We start with a look back at the Royal Rumble. If you didn’t expect Vince and Stephanie McMahon next, you haven’t watched the WWE long enough. Does Vince dress worse than Chris Jericho? I guess Roman Reigns was “broken” after last night. Just stupid. I’m miserable according to Vince. Stephanie gets to recount Reigns almost over coming the odds. Steph & Vince clearly think they’re far more clever than they really are. They do good work on the mic but this is not good. Stephanie then screeches and introduces HHH. He comes out in a much better suit than Vince. He has the WWE Championship belt under his jacket. HHH then tries to put over Reigns but then he tells us he lacks respect. That is quite laughable. HHH’s religion is being disrespected. Again, HHH has done better work. HHH, we know that no one deserves to be WWE Champion except people who can’t work regularly. The segment thankfully ends when Stephanie tells us that the main event of Fastlane & Wrestlemania will be revealed at the end of the show. I need to start drinking. (Next Day Note: I never ended up drinking. First time I’ve watched Raw entirely sober in quite a while.)
Dolph Ziggler is in action. Kevin Owens is his opponent. Why would Ziggler try to impress the Authority? He got them booted from power just over a year ago. Owens crotched Ziggler on the ring post to turn the tide. Ziggler gets a two count from a Fame Asser. Ziggler puts on a Sleeper. Ziggler dodges a cannon ball. They go back and forth on some moves. Owens crotches Ziggler on the top rope this time. Pop Up Power Bomb for the win. If Ziggler’s place in the company wasn’t cemented before, it just got Jimmy Hoffa cemented. (Next Day Note: I’m guessing the announcers would tell me that reference is too old.)
Roman Reigns is backstage. Reigns tells us that these people, being the McMahons, are ridiculous. He’s not leaving until he hears the announcement. (Next Day Note: Considering he was booked for the main event, Reigns didn’t have much of a choice.)
The Social Outcasts make fun of Flo Rida. Their gimmick seems to be going no where quickly. Bo Dallas gets to have a rap battle with Flo. They pretend like everything he says is hilarious. Flo Rida’s rapping doesn’t seem any better. He does introduce the Dudley Boyz.
The match starts after a break. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel are the tandem for the Social Outcasts. Either they or the WWE think that not changing their individual gimmicks at all will make for a cohesive unit. Bubba takes a beating for his team. Devon gets a hot tag against Axel. Double team neck breaker on Axel. Flo Rida gets to punch Slater. 3D on Axel for the win.
Renee Young gets to interview AJ Styles. He turned the WWE Universe upside down. Chris Jericho tells AJ that he’s finally in the big time. This match is a no win situation for Styles.
Jericho comes out first. The announcers have done a good job of hyping up Styles both last night and tonight. Styles hit a big jumping clothes line but it’s been a mostly back and forth start. Jericho spring board drop kicks Styles off the apron. Styles drop kicks Jericho out of the ring but it only got him a face plant on the ring apron when Jericho pulled him down. They collide with cross bodies. Jericho kicks out of a Samoan Drop into a neck breaker. Jericho connects with an enziguri. Styles connects with the spring board fore arm. Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho. Styles fights his way to the ropes. Styles connects with a Pele Kick. Styles misses a splash. Styles reverses a pinning combo to win. Styles offers a hand shake. Jericho holds onto it extra long but nothing happens.
Sasha Banks is taking on Becky Lynch. Despite winning the character development battle in the WWE, Lynch is destined for another loss. Lynch is taking it to Sasha early. A drop toe hold into the turn buckle turns things around. Michael Cole is hilarious trying to make it sound like we’re all familiar with Sasha’s in ring style. Charlotte breaks up the Bank Statement for the DQ. She tosses Banks out of the ring. Charlotte beats up Lynch. Then takes out Banks.
Goldust is looking for R Truth. Goldust is looking for a new partner. Truth tells Goldie that he’s a married man. Seriously, why was that on TV? (Next Day Note: I know the WWE has three hours to fill but it could be made useful.)
The Wyatt Family comes down to the ring. Kane is taking on Bray Wyatt. I’m wondering how tough it’s going to be to find a cool looking building in Birmingham AL. Wyatt is in control after a commercial. Wyatt misses a senton. Kane squashes Wyatt in the corner. Wyatt gives Kane a urinogi. Wyatt goes outside for a breather. Kane blasts Luke Harper. He gets clocked by Wyatt on the return from the breather. Sister Abigail for the win by Wyatt. The Family beats him up after the match.
The Miz is in the limo. He hasn’t been on Raw in three weeks. The Rock steals his thunder. He has a new Under Armour shirt. Good for him. He greets a bunch of people. He busts Big Show’s balls about not winning a Royal Rumble. Lana surprised The Rock in his hotel room on the last Raw he was at. Rusev interrupts. Rock cracks more jokes at Rusev’s expense. New Day‘s arrival makes me pay attention to the segment again. There was no need to type about the rest of the garbage that happened. As if this segment wasn’t long enough already. They take their grand old time pointing out that they’re champions and beat the Usos last night. Rock calls the Unicorn horns, Llama penises. The Rock challenges New Day. They re-treat. The Usos come out and help the Rock beat them up. (Next Day Note: The middle part was boring but it ended well. Rock worked well off of New Day. Let the speculation begin for a six man match at Wrestlemania.)
Natalya & Paige are teaming against Brie Bella & Alicia Fox. The announcers finally mention that Natalya had a broken ankle. Alicia Fox saves Brie from a PTO. She doesn’t save Brie from a Ram-Paige though. Natalya can’t even get a win in a meaningless match.
The Miz gets interrupted by Kalisto because the whole show is short on time because of the Rock. Kalisto gets an early jump on Miz. I’m shocked that they’re getting a commercial break. The Miz takes over with a clothes line. He even connects with the jump through clothes line. Kalisto makes a comeback with quick strike offense. I look forward to people kicking out of Kalisto’s cork screw for the next several years but the announcers having to pretend like it could be a finisher. Salida Del Sol for the win. A match on paper that should help Kalisto’s credibility but it doesn’t because the Miz is way down the roster. He might only look down at the Social Outcasts.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose are taking on The League of Nations. Reigns starts against Sheamus. Ambrose jumps on Sheamus & Rusev from the top rope to the outside. It only dawned on me after the commercial that King Barrett & Alberto Del Rio are sitting this one out. How evil is the Authority to not make this a four on two match? Ambrose gets a hot tag despite his beating he took last night. Ambrose connects with a Suicide Dive. Del Rio attacks Ambrose on the outside. Ambrose gets tossed around the outside by Rusev. Ambrose gets out of his beat down with a Lunatic Lariat on the outside. Reigns gets the hot tag. Barrett & Del Rio scatter as Reigns beats up Sheamus & Rusev on the outside. Reigns gets distracted by Barrett & Del Rio. Sheamus Brogue Kicks him. Ambrose breaks up the cover. He gets rid of Rusev. Reigns spears Sheamus for the win. Ambrose cleans off the announce tables. Reigns & Ambrose power bomb him through the main announcers desk. Stephanie shows up. We get a three way match between Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar at Fastlane to determine HHH’s challenger at Wrestlemania. (Next Day Note: How exactly is Reigns going to learn respect when you keep giving him shots at the WWE Title? The Authority is an enabler.) – Kevin