Monday Night Raw – February 8, 2016: YES Is No More

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 8, 2016
Location: KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s a sad day in WWE as Daniel Bryan has been forced to retire due to his in ring injuries. The announcement has been confirmed by WWE and could possibly close out tonight’s show. In addition to this big deal we also have Brock Lesnar on hand again this week as he’s getting ready for his match with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at FastLane. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Stephanie is in the ring for the official contract signing for Fastlane’s main event. The fans chant for Bryan but Stephanie says Bryan isn’t the one going on to Wrestlemania to face her husband HHH. Stephanie lists off the three men in the triple threat at Fastlane and here’s Dean to jump the gun. However, there will be NO physical violence here tonight so Reigns can come out here as well.

Reigns wants to start the fighting now so let’s get to it (it’s catching on). This brings out Lesnar but Stephanie cuts off Heyman’s line because everyone knows who he is. They all sign so Stephanie leaves, only to have Brock hit Reigns with the table and give Ambrose an F5. Well so much for Fastlane being interesting. HHH comes out to stare everyone down.

Cole addresses Bryan’s retirement and we see a clip of his debut on NXT in 2010.

Post break, Reigns and Ambrose promise to get Brock tonight.

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler

Owens runs him over to start and hits a Cannonball in less than thirty seconds for an early near fall. Kevin stands on his head against the rope while talking a lot of trash at the same time. A clothesline followed by a bow gets two for Owens but Ziggler grabs a sleeper and they fall to the floor as we take a break. Back with Ziggler fighting out of a chinlock, only to get backsplashed for two. Ziggler starts his comeback with a Stinger Splash and neckbreaker to set up the elbow for two of his own.

The superkick gets another near fall for Owens but the Pop Up Powerbomb is easily countered, setting up the running DDT. Owens gets draped over the apron, allowing Dolph to hit a Fameasser onto the floor. Both guys are down for a VERY close nine count (they actually had me there) before they dive inside. Owens misses a Cannonball though, allowing Ziggler to roll him up and put his feet on the ropes for the pin at 11:14.

Rating: D+. I would love to hear the explanation for this one. Are they turning Ziggler heel? If so, it really doesn’t seem like it as Ziggler wasn’t treated like a heel after the match and the whole thing felt like nothing special. Owens must have forgotten to shake hands with someone or something.

Another Daniel Bryan moment saw him winning the US Title at Night of Champions 2010.

The Dudleyz come in to see the Usos, who have a tables match against New Day later tonight. Bubba and D-Von don’t quite get this because that’s their match. If they can get it approved, the Dudleyz would love to team up with the New Day for the match.

Video on Ryback.

Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox

Non-title and a rematch from Smackdown. An early Figure Eight attempt is broken up but Charlotte drops her with a neckbreaker for two. After cutting off a WE WANT SASHA chant, the champ puts Fox in a Figure Four Neck Lock. The comeback doesn’t go anywhere and the Figure Eight gives Charlotte the tap out at 5:15.

Rating: D. Just a squash here and the same match we saw on Smackdown. I’m not sure if this is supposed to help build up Brie vs. Charlotte just because Brie and Alicia are on the same “team”, but this really wasn’t the most interesting thing. If nothing else it makes me wonder why I bother watching Smackdown when they just air the same stuff here with nothing extra being added.

It’s time for MizTV but before the guest comes out, Miz has to yell about AJ Styles attacking him. Who does AJ really think he is when he attacks an A-lister like the Miz? This brings out Chris Jericho to tells Miz to shut up. Before Miz can have much of a rebuttal, Jericho says it’s time for the Highlight Reel. A bunch of roadies run in and take over the set, including lowering the Jeritron 5000. Miz says this isn’t Jericho’s show, so Jericho demands that his stool and potted plant are brought in.

