Your recapper is not ashamed to admit that she’s pretty damn ill right about now, so this Raw is being watched several days late and with a cheat sheet of jokes from the second in command. But I was going to have to watch it anyway, because Daniel Bryan is leaving us, and we’re going to need to get the tissues out. I’m prepared. Let’s go.
Okay, so we’re starting out with a Daniel Bryan video package, and I lied, I’m not prepared at all, I’m crying already. As much as I think we all would have liked to see him come back, we knew it wasn’t the sensible plan, and we were all pretty much kidding ourselves that it was ever going to happen… but this is still unbearably sad. The crowd seem pretty lukewarm, and I’m expecting that to continue, because there’s only so much emotion we can cope with and sustain for this long.
Steph’s out first, telling us about the contract signing, and reminding us that the winner of the Fastlane main event goes on to face her husband – she pauses as if to let the crowd shout his name, but they only have one name on their lips tonight, and that’s Daniel Bryan. No, guys, he’s married to something that doesn’t look like it eats its young. She doesn’t look like she’s very happy about this, as she tries to get on with her segment without blubbing about Bryan. She does seem to love it when she gets to announce her husband’s full title, though, but it makes me worry that’s what she has to say to make him do anything. “Paul, the laundry needs – “ “No, say it properly.” “Ugh, fine… The Game, the Cerebral Assassin….”
So Hollywood may have Captain America vs, Iron Man, but the WWE has… the Lunatic Fringe (an anarchic political movement), the Roman Empire (Roman’s excuse to get a whole row of plane seat to himself whenever they fly cross-country, and the Beast Incarnate (Brock’s name for his doggy massage parlour). Okay, not convinced we’re getting blockbuster material, but I’m always here for Steph growling out names of people she pays to get beaten up.
Dean comes out to interrupt Steph, of course, and… it looks like he’s wearing real jeans tonight, not his wrestling jeggings. In fact, the more I look at him, the more it looks like he lost his bag on the plane and is having to wear the jeans he flew in, plus some merch someone dug up. But it’s okay, his hair’s dry and fluffy, so he totally won’t be doing any wrestling, right? It’s a contract signing, like, how many times does that ever devolve into a fight?
Dean’s pretty angry, probably because he’s wearing real jeans for the first time in ages, and they never feel quite right when you’re used to the stretchier stuff. He wants Lesnar to come down right now, because they’ve got unfinished business. Steph says that it’s her job to tell Dean what to do, she makes the rules and introductions – and out comes Roman, because he can’t be away from his boy for too long or they start pining for each other. Now, I don’t mean to be the recapper who’s staring at Dean’s butt, but those aren’t his usual wrestling jeggings, because these do nothing for his arse, quite aside from the colour difference. Steph’s not surprised Roman’s interrupts her, to say ‘my man wants to punch Brock Lesnar in the face’, like Lesnar’s insulted Roman’s hair and Dean has to back up his lover.
Steph says Roman’s always coming in to steal Dean’s spotlight, but Dean and Roman just grin at her – they don’t break up over women, they agreed on that years ago. Lesnar comes down and commentary go ‘feels like Wrestlemania season, doesn’t it?’ aka the only season we can afford to pay Brock to show up for a few weeks in a row. Dean looks very unhappy, and ‘Brock Lobster is the mayor of Seafood City’ is a fantastic sign that I could hang up on my wall I love it so much, and the camera catches it just as the Suplex City chants rise for the Beast. Steph interrupts Paul Heyman, because her daddy taught her that when you run the company, you can do whatever you want and just shout ‘you’re fired’ at anyone who takes umbrage with it.
Dean’s first to sign, staring at Lesnar like he’s every birthday and Christmas rolled into one, the Roman, and then Lesnar slaps down an ‘x’, because holding a pen is not what those meaty fingers are designed for. They’re for beating the hell out of people. Steph hightails it out of the ring – and oh my god, there’s a WWF sign, as in, the World Wildlife Fund, and that is brilliant. I love crowd signs, I really do.
