The WWE starts us off with Jonathan Coachman in the ring to introduce Stephanie McMahon, HHH, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle. The sign pointing is so out of control when even Steph & HHH do it. HHH questions Angle’s intelligence. Before Angle can answer, Rousey muses about their ulterior motives. No one wants to answer the questions. Angle tells Steph that Rousey will make her tap out. Nothing matters what happens outside the WWE. Stephanie wants us to respect out authority. Is Kurt Angle a parrot? Can he only say Ronda is going to make Steph tap? Stephanie finally hits her hard saying that she doesn’t take loses well. Ronda replies that she wants to make sure Steph can still sign checks after she rips the other arm off. Coachman implies that the face off in UFC get ugly, unlike the ones in WWE. That’s hilarious to say since it’s the opposite. HHH shakes hands with Angle. Steph offers her hand to Ronda who refuses. HHH clocks Angle. Ronda grabs him. Stephanie puts Ronda through a table.
Bayley takes on Sonya Deville. Sonya looking sharp on offense. Bayley makes a come back and Coachman makes a dumb point no one disagrees with. That Bayley made a bad decision not going for a cover after a cross body. She followed it up with a running knee to the head which is a more vicious attack in my estimation. Bayley rolls up Sonya for the win. Mandy Rose attacks after the match. Sasha Banks comes in and makes the save. Banks wants Bayley to raise her hand. She refuses and they brawl. Deville & Mandy Rose come in and attacks both of them and leaves the down.
Asuka gets a great video package about her undefeated streak. Please, let us all forget that 90% of the time she’s been on the Raw roster she has struggled against Emma and others of that ilk. Nothing to see here.
The Miz is congratulated for having a child with Maryse. He ends up being on the head set. Finn Balor comes out. Seth Rollins is his opponent. The match is mostly back drop to family talk. Ahh, the good old days of drinking and womanizing between cities is way in the review mirror. The Miz even ends up being very complimentary of Balor & Rollins. Michael Cole gets to question the Miz’s readiness which is weird. Coachman has taken up the Miz mantle which is weird too. The Miz saying this is one of their greatest performances of their careers is amusing. Rollins has been around long enough to be left out of that talk. This match is kicking into a higher gear so it’s become impossible to ignore. Balor made a small package and a cradle pin seem reasonable as a pin with his positioning and determination hooking the move. Rollins goes for the Buckle Bomb outside. Balor slips out. Sling Blade followed by a Drop Kick into the barrier. Rollins rolls out of Coup De Grace. Rollins Stomps Balor after a roll through. It took a hair too long. Balor looked like a dummy staying on his hands and knees that long.
I don’t pay attention to the Paul Heyman and Kurt Angle talk until Angle asks Heyman not to be inflammatory towards Roman Reigns so that the main event for Wrestlemania can stay intact. Heyman laughs in his face.
The Bar is still wondering why Braun Strowman hasn’t revealed his tag team partner but they don’t care any more. Strowman comes out and says that his opponent will reveal himself if they accept his offer of a match. Sheamus accepts the offer. Strowman warns Sheamus that his partner is like him. Strowman comes out in button down shirt and glasses. He says he’s “Brains Strowman.” That really got a laugh out of me. So stupid.
Goldust and Matt Hardy get promos to hype the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Hardy is still cracking me up. What a great gimmick. They also get a match. Twist of Fate for the win. I have never understood why a finishing move isn’t useful in a battle royal.
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James have a promo with words. The main one is blubber. They can not be feeling good about this angle.
John Cena comes out and says no Undertaker. Cena rattles off all of his recent losses to show Michael Cole that he shouldn’t be in a Championship match. Cena talks about making this WM about change, implying retirement? Cena then rattles off how stacked the WM card is. Cena then tries one last time to “summon the Undertaker.” Why is Cena taking shots at Taker? He’s not saving face.
Roman Reigns is no dummy so he knows trash will be talked about him. Kurt Angle begs him not to do anything. Reigns tells him all bets are off after what has happened to him the last few weeks and even the long running disrespect.
Elias is getting his chants on. Always draws them in with them and comes with the insults. Heath Slater interrupts him. It only enrages Elias.
Curt Hawkins pitches to be Braun’s partner. He gets tossed through a wall for his transgression.
Nia Jax defends herself which is unnecessary but it does get across a point. Genetics is something no one can get away from. Jax tells Bliss that she will squash her like a bug on Sunday. I fully expect that to happen.
Asuka & Dana Brooke are teaming against Alexa Bliss & Mickie James. I’m a little surprised this match goes to commercial. Dana Brooke had some offense but has mostly been selling. A suplex on Bliss creates the opening. James gets tp take the brunt of the offense. Asuka Lock for the tap out win. Bliss blasts Asuka from behind after the match. Nia Jax makes the save. James gets toasted while Bliss gets to slink away.
Heyman & Brock Lesnar come out. Heyman gives us a spoiler again that his client will win on Sunday. If he happens to lose, they will never be seen on WWE Raw again. Heyman admits that Reigns views are correct but no one still really wants to boo him. When even Heyman can’t get them to turn, you’ve really done something. Reigns comes out and wonders why the locker room is protecting Lesnar. They part ways. Reigns comes down and into the ring. Lesnar ducks out of the ring. Lesnar looks like he’s going to leave when he snags a chair and goes into the ring. Trifecta of Superman Punches. Reigns connects with another. Then another as Lesanr recovers. Reigns holds up the Championship. Reigns looks at the WM sign too long. F5 on Reigns. This isn’t going to be the best match on the card so it’s going to be weird going on last. – Kevin DiFrango