WWE celebrates 25-years on television with WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns defending against the Miz. The show also includes several appearances by legends.
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Manhattan, NY & Brooklyn, NY
We start off from the Manhattan Center with the sirens blaring, just like it was in 1993. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are at the Manhattan Center.
Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon are in the ring at the Barclays Center. They get the cheap pop for putting over Brooklyn. They thank all the wrestlers who have competed over the past 25-years to make RAW the great show that it has become and continues to be. Shane thanks the fans for making RAW the successful show that it has been. There is a video package highlighting all the memorable moments that have happened on RAW throughout the years. It was nicely done. Stephanie says there is one person that they really need to thank for making what RAW has become. That brings out Vince McMahon to a huge pop. They embrace. Vince says he doesn’t normally smell the roses, but tonight he is going to. He is going to leave, but Stephanie tells him they have a surprise. They have a plaque to present to Vince to celebrate RAW being on television for 25-years. Vince says it feels a little cheap, but then again they are in Brooklyn. Vince is offended that the GoFundMe page only got him a cheap plaque. Vince says that plaque is what is on everyone’s teeth. Vince has one person to thank and it’s not his family or anyone in the arena. He only needs to thank himself since he did it all by himself. There was never anyone that helped him…
Steve Austin makes his way down to the ring to a thunderous pop. Vince does his trademark shocked reaction upon seeing Austin. Vince tells the crowd not to encourage Austin. McMahon tells Austin that things are different these days. McMahon notes that Austin looks good while mother nature hasn’t been good to him. McMahon lists various health issues and is a member of AARP. “Times have changed… I’m a senior citizen.” Vince tells Austin that Shane is in his prime. Shane is backing off and wants to shake Austin’s hand, which Austin does. Shane thinks he’s good. Austin proceeds to hit the Stunner on Shane. Vince has a couple of a beers to offer Austin. The fans want a stunner one more time to Vince. They drink beer and embrace. Austin ends up hitting the stunner on Vince anyway. They dragged that out a little too long and didn’t get the big pop they could have gotten if they did it sooner in the segment. Austin gives Shane a second stunner.
Opening Contest: Asuka, Sasha Banks, Mickie James & Bayley vs. Nia Jax, Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville: Jax hits Asuka before the bell and all eight women are in the ring brawling. The referee gets control when the women just back away. Asuka and Deville start the match legally with Asuka delivering several strikes followed by a jumping butt strike. Asuka continues to kick Deville on the chest as we go to commercial.
Asuka is in the ring with Rose and she knocks Fox off the apron followed by another kick to Rose. Banks tags in and Rose goes to her corner to tag in Nia. Banks forearms Jax followed by a running knee strike for a two count. Jax stops Banks driving her down to the mat. Rose tags in and works over Banks with stomps. Deville enters and beats on Banks with right hands. Fox takes Banks over with a northern lights suplex. Fox drops Banks with a big boot for a two count. Banks tries to break free from Fox, but Fox pulls her down by her hair. We got to another commercial.
Asuka kicks Fox away but Deville drops her over the top rope. All the women brawl on the floor while Banks hits the Bank Statement and Fox is forced to give up. (DUD. Honestly, this was not interesting and was incredibly boring to me. I couldn’t believe they went with this match for two commercial breaks. I didn’t enjoy it at all.) After the match, Asuka dumps Mickie James over the top to the floor. She sends Bayley to the floor and she also tosses Banks to the floor. The crowd loved seeing Asuka toss her partners to the floor. She has to be the favorite to win the Rumble.
Backstage, Kurt Angle is talking with referee Rudy Charles. Angle is talking about Braun, Lesnar and Kane. He can’t afford another incident. The Coach enters the room and says he is thrilled to be back in the WWE. Harvey Whippleman and the Brooklyn Brawler enter the room. Teddy Long comes in as well and breaks out in a dance. Brother Love appears and he gets a huge reaction. Boogeyman is in the corner and everyone stands in shock and general confusion. Boogeyman gives Coach a bunch of worms and laughs before leaving.
It took over forty-five minutes, but we’re back to the Manhattan Center with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. Lawler wants some puppies over where they are after the women’s match. They then show a video package promoting the Undertaker’s history in the WWE.
The Undertaker makes his way out at the Manhattan Center to a good ovation. Howard Finkel is doing the ring announcing! Taker is wearing a wig for whatever reason. Taker talks about carnage starting in the building for twenty-five years. Anyone that took him on got buried. Taker lists various names that answered to the reaper. Taker declares it is time to rest in peace. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler don’t know how to take that.
Backstage, Heath Slater and Rhyno are with the APA playing cards. Slater thought he won with a pair of threes but he lost all his money. Someone walks in with a wad of cash and it’s Ted DiBiase!
They take the time to bring out former general managers of RAW. John Laurinaitis wearing a bright red suit, William Regal, Eric Bischoff (gets a good reaction) and Daniel Bryan of Smackdown.
