February 27, 2017
From the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
The show starts off with Goldberg coming out to the ring. He slaps hands with fans at ringside then thanks the crowd before talking about Kevin Owens’ interview from last week. Goldberg says talking is what Owens does best but he is not going to talk all night but rather promises us at Fastlane he will spear and jackhammer Owens to become the WWE Universal Champion then go on to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar. He is about to leave but Kevin Owens’ music plays as he comes out on the ramp. Owens tells Goldberg he is happy to see him because he did not get the opportunity to see him last week. Owens brings up Goldberg’s promise to his own family before saying he promised himself to make a name for himself and did that by beating John Cena in his first night in the company. Owens then lists off the people he beat, even saying Chris Jericho does not matter, as it does not matter how long the “sheep” chant his name, Goldberg is next. Owens says he is not being cute as Goldberg will be next in the “evolution” of his Universal Title reign. Goldberg mocks his speech and says he wants to kick his ass right now instead of waiting until Sunday. Owens then challenges Goldberg to a “Green Bay” street fight then stops himself by saying Green Bay does not deserve to see him tonight as he cannot wait until the referee declared him the winner at Fastlane and promises the Goldberg chants will end forever.
Not a terrible segment. It did not drag on longer than most opening bits but it really was not all that inspired, either. They are going with the idea that Goldberg is promising victory for his friends and family while Owens is cockier than ever despite no longer having Jericho to bail him out so its clear he has something up his sleeve. My grip here is the dialogue they are giving to Goldberg as its the same bad, sarcastic babyface material they give to everyone. Goldberg using the same verbiage and lame insults make him seem less special and more like everyone else on the roster.
The New Day head out to the ring. They talk about Booty O’s but that we want more, which is the ice cream. However, before we get ice cream, they have to talk the shine off of the Shining Stars. However, some production assistant hands them an envelope. They tell the Shining Stars they have to face the Big Show later on tonight as the New Day will face Rusev & Jinder Mahal. A really weak Oscar parody segment that did not get over with the crowd whatsoever. Honestly, they shouldnt have even bothered doing this if it was the best they could come up with.
Big E & Xavier w/ Kofi vs. Rusev w/ Lana & Jinder Mahal
Xavier takes Jinder down with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Big E covers for two after Xavier hits the Honor Roll then they take Rusev off of the apron and Big E splashes him right before the break. The match returns with Rusev grounding Xavier with a front facelock. He puts him on the ropes and hits a few knee smashes before getting two with a fallaway slam. Mahal tags and gets two with a knee drop then works a chinlock. Rusev & Jinder neutralize Xavier in the corner for a while. Xavier floats over on a fallaway slam attempt then hits Rusev with an enziguiri as both men are down. Jinder tags in but so does Big E, who runs wild. Big E hits a splash then Xavier makes a blind tag and gets two with a crossbody as Rusev makes the save. Rusev dumps Big E then heads out after Lana is yelling at Kofi but that allows Xavier to use a bridging reverse rollup for the win (9:47) *1/2.
Thoughts: A really dull match. There is just no chemistry at all between Rusev & Jinder and the New Day have been spinning their wheels since dropping the Tag Team Championships. I have no idea where they are going with this ice cream stuff but so far its not that intriguing.
Highlights of Enzo & Cass defeating Sheamus & Cesaro last week to become #1 Contenders for the RAW Tag Team Championships. Enzo & Cass are in the locker room as Enzo talks nonstop about how he is never going to take off the Tag Team Title belt as Cass tries to keep him focused, stating that Gallows & Anderson have won Championships all over the world before mentioning he is facing Gallows tonight. They are lightly pushing the idea that Cass is starting to grow tired of Enzo running his mouth.
Cesaro & Sheamus are in the hallway. Cesaro says they are like oil and water then Samoa Joe interrupts. Samoa Joe makes a “brass ring” reference as Cesaro jokingly says that is clever before calling Joe a backstabber who carries Triple H’s jockstrap. Joe smiles then wishes Cesaro luck before he leaves. Sheamus wants to go after Joe but Cesaro holds him back and says that he will take care of this. Joe appears to be causing trouble tonight but a match against Cesaro is something I would want to see.
Stephanie McMahon apologizes to Mick Foley, who cannot believe that a McMahon is apologizing to him. Stephanie talks about all of the sacrifices he made throughout his career and that is why she hired him to be the RAW GM. Stephanie brings up how her husband, Triple H, retired him 17 years ago today, and will not apologize for that. Stephanie then says while her husband has gotten stronger, he has become more pathetic and is sorry for putting him in a position of power.
