Hello friends and otherwise, it’s Dan here again, delivering the review to Raw, hot and fresh out the kitchen. It doesn’t rhyme but it’ll have to do cause we’re speeding down the road to WrestleMania and there’s no brakes to be found, but there is a Roadblock. WWE is busting out the mini-PPV of sorts airing on the Network this Saturday night, headlined by Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE WHC. Surely we’ll see some hurried build for that tonight, as well as more build-up to the show of shows. Take a knee, say a proud “All Hail” and dive into 3 hours of WWE programming with me.
Shane O’Mac starts off the show, rocking the Jordans brother. Shane gets a loud reception in Chicago. He says he was watching Raw with his three sons last night and heard his father’s harsh words renouncing him as his son, and calls him a miserable old bastard who has lost his touch, with himself and his fanbase. Shane says it’s his absolute destiny to be in control of Monday Night Raw, and it’s all gonna stop, Vince’s tyrannical grasp, the Authority, all the backstabbing and backstage politics, it all stops. Shane says there are guys with a lot of talent that get nothing, and guys with no talent that get everything. The Undertaker’s gong hits but it transitions into Vince’s music. The crowd starts an ‘asshole’ chant to and Vince conducts them as they do it. A CM Punk chant breaks out and Vince asks how long it’ll go and they stop immediately. Vince is working these marks real bad. Vince brings up past family memories and even breaks out a picture of Shane as a baby, throws it on the ground and stomps it. Vince delivers a dark promo about what will happen to Shane, and how when Shane is broken and battered at the hospital, Vince will take his kids and tell them they have one father figure who isn’t a disappointment. At Wrestlemania, his greatest creation will take out his biggest failure. Brutal. Vince brings out the bodyguard squad of indie wrestlers to attempt to take Shane away, but Shane fights them all off and leaves of his own accord. The crowd was HOT for this, a Chicago crowd getting really into something seems like a rare commodity of all the times they’ve been there. This feud has monstrous levels of heat.
Owens is fired up tonight and is beating the hell outta Neville, but Neville lands a big kick and goes for a dive as JBL yells COACH SPORTSCENTER HIGHLIGHT REEL MAGGLE but Owens moves out of the way and Neville nearly dies but somehow lands on his feet, Owens tossing him into the steps. A very fun match with Owens and Neville nearly murdering each other at different stages. Owens hits a vicious german and Neville hits a goddamn shooting star press from the top to the outside and then one in the ring. This is PPV-level working of a match. Neville hits a second-rope Phoenix Splash, shout out to Hayabusa watching from above, and nearly gets the three, but Owens catches him in a roll-up to get the three. Owens gets back in and continues his destruction, even setting up for the apron powerbomb but who makes the save…? SAMI ZAYN! Zayn runs out and brawls with Owens, Neville delivering a kick to Owens for Zayn to clothesline him over the ropes and out of the ring, celebrating a triumphant re-debut with Neville. Oh man, I am so excited. The continuation of their everlong feud on the main roster and at Wrestlemania? Good lord. Imagine Zayn working Shinsuke and then two days later working KO at Wrestlemania. Surreal.
Ziggler is backstage talking with Zack Ryder who quickly disappears as Steph comes on-screen and taunts Ziggler, thanking him for deleting a tweet. If only he would just delete his entire Twitter. Ziggler brings up Survivor Series 2014 when he defeated the Authority single-handed. Wonder where that went for ya, Dolph. In any case, Steph puts Dolph in an elimination tag team match against the League of Nations, except he will have no partners. Alriiiiight then.
Not even a match really as Lana interrupts right quick for Summer Rae to roll Brie up to win off the distraction. The real story here is Lana getting in the ring and hitting a goddamn picture perfect X-Factor on Brie. It really was beautiful.
Ambrose is out here talking about his match at Roadblock, saying he doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s plans, he’s hijacking the title and hijacking Wrestlemania. Ambrose talks about how H tried to beat respect into him last week but he’ll make H respect him at Roadblock cause he’ll be the face of the company. He’ll be attending charity events and ribbon cuttings with Triple H, he’ll stand up and applaud him when he walks into rooms. Ambrose goes on about his plans but Triple H interrupts, saying he may need another beating and may need to take another trip to the announce table to learn some respect. Ambrose says he will when he wins and H can SUCK IT. Triple H says Roadblock is just a dumb name made up by some idiot in marketing which is a top-tier Triple H line. H asks Ambrose how the whole anti-authority shtick worked out for Reigns. The banter between these two is better than anything in the H/Reigns feud thus far. Ambrose calls H out for a fight right now but H says he fights on his own terms and sets up a match between Ambrose and Bray later tonight. Sounds like a real barnburner.
