Tonight’s Raw is the Go-Home Wrestlemania show and it is LIVE from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Raw starts off with a Gong! Here comes the Deadman! We get to the ring and we’ve got The Undertaker cutting a promo on handling Shane in the cell and seeing him bleed, but he also references seeing Vince bleed too for his comments last week. HERE COMES THE MONEY! Crowd is hot and Shane has a mic and he says Taker’s legacy died two years ago, referencing Brock Lesnar ending the streak at ‘Mania. Taker says Shane is just like his dad, as a matter of fact. He doesn’t have any respect, as a matter of fact, he’s his daddy’s female dog. Shane comes down the ramp and hops onto the apron and they mix it up. Taker absorbing rights and lefts. Taker throws Shane into the barricade twice and clears off the announce table. Shane counters with rights and lefts and hits Taker with a monitor twice. Shane drapes Taker across the table. The crowd is going crazy as he eyes the top rope. Shane doesn’t disappoint and he heads up top. He’s perched and he’s off the top rope and we’ve got a flying elbow through the table. Great spot! Brooklyn eats it up! A commercial break and a great start to the go-home show before ‘Mania.
“OH RADIO!” trailing off in the ring as Zack Ryder awaits singles action against Y2J. On the Raw pre-show, Jericho said that he won’t accept the challenge of AJ Styles for ‘Mania and that he was gonna handle Zack Ryder tonight. As the match is about to start, AJ Styles music hits, but he quickly cuts the music with a live mic. Brooklyn going INSANE for Styles. “You’d rather sit out Mania, than wrestle me? That’s stupid.” Styles is gonna sit at ringside until Jericho gives him his match. Rollup by Ryder, two count. Jericho with a baseball slide dropkick to Ryder who is sent into the broken announce table. That was just neat to see because of what happened earlier. Chops and exchanges and Zack counters with knees to the face and a dropkick from Ryder off the ropes. Walls of Jericho applied by Jericho quite quickly. “Y2Jackass” chant by Styles. Jericho is frantic and distracted. Ryder with an inside cradle and a victory. A VERY Quick codebreaker to end that VERY short lived celebration. Jericho snaps and is tossing chairs in classic Y2J fashion.
“…And he’s lost to a guy who’s never even had ring entrance music at Wrestlemania!” -JBL
Gold. Crowd destroying Jericho with “Y2Jackass” chants. Jericho has a mic and says Styles kicked the hornets nest. “You want me at ‘Mania? You want the best in the world? You got it!” Thank you Chris. That’s going to be a very sound piece of business. Jericho continues to tell Styles that he has won championships and spilled blood at ‘Mania. “…But you wouldn’t know about that, would you rookie?” Jericho is an artist on the microphone. Absolutely great hype for a match that could very well steal the show. JBL said Styles is going to the learning tree. Sold on that one? Indeed I am. I hope that gets 15-20, at least 12-15 minutes. We’ll see.
Backstage split screen of Charlotte and Becky Lynch heading to the ring for singles action after the commercial. Sasha Banks is shown at ringside, she’s there to watch her competition for the forthcoming triple threat match at ‘Mania. Becky’s music hits. Great reaction for the Lass Kicker. Fantastic crowd tonight. Brooklyn is always a fun one. Let’s see if they get boisterous, because they can be. They are always great in Brooklyn. NXT at Barclay’s was tremendous. Continuing on, we’ve got highlights of Smackdown where Becky hit the Becksplex (exploder suplex) on both Charlotte and Sasha. Charlotte’s music hits and the Divas champion is out with the dirtiest player in the game, Ric Flair. Shoves to start the match. Grounded armbar and the “We Want Sasha” chants start and they are loud. Wow. I’m all for that, but both the other competitors are great athletes too. Charlotte in control and mocking Sasha’s boss pose as they head to commercial. They gotta stop that. They had about a thirty second exchange before that commercial. Ridiculous.
Back from commercial and Charlotte in control with a side headlock. Becky counters and is a house of fire with clotheslines. Running forearm to the corner and Becksplex. “BECKY” chant. There ya go! Disarmer attempt and a counter by Charlotte for a nearfall. Chops by Charlotte. Sasha up and giving Charlotte grief. Charlotte runs from Sasha and Becky gives chase. Charlotte slides into the ring and ‘Naitch grabs Becky’s leg. Charlotte with a beautiful yakuza kick and a Natural selection. Three count and a non-title victory by the champ heading into Mania.
