So after a disappointing Fastlane…a show I can admit I only caught a few matches from…we have Raw live from Chicago. Land of a not so forgotten name. Can this show make last night’s lackluster show seem like just a faded memory? Or maybe make it all make sense? Well we certainly will see. And we’re gonna start off real nice.
Chris Jericho is out to start the show off! He wants answers from Kevin Owens, right now. He stuck a knife in the back of Jericho, and he dug(stuck?) it in maaaaan! Kevin Owens is out and says that Jericho was never his best friend, but was just a gullible pawn that Owens used. That Jericho was just a tool. Wow. Well. I feel like I was a little used too. Like we were all used. I bought it. WE ALL BOUGHT IT!! What even matters anymore? KO says that he was a nice guy when he didn’t kill Jericho during the Festival of Friendship but now he won’t be. Jericho blames himself and says he’d do the same thing 10 years ago, but really 10 years ago he was having the same thing done to him by Christian. Or maybe he’d done it to Edge. Either way, he’s right – he should have known better. But we were all fooled, Chris. He proposes a match at Wrestlemania, KO says that he’s fine with that because he was told he can have his Title rematch whenever he wants. There’s nothing stopping them from brawling right now though! Except for interference from Samoa Joe who helps KO, then Sami Zayn who comes out with a chair to help Y2J. It’s chaos! and if Teddy Long had anything to do with this, we’d have a tag match, but we don’t.
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
Clearly these two are great to watch in the ring, but this match was KO just letting off steam after losing the title last night in about 3 seconds to Goldberg. Sami gets some light offense in, but it really is the Kevin Owens show and he lays waste to Sami pretty quickly.
Winner: Kevin Owens
I gotta think Vince is loving the whole Austin Aries package bit if there’s any truth to his obsession with Alicia FAAAAAUCHS.
Cruiserweight Title Match: Neville (c) vs Rich Swann
Neville has been knocking it out of the park these last few weeks and he gets CM Punk’d. That’s just terrible crowd, knock it off. The announcers put over what a grueling match Neville had yesterday and it plays nicely into the story as Swann gets the upperhand early and gets some offense in reminding us why he was actually the champion before. Neville and Swann are actually fighting really stiff – really trying to get the crowd here, but they instead take the time to chant Austin Aries. Not as bad as CM Punk. This is a great, great match. Both guys look awesome and this is the kind of thing the Cruiserweight division needs. Thank goodness we have them. Swann gives the best showing he can, but Neville wins as he should with the Rings of Saturn.
Afterwards we get Austin Aries interviewing Neville in the ring, and the crowd chanting his name again and it’s clear from the beginning we’ll get Austin challenging Neville, but this whole segment is great. Neville says nobody in the Cruiserweight division is at his level and Austin says the people of Chicago disagree as they chant his name. Neville says Austin can’t be suggesting himself because if so he’ll break his orbital socket again. Aries says he has just one more question…er…more of a statement and he takes Neville down with the mic. Wow. Fire segment, fire match. This is why I watch wrestling.
We go from that to Enzo & Cass running into Sheamus & Cesaro and all you need to know is that Enzo says Cesaro has pepperoni pizza nipples and I checked out. Don’t take me from Neville and Aries to that. That isn’t fair to anybody watching this.
Goldberg is out to talk about how his title is for the people, but by the sound of this crowd not these people. As a CM Punk chant gets going pretty well Paul Heyman interrupts with Brock Lesnar. It’s a long drawn out thing about how Brock will shake Goldberg’s hand because of what happened at Survivor Series, but it ends with Heyman saying Goldberg will be Lesnar’s bitch. Then Lesnar beats Goldberg up.
Anderson & Gallows vs Enzo & Cass
This might be for the titles, but let’s be honest, we know there’s no title changing hands tonight. We get to watch Enzo pretend he can do anything for awhile before Sheamus and Cesaro head out to see what’s going on. It all delves into the brawl we expected when Enzo spills Cesaro’s coffee and Sheamus and Cesaro clean house. Thank goodness.
Winners: Anderson & Gallows by DQ (Cesaro came in to attack Enzo and hit Gallows first)
Rick Rude is getting into the Hall of Fame and it is about time.
Backstage Sheamus & Cesaro and Enzo & Cass are fighting and Mick tells everyone we don’t settle things backstage! Sure. Sure we don’t. He’s gonna try to have a nice day, but of course Stephanie steps into view and takes Mick to her office.
