Its the penultimate Raw before ‘Mania lets go.
-Foley opens the show in the ring, reading a statement where he says he’ll be taking a leave of absence…but he rips it up and says Triple H game him the index cards before the show, but he gets all shouty and says he will not be silenced…the mic then starts malfunctioning and out comes Stephanie Mcmahon…shes says Foley can never do anything right and it’s always about himself and being liked, so she fires him…
Foley goes to leave but Sami Zayn comes out and says what Steph is doing is wrong…Steph thanks him for the morality lesson and tells him to escort Foley backstage so the show can go on…Zayn refuses says Mick had more integrity as commissioner in 9 months than she’s had in her entire life…he says she should be ashamed for firing Foley just cause he wasn’t a corporate yes man…Steph asks if Sami said something cause she wasn’t listening, says he’s not on a level to interrupt her and that he should just go back and think of a way to make it up to her…Sami hesitates but he doesn’t want to do the smart thing he wants to do the right thing.
Samoa Joe interrupts walking down the ramp…Steph then puts Zayn in a match against him to start right away…Joe watches Foley leave and doesn’t see Zayn fly over the top and hit him with a tope con giro.
Match 1: Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
This was a good opener a little more back and forth than their last encounter, Joe was still pretty dominant though as Zayn still struggles to get a win despite a good effort. Good showing from both men.
Winner: Samoa Joe(via Coquina clutch) ***1/4
-Zayn bumps into Mick backstage says he shouldn’t be leaving, wrestlers need someone to stand up for them…Mick tells Zayn it’s up to him to stand up for them..Zayn glad he got to meet his hero.
Mick walks away and bumps into Cesaro & Sheamus and they thank him for giving them a chance and putting them together, Mick is glad he is too.
he walks away from them and gets thanked by a few more wrestlers as he keeps walking, he then hugs Bayley before bumping into Triple H…he tells Foley to ‘Have a nice day’ and walks off…Foley then walks through the exit.
-Mr Wilk, Rollins rehabilitation coach is live via satellite to give an update on Seth Rollins. We’re told he’s still not cleared for ‘Mania and it’ll take a few months before he can compete again, he knows Rollins is determined to compete but it would be terrible for him to do so.
Match 2: Dana Brooke vs. Charlotte
This started out pretty well with Dana going haywire on Charlotte but things started to get a bit fuddly and then Charlotte suddenly got the boot for the win.
Winner: Charlotte(via big boot) NR
-Steph backstage with Bayley…Bayley sad about Foley but Steph doesn’t care and think Bayley needs to start proving herself worthy as champion every night, starting tonight against Nia Jax and if Jax wins she’ll be in the Womens title at ‘Mania, also it’ll be no disqualification!
-Time for Jericho’s highlight reel…he’s here to show us the real Kevin Owens…a photo of 16 year old Owens comes up on the screen, wearing a Y2J shirt looking like a ‘fan of Jericho’…but the influence of Jericho extends to 2014 when he first joins WWE and asks his idol for advice…Twitter DM’s between the two then come up on screen…the last thing that Owens says is ‘if you need anything drop me a line’…well Jericho does need something..he needs everything that Owens has done to him all the ‘bullets’ he took for Owens back…but most of all he wants the real face of Kevin Owens at ‘Mania, the one where he is nervous and scared like at Fastlane and at ‘Mania he will realise that he is facing not just anyone but is hero, his idol and everything else that Y2J is…’and you know what happens when you betray Jericho?’…he’s about to put Owens on the list but…
Joe walks out and a distracted Jericho is attacked from behind by Kevin Owens which ends with a pop-up powerbomb and Owens ripping up the List of Jericho. Pretty good little segment.
Match 3: TJ Perkins vs. The Brian Kendrick
Well this was short as heck, nice bit of offense from Perkins but Kendrick tries to push him into the ref, he manages to stop himself and a distracted Perkins gets hit with Sliced bread No.2.
