Hey everyone, it’s your weekly NXT Spotlight host Kurt Zamora here. I’ll be filling in for John on his Raw Deal this week as he prepares to travel down to Texas for WrestleMania. I’ll be doing a live running blog of the show so you don’t miss any of the last minute events to happen on the last Monday Night Raw before WrestleMania. So come back here at 8e/7c and follow along with me through the evening.
Note from John: I just didn’t think I’d have time to get it done. I have a very early flight Tuesday AM and I want a peaceful night of sleep before I head out in the AM. Kurt will do a good job. I’m sorry for missing a week. I won’t miss next week.
Live from Brooklyn, New York, this is Episode #1192 of Monday Night Raw. I’m going to do my best to lay out any promos detailed, but I’m just going to hit the high points running blog style on matches. So Follow me on Twitter @FriscoKTank and join in on the fun.
The gong that signals only one man hits as the show starts and The Undertaker makes his way, slowly, to kick us off. The announcers ramble on about this being possibly The Undertaker’s last WrestleMania. Taker counters that by starting his promo with, “This WrestleMania will NOT be my last.” The crowd is solidly behind Taker. Taker reminds us that he told Vince that the blood of Shane is on Vince’s hands. However, Vince’s blood may be on his. Taker says he knows Shane will fight for his legacy until he draws his last breath. WrestleMania though, is his yard and Hell in a Cell is his house. Shane McMahon will Rest In Peace.
Cue Shane O Mac’s music and Taker gets ready to fight immediately. Now the crowd is solidly behind Shane. Shane says they have no other alternative than to tear each apart on Sunday. The only difference between the two is that Shane is fighting to win but Taker is fighting not to lose. Taker may be the weapon Vince created but Shane is the instrument of change for the company. Change that has been needed for a long time. Whatever is left of his body will crawl into the ring the very next night on Raw and will leave Hell in the past because he’ll be in control of Monday Night Raw. If he has to cement his legacy by destroying The Undertaker’s, then that’s what he’ll do.
Taker tells Shane to “watch your mouth, rich boy. You don’t get to talk about MY legacy!” Shane doesn’t hesitate after that to walk right to the ring and get in Taker’s face. Shane wants to talk about legacies. Shane says let’s go back to two years ago, Taker’s legacy died. That got a great reaction from the crowd. Taker gathers himself and says that Shane is just like his old man. From the very day that he was born, he’s been his daddy’s bitch. Shane’s had enough and he goes to town with punches on Taker. Taker throttles Shane and sends him flying over the top rope. Both men on the outside now and Taker is destroying Shane. Taker goes to the announce table and removes all the plunder. The crowd chants, “This is awesome!” as Taker goes for a Last Ride. Shane manages to escape at the last moment. Shane throwing punches like only Shane can, which is not well at all, and then he drops Taker with a shot from the TV monitor. He hits a second one and Taker is laid out on the announce table. Shane goes back inside and he’s now going to the top rope! Does Shane still have his hops? HOLY SHIT he sure does! Shane wipes out Taker with his flying elbow drop and Taker is down and out with blood trickling from his eye. Great visual. Shane barely makes it to his feet but he’s standing while Taker is not, as the crowd chants, “You still got it!” The slow-mo replay of Shane’s jump is even more impressive. I don’t even think he got all of it that he could’ve and he still landed halfway onto the table and nailed Taker. Mick Foley at WrestleMania 16 this was not. However, as Shane makes his way back up, Taker sits up like nothing happened and gives Shane the throat slash.
K-Tank’s Take: That was awesome. The crowd ate that up. I can’t overstate how great it was to see Shane take that leap. That’s a lot of pressure on Shane too because if for whatever reason he doesn’t nail that leap like he did, then this match goes straight in the toilet. It was actually a risky move to give away that leap just in case he doesn’t hit it, but he nailed it and they nailed it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I say this more than once tonight about various storylines, but that was what this build should’ve been all along.
We return with a recap of the opening segment.
My boy and the future Intercontinental Champion, Zack Ryder is in the ring already and then Chris Jericho’s music hits. We get a recap of the Raw pre-show tonight where Jericho told Ryder he’s not championship material and will not get his WrestleMania moment. Much like AJ Styles. He’d much rather miss WrestleMania and sit with the idiot fans than face Styles.
