TV Recap: WWE Monday Night RAW (is Daniel Bryan’s Farewell)

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I have chills.

Nice short video package for Daniel Bryan. I got chills. Stephanie McMahon starts the show with the official contract signing between Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Brock Lesnar, but she is interrupted by the live crowd with very loud Daniel Bryan chants. More chills. She heelishly cuts them off with some disparaging remarks, but then is interrupted by Dean Ambrose. She cuts into him, until Reigns then interrupts. Stephanie assures everyone there will be no physical altercations this time, and also attempts to jab some mistrust by telling Ambrose his “buddy” Reigns is always there to steal the spotlight. She introduces Brock Lesnar, with Rabbi Paul Heyman.

Stephanie goes full bitch by interrupting Heyman during his own intro. The signing is short and sweet, which then results in Brock mauling both Ambrose and Reigns, clobbering Reigns with the table and Ambrose eating an F5. Heyman calls Ambrose “little brother” and Reigns as “big brother.”

I get how they want to try to push the whole “wedge” or “mistrust” or whatever cliché attempting to have Reigns and Ambrose turn on each other.

#ThankYouDanielBryan, go for it.

Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens provide us with another awesome match. On the one hand, these two will never fail to put on 100%. Except it also seems WWE has nothing else for them to do except beat each other senseless. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them go, and would love to see them get a Best 2-out-of-3 Falls match.

Video package of Daniel Bryan defeating The Miz for the United States Championship.

Backstage: The Dudleys beg The Usos to get in on their Tables Match with The New Day later tonight. Mistake, Dudleys say that everyone hates the Usos. Uhhhh, no. Heel turn incoming?

We learn Brie Bella will face Charlotte for the Divas Championship at WWE Fastlane. Tonight, Charlotte takes the win via Figure Eight.

Miz TV begins with a recap of AJ Styles knocking Miz loopy. Miz then calls Styles a “Redneck Rookie” who will never survive in WWE, then takes credit for Daniel Bryan’s success. Thankfully, the ranting is cut off by the pyro of Chris Jericho. Y2J then puts him in his place, tells him to shut up, and immediately hijacks the set and turns it from MizTV into Jericho’s Highlight Reel. Of course, we see the clip, in slow motion of Styles whacking Miz in the mouth and busting up his “moneymaker.” You could actually see the tooth get knocked and bounce on the mat. It gets very entertaining as Miz loses his mind and the crowd goes with YES! YES! YES! chants. Miz and Jericho get in each other’s faces, until AJ Styles comes out and a fight begins, with Miz getting dumped from the ring multiple times. We close the segment with Jericho and Styles facing off.

Goldberg chants are back in full force as Ryback appears to completely dominate Bray Wyatt, until a literal “out of nowhere” Sister Abigail puts Ryback down and out. Best sign of the night goes to “Read Me Lore.”

Backstage: The New Day cuts a hysterical promo featuring dancing, singing, and tables.

In a surprise, Adam Rose gets a win over Titus O’Neil, thanks to some interference from his Social Outcast buddies.

Throughout the night, Dean Ambrose is seen pacing backstage to confront Brock Lesnar. In the last segment Reigns cautions Ambrose, but the Lunatic begs Reigns to let him handle this on his own. Ambrose is finally in the ring, calls out Brock with various references to malfunctioning genitals. Brock comes out, destroys Ambrose, but the crazy man continues to get up. As Lesnar returns to the ring, Reigns comes out, which appears to have been the plan all along, as Ambrose cracks those alleged non-functioning nuts with a serious low blow.

Okay, so here is my conundrum. There has been a ton of focus on Dean Ambrose as WWE Fastlane nears. This could be just a way to get our hopes up for Ambrose to win, just distracting us from the inevitable Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar win.

To the disappointment of all, Sin Cara returns to action, joining the United States Champion, Kalisto as they face off with League of Nations members Rusev and Alberto del Rio. I am more dismayed this ridiculous stable still exists, but then again I fear there would be nothing for Wade Barrett to do otherwise. Thankfully, no noticeable botches, one near miss when Kalisto nearly gets thrown clear over the corner. Alberto del Rio wins it with the double stomp off the turnbuckle.

Short bizarre segment with R-Truth and Goldust outside the EMP museum. Not as funny as the past few segments.

Tamina took on Becky Lynch with Sasha Banks on commentary. Tamina looks in crap shape. Naomi winds up attacking Banks, and Lynch attempts to save her. She winds up eating a big boot from Tamina, who gets the pinfall win. I’m still shocked she had a match.

The New Day and Mark Henry take on The Dudley Boyz and The Usos. Crazy match, lots  going on, Mark Henry leaves mid-match after being tried of the New Day bossing him around. Match concludes with a 3D on Big E. Langston through a table. In a not surprising turn of events, pun intended, The Dudleys turn and plant The Usos through tables also. There just aren’t enough heel teams, although based on the crowd reaction, no one felt bad for Jimmy and Jey Uso.

Here we go folks. Daniel Bryan gave his official retirement speech. To sum it up, Bryan Danielson spoke about feeling grateful for all the opportunities his wrestling career has given him. From the big things like main events, and working with his idol William Regal, to little things like meeting people, and wrestling in backlots. He spoke about his father, spoke about earning respect and adoration he thought would never be possible. He really hit the heart about his passion and how it must come to an end.

I think the most important point, came at the beginning when he spoke about his injuries, but specifically concussions. This has been a very strong issue and for it to be spoken out in the open with the world watching was bold, brave, and absolutely necessary. Not many want to talk about it, and many would rather avoid it altogether, but it reminds me of how over the years these once-taboo topics are now in the spotlight and at the forefront of changing how athletes mind their physical condition.

Think about Edge. Injury after injury, he kept going, until abruptly, a week after WrestleMania 27, he made the same choice.

I am sure it was difficult for Danielson to hang up the boots, the guy loves wrestling, he loves what he does. It is as though he gave up a big part of himself, and now has to find something new to do, something else to achieve.

It has been a great ride, but as the saying goes, “All Good Things… Must Come to an End.”

Thank you Danielson.