Winner: Kendrick(via Sliced Bread No.2) NR
-Post-match Kendrick gets on the mic says Tozawa isn’t even in the country and pulls out Tozawa’s passport from his jacket, that he says he ‘found’ on the locker room floor and that’s another lesson taught by The Brian Kendrick.
-get a nice little video package hyping Lesnar vs. Goldberg.
-Steph backstage with Cesaro & Sheamus, tell them they need to re-earn their spot in the tag title match at ‘Mania and puts them in a 2-on-4 handicap match against Gallows/Anderson & Enzo/Cass.
Match 4: ‘No DQ’ match – Nia Jax vs. Bayley
This was pretty decent, didn’t really use the No DQ stip much, did enjoy Jax swinging Bayley into the barricade using her hair though. Jax was dominant as usual with Bayley taking opportunities where she can. Something seemed to distract the crowd and they ended up doing a few random chants which is a shame. But its nice to see Nia in the ‘Mania match to change things up a bit.
Winner: Nia Jax(via Samoan drop) **3/4
-Time for the exclusive interview with Triple H…he’s asked for his reaction about what Mr Wilk said…He’s disappointed as he wanted the match and to teach Seth Rollins a lesson, but once again Rollins missed out and its all his fault cause he started listening to the crowd instead of him…he blames crowd cheering for all peoples downfalls as they become addicted to it and he uses Foley as an example of this…he then talks about what happened to Rollins last week and how the crowd roared and that’s why he got hurt…Cole asks him if he would do anything different from when Rollins was his protege…Triple H says he made it all to easy for him…he became the crutch for him and he’s officially done with Seth Rollins, but he has some ‘Mania tickets for him if he’d like to sit in the nosebleeds.
He goes to leave but stops and says what if there was way for him to fight Rollins at ‘Mania…Cole says he can’t, but Triple H knows everyone wants it to happen and there’s always a way, so he’s gonna draw up an agreement for Rollins to sign next week for an unsanctioned match at ‘Mania!…He wants Seth to show the world that he is Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins, or is he just a friggin’ coward. End segment. Pretty good stuff here from Triple H taking things in the right direction for their feud
Match 5: Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Anderson & Gallows/Enzo & Cass
Well this was a complete squash, Anderson & Gallows attack Enzo & Cass before the match starts, Enzo & Cass retaliate and Sheamus & Cesaro take advantage to get the win.
Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus(via assisted Brogue Kick) squash
-Post-match Enzo & Cass hit badaboomshakalaka on Anderson.
-New Day backstage hyping all the ‘mania matches and that’s all.
Match 6: Tony Nese vs. Austin Aries
Decent little match, pretty standard in structure with Nese in control for most and the Aries making the easy comeback.
Winner: Aries(via rolling elbow) **3/4
-post-match Neville comes out he says Aries is beneath him and is no threat…Aries says this is the worst and most unbelievable interview segment he’s ever done…he hears what Neville says but sees something different..he sees a man that knows he has to step into the ring with someone who is above his level…after Wrestlemania Neville’s whole king of the cruiserweight facade shall be over.
-get the second part of the video package for the Lesnar/Goldberg hype it’s all well put together.
Main event: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Pretty good main, not up to par with their Fastlane match but not bad, got Strowman looking strong and Reigns trying to hold his own. Really liked the Reigns hitting the superman punch after Strowman popped him up it looked good. Of course in the end Reigns sets up Strowman for the spear, the lights go out, the gong hits and Undertaker appears in the ring, he chokeslams Strowman(who posts it like a boss) and then eats a spear from Reigns. Reigns then makes his way up the ramp, but the Deadman rises to his feet and gives Reigns the death signal. ***
Slight improvement over last week still not all that great though there was a bit more wrestling and couple of good segments like Triple H’s and Jerichos highlight reel etc. Some of it is doing well to hype and build to ‘mania but alot of it is still largely skippable. not bad though.