Paul calls Dean ‘little brother’ to Roman’s ‘big brother Samoan badass’ and Roman makes a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp, like he doesn’t want to have to explain to Dean the unfortunate truth that being thrown around by Brock sometimes hurts. Roman appears to go ‘yeah, do it’ as Dean walks around the table and into Lesnar’s grip. He’s flung at Roman, who flinches like a small girl being asked to hold something slimy, and then Dean’s rolling out of the way as Roman takes a table to the face from Lesnar. Well, you did want to fight, boys. You can’t poke the dragon and be surprised when you get broiled alive. And F5 to Dean, and then Lesnar’s out of the ring, Roman looking at the table like it ruined his manicure, and Dean flat on his back as Lesnar and Heyman retreat – straight into Triple H and Mrs The Game, who is applauding her husband. Heyman holds Lesnar back as Roman thinks about kneeling by Dean, and decides against it. Trips wraps an arm around his wife, and she preens like the smug multi-millionaire she is, with her trophy husband.
From now on, we’re doing much shorter recapping, because I refuse to write 1000 words for every 15 minutes. I’m a dying woman, I haven’t got all day.
We get more DBry video packages, because WWE haven’t worked out the ‘less is more’ thing yet. Dean and Roman are backstage, with Dean making angry little growling noises, saying he’s going to get Lesnar, as Roman nods along like a little nodding dog.
KO out to fight Dolph Ziggler’s shiny buttocks, and there’s a brilliant little squeaky shriek from a woman, which, you know. Same. He’s doing his hair half-up and half-down again, and there’s a crowds sign: ‘Lost Dog: Dog Ziggler’. Seriously, this crowd is on point with their signs, it’s perfect, I’m really impressed. They might not be the most lively of crowds, but their signs are on point.
There’s an early cannonball from Owens to Ziggler, which results in a near-fall, and KO shouts for Michael Cole to shut up while he’s not even talking. Same, though. KO stands on Dolph’s throat and uses the ropes to get a little more pressure on, and there’s a woman just going mad, screaming, and it’s brilliant. I love hearing people just losing it for seeing their wrestlers. Owens has been on the attack for the entire match, Dolph barely fighting back, and then commentary come out with the golden line ‘he blocked it with his mandible’. Now, I know they mean jaw, but now I’m imagining Kevin Owens as a huge beetle.
Dolph hits a swinging neckbreaker, holding that shoulder he lives to favour, which is lovely to watch, but minutes after seeming to rally, he takes a Superkick from Owens that sends him down for the near-fall. There’s a gorgeous DDT from Dolph and the baffling commentary line ‘Kevin Owens is now 5’3” – ‘ which I won’t even pretend to understand. KO gets himself under the ropes, as Dolph is outside the ring, struggling to his feet and hitting a Famouser on Owens off the apron. Ziggler eventually picks up the win using the ropes to help himself into the pin, and then he wanders off to be adored by the crowd. Owens is pretty unhappy, and goes to break ipads again, and throw things around off the announce table. Poor angry Murderbear.
The Usos are doing their face paint, and the Dudleys come out to have a talk with them, and I’d care but once more, ‘no one can tell the twins apart’ thing, even though they’ve already got the face paint on the right sides, and… argh. My wife hears me groan at this and goes ‘what happened to the dude who did the thing?’ She means Mauro, she’s asking me why commentary is so bad tonight, and I have to tell her it’s because the three interminable hours of Raw don’t have the wonder that is Mauro. She makes a face. Me too, wife. The Dudleys are excited because a table match is their thing, and they’ve picked The Usos to back, they say no one likes The New Day, to which my wife swivels around from looking at pictures of Kylo Ren on tumblr and makes a face. It’s okay, wife, they’re wrong. Everyone loves The New Day. So now the Dudleys want in, as well. I’m too feverish to deal with this.
Ryback video package? Okay, I guess, but I’ve never wanted to see his face this close up. His tumblr’s pretty cool, though, you guys should check that out.