Jericho shows us a clip of AJ knocking Miz’s tooth out of his mouth on Smackdown, drawing a YOU LOOK STUPID chant. Miz: “I’m not Sheamus.” Last week he had a major audition with Spielberg and thankfully his team of Hollywood dentists saved the day. Jericho sings about wanting his two front teeth for Christmas so Miz counters with a clip of AJ’s pin over Jericho a few weeks back. Chris can’t wait to take care of AJ on Smackdown so here’s Styles. Miz is quickly dispatched and AJ stares Jericho up the aisle to wrap things up.

We recap Lesnar destroying Ambrose and Reigns earlier.

Bryan won Money in the Bank in 2011.

Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt

We get the return of the GOLDBERG chants as Ryback runs Bray over. Another big shot sends him out to the floor but the Family offers a distraction, allowing Bray to take Ryback down as we go to a break. Back with Bray clotheslining Ryback down again but missing a charge into the post. A cross body into some right hands have Bray in trouble and a spinebuster gets another two count. The Meathook is countered into Sister Abigail for a pin out of nowhere at 6:50.

Rating: C-. So why couldn’t they do this to Ziggler instead? It’s not like he’s going to have issues with a loss but instead they give Ryback a much better look and have him lose clean in his second match. As usual, it feels like this company has the potential to set something up but then they go with whatever they can to make sure it doesn’t happen. As always, the worst part is you can feel it coming every time.

Post match the Wyatts destroy Ryback both in and out of the ring.

We look back at Kane and Daniel Bryan. That’s still one of the funniest things the company has done in years.

Big E. is singing about working on a table while Xavier Woods is making calculations on how to destroy a table. Renee Young comes in to ask if they have a partner yet so Woods destroys the calculator. Of course they haven’t because there are still three of them.

Ambrose says he’s ready to fight Lesnar on his own because he’s never been in the ring with him.

Titus O’Neil vs. Adam Rose

Before the match, Rose names himself the Radical Mongoose, which really doesn’t work for Axel. Titus chops him in the corner to start but gets kicked in the face for two. Back up and Titus will have none of this Irish whip nonsense as he LAUNCHES Rose across the ring and takes over with some clotheslines. The Outcasts save Rose from the Clash of the Titus by pulling him to the floor, only to have O’Neil runs them all over like bowling pins. Back in and a Slater distraction lets Rose grab a rollup for the pin at 3:19.

Rating: D. The match may have sucked but Adam Rose is the Radical Mongoose. There is no way that doesn’t wind up being one of the best names in years. I mean, it’s like a mongoose but RADICAL. Titus getting TV time is a good thing but not as impressive as the Outcasts actually winning something.

We look at Bryan pinning Cena at Summerslam 2013.

Here’s Dean Ambrose to ask what that was from Brock earlier. It certainly couldn’t have been an F5 because those are supposed to hurt. It’s clear that Brock certainly can’t get the job done so get out here and give it another try. No Lesnar so Dean says Brock has gone soft. “That sounds like a personal problem.” Maybe Heyman didn’t give him permission to come out here.

That’s enough to bring out Lesnar and Dean goes right at him, only to be destroyed with ease. Dean crawls towards Brock and eats another F5 to leave him laying. Ambrose starts getting up and waves Brock back to the ring, only to have Reigns come out for a distraction. The plan seems to work as Dean hits Brock low and walks out as Brock is hunched over in pain. This worked better than I was expecting and the near falls at FastLane are going to be awesome.

Back from a break and we recap everything we just saw. Thankfully this means I have more time to flip back to Cheers, which I’ve seen several times but is still more entertaining than seeing the same thing twice in five minutes.

Lucha Dragons vs. Rusev/Alberto Del Rio

Rusev kicks Kalisto off the apron to start but gets rolled up for a quick two. Del Rio comes in with a snap suplex for two of his own as they’re wisely setting up the hot tag to Kalisto later on. We hit the nerve hold from Rusev, followed by a chinlock from Del Rio. A snap German suplex makes things a bit better for Alberto but Cara counters a suplex into a DDT, finally allowing the hot tag to Kalisto. The springboard spinning cross body gets two on Alberto and everything breaks down. Del Rio enziguris Kalisto down though and the top rope double stomp pins the champ at 5:38.

