Howdy folks! This is @TheMagnumDA with tonight’s RAW Report. As many of you already know, tonight’s episode is typically considered the wildest RAW of the year. The fans are smart, tough, and relentless if they don’t like you. If they love you? You’re in good shape. Let’s see what crazy shit unfolds this year!
We start…without the broadcast team? Immediately, it becomes apparent that this crowd is not only going to take over the show, but they’re going to be unruly. There’s a LOUD and LONG “Undertaker” chant to start Monday Night Raw. That part is fine…but then they incorporate a “ROMAN SUCKS!” chant with it. Of course, this brings out the Big Dog. The fans are completely ruthless, with chants of “DELETE! DELETE!” This spirals out of control, as the fans chant “F*ck You Roman!” This transitions into an “ASSHOLE, ASSHOLE!” chant similar to the one Triple H used to get. Just as Roman’s about to say something, he hesitates and the crowd jeers him even more! He doesn’t even say anything and the fans tell him to “SHUT THE F*CK UP!” This is incredible. Finally, Roman says “This is MY yard now.” Then he drops the mic to even louder boo’s. That was one memorable opening. I can’t foresee USA Network loving the use of “F*ck” on live TV, but that’s live TV for you.
Match #1 – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Yes, the Hardys returned last night to claim the Raw WWE Tag Team Championship. This makes them seven-time tag champions in the WWE! Anderson attacks Jeff to start, but Jeff gets a shoulder block and an armbar to take advantage. Matt is tagged in and they hit a double-team for a near-fall. Matt continues to throw Karl into the corner post, but Anderson fights out. Matt counters with a Side Effect for the ONE, TWO, NO! Twist of Fate is missed, but both Anderson and Gallows get knocked outside as we go to break.
After the break, Gallows attacks Matt in the corner and tags in Anderson. Anderson beats down Matt and knocks Jeff off the corner. Gallows is tagged back in, throwing some rights and gouging Matt’s eyes in the process! Gallows with a splash in the corner! Anderson is tagged back in and hits a kneedrop for two. Karl goes for the Front Face Lock, and this turns into a chinlock. GNARLY Mafia Kick in the corner by Anderson as another tag is made to Gallows. They trade rights, but Gallows hits his own Mafia Kick.
Gallows misses an elbow, allowing Matt to tag Jeff who is a HOUSE OF FIRE! The inverted atomic drop and legdrop to the midsection gets ONE, TWO, NO! Jeff goes outside and hits POETRY IN MOTION on the outside to Gallows. The fans are hilarious throughout, with “DELETE!” and “OB-SO-LETE!” chants. Back inside, Gallows and Anderson go for the BOOT OF DOOM on Jeff, but he only gets two! They try the Magic Killer, but Matt pulls Anderson outside, allowing Matt & Jeff to hit the Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combo for the ONE, TWO, THREE! Man, it’s so good to see these guys back. They look great!
Winners: Hardy Boyz (**3/4)
The broadcasters discuss Triple H vs. Seth Rollins. Hell of a match, once it got going. Rollins came out on top! I gave it ***3/4. Great stuff. Neville comes out and brags about his victory, saying that he will have a coronation on 205 Live tomorrow night! During this promo, Mustafa Ali interrupts and we have a match!
Match #2 – WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. Mustafa Ali
Neville shoves HARD before the bell. Collar-and-elbow tie-up at the beginning, leading to Ali hitting a few shoulder blocks and a sweet cartwheel! Ali with some awesome offense, including a spin kick, catching Neville in the face and knocking him off the apron. Ali with a sweet suicide dive to the outside! Back in, Neville flapjacks Ali and throws him to the outside. After the break, Neville has Ali in a headlock on the ground. A fan gets thrown out, distracting the other fans while Ali hits an AWESOME dropkick to the face. This is followed by an incredible somersault into a rolling neckbreaker! ONE, TWO, NO! Neville misses a suplex, but elbows Ali right in the mush. Neville with a WICKED CLOTHESLINE, nearly taking the kid’s head off in the process.
