Last night was Fastlane over on the Blue Brand and now we’re off to the races to WrestleMania 34.

Asuka jumped over to SmackDown at Fastlane when she challenged Charlotte Flair and only time will tell how they will deal with figuring out Alexa Bliss’ challenger for the Show Of Shows.

There are plenty of other stories they need to figure out as well including what is next for Ronda Rousey’s story in WWE. One thing is for sure if recent reports saying she isn’t in the building in Detroit are true then WWE might not be delivering on their promise that Rowdy Ronda would be appearing at every Raw on the Road To WrestleMania.

Braun Strowman is also extremely popular and still doesn’t have a Road To WrestleMania yet either. Only time will tell how things will shape up but the time has come to figure it all out.

Opening Segment

Kurt Angle came out and he hyped his match at mania with Rousey against Triple H and Stephanie. Then he said Brock Lesnar wouldn’t be there tonight and this got a lot of boos.

Angle said possibly Lesnar had transportation issues of he wasn’t feeling well. Either way, he wasn’t there. Then Roman Reigns came down and he really took his time getting to the ring.

Reigns said he wasn’t surprised that Lesnar wasn’t there because Brock doesn’t respect anyone. Roman asked what kind of penalty Lesnar will get for missing work and then he said nothing would happen “because he’s Vince’s boy.” Then Roman asked the crowd what would happen if they didn’t show up to work.

They’d be fired. Roman said it’s the same for everyone from Kurt and anyone in the locker room. Then he said the problem was Vince McMahon, “the man I literally just walked past.” Reigns said it’s one thing to be disrespected by Brock Lesnar but he won’t be disrespected by Vince McMahon then he threw his microphone down and left.

Roman walked backstage and went into the Gorilla Position where everyone was sitting there including Shane and Vince and everyone else. “What’s up Vince?!” Roman asked. Vince told them to go to commercial and then they’d go and talk about it.

Later on, Renee Young was outside Vince’s Office saying that Roman and Vince were in there.

Roman soon left and looked upset. Then Vince came out and said Brock Lesnar is not his boy. He said Brock might not respect WWE but he does respect competition. He admitted that Brock might take advantage of the special privileges he gets and then McMahon assured us that Lesnar will be at Raw next week and Lesnar will also compete at WrestleMania against Roman Reigns.

Finally, Vince said based on the respect issue they were just talking about that Roman Reigns has been temporarily suspended. Interesting…

Sonya Deville vs Sasha Banks

Bayley was by Banks’ side but she didn’t look too thrilled to be there.

As Sonya and Sasha fought on in the ring, Bayley stood with her arms crossed and stared daggers at Banks the entire time. Deville took control and used some brutal offense but Sasha soon used her veteran ability and speed to hit some kicks and then she landed the double knees from the middle rope for a two count.

Mandy Rose jumped on the apron and Bayley pulled her down. Then Sasha hit the Backstabber into the Bank Statement and Deville tapped. But right after the match was over Bayley walked off leaving Banks alone in the ring.

Winner: Sasha Banks via submission

After the match was over, Absolution surrounded the ring and although Banks hit Rose and Deville she eventually lost to the numbers game as Paige directed traffic because she is still on the “do not touch under any circumstances” list along with Daniel Bryan.

Miz TV

The Miz got a strong reaction and then he asked the crowd to tell him how they really felt so they cheered even louder. The Miztourage wasn’t there because The Miz said they had a chance to earn a spot for Mania.

Then The Miz introduced Rollins and Balor who both came to the ring with their own intros. Balor was very popular with the crowd but overall it’s debatable that The Miz wasn’t the most popular guy in the ring which is understandable because he’s awesome.

They all sat in the director’s chairs in the ring and The Miz commented about how they seem so comfortable seeing how Seth is in the ring against Balor who took their singles match away. He called Balor “a great up and comer” and tried to get Seth upset at Finn for always being in the way.

“How stupid do you think we are?” Rollins asked. Then he said, “it’s a triple threat match at WrestleMania, deal with it.”

The Miz called Balor “the man… in bingo halls” and brought up how Rollins lost the first-ever Universal Title to Balor.

Suddenly The Miz turned to Balor to try and butter Finn up this time and Balor called him out for literally just trying the same tactic with Seth.

The Miz said they’re acting like he’s the bad guy and then he asked, “am I the bad guy here?” Suddenly the crowd was an eruption of conflicting opinions on the matter.

Seth finally told The Miz to shut up and that they don’t need to be fired up because it’s the IC Title and Mania so they’re already fired up. Then he said he’s going to take the title at Mania and “Finn, I’m sorry bud but you don’t stand a chance.”

Then Finn asked Seth what happened the last time they had a championship match and he beat him with one arm. Then Rollins said don’t live in the past but he’s living in the future because in four weeks he’ll beat him.

