The live blogging seemed to prove popular so here we go again. Hope to have a decent show as we build to Wrestlemania next month.
We start out recapping how Goldberg won the title at Fastlane, and set up the challenge against Lesnar last week. I really hope this match at Mania is the best match of his return, because as of now, it really seems like Goldberg can’t pull off a match anymore, not one that lasts longer than three minutes at least.
Lesnar comes out with Paul Heyman to kick this show off,live from Detroit. Heyman proving once more he can sell anyone on anything. He’s the preeminent talker, promoter in this business. He even has me looking forward to this match with Goldberg. Because that is truly a feat.
Next up, the tension continues to build between Raw GMs Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon, I’m pretty sure that the rumors of Kurt Angle taking over after Mania will be proven factual soon enough. I’m looking forward to this. Stephanie wants Mick to fire someone before the show ends tonight. Pretty sure Jinder will be out of a job again soon. Or Titus. Someone is getting fired for sure.
Match 1: Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke
Bayley and Charlotte are in their respective friends corners, Dana Brooke showing some ruthless aggression early on, don’t normally see this side of her.
Sasha turns things around with a roll up for the pin and the win. Kind of a crap match tbh, the kind of match that they would use to put the women through, “bathroom break” matches.
But, the post match stuff, Charlotte denounces Dana Brooke, saying she’s done with her, but Dana turns things on her unleashing this new aggressive side of her attacking her relentlessly, and now the crowd chants Dana as Charlotte backs out of the arena.
Match Winner- Sasha
Match 2-Tj Perkins and Akira Tozawa vs Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese
Tozawa starts off the match against the “Premiere Athlete” Tony Nese. This turns quickly into Tozawa vs Brian Kendrick, and then we go to commercial again?!
Like this match just started, maybe like three minutes of tv show before going back to commercial. Is Raw taking a page out BET’s handbook? More commercials than show? Come on guys.
We’re back with Kendrick in control of Tozawa. He tries to tag in TJ but Perkins is pulled off the ring and now Nese is tagged in and has Tozawa in a submission hold.Akira refuses to give up, gets out , hits Kendrick with an Enziguri, and now TJ is tagged in and on a roll against Nese.
Some close calls on both sides but the match continues. Nese pushes TJ into Tozawa then hits the rollup for the win. Two matches in, two rollup wins. Come on guys, seriously? Is there a bet in the writers room?
Match Winner-Tony Nese and Brian Kendrick
Match Grade- C
Kevin Owens is out next, in an awesome KO-Mania 2 shirt that’s an homage to the Wrestlemania 2 logo which I need in my collection soon. Up next, it’s Owens and Joe vs Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn. Before the match starts though, it’s time for Kevin Owens to cut a promo and to remind us of how it’s been a month now since the Festival of Friendship and his attack on his former best friend, Chris Jericho.
He says they were never really friends though, that he’s only mad at Owens because Kevin struck first. And that he will take his US Title just like Chris took away Kevin’s title from him at Fastlane. Wouldn’t surprise me if it happens, Fozzy, Jerichos band goes on tour this spring, so he likely needs time off. Owens says, who needs best friends when you have a Destroyer. Cue Samoa Joe, and we’re getting ready for some tag team action.
Match 3- Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn
The crowd chants Y2J , as we get ready with Samoa Joe leading the charge against Jericho. Just dominating him in the early goings. Jericho regains control for a second, long enough to make the tag, and Sami Zayn is hitting some innovative offense against the Destroyer, for a minute at least.
Owens is back in, and Sami is fighting them both now, hitting both with a fantastic over the top rope ariel attack. Which was impressive but soon enough Joe and Owens have the upper hand, beating down on Sami til the ref calls the match.
Jericho isn’t done yet though, and fights them both now. Owens and Hoe are too powerful though and start to beat him down now, Jericho is hit with a powerbomb, and Joe and Kevin leave the ring.
Match Winner-Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn (DQ)
Jinder Mahal confronts Mick Foley in the hall asking about who is getting fired tonight, as I expected would happen, Foley gives him an opportunity to prove himself in the ring tonight.
New Day is backstage with their new talk show, New Day Talks, interviewing The Big Show and promoting The Jetsons and WWE Present:Wrestlemania and of course New Day Pops.
