WWE Monday Night RAW
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: March 23, 2015
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, and JBL
We’re live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the final WWE RAW before WrestleMania 31 as the pyro goes off. Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Booker T as they hype the show.
– We go to the ring and here comes the sound of crows. Sting‘s video plays and out he comes to a big pop. Cole touts how this is the first time in history that Sting has kicked off RAW. Lilian Garcia introduces him to a big pop as The Stinger makes his way to the ring.
Sting takes the mic and says this is what it feels like to kick off RAW. He gets the crowd hype. Sting says he’s been known as the WCW soldier and he’s watched Triple H climb the ranks in WWE for 14 years doing whatever he had to do, backstabbing and everything else. Sting says Triple H must think he’s unstoppable and doesn’t have consequences. Sting says he’s not here to fight for WCW because that would be ridiculous at this point. He’s here for one reason – to take Triple H down. Stephanie McMahon‘s music interrupts and out she comes.
Fans boo Stephanie as she takes the mic. She congratulates Sting on finally knowing what it’s like to make it to the big time. She says here he is kicking off RAW with yours truly, Stephanie McMahon. She tells him to soak it in. He interrupts and calls her a spoiled little brat who has had everything handed to her but thinks she deserves it. Sting says that it’s nice to meet her though. Stephanie says Sting is intimidated. She says he was this big fish in a tiny pond in WCW but now he’s like a minnow swimming in the ocean. Stephanie says she’s the daughter of the man who eviscerated Sting’s career when WWE beat WCW in The Monday Night War. She admires Sting’s loyalty to WCW and says he never called them. She says dogs are loyal but also stupid. She would compare Sting to a dog but she doesn’t want to insult dogs. She reminds Sting that he and WCW lost; they lost their integrity, their dignity and pride. She says Sting will lose any respect fans have for him at WrestleMania 31 when her husband pins him in the ring. She tells him to face it; he’s nothing more than a face-painted freak. Stinger does his “whooo!” and smiles. She goes to slap him but he catches her arm and holds it. Triple H’s music hits and out he comes.
Triple H comes out loosening his tie and Stephanie meets him at ringside. He takes off his jacket and looks ready to fight. Triple H enters the ring as fans chant “this is awesome.” Stephanie pulls the sledgehammer from out of the ring and hands it to Triple H as he enters through the ropes. Sting pulls out his bat. Sting taunts Triple H with the bat. Triple H hesitates and decides not to enter through the ropes. He backs down to the floor as fans boo. Triple H and Stephanie leave together as Sting watches them. Sting takes off his jacket and wants a fight. Fans pop as Triple H walks back to the edge of the ring. Sting challenges him to come in and fight. Fans get riled up but Stephanie stops Triple H and tells him to save it for WrestleMania. They back up the ramp with Sting looking on as his music plays.
Dean Ambrose and R-Truth vs. Stardust and Luke Harper
We go to the ring and out comes Dean Ambrose to a big pop. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and both teams are in the ring. WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett is on commentary. Fans chant “Cody” as Stardust starts off with R-Truth. Truth drops Stardust first with a big right hand. Stardust goes out and has words with Barrett. Ambrose and Harper come in off tags now. They lock up and Ambrose takes Harper down with a headlock. They get back to their feet and Ambrose unloads off the ropes. Ambrose takes it to the corner with kicks and runs him along the top rope. They trade shots to the gut and Ambrose dropkicks Harper. Ambrose with a 2 count. Ambrose with more offense. Stardust comes in and Ambrose ends up sending him out. Truth comes in and Harper also gets dumped to the floor. We go to commercial with Ambrose and Truth standing tall.