Charlotte out with a human corpse puppeteered by ‘wooo’ to face goddess Alicia Fox, who I would watch wrestle a grocery list and still be into, especially since we’re seeing a lot more intricate moves from her. Commentary talk over this match about Brie and Daniel Bryan (okay, fair enough, I guess), mentioning Brie’s title match against Charlotte at Fastlane, and Alicia does that gorgeous northern lights suplex again, and bridges it with toes so pointed it’s practically art. We talk a lot about Alicia’s love life, because Total Divas has to be sold whenever we can, and Charlotte seems to be adjusting her shorts a little more than usual. Poor women, having to wrestle in basically panties. Those can’t be comfortable. Charlotte’s flinging Alicia around quite a lot, although we’re seeing some gorgeous moves from Alicia again, with that tilt-a-whirl backbreaker coming in once more.
There’s a couple of near falls, but Charlotte hits a spear which takes Alicia down, leaving Charlotte able to get her into the Figure Eight, and Alicia to tap. I do wonder if Charlotte insists on always getting the win by submission, or if they just forgot to give her a finisher that led to a pin. Bell rings at 33.04, and again at 38.19 – five minutes. That’s actually not poor showing for a Diva’s match, which is a horrifying reality. I mean, at least this means we’re getting two Diva’s matches on the PPV, but that unfortunately means both are likely to be no more than the five minute showings we normally see. Again, at some point when I’m not quite so ill, I’m going to time how much screen time Roman Reigns gets vs the entire women’s division.
There’s a small segment of The Miz backstage enjoying his new veneers. Poor boy, no one respects him, and then we find out that the Dudleys have been allowed to join the tables match, so The New Day will have to find someone who doesn’t hate them to come and play 8-man tag with them.
Miz TV segment, and the poor Miz is a little fractious, the darling angel. He’s a little upset that Jericho has stolen his segment on SmackDown, and he says that Miz TV is a safe space, where people can feel awesome, and he’s very cross that AJ Styles attacked him on his own show. Poor Mizzle. He had to have dental work, you know. He talks more about how he mentored Daniel Bryan – steady on, sausage, that’s a bit of a dodgy work right now – and he main evented Wrestlemania, too, don’t forget that.
It’s okay though, Miz, Jericho is here, a man who can’t remember to wear a shirt and wasn’t invited. He saunters into the ring like he’s supposed to be there, and poor Miz’s face just drops as people chant Y2J. Why can’t people love me, his face seems to say, why am I inherently unlikeable? Is if because I cover my torso? Would my nipples make me more popular? Jericho says no one wants to see Miz TV, they want to see a Highlight Reel – why are we pretending there’s anything different about these?
Jericho grins as Miz’s carpet gets rolled up, and he gets his ‘Raw is Jericho’ chant, and poor Miz is just stood there like the world’s been pulled out from under him, and… they might not be wrestling, but this is an intense feud. Jericho calls for the presents brought to him by Roman and Dean, the stool and the pot plant – and THAT’S NOT THE SAME POT PLANT! The last one was an orchid, this is a vase of flowers? What the hell, WWE, I know you repeat segments like we’re all on memory loss drugs, but did you really think we wouldn’t notice that’s not the plant Dean gave Jericho last week? “The potted plant’s over.” Thank you, Maggle.
Also, we’re not even an hour in and I’ve managed to write over 2000 words? This isn’t going well. Time to speed up while it’s still Wednesday somewhere in the continental US. (Spoilers – I did not get this done before US hit Thursday)
Jericho talks, Miz looks like he’s going to cry, Jericho raises ‘you look stupid’ chants, to which he says he can’t, because he’s not Sheamus. He schools us on dental costs – which I’ll bet the WWE doesn’t pay for – and he says it nearly screwed up a Spielberg audition. Jericho sings ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth’ and there’s a girl down the front just dying of laughter, with her hand over her mouth. We get the recap on Styles beating Jericho down, but Jericho doesn’t care, because he likes to think about AJ while he’s alone in bed, like he’s wondering what it’s going to be like when he finally gets him to agree to be his bitch and only his bitch. Or, you know, when AJ beats Jericho twice on SmackDown.
