The latest stop on the road to WrestleMania 31 was in Des Moines, Iowa this past Monday night, and we were all treated to another relatively tame episode of Monday Night Raw, especially given the fact that we're on way to the biggest show of the year.
But then Sting showed up, and immediately pumped in a lot more anticipation for the show that was there before his arrival.
Before we delve too far into what took place at the Wells Fargo Arena, let's run through the full match results:
- Nikki Bella def. AJ Lee
- Ryback def. The Miz
- Cesaro & Tyson Kidd def. The New Day
- Mark Henry wins battle royal
- Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler def. Bad News Barrett, Stardust & Luke Harper
Sting saves Randy Orton, the entire show
Up until the main event, Monday Night Raw seemed like just another show. As usual, there were some high points, but there was nothing inherently WrestleMania-worthy on the program.
Then, Sting showed up to save Randy Orton from The Authority and that all changed. Seth Rollins and The Authority had seemingly suckered Orton into a beat down until Sting surprised everyone, including Orton, with his baseball in tow and helped the Viper clean house.
Although the entire angle with The Authority pretending to leave Rollins hanging only was kind of silly, seeing Sting in a WWE ring again was still pretty cool. Then to follow it up with Sting actually speaking in front of a live audience was even cooler.
If it wasn't for the Sting showing up at the end, I'm not so sure if I would have an overall positive feeling about this week's episode, but Sting's appearance not only saved the show, it also made it feel like WrestleMania season. Finally. We're only less than two weeks away.
Brock Lesnar is simply the best
By virtue of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship being around his waist, Brock Lesnar, in storyline, is the top man in the WWE. He's the best.
He's also the best in reality.
He's not the best because does great moves or even drop verbal pipe bombs. He's the best because you believe everything he says and does. He's legitimate and no one can match his legitimacy in the WWE.
Lesnar's sit-down promo Monday night was just another example of why Lesnar is the best. Sure, Lesnar is afforded the luxury of not having to read word-for-word from a script, but even if every wrestler got to express themselves as freely as Lesnar, they still wouldn't come across as believable as he does.
Although this is professional wrestling, and we all know that all of the matches are pre-determined by Vincent Kennedy McMahon, you still believe Lesnar when he says that he's going "[expletive deleted] up Roman Reigns." Lesnar probably knows right now whether he's going to win or lose come March 29 (and he will likely lose), but there's still a feeling that Lesnar's coming out on top simply because he's legitimately the baddest man in the WWE and among the baddest in the world.
Whatever the WWE needs to do, it needs to bring back Lesnar and Heyman for that matter. They're invaluable assets to the company.
United States title contract signing was terrible
I've enjoyed pretty much everything we've seen from the John Cena-Rusev feud thus far. It's actually been one of the better feuds Cena has had in recent years.
Their encounter Monday night, however, was not good.
Cena and Rusev were scheduled to appear at a contract signing for their United States Championship match at WrestleMania.
Cena came out first and attempted to rally the fans behind him and the United States despite Michael Cole telling him to just sign the contract.
It only gets better. Rusev then comes out with his lawyer, who was a man. No, Lana was not by her man's side this week as she was off filming a WWE movie. Instead, the WWE hired a man wearing Elton John's sunglasses to be Rusev's representation.
It gets even better because the man talked. My goodness was he awful on the microphone. Instead of sounding Russian, the man sounded like Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. I don't even remember what the man said because his awful attempt at a Russian accent distracted me.
Eventually, Rusev literally turned a table onto Cena and agreed to the match.
The quicker Lana can get done with that movie the better. I'm not sure I could tolerate another week of the lawyer.
Divas actually get time in the ring
I don't know when the last time this happened (if it's ever happened during the three-hour era), but a divas contest was not only the first match on the show, but it had a commercial break as well.
I'm not a huge fan of television breaks during matches, but the WWE typically only does them for matches it wants to give an extended amount of time to. The divas got that extended time Monday.
AJ Lee and Nikki Bella had a decent match that some online were complaining was too long. Who could blame the divas for that though? They're not used to working more than five minutes and the fans haven't been conditioned to watching divas lengthy matches. It was strange to see quite frankly.
Hopefully, there will come a time where a lengthy divas match on Raw is not such big news. Hopefully, it'll become the norm.
Bad News Barrett finally regains the Intercontinental title
After weeks of looking like a complete chump by having his title passed from wrestler to wrestler, Bad News Barrett finally got back what is rightfully his: the Intercontinental Championship … albeit after another loss.
Barrett did look strong on his way to getting the title back, however, as he hit pretty much everyone in sight with the bull hammer elbow.
The six-man tag match Barrett participated was great and cemented the fact that the ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania is probably going to steal the show, but I just wished that there was more of a serious approach to the build.