WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from The Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on 2/20/17!
The program starts with an in memorium segment for the late George “The Animal” Steele and then we are treated to the heinous betrayal last week that took place LIVE from Las Vegas, where US Champ Chris Jericho was savagely attacked by his now former best friend, the Universal Champion, Kevin Owens. The Champ is then introduced, as a solitary spotlight shines on him, seated alone in the ring as the crowd starts a loud “YOU SUCK” chant. He starts by saying now that the spotlight is solely where it belongs, he’s here to answer the question “why?”. Why does he think he’s gonna walk out of Fastlane still champ? He knew he’d be champion, and he doesn’t believe the hype. He talks about the “Goldberg” chant being part of that undoing. KO was never impressed by Goldberg in WCW. He wasn’t then, now or ever. He’ll walk out of Fastlane champ because unlike Brock Lesnar, he knows how to beat him. He doesn’t have to beat him, he just has to outlast him. The longer the match goes, it favors Owens because his stamina is there. He’ll outsmart Bill, because in the realm of smarts, Goldberg doesn’t even come close to him. Now that he’s champ, there is nothing he won’t do to keep it that way. KO isn’t going to let Bill use his title as a prop in his superhero fantasy. He’s gonna show Bill’s son and all the other kids that superheroes don’t exist. Ice cold. KO says Goldberg can chant “You’re next” all he wants, when in fact, Goldberg “You’re Nothing!”. As far as Chris Jericho goes, and then he trolls us by dropping the mic. He leaves the ring and we’re left wondering why in that regard.
We see a graphic hyping a contest later between Big Show and Braun Strowman and after the break, we’ll have Enzo Amore and Big Cass taking on Sheamus and Cesaro. The winners will be declared the number one contender’s to the tag team titles.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeat Sheamus and Cesaro with pinfall after Cass hit an East River Crossing on Cesaro to become the Number One Contender’s for the Tag Team Titles. Frantic start to the match as Sheamus and Cass went after each other early with hard-hitting offense. Enzo got the tag and then was launched at Sheamus and Cesaro separately, thanks to his partner. Right before a break, Cesaro drilled Enzo on the outside with a running European Uppercut that knocked Enzo loopy and then Cesaro walked his dance. After the break, it’s all Cesaro and Sheamus with tandem offense on Enzo. A beautiful double stomp from Cesaro keeps Enzo in a bad way, and then we see a ridiculous spot where Enzo tries for the diving tag, but he eats a vicious uppercut from Cesaro. He hit him like he was Von Miller or Ray Lewis on the football field. Insane. Cass eventually gets the hot tag, but Cesaro takes charge again with a beautiful springboard cross body and a Gotch Neutralizer is countered before Cass hits an East River Crossing for the three count. Wow! I expected that to end in a double DQ for the Triple Threat, but Cass and Enzo are headed to Fastlane. Enzo trash talks after the match, but Sheamus drilled him with a Brogue Kick and left him laying. We actually had a “Thank You Sheamus” chant from the pro-Cesaro and Sheamus contingent.
KO is shown walking out of the arena where he is stopped by Raw GM, Mick Foley, who asks where he’s going, he’s got a match later with Sami Zayn. KO turns and says that Mick better be careful, KO thought he liked Sami. It’s a shame, he’s gonna end up with more guys on the injury list, rather than being on the active one.
We get a really cool video package showing the new Raw women’s champion, Bayley’s, road to the title. Well deserved and very cool to see her dream achieved so early in her career. We find out that later tonight Bayley will confront demands that Charlotte made in regards to Bayley relinquishing the title due to last week’s controversial finish.
Mick Foley is on the phone backstage when Roman Reigns walk into the shot and Mick tells him not to interfere in the main event tonight, he’ll have Braun Strowman at Fastlane. Reigns agrees and it leads to the tag team champions, Gallows and Anderson, making reference to unfinished business from last week. We’ll have a handicap match later with Reigns against the champs.
We see a clip from last week’s 205 Live where Akira Tozawa declined Brian Kendrick’s mentor-ship. It leads to the next contest where we are joined on commentary by the great Austin Aries.
Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa doesn’t even get underway. Kendrick flipped out when Tozawa refused a handshake and he attacked Tozawa before the bell. Kendrick slapped on the Captain’s Hook before the ref separated the men. Kendrick is confronted backstage by Charlie Caruso, and he talks about his history and he says he won’t be disrespected by anybody. Kendrick says he taught Tozawa a lesson in respect and that’s only the first lesson. Roman Reigns will be in action next!
Gallows and Anderson defeat Roman Reigns via DQ in a Handicap Match after Reigns used a steel chair on the champs. Reigns controlled the pace early as the champs were eventually able to keep pace, but in a similar fashion to last week’s contest, a steel chair was brought into the ring by Karl Anderson. Reigns stopped the attempted attack and he used the chair himself, causing the DQ. He fought off the champs after the match including hitting a spear on Anderson who was coming at him like a full force gale. That looked amazing and the crowd popped for that one. Reigns stands tall, heading towards his match with Braun Strowman looming at Fastlane.
