Monday Night Raw – March 6, 2017: In Case You Thought Fastlane Meant A Thing
Date: March 6, 2017
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
So Fastlane was last night and I’m kind of at a loss for anything positive to say about it. Roman Reigns beat Braun Strowman clean, Charlotte’s pay per view streak was broken in a weird moment where Sasha Banks cheated to help Bayley and then Kevin Owens lost the Universal Title to Goldberg in 22 seconds. If that sounds bad, imagine Chicago getting to react to it. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick recap of last night’s main event. How quick can a recap be when the match is 22 seconds long?
Here’s Chris Jericho to get us going, which is the absolute best thing they could do to keep the crowd from turning on the show. Tonight is the rebirth of Chris Jericho because last night at Fastlane he screwed Kevin Owens out of the Universal Title. A few weeks ago, Owens took a knife and he stuck it in man.
Jericho wants Owens out here right now so here’s Kevin. Owens starts to talk but Jericho immediately cuts him off and wants to know why he was stabbed in the back. Kevin says there was no stabbing in the back because they were never best friends. Remember who his best friend used to be? Sami Zayn, who Owens stabbed in the back as he would do over and over again.
Jericho is just a tool and Owens did whatever he could to keep the Universal Title. Chris was there to watch his back because he knew what to expect but he was also gullible. Then Jericho outlived his usefulness by accepting the match against Goldberg on Kevin’s behalf. Last night Goldberg would have been outsmarted but Jericho got the better of Kevin last night.
Jericho calls trusting Owens the worst thing he ever could have done but now he has friends around this arena. Chris: “I’ve got the friends of Jericho! CHEER ME ON MAN!” Jericho isn’t done with Owens though because last night was the beginning of a road that ends at Wrestlemania. The match is made but since the show is in a month, let’s have a fight right now. Owens comes down to the ring for the brawl until Samoa Joe comes in to jump Jericho. Sami Zayn runs out with a chair for the save and house is cleaned. I heartily approve of every single thing that happened here.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
I had the tag match written up but I sit here surprised. Sami hammers away to start and sends him outside for a kick to the chest. One heck of a flip dive (over the referee) takes Owens out but he comes back in with the Pop Up Powerbomb for no cover. Instead he hits a brainbuster onto the knee, followed by a second Pop Up Powerbomb for the pin at 3:54.
Rating: C-. It was fun while it lasted but this was just a step above a squash. It’s not like Sami has anything to do right now but I could go for a match like this being a little longer than four minutes. Sami’s dive was cool but I’m not sure why this needed to be so short. At least Owens gets some heat back after last night.
Cruiserweight Title: Rich Swann vs. Neville
Neville is defending. After the handshake, Swann wastes no time in going after the champ and pounds him out to the floor. Neville is right back though and sends him head first into the LED apron for a thud. Back from a break with Swann getting out of a chinlock as the AUSTIN ARIES chants strike up. Swann sends him outside and hits a bit flip dive off the top (Aries: “Was that a swan dive?”) but gets crotched back inside.
The superplex knocks Swann silly but he’s able to roll outside before the Rings of Saturn can go on. Back from another break with Swann getting in a German suplex and kicking Neville in the head for a close two. Another kick to the head sets up the Phoenix Splash but Swann only hits mat, setting up the Rings of Saturn to retain the title at 13:33.
Rating: B-. The lack of drama and abundance of commercials hurt this a lot but Neville is just nailing it right now. He looks unbeatable, which should mean that it’s time for the Greatest Man that Ever Lived to get his shot. I’ve liked Neville more than almost anyone else in WWE as of late and I look forward to seeing him every week.
Post match Aries goes into the ring for an interview with Neville but the fans cut him off with the AUSTIN ARIES chants. Neville says he’s laid waste to pretender after pretender and there’s no one left on 205 Live to challenge him. Aries makes sure he understood that: there’s no one that can challenge Neville?
