WWE Monday Night RAW
February 27, 2017
Commentary: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
We see footage from last night’s WWE Fastlane PPV event. Kevin Owens was set to defend his WWE Universal Championship against Goldberg, but then Chris Jericho’s music hit to distract him. Goldberg gave Owens a Spear and a Jackhammer to win the title in 21 seconds. Jericho, who had helped Owens retain his championship many times, cost him the title. Goldberg will face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania with the WWE Universal Championship on the line.
Chris Jericho makes his return to Monday Night RAW
Chris Jericho’s music hits, and the WWE United States Champion makes his way to the ring for his first appearance on RAW since being attacked during the “Festival of Friendship.” The crowd is going crazy for him and chanting “Y2J.” Jericho says this is the birthplace of Y2J. Even more so, tonight is the sight of the resurrection of Chris Jericho. The reason for that is last night at Fastlane, he screwed Kevin Owens out of the Universal Championship. Jericho congratulates Goldberg. Owens had it coming for betraying him at the “Festival of Friendship.” Owens ripped his heart out and stabbed his knife into the Back of Jericho – twist it in, man. Jericho is hurt and confused. Jericho wants to know why Owens did that. Jericho calls him out to hear the answer to the question of “why”.
Kevin Owens’ music this, and the former WWE Universal Champion makes his way to the stage dressed in his ring gear. The crowd cheered for his music, but it quickly turned into boos. Owens says after what Jericho did to him last night, he’s not giving him the answer. Jericho shouts at him to be quiet. Jericho says, “Answer the question, you son of a –” Jericho stops him and asks why a guy he trusted for eight months betrayed him. Why did Owens stab him in the back? He’s been in the hospital for three weeks. Owens has an answer for him. The reason he stabbed his best friend in the back is because he didn’t stab his best friend in the back: Jericho was never his best friend.” Jericho looks sad. Owens says his one-time best friend Sami Zayn was stabbed in the back. Owens would do it again and again. Jericho on the other hand was a tool that he used. The night he became Universal Champion, Triple H told him everyone is coming for him. Owens decided to get someone to watch his back. Owens needed that person to know what they were doing. That person needed to have experience, but also be gullible. If it makes Jericho feel any better, he was a perfect tool until he outlived his usefulness. That happened the second Jericho accepted the match against Goldberg on his behalf. Jericho went from a tool to a burden. That’s why he turned on him. Owens asks if he’s happy. Jericho doesn’t look happy.
The crowd starts chanting, “Goldberg.” Owens says he would have beaten Goldberg last night if not for Jericho. Owens admits that Jericho outsmarted him last night. Owens spared him at the “Festival of Friendship.” Owens let him walk away for his family because he is a good person, but he could have ended him. Letting Jericho walk away was the biggest mistake of his career that he won’t make again. The biggest mistake of Jericho’s career was costing him the title at Fastlane.
Jericho says the biggest mistake of his career was trusting Owens. Years ago, Jericho would have done the same exact thing. Jericho would have done it better. Jericho was complacent and liked the idea of having a best friend. Owens isn’t his best friend, and he doesn’t need him. Jericho has a lot of friends here tonight – thousands of them. Jericho says, “I have The Friends of Jericho – cheer me on, man!” The crowd loudly chants, “Y2J.” Jericho says if this is how it’s going to be, that’s fine. Costing him the Universal Championship wasn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. Jericho says what started at Fastlane was the beginning of a long and winding road that leads to Kevin Owens versus Chris Jericho at WrestleMania! Jericho points at the sign while the crowd chants, “YES!” Owens says he doesn’t give a damn what the crowd likes. After last night, Jericho might think that all he wants is to get the Universal Title back. He was promised a rematch whenever he wants one. Ever since Jericho took his title away from him, all he can think about is taking Jericho’s title away from him. Owens says if Jericho wants him at WrestleMania, he has to put the United States Title on the line. Jericho says, “Mmm ok, done.” Jericho agrees to the match for the WWE United States Championship at WrestleMania.
As for tonight, why wait until WrestleMania? They should get it on now. Jericho asks him what’s stopping him. Owens charges down to the ring, and they brawl to a big reception. Samoa Joe runs in from behind and attacks Jericho. They double-team him while the crowd boos. Sami Zayn’s music hits, and he runs down to the ring with a steel chair. Zayn hits Owens and Joe in the midsection with the chair before smacking it off the back of Joe. Owens attacks Zayn, and they double-team him. Jericho then hits Owens and Joe with the chair. Jericho appears to give Owens a chairshot to the head. Jericho and Zayn stand tall in the ring.
