Alex Pawlowski here.
I'm going to be stepping away from the Live Raw Coverage at Fightful.
But don't worry, this just means I'll have more time to write more crazy articles.
In the meantime, I leave you in the very capable hands of Danielle Ortiz.
You kids play nice.
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Monday Night Raw!
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Raw is live in Brooklyn, NY tonight and Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns are set for a match, and I can honestly say that I am not yet tired of this.
What will happen with General Manager Mick Foley?
What will happen during Jericho's Highlight Reel?!
With WrestleMania less than two weeks away, I am looking forward to see what tonight has in store for us!
Alright guys, here we go!
Video package of last week events that ended Raw, Mick Foley calling out Stephanie and Triple H, followed by Rollins coming to Foley's rescue only to get torn apart by the Game.
Cue Mick Foley live this week on Raw, still introduced as General Manager.
Foley chants going crazy!
Foley says that he is a humble man who has the honor of calling himself General Manager. He is reading from pre-scripted cards. Says he is thankful for Triple H and Stephanie for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime. He apologizes for the Mr. Socko incident. He continues reading from the script and says that for WrestleMania and his own personal sanity, effective immediately, he is taking a leave of absense.
HE SHREDS THE CARDS!
Foley says that he got handed the cards, and goes off! He's Mick Freaking Foley! He keeps having the microphone cut out on him intentionally.
Out comes Stephanie.
Stephanie says she gave him a golden opportunity and then he physically attacked Triple H, and then gave him the cards as another opportunity. She says he can't get anything right and everything is about him being liked. The crowd LOVES Foley tonight.
Stephanie tells Foley "YOU'RE FIRED!"
Out comes Sami Zayn!
He says that what Stephanie is doing to Foley is wrong and she has been wrong about a lot of decisions and no one has the guts to tell her to her face. She tells him to go to the back. Foley tries to tell him to go back and leave it alone. CM Punk chants ensue.
Sami says that Foley has more class in 9 months of General Manager than Stephanie's whole life. She says she should be ashamed of herself. She says he is not on level to come out and speak to her let alone question her.
Sami stays in the ring instead of leaving like Stephanie wants. He wants to do the "right" thing.
Out comes the Destroyer Samoa Joe. Stephanie tells Joe that it's ok, she has it, tells Foley to get out and she makes a match for Joe and Sami right now, Zayn is fired up and flies out of the ring on to Joe! Let's go!
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
We come back from the break and Joe is in control of the match, the two exchange punches. Kicks to Sami's torso followed by chops. Both go back and forth and still Joe is in control. Zayn takes a mean chop to the back. Sami delivers a dropkick but can't get Joe down. Powerslam by Joe, goes for the cover, kickout at 2. Zayn and Joe trading blows and Zayn taking the turnbuckle hard. Joe is trying to set up the muscle buster and has Sami on top rope. Joe gives him a spinkick and down comes Sami and he goes out the ring. Samoa Joe runs out th ring onto Sami and Joe throws Sami back into the ring.
Sigh... I hate commercial breaks in the middle of matches.
Ok, back and Joe has still got control, during the break Joe pretty much laid out Zayn and has him in a hold right now. Zayn working on getting out of it and does with a kick to Joe's face. Joe is called the Destroyer for a reason, Zayn has not caught any breaks this match. Zayn is laid outside of the ring with the official counting, Joe looking comfortable in the ring. Zayn just beats the count and Zayn is able to get Joe down with a clothesline. Zayn is all of a sudden fired up and delivers blows and a crossbody splash off the top rope onto Joe. Zayn goes for a cover and Joe kicks out at 2. The two move the action to outside of the ring. Zayn lines up Joe for a through the ropes DDT! Both are down! They make their way in the ring. Joe has Zayn in a headlock! Joe is crushing his head and Zayn taps! Samoa Joe is the winner.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Up next is the injury report for Seth Rollins.
Backstage Foley thanks Zayn for sticking up for him. Zayn says he needs Foley to stay to stand up for the talent and Zayn is happy he got to meet his hero. Cesaro and Sheamus say their thank you's to Foley as well. Foley sees Bayley and two hug and Triple H is standing behind them. Triple H gets in Foley's face and says "Have a Nice Day".
Last week, Rollins is undergoing rehab in Alabama and we still don't know if he will be ready. Mr. Wilk (the professional dealing with Seth Rollins) stated he reaggrivated his knee injury and the only thing that helped him was wearing the knee brace. He said rehab is progressing well and Rollins is very driven. They say that there is no doctor that will clear him for competing in WrestleMania, and if he does then they are afraid that he will just make it worse and that the estimated recovery time is a few months.
Triple H should be commenting on the rehab of Seth Rollins later during Raw.
Time for a match!
Charlotte Flair makes her way out to the ring.
Dana Brooke comes out, time for these two to finally have a match.
Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke
Dana goes in strong and throws Charlotte down and then into the turnbuckle. Dana is SERIOUS. Dana is in control and is throwing Charlotte around. Charlotte is finally able to catch her breath outside the ring. Charlotte gets on the apron and Dana gets her in and goes for the cover, 2 count and Charloitte is back up. Dana gives Charlotte huge clothesline. Charlotte is able to get in an elbow to the face and then some chops. Dana is still going to town guys. I am actually suprised that it has been this one sided so far. Oh and then big boot by Charlotte and then one, two, three, Charlotte takes the win.
Is it just me or did Dana Brooke actually look really strong tonight. I thought she did a great job and besides losing the match itself, I thought she did well, just maybe an outfit change...
Bayley and Stephanie are backstage and Bayley says she admired Stephanie but now all she sees is Stephanie hurting other people. Stephanie says that Bayley is going to have to earn her title every single night. Stephanie is giving Bayley a match against Nia Jax tonight and if Nia wins then she gets to be in the Women's Championship match at WrestleMania. This will also be a no-disqualification match.
Time for the Highlight Reel! Jericho comes out with the List in Hand and I am interested to see what is about to go down!
Jericho says he doesn't need Owens to be his friends because he has a lot of friends. He has the friends of Jericho.
CHEER HIM ON MAAAAAANNN!
Amazing, just freaking amazing. A picture of Kevin Owens at 16 years old wearing a Y2J shirt doing the pose. Jericho says he doesn't look like a prizefighter at all, rather a fan marking out.
In 2014, Kevin Owens is all "growns up" and he reaches out to Jericho for advice. This was before they even met.
Jericho says he needs back the time and pain he invested in Owens back. Jericho wants Owens to show his true face at WrestleMania, the nervous, intimidated one. Jericho says that he is Owens idol.
Jericho is killing it, he says when Jericho comes out at WrestleMania for his match, Owens will realize what he's gotten himself into. Jericho calls Owens a "Stupid Idiot" and of course those chants have to follow.
What happens when you betray Chris Jericho? Owens was about to make the list when Samoa Joe walks out sans music.
Owens comes out from behind Jericho and beats him up! Pop up powerbomb delivered to Jericho. Owens goes to the list, throws the pen and grabs the list. Proceeds to tear the list, chew some of it up and spit it out. NOT THE LIST!!!!
Time for some Cruiserweight action.
TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
Action starts right away and TJ takes control, they move outside the ring then back in with Perkins giving Kendrick a big crossbody. Kendrick kicks out and then grabs Perkins by the hair and delivers Sliced Bread #2.
Kendrick calls out Tozawa. Says he isn't even in the country and that he has Tozawa's passport. Apparently he "found it on the locker room floor last week". That's bad news for Tozawa.
Backstage Roman gets asked if the match with Undertaker affects him for other matches. Roman says that this is his yard and the only time he thinks about the Undertaker is with the dead man lying defeated in the middle of the ring at WresltleMania.
They are showing a video package of Goldberg, his debut, career, family and why he decided to return to the ring. Now they are reviewing the Brock and Goldberg rivalry.
Up next we will see if Nia Jax can earn her way into the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania.
Backstage Cesaro and Sheamus are thrown in a 2 on 4 handicap match against Enzo and Cass along with Gallows and Anderson by bad mood Stephanie. If they lose, they are out of Championship match at WrestleMania.
Bayley vs Nia Jax (no disqualification)
Bayley tries to take control and tries to go for sleeper hold. Jax won't go down and the two move outside the ring. Jax is inflicting a lot of pain on Bayley. Bayley tries to come back and manages to get Nia Jax into the steel steps. Charlotte and Sasha Banks separately look on from backstage. Both do not want the WrestleMania match to turn into a four-way.
Nia Jax has Bayley in a headlock, Bayley comes out and throws some elbows, Nia returns with a shoulder breaker. Nia gets Bayley in the turnbuckle and then lays her out in the middle of the ring. Nia has complete control and has Bayley's head again. Bayley tries to get out but Bayley is losing energy. Bayley finally is free and gives a straight up SLAP to the face of Nia Jax. The two move outside the ring and Nia swings Bayley back and forth onto the barricade-uh ouch. Nia going for a chair now and Bayley manages to kick the chair away from Nia. Nia gets hung up on the ropes and Bayley takes advantage and goes for the cover but doesn't get it. Bayley delivers elbows to the back and goes for a cover again. No luck. Bayley gets on top rope, crossbody splash, cover again and still can't end it. Nia lands Samoan drop and that's it for Bayley. Nia wins and is now in a Fatal Four-way match at WrestleMania for the Raw Women's Championship.
Winner: Nia Jax
Wonderful tribute to Mae Young in honor of Women's History month. She truly was an amazing lady and was very influential in the business.
We return to Michael Cole Introducing Triple H to discuss what's going on with Seth Rollins at WrestleMania.
Triple H gloats about Rollins not being able to return for WrestleMania. He doesn't feel that it is his fault at all, only the fault of himself. Triple H says that he thinks Rollins was insecure and needs the crowd to justify how good he is and they get addicted and consumed by the cheers of the crowd. Says that Mick Foley was a prime example. Triple H insists that we replay footage again from Rollins getting destroyed by Triple H.
