Monday Night Raw
Date: March 13, 2017
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
It’s the final show in the famous Joe Louis Arena and we’re getting closer to Wrestlemania XXXIII. The big story seems to be Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns, which was made official earlier in the day. That leaves the Universal Title match between Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, assuming one or both of them are actually booked for the show. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Ron Bass.
We open with a recap of Lesnar taking Goldberg out last week.
Here are Paul Heyman and Lesnar to open things up. Heyman can’t believe that something happened last week because Goldberg was supposed to be unstoppable. In twenty nights at Wrestlemania, Lesnar is going to prove the world wrong and destroy Goldberg in short order. Heyman teases Goldberg being here but says the champ isn’t in the arena. Every time Lesnar has run into Goldberg it’s been spear, Jackhammer, Goldberg. Last week though it was F5, Lesnar. At Wrestlemania, it’s an F5 to end the great comeback because the F5 means Goldberg goes down. I still don’t know why I’d want to see this match again.
Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are in the back with Stephanie talking about how Foley isn’t the best businessman. She’s his manager and needs to develop him so he can grow in abilities. Tonight it’s time for Foley’s first lesson: by the end of the night, he needs to fire someone.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Dana takes her into the corner to start but gets rolled (with a handful of tights) for the pin at 1:18. It’s as sudden as it sounds.
Post match Charlotte gets in the ring and yells at Dana for losing. She sounds like she’s about to fire Dana but Dana hits her in the face and the beating is on. Charlotte eventually gets away from a yelling Dana.
Eric LeGrande, a former Rutgers football player who suffered a spinal injury, is getting the Warrior Award.
Brian Kendrick/Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa/TJ Perkins
Kendrick trips Tozawa to start but gets sent to the floor for a kick from Perkins as we take a break. Back with Nese forearming Tozawa in the face and grabbing a bodyscissors. Tozawa finally gets up and dives over for the tag as everything breaks down. Nese knees Perkins in the face for two but gets caught by a good looking springboard DDT for the same. Another knee sets up some face communication though as Perkins crashes into Tozawa, setting up a rollup with a handful of Perkins’ tights for the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C. Let me make sure I’ve got this straight: Raw has however many writers and bookers and we get two straight matches ending in a rollup with a handful of tights? You can’t throw feet on the ropes or something like that? The match itself was a bit disjointed and longer than it needed to be, though I’m still interested in Kendrick vs. Tozawa.
Anderson and Gallows don’t know why they can’t get any attention in the tag team division.
Here’s Kevin Owens (in a snazzy KO Mania II shirt which looks like a Wrestlemania II shirt and a good piece of masking tape) for a tag match. Before anyone else comes out though, Owens says it’s time to get the spotlight back where it belongs. After a clip of the Festival of Friendship, Owens says Jericho was never his friend and the feeling was mutual. Then he’ll take the US Title at Wrestlemania, leaving only the tears of Jericho. “Cry them out man.” Besides, who needs Jericho when you have a destroyer on your side?
Kevin Owens/Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn/Chris Jericho
Owens starts with Jericho but Kevin tags out instead of fighting (like a good heel is supposed to do). Sami comes in and takes a beating of his own, including a backsplash from Joe. It’s back to Owens who catches Jericho with a superkick off the apron, only to have Sami hit a big flip dive but he comes up holding his knee. Owens goes right after the knee and it’s time for some double stomping, drawing a DQ at 3:45.
Rating: C-. I always fall for the selling but the fact that they went to a DQ so fast doesn’t give me good feelings about Sami. You could see the knee hit the ground and then they went to a very fast finish in a match that feels like it should have gone a lot longer than four minutes. It was good while it lasted but this has me worried.
Post match Owens and Jericho go at it until the double teaming gets the better of Chris.
Stephanie suggests that Foley fire Sami Zayn when Nia Jax comes in. Nia wants justice by being added to the Women’s Title match. Stephanie gives her a match with Bayley tonight.
Jinder Mahal demands that he’s not fired tonight because Rusev was holding him back. He wants a match to prove himself, so Foley gives him Roman Reigns.
New Day has their own talk show segment called New Day Talks, which means Big Show as their first guest. Big Show talks about the Jetsons movie until Titus O’Neil comes in to call the show stupid. Titus shoves Show as New Day eats popcorn. Woods: “Here’s your lesson: Titus O’Neil ruins everything!”
Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Cesaro/Sheamus
The winners get Anderson and Gallows at Wrestlemania. Before the match, Enzo shills his cuppa haters coffee cup and Cass talks about how they’re not the #1 seed but rather the bracket busters. Cesaro and Sheamus clean house to start before a standoff takes us to the first break. Back with Cesaro blasting Enzo with a clothesline and the double teaming begins. Enzo slips away and makes the hot tag to Cass, who eats a top rope clothesline. Sheamus can’t get the ten forearms as Cass kicks him to the floor, only to have Anderson and Gallows come in for the no contest at 8:01.
Rating: D+. ENOUGH WITH THE FREAKING TRIPLE THREATS ALREADY!!! JUST PICK A TEAM OR DROP THE WHOLE THING BECAUSE NO ONE CARES ABOUT THESE TITLES IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! This is the first match I would cut from the 13 or 14 match Wrestlemania card and now it’s likely going to be a three way instead of just giving Enzo and Cass the belts the next night on Raw which would guarantee a huge pop and also let the pay per view breathe a little bit.
Anderson and Gallows destroy both teams.