Mike’s Thoughts: Great opening segment. The crowd in Chicago is absolutely on fire and loved every minute of this. Jericho did an awesome job playing up to them. Owens was great as well. Owens delivered his lines really well and believably. This should be a very good match at WrestleMania. The brawl was well done, too. Owens and Joe in a stable with Triple H should be very good and lead to maybe a great SummerSlam match down the line. It looked like Jericho gave Owens a chairshot to the head, which is banned. That looked unintentional, but knowing how WWE is now, it might be problematic for Jericho. Either way, this was a great kickoff to RAW.
We join this match in progress. Owens clotheslines and chops Zayn in the corner. General Manager Mick Foley made this match during the commercial and banned Samoa Joe from ringside. They get into a hockey brawl with Zayn coming out on top. Owens is sent into the ropes and kicks Zayn in the face. Zayn answers back with a clothesline before punching away at him in the corner. Owens soon kicks him and sends him out of the ring. Owens follows him out, and Zayn clotheslines him on the floor. Zayn sends him into the barricade before putting him back in the ring. Owens quickly clotheslines him in the corner when he gets back in before crushing him with a cannonball. Owens goes for a Pop-up Powerbomb, but Zayn counters into a dropkick. Owens goes outside the ring to recover. The referee backs Zayn up. Zayn then flips over the referee to hit Owens with a summersault senton. Zayn puts him back in the ring, but Owens surprises him with a Pop-up Powerbomb. Owens takes a moment before punching away at Zayn. Owens does a summersault leg drop before connecting with a pumphandle neckbreaker. Zayn is in a lot of pain. Owens then gets him to his feet and crushes him with a decisive Pop-up Powerbomb for the win.
Later tonight, Chris Jericho will face Samoa Joe. We’ll also see the new WWE Universal Champion, Goldberg, as well. Coming up next, Neville will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Rich Swann.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was a good, quick little match. Much like he did last night and for almost all of his WWE main roster tenure, Sami Zayn was used as the sacrificial lamb to give someone a good win. Owens, coming off losing the WWE Universal Championship in 21 seconds last night, needed a strong win and got one here. This good kickoff to RAW continues.
Austin Aries replaces Byron Saxton on commentary for this next match. Aries then introduces his video package by saying, “It’s not a good package, it’s not a great package – it’s THE package.” Corey Graves couldn’t hide the fact that he was in stitches.
Video Package: Austin Aries highlight reel
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rich Swann vs. Neville (c)
Before the bell rings, the crowd loudly chants, “CM Punk.” The bell rings, and Swann quickly connects with two clotheslines. Swann punches him before flipping over Neville and dropkicking him. Neville quickly goes outside, so Swann follows and sends him into the barricade. Swann chops the chest twice before Neville pushes him away. Neville slams him onto the apron before sending him headfirst into the LED ring apron.
We come back from the break to see Swann trapped in a chin lock. Swann tries to fight up, but Neville takes him back down. Neville kicks him in the head while an “Austin Aries” chant fires up. Neville grabs him on the apron, but Swann punches him back. Neville drops him back into the ring and goes for a springboard, but Swann kicks him in the head. Neville falls outside. Swann goes to the top rope and and wipes Neville out with a summersault senton to the floor! The commentators call it a “Swanton Bomb.” Swann gets him into the ring and grabs him, but Neville cuts him off. Swann quickly comes back with a head-scissor takeover before kicking him in the midsection. Swann hits a modified Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Swann goes to the top rope, but Neville cuts him off. Neville catches him with a superplex, but Swann rolls out of the ring before Neville can pin him. Neville follows him outside and drives him into the barricade.
We come back from the break to see Swann counter a whip into a vicious right hand. They trade blows before Neville kicks him. Neville goes for a German Suplex, but Swann flips and lands on his feet. Swann then turns him inside out with a German Suplex. Swann connects with a superkick for a near fall! Swann goes to the top rope and jumps over Neville before kicking him in the head. Neville goes to the top rope and goes for the Phoenix Splash, but Neville rolls out of the way. Neville covers, but Swann kicks out. Neville quickly transitions into the Rings of Saturn for the submission.
