WWE Monday Night RAW
March 13, 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.
A video highlights the events from last week. New WWE Universal Champion Goldberg met with Brock Lesnar in the ring. Paul Heyman said that Goldberg was Brock Lesnar’s “bitch.” Lesnar then dropped Goldberg with an F-5. They will fight at WrestleMania with the championship on the line.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman address WrestleMania
Brock Lesnar’s music hits, and the crowd gives him a massive pop as he makes his way to the stage. Paul Heyman stands alongside him while the pyrotechnics go off. They get in the ring, and the boos start to pick up now. Heyman chuckles into the microphone and asks if it’s an advocate’s fantasy that his client F-5’d the seemingly indestructible Goldberg. Not only can he see the future, the vision has been bestowed on everyone courtesy of Brock Lesnar. Heyman asks what the vision and future is. The future takes place on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at WrestleMania. It’s the night his client, Brock Lesnar, causes those so-called announcers to scream at the top of their lungs, “DOWN GOES GOLDBERG!” Heyman says he will confess for the past few months — he’s interrupted by “Goldberg” chants. Some in the crowd boo, but the chant is louder. Heyman says Goldberg is not here this evening. His client, Brock Lesnar, is so they must listen to his advocate. That’s a nice way of saying to the ones chanting “Goldberg” to “shut the hell up.” They’ve been wondering for the past few months what they should do about Goldberg. Every time his client has faced Goldberg, it’s been Spear, Jackhammer, Goldberg — but not last week. Last week was a different story: F-5, DOWN GOES GOLDBERG. Not only did Goldberg go down at the hands of Brock Lesnar, he went down to the most effective finishing move in WWE history. This will be the end greatest championship comeback in sports entertainment history. The champion will be hoisted up and given an F-5. The resurrection of Goldberg and his comeback will be put down. That is where Heyman’s vision of the future will be validated. This is Heyman’s theory of relativity: F-5 = Lesnar goes up, DOWN GOES GOLDBERG! Lesnar’s music hits, and they quickly go to the back.
Mick Foley is in his office watching what just happened. Stephanie McMahon walks in and says Paul Heyman is really creepy. Foley laughs. She says she’s glad she can make him laugh despite the pressure. We’re only three weeks away from WrestleMania. She’s said some things he shouldn’t take personally. Foley says it felt personal. She wants to talk about business. She loves how he connects with the WWE Universe and the superstars, but his areas of opportunity are significant in business. She needs to nurture and develop him to grow. Tough love didn’t work with him. If he’s willing to learn, she’ll teach him. Foley says “the McMahon-Foley connection” is working. She’s going to give him a hard first lesson: by the end of the night, he must scour the RAW roster to determine the one person he’s going to fire. Foley is not happy about this. She says they have to cut the bottom 10% and trim the fat. It’ll send the message of strong leadership. The product will be better at the end. Foley has to think like a businessperson. Foley asks how long he has to make this decision. She gives him until the end of the night. She asks if she can count on him, and he says she can. She pats him on the back and walks off. Foley has tears in his eyes.
Mike’s Thoughts: That was a good way to kick off RAW. I like that they’ve been kicking off RAW lately with these short and sweet promos that don’t drag. It seems like they’re slowly adapting the usual layout of their shows. Paul Heyman is the master of promotion and did a good job putting over the big match against Goldberg. Heyman also started to try to get over what’s obviously his new “Eat. Sleep. Conquer the streak.” tagline in “DOWN GOES GOLDBERG.” As for the Mick Foley conundrum, this is probably going to lead to the end of Mick Foley on television for some time.
The bell rings, and they lock up. Brooke powers her to the corner and whips her around a bit. Brooke backs up before punching her down. Banks gives her a back elbow, but Brooke quickly slams her into the corner. Brooke goes outside and attacks her on the apron before pushing her into the ring for a two count. Banks forearms her back and goes for a sunset flip, but Brooke kicks out at one. Banks hits her with double knees for a two count. Brooke kicks her and lifts her up, but Banks gets off and rolls her up with a handful of tights for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sasha Banks
Charlotte Flair is not happy about this. She gets in the ring with a microphone. Flair screams that Brooke is a disgrace. She doesn’t deserve to be by her side. Flair says Brooke isn’t riding her coattails to WrestleMania. She’s finally getting rid of Brooke. Brooke looks furious. Flair says she’s going to teach her something, so Brooke forearms her down and punches away at her. Brooke clotheslines her down and punches away at her. Flair tries to escape, but Brooke grabs her and gets her back in the ring. Flair quickly gets back out of the ring and gets away. Brooke challenges her to get in the ring, but Flair declines. The crowd is chanting, “Dana.” Flair backs up.
