Tonight Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena will pay host to WWE Monday Night Raw for the last time and the fans in attendance are excited to see what will happen in the next three hours. It was announced previously today that Roman Reigns will face The Undertaker at WrestleMania and who knows what the city of Detroit will hold.
It’s great they’re giving us a good story with Brock Lesnar and Goldberg, it’s just a shame they couldn’t do it 12 years ago. Brock Lesnar’s music hits and the Joe Louis Arena exploded way prior to the building’s scheduled demolition date.
Paul Heyman cut one of his masterful promos about Goldberg. The crowd seemed lukewarm on the idea of Lesnar F5ing Goldberg which is a good sign for the Beast Incarnate. Goldberg might be working Mania as a heel, but Brock very well might take that spot due to Heyman’s mic skills. Because, in the middle of Heyman’s promo, the crowd started chanting Goldberg. Heyman announced Goldberg wasn’t there and received a good amount of boos.
“That’s just my nice way of saying if you chant Goldberg, just shut the hell up, ok?” classic Paul E Heyman.
Heyman said F5 means Lesnar goes up, and down goes Goldberg. Brock Lesnar looks ready for WrestleMania to take that Universal Title off Goldberg.
Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are backstage. Stephanie calls Heyman creepy. Stephanie said you can’t take things personally and she hired Mickers because he can relate to the fans. She said she needs to nurture him as his manager, and she wants to teach him and she has his first lesson. She said she wants Mick to scour the Raw locker room and find that one person who Mick thinks he should fire.
Stephanie comes up with some awful corporate mumbo jumbo to rationalize firing someone and asks if she can count on Mick to fire someone as you hear a faint chant of “Fire Goldberg” peek its way through the audio.
Sure looks like Mick might be firing himself. He’s rumored to be leaving soon anyway and this would be a fitting end to this current run.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Dana manhandled Sasha around the ring and really ran her around the ring with some stiff shots and got a two-count. Sasha turned it around rather quickly and got a roll up pin while it looks like she might have tugged on the tights a little to secure the pin.
Charlotte got in the ring and said Dana is a disgrace and doesn’t deserve to be by her side. She accuses her of being a coattail rider and said she was finally getting rid of her while Dana llicked her lips. Then Dana went apes— on Charlotte and beat the piss out of her. Yeah, that happened. Roughed her up like when Chyna would dismantle someone like Sable, just pounding her and throwing her around like a rag doll. That was a real beastly turn from Dana Brooke. Michael Cole said it was a long time coming, and suddenly the crowd was chanting “Dana” while her music played as Charlotte walked up the ring looking disheveled and abused.
We forgot how cool Dana Brooke’s music was. That was a nice segment all around. Could they be putting Dana into Nia Jax’s rumored spot at WrestleMania to make it a fatal 4-way match or are they just adding some great new drama to Charlotte’s story? Either way, this segment was very cool and absolutey surreal.
Tony Nese and The Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa and TJ Perkins
It’s purple rope time again (God, I hope they don’t do that at WrestleMania, let the purple rope thing end in Orlando, and just drop it), 205 Live is fine, but stop making the ring crew go through all that just for a 4-minute match.
Let’s just get this out of the way, Austin Aries isn’t on commentary because he’s wrestling later tonight and that’s exciting. Also, Tony Nese is awesome.
Tozawa got a suicide dive off on The Kendrick, and Perkins hit Nese with a hurricanrana to the outside, both incredible moves. While all the action is taking off in the place, Neville was standing in the back watching on a monitor with his belt over his shoulder and a stoic look on his face.
Tozawa took a good amount of abuse but ended up getting the hot-tag off to Perkins but not after taking an extra shot to Kendick who had previously kept him from getting a tag previously in the match. These guys got to work a longer match for them and got to tell a pretty good story full of several near-falls and pin-breakups.
They’re building the story around Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick which makes sense, but Nese ended up getting the pin by pulling on TJP’s tights during a roll-up. This keeps Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick from having another match finish between the two so neither really loses heat. Very cool booking there.
The Club is backstage and they cut a great promo about the #1 Contender match tonight.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens’ new t-shirt is awesome. That’s all I have to say about that. Before the match, Owens grabbed the microphone and stood in the ring with the lights down a spotlight on his face with the WrestleMania logo hovering above him. They played a promo featuring the Festival of Friendship when I stopped believing in friendship. Owens talks about how he was never his best friend and said Y2J was never his best friend either. “He just wanted to get closer to my, My MY, Universal Title!” Nice heel talk.
Kevin said Y2J wanted his revenge and he was going to give it to him. He said the only thing we’ll hear are the tears of Jericho, “cry it out maaaaaan.” That was fun. He said, “who needs best friends when you’ve got a Destroyer,” when Samoa Joe came down to the ring. We’re just so happy to finally see Samoa Joe in a WWE main roster ring. It’s. About. Damn. Time.
Joe started the match off by beating Chris Jericho senseless and hit him with a senton before the match really got started. Y2J hit one of his awesome missile dropkicks on Joe and got the upper hand just for enough time to tag Sami. Samoa Joe started beating on Sami then. The two traded big moves and gave us a taste of what they could have brought at Fastlane.
Jericho got superkicked off the apron by Owens, but Sami Zayn was able to fight the heels off to send them outside. Zayn launched himself over the top rope onto Joe and Owens as we sit here and wonder why he’s going to lose his spot when Balor and Rollins come back.
Sami soon took a two-on-one assault and the referee couldn’t break them up so he called for the bell. Zayn was a whipping boy for a moment until Jericho came to and fought the baddies off. Owens and Jericho stood toe-to-toe for a moment and traded fists. Jericho locked Owens up in the Walls of Jericho, but The Samoan Submission Machine ran in and broke it up.
Joe held Chris and allowed Owens to beat on him and then finished him off with a pop-up powerbomb. Michael Cole says things couldn’t have gone worse for Chris Jericho tonight, which we disagree. It was bad, but it wasn’t awful
Stephanie is backstage trying to help Mick decide which member of the Raw roster he should fire, she suggests Sami Zayn. Nia Jax walked up to them and says she deserves justice because she needs to be a part of the Raw Women’s Championship match instead of Sasha. Stephanie told Nia she would be in a match against Bayley later tonight. Guess there still might be room for Nia Jax in the Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania.
Mick Foley looked very sad and said he needed to take a walk.
Mick Foley is on his walk as Jinder Mahal comes up to him and says not to fire him. He threatens Mick Foley saying Rusev was the weak member of his team and he is a main event talent. Then Mick Foley says he will face Roman Reigns later on.
New Day Talks
The New Day are hosting a talk show now called New Day Talks on Raw where their first guest is Big Show. They don’t have much of a set and everybody was standing around a table. Very nice production there. They interrupt Big Show in the middle of what he was saying about the new Jetsons movie (which is actually pretty good), they plug New Day Pops, and Titus O’Neal comes out.
Xavier Woods tells Titus to “Sashay away” which means he watches RuPaul’s Drag Race, that is awesome.
Titus turns to Big Show and starts berating him about why he wasn’t the star of the new Jetsons movie instead. Big Show said he had no control over the Jetsons and Titus said, “get some control over them!” That makes sense. Titus left. I guess if they can’t get Shaquille to face Big Show, then Titus O’Neal might just have to do.
Big Cass and Enzo vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (#1 Contender Match)
This match was something special and if you’d like to read all about it (which we highly suggest), go ahead and click here.
The Club are backstage and think they’ve really pulled one over on Foley on Raw this week. They said that there was no winner and called him a nerd. Mick said it doesn’t work like that and booked a triple threat match for the Raw Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania. That’ll be a great match.
Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal
Yeah, Roman was winning this match. That’s really no surprise. Mahal is a great utility worker, but despite his amazing look and ability to work a crowd, he’s never really had much going for him.
The Undertaker’s gong went off and Roman was distracted. Mahal hit him from behind and smashed a finisher on him, but when any other babyface might get pinned, Roman kicked out. Mahal even hit Roman with a great dropkick to the face while Roman was seated, that was stiff. The crowd started “Let’s go Roman/Roman sucks” chants just as Reigns hit 2 Superman punches and got the pin.
Roman grabbed the mic and beckoned Undertaker to come out there like a man. Then a commercial for Sonic played.
The Big Dog started pacing around the ring when a different man’s music started playing: Shawn Michaels. HBK came out in jeans and a cowboy hat on while the crowd stood in amazement, all scrambling for their cell phones so they could take a picture of Michaels while he posed.
Roman said, “I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty cool to see ya” and we agree with Mr. Big Doggy Dog. Roman said he didn’t call out HBK, he called out Taker and he got some boos for that remark.
Shawn said Roman is distracted and unfocused. He said Undertaker is going to eat Roman alive at Mania and the crowd started cheering very loudly at that idea. Some “Yes” chants broke out as Roman said that’s not happening. People booed him.
Roman said people always talk to him about what it’s going to be like to be in the ring with the Undertaker, but maybe Taker needs to think about what it’s going to be like to be in the ring with him.
Shawn responded by saying he’s “Mr. Wrestle-Freakin-Mania” and he knows what it’s like to walk around with everyone secretly wanting him to fail. Roman said he appreciated the advice “but with all due respect, the Undertaker retired you. And I’m the guy who’s gonna retire The Undertaker.” Wow. Those are strong words and they just might come to pass on April 2nd.
Braun Strowman suddenly blindsided Roman Reigns as he walked up the ramp, Reigns went bouncing down the ramp and off the side onto the concrete floor. Looked like a pretty good bump. The Monster Among Men looked at Michaels and said, “If I wanted to do it to you, I would.” That was an LOL moment.
Braun obviously isn’t done sticking his nose in this feud. Wonder how this one will play out in order to give Braun something to do.
Steph is pressuring Mickles about who he is going to fire. Foley said he doesn’t want to fire someone just before WrestleMania. Stephanie says Mick has one hour to decide who he will fire and if he doesn’t decide then it might be someone that he doesn’t like. Yup. It looks like he’s going to fire himself.
Austin Aries vs. Ariya Daivari
Austin Aries hit Daivari hard with a litany of moves. Neville is shown backstage watching the match so it’s good to know he doesn’t take a pee-break during the cruiserweight matches. But, honestly these cruiserweight matches are awesome and people need to watch them, especially since A-Double is on the roster now.
Aries hit Ariya with a clothesline that turned Daivari inside out. Austin hit him with a spinning standing elbow right to the heart and continued the offense from there. It was move after move, including a beautiful dive through the ropes.
Aries hit Daivari with his elbow and got the win. There will be one heck of a #1 contenders match on 205 Live tomorrow night.
They aired a nice Emma promo before the match begins which makes me wonder if she might turn up on Raw soon or at Mania too.
Big Show vs. Titus O’Neal
This happened. Show vs O’Neal… Titus O’Neal. Big Show backed him in the corner and chopped Titus’ chest. Titus took a right hand and some kicks while he was on his hand and knees.
Big Show continued to light Titus up. Titus actually took Show down with a big boot, but Big Show no-sold it pretty well and hit two chokeslams on him to establish his heat back. But he didn’t pin him. The crowd chanted “1 more time” and they got what they wanted. 1-2-3, Big Show wins.
Bayley and Sasha are backstage where Banks tells the Hugger not to listen to the haters, Bayey says, “what haters?” Sasha had no problem in telling her all about them. The Boss was wearing a Bayley hoodie too, so at least they’re still super friendly when it comes to apparel. But, a Sasha Banks heel turn has to be coming soon.
Nia Jax vs. Bayley
There have been rumblings ever since the first tentative card for WrestleMania was leaked that said it would be a fatal four-way for the Raw Women’s Championship and that match has been booked as expected except Nia Jax isn’t included yet. If they’re going to put the title on Nia and make it mean something, Mania would be the time to do that, and if they’re going to tell a story about it they are starting off on the right track here. But then again, plans change all the time at this point before they finalize things.
The Savior of Misbehavior proved how he got that name by saying to Byron that Saxton and Bayley have something in common: “The only meaningful relationships you’ve ever had in your life were with inflatable people.” This is why Corey Graves is the best voice on Raw by a mile.
Nia started this one off by punishing Bayley on the outside like she was Byron Saxton’s blow-up doll. Just beat her until she was nearly punctured. There were some stiff shots there. She rolled Bayley back in and foolishly let her get a litle breather in although she soon continued the assault in the ring.
Bayley tried to separate Jax from her with a jaw-jacker but it didn’t do much. She tied Nia up in the ropes and then dropkicked her outside but Nia landed on her feet like a huge, scary cat.
