Just twenty days away from WrestleMania, Raw comes to us live from the historic Joe Louis Arena for the final time.
Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman open up tonight’s Raw in Detroit. Heyman does what he does best, sells the hell out of a PPV match. He proclaims that WrestleMania will be the end of the resurgence of Goldberg. Up with Brock, DOWN WITH GOLDBERG.
Backstage it looks like Stephanie and Mick have sort of patched things up. Stephanie’s plan is to teach Mick how to be a little bit tougher when it comes to talent, an idea he seems to be on board with. His first tough assignment of the night is by the end of Raw Mick has to fire someone. Ouch.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Pretty quick match with Sasha getting the win with a surprise rollup. For as little time as the match had Dana looked pretty bad. So bad she got a wicked tongue lashing from Charlotte Flair who gives Dana the boot, sort of. Before Charlotte could finish her thought Dana starts lying fists into Charlotte. Safe to say this partnership is over.
It is announced that this year’s recipient of the Warrior Award is Eric LeGrand. Eric was a college football standout before suffering a tragic injury that left him paralyzed. Rather than letting this tragedy overtake him, LeGrand decided to not give up and uses his story to inspire others. I couldn’t think of a better recipient of the Warrior Award.
TJ Perkins and Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese
This match got really good when Perkins came in off the hot tag. Very nice exchange with Nese and a great setup for a couple two count finishes to keep the crowd hot. In the end Nese bumps Perkins into Tozawa then rolls up Perkins and gets the pin with a handful of tights.
Charly is backstage with the Tag Champs Gallows and Anderson who are annoyed they are being asked about other teams.
Before the next match Kevin Owens gets on the mic and explains why he turned on Chris Jericho. Owens says he and Jericho were never best friends, Jericho was just riding Owens’ coat tails to be closer to the Universal Title. Owens declares that at WrestleMania he will take Jericho’s precious United States Title.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho
The match was going along just fine then Sami Zayn hits a dive and looks to hurt his knee. He fights on but is in obvious pain. I don’t know if this was an audible but Joe and Kevin get themselves disqualified intentionally. The double team leads to a Pop up Powerbomb from KO.
Backstage Nia Jax is hot she isn’t included in the Women’s Title picture. Stephanie grants her time to shine with a match against Bayley.
Mick Foley gives Jinder Mahal a chance to prove his worth tonight when he takes on Roman Reigns.
Big Show was on New Day’s backstage talk show which led to a confrontation with Titus O’Neil.
#1 Contender Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles – Enzo and Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
I was actually enjoying this match. Great tag team work from the less experienced team Cesaro and Sheamus. The match was interrupted by Gallows and Anderson who purposely get both teams disqualified. Later on Gallows and Anderson would be confronted by Mick Foley who informs Gallows and Anderson will be defending their Titles at WrestleMania against Enzo and Cass AND Cesaro and Sheamus.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Not a squash match but pretty much one sided. Jinder only got offense in because Undertaker played mind games with the sounding of his gong. In the end the gong did not deter Roman from victory as he got the win with the Superman Punch. After the match he calls out The Undertaker. He doesn’t get The Deadman but he does get “Mr. WrestleMania” Shawn Michaels. HBK warns Roman that he has already allowed Taker to get inside his head, Roman needs to focus or things will not go his way at WrestleMania. Roman shrugs off Shawn’s advice saying Taker was the one who retired Shawn and at WrestleMania Roman will retire The Undertaker. As Roman makes his way up the ramp he is bulldozed by Braun Strowman to the crowd’s delight.
Austin Aries vs. Ariyah Daivari
Pretty one sided match in favor of Aries. All signs point to him winning tomorrow’s 5-Way Elimination Match on 205 Live. Whoever does in fact win that match will go on to face Neville at WrestleMania for the Cruiserweight Championship.
Big Show vs. Titus O’Neil
Show killed Titus with three chokeslams.
Next week Chris Jericho will host a Highlight Reel segment with special guest the “real” Kevin Owens…
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Pretty much followed the usual formula of Nia hitting all power moves and Bayley fighting from underneath. Nia had Bayley in the corner and refused to acknowledge the referee’s five count which resulted in her disqualification. Despite losing the match Nia continued assaulting Bayley.
The time has come for Mick Foley to terminate someone on the Raw roster. Mick tells Stephanie he really didn’t know who he was going to fire till just ten minutes before he came out. The person Mick Foley has decided to fire is…Stephanie McMahon! Months ago Mick had asked Stephanie had anything to do with Triple H interfering in the match that saw Kevin Owens win the Universal Title. Stephanie denied any involvement to which Mick stated either Stephanie is telling the truth or she is a very good liar and a very bad person. At this moment he feels like he is looking at a very good liar and a very bad person. Stephanie demands a name and Mick is not backing down. Mick is tired of Stephanie and Triple H running things like a dictatorship with Triple H using henchmen like Samoa Joe to do his dirty work. This draws out Triple H who lays into Mick Foley with vitriol savagery. Not only does Triple H attack the character of Mick Foley, he threatens to derail the careers of Mick’s children, one who is attempting to become a WWE Superstar and the other currently working in the offices of WWE. In one final public castration of human dignity Triple H gives Mick Foley the boot in embarrassing fashion. While Stephanie and Triple H celebrate their dirty work Mick hasn’t exited the ring. When Triple H goes to see what’s holding him up Mick stuffs Mr. Socko down his throat! Triple H is close to passing out when Stephanie comes from behind and hits Mick with a low blow. Mick crumbles to the ground but before Triple H could do more damage the music of Seth Rollins hits and out comes Seth limping with a crutch. When he gets to the bottom of the ramp he drops the crutch and hits the ring! His knee seems to be fine as he drops Triple H to the outside of the ring. Seth stands tall until Triple H reenters the ring with Seth’s crutch in hand. Seth temporarily thwarted an attack but Triple H used the crutch on Seth’s previously injured knee. Triple H hits Seth with vile crutch shots to the knee then locks on a reverse Figure Four. The show closes with Triple H getting one last shot on Seth’s knee.
Overall I thought this was a decent Raw which did a good job progressing stories heading into WrestleMania. My only gripe with tonight’s episode is the quality of actual wrestling left something to be desired. What did you think?
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