Second Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns vs. The Miz: Reigns shoves Miz down to the mat showing his strength advantage. Miz punches Reigns from the floor and goes to the top but is met with a right hand from Reigns. Reigns goes for the Drive By but Bo Dallas gets in the way. Miz misses a baseball slide and Reigns punches him again. Axel distracts Reigns allowing Miz to knock Reigns off the apron. Miz sends Reigns shoulder first into the ring steps as the show goes to commercial.
Reigns clotheslines Miz a few times with clotheslines followed by short arm clotheslines in the corner. Reigns comes off the ropes with a big boot to drop Miz. Reigns signaled for the Superman Punch but Miz went to the floor. Reigns settles for the Drive By. Reigns misses a spear hitting the ring post shoulder first and Miz nearly wins with a rollup with his feet on the ropes. Miz delivers several kicks to the chest of Reigns, but Reigns blocks one and hits a sit down powerbomb for a near fall. Reigns hits Dallas and Axel with a Drive Boy on the apron. Reigns takes both Dallas and Axel out on the floor. Miz brings Roman into the ring where Reigns hits the Superman Punch but Miz kicks out at two. Dallas distracts Roman from the floor and Miz hits a clothesline in the corner. The referee ejects Dallas and Axel from ringside. Reigns goes for a rollup but Miz kicks out. Reigns punches Axel and Dallas off the apron. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Reigns kicks out at two. Reigns elbows out of the Finale. Reigns hits an exposed turnbuckle and Miz plants Reigns with the Skull Crushing Finale to regain the title. (**1/2. It was okay. This just felt like the same old routine and it wasn’t anything overly great or memorable. The exposed turnbuckle part was nicely done as I didn’t even realize he did it. It was a decent match and I’m glad that Miz is the champion again.)
Backstage, APA now has Jeff Hardy, MVP and the Usos playing cards along with DiBiase, Slater and Rhyno.
Christian is in the ring to host the Peep Show. He talks about knowing a lot about tag team wrestling since he’s been nine time tag champion. His guests this week are the WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan. Jordan cuts off Rollins on the first question saying that being a tag champion has been amazing. The crowd is giving Jordan a lot of heat. Jordan is honored to be in the presence of Christian and other legends. Jordan thanks the fans for their continued support and gives his props to Kurt Angle, his father, for getting all the talent here tonight. Jordan tells the fans that his father doesn’t suck and wants everyone to clap for Kurt. He gets cutoff by Cesaro and Sheamus. Sheamus says that all the legends have been lining up to get their autographs backstage. Sheamus says the legends believe the Bar will regain the tag titles this Sunday. Cesaro says that Kurt Angle doesn’t suck, but rather Jordan does. They get the crowd to chant that towards Jordan. Jordan loses his cool and attacks. Rollins takes Sheamus out with a suicide dive. Rollins misses a springboard forearm strike and hits Jordan on accident.
Backstage, WWE Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss is interviewed regarding the Royal Rumble match. Bliss doesn’t appreciate being asked if she thinks she’ll still be champion come WrestleMania. Smackdown Live’s Women’s Champion Charlotte comes over and says that Alexa is only champion because she’s on Smackdown. Ric Flair appears and puts over his daughter saying that Charlotte will be champion until she decides to hang her robe up.
Backstage, Natalya, Apollo Crews, Titus O’Neill and Dana Brooke have joined the card game. Heath Slater has lost a lot of money.
We’re back to the Manhattan Center.
Third Contest: Bray Wyatt vs. Matt Hardy: Hardy starts off with right hands and avoids Sister Abigail. Hardy ducks a clothesline and takes Wyatt down with a side Russian leg sweep. Hardy comes of the middle rope to deliver an elbow strike. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Wyatt breaks free and delivers a running forearm strike. We go to commercial…
Hardy blocks a right hand and rams Wyatt head first into the corner several times. Hardy clotheslines Wyatt but can’t hit a bulldog. Wyatt does his upside down taunt in the corner. Hardy starts laughing at Wyatt. Wyatt charges but Hardy connects with Side Effect. Wyatt avoids the Twist of Fate and wraps Hardy’s arm over the top rope. Wyatt plants Hardy with Sister Abigail for the win. (1/2*. I really feel bad for the fans at the Manhattan Center.)
JoJo brings out some of the great women wrestlers from the history of RAW. The Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis, and Trish Stratus are all introduced.
Backstage, Elias is walking when he runs into Chris Jericho. Jericho gets a huge pop. Jericho notes that Elias is wearing a lot of scarfs. Jericho asked to use Elias’s guitar but has his own. Jericho wrote a song for Elias calling him a stupid idiot and says that Elias just made the list!
Elias is in the ring with his guitar to sing a song, as per usual. Elias points out that Jimmy Fallon is in the front row. Elias is going to show Fallon how it is done. Elias talks about various WWE legends including Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Chris Jericho and the Rock. Elias says that John Cena is like Brooklyn because he has no balls. Naturally, that brings out John Cena. Cena points out they have balls since people were bouncing beach balls in the crowd until security grabbed them. Elias tells Cena to shut his damn mouth and says nobody wants to hear him. Elias thinks that Cena ruined his moment. Cena wants Elias to do something about it. Elias says that’s not how it is done. Elias doesn’t take orders from Cena or the scumbags in Brooklyn. Elias tries to cheap shot Cena but Cena avoids it and drives Elias down with a slam. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Elias avoids the AA and low blows Cena. Elias grabs his guitar and breaks it over Cena’s back. Elias plants Cena with the Drift Away. That might have been the best segment of the show.
Backstage, the APA card game is still going on. Slater has a full house and thinks he has won. Dana Brooke says Slater was cheating and it turns out he was. DiBiase wins the card game with a royal flush.
Backstage, Mark Henry is walking when he runs into the Godfather and a woman named Olivia. Godfather mentions that Henry was known as Sexual Chocolate back in the day. Henry was going to hit on her, but Godfather tells him that she is married to him.
Fourth Contest: Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neill vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno: This is because Slater was cheating at a card game. Rhyno and Titus kick off the match with Titus working over Rhyno with strikes in the corner. Slater comes off the top to hit Crews with a right hand. Slater comes off the ropes with a forearm strike. Crews stops Slater with a dropkick. Crews drives Slater down to the mat with a delayed vertical suplex as we go to commercial. Back from commercial they are brawling and the match is thrown out. The Dudley Boys make an appearance, as expected. Slater gets rolled into the ring and he’s met with the What’s Up. Slater gets to his feet and is met with a 3D through a table.
Backstage, WWE Champion AJ Styles is interviewed. Styles has someone else to do the interview with him. Styles introduces Mean Gene Okerlund to interview him. Styles proceeds to act like Hulk Hogan and gets an “oh jeez” out of Gene. Styles talks about how Owens and Zayn think they are going to be the first ever co-WWE Champions. However, Styles isn’t going to let that happen.
We go back to the Manhattan Center for the DX Reunion. Shawn Michaels tries to tell some stories but Triple H says he can’t say any of them. Michaels notes that he was the boss of the group, but not HHH is the boss of everything. HHH does a very similar promo that Shane and Stephanie did to start the program. HHH goes over some of the things that DX did. He says the Manhattan Center for RAW is home. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn make their way out to join the party. After Road Dogg does his usual entrance, they bring out X-Pac. The crowd welcomes X-Pac with a “1-2-3” chant. X-Pac calls out Scott Hall to join their party. Hall comes out to the Razor Ramon theme song and we go to commercial.
Hall does his “Hey Yo” to a good pop and says that you can’t have a party on RAW without the Bad Guy. Hall thinks RAW 25 has been Too Sweet. Finn Balor, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make their way out to join the segment. They all do a Too Sweet in the middle of the ring. Billy Gunn goes to finish the segment, but The Revival come out.
Main Event: The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows: Dawson and Wilder attack before the bell sending Anderson into the corner. Wilder clotheslines Anderson and double teams him in the corner. Dawson sends Anderson into the ropes to deliver a forearm strike. Wilder tags in and uppercuts Anderson to keep control of the match. Anderson sends Wilder chest first into the corner. Dawson comes in and prevents Anderson from tagging out. Gallows gets tagged in and hits a splash on Wilder in the corner. Gallows boots Dawson and kicks Wilder. Wilder gets finished off with the Magic Killer. (DUD. If you thought the Revival had a chance in hell then you’re a dreamer.)
Scott Dawson confronts Scott Hall but gets a toothpick to the face. X-Pac hits the X-Factor and Road Dogg does his jabs. Billy Gunn comes off the ropes to hit a Fame-Asser. Michaels superkicks Wilder and Triple H hits a Pedigree. Finn Balor comes off the top to double stomp Wilder.
Kurt Angle and the entire locker room, including the legends from earlier in the night, make their way down to the ring at the Barclay Center to end the program. Angle introduces Braun Strowman, Kane and WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. This can’t be a good idea, right? Well, first Paul Heyman cuts a promo putting over Lesnar. Braun clotheslines Kane, but Lesnar clotheslines Braun on the floor before getting in the ring to meet Kane. Lesnar hits an F5 on Kane. Braun sends Lesnar to the floor and sends him into the barricade. Braun puts Lesnar through the announcers table with a powerslam. Braun stands tall in the ring to close the show.
I thought the show was a major disappointment. It just felt like the same old special RAW with the same kind of segments that we see every 2-3 years. Reigns/Miz didn’t deliver a classic match or anything. All the in-ring stuff this week was just bad. I did enjoy the Elias/Cena segment and the closing segment was good, but that lasted all of five minutes out of a three hour show. Jason Jordan got great heel heat from the crowd and he’s going to be a top heel for the WWE by the middle of the year. As a whole, the show gets a thumbs down. There were some positive moments, but the bad outweighed the good, for me.
Thanks for reading.