This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The final Monday Night RAW before the Show of Shows: WrestleMania. The leadup to the biggest show of the year has been woefully bland, but this week’s RAW did a lot to garner interest in stale feuds.
That is . . . until the final hour.
Who is Vince’s bitch?
RAW opened in grand fashion in the final show before Wrestlemania, with the Phenom himself: The Undertaker.
“This WrestleMania will NOT be my last,” he proclaimed, reiterating that Shane’s blood would be on Vince’s hands, and Vince’s blood would be on his. He added that WrestleMania was his house, but was interrupted by Shane O’Mac himself.
He proclaimed himself an instrument of change for the WWE, even if it at the cost of Taker’s legacy, joining him in the ring. The two traded barbs before Shane sprung at Taker, who sent him out of the ring. Shane fought back with some goodies from under the ring, hitting Taker on the announce table from the top rope.
But as Shane was making his exit, Taker rose, flashing his signature symbol in warning.
This was the most interesting chapter of their story so far, and it was thrilling seeing Shane take to the sky once more. Taker and Shane played their parts well, and created a lot of intrigue for their match.
Next Sunday sure will be something.
Chris Jericho vs. Zack Ryder
Before the match even began, AJ Styles emerged, flabbergasted at Jericho refusing to fight him at WrestleMania, and proclaimed he wasn’t going to leave until he got the match he wanted.
Jericho, properly pissed off, beat down on Ryder, who took advantage of Jericho’s distraction with Styles to gain some momentum. Styles, at ringside, started a chorus of “Y2-Jackass” chants, which allowed Ryder to roll him up for the win.
Infuriated, Jericho beat down in Ryder in the ring and proceeded to tear the ringside apart. Calling Styles a stupid idiot, Jericho accepted his challenge for WrestleMania.
While in a dream world, I would rather have Styles facing a new opponent at Wrestlemania, I have no doubt that these two will put on a truly phenomenal show. Pun absolutely intended.
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
With Sasha Banks at ringside, the Irish Lass-kicker took on the Divas Champion Charlotte in singles competition.
Becky began the match with momentum, working Charlotte’s arm with some vicious arm-drags, but the champion fought back with some well-timed reversals. But Becky would not be contained for long, fighting back with a series of clotheslines and suplexes.
However, that wasn’t enough to keep Charlotte down for the count, as she kicked out at two and reversed the Dis-Arm Her. A distraction from Ric Flair allowed Charlotte to hit Natural Selection on Lynch for the win.
There isn’t much left to do to hype up this match. The ladies will tear the house down, and the world will have no choice but to take notice.
Backstage, Renee interviewed Vince McMahon, who said that he was glad that Shane did what he did, because all it did was anger Taker. Shane approached him, declaring he was going to take forty years of pent-up aggression and frustration and let it loose.
The Social Outcasts vs. Big Show & Kane
The match itself didn’t last too long, as the ring was soon swarmed with entrants into the Andre the Giant Battle Royale, but soon enough the giants had cleared house, quadruple chokeslamming the Outcasts into the mat.
Oh, and Damien Snadow was there too. I might have marked out a little at the sight of him.
I mean, what else is there to say about this match? It’s lost its appeal, which was at its peak with Cesaro’s win, so I don’t really care who emerges victorious.
Unless it’s Sandow.
Stephanie and Triple H emerged, telling the crowd to grovel at their feet. Triple H mocked the crowd, telling them their dreams would never be a reality just like Reigns’ dreams would never be a reality.
Triple H proclaimed his obsession with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and all of the fame and power that came with it, saying that when Roman Reigns powerbombed him through the announce table four months ago, his obsession was reignited, and that his obsession would ensure his victory at WrestleMania.
Roman didn’t take too well to that, sliding into the ring and decking Triple H, driving him out of the ring to one of the most overwhelmingly negative receptions I have ever seen him get.
WWE absolutely HAS to hear the reactions Reigns is getting. It’s absolutely out of control. And i feel for Reigns, I really, really do. The man is not the best wrestler, but he’s not a bad wrestler either. He’s certainly a good man. But this is not his time. It’s just not.
The crowds are not behind him here. He is not ready, and we are not willing. Something has got to give.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Wow, you guys. The New Day are so, SO very over in Brooklyn.
The New Day cut a glorious promo, which was nearly drowned out by the overwhelming ovation from the Brooklyn crowd, and provided a stark reminder of what real babyfaces look like.
The action was swift from the get-go. Woods incurred the wrath of Del Rio by playing La Cucaracha at him, and Del Rio planted Kingston after interference from both sides. He kept his momentum through a commercial break.
Kingston started to mount a comeback with the SOS and an incredible air move I haven’t seen him use in a long time. But Del Rio dodged a move to the turnbuckle, hitting Kingston with some vicious feet to the midsection.