AJ Styles comes out, and The Miz goes for Jericho while his back is turned. At this point, your recapper goes to check Jericho’s twitter and realises she’s been blocked. Honestly, Chris, I’m wounded. So AJ and Chris double-team The Miz, which is all they’ve ever wanted, they have more long and meaningful eye contact, which is just the gayest thing I’ve seen outside of hardcore porn, and then they decide to have a punch up. Miz grabs Jericho’s foot, Jericho flings him over the announce table, and Jericho goes to get back in the ring with Styles… but backs down. He leaves, abandoning his jacket in the ring, so Styles can take it home and wear it every night.
More Daniel Bryan recaps, and the problem is, if it keeps being thrown down my throat, I’ll stop wanting to see the man himself. I can’t sustain this emotional level for three hours. Seriously, WWE, less IS more. I promise you. Tell us he’s coming, tell us he’s our main event, we’ll stick around.
Bray Wyatt out next with his family boys following, to face Ryback on a feud I don’t care about. I’m just a little fascinated by Ryback’s new look, which is so Goldberg it hurts. His little hat is back, though, so once more he’s a hungry baby, just in really, really tight trunks. I’m, uh… conflicted about this. They’re cheering him, though, and he’s very ready to go. Fan sign of the match ‘Read me lore’. God, I love the intelligence of wrestling fans, I really do.
So this is supposed to be a one on one match, but I think we all know that Bray can’t hold his own against anyone on his own, so quickly Ryback’s out of the ring and surrounded, but we go to commercial at that point, because someone’s over-excited in the crowd about seeing Rowan and/or Strowman’s face, or something. I wouldn’t bother, mate, it’s nothing special. When we come back, Ryback and Bray are back in the ring, and Ryback’s doing his best to get Bray down, showing quite a lot of agility that we might not have expected from him. There’s a near fall, but Harper is watching carefully. Bray reverses a meathook clothesline into a Sister Abigail, and gets the pin for the win. Bray shouts ‘his heart still beats’ – well, I hope so, you’re not meant to actually kill him.
Ryback surfaces groggily to get his fists out in front, but Rowan, harper and Strowman are there to beat down The Big Guy, rolling him out of the ring where he hit the floor hard, before Strowman throws him into the apron and then the steps. They maul him for a bit, like a cat with a bird, and then wander off, bored, muttering about how we need to pray for mercy. The dude who shouts ‘Husky Harris’ can get stuffed, though. C’mon.
Okay, the DBry recap is Team Hell No, so we can’t argue with that, because that was a brilliant move, and a brilliant tag team. When they cuddled Orton it looked like he experienced his only true moment of happiness and peace, poor lamb. I miss him. I miss everyone on the roster who’s dead right now. I miss Seth.
New Day are backstage having a sing about working on the tables, and Kofi in glasses is all I’ve ever wanted in my life. Renee comes to tell them they need to find a fourth man, and they hand her a calculator – it might just be me, but I oddly suspect Xavier’s spelt ‘boobies’ on it. He throws the calculator to the floor, and they say they haven’t chosen anyone yet. I just want The New Day album, two and a half hours of motown and soul classics, with harmonies. It’d be amazing.
More of the Dean and Roman show. Dean doesn’t care what Lesnar hits him with, and Roman isn’t here to talk him out of it, he wants to help out, brothers together. Dean says nope, he wants to go it alone, and Roman practices expression #7: consternation. He’s not so sure about this, he doesn’t think Dean can do this alone, asks if he’s still ‘hot’ about SmackDown. Dean makes a little pleading gesture with his hands, and Roman nods. Okay, Dean, you go give him everything you can – and Roman will stay out of it.
Titus O’Neil saunters out – I feel bad I don’t care about him, because he seems like a super cool dude, but I just really, really don’t care. He’s facing The Social Outcasts – well, okay, he’s fighting Adam Rose, and their theme just makes me really happy. Apparently best friends make best trends, and I love these four together. I imagine they sleep in a big puppy pile and Bo kicks his legs when he dreams. Adam Rose, the Radical Mongoose (why? Because he can) to face Tiny Green Trunks Titus. We’re talking about football on commentary, no, not the unimportant one, the real game, where you’re not allowed to wear shoulderpads.
It’s a nice, fast match, Adam Rose built like a stick insect against Titus’ bulk, and commentary seem to want to talk about anything else they can name instead of calling it. There’s a little test of strength moment, which is very funny, and then Titus throws a couple of backbreakers, one after the other, Rose unable to do anything.
The other Social Outcasts pull Rose from the ring, and line up in front of him, to protect him and give him time to recover, but Titus knocks them down like he’s going bowling, dragging Rose back into the ring. Distracted by Slater on the apron, Titus knocks him away, giving Rose a chance to roll him up for the pin, and giving The Social Outcasts the win. Titus comes back through, knocking Adam Rose over the ropes, but it doesn’t stop the boys leaping about, happy to be winning.
Dean’s ambling around backstage asking if anyone’s seen his bag, and getting angrier by the minute that no one has, as we get a recap of Cena and Bryan for the Heavyweight title. God, we’ve still got an hour and a half left, it’s 7am on Thursday for me, and I’m so tired. They stick a segment for Black History Month on the end of this, too, which is pretty awesome, but I wish we were spending a little more time on it.
Dean’s in the ring, calling out Lesnar, saying that he didn’t get hit with an F5, because it didn’t hurt him on conquer him. Precious unshaven coconut Dean Ambrose bounces against the ropes and waits for Lesnar to come out – apparently Suplex City has gone soft. Dean says this sounds like a personal problem, and then asks if Lesnar ‘can’t get it up for the big fight’ before… presenting him with his arse? I’m just confused here, have I gone to sleep on my keyboard again? He says that Brock has to wait for Heyman to give him permission, because…. Heyman holds his balls? Um. Can you say balls on TV, Dean? I know you’re super over, but….
Brock ambles out, grinning, because this is another fat cheque he can get for wrestling twice tonight. Dean doesn’t even wait for him to get down to the ring, just flings himself at Ambrose, throwing him into the barricade with a hell of a lot of force, leaving Dean lying by the crowd, with the breath knocked out of him. Lesnar tosses him into the ring, and stalks on the outside before heading inside and taking him down with an easy clothesline. Heyman appears to be telling Dean to run while he can, but Dean comes back up again. Crowd sign: we were promised fish tanks. Yes, we were. But we got Mauro on SmackDown, it’s okay.
Dean rises again and is met with another huge clothesline, taking him down into the ropes and leaving him clutching his head. He’s still crawling towards Brock, though, clicking his back as the ‘Suplex City’ chants rise, and Brock hits another F5, leaving Dean flat on his back in the ring again, eyes unfocused. He’s still moving, sits back up and beckons Lesnar back into the ring, though he can’t even stand. As Brock’s shaking his head, about to go for another beat down, Roman’s music hits, and he emerges from the ramp for once, instead of the crowd. Now, Roman, you promised you wouldn’t get involved. Dean’s a big boy, if he wants the school bully to take the skin off him, he can have that, you can’t stop him.
Roman stands there for a few minutes, before making a very slow move down to the ring, and then Dean rises with a hit straight to Lesnar’s balls, and Roman’s face quirks in a smirk he quickly hides with a hand. Dean nearly falls as he staggers out of the ring towards Roman, and the two nod at each other before Dean collapses in pain on the ramp. Roman stands over his brother, grinning – only one man has the balls to do that to Brock Lesnar, and it’s his boy.
The precious Lucha Dragons are reunited! Yay! I hope this doesn’t stop Kalisto’s singles run, though, because I’ve loved seeing that. They’re out to face Del Rio and Rusev, and Uncle Barrett’s come to cheer them on and make sure they don’t punch the other boys too hard. Sheamus is at home with a Guinness-related broken wrist, we remember, so he can’t be here right now, but I’m sure he’s proud of his wrestling husband.