Rating: C. Is anyone else sick of seeing champions lose? I mean, you have a wrestler coming back off a shoulder injury and a heel with an arm submission finisher, but instead let’s go with pinning a champion. There’s no way a multiple time World Champion could be seen as a credible champion without winning THIS match over Kalisto right?

Earlier today, Goldust thought he was Jimi Hendrix. A guitar is smashed and security drags Goldust away as Truth isn’t sure what’s going on.

Daniel Bryan occupied Raw along with the YES Movement.

Tamina vs. Becky Lynch

Sasha is on commentary. Tamina powers her into the corner but Becky slaps on an early sleeper. A Naomi distraction allows Tamina to get in a hard clothesline before slamming Becky’s head into the mat a few times. Tamina takes her head off with a back elbow and we hit the neck crank. That goes nowhere so Naomi beats the heck out of Sasha. Becky kicks Tamina down and goes outside to help Sasha, only to walk into a superkick to give Tamina the pin at 3:42.

Rating: D. As much as I’d love to see Becky actually get somewhere, this makes the most sense for the feud. Tamina and Naomi are looking like the weaker pairing so giving them a win makes more sense. That being said, it’s rather sad that there’s no one else to throw out there instead of just doing singles matches to set up the tag match.

New Day offers Mark Henry a spot on the team tonight and the unicorn horn is actually accepted. Henry plays some trombone (not bad actually) but it’s the dancing that gets him the job.

New Day/Mark Henry vs. Usos/Dudley Boyz

Tables match, meaning there are about fifteen tables around the arena. Only one person has to go through a table so the good guys clean house to start. A double dive drops the New Day and we take an early break. Back with New Day bossing Henry around….which doesn’t go well as he doesn’t like being told what to do and walks out. The good guys clean house with a double What’s Up. Double superkicks all around set up a 3D to Big E. for the win at 6:42. Not enough to rate but this was nothing special.

Post match Jey comes up with a bad leg but the Dudleyz shove him down and turn heel with a SuperBomb to put Jimmy through the table.

Video on Daniel Bryan’s career.

Here’s Bryan, now with FAR less hair and beard) for his big speech. The DANIEL BRYAN chants get to him a bit as you knew they were going to. Now the YES chants cut him off but he says he was able to close his eyes and feel that in a way that he never could before. When you’re out here you have to keep your eyes open but he’ll never forget that feeling just now.

It’s time to address the giant elephant in the room though. Yes, he did have to shave his beard but he wanted to cut his hair but he looked really silly with the beard. In his only cheap plug, he cut his hair for an organization called Wigs For Kids which doesn’t charge the families for the kids that get wigs from them.

That brings him to the less fun stuff and the NO chant begins. Bryan doesn’t want to be doing this any more than they do but he’s been wrestling since he was eighteen years old. In the first five months of his career, he had already had three concussions. He had more and more concussions as his career went on and after sixteen years, that adds up to a lot of concussions.

Eventually it reaches the point where you can’t wrestle anymore, but he’s been told that he was fine. He’s been training to get better and was ready at a moment’s notice for WWE to say he could come back. Bryan has loved wrestling in a way that he’s never loved anything else, which draws a THANK YOU DANIEL chant. Then a week and a half ago he had a test that said his brain wasn’t as strong as he thought it was. He’s got a family to think about and they’re thinking about having kids. Fans: “YES!” Daniel: “That’s what Brie says all the time!” Fans: “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!”

Bryan officially announces his retirement and talks about all of his emotions as of late. He’s gotten to do what he loves for the last sixteen years. Now let’s talk about a few things that he loves. Nobody outside this arena is going to care about this, but he loves the Seattle Seahawks. Right before his music hits, he gets a little twitch in his mouth and he loves it every single time. Third, he loves hitting the ropes and doing that dive because it makes him feel like Superman. He’s wrestled in the parking lots of gas stations and in front of 70,000 people in New Orleans.