Zack Ryder vs. Chris Jericho
AJ Styles’ music hits as the match is about to begin. He has a mic and questions Jericho on not giving him his match. The AJ Styles chants that angered Jericho start up. Styles says Jericho’s decisioning sounds stupid. He’s not leaving until he gets the match he asked for. The bell rings and Ryder goes for the ROLLUP OF DEATH but Jericho kicks out. They go outside and Jericho yells at Styles while he toys with Ryder. Jericho dominates for awhile until Ryder gets the double knees up and hits a dropkick. Jericho counters the Broski Boot but when he goes for the Walls of Jericho, Styles starts up the “Y-2-Jackass” chants. Jericho is distracted and SMALL PACKAGE OF DEATH! Zack Ryder wins!
Winner: Zack Ryder
Jericho hits a Code Breaker as soon as the match ends and becomes unhinged. Styles chases him out of the ring and Jericho is losing his mind. The crowd continues the “Y-2-Jackass” chants. Jericho calls Styles stupid and says he just kicked the hornet’s nest. Now Styles is going to regret it, “you stupid ass.” Styles wants him at WrestleMania? He’s got it. Styles can wipe that smile off his face though. This is Jericho’s 12th WrestleMania. He’s won titles there, he’s spilt blood there, but Styles wouldn’t know anything about that. He’s a rookie. This will be his first WrestleMania and Jericho guarantees it’ll be his last. This will be the worst night of Styles’ life.
K-Tank’s Take: I told ya’ll Ryder is the next champ and he just proved it there. What a truly great performance by Long Island Iced Z. If you follow me on NXT, yes this is what I do with Eva Marie too. It’s all in fun. Styles and Jericho should be fantastic at Mania and will give Styles the high profile win he deserves.
We get a live look at AT&T Stadium as the WrestleMania banners are already going up. Sasha Banks is joining the announcers for the next match. We get a recap of Becky taking out her opponents on Smackdown last week.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (w/Ric Flair)
Both women shove each other to start and then Becky gets the advantage with a couple armdrags. The crowd instantly starts with, “We want Sasha” chants. Charlotte mocks Sasha after she grabs Becky’s hair and pulls her down.
You don’t really notice John’s points during The Raw Deal about commercial breaks at bad spots until you’re actually writing about it. The show returns with Charlotte in control of Becky. Becky fires back with a couple clotheslines and a dropkick. She hits a Bex-Plex and Charlotte kicks out at two. Becky wants the Disarmer but Charlotte counters. Charlotte gets Becky in the corner but ends up on the outside after a Becky kick. Charlotte stares down Sasha until Becky gives chase. Becky follows Charlotte in the ring but Ric from the outside trips up Becky and gives Charlotte the opening she needs to hit a kick and then Natural Selection for the win.
Renee Young is backstage and welcomes in Vince McMahon. She asks if he was surprised by what took place at the beginning of the show. Vince says no. That was just an inkling of what you’ll see at WrestleMania. Vince says that Taker may have been right about Taker saying Mania is his yard and Hell in a Cell is his house. Shane doesn’t want the house though. Shane wants the state, the nation, the whole WWE Universe. He’ll do anything to get that. If Vince were Shane though, he would realize all he’s done is anger The Undertaker. An angry Undertaker is who Vince wants representing him at WrestleMania. Vince looks up and says, “If I were you, I would be halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge.” In walks Shane who says, “Good thing I’m not you.” Shane says his entire life he’s watched Vince discard people like human waste. Vince thinks he’s a God. No one can run the company better than him. On the very stage of what Vince built up at WrestleMania, Shane is going to take 40 years of pent up agression, hostility, mental and physical anguish and he’s going to let it all out. He’s going to be running this company. The difference is, Vince stole the company from his father, this Sunday Shane is taking it from his.
K-Tank’s Take: Not much to say on the Divas match. I really just hope they give the three of them 15 minutes and tell them to have an NXT Style Match. They can honestly steal the show if that happens. Shane’s promo to Vince was almost as good as his elbow drop to Taker. The emotion came across as real, and I’m sure some of it is, if not the majority.