Cole asks if Triple H would do anything different regarding Rollins being the protege?
Triple H says he gave Rollins the blueprints on how to make it in this business and he whined and cried about getting knocked down and no one being there to pick him back up. Triple H said he made it too easy on him and became his crutch. Triple H says he is "officially done with Seth Rollins" and gives Michael Cole tickets to WrestleMania for Seth to watch it as an audience member. Triple H says, wait, how can I make it to where we can make a match at WrestleMania, even though Rollins is not cleared. Triple H says he can make a match that has a binding document that says that Seth can't sue them when Triple H ends his career. He is making the documents for Seth to sign next week on Raw.
Does anyone else love the Sheamus Snickers commercial as much as me?
Cesaro and Sheamus vs Enzo and Cass with Gallows and Anderson
Cesaro and Sheamus have really grown on me and I think that they make a great tag team. I hope to see them win this one to keep their spot for a triple threat at Mania.
Cass says that Cesaro and Sheamus can kiss their WrestleMania dreams goodbye. Then calls them SAWFT, the usual. Anderson and Gallows throw Enzo and Cass out of the ring before they even get in there even though they are teammates. Legal men are Anderson and Cesaro, then Cesaro tags Sheamus in very quickly, they finish off Anderson while Gallows is busy with Enzo and Cass. Cesaro and Sheamus take the win and high tail it out of there while Enzo and Cass get back at Gallows and Anderson. The match will stay a triple threat at Wrestlemania. That was a quick one!
Winners: Cesaro and Sheamus
We now go to New Day where they talk about...WrestleMania. I did like the looks Big E and Kofi gave to Woods at the beginning of the segment.
Time for more Cruiserweight action with Austin Aries making his way to the ring.
I CANNOT wait to see the match of Aries vs. Neville at Mania.
Tonight he is facing up against Tony Nese.
Austin Aries vs Tony Nese
Nese immediately gets Aries into the turnbuckle and takes charge of the match. Aries comes back gets in a couple of moves. Nese comes back strong and goes for a crossface, slam, leg drop and keeps going. Aries keeps trying to get back in it but no luck so far. Finally Aries gets him out of the ring and suicide dives out the ring at Nese.
Nese has not let up and Aries was barely able to roll out of the path of Nese's destruction. Aries finally gets the upper hand and delivers a huge chop and then a facebuster. Pendulum elbow from Aries and he is going to top rope, missle dropkick delivered and Aries takes the win with a discus five arm as called by Graves.
Winner: Austin Aries
Neville heads out to the ring and Aries grabs the microphone and asks him why he comes out. Neville says he could go obliterate him just like every other cruiserweight and Aries is no threat. Aries says that was the most unbelievable interview segment ever because he sees Neville who knows he has to step into the ring with someone above his level. Neville backs down but I really am looking forward to that match happening.
Now Emma is supposedly coming soon. I wonder if this transformation will take as long.
Now we take another look at Golberg and Lesnar rivalry.
Lesnar and Goldberg confirmed for Raw next week.
Braun says Undertaker is going to need a shovel for digging Roman off the mat when he is done with him.
Time for our main event!
Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
Reigns starts it off and tries to do damage quickly. Reigns doesn't have much luck and gets tossed out of the ring early. Reigns gets back in the ring and Braun gets out of the ring. Roman goes to take him out and Braun clotheslines Roman and he falls onto the apron. Braun now in complete control. Braun does damage to him in the turnbuckle. Braun throws him into another turnbuckle and then gets him in a headlock. This is weakening Roman pretty quick. Braun is not letting go and is tightening his hold. Roman is fading but then gets a huge boost of energy and gets out and throws some punches and comes back with a clothesline, more punches and tries to lift Braun up. He can't do it and Braun delivers another clothesline knocking Roman off his feet. Braun kicks Roman in the ribs and Roman goes to the turnbuckle and Braun goes and crushes him. Braun throws Roman in another turnbuckle and tries to hit him but Roman moves and Braun hits the post. Now Braun is in the turnbuckle and taking punches. Roman lifts Braun for a Samoan Drop, executes it, but Braun kicks out, it is not enough. The two move outside the ring and Roman gets thrown into the steel steps. Braun tossed the steps in the ring and the men are back insdie. Braun grabs the steps and before he can do anything, Superman Punch delivered and goes for another, Braun catches it, and then finally lands another Superman Punch. Reigns tries to go for spear and the arena goes black.
The Undertaker is here in the middle of the ring staring face to face with Roman and instead of going for Roman, Undertaker chokeslams Braun!
Spear to Undertaker by Roman!
No winner of the match! Undertaker sits up in the ring, then stands then does the throat cutting gesture at Roman. Undertaker is ready to go.
Thanks so much everyone for sticking with me on my first night of Monday Night Raw Coverage! I hope you all enjoyed and don't forget to check out fightful.com for all your wrestling needs. Also don't forget to check out the Raw Review podcast with Sean Ross Sapp and Alex Pawlowski!