WWE Monday Night RAW
March 20, 2017
Brooklyn, New York
Commentary: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves
Results by: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
The show opens with a video package highlighting last week when Seth Rollins confronted Triple H to close the show including Triple H beating down Seth’s bad knee.
RAW General Manager Mick Foley heads to the ring and grabs a mic. Loud “FOLEY” chant from the crowd in Brooklyn tonight. Foley has a card and appears to be reading a statement. He stands before everyone a humble man and talks about being GM for the last nine months. Foley wants to “personally thank” Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for “giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.” He apologizes for putting Mr. Socko in the mouth of Triple H and the last thing he wants is his personal problems with Stephanie to distract from WrestleMania in two weeks. Foley wants friends talking about WrestleMania. He says for the good of WWE, for the good of WrestleMania and for the sake of his own personal sanity, “effective immediately, I am taking a leave of absence.” Foley rips up the index cards and after 30 years, he has handed index cards by Triple H just moments before he walks out here and his mic starts to get cut off. He tries talking and the mic continues to get cut off.
Here comes Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie grabs a mic and asks Foley what is wrong, is his mic not working? She brings up Foley “physically attacking” her husband Triple H last week and how she gave Foley an opportunity to give a farewell address in his home state of New York. Stephanie says he was given index cards because he “screws up everything” and it’s always about him. She says it is always about Foley wanting to be liked. The crowd in Brooklyn starts a loud “FOLEY” chant. Stephanie says Foley can’t even make the tough decisions and she will have to do it for him. She’s wanted to say something for a very long time. “Mick Foley I’ve got two words for ya…YOU’RE…FIRED.”
Stephanie points at the ramp and tells Foley to leave. Foley smiles and starts exiting the ring when Sami Zayn’s music hits. Sami has a mic. He tells Stephanie that what she is doing to Mick Foley right now is wrong. Sami says Stephanie has been wrong about many decisions and no one has had the guts to say it to her face. Stephanie thanks Sami for the opinion and wants him to help Foley to the back instead. Foley tells Sami to walk away. Stephanie tells Sami to listen to Foley. The crowd starts a loud “CM PUNK” chant. Sami gets in the ring and says Foley has showed more class than Stephanie has in her whole life. He says Stephanie should be ashamed of herself only because Foley didn’t want to be a corporate sellout.
Stephanie says while Sami is a very talented guy, he isn’t on the level to question her integrity or even on the level to speak to her at all. She tells Sami to go backstage and think about how he’s going to make this up to her. Stephanie offers to have his “little ska music” play so he can do a dance on his way out. Sami agrees that the smart thing to do would be for him to go backstage. He’s about doing the right thing and not the smart thing.
Samoa Joe walks out and Stephanie tells Joe to hang on. Stephanie tells Foley to get out “once and for all” and she tells Sami that his mouth has gotten him into trouble once again. She books Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe right now.
Sami hits the ropes, leaps over and takes out Joe on the outside.
Adam’s Thoughts: A very good opening segment for RAW tonight. Foley giving the canned speech and ripping up the index cards was a great way to get the Brooklyn crowd fired up. Will be interesting to see where the brand goes from here with Foley now “fired” as the General Manager. Excellent call to use Sami Zayn in this role. I’ve always been big on him as a solid babyface character for this company and he’s clearly very over with the audience. This segment just made the completely silly INTERNET RUMORZ that WWE had no intentions of continuing to run with Sami in this babyface roll flat out silly.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
The show returns live as Joe works over Sami in the corner with body shots and headbutts. Sami fires back with some elbows of his own. Sami with rights to Joe in the corner. Joe with a snapmare, chop to the back, kick to the face and quick elbow drop. Sami with a shoulder block from the ring apron, flips over Joe and connects with a quick dropkick. Joe catches Sami with a snap powerslam off the ropes for a two count. Sami with a big chop to Joe and Joe fires back with a big elbow. Joe catches Sami with a jumping kick to the head in the corner sending Sami to the outside. Joe hits the ropes and connects with a suicide dive on Sami through the ropes! Joe tosses Sami back inside as we head to a break.