Backstage, Renee Young is there and she introduces Mr. McMahon. Renee asks if Vinny Mac was surprised by the elbow? No. Vince says it’s an inkling of what you’ll see at the granddaddy of them all. Shane will do anything to win. Hell in the Cell is Taker’s house, ‘Mania his yard. Shane doesn’t want the house or the yard. He wants the Universe. Shane will do anything to get that. If I’m Shane, all I’ve done is anger the Taker. “If I was you, I’d be halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge.” Vince is talking to Shane who wants into the segment. Shane says Vince thinks he’s god, he’s omnipotent. “At the very stage you created, I’ll take 40 years of pent up frustration and let loose. I’ll end up with Monday Night Raw. You stole the company from your father, this Sunday I’m taking it from you.” Mic dropped. Quick, clean and precise. Commercial.
We’re back and we’ve got a shot of the Andre The Giant Trophy at ringside. Social Outcasts on the apron. Curtis Axel wishes his late father a Happy Bday. Very cool. Curt Hennig was a heck of a hand and a very talented man. Heath Slater about to talk, but Show’s music hits and he’s out. Kane’s pyro and he’s out too. Tag team affair with the two behemoths. They’ll face Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Right hand by Kane and a corner throw. Axel sidesteps. Outcasts swarm the ring and it’s a quick DQ. Golden Truth. Ascension. Swagger. Sandow. Superstars swarm the ring. Darren Young with a lungblower on Tyler Breeze in a cool spot. Double chokeslam on Mark Henry courtesy of Kane and Big Show. Quadruple chokeslam on the Outcasts. One in each hand for Kane and Show. Staredown and Show’s music. That served its purpose. It’ll be nice to see Kane win, it would be a nice feather in his cap, depends if the Wyatts are in it. We’ll see.
Video package from last week’s assault on Triple H courtesy of Roman Reigns. Commercial.
Back and a promo for what looks to be a beautiful 24/7 special leading up to Daniel Bryan’s Last night in the ring. That will take place immediately after Raw. Definitely gonna watch that on the network after a late cigar. “Behold the king…the king of kings!” Here comes the world champion, the game Triple H. He is joined by Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Steph tells the crowd to get up and respect Trips, and now get down on your knees and grovel at his feet! That’s how you respect a 14 time champ! Haha. Awesome. Crowd hated that. Trips with a mic. “In six days, the world will watch, the largest crowd will gather, for the spectacle known as Mania. And they’ll watch for one reason, the WWE World title. It is the dream of every athlete that walks out on the stage, the dream of the millions watching at home, everyone has had the fantasy of holding the world title belt.” Truth. I even had theme music picked out had I ever learned the craft. Trips kills my dream and the dream of all in attendance as he says that it won’t be reality. For Reigns, holding the world title, it was reality. He’s one of those one in a million. He turned his dreams into a reality. Crowd is booing Reigns like crazy. Trips says the dream was real for five minutes and fifteen seconds. Trips will walk the aisle for the 20th time, and for the 9th time, he’ll compete in a championship match, more than any man on the planet. He’s obsessed with the title. He was obsessed with the fame, the power, the money. That obsession led him to be the most successful WWE superstar in history. He’s had a stranglehold on the business for the past twenty years. Thought he’d moved on. He was cool with the suit and the office. It was on the announce table where Reigns powerbombed him and that lit the fire of that obsession once again. “Had I become the corporate suit? Was it because a guy like Reigns would have the brass to speak my name, let alone lay hands on me?” He says the obsession returned and so did the world title. “My obsession means the end of your dream Roman. No matter what, I walk out the champ.” Steph said it’s not about ladder matches, unicorn horns, etc. It’s about the WWE world title. It’s about the Game!
Reigns music hits. Boos a plenty. Reigns in and Trips meets him with stomps. Right hand by Reigns. Trips retreats. Steph in the ring with Roman. Steph with a quick escape and Roman stands alone. Wow. HUGE “Roman sucks” chant. Cold blooded. Reigns music hits and that’s that. Turn this cat heel already. He’ll put “butts in seats”. Kind of a shame. Roman is a decent hand and I enjoy his matches. I can see why folks boo him and it’s completely their right. I get the Cena comparisons, but a heel turn would certainly get him over very well. Anyways, we head to commercial.
Return from the break and IT’S A NEW DAY, YES IT IS! Singles action. Kofi Kingston to compete which I’m ALWAYS okay with. Highlights of the brutal League of Nations attack a few weeks attack. Live mics for all members of the New Day. Xavier with a HUGE pop. Great crowd. Booty O’s promo and a chant to follow.”You know who won’t ever have their own cereal? The League of Nations. Who would consume a bowl of Rusev’s Bulgarian Booty flakes?” Big E. with a Phife Dog quote. “Can I kick it? Yes I can.” Very cool. Rest in peace sir. Tribe Called Quest was a staple in hip hop music Big E. continues as say if the League were food, he’d throw it up. “New Day Rocks” like NY Pizza. League of Nations music. Kofi and Alberto Del Rio will compete. This should be good. ADR grabs a Mexican flag at ringside that a fan had and he hoists it up. That was cool. Actions ensues and we’ve got kicks by ADR. Kofi sidesteps and ADR is dumped over the top rope. Woods plays “La Cucaracha” on Francesca 2. Cold blooded. ADR crotches Kofi on the turnbuckle. Kofi is then planted and they head to commercial.
We’re back and ADR in control with a rest hold. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to follow. Kofi then placed in the Tree of Woe. Kick to the chest. JBL calls the League of Nations the modern 4 Horsemen. Kofi counters ADR with an S.O.S. and a two count. Backstabber by ADR. ADR coming out of the corner and Kofi hits a standing double stomp. That was a ridiculous move and sell. Two VERY solid hands in the ring and however you watch Raw, you gotta see that move. Definitely move of the night save for the Shane spot obviously. ADR counters Kofi and hits the stomp out of the corner. ADR looking for the cross-arm breaker. Kofi with a rollup counter and a three count. For the time given, that was good. I’d watch those two go for twenty minutes. New Day celebrates atop the ramp and JONATHAN COACHMAN is on the ramp! Holy crap! Crowd going crazy. Coach says first, New Day are his favorite guests ever on the WWE Sportscenter segment. Second, it is confirmed that Sportscenter will be doing LIVE Coverage Sunday leading up to ‘Mania! That’s unbelievable. Third, he loves Booty O’s. Coach is dancing with the New Day and they’re having a good ole’ time. I kept waiting for The Rock to come out and boot Coach in the rear end. Didn’t happen, no boots for that…well, you know the hashtag.
We get a package for the Wrestlemania week programming. Backstage image shown of Lesnar’s dressing room. Beast here LIVE tonight! Commercial.
Back from the break and they talk about the Warrior Award and this year’s recipient. Today Show correspondent, author, and breast cancer survivor, Joan Lunden. Very classy. I remember her passionate speech on RAW when they had survivors in the front row. What a great way to follow up the legacy of Connor “The Crusher”. Won’t even lie, that video still gets me every time. Congrats to Joan!
Highlights of the earlier attack on Taker by Shane. We’re backstage with Renee Young and Roman Reigns. Before he can speak, Bubba Ray Dudley calls him out, baiting him. Roman moves towards Bubba and Devon joins him. Dudleys attack Roman and Roman fires back with hard right hands, and here comes Triple H. Right hands a plenty. Bubba says “Eat the Wall” and Roman does. Gold. Trips pulls Roman up after laying the world title on a crate. Trips tells Roman his dream is over. Trips slams Roman’s face into the belt. Crowd cheers that. Man, poor Roman. Commercial.
Back again and we’ve got a promo for Mrs. Foley’s baby boy, the legendary Mick Foley on the Austin podcast after Smackdown this week. That’ll be a good listen for sure. LUCHA! LUCHA! US Champ Kalisto headed to the ring for a non-title affair. He’ll take on Conor of the Ascension. Quick counter wrestling between the two. Conor with a headlock. Kalisto dodges a corner attack and hits a second rope corkscrew after a kick. Back and forth and a Salida Del Sol in short order. Non-title victory for Kalisto. Viktor in and he eats a tornado DDT. “Feed Me More.” Ryback out and he’s on the ramp. The crowd booing him so hard. “Goldberg” chant. One fella with a noticeable “Gillberg” chant. We get a face to face between Kalisto and Ryback. Ryback does the “Feed Me More” and then leaves as Kalisto does the “Lucha” chant. Folks, that is NOT on the pre-show. Excited that Kalisto gets to be on the main stage for sure. Hopefully that match can deliver. We head backstage.
“My Beast…Your Public Awaits”. -Paul Heyman.
Commercial. Back and a we get a promo for the star of Richard Kelly’s “Southland Tales”, The Rock at Mania. “Here Comes The Pain” and the Beast. Great reaction. I love the Suplex City shirts with each city on them he’s live at. That’s cool. Apron leap by Brock and pyro. “Suplex City” chant. “My Name is Paul Heyman. I serve as the advocate for the baddest beast on the planet today. My job is to hype you on the fact that you’re six days away from a rare opportunity to see a once-ever fighter at his peak, in his prime, he’ll do his thing, perform at a level not even one person in the locker room to hope to achieve.” Paul tells us that there’s always the one goof that defies the rule, that one lunatic. Paul explains that Dean Ambrose thinks he actually has what it takes to bring the fight to Lesnar, to perform at that level. He thinks he can conquer the one in 22-1. They updated the stat sheet with Taker’s victory over Bray Wyatt. Paul says that Ambrose is crazy like a fox. Ambrose thinks he can take a man and take the beast out of his element, using weapons, that are legal and encouraged to beat Lesnar. Here’s the bad news for the inmates in the Asylum, his client, Brock Lesnar, is fully prepared to give Ambrose the defining WM moment of a lifetime. Dr. Brock Lesnar will take every politically incorrect weapon and perform a very public colonoscopy. Gold. Heyman is something special. “This isn’t a prediction, this is a spoiler. Your winner…” Before he can finish, Ambrose music hits and he’s out on the ramp with a red wagon. Dean is headed to the ring. Ambrose doesn’t acknowledge Brock. He hoists up the ring apron. He grabs a crowbar, then a steel pipe. He then grabs a wooden baseball bat. Nope. He grabs Barbie, he likes that. Negan won’t be the only one using a barbed wire bat this coming Sunday. Ambrose has the Funk Chainsaw. All are tossed in the red wagon. Nunchuks. Heck, even the steel ring steps. Check. All find their way into the wagon. Dean doesn’t even look at Brock. He takes his red wagon and heads up the ramp. He just ignored Brock. That was awesome. That’s how you hype a piece of business.
We find out via an onscreen graphic that later, The Authority will be in the ring for another promo to finish talking about Reigns.
Paige, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella and Natalya are shown backstage. Paige is announced for singles action against Emma! Commercial.
Triple H is shown after the commercial on the cover of Muscle and Fitness. Paige’s music plays and she hits the ring with her friends. That awesome Evil Emma music hits. Yes! Emma has been incredible in NXT. Glad to see her back on the main roster, it’s just a shame that Dana Brooke isn’t with her. Those two work very well together. Announced for Wrestlemania is a ten man tag match. The Total Divas will face BAD and Blonde. It’ll be Lana in her in-ring debut, Summer Rae, Emma, Tamina Snuka and Naomi against Paige, Brie, Natalya, Foxxy and a partner to be named later. In the ring, we’ve got Emma with the early assault on Paige. Emma with a running buisaku knee kick that hits its mark. Corner boots by Emma. Emma-mite splash in the corner. Paige counters and takes control shortly thereafter. Running kneelift in the corner. Fallaway slam by Paige. Shades of JBL and Scott Hall. Distraction by BAD and Blonde and Lana up on the apron and in with a Rusev kick. Emma with a cover and a three count. A brawl ensues. All the divas are in the ring and music very familiar to NXT fans hits. Eva Marie is out on the ramp and she heads down to the ring. She attacks Lana and let’s just say it, the crowd DESTROYS her. The “You Can’t Wrestle” chant is absolutely insane. I appreciate the 10 man tag for sure, all these ladies deserve a quality payday for their hard work all year long. Just let Eva hang out on the apron for a cup of coffee. She got better in NXT, I’ll say that, but she was VERY protected and in the ring against Bayley, Carmella and alongside Nia Jax, it didn’t hurt. All of the beforementioned can work. Guess we’ll see how that one goes. Here’s my two cents right quick. Eva is HATED. Her heel heat is off the charts. Did nobody think to use her as a heater? You can take a star looking to debut and have them with Eva and you’ve got a tailor made heel. Anyways, I digress
Backstage promo and R-Truth says that he can’t have “Goldizzles” back in the Andre The Giant battle royale. Goldust says they aren’t a team and Truth blows his nose with ‘Dust’s towel. He says he knows and that’s what hurts. Commercial break.
We’re back and they promote one of the Mania theme songs. We get a highlight for the latest celebrity Hall of Fame member, tha Doggfather himself, the man who watched Otters drive Wally Gator back into a river during a BBC “Planet Earth” voiceover. Big Snoop Dogg! Cool. He’s Sasha Banks cousin, maybe we’ll see an interaction between those two, could be fun.
We head back to ringside and we’ve got Stardust in the ring with his music playing. The music of the Miz and he hits the ring. KO’s music and the IC Champ heads down the ramp. It is announced that we’ve got a six man tag. Stardust, Miz and Kevin Owens against Sin Cara, Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler. Great reaction for Zayn. Massive “Ole” chant. Very cool. Zayn and Miz to start. Collar and elbow tie up. Miz takes control with a grounded wristlock. Zayn counters with a back springboard off the ropes and a side kick. Cole talks about a quote from Scott Hall talking about the ladder match at WM 10. Hall and Michaels put on a clinic in that match if you’ve never enjoyed that. Stardust and Ziggler in now. Ziggler gets a two count off a rollup as a “Cody” chant ensues. Sin Cara waiting for the tag on the apron with some killer ring gear. Stardust with a hard right hand. Ziggler looks for a superkick, but Stardust under the bottom ropes. Ziggler hits Miz with a superkick. JBL calls it a blatant cheap shot. Commercial.
Back and Sin Cara is in and off the top rope with a chop. Stardust looking for a tag and KO encourages him to tag Miz. Miz still selling the superkick that happened just before the commercial break. But he’s in and that’s that. There’s a random “CM Punk” chant which makes sense after a fan is shown in a CM Punk shirt. Funny stuff, but come on folks. This isn’t a crap match. Very talented hands in the ring here. Zayn back in and the “Ole” chant is back. Miz finally gets to his corner. Stardust is tagged back in and he’s in charge with abdomen stomps. Rabid crowd with “Cody” chants. Zayn tags Ziggler and Ziggler is a house of fire. Big splash in the corner. Swinging neckbreaker. Elbow off the top rope. Stardust with a push-off on Ziggler and the ref almost gets hit. Miz with a cheap shot. “RVD” chant now. Not even remotely a boring match. But what are you gonna do? Fans bought tickets. Totally their right. KO finally in off the tag. Quick stomp. Stardust tagged right back in. Ziggler with a superkick attempt and Stardust counters with a slam. Commercial.
Back from the break and Miz is tagged back in as the crowd chants “This Is Booty”. Vicious. “New Day Rocks” chants. Cole references a wild crowd. Sin Cara encouraging a tag. Ziggler tags Zayn. Zayn cleans house to an “Ole” chant. Flying cross body. Somersault plancha on KO outside the ring. Sin Cara in and senton bomb attempt. Stardust with knees up. All the men exchanging their finishers. Zayn and Miz left and both men down. KO on the apron. KO tags in and the crowd comes alive. KO taunts Zayn. Popup powerbomb attempt and a dropkick counter by Zayn. KO looking for the tag and Stardust and Miz dip out, leaving him high and dry like socks on a clothesline. Zayn hits the Helluva kick on KO and a three count gets the victory for himself, Ziggler and Sin Cara heading into the ladder match at ‘Mania. Crowd was vicious outside of Zayn and Owens being in the ring. Looks like they wanted singles action as well. Who knows?
Just announced, they shuffled the ‘Mania card around. The 10 Diva tag is on the WM Pre-show along with the Usos and the Dudleys. The Battle Royale will be on the main show.
Back after a commercial and Trips and Steph are back in the ring with live mics talking about being around after Mania. “Chyna” chant. That one is funny. Reigns music and a battle ensues. Reigns puts Trips over the barricade. A bunch of superstars head down the ramp trying to seperate the two. Reigns and The Usos left in the ring. Trips heads up the ramp and then turns and tries to head back. Reigns leaps over the top rope and crashes into Trips and others. Cool spot. “You Still Suck” chant. Show ends. That was the go-home show for ‘Mania friends. Hopefully we’ll get a quality program and I am certainly excited to enjoy that and the NXT: Takeover Dallas special for sure. Hope you all enjoy them as well!
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