Titus interrupts, talking about who will get fired tonight, and why isn’t Titus the star of the movie.
Enzo and Cass are out next, cutting a promo on Sheamus and Cesaro before we get this number one contender match for the tag titles going. I still feel like they’ve lost some of that spark that made them one of my favorite teams last year. Their mic skills are decent, but it feels like it’s forced these days.
Match 4-Enzo and Cass vs Sheamus and Cesaro
Back and forth action to start this match , no team has a clear advantage in this one. Sheamus and Cesaro are impressive here tonight though, I’m hoping they pull off the win here, they’re more deserving of a Wrestlemania moment then Enzo and Cass are. Right now , to me, Enzo and Cass are preshow material. Sheamus and Cesaro know how to put on a great wrestling match.
Gallows and Anderson end this match on a DQ. Setting up a triple threat match at Mania I’m guessing. Ok, this works . But still..first two rollups, then two DQs? I swear the writers just copy +pasted the finishes for these first four matches. Lazy writing =Bad Writing
Mick Foley confronts Gallows and Anderson and confirms my theory, at Wrestlemania it will be a triple threat match for the tag titles.
Match 5-Jinder Mahal vs Roman Reigns
The announcers talk about the recently announced Wrestlemania match Roman vs Undertaker, as Roman comes out. I expect this match to be quicker than a Goldberg match.
They fight for a minute, til The Undertaker’s gong sounds, which distracts Reigns, allowing Jinder to take control of this match. Will they allow this to happen? Nope. Superman punch, 1-2-3, Reigns wins lol.
Match Winner-Roman Reigns
Reigns gets on the mic next, calling out Undertaker to face him now, as we cut to commercial suddenly. These commercial breaks are really oddly placed tonight.
And now we’re back, Roman still awaits Undertaker, but instead of the Deadman it’s HBK Shawn Michaels! This is a nice surprise. Please let Roman turn heel here and Spear Shawn.
The crowd goes nuts, HBK, HBK!
Roman says Detroit loves HBK, but he’s sorry, he didn’t call him out, he called out Undertaker. Shawn offers up some advice as a former opponent of the Deadman.
Roman isn’t taking it though, he thinks he’s better than Taker. He’s getting some heel heat here, and I love it.
Shawn tries to talk some sense into Roman, and he’s nodding in agreement, for the most part, but Roman isn’t buying it, says Taker retired HBK, but he will retire The Undertaker. I love it. This is what needed to happen. Out comes Strowman though, just blindsiding Roman Reigns on the entrance ramp. Triple threat match maybe?
Back to the back, Stephanie goads Mick further about who he’s going to fire tonight. Hmm..I’m wondering here if in the end, it’s just Mick that gets fired, and this leaves the co-manager spot open for a couple weeks til Angle comes onboard. It’s possible, it’d be an ‘unexpected twist’, well to most people anyway.
We get a recap about Austin Aries return to in-ring action, as we get ready to see his Raw in-ring debut coming up next. I’ve been a fan of his since TNA, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he does here, in the better company. Up next it’s Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari.
Match 6-Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari
The two shake hands in a show of respect, and we’re underway with Austin Aries taking control quickly here with some great offense. Daivari manages to turn things around his way, and lets Aries know that he isn’t going down without a fight. Austin retakes the match, slams Daivari down, and gets his finisher ready. Daivari isn’t done yet though, counters, gets tossed out and Austin hits a suicide dive on Daivari before trying this thing again, crazy backslam, getting ready to finish this thing, Rolling Elbow punch, 1-2-3, and Austin Aries gets the victory.
Match Winner-Austin Aries
Another Makeover of Emmalina to Emma promo is up next..I imagine we can expect these for another 17 weeks. Cause the writers are so clever and funny. Anyways.
Match 7-The Big Show vs. Titus O’ Neill
They remind us that Big Show has also declared himself an entrant in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal as he comes to the ring, and Titus comes out next. Big Show is dominating this match right now, I’m loving this new Big Show, this is some of his best stuff in years. Titus isn’t just giving up this match that quick…well until Big Show hits him with a chokeslam, and another one, and another one, before hitting the pin, and this match is over. Not a bad filler match. Yeah, it’s filler, but this is good filler, like the stuff that fills a Cadbury egg, it’s not filling, but it leaves you with a smile on your face.