Back from the break and Stardust is in control of Ambrose. Stardust with a 2 count. Harper comes in and keeps Ambrose down, catapulting him under the bottom rope. Harper with a 2 count. Harper with a headlock now. Ambrose looks to come back but Harper catches him in a big sideslam for a 2 count. Harper puts Ambrose up top and tags in Stardust. He wastes time but climbs up as fans chant “Cody” at him. Ambrose sends Stardust to the mat face first. Harper tags in and knocks Ambrose off the top. Harper goes to the floor and stares at Barrett, then Truth. Harper grabs Ambrose but gets clotheslined. They come back in and Ambrose ends up hitting a tornado DDT. Stardust and Truth both tag in. Truth unloads on Stardust as the crowd gets behind him. Truth drops Stardust on his face for a 2 count as Harper breaks the pin. Ambrose comes in as Harper drops Truth with a kick. Ambrose and Harper both end up on the floor. Stardust turns around to Truth’s finisher for the win.
Winners: R-Truth and Dean Ambrose
– After the match, Barrett takes off and hurries to the back with his belt. Truth starts dancing as Ambrose looks on. Truth encourages Ambrose to dance and he does. They hug as fans cheer.
– Voting is open on the WWE App for Randy Orton’s opponent. Still to come, a special look at #1 contender Roman Reigns. Back to break.
– Back from the break and Renee Young is on the stage with officials from the Special Olympics World Games and several Special Olympics athletes. She announces WWE’s role with the World Games later this year in Los Angeles.
– Michael Cole leads us to Byron Saxton’s video with Roman Reigns to discuss the WrestleMania 31 main event, which Reigns calls the biggest moment of his life.
The Miz, Damien Sandow, Adam Rose, and The Ascension vs. Ryback, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, and Erick Rowan
We go to the ring and out comes Damien Sandow with The Miz for ten-man action. We see video of the duo interviewing Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell for their new comedy movie. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bill Simmons from ESPN and Grantland is on commentary. He trades jabs with JBL after JBL tries to kiss up. We see the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy at ringside. The Miz starts off with Titus. We get several more tags and it comes down to Young with a 2 count on Rose. Rowan comes in and keeps up the attack on Rose, taking it to the corner. Rowan tosses Rose and tags in Ryder. Ryder hits a big shot in the corner and then the Broski Boot on Rose. Ryder is distracted by one of The Ascension, leading to Rose taking control. Konnor tags in and unloads on Ryder. Viktor is in next for some double teaming and kicks in the corner. The Ascension keep control of Ryder. Konnor covers for another 2 count as Young breaks the pin. Rose comes back in to work on Ryder as fans chant for Ryback.
Sandow comes in with offense and gets a big pop. Miz orders Sandow to tag out and he does, leading to boos for Miz. Miz goes at it with Ryder but gets slammed on his face. Fans chant more for Ryback. Ryback gets the hot tag and unloads on his opponents. Ryback with a Thesz Press on Miz. Ryback keeps control and hits a big spinebuster as fans cheer. Fans chant “feed me more” but Rose runs in. Ryback takes him out. The Ascension come in and hit some of their opponents on the apron but Ryback drops them with a double clothesline. Miz beats down Ryback from behind and celebrates. Miz turns around to a Meathook clothesline. Ryback goes for Shellshocked and hits it for the win.
Winners: Ryback, The Prime Time Players, Erick Rowan and Zack Ryder
– After the match, the announcers appear to say their goodbyes to Bill Simmons already after he plugs the WWE Network.
– We get a look back at Sting and Randy Orton doing battle on last week’s RAW. Voting is still open on the WWE App for Orton’s opponent tonight. That match is after the next commercial, which is now.
– Back from the break and they plug WWE’s new “Hero” campaign with NBCUniversal.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins, Joey Mercury, Jamie Noble in “3-on-1” handicap match
We go to the ring and out comes Randy Orton to a pop. Booker T reveals who fans voted for Orton to face on the WWE App – Rollins and his henchmen win with 77% of the vote. Out they come for tonight’s handicap match.
Mercury starts out but Orton wants Rollins. They lock up and Orton sends him to the mat. Rollins taunts Orton and looks to tag in but Noble comes in instead as Rollins taunts Orton. Orton goes to work on Noble now.