Eric LeGrand will be the next recipient of the “Warrior Award” at the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn will take on Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe later tonight. We’ll also hear from Roman Reigns about his match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Mike’s Thoughts: There wasn’t much to the Sasha Banks/Dana Brooke match. Brooke still doesn’t look good in the ring, so naturally they have her get the better of Charlotte Flair, who is competing at WrestleMania, and implying there will be a feud with them. Yikes.
TJ Perkins and Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese
TJ Perkins will compete in a five-way match tomorrow on WWE 205 Live against Akira Tozawa, Brian Kendrick, Tony Nese, and Austin Aries to determine who will face Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania.
Tozawa will start against Kendrick or so we think. Nese attacks him from behind and punches him to his corner. Kendrick tags in and throws Tozawa down. Kendrick pushes him and talks trash. Tozawa punches him and drops him with a hurricanrana. Kendrick goes to the apron, but Tozawa knocks him off. Tozawa then hits him with a suicide dive. Nese comes around the corner, and Perkins connects with a diving hurricanrana off the apron and in the process nearly lands on his head. Perkins and Tozawa celebrate as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Kendrick applying a chin lock to Tozawa. Neville is seen watching backstage. During the commercial break, Kendrick distracted Tozawa. Tozawa fights up, but Kendrick stops him. Nese tags in, but Tozawa levels him with a forearm. He goes for a tag, but Kendrick pulls Perkins off the apron. Nese attacks Tozawa from behind and picks up a two count. Nese hits a snapmare and applies a body scissor. Tozawa fights up, but Nese slams him down. Tozawa eventually fights up, kicks Kendrick off the apron, and dives over Nese to make the tag to Perkins.
Perkins ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard cross-body. Perkins strikes away before hitting a low dropkick. Perkins elbows him in the corner and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog. Kendrick goes to break up the pin, but Perkins moves. Kendrick accidentally hit his partner. Tozawa runs in, but Kendrick sends him over the top rope. Perkins then kicks Kendrick out of the ring. Nese viciously clotheslines Perkins for a near fall. Perkins avoids an avalanche and hits a diving DDT, but Kendrick breaks up the pin. Perkins looks to his corner, but Tozawa is still down. Perkins lifts Nese, but Kendrick pulls him off. Tozawa then kicks Kendrick off the apron. Nese throws Perkins into his partner and rolls him up with a handful of tights for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese
Later tonight, we’ll see Enzo and Cass take on Cesaro and Sheamus with the winners facing Gallows and Anderson for the WWE RAW Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Gallows and Anderson, and she asks who they would rather face at WrestleMania. Karl Anderson says they’ve already beat them and have won titles all over the world. Luke Gallows says if she wants to talk about those nerds, she can go somewhere else. Anderson says the spotlight should be on them, so they’ll have to take it.
Kevin Owens makes his entrance. We’ll hear from him, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: Pretty basic tag match with the cruiserweights. Nothing overly flashy and more just an advertisement to watch WWE 205 Live tomorrow night to see who will face Neville at WrestleMania. Not sure it made me want to tune in tomorrow, but they have to try something.
Kevin Owens address Chris Jericho about their match
Kevin Owens stands in the middle of the ring under a spotlight. A loud “Y2J” chant kicks up. Owens says one month ago today, he took the spotlight and put it back on himself where it belongs. A video package is shown from “The Festival of Friendship” when Owens viciously attacked Jericho. After the video finishes, Owens looks pleased with himself. Owens says a lot of the people are very upset with him for betraying Chris Jericho and pretending to be his best friend for months. Owens wants to let the crowd in on a secret: he’s not his best friend now or then, but Jericho never considered him a best friend either. All Jericho was doing was getting close to him so he could get his Universal Title. Now Jericho is mad at him, but not because he betrayed him. Jericho is mad because Owens did what anyone would do in his position: stab him in the back before he gets stabbed in the back. Owens says he outsmarted Jericho. Now he wants revenge, so he’ll give it to him. Jericho got him at Fastlane. Goldberg didn’t beat him – Jericho did. Jericho thinks he’s going to get the ultimate payback at WrestleMania, but it’s not happening. He’ll take Jericho’s United States Title like Jericho took his title from him. Once he’s done, the only thing left of Y2J will be “The Tears of Jericho – cry it out man!”
