Although this doesn’t take place until he second hour, I want to point out something interesting. Earlier today, Dolph Ziggler posted a tweet talking about defeating the Authority at Survivor Series a few years ago, and yet he is still punished. The tweet was deleted, however it was mentioned as a way to push a storyline with Ziggler being put into a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Interesting.
RAW kicks off with Vince and Shane McMahon trading verbal barbs, again with Vince calling The Undertaker “his creation” and “his monster” etc.. Which is odd. Shane winds up brawling with security to close the opening segment. I get this is a power struggle here, but I am just not sure where this will ultimately lead.
Our first match features a great back-and-forth between Kevin Owens and Adrian Neville. Reasons why I love the undercard. I could watch these guys any time. Neville goes spot-bonkers-crazy with a standing moonsault, standing shooting star, a Phoenix splash, but all is for naught as Owens pulls a victory with pulling the tights on a roll-up. However, the Post Match event sent the crowd into a wild frenzy as SAMI ZAYN comes charging out and a brawl closes out the segment.
Backstage: Dolph Ziggler chats with Zack Ryder. Not sure who got the bigger pop. Steph informs Ziggler he will face Sheamus, Rusev, and Barrett in a handicap match. You know what that means… BARRETT HAS A MATCH!!
Summer Rae pins Brie Bella after a painfully sloppy match after Lana, dressing like the way she did during her short tenure alongside Ziggler, distracts Brie. Post match, Lana hits a faceplant, the staple of all non-wrestling women.
Dean Ambrose hits the ring and cuts a hilariously serious promo. I love this guy. Of course, Triple H interrupts to inject ego/seriousness into the segment, but Dean-O won’t have any of it. He offers to fight, but The Game declines, giving him Bray Wyatt instead. I really love that Dean Ambrose is getting an insane push, being set to face off with Triple H in the main event of a major supercard, but I would be shocked if Dean Ambrose won. He is supposed to face Brock Lesnar, so a sudden title change would not make sense, unless Brock will get a new opponent. Maybe Ambrose will be WWE Champion one day, but Triple H? Truth is, I would have preferred Ambrose/Triple H as the Mania Main Event. That is not happening, and despite Reigns vs. Ambrose being a better option, we are just being teased.
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that no one wrestles anymore, but everyone wants to “fight.”
Triple H says, “the WWE Championship will stay with me as long as I want it to.” Oh hell, please let this not be reliving the early 2000’s.
The League of Nations defeat Dolph Ziggler in the handicap match. Ziggler managed to eliminate Barrett after a superkick, however Rusev and Sheamus overpower the Show Off and take the win. Honestly, why is Barrett being buried?
— WWE (@WWE) March 8, 2016
Backstage, Sasha and Becky have some not-so-friendly pre-match banter. I really hate the theme music for Team BAD. It’s annoying. On the upside, I absolutely love the theme for Becky Lynch. Sadly it is drowned out when Sasha’s music hits and the crowd loses it. Banks and Lynch make very short work of Team BAD. Post match, Charlotte beats up both winners.
Backstage, in a segment I actually laughed at, R-Truth delivers a peace offering to Goldust in the form of a Chicago-style pizza, cue the hometown crowd pop. Goldust becomes irate, due to his lactose intolerance, should he eat such a delicious pizza, his butt would explode like Kane’s pyro. As an apologetic Truth chases after Goldust, we see Mark Henry steal the entire pie. “I love Chicago.” Cue the cheap pop.
The New Day is on the way out for their Tag Team Title defense against AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. They cut a short, but funny promo about tattoos. Y2AJ interrupt to a huge ovation, and we get “This is Awesome” chants as Lillian Garcia does the main event championship introduction, live crowd is hot, we have a big match feel to this one.
We know someone is turning here. It is just a matter of who, how, and when.
We get an incredible match, crowd was hot the whole time, Styles pulled out some sick dives and a perfect flip-over-out neckdrop, probably the best one I have ever seen. Despite throwing every move in the book, the New Day overpowered Jericho, with Big E. pinning him following the Big Ending.
Post match: We got what everyone expected, Jericho cracks Styles with three Codebreakers, and stuffs a “Y2AJ” t-shirt into Styles’ mouth. Backstage, Renee Young interviews Y2J, and he is sick of hearing the chants for Styles, and looks forward to ending his WWE career. There were a lot of crowd shots of fans “in disbelief.” Michael Cole likes to say that.
Kalisto comes to the ring, defeats Tyler Breeze. The backstage segment is about three times the length of the match. Jo Jo interviews Kalisto about heading to his first WrestleMania as United States Champion. Ryback interrupts, giving an oddly competitive, yet respectful promo, putting over Kalisto, but also questioning why he hasn’t been booked for a match yet. Ryback, to his credit, makes a lot of superhero references, and then goes out and demolishes Curtis Axel, but not before taking yet another jab at CM Punk, using the high-knee to the corner, and then mimic the Go-To-Sleep taunt before hitting the Shell Shock.
Dean Ambrose in the ring, but before Bray enters, he cuts a promo on the Titantron, reminding us all how he took out Brock Lesnar, and left the so-called Beast out cold in the ring. Bray and Brock will collide at Roadblock, yet there has not been much build for what should be a much bigger hype match. Seems WWE has been lacking proper guidance?
In any case, while JBL dreads the thought of Dean Ambrose becoming WWE Champion, the Lunatic and the Wyatt patriarch have a brawl of a match. Inevitably, the rest of the family interferes, causing the DQ, and then to add more insult to injury, Triple H heads to the ring. We get a brief tease of a confrontation between Bray Wyatt and The Game, but the family leaves the ring, leaving Ambrose alone with Triple H. However, before The COO could attack, Ambrose strikes first with the Dirty Deeds DDT. We close RAW with a shot of Ambrose holding the WWE Championship.
Not the first time we have seen this, probably won’t be the last.
This Saturday is Roadblock. Not much hype for the undercard, a lot of focus on a championship match and a Brock Lesnar match, without Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman to hype it up. No hype? What’s the point?