Back live, we see footage of Joe laying out Sami with a big boot and senton splash. Joe catches Sami with an elbow and kick to the head combo in the corner. Joe then bounces Sami face first off the steel ring post on the outside. The referee starts the count when Joe returns. Sami is just able to beat the 10 count. Joe with kicks to the face of Sami, but Sami fires back with a big clothesline that levels Joe. Sami catches Joe with a top rope cross body for a two count. Joe trips up Sami, pulls him out and Sami is able to send Joe face first into the ring post instead. Sami dives through the ropes in the corner and catches Joe with a spike DDT on the floor! The referee starts the count. Joe rolls back in at 9. Joe plants Sami in the corner. Joe is busted open over his right eye. Joe gets Sami down and locks in the coquina clutch. Joe is squeezing tight. Sami is forced to tap out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
A video package runs looking at Braun Strowman attacking Roman Reigns back in January at the Royal Rumble PPV. WWE is going to look back at the issues between both all night.
WWE will also examine the Goldberg and Brock Lesnar rivalry tonight.
Up next, an update on Seth Rollins and his condition.
Adam’s Thoughts: Pretty good match between Joe and Sami. Joe seemed to be moving in almost slow motion for the first half. It’s definitely something I will need to get used to after watching his career the last 10 years where he was incredibly aggressive. Sami is perfect for his babyface in peril role with WWE and I hope he continues getting shots like this.
Backstage, Mick Foley thanks Sami Zayn for the support. Sami can’t believe Foley is leaving and says they need him here. Foley gives Joe a hug. Sami says they tell you to never meet your heroes, but he is glad he got to meet his and shake his hand. Foley walks off and hugs both Sheamus and Cesaro. Cesaro thanks him for giving them a chance, while Sheamus gives him a slap to the chest for believing in them. Foley shakes hands with more of the Cruiserweights and then gives a hug to a smiling Bayley. We then see Triple H show up from behind them watching and smiling. “Have a nice day,” says Triple H and he walks off. Foley walks through the exit door of the arena.
Footage is shown of Triple H attacking Seth Rollins last week. Video of Rollins rehabbing in Birmingham, Alabama was also shown.
Kevin Wilk of Champion Sports Medicine is interviewed live. He reveals that the only thing that prevented Seth from a “catastrophic reinjury” was his knee brace. The doctor seems skeptical that Rollins will be ready for WrestleMania.
Charlotte heads to the ring. She’s in action next against Dana Brooke.
Dana with a quick takedown and right hands early on Charlotte. Dana with kicks to Charlotte. Dana flips Charlotte down twice and keeps throwing rights. Charlotte bails. Charlotte jumps back up on the ring apron and Dana trips her up. Dana with a full nelson applied on Charlotte. Dana with a modified Skull Crushing Finale on Charlotte and follows it up with a clothesline. Charlotte with chops to Dana, misses a boot and Dana with another takedown with rights. Dana catches Charlotte with a boot in the corner, but Charlotte fires back with a boot of her own. A loud “WE WANT PAIGE” chant starts up. Charlotte hooks the leg for the win.
Chris Jericho will present the “Highlight Reel” tonight where the “real” Kevin Owens will be his special guest. That segment is up next.
Adam’s Thoughts: While she was fun as the lackey for Charlotte, I truly feel Dana Brooke has a lot of upside as a singles talent in WWE. She’s still a bit rough in the ring, but that will develop with more ring time. Charlotte just flat out looks like a star when she walks out right now and has really developed well into her heel character.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon approaches Bayley smiling. She asks Bayley what’s the matter and asks if she needs a hug. Bayley doesn’t want a hug from her. She talks about admiring Stephanie growing up and thought she was such a strong woman. Bayley says ever since Foley brought her to WWE…right here in Brooklyn, New York…Stephanie interrupts. She says it takes a strong woman to run RAW and it also takes a strong woman to be women’s champion. Stephanie says Bayley has to earn it every single night. She books a rematch with Nia Jax and if Nia wins, she will become part of the RAW Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. Stephanie adds it will be No DQ rules tonight.
Highlight Reel: The “Real” Kevin Owens
Chris Jericho heads to the ring. A loud “Y2J” chant breaks out in Brooklyn. Jericho said his guest tonight is the “real” Kevin Owens. He talks about Owens betraying him and that he doesn’t need him as a best friend because “I got a lot of friends.” Jericho encourages the “fans of Jericho” to “cheer me on maaaaaaaaaaaan.”