As far as tonight goes, the only thing Jericho and his waste of space partner, Sami Zayn, are going to get is a lesson. Who needs best friends when you’ve got a destroyer? Samoa Joe’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring ready to compete. Their match is next.
Mike’s Thoughts: Not a bad promo at all from Kevin Owens, but he didn’t really add any new information or wrinkles to the story. It was more of a reiteration of what was said last week. Nothing really memorable here.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho
Kevin Owens pretends to start the match against Chris Jericho, but he immediately tags in Samoa Joe. Jericho dropkicks Joe down and chops away at him. Joe reverses a whip into an inverted atomic drop. Joe immediately follows up with a big boot and a senton splash for a one count. Joe strikes him back to the corner and whips him across the ring. Jericho hits him with an elbow and comes off the middle rope with a missile dropkick for a one count. Jericho knees him in the midsection and tags in Sami Zayn. Zayn punches away at Joe before being chopped back. Joe peppers Zayn with jabs before chopping him. Joe sends him into the ropes, but Zayn leapfrogs over him and takes him down with a head-scissor takeover. Joe reverses a whip to the corner and hits a running back elbow followed by a quick pelé kick. Owens tags in and stomps away at him. Owens mocks Jericho’s “foot on chest” pin for a one count. Jericho yells at him, so Owens superkicks him off the apron. Joe tags in, but Zayn fights both men off before getting them out of the ring. Zayn then wipes them out with a summersault senton. Zayn grabs his knee in pain upon landing. Zayn gets Joe in the ring and punches away at him. Owens quickly chop blocks the injured knee. They start double-teaming him. The referee regains some control and gets Owens back. Owens then sidesteps him and continues stomping him. The referee disqualifies them.
Winners by Disqualification: Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho
Samoa Joe quickly applies the Coquina Clutch to Zayn. Owens kicks Zayn for good measure. Jericho breaks it up and starts brawling with Owens. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho, but Joe attacks him from behind. Joe holds Jericho up for Owens to punch at. Referees run down to break this up. Owens then drops Jericho with a Pop-up Powerbomb. Owens looks completely infuriated with Jericho.
Stephanie McMahon is offering to help Mick Foley pick a name to fire. McMahon suggest Sami Zayn, but Foley looks reluctant. Nia Jax walks in and says she put Sasha Banks on the shelf for a month. Banks barely put her shoulders on the mat for three seconds at Fastlane and is in the title match at WrestleMania. She wants justice. Foley goes to speak, but McMahon cuts him off. McMahon gives her a chance to face Bayley. Jax thanks her and walks off. Foley says he’s going to take a walk and clear his head.
We’ll hear some comments from Roman Reigns about The Undertaker later tonight.
Mike’s Thoughts: Again, this was a match that didn’t have much to it. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, but it was just a match. The aftermath was much more effective than Owens’ repeat promo from last week. I’m not sure what they have planned for Samoa Joe at WrestleMania. My guess is he’s not fighting and will just be providing muscle for Owens and Triple H. That’s how they had it looking after the match.
Mick Foley is walking backstage when Jinder Mahal stops him. Mahal says Foley better not fire him. He’s a main event talent that was being held back by Rusev. Foley says if he wants a match, he can face Roman Reigns tonight. Foley then walks off while Mahal looks furious.
New Day Talks with special guest The Big Show
The New Day are backstage and are starting a show called, “New Day Talks.” This will be happening every week ahead of WrestleMania. They welcome The Big Show as their first guest. They mention that he’ll be in the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. They cut him off to promote “New Day Pops.” The New Day then asks him about The Jetsons movie, but they won’t let him talks. Finally, Big Show starts talking about the movie when Titus O’Neil interrupts. Xavier Woods says he’s not allowed on their show. O’Neil says someone’s job is on the line tonight, so he doesn’t care about this show. O’Neil then asks why he’s not the star of The Jetsons movie. O’Neil then shoves Big Show and walks off. Big Show looks furious.
Coming up next, Enzo and Cass will face Sheamus and Cesaro with the winners facing Anderson and Gallows at WrestleMania.