We get an interview from Brian Kendrick as he talks about trying to make Tozawa something special but was shut down so he had to teach him a lesson last week on RAW and Lesson #2 on “205 Live.”
Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox
Aries replaces Saxton on commentary for this match. Tozawa beats on Dar to start. He gets two with a senton then hits a bunch of chops until Dar falls down. Tozawa starts to scream and get that going but the crowd remains silent. Fox provides a distraction as that allows Dar to take over. Dar uses an armbar but Tozawa escapes. After a sloppy hurricarana sequence, Tozawa knocks Dar off of the apron and flies out with a tope. Back inside, Tozawa rolls through a top rope jump that leads to a reversal sequence ending with Tozawa hitting the German suplex for the win (3:01) *1/4. Aries tells us he will be back later tonight as he’s working on a big scoop as Kendrick attacks Tozawa from behind. Kendrick grabs the mic and says that was Lesson #3, which is that Tozawa does not have eyes in the back of his head and to pay attention at all times.
Thoughts: The match was nothing at all but the Tozawa/Kendrick feud is at least intriguing, with Kendrick irate Tozawa turned down his mentoring advice so he is now resorting to beating him at every opportunity while using his experience to his advantage. Its a decent feud and Tozawa is someone unique enough to get over if given a chance.
Samoa Joe asks Foley “what’s wrong, not having a nice day?” Foley tells Joe he was his biggest fan 13 years ago but know he sees Triple H’s puppet. Joe says he is nobody’s puppet or tells him what to do but Foley says he is the GM and will tell him what to do as he is going to face Cesaro tonight.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke head out to the ring. Charlotte said she thought Bayley was a role model who would do the right thing and hand over the RAW Women’s Title but instead showed the world she is selfish, egocentric, win-at-all-costs person as she gets the “what” treatment from the fans. Charlotte then tells the fans they’ve been played by Bayley, who is average just like them and needed to cheat to become the Champion. However, she says that Bayley is destined to be a one-hit wonder like Vanilla Ice, Baha Men, Cast of Twilight, and then craps on the local sports legends until Bayley interrupts. Charlotte calls Bayley a cheater but Bayley says the name is “Bayley, the Champion” as she reminds Charlotte that she has beaten her three times. Bayley then points at the WrestleMania sign to tell us her dream is to walk into the show as the RAW Women’s Champion. Charlotte says she will regain the Championship at Fastlane and even buy her dad a front row ticket to see her daughter officially become a one-hit wonder. Sasha Banks comes out to talk about Charlotte’s daddy issues and that she is really insecure and jealous of Bayley. Charlotte jokes about Sasha being exhausted for Bayley’s spotlight but Sasha says she is exhausted from looking at Charlotte’s “stupid face.” Sasha says that they do have a match but that Dana is not her partner as she introduces us to Nia Jax.
The segment went on for too long and the scripting was really poor at times, especially for Sasha. The “stupid face” line was embarrassing, IMO. Anyway, they are continuing the angle of Charlotte wanting to paint Bayley as a cheater and also seem to be teasing tension between Dana and Charlotte as Dana did not seem too pleased when Charlotte brought out Nia as her partner. Not a good way to get fans up for the match.
Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke & Nia Jax vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks
Nia tosses Sasha down to start. Sasha tries to fight back but is tossed into the corner. Bayley tags in and gets slammed then Nia stands on her foot. Bayley escapes and fights back then dodges a charge in the corner and hits ten mounted punches. Nia takes down both women in an incredibly sloppy sequence before she tags out. Charlotte chops Bayley down but Bayley fights back. Sasha tags and gets two with a meteora. Dropkick gets two. Sasha works a Japanese stranglehold before tagging out. Dana misses when she tried to trip Bayley, who takes Charlotte outside then goes out to hit Dana with a Bayley-to-Belly on the floor as we head to break. We return as Sasha is fighting back against Nia but her springboard armdrag fails as Nia hits a shoulderbreaker. Nia drops a pair of elbows for a nearfall then Charlotte tags and works a figure four neck lock. Sasha avoids attacks from both women then tags out as Bayley runs wild on Charlotte. However, Nia makes a blind tag and shakes Bayley off of her back. Nia runs over Bayley after Charlotte provides a distraction then catches Sasha and slams her on top of Bayley before finishing off Bayley with a leg drop (12:30) **.
Thoughts: Rough match with a really quiet crowd. They put over Nia more than anyone else here as this was her chance to shine. She disposed of her opponents rather easily at the end if you ask me. Dana’s involvement was minimal and is just not working at all in her role as Charlotte’s protege.
