WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV on 2/13/17!
We get a graphic to start the broadcast in memory of the great Chavo Guerrero Sr. aka “Chavo Classic” who passed last week. What a treasured talent and one that will be missed for sure.
We start the show off with the Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, who said that Mick Foley, being tired and exhausted last week, and since he botched the Samoa Joe contract signing, he’s been given the week off. Steph says she’s running things here in Vegas! Here comes “The Big Dog”, Roman Reigns is out and he’s heavily booed, but it doesn’t stop the former US Champ, as he heads down the ramp and into the ring. Roman, mic in hand, says he’s keepin’ it short and sweet. He doesn’t wanna wait until Fastlane, he wants Braun Strowman right now! Steph asks the crowd if they want it here tonight! “Yes” chants abound. She says listen to the sound of ambivalence, they don’t care if Roman was hurt last week and they want that tonight despite that. Steph says she cares and doesn’t want him hurt. Roman says he doesn’t care what she thinks, he wants it anyways. She says it can’t happen, Strowman is booked against Sillsby’s own Mark Henry. Roman says that sounds like a hell of a fight, maybe he’ll watch it live. Steph says if he does, she’ll take away his match at Fastlane and any future shot he has at working Wrestlemania. He is interrupted by the world tag team champions, The “Good Brothers” themselves, Gallows and Anderson. Karl Anderson says they can’t take his insolence any longer, Gallows concurs-ski. They propose a 2-on-1 match against Roman, and Steph quotes the latest Hall Of Fame inductee, Teddy Long, and we’re gonna have a match playa! That match is now! Roman wasting little time as he leaves the ring and starts firing off rights and lefts and after the break, the match will be officially underway.
Roman Reigns defeats Gallows and Anderson via DQ after the champs refused to break up a two on one assault. Reigns with the high octane offense early, but Gallows slowed the momentum down after Reigns with KA with a superman punch. The ref called for the bell, but Reigns then escaped a Magic Killer attempt and he dumped Gallows from the ring and then he fed him a superman punch. KA is thwarted by Reigns as well after an attempt at a chairshot and Reigns stands tall after clearing the ring.
We get a graphic for tonight’s “Festival Of Friendship” where we’ll enjoy the best of Chris Jericho, the US Champion, and Kevin Owens, the Universal Champion. We get some clips of Jericho being awesome as always as we march towards what should be a momentous occasion later this evening. They head to a break.
AWWWWWW VEGAS! Time to feel the power for the longest reigning tag team champions of all time, The New Day are out and Vegas is fired up! Big. E and Xavier will be accompanying Kofi Kingston to the ring as he competes in singles action. They talk about the bet that Xavier lost as a Falcons fan, where Kofi, a Pats fan, had him dress up in Brady Gear. Kofi will be competing against Bo Dallas, who Woods calls a “social outcast”. Savage. Woods says they’ve been toiling day and night and they are holding the blueprints for the New Day ice cream machine. Something tells me that is something that is probably gonna happen too. I’m okay with that. Kofi gets into the ring and we’ve got a match.
Kofi Kingston defeats Bo Dallas via pinfall with the S.O.S. Bo actually had a couple of bo-lievable nearfalls and they teased a victory for the enhancement talent and brother of the new world champion on Smackdown. Bo fell victim to the creative pinfall from Kofi and that was that. They pulled a “Million Dollar Man” after the match and poured Booty O’s down his gullet. Poor Bo.
Backstage, we have an interview with the Cruiserweight Champion, Neville. He is asked about his forthcoming title match with Jack Gallagher. Jack shows up and is about to quote Shakespeare, but Neville cuts him off and says he should look in the mirror, he’ll see just a boy. Gallagher says they’ll have their match at Fastlane and that he’s a “bloody pellick”, taking a page from the legendary William Regal. Gallagher takes his leave and we get another video talking about the “Festival Of Friendship” before they head to another break.