Mike’s Thoughts: New Day Talks… yeah. I know it’s only three weeks away, but I’m already on New Day overload. I can’t imagine what WrestleMania is going to be like. I’m also not looking forward at all to the upcoming Big Show vs. Titus O’Neil match that’s probably going to happen tonight. O’Neil just sucks the life out of every segment he’s in, and this segment was already obnoxious. It looks like the Shaq match is off, too.
Enzo and Cass make their entrance to a great reception. Enzo goes through his usual shtick while the crowd loudly sings along. Enzo says they had a match last week, but Cesaro and Sheamus ruined it. They spilled coffee on him and are clutzes. Big Cass says they’re on the Road to WrestleMania. March Madness is in full swing, and they’re looking at the bracket busters. They are the Cinderella story. They’re Enzo and Big Cass. When you fill out your bracket, put them in the championship bracket. Tonight, they’ll punch their ticket to WrestleMania. At WrestleMania they’ll become the RAW Tag Team Champions. Enzo and Big Cass are leaving Motown in style. They’ll beat Sheamus and Cesaro all the way from The Joe to 8 Mile because there’s only one word to describe them, and he’ll spell it out for them: S-A-W-F-T!
Winners face Anderson and Gallows at WrestleMania
Enzo and Cass vs. Sheamus and Cesaro
The bell rings, and Cesaro immediately dropkicks Cass before giving him an uppercut. Cass comes back with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Anderson and Gallows are seen watching backstage. Sheamus is tagged in, and they hit Cass with a double clothesline. Sheamus punches away at him in the corner before Cass turns him around. They brawl for a moment before Sheamus knees him in the face. Cass quickly comes back with a scoop slam before tagging in Enzo. Cass gives Enzo a scoop slam onto Sheamus. Cesaro breaks up the pin. The two teams talk trash as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Cesaro viciously clothesline Enzo down. Sheamus tags in, and he hits Cass to get him fired up. Cesaro tags in, and he uppercuts Enzo. Sheamus tags in, and he applies a chin lock. Enzo fights up and avoids Sheamus. Cesaro tags in, but he misses a clothesline. Enzo dives for a tag, but Cesaro pulls him back. Enzo then hits Cesaro with an enzuigiri.
Cass tags in and takes Cesaro down before hitting a fall-away slam. Cass avalanches him and hits a second fall-away slam before hitting a second avalanche. Sheamus tags in, and Cass hits Cesaro with a big boot. Sheamus comes off the top rope with a clothesline and goes for the 10 Beats of the Bodhrán, but Cass fights him off and big boots him to the floor. The momentum sends him outside as well. Anderson and Gallows then come to ringside and attack both men. The referee throws the match out.
Anderson and Gallows send Cass into the barricade before double-teaming Sheamus and sending him into the ring post. Cesaro tries to fight them off, but they double-team him in the ring. Enzo tries to get in, but they make quick work of him. They then hit Cesaro with the Magic Killer. Anderson and Gallows stand tall in the ring while the crowd boos.
Footage is shown from last week when Braun Strowman called Roman Reigns out only to get The Undertaker. Strowman quickly retreated. Roman Reigns came down and said the ring was now his yard. Undertaker then dropped him with a Chokeslam.
Roman Reigns will face Jinder Mahal, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: Another match that was just ok, but nothing spectacular. They probably didn’t go all out like I thought they should have for a WrestleMania match just because of the finish. Looks like it’ll be a multi-team match at WrestleMania.
Mick Foley confronts Anderson and Gallows and says he’s tempted to fire the two of them. No winners doesn’t equal no opponents at WrestleMania. It equals four opponents. They just got themselves a triple threat match at WrestleMania. Foley tells them to have a nice day. They do not look like they’re doing that.
Jinder Mahal vs. Roman Reigns
They lock up, and Reigns powers him to the corner. Mahal fights him off and punches away at him before hitting a back elbow. Reigns quickly comes back with a back suplex powerbomb for a two count. Reigns clubs away at him in the corner – UNDERTAKER’S BELL TOLLS! Reigns looks toward the entrance, but Undertaker doesn’t come out. Mahal hits a flying knee and drops a knee before hitting a powerslam for a near fall. Mahal stomps away at Reigns before punching him down in the corner. Reigns eventually comes back with a Superman Punch. The crowd starts to boo. Reigns picks him up and takes him down with a second Superman Punch for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Reigns gets on the microphone and says he’s not messing around tonight. Reigns then tells Undertaker to come out here like a man.