He then shows a photo of Kevin Owens at 16 years old wearing a Y2J t-shirt. Jericho points out the Y2J posters and that he doesn’t seem like much of a prize fighter to him. “He was marking out maaaaaaaaaaaaan,” adds Jericho. Jericho displays a private direct message from Owens back in 2014 when Jericho was nearby in Montreal asking for advice.
Jericho wants to see the real face of Kevin Owens at WrestleMania. He has footage played from Fastlane two weeks ago where Owens was shocked when Jericho’s music hit setting up a spear by Goldberg. Back live, Jericho implies he is a hero and idol for Owens. Jericho says Owens is going to transport to being that 16 year old nerd when he watches him walk to the ring in front of 70,000 fans at WrestleMania. Another “Y2J” chant starts up. He says if Owens felt hurt about losing the Universal Championship then it will be even worse at WrestleMania. The fans start a “STUPID IDIOT” chant. Jericho asks Owens if he knows what happens when you stab Jericho in the back. Jericho raises his pen and looks up on the stage. Samoa Joe is walking out. Owens hits the ring and attacks Jericho from behind. We see Joe walking to the back as Owens throws big knees to Jericho and stomps. Owens throws Jericho into the ropes and connects with a Pop Up Powerbomb. Owens picks up The List as the crowd starts up a “STUPID IDIOT” chant. Owens removes the list and starts ripping them up. Owens even puts some of the paper in his mouth and spits it out over Jericho. Owens does the Y2J pose.
Adam’s Thoughts: Very good segment. It’s pretty impressive to see how quickly Chris Jericho can change rolls over the course of a few weeks. Loved that Jericho’s character rolled out the old photo of Owens in a Y2J t-shirt and called him a mark. The attack setup involving Samoa Joe and Owens was very well executed.
Cruiserweight Division Match
TJ Perkins vs. The Brian Kendrick
Perkins catches Kendrick with a quick spin kick early and then sends Kendrick over the top rope hanging on to the ropes. Perkins with a wrecking ball dropkick to Kendrick. Perkins with a top rope cross body on Kendrick for a two count. Kendrick pulls back on the hair of Perkins and connects with Sliced Bread #2 off the corner to pick up the pinfall.
After the match, Kendrick wants to know where Akira Tozawa is. He’s reminded that Tozawa isn’t even here tonight and reveals he has his passport.
Adam’s Thoughts: I have absolutely no idea what these Cruiserweight segments are accomplishing for WWE right now. 205 Live is a complete mess and not interesting.
Footage is shown of HBK talking with Roman Reigns last week. Backstage, Reigns says the only time he thinks about The Undertaker is him laying flat on his back at WrestleMania.
A video package runs looking at Goldberg’s return to WWE and his recent victories over Brock Lesnar. We will hear from Lesnar later tonight.
Nia Jax is heading to the ring.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon informs Sheamus and Cesaro that the spot they earned in the RAW Tag Team Championships match at WrestleMania isn’t a lock anymore. She books them in a 2 on 4 match later tonight against Big Cass, Enzo Amore, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. If they lose, they lose the spot at WrestleMania.
If Nia Jax wins, she enters WrestleMania title match
No DQ Rules
Nia Jax vs. Bayley
Bayley with elbows and Nia shoves her away quickly. Bayley takes the back of Nia attempting a sleeper. Nia quickly flips her off. We see a shot of Charlotte watching the match from backstage. They brawl to the outside and Nia sends Bayley into the barricade. We see Sasha Banks watching from backstage as well. Bayley attempts a jumping huricanrana. Nia counters hanging on, Bayley lifts up, kicks Nia and then Nia drops her face first off the ring.
Back live, Bayley throws some rights and Nia cuts her off. Nia with a quick twisting shoulder breaker on Bayley for a two count. Nia applies a modified cobra clutch on Bayley. Bayley slaps Nia to break free and Nia dumps her out. Nia picks up Bayley and swings her repeatedly into the ring barricade at ringside. The crowd in Brooklyn is starting a wave. Nia grabs a steel chair and Bayley kicks it back in her face. Nia with a headbutt to Bayley. Bayley is trying to fight back. Bayley with a modified stunner and running knee combo. Bayley with a cross body off the top catching Nia for a two count. Nia catches Bayley with a quick samoan drop. Nia hooks the leg to get the win. She’s heading to WrestleMania 33.
Bayley will now defend the WWE RAW Women’s Championship against Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Nia Jax in a fatal four way match at WrestleMania 33.
A video package honoring Mae Young was shown.
