It’s WrestleMania’s go-home show and with Brock involved in the title mix, maybe just maybe we’ll get tug of war 2.0 over the title! TAKER IS DOING SCARY THINGS TO THE RAW INTRO! I guess Roman vs. Taker is closing ‘Mania. They hype up the contract signing for an unsanctioned match…I guess it’s a hold-harmless contract signing, but that still seems odd. Bayley comes out while Byron talks about her and she hops down to hug fans. Bayley talks about her past and I’m astonished they didn’t use Bayley saying she used to have to beg her parents to buy WM to plug that you can get WrestleMania for free this year. Char-lotte. Is here. To say. Words. That are. In theory. For-ming. Sen-ten-ces. Charlotte’s red and gold cape/robe hybrid is outstanding. “CM Punk” chant 8 minutes in. Hell of a start. Sasha comes out after Charlotte insults her. Nia says their drama is cute, and then a brawl breaks out. A tag match is coming up next. Holla holla.
Sasha and Charlotte do a few things before Nia tags in and bullies Sasha. A double babyface dropkick sends Nia…sorta wobbling like Jello. Charlotte lands some horrible elbows from the mount before tossing her out for an ad break. Rampage vs. Mo hype video – FINALLY, something exciting on this show! Charlotte does a strut and gets 2. Figure 8 is broken up by Sasha, who trips Nia to the floor. Bayley to belly wins it. SHE’S DOOMED! Nia beats up the faces afterwards and charges through Charlotte too.
Recap of HHH-Seth showcases HHH kicking lots of ass. The clipboard graphic gets its own Metallica theme song, too. HOF recap video hypes up the HOF red carpet event. We see Mick get fired before Sami is interviewed and says that it’s weird to be at Raw without Mick, but he’ll dedicate his performance in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to Mick. Steph says you can’t just do that, so he’ll have to beat Owens in a no DQ match tonight to get a spot or he’ll be fired. Sami gets buried by Steph here and then gets to lose to KO tonight too. Great!
Neville is out to do commentary for Aries vs. Noam Dar. Aries vs. Neville will be on the kickoff show. Dar comes out to dead silence and his generic created wrestler theme isn’t helping him. Aries misses a dropkick to send Raw to a break. Aries hits the dive to the floor. Fox distracts Aries, so he hits a forearm, then the discus firearm before winning with the Last Chancery. Neville stands on the table while Cole lets you know it means nothing by hyping up clips of his interview last week with HHH. Ad for the kickoff reveals that 2/3 of the WM kickoff show will be on USA – so hopefully they put all the in-ring stuff on that.
Cole says that earlier tonight, we saw a cemetary, COULD IT BE THE UNDERTAKER AND IS HE DIGGING ROMAN REIGNS A NEW YARD!? I would presume that he’d be digging him a grave, but if he’s making him a new yard, that’s rather sporting of him. Seth comes down for his formal signing of the unsanctioned fight. I love HHH talking and talking and talking and telling Seth that he has to sit here and listen to him talk some more. Seth refuses to sit, so HHH tells him the match is off. HHH calls him “good boy” to further make Seth and by proxy the rest of the roster seem like puppets in the McMahon Family Theater.
HHH yammers on for a while and then Seth tells him to sign the damn document. HHH rants about how great money is and how great it is to have success. This was a fantastic babyface promo in some ways. HHH calls Seth a onelegged man in an ass-kicking contest and how no one-legged man has ever won an ass-kicking contest! Seth showed how serious this issue is by pointing to the WrestleMania sign with his crutch. Can we get a graphic of the contract with Metallica playing again?
HHH kicks the table into the bad knee, but Seth and his skinny jeans fight back with a kick. Would skinny jeans be good to walk in if you’ve got a bad knee? I figure they’d be a bit harder to walk a lot in especially with a brace on. Cole awkwardly move on from that to hype Brock vs. Goldberg. Takeover is hyped up with some bizarre post-processing being done for the main event. Seth stood tall tonight, so he’s seemingly doomed. HHH to continue his tradition of winning WM matches that he, as a retired part-timer shouldn’t really win, to tell the “greater story” that just so happens to allow the babyface to win on the show that doesn’t mean a tenth as much as WM. HHH vs. Seth is officially announced.
The Andre battle royal is hyped up with… an over the top rope challenge. Show tosses out Jinder, and then Bo comes out. Gets tossed out. Shining Stars come out and get thrown out. This is a fantastic way to fill time with absolutely nothing of substance. It’s the equivalent of going to a restaurant to only order bread. Goldust, Truth, and Axel jump him. So is this a battle royal or just a random assortment of crap? The entire group eliminates Show. Braun comes down, so I guess everyone in this is in the battle royal on Sunday – so what about no one being able to enter themselves in any kind of match? Show and Braun stare down before Cole talks about the tag title situation.
