Hello, it’s @TheMagnumDA with another edition of the RAW Report! We are LIVE from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. This will be the last ever Raw at “The Joe”. This arena is notable for multiple World title changes, including The Undertaker’s and Big Show’s first WWE championship wins. Long live The Joe!
We open the show with Paul Heyman and BRRROCK LESNAR! Heyman tells us that he has a vision for the future, and that vision was provided when Goldberg was laid out with an F-5 last week. Paul says that on April 2nd, Lesnar will cause the “so-called” announcers to scream “DOWN GOES GOLDBERG!”
Heyman teases a Goldberg appearance, and then laments over the previous endings to Lesnar vs. Goldberg matches: Spear, Jackhammer, Goldberg wins. Last week was different, though. Lesnar showed that he could beat Goldberg. We are then treated to Heyman’s Theory of Relativity: F-5 = Lesnar goes up, and DOWN GOES GOLDBERG.
We go backstage to Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley. Steph calls Heyman creepy, and this somehow transitions into Steph telling Mick the following: For his personal and professional growth, he needs to fire someone three weeks before WrestleMania. Foley is crestfallen, and doesn’t know what to do. He reluctantly agrees to her request.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
This match only lasted one minute, with Sasha Banks winning with an inside cradle.
Winner: Sasha Banks (No Stars)
After the match, Charlotte berates Dana and threatens to fire her as her valet. Dana lays out Charlotte before Charlotte can tell her that she wasn’t being serious. Crowd chants for Dana as she walks away.
This year’s Warrior Award goes to Eric LeGrand, a football player from Rutgers University. Tragically, Eric was paralyzed in a game against Army seven years ago. His resiliency, and his perseverance are discussed. I remember seeing this when it happened on ESPN. It was a sad situation, but Eric is making the best of it. Hats off to him!
Akira Tozawa & TJ Perkins vs. The Brian Kendrick & Tony Nese
Match is in progress. Kendrick has Tozawa in a unique version of the Cobra Clutch. Akira fights up, and gets beaten down by Kendrick and Nese. Nese tags in, and Akira smashes him with a huge forearm. Nese puts him in a bodyscissors. Akira tries to fight out, but he’s taken back down. Finally, Akira makes the tag! Perkins comes in and he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE! Great kick to the face by Perkins. Bulldog Reversal by TJ! ONE, TWO, NO! TJ clears house but gets caught with a huge lariat by Nese. Nese charges but misses in the corner. TJ with a huge DDT but Kendrick breaks up a pin attempt! Akira gets knocked ringside, but comes back in with a running kick to Kendrick. TJ gets caught off-guard with a schoolboy pin by Nese! ONE, TWO, THREE! Good, but short.
Winners: The Brian Kendrick & Tony Nese (**)
Backstage, Charly is with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, the WWE Tag Champs. Anderson asks why everyone is putting the spotlight on the challengers and not the champions. Gallows tells Charly to buzz off. Anderson promises to take the spotlight away from the contenders.
Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho & Sami Zayn
Before the match, we get a KO promo where he recaps the Festival of Friendship. Boy, that night went bad in a hurry, didn’t it? Kevin reminds us that he was never Jericho’s friend, and that Jericho was playing him too. The difference is that KO stabbed his back first. Owens blames Jericho for losing his Championship at Fast Lane. Owens vows to take Jericho’s title at WrestleMania as revenge for Fast Lane. Owens says Jericho will be crying The Tears of Jericho (cry ’em out, mannnn….) after WrestleMania. Owens says he doesn’t need friends when he has a destroyer. Enter Samoa Joe. Owens and Jericho to start, and KO tags out to Joe. Chops from Jericho, but then a inverted atomic drop, a clothesline, and a senton for two.
Joe beats down Y2J in the corner, but Jericho elbows him and catches him with a drop kick for one. Zayn tags in and he starts jabbing Joe. Joe punches back and puts Sami on the ropes. Sami with an incredible leap and counter into a headscissors for two. Joe puts Sami in the corner and tags in KO. Kevin stomps on Sami and taunts the crowd. Then he does the Jericho pin pose for extra taunt. Then he superkicks Jericho in the mouth. Wow. Sami ends up having to fight Joe and KO in the corner, and does a somersault cannonball over the ropes to both men! Oh no! Sami could be seriously hurt. He goes back in to fight Joe, but KO just nukes him from behind. Joe and Owens get DQ’ed after beating down Zayn. Kokina Clutch to Zayn! Jericho finally comes to and saves Zayn. Jericho then tries to put Kevin in the Walls of Jericho, but Joe beats him down. With Joe holding Y2J, Owens tees off on Jericho. Disgusting. Refs do a pisspoor job breaking it up. Pop Up Powerbomb to Jericho ends things.
Winners by DQ: Chris Jericho & Sami Zayn (**)
Mick Foley and Stephanie are backstage discussing who could get the axe, when Nia Jax shows up. Stephanie books Nia vs. Bayley tonight, as Foley needs some time to ponder his decision. After the break, Foley is confronted by Jinder Mahal, who demands some competition. Foley gives him Roman Reigns for tonight. Uh oh. Mahal could be in trouble…
Now we’re with The New Day, who are apparently hosting their own segment. NEW DAY TALKS! Big Show is their guest, and it’s all smiles. Big Show puts over the movie (he’s the starring Champion in the movie) and puts himself in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. I guess the Shaq match is off? Bummer. As they continue, Titus O’Neil shows up and verbally dresses down Show. The boys from The New Day watch on with popcorn. Hilarious.
#1 Contenders’ Match for the WWE Raw Tag Titles at WrestleMania
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
Cesaro immediately catches Cass with a dropkick and uppercuts. Side slam by Cass only gets two. Cass gets caught with another uppercut, and Cesaro tags Sheamus in. Sheamus clubs on Cass in the corner, but Cass starts clubbing him. Sheamus with a running knee lift. Enzo tags in, and is thrown in the air by Cass onto Sheamus for a two! After the break, Cesaro catches Enzo with a lariat for two. Sheamus tags in and they hit a double team slam, but Cass breaks up the pin. As the ref admonishes Cass, the Europeans trade tags and pummel Enzo. Sheamus takes Enzo down with a sleeperhold. Enzo goes in the corner, and Sheamus misses a charge. Cesaro tags in and prevents Enzo from making the tag. Enzo fights out and makes the tag. CASS IS A HOUSE OF FIYAHH! Fallaway Slam! Big Splash! Another Fallaway Slam! Cesaro is blind tagged by Sheamus, who catches Cass off-guard. They fight to the ropes, and Cass kicks Sheamus to the outside. At this point, Gallows and Anderson show up to nail Cass and Sheamus! This creates a Double DQ. Well, shit.
Winners: Double DQ (*1/2)
After the match, Gallows and Anderson continue the beatdown. Enzo is DROPPED with a nasty kick. Magic Killer connects on Cesaro. Afterwards, Foley tells both men they will face Enzo & Cass AND Sheamus & Cesaro at WrestleMania in a Triple Threat Tag Match!
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal looks extra roidy tonight. Reigns takes control after an initial lockup. As Roman pounds on Jinder in the corner…THE BELLS! Roman is caught completely off-guard, leading to Jinder with a combination of knees leading to a two-count! Jinder with a SICK dropkick against Reigns. Mahal looks great here as he beats Reigns down in the corner. Knee to the throat. This guy has a killer instinct. Reigns with a HUGE right hand. SUPERMAN PUNCH for the ONE, TWO THREE! Emphatic win. Matches like these are old school, but good. Both guys get their stuff in. They gave Jinder a LOT here.
Winner: Roman Reigns (*1/2)
Reigns tells the crowd he’s not messing around tonight. He tells The Undertaker to come out face-to-face like a man. Instead, he gets MR. WRESTLEMANIA, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels! Thankfully, Michaels is not here to plug his Christian Movie this time. HBK chant breaks out! HBK warns Reigns that if these mind games worked tonight, then he’s going to get eaten alive at WrestleMania. Reigns says that he is not intimidated, but HBK tells him that he has been in Reigns’ shoes. Reigns reminds HBK that Undertaker retired him, and then he tells the world that he will retire The Undertaler. Wow. I don’t even know what to say. As Reigns walks up the runway, Braun Strowman DESTROYS Reigns with a lariat! Reigns rolls off the stage area as the crowd chants “THANK YOU STROWMAN!” As Reigns gets up, another “HBK!” chant breaks out!
Backstage, Steph tells Mick that he needs to make a decision about firing someone, and he has one hour to do it. It’s a dead giveaway that he’s giving himself the redundancy, right? Has to be. We get another NICE (video) package showing the debut of Austin Aries on 205 Live. Up next, Aries’ RAW debut!
Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari
Daivari with a kick to the gut to start. Aries counters out of the corner and catches a set of arm drags. He fights out of a headscissors and catches Ariya with an elbow in the corner. Aries goes face first into the apron. Ariya beats him down as Aries goes back into the ring. Ariya with a HUGE lariat for two. Daivari goes for the claw, trying to injure the the damaged orbital socket. Aries fights out with a huge elbow and a chop, followed by a gutbuster and a spinning elbow. Daivari with an elbow to the eye, but Aries throws him out of the ring. Aries catches him with a suicide dive! Back inside, Aries with a kneebreaker and a SICK back suplex where Daivari lands RIGHT ON HIS NECK. Holy cow. Aries finishes with a huge Rolling Elbow for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Austin Aries (**1/4)
Big Show vs. Titus O’Neil
Show with right hands and a chop. Show misses another right and Titus catches Show with kicks. Show knocks Titus down and kicks him while he’s down. Another chop! Titus fights Show down and hits a Mafia Kick! Show immediately gets up and catches Titus with the CHOKESLAM! Make it TWO! Make it THREE! Obviously, this gets the three count.
Winner: Big Show (1/2*)
Bayley and Sasha are backstage talking. Sasha tells Bayley she can win, and not to listen to the haters. Bayley is confused, but Sasha talks herself out of it. I still smell some dissention somewhere.
WrestleMania is plugged, and the Jericho & Zayn/KO & Joe tag match is recapped. Jericho tells people that next week, the REAL Kevin Owens is going to show up to the Highlight Reel! After this, Mike Rowe (called “Tom Phillips”) makes THE LIST!
WWE Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Nia Jax (non-title)
Corey gets an all-time dig on Byron: “I finally get it. I know what you have in common with Bayley: You both love inflatable people.” YOWZA! Nia powers out of a Bayley headlock to start. Jax throws Bayley by the hair across the ring to the outside. Nia hits the headbutt outside. Bayley kicks Nia while she’s on the apron, pissing her off. After the break, Jax has Bayley in a backbreaker. Bayley hits her with some knees to fight out. Bayley fights out of another attempt by Jax, but Nia returns with boots to the guts. Nia gets her leg stuck between the ropes, and Bayley kicks her! Bayley catches her with offense on the apron, in the corner, and out of the Samoan Drop! Bayley gets thrown off during a DDT attempt. Nia misses a charge in the corner, and catches Bayley in the ropes with a hotshot. Two Big Splashes to Bayley, and shoulder charges to Bayley! She goes past the five-count, destroying Bayley while she is in the Tree of Woe.
Winner by DQ: Bayley (*3/4)
After the match, Bayley is thrown in the barricade. Nia calls her a “little girl” and walks away.
We come back to Stephanie McMahon introducing Mick Foley, who will choose someone to fire tonight. Foley comes out and tells the audience that Stephanie colluded with HHH as he ran roughshod with an army of thugs doing his bidding. Of course, this brings out Triple H. Foley tell Triple H that, for once, he’s not hiding from the shadows. Triple H explains that he is running a business. Triple H calls Foley a “pathetic has-been” and says that Steph is the only reason he’s around. Foley tells Triple H that he happens to like the person he sees in the mirror. Triple H laughs and says that he’s glad that he feels that way, but what about his family? Triple H warns Foley that his entire family’s livelihoods are at stake.
Triple H then YELLS at Foley and tells him to go up the ramp and reconsider what he’s said. Foley walks away slowly as Stephanie continues to talk. He doesn’t leave the ring, and as Triple H approaches, SOCKO comes out! Stephanie kicks Foley ring in the nuts and pulls Triple H away. Oh boy. Paul’s undoing his sleeves. Before he can get to Foley, SETH FREAKING ROLLINS shows up looking in pretty poor shape. IT’S A RUSE! Rollins runs into the ring in a DEAD SPRINT! Rollins looks GREAT! He takes down Triple H with a kick to the gut and a running kick! The crowd goes crazy, but Triple H runs back in the the ring with Seth’s fake crutch! He DESTROYS Seth with a shot to the leg, bending the crutch in the process. Triple H puts Seth in a SICK reverse leglock, and then destroys the knee once more with the bent crutch. Well, that went bad quickly.
Final Thoughts: That was somewhat of a bummer ending. No real explanation of what will happen to Steph/Foley, plus Rollins gets destroyed before he can even get some good guy heat! A lot of focus on WrestleMania, though, so that’s good.