The fans chant for Aries and he actually acknowledges them for a change, which isn’t cool with the champ. Neville gets in his face so Aries takes off the sunglasses and Neville keeps at it until Aries has a question for him. Actually it’s more of a statement and that means a big left hand to Neville. A discus forearm puts Neville on the floor to a MASSIVE pop.
Enzo and Big Cass get in Cesaro and Sheamus’ face for some short form trash talk.
Here’s Goldberg and EGADS the booing starts when the music stops. Goldberg holds up the title and says it belongs to the people as much as it belongs to him. Goldberg says he has information he’s never mentioned before but the CM PUNK chants start up. He kind of rolls with them but here’s Paul Heyman instead. Heyman knows he’s not man enough to get in the ring with Goldberg but he knows someone who is.
Cue Brock Lesnar for the staredown with Heyman saying that no one is happier for Goldberg than Lesnar himself. Only one of them can walk out as the winner because the other will walk out of Wrestlemania as the loser. Lesnar extends his hand as Goldberg looks at Lesnar, meaning it’s an F5 for the new champ. This still flat out does not need the title involved.
Tag Team Titles: Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Anderson and Gallows
Enzo and Cass are challenging after Amore’s foot was pushed off the ropes to end their title shot last night. Cass runs over Gallows and the champs are sent to the floor. They’re smart enough to move before Enzo can dive though and here come Sheamus and Cesaro. Back with Amore in trouble but grabbing a tornado DDT. A suicide dive takes Gallows out again but Enzo spills Cesaro’s coffee. That’s enough to draw Cesaro and Sheamus in for the DQ at 6:53.
Rating: D. I’m so over this feud and I have a bad feeling that we’re going to be getting a triple threat title match at Wrestlemania for reasons that still aren’t clear. I don’t know who would want to see that match, which is why we’re so likely to see it. If Amore and Cass win the belts there then it’s going to be worthy of a great pop but there’s nothing to look forward to on the way.
Cesaro and Sheamus clean house post match which might set up a triple threat.
Rick Rude Hall of Fame announcement.
Post break Foley breaks up Amore/Cass and Cesaro/Sheamus from fighting in the back. They’ll have a #1 contenders match next week. Everyone seems happy so HERE’S FREAKING STEPHANIE to tell Mick to go come to her office.
Ariya Daivari vs. Akira Tozawa
Daivari takes him down to start so Tozawa shouts a lot and sends Daivari to the floor for a suicide dive. Back in and the snap German suplex ends Daivari at 2:08.
Tozawa says he wants to fight Brian Kendrick but Brian comes out and says be careful what you wish for.
New Day vs. Shining Stars
Before the match, New day shows off their ice cream cart and say they can now host a lot of things, including a beating for the Shining Stars. A butterfly gutbuster puts Kofi down to start and Big E. is knocked off the apron. The Stars go after the ice cream cart but Big E. is there for the save. The Midnight Hour wraps up Primo at 1:18.
Women’s History Month video on Trish Stratus and Lita.
Foley is in the ring to introduce Bayley. The champ is glad to have retained the title but she doesn’t feel right about how she kept it last night. She had wanted Sasha Banks to stay in the back but something else happened instead. When she was a kid, her calendar began and ended with Wrestlemania and now she’s going to the show but she doesn’t feel right about it.
Foley asks who she’ll be defending the title against (Shouldn’t he be telling her?) but here’s Sasha to interrupt. She wants the shot and Bayley seems to agree but Foley asks for the people’s opinion. Cue Charlotte and Dana Brooke to say this was the plan all along. Whoever lost at Roadblock wasn’t supposed to get a second chance and now Banks is pulling this. Charlotte blames Foley and says she’s the victim because she was robbed.