Foley is with Strowman, who wants a contract to face Roman Reigns at Fastlane. Strowman does not want Reigns to tuck his tail beneath his legs and run and demands this contract tonight.
Wednesday night on the 9pm EST Sportscenter, Jonathan Coachman will be with guest Kevin Owens.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass come out as Enzo goes through his routine. Cass tells Anderson & Gallows they will become the Tag Team Champions at Fastlane. They did not get much time at all here.
Luke Gallows w/ Karl Anderson vs. Big Cass w/ Enzo Amore
Anderson distracts Cass, allowing Gallows to take control. Cass fights back but Gallows wins a slugfest in the corner. Gallows gets two with a clothesline then breaks out of a chokeslam attempt and hits a roundhouse kick. Cass fires away after avoiding a charge then hits an Avalanche in the corner. Cass hits a fallaway slam and a side slam but Anderson provides another distraction but Enzo takes him off the apron and sends him into the steps as that allows Cass to connect with a big boot for the win (2:41) *.
Thoughts: Really brief but probably for the best. The challengers now have a bit of an advantage heading into their title match at Fastlane.
The announcers mention that its the Three Year anniversary of the WWE Network launch and if you register for your free month on Thursday, you can not only view Fastlane but WrestleMania 33 as well.
Titus O’Neill vs. Sheamus
This match came about during a fight at WWE catering that was shown on Facebook Live as Titus got pissed over Sheamus turning down his request to be his new Tag Team partner. Titus boots Sheamus off of the apron as he tried to enter the ring then roughs him up outside of the ring. They head inside as the ref backs Titus off before ringing the bell. Titus gets backed off again in the corner but ends up running into a Brogue Kick for the win (0:18).
Thoughts: Really brief as Sheamus disposed of Titus rather quickly as they put over the Brogue Kick strong.
Corey Graves is in the ring. We see clips of the Triple H/Seth Rollins feud, including the Samoa Joe attack that put Rollins out of injury before Rollins himself comes out in front of the crowd. Rollins comes out on a crutch and takes his time before getting into the ring. Corey asks Rollins how his knee feels as he says its alright. Rollins says the rehab has been intense then when asked about where his head is he says it sucks. He talks about how after laying once again in a hospital bed injured, maybe he deserved this. Rollins questions whether or not it was worth it for cashing in at WrestleMania 31 and how he told the world he bought in and did not in fact sell out as the crowd starts up a “CM Punk” chant. Corey asks Rollins if he is going to be at WrestleMania as Rollins says it does not look like the doctor will clear him in time for the show. However, Triple H’ music hits and he comes out with a big smile. The crowd cheers for him. Triple H says he is surprised to see Rollins again and asks him if he knows Joe, who is standing on the other side of the ring. Triple H then says he will not be wishy-washy and make another decision for Rollins and that is he will not be at WrestleMania. Triple H then talks about how he chewed him up and spit him out and to man up and get over it as used to tell world he was the future but know, Rollins is the past. Triple H wants Rollins to salvage whatever is left of his career and to not show up at WrestleMania and call him out because if he does, it will be the last thing he ever does inside of a WWE ring. Rollins said he told Stephanie a month ago he has nothing left to lose and will in fact be at WrestleMania and it will be the last thing Triple H ever does as the two stare each other down. Triple H tosses the mic into the ring and leaves with Joe.
I liked this better than the crowd did at least. Rollins questioning why he aligned with The Authority to begin with and how it caused more pain than glory worked for me, although they could have played up more on that to be honest. The way this ended, I am thinking Rollins defies medical orders and demands a match against Triple H at WrestleMania. Triple H & Samoa Joe already took Rollins out of action and Rollins himself said he is not going to be cleared in time to wrestle at WrestleMania so there was no incentive for them to do anything but issue a warning to Rollins. Now that the warning has been put out, expect Triple H & Joe to pounce on Rollins if he tries to do anything. It did a good job setting up for a match between Triple H and Rollins, who really came on strong at the end.
Shining Stars vs. Big Show
Primo gives Show a brochure then gets knocked down. Show shoves both men down and overpowers them. The Stars fight back but Show takes over and puts Epico away with a chokeslam (1:52) 1/2*.
Thoughts: A quick match to get Show a win after last week’s loss against Strowman. Show moving around great now with the weight loss. The Shining Stars timeshare gimmick should probably be scrapped at this point. It never got over at all and never will.
We get a video package on Dr. Martin Luther King to promote “Black History Month.”
