about it and today I uploaded the first video.
You can check it out here on YouTube:
Thanks for being a part of the journey!