Winner by Submission and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville
Austin Aries interviews Neville about his impressive 24 hours before asking how it feels to be on top of the mountain. The crowd boos Neville. A loud “Austin Aries” chant fires up. Aries thanks Chicago and asks his question again. Neville says he’s done exactly what he said he would do. To everyone that has doubted and overlooked him, they can look at him now. Neville holds up the title. Neville says he’s laid waste to pretender after pretender. It’s undeniable that there is nobody on 205 Live that holds a candle to the King of the Cruiserweights. Aries says Neville has done each and everything he would do, but he wants to clarify if he really can’t think of anyone that’s competition. Neville says nobody is at his level. The crowd again loudly chants, “Austin Aries.” Aries says the WWE Universe disagrees with him. A loud “YES” chant fires up. Neville sizes up Aries and asks if he’s seriously suggesting himself. Neville says he must be delusional if he thinks he’s close to his level. Neville says he’s running out of patience with Aries so he can make his way back to the commentary table to make cheap jokes. This is his ring, so he can get out before he re-injures his orbital socket.
Aries removes his sunglasses and says he’s just trying to do his job. Aries’ eye still looks a bit swollen. Neville asks what he’s going to do about it. Aries just wants to ask one more question. It’s not so much of a question. It’s more of a statement. Aries hits Neville in the face with the microphone and removes his jacket! Aries then wipes him out with a spinning forearm, and Neville quickly retreats.
Backstage, Enzo and Cass are talking about their rematch. They then bump into Cesaro and Sheamus. Enzo calls them a “cuppa haters.” Cesaro says he’s drinking a cup of coffee. Sheamus says they’re a couple of chokers. Big Cass tells Sheamus to watch him mouth and their match. They will win the titles tonight. Cesaro says they’ll be right here whether they win or choke. Enzo tells him to not get his pepperoni nipples in a twist because calling him, “Little Cesar.” Enzo then makes fun of Cesaro for losing to Samoa Joe.
Coming up next, we’ll hear from Goldberg.
Mike’s Thoughts: This is the first time since they debuted back in September on RAW that I can truly say the Cruiserweights had a fantastic night. That match with Neville and Rich Swann was really great, and it led to an even better segment with Neville and Austin Aries. The crowd definitely helped it along and played into everything. It’s a simple story: the champion beats people, but overlooks a certain great talent. That talent then reminds him he’s still there. It’s a simple story, which is probably why it worked so well. Great stuff. This is the best first hour of RAW I can remember in some time.
WrestleMania is 27 days away.
Goldberg’s music hits, and the WWE Universal Champion makes his way through the backstage area. The sparks fly on the stage, and Goldberg walks through them breathing smoke before his pyrotechnic explosions go off. Goldberg fist bumps some children as he makes his way to the ring to a great reception. After his music stops, the boos fire up. Goldberg holds the title up and gets a mixed reception. Goldberg says this title belongs to the people. This still gets a mixed reception. Goldberg says he could not have done it without the people. The truth is tonight he stands before them as a very humbled man because he is WWE’s new Universal Champion. The crowd continues to boo him. Another thing this gives him is an opportunity to divulge some information he’s never made public. A loud “CM Punk” chant fires up. Goldberg says he hears them.
Paul Heyman comes out to a nice reception. Heyman says, “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman, and please don’t confuse me as someone who even thinks he’s man enough to go down to that ring and even attempt to offer a handshake in congratulations to the new Universal Championship because, honestly, my hand is not the hand that should be shaking Mr. Goldberg’s in congratulation.” Heyman says he didn’t come here tonight alone! The crowd loudly pops. Heyman says he appears before them as the advocate for the challenger on April 2nd for the Universal Championship. Heyman is here to introduce Goldberg’s opponent, and his client, Brock Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits, and he comes out to a loud pop. Lesnar circles the ring with Heyman before getting in the ring and getting in Goldberg’s face. Neither man budges. Heyman gets in the ring as well. Heyman says his client is here to shake his hand and congratulate him on becoming the new Universal Champion. His client understands how happy he must be about devastating Kevin Owens for the title last night. The only person happier about Goldberg being Universal Champion is his client. On April 2nd at WrestleMania, his client understands that Goldberg has proven to be every bit of a beast as Lesnar has proven to be. That’s why Lesnar will shake his hand and congratulate him. Goldberg has proven to be every bit the conquerer Lesnar has proven to be. On April 2nd, both will enter the ring, but only one will leave the ring the winner. The other will be the loser at WrestleMania. Heyman says he doesn’t make predictions: he makes spoilers. This is the spoiler for WrestleMania. At the end of the match, there will be a new reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion. His name is Brock Lesnar! Lesnar extends his hand and smiles. Heyman says when the match is over, they can all say, “There he is – Brock’s bitch!” Lesnar then picks Goldberg up and drops him with an F-5! Lesnar and Heyman walk off. Before the segment is over, Goldberg pulls himself up to his feet. Goldberg screams in anger.
We see highlights from Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman at WWE Fastlane last night. Tonight, Strowman will finish what he started against Reigns.