The show comes back with a shot of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. The Social Outcasts are on the apron and Curtis Axel gives a shoutout to his dad on his birthday. Really cool. Before Heath Slater can get started, Big Show’s music hits, followed by Kane’s.
Kane and The Big Show vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas has given up on the white trunks. It’s for the best. Kane and Axel start off. Kane goes for a chokeslam and then Slater and Rose come in the ring and that’s the match.
Winners: No Contest
Not wasting any time, here come the rest of the battle royal participants. I see The Ascension, Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger, Darren Young, Mark Henry, Tyler Breeze, Goldust, R-Truth, and Fandango. It of course comes down to Kane, Show, & Mark Henry, because who else would you expect? Show and Kane double chokeslam Henry. The Social Outcasts come back in and get quadruple chokeslammed. Kane and Show left standing tall.
K-Tank’s Take: Not that the battle royal has ever meant anything these last two years, but my goodness what an awful crop of participants this year. I count only 16 guys and they announced it as a 20 man battle royal. Not like they have to stick to that though. Maybe an NXT guy will appear in it and win it all. If not, let’s right the wrong from last year and let Sandow win. For those keeping score at home, no mention of The Wyatt Family at all either.
We get a recap of Roman Reigns’ beating of Triple H last week when HHH showed up to pick up Stephanie. Triple H is live next.
Tonight after Raw on the WWE Network is WWE 24: Thank You Daniel. A look back at the day Daniel Bryan had, having to announce his retirement.
The Power Couple of WWE now make their way to the ring as Triple H is flanked by his gorgeous wife Stephanie McMahon. Both husband and wife will be on SportsCenter this week. Stephanie commands everyone get on their feet and then get down on their knees to show the proper respect to Triple H. HHH gets the mic and says in six days everyone will see the spectacle known as WrestleMania. They will watch for one reason and one reason only, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It’s the most prestigious title in this industry. It is the dream of everyone in WWE, not to take away from anything else we’ll see Sunday. It’s the dream of everyone watching live and at home. Everyone has had the fantasy of being in the ring and holding the WWE Title at WrestleMania, high about their head. The thing is, that will never happen for any of us. We don’t have the ability to make it a reality. Roman Reigns did though. Roman is a one in a million athlete. He’s so good, he can turn his dreams into a reality. He’s so good that he’s able to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The crowd is booing unmercifully.
This Sunday, HHH will walk the aisle for the 20th time at a WrestleMania and for the 9th time, it’ll be for the WWE Title. More than anyone ever before. Why? Because he’s screwing the bosses daughter. Just kidding. It’s because he’s obsessed with this business. He did everything he had to to become one of the best ever. The obsession led him to 14 world title reigns. He’s had a stranglehold on this business and this title for 20 years. He thought that obsession had left though. He was ok with putting on a suit and go to the office every day. Then it happened right there on the announce table four months ago. Roman Reigns powerbombed him right on that table. Roman Reigns set the fire of his obsession once again on that night. HHH doesn’t know why. Maybe he felt disrespected, maybe it was because someone like Roman would do something like that and put his hands on him. The obsessin was bigger than ever though and it wasn’t long before he was WWE Champion again. Roman Reigns has already lost this Sunday. He’s made the fatal mistake and he made it four months ago when he relit the obsession of Triple H. His obsession will ensure that no matter what, he walks out WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Stephanie says this Sunday isn’t about street bands, unicorn horns, street fights, ladder matches or legacy. This Sunday is about the WWE Title and it’s about her husband, The Game and Cerebral Assassin… Cue Roman Reigns’ music who makes his way right to the ring. Triple H cuts him off and both men trade blows. The crowd is decidedly behind HHH and booing Reigns to no end. Stephanie gets left in the ring and they slightly tease him doing something to her, but that doesn’t happen obviously. Roman stares them both down in the ring as “Roman Sucks” chants rain down upon him. Pun intended.