Akira Tozawa vs Ariya Daivari
This is not a very long match and it just serves to further the story with THE Brian Kendrick. Tozawa calls him out after, but Kendrick comes out to say he won’t answer him until 205 Live tomorrow. Fun.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
New Day vs The Shining Stars
Well I guess this is happening due to the “Oscar mix up” last week. This is dumb, it’s fine whatever. I honestly took a break here.
Winners: New Day
Mick Foley is out to welcome Bayley to the ring who seems a bit disappointed in how she won her match last night, but Mick tells her to be happy she’s going to Wrestlemania – and against who? Well out comes The Boss. She says they should have a match at Mania and Mick and the crowd seem to agree, but Charlotte doesn’t as she and Dana Brooke hit the ring. Charlotte says she knows Sasha only helped Bayley because she wanted a shot at the title and Sasha doesn’t think Bayley can beat Charlotte. To her credit, I think this is exactly where the story is going. Charlotte demands a rematch but Mick says she’s had her rematch already, and Stephanie comes out to basically just insert Charlotte into the Championship match at Wrestlemania. Before she can do that though she gets a brutal CM Punk chant as is to be expected, but she calls him and all the fans cheering for him losers. They keep it up pretty heavily, but she gets through it and doesn’t seem to let it phase her. Stephanie McMahon may be too much sometimes, but she’s still the Queen. She should be there, so that’s fine. Mick insists The Boss deserves a spot too so she’s got a shot – if she beats Bayley up next. Woo boy. This should be good.
Bayley vs Sasha Banks
This is a really slow match to start off. We start to get shades of what I would say is the real Boss as we head into the break, someone who’s willing to take down Bayley to get to the title. I want the sneaky, bitchy, sassy boss! Charlotte’s on commentary for this match so that Corey Graves can worship her and make fun of Byron a bunch. She doesn’t make it the whole match though and comes down for a ringside look and to get involved as Sasha has the bank statement…kind of locked in on Bayley. When she and Dana Brooke try to get involved it ends in Sasha’s favor as she gets the win and forces her way into the women’s Mania main event.
Charlotte stills lays waste to Bayley and Sasha when the match is over.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Roman is backstage with Charly and he is not worried about BRAUN saying he’ll finish the job he started on him last night. Whatever.
We get a rehab update from Seth Rollins. He’s rehabbing 3 times a day for over 7 hours a day. He says no matter what he will be at Wrestlemania.
HHH is “live” via satellite and says Seth Rollins had better not show up at Wrestlemania. He says Seth was never the man and that HHH had to carry him, tell him what to do. Basically be afraid Seth Rollins, be very afraid.
We’re teased with Emmalina becoming Emma. Sigh.
Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho
Joe has the upperhand for most of the match though Jericho does get some offense in. As he’s getting his momentum, Jericho tries to slide and hit Joe on the outside, but Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch. He chokes Jericho out until the count gets to 8 and takes the count out victory. He rolls Jericho into the ring after to try and continue the beating, but Jericho hits a code breaker out of nowhere to fend him off. Not much of a match.
Winner: Samoa Joe (via countdown)
BRAUN is out to beat up Roman Reigns! BRAUN even calls out the fact that Chicago doesn’t like Roman Reigns, just like he doesn’t. He yells Roman’s name a couple of times before his music finally hits but just as it does it’s interrupted – by a gong.
Undertaker is out and before he can enter the ring, BRAUN bows out. Taker kind of just stands there while BRAUN leaves and is about to leave himself when Roman Reigns music hits. He comes out to say BRAUN didn’t ask for Taker – he asked for Roman. This is his yard now. We get a LOUD Roman sucks chant at that and then Taker is chokeslamming him to the floor. And Taker’s out. We’re all out!
Final Thoughts: This Raw was not the worst Raw of the past couple weeks! If that’s saying anything. The Neville/Swann match is really good and that is reason enough to tune in to at least part of Raw. There were other matches that had a lot of potential but fell flat for me. It wasn’t a great show, and there are a lot of questions. Did Roman just go heel? Does Nia get added to the Women’s match? Why do people still care about Enzo & Cass?
Watch This Match: Neville vs Rich Swann This match was awesome. Everyone should watch this, and after that they should keep watching for the Austin Aries/Neville confrontation. That was a great segment. You should not miss this match.
Skip This Match: New Day vs Shining Stars. I did, why should you have to watch it?
Have fun wrestling things to discuss? Find me over at hm_pufnstuf on twitter!