Coming up next, Enzo and Cass will face Anderson and Gallows for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships.
Mike’s Thoughts: Yet another great segment. The crowd in Chicago was not feeling Goldberg due to the fact that he defeated crowd favorite Kevin Owens in short order last night. That was to be expected. Goldberg did a good job shrugging it off, including the super stupid “CM Punk” chant. Paul Heyman then did a tremendous job setting up the tone of the match for WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was great coming out and just being Brock Lesnar, laughing at the right moments while Heyman was doing his thing. Lesnar dropping Goldberg with an F-5 got a great reaction. Even though a lot of people are sour on this match, it certainly does have a certain big feeling to it that is undeniable. The fact that it feels like a real main event helps WrestleMania. Goldberg is probably the last big card WWE has to play. They won’t be able to do this again next year. This is an indictment on the creative staff for a failure to build anyone up to true superstar status. This segment, while good, says to them they have a year to fix this.
Enzo and Cass make their entrance to a great reception. Enzo does his usual shtick while the crowd sings along. Enzo says he should be saying they’re the realest champs in the room after last night, but the night is still young. They’re not here looking for pity in the Windy City. Big Cass says they’re walking out of here with championship gold just like Jordan in ’91 (how you doin’), Jordan in ’92 (how you doin’), Jordan in ’93 (how you doin’), Jordan in ’96 (how you doin’), Jordan in ’97 (how you doin’), and Jordan in ’98 (how you doin’). Gallows and Anderson – there’s only one word to describe them: S-A-W-F-T!
WWE RAW Tag Team Championships Match
Enzo and Cass vs. Gallows and Anderson (c’s)
We see footage from last night’s Fastlane. Enzo had his foot on the rope while the referee was counting the pin, but Luke Gallows pushed his foot off. The still photo shows Enzo’s arm under the bottom rope, which should still count as a rope break.
Luke Gallows starts against Enzo Amore. Gallows clubs him, but Enzo comes back with a pair of dropkicks and tags in Big Cass. Cass hits Gallows with a shoulder block before punching away at him. Gallows comes back with an uppercut before punching away at him in his corner. Karl Anderson is tagged in, but Cass soon overtakes him. Cass punches away at Anderson, but Anderson fights back. Anderson hits the ropes, but Cass turns him inside out with a knee. Anderson goes outside. Cass knees Gallows in the face as he tries to get in the ring. Enzo is tagged in and goes for a plancha, but they move so he stops. Cesaro and Sheamus then come out to the stage to watch this match.
We come back from the break to see Enzo fight up from a chin lock, but Anderson clubs him back down. Anderson drops him with a back suplex for a two count. Anderson uppercuts him in his corner a few times before Gallows is tagged in. Gallows punches away at him before taunting the crowd. Gallows punches Enzo down before going for a powerslam, but Enzo counters into a DDT.
Anderson and Cass are tagged in. Cass hits a pair of shoulder blocks and a fall-away slam. Cass splashes him in the corner and hits a second fall-away slam followed by another splash in the corner. Cass hits a scoop slam and drops the Empire Elbow, but Gallows breaks up the pin. Enzo sends Gallows out of the ring and almost kills himself with a suicide dive. Enzo celebrates and accidentally spills Cesaro’s coffee on him. Enzo runs away, so Cesaro chases him into the ring. Cesaro then accidentally clotheslines Anderson to cause a disqualification.
Winners by Disqualification and still WWE RAW Tag Team Champions: Anderson and Gallows
Big Cass brawls with Cesaro in the corner. Sheamus runs in and floors Enzo before attacking Big Cass. Anderson and Gallows attack both teams, so they’re cleared from the ring. Sheamus knocks Cass out of the ring before eating a superkick from Gallows. Cesaro knocks Gallows out of the ring. Enzo then jumps on Cesaro’s back, but Sheamus Brogue Kicks him off his tag team partner. Sheamus and Cesaro stand tall in the ring.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude is the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2017.
Later tonight, we’ll hear from Bayley about being WrestleMania bound as the WWE RAW Women’s Champion.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was a decent match. They built it up big like there was going to be a title change, but the appearance of Sheamus and Cesaro should have signaled that it was never going to happen on this night. Still, once again, the crowd really helped this along. It’s such a stark difference to the horrible Green Bay crowd last week. They should have saved the Seth Rollins/Triple H segment for tonight. Oh well. It looks like they’re building to a multi-team match at WrestleMania.
