Date: February 23, 2017
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, R-Truth
I’m not even sure what to expect from this show anymore as it really could be anything from week to week. That’s not exactly a good thing either as the show can be an entertaining hour but at the same time it can be something so uninteresting that I don’t know how I survive every week. Let’s get to it.
Sin Cara vs. Bo Dallas
Bo takes him down to start and poses a lot, as you would expect him to do. A clothesline sets up a chinlock before Bo hammers away in the corner. That earns him a monkey flip as Cara starts his comeback, including a headstand into a headscissors out of the corner. Dallas gets sent outside for a running Swanton off the apron but he rolls through a high crossbody and grabs the tights for the pin on Cara at 4:53.
Rating: D. It’s going to be one of those weeks isn’t it? I really don’t know why Dallas isn’t on the main roster. You really can’t do something with that grin and the extra aggression that he’s been showing from time to time? It’s not like the main roster is flush with jobbers to the stars so throw him on there and let us have something fresh for a change.
We open with a long recap of the Festival of Friendship and Kevin Owens turning on Chris Jericho. Sweet popcorn baked into a pie that was an amazing segment.
Owens is sitting in the ring in the dark in a chair to get things going. When he was growing up, if anyone had told him he would be defending the World Title against Goldberg in the main event of a pay per view, he would have thought you were crazy. Of course he’d be in the main event of a pay per view, but against Goldberg? The Goldberg chants start up and Owens thinks that’s exactly what he wanted to hear.
That’s the chant that makes Goldberg think he’s invincible as they head into their match at Fastlane. At the pay per view, all Owens has to do is outlast and outsmart Goldberg because the longer a Goldberg match goes, the weaker and weaker he gets. Owens is the master of outsmarting opponents and no one knows how to play the game like him.
Goldberg can say Owens is next all he wants but as far as Owens is concerned, Goldberg is nothing. As for what happened last week with Jericho….Owens drops the mic and walks out. This is the Owens that we’ve been waiting to see on the main roster for a long time and that’s nothing but good as we head into the final stretch to Wrestlemania. Owens was great here and that’s awesome to see.
Our second Raw moment.
Cole is in the back for a sitdown interview with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. We get straight to the point with Goldberg but Heyman cuts Cole off and says Lesnar isn’t interested in questions like this one. Heyman says Lesnar isn’t interested in hearing about Goldberg winning the title so Lesnar scares Cole away and stares straight into the camera.
Paul talks about Owens attacking Jericho last week because Lesnar disagrees with Owens being the most violent champion in years. Lesnar isn’t interested in hearing about Owens but Heyman talks about Kevin’s greatness anyway. A lot of people want to see Owens pull it off but Lesnar disagrees because if Owens loses, it’s Goldberg vs. Lesnar for the title. That’s just one more thing for Lesnar to conquer at Wrestlemania and that’s what he wants to do.
Diamond Dallas Page Hall of Fame announcement.
TJ Perkins/Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar/Tony Nese
Nese throws TJ around to start so Perkins grabs a headlock instead. With that not working, a jumping spinning kick to the face puts Nese into the corner, followed by the Detonation Kick to send him outside. Back from a break with Perkins snapping Noam’s arm back but some heel double teaming takes over. Perkins fights out of a waistlock and hits a gutbuster to set up the hot tag to Cedric. Everything breaks down and a Lumbar Check ends Dar at 9:37.
Rating: C-. Still not good but at least there was some better action. You’re still only going to get so much out of these random cruiserweight tags though and that’s rather tiresome. I know Dar and Alexander were feuding a few weeks back but that hasn’t really been the case recently. I need more than just a random tag match to keep my attention and I’m not getting that here.
We’ll wrap it up here.
Braun Strowman vs. Big Show
And yes, this really is the main event. Show grabs a wristlock to start but Braun rolls around and nips up to escape. Now that’s going to get him noticed. Show shoves him down but gets punched in the jaw and dropped for his efforts. Strowman charges into a choke but easily reverses into a DDT for two. A clothesline drops Show for two and it’s all Strowman so far.
Show reverses a suplex into one of his own and grabs the chokeslam for two. The powerslam doesn’t work so Show puts him on top for the superplex. Strowman escapes that but dives into the KO Punch for two. Show loads up the Vader Bomb, only to have Strowman get up for the powerslam (doesn’t look great) for two of his own. Not that it matters as Braun hits another powerslam for the pin at 12:10.
Rating: C. Right here is a great example of a match that doesn’t need to be good to get the point across. Much like last week, this was about Strowman showing that he’s the new star instead of the old guard like Show or Mark Henry. It’s a very simple idea but they’re telling the right story, which is all you can ask for.
Post match Reigns comes out and gets in a few Superman Punches but Strowman hits the powerslam to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This was one of the weeks where the original stuff wasn’t enough to carry the show, despite the fact that the Raw replays were much better. I still don’t get why they can’t throw in a bigger name for all of a match, even if they’re appearing on the main show that week. I know there’s a point to this show but they could at least try.
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