Hey, Barrett is actually wrestling! That’s nice. Shame it’s in THIS match but I guess you gotta take what you can get. What do you think his role is? What else could it be, just a hope spot for Ziggler. Ziggler manages to eliminate Barrett but Rusev kicks his head off and gets a Brogue Kick from Sheamus to end whatever this was. Nothing exciting at all here.
A really great video package on Shane’s career is played. Sasha and Becky are arguing backstage but have to come to terms cause they’re facing Tamina and Naomi next.
An unfortunately short match that ended in Becky throwing Tamina out while Sasha caught Naomi in the Banks Statement to force Naomi to tap. This finish was littered by forced UFC references by commentary, real bad.
R-Truth tries to deliver some pizza to Goldust backstage but he isn’t having it, saying his butt would explode if he ate that. R-Truth apologizes for being insensitive to his exploding butt. Mark steals the pizza. Wrestling, y’all.
New Day come out and say no one is stopping their title reign, especially not Y2AJ. Xavier drops a Left 4 Dead reference in 2016 and Big E alludes to having a unicorn tattoo on his butt, truly the best tag team of all time. Styles & Jericho get the early advantage both diving to the outside to take out Big E and Kofi as the fade to commercial creeps in. Jericho gets isolated by Big E and Kofi until Styles gets the hot tag in to a huge pop. Kofi takes the springboard reverse DDT with excellence and Big E grabs Styles into the assisted Big Ending, Jericho pushes Kofi into Big E to break the pin. A really fast-paced fun tag match. A bit of a miscue on a Jericho lionsault made up for with a SPRINGBOARD 450 from Styles! A lot of crazy near-falls in this match, the finish finally came as Jericho tried for the Codebreaker on Big E but Big E was TOO STRONG and held on, throwing Jericho onto his shoulder and nailing the Big Ending for the win! Definitely the best WWE TV match thus far. A great match throughout. Styles tries to reconcile with Jericho who drills him with three Codebreakers, grabs a Y2AJ shirt and stuffs it into AJ’s mouth. A brutal heel turn from Jericho here, thank god for that. We needed heel Jericho back. Well, I’m sure you’ll see those shirts for 75% off on WWEShop tomorrow. Wonder if they have a refund policy for those poor souls who purchased one.
Tyler Breeze on Raw with a full entrance? Unheard of. A short-lived match with some decent sequences but ultimately, Kalisto picks up a quick win with the Salida del Sol.
They officially announce Big Bossman’s induction into the 2016 HOF, well-deserved. Just the Big Show funeral segment alone is worthy of an immediate HOF induction. Ryback interrupts Kalisto’s interview backstage, cutting a ridiculous promo comparing Kalisto to all the superhero movies, not understanding why everyone loves the little guy when there is THE BIG GUY.
More ridiculousness from the Social Outcasts, Axel yells THE AXMAN COMETH and starts yelling YEE while doing some kind of chopping motion, the rest of the group following his motion. A good old squash for The Ryback. Axel eats a Shell Shocked and Ryback is victorious. Hail to the Big Guy.
A revival of a feud that I had absolutely no love for. Not made any better here. Your standard fare match, Bray works over Ambrose for the majority of the match, Ambrose getting some offense in here and there to make it somewhat evenly matched. A decent sequence at the closing stretch though, Bray reverses a Dirty Deeds and rolls out, tries to catch Ambrose in a Sister Abigail but slams him onto the barricade instead. Of course, as Ambrose tries to mount a comeback, the rest of the Wyatt Family appear and start the beatdown to cause the DQ. Ambrose eats a Sister Abigail and Triple H makes his way to the ring, full suit with the belt over his shoulder. H turns around and goes nose to nose with Bray Wyatt, who pats his title on leaves. H shrugs it off and starts to go to work, tearing down the announce table and going back in to retrieve Ambrose. Ambrose wakes up and catches Triple H with Dirty Deeds and poses with the title to end the show.
Oh man, the only thing I’m excited for after that is a potential face Bray vs. Triple H feud for the title. The whole ‘down with the machine’ gimmick coming to actual fruition would be great, and exactly the thing Bray needs to be revitalized. Ambrose/HHH at Roadblock should be a hoot though, and as much as Ambrose winning would be an insane wrench in the ‘Mania card, I just don’t think it’s happening, and honestly, I’d love an extensive Triple H iron fist run with that title post-Mania.
Well damn, not a bad show at all. Definitely had it’s downswings but for the most part, it was solid. The opening segment was absolute fire, the Ambrose/HHH segment was great, Owens/Neville was awesome and of course, Sami Zayn’s re-debut was incredible. Y2AJ/New Day was the highlight of the show, the most fun WWE match I’ve watched this year. The closing minutes of the show were fun, pretty hype and man I loved that Bray/HHH tease. That’ll do it for me, I’ll see y’all post-Roadblock next Monday! Thanks for reading.