Jax kept up the domination of the Raw Women’s Champion, got her up in a firewoman’s carry but Bayley elbowed her way out of it. Jax snagged Bayley in a bearhug and then hotshotted her onto the top-rope. Bayley didn’t get much defense or offense in for that matter.
The referee called for the bell beause Nia Jax just kept kicking her ass in the corner. Jax pulled Bayley out of the ring by her hair and launched her into the barricade. She doesn’t look happy, but she certainly proved her point that she wanted to be in the WrestleMania match.
Guess Mick Foley firing someone will be the final segment of Raw tonight. Okay, that’ll work.
Mick Foley Fires Someone – Seth Rollins Returns
Stephanie McMahon started out the night by telling Mick Foley that he needed to step it up as an authority figure and she would take him under her wing to teach him the ropes. She said he needed to fire someone by the end of the night and listed all of these corporate excuses to do so.
Needless to say, Mickers was conflicted. He seemed troubled to make such a decision and said he needed to take a walk. While on his stroll he booked a triple-threat match for the Raw Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania. While he might have still been able to perform his duties as General Manager, he was still dealing with an internal struggle because he didn’t want to have to fire someone this soon before WrestleMania.
Stephanie was in the ring and introduced Mick Foley as “the man who will decided which Raw superstar is about to be fired.” Mick didn’t look happy to have to be coming down for this reason.
Stephanie wanted to know who the fat was that Mick was going to cut off the bone that is Raw and Mick hesitated greatly saying he couldn’t think of anyone who he thought should be terminated. But, in the last 10 minutes of, a name came to him and he had made a decision. Stephanie said Mick was finally thinking with his head and not his heart.
Mick Foley then said the name he came up with name from the Raw roster to fire and the name is Stephanie McMahon. “Yes” chants erupted.
Stephanie then threw water on the fire and said Mick didn’t have the authority to fire her. Mick said she’s the one who needed to go and went off on her about their history together and concluded that Stephanie was a really good liar and a really bad person and she had to go.
All this time we thought Mick was going to fall on his own sword and fire himself. This was a nice swerve.
Then Triple H’s music hit and the place went bananas. The King of Kings walked to the ring with a grin on his face that shined through his beard. Triple H said he’s not hiding, he’s running a business. He said he didn’t want a lawsuit 3 weeks before WrestleMania, so that’s why he’s not going to rip Foley’s hip off and beat him with it.
Triple H mocked Foley and stole his cheap pop by saying “Detroit.” He said he works with the future because he doesn’t want to look at pathetic has-beens like Foley anymore. Hunter said, “do not mistake Steph’s heart for a lack of being able to do what it takes,” as CM Punk chants filled the Joe Louis Arena for the last time.
Mick said he didn’t need Triple H and didn’t need WWE and Triple H brought Mick’s kids into the situation. Hunter said Foley’s kids either work for WWE or want to work for WWE and Mick can’t do anything about it. Triple H said Mick needs to realize how much he needs this job and called him a monkey.
Mick sat his microphone down and walked to the corner as Steph and Trips turned their back to Foley. The crowd started to cheer as they saw Foley do something behind their back. When Triple H went to investigate he got Mr. Socko down his throat until Stephanie hit Mick with a low-blow.
Mick was on the mat trying to get up as Triple H took his jacket off. As Hunter walked to get Mick Foley, Seth Rollins’ music hit. The Architect came to the ring on a crutch and limped down the ramp. Rollins lifted his crutch up like microphone and MIC DROP.
Seth leapt in the ring and took it to Triple H. He kicked Trips in the stomach and caught him and a beautiful drop kick. With the WrestleMania logo behind him, Seth said, “you want to do this thing?!” I think WrestleMania is going to happen between Trips and Seth.
Hunter grabbed Seth’s crutch and ran back into the ring where Seth was waiting for him. However, Triple H got the upper hand and broke Seth Rollins’ crutch over his knee. Hunter took off his button-up shirt and continued the assault on Rollins.
Triple H locked in an Indian deathlock on Seth’s legs as referees flooded the ring to break them up. Raw went off the air as Hunter took out Seth’s knee with one more crutch-shot and left him laying on the mat.