We look back at the end of last week’s show.
Post break Anderson and Gallows laugh at Foley for getting one over on him because there were no winners. Say it with me: triple threat match.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
An early Samoan drop gets two on Mahal and Roman pounds away in the corner until the Undertaker’s gong strikes. The distraction lets Mahal getting a knee to the face and a sitout slam gets two. Not that it matters as back to back Superman Punches put Jinder away at 2:54.
Post match Reigns calls Undertaker out and we take a break. Back from a break with Reigns still in the ring and Shawn Michaels coming out. Reigns says it’s nice to see him but he wanted to see the Undertaker. Shawn says he saw Reigns get distracted by the gong and that can’t happen going into Wrestlemania. We’re twenty days from Wrestlemania and Undertaker is already in Reigns’ head. At Wrestlemania, Undertaker is going to eat Roman alive.
Reigns says that’s not happening because Undertaker needs to be wondering what it’s going to be like to be in the ring with him. Shawn says he’s in Reigns’ yard but Roman needs to get his head on straight. That’s not enough for Roman, because he remembers Undertaker retired Shawn at Wrestlemania. Come Orlando, Reigns is retiring Undertaker. Reigns goes to leave and gets run over by Braun Strowman, who earns himself a THANK YOU STROWMAN chant.
Stephanie is pleased but Foley is still upset over the firing order. Mick doesn’t want to do it because we’re so close to Wrestlemania (and there’s NO OTHER WRESTLING SHOW for anyone to wrestle on) but Stephanie says do it or she will.
We look back at Austin Aries decking Neville last week and defeating Tony Nese the next night on 205 Live.
Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari
Aries forearms him in the face to start before snapping off some armdrags. A nasty backdrop sends Aries face first into the apron. Not that it matters though as Aries hits a neckbreaker onto the knee, followed by the roaring elbow for the pin at 3:48.
Rating: D+. Not enough time for this to go anywhere but I’m glad they’re setting up the Cruiserweight Title match by actually having Aries win a few matches. It’s clear that we’re getting Aries vs. Neville for the title but there’s no need to just throw it out there. Let them build something up instead and make Aries into something serious.
We look at Heyman’s speech again.
Emma is coming.
Titus O’Neil vs. Big Show
A chop, a slam and three chokeslams end Titus at 1:52. That’s all it needed to be.
Billy Jean King Women’s History Month video.
Bayley and Sasha are ready for Nia Jax.
Chris Jericho wants to show the world the real Kevin Owens so next week, the REAL Kevin will be the guest on a special edition of the Highlight Reel. Chris calls the interviewer Tom Phillips but it’s Mike Rome. Jericho doesn’t buy it and puts Tom Phillips on the List.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Non-title. Nia throws her into the corner and then out to the floor for a whip into the steps as we take a break. Back with Bayley wrapping the knee around the ropes for a few kicks. Nia pops back up and stomps away in the corner for the DQ at 7:15. Not enough to rate but that’s two DQ’s to go with two pullings of the tights and a no contest tonight.
Nia throws Bayley into the barricade for good measure.
Next week it’s the Highlight Reel and Braun vs. Roman.
Here’s Stephanie to introduce Foley for the firing announcement. Foley hadn’t been able to think of anyone all night but in the last ten minutes, someone’s name came to him and he knows what to do. After thanking Stephanie, he announces……Stephanie should be fired. Stephanie isn’t pleased (of course) and rips into Foley, who talks about how Stephanie lied to him six months ago when she said she had nothing to do with HHH interfering.
Foley goes on about how HHH makes an army for himself but Stephanie cuts him off mid-insult. Cue HHH to say Foley can say this to his face. Foley says that’s fine but he didn’t think HHH really existed. HHH laughs him off and they go back and forth about how Foley doesn’t need this job and HHH uses his position to abuse his power. HHH says Foley needs to leave and go around the world again telling his sad story, but if he does, his kids can forget about working for WWE.
What Foley needs to do is go backstage and have an epiphany about how much he loves his job before doing whatever Stephanie tells him to do. Foley turns to leave but stops as Stephanie rants against the people for not respecting their bosses enough. HHH goes after Foley and gets Mr. Socko for his efforts. Stephanie makes the save with a low blow and HHH unbuttons his sleeves. Cue Seth Rollins on a crutch but it’s quickly thrown to the side. Rollins comes in and hammers away but HHH grabs the crutch and hits him in the bad knee. HHH even busts out a reverse Figure Four to make Rollins scream to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This was a really different kind of show as they were getting ready for Wrestlemania so most of the wrestling and action wasn’t important (hence all the DQ’s etc). They pushed towards Wrestlemania here and that’s exactly what they needed to do. We already know most of the card so there’s not much of a point to adding anything new (save for a triple threat match of course). The show wasn’t the best but it did its job, which is much more important.
Sasha Banks b. Dana Brooke – Rollup with a handful of tights
Tony Nese/Brian Kendrick b. Akira Tozawa/TJ Perkins – Rollup with a handful of tights
Sami Zayn/Chris Jericho b. Kevin Owens/Samoa Joe via DQ when Joe and Owens double teamed Jericho
Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Cesaro/Sheamus when Anderson and Gallows interfered
Roman Reigns b. Jinder Mahal – Superman Punch
Austin Aries b. Ariya Daivari – Roaring Elbow
Big Show b. Titus O’Neil – Chokeslam
Bayley b. Nia Jax via DQ when Nia attacked in the corner
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