Ladies and gentlemen – I watched Monday Night Raw! Maybe in case you don’t want to…
Brock Lesnar is in the hizz-ouse! And he is starting this show! People still say that, right? Things like Hizz-ouse? Anyway, Paul Heyman and Brock are out to talk about how Brock can tooootally beat Goldberg. The crowd has the audacity to start chanting for Goldberg and Heyman tells them he’s not there. So this is probably all we’re getting tonight from Brock unsurprisingly. Good thing they’ve got these two to build to Wrestlemania!
Backstage segment with Mick and Stephanie part 1. Stephanie and Mick actually seem to be getting along, and Steph says she’ll teach Mick how to be a good General Manager. Mick is eager to get her lessons and she says the first is tonight, and it’s firing someone before the end of the night. Ouch. Big lesson right off there, Steph. At this point of the night I’m thinking it has to be Mick firing himself, but we will see as the night goes on.
Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) vs Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte)
The most interesting part about this match is when Corey corrects Byron because he says Bayley doesn’t have to be a part of the match to lose the title at Mania which is ridiculous. Sasha rolls Dana up and beats her pretty handily. Afterwards Charlotte attacks Dana both physically then on the mic, saying she’s getting rid of her old pal. As she berates her, Dana fights back and kind of beats the crap out of Charlotte. The crowd gets firmly behind Dana here and I actually think it’s a pretty good beat down from her. Unfortunately they built the breakup weirdly and nobody really cares about Dana generally and she’s not the best wrestler. The biggest problem I had with this whole segment is that the commentators really didn’t sell the breakup as anything very exciting, so if they don’t make it a big deal it really can’t be.
Winner: Sasha Banks quickly
The Warrior Award is going to Eric Legrand and this is a super inspiring story that is great to tell. You should check out the package.
Akira Tozawa & TJ Perkins vs THE Brian Kendrick & Tony Nese
I’m a Kendrick fan, a Nese fan and quickly becoming a Tozawa fan. TJ Perkins just doesn’t do it for me, but I think he’s a great worker. Michael Cole just said Flim Flam Flash about TJ Perkins and if he’s not going to take this seriously, why should any of us? He could not have thought that was what he should have said. This is a pretty good back and forth match. I think the cruisers are finally finding better footing, but I often seem to tune the crowd out so maybe I’m wrong. Tozawa is great at taking punishment, that’s for sure. Tony Nese gets the win, which is just wonderful.
Winners: THE Brian Kendrick & Tony Nese
Backstage we check in with Charles Caruso and Anderson & Gallows who don’t want to talk about those nerds Enzo & Cass or Sheamus & Cesaro. They’ll make sure they get the result they want. Oooh.
Kevin Owens graces us with his presence and talks about how he destroyed Chris Jericho. He brings out Samoa Joe and we head into what should be a good match.
Sami Zayn & Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe
This match is actually kind of short and a lot of Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe beating up the other two. It’s another no finish, I think? Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe keep double teaming Sami Zayn and he’s in the coquina clutch, but I don’t think he gives up so I’m going DQ. After the match Joe and KO take down Jericho and won’t relent until more refs hit the ring.
Winners: Sami Zayn & Chris Jericho by DQ
More Steph and Mick talking about firing someone. She thinks he should fire Sami Zayn of course. He leaves and runs into Jinder Mahal who is bulging out of his own skin. He’s getting a match tonight to prove his worth without Handsome Rusev.
A backstage segment with The New Day, Big Show and and Titus O’Neil happens where they talk about the new WWE Jetsons movie…and it happened. Titus is mad he wasn’t the star of the movie because HE LOVES THE JETSONS. Wow.
Enzo & Cass come out and cut a promo they nearly always do, I think Enzo was shilling his own products at one point. Cass talks and says something about putting their names in your March Madness brackets which I think is probably a mistake if you want to win money.
#1 Contender’s Match Enzo & Cass vs Sheamus & Cesaro
This is a typical Enzo is getting his ass kicked for most of the match before he makes the tag to Cass match. It all gets broken up by the “jealous of the attention everyone else is getting” champions, Anderson & Gallows, who apparently don’t know attacking your two potential opponents almost always ends in a triple threat!
Winners: No Contest
Backstage Mick actually makes the Triple Threat Title Match at Mania a reality for the tag Belts. Bad guys never learn.