Orton throws Noble into Rollins but he moves and Noble lands on the floor. Orton fights off Mercury but Rollins drops Orton off the distraction. Noble comes in and unloads on Orton now. Noble taunts Orton and gets hit with an uppercut. Orton with a clothesline for Mercury and Noble. Orton goes for Rollins but he jumps off the apron. Orton sends Noble to the floor and hits a powerslam on Mercury. Orton hits a double second rope draping DDT on The Stooges as Rollins looks on from ringside. Rollins runs in and goes for a Curb Stomp while Orton is down hitting the mat. Orton blocks it and goes for a RKO but Rollins shoves him into Noble. Rollins retreats. Orton stares down Rollins and catches Noble in a RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
– Rollins and Mercury have a staredown with Orton after the match.
– The announcers plug the WWE Network and wonder why you would pay $60 for WrestleMania 31 on pay-per-view when you can get the Network.
– We see footage from Michael Cole’s interview with John Cena last week, discussing his match with Rusev at WrestleMania. Still to come tonight, Rusev will face Jack Swagger.
– We see Paige backstage getting ready. AJ Lee walks up and talks about how Nikki Bella is letting them pick who gets the title shot tonight. They realize The Bella Twins are trying to divide them before WrestleMania. Paige says she’s had to deal with them while AJ was away so she’s going to take the match unless… they seem okay until Paige says AJ would be “crazy” to turn down a title shot. That word seems to rattle AJ and Paige walks off as we go to break.
WWE Divas title match: Paige vs. WWE Divas champion Nikki Bella
Back from the break and out comes Paige to a pop. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella is out next with Brie Bella. We get official ring introductions from Lilian Garcia.
They lock up and go at it. They break off the rope and Paige tackles Nikki. Paige takes control and hits a bunch of knees on the apron. Nikki ends up on the floor as Brie checks on her. AJ Lee is also at ringside as we see her looking on. Nikki comes back in and finally gets some offense in. Nikki drops Paige and mocks her by doing push-ups. Paige comes right back with a 2 count. Nikki goes back to the floor for a breather again. Paige hits a big clothesline off the apron. Paige rolls Nikki back in and grabs her but Nikki counters and drops Paige into her knee. Paige covers for a 2 count as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Nikki keeps control, slamming Paige for another 2 count. More offense until they both collide and go down. Brie cheers Nikki on as the referee counts them. They both get up. Paige blocks and hits clotheslines. Paige with a dropkick and a 2 count. More back and forth. Nikki with a kick out of the corner for a close 2 count. Nikki waits on Paige to get up but Paige ducks a clothesline and hits a big kick for a close 2 count. Paige goes for the Ram-Paige but Nikki counters and rolls her up for 2. Nikki with an Alabama Slam for another 2 count.
Nikki goes for the Rack Attack but Paige counters and hits the Ram-Paige. Nikki kicks out at 2 and Paige is shocked. AJ tells Paige to go try again. Paige charges and Nikki grabs her as they both fall out to the floor. AJ runs over and takes out Brie to make sure she doesn’t get involved. AJ accidentally decks Paige with a forearm and she goes down. Nikki takes advantage and rolls Paige back in the ring. Nikki hits her with the Rack Attack to retain.
Winner: Nikki Bella
– After the match, AJ comes in but Paige tackles her and they start brawling. The Bella Twins look on from the ramp and laugh. Paige’s music hits and she leaves AJ alone in the ring.
– Still to come, Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan. Fans can vote on the WWE App for the special referee – Barrett, Ambrose, Truth, Stardust or Harper.
– Up next after the break, Snoop Dogg. Back to commercial.
Snoop announces that Snoopmania is in the building. Snoop plugs WrestleMania 31 but is interrupted by Curtis Axel, who comes out to the stage and tells us not to change the channel. Axel walks to the ring and hypes Axelmania over Snoopmania. Axel says he’s not going to sit around and let Snoop talk about Snoopmania while Axelmania is running wild. Axel hits the ring and raps that Axelmania is here to stay. Snoop replies and mentions their Twitter beef. Snoop introduces the “most important Mania” of them all and out comes Hulk Hogan to a big pop.