Roman Reigns calls out The Undertaker
Reigns is still waiting for Undertaker when Shawn Michaels’ music hits! Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring and gets in. Reigns looks confused. An “HBK” chant fires up. Reigns says it’s cool to see him and mentions that Detroit loves him. Reigns says, “I’m sorry, Detroit, but I didn’t call out HBK. I called out The Undertaker.” Michaels says he’ll cut right to the chase. He saw what happened with The Undertaker last week and what happened a few minutes ago. The gong went off, and he was distracted. Michaels says Reigns is distracted. Come WrestleMania, Undertaker will eat him alive. The crowd pops. Reigns says that’s not happening. That’s the problem he has. Everyone asks him what it’ll be like to be in the ring against The Undertaker. Maybe Undertaker should think about what it’s like to be in the ring against him.
Michaels says he’s on his side and this is his yard, but Reigns needs to acknowledge that he’s Mr. WrestleMania. Michaels knows what it’s like to walk around with that chip on your shoulder along with the weight and pressure of the company. Michaels says he knows what it’s like to have people secretly hope he fails. Michaels says he’s not here to confront him. Reigns says he appreciates the advice and help, but with all due respect, The Undertaker retired Michaels. Reigns then says he’ll be the guy that retires The Undertaker. Reigns then walks off.
All of a sudden, Braun Strowman absolutely kills Reigns with a shoulder block on the ramp! Reigns flies off the ramp into the barricade. A loud, “Thank you, Strowman” chant fires up. Referees run out, and Strowman goes to the back.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon says that’s the kind of intensity they need on RAW. She asks if Mick Foley has decided who he’s following. Foley wants to talk her out of this. She says he’s thinking with his heart and not his head. She’s doing this for his personal and professional growth. It’ll position him as a leader. Foley doesn’t understand why someone has to lose their job before WrestleMania. McMahon says he has one hour to decide or she’ll decide for him. If she decides, he won’t like it. She walks off.
A video package highlights Austin Aries attacking Neville on RAW last week and then beating Tony Nese on WWE 205 Live.
Austin Aries will face Ariya Daivari, next.
Mike’s Thoughts: Nice surprise to have Shawn Michaels come out and try to coach Reigns. Reigns again came off as a heel in this with his comments. Interesting that he said he would retire Undertaker. Could this be the end? I absolutely LOVED Braun Strowman killing Reigns at the conclusion. Strowman is so awesome right now. As for Reigns’ match, like my wife said, I don’t care if he’s blindfolded and has two hands tied behind his back, Reigns should not be that evenly matched against Jinder Mahal. Oof.
Ariya Daivari vs. Austin Aries
The bell rings, and Daivari kicks Aries. Aries quickly comes back with a forearm before putting him in the corner. Daivari reverses a whip, but Aries comes back with a slingshot and a pair of arm drags. Aries hits a low dropkick. Neville is seen watching backstage. Aries poses on the top rope. Aries elbows and punches him down. Daivari then drops him out of the ring. Daivari clubs away at him and turns him inside out with a clothesline. Daivari attacks the recently healed eye and chops him. Aries reverses a whip and takes him down with a gut-buster. Aries hits an elbow drop and gets the crowd going. Daivari elbows him in the face, but Aries quickly throws him out of the ring. Aries then wipes him out with a suicide dive. Aries gets him into the ring and hits a shin breaker into a botched back suplex that saw Daivari flip completely over. Aries then wipes him out with a spinning forearm for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Austin Aries
Footage is shown of Brock Lesnar laying Goldberg out with an F-5 last week. Earlier tonight, Paul Heyman promoted the match.
Later tonight, we’ll see Bayley take on Nia Jax.
Mike’s Thoughts: Decent debut match for Austin Aries, but as usual with the Cruiserweight Matches, it was really rushed. That was a scary moment when Daivari over-rotated on that back suplex. Aries looked good and got a quick win, so I guess that’s fine. I fully expect the WrestleMania match against Neville to feature Aries. They talked about him like he’s a star above everyone else.
The Big Show vs. Titus O’Neil
Big Show immediately punches away at O’Neil and chops the chest. O’Neil tries to fight back, but Big Show quickly takes him back down. Big Show continues to chop and club him. O’Neil slides out of a slam and big boots him down. Big Show immediately gets up and gives him a Chokeslam. Big Show picks him up for a second Chokeslam. The crowd in Detroit chants for one more, so Big Show obliges and picks up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Big Show
Big Show gets out of the ring, but stops and points at the WrestleMania sign.