Roman Reigns vs Jinder “How Long Til the Next Wellness Test” Mahal
I thought for sure this would just be a squash but not too long into the match we get an Undertaker gong and for a minute I think maybe steroids haven’t hindered Jinder. I am wrong though because after some alright offense from Jinder, Roman just wins.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Roman has decided to hang around and call out Undertaker, telling him to be a man. There is a problem here of course because Taker is not a man. In a surprising M Night Shyamalan twist, HBK comes out! Roman says it’s cool HBK is here, but he didn’t call him out. HBK says he’s here on Roman’s side! He tells Roman that he saw what happened, and he needs to tell Roman that Taker is going to eat him alive. Roman is not afraid of Taker though, and he says that Taker retired HBK and he’s going to be the guy who retires Taker. Roman leaves and immediately gets clotheslined on the ramp by BRAUN. It’s a pretty good hit, but BRAUN won’t go after HBK because he doesn’t want to! Good guy BRAUN. Crowd pretty loudly chanting “THANK YOU STROWMAN” after. This is heel Roman time. IT’S TIME (again).
More Steph and Mick “who’s gonna get fired tonight?!” drama.
Austin Aries vs Ariya Daivari
Obviously this is a great match. It’s great to see Austin Aries finally wrestling on Monday Night Raw and Daivari is an effective heel opponent. Aries needs to show the crowd who doesn’t know him what he can do and why he’s the right choice to face Neville at Wrestlemania when he hasn’t wrestled at all. I’m fine with it, I just don’t want Aries as a shiny babyface.
Winner: Austin Aries
Big Show vs TItus O’Neill
Big Show wins after a chokeslam. Then there are more chokeslams.
Winner: Big Show
Backstage with Sasha and Bayley and Sasha is definitely showing her True Colors (shining through). She says Nia is beatable and Bayley can take her out tonight. I forgot to mention that Nia got a match earlier against Bayley to get put in the Raw Women’s Championship match at Mania. Sasha seems more comfortable here than I’ve seen her in recent months. The Boss is coming out.
I lost this whole segment here about Chris Jericho talking about showing us the REAL Kevin Owens next week on a very special Highlight Reel. It was a really funny segment with Jericho confusing new backstage interviewer Mike Rome (?) with Tom Phillips and refusing to believe he wasn’t Tom. He puts Rome (Tom?) on the List!
Nia Jax vs Bayley
This is basically a squash match with Bayley and Nia here. Bayley gets limited offense in, but Nia is really trying to get herself over as a monster heel. It ends with ANOTHER DQ when Nia won’t stop attacking Bayley in the corner and the ref calls for the bell. I would try to win the match, but what do I know?
Winner: Bayley by DQ
Mick and Steph are out to see who is going to get fired tonight. After careful consideration, Mick thinks Stephanie herself should be fired! She’s the one creating a toxic environment. He is not wrong. Mick says he was hoping Stephanie wasn’t a good liar and a terrible person, but she is. He says she lied about knowing what HHH was up to, and before he can talk too much about HHH, the Game is out! He comes out and says he doesn’t want a lawsuit so he can’t beat up Mick, but he should watch his mouth. Mick takes out his false teeth! He says he doesn’t care if he has to travel around telling stories to make money, but HHH reminds him his kids work for them too. He’s a monster. As they continue to berate Mick he retreats to the corner as if to leave before pulling out MR. SOCKO! He mandible claws HHH until Stephanie hits him with the low blow. HHH continues to beat on Mick until Seth Rollins music hits! He comes out limping with a crutch, slowly to the ring. When he gets there he throws the crutch down and shows off a bitchin’ new Kingslayer shirt that I want. He proceeds to beat the shit out of HHH and then – inexplicably – HHH beats the shit out of him. And the show ends. What the fuck?
Final Thoughts: Meh. This was a bad Raw. I had to read back through to remember everything and it just was not good. Too many dumb finishes. Too much with Mick and Stephanie. This was a miss. The end with Rollins was SO good and the crowd was ready for it and ready to fully get behind Seth AGAIN and they ruined it. Damn.
WATCH THIS MATCH: I guess the Cruiserweight tag match Tozawa & Perkins vs Nese & THE Brian Kendrick
SKIP THIS MATCH: Titus vs Big Show. I did.
WELL. You can find him on twitter at hm_pufnstuf. How was your Raw Experience?