We find out that later we’ll see a sitdown interview featuring Brock Lesnar and his “Advocate” Paul Heyman, but up next, it’s a tag team contest between members of The New Day and Rusev and Jinder Mahal.
The New Day defeat Rusev/Jinder Mahal via pinfall with the Midnight Hour. Before the match, Xavier promotes his YouTube channel hitting a million subscribers, which is pretty legit. They play to the crowd to support them playing the hyenas in the forthcoming live action “Lion King” film and Woods talks about hosting the Gaming awards at South by Southwest in Austin. More talk about ice cream bars which leads to us finding out that Lana has stolen the plans for the Ice Cream machine this week and Big E. says “You know she’s Russian, right?”. That was pretty funny and the crowd agreed. A short break and the action is underway finally. Rusev looks strong and Mahal gets in some offense as well, but the team of Big E. and Kofi were too much for “Handsome” Rusev and “Hardbody” Mahal as Woods scared Lana on the outside with Francesca 2, which allowed him to get the plans back for the ice cream. Rusev was unceremoniously dumped from the ring before Mahal fell victim to a Midnight Hour for the “W”.
We find out that Jack Gallagher and Neville will sign their contract for the title match at Fastlane after the break, but then we get a wonderful video package in honor of the late George “The Animal” Steele. Very cool stuff.
Austin Aries is hosting the contract signing which features a tray of biscuits and some tea for the British Athletes. He introduces Gallagher, who then he says he looks forward to dethroning the delusional “King Of The Cruiserweights”. Aries asks for his “Jack Hancock” and we get just that as he signs the contract. Neville, title in hand, comes down the ramp in his ring gear, and he quickly signs the contract. Jack asks why the ole’ boy why he’s leaving so soon. He has biscuits and tea and he wants to share a cupper with Neville. A “tea and biscuits” chant breaks out. Neville if offended and he says he is exactly what the American imbeciles expect him to be, mocking popular British phrases. He calls him a caricature and a stereotype that doesn’t really exist. He says the real streets are England are ugly and rough around the edges. He says Jack is what the fed wanted him to be, the mustache twirling buffoon. Neville says the fans are laughing at him. Neville says after Fastlane, the only one who is going to be laughing, is him. Gallagher says he isn’t playing a gentleman, he is one. Neville, on the other hand, is “playing” a king and that he will not stand for. Neville mocks Jack and pie-faces him, but Jack is up to the task and he tackles Neville before sending the champ fleeing with a well placed headbutt. Jack grabs William III, his umbrella, and he celebrates getting the upper hand on the champ with the crowd. That was a good segment.
Nia Jax defeats Sarah Pierce by pinfall with a Samoan Drop. Squash match against local enhancement talent and Nia made short work of her. Nia pushed her down and then crushed her in the corner before hitting the Samoan Drop for the victory. She is asked about the controversy with the women’s title last week after the contest by Charlie Caruso. She says the only controversy is that she hasn’t gotten a title shot herself and all the sheep know it. She wants the chance and tonight, she’s putting the champ on notice.
Many superstars honor former President Barack Obama for Black History Month, and we see highlights of his journey from college to his junior incumbency to his Presidency. We had Cedric Alexander, Sasha Banks and even Sillsby’s own Mark Henry. More action after the break.
Bayley, the new women’s champion, is out after the break to address the controversy surrounding the finish of the title match last week. She talks about how much it means to realize her dream and to have the opportunity to point to the Wrestlemania sign like so many others have. She said the feeling is so awesome, she doesn’t know how to put it into words. She says she ran and called her Dad and she owes her love of the business to him. Her Dad is in attendance and she says that she did it! Uh oh, are we gonna get a Mr. Cena moment? Bayley says Charlotte tried to tarnish the win in a classic fashion by going to social media. Wait a tick, here comes RAW Commisioner, Stephanie McMahon. Steph addresses the tainted victory and she even goes so far as to ask if Bayley’s father paused on the phone when she told him because he wondered whether or not, Sasha actually did it. Steph said her daughters look up to Bayley because she’s a woman of her moral character. Steph says the Bayley she knows would do the right thing and relinquish the title due to the controversial finish. Bayley takes the title off, and Stephanie extends her hands, but we hear the music of “The Boss”. Sasha Banks comes down to the ring to join her friend. Sasha tells Bayley not to listen to the garbage. As a sister, she isn’t gonna let her give away the title after all the hard work she put in. Steph asks if Sasha is out there to help her friend because she knows she can’t beat Charlotte or because she thinks he can defeat Bayley? Ooh, that was good. Bayley tells Sasha and Steph to stop. She says she didn’t work to become a champion that won the title because of controversy, and she asks if she should give the title up? HELL NO, she ain’t givin’ up that title! She pinned Charlotte, not because of Sasha, but because of the WWE Universe. She’ll defend the title anyplace, anytime and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Here comes Charlotte! She apologizes to Steph on behalf of the women’s division for the ingrates in the ring. Charlotte says that at Fastlane, she’s invoking her rematch clause and the “Queen of PPV” will keep her streak going. Sasha says the knee is feeling great, why don’t they do it tonight for old times sake? Steph books it and the match starts now!
Sasha Banks defeat Charlotte via submission with the Banks Statement. As usual, these two has a classic match. The ending came the way it did last week. Dana Brooke tried to run down to help Charlotte out only to be cut off at the pass by Bayley. Charlotte was distracted and kicked at Bayley through the ropes only to eat a backstabber and then she tapped out to the Banks Statement to lose two weeks in a row.
After the match, we see the announcement for the Hall of Fame induction of one of my favorite WCW hands of all time, the great Diamond Dallas Page. What a story. Seriously, Page is responsible for the resurrection of both Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall. Page was a great worker and such a hand. His Battlebowl 1996 victory was awesome if you never saw that.
Sami Zayn cuts an interview after the induction of Page about Chris Jericho’s injury and his match with Kevin Owens after the break. He also talks about getting even with Samoa Joe and how Joe is Triple H’s heavy. They seem to be heading towards a match at Fastlane which I’m completely okay with. They head to a break.
Kevin Owens defeats Sami Zayn via pinfall with the Pop Up Powerbomb after interference from Samoa Joe. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn never even gets started as one would expect with the timing of the show before Joe strikes. Samoa Joe attacked Sami as made his entrance. “The Destroyer” decimates Zayn with rights and lefts and he punishes him with a running senton. He proclaims that this is Zayn’s world now. KO is standing there, apathetically, waiting for the referee to decide what’s going to happen and Zayn’s heart fails his brain. KO obliterates Zayn with several cannonball strikes similar to his NXT debut where he was a monster. He continues the all out assault with straight right hands and stomps. He hits a short arm version of the Pop Up Powerbomb and we get a quick three count after Zayn was destroyed by Joe and then again by Owens. This story is getting good.
Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are hacing an argument backstage about Mick listening to Steph. He says Seth Rollins is missing another Wrestlemania because he listened to her. He talks about wanting to sign Joe years before they did, but he also stands up for Sami Zayn. He stands up for himself and Steph tells Mick to look out for the cord on the floor, she wouldn’t want him to have an accident. Dang, savage.
Michael Cole, as mentioned earlier, sits down for an interview backstage with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Cole talks about Wrestlemania coming up and the match between Lesnar and Goldberg. Cole starts to talk about the title match at Fastlane between Kevin Owens and Goldberg and Heyman tells Cole to calm down because Lesnar is anxious. Lesnar stands up and Michael Cole flees. Lesnar grabs a chair and sits right in front of the camera. Heyman says Lesnar challenges the fact that KO is now the most violent champion of the modern age. Lesnar disagrees with the assessment the KO is gonna be a tougher challenge to Goldberg than Brock. Heyman thinks KO has a shot to walk into ‘Mania as the champ, Lesnar disagrees. Lesnar thinks that if Goldberg hits a spear and a Jackhammer on KO, then a new champ heads into ‘Mania. If that happens, “The Beast” will conquer Goldberg and on that point, the two men agree. That was pretty legit as Lesnar looked downright menacing and they need that heading into ‘Mania with the looming title match that we all expect to take place. The ring crew is then shown reinforcing the squared circle for the main event between the two behemoths involved. It’s Strowman and Show next.
Braun Strowman defeats The Big Show via pinfall with a scoop powerslam. Okay, holy crap, Strowman legitimately rolled through an armbar and did a kip up at the beginning of this match. I did not mistype that. The crowd dug it, so did I. Seemed like they were mocking the match at first, but yaps quickly shut after that. Show is in tremendous shape as well. Strowman dominated early with power moves including several splashes in the corner. Show caught him and looked to hit a chokeslam, but Strowman countered with a DDT! They both tease exchanging suplexes, but Show gets Strowman over in a brilliant display of his own. Show keeps the momentum in his favor, hitting a chokeslam on Strowman, but he only gets a two count. Show puts Strowman on the top rope for a superplex attempt, but Strowman pushes him off and takes flight, but he eats a knockout punch! Two count! Whoa! Strowman uses the ropes for leverage to get Show up for a powerslam and he nails it. Two count! These behemoths are taking each other to the limit! This is nuts! Who in the blue hell would have thought? Show tries to get the chokeslam again, but Strowman with brute strength, hoists Show up and he plants him again with the powerslam. Three count and it’s over! The bell barely rings and Roman Reigns surges forth, nailing several superman punches and he tries for the spear, but Strowman hits a dropkick! Good gracious! This guy! Reigns eats another powerslam for his troubles as Strowman yells loudly and his music plays. He stands tall as the show goes off the air.
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