While he’s been doing that, he’s gotten to meet people like Kane, who is the smartest man he knows. He’s gotten to meet people like his mentor William Regal. Over the years he’s met children who are stronger than he could ever be like Connor. On top of that he’s grateful because wrestling doesn’t owe anyone in the back a thing. The people who get in this ring do it because they love to do it but one day they got behind him in a way they shouldn’t have gotten behind someone who is 5’8 and 190lbs.

He’s grateful because a little over two years ago in this very arena, the people here hijacked Raw during a championship celebration between Randy Orton and John Cena. However, he’s grateful because his dad was sitting right over there and got to see it happen before he passed away. He’s grateful for meeting the woman of his dreams and for getting to announce his retirement in front of his hometown fans.

Tomorrow morning he’s starting a new life where he’s not a wrestler, which means he’s got one more night to enjoy this energy. We get one more YES chant as Brie comes out to celebrate with her husband to finally wrap this up at 11:25, which might be the latest this show has ever gone. This was an outstanding speech and I’m glad that it’s not an angle. Bryan gets to leave and he gets to do it in (basically) his hometown. You don’t get much better than that.

Overall Rating: C-. This show was all about the big promo at the end but the rest of the night was really dull stuff. It ranged from boring to really annoying at times and it was going to take something very special out of Bryan to make the whole thing work. That’s exactly what we got, but it was a VERY long night to get to the amazing speech. FastLane really is looking like a nothing show, which is one of the last things they need right now.

Results

Dolph Ziggler b. Kevin Owens – Rollup with feet on the ropes

Charlotte b. Alicia Fox – Figure Eight

Bray Wyatt b. Ryback – Sister Abigail

Adam Rose b. Titus O’Neil – Rollup

Rusev/Alberto Del Rio b. Lucha Dragons – Top rope double stomp to Kalisto

Tamina b. Becky Lynch – Superkick

Usos/Dudley Boyz b. New Day/Mark Henry – 3D to Big E.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of the Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume IV at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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24 comments

  1. Dragon says:

    I didn’t mind the show but I was getting tired of the no selling of the F5. I still feel Brock vs HHH might be the way to go but I am in the minority….also KB Isenberg brought up the idea of Jericho vs Taker at WM, I find this intriguing and a big time match up that I can’t remember rally happening…..what do u think?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No sell.

  2. Awesome_Miz says:

    So I’m wondering now if they go ahead and give Bryan his ring right away or wait the year ala Edge? What should they do?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Next year. Sting gets to be the headliner this time.

  3. ted says:

    So why did the dudleyz turn heel? Just curious?

    Also I actually appreciated the idea that Ambrose and Reigns feel they have to get Lesnar after he clowned them both. Again.

    Also It’s funny that Lesnar and Ambrose are being showcased much more than Reigns. I know it’s just so that when Reigns wins it’s a surprise. But it is surprising to see him more or less shoved in the background.

    Hopefully Banks and Lynch win. Then Banks can get away from team suck.

    The Radical Mongoose is one of the greatest things to happen in quite a while.

    Ryback loses which is fine by me as he’s not very good and Bray needs to be built up. Though I hold no illusion he’ll win his next feud.

    I really don’t get what the hell is up with Owens and Ziggler? What is the point of it?

    Dookie Blaster 4.0 Reply:

    Dudleys turned heel cuz the Usos took their match i guess

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I thought it was good overall and much better than last week. Really enjoyed Daniel Bryan’s speech but a very sad moment to see him go which I got a little choked up. That being said he is a class act and a man’s man. #ThankYouDanielBryan

  5. ted says:

    Sad to see one of the biggest stars of the last decade go. Hopefully a wake up call to the rigors of this vocation. They should have health care and insurance.

    Thanks for the memoirs D-bry. Enjoy your retirement you’ve earned it.

  6. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? I’m disgusted right now. I really am. This might be my breaking point. Because the stunt this fucking company pulled tonight is a new low.

