We’re less than 24 hours away from the end of WWE Fastlane, or what it will be known in the annals of WWE history as “just another pre-WrestleMania show where they gave the belt to another part-timer.” But, Goldberg is less than a part timer. He doesn’t even make towns that aren’t televised and so far he hasn’t even laced up his boots for anything but a pay-per-view.
Well, if WWE didn’t think they made enough of a mistake then they’re showing up in a city that will be more than happy to remind them they messed up: Chicago, Illinois.
Chris Jericho’s music hit and although he was partly responsible for last night’s WWE Universal Title shenanigans, he still received a thunderous ovation from the Chicago crowd because he’s Y2J. Chris did speak initially as he allowed his fans to chant his name and once he announced it was the birthplace of Y2J, it was even more apparent he was going to stay face. The fact he got a mild pop after reminding people he screwed Owens out of his title even more solidified this.
Jericho said he wanted to know why Owens stabbed him in the back and Kevin Owens came out more than ready to tell him exactly why he turned on his best, best friend. Owens came out, no longer in a suit looking like the Kevin Owens of old wearing a cut-off shirt and shorts looking as if he were ready to wrestle.
Jericho asked why Owens would stab him in the back and we were wondering why Y2J didn’t ask Sami Zayn why Kevin did it to him serval times. Kevin said he never stabbed Jericho in the back because Jericho was never his best friend. He said Chris was just a tool and he used him to keep his title at the suggestion of Triple H.
Owen said he knows for a fact he would have beat Goldberg at Fastlane if it weren’t for Jericho, but Y2J outsmarted him. Owens said Jericho’s biggest mistake was costing Owens his Universal Title and Jericho said his biggest mistake was actually trusting Kevin in the first place. Y2J turned to the crowd and said they were all the friends he needed and he received a huge reception, “I’ve got the Friends of Jericho… cheer me on maaaaan!”
Jericho challenged Kevin to a match at WWE WrestleMania (like we didn’t see that coming). Owens said all he can think about is taking Jericho’s title away from him and it didn’t take Jericho long to accept the match.
But first, Jericho suggested Owens come down and start the fight tonight and Owens gladly accepted his offer. But it didn’t take long until Samoa Joe jumped in the ring and started a 2-on-1 assault on the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla. Sami Zayn came down with a chair and evened up the odds. Owens and Joe ran out of the ring and the faces were left begging for more.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
Apparently, commissioner Mick Foley came out during the commercial break and made this match happen because it wouldn’t make much sense to let KO and Y2J get it on before Mania.
These two were going really hard against each other and threw just about everything they had at one another. Kevin hit a cannonball on Zayn, but when he went for the pop-up powerbomb, Sami answered back with a dropkick. Owens powered out and Zayn hit him with a dive over the referee and the top rope that nearly missed Owens.
Owens soon hit Zayn with a pop-up powerbomb but decided to beat on his former friend instead of pinning him. Zayn took numerous unnecessary offensive maneuvers until finally being pinned to mercifully end the match.
Neville vs. Rich Swann (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
One day removed from WWE Fastlane where Neville defeated Gentleman Jack Gallager in a very competitive matchup, he’s at it again as he defends his pretty purple belt against Rich Swann. This is technically Rich Swann’s rematch for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, and it took him long enough to get his shot.
Swann and Neville brought the fury to each other but Neville topped off his offense by driving Rich’s head directly into the LED board on the side of the ring. That looked like it hurt.
The crowd broke out in “Austin Aries” chants. We guess that they want The Greatest Man That Ever Lived back in the ring just as much as we do.
Swann climbed on the top rope and hit Neville with a beautiful flipping dive on the arena floor. However, Neville quickly turned things back in his favor with a series of stiff offense. These two traded big moves for a minute or two but neither man would lay down. Neville met Swann on the top turnbuckle and hit him with a superplex, but Rich showed his ring awareness by rolling out of the ring instead of allowing a pin attempt. This was probably the longest cruiserweight match in Raw’s history as it stretched two commercial breaks.
These two amazing performers had the Chicago crowd in the palm of their hands. Swann missed a Phoenix Splash and Neville turned this mistake into his “Rings of Saturn” submission hold to make Swann tap. These two probably had the best cruiserweight we’ve ever seen on Raw.
What happened after this match was so incredible, it got its own article. If you’d like to read it, please click here.
This was so incredible it warranted its own article. If you’d like to read all about it (and we highly suggest it), just click here.
The Club vs. Enzo and Big Cass (WWE Raw Tag Team Titles)
Corey Graves is excellent. He said Enzo and Big Cass were like the local Chicago baseball teams. Big Cass is like the Cubs, it might take him 100 years to win a championship, but Enzo is more like the White Sox because if he ever wins a championship there will be a scandal involved. Fun.
Regardless of Graves’ amazing comments, The Realest Guys in the Room were way over mostly due to the fact Cass started name dropping Michael Jordan over and over again.
The Club took it to the NXT alumni right off the bat with a barrage of offense. But Cass turned it around by taking both men out with stiff shots. Sheamus and Cesaro decided they’d like a better view of the match as they made their way down to the ring at about this time.
Sheamus and Cesaro stood at ringside and watched Big Cass hit Anderson with an Empire Elbow only to have it broken up by Gallows. Enzo hit the former Festus with a dive outside the ring and Cesaro ended up having his coffee spilt all over his nice tear-away suit. For retribution, The Swiss Superman followed Amore in the ring and ended up clotheslining Karl Anderson causing the referee to ring the bell.
There was a skirmish after the match where Sheamus and Cesaro were left alone in the ring with their music playing. Looks like they might be going with three teams for the Raw tag titles at WrestleMania.
Enzo and Cass and Sheamus and Cesaro continued their fight backstage until Mick Foley broke them up and said they don’t settle things backstage at Raw, they settle them in the ring. Then Mick booked a match for next week between the two teams where the winner will go on to face The Club at Mania.
Stephanie McMahon walked up to Mickers and said if he wanted to have a nice day then he needs to follow her to her office. We’re nervous for him.
Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari
The two cruiserweights took it to each other hard and fast but Tozawa won within three minutes with a German suplex. He then grabbed a microphone and called out The Brian Kendrick then he started yelling over and over again, guess that’s his thing.
Brian came out and said Tozawa is going to learn the same lesson that a dog learned when he finally caught his tail: be careful what you wish for. That was a neat little piece of business.
New Day Segment
The New Day are back with their ice cream. Okay, this is a thing. Big E came out with the New Day Pops Cycle as Xavier introduced it to the crowd. “New Day pops, a mouthful of magic, I gotta have it.” That’s catchy and somewhat pornographic.
Big E brings up the fact they’re about to beat the Shining Stars as the camera shows the former matadors are already in the ring, we didn’t even know they were there. That was a surprise.
Epico hit Kofi with a nice looking suspended reverse backstabber looking move, and then they dispatched with Big E. The two then left the ring to surround Xavier Woods, but Kofi and Big E came to his rescue and they quickly ended the match after that. Not much of a match at this point, but with all the exposure New Day has experienced, one might argue the longest running WWE Tag Team Champions and future WrestleMania hosts are already working on borrowed time.
Bayley Interview – Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
The Raw Women’s Championship match was booked for WWE WrestleMania 33 and you can read all about how it went down by clicking here.
Triple H Interview
Triple H was interviewed “via satellite”… aka backstage. He said he hopes that Seth Rollins will utilize the advice of his doctors and not compete at WrestleMania.
In all honesty, the latest rumors are that Rollins won’t really compete in a match at Mania, he might show up for a brawl with Hunter, but it won’t be an official match.
Triple H said he never had to call himself the man because everyone knew he was the man, but Seth Rollins has to call himself the man because it’s a lie. Triple H said if Seth meets Trips at Mania then it’ll be a nightmare for him. If he shows up at WrestleMania it will be the last thing he does in a WWE ring.
They aired a very interesting promo package for the makeover from Emmalina to Emma, and apparently, she’s coming back soon. Sunglasses, short leather jacket, dark lipstick, and all. Cool.
Samoa Joe vs. Chris Jericho
Joe took it to Y2J very quickly and threw his weight around well against the first Undisputed Champion. Jericho hit Joe with a flying crossbody off the top rope but Joe turned it around to his favor quickly.
The Samoan Submission Machine got Jericho in one of his favorite holds, an armbar. Chris tried to get Joe in the Walls of Jericho, but Samoa Joe just flipped him around. Joe ended up outside, got back up on the apron, but Jericho kicked him back down.
Once Jericho got back outside, Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch on Jericho and let it go as the referee counted to seven. He got back in the ring and the referee counted to 10. Joe won the match, but Jericho got some heat back afterwards by hitting Joe with a Codebreaker. Samoa Joe walked up the aisle holding his jaw but didn’t look too phased by the encounter.
Quick match and it could have definitely gone longer if they didn’t have to leave room for Roman Reigns to close out the show.
Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman Ending Segment
The only saving grace for Roman Reigns ending another Monday Night Raw is if The Undertaker is going to come out and end it for him. But, considering how they’re booking Roman to be a monster who takes heat from anyone he crosses paths with and doesn’t give much of anything back in return, who knows if they’ll deliver.
Braun Strowman’s music hit first, which is a good sign. The Monster Among Men came down to the ring and he didn’t look too happy. He got on the microphone and started talking trash to Roman Reigns saying The Big Dog’s luck is about to run out tonight. He said Chicago doesn’t like Roman and that got a huge pop from the crowd accompanied with scattered “Yes” chants. Nice touch.
Roman’s music hit for about two seconds, then The Undertaker’s music struck and the place lost it.
The Deadman appeared and took everybody’s breath away. It might have been a day later than we would have preferred, but at least he showed up. Taker walked down to the ring to face Braun Strowman without any signs of Roman.
This is a triple threat match we’d certainly like to see. Not only that, but it would be a great idea if Taker can’t handle the load of an entire singles match by himself.
As our minds flooded with fond memories of The Undertaker running through our childhood, he stood face to face with Braun Strowman as the crowd chanted “holy s***.” We agree with the sentiment.
Braun slowly left the ring to a chorus of disappointed boos, but they were quickly replaced by chants for Undertaker from the thrilled Chicago crowd. Without saying a word, The Undertaker turned and Roman Reign’s music hit.
Roman came out slowly to a massive amount of heel heat. The two men stared at each other and Reigns moseyed to the ring. Roman stepped in between the ropes.
Roman said “Braun wasn’t calling you out here, Deadman. He called me. So, with all due respect, this is my yard now.” Taker took a second to respond as the crowd chanted “Roman sucks.”
Taker grabbed Roman’s throat and chokeslammed him in the middle of the ring. The lights turned blue, and The Undertaker made his exit while Roman was left laying in the ring selling his injuries.
Michael Cole said, “The original Big Dog is back to reclaim his yard.” God, we hope so.