K-Tank’s Take: I don’t know if Triple H and Stephanie tried taking all the “internet heat” that they have and presenting it as fact (Sunday is all about Triple H, etc) to try and get Trips boo’ed, but it did not work in the slightest. Now we’re adding Roman Sucks to the mix of boos. I really hope for Roman’s sake, they don’t end with this match but after that promo, I don’t know how you can’t now. Ever seen 100,000 people boo someone like there’s no tomorrow? Tune in Sunday and you will. Now there’s a great WWE Network plug.
We finally get a new Tapout clothing commercial. That only took two years.
A recap of the Reigns/HHH altercation is shown.
Triple H and Stephanie are walking backstage. That’s it.
Awwwwww Brooklyn, Don’t you dare be sour!! Here comes The New Day. We get a recap of The League of Nations beatdown on The New Day two weeks ago on Raw. The New Day get a big ovation from the crowd and they eat it up as they begin to talk. If you haven’t heard, the official cereal for WrestleMania is Booty-O’s. Cue the Booty-O’s chant. If you haven’t gotten your box of Booty-O’s yet, what are you waiting for? The League of Nations will never have a box of Booty-O’s though. Who in their right mind would ever consume some of Rusev’s Bulgarian Booty Flakes?? The tagline would be “They’re Grrrrrrross!” Just disgusting. Big E takes over and says in the words of the late, great Phife Dawg, “Can I Kick It? Yes You Can.” Big E goes into a mini-rap and the crowd goes into a New Day Rocks chant until The LON music hits.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Both stables face off but the ref manages to clear the ring and ADR goes straight on the attack. Xavier plays La Cucaracha on the trombone to distract ADR. ADR manages to get Kofi on the top rope though and hits a second rope reverse suplex onto Kofi as we go to commercial.
The show returns with ADR in control of Kofi in the ring. During the commercial break the announcers state that ADR dominated the entire match. Kofi tries to fight back but gets dropped with a backbreaker. Kofi gets hung in the Tree of Woe and ADR wants to go for his double foot stomp but Kofi gets out of the way. Kofi makes a comeback and hits the SOS but ADR kicks out. ADR then hits the backstabber but runs right into a jumping double foot stomp by Kofi. That was an awesome counter. ADR kicks out at two again. ADR manages to hit his double foot stomp in the corner after reversing a Kofi attack and now wants the Cross Armbreaker. Kofi counters it into the ROLLUP OF DEATH! Kofi gets the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
The New Day make it up to the ramp but are cut off by a mysterious voice who ends up being The Coach! Johnathan Coachman makes his TV return and gets a nice ovation when the crowd realizes it’s him. Coach makes the announcement that he loves The New Day, but more importantly, SportsCenter will be live from WrestleMania all day on Sunday. Also, he loves him some Booty-O’s. He then dances with The New Day.
K-Tank’s Take: Kind of surprised Kofi got the win there as I fully expect The New Day to win at WrestleMania, but weirder things have happened I supposed. SportsCenter at WrestleMania is definitely a cool deal but no real surprise. The crowd popped for it though.
WrestleMania week on the WWE Network is hyped and finally they decide to plug NXT Takeover on Friday night. It’s only going to be the best thing that weekend, but oh well.
We get a live shot outside Brock Lesnar’s locker room and he’s here live tonight.
The show returns with Michael Cole announcing The Warrior Award recipient this year, Joan Lunden, noted celebrity/talk show host and breast cancer survivor. She will be introduced by The Ultimate Warrior’s wife Dana.
Another recap of the Shane/Taker altercation from the beginning of the show is shown, along with his conversation with Vince backstage.
Renee Young now welcomes Roman Reigns backstage. Before he can talk though, Bubba Ray Dudley calls him out from the side and wants to finish what they started on Smackdown. Roman stalks Bubba but D’Von shows up to make it two on one. Roman takes them on, but here comes Triple H from behind and now all three lay waste to Roman. The Dudleys throw him into a wall and leave the pieces for Triple H. HHH says he’ll never get the title and his dream is over. HHH puts the belt on a crate and slams Roman face first into it. He walks off as the crowd gives HHH a big ovation for his actions.
K-Tank’s Take: Once again, tune into the WWE Network to see and hear 100,000 people boo someone like there’s no tomorrow. I legitimately feel bad for Roman.
We come back to a plug for Mick Foley on the Stone Cold Podcast live on Thursday night.