    First off, Stephanie McMahon. GET HER THE FUCK OFF MY TV!

  7. james gracie says:

    Continued..

    She has to neuter the fucking talent doesn’t she?

    And can we just get to the predictable Wyatts cost Lesnar the title match at FastLAME already? Why even tease a Triple H/Lesnar match when we all know it’s not gonna happen! FUCK!

    And then WWE stooped to a new low. Having Daniel Bryan fake an injury and give a fake speech just so he has to retire so he doesn’t take the spotlight away from the rest of that shitty roster WAS ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL! forcing their most over guy on the roster into retirement so he wont outshine their little golden boy Roman Reigns is so fucking tasteless. And then it dawned on me that they also wanted him to give that fake speech just to get Brie Bella over. AND YOU DUMBASS FANS FELL FOR IT! I AM ABSOLUTELY SICK TO MY STOMACH! WHAT A LOW, CLASSLESS, SELFISH MOVE THE WWE DID LAST NIGHT

  8. james gracie says:

    Continued..

    She has to neuter the fucking talent doesn’t she?

    And can we just get to the predictable Wyatts cost Lesnar the title match at FastLAME already? Why even tease a Triple H/Lesnar match when we all know it’s not gonna happen! FUCK!

    And then WWE stooped to a new low. Having Daniel Bryan fake an injury and give a fake speech just so he has to retire so he doesn’t take the spotlight away from the rest of that shitty roster WAS ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL! forcing their most over guy on the roster into retirement so he wont outshine their little golden boy Roman Reigns is so fucking tasteless. And then it dawned on me that they also wanted him to give that fake speech just to get Brie Bella over. AND YOU DUMBASS FANS FELL FOR IT! I AM ABSOLUTELY SICK TO MY STOMACH! WHAT A LOW, CLASSLESS, SELFISH MOVE THE WWE DID LAST NIGHT. And if any of you morons actually bought this injury bullshit, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    No hashtags tonight. I’m to disgusted at this classless company. And this may be the last time you see me commenting on RAW. I don’t know if I can take it any more.

    james gracie Reply:

    I’m really sorry. Will you all forgive me?

    alan danielson Reply:

    Fuck off gracie you pleb. Just fuck off, please.

    james gracie Reply:

    I’m sorry. I honestly thought everyone found my comments funny. I’m starting to think that might not be the case. If one good thing has come out of this, it’s that I’ve become a bit of a celebirty amongst the IWC. Everyone seems to be talking about me. Oh man how good is that!

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    You are no celebrity that is obvious. All you are is a lowlife piece of garbage who’s got nothing better to do than shit on everything and claim people have fake injuries. I would love just love it if you told that to Daniel Bryan’s face and see what response he would give you. #moron #hypocrite #troll.

    james gracie Reply:

    Hey, I said I was sorry, didn’t I? It sounds like you’re jealous of my superstardom. I am the sort of character everyone loves to hate. But, everyone’s talking about me, so that’s good, right?

  9. Smoshie says:

    James Gracie you are a special kind of idiot

  10. Shawn Chimeals says:

    You’re a fucking dope

  11. Brad Wiggins says:

    Wow – james gracie, you really have embarrassed yourself. You were doing a good job trolling everyone, but now you’ve apologised and made yourself to look like a weener. I read your last message and thought ‘what a pathetic loser’.

  12. Dookie Blaster 4.0 says:

    James Gracie you broke my heart

  13. Gunther_224 says:

    So was it his lingering neck injury or concussion issues that forced him to retire? I’d heard reports of both.

    Greg Reply:

    Concussion. He stated as much.

  14. BSE says:

    Ziggler beats Owens clean again and Brie gets a title shot instead of Sasha or Becky.

    It’s like they don’t want to build new stars.

  15. Bockwinkel's Class says:

    Was going to say something really biting vis-a-vis James Gracie but decided that fucktard isn’t worth the effort. Catch fire and die Gracie.