Suddenly, Finn stood up and took his blue Fonzie jacket off and said they didn’t have to wait because they do it in Detroit. The two stood up to each other while The Miz smiled in glee. Suddenly they both looked at The Miz and he tried to run away but he ended up catching a beating before they threw him out. Then Rollins laid a right hand into Balor’s head before leaving.

The Bar vs The Miztourage

The Miztourage jumped Sheamus and Cesaro before the bell. They were answering The Bar’s open challenge for Mania since they don’t have an opponent yet because they’ve already beat everyone.

This resulted in a street fight without the bell even ringing. Suddenly, The Revival ran down to join the fight as they all beat down The Bar. Suddenly The Club ran down and started assaulting Sheamus and Cesaro too. But as The Bar started to leave, Titus Worldwide and the rest of the Raw Tag Division ran down too.

The ring was totally full of talent all focusing their aggression toward Sheamus and Cesaro who they stomped down on opposite corners. Huge Rhyno chants broke out because he was down there with Heath Slater and they were in Detroit.

This was a mess and ended with The Bar looking shaken up and Sheamus’ mohawk looked jacked up too so that’s something.

John Cena Speaks…

Brock Lesnar didn’t show up in Detroit, but John Cena was certainly there to complain about how he doesn’t have a WrestleMania match. I don’t know what his problem is, he’s John Cena. Does he really think they’ll forget to give him a match?

Cena came out and went directly over to The Coach to say hello as always because jogging to the ring in his legendary brightly colored merch and jorts.

Cena said he has found his Road To WrestleMania, he said it’s not ideal but it’s different. Then he said he’s brave enough to face the truth that he’s had plenty of opportunities to get title matches but he didn’t get the job done. Cena said he had no excuses and he didn’t blame anyone but himself.

As the Undertaker chants broke out John said, “very kind of you… I hope they’re listening” as he motioned toward the back. Then he said he’s here tonight to tell them he will not contribute to Mania this year. If this was really the case then why did he show up at all.

The reaction to this statement was mixed. Cena said it doesn’t mean he quits or is walking away. He said he’ll still be there but his Road To WrestleMania is the same as a fan’s. He’s going as a fan this year.

Then Cena said he might be sitting right in the crowd and he went into the crowd and drank some of some dude’s beer that he called a sasquatch because the dude did look like a caveman. He got a “this is awesome” chant going and then tried to get a “let’s go Roman” chant out of the way.

Then he instructed the crowd to get one chant out of the way that they can’t do at Mania and he got them all doing a huge “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chant. “That actually feels as good as that sip of beer,” John said.

Then Cena said he was going to do something that he’s not supposed to do and figured that he might as well do it anyway. Then he said, “screw it” and then he challenged The Undertaker to a match at Mania and the place erupted.

Cena said he was told it was impossible and he just accepted it. But if the WWE office didn’t want him to say it, then they would shut his mic off and drag him out of the building and suspend him like they did Roman. Then Cena said the mic is still on so it’s just one person who is keeping a match from happening and that’s The Undertaker.

Cena addressed Taker himself and said, “get over your own ego.” Cena said when he fails he comes to work the next day but when Taker fails he hides his head in the sand and he needs to stop hiding in his lame excuses. He’s not broken down and then he said if he was broken down he wouldn’t be posting work out videos on his wife’s Instagram (which he does.)

Cena called Taker an egomaniac and then said he was going to feed Taker’s ego by asking the fans and everyone said they wanted to see Taker kick Cena’s ass at WrestleMania.

He concluded the segment by saying he was either going to WrestleMania as a fan or he was going to face Taker and the ball was in Undertaker’s court. “But if I were you I’d want one more match.”

Then Cena left after making a huge statement.

Backstage Segment

The Bar was backstage with Angle and they weren’t happy about what just happened. Sheamus said they didn’t feel safe on Raw and they’ve heard about a Superstar Shake-Up after Mania and they wanted a trade to SmackDown because they know when they’re not wanted.

Angle said there’s no way they’re being traded and they would figure out who their WrestleMania opponents would be tonight in a Raw Tag Team Battle Royal… interesting.

Elias… isn’t dead

Elias was in the middle of the ring and he’s not dead which is a relief after last week’s Symphony Of Destruction match. He was wearing a neck brace though. Elias stopped picking at the guitar before he started singing anything and he said, “this is your fault” before he took off to leave.

Suddenly Braun Strowman was backstage talking about how he dropped a piano on Elias and then he started complaining about how he doesn’t have a match at Mania. Someone is gonna get these hands at Mania and he’s going to carve out his own spot for the Show Of Shows.

Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins

This is a match worthy of the main event but it’s happening at the 9:30 slot of the show.

As Seth and Finn started the match, The Miz was shown backstage watching with his IC Title around his shoulder.

Rollins took control as he picked Balor apart with kicks and chops but Balor rolled through a roll-up pin and nailed a basement dropkick. Rollins was sent outside and Balor nailed a dropkick through the ropes and then nailed a kick from the apron to the Architect.

As this contest progressed it was pretty evenly matched and each guy pretty much tired each other out. Rollins and Balor reversed out of each other’s moves and eventually wound up on the mat together.

Balor nailed a double stomp on Rollins and a Slingblade. But Balor hit a Superkick when Finn was going for the shotgun dropkick.

Rollins nailed a couple running forearms on Balor in the corner but Finn dodged the third one and nailed a kick to Rollins. Finn climbed to the top rope but Rollins stopped him before climbing up to the top rope. Seth tried for a superplex but Finn blocked it. Then Rollins jumped up and nailed a Superplex but Finn rolled Rollins up for a pin as he was trying to go into the Falcon Arrow. 1-2-3 and Balor won that one.

Winner: Finn Balor via pinfall

They announced the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for WrestleMania 34.

Asuka Speaks

She said to be the woman you have to beat the woman which is why she picked Charlotte. Bliss congratulated Asuka for picking the B-show while making fun of her English-language skills. Then Asuka came out and started talking smack to Asuka which resulted in a match between Asuka and James.

Asuka vs Mickie James

Asuka and James fought around as Bliss rooted Mickie on at ringside.

As they fought on there was a huge “Rusev Day” chant from the crowd.

James hit a nice sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. But Asuka grabbed Mickie off a Mick Kick and wrapped her up in an armbar so James tapped out.

Backstage Segment

Nia Jax was in the locker room and Alexa Bliss wondered why she didn’t come out and help beat up Asuka and Nia said Angle told her not to go down because she had a match next.

Alexa asked if Nia was still upset from last week and said she said what she did last week and said that she loves her. Jax said she loved Bliss too Then Alexa asked Jax if she was going to be there next week when she beats Asuka. Jax said she’d be there.

Nia Jax vs Joan King

This was a squash match and Nia Jax wins those very well.

They showed a hidden camera backstage in Alexa Bliss and Mickie James’ locker room for some reason. They were talking about Nia Jax and James was talking about what Bliss said to Jax last week that made her cry. Bliss said watching Jax in an airport is like seeing Shrek in TSA and Nia is happy carrying Bliss’ bags. She said she uses Nia because she’s a vulnerable human being.

Nia Jax saw this whole thing and didn’t seem happy as Alexa Bliss said she had Nia in the palm of her hand and is desperate to have friends. “She’s just as dumb as she is big,” Bliss said.

Alexa said she makes Nia relevant and next week they’ll use Nia and they’ll get all the glory. Then she said they’ll just have to beat the hell out of Nia if she steps out of line last week.

Then Charlie came in and told Alexa that she was wired for an interview and everyone heard what she just said. Nia walked off looking pretty conflicted and hurt once more but this time she seemed more pissed than ever.

Bliss and James quickly packed their bags and left the locker room. They actually left their bags. Suddenly Nia Jax came busting in the locker room screaming “where is she?!” Jax destroyed a few suitcases and screamed like a monster before running off. That wasn’t pretty at all.

Bray Wyatt Promo Time

Wyatt cut a nice little backstage promo to Matt Hardy about never letting the Devil in. Then he accepted Hardy’s invitation for the Ultimate Deletion which is good because they already filmed it this last week. Bray said it would be a real shame if something happened to Hardy’s family too. Then he told him to run.

Kurt Angle was backstage and a referee came in. He told the referee that he needed him to be the referee for the Ultimate Deletion. The referee asked if he did something wrong and Kurt just said he needed to make sure Wyatt and Hardy made it back in one piece.

Tag Team Battle Royal

Every tag team on Raw except for The Bar was in the ring and then Braun Strowman came out and ordered the referee to ring the bell. From the get-go Braun eliminated Apollo. Braun left the ring but remained in the match because he can do that. He destroyed Heath Slater on the outside and then returned to the ring to toss him over the top rope.

Strowman stood off against everyone and they ganged up on him, but Stowman muscled his way out as The Revival singled out Rhyno and tossed him over the top rope to get a ton of boos from the Detroit crowd.

Everyone rolled under the bottom rope except for Braun which is something people should do in battle royals more often.

Everyone else in the match had to have a meeting of the minds outside the ring as Braun stood alone ready to give everyone those hands. Braun muscled out of a dogpile and then Gallows kicked Braun through the second rope.

Strowman was driven into the steel ring steps on the outside by The Revival and Miztourage. They hit Braun with the steps and he ended up in the timekeeper’s area. The Bar who was on commentary didn’t like the fact that Strowman was in this match at all.

The Revival was later eliminated and then Braun came back into the match to eliminate everyone else. Jonathan Coachman called Bo Dallas Rhyno as Braun eliminated The Miztourage. Karl Anderson was left alone with Braun and he soon got those hands too.

“I’m going to WrestleMania!” Braun Strowman screamed before throwing Anderson over the top rope.

Winner: Braun Strowman

The Bar looked very confused after this match while they wondered how this happened. But Braun Strowman didn’t seem to care that he found a huge loophole as he stood under the WrestleMania sign and celebrated.


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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble