Well ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived. It’s WrestleMania week, the time has finally come. One last Raw before the big show, and of course, I am here to escort you through the three hour affair. Everyone is on tap for tonight’s Raw, from Lesnar to Shane. All the stops will be pulled out tonight to get that last ditch effort to elevate the hype levels. From the show’s start to the show’s end, everything will be necessary. For the biggest go-home show of the year, join me as we take this last step before the trip into the great blue yonder that is WrestleMania.
Undertaker makes his five minute entrance to kick-off Raw. Taker says that this ‘Mania will not be his last, and Shane’s blood will be on Vince’s hands, but Vince’s blood may be on his. Wrestlemania is his yard, and the cell is his house, and Shane will rest in peace. Shane’s music cues immediately and the man himself is out here, sporting the freshest of kicks. Only the best for the Raw before Mania. Shane says they’ll be fighting for their own destinies, except Shane will be fighting to win and Taker will be fighting to not lose. Shane calls himself the instrument of change for the WWE. Shane says he will take whatever is left of him to Raw the next night because he’ll be in charge. Undertaker calls Shane a BITCHBOY and says he doesn’t get to talk about Taker’s legacy. Shane jumps right up in the ring to face Taker and says 2 years ago, Taker’s legacy DIED.
Undertaker says Shane has always been Vince’s bitch and it’s brawlin’ time. Shane throws his terrible air punching to Taker and Taker throws him right over the ropes. Taker sets Shane up for a Last Ride through the announce table but Shane jumps out and hits a few air punches and knocks Taker around with a monitor. Shane sets Taker up on the table and goes to the top rope, the psycho jumps off and hits a goddamn elbow drop on Taker through the announce table. Well, good lord at least we’ve confirmed that Shane is still a lunatic and can still bump like a madman. That match at ‘Mania just got a thousand times more exciting and equal parts terrifying. Undertaker sits up and does the cutthroat taunt in which his head looked ready to burst into flames. That’s a helluva way to kick off Raw, the best hype segment they could have done for that match. Even though it still makes no sense, it doesn’t matter now, everyone’s now hyped to see Shane do some crazy shit. A little frightened for the inevitability of Shane jumping off the fucking cell on Sunday.
Styles comes out before the match and berates Jericho for not accepting his challenge, and says he’s not leaving until he gets his Mania match. Ryder tries to get a roll-up on him but Jericho kicks out and starts the beatdown of Ryder while he yells at AJ. Even hits him with JBL’s damn hat. A true villain. Styles grabs a mic and starts the Y2Jackass chants to distract Jericho, Jericho tries not to let to get to him but Ryder catches him with a small package to win the match, and gets an immediate Codebreaker and is swept to the side. Jericho is furious and smashes the ringpost with a chair and grabs a mic, calling Jericho a stupid idiot and saying he kicked the hornet’s nest, and accepts the match at Mania. Jericho says it’ll be his last, and be the worst night of Styles’ life. Two great hype segments in a row! We’re rollin’ here, this was a good way to get the match more heat and Jericho’s promo work was the best it’s been in a while. A shame that Zack Ryder was just used as an object for heat and was immediately swept away after the match but I guess you just gotta take what ya get.
THE BO$$ is on commentary for this, a solid showcase for both of them before their huge night, Becky gets a few good near-falls on the champ. Charlotte takes some shots at Sasha and Sasha stares her down for the whole match. A shoddy finish unfortunately, with Ric grabbing Becky’s leg and Charlotte hitting her with Natural Selection to steal the win. Not a great way to end but man I am pumped for that triple threat. They’re gonna tear the house down.
Vince is backstage doing an interview with Renee, talking about Taker/Shane’s confrontation, saying he’s not surprised about what happened, Shane will do anything to hold the WWE in his hands. Vince says he wants Taker as angry as possible. Shane interrupts and says he’s gonna take 40 years of anger and mental anguish out at WM and says Vince stole the company from his father, and this Sunday he’s taking it from him. Damn son.
A match billed as Big Show/Kane vs The Social Outcasts didn’t go as planned, and the match broke down and everyone came out for a big brawl to hype the battle royale on Sunday. Gotta have that segment, right? What a cast of characters in it this year, my god. It’s kind of a sad list. The entire undercard guys + Big Show and Kane, who of course, stand tall to end it.
Triple H is out here to talk down the crowd again in an attempt for heel heat which fails, but he turns his attention to Reigns whose name gets nothing but boos from the crowd. H says he was so good he was able to win the championship, and lose it in a few seconds. Triple H says he’ll be competing on the grand stage again, competing for gold again, because he’s OBSESSED with it. H says he’s had a stranglehold on this business and the championship for the last twenty years. A “thank you Paul” chant fucking breaks out. H talks about Reigns’ mistake of powerbombing him through a table, and his mistake of having the balls to have H’s name in his mouth. H says Reigns has given him the opportunity to end his dream. Steph says this Sunday won’t be about celebrations it’s all about HER HUSBAND and his championship. Reigns interrupts to a chrous of boos and a tiny brawl breaks out with H retreating. Reigns is getting booed out of the building, being hated so viciously you’d think he commited some horrible atrocity. It’s goddamn brutal. A ‘Roman Sucks’ chant breaks out to end the segment. For everyone’s sake, I pray that’s not the go-home segment for the title match. My god. Hell on Earth.
New Day are here at least to salvage the crowd. New Day shill their Booty-O’s product to huge chants from the crowd, and say that LON will never have their own cereals. Big E does a tribute to the late Phife Dawg and asks CAN I KICK IT?.. YES YOU CAN. Truly amazing, I love Big E so much. New Day are so insanely over, nothing can really top them. Del Rio has the neck of his shirt cut in a ridiculous matter, I mean, RIDICULOUS. Del Rio takes control and Xavier tries to distract him with a La Cucaracha on the trombone. A case of not a bad match but nothing great here. Some decent sequences, Del Rio tries for a Cross Armbreaker but gets caught into a roll-up by Kofi for the win. Big E and Xavier’s banter at ringside was the highlight of the match. After the match, out of nowhere, COACH makes his return. Coachman is here to say how much he loves New Day, and to announce that SportsCenter will be live at ‘Mania doing coverage, that’s pretty neat. Coach dances with New Day to end the segment. What a thing to see. It truly is Wrestlemania week.
Reigns is backstage about to do an interview but gets taunted off-screen by BUBBA RAY DUDLEY. Bubba calls him a SAMOAN TOUGH GUY and taunts him to come closer, Reigns punches Bubba Ray and gets attacked by Trips. Reigns gets beat up again and not a soul in the building is feeling any sympy for him. In fact, H gets cheers for beating Reigns’ face in. Dire.
Yup, we got this match going on. Kalisto gets a quick win over Konnor and even takes out Viktor. At least those guys got some screen time? Ryback makes a quick entrance after to do a staredown with Kalisto in the ring. Servin’ a purpose.
The Beast is out next, with Paul on the mic. Heyman says he’s serving as the ‘Mania hypeman tonight. Heyman talks about Ambrose being the one madman to step to the Beast, Heyman says Ambrose will have all manner of WEAPONS in his arsenal on Sunday, but the bad news is that he’s facing BROCK LESNAR. Lesnar will give Ambrose the beating of a lifetime, and Lesnar will take every one of those ‘politcally incorrect weapons’ and give Ambrose a public colonoscopy with them. We’re gonna witness an assault on Ambrose’s anus, apparently. Heyman gives the ‘spoiler’ that your winner at Wrestlemania, and still reigning, defending LORDGOD MASTER of the no holds barred street fight.. and Ambrose interrupts with a wagon. Ambrose fills up his wagon with weapons from under the ring. For some reason, the gifts that Foley and Funk gave him are under there. Guess he misplaced them, but he puts them in his wagon, and even puts the steel steps in his wagon before leaving. An interesting hype segment. He’s a madman y’all.