It looked like he would take the victory, but Kingston managed to steal a rollup victory.
Jonathan Coachman emerged as the three were exiting, declaring the New Day his favorite SportsCenter guests and announcing that there would be live coverage of Mania to the show. The segment closed out with Coach and the New Day dancing together.
Backstage, the Dudleys and Triple H ambushed Roman Reigns backstage, sending him into the wall. Triple H thrust the belt in Reigns’ face and sent him face-first into it.
Kalisto vs. Konnor
You’d think that the announce team would mention the history between the Ascension and the Lucha Dragons, but I digress.
This match was over in seconds. After taking Viktor out, Kalisto hit the Salida Del Sol on Konnor for the win, taking both out once again after scoring the pinfall.
Ryback came out after the match, staring Kalisto down intently before leaving as soon as he came.
I’m actually excited about this match, but I’ll be excited about anything Kalisto is involved in. There’s nothing wrong with simply built matches, especially when Kalisto is over already, so hey.
Best of luck to both boys. Kalisto better steal the show!
Paul Heyman wasted no time in introducing his client, the baddest Beast in the land, and hyping Brock Lesnar’s upcoming battle with Dean Ambrose. Heyman disparaged Ambrose, calling him a lunatic in the truest sense.
Heyman gave Ambrose credit for being able to use weapons in the match, calling him smart like a fox, but pointed out that Lesnar would be able to use weapons as well, and was ready to absolutely destroy him.
Ambrose interrupted, coming out with a cart in tow. Seemingly ignoring Lesnar and Heyman, he pulled a crowbar, steel pipes, Barbie the baseball bat and Chainsaw Charlie, like he was grocery shopping.
Lesnar watched in disbelief, holding a kendo stick Ambrose had discarded, as he proceeded to add steps to his haul and left without even saying a word.
He didn’t need to. He’s THAT good.
This is my main event. It’s the match that I am thrilled and excited to see, the match
Paige vs. Emma
Welcome back to the main roster, Emma!
Emma did not hesitate to show off her new vicious side, beating Paige down efficiently and without remorse. Paige had some fight left in her, but with the referee distracted, Lana hit Paige with a kick, allowing Emma to pick up the win.
An all-out brawl broke out after, with Eva Marie emerging to come to the aid of the Total Divas. The ladies themselves didn’t look too thrilled, and Brooklyn was sure to voice their displeasure.
There aren’t enough words in the English language to voice my absolute and utter fury that Eva Marie is going to be in WrestleMania before wrestlers like Bayley, wrestlers like Asuka, wrestlers like Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.
What a joke. What a joke undeserving of the amazing women in the Divas Division today.
Stardust, The Miz & Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler & Sin Cara
Brooklyn serenaded Sami Zayn as he began the match against The Miz, who attempted tagging in Owens who in turn refused to go against Sami Zayn. Dolph Ziggler tagged himself in and went up against Stardust, who looked surprisingly energetic in the face of “CODY” chants.
Stardust rolled out of the ring, and Ziggler hit a Superkick on The Miz on the ring’s edge, daring Stardust to return. After a commercial break, Sin Cara was the legal man, and hit Stardust with a dropkick. The crowd, having a blast, all but ignored the action until Sami Zayn returned to the ring, joyfully continuing their “CODY” chants.
Ziggler tagged in hot, hitting a splash and swinging neckbreaker on Stardust. The Miz hit a cheap shot on Ziggler before tagging in. Shenanigans continued to help the heels into another commercial break.
Sami Zayn brought interest back with a hot tag, taking both Miz and Stardust out in the ring before taking Owens out at ringside. Sin Cara, now the legal man, looked to hit Stardust from the ropes, but was hit with the oddball’s knees.
A lot happened all at once, but then Owens finally tagged himself in to hit Zaynw ith a Pop-up Powerbomb, but Zayn countered with a missile dropkick. Owens looked to tag out, but both of his partners abandoned him, allowing Zayn to hit a tornado DDT and Helluva Kick on Owens for the pinfall.
I feel so bad for these guys. The crowd was ignoring them blatantly, because aside from Owens and Zayn, there is no real story between any of these people. Too much talent, too little storytelling.
More Authority, because WWE hates us
Stephanie confidently proclaimed that she and Triple H weren’t going anywhere, and Triple H took to the mic as well, but was soon interrupted by Roman Reigns, who attacked him. Reigns drove Triple H into the timekeeping area, and the entire locker room came out to break them up.
But Reigns’ aggression would not be contained, no matter how much the locker room tried keeping the two apart, and he flew out of the ring after Triple H, who crawled away looking disheveled.
Shocker of shockers, Reigns was booed. Not as strongly as earlier in the night, but the crowd was anything but welcoming to the WWE’s golden boy.
Well, see you Sunday. Here goes nothing!