We start off with Rusev and Sin Cara, and it’s nice to see a blown shoulder hasn’t made him any more nervous, so he’s back to these gorgeous high-flying moves, and it’s beautiful. There’s a tag made just as Sin Cara is rolling up Rusev, so Del Rio is the legal man instead, getting a kick to Sin Cara’s head and knocking him down. There are some lovely ‘we want Lana’ chants, and Rusev preens, because obviously everyone fancies his missus. They’re taking most of the pain to Sin Cara early on – guess we can’t risk our US champ getting injured so close to Mania.
Lovely kick from Rusev to send Sin Cara down to the ground, but he kicks out easily, and we get a reminder that Rusev is actually trained in a number of fighting styles. Maybe that’s why he sends so many hits wide. Del Rio takes down Sin Cara with a German suplex, and a cheap shot to Kalisto off the apron, too. A counter from Sin Cara means he makes it to Kalisto, as Rusev tags in Del Rio, and it’s a flying senton and Kalisto turning up the heat.
We’re suddenly seeing a much faster match, Rusev taken out by Sin Cara as Kalisto keeps an eye on Del Rio in the ring. Barrett’s distraction and we’re setting up for the double stomp on Kalisto – he actually scrambles up there pretty quickly, though he still showboats in a way I find annoyingly unrealistic – and then Del Rio gets the win. He gestures that he’ll be getting his belt back and then has a cuddle with Barrett, who’s been feeling lonely without Sheamus there to hug him.
R-Truth meets a costumed Goldust at the Jimi Hendrix exhibition… it might just be the face paint, but this feels uncomfortably like blackface, if I’m honest. Goldie gets dragged off by security, and these spots just get… more and more confusing as they go along.
Sasha comes out for commentary, and we get another Daniel Bryan video package, and it’s the Yes Movement, and okay, I’ll admit I’m having a little bit of a cry as Steph screams at people.
Recap to the weird Becky/Sasha truce to beat Tamina/Naomi, and tonight it’s Sasha on commentary as Becky faces Tamina. Wow, Tamina’s theme is super dark and I love it. So the SECOND Diva’s match at Fastlane will be Becky and Sasha vs. Tamina and Naomi. Aaand it’s a Diva’s match again, so I’m going to set my timer. At least this doesn’t have a Total Diva’s storyline behind it, I guess. It could always be worse. Plus I love seeing Tamina wrestle, she hasn’t been able to do it enough as part of Team Bad, so it’s good to see her up against Becky, who has also come out of her shell since leaving the team dynamic behind.
As the match starts, Sasha reminds us that she was the Beyoncé of Team Bad, and everyone likes her. Becky starts off with some aggression, and even against Tamina’s strength, she’s making some headway, as a distraction from Naomi gives Tamina a chance to take Becky down hard. Quick pin from Tamina, but Becky kicks out easily. Balancing Becky on the ropes, Tamina pulls the ref’s attention away, and lets Naomi take a cheap shot. Tamina’s screaming at every movement, and it makes her seem pretty terrifying and full of rage, like she’s gone from the quiet backup to this angry She-Hulk, and I love it.
Becky manages to battle out of a sleeper, but goes back down to a hell of a headbutt from Tamina, Naomi cheering on her girl from the sidelines. Tamina takes a moment to ask what Sasha’s problem is, so Sasha gets up from commentary and makes her way to stare at Tamina – but it’s Naomi coming in with a hell of a blow, Sasha tottering in her heeled boots as she’s dragged upright and thrown into the steps. Becky has Tamina down in the ring, but takes the time to come out and pull Naomi off Sasha. No, Becky, come on, we only just got you out of a team where you were the only one who sacrificed personal wins for team members, let’s not do this again, please?