WWE honors Billie Jean King for Women’s History Month.
Bayley is backstage with Sasha Banks and says she’s nervous to face Nia Jax. Banks says Jax is beatable. Bayley knows. Banks tells her to not listen to the haters that say she’s not championship worthy. Bayley looks confused. Banks tells her to beat Jax and focus on WrestleMania.
Mike’s Thoughts: Exactly what I didn’t want: more Titus O’Neil. At least it was a quick squash match. While I know it would have been a lot of smoke and mirrors, I actually kind of wanted to see Big Show face Shaq at WrestleMania. Bummer.
WrestleMania is 20 days away.
Some backstage interviewer asks Jericho about Kevin Owens.Chris Jericho says he’s going to get The Revenge of Jericho and pay him back, man. Before that, he wants to expose Kevin Owens and show the real man. Jericho will show the true Kevin Owens next week on RAW. This will be a special Highlight Reel and his guest will be the real Kevin Owens. Everyone will want to watch IT! Jericho calls him Tom, but he corrects him and says his name is Mike. Jericho tells him to not insult his intelligence. When you insult his intelligence, one thing happens: YOU JUST MADE THE LIST! The List of Jericho is back.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Bayley ducks Jax and applies a side headlock, but Jax just throws her off. Jax takes her down and sends her out of the ring. Bayley kicks her back and gets in the ring.
We come back from the break to see Jax stretching Bayley out. During the break, Jax viciously slammed her down. Bayley knees her, but Jax throws her down. Bayley comes back with a jawbreaker, but that just angers Jax. Jax kicks away at her before Bayley sidesteps her and ties her up in the ropes. Bayley kicks her in the leg and dropkicks her out of the ring. Bayley snaps her off the ropes, but Jax quickly sends her to the corner. Bayley kicks her back and goes for a cross-body block, but Jax catches her. Bayley gets out of a Samoan Drop and tries for a DDT, but Jax tosses her off. Bayley sidesteps her and hits the ropes, but Jax grabs her and drops her on the ropes. Jax avalanches her in the corner and head-butts away at her. The referee admonishes her and disqualifies Jax.
Winner by Disqualification: Bayley
Jax puts her in the tree of woe and charges, but the referee steps in and physically holds Jax back. Wow. The referee gets Bayley out of the tree of woe. Jax pulls her out of the ring and sends her into the barricade.
Coming up next, Mick Foley makes his decision.
Mike’s Thoughts: Brutal match. Nia Jax, simply put, isn’t ready. She’s rough – and I mean rough – in the ring, comes off as unsure of herself, and other than her size, doesn’t really project as a monster. I mean the referee, who is half her size, stepped in and physically held her back. How does that help her image? Who booked that stupidity? If they’re thinking of adding her to the WrestleMania match, that would be a huge mistake. This match did nothing for either person in it.
Next week on RAW, Roman Reigns will take on Braun Strowman.
Mick Foley is forced to fire a RAW superstar
Stephanie McMahon is in the ring. She talks about the amazing opportunity Mick Foley has. She introduces him as the man that will choose the next RAW superstar to be fired.
Mick Foley makes his way to the ring. Foley looks disturbed. She asks who he has decided to fire. Foley says when she gave him this assignment, he thought it was an exercise in callous cruelty because he couldn’t think of a single person to fire. Ten minutes ago, he finally figured it out. Foley thanks her for giving him this opportunity because it will help him be a better GM, person, and make RAW better. Foley says he is choosing to fire Stephanie McMahon! A big “YES” chant fires up. She says it’s not in his power to fire her. She demands to know who he is firing. Foley says she deserves to go. She treats the superstars like jokes and chattel, but they’re human beings. Foley treasured her friendship for 18 years, so this is painful. She swore to him months ago that she had nothing to do with Triple H, but he knows she’s a really good liar and a really bad person. She needs to go. All along, it was her and her husband colluding together. Triple H created his own personal army to run roughshod over the roster. McMahon calls him pathetic and weak. Foley says he will not be silenced.