A recap of the three on one beatdown from moments ago is shown.
Kalisto vs. Konnor (w/Viktor)
Konnor already in the ring as Kalisto makes his way down. A graphic for Kalisto vs. Ryback at WrestleMania is shown and although the announcers didn’t mention it, the graphic shows that it will be part of the WrestleMania kickoff show. So there’s you’re third match on the pre show. Konnor overpowers Kalisto to start the match. Kalisto manages to escape finally and his some of his typical offense. Konnor catches him in the hurricanrana but doesn’t fully stop him as Kalisto kicks Viktor away and then transistion to the Salido Del Sol for the win.
Viktor gets a little bit more just to add insult to injury and then Ryback’s music hits. The crowd is back to Goldberg chants as Ryback points at the WrestleMania sign. They face off to show the size difference between the two. Ryback starts a Feed Me More chant as he clearly doesn’t understand what a heel does. Kalisto counters with the Lucha chant and they show why this is a preshow match.
K-Tank’s Take: We have an hour left, so either they’re going to announce the multi-diva match and we’ll end up with two divas matches on the main show, or plans have changed and we’re only having the 10 announced matches.
Paul Heyman is backstage now and walks into Lesnar’s locker room and says that The Beast’s public awaits.
The top of hour three kicks off with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman making their way down to the ring. A recap of Smackdown is shown when Brock left Dean Ambrose laying after they fended off The Wyatt Family. Heyman goes into his intro spiel for Lesnar. His job tonight is to hype everyone on the fact that we’re all six days away. At WrestleMania, we have one of those rare opportunities to see a once-ever fighter and once-ever athlete. At his peak, in his prime, do his thing, perform at a level that not one member of the locker can even hope to achieve. Like in every equation, there’s that one exception that defies the rule. That one lunatic actually believes he has what it takes to bring the fight to Brock Lesnar and to perform at a level like Brock Lesnar. To be the one that conquers the one in the 1 of 22-1. That lunatic is Dean Ambrose. He gives Ambrose a hell of a lot of credit. Ambrose is smarter than we all think. Ambrose thinks if he takes Lesnar out of his supposed element into a no holds barred street fight, where every weapon… is he not supposed to say weapon? Is it not PC? They’re called weapons. They’re all legal and they’re all encouraged. Dean Ambrose has that opportunity now when he steps into the ring with Brock Lesnar.
Here’s the bad news though. This Sunday, Dean Ambrose has to step into the ring with Brock Lesnar. His client is fully prepared to give Dean the defining WrestleMania moment not of this year or this generation, but of this lifetime. When “Dr. Brock Lesnar” takes every one of those weapons and performs a most public colonoscopy on Dean Ambrose. He told us all two years ago and he’ll tell us again tonight. This isn’t a prediction, it’s a spoiler. The winner on Sunday will be…
Dean’s music cuts off Heyman and Dean is dragging an oversized wagon down with him. Dean parks it in front of the announcers and then goes under the ring. He pulls out a crowbar, lead pipes, a baseball bat, but he throws that back and pulls out Barbie. Now comes a fire extinguisher, kendo stick, chainsaw, nunchucks, and then kicks the steel steps and takes those with him as well. Lesnar has a kendo stick in his hand and stares down Ambrose, but Dean never once makes eye contact with Lesnar.
K-Tank’s Take: Unlike Shane and Taker, less is more here tonight. Dean and Lesnar has been the best/most consistantly booked match on the card in my opinion, so something as subtle as this, showing what Dean is capable of using on Sunday, was very effective. Loved Heyman calling them “weapons”. That is what they are, he’s right. Lesnar gave him a smirk that said he knew they were going to get hear for that, but oh well.
Another recap of HHH and Roman from tonight is shown. After being interrupted by Roman earlier, The Authority will be back later tonight to finish discussing what they were saying earlier.
Foxy, Brie, Paige, & Natalya are shown backstage and they will be out next.
Triple H is on the cover of Muscle and Fitness this month.