She throws a Lassplex to Naomi, and with a last, hurried look at Sasha, Becky’s back into the ring just as the referee’s count makes six, straight into a kick from Tamina that takes her right down for the count. Tamina leaves the ring and drags poor, beaten Naomi away, as Sasha lies there, a puddle of magenta hair on black floor.
Three minutes and 28 seconds, that match. So that’s around 140mins of wrestling programming (we can’t be exact because of commercials etc, but we get close enough) and we add the five minutes and 13 seconds of the earlier match to this, and get eight minutes and 41 seconds. Call it nine minutes, to round up, and that’s 6.4% of the entire show spent on women wrestling. Now, if I was feeling less unwell, I’d add up all the other matches, too, so we didn’t count anything else, but let’s be honest. Even if I counted all the time female wrestlers were onscreen (and I have before) we’d still only be talking about 12% of the show, thereabouts. It’s not good enough.
Mark Henry has joined The New Day as a unicorn, and Xavier has to hand over Francesca, so Mark can dribble all over her. He doesn’t look happy when she’s handed back and he has to play her, and then Mark henry has a little dance with them. I like the idea that he just said ‘I want to dance, I’m coming to the end of my career, and I just want to have some fun’. I’m less fond of the idea that creative said ‘what’s funnier than one big guy jiggling? Two’ and sent someone out to find a guy with rhythm.
Finally, we’re set for our tables match, and the ‘new day socks’ chant is marvellous, you honestly can’t tell whether it’s rocks or sucks. Lillian Garcia fluffs her words a little bit, and you can hear her laughing at herself as she carries on, bless her. I love that Big E has had to give up his unicorn horn for this, like the WWE shop were so surprised that they sold out so quickly that they didn’t think to save a couple for The New Day, in case theirs got lost or damaged. Recipe for disaster, guys. Also, pop them in the euroshop, there’s a good company who used to have ‘world’ in their name.
The Usos come out with their usual aplomb, and then out wander the Dudley Boys – Lillian’s VERY careful not to say the Usos won a Grammy this time, so careful that she almost flounders on what she’s meant to say afterwards. Still, it’s the end of a very long night. I tried skipping some of this, but it just devolves into chaos very quickly, and The New Day retreat, leaving Mark Henry at the mercy of the other four men in the ring, before The Usos come over the ropes to slam into the unicorns.
Mark Henry gets given instructions, and he says no, he does his own thing, he’s going to leave. He wanders off as The New Day walk themselves into trouble, being set up for a double wazzup. Time to get the tables out, it’s not like they’re not all over the ring at this point. Once a table gets set up, Jey climbs up high as Jimmy arranges Xavier Woods on it, but he’s pulled down by Big E. Then it’s Jey and Big E in the ring, with The Dudleys coming into 3D Big E through the table, for the win.
Of course, it can’t be that easy, so The Dudleys then beat up The Usos, and then put them through tables. I’m glad to see them taking this whole tenth tag team title thing more seriously, by attacking more members of the tag team division. Plus, it’s not like we ever thought the Dudleys were credible faces anyway. The crowd have a moment of ECW chanting, and we’re done.
Okay. This is… There’s half an hour left, and it’s all going to be sad, and so instead of recapping, I’m just going to cry for a bit. I think recapping something like this wouldn’t work – you need to experience it emotionally, for yourself.
Daniel Bryan’s the everyman, the one who was never going to be – but was, despite everything people said, or told him, or thought. He’s a wrestler who broke through the establishment’s view of big guys being the demanded aesthetic, who managed to be a nice guy even when he was supposed to be the bad guy. He’s never been the greatest actor, or the greatest wrestler, but he wore his heart for all of us to see. The ring was where he showed us what it was to put all of your soul into something, to put all of your heart into doing what you loved.
On a personal level, there will be words later about what Daniel Bryan’s retirement means to me in the context of my own life, and when giving up is the best choice you can make for yourself. But honestly? If you want to go and watch this segment, do it. If you don’t, then give yourself a few minutes just to think of any time you saw Daniel Bryan in the ring, to think of what he means to you, and how he made you feel.
Thank you, Daniel Bryan.