A huge BEACH BALL MANIA chant breaks out as the guys go upstairs. Ali with an INCREDIBLE Springboard Spanish Fly from the top rope! They trade forearms and Neville hits a back spin kick to the ribs. Ali is able to catch him with a reverse Frankensteiner and a HUGE DDT! ONE, TWO, NO! I can’t do this match justice with my writing. This is GREAT! Inverted 450 by Ali MISSES! Neville with the Red Arrow! Actually, he fakes out the fans and delivers the Rings of Saturn for the submission! Now THAT is a heel. What a fantastic bout. Adrian Neville is on a damn roll.
Winner: Neville (***1/2)
Backstage, there’s a limo. Inside? VINCE McMAHON!
After the commercial, Vince comes out and announces that there will be a “Roster Shakeup” next week! Vince says Stephanie is out of action, which leads to cheers from the fans and clips from last night’s HHH/Rollins match. Vince then he says to the fans, “YOU’RE BLOODTHIRSTY, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!” He starts to announce that there will be a new Raw GM, and that it’s someone from this year’s HOF class. Before the fans can digest this, Teddy Long’s music plays! Haha, what a rib! Of course, Teddy is not the new Raw GM…in fact, IT’S KURT F’N ANGLE! IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE!
The fans chant “YOU SUCK!” in sheer respect and love, and I mean that with total sincerity. Vince tells Angle, “Congratulations! You better do a good job.” A HUGE “Welcome back!” chant erupts! Angle tells the fans, “IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW, IT’S TRUE, IT’S DAMN TRUE!” The music plays back up, and the fans continue to chant. This is a fantastic show so far. I truly enjoy the direction this show is going.
The NEW DAY are out to talk about WrestleMania. Big E starts to talk about getting a WrestleMania boner, but Kofi stopped him short. I love Kofi and Xavier’s shoulder pads…it’s like the Road Warriors special Easter-themed pads. They issue an open challenge! WHO will show up?
Match #3 – The New Day vs. THE REVIVAL
The pop for The Revival was pretty extraordinary. The TOP GUYS are here! The Revival are Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder. They knock over the New Day Popcycle Truck! Xavier gets distracted, and Dawson charges him. Wilder tags in and they hit a double team move. Dash pounds Xavier down and grabs an armbar. Xavier is able to counter with a headscissors and a big chop. Xavier tries a rollup, but a blind tag is made and Dawson takes Woods down. After the break, The Revival start to work on Xavier’s left arm. Good, basic psychology. Wilder continues to beat on Xavier’s injured arm. Wilder takes Woods to the top rope, but Xavier fights off with a headbutt. Wilder, like a put bull, is relentless in the corner. Woods makes a desperation flying dropkick from the top rope. Big E comes in with the tag, and he’s a HOUSE OF FIYAHH! E hits a trifecta of German Suplexes, but he misses the suicide dive to the outside! Back in the ring, Woods tries to fight off both guys, but he has no one to tag in! Xavier looks away for just one moment, and that allows Dash and Dawson to hit the SHATTER MACHINE for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: The Revival (***)
After the match, The Revival destroy Kofi Kingston’s ankle, Pillmanizing it. Afterwards, they celebrate in the ring. They go backstage, where Angle meets Enzo & Cass. He no-sells their material, and acts like the aloof goof that we know and love. Enzo with the philosophical question of the year…”Why is Goofy treated like a human, but Pluto is treated like a dog?” They do their “SAWFT” bit, and Angle looks away and says to himself, “That’s not how you spell soft.” He hasn’t skipped a beat. Man, I missed Kurt.
Match #4 0 Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Dana Brooke vs. Charlotte, Emma, and Nia Jax
Dana and Charlotte to start…but this is faked out and Emma tags back in. By the way, this is Emma’s re-debut! She’s immediately hit in the ribs with a knee by Dana. She counters by ripping Dana’s hair back, taking her off her feet. Emma dropkicks Dana, and Bayley gets tagged in. Bayley and Emma lock up and Emma catches her in an armbar, wrenching on the arm. Emma misses a charge to the corner, and Bayley does the wacky spin on Emma as they go to break.