Match Winner-Big Show
Bayley and Sasha are talking backstage about Bayley’s upcoming match with Nia Jax tonight. Sasha says she believes in her, that she has this match. I’m certain that Sasha will be turning on her sooner or later, but for now they remain friends.
Jericho has a backstage interview, who says next week, on The Highlight Reel, his guest will be “The Real” Kevin Owens, and everyone is going to want to watch…..it. Great hilarious segment at the end, calling the new interviewer Mike Roane Tom Phillips, leading into new vintage Jericho, and he just made the List of Jericho, making a great return to Monday Night Raw. Sure, it’s a little forced, but like The New Day, I love “The List”
Match 8- Bayley vs. Nia Jax
We’re now at five more matches than Smackdown had last week, that’s right, 8 matches on Raw tonight. Sure, they’re of varying quality, but this is why we watch wrestling shows, to see wrestling matches. Something I hope that Smackdown learns this week.
Nia wants to prove that she should be in championship contention, which I’m inclined to agree with, going back to her stuff in NXT and the fact that she took out Sasha Banks for a month not too long ago. She could be a really dominating champion, like one we haven’t seen the likes of in a long time.
This isn’t to say that Bayley wasn’t doing some impressive stuff as well tonight, well she’s trying to put up a fight at least, not just giving in, but she’s being overpowered here by the stronger woman here. Just tossing Bayley around like a ragdoll here. The ref calls off the match as Nia Jax is just destroying Bayley here. Still going on, making a statement here tonight.
Match Winner-Bayley (DQ)
Up next, Mick Foley must fire someone. Will it be himself? Stephanie introduces Mick, who comes out to the ring, begrudingly. She asks him who is he going to fire. He says that nobody really deserves to be fired, but he has a person who he knows who he’s going to fire, and he knows who it is, it has to be him, I’m sure of it. It’s such an obvious ‘suprise’ But wait…he says he’s going to fire Stephanie McMahon! And the crowd goes nuts.
Stephanie says that that’s not possible, he doesn’t have the authority to fire her, and he says that it has to be her. The people she belittle on a weekly basis are human beings, and they deserve better. And yes, I agree, she needs to go…but she won’t though, that’s not how things work in WWE.
He says he will not be silenced, and out comes Triple H to defend his wife. Well, looks like The Authority is coming back…yay 20 minute promos opening Raw every week. Triple H is a consummate heel though, his promos are as good as they ever were. I just hope that it’s not more Authority stuff that comes out of this, that the Kurt Angle thing is true.
This back and forth between Mick and Triple H is great, I wish I could see these two in the ring again, but I know it’s way past time for that. There’s always WWE 2K. Damn, Triple H is bringing Mick’s kids into it. His son that works in the back office, and his daughter that wants to be a WWE wrestler. He tells Mick to get the hell out of his ring, and Mick walks to the corner, flexing his fist, and then Mick hits Mr. Socko on Triple H! Yes! Then Stephanie hits him with a low blow, and Mick is down and out, as Triple H gets ready for a fight.
Seth Rollins is here, and he makes his way down to the ring crutch in hand. This is amazing. Triple H signals him to come in the ring, Rollins drops the crutch..he’s ready to fight! Yes! Rollins and Triple H are going at it! Rollins dominating Triple H, hitting him with a superkick, and another jump kick, knocking Triple H out of the ring! Rollins is back, and he’s going to take this fight to Triple H at Wrestlemania!
Triple H gets back in the ring, crutch in hand, then H beats him with that crutch, right in his bad leg. He stomps on the leg some more. Then hitting him with a leglock. He’s trying to take him out before this fight can even start. The refs have to pull Triple H off of Rollins, but he’s still not done yet, as we end another Raw, Rollins lies in the ring, holding his injured leg, and Triple H leaves the ring, triumphant.
Wow…the show itself was decent, but it had some moments of Wrestlemania hype that get me truly excited for the Showcase Of The Immortals. Shawn Michaels, Triple H…Seth Freakin Rollins?! Great stuff, that really elevated this show to entertaining and mark-out worthy status at times.
Final Show Grade: B-