EMMA IS ON RAW! Thank the lord. A very okaaaay match here, the crowd couldn’t bother to care unfortunately. A fight breaks out between the two teams at ringside and Lana gives a jumping kick to Paige while the ref is distracted for Emma to pick up the win. The fight continues and the fifth member of team Total Divas is revealed aaaand it’s Eva Marie. Yeeaaah, that went over about as well as you’d expect. Nuclear boos for Eva’s triumphant return and not even her own team is pleased to see her. Yikes. At least Reigns doesn’t have the worst reaction anymore!
Snoop Dogg is officially revealed as the celebrity induction to the HOF. Thank god for Snoop Dogg.
Looks like a stacked match on paper, but has no heat in execution. Michael Cole reads off a Scott Hall tweet which sounds like a goddamn awful idea given his track records with Twitter. Thankfully it was about the ladder match. The crowd is in full shitchant mode during this match, unfortunately. JBL yells LARIATOOO for no goddamn reason. KO eats it up. CM Punk chants because who fucking knows at this point. It’s just the god of all shitchants, it’s not about him, it’s about having something to yell. This match goes on about 10 minutes too long and just about nothing is happening in the entirety of it. I think the placement of this is a horrible oversight. The crowd’s seen it all and they’re not having this match, even with guys like KO and Zayn in it. Random 6-mans just don’t bring the heat. This is only a prelude to the now dreaded ‘Raw After Mania’ crowd next week. That’s gonna be a helluva time to be alive. Sami Zayn gets a bit of a pop when he gets the tag in, and the match ends with everyone getting their shit in. Zayn gets hit with a Skull Crushing Finale, Miz gets hit with a Zig Zag, etc. Owens finally tags himself in and goes for a pop-up powerbomb but Zayn counters with a dropkick. Owens goes to tag out but his partners leave him to get a tornado DDT and a helluva kick from Zayn to pin Owens clean for the win. Well jeez, that certainly went on long. Zayn finally pinning Owens in a throwaway 6-tag? Good lord. What a mess.
Our lord Triple H is closing the go-home show. Steph says everyone looks at them with hatred in their eyes (not really) because they live like Roman Reigns and amount to nothing.. etc. etc. etc. Tone deaf. H says attacking and running away is strategy, not cowardice. H says this is not a GAME this is real life, and he doesn’t care about morality. Reigns comes out once again to the shittiest reaction, and we get another brawl. Steph calls out for all the heels to come out and attack Reigns and the faces come out to fight against them. It’s a good ol’ pull-apart brawl to hype the Royal Rumbl- wait, no, this is to hype a world title fight between H and Reigns. Reigns flies over the top rope to take everyone out and gets a ‘you still suck’ chant for his efforts! And that’s it. That’s your last go-home segment.
They had three different Reigns/HHH hype segments, and failed to accomplish the goal of getting Reigns slightly over with any of them. Reigns is going to get eaten alive at ‘Mania again, because they KEEP failing him. I’m not a Reigns hater in any way, but I cannot bring myself to care about the guy with the way they continue to push him, because they’re handling him terribly. The political hit theory has so much weight it’s disgusting. Compare the way they hype Reigns/H in comparison to Shane/Taker and Ambrose/Lesnar. Shane/Taker has ZERO STORY whatsoever and it still the most anticipation. It’s a shame. I have no idea how they’re gonna pull off a third Reigns world title win but they’re definitely gonna try.
That’s your final Raw before ‘Mania wrapped up in a cracked nutshell for you. The first hour was incredibly hot, and we just dropped and dropped and droooopppped from there. I can’t put forth much negative emotion toward the fed anymore, it’s a waste of energy, you just kinda gotta shake your laugh and move on and focus on the things that bring forth excitement. I mean, it’s hard not to be excited for ‘Mania cause it’s WRESTLEMANIA, and I certainly am. It’s gonna be a whirlwind of seven(!) hours on Sunday night. I’ll be kicked back and watching with my girlfriend so it’s gonna be enjoyable. I hope you all enjoy it too, to the best of your abilities.
Be hyped for the crazy amount of coverage we’re gonna have this week for all areas of wrestling, it’s gonna be insane. Keep your eyes on Wrestling With Words folks! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the other side of ‘Mania.