The WWE starts us off with a recap of the main event angle from last week. Mick Foley comes out and reads a phony statement which is pretty damn funny. Stephanie McMahon doesn’t want them talked about. Could have fooled me. Foley finally flips out but keeps getting the mic cut out from him. Stephanie, you’re already going back on your word. She dresses him down again. Even though Foley already said he’s taking a leave of absence, Steph fires him. Sami Zayn comes out. Why did Steph dress like a hooker for this segment? The purple eye liner and choker really cinch the deal for me. Samoa Joe comes out after Zayn gets defiant. Zayn nails the tope con hilo but lets Joe recover like a dummy. Joe is equally stupid by letting Zayn off the hook when he nails a suicide dive/forearm. Zayn gets his normal hope spot. Zayn almost makes it look like he can win with a thru the ropes DDT on the outside. Urinogi by Joe as soon as they get back in the ring. Kokina Clutch for the tap out win.
Foley & Zayn are back stage talking. The WWE likes Zayn enough to give him plenty of air time but he’s going nowhere fast. Foley talks to Cesaro & Sheamus, some small fries and Bayley. I laugh when HHH does the obvious (that I missed coming) “Have a Nice Day!” and walks away.
Kevin Wilk gives us an update on Seth Rollins. Supposedly he won’t be at Wrestlemania. Raw continues it’s streak of exciting segments to start this show.
Charlotte is taking on Dana Brooke. For the first time on WWE TV, Brooke looks competent in the ring by taking down Charlotte early. I’m not sure she looks any more comfortable in there though. Big Boot by Charlotte for the win. The announcers try to sell this match as a good showing for Brooke. She didn’t even lose to one of Charlotte’s finishers.
Bayley runs into Stephanie. Bayley is of course not pleased with Steph’s firing of Foley. She gives Nia Jax a chance to get into the WWE Raw Women’s match at Wrestlemania. Stephanie leaves standing tall with no repercussions again. If I were Charlotte & Sasha Banks, I’d take out Jax. It’s a no DQ match. Help yourself out.
Chris Jericho comes out to reveal “the real” Kevin Owens on the Highlight Reel. He shows a picture of Owens in his basement with a Y2J shirt and poster in his room. Jericho then shows texts about advice he gave to Owens when he came to the WWE in 2014. As Jericho is ready to put Owens name on the list, Samoa Joe comes out. Owens attacks from behind. Owens finishes the assault off with a Pop Up Power Bomb. Owens then rips up “The List.” Owens poses like Y2J but the camera angle was bad to show it.
I should know by now that when the announcers stall, a Cruiser Weight match is on the way because they need to tape the ring ropes. TJ Perkins is staking on Brian Kendrick again. The Cruiser Weights are stuck in a hellish match circle already. Perkins started a beef with the referee for no reason. Kendrick takes advantage. Sliced Bread #2 for the win. Kendrick wanted Akira Tozawa to come and attack him. Tozawa “left it on the locker room floor” last week. That isn’t quite criminal but it’s close.
Roman Reigns is ready to teach Strowman a lesson.
The WWE does video packages well. This time for Goldberg. Good set up for who he was and how things played out recently in the WWE.
Cesaro & Sheamus can’t lose in a handicapped match against Enzo & Cass and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.
Bayley’s match is up with Nia Jax. If Bank were smart, she’d attack Jax on her way to the ring. Instead Banks is just chilling in the back. Bayley goes face first into the apron to stop Bayley’s momentum. Jax runs into the post. That only gave Bayley a short reprieve. Jax rag dolls Bayley against the barricade again. Bayley recovers in the ring and catches Jax coming back in. Bayley back elbows then clothes lines Jax. Bayley gets dropped on the top turn buckle. Samoan Drop for the win. Both Charlotte & Banks look annoyed. They only have themselves to blame. Banks had interfered in the last few Bayley matches. Why not this one?
We’re celebrating Mae Young this week.
Michael Cole gets to interview HHH in the ring. Rollins got addicted to the crowd, just like Mick Foley. HHH is listening to another crowd than I have since about a month after Rollins last return from injury. HHH admits that Rollins needed him as a crutch. HHH is done with Rollins. He then gives Cole tickets to Wrestlemania for Rollins. HHH then comes back and offers an “unsanctioned match” because the crowd is luke warm about having to watch this match at WM.
Much to no one’s surprise, Enzo Amore & Big Cass can’t get along with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. After being attacked by Gallows & Anderson, Cass recovers and pulls Gallows off the apron. Brogue Kick on a distracted Anderson for the win. Cass boots Gallows off the apron. Boom Shacka Lacka on Anderson so that Enzo can get some retribution.
New Day hypes various matches at WM.
Austin Aries is taking on Tony Nese. Nese doesn’t understand why he isn’t taken seriously. It’s because you’re treated as just barely better than division jobber Drew Gulak. Aires nearly takes off Nese’s head with a suicide dive. Nese has Aires in a Torture Rack after the break though. Nese catches mat on a moonsault. Corey Graves is rooting for Aries even calling his finisher a “Five Arm” because it’s more than a forearm. Neville comes out and says he’ll take Aries down just like he has to everyone else. Aries tells him he’s a level above Neville. Aries is better on the mic but he’s got the same problem everyone else does in the division, he’s had no character. And evidently not a big enough following to fight thru the lack of air time. Owens and AJ got a good crowd reaction to help out their introductions.
The WWE does video packages well. This time for Brock Lesnar. He’s going to win this time. We know Paul Heyman. We know.
Braun Strowman is going to destroy Reigns tonight. Undertaker is going to need to scrape him off the mat if he wants to face him at WM. Awesome. Reigns gets decked with a clothes line as he goes for a Drive By. Cool look. Strowman starts tossing around Reigns including another turn buckle throw. It does not explode because “it was reinforced.” Strowman’s assault ends when Reigns dodges a charge and he strikes the post. Reigns connects with a Drive By. Strowman tosses Reigns into the steps. Strowman tosses the stairs into the ring. He goes to use them and eats a Superman Punch. Reigns gets tossed in the air and Superman Punches Strowman on the way down. Reigns sets up for the Spear. Gong. Lights go out. The Undertaker is in the middle of the ring. He choke slams Strowman. Reigns spears Taker. DQ finish, I suppose. Undertaker sits up after Reigns is on the entrance platform. Graves tells us Reigns should be worried. Why, because it took Taker ten seconds to sit up? He used to do it almost immediately. Old man is getting slow. Just like me. – Kevin DiFrango