Enzo and Cass are aruging and brawling with Sheamus and Cesaro backstage until Mick Foley breaks them up. Foley says they don’t settle things backstage on RAW. They’ll settle it in the ring next week on RAW. The winners face Anderson and Gallows at WrestleMania. In the meantime, he’ll try to have a nice day. Stephanie McMahon appears behind him and orders him to come to her office right now.
Footage is shown from earlier in the night when Austin Aries attacked Neville.
Ariya Daivari vs. Akira Tozawa
They shake hands before the bell rings. They lock up, and Daivari powers him to the corner before punching him down. Daivari sends him hard into the corner before eating a boot. Daivari quickly cuts him off and hits a hammerlock clothesline for a near fall. Daivari drops a knee and applies a chin lock. Tozawa fights up, but Daivari clubs him down. They trade vicious chops before Tozawa starts screaming while the crowd screams along. Tozawa feigns a right hand before punching him. Tozawa kicks him and hits a senton splash for a near fall. Tozawa gets the crowd going before hitting a suicide dive. Daivari avoids a move, but Tozawa quickly comes back with a snap German Suplex with a bridge for the win.
Tozawa grabs the microphone and says, “Brian Kendrick, fight me face to face. Just come out here right now!” Tozawa yells a few times, and the crowd yells along with him. Brian Kendrick comes out to the stage. Kendrick says he can’t make any promises, but he’ll have an answer for him tomorrow on 205 Live. Lesson number five will be the same lesson the dog learned for when he bit his tail. The lesson is to be careful what you wish for. Kendrick then walks off.
Later tonight, we’ll see Chris Jericho take on Samoa Joe.
Mike’s Thoughts: This wasn’t much of a match, but the crowd made it fun by going along with Tozawa’s battle cry. They built to a confrontation tomorrow on 205 Live, which I guess serves a purpose for this segment. Just a quick note: there have been four matches so far and every one of them has had some type of plancha. I can’t stress enough how much care it takes to execute these moves. To have turned planchas into throwaway moves in every match is so stupid. Eventually someone is going to get really hurt doing it in a throwaway match or at a house show.
“OHH CHICAGO — DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR! CLAP FOR YOUR WRESTLEMANIA HOSTS AND FEEL THE POWER!”
The New Day makes their way to the ring with their New Day Ice Cream Cart. They circle the ring with it. Xavier Woods says for those that missed it, they introduce them to their brand new New Day Pop-cycle. Kofi Kingston says the tag line: “New Day Pops – a mouthful of magic, I gotta have it!” This represents the WWE Universe and their ice cream dreams. If they keep making their voices heard, their dreams will come true. Big E says as the WrestleMania hosts, they’re qualified to host a myriad of events. They’re going to host the whopping of the buns of The Shining Stars because New Day rocks!”
Kofi Kingston grabs Epico, but he’s elbowed in the face. Epico hits a double-arm gutbuster before tagging Primo in. Primo splashes him against the ropes. Epico knocks Big E off the apron before they converge on Xavier Woods at ringside. Big E clotheslines Epico on the floor. Kingston then hits Primo with a plancha. Kingston tags in, and they hit Primo with the Midnight Hour for the win.
In honor of Women’s History Month, WWE honors Trish Stratus and Lita.
Coming up next, Bayley’s WrestleMania opponent will be revealed.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was another pretty average New Day segment. If I never see The Shining Stars on television, it would be too soon. These guys just bring death to any segment they’re involved in. They even managed to quiet the Chicago crowd for a bit. Kind of curious they honor two women wrestlers for Women’s History Month, but during Black History Month they didn’t honor any African American wrestlers. In no way am I suggesting any racism or anything. I’m just saying that’s weird. By the way: five matches, five planchas now.
Bayley’s WrestleMania opponent is determined
Mick Foley is in the ring to start this segment. The crowd is loudly chanting, “Foley.” He welcomes Bayley to the ring. Bayley comes out to a great reception. Still photos are shown of Sasha Banks helping her beat Charlotte Flair last night. Bayley says she wishes she could call herself a champion tonight. Last night, she asked Charlotte Flair to leave Dana Brooke in the locker room, and she did. Then Sasha Banks came down to help her. Bayley says she’s trying to wrap her mind around what happened. She needs to move forward and keep moving to WrestleMania. Growing up, her year didn’t start in January. It always started and ended with WrestleMania. Last year, she stood in the background when Lita introduced the new WWE Women’s Championship. She watched women she’s close with compete for it. She promised herself she would be at the next WrestleMania in the ring. It just doesn’t feel like it should. It doesn’t feel right. Foley says he knows how she’s feeling. At this time of the year, it doesn’t matter how you got there. It only matters where you’re going. She’s going to WrestleMania. The question is now who will her opponent be at WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks’ music hits, and she makes her way to the ring. Banks says that’s a great question. She has the answer. Banks says they know Charlotte very well. Even though Charlotte sent Dana to the locker room, it doesn’t mean she was going to stay there. Let’s talk about WrestleMania. Since they became friends, they always talked about tearing down the house on the grandest stage of them all. Instead of talking about it, how about they make it happen? They can fight at WrestleMania for the RAW Women’s Championship. Foley says that sounds like a good match, but he wants a second opinion from the people right here in Chicago, Illinois. They start a “YES” chant.