Adam’s Thoughts: What a complete joke wrestling fans are these days. They complain and tweet about the lack of women’s wrestling on television. They get not one, but two women’s matches tonight and completely crap over both of them. The fans literally started a wave in Brooklyn during Bayley vs. Nia Jax. Both women were working hard and nothing was wrong with the match. The ADHD wrestling fans have these days is amazing.
Michael Cole introduces Triple H, noting it is partially his fault that Seth Rollins may not be able to make it to WrestleMania to compete.
Triple H walks out smiling on the ramp. He gets on the mic and talks about being in the best shape of his life. Triple H said he overheard Cole blame him for the situation Seth Rollins is in. The Brooklyn crowd starts up another “CM PUNK” chant and Triple H talks over it. He talks about Rollins deciding to ignore his advice and listen to the crowd instead. Triple H brings up how Mick Foley did the same thing. “All you gotta do is look at Mick Foley. The hermit crab walk thing he does. That is all your fault. You did that to Foley,” says Triple H. Triple H brings up Rollins walking out last week and dropping his crutch, blowing the roof off the arena. He talks about how Rollins had success for about 30 seconds until he got beat up.
Cole shows the footage of Rollins attacking Triple H last week and Triple H getting the upper hand eventually, beating down Rollins with his own crutch. Back live, Triple H looks at the crowd. “That’s on you.” He takes a seat next to Cole. Cole talks about Rollins being his protege in the past. Triple H talks about taking Rollins under his wing early in his career. “You are looking at the guy who gave him the blueprint on how to make it in this business.” He said Rollins is like every other millennial – who whine, cry and never take responsibility for anything. Triple H says Rollins isn’t going to make WrestleMania for the second year in a row and he is now officially done with Seth Rollins. He hands Cole some comped tickets to give to Rollins so he can attend live in Orlando this year. “Tell him I said thanks for coming.” Triple H goes to leave when he asks for the tickets back. He asks what if he could make it possible for them to fight at WrestleMania. Cole said that doesn’t appear to be possible. Triple H suggests a non-sanctioned match and a contract for Rollins to sign next week. He says the contract would prevent Rollins from suing anyone for what he does to him. Triple H asks the fans if that is what they want. He asks Rollins if he is a coward.
Adam’s Thoughts: This segment started well with some heel teasing by Triple H, but oh boy did the Brooklyn crowd not given the kind of response I think they were hoping for. I was sort of enjoying WWE messing with the fans if Rollins will be ready in time. Setting up a non-sanctioned just doesn’t seem all that great.
Gallows and Anderson attack Big Cass and Enzo Amore immediately.
Anderson rolls in as the match begins. Cesaro trips up Anderson attempting a Cesaro Swing. Anderson with a kick to Cesaro in the corner. Cass pulls Gallows down and throws him into the barricade. Sheamus gets the tag, Cesaro holds him up and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick on Anderson. Sheamus hooks the leg to get the pinfall.
Sheamus and Cesaro keep the spot at WrestleMania 33 joining Big Cass and Enzo Amore to challenge Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the RAW Tag Team Championships.
After the match, Cass takes out Gallows with a big boot and Enzo splashes Anderson.
Backstage, The New Day is here to hype WrestleMania 33. Big E and Kofi Kingston are giving Xavier Woods the eye asking if he has nothing to say. Get it? They proceed to hype the card in two weeks in Orlando. Woods brings up Smackdown Live also being part of the show.
Austin Aries heads to the ring. He’s in action next.
Adam’s Thoughts: Sheamus and Cesaro keep the spot at WrestleMania. That was quick. We also got our awkward moment of the night with Xavier Woods showing up in a pre-tape backstage with Big E and Kofi Kingston. Had to get that one out of the way. Props to WWE for at least having a little fun with the situation with Kofi and Big E giving Woods the eyeball.
Cruiserweight Division Match
Austin Aries vs. Tony Nese
Nese attacks Aries in the corner with kicks immediately. Nese drops Aries jaw first off the top rope along with tripping him up with a quick kick. Aries dumps Nese over the top rope. Aries catches Nese with a big suicide dive right into the ring barricade.
