(Next Day Note: One week after picking a Beaux Arts style building in in Detroit, I do the same in Nashville. I’ve really got to start keeping track of which buildings I’m using because the WWE is starting to repeat their city stops as I used the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville three months ago. Back to The Hermitage which happens to be named after Andrew Jackson’s residence that is just outside of Nashville. The hotel was the first skyscraper to be built in Nashville when it was finished in 1910. The Beaux Arts styles is far more prominent on the main floor as the windows above in the hotel rooms themselves turn into standard opening fare until getting to the top floor where the entablature has many designs just like in old Greek architecture. Architecture lesson over.)
The WWE starts us off with a video package of the end of last Raw. HHH gives us a speech about Authority. Everyone hates their boss whoever it might be. I’ve got no problems with my boss. No one challenges Authority. Dean Ambrose hits the ring as HHH makes that point to an absent Roman Reigns. He just got off the phone Reigns and told HHH that Roman “Is coming for him.” Ambrose gives us a review of last week’s talking points. Naturally HHH insults Ambrose when the later asks about who he wanted to win the triple threat. Ambrose tells HHH that Hunter knows he couldn’t beat Ambrose. Dean wants some action against HHH. Hunter calmly explains that yelling for a match doesn’t get you one. HHH will think about the proposition and give his decision by the end of the night. Ambrose takes on Alberto Del Rio tonight. Should make for a good match.
Charlotte & Ric Flair are at ring side for the match between Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks. Cue me thinking it’ll be a three way match at Wrestlemania. The match is mostly a split affair until the commercial. We still get a very split match after the break. Lynch gets a two count after a top rope drop kick. They do the stupid double pin to declare a draw instead of interference from Charlotte. The fans start chanting “Triple Threat.” Good fans.
Bray Wyatt says that his idea will save the world. We’re to join him for eternal paradise. Lots of gum flapping for a guy who routinely loses.
Dolph Ziggler is taking on The Miz. I was bored by the match so it was an even bigger surprise that The Miz rolled up Ziggler for the win. That match does sum up their careers at this point. (Next Day Note: They both get recognition but they’re both way past their apex and there’s no recovering in their future for one last run a la Christian.)
I get to blow through a whole segment of Raw because it’s almost an entire replay of last week’s opening segment. Stephanie McMahon is going to finish her acceptance speech for her Slammy Award. She then just runs down Shane because the fans keep chanting for him. She loves her brother but she doesn’t respect him. Not only do we hate our bosses, we are also weak and narcissistic. They make the world seem really bleak. We’re going to bow down to “The Queen.”
The League of Nations is still involved with the Lucha Dragons. Which waste of space will be challenging Kalisto? Sheamus & Rusev are in the match. Sin Cara gets the beat down for his team. Kalisto gets to go high octane on Rusev. ADR distracts Kalisto. Spinning Heel Kick by Rusev for the win. Kalisto hangs on for the World’s Dumbest Wrestling Move.
Renee Young asks what Natalya‘s secrets are to looking good. Evidently, Subway is part of her regiment. Those “Live Reads” are so bad they work.
Ryback takes on Adam Rose with the rest of the Social Outcasts at ring side. Ryback goes vicious in the match but then still uses the un-powerful Shell Shock for a finisher.
The New Day wins because they are a brotherhood. Chris Jericho and his light up jacket show up. AJ Styles entrance music still stinks. Styles & Jericho in control as we go to break. Styles is the one taking the beating after it though. Styles Pele Kicks Big E to finally give Jericho the hot tag. Jericho finishes the hot streak with a Lionsault. Big E breaks up the pin. Kofi goes for Trouble in Paradise. Jericho blocks and turns it into the Walls of Jericho for the tap out victory. Why are they challenging for the belts on Raw next week? Jericho even references Wrestlemania in the next sentence. Why not wait?
Vince McMahon gives us numerous examples of how crazy it would be for Shane McMahon to beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Taker tells Vince that Shane’s blood will be on his hands, not Taker’s. I appreciate Taker being short & to the point. Vince is writing Shane out of his will and giving it to Stephanie. Shane will always be a son of a bitch. Linda foreshadowing? We don’t need that robot back on TV.
Bubba Ray is taking on Jey Uso. Of course Devon and Jimmy are at ring side. JBL wants fans to chant “9 time tag team champions” instead of “Tables.” That line just flows out of the mouth JBL. After a distraction involving Jimmy jumping into a stationary table held by Devon, Bubba Ray connects with a Bubba Bomb to win.
Goldust & R Truth have another segment. Truth tells him they’re done. Goldust walks away sheepishly. Truth looks like he’s reconsidering. More segments for a low card act. Can we flesh out someone we don’t know? Maybe the Usos? Becky Lynch? Sasha Banks? More people I could name.
Kevin Owens hits the ring. Big Show is his opponent again since they liked the match so much. Owens gets crotched and gets counted out. It was the opposite of Smackdown’s result.
Brie Bella is a guest of Renee Young. She has nothing to be ashamed of. She gets interrupted by Lana. She runs down Daniel Bryan. Brie tells her to finally step in the ring. She tells Lana to shave Rusev’s back.
Brie Bella is taking on Naomi with Tamina at ring side. Brie gets kicked in the head to get things moving in this match. Naomi drop kicks her off the apron to the floor. Naomi bulldogs Brie into the middle turn buckle. Naomi’s kicks are too fancy to be a heel move. Brie turns it around with Yes Kicks. Tamina distracts her. Naomi gets a cross pin block. She turns it into a Rings of Saturn for the tap out win. Lana comes out to rub it in to Brie.
It felt like forever for the beginning of the Dean Ambrose vs Alberto Del Rio to happen. Del Rio takes advantage of an injured Ambrose. Del Rio leaves him on the outside to recover. Del Rio slaps on the cross arm breaker but on the outside so he has to break it. Ambrose is smart enough to pull Del Rio off the ropes when he goes for the World’s Dumbest Wrestling Move. Del Rio connects though moments later on the barricade. Why does the WWE insist on making that move an “out of nowhere” move? Ambrose of course makes a come back despite being beat to hell. Ambrose head butts Del Rio on the top rope. Ambrose drop kicks Del Rio and injures himself in the process. Ambrose’s bad shoulder hits the post. Enziguri connects for Del Rio. Ambrose take out the League of Nations with a top rope elbow. HHH comes out. The League attacks for the DQ. HHH starts talking trash. Ambrose attacks. HHH quickly puts him down with a Pedigree. HHH accepts the challenge. Ambrose thanks HHH as he walks away. HHH attacks Ambrose again. The referees finally pry him off Ambrose on the announce desk. – Kevin