Hogan hits the ring and celebrates with Snoop as Axel looks on. Hogan cuts a promo and asks Snoop what Axel is smoking. Axel tears his shirt like Hogan and charges. Hogan blocks and decks him with a big right hand. Snoop grabs Axel and tosses him out of the ring to a pop. Snoop takes off his shirt to reveal a Hulkamania tank top. Snoop and Hogan celebrate and pose for the fans.
– The announcers lead us to the Brock Lesnar taped interview from last week. Still to come, tonight’s Lesnar vs. Reigns face-off. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we’re back with an inter-species rematch from SmackDown. The Usos and Naomi are on commentary. Cesaro starts off with Fernando and drops him for a 2 count. Cesaro ends up tagging in Natalya so Torito comes in. Kidd comes in instead and goes at it with one of the Matadores.
The end comes when Torito gets the pin on Natalya.
Winners: Los Matadores and El Torito
– Bad News Barrett is backstage with his title when Kane walks in. Kane says he has to relieve Barrett of the title but Barrett doesn’t want to let go. Kane says he has to hang the title above the ring and as Director of Operations; he’s authorized to strip Barrett of the title if he doesn’t comply. Barrett calls it a travesty and hands the belt over. Kane taunts Barrett for having to face the odds to retain at WrestleMania.
– Still to come, Rusev vs. Jack Swagger. Back to commercial.
WWE United States champion Rusev vs. Jack Swagger in a non-title match
Back from the break and Jack Swagger is out as is WWE United States Champion Rusev for a non-title match. Rusev dominates early on as fans chant for Lana but she’s not here.
Rusev keeps control but Swagger looks to make a comeback. Rusev turns it back around and knocks Swagger on the back of his head from the top. Rusev comes back in and charges with a huge kick to the jaw. Rusev turns Swagger over, stomps on his back and applies The Accolade for the win.
– After the bell, Rusev won’t break The Accolade and Lana isn’t here to call him off. Rusev keeps the hold locked until John Cena’s music hits. Rusev stands up and Cena hits the ring for a brawl. Cena tackles Rusev and hits him with rights. Cena follows to the floor but Rusev catches him and sends him into the barrier. Rusev scoops Cena and slams his back into the ring post. Rusev launches Cena over the announce table and he lands hard. Rusev yells as fans boo. Rusev grabs his Russian flag and raises it as fans boo. Officials tend to Cena as Cole plays up how bad he’s hurt. Cena crawls away from the wreckage at the announce table as Rusev keeps the flag raised on the other side of the ring. Rusev goes back over and stalks Cena. Rusev charges and Cena turns around to a big kick to the face. Rusev tears apart the announce table and slams Cena face first into it. Rusev climbs up onto the table and stomps on Cena’s back. Rusev applies The Accolade on top of the announce table. Cena goes out in the hold and officials finally get Rusev to break it. Rusev jumps down, yells at officials and grabs his title before going back in the ring to big heat. The Russian flag drops as Rusev’s music hits and he poses with the title. Trainers and referees check on Cena, who is still laid out. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers discuss what just happened to John Cena.
– They’re interrupted by Bray Wyatt and out he comes to the ring.
Wyatt wonders why people hide from the truth… because you’re afraid, because you’re embarrassed to show the world who you truly are? Wyatt says he understands. Wyatt says we’re all guilty. Wyatt says we hate who we are and we hate our jobs. Wyatt goes on and says he may be a lot of things but he’s not a liar. Fans start chanting “we want Taker” as Wyatt keeps talking. Wyatt says The Undertaker is just like us and is a liar. Wyatt says he has been sent to take Taker back to the other side. A storm starts brewing at the top of the arena and fans pop. Wyatt goes on and says Taker is guilty. The only thing Taker will receiver at WrestleMania is his fate sealed by Sister Abigail. Wyatt says he will then take his rightful place among the Gods as the new face of fear. Wyatt says at WrestleMania, Taker can finally rest in peace. Wyatt drops to one knee and poses like Taker as the storm explodes or something.