Triple H’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring smirking and shaking his head. Triple H tells him to say it to his face. Foley says he thought Triple H liked to hide in the shadows. Triple H says he’s been running a business. It’s a good thing he is because he doesn’t want to have a lawsuit three weeks before WrestleMania. If he didn’t do that, he would take Foley’s leg, which badly needs a hip replacement, and beat him senseless with it. Foley asks if he would do it or if he would assign the task to Samoa Joe. Triple H says he’s a fun nostalgia act and mocks him for reading the city off his hand. Triple H then mocks Detroit and the last show in the Joe Louis Arena. Triple H says he never would have brought Foley back. Triple H works so hard at creating the future is so he doesn’t have to look at pathetic has beens like Foley. Stephanie has a big heart and brought Foley back. Stephanie actually really likes him. Triple H warns him to not mistake Stephanie’s heart for a lack of being able to do what it takes. She is every bit the businesswoman that Vince taught her to be. Foley is running dangerously close to have to go back to dragging his beat up body around the globe telling his stupid stories about the man he used to be.
Foley says the RAW superstars respect and envy him. Unlike them, he doesn’t have to pretend to like Triple H. Foley says he doesn’t need them or this company. If he wants to go around the globe, he likes it. They may think he’s pathetic and missing teeth, but he likes what he sees. Foley removes his dentures. Triple H wonders how his kids will feel about that. Noelle’s dream is to be a WWE superstar. Dewey works back at the office in Stamford. Maybe Foley will be willing to give him a ride to the unemployment office. Triple H surmises they’ll forgive their selfish father for ruining their lives. Triple H gets in his face and asks if he’s pulling on his heartstrings. Triple H tells Foley to tuck his tail between his legs and waddle up the ramp. When he gets there, he has to have an epiphany about how he needs his job. When he runs into Stephanie again and she tells him to jump, he better jump. Triple H screams in Foley’s face to go up the ramp and get the hell out of his ring. A loud “NO” chant fires up.
Foley turns to leave. McMahon taunts the crowd and tells them to thank their bosses. Triple H sees Foley still in the ring and approaches him. Foley has Mr. Socko on and gives Triple H the Mandible Claw! Foley holds it in until McMahon hits him with a low blow! Triple H angrily gets up and takes his jacket off before rolling up his sleeves.
Seth Rollins’ music hits, and he comes out hobbling on a crutch. Rollins stands in front of the ring. Triple H challenges him to get in the ring. Rollins throws the crutch down and takes his jacket off. Rollins then gets in the ring, and they brawl! Rollins’ knee is fine! Rollins beats him down and kicks him in the midsection. Rollins then kicks him in the face and sends him out of the ring. Rollins gets the crowd going. Triple H gets back in the ring with the crutch, but Rollins punches him down. Triple H then hits Rollins in the back knee with the crutch and bends it over the knee. Triple H removes his shirt and applies an inverted figure four leglock on him. Rollins screams in pain. Referees run down to help. Triple H then hits him one more time in the knee with the crutch.
Mike’s Overall Thoughts: That was a great, red hot angle to close the show. Mick Foley did a great job to start this off in what is probably his finale as the RAW General Manager. Foley saved his best for last. Triple H was phenomenal in this and did a great job verbally berating Foley. I really like the way he sold that Mandible Claw, too. Did a good job making it seem like a devastating move coming from a guy like Foley who can barely walk anymore. Seth Rollins then came out as a big surprise and made the heroic comeback. This is what Rollins has desperately needed since he turned face in September: a moment like this. Rollins was getting dangerously close to Roman Reigns territory where the company ruins him by giving him material they think is good, but the rest of the natural world doesn’t. This segment erased all that. Great stuff. Triple H beating him down at the end adds a wrinkle of doubt back to the match, but this just amped up the hype for this match big time. Since I’m heading to WrestleMania, someone asked me earlier today what the card is. This was the match I forgot about. I won’t forget it again. Overall, there wasn’t much to this show other than The List of Jericho returning, Shawn Michaels’ surprise appearance, Braun Strowman murdering Roman Reigns, and this segment. Everything else was just there. The good thing is the big matches for WrestleMania had big segments that delivered. I’ll be at RAW in Brooklyn next week so hopefully the momentum keeps going.
Quick Match Results
* Sasha Banks def. Dana Brooke
* Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese def. TJ Perkins and Akira Tozawa
* Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho def. Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe via DQ
* Enzo and Cass NC Sheamus and Cesaro
* Roman Reigns def. Jinder Mahal
* Austin Aries def. Ariya Daivari
* The Big Show def. Titus O’Neil
* Bayley def. Nia Jax via DQ (non-title)
E-Mail – [email protected]
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV