Monday Night Raw -3/6/17

Ok so the Raw after a horrible PPV. I wonder if it’ll be any better?

Nice to see Jericho kick off the show. Too bad the conversation went on so long. 16+ minutes without a match to start. 

Wrestlemania is starting to shape up already. Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho for the US Title. 

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn

I don’t care what anyone says, win or lose, Sami Zayn can make anyone look great and put on an awesome match. Kevin Owens looked strong, tough, and more focussed than he has been in a long time. 

Neville vs Rich Swan

Once again the cruiser weight division puts on a stellar match. I’m not a huge fan of the cruiserweights, I don’t watch 205live, but I’m getting more invested with them as time passes because they put on great matches. 

At the end it was awesome to see Austin Aries come into the ring to interview only to reveal he is ready to fight again! I’ve always been a fan of Aries and look forward to their potential Wrestlemania match. 

Goldberg speech – I was actually about to fast forward until Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came out. 

Heyman is always great on the mic. He made his points clear and concise. At the end with Brock delivering the F5 to Goldberg it showed even more why he shouldn’t have the belt. Goldberg forgot to let go of the belt until it was almost too late. It could have hurt himself or Lesnar. After the F5 all Goldberg did was crawl to the title. C’mon, it doesn’t mean that much to him to cuddle it right away!  I will be so glad when Goldberg is done again. 

Tag team titles – again

Pretty much a no contest match. Shaemus and Cesaro came out to watch after a mild altercation in the back earlier with Enzo and Big Cass. They ended up interfering in the match costing Enzo and Cass. Once again setting up a 3-way tag title match for Wrestlemania?

Ravishing Rick Rude to be entered into the WWE Hall of Fame. Bravo! It’s about time. In history of wrestling he is the only wrestler to appear on both Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro in the same week!  Let’s see if that fact ever gets mentioned. 
Tozawa vs Daivari – 

Here I make compliments to the cruiserweights and this happens. Who’s gonna win? The guy who yells like a wild man that the company is trying to push, or the older guy who is out to put people over?  Glad to see Tozawa can speak with a mouth guard in – thanks Brian Kendrick for being good on the mic too and making things end quick. 

New Day vs Shining Stars

Nice to see the epitome of slaps to the face to the Chicago crowd, and yes there were a few people commenting on it. Here is New Day coming out with their ice cream cart (sans ice cream) in the hometown of CM Punk who lobbied for his own ice cream bar many years ago but it never came to fruition. 

But I digress, in the time it took me to write that little rant the match ended with New Day squashing the Shining Stars. 

Ok I’m getting tired of hearing how much of a fan Bayley was before getting into wrestling. We know, you liked it a lot as a kid and now you’re living your dream. Yay!  

Bayley vs Sasha Banks

This match had great potential but was completely boring. The crowd was so out of it you could hear conversations clearly. It was embarrassing that two women who did such amazing things in NXT couldn’t deliver on Raw. 

Sasha wins her way to Wrestlemania to make it a triple threat for the women’s title with Bayley and Charlotte. 

Samoa Joe vs Chris Jericho 

Aggressive match. Joe looks more like a shoot fighter since coming to Raw than a wrestler. Joe still shows great athleticism and Jericho puts on a good match regardless. Count out victory for Joe was a little lame but gives a way for everyone to save face. 

Braun Strowman calls out Roman Reigns. Awesome line of “Chicago doesn’t like you”. 

As Reigns music starts it is stopped again by the gonging of the bell. Welcome Undertaker. Amazing stare down between Strowman and Taker before Braun backs out of ring with respect. As Taker goes to leave out comes Reigns.  Roman claims it’s his yard now as Undertaker stares at the Wrestlemania sign. Taker gives a choke slam and Roman is done. Yet another Mania match has been set. 

I know Undertaker likes giving some people a push. I truly hope Reigns isn’t one of them. Just like the crowd never got back on board with Batista after his time away, it seems very few have gone back to their love for Reigns since his suspension. 

Raw was better than Fastlane but not by much. All the Mania match creations were pretty much predictable outside of Austin Aries, and that isn’t official yet. 

I hope things improve before too long or this could be one of the worse lead ups to Wrestlemania week. 

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Fastlane 2017

The final PPV before Wrestlemania – thank God!

I’m watching this one with mixed emotions. I can see some of the directions that WWE writers want to go, but as a fan I really hope they don’t. This show will dictate several of the matches for Wrestlemania.

So, here we go-

Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn:

Great opening match. Sami looked good against the guy they are going to be finally pushing. Samoa Joe is a great performer. He knows wrestling and seemingly has the total package in size and agility. Joe got the win with his choke hold, putting Sami out. What made Joe look stronger still was his kicking out of one of Sami’s finishers. Bravo!

As a side note, the announcers continued to comment about how Joe doesn’t like to be referred to as Triple H’s muscle. My prediction right now is they are building towards a Triple H vs Samoa Joe at Wrestlemania should Seth Rollins not be available.

Tag Team Title match:

Enzo is great on the mic but drags it out a little too much. Big Cass needs a new catch phrase to add to his vocabulary. Cass is getting there but isn’t ready yet. Still they have more personality than Gallows and Anderson. The match was a sleeper, predictable controversial ending to set up something bigger at Wrestlemania.

Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks

Wasn’t this supposed to be on the kick-off show?  Decent match with Sasha finally getting a victory over Nia Jax.

Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal

Umm really? I don’t know what match has been bumped from this PPV but there seems to be a lot of filler.

Good showing by Jinder in general but nothing truly vested in the match so it didn’t really get anyone’s attention.

Big Show vs. Rusev

Was it just me, or was Big Show favouring his left leg?

Show himself has said he has hardly won a match in the last few years. It was surprising to see him get a strong victory over Rusev, especially with his new haircut. I’m happy for Show, he’s in amazing shape and seems to be enjoying himself.

Cruiserweight title:

The first match of the night to truly have the fans fully engaged. “This is awesome” chants were heard and well deserved. Neville and Gentleman Jack put on a great match that I thought might have ended after one hell of a bump by Jack. Those who watched know what I’m talking about, for those who haven’t watched yet, Neville did a snap German suplex on Gentleman Jack which looked very awkward on landing. I’m sure he’s going to have a sore shoulder and neck in the morning. Jack was able to shake it off and continue the match showing both his guts and determination for the match and show. In the end Neville prevailed with his amazing athletic leap from the top rope.

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Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

It’s nice to see the crowd still boos Reigns when he comes out. It was even more entertaining to hear a smattering of “Strowman’s gonna kill you” chants as things began.

Two big men in a match is exactly that. Two big men. There isn’t a lot they can do outside of their basic repertoire. Strowman’s inexperience showed through as the match continued past the 2 minute mark. Applying nerve holds and chin locks to give him a chance to talk through the next steps was blatantly obvious. Strowman had a match with Sami Zayn at Roadblock that was a 10 minute challenge. Sami made Strowman look good and dominant throughout the match. Reigns couldn’t do the same.  But I digress. Strowman did show some power and agility at the end when he climbed the top rope and leaped off. Sure he missed, but it was impressive none the less. Roman capitalized on the mistake and got the first pin fall win over Braun Strowman.

Women’s championship

Bayley and Charlotte came to fight. The match started with a surprising aggressive flurry from Bayley before Charlotte took over with her own aggression and athleticism. As much as I hate the fact that Charlotte  “no sells” when a body part should be hurt, she truly is a very gifted athlete. Bayley’s inexperience showed through a couple times. Especially when Charlotte was tied up in the corner. I still don’t know what she was planning.   It got very tiring hearing how many times she was 16 and 0 for PPV matches but with Charlotte losing to Bayley the announcing team had to make it seem like a monstrous feat. Of course it wasn’t a clean victory for Bayley as Sasha Banks once again got involved.

Universal championship.

Are you kidding me? Goldberg is the champion? Another minute match thus showing he still hasn’t developed any talent whatsoever. What kind of a contract did he sign?

I applaud Kevin Owens for doing the job and keeping the crowd in the match for close to 6 minutes before the bell even rang.

Sure this sets up Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens for Wrestlemania but I think it could have been equally as good a match with Owens as the champ.

Wins/Fails/Summery

Overall it was probably one of the worst cards I’ve seen in a long time. There seemed to be some filler to make up time for some reason.  At the time of writing this I can’t think of what match was missing so obviously it wasn’t important either.

My Win for the night: it’s a tie. Samoa Joe/Sami Zayn was great, as was the cruiserweight title match. Outside the ring I give a win to the guy with the sign early in the night saying Jack Tunney is my President. It made me smile as I’m sure many of the older Canadian fans did.

My Fail: Goldberg. C’mon, this guy doesn’t deserve to be champion after 15years away from the ring. Sure he’s training and in great shape but it’s obvious he can’t carry a match and now he’s the champ. Very disappointed WWE went in that direction when there were so many other options.

As a ranking: 1 bodyslam out of five, (only because of cruiser weights)