The March 30, 2015 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on March 30, 2015 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. This was the Raw after WrestleMania XXXI.
Oh, he’s mad.
Despite the sunny California skies, a forecast of pain hung over Seth Rollins’ head as Brock Lesnar stormed into San Jose with vengeance on his mind. Thanks to the opportunistic Money in the Bank cash-in by Seth Rollins that robbed The Beast of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, Lesnar found himself without his title. And thanks to Rollins' trip to New York this morning, Lesnar found himself without a body to destroy, both of which he and Paul Heyman deemed unacceptable.
A round of Eat-Sleep-Promo-Repeat revealed the intentions of The Anomaly and his advocate: Lesnar, who admitted a smidge of respect for Roman Reigns in the process, wanted his rematch and he wanted it now. Stephanie McMahon, emboldened by the lack of Ronda Rouseys in her vicinity, agreed to give Lesnar his title rematch – as soon as Rollins returned from New York and provided he accepted at all – to which Heyman responded with a spoiler alert: Rollins would suffer a beating, and the WWE World Heavyweight Title would come home.
Daniel Bryan’s Intercontinental Title win stole the show and the hearts of the WWE Universe in equal measure despite a last-second effort by Dolph Ziggler. But a burly Brit and a newly nasty fella might have something to say about WWE’s two most beloved underdogs. Having knocked off Bryan twice before WrestleMania and after nearly knocking him off a ladder at WrestleMania, “Zig Man” earned the first pass at D-Bry’s ivory enterprise. With Bad News Barrett lurking at commentary, the two grapplers locked horns over the Intercontinental Title like they were, in fact, competing in the WrestleMania main event.
Bryan and Ziggler exchanged holds and haymakers until The Showoff spiked Bryan into the mat with a modified piledriver targeted at The Beard’s surgically repaired neck. Bryan responded with a belly-to-back superplex, and the playing field evened from there. Much like the Ladder Match, the contest came down to dueling headbutts, but unlike the Ladder Match, Bryan had the option of answering with a Running Knee to retain his title. Bad News Barrett was quick to bum-rush the champion, but a returning, mohawked Sheamus sent him scurrying. Barrett need not have bothered. The Irishman had other targets in mind, Brogue-Kicking Bryan and flattening Ziggler with White Noise before offering a simple message to the crowd: “I’m back.” Nothing more was said, but we're sure Bryan and Ziggler will have quite the retort in mind when they battle Sheamus & Barrett on SmackDown.
So The New Day stands alone against the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions and NXT’s most brutish veteran tandem. What’s a trio to do? Enter The Lucha Dragons. The former NXT Tag Team Champions — themselves responsible for ending Konnor & Viktor’s run with those titles — made their Raw debut after bouncing around “WWE Superstars” and Main Event for a couple of weeks. With "NXT" chants erupting around them, the duo united with Big E & Kofi Kingston to send the four bullies to the bench in their first night in the big time.
Kalisto, Sin Cara’s partner in The Lucha Dragons, was the breakout of the match, confounding Cesaro with a whirligig hurricanrana and saving Kingston from a pasting by The Ascension, bringing ethe bout down to Kalisto and Konnor. Thanks to a momentary distraction from Sin Cara (whose gloves bore tribute to the late Perro Aguayo, Jr.), Konnor found himself defenseless and utterly unprepared for Kalisto, who pounced with his signature Salida del Sol for the win. For future reference, the chant goes like this: LU-CHA! LU-CHA! LU-CHA!
It’s good to be the king. With the option to defend or demure against a frothing Brock Lesnar in Seth Rollins’ hands, the jet-setting Heavyweight Champion of the World apparently decided a tussle with The Beast was a bit too much for him. Rollins declined to honor The Anomaly’s rematch clause until a date of his choosing. This — spoiler alert — did not please The Conqueror. A beating ensued that nearly landed Rollins in the grave; his escape was by the narrowest of margins. Everyone else was less lucky, as Lesnar hadn’t had his fill of carnage and turned his attention to anything that moved.
First went J&J, dispatched at Lesnar’s hands. Then the commentary team — Booker T and JBL buried by an overturned table and Michael Cole by an F-5 that literally took him out of his shoes. Finally, a helpless cameraman, obliterated with another F-5 despite Stephanie McMahon’s demands that Lesnar let up. Unable to control The Beast Incarnate, Stephanie suspended him indefinitely and hit him with a hefty fine. The cameraman then caught another F-5 because, at that point, why not?
Damien Mizdow is a free man, and he’s got a win to go with it. Having officially told his boss, The Miz, to shove it in the deciding moments of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania, Mizdow took to the ring against the sinister Stardust, late of the Intercontinental Title pile-up at The Show of Shows. It was bizarre to see the two Superstars, who were united in another lifetime as Team Rhodes Scholars, battle under their new identities.
But unlike the Rhodes-Sandow clashes of old, the result was reversed. With Byron Saxton taking over for the annihilated commentary team, Mizdow took control of Stardust from the very beginning and was even able to rally when “Cody” chants slowed Stardust down, leading to a Skull-Crushing Finale to the painted space traveler. It wasn’t long, of course, before Miz made his presence known, felling Mizdow with a Skull-Crushing Finale of his own, along with some harsh words the former stunt double will likely not forget anytime soon.
Don’t change the channel, indeed, because NXT Superstars are dropping in left and right these days. Following Kalisto’s debut on Raw, former NXT Champion Neville descended upon Curtis Axel, fuming over his elimination from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal yet already plotting the road to "Ax-treme Rules." Cutting the former Intercontinental Champion off mid-posedown, AxelMania gave way to NevilleMania in short order. “The Man That Gravity Forgot” peppered Axel with kicks to every inch of his body and finished him off with a dazzling corkscrew shooting star press that he calls the Red Arrow. It’s time for liftoff.
It was never a question that John Cena, he of Hustle-Loyalty-Respect, wouldn’t defend his newly won U.S. Title against anyone who wanted a crack at it on both Raw and SmackDown, where he'll be returning to on Thursday. What was surprising was that The Champ’s open challenge was answered by Dean Ambrose instead of Rusev, who suffered his first true defeat at WrestleMania and lost the star-spangled title in the process.
The Lunatic Fringe, himself a record-setting U.S. Champion and still hungry for a spot on WWE’s Wall of Champions, shook off that gruesome fall through a ladder to bring his own particular brand of insanity to Raw’s second title bout of the night. A big elbow was on the docket, as was locking Cena in an STF of his own to bring “The Face That Runs the Place” within an inch of defeat. Unfortunately for Ambrose, reprising his earlier triumphs over Cena was out of the cards. A running crossbody was reversed into an Attitude Adjustment and Cena stayed champion, though he offered respect to the frustrated Ambrose all the same. The rowdy crowd may have sang “John Cena sucks” to the tune of The Champ’s theme song, but the victory meant the overture of another tune: “The Champ is here.”
The Divas division got their moments in the sun on The Grandest Stage of Them All, from the tag team match that saw The Bellas fall to “The Frenemies” to Natalya and Naomi involving themselves in the Fatal 4-Way WWE Tag Team Title Match on the WrestleMania Kickoff. And each Diva who stepped onto The Show of Shows got a chance to show why they received that honor with a Six-Diva Tag Match on Raw. And show they did.
The Divas dished out some significant punishment to each other, with AJ Lee (showing NXT’s Bayley some love) taking the brunt of it when Natalya & The Bellas isolated her from her group. The peak came when Nikki contorted AJ into a bow and arrow, but the former Divas Champion rallied to tag in a fresh Naomi to take over against Nikki Bella. Naomi’s best offense turned out to be a good defense when she ducked Nikki’s forearm, leaving it to smash sister Brie in the face instead. With Nikki shocked at her mistake, Naomi attacked with the Rear View and brought it home for her team.
The dominance begins anew. Rusev’s pinless streak may have screeched to a halt at WrestleMania, but The Super Athlete’s mean streak didn’t get wiped out along with it as he prepares, surely and inevitably, to challenge John Cena for the U.S. Title. The first Superstar to fall victim to the raging Russian — once again without Lana, who inadvertently cost him the match last night — was Goldust, who, despite old-school grit, didn’t stand a chance. The Bizarre One found himself locked in the Accolade after only a matter of minutes, tapping out almost instantly to escape the hold. No Lana? No problem.
An ultimatum to Randy Orton by The Authority forced The Viper to find his own partners in a locker room full of enemies for Raw’s main event, a Six-Man tussle with Rollins, Big Show & Kane. While Ryback volunteered for some more anti-Authority action, the deficit opened the door for the man who had been conspicuous all night by his absence: Roman Reigns. The 2014 Superstar of the Year rounded out Orton’s ranks and had quite enough of both Seth Rollins and the snarkiness of the WWE Universe, leaping over the rope and onto The Authority in the match’s opening moments and taking the bout into his hands at the end: With Orton tenderized by The Authority for minutes on end, Reigns took over against Kane and never let up, capitalizing on some timely help from Ryback (who Shell Shocked Big Show) and Orton (who RKOed Kane) to finish the night with a Spear to The Devil’s Favorite Director of Operations, though Rollins eluded him. For now, anyway.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (11:50)
- The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) & The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) defeated The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & Brass Ring Club (Tyson Kidd & Cesaro) (w/ Natalya) (10:03)
- Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship went to a No Contest
- Damien Mizdow defeated Stardust (2:24)
- Neville defeated Curtis Axel (1:14)
- John Cena (c) defeated Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE United States Championship (14:21)
- AJ Lee, Naomi & Paige defeated Natalya & The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella) (13:06)
- Rusev defeated Goldust (2:20)
- Randy Orton, Roman Reigns & Ryback defeated The Authority (Kane, Seth Rollins & The Big Show) (12:58)
Other on-screen talent