The divas from a moment ago all come out to Paige’s theme song. Paige looking as amazing as only she can. The music of the returning Emma is hit and here comes the team now dubbed, “Bad and Blonde” as she’s joined by Lana, Summer Rae, Naomi, & Tamina. A graphic is indeed shown for a 10-diva tag match and Brie’s team is going to have a mystery partner as their fifth. This too is shown as a Pre-Show match. So either the 1st hour of this show is going to be four really short matches or someone got promoted to the main show. I am really confused now.
Emma vs. Paige
Glad to see Emma back on the main roster. She did great on NXT reinventing herself. Emma goes right after Paige and has the advantage early. Emma hits a low dropkick on Paige that gets a two count. She hits the Emma Sandwich in the corner but Paige kicks out again. Paige fights out with some kicks and then a knee right to the face of Emma, but Emma kicks out at two. They trade blows until Paige catches her in a fallaway slam. Tamina now comes on the apron and the ref is distracted. The divas on the outside start catfighting and now Lana comes from behind Paige. Emma hits a jaw jacker on Paige and Lana hits a a jumping front kick onto Paige. Emma rolls up Paige and gets the win.
Emma goes right back on the attack on Paige after the bell rings. Brie comes in the ring and takes down Lana. Summer now in the ring and starts brawling with Brie. The heels obviously have the numbers game right now and are beating down all the Total Divas girls. WAIT JUST A DAMN SECOND, THAT’S EVA MARIE’S MUSIC!! The Total Divas savior has returned to even the sides!! The Titontron must’ve shown Roman Reign’s video by accident because the crowd boos lustily once again as Eva gets in the ring and takes out Lana. The heels run away as Eva is quite proud of herself. The other girls on her team don’t seem thrilled to see her.
K-Tank’s Take: It’s an All Red Everything WrestleMania!! If someone sees Vince over WrestleMania weekend, can you tell him I said thank you a thousand times over for giving me a WrestleMania that i’m going to be attending, with Zack Ryder and Eva Marie in matches? I could not be happier.
In the locker room now, Goldust has R-Truth come up to him once again and wants to know what he wants now. Truth says that what happened tonight, he’s not going to be able to have his back in the battle royal. It’s brother against brother and team against team. Goldust says they’re not a team. Truth says that’s what makes this so hard. R-Truth fakes crying and blows his nose in Goldust’s shirt. R-Truth says you think it’s funny, but it’s snot. Oh lord.
Snoop Dogg is officially announced as the celebrity induction into the Hall of Fame this year.
Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara vs. Stardust, Miz, & Kevin Owens
Miz and Zayn start the match. Miz gets dropkicked and Owens wants no part of Zayn so Stardust tags in. Miz stares a hole through Owens as Dolph gets the tag in. Stardust goes for a bodyslam but Dolph apparently didn’t want to take that bump as he lands awkwardly on his hip. Stardust works over Ziggler in the corner and then shoots him off the ropes but gets caught with a dropkick. Stardust escapes a superkick so Dolph decides to kick Miz off the apron. Owens avoids one himself and we go to commercial.
We return to Dolph in control of Stardust and then tags in Sin Cara. The crowd is getting restless and/or bored as they start chanting for Byron Saxton of all people. Stardust is coming off the top rope but Sin Cara hits him with a dropkick. Owens refuses to tag in still and so Stardust tags in Miz who is still selling the superkick. Cue the CM Punk chants now. Awesome. Zayn tags back in and continues to work over The Miz. Miz fights back though and hammers Zayn with left hands. Stardust back in the match and picks up where Miz left off. Owens mocks applauds from the outside. The announcers are of course trying to put over the crowd as being unique, but they’re clearly bored. Zayn hits a suplex and now Ziggler is back in. He hits his big elbow drop to Stardust but he kicks out. Ziggler goes for a jumping DDT but Stardust blocks him and Miz tags back in. Ziggler gets kicked to the outside as RVD chants now start. Stardust literally spanks Dolph on the outside and then brings him back in and tags back in Miz. Finally, Owens wants to tag in, he kicks Ziggler and then tags back in Stardust. Stardust hits a Side Effect on Dolph but he manages to kick out. Another commercial break.