Neville approaches Tony Nese in the locker room. Neville mentions how they are tag team partners tonight and the match should be about hurting Gallagher, who made a mockery of last week’s contract signing. Nese is getting ready and not paying attention so Neville wants to know if he made himself clear. Nese said that Neville can do what’s best for himself while Nese will do what is best for the “Premiere Athlete.” They are trying to put over Nese’s Premiere Athlete gimmick, something he used while wrestling for EVOLVE.
We get the scoop promised by Aries earlier in the show and its a video package about him himself as they are gearing up for his in-ring return.
Jack Gallagher & TJ Perkins vs. Neville & Tony Nese
Neville attacks Gallagher before the bell but Perkins takes control. Perkins accidentally takes Gallagher off of the apron and that allows Neville to take control. Nese tags and stares down Neville but that costs him as Perkins comes back with a kick and makes the tag. Neville breaks up a pin then Gallagher knocks him outside with a headbutt. Perkins catches Nese with a detonation kick and Gallagher hits a running dropkick in the corner then puts him in a modified Koji Clutch for the win as Neville bails rather than making a save (1:56) *.
Thoughts: The action was fine for the short amount of time it received. Neville continue to excel in his heel role.
A video package on Beth Phoenix being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Sasha and Bayley are backstage icing themselves down. Sasha promises Bayley she meant what she said and will be in Bayley’s corner at Fastlane. Stephanie then interrupts and says Sasha will be put in a match against Nia Jax at Fastlane and will not have to worry about Bayley’s spotlight.
Cesaro vs. Samoa Joe
These two mix it up as Cesaro hits a gutwrench suplex then a running uppercut. Joe backdrops Cesaro on the apron as Cesaro appears to have tweaked his knee. Cesaro gets two with a crossbody then dropkicks Joe, who catches Cesaro with a kneebreaker as we go to break. The match returns with Joe hitting an enziguiri in the corner. He tries for a suplex but Cesaro blocks that and hits one of his own as both men are down. They start trading strikes until Joe goes after the knee and takes him down with a kneebar. Cesaro then almost turns that into a sharpshooter but Joe hits him in the face. Cesaro comes back with an uppercut then hammers away in the corner while selling his knee then hits a fireman’s carry slam for a nearfall. Double stomp gets two. He tries for the Neutralizer but Joe counters then blocks a springboard uppercut and catches him with an uranage for the win (7:53) **3/4.
Thoughts: Good match. Cesaro tweaking his knee early set up the story as Cesaro tried to overcome the injury and did some impressive stuff in the process but it was not enough.
After the match, Charly Caruso catches Joe on the ramp and asks why he has been so dominant since entering the WWE. Joe cuts a really good promo about how he is mean and took out a world-class athlete like Cesaro before putting the whole locker room on notice. Sami Zayn’s music hits and he attacks Joe from the side as they brawl near the crowd. After several officials come out to separate them, Zayn hits a running flip dive from off of the stage and they brawl again until separated. The WWE has done a great job at establishing Joe as a threat since his debut. And he’s been great in every segment so far as he carries himself like a star.
Back from break, we learn that Foley has made Joe vs. Zayn official for Fastlane.
Foley is in the ring and welcomes Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns for their official contract signing. Strowman says since the paper and table are here, Foley’s job is done. Strowman calls Foley out for being pathetic as Foley has had enough of being disrespected and demands Strowman show him respect because he is a legend. Strowman slaps the mic out of Foley’s hand and backs him up until Reigns comes out for the save. They brawl outside and in the crowd until Reigns spears Strowman through the barricade, knocking down a security guard in the process. Reigns goes into the ring and goes to sign the contract but Strowman gets into the ring. Strowman then ends up whipping Reigns into the corner so hard that the entire top rope falls off. A few officials run out to tend to Reigns as Strowman taunts the fans. Strowman leaves then we see Reigns pick himself up to sign the contract. Strowman turns around to see this then smiles as he walks backstage.
This was one of the better segments on the show. Strowman comes off like an absolute monster that Reigns is still not able to overcome. Reigns also showed heart at the end as he got up to sign the contract. This segment did a fine job at building up their match on the show.
Final Thoughts: After a few good shows in a row, we got a middling effort tonight. They set up the top matches at Fastlane well enough and Rollins’ return segment was good but the rest of the show was uninspired midcard filler for the most part and its taxing for a 190 minute long show.
I hate to always harp on the dialogue here but man it was really awful at times, especially during the opening and women’s segments. People do not talk like that in every day conversation and its tough to get into something when listening.
At least the company has its ducks in a row when it comes to the top of the card, which is a lot more than I can say for last year around this time.