Back live, Nese has Aries up in a torture rack. Aries counters into a pinfall that Nese breaks up. Nese misses a second rope moonsault attempt when Aries moves. Aries with a reverse neckbreaker to Nese off the second rope. Aries with repeated clotheslines and a big chop. Aries with a facebuster into an STO combo. Aries with his pendulum elbow. Aries with a rolling senton on Nese, goes up top and connects with a missile dropkick. Aries with a jumping elbow to Nese in the corner and connects his his discus elbow to get the win.
Winner: Austin Aries
After the match, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville walks out. Austin Aries grabs a mic and tells him to hold on. He doesn’t remember having an interview scheduled with Neville. Neville says this is no interview, lad. He says Aries is no threat to “the king.” Aries isn’t convinced of what Neville is saying and thinks Neville is nervous.
Another video package for Emma airs.
Adam’s Thoughts: I’ll say this – when Austin Aries talks, I actually pay attention. That’s a definite improvement for the otherwise extremely dull Cruiserweight division.
An interview with Brock Lesnar airs asking for his thoughts on losing to Goldberg at Survivor Series and Goldberg eliminating him from the Royal Rumble match. Brock smiles when asked what will be different at WrestleMania with the Universal Championship on the line. Footage of Lesnar giving Goldberg an F5 two weeks ago on RAW in Chicago.
Goldberg and Brock Lesnar will both be on RAW next week in Philadelphia.
Backstage, Braun Strowman says if The Undetaker wants to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania then he better bring a shovel to scrap him off the mat after tonight.
Roman Reigns is out next and heads to the ring for the main event.
Austin Aries has a WrestleMania message for Neville tomorrow night on 205 Live.
WWE promotes a “Hold Harmless Agreement” Contract Signing between Triple H and Seth Rollins next week on RAW live in Philadelphia.
Reigns charges in with a kick and right hands backing Strowman to the corner. Strowman pushes Reigns to the other corner. Reigns with right hands and kicks. Strowman tosses Reigns out of the ring. Reigns drops Strowman off the top rope. Back inside, Reigns with a running kick and that sends Strowman out of the ring. Reigns attempts his drive by dropkick and Strowman absolutely levels him with a clothesline over the ring apron! Back inside, Strowman plants Reigns with a spinebuster for a two count. Strowman throws Reigns chest first at the corner. Strowman with a chinlock on Reigns to keep the action grounded. Strowman with a kick to the ribs of Reigns. Strowman splashes Reigns in the corner. Reigns avoids a shot by Strowman in the corner. Reigns kicks Strowman in the face and throws multiple clothesline shots to him in the corner. Reigns counters a chokeslam attempt. Reigns pulls off a samoan drop and Strowman quickly powers out. Strowman is on the outside recovering and this time Reigns connects with his drive by dropkick. Strowman then tosses Reigns shoulder first into the steel steps. Strowman tosses the top part of the steel steps inside the ring and throws Reigns back inside. Reigns catches Strowman with a Superman. Strowman is down on one knee. Strowman is back up, blocks another Superman attempt, Reigns with a big boot, hits the ropes, Strowman lifts him up and Reigns catches Strowman with a Superman on the way down. Reigns signals for a spear when the gong hits and the lights go out. When they return, The Undertaker is standing in the ring.
Undertaker glances at Strowman who is down in the corner. Strowman goes at Undertaker. Undertaker grabs Strowman and gives him a chokeslam. Undertaker turns around and eats a spear from Reigns. Reigns leaves the ring and heads up the ramp. Undertaker sits back up and gets on his feet. Reigns turns around and stares him down. Undertaker signals the end is near. Reigns and Undertaker have a stare down to close the show.
Winner: No Contest
Adam’s Overall Thoughts: Pretty good effort from WWE tonight. Outside of the Brooklyn crowd being borderline obnoxious and taking a giant dump all over both women’s matches tonight, things are coming together pretty nicely regarding WrestleMania. The change in tone for the eventual Triple H vs. Seth Rollins match is honestly falling flat after tonight. They did a good job making Goldberg vs. Lesnar still feel like a big deal and the build for Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens has been excellent. By removing Foley just two weeks out, we’ll have something to look forward to post-WrestleMania. That is still a LONG three hours.
Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview
Quick Match Results:
* Samoa Joe def. Sami Zayn
* Charlotte def. Dana Brooke
* The Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins
* Nia Jax def. Bayley to earn a spot in the Women’s Title match at WrestleMania
* Sheamus and Cesaro def. Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Big Cass and Enzo Amore
* Austin Aries def. Tony Nese
* Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman ended in a No Contest