Charlotte Flair’s music hits, and she comes down to the ring with Dana Brooke. Flair sarcastically says the plan is crystal clear. Banks knew she wouldn’t get another title opportunity to face her. That was the deal. Whoever lost at Road Block: End of the Line wasn’t going to get a second chance. Banks didn’t think Bayley was good enough to beat her. Banks used her and pretended to be Bayley’s friend. It worked. She’s the victim in this conspiracy. Flair says she was robbed of her title and PPV streak. Flair says Foley doesn’t care as long as his two favorite daughters are going to WrestleMania. Foley says he does care, but she lost her rematch. Flair says she was robbed.
Stephanie McMahon’s music hits, and she makes her way to the ring looking none too pleased. McMahon says Mick Foley is not the boss, and neither is Sasha Banks for that matter. She is. A loud “CM Punk” chant fires up. McMahon says they’re predictable and just like CM Punk: losers. They always cheer for the wrong person, just like Sasha Banks. Banks is the most manipulative person in the locker room. She cozied up to Bayley to get a shot at the Women’s Title. She expects the crowd to be hypocritical, but she demands more from Foley. There is no denying that Bayley wouldn’t be the Women’s Champion had it not been for Banks. The woman who deserves the match is Charlotte Flair. Foley says he thinks she’d agree – but she cuts him off. McMahon makes the match official: Bayley will defend the RAW Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair. Foley says she can’t leave “the boss” out in the cold. McMahon asks who the boss is. Foley says McMahon is his boss, but Banks is THE boss. Foley says Charlotte should face Sasha next week with the winner facing Bayley at WrestleMania. McMahon agrees, but wants to make it even better. If Banks wins, the match at WrestleMania will be a triple threat, which means Bayley doesn’t have to get pinned to lose the title. We’ll find out exactly who Sasha Banks is as she goes one-on-one against Bayley, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: The crowd was kind of lukewarm to Bayley throughout that segment. I have to assume it’s because they haven’t booked her that strong at all with all the interference. It was hard not to think Charlotte Flair really did have a point and kind of came off as the face that was wronged. I’m not sure that’s what they were going for. Either way, this seems to be leading to the highly rumored fatal four-way if/when Nia Jax interferes in next week’s match. Or she’ll interfere next. Who knows? The decision to pin Jax last night is already coming off as silly to me.
Charlotte Flair will be on commentary for this next match.
The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Neither one looks excited about this. They slap hands in friendship and circle the ring again. They lock up before Bayley applies a side headlock. Banks twists out, but Bayley reapplies the side headlock. Banks gets out and wrenches the arm. Bayley fights up and takes her down with a headlock. Banks gets out, and they get to their feet smiling. They do some more arm wrenches with Banks in the dominant position. Bayley fights out and picks up a one count. Bayley goes back to the side headlock before Banks whips her off. Bayley shoulder blocks her down before countering a hip toss into one of her own. Banks appears to be a little frustrated. Banks hooks on a side headlock, but Bayley whips her off. Banks shoulder blocks her down and hits a hip toss followed by an arm drag. Banks points at the WrestleMania sign, and Bayley nods. They circle the ring, and Bayley wrenches the arm. Banks sends her to the corner, but Bayley elbows her and hits an arm drag. Bayley splashes her in the corner and picks up a two count. Bayley quickly goes to an arm bar. Banks quickly takes her down and picks up a one count. Banks rolls her up for another one count. Banks chops the chest and hits a rope climbing arm drag. Banks takes her down with a head-scissor takeover, and Bayley falls out of the ring. Banks jumps off the apron, but Bayley moves. Banks avoids a baseball slide, gets in the ring, and clotheslines her down.