Gallows and Anderson are back in their Bullet Club-knockoff shirts and mock the Jersey boys for their formulaic promos. We see more grave digging with a man who may or may not be the Undertaker. The great thing with these Taker skits is they can actually do them and not use Taker for the shoot given how they’re not actually showing him. Roman says he’s not scared of someone digging holes. New Day is shown ringing the NYSE bell and then touring Philly. We get a skit of them running to the Rocky statue to a sub-TNA version of the Rocky theme.
Sheamus and Cesaro chat with Mike Rome, but get beaten up by The Club. Cesaro is shoved into giant plastic grating by a ladder. Shocked he wasn’t also shoved into a pile of clangy pipes. Why bother to use a ladder in this if the match itself isn’t a ladder match? Neville comes out for a match against Gallagher. A WWE 24 special covering the post-WM Raw is hyped up for tonight. Neville dominates for a bit, then gets outsmarted before an ad break. They run and bonk into each other to dead silence. Flying umbrella dive hits, and boy is he asking to get hurt doing that. A superplex leads to the Rings of Saturn neck crank to win.
Neville’s celebration is interrupted by the Austin Aries News Network to interview the New Day. They do the who bit and Aries’s deadpan “yes, who” ruled. New Day gets an A-Double chant going and says he’ll see Neville at WM. They hype up the Miz-Cena mixed tag match a bit. Nice of Cole to hype up SD star John Cena while RAW AND SMACKDOWN ARE IN A BATTLE FOR THEIR VERY LIVES. A Brock-Goldberg video focuses on the Royal Rumble and a rivalry that Byron says has been “overloaded with shock and awe” here in 2017.
The Boo Dog comes down and every fan but a busty brunette hopping up and down is upset. Roman runs down his accolades and gets booed before bragging about retiring Taker at WrestleMania. Roman says this is his house and it’s his yard now. Taker says that the ring is his yard and that the ultimate thrill ride will be Roman’s last ride before showing a gravestone. Well, that was awesome. The lights go out and his gong sounds before he appears behind Roman to tell him that he will rest in peace before lowering his arms to make the lights go down.
They plug that the Network has a free 30 day trial and WrestleMania is free due to that if you want it to be. Enzo and Cass come down and Enzo talks about practice while Cass talks about practice some more and now they can cross the line. Hopefully not like TNA. The Club comes down before Cesaro and Sheamus come down with a ladder. Nice hop to the apron by Cesaro, but The Club kicks ass with the ladder, which should officially be added as a stip for the match. Maya Angelou joins the ranks of women given a video package for women’s history month, alongside Mae Young, who hustled men for money in the ’60s. KO is interviewed and says yeah, he was a Jericho fan, but fans of Jericho are morons.
They plug the Kurt Angle network interview before recapping Seth vs. HHH earlier before a recap video of their history dating back to the NXT Title win years ago and includes Seth calling HHH out at the last Takeover show. HHH gets all the cool-looking parts of the video package. Oh, and there’s this guy named Seth Rollins in this too. The card is recapped before KO comes down to face Zayn.
They brawl for a bit mid-ring before a walk and brawl into the crowd. Zayn is tossed into the announce table for an ad break. Zayn takes off the top layer of steps, but gets DDT’d on the base. Owens hits a lariat in the corner, but eats a corner exploder. Zayn hits the torpedo DDT, but a helluva kick misses and he eats a superkick for 2. Frog splash gets 2.5. Blue thunder bomb gets 2, so Joe comes down before Jericho comes down to save Zayn from a beating. He chairshots Joe twice, but eats a punch from Owens, who is distracted and gets cradled to lose. Chris uses the Chair of Jericho on KO a few times and says that KO JUST MADE THE LIST!
Brock comes out to confront Goldberg. Heyman, the czar of ECW, returns to Philly for the go-home show of WrestleMania. Yea, Brock’s gonna get booed here. A large ECW chant breaks out Heyman says that the Universal Title is everything – but Brock wants it, and while Goldberg is THE MAN, Brock is THE BEAST. Heyman talks about WM being sold out thanks go Brock and thanks him for drawing the house. Heyman insults Goldberg in Yiddish before saying that he’s one of his people, so that doesn’t work. Goldberg says people don’t want to see them talk, so it’s time to bring a bit of WrestleMania to Philly. Goldberg spears him on the floor. Goldberg is caked in sweat doing a spear and then he held the title high. Well, this was certainly better than a tug of war, but was still a bit underwhelming.
Tags: monday night raw, RAW, WWE RAW