We come back to Stardust tagging back in Miz and now the crowd is chanting “This is Booty”, followed by “New Day Rocks!” Cole says this is a wild crowd. Meanwhile, Ziggler fights off all his opponents and then hits a fameasser to Miz. Sami tags in to literally no reaction on a hot tag. Zayn cleans house and hits a double cross body on Miz and Stardust. Sin Cara makes a blind tag as Zayn dives over the top rope and finally takes out Owens. Sin Cara goes up top and goes for a Swanton but Stardust gets the knees up. Miz tags back in again and so does Zayn. Zayn fights off Miz but gets caught in the Skull Crushing Finale. Zayn blocks it into a rollup but Miz kicks out and ends up hitting the Finale anyways. Ziggler then hits the Zig Zag. Stardust then hits him with the Queen’s Crossbow. Stardust goes after Sin Cara, who low bridges him and then hits a springboard moonsault. Owens is the last man standing and Zayn is down in the middle of the ring, so he tags himself in. He sends Zayn in for the Pop-Up Powerbomb but Zayn counters with a dropkick. Owens wants to tag back out now but Miz and Stardust leave him hanging. Owens turns around to face the music with Zayn, who hits Owens with a Tornado DDT and a Helluva Kick. Zayn picks up the win on the champion.
Winners: Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara
K-Tank’s Take: I feel for the six guys. Had that been in the first hour, I think they get a far different reaction. Good effort by everyone involved, especially Stardust and Miz, but the crowd wanted to be heard and hijacked the match.
A graphic is shown that The Dudleys vs. The Usos and the 10 Diva Tag Match are on the USA Kickoff Show for WrestleMania. I’m still confused. Did the Battle Royal and US Title Match all the sudden get promoted to the main show? This is very odd.
Smackdown will have Dean Ambrose vs. Erick Rowan this Thursday as they broadcast live from AT&T Stadium.
Triple H & Stephanie McMahon come back down again because someone, (see: McMahon, Vince) thought this was a good idea. Michael Cole confirms the title match will be the main event, so there’s that. Stephanie says the fans loathe her and Triple H because they can never accomplish anything close to what they have. Stephanie talks about what’s going to happen to Roman Reigns and then says the fans want change after WrestleMania, but the title isn’t going anywhere after Sunday and neither are they. Triple H says his attacks are acted like they’re cowardice and not strategy. There’s a lot at stake. This isn’t a game, it’s real life. Millions of dollars are at stake. You can take your morality and shove it. Roman once more cuts off Triple H to a chorus of boos. Roman limps his way down and Triple H meets him halfway and they start to brawl again. Roman clotheslines HHH over the barricade as Stephanie calls for backup. The League of Nation, Miz, Stardust, & The Dudleys all come out now. Here comes The Usos, New Day and various babyfaces to separate Roman and HHH, but of course it doesn’t work. Roman takes out The Miz as wrestlers pull HHH to safety. The Usos are in the ring with Roman trying to hold him back as HHH walks off. Now he charges the ring and Roman now dives over the top rope and takes out everyone as he tries to get to the champ. HHH crawls away. The crowd popped for that dive but then go right into a “You still suck” chant. Clever. HHH holds the title up on the ramp as they replay Roman’s dive.
End of show.
K-Tank’s Final Takes: This show was definitely, “The best of times and the worst of times”. This has been the most oddly booked WrestleMania in recent memory. I really think the card is going to be spectcular and the in-ring action is going to be great, but the build up to get there really makes this feel lackluster. I’ve heard of doing more with less, but I’ve never seen doing less with more like WWE did this last few weeks. I still have no idea how many matches are on the pre-show and unless Reigns is somehow going to turn heel at the end of WrestleMania, WWE is sticking to their guns and going to have to deal with thier nightmare at the end of the night.I guess 100,000 fans booing is better than a third or more of the crowd walking out and having visible empty seats during the main event.
We still have no idea the roles of The Rock, Stone Cold, Mick Foley, & HBK who are all rumored/expected/announced for the show. This will truly be an interesting show to watch.
Thank you everyone for joining me this week for Raw as I filled in for John. He’ll be back next week. I will not have an NXT Spotlight this week, but I will have a look at the final WrestleMania card along with Takeover: Dallas predictions. If you’re in Dallas for WrestleMania, come find me and say hello. Take care everyone.