Well we kick RAW off with a contract signing for Samoa Joe. Mick is angry about his way of going about it, but Steph is of course thrilled. Joe cuts a great promo about being out there for 18 years and HHH is the one who brought him here. He says he’ll take out everyone in the back. The crowd is kind of eating this up and chanting “you sold out” at Joe and it seems like he might actually be getting some real heel heat so we have to ruin it by bringing out Roman Reigns. Or maybe I’m crazy and people are loving it, but the crowd reaction does not make me, the viewer at home, believe his character. Mick still cares about the fans though, so we get Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns later tonight. Should still be a good match.
Bayley vs Nia Jax
Well this match is overshadowed by the fact they had to keep announcing that Nia Jax weighs in at 272 pounds. That’s something fun to keep pointing out when you never mention women’s weights. Alright. Well this match was actually pretty good. I thought both women were served well by it. Bayley looked strong and Nia looked really good as well. It’s ruined when Charlotte comes out and distracts Bayley enough for Nia to get the win.
Winner: Nia Jax
BRAUN kills a bunch of jobbers in the ring and then goes looking for Mick Foley for giving him this kind of competition. Okay. He goes in the back and yells at Mick Foley to give him real competition. So that’s right, Roman Reigns is the answer again. They have a match at Fastlane.
Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak
I haven’t actually seen a lot of Akira Tozawa, so I was pretty excited to see this tonight. I was underwhelmed probably because of how much they talked him up in the introduction. By no means did I think it was a bad match, and it showcased him alright, but I think it could have been more spectacular. Tozawa’s german suplex was talked up as the best in the world, and I did not agree for now. After the match THE Brian Kendrick comes out to welcome Tozawa to the division so, that’ll probably be a thing.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
Best friends Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho come out to my eternal glee. I know this is ending soon but it is so lovely. They decide they should have a match Title for Title at Wrestlemania but before they can finish, out comes Goldberg. I forgot for a minute this is he match they were heading to and I am sad now. Goldberg accepts Brock’s challenge from last week for a Wrestlemania match, and while being congratulated by KO and Jericho he challenges KO for a title match at Fastlane. Sigh. Jericho accepts it on KO’s behalf and this glorious reign is going to end at FASTLANE. Damn.
After break we get more angry Kevin Owens. Jericho says he always has his back, but KO thinks him promising a match with big dumb Goldberg is bad. IT IS!
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Gallows & Anderson (c) vs Cesaro and Sheamus
I gotta be honest, I kind of checked out on this match. I have seen these guys fight EVERY RAW I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT. I EVEN LIKE THEM. IT IS ENOUGH. Worse! Enzo and Cass are out there because they are now going to be the new #1 contenders! Well. I am glad they have a tag team division people seem to care about at least. There is discord sown when Enzo and Cass cause the DQ after mixing it up with Gallows & Anderson and Cesaro is very unhappy.
Winners: Gallows & Anderson by DQ
There is a nice black history month segment here and nothing snarky to say about that!
We get a Seth Rollins injury update, but I am keeping all of the faith we’re gonna see him at Mania this year.
New Day (Xavier & Big E) vs The Shining Stars
Before the match the New Day just talks about Ice Cream and it makes me miss CM Punk a little bit. Just a little!! They fight the Shining Stars who still exist! The match is not bad, The Shining Stars actually put up a good bit of fight. They do nothing to build them by giving them a surprise win though – instead we get Xavier yelling about ice cream some more as he gets the pin.
Winners: New Day
We get more backstage with Chris Jericho who is talking to Charly Caruso about his match with Sami Zayn tonight. They’re interrupted by KO and we get arguably the best part of the night so far when Jericho tells Charly “Hit the Bricks, Chuck”. KO says Jericho is right and he does always have his back, so Jericho will have his later tonight and now I think Sami Zayn will be US Champ by the end of the night!
Rock n Roll Express is getting into the Hall of Fame and it is probably long over due.
US Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs Sami Zayn
Match of the night so far without a doubt, only slightly marred by the dirty win. I just don’t think we need SO many dirty wins in one evening. I did let myself believe Sami could win due to help from KO and it didn’t happen, but that just means they got me and I like that. I think Sami might get that title soon. You should watch this match. Both guys are great and any match with them is probably going to be something you should tune in for.
Winner: Chris Jericho (with help from KO)
There’s a backstage with Sasha and Charlotte and Charlotte is mocking Sasha for being on the injured list. She says at least she has her best friend, meaning Bayley, but she got beat earlier by Nia Jax. It’s just a segment to sow doubt in Sasha’s mind and I have to think she’s going heel soon.
Austin Aries is out to interview Neville who I think is doing just a wonderful job as a heel. It’s kind of rough when he’s obviously trying to enunciate every word, but I dig him like this. He’s interrupted by the 5 competitors in a Fatal 5 Way tomorrow on 205 Live: TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese, Jack Gallagher and Noam Dar. They all obviously get into a big brawl and it ends with Neville teasing a nice acrobatic spot and not delivering to mess with the crowd. Nice. Unfortunately though the crowd is not having these guys. They kind of like Gallagher and then they also kind of cheered Dar, but it was pretty flat. It’s unfortunate. All talented guys. Oh shit it’s a match now.
Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher & TJ Perkins vs Noam Dar, Tony Nese and Neville
It’s not a bad match, but it’s a bit of a clusterfuck as you can imagine. The best part is the heat Neville gets when he shies away from a tag from Noam Dar and leaves the ring. Loved it. The faces win when Cedric Alexander gets the tag and takes out Dar.
Winners: Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher & TJ Perkins
Whew okay so, I love KO and Jericho but here they are AGAIN. Oh next week in Las Vegas we get the festival of friendship!!!
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
This is a strong match. I thought it was good from beginning to end except for the awful superman punch that has to go. It keeps itself from being a great first showing for Samoa Joe only because he can’t win clean. We’re of course interrupted AGAIN tonight and this time it’s BRAUN. Roman manages to knock him down, but it’s at the cost of the match because Joe catches him right as he turns around. No Muscle Buster so that’s something. After the match BRAUN picks the meat from the bones of Roman or something. Well, he destroys him and crushes barricades with the big dog. Raw ends with BRAUN leaving Roman lying. Samoa Joe nowhere in sight.
Final Thoughts: Sigh. It was not a good Raw. The best parts were Jericho yelling at the backstage announcer to hit the bricks, Samoa Joe and a pretty good US Title match. You can skip this show and feel no guilt folks. I wish I could have. BUT YOU KNOW, PUSHING ON!
WATCH THIS MATCH: Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho because they have great chemistry together and it is a real blessing to get to see these two guys face off.
SKIP THIS MATCH: Cesaro & Sheamus vs Gallows & Anderson. Come on. We’ve seen this before.
Well that is it! Anything fun and wrestling related to talk about? Find me over at hm_pufnstuf on twitter.