We come back from the break to see the two women trade pinning combinations, but the match continues as no one gets to a three count. Banks wrenches the arm, but Bayley twists through. Bayley gets out of a backslide and goes for Bayley-To-Belly, but Banks gets out. Banks forearms her hard. Banks hits the ropes, but Bayley drops her with a back suplex. Charlotte Flair leaves commentary with Dana Brooke to take a “closer look.” Bayley shoulders Banks in the corner. Banks quickly comes back with double knees, but Bayley fights back. Banks rolls through a sunset flip and hits double knees to the face for a two count. Flair talks trash to Banks from ringside. Bayley reverses a whip to the corner, but Banks pulls her headfirst into the turnbuckle. Banks lays her out over the second turnbuckle and goes for double knees, but Bayley moves. Bayley goes for a cross-body block, but Banks moves. Banks applies the Bank Statement, but Bayley gets to the ropes. Bayley elbows her back, but Banks hits a backstabber and applies the Bank Statement. Dana Brooke gets on the apron to distract the referee. Bayley nearly gets to the bottom rope, but Banks kicks her away. Banks then rolls Bayley to the middle of the ring, and she submits.
Sasha Banks will face Charlotte Flair and Bayley with the WWE RAW Women’s Championship on the line. Flair is not happy with this result. Flair big boots Banks down before hitting Bayley with a big boot. Flair holds up the WWE RAW Women’s Championship. She’ll be looking to become a five-time Women’s Champion at WrestleMania.
We see footage of Braun Strowman giving Roman Reigns a powerslam through the commentary table last night. We’ll see Strowman try to finish what he started last night later tonight. Coming up next, we’ll see Seth Rollins’ rehab and have an interview with Triple H.
Mike’s Thoughts: Well that wasn’t made very clear at all. I was under the impression Banks was still going to face Charlotte next week for the title opportunity. That wasn’t clarified at all until the end of this match. This match started really dull and didn’t really build to much better. Having been in the crowd for NXT: Brooklyn in 2015, I expected better. I didn’t expect that match, but something better than this. Oh well. So far, it’s a triple threat at WrestleMania. Perhaps the Nia Jax defeat was done to keep it that way. By the way, we’ve still got this Rollins/Triple H thing, Jericho/Joe, and Reigns/Strowman with not a ton of time left.
Roman Reigns is backstage when Charly Caruso walks up to him. She asks for his reaction to Braun Strowman wanting to finish what he started. Reigns says if Strowman wants him, he’ll be in the ring at the end of the night.
Video Package: Seth Rollins’ injury with footage of him rehabbing his first knee injury
Michael Cole interviews WWE COO Triple H
Michael Cole interviews Triple H via satellite. Cole asks for Triple H’s reaction to that video package and Rollins’ promise to be at WrestleMania. Triple H says they have to take their hat off to WWE. The world class care they provide to their athletes is second to none. WWE spares no expense when it comes to their talent. We have to hope that someone like Seth Rollins listens to the experts and utilizes that advice. Last week when Seth Rollins said he would be at WrestleMania no matter what, he took it as ignorance. When the best doctors tell you that you shouldn’t be there and you show up, that’s stupidity. Rollins lies to himself and tells people he’s “the man,” which is a lie. Triple H has been called a lot of things in his career like “The Game” or “The Cerebral Assassin,” but other people called him that. He didn’t have to call himself “the man” because it was obvious. Rollins has to call himself that because it’s a lie. Rollins thinks the lie can become the truth at WrestleMania. WrestleMania is where dreams come true, and Rollins wants his dream to become true. If Rollins shows up to WrestleMania against doctor’s orders, it’ll be his nightmare. If Rollins calls him out at WrestleMania, it’ll be the last thing he ever does in a WWE ring.
Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring. He’ll face Chris Jericho, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: That was an ok promo from Triple H, but he didn’t really add in any new information that wasn’t already said last week. They could’ve just showed a quick video package of what happened between them last week and moved on to save time.
A video package plays highlighting the Makeover of Emmalina back to Emma. Emma will debut soon.
Still photos are shown of Chris Jericho distracting Kevin Owens last night to cost him the WWE Universal Championship. We then see footage from earlier in the night when Owens and Jericho agreed to fight at WrestleMania for the WWE United States Championship.
The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Joe quickly punches away at him in the corner. Joe sends him to the corner, but he soon runs into an elbow. Jericho chops the chest, but Joe sends him to the corner for a running back elbow. Joe immediately follows up with an enzuigiri. Joe stomps him in the corner and digs his foot in the face. Joe hits the ropes, but Jericho takes him down with a dropkick. Jericho elbows him, but he has a whip reversed. Jericho kicks him in the face and goes to the top rope for a cross-body block for a two count. Jericho kicks him in the face and hits the ropes, but Joe takes him down and hits a senton splash for a near fall. Joe goes to an arm bar and cinches it in, but Jericho turns it into a pin for a two count. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Joe fights it. Jericho punches and tries again, but Joe twists him away. Jericho hits an enzuigiri and dropkicks him out of the ring. Joe goes to the apron, but Jericho hits a springboard dropkick. Jericho goes for a baseball slide, but Joe sidesteps it and locks in the Coquita Clutch at ringside. Joe gets in before the referee counts him out to win.
Winner by Count-Out: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe goes back outside and picks Jericho up before talking a little trash. Joe puts him in the ring and gets in. Jericho then stuns him with a Codebreaker that sends him out of the ring. Joe gets to his feet and looks furious.
Braun Strowman is seen furiously walking backstage. He’ll confront Roman Reigns, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: This was a no-win situation. They couldn’t beat Chris Jericho in his triumphant return to RAW, and they can’t beat Samoa Joe because he’s being built as a monster. Hence, that’s how you get the count-out loss. Jericho then hit him with a Codebreaker to totally cancel the loss out. This match happened, yet nothing actually happened.
Austin Aries will have a message for Neville tomorrow on WWE 205 Live.
Next week on RAW, Cesaro and Sheamus will face Enzo and Cass with the winners facing Anderson and Gallows for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania.
Braun Strowman angrily makes his way to the ring. Strowman screams, “ROMAN!” Strowman says Roman Reigns got lucky last night. Tonight, his luck runs out. Strowman doesn’t want a match tonight. He doesn’t need it. Strowman says Reigns needs to come out as a man so he can rip him limb from limb. Strowman says Chicago doesn’t like Reigns, which gets a “YES” chant. Strowman says he doesn’t either. Strowman tells him to get out here and fight him right now.
Roman Reigns’ music hits, but almost immediately The Undertaker’s bell tolls! The Undertaker makes his legendary entrance to a massive pop from the crowd. Strowman looks geared up for a fight while Undertaker makes the slow walk to the ring. Undertaker gets in the ring and stares at Strowman. A loud “HOLY SH–” chant fires up. Undertaker and Strowman lock eyes while the crowd buzzes. Strowman then backs up and leaves the ring, drawing loud boos from the crowd. An “Undertaker” chant fires up. Strowman leaves through the crowd. Undertaker watches him the whole way. Undertaker’s music plays until…
Roman Reigns’ music hits, and he comes out to massive boos from the Chicago crowd. Reigns stares at Undertaker from the ramp. Undertaker simply stares right back at him. Reigns comes to ringside and takes his time getting into the ring. The crowd continues to boo Reigns. Reigns says Strowman wasn’t calling Undertaker out here. He called him out. Reigns says, “With all due respect, this is my yard now.” Undertaker gets closer to him and stares at the WrestleMania sign. Reigns stares back. A loud “Roman sucks” chant fires up. Undertaker grabs Reigns by the throat and gives him a Chokeslam to the delight of the crowd! Undertaker then leaves the ring. Undertaker stops halfway up the ramp and stares back at Reigns, who is slowly getting to his feet. Undertaker then puts his arm up to end the show.
Mike’s Overall Thoughts: This was a really good segment. I think a lot of people expected an Undertaker appearance once they saw Braun Strowman was going to finish what he started. I love that they teased Undertaker vs. Strowman. The Chicago crowd really buzzed for that match. For the last three years, it’s been teased that every one of those WrestleMania’s was going to be The Undertaker’s last WrestleMania. There was a lot of buzz about this being his final one, but if it isn’t, Undertaker/Strowman could be a future match at maybe a SummerSlam. I think it’d be a shame if we never get an Undertaker/Cena match. Honestly, this was the year for it. Undertaker (obviously) isn’t getting any younger. Can they wait one more year for it? Anyway, it’s official. Reigns is going to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Reigns definitely came off as a heel by disrespecting the legend by using his own line against him. I’m not sure how they think Reigns is going to come out of the WrestleMania match as a bigger face. If he beats Undertaker, he’s an instant heel forever. If he loses and Undertaker endorses him, people will take it as Reigns continuing to be shoved down their throats. It’s kind of a lose-lose. We’ll see how they handle it. Overall, this was a fantastic edition of Monday Night RAW. Almost every segment delivered and built really well to WrestleMania. I can’t wait to get to Orlando to see it.
Quick Match Results
* Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn
* Neville def. Rich Swann via Submission to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
* Anderson and Gallows def. Enzo and Cass via DQ to retain the WWE RAW Tag Team
* Akira Tozawa def. Ariya Daivari
* The New Day def. The Shining Stars
* Sasha Banks def. Bayley via Submission (non-title)
* Samoa Joe def. Chris Jericho via CO
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