“Gentleman” Jack Gallagher defeats Noam Dar via pinfall with a corner dropkick. Dar is accompanied by Alicia Fox as per usual and Austin Aries is on commentary and he’s amazing as always, correcting Michael Cole by referring to Alicia as Alicia Fooooox. Good contest between Jack and Dar, getting several minutes to shine in front of the Vegas crowd. Gallagher is so unique and has a very enjoyable offense. Jack countered an attempt by Dar with a vicious headbutt and he nailed the corner dropkick for the victory. Gallagher keeps his momentum going and he is looking strong heading into Fastlane in three weeks for his title opportunity. Neville stands atop the ramp after the match and we have a stare-down hyping the forthcoming match.
We see a car pull up outside the arena and the door opens and we see Joey Headrocker himself, Samoa Joe, and the COO of the Company, “The Game” Triple H. Both men are custom from head to toe in fine suits and they are headed into the arena. Not to be outdone, we see a graphic for the Makeover of Emmalina and apparently, hell has frozen over, as she debuts next!
For seventeen weeks we have waited for the Makeover of Emma to Emmalina. Well, she says, now we’re gonna witness the Makeover of Emmalina to Emma. Her expression changes and she leaves. The crowd was great for this. “It’s been years!”, one guy exclaimed. Fact is, Emma is too talented to be on the sidelines while the Raw women’s division needs more talent and I’m glad she’s back. She looked absolutely stellar by the way. I think we’re all just excited to see her back in action.
Bayley is backstage after the brief promo from Emma and she talks about hitting the jackpot tonight as she competes against Charlotte. She says she’s going to win the women’s title.
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens are preparing for the “Festival Of Friendship” later tonight as Jericho speaks in several languages, promoting the event. Triple H shows up and greets both champions before asking if can speak privately with KO. We find out that Strowman and Henry will take place after the break.
Braun Strowman defeats Mark Henry via pinfall with a powerslam. Strowman is scary strong. He reminds me so much of The Big Show from his Giant days in WCW. He nailed a dropkick on Henry at one point, which blew my mind, and this was better than expected as these two behemoths shook the T-Mobile Arena. Roman Reigns came out after the match and looked to move on Strowman, but Strowman knocked him off the apron. Reigns came back with a rope neckbreaker on Strowman and then after a superman punch, he setup for a spear, but Strowman caught him and nailed a running powerslam! Wow! That was awesome! This man is getting better with each passing week. He and Smackdown’s Baron Corbin are both on the rise and I’m getting behind it here. If they have him lose clean to Reigns at Fastlane, you will kill this momentum. Reigns and Taker have a date with Wrestlemania, but be smart with the booking, Strowman is being booked well right now. Don’t ruin it.
A backstage segment after the break with Cesaro and Sheamus arguing as Bayley readies for her title match. Enzo Amore and Big Cass walk into the segment and they have words with the former champs. Emotions run rampant and they get heated quickly as Enzo tells them to do something ’bout it. Sheamus isn’t backing down, Cesaro is eager to help out his partner. Enzo keeps jawing and hopefully, we’ll have the makings of a tag team match for Fastlane, winner gets a title shot at ‘Mania?
Michael Cole is sitting down backstage with Samoa Joe and Cole questions Joe’s tactics during his debut. Joe said he doesn’t care about popular opinion and the only person’s opinion who matters is Triple H and he isn’t worried about his “dishonorable tactics”. Why, after eighteen years, did Triple H decide now to bring Joe into the fold? Is it because he’s scared of Seth Rollins? Joe says he isn’t worried about Seth and neither is Triple H. Joe said WWE was scared of hiring him because of his path of destruction. He mocks Seth by saying redesign, rebuild, reclaim, re-injure. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of him, the end result is the same. He says he’s responsible for Rollins missing his second ‘Mania in a row. Joe asks if this interview is about him or Triple H. Joe says if Seth does come back to satiate his curiosity, he’ll put him right back on the shelf. He talks about beating “the man” and “the guy” in back to back weeks. He says he’s here to change everything. He’s here to wreck shop, this isn’t a flash in the pan scenario. He isn’t Sami Zayn, he isn’t just “happy to be here”. He’s here to do what he wants to do. Cole drops some legendary names that have been affiliated with Triple H, and how the relationships have gone sour. He says the difference between he and Batisa, Seth, Orton, HBK and the others is that all of them needed to be propped up to get the job done. He doesn’t need to be propped up or to be his heavy, he comes in to get the job done. He finally has someone to rely on, because he knows what’s best for business. Everyone will learn why the creator unleashed the destroyer. Wow. That was well done. Sami Zayn heads to the ring for singles action and it’s up next!
Sami Zayn defeats Rusev via pinfall with the Helluva Kick. This is a contest I’d watch again. Great clash of styles, but with very complimentary work ethics. Zayn took to the air at one point with a somersault plancha over the top that nailed “Handsome” Rusev and then Rusev dropped Sami like a sack of dimes after Zayn tried a springboard into the ring, but he ate a monstrous kick from Rusev. After a break, Rusev rang Sami’s bell with an inzaguri and kept working on Zayn, but the resilient Sami was able to fight back and he scored the victory with a Helluva Kick outta nowhere that he nailed as Rusev was getting back into the ring. This was a great match and the crowd was really into it. He is interviewed by Charlie after the match about losing the US Title match last week and Sami said this was a huge win tonight and he’s excited about coming back after a tough loss. He throws some shade on Joe for making a crack about him earlier. Zayn said he doesn’t sellout or take shortcuts and he certainly doesn’t clean up anybody’s mess. Zayn starts to talk about Wrestlemania, but there’s Joe’s music! Zayn waits for Joe, but Joe ambushes him, still dressed in suit pants and a fresh shirt. He puts in work on Sami, with hammering blows. He lays waste to the “Underdog from the Underground” and he runs him into the LED signage begging Sami to “say his name” again. A Coquina Clutch is slapped on and Zayn takes a nap in front of the Las Vegas crowd. Joe quotes Birdman saying that if you’re gonna “say his name, betta put some respek on it”. Brilliant. We then see Charlotte lacing her boots backstage, getting ready to defend her title later in the show against Bayley. They head to a break.
We get the official announcement for the Hall of Fame induction of the main man of the tag team match, playa! Teddy Long is honored and surely everyone will be looking forward to his induction and the speech that will accompany the “mack militant” the night before ‘Mania. Congrats to Teddy!
Akira Tozawa defeats Ariya Daivari via pinfall with a snap german suplex. Not only was Austin Aries back on commentary, but so was THE Brian Kendrick. Kendrick mocks the generation who is glued to their phone and playing video games, instead of being focused on the product like Tozawa is. Daivari was game to the task of facing Tozawa, but Tozawa once again endeared himself to fans bearing witness to his in-ring ability and his unique ability to connect with the crowd. Tozawa looked great, nailing a cruise missile-esque suicide dive to the outside as well as nailing a jumping hurricanrana before ducking a Daivari clothesline attempt and sealing the deal with the snap german. Good stuff. Up next, it’s the “Festival Of Friendship”!
We get a masterful introduction from the “61 Minute Man” himself, Chris Jericho, as a smattering of pyro explodes before some Vegas-style music plays and an array of showgirls flood the entryway ramp as Jericho brings back the classic silver jacket and top hat in something so awesome I’m reminded of the soft-shoe routine we never got from the ’98 Bash At The Beach because “Jojo” Dillon killed it dead. Jericho introduces KO, who isn’t as festive, and quite frankly, he’s dressed in his usual attire. The two “best friends” head to the ring as Corey Graves calls it the “Wrestlemania of camaraderie”. Graves says Jericho could take Wayne Newton’s job. It’s darn possible. The crowd and probably the entire world, is going bananas for this. Uncanny. “Owens and Jericho are in, let the fun begin!”. Jericho scoured the globe and he commissioned the great Ralph Guggenheim to commision a piece of art. Who? Asks KO. Jericho presents “the sculpture of Jericho” and it was a steal at seven thousand dollars. We then get “the creation of Kevin”, which, holy you know what, is Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” from the ceiling of the sisteenth chapel. It’s KO as “the good Lord” and Jericho, barely clothed, as Adam. KO says he can’t hang that up, he’s got kids! Jericho has the scarf on in the image by the way. Jericho says he got a gift from “the Illuminati of image”, and we get a magician. The catdaddy burns a business card and transforms it into a flower. “Friendship The Magician”. KO says he got his nine year old son a magic kit for Christmas and he does better magic. Jericho is frantic as the hack and he rewards him by adding him to the list! Jericho tells the magician to hit the bricks. Jericho tells KO he found him on Craigslist. That makes sense. A “Goldberg” chant starts up as Jericho says he’s got his biggest gift yet for KO. He’s calling out Goldberg and when he gets down to the ring, he’s gonna get “it”! They take a break and they come back and they introduce GILLBERG! Holy cow! He is promptly drubbed and disposed of, but KO is upset that they really didn’t have Goldberg there. Jericho is really being sincere honoring their friendship and Jericho says this past year has been great. He calls his chemistry with KO a real joy. Jericho guarantees that at Fastlane KO will beat Goldberg because Jericho has his back and because KO is his best friend and his brother. KO says he’s sorry and this isn’t what he expected, but Jericho went through a lot of trouble and he expresses a shared love for their friendship. They share a hug and KO says he knows he’s gonna walk out of Fastlane champion, but he gives Jericho a box himself. Jericho opens it and it’s a new list, but it’s the List of KO and Jericho’s name is on it! Nooooooooooooo! KO attacks Jericho, surely at the behest of Triple H, and the friendship is over. KO hits the apron powerbomb on Jericho and then he destroys the art and sculpture before pulling a Jericho, and he runs Y2J headfirst into the Festival sign like Jericho did to HBK several years ago. Jericho is tended to by several officials and KO cements himself as the most hated man in the company by breaking our hearts the day before Valentine’s Day by ending a treasured friendship! My heart weeps for this inevitable event, but this was truly unexpected as I expected it to occur after Fastlane. We are almost guaranteed a Goldberg title reign at this point and I’m scratching my head as to why they’d reveal the endgame on that so quickly unless it’s to further bait Goldberg fans into getting the network for ‘Mania month. We’ll see. A great segment with a shocking ending.
Jericho is stretchered out on a gurney with a towel over his face before he is loaded into an ambulance and taken away to a local medicial facility. Face and Heel commentators alike sell the attack, even Corey Graves himself is bewildered after the “immolation of the friendship” as he masterfully put it. They show highlights of the tag title rematch from last where Enzo and Cass cost Sheamus and Cesaro the victory by attacking Gallows and Anderson. Enzo and Cesaro are set to square off in singles action next! It’ll take our minds off the attack before the break.
Cesaro defeats Enzo Amore via pinfall with a European Uppercut. Enzo had some offense early, but Cesaro went to work, ultimately flooring Enzo after tossing him up into the air before drilling him with the European Uperrcut. Cass and Sheamus entered the ring after the bout ended, but they didn’t come to blows. After the match, we get another wonderful dedication in honor of Black History Month. This week they honor the great Rosa Parks, with several WWE superstars speaking about it.
We then see the women’s champion, Charlotte, clad in a beautiful robe, heading down the hallway where she runs into “The Boss” Sasha Banks. Charlotte says if she owned the fed, she’d have Sasha banned for killing morale. Savage. Sasha claps back at her, but Charlotte says Sasha can watch her do something against Bayley that she couldn’t do against her, win. They head to break and the main event is up next!
Bayley defeats Charlotte via pinfall with the Bayley-To-Belly suplex to become the new WWE Women’s Champion! What an absolute fantastic way to end a very good RAW tonight. Bayley and Charlotte beat the holy hell out of each other and the two ring generals took some ridiculous bumps along the way. Bayley nailed a top rope hurricanrana and Charlotte took a rope bump like her father before nailing a big kick, and those are just two highlights from the match. Bayley fought off Dana Brooke, Charlotte’s protege, who made her way down and nearly ended the contest with a rake to the eyes. Charlotte applied the figure eight, but Sasha Banks came down to the ring and knocked Dana down with her crutch before nailing Charlotte in the throat. Bayley didn’t see what happened and just capitalized on the opportunity, hitting her finish and leaving Vegas the new women’s champion. Congrats to Bayley! What a night!
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