When they return, Nia Jax is standing over Bayley. Well, okay then. Nia hits a legdrop on Bayley’s knee and tags in Charlotte. Charlotte puts Bayley in the Tree of Woe, allowing Emma to come back in and kick Bayley in the ribs. Emma goes outside and pulls Bayley back while’s she still stuck in the corner! Sick! Charlotte tags back in and Bayley is getting hammered in the corner by the other women. Bayley fights through the pain and chops Charlotte. Charlotte takes a step back and misses a charge to Bayley, tumbling to the outside. When she gets back in, Charlotte blocks the tag from Bayley to Sasha. They try again, and this time Sasha gets the tag. Sasha hits the double knee drop from the top rope, followed by a spinning headscissors. Sasha beats Charlotte down in the corner and gets a nearfall for it. Everyone comes into the ring, and it’s a PIER 6! Inside, Natural Selection is blocked by Sasha, leading to a counter into the Bank $tatement! Charlotte TAPS!
Winners: Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Dana Brooke (**1/4)
After the match, Charlotte pushes her teammates around, and Nia Jax splashes her in the corner! She then hits a HUGE elbow on Charlotte. The fans pop for Nia!
Backstage, Sami Zayn is rambling like a fool to Kurt Angle. Angle tells him that he possesses all “Three I’s”, which Sami thanks him for. Jinder Mahal interrupts and somehow this leads to a match between Mahal and Zayn.
The NEW WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, is here! Paul Heyman talks about the “Superhero who went to Suplex City”, referring to Goldberg getting destroyed by Brock Lesnar in a matter of minutes. Heyman says that if Roman is the “Big Dog”, then consider Brock to be “animal cruelty”. Heyman asks, “Why wait? Let’s do this tonight!”
This brings out BRAUN STROWMAN. Braun says he wants a shot at the title. Brock lays down the title belt, drawing the proverbial line in the sand. The fans chant “BRAUN! BRAUN!” but he walks away. The fans chant “PUSSY!” at Braun. Ouch!
Backstage, Charly is with Chris Jericho. Y2J gets a rematch against KO at Payback for the United States Championship. Jericho talks about “BEACHBALLMANIA IS RUNNING WILD, BROTHER!” Jericho talks about tonight’s tag match (Rollins/Jericho vs. Samoa Joe/Kevin Owens), and says that he will get Payback on Kevin Owens. Unfortunately, Jericho is wiped out by Owens and Joe. Angle assures Seth Rollins that he will find him a tag partner.
Match #5 – #1 Contender’s Match
Enzo & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
My signal cuts out briefly during this match, so we’re joined in progress. Enzo tags into Cass, who is ready to face Sheamus. Cass shoulder tackles Sheamus, and they lock up into the corner. Cass beats him down, but Sheamus returns serve with some fists to the gut. Sheamus with a spinning heel kick to the corner (sloppy), but Cass catches him with a body slam and tags Enzo back in. Cass throws Enzo into both Sheamus and Cesaro! This is followed by a Gorilla Press, where Cass throws Enzo to the outside to nail both Sheamus and Cesaro. After the break, Sheamus has Enzo in a sleeperhold. Enzo somehow fights out, and catches Sheamus with a kick in the corner.
Cesaro distracts Enzo, and this allows Sheamus to deck Enzo with a wicked clothesline. Cesaro is tagged in, and he hits the double stomp on Enzo. Sheamus is tagged back in, but he misses a shoulder charge in the corner. Enzo is able to get to the corner, but Cass is distracted on the outside, allowing Sheamus to hit a rolling senton drop on Enzo. Cesaro tags in and hits the running uppercut, followed by the Giant Swing! The fans chant “10” with every spin! Haha! Cesaro puts Enzo in the Sharpshooter, but Cass hits a big boot for the save! Cass gets in position and makes the hot tag! Cass hits a set of splashes, and a sidewalk slam. Empire Elbow connects! Big Boot! Enzo and Cass try the Rocket Launcher, but this gets broken up. Sheamus throws Enzo from the top rope right into a European Uppercut by Cesaro! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: Sheamus & Cesaro (**)
Match #6 – Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal
Before the match, Mahal beats Sami down and throws him into the steps. Mahal screams at the ref to ring the bell, and Jinder continues the beatdown in the corner. He drapes his shin over Sami’s throat. Mahal with a dropkick to the back of Zayn, but this only gets two. Mahal gets Sami in the chinlock, and drops a couple of knees afterwards. Sami gets nailed with ANOTHER KNEE by Mahal, but Sami finally gathers his bearings. He catches Mahal with an Exploder Suplex and the Heluva Kick in the corner! ONE, TWO, THREE! Well, that was quick.
Winner: Sami Zayn (*)
Match #7 – Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins & ???
The mystery partner is revealed to be…FINN BALOR! He’s back!! Strangely enough, it’s regular Finn and not the Demon King. We start with Owens and Rollins. Seth puts Owens in an armbar, but Owens catches Seth in a headlock. Owens with a shoulder tackle to Rollins, but Rollins hits Owens in the gut with a kick. Seth tries to suplex KO, but they trade reversals. Joe tags in as Corey makes a reference to the “Balor Club”.
Joe tackles Rollins in the corner and catches him with some fists. Rollins fights out of the corner, but he gets a headbutt for his trouble. I’m still thinking about that Balor Club reference…is Finn going to turn here? Joe tags Owens back in, but Seth gets him in another armbar and tags in Balor! Owens and Finn have a staredown, and then Finn catches him with some fists to the gut. Balor rolls through and hits a dropkick to Owens. Owens reverses an Irish Whip, but he misses a charge in the corner. Balor DRILLS him with a Ghetto Blaster from the apron, but Owens goes outside. Balor dropkicks Owens into the barricade outside! Back inside, Balor tags in Rollins. Rollins hits the suicide dive to KO on the outside! This is followed by the somersault cannonball to BOTH men! He might’ve hurt his knee, though. Seth tells the ref, “I’M FINE!” KO comes back in and drops Seth with a DDT for two.
KO tries another nearfall, but again…only two. Joe tags in, and he pummels Seth in the corner with kicks and elbows. Seth fights back with forearms, but Joe immediately knocks him down once more. He takes Seth to the corner, and tags in KO. Kevin hits a charge in the corner, and continues to beat Rollins down. Running Senton from KO gets ONE, TWO, NO! KO goes into the chinlock, but Rollins fights out briefly. KO knocks him back down, and tags in Joe. Joe with a fist to the face, and a kick to Seth’s injured knee. Samoa Joe hits the STO on the injured leg, but Rollins fights out. Rollins tries to get the tag, but Samoa Joe hits a unique variation on the spinebuster, placing focus on the injured knee!
Joe tries to catch Seth with a Kokina Clutch, but Seth runs to the ropes, and Joe’s neck gets caught! This leads to the HOT TAG to Finn Balor, who is a HOUSE OF FIRE! Balor hits a set of running forearms and a running dropkick to KO. Finn chops KO in the corner, but KO counters with an elbow. Balor takes out both KO and Joe, but he misses the Coup de Grace! KO tries to hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Balor counters with the Slingblade. Joe tries to get Finn in the Kokina Clutch, but Seth takes him out with a flying knee! Meanwhile, Balor goes to the top and hits the COUP DE GRACE on Owens for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: Finn Balor & Seth Rollins (***1/4)
After the match, Balor and Rollins have a staredown. Rollins raises Balor’s hand in a token of victory and respect. We go to credits!
Final Thoughts: The crowd was so wild that I couldn’t keep up with half the chants they were saying. The matches were great, and the storyline development was on the mark. If The Revival were grading this show, they’d call it a TOP SHOW! Great stuff tonight. See you next week for the ROSTER SHAKEUP!