Cue Stephanie to say she’s the boss (yes Stephanie you haven’t made that clear enough yet) and call out the fans for being losers like CM Punk. Stephanie makes Charlotte #1 contender but Mick says you can’t leave the Boss out. Stephanie: “Mick, who is the boss?” Mick suggests Charlotte vs. Banks for the #1 contendership next week but Stephanie has a better idea (well duh): Bayley vs. Sasha right now and if Sasha wins, the title match at Wrestlemania is a triple threat.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
Non-title. Banks takes her to the mat to start and gets two off a rollup. Bayley gets the same off an armdrag and they stare each other down a bit. Sasha hiptosses her into the corner as Charlotte keeps complaining about how she was cheated last night (completely true). A hard chop staggers Bayley and a wristdrag out of the corner sends her outside. They don’t seem to want to hut each other here. Back in and a hard clothesline drops Bayley as we take a break.
We come back with the slow pace continuing and a camera shot of the announcers’ desk instead of the ring. Bayley can’t get the suplex but here are Charlotte and Dana to ringside. Banks misses the middle rope knees in the corner, followed by Bayley missing a high crossbody. The Bank Statement goes on and Sasha kicks Charlotte off the apron as Bayley taps at 13:00.
Rating: D+. Hey we want some triple threats! I get why they flat out can’t leave Charlotte out of the match but what in the world is the point in booking Bayley like this? She became one of the biggest stars in NXT history by being an underdog so now she’s having her friends help her win title matches and losing in a match to set up a triple threat because Stephanie and Foley are still fighting. And people wonder why this show makes people’s heads shake.
Charlotte takes Sasha out post match.
Roman Reigns says if Braun Strowman wants to even the score, he’ll be in the middle of the ring at the end of the show.
Video on Seth Rollins rehabbing his knee.
HHH joins us via satellite to talk about how great WWE’s medical program is and hopes that Rollins will listen to the experts. He’s been called many things over the years but everyone knows he’s always been the man. Why Rollins can’t use his head and stay away isn’t clear but if HHH has to do something about it, so be it.
Emma is coming. Graves: “Not this again!”
Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho
Non-title with Owens and Zayn banned from ringside. Joe takes him into the corner to start and stomps away before a quick crossbody gives Chris two. The Walls are quickly countered so Jericho settles for an enziguri. A dropkick puts Joe on the floor and Jericho baseball slides to the floor….right into the Koquina Clutch. Joe grabs the hold on the floor and it’s a countout at 3:55.
Rating: D+. Again it was fun while it lasted but was this really the best idea? The champ just got choked completely out and lost the match because Joe was better. It’s a great way to push Joe but Jericho looked like he was in over his head here. Eh to be fair though it’s not like the US Title has meant anything lately anyway.
Joe goes after Jericho again and takes a Codebreaker. That helps the result a good bit.
Here’s Strowman to finish what he started last night. Roman’s music starts but is quickly replaced by a gong because here comes Undertaker. The fans are WAY into this staredown but Braun bails into the crowd as the fans cheer for Undertaker. As Undertaker goes to leave, cue Reigns for the real staredown. The fans aren’t quite as into this and boo Reigns out of the building as he says this isn’t about Undertaker. Reigns says it’s his yard now (that’s all this match needed to set it up) and that earns him a chokeslam. We get a shot of the Wrestlemania logo over Undertaker’s shoulder before he walks out to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show started off white hot and then cooled WAY down. They were brilliant to start this off with Jericho and Owens because it’s the hottest feud in the company right now and the thing people want to see. The rest of the first hour was good stuff too with Neville vs. Aries as a highlight. After that it was mainly business as usual but it was nowhere near as bad as it usually gets. I had a good time with this one and you can really see how utterly worthless Fastlane was. That show was a mess and worthless while this one was energetic and built towards Wrestlemania. Raw wins, which you don’t say often.
Kevin Owens b. Sami Zayn – Pop Up Powerbomb
Neville b. Rich Swann – Rings of Saturn
Anderson and Gallows b. Enzo Amore/Big Cass via DQ when Cesaro interfered
New Day b. Shining Stars – Midnight Hour to Primo
Sasha Banks b. Bayley – Bank Statement
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