Last night, Brock Lesnar gets planted through two announce tables, and gets clobbered by multiple chairs. He also takes both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to Suplex City. Except Roman Reigns won. Which we knew would happen considering this whole thing began when Triple H did everything in his power to dethrone Reigns as WWE Champion, including doing it personally. We have our WrestleMania main event set. Which is debatable whether anyone cares. Now, if Triple H were to retain, that would be a surprise.
We also saw posted online, Brock Lesnar attacking Dean Ambrose upon arrival to the arena in Detroit. My guess, this will set up match #2 for ‘Mania, Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose in some sort of stipulation such as Falls Count Anywhere, Hell in the Cell, or something with the no disqualification, because as we saw, Ambrose has no fighting chance against Lesnar, unless he has assistance.
RAW kicks off with these recaps, followed by the arrival of Vince McMahon to present the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award, which is awarded to Stephanie McMahon. Cue the groans. You know, for a short moment, I really thought this could be a legit thing, but no, everything has to tie in to bolstering the ha…
HOLY CRAP IS THAT SHANE MCMAHON?! Dude looks older than his father but who the hell cares! It’s Shane-O-Mac! The internet and the live crowd in Detroit broke. They didn’t know what to chant. We went from “welcome back” to “holy shit” to “this is awesome.” Shane goes right after the guts, calling the award a farce, talking about the decline in ratings, viewership, the tanking of stock, and the list of injuries plaguing the roster. Wow. The short end of this, is Shane has some sort of secret over Vince, and now Shane is back and wants control of Monday Night RAW, which Vince equates to controlling the company, under one condition, he must defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania in a Hell in the Cell match.
Vince dropped some F-bombs, or something which got bleeped out, prompting the crowd to chant “That’s not PG” as well as publicly admitting SmackDown is a worthless B-rate program no one watches. Shane cut a great promo. The crowd reaction when he came back was cacophonous (thanks Evi!). That word means “crazy amount of sound.” Shane teared up. He thanked the crowd before verbally tearing into Vince and Stephanie.
The Shane vs. Undertaker is huge. I don’t even know what to say. I can’t recall the last time there were that many “Holy Shit” chants in the first half hour of Monday Night RAW.
Up next is our first match, an entertaining ring fest between The New Day and The Lucha Dragons with Neville. Fantastic match with a double-450 splash spot which Michael Cole botches (of course) by calling them Shooting Star Presses. Well, I guess since Sin Cara managed to get through a match without botching, it is like a “Fixed Point” where someone had to. Neville hit a 450 on Big E. from the ring apron to the floor, then Kalisto jumped off of Neville’s back with a 450 on Xavier Woods. In the ring, Kofi pulled an underhanded move by pulling Sin Cara by the mask, connecting with the Trouble in Paradise and taking the pinfall victory.
Backstage: Roman Reigns is interviewed by JoJo, and I can’t understand him, not because he mumbles, but the crowd is booing loud enough and chanting “We want Ambrose” loud enough to distract me.
In the ring, Paul Heyman introduces the main event, Brock Lesnar. The Rabbi of Wrestling goes on a verbal rampage about Brock’s loss last night, as well as addressing the insanity of Dean Ambrose, stating he turned a wrestling match into a No Holds Barred Street Fight by introducing chair shots. Follow me here, remember this. They act like Brock does not have a match at WrestleMania, until an ambulance comes through the arena, with said Lunatic Fringe driving. He struggles to the ring, gets splattered with an F5, but still grabs the mic and demands a No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania. Lesnar beats up Ambrose more, accepting the challenge. Get it?
The Usos are in the ring with The Ascension. They still have jobs, amazing. The Dudleys come out and remind us all they are not a nostalgic publicity stunt, and do not want to be remembered for all the broken tables, but for all the titles they have won. The Usos defeat the Ascension.
Thinking about it, it sounds like a legit gimmick. Dudleys won nine WWE Tag Team Championships, won the WCW and ECW Tag Titles, championships in Japan, sounds fair to me.