– Still to come, Bryan vs. Ziggler with a special referee. Back to commercial.
– We get Kevin Nash’s WWE Hall of Fame video.
– We go backstage to Natalya getting ready. Tyson Kidd is on the other side of a divider and is talking about true love. Natalya thinks he’s being sweet but he’s talking to an order of Burger King’s Chicken Fries. Natalya takes them and says she’s going to need a moment.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler
We go to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop. Dolph Ziggler is out next to another big pop. We see the WWE Intercontinental Title hanging above the ring. Booker T reveals WWE App voting results for the special referee and Dean Ambrose wins with 57%. Out he comes with a referee shirt in his back pocket. Ambrose pulls the shirt out as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they go at it. They go back and forth before breaking. They lock up again and Bryan tosses Ziggler to the mat. Bryan holds him and stomps. Ziggler turns around and goes for a pin attempt. Ziggler with a headlock now. They trade slaps and shoves and start brawling out of the corner. Ambrose cheers them on. Bryan ends up pulling Bryan to the floor with a scissors. Bryan hits Ziggler through the ropes. Bryan comes off the apron but they both crash on the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Ziggler has a sleeper hold locked. We get more back and forth with the two trading pin attempts. They end up on top and Bryan goes face first to the mat. Ziggler tries to fight off a backslide and does with one of his own for a 2 count. Bryan with a boot to the face for another 2 count. Bryan with kicks while Ziggler is on his knees in the corner now. Fans chant “yes!” as referee Ambrose looks on. Bryan with the corner dropkick. He goes for another and Ziggler nails a superkick out of nowhere. Ziggler hits a Zig-Zag for the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
– After the match, Ziggler goes to celebrate but Ambrose grabs him and hits Dirty Deeds. Ambrose pulls a ladder from under the ring and brings it in. Ambrose climbs up for the Intercontinental Title but Barrett runs down and pulls him to the mat. They fight. R-Truth and Stardust are also out. Luke Harper is out next. They all go at it now. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on Truth. Bryan stops Barrett from climbing for the title but Barrett sends him face first into the ladder. Barrett with a Bullhammer on Bryan. Ziggler ducks a Bullhammer and hits Barrett with a superkick. Dolph climbs up but Stardust takes him out. Stardust and Ambrose meet at the top of the ladder with punches. Harper pushes them and the ladder over. The ladder takes out Harper’s leg and he goes down. Everyone is down as the RAW theme starts playing.
– The announcers plug the WWE Network in the Middle East. They also hype WrestleMania week on the Network.
– Paul Heyman knocks on Brock Lesnar’s locker room door and tells him it’s time. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman to a big pop. Lilian Garcia does the introduction.
Heyman introduces himself and his client. He cuts a promo about how we’re going to get a fight on Sunday, about how Lesnar is going to give Roman Reigns a beating. Heyman says you will get your money’s worth if you’re looking for a fight. Heyman says Lesnar makes failures out of every man who steps up to him. Heyman reminds us about The Streak, about John Cena getting destroyed at SummerSlam. Heyman goes on and mocks Reigns, saying he won’t be taking the title from Lesnar. Reigns’ music hits and out he comes through the crowd.
Reigns and Lesnar face off a few feet apart in the ring as fans boo. Lesnar smirks and raises up the WWE World Heavyweight Title to mostly cheers but some boos. Reigns snatches the belt from Lesnar’s arm and holds it up to mostly boos but some cheers. Lesnar grabs the belt and they struggle for it. RAW goes off the air with the awkward shot of Lesnar and Reigns both clutching and struggling for the belt with the WrestleMania 31 banner hanging in the background.