Chris Jericho and AJ Styles bury the hatchet in the ring, with Jericho putting over AJ huge. but are interrupted by the Social Outcasts who then accept a challenge from Y2AJ. Yep. Jericho and Styles make short work of the Outcasts. Very interesting turn of events.
Backstage: Stephanie whines to Triple H about her award being interrupted. The Game tells her to let it go and get back to business. Because we all know the award is crap. Vince J. must be rolling in his grave. His name used as a gimmick. Stephanie catches up with Reigns backstage, telling him he has an upcoming match with Sheamus, who will have the League of Nations in his corner, and Reign is all alone. Boo hoo. Crowd boos at the mere mention of Roman Reigns tonight.
Backstage: Goldust bakes R-Truth a cake which reads “I’m Sorry.” Truth doesn’t care, and Goldust gets a face full of cake.
Kane, Big Show, and Ryback take on Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan. Match appeared the same as last night, uneventful, except when Ryback, out of nowhere, just up and leaves the match allowing Kane to get planted by Sister Abigail. So this is odd. Backstage, some random doof in glasses asks Ryback why, and the hungry guy says he is just tired being shouldered with lame tag-team matches, and tired of being relegated to mid-cards. The catchphrase… Here it comes… “The glass ceiling, the brass ring? Break it. Take it.” Someone call Cesaro. Please.
Sasha Banks has a match with Naomi. Tamina interferes, however Becky Lynch saves the day, allowing Sasha to lock in the Banks Statement for the win. Charlotte then comes out to inform Becky and Sasha will face each other one-on-one to determine who will face Charlotte for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania.
Backstage: Sheamus warms up for his match with Reigns, as Rusev, Wade Barrett, and Alberto del Rio join in.
Backstage: Stephanie tells dad she will not work for Shane. Vince seems confident The Undertaker will win, but Steph does not appear as confident.
Michael Cole admits on air that Bleacher Report broke the news first, The Godfather is the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted by The APA (JBL and Ron Simmons).
Our final match of the evening features Roman Reigns up against Sheamus. This probably would have been a feasible main event in 2015, but with Sheamus and his group sliding down, this just feels like a time killer. Lots of booing as Reigns hits the ring first. I think there was even a dueling “Let’s go Roman/Roman Sucks” chant. Sadly, this match has become quite boring. Again, WWE is able to give us a great undercard, but finds it tarnished with a sluggish main event. One has to wonder, could they have pulled the Shane McMahon surprise at the end of the show, or was there fear of a spoiler leaking out? It certainly should have driven viewership up for the first hour at least. The weakest parts of the show is this main event, and the Wyatt/Big People rematch from last night. Ryback’s sort-of-heel turn didn’t do much. The Goldust/Truth bits are losing its novelty, so the punchline better be on the way, and please I hope it is not Goldust vs. R-Truth in a Cake on a Pole match.
During the commercial, the stable is ejected from ringside. Michael Cole says “The Game is not going to play games (at WrestleMania). The ref gets to a 9-count with Sheamus on the outside, but the ref stops as Triple H, dressed in his street-fight gear interrupts. Reigns and The Game brawl around ringside. The live fans are VERY anti-Reigns. The “Roman Empire is on fire” according to Michael Cole. Tonight, Michael Cole had no trouble using every repeated cliché and tag line he could come up with, beating a dead horse repeatedly. Even his commentary has jumped the shark, my wife giggling as Cole announces Triple H first “unloads all over Reigns” and follows it up with “banging him over and over again.” Reigns gets his head smashed into the announce table repeatedly, and we get a crimson mask as referees and trainers rush out with gloves on as Reigns is bleeding like a running faucet as Triple H pedigrees Roman into the ring stairs.
Seriously, there is a lot of blood. The crowd loves it